December 04, 2011

life lately

lately i've been doing little mini-blog entries on facebook, but today it is just too long for a simple status update. i need to ramble about life lately. this may be a record-breaking entry.

on my birthday of this year, we found out we were going to have another baby. JOY! we realized quickly that our [fabulous!] house was going to get very, VERY crowded around christmastime, so we decided to start looking for a slightly larger home to move in to. we spent the better part of the summer readying our space to be put on the market and searching for a new place to call home. we asked a good family friend to be our realtor and walk beside us as we searched for a home and tried to sell ours. we looked at a couple of houses in the same area where we were living, and as he learned about what we were looking for, he suggested a house in another part of town that he had listed. it was not a part of town we had originally wanted to pursue, but the house was really nice. over 2000 square feet. 3 bedrooms. 2 baths. a really spacious finished basement where the kids could safely play while this mama did laundry (something that could NOT happen in our current "scary basement"). not to mention the three "it would awesome if's" on my list: it was on a dead end. the back yard had tons of woods. it had wood burning fire places. *dreamy sigh* the house seemed to be in really great condition, even if it was completely stuck in the 70s, so we made an offer on it - a relatively low offer compared to what she was asking - and she accepted it!! so then we waited on the contingency to sell our own home.

the day our house hit the market, we went to the mountain cabin for two weeks - our longest visit yet. it was a MUCH needed rest. we had just a few little nibbles, but nothing too promising. as we waited for the contract on the east ridge home to expire, we continued to keep our house sparkly and ready for someone else to fall in love with, and we continued to watch my belly grow as our daughter prepared to enter the world. when the contract on our offer expired in september, we re-evaluated keeping our house on the market vs. staying where we were. we made a pros-cons list of both sides, and decided to keep our house on the market, and if it sold, we would renew the contract on the other house.

"if it hasn't sold by the end of october, we're taking it off the market." we all agreed that was a relatively safe distance between closing on everything, getting settled in, and the arrival of sally ann, due christmas day. on october 27, we got an offer we could not turn down! so we renewed our offer on the other house, expecting everything to fall into place quickly and expecting to be settled into a new home by the end of november.

then we had the house inspected. several big, and some dangerous, things were revealed. the roof had sustained damage in all the storms in the past year (she had not been living in the house for about a year) and needed to be fully replaced. the back deck couldn't hold more than 2 people safely because the supports were too narrow. the basement-crawlspace had a pretty bad leak. the electrical breaker box (or something...) was deemed "dangerous" and in desperate need of replacing. while a dampness inspector (there's an inspector for everything, btw) was looking at the basement, he barely knocked into one of the main-line water pipes, and it busted open, causing water to pour everywhere!! that revealed that the main-line water pipe was completely corroded. not to mention the kitchen didn't have a dishwasher, which would make life pretty near impossible with a toddler and newborn in the house! in order to install the dishwasher, we would have had to cut away the existing cabinets. in order to do that, because of something having to do with the way they were built, we would have to get all new cabinets....domino after domino lead to realizing we needed to do a full kitchen renovation.

when we saw all that the inspection revealed, we picked the biggies (it revealed more than i listed, but those listed were the biggies) and we added those to our offer, asking her to repair them before we moved in. this is a very customary practice in purchasing homes, but she was confused by the whole process. instead of agreeing to do some or all of the repairs, she said she would do none of them, but lower the price of the house. that would have been great if we had been planning on purchasing the home with cash. but we didn't have $6000 laying around to repair everything!! when she got our answer, she asked us to get some estimates since she lives out of town with her daughters.

enter my super-hero husband. not only has he been a wonderful husband (putting up with my pregnancy mood-swings), an involved and loving father, and an excellent teacher, he has assumed the responsibility of meeting inspector after inspector, contractor after contractor to get the lowest possible price (but still the best quality of service!) for the owner of this house. he's basically been running a marathon for about 3 months now. once all the numbers were in and we were convinced we had a good amount for her, we made our final offer and waited to hear what she would say. all the while watching both the closing date of our own home the birth of our daughter creeping closer and closer.

let me add here that our realtor, our good family friend, had been truly AMAZING this whole time. every time we called him, he was there, even if it was after hours. he has been patient in explaining things we didn't understand. he has been kind and informative to both us and the owner of the other home. he has just been a true champion (no pun intended...his last name is champion!) for example: he met chris at the house one morning to let him and a contractor in to get an estimate, and while the three of them were there, another contractor called saying he could be there in 30 minutes. chris had to get back to work, so instead of standing by and letting chris reschedule, he offered to stay and get the estimate from him. i don't think other realtors do that.

at this point in the story, we have had two wonderful thanksgivings with two wonderful families, my belly has grown to the point of gigantic (it is just impossible to roll over in bed now!), and we're wondering where we're going to lay our daughter's head in just a few weeks.

a few days after thanksgiving, nana had a heart attack. nana is chris' grandmother - our only living grandparent between the two of us - and she is NOT just a grandmother. she is a remarkable woman that we are all very close to. a few years ago, i, her granddaughter by marriage, went to spend fall break with her by myself. i could seriously write a book about her! no matter her circumstances, she is always positive, always looking to your need and not hers, always making everyone around her feel incredibly loved. these and a million more are the reasons we decided to name our daughter after her - sally. so to say "our grandmother had a heart attack" is just about life-shattering. and add that to the roller coaster we were already riding, and we were right in the middle of some pretty amazing rapids.

so after our final offer on the other house, two days went by. five days went by. eight days went by. we closed on our house and wrote a rent check to its new owner, assuming that we would close on the new house within the time we were renting from him. after a week from our offer, we still had not heard an answer from her, so we assumed she had decided to turn us down. our contract had expired anyway, so we moved on mentally knowing we would get our earnest money back, and we started looking to our alternatives. my sister offered for us to live in the house that she and her husband are renovating for FREE until we found something more permanent. free rent during a time that i will be on maternity leave and not receiving income? yes please!!

on december 1, less than 4 weeks away from the anticipated arrival of sally ann, we heard from our realtor. the owner of the east ridge house had accepted our terms. after all the praying we had done, we had both just assumed that God would make the decision for us and just make it go the way He wanted it. but now we had two really great options, and we had to CHOOSE??? i think my eyes were big with shock for at least 24 hours.

we prayed. we sought council. we prayed. we made pros/cons lists. we prayed. we cried. (okay it was really me who did the crying). we prayed. and prayed. and prayed. finally, we decided that if we went with the other house and started the renovations and updates that needed to happen, there was no way everything would be done before sally's arrival. we couldn't close until the week of the 5th anyway, which means construction couldn't start until after then - which would be 2 weeks before her due date. (and she will likely be early since i'm already 3cm dilated and 50% effaced....!!!) in the words of one of my husband's co-workers, "YOU ARE CRAZY if you think you can renovate a house with a newborn and a toddler. you think this house [my sister's] is just a coincidence? THIS. IS. GOD." so we risked ruining a relationship with a dear friend (our realtor) and making a sweet old lady (the owner of the house) angry and frustrated, and decided to walk away and move into my sister's house. if she had accepted our offer even just a few weeks earlier, we may have gone with it. but the timing just ran out.

so now i move to the part of the story where i get to talk about how deeply and WELL we are loved.

i never dreamed that we would have a baby shower for this second baby. we seriously have everything we need (except for that dern double stroller!), and who throws a shower for a second kid? my best friend jency shirai, that's who. she offered to give us a shower in her newly remodled home! they moved in, and just about a month later, she threw the best shower EVER. we invited just a few close friends and family, so it was small and intimate, and we got some of the best PINK things! sweaters, ruffly shirts and pants, hair bows, gowns, dresses, leggings! what do i do with all this girly stuff?? :) the most overwhelming part about the shower was the "double stroller fund". jency asked people to bring money to donate toward the double stroller. she said "the slatens aren't comfortable asking for this. so they're not asking. i am!" hah! we got over half of what we need for that stinking expensive thing!!! WE ARE SO BLESSED.

the date of jency's shower was planned long ago in the late summer, so i had been looking forward to it for a while. december 3rd. all of our house stuff dragged out and dragged out and dragged out so long - guess when move-out day wound up being for us? december 3rd. seriously? SERIOUSLY? but i decided it wasn't really that bad since i'm 9 months pregnant and can't really help move anyway...

chris sent an email out asking for help, and BOY did we get it!! we had...oh man. i think more than 10 people show up to help pack up the uhaul, and most of them had trucks that got loaded up too! they showed up at our house in the freezing cold (literally freezing) at 8am on a saturday morning when they could have been home with their families or sleeping in. we were absolutely floored by the outpouring of love. WE ARE SO BLESSED.

and THEN! after the shower was over, jency called and asked if she could come help clean up our house. i shouted "NO!!! you have served us enough today!!" but she ignored me and came over anyway. at the end of our move-out day, jency and nathan were the only ones left. jency was packing last minute boxes while nathan cleaned our [disgusting] shower. WE ARE SO BLESSED.

- nana is doing okay for having had a heart attack at age 97. she's moving from the icu to a regular room, and the last i heard was doing much better than any doctor anticipated. that's nana. always pulling through and surprising us! (apparently they had her as good as buried when she was 85 and had complcations after surgery...) we are so blessed.
- all of our stuff (good grief we have a lot of stuff) is at my sister's house. we're staying with chris' parents until she and her husband can get a few things fixed, and then we'll move in there full time. we are so blessed.
- i'm having more braxton hicks contractions than i ever thought possible, and i'm just wondering when this precious baby girl will make her appearance! we're all hoping she comes just a little early to spare herself a christmas birthday. chris' dad's birthday is christmas day, and he keeps saying "let's all hope she's not born then! it stinks!" whenever she comes, what a christmas we're guaranteed to have!! we are so blessed.

at church yesterday during the part where the pastor leads us through confession, he was guiding us to pray certain things to God. at one point, he said, "and now, if you can, talk to God about how you are disappointed in you feel like He has let you honest, and cry out to Him..." i literally laughed because there is NOTHING i have to be disappointed in. even with all these rapids of life, we have been beyond well taken care of. we sang a song that i must post the lyrics to. as i was still floating on the outpouring of love that so many people had given to us, no matter how good our friends are to us, Jesus truly is the greatest.

Jesus what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.

Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus what a strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my strength, my victory wins.


Jesus what a help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my comfort helps my soul.


Jesus what a guide and keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.


Jesus I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.

December 05, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Wisemen's Journey Christmas
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October 06, 2010

it's a bird, it's a plane, it's TIME!

goodness time goes by. i was doing pretty well with posts, but then life happened i suppose. right now i should be vacuuming and cleaning in general, so i figured it was the perfect time for a blog update. :)

i would try to post some pictures but...big sigh...our computer crashed. hard drive fail. all the pictures and videos of shepard - gone. we haven't gotten a second opinion or had a specialist look at it, so there might be some hope left. i'm using mom's computer, and i just don't want to dump the new pics onto her computer. anyway...

shepard is 4 1/2 months old, and he's more fun than ever! he's reaching for everything, putting most things to his mouth, drooling, interacting, talking (read, shouting), rolling over, trading stocks and bonds, etc... he's just so grown up and humongous i don't know what to do! he's wearing 6 month, and even some 9 month clothes. the bins of clothes that he has outgrown are multiplying. his favorite things to do are to "grouch" (it's this non-fussy, shouting/growling, and it's so ridiculously cute i can't stand it!), lie on his back and kick his feet with unprecendented speed (think, riverdance), and be outside. he can be fussy and about to have a meltdown, and just stepping outside will instantly cure him. i laid a quilt in the front yard yesterday afternoon when he was starting to get fussy, and when i laid him on his back, he was all smiles and kicks!! he really is a nature boy.

we took him to the aquarium last week. chris and i love the aquarium and had a membership when we lived within walking distance a few years ago, and have been playing with the idea of getting another membership as soon as shepard was old enough to enjoy it. well, we went ahead and got the membership simply because we wanted to go!! it was right at shepard's nap time, and we were just going to browse around while he snoozed in the stroller. but he started to freak out like he often does when he's sleepy (goodNESS this boy fights sleep), so chris just took him out of the stroller and was going to "trick" him into thinking we weren't trying to make him sleep. but the kid was wide-eyed with wonder for over an hour in the aquarium!! he could not get enough of the fish!!! it. was. AWESOME. i am absolutely tickled that we can go to the aquarium and shepard will be happy!!!

it is getting easier and easier to take him places. he just chills and is a happy boy! this morning we went to greenlife (did you know you can get a pastry and coffee for 99 cents if you get it between 7:30 and 8:00? awesome!!) and he was the happiest thing in the world just sitting in my lap while i ate my muffin and read. then we walked on the bridge (an every-[non-work]-day occurance for us!) and he just snoozed along with the rocking of the stroller!!

another new thing is COLD AIR!! this morning was his first real cold experience. it was in the low 40s [glory!] and he had on his new red coat jacket and an awesome red winter hat that someone gave him along the way. i also had a big blanket over his little legs. he was PRECIOUS all bundled.

i guess i should stop mindlessly rambling and go get some stuff done. of course, as soon as i start, shepard will wake up hungry. :)

September 08, 2010

changing more than just sheets

shepard just discovered his feet on sunday and he plays with them all the time!! shepard fell asleep on his own earlier today!!!! (only about the third time ever) shepard just rolled over a few minutes ago!!!!!! (FIRST time ever!!) he also just peed all over his sheets, bumper and books while having a bit of naked time in his crib.

we're having a good day!!!

August 30, 2010

before sunrise

there is only one thing in the world that would make me happy before the sun comes up. i'll give you one guess what (who) it is.

the past two nights we have tried letting shepard sleep without being swaddled. we still put the swaddler around his body to give him another layer, but we leave his arms out. yesterday, he woke up crying at 5:30, and i was just going to feed him early. (we like for his first feeding to be between 6 and 6:30) but by the time i had gotten my head together and used the restroom, he had already gone back to sleep! and he slept until 7:30!!!!!!! wow. and then it was the first time he had woken up in his bed happy. at 7:30 he was just rolling around cooing and talking. awesome.

this morning, he woke up cooing and happy and talking at 5:00. ouch. since he wasn't unhappy, i just took the monitor out to the couch and listened to him/dozed. anyway, he's a little early riser, but i think the unswaddling thing is working!! HE'S GROWING UP!!!! :(

we have so many awesome new pictures, but i have to clean the house up this morning. (plus it probably won't even let me upload pics...) you'll just have to wait!!

off to start the day!!

August 19, 2010

90 days

today our baby is THREE MONTHS OLD. whew. that's insane.

and that's all the blogging i got done on thursday! hah! now it's saturday morning, and i'm watching my sweet baby boy sleep on his back with his arms and legs all sprawled out. he's officially sleeping in his room in his crib by himself. no more pack and play beside our bed!!! for one thing, he's three months old, and "they" say to start doing what you're going to do with routines and schedules and stuff by about three months. also, he's outgrown his "bassinet" attachment of the pack and play!! it says to stop using it when your kid can push up on hands and knees (not even close to there...) or is 15 pounds. whichever comes first. my kid is a BEAST!!! so anyway, this makes me very sad. i like having him sleeping right beside me all night long!! i do not like him being in his own room!!!!!! WAH! my baby is growing up. way. way. way. too. fast.

several hours have passed since typing the above, and now i'm listening to chris play the guitar to a full-tummy'd shepard. he is mezmerized by his daddy's playing! it's awesome to watch.

some ways shepard has changed recently:

sucking his hands. one day last week, he just stuck them in his mouth!! and now he can't keep them out. it's all he wants to do. when he's eating, he'll push the booby out of his mouth and suck on his hands. when he has the passy, he'll push it out of his mouth and suck on his hands. he's a little obsessed.

rolling. not rolling over. but he's started rolling side to side in his crib so much that he'll start with his head at one end of the crib and wind up with it at the totally other end. one day last week, it was about time for him to wake up and i realized i hadn't looked at the monitor in a while. when i did, i couldn't tell what he had done. he wasn't moving so i knew he was still asleep, but it looked like he was on his side, which would be a first. i very quietly opened the door and peeked in to see what was going on, and there he was. peacefully laying with his eyes open, on his side, with his foot sticking out through the slats of his crib! BAHAHAHA!!! i almost died laughing. (if blogger will straighten up and let me upload pictures, see below for a shot of it!)

grouching. he's been talking for a while now, but now he furrows his brow and growls and groans and complains. it's different than crying or fussing. i call it grouching. it's hilarious!! i don't know if he's actually angry, or if he's just experimenting with tone and inflection. i need to get it on video and post it.

sleeping through the night. (!!!) he sleeps through the night more often than he doesn't lately, and this makes us both very, very happy. :) :) :) his last feeding is usually around 9:30. i usually have to wake him up to give it to him, and he almost always eats in his sleep, which is just adorable. he's usually laying in his crib for the night by 10:30 at the latest, and most of the time we have to wake him up at 6am for his first feeding. it's funny too b/c when we wake him up, he almost never cries for food. he will just lay in his crib and smile and laugh and coo at us for a while!! it's SO awesome to wake up to!!!!

some ways i have changed recently:

i have muscles. if you know me, your jaw just hit the ground. i have always had issues with my arms and weakness and pain (well, i still have issues with pain answer lately is "olbas analgesic salve" - LOVE it!!!) but the other day, i was sitting on the ground with my knees to my chest and my arms crossed on my knees. i felt a weird lump in my bicep area and was genuinely freaked out for about a minute. i rubbed it and rubbed it and rubbed it thinking "oh my gosh...WHAT is that???" it was hysterical when i realized, duh, it's a MUSCLE. wow. i've never had one of those in my arms before!!!! awesome! i have a little 15 pound weight that i'm carrying around all day long. i would hope i would get a muscle or two!!!

blogger is being retarded. well, i don't know if it's blogger or our computer (which SUCKS, btw). but either way, i can't get pictures on here right now. check facebook if you're dying to see the latest.

August 16, 2010

making crap up

there have been times in the past that i've wanted to be able to add minutes or hours to my day. add a child to my life, and that desire is multiplied by a gazillion!! there are not enough hours in the day to spend with this child. not to mention to get stuff done.

stuff. blech.

i'm weary of the spoils of my ambition, and i'm shackled by the comfort of my couch. i wish i had the courage to deny these of myself and start to store my treasure in the clouds. 'cause this is not my home. i do not belong where the antelope and the buffalo roam. (a little ap to drive home the conviction)

so last night's blog originally started off with something to the effect of "it's late and i should be in bed." repeat that for tonight!! (i don't know why i get the itch to blog late at night when i should be sleeping.) to sum it up, it basically said that work is going fine, shepard has done great being with his grandmothers while i'm getting the year started, and that i'm pretty sure we'll all be fine in the longrun. *groan* but i have such a hard time leaving that little face!!! have you SEEN him??

this thursday, shepard will be three months old. good grief. i remember saying that we would start putting him to sleep in his own room in his own bed at three months. i said we would really start solidifying the routine/schedule at three months. i said we would start simply putting him down for naps and helping him learn how to soothe himself. what's funny is that i feel like he's ready for all of that!! he's already sort of started to self-soothe, which is just amazing. here's to a good transition week!!!

thought for the night: how many times a week do you wake up and realize that you're going to have to just totally and utterly fake it? meaning, fake smile, fake enthusiasm, fake friendliness to everyone. does faking it count? i mean, if i'm totally dying on the inside and hating the world, and i'm fake nice to people, does that make me a liar? or a nice person? just wonderin...

chris got some hilarious pictures of me and the little guy tonight. i'll post them soon. :)

August 15, 2010

state of rebellion

oh. my. gosh. i had the longest blog entry yet, and i just lost it. i am SO not going to try to recreate it. too bad. so sad. life goes on. at least the pics are still here.


i'm flying!!

blue dipes make me feel tough!!

yellow dipes make me happyyyyyyy!!!

August 10, 2010

cry me a river

it's 12:20 am on tuesday...or i guess really it's wednesday at this point. orientation for school starts tomorr...i mean, today, and i am LOSING MY MIND. i haven't cried this much in a long, long time. i can't believe i agreed to go back to work part time. my entire life - all 31 years - i have always said that it's my dream, my goal, my plan to STAY HOME once i had kids. a couple of years ago, i started this job teaching preschool. when my boss passed around the little survey saying, "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" i went to write "at home with my kids", but paused. for the first time in my life, i paused and said, "whoa! i don't know if i want to be home with my kids! i LOVE this job!!!" which is GREAT! it is so good that i love my job. right? yes.
well, last year when i got pregnant, i decided that i would go back to work part time as a little compromise. WHAT WAS I THINKING????????????? why would i ever want to take time away from spending with my kid to spend it with other people's kids?

i know it will be good for me, good for shepard, good for the grandmas that are keeping him. but the thing that's getting me is that he is just SO young. not even 3 months. i wish i had told them that i would come back part time once shepard was, like, 4 months or something. GAH! this is so hard. the hardest thing i've done in a while...if not ever done.

just LOOK at this guy!! why am i leaving him??????? he is JUST starting to settle into a nice routine.

note: if my boss or any of my co-workers read this, know that i'm super emotional, and remember that i'm completely sleep deprived. my next blog post will probably be about how much i love being back at work and how shepard is doing beautifully with his new schedule. i'm just saying...!

freaking out about haley!!! sorry girl. :)

i'm worried. i think he's joined a gang!!

hanging out with dad before he leaves for work!

i'm such a bad mom. i wanted a picture of him in his awesome baseball outfit, and he really didn't want one...but i took it anyway. sorry buddy!!

oh no...why is this sideways???? turn your head and just LOOK at that smile!! he's just so proud about busting out of his swaddling AGAIN.


swinging with daddy!




August 05, 2010

it's the end of the summer

i realized something the other day. i am not a housewife. i am a stay at home mom. (save the 10 hours a week i'll be in the classroom) so when the clock somehow reads 6:00PM and the dishes are still piled up in the sink, and i still haven't vacuumed, and the clothes still aren't folded, because all i've done that day is take care of shepard, my day is a success!! when i realized this, i felt a weight lift off my shoulders and i said a little prayer of thanksgiving. whew!

shepard's latest amazing feat is sleeping through the night!!! yes, yes, yes. it might have just been a fluke. but last night, little guy slept from 11:00 until 6:00. he usually wakes up for a 3am feeding, and he was grunting like crazy last night right at 3, but when i stood up and went to get him, he was very obviously still asleep. he was totally comatose between half-hearted grunts. so i tiptoed back to bed and cautiously went back to sleep. about an hour later, the same half-hearted grunts started. i watched him for a little while, but then laid back down. i didn't even get under the covers b/c i was so sure he would wake up starving any minute. an hour later at about 5:30, i woke up on my own and thought he had died for sure!!! when i gently put my hand on his beautifully breathing chest, i almost YIPPED out loud! if he woke up right then, i would consider it sleeping through the night. i laid back down, and lo and behold, when my alarm went off at 6:00, it woke him up too. a-ma-zing. i unswaddled him and took him to our feeding spot on the couch and looked at him. "you're growing up little man!!" i said. his response? BIG GRIN!!! i love that kid.

he is also very consistently smiling at his parents like CRAZY. all the books say that he will prefer us to anyone else, and it has been SO amazing to witness that the books are right!! he doesn't mind going to other people at all. but when he sees or hears either one of us, it's a huge face-squishing smile! *wow* makes me cry just thinking about it!! i LOVE that kid!!

today is chris' first day back at school for a week of inservice before the students start back next thursday. so i consider today my first real day of stay-at-homeness. today marks the beginning of me getting both of us on a real, set schedule. regular feeding times, regular bath days and times, regular grocery planning and shopping. or at least it's when i start figuring out when all that is going to work best for us. and it's been awesome because i have actually been motivated to DO things between his naps and feedings. usually i just want to veg out and either watch tv or get on the computer. you need to know that shepard sleeps for literally only 30 minutes at a time. here's what a day looks like for us:

6:00 am - feed shepard
~6:45 - awake time for shepard, breakfast for me
~7:30 - shepard to sleep
8 - shepard awake
8:00-9:00 - more awake and play time for shepard
9:00 - feed shepard

and it starts all over and repeats until 9 or 10 at night. did you see that? the only time without shepard was from 7:30 to 8:00. do you know how fast 30 minutes goes by when you're trying to get something done??? and you could set a clock by this kid! he is so eerily accurate about that 30 minutes. but good news is that he has started to be willing and able to either sit in his little seat or lie on his playmat for at least 20 minutes during the hour before his next feeding, so i can sometimes get some more stuff done. but usually we're either reading books or swinging on the porch swing or just hanging out and talking. have i mentioned that i love that kid?

wow. i haven't uploaded pictures from the camera in forever. sorry about pictures of our little man soon!!

i started blogging at 12:00. it is now 12:36 and he is awake. wow. a long nap!! hah!

July 31, 2010

i walk the line

when it comes to middle of the night feedings, there is a fine line between asleep and awake. the ideal experience is for shepard to wake us up, but for him to be just enough awake to nurse, but just enough asleep to go straight back to sleep when he's done. a couple of nights ago, i got too caught up in getting him to eat that i woke him up completely. he was ready to play!!! which means when i tried to put him back to sleep, he pitched a fit and woke up everyone in the house. oh bummer. but last night was perfect. he ate a little and went back to sleep so fast i didn't even have to rock him. now the IDEAL ideal situation will be when he doesn't wake up at 3am anymore...we're hoping it will happen soon.

he's been chewing on his passy and bottle nipple rather than sucking on them lately. could TEETH be right around the corner for him? oh man!! he really is growing up too fast!! he LITERALLY changes every single day.

yesterday i had to go into school to clean up the room a bit before visitors come next week. chris had to go to rehearsal for a wedding, so he couldn't keep him. i was fully expecting our trip to be a disaster because he hates his car seat so much. i was just bracing myself for a few hours of crying. well, someone stole shepard and replaced him with a perfect angel! he was awake the entire way to school and didn't make a peep. he sat in his carseat smiling and happy in the classroom for about 30 minutes with people coming in and out to see him. then he laid on his playmat for about 20 minutes cooing and kicking. once i fed him and he played on the mat a little while longer, he started to get fussy and then started all-out crying. i figured i would have to go home since i forgot the swaddler. but i rocked him just in my arms and shushed in his ear for approximately 2 minutes, and he fell fast asleep! i laid him in his carseat and he slept for about 30 minutes!!! who are you and what have you done with shepard?!?!? it gives me hope that maybe, just maybe he's maturing a little so that he doesn't scream every time he's not being held!!! of course, then i went to bilo and he refused to stay in his carseat. so i had to shop with one hand. my arms sure are getting stronger!!

hutchmoot is next weekend, and we were thinking about trying to sell our tickets. when chris was in nashville a few weeks ago, ap was telling him that we HAVE to still come, and that we have to live our lives no matter what our kid does. well...he hasn't heard shepard pitch one of his fits, has he?? but the past few days have given me hope!! hutchmoot - here we come!!! we'll see how he does....:)

July 28, 2010

the touch, the feel

the slatens have officially gone CLOTH! the best part is that my wonderful, amazingly generous cousin is letting us use all her cloth diapers that her youngest has grown out of! YES! shepard looks awesome in his little cloth dipes, and it just makes sense to use diapers that you can re-use. already in his short life, we have gone through SO MANY disposable diapers. i honestly feel guilty at the amount of grossness we have added to landfills, and we only used them for about 60 days. wow.

all of kendall's diapers are white b/c she bought them before they know what gender their precious little josie was, but about a month ago, i bought 3 colorful ones to try out - 1 of 3 different brands. those are going to be his "going out" dipes. :) and i might buy a few more just to have a few more on hand. i was really hesitant to start using them at first because they're pretty intimidating if you don't know how to use them. but the thing is, using them really is just like using disposables, only you throw them in a laundry bin instead of the trash. and washing them is super easy. i've always heard people say that cloth diapering is "addictive", and i know what they mean now!! (i have a picture of him in his cloth diaper, but it's still on the camera, and it's i'll post one later)
this past weekend was the "meet shepard party" that i've been talking about having with my preschoolers ever since shepard was minus-6 months old. it was at the coolidge park fountain, and we had SO much fun! well, everyone except shepard. he was pretty miserable. he ate his first meal late in the morning, so he went down late, so he only slept for about 20 minutes before the party as opposed to the regular hour. and it was hot. and it was time for him to eat again. he was so hot, tired and hungry, that he couldn't eat, and all he did was cry cry cry. poor guy. but he did finally fall asleep with his daddy. bless him! he was so miserable!! but the kids seemed to have a good time, and it was SO GOOD to see them all again. :)

the glider has officially been taken back. we have a HUGE credit at BRU since we bought it with gift cards. we're thinking about selling the gift card to someone who will use BRU credit, but i'm honestly tired of them. every single time i've taken things back there - various things from our registry that we have wound up not needing - they have tried to not take it back. (you have to either have a receipt or have registered for it for them to even think about taking it back) it's always "this isn't showing up on your registry!" then we actually print the physical registry and they're like "oh, wow. there it is..." today when chris took the glider back, they actually said to him that their system was showing that we had already received credit back for it. are you kidding me? we have the receipt in hand and the actual [crappy] glider sitting in front of them. gross. don't shop there. they're annoying.

shepard weighs 13 pounds now. that's the 80th percentile. he's a BEEF CAKE!! :)

in other news, i drank a glass of real cow's milk this morning. *GASP* see, when shepard was a few weeks old, he went through these spells of S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G in absolute pain and he used to get these little red-rash things all over his body. they weren't baby acne either. so i stopped doing dairy altogether just to see if it made a difference. the thing is, i was also eating a whole lot of prunes (no know...ahem...) which are supposedly very gas-inducing, and i stopped eating them at the same time. well, he stopped screaming. after a couple of weeks, we said, you know, it could have been the prunes. so one day i tried some cream cheese on a bagel to see if he screamed. and he did that night. and the red rash came back. huh. so it IS the dairy. so i continued to stay away from dairy. well, then he had screaming episodes where the red rash came back even when i wasn't on dairy. so maybe it's just gas or something. so today i tried milk. and so far so good!!!!!!! are you kidding??? tomorrow i'm going to do milk again, and maybe a little cheese. slowly my friends. slowly.
our date night this week is going to be with forrest and alex. guess where we're going????? I CANNOT WAIT!!! :) :) :)

how he chooses to sleep on my shoulder most of the time. i always have to force his head to turn sideways!!


finally zonked out! check out how his hat matches his daddy's shorts!

some of the kids playing in the fountain!

naps with daddy are the best!

check out how beefy i am!!

July 26, 2010

sittin in the bumbo doo bee doo

whenever shepard sits in his bumbo (see below) i sing a little song (sittin in de bumbo doo bee doo) and he always smiles. then the silly little song gets in my head and i sing it all day with all sorts of words. "eatin up my good lunch doo bee doo." "driving to the store-oh doo bee doo." "i'm losing my mind doo bee doo." etc...

so in my humble and uneducated opinion, i think that a $400 glider rocker should not break after just two months of use. are my expectations too high? there's this crazy awesome feature (or so i thought) on our glider where you can pull a lever and it locks in place. something i was really looking forward to using once shepard is pulling up. i've worked in the nursery at church where there's a glider rocker, and we're constantly making sure the little boogers aren't pushing it around b/c it's SO easy to pinch (more like sever) a finger. anyway, the way it works is...nah. it's too hard to explain. i'll just say that the pieces that are supposed to come together only when the lever is pulled have somehow gotten so close to each other that they knock against each other every time we rock. MADDENING. absolutely maddening. chris says he's going to take it back to babies r us and leave it there. they can have it! we're done with it!!!

the part that stinks is that we have a little boy who FIGHTS sleep EVERY time we go to put him down, save the middle of the night when he eats in a coma anyway. the rocker really does seem to help him relax, and every time we're somewhere else and he needs to go down for a nap, it's an even bigger challenge when we don't have a rocker. add to that a mommy whose arms are weaker than olive oyl's and you've got a pretty miserable situation. *sigh* God is good. all the time. we'll see how it goes until we get a new rocker!

well, it's been 30 minutes since i put him down, and CUE THE BABY. without fail. you could set a clock by him.

more later!

hanging out with uncle forrest - check out my neck control!!!

sittin in de bumbo doo bee doo!

look what i figured out with my fingers!! hah!

wide awake and seriously considering crying on our walk...

but he finally fell asleep!! huttah!

July 23, 2010

happy accidents

so i had a wreck today with shepard in the car.


the real story is that i loaded the both of us up to go to coolidge park to take a walk (the 2nd day in a row we've actually done it!!) and i was so focused on talking and singing and keeping him distracted and happy, that i *BAM* backed into the honda. BIG sigh. the bad news is that the nanawagon (what i was driving) has a giant crack in the bumper. the good news is that it's a 1992 station wagon that we'll probably never trade in. the other good news is that the honda - the one we probably will trade in soon - wasn't hurt at all! sheesh. what a ditz.

in other, better news, CHRIS IS HOME! you may not have known he was gone. i don't like to broadcast it when i'm home alone. you know. stalkers. he was in nashville all week recording his two new songs with ben shive, his [awesome, amazingly talented, ridiculously fabulous] producer. i could ramble and rant all day long about how awesome a songwriter my husband is. his songs are always so thoughtful, catchy, fun, beautiful, meaningful. i LOVE his music! and you will too!! his first album came out in 2004 and you can get it on itunes or this new album will hopefully come out sometime in the spring. you are gonna LOVE it. the new stuff absolutely blows me away.

i started this post on friday. it's monday. oh well...

July 22, 2010

pondering these things

usually when we sing to shepard as he's going to sleep, he fusses and would rather us "shhhh" in his ear. (see "happiest baby on the block" techniques) which bums me because i love singing to my baby!! well, last night he was SO happy after his awake time, and kept the mood through his diaper change and swaddling. when we sat in the rocking chair, i laid him on his back on my legs (which i will not be able to do much longer - that guy is getting LONG!) i quietly sang "you are my sunshine" and "you can always come home to me" to him, and he absolutely gazed at me in wonder with a huge smile on his face! A. MA. ZING. i melted. and i totally understood what mary meant when she pondered these things in her heart after Jesus was born. i love that kid.

in one of the recent blogs, i mentioned that he has started "talking". well - wow. in just the past day or two, his "speech", i suppose, has totally taken off! he will fix his eyes on something in the room and just coo and talk! i cannot wait to hear him actually say words. it is hilarious and wonderful and amazing!! i have yet to get it on video. i swear that kid KNOWS what a camera is and stops his cuteness the second he sees the camera on him. it is SO weird. 

we had a breakthrough moment this morning! we must get in the habit of going for a walk on most mornings, so i just DID IT this morning. this time i attached one of his little toys that makes noise to his carseat, hoping that his presence would create some sort of calm in his life. well, he cried in the car, cried in the stroller (which is just his carseat snapped down into our jogger), but would stop when i would take him out. we had a little talk, and after a minute, i put him back down into it. he sat bewildered for a little while, and right before we turned onto the walking bridge, he started crying again. i looked at him and asked "what changed buddy?" and just kept asking that. he stopped crying, looked up into my eyes, and held onto his little giraffe. hah! i think it was an accident that his little hand wrapped around it, but it was still pretty cute. then, about 20 seconds later, he was asleep. GLORY!! i got a walk in and didn't have to a) carry him and push the stroller with one hand, or b) stroll with a crazy screaming baby! 

he's hungry!! he actually SLEPT until the time for his next feeding!! no 30 minute nap for him this morning. once again - GLORY!!!

happy boy!

he really does enjoy listening to stories! we are reading about joseph and his rainbow coat from "the Jesus storybook bible".

so happy with gan!

July 20, 2010

car time vs. bath time

yesterday shepard pulled his trademark move and woke up 30 minutes to-the-minute after i laid him down for EVERY nap. you could set a clock to his accuracy! it was almost like, "3...2...1. cue the crying!!" well, i *know* my child usually cries in his car seat, but i also know that he will sleep in it if he's nice and relaxed. after one of his wake-ups, he was still so sleepy, but every time i laid him back down, he would wake back up. so i decided we would take a drive. i got him sleepy, put him in the car seat and off we went. 30 minutes later, i was about to turn back onto our road and he literally threw up because he had been crying so hard. the ride would have lastest shorter than 30 minutes, but by the time i realized he was NOT going to fall asleep, we were already 10 minutes or so away from home, which meant 10 minutes or so BACK to home. not to mention the fact that the car was completely out of gas, so he had to endure a fill-up. *sigh* bless his heart! WHY does he hate his car seat so much??? the second i got him out of it, he stopped crying. we sat on the porch swing for 20 minutes in beautiful peace.

this is not good b/c christopher and i are travelers. we go everywhere! three things are about to happen. 1) shepard will get used to his carseat and ride in peace b/c we go so many places. 2) shepard will not get used to his carseat and will continue to ride in agony while we go so many places. 3) we will stop going so many places. *sigh* i have a feeling #3 will win.

in contrast to his feelings about his carseat, check out how he feels about his bath! he hasn't exactly figured out how to splash and play in the water, but he sure does seem to love the feeling of the water. :)

however, to dry him off, you'd think he was in the carseat again. is it because he wants to stay in the water? because he's cold after getting out? or because of the towel's texture?

gan (my mom) has taken a few days off work and is helping me out while chris is out of town for the week. (he's recording his new songs in nashville with ben! WAHOO!!) and she just accomplished what i thought was impossible. shepard woke up after 30 minutes of napping, and she put him back to sleep!! and he's still asleep after a full hour!!! a-ma-zing. way to go ganna!!!!

in completely other news, please visit this website and watch/listen to this song. i promise it will not disappoint. and when you're done with that song, head over to andrew peterson's website and order his new album!! it's definitely going to be his best one yet!!

July 18, 2010

60 days

*disclaimer* i can't seem to ever get blogger to align things correctly. forgive me if the spacing is weird!!

chris and i mentioned the other day that we really wanted to start journalling about shepard's days. i'm inspired to journal from reading anne lamott's "operating instructions" - one of the most hilarious and wonderful books i've EVER read. (iseriously could not read it in bed after chris had gone to sleep because i was constantly waking him up from laughing out loud.) anyway, inspired though i may be, i'm always overwhelmed at journalling b/c i'm always behind. i started a paper journal (remember those? they involve using some sort of writing utencil to record one's thoughts) when i found out i was pregnant, and i claimed i was going to keep track of all the little fellow did inside me. well, there are approximately 5 entries. maybe more. but certainly not enough to count as a thorough journal! anyway, overwhelmed though i may be, HERE I AM. i just have to start. so there. it is hard to start though, b/c i could ramble for DAYS about the first two months of his life. i'll pick a few highlights...

tomorrow, july 19, shepard will be two months old!! simply amazing. it truly does feel like we were just in the hospital. forget that, it feels like yesterday that we found out we were pregnant! i have never experienced anything like parenthood before. (duh) people say it, but you don't really understand until you do it: parenthood is the most wonderful, exhausting, exciting, terrifying, fun, frustrating, natural, and hard thing you'll ever do. i look at shepard's little face and fall in love more each time. sheesh.

he has started "talking" to us, which is just so much fun! whether he's happy or crying, his little sounds are more than just a BLAT! they have inflections and changes in volume and personality. when i realized that he had been doing that for a while, it hit me that whoa! this little baby is going to grow up to be an actual person who can talk and ask questions and give opinions and stuff. whoa!
some ways that he has changed recently:
- he doesn't make sweet little sighing squeaks when he's nursing anymore :,(
- he can scoot backwards.
- he reaches for things.
- he SMILES all the time - especially when he sees his parents!!
- he doesn't scream NEARLY as much as he used to! :)
- he seems to have stopped taking a bottle. this is NOT good for the girl who wants to go back to work part time...
- he will lay and play on his play mat for up toabout 20 minutes by himself!
- despite being 2 months, he's wearing 3 month clothes.
and now for some pictures:
the first time mama caught me smilin on camera!

i'll get you, you dirty monkey!!

i do NOT like tummy time, mama.

i LOOOOOVE my daddy!!!

chillin' with my jungle friends.

sleepin' in my uncle's old room at gan and grandfather's house!

stylin in my suit and hat!


my first photo shoot in the really awesome outfit that gan bought me!

i was screaming at mommy by this time in the photo shoot. she's a torturer and will do
anything to get a foot shot.

check out my muscles!!

i love taking baths, but drying off always makes me feel a little crabby...

spending some good time with my great-grandmother, nana. she sounds like she knows what she's talking about!

May 21, 2010


i loved kirby's entry about her labor and delivery so much that i decided to do my own! thanks for the inspiration, friend. :)

shepard slaten was due to enter the world on tuesday, may 25. but i kept telling people that i really thought he was going to be early. i didn't know why, and i still don't know why. maybe it was just a 50/50 chance of being right about it. maybe i just KNEW. but he was early indeed. he was born at 11:44PM on wednesday, may 19. HOORAY! it was quite a journey getting him here.

all my life, i've always joked with people saying that the minute i go into labor, i'm going to shout out joyfully, "bring on the drugs!!!" but as soon as i actually was pregnant, my thinking changed, and i'm not sure why. i really wanted to labor naturally for some reason! chris and i took a childbirth class at the hospital. the first night we watched a video of a birth - ALL the details included - and i told chris on the way home to go ahead and check me into the looney bin - that i STILL wanted to go natural, even after seeing the video. there was just something about the way that the diagrams of what the mother's body does and what the child does during the labor process that screams out "GOD MADE YOU TO DO THIS!!!" and while, yes, even with an epidural, my body and his little body would still be actually DOING what God created us to do, i just wanted to do it naturally. for some reason.

anyway, i was on the fence about it since i had been so gung-ho about epidurals my whole life and just not sure if i could handle going through it naturally. when i talked to dr barker about it, he said, "i will tell you one thing. if you decide to go naturally and you wind up getting an epidural, you simply cannot think of yourself as a failure. so many of my patients do that." best advice EVER. i also heard from everyone and everywhere that i must remain flexible about the laboring process b/c it rarely goes exactly as planned. so as the day grew closer, i had a flexible mindset about the whole thing.

chris and i ran across "the bradley method" of laboring along the way, and that's the route we wanted to go. in a tiny nutshell, it's all about focusing on relaxing and breathing normally and letting my body just do its thing. it's also very "coach" oriented, so chris had to be knowledgeable - almost moreso than me - about the whole process too. we practiced a whole bunch of relaxation techniques, learned about the stages of labor and how to tell when i was in which stage, etc. we were planning to labor at home as long as possible and really be in tune with which stages and phases of labor my body was passing through when.

until tuesday night, may 18, at 11:45PM - that's when my water broke. all day that day, i had been having braxton hicks contractions as usual, but this time they weren't quite so painless. sometimes i even had to stop what i was doing and sit down. nothing was taking my breath away - they just felt like regular ol' "lady" cramps. no big deal...but i worked on finishing up our hospital bags. just in case.

so that night, right when i laid down to go to sleep, i started to have another painless braxton-hicks contraction and i said to myself, "here goes another one" - nothing out of the ordinary there. but then i felt a huge and sharp POP in my abdomen. it wasn't painful. just a pop. my eyes shot open and i laid there for a minute. when nothing happened, i thought it was nothing. but a few minutes later, i said to chris from the bathroom, "yeah, i'm pretty sure my water just broke." to which he replied with a loud and hearty, "HAHAHA!!!!" and flipped the lights on!!! adrenalyn rush for both of us for the rest of the night!!!

i will say that after the initial excitement wore off, i shouted out, "SERIOUSLY???? this means we're losing a full night's sleep!!!" since we were JUST laying down. bummer.

we called our doctor who knew how we wanted our labor to go and was totally supportive, and he told us we had to be at the hospital in no more than 6 hours. when your water breaks, apparently there's an increased risk of infection since that barrier to the baby is broken, so they want you in the hospital asap. so much for laboring at home. bummer.

so we finshed up packing like chickens with our heads cut off, and feverishly tried to finish reading some of the bradley book. at one point chris came into the bedroom, left the bedroom, came back into the bedroom, all the while with a huge smile on his face saying, "what am i doing? what am i doing? i don't know what i'm doing..." he wasn't at ALL the frantic idiot father from television. he was the adorable, excited father!! it was SO cute. i loved it.

around 1:30AM or so, we laid down and tried to sleep, and we actually succeeded for a bit. i had a few sort of painful contractions, but nothing too awful, and nothing regular at all. around 4AM, we started getting the car ready. we got to the hospital at about 6AM, and they put us in a room so they could check to make sure my water had indeed broken, since i didn't have the proverbial GUSH. sure enough, it was broken. so they checked me in. dr barker showed up around 9AM (10 hours after my water broke) and gave us the news that, since i hadn't had any kind of regular contractions, he would have to start me on pitocin. really? are you sure? pitocin? dangit. i appreciated him so much though b/c his attitude towards us was like he was breaking bad news to us since he knew that it was not what we wanted. see, pitocin skips over all the first stages of labor and throws you straight into transition labor. that's the stage where your contractions are SUPER strong and SUPER close together. it's supposed to last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, and comes after many hours of manageable labor. and the thing that's supposed to be the driving force to get you through transition labor is that it comes right before pushing, so you're basically done when the labor is at its most painful. but not with pitocin. bummer.

after we were in the labor and delivery room, jency showed up, camera in hand. i wanted her to be in the room with us so she could take pictures since i wanted pictures but didn't want chris to be worrying about taking them. she was amazing!! it was so so so great to have her in there the whole time. she even helped coach me through for a while when chris went to get lunch. talk about a best friend!!

so around 10AM or so, my induced contractions started. they were 2 minutes apart and ridiculously painful every time. the part that made it so unbearable was that the pain was in my back most of the time instead of my tummy, and i just wasn't ready for that. but chris was the most amazing coach i could have ever asked for. every time a contraction would come on, he would go through the scripts the bradley book taught us, and it always calmed me down and reminded me how to make it through. he was a rock star!! i seriously could not have done it without him. but after a few hours, things literally started going blurry and i almost couldn't breathe at all, let alone breathe normally and deeply through each contraction. when you're in transition labor for hours with the end not being close, you start to lose your mind!!

around 1PM or so, i decided i could not handle it anymore, but i was only 2cm dilated - which was just a joke!! contractions like this are supposed to be happening when you're 7-9cm and helping you round the corner to the finish line!!! so i begged my nurse to give me something. anything. which i had said initially that i would NOT do since anything that goes in my IV reaches the baby. but i had suddenly decided that he would be just fine. :) so i got something - don't remember what it was - that made me blissfully sleepy and i was totally and completely passed out - think, vivid dreams and deep sleep - in between contractions. still 2 minutes apart!! the pain wasn't any better, but i could at least rest a bit between them, which was SUCH a gift since i hadn't slept at all the night before. jency and chris were laughing at me b/c i was so loopy and would ask questions, and then fall asleep, and then have a contraction, and then ask if i had asked a question, and then fall back asleep. this lasted for about 2 hours.

the next time my nurse checked me, she said i was 5.5cm, and i literally screamed, "EPIDURAL!" one of the main reasons i didn't want one was that they insert a NEEDLE into your SPINAL COLUMN literally WHILE you're having CONTRACTIONS. seriously? good lord, no thank you. but jency and chris said that every contraction i was having, i was being super still anyway. and my wonderful coach was helping me so much with my breathing that it was making them more bearable, that i thought maybe i could handle being still. chris was supportive of me getting the epidural, too, even though it wasn't in the plan. things just weren't working out for me to be able to "bradley". so i asked my nurse if the anesthesiologist was new or in training, and she laughed. he's apparently been doing it for something like 30 years and he's the best in town. bring him in!!!!! enter: steve.

i seriously considered naming my child after him. he was so wonderful. gentle. kind. professional. amazing. and he gave me wonderful, beautiful, glorious drugs. the nurses kept telling me that i had the perfect epidural, too, since i could still move my legs but not feel contractions. hooray! after the epidural took effect - around 4PM - i had my mind back and i could concentrate on what was happening, and most importantly, rest. with the amount of non-sleep i had had, i needed to rest so i had enough energy to push!! it was truly the best decision EVER. if i had had normal labor and not transition labor for 6 hours, who knows. i may have been able to handle it. but the pitocin...whew. it changed the game. bummer.

so my body contracted and did it's job for a few hours. i asked dr barker when we would have to start thinking c-section since my water had been broken for so long, and he said if i hadn't progressed well after about 20 hours of the water breaking they would have to consider it. shoot. that hour was coming up fast. but the good news was that i WAS progressing. slowly, but still progressing. around the hour where i was afraid he was going to wheel me out to cut me open, he gave me an antibiotic instead. hooray! something actually might go according to plan for us!!

while i had the perfect epidural, i could feel just the tiniest little bit of pain on my left side with each contraction. then it expanded to my back. it wasn't bad enough to even have to breathe through. but after about 4 hours, it did get a lot worse. so i asked the nurse to "up" the meds. steve came back and i told him that i liked how i could move my legs. he looked at me with his kind eyes and a smile and said, as he increased the medicine, "sorry. you can't have both..." and i felt the cold of the medicine running through the line. *sigh* oh well. so from then on, my lower body was deader than dead. you know how your lip feels when you get it numbed for the dentist? it feels all swollen and huge and you're like "what is THAT???" when you grab it? that's how my legs felt. it. was. so. weird.

i don't remember the exact times with the exact cms. all i know is that every time he came to check me, i was only a tiny bit more than the last time. the real kicker was that around 9PM, i was 9 cms. hooray! pushing to begin soon! he came back at 10:00 and i was so excited. but he literally said to me, "nine and a half..." NOOO! good grief. but i did finally make it to 10cm around 11PM, and my nurse paige - who was the most AMAZING person EVER - asked if i wanted a mirror, and i actually hesitated for some reason. but she said, "no, you want a mirror. i'm going to get you one." WOW. it was SOOOO amazing to watch.

after about 40 minutes of pushing, shepard walker slaten was born into the world at 11:44 PM - 23 hours and 59 minutes after my water broke. and his daddy got to catch him! chris said it was the most amazing thing he's ever done. it was so unreal to see this alien-looking, living creature come out of my body. seriously God??? you are SO stinking creative!!!!

after shepard was cleaned up and things had calmed down a little, dr barker was standing by the bed and asked if he could pray over us. are you kidding me? yes! so he did, and when he got to the part about the creation of life being such a miracle, he said it always overwhelms him, and he choked up a little. UNbelieveable. he delivers babies all the time, and yet he still gets overwhelmed by the miracle that God allows us to be a part of. LOVE HIM.

one of the coolest little serendipities about my labor story is that one of my dear friends who had moved back to chattanooga about 6 months before, delivered the same night in the room right beside mine! little molly was due the week before me, and since she was late and shepard was early, they have the same birthday!! talk about a sweet addition to such a miracle of a night.

a word about parkridge east. if i had created a world where i labored and delivered with the perfect hospital staff, it would had been RUBBISH compared to how we were treated. chris keeps calling it "disney world service" because it was above and beyond amazing. everyone - EVERYONE - was so kind, considerate, patient, professional, you name it. usually in situations where you're dealing with lots of different people and any kind of service, at least one person or experience will be below par. but not here. i told chris i wanted to have another baby as soon as possible just so we could go to parkridge east again. seriously!! the cherry on the top is that last week, we got a card in the mail from parkridge congratulating us on our new baby, and ALL of my nurses (we were there so long we had 4 or 5 different ones...) signed it, along with dr barker. are you kidding me????? so if you're reading this and you're going to have a kid and you're thinking about going somewhere else, don't!!! go to parkridge east!!!!!

sorry if this seems a bit choppy...trying to type the story out over the course of several days, in between feedings and naps makes it a bit hard to make it consistent. speaking of feedings, little guy is waking up hungry!! :)

March 29, 2010


never in my wildest dreams would i have ever thought that an unborn child would (or COULD) move around THIS MUCH inside my belly. there have been moments where i have almost shouted out in almost-pain because he has pushed against my skin SO hard. i have had to have serious conversations with him, letting him know that, no, in fact, he canNOT exit my body through my belly button. dude. little guy is a MOVER!!! i'm loving it. i can't wait to see his little body moving around in real life person!!! if i had the camera, i would take a video of his antics, but alas. christopher has it. maybe soon. you will not believe it!!!

spring break has SPRUNG for the slatens and so far, we are doing spring break the way spring break needs to be done. saturday morning, chris and i woke up, had a simple breakfast (which is hard for me on saturdays...usually i like to go all-out with pancakes, eggs, sausage, omelettes - any or all of those combined) and then went to greenlife for laundry detergent. we left our car parked there and went for a walk - from greenlife to renaissance park to coolidge. we had alot to get done that day, so we didn't plan on staying out that long, but we wound up walking around for well over an hour. it was PERFECT BLISS!!! i love that man more than i ever thought possible. we sat on a big rock that was almost level with the water for a while, and just chatted. it was cold out, but we could tell it was going to warm up to the perfect spring temperature.

on the way back from coolidge, we headed up to frazier avenue for different scenery. we rounded the corner, and chris said, "i THOUGHT i smelled donuts!!" ah, julie darling donuts. i had been hearing about it for MONTHS but hadn't made it by yet. i said, "OOOOH! let's get one!!!" so we went in, and my life hasn't been the same since. picture the best donut you've ever had. now multiply it by a million, and you still haven't reached the pinnacle of how delicious julie darling donuts are. chris got a chocolate cake one - BEST EVER. and i'm a chocoalte snob. i got a buttermilk one, and it was so freshly hot that it fell apart when i tried to pick it up. i almost cried when i ate it.

so we ate our donuts while walking back to the car, and got our day started. what was our day? packing. chris had to pack for 3 things all at once. saturday night through monday morning, we were in knoxville for a few concerts in the big ears festival. (more on that later...) we stayed with my beautiful cousin and her new husband in their AMAZING house. i'm so jealous and inspired by how she has it decorated! it was so good to just get to be with them for a day or two.

chris left this morning to head to nashville to do some work on the album with the unbelieveably talented ben shive. pray for them! they're doing amazing work, they are.

a long time ago, i knew chris would be in nashville for our spring break, but i realized that i NEEDED the beach. this RARELY happens. so i talked my parents into taking this gigantic pregnant lady to the beach! we made reservations in savannah for wednesday-sunday (yes, this is easter...we're all okay with it) and i can barely breathe i'm so excited!! AAAND we get to see the crowders! (my aforementioned beautiful cousin's beautiful sister and her family!) perfect.

the best part about it is that chris is only working with ben through wednesday, so he'll leave nashville early thursday morning and drive to savannah to join us!!! HOORAY!!!!

so let's talk big ears for a minute. colin slaten - the amazing brother in law that he is - mentioned this festival on his facebook page a while back. long story short, THANK YOU COLIN!! we saw vampire weekend, my brightest diamond and the national. two words: HOLY MOLY. these are all three what i call "chris' bands" b/c i'm not the biggest fan of any of them, but i'll listen to them when they come across the ipod. the vampire weekend concert was, in a word, FUN!!! i didn't realize how much i liked their music. the national was, in a word, LOUD. ouch. theirs was the music i knew the least, and i while i did enjoy the concert (good GRIEF they can rock!!!), i wished it had been just a tad bit quieter. plus it was about 12:30 at night, so i was a bit sleepy. my brightest diamond...deep breath. wow. i don't really have words for her. phenomenal. breathtaking. extraordinary. these sort of come close. i cried simply because she was SO GOOD. wow.

so here's to hoping that an amazing weekend of amazing music inspires chris and ben to great heights this week!! hear hear!

ps - you know that's NOT my belly in the first picture...right?