Friday, November 21, 2014

Aiden {The first 3 weeks}

I truly can't believe my little buddy is 3 weeks old today. I feel like I blinked and time was gone.  I have learned so much in these last few weeks. I've learned I'm stronger and more patient than I thought. I've learned that I had way more love to give than I ever thought possible. I've learned that being a Mom is amazing. I've learned that being a Mom is hard work. I've learned more about my boobs, poop, umbilical cords, pumping and sterilizing than I ever imagined. And I'm loving this new chapter of my life.

Since this time is going way too fast and I want to remember everything that my baby boy does. I made a list of Aiden's likes and dislikes throughout his first 3 weeks of life for me to look back on someday. He's already changed so much. <Insert emotional, sappy Mom tears here.>
Week 1 was a memorable one because both Drew and I had no idea what we were doing, but we were in it together. It all started when we tried to strap Aiden in his car seat in the hospital parking lot and realized we had no idea how to adjust the straps. We laugh now, but holy cow talk about being humbled. You can read as many books as you want, but you will never be prepared to actually bring a little human being home and know exactly how to take care of them. Lots of prayers were said, tears were cried and laughs were had, but we survived and learned our lives were not even close to being complete without this little guy in them.

Aiden's Likes// Milk, Having his head shampooed by Daddy, Fleece footed PJ's, Giggling in his sleep, Being swaddled. Aiden's Dislikes// Tummy time, Daddy's cold hands, Diaper changes, Baths.
Week 2 was a big learning curve. Drew went back to work and I bawled my eyes out. Thankfully my Mom took a few half days from work and came over every morning to bring me Starbucks, fix my breakfast and hold Aiden while I showered. I am forever grateful for amazing family living close by! We had our 1 week check up meaning I had to leave the house on time, figure out the car seat on my own and figure out what the heck to put in the diaper bag. Aiden gained lots of weight this week making me a proud mama (yay for a successful week of breast feeding!)

Aiden's Likes//Furrowing his brow (his worried face), Wearing woodland animal outfits, Soft blankets, Watching the shadows on the ceiling from the fan, Still loving Mom's milk. Aiden's Dislikes//Having to wait to be fed, Having his hands swaddled and not next to his face, Afternoon naps.
Week 3 was all me. You guys I have learned so much especially this week because I was all on my own. Just me and Aiden figuring things out. I started pumping and figured out a system for storing breast milk. (Thank you Dori for talking me through things!) I started learning how to manage my time with a needy newborn. Things like taking a shower, putting on make up and fixing myself meals all became much more difficult, but I'm starting to get the hang of a few things. I also started trying to implement a routine of feed, wake, sleep from the book BabyWise. It's been a good week, but it's been a hard week too. I've shed tears, but also pat myself on the back for the little victories we've had. I know motherhood is going to be just that...a mixture of tears of frustration and not feeling good enough mixed with the little triumphs each day brings as you do your very best to take care of the thing that is now the most important thing in your life.

Aiden's Likes// Car rides, Pompom hats, Having his hands by his face, Grunting when he poops, Pacifiers. Aiden's Dislikes//Neck exercises, Clothes that go over his head, Mittens

I'm thankful for a God I can rely on to sustain me in times of utter exhaustion and fatigue, who can give me peace when I don't know all the answers and wisdom in how to raise my sweet boy. I'm so thankful for our precious boy and all the joy he has already brought to our lives in these 3 short weeks!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Aiden's Birth Story {10.31.14}

As many of you know I was almost 2 weeks overdue with Aiden. Little buddy just didn't want to come out. So we had an induction scheduled for 3 AM Halloween morning. My husband's dream of having a Halloween baby came true. Since my induction was so early in the morning, that meant I couldn't eat anything that morning so we went out for a big dinner Thursday night and then went to bed knowing we would be parents the next day. It was such a surreal feeling!
Cracker Barrel, breakfast for dinner is where it's at!
We woke up around 1:30 AM, packed up the car and headed to the hospital in the dark. It was so surreal leaving our house just the 2 of us and knowing the next time we walked through the doors of our home, we would be a family of 3!

By the time we got to the hospital, filled out paper work and got me hooked up to Pitocin it was about 4AM. We probably should have tried to sleep before things got crazy, but we were too excited. Drew read me some Harry Potter, I ate a few popsicles, we listened to the sound of Aiden's heart beat on the monitor, we recorded a little video and then we waited for things to start happening.
 Around 6 AM I started to feel some little contractions. Nothing painful or major, but I was glad to get things started. They broke my water around 10:30 when I was around 5 centimeters dialted and then I really started to feel uncomfortable. My plan all along was to get an epidural, but I wanted to feel what contractions felt like before I got one. Once my water broke I got an epidural and then bliss. I wasn't completely numb and still had control of my legs, which is exactly how I wanted it.
Thumbs up for getting my epidural.
By Noon I was fully dialated and the nurse got the doctor (who came in wearing a witches hat, Happy Halloween!) I pushed a few times then they realized the lip of my cervix was still lingering so they wanted to wait a little longer before having me push anymore.

Then things at the hospital got crazy and my doctor had to do an emergency C-Section on another patient and deliver twins. Aiden's heart rate and mine were both still good so we just hung out anxiously awaiting when we would get to meet our little guy.

At 4 PM, the doctor came in again and said it was time to start pushing. I immediately started crying because the thought of meeting Aiden soon made me so incredibly happy. Drew held one leg and our amazing nurse, Tiffany held the other. I pushed for 2 hours and while I was incredibly exhausted I actually kind of enjoyed labor. Is that weird? The whole process was just a miracle. Did I enjoy throwing up and being so physically exhausted that I had to force myself to push? No. But knowing that every push was bringing my son closer to being in this world was an amazing feeling. Another amazing feeling? My epidural. Haha.
Our Nurse, Tiffany. She was incredible.
After pushing for another 30 minutes I was exhausted and Aiden was too. He was SO close to coming out on his own, but his heart rate started dropping and they wanted him out ASAP so out came the forceps. Drew and I were both forcep babies so I guess it's only fitting Aiden was too. I pushed once with the forceps and out he came kicking and screaming. The moment they laid him on my chest was the moment that my heart changed forever. This little guy was mine and I just let the tears spill out. I will never forget that moment. The happiness, the overwhelming gratitude, the just takes you over. Then you see your husband holding your baby and you just melt all over again.

After a few minutes they took Aiden to clean him up, weigh him, etc. and Drew took the camera and started taking pictures while I got stitched up (not fun). From the moment he was born he was an alert little fella, eyes open, checking everything out...he's already our little curious adventurer.
His little pouty lip. Too much cuteness.
We stayed in our delivery suite for another 2 hours, got our first visitors and then moved down to our room where I ate my first meal since our big dinner Thursday night. My request: a cheeseburger and milkshake. My mother in law came to the rescue with Five Guys and Graeters. Best meal of my life.
The rest of the night I just couldn't help, but stare at the little person we helped create. October 31st, 2014: The most memorable and happy day for our little family. Welcome to the world, Aiden Paul.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Being Aiden's Mom

I have officially been a Mom for 11 days now. Honestly this last week and a half has been the sweetest time of my entire life. The emotions you go through as a new mom are emotions I have never come close to experiencing. Aiden has filled our lives with so much joy already. I have never loved anything so much.
When I look at Aiden my whole heart just melts and most days I cry just looking at him, knowing he is mine. My body has done things that I never knew it could do and despite the pain you go through it is all worth it.
I have so much I want to write down, so many thoughts I want to capture, but all I can manage to do lately is hold my little guy and thank God for allowing him to be mine. I am so glad Aiden is finally here and I can't wait to share his birth story and some of the precious moments we have been sharing together as a new family of 3.

Holy moly, I am somebody's mom and it truly is the best thing in the world.

Monday, October 27, 2014

What to do when you are...OVERDUE

Today I'm officially 41 weeks and 1 day. I am OVERDUE. 

When you find out your due date that date is forever etched in your mind. You see it as an expiration date on food at the grocery store and you get excited, you turn to that week in your planner and you can't believe it's here...then it comes and goes and you are still pregnant. I can't tell you how badly I am aching to meet Aiden, so I have had to distract myself this last week. Here are some things you can do while you wait on your baby to come: (If you are one of us mamas that has to do that!)

-Make sure all your baby's clothes, blankets, burp clothes, etc. are washed, folded and organized

-Wash bottles

-Clean your house from top to bottom or if you don't feel up to it have your Mom or Mother in law do it!

-Keep working. I have been fortunate enough to continue feeling good well into 41 weeks so I have kept working and it helps A LOT!

-If you are planning on having music on while you are in labor, why not make a delivery play list? I've been listening to mine all week.

-Go on walks. I have walked at least 2 miles every day since Aiden's due date. It helps that the weather has been amazing.

-Pack your hospital bag and load it in the car. Make sure your husband packs one too!

-Make some freezer meals. If this is something you just haven't had time for, what are you waiting for?

-Eat spicy foods! Use this as an excuse to not make dinner and go get something yummy. I'm thinking I need to go back to Bonefish Grill to try a second helping of Bang Bang Shrimp...just in case.

-Since everyone and their uncle will be calling or texting you to see where in the heck this baby is, use this time to catch up with people because you probably won't have time once baby comes

-Pick up a good book (that is unrelated to baby stuff) and read it to distract yourself! I finished the 5th Harry Potter and am now half way through the 6th. 

-If you haven't found a Pediatrician yet, use this time to do some research. They will want to know at the hospital who you have chosen. 

-Prepare for any upcoming events you might not have time for. Halloween is this Friday so we went ahead and bought all our Halloween candy, put it in bowls and put up some decorations so we wouldn't be scrambling if Aiden decides to come close to then. My husband would be thrilled if Aiden was a Halloween baby by the way.

-Take naps. At first I was annoyed with people telling me to rest up while I still can, but I know it's true. The last week has been very restful. I've taken more naps this week than I did my entire pregnancy combined. 

-Spend time praying for your baby and your upcoming delivery. I've had some really good chats with God this week. Some of them have ended in tears, but most of them have left me reassured. God's timing is perfect in every way and although I'm anxious it is much easier to trust Him. He's got this.

-Go out to eat with your husband. This is another thing that won't be happening as often for a while plus you don't have to cook.

-Plan a fun day date and make it happen. Don't just sit around waiting for baby. Trust me on this.

-Don't compare yourself with other new the last week, 3 of my friends (all due after me), have had their babies and one is in labor right now. Your baby will come at the perfect time. Just keep telling yourself that.

I am convinced now that no theory for bringing on labor works, your baby will come when they are ready and when God is finished with them. Trust me...I've tried them ALL minus White Castle. I'm sorry, but I just could not do it. Any other suggestions from you mamas out there that had to wait on your little ones to arrive?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pregnancy Files {The Bump Week 40!}

 {Sorry for two bump posts in a row, but I'm kind of over them and wanted to hit publish.}

So I did it. I somehow managed to take a bump picture every week. They may not have all been taken with a quality camera, the last few weeks I could only manage fuzzy iPhone pictures, but hey, it's documented. Thanks to all of you who have stuck around to read my pregnancy posts and make sweet comments along the way. I can't wait to be able to share pictures of Aiden with you, but he has yet to make his debut! I'm praying contractions start while I'm typing this post. Who prays for contractions? Haha.

Best moment this week: So many people have told me that they went into labor after eating Bang Bang shrimp at Bonefish Grill. I love Bang Bang Shrimp so didn't need any other reason than possibly bringing on labor to go and give this theory a try. Our waiter asked me when I was due and I said casually, "today." He couldn't believe it and was so incredibly sweet. He ended up treating us to dessert and comped it "due date."

Food cravings: Anything with sugar...Nutella by the spoonful has been doing it for me lately.

Movement: He has been moving around a ton. The doctor's say he is about 6 pounds 12 ounces right now and I am guessing his living quarters are getting a little cramped.

Symptoms: Definitely crampy and achy. I love fall, but putting on boots has been a real challenge. Drew has been helping me, but when he's not around it feels like every time I pull on a boot I'm going to go into labor. I would actually welcome that at this point...

Nursery: A little sneak peek above. It's all finished minus hanging a few things on the walls. I have a nursery tour post drafted in my drafts folder...someday it will make it out there.

Prayer for Baby:
Dear Aiden,
There have been a few perks to you not being born on your actual due date. 1.) Your Dad and I have gotten a few extra date nights in. One included free dessert, 2.) I'm now on page 700 of the 5th Harry Potter book, 3.) I feel especially loved because someone is constantly calling or texting to check on me and see if you have entered the world yet. While it is nice to still feel you moving around inside me I really, really want to see your little face. Please come soon. Tonight would be nice.
Your Mama

Dear Lord,
This week has been tough on me. More than I thought it would be. I've been super emotional in our chats together, but know you have this all under control. I know you know how badly I want to meet Aiden, but I also trust you completely. Thank you for allowing songs to come on that you know I need to hear at just the right moment. My song of the moment..."I surrender all." I surrender to you my anxiousness, I surrender to you my body and little Aiden. Thank you for taking care of us and meeting me where I am. Amen.

Psalm 37:7
"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him."
          Week 14 Bumpdate                          Week 15 Bumpdate                          Week 16 Bumpdate 
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pregnancy Files {The Bump Week 39}

 {Posting a week behind as most of you know since my due date was the 19th!}

Best moment this week: The weather this week has been gorgeous so I've gotten quite a few nice walks in at the park by our house. I want the leaves to hang on just a little longer. This season has gone by way too fast.

Food cravings: Still Chipotle. I thought yesterday was going to be my last Chipotle run before Aiden, but I will probably have it again today. Just being honest. Haha.

Movement: I have the alien belly. He is constantly morphing around in there. When I set anything on my stomach he makes sure to kick it off immediately. 

Symptoms: My back hurts. A LOT.

Nursery: Working on my nursery tour post...hopefully I'll post it next week.

Prayer for Baby:
Dear Aiden,
This week has been hard for me because all I want to do is meet you. I've had to distract myself with things like laundry, fall baking and episode upon episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I know everyone says rest up and enjoy this time and I've heard you can't stay pregnant forever multiple times, but I just want to hold you. Are you helping me practice patience? I'm trying very hard to be patient.
Your Mama

Dear Lord,
You know my heart. You know what I'm feeling before I even speak it. Calm my heart and help prepare my body and my mind for giving birth to this precious boy. Amen.

Psalm 40:8 "I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart."
          Week 14 Bumpdate                          Week 15 Bumpdate                          Week 16 Bumpdate 
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Apple Fritter Cake {Recipe}

You guys...this is truly the best fall dessert I have made to date. If you like apple fritters you will love this!

For the filling-
2 heaping cups of sliced apples (I used Gala apples and it turned out amazing!)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
small pinch Nutmeg
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cake-
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sour cream

For the glaze-
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 Tablespoons Milk

For the filling-
Combine apples, water, sugar, cinnamon and corn starch in a small sauce pan. Cook on low for 5-7 minutes stirring constantly until the apples are soft. Set aside to cool. While the filling is cooling, get a small bowl and combine the "plus ingredients" brown sugar and cinammon

For the cake-
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish. Set aside. 
Cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add applesauce and vanilla then the eggs one at a time. Then add the dry ingredients slowly: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sour cream. Beat together until just combined.

Pour half the batter evenly onto the bottom of the greased and floured 9x13 baking dish. Then carefully spoon the cooled filling on top of the batter. Now sprinkle 2/3 of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of the filling. Cover with the remaining half of the batter. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Bake for 45-55 minutes. Your kitchen should start to smell amazing and you will probably start drooling.

While your cake is baking, make the glaze.

For the glaze-
Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk together. When the cake comes out, pour the glaze mixture over the warm cake. Spread evenly and allow to harden on top of the cake as it cools.

Now grab a fork and enjoy the best fall dessert of your life. I ate this for dessert then again for breakfast. It goes well with coffee.
Original recipe found here.