Isn't she precious? We're loving our little princess. I can't believe she's 2 weeks today - in some ways it feels like much longer and in other ways it seems like it's flown by. Oh what having a child will do to your sense of time :)
I certainly didn't imagine that upon being inducted into the world of motherhood, I would quickly lose my mind. Although other mom's have told me that it does come back with time I have to admit, I can't seem to remember much of anything anymore! Now, for those of you who know me, I consider myself quite the multi-tasker/planner/detail-keeper. However, these past couple of weeks have been quite a roller coaster. Which is why I had to pick a "Steph's Pick" that has helped me try and keep things a little more together. It's called the "Itzbeen." I registered for this upon hearing about it on my favorite podcast, PregTastic, and seeing my sister-in-law and brother-in-law use it with their little one. It's soooo great!! Seriously - even the first night, Alan and I found ourselves asking one another over and over again, "What time did we feed her last?" That's when the itzbeen came in handy. We now just consult the time noted on this little electronic time keeper and go forward from there. It's a great way to keep track of all of the essentials in baby world - diaper changes, feedings and sleep.
Our Top 5 "We never thought..." observations from our first week with Nora... 5) We never thought that getting two straight hours of sleep could feel so good. 4) We never thought we'd celebrate over a dirty diaper. 3) We never thought we'd be so surprised by the love and support we received upon Nora's entrance into this world. Thank you so much for all of you who have visited, called and sent cards and well wishes. We really do feel surrounded by so much love. 2) We never thought our little princess could change so much in just 7 short days. We're learning that my boss truly was right in saying that in parenting, the days are long but the years are short. 1) Most importantly, we never thought we could love someone as much as we do. It's amazing how quickly the bond between a father and mother and their child begins.
Forwarning: I'm going to do my part to tell Nora's birth story without too many graphic or boring details; however, I will warn you, after being a witness to one of God's most incredible miracles, it's hard to not want to tell everything :)
Like most expecting couples, the week before our due date came faster than expected. We found ourselves finally in a place where we were constantly thinking "This could be the day." Although we had no idea what God had in store, we packed our bags and began waiting for signs of labor. The week came and went like any other week. We awoke on our due date (Sunday, the 12th) wondering if she was ever going to come. And come she did... Around 2:30 pm I started having contractions that were 15 minutes or so a part. After watching a movie and getting a few more things together for the hospital we found ourselves at 5:30 pm and the contractions were now 5 minutes a part. At 7:30 pm we headed to the hospital where I was admitted and found to be only 1 cm dialated! I couldn't help but think that I must be in false labor. The nurses said they'd give me an hour to walk the halls and see if we could progress the labor along. Sure enough, by the end of the hour my water had broken, I was dialated to 4 cm and my contractions were now 2 minutes a part. Note: By this time I was thinking "there is a good chance this pain is going to be the end of me!" (seriously...) The nurses then got me hooked up to an IV as I waited for a bag of fluid to get into my system before I could be given any pain medication (which I initially didn't want but changed my mind in the middle of the 45-60 seconds of rest I was getting between contractions). We were then taken into a labor and delivery room where I was given an epideral and within 30 minutes found to be 9.5 cm dialated - it was time to push! The nurses hurried to get a hold of my doctor (with no luck - the doctor on call was in another delivery at another hospital). Unforunetly Nora's heart rate kept dropping with each contraction and the nurses felt that we needed to get moving. So in walks Dr. Huff (a doctor on call for the hospital). After getting a few things ready it was time to go. And believe it or not - I pushed a total of 2 times with the doctor and Nora was born - 12:49 am on July 13th - weighing 7 lbs, 5.5 ounches and measuring 20 inches in length. Our stay in the hospital came and went quite quickly. Between getting some much needed zzz's and introducing friends and family to Nora, we were fairly busy. So - that's our birth story. Nora is doing well at home. Mom, Dad and baby are all trying to get used to our new lives together and are enjoying every waking opportunity with one another (which happen to be more often than you could imagine).
One of the most recent purchases I have made was to buy our little one her baby book. I don't know why but for some reason I was being fairly particular in what I wanted in this book. I think this might be because I realized that of the things our parents both still have from our births, one of those items was just that, our baby/memory books. After looking at Target, Babies "R" Us, Walmart, Kohl's, etc... I realized that I probably was going to have to continue my search online. After looking around a bit I stumbled across an Etsy Seller - Ruby Love Designs and quickly fell in love with her work. (Note: check out her profile as well) I ordered within a couple of days of finding it and received it in a couple of days. Let me tell you - I'm so happy with this book - so much I knew I needed to pass her info on to you. The book is contemporary, simple and artistic - perfect for us! We just can't wait to insert all of her information in it as she grows.
A friend shared this at my AZ Baby Shower and it made me so excited about having a little girl.
"Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. They are born with a little bit of angel-shine about them and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart -even when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, parading up the street in mother's best clothes. A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves; yet just when you open your mouth, she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is innocence playing in the mud, beauty standing on its head, and motherhood dragging a doll by the foot. Girls are available in five colors - black, white, red, yellow, or brown, yet Mother Nature always manages to select your favorite color when you place your order. They disprove the law of supply and demand - there are millions of little girls, but each is as precious as rubies. God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, the antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the speed of a gazelle, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten, and to top it all off, he adds the mysterious mind of a woman. A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals, first grade, noise-makers, the girls next door, dolls, make-believe, dancing lessons, ice cream, kitchens, coloring books, makeup, cans of water, going visiting, team parties, and one boy. She doesn't care so much for visitors, boys in general, large dogs, hand-me-downs, straight chairs, vegetables, snowsuits, or staying in the front yard. She is loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she has provoked you, the busiest at bedtime, the quietest when you want to show her off, and the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again. Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction, embarrassment, and genuine delight than this combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale? She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity - spend your money, your time, and your temper - then just when your patience is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you've lost again. Yes, she is a nerve-racking nuisance, just a noisy bundle of mischief. But you are pretty much of a fool after all - she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, 'I love you best of all!'" -Alan Beck (Taken from "Meditations for the Expectant Mother" by Helen Good Brenneman)
One of the very first projects I created for our little gals room was the butterfly shadowbox shown above. I was inspired by a friend's sister-in-law's blog and wanted to try my hand at making something similar for our nursery. It seemed easy.... and it was! Even for those of you who wouldn't consider yourselves crafty - you could easily do this (and in less than 30 or so minutes)!
Here's how to make your own: - Gather Supplies: a shadow box (mine was from Michael's - be sure to collect their 40% coupons), an assortment of papers, a butterfly punch (mine was from the Martha Stewart line from Michael's) and some mini glue dots. - Mark the back of the shadowbox with a pencil every 1 1/2 inches...leaving a 3 inch border around the edge. - Punch out the butterflies - Lay out your pattern and then attached butterflies to the paper with the glue dots - While attaching, slightly bend the butterfly wings up
About a month ago our small group decided to do something different for a social activity. After throwing around a bunch of idea's we settled on doing a Murder Mystery Party - Murder in Margaritaville. Although very few of us had ever taken part in a Murder Mystery Party, we were all eager to get our first taste of it. So invitations and casting lots went out a couple weeks prior (thanks Michelle for taking the lead on this). Alan was casted as Father Nick (note his costume in top picture - Hilarious!) and I was Rhonda (I think that's what her name was), the gypsy. As the night progressed we had some incredible food (all Margaritaville-ish) and more information was revealed about the murder. Finally at the conclusion of the evening the murderer was revealed - and it was ME! The pregnant gypsy! Everytime I look at the above group picture I get a good chuckle. So next time you're looking for a group activity - do consider hosting a Murder Mystery Party. It's something outside of the usual and proved to be a lot of fun.