Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June Book Club - The Last Chinese Chef

This past month, the book club that I'm in read The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones.  It was an interesting book about the culture of food and other things in China...very interesting information about the traditions and role of food in the Chinese culture with a small romance intertwined in the story.  Book club is always a fun time to talk with girl friends about the book and other things.  I really look forward to it every month!  We had a record number of people at our book club meeting this month.  One new member and then Trish's sister came.  It was such a fun time!  We met at Black Walnut and got dessert and coffee.  They have gelato there too.  Once I ordered gelato and and a latte together...I don't recommend that.  It just doesn't work. This time I got a mocha latte and a moondoggie cookie...delish!  Oh and Caleb had some Daddy time and did wonderful.

On a completely different note...last week was the first time I left Caleb for any long period of time - I left at 6pm and got back around 9:45pm and I was about 25 minutes away.  Ben gave him his bath, fed him, and then put him to bed.  They both did wonderfully!!  I've told Ben several times lately that I feel like a real person again.  Between the last month or two of pregnancy and the first month or two of Caleb's life, for a while I had not felt like a functioning person of society...not able to do normal things for myself or participate in normal events.  But now I have no restrictions...I can lift things, exercise, go to an event outside the home, and grocery shop.  You really miss these daily things when you can't do them anymore.  Yesterday I realized I was still bending over sideways as if I still had a big belly in the way.  I made my self just bend over normal and it was great!  I am feeling great and getting into new routines and figuring out this mommy thing little by little.  It's a joy!

Book Club at Black Walnut Cafe
(Left to Right) Jenny, Ashley, Abby, me, Tiffany, Trish, Kristin, and Liz

Such fun!  Next month we are reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  But first, I have to finish the last and final book of the Hungar Games Trilogy...I'm loving it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Since Caleb was born, we have had a visitor almost every week.  I have loved it!  Normally, we don't get to see family more than once a month or more so it has been quite the treat.  

Parents - at Caleb's birth

Grammy (my mom)

Aunt Anne (my sister)

Uncle Keith (my brother)
Tia Marisela (my sister-in-law, Keith's wife) 

Aunt Cherish (my sister-in-law)
Uncle Luke (Ben's brother)

Pat Pat (Ben's mom)

Grandad (Ben's dad)

We've also had wonderful friends bring us dinner over the past month and it has helped immensely.  This week will be the first week that I'm going to actually make dinner.  

We've been able to have some dates while our family was in town.  The first time I left Caleb, we went to Oooh La La and got dessert.  It felt so so strange and I was a little nervous the whole time.  Next we went out to dinner at Black Walnut and this time, we had a Sunday morning date to Black Walnut this past Sunday to celebrate Father's Day for Ben.  Who's next?!  We'd love to see you!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy First Father's Day!

Happy First Father's Day to my sweet Ben and to my wonderful Dad!!  Caleb and I are so blessed to have you both in our lives!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy 1 month Caleb!

On Monday, our baby Caleb turned one month.

One month since our lives changed completely.

It feels like so. much. longer.  And I mean that in a good way.  We love him so much and are so thankful for the joy he has brought to our lives.

And I think he's just the cutest thing ever!

These two pictures really characterize month 1 very well.  Sleeping and Crying...all we need is an eating picture :).

 Sweet face

 I love that you can see his sweet tummy in this one.  

 Baby toes

At 1 month, Caleb is...
(taking this idea from Jana's blog!  Thanks girl)

Size: Caleb is almost too long for his newborn clothes but everything else still fits in them well.  The 0-3 month clothes fit ok although they're still a little bit.  I don't know how much he weighs right now but I would guess its around 9 to 10 pounds.  He is looking bigger to me - less teeny tiny newborn, but everyone still comments on how small he is.  "You just forget how small they are!!" is what I hear a lot :).

Likes: It seems his favorite thing right now is to nurse.  He also likes to sleep.  Often I let him fall asleep on his side and then roll him over onto his back once he's asleep.  He just seems to be more content on his side.  He doesn't mind tummy time and even falls asleep sometimes when I put him on a blanket on the floor on his tummy.  He enjoys the swing sometimes.  Also, he loves the Moby Wrap.  He goes from screaming to sleep in about 5 minutes in that thing and it allows me some free hands to do a few things around the house.  

Dislikes: Baths - he screams through them.  We haven't done a full bath yet, just washcloths, but he really hates it for now.  I've also tried the baby massage with lotion and this isn't a favorite either.  I think he gets cold and doesn't like to be without his clothes or a blanket.  And he also dislikes the bouncer - I'm not sure why but he doesn't enjoy time in this.  

Working on: EVERYTHING.  He doesn't have too many skillz yet.  The biggest thing I'm looking for these days is that first smile that's on purpose.  We get lots of accidental smiles, or he sometimes smiles in his sleep right after he's done eating but none yet in response to Ben or I.  I can't wait to see that!  We're working on sleeping well and finding some sort of routine in our day.  I'm definitely noticing patterns in his behavior and I'm trying to follow those as well as set up my own personal routines for this stay-at-home-mom gig.  So far coffee and breakfast in the am and a tv show at lunch are all I've got.  Oh and usually an afternoon nap for me.  

Eating: He nurses about 10 or so times a day right now.  He's a good nurser and for that we are very thankful.  

Sleeping: Caleb takes at least 4-5 naps a day all from 1-2 hrs each.  At night, he "goes to bed" around 8-9pm and then wakes up about every 3 hours to nurse but for the most part, he goes right back to sleep after eating.  He "wakes up" around 6-7am.  He usually has a small awake time after each feeding and then takes a good nap before its time to eat again.  This gives me time to take a nap, to pump, or just to do a few things I need to do...such as take a shower.  

Peace y'all.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Caleb's birth story part 2

When we got to the hospital, they put us in our room and immediately hooked me up to all the weird...but comforting too because I could hear baby Caleb's heartbeat the whole time.  It was just nice to know he was doing ok.  I got all settled in my hospital gown that I ordered on Etsy (at least I felt a little cuter...) and Ben settled in on the couch that turns in to a bed.

 Hooked up and about to try to sleep

 Man that belly was big.

At midnight, they came in and gave me the first dose of the drug that was supposed to induce me slowly (cytotech).  I had read some scary things on the internet about this drug but we decided to trust God first and trust that He was leading our doctor and leading us.  Many things have side effects and we were not doctors so we prayed and went forward.  This drug had the potential to put me right into labor but most likely it would just help me become fully effaced and a bit more dilated.  That night, I didn't sleep for more than probably 15 minutes at a time.  I spent most of the night going back and forth between worrying, playing through different scenarios in my head and then bringing them to God and praying about them.  At one point I had to tell myself to just STOP...all of it...and rest.  It sorta worked.  They woke me up again at 4am to give me the second dose.  I had little contractions all was working little by little.

Around 7am, the doctor came in and broke my water and then left, telling the nurse to give me pitocin at 7:30am.  I just said ok (not happy about the prospect of pitocin because it would make the contractions more painful) and then my awesome husband piped up and asked the nurse if we could just wait a little bit and see if I went into labor on my own, holding off on the pitocin.  She said ok and that we could just wait and see.

And then it began...

I went into full on labor on my own around 7:30am!  No pitocin needed!  (God is GOOD).

The contractions started off mild and at 8am, I was at 4cm, 100% effaced.  My parents, my sister, and Ben's parents were in town already and they came in for 30 second intervals between my contractions just to say good morning and that they were praying for me and would be in the waiting room.  Our doula, Sharon, was on our her way.  Ben helped me labor on the birthing ball and in other positions we had learned about in our birthing class.  He was so supportive and encouraging and helped me in any way I asked.  Nurses were in and out and any embarrassment or modesty I once had was GONE.  We were texting our Doula asking her what to do next as she was on her way.

And then it got real...

At 9:30am, our doula arrived and she began to work with me and help me get into positions that made the contractions much worse...which really means better because they help progress labor faster.  That's what she's good at!  In my head I knew that the more painful the contraction, the more progress I made so really more pain more gain and the quicker this thing would all be over and I'd have my baby Caleb in my arms!  She would ask me, does that make your contractions get more or less painful.  I would hate having to tell her that they were less painful because that meant I needed to change to a position that was more painful.  But again with the pain and gain.  They checked me and I had progressed to 7cm...transition was next.  The hardest yet quickest stage of labor.  I had my eyes closed for most of the labor but I do remember in the fog asking the doula, "This is the quickest stage right?!" and she smiled and said yes...and then there's pushing.

Around 10:30am, our Doula went out and told my parents that I was progressing quickly and that it could be pretty soon...maybe within the hour (and she was right!).

As labor progressed, I can remember in my fog the Doula calling the nurse and telling her my progress...many times.  By about 11am, I started to push (I'm completely making up that time because I have NO CLUE how long I actually pushed).  Things were progressing very quickly and at one point in the fog, I remember hearing the nurses panic and call the doctor over and over again to come quick!  My doctor finally came, the room got really bright, and there were a lot of people in the room.  But as I said before, all modesty was gone...I just wanted my baby boy OUT and IN my arms.

I'll spare the gory details (just ask if you'd like them...I'm not shy) but finally I pushed baby out and they put him directly into my arms.  It was one of the most amazing moments of my life to hold Caleb for the first time.  And as many people had told me, as soon as he was born, the pain was completely gone.  Amazing how God does that.  I held Caleb and sobbed while they fixed me up and Ben cut the cord (he watched it all - brave man).  At some point they took him to the other side of the room to clean him up, weigh him, etc and I got to watch while Ben took pics and sent them to family.

Our family stayed through Sunday (he was born on Friday).  It was so so nice to have them here.  They brought us most of our meals (hospital food was just ok) and just sat with us while we took care of baby Caleb and passed the time.  We came home Sunday afternoon and Ben stayed home with me the first week and then went back to work.  He's now a month old and we are figuring out so many things and God is growing our character by the minute.  We are so thankful and blessed beyond belief!

Our support crew minus my sister Anne

The Coopers, now 3, headed home