It Feels Like Just Yesterday...

It feels like just yesterday...

...that I found out I was pregnant.

...that we were dreaming up names for the little munchkin.  A list that so easily dwindled down to two names.  One for a boy and one for a girl.

...that we went in for the gender ultrasound to find out they hadn't scheduled an appointment for us.  We went on a wild goose chase to get an appointment with their ultrasound technician across town so we could find out the gender that day.  They confirmed our suspicions... it's a girl.  We sat in the parking lot excitedly saying things like "Great goal Cora!", "Cora Jean, go to your room", "Dr. Cora Jean", "Rebound Cora!".  We finally knew it was a girl

It feels like just yesterday...

...that our family and friends were showering us with love and gifts for the baby.  Opening the boxes containing tiny little clothes and trying to imagine our daughter wearing them

...that we were frantically trying to put together her nursery since we were going to the hospital the next day.

...that I was meeting my child for the first time.  We stared into each other's eyes meeting face to face for the first time, but feeling like she had always been there.

It feels like just yesterday...

...that we were strapping Cora into the car for our trip home from the hospital.  Ben was such a careful driver with our precious cargo.  We arrived home to a welcome committee and introduced Cora to her furry family member.

...that we heard Cora's first laugh.  She sounded like a wheezy old man laughing, but it was so precious.  I continued to throw the water bottle (the object of amusement) in the air until she no longer found it hilarious.

...that Cora was sitting up/'talking'/eating/crawling/clapping/dancing/waving/swimming/walking/etc for the first time.

It all feels like just yesterday, but somehow the pregnancy and 1st year have flown by.  There are so many things that I want to remember about baby Cora and so many things that I'm already forgetting. Tomorrow, my little baby turns 1 and I am so looking forward to all of the adventures life has in store for our family.


Morning at The Zoo

Yesterday, I took the morning off work and we hit up the zoo.  The weather has been awesome this week and I wanted to make sure we made it to the zoo while all of the tulips are blooming.
Normally we walk around in a big loop, but this time we decided to explore the middle areas more.  We ran into a volunteers near swan lake and he pointed out some different kinds of ducks and how to differentiate between the male and female.  He pointed out which ducks are part of the exhibit and which ones are just stopping by as they migrate.  I always thought the ducks stayed there, so it was interesting to learn some more information about the lake and how it functions.

We have had quite a few trips to the zoo before, but this is the first time that Cora has really been interested in all of the animals.  She pointed to the gibbons as they swung around, the penguins waddling and swimming around, and the red pandas as they explored their new exhibit.

At the Red Panda exhibit we talked with a doctorate student that was observing the animals.  She told us these two red pandas were siblings and both under the age of 1.   They were just put in the exhibit and she was just making sure everything was going well with them.  She also mentioned they couldn't swim, so she said she'd have to jump in if they tried to get in the water.
They had some flamingos out in the Africa exhibit so we could get a closer look at them.  Overall, we had a great time checking out exhibits that we don't always see, looking at all of the flowers, and learning lots of info about the different animals.

Linking up over at Bower Power for the Spring Photo Challenge.  All pictures on this post are taken using my Sony POS phone and unedited besides cropping.


Easter Weekend

We kept pretty busy this weekend.  Saturday morning, we slept in and skipped our swim lesson.  Cora slept pretty late so I got to make a Michaels run and started some crafting for Cora's birthday.  I made a bunch of garlands and banners that can be reused for other birthday parties and events.  I'm pretty much finished with most of the crafting, so I'll probably share some pictures later this week.
Cora woke up around 11 and we putzed around the house for a couple hours.  We went to Ault park for a lunch picnic.  Ben runs to get the food while I walk Cora and Clove around a little, then we meet up and eat.  Cora loves our picnics, crawling around the blanket, and playing with Clove at the park.
After the park, Cora and I went over to my sister's house to hang out with her and her in-laws.  Cora enjoyed crawling around and playing with them.  They brought her an early birthday present.  She got an Easter Peep stuffed animal that she loves carrying around and this adorable Adidas track suit.  I can barely handle how cute it is!
Sunday morning I woke up and got ready for church, then got Cora up and got her ready.  I got this dress from Target and was eyeing it for a couple weeks before I took the plunge and purchased it.  We had it hanging up in our room just waiting for Easter for a couple weeks.  I got the bunny ears in the $1 section and she got so many compliments on them
We headed to my Aunt and Uncle's church and then their house for lunch.  We had all kinds of delicious food and had fun hanging out for a couple hours after our meal.  And here are a bunch of pictures of me, my parents, and my little Easter bunny:

Happy Easter everyone!  Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice!


Cora Jean: A Birth Story

We're rapidly approaching Cora's 1st birthday and the day she was born is still as vivid in my mind as if it happened yesterday.  I love reading birth stories so I thought I would share Cora's birth story.  My birth experience was very PG so don't worry about reading anything too graphic.  This post is a little long, so feel free to skip if birth stories aren't really your thing.

Cora was breach so our options were to a) get a c-section or b) have a version (aka ECV) where they basically attempt to turn the baby around from the outside.  We opted to attempt the version since we hadn't had any complications and our doctor said we would make a great candidate for it.  We also opted to have it at 39 weeks (generally they will perform the version between 37-39 weeks).  We chose 39 weeks so Cora could 'cook' a little longer and we knew that either way we would meet the baby that day.  We scheduled the version for May 1st.

May 1st, we woke up really early to get to the hospital since the version was scheduled at 6:30am.  We drove down to the hospital and I had to take a moment (aka cry) before going in.  It is weird to wake up in the morning knowing that your life is going to change that day.... knowing that you're going to meet your child for the first time face-to-face... knowing that nothing will ever be the same.

We walked in thinking that we would be able to alert our families by noon whether the baby was there or I was in labor... Boy, were we mistaken!  We got into a room and they set me up with an IV and baby monitor.  At about 8:30, we met the anesthesia people that were on shift.  and then we waited, and waited and waited.  At about 10:30, they moved us into a delivery room.  Our nurse told us we were just waiting for the anesthesia people to be available because a couple emergency c-sections came up.  Our nurse was 35 weeks pregnant so she could sympathize that I was hungry/thirsty and snuck me a couple ice chips at that point.  And then we waited some more.
Finally, at about 3:30 the next shift anesthesia people came in to introduce themselves and set me up with an epidural for the version.  Ben had to step out and pass off our house keys to my sister, so he missed out on a lot of the epidural stuff.  I did have a moment where my blood pressure dropped and I felt a little sick, but other than that it seemed to be going fine.  Unfortunately, the epidural only worked fully on one leg and partially on the other, but I could completely feel everything in my torso.  I decided to go ahead with having the version done with no pain medication instead of trying the epidural again. Side note:  I originally wanted to try it with no pain medication, but they said they almost never do it without the epidural and would highly recommend the medication... I should have stood firm on that because the epidural was really uncomfortable for me and it didn't even work.  

At that point they start the version... aka two women putting all of their weight on my stomach trying to spin my baby around in my uterus.  NOT FUN!  The nurse said I handled it well, but Cora is just as stubborn as her mommy and decided to stay put.  Luckily Cora's heart rate was perfect and she wasn't in distress, so they were able to try turning her for a while.  Finally after 30 minutes of trying, they told me I would have to go in for a c-section.  I just remember crying like a little kid and saying "I don't wanna be cut open" when they asked me if I was okay.  Not my proudest moment.
They brought me in to the operating room and gave me a spinal.  It was such a weird feeling thinking that I could move part of my body, but I couldn't.  They started the surgery and I just laid there not knowing what to think.  I could still feel pressure on my torso, but it wasn't painful.  I kept asking where Ben was and why hadn't they brought him in yet.  He later told me they were putting our things in the recovery room and it felt like such a whirlwind for him.  He finally came in and I felt so much better since I was no longer alone.  He was there for only a minute or so and Cora was born.  She started crying/screaming the second they pulled her out of the womb.  I felt so many emotions at that moment.  I could hear my baby, but I couldn't see her.  Is she okay?  When are they going to bring her to me?  Wow, I'm a mommy!
Ben was able to go over and see her and take a couple pictures of her being cleaned off and measured... and I just laid there crying while I waited to see my daughter.  They were so quick to clean her up and get her over to see me that it was probably only a minute.  
The nurse brought her over and he said a quick prayer.  I wish I could remember what he said, but I just remember it being so touching, unexpected, and perfect.  They put her on my chest and she immediately stopped crying.  She knew I was her Mommy and she just wanted to be with me.  We hung out there for probably 15 minutes while they closed me up.  We stared at each other, she tried to nurse (the doctors said not until the recovery room), I hummed a little lullaby to her,  she tried to stick her little hands in my mouth, and we just cooed over our perfect baby.

We moved into the recovery room and I got to nurse Cora.  When she finished, Ben got to hold Cora for the first time and it was such a beautiful moment.  I loved seeing his face as he gazed down at our daughter!  He was a natural from the moment I put her in his hands.

While I was getting my spinal, Ben texted my parents saying I was going in for a c-section and my family immediately headed down to the hospital to meet the newest member of our family.  They arrived while we were in the recovery room and got to come back and see us.  We spent the rest of visiting hours passing her around letting her meet her grandparents, uncles, and aunt.  Eventually they moved us into our hospital room where Cora, Ben, and I would spend the next couple of days getting to know each other as a family of three.


Knitting Weekend

We had a full and relaxing weekend.  Friday evening/Saturday morning consisted of Michaels run, baby cuddles, crafting/tv evening, swim lessons, visit to my parent's house, lots of naps, more baby cuddles, and Indian food.
Sunday, Cora and I woke up a little early and hit up Target.  We then picked up my oldest friend Chelsea (our mom's were college roommates so we've been friends since birth) and headed down to OTR to meet up with my mom.  We went to MOTR for brunch then my mom took Cora off our hands.  Chelsea and I headed over to Fiberge for a Beginner knitting class.  Our instructor, Norma, was amazing!  She was such a great teacher and we both learned pretty quickly.  I went home and practiced for like two hours while Cora napped.  It was so fun getting the catch up with Chelsea and learning a new skill.  We're both addicted to knitting and are dreaming up all the cool things we can make.

PS. I've got some cute little crafts in the works for Cora's birthday and will hopefully be able to make&share some progress on the painted chair soon.


The Forgotten Birthday

I'm the worst mommy ever!  I totally forgot Clove's adoption anniversary on March 24th.  Two years ago we were hanging out at Petsmart walking and playing with all of the dogs.  We couldn't stop thinking about that white puppy so we went back and got her a week later.  It's been two years, but it feels like she has been around forever.

She has her moments, but overall she is such a sweet puppy.  She loves long walks, the dog park, cuddling up to me, visiting Grandma and Grandpa's house, chewing on anything (toys, plastic bags, bottlecaps, etc), checking out other dogs, hanging out the car window, and eating up Cora's crumbs.

Happy (late) adoption day Cloverson!


Life With Cora :: 11 Months

This is the last monthly update before Cora turns ONE!!!  A year ago, I was attending showers for Cora, prepping her nursery area, and trying to get everything squared away before the baby came along.  Now we're planning her first birthday.  Crazy!
This month, Cora took her first steps!  I'm still blown away by that moment.  She hasn't walked unassisted since, but has been cruising up a storm practicing for when she decides she wants to walk again.  She has been doing a lot of standing on her own and we're always waiting to see if she'll walk again or not.
There were a couple weeks off, but we have been enjoying swimming lessons on most Saturdays.  She's great at floating on her back (with a little help) and loves watching the other toddlers in the class.  It also tires her out for the rest of the day so we get to have lazy Saturdays.
Cora has been into this fake crying thing for a while.  She scrunches up her eyes real tight and then starts fake crying.  Usually I just say "hey, you faker!" and she will quit.  Sometimes she'll smile mischievously and act like she wasn't crying.
Lately, Cora has become obsessed with Clove.  She always crawls over to pet her, taunts her with food at the dinner table, tries to give Clove kisses, and will take any chance to crawl all over the puppy.  We're working on being gentle, but they are quickly becoming best friends.

Cora has been extra snuggly with me this month.  She was always really cuddly with Ben and other family members, but not so much with me unless she was nursing.  Now she is always calling for me "mmmmmMAaaMmaaa!" or crawling up on me and clutching me tightly.  I'm loving the extra cuddles.
She'll be turning ONE in no time!
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