Graham || Four Weeks

Friday, April 29, 2016

Guy, I couldn't pick just one picture, sorry!

How is our little guy FOUR weeks old? Four weeks ago our lives changed forever and each day truly gets better.

Here are some things about Graham at four weeks:

- Loves his carseat and going on car rides
- Finally gave momma a four hour stretch last night. We have been on the two hour, round the clock feeding schedule, so I'm happy that he is finally over that...for today at least :)
- Super alert in the mornings from about 6-10am
- Goes down for a nap around 10am each day. He is still in the pack and play in our room, but he is out of sleeping in the Rock 'N Play.
- Goes to sleep between 8-9pm each night. We feed, swaddle, sing, then put him down still slightly awake. The sound machine is still blaring on ocean sound!
- Toots like a grown man
- Loves staring at the ceiling fan
- Smiles in his sleep all the time
- Only cries when he is hungry or when you take too long changing his diaper
- Not a fan of baths. This could be partically becauase Chris and I haven't yet got the hang of it either. Small, wet, squirmy babies are hard to bathe!
- Still in newborn diapers, but size 1 at night.
- Still in newborn clothes, but he is definitely putting on the pounds!
- His nicknames are: buddy boy, Graham Spam, Grammer, partnaaa (Chris), brothaaa (Chris).


Your dad and I are so blessed to call you ours. I can't believe we have had you for FOUR whole weeks! We can't imagine life without you.

You are our greatest accomplishment, buddy boy.


New Mommy Favorites

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Starting at the top left and going clockwise:

- Milk Snob Carseat and Nursing Cover: I ordered one of these the week before G was born and I love it. It is really lightweight and so cute! Chris loves it, too, because he is paranoid about germs when we are out and about. 

- Solly Baby Wrap: Every new mom has one of these. I didn't get one until my eighth month of pregnancy, but I'm glad I ordered one! You can get so much done when you strap a baby on your body :)

- Cardigans: I've never worn a cardigan more. These are perfect to wear with your nursing tank. We keep our house pretty chilly, so it is nice to have a lightweight cardigan to cover up. They also make you feel less naked when people come over to visit.

- Ju-Ju-Bee Diaper Bag Backpack: Smartest. Decision. EVER. Ladies, get a backpack as your diaper bag. Having two free hands and not having to worry about your bag falling forward when you bend over is a must. I'm in love with mine! There are so many compartments and it comes with a changing pad. Plus, it is such a cute pattern!

- Nursing tanks: These Target tanks are raved about and I agree with all the rave reviews. They are easy to snap and really comfy. I have three of them and they've been all I wear since having Graham.

- Yeti Tumbler: I know what you're thinking...why spend so much on a cup!? I always thought the same thing until I became a mom. I am constantly sucking down the water and it is SO nice to have ice cold water during the wee hours of the morning when I'm up with little man. Chris always fills my cup with ice and water before we go to bed and I am guaranteed cold water all night long. Same with coffee! No more having to reheat your coffee a million times!

What are your new mommy favorites?

Graham || Three Weeks Old

Friday, April 22, 2016

Can someone bring me a box of tissues while I sob that my buddy boy is THREE weeks old! Y'all mommas were not kidding when you said time flies. I seriously try to stare at him all day just in hopes of not missing anything.

Each day with Graham is better than the last. We are getting into somewhat of a routine. We go on family walks, play with daddy when he gets home from work, wake up at 7:00am no matter when your last feeding was (his internal alarm clock is unreal - says the tired mom), take a long nap in the afternoons, and still love eating every 2.5 to 3 hours.

He is more alert during the days and when he sleeps I just want to wake him up! We have ventured out to Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Albertsons, and the McKinney square in the last week. I time it when he has a full belly and he goes right to sleep when we get in the car.

At night he wakes up every 2.5-3 hours by grunting so loud. He doesn't really cry, but his grunts are so funny! I keep him swaddled in his sleepsack and feed him, change his diaper, and put him right back down in his Rock-N-Play.

Overall, I'm not as tired as I thought I'd be. Some days I'm more exhausted than others, but seeing him makes me forget about everything. I've managed to shower everyday and I try to get out of my pajamas by the time Chris gets home form work :)

Happy THREE weeks, Graham man!

Newborn Favorites || Weeks 1 & 2

Thursday, April 21, 2016

We haven't been parents long, but Chris and I are already figuring out Graham's favorite things. It is crazy how something so small can demand what they like and don't like. Lucky for us, G just about puts up with whatever we throw his way, but there are a few things that stand out from the crowd.

Starting from the top left and going clockwise:

- KicKee Pants Layette Gowns: These layette gowns are awesome for night time diaper changes. They are super, super soft and cute enough for G to lounge around in them all day. He is just now fitting in to newborn clothes, so these have been all he has been wearing lately. Also, they have the sleeves that you can turn so they become mittens...does that make sense? That way G doesn't scratch his face while he sleeps.

- Pampers: Can I just rave about the line that indicates a wet diaper? It is so easy to look and see instead of having to guess. Also, G has had some major poops, yet Pampers have managed to keep the mess contained. Well, that is until I change him and he decides to crap all over my hand. He is still in newborn size, but once we start getting more consistent with his changes, we are going to take everyone's recommendation and sign up for Amazon's auto ship, so we never have to run out of diapers!

- Aiden + Anais Swaddle Blankets: It is already hot here in Texas, so these lightweight swaddles are perfect for covering Graham up when he needs just a little extra layer. They also serve great as burp rags, changing mats, and nursing covers. 

- Mittens: G has some sharp nails and we've managed to save his pretty face from scratches by keeping his hands in mitts 99% of the time. We've filed his nails, but they grow back in a day, so we use the mittens as a precautionary measure :)

- The Boppy Lounger: We call this his tanning bed. Since he had jaundice, we spent the first week of his life naked by the window. Well, he was naked. Chris and I were definitely not. He would spend hours just lounging on his boppy in the sun. Now I use it each morning after I feed him. I lay him in it and he stares at the ceiling fan. It is also great as a back pillow while I'm nursing him.

- Sound Machine: Ever since his first week of life we have been sleeping with his sound machine in our room. We have it on the ocean setting and we can tell he is starting to know that when that sound comes on, it is time to go to sleep. I play it when he naps and I turn it off right when he wakes up in the morning, so he really associates it with sleep. Not to mention it helps mom and dad sleep, too!

- Rock 'N Play: This is probably our most used newborn item. G still isn't sure about sleeping flat on his back, so he has been sleeping in this at night. During his naps during the day we have been transitioning him to a flat surface, but in the middle of the night, when you're desperate for sleep, you do whatever works and this has been working. I'm hoping this week he can start sleeping in his pack 'n play so the transition to his crib isn't a shocker for him. 

- HALO Sleep Sack: The hospital put him in one of these right after his first bath. He sleeps in this and his Keke layette gown. I've stopped swaddling his arms because he was just getting pissed when I did. He has been falling asleep much better since I've let his hands free. When his hands were swaddled, he spent the first five minutes fighting to get his hands out and at that point he was really awake again.

What are/were your little one's favorites in their first weeks of life? I'm curious!

Graham's Newborn Photos

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Y'all! I am still in disbelief that this little guy is MINE! As in I get to keep him forever! Thanks to our friend Britney for capturing Graham for us. He was 11 days old when we took these pictures and I feel like he has already changed so much. We still aren't sure who he looks like, but Chris and I can both agree that he is pretty darn cute!! 

I didn't want anything too complicated with his pictures, so we went with as simple as we could. G is pretty alert in the mornings, so it was tricky for Britney to snag the sleeping ones. I feel like in some of them he is fake sleeping just because he knows he is supposed to be asleep! The yawning one is my favorite. I get teary eyed just looking at these! Enjoy!

Deer Blanket

Graham || One Week Old

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

As you can tell, most of my posts for the coming weeks will probably be baby filled. I'm sure my blog will get back to other topics, but, for now, my life is all things Graham. 

He is 19 days old today, so these are a little old. I love documenting the weeks when he is so young because he really does change a little each day! My momma heart wants time to stop!

At one week old he loves:

- staring at his momma's face

- the ocean setting on the sound machine

- getting his hair washed

- riding in the car

He doesn't like:

- having his hands and arms swaddled

- getting his diaper changed. He doesn't mind sitting his a dirty diaper, but I just can't let him do that!

- any pacifier. We've tried them all and he makes the funniest face when we try to give it to him. He literally cringes. Luckily, he has been really great without one.

Overall our little guy is really chill. When he is hungry he starts grunting. At night I don't even pull him all the way out of his sleep sack to change him and he usually stays fast asleep. He loves cuddling in the mornings and sleeping in the crook of his daddy's arm.

I can't wait to see how he changes, but at the same time, someone please stop time!

Happy Tuesday!

Graham's Nursery Reveal

Monday, April 18, 2016

I am so excited to finally reveal Graham's nursery. Better late than never!  I started out his room with one vision in mind and it ended up in a completely different direction, which I LOVE. The main thing I didn't want was a room that looked like a baby lived there. I'm hoping this room can transition with him until he gets old enough to dictate what he wants his own room to look like.

I linked all of the room sources at the bottom of the post. 

Wall Color - Repose Gray by SW
Antlers - courtesy of Chris :)

Graham's Birth Story

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hello friends! We've been over here in newborn la-la-land, just soaking up all the sweetness we can. I can't believe how fast time flies by, so I want to document things before my memory fades.

I'm always interested in other people's birth stories just because no two are alike. I knew going in that no matter what, I could not predict how things would go. My birth plan was for everyone to come out happy and healthy and for me to be in as little pain as possible.

Let's start from the beginning...

Graham was due April 8th and, as I had mentioned in my bumpdate post (two days prior to his arrival), I was still only barley dilated, but my doctor assured me I was "not going to make it to my due date."

Wednesday, March 30th was the day my kiddos took the STAAR test (our state's standardized test). For four hours I had to actively monitor the test, so I used this time as a chance to walk Graham out. About two hours into the test I started feeling mild contractions that were every 3-5 minutes apart. I decided to start timing them and, sure enough, for the remainder of the day my contractions continued to be five minutes (or less) apart.

After all the kids were done testing I let the other teachers know that I was having contractions, but I wasn't going home quite yet because they weren't painful at all. We had a doctor's appointment later that evening anyways, so I wasn't too worried. Also, I had already taken Thursday, March 31st and Friday, April 1st off just because I wanted to finish up some last minute things before G arrived, so everything was already prepared for my sub.

We go to our appointment Wednesday afternoon and things had hardly progressed. I was not even 2 centimeters dilated, but G was still extremely low. My doctor told me she was on call Friday-Sunday and that she was sure I wasn't making it to April 8th.

Thursday I slept in and vegged most of the morning. I knew he could come any day, so I was truly soaking in all the relaxing I could. I stayed in bed until 9:00am and, looking back, that was officially my last morning without a precious baby.

Right before noon, I went to the bathroom and, BAM, there was my mucus plug. Let's just say there is NO mistaking that thing. From what Google told me, losing your plug was not a sure sign of labor, so there was still no clue when I would have him. I wasn't too stressed and went about my day the way I had intended. The contractions from Wednesday had subsided overnight, so I didn't think I was going to go into labor.

Around 3:00pm I started having contractions again and this time I noticed they were slightly uncomfortable. Not painful, just different than Braxton Hicks. I timed them throughout the day, but still was in denial.

I prepped dinner and waited for Chris to get home around 6:00pm. At that point the contractions were still steady and were even more uncomfortable. I knew things needed to get a lot more painful before it was the real deal, so we just continued with our night.

We finished up dinner around 8:00pm and had been timing the contractions throughout dinner. At this point I'd been having contractions 3-5 minutes apart for over five hours, so I figured something was up. Chris was still definitely in denial :)

Something in me told me to let my mom know that she needed to come up that night. My parents live about 5 hours away and I didn't want her to miss anything if tonight was the night, so I called her and told her to come. My dad was traveling for work and I told him to just stay put until we knew for sure what was happening. My mom was already pretty much packed and ready to go, so she hit the road around 10:00pm. I felt terrible to have her drive so late at night, but she insisted she come.

After dinner things started getting more intense. The contractions were bearable, but getting worse each hour. I finally told Chris he needed to pack a bag because there was no way I was making it through the night. He, of course, was still in denial and got me some water and helped me get into bed to rest. All the times before this method to stop contractions had worked, but these contractions were not letting up!

At 11:30pm I made the call and told him we had to go in. The contractions were painful, not unbearable, but I'd been having them for hours at this point, so it was better to be safe than sorry.

We made our way to the hospital, got checked into triage, and waited for the nurse.

Around 11:50pm the nurse checked me and said I was a 2. Whomp whomp. BUT, I was having steady contractions and she was sure I was in early labor! She said I could have this baby in a few hours or days, but there was no sure way to tell. She said we could stay and I could labor at the hospital, or we could go back home (only like 7 minutes away) and I could labor there until the contractions became so intense that I couldn't walk or talk through them. She suggested I take some Tylenol and try to get some sleep, so that's the option we went with.

We got back home around 12:30am and Chris instantly went to sleep. I wanted one of us to not be delirious, so Chris happily obliged. I couldn't sleep because of the pain, so I took the Tylenol and tried to sleep on the couch.

I swear the Tylenol suggestion was a sick joke because it wasn't 30 minutes after I took it that the contractions amped up! Holy ouch! They hurt so bad I couldn't even stay lying down. I had to get up and pace around our house.

To pass time, I called my mom, who was still driving, and made sure she was awake and alert. I texted my cousin who is a nurse and was working night shift. I tried to watch TV, but I had to keep pacing around the house. Each contraction became more and more intense.

At 3:00am my mom got to our house. She came right in and rubbed my back and helped me get through the contractions.

Finally, at 4:00am, I couldn't take it any longer and I went to wake up Chris. I told him I couldn't take it anymore and that it was go time. Now, this is the funny part. He says, "Okay honey...okay. Do you think you could try to wait one more hour to just make sure it is the real thing?" Having been someone who has never had a child, there was a lot of second guessing going on. I didn't want to go in and get turned away again, but at the same time I could not deny the pain. I told him I would try, but there were no guarantees.

As I was walking out of our bedroom another contraction hit and I flipped on the lights and exclaimed, "Nope. You gotta get up! I can't take this!" Chris happily hopped up, got dressed, loaded our bags again, and off we went.
When we arrived this time we were instantly admitted and there was officially no turning back! It was 4:45am and we were officially going to become parents soon! At this point I hadn't slept in about 20 hours, so things become fuzzy.

Once we were all settled, the nurse checked me and I was 4 centimeters dilated. They asked me what I wanted to do for pain management and I think my glare said enough. They said the anesthesiologist was on his way to give another epidural, so I could get mine when he was done with that one.

At 5:50am the anesthesiologist came in and got me all fixed up. The epidural was a lot less painful than I was anticipating, which was a nice surprise. At one point, I see Chris squatting down and I know he is about to pass out. I ask him if he is okay and the nurse spots him and shouts to another nurse to come get him and get him some juice and make sure he doesn't pass out!! He does not do needles and he said he got light headed when the doctor kept explaining what he was doing on my back. It is funny because I told him he didn't have to be in there for that part, but he didn't want to leave me...and he ended up almost being the one in a bed next to me, hah!

Once I got the epidural I was able to relax and doze in and out for a few hours. There was definitely no sleeping because I could still feel the pressure of the contractions, but it was nice to not be in pain.

Around 9:00am my doctor came in and broke my water. She checked me first and said I was at a 5...then broke my water and said, "well, now you're a 7!" Instantly I felt the most intense pressure of my life. Baby boy's head was no longer cushioned by that water and it was extremely painful having him push down on my cervix/pelvis with each contraction. I'd say the time after my water broke to when I gave birth was the most painful. I was literally gripping the rails and breathing long breaths in and out. It hurt so stinkin' bad.

At one point I was still in so much pain the nurse had the anesthesiologist come back in and give me a boost of meds. That extra boost took some of the edge off, but I was still in a lot of pain. I was so exhausted and kept falling asleep in between contractions.

I realized in between one contraction that we had still not settled on a middle name, so I asked Chris to just pick one. We were stuck between Ray or Ross. Chris's family tradition is for all the boys to have R middle names. Ray is Chris's dad's middle name, his mom's dad's middle name, and his uncle's middle name, so Ray is really meaningful. Ross is Chris's middle name, so that got thrown in the mix. Chris decided on Ray and we were both so emotional knowing our little guy now had a full name.

Around 10:30am my nurse came in and said it was time to do some practice pushes. We did three sets of practicing and then all of a sudden my doctor appeared and everyone started prepping for his arrival.

Finally, after 25 minutes of pushing, Graham Ray Tucker made his way into the world at 11:15am on Friday, April 1st. I'll never forget seeing him for the first time. My heart was so full and then I looked at Chris, who was sobbing, and all the emotions hit. At this point I'd been awake for 27 hours, so I really don't remember much, but having G on my chest with my husband by my side is something indescribable.

We feel so blessed to have our boy here with us. We are so in love and appreciate all the calls, texts, and emails from everyone.

Now, back to newborn snuggles!