Monday, November 23, 2015

Our Weekend: A Feast and a Tree

Our weekend was busy...just like I'm sure every weekend between now and Christmas will be!  

On Friday, B and I went to a Thanksgiving feast at Aniston's preschool.  Aniston had talked about the feast all week, and was so excited to have two guests with her at school that day.  The three year old class dressed as Pilgrims, and the four year old class dressed as indians.  There was a short program filled with songs, and it was the cutest thing!  

We left the girls with their grandparents Friday night (Aniston with B's parents, colicky Harper with mine--Aniston is so over Harper crying) and served Thanksgiving dinner at Celebrate Recovery with our church.  We enjoyed serving (even though it confirmed that I have no business being a waitress, ever.) and the girls had fun, too.

We spent Saturday in the mountains looking for the perfect Christmas tree.  Normally, I'm a stickler for absolutely no Christmas before Thanksgiving.  No Christmas music, no Christmas movies, and definitely no Christmas decorations.  But B is working on Friday, and he's part of the worship team at church on both Saturday night and Sunday morning, so we wouldn't be able to go get a tree until the next weekend.  And who wants to wait until December 5th to get a tree?  So, I went against my usual belief that Thanksgiving deserves it's own time and decorations and now we have a tree in the house a week before Thanksgiving.  And now that the tree's here, I feel like I might as well just go ahead and decorate the whole house and just be done with it, but we'll see what happens.  

Anyway, it was a fun trip and Harper did really, really well...much better than we expected.  We definitely beat the crowd this year--there was only one other family on the hayride, and we didn't have to wait in line to pay or pick up the tree--and that has encouraged me to rethink my stance on the whole thing.  It was so much quicker and easier than last year! Eric and Chelsea went with us, and we had a great time.

 I have to point out that, yes, Harper's little leg is exposed to the cold, but  
she had a blanket wrapped around her the entire time except for when we were taking this picture.  
So, not a complete fail on my part.  

We didn't make it to church on Sunday.  I love that we have the option to watch online when things don't go as planned. (The website is if you're interested...or if you're local and looking for a church, we'd love to have you at the Lincolnton campus!)  We spent the rest of the day getting the tree situated, grocery shopping, and preparing for the week ahead.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I'm looking forward to hosting our family on Thursday! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Harper: Two Months

 Harper Shea, you are two months old!

You're growing so fast.  At your well check, you weighed 11 pounds 3 ounces (40th percentile) and were 22.5 inches long (35th percentile).  You are eating well (four ounces every three hours) and you're beginning to sleep better. 

You've had a difficult time lately.  The Zantac didn't help as much as we had hoped, and you're still having lots of issues with acid reflux and spitting up.  Dr. H switched you to Prevacid and told us to thicken your formula with rice cereal.  We're hoping that helps quickly.  It's so sad for us to watch you cry and be so uncomfortable after you eat.

You also have colic.  The hours between four and eight in the evening are not kind to us.  You go from happy to inconsolable in a matter of minutes, and continue to be until after eight.  It's a miserable time for everyone, and we hope this passes quickly--both for you and for us.

You smiled for the first time this month!  I leaned over your pack and play to pick you up one morning, and you gave me the sweetest little grin.  I absolutely melted.  You've smiled lots since then.  You're very stingy with those smiles, though, and make us work hard for them.  You've started cooing, too, and it's such a precious sound! 

You've lost some of your hair, but it's coming back in quickly.  Your eyes have continued to lighten, and are a bright, clear blue.  

You love to sit in your swing and talk to your birds and yourself in the mirror, but you don't care for the swinging motion at all.  You love bathtime, and are content to sit in the water as long as I'll let you most days.  You hate being buckled into your carseat, but love riding in the car, and it's becoming one of our favorite tricks for calming you.  

You love watching Aniston, but hate when she grabs your hand--which is very often, I'm afraid.  She loves you so much...even if you aren't quite sure about her sometimes. :)

You spend much more time awake now, and you're so alert, especially in the mornings.  We love watching you grown and change, and we're eager to see your little personality emerge.  

You're such a blessing, Harper, and we love you to pieces!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Harper's Birth Story

Our sweet Harper will be seven weeks old tomorrow!  Time is flying, and I'm trying to soak in every bit of her being this little.  After working on Harper's birth story bit by bit, I finally finished it this evening.  Blogging has allowed me to preserve so many memories, both big and small, and I can't wait to share them with my girls one day.  You can read Aniston's birth story here and here.
To begin Harper's birth story, let's go back to Monday, September 14.  That day, I marveled to the other teachers in the grade level about how good I felt.  I felt much better than I had in months.  Brooke made a comment about it being the calm before the storm, and I brushed that off quickly--I wasn't having a baby until the 21st, after all.  I worked in my classroom until 6 and then went to life group with B and Aniston, feeling more energetic than I had in a long time.

After we got home from life group that night, though, the great feeling quickly faded, and was replaced with something else.  I couldn't quite describe the feeling to anyone, but I just  The feeling continued, and it was enough to make me throw my hospital bag in the car before heading to my 38 week appointment with Dr. H on Tuesday at 11:40.  We listened to Harper's heartbeat, discussed the plan for the c-section for the following Monday, and signed all the necessary paperwork.  After I mentioned how I was feeling, Dr. H did a quick check and confidently announced that he would see me in the OR on Monday morning.

I met B for lunch, then went home and spent the rest of the afternoon resting.  I blogged about Eric and Chelsea's wedding, B mowed the grass, and we had leftovers for dinner.  It was the most normal, mundane night.

At 2:45am, Aniston woke up and yelled for B.  He went to check on her, and I took the opportunity to grab a sip of Gatorade from the fridge--the fruit punch kind was my biggest pregnancy craving.  As I walked past the foot of our bed, I felt a pop.  It wasn't anything dramatic, just strange, and I didn't give it any more thought.  B got Aniston settled, and we went back to bed.

At 3:30, my eyes flew open with a crazy thought: Was that pop my water breaking?!

I've never felt so dumb in my life.  My water broke, and I didn't even realize it until forty-five minutes later.

I quickly woke B.  While he showered, I called my OB's answering service.  Since I was a scheduled c-section, I had been told to call if anything happened because they didn't want me to go into active labor. Dr. F returned my call within minutes and said he'd meet us at the hospital.  My contractions were very far apart, and I only had one at home that I could really describe as painful.  I called my mom to come stay with Aniston, we got a few last minute things together, and we headed to the hospital. 

I love B for lots of reasons--one of which is his ability to stay calm in any situation.  Even though that frustrates me sometimes (like when I'm losing my mind and he's being calm and rational), it makes us a good team.  I panic, he doesn't, and we work together.  The only sign of him being nervous at all that morning was that, once we arrived at the hospital, he couldn't decide where to park in the empty parking deck. 

After he finally found the perfect spot (I insisted on not being dropped off at the front door), we went to OB triage and I was hooked up to lots of monitors.  We spent the time listening to Harper's heartbeat and feeling her kick.  We made the necessary calls and texts to family and friends to let them know that our sweet girl had decided to make a plan of her own instead of following ours, and would be arriving that day.  Dr. F arrived and talked with us, and the c-section was scheduled for 7:15.

Harper's birth was so different from Aniston's.  There was no rush.  No one was in a hurry, and everything was calm and relaxed.  I walked into the OR on my own, the anaesthesiologist put in the spinal block (the first one didn't take, and he had to do a second), B was allowed to come back, and Dr. F started the surgery.  It took some effort on Dr. F's part to deliver Harper, and it was evident in his voice as he said, "Ooof!  That's a big girl!"  (At that point I asked exactly how big "big" was, and had a moment of fear that we were talking about a ten pound baby.)

Harper Shea entered the world at 8:02am with a tiny cry.  She weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.  She had the sweetest cheeks and a head full of dark hair.  After the nurses cleaned her up, B brought her to me.  It was love at first sight.  She was--and is--absolutely perfect.

B and Harper went to the recovery room while Dr. F finished up in the OR.  That's the hardest part of a c-section, I think.  You've carried a baby for nine months and you're not the first to hold her, snuggle her, talk to her.  I'm thankful B got that chance, but it was still hard.  After what seemed like forever, Dr. F finished the surgery and I was finally taken to recovery and had the chance to hold my little girl.  We stayed in recovery for a long time, and I loved our quiet time together, just the three of us.  

We were moved to a room, and after we got settled B went to the waiting room to get Aniston.  She was so shy when she came into the room, and clung to B's neck when he picked her up.  I think it was just a situation where she was completely out of her element and a little unsure of everything at first.  We were able to be together as a new family of four for a few minutes before everyone else came in.  It didn't take long for Aniston to return to being her normal lively self, and she loved showing her baby sister to everyone.

Harper has made our family so much more complete.  She's the piece we never knew we were missing, and we're so thankful she's here! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Our Weekend

It's a rainy, dreary Monday.  I would normally be a bit blah, but Harper slept for a solid six hours last night and, in doing so, has given me the sweet, sweet gift of feeling human again.  It's 9:30 as I'm writing this, and both girls have been fed and dressed.  I've dropped Aniston off at preschool and Harper is napping happily in her swing.  I've packed the dishwasher, started a load of laundry, and straightened the house.  It has been a successful morning so far, and, despite the yucky weather, things feel bright and happy.

Our weekend was busy and full of festivities.  On Friday morning, I went to Aniston's preschool for their Halloween party.  The kids were encouraged to wear their costumes to school, and they were so cute!  Unfortunately, we were only fifteen minutes into the party when Aniston got sick.  She has had such a hard time with allergies and congestion lately.  She had been too excited to eat breakfast, and the combination of all that yucky drainage and an empty stomach just didn't work.  Even though I knew that was more than likely the reason, I still didn't want to take a chance, so I took her home.  She missed the party and the hayride, and I was so disappointed for her.  She was perfectly fine after we got home, and we spent the afternoon playing.  After B got home, we went to dinner and had the best time.  We have two of the sweetest, most precious girls.

Saturday morning, I went to a holiday gift galleria with my friend Brooke.  We went to breakfast first, and then spent the morning shopping.  It was so nice to get away for a little while and just be me.  Every mama needs that now and then.  After I got home, B had to go to work for a bit to update a system and the girls and I headed to the mall.  I hadn't really planned to do that, but I had reward dollars that were going to expire plus a few really good coupons, and both girls needed some things.  That was an adventure, to say the least.  Aniston thought she needed everything in sight, and the things she didn't need, she thought Harper had to have.  After I finished my shopping, Aniston wanted to do some of her own since she had money from her grandparents.  Before she chose anything for herself, she picked out a soft stuffed monkey for Harper.  I just melted.  After lots of thought, she finally chose a big stuffed Sven--because another stuffed animal is exactly what we need in this house.

Saturday night was spent trick-or-treating with Batgirl and Minnie Mouse.

After church on Sunday (B went because he was part of the worship team, Aniston and I watched online because it's really, really hard to get two kids ready and out the door on time), we went to a birthday lunch for my Mamaw Ruth, who turns 91 today.  Aside from B and Aniston doing some grocery shopping late yesterday afternoon, the rest of our Sunday was spent spending time together at home.

It was a busy, fun weekend!