Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week 2 Phone Photo Dump

Here is the second half of highlights from my phone....
First bath!

Probably one of my favorite pictures of Elyse. Those eyes kill me.
Ashley bought her a couple of newborn sized outfits because basically I had none. They still swallowed her whole.
 And then later that day we took a nap together.
The headband that Evan picked out for her sister
 In non-Elyse news...Luke had his last tee ball game on Saturday and did great! I'm so proud of how he played this season.

Sunday we went to church together for the first time as a family of 4. I promise the big ones were happy to be there, despite what their faces say!

The very very few newborn sized outfits that I had from Evan are little summer dressed. How do you fix that for a tiny fall baby? Layers! Long sleeves and leggings under the summer dress works just fine.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 1 Phone Photo Dump

So, I really thought I'd be able to get back to a regular writing schedule while I was back at home these few weeks.
My now 3 children self would like to go back and hug naïve 2 children self.
Pulling out the computer is about the last thing on my mind these days. Elyse is still waking every hour and a half to two hours at night, which means whatever quiet time I have during the day (read: naptime) means that I'm sleeping too. She also nurses just as frequently during the day, and I do try to squeeze in some snuggle time each day. This is all on top of Luke's school, daily house work, and keeping up with Evan. If you've met my oldest daughter, you know what a task that is in itself.

So all that to say, I've got about a thousand pictures (mostly) on my phone, on my camera, and on my dad's camera. This means that for your viewing pleasure, the next few days are just mostly going to be a catch up photo dump.

I may not have anything written in her baby book. I may not have taken the newborn picture of Elyse in my arms like I have for the other two. But I do have pa-lenty of pictures.

This one though. We had taken Luke to school, and I was in the kitchen eating breakfast when Evan came in wearing his hat and bow tie saying "I a handsome boy!" I don't know how she got those down, and I don't know where she picked up that boys are handsome, but she sure made me laugh.
I don't think I ever took a picture and posted about the moby wrap I made! This was the very very first thing I ever made for her, and I L.O.V.E. it. A friend made me a video tutorial on how to wrap myself, and it was exactly what I needed. I've since worn Elyse to the pumpkin patch, Target, Trunk or Treat, and a tee ball game. VERY handy!

This boy has taken to his sister so much more than I ever dreamed. He asks every night if he can hold her, and is very interested in the whole nursing process. He was totally ambivalent to Evan and when she nursed, mostly because he was three at the time, but this time around he is so different. While I'm nursing Elyse, he's asked if the different sides have different flavors, if one side is food and the other side milk, if it's the kind of milk we buy at the store, and when she can have orange juice. When she fusses he asks if it's time for her to have "drinks of milk". Lol. Funny guy, that one!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brand New

My sweet baby girl-

Yesterday you were a week old. A week. 7 days you've been a part of our crazy family. And so far you've done splendidly.

 Your friend Kate who is only a week and a half older than you!

I was given the choice to stay in the hospital till Wednesday with you, or bring you home right after your 24 hour check up. I chose to bring you home Tuesday. I was ready for our little life to begin together. You, little girl, are so loved in this family. Your brother and sister can't get enough of you. I don't know how many times I say a day "Get out of the baby's face!" and "Please don't touch Elyse!" because they are so in awe of you. When you fuss, Luke comes over and speaks soothing words to tell you that Momma is coming and that it's okay. Evan pats you adoringly and kisses you where ever she can get close enough to.

Tuesday morning before we came home

You have not only had magical effects on your siblings, but on your daddy as well. For a guy who has not ever been very affectionate, he is so wrapped around your finger it is not even funny. It does not take much for his papa bear side to come out when you are concerned. For a guy who'd never even so much as looked at a diaper, he's become quite the diaper changer and didn't even flinch when you puked all over me last night and he helped clean it up. Your angry cat cry makes him move faster than I've ever seen- and I've seen him play hockey. The phrase "cutest baby I've ever seen in my life" and "hello beautiful" come out of his mouth frequently. Having you curled up on his chest has made several bad moods disappear. Elyse, don't ever think that your daddy doesn't love you.

As for me? Oh my girl. My littlest heart. I find it amazing that a third time now a little person can have my whole heart. The math doesn't add up, but it's surely there. I try and just sit with you several times a day, studying your tiny face, because I know the painful truth that this doesn't last long. You will continue to grow each day and my perfect newborn will grow into a beautiful little girl. You are such a sweet cuddler! I sure hope you stay that way- neither your brother nor your sister really enjoy a good snuggle, but I still have my hopes for you!

So what are you up to these days? Well, not much. Mostly the cliché eat-sleep-poop. You nurse a consistent every two hours at night, but tend to sleep in longer intervals during the day and are a bit more sporadic with your feedings then too. You stay awake for about 45 minutes in the morning and the same at some point in the evening, but then you are back out. Even when you eat, you are mostly asleep. While you haven't been to church yet (Sunday is the day!) you have been to a tee ball game, the store, out to eat a couple of times, and to a baby shower. And yes, you slept through it all. You don't really like paci's. Ashley finally brought you some Soothie paci's, and IF you take anything at all, it's that for a few seconds. Also- random- you are the most active sleeper. I don't know what kind of dreams you could be having, but its very apparent that they are crazy ones. You wear size newborn in clothes and diapers, but really you need preemie size in both. Everything swallows you, my petite little girl!

The day you came home from the hospital, in the dress your sister and I both wore when we came home.

You've had a couple of baths (although no pictures to prove it. boo.) and you seemed to enjoy them. And by "enjoy" them, I mean "didn't cry or scream through the process". And Sister- what a cry you have. Mostly it sounds like a mad cat. It's loud. It's angry. And it's loud. Did I mention you are loud? But it's okay. I love you more than you will ever know and an angry cat never scared me away.

Little Leesee Ann, please don't grow up too fast. Please lets take this maternity leave slower than it's been so far. I already dread the day I go back to work. I'm thankful that I know you are going to be put in such loving hand while I'm away, but still. I hate that it's not me.

Love you so much baby girl! Until next month....
Your momma

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Saturday night before my last time to be at church pregnant. Wasn't sure how to cover the belly- this WAS a maternity shirt!
I can't believe it's taken almost a whole week to get Elyse's birth story written. I guess that's just life with three littles, right? Sunday night the kids spent the night with Mom and Dad, since we had to be at the hospital at 5 in the morning. Jacob and I watched the Cowboy game, and I went to bed when it was over at 10:30. I'm still surprised at how well I slept. Such a difference from the night before I got induced with Evan. I wasn't nervous or anxious at all.

The alarm went off at 3:45, which actually surprised me. I couldn't believe it was already time. I showered, fixed my hair, did the last little things around the house, and we were out the door at 4:50. We went straight up to L&D where I got settled into my room.

 Last belly picture ever- Elyse, your time has come!

The IV (which I DREAD) wasn't terrible, it was the first time it didn't burn at all after a couple of minutes. The nurse asked me the million of questions you have to answer, and by a little after 6 we were just waiting for the dr to show up to break my water. I didn't want pictocine until after it was broken, I really wanted to see what would happen. The dr came in at 7:45 to break it, and the labor count down had begun. At that point I was still only about a 3 1/2 and eighty percent effaced. We hung out for a couple of hours, and at 10 the nurse checked me again. I was only a 4 at that point, but the contractions were FINALLY becoming more regular. I asked to have the pictocine held off a little bit longer to see what would happen. In that time Mom came up with the kids to visit, Ashley was there, and Jacob's mom and stepdad had made it over from Ft. Worth.

Not much longer after that I finally consented to the Pitocin, and they started me at the lowest level. It didn't' take long for contractions to pick up and LITERALLY in 5 minutes they got painful. I got my epidural at 1, after which I took a nap. When they checked me at 1:50 I was only at a 6. I was SO bummed that in all those hours I'd only progressed 2 cm. I immediately sent out a text to my girlfriends and told them how discouraged I was. I was so sure that it would have moved faster than that. I also sent Jacob to go eat at that point, he was starved but was refusing to leave. I told him it was silly for both of us to be starved and forced him into the waiting room to eat a sandwich.
While he was gone, the nurse came in to move me and I made a comment that I could tell the contractions were fairly close and I could even feel the pressure down in my bottom. She looked at me and said that usually meant I was complete. She checked me, told me to not. do. a. thing. and ran to call the dr. I texted Jacob that he needed to come back asap, and the nurse came in to break down the bed and get the room ready for delivery. The dr finally arrived, and told the nurse to have me push a couple of times while she was in the hall taking care of something. Half way through the first push the nurse told me to stop! and ran out to the hall. The dr came in, put on her gloves and gown, and with a breath and a push my girl came into this world at 2:23. Yep. After 7 hours of labor, a push and a half was all it took to get her here.
No NICU was needed, no cords around necks, no tearing, no puking, no complications whatsoever. My perfect baby girl #2 was 7 lbs and 20 inches. They wanted me to do an hour of skin to skin with her before anything, but after about 10 minutes I couldn't stand that Jacob hadn't held her yet, and I knew our families were dying. I let her continue to nurse and be on my chest for about another 10 minutes before I insisted that he be able to hold her, and a little while after that we texted the family that they could come back.
Highlights of the day from Dad's camera:

apparently Evan was quite the entertainer

 Autie, Nana, and Sister with the newest member of the family

 It was so sweet, the first thing that Luke said was "I want to hold the baby!" (the second was "Why is your tummy still big?) Evan just said "Give me!" Needless to say, it was love at first sight for their sister.

 Even if we aren't together, I'm so thankful for the support this guy showed that day.

Elyse "brought" Luke and Evan presents, and they each picked out something for her. Luke picked out her first baby and Evan picked out a headband.

Mom brought a birthday cake for Elyse and they all sang her happy birthday. Mom got as far as "Happy birthday to you...." before Elyse started screaming. I whispered that no girl likes getting older, but the trick is to be graceful about it. It was all pretty funny.
And that was her very first day of life!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The waiting game

Just so you know, I'm still pregnant. Waiting for a baby to come is so frustrating. I wouldn't say hardest thing ever, I've gone through much worse, but frustrating does come to mind. We all know patience is probably the quality I'm most lacking.

Those stupid hospital bags sit in the corner of my room, taunting me. Just like I knew they would. I take my make up out each morning, then put it right back in. Same with my phone charger- it comes out at night while I charge my phone then right back in when I make the bed in the morning. Although, somehow for almost two weeks I forgot that I'd need an outfit for myself to come home in, so I finally put a change of real clothes in there (as opposed to just pj's). I think it's worse at night. Every time I wake up to go to the bathroom it's the thought of "is this it?!" but nope. I always manage to go back to sleep and wake up again a couple of hours later not in labor and do it all over again.  THANK GOODNESS I know that it's over for real on Monday. Knowing that this could, theoretically, go on for another two to three weeks would just be torture.

At least this past week hasn't just been dragging. That's one benefit to being so busy. Last Friday night at small group all of the kids decided to dress up as various super heroes.

The fact that the Raymond's have this many costumes to begin with should be a testament to the extent of their play room. Don't ask me why Luke looks like he hates life in this picture. I think he thought he looked tough.

Saturday we went to breakfast with the family, froze to death at Luke's tee ball game, then went to a birthday party, all within the hours of 9:30-1:30. Sunday afternoon/evening we took it easy and stayed home. I ended pulling out an old sheet so we could have a picnic while eating dinner that night.

You can't tell how old and hideous this sheet is, but it's been well loved. For a large part of my childhood every Friday night my mom would pull out this exact sheet to lay down on the carpet in the living room, would order pizza, and we'd get to have a "picnic" while watching TGFI. (do you remember those shows?!) This was super special for several reasons- 1.) We were not allowed to eat in the living room EVER 2.) We weren't allowed to watch tv while eating 3.)Pizza was a special occasion food.  So, I probably enjoyed my picnic with MY kids on Sunday night a little more than they did. Sure, it was spaghetti instead of pizza (and now the sheet has some Evan-induced stains), Mary Poppins instead of TGIF, and Sunday instead of Friday, but the family time was still there. And it's something I hope that we can do more of to create the same memories.
This week was a typical week. Monday night we were actually at home, Tuesday night the kids were with their dad, Wednesday night was church, and last night Luke had tee ball practice. It was mainly to focus on batting, so Dad took Luke to help him one-on-one, and Mom, Ashley, Evan and I went shopping and to dinner. A girl's night before we add another girl to the table. Tonight there is no small group (house cleaning night- what what!) and tomorrow Luke is supposed to have a game, but it's also supposed to rain. Sunday is Tamara's shower in between church services and then Monday it's baby day! I'll post pictures ASAP!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Thirty eight weeks

How Far Along:  Thirty eight weeks (um, for whatever reason the numeral eight key isn't working on my laptop). I can't believe this is the end! A week from tomorrow I'll be going in for an induction. So, even though it doesn't feel like this pregnancy will ever end, the hours are limited where I get to take my girl everywhere I go, feel her every move, protect her from the world.
Size of baby: Size of a pumpkin- length is about 19.5 inches and 7 lbs.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Last week at the dr I was up to 137, so I'm guessing I'll be up one more pound tomorrow when I go in for my weekly appointment.

Maternity Clothes: Hopefully it's almost time to get out of them!
Gender: Girl. Still a girl.
Movement: Giant baby is still moving a ton. She feels so long and low that when I sit down it's like her shoulder blades are in my hips, and there are feet in my rib cage. She rolls, jabs, hiccups, and is a real baby in there.
Sleep: Terrible. It's painful to move, to lay, to stand up. I wake up 4-5 times a night and then have a hard time going back to sleep.
What I miss: Feeling skinny. And sleeping.
Cravings: Nothing.
Symptoms: I'm uncomfortable all the time. Skin is stretched, muscles are stretched, ligaments are stretched, my back hurts, my legs hurt. Sleep has gone by the wayside (I've napped both days this weekend) and my hormones have made me emotional and completely out of patience. But in looking at those pictures down below of comparing Elyse at 37 weeks to Evan at 37 weeks, Elyse doesn't look nearly as big as her sister was.
Best Moment this week: The whole family is ready for Elyse to get here! Evan says at least once a day "Baby needs to come out and pway wif us!". And remember how on the last update I posted that when the dr checked me I was nothing on top of nothing in regards to labor progression? Last week when my dr checked me again, I was at a 3 and eighty percent effaced. This means I won't have to go in next Sunday night to get started on the induction, I can wait until Monday morning to go in! Whoo hoo!
Evan at 37 weeks
 Elyse at 37 weeks

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ranger game and food

This past weekend was a busy one. Friday night there wasn't any small group, and Grandy had come into town, so we went over to Mom and Dad's to eat dinner. The kids had some of their chocolate almond milk ice cream after their hamburgers, and I think a certain little girl rather enjoyed her bowl.
And people wonder why I always strip her down before she eats.
Saturday had a really good original plan. Luke's tee ball pictures were at 11 before his 12:00 game, then he was supposed to go home with Mom and Dad to eat and take a nap before they all headed out to the Ranger game that night. It was the whole reason Grandy came to town. Unfortunantly a big rain storm was predicted and the Ranger game got moved from 7 to 11.
Yep. Right when his pictures were. So, Ashley, Dad, and Grandy left early to head to the game, and Mom met me at the pictures to whisk Luke away as soon as they were done. He had to miss his own game, but I think 1 out of 10 ain't bad.
They made it to see the Rangers play the last half of the game, but I'm pretty sure Luke was more excited about the cotton candy than he was about the actual baseball that was going on.
That's being 5 for you.
He was a little bummed that I wasn't going with them, but the thought of trying to entertain an active 2 year old at the stadium did. not. sound appealing. I stayed home with my girl, who (coincidently) tried to eat me out of house and home.
That empty plate was her third meal of the day and it wasn't even 1:00 yet.
I've told you about Sunday's shower, Monday night was another tee ball game for Luke. Since Grandy didn't get to watch Luke's game Saturday morning, we convinced him to stay an extra day and come to his game Monday night.
I think everyone was glad he did.
The rest of this week has just kinda past by. I've finally gotten all but one thing checked off the "Before Elyse is born" to do list.

Remember Evan's door hanging I made while I waited for her to show up? I finally figured out a way to fix it to show that it's not just Evan's room any more. Whoo hoo! (it says "Evan" on the top row, and I changed the bottom row from Elaine to "& Elyse")