April 30, 2013

What's in a Name?

Let's start with the name of the blog...it was originally named "The All American Couple" because when Ryan and I first started dated somebody said we were like The All American Couple being a teacher & firefighter...well now our blog is not just about us, but about us and our daughter. So I'm calling us the All American Family. I always thought the All American Family was a mom, dad, son, and daughter with the son being 1st born of course. Well our daughter is our first born, but she's absolutely perfect so we can go from being the All American Couple to the All American Family. :)

Speaking of our daughter...let's talk about her name! When we first got married we decided on Preston Reece or Prestyn Reese for our first born. Whether it be a boy or girl. Ryan's middle name is Preston. He's named after his great grandfather called Poose. Ryan's mom had shared with me once that she thought about naming one of the boys or having Reece as a middle name (I can't remember which) because Reece is also a family name from her side. I think Poose's grandfather or maybe great grandfather's name was Reece Hughes. Actually the town of Hugh Springs (spelling? that doesn't look right) was named after him. Anyway...when we found out we were pregnant we decided the baby's name would be Pierce Ryan or Prestyn Reese. (We decided to change the spelling of Preston and Reece for a girl to make it "girly-er"). So when she said, "your he is a she!" We began calling her Prestyn Reese. We get mixed reactions when we tell people her name. Most people like it, but some are like, hmmmm, that's interesting. It's 2013! Sure we chose a name typically used for a boy, but at least it's not some weird name like Le-a (Le-dash-a).

There were a couple other names that we played around with such as: Oliva, Ava, Addelynn, Abigail, Peyton, Paisley...but we just knew Prestyn was the one! :)

A couple of posts ago I mentioned my mom as Nonna...and mentioned that I would explain how she got that name. When my dad says my mom's name, Diana, it sounds like Donna. So when she's being silly I've been calling her Donna. What better name for my daughter to call her silly grandma than Nonna?!

April 28, 2013

Letters to Prestyn

My dearest daughter,

Today was a bad off day...I promise I'll write to you after a good day so you know how great you are, but Mommy really needs to write to you today to let out some frustrations...not with you, but with herself!

Just a couple of days ago Mommy blogged about the excellent schedule we had established! You used to only sleep in your swing, carseat, moby wrap, or bouncer...now those things (except the moby wrap) just excite you! Which is good! We want you to observe the world around you...but we were worried if we could ever just get you to sleep on our own!

Mommy got smart and thought she could help you sleep by swaying you & bouncing you like those machines do! And it worked! Which is a good thing because when you're sleepy, and we're out...it's good to know that these are the things that will help you sleep!

Getting you to sleep has been the hardest part of your schedule for Mommy. Eating...we got that down! Playing...going pretty good--just trying to keep you entertained with a variety of activies. Sleeping...we're getting there and were doing pretty good. Until today... :(

Why fix it if it ain't broke, right? Well because Mommy stresses about doing everything right for you! Currently you sleep in a rock 'n' play which is like a hammock. Who doesn't like to sleep in a hammock?! You're so comfy in there, and sleep so good in it!

The problem is your crib isn't a hammock. And eventually you're going to outgrow the rock 'n' play, and need to sleep in your crib. I don't know why, but Mommy thought it was a good idea to try to transition you to your bassinet today. Your bassinet is flat like your crib so Mommy thought she'd start with your naps today. You maybe slept an hour total for your naps today. You were very tired and frustrated...which made mommy tired and frustrated...we both cried...a lot!

Mommy is sorry my sweet girl. Tomorrow will be a better day, and we'll just stick with what we know! You're a baby so we should take baby steps to changes for you...

I love you,

April 26, 2013


After a long 2 days (Husband has been working both days...1st time I'm alone for 2 days!) this is more of me just organizing my thoughts on Prestyn's schedule...but hey! That's what a blog is for, right? It's up to you all whether you read it or not, and whether you find it interesting or not...BTW that's whether...not weather like storms in the sky...I see lots of people do this #annoying

Anyway! When we announced that I was pregnant to our Life Group one very wise mom gave me the advice to read Baby Wise! She swore by it! And so did my next door neighbor...I thought ok! I need to get this book. So a friend of mine who read it, and wasn't a fan of it passed it down to me. I began to read it & thought nope! this isn't for me! When I "interviewed" the pediatrician I asked her about sleep schedules...she said she wasn't a fan of Baby Wise. I thought ok! me either!

But then...once the little bambino came I (being the type A controlling type) needed some kind of routine! A friend of mine who has successfully raised 3 kids referred to Baby Wise. So I thought...maybe I can make this work? She really talked me through the beginnings of it, and I'm sure I'm not done blowing up her phone asking for tips but I have begun reading the book AGAIN. And I see that I am not doing such a bad job at following this so far. I started feeling stressed over the rigidness of the schedule so I'm taking baby steps.

The principle of Baby Wise (or so I think...) is a eat, play, sleep schedule...so for my sanity...here's how our days go :)

7:30 AM feed

8 AM Baby plays in crib (still swaddled) while Mommy pumps

8:15 AM Get Baby dressed for the day (diaper, baby powder in hair, baby massage with lotion, outfit, bow)

8:30 AM Tummy Time in Baby's room on the lamb play mat

8:35 AM Baby plays/falls asleep in swing while Mommy has breakfast and picks up. If Baby doesn't fall asleep in the swing by the time Mommy finishes breakfast Mommy swaddles Baby & lays her down for a nap. (Baby is still sleeping in the rock 'n' play in Mommy & Daddy's room...baby steps!) Baby must be swaddled for nap with a paci & noise maker on high!

::Side Note:: Baby used to be the boss...she doesn't like her arms swaddled...she likes them up by her face...well you know what?! Baby doesn't sleep as well with arms not swaddled so we swaddle them now! Mommy is the boss now!

*While Baby is sleeping Mommy gets ready for the day*

10 AM feed

10:30 AM This is a good time to go run errands. Baby enjoys looking out the window as we drive or seeing somebody new. ::Note to Self:: Always have Moby Wrap because if it's time for Baby to go to sleep while we're out putting her in here will put her to sleep!

12:30 PM feed

1:00 PM If we're not still out running errands or having lunch then we play with Baby at home...this may be a walk, read her a story, play in her jungle gym, play on her piano mat, sing songs & play with Baby

1:30 PM Put Baby down for a nap

*While Baby is sleeping Mommy might have lunch or do things around the house...such as blog!*

3:00 PM feed

3:30 PM Play one of the activities listed on the 1:00 play time...or let Baby swing so Mommy can get stuff done around the house! :)

4:00 PM Put Baby down for nap...Mommy has figured out that Baby likes it when she sings to her while swinging her in her arms or bouncing her until she's drowsy and can be laid down.

5:30 PM feed

6:00 PM More play time with Baby! Last one of the day so make it count!

6:30 PM Last nap of the day for Baby! Once the clocks fall back & it is dark at this time this will be Baby's bed time! Which will be good too since Baby will have to wake up earlier once I go back to work! :)

7:30 PM feed

8:00 PM Baby's bath time & gets ready for bed by getting in pjs with a hat & being swaddled!

8:30 PM Baby goes down for the night!

::Side Note:: If Husband is working Baby's awake time is longer after she gets ready for bed...as she hangs out in the bouncer while Mommy takes a bath or shower.

Baby will wake up about 2-3 times during the night to eat while sleeping. Strictly business! Diaper change, feed, back to bed!

I realize how meaningless this probably is to my readers, but it's my blog so don't read it if you don't want to! ;) I just needed to outline the day in writing for my sanity! As soon as I figure it all out I know something will change, but that's ok! Having a good foundation is a good start! Also, Baby is EBF, if she needs to eat before it's time...I feed her! This schedule is just a guideline for me...and it seems to be working well for Baby too!

Next Step:: Transition Baby from Rock 'n' Play to Bassinet...

New Beginnings

There have been several instances where I've wanted to post, but then I realized I would need an explanation for those posts...I wasn't quite ready to explain so I didn't post...but now I am!

Those posts would have been something like this:

"Leaving Baby with Daddy for the 1st time! Fingers crossed she takes the bottle ok!"
"Thank you Mom & Dad for the gorgeous flowers!!! What a nice surprise!!"
"Nonna babysitting Prestyn tonight...let's hope she follows all my directions! ;)"

There was a reason for all of those things...here's the explanation :)

1. Last Thursday I got an email from the principal of the new RISD school that's being built in our neighborhood! As hard as it was for me to put in for a transfer and leave my current school I knew this would be best for my family. I knew a lot of people were wanting to move to the new school so I thought if I don't get it this year...no biggie...I'm happy where I am. Well the email was very uplifting! The principal was asking me to come in that Saturday for an interview! I was super excited! But this meant...I would need to leave Prestyn with Husband to go on the interview...which meant I would need to get a bottle ready! So for the first time...I left Prestyn...Ryan gave her a bottle...and she did great! Oh! and...I was offered a 2nd grade position at the new school on the spot! I gladly accepted!!!

photo.JPG2. I got a call from the Flower Shop saying they had a delivery for me, and asking what a good time would be to bring them by. I thought oooo Husband is sending me flowers for being such a good mommy! It was a lovely surprise to have flowers from my mom & dad congratulating me on my new job!!

3. The parents and new "famil-ty" of the new school were invited to join together for an oppotunity to meet each other, and start the feel of the new school off right! Well...Ryan had to work this evening so Nonna to the rescue! (I'll later make a post on "What's in a Name?" and explain the name!) Yes I'm a first time mom. Yes I had my mom watch a video on how to feed a bottle to a breastfed baby (Ryan did too! So did Dad!) Yes I left written directions for my mom. And yes...I got a little anxiety leaving her...but all went well! I came home...baby was fed & asleep! Success!!

So the title...New Beginnings....in the past week it's been New Beginnings for all of us! Prestyn had her first bottle. Ryan was left alone with her for the first time. And my mom got to babysit! And the big one...I got a new job!!

With me teaching at the school in our neighborhood not only will our daughter get to go to school with Mommy, but she'll also be at a school with her neighborhood friends! This is such an awesome opportunity! I'm so thankful to my principal who gave me a good recommendation...and to my new principal for opening a new door for my personal and professional growth! I can't wait to see what the future brings!


April 23, 2013

Prestyn's 1st Month

Dear Prestyn,

You are 1 month old! Mommy wants to tear up thinking about how quickly time is already passing by. We are soaking up every moment with you & loving every little precious thing about you! Here's what you've been up to the past month:

* We have figured out that you don't like to sleep on a flat surface. So you sleep in a rock 'n' play in our bedroom. It's the snug-a-bunny kind like your bouncer which you also love. Our first nights at home you would only sleep in your bouncer...those were tough nights. Daddy would sit with you while you bounced until you fell asleep...When we visited the doctor at your 2 week appointment, and talked about you spitting up she said you sleeping on an incline probably helps you so try a swing. We didn't have one, but your sweet friend Saylor Bay is letting you borrow hers & you love it!

* You love morning time! We usually get up around 7 to start our day...You don't usually go to sleep after that feeding like you do in the middle of the night since it's getting bright outside then. You play in your crib while Mommy pumps to make bottles. Then you get dressed. Mommy loves having a baby girl to dress up so she usually has your clothes and matching bow picked out the night before. Even if it's just a onesie there's a bow to match! You just laugh & smile at your changing table while Mommy sings songs to you from your ipod. Mommy puts baby powder in your hair to keep it fresh for the day, and you get a little baby massage with good smelling lotion before putting your clothes on for the day!

* You're not much of a fan of "tummy time" on your lamb mat, but you're getting so good at it! After we get you dressed you have some tummy time on your mat. You began rolling over your first week at home! You don't roll over EVERY time you're on your tummy, but you do lift up with your fists and hold your head up! We ar eso impressed with your strength.

* Mommy's trying very hard to keep you on a eat, play, sleep schedule and you've been doing pretty good with that! So your first morning nap is in the swing...you're kind of like clock work during the day with your schedule! It's awesome!

* You had your first play date with Jaxson. His mommy, Kristina, is friends with your Aunt Kari. He came to our house for the first date, then we went to his house. It was there that you played his piano toy. You loved it so when we left their house Mommy went to Target to get you one which ended up being a gift from your Pap Pap!

* When we lay you on your play mat or in your jungle gym you turn your head to the side and watch TV. Sometimes you watch Puppy playing. Sometimes you look at yourself in the mirror and smile. It's so sweet & fun!

* You eat about every 2 1/2 - 3 hours during the day. At night you wake up to eat about every 3-4 hours. Sometimes longer sometimes shorter. It just depends! We think you've gone through lots of growth spurts since you have a couple of days where you want to nurse constantly!

* Mommy had an interview, and couldn't take you so you had to have your first bottle. Daddy did an awesome job at giving it to you, and you liked it! Daddy figured out though that you may need a bib while eating a bottle since you got a little messy.

* Everybody is so impressed with how alert you are! You love to smile & interact. Your facial expressions really make Mommy & Daddy smile! Even your sad faces are cute. But it really makes Mommy sad now that you have real tears when you cry. :(

* You were born weighing 7 lbs 5 oz. When we left the hospital you weighed 6 lbs 11 oz. It's totally normal for you to lose a little weight after birth. You only lost 9 % so the pediatrician wasn't worried. When we went for your 1st appointment just 2 days after being home you weighed 6 lbs 14 oz. At your 2 week appointment you weighed 7lbs 8 oz. Yay! You passed your birth weight! At your 1 month appointment you weighed 7 lbs 14 oz which is what Mommy weighed when she was born! Here's how you rated on the WHO Growth Chart:

*Weight: 7 lbs 14 oz 16 Percentile
*Length: 21 in. 49 Percentile
*Head Circumference: 37 cm 70 Percentile

You just keep growing and adding more and more joy to our lives every day! We love you very much!! XOXO!

Prestyn's 1st Easter

After Prestyn turned 1 week old she got to celebrate her 1st Easter. Since the Easter Holiday begins on Good Friday Prestyn began celebrating then by wearing her "This Bunny Loves Karats" onesie! :) Prestyn's Pap Pap got to come over with Uncle Danny & Aunt Kathy, and they all met her for the first time! She was a good baby & slept most of the time...

The Saturday before Easter Prestyn's Great Aunt Denise & cousins Alex & Danielle came to visit. They brought Prestyn a sweet Easter basket with adorable clothes! Prestyn's Nonna & her cousins Jake & Jared also came to visit, and also brought an Easter bucket for Prestyn. It had a little bow in it that she wore on Easter Sunday! I'll never forget Jake holding Prestyn, and saying her eyes are blue like the ocean. He is so sweet! They just love their new baby cousin. We had a good visit with everybody...baby girl was ready to eat once they all left!

If Prestyn was born on time or earlier we probably would have braved going to church on Easter Sunday, but since she was late & only 10 days old on Easter we decided to stay home...Ryan's family brought Easter to us!

Prestyn's Uncle Justin & Katie were here along with Prestyn's Grammies, Nanny, & Steve. It was wonderful! They brought EVERYTHING! I didn't have to do a thing! We had a great meal & a good time visiting! And of course Prestyn was spoiled with presents from Uncle Justin & Easter goodies from Grammies & Nanny! Prestyn LOVES the jammies & sleep hats her Nanny got her. :)

And we got our first family picture! The purple dress Prestyn wore first is one made by her Nonna. So sweet! Ryan's Godparents, Uncle Danny & Aunt Kathy, also got Prestyn an Easter dress so being the diva she is she did a wardrobe change!

I can't wait until next year when she can hunt Easter eggs! :)

April 21, 2013

Prestyn's 1st Week

Since I had a c-section I had to stay at least 3 nights, but insurance pays for 4...so we stayed 4! Not including the night we spent in the hospital before Prestyn was born...staying at Dallas Presby was more like a mini-vacay, and we were there 5 nights! Sure there was some pain meds, but there was room service & we left home with a souvenir so it really was like a mini-vacay!

We were thankful to have many visitors during Prestyn's first days. Her very first visitor was Missy Pooh! And she brought Tiff's Treats...yum! I had been craving Whataburger so when Prestyn's Grammies, Steve, and Nanny came to visit they brought me just what the doctor ordered!...Literally...the doctor said whoever brought me what I wanted could hold the baby so they did just that!

Prestyn had her first bath given by the nurse while I watched...I was still in some pain so I tried sitting on the edge of my bed to watch. :) Prestyn also got to get dressed in the gown and hat I ordered for her before she was here. You might notice an old Care Bears blanket in some of the early pictures...this was one of my receiving blankets...we wrapped Prestyn up in it so her Nonna & Papa could take it to Puppy. :)

I won't go through all the visitors we had, but we were truly thankful for all of them! And the gifts they brought!! My goodness! I had no idea Little Miss Priss could be EVEN more spoiled than she was before she arrived. Boy was I wrong! She got tons of stuff! And Mommy & Daddy did too! That was nice! I sure am glad we upgraded to the Delux Suite so our guests could have room to sit and visit.

Day by day went on in the hospital, and each day I felt like maybe I knew what I was doing. Prestyn came out nursing and latching on like a pro! With awesome nurses and Lactation Consultant she was doing well! She was still losing some weight (which is normal) but never lost more than 9% so there was no concern!

Everything says not to give babies a paci until breastfeeding is well established...well...by day 4 I couldn't take it anymore! And neither could Prestyn! haha! So once we got her in the carseat to go home...she got a paci! And the drive home was a quiet one. :)

The days in the hospital and the first couple of days home are kind of a blur...we had wonderful friends bring us dinner that first week which really helped out!

We tried to do Prestyn's newborn pictures this first week...she was not cooperating...go figure! The child who came a week late then had to be delivered via c-section wouldn't cooperate for newborn pictures...no surprise! We still love her! We did get some family pictures though...even though I was still swollen & puffy :( I hope they turned out ok! Our photographer was gracious enough to reschedule to next week...which takes us into week 2 :)


Prestyn's Birth Story

First of all...I think it's time I (ahem...BFF) update the layout of the blog...

Second of all...As I always say...I want to blog more! Especially now that our little one is here, and I want to document EVERYTHING!

Third of all...I'll quit with my outloud thinking & tell you Prestyn's Birth Story!

Fourth of all...this is going to be a long post! Prestyn's baby book has a section for her birth story which I will summarize there, but hopefully one day she'll be able to go back & read this post! :)

From the moment we found out we were pregnant we started thinking about what would we do if I went into labor while Ryan was at work...so we had a plan A, B, C, and D! We had our bags packed at 30 weeks...we were ready!

I really wanted her to be on time or late, and prayed for this so that I wouldn't have miss anymore school than necessary. Prestyn was due during Spring Break...on the Friday that we got out for Spring Break I literally started trying EVERYTHING to bring on labor!

When I say EVERYTHING I mean EVERYTHING! It was funny to me how I would post about ready to meet the baby, and people would tell me tips and tricks to try...I would have already tried it, and it didn't work! Prestyn just wasn't ready...

It actually got a little depressing...We had gotten to the week she was due, and she wasn't here...I didn't know what to do with myself...I was out of school, and was just ready & waiting for this baby! Everybody would ask me each day how things were and each day I had to sadly share that there wasn't any progress.

When I went for my 40 week appointment the doctor asked me if we were ready to schedule an induction, and yes we were! Since I was only dilated 1 centimeter I would need to go into the hospital the night before induction to begin cervical ripening.

An induction prior to 41 weeks is elective...at 41 weeks it becomes medically necessary...although you can go 42 weeks, but I was glad the hospital allows you to go in at 41!

So we went into the hospital on Wednesday, March 20th at 9 PM. We were admitted into our room, and they started the cervical ripening at about 11 PM. I started having contractions about 3 AM. Ryan and I did not get any sleep this night! Which I knew was going to be hard since I was going to need energy once it was time to push!

At about 8 AM they took out the cervical ripening medicine thing, and checked me. I was 2 centimeters dilated. That's when they started the pitocin. Things started moving pretty quickly. They kept telling me to just let them know when I was ready for the epidural, but I wanted to hold out as long as I could because:

1. I was afraid of getting the epidural
2. I thought it wore off if you got it too early

Once I was to the point of tears because of the pain of the contractions I got the epidural...I was 3 cm when I got it. And boy am I glad I did! I could still feel pressure of contractions, but I was feeling good & comfortable and was able to get some naps here and there.

We had LOTS of visitors who started arriving about 7 AM. We had no idea how long labor would be so family was waiting all day! And boy was it a long day of waiting!

The doctor broke my water then things really started moving! I think it was at 6 PM that I was 10 cm dilated & 100 % effaced so it was time to start pushing!

The nurse and doctor thought the baby may have been sunny side up or sideways based on me having lots of back labor. When I started pushing they found this to be true...

I pushed for an hour then was positioned in a way to try to turn Prestyn while I slept for an hour, and tried to regain some energy...

Then the pushing started all over again. People were anxiously waiting in the waiting room, and Ryan was doing an awesome job at coaching me through pushing...

Then came the hard part... I began getting very sick, and had absolutely no energy to push. I was sleeping between contractions, and pushing when they told me to. This was hard since I needed more drugs, and couldn't tell what I was supposed to be pushing against...

I remember looking at Ryan's exhausted face, and with tears in my eyes asking him & the doctor what to do. I knew it had been a long day and night, and wasn't sure how much more I could do...they were all so patient with me. They continued to tell me that it was whatever I wanted, but I just needed somebody to tell me what to do...that was when the doctor recommended a c-section. I said, ok...let's go!

I could not have been better taken care of by #1 my husband and #2 the doctors & nurses at Dallas Presby! They were amazing at making sure I was comfortable and at ease...We went into the operating room, and by the time Ryan got his scrubs on they had already cut me open!

I was so exhausted I was sleeping or trying to most of the time, but I quickly awoke and lit up as soon as I felt the pressure of her being delivered, and hearing her cry! It was 11:24 PM. Prestyn Reese was born and weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 20 inches long. And yep...she was sunny side up! Oh just typing this makes me relive it all over again...I vaguely remember them bringing her to me to show me, but then they had to take her away...

I had told Ryan prior to going to the hospital that if they had to take her for any reason that he needed to go with her, and not stay with me...that I would be fine! Well...her oxygen level was low due to fluid being in her lungs so she was taken to the nursery while they finished sewing me up!

Prestyn's grandparents and Daddy got to ride in the elevator with her in the incubator to the nursery. While I slept in recovery Prestyn was being cared for by her favorite nurse Cyndi! Once I got to my post partum room there awaiting my sweet baby with her favorite nurse Cyndi. We got to have skin to skin & she began nursing like a champ!

It was about 2 AM at this point so we were ready to sleep...the rest is a little blury, but I do think we did sleep some! :)

Stay tuned for more on Prestyn's first weeks!