he's here!

Reid Warren, born Monday, May 23rd at 10:21 pm
7 lbs, 5 oz and 21 1/2 inches long
long and thin with a fuzz of dark brown hair and royal blue eyes

When we woke up Monday morning, we didn't expect to meet our baby boy late that night! I woke up feeling like I had every morning for the past month: total impatience at how slowly time was crawling by until this baby came. We were planning to be induced on Wednesday morning so after I showered and ate breakfast, I started looking for a project, anything that would keep me occupied. I remember Jake was taking his sweet time finishing a pancake at the table, Deric had run to Home Depot to buy polycrylic to finish a table he built for friends of ours (and was hoping to have completely finished by Wednesday) and I had checked everything off my before baby list except for actually packing bags. So when the doctor's office called me at 8:30, I was in Jake's room packing his bag for his sleepover at our friend's house even though it felt a little premature.

(Back story: Because I developed cholestasis while pregnant with Jake, I had been on the lookout this entire pregnancy for the same symptoms, mainly itchy hands and feet. I thought I was in the clear by this point but last Thursday night my feet itched all night long and I woke up paranoid, called the doctor and they had me come in to draw blood. It felt kind of ridiculous because the lab results wouldn't be in until Monday or Tuesday and we were scheduled to induce Wednesday anyways. My feet didn't itch anymore that weekend so I figured it was a fluke.)

When the nurse called I only half paid attention because I was fairly sure she would tell me the results came back normal. It wasn't until she said that my levels were elevated and the doctor wanted to induce today that I really tuned into the conversation. I asked how soon we needed to be at the hospital and she told me as soon as possible. I asked if two hours was soon enough and she said no, not really, that they wanted to get things started right away. I hung up with her and immediately called Deric and told him to come home. I remember feeling really excited but all the sudden incredibly sad that I hadn't even had the chance to play with Jake yet that morning. I walked down the hall to find him and told him he'd get to go to his sleepover today, but that I had to get our things ready before we could go. He happily went back to playing while I started to pack both our bags. Deric got home and packed his stuff, did some chores around the house and got Jake ready to go. We dropped Jake off at our friend's house and he was so excited to be there that he barely registered when  we left, which made me feel good.

We made it to the hospital right at 10 and I was taken right to a room. We waited maybe twenty minutes for a nurse to come in and get things started, just enough time to finally let friends and family know what was going on! I got dressed in the gown and the nurse started the IVs and monitors. Pitocin was also administered and we spent the next two hours watching tv, texting family and friends and eating lunch-- Popsicles for me, Chickfila for Deric. My doctor came in and broke my water at noon, and that may have been the most painful part of the whole ordeal. (I don't remember that pain with Jake, but then I realized I'd already had my epidural at that point.) Contractions picked up so I asked for the epidural and got in right in time. I could feel the contractions getting stronger really low in my abdomen and all afternoon they were about two minutes apart. The afternoon actually passed really quickly considering I was so bored. I ate as many Popsicles as I could stomach, trying to keep blood sugar up, and developed a slight headache from not eating or drinking water. I tried to nap on and off throughout the afternoon but never actually fell asleep. Around 5pm, the nurse checked and I was dilated to a 4. I was a little disappointed but she said that usually things progressed pretty quickly after you hit 4. And then at 7pm, still a 4. At this point I gave up on having the baby during the day and started to pray that we wouldn't be up in the middle of the night. I just wanted to have this baby and eat something! My doctor had gone home at 5:00 but assured me she would be back within ten minutes when the nurses told her it was time. At 8:50, the nurse said my doctor had asked her to check me again and I was dilated to a 7. Twenty minutes later, I was an 8. I started to get more excited but realized it could potentially be two more hours.

By this point, I was starting to feel more of the contractions than I wanted to so I administered a little more meds, then a little more...and nothing really changed. The nurses had told me to let them know if this happened so they could call for the anesthesiologist. I wasn't in much pain, more discomfort, from the contractions but I was worried that I would feel too much when I actually had to push, so I asked them to call the anesthesiologist. They did but couldn't get ahold of him right away (of course). A little while later, my doctor came in and suggested that if I wasn't in major pain, that we should "just have the baby!" and push away the pain. I remember Deric and I looked at each other with a look of surprise and excitement before we got distracted by the nurses beginning to prep the room. I was still worried that the pain would be too intense but I was obviously excited to start pushing.

Because of the pain I was in while laboring with Jake, I don't remember very much at all of his actual labor and delivery. So this time, I wanted to really be aware of everything going on. I checked the clock to see what time it was so I knew how long I would be pushing, and it was just before 10:00. Everything was prepped and the nurses instructed me to start pushing right at 10:00. I'd push three times during each contraction and barely have the breath to get through it, but it wasn't otherwise very painful, just tiring. I wasn't making any progress at first so I felt discouraged but pretty soon, the doctors and Deric could see the top of his head. Deric kept me "up to date" on what was happening which encouraged me enough to keep pushing. Finally, he told me that we were really really close so I did my absolute best to push and within twenty minutes of pushing, he was here! My first thought as he came out was absolute terror that the doctor would drop him. She suctioned his nose or mouth and the cutest little cry came out. Deric got to cut the cord and then I got to hold him. I remember being on the verge of tears but not actually crying. I was mostly in disbelief that this pregnancy was finally over and he was really here! All that waiting and worrying about him was over and I could hold him and know that he was just perfect.

It seemed to take forever for both of us to be cleaned up so I could hold him again. I noticed that aside from that first good cry, he was totally quiet and calm. He looked around and seemed to wait so patiently for the nurses to check him out, and then I held him and he nursed pretty well almost right away. I don't remember the next few hours except that he was wide awake but didn't cry. He really seemed too good to be true. ;) Around 3:00am I nursed him again and we both went to sleep for a few hours.

The next morning, Deric and I finally decided on his name. He had told me the previous afternoon that he was coming around on my favorite name, Reid, but I tried not to get settled on it in case he changed his mind. But as I got into the shower that morning, I asked Deric to let me know if he wanted to go with Reid by the time I got out of the shower so that we could share the news. And when I came into the room, he had written Reid Warren on the whiteboard.

^ready to go home!

Reid is already a week old (sob!) and it seems surreal to have him with us. He is still incredibly calm (but also ridiculously sleepy and hard to wake up!) and he rarely cries. When he is awake, he'll look around and take everything in just as quietly as can be. He's just starting to wake himself up to nurse, for which I am very thankful. He's a dream baby and is making the adjustment to a family of four pretty easy on us!


Jake turns THREE!

Jake turned THREE this last Friday! We celebrated all weekend, starting out with blueberry muffins for breakfast, per his request. I had asked him if he wanted pancakes for breakfast for his birthday and he was adamant that he'd rather have blueberry muffins, easy enough! And perfect for a candle.

We played inside for an hour or so after breakfast and waited for the morning to warm up enough to take Jake out to the backyard to see his present from us, a pirate ship water table that arrived just in the nick of time. We're hoping that this water table gets put to good use this summer since it'll be too hot to take the baby to the pool for an extended amount of time, so we're making our own water park in the backyard. Jake played with the pirate ship for a good while...until he realized how fun it was to pour water on himself. Since he was still in his jammies, no harm no foul!

For lunch we met our neighbors at "Chick-o-way", Jake's second request of the day. Nuggets, fruit and chocolate milk made him happy as a clam and he never even noticed that Deric and I split his free birthday milkshake. ;) Our neighbors were so kind to get Jake some big bubble wands that he just loves and a set of Lincoln Logs. He's really enjoyed building "big walls" and a few log cabins with my help or his dad's. I'm all about any toy that's open-ended and I'm looking forward to when he really gets the hang of his building sets all by himself. Right now he still needs some help building towers with Legos or the Logs because he doesn't yet understand some concepts like needing the base of the structure to be bigger than the top, but we're working on it! I love to ask him what he's making and hear the wide variety of answers.

Side story: tonight Jake got a splinter from playing with some pieces of scrap wood outside and as we were trying to get it out, I tried to distract him by asking him what animal he would want to be. His answer was a "hippo-giraffe-lion!" All one word, apparently all one animal. Not quite sure how that would work. ;)

Back to the birthday celebrations. The rest of Friday was pretty low-key since Jake's birthday party was the next morning and Deric and I still needed to get some things done. We ate dinner outside and played in his water table and enjoyed a gorgeous spring day. After dinner we ran over to church to play on a big inflatable that had been rented for an event going on. I'm pretty sure Jake thought the inflatable was solely for his birthday, and we didn't tell him otherwise. :) Jake jumped his heart out in the bounce house but didn't quite understand why I wouldn't jump with him...so instead I took on the role of pushing him down the slide. For some reason, he didn't want to go down the slide unless I pushed him but he laughed so hard when I did! 

On Saturday morning, we woke up and went right into party mode. Jake's friends--and some of their parents-- came over to play in the backyard at 10am. We set up a [much smaller] bounce house that we got for Christmas, the sand and water tables, and basically all of Jake's outdoor toys all over the backyard. The weather was just perfect and the kids played hard, especially on the bounce house, while the adults sat back and relaxed/refereed every so often.

Around 11:30 we served lunch for everyone: pizza for adults and dinosaur-shaped sandwiches for the kids (thanks to a sandwich cutter I found on Amazon). The party was very loosely dinosaur themed, as in the cake and the sandwiches had something to do with dinosaurs. For a few weeks leading up to Jake's birthday, I would ask him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. His answers rotated between a green dinosaur, a truck, and Thomas. But most of the time he wanted a dinosaur, so I did my best with that request. I won't say how long it took me to frost the cake...just way too long. But it turned out mostly how I hoped, so it was a win!

We sang Happy Birthday to Jake inside since the wind picked up so much that the candles wouldn't stay lit, then promptly took the cake and ice cream back outside, where most every little party guest chose chocolate cake. (One circle of the cake was chocolate, the other vanilla. Since I don't like chocolate cake, I can't say I was sorry to see a lot of vanilla left!) I had to make sure my hard work didn't go unnoticed so I was sure to point out to Jake that the cake was shaped like a 3. ;) And he loved the dinosaurs!

After the party wrapped up, Deric and I realized that a morning birthday party is the way to go. Jake's last two parties were in the afternoon so the morning was spent prepping and by the time the party was over, the day was gone and we were beat. But celebrating in the morning left us all day to relax and gave Jake plenty of time to enjoy his new gifts. All in all, a great birthday weekend. Its so fun to celebrate Jake and the amazing kid he's becoming. I'm blown away by his thoughtfulness and willingness to help with anything and everything. He's goofy and silly and I love watching him laugh so hard when he plays with Deric. I wish I could freeze time and enjoy this age with him...but I would never choose to freeze time while pregnant. ;)


Mother's Day 2016

Deric had asked me a few times in the weeks leading up to Mother's Day if there was anything specific I wanted to do or a specific gift I had in mind, and all I could think of was that I'd like to go clothes shopping after this baby comes. :) So because that present will have to wait a few more weeks, we kept yesterday pretty low-key and it ended up being great.

We started the morning off at church and followed up with lunch with our neighbors, which is always a treat. Even with a longer wait time than usual thanks to Mother's Day, we were able to keep Jake occupied and happy throughout the long lunch. And thankfully a big lunch meant a big nap for both Jake and Deric, who both needed one. I fully expected I would nap as well but I ended up preparing lists for the hospital bag when the baby comes, plus Jake's bag when he goes to our friends' house, and then I wrote out our to-do list for Jake's birthday party this weekend. It was a pretty productive afternoon spent sitting on the couch, even if I did feel a little overwhelmed after writing out those lists! Overwhelmed and a little impatient, since thinking of packing baby onesies and pacifiers gets me so excited to meet this baby!

Deric and I ended the night watching The Avengers Civil War movie (or whatever its called, there are so many now!). We realized we've got quite a few movie gift cards to get through soon since there's just no time to go to the movies once the baby comes.

Its crazy to think that three Mother's Days ago I was in labor with Jake, who would be born the next day. And that next year we will have two boys to celebrate with! Shoot, by Father's Day we'll have two boys! I'm thinking Father's Day may not be as relaxing as Mother's Day this year....sorry, Deric. ;)


catching up: april

The days really picked up some speed over the course of this last month! I've been waiting and waiting for May to finally get here and now I can't believe that it already is. I've reached 36 weeks and can officially say we'll be having a baby *this month* (due date is the 31st!) ((assuming I'm not overdue, please Lord!)).

That nesting instinct is in full force which is kind of unfortunate for Deric seeing as most of what I want to get done before the baby is some sort of house project that I can't do, like painting, spraying garden beds with weed killer, planting our gardens, cleaning out the garage, etc. He's a trooper though and is knocking things off the to do list for me. But while he does those bigger projects, I've been trying to get Jake's room pared down and organized enough to fit all of the baby's stuff. Its proving to be more challenging than expected, but we'll get there!

Some friends from church threw a baby shower for me this past weekend so we are about 90% ready for the baby now! We got the two big items we needed most--a video monitor and a carseat--plus some new baby clothes, diapers and wipes, and other paraphernalia, and what we didn't get we are more than covered for with gift cards. Much of this week for me has involved putting away and organizing all these gifts, which I am all too happy to do. Its fun to hang up all those teensy newborn-sized onesies! I've even cleaned out and restocked our diaper bag for d-day.

On the big brother front, we're way overdue for an update. Jake turns THREE next Friday and I just can't wrap my mind around it. (He asked me a few weeks ago, "How old will I be at my next cake?") He's so big in some ways and still so little in others, its a good balance. Lately he's started telling us he's "berry tired" and this morning he kept asking to lay down on me. So we compromised and he laid *next* to me while we read books. But if we're not at home, he'll tell us he's "berry" tired and try to lay down in the most ridiculous places, like in line at a restaurant or on the playground. Maybe its a growth spurt?!

Growth spurt or not, he so wants to be like his dad! I caught him trying to put his shoes on like this and he said he puts his foot on the bench because that's how Daddy puts his shoes on. :)

Jake is still the biggest helper for both me and his dad. If he sees us doing some sort of chore, he'll run at us literally yelling "Can I hay-lp you?!" (He sounds as southern as can be sometimes!) I really need to buy him a child-sized broom and vacuum because then we'd really get this house clean.

The question-asking is through the roof right now. I know kids ask a ton of questions but for some reason, lately it is just non-stop. Every answer I give is followed with "Oh why are they?" or "Oh why do they?" I do my best to answer him but seriously, sometimes I just don't know what to tell him!
^"Mom, can you tickle me?"

He's started to reference things he does or needs by saying "Boys need/want...." For example, he put his head on his shoulder the other day and said "Sometimes boys take naps on their arms." Another time I had to spank him for who knows what and after he stopped crying he said, "Boys don't like when you spank them!" Hilarious but also heart-breaking in that instance.

Deric and Jake think its just too funny right now to say that they're going to eat either dog food or goose poop. So the other night at dinner we were having cous cous for the first time in a while and I told Jake what it was called. A second later he (genuinely) asked, "Mom, do you like goose poop?" I about spit out my cous cous from laughing.

He constantly wants to play on the playground next door but when he gets there, he beelines for the swings and we can't get him to play on anything else. Deric is much more gracious and will push him for half an hour on end... but I taught him to swing on his belly. Number one parent, I know. But now he loves to "belly swing" and pretend he's a jet, or a duck, or superman. I also taught him to twist the swing so he can spin and he thinks its a pretty sweet trick.

Jake's really amping up the charm at night and spends about an hour trying to sweet talk us into laying with him for "just one minute". Or once we leave the room, he'll pitifully say "Mommy I just neeeed you." He kills me but also...no. Go to sleep. ;)

Yesterday Jake and I made a paper chain to count down the last month until the baby comes. I'm not sure he totally understands the concept but maybe as the chain gets shorter it will start to make sense. At the very least, he really enjoyed operating the stapler.

^he got "berry tired" by the end so he just handed me the strips and let me put it together

While Deric and I were on a student retreat, Jake spent the weekend with friends of ours and learned the "God is great" prayer. Since then--about a month ago-- he's prayed that prayer for dinner, bedtime, and any other time. He'll ask me to ask him if he's prayed so that he can say it again. Its cute, especially when he's got the lyrics wrong so he sings "God is good, God is great, let him thank him for our food, amen!" Add in his squinty eyes and I can't stop laughing during his prayer.

Praying for dinner from Ashley Skinner on Vimeo.

And to wrap up this surprisingly long post, a little video of the guppy song that Cana passed down to us!

I am a guppy! from Ashley Skinner on Vimeo.