Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Evelyn is 3 Months Old

So, it was just last week that Evelyn's birth story was posted, but she's already 3 months old!

Here are some important things to know about Ev at 3 months:

It's been a month since she visited the pediatrician, but at her last visit she was in the 90th% of weight and 95th% for height!

She's wearing 3-6 month clothes.

She dropped one feeding over the weekend, so she now eats 6 times a day.

Her hands are her favorite toy!  She loves to stare at them, rotate them, and try to eat them.

Other than her hands, her favorite form of entertainment is talking to her brother and sissy.

In the last week or so she's decided she likes tummy time (if she's propped with her chest on the Boppy).  Before that, though, it was just about the only thing in the world she hated.

She sleeps through the night (and has since 6 weeks old!) and takes several short naps during the day.  She doesn't nap very well at school since there are other little ones there to interrupt her sleep, so she's usually asleep by 6:30 on weeknights.

Just like her brother and sister before her, she doesn't do well when Mommy eats dairy.  In fact, she's probably thrown up more in her 3 months than Katelyn and Elliot have in their combined 8.5 years.  Hopefully she'll outgrow this intolerance just like they did.

She is the sweetest, easiest baby ever!  Someone reminded Mommy that she used to claim the same about Elliot, but Evelyn has overtaken the title.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Evelyn Faith is Here (and has been for over 3 months)!

Evelyn Faith joined our family on October 9 at 6:22 pm.  She weighed in at 7 pounds, 12.5 ounces and was 20 inches long.

Here's the super short version of her birth story:
Early labor at school for a few hours.
Active labor at home for 4 hours.
Walked into triage already complete.
Born 13 minutes after entering triage!

And here's the detailed version (told by Mommy, because it's easier that way):

Evelyn's due date was October 3, but we were praying and hoping that she would come about a week late.  That extra week would give me more time to get my kinder babies ready for a sub.  More importantly, it would tack a free week onto my maternity leave (in the form of Thanksgiving break)!

Given those prayers and hopes, I was stoked to have made it all the way to my just-in-case OB appointment on October 9.  Over the previous weeks I had been slowly dilating and effacing, but there were no signs that labor was imminent.  I was getting a bit antsy, as I didn't want to get near induction territory.  Dr. Moore and I discussed just about every possible scenario (she was willing to let me go 2 weeks over my due date) and decided that stripping my membranes would more than likely result in a baby that day.  I was all for that!

My membranes were also stripped with Katelyn and Elliot, so I was really not looking forward to this moment. It turned out that there was already some natural separation this time, making it my least painful membrane-stripping experience!

Knowing labor was now set in motion, I headed on over to my school to get in what I hoped would be one last day of work.  The early morning played out just like every other morning, but by the time lunch rolled around I could tell something was different.  Braxton Hicks contractions had been my companions since I was 18 weeks pregnant.  They had progressed to real contractions over the previous weeks, but there was no pattern to them.  About halfway through my lunch duty, though, I noticed that they were becoming more intense and were about 7 minutes apart. They weren't anything I had to focus on, though, so I kept going about my business.

By the time my students were headed to PE an hour and a half later, the contractions were coming every 5 minutes.  At that point, I seriously considered plugging away until the end of the school day.  A little pep talk from my administrators, counselor, and instructional coach was just what I needed to convince myself that it was time to get rolling.

I tidied up my classroom, made some last minute notes for my sub, pulled Katelyn out of theatre class to let her know what was going on (I didn't want her to hear the news from my students!), packed up my personal belongings, hopped in my car, and called Jer to let him know it was go time.

The "commute" from my school to our home is only 5 minutes, but on the drive I noted that it had been a while since I'd had a contraction.  I chalked it up to the break a woman's body often takes during labor when she has to move from one location to another.

Sure enough, almost as soon as I got settled at home the contractions began coming just 3 minutes apart.  I sent a text to my doula, Holly, and she headed over to our place.  Then I finished packing my hospital bag and the kid's overnight bags.  When Holly rang our doorbell, I was just finishing up my first attention-demanding contraction.

Jeremy, Holly, and I settled down in our living room and began the waiting game.  We chatted and perused our iPads in between contractions.  (I let this post sit for two months and picked it back up here.  My memory of this day is less detailed now...which I'm sure you'll be grateful for, if you're still reading at this point.) I was still checking and sending work related emails when I had a contraction break, as they had slowed back down to about 5 minutes apart.  Each contraction required my attention, but I didn't really have to get into any special positions to get through them.

After about an hour, I grabbed my exercise ball and sat on it to help move things along.  The intensity of each contraction was picking up at this point, and the ball made the contractions a little more pleasant.  Holly had brought along a rebozo, which I was super excited about using.  It's basically a long, strong scarf that has multiple uses during labor and delivery.  I was most interested in having it tied tightly around my hips to provide counter pressure during contractions.  Jeremy was excited about using it for the same purpose, as it would likely save him from the days of muscle aches he experienced after squeezing my hips during Elliot's birth.

Even after using the rebozo in several different ways, though, I didn't find it as helpful as I thought I would.  What did work well, though, was simply kneeling on the ground and leaning my upper body over the exercise ball.  In this position, I was able to handle each contraction really well.  Maybe a little too well, though, because none of us had any idea how far along I was!

The three of us were about to go on a walk around the block when I decided to take one more trip to the restroom.  It was there that I felt myself get really hot, really quickly and began to feel my body trying to push.  Transition!  I told Jer and Holly I thought it was time to head out to the hospital, so we loaded up the car and got moving.

During my pregnancy, when people asked me how I hoped my labor and delivery would go, I always answered that it was my hope to labor at home for as long as possible, show up at the hospital dilated to a 10, and start pushing as soon as I entered a birthing room.  On the car ride to the hospital, though, I realized that the reality of that scenario was a whole lot scarier than I'd envisioned!

About halfway into the 25 minute car ride, I was pretty certain I could feel Evelyn's tiny baby head trying to exit my body. I didn't say anything to Jeremy, though, until we were a few minutes away from the hospital.  "Why don't you call and let them know we're coming in?  I'm pretty sure I can feel her crowning," and "When we get there, just pull up to the doors. Don't worry about getting anything but my water," were the words that came out of my mouth.  The words in my head, though, were "Oh, God, please don't let me have my baby in this car. Oh, God, please don't let me have my baby in this car."

We pulled up into the hospital's drive and headed inside (Jeremy did remember to turn the car off). Unfortunately, we didn't remember which floor L&D was on and initially went to the wrong floor.  Jeremy asked a hospital staff member where we needed to be. She started to give us directions, but then got a good look at me and decided she'd better escort us herself!  She took us to another bank of elevators, where my water broke just as the elevator doors were opening.

When we entered triage, the first nurse to greet us bombarded me with multiple questions about insurance, my date of birth, whether I had preregistered, etc.  The only answer I could muster was "She's coming right now."  Thankfully, another nurse took over and helped Jeremy get me onto a bed so she could check me.  I was already at a 10 (no surprise to me at this point), so they immediately began rolling the bed down the hall and into a birthing room.

My eyes were closed through about 90% of everything that happened at the hospital before Evelyn's arrival, but I do know that the birthing room was a flurry of human activity.  Nurses were coming in and out quickly, trying to get as much of the pre-birth routine completed as possible.  I was already pushing before they transferred me from the gurney to the birthing bed, though, so some things just had to wait!

Thirteen minutes after I stepped into triage, Little Miss Evelyn made her precipitous entrance into the world.  She was healthy, beautiful, and absolutely perfect.  She was so fast that she beat the on call doctor.  He didn't make it in time to deliver her, but did come later to deliver the placenta and stitch me up a bit.

Three months have now passed since this exciting birthday, and I know that it will always be one of my absolute favorite days of my life.  Natural labor and delivery are so intense, but there is nothing in the world that makes me feel more physically powerful.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Guess Who is 2?

It's Mr. E!  Elliot turned two this past Saturday.  Here are some important things you need to know about Elliot at two:

He talks a whole lot!  His sentences usually contain 4 words, but sometimes he'll slip a 5er or 6er in there.  Some of his more commonly heard phrases/sentences are:
No, Sissy!
I'm sorry, Sissy.
Watch "Cars" now, please?
Play with trains?
I need somepin.
Oh, no! Oh, no! Oh, noooooo!
I can't/can do it.
Help/Hold/Excuse you me.

He loves to play with planes, trains, and automobiles.  We recently visited our Hill Country cousins, and Elliot was mesmerized with our 5 year old cousin's Thomas collection.  If he wasn't eating, sleeping, or playing in the backyard, he was glued to the train table and making all kinds of "mobile" noises.

His favorite foods are blueberries, grapes, and "ice cream".  He's never actually had ice cream, but he has had fruit sorbet and soy/almond milk alternatives.  He also thinks hummus is ice cream...and Mommy is happy to let him continue to think that for a while!

Last month, Mommy started introducing dairy into his diet.  He's had some cheese, yogurt, and sour cream and seems to be doing well with all of it.  Mommy and Daddy never intend for him to be a complete dairy kid, but they would like him to be able to enjoy it every once in a while.  He loves drinking almond and coconut milks, so they have no intention of trying to switch him to cow's milk.

Since the end of May, he's had diarrhea nearly every day.  He's been checked for rotovirus, taken a 3 day medication, and had some dietary changes.  He'll have a few diarrhea free days here and there, but it always comes back.  This week, Mommy and E went to a GI specialist.  The GI feels quite certain that he has "toddler's diarrhea", but she also had him tested for Celiac Disease just to rule it out.  In addition, he's had 3 separate bouts with random fever in the last month, so our regular pedi also did some blood work on him last week.  She checked his white blood cell count and did a scan for Crohn's. All the labs from our pedi came back normal, and we should here back about the Celiac test in the next day or two.  At the very least, we know he's not contagious, is growing and gaining weight at an appropriate rate, and has a super healthy appetite...so we can deal with a few messy poops each day!

Oh, and the diarrhea was an issue for several weeks before Mommy started giving him dairy...so it's not dairy induced!

He is super cuddly!

He loves to make me laugh and to laugh at me.

His favorite books are "Where the Wild Things Are", "Things that Go", and just about anything else anyone will read to him.  He will sit through most all of my longer picture books, which is surprising for a little guy who's nearly always on the go.

He's a rough-and-tough, adventuresome guy.

He claims he can hear the ocean in seashells, bathtub water, running toilets, green beans, and pumice stones.  Impressive claims from a person who's never actually been to the ocean.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I'm so excited to tell you that I'll be getting another brother or sister in October!

And if you've ever been to our house before...you know we really mean it when we say we're making room.  Elliot and I will be sharing a room (bunk beds, here we come!) so our new little sibling can have a room to him/herself for the first bit of life.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

For all 3 of you who still check this blog from time to time, here is a recap of what went down in the Moss home over the past 12 months:

Elliot started eating solid food.  It was love at first bite.

I continued to craft my dramatic skills.  This is my best lion impression.

Elliot had a surgical procedure done, then came down with flu, his first ear infection, croup, and conjunctivitis about a week later.  It was not a good month for him!  
Oh yeah, and I ended the month with strep throat.  The medical establishment loved our family in January!

I turned 4, then shortly after danced the night away with Mommy and Daddy at Mommy's school Valentine dance.

Elliot and I had our pictures taken by a super talented teacher at our daycare.

Spring Break was another rough time in our house for sickness.  Mommy had the flu, a sinus infection (that she says was almost as painful as unmedicated childbirth), and bronchitis.  I had a few days of some yucky virus that was being passed around our school.

We did get to enjoy a beautiful day outside with Dan and Auntie before my sickness set in.  You can also see my banged haircut here.  I told Mommy I wanted bangs like Feist.  Didn't quite pan out.

We ended the month celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We enjoyed a gorgeous day outside at Dan and Auntie's first place of residence.  You can see Auntie's growing baby bump in this shoot, too!

Our entire family participated in our first (and thus far, only) 5K.  We came in pretty close to last, but really enjoyed ourselves.

Elliot started sucking his thumb.  Little stinker waited until he was 9 months old to pick that habit up.

And I continued to continue crafting my drama mama abilities.  

Elliot began to show his daredevil side by climbing just about everything in the house.

Mommy, Elliot, and I survived our first Spring storm (translation: tornadoes all around) sans Daddy.  He was at church, as the weather came through on a Wednesday night.  Mommy realized just how much she relies on Daddy to be the strong one during these types of emergencies.  She really missed his presence!  
She was thankful, though, that these flashlights provided both Elliot and I with a necessary distraction while tornado sirens blared.

We celebrated the best daddy around during Father's Day.

 And Elliot was finally dedicated at church!

Mommy and Daddy celebrated their 10th anniversary.

And this little guy turned 1 the very next day!

We also took a road trip to visit family in Illinois and Canada.

Madeline Michelle was born to Auntie and Dan!

I started full day PreK, and Mommy started teaching at the school Elliot and I attend!

 Elliot also had tubes put in his ears, which ended his inner ear's reign of terror!

Apparently, we did absolutely nothing worth taking pictures of this month.
Or Mommy was so busy juggling the beginning of a school year, learning a new grade level's curriculum (she's teaching 2nd this year), and adjusting to a new school that she barely had time to breathe, let alone pick up a camera.

I dressed as Pippi Longstocking for our church's Trunk or Treat.

And Elliot was a cute little Hobbit.

Elliot learned that spaghetti is awesome and, consequently, experienced his first shower.

We celebrated Thanksgiving at Auntie and Dan's new house with all kinds of family, both biological and hand-picked.

And Mommy got a kick out of the picture I chose to draw at school to show what I was most thankful for.

The month started with an iceapocolypse in the North Texas area.  We were pretty much shut down for 4 days.  Our electricity was out on the first icy day, so we cautiously drove a few miles to the warmth of Auntie and Dan's house.

Mommy also lost her wedding ring on the third or fourth day of Icemageddon.  Over the next week, she and Daddy turned the house upside down looking for it.  We're talking emptied the vaccum, searched through the trash, checked the ring traps in all of the plumbing, and took a flashlight to just about every nook and cranny they could find!  Still no ring.

Even without the wedding ring, though, we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas season!  Celebrating the birth of the Savior is always such a beautiful time.

Mommy and Daddy also started taking classes this month for our family to provide short term care for children in the foster care system.  They are really excited to see where God takes our family on this journey!

The Sunday before Christmas I came down with the flu.  We were really bummed that I would have to miss out on some of the family festivities.  When Mommy was getting a pallet ready for me so I could sleep on the floor in her and Daddy's room, though, something heavy and shiny fell out of my sleeping bag.  It was her wedding ring!  She's pretty sure she heard heavenly choirs singing right at that moment!

And, more good news: my fever broke just in time for me to join the family at our Christmas Eve service!
We got a Christmas Miracle two-fer!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Friday was my 1st birthday!

Here are a few things you should know about me at 1 year old:

I wear a size 4 diaper and am just moving into 18 month clothes.

My favorite foods are raw sugar snap peas, chicken, applesauce, and pumpkin.  I take food very seriously.  My family knows they'd better be ready to put food on my high chair tray the instant they set me in that thing...or be willing to suffer the ear splitting consequences.

I love to sing!  The only lyric I actually know right now is "Aaaaaaaaah", but I plan to build my repertoire soon.

I know the sounds a lion and puppy make.  I have also learned how to say "this" (as in "what is this?) and "sissy" (kind of, sort of).    That brings my vocabulary total up to about 10 words, but I really don't use them often.

I've mastered the art of the pointer finger.  I use it all the time to show my family where I want to go or what I want to eat.

I'm a walker!  In the last two weeks I've started walking more than crawling.

I started cutting teeth last week.  Three at one time, thank you very much!

Monday, June 17, 2013

11 Months

I turned 11 months old last Wednesday.  

Mommy and Daddy are wondering how in the world that happened!

 Here are some things you should know about me at 11 months:

I weigh 19 pounds.  My clothes are 12 months and I'm now in size 4 diapers.

Most nights I go to bed between 6:30-7:15.  Most mornings I wake between 6:00-7:30.  

I'm still waking up once at night to eat.  Mommy planned to cut out my night time feedings when she finished the school year, but...

my ear infection issues have yet to be resolved.  In fact, I've had an infection every two weeks since the beginning of April.  Antibiotics clear them up, but they come right back once I'm finished with my meds.  Since ear infections are a known source of nighttime waking, Mommy's not willing to let me "cry it out" just yet.  I have an appointment with an ENT tomorrow, so hopefully tubes (and relief) will be headed my way soon.

(Hiding out in Mommy and Daddy's bathroom during my first round of North Texas spring storms.)

And while I'm on the subject of medical issues, you may be interested to know that I appear to be allergic to bananas and avocado.  Crazy, huh?  Between the antibiotics/Motrin I've had for ear infections and Benadryl I've had for allergic reactions, I'm pretty much the best 11 month old medicine-taker in the world!

On a more upbeat note, I took my first steps this past month!  Crawling is still my preferred mode of travel, but I'm willing to walk when it's convenient for me.

I've also learned how to clap, as well as point with my index finger.  I look pretty stinkin' cute practicing both of those skills.

It looks like my hair is going to be curly!

When someone points a camera in my direction, they just might get this face in return:

I prefer to communicate in grunts and squeals, but I am able to say Mama, Dada, ba ba (bye bye), up, yeah, baa (ball), and na na (night night).  Dada is my favorite word!

Katie Bug's room just may be my favorite in the whole house.  She works really hard to make sure none of her itty bitty toys are within my reach while I'm in there with her.

Speaking of my sissy, her newest nickname for me is Sulbukoo.  Or something like that.  That girl has a gift for creating nicknames no one else can pronounce!

I am really good at entertaining myself while Mommy makes dinner.  Of course, that means she has to deal with this aftermath...

...but she doesn't mind!

I love to cuddle with Mommy and Daddy.  

I still mainly reserve my thumb sucking for Mommy's arms.  If my ears are bothering me, though, I pop the thumb a little more frequently.

In short: I am the busiest, sweetest baby boy around.