Tuesday, January 31, 2012

To Do: Compare Baby Pictures

For 9 months I wondered what my baby would look like.  

Maybe I should have just stared at Matt's baby picture.

Gee--Do you think they look alike??

Parker John

Matthew John

We knew right away that if we had a boy, his middle name would be John--named after Matt's dad.  John is Matt's best friend, and for me, has taken on the role of dad to me as well.  Many people have told us (John included) that it wasn't very shocking that John was the middle name.

As for the name Parker, we just stumbled upon it.  I sort of hate to even admit this, but back in the day when I used to watch Rosie O'Donnell's talk show, I remember I liked her son's name, Parker.  When we sat down one night on the computer to look at baby names, Parker was one of those names that we BOTH said we liked...and that was unusual.  As soon as we said Parker John, it just stuck...and we knew right away that this would be our boy name.  (We also quickly picked out the potential girl's first name--but that is still a secret--just in case!)  Having worked with kids, I especially liked the name because I didn't know any kids (especially bad kids) with that name.

Earlier I told you that one person guessed the name correctly.  It was our neighbor, Lindsay.  But I will tell you that she had a slight edge.  Since her son's name is Jonathan, we did slip and told her that the baby's middle name was John.  While she had many name guesses (and later submitted Andrew as her final guess), she did tell us one time that she had a cousin who just named their baby John Parker.  She then said, maybe you could name it Parker John.  Somehow we managed to keep a straight face!  Amazingly, when we joined Lindsay's family for Thanksgiving this year and got to meet the baby John Parker, our giggles didn't give away the name.

You may also remember me telling you about our friend's son, Jude, who was insistent that our baby was named Usher.  When his mom announced "Parker is here", Jude replied "But his name is Usher."  She said she convinced him that Usher was his middle name.  Jude visited us this weekend and informed us that he liked the name Parker...because Spiderman's name is Peter Parker!

My nephew, Nathan, also objected to the name.  He had a friend whose last name was Parker and he told us we needed to pick a "real name", not a last name!  But as you can see here, I think he got over it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

To Do: Finish the Nursery

I realized today that I never showed you the final results of our nursery project.  Leave it to us to make it a little more challenging...though, honestly, the challenge was fun!  

Sure we could have just went to Babies R Us and picked out a coordinating set of crib bedding, wall decor, etc.  But nope.  We like to be unique.  And thanks to the introduction of Pinterest into my life this summer when I wasn't working, I stole someone else's amazing idea.  And thus began the collection, or should I say scavenger hunt, for all 26 letters of the alphabet.  

Not only were letters more difficult to find than I expected, you have to understand that both Matt and I are a little bit of perfectionist.  We not only wanted a variety of colors, but also sizes, textures, and depths.  And I have to say, that I am so pleased with the result!  Ready...

Trust me--it looks better in person!  The room isn't very big so it's hard to get a good picture.  Most of the letters we picked up when we visited the antique show on our Texas trip. (And those 13 letters had to be flown back with us!) Our favorite find there was probably the "w" whistle sign.  I admit, I was a little worried about it, but Matt's eye was right of course.  Matt cut out the A and the Y.  He also constructed the I from orange and blue crayons (Go Illini!).  We covered the V in multi-colored buttons but later spray painted it a dark purple, as it was too contrasting with the Z.  I also wrapped the concrete N with yarn to give it some color and texture.  For the X, I used modge podge to add map paper, making sure to include all the towns we have lived in (see, perfectionist!)

Thanks to my neighbor Lindsay's mom, we were given the awesome letter Z.  Her mom works with a teacher who paints letters in her free time.  I sent her with the comforter and told her to use her best judgement to make the Z match.  Isn't it amazing??  It turned out so much better than I could ever have imagined.

I'm really very lucky to have a handy husband!  He may have grumbled a bit when I showed him yet another Pinterest project that I wanted him to replicate, but in the end, the ruler growth chart is his pride and joy.  Best part is, we can take it with us wherever we go :)

After having no luck finding a lamp that I liked, I had a brain fart to use alphabet blocks.  Again, the husband came in handy, turning the jar into the lamp.  And you may notice that Parker already has a CAT dump truck on that shelf.  Brainwashing starts early!

Hopefully Parker loves his new room.  He always seems to be looking at the letters when we change his diaper.  I bet he is already memorizing the alphabet.  So smart that boy!  And if he doesn't like it, well too bad, he can change it when he turns 16!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

To Do: Have a Baby (No Biggie)

So, what did you do after Christmas?  I had a baby!  

"Mateo" has arrived...and it's such a relief to be able to call him by his real name, Parker.  

Ok, so it took me 34 years to be convinced that I could do this.  And the fear never really went away.  I just knew I had to deal with it.  I've told you before, but my pregnancy was so good all 9 months.  I thought for sure that meant I was doomed and would definitely be telling you my labor horror story. (What?  People tell pregnant women those? )  But...I'm not going to be one of those moms.  Nope, because my labor was good too.  Well, thanks to my epidural.  Ah, that stuff is just amazing!!  

I have to say, I was a little giddy that my water broke on it's own.  I'm now one of those 10%.  While I was 2 days past my due date, I still was a little shocked when it happened just 45 minutes after I went to bed.  It's just a funny feeling to feel like you are peeing yourself at this age!  And I had to laugh, because before I could even make it to the bathroom to change from my pjs, Matt had flown out of bed, grabbed my bags and had them in the car!  And really, I felt better than I had all day.  Maybe that was adrenalin!

I'll spare you all the details of delivery, but I still can't believe how fast it went.  Thanks to pain meds and the epidural, I actually was able to get some sleep.  We got to the hospital around 10:30pm on Wednesday.  The nurse came to check on me at 7am when they changed shifts.  She couldn't believe I hadn't got my epidural yet.  But right about then, I started getting some pain so I told her to go ahead and put in the request.  I think it was less than 5 minutes before Mark, my super hero med man, appeared.  I literally had only 3 painful contractions.  And then the best thing ever invented kicked in.  I went back to sleep for a few hours and it wasn't until 1pm that I got a funny feeling in my butt.  (Yeah, the books don't tell you that!)  Little did I know that I was ready to push.  After a brief panic attack (because I noticed my epidural bag looked empty), there was no turning back.  2 hours later, the little (ok, not so little) guy was in my arms!  

My doctor had been telling me for weeks that he was going to be a little guy.  I think she was just as shocked as I was when he arrived.  She kept saying "oh, I was so wrong" and as she handed him over, she guessed that he was over 8 lbs.  She kept telling me "I don't know where he was hiding."  I can just say, I knew that his kicks and moves that last month were painful for a reason.  I just thought for sure he would have a long, skinnier face...I just couldn't get over his round head!  And I can't help but wonder if my addiction to sweet tea led to those chubby cheeks that I can't kiss enough!

In a way, I wish I could replay those first few moments when we first met.  It's all such a blur.  I think I was just in shock that I had really delivered. (and so grateful I didn't have a c-section!).  Everyone tells you that you will feel instant love, but hearing that and feeling that are so different.  I had just waited so long to see that face, and I couldn't take it all in fast enough!

Matt did good too.  He enjoyed watching the contractions on the monitor and telling me when it was time to push.  He was so supportive and a good cheerleader.  I can tell you that the experience would not have been the same without my amazing labor nurses!  

Jill (the one on the left) was with me nearly non-stop.  She was so comforting and encouraging.  Dorothy just came in to get something, but ended up staying to join the festivities.  I never would have imagined that I would be making up songs, telling stories, and laughing so much during labor!  I'm so grateful to have a photo of them, because I adore them so much and they were such an important part of Parker's birth story.

Now I want my family to know that despite my great labor experience, it's still  a good possibility that Parker will be our One Hit Wonder!  So don't be getting your hopes up that Parker will get siblings.  And I just want to say "Ha!  And you thought I wouldn't make it through labor!"

Welcome to the family Parker!  We've waited a long time for you and now we can't imagine life without ya!