February 28, 2012

A Baby Changes Everything

"I lead each of My children along a path that is uniquely tailored for him or her."    Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Lots of changes are happening in our house. A couple I can't write about just yet, but I will. Soon. People say a baby changes everything. But it's true. A baby changes everything.

I knew our schedules would change. Todd and I go to bed when Crosbi does. Around 9pm. It's kind of sad, really. Some nights we'll stay up past 10 - oh boy! It's just that our little one wakes between 6 and 6:30am, ready for the day, and I stopped napping when she naps a long time ago. Her nap time is precious, not to be wasted on sleeping!

Our social life has changed. We used to go on dates all the time. When I was pregnant, we would go out for dinner three, sometimes four nights a week. That may not have been the wisest way to spend our money, but it's what we did and we enjoyed it. We haven't been on a date since Crosbi was born. What's crazy is that my biggest fear about having a baby was losing one-on-one time with Todd, but now our time as a family feels just as special as our former date nights. Friends have asked why we haven't gone out, and really, we just haven't felt like we needed to. When Todd gets home, he wants to play with his daughter, and I love watching them together. I'm sure as she gets older, we'll need our alone time. I would like to have bi-weekly, if not weekly date nights in the months and/or years to come.

Our spending has changed. We took a spontaneous trip to Atlanta a couple of weekends ago to do some shopping. I still had Christmas money and was looking forward to updating my wardrobe. But then I get to the mall where H&M and Gap Kids get the best of me. Do I need a new pair of jeans? Nah. Besides, it's so much more fun dressing Crosbi!

My goals and dreams have changed. This has been the biggest change for me, one I'm truly struggling with, although I think we have found a solution and I will write about that very soon. I've been spending lots of time seeking counsel and praying about returning back to work. I never could have imagined it would be so hard for me. I had a vision for my life. I knew who I wanted to be. Funny how God has a way of changing us.

I'll be back soon to share more of the change in our home. Until then I'll be praying, seeking wisdom from close friends and family, and doing my best to let go and let God take me down the path He has uniquely tailored for me. A path I never imagined.

Oh, and I'll also be kissing this sweet face! I love my girl!

It's past 10 o'clock. I better get to bed!

February 24, 2012

The Nursery

The nursery is just about done! There is one last thing to hang on the wall and we're calling it complete. I was going to wait until it's 100% finished, but realized that may never happen. I know, it's not like Crosbi is playing in there, keeping it messy. But it isn't camera ready most days. We store her car seat in there when we're not using it and I throw her clean clothes in her crib until I get around to folding them. Getting this post out is really now or never!

I knew from day one that I wanted the room to be neutral, yet filled with lots of bright pops of color. The majority of our home is filled with earth tones. Lots of greens, tans, blues, etc. When I found out we were having a girl, my first instinct was to do grays and muted colors, but I realized this was the one room where we could have fun with pinks and I wanted to give it a shot. 

My color palette inspiration:


I loved the bright yellows, pinks and oranges. Very citrusy!

Once I had the colors in mind, I got busy. I chose the fabric first and then picked accessories that were fun, but would grow with Crosbi. I didn't want to be redecorating when she turns two. It was also important that her room didn't look like it came out of a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. Don't get me wrong, I love PB Kids! I just didn't want it to look too "put together." I bought most of the accessories on Etsy or tried to replicate items I found on Pinterest.

What did moms do before Pinterest, right?

It's all in the details!

Not pictured is a dry-erase quote board I made for Crosbi using the same polka-dot fabric as the pillow in her crib. It may get it's own post soon. It will go on the wall (also not pictured) across from her dresser / beside her glider. We have yet to hang it. Hopefully that will happen sooner than later. We don't get things checked off the to-do list like we used to!

If anyone is interested in where a few of the things in C's room came from, I have added sources below:

Fabric: here & here
Wall clock
Tissue Poms
Mason Jar Photo

February 21, 2012

So Much To Say

No, I'm not the one speaking my mind this time. Lately there has been a lot more listening in our house.

Crosbi has found her voice. This morning she had lots to say to Todd before he left for work.


February 14, 2012

Crosbi: 2 Months

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here I am again, super late in getting Crosbi's monthly update posted. So she'll be three months old a week from today, that's alright. Better late than never! I can't be too hard on myself these days. I only have a couple more weeks before I return to work, so I'm spending each second that Crosbi is awake cuddling and playing. Yes, I'm returning to work. Just months ago I would have said that I would have no problem going back. I've always been pretty career/goal driven. But a sweet little girl changed all of that. Now I'm begging time to stop. I don't want to be away from Crosbi for a second. I am going to be one terribly sad mommy soon. Praise God it's just part-time for awhile. I'm sure I'll be writing more on that in the weeks to come.

For now, I'll celebrate this special Valentine's Day with my 2 month old baby girl. She's getting so big!

  • Weighing 13.1 pounds and 24 inches long (at 8 weeks), my little stinker is growing by the minute! 
  • She has just started to laugh out loud and it melts my heart. I will do any dance or silly voice to get her to laugh. I have no shame. Her giggles are the best sound in the world.
  • She's getting better at holding her head up and will sit in her Bumbo seat for a few minutes. 
  • She likes to see what is going on around her. No holding her like a baby, she needs to be able to look around. 
  • Still not much of a crier (thank goodness!), she is making her voice heard when she's angry now. She's not afraid to yell. It cracks me up. 
  • Crosbi sleeps 9+ hours straight each night. To my mommy readers out there, please don't hate me! I have to thank the Miracle Blanket for sure, but I'm also really blessed to just have a good sleeper. 
  • She loves other babies (including the baby she sees in the mirror) and small kiddos. I think she's going to be pretty social!
My sweet girl is growing so fast.

Wishing you all a Valentine's Day filled with lots of love (thanks Shutterfly!)

*Shutterfly gives you a $10 coupon when you blog about projects you make on their site. Not a bad deal! 

Love Wishes Valentine's Card
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February 6, 2012

Crosbi's Birth Story

I've thought about writing the story of Crosbi's birth many times since the day she was born, not wanting to forget a single detail. The day was so intimate and personal that it seems strange to put it all online, but it was the birth stories of friends and strangers that gave me so much encouragement during my pregnancy, so if I can do the same for someone else, I'll gladly tell our story.

Before getting to the big day, I have to go back to the week before. On November 19th, three days after my due date, I wrote a post explaining how nervous I was about being induced. I was scheduled to go in for my induction at midnight on the 21st and as the day got closer, the more anxious I became. I was convinced that induction would lead to a c-section and the idea was more than my frightened mind could take. I asked friends and family to pray that Crosbi would come on her own because I was so unsure of what to do.

The night before my scheduled induction was restless. I eventually cried myself to sleep praying that God would relieve my fears. Imagine my surprise when my water broke at 3:15am! I woke up to use the restroom and as I made my way back to bed I noticed I was leaking. I waited a few minutes before waking Todd because the leaking seemed to come and go. I finally woke Todd and told him that I thought my water had broken. Since I wasn't fully convinced that was the case, we tried to go back to bed. Neither of us could sleep. We were too anxious and excited. Around 6am I decided to take a shower just in case it was the real thing. As I got undressed and turned on the water, I experienced the "gush" you see in the movies. All I could do was laugh. This was really happening. I took a quick shower, Todd called my mom and texted the rest of our family while we quickly got our things together to head to the hospital. Our timing wasn't great. By the time we were ready to leave, we realized it was rush hour on a Monday morning. And it was storming.

We tried to take our time to miss traffic, but my contractions were starting and we knew we had to get to the hospital. It had finally sunk in. This was the day we would meet our daughter. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I held on to Todd, knowing it was our last day as a family of two. For twelve years it had been just us. He was all I knew. We had grown up together and this life we had built was forever changing. We just held each other crying. We were saying goodbye and preparing for a brand new life all at once. My contractions were getting stronger. We wiped our tears and left the house, taking one last glance. It would be a different place when we returned.

To avoid traffic we took back roads, which was nice. My contractions were about 15 minutes apart, but the route we took is one of my favorites in middle Tennessee. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts because I was craving chocolate glazed doughnuts. I savored each bite. It was going to be hours before I would eat again.

We arrived at the hospital and I was soaking wet. I knew beyond a doubt my water had broken. We checked in and filled out paperwork. The contractions were getting stronger. We finally got a room, I changed and tried to relax. My contractions weren't too painful yet. Todd put on my favorite show, Golden Girls, and Leeland played quietly in the background. My doctor came to check me. I still hadn't dilated. It was going to be a long day.

My mom arrived around noon and I had never been so happy to see her. Not long after she arrived, the nurse came in to give me my IV. I had been dreading this. I'm sure I begged the nurse not to prick me, but she was quick. One hurdle crossed. A few minutes later another nurse came in to administer my pitocin. That was not the word I wanted to hear. Pitocin. The contractions became much more intense. Every 30 minutes my dosage was increased. I was in terrible pain. Todd rubbed my back while my mom tried to keep me calm. I felt like a child. I held on to my mom, staring into her eyes, as if she could take away the pain like she had so many times before when I was little. She would tell me to relax, but I couldn't. It was too much.

The nurses came in and asked if I wanted my epidural. I began to cry. I was only dilated a little over 2 centimeters. Getting an epidural would surely stall my labor. The nurses reassured me that I was already in active labor, and that the epidural would not cause me to stall. Around 3pm I agreed to have my epidural. My anesthesiologist was incredible. I leaned over, pressed my forehead against Todd's and tried my hardest not to move. I had never been so focused in my life. I sat completely still as I endured two more contractions. Another hurdle behind me. In just a few minutes I was completely numb. The pain was gone.

Over the next few hours, we all tried to rest.  I never fell asleep. I was too nervous and excited. At one point my epidural began to wear off on my right side. I was given another dose and was good to go. By 8pm I was fully dilated and it was almost time to push. My nurse asked me to do a few trial pushes, and by the second one she could tell Crosbi was on her way. My doctor arrived and said it could take an hour of pushing before Crosbi was out.

After several pushes, Dr. Thomas said the words I had been waiting to hear. "Where did all this hair come from?" I managed to get out, "What color is it?" He told me it was dark and that was all the motivation I needed. My entire pregnancy I pictured Crosbi with a full head of dark hair. I couldn't stand the wait any longer. I had to see her. I pushed two or three more times, for a total of 40 minutes and with one final push at 9:18pm Crosbi Adelle was out. I felt such relief. The following minutes were a bit of a blur. I was trying to get a good look at her, watching the doctors wipe her off. They handed her to me and I kissed her gooey hand. She was absolutely perfect.

Once she had been cleaned and weighed, the nurses handed her to us. Everyone left the room to give us time together as a family. Todd and I held each other tight, staring at our new little girl and began praying over her. It was such an incredible moment. One I will never forget. I immediately felt the need to protect her and care for her, but I was afraid of her at the same time. Such great responsibility that I had never known. No longer was she just bumping around in my belly. She was in my arms, looking into my eyes. I knew I would never be the same.

My entire life I feared childbirth. It became a joke that I wouldn't have kids until scientists discovered how to make labor completely pain free. I have to admit that I was pretty proud of myself the day Crosbi was born. I accomplished something that I thought was impossible. God gave me strength I never knew I could posses. The female body really is incredible.

Todd and I spent the next couple of days in a euphoric fog, soaking in our little girl. We made it home two days later. Our house was very different, but it felt so right. We had our sweet Crosbi. We were complete.

To read Crosbi's birth story from Todd's perspective, check out his version here.

February 2, 2012

These Days

I'm reading...

Emerging Mummy. Crosbi wakes up to eat each morning a little before 5am and while she's eating and drifting in and out of sleep, I read Sarah Bessey's blog. I have been challenged so much by her writing and now I look forward to waking early to snuggle with my little girl and soak in Sarah's daily entry. Sarah writes a lot about motherhood, marriage and challenging the church. Sarah's words in a recent post have become a new mantra of mine as I journey through motherhood: my little one imitates the woman I am today, not the woman I was once or hope to be. Who I am right now is who Crosbi will look up to, not the better version of myself I hope to be one day, or the "cooler" version I thought I was five years ago. What great accountability to live in the moment and be truly intentional with my life. Thanks for introducing me to this blog, Allison!


 I'm listening to...

JJ Heller. If you are a mom, an aunt to a young niece or nephew, a nanny or a volunteer in your church's nursery, I'm insisting that you stop what you're doing, download JJ Heller's "The Boat Song," memorize the words and sing it to the little ones in your life. The first time I really listened to the lyrics, I knew it was the lullaby I would sing to Crosbi from that point on. I sing it to her daily. It is such a sweet song and it puts in words how I feel about my sweet girl.


I'm eating...

While I'm officially obsessed with Pinterest, largely in part to all of the great recipes, I've had to simplify and put a system together in our house for meal times. A co-worker introduced me to E-Mealz a few months ago and I gave it a shot. Unfortunately after a couple of weeks on the Kroger plan, I realized the menu was filled with lots of dishes Todd and I would never eat, so I canceled my subscription. But then a couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail that E-Mealz now has a Whole Foods plan. I took a glance at the sample menu and it looked great. My trick? I use the Whole Foods Plan but still shop at Kroger (shhh...don't tell anyone!). If I see a meal or two that I'm not fond of, I substitute it with one of my easy go-to recipes or with one I've seen on Pinterest.

If you're not familiar with E-Mealz, it's a program that provides a weekly menu and grocery list based on the grocery store you choose. The recipes are based off the weekly sales the store is running, so that you buy a week's worth of dinners for around $50. Not too shabby!


I'm wanting...

A new wardrobe. Todd has been antsy to make a trip to Atlanta, our favorite place for a quick weekend trip. Atlanta is great for shopping because there are so many stores there that we don't have in Nashville. I told him that as soon as I get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (10 more pounds to go!) we could make a trip down so I could reward myself with some new clothes. I have my eye on a new pair of TOMS and just about anything from Madewell. Looks like I've got some working out to do!



But really, these days I spend nearly all of my time with this little peanut, and there is nothing else in the world I would rather be doing. These days are good days.