Eliza Ruth

It's been a really long time since I've done anything on this blog.  Life kind of just got in the way and I haven't had (or made) time to update my blog.  Lots has been happening - Audrey's growing up right before us, I got pregnant with our second, and more importantly HAD our second baby.  A lot of my friends have been asking to hear the "birth story" and I thought this was a better place than any to document it for them to read.

My due date was September 7th.  This pregnancy was going really smoothly - much better than Audrey's.  I wasn't gaining as much weight, didn't have any blood pressure issues, and she didn't try to come early.  I was pretty miserable and swollen being 9 months pregnant in the summer heat and counting down hours until my due date.  My mom wanted to be here to help, so I had her fly out August 27th thinking that would give us plenty of time to prepare for baby.  Audrey and I picked up my mom Wednesday (the 27th) afternoon and had plans to go shopping the next day.

Thursday morning I went down to my mom's room to hang out with her and Audrey while she got ready for the day.  I told my mom that I kind of felt "funny" or "off" and that I was feeling a bit crampy.  I shrugged it off and thought it was just the typical Braxton Hicks.  We made our way to Target to pick up a few grocery items and other random things.  My crampy feeling started changing to more of a painful feeling, and coming and going at a pretty regular basis - about every 15 minutes.  I once again didn't think too much of it.  I knew they were probably real contractions at this point but I also knew that they weren't close enough to worry about.

We headed to Old Navy after Target to take advantage of their 50% off Labor Day (ha) Sale.  This is when things got a bit crazy.  I had a doctor's appointment at 12:20, so we went to the Old Navy near the office.  As we shopped at Old Navy my contractions got closer and closer, about 7 min apart at this point.  My mom shooed me out to go get the car while she paid, and we quickly made our way to my appointment.  I was having contractions as I drove, and I was starting to worry I wouldn't make it.  I saw my doctor who told me to get over to the hospital for a "labor evaluation."  I started texting Tony about what was going on, but it all still seemed so uncertain I didn't know what to say.  I walked over to the hospital (it's next door) and got hooked up in triage.  The nurse calmly explained to me that they were going to check me, and then check me again in an hour to see if I was progressing.  My contractions were quite painful and I asked for an epidural even though I wasn't admitted, haha!  The nurse checked me, said I was a 5, and asked what my doctor said I was at my appointment (I was a 3).  So in the TWO MINUTES it took me to walk over to the hospital I had progressed 2cm.  The nurse told me to quickly grab my things and we headed to a delivery room.

I frantically text Tony and told him to get to the hospital ASAP.  My mom and Audrey were stuck wandering around the hospital while I got all set up in my room.  I kept begging for an epidural and they kept telling me they couldn't give me one until an IV was placed.  I was set on asking for my drugs early-on to avoid another situation like I had with Audrey where I got to 8cm on my own with no pain meds.  The nurses did not seem to share my sense of urgency to get my epidural hooked up.  After a while some nurses came in and said, "oh has no one been helping you?"  NO THEY HAD NOT.  They tried to hurry and place my IV and called the anesthesiologist.  My contractions were close together and very intense at this point.  They were bringing me to tears every time.  Tony showed up right before the nurses did so it was really nice to have him there helping me through the pain.

Finally the  anesthesiologist shows up, slowly explains to me the risks (dude, hurry up.  I know the risks.  I don't care.  I just want drugs.  ALL. THE. DRUGS.) then I get into position.  I was told to round my back and hold still.  An easy feat when you are having contractions 1 min apart....

This guy took what seemed like an eternity to even numb the spot he was going to place the epidural.  I had nurses yelling at me telling me I had to hold still and that I needed to stop moving.  I was in so much pain that I was knocking off my heart rate monitor, smacking Tony in the arm, and dripping sweat from my forehead.  Tony tells me I passed out for a second during all of this, but I don't remember any of it.  Once my doctor came in and started talking to me, I settled down a bit.  I love my doctor.  I started to feel an urge to push and I swear I could feel the baby coming down.  Finally they told me he was done, and sweet relief was mine.  Once I was in pain-free heaven my doctor checked me and said I was complete and the baby was THERE.  Seriously I was minutes away from giving birth naturally and the nurse told me she was worried the medicine wouldn't kick in in time.  Luckily it did, and I started pushing immediately.  Three pushes and six minutes later, tiny Eliza was born at 2:45pm.

She was 6lbs, 1oz and 18 inches long.  She is such a sweet and cuddly baby. We love her so much and we're so glad she joined our family!


A Girl and Her Bunny: Part 2

If you're new here, or don't recall who Lovey Bunny is, you can read A Girl and Her Bunny (Part 1) to learn more about Audrey's best friend.

At night to fall asleep or when she's feeling anxious, Audrey will rub the ends of Lovey's ears.  She's done this for as long as she's had him.  The other day she brought lovey to me and revealed his new "owwie".  A great, big hole on his right ear -- her favorite spot to rub.

I knew I couldn't just stitch this hole together without creating some weird-looking gaps, so I began researching how to sew a patch on.  I had never done it before and I was quite nervous to do such major surgery on Lovey.  Audrey knows if something's different with him and refuses to use the back-up Lovey we have so I knew I was treading dangerous waters with this whole patch idea.

I began talking to her about putting a patch on Lovey's ear and how it would be a lot like a band-aid.  When I knew for sure she was okay with the idea, we went to the fabric store and she picked out some flannel for me to make a patch with.  I could tell it was making her nervous as she was rubbing Lovey's ear the whole time we were there :).

She made sure to find the perfect color for Lovey's ear.
She told me she wanted Lovey to have a heart patch, so I tried my best.  I spent this evening carefully applying Lovey's new patch as Audrey stayed close and watched.  I was so relieved that when I handed Lovey over she really liked the patch.

Now I'm just waiting until I have to sew a matching one on his other ear.  It's already quite threadbare and I don't think it will be long.


Christmas 2013

It seems like each year with Audrey Christmas gets more fun.  I feel like this year she kind of understood Santa a little better, and was really excited about Christmas.  It was fun to see all the magic through her eyes.  I took a lot of pictures, so this post will pretty much just be a picture post with captions :)

Audrey asked if she could write a love letter to Santa.  Here she is thoughtfully composing it on Christmas Eve.

Audrey was pretty specific about what snacks should be left out for Santa.  She wanted to leave him three cookies (that's usually the amount I let her have of these) and some water.  I asked her why she didn't want to leave out milk and she said that Santa needs to drink water because it's healthy.  So, Santa got cookies and water from us.  She also left some walnuts and an apple for Rudolph.  Only Rudolph.  I'm not sure how the other reindeer felt about that, but Audrey was only concerned about Rudolph this year.

Santa, being the good guy he is, wrote Audrey back.  He left this nice letter by his empty plate of cookies.

Audrey asked Santa for this "Sofia Amulet."  It's not an amulet at all.  It's a music player with microphone that plays songs from Sofia the First.  She was pretty excited to see that Santa had left it for her and still sings with it every day.

Audrey got a pretty full stocking this year, complete with bunny slippers.

She was so careful in opening her stocking, examining every little thing that was in it.

(Not pictured) Audrey for some reason was expecting to get a Sofia dress for Christmas.  When she realized she wasn't getting one we kind of had a problem.  She kept checking every gift (whether it was for her or not) to see if it was the dress she was hoping for.  Have no fear, grandma and grandma Grey saved us!  I knew my mom had sent her a dress up so we called them up quickly and asked if we could open that present early.  It saved Christmas.

I'm so glad Audrey enjoyed Christmas.  It really makes it lots of fun to have a kid around.  I hope everyone else had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Fearing Mr. Claus

This year marks Audrey's third Christmas.  The past two years Santa has been a non-issue.  Audrey couldn't care less about the guy.  Last year when we took her to sit on his lap, she just looked at everyone like, "what on earth is this all about?"  We didn't buy pictures due to the scowl on her face but she didn't cry and wasn't scared of the guy.  This year, however, is a totally different story.  We've had to work pretty hard at making Santa a welcome idea in our home.

I'm not sure how or when it all started, but I think it was seeing a huge yard inflatable of Santa that did Audrey in.  Starting in October she's been simply petrified of Santa.  She wouldn't let me go anywhere near the Christmas section in the store (which I was fine with -- it was OCTOBER).  I didn't understand this fear of Santa and didn't intervene until I realized how bad it really was.

Audrey was at dance class and they began working on a Christmas routine set to "Up on the Housetop."  Audrey heard the word "Santa" and booked it for the door.  Before I could even realize what was going on she had opened the door and sprinted down the hallway, screaming.  She was absolutely terrified and refused to go back in to her classroom.  We had to wait until they were done working on the song before she was willing to participate again.  Her fear got so bad that Audrey would literally tremble with fear at even the mention of Santa's name.  When we told her, "but he brings all of the toys at Christmas!"  She firmly stated that if that was the case, she wanted no toys.  I needed to help her realize he was really nothing to be afraid of.

One evening we sat down and I showed her some YouTube videos of kids visiting Santa.  That helped.  We read a book about Santa.  She started warming up to him.  We talked about him for a very long time.  I told her Santa was a fun Christmas character that we all loved and that she didn't need to be afraid of him.  She was comforted and I was happy that she wasn't scared.

After our talk she would mention Santa now and then and tell us how silly he is or that he's "a nice grandpa guy."  We saw a man at Wal Mart with a white beard and Audrey was sure it was him.  She asked me to walk in the opposite direction, but she was intrigued, I could tell.  Even though she was more okay with Mr. Claus, she asked me if Santa could put our gifts on the porch instead of in our house.  I told her I would ask him nicely to do so ;).

It's been a long road teaching my poor, anxious little Otter Pop that Santa really isn't something to be afraid of, but today I think we can officially say that her phobia is cured.

On Tony's lunch break we went to the mall to see the big guy, and although she was hesitant at first she did it.  She visited with Santa and told him exactly what she wanted:  a Sofia the First amulet.  She got her treat and has not stopped boasting about how brave she was seeing Santa.  She keeps telling us what a nice guy he is, and that he gave her a hug.  She is in full on Christmas mode now, and can even sing all of the lyrics to "Up on the Housetop"  without a hint of fear.


A Royal Halloween

This is a bit late, but I need to be better at blogging about things like Halloween.  I'm a slacker mom and never kept a baby book of Audrey's firsts and life events, so I count this blog.  Hopefully when she asks me to see her baby book, blogger will still be around so I can pull it up to show her that somewhere I documented some parts of her childhood.

Anyway, Halloween.  The past two years Halloween has been more for me to parade Audrey around in a cute costume than it was for her to get candy.  She's been a spider and a duck and this year she actually had an opinion on what she wanted to be for Halloween.  We knew that she wanted to be a princess, but choosing which one was quite the process.  Audrey was not a big fan of the dresses they sell at the store.  She could tell the colors weren't exactly right.  I decided to make her costume.  I have fond memories of homemade costumes my mom made for us and I wanted something challenging to do.  So, off we went to Hobby Lobby.

I presented Audrey with the pattern envelopes for Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel.  She initially picked Cinderella but as we were walking over to choose our fabric she frantically informed me that she had changed her mind -- we needed to get the Rapunzel pattern.  I got the Simplicity Rapunzel dress pattern because I knew that it would be easy enough for me to follow.

I gave myself PLENTY of time to work on this thing.  I started in the beginning of September.  It was a good thing I did because 1) I don't have tons of free time to just throw together entire dresses and 2) because I'm not a seamstress by any means, so I had to re-create the bodice of the dress several times.  By the way, satin sucks to work with.  If you ever make anything with satin, do yourself a favor and splurge on the good stuff.  "Costume satin" ironically is horrible for costume making.

The beginnings of the dress.  I was so proud of those eyelet things.  
After a few weeks I finished the dress.  It turned out quite well for my skill level, and Audrey loved trying it on during the process.  I kept it hidden from her for a long time because I knew she'd want to wear it non-stop.

I found a wig at Target for only ten bucks (it was an actual Disney Rapunzel wig) and Audrey LOVED IT.  I didn't think she'd like it and was worried she wouldn't wear it for Halloween but I was so wrong.  She wanted to wear it every day.

It looked so nice, and then Audrey wore it a couple times and it knotted up into a gross fake-hair ball.  I had to soak it in fabric softener and comb it out for an hour to get it looking even close to what it looked like fresh out of the package.  Lucky for us, Rapunzel sports a lovely braid in the movie Tangled, and so I got away with braiding it up and keeping it nice and tidy.

Audrey was thrilled with the entire ensemble and proudly wore her costume.  We even had Pascal and she carried around a frying pan (for a few seconds) to complete the look.  She was so pretty and the wig looked like her real hair!  Several people asked us as we were trick-or-treating if it was her real hair, haha!


She looks pretty believable, right?

Audrey had a blast trick-or-treating.  Every time she would get some candy she'd come running from the house, shake her pumpkin, and say, "listen to how many treats I got!"  Then start running toward the next house.  She was not shy to go up and say "trick-or-treat!" and thought everyone was inviting her into their homes so she'd just walk right in.  No matter how many times we told her, she just didn't get it.  She would get so upset when we'd make her come back outside.

Tony dressed up as one of his co-workers for Halloween (more as a joke for his work party) and I didn't have a costume.  Feeling a bit left out I decided to see what I had.  Hours before we had to leave for trick-or-treating, I looked through my fabric box and my closet and I came up with something I feel was pretty clever, especially for not spending a dime and having seriously like an hour to whip something up.

No picture of Tony, unfortunately.

Audrey thought it was so funny that I was Cinderelly (what she calls pre-ball Cinderella) and kept commenting on it all night.  I was surprised more people didn't know who I was.  One person asked me if I dressed up like a slave (?!?!) I guess I sorta did?  

I'd say Halloween was a success for Audrey.  She keeps talking about it and doesn't seem to understand that it's over.  Every time she sees Christmas decorations in the store she says, "it's Halloween time!"  I'm so glad she enjoyed it.  Celebrating with her around makes things so much more fun!

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween! 


I'm Already THAT Mom

As you're all aware, Audrey is very much into Disney princesses.  Mostly their songs and dresses.  We have a CD that she got for her birthday that's a collection of songs from all of the various princess movies.  We listen to it at least once a day (mostly so I can cook dinner while she "dances").  I find myself singing along as I do my chores, but my favorite is when the song from Snow White comes on.

I've always thought Snow White's voice was super annoying, and I think it's great fun to sing this song in the highest, nasal-iest voice I can.  Audrey hates when I do it.  Actually, I think she thinks it's half funny, half annoying.  She always says "Mama, you're not Snow White.  No singing."  Oh, I should mention I also sing the prince's part in my manliest voice :).  I do it every time and Audrey gets so bugged.  I think it's funny.

Audrey had dance class on Halloween and they all got to wear their costumes.  It was a class full of princesses.  Audrey was having a blast, and all the moms were hanging out in the studio waiting for the teacher to show up.  One little girl walked in dressed as Snow White.  Audrey turned around, looked me dead in the eye, and said ever-so-seriously, "Mama.  DO NOT sing that song."

I couldn't help but bust up laughing.  I already embarrass Audrey, and she's only two years old.  Awesome.


Gus Gus

We've recently learned about Audrey's "baby brudder*."  She brought him up one day by telling me, "mom, I have one baby brudder."  "Oh?" I said.  "What's his name?"  Without skipping a beat she answered me...

"his name is Gus Gus."

She's quite sure that she doesn't have a baby sister anywhere, and will usually correct you if you ask about a sister.  The one time I got her to slip, she told me her sister's name is Lucifer.

Audrey talks about Gus Gus every day, and I am constantly learning new things about him.  For example, he is two inches big.  He also has blue hair and brown eyes.  He really loves Minnie Mouse, and he sleeps in our cat's bed.  Today I asked Audrey if I could see Gus Gus and she got very upset with me and said, "No Mama!  He's TOO STINKY."  Of course.  How silly of me.

Perhaps one day I'll get to meet my only son, Gus Gus.  He sounds like an interesting little fellow.

*DISCLAIMER:  I am not pregnant.  Not even a little bit.  Audrey is making this stuff up completely on her own.