Introducing Graham Morrison

Thursday, July 28, 2016

It is with great pleasure that T & I announce the newest addition to our family has arrived!

Graham Morrison | Friday, July 15, 2016 | 6:37 a.m. | 7 lbs. 2 oz. | 21 inches long

Early Friday morning, July 15, I woke up at 4 a.m. to a strong contraction and my water breaking. At the time, it wasn't obvious that my water had broken, and I was unsure if what I was feeling was an actual contraction, or just indigestion. When I had another twinge of pain seven minutes later, and then another, I decided to get up and shower since I was too uncomfortable to sleep. As the hour progressed, the length of time between contractions quickly dwindled down to four-five minutes between each one. At 5 a.m., I decided to wake T up and get his opinion on the situation. Seeing me sitting on the side of the bed, I think he had flashbacks to the day C was born, and he immediately jolted up to grab a quick shower and scramble to get an overnight bag put together with some essentials. Apparently, he was more convinced than me! By the time 5:30 a.m. rolled around, I was having contractions lasting 40 seconds about every two minutes. I told T to call his mom to come stay with C, and we were out the door within 10 minutes. We may or may not have met Grandma S on the way out of town. Luckily, C was sound asleep, so we were comfortable leaving a few minutes before Grandma arrived.

After the most uncomfortable 15 minute car ride of my life...(by the time we got to the edge of  town on our way to the hospital, my contractions were less than a minute apart)...we pulled up to valet parking and made our way to the OB unit. On the ride in, T had called the floor to let them know we were coming, and to get a bed ready and call my doctor. Once inside, I remember saying to T that by the time I was that uncomfortable on the day C arrived in this world, I most definitely already had an epidural. 

The next 20 minutes were a bit of a blur. This is what I remember: 

1. After riding the struggle bus a slow and very painful walk from the car to the OB Unit on the third floor...(I thought walking would feel better than sitting in a wheelchair like T had suggested), I immediately changed into a hospital gown and got checked by an OB nurse who told me I was 8-9 cm dilated.

2. Someone came in to start an IV, but of course had trouble finding my vein, so I got poked, and then poked again for an IV that we were hoping to get going at least four hours before baby's arrival. I tested Strep B positive (about 1 out of 3 pregnant women do), so four hours of antibiotics would have been ideal for protecting the baby from any possible complications that could arise from it. I maybe only got about a 1/2 dose of antibiotics administered at full speed before the IV ripped out of my hand and baby arrived. Chances are, there wasn't enough time for any of them to cross through the placenta to reach the baby before his arrival. Essentially, this meant that we were required to stay a full 48hrs after delivery for observation. On a side note, even if I would have been attached to an IV when my labor started, I still wouldn't have had four hours of antibiotics, so it was really a no-win situation from the start.

3. Being told there was nothing anyone could do for me pain wise was a real highlight of my morning. With C, I got an epidural a couple of hours before he was born, and escaped most of the pain that comes with the final stages of labor. By the time I got to the hospital this time, I was already experiencing the final stages of labor, so there was no time for an epidural or IV painkillers. T says that in our local area, about 95% of women opt to have some sort of painkillers or epidural. I guess I'm one of the lucky few to be an outlier! While I personally wouldn't recommend the no painkiller route, it did ensure that the pushing portion of labor went quickly, and after it was over, any residual pain I had was pretty insignificant in relation to what I had just experienced. Luckily, I did not need any stitches or pain meds after baby arrived, so my recovery was swift, and I was able to get up and shower just a couple hours after baby's arrival. Even better, it is true what they say...after you have that sweet little babe in your arms, you tend to forget...or at the very least set aside...the extreme pain and stress you just went through to bring a new baby into the world. 

4. About 15 minutes after arriving, my Dr. showed up and gave the OK to push. Three or four pushes later, and no more than 20 minutes after our arrival at the hospital, at 6:37 a.m., our hearts doubled in size, and we had the great pleasure of meeting our newest little 7 lb. 2 oz. 21 inch long bundle of love, Graham Morrison. Afterwards, the nurse who was at the delivery suggested that since it was so quick and easy for me, maybe we should have about four more! This suggestion was immediately commented upon by my doctor who suggested that it would be highly advisable for T to have a delivery kit in our home if we have any other children in the future...


Graham's very first visitors arrived just after noon. Grandma J and Uncle N had the honor, and snuck in a quick visit just before the afternoon quiet time started. We had considered having C come in right away, but by the time we were ready for visitors, it was C's nap time, and we decided to have him come after he got some rest.

During the afternoon, after recovering from their early morning adventures with C, Grandma S and Grandpa D stopped by to meet baby G.

Next came Great Grandma M and Great Grandpa K.

The final visitors of the day were C, Grandpa T, Uncle T, and a return visit from Grandma J. T & I were so looking forward to C's reaction upon meeting his baby brother, and he stayed true to form, and was just the cutest. At first, I don't think he noticed the baby in my arms (or he was in denial), and he walked into the hospital room like he owned the place. Shortly after, his eyes locked on mine, and he wanted to get up onto the bed to sit with me and meet this new little person I had in my arms. In true C fashion, after T & I introduced him to his little brother, he pointed out that he was wearing a hat...had eyes (a current obsession), and then after giving me a kiss, leaned down to give the baby a kiss. After his kisses, he pushed my head towards the baby to make sure he got a kiss from me too. Like I said, the cutest.

On Saturday, C stopped by in the morning with Grandma J, and was sooooo excited to give his baby brother a gift that he had helped to pick out. He walked in with the gift bag, and could hardly contain his excitement about opening it up to show T & I his special surprise for the baby. It was a Jellycat stuffed frog with big eyes.

Later, the rest of my family arrived, and baby G got to meet his aunts, uncles, and cousin J. After stopping in to say hi, the little boys were quickly distracted by all of the trucks and toys in Grandma J's purse, and they found a spot in the waiting room to play while everyone else got a chance to snuggle with baby G.


Late Sunday morning, after a bit of a rocky night where G spiked a 99.5 degree temp, was super fussy, and didn't want to eat, we were finally cleared to go home after the on-call doctor had a chance to check in with a neonatal specialist in Sioux Falls to make sure that there was nothing to worry about with the Strep B exposure and lack of antibiotics. Two days doesn't seem like the longest time to be in the hospital, but when it happens to be two of the nicest days of summer thus far, and you are missing your 'big' kid at home, it starts to seem endless. We were surprised to arrive home to a house that was anonymously decorated with blue balloons and a sign on the door saying 'Welcome Home Graham' sweet. C was home to greet us, and we tied him down in a stroller were able to  capture a quick family photo on the front porch before heading inside and getting settled in as a new family of four.

'Out of all the moments in my life, the ones I spend with family are my favorites.'

Week 38

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Week 38 an update

How far along: 38 weeks

Best moment this week: 
I finally took the time to get my hospital bag packed this week...or at least partially packed. I still need to finalize a coming home outfit for myself, and get my makeup and bath gear in the bag, but I'm currently using those items on the daily, so I won't be putting them in my bag until 'go time'. In other news, I convinced T to put together the bassinet and get it ready to go in our room. It was a good 'Daddy & Me' project for C, and every day since, he has been dragging me over to it to show me and tell me all about how he helped dad put it together. C & I also got out some other baby gear this week that he has been climbing all over and being super curious about. A good idea to get it out before baby arrives if you have a toddler at home! Quench the curiosity!

Maternity clothes: 
Yes...mainly rocking dresses (above dress old, similar bodycon styles here & here) and maxi skirts with maternity tops and tanks these days since I never invested in any maternity shorts. I have, on occasion, put on some workout shorts, but I honestly haven't been doing much walking or working out lately since it's been either super hot or raining, and my Dr. recommended not straying too far from home on any walks I do go on.

I started sleeping with an extra pillow between my knees this week, and I think it has helped my sleep quality significantly. I'll be honest, I'm still not super comfortable rolling over or getting up, but having a pillow between my knees has helped to relieve some of the pressure off my hips and back. Each night, I go to bed thinking this may be the last night of reasonable quality sleep I get in quite a while, so I'll take it! Uninterrupted sleep is a wonderful thing!

Miss Anything: 
Cooler weather. We have had a hot hot summer so far, and I would definitely be more comfortable in the 75-80 degree range than I am in these 80-95 degree temps we've been experiencing lately. I imagine this will be even more of an issue after baby arrives and we are truly unable to get outside with the heat since babies can not regulate their body temperature.

Baby Movement: 
Yes, although movement has definitely slowed down this week as baby continues to run out of room. I'll be honest, slowed down movement makes me nervous, and I'm going to be making sure I'm doing a solid job of counting kicks during baby's most active time of day to stay ahead of any potential issues.

Flavored LaCroix water has been hitting the spot with this heat, and I also enjoyed cracking open a bottle of non-alcoholic Fre Chardonnay. Since the alcohol has been removed, this wine is obviously not as good as the real thing, but not bad either for a non-alcoholic wine that doesn't just taste like grape juice. I think I may have to stock up on a couple of bottles for after baby arrives and I'm still unable to enjoy the real stuff on the reg while nursing. Fre wine is available online, or in stores at Target, along with a random smattering of other locations you can search via the Fre website. Personally, I was not too impressed with the red options as they did taste more like grape juice. The Brut is a solid choice if you have something to celebrate.

I've had some Braxton Hicks on and off this week, but nothing with any sort of consistent pattern that would indicate oncoming labor. I didn't really have any contractions leading up to when C arrived either (except during actual labor), so if this time goes anything like the last, baby will just come when baby is good and ready...preferably close to a weekend or on T's day off!

Looking forward to: 
Meeting this babe! C was born at 37.5 weeks, so I'm in new territory from here moving forward. I have a pedicure scheduled this afternoon, and I'm hoping the massage portion of it will trigger my body into labor. Could be wishful thinking, but I'm convinced that's what did the trick with C, so you just never know. T & I had the pleasure to meet and snuggle a friend's newborn over the weekend, and it made us realize just how much C has grown, and how tiny and adorable infants are. 

On my mind:
Every night when I go through the bedtime routine with C, I wonder if it will be the last time I will enjoy one-on-one snuggles, stories, and night-night kisses with him as an only child. The same applies in the morning when I go in his room to get him up for the day and he greets me with the biggest smile and hug before grabbing his blanket and demanding a story. He is so full of joy in his current perfect little life that it just about breaks my heart knowing that his entire world is about to be rocked with the impending arrival of his new sibling. I'm positive that he will be a wonderful big brother as he has such a gentle little soul, but it it still makes me a bit of an emotional wreck reflecting on all of the wonderful and amazing memories we have had with our little C as an only child, and the fact that this chapter will soon be coming to a close. As we transition into life with a new baby, I can only hope that we will find our groove and continue to build many new and wonderful memories as a family of four.

Birthday Wishes

Monday, July 11, 2016

I can't believe I'll be turning 31 next week! This last year has gone particularly fast, and as I watch C grow into a little man before my eyes, I am reminded on a daily basis of how fleeting time can be. I am looking forward to my 31st year, and am hopeful that we will find our groove as a new family of four and the year will be packed full of lots of adventures, snuggles, and love. Aside from a healthy and safe delivery...preferably as an early birthday gift...or maybe even a birthday twin (how fun would that be!?) here are a few things I'm wishing for this birthday.

Birthday Wishes

Dress // I spotted this dress while browsing one of my all-time favorite places to shop...Anthropologie. Their clothing is such good quality, and I adore everything I've ever purchased. This dress has a great cut for a newly postpartum bod, would be easy for nursing, and be a great transition piece for fall with a jean jacket pulled over the top. Perfect trifecta! It just sold out in my size (M), but I'm hoping it'll be restocked! If not, there is always something at Anthro on my wish list!

Tory Burch Miller Sandals // I don't have a single pair of nude colored flat sandals, and these (makeup color, size 9) would go with just about everything. They are a splurge for sure, but I expect would also hold up for multiple seasons of use. You should see the reviews on these! Over 970 reviews and five stars. Clearly, these are a cult favorite! With any luck, they'll be on sale during Nordstrom's upcoming Anniversary Sale starting July 22.

Sarah Chloe Elle Bangle // I got one of these silver bangle bracelets after welcoming C into our lives, and have worn it nearly every day since. I'd love to have another bangle with our newest little one's first initial. Obviously...this one would not be able to be ordered until baby arrives and we decide once and for all on a name, but I'm willing to wait. :)

Kate Spade Orchard Street Hemsley Purse // This white purse is so cute, and would be a great summertime and vacation staple piece year after year. Perfect size for date night!

Jack Rogers Palm Beach Sandals // My current white sandals are near falling apart after wearing them pretty much every day this summer. These Jack Rogers (white, size 9 wide) remind me of something Jackie O would wear, and would be the perfect replacement pair for my current much loved, but very worn out, white sandals.

PB Classic Bath Towels // After redecorating our master bedroom this Spring, I'd love to replace the towels in our master bath that are looking a bit worn and ragged. Some of them have bleach spots, or are coming apart at the it'd be great to update them with some new towels. I'd love to have eight total (four white, four gray mist)...along with a couple of each color in the hand towel size, and some washcloths. This bath rug (gray mist) would also be a necessary addition.

Darling, I Love You Artwork // I've had my eye on this wall art for the longest time, and would just love to add it to the decor in our home. I could see using the small 12x12 size (top here & bottom here) above the headboard in our master bedroom...mixed in with a family picture in the middle, or the large 36x72 set would be aaaaahmazing along the staircase in our main living space. Oh the possibilities!

All Clad D5 Stainless Steel 6-Qt. Essential Pan // My current skillet is completely shot from overuse (a.k.a no longer non-stick, and starting to peel), and I'd love to upgrade to this all-in-one essential pan that can be used for...well...just about anything. No, it is not hard anodized non-stick, but after reading about how horrible the black non-stick coating is when it peels into your food, I'm prepared to do a little more cleaning to avoid the consequences...not to mention, because of the shape of this pan, reviews indicate the sticking isn't too bad. In addition to the amazing reviews, this pan should last forever, and would be a great starter piece to a larger collection as my other pots and pans wear out.

Barefoot Dreams Drape Front Cardigan // I'm a sucker for cozy lounge clothes, and with a newborn soon to be joining us, this cardigan (S/M, pewter) would be super nice to have for throwing on over PJs, or as a layering piece this winter. Bonus, it's also a great style for nursing!

Friday Favorites

Friday, July 8, 2016

Thoughts on a Friday...

I may have entered 'nesting mode' today. C & I spent the greater part of the morning getting out baby gear and doing some cleaning...C is such a great little helper when it comes to cleaning, that I'd love to surprise him with this vacuum so he could really help me out!

I'm feeling a bit guilty about the fact that the new baby does not, and will not, have a nursery set up to come home to. I've had about three different people ask me if the nursery was all ready to go in the last week, and each time, I've felt a twinge of guilt that this babe doesn't have a space of it's own. Our home has two bedrooms on the main floor, and they are both currently occupied. C is still contentedly sleeping in his crib in the 'nursery', and I don't think he's quite at a point where he's ready to transition to a twin bed on a separate floor. Not to mention I'm not too keen to test the waters right before bringing home a newborn. C's current room is too small to have a shared setup with a crib and a twin bed, so until he's ready, or new baby drives us to our breaking point, we'll plan to have the new baby in T & I's room. C shared our room for eight months before completely transitioning to his own room, so my fingers are crossed that this newest little bundle of joy can make it in our room for at least six months until C is a little older and more ready for a twin bed.

As I've been digging out, sorting through, and organizing items for the new baby, I've been thinking about baby gear we might like to have for baby #2. You can see my wishlist/baby registry HERE.

I recently stumbled across a blog post about traveling with kids that got me thinking about our next big adventure. We usually try to travel somewhere during the late Fall-early Spring, and it's always fun to scout out potential future trips. Anyways...back to my point...this particular blog pointed me in the direction of Kid & Coe, a vacation rental site that offers homes geared specifically to people traveling with families. So far, I've only done minimal browsing, but it looks like there are some excellent options that are definitely worth checking out...particularly if traveling with a larger group or multiple families. Anyone want to go on vacation with us?!

Unless this baby decides to come today or tomorrow, I'm looking forward to attending my very first play at the Okoboji Summer Theatre tomorrow night with a group of friends and spouses I've met through a local mom's group I'm in. We're grabbing dinner before the show at Maxwell's with the friends we're going to the show with, but I've got my fingers crossed that T & I will have another chance before baby comes to sneak out for a dinner date at the new Water's Edge Grille which has been getting some seriously amazing word-of-mouth hype. I've heard it being called the best restaurant at the lake, and for obvious reasons, I feel that we need to check it out!

Throwback Thursday: C's Maternity Photos

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Having maternity photos done last night got me thinking that I never did share any of our photos from when we were expecting C. We didn't do anything official, and just had Mama J snap a few pics at the park, but they are fun to look back at just the same. Looking back now, I realize that some of them got to be pretty cheesy, so I'll spare you a look at those, but here is a glimpse of some of the rest of the pics! We took these about a month before C's arrival into this world, so no doubt the photos we had done last night will look a bit know...being full term AND having a professional photographer pose us and all. Hard to believe this was over two years ago now! My how much has changed in our lives!

Before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace.
Galations 1:15

Week 37

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Week 37 an update

How far along: 37 weeks

Best moment this week: 
We had so much fun celebrating the July 4th holiday with friends and family over the weekend. BBQ, flea markets, fireworks, and boat rides were all checked off the list. For me, one of the best moments was sneaking out for a nighttime walk on July 4th with T after C fell asleep, the temps had cooled off, and the neighborhood was lit up with people illegally shooting off fireworks from private lakeside residences. Ha. It has been too hot to walk lately, so a night walk was so nice for a change. Baby related, at 37 weeks, we are now considered full term. Sometime in the next 3-ish weeks, we will get to meet our newest little one! At my appointment this morning, everything checked out normal, and I've had no signs yet of an early arrival. Baby's heart rate slowed down this week to 128bpm, and my blood pressure checked out maybe the lowest it's ever been at something like 105/60. Could this be a sign of an impending arrival? We shall see...

Maternity clothes: 
Most of the time. The above dress is actually not maternity (similar here and here, short version here), but works perfectly now, as well as later. Empire waistlines, loose flowy bottoms, and double V surplice necklines will be perfect for postpartum and nursing after babe arrives...especially when we aren't just lounging in PJs all day! Now if only I could relocate my front door so that any visitors who come knocking won't be able to witness that particular aspect of life with a newborn! #lifegoal...get dressed and ready for the day by 10 a.m.

About as well as can be expected for 37 weeks. I'm most comfortable laying on my right side, but am not very comfortable at all turning over or trying to get out of bed. This babe is not a lightweight! I'm still only getting up once during the night to use the restroom, so luckily, nothing there has changed yet. I suppose I could change my habit of drinking a full glass of water before bed, but a girls got to stay hydrated right!?

Miss Anything: 
Getting around easily, and regular exercise. The getting around easily issue will soon be corrected (aside from having a toddler and a newborn to tote around), but as we are in the heat of the summer, the regular exercise piece is unlikely to happen until the weather cools off. Babies can not regulate their body temperature, so any extended amount of time outdoors is pretty much out of the question when we are still in the heat of summer. The good news is, fall weather will be here before we know it, and we can look forward to lots of walks and time spent outside before the dreaded winter arrives. Or as T would have me say 'Winter is coming'...

Baby Movement: 
We still have a pretty active baby, although I do feel that in the last day or so things have slowed down a bit.

Nothing in particular this week. Does A/C count?

I've had some Braxton Hicks this week, and have just been uncomfortable in general with the heat. The couple of cooler days we had around the 4th were sooooo nice for a change! I'm sure all of the out-of-towners who planned to boat all day would disagree, but for me, it was perfect! Other than that, maybe a bit of rings seem to be a little more difficult to take on and off.

Looking forward to: 
We are getting excited to meet the newest addition to our family any day now. We had a family 'maternity' photo shoot tonight with our new photographer, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the pictures turn out. C wasn't exactly super cooperative as we did an evening shoot right at his bedtime, so we'll have to see what we get!

On my mind:
So many things! 1.) What will baby's name be? I think we have the first name narrowed down to a couple of options, but we still haven't even discussed a middle name. 2.) I need to pack my hospital bag. Soooo unmotivated! We have spent most weekends away from home this summer, so I'd like to think that I'm pretty much a pro at throwing together a quick bag with my essentials if I end up down to the wire. Of course, a newborn complicates matters a bit, and I have to think about things like nursing and postpartum friendly clothing I'm ok having pictures taken in. And that right there is the central point of my procrastination. 3.) Soon-to-be BIG brother C. Our little guy has been having a bit of a serious mommy attachment lately (mainly at bedtime), and I'm worried about how he will handle having a new sibling around when I'm not available to help with his bedtime routine. (Tonight did not go well at all when I had T tackle some of the tasks like brushing teeth and putting on PJs...sob city!) C & I have talked about the baby, but I don't think he has any real grasp of what it means, or how much his life is about to change. Lol...we can probably include T in that equation as well! At least I can hopefully count on him to not have meltdowns! I did dig out the infant carseat yesterday, and C has been fascinated...climbing in and out, and falling on the floor just as many times. I may have to get a few other baby items out just so he has a chance to familiarize himself before his new sibling joins us!

C's Second Birthday: Airplane Party!

Friday, July 1, 2016

On my bucket list before baby arrives, has been getting a post up about C's second birthday celebration. My photos were scattered across iPhones and cameras, so you can imagine, getting this post organized took me some time! C had a wonderful birthday celebration with an airplane theme for his second birthday. We traveled quite a bit leading up to his birthday, and he loved every minute of the time we spent in airports watching the airplanes coming and going, so the theme for his party was pretty much a no brainer this year! Most of my inspiration came from Pinterest, and the decor ended up being a mashup of lots of DIY projects with a few smatterings of help from Etsy.

We had C's party on a Sunday morning a day before his actual birthday...after a whirlwind weekend of traveling to my hometown for my brother T's high school graduation the day before. Getting everything ready the night before was...shall I say...a bit stressful for me. I did do quite a few of the DIY projects beforehand, but setting it all up and getting food ready by 9am is no joke! C woke up Sunday morning to a house full of all of his favorite people, and was SOOOO excited to grab everyone by the hand and walk them around to show them every little detail of his party.

If you have been following for a while, you'll know that C's absolute favorite meal is breakfast, so he was delighted to sit down to all of his favorite treats after greeting all of his morning visitors. I don't have enough thanks for Grandma S who so kindly offered to bring one of the egg casseroles, and the Hy-Vee bakery who does an excellent job with variety packs of muffins and perfectly decorated cakes! I did pre-order the cakes (one larger cake to share, and one personal cake for C) in advance, and worked directly with the head baker who was more than happy to recreate the vision I had in mind. I may or may not have her personal number saved in my phone for next time! You may be wondering, was the cake truly necessary after muffins and cinnamon rolls? It's like Julia Child said, 'A party without cake is just a meeting.' You only turn two years old once!

Egg Casserole (1 sausage, 1 ham)
Fresh fruit & fruit dip
Cinnamon Rolls (2 pans)
OJ, Coffee, Water, Milk

C's favorite gifts to open definitely came from his wonderful grandparents. A basketball hoop and new outdoor balls to play with from Grandpa T & Grandma J, and a Little People City Skyway racetrack that he has been playing with on a daily basis from Grandpa D & Grandma S. T & I surprised C with a box full of goodies...most of which were more necessary than fun (think life jacket, clothes, new dining set), and a sandbox that he can't get enough of. He just loves filling up his buckets and driving his John Deere sandbox vehicles around. Now, every time we go outside, he is constantly trying to drag me to the backyard to play. If only the crazy hot weather we've been having would back off a little so it would be more bearable to sit outside during the heat of the day in our backyard that has very little shade!

After opening gifts, it was time for cake. Since C's party was in the morning, I opted for a white cake loaded up with all of his favorite fruits. I'm not sure he even actually ate any of the cake itself, but he sure enjoyed picking off the bite sized toppings of fruit!


Next up was family picture time with all of the grandparents. As you can tell from these first three shots, C was a little less than cooperative! He was so excited about playing with his new toys, and running around with cousin J, that finding that perfect picture proved to be relatively elusive! 

Overall, I would chalk up C's 2nd birthday to a smashing success, and so much fun. I had a great time putting it all together, and can only hope to find such a fun theme for next year's birthday!

Invites // Airplane Garland // Cake Topper // Muffin Picks // Cloud Balloons // Inflatable Airplane // Die Cast Airplanes // Table Runner // Tablecloth/Plates/Cups/Galvanized Buckets/Red Party Shreds/Napkins/Placemats (white foam cut to cloud shape) available at Hobby Lobby
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