My baby is one…

We’ve been snowed in. THREE days for me being out of school, four for the hubby. I have enjoyed it so much! The best part was I got to spend my little guy’s FIRST birthday at home with him. We didn’t do anything elaborate…made him pancakes for breakfast, sang “Happy Birthday,” and took some pictures together. We just enjoyed being together. I found his birth story that I actually wrote out last February while most of the details were still fresh on my mind. His birth is one of the highlights of my life and a day I’d gladly live over again. Here’s his story, followed by a couple pictures and a video.

On Sunday, December 9, 2012 we welcomed a beautiful eight pound, five ounce baby boy into the world. Hudson Elwyn Hall was born at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City at 1:31 p.m. He was 20 ½ inches long, with a little bit of light brown hair on top of a perfectly round head.

For Hudson’s birth we decided not to find out the gender of the baby before he was born, although, I “knew” all along I was having another boy. Rusty was certain it was going to be a girl. We had two boy names chosen and one girl name, but nothing was certain until we met little Hudson. As soon as we found out we were having another baby, I began reading about natural childbirth. I did not want the same experience I had with Cannon’s birth and knew I wanted to have as much energy as possible after the birth. Even though I decided early on to have an unmedicated labor and delivery, when I mentioned it to Rusty and a few other people, their reactions made me doubt whether or not I could do it. Thankfully, God blessed me with a quick and easy labor process, and I would gladly give birth again without drugs.

The estimated due date for Hudson was 12/8/12, but I always assumed it would be a week later–around the 16th. The only thing we were hoping to avoid was interfering with Lolli’s children’s musical on the 8th and 9th. On Saturday, the 8th, I began have contractions sporadically, and Rusty, Cannon, and I went to Wellston to see the musical. The entire evening people remarked about being sure to NOT have the baby until after the musical on the 9th. I assured them it wouldn’t happen that soon, but I was wrong. I woke up at 4:15 a.m. on the 9th with a painful contraction. I went to the bathroom and then back to bed; however, from then on I was awakened about every fifteen minutes by contractions. I knew they were regular, painful, but I thought I still had quite a ways to go before meeting our new little one. Around 6:30 a.m., I took a bath and began paying more attention to how often I was having contractions. Interestingly enough, I understand why people choose waterbirths–the pain was considerably less while I was in the bathtub. Around 7:30 a.m. Rusty and Cannon woke up and I told them we probably wouldn’t be going to church because I didn’t want to have contractions as painful as I was in front of our Sunday School class. I sent Lauren and Megan text messages to find out where they would be in case we needed to have them watch Cannon. At this point, I was beginning to think we would find out if we were having a boy or girl by late that night or early the next morning. I made breakfast for us, attempted to watch some TV with Cannon, and cleaned up the kitchen. As the contractions got stronger, but still not closer than 10-15 minutes apart, I decided gather Cannon’s things together and asked Rusty to load up the CR-V, just in case. By around 8:30, I decided it was better to be safe than sorry and head to the hospital. Before we left, we made signs with the three names we picked out. I distinctly remember having to stop while writing and wait for contractions to pass.

I drove Cannon to Lauren’s apartment, where he stayed until Megan and Josh got back to her place–they had been on their way to church, but turned around for us. Another very vivid memory, is driving down 15th street, singing the “ha ha song” and attempting to stay as relaxed as possible through contractions. Once I’d dropped Cannon off, Rusty had arrived with the truck, a full tank of gas, and we were on our way to Mercy. This was when I decided to actually call Lolli, Nana, and Holli. I also sent Dawn a text asking if she would come in the hospital room if Rusty needed relief from coaching me. We told Lolli and Nana that it would probably still be hours, but we were heading to the hospital “just in case.”

We arrived at the hospital at 10:55, made our way to the fifth floor to check-in, and I filled out the paperwork, all while having some pretty hard contractions. In the triage room, a young nurse, got us settled in, asked us all sorts of medical history questions, and then checked my cervix. While she was checking me, she got a very puzzled look on her face, and I remarked at how long it was taking her. She said she was sorry, but was kind of confused because she thought I was an eight! I did not believe her and remember feeling disappointed because she was probably just getting my hopes up. She called in another nurse to check me, and she also said I was an eight. Rusty and I were in shock. Both nurses hurried to contact others to get a room ready for us, an IV in me (blowing veins in both wrists), and quickly wheeled us to room 638. Rusty called Lolli, Nana, Holli, sent texts to aunts, updated our Sunday School class via Facebook, and held my hand. According to the nurses, we’d have a baby within an hour or two. I was just worried about “ruining” the children’s musical and whether or not Holli could make it to take pictures.

Once we were settled in our room, our nurse Keely, and the charge nurse, Christina (who was my nurse during Cannon’s birth), called Dr. Wayman, talked to us about pushing, answered my many questions, and checked my cervix again–now I was a 9. From 11:15 to around 12:45, I remember thinking “this isn’t too bad.” Rusty was a great coach, reminding me to relax through contractions, holding my hand, giving me water, ice, and making sure family and friends were up-to-date. Dr. Wayman arrived, and I asked her to wait to break my water until Holli came. She laughed at me and said that was a first for her–someone wanting to wait on their photographer. Everything was good, but both Dr. Wayman and the nurses agreed that as soon as my water broke, we’d be meeting our baby. At some point, Holli did arrive, and all I know was around 1:00, I was thinking I was crazy for not having pain medication. IT HURT. Dr. Wayman came back to the room, checked me again, broke my water, and the pushing began. To me, the pushing seemed to last for a while–I would’ve guessed 10 minutes, but according to Rusty and Holli, it wasn’t even 5 minutes. Pushing was not painful, but it was hard work. At 1:31 pm, Dr. Wayman put a perfect baby boy on my chest, and he peed on me for the first time.

It’s hard to explain the emotions that come with giving birth, and there was a distinct difference between the first and second times. A few weeks later I remember someone asking if we had one day to choose to relive over again–a good day–what day would it be? Without hesitation, my first thought was the day I gave birth to my “chill boy.” Hudson’s birth brought such a mix of emotions–fear, peace, frustration, pain, joy, and love–and it’s an experience I’d gladly go through again and again.

Hudson’s birth day was such a good and perfect gift from God! I’m forever grateful and blessed.

Hudson is here!

Hudson is here!

My chill boy is ONE!

My chill boy is ONE!

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It’s the most (crazy) wonderful time of the year…

Cannon’s birthday–check

Thanksgiving–tomorrow

Ginormous get-together with the husband’s fam–Friday

Games, decking the halls, food with my fam–Black Friday Night

Hudson’s birthday–oh, yeah? Kinda need to get on that! I at least thought ahead to design some invites. Too bad, I have to pay a whopping amount for shipping just to get them here in a WEEK. So much for inviting people 2 weeks ahead of time. At least they turned out cute:

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On my baby turning 3

Well today my first born is three years old. I’m going in a corner to cry now.

Actually, I’ve already cried. The hardest days to go to work are birthdays and those in-between are they sick or not days. I always have grand ideas–lots of balloons in the floor of his room for when he wakes up, candles in some pancakes, rent a fun new movie, cuddle and enjoy the day. Instead, I’m monitoring computer screens, teenagers, and researching political propaganda resources for teachers. (Today didn’t help that I overslept. Staying up until 1 am no longer works for me.)

On a positive note, my baby is 3! He’s potty-trained, can feed himself, be left alone in a room or bath tub (for the most part), and he’s one of the greatest sources of joy in my life. We have hard days, but he puts so many smiles on my face. I told him a couple days ago that he was going to be THREE. He said, “No, Momma, I not three, I Cannon.” 🙂 I love my smart boy. The best part of my day so far was when he came to grab my leg and asked, “hold me, momma?” He’s getting pretty big to hold, but I plan on saying yes to that question as long as possible. No matter how late I am.

Happy 3rd birthday to my red-headed, ever-moving, passionate, full-of-life baby!

Sun comes up.

In t-minus 17 minutes, I’m heading off with the baby sis to another wedding weekend. This time though, I’m leaving my babies BOTH behind for TWO nights. EEK! I’m praying little man does okay, and they aren’t both awake too much in the night crying for momma and daddy. I just wanted to jot a quick note of something my almost-three-year-old (going on 16 sometimes) said on our way to church last night. It was already dark, and I’d been in a funk–stressed over packing, planning, etc. for the weekend. I think our little ones pick up on waaaaaay more than we realize. Out of the blue, he said, “‘S’okay, Momma, sun comes up.” I teared up hearing his little voice encourage me. He was right. I needed to stop worrying, put aside my anxiousness, and remember that Christ’s mercies are new every morning. From everlasting to everlasting. “Sun comes up.”

Week 11!?!?!

So the mighty, mighty Redskins made the playoffs. Glory! (and if I’m being honest, crap.) Game 10 was a nail-biter for sure. (side-note: failed to blog game 9, which was an amazing win against Ada. A very good game, and quite the upset!) Back to game 10. Senior night. Home game. Rivalry. Predicted to lose. My hubby becomes quite the competitor and planner. He came home from work one night all excited about how they were going to “one up” the Panthers. Apparently, they’d gotten wind that Harrah had decided to warm up on their own field and walk onto ours at the last minute. He then got to brainstorming ideas of how they could outdo Harrah’s last minute arrival. Here’s the entrance:

If I’m being honest, I struggle(d) with this entrance. I just feel there’s something to be said for coming on a field quietly, humbly, and THEN defeating a team–kind of an “actions speak louder than words and rap songs” type of thing. However, this entrance and this win made my man the happiest since I’ve seen him in a long time (maybe ever). I told a friend he seemed more excited after their win than he did after the birth of our boys. Also, I know there’s a lot to be said for getting young men “pumped up” before a game. So an amazing win. Down to the wire. (see article for details: http://www.news-star.com/article/20131109/SPORTS/131109736 )I was probably the only one standing and cheering on the outside and crying on the inside. As a coach’s wife (with young kids and a wedding rehearsal two hours away the night of the playoff game) I feel this inner conflict about playoffs. I sincerely WANT them to win. I WANT my husband to do well. I WANT to see him happy and successful, BUT I also WANT him home. 🙂 I miss him during football season, and while I want them to win, part of me is excited when it finally ends. Whew. Confession done. Please don’t hate me. So on to week 11. I won’t get to watch, but I sincerely (okay, now you know the truth, like 85% of me) want them to win! 😉

A Summary…because I’m a slacker.

I’m trying to recall Week 3. I know I didn’t go to the game–no babysitting offers, and not enough bravery to tackle attending on my own with the littles. According to our Google Docs Family Calendar, the Redskins played at Seminole. I know they lost, making them 2-1. I believe the boys and I played outside a lot that evening. I’ll have to drum up some cute pics, because I’m sure I took some!

Week 4 was a home game against Glenpool that I wanted to attend, but again had no babysitting offers and didn’t want to ask Megan since it was her birthday. The boys and I had more quality time together, and I have absolutely no clue if we won or lost…SLACKER of a coach’s wife for sure! I’m thinking they lost. 

Week 5 was the night before Junk Hippy –that’s a whole blog entry on it’s own. The boys of fall creamed Santa Fe South on the road, and I supported from home. I spent all day at the fairgrounds setting up for JH, and would be gone the next day, so I didn’t want to leave the boys for a game that we knew the outcome. 

Week 6 I finally got to attend an entire game from National Anthem to the handshakes. And yes, I arrived early enough to hear the National Anthem. Hudson went with me, and we had some quality cuddle time. The Redskins beat Tecumseh in their homecoming game, and my baby slept the entire 2nd half! He is NOTHING like his older brother! I may have been a little bored in the 3rd quarter but don’t tell. 

Week 7 was an away game in Timbuktu, otherwise known as Manford. To top it off, it was on a Thursday night, Rusty didn’t get home until 2:22 am, and I barely slept before then because BOTH boys were in bed with me! They had a hard loss–42 to 37. It’s bad enough to lose. It’s even worse to lose and then have a 2 hour bus ride home. 

Week 8 was relaxing in a way. I left both boys in the trusty hands of the Danker-Pearce clan, and met Dad at Douglass High School to watch a close, but disappointing loss. The final score was 13-7, and we really could have beat them. (I’m not just saying that, because I know a lot of people say things like that after losses.) Driving to the game, I could see the lights of the stadium in the distance and I was reminded of how much I have really grown to love the actual game of football, and not just because my husband loves it. Weird. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined actually being eager to get to a football field and watch a bunch of boys in tights clobber each other over an odd-shaped pigskin ball. Overall, our team stands at 4-4, and we must win the next two in order to make playoffs….here’s hoping!

Single-mommin’ it! (and a Week 2 summary)

So it’s Week 7 of Football Season, and obviously I haven’t kept up with anything here. It’s hard enough to keep children fed, bathed, somewhat injury-free, laundry clean, dishes and meals done, bills paid, and find time to shower and pee (hopefully alone, but not likely). Not to mention my other full-time job and my current hobby/obsession of learning as much about photography as possible. Week 2 was spend at a wedding rehearsal and dinner. The Mighty Mighty Redskins won? I’m honestly not 100% sure as I was so wrapped up in the craziness that was that weekend. Here’s a few images that sum up my Week 2 “game day:”

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Pops showing off his hops. 

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Perhaps the coolest part of the wedding (aside from Ms. Darlene’s chocolate truffles). 
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I love their expressions–pretty true-to-life over the past few months of wedding prep. 

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Look at those adorable faces. One would NOT be adorable on the wedding day!

And that’s my Week 2 summary. I was not a supportive football wife that week AT ALL. Thankful that it all went somewhat smoothly, and our family still is willing to see each other at funerals, holidays, and other weddings.  

Game 1 (feels like 5)

So after attending three scrimmages and one junior high game, I vowed to never take both boys back to a football field again. At least not until they’re sixteen and fourteen. In true fashion, I changed my mind. Around 7 pm, both of my mini-men had been pleasant, cooperative, and kind, so I figured, what-the-hey, let’s go see Dadda at the football field. Let me just say, this is no easy feat. To the momma’s who can cart around multiple young children in public places, I applaud you. I’m not good at it. I avoid it, and when I get the courage to try again, I’m quickly reminded–once at the public place I’m attending–just why I’d rather go alone or not at all.

My oldest is eager to run. He really only has two speeds–a snail’s pace or a sprinter. Neither is conducive to walking through parking lots. Thankfully, he’s usually eager to get to the “football field” to see Dadda, and will go in happily and without a fight. Leaving, however, is a whole other blog post! My little man is usually content, easy-going, and will just observe everything around him without much of a fuss. Game One was an exception to that rule.

I loaded up toys, treats for bribery, extra undies, dipes, wipes, stroller, wagon, blankets, and water bottles. We arrived, fashionably late, at the beginning of the 2nd quarter (no WAY was I insane enough to sit through a whole game). We found a parking spot in the grass, and started the trek into the stadium (I kinda chuckle at calling it that though since it’s more like a field with some lights and metal benches). After seeing the “stadium,” I decided against the stroller or wagon and decided to just chance carrying little man and having my big guy follow along. (All the while, praying that Jesus would watch over my big guy, because God only knows how many times he’s going to dash away from my sight.) We made our way through the gate with lots of smiles–not gonna lie, my guys are quite a site with their coordinating t-shirts and cuteness. As soon as we entered, I could see I was in for a nightmare or a night of faith. EVERYWHERE there were blankets, chairs, and children running around. Chaos in the endzone. My favorite. {note: sarcasm} There were even two fire trucks just to distract my oldest from the goal: get to the visitor side, see Nana, find Dadda, and head back home. We never made it to the stands. An hour and half later, we said bye to Dadda at halftime. Little man SCREAMED when people cheered for our team. My big guy thought he was WAY bigger than he is, and wrestled around with 2nd and 3rd graders the whole time. I just prayed. A lot.

At the half, I regret I had a TERRIBLE, woe is me attitude and let my hubby know it. I informed him that I was done having his babies. (although I’m not retracting that statement just yet) He reminded me it’s just a stage of life, and on the ride home, listening the screams of my boys–one was exhausted and hungry, the other realized he left his two green cars at the field–I realized just how selfish I was being.

I am blessed. Beyond measure. Sure, attending football games, might be hard (understatement), but I am loved by the Lord of creation, I have an amazingly supportive husband, who coached another win, and two of the most precious people in all the world as my sons. How inconsiderate of me to complain that one may scream like he’s dying when a touchdown happens or the other might run off with heathen, tea-bagging third graders (Note: I wouldn’t let that happen {on purpose}.) So, after a difficult Game One, I’m ready for week two. Granted, I won’t get to attend that game, so maybe that’s part of why I’m so upbeat and optimistic. 😉

Here are some fun pics from Game 1…

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One week down….

This is my 9th season to actually care about football, my 6th as a coach’s wife, and my 3rd team to cheer for. Nine years ago, I met a tall, attractive red-head who adores a game where young men pummel each other while trying to move an odd-shaped ball from one end of a 100-yard field to the other. It’s interesting, to say the least. Before I allowed my heart to get carried away, I needed to see this man in action. He’s a coach, and I had seen many coach’s embarrass themselves and their family by screaming, cussing, and simply losing their cool. I knew I never wanted to be associated with that type of leader. SO I sat through a season of small-town football eagerly observing this man. He very, very rarely screamed. He never cussed. And I never once saw him lose his temper. After that, I let my heart get carried away. Little did I know, that two football seasons later, I would be a coach’s wife. 

 

Now, here I am, married, and carting around two baby boys. This season has brought on a whole new set of challenges, and I’m going to document them here in an effort to keep my sanity, recall my many blessings, and perhaps see just how wonderful being around this crazy pig-skinned game can be.