Archive for July, 2008

Sixth Anniversary

Sunday, July 27th, 2008
Dear Family and Friends,
We have now been married for six years!!  This year has been incredibly exciting, because we were anticipating the arrival of our baby girl!!!  Serenity was born on July 9th!  She is the sweetest, most wonderful baby!  We love our family so much!  It is a dream come true!!!  To read all about our first few weeks with Serenity, click here.  Also, you can read about her first bath and birth announcement!  We are SOO happy!  Yay!!!
A lot of our activities centered around getting ready for Serenity!  The pregnancy itself was wonderful.  Chrissie enjoyed every minute of being pregnant!  The baby was very nice to her =)  She wrote lots of articles on the pregnancy, including the announcement, an article about ultrasounds, one around week 32, and one toward the end of the pregnancy.  Click on the links if you want to read all the details!
Chrissie had a blast decorating the nursery.  We decided on a storybook theme, which means we got to get the baby lots of books!  She made paintings, built a shelf with her dad, and sewed a baby quilt with her Mom.  She also sewed several little blankets and a patchwork bunny before her sewing machine started acting up! 
Besides projects, we took lots of baby classes through our doctor’s office.  We took childbirth preparation, where we learned breathing techniques and all about what to expect at the hospital, breastfeeding, preparing for baby, cpr, and pediatrics. 
In other baby related news, we had two wonderful showers!  Jen, Kelly, and Chrissie’s mom hosted one in Oklahoma, and Tina and Ann hosted one for us in California.  We are so lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives!  We got everything we needed for the baby!  It made Chrissie so happy to get to share all of her joy about the baby with everyone she loves =)  We also celebrated our first Mother’s and Father’s Days!   
Another fun event we had this year was the Fourth Annual Epic Duels Party, which was once again a big hit!  
We also got to help throw a shower for Juan and Veronica!  They had their baby, Aidan, in March this year.  He is such a sweetheart =)  This is a big year for babies!  Chrissie’s nephew Brandon had a baby boy, named Brayden, in March as well!  Jessie and Scott are expecting a girl just a week after our baby is due, and Jack and Patricia are having a baby in November!  Brian and Linh are having a girl in September!  So much fun!!!  Brian says when we all get together it’ll be a big tea party =) 
In other news, Eric’s sister Tina finished law school and is studying like mad for the bar.  Abbey and Brent are moving back to Oklahoma.  They’re buying a house and everything!  Eric got to attend Karen and Phil’s wedding last August.  Around Chrissie’s birthday, Brian and Linh came to Cali and visited us!  Sean came to visit us as well =) In November, our friends Gavin and Jennie got married!!!!  Eric and Chrissie were both in the wedding party, so we got to go to Norman for the bachelor/bachelorette parties and for the wedding itself!  It was so wonderful to get to see them so happy!!! 
Chrissie got to do a lot of traveling this year.  She went to Oklahoma in August, in November to Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Girl’s Weekend in Chicago, back to Tulsa for Christmas, and again in March!!!!  Click on all the links if you want to see stories about all her nieces and nephews =) 
Besides baby projects, Chrissie completed a lot of other projects!  All of her nesting instincts went towards finishing her incomplete projects =)  She made quilts for her friends Aisha and Andrea, she scrapbooked all the pictures Eric had from his childhood, as well as keeping her own scrapbook current.  She also started a scrapbook for the baby!  And of course, she made lots of baby gifts, quilts for Aidan, Brian’s baby, and Jessie’s baby.  She also learned how to make tamales!!!!   Eric and Chrissie made fleece blankets for Christmas gifts.  She also tried very hard to keep the website current this year.  Mostly because she knew the baby was coming in July when she usually did the big update, and she might not have time to do it then!  She even managed to install an RSS feed… not that she’s entirely sure how it works, but if you want to subscribe to it, it will tell you when she updates the website. 
As for how we spend our free time, we still love to play games!  This was the year of Descent!  When we could tear ourselves away from the dungeon crawl, we have added three new games to our repertoire, Ten Days in Asia, Thurn and Taxis, and Marvel Superheroes.  We continue to play the old standbys Ticket to Ride, Bridge and Spades.  In online games, Eric spends a lot of time playing Dota, and he also likes Roborunner, which is an online version of Robo Rally.  Epic Duels is another favorite, he plays online and with Chrissie sometimes!  We both enjoy playing Facebook, especially Scrabulous, which is an online scrabble.  Eric loves the Heroes application.  If you’re on Facebook, and not our friend already, come find us!  Eric also got a chance to play some wii, starting at Gavin’s bachelor party, and then several of our Cali friends got them as well.  He loves Mario Striker and Tanks.  Just before Gavin got married Brian, Richard, Gavin and Eric defeated the Crystal Cup (medium level).
Eric still enjoys playing sports whenever he can.  He is in a softball league with Juan that plays on Thursdays.  When schedule/ankle permits he joins a bunch of people for Ultimate Frisbee as well.  Every month we have a fun game of softball with friends at the park.  We are up to almost 50 games played since Eric and Chrissie came to California. 
We did a lot of reading, especially baby books of course =) In novels, we have some new recommendations!  Eric and Chrissie both read and loved The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss.  It was really excellent fantasy.  Chrissie also read (mostly from picking up books in airports)  Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer, Poison Study by Maria Snyder, the Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold, and C.L. Wilson’s Lord of the Fading Lands.  All very good!!! 
We also enjoyed watching a new show, How I Met Your Mother.  It is hilarious!!!! We still don’t get tv channels, so we either rent dvds on Netflix, or watch at Jack and Patricia’s house.  Some other fun things Chrissie got from Netflix include Grey’s Anatomy, two movies with Keri Russell: Waitress and August Rush, and the Jane Austen Book Club.  We watched a few other shows together on dvd, 21 Jump Street, Pretender and West Wing.  Eric watched 24, which Brian loaned him.  Chrissie, on the other hand, could not sit still to watch that one, just a little too much drama and suspense for her! 
In work news, Eric got a promotion!  The old head I.T. guy left in December, so he has a lot more responsibilities at work.  He still likes his job =)  Chrissie got to consult with a lot of brides this year, which was so much fun!  All her brides were really sweet, and so happy with their flowers, which was just perfect! 
That is our news for this extra special year!  We hope you enjoy hearing about our lives and clicking on all the articles =)  If you’ve been reading as the year went on, the articles we added most recently are here: 
We love you all!
Chrissie, Eric and Serenity!!!!!

Father’s Day

Friday, July 25th, 2008
This article is a little late, but I wanted to post a picture of Eric with his first Father’s Day present from the baby!  He absolutely loved it!  It’s a Taggies ball.  It is soft with lots of little ribbon tags that you can hold it by, and it has a bell inside!  He immediately started playing with it, with the baby.  Since she was still in my stomach that involved bouncing it off me repeatedly =)  Now that she’s here he is very excited to get to play just the two of them!

Serenity’s First Two Weeks

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
Now that I have a minute I wanted to write some more about Serenity’s first two weeks!  The day she was born was such a wonderful, thrilling day!  My water broke around 11:30… although I wasn’t sure if it had at first =)  It was nothing like the movies!  The doctor told us to come in and get checked.  Since my water had broken, they had me stay at the hospital.  The nurse had us walk around the hospital to try and get the contractions going.  Eric paced it off, and he thinks we walked more than two miles!  The books all say childbirth is like a marathon… I just didn’t know they meant literally.  We paced up a hallway that had a statue of a hippopotamus in it… which I found a little ironic for the maternity ward.  After about three hours of walking, they gave me pitocin to move things along more quickly.  The nurses and doctors were just so helpful!  Especially John, the nurse we had for the busiest part of labor.  He helped us find different positions to try and help things along, and just explained everything very well and made it all go very smoothly.  After she was here he told us it was very nice to see a couple that were so happy and loving through the whole birth. The doctor came when I was pushing and she said it was crazy I was still able to smile (between pushes though =)  I pushed for just about an hour and then she was born!!  She was born at 10:21 am, 7 pounds 10 ounces and 20 inches long.  And she had hair!!  I really didn’t think she would!  I got to hold her right away, and Eric cut the cord.  After a little while they took her and wiped her off a bit, did the whole Apgar check and cleaned me up a bit, although I was really just watching her and not paying attention to anything else.  Then I got to try and nurse her!  Those were the two things I wanted the most, to get to hold her and nurse as soon as possible.  And I wanted to avoid the epidural, so everything was just perfect.  She was so nice to me! =)  Eric is still telling me how proud he is of how I did.  He was really amazing, so supportive and helpful!  He wrote in the baby journal “Working with Chrissie during labor was wonderful.  I realize that comparatively I had a bit part to play, but it felt like we were working through everything together.  She was very responsive to any suggestions I made (as long as it wasn’t in the middle of a contraction.)” He is so in love with our daughter =) It is such a joy to have our family!  I am SO happy!!!  
After we had some time to bond, they took Serenity to the nursery.  Eric went with her, which I asked him to always do when she left me =)  He was happy to!  Mom left to call a bunch of people and I got moved to our new room!  Shortly after Eric and Serenity got back to the room, he was holding her and said he thought we should name her so that he could tell people her name when he did the next round of calls.  So he made me a deal.  He said he’d give me the baby back after she had a name.  So I quickly came up with a way to decide.  We each listed our three favorite names from the list.  We had two that overlapped, so we chose between those.  I just kept repeating them, and it seemed like a little light went on at Serenity.  She just looked like a Serenity!  We might call her Sera for short… but for now we call her Serenity all the time =)  She is so beautiful!  I love her little pink lips, tiny fingers, sweet soft eyebrows and lashes… ok, I love just everything about her =)
At the hospital we had so many wonderful visitors!!!    I’m so glad Mom got to be here in time to see the baby’s birth.  Serenity picked just the perfect day!  (the only day, by the way, that no one guessed in the baby poll!)  After we were in the room, Ann and Tina came to see us.  Then all our friends came to see her!  Even baby Aidan =) 
That first night she was a little fussy from one to five am… although she may have had an unchanged diaper.  Eric spent the whole time dancing around the room with her, singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat.  It was her favorite song =) She was perfectly snuggly during my shift =) 
Our first day home was so eventful!!! I was very worried after the doctor came that they wouldn’t let Serenity come home with us!  She was a little jaundiced, so Dr. Kernoff ordered a blood test to see if it was improving.  We had to give her a bottle of formula in the hopes that the extra fluids would do the trick, since she wasn’t getting much from me since I just had colostrum and we were having issues with breastfeeding.  It worked!  She was improving already, so she got to come home with us!  I was soooo relieved.  We packed up our stuff and left the hospital!
When we got home, it was so exciting!  Mom was waiting for us, and we introduced Serenity to her new home!  After Eric brought everything in from the car, it was time to feed the baby, and we got our second great experience of the day.  She latched right away and sucked strongly for the second time!!!  Eric was so excited and proud he sounded choked up =)  So far we’ve had to wake her for every single feeding…
I was bustling around, picking up, and Eric makes me pause by the photo in our room of his hand on my belly.  He put his hand on my tummy, and said “You are so beautiful.  I love our family.”  =)  We are so happy!
Our first week was wonderful.  It was very helpful to have Mom here while we started figuring things out.  She fixed us oatmeal for breakfast a lot!  (it’s my favorite thing that I just can’t make myself!)  We took Serenity for a stroller ride to Safeway a couple of times =)  Serenity also loves her swing, and she’s already interested in the mobile in her bed!!  It’s fun to watch her look at the mobile and coo =)  
 Also while Mom was here, we took Serenity on her first trip to the fabric store =)  And Mom and I finished a quilt for my niece Raegan!  ImageImageImage
We’ve gotten into a pretty good routine.  At the moment she pretty much eats and sleeps like she’s supposed to!  I end up napping with her in my wonderful recliner for a little while each night.  It’s very cuddly and fun!  She is usually a very calm and snuggly baby =)  Eric has been giving her a bottle at one nighttime feeding so I get four hours of sleep in a row most nights. 
Eric is very excited by tummy time!  At our first doctor visit he asked when we could start giving her tummy time.  She said when she was really awake we could do it, but she seemed very surprised that he’d want to make such a tiny baby do tummy time.  She seems to be fine with tummy time though, and she does work on picking up her head!!
She lost her umbilical cord when she was eleven days old!  There’s still a little scab but it’s mostly healed =)  So soon she’ll get her first tub bath!
Eric has gone back to work now.  The first day he came home he walked right over to us and claimed his turn with the baby.  He missed her so much! 
The first two weeks really flew by!!!  Serenity is such a sweet, calm baby at the moment =)  Everything is just wonderful!