Weberlife Instafeed

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Being a New Mom

Looks a little like this.  Between all the yawns and only having time to post to this blog from my phone(hence the poor quality photos and lack of detail in posts)  I am feeling pretty behind on a lot of things.  I am also having the time of my life with this little guy.  He just turned 4 months and has discovered his hands.  He loves to stand(with help), squeal and pinch.  He is such a great little baby and smiles at everyone he meets.  So while I look tired outside, I am so very happy on the inside.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My handsome Boys

Grayson loves the bjorn(finally)! Today Doug took him for a while so I could get a few things done. Doug worked and walked on the treadmill while Grayson watched.  Doug came down the stairs and proclaimed: "well, now he knows how to program" What fun these two will have together!
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Bench for the Bjorn!! What a useful Christmas Gift indeed!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Barkers visit

**notice that Cleo wanted to be in the photo? Sneaky little doggy!**

We had a short but very sweet visit with the Barkers!
We love you guys!

Hanging out

Grayson and I waiting@Tom and Leslie's.  What a cutie!

Merry Christmas!

Grayson's first and a happy one for us...hope it was for you too!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Merry Everything

Thanks to Aunt Missy for taking this photo and for making the adorable scarf!  We feel so very lucky for 2011.  We truly feel humbled.  A great year is just that much greater following a few hard ones.  Thanks to all of you who in one way or another have supported, encouraged, celebrated and loved us.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Grayson's Day

We wanted to have a special day marking Grayson's arrival with our closest family. It was a very small affair that we planned while Kevin and Rosie were visiting. There are many others that we know will play a huge part of Grayson's life, but once we started looking at our circles outside of this group the numbers increased A LOT and the party became overwhelming instead of do-able. Below is the actual "Naming" part that Doug read to Grayson. The rest of the ceremony included advice from our parents, a book read by Leslie, a poem by Rosie and a song(and MC-ing) by Wayd. All in all it was a happy and emotional day--thanks to all who came and took part!(Sammi was sick :( we missed her!)

Grayson Michael Weber 

We as your parents are so happy to have you here. Safe and sound. The last 3 months we have had such a great time getting to know all of your tiny little ways, pinching your sweet cheeks and kissing your tiny little fingers and toes. We are painfully aware that all too soon you'll be big and we will yearn for these days back again. So we are taking it all in, every moment of you--ness we can get we are taking. Today though, we want to take some time, right now, while things are still new, to give you some insight into the name we chose for you as well as to promise you a few things things.

First let’s start with your name.

We really really did not want to mess that part up. After all your name is your first impression, your brand to the world. It is, in many ways, weaved into who you are and how you become who you will be. What a responsibility to give someone a name! We chose Grayson first, simply because it suited you. We had several names picked out but this one really was the only choice once we met you. It reflects strength and style, subtlety and cleverness with just a hint of nostalgia. We often find that in our own life the truth lies in the Gray, the fun, and the richness of most things can be found not in the extremes, the black and white, but somewhere in the middle. The Gray’s. We had only known you 3 or 4 days when we decided for sure that this would be your first name, but something told us it was supposed to be yours. We gave you a name without too much historical baggage in order to set you on a course to forge new meaning and impress on all you meet a positive association free from any preconceived notion or expectation. Look at it as a blank canvas--you are free to be who you choose.

Now on to your middle name.

Your mom is very very proud of her family and the closeness they share. The Bench family is very much a clan, and growing up a Bench is the source of great pride for her. Aesthetics aside, her first choice for your middle name may well have been Bench but it wasn't specific enough( and as you will learn your mom has never been good at leaving aesthetics aside) According to your Grandma Heather, Mickelle’s name was chosen because it is the feminine form of Michael after her father your Grandpa Bench. Additionally, you have an Uncle Michael, and also my parents gave me the middle name Michael. So no matter what we decided your first name would be your middle name was destined to be Michael. Your Grandpa Bench, the original Michael, is welcoming and kind, gives people the benefit of the doubt, always plays devils advocate, and will always welcome one more to any party. Together he and your Grandma have built a family of which anyone would be proud. They value family above all else. A lesson we truly hope you take with you. They choose authenticity over glamor, honest work over the easy way out, and offer a quiet but potent example of putting the people who mean the most to you, first. May you inherit their kind hearts, their loyal spirits and their green thumb!

Lastly, and never to be forgotten, you are a Weber. A name for which you should be proud. The Webers are known for their keen minds, their kindness and their industrius ways. They are devoted friends and loyal to the end. No one can out work, or out love a Weber. My family, since they immigrated to the United States, have been practicing Mormons and many still are. As you will learn, your Mother and I have not chosen that path and would not choose it for you. However, … take all the good there is from this heritage, internalize it and use it in your life as you would any tool. My advice to you is quite simply, trust in yourself and your own ability to make decisions and choose right from wrong. There are a lot of hard decisions in life and no one can make those decisions better than you. There is some comfort in feeling like you know all the answers, but there is more lasting freedom in choosing to always be questioning. The world is full of adventures waiting to be had. Practice moderation in all things, treat others as you would choose to be treated, and be and let be. There is truth, beauty and fulfillment to be found in all things and ways of thinking. Do not ever feel the need to limit yourself. Let these principles guide you and you will find any answer you are seeking and enjoy a full and well lived life indeed!

Finally Grayson there are a few things that we want to promise you as your parents. We cannot promise to be perfect in their execution but we will try.

1) We will love you and support you no matter what happens in your life, or in ours. It seems simple, and perhaps goes without saying, but we will.

2) We promise to work as a team and have the best marriage we can for you, and for us. We love each other so much that we decided to have a you! You are first and foremost an expression of our love for one another and our wish for it to never end. We choose each other every moment of every day. And choose you always, thick or thin--you are our life’s work and joy.

3) We promise to laugh with you(and at times at you) cry with you, guide you, and listen to you. We promise to try to know just what you need to hear when faced with life’s many challenges and to teach you to build a community to turn to when we do not. If you were to look around this room we have tried to get you started, you can always turn to any one of these people for guidance:

You’ve got Max and Susan who are adventurous and studious. If you ever need a good book or a good laugh you can count on them! You will be better for knowing them, as we all are.
Uncle Michael and Aunt Sammi: their kindness and subtle, careful ways are to be admired. They will not offer advice unless asked but never mistake that as not having lots of wisdom to give.
Uncle Kevin and Aunt Rosie who’s fun ways and never ending energy always make for a great time. They are true craftsman in the life they have built together. They have a thirst for knowledge and a insatiable lust for life. Your cousins already love you too--what a gift!
Grandma and Grandpa Bench who will teach you to grow a garden and brew your own beer! If you are really lucky they will teach you to fish or waterski!
Uncle Tom and Aunt Leslie who among other things could teach you to refurbish a house, plan a party, mountain bike and make a good stiff drink--and that is just on a saturday!
And last, Grandma and Grandpa Weber who are true renaissance people--any question you have, they will know(or know how to find) the answer, they will teach you to love and cherish life, and to always be game for any new adventure.
Grayson we cannot believe that we could ever love anyone as much as we love you. Never forget that you are worthy, but not entitled to all the good life has to offer. Work hard and it will find you. You are a gift to us and if you will allow us to be active spectators in your life we will count ourselves among the luckiest people alive. This is your life and your name--we know you will use them wisely Mama and Daddy

















If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Tom and Les were also formally named Grayson's Godparents--Below is what I wrote and read to them.  

Tom and Les,

There is just no great place to begin--you are our best and closest friends, also family, you never let us down and always, always are there to remind us to have a good time.  We have been through a lot so far, the best of times and also the worst so far, have included you guys.
We always wonder how it is that we got so lucky to have people like you in our lives, you are both such a gift to us.  Grayson is lucky to have such a dynamic duo to call his godparents.

If it isn’t obvious why we chose you for this task, well, let’s just say Doug and I barely discussed it.  It goes without saying: you are the absolute closet thing there would be to
us raising Grayson if we were unable for any reason.  However, there are at more than a  amazing things about you guys, that are unique, that we hope he sees and emulates.

Let’s start with  your humor.  You two, on your own, both have such great comedic senses about you.  If I need to laugh, I head to the Reese’s.  Together, you make quiet the act. You have such a special connection through laughter and it is so amazing to see(and additionally very very entertaining)  Additionally, we knew we could count on you guys to not take the “god” in god parents very seriously.  We do, however, expect Grayson to be fully prepared to debate the distinct difference between  PBR and Heinekin, learn that golfing while drinking either will undoubtly improve your game(or at least your impression of it) and how to enjoy the comedy in everyday life.  You two are masters of that.

Next, your ability to get more done in one day than any two people I have ever met.  Your house alone is a testament to just what a great team can do when tasked with something that seems almost impossible.  Others see a beautiful home with great style and craftsmanship.  I see that and an incredible love letter that you two have written to one another in all of the walls painted, all of the carefully chosen details, and the spaces you have made your own.  Grayson, and with a little more time, his cousins, will have so many adventures in that house that you have created so lovingly and carefully.  

Also, you are careful with your words, both of you.  This is a lesson I am still learning, but as I have watched you two navigate the waters of some of the cruelest things that any person or couple should have to endure, you have done so with Grace, and an openness that you should know is very, very rare.  A particular example is when I was with you two after Les had a very rough surgery.  Tom had some devastating news and I will never, ever forget the way he knew just what to say and when to say it.  He delivered the news in it’s time, and in the only way she could have heard it.  It took my breath away.  Additionally, it is never, ever hard to tell how important Tom is to Leslie.  He is her top priority, her best friend, her partner in crime and her first choice in companion for all things.  We can only hope that Grayson will someday find a match so well suited for him.

Last, you are both very slow to judge and always learning and evolving.  This may be one of your greatest attributes.  In Leslie’s classroom she thinks through each square inch of it.  Additionally every party she throws(and she has thrown quite a few this year) she has every detail mapped out, and every detail accounted for.  Somehow she manages to remember everything and also everyone.  This is a rare gift.  In Tom’s love for all things outdoors he is meticulous and refined. Never taking or buying anything extraneous, but when he does it is the right tool for the job.  It is traits like this that kids pick up without thinking.  

In the end we know you will be there for Grayson, you already have been there or heard about his birth, our first weeks together, every sleepless night, every health concern real or imagined, and have been there for us and him as a constant force of love and support.  We will forever be grateful for our friendship and now, we are grateful that you have accepted the formal title to what you already are.  Grayson may be the luckiest little boy alive to have you two in his life.  

Thank you doesn’t quite cover it but will have to suffice,

Doug Mickelle and Grayson

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Very Happy Thanksgiving!

This was our group in Leslie and Tom's very first Thanksgiving in their home. They did an amazing job with the help of two very hardworking elves(Mom and Dad) It was the most delicious and stylish
year on record, with good friends and family alike.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Grayson's Birth Story

Posted on Dec 29, 2011--I found this that I wrote shortly after he was born and wanted it posted here--
Grayson’s Birth Story

The story starts way before the day of.  Doug and I took the full 9 months to decide where and exactly how we wanted to have our baby.  It was in the last month that I decided that I might want to be at home and that I wanted Les to be around.  Our midwife was very supportive to us being flexible and going with whatever came our way when I was actually in labor.  Our biggest goal was to have as few interventions as possible but to have a healthy outcome for both me and the baby.  After 12 weeks of Brio Birth classes I was convinced that my labor would be long and I would be late.  On Thursday Doug and I took a walk after dinner and I was having contractions  I was thinking that it was good that I had these “practice contractions” so I could have a bit of a preview and maybe some of the work would be done beforehand.  I was tired so we didn’t do much that night and we were planning to see our midwife the next morning.  Doug had also just booked a refundable flight to San Fransisco for a meeting on the 8th(yet another reason for me to be late:  Murphy’s Law)
So we woke up Friday and went to see the Midwife(Rebecca) she always has a lesson for us and we are always there at least an hour.  I wasn’t very comfy sitting throughout most of my last trimester and sitting on her couch I started to feel like I was going to pass out.  So I stood while she explained all about what is normal and what is not when it comes to newborns.  Little did we know we would have a newborn in less than 24 hours!  Rebecca suggested that we spend a lot of time together in the next 2 weeks since there would be little time for that once the baby arrived.  We listened to his heartbeat, which sounded awesome and went on our way.  Doug went to work and I set out to do some of the last errands on my baby list and grocery shopping.  My dad called while I was a Babies R Us and asked “is today the day?” to which I responded: “no, today is not the day”  I also talked to my mom and explained to her that yes I was having contractions, but they were mild and prelabor can sometimes last weeks, esp on a first baby.  I walked around the store, feeling really tired and crampy, came home, layed down for a nap and the contractions stopped.  When I got up they came back so I asked Doug if he would mind cleaning out the tub so I could take a bath--he was about an hour away from being finished with work but quickly did it for me.  When I got in contractions stopped.  From birth class I knew that if they go away in the tub, it isn’t real labor.  So I got out, and we focused on dinner plans.  I said I felt like Indian but not like going out.  So Doug ordered to go and went to pick it up.  I layed down for a bit and ate the Sag Panier that he brought home, then we decided to listen to a book on tape in bed since I wasn’t feeling up for much.  About 30 minutes in I was WAY too bored with the book and preoccupied with contractions and asked Doug to turn it off.  I just kept thinking:  “when we do this for real, I need to be much more relaxed!”  It was about 10 PM and I could tell that Doug was getting suspicious.  He tried to hide that he was timing the contractions.  I wasn’t going to be fooled, but in my mind this was good practice for the real thing.  He kept asking me if they were getting stronger, I didn’t think so, but I did keep thinking that I really need to focus on relaxation because I was having trouble staying relaxed.  Doug started trying a few of the positions that we had learned in our class, again, in my head this was all great practice.  We answered a text from a friend who wanted to know what a good place for drinks was downtown and I apologized that I was not feeling up to meeting him, so we would not be joining him.  The contractions started coming right on top of one another, so I asked if we could go upstairs for another bath.  I just needed a break between contractions--then I would be able to handle them again.  I wanted to lay down but that made everything more painful, the bath seemed to be the only option.  I remember saying to Doug: “I just need a break and I am not getting it and I don’t know why!”  When I got in the bath he continued his text conversation with our midwife and asked me if she should come.  We deliberated for a bit--we certainly didn’t want to make her come here for a false alarm!  We didn’t feel like things were out of control and I still thought we were just being first timers and overly dramatic.  I began doubting my ability to do this for real when the time came because this practice was getting pretty painful!  We determined to keep her updated I think but after that I don’t really remember much of what Doug was doing as he played the part of party planner and orchestrated everyone where we needed them to be.  I remember being out of the tub, having a really intense contraction and digging my nails into Doug’s arm and holding on.  He stayed strong and just held me up, there was nothing I could do, my body was taking over.  I got back into the tub and suddenly my body began pushing--without me doing a thing.  It scared me, a lot.  I said to Doug: “My body is pushing and I can’t stop it--something must be wrong!”  There was nothing left to do but surrender.  I felt safe and able to do whatever I needed to.  I just held on for dear life.  Labor was happening to me, but I was starting to feel desperate.  I couldn’t handle 12 more hours of this!  I began calculating in my head how much longer I could do this--5-6 hours more? Maybe, but then all the stories that I had heard about women showing up to the hospital only to find out they are dilated to a 2 and not effaced began flashing through my mind and I began to be very afraid.  I started to cry and Doug rubbed my back.  At some point I heard him on the phone with the midwife.  I hear him say:  “She says you are doing great!  REMEMBER: Low tones--she will be here in 20 minutes”  Rebecca arrived and I just remember saying to Doug:  Please don’t leave me.  “We are going to have a baby soon!” Rebecca sang as she unloaded her supplies.  I remember asking Doug to ask her to be quieter, and if she could check me.  “I don’t need to check you” she said  you are there, we will have a baby in 20 minutes!  I couldn’t dare to believe that, not enough time had passed.  I insisted that she check me and so she had me get out of the tub and onto the bed.  “This far”  she said as she showed me a quarter of an inch of her finger, “that is how far you have to go!”  Again, I was in disbelief that we were almost done--I had just admitted to myself that we were actually in labor.  “Two contractions on the toilet so he can turn the corner and then back in the tub to push.”  Turn the corner, turn the corner, why wasn’t I remembering this from all of the classes, books and videos that I had watched?  I didn’t make it to the toilet before another contraction hit me--I was feeling excited, a little scared but mostly just focusing on the task at hand.  i could hardly believe that we were almost there!  I remember wondering how long that short distance might take--hours? How many? I think I had one or maybe two more contractions and then I got back in the tub which was now warm(Doug had refilled it for me)  I remember hearing Rebecca instruct Doug to turn off the air conditioner so when the baby came out he wouldn’t be chilled, I remember telling Doug to have Leslie come in as soon as she got here, and then I remember thinking that the baby was too big to come out and then it occurred to me: THE BABY CAUSES the ring of fire--it never really made sense until now.  As I had through the whole process I remember thinking:  This is temporary, I can do this, women have done this for generations, you can too.  Through the whole process I really did do whatever my body demanded--thank goodness for all of those conversations beforehand with Doug.  We talked about my fears, my doubts, what I like and don’t like when I am in pain, his fears, what we really wanted out of this experience and why and because of all of those MANY conversations I was able to just surrender and know that he was there with me, no matter what.  Rebecca just kept saying, “ease him out” but he was coming and I wasn’t doing anything!  She instructed me to lift my chin and blow OUT, which I did.  I remember thinking that my body was delivering this baby, I was just along for the ride!  Before I knew anything Leslie was there in the doorway of our tiny bathroom.  Doug was on the toilet, Rebecca, kneeling by the tub and Les in the doorway--panting.  I asked her to take some pics and told Doug where the camera was and the next thing I remember is everyone gasping and suddenly a baby was on my chest.  “Be careful not to drown him, that tends to give waterbirths a bad name” Rebecca joked.  I held on tight to the little squirmy warm thing in my arms and all I kept thinking is: he is so big, I can’t believe he fit inside me!  I turned to Doug and whispered “that was easier than I thought”  I held him and whispered to him while Doug watched and marveled with me.  He was here!  Now for more business, Rebecca said that my placenta was detaching a little early so we would have to cut the cord a little earlier than normal, and we did.  Doug cut the cord, placenta was delivered and now it was on to standing up.  I got out of the tub, dried off and headed to the bed to get checked out and to snuggle with our new family.  While Rebecca talked to us and stitched me up Grayson began to nurse and Doug and I just snuggled him and took in all of his little noises.  Leslie was busy finishing setting up a few things around the nursery and got us some snacks, took pics and put Grayson in his first diaper!  There were instructions, an exam, weighing and measuring, and lots of laughs.  All the time I just kept thinking: he is here, we have a baby!  How did that happen!  I was in a cloud of relief, love and new sensations.  The chubby little baby seemed pretty content and we finally got the all clear on a clean bill of health.  Rebecca “tucked us in” with the baby between us in bed and told us she would call the next day to see how things were going.  Les was spending the night and sending and receiving texts from well wishers and brand new grandmas and grandpas.  All the while we were just snuggling and cooing and in awe.  As Rebecca closed the door I remember looking over at the baby between us and thinking: he is just here, in our bed, like he owns theplace! 

Doug's Point of View

It was Friday August 26th around 6:30 and I was just finishing up work. Mickelle comes up the stairs and calmly asks me a question. "Can you clean out the tub with disinfecting wipes?".  I respond with "Do you want me to right now or can I do it after I finish up work?".  She requests right now because she isn't feeling great and wants to take a bath to feel better.  Trying to be the supportive birth partner, I promply hop up and start cleaning out the tub.

So far, nothing was out of the ordinary. About and hour later, we were sitting at the kitchen table trying to figure out dinner. She requested Indian food so I ordered Saag Paneer from The Star of India.  Mickelle wasn't feeling well enough to go with me to get the food so she just hung out while and went and picked it up.  It was around 8:00 pm when I got back with dinner.  We both enjoyed it very much.

After we were done with dinner, Mickelle tells me that she is having Braxton Hicks again. We decide that we should do something to take her mind off of it until they go away.  I inform her that I have an audio book on my phone called The Joy of Finding Things Out.  She replies with "That sounds interesting. Let's listen to that".  So we get all setup to listen to the book while laying in bed.  The book starts talking about physics and about 10 minutes into it, she decides that she doesn't wan't to hear the noise.

At this point she is having to get comfortable for the so called "Braxton Hicks" contractions. This was around 10:00 pm.  That made me wonder if I should start paying attention to these things, just for grins.  So I start timing the contractions.  Mickelle was having to go to the bathroom about every other contraction and each time she did, another contraction would start right away.  After an hour of timing, they were kind of sporadic in both how long the took (between 0:20 and 1:15) and how close they were to each other (between 7:00 and 2:00).  I was paying attention pretty closely at this point but was waiting for the contractions to get more regular and more intense. I also kept asking Mickelle if they were getting more intense because it sure seemed like it to me. She kept saying "No, I don't think so".  I send a text message to our midwife (Rebecca Williams) letting her know of the timing of contractions and she tells me to keep her in the loop.

We then went upstairs to try the tub again and I timed the contractions for another hour. The contractions were still sporadic but on average happening more often. There were about 17 contractions in the hour, which of course averages out to clser than 1 every 4 minutes.  I then text the midwife the new timings and she writes back "Hmmm".

It is getting close to midnight at this point and I'm pretty sure that we have started labor.   The midwife's uncertain answer reinforced my idea that we were beginning labor. I tell the midwife that mickelle is still laughing at my jokes and that the tub is slowing the contractions down. I also tell her that I'm not sure what to think. She writes back with "Time will tell".  That was kind of a frustrating answer because I felt like the signs were there but there were conflicting signs as well.  And after all, the midwife wasn't even sure.

It wasn't too long after that text from the midwife that things were getting pretty intense. The contractions were coming much more often.  So I write back to the midwife letter her know.  I was trying to indicate that we are actually in labor.  I think she knew but didn't want to come and distrupt the process too early.  She writes back"Let me know when I am needed" which of course was also frustrating.  In an attempt to give her more info, I let her know that we probably aren't going to get any sleep tonight and that blood is coming out.  I don't really know when the midwife is supposed to show up so I ask her when is normal.  She writes back with "I come when you want me to.. :)".  Arrrgh!  I don't know!

At this point I am texting with my left hand and rubbing Mickelle's back with my right.  I'm trying to be supportive and say the right things as it is obviously very intense.  At one point a said a very bad thing... "Try to stay cool calm and collected".  She almose killed me at that point.  I'm getting pretty excited that this was really happening and at the same time getting ready for the long haul of labor.

It was probably about an hour later (although I'm not really sure because time was beginning to warp) that things got so intense that I decided people (Leslie and the midwife) should probably come over.  I text Leslie three times in a row to try and wake her up.  We were a week early so I'm sure whe wasn't expecting to be getting a text message in the middle of the night.  After a minute and no response I give her a call.  No answer.  I try Tom's phone with no answer.  I'm starting to get a bit nervous because things were progressing faster than I thought and I wasn't able to get a hold of Leslie.  With Cleo around, Leslie had to show up to take her to Mike and Heather's in order for the midwife to make it in the front door.

At long last, I try and call Leslie's phone again and this time she picks up.  I was so relieved.  I told her that we were in labor and that it would be great if she could come get the dog so that the midwife could come over.  Thinking that Since Leslie didn't have to travel as far, I went ahead and texted Rabecca to start heading over.

Right after that, Mickelle tells me that she thinks her water just broke.  In my head, I'm thinking "Good thing I already asked them to head over". A few contractions later and things changed completely.  Mickelle's body started pushing and her sounds changed to be more volume than I knew her body was capable of.  Of course we were in the bathroom so I'm sure there was some resonance going on.  Mickelle is starting to freak out now saying "My body is pushing and I can't stop it. I don't it is supposed to be pushing yet".  Now I'm thinking holy #@&% this baby is coming soon and nobody is here.  I guess I can "catch" the baby if needed and the midwife shouldn't be too far behind.  I immediately call Rebecca to tell her to hurry.  She answers the phone and hears Mickelle and said "Ohhhh, I'll be there as soon as I can. Just tell her to keep low tones. She is sounding great!"

I'm feeling a little bit better that the midwife is hurrying but Leslie still hasn't shown up yet.  I was thinking that 30 to 45 minutes was about right for Leslie to make her way.  I wasn't exactly correctly.  I'm not sure how long it took, but I remember thinking "really? More than 45 minutes?"

Leslie showed up and started getting Cleo ready to go. As she is headed out the door, Rebecca also showed up, causing quite the scene in the hallway.  I'm sure Leslie could go into more detail about that whole thing.  As Rebecca is making trips back and forth to her car and Leslie is leaving, Rebecca tells Leslie that "we're going to have a baby soon!".

When Rebecca make it up stairs to the bedroom, she walks in and said "your baby is going to be here in about 20 minutes".  Mickelle still didn't believe she was that far along and said "Don't say that until you check me".  Rebecca said that she needs to go get one more load from her car and then she will check.

When she gets back, Mickelle hops out of the tub and makes her way over to the bed.  Rebecca does the check and come around pointing to about 0.25 of an inch down on her finger.  "This is how far in his head is" she said.  There was a wave of excitement that washed over me and probably Mickelle.  I then drained the tub and cleaned out any particles and started to fill the tub back up.  Rebecca then asks Mickelle to do 2 contractions on the toilet to help the baby "turn the corner".  Mickelle didn't quite make it to the toilet for the first one and squatted about half way there.  "Perfect! He just turned the corner" said Rebecca.  So Mickelle did one more contraction on the toilet and then hopped into the tub one last time.

As soon as Mickelle got back into the tub, the baby started crowning and Rebecca coached Mickelle through slowing down to help prevent damage.  By the way, don't forget that Leslie still isn't back from taking Cleo.  I text Leslie and let her know that the baby is crowning hoping to get her to hurry.  Mickelle tells me that she wants Leslie to come see, which was a different stance than she had before labor.  A second later Leslie comes in the front door and I motion to her to come quick.  She makes it in time to see the baby's head half way out.

A couple more contractions and the baby slips out.  Rebecca puts him on Mickelle's chest and covers him with a towel.  He let out a couple quick cries and then quiets right down and just starts looking around.  He looked like he was in better shape than I was expecting.  I was so happy to see him.  I was also excited to see Mickelle's face and how happy she seemed.

We start the introductions to the new little guy and attempt taking pictures in the dark tub.  Rebecca tells us that it looks like Mickelle's placenta detached a little bit and that we wouldn't get the full 15 minutes of cord blood time.  After about 6 minutes she clamps the cord and lets me cut it. A few minutes later the placenta is born.  We then move over to the bed, everyone ecstactic!  Rebecca declairs "You've done it! You did all the work without me. You are part of the birthing Elite!"

The entire labor went way faster than I expected.  I guess some call it "a race car" labor.  It felt like it caught us by suprise despite our hours and hours of preperation.  We went to more hours in class than we had in labor.  In the end, everything was so amazing and went so perfectly.  Fitting for such a perfect little boy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A peek

I am a Mom, we are parents. And it couldn't have been a more intense and perfect experience to have our first child.
The video is a glimpse into our first week together. What you don't see are the endless meals from loved ones, words of encouragement, love and understanding and just pure joy from every person we encountered that made so much of the precious time we had possible. Also you don't see Leslie, without whom Grayson's birth and the days following would have been much different. From photographer to chef to teaching us how to swaddle and bathe a new baby you were our guardian angel. Thank you forever Les. For everything.

To my mom and dad: thanks for trusting me and despite being scared to death for us to have a out of hospital birth, you were supportive and encouraging. Also thanks for being my parents--I know it hasn't always ever been easy.

To Doug's parents: thanks for raising such an amazing husband and father--without him and his undying support for me I would have(and always would) crumble.

To Rebecca-you are amazing and oh so wonderful. You have changed our lives for good and we will be forever grateful.

To Doug: There are no words. I just wish I could show you, every day, the kind of support, trust and warmth that you have shown me during this pregnancy and birth. There is no end to how much I admire, love and cherish you. Even if I could it would never be enough. I love you.

To Grayson: You are an amazing little boy--you are so very loved and I never knew just how much I could feel until now "when I picked you up and everything changed"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tears at 39 weeks.....and braxton hicks

Pics may come soon--but for now I wanted to share this song--it is getting to the part where we can have this baby at any moment and things are starting to get real.
I heard this song and teared up a bit but it mostly made me so excited! I cannot wait to meet our new little person and see what he looks like and hold him and let him know just how much he is wanted and loved. (and show him all of his new cool stuff! Thanks to our family and friends we are all set up! As soon as my print arrives I will take some pics of the nursery for your viewing pleasure)
Until then? Braxton Hicks are kicking my butt! It has been 24 hours straight of every 10 minutes or so. I am really happy that something is happening but it is kind of making me less fun to be around for sure! (not to mention scared sh**tless for the real deal)

Good morning, son.
I am a bird
Wearing a brown polyester shirt
You want a coke?
Maybe some fries?
The roast beef combo's only $9.95
It's okay, you don't have to pay
I've got all the change

Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up
And everybody does
It's so weird to be back here
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We're still fighting it, we're still fighting it
And you're so much like me
I'm sorry

Good morning, son
In twenty years from now
Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
And I can tell you 'bout today
And how I picked you up and everything changed
It was pain
Sunny days and rain
I knew you'd feel the same things

Everybody knows
It sucks to grow up
And everybody does
It's so weird to be back here.
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We're still fighting it, we're still fighting it
You'll try and try and one day you'll fly
Away from me

Good morning, son
I am a bird

It was pain
Sunny days and rain
I knew you'd feel the same things

Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up
And everybody does
It's so weird to be back here.
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We're still fighting it, we're still fighting it
Oh, we're still fighting it, we're still fighting it

And you're so much like me
I'm sorry

Monday, August 15, 2011

37 Weeks

We have been busy busy at our house!  I finally found a crib, glider and also a changing table!  The changing table was sitting in my parent's garage-my dad made it in High School and Les and I used it all growing up--it is perfect and I am excited to be able to use it!  We also had 2 amazing showers(I will post pics when I get them)  Other than a few little odds and ends we are feeling as ready as is possible when expecting one's first baby.

Songs this month:
Both to Doug both because he is amazing in too many ways to count or even think of in one sitting.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Accepting defeat

It has been 8 weeks since I have posted.  A lot of that has to do with Doug being really busy, traveling and me being really busy.  But almost as much to do with the fact that I spend most days in Yoga clothes and no makeup(comfy and I have been doing as much Yoga as possible).  We went to Lake Powell and had a great time(I know there are pics of me in a bikini somewhere, maybe I will post them, but not likely)  and Doug went to NY twice and purchased his first onsie--he brought it home and it made me almost cry!  Also I have been trying to be helpful because my sister and moms(including Susan) and others are working hard to put on not one, but 2 showers for this new baby and I couldn't feel more loved.
One of my favorite parts about being pregnant is when strangers smile at me(read: not when strangers give unsolicited advice, that is different) it is fun to feel like we all have something in common and we are all human and in this together.  It is a feeling I wasn't anticipating(that and having my neighbors carry stuff for me)  I have been so lucky and my heart is warmed almost every day with random acts of kindness from strangers and the strength and selflessness of those close to me(you know who you are)  I think our baby boy is coming both into a family(including many friends that are family) and a world that is amazing, wonderful and full of much more good than not.  Yet another feeling I was not anticipating.

For one of the showers we decided to make a "blankie" and have everyone help(i love this idea) My Grandma Bench used to make us all a blanket when we were born and they were just the perfect size to grow up with. From keeping us warm, to providing comfort on the floor, to being dragged around for comfort this blanket was all of our favorite and so, in her memory we measured mine(above) and are going to make Baby Boy's the same size. It is times like these that you miss the ones that have gone the most. Most of my grandparents are gone, but their memory and traditions live on.

My goal is to try not to go 2 months again between pics--lets hope I can do it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Doug's Adventures

Doug has been working hard on this, his latest project, that is making waves in education. It has been mentioned here,and here.
And can be downloaded for FREE for parents who want to know what their kids should and will be learning here and here
It has been a fun adventure living in the unknown and often unintuitive world of ed sales.
I am proud of him and what this product is trying to achieve. Not only is it informative and useful for teachers(and free to schools to use) I think that with the FREE app it also gives parents a chance to be more involved and see how their child is learning and how they compare to other children in their class and in the nation.
The beauty of it really is that teachers are allowed to track mastery of skills but are not being forced to do so. Teachers are people too everyone--this product leaves the art of teaching up to the teachers, which is rare in these post "no child left behind" times.

Good start on changing the world Doug!
Check out MasteryConnect Here

Friday, May 13, 2011

Week 24

This week has become increasingly uncomfy in the sitting department.  I feel like someone is sitting on me if I sit for more than a few minutes(standing and laying are ok still though)  We got our stroller and it is GREAT!  One baby item down, millions to go.  I am having a hard time decorating the nursery(it will eventually fill the space where we take these pics)  I feel like once I find a crib and a sheet set I like everything else will come pretty easily.  Additionally we are going to Lake Powell next month with our families so swimsuit season has never been more stressful! We start our Brio Birth Classes on the 26th, which we are both really looking forward to.  It is 2 hours a session for 12 weeks.  We had better be experts in birth after that long! 
This week may be the last that I can wear some of my regular clothes(except those are definitely maternity pants--thank you JEN!!)  As shown I had to leave the bottom button of my my vest undone(very classy indeed)
On another note, Cleo will NOT leave the room when we take pics every week. She knows what her job is and does it well! If there were an outtakes reel on this week her head was in more than half of the photos.
Like this:
"mom is it my turn yet?"
Doug and I know that if she didn't want to be there she would not be(examples are when the shower is on, she is nowhere to be found(hates baths) and when there is loud music(hates dancing))

Additionally, I get tired about 8:30 every night. Doug has taken a pic of me yawning every time and so I feel like I need to post one. The times that seem to be convenient to take pics always fall around the 9-10 PM timeframe so yea, I really look like this:
And I had to meet clients this day, I normally look a lot like a homeless person(go ahead, ask the Jenn Air repair man or any of my neighbors--I can feel them thinking that Doug and I physically are not a good match and that I must have a really great personality.) One of our neighbors actually described Doug as "practically a model" --not helpful to his wife who feels like a whale, but nice all the same :) Pregnancy is hard on the self image for sure!YES I KNOW you get a baby at the end. People say this to me ALL THE DAMN TIME--I get it! I am so very grateful and excited and happy to be having this experience, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard at times. Right?(please take these and all of my comments with the appropriate amount of dry humor and sarcasm that tinges all that I write and think and speak) Those that know me well are aware that I am a huge sap at heart.
This week's Song

and to Doug-I love you, this one is for you:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Week 22

Yea, I've never worn leggings(not jeggings J ;))  and a long tshirt before but I also did not plan on it being winter FOREVER. Pregnancy has forced me to get a little creative with my wardrobe because I am trying to avoid actually buying a new wardrobe.  Additionally if I don't tie something at my waist I just look fat instead of preggo.
So it looks like we are going to stick to every 2 weeks instead of every week.  Reality does not stop for pregnancy.  I feel like I am HUGE and, as every one likes to remind me, it is only going to get worse.  The toy is from my Mom-she gave it to me 1 pregnancy ago when I first found out I was pregnant.  Thanks Mama! The biggest change has been how intense the kicks have become.  I can feel him getting stronger which is fun. 

And then there is there is THIS:
My tummy has officially outgrown beer belly status(as shown above) He was totally sucking in--cheater!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Current Idea for Nursery


We bought a Stroller!

There are only 3 or 4 things that I want to buy before I get too huge.
one of them is a stroller(travel system).
The others are:
Convertible Crib
Changing table
Diaper Bag

Yes it seems bare bones but I feel like I can fill everything else in as I go.

Either way, we found Orbit Baby
and it seemed to fit our lifestyle and wants and needs pretty well. So we began shopping for one. New they are so very expensive so we started looking on ebay, second hand stores and such. We found a floor model of an older model at a local baby shop for a pretty good price but it was pretty USED still. Then Doug used his internet magic and got a brand new latest model on ebay for LESS than the local store was going to sell us one for even with shipping!
We are waiting for it to arrive(until then it will seem too good to be true)

I feel very parent-ish after this purchase--lets hope we like it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

lighting solution for us?

Found this house on Dwell.  WOW!  These lights must cost a fortune, but I want them--maybe I can buy one at a time?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gwenny & Auntie M

Jen and her beautiful daughter came to visit this week.  If you recall, I was there when Gwen was born
It was fun to see her in all her girlie cuteness--Come back and visit again!

Fun Pic from Mike & Sammi's Wedding

This Me with my Sister Leslie and my Brother Michael.  We look different but the same, like most siblings I guess.  I love this pic because my Brother looks so proud and grown up.  He and Sammi were married last summer and I haven't posted any pics because I have received any yet(hint hint :))  I found this one on my mom's camera randomly and wanted to share it--m

Thursday, April 21, 2011

20 Weeks

We are behind again.  Doug has been non stop working to meet 2 big deadlines and I have also been super busy with my work as well.  PLUS I need to at least be wearing makeup to be photographed and that rarely happens these days.  Although, I have found that if I wear this lip gloss people often tell me I have "that pregnancy glow"

Neutrogena MoistureShine Gloss, Berry Fit 400

 So life is busy.  Also, after our ultrasound my midwife called to let us know that the radiologist found two cysts on our baby's brain called Choroid Plexus.  After some major research and a few deep breaths followed by a few big decisions we are moving forward with fingers crossed that we are part of the 99% that never see any effects from this diagnosis.  He is perfect in every other way, and we are having fun preparing for his arrival.
Note: the outfit I am holding is a gift from my childhood friend Jen.  the shirt says: "Mommy;s little guy"--LOVE