Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our First Christmas {a night to remember}

Three years ago I got engaged to Jon.  I have yet to write a post about that part of our love story....but until then: just know that it didn't go as plan but in the end we got married and that's what matters, right? :)

So tonight it was only best to have our little family's Christmas.

First I had to get us ready.  Ellie got a bath and I got a shower.  I know, I accomplished a lot today. ;)



Then it was time to work in the kitchen.  This mess was just not going to work....


Then I got going on dinner.  I melted a stick of butter and poured it over some chicken tenders in a 9x13 pan.  Then sprinkled some bread crumbs, grated parmesan cheese, and italian seasoning.  I had baked potatoes already in the oven. Cooked the chicken on 400 for about a half hour, so I could make enough for leftovers.  Then I also made a side of macaroni and cheese.  Jon brought home some grape juice, and we called it good! :)

When Jon got home Ellie had fallen asleep in her bouncy seat, so we went ahead and ate dinner.  Jon led us in a sweet, meaningful prayer, and then we enjoyed each other's company with out watching television.

Then we sat down on a blanket next to the Christmas tree (where I had the bassinet set up also), and by this time Ellie had woken up.

Daddy & Ellie bonding

Sorry the pictures are dark and blurry.  I had turned off many lights so Ellie could sleep.  But she sure was enjoying our first Christmas....



 I had wrapped the brown blanket around her to keep her arms from going wild to wake her up and to keep her happier. :)  She really enjoys looking at her Daddy! :)


Then Daddy got really goofy with her.


Do you spot the pacifier ;)


Then Daddy started our family's tradition.

Listening to Daddy read the Christmas story

 After he was done we talked about it.  Then talked about how we were going to go about opening presents in "our" family.  But this year it was easy.  Jon and I had both gotten each other one gift.  We didn't get Ellie anything because she wouldn't remember and I had recently got her a few new outfits anyways.

I told Jon he had to open his first. :)

I know I said I got him one gift.
But this was a 2 in 1--awesome Blu-Ray deals!

Then it was my turn to open.



Wow!  I was really surprised!  I couldn't believe he picked a house decor item!  He did a GREAT job!  We decided to hang them up over our fireplace.  Because the wall is not symmetrical at all, so the randomness of the mirrors would work well.

So we got started on hanging them up.  First we made "samples" of the mirrors to tape to the wall to decide where they would go before we started making holes in the wall.  (Nothing like using leftover printer paper from my old college assignment.)


Jon loves the picture of Ellie so much he didn't want to put it anywhere else. :)


And here's one from far back to show you how hard it was to figure out what to do with that fireplace.


I plan on putting something on the mantel.  It would've been nice for Christmas to have some pretty greenery and stuff don't you think?  If you have any ideas of what I could do let me know.

And then I dished some ice cream up for my hubby and he started to watch Saving Private Ryan that I had got him.  My dad called me and I got side tracked...I saw Jon run towards the room where I had Ellie sleeping.  She was crying and it was distracting me, plus it didn't help seeing Jon run.  He has never done that before.  I quickly ended my phone chat with dad apologizing and then Jon came out with Ellie.

"The bassinet broke."

"WHAT??"

While Ellie sleeps sometimes she wakes up shortly after and scoots around a lot.  Apparently she was so squirmy it triggered the old bassinet and the leg gave out and started to collapse.  Ellie was fortunately still up right in it but she was a little startled.  My poor baby!  I told Jon it had been pretty rocky before and it might just need fixed.  So while he messed with it I held my sweet baby (who was totally calm by now like nothing had happened).  Jon fixed it and we put her back down to sleep.

I then texted my parents to let them know what had happened.

It was the craziest thing.

Nothing like adding that to your family Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  That was our first of five.  How many do you have?  What are your favorite traditions?

Monday, December 17, 2012

First Christmas

i don't remember my first Christmas.  i don't remember seeing my first Christmas tree all lit up and decorated.  i don't remember the first time i opened my first gift. but i do remember the first time i played Mary in the Christmas play (and many more years).  i remember the first time hearing what Christmas was all about.  i remember sitting down and listening to my dad read the Christmas story.  i remember joyfully opening presents with the family...it wasn't my first Christmas, but it has special memories.

this year would be Ellie's first Christmas.  however she will never remember.  however i still plan on making it special for Jon and I, and Ellie will be right there beside us.  because we are a family.  on Wednesday we are celebrating our little family's Christmas.  it will be a special time and hopefully will continue to be a tradition (i'm a big fan of traditions).


i'm going to try to think of something yummy to have for dinner.  then Jon and I will read the Christmas story.  we'll probably talk sweet little things about Ellie, and then we each got each other one gift.  first time to do that for Christmas.  in the past we have never really gotten each other gifts for Christmas exactly.  actually we celebrate the weekend before Christmas because that's sorta when our 'little family' began.  Saturday night before Christmas back in 2009 Jon took me out to eat and the plan was to propose to me.  i knew it was coming, but didn't know what all he had in store for me.  in fact, i have yet to write that blog post about that part of our love story....so that will be for another post.  but until then know we got engaged December 21st, 2009.  So this year we are celebrating our little family's Christmas on Wednesday, December 21st. :)  Three years ago that day he asked me to marry him.  and i said yes.  so what better day then to celebrate our family's Christmas??



after Ellie's first Christmas she'll probably want to eat and go back to bed.  but then on Friday we'll travel to my parent's house to stay for the week.  because we will have four more Christmas' to celebrate.

so not only is this Ellie's first Christmas on Wednesday, but first of many! :)
but that's what Christmas is about.  Fellowship.  God wants us to get together with our loved ones and celebrate His birth.  I'm looking forward to spending plenty of time with family the rest of the month!!  hopefully Ellie is ready for extra hugs and kisses.

Merry Christmas everyone!!  While remembering Ellie's first Christmas, I'll also keep in mind of the very first Christmas!!  God is good like that.  children are truly a blessing. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jesus Paid it All

i didn't really mean that.

i'm just kidding.

why did you do that?

don't they know that hurts my feelings?

why are they not doing that for me?

don't i deserve this?

can't you do this one thing for me?

it's not that important.

he will understand.

let me do this one thing first, then....

don't we all from time to time?

you'll do it for me, right?

the endless thoughts that run in our minds from time to time.  moment to moment.  why?  because we are human.  and the argument inside your mind can cause it to continue on and on and on.  and i'm so thankful for this



because it saves me from the unending grace.

because with out it i wouldn't be me and you wouldn't be you.

and the fact is we could do nothing.  in fact we have done nothing.  nothing to deserve this.

heaven

and yet God gave us this


and no i wasn't about to pick one of those church pictures of nicely cut hair Jesus on the cross with nails.  i picked something a little bit more realistic.  something i wish i saw way before i was 14.  before then i didn't truly understand what it meant.  it was the typical sunday school answer.  jesus paid for my sins.  all of them.  awesome teacher that's nice.  i believe in him, that's cool.

but no!

it wasn't easy.

it was God's Son.

God provided a promise.  and it was fulfilled.  and i never got it completely.

until I lay here next to my daughter.


because Jesus paid it all.  All to him I owe.  He wiped me white as snow.

so my daughter wouldn't have to.

so i could be with Him.

God watched his Son pay.  So my husband, my daughter, my future children, and i could have life.  and especially you.

eternal life.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ellie {2 months}

Oh my dear Ellie you are two months old today!!  Daddy and Mommy love you so much and can't stop smiling with all the sweet little things you do!  Mommy will tell you all about it....

You are so so cute.  Who can't stop looking at you?

took this pic today! 2 mo old
While Mommy was doing your two month photo shoot she is reminded of all the sweet things you do, and all the things you do not like!  Ellie, you enjoy smiling and "talking" to us.  Sometimes it even sounds like you say "hi" back.  When we talk or stick our tongue out you move your mouth and play with your tongue too.

...or just watch us try to get you to talk :)
Then Mommy wanted to start showing your size.  Your one month photo was in your bouncer so you had to do one good one in the bouncer for month two.

one month old
two months old
Sorry the views are different, but you can tell the slight difference of how you are growing up!  So content!  Here's another way to start showing your growth.

changing mat in living room
Super long!  Still in newborn clothes however some 0-3 month stuff.  You are long like Mom and Dad so all your newborn pants are too short.  After the far away shot I just had to get one of you up close.  You are such a sweet baby to look at.


Always wide-eyed!  Daddy noticed one day how your eyes get even BIGGER (can you imagine?) when we turn off the lights in the room.  It's like you try to not miss out on seeing what is around you.  You definitely get your curiosity from your Daddy! :)  You are certainly in God's imagine.  No doubt about that.  You are so beautiful.  How badly Daddy and Mommy want you to know how much we love you.  Even when you grow up thinking we are crazy people (it's true), we hope and pray you will lean on our Savior for guidance.

I'm sorry for what I did to you next in the photo shoot.  I just wanted one good naked picture of my baby girl.  However you HATE to be naked.  You have this freak out moment and arms go wild and you burst into tears.  And Mommy's heart sinks.


Mommy tried the pacifier and it worked for awhile.  But you were still unhappy.


So with outpouring love Mommy got you dressed again and held you close.  You love your Momma's voice and she is so blessed.


My dear daughter, back when I was ten I prayed and prayed God would give me a little sister.  And even though He never gave me one....He did give me you.  And the blessings are overflowing!!  Because you look a little bit like me and a little (maybe a little bit more than a little) like your Daddy!  And that is truly a BIG blessing.  You have a very special place in my heart my dear Ellie.  And it will always be there.


Because you and me, Ellie, will always have this special bond.  You already stole my heart with those sweet looks.  Your sweet toothless smiles.  And sweet little coos.  But I'm not over yet.  You got Daddy right there too!  When he calls Mommy on his way home from work he asks about you right away.  He's disappointed when he hears you are sleeping.  He so badly wants to see you.  Mommy can't wait to see your special Daddy-Daughter bond.

It has already begun. :)


It looks like you are pushing Daddy away however you're not even touching his face.  You're actually trying to join in on the fun of your silly Daddy! :)

Happy Two-Month Birthday Ellie!  We are so thankful for what what you have brought to our lives!!

Love,

Mommy
(and Daddy too)


Monday, December 3, 2012

Weekend-Ness & Crock Pot Meatloaf

This past weekend was the last weekend before we start celebrating Christmas.  Jon and I both love Christmas, but we were looking forward to taking Ellie (ahem, and me) out of the house and walk around.  (Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us use your stroller so we wouldn't have to carry Ellie everywhere!)

Friday Jon got off in the middle of the afternoon.  When he came home he helped me get Ellie ready to go out.  (She had a blow out just in time for Daddy to come home.)  Then we had late lunch at Pancheros.  If you know Jon at all, that is NO surprise what so ever!  Then we went to Westdale Mall near our apartment.  The mall is best for walking.  It's indoors and not crowded.  There are hardly any stores left in this mall.  Besides a few salons, Younkers, JCPenny, Payless, and Chick fil A there's not a whole lot else.  Except the Cedar Rapids Library.  So Jon and I did some window shopping.  Well, actually I got some new gloves and we got a Christmas gift!  And couldn't pass up the sales on an outfit for Ellie. :)  Now she was something to wear next weekend at my Dad's business Christmas Party! (Pictures later.)

When we got home I fed Ellie and put her to bed.  She fell asleep!  Yeah! :)  (She usually fights it.  So Jon and I watched a movie we had gotten from the library.  And it was just the two of us.  Jon and I have not had an evening together at the apartment without interruption for two months!  It was such a wonderful blessing. :)

Since we stayed up late Friday night enjoying our sleeping baby, we slept in.  All three of us!  I love it how well Ellie sleeps in the morning. We got up and ready and once Ellie was awake we started off on our fun-filled day!  We ate at Arby's and Ellie fell asleep.  It gave us some extra minutes to chat about life.  Then we went up north Cedar Rapids to the nice mall.  We walked and went in a few stores.  We came home with another outfit for Ellie, a wall decor to hang up our jackets that match our bedroom furniture, and then ended the night with grocery shopping at Walmart.  It was pretty late (which was fine since we had a late lunch) so we just put in a frozen pizza.  Ellie went down for the night so we enjoyed another night of just the two of us.  We stayed up WAY too late.  Ugg something like 1am.  Ellie was up about 3am and then again at 7am.  I couldn't fall asleep and got up at 8:30am to get ready for church.

After church (can I add we made it on time?), we went to Carlos O'Kelly's for lunch.  Jon is a huge Mexican eater and he's not a fan of their food so he got a Jimmy John's sandwich beforehand.  Don't worry he didn't bring it in.  He ate it in the car while I fed Ellie.  When we got home I started cleaning.  Big time!  Our nightstands and dresser drawers needed organizing.  Then I dusted.  Meanwhile worked on some laundry and had dinner in the crock pot.  While I was busy in mounds of clothes, dust, and well the kitchen....Jon was working on a list I had given him. :)  After two years of marriage I found the best way not to feel like I am nagging my husband!  If there is a few things I would like him to help with around the house apartment, I just write them down.  And he looks at them and does them in the order he wants.  Then I don't have to keep bothering him to do what I need help on.

His list:

  • Hang up wall decor in our bedroom
  • Hang up picture over living room couch
  • Clean up computer stuff so there's a walkway to the nursery
  • Make bed (had sheets washed while at church)
  • Sweep and wash kitchen floor
  • Organize mail, bills, and papers
  • Clean shower (going to give Jon haircut first)
  • Vacuum apartment (didn't get to this)
And it helps encourage him to know I have a list as well. :)  So here goes:
  • Dinner, clean up kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Organize dresser and nightstands
  • Organize bathroom cupboards (long story why)
  • Dust bedroom and living room
  • Clean toilet and bathroom floor (after Jon gets haircut and cleans shower)
  • Help Jon file papers
Ellie slept very well for us again this evening.  It was such a blessing!  She went down at 9pm and fell asleep within 15 minutes.  She didn't wake up again until 3:45am!  But what I really wanted to share with you was this awesome blog I found.  Possibly found it through Pinterest?  But I can't remember.  It's a blog filled with yummy recipes.  And I get emails every time she makes a new post.  It's awesome.  Every day I wake up to a new blog post with a recipe!  Some times it's snacks or dessert, but I also get good meal ideas.  And one day I happened to get something so good I wanted to try it...Slow Cooker BBQ Ranch Meatloaf!  She got me at Slow Cooker!  So awesome! :)  I am always looking for more slow cooker recipes that are NOT soup.  

I had to get my hands dirty and mix it all up in a bowl.  Ugg touching raw meat.  But it was SO good.  For future reference it's a good reminder that Ellie needs to be good and sleeping or something when I make it.  Touching raw meat is the main part of making this meal and I can't do it if she's cranky, hungry, and needing me.  

It says to put it on low for 6 hours but by the time I got to making it we would've had dinner way too late.  So I put it on high for 4 hours.  It worked okay.  It was yummy!  It was so meaty and delicious.  Try it!  I served it with organic sweet corn and a spinach salad with leftover bacon from that chicken meal I made the other night.  Delish!

Can't wait to enjoy it today for lunch!!  Click on the link to find her blog AND to get the recipe!  yumm!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Playing Chicken

This yummy chicken strip recipe is taken from Parenting magazine issue 270 (Dec/Jan 2013).  There are eight recipes total, but tonight I tried the All-American recipe.

Ingredients for All-American Chicken Strips:
Chicken breasts cut into strips (or chicken tenders would work)


Egg lightly beaten
Flour
Bread Crumbs
Chopped cooked bacon
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Dipping Sauce (they recommended blue cheese dressing, but I'm doing ranch or BBQ sauce)

Directions:
1.  Cook bacon; preheat oven to 400*
(Meanwhile)
2. Cut chicken into strips
3. Spray pan (didn't mention this but I did it for easier clean up)
4. Beat egg; dip chicken in egg then cover with flour, place in pan
5. Cover chicken: bread crumbs, chopped bacon, and shredded cheese
6. Bake at 400 for 20 mins. (or until chicken is done)



*I served with leftover Alfredo pasta (from Cheesecake Factory) and fresh cooked broccoli, but obviously do whatever you want. :)



Things that change with a baby....


Two months of changes:
  • Use alarm clock to check length of feedings and not to wake you up.
  • Prepare to have outings take "that much" longer.
  • Lean over to cuddle with hubby and realize he has already left for work.
  • (added later) Husbands call their wives Mommy, and Husbands are called Daddy
  • Touch cold zipper and think you have spit up on you.
  • More poop, more smiles.


  • Perspectives change: dirty diapers a good thing because it means a healthy baby

  • Realizing the amount of junk you eat, because it goes to the baby also
  • Clothes are hardly ever clean and once you get the chance to do a load--she wets or blowouts on more!
  • You get delighted to hear a burp, especially when it finally comes out after one of those middle of the night feedings.
  • Your free-time becomes getting another snack or meal, changing a load of laundry, taking a shower, or updating your grocery list and meal plan.
  • Watching TV/Netflix, checking up on Facebook, or watching a movie takes the place of human interaction or adult conversation.
  • You start using baby language with your spouse.
  • The love of you child, the excitement of how she is growing forces you to: take numerous photos, want someone to see it it to, and thankful when your spouse is home to see it too. :)
  • The dirty dishes piled up are not chores necessarily.  They are accomplishments.  They show you were able to take the time to cook that day.

after hubby washed dishes back when I was pregnant
so not really work with this statement,
but pics help make posts more fun
  • A new game: see how well you can throw a dirty diaper and have it get close to the garbage can you were aiming at.
  • An evening book you used to read before bed is now covered with diapers, wipes, kleenex, and water for those midnight feedings.
  • Not necessarily for all parents but at least for us: bedtime becomes around 10-midnight.  However we go to bed sooner.  The parents are ready to rest before the baby.  Surprise!  The baby is a night owl.  Must have gotten the hint even while inside Mommy!
In her bassinet next to Mommy in bed


We love you Ellie.  We are so thankful for the many blessings and changes you have brought into our lives.  Some day it will be fun to look back at this list.

one month


8 weeks

Monday, November 19, 2012

In Awe of My Savior

Remember this post?  Well, Jon and I had a wonderful weekend of hanging out together after being apart for four days.  It was nice to catch up and I know he appreciated company at the apartment.  On Sunday we attended our church here in Cedar Rapids.

When we got there Ellie was content and I was thinking she would probably fall asleep during the service.  However it was too close to her next "feeding time" so she was set on eating before falling back asleep, so I had to miss out on the worship part of the service.  Bummer.  Our church always does one song at the end of the service, so I was looking forward to it.

After a wonderful sermon we were led in the last song of the service.  And with tears held in my eyes I lifted my hands to praise my Savior.  Because after that longing of wanting to worship my King that morning, we were led in a song that was so dear to my heart this week.

As I sang these words, I thanked my Lord.  He led me in a song that I needed.  He knew if I were to have one song that morning to bring praise and worship to him-  it was that one.  The one song I wrote a blog post about!  The one song that led me in praise already before during this time of my life.

And as my selfish self sat there holding my Ellie, I had to stand and lift my hands up in praise.  My God loves me, even when I'm selfish.  Even when I want things my way.  Our God IS the healer.  Through all my wants and needs.  He still shows me He loves me.  And someday I can thank Him for His grace and tell my daughter all about it.

OUR GOD
Water You turned into wine
Open the eyes of the blind
There's no one like You
None like You
Into the darkness You shining
Out of the ashes we rise
There's no one like You
None like You

CHORUS
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God... 

Into the darkness you shining
Out of the ashes we Rise
There's no One like You
None like You.

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God... 
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God... 
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/c/chris_tomlin/our_god_is_greater.html ]
BRIDGE
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
What can stand against?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Blog Title

Why did I change my blog title?

Well the best way to explain is to go back to when I first started my blog.

Jon and I just got married.  I wanted to blog about our life.  We were about an hour away from family and friends.  I figured people might want to know how our newlywed life was going.

Believe me.  I still feel like we are newlyweds (in a good way).  I still get excited when Jon comes home from work.  I delight in the fact he wants to be with me where ever he goes.  Some times he calls me when he has to work Friday afternoons to see if I could just come and give him company! :)  I love him to pieces.

Aside from the blog being helpful for friends and family to check up on our life, I also thought hoped Jon would give his input and make a few blog posts of his own!  Who was I kidding?  My hubby loves receiving encouraging notes from me, but when it comes to him writing....he would rather sleep, eat, or do anything but that!  So "Kaisand Korner" was more of "Mary's thoughts and opinions on how married life was going."  It didn't really fit.

So, for the last couple weeks I've been trying to think of a new name.  Something unique but not lengthy.  While at church on Sunday we sang Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone.  The lyrics are so moving.  And they totally fit with my thoughts and testimony...and my walk with God.

"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace


The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine


Aww, I could sing that song FOREVER.  It really is good.  We are set free thanks to our Savior!  His mercy rains....never ending.  Hallelujah!
And that's where I came upon the new blog name.
Set Free
Because the things holding me far away from Jesus and His love has been broken.  I am set free.  
It's catchy, don't you think?

His amazing love has set me free.  Set all of us free.  And that's why I am able to blog.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our God is Healer

my mind wonders constantly.  you cant be diagnosed with it or anything.  how can you really know for sure.  i had a teacher study me pretty deeply, and after a couple years she sat my parents and I down (i was an adult at the time) and said "i cant know for sure but i think mary has ADD."

really?  that makes a lot of sense really.

i dont organize sermon notes very well but i do fill them out...otherwise i will forget what the pastor said.  obviously not intentionally.  i always thought i was just totally stupid.  that one student in the class that forgot everything the teacher said.  why was it coming so easy to everyone else?  why did everyone get better grades than me and i know i had studied a lot longer and harder than them.  something must be wrong with me...or i am seriously stupid.  my brain cant handle that much info apparently.  tests are AWFUL.  no matter what i do i would struggle.

that teacher that helped "diagnose" me helped me so much with stuff.  that "class" completely changed my life.  she gave me the encouragement i needed to succeed.  she showed me different ways of doing things.  i was able to memorize nine sentences in a row with out help.  i was capable of drawing a figure "8" on the chalk board stating the direction while she gave me multiple step equations, and i solved them.  sometimes i gave her the answer before she knew what it was.  she smiled and said you know more than you think.



maybe sometimes it was just me thinking i was stupid and incapable.  maybe i just needed someone to tell me 'you can do this.'  even though i had some in the past tell me i was okay i never was encouraged and showed how i was capable.  i never saw the solution.  i never solved anything before some one else.  playing around the world in school trying to "beat" the other classmate was a nightmare for me.  but now, now i think i might beat them a couple times.

i was stupid because i allowed myself to dwell in it.  i felt crushed because i couldnt face anyone about it.  i pleaded for God to help me.  i asked him why he had allowed this to happen to me.  why would he want someone to suffer in stupidity?

He wants me to suffer to allow His healing hands to magnify.  He wants my life to reflect His glory.  He wants my injured heart to rejoice in His perfection.  He wanted me to plea for His mercy and salvation.  He wanted me to see my need for His grace.  He wanted me to know for sure that I was worth nothing with out Him.

our God is the healer.  everlasting perfection.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ellie::One Month

Everything from me passing out three times to middle of night feedings to lots of diapers to blow outs to the first smile....my baby is a month old now.  I'm actually okay with that.  Thought it might be hard dealing with her getting older, however she hasn't "grown" a whole lot and I feel a tons better compared to her first week.  I can actually enjoy her more now that I'm not dealing with the aftermath of bringing her into this crazy world.


We love her to death.  She gave us her first smile so BOTH of us could see it.  :)  
It's been a blessing to watch my husband become a father and see how much he adores her.


And how much she adores him. :)



But there are just a few things you don't like little one.

1. Getting your clothes changed.

2. Sometimes you are not a fan of getting a bath, but I think that's because you feel cold.  You like being warm and swaddled.

first bath at home

first bath at home with new bath tub from Grandma!

first bath at Grandma and Grandpa's house


3. If you wake up from a good long nap, you cry until you get a good chance to know you are with your Mommy.  You just want to eat!

4. You fall asleep really well, but sometimes you fight it for some reason.  And usually the pacifier does the trick.  Daddy and I call it the snooze bar in the morning. :)


5. Getting buckled in your car seat...not so fun.  However once the car gets moving you do just fine.  You usually fall asleep or stay wide-eyed in the car.

*I'm having a hard time coming up with things you don't like.  You are so adorable and you are such a good baby.  Only five things a newborn doesn't like and that's all is pretty amazing!  You don't have colic and you go with the flow pretty much.  

You have a family that loves you to pieces.

only 9 days old!
We love you so much!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bath time to Blow outs

I wouldn't say today was the best day I've ever had with Ellie but it certainly isn't the hardest.  I would definitely say the hardest days with Ellie were at the hospital.  I love being at home now and enjoying the blessings of NOT having nurses and doctors stop in our room constantly checking up on things.  Ellie is able to nap when she wants to and not be woken up by constant reasons to be "checked on."  It also helps that she is now a little older and getting a routine sort of going. :)  She is also doing better at nursing and I think I got it down too.  I feel like I got a better idea of what she needs at different times.  It's not always an "I'm hungry" cry, and I'm figuring those needs out.  By no means am I saying I got this parenting down.  Geesh, she's not even a month old yet!

Currently she is asleep on our bed...she fell asleep while I was folding laundry.  She needed to fall asleep but usually in the evening/night she likes to stay up with us.  I think she knows that Daddy is home and wants to join in on the fun company! She fights sleeping as soon as she needs to fall asleep sometime around 5-7pm and takes quick 5-10 minute cat naps until she finally goes down around 11pm or so.  However tonight, she is actually giving us a nap this evening.  So now I get to spend time with hubby, however he fell asleep on the couch.  Hmmm.....time for a blog post. :)

But I think all that night time fuss is because she holds out until the night to give us all her stinky diapers.  When we were visiting friends and family my parents had her and changed four stinky diapers right in a row on Saturday night!  However tonight I think she got it all done in one.  And of course I had just given her a bath this afternoon.  I was nursing her and right after Jon got home she had a big blow out!  It went through all her clothes and on the blanket that was underneath her.  Oh boy!  Jon helped me get her into clean clothes.  So maybe she got it all taken care of and allowed her to be capable of falling asleep before 11pm?

Hope this doesn't mean she will be up a lot in the night!  Because she started to only wake up every 3-4.5 hours!!  That is REALLY nice and helpful. :)
Last night wasn't too bad at all....
Couldn't fall asleep until midnight, up at 4am (after 1/2 hr of diaper change, nurse, and burp fell asleep), up again at 9am to repeat.  Then she fell back asleep a little bit before 10am and I went and had breakfast and started my day.  Yeah for first child bonuses.  Sleeping in.....

Uh oh now I made all the parents jealous.  Not my intention!

By the way, Jon and I are super excited for this weekend.  yes, another exciting weekend!  We're not going anywhere.  Which is hard.  I nearly cried--pretty hard too--after leaving last weekend away from family and friends.  It's hard to stay home all day alone with just Ellie.  Honestly this whole stay at home mom thing is super awesome, but over here in Cedar Rapids it's pretty tough.  And that's why I am (and Jon) are super excited for this weekend.  Jon, Ellie, and I have each other all weekend.  We're looking forward to just the three of us chilling.  It will be nice to have Jon around on Saturday morning and the rest of the day.  Not going to lie.  I desperately long for some time with Jon.  Just the two of us.  I love Ellie to death.  And she is not the main reason why I feel this way.  Jon has just been really busy lately with work, and well, just life.

Well, I just heard my baby.  Night to all.

Friday, October 26, 2012

If I brush my teeth before noon....

When I was pregnant I didn't brush my teeth until after I ate breakfast.  I didn't want the gag reflex to kick in.  I wanted to make sure I had enough food in me.  It started the day off a whole lot better that way.  Trust me.


But it taught me how to prepare for a new born.....

If I brush my teeth before noon I'm pretty surprised.  By the time I get up and eat breakfast, take my medicine, feed Ellie, change her diaper, talk to her, and put her back to sleep....It's time for lunch.  Why brush your teeth right before you eat a meal?  Yeah, that's gross.  So I eat lunch.  Some times Ellie wakes up again so I have to sooth her and put her back to sleep.

By now it's definitely past noon.

oops.

Now I better brush my teeth BEFORE hubby gets home.

That's my new goal.

What's yours?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Details of Ellie's Birth Story

I keep returning to my blog knowing how badly I want to share Ellie's birth story.  However it was pretty intense and a lot of it, I don't know if I really want to share on the internet for everyone to read the specifics.  Some people are not like me and are okay with hearing details.  Even the personal bodily function kind. ;p

However I'll list a few things to explain how things are going.

First off, Ellie is two weeks old today!  Where did the newborn go???  I feel like we already handed the newborn over and now we have a baby.  We're noticing changes already.  We love her so much!!  But let me tell you...she gave me quite the ordeal to bring her into this world!

I'm not even going to go into the nine month of pregnancy.  I think you all already know how the pregnancy went from past posts.  However if you don't remember, you can always click on a post from the side bar from the months of February through September of 2012.

Anyways, back to her birth.  Ellie was healthy and everything.  After that appointment of finding out we had to be induced, we got prepared for being at the hospital and finally meeting our daughter!  Once at the hospital, October 3rd, 2012 we got set up and I got an IV.  Remember this post?  I was so concerned about the doctor.  However the doctor was INCREDIBLE!!!  (ahem, I actually wished I had him from the very beginning.)  God is so so SO GOOD! :D

He checked me and decided to start the Pitocin.  My contractions became more regular but didn't really get any stronger.  They felt like my usual intense "girl cramps."  Yes, uncomfortable and I took the time to carefully breathe with them, but I was so used to uncomfortable cramping that it was not a big deal.  However I wanted Ellie to get closer to her Exit.  The doctor was so nice and wouldn't break my water.  Since I had so much in there, he was afraid it would cause the cord to come out before Ellie would, and then I would have to be rushed in for a C-section.  Thank you Lord for his wisdom!

Hubby-Me-My sister


The nurse (who I absolutely LOVED!) continued to mention how my contractions lasted a long time and they were close together.  Awesome.  They will only get worse (more intense) as the labor continues....so I was preparing myself the whole day.  I had family with me during the day.  We played Five Crowns and they were pretty surprised nothing was progressing.  By the evening the doctor had checked again and I hadn't made progress so the plan was to do Cervidil, which would help get things moving.  If nothing happened they would check me again at 8am (Oct 4th) and break my water....

It was hard to hear nothing was progressing.  But little did I know what was about to BEGIN.  He gave me the Cervidil (which wasn't a big deal by the way) after they let me eat dinner.  They gave me a sleeping pill so I could sleep since I would need the energy.  However once my family (and labor supporters besides Jon) left, my contractions picked up.  Yes, they were still close together and long however much more intense.  As time went on they got so intense I had to keep reminding Jon I needed his help during them.  I felt like there was no break between them.  (Later he told me they were two minutes apart or less.)  However in his mind he was thinking "sleep until they come in at 8am to check me."  So we had brushed our teeth and he was in pj's and ready to fall asleep.  I kept disturbing him asking for his help and he didn't realize what was going on.  We were both not prepared for labor to pick up in the night so we weren't even thinking of calling family to let them know my labor was progressing.

I threw up.  Ugh.  Reminded me of pregnancy.  However I still didn't think of telling Jon "Call my mom!"  For some reason my mind was so not focused.  All I could do was deal with the long, fast coming contractions.  Midnight until 2am I seriously can hardly remember anything.  Jon and I once in awhile would talk about labor days after and I could remember bits and pieces.  (God's gift to women I guess.)  Jon even helped me relax by rubbing tennis balls and I could hardly remember I had him do that!  Poor guy!

It was 2:30am.  I told Jon "I WANT TO PUSH!"  He asked the nurses if I could.  Then asked me, "Should I call and let people know?"  Oh my goodness, yes!  I was so side tracked.  I forgot to remind him to call family!  So the nurses checked me (in which I don't even remember them checking).  And they both said, "She can push!"  They helped me hold my legs and I got to push!  I remember the contractions were so close, I had no break to relax between pushing.  I was so exhausted.  So tired.  Ellie, thank the Lord you are so cute!

I got to break my own water! :)  (Jon could add some notes at this part I'm sure.)
My mom came at some point.  She later informed that she was running down the hallway and heard a baby's cry and was worried she had JUST missed it.  But then she heard me yelling and she knew she hadn't. :)  I also heard later that Jon had never heard me yell like that before.  I know I had never heard me yell like that before.  However, how else do you respond when you are pushing out a human without any meds?



So I did get the natural birth I wanted, for the most part.  It ended up being wonderful.  But I didn't tell you what happened after Ellie came into this world.
So I started pushing about 2:30am and she was born at 3:07am.  Yeah, she came fast!  Which meant lots of tearing.  (Okay I wont share any more details.)  I'll just say I had to go in for surgery and they gave me meds to knock me out.  I returned to my room and got to hold my baby (this time I remember but hardly remember anything after I pushed her out).  My mom and sister helped me nurse Ellie for the first time since I was so weak and the meds for surgery were still in me.

Finally, done :)


Because of all the tearing they later found out my hemoglobin count went way low and I was anemic.  Which pretty much means I have no energy at all.  The first time I went to the bathroom after labor I passed out three times.  Which was kind of crazy, because I had no idea that I had lost so much blood and was weak.  Thankfully I had a nice nurse during that time and she got extra help and helped me back in bed.  They gave me oxygen and I just remember really wanting to sleep.  I hadn't slept for SO long.  I was so exhausted.  Jon later mentioned when he went in to check on me in the bathroom with the nurse he saw me and I was so white.  He was very concerned but the nurse had him stay out of the bathroom so the other nurses could help "wake me."

I can write another post about the rest of our stay at the hospital.  But I can give a short explanation until then:
Lots of discomfort.
Couldn't move with out help.
Wasn't even able to watch my baby's first bath even though it was done in our room (but had hubby video tape it because I had to stay in bed).
Was given two units of blood to help my hemoglobin level or else I wouldn't be able to go home.
Enjoyed nursing my daughter and saw how great hubby was with her.
Was so thankful for a wonderful husband who helped me take a bath and wash my hair.

the end.  we were so glad to go home on Saturday. :)


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thoughts on Ellie

My little Ellie Marie is one week old today!  We don't know what we did with out her.  I'm so thankful to not be pregnant anymore and to finally have that special cuddle time with my sweet daughter.

I love asking kids questions and hearing their answers but since Ellie can't talk yet I'll give you some info about our sweet little peanut.


She is the sweetest thing ever!  I mean seriously, look at her.  Who wouldn't mind waking up multiple times in the night to feed this little one?  Her sweet little noises are loud and Jon is still getting used to it.  It wakes him up.  I try my best to give him as much rest as needed since he can't rest during the day like I can.  However if he hears her, he asks me to check on her and make sure she's okay.  He is such a good Daddy!  

So far she sleeps the most during the day.  Only waking up a couple times to eat.  She makes up for it during the night.  She eats on average 10-20 minutes every two to three hours in the night starting around 7-9pm and then falls asleep for a longer length of time somewhere around 8am the next morning.  We have learned to go to bed when she does in the evening to get that first average three hour length of sleep before the night time of feedings begin.  After she eats in the night it takes her longer to fall asleep, while during the day she falls asleep as soon as she's done eating.  When my mom is not here to help I see myself taking a morning nap the same time she does. :)

But then again, she is only a week old so this information could change daily or weekly. :)  But we are surely enjoying watching her facial expressions--asleep or awake.  She does the half smile in her sleep and makes sweet noises.  We love it when we get to see her wide-eyed.  She is very animated!  


Big sneeze!

Big yawn!

Where are you Mommy?

I can smell the milk, but I just can't get it!


She hardly ever cries (as of now) and we pray it stays this way. :)  She is so easy going.  The only times we see her unhappy is when we change her clothes or diaper.  Not being swaddled and cuddled is enough to make the world seem awful, right?  We love her to pieces.  Even her squeaky cry that she does before her "real" cry when she's hungry. :)

Daddy's thoughts:
-He loves coming home from work and seeing if she's awake so the two can bond.
-He just said the other night he likes being a Daddy
-He loves watching all her facial expressions.
-He's doing great with diaper changes  (as long as it's not in the middle of the weeknight)
-He cracks up at the noises she makes while eating.
-He loves just watching her. :)
-He thinks she is very good-natured and will be a good, patient listener

Mommy's thoughts:
-I love the way she calms down as soon as someone hands her to me when she's hungry.
-I love the faces she makes in her sleep.
-I enjoy seeing her wake up in the evening for when Daddy arrives.  (It also helps the night time to allow us some sleep as well.) :)
- I love seeing Daddy help take care of her.
-I love her wide-eyes and all her sweet facial expressions.  Sometimes she looks like she's trying to tell us something.


We can't imagine our life with out her!  She is such a joy! :)