Friday, October 31, 2008


For Halloween, Robert was given the option of dressing up at work. Being the good wife that I am, I encouraged him to have Halloween spirit. He is not big into Halloween, but I am (my parents threw lavish Halloween parties when I was young). Since he didn't have a costume offhand, I made him a Superman shirt. Robert wore his Sunday clothes with the Superman shirt slightly exposed. He was sexy, if I do say so myself.
Baby didn't have a costume, but he had an adorable Halloween outfit from Old Navy via my mom. We were worried it wouldn't fit seeing how Joel is already wearing size 3-6 months. Luckily, I was able to squeeze him into it. He even had little "boo" socks that matched. I made a shirt for myself to match Baby's outfit; Baby had a ghost, I had a spider. We tried to squeeze Joel into the cute "trick or treat" pajamas we were given, but he was just too long for them.
Happy haunting!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

that's life

Another week has come and gone. Each day brings new change, both good and bad. Joel is doing really well; he continues to grow rapidly. It seems like he grows inches and pounds daily! I come home from school and barely recognize him. I can't imagine what it is like for Robert; some days Robert only sees him for an hour or two in the evening. Even though Baby is only three weeks old, he is nearing being able to support his own head! He has gotten close to rolling over a couple of times. Joel is happiest when he is "participating" in whatever we are doing. He is too curious to be held in our arms; he prefers to be sitting up to see the action!
My friend Jodi was in town visiting last week. I have not seen her for five months; she lives in Florida (but is moving to Texas in Nov). Even though we weren't able to spend much time together, we were able to visit a few times. It is always nice to see a great friend, especially when that great friend is Jodi!
School has been going well. I love my baby; I also love going to school. Only 6 more weeks of school; 7 until I graduate! Amazingly enough, I have been able to keep my grades up and remain relatively focused on school work. School (and work) have been going well for Robert, too. I am grateful for all that he is able to do. He is truly amazing.
On a more somber note, this week has had its major difficulties. On Tuesday afternoon, I found out that a close family friend was injured in a SERIOUS accident. He is both one of my father's great friends as well as the father to someone I have been close friends with for 20 years. I called my friend Lauren as soon as I heard the news. Once Robert got out of work, we immediately went to the hospital to visit Randy and his family. Unfortunately, we were too late. It was so difficult to see Lauren; she is just a year younger than I am and was as close, if not closer, than I am to my father. I cannot imagine being in her situation. All I could do was hug her and tell her I love her. I have spent the last two days recollecting all my memories of Randy and of my own father. Just three weeks after I was in the hospital welcoming a child into the world, I was in the hospital saying goodbye to a loved one. We never know the direction life will take us.

Aimee, this last picture is for you! I made the onesie work by not snapping it. I put some matching pants on him to cover the bottom. Yay!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This past week (week number two for Baby) has had its ups and downs, as would any other week. There have been, however, a few "um SERIOUSLY?!" moments.
The first came during the weekend. Since Joel is so BIG and so HUNGRY, we have been supplementing lightly; we use 2oz of formula at night when my body is too beat to nurse. Well, every time I nurse after Baby has had formula, he pukes EVERYTHING up - formula and all. The worst case was Sunday before church; I came out of the bathroom to see Robert holding Joel. Joel was coughing and choking like crazy, puke was everywhere. Apparently he was throwing up so hard it came out his little nose. After analyzing the formula and everything I had been eating, we realized that cows milk was the culprit. For the first week of Joel's life, I drank nothing but water. It wasn't until he was a little over a week old that I began reintroducing milk into my diet. About the same time that I added the milk, Joel began having problems. So... it looks like I am going to have to avoid milk for a while. Um... SERIOUSLY?! am already allergic to wheat; now I need to avoid excess amounts of milk. Looks like I am going to be on a rice diet for a while. Oh well... things could be worse.
The second moment came on Joel's two-week check up on Tuesday. He was a BIG baby when he was born. Well, it took him one week to gain a full pound, putting him over 10lbs. Um SERIOUSLY?! I know people with babies that are barely hitting 10lbs at four months! He is two weeks old! I gave birth to a hippo.
The third and final moment came today, Thursday. Starting Monday, I returned to school. Things have been going great in regards to school; I have had so many people helping me with Joel while I am at school. I wanted to see how well he would do at school with me, so I brought him today. On the way to school, my car started having issues. As I was turning onto McAllister (a street on campus), my steering went out. Luckily I was able to force the wheel far enough over to complete my turn. I figured that power steering had failed me... But THEN my car dies and begins slowing down. I "floor" the accelerator. Nothing. I put on the emergency lights and begin frantically calling Robert. No answer (of course). I decide to stop the car, turn it off, and then restart it. Presto! Things begin working properly. But wait! What is that horrible screeching noise? ... almost like bad brakes (sis Amy, you know the sound I am talking about)! As I am turning into the institute parking garage, smoke begins pouring out from under the hood and a horrid smell fills the car. My car is on fire and Baby and I are going to die (not really, but that was running through my head)! At that moment, Robert calls. I am freaking out, turning off the car, running around to the back, ripping out the car seat with Joel in tow. Luckily (besides the luck of having made it to my destination when all of this occurred), Bro. Wright, Sis. Bailey, and Sis. Hale are all congregating right outside the parking garage and rush to my aid. In the panic, I hung up on Robert and caused Baby to start crying with my crying. UM... SERIOUSLY?! Yeah... all that car drama for a broken a/c belt. I felt a little silly afterward, but when it was happening all I could think about was my baby. Oh, and the whole "baby at school" thing... let's just say that he wouldn't let me sit down during my classes.
Other than those few moments, things continue to get better with each day. I must constantly remind myself that the success of this new adventure is based mainly on my perspective. Raising a baby while still in school is no easy task, but it is possible! Besides, he is so worth it! Just look at him.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

4 letter "b" word

Blog! It has been difficult to keep up with the BLOG since BABY came (not that I was ever fully on top of things before-hand)! This past week has been tiring, but rewarding. Things are going much more smoothly than before. Each day gets easier and easier. Each day also brings new developments for Joel. It is incredible to see how much he changes from day to day. He went from crying and sleeping all day to being more alert and active. One of his favorite things is when Robert sings to him, expecially in portuguese. Joel also loves car rides and having his hair washed. Gas bubble smiles make us smile!

Sleeping on Mommy after lunch

Gas bubble smile!

Holding tight to his binky

Saturday, October 11, 2008

nothing ever goes as planned...

I apologize for the delay; I know many of you have been anticipating a more detailed post for quite some time! We did end up going into the hospital at 10pm the night my water broke. After about an hour, we were admitted and taken to labor and delivery for fetal monitoring. Contractions continued to build, but they were bearable. At about 1am, I decided to take a warm shower to help with the intensity of the contractions. By 3am, I decided it was time for an epidural (the first of many things I didn't particularly want or prefer prior). I was slowly dilating and I wanted to rest some before having to push. Around 9am (only dilated a 6 or 7), the nurse gave me Pitocin (the second thing not preferred) to speed up my contractions and dilation. I received a second round of my epidural at about 10am. At 12pm, I started getting nervous; I was slowly making progress and nearing the 24 hr mark of my water breaking. I asked the nurse what would happen if I met the 24 hr mark; she told me that I would have to have a C-section. Finally, near 2pm, I had dilated to a 10 and was given the okay to push. At this point, the drip for my second round of epidural ran dry (leaving me with two more hours of effective pain killer). I made good progress pushing in the first hour, but by the second, I was worn out and near the 24hr mark. At 4pm, the nurse decided to call my OBGYN; since Joel was nearly crowning, we were going to try to help him out via vacuum (the third thing not preferred). Since my doc had two more office appointments before closing, I was told to stop pushing (an EXTREMELY hard thing to do). The doc finally came at about 4:40pm, debated between forceps and the vacuum (and mention C-section), chose vacuum over forceps as the nurse was handing him forceps, performed an episiotomy (the fourth thing not preferred), and Joel was born at 4:56pm. Unfortunately, the last of the epidural had worn off by the time the doc was pulling Joel out, so I felt EVERYTHING. Not good. Due to the use of Pitocin, the vacuum, and a slow response time, Joel was not placed on my belly for APGAR testing, but taken to the bassinet for evaluation. I was given pain medicine, but that only made things worse (a final thing I had not preferred; I always have a bad reaction to pain medicine). It was probably 15 minutes before I was able to hold the baby for the first time. Holding him was such a strange experience; it was crazy to think that I made him. Joel was taken shortly after being given to me; I was starting to fade due to the meds. I don't remember much after that until my parents came in. Even then, the rest of the night was fuzzy until about the time I went to the bathroom; I was a lovely shade of green and nearly passed out. I remember Robert ordering dinner for me and everyone trying to get me to eat. One of the nurses later told me I looked bad; it took me a long time and a lot of effort to finish my dinner. I was taken to post-partum after 7pm. My parents stayed with us until about 8pm. By 9pm, I was finally feeling coherent. I had very little pain from the entire birthing process. The first night went smoothly; Joel only woke up once or twice. Nursing went well; he has a STRONG latch! By the second night, however, things went sour. Joel was latching wrong and I wasn't able to provide enough for him. He started crying and continued on for hours. I had only gotten MAYBE 4 hours of sleep total since my water had first broke. Frustration and desperation led us to supplement him and send him to the nursery for a few hours so we could get rest. When he returned, the cycle started all over again, leaving me very depressed. I have actually been having a difficult time up until a few hours ago. Latching and nursing is falling into place, as well as sleep (for baby, not myself yet). Robert and I are trying to set a pattern so that things regulate. I never realized how difficult this would be, even with everyone telling me prior to giving birth. One thing I would take from this experience and pass on to other first time mothers is BE FLEXIBLE. You may have a good idea of how you want things to go, but be open to everything! Enjoy the pictures of little (big) Joel.
*Just thought I would note that he was not 20.7 in; he was 22.5 in! No wonder his feet were permanently lodged in my ribcage.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Well, the big day finally came! After a long 24 hours (labor took awhile, if you couldn't tell),
Robert Joel came into the world. He caused a lot of pain and frustration for Mommy, but she is recuperating nicely.

His vitals are, wait for this: 9 lbs. 3 oz and 20.7 inches. He is a big boy. I am not sure who he got it from yet, but that is irrelevant now that she had push that big boy out (Leigh would like to blame me, but I don't think that it was my fault).

We will post pictures later. This post is actually being done at the hospital (this place is amazing!).

Thanks for all of the love and support!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I am probably crazy for even taking the time to write this, but Baby is on his way! While the doc was stripping my membranes (not as horrible as I had imagined), my water broke. If contractions don't bring me in earlier, we are going to the hospital around 10pm. So far, nothing excruciating. I have taken the opportunity to take a shower (who knows when I will have the chance to again) and had a light meal. Now, I sleep. I will post next after Joel comes... so it may be a few days.

Monday, October 6, 2008

goodbye due date, hello fall

I STILL have not had the baby yet (don't worry, we didn't forget to tell you). I am 3 days past my due date. I go in to the doc tomorrow; he plans on stripping my membranes (yeah, it is as fun as it sounds). If stripping my membranes doesn't start labor, we are going to set a date for me to be induced. At this point, I don't care if he rips out the baby with forceps and no anesthesia! Please, no pregnancy comments... I am at wit's end.
Of lighter note, I have been staying busy with little projects here and there. It is actually kind of scary; I am becoming domesticated! I am turning into the person I vowed I never would: cooking, sewing, crafting, etc. After my cake experiment, I decided to take on sewing. My mom bought me a Boppy pillow (a nursing pillow), but the cover was somewhat ugly. I wanted a pillow cover that matched the nursery, so I sewed my own. The funny thing is, I have never really sewed anything before. I was even brave enough to put in a zipper! My next sewing task: a baby sling.
After reading several friends' posts about fall decorating, I thought it was time for me to pull out our festive decor. I nearly cried when I realized how few fall items we have. To make matters worse, my favorite fall item, a cornucopia with dried mini corn, pumpkins, and gourds, was COMPLETELY moldy. Like orange mold. I tried to salvage the cornucopia, but to no avail. The mold was too extensive. Well, after sewing my new Boppy pillow cover at my mom's, she decided to take me to Michael's for some fall decor shopping. I came home with several craft projects. I painted and mod-podged F A L L plaques, made a fall floral arrangement, and crafted paper pumpkins and a turkey. Now my home feels more festive! Hopefully I can find more projects to keep me busy until Joel decides to join us.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


No, I am not talking about experimenting to get the baby out (not that anything would work anyway). I am talking about the marvels of experimenting with cooking. For those of you who DON'T know, I am allergic to gluten, which means no wheat, barley, rye, spelt, oats, or pretty much anything delicious. I developed the allergy about two years ago (and have been complaining about it since!). While there are some gluten free foods out there, most are pretty bland/disgusting. I have been getting a bit creative with my cooking lately. Robert and I discovered several brands of gluten-free spaghetti and, by trial and error, we now know which gluten-free noodles are the best. The only problem with cooking gluten-free pasta is that it turns into goop (I have a picture to prove it). The liquid that the noodles are cooked in turns to a gelatinous substance, while the noodles glue themselves together if you aren't careful. Luckily, we have mastered the art of perfect gluten-free pastas! Another difficulty with being allergic to... well... nearly everything is that dessert is just not an option (even a lot of ice cream contains gluten). Today, I experimented with a recipe for an AWESOME fall dessert: pumpkin cake. I am planning on making the dessert for my Thanksgiving family gathering. I thought pumpkin cake would be appropriate. I am still debating whether I should make it look like a pumpkin when all is said and done...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

child safety manual

Robert happened upon an essential child safety manual that I think every soon-to-be/new set of parents needs to review. It cleared up a lot of questions/concerns that I had been having in regards to caring for my baby. I have posted it for your convenience.


It looks like I am not going to have a September baby like I had hoped... At least I know my baby will be born THIS month! Any day now...