Saturday, September 27, 2014

First Day of First Grade

Ella started first grade on Monday, August 25th. She had a very rough night of sleep, including staying up too late and then waking up at 5am to see what the baby was up to, ending up on the couch with me downstairs...but, she is a little champ and was excited and all set for her first day of school. 

Looking adorable in her new outfit and wearing her new "big sister" bracelet from Aunt Erin

I had missed Meet the Teacher but there was no chance I was going to miss dropping her off in her classroom that first morning. It was a morning of chaos. The baby needed to eat right when Ella needed breakfast and her lunch packed, and it was our first time taking the baby out anywhere. I just parked myself on the couch and fed the baby while Steve took care of Ella and although it was chaotic, we managed to keep good spirits, leave on time and got there with plenty of time.

On her way to first grade!

Outside the school

In her classroom

Steve and I were able to meet her teacher that morning and I finally felt 'in the loop' and ready to drop her off. Dottie did great and slept right through the whole thing, including when one of Ella's classmates came running up to us and tried to put his hand right over her face :)

Ella has such an awesome class this year - she's got two friends in her class that she's been friends with since we moved here, one of her best friends from her class last year, and also sits in her pod with a buddy from her gymnastics class last spring, and another girl that she rides the bus with. We really couldn't have asked for a better class for her to end up in.  

Last year, I had asked Mrs. Dooley if she wouldn't mind recommending that Ella be put in a class where the teachers would be accommodating and understanding of the fact that the beginning of the school year would be a big time of transition for Ella. Mrs. Dooley assured me that all of the first grade teachers are great but she'd of course do what she could. I went to have lunch with Ella last Friday and Mrs. Dooley happened to be walking to the cafeteria with Ella's teacher and classroom. I was so excited to see her and catch up, and thanked her so much for Ella's classroom placement for this year. (Ella gets to see Mrs. Dooley at least a few times a week - she even brought in a picture of her and the baby to give her and loves talking to her whenever she has the chance.)

Ella has two teachers who do a job share - Mrs. Holtvlewer teaches in the mornings and does reading, spelling, phonics, all of the literacy and language arts work; and Mrs. Wilson is in the afternoon and teaches math, science and social studies. Both teachers have 2nd graders (so they just finished first grade themselves) in addition to their other young children, have been teaching at Cline for 12 years, and really just couldn't be any nicer. Ella is really happy in the class and I was really impressed on Parent Orientation night with the curriculum and really think it's going to be a great year for her. We've also since learned that Mrs. Holtvlewer goes to our church, which was a really great surprise last Sunday, Ella was so excited to see her there. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

First Weekend Home

Many pictures from our first weekend at home. Fortunately Ella had been invited out with friends so she went to a playdate Saturday afternoon and then a swim party on Saturday evening. It was good for her to be able to get out and have fun and for us to have time to rest and focus on the baby. 

Ella picked out Dottie's outfit for the day, and then dressed herself to match, it was so cute!

On Sunday I tried out my new sling for the first time and Dottie went right to sleep in it

A rare moment with her eyes open! 

One of Ella's friends dropped off a 'night before school package' on our doorstep on Sunday night, with the book "The Night Before First Grade." We read the book twice and had a new little addition for our pre-bed reading :)

Dottie - Day 2

Friday, August 22nd was Dottie's second day. 

Precious little baby doll :)

It was Ella's last day of summer camp and she had an end-of-summer trampoline show. She didn't want to stay for the day of camp but still wanted to do her show so Mom went to the show and then brought her back to the hospital.

I brought a very cute dress for the baby for her professional hospital pictures but she had other plans and wouldn't stop crying for the photographer. So these are the only ones I ended up with!

Such a good big sister already!

Friday afternoon was really important, it was Ella's Meet the Teacher event at school. This is the time she picks up her school supplies and finds out her teacher for the year, goes to the classroom and gets to meet her teacher. I really, really, really, really did not want to miss it...but, still being in the hospital, there was no possible way to make it. I was expecting to be discharged shortly after 6pm, so Steve needed to stay at the hospital. Mom took Ella and it worked out great. 

They ran into Brileigh right away

 I was happy because I had mom texting me with good updates, and two of my friends texted that their girls were in the same class as Ella. Mom said all went great, and her teachers seemed really nice and even already knew that she had a brand-new baby sister. 

In her new classroom

It was really important to me to not miss that afternoon, but I did, and it was okay - Mom made sure that Ella was all squared away at the event and was officially ready for first grade!

Ready to go home! 

The wait to officially be discharged took forever, and after thinking it'd be 'any minute' for the final 3 hours, it was ultimately after 9pm before we got to leave, and 10pm before we made it home...although that was very annoying, still ended up much better being home that night vs. another night in the hospital. 

Ella waited up for us and couldn't wait to get her hands on her baby sister

First night at home!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dottie's Birth Day!

Dottie was due on September 2nd, but had other plans and decided to come a bit early. My water broke on Wednesday, August 20th around 4:15pm, I was 38 weeks and 1 day. I had just finished working for the day and was getting ready to leave and pick up Ella from camp when it happened (thank goodness I had not left the house yet!) I called my doctor's office and she said to go right to the hospital. It was not nearly as dramatic as I'd imagine it would be when your water breaks, so I was thinking I may be mistaken and would be sent home from the hospital.

Funny enough, Steve had called twice during the day to check on me because he had a 'feeling.' Both times I said 'nope, nothing to report, all good.' This time when I called him, he knew it right when he answered the phone. He left his meeting to pick up Ella from camp, and I called my friend Carmen who was going to watch Ella overnight - her first ever non-family sleepover!

Luckily I already had our bags about 90% packed and had a list for the final things needed, so I finished packing us up, and by that time Steve and Ella got home. Ella was really excited for both the baby to be born and her first sleepover, but seemed a little nervous too. We had a few minutes to talk and then Carmen arrived with the girls to pick up Ella. Steve made arrangements for his friend to stay at our house to watch Cory, and then we were on our way.

We got to the hospital around 6:15pm and after the nurse confirmed that my water had definitely broken, I was admitted so we knew this was 'really it' and we weren't leaving without the baby. 

My last pregnant picture

I was hoping to avoid pitocin and being induced, and so my doctor said that I could wait until midnight and see if I went into active labor on my own (I was already dilated to about 4 cm and having many contractions, but they were not at all organized or getting worse in intensity). This gave me more than 5 hours to try to go into labor - but even better, 5+ hours to finish up all the work I hadn't finished and wanted to push forward before I started my leave.  I set up my computer and hot-spot and went to work - I easily got about 8 hours worth of work in that time and sent my last email at 11:55 pm. Although there were still a few loose ends, I was so happy to get all that done and felt good about where I left things since I had been planning on working at least another week or so before she was born. 

Meanwhile, Ella was having a good time at Sophie's house, and I got to talk to her and say goodnight before she went to bed. 

My pitocin started at midnight and it took about 2 hours for my contractions to become painful, by 4am I was just 5 cm dilated, definitely seemed to be going slow and I thought I was in for a lot more time. I finally got the epidural around 4:30 or 5am (the wait for it seemed to take forever, and just like with Ella, I ended up needing to get the shot twice because the first one didn't work correctly...that was incredibly frustrating.) The hours from 3am - 5am or so were the only parts of labor that were really bad, although it seemed like a lot longer than 2 hours at the time. Steve was great and so was the nurse I had, and Mom was at the airport so we were texting then, and Erin started texting as soon as she woke up as well, really early in the morning. So even though it was the wee hours of the morning, I had some great support and company during the worst of it :).

All of a sudden I was dilated to 9.5 cm and the nurse called my doctor to tell her I'd be ready to push pretty soon. My doctor arrived around 5:45 am. I was so glad she was able to deliver the baby - we had talked at my last appointment on Monday about the fact that she was going on vacation for the long weekend for Labor Day, and so if I had the baby then she wouldn't be able to deliver her and I'd have one of her associates who I'd never met before, which I was seriously wanting to avoid. 

A few pushes later, and Dottie was born! 

Our beautiful Dorothy Grace- born at 6:15 am on August 21st 

She weighed 7 lbs 0 oz and was 19 inches long

Steve and I had her with us for the first hour in the delivery room. We held her, I tried to nurse her a little bit, and she cried and cried almost the whole time. I remember thinking very clearly in that first hour - whoo, this one is feisty and has quite a set of lungs!

They took her to the nursery for her bath and to go under the warmer to get her temperature up and stable, so we didn't have her for the next 3 hours. They took us to the post-partum room and we slept for a little bit. Mom arrived during this time and Steve went to pick up Ella from Sophie's house so she could meet the baby when we got her back at 10am. 

I heard her coming down the hall - screaming again, and I recognized the cry ;), and was very happy to have her back!

About 10 minutes later, Steve arrived with Ella and she got to meet her baby sister for the first time. 

Mom arrived just a few minutes after that. Ella wasn't quite ready to share but did let Grammy have a turn meeting her :)

With my girls!

Mom took Ella home and Steve and I had some bonding time with Dottie

Mom and Ella came back in the evening to spend some more time with us and brought Dottie her first new hat!

Exhausted but so happy to have our sweet baby :)