Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oliver is 1 month!

Dear Oliver,

You are 1 month old!  As I type this you are actually 5 weeks, but you had your first well baby checkup today, so we're going with 1 month.

You're up to:
11 lbs 10 oz
23 in long


You did great!  You cooed and grunted to perfection and you even showed the nurse how you can pee…all over yourself, the table, and the wall.  Everything looks good and we are so thankful.  Your dad and I are really doing it, aren't we?  We're making it.

We have gotten to know you and are listening to you and your needs.  We know what cry means what…usually.  There are those times where you leave us scratching our heads and scrambling for ideas to soothe you.  You've only had a couple bad crying moments (we call them episodes) and they weren't too long. 

We have discovered that you LOVE the hair dryer.  You can scream and cry and you will stop instantly when we turn it on.  Whatever works, right? 

You also LOVE the space heater.  We use it when we bathe you so you don't get cold.  You do NOT like being cold.  Baths?  Yes.  Cold?  No.  That might be the one thing you got from me.  That and long toes.  You're welcome =)

You also do not like tummy time.  I try my hardest to get you to like it, but you do not.  Your neck is getting stronger, though, and that's all that matters.  You also grunt.  A. LOT.  We have found it's worse when you're working on something real special in your diaper.

We still keep your hands covered and in sock prison most of the time  You get so darn scratchy!  I'm happy to say that you're slowly earning more "probation" and enjoy putting those hands in your mouth.  
You eat a lot during the day but are now having longer stretches at night where you aren't hungry.  Yay for more sleep!  You're starting to smile a lot more and it melts our hearts.  We love you so much and that smile is something else.

You are growing so fast.  The newborn clothes are already too small and I try not to get too emotional about it.  You can even wear some 3 month outfits!  We jokingly, and with love, call you our Man Baby.

The past month is a blur.  It has flown by.  While I look forward to seeing you crawl and talk and walk and grow, I can't help but want this time with you to slow down just a little bit.  We watched a movie the other night and there was a scene where the oldest son leaves home for college.  It should be no surprise to you that we were a wreck.    

I absolutely adore you, Oliver Tuck.  To the moon and back all the way to my heart. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

That Time a Stranger Made Me Cry...

I am a worry wort.  Trent is not.  He is slowly but surely helping me to mellow out, but the worry wortness is now a little magnified due to the fact that we now have a tiny human to care for.  

I constantly check to see if Oliver's breathing, if he's too cold, if he's too hot.  I google things like newborn constipation, newborn gas, what does newborn poop look like.  I ask my mom and sisters if this and that is normal.  Does he sleep too much?  Why is he grunting?  Newborn hiccups?  Newborn sneezing?  Can I eat curry while nursing?  Umbilical hernia?


Meanwhile, Trent's all, "He's fine.  Get some sleep."  Oh how we balance each other out.  

So, it should be no surprise that I was a tad freaked out when we decided to go out in public for the first time last week.  Trent was all for it.  And I was, too (after consulting with my mom and the google and the pediatrician.)  I even put on real clothes…pants without elastic, drawstrings or flannel fabric.  A small victory.

I'm sure we had NEW PARENTS written all over us.  From figuring out how the heck the carrier fits on the cart to stopping every 5 seconds to peek under the blanket to see if Oliver was ok.

It was a quick trip and Oliver did great, sleeping the whole time.  He started getting fussy right as we were checking out.  So there we were trying to maneuver groceries, paying, and securing the beloved pacifier.  

Oliver let out a little cry and the woman in line behind us said, "Oh!  That's a new baby cry!  I remember that sound."  I replied, "This is our first official outing with him so we're trying to get our bearings." 

She was so sweet, congratulating us several times and saying how happy she is for us.  She asked if she could take a peek at him.  I said yes (after making sure she didn't have the flu first, of course.)  She said he was so handsome  and commented on his blonde hair =)

We said goodbye and she said congratulations again and we walked out.  Since it takes forever and a day to get anywhere now, she ended up catching up to us in the parking lot and was actually parked by us.

We smiled and said "bye" and proceeded to load the car.  Then, the kind stranger came back around her car and said to us, "I just said a prayer for your sweet family.  I'm really happy for y'all!  What a big step."  I said, "thank you so much!"  

Then she got emotional and teary eyed and so I did too!  And then Trent did.  

The whole interaction was no more than 5 minutes but what an impact it had on us.  God put someone in our path at just the right time.  He knew we were nervous and overwhelmed and questioning what the heck we were doing and so he gave us a word and a boost by way of a stranger at Target.  He is creative, isn't He?

And later that night, when Oliver was crying for over an hour, I couldn't help but think, "Oh sweet Jesus, I hope she's praying for us now."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

:: Oliver's Birth Story ::

Since finding out we were due in December, there was always the worry that Oliver would have a Christmas birthday.  I know there are many people with that birthday, but we didn't want that for Oliver.

I was scheduled for an ultrasound and my final doctor appointment on December 19.  She was going to check and make sure all my fluids were ok and then, if he wasn't here, we'd wait.  And then, induce on the 26th.  

After talking about it with Trent, we decided to see if she'd be ok with inducing on the 19th or 20th, if everything looked ok at our appointment.  I called and left a message.  We were in the studio when she called back and said, "You're scheduled for 5:00 AM on Thursday the 19th."

I was expecting a little more dialogue, so I was taken a bit off guard.  I agreed then went back in and told Trent (and our producer).  It was a moment.  All of a sudden it was real!  We spent the rest of the day enjoying spending time with one another.  We had a date night and cried a lot and watched a sweet, slightly depressing, Christmas movie (not advised). 

Fast forward to Thursday, December 19th…

Our last selfie of us being just us.  (Can you tell we had like zero hours of sleep?  Training for things to come for sure.)

The final belly pic!

We got to the hospital, signed some things, and got settled in the labor room.

Everything started smoothly and apparently I liked giving the thumbs up.  I got hooked up to fluid, pitocin and antibiotics (for GBS).  We had instrumental Christmas music playing and it was extremely relaxing.  Even the nurses liked it!

My goal going into labor was to go as long as I could without getting an epidural.  I wasn't dead set on going natural, but I thought if I got to 7, what's another 3, you know?  We brought a labor ball, heating pad, and massage items (tennis ball and a rolling pin) to help me get through contractions.  I even brought books to read.

We used none of that stuff.  

I look back now and think, "Awww.  Isn't that cute that I brought that stuff?"  Because I made it to a 3 and was in tears and asked for the epidural.  Like whoa.  But oh the sweet release and brilliance of modern medicine.  Praise the Lord.

(Speaking of packing things that I didn't use…a razor. As if I'd feel like shaving.)  

After I was not in pain, Trent and I were able to talk and watch TV and listen to music and well, relax!  I'm so glad I got it. 

The time frame of everything is a bit of a blur (as is the last 3 weeks), but I stayed at a 4 for quite sometime.  The nurse came in and said, "Shellie.  Your son is being a little problem child."  After each contraction, Oliver's heart rate would drop into the 90s.  She explained it wasn't a big deal and not to worry.  Then she stopped the pitocin to give him a break and put me on oxygen.  

Off the pitocin, Oliver did great!  Heart rate was strong.  No problems.  But, I wasn't progressing.  So, the nurse started the pitocin again.  Then, Oliver reacted the same way.  Heart rate would go down, nurse would stop the pitocin, he'd recover, I would stall, she'd start the drip again, Oliver's heart rate would drop. This was the dance for I don't know how many hours.

At one point, the nurse said, "Shellie.  I just don't think your son will handle labor.  We need to go ahead and get you to sign c-section papers just in case."

This was our first freak out moment.  We cried and prayed.  She also mentioned that our doctor asked her to put in an FSE (a little screw that would go into Oliver's head to more accurately monitor his heart.  A screw!)  Trent and I politely declined and said we'd wait to talk to our doctor.  

Our doctor came in and I had made progress!  She was very positive and her calm demeanor really helped me to calm down.  And Oliver didn't need the FSE.  Yay! 

Everything was going much better, but then 5-6 nurses rushed in and started un-plugging everything.  They all looked concerned and were working very fast and speaking in worried tones.  One of them gave me a shot to stop the contractions.  Trent and I were looking at each other in confusion with tears in our eyes.  They were moving me to the OR to monitor us so they'd be ready to perform a c-section quickly.  Evidently, Oliver's heart rate dropped into the 60s.  (I'm so glad I didn't know this at the time.  I would've been even more of a basket case.)  But then, the nurses turned me on my side, and Oliver's heart rate jumped right up and all of a sudden it was time to push.  Praise the Lord!  While still wearing the oxygen, I started pushing and Oliver came after about an hour.


All the nurses and doctors were in awe of Oliver's blonde locks!  They love blondes and red heads because they're so rare.  A pediatrician even came into our recovery room and said we should keep an eye on Oliver because he might be albino. ???  (I wanted to say you're stupid and where did you get your degree, but I didn't and just smiled and said my husband and I were both blondes, thank you.)

We knew all the potential risks involved in an induction.  But, like most things, we thought everything would be fine and nothing serious would happen.  We were (and are) so incredibly thankful everything turned out perfectly and we now have a beautiful baby boy!  Plus, my mom got to spend her whole time in Nashville with her sweet 6th grand baby. 

First family photo!

When we were discharged on Saturday, we were told Oliver had a little touch of jaundice.  Nothing to be worried about, but to go to the doctor on Monday.

Then we got home.  He didn't have a poop for over 24 hours.  He didn't pee for close to 12 hours.  I called the on-call doctor at our pediatrician's office and he said get some formula asap.  

Trent rushed to the store and I also pumped.  We didn't have to give him the formula and he ended up peeing that night.  Then came the poop.  I actually did a fist pump.  

The jaundice went away naturally and we're all happy and healthy and tired.

I had a very easy and enjoyable 9 months.  Then a scary labor and rough couple days home.  It was a lot to take in. 

(Just ask my mom and Trent about my crying.  Mercy.  The books and websites sure weren't kidding about ALL THE HORMONES.)

Oliver Tuck Monk
21 1/2"
8 lbs 11 oz
3:41 PM

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
James 1:17

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Oliver Nook

When we found out we were expecting, our lease was almost up.  That left us with about 2 weeks to either look for a new place or book shows so we could pay bills and, you know, eat.  We chose the latter.  Obviously.

Had we already had a 2 bedroom, I'd want Oliver in our room anyway (for the first few months), so it really wasn't an issue.  But, that meant we had some rearranging to do and also get creative with storage.

First, I need to share with you what my nephew, Blake, said last night.  He wanted to see where Oliver sleeps, so Trent took him to the room.  He said, "Oh.  Y'all all sleep in the same room?  That's strange.  It's like a hotel room."

Gotta love the honestly of little kids!!!

Our first purchase was a dresser from a thrift store.  We painted it and I'm still obsessed with it. 

Then came Oliver's crib.  I thought about a bassinet, but after some price comparing, the crib was the smarter purchase.  Then I got my craft on and stared putting the nook together.  I love it.

I made the bedskirt using this tutorial.  And the bonus?  The fabric was found at another thrift store for $2.99.  It also made the pillow.  (The adorable quilt was made by my way more skilled cousin-in-law and it helped me decide on colors.)

I made the bunting using burlap I already had (I have a thing for burlap.) and painted the O (which is a cardboard letter from JoAnn's) navy.  One of my former golf players is an art student in Boston and she kindly drew and painted the hot air balloon print.

A friend gave us the giraffe (yay for more burlap) and the hot air balloon print is a paint by number by yours truly.  The wire baskets were found at a flea market and were super cheap.  My clever husband had the idea to wire them together and hang them this way.  He's so smart!

This previously housed our glasses and cookbooks, but it got moved to the nook for clothes storage.

The nightstand.  A friend gave me the Coke bottle box and another friend gave Oliver the airplane piggy bank.  That canister in the back is a daddy find.  We were at a thrift store and he saw it and we needed to have it.  It says "Chocolate Oliver Biscuits."  I love it because it's weird and quirky and has the boy's name on it.

View from our bed.

View from the door.

And there you have it! The Oliver Nook.

Of course, it's a bit more messy now =)

I'm already sad thinking about not having our roommate when we move in the Spring.  Bless my heart.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013…Let's Reminisce!

My yearly New Year's post is one of my favorites to do.  I love looking back and reflecting on the year and thinking about all the good and all the bad.  Time moves so, so fast.  A fact I'm even more aware of now that I have an almost 2 week old!  (Wait…wasn't I just in the hospital giving birth?  Please don't grow up too fast, Oliver.)

We started 2013 starting a family and ended it with a little boy.  God is good and oh so faithful.

Anyway, here's 2013 in review.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Big year for me as far as "firsts" go… got pregnant, sang on a radio single, sang on a full record, saw California, Arizona, The Grand Canyon, camped in Oregon, gave birth

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
We don't really resolve to do anything.  We set goals and we reached them!!!  

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Big year for babies.  I think 10 of my friends gave birth in 2013.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My mother-in-law's father passed away.  He had been in bad health for many years and now he's at peace.

5. What countries did you visit?
That's funny...maybe one day.  But, I added Cali and Arizona to my list =)

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Hmmm…I can't think of anything.  Of course I could say money, but that's always the case, right?  So, I'll go with MORE SHOWS!

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 16, 2013.  We found out we were expecting!
December 19, 2013.  Oliver's birthday!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
getting pregnant and giving birth (are you seeing a trend here?), getting another radio single recorded and on the radio, a fully funded Kickstarter campaign! 

9. What was your biggest failure?
The radio single didn't do as well as we had hoped, but I don't consider that a failure...

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope!  Knock on wood.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
We didn't buy a lot.  Maybe the dresser we painted mint green?  Yes, let's go with that.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Baby and gas and recording 

13. What did you get really excited about?
Yep!  You guessed it… OLIVER!
And becoming a husband and wife duo
And Kickstarter getting funded

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?
"I Choose You"

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Definitely happier.
– thinner or fatter? I will not say fatter.  I am fuller from growing a human.
– richer or poorer? Richer in love, probably the same in finances.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Calling and actually talking to friends on the phone.  

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Okay, I'll say it… I probably shouldn't Facebook as often as I do.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
In Nashville.  Our family of 3 plus Grammie.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
We're still in love with Parenthood.  New for 2013:  Breaking Bad, Scandal, The Black List, The Mindy Project 

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Currently still reading The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers.  We're on book #2 and loving it.  
A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by our friend Sophie
Also, I adored Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
2013 was the year we heard about JOHNNYSWIM.  They are amazing.
Still into John Mayer.  Duh.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Gravity pops into my head.  I thought it might send me into labor.  I'm sure we saw more, but I can't think of any…which might indicate that we weren't impressed.  

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33 and was in Waco.  My mom and I got pedicures and we all went to Ninfa's.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not. A. Thing.  I loved 2013.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Maternity.  I'm a full panel girl.

26. What kept you sane?
Jesus and my man.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
I can't think of any new life lessons.  We lived, we loved, we laughed, we cried, we had a baby.  That pretty much sums it up!