Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2 weeks

I have decided to take pictures each month in a clothes basket to show Ellie's growth.  I took a picture at 2 weeks for a starting point.  When we went in for her 2 week check up she had gained more weight and now weighs almost a pound over birth weight!  I am so proud of our growing girl and can't wait to see her growth each month in these fun pictures :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The day that changed our world

A year ago today, my world crashed around me.  On Monday, February 28, 2011, Spence and I joined the 1 in 4 pregnancies that end in miscarriage.  No, that isn't right.  We didn't miscarry, we lost our child.  Miscarry is a a word used to describe losing a pregnancy.  We lost so much more than that on that day.  For me, I lost what I built my security around.  Yes, I am a Christian and yes, my security should be in Christ.  But to be honest, I had built my identity around being Spencer's wife and Zeke, Ben, and future children's mother.  This is not something that I am bragging about and I am not at all saying that I got what was coming to me.  I am saying this for other wives and mothers who read this.  I pray that we did not lose Rae and then I have learned nothing through it to share with others.  God works everything to His good and His glory.  Rae has brought Him much glory.  I have clung to Him in a way I have not previously.  While I will not be able to say I am thankful for losing her, I can confidently say I am thankful to have Christ and to be closer to Him because of her. 
This year has been one of the most difficult in our life.  I spent from December '10-February 28, '11 pregnant and then we got pregnant again in June.  So, in 15 months, I spent 12 pregnant.  My hormones and emotions were all over the place (and still are to be honest).  I have worked through losing a child, worry over getting pregnant again, rushing to the dr over every little twinge, grieving on Rae's due date, celebrating holidays when I thought we would be holding an infant, having Ellie, and now facing the anniversary of Rae with out feeling guilt of our excitement with Ellie.  We have gotten through this year with Christ, each other, our church, family and friends. 
One of those friends wrote this.  I can not even begin to express how much it means to us.  To know that she isn't forgotten has been huge for me.  It has been so helpful for the many who have come out and shared their stories with us.  Not so that I can sit and compare my loss to yours, but to have others to walk this walk with.  So, for everyone who met with me for coffee, prayed with us, brought us a meal, held our hands, and were just there for us we are forever grateful for you. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Boys Time

The boys have been having a blast with extra time with Spence.  He has been super dad and done so many fun things with them.  Just a few of the things have been story time, Museum of Life and Science, golf, and Lowe's trips.  He took a few pictures of their trip to the museum and sent them to me so I could share i nthe fun

 We don't usually do the whole bears/wolves/wind stuff, but the boys had a blast exploring something they hadn't done before (well I don't think we have done it in a year so they don't remember doing it)

 The boys LOVE playing music and banging on everything

I don't get the awesomeness of just walking through the caboose, but the boys clearly do

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Getting places with three is a bit different.  Here's what our van now looks like and what we look like on a walk around the neighborhood. 

 3 carseats?! What the what?!

Family of 5 on a walk 
 (I love that I caught our shadows so we are included in the pic)

Friday, February 24, 2012

good helper

Ben tells me often that he is a good helper.  And he actually is great when I ask him to do something for Ellie, he jumps to it.  One day he took it a bit too far though:

 He really wanted to give Ellie her bib, even when I told him she didn't really need it...

This is what I found when I looked into the pack and play.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shari's Berries

Spence's aunt and family live in California.  Since they can't get here to visit and meet Ellie, they sent us a sweet treat.  And I do mean sweet!  (Such a thoughtful and fun surprise, I can't wait to do the same for someone!)


 He could have eaten them all!

Sugar coma

This is the video we took of the boys opening the box.  Thank you so much Mary, Chris, Will, and Elizabeth!!!  We can't wait to see you and have ya'll meet Ellie!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What happens when we aren't watching

It snowed!  Ok, so it wasn't a lot and it was all gone by 9 am, but it's probably all we are getting this winter.  Spence and the boys had a blast playing all morning while Ellie and I slept right through it.  At one point Spence brought Ellie downstairs so I could get a little more sleep.  When he came inside to check on her, this is what he walked up to:

Some notes I take from this:
1. Spence's commentary makes the whole thing
2. Zeke only knows one karate word
3. Ben does his own thing until he realizes there is something destructive going on and then he is all in

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ellie's first sponge bath

We gave Ellie her first bath.  She didn't fuss as much as I thought she would.  I remember Zeke really not liking his first.  She kind of fussed a bit and then settled right down.  We have learned by kid number 3 to crank the heat up before hand to make it a bit more cozy. 

Stripped down and ready

Gotta clean those tootsies!

warm and snuggly

Hey people

I found my hand

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ellie's first doctor appointment

Ellie had her first doctor's appointment Sunday after we got home on Friday.  Spence and the boys went to church, so our friend Ashley drove us and carried everything.  (thanks Ash!)
Ellie only lost a couple ounces in the hospital.  So, it was pretty great when we went and she was still in the 6 pounder range.  The doctor told us that she only lost 2% of her body weight. (most babies lose 10%).  Way to go Ellie!
She also is looking good with her bilirubin level.  We have kept a close eye on her color because of our experience with Benjamin.  We really would rather not have to do a biliblanket again.  So far, things are looking good for that.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Daredevil Wild Man

This little boy is going to give us either heart attacks or a high prozac bill.  He is our wild, high energy, passionate boy.  He will try just about anything and loves being the center of attention.  Check out his newest trick:

Saturday, February 18, 2012


We are home!  Spence came and picked Ellie and I up.  She and I were so ready and had to light a fire under our nurse to get out of there.  (seriously at one point after we had discussed that we were ready to leave 3 times, she told Spence to pull up the car after he had already told her he was doing it and had done it.  I'm sure she was just busy and was trying to get everyone ready to go, but come on chic, I have other children to get home too!)
As we adjust to our new life, here are a few pictures of our first day at home:

 Dressed to go home

 Seriously tiny in the carseat

 daddy taking Ellie in (do you see how itty bitty she is in there!)

 Ben hiding from Ellie (the boys hide when anyone comes to our house... or goes to the bathroom, or happens to close their eyes for a moment...)

 Zeke was less than impressed by his sister's arrival

 Ben is seriously obsessed!  He told Spence how to undo her seat and take her out

 That's one proud papa

 We are a bit worried that Ben will get alcohol poisoning from the hand sanitizer because he wants to hold her all.the.time!

In the hospital, Zeke told us she was "so heeeavy" but at the house he said "she's sooooo tiny"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Introducing Elizabeth Mae Shelton!

Here is the rundown of our day that Ellie was born.  This is from 24ish hours out, so it may be a little hazy still.
Our day began by heading to the hospital at 6:30.  It was such a weird drive and odd feeling to just casually walk into the hospital.  I got into a room and they hooked up an iv to prepare for the induction.  I started having contrations on my own before anything could get started. 
My doctor showed up around 9:15 and broke my water.  I was at 4 cm at that time. 
Around 10:30 I decided I wuold not be doing this with out an epidural and asked for the fluids needed before I could get the good stuff.  (note for first time mommies: you have to have fluids for about an hour before you can get an epidural, so you do have to have a little planning)
Once I got the fluids, I had the nurse check my progress before getting the epidural.  I was at a 6ish so I said let's do it.  At about 11:40, I decided I didn't want to have any more contractions and declared this Spence.  There were also choice words said about where the anesthesiologist was and what was taking so long.
At about 12:15 I get the epidural.  I am not feeling the awful contrations but am feeling my tailbone being pushed down.  Each contraction makes my bum ACHE and makes me feel nauseaus.  They have me lay on my side and Spence begins fanning me with each contration.  I am now at about 8 cm.
Dr. Brannon checks back in about 10 til 1 and I am at a 9.  He tells the nurse to not push me and that he would be right back.  Instead he is gone for about 10 minutes and comes back in.  He checks me and I am ready to go.  He has to get my nurse on our team (she kept trying to go take care of her other patient who was only at about a 3 and had gotten her epidural and was definitely not pushing out her baby).  He has me start pushing before they even break down my bed.  After about 5 pushes and him using the vacuum, Ellie was here at 1:24!  (I had to be vacuumed because I am very narrow apparently.  I have had that with every delivery even though my babies are pretty small)
Ellie weighed in at 6 pounds and 5 ounes.  She is 19 and a quarter inches long.  Her APGARs were 9's (so she is a genius, haha)  She came out crying and pink which neither of our boys did or were.  She snuggled right up and quickly was ready to eat.  She is a champ and a star and perfect. 
My epidural wore off pretty quick after delivery and I was even able to get myself into the wheelchair to change rooms about 2 and a half hours later.  (very different from Zeke when I didn't feel anything for 12 hours from my armpits down).
We have enjoyed having some visitors, but our favorites were the boys visiting.  Zeke held her for about .2 seconds and declared her "too HEAVY" in a very exaggerated voice.  Ben wants to hold her and kiss her and touh her constantly.  He also doesn't think anyone but me should be holding her and lets everyone know they need to give her back to me.  The funniest thing has been when I have fed her.  Zeke says "that's pretty interesting" or "that's funny".  And Ben does not want me to use my cover (was trying to be modest for my daddy's sake). 
OK, I am sure I am leaving all kinds of stuff out,  but let's get to the part everyone really cares about...

 Last picture of Ellie in belly

 She's here!

 She has such a round little face :)

 Looking in (this picture makes me think of when we had Zeke and the Atwood boys came to visit and called the bassinet an aquarium, sweet boys!

 My three kids!!!!!

 Ben is smitten

 Our family of 5

 Lil round face

 Big yawn





Favorite pic so far

Friday, February 10, 2012

Welcome to the world Connor Little and Emie Eayrs

While waiting for Miss Ellie's arrival, we have also been anxiously waiting for the arrival of our nephew and my best friend's babies.  They actually had the same due dates, so weird I know! 
My brother Rik and sister in law Cindy have two girls, Maddie 6 and Sophie 3.  They had their first son Connor on February 8.  We haven't gotten to meet him yet since we are sticking close to home until our girl arrives. Connor was a shrimp, weighing in at 6 lbs 10 oz.  He is apparently adorable. Connor, we can't wait to meet you buddy!
My best friend Amber and her hubby Trent didn't know what they were having.  I was convinced it would be a boy because Benjamin had predicted 3 out of 3 babies correctly.  Marie, Amber's mom desperately wanted a baby girl.  Amber, just really wanted to have this baby!  Amz and T live in South Africa, so while we are in "winter" (I put this in quotes because it hasn't been cold hardly at all), they are in the dead heat of summer.  so very weird to be pregnant together and our babies will be born in totally different seasons.  I woke up to an email from Trent on the morning of the 8th announcing that they had a baby girl named Emie Belle!  Obviously, we haven't met the sweet girl but Emie love we can not wait for you and your bff Ellie to meet!

 My big brother Rik and his son Connor

Trent, Amber, and Emie

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Zeke at 3 and a half

Our Zekers is three and a half!  I can not even begin to believe that he is going to be 4 this summer.  I'm already thinking about his party and collecting ideas.  If you have an tips or ideas for making an Olympic themed birthday party (totally playing on the Olympics since that is all.we.did right after he was born since he was born the day of opening ceremonies in 2008), send them my way :)

This isn't a dr visit milestone, but he is about 37 lbs we think.  He wears mostly 4T shirts and needs to be wearing 5T pants, but mama is waiting for the consignment sale at the end of February.  Poor boy having a thrifty mom ;)  He has had a recent growth spurt and has shot up in height.  He is slimming down and shooting up it seems.

Interests: CARS, books, CARS, make-believe, and more CARS
Enjoys: reading, pretending, watching movies (begs to watch tv all day long, I promise that isn't what we do though!)
Turn-Offs: doing things on his own, seperating from mom still a bit, (tantrums really have gotten better recently)
Vices: staying in his bed for rest time (he has realized if he lays down he falls asleep and he doesn't like that), not looking us in the eye when we ask
Strengths: super sharer, thinks of others a lot of the time (wants to get things for Ben or dad when they aren't around), memorizing verses

Favorites of my 3.5 year old;
Foods: blueberries, french fries, animal crackers
Songs: show themes
Shows: Jake and the Neverland Pirates, SuperWhy
Books: Cars 2 book he got for his birthday, Mater book
Toys: cars, scooter, balls
Activities: any kind of pretending, getting a little into crafts, trying to read words/sounding out words

How Zeke is like...
daddy- so shy in new situations!!!  (Spence is not like this now, but growing up was super shy.  I know you don't believe this, but it's true)
mommy- needs a bit of wake up time.  Zeke tends to wake up and hang out in his room for up to 30 minutes before wandering downstairs

Treasuring Details of our 2 year old Ben
*love learning!
*very particular about his stuff (needs 3 books and 3 cars to sleep, don't dare move his cars that he has in their special box or windowsill)
*Collects things and stores them all over the place
*still such a mama's boy
*tries to get Ben to follow his directions.  We heard him the other day try to make Ben say "yes, sir" to him
*prefers snacks over meals
*has gotten so much better about trying new foods and generally will take one bite (if appropriately bribed)
*never wants to go anywhere, but once we get there doesn't want to leave
*enjoys irritating his brother (and thus me) by roaring and "scaring" Ben- we have been quoting over and over that we do not get joy from upsetting others, but it hasn't sunk in yet because Ben's reaction is so much fun :-\
*really into letter sounds and putting them together.  while reading he always says "hey, Mom, what does these words say?" I'm trying to decide if I should start teaching him some early reading skills
* has really turned a corner at Awana.  He loves memorizing verses and even enjoys going each week
*will be registered for preschool for the fall by the end of this week  (EEEE!)
*counts how many people are in a room when we are with lots of people and enjoys counting the girls and the boys
*asks lots of questions and also gives answers (likes to ask people what their fave color, ice cream, etc are or things like what color are their eyes)

Zeke currently isn't super into getting pitures taken and when you combine that with me not remembering my camera/feeling yuck we just do not have many pictures this month

 First mall ride, definitely won't be able to go to the mall with out doing this anymore

LOVES his Kumon books that he got for Christmas

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pitocin anyone?

I went to the doctor today.  I am 36 weeks and am so exhausted.  My doctor had said he would keep a close eye on me and my progression of going into early labor.  When I asked him about seeing if I was dilated at all, he said no because he is woried that will send me into labor.  After talking about having so many contractions, just my general miserableness, and my "precipitous labor" (less than 3 hours for both I've already had) we decided I could be induced February 15 (2 weeks!!!).  I am praying we go into labor naturally and would really like to not have an epidural this time.  BUT I am open to pitocin and epidural.  Spence and I have decided we will make decisions as we go.