Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rhett's Newborn Pictures

sleepy baby boy

While we were in the hospital, Nick's friend Mandy stopped by to take a few pictures of Everett and us the day after he was born (unfortunately, Peyton was at school so she didn't get to join in on the shoot).

his cranky little cross-eyed face cracks. me. up!
Mandy is such a talented photographer and being a friend of ours, it definitely made for a more comfortable environment - especially considering that the day after you give birth to your baby is not when you're feeling the most glamorous or photogenic. ;)

one of my favorites, if you cut me out and just look at Nick and baby boy ;)

She did such a wonderful job given the fact that we were inside a hospital room and thankfully Everett was relatively cooperative. We will surely cherish these pictures for years to come.

Thank you again, Mandy, for these beautiful photos of our sweet boy!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Baby Boy's Nursery

I'm a little late in posting these pictures (what else is new?) but here a few shots of our sweet boy's living space from before he made his arrival. Though, he hardly spends any time in here these days since he still sleeps with us. I'm sure he'll be sleeping in his crib every night before we know it, though... maybe ;)

I knew pretty much when we found out that we were having a boy that I wanted to do woodland themed nursery. It just took us a long time to get this room going since we (and by we, I mean my husband and my Dad) were working so hard on trying to get the attic space done first since this room used to be our master bedroom. That way, we could move our bedroom upstairs and then get to work on a room for Everett. I think it turned out so great and I can't wait to see him grow up in this space!

Peyton drew this picture of Mr. Stork bringing us our baby (that is our house down in the corner) and the Sun in the top left corner and a crescent moon on the right side.


paint color // arrowhead lake by behr
area rug // ikea
crib and dresser // old from jcpenney
owl lamp // walmart
changing table // craigslist find
rocker/glider and ottoman // target
white toy chest // walmart
white end table // walmart
curtains // target
owl chalkboard // was on clearance at pier 1
tree garland // handmade by me
mounted deer antlers // these were my pop pop's from decades ago
(real) birch branch and (fake) leaf decor // handmade by me
bookshelves // ikea
fox and deer painting // handmade by Peyton
chevron diaper bag // handmade by a coworker
owl plate //  pier 1
gallery frames // ikea
watercolor animal prints // Susan Windsor on Etsy
fox and hedgehog musical plush toy // carters
bright eyed and bushy tailed print // handmade by me
dancing forest animal prints // Jahna Vashti on Etsy


Friday, April 10, 2015

1 month // Everett Orion

Where have the past 4 weeks gone?! You were just born, weren't you? How you are already reaching this 1 month mark is just beyond me. However, it has been so, so wonderful watching you grow right before our eyes! Every single person says that you look just like your Daddy and that makes me so very happy ('cause I think he's pretty darn good looking). I just hope you got at least a little bit of my genes, too. ;) Just recently I've had a few people mention to me that you have a beautifully shaped head as well and they continued to ask me if I "shaped it" that way... nope! That's just the way you came out, haha. Anyways, we love every single little ounce of you, little man.

Length| Well, at your 1 week appt you were 20.5 inches (the 70th percentile) and then today at your 1 month checkup, you measured 22.5 inches (the 80th percentile). At your 1 week appt, the medical assistant who measured you mentioned that when you were born, they must have not measured you properly considering within 4 days you seemingly went from 19 inches to 20.5 inches.

Weight| hefty! ;) I absolutely love your chunky little arms and thighs! At your 1 week appt you had gone down from 8 lbs at birth to then 7 lbs 11 oz (the 39th percentile). Today at your 1 month checkup you weighed 9 lbs 9.2 oz (the 41st percentile). So you're doing great!

Hair| Still a dark brown-ish color and none of it has fallen out (yet!), thank goodness. 

Eyes| They've turned into this really dark grey/blue color and I am so anxious to see what color they end up being. Your dad and I both have hazel eyes and your sister has blue, but I don't see your eyes staying blue. Maybe they'll be brown like your Papa Ron's!

Nicknames| Rhett, Bubb, Baby Munch, Baby Boy, Honey Bunch, Little Man, Sweet Boy, Chunky Munk, Little Chunk

I could just nibble on those chunky thighs all day, every day!
Eats| Well, you're a little piggly wiggly. You pretty much eat whenever you please which could be every 1-3 hours during the day. I've been exclusively pumping, with a nursing session here or there and some formula to help supplement so that I can get a stockpile of breast milk started in the freezer. Per feeding, you will now eat anywhere from 4 to 7 oz. 7 oz already! (See, I told you that you were a little piggy.)

Sleep| Now, I don't wanna jinx us, but you have been sleeping SO great! You fall asleep around 10:30/11 pm and wake up maybe once or twice around 3:30 am and 5 am to eat and/or have your poopy diaper changes, and then it's back to bed with ya! If only we could get you to actually sleep in your bassinet, that would be great. ;) Sleep during the day is somewhat of a different story. You do not take very good naps; they last maybe 30 minutes or so and are just enough for Mama to pump and go to the bathroom (maybe, if I'm lucky) and then you wake up again. You maybe get in 1 to 2 one hour to two hour long naps a day and it ranges anywhere from 9 am to 7pm when Dad gets home.

Clothes| As of last week, you officially grew out of your newborn clothes! For this photo shoot, I had to squeeze you into a newborn onesie &, though it still worked, you certainly didn't waste anytime ruining it with a small (read: not-so-small) poop explosion an hour or so later.

Diapers| The same holds true for your diapers: you wasted no time in outgrowing the newborn size considering they could no longer withstand your poops. So, you're currently in size 1's. You little poop machine.

Loves| Christmas lights! We have a few strands of plain white lights around the house ('cause Mama loves the ambiance they provide year 'round) and you just LOVE to scope them out. Being held. Being in your Happy Baby Wrap. Your big sister. Music. Listening to Mom and Dad's voices. Being swaddled at night, especially in your Summer Infant SwaddleMe blanket/wrap.

Dislikes| Being put down/Not being held. The MamaRoo (your swing), which I think is basically because you prefer to be held. For a while, you liked your pacifier, but lately you haven't been feeling that too much - which is perfectly fine with us!

Milestones| You're making eye contact with us more and more every day. Gripping our fingers (and Mama's hair!) with more strength and just grasping onto more things in general, like my shirt collar when I hold you on my chest. You've had a few smiles here and there, but it's mostly just when you're gassy and sleeping :P

Events| Your Dadda had surgery on his hand to fix it after that yucky snow blower accident. Your sister turned 6! We celebrated with your first trip to the aquarium, pizza at California Pizza Kitchen, and then had ice cream cake with GiGi and Papa Ron. You also celebrated your very first holidays: St. Patrick's Day and Easter - and you & Peyton were both spoiled rotten by the Easter Bunny & GiGi, of course. Dad was lucky enough to spend 3 awesome weeks home with us (recovering from hand surgery) but he unfortunately had to return to work. (Mama doesn't even want to think about maternity leave coming to an end and having to go back to work. Just no.)

We can't wait to see what month two holds for you, sweet boy!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

a birth story // everett orion

** you are warned that this is a lengthy and detailed post, mostly for my memory**

These past 3 weeks have been the most wonderful whirlwind of sleepless nights, late night feedings, diaper changes and baby snuggles - and I have loved every single second of it. The fact that I am writing "3 weeks" is just amazing to me. I can hardly even comprehend the fact that this little munchkin of ours is nearly 1 month old already! Time is flying and I would like very much if it would just slow down by a few hundred mph -- Sooo, who do I talk to about making that happen? ;)

Even though it's been 3 weeks and I can hardly even imagine what it feels like to live a life without Everett in it, it simultaneously feels like just yesterday that he was born. Little man was supposed to arrive on (or before) March 6th. However, he was simply just not in the mood to make his arrival without a little bit of help. (With as cold as the weather had been, I don't blame him for wanting to stay inside mama's nice warm belly!).

I am fortunate enough to work for my OB/GYN, so my Dr. (aka my boss) knew just how much I was ready to be done being pregnant and to have my baby in my arms instead. So, when March 6th came and went, my Dr. called me that Sunday to ask how I was feeling. He had mentioned that I needed to have an NST (a Non Stress Test, simply put it's just monitors placed on my belly to document baby's heart rate and any contractions I may have been having) on Monday if baby had not come on his own by then. In turn, I asked him if he would be alright with setting me up for an induction for Monday. 

-- You see, Nick had an unfortunate run-in with our snowblower the day before my due date and ended up needing to have surgery done on his hand sometime within that following week. We knew that if we just waited around for baby, it could potentially mean that I would go into labor while Nick was in surgery or recovering from it (which would totally happen with the way our luck is). So, the request for an induction was somewhat necessary. Besides, I was already overdue. --

After contacting the hospital's family birth center, my Dr. called me back and said that we were a "go" to be induced that Monday, the 9th. I was anxious about being induced because 1- I felt like I was cheating by not allowing baby to "pick" his own birthday and 2- because that meant that I would for sure be going into labor (like real, actual and painful labor) within the next 24-48 hours... ah!

With that anxiety and the excitement of knowing that we would soon have our baby boy in our arms, Nick and I hardly slept that Sunday night. We were wide awake by the time 4am rolled around. We were scheduled to be at the hospital by 6am, which meant that I had to call the Family Birth Center around 5am to make sure they had room for us (which of course they did). One perk to scheduling this whole she-bang was that I was able to curl my hair and just overall be prepared for the big day. ;)

my last bump picture // the morning of our baby boy's birthday! (40 weeks and 3 days)
We woke Peyton up and finished gathering all of our things and left for the hospital while it was still dark outside. We arrived a little bit after 6am (we are never on time for anything) and they set us up in our room, where my Mom soon met up with us. Around 7:15am I was checked by the resident Dr. to see how dilated I was -- 3 cm and 100% effaced, basically meaning that I was perfectly "ripe" and good to go ahead and start getting the Pitocin (the magic medicine to hopefully put me into labor).

our last picture at the house before we left for the hospital!
Right before they started my Pitocin drip!
Our last picture as a family of three!

After that, we just hung out -- waiting for the contractions to start. We played Apples to Apples: the Disney version and I munched on ice chips. Around 8am, the contractions began! Though, they were fairly mild and not quite consistent to start with. (Don't worry, that didn't take long to change!)

By 9:30am I had a few contractions that weren't too painful and were coming about 4 minutes apart, but had nothing going on for a while so the nurse upped my Pitocin level. With that, my contractions began to increase in both pain and frequency as 10:30am rolled around. For the most part, I stayed pretty quiet throughout the whole labor process.

As the contractions continued to worsen, Peyton and Nick were both by my side. Having Peyton there was something that we had debated on for a while and eventually, we came to the decision that we wanted her there -- she really wanted to be there as well and I know that it would have been very disappointing to her if she had not been a part of the whole experience. We knew that if it got to be too much for her to handle, my Mom was there to take her out to the waiting room and they could come back in once Everett had arrived. 

Having my sweet girl's hand to hold, my wonderful husband's belt loops and pockets to grip (since his hand was broken already, haha) and focusing on the gap between the cabinet doors straight ahead of me (strange, I know) with deep, steady breathing was the only way I was able to keep myself afloat as the waves of contractions kept washing over me. At 11:40am, my nurse, Abby, asked me if I was ready for my epidural and I said "of course!" but in the mean time, she gave me a pain medication called Stadol. Almost instantly, I felt drunk. Not in the nauseous/miserable way, but more like I was just kind of out of it and maybe a bit loopy. It helped to lessen the pain from the contractions in my abdomen slightly, but I could still feel them coming regularly. 

The anesthesiologist who was going to administer my epidural was very busy that day and he didn't arrive in my room until around 12:50pm. The funniest thing happened, though: when Abby told me that I needed to sit up for them to prep me for the epidural, I felt a pretty decent warm gush of fluid... Nick totally makes fun of me for this, but my response to that happening was to just nonchalantly mention to Abby, "Um, I think my water just broke". And then, as I was sitting there, there was another small gush, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure that was my water." She checked under the blankets, and sure enough, the dam had let loose!

Through the contractions following that, I held it together and kept fairly calm as the epidural was put into place. The anesthesiologist even asked Abby if I had fallen asleep (ha!) because I was so calm and subdued throughout the whole process. They had it set up and he had given me a test-dose of the medicine while he ran out of the room to go do something (like I said, he was busy that day). During that time, Abby said that she wanted to check me to see how far dilated I was now and to her (and my) surprise, she stated that she thought I was "complete" (aka 10cm dilated and fully ready to deliver this baby, right now!). She had the resident Dr. come check me to make certain, and sure enough - it was go time!!

My Mom and Peyton came back into the room (they left while the epidural was put in), as did the anesthesiologist. He had yet to give me a proper dose of anesthesia and since we had just put the epidural in and it was time to deliver the baby, he had to give me as much of the medicine that he could as quickly as he could. We waited for the attending Dr (Dr. Taylor) to arrive and they prepped my room for the delivery. All sorts of medical personnel filed in and my Mom quickly FaceTimed my sister, Jenna, who is studying abroad in Costa Rica this semester so that she could "be there" (via technology) to witness the birth of her new nephew. 

When Dr. Taylor arrived, everything was ready. I literally pushed four times (well, four sets of three 10 second pushes) and at 1:53pm, out he came! It was the most amazing and wonderful experience, especially with having Nick, Peyton, my Mom and my Sister (sorta) by my side. They laid him on my chest and Nick cut the umbilical cord. They even asked Peyton if she wanted to do the second cut on the cord, but she was not quite up for that. ;)

just moments after his arrival :)

little man's first (sponge) bath!

those little, tiny fingers hold onto Dad - I'm in love!

For the rest of that first day, we spent most of it just relaxing and basking in his sweet new baby-ness. Peyton asked me about every five minutes if I was sure that she wasn't in a dream (because she was so happy to finally be holding her baby brother). We had minimal visitors, really it was just my Aunt, my Cousin, and my Dad that came to visit. Around dinnertime, my Mom went to pick up some Chili's for all of us to eat (I have a serious obsession with their boneless chicken wings!). After that, it was time for her to take Peyton to her other grandparent's house so that she could get some sleep and then head to school in the morning. Bless her little heart, she did NOT want to leave. She had even pulled my Mom aside and said "but GiGi, I don't want to leave! I need to be here in case Mom messes something up." Thanks for having confidence in me, babygirl. ;) Eventually, Nick had to carry her down to the car because she refused to leave willingly. If it would have been okay with the hospital, I would have definitely loved to have her stay with us for the night.

Our night wasn't too terrible. Nick had a hard time figuring out the pull-out sofa at first, but we eventually got it set up. Rhett slept fairly well given that he was a newborn. Though, the nurses did take him out at one point so that I could get some rest and they brought him back in when he was ready to eat since I was breastfeeding him. I woke up bright and early to numerous visits from Dr's and nurses popping in to check on me and to take blood to do a few routine labs with.

That day, we only had two more visitors: Nick's brother, Matt and our friend Mandy - who also happens to be a photographer and took some adorable pictures of our sweet, 1-day-old boy (2 of which are at the top of this post). We were ready to leave as soon as we were allowed, but baby boy still needed to have his circumcision done as well as some testing that needed to be performed 24hrs after he was born, so we had to wait around a little while.
Rhett and Uncle Matt

 Our hospital was great and provided us with a congratulatory "celebration dinner" before we left and let me just tell you: if every meal was cooked as well as that one was, there would never be any complaints made about hospital food ever again! It was SO GOOD! We both had the filet with mushrooms on top, twice baked potatoes, and vegetables and I am pretty sure that I ate all of mine plus some of Nick's - ha!

my handsome dinner-date ;)
Around 7pm we finally got ourselves packed up and headed home! Of course it was pouring down rain the whole way there, but at least rain is kind've our good-luck thing so we didn't really mind it. We could not wait to just be home with our sweet boy (Peyton was spending the night at her other grandparent's house again) and to see what our dog, Rory and our cat, Willow would think of him. (In case you're curious, Rory could have cared less - she was just happy to see that Nick was home. She's obsessed with him, haha. And Willow was very intrigued by him at first, but now she doesn't seem to mind him either.)

As cliche as this is, this was one of the best days of my life (with Peyton's birth and our wedding day ranking right up there as well). But then again, who cares if it's cliche - it's the birth of one of my children for crying out loud. Of course it will always be special to me, and to our little family.

Everett Orion, we are so happy to call you "ours". We love you to the moon and back.