Monday, July 26, 2010

Hair-Dos and Hair-Don'ts with Maddie

Maddie is starting to enter that magical time when a child stops being a baby and starts being a little girl...and a little girly-girl at that! She is getting more and more willing to wear pretty clothes, although a t-shirt and shorts are still her favorite outfit...well, next to PJs...and her birthday suit. She even has started asking for me to do her hair ("Mama, PONYTAILS!"). Probably because she can't see when her sheepdog hair is in her eyes. We have a lot of fun looking in the mirror, as you can see!

Wearing Lila's Headband

She's obsessed with toothbrushes and my hair mousse! See it in her lap?

And of course, Little Miss Lila is already a little princess, because she has no choice in what she wears! She just needs some more hair!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A late post for an early arrival: Welcome Lila Grace!

As I'm sure you all know by now, Lila Grace Greiner defied the doctor's orders and made her appearance two weeks ago yesterday, on June 8th, at 9:44 pm. She was three weeks and one day ahead of her due date, and two weeks before my scheduled C-Section. After having her with us for two wonderful weeks, I can tell you that SO FAR she is the sweetest, easiest, most loving cuddlebug of a baby ever! I know that she is technically "pre-term," which is supposed to make her a little sleepier than full term babies, but we are hoping that she stays sweet and simple like she is now! For those of you that are interested, I thought I would share the details of her surprise birthday adventure!

On Monday June 7th I started having the same Braxton-Hicks contractions I had been having off and on throughout the last several months. They seemed to be a little more uncomfortable than usual, but since I wasn't in any real pain I assumed it was more of the same "normal pregnancy discomfort" my OB told me I could look forward to right up until the bitter end. Then I started getting out of breath, and feeling cramping in my legs. I remembered that my mom had said that she felt her labor pains in her legs, so of course I called her to get her opinion. And OF COURSE she didn't answer. After Andy got home the pains were still irregular, but were getting more intense. They didn't match any description of labor pains I had ever heard of, and weren't coming at regular times, so I decided to wait and talk to my doctor at my next OB appointment (the next morning).

At Dr. Neal's office, he checked and said I was starting to dilate and he expected me to go into labor in the next 3 days, and probably that day. His parting words were, "Go home, pack your bag, and get on the elliptical machine." Apparently walking on the elliptical was supposed to help get the baby in the right position for me to push--if she didn't get stuck like Maddie did! Armed with the knowledge that there was a good chance I was going to have a baby really soon, I called my two best girlfriends down here and ordered that they meet me at Chili's for a big lunch. After all, I had no idea when I was going to get to eat solids again! I managed to eat through my contractions, get my stuff together, and decide by 3pm that I should probably call Andy and tell him to get his booty home. My friend Kensley (part of the Chili's date from earlier) offered to come over and spend the night with Maddie if we got admitted to the hospital. So off we went, not sure if we were coming home with a baby or not!

I was admitted between 6 and 7, and after spending an hour or so hooked up to machines and watching "America's Got Talent," the nurses determined I was indeed in labor (my contractions were actually 3 minutes apart, when I thought they were more like 10-12 minutes apart). At 9:15 I was texting some friends to see how Girl's Night Out was going (I was obviously not going to make it), and by 9:44 I was hearing Lila Grace's first cries!

I did a repeat C because my doctor saw no point in having me labor for another 10 hours when Lila was in the exact same position that Maddie was stuck in the first time. I was inclined to labor was starting to HURT and I just wanted my baby! The C-section was both better and worse this was better because I wasn't as physically exhausted from laboring and pushing, and I knew what to expect. It was worse for the exact same reasons! I was much more aware of what was happening and what was going to happen. The recovery has been a little harder too, but since I have a brand new, perfect baby, I can't complain!

So far things are going really well at home. Lila is nursing like a champ, so I won't have to deal with another year of pumping (hallelujia!) and bottles. She is feeding every 3.5-4 hours, even at night, so I'm getting more rest than with Maddie (who ate every two hours for weeks)! Maddie loves to kiss and hold her little sister, and doesn't seem to get jealous. We are trying our best to make sure Maddie gets enough attention and that we don't completely abandon her routine. It's been a struggle but my Mom will be here until Sunday, then Andy is taking a week off from work. Luckily Lila will be almost 3 weeks old before I have to handle both the kids by myself!

Thank you to everyone who has called or visited with their congratulations, and for all the wonderful gifts and meals we have recieved. Andy and I are blessed to have some fabulous friends and family, whether in Tennessee, Texas or Timbuktu...and we are so excited to share all that love with little Lila Grace!

First Family Photo

The New Big Sister

Big and Little

Daddy and his girls

Baby Bow Head II

Lila with her eyes open!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

3 weeks to go!

Hi everyone! Just a quick update on how things are progressing with us...

1) Bedrest Update

I went to see Dr. Neal last week and, without going into too much detail, he says everything is great! The bedrest did what it was supposed to and he doesn't expect to see Lila before my scheduled C-Section on June 23. I am still having some pain and contractions, but unfortunately that falls into the "annoying but perfectly normal" section of pregnancy complaints. I can resume life as normal, I just am supposed to avoid overdoing it, get lots of rest, stay hydrated, etc. A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who brought meals, sent cards, visited, and checked in on me throughout the last couple of weeks. I appreciate it so much! The biggest thanks to my Mom for putting her life on hold to fly down here to help out. I don't know what I would have done without her!

2) Lila Update

As I mentioned before, unless something unexpected happens, Lila will be here in 3 weeks. Her movements have slowed down quite a bit (she's pretty cramped in there, after all) but she still makes her presence known. She migrates up and down in my stomach throughout the I alternate from not being able to breath to being in the bathroom every 45 minutes! I am guessing she is going to be longer than Maddie, and between 8-8.5 lbs. Dr. Neal won't give me his guess so we will see on the 23rd!

3) Maddie Update

Holy smokes, Maddie is turning into a big girl before my eyes. She is speaking in sentences now, some of her favorites being:

"I'm a GOOD girl!"
"I made a mess!"
"Let me see!"

Last week was the last day of Mom's Day Out until Summer Session begins on June 22. She really likes school now and doesn't want to leave until she kisses her teachers, friends, and favorite toys goodbye. She loves to kiss and hug, but unfortunately is into a hitting/smacking/biting stage when she gets frustrated. Any tips on dealing with that would be GREATLY appreciated!

Maddie and GiGi at Cheesecake Factory

Art time on my new picnic table


Maddie's in here somewhere...she had to have all her "babies" with her!

Wearing Daddy's Shoes and a silly face!

We had a Memorial Day cookout this weekend, so hopefully I will be able to do a post about that before Labor Day! Hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend!

Friday, May 14, 2010

All of this and Bed Rest, too!

Ever heard the saying: "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it?" I distinctly remember a time when I was pregnant with my first child, and hadn't any responsibilities outside of my "until the baby is born" job and the shared running of the house. I used to laugh and say, "Oh, I hope they put me on bed rest so I can just lay around all day and watch TV, nap, and eat!" THEN I had a baby and realized being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job I have ever had. THEN I got pregnant again, and realized being on bed rest 900 miles away from the closest family member would be a disaster of epic proportions. "I have a toddler! There's no daycare, no grandma's to dump her at, and Andy has to work! Puh-leeeeeze God, let me make through this pregnancy with no issues!"

Well, one little issue has presented itself. Now, I'm an optimist and I truly believe I'm going to get through this just fine. I have had an issue in the last 24 hours with some bleeding and cramps, and a trip to the doctor that I really thought was unecessary turned into a hospital visit and a pretty concerned OB. Two cute Labor and Delivery bracelets, one steroid shot, and some reassuring smiles later I am officially on bed rest for a few days with instructions to not go into labor (seriously! He said that!) The doc says if I have no more bleeding I can resume the bare minimum activities on Monday or Tuesday. He calls it "just survive" bedrest: do what I can to take care of myself and Maddie and no more. Good news: my mom is flying down tomorrow morning and staying until Tuesday night. Better news: Lila is 100% healthy and really impressed Dr. Neal with how active and strong she is. She is practicing her fetal breathing, has a strong heart, a healthy and well-placed placenta nearby, and is in constant movement. So thank God for healthy babies!

But I need lots of prayers because I know they work! If you can take the time to pray for our family, please ask that everything resolves itself by the time Gigi leaves and that I have no more bleeding and contractions. If you could go ahead and add that this baby makes it to at LEAST 37 weeks gestation (and then has a happy healthy birth), and that Maddie realizes Mommy needs to try and relax for a few more weeks that would be amazing too! I know all my friends and family are people of faith and the fervent prayers of a righteous person will avail much!

Since this has been such a Stephanie and Lila focused post I will try to post again in a day or two with some updates and new pictures/video of Maddie. Go ahead and add some prayers to that list that either the Princess calms down a little or I learn how to deal with her! She is a mess right now!

Love y'all! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Quick Spring Update

Hello everyone! We are in the midst of the brief two-week or so Texas Spring down here and it is wonderful! We have been having a lot of fun playing outside and trying out all the different parks in the area. We also just got Maddie her first swing set and slide, and as soon as Daddy puts it together (uh-oh) she will be able to play in her own backyard! I don't know who is more excited, her or me! Here are just a few pictures from the last few days:

Maddie's First Professional Haircut. Notice how excited she looks.

Playing outside in the new outfit made just for her by Audra. Check out her Etsy shop!

I learned she is not old enough to trust with an open bag of crackers. Her cheeks are stuffed with them!

Funny Face!

So this next picture is going in her wedding video one day. I put Maddie down for her nap the other day and could hear her in the baby monitor making noise and talking to herself. I gave her about 30 minutes to wind down and then peeked in to check on her. What did I find....a bare behind!

That's her diaper wadded up next to her. She was sound asleep, and you NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY so I resigned myself to washing the sheets when she woke up and left her there. She got in a great nap...hope I'm not raising a future nudist!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bad Mommy Mishap

Have you ever had one? I know I have enough to make me wonder if I should call child-protective services on myself. If ever a little girl had a guardian angel, it was Maddie. As many little scrapes as she gets herself into, I can always thankfully say, "Well, it could have been MUCH WORSE." Example: Bad Mommy Mishap #10,492--the Bubble Incident.

Maddie LOVES bubbles. She lives for them. So on days when the weather is warm enough, we try to get in some bubble time before her bath. Her Gymboree class has a fun little activity where the teacher blows bubbles with a cool blower...let's call it "Exhibit A" in the negligence case against me.
Miss Maddie is also a very independent creature, she loves to try and blow the bubbles herself. Hence, "Exhibit B":

So, the other day while I was happily drawing with sidewalk chalk (another favorite activity), Miss Independent snagged the cool bubble blower and took of with it. I never even noticed, until I heard the dreaded "Whap...pause...SCREAM" that every mother knows and fears.

"Exhibit C": The effects of my derelict parenting.

Here's another shot:

BUT, it could have been much worse, after all. She didn't knock out one of those precious blue eyes, Andy is still willing to let me try to raise another one of his children, and no one (as of yet) has reported me to the police. Looks like we both have a guardian angel.