Owen // one month old.

Owen has been with us for one month as of November 2nd, and we already can’t remember life before he was part of it. He is such a blessing and we adore him.

Catching Some Zzzz’s

Gah, I love how much newborns sleep. And how easily they go to sleep. I’m definitely appreciating that a lot more the second time around. Owen sleeps a lot, in frequent 2-4 hour chunks through the day and night. Through the night he insists on being fed right at every three hours. I hope he starts to extend that range…. As mentioned in the day-in-the-life post I did for October, Kevin and I have been taking turns sleeping downstairs with Owen while the other gets some sleep in our bedroom upstairs. We’ll likely try to all be in our room through the night soon. It’s just hard to be motivated to make that change at the end of the day when we’re all tired and what we’ve been doing is working.

Nom Nom Nom 

Owen is a really good eater. I have an overactive letdown and oversupply so we’ve been dealing with that. The pediatrician also recommended I avoid dairy for a couple of weeks in case that’s part of the reason for an issue we’ve encountered, but I think – and hope because…CHEESE – it’s a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. We met with a lactation consultant this week and she gave me some tips that seem to be working for us. He’ll get bigger, my supply with even out, and this shall pass. He’s gaining great – he weighed in at 8 pounds and 7 ounces by the end of our session with the LC. Over a pound heavier than he’d been at his two week appointment two weeks earlier, so doing great in that department.

Cool Tricks

As Hannah said, at this age, babies are like potted plants. I can set Owen in a (safe) spot and he’ll stay right there. So his tricks are pretty minimal right now. He is very strong and can lift his head really well. He is getting into kicking out his legs, exploring the ability to move those limbs after 9+ months in a contained space. He’s not too into tummy time but tolerates it sometimes. He doesn’t seem to mind baths much. He was taking a pacifier well since we offered it when he was two weeks old,  but yesterday he refused it so he may be following in his sister’s path and avoiding a paci addiction. Overall this makes me happy because breaking a pacifier habit doesn’t sound fun at all, but it sure is convenient – especially with a second child – to be able to pop that paci in and have a satisfied kid for a bit.

Talk to Me

Owen cries and grunts and makes other sweet little noises that remind us of a puppy. He’s not speaking Latin – or English – yet. Maybe next month. :)

His personality is very chill right now. When he’s awake he stares at the ceiling a lot. He’s starting to become more aware of stuff going on around him. His facial movements are very expressive and cute.

Lookin’ Good 

He’s weighing in at around eight and a half pounds and wearing size newborn clothes. He has light brown hair and a receding hairline. His eyes are blue and his skin is starting to look less newborn-ish. His ears are starting to uncurl – I had forgotten that newborn ears are folded in at the top. :) He’s absolutely adorable.

We are so in love with our little Owen and really excited to watch him grow and develop his personality.

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That’s a wrap {October}.

 

Links to Love:

  1. Nine literary heroines we should try to try to be more like.
  2. And speaking of literary heroines, Jenny’s Etsy shop has two new ones!  Mary Poppins & Sara Crewe – they’ve joined the other ladies on Ava’s literary heroine banner.
  3. A trip down memory lane with Ava’s first year video compilation from last year.  I love this.  I started one for year two but it got away from me.  Maybe I’ll finish it someday.

 

Making Memories:

  1. Hey hey hey hey…we had a baby!  Owen’s birth story is here.  He is such a little dreamboat and we’re all crazy about him.  He’s growing on Ava too.  She was too busy at first to care much about this new little human in the house, but I think she’s figured out that he’s here to stay and she’s starting to take more of an interest.  It’s sweet to see her lean in slowly and kiss his head.  I hope they’ll be great friends someday.
  2. Ava’s spica cast came off!  Four days post baby, we took our first baby to have the cast removed and a brace put on.  Ava has learned to sit, scoot, and crawl in the brace and she’s loving her newfound freedom and independence.  It’s fun to have little messes around the house to show where she has been playing.  Don’t take for granted the path of destruction a toddler can leave in their wake – it’s far more upsetting when they aren’t able to move around on their own.
  3. Ava’s birthday was in late October and we had a great day.  I want to write more about it in another post, but as a quick recap, she got to decorate her own birthday cake, eat stroganoff and ice cream – her favorites, and received so many awesome toys, including a little doll playhouse that she has been coveting.  We loved celebrating with her.  She is such a blessing.
  4. We went to a Halloween party organized by the “cul de sac crew” neighborhood friends.  Ava was a black cat and she was the cutest little human black cat I’ve ever seen.

Bookish:

  1. In October I finished Persuasion by Jane Austen (4 stars) and The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan (3 stars).
  2. I’m currently listening to Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool and reading Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I also just started Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I need to get with it if I want to finish re-reading the Harry Potter series this year.
  3. Kevin finished American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road and gave it 5 stars.
  4. Kevin is currently reading Naked by David Sedaris and HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership.  He just downloaded Vengeance by Newt Gingrich and will start listening to it soon.
  5. Ava has been loving Llama Llama and her Nelly Gnu book.

Challenges:

  1. The month was full of happiness but also had some challenges.  Postpartum emotions were running wild, we had to adjust to sleeping in three hour (at most) chunks of time, and the brace was something new and different after our comfort zone of the cast.  There were a lot of tears – and they weren’t just from the newborn and the toddler.  Fortunately Kevin has managed to keep his eyes dry or we’d probably all float away from the amount of crying around here!

Sustenance:

  1. We made these honey garlic chicken thighs and it was FAR TOO SALTY for my taste.  Kevin said he liked them and he does like things saltier than I do, but I think he was just being polite because see above (lots of crying). 
  2. This slow cooker chili was really, really good.  We’ll definitely be making it again.  I used one can of kidney beans and one can of black beans rather than two cans of kidney beans and I’d do that again.  I also used some tomatoes grown by my aunt and freshly canned by my aunt, mom, and great aunt.  They were super good – so fresh!
  3. This paprika chicken and rice meal was delicious!!  I’ll broil the chicken thighs for a few minutes next time to crisp up the skins (they recommend it in the recipe but I didn’t take the time to do so), but other than that, we both really loved the dish.  Served it with roasted zucchini, yellow squash, and brussels sprouts.  Hearty and pretty healthy!
  4. Another slow cooker winner – this Poor Man’s Stew was tasty. I added whole mushrooms and they were a great addition.

How was your October?

A day in the life – October 2017.

 

Keeping up the day-in-the-life every-six-months post tradition with this detailed account of what a day (and a night because, well, there is a newborn in the house) looks like over here.

Where do I start? Midnight? Or the typical morning start-time? Decisions, decisions.

We’ll go with morning.

Ava has been waking up around 7:00 or 7:15. She usually wakes up cheerful and plays with her stuffed animals in her crib. We’ll hear her telling them to sit and rearranging them. Kevin (who has been downstairs since 4:30 am – more on that later) goes in to get Ava and she’ll enlist his help in further arranging her stuffed friends. Sometimes she’ll want to stay in her nest (crib – she’s been calling it a nest and she’ll lean back on her bed wedge and say, “Nest. Soooooo cozy.”) and sometimes she’ll want to get out and play on the floor or go “find mama”.

Mama (that’s me) will have gotten out of bed at 7:15 when the sound machine switched from white noise to ocean waves. {Back when Ava could walk she toddled over to our sound machine – which Kevin has owned since he was in high school – and somehow programmed the sound of the ocean to come on every morning at 7:15. We have no idea how to un-program this.} I go downstairs and start feeding Owen. Ava and Kevin come to find me and she usually sits on the floor in the living room and starts playing. She’ll often request Cat (Daniel Tiger) so we’ll turn that on if she does. Otherwise we’ll keep it on Mike & Mike (she says Mike and Mike, which is adorable) – soon to be Golic and Wingo, but that’s off topic.

Anyway, Ava has a yogurt pouch and Kevin and I have breakfast of some kind. Owen alternates between eating and dozing and staring up at the ceiling.

Kevin gets ready to be to work at 9:00 and three mornings a week, his mom comes over to hang out with us from 9:00 to 1:30. She’ll hold Owen while Ava and I go for a walk around the neighborhood at 10:00 or so. And she’ll play with Ava while I’m feeding Owen. Her help has been a great way to transition into attending to the needs of two little humans. And Ava loves her time with Grandma.

I start getting Ava’s lunch ready around 11:50. She eats and we’ll eat with her. Kevin is able to come home for lunch most days which is great. Ava heads upstairs with me around 12:35 and we change a diaper, read three books, and then I walk around holding her and singing until she falls asleep. We’d love to just be able to put her in the crib and have her fall asleep on her own, but that is a rare occurrence so I jump through hoops to try to get a nap. {Today I was not successful, despite my acrobatic hoop jumping. Eventually I just left her to play in her crib for an hour.} If she naps, I try to get Owen to nap at the same time and I try to sleep myself or at least lay on the couch and relax.

When she wakes up we resume playing. She’ll have a snack at some point. Kevin comes home around 5:15 and we’ll get dinner started. We eat around 6:00/6:15 and then clean up the kitchen. We’ll usually head upstairs around 7:00 to start the bedtime routine. It’s really nice to spend time together in Ava’s room, her on a beanbag, one of us on the floor reading books, and the other sitting in the glider, holding Owen. I tell Ava good night and that I love her. Then she and Kevin start walking around. They sing five songs. She has really been good at putting herself to sleep at night.

Kevin joins Owen and me downstairs and we finish picking up the house, getting the coffee pot programmed for the morning, giving Kiki her medicine and wet food (which she has been underfoot requesting for hours), and then we settle down on the couch to watch football or read or catch up on a show (currently enjoying the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Big Bang Theory). Owen will eat and finish up around 8:30. I’ll swaddle him and put him in the Rock and Play. Then I’ll go upstairs to get ready for bed and get some sleep in the bed from about 9:00 to 11:30. Then I go back downstairs and Kevin will go upstairs to grab some shut eye in bed from 11:30ish to 4:30. Meanwhile downstairs I’ll feed Owen from about 11:30 to 12:15 or whenever he’s done. Then I’ll sleep on the couch until 3:30 (getting up sooner to feed him again if he wakes up) when I feed him again until about 4:15. Kevin comes back downstairs and sleeps on the couch for a bit before turning on Mike & Mike, pouring some coffee, and starting his morning time. I sleep upstairs until the sound of those ocean waves wakes me up at 7:15.

Someday soon we hope to sleep in the same room but this setup has really been working well for us. We each get some solid sleep in the bed without the little baby noises coming from the Rock and Play and we both feel well rested for the upcoming day. We’ll see when we brave bringing the baby upstairs for the night!

And that’s a typical 24 hour stretch in our house right now. Not mentioned are… Lots of diaper changes. Occasional meltdowns from the infant, the toddler, and the mama ;-). And the other little things that make family life what it is. I love ours.

What’s a typical day like for you? 

Ava // two years old.

I can’t believe she’s two. But today she is and Kevin and I agree – our two years with her have been the best two years we’ve known. Ava is sweet and smart and spunky and strong and simply amazing.

The past year has been a year of change for Ava. She learned to walk in January. She had a surgery under anesthesia in June. She was immobilized in a spica cast for 14 weeks, with another round of anesthesia and a cast change 8 weeks in. She’s learning to navigate her world in a brace now. She has gone from being an only child to having a brother. She has learned to communicate verbally. Lots of changes in a short span of time for a little gal. She amazes us every day with her strength and positive, cheerful spirit and resilience. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

SLEEPING

Ava is a champion sleeper. We start our bedtime routine (Vitamin D, teeth brushing, diaper change, three stories, talk about our day, singing) at around 7:00 and – knock on all the wood – she is always ready to get into her crib around 7:30. She sleeps well through the night and we hear her playing with her stuffed animal friends in the crib around 7:15.

Her naps vary in length – sometimes they’re barely an hour and sometimes they’re three hours. Ironically, she is usually more cheerful after the short naps.

{Of course yesterday she skipped her nap and then got overtired and bedtime was a struggle. So really every day is a new adventure – such is life with a toddler.}

PLAYING

Ava is now in the rhino cruiser brace and has learned to sit, scoot, crawl, and roll in it. It seems like it feels so nice to her to be able to move and it opens up a whole new world of opportunity for playing. She loves puzzles and simple things like emptying and refilling drawers and pouring dry pasta from one bowl to another. She likes reading and will listen to her favorite books being read over and over and over.

EATING

Ava’s a pretty good eater but I do wish she was more adventurous about trying new foods. I’ve heard that the best way to get a toddler to eat something is to put it on Mom or Dad’s plate and it becomes irresistible. The flaw in that for us is that that is the idea of baby led weaning so it really isn’t enticing to Ava. Her favorite foods are avocados, triscuits, cheese, Cheerios with milk, lunchmeat, broccoli and cheddar Beanies (like a Cheeto puff kind of toddler snack), apple cinnamon applesauce, triple berry Oikos Greek yogurt, and she loves fruit too. She turns up her nose at all vegetables. But she also doesn’t really like sweets either – refusing cookies and cake, but never ice cream – so maybe it all evens out. For her birthday dinner tonight we’re having beef stroganoff, rice, and ice cream and she is pretty excited for all of it.

DOING

We were all excited to go back to regular baths in the tub. Kevin and I were/are also nervous about it because we have to hold her left leg in a certain position when it is out of the brace, but we’re happy that she’s happy. The problem is getting her out of the bath without a major meltdown. Girlfriend loves to splash.

We go to the park occasionally and Ava will ride down the slides with Kevin or sit on the swing with one of us. It’s obviously not as fun for her and she doesn’t understand why she can’t crawl around there, but it’s a nice change of scenery every so often.

Now that the weather has cooled in the mornings and it’s staying dark so late, we’re not able to go on our AM walks with Kevin.  We all miss those summer walks as a family! During the week, Ava and I have been going for a walk most days around 10 am while Sue stays with Owen. The time with just Ava is really special to me. Ava calls the walks our “nature walks,” a term we learned from Daniel Tiger. We call for our favorite neighborhood cats, identify and admire the fall foliage colors, and chase down the trash truck on Thursday’s.

Ava has been a good big sister to her 22 day old brother. She is mostly too busy doing her own thing to pay much attention to him. She tunes him out pretty well when he is wailing about the injustices of life, like diaper changes. Ava will look at him occasionally and say, “Owen. Ahhhh, cute,” with a fond smile on her face. So that’s something.

COMMUNICATING

Ava’s verbal communication astounds us every day. She is speaking in sentences more and more. She’s excellent at using her words to ask for food, toys, books, songs, specific episodes of Daniel Tiger… We’ve been working on please and thank you, and, well, I think we’re seeing improvements. :) Ava has the best laugh and she loves to tell funny stories about stuff she remembers like when she rolled down the window in the car with her toes or how Dad wears a towel around his neck when he gets a haircut. She cracks herself up, and we laugh with her because it’s so cute. She loves going for car rides and insists we listen to Tracy Lawrence basically the entire time.

Happy birthday, Ava! We love you so much and are so proud of the sweet, smart little toddler you are.

Pregnancy style – LuLaRoe edition.

Okay, so this post has been a work in progress for months. I’m no longer pregnant, but decided that I should still finish the post and let it see the light beyond the draft folder. 

I have postponed my quarterly Stitch Fix boxes for the time being because I would need maternity clothes in order to really use them for the next month, and I’ve tried to not buy many maternity-only clothes during this pregnancy.  I’m fortunate that many of my regular clothes continue to fit late into pregnancy and I have plenty to get by, even when the majority of my closet gradually becomes unavailable.  However, I have purchased a few things recently that work for my pregnant and non-pregnant self so I decided to share a bit about those pieces in lieu of my quarterly Stitch Fix post.

Most people know about the clothing company LuLaRoe, but in case you don’t, here is the website.  A guy I went to school with is married to a lady who, until recently, was a LuLaRoe consultant and my aunt and cousin have both hosted Facebook parties through this woman in the past.  Just for fun and to support them, I bought a few items at each of those parties.  Then the lady had a super big clearance event to make room in her stock and then later because she decided to phase out of consulting, so I took advantage of those discounted prices for each of those sales as well.  And I have since found a new “dealer” – my aunt introduced me to Christine and Jenna’s Facebook page and if you are in the slightest bit interested in LuLaRoe, I recommend following along with them.  They seem really fun and are super engaging on Facebook.

Here are the majority of the LuLaRoe items I’ve accumulated over the past year and a half or so and how they’re serving me during pregnancy…. {This post has been a work in progress for months now, so I’ll put descriptions below the pictures for how pregnant I was when I wore the outfit and conned Kevin into taking a photo for me.  :) }

DRESSES

This is the Amelia dress, worn in the traditional manner.  It has pockets, which makes it a winner.  In terms of sizing, this is an XS and I was 31 weeks pregnant when these pictures were taken.  It was pretty tight in the chest area even then so I don’t think I could wear it now.

 

And this is that same Amelia worn with the zipper in the front.  Pockets are still functional (yay).  The dress is breastfeeding friendly when worn this way.

 

This is the Nicole dress.  I am wearing an XS, and like the Amelia, I don’t think I could wear this one much past the 31 week mark, like I am here.  It’s a great first and second trimester option though!

 

This is the Carly and I’m wearing an XXS.  It is definitely an every-trimester kind of dress!  These pics were taken when I was at 31 weeks, but I know I can fit into the dress now (37 weeks) too.

 

This is the Julia dress and I’m wearing an XS.  I love this one and, as I tend to prefer more fitted pieces for pregnancy, it’s probably my favorite in terms of pregnancy style.  This picture was taken when I was 31 weeks, but I could squeeze into the dress fine now too.  I’d just probably wear a loose cardigan or something that covers the wide-load bum a bit.  :)

 

Speaking of Julia and long cardigans….  I wore this to a baby shower brunch some friends hosted for me when I was 36 weeks pregnant and the beautiful blue was perfect.  This is also an XS.

 

SHIRTS AND LEGGINGS 

LuLaRoe is famous for their “butter soft” leggings and here is a one size pair in mustard. They’re paired with an Irma – this is an XXS. I get so many compliments when I wear this shirt. Irma is probably my favorite style of LLR shirt.

 

This is a Classic Tee in XXS and a pair of patterned one size leggings.

 

This is a Randy shirt (obviously a baseball style) in XS. I’ve had this one a long time and have worn it a lot, but will probably retire it soon because it is starting to pill.

 

This is a Gigi shirt in XS and I love it. I like fitted styles in general, especially when pregnant. The Gigi is basically the top half of the Julia dress.

 

It’s hard to see in this picture but this patterned Classic in XXS is one of my most worn shirts.

 

This is a Lynnae shirt in XXS. I think it is a lot like the Classic but has long sleeves. Perfect for fall!

I have a few more pieces that aren’t shown here – some grey leggings, green leggings, and a Classic in XS which is super drapey on my frame (and started to pill after just one or two wears, so not my favorite piece and will probably be donated during my next closet clean out).

Have you ever worn LuLaRoe? What are your favorite pieces? 

Owen’s birth story.

If you’ve been around these here parts for two years, you may recall that Ava’s two-part birth story posts were titled “Evicted – a birth story” because, well, she was. I considered titling Owen’s birth story something like, “Textbook – a birth story,” because, well, it was. My doctor said so. I clearly have opted for the simple, straightforward title of “Owen’s birth story” and am instead building anticipation with this basically pointless commentary.

You’re welcome.

But now, on to the main event.

Okay, so on Monday, October 2 we had our 38 week prenatal appointment at 8:15 AM. I hadn’t really planned to have the doctor check me because I’ve never really thought that it mattered too much how dilated one is if one isn’t in clear labor, but ultimately I decided in the moment, what the heck, and had him check. I was at a 3 and 80% effaced. This was exciting because it meant I was 3 cm further along than when Ava’s induction started.

Kevin, my doctor, and I started to talk timelines. I’d given Owen explicit instructions to NOT come between October 4 and October 8, because Ava’s cast removal and move to the brace was scheduled for October 6 and I wanted to be there with her for that and for the first couple of days in the brace. So basically Owen needed to come THAT day (the 2nd) or wait a week. The doctor explained my options – based on how dilated I was and how I was describing the contractions I was already having, my body was moving on its own toward labor but of course, there was no way to know what that meant or how long it would take. He could scrape the membranes and, based on my current dilation, there was a 70% chance I’d have the baby in the next 24 to 48 hours. Or it could have no effect. Ah, labor and delivery crystal ball, where art thee?

The doctor left Kevin and I to talk it over for a few minutes. Ultimately we decided to go for it and get those membranes scraped because: a) it wasn’t going to hurt anything (besides, you know, ME, but alas that would only be the beginning of the pain, so…) – either it would move us into labor or it wouldn’t; b) my blood pressure reading that day was a tiny bit high and, based on my experience with Ava, I knew that could lead to bed rest if it continued to be elevated and bed rest really didn’t fit well into my plans for the week; and c) it seemed more appealing to me to have a lighter weight baby and Owen wasn’t getting any smaller in there, soooo yes, let’s increase the chance of a 38 week weight baby versus 39+.

We headed home around 9:00 (we stopped at Einstein’s and split a six-cheese bagel with garden veggie cream cheese – we were both so distracted that Kevin pulled past the drive-thru ordering menu and it wasn’t until we were one car away from the window that we realized we’d skipped a step). Kevin dropped me off at home and then went to the office. His plan was to put serious effort into cleaning up his desk and inbox so he could be out for a few days if needed. Ava was at our house with Sue (Kevin’s mom) so I headed upstairs to work myself. I was definitely having contractions and they seemed to be increasing in frequency and duration, but it wasn’t anything too distracting.

At noon, I went downstairs to make Ava’s lunch, Sue left, and Ava and I ate. Kevin joined us around 12:20, and when we were all done eating, he took Ava upstairs to put her down for a nap. By now I was definitely having regular contractions and I decided to start timing them. I alternated between resting on the couch and walking around it in circles. Kevin headed back to work. Ava woke up mid-afternoon and we had a nice time playing in the chair-chair and watching Cat (Daniel Tiger). She was just being so sweet and adorable and I soaked up my time with her as my only baby, because I had a feeling that afternoon could be it.

Kevin called at 5:15 to say he was headed home and make sure we didn’t need anything. I told him that I would definitely want to go to the hospital that evening. My contractions were around 4.5 minutes apart on average at this point. When Kevin got home, he sat down next to Ava to watch Cat and I stepped outside to call the hospital and get advice from the midwife on duty. She recommended guzzling a bunch of water and taking a warm bath to ensure that labor continued until the contractions were 3 minutes apart like clockwork. I downed 20 ounces of water and Kevin started a bath for me when he went upstairs to change out of his work clothes (and pack his hospital bag – such a procrastinating, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants kind of guy, my husband). When he came downstairs, I went up to get in the bath and he started to cook our dinner (salmon, rice, and roasted asparagus and tomatoes). The bath felt really good and the contractions didn’t slow down.

I went back downstairs around 6:05 and we started eating. The roasted tomatoes were really hitting the spot and I picked at the asparagus, rice, and salmon. Contractions were consistently 3.5 minutes apart and at 6:15, I told Kevin I’d want to leave for the hospital after he put Ava to bed. He texted his parents and told them to come over around 7:15. Within minutes of him doing that, I knew I wouldn’t make it that long. He texted his parents and asked them to come over right away. They arrived by 6:35, we gathered up our things, kissed Ava goodbye and told her we loved her (provided this wasn’t some fluke fake labor thing and we weren’t sent home, this was going to be the first night I’d ever been away from her. It took having another baby to leave my baby!), and hit the road.

The hospital is about a 30 minute drive and fortunately traffic was light so we made good time. My contractions were coming steadily at 2.5 minutes apart. We arrived at around 7:15 and since we had done the pre-admission paperwork, we went right to triage. Immediately, the triage nurse did not inspire a lot of confidence. She had a soft, mumbling voice, and she didn’t seem especially organized. I put on the hospital gown and she started fumbling around, hooking me up to monitors. She checked me and I was at a 4 or a 5, which I found really disappointing since I felt so much worse than I had when I was at a 3 earlier that day. The baby had moved down a station since my morning appointment though, which showed great progress.

It was around 8:10 by this point and the nurse recommended that we go walk around the hospital for a few hours and then come back to triage to get checked again, just to be sure this was “the real thing” before being admitted to labor and delivery.  I must have looked at Kevin with a wild, desperate look in my eyes because he told the nurse that we wanted to be admitted now and we’d walk the halls of labor and delivery if we needed to, but this was the real thing and please, for the love, start the fluids so the epidural can come soon. Nurse obeyed. Soon she was admiring my pretty veins and continuing to fail to inspire confidence with a “now watch me miss this nice vein,” comment. Come on, Nancy – think positive thoughts.

She did fine, the IV started pumping, and I contracted in triage until the labor and delivery nurse (Jean Marie, who proved to be awesome) came to collect us and move us down the hall. The nurse anesthetist came at 8:45 and started the epidural. He did great and soon I was in a lovely place of being able to feel the pressure of a contraction without any pain. Kevin and I chatted with Jean Marie and with each other and when she checked me at 9:30, I was at 9.5 cm. Woo hoo! Around 5 cm in 2 hours. Not too shabby. Jean Marie said she’d be back in an hour.

Kevin and I relaxed and checked in on Ava, who had gone to bed great for Grandma and Grandpa. Jean Marie came back at 10:30 and said I was complete and ready to start practice pushing. We did that until 10:45 and then she called in the doctor and the baby nurse. The doctor on call was one I’d never met but I instantly liked him – he was calm and laid back. I started pushing around 10:55 and Owen was born at 11:06 PM on Monday, October 2, 2017. He immediately showed off a powerful set of lungs as they put him on my chest. Kevin cut the cord and the nurses worked to remove the liquid and gunk from his mouth. He started nursing pretty easily and quickly. They left us alone for an hour and a half while the epidural wore off and we enjoyed some time with our son (feels so strange to say son!).

My doctor checked in on us when he was working on Wednesday (the physician’s office building is adjacent to the hospital) and said we’d had a “textbook” membrane scraping experience. :) It was definitely a preferable labor and delivery to the one we had with Ava! 4 hours between check in and baby being born versus 36 hours with the first experience. Between that, Owen coming on an approved date from my perspective, and him coming as a Bronco’s bye week was beginning, like his dad jokingly requested, he is proving to be a considerate and accommodating little guy. :) In all seriousness though, he is sweet and adorable and such a perfect addition to our family. We love him like crazy and feel so blessed to call him ours.

That’s a wrap {September}.

 

Links to Love:

  1. This letter from a mother to her daughter.

  1. Road trips that showcase stunning fall foliage.  Gorgeous scenery here!
  2. And no links here, but my thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the hurricanes over the past few weeks and the shooting in Las Vegas last night. I don’t have words, but I do have prayers.  <3

Making Memories:

  1. Kevin has been assisting with the football team at home games only and while the team is in a bit of a “re-building” year, I think he is really enjoying getting out there to work with his former head coach and the kids.  It’s a beautiful field and campus and a great opportunity for him to get out of the house on the weekends and do something that he enjoys.  Ava and I wish we could go to the games, but they are always right during naptime.  And nothing messes with naptime.
  2. We met up with the Escape Room dream team again to do another room.  This one was super tech heavy and centered around getting into an Egyptian tomb.  We did it with time to spare!  Then we went to a brewery for beers and chicken with waffles.  It was a great afternoon!
  3. Ava has had several playdates with friends and neighbors and a birthday party attended in September.  We continue to usually have friends come to us because it is so much easier to have chair options for her to sit in at our house.
  4. Some friends that I met through Junior League threw a lovely brunch to celebrate Owen’s impending arrival.  I hope to write more about the three celebrations Owen has had in another post because it really is so sweet to me that people put so much love into making us feel special.  But I can barely manage to get up this one monthly recap post recently, so I want to be sure to share a bit about these highlights here too.  I had so much fun catching up with some of my favorite ladies.  Many of them aren’t in the local Junior League any longer or if they are, not very active or on Sustainer or Leave of Absence (yours truly) status, but I am so appreciative that the organization brought us together.  One friend (hi Megan!) even timed a trip to NM from NYC (where she currently lives) to come to the brunch!  It was an awesome morning and I felt so spoiled.
  5. We got Owen’s room painted and the crib and dresser delivered.  Décor has started to come together, even if it’s not on the walls yet.  A neighborhood friend has passed on so many baby clothes to us!  Owen has a much larger wardrobe already than Ava has ever had.
  6. My mother-in-law and a sweet friend threw a baby sprinkle brunch for Owen on September 30.  It was awesome!  The décor and the food and all the thoughtful little touches were so special.  There was a great turnout of family and friends and I loved having a chance to catch up with a few people I hadn’t seen in awhile.  Seriously.  I’m so spoiled!

Bookish:

  1. In September I finished five books:  Miss You by Kate Eberlen (3 stars), Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes (listened to this one on Audible and gave it 4 stars), The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (4 stars), Miss Mapp by E. F. Benson (4 stars), and Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (4 stars).
  2. I’m currently reading Persuasion by Jane Austen and listening to Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.  Both are great!
  3. Kevin finished All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and gave it 5 stars.  He also finished The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell:  A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee.  He gave it 4 stars.
  4. Kevin is currently reading Naked by David Sedaris and HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership.  He’s listening to American Kingpin by Nick Bilton.
  5. Ava has been loving The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Ten Wriggly Wiggly Caterpillars, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood:  Meet the Neighbors

Challenges:

  1. This phase of life has included many doctor’s appointments.  I am so fortunate that Kevin is able to make all the pre-natal checkups and all of Ava’s appointments too.  It does take time from work for both of us and that can lead to working evenings and so forth to stay caught up.  But the appointments have all been filled with so many blessings and I have my favorite guy right by my side for all of them, so I can’t say that this is a tough challenge.
  2. We have met our out-of-pocket max for Ava and will soon for myself and Owen, so big year for medical expenses.  I’m so grateful that we have good insurance and that our need to use it has been for stuff like welcoming a new baby into our family and tending to a medical need like hip dysplasia, which, while certainly challenging and scary, is treatable and was caught relatively early for our little Ava.

Sustenance:

  1. We made these mozzarella stuffed meatballs in the slow cooker for lunch one day and they were really good.  Except they gave me heartburn.  But that’s too unexpected at this gestational stage, so I can’t blame the recipe.  Easy, look fancy with the cheese oozing out of the center, and I recommend.
  2. Kevin and I went on a date night to Indigo Crow where we both feasted on Caesar salad and lobster ravioli.  He enjoyed a glass of wine and we both enjoyed the patio atmosphere and each other’s company.

How was your September?