Thursday
Mar122015

Two months old!

Adler's been outside of the womb for 2 months now! He's growing so fast - 13 lbs. 11 oz., in the 92nd percentile for his weight (and head circumference!). He's 23 inches long, which puts him in the 66th percentile in height. 

It's amazing how much I find myself singing to Adler. Sometime I just make up a melody to random words; other times, I'll sing an already well known song, but customize it to Adler's liking. Most songs end up having the words "Adler" and "cute" in them. :) Here's some of my favorites:

1. "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. Afterwards, we list all the things that make him happy.

2. "I Feel Good" by James Brown. Adler loves to dance to this song.

3. "Everything is Awesome" ... yes, The Lego Movie song. Except in our house, it goes like this: "Adler is so awesome, Adler is a part of our family, Adler is so awesome...he's the cutest baby."

4. "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles. My dad and I danced to this song growing up, so I like to do the same with Adler.

5. "Do you know the Adler man?" to the tune of "Do you know the muffin man?" I come up with new verses every time, like - "Is he the cute baby, cute baby, cute baby?" and "Does he have chubby cheeks, chubby cheeks, chubby cheeks?" Anyway...you get the idea.

Thursday
Feb122015

My first month...

My broccoli friend is still bigger than meI'm one month old today! Mom took me to the doctor, and they told her:

I'm 21.5 inches long (48th percentile), 11 lbs. 1 oz. (81st percentile), and have a head circumference of 39.4 cm. (76th percentile). I'm a pretty serious baby, so mom and dad will have to wait a couple more weeks until I start smiling regularly.

Mom and dad have figured out that I like: eating, staring at lights, chewing on my hands, sucking on my pacifier, snuggling, and laying on my tummy. I do NOT like being hungry or peeing on myself. Other than that, I'm a pretty content baby. 

Mom has lots of friends who are going to have babies this year (and hopefully be my friends!), so she's keeping a list of all the things that have been useful in taking care of me this first month:

- HALO Sleepsack Swaddle: Even though I like my hands near my mouth, my arms are crazy and constantly wake me up, so I need something to help keep them tucked in. Sometimes mom leaves them out and just wraps the swaddle around my tummy, which feels good if it hurts.

- aden + anais Burpy Bibs: I don't spit up much, but I like to have my chin wiped after eating. These are really soft and fit well around my neck or on daddy's shoulder, too.

- Zutano Booties: Mommy splurged and bought these for me. I think she's glad she did. I can't kick these off like regular socks (and mom refuses to put shoes on me since I can't even walk yet!). These keep my feet warm.

- Graco Little Lounger: This is where I sleep at night, and sometimes even during the day.

- Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops / Gripe Water: These help my tummy feel better.

- Brica Bath Kneeler: The sink at our house isn't big enough for me to fit in, so mom needs something to make bath time more comfortable for her.

- Hangers with Clips: Before I was born, mom wanted to keep my room really organized and make sure my outfits coordinated. This helped her keep my pants and shirts together so I didn't end up with any crazy combinations.

- Car Seat Cover: This one really protects me from the cold, wind, and rain. Plus it makes everything dark so I'm able to sleep easily on car rides.

- Arm and Hammer Diaper Bags: Mom and Dad saved money by just using a regular garbage can in my room. These keep my room smelling clean even with dirty diapers in the trash!

- Books: Even though I can't see the pictures well and don't really understand what mommy is saying, I still like snuggling and hearing her voice.

- Lamps: I love looking at lights! But if it's too bright, it hurts my eyes. Lamps are so much better than the lights on the ceiling.

- Pampers Swaddlers: These diapers keep me dryer (therefore happier) for longer than any of the other brands mom tried.

- Emery boards: Mom is still too nervous to clip my nails, so she files them down when I'm sleeping with these. 

 

Monday
Feb092015

Adler's Birth Story

Me at 39 weeks / my last pregnant photo

Adler joined our family well before he was born. When we found out we were pregnant with him, both Eric and I were excited AND nervous. But over 9 months time, our love for him grew even though we had never met him before. It's amazing to look at him now and reflect on the fact that he's the one we were praying for and talking to during that time. 

The Saturday before Adler was born (January 10th), I slept most of the day - therefore making me skeptical of the "burst of energy" you supposedly get before having a baby :). My friend Julie and I made plans to meet for dinner with our husbands, labeling it as "possibly the last time we'd hang out without the baby." But in no way did I believe that would actually be true! The whole pregnancy, I had braced myself to go at least a week past our due date, as most first-time moms do. I did not want January 15th to be a day of disappointment, so my philosophy was simply to tell myself that sometime in the month of January, we would have a baby. 

On Sunday morning (January 11th), I woke up around 5:45am to go to the bathroom. When I went back to bed, something felt "different"...with the way he was positioned or his movements. The last few weeks of pregnancy, when I couldn't sleep, I would lay in bed and just focus on what it felt like to have Adler move around inside of me. I wanted to cherish those moments, because I knew I'd miss that part of pregnancy.

But this time, I felt like something inside of me said, "Don't fall back asleep." Not knowing why, but trusting my instinct, I laid in bed...and sure enough, not even 5 minutes later, my water broke. In my case, it was OBVIOUS that this is what had happened, so I shouted to Eric from the bathroom, "Babe, something is happening!" We spent the next hour at home, packing, showering...thankful it was the weekend and I didn't have to call Eric in a panic from work. We left the house around 7am - which meant the ONLY option for us eating breakfast on the way to the hospital was Hardees. Not exactly the best way to start a day full of hard work, but I convinced myself it was better than nothing!

When we arrived at the hospital, I knew we were in for a LONG day. I was only 1 cm dialated, and showing no signs that my labor was going to start on its own. We got settled in our room and started walking laps around our floor - with a small hope that maybe we could help the process start naturally. Eric googled pressure points to start labor, and we tried that too...which (may have - not sure if they get the credit or not!) produced mild contractions, but nothing really significant. 

Around 10am, the doctor on call visited us and recommended we start pitocin to induce labor. Initially, we were caught off guard at how early we'd have to make this decision, so we took some time to process it. But since NOTHING was progressing, we decided it was the right thing to do. 

My contractions started quickly, anywhere from 2-4 minutes apart. But they were manageable, and Eric and I played Uno, watched TV, and texted friends for the first couple hours. As they grew in intensity, we started experimenting with different coping techniques. Overall, I found it most helpful for Eric to count through them. He also put Aveda's tangerine oil on his hands, which smelled wonderful and provided a distraction from the pain (during my third trimester, I loved the way Eric smelled after he ate oranges, so this helped recreate that!). I also had Eric take the clock off the wall in the room - I didn't want to know how long I had been laboring, for fear of being discouraged.

At 7pm, they did a cervical check - and I was only 2 cm dialated! I was so disappointed and frustrated, as my contractions had grown to be pretty intense and every 2 minutes apart (and had grown even stronger after the cervical check). At that point, even though I wanted a natural birth, I decided to get an epidural. It was less about the pain, and more about being so tired (and still having a long way to go).

Looking back, I can see that I definitely made the right decision. After getting the epidural, my body went from 2 to 8 cm. in 4 hours. For me personally, my epidural did not make all of the pain "magically" go away. I could still feel when I was having contractions, but the pain was much less intense. Eric and I were both able to sleep some after finding out I was at 8 cm., at the suggestion of our fourth nurse (who happened to be our favorite, and present for Adler's entrance!). 

At that point, it was just a matter of waiting until Adler had decended enough to start pushing. When it was time, the room was suddenly filled with people. It was explained to us that since Adler was anticipated to be a "big" baby, there would be a few extra people "just in case." This was by far the WORST part of labor and delivery. Up until this point, I felt emotionally under control and really positive about my body's ability to give birth; but every time a person was introduced to me with the purpose of being there "for this reason," I started to get scared.

Back at our 36 week appointment, I had asked to not be told what his anticipated weight was. When the doctor saw that he was measuring well beyond 36 weeks, she felt like she had to tell me. I was glad my boy was healthy, but talking about all the possible complications in regards to having a big baby gave me anxiety. I didn't want to be reminded of it right before I started pushing. 

This anxiety caused me to be a little on edge when pushing. I craved the laboring experience, where it was just Eric and I working through contractions; because suddenly, 5 other people were telling me what to do, and it was incredibly overwhelming and overstimulating.

Nonetheless, after about an hour of pushing, Adler entered the world at 7:21am on January 12th - about 24 hours after we had arrived at the hospital (and 3 days before his due date!). Words can't describe what that moment felt like. He was, in fact, a "big" baby, at 9 lbs. 5 oz. and 21 inches long!

Meeting Adler James for the first time

Monday
Jan132014

We all love to hate

I never thought I'd be writing this post. At least not from this perspective...as a person who actually feels sympathy toward Alex Rodriguez.

That's because this summer, when it was announced that his name was tied to the Biogenesis investigation, I uttered the word every other baseball fan was saying:

"Finally."

We knew it was only a matter of time until his name was connected to steroids, and now Major League Baseball had what it needed to make their case against him. His past season's antics had turned his former fans into critics; which is why, when MLB announced they were suspending A-Rod for 211 games, few ran to his defense.

I mean, we're talking about STEROIDS in BASEBALL, after all. The thing that has tainted the reputation of America's pastime in this era, the thing that makes Hall of Fame voting so frustrating, the thing that steals the magic away from the summer of 1998...

I used to feel nostalgic when I looked at this picture. Now, I just feel cheated.

So I did not arrive at this opinion flippantly.

I suppose now would be a good time to fill non-baseball fans in on the current suspension policy for MLB. The first time a player is caught using steroids, they're suspended 50 games. That's 161 games less than the sentence A-Rod was handed for a first time violation.

So naturally, Rodriguez appealed. And this weekend, it was announced that his suspension would be redcued from 211 games to...

162 games.

Which is still 112 more than all other players caught using steroids for the first time.

Of course, MLB has an explanation for why they feel justified in handing down a possible career-ending suspension. I want to be on their side, because I hate that players cheat with PEDs...

...and because I love to watch someone suffer. Especially when I can enjoy it behind the pretense of a noble cause. From this vantage point, my enemies can have faces, and my hatred can be heroic.

But there is a difference between wanting to see justice served, and wishing for the demise of your enemies. Baseball doesn't want to just punish A-Rod...it wants to end his career. His suspension doesn't simply say, "Don't use steroids." If that was the message MLB was trying to send, 50 games would have been enough.

Instead, their message seems to be about power, and the reminder of who ultimately has it (and who doesn't). In Bud Selig's quest for one final heroic act, he has made A-Rod his archnemesis. While this battle may have been a small victory against steroids, it's a loss when it comes to the integrity of the game, where both PEDs and power-hungry officials have the ability to destroy baseball.

Friday
Aug022013

Tucker House

This weekend, Eric and I are headed to the Tucker House for our first anniversary. It seems crazy to pay for an overnight stay 5 minutes away from our house; but since we were married there, it's a special way to celebrate one year of wedded bliss.

Anytime I tell people about the Tucker House, they usually respond in one of two ways. Either they're unaware that a place like this exists on the east end, or they've passed it before and are motivated to book a romantic getaway there (which I'd highly encourage!). And if the decor isn't enough to convince you, Devona could compete against any local chef at your favorite restaurant. Her food is SO GOOD.

Here are some pictures that highlight some of the best features of the house (as documented by Scotty Perry on our wedding day):