Sunday, February 28, 2016

Back Blogging: Months 1 & 2

So I left off Caroline's story with the end of the first week and my sister leaving us with this fabulous nursery...

On another wall is the changing table with wicker storage baskets. Above which my childhood lovie, Jackie, hangs in his shadow box. (I tried to hang Jackie in our bedroom after we married, but Ryan said there was no way he was sleeping in a room with my creepy dog looking at him!). 

Fortunately, my mom stayed for most of the second week. She feed us, did the laundry and a thousand other things that only a mom can do for you! And mid-week my dad couldn't stand being away any longer and he flew in. I think he might also have been a little worried that mom wouldn't leave us!

My heart can hardly handle this picture! I'm going to be interested to see if Caroline calls him "Granddaddy" (like he'd probably prefer) or "Frank" (like EM and her sisters)!  

My parents left and then "forgot" my dad's suitcase and ended up coming back for one more night!

So we were on our own! Caroline's first month involved lots of snuggling on the sofa! My sweet Bible study brought us supper a few nights each week for about two months. That was so nice - I will never again under estimate how helpful it is to take a meal to someone who's had a baby! 

Our very first solo outing was for newborn pictures. The Blackard family gave us this as a welcome gift for Caroline and I just treasure each picture! 

Kristen had done all the research on who to use and where they were located. It was something I'd never would have gotten around until Caroline no longer looked so newborn. I just love these so much!

October 19th marked one month! Caroline and I celebrated with a photo shoot. And the next week Ryan's parents came to visit. It was Ryan's first weekend off since Caroline was born. 

Somehow we do not have a picture with Ryan's dad! But he was there and very excited about Caroline! 

Somehow it seemed to rain for most of the first few weeks of Caroline's life, but that made it easy to stay inside. When we finally had pretty weather, we went for our first walk with Jordan and Hop. 

Hop and Caroline had no idea they were having their first "playdate." I think they both slept the entire time:). Before we knew it, Halloween was here and we carved our first pumpkin as a family of three. Caroline was over it before we began. And we learned a lesson about trying to plan things during meal time! 

Our little pumpkin went next door to show the neighbors her costume and then went to bed! I think next year Halloween will be more fun! In November, Ryan and I went "out" for the first time to Pace and Alex's wedding. Our friends Maggie and Richard kept Caroline. She tested out all their (at the time) unborn baby's items! 

It felt good to get dressed up!

And we did a lot of hanging out at the house. Pepe would like the world to know that he is not a pony!

We explored downtown - this is at the children's park. And another day checked out Liberty Bridge at Falls Park!

The girls in the Internal Medicine department at GHS threw a party for all the babies that had been born/were about to be born. It was so sweet and so fun! We played a few games (like make the dads chug down bottles to see who was fastest) and had some great food. 

Maggie and Linda have both since had little girls! Hop holds down the fort as the only boy in the group!

Between months one and two, Caroline really started waking up and giving us little smiles. It took forever to catch a smile on camera!

At her two month check-up, Caroline weighed 10 obs, 13.5 ounces and was 22.75 inches long. Poor thing had her first round of shots. She was m-a-d, but got over it pretty quickly! To be continued with Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Back Blogging: The First Week

Oh my goodness where to start? I guess with coming home! (If you missed it, Caroline's first few days are here).

Om Monday, Sept. 20 we got the all clear to go home. We weren't really sure if we should bring clothes to the hospital or not. Our adoption agency person had told us it was fine to bring a few things, but to leave them in the car. I didn't expect not to go home between when Caroline was born and when we all went home together. So, she ended up not wearing home the pretty gown I'd planned on. But this little outfit from Elizabeth Magee was just perfect. And see the tiny cap? There's an elderly lady in a nursing home in the town where she was born who knits those for the hospital. Isn't that so sweet? 

I have never seen anyone more anxious to get home than Ryan was that day. He was pacing the floors. He was ready to go at 7 a.m. and as you can see from clock behind us, it was almost noon before we were discharged! 

This is what three days of no sleep, the same clothes and no make up looks like on me -- pure happiness though!

Meeting Scout. Pepe wasn't as curious!

I love Scout's expression here! He has been de-throned and he knows it:)

We took our first little walk that afternoon. 

Ryan had off Monday and Tuesday and we were so thankful to the other residents who covered his patients - residency schedules aren't designed for sudden things such as new babies to just pop up!

Our first bath at home -- I was a nervous wreck. In fact, I think she was a month old before I gave her a bath by myself. She was so tiny and slippery! 

Our first visitors:

Jennie and Maggie


That night these dear friends came over and brought us supper and then stayed and ate and we all just admired Caroline. It was so fun to show Caroline to them. We weren't allowed to have visitors at the hospital - which I completely understood!

There wasn't a whole lot of sleep those first few nights. She slept in the Moses basket in our room. Ryan ended up sleeping on the floor next to the basket one night! 

Wednesday morning Ryan left for work and Caroline and I started our countdown to Siggi coming. 

We were waiting on the porch! There were lots of happy tears. 

And on Thursday Sis (aka Sissy to Caroline) joined us! On Friday, we all took Caroline for her one week follow-up appointment and she weighed 6 lbs, 6 ounces and was still 18.5 inches long. She'd gained three ounces over her birth weight!

Spending those few days with my mom and sister were so special. Sis went to work getting Caroline's nursery decorated and organized. She found us a crib, a glider, art work for the walls, a changing table/storage space and a rug. I never would have gotten it together so quickly. At one point we were out running errands and Caroline was at home with mom. She said, "You'd rather be home." And took me right home and continued on her mission. My friends were quite impressed with all she did in three days!

Mom and Sis took over the night feedings and I got a few good nights of sleep. It was amazing how much it helped! We kept a detailed journal of all her feelings, sleeping and "movements" the first couple of months. I love looking back at it because it does all blur together a bit!  Sis left Sunday morning and we started week be continued...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Kinda Weekend

Last weekend we had our first "normal" weekend since the first of December! Meaning Ryan was off both Saturday and Sunday and not recovering from night shifts. It was fabulous!

Saturday morning we had breakfast at Stax diner (picture the diner in Seinfeld) and voted. It's been fun to live in a state where the national news pays so much attention to the primary! Greenville was live on the TODAY show that morning. 

But the big adventure for the day was taking Caroline to the zoo for the first time. We thought it'd be a great way to mark five months! Our Greenville zoo is very small, but clean and when she's a little older will be perfect for running around. It's also about five minutes from our house so that's nice!

See the giraffe in the background? That's Walter, the father to the zoo's newest member Tatu. Tatu and his mother must have been behind the wall because poor Walter kept pacing in front of it and looking over. Ryan said he had sympathy for the poor fella - somebody's gotta go to work:) We were disappointed the baby giraffe was inside because of the cooler than forecasted weather.

Being turned around in the Bjorn is a new thing and was the perfect way to see the animals!

I told Caroline I will probably always under dress her for the weather and Ryan will over bundle her up. So maybe she'll grow up to dress herself appropriately:) In my defense, the weatherman had promised a beautiful, warm Saturday!

We had to stop for the water fowl. Duck hunter's orders.

The billy goat at the barnyard turned out to be the most entertaining animal of the day. Next time we'll bring more crackers! 

Sunday we made it (on time!) to early church. It was Caroline's second time to the nursery and they said she smiled at everyone the whole time. And I didn't cry dropping her off this time, so that was a plus! We came home and Ryan and our friend Daniel and neighbor Don tackled a big project - a swing for the backyard!

Caroline directing! She was so interested in what all the noise was about that we spent most of the day watching the progress. I have so missed having my front porch swing that I lived on in Jackson. Our porch doesn't have the support for a swing so Ryan has been promising this project for over a year! Thankfully, Daniel works for a lumbar supply company and he delivered all the materials. 

Ta-da! Now if the weather will stay clear for three straight days I'm going to stain it!

I've gotten a little bit of the spring gardening bug. I think it's probably a little too early to start my seeds but I may just anyway!