Aug 5, 2015


remember that super cute sailor bathing suit I bought while pregnant? she wore it a grand total of 1 time (just for show) before it was too small. still worth it.

creating: I had planned to work on my very first Project Life album, "Expecting Della" during the last few weeks of pregnancy, but the baby arrived the day before the supplies showed up on my doorstep! Now I'm trying to get into it and work on her baby book as well.

wish listing: Lots of home decor and baby clothes. We're still surrounded by mostly blank walls so I've been getting the itch to decorate pretty bad lately. And this little girl of mine is growing so quickly… thank goodness for Baby Gap and cute clothes that make moving up to the next size bracket a little less painful!

hoping: That the weather cools off soon! I'm not trying to wish away the summer, but it's been so hot that I haven't really wanted to spend much time outside with Della. I'm starting to miss the sunshine and fresh air!

eating: A lot of squash and zucchini. Whatever you can hide it in, I'm eating it. Riley's first attempt at a garden might have been overly ambitious, because that thing is producing way faster than we can eat or give away vegetables. It'd be safe to assume we have been eating a ton of this zucchini bread.

watching: Parenthood. Cue all the emotions. I've had this one in my Netflix queue for awhile, but was hesitant to start it while pregnant (cue all the extra emotions). It's such a good show!

What have you been watching lately? Riley and I are looking for a new series to start together. Preferably something feel-good and relaxing! Do you have any suggestions?

linking up with Jenna and Anne today.

Jul 24, 2015

the best adjustments to life lately

I think it goes without saying that having a baby entails some major adjustments to everyday life. And we're all pretty familiar with the tough ones, like functioning on significantly less sleep, and not being able to run out the door at the spur of the moment or even finish eating dinner while it's still warm. But there have been some positive adjustments to life lately, too, and since yesterday wasn't our best of days, I thought it might be a good time to reflect on some of those!

1. First of all, Gidget deserves an award for the way that she's adjusted to having a new baby in the house. I was a little nervous about it, especially considering the notorious temperament of Jack Russells, but she has truly been an angel. Although she keeps an eye on things at all times, especially during nursing and diaper changes, she keeps a respectful distance from Della's personal space, just sniffing her toes on occasion. Naturally, she's not getting as much attention as she used to, but we're trying our best to make sure she knows she hasn't been replaced, and she's taking it like a champ.

2. My exercise routine has all but disappeared, and I can't just run out to a Zumba class like I used to, but we do have great walking paths near our house and I've been able to start putting our jogging stroller to good use. Getting a little bit of fresh air and exercise is good for the both of us, and I've been able to meet up with my sister on her days off, so it's become a pretty good routine all around.

3. I kind of had a reputation for taking my when it comes to any given task, like getting ready in the morning, but I've recently learned how to get things done at turbo speed. It's truly amazing what you can accomplish when the end of nap time is the deadline. I've never cleaned my house faster than I do these days! Even those tough adjustments have their rewards!

What have you been up to? Have you had any major adjustments in your life lately?

Linking up with Jenna for a coffee date today!

Jul 1, 2015

currently… ice cream and grill skills

Why yes, I did get ice cream on the way home from the hospital. It was on the way and, well, I think I earned it.

craving: ice cream and fresh fruit. Nothing feels more like summer!

grilling: lots of hamburgers. We were gifted with some wonderful meals from generous friends and family during those first few weeks of Della's life, and Riley filled in the blanks with his grill skills. Hamburgers are his specialty and he's almost gotten them to the level of those hamburgers he made during our sailing days. Almost. 

listening: We've hit a one month fussy growth spurt with Della, so unfortunately, we're listening to a lot that.

planning: date night! We've started thinking about our first date night sans baby and where we'd like to go. Of course, Della isn't taking too well to a bottle just yet, so we're still in the preliminary planning stages. One way or another, I'm thinking it's going to involve ice cream.

decorating: the front porch. A lot of our renovation plans came to a standstill this past month, but Riley's starting to pick a few up them back up. He's currently working on our front porch and I can't wait to spruce it up with some plants, rocking chairs, and maybe a porch swing, too.

linking up with Jenna and Anne today.

Jun 30, 2015

one month of motherhood

These first days of Della's life have been the absolute happiest of my own. Don't get me wrong, they've also been the most challenging and exhausting. In fact, I'm so tired that even when I am sleeping, I'm having dreams about not sleeping. Honest to goodness, that really happened. But when we brought her home from the hospital that first day, I felt like I had just been given the most precious gift. I  remember looking down at the angel sleeping in my arms and feeling like God had given me the secret to experiencing the greatest joy possible here on earth.

Della is great at nursing and has put on a healthy 2 lbs. since birth. She is laid-back and perfectly content during baths and diaper changes. She has no patience for gas, but really, who can blame her? She has her Daddy's long fingers and her Mama's chubby cheeks, but anything beyond that is still too early to call. She sleeps best when lying on one of our chests, and would prefer to spend most of her day being walked around. Don't try to pull any of that swaying in one place stuff on her, either, it just won't cut it. She has the funniest facial expressions, and her smiles, even though they aren't in response to anything yet, are just the best. Spending my days with her this past month has been the greatest privilege.

Della at 10 days old
Della at one month old

I still have so much to learn and figure out, but I feel like being a mother is exactly what I'm supposed to be and I can't wait to see where this journey takes me. 

Jun 29, 2015

della's birth story

If you had asked me on Friday, May 22nd, I would have told you that I was nowhere close to having a baby. I still had about 3 weeks until my due date, and wasn't feeling any symptoms of labor whatsoever. But if you asked me again first thing Saturday morning, I would have told you an entirely different story.

I woke up on Saturday just feeling different. I started having really sharp period cramp-like pains that morning, but they were intermittent and didn't feel anything like how I had heard contractions described, so I didn't want to jump to conclusions. I did mention to Riley that I thought it was likely that we'd end up with a May baby instead of a June baby, and asked him to go ahead and pump up the fitness ball that we had just picked up (for laboring). I also painted my toenails that morning, just in case, and you'd better believe I was pretty proud of the fact that I could still reach my toes (however awkwardly) at 37 weeks pregnant. All in all, it was a pretty typical Saturday; we were up around 7am and Riley got to work in the yard and garden and I did some housework. We were expecting friends for dinner that evening, and although there were a few times I considered canceling, it seemed silly since I really could push through the pain and it wasn't like I was going into labor or anything. So we went about our day and our evening plans.

By 10pm or so, after our friends had left, the cramping pain started getting so strong that I wasn't able to concentrate on the t.v. show that we were watching in bed. I mentioned to Riley that even though these weren't contractions, maybe we should start timing them just in case. They were clocking in around 5-7 minutes apart and definitely getting more intense. I don't know if I was really that clueless or just in denial, but it wasn't until then that I finally started realizing that I could be in labor. At the 2-3 minute interval, I was needing to use some of the coping strategies I had learned, and Riley was adding our last minute things to our hospital bags and trying in vain to print off the birth plan that I had typed up. I know he said "we should probably get going" several times before I finally gave in. The hospital is only 10 minutes away from our house, but the idea of getting in the car sounded like torture. We finally left the house around 4am Sunday morning.

We were taken to triage at the hospital and when the nurse announced that I was only 1cm dilated my heart sank faster and lower than it ever had before. The contractions were so strong and so close together that they let me labor in triage for 2 hours to see if I could make any progress before they would send me home. By 6am I had only progressed to 2cm, but they took pity on me and admitted me anyway.

By 7am on Sunday, we were settled in a room in Labor and Delivery, we had been awake for 24 hours, and I had been having strong contractions at 2 minutes apart since 10pm. It was at this point that I nixed the idea of going med-free and opted for the epidural. I had studied and prepared as much as I could for a "natural," low-intervention birth, but when I considered how much pain I was already in, how much further I had to progress, and how little sleep I was going on, the epidural seemed like the wisest choice. The relief was immediate and I have no regrets about the decision.

Riley and I spent the next several hours trying to relax in the Labor and Delivery room. He was able to doze off for a few naps, and I may have closed my eyes for a few minutes here and there, but found it impossible to sleep knowing that we were going to have a baby soon. The day wore on, and things progressed ever so slowly. We saw a couple shift changes, and wound up with the same doctor and nurses that we had started out with at 4am.

It was Sunday evening before it was finally time to push. The epidural had worn off enough that I was able to feel the contractions and I could direct my own pushing. I was relaxed enough that the pushing didn't seem too terrible at all, and I was excited to finally get things going! Four hours later, I could hardly take it anymore. I was exhausted from being awake for almost 40 hours, muscles that hadn't been put to much use in the last 9 months were sore from pushing for so long, and although everyone was so encouraging, I started feeling like it was never going to end. My pregnancy acid reflux didn't help the situation, either, and caused me a few vomiting spells as a final farewell. Then, finally, our baby was ready to be delivered, and... I was told to stop pushing. The doctor on call was delivering another baby! Honestly, it was worse than hearing that I was only 1cm dilated. I struggled to wait through 3 more contractions, because all my body wanted to do was get her out, and Riley asked who we needed to bribe in order to get a doctor in the room. After what felt like forever, another doctor was available, and we could finally deliver our baby. I have never felt so much physical and emotional relief in my life.

Della was born at 10:39pm on Sunday May 24th, after about 25 hours of labor and 4 hours of pushing. She was perfect and healthy, and when they laid her on my chest for skin-to-skin, she started nursing right away. We couldn't believe how beautiful she was.

Although labor and delivery was much longer, and much harder than I had anticipated, I am so thankful for the good experience that we had. My biggest fear going into it wasn't the pain, but rather the hospital setting itself. I had read so many positive birth stories and facts about labor and delivery that I wasn't scared of it. I was actually more worried about the hospital feeling like a cold and sterile place, and doctors and nurses pushing interventions that I didn't want. However, our hospital experience couldn't have been more positive. The sweet nurse that had checked me into triage was back on duty by the time delivery finally rolled around, and she stuck with me through those four long hours of pushing. She had written down the gist of our birth plan that we had never gotten printed, and she made sure every single person that walked into our room knew what we wanted and what we didn't. The doctors on call, even though none of them wound up in the delivery room when they were finally needed, respected my wishes without argument when I turned down pitocin and having my water broken. These things were all direct answers to prayer and they made a long and difficult experience so positive.

I am so thankful for Riley's endless support, sweet hospital staff, pain relief, and the opportunity to deliver our baby the way that I wanted. Most of all, I am thankful for a healthy, sweet, beautiful baby girl and the experience of being her mother.

Jun 4, 2015

introducing della june!

So grateful for these priceless photos that my sister in law took on Della's first full day of life.

Our sweet Della June decided to surprise us with an early arrival on May 24th. She is healthy and beautiful and we couldn't be happier or more in love. We are so grateful that she waited until just over the 37 week mark, and that labor and delivery, although long, went smoothly. We feel so blessed to have her in our lives and pray that we will be the kind of parents that she needs and deserves.

Her first name comes from the O. Henry story, The Gift of the Magi. I have always loved the selfless acts of giving in the story, and thought that Della was a beautiful name (I also had a looong list of criteria for a name, and it met all of that as well). We spent the last several months talking about and anticipating the month of June and it seemed such a perfect fit as a middle name that we had decided we liked it enough in it's own right, even if she decided to grace us with her presence a little early. And that's how she became our Della June.

May 22, 2015

thirty seven weeks

How far along: 37 weeks

Size of baby: a honeydew. Speaking of, that sounds pretty good right now...

Maternity clothes: So, I went to buy some maternity shorts the other day since it's starting to get too warm for pants, and when I picked up my size and looked at the gigantic waistband I thought there was no way that they would fit. Guess what? Fit like a glove.

Gender: a girl!

Movement: quite a bit. And her favorite lounging positions are the ones that make my stomach the most awkwardly shaped.

Sleep: haha.

What I miss: eating anything without worrying about acid reflux, comfortable sleep, and clothing options.

Food cravings: anything cold. Especially ice cream.

Food aversions: anything that's likely to trigger acid reflux, which seems to be everything but ice cream.

Symptoms: waddling.

What I'm looking forward to: Even though most activities and positions involve quite a bit of discomfort these days, I'm still enjoying this period of anticipation. Obviously we're looking forward to meeting her, but this time of planning and preparing and daydreaming is still kind of fun, especially as we get closer to the end and it starts to feel more and more real! I'm also looking forward to putting some finishing touches on the nursery, too.
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