Monday Musings

#1- I'm realizing there are some major benefits that come along with a baby having a 3-hour routine that repeats over and over again {eat, play, sleep...repeat}...one of those things is getting a whole bunch of do-overs on any given day.  We generally don't need them, and for that I am thankful, BUT we have our days when my sweet boy is screeeeaming bloody murder 3 inches from my face, and I remind myself that once I get him to sleep, I can start fresh on the next cycle.  It's generally all I need to keep from losing my mind.  I don't have to try again tomorrow, I get to try again in a few short hours.  And in those hours I've usually got my boy snuggled up against me to ensure he gets a good nap and when he wakes up I get to see a big gummy smile that makes my heart explode.

#2- I'm pretty sure we just saw the 6-week growth spurt come and go {I have a giant baby on my hands to prove it} and I have to say that although the extra feedings and ultra-fussiness can be frustrating, the extra sleepy, snuggly baby I get out of it makes it all oh so worth it. 


#3- Bath time tonight and bath time throwback! Look at this face...he is getting SO BIG!  It is so rewarding seeing him grow and thrive off of mama's milk alone and so bittersweet that he's growing so dang fast. 


2 weeks 2 days.  11/8/2015
6 weeks 2 days!  12/7/2015
#4- Pinterest WIN- Chicken Bacon Garlic Alfredo Roll Ups found here!  Ignore how terrible my pictures are and focus on the fact that you need to ditch the diet and make this ASAP. It was unreal delicious.  My husband said he fell in love with me alllll over again over this dish.  Wins all around.


  
  
 

 #5- First big walk with my boy took place the other day.  I opted for Starbucks because...coffee...and Duke did so well on the 3 mile trek!  He loves being outside and only fussed a bit because he was tired but way too distracted to actually sleep.

Hope you all are having a lovely start to the week!

-T-

'Tis the Season

And the season is oh so jolly this year.  It is no secret this year has been extra special for us.  But last year was special too {wedding} and the year before that was also special {engagement}.  Ever since I met my husband in 2011 and we started dating in 2012, I feel like my life has been getting better and better each year.  We have so many things to be thankful for, I couldn't possibly list them all.  This holiday season, I am holding my boys close and thanking God for them every day.  I am doing my best to be present, to live in the moment, and to savor this time in my life where my only job is loving and caring for my family.  I would give just about anything to have this be my only job for longer than the next 7 weeks but that's a story for a different day. 

2014-  Family of 3 with our fur baby //  2015- Baby Duke's first Christmas!
One of my very favorite things about this season is the decorations!  We don't have a ton, but try to add bits of Christmas cheer wherever we can.  I am hoping that we can get a real tree next year!  For now, please enjoy far too many pictures of our decorations :) 

I wouldn't mind a life-size version of this tree!

I love our little nativity scene

Our stockings are missing but will hopefully be delivered soon!

We might love cookies more than Santa...

Our tree!

December = Christmas jammies and outfits all day every day!  Duke is excited about it and all the kisses he's getting.

Santa butts...that is all.

My heart about burst watching him take in his first Christmas tree!
I love the month of December and I couldn't be more excited about Duke's first Christmas.  Our boy is already growing so fast and he gets more interactive and smiley by the day. Except during a growth spurt...then we aren't quite as smiley!  Growing is hard work.  I am loving this life and this season with my boys and I hope you're all soaking up the joys of the holidays!

-T-

Duke - One Month Old!

Our sweet boy is one month old today yesterday! And yes, I can believe it's already been a month.  I've been very intentional about soaking up all of my time with Duke and I feel like I've been more present this month than any other time in my life. I know time speeds up when babies are added to the mix and I know I'll look back one day in awe of how tiny he was but for now we are soaking up all of the tiny-ness, the new-ness and the firsts.


Each week has been better than the one before and the moments of holy crap how are we going to raise a human!? happen far less than I thought they would.  Duke is becoming so much more aware now and seeing his sweet face recognize mine and feeling his little body relax into mine after a meltdown knowing he's with his mama is the best feeling.  

What are you doing to me mom!?
Having my very own baby is like everything I thought it would be and nothing like I thought it would be all at once.  I've felt a whole new level of love and I am fiercely protective of my boy.  I don't know when I'll be ready to venture out sans-baby but I know I'm not ready yet.  I love our little family all together and Dennis and I get more and more confident each day about this whole parenting gig.  On the other hand, I truly underestimated how overwhelming this whole process would be.  I tear up at the thought that I am actually a mom... that this little boy is ours for forever! It's amazing and it's absolutely terrifying.  I will be worrying about him for the rest of my life and that's exactly how it should be, it's just a. lot. to absorb sometimes. 

Checking out his heartbeat monkey
At Duke's one month appointment yesterday, our boy weighed in at a whopping 10 lbs 4 oz and 22.5 inches long!  He's gained 2 lbs 3 oz since birth and grown about .75 inches.  He is such a good eater and I am so so happy that breastfeeding continues to go well.

This week we get to celebrate Duke's first Thanksgiving and I am beyond excited to get this holiday season started with our boy!  He may not have a clue what's going on but he makes everything more special.

#momoftheyear for waiting until my boy was oh so tired to take his one month pictures



Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! Soak up all your precious moments with your friends and family.

-T-

Duke Anthony Felecos- The Birth Story Part 2

So we left off with an epidural...ah sweet relief!  It was 3:30 a.m. and I was finally able to take a deep breath, smile at my husband, and FREAK OUT about the fact that we were about to have a baby!  My sister and mother in law had been waiting out in the lobby during the epidural so once I was sufficiently numbed, we let them come in the room to share in our excitement.  We chatted for awhile and decided it would be a good idea to try and get some rest before the big event.  Dennis hadn't gone to bed yet that night so he especially needed some sort of shut eye to avoid passing out on the job.  I wasn't able to actually sleep but I tried to completely relax and close my eyes until the nurse came back in to check on me at 5 a.m. 

By 5 a.m. I was at 7 centimeters!  4 centimeters of progress in 2 hours...I was a happy camper!  We updated my parents and unfortunately realized that my mom would likely not make it in time due to the 9 hour drive she was on.  None of us thought it would go so quickly but we were obviously super excited everything was going so well.  We continued to rest a bit until I had to wake Dennis up because I was slowly but surely realizing these were our last hours as just us.  I needed and wanted to soak up that time with him even though he was ridiculously exhausted and not riding the adrenaline high that I was on.   I was about to push our child out of my body, so he was a trooper. ;)

Give me all the orange popsicles!


At 7 a.m. the nurses came in to let us know about the shift change- a new nurse and new midwife would be assisting us for the rest of our labor/delivery journey.  I was really sad to see our nurse go but her replacement was great as well and I was thrilled that my favorite midwife was the one taking over!  The nurse checked me again and said that I was COMPLETE!  10 centimeters!  Because Duke and I were doing so well, we decided to let my body do it's thing for awhile longer and not start pushing yet.  I didn't know this was an option- I thought 10 meant GO TIME so I was a little surprised.  This was also the time we were able to get in touch with my brother in law and sister in South Dakota.  We didn't want to wake them up in the middle of the night but I was so excited to get some words of advice from someone who had gone through this a couple of times.

The nurse also thought that Duke was face-up which was really surprising because it felt like he had been trying to break out of my stomach back-first for weeks.  So we put a giant blow up 'peanut' ball that looked just like Mr. Peanut between my legs and had me lie on one side and then the other.  Around this time I asked my sister if she would stay in the room with us since we knew my mom wasn't going to make it.  I wanted someone else there to support us and to take pictures of our boy entering the world and I certainly didn't want Dennis to be seeing his birth through the screen on a camera.  She was very excited and told me the last time she had been at a hospital for a birth was for mine so I was so happy she was going to be able to be right by my side as I welcomed my son into the world. 

Around 9 a.m. I felt like the pressure was getting pretty strong with each contraction and I was really getting anxious to start pushing.  The nurse said I could start whenever I felt comfortable and so I started pushing.  It was very anti-climactic to be honest.  I knew the whole process could take awhile, but I didn't realize I'd be pushing for an hour before we even considered calling in my midwife.  Why am I pushing so hard if he's clearly not coming out!? 

I knew my sister had to leave to get home and pack so she could catch her afternoon flight to South Dakota, so I knew this baby needed to come out before 11 a.m.  A little after 10 my midwife came in and they assured me we were close and I was doing great.  I was starting to lose my patience a bit and more than once pleaded that they JUST GET HIM OUT PLEASE! Pushing was hard and I seriously don't know how people do it after a long, painful labor.  I knew how lucky I was to have had such a quick labor but I was still exhausted and frustrated.  Everyone continued to encourage me, I felt Duke's head full of hair so ridiculously close to coming out, and at 10:31 a.m. my sweet boy made his way into this world!  He was completely blue and the midwife was unwrapping the cord around his neck so I was initially terrified and asking if he was okay until I finally heard his beautiful cry.  To be honest, he sounded like a screeching pterodactyl but it was the most perfect sound I'd ever heard.

Duke Anthony Felecos- Born 10.24.2015 10:31 a.m.- 8lbs 1oz, 21.75in  
My sweet baby Duke was immediately placed on me for skin to skin time and the nurse eventually rubbed him long enough for the blue to turn into a perfect shade of pink.  We talked to him, we saw his sweet eyes open and saw the recognition in his eyes of our voices.  We kissed his sweet face and admired his little body.  He was briefly taken by the nurses to get a diaper on and be weighed and then brought right back to try breastfeeding.  He latched on immediately and did such a good job and I was thrilled because it was so important to me that breastfeeding be enjoyable for both of us.  My hospital {and maybe yours} calls the first hour after birth The Golden Hour.  They gave us the option to be alone bonding with our sweet boy for 1-2 hours before letting anyone else into the room and before moving us to recovery.  It was the best hour.  We were officially a family of three + Capone.

 
Auntie Jen was able to come back for a quick snuggle before the airport!
Welcome to the world Duke!  You have no idea how much you mean to us, how much we prayed for you and how stupid excited we are to have you in our family.  We love you more than anything in the universe and we hope you forgive us as we stumble along this journey as your parents, but know that we are giving you everything we've got and trying our best every single day.    

-T-
 

Duke Anthony Felecos-- The Birth Story Part 1

Our sweet baby boy has been with us for 24 days! 24 amazing, life-changing, slightly weird days.  I say weird because I can't believe I'm a MOM.  It seems so surreal.  Something I have dreamed about becoming for more years than I care to admit and now it's here and I'm a mom and there's this sweet little boy looking up at me each and every day, instilling his faith in the fact that I'll take care of his every need.  And I will.  WE will.  I certainly can't leave out the hubs in this scenario.  Everyone says it but seriously I've fallen in love with him 10x over since seeing him embrace the daddy role.  I absolutely love it.

In honor of my sweet boy being 24 days old, I thought I'd go back in time to 10.24.2015 and share the story of how he entered the world before I forget all the details.  Duke was due on 10.23.2015 and throughout my entire pregnancy, I had mentally prepared myself to go late.  My sister was late and had to be induced with her two girls and we were all late for my mom.  I had a countdown to our due date regardless because the day itself is still significant, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super worried that I would have to wait a million days after that day before Duke would make his arrival.  Thank God he proved me wrong.

I worked the full day on Friday 10/23 and then went to the mall for dinner and LOTS of walking with the hubs.  The whole week I'd been eating my weight in pineapple and eggplant parmesan because I'd read some old wives tales that these things may or may not help induce labor.  I even tried to get spicy Chinese food, despite the fact that I'm a big pansy, but it turned out not being spicy at all.  So we walked and walked until I thought my lower back was going to completely give out and we headed to Brookstone to sit in the massage chairs.  One of the women who was working came over to warn me that they have to advise "these chairs can induce labor!" and I said "Is there a special setting for that!? I'm due today."  After being sufficiently massaged from head to toe, we headed home.

There wasn't much on TV so we opted for episodes of Friends that never get old.  Rachel happened to be super pregnant in these episodes and the last one we watched before I fell asleep on the couch was her water breaking and her leaving for the hospital.  I went into bed around midnight and woke up at 1:30 a.m. with cramps and assumed I just had to pee really bad {par for the course at this stage of pregnancy}.  When I stood up I felt very wet and simultaneously thought "Holy crap I think my water broke..." quickly followed by "Oh no, I'm going into labor and I'm sooo tired."  #momoftheyear

I slowly made my way to the bathroom and yelled for Dennis who was super calm about everything until I quickly had a contraction and it HURT.  I got up to get my phone to call the hospital and no more than 4 minutes had passed before I had another contraction.  Dennis was packing up the last minute things for our hospital bag and getting in the shower and I told him he needed to hurry up because contractions were coming in quick!  My midwife advised us to come on in because it sounded like we were in fact in labor.

Throughout my entire pregnancy I had also been telling Dennis that we would have plenty of time before we would need to go to the hospital.  I wanted to labor at home as long as possible and not get sent home for going in to the hospital too early.  He had been telling me that he was going to get me to the hospital as quickly as he possibly could and likely break all the laws of driving.  Neither one of these things ended up being true.  We had a total of 36 minutes from water breaking to getting into the car and because it was 2 a.m. on Friday night/Saturday morning, Dennis was driving like an 85 year old man and barely hitting the speed limit.  As I was rushing my parents off the phone due to contractions coming in hot, I was begging him to drive faster because for the love of God we're having a baby and it hurts!

We slowly made our way up to Labor and Delivery, stopping every so often to breath through a contraction.  I loved the nurse we had initially- she was so positive and encouraging.  My contractions were coming in 2-3 minutes apart at this point so when she asked if I wanted an epidural I said ABSOLUTELY and she ordered it right away.  At 3 a.m. I was 3 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced and our nurse assured us that it looked like things were moving really quickly.  At this point I didn't want anyone touching me during contractions which made the whole process a lot harder on the hubs.  He just sat in front of me and stared, totally helpless as I breathed through each one and squeezed the crap out of my leg.  My legs started to feel really tingly and they told me it was because I was hyperventilating...hahaha here I thought I was breathing like a champ!  At 3:30 a.m. I was getting my epidural and letmetellyou it was worth the ridiculous pain of having to stay completely still while breathing through contractions as they stuck a giant needle in my back.  It took a little while to start feeling it but once I did, the relief was absolute perfection.

And because this is getting long-winded {even for me} I'm going to end Part 1 here...stay tuned for Part 2!  As a thank you for making it this far, here's a picture of the sweet babe this is all about:


-T-

38 weeks 3 days

So I've heard from pretty much every pregnant woman on the planet that the last few weeks or month of pregnancy last roughly 3483151 days and isn't exactly the most comfortable time in one's life.  I have to admit that I sort of agree.  One thing that makes the last few weeks go by a bit quicker is planning a move at 37 weeks.  {horrible idea btw- not actually recommended}  Although I do think that it helped to just now have his room ready to go- I can't imagine seeing all of his stuff setup for weeks and weeks without going crazy with impatience!


What surprised me the most about these last few weeks was the ridiculous change in comfort level from week 37 to week 38.  The baby most certainly "dropped" as they call it, so every single step I take is wicked uncomfortable.  I get the whole bowling ball reference now, ladies.


The thing about pregnancy {and maybe everything}, though, is that you have to let people experience it themselves.  Advice is good and all but sometimes it's frustrating to be constantly told how things are going to be before they happen {not to mention every pregnancy is different!}.  No matter how many times someone tells you what something will be like or how many articles you read- you really don't know how something is going to go or how you're going to react to it until you're actually experiencing it.  And that's a good thing!  Because living life vicariously through other people is lame and just because it happened to someone else, doesn't mean it will happen to you.  Anyway, today has been a fantastic day so I'd like to share a glimpse of what 38 weeks and 3 days is looking like in our household.
From Friday- officially 38 weeks
7:30 a.m.- move everything into the kitchen and on top of the bed so carpets can be cleaned
8 a.m.- go to 38 week prenatal appointment- find out some progress is being made but get reminded 4 million times not to get too excited because he will come when he's ready and that could be weeks
10 a.m.- take the fur-child to grandma's so he doesn't kill the carpet cleaners
11 a.m.- go to the hospital for an appointment to pre-register -- think about the fact that the next time we're there will be BABY TIME!
12 p.m.- lunch with awesome former co-workers - eat delicious tacos and countdown the days until I can drink a margarita again {just being honest}
2 p.m.- pre-natal massage!
3:30 p.m.- come home to clean carpets + What to Expect When You're Expecting on TV + couch time

Today is such a good day. Exactly the calm, semi-productive, all about "me-time" day.  I highly recommend a day(s) like that in the last few weeks of pregnancy, because no matter who you are or how awesome/horrible your pregnancy has been, there is no denying the fact that "me-time" will be hard to come by once that sweet baby arrives.

-T- 

My thoughts on "Trying"- 12.20.2014

I wrote this post MONTHS ago obviously and wasn't quite brave enough to share it but I hoped that one day I would have a big round pregnant belly and finally feel comfortable sharing some of the deep dark secret thoughts I had when we made the decision to start "trying" for a baby.  Today appears to be that day.  PLEASE know that I am well aware of how incredibly blessed we are that we are pregnant and that it didn't take us very long at all to get there-at the time of writing this post, I wasn't pregnant and didn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. {disclaimer over}

This baby fever thing is no joke.  To some people, today is Saturday, December 20, 2014.  To me, it's day 22.  It's month #4 of this whole "trying" business and letmetellyou it's not all I thought it would be.  I'm just being honest.  I honestly didn't think we'd have to see a month #4.  I didn't really know what I was getting into but I knew that I really wanted a baby with the man of my dreams, my best friend, my hubs.  I also knew that many people in my life decided they wanted a baby and BAM they made baby.

I know that's not the most realistic perspective.  I know most people try for months before they get pregnant.  I told myself (and the hubs) that we'd just have fun and try and see what happened.  But when you're talking about something that will change every aspect of your life, it's hard to just throw caution to the wind and "see what happens."  Can anyone else relate?  I had to make sure we waited long enough after the wedding so I could travel to one of my best friend's weddings.  So we waited.  THEN when we actually started trying, I kept thinking about all of the holidays/celebrations that were coming up.  What if I'm pregnant and I don't know it and I'm drunk on Halloween dressed up like a cat?  What kind of mom is that!?  What if I'm pregnant on Thanksgiving...what about all. the. wine.  They'll notice if I don't drink and then the cat's out of the bag!  What about Christmas/New Years/Kwanzaa/President's Day...

I didn't actually think all of those thoughts but you get my drift.  More people started getting engaged and planning 2015 weddings.  All of these things seemed to be happening around me while I waited in limbo stage from one week to the next, always wondering if this would be our chance.  I prayed all the time.  I'd get my hopes up and have phantom symptoms and then I'd get a big slap across the face (or uterus) and be doubled over with cramps, holding onto my heating pad for dear life, cursing the day I became a "woman" and I'd wait until our next opportunity to create life.


I'm writing this because I believe (hope?) that some other crazy ladies out there can relate.  I. feel. crazy.  I tried for more years than I care to admit NOT to get pregnant, not because I didn't want a baby but because I hadn't found my guy yet, and now it was all I wanted and it wasn't happening exactly the way I'd always thought it would.  Like all things, I know that God has a plan.  I know that this isn't in my control.  I know that this is just a phase and someday I'll look back and laugh at how impatient I was.  But today is day 22 and I am praying that day 1 doesn't come again for awhile. :)

-T-

Did you know?

That little blogs hidden away in the corners of the internet can, in fact, accumulate dust when left sad and ignored for months on end?!  Its true.  This Little Corner of the World is the proof.  I honestly don’t know what’s been holding me back aside from pure laziness.  I’ve written a few posts that just never made it past the draft stage, but that’s about it.  Anyway, lately the itch to write has gotten stronger and I’ve decided to bite the bullet and dive back in. The stay may be temporary, but who knows, I’m taking it one day at a time for now. :)

Today I am 36 weeks and 4 days pregnant! I’m going to share a pretty personal, frustration-fueled post later this week that goes back to December when we were trying to get pregnant but weren’t yet successful.  I know I have friends in similar situations, many of which have been going at it for much longer than we had to and sitting here now with my big round belly, I’ve got to say it puts things in perspective.  You never know when the tables of your life are going to turn in your favor and I am constantly reminding myself that no matter what I’m going through {good or bad}, it’s the just the current season of my life and it too will pass.  It’s helping me to really enjoy the good moments a little bit more, and not to spend too much time dwelling on the things that aren’t exactly going my way.  

So in honor of all things positive, I wanted to share a few things I’m loving right at this very moment in no particular order:

  1.        Starbucks Fall Cups- I have been doing such a good job of making my own coffee at home lately, but every once in a while I crave a honey soy latte that I just can’t replicate at home.  Also- apparently it’s National Coffee Day today, so I was just celebrating!
  1.  Non-Maternity Yoga Pants- they make me feel like I’m still the same person I was before I found out about this amazing little man in my belly and sometimes I just need to feel like me.  Unlike the non-maternity tank tops I’ve been sporting {in the privacy of my own home-you're welcome} that continuously ride up and leave my belly hanging out no matter what I do. 
  2. Cooler Weather- The weather lately makes me happier than ever this year, now that I have my own little belly furnace. Capone LOVES it too and I’m having a hard time getting us both back inside in the mornings so I can get to work on time.
  3. My husband- Let’s be honest- I love him every moment, but he seriously deserves a medal for the way he has handled this pregnancy.  I get unlimited massages- feet, shoulders, back, calves, etc.  He is insanely sweet and understanding and handles my delightful mood swings like a champ.  I could not do this without him and he’s made the entire experience that much more enjoyable.  I cannot WAIT to see him with our baby boy. 
  4. My fur baby- Capone has been the sweeeeetest little love bug throughout this pregnancy.  He finally graduated from trying to sit on the baby any chance he got, to just crawling in my lap and being as close to me as possible at all times.  He is so adorable and I really hope he loves his little brother.  I also really hope he gets all the love and attention he needs- he’s always been there for us and I don’t want him to forget how much we love him!  Watch this adorable sequence of events from last night--
"That's the spot mom...

"What? I'm not tired."
"I'm just gonna rest my eyes for a minute."
 
 "zzzzzzzzzzzz"


Alright folks, the baby is currently karate chopping my pelvis so I’m going to take that as our cue to sign off for the night.  Feels real good to be back...see you soon!

-T-





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