Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Daze

Ed may have the Santa hat, but Ellie certainly has the belly (and cheeks) like a bowl full of jelly!


Grammy and Papa help Ellie open her gifts.

Mommy and Daddy played the press corps with
cameras flashing and videos rolling!

In all my thirty.......years, I may have to chalk this Christmas up as my all-time favorite! Everything seemed SO MUCH brighter and merrier with Eliana along for the ride. In fact, we actually managed to squeeze three "Christmases" out of the year.

We started by celebrating Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, along with my mom and grandmother. We had a delish meal and then went to the church for the candlelight service. I was running around helping with the service, so mom had Ellie. I have to confess that during the message I watched Ellie more than I listened. I unintentionally sat across the church from her with a clear line of sight. I loved seeing her from a distance - not a vantage point I normally get.
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Christmas Day started with with Egg Junk Casserole and Ellie opening up her gifts at our house. Can you believe that I actually had to wake her up?!?! Didn't she know it was Christmas morning??!?!?!? We had things to do and couldn't wait any longer! :-) Then we went to my mom's house and Joe, Mom and I opened our stockings. This was a fun remnant from when we all lived together, but, alas, the tradition's final year. Jim, Mel, Ed, Andy, and Linda (Mel's Mom), arrived around 9:00 a.m. and we had a wonderful time of of family fellowship and opening gifts. I am still amazed by how gentle the boys are with Ellie. They just love her (see picture number 1). The boys had opened their stockings and normally fly to the gifts, but Ed wanted to hold Ellie and seemed to be perfectly content doing so. Andy was ready for presents, and Jim eventually had to ask Eddie, "Are you ready to open your gifts yet?" Too funny!
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We had our traditional steaks for brunch but added mom's perogi to them. YUM!
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One of the highlights of the day for me was a bath. Don't laugh - it's true. Surely all you mothers out there can remember the longing for a relaxing bath during the early days of parenthood. Well on top of that normal feeling, I miss my mom's tub. She has a HUGE whirlpool bath I used to use daily. I miss it so. Anyway, I had a wonderful hour of soaking. Bliss!
The next day Joe's parent's came down to our house and spent the day with us. It was so fun to have a relaxing time with them and watch them open Ellie's gifts with her. We had a delicious meal with a little bit (or a whole lot) of everything in it, and played some games. They got us a great Bible trivia DVD game that allows players to put in different ability levels and all play together. We gave it a try and, fittingly, the patriarch of the family won. It will be perfect to play when Ellie gets older. It took me back to when my family used to play Bible Trivia...I wonder where the old game is now. I haven't seen it in years.
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Saturday we recovered from all the partying, and then went to Weaver's in
Akron on Sunday after church. Joe's sister, Lisa, and her family and his grandparents came and we had another wonderful time together. Those people really know how to celebrate! Ellie was so tired that she slept 7.5 hours that night without making a peep! It's a record! It gave me a bit of hope that I will, one day, get a full night's sleep again.
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Well, I hear noises from the nursery, so I'd better wrap up the holiday recap. Thanks for putting up with all the details. This entry is definitely intended for posterity.
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Bye, all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!


I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Little Christmas Cheer Starring: Nephews Eddie and Andy, brother Jim, mother Helene, and daughter Eliana

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

What a Year!

A gift from my husband this week

Today, Joe and I celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. This was certainly a year like no other, and we have so much to celebrate. God has turned our lives upside down and taught us a lot about our relationships with each other and with Him. He has also, of course, given us a beautiful daughter - the desire of my heart - and allowed me to stay home with her. I would never have dreamed just one year ago that my life would be what it is today.

If you're struggling with something today, take shelter in God. Don't deny what you're going through, but go to Him in honesty, even if that honesty demands you simply cry before him (a woman's perspective, to be sure). When God moves on your behalf, He can move quickly after taking years to prepare the way. Ps 90:4 For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

So, what are we doing to celebrate this eventful year? Red Lobster! YUM! Mom is coming to watch Eliana, and Joe and I are going to sit down to our first quite meal alone together since she was born. I can hardly wait! Start the 5 hour countdown......NOW!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Big Move


The cheeks are mine; everything else is Daddy's!

Well, it's official: Eliana is now sleeping in her crib. I'm going to return the bassinet to my friend who let me borrow it, so there will be no going back. It seems to be working out pretty well, although I must admit, I didn't like it at first (or at least the thought of it). It is allowing me to get a little more sleep, though. While Ellie is still waking up a couple times a night to eat, at least I'm sleeping better in between feeds. When she was right next to me, I'd wake with each and every little movement or sound. Now I only wake up when she is actually crying. Little by little...



Don't you just love the photo of the proud papa and his little girl? Joe picked out the outfit that Ellie is wearing. She wore it to church today and recieved so many compliments. I wanted to make sure I got a picture of the two of them with her wearing it. Too cute!



Weight loss update: I've lost 4 of my 20-pound mini-goal. I'm really happy with that, and don't want to loose any more in a one-week period. It wouldn't be good for me. I'm looking forward to an exercise video I just ordered. It's for new mothers and I'll use Ellie as my weights! How fun does that sound? I'm ready to get moving again.



As I was typing, Ellie reached up to touch my face. How can such a little person make me feel so good?



Night all!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Arms and Hands

Today, Little Bug learned that she has arms and hands (at least when she's lying flat on her back). This is the first time I've ever seen her reach out and grab something she wanted--too fun! Grammy, do you recognize the play mat? Ellie loves it! It is great while I'm working. She just kicks and grabs and laughs.
She is definitely is having a great time, don't you think?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weight Loss

20 pounds by March 2o
Ohio Women's Retreat

This is my first goal. Very doable.

Just over a pound a week

Ask me about my progress.

Keep me accountable.




Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why...

...oh why am I posting this not-so-great photo of my beautiful little girl?

What? You mean you can't grasp the significance of this event?!?!?!

Why, it's Ellie's first nap in her crib, of course! Until today she has been using her bassinet.

Since I'm not much of a Scrapbooker, this blog is becoming the depository of all great events of note. Sorry you have to come along. :-)

How is it possible that Ellie could feel so far away in our little postage stamp of a house? How could her 30 minute nap (that should have been two hours) feel like an eternity? Only to a mother, I'm sure.

I must say, I'm grateful for the invention of the baby monitor. I could hear every change of breath, every shift of weight, every gurgle, every toot.

Only a mother...


Monday, December 1, 2008

Ouch!

Don't worry - Ellie was not in pain when this picture was taken -
just sick of the flashing camera.
Documenting today in photo was the last thing on my mind.

And you thought you hated Mondays.

Ellie started her week with three shots at 9 a.m. Wow, that was rough. A split second before the first shot, Ellie flashed me the biggest smile. It was enough to tear my heart out. Mercifully, the actual shots took less than 30 seconds. The nurse who administered them was great. She gave them and then practically ran out of the room to leave me with Ellie. That's kind for weeping mothers who don't want to make fools of themselves. I was so proud of Ellie, though. She stopped crying in less than two minutes. She is sleeping on my chest now. I'm not sure who is comforting who . :-)

In lighter pediatrician news, Ellie is now 24 inches long and 15 pounds 9 ounces! The first thing Dr. Bhairappa said when he came in was, "Now, how tall is her daddy?" I replied, "About 6 foot." Dr. B: "She is going to surpass you both!" That doesn't surprise me at all since she is wearing her 6 month outfits at 10 weeks old. Dr. B told me to not give Ellie anything solid to eat until he gives me the go-ahead. "She doesn't need it!" he said.

I have to apologize to you all. We had a great time at the Welfley's tree-trimming, but I forgot my camera. If we get back there before Christmas, I'll try to remember it to get you some pics.

Stay warm on this rainy/snowy/grey Monday

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Grammy and Papa


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We had a wonderful visit with Joe's family (with the exception of being thoroughly trounced playing Password...twice). It was nice for Grammy and Papa to get some one-on-one time with Ellie, and then GiGi and G'Pop came over (Joe's grandparents) to have lunch and visit as well.
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Riding in the car seems to be improving a bit. We made it to Akron and back with no crying at all! (Not me, the baby! Well, I guess I didn't cry either this time.) I don't know if Ellie is getting more accustomed to the car seat, or if Joe and I are getting better at preparing her for a trip. Either way, it's much more pleasant without the screaming.
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Joe and I are getting ready to head to the Welfley's annual tree-trimming at the "Barn." For those of you who don't know John and Linda, they purchased an old, very well-used barn and converted it into one of the most beautiful homes I've every seen. Their main room is two stories high and takes a huge Christmas tree. I'll be sure to get some pictures to share with you.
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I'm looking forward to going, but I have to admit, I'm not feeling particularly "Christmasy" yet. Perhaps it's because I'm so tired. Or maybe it's just that it's only two days after Thanksgiving! We're still eating leftovers for crying-out-loud! Regardless, I'm ready to spend some time with good friends smelling a pine tree and getting into the Christmas mood!

Fa la la la la!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving


Was Thanksgiving a success?
I should say so!


We had a wonderful time with the Arden family at my mom's house. 19 people in all!


Do I have anything to be thankful for?
I should say so!


We are headed off to Akron shortly, so I'll leave you with a few more pics from yesterday.

























































Was Thanksgiving a success?













Monday, November 24, 2008

Road Trip


Mom, Eliana and I had quite an interesting time Thursday and Friday. I had an all day staff meeting at TRECA in Marion, Ohio on Friday. That's about an hour and ten minute drive from us. I knew there was no way I could leave Eliana for over 12 hours, so we left Thursday and stayed in a hotel overnight. Mom and Ellie played at the hotel during the day while I attended the meeting. I was able to visit them during my lunch hour, and it worked out pretty well. The only struggle we had was the car ride. Eliana doesn't like the car seat, so it was a bit rough, to say the least (Hence, my photo inspiration for this post.). All-in-all, I'd do it again. I can actually see it developing into an annual event and being downright fun - once we get past the car seat aversion.
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Well, we are one day into our three-day work week and really looking forward to Thanksgiving with the Arden side of the family (Hey there, Ardens!). I can't wait for everyone to meet Ellie for the first time. Hopefully, she will be in a good mood.
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What are you thankful for? Post a comment or send an e-mail!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Had to share.
Guess I'm a fan of a sleeping baby these days.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shhhhhh!!!! The baby's sleeping!


Video note: Okay, this may be a video for mothers and grandmothers only. Not too much excitement, but it may make you nostalgic for those early days... (You may want to turn up your computer volume. I'm whispering.)

Wow! I can't believe that it's been a whole week since I last posted. What a week!

Ellie had her first cold...poor little thing. She woke up with it on Monday and was pretty miserable for a while. She still has its remnants, but is definately on the mend. I got to know the green snot-sucker bulb that the hospital gave us quite well. Let's just say that I, for one, am quite glad that I've learned how to blow my own nose.

One blessed advancement: Ellie has now taken a pacifier (as you saw from the video). She has really fought it until now, but I'm glad we didn't give up. Some of you may be of the "anti-pacifier" clan...actually, I was of that clan until I had a baby with a VERY STRONG need to suck...but until now, there was really only one way to calm to her down. I kept telling Ellie, "I'm a food processor, not a pacifier," but she didn't seem to listen very well. Anyway, this is quite a relief, and during those times that I have meetings online, I'm sure it will prove very helpful.

It has been quite a challenging week. In addition to trying to make Ellie feel better, I put in my first "full" week of work. "Full" to me is now four days. I typically work Tuesday through Friday, so blogging may be a fun Monday activity. It's funny, I actually work seven hours a day, but it takes me about twelve to get them all in! I absolutely love what I'm doing. It's so different from teaching in a classroom, but a nice change almost ten years into my career. I'm learning so much, and the job's a real challenge.

Well, I'm off for now. Ellie is snoozing in her bouncy chair (another fabulous invention), and I'm going to ....hmm, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. What a fantastic feeling!

Love to all!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dedication Day




We had a wonderful day Sunday with Ellie's dedication at church. It was quite a thing to celebrate what God has done giving her to us, and then turning her back into His hands. I know I will need to relive that moment many times during her life. If you'd like to see more photos from Sunday click here. A VERY special thanks goes out to Lisa and Jennifer for all the wonderful photos, and for Heidi for the awesome video of the day! Also, the same to Stacey Brant for the beautiful dress Ellie wore. She received so many compliments!


Ellie woke up with a bit of a cold tonight, so we've got the good old bulb out - a fun experience for all involved. She seems to be back asleep, so off I go - not a moment to waste!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Official...


I'm exhausted. I must be a new parent.


Our little lovebug has had a bit of a set-back with her sleeping schedule. She's been up two or three times a night for the past week. Now, that's not too bad, but I can't seem to get her to sleep until about 11 p.m. For normal human beings, that wouldn't be much of a problem. For those of you who know me, however, my preferred bedtime is 8:34 p.m. 8:45 p.m. is really much too late, so 11 p.m. feels downright painful. I've always been a fan of sleep.


We are really looking forward to this Sunday. We are going to dedicate Eliana at church. Joe and I pray each morning (Well, Joe prays, and I try to keep my eyes open - yes, open. Otherwise, I wouldn't be conscious.) and give Ellie into God's hands. But there is something about standing up in public, and yielding her over that is both so right and so scary at the same time. I never dreamed that parenthood would tear at my heart so.


Speaking of tearing at my heart, I left Ellie the first time yesterday for a couple hours. I was asked to proctor some Ohio Graduation Tests just a few minutes from our house. I was a mess. I'm so grateful that my mom was able to come and be with Ellie while I was gone. I didn't have to be gone long, but it was against everything inside of me to walk out that door. It couldn't have gone better, though. Ellie ate and fell asleep right before I left and was just waking up when I arrived home. I'm sure that at some point I will come home to a crying baby, but I'm so happy that it wasn't the first time I left her. It was hard enough.


Well, Ellie seems to be sleeping (and it's 9:26 p.m. Hurray!), so I'm going to take advantage of the time! 'Night all!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Morning Glory

"Of all the joys my life brings, a child's smile makes my heart sing."

-Anonymous

At about 8 o'clock this morning I heard cute little "waking-up" baby sounds coming from the bassinet. I went over and Ellie was wide-eyed. As soon as she saw me, her face burst into the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. Could there be anything more wonderful in the world? Time and time again, I am bowled over by the immensity of emotion I feel for this little girl. There was a part of me that, until now, was not complete. Now my "heart sings."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Prayers for my OB


Just a quick post tonight. I just learned that the obstetrician who performed my c-section had a brain aneurysm. Please pray for him.


Thanks.


Monday, October 20, 2008

1 Month Ped. Appointment

Smiling at Daddy's Funny Sounds

Eliana will be one month old on Wednesday (Can you believe it?), and we went to see the doctor today. She is growing - quickly! She is up to 12 pounds and 22.25 inches. That puts her at the 97% for height and a "tad bit" overweight. The doctor says her weight will even out as she grows but that she is going to be tall! He says she looks beautiful. I tend to agree with him. :-)

We went to the mall for the first time today. I needed to buy some new jeans (sigh). The adventure started out peaceful enough, but by the end, all of Kohls knew we were there! :-) Wouldn't you know it, we met two friends that I haven't seen in quite some time (Hi Dawna and Carrie!), but Ellie was in full voice, so there was NO chatting going on. The sales lady still wanted me to sign my e-mail up with them, though. Um, thanks. Some other time when I can hear myself think. :-)

Well, I'm just about to do some online tutoring with Ellie sleeping on my lap. Let's hope she stays that way. Otherwise, it's Daddy Duty time!

Ciao!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beat Like a Drum




Hi all! I'm still recovering from all of yesterday's parties (Andy's and Joe's Mom's B-Ds), so this won't be much of a post. I just had to share this photo with you, though. I totally understand this feeling!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trial and Prayer

I just love figuring out how to take care of Eliana. Sometimes it's almost comical because, looking back on an event, it seems like I should have known the solution from the start, but these little ones don't come with full manuals (just a million books that say "You can try this, but it might not work..." :-) Every time we do something that actually works, it's a major accomplishment.

Last night was a great example.

Eliana typically starts to get fussy in the evenings around 7 p.m. (common for many babies, I hear.) I can tell that she is tired and needs to go to sleep, but she really fights it for a while. Last night, she was especially so. Nothing seemed to help, poor little thing. At about 8:30 p.m. I decided to go put her down in her bassinet to see what would happen. WONDER OF WONDERS: in about 20 seconds she was sound asleep and didn't wake up until her midnight feed. How about that? I was actually keeping her awake trying to put her to sleep in my arms! Wouldn't you think that if I knew she was tired, I would have tried to put her to bed before that? :-) Now, putting her down might not work every night, but I'm sure going to give it a try from now on!

It's a little scary that it seems like parenthood is a lot of trial and error (or I should say, "Trial and prayer!")

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Job





Today was my first day on the new job. It was great! I "attended" a recorded online meeting about reading fluency and started generating some ideas for projects that I will begin work on soon. I had a friend from church come and spend the day with me. (The biggest "thank you" to you, Jodie!) It was tremendous to have her help with Eliana, so I could focus a bit better as I'm getting started with things. She's offered to come weekly, which will make the times I have live meetings much easier.


PRAISE REPORT: Joe's dad has absolutely NO blockage of the artery as the doctors thought. GOD IS SO GOOD!

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's Bath Time!



Free Smileys & Emoticons at Clipart of.comEliana had her first real bath today, and despite the look on her face in the photo, she loved it! It seemed, however, that Joe and I quickly grew about 20 thumbs. How is that possible? It never ceases to amaze me how "they" just let you take your baby home from the hospital when you really have no idea what you are doing with them. How do you keep your baby from going doo doo in the bath water anyway? :-)


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back to Church


Wow! What a wonderful day we had. After being gone for two weeks, we made it back to church today. It felt so good to show off our little girl (Is that a bad thing?). The time of worship was just tremendous, and I loved watching Eliana during it. It was clear that she was in familiar surroundings. All during my pregnancy, she would be fairly still during music, and then just go crazy when it stopped - as if to say "More! I want more!" Today, she did just about the same thing. Even though she had been awake since 8 a.m., she was wide-eyed but calm during the entire song service. She got moving then when we finished. Too fun!

After church, we had lunch with Aunt Kerry and Uncle Michael, good friends of ours. It was so great to be with them again (Shout-out to you guys!). Ellie slept through the entire lunch. I think it was actually the first meal that I ate without interruption.

After lunch we made a trip up the hill to see Baba Helene. She didn't get much of a chance to love on Ellie at church since we were getting so much attention from everyone there.

From there, since we were out, we made a quick grocery stop and then headed home. All in all, it was a jam-packed day, but Ellie did great! I was exhausted! It was nice to come home and relax a while.

It is now 8:45 p.m. and Ellie just ate and fell asleep on my shoulder. Could it be? A 9:00 p.m. bed time? I've been shooting for that since we came home from the hospital! I'm almost too excited to hope it might happen.

Good night all!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm Free! I'm Free!


I had my two week postpartum appointment with my doctor today. Everything is looking good, and I have been okayed to drive again! What a relief! I've got to thank everyone who made trips to the store for me during these two weeks. I have the best family and church ever! Not being able to drive was really one of my biggest concerns prior to Eliana's birth, but I never wanted for anything. Not a day went by without someone calling to see if I needed something. What a blessing you all are!


Ellie continues to do well. She is up to 10 lbs. 1 oz and has gone from 20 inches to 21.5! Her sleep has been a bit iffy the past two nights, but some ups and downs are to be expected. :-)


I start my new job next week, just working two days a week through the rest of October. Although it will be a major adjustment to work again, I'm looking forward to seeing a new aspect of education. I'm also so grateful that I don't have to get "beautiful" or leave my daughter to go to work. I may have to put some hours in after Joe gets home, but how much better is that than having to leave all day? God is so good to me!


Keep praying for Joe's dad. Thanks so much!

Monday, October 6, 2008

First Pediatrician Appointment


We visited our pediatrician today for the first time, and Eliana is doing great! Really the biggest news is her weight. She was born 9lbs 4ozs. When she left the hospital, she was 8lbs 7ozs. Now at 12 days old, she weighs in at a hefty 9lbs 10 ozs. To paraphrase the doctor, Wow! She's eating a lot! They want the babies to be back at birth weight by 2 weeks of age. We left that in the dust a while ago. As a mother, it's nice to know that I'm providing sufficiently for my baby.


It was really nice to get out the house today for the first time. Mom drove for me and we did quite a bit of running around that I needed to do. We were out for about 5 hours. On the down side, my feet are significantly bigger than they have been since I was on them so much. I have lost 18 pounds of water, though, in the 9 days I've been home! Ahhh, the saga of the feet!


We had a wonderful visit on Saturday with Joe's family. His mom was sick, but his sister's family and his grandparents were able to come and celebrate his birthday and see the Ellie. His nieces, Madison, Alaina, and Sydney, did a fantastic job taking care of Ellie for the afternoon! I got to kick back and relax. :-)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My Father's Hands


Over a Week!

Ellie loves her swing - really.


Wow! I can't believe Eliana is a week and 3 days old already. The time has flown by. She is doing just great. She eats well and continues to only get up once during a 7 or 8 hour night. It feels wonderful to get some good sleep. She lost her umbilical cord yesterday, so soon we'll start regular baths. We'll see how she likes that! After the first sponge bath that Joe and I stumbled through, she has come to like them, so we'll see. Ellie's first doctor's appointment is Monday, and I'm anxious to see what kind of weight she has gained back. She had dropped from 9 lbs 4 oz at birth to 8 lbs. 7 oz at discharge.


I am feeling better daily. With the joy of Ellie, it's hard to remember that I did have surgery. I'm forcing myself to not do housework, and just relax as much as possible. My legs and feet are slowing getting smaller. Since I've come home, I have lost 16 pounds of water! That's great because when I arrived home from the hospital, I had actually GAINED weight by giving birth! How depressing is that?

Be sure to click on the slide show to the right. I keep adding photos!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How do you spell relief?

S-L-E-E-P-I-N-G-B-A-B-Y

What a glorious night we had! We corrected some gas issues from the day. Ellie then slept 4 straight hours, got up and fed, and slept for another 4! I got her up to eat and say good by to her daddy on his birthday and his first day back at work.

Joe's parents are coming down this evening for his birthday. We are really looking forward to the visit!

Ellie is napping - think I will too!

Monday, September 29, 2008

First Outing

Ellie had her first outing this morning: to the ER for me! Don't worry, I'm fine. Over the past 24 hours I started having SEVERE swelling in both legs. I mean SEVERE. I've never seen anything like it. It's from the tips of my pudgy toes to about 5 inches above my knees. At first, I wasn't too concerned, but in the course of about 2 hours (2-4 a.m. this morning) It went from below the knees to the 5 inches above. At that point, I called my OB's emergency answering service. After my description she promptly told me to to go the ER. They were concerned about a possible development of preeclampsia. I had never heard of it happening, but some women develop it after giving birth.

So, we packed up Ellie, who had been up all night, and my mom took us over. They tested for protein in my urine and it came back negative - a sign that show that this wasn't pre-e. Also, since I have the swelling in both legs, they weren't too concerned about blood clots. My OB arrived at the hospital at 7 and after performing a c-section, the ER doc contacted him. My doc felt that it is most likely delayed swelling from the much larger than normal amount of IV fluids I received while at the hospital. I have been told to walk as much as I can tolerate at this point, and when not walking or nursing, elevate my feet above my heart. He doesn't want to give my any diuretics since I am nursing, so we're giving it two weeks and watching it closely.

All in all, that's good news to me. It was one of those things that I felt funny going in because I felt fine otherwise, but it was weighing heavily on me and was definitely not normal.

Ellie was fantastic on the trip, by the way. She ate just before we left the house, and since she had been up so long, never made a peep in her car seat.

So, the big question is Do you want to see a picture of my grotesque legs? I guess we'll take a poll. :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We're Home!


Ahhhhhhhhhh...........

What a feeling. We came home yesterday afternoon about 1:00 and are loving every second of being a family.

It is amazing the things that cause emotion to well up inside. As we were preparing to leave the hospital yesterday, we did the final bracelet check (They compare parent bracelets to baby bracelets any time we are separated and then again before leaving the hospital). Anyway, we did the final check and the nurse left the room. Then I cut off all Eliana's bracelets. There was something about removing all traces of the hospital's responsibility for her (and the acknowledgment of our responsibility) that overwhelmed me. Gratefully, only Ellie and I were in the room and I could get myself back together before the wheelchair was brought up to me. :-)

We had a really wonderful evening together. We ate our first meal as a family (A rather comical picture - We're still figuring out our timing issues). We gave Eliana our first sponge bath. (She's had several, but we are definitely newbies. The poor little girl. Our skills must seem very different from the nurses' at the hospital.) And we also weathered the first night on our own. (Let's just say that there is nothing better than the look of gratitude in my little girl's eyes when I finally figure out something that has been plaguing her all night. Let's just hope there's a learning curve, and I see that look of gratitude before 4 a.m. in the future. :-)

We are looking forward to showing Ellie off to all of you. Obviously, we are not at church right now, but we'd love to have some visits.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Getting Acquainted

Eliana is two days old already, and I can't imagine being without her. How is that possible?

I don't have much time to post at the moment, but I wanted to let you all know that we decided to go ahead and stay one more night at the hospital. All is well, but if someone else will take care of me for one more day, why not? :-) Thanks for all the well wishes and love! We won't be at church on Sunday, but feel free to give a call and stop over for a visit at the house! Joe and I want to show Ellie off to the entire world!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Heeeeeeeeeereeeeeeeeee's Ellie!


Hi everyone! Sorry about the break in updates. That's that way the baby bounces. I ended up with two doses of Cervidil, neither of which had any effect. Then I got Pitocin at midnight Tuesday and labored without an epi until 7:30 a.m. Other contractions two minutes apart the entire night, the Pitocin had no effect on getting Eliana closer to being born. At 7:30 a.m. the doctor highly suggested a c-section. He said we could keep going with the Pit (although the dosage couldn't have been raised any more.), but it wasn't what he recommended. I was very tired by that point - 2 nights with no sleep, so we decided on the c-section. It was the right thing to do. It ended up that there was no way that I could have delivered her naturally. Her size and position just wouldn't have worked.


The section was fantastic. I had no pain with the prep and spinal - none at all! It took the doctors only 8 minutes to deliver her - so quick! Joe was fantastic through the whole thing. He supported me and then stood up to watch her coming out - without passing out! His play-by-play was perfect! I loved watching his eyes above his surgical mask. They said everything.


They finished up with me and Joe went with Eliana to the nursery. I went to recovery for just about an hour and by the time I was in my room they were bringing Ellie from her bath and tests. She scored a 9 on the Apgar test at birth and a PERFECT 10 at 5 minutes after birth. The nurse told me that she rarely gives out perfect scores! (That's my girl!) She is nursing like a pro and the pediatrician says she is doing great. I feel great as well. I'm doing so well, that my doctor said I can go home tomorrow instead of Saturday. I think we'll stay until after lunch and then head home.


Thanks for all your payers. Here are the vital statistics:


Name: Eliana (Hebrew for "My God has Answered") Helene Weaver (We call her "Ellie" for short.)

Weight: 9 pounds 4.7 ounces

Length: 20 inches


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Birthday? Updates

6:52 p.m. The doctor stopped by. The plan is to remove the Cervidil at 10 p.m. and begin the Pitocin at midnight. That means we'll labor throughout the night to hopefully see our little girl sometime in the morning. I am having more consistent and stronger contractions, so hopefully when they check me at midnight some progress will have been made! :-)

12:45 p.m. Well, I've finally been released from my flat-on-the-back prison that Cervidil requires. What a feeling! That is a LONG two hours.

We may have a baby today, but there is a large likelihood that tomorrow will be her birthday. They can't start the pitocin until my cervix has thinned, and it's just being very stubborn. This dose of Cervidil will last until 10:00 tonight. That's when the doctor is hoping to start the Pitocin. Then we have to make it though the dilation process, which has also not begun yet!

One good note, I am starting to have mild contractions! Whoo-hoo! Hopefully, that will help the process along. They did allow me to eat lunch since it will be so long before I deliver. Joe went down to the cafeteria and brought his lunch back up to the room and we ate together. So for now, it's an afternoon of waiting, surfing the Internet, and watching TV (I forgot how much I liked TLC/HGTV/Food Network.).

Thanks to everyone who has commented and sent e-mails. Your messages are helping the time go by!

9:10 a.m. We are at the hospital. We arrived at about 9:00 p.m. last night and received the Cervidil. Joe was able to sleep pretty well from about midnight to 7:30 a.m. I was not. :-) There are just too many monitors and things to think about. I listened to about 5 podcasts throughout the night while trying to doze. The doctor was just in to check me and there has been very little progress. He was hoping to be able to start Pitocin and contractions when he was here, but I'm not ready yet. I'll be getting another dose of Cervidil in about an hour. Last night the doc was expecting a late afternoon delivery, but who knows? We are behind schedule, so we'll see.

I have no idea how long I'll feel like posting updates. Don't be surprised when I stop. That's just your signal to really START PRAYING!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Today We Start

What a strange day. I just couldn't sleep, so I got up about 3:00 a.m. and dusted and contact papered the bathroom cabinet. This waiting around is driving me crazy!

Here's the plan: We'll go see my doctor at 3:30 this afternoon. If I have effaced any further since Thursday, we'll head over to the hospital. I'll be given Cervidil during the night. Then starting tomorrow morning, I'll get Pitocin to bring on the contractions. I hear that after cocontractions comes the baby. :-) If I have thinned out, then we'll return home and go to the hospital in the morning for the Pit.

So for the rest of the day, my plans are to sweep, do final grocery shopping, clean out the van, and twiddle my thumbs.

Pray for us!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Trip to the Hospital

We had our 40+ week doctor's appointment yesterday, and while there, we had a non-stress test. My doctor does this for everyone who is overdue. Basically, they just monitor baby's heart rate, movement and contractions for about 45 minutes. The doctor was a bit concerned because she wasn't moving as much as they would like. I really wasn't worried because in the morning she had performed a kick-boxing routine NONSTOP for 3 hours until I was ready to vomit. When she is really active like that, it is common for her to take a long nap.

Anyway, the doctor sent me over to labor and delivery at the hospital for another non-stress test and then a biophysical ultrasound. She started to wake up during the second NST, and the US was just plain fun. She is doing great! She scored an 8 out of 8 on it! (I never doubted that she was anything less than perfect!) They measure things like fluid level, movement, and practice breaths. After quite a while, the technician was able to confirm that she is still a girl! That was a bit of a relief since there is so much pink going on in our house these days!

So, they called my doctor with my results and he sent us home. We are still on for an induction starting Monday evening. All-in-all, I'm actually grateful for the trip to hospital. I was truly never really worried about her, and I was able to get a feel for the labor and delivery department. We were in one of the labor rooms, so it was nice just to become familiar with the surroundings. It was also great to see the baby again since our last ultrasound was at 18 weeks, the pregnancy has been so uneventful. Because she has moved SO low, we couldn't see her face, but her bottom is pretty cute! Those practice breaths she is taking are pretty amazing to see as well.

It's about 1:40 a.m., and I can't sleep at all. I didn't get the fridge cleaned out yesterday, so maybe I'll do that now.

Bye all!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Negative

I hate to say that I'm being negative today, but take a look at the pregnancy counter: -1 day till my due date! You know what that means, I'm officially overdue. I go see the doctor today, so that should be fun. I'll have the nonstress test and make sure everything is still a go for Monday evening's induction. Really, the induction begins Tuesday morning with the Pitocin, but we'll be in the hospital overnight.

Nesting job for today: clean out the refrigerator.

Pray for Joe - He had a lot of sinus drainage all night and doesn't feel too hot today. He said that his throat isn't sore like it was yesterday, he's just tired from not sleeping well. I told him to take it easy at work. He just laughed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Momentous Day

Sorry, no baby. But,wow! Look at that pregnancy counter: "100 % of Pregnancy Completed"; "0 Weeks and 0 Days Left." Then why am I still here?!?!?!? I wonder what the counter will say tomorrow. :-) Will it not compute and make the Internet crash like we were afraid would happen in 2000?

Well, I have to tell you my good news from yesterday. I got a new job at TRECA Digital Academy, the online school I have been subbing for. I will be the district's AYP Reading Coach. Basically, I will be working with teachers to provide them resources that will help the district meet the State's Adequate Yearly Progress requirement. I will be working from home two days a week the last part of October and then 4 days a week for the rest of the school year. I am so excited about this new direction for my career! God has been so good to me and Joe during the past year. It would take me too long to really describe here all that He has done for us, but, please, give me a call and let's talk in person! I want to tell you all the details! :-) He's so good!

Now, let's have a baby!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wind Storms

I'm sitting at our local public library using their wireless Internet. Ours is still out from last night's wind storm. We lost power for quite a while. It came back on some time during the night--not sure when. My mom's is still out in Uhrichsville.

We were really very lucky. We had no damage to our house at all. New Phila actually looks like a tornado came through. There are branches and trees down everywhere. Quite a few huge trees came up from the roots. There's a lot of damage to homes. Hope everyone else fared as well as we did!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Last Saturday?

It was a strange thought to think that this might be our last Saturday without a child to take care of! So, what did we do? First and foremost, we slept in! I think we lazed about until about 9:30 a.m. Those days are almost over. Then we went to Sugarcreek to have the breakfast buffet at Dutch Valley. YUM! After that, I was so tired from the effort that I took a nap until 3:00 p.m. Nights have been wearing on me. I'm up every hour, so it was nice to grab a few extra hours during the day today. After the nap, Joe and I scrubbed the carpets one last time before the baby arrives. Then we watched The Happiest Baby on the Block. I don't know if the 5 techniques will work as well as they appear to, but I'm willing to give them a try! Joe took notes while I practiced the swaddling. Check out the fruits of my labor:


Thursday, September 11, 2008

No Progression

UGH! Those were not the words that I wanted to hear. Apparently, we have stalled out, so say Doc D. If nothing has happened before then, I will be induced on Monday, September 22. We would go in at 4:oo p.m. for preliminaries and Cervidil, spend the night, and then have Pitocin started the next morning. Let's just say, this is not how I want things to go! :-) So, as Ma Weaver says, "Start the jumping jacks!"

On the brighter side of the things, my friend Mandi brought over her bassinet for us to use. It's so beautiful. How could our little girl not sleep through the night in a bed that beautiful?! ;-)

Too Funny!

Okay, here are two quotes from yesterday. They are completely unrelated, but both hilarious.

Joe apparently was talking to a co-worker about the possibility of me being "artificially inseminated" instead of "induced." We'll blame that on the brain surgery!

While cooking yesterday, I dropped a pan of hot grease on the carpet in the kitchen (Don't ask me why the owner put carpet in the kitchen!). Anyway, I was apparently at the end of my hormonal wits and actually said,"That's it! I'm done dealing with life until after the baby comes." After I calmed down (and cleaned the carpet), Joe laughed at me and asked, "What exactly did that mean anyway?" I replied, "I have no idea, but we are both going to find out!"

Well, we're off to the doctor's again today. I'll let you all know what he says.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Final Countdown

Well, we are down to one week from our estimated due date. It's a good thing too. Although people keep telling me I don't look big enough to be ready, my stretch marks tell a different story. Two hurt so much this morning that I put a Band-Aid on them to relieve the pain! Joe laughed at me. He's not allowed to laugh at his pregnant wife, is he?

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic these days. Imagine that. Today I thought I would focus on what I have loved about being pregnant. Here goes...
  • That little pink line. I've seen a lot of tests without them. So that's what it is supposed to look like.
  • Being able to say those words to Joe: "I think I might be pregnant."
  • Looking forward to seeing an OBGYN. I never thought that was a possibility.
  • Feeling her move. I'm not sure this one can be topped. I live for every little bump and roll. Is it possible to feel closer to someone?
  • Feeling her kick when she hears her daddy's voice when he comes home after work. At first, I thought this was coincidence, but after so many months, it can't be. I just love it!
  • Speaking of Daddy, I love hearing Joe talk about swaddling and shushing and other baby things. The look on his face when I held up the 18 month footie PJ's and said, "Can you believe in a year and a half she'll be running around in these?" was PRICELESS. A mixture of joy and terror!
  • I love how amazing my body is. I was just marveling again at how quickly every part of it seemed to focus on doing only one thing: growing the baby. I should say that I'm really amazed by how God created a woman's body to be able to do this.
  • I love the look in people's eyes, especially other women, when they look at me. Am I just imagining it? I can't even really describe it, but it's like they, too, are somehow experiencing part of the fulfillment of my dream.

Well, I know I could go on and on. This has truly been a miraculous year. I can only imagine what the next one will hold.

Monday, September 8, 2008

14 Hours!

No, this is not the length of my labor (and no, I have not gone into labor). 14 hours is the length of time I slept (not counting potty trips) starting Sunday afternoon after Convention. It was an exhausting but absolutely wonderful weekend. I must say, I was glad not to have missed it. I ended up learning how to run the EasyWorship program that we use to put song lyrics and message notes up on the view screen. So I was able to sit during all the meetings and still was able to contribute in some way. God is good!

I think it will be an early bedtime again tonight, but not quite the 3:00 p.m. I had yesterday!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

38 Week Doctor Appointment

We had our doctor's appointment today. The baby has continued to drop lower. In the doctor's words, "We just have to wait." Isn't that what we've been doing? :-) He said that once we get past our due date, then we'll talk about induction. My BP is great and I'm not having any other problems. She's not really big, so there's no need to rush things. Aparently. So, for now it looks like we'll make it to convention!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

No Progression

Well, after a contraction-filled day, now I'm back to normal. Oh well! I go to see the doctor tomorrow, so we'll find out if there have been any changes going on in there.

Joe and I got our bags packed for the hospital. They are sitting in the living room, ready to go. That's a strange feeling!

I'm heading out this morning for my first Home Instruction of the school year. I hadn't planned on doing any this year with the baby coming so soon, but this is actually a family who goes to our church, and the student will be out of school until January. They don't have a problem with me bringing the baby to the house, and neither do I since I know them so well. So I let the school know that I would cover it, with the exception of the weeks immediately after the birth. They were happy because they didn't have anyone yet who is willing to do Home Instruction. I did all of it last year for them. It will actually be great to have something to focus my attention on these last two weeks other than the baby. I love thinking about her, but the waiting is mentally exhausting!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Interesting Day

Let me just say, LOTS of contractions. They aren't regular at all, but they are stronger than they have been up to this point, and moving around seems to bring them on rather than making them go away as in the past weeks. We'll see if anything comes of them. Maybe, maybe not! Ahh, the waiting game.

Monday, September 1, 2008

3 Miles!

I have just rested and cleaned up from our 3 mile walk. That's right! Three miles! I'm so proud of myself. Joe, Shasta and I just returned. We made it all the way to Tuscora Park and back.

Happy Labor Day! (Will it really be LABOR Day for us?)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Music Practice

So, I'm sitting here running the sound at Convention music practice. How scary is that? Our sound techs aren't here today. Convention begins on Friday. This year feels really strange to me. Usually, we have people staying with us, and I am super-involved in the music. This year - no guests and no music for me. That's just way too close to my due date. Who knows, maybe we'll even have a baby by then! Joe is planning on singing (Whoops, I actually just typed sinning!) with the group, though. I guess I'd better get used to things changing. :-)

The group sounds fantastic this year. Instead of having our three Ohio churches each lead a separate meeting, we've combined our worship teams. They have huge sound. It will be so exciting to hear them. Really, I won't be crying because I'm not a part of it this year. :-)

We are celebrating our church's 25th anniversary this year, so it will be an awesome time. As much as I want to have the baby right now, I don't want to miss this upcoming weekend! You are all welcome to come. Meetings are Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night, and Sunday morning. I can let you know on the times.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Doctor's Report

We went for our weekly visit to the doctor yesterday, and he confirmed my suspicions that the baby had dropped since last week. The last few days, I have been able to breathe much more easily, and my heartburn is MUCH better, so I thought she might have dropped. It's good to know that there has been progress made toward labor; things are happening! The doctor also thought that the baby will be in the 7 pound range. That's just fine with me! We'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Full Term

Well, today is a big day for us. We are considered full term now. With only three weeks until the due date, I am getting very anxious to get things moving. I went to the hospital today to pre-register for the birth. I also had to sign the papers to give my consent for our little girl to be treated. It felt so wonderful (and crazy) to write "mother" on the relationship line. Can it really be? :-) I also filled out the insurance papers to add a dependent. A dependent! Are these things so monumental to all new parents? Probably.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And Now We...

Wait!

We installed the car seat yesterday, so if our little one should decide to show up a bit early, we could bring her home. I must say, that big van of ours finally looks right with someone going to ride in the back! We went to the hospital yesterday and had one of the labor nurses who is a car seat technician help us since we had never installed one before. During our birthing classes, she told us that in Tuscarawas County 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly which means that they won't do what they are supposed to do! That's a scary statistic. Anyway, the hospital (and State Highway Patrol, for that matter) will check car seats f0r free. It's certainly worth it to me! :-)

We had our 36 week check-up yesterday. My doctor said, "This is a smart baby. She's head down." I replied, "Was there ever any doubt?" So we are on track at the moment for a "normal" birth, if there is any such thing. I'm getting pretty excited for the big day. I keep thinking What if I went into labor right now? Usually, its pretty inconvenient. :-) "Get used to it," I hear you all saying.

Until next time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shower #2

We had a wonderful shower in Akron on Sunday. It was great to see so many people I hadn't seen in years! We were given such many beautiful things for the nursery and bedding supplies that we really needed. I have been so overwhelmed by the love and generosity of family and friends during this time.



We are in real countdown now. Joe and I have have been reading Stuart Campbell's Watch Me Grow weekly since week 4 when we found out we were pregnant. It has weekly 3D ultrasound photos and tells what's going on in there. We only have 2 more weeks to read (weeks 38-40 are combined). It's amazing! The book has a little ticker that moves along the bottom of the page each week and I remember how excited we were when we crossed over the binding. Now we're about to fall off the page! It has been such a fun book to bring us together every week.



Here are a couple nursery photos for you!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This Was Yesterday







See if you can figure out what happened! Once you think you know, click below on "Comments" and tell me. I'll let you know if you are right!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Finally - Photos!


Mandi Graziani, Heather, Jennifer Demuth, and Malinda Adams
Heather and Shower Hosts


One of my favorite outfits. It reads, "My Heart Belongs to Daddy!"


Well, we are down to about 5 weeks left of pregnancy! I can hardly believe it. Joe and I were talking a few nights ago about the day we found out we were going to have a baby...

It was a cold December morning. For the second day in a row I felt a wave of nausea for just a second. The first day I thought absolutely nothing about it. The second day I thought, Could I be...? Well, I guess I could. Needless-to-say, I wasn't expecting anything after all this time (all puns intended).

I had to go shopping that day, so I bought my 500th pregnancy test and promptly forgot all about it. That afternoon I was sitting waiting for Joe to arrive home from work in about 10 minutes, and all of a sudden I remembered the test! I jumped up, took it , and then spent 8 LONG minutes staring at the faintest line I had ever seen , trying to convince myself it was there.

When Joe came home, everything seemed in slow motion. We greeted each other (just like every other day). He sat down and took his boots off (just like every other day), and he picked up the dog to give her some love (just like every other day). Then he looked at me and said, "What's wrong?" (I guess I didn't look like I normally did every other day.) Then I said the words I thought I'd never say: "I think I might be pregnant."

To be perfectly honest, I really didn't believe I was. It was just too incredible and that line was sooooo faint. Joe and I then spent the next 4 hours (and 3 more pregnancy tests), trying to decide if we were really going to have a baby.

As I just got a major kick to the lungs, I guess it's true!

Anyway, I wanted to share a few of the photos taken by a very dear friend of mine at our baby shower in Gnadenhutten, OH.
Our shower in Akron is Sunday. I can't wait to see everyone there!