we are here!

So here I am...checking in to break the blogging silence. :) Please pardon me while I write a very random post of all the things running through my mind that I keep thinking, "Oh, I need to blog about that!" And I'm also already wondering how I will select the pictures I want to document on here. How do I choose just a few?!

I was so, so naive to how much time a sweet newborn takes up.  Not complaining one bit--and every minute continues to be as rewarding as the last--but when people say that you will wonder what you did with all your time once you have a baby...SO true.

Our days are filled with blessing after blessing and joyful moment after joyful moment.  How did we live without this sweet little one?!

baby girl at 2 weeks
Week one already seems to be a blur.  Is it odd, though, that I already miss those first couple weeks with our little one?  Those moments in the hospital and just getting used to being at home were priceless and ones I will always treasure.  Now we are venturing into the world that continues to be one "first" after the next and this sappy momma is already caught in tears quite a bit not wanting my baby to grow up so fast.  Every day with her is so special--even if we're just cuddling on the couch in our jammies.

Snuggles with Daddy are already a huge hit.  They were from the beginning.  (And let me brag on my husband for a minute...Justin is such a natural.  He has been the most amazing, grace-filled man with such a servant's heart for Adeline and me during the first few weeks.  I knew he'd make an amazing daddy...but had no idea just how amazing he would be.)

We see this irresistible smile often and can't get enough of it.

The bouncy/vibrator seat is a favorite hang-out!

These little toes get kissed often.  She's just like her momma and hates having her feet covered up.  Definitely forget swaddling--wasn't a hit after the first week--this girl loves to kick her legs and have them free.

The first sponge baths were tons of fun.  Just look at all the hair on this girl...it holds a bow already!

"Sally the Seahorse" gets us through diaper changes and other fussy times.  Her nose even works well on the changing table for those few minutes of sucking needed before Momma feeds the starving girl.  Hilarious to watch.

The first two doctor visits were a huge success.  Our baby girl is healthy and nursing has gone great for Mom and Adeline (granted, it has taken lots of hard work, dedication, and prayers!).  We are extremely grateful!

Tummy time often leads to sleepy time, but we have a strong girl on our hands.  She already lifts her head so well, is so alert, and is a mover and groover--hardly ever holding still! (Oh, and we love our paci already.)

This popular girl brings oohs and ahhs everywhere she goes (yes, I'm bragging) and is getting pretty spoiled already be three weeks.  (Being the first grandchild on one side will do that to yah!)

my parents with their first grandchild--head over heels!

meeting cousins on Justin's side--what a blessed little lady with all these around her to love on her
Boone is already a great big brother and is already looking out for her.

Thanksgiving morning
First Thanksgiving as our little family of three!

no gravy for this girl, but she still had to sport her bib that her grandma bought
This girl even went Black Friday shopping! The stroller was a hit and sleeping won over shopping for her most of the day.

The first visit to church was successful.  Everyone was so anxious to meet Adeline and Pastor Owen even prayed a special prayer of gratitude for our blessing.  Our church family is such a special blessing to us.

 There's so much more to share and so much more to say, but I'll leave that for another nap time! ;)

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Adeline's Birth Story

I'm still here and can't believe my sweet baby, that I longed to meet for so long, is over a week old! I'm trying to soak in every single moment--baby grunts and coos, breastfeeding, that precious newborn smell, sweet cuddles, and even late-night feedings and diaper changes.  It already goes by way too quickly! Her birth seems like it was just yesterday but at the same time seems like ages ago...we already wonder how in the world we went without her!

When I was pregnant, I found that reading birth stories was both intimidating and helpful.  Now that I've given birth I realize just how amazing and unique is that moment in life.  It was a time that brought Justin and I closer to each other as husband and wife and drew us nearer to God.  Ultimately, though, it was the moment in time that forever changed our world in a way we could have never imagined.

40 weeks
 Tuesday, November 8, 2011 (3 days past due date)

-I spent the day feeling more "normal" than the previous couple days.
-I had been having a lot of cramping in my stomach and back that felt like menstrual cramps.  I also had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks, but they had intensified and gotten to the point of me timing them a few times the past few days.
-I hung around the house for the cable guy to come and then went to lunch and out to run errands with my aunt and grandma.  (This may be TMI...) I had been losing my mucus plug for a few days, however, this day I felt extra leaking.
-I wondered all day if it was my water breaking and I didn't realize it...

-That evening I went to the bathroom while Justin was on the phone.  I still was wondering if my water had broken in a slow leak.  When I went to the bathroom I heard a "pop" sound that sounded similar to hard plastic cracking.  (Hard to explain.)  However, there was still nothing that for sure told me my water had broken and my contractions were not regular enough to time.
-I came out and told Justin that something was just off.  The pain wasn't getting my attention, but my body just seemed like it was kicking into gear.  (Again, hard to explain.)
-I went back and forth on if I should call my doctor.  Everything I had read and learned in our labor class said to always come to the hospital even if you just thought you water broke...since not getting attention can lead to infection if it did in fact break.
-I finally decided to call my doctor...which it ended up being the nurse on call.  She was NO HELP.  To put the story short, she basically said she didn't know what to tell me..."If you think your water broke, you should go.  But I can't tell you for sure what to do."  She was short, rude, and the phone conversation ended with me bawling in Justin's arms because she had been so rude with me and not any help.

10 pm--We decided to calmly get our bags, Justin gathered our "last minute" items, and we kissed Boone bye.

10:30--Got to hospital (I felt like the leaking had increased), we checked in, and they tested my leaking to see if it was amniotic fluid.  The results confirming enough to the nurse and she decided to call my doctor.

11:00--Word back from my doctor was for me to walk for 40 minutes, test again for amniotic fluid, and monitor Adeline's heart-rate for 20 minutes.  So Justin and I walked and walked for 40 minutes around the Labor and Delivery section of the hospital.  I think there was only one other couple there...it's like we had the place to ourselves.

11:40ish--We got back, the nurse got me situated in bed, and we continued to monitor Adeline's heartrate (which we became obsessed in listening to and watching).  I was having pretty consistent contractions but they weren't painful.  When the nurse left, she explained that we would probably be going home and asked me if my doctor was talking induction yet.  I explained that we were at my next appointment.  The nurse left and a few minutes later, we were watching the monitor. All the sudden, we started seeing the heartrate drop, and drop, and drop.  The monitors started going off and two nurses ran into my room and grabbed me to pull me to the opposite side and put oxygen on me.  Thank goodness, at this point, her heartrate started going back up.  I had had three contractions in a row and Adeline hadn't handled them well.  The nurse was close to giving me a shot (forget the name) to stop my contractions.  However, her little heartrate went back up and all was well.  The nurse responded with, "Well it looks like you've bought a ticket to stay."  We were beyond anxious over what had just happened.  Scariest moment of our lives.

Midnight--The nurses spoke with my doctor again and she decided that they would watch me overnight to see if I was going into labor myself.  If not, they would start pitocin to get labor going.  We finally called our parents to let them know we were at the hospital.  (We wanted to wait to see if were were staying before we let them know.)  They all decided to come early the next morning.  I was still very nervous and scared they would have to do an emergency c-section due to what had happened with her heartrate.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 (4 days past due)

We moved to our room in Labor and Delivery and were told to rest.  (Riiight.)  They finally gave me something to help me sleep (again, I forget the name) because they could tell I was anxious and obsessing over her heartrate.  At this point at night I was 1 1/2 cm dilated and 80% effaced.

our first nurse decorated our board when we got into our room
7:00 am--I was strep B positive, so they started my antibiotics.  My doctor came in and broke my water.  (Apparently it had never broken, but my body was giving me clues to get to the hospital!) They also decided to start pitocin because although I was having regular contractions, they weren't strong enough to make progress toward pushing.

Soon after this, our parents arrived.

11:00 am--I was 3 cm dilated, 100% effaced.  The nurse advised me to go ahead and tell her when my pain just increased enough to get my attention so that it would have enough time to kick in before the really painful contractions started.  Best. Advice. Ever.  (I later thanked her for this advice. Ha!) I asked for the epidural and he came in to start it right when my contractions were starting to be excruciating. It took a few really painful contractions for it to kick in

can't even begin to explain all the emotions
 11:30ish am--5-6 cm dilated.  Justin had just put in his lunch order with our family and we thought were were set in for quite a while.

1:30 pm--9 cm dilated...things were moving quickly.  They also checked for Adeline's position at this time and found that she was "sunny side up" (her face was up)--not ideal but workable.

2:30 pm--Adeline's heartrate dropped again to a scary point.  They checked me and I was 10 cm and the nurses scurried around again seemingly a bit worried about our sweet babe.  Again, I just knew this would lead to a c section.  The nurse called my doctor, who was at her office in the hospital, and I was told we would start pushing in 40 minutes.  Our nurse told Justin to go ahead and go out to the waiting room to let everyone know (there was quite the crowd at this point) that we would push in 40 minutes and it would probably take about 2 hours.  Longest 40 minutes of our lives! We watched every minute tick away, prayed together, shed some tears over anxiousness and excitement, and watched every move of her sweet heartrate on the monitor, just praying it wouldn't drop again.  (Funny side note...supposedly Justin seemed scared to death when he went out to tell family and he told them that for the first time in our relationship, I was the one keeping him calm.  Usually it's the opposite.  I'm sure it was the drugs. ;)

excited Daddy ready to meet his baby girl
3:30 pm--The doctor finally got there and we started pushing.  Again, this point was pretty scary because Adeline's heartrate started dropping each time I would push.  The doctors and nurses collaborated and still decided to have me continue pushing...they seemed confident that she would be okay, which calmed us down (to a certain point).  Supposedly since she was face-up, it was taking her longer to make her debut.  During this time, the doctor let me know that she was going to have to use a vacuum/suction device to try to get Adeline out.  However, due to all her hair, the suction wouldn't work.  They ended up having to use forceps to help Adeline out.

4:37 pm--After being in labor for about 9 hours and pushing for about 1 of that, Adeline Grace made her debut into this world! Her daddy hung out with her while they suctioned her, weighed her, and did all the other check-ups.  I was able to watch from the bed as they stitched me up.  After a few minutes, I was able to do "kangaroo care" with her, where she was laid on my chest skin-to-skin.

one of the first photos her daddy captured

already rocking a bow!
can't kiss those cheeks enough

she loves her daddy--this guy got complimented on by the nurses with his daddy skills

heading home
The rest of the hospital stay was great.  We had a wonderful experience, lots of visitors, and we have absolutely no complaints on how anything was handled by the hospital.  Although scary at times due to her little heartrate dropping, in the end, we have a sweet, healthy baby girl.  It was a blessing of an experience that we will always treasure!

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Adeline Grace

Born November 9, 2011 at 4:37 pm
7 lbs. 5.7 oz.
21 inches long
(And gorgeous!)

We couldn't be more in love!

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40 weeks!--Happy due date to me!

(Pic to come.)

How far along? 40 weeks!

Baby size: Watermelon-size still.  On average, about 20 inches long and between 7 and 9 pounds.  (This is just based on averages...we don't know her size.)

Total weight gain: 24 pounds at my doctor appointment on Friday.

Sleep: Good and bad.  I am up at 6 am writing this post on a Saturday morning because indigestion woke me up (and this is after I unloaded the dishwasher and picked up the living room).  I also think nerves and being anxious are also keeping me awake now.

Movement: Still quite a bit of movement.  Her twists and rolls still crack me up at times.  It's hard to believe I have a full-grown infant moving around inside of me.

Food cravings/aversions: Still craving the junk food.  I drank a coke and ate Ritz crackers this morning around 5 am.  Isn't that lovely? I'm also enjoying Burger King.  Weird.  (On Halloween night, I didn't feel well at all.  I was in pain all over and simply starving.  Justin went ahead and went to my sis-in-law's for their annual Halloween get-together.  I stayed home and got Burger King for dinner.  Whopper value meal with cheese...up-sized to a large.  Never in my life have I done that.)

Pregnancy Symptoms: Nothing new really.  Cramping has intensified at times.  Indigestion has returned.  The pressure and pelvic pain has become way more intense at times.  All normal symptoms, though.

What I miss: At this point, I'm content and just taking in the last days of being pregnant because I know the end is in sight! :) --ditto from last week

What I'm looking forward to: Again, meeting her! --ditto from last week

Milestones: Happy due date to me!! (November 5, 2011)  However, I will say, hitting this milestone without sight of baby is difficult...especially for someone like me that's impatient.  I also decided to start my maternity leave last Thursday.  I started having really difficult days at school--both physically and mentally.  So I decided to go ahead and kick it in gear.  I never planned on working past my due date, anyway.  My sweet principal and co-workers were very supportive.  Now I'm hoping that she comes early this week so I didn't start it too early--Justin keeps reminding me that even if she's not here, this time is good for both me and her to relax and ensure things remain healthy and progress positively until the very end.  I'm thankful for a hubby that always helps put things into perspective.

As far as doc appointment went on Friday, I'm still at 1 cm.  My doctor thinks I'll stay there until I go into active labor.  She was very happy with that and positive that I even got that far on my own since it's my first.  She stripped my membranes (not even half as bad as people make that procedure out to be--at least with my experience).  Baby's heart-rate was "beautiful" as stated by my doctor.  She explained that it was "great" that I'm feeling crampy since pain means progress at this point.  She said she would expect to see me within the next 24 to 48 hours (I'll believe it when I see it) but we did schedule an ultrasound for this coming Thursday to check fluid levels if I haven't had her and an appointment for Friday where we will begin the discussion on induction.  She said based on how things look, she doesn't think I'm a candidate for going to 42 weeks--that she thinks I'll go into labor on my own before that.  Again, we'll see.

Best moment this week: Well I guess it was nice to start my maternity leave.  However, it's difficult to "enjoy" the time when I'm feeling so anxious and impatient to meet this sweet baby.  Working on this--I walked both of our malls with hubby on Thursday, shopped with my mom, grandma, and aunt on Friday, and I'm going to our church's holiday bazaar today.  Staying busy.

Moments with Justin: How about a mini-cry session in the middle of Penn Station due to my anxiousness and impatience?! Only my sweet husband would just hug me.  I'm often a mess these days.  Pregnancy hormones at.their.finest.  (At least it was a laughable moment after I pulled myself together over lunch and we had left the restaurant.)  I'm a mess and a work in progress....pregnant or not. ;)

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no news and a dose of honesty

[Disclaimer:  This post is probably the outcome of end-of-pregnancy hormones.]

Well there's no baby news.

I'm bombarded daily with people wondering on Facebook, through text, in emails, at work, etc. etc. about baby news.  So I just wanted to update that we have no baby news.  And get ready.....

we're okay with that!

Really, this point in pregnancy is probably the most interesting to me so far.  Mainly because of other's reactions.  I'm sorry.  I'm going to be honest.  I've really learned my lesson on how to approach a 39 week plus pregnant woman.

Now, before I sound rude....I know it's out of love and care for us.  We feel beyond blessed that others are super excited to meet our sweet bundle of joy.  We can't wait either.  However, we're waiting on God's timing.  The moment He puts her on earth will be exactly the moment He wants her here.

It's just funny to me how many people try to rush the end of pregnancy (and not even their own pregnancy...hence, they're not even feeling all the nasty symptoms of 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant brings).  I never planned on this sweetie coming before her due date.  I was always prepared for her to come past her due date and probably at the doctor's prompting.

We've prayed for a patient baby.  We've prayed for a laid-back baby.  We've prayed for a baby that is low-key, not anxious, and content in Christ's love.

So far, it's looking like those qualities are being perfected.  We're not going to complain.  We're going to soak this time up and hope others around us do as well.

She'll get here when her little patient, content heart is ready.

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happy birthday...

to my handsome hubby!!

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How Much Can I Save in a Year? October Link-Up and Q & A!

October Savings 


2011 Total Savings


Best of Savings

Free or Almost Free Items this month with coupons:

-Four Covergirl blushes with two $8 off of 2 face product coupons (found the blush as Wal-Mart for less than $4, so even made money on them!)

A Little Savings Tidbit

This month we opened up a Q & A opportunity for readers.

Courtney is about to graduate from college and move back home for a bit.  She asked about "...the best advice you can give on what things are most important to budget for, and how much money I should save."

-When we budget, we always start with the items that are set amounts--the bills that we know the amount of (or approximately) for each month and start there.  (i.e. water bill, mortgage, internet, etc.) 
-Start listing out your monthly bills and find the approximate cost of those.  (For us this also includes our tithing amount based on our income.) 
-From that, find what is the difference in the amount you plan on spending and your monthly income.  -Whatever is left over, choose at your own discretion on the amount for other things--such as "blow money" (money to spend on whatever you want) and how much you want to set aside in savings for something (possibly to put toward rent or a down payment on house when you move out of your parents').

This will take time! We tweak our budget what seems like monthly right now.  I would also suggest Dave Ramsey's envelope system and checking out his Total Money Makeover resources.  You can find budgeting sheets on his website that include the approximate percentage of your income that you should put toward spending.  I also highly recommend his program to help in getting rid of any debt you may have. 

Another reader asked where to find freebies. 

-I use Ashleigh's Friday Freebies posts.  (Hint:  Create a free email account for when you sign up online for freebies--that way your regular email doesn't get bombarded with junk email from these companies.)

-I follow deal sights such as Ashleigh's and Money Saving Mom which post frequently about freebies and coupon scenarios that allow you to get freebies at stores.

-You can often use coupons that don't have a size restriction on them (such as for body wash) to purchase a travel size item for free.  Who says you can't use travel size body wash at home in the shower?

-In my area, Target, Wal-Mart, and Kroger's $10 for 10 deals are usually my best bet at using coupons to get items for free.

Now it's your turn! Link-up below! Whether its an update on your savings so far this year or just a great trip you had with great savings! Anything goes!  Also, make sure to go check out Thankfully Thrifty  to see  how Ashleigh's savings are going so far this year and answers to other reader questions!

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