Things I Hope To See In My Lifetime

2 Jun
  • an end to abortion
  • a loving response from Christians to men and women with same-sex attraction
  • Americans understanding true marriage
  • at least one of our children become a priest/brother/sister
  • India
  • our 50th wedding anniversary
  • and, once all is said and done, the Beatific Vision
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Just an Update

30 Apr

I’m sitting in the glider with a sleeping baby on my shoulder, and since I’m not feeling terribly lucky tonight, I’m not going to try to move her until she’s been asleep for a good half hour or so. Perfect time to blog from my phone, don’t ya think?

Since I just want to get my thoughts out there, this is going to be another bulleted update. Hey, it’s at least a step up from stream of consciousness, right?

• Natalie had another pediatrician appointment last Friday. She had her first round of vaccines, and thankfully she didn’t have any sort of bad reaction to them. She was up to 12 lbs, 15 oz, and 23.5 inches. (Trivia: that’s just 7 oz and 0.5 inch bigger than her daddy at birth. At 37 weeks. My poor, poor mother-in-law.)
• Speaking if in-laws, Charles’s parents are coming up to babysit this weekend so Charles and I can go to the wedding of my friends Lakendra and Ross. Lakendra and I went to Egypt together, and she is one funny, intelligent, sweet friend. I am so excited for her!
• Mom came to visit on Saturday. I got to take her on a walk in my favorite park. If you’re ever in Hendersonville, you have to walk along the Hendersonville Greenway in Drake’s Creek Park. It runs alongside Drake’s Creek, and there are lots of waterfowl to check out while you’re walking. It’s all so lush and naturey.
• I’m super excited about the arrival of my nephew James this July! I’m going to start on a quilt for him soon. A boy quilt! How fun! My sister came to visit at the beginning of this month, and it was very clear that she’s going to be a fabulous mom. She didn’t even bat an eye changing one of Natalie’s stinky diapers.
• The second graders at Assumption had their First Holy Communion on Sunday. Guess who got all weepy in the back of the church? It wasn’t Charles or Natalie.
• Now, for a few pictures, and we’ll call it a blog post:

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Thanks for reading! Happy Monday!

-Erica

Eight Weeks Go By Quickly!

16 Apr

It’s hard to believe that Natalie’s gone from this:

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to this:

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in just eight short weeks!

I wish I had the mental capacity at this point to wax poetic about the trials and joys of early motherhood, but I just ain’t got it in me right now! I’ll give you the bulleted highlights:

  • She sleeps five straight hours overnight. At two months, that’s considered “sleeping through the night.” Hooray! She’s a great sleeper!
  • She is utterly incapable of napping during the day anywhere else but on my chest as I tote her around in the Ergo carrier. WTFudge?! She is such a terrible sleeper!
  • Her absolute favorite place to be (while awake) is on her changing table. I can’t figure it out, but this girl LOVES being up on the table. As soon as I start to lay her down, here eyes light up in anticipating of wiggling around on her favorite spot.
  • She gets hungry at the most inconvenient times, especially when we’re driving. Charles and I have joked about carrying the camera along in her diaper bag so we can take pictures of everywhere we have to pull over to feed her. Here’s a shot of Charles’s trying to get her ready to go back into her car seat after one of her meals-on-the-go:

She is sweet and fussy and double-chinned and wonderful and exhausting. Life is an adventure!

 

Natalie’s Birth Story

3 Mar

Well, she’s here!!!

Natalie Aurelia Page joined us on February 21st, 2012, at 10:18 PM. She weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 20 in long. She is also 100% percent adorable.

That Tuesday morning, I noticed that I was having contractions. We learned in our birth class that new moms can feel contractions for days or weeks before they are actually in labor. Since those were the first contractions I had felt, and since her due date was still one week away, I thought to myself, “Great! Maybe the baby will come in a week or so!” Contractions kept coming throughout the day, at about 10 to 7 minutes apart. I had a few other signs of impending labor show up that day, but again, I didn’t think much of it. Around 2:30, I decided to call the midwives to check in and let them know what was going on. I left a message, and when I got a call back, they requested I come in to get checked. I was sort of embarrassed that I had called, because I was so sure this wasn’t real labor, and I just knew I was going to get sent back home. I almost didn’t even call Charles to let him know I was driving into town, because false labor didn’t seem like a good enough reason to interrupt him at work. I didn’t call our doula at all.

So, I drove myself about 25 minutes to downtown Nashville to check in with the Vandy midwives. SPOILER ALERT: I was actually in labor! Whoops!

When I made it downtown, it was really obvious that my water had broken. Like, so obvious that my midwife didn’t even get out the little test strips to make sure the fluid is amniotic and not pee. Anyway, she told me to go to the hospital, so I called Charles and our doula and headed down the street to the hospital.

Vanderbilt has valet parking during the day, and once I finally found the valet station, I tried to politely ask the valet if I needed to do anything other than hand him my keys. I don’t think he understood my question, at which point, I yelled, “I’m in labor!!!” to which he replied, “Ohmygoshjustgo!!!!!” It was a nice exchange.

Once I got there, I was hooked up to some monitors and an IV for antibiotics. The room was brightly lit, I was alone, and Telemundo was playing on the TV. It was not how I had planned things.

Our wonderful doula arrived maybe an hour after I got there, and Charles arrived about a half hour after her. At that point, I was off the monitors and IV, and I was able to move about freely. Our doula helped me find comfortable positions to make it through the contractions, which had really intensified. Charles was very supportive and kept letting me know what a great job I was doing. After a few hours of contractions, I spent about 20 minutes in the shower. It was the best shower of my life. After that, I was really starting to feel like I couldn’t last much longer. I remember that I kept saying how tired I was. I felt like I didn’t have the energy to keep going, and I thought about asking for an epidural or for nitrous oxide, but for whatever reason, I kept those thoughts to myself. We learned in our birth class that once a mom starts to feel like she can’t go on anymore, she is really close to the end.

Pretty soon, it was time to push. I pushed for two hours. Note to Vanderbilt Medical Center: Don’t install clocks opposite the labor beds. I would so much rather have not known what time it was during those two hours. The pain was pretty awful, but I just kept reminding myself that it was going to get worse before it was going to get better, and I just had to keep going through the pain.

And finally, the pain ended, and our daughter was born! Charles got to help “catch” the baby, and the midwives told him to put her on my stomach right away. Because of the way she came out, no one saw whether she was a boy or girl, so I got to be the one to announce it!

It was love at first sight, and that love keeps multiplying every time I see her. I’m so thankful for such a sweet baby girl and for such a strong supportive husband. We are having a great time adjusting to being a family of three, and we can’t wait to introduce Natalie to all our friends soon.

-Erica

Baby Quilt

17 Feb

It’s official. Baby Page is allowed to come whenever he or she wants to, because I finished the baby quilt! It only took me three days from start to finish, and I didn’t even go crazy! That’s more than I can say about the last quilt I made in three days, although I had NO idea what I was doing that time. (Note to any would-be quilters out there: give yourself at least a week to finish your first!)

The quilt and I had a photo shoot this morning so I could show it off to you, dear readers. Here goes:

Hey, pretty curtains, stop trying to steal the quilt's thunder! You'll get your own photo shoot when I finally get around to photographing the nursery!

Here she is, in all her glory! I followed a tutorial from Moda’s Bake Shop, with a few minor tweaks here and there. I couldn’t locate any Moda charm packs called for in the tutorial, and my favorite little quilt shop in Goodlettsville was closed the day I wanted to start (and by golly, I wanted to start this quilt on MONDAY! I didn’t have time to wait ’til TUESDAY!), so I just went to JoAnn’s for fabric. JoAnn’s is sort of like the Walmart of craft stores. I have champagne tastes when it comes to fabric, so it was a little disappointing to work with lesser quality materials, but I think it turned out well overall. Also, it’s probably going to get pooped on, so…

Those little triangles bordering the pinwheels are called prairie points. They’re sewn down securely and look perfect for a gummy teething session, don’t you think?

It’s backed with this high-contrast graphic pattern and bound with a polka dotted pale yellow fabric.

Hey, crib skirt, didn't you hear me talking to the curtains? Pipe down!

Glamour shot on the crib!

Baby Page, doesn't this quilt look so cozy? Doesn't it just make you want to come out and snuggle? What's that? You want to stay in there two weeks past your due date?! Um... can we talk about this?

Well, that’s about all I have to say about the baby quilt. Time to go put away my sewing machine and vacuum up all the thread on the floor!

-Erica

Mo’ Pills Mo’ Problems

3 Feb

The topic of contraception has been in the news lately. 1.35 million condoms were recalled in South Africa earlier this week, leading many to fear an increase in the spread of HIV/AIDS in a continent that has already suffered so much from the disease. Also, 1 million packets of birth control were recalled here in the US because of a packaging error that may lead a woman to take a placebo pill when she intends to take a hormonal pill, resulting in an increase in the chance of pregnancy.

Reading these news reports this week made me want to write a post about contraception and why I believe using contraception is harmful to men and women. However, The Bad Catholic did a WAY better job than I ever could, arguing this point from Natural Law (aka, you don’t have to be Catholic to agree with what is written).

Please do yourself a favor and read the post! I’ll give you a few highlights to whet your appetite:

  • Should rosebushes be kept in closets? What does that have to do with sex? (Uh, aside from the “bush” reference… get your mind out of the gutter!)
  • How is contraception like bulimia?
  • What method of family planning is related to a divorce rate of less than 1%? (Seriously!!!)
  • How might contraception keep you from “living your life to the fullest”?

Obviously, this is a very personal issue that each individual must decide for himself or for herself. However, I sure as heck don’t mind sharing what I believe to be a great insight that so many people have yet to find. And, if this article makes you want to learn more, please let me know! I have lots of further sources that I would love to share with you!

-Erica

Quick Life Update

2 Feb
  • I’m 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I’ll be full term in 12 days! Since the midwives will let me go as long as two weeks past my due date, this baby could come any time between now and March 13th, although I’m hoping for somewhere around the due date.
  • My guess is it’s a girl. We shall see!
  • My sister is having a boy, due July 3rd. Our parents are about as ridiculously excited as you could imagine them being, what with expecting their first two grandchildren this year and all.
  • (I told you this blog would be about babies.)
  • Charles passed his first actuary exam this week! And by passed I mean kicked the snot out of it. What a smarty pants. I am very proud of him.
  • We’re getting a new (to us!) car this week. The Volvo is on it’s last leg and needs repairs more costly than the car’s value, so it’s time to put her down. We’re very thankful to be able to get a new car without taking out a loan and making Dave Ramsey cry.
  • The nursery curtains and crib skirt came out splendidly, and we’re just about finished! I ordered some prints through Etsy from a lady in Australia (oh hi, globalization), and I’m waiting for them to arrive. Once I frame those and put up some shelves, we’ll be finished!

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for hopefully more than one-a-month blogging from your’s truly.

-Erica