Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend & More Friends and Family

We had a busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend!  Brent, Abby, Lacey and I traveled up to Lima to spend Thanksgiving with Brent's family.  This was our first overnight trip with a newborn.  Needless to say, our car was packed to the gills with dog necessities and baby paraphernalia.  Dog crate, pack 'n' play, Abby's bag, Lacey's bag, Mommy and Daddy's bag, breast pump stuff, vibrating/bouncy seat (that ended up staying in the car all weekend), diaper bag...  I had the dilemma of trying to think about how many diapers and burp clothes I needed for our time away.  How many did I actually use in a day?  Whatever my answer was, I added just a few more just in case!   
Grandpa Big Dowg

Dennis (Grandpa Big Dowg) has met Abby before, but I failed to capture the first moment.  The gown Abby is wearing above was a gift from Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jim Mittelkamp.  We love those gowns!  It allows Abby to remain somewhat asleep while changing her at night.  Hopefully soon, she'll start sleeping through the night...before she outgrows the gowns! 

While at Yak's house, Abby created a really nice present in her diaper that decided to spill out onto her belly.  That's what happens when you comebine tummy time and "loaded" gas!   Eew! (Who is Yak and why does she have such a strange name?  Yak is a very close family friend.  And her name?  Well, she has the gift of gab and the name has stuck so much that she often doesn't respond when someone calls her by her real name!)  
Uncle Kevin - he's met Abby several times, but this is their first photo together.
  Several minutes after this photo, Abby was fast asleep in Kevin's arms.  He's got the touch!

Pete got to meet and hold Abby before Di did...we were all surprised by that event!  Di was so anxious to snatch Abby from Pete's arms that Abby got rustled in the process.  So there were extraneous photos of them trying to console Abby while also smiling for the camera.   Let me tell you, they weren't pretty photos!  The best result is a photo of Abby appearing to be smothered.  (Who are these smothering people you might ask?  Pete and Di are parents of my good friend Stephanie Bisher.)
No child was really smothered in the taking of this photo. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Morning Coos

Greetings from Vietnam

On my parents' latest trip to Vietnam, they picked up an authentic Vietnamese T-shirt for Abby.  The size on the shirt reads "00", so I didn't know how to translate that.  The shirt looked like a 0-3 month size, so I knew I had to put it on her soon.  I put it on this morning and it fit!  My conclusion: 00 = 0-3 months.  Take a peek at the bottom photo!  We have a smile! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Apple Dumplings

Last weekend I participated for the first time in the tradition of making the Mittelkamp family apple dumplings.  It is quite a production.   The extravaganza began with a bushel of apples, 20 pounds of flour, 20 pounds of sugar, 7 pounds of brown sugar and a wholelotta butter!  (Thanks Megan - I stole your stats for this blog post) 
Luckily, we didn't have to hand peel and slice the apples.  Sue and Megan have an apple machine that peels and slices the apple with a turn of a handle.  That was fun to do!  The day produced 56 dumplings, 4 crisps and 2 pies.  There were even some apples left over to make some applesauce. 
Brent and I have enjoyed our first dumpling of the season.  It was delish.  Brent likes to warm his up in the microwave and then pour milk over it. 


Natalie had fun helping out by rolling out some dough too. 

The new cousins had fun "laying around" together. 

Abby meets more friends

Abby has been busy this past week.  Along the way, she's been meeting new friends!

Great Uncle Tom Mittelkamp

And his wife, Great Aunt Janice

Andrea (old college roommate)

Crystal (co-worker)
Missy (former co-worker)
Emily (former co-worker and soon-to-be fellow SLP!)

The group...I enjoy these ladies so much!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First Bottle

Brent gave Abby her first bottle this afternoon.  It was freshly pumped this morning and ready to be consumed.  Abby was a champ and drank about 2.5 ounces.  Of course, Brent was a champ as well.  I love how Abby is looking straight into her Dad's eyes. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

One Month!

Abby is now one month old!

One Month Pictures Take 1:

Take 2:

Take 3:

Take 4:

She was one unhappy camper.  At this point we gave up and said we'd try again in the morning when we know she'll be in a good mood.  We can't help but chuckle at these photos though! 

The next morning...  what a difference a good night's sleep makes! 

My favorite!

**Thanks to Aunt Gin for the month stickers you'll be seeing each month!**

**Thanks to Jen and Audrey Bueter for the leg time I'll have to add a coordinating bow on her head that you also gave with the leg warmers.** 

Friday, November 11, 2011

What do these things have in common?
  • brand new credit card
  • paper clip
  • candy wrapper
  • magnetic "lid" to a flash drive
  • picture of Natalie
  • tissues
  • note paper
Give up?

These are all things Lacey has pulled off the coffee table in the last 4 weeks and chewed to sometimes unrecognizable states.  Major ugh.  She has NEVER done this before.  Do you notice a coincidence of how long this has been happening and the age of Abby?  Yep.  I think we have some more jealousy issues that we initially thought. 

However, lesson for us?  Don't leave anything on the coffee table that you want to see again in one piece. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

4 weeks

Abby is now 4 weeks old!  (We'll call her a month old in a few days on 11/12/ until then, she's 4 weeks old.)

This particular outfit came from the hand-me-down box I received from Catherine Fox the day I went into labor.  In the box was a hand written note from her saying that the clothes were nicely folded, but then her near-2-year-old son wanted to "help"...and in the end I was sent a box of wadded up clothes.  Thanks Coss! 

**In future postings, I'll do my best to give a "shout out" to the gift giver should an item happen to make it in a picture on the blog.  We are very grateful for all the gifts and generosity of family and friends.**

New this week?
Abby is more demanding in her feeding.  We were on a pretty regular 3-hour feeding regimine, but in the past week she's been wanting to eat 2 hours, sometimes only 1.5 hours after she last ate.  This is typical for breastfed babies as I'm reading that this is part of a growth spurt and is nature's way of ensuring that my body is producing enough milk supply to meet her growth needs.  As soon as this subsides, I'll get another dose of it at 6 weeks and 3 months.  Yea?! 

Abby is tracking things with her eyes more from farther away.  She can also turn her head to find the source of a sound (such as my noise making block I'm shaking in the picture above).  Lacey was tracking the sound source too. 

Abby is tolerating her diaper changes outfit changes more.  The first couple weeks we were met with a lot of crying as she didn't like to be naked and cold. We also learned to distract her with turning on the mobile (Thanks Marti and Sam Zickefoose!) as it's at her eye sight level and within range. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Davis Grandparents

So to my embarrassment, I have failed to post ANY pictures of Abby with her Davis grandparents.  What kind of daughter am I?!  Yikes! 

I mean, they were there at the hospital waiting for Abby's arrival and held Abby in their arms when she was only moments old.  They stayed at our house and took care of Lacey while we were still in the hospital.  They vacuumed and dusted while we were in the hospital and we got to come home to a clean house.  Seriously, how lucky were Brent and I?

How could I have forgotten to blog about their generosity, helpfulness and overall pride as their only child (me) gave birth to their first granddaughter? 



I love this one!
Mom stayed with us while Dad drove back to KC.  I'm so glad she stayed with us to help out.  She was EXTREMELY helpful.  You have no idea.  Okay, maybe for those who have had babies and had their mother stay with them may have an inkling of an idea.  She meal planned, she grocery shopped, she cooked, she cleaned up after us, she did laundry, she changed our sheets and towels, she dusted (again!) and vacuumed (again!).  I wish we could hire her full time.  Our dining room table has never seen so many consecutive meals! 

Tears were shed as we dropped her off at the airport to go back to KC.   I was so overwhelmed when she left, I thought there was no way I could keep up with a newborn baby, keep up with the laundry, keep up with the house cleaning and keep up with meal planning (and cooking...and cleaning up...).  I'm positive my excessive tears were hormonal, but the emotion and sentiment behind the tears were heartfelt.  She was fabulous and I don't want to know what our house would have looked like, what our nutritional value in our meals would have been and what my mental state would have been had she not stayed to help out.  At the airport, my mom shared some advice.  "Screw the housework and Domino's delivers".  Wise words.  THANK YOU SO MUCH MOM!  WE LOVE YOU!

Thanks Mom and Dad for being wonderful parents and fantastic grandparents!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Labor and Birth Story

Everyone (okay, not everyone, but other mother-friends generally) asks about my labor and birth story.  I'm partially sharing this with those who are curious, but also for me to document the tale of how Abby came into this world. 

Abby's due date was Thursday October 6, 2011.  As that day came and went, I worked through Friday October 7 and I then declared I was on maternity leave. 

On Tuesday October 11, I woke up with cramps and some spotting.  I thought this was a good sign that finally something was happening!  I carried on with my day as usual and I can't recall if I had cramps throughout the day, but if I did, they weren't a nuisance.  I had an OB appointment in the afternoon to do a non-stress test.  At that time, the doctor checked me and reported that I was still only about 1 cm dilated.  Afterwards, I ran a couple errands and came home to lump it on the couch for the rest of the evening.  I was napping on the couch around 6:00 and kept waking up to some cramping that had returned.  Brent came home from work and we decided to put a pizza in the oven and a movie on the TV.  Bridesmaids was our movie of choice. 

Labor at Home: 
Around 8:30, my cramping turned to stronger contractions.  I would announce when they would begin and end.  Soon they were coming quicker and stronger and Brent started timing them on his phone.  The contractions were coming 5 minutes to 12 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds long.  I was still able to talk through them.  During one particular contraction, I became flushed as I was squirming and writhing so much in pain.  At that point, Brent thought it was a good idea to call the doctor (good decision!).  That was about 10:30 or so.  I knew I had to relax my body for the pain of the contraction to dissipate, but seriously, that is SO HARD to do.  The doctor determined that we should come into the hospital to see how I was doing. 

While Brent was running around the house putting our packed bags into the car and putting Lacey into her crate, I had to move quickly in between contractions.  That was easier said than done because they were coming fast and strong!  I was almost into the car when I felt the need to vomit.  I did so decorating our front yard.  While also heaving, I ended up having major moment of incontinence.  I needed to change my clothes afterwards.  So timing myself to move in between contractions, we headed indoors so I could dry off and put on clean clothes.  Finally we were in the car to the hospital.  Brent asked me in the car if he should speed or drive the speed limit.  I told him I didn't care because I was going to be laying in the passenger seat covered with a towel and trash bag with my eyes closed trying to zone out and relax.  I must have done a great job because the 20 minute drive to the hospital seemed quick. 

At the Hospital:
We arrived at the hospital approximately around 11:30 pm.  Brent temporarily parked right in front of the hospital as he escorted me up to the 9th floor.  I had a contraction in the elevator and I remember the doors opening to the 9th floor with me leaning on the hand rail with Brent rubbing my low back.  We walked up to the counter and I don't think I ever stood up straight as I was seemingly permanently hunched over with pain.  I signed some papers and they lead us back to a triage room.  I changed into a hospital gown to lay in bed.  A nurse came in and peppered me with all sorts of ridiculous questions.  At times I couldn't answer so I would wave my hand in Brent's direction hoping that he would read my gestural communication to answer the question in my place.  The nurse would coach me with her matter-of-factly-lack-of-compassion "deep breaths, that's right, deep breaths".  I commented "I heard a pop and felt a burst".  The nurse responded with "Aah, that was your water breaking.  You are now officially admitted to the hospital."  Can you imagine my disappointment if they sent us home?  The same empathetic nurse checked me and I was 5 cm dilated.  Whew!  Half way there!

Labor and Delivery Room:
I was transferred to the labor and delivery room.  The anesthesiologist practically followed me into the room and immediately administered my epidural.  AAAH!  Relief!  The anesthesiologist said I would feel the next few contractions, but they would get lighter and lighter.  Even though she said that, I don't think I felt another contraction.  Brent put in the "relaxation music" CD and were told to get comfortable. 

In the meantime, my parents were in route from Kansas City to Cincinnati.  They arrived at our house just 30 minutes after we left.  They cleaned themselves up as best they could after a 10 hour drive and came to hospital.  Mom and Dad walked into the labor and delivery room around 1:00am.  We all chatted for a bit with excitement of what was to come, but soon turned off the lights and tried to get some rest.  The nurse, Amy, told us that maybe around 7:00am I would be ready to start pushing.  I originally was thinking that Mom and Dad would go back to our house and get some rest and a shower and then come back in the morning after I had delivered.  However, that was not the case. 

Around 3:30 am or so, the nurse checked me again and announced that I ws 9 1/2 cm dilated.  Yahoo!  I'm ahead of schedule, per se.  At this point, Mom and Dad left the room to wait in the waiting room.  Amy then scurried around the room prepping for a delivery.  She turned on the heater where Abby would go just after being delivered to get cleaned up, checked out, weighed and measured. She altered the bed and put my legs up into stirrups.  Brent also around this time changed the "relaxation music" CD to a "push music" CD.  By the time Amy was done running around the room, I was ready to push. 

I did some preliminary pushing when a contraction came.  I was completely oblivious as to when one was coming.  I had to either look at the monitor or physically touch my stomach to feel it tightening to know.  I tended to rely on the latter.  Brent was by my side holding my hand and telling me to "get angry"...whatever that meant.  I kept laughing at him.  Amy informed us that Abby's face was turned to the side.  We were about ready to try a different position when Dr. Stamler came in.  He nudged Abby's head and face with each contraction to turn the correct way.  To my own shock, I used a mirror during delivery.  At that point, my crotch was not my crotch, but instead it was where I could see my baby entering this world.  It was very helpful to see with each contraction Abby's head poking through.  Especially when I couldn't feel a darned thing, it was assuring to me that something was happening. 

At Last:
As the last song on the CD was playing at 4:55 a.m.,  Abigail Jean entered this world and changed our lives forever.  Brent and I are pretty sure that she breathed her first breath of air to Soulja Boy's "Crank That".  Now that's making an enterance. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Halloween

My college/sorority girlfriends all came into town for the weekend. It was Miami's Homecoming weekend so after dressing the kids up in costumes for a "quick" picture, we made the trek to Oxford to celebrate. Side note: "quick" is not an accurate word to use as it took forever to get all the kids dressed at the same time and to sit in one place! This was the first time for all of us to get together with all our offspring. Brent was not able to travel with us to Oxford because he had to work. Despite that, I was impressed with myself for surviving the travel and all that comes with going out with a little one alone...and only 2 weeks post partum! I nursed in public for the first time - thank you hooter hider!

Back: Stephanie with Ethan (7 months), Heather with Lily (8 months). Front: Cindy with Abby (2 weeks), Kristin with Carter (13 months), Melissa with Alex (3.5 years) and Colin (18 months), Kim with Jane (2 years).

who turned out the lights?!

Ethan and Lily were meeting for the first time as Lily lives in Portland, Maine!

Halloween night handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Photos of Abby!

Abby's 2 week photos done by Steve Uhl (also took Lacey's picture in a previous blog post).  Thanks again Steve! 

You wouldn't know from these photographs that Abby was most often fussy during this photo shoot.  I nursed three different times thinking that she was "still hungry".  And trying to get one with her sleeping?  Fat chance.  The one where her eyes are closed are after her third dinner, so she finally was in a milk coma.  Or as I like to call her - a drunk monkey turn sleepy bear.   

That's my baby!  I love her. 
I love when she makes her funny glottal noise. 
I love the way her sweet breath smells. 
I love her facial expression she makes when stretching after napping. 
I love kissing her hand and tiny fingers while nursing. 
I love running my finger along her ear while nursing. 
I love "combing" her short silky hair with my fingers.