Saturday, July 26, 2014

Four Months

This post is for Claire. She is constantly checking up on us and I constantly let her down with my lack of posting. Here's to you, girl! Cheers!

On the annual Gray Family trip to Emerald Isle, NC the two Gray babies got to hang out plenty! Abram and his cousin Krew with their daddies, and I do believe they are spitting images of their daddies. Kamaron and Krew are solid guys with blue eyes and a cool complexion. Kyler and Abram are long and lean with the same blue eyes but a much darker complexion. (Side note: anyone who sees my baby either comments on his eyes or complexion. Fact.)

Abram loved spending so much time with Daddy at the beach, and I'm pretty sure Daddy felt the same.

Mommy gave Baby Abey a bath tonight. It's still not his favorite activity but he had a strainer to hold on to and a beloved pacifier. Also. Warm water = bath time tinkles.

I always think he looks so cute in his hooded towels. I'm sure he's thinking "come on Mom, I'm freezing!"

Daddy still does bedtime. After his bath, he had some extra time before his bottle so he settled in with Daddy for a book in the nursery. Kyler says this one's Abram's favorite. Maybe because Daddy lets him eat it.

At four months, Abram's growing like a weed. We had to do his four-month appointment a little early this year due to our family vacation and his doctor's vacation so these are more like 3.5 month stats.
Weight: 13 lb. 15 oz. (30th percentile)
Height: 25 inches (70th percentile)

He's still straddling the line between 0-3 and 3-6 month outfits. His 0-3 month clothes are too short so one pieces are out. He's a skinny dude though, so his shorts fit him the best in the smaller size. Oh, to have the issue of having to size down your pants :)

Right now he loves grabbing things and putting them straight into his mouth. He's also able to entertain himself for longer periods of time in his bouncy seat or on his play mat (YAY!). The boy LOVES tv, not that I encourage it, but he will crane his neck see it if it's on. He loves being talked or sung to and will usually join in. And he loves listening to music. I usually turn on Pandora when I'm trying to pick up the house, and he'll "sing" right along with the music. Right now, we alternate between Celine Dion and REO Speedwagon stations. I just want him to experience all types of music, and that's about as diverse as you can get.

(Trying to see the TV after I deliberately changed his direction away form it.)

We heard his first giggle this month, but we haven't really had any luck getting another belly laugh out of him, but don't think it's from a lack of trying. We're doing crazy things over here just to get our boy to laugh. Usually he just smiles at us, and I'm sure he's thinking his parents have lost it.

We took him on his second vacation to the beach, and again, he did really well in the car. This time we travelled throughout the day, and he did just as well as when we had travelled at night when he slept the whole time. Kyler and I laugh because whenever it was time to feed the baby, on Saturdays we look for empty church parking lots and on Sundays, we hit up empty bank parking lots. That was usually followed up with a diaper change on the trunk.

We're so amazed at how much he's learning and how active he's become on a daily basis. He's so fun right now, and we just love him more and more every day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

6 Weeks

Our little man is now six weeks old. The time since we've brought him home has both sped by and crawled at a snail's pace. It's amazing how the days can seemingly never end but when you look back at old photos, you admit that time does fly, just like everyone says it will.

Baby boy is on the tail end of his morning nap so I've gotta make this snappy. I mostly wanted to upload this video of him with the hiccups on the quilt my grandma Faye made for him. I know it's kind of long with just a baby laying on a blanket, but you should definitely stay tuned for a surprise ending.

Let's see...what else is baby Abey up to these days besides dirtying plenty of diapers?

He's full of coos and squeaks and loves to flash him gummy grin at you. He hates clothes shopping but doesn't mind grocery shopping. (So much like his Daddy. He doesn't mind you buying him food but don't think about asking him to look at clothes.)

This week has been rather busy, chaotic, and somewhat overwhelming (at least for me.) Kyler had a number of prior commitments that just happened to fall during the same week this month. Youth group on Sunday, softball on Monday, both of us had a banquet on Tuesday, and a meeting at church on Wednesday. I love staying at home with Abram, but I'm usually ready for a break once Kyler gets home. This week it was just me and the babe in the evenings, and I'm spent. Abram and I did get away for a little while yesterday to visit Daddy at work and have lunch with him. Kyler loved showing off his little man, and all the ladies he works with were so fun, oohing and ahhing over our boy.

We're so looking forward to the next couple of normal days, and this weekend will mark our first time away from the baby as we go to my good friend Rachel's wedding. I've enlisted the babysitting expertise of Grandma and Grandpa Morton. I'm sure all three of them will be in heaven as Kyler and I get a much-needed evening away together.

Well, naptime is over. Have a great day!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

1 Month Photos & Then Some

Terry came the day after Abram turned one month to take photos. I might've mentioned that in the last post. If I didn't, I meant to ;)

There were so many cute ones, but here are some of my favorites! I have in my head a grouping of 4 frames that I want to hang on one of his walls, so hopefully before he graduates I'll get around to having some pictures printed. Wish me luck!

Terry bought him this adorable little hat with an uber long tail, and he latched onto that thing and held on for dear life...which I thought was the cutest thing ever.

This photo shoot he was much more cooperative than the last. He was awake for a few minutes, long enough to capture some pictures of his baby blues and then went to sleep.

I love this photo with his name spelled out!

This picture is funny to me. Not the picture, but the story behind the crate. When we first moved to Cincinnati and Kyler's parents came to visit in the fall, we took them sight-seeing and one of our stops was at an orchard. There were a bunch of old apple crates sitting by the barn, and Terry asked the owners if they would be willing to sell them. That man looked at us like we were crazy, but he gave us permission to pick some out of the pile that were no longer useful to him. Ta da! Baby photo props for $3.

This weekend, Abram got to meet one of my good friends, Claire, my roommate from college. She made the 3.5 hour trip from Ft. Wayne to hang out with us this weekend, and I think they became fast friends.

That boy loves looking at ceiling fans, so he wasn't very happy when Claire blocked his view when we were trying to get a picture of us.

There. That's better. He's got his ceiling fan in view now! We loved having Claire visit for the day. We went out to a local restaurant, almost fell asleep on the couch watching the Hunger Games, went for a walk, and had a nice dinner before she had to head out.

Here are a couple other photos from the week.

Usually when Kyler gets home from work, I'm nursing the baby. He'll bring the computer in and sit with us until we're done. Then I hand off the babe to Daddy who is anxiously awaiting to hold him. This time, Daddy put the boy to work.

We're trying to establish a nighttime routine. I can handle a chaotic daytime until he gets a little older and more predictable. My main focus is putting him to bed and getting him to sleep as much as possible through the night (which is going great! (knock on wood)). So every night, Kyler feeds him a bottle, changes him, swaddles him, rocks him, and sticks him in bed (or as Kyler says, he puts the baby up). Usually he falls right to sleep or just needs a little shushing and then he's good for another 3-4 hours. Kyler loves being able to spend time with Abram, and I definitely enjoy having a little break. It's a win-win.

Well, my baby's asleep so I should probably go fold some towels. Or take a nap. Have a great week!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

One Month

Tomorrow our Baby Abey will be month old, but today he had his one month well appointment.  As anticipated, he's a healthy growing boy. He actually wasn't as big as we thought he might be. His legs have outgrown every one-piece newborn outfit, but the body and arms still fit perfectly. I'm in denial so I haven't put him in 0-3 months clothes yet. I just make sure his outfit doesn't include footies.

At one month, here are his stats:
Height: 21.25" (30th percentile)
Weight: 8lb 11oz (20th percentile)
Head: 15" (75th percentile)

He also got a shot today. I was mentally prepared for lots of screaming and flailing of arms, which is totally out of character for him. However, he handled it like a champ. His face turned beat red, he let out one long, loud wail, and when I picked him up, he immediately fell asleep in my arms.

Apparently he's got quite the noggin on him. Just recently we've been noticing exciting little changes with our little dude. He's making eye contact and following our movements with his eyes, and he's just starting to smile at us. Sometimes it's completely random, but sometimes I can't help but think it's intentional. (Mommy's pretty funny sometimes, that smile just had to be real). He loves sitting up and has a strong neck on him.

He's not quite sleeping through the night, or maybe not even close, but we're sleeping more and more the older he gets. Right now he's going 4-5 hours between feedings, which once he's actually fed and changed and rocked back to sleep, that means I'm getting 3-4 hours of sleep at a time. As his belly gets bigger, I'm hoping that means more sleep for Mama. On week nights when Kyler has to work the next day, I tackle all the changings and feedings (obviously). I can only think of two nights that I was just desperate for help. One was the first night we were home, and back then he wasn't eating at all. The other was just a couple nights ago when he was inconsolable nearly all night, sleeping in 20 minute spurts. THAT makes for a long night, let me tell ya. Other than that, he's a very content baby.

We don't have a set schedule yet, but I'd say we've fallen into a pretty predictable rhythm. We sleep, wake up, change diaper, eat, do some sort of activity (tummy time, swing, look out the window, listen to Mommy talk a whole lot), go back to sleep, repeat except for at night he goes right back to sleep after eating. He's still very sleepy and needs to nap a lot during the day, so he's usually awake 1.5 hours at a time and usually 30 minutes is eating.

Abram and I both look forward to when Daddy comes home from work. And I'm sure Kyler does too. Usually by 5:30 or 6, I need a break from the baby and need time to make dinner, which is fine with Kyler because he's ready for his baby time.

The other night, Kyler had a rough day at work but came home at his normal time, still needing to resolve a few work issues. He plopped down in bed with his computer beside me as I fed the baby and handed him off when we were done. When it was time for the grown ups to eat, I went to check on my boys and found Abram passed out while Kyler was still chugging along with work.

Jeez, I feel like I'm already behind updating everyone on his first month of life. I'm looking at his newborn pictures, thinking about how I never posted any but they're kind of outdated now. Here are a few that we just got in the mail...they were taken at 1 day old. Something happened to our order and we just got them.

Maybe I'll post some more recent pictures later. Kyler's mom is coming tomorrow for a one month photo shoot. We just can't get enough of this cute little man!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

He's Here! Abram's Birth Story

Abram Kenneth Gray was born at 2:36am on Tuesday, March 25. He weighed 7lbs, 9oz and measured 20.25" long. His entrance was fast and exciting and, in our opinion, ended with a perfect little baby boy.

Shall I start at the beginning?

This picture was taken last Saturday. We were very restless and anxiously anticipating the babe's arrival. We kept saying to ourselves that we couldn't be too disappointed that the baby hadn't been born yet since I hadn't even reached my due date, but we were so SO ready to meet our baby (and I was so ready to not be pregnant anymore).

And here's the birth story in case you're curious, but mostly this is documented so we can remember this special day. I don't think there's anything too graphic aside from me using the terms bowel movement and menstrual cramps.

On Monday, we had our 39 week appointment, and it was late enough in the day at 5:10pm, Kyler was able to come with me. I was only 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. The Dr. said the baby was working its way out but wasn't really ready yet. So Kyler left the Dr's appointment to head to a church meeting, and I went to Meijer to occupy my time since he wouldn't be home for a while.

That evening, we were watching TV, and I was so restless I told Kyler I was just going to lay down on the couch and sleep to get my mind off my baby that wasn't here yet. And so we both fell asleep on the couch. About an hour later I woke up with an intense urge to 'go' to the bathroom, but was 'unsuccesful'. Meanwhile, Kyler had woken up and came knocking on the bathroom door. I told him I was using the bathroom, but he protested and told me that he needed to take his contacts out. So I told him again that I was USING THE BATHROOM, to which he said he needed to BRUSH HIS TEETH. I was aggravated so I came out and got into bed so he could take out his contacts and brush his teeth. You know, important things.

Once in bed, I told him that I needed to sit up for a little while because I was having cramps. He told me I should lay down and try to get some rest and maybe that would help. So I crawled under the covers, only to sit up and turn the lights back on a couple minutes later. This was about 9:30pm, a little early for us to go to bed, so we sat up to watch TV in bed. Then I got the urge to go to the bathroom again, and when I came out Kyler asked me if I thought I was having the baby, if I was having contractions. I kept saying I didn't know what contractions felt like, but I thought I'd be able to tell if I was. So he googled "What do contractions feel like", and the first response was pretty much verbatim what I had said: the urge to have the biggest bowel movement of your life and the most intense menstrual cramps ever.

Oh goodness. We thought this might be the onset of labor.

My doctor had told me to follow the 5-2-1 rule. Contractions coming 5 minutes apart, lasting for 2 hours, and 1 minute long. We began timing my contractions, and they were only lasting 40 seconds, but we thought we were getting close to being ready so Kyler began packing his bag and loading up the bags I had already packed. As I tracked my contractions, I realized that they were only 3-4 minutes apart. So I was stuck between them not lasting long enough but coming faster than the Dr's rule of thumb. I gave the 24-hour line a call just to ask what I should be doing, and my Dr told me to generally wait to go to the hospital until the contractions lasted a minute long and to notice if they became stronger over time.

After an hour, the contractions were still 40-45 seconds long but were coming closer to 2-4 minutes apart. Seriously, these things were not consistent so we kept debating what should be done. Kyler and I, in first-time parents mode, decided that we were NOT having a baby at home. The worst that could happen was being sent back home if the hospital didn't think I was far enough progressed. So I called the Dr. again and told her I really thought I needed to come in. She was great and said she'd let the hospital know I was on my way, even though I'm sure she thought I was being paranoid.

After a rough ride on the hilliest, curviest, pot-holiest, Cincinnati roads, we got to the hospital and checked in exactly at midnight. The first stop was an ER-type room where they just got a quick 'status' check and monitored the baby's heart rate. In just 7 hours, I had progressed from 3cm to 5cm, and our nurse said I was far enough along to stay over night and even eligible for an epidural if I wanted one. (Yes please).

Getting admitted at exactly midnight.

When the decision was made to stay over night, I was moved to the labor and delivery room probably around 1am-ish, got my epidural, and was told that the Dr. had been called but was stuck in traffic. It was a new over night construction project that had just started that night...I'm not sure why I think getting stuck in traffic at 1am is so funny. Probably because I know that the Dr. makes it to the hospital in time.

After I got my epidural, my blood pressure dropped, which is normal and expected. However, at the same time the baby decided to roll around, and his heartbeat was undetectable for a few minutes. This had been the case since we arrived, but since it was coinciding with my low BP, my nurse (who was awesome, by the way) decided to call in the resident OB just to check things out. Of course, by the time her and her team got into the room a couple minutes later, his heartbeat was found, strong and loud. Just to be on the safe side though, they decided to break my water so they could put a monitor on the baby's head to guarantee they wouldn't lose the heartbeat again. Just when the resident Dr. sat down to break my water, it broke on its own. Score! I wasn't opposed to have my water broken, but it was nice that everything was happening naturally.

So my Dr. arrives around 1:45am. Kyler had been in the room for less than an hour and was already pacing, checking out the monitors, asking lots of questions. If you think he gets restless on a Saturday afternoon on a rainy day, just imagine him in a hospital room at 1am. Anyway, the Dr. comes in for a quick check and says I'm fully dilated and thinned out. I think her exact words were, "Are you ready to have a baby? I'm going to go wash my hands."

Just found out we're going to have a baby tonight.

That progressed quickly. Everyone was surprised that I was ready to start pushing so quickly. My Dr. had another patient there who had been in since 7pm, so we agreed not to tell her that in just 2 hours I was ready to push. Since I had tested positive a month earlier for some strain of strep, I knew I was going to be given penicillin to prevent the baby from getting it which could lead to pneumonia or meningitis. However, it's supposed to be in the blood stream for 4 hours prior to birth and I was getting the full dose as quickly as possible since I was nowhere near lasting 4 hours. This was the most painful part of it all. Intense stinging in my left arm from them flushing a super pack of penicillin through my IV!

The dreaded penicillin arm. I couldn't move it, it hurt so bad. My arm just laid there where the nurse had left it.

The Dr. leaves and the 'prepper' person comes in and lays out all the tools that could be needed, sterilizes everything including me, and wishes me the best of luck.

Meanwhile, my nurse tells me while we're waiting on the Dr. to get cleaned and dressed, we're going to push through the contractions. She's on one side and Kyler's on the other, holding my legs. Since I had an epidural, I couldn't feel the contractions down there, but if I sat my hand on the top of my belly, I could feel the muscles tense up. So when I 'felt' a contraction, I would tell them, take a deep breath, hold it and push for 10 seconds. We did this for 3 contractions. Then the Dr. came in all decked out in delivery gear. Three more contractions of pushing and the baby was here!

Getting all cleaned off.

Ready to be weighed and dressed.

Meeting Baby Abram.

We're overjoyed that he's here! I'm so thankful for answered prayers. We had been praying for a strong, healthy baby and an uncomplicated and as painless as possible delivery. And we had both! I'm so grateful for the way the delivery turned out. After the baby was born, we had to stay in the delivery room for two hours while 'things' were tended to, which put us getting to our Mother Baby room at 5am. At that point, both of us had been awake for 24 hours. Even though the delivery was quick, exhaustion was setting in and a new day of busyness was about to begin.

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's Baby Month | 37 weeks

March is here! And if all goes as planned, we'll have a baby before April shows up.

We've been chipping away at our to-do lists for the past couple of weeks, trying to get ready for the baby. Last weekend, while I worked inside the house getting clothes and bottles all washed, dried, and put away, Kyler worked on vacuuming out the car and installing the car seat. Now every time I get into my car, I see this through the back window.

Why yes, that is a stuffed cat strapped into the car seat. (Kyler's doing, not mine) We'll be working on our buckling technique before the baby comes home. I'm not so sure those arms are supposed to be on the outside of the straps :)

Today I had my 37 week checkup. My doctor walked into the room and said, "Thirty-seven weeks. Wow, you should think about having a baby!" I told her not to worry since it had crossed my mind a few times.

Being in very Catholic Cincinnati, I'm not sure why this surprised me, but she asked me if I had started praying to Saint Gerard. When I said no, she said I should start. He's apparently the patron saint of cervical dilation. "He's a man, so you've got to be specific, but he does great work."

She also poked and prodded at my belly, confirming once again that this belly is all baby. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I flatter myself and take it to mean that there's a pretty low percentage of fat in my midsection. Sometimes I will twist or turn and am surprised that I don't just BURST open. (Sorry for that mental image).

I tried to take pictures for not judge the selfies. Or dirty mirrors.

Speaking of selfies, have you heard this ridiculous song? Now that I just ruined your youtube suggested videos based off your search history...

What else have we been up to?

Packing hospital bags. That's why I used my iPhone pics. The real camera is charged and packed away for baby day. (Not that I would've gone to the trouble of taking a real picture anyways.)

Catching up on sleep. This actually may be false. I have a new internal alarm that goes off between 4:30 and 5:30 each morning. I told Kyler I think God is trying to make me into a morning person. I'd be just fine with that. It's much easier to get out of bed early when you're awake instead of by an alarm. On the flip side though, I've been taking frequent naps. Sometimes I get up and shower and eat breakfast and send Kyler off on his way to work, only to take a two hour nap on the couch as soon as he walks out the door. On the days I work, I come home and shoot a quick text to Kyler that I'm taking a nap (aka don't call me when you leave) and doze off for an hour until he gets home.

Ending my work at the church. I'm overjoyed and extremely sad at the same time that Friday is my last day of work at the church. I so love working there, and I'm going to miss the heck out of the people and the structured work days. However, I'm so ready to be done. I'm tired and uncomfortable and am ready to spend my last few days at home alone relaxing. Not to mention that I have 5 shirts I can wear in public, so I'll be glad to get back to my wardrobe of leggings and Kyler's tshirts.

Snuggling with the cat and watching Downton Abbey. Spring better hurry up and get here because Prim's place in this house is about to be filled with a tiny human being. We bring her in when it's super cold, so the temps better warm up so she can be outside while we snuggle our babe.

She never seemed to mind that her place on my lap was slowly getting smaller and smaller as my belly got bigger and bigger. I think this is just the sweetest picture of her with her paw on my belly.

We're also still trying to get our basement fixed from our pipes freezing in January. That process has been really annoying and really drawn out. We didn't really mind the mess of everything since we rarely use the basement, but now that it's getting closer to having a baby in the house, I'm really anxious to get that wrapped up before I try to get a baby to sleep with construction going on downstairs.

Welp, it's been about 3 hours since I last ate and my belly's growling. I need to go find the oreos healthy snacks. Just think, this could be the last time we chat before the baby is born.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Nursery

Remember when I posted about cleaning up the nursery last week? Well, after the cleanup, it was time for some decorating. From the get-go, I had envisioned a shelf above the dresser/changing table to hold pretty things, including two frames my college roommate made. As it would turn out, the exact shelf I had in my head, Ikea happened to carry. So, as Kyler honored all the Presidents on Monday, we took a trip to Ikea and bought said shelf (and a bar of dark chocolate if you must know.)

Wouldn't you know that that simple little shelf would bring a pregnant lady to tears? After a really long day and having to talk Kyler into hanging the shelf at 8pm, I opened the package to find that the needed hardware wasn't included. (Anyone who's ever assembled anything from Ikea knows this is SO unlike them!) Long story short, we dug through our stash of spare screws and had NOTHING that would work. I asked Kyler if I could run to Meijer real fast to grab some washers and when he said no, the tears started. I didn't even mean to cry. It wasn't THAT big of a deal. I guess those pregnancy hormones finally made up for allowing me a pretty emotionally stable 34 weeks. Poor guy. I'm really not sure he knew what to do with me. Most likely because I didn't know what to do with myself. I just kept alternating between saying I didn't mean to cry and I just wanted the nursery finished.

Fast forward to the next night, and the shelf is hung! And a lot of other stuff was put away, thrown away, hung up, folded up, and stashed out of sight :) Just keeping it real.

So there's that cute little shelf that caused so much drama. It has two frames, one holding our little babe's first photo and the other with the alphabet. There's also a piggy bank, a few books, and a cute little toy. And underneath I hung one of the decorations that my SIL Dana made for my gray and yellow baby shower.

On the dresser we have the changing table, a little basket full of diaper-changing necessities, and a modern, geometric lamp that matches the wall color perfectly!

To the right, we hung that adorable giraffe growth chart my Aunt Imogene got for us. Easier said than done hanging up something that's supposed to accurately measure someone standing on the floor :)

I love this little corner. That's the most comfortable chair with great lumbar support, and my knitted pouf that I just had to have! I stinkin love it. Boys don't understand things like poufs, but I finally convinced Kyler that this was part of my vision and that I needed it. And now that it's here, he approves. He's not in love with it like I am, but he approves.

Now I just need to motivate myself to take those curtains down and iron them. Womp womp. Doesn't that sound like a fabulous time?

Here's the other corner: our little babe's bed. I would love to fill that blank spot over the crib, but I'm hesitant to hang anything that could potentially fall into the bed. This time, safety will probably win over design. A cute baby in there will brighten up that corner just fine without anything on the walls.

And that's the whole room from the doorway. I think it's just waiting for a baby. As anxious as I am to get this baby out (yep, I've reached the uncomfortable stage), we keep praying that the baby still grow healthy and strong and stays in there until its due date.


I never have photos of myself because I never think to have Kyler take any when I'm wanting to post. The other day I walked by our closet and caught my reflection in the mirror that was just my silhouette, and I figured I'd snap a picture. It worked out perfectly since I hadn't done my hair or even put my contacts in.

Even though the backlight hides my undone hair, it unfortunately showcases how dirty my mirror is. Note to self: after ironing the curtains, clean the mirror.

And that's the nursery tour. I still have a couple things on my wish list, like a little side table by my chair to hold nursing supplies or a clock or a book. And I want a basket to hold the toys that are currently residing in the dresser. But other than those not-so-urgent things that wouldn't stop us from bringing a baby home, I'm feeling pretty good about the progress we've made in here.