Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween!

We spent last night trick or treating through our neighborhood with an insanely cute giraffe and one enthusiastic dinosaur.

One of our favorite families, the Farrells, came to visit this weekend to not only meet MJ for the first time, but to also celebrate the day that kids can be whatever they want - in this case a giraffe and a dinosaur.  We heard a great deal of roaring and talk about long necks.

I guess the majority of our neighbors didn't see the tv announcement that trick or treating would take place on Saturday because we managed to find only a handful of homes that left the porch light on for us - not that it mattered really.  Three homes seemed to be an adequate number for a couple of two year olds.  For each door that was opened for us Evan made himself right at home.  He literally walked right inside as if he was planning to stay awhile.  Between the heavily practiced "trick or treats" and "thank yous" Dylan and Evan made quite an impression, I must say.  
Mattie stolled along as well
The rest of the evening was high energy due to the overload of candy, but the sugar crash soon followed.

I think the parents had just as much fun witnessing this experience as the kids did participating.  Dan and Sarah - the next visit is on us!  Love y'all.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mattie's First Photo Shoot

While Evan was busy smooching his girlfriend, Emme, this past weekend Mattie was busy posing for the camera - Amanda's camera that is.  Any time Amanda comes to visit the cameras come out to play and being that this was an ideal time to capture some great photos of the kiddos she even went as far as setting up a makeshift studio in the guest bedroom.

Behold - Mattie's Newborn Photo Shoot

And Mattie wasn't the only cute subject - Emme and Evan held their own in that department.

More to see in my gallery.  Thank you, as always, Amanda!  xoxo

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Evan and Emme sitting in a tree...

And he's going in for the kiss
Young love is so sweet.  Kylie and I will have to keep a close watch on these two in the future.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

She's Finally Here

Mattie Jane Stinnett - born October 15, 2010

Our baby girl is five days old today and I'm just now getting around to making her birth announcement via the blogosphere.  Blame it on no sleep, my medication or the fact that even leaning up to grab my computer sends shooting pains down my legs - whatever the case, MJ deserves her blog time.

Mattie Jane was born on Friday, October 15th at 1:56 pm.  She weighed 8 lbs. 8.5 oz and measured 21.25 in.  Her head was a bit misshapen from her bumpy ride down the birth canal, but it only took a day for that to correct itself.   She is absolutely adorable and sweet as she can be.

I was fortunate to have my mom there for the birth.  Sharing that experience with her was truly special and I know it meant a lot to her to be there.  She could however work a little bit on her coaching methods.  Cracking jokes is not exactly the way to motivate a woman in pain - especially pain like that.  But it wouldn't be my mom's true presence with out that I guess.  My inner monster came out and said, "Mom - SHUT UP!"  I think we all laughed after that - or at least every one else did.

I want to follow up with MJ's birth story, but my lack of sleep is completely clouding my brain so I will wait a couple more days to do that.  But let me go ahead and warn you - the details might be disturbing so make a decision beforehand whether or not you want to go that route.  Until then...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mattie's Nursery Feature

Mattie's nursery was featured on Apartment Therapy's children's design blog, Ohdeedoh today.  How fitting since she will finally be here tomorrow.  Check out the nursery tour here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Going All the Way

I never got around to giving the run down on yesterday's last and final check-up (39 1/2 weeks).  The plan going in was that if I was at least 4 cm dilated I would be sent over to the hospital to have my water broken and finally meet our baby girl.  MJ simply will not cut her Mama any slack.  I was "just shy" of 4 cm so my doctor wrote up a hospital order for Friday morning, the 15th - also my due date.  If I don't have the baby before then I am instructed to be at Waccamaw Hospital, 6 am sharp.  My doctor will break my water soon thereafter and we should finally meet Miss Mattie J.

I've been so consumed in the possibility of going into labor these past two weeks I barely noticed how quickly my due date actually approached.  Here I am staring the reality of two kids right in the face!  Ahh!  It would still be pretty cool to go into labor tomorrow since it's the 14th - I was born on December 14th.  Robert and Evan were both born on the 11th (August and July, respectively) - Girls vs. Boys.  My doctor laughs every time I throw out a new date that would be "neat" or "cool."  She thinks Robert and I are obsessed with numerology when in fact we don't really care.  It's just something to think about while we patiently wait for our child to arrive.  Well, not so patiently any more for me.  But I'm also the one with a foot permanently wedged underneath my ribcage.

The last thing my doctor said before I left the office was, "The only thing that could possibly slow your labor down after we break your water will be the size of the baby.  You're looking at another 9+ lber."  FANTASTIC!  Looking forward to the recovery.

Oh, final weight gain for this pregnancy - 34lbs.  WORD.

Friday, October 8, 2010

39 Weeks and STILL Pregnant

I went to my 39 week appointment this morning hoping that I would be at least 4 cm dilated.  In this case my doctor would've sent me over to the hospital where they would've broken my water to kick-start my labor.  Well, as my luck would have it - that door was slammed in my face.  Instead, I was told I am only 2+ cm dilated - just shy of 3 cm.  But the good news is that my cervix is definitely soft and I'm 50% effaced - in other words, I'm ready for labor.  It's literally just a waiting game now.

My doctor did encourage induction again because she is estimating the size of the baby to be between 8 and 8 1/2 lbs.  She's afraid that if we wait to induce at 40 weeks I will be delivering another 9+ lb baby.  I've decided I will go back to see her on Tuesday and if things have not progressed any further we will go ahead and schedule an induction since my cervix is labor-ready.  Again, the hope is that if I make it to Tuesday I will be dilated enough to only need a little help such as water breakage.  Avoiding the pitocin is my main goal this time.  I'd like to go as naturally as possible.

I was telling my doctor how my family and I discussed the possibility of having a 10/10/10 baby (which would be Sunday) and how cool that would be.  She suggested that in my condition I could probably induce my own labor with a warm enema and make that happen.  She recommended on Saturday night, around 8 or 9 pm, warming up an enema in hot water and giving it to myself.  She said if it works the way it should I will go into labor by Sunday morning.  Oh, really???  I thought.  Well, I might just have to try that.  If it doesn't work I can look at it as just cleansing my innards for when I do finally have this baby.  No poopies for me during delivery.

My mom is moving here tomorrow with the help of Robert so I am gonna lay low - literally - until he is back home then I will be back to sampling various home induction techniques.  So far climbing stairs has only resulted in pain, drinking tea has only made me get up more during the night and as for Robert - poor, poor Robert.  Well, he just feels used.  Isn't pregnancy great??

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fire Trucks

It's fire safety month and our community fire department held a little festival for families to come out and grab a bite to eat and learn a little something about fire safety in their homes.  We figured this would totally make Evan's night considering he's obsessed with fire trucks and never turns down a hotdog.  As usual - we were right!

I was secretly hoping the firemen would have to give me an escorted ride to the hospital - no such luck.

Self Maternity Photo Shoot

Throughout both of my pregnancies I attempted to document my growing belly by taking photos every few weeks.  The pictures were never meant to be high quality considering I usually just propped the camera up allowing myself a few seconds to run and quickly sit in its view in time for it to snap a quick shot.  When I was 38 weeks pregnant with Evan however I decided I really wanted a few maternity pictures that I could actually frame or put in an album that portrayed pregnancy for what it really is - beautiful.  So my friend Amanda set me up in a studio where she works and she took some amazing pictures that I have admired ever since.

Well, here I am 39 weeks with MJ and I have nothing of worth, as far as pictures go, to show for this pregnancy.  I also don't have Amanda to depend on to take any pictures for me.  And Robert doesn't know how to use my camera.  So, what to do, you ask?

Never underestimate the power of the self-timer.  Right, Amanda?

I decided I would do my own pictures.  That's right - by propping up the camera again and rushing into its view finder.  But this time I had a specific style of picture in mind that I wanted to take and through various resources I learned what settings I needed to use for my camera in order to accomplish that goal.  By playing around with the exposure and contrast and using natural light softened by the sheer curtains this was the final result - and I'm really happy with it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We Love You

I received heartbreaking news last night and I'm still struggling to accept it.  Two of our dearest friends lost their son after being born at roughly 23 weeks.  The parents were able to hold their child and love him for a couple of hours before he quietly passed away.  They named him Miles Daniel.

I can't seem to stop crying.  I am flooded with emotions that resonate with being both a mother and a friend.  I knew how much they wanted to be parents and I desperately wanted that for them.  I was overjoyed when I found out they were expecting and often envisioned their new family of three.  I could see Daddy wrestling around with his l'il man while Mommy played blocker to the rambunctious pets.  I also saw Mommy cheerfully singing songs and reading books disguising her voice for all the different characters. No matter what I imagined though it always made me smile because I knew how happy this new family would be.

From a maternal stand point is where this news hit me the hardest.  A mother unquestionably loves her baby first.  From conception to birth a mother cares for her child.  She considers the safety of her child every time she sits down to eat or each activity in which she refuses to participate. Having the ability to carry your child and feel his first movements is an indescribable experience that only a mother knows.  A mother and child form a loving bond well before the child ever enters the world.  So again, when I received the devastating news I thought of my friend as a mother.  I imagined her delivering her preterm baby praying over and over again that he would be ok.  I saw her holding her baby boy, experiencing the joy for the little time she had, and then having it all taken away in an instant.  No mother should have to experience that.  So I cry for her.  I cry for her because I love her and I do not want her to feel this pain.   I cry for her because I know she is blaming herself when there is nothing she could've done to change the outcome.  And I cry for her simply because it's not fair. 

Know that we love you both very much and are here for you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

How I Have Missed You

I would be referring to the fabulous season of fall.  I simply can not get enough of this weather.  I can't remember the last time I was able to turn off the ac, open all my windows and burrow under my covers for the night - all in the month of October.  If I was lucky, South Florida allowed this maybe in December or January.  So sorry, but that's just not the same.  The smell of the crisp air and the changing colors of the leaves must coincide with the start of college football to really have the dramatic impact of fall.

Here's to hooded sweatshirts, bowls of chili, lower electric bills and down comforters!  Oh, how I LOVE fall.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I'm not in labor yet.  Darnit.  But I have progressed some.  At today's 38 week check-up I learned that I am 2 cm dilated, but my cervix is still fairly thick.  I have definitely been having contractions - minor ones I'd say - so they may still be considered Braxton Hicks contractions which is nothing to get excited about.

My doctor suggests walking up stairs to jump start labor.  She also highly recommends having intercourse which always makes me laugh considering that's how I got myself in this mess in the first place.  But whatever works, right?  I figured these options were way better than drinking castor oil and taking a car ride down a bumpy road.

During last week's visit I was given the option to induce at 39 weeks if I had not gone into labor on my own at that point.  Up until today I had made the decision that I would indeed choose induction at 39 weeks.  But after thinking it through I've made the decision to just let nature take its course.  Robert and I don't plan to have any more children after this birth and I think I would really like the experience of natural labor.  I want to feel the excitement and exhilaration of knowing this is it!   I want to scramble around the house wondering if I have everything I need but at the same time not really caring.  I long for the pure chaos of it all.  Call me crazy - but that's the final decision.  Now if 40 weeks rolls around and there's still no baby then this whole reasoning may go right out the window - in fact, I know it will.  I'll be scheduling an induction pronto.

So, in the meantime you can find me scaling my stairs, drinking raspberry leaf tea, eating pineapple and meditating - all while making my husband a very happy man. :)  Yes, I know, too much information.