Friday, February 14, 2014

Staying busy

Ellie is days away from being 4 months old.
Here are some things that have been going on:
  • Jeff has been in "busy season" since the return of "Christmas break." Although he has been getting home around 10 pm most nights, he is home Friday nights and all day Sunday... so we loooove those days.
  • I returned to work part time. I'm working about 20 hours a week right now, split between time at the office, and time at home. Ellie is babysat by my good friend Jenna, and Grandma Lorraine.
  • Maddie and Curtis are moving to Arizona! (Is this a secret still?)
  • Dallin opened his mission call and is going to the Texas, Houston South Mission, Spanish speaking. We are all so excited for him...
  • We booked tickets to Maui for Jeff's 30th birthday! 
  • Ellie has many nicknames: Ellzeba, Elbow, Elvis, Ellie Girl, Baby Ellie, Ellz Bellz, Giggidy Goo, Miss Magoo, El, Ells, Ells McGells, etc...
  • I'm serving in the Young Women's as the secretary -- we are doing a 5k in May, a huge service auction in April, and many activities in between.
  • Jeff and I are on the Mormon Prom committee - helping with marketing. I designed the posters and tickets for the event.
  • Ellie is learning how to grab things, she smiles all the time, and is an angel 90% of the time. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ellie Blessing

Ellie was blessed on Sunday, December 1, 2013. Jeff blessed her along side our fathers, and most of our brothers. Afterward we had ate lunch at our house and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Lorraine made Ellie's dress and she looked so cute in it.

Thanksgiving 2013

Our Thanksgiving weekend was full of fun activities. Maddie, Curtis, Dallin, my dad, and Marjorie came to visit us from Utah.
I strapped Ellie on like a kangaroo and we hiked Tom's Thumb in Scottsdale. It's one of my favorite hikes here. It was much easier hiking with her on my chest than when I was 30+ weeks pregnant.
It was a beautiful day!

The boys went shooting another day in the middle of no-where while Maddie and I went shopping and prepped meals.

We played some intense rounds of Settlers of Catan. Maddie was a nervous wreck the whole time, and Dallin took 5 hours every time it was his turn. ;)
On Thanksgiving Day, the boys played football with the ward, and Maddie and I walked around the park with Ellie.
Then we enjoyed Thanksgiving lunch/dinner and Jeff's parents house with his whole family. They were very kind to let my family crash the party. It was a fun group and delicious meal.

Post Thanksgiving nap on the lawn... gotta love AZ!
The next day everyone swam in the hotel pool where my dad stayed, we saw Catching Fire (loved it), and went out to Thai at the Thai House. Ellie slept most of the movie, so it worked out.

Ellie also was blessed the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It was so fun to have most of our family in town for it.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sweet Baby Ellie Video

Blame it on the hormones... or being in love... but I cried making this video, and I've cried each time I've watched it since. When I showed it to Jeff, I told him he was heartless because he didn't cry. Anyway, here is just a little montage of Ellie and her hilarious little faces from birth to 4 weeks old.
If you are unable to view the video below, or want to watch it in better quality/bigger click here.


Ellie Newborn Pictures

Ellie is about one week old in these pictures. I love being her mom, and I love taking pictures of her.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Birth Story | Ellie J

Ellie came into the world only a few days late, but she was worth the wait. Here are the deets...

On Thursday, October 17 I went on two long(ish) walks with girlfriends from my ward. I was determined to get this baby out before my scheduled induction date of the following Tuesday (Oct. 22). After the evening walk, I had a bite to eat then I got in the tub and took a long bath and shaved my legs. Both the bath and the smooth legs are irrelevant to having a baby, but I was glad I did both.

After Jeff worked a long day, he made it home and we retired to our bed and watched 2 episodes of Scandal... maybe it was 3 episodes? Again irrelevant. After our shameless Scandal binge we finally hit the lights around 11:10 pm. I was having some slight back pain while laying in bed, but nothing serious. Then, at 11:25 pm, it felt like little Ellie did a karate punch straight down between my legs. I think I heard an audible "pop." I waited for a second thinking and hoping it was my water that broke. I had a feeling it was so I jumped out of bed and ran to the toilet.

Yes. My water definitely broke. I was pretty impressed with myself that I didn't get any "water" on the bed or carpet leading to the bathroom... especially considering how much of it there was.
So, at this point, Jeff and I were getting pretty excited because we knew the baby had to come within the next 24 hours or so. I wasn't having any contractions (YET) so I was considering going back to bed to get some rest before going to the hospital. I called the hospital and they said NOT to go back to sleep, but to come to the hospital within the next couple hours. Jeff and I packed our bags, meanwhile laughing at ourselves as we googled "what to pack in a hospital bag." The contractions started coming on, and fast. By the time we left for the hospital at 12:30 am the contractions were about 5 minutes apart and 30-60 seconds long. After arriving and checking in, I was hooked up to an IV for some fluids in the triage room. I was only 1 cm dilated. After an hour they unhooked the IV so we could walk around the hospital to "try to get things going." The contractions were very painful at this point. I couldn't walk or talk through most of them. We went back to the triage room, and I threw up after one contraction. I talked to the nurse and asked her to order me the epidural... asap. I was done with the pain. We moved to the delivery room and Dr. Greenberg, the anesthesiologist came in with his huge cart and many tools to give me the "spinal tap" (as Jeff calls it). The anticipation and build up was way worse than the epidural itself. Immediately, the pain eased and I was feeling SO much better. I loved watching the monitor with my contractions going up and down... and not feeling any of the pain. So, at 3:30 am I had the epidural and unfortunately I was still dilated 1 cm. For the next 2 hours we "rested" and waited to see if I progressed. I didn't, so they started the pitocin at 5:30 am. Again, we "rested" for another 2 hours, and by 7:30 am I was dilated 4 cm, 90% effaced! At this point I started texting and calling my family to tell them I was in labor. The nurses also noticed an irregularity in the baby's heartbeat so I had to wear an oxygen mask. The oxygen was a little annoying because it made my mouth and lips super dry. By 9:00 am I was 7 cm dilated! I was happy that I was progressing. The nurse did another check-er-roo and the baby was facing head up, so they placed big peanut ball between my legs to try to turn her. By 11 am I was dilated to 8-9 cm, and "-1." It was getting close, and I started to feel the pressure to push. This pressure only increased with time. I'm not sure if they eased up on the "epidural juice" but I was excited/nervous that I could feel the pressure.

The nurse came in, and excitedly announced that it was time to push. Without time to think, I was in position, with Jeff on one side and the nurse on the other. After a couple rounds of pushing she called the doctor and after the doctor arrived I was pushing with every contraction. The pushing was much harder than I thought it would be, so luckily it only lasted 30 minutes. With every contraction I would push 3 separate times for 10 seconds. I could sense the excitement from the doctor, nurse, and Jeff as Ellie was getting closer and closer to making her appearance. Finally, when Ellie came out, she made the cutest little whimpers and was immediately placed on my chest. It was an incredible moment to be done pushing and to meet our little girl. Jeff and I glanced at each other with small tears in our eyes, proud of the miracle that just occurred. Welcome to the world little one.

And I post this last picture because it was the moment I realized life would never ever be the same. I wasn't mad as my expression may show, I was just shocked they placed Ellie on me so fast, and I was trying to figure out how to hold her... and pretty amazed at her cone head too.
Ps. Now that I've done both, I would give birth (with an epidural) over running a marathon ANY day. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Baby Showers!

If I would have known that having a baby would include so many parties and gifts, I would've had a baby a lot sooner. Jk.

It turns out that Jeff and I weren't the only ones who were excited for Baby Ellie to join the world. So many loved ones have expressed their love and generosity... it's been overwhelming! Being the center of attention... along with my big belly... made me sweat a lot... but I am so grateful for everyone who have joined us in celebrating our new addition.

Jeff's mother and sisters threw me my first shower here in Arizona. It was a fun group of people including family, Jeff's co-workers, BYU friends, and some Cave Creek ward friends. The ladies went with a "Sprinkles" theme. The guests wrote little notes on diapers for me to laugh at during late night diaper changes. The food was delicious as well. Thanks sissy's for the fun party!

I flew to Utah in early September for a baby shower / family weekend. (Don't mind that I wore the same dress...) Maddie and my mom threw such a fun shower, and it was so fun to see friends and family. Track friends, California friends, and lots of family showed up to celebrate baby Ellie with us. We had the party in my mom's apartment clubhouse, which was perfect. Maddie conducted a fun game of "guess the celebrity baby" and we ate yummy food. I also got to spend some time with Dallin and my dad that weekend too... lots of fun.

My awesome friends in my ward threw me an adorable shower too. It was fun to have some of the young women from my seminary class and ward show up. The dessert table was pretty incredible too. Several women in the ward contributed to a group gift and got me my jogging stroller/car seat system which I love!
Darling young women. 
We played a fun matching game.

Lastly, my co-workers threw me a baby shower, and nearly all the women at the office showed up. It was so fun and everyone was so generous. My boss, Liz had some hilarious games too.