I’m a Gamer…

29 06 2008

We bought this shirt for Jake for his birthday and this was the first time David wore it.  Jake is really hoping that the kiddos will enjoy playing strategy board games and video games.  Eliana has seen glimpses of the Star Wars movies and loves using her Star Wars plate and cup.  So I think it’s beginning to rub off on them!

A favorite memory of Jake with both kiddos happened the day I took this photo.  Jake was sorting out his Heroclix.  He would hold one up and look at it and then either set it aside (keep pile) or put it in a pile next to Eliana (give away or trade pile).  Eliana would then pick one up, intently look at the character, and then put it in a zip lock bag.  And David was lying on the bed, swaddled up and snoozing nearby on the bed.  Occasionally, Jake would hold up a Heroclix for David to look at.  It was so cute to see the three of them working together, and seeing Jake introduce comic book characters to David and Eliana!  I have some video of it, so I’ll have to link it.

Eliana has the prettiest blue eyes.  I just love looking into her eyes.  They do change shades of blue.  Sometimes they look almost gray and other times they are so bright.  So I love trying to capture the brilliance and sparkle in her eyes!

This shot was taken on our first outing with the three of us.  Eliana was a little sleepy, so she stayed still long enough for me to be able to grab a good picture of her.  This makes me never want her to grow up!!

And here’s something interesting.  I’ve always had really straight hair.  But I noticed it was starting to get a hint of waves after Eliana’s birth.  And now it’s pretty wavy if I don’t brush it and put some curl products in it right after a shower.  I have always wanted naturally curly hair.  Jake was joking that it’s a good reason to keep having kids… so that it would get curlier after each birth!  Here is a picture taken after a shower and I haven’t brushed it or put any products in it yet.  I’ll have to experiment with it to figure out what products will work best to keep the curls lasting all day!

I’ll end with this photo.  I found David in this pose during a nap. I wonder what David is thinking about while he sleeps?


28 06 2008

Here is another round of picture overload! There are so many pictures that I would love to share, and there just isn’t enough time or space in the cyber world for them all!

After David was born, we spent time getting to know him, trying to feed him, and I just loved holding him and loving on him!!

He was having a hard time latching on and we both were getting frustrated. I thought it would be easier the second time around. But then the nurse reminded me that I had nursed before, but he hadn’t, so I needed to be patient and help him figure it out. And also, what worked last time may not work this time. So we both needed to learn how to do this together.

I was so happy when he finally latched on and started nursing!!

(Funny thing about this picture… I actually had forgotten to clasp the nursing bra on the other side and Jake failed to mention this as he took the picture, LOL! Luckily I was able to figure out how to remedy that in Photoshop Elements!!)

He was a good sleeper right from the start!

“I See You!”

About seven hours after the birth, Jake and the nurse helped me get up. I got real light headed and dizzy and passed a large clot. I almost passed out in the bathroom. That’s the first time I’ve ever had smelling salts used on me and boy they are strong! They had to use a wheelchair to get me back to the bed and laid me down flat. My blood pressure had dropped down to 71/26!!! That’s quite a change, since it was 156/98 when I got to the hospital! They gave me fluids to get me rehydrated, and gave me some medicine to help my uterus work properly to get rid of everything that it needed to. Within no time, I was feeling better!

Tom and Lauren Matyas came by to see David. (Tom’s wife, Janet, had been a huge help at the birth.) I really enjoyed seeing Lauren’s reaction as she saw and held David for the first time!

Lauren helped me get David into his first little outfit, which was fun!

The Matyas family have been such a blessing to me and I am so glad that they were here to help out at the birth and meet him so soon after he was born! They were in Thailand when I gave birth to Eliana. So it’s be so much fun to have them here this time around!

Jake spent some father/son bonding time while I napped. Jake introduced him to Tolkien. I don’t think David was too impressed, as he slept through most of it. It was The Silmarillion, though, so he shouldn’t feel bad. It does the same thing to me.

Snuggling with my little man!!

Mr. Wobbly Neck!! His toes make me giggle. David has a small gap between his big toe and second toe…. Just like Daddy and Eliana!

He passed his hearing test with flying colors, but they were concerned that he was getting jaundice. Latching was hit or miss. Sometimes he would latch right on, but other times we couldn’t get it to work. So the lactation consultant came in and helped me pump and them feed him with a SNS system. I was really resistant to giving him formula and was willing to work as hard as I could to give him breast milk.

We were cleared to leave the hospital Monday morning. I still had low iron levels, so they gave me a prescription to take iron pills for a month. David’s weight had dropped a tad…. 6 lbs 1 oz… and so we were told to follow up with our pediatrician in a few days.

It was exciting but surreal to be packing up to head home with our new little guy! I put him in a special little outfit that I bought right after we found out we were having a boy.

Big yawn for a little cowboy!!

Dressed and ready to come home!

In his car seat! He looks so little!

The first night home sure started off with a fun adventure! My mom had called and said that there were thunderstorms in the area and that a tornado touched down near Godley, which is where Lisa (Jake’s mom) lives. She just wanted to give us the heads up, as the storms were heading our way.

I had just finished feeding David and getting him dressed, when to my shock and surprise, I heard the tornado sirens go off! I immediately grabbed David and ran down the hallway to the bathroom and jumped into the bath tub, and hollered for Jake to grab a pillow, a blanket and the crib mattress. Then I had this image of David being ripped from my arms, and I panicked and jumped out of the tub, ran back down the hall and grabbed the first carrier I saw… my new Kozy carrier. I also saw my camera sitting there, so I grabbed it as well. I ran back to the bathtub and I strapped David in it and felt much better about the situation! I know that Jake thought I was absolutely crazy, but I’d rather be safe than sorry! Since we had the camera in the bathroom, he took a picture of me sitting in the tub with David in the carrier on my chest.

The sirens went off for about 10 minutes. Luckily, it just got really windy and there wasn’t any damage near us. And we will always be able to tell him about the adventure we had! It was a fun way to start our bonding!

My parents came over later that evening to see David again. It was fun watching them react with their new little grandson!

Grandpa Terry and Grandma Michele holding David

Eliana was staying with Lisa for a few days, so that we could have some time alone with David and get adjusted to those late night feedings. It was so wonderful to spend so much quality time with him!

Proudly introducing David Lee Range!!

25 06 2008

So I know it’s way overdue, but I wanted to introduce the newest little member of our family!

Here are the last few pictures taken of my pregnant belly!

This one was taken at 37 weeks.

Eliana and Jen – trying out our new Maya Tie carrier at 38 weeks

This one was taken about three hours before we headed to the hospital!! 38 weeks, 5 days

My water broke at 8:30am Saturday morning and contractions started around noon. They were sporadic… anywhere from 5-7 minutes apart and then would decrease to 20 min. apart. They slowed down if I was up and moving around. We headed to the hospital around 8:30pm, as I was getting nervous from not feeling him move and wanted to make sure everything was ok. Maria, the doula, and Janet, my mentor, met us there. My mom showed up closer to midnight. We met Liz, who was my nurse. I found out she was from South Africa, and had been a midwife for 19 years there!! So it was like still getting to have a birth with a midwife! My blood pressure was up again, and so I had to stay on my side in bed… my least favorite position to labor in. Liz showed everyone some great techniques to relax me, like rubbing my lower back with baby powder… it was amazing!!! I had thrown some foot lotion with some sort of peppermint in it, and both Maria and Janet massaged both my feet at the same time. That sure was nice!

Jake holding my hand through a contraction

When I had talked to the doctor on call before going to the hospital, she basically asked why I hadn’t gone straight to the hospital. I told her what my OB had said… once my water breaks, if contractions hadn’t started in eight hours, then call him. And wait until they are five minutes apart before going to the hospital. And once at the hospital, the nurses told us that the doctor kept calling to see if I had come in yet. That doctor wanted me to stay in bed until my blood pressure dropped. But I knew that I wouldn’t be able to relax enough and my blood pressure kept going up. The doctor wanted to go ahead and have me start medications, but I kept telling Liz I wanted to try laboring on the birthing ball. I just knew that if I was able to get in different positions that I would be able to relax and my pressure would go down to normal. Liz kept calling and finally got my OB on the phone and he gave permission for me to labor on the birth ball. As long as protein wasn’t spilling into my urine, and I didn’t show any other symptoms of preclampsia, he was fine letting me do my own thing. I am so glad that Liz was so supportive of natural childbirth! She left us alone longer than she said she would. (She originally would have to monitor for ten minutes every hour, but instead it was closer to every two hours.) The monitor wasn’t picking up my contractions, but believe me, they were real! And sure enough, my blood pressure dropped down to normal!!

Once I got onto the birthing ball, things really started picking up. I really enjoyed trying different positions. I discovered I HATED being in a rocking chair, but loved leaning over the sink. Maria was so great about telling everyone what to expect in the different stages of labor and said that when I was in the midst of a contraction, everyone should be quiet so that I could focus. They tried different massage techniques. Usually, I would be holding someone’s hand, someone would be massaging my lower back and someone would be massaging my legs. They were quietly praying over me, and I was able to sway to the relaxing music I had playing. My legs kept getting sore, and so it felt good to have them massage me during a contraction.

Maria massaging my belly while I was in the rocking chair. As soon as the contraction hit, I knew it wasn’t the place for me to be. I couldn’t get comfortable enough, and so I got out of the chair as soon as I could!

Massaging my belly while swaying and moving around in the room

Liz wanted to check me to see if I was progressing. I didn’t want to be checked at all. With Eliana, it seemed like they were checking me every hour, and it was so discouraging to be stuck at 7cm for six hours. So this time, I didn’t want to know what time it was, how long I had been in labor, or how far dilated I was. I knew that it would be helpful for Maria and Liz to know, so I went ahead and agreed and found out I was 5cm. So I was making progress!

Maria put peppermint oil on a cotton ball and would hold it up to my nose during a contraction. What a brilliant idea! It really helped me relax! She handed it to me, so I could hold it and sniff it whenever I wanted. She was concerned that I was getting nauseas and that was why I was sniffing it. But I told her I just liked the scent of it and it helped me to relax. They also used lavender scented lotion to massage me.

Maria did a great job of coaching my breathing. I would moan, and she could tell when I would start to tighten up and panic, because my voice would get higher pitched. So she would tell me to do lower tone throaty sounds, which really helped me. It gave me something to really think about and focus on and do while in the midst of a contraction. I also would sway my hips into a figure eight or back and forth. I would bend my knees and try to go low too. Sometimes I would talk to David and tell him to come out, move down, come out. I would picture my pelvis and body opening up and making room for him to come out. It sounds crazy and a little new-agey, but in the midst of labor it really worked well and I could tell that he was dropping and getting lower and lower.

Mom and Maria helping me move around

I had to go to the bathroom, and while in there, a contraction hit. And before I could get up, another contraction hit. They had really picked up and were coming one right after another. It was a tiny bathroom, and my mom was standing in front of me so that I could lean into her, Jake was kneeling and massaging my legs, and Maria jumped up and stood on the toilet so that she could massage my back and shoulders. We were all crammed in tight and it was pretty fun to look back on! I have no idea how we all managed to fit in there!

My mom, Jake and Maria in the bathroom with me while I labored

Crowding into the bathroom!

At this point, I began to get the urge to push and grunt. Inwardly, I was panicking, because it hadn’t even been an hour since I was last checked and I was scared that I was going to be stuck at 7cm again with the urge to push and fighting my body, like I did with Eliana. Maria started telling me that she thought I was in transition and was getting really close. She said that it was important for Liz to check me and see how far along I was, so that they would have time to call the OB. Again, I didn’t want to be checked. But I also didn’t want to deliver my baby while sitting on a toilet in the bathroom! I agreed to be checked, and was shocked to find out I was 9cm!

I went ahead and stayed on the bed for the remainder of the time. I could tell that lots of people were getting things ready. I tried to stay focus on the contractions. I did overhear one person say that I was going so fast that the doctor might not make it in time! The OB walked into the room right as I got the huge urge to push. I felt a lot of burning, which scared me, and I said that out loud. Everyone was telling me that David’s head was right there. One more push, and he was out!!!

I couldn’t believe that he was actually here! I was kind of in shock, because I was expecting a really super long labor like I had with Eliana. He was born at 3:12am!! The doctor and nurse put him right up on my chest into my arms and we all rubbed him down. He seemed so tiny and was blue, which scared me at first. But he started crying, and in no time was wailing away!!! I remember I just kept saying that I couldn’t believe that my baby was here and that I was holding my baby. At one point, he just looked up into my eyes. I just stared at him and quietly told him, “Hi Baby! I’m your mama!” I was so teary and emotional!!

Jen – happy that David is in her arms!

After about ten minutes, the placenta came out and was checked. Jake cut the cord! They took him to get him weighed and I was surprised! He was 6lbs 4.5oz and 20 inches long. So he was almost a pound smaller than Eliana was, but the same height! They got his footprints and made an extra copy for us to keep. And Nurse Rosemary checked him to make sure everything was ok.

David’s first footprints!

Getting his temperature checked

Jen attempting to breastfeed David for the first time

I tried feeding him, but he didn’t want to latch on and was getting sleepy. Nurse Rosemary suggested giving him a bath to get him cleaned off and to wake him up. I agreed and my mom and Janet helped out. I had a small tear and got stitched up, which was uncomfortable. I got real shaky, like I had the chills and they got some nice warm blankets to put on me.

David getting his first bath

Jen, Maria and David

Nurse Liz with Baby David

Grammy Michele holding David

Grandpa Terry and Grammy Michele holding David

Jake holding David

After much celebration and many photos, people began to go home so that Jake and I could rest. Around 5:30am, the lights were turned off and we had a nice nap!

There is so much more to post, but I’ll take a break and feed the kiddos and come back and add more photos and stories!

Craft Nesting

24 06 2008

I’m going to slowly try to get caught up with all that’s happened in the last few months.

For both Eliana and David, I spent the last six weeks of pregnancy nesting. But my form of nesting is by doing crafts. With Eliana, I was able to get six quilts done! With David, it was a little more tricky, since I was on bed rest. But I still managed to get some things done. I put the sewing machine on the trunk. I laid down on the couch to pin things, and then sat up and sewed. It was a little more cumbersome but it worked! So here are some projects that I worked on.

I saw a fun craft blog entry about secret pocket fabric eggs. They were quick and easy to make. I made over 30 of them! I kept some for Eliana and David for Easter, and gave the rest to a few of her little friends. They have small pockets in them that can fit a coin or a small piece of candy. I want to make a few each year to add to the collection. They also make fun little balls to play with!

I found these pants at the thrift store and thought they had potential.

So I took off the cuff and ribbon and sewed on some flower fabric that I had in my stash. The fabric matches the little embroidered flowers that are near the pockets.

And here is a shirt that I also thought it was cute, but it needed some pizazz.

I had plenty of the floral fabric left, so I sewed a skirt onto the shirt and made a dress! I intended it to be for next summer, but Eliana insisted on trying it on and twirling in it!! I hadn’t hemmed it yet and it’s a little long for her right now, but it should be perfect later this fall or next summer!

Here is a video of her twirling!!

Awwww…. this makes me miss our old house! This was after Jake ripped out the carpet and installed the laminate floor, and hadn’t put the trim boards or closet doors back on yet. It was a good little house for us and made a great first home for our family!!

Summer apron!

24 06 2008

I saw a link to the website called “A Feathered Nest” and joined an apron swap. We were supposed to make an apron with a pocket and it was supposed to have a summer theme. I haven’t made an apron before, so I looked found some fun tutorials online. I followed the one from the website called “Lululollylegs”. I made a reversible apron. One side had flower fabric, with pink, purple and blue rick rack and yellow ruffle trim on the bottom. The reverse side was a coordinating stripe fabric, with a pocket made from the flower fabric, and pink rick rack and the same yellow ruffle trim showing on the bottom. The ties were also reversible. I had a lot of fun making it! It was hard sending it off, but I knew that the mom (a fellow Jennifer who lives in Alaska… how cool is that?!!) would like it. I saw from her blog that she loves scrapbooking, so I included some scrapbook supplies and chocolate. It was fun to see pictures of her wearing the apron on her blog. I’m glad you like it, Jennifer!

Here are pictures of it.

Eliana kept insisting that it was a dress for her, so I let her try it on. Here are pictures of Eliana wearing the apron!

Boy, she looks so grown up and serious in this photo!!

The end. LOL!

23 06 2008

Wow!  It sure has been a long time since I posted!

Life has been extremely busy here in the Range family this spring.  We were house hunting in January and February. I was also painting the bathrooms a nice neutral cream color called Navajo White.  I was able to color match the paint in the living room (a tan color) and the master bedroom (an olive green color) so that we could touch those rooms up.  But my blood pressure shot up.  So I was put on bed rest for a month and transferred from the care of my midwife to an OB, and we had David Lee Range on March 30th, 2008 at 3:12am!!  He was 6 lbs 4.5 oz and 20 inches long… so tall and skinny like dad!  Even with the complications, I still managed to have a natural childbirth in the hospital, thanks to the care of my awesome doula, Maria, a great pro-natural childbirth nurse named Liz (who was a midwife for 19 years in South Africa!) and also Jake, my mom, and Janet, my dear friend.

A week after having David, Jake saw a great deal for a house that was just 1 1/2 miles north of Raytheon.  He checked it out and liked the floor plan.  I trusted his judgment and we put a bid on it.   Since it’s a foreclosure, we expected it to take weeks to hear back from the bank.  I guess they were eager to get rid of it, as we found out they accepted our offer just two days later!!!  I went up to look at the house and also really liked it.  It had a lot of cosmetic issues… needing paint, a few small holes in walls from doorknobs, scuffs on floors, some wild bedroom paint colors, and yard work.  But I could see it becoming a home for us and our kiddos.  The neat thing was that the bank left the option period in the contract.  After several inspections, the house passed and we moved forward!  We had already been packing and painting our old home before I got put on bed rest, but we went into over drive.  We closed on May 13th.

The bank hadn’t finished signing the papers, so we didn’t get the keys at closing.  😦  We were on a tight deadline to get into the house and get some things painted before moving in.  We were told there was a vesting problem with the deed.  Basically, in a foreclosure, the deed gets transferred to a temporary company and then transferred to the bank.  In this case, the deed had been transferred to the temporary company, but hadn’t been transferred to the bank.  Papers had to be overnighted somewhere for a signature, and then overnighted back for another signature, and it was going to take several days.

The window in what would be Eliana’s room was cracked.  So Jake had the idea to go ahead and break it to get into the house, since we would be replacing that window anyways.  We did wait until Thursday morning to see if the problem would be resolved by then.  Jake decided to go ahead and break into our own home.

The funny part was that Jake didn’t realize that it was a double paned window.  So he had to break through both panes.  The window was on the side of the house, and people were driving to work and kids were walking by on their way to school.  So Jake kept trying to look nonchalant about it.  A few hours later, I drove up to meet Jake.  I walked right up to the front door.  When Jake opened it, we realized that the lock box wasn’t on the door knob, and the keys were in the hiding place.  Jake hadn’t needed to break in after all, LOL!!  Oh well.  We were going to replace the window anyways.

We spent a few frantic days painting primer on Eliana’s bedroom walls, which were neon peachy pink to begin with, and Jake’s computer room walls, which were a bright neon green.  I painted Eliana’s room a calming dusty blue color, and it perfectly matches the crib bedding.  Jake wanted neutral colors in his room, so we went with the nice Navajo White that we used in the other house.  We also painted two walls in our master bedroom.  I picked a green color that matches the Texas wildflower fabric I’m using for a quilt for our bed.  And we painted the wall that the entertainment center would go on in the living room.

It was a stressful time, esp. going back to the old house and trying to finish painting everything and cleaning.  Since Jake was back on mandatory overtime, I was trying to do it on my own.

It feels good to have that house finished, and the renters already moved in.  They are a nice couple from Kenya, and have been in the states a little over six months.  They have three girls.  It seems like it is going to be a good fit for them, although it was sad to move out of our first home.  I’m glad we are renting it instead of selling it.

Jake and I have been really busy working on the new home.  It’s WONDERFUL to be so close to Jake’s work!  He’s even been riding a bike to work, so that will really save on gas prices!  There is a lot more to do here in McKinney than there was in The Colony.  We have a Farmer’s Market and a neat historic square.  The library is new and big, and they have a lot of great children’s programs.  There are tons of restaurants and lots of shopping.  Walmart, Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s are all within five minutes, and they are our second homes! LOL!  We’ve bought ceiling fans, toilet seats, shower heads, cabinets, tools, blinds, hoses and soaker hoses, supplies to make solar screens, paint, paint and more paint, and lots of little extra storage things.  Jake’s computer room and Eliana’s room are completely painted and our master bedroom just needs touch up and the trim finished.  The kitchen, living room and hallways have had the walls painted and just need the trim.  The dining room is still neon blue, so once I finish touching up our room and the trim everywhere, then I plan to paint that as well.  The dining room is going to be the play area.  We had the carpets cleaned, but that room still has a faint pet urine smell.  So we are probably going to have to rip it out and replace that carpet.

I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress, but there still is a ton of work to be done.  It’s going to feel so nice and homey once we are finished!  There is more space, since it’s a four bedroom, and there is a lot more storage, esp. since it has a garage with attic access, and a wooden shed in the backyard for garden supplies and tools.

Ok, Eliana is wanting to eat, as is David, so I’ll stop for now, and come back and add pictures later. It’ll be fun to post before/after pictures of the house.  And David is a handsome little man, so it will be fun to post pictures from the past few months!!!