Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sick Baby=Tired Mommy (and Daddy) :(



Well, it's official, our baby has her first cold :(

I had a feeling it was gonna happen when her big bro coughed all over her last week shortly after delivery....but I was hoping her good ol' meal supply would keep her hyped up on antibodies to fight it off....no such luck :(

Really, she's ok, but she has hardly slept the last two days and while she's usually such a happy, quiet, restful baby she's traded that for major crankines and some nasty raspy breathing. Truly I feel bad for my poor Ashley girl...she is not herself at all. And there have been some major moments of insanity in our home the last two days where I just honestly had to let her scream her head off cuz nothing but nursing made her feel better (and I simply cannot nurse her 24/7).

Anyway...so that's been our "back to reality w/o Nina and Pops/Daddy" here kind of lifestyle the last two days. Of course this all happens when I have no help on the homefront anymore and I despirately need a nap. I tried to get my first post-delivery cat nap yesterday but Ashley was so congested and while I can usually sleep with her on my chest she was so agitated that not even that worked. So, needless to say we are all exhausted. Kev sat up last night with our crying girl and then I took my turn. My post-delivery energy burst has gone down the tubes and I am just wiped out. I am praying for our sweet girl to feel better soon cuz you should take a look at our house and the filth and the amount of laundry that needs to be done. I thought I was behind with a family of 5, but adding a poopy baby into the mix...well, it's a good thing she has SO many clothes...cuz I have not done laundry in a week! We had our first major poop blow-out today too...she soaked through 3 layers of her clothes and 2 of mine before I noticed......good stuff!

So, yes, it's been stellar times over here at the Steg home. I'm not complaining...really, I'm not, but I don't want any of you thinking I'm super mom so I thought I'd lay it all on the line today :) Thank the good Lord that we have so many wonderful friends bringing us meals this week and next...that is a huge labor of love for us as dinner time is usually so chaotic I can hardly even think much less cook....so we appreciate all you wonderful friends out there showering us with food and goodies! Reality has hit big time and we are just trying to keep our heads up....so far we're surviving, but we're defintitely missing the helping hands of Nina and Pops....and I'm thinking I might need to give into my stubborness and call on some of our wonderful friends/neighbors for back-up.

On a lighter/happier note...Hailey will be gracing the Nutcracker stage yet again this year as an angel in blue. We found out yesterday. While she's not thrilled she has to wear that big blue wig again I think it's great she gets to share in the experience once more....so Congrats to our sweet Angel Hailey! And I have to add a Shelby "funny" into the mix...today Shelby asked if she could go outside and play...to which I said "not until daddy is home and can help watch her"....to which she replied "well, God can watch me...he always watches me". I had a hard time replying to that one :) Leave it up to Shelby to come up with that solution...obviously she's gotta be creative these days to have some fun! :) Anyway....so that's life in Steg-land. Never a dull moment....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

1 Week Already?






Is it really true that I have been a mama of 4 for one week already?? I have to admit that it feels like a month or two ago that I gave birth and it honestly feels like Ashley has been a part of our family for much longer than that....

But reality is that she's only been around for 7 days....and I can't even put into words how much I love this little girl. She truly makes our home complete and I am thankful every day for the miracle of this sweet new daughter in our lives. Truly, life cannot get better than this for our family.

I was hoping that with her 1 week "anniversary" here already that I'd have some pics to share, but alas our weekend was quite a bit busier than we thought it would be and we have nothing to show for it (ok, so I just felt guilty and added a few pics above). We had a few visitors come and go (good to see you, Nina and Poppy S., Great-Grandpa M. and Aunt Anne and Uncle Brian), Ashley attended her first adult dinner party last night where she enjoyed being doted on by all the ladies (and some guys too!) :)...and today she even went to church for the first time (and slept the whole time!)...and then she continued to sleep through her first meal out (and we were glad to spend some time with our fav. Steg family in town...Kev's aunt and uncle and 3 cousins)...Ashley even took her first shopping trip out (to Walmart, Sam's and Kroger and again slept the whole time)...so it was a full, full weekend and we are exhausted. Mostly exhausted cuz Ashley decided to not sleep so well last night (this was after her stellar sleeping spree on Friday night where she only got up once! I knew that was too good to be true!).

But, we really can't complain...Ashley is a doll baby and really is so much like her big sis Hailey (very laid back) and I hate to even admit this, but I think we might have our first NON spitting/NON reflux child! Shhhh....don't tell Ashley we said that cuz I hate to jinx it...but so far all our kids have been major upchuckers...you know...the projectile kind...but so far Ashley hardly spits at all....hurrah for that! AND.....this is BIG....she takes a PACIFIER!!! A BIG HURRAH for that! Only Hailey took one and she was the one who didn't really need one....we prayed for Shelby to take one and she never would! So, we feel pretty blessed...a paci-taking-non-puking-baby is a BIG thing!

Anyway...so that's life in our house as of this weekend...and tomorrow reality hits as Nina and Pops go back to FL and daddy goes back to work and mommy is left alone with to tend to the flock again :) Should be good times! And hopefully in our "free" time this week daddy Kev can put some pics up for the viewing public! Thanks for your patience, friends! Happy 1-week birthday, my dear Ashley Claire....mommy is so glad you've graced us with your presence cuz honestly a part of me thought I'd still be pg now!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Full House...A Full Heart :)


Well, it's been a good day...and I am just feeling very thankful tonight...thankful for so many things, but especially the fact that I have such a wonderful, sweet family. Just a week ago I was waiting...wondering when our new girl would join our family...thinking that day might never come...and just like that she was here...and it's like she's been here all along....it's just a miracle like no other...I am daily just thankful for the gift of life...for my children, my husband, my family, my friends.....

So, it's been almost a week of Ashley in our home...a tiresome, but wonderful week....

Today we made a quick jaunt to the peds office. She had to have a 48 hour weight check and it was more of an actual appt than just a sitting on the scale. Our girl is lighter now than in-utero, but still a hefty 9lbs, 4oz...which is no surprise as most babies lose weight the first week and actually the day we left the hospital she was 9, 3 already....but I have no doubt she'll be in the 10lb range soon with her vigorous eating skills...boy, does our girl LOVE to eat. She even tries to eat the collar off daddy's shirt or suck on his forehead (yes, he likes to tease her!). The girl also has some super poop shooting skills, which she showed off today :) We have such talented babies, don't we?! But, aside from eating and pooping, Ashley is looking healthy and happy. She is slightly jaundiced, but actually of all our kids I think she is the least bit yellow-looking. They did a cool new bili test on her too (one that reads her levels through her forehead with a scanner...very high tech and sure beats a poke on the foot!) Anyway...so it was a fun morning for our girl. She cried her eyes out for quite a bit, but then settled down and even let mommy and daddy take her out to a yummy breakfast...what a treat! :) It's been so nice having Nina and Pops here to help with the other kiddos so we can have more freedom to do stuff like "a breakfast date" or just run to the store w/o 4 kids. We're gonna miss them come Monday! And I'm gonna be missing my hubby too...it's been nice to have him home all week! He and my dad even did some basement work, installed a new dishwasher (go figure that ours bit the dust this week!)...so lots has been accomplished this week...

So, I just wanted to put my heart out there and say how thankful I am again today. God has been so good to our little (now big) family and sometimes I just have to pinch myself that I am where I am. I might be exhausted, but I wouldn't want to be any other place in my life....

With that I'll bid you all a great weekend. Hopefully Kev can find the time this weekend to help me put some of our pics up on a website to view. I'll let you know if that happens. And thanks to those of you who wrote on our new girl's hospital website. We will cherish what you wrote always. For those of you who want to still write, the link is the previous post. We'd love to remember all our friends and family who were thinking of us when Ashley arrived! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Our Pretty New Girl :)

Well, I have more pics than this to post, but Kev's gonna try to put them in an album and then you can look at them that way (i.e. there are like 500 and there is no way my blog will allow that mass quantity! :)...nor do I think you all want to look at that many newborn pics :))

But, here is the link to Ashley's hospital pic and webpage. She (and mama) would truly love it if any of you would leave her a note on the hospital page cuz it's something I have always copied and kept in baby scrapbooks so our kids could remember all the special people who were thinking of them the day/week they were born. Let me know if you have any trouble on the site...I posted a practice comment just to see if it worked and it seemed easy enough....



http://our365.com/newbornportraits/babydetail.aspx?birthid=32f5c6f9-40bc-4c7d-b3e1-9631fba7c123&babyid=29479b71-37ca-45e4-993a-7784b14d4b70



I just love this hospital pic though...you never know what you're gonna get with a newborn baby and the funny faces they make, but Ashley was a photogenic pro and looks like a little sweetheart (or so her mama thinks :)). This was day 2 of trying to get her pic...day one went downhill fast and she ended up throwing a huge fit not suitable for picture-taking. I was so thankful she cooperated this day :)

More pics to come....

More Details (L&D and all that jazz :))

Well, since it's been a few days and I'm still delinquint in the picture area I thought I'd jot down a few details about my labor and delivery (mostly for myself to remember in the years to come, but I know I like to read about that kind of stuff...so this if for you ladies (or men :)) out there that enjoy all the "juicy" details too! :)). I truly have had to admit my limitations this week as we've been back in the "swing of things"...having a newborn and 3 other busy kids (plus the lack of sleep, back pain and half of our household with colds) have all really put a damper in my blogging/emailing/general functioning abilities. But, I didn't have high expectations as far as that goes, so I guess that's good.....but I do promise to post some new pics as soon as daddy Kev can put them on a website or at least get them on our computer....cuz I truly can't wait to show off more photos of our newest beautiful girl...the ones we already posted truly don't do her justice...she's as pretty as they come!

Anyway...so before I forget and without furter ado I thought I'd jot down my whole "labor of love" story from this weekend :) My dear, sweet hubby tried to keep all the info up-to-date on a notepad even though he was as exhausted as I was that night....and we had the sweetest L&D nurse (Karen) who actually printed out my contractions/baby heart-rate chart and wrote down all the details of my dilation, etc (complete with girly scrapbook stickers). How awesome is that!? I so appreciated that in the midst of the blurriness of that night as now I'm able to really sit and look at the details and remince about what a miracle it all was.....

So, if you read my blog that early Sunday morning you know we headed to the hospital around 2am. My contractions had been coming on and off that whole Saturday before. I tried to keep moving even through the pain and exhaustion cuz I really had a feeling "this was it" and didn't want it all to stop and have to be induced. And I guess that last minutes shopping spree at the mall with Nina and the jaunt to the park with the kids that evening must have helped cuz by 10pm my contractions were picking up in consistency and getting much stronger (5-10 minutes apart and 60-90 seconds long). Still manageable, but definitely real. Kev started to time them about that time and I think he knew this was IT too cuz he decided to go to bed early and get "some" rest. I think he got an hour and by midnight I was really uncomfortable and I had to wake him up...I'm sorry, but it's sooooo hard for a laboring woman to keep track of her own contractions as far as timing/duration go....cuz at times it was all I could do not to crawl out of my own skin screaming and waking up the whole neighborhood! :) A little before 2am we put a call into the doc's office. She called right back and I was slightly annoyed that she felt like she had to talk to me instead of Kev....I wasn't really in a place to be gabbing and giving details. And what kind of question is "so, what's going on?" I think those were her words when I got on the phone. Isn't that a no-brainer question for an almost 41 week pg lady! Anyway...so we were "ok'd" to go the hospital and we threw all our stuff in the car and off we went saying a quick goodbye to Nina who was just going off to bed herself...

Honestly my contractions were not horrible at this point. I remember Dylan's being much worse, but I also remember how sporadic his were and how far along I was once I got to the hospital...and I didn't want to take any chance as far as not getting the epidural....that was top priority! So, I was admitted at 2:30am and when they checked me I was 4-5cm/100% effaced/-1 station. Not surprising at all since I had been 3cm that whole week. I got lucky at this point cuz the anethesiologist was right outside my door and if I wanted an epidural I had to do it NOW! I didn't need to be pursuaded and in he came! YAY! Honestly I had had some passing thoughts of trying to do "au natural" labor....but I had two good reasons for NOT going with that option....first was the pain (duh!)...not the pain of labor, but the pain of the birth (I always tear or have episiotomies and I didn't want to feel that kind of pain....I think I could have stood the whole contraction thing, but the cutting and pushing a watermelon out of me...that was not something I wanted to feel!)...plus I was really exhausted having this be another "night" delivery...and Kev was semi-equally tired and I wanted us both to get some rest or at least for him not to have to hear me in sheer agony for hours.....thus, the epidural was my new best friend that night at about 3am :)

Ok, so the epidural could have it's own blog post, but I won't bore you with ALL those details! I'll just say that it didn't work right away and only worked on half my body for half the time. Ugh! Actually, it's sorta funny (and sorta not) but the doc/anesthesiologist and I had joked beforehand about how it only half works for some people and then lo and behold that very thing ended up happening to me. Not what I intended. The right side of my body was nice and comfy, but the left side was feeling everything and feeling it for the right side too (or so it felt). I could feel every contraction for about 2 hours after the epidural went in. I didn't complain for awhile, but honestly if you pay to have an epidural and go throught the pain in your back of getting it in you, you may as well have it work....so after a couple hours the nurse propped me on my left side and gave me a few boluses of extra epidural fluid and an hour or so after that it all seemed to numb right up (thank goodness!!!). Cuz that's probably when the horrible last phase of labor was setting in.....

Anyway....so by that time I was sitting pretty with my numb body and feeling no pain. I was unfortunately feeling very nauseous and shaking like a leaf. I think both were side effects of the epidural though I know labor can do that to you too. So, needless to say I puked the last part of labor, which wasn't much fun and I was truly trembling from head to foot...also not fun. But, at least I was doing both in very little pain! :) I even got a few nods of sleep in amidst the puking and shakes...Kev tried too, but sleeping on those hospital sofas isn't very conducent to a comfortable rest. I thought my doc would come in and break my water shortly after my 3am epidural, but she must have dozed off to sleep herself cuz by 7am I was still laboring and still pg. I think my mom called about this time hoping we'd had the baby....I think Kev jokingly told her we had and it was a boy :) (he's so mean!). Anyway....finally my OB came in at 7:15am to break my water only to find it had already broken in the 4 hours she was sleeping! She wanted to know when it had happened and I kinda glared at her like, "how do I know...I can't feel anything down there!". But, I'm guessing it happened one of the times I was puking or shaking! But, that was the first time my water has broken on it's own...usually I have a bulging bag at 10cm. Thankfully the water was clear and I was 8cm dilated/100% effaced/0 station....and an hour later at 8:20am I was at 10cm (and told there was a "very hairy baby head" sitting right there ready to come out!). And you all know she was born at 8:30 so things went VERY fast at this point!

Actually the doc wasn't even in the room and I was feeling pressure (this was at 8:20) and then I felt the horrible urge to puke and the nurse got really nervous. She said something about how she'd had women "vomit babies" out and of course that made me feel so great...but I could not control the urge to puke and did so right then...but luckily the doc came in at that point so if she "fell out of me" it would have been ok. With that I pushed once and the head was out and then again and SHE was out! YAY!!! I don't think I've ever had the fast of a delivery (as far as the pushing went...I think the actual labor part was longer than Dylan's by an hour or two...and instead of an episiotomy like with my last 3 I had a 2nd degree laceration...not sure if that's better or worse, but when you push sumo-sized babies out what do you expect?!?)....but out our new baby daughter came at 8:30am on Sunday, September 21st 2008! What a glorious moment that was. She was absolutely beautiful (which, honestly, I knew she would be...but I think all us mamas worry about having "ugly babies", so it put a smile on my face to see she was as gorgeous as her big sisters!)....she had a head full of dark hair...very similar to Hailey's wild dark mane when she was born...and she had the fullest and plumpest little face with this sweetest little mouth (also like Hailey's). She really was/is the spitting image of Hailey.....but then there was her size. I think the doc said something about how big she was when she came out, and she said she'd be in the 9lb range, but none of us thought she'd be trying to outdo her brother in that area....but lo and behold when they put her on the scale she was just a half ounce smaller than him! We were all shocked.....another 9lb, 15oz baby who also was 22.5 inches tall (exactly like Dylan was!)...very coincidental. The scale actually weighed Ashley at 9, 14.1, but somehow the computer rounded that up so we ended up with 9, 15? Weird.

And just like that we had a new daughter....as beautiful as the rest of our kiddos and perfect in every way (Apgars 8 & 9). The feelings of that whole morning are more than I can put into words. To see your 4th baby born is like seeing your 1st...it's still such a miracle and still so emotional...especially when your 4th looks like your 1st (and honestly I'd do it all over again if I could...I love the whole excitement surrounded births!). It has all brought back so many memories. I feel blessed to the core by our new sweet daughter. Ashley was her name right away, but as far as middle name...well, that took a couple hours (even though I thought it was decided)....finally Kev let me pick Claire :) I have always loved that name since Dylan's birth....and so it was/is......we have a new daughter, Ashley Claire. And honestly, it's like she's been here all along. She fits in perfectly. All the kids adore her. Hailey, of course, is like a second mom...so gentle with her and I'm sure they'll have an amazing bond. I know if I need a bathroom run or a quick break Hailey can watch Ashley and my heart won't worry. The younger sibs on the otherhand...sometimes they love Ashley a little too much. They mean well, but Dylan just doesn't grasp the concept of carefulness and he still runs/races cars/throws balls around her like she's a baby doll on the ground. But, he is so darn sweet every day as he hops onto our couch and says "hold my baby?" He really does love "his baby" and he actually says her name quite well "Ashererly" :) And Shelby...she is what I call "the baby hog". If she had a choice she'd hold her lil' sister every waking minute of the day. And she is there at a moment's notice if I need a diaper or a pacifier. She is definitely into her sister! But, she too can have her moments of fiestiness around the baby....so all these things I have to watch....especially when I'm on my own again next week....

But, for now we are adjusting to the life of 6 in the Steg household. It's not always easy...the first night was semi-sleepless. She had slept all day and wanted to eat/fuss all night. Kev was especially exhausted...I actually felt more rested than I did in the hospital. Last night Ashley slept almost the entire night...unfortunately for me my milk came in and since she didn't eat much I felt like I was sleeping with two huge rocks on my front side :( Not great timing, but I think at least daddy Kev slept better? My back is feeling better as long as I don't lift much and keep popping the tylenol. And Ashley...she is truly just the sweetest thing. She had a sorta fussy day yesterday, but I fear she has a slight cold due to me, Nina and Big Bro all being sick around her birth....so I'm hoping that was the reason for the crying yesterday. Today she has been sleeping since 5am (6 hours ago)...and doing so very peacefully in Poppi's arms :)

So, things are good. It's definitely an adjustment having a newborn again and also having 3 kids to care for (not exactly like the lazy days of just having Hailey to care for), but Nina and Poppy are helping and so many others have offered their support and help. We can't thank you all enough....to all of those who have visited (and will visit! :))...to all the emails (which I have yet to read, but can't wait!), to all the blog comments, and all the gifts and flowers and phonecalls. Truly...it's so wonderful to be wrapped in love at this time. I've been super emotional the last couple days (wonder why?!), so knowing I am thought of and prayed for is near and dear to my heart. We feel so blessed in so many ways....not only by our sweet new daughter, but by all of you who support us and share in our joy.....thank you!!!

Well, I know that was an eye-ful to read and I expect most of you didn't or skimmed it....but I just wanted to jot down my thoughts and such while they were semi-fresh in my brain. I promise to post some more pics by this weekend! And I hope to show off Ashley's darling hospital pic today if I can just figure out how to post the link! Love you all and thanks again for all the support!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We are home!

Well, Lil' Miss Ashley is resting peacefully now in the arms of her mama in her first night at home....

I can't even tell you how surreal the last few days have been for me. I have just a mound of emotions running through me and honestly I just don't have an ounce of energy within me to tell you even a couple of those thoughts. Mostly I just feel blessed...just thankful to the core for our sweet new daughter and how perfect and wonderful she is. I have to say if I close my eyes and ignore the chaos of the 3 kids we already have, Ashley is almost like dejavu for me...she truly is a mini Hailey. She looks exactly like her as a baby (though almost 3 lbs heavier!)...and she mostly has the temperment of her too. She is usually very laid back and a just "go with the flow" baby....I say mostly cuz when she's mad or upset she is VERY mad and upset...and she lets us know big time (we call this the Shelby trait :))....she had one of those moments yesterday and one today. But, if it only occurs once or twice daily then we can handle it! And she's like her big bro in the hefty department :) Just a beautiful, big girl. Not that small, normal babies are bad, but it's so fun to have roly, poly ones with big cheeks :) So, I guess what I'm saying is Ashley is her own little person...with her own sweet, yet fiesty personality :) She really is such a good baby and sleeps mostly like a pro unless she's in close vacinity to mommy and smells me :) Then she's licking her chops and wanting food always....but honestly, I don't mind. I love cuddling with her and there is truly nothing like a newborn baby in my arms again...and it's almost like I have to pinch myself to realize that she is hear and not inside my big belly anymore. After all this time of waiting and wondering what she'd look like and be like...to have her here living and breathing and part of our family...it's just too much to put into words. How very blessed we feel.....to have our family complete.

So, things are going well...the last couple days of hospital stay have been a complete blurr. I don't think we've ever had that many visitors and it was truly just wonderful to feel wrapped in love and support from our amazing friends and family. There was very little down time, but it was worth it to have our loved ones share in this event with us. Truly...we have an amazing support system. I am admittedly very exhausted. Honestly I've never felt this tired post-delivery (usually I have this weird extra energy afterwards)....and I know I really need to take advantage of the next few days when my parents and Kev are all home...cuz come Monday I am on my own again with all the kiddos.

I plan to blog about my whole labor/delivery later this week, but honestly it went great....not quite as fast as Dylan's, but very similar and thank the good Lord for my epidural (and that I even got one and it that if finally worked...long story)...it made everything much more manageable and pleasant. But, more about that later.......I will say that I am having some terrible back pain today and have had a hard time walking and even getting up from a sitting position. I'm hobbling around like a 90 year old woman :) So, I am praying that gets better soon as I can't care for all the kids when I can hardly pick up my 10lb newborn....but other than that I am feeling fine and the kids are just loving their new sister. I'll have to make a blog post all about that one too...but let's just say there is usually fighting over who gets to the hold the new sister....and Shelby seems to win out most of the time (big surprise that she is very persistent). Dylan calls Ashley "my baby" and even he loves to hold her and poke at her and point out all her body parts. And the big bro can't seem to dole out enough kisses...truly he loves to "love on her"...it's really sweet and I love that our new girl has a big brother to watch over her. Hailey, of course, is the perfect helper and she just gave the first bath mostly by herself. She is a pro and Ashley just loves to gaze at her and when she's upset it's Hailey that can calm her down.

I am just feeling so blessed tonight by my wonderful and beautiful 4 children. Life could not be better than this...

Anyway...I could go on and on if I had gotten some sleep in the last 3 days, but I haven't gotten much so I am off to bed. We'll see how our first night at home goes....

Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments and emails (I have yet to even get on to read the emails yet...but will do that tomorrow)....and for all the phonecalls and gifts and flowers and just simplye the love and prayers and support....truly...I was overwhelmed with gratefulness to know so many people were thinking of us....we feel so incredibly blessed by you all and by our lil' family of 6 :)

So, until tomorrow or later this week when I have time and energy (and pics to share...don't worry, we have hundreds!)....I bid you all a fond good night :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Introducting our Newest Daughter...



Ashley Claire!

Yep, she finally arrived this morning at 8:30a.m.....

And, yep, she was sumo size and almost the exact same size as her big bro....9lbs, 15oz and 22.5 inches...ouch!

Labor actually went great (thanks to my super duper epidural and I think I only pushed two times and out she popped!)....

She's as beautiful as her big sisters and actually is the spitting image of her big sis, Hailey (Hailey actually proclaimed when she saw her that she was her "mini-me" :))....but as you can see from the pics she has a headful of dark, thick hair (like all our kids have as newborns...but especially like Hailey had)...and she's just precious....so far she LOVES to eat and if she's not latched on to me she's chewing on her blanket or her fist or her fingers or anything near her...and she's a super pooper too (Nina got to change a big one already!).....

Anyway...I could go into lots more detail about how wonderful it is that she is FINALLY here and how beautiful and perfect she is, but I haven't slept in what seems like days and I am plum tuckered out! So, I apologize to any of you who are reading this before we've gotten a chance to call you...we've been very busy with the siblings here...and I am off to take a nap now.....but be rest-assured there will be more details and pics to come! Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support....we are so in love with our new baby girl and our family of 6...God is good and his blessings overflow for our lil' Steg family! :)

It's Time! :) :) :) :)

Well, we're off to the hospital!!!! YAY!

Today looks to be THE day we get to meet our new daughter!

Been having much harder contractions since midnight and now they are about 5 minutes apart and lasting 90 seconds...the doc says "come on in!" :)

So, off we go.....

Hopefully we have good news to share later this morning.....

Off to kiss my sleeping kiddos and waddle one last time to the car....bye bye big belly and hello baby! :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Still contracting...

but still at home :(

The contractions have been pretty strong all day, but very sporadic....and at about 7pm they really increased in pain level and in regularity....they are now anywhere from 5-10 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds or so....this is a total guess as I'm not a big "let's time the contractions" type of person :) But, I think Kev is keeping an eye on his watch now that I've been having to stop what I'm doing to get through the contractions (i.e. I'm noticeably in pain)....

So...the day has gone by and it looks like tomorrow "might" be the day! At least that's what we're hoping and what I'm guessing. I have been just plum tuckered out today....had to take a nap at like 11am and although I was semi-contracting through the whole thing it felt great to lay down for a bit. Then my mom and I took a nice shopping spree at the mall and picked up some cute baby things (nothing like shopping to get those contractions going :))...then we came home to a nice cooked meal made by Kev...and then we took S&D to a park nearby....so, it's been a full day of just trying to keep busy to help move things along....

So.....maybe this blog will read "we're off to the hospital"...soon....stay tuned! A Sept. 21st baby would be great! I think we're all ready to meet this new girl of ours and hopefully she's ready to meet us! Thanks for all the well wishes, friends....I'll keep ya' posted as long as the pain isn't too bad! :)

Contractions?

Well, since about 8am this morning I've been having some much stronger contractions....(the time is sorta funny cuz Kev said last night that 8am this morning would be a good time to go into labor...maybe this new daughter is listening to her daddy?!)

Not sure if these contractions are gonna lead to anything and in all honestly I'm not holding my breath...but here's to hoping! These are definitely above the "hick" category and actually very low in my uterus and back (i.e. painful!) though not consistent...if I had to make an educated guess I'd say I'm gonna have a baby today or tomorrow....but it's been a couple years since I've done this labor thing and this baby has already thrown me for a loop on many occasions so I make no promises :) But, today would be a great day to meet the new Steg girl...FINALLY! :)

For now Nina has taken the girls off to Hailey's ballet class and Kev and I (and the lil' guy) are just lingering around the house in hopes that something happens today :) I'll keep ya' posted if anything "productive" occurs as far as pain and a hospital run!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Stubborn Baby!

Well, nothing new to report today...this baby girl is still just snuggled in my uterus for life it seems and if anything she is just teaching us all the wonderful art of patience :)

Having lots of contractions on and off so my motto for today is "tomorrow she'll be here!"....we'll see if that holds true! For some reason the 20th has been sticking in my mind all week. A baby tomorrow would be great as our schedule could definitely fit a new baby in it this weekend :) So, we'll see if she has the same idea in mind or if her stubborness will hold out til the induction on Monday (I pray not!)...

But, for now I'm still just trucking along feeling like a monstrous water balloon ready to burst at any moment :) If it were just that easy....

Wish I had more to say about the jumbled mess of emotions I'm feeling...but honestly I'm just ready...ready to meet this girl and see her sweet face and ready to have her in my arms not my belly....the time is here...so I hope she agrees and comes out to meet us soon.....I'll keep ya' posted!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Big bellies are exhausting!

Yes, I'm still here, still pg...nothing new, same ol' same ol' :)

Not gonna post a big ol' post today cuz honestly it's just taking all I have right now to cart this belly of mine around. I'm not sure why my energy level went down the toilet, but it has and I am just dragging today. I forced myself to take a "nice", long walk down the trail with Nina and the lil' kiddos...but that, of course, did nothing but make me more tired. I think I am just destined to be pregnant forever. I have no clue why this baby thinks my uterus is so comfy, but she does...and I think I just need to realize that she is never coming out!

So, as you can see I'm in a state of pure tiredness today and nothing is changing that. As we like to say every day in the Steg house "maybe tonight will be THE night"...but I'm not holding my breath! So, here's to being 3 days overdue (this has been my limit as far as pregnancy goes...Dylan was born 3 days late--Shelby was 1 day late--#4 is holding out to win the lateness prize, apparently!)...yippee whohoo! :( :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Way too comfortable...

A few final belly pics to pass the time...above is me on Monday (due date)...looking large and in charge! Below is me 4 weeks ago...
And I'm totally not a fan of bare belly pics (at least of myself!)...but we tried to take a few on my due date since I'll never be sporting a belly this big again! :) I made it black and white cuz I'm really not too comfortable showing all that skin! :) Hailey was so sweet though...laying her head on my belly and Dylan was kissing it over and over again...Shelby just thought the whole idea was craziness, but she cooperated for the candy bribe that was being given :)

...and, no, I'm not talking about myself! :)

I've decided that this baby girl has just made herself a home for life in my uterus....and I might just be pg forever! Ok, so I know "all good things must come to an end" at some point....but at this point in time I'm feeling it's gonna be awhile. Still praying I'll have this baby in my arms before the Monday induction...and I feel in my heart I will, but part of me is just feeling like I've been pregnant for eternity and will continue to be that way....

Not really complaining though...my comfort level is a-ok this week. Maybe it's the nice cooler weather or the the fact that I can breathe easier since this baby has dropped even more...or maybe it's just the knowledge that the end is really in sight and in a week we should actually be home from the hospital and just enjoying our family of 6 with Nina and Pops here too!

It's a little weird to think that I actually could have a baby in my arms right now (or still be in horrible labor!) if I'd gone through with the induction early this morning. But, I feel very at peace with that decision! I really just didn't think my body or this baby was ready...and I really am ok being a few days overdue (thought I'm all about going into labor soon too!) So, yes, I am now 2 days past my "EDD" (estimated due date)...and I'm sorry to those of you out there who made baby arrival date guesses that have long since passed (I really tried to have this baby out by this morning, Candy, I was rooting for you to win...and you too, Jill...I liked your guess of a 9lb, 14oz baby at 9:14 on 9/14)...but I guess none of that was meant to be....and actually I just went back and checked and there is only a handful of people who guessed I would be later than this! So, here's to you guys winning! Maybe Sis Candy should make another guess since she already made two?! :) And, mom, I'm all about your guess...if I jump up and down right now maybe we can deliver this baby at home in 30 minutes and you can win! Sound fun?! :)

Anyway...we're still in waiting mode...no contractions really...just hicks here and there...and I've just been going about life in the normal way....shopping with Nina, getting my sister-in-law's shower invites all made (yay, they're done!), getting the house clean (Nina and I went on a rampage yesterday...thanks, Mom!) :)...so pretty much life around here is just the normal, boring stuff. Just trying to stay busy and keep my mind off labor (or lack of). I opted out of running that marathon I was tempted to run yesterday, but I've been on my feet as much as possible and so far this baby is just not amused or at all enthused about entering this world. So, there she sits in my big ol' belly and here I sit just waiting....such is the life of an overdue mama.....

As always I'll try to keep ya' posted but if you don't here from me in the next couple days it's probably cuz I have nothing new to report....so, stay tuned and keep sending those contraction vibes my way! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Soon??

Well, I just had my final OB appt....ok, so I know I said that last week, but this time it's the truth!

I'm now 3cm dilated, 90% effaced and definitely on my way...which honestly doesn't surprise me. I've had a couple days this week where I know the contractions were real (not those dumb ol' "hicks" :))....so I guess that must be moving things along. YAY! :) My doc thinks I'll most likely go soon (this week), which has been my guess all along. But, just in case I don't we have an induction set up for next Monday (Sept. 22). At that point it won't be an elective induction since I'll be a week over (meaning I can't chicken out and cancel it!)...so for sure we'll have a baby in less than week! The only bummer is that my doc will only be on call tomorrow and then on vacation next week (go figure)...what's with all these people taking vacations lately?! Don't they know I'm having a baby any day! Ok, so it's my fault that I won't probably have him deliver my baby since I chickened out of the induction...and I highly doubt this baby will wait to arrive til Sunday when Kev's parents get back from vacation. But, I'm ok with all of that.....she'll come when she's ready and it'll be perfect timing....

And I must offer some praise today and some answered prayers....a couple hours after I wrote my post yesterday Kev's office electricity was restored! YAY! He did have to go back into work twice last night, but he did end up sleeping a few hours in his/our own bed. And he did train his old co-worker in case the whole electric failure happens again this week while I'm in labor. So, that's a double praise. Thanks to all who were praying about that...I was feeling much less emotional about it all last night after that bit of good news.

Now we just need to pray for this baby to come on her own and to be healthy and perfect. My plan is to continue to stay busy and maybe run a marathon today to get things moving...ok, so running is not really my style...but maybe a brisk walk or a bumpy ride through the country :) I'll be sure to keep ya'll posted! Send any contraction vibes my way!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Due Date is Here...Baby is Not :(

Well, Sept. 15 is here and over halfway gone and still no sign of this baby dropping out of me :( It's pretty cruel that the lil' pink flying baby on the side of the blog says "Hooray, I've arrived"....what's up with that kind of joking?! :)

Ok, so honestly it's ok. I wasn't holding my breath that I'd have this baby on my due date and in all honestly I've thought all along she would be late just like the majority of my babies...and I really have peace that she'll arrive in perfect timing....

With that in mind I should break the news that we canceled our induction for Wed. Before you go making chicken sounds at me and shaking your head in dismay, let me just say that it wasn't just my nervous anxiety over my past induction that caused me to cancel. It was a few other things as well that just weighed on my heart and told me it wasn't time and there was really "no rush". First off, I found out yesterday that Kev's co-worker (let me remind you he only works with one other guy)...well, this friend/co-worker is out of town all week (yes, horrible timing, but apparently this work trip of his was planned well before our pregnancy occurred)....anyway...so that leaves Kev alone at the office all week. Now don't worry...if I go into labor on my own my hubby will still definitely be by my side and his company will manage somehow, but I just didn't feel right scheduling a needless induction 2 days past my due date and have him purposely leaving his office w/o staff. Not to mention that yesterday's nasty wind storm (Ike) left his office w/o any power so my sweet, tired hubby has actually been there for the last 24 hours and could possibly be there the next couple days as the generator for his computers needs to be reloaded with gas every 2 hours (so, yes he is getting blippits of sleep and is able to come home and shower briefly)...but his life might be lived at work this week unless I miraculously go into labor. All this makes me "none too happy" and I've been very emotional today. I mean, come on...what kind of crappy timing is this??!! It's my due date and I'm fairly certain I'll have this baby this week one way or another...and my husband is stuck at work w/o help or power. Bad, bad, bad timing :(

Anyway...I didn't really get on the ol' blog today to complain...but just to lay my heart out there. I am struggling. I worry about going into labor any day and having a husband so tired from working 24/7 that he can't be the support I need him to be and that he'll be too tired to enjoy his new daughter. It's all just weighing on my mind, not to mention I'm still just plain wiped out. I tried my darndest to get out and keep busy today and keep walking (ya' know to encourage any labor that might be on it's way?!), but the "hicks" are few and far between and although I think I had a few strong contractions yesterday they have subsided now and were very sporadic anyway.

So, the next OB appt is tomorrow and we'll see what the doc says. He'll probably call me a chicken and want to know why we backed out of the induction, but so be it. I'd like to be at least a week over before I think about going through that kind of pain again. So, for now we wait...I really will be surprised if this little darling doesn't come this week, but I guess she has her own timing and my opinion has nothing to do with her willingness to enter the world. But, I just ask for prayers today...for many things...but specifically that the power comes on at Kev's office, that he can get some rest tonight and that this baby comes in her own perfect timing and is perfectly healthy and not sumo-size. And before I sign off I just want to thank all you faithful readers for your support, thoughts and prayers thus far. Your comments have made me smile in the midst of being exhausted and slightly stressed...so, thank you for that! I appreciate you all so much. I'll keep ya' posted and here's to me still being baby-less on my due date....oh "joy"! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Still here...

...still pregnant....but feeling more ready....

or as ready as I'm gonna feel to welcome our new girl....

It's not that I've gotten a lick of anything done in the last few days to make me feel "more prepared", but I feel like our schedule is now clear enough that it's "ok" to go into labor now. I know that sounds crazy, like a baby is actually gonna come now that "I'm ready and our schedule looks better"...but so be it...that's how I feel. That being said I'll probably still be very pg on Tuesday and really getting nervous about that induction on Wed. a.m. Ugh...what to do about that?? I'm leaning toward canceling it and waiting a few more days...like til next Monday...but is that totally crazy as I could still be pregnant then and just going in for a later induction? I just don't think 2 days past my due date is enough time to go into labor on my own. Remember with Dylan I was 3 days over....and I just figured with this one I'd go at least 3 days over if not more....

So, here I sit...getting bigger by the day, still uncomfortable and still very exhausted. Not that any of that is gonna change post-partum...I'm sure I'll be in more pain and more exhausted, but at least the fruits of my labor will laying in my arms and I will have some back-up help (aka daddy and Nina). But, honestly I'm doing ok. I am in some ways glad to still be pregnant and glad that I've been able to take part in the kid's busy activities (did I mention that Hailey is going to be a model in an American Girl fashion show in a few weeks...we raced to Indy yesterday so she could "try-out" and she made it...phew! :)). So, that was the "one last thing" on the schedule that I wanted to be around for. Of course now I'm hoping to go into labor today or tomorrow so that Kev's parents can meet the baby before they leave on vacation on Tuesday...but I'm thinking they're probably gonna miss the big event unless by some miracle I happen to go into hard labor soon....so that's a bit of a bummer.....and all that weighs on my mind as I consider this induction coming up. Sure a baby on Wed. would be great...that would mean I'd be home by Friday most likely and then we'd have a nice weekend together as a family. But, then the scarred past induction of Hailey creeps into my head and I get sick to my stomach thinking about 40+ hours of terrible pain and exhaustion. I guess I'm just in "doubt mode" and not knowing what to do and what is best for the baby.....so for now I'm just waiting...waiting for some sign....praying that I know what decision is best....

But, I am as ready as I'm gonna be, I suppose...and tomorrow is "due date" so we'll see if that matches up with "delivery date" :) For now the "hicks" are still pretty consistent and my sleep is pretty horrible (i.e. Kev had to help me turn over from my back to my side the other night cuz I could not do it myself...is that pathetic or what?!). And last night I slept from 8pm to about 7am....crazy! But, I've given into the exhaustion and it's been great to have Nina here so I don't feel so guilty about neglecting the kids and crawling into bed....

Anyway...with that I wanted to send a congratularory shout-out to my "once fellow prego pal", Amanda in MI. She went and beat me in the delivery day race and had her baby girl yesterday. Tessa Elizabeth is the cutest lil' thing...I just saw pics of her and she is truly adorable just like her mama and big sis :) I'm going on memory, but I think she was a nice, normal size (7lbs, 14oz; 20in)...I hope I get that lucky and don't have a sumo wrestler size baby like Dylan was! :) But, big CONGRATS and hugs to Jared and Amanda and the 3 big brothers and big sister! I have to say the look on the big sister's face as she held her lil' sister was priceless! There is nothing like that sister bond (not that I'd know personally)...but Big Sis Annaliese sure looked happy! :) So, welcome Baby Tess and a big "YAY, you did it!" to Amanda! I'm so glad she beat me in the race to the delivery room and so excited she welcomed another daughter to her family! I'm so happy for you, my friend! Now if you could just pass the torch to me (like today or tomorrow....)...that'd be super great! :)

Anyway....I'll keep ya'll posted on this lil' bambino of ours....I have no idea on my intentions to blog once I'm in labor and off to the hospital. There's been talk about Nina taking over to give updates, but I think it all depends on time of day, etc. But, I'll keep ya' as posted as I can.....and you can probably rest well tonight knowing I'm still resting in my own bed too with a big ol' baby belly still attached :) And you can be rest-assured that tomorrow will bring about some major walking/jogging/running, eating spicy food, any doing any other ol' wives' tales that might bring some real labor on! Any suggestions in that area would be welcomed too! I was planning on doing some walking today, but the remnants of Ike came our way and it was too windy to even stand outside much less walk so instead we spent the day in our powerless home :) Hopefully tomorrow will be a nicer day for bringing labor on....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A New Daughter in less than a week (for sure!) :)

Well, I just got back from my last OB appt :) :(

I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad about that. It's just been one of those exhausting days....

Good news is that I'm now 2cm (80% effaced) after having been 1cm (70% effaced) for the last few weeks....not that that means I'm going into labor any time soon...but progress is progress right?! :)

Anyway...the title above is indeed true though...we didn't intend to have "an end is sight" today, but somehow the doc talked us into it and we are now scheduled for an induction next Wed., Sept. 17. (2 days after my due date). Our doc (the one that we prefer at least) is on call that day so that's why that date was chosen. In all honestly I'm feeling mixed emotions about the induction. I've always had inductions set up with all my pregnancies...Hailey's was for IUGR issues and done early and was horrendously awful (over 40 hours of labor and terrible pain)...but with Shelby and Dylan I got lucky and went into labor on my own right before the scheduled induction. I'm hoping the same goes for this baby, but I'm not feeling super confident about that. So, there is a slight possibility that if Monday rolls around and I'm still feeling non-confident that I'll cancel the induction and just see how the week pans out (can you tell having one induction scarred me for life :))

So, as of this moment we should be a family of 6 in less that a week with a sweet new fully named girl in our arms :) Yes, we have decided on a middle name (or maybe I should say that Kev gave in and let me pick :)). Either way, she will have a full name and even if she's a "he", we have some options too....better than how the name game was going a few days ago, that's for sure! So in less than a week I'm gonna most likely be a mama of 4! Wow...I really need to sit and think about that for the next 5 days :) And if you think of us just say a prayer that this baby decides to come on her own before then...any time this weekend would be great...or even early next week. Our schedule is clear for baby arrival (or clear enough....). So, yay for the "end in sight" and here's to me going into labor before next Wed's induction! I'll keep ya' posted....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blessed Again by Awesome Friends!

My wonderful girlfriends and I after our yummy breakfast this morning :) Aren't we a lovely group?! I think so...well, I think I look large and in charge...but the rest of the group looks beautiful! :)
Dylan (and Shelby for that matter) really enjoyed the new Bumbo seat we received...Shelby was convinced this seat would make a nice potty for Dylan :) Hmmm.....
And below is a sneak peak at the wonderful goodies from my dear friends...check out all the adorable girly stuff! Love it! Thanks, friends! :)

Ok, I know I sound like a broken record lately with all my bragging about my awesome and super wonderful friends...but truly...I just feel so humbled by my friends and their big hearts that I want to shout out to the blog world how blessed I feel by all my buds out there! And I'm not just talking about all the ones who've I've shown pics of lately...I'm talking about all you out there who comment and think about us and pray for us....that goes for you wonderful family members too!

So all that being said I was again blessed by one last "hurrah" celebration before baby arrives. A few of my bestest Bloomy buds took time out of their busy schedules this morning just to spend time hanging out, eating a yummy breakfast and chatting at one of our local cafes (Michaels Uptown Cafe...I've never been there, but it was VERY yummy!). Truly I was just so touched that they all thought enough of me and our new baby to just take that time out of their day and to shower me with love and prayers and support. It was a wonderful time and the food was amazing. I already told Kev we need to go back. The cream brulee' french toast I had was amazing and the omelettes the other ladies ordered looked equally yummy! My dear friend Kim even made a lovely toast to our new baby and our family...most of the girls enjoyed a little mimosa too while mine was just the simple OJ kind :) But, it was such a treat to have an hour or two with friends and to forget about the chaos of preparing for baby, finishing our basement and all the other crazy things life entails lately. I just so enjoyed that time.....and I am truly just humbled by my wonderful friends. I'm not a "quick" friend-maker. It takes me time and it's taken me 6 years to find some good friends in town and I truly just feel so wrapped in their love and support lately. So, thank you to all you dear friends out there...those who pampered me and made me smile this morning and those who make me smile and feel supported all the time (there are just too many to name :)). Thanks to my dear friend Kim who came up with the whole idea of "breakfast out with the girls" and for setting it all up...to all my dear friends for taking the time to meet up and for all the wonderful goodies too that you gave me. I so was not expecting any gifts (nor was I planning on my breakfast being paid for)...but again I am humbled by my friends' big hearts. As you can see from the beautiful gifts, I am again convinced that our girl is gonna be the best dressed baby in the city...maybe even the state :) I just love all the special goodies my friends picked out just for our new daughter......she may, very well, never have to wear one hand-me-down :)

Now if only our girl would make her appearance...that would make this week all the more joyous! :) Today marks my first due date. The one that I calculated when I first found out I was preggers (unfortunatlely ultrasound and now this baby have agreed that this is not going to be delivery-day). But I'm ok with that. I still would like "a few more days" to get organized and ready (I know I sound like a broken record when I say that too! :)). I've decided that I'm having non-nesting issues b/c maybe I don't want this baby here yet (crazy, I know!)...and I think deep down inside if I nest and get all prepared then she'll come. And maybe part of me doesn't want that yet...doesn't want this to be over. It's not that I don't want to meet our daughter, but part of me wants to be pregnant "just one more day". Now don't get me wrong...most other parts of my body want this baby OUT...but the mental part of me just isn't "there" yet :) Maybe the baby knows that and she's waiting 'til I'm ready. Or maybe she knows she still doesn't have a full name...either way...she seems very content to just stay put inside me for a few more weeks :) So...Sept. 10 is almost gone and Sept 15 is fast approaching and so far I'm still very much pg. It's all good...I might not be sleeping at night, but food is starting to agree again and actually I've been starving all day and night so I have an appetite again (yay!). Tomorrow brings with it another OB appt and this time with the doc who usually feels sympathetic to me and sets up an induction date. In the past I've set up inductions with both Shelby and Dylan and went into labor on my own just a few days before. I'm praying that trend continues, which would mean I'd have a baby sometime next week. Wow! I can't even believe I'm saying that.

Anyway...my mind is all a jumble now so I just need to stop thinking about all this. For now I just want to say how blessed I feel...for so many reasons...but today I especially feel blessed by my friends...my wonderful friends near and far. And to my family too....to my mom who is spending lots of quality time with the kids (especially Dylan...he is loving his Nina time!). It's so great to have some extra helping hands in the house in the midst of my exhaustion. So, here's to all you friends and family out there...and to this baby staying put for at least a few more days. It'd be great to go into labor maybe on my due date or any time after! I'll keep ya' posted!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Early Arrival! :)

Ok, did I make your heart skip a beat when you read that title.....

Don't worry...I'm still very much pg and very much NOT in true labor (though the hicks are driving me batty!) :) So, no baby today...or at least not now....

But, guess who is arriving early?! Nina from FL! YAY!!!!

I've known for a few days she'd be flying in early, but haven't had time to share it with the blog world. Those of you who know the chaos hurricanes can bring can understand why when Nasty Ol' Ike started looking ominous last week Nina just had to jump at the chance to change her flight. She/we were all worried that she might not make it in at all this week (and might miss d-day), so to make sure she was here in town, she went ahead and moved her flight from Wed. to today! YAY! Fine by me...an extra two days with my mom here is just what I need. I have done no cleaning this time (sorry, mom!) so that's what I'll be doing all week...and baby prep stuff (yes, I'm still working on it...mostly done, but a few little things to do).

So, yay for the good news of Nina's arrival in just a few hours! We can't wait to have her here and mostly I just can't wait to have her enjoy her grandkids so I can get a little rest before d-day. As far as baby's going...well, she's hanging in there and so am I. My comfort level is still at an all-time low and sleep is still very lacking...but I'm doing ok. Eating's become my new issue...I am either starving or feeling pukey all the time...and nothing seems to agree with me nor do I have the room in this tummy of mine to even eat little snacks lately. I have such a mix of emotions about my due date being 1 week from today....I'm sad, anxious, excited, relieved....just so much going on in this prego brain of mine. It's all a bit overwhelming... Hard to believe the time has almost come....

Well, I'd love to blog away today, but I have so much to do in the next hour before we leave for the airport. If you don't hear from me at all this week it's probably cuz I'm just enjoying my time with my mom and doing "other things"....it's unlikely I'll go into labor early. I rarely do. But, I'll keep ya' posted...and hopefully if/when I have this baby, Kev will be able to post a quick "She's here!" until I'm back in blog-mode!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Creativity at it's BEST! :)

Ok, folks...check this creative gift out!!! I know I hinted at my wonderful neighbor friend, Jill's awesome, talented and super creative craft skills...but have you ever seen a gift so darn cute?! I have most certainly not, and I still can't bear to take it apart and even look inside and see the other goodies hiding in there! Yes, it's a "baby supply cake"...one for our new baby girl to be more specific! Doesn't it look good enough to eat (ok, so it wouldn't be very tasty, but it's truly adorable!). Look at how she used baby blankets to make the cake layers and inside are diapers holding it up...and then socks rolled up as flowers on the bottom...and washclothes at the top. Along with all the adorable baby goodies on the top (a super cool onesie, bottle, nuks, teether, and a headband). It's the cutest gift ever! Jill and the Hoots across the street really outdid themselves! We were so very touched and grateful (and impressed with their handiwork!)!
Here's Dylan checking out his sister's "cake" :) Can you tell he just wants to dig into it....and believe me...the cake is not what it was when we got it the other day due to them all looking inside and carrying it around :)
The big mama with the lovely Jill creation...pic courtesy of big sis, Hailey!
And look at this onesie that Jill found! Is that not perfect for our bloggy baby girl?! You can bet you'll see a pic of our new girl in this soon on the ol' blog! Too funny! :)
And here's the jolly siblings showing off their oh-so-generous gifts from our wonderful neighbors! Wow! The movies and coloring goodies have been keeping the kiddos very busy while mama tries to get into nesting mode (and some have been set aside for "hospital activities for the kiddos")...and can you sorta see the big sis/bro t-shirts?! I have been wanting to buy some and never took the time to find any (or make any as I've done in the past) and Jill just reads my mind and goes and finds these adorable ones...You can't see Shelby's but it says "I'm the middle sister" (with a princess on it) :) How cute! Love them! I took a better pic yesterday of them wearing the shirts, but those are still on the camera...and you can be sure you'll see pics of them in these when their sister is born!

Jill and Fam...you truly outdid yourself!! Not only have you been some of our #1 supporters during this pregnancy (and way before!), but you are just some of the kindest and most generous friend around! We truly can't thank you enough! I know I say it all the time, but we are truly blessed by wonderful friends/family...and that goes for all you wonderful blog readers out there!

Happy B-day to my "Old' College Bud, Cil!

Well, today makes #31 for my awesome ol' college bud, Priscilla (or Cil as I still like to call her)! So, I thought it appropriate to give a big bloggy b-day shout-out to her on the east coast! For those of you who don't know Cil she's a super energetic, fun and wonderful gal and she's been a true friend to me for goodness knows how many years. I still remember fondly our wonderful days at Calvin with lots of laughs and good times (don't worry...I won't drag up all those crazy Spring Break pics, Cil!) :) But, trust me, there were many good times. And she's stuck by me all these years, even though we hardly see each other. She's just that kind of true friend. We watch each other from afar through blogs and facebook and emails and every once in awhile we get a chance to see other in person (was the last time really back in 2005 when I was prego with Dylan?) Crazy! But, I'm so excited for my great friend...she's now living a great life and is a wife-to-be to the wonderful Matt (I haven't met him yet, but he looks perfect for Priscilla!) And I can't wait to see them get hitched next July in MI! So, here's to you, my friend, on your big b-day. May this coming year be the best you've ever had full of lots of laugin' and lovin' as you make a new life for yourself with the man of your dreams! Love ya' lots and happy 31st, Cil! (I tried to find those old pics of us trying on wedding dresses back in 1998...but couldn't find them in our chaotic house...but trust me...Cil made a beautiful bride back in 1998 when we were shopping for my dress and she'll make a lovely "real" one next year for sure!! :))

Thursday, September 4, 2008

All smiles for Preschool!

More pics to pass the time 'til d-day :) Here is Shelby's first day (orientation day) of preschool on Wednesday....look at that happy face! :)
And, of course, I took a "few" more pics of our happy gang in different poses...sorry to those of you who don't like pics :) I sure do...and I love these three kiddos especially!
Shelby with her special "stuffed animal"...she had to bring one special animal into school on the first day so they could share about it during circle time...she chose her pink kitty Webkinz from Nina and Poppy S :)
The sisters...does Shelby's outfit not look like something Hailey would wear...I would have probably picked something more cutesy, but she HAD to have this bargain shirt at TJMaxx (3 bucks!)...and HAD to wear it with leggings (her fav. thing!)...we actually bought this shirt cuz Nina S. had gotten the cutest pink shoes and we had nothing to go with them...so this shirt worked perfectly (along with some other pink things we got the day before school started)! Gotta love my beautiful daughters!
Shelby showing off her outfit...and getting tired of mommy taking pics :)
Handsome daddy and his almost middle daughter :)
Me and my girl :)
Our gang getting our "welcome" pic taken at preschool :) Dylan wasn't totally cooperative as you can see :)
Shelby and her bestest bud playing at the water table...the theme for the classroom is "under the sea" so there was lots of water/fish stuff on display...
Shelby even made a very cool windsock to hang in the classroom...and below is Shelba with her two teachers, Miss Lea Anne and Miss Angela :)
Hope you all are doing well and having a great week...I am admittedly just wiped out, not sleeping well, uncomfortable, but still wanting this baby to wait to arrive! I'm looking forward to this weekend where I hope to get last minute things done (pray for energy for me!)...the girls are going on the boat for part of the weekend (and staying overnight) with Kev's parents so that'll give us a lil' break. Kev will, I'm sure, be a basement working/mudding fool! So, it'll be good times over here at the Steg house! Oh happy, happy joy joy.

I wanted to end this day by giving my wonderful neighbor friend, Jill, and family a great big hug-shout-out. They made our day today but stopping over with armfuls of goodies for our new girl and the big sisters and brother. I can't even tell you all the wonderful things they brought over....so I have pics that I'll post this weekend to show you and show off Jill's handiwork. You have no idea how crafty this friend of mine is...you have to check out what she made for our baby girl....it was outstanding to say the least! I still haven't opened it all up cuz I'm studying it in hopes I can make one myself someday! Jill and the rest of the "Hootie family"...you guys are the BEST! You made our day with all your thoughtfulness and kindness and generosity. The kids are loving their goodies too and that made them feel so special. We are so blessed by our wonderful neighbor friends...what a great support you guys are! We love you and so appreciate you!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shelby's back in Preschool and I'm still 1cm! :)

Well, it was back to (pre) school for big girl Shelba today! And, boy, was she a happy, happy camper! I truly cannot even tell you how many times a day for the last few weeks she has asked/begged/cried to go back to school. So, it was good for us all that this day was not delayed anymore!

Actually it was only "orientation" day, so not her official first day with no parents there (that will be Friday...yay!). So, Kev and I and Dylan tagged along today and had a good ol' time. Kev missed most of the speaking stuff cuz Dylan was a bit rowdy (big surprise there!)...but I got to sit in on all the festivities :) We just realized today that next year we'll be sending Dylan off to preschool (and Shelby to Kindergarten)...is that not a crazy idea to wrap your mind around?! Where has the time gone?!

Anyway...so the morning was a busy one...getting up early, getting ready and doing nails and hair (yes, we go all out for first days of school around here)....and of course taking too many pictures :) Shelby even picked her own outfit out. We did some last minute shopping yesterday and she got a "Hailey-type" outfit. Very cute and very her (Shelby loves to look like her sister). Hopefully I can post pics later today if Kev can fit them on this old computer :) But, Shelb was in all her glory getting ready for the big day. She has one of the new preschool teachers, Miss Lea Anne, who is very nice and great with the kids. I think she'll be a great match for Shelby's personality. And we were VERY excited that Hailey's old preschool teacher, Miss Angela, is the assistent teacher! How cool is that?! It was kinda weird, but fun to see her back at school again and to know that the last time we had her in class Hailey was Shelby's age! Shelby was also happy to report that Cami, her bestest bud, is back in her class....she and Cami are like two peas in a pod and they played together the whole morning. So, all is good in Shelby-world as of today and I'm excited that our big girl is back in school mode. It'll be good for her and good for Dylan and I to have a week of mommy-son time before Nina from FL arrives (1 week from today...yay!)

And good news still abounds in the cervical/baby department! I am relieved to announce that I (or should I say my cervex) is still a "whopping" 1cm! YAY! Ok, is it bad that I'm happy about not progressing in that area?! Well, I am! I have had very few "hicks" (aside from yesterday where I overdid the shopping and outdoor walking :))....but I figured with less hicks I'd definitely not be progressing much (not that hicks are known for helping with dilation)...but I guess I just know my body and was not surprised to hear I was still the same ol' ONE! So, yay for me and good job on the newly named Baby Stegs girl! She needs to stay put for one more week so Nina can get settled and be here to meet her! All else is fine with me/baby. She's still keeping me up at night and last night was again one of the worst night's sleeps I've had. I kid you not I was up every hour...one time I got up 30 minutes after I had just peed. I have no idea how people function on that amount of un-interrupted sleep. I sure don't and I am one grumpy mama lately. I have no idea how I'm gonna make it the next two weeks on such little sleep/energy. I am a person that needs me beauty sleep! Kev even slept on the couch last night (not my idea!)...cuz he was worried HE was keeping me up?! Maybe he hasn't noticed my monstrous belly lately which could cause a slight case of "inability to get comfortable in bed"? In either case, his night downstairs didn't do either of us any good so I hope he joins me back in bed tonight again :)

Well, folks...so that's the downlow on our day. Hopefully I'll be able to post pics of the 2nd year preschooler later today....and if you think of it just say some prayers for me. I am just wiped out lately....the lack of sleep and uncomfortableness are at an all time high and surely won't get better until this baby is resting in my arms (or way after when she's sleeping through the night and I am fully healed). And I still have so much to do in the next week or so, so I could really use a day of energy at least. And if you're praying for me definitely pray for my prego MI bud, Amanda! She went back into the hospital today so hoping she'd have her bambino only to be sent home yet again! I can't even imagine her disappointment and her exhaustion level. Praying for you, friend! Hang in there! Our Sept. babies will be here before we know it....hopefully yours will be here sooner than ours!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pictures to Pass the Time :)

https://www.smilesbywire.com/home.asp?AC=LTPP0194117532JCP

Above is a link to some newer family pics/prego belly shots/kid pics, etc. Kind of a hodgepodge of photos from Penneys. Just go to the link above and put in my first and last name (hopefully you all can spell the last name cuz I don't like to post that on our blog)

I've been waiting a month for these pics to be posted...there was some problem on Penney's end.....so I hope it works for you guys. I think you can click on the actual photos to get it a tad bit larger. Some of them are pretty cute and others (of me and Kev) are kinda corny :) But, ya' pay for what ya' get and Penney's isn't too bad for the price :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

September's Here...Along with some Good News! :)

Well, it's official...September is finally here! Hurray! :)

I remember back in January when Baby Stegs #4 will still fresh in our minds and I thought this month would never come...especially when I was drowning in those early days of puking and only eating Subway subs :) And now look how far we've come. I'm one big mama lately with this protruding belly of mine and it's only a matter of weeks now before "new little girl" makes her smiley appearance! I can't wait!

And with delivery month upon us I thought I'd share some good/BIG news as well!

Hold onto your keyboards, people.....and let's here a drumroll.....

Our "once nameless baby girl" now has a NAME! :) Yep, you read that correctly and no, I'm not pulling your leg. Kev and I finally came to an agreement a couple days ago (shocking, I know :)). In all honesty the day we found out we were having a girl I had a feeling "this name" would be it. Not because it was one of my "list toppers", but because it was on Baby Stegs #3 list, who obviously turned out to be a bouncing baby boy (and didn't need this girl name :)). Actually I vetoed this name back in 2005/06, but I always kept it in the back of my mind if we happened to have a #4...cuz although it wasn't on my list it wasn't like most of the "old lady/traditional" names that Kev usually has on his list :)

So, there ya' go...the BIG news of the day. Our daughter has a name. Now mind you she only has a first name as of now...the middle name is still up for grabs. We have a few possibilities, but either I or Kev aren't crazy about them (big surprise, we disagree yet again :))...so the "full name" is still up in the air. But, I think having a first name is better than nothing! And as far as telling everyone....NOPE, not gonna happen (though you are welcome to make your guesses :)). We are name-secret-keepers....sorry! Not even the siblings will know the official name before d-day. I thought about giving out some hints, but all I'll say is that we only know a handful of these "named kids" in Bloomy...actually I can only think of 2 of them...and I think we know only one MI person with this name...so, while it's a more trendy name, it's not overused.

So, here's to our newly named girl and to me maybe sleeping better at night knowing she won't be nameless when she pops out! Happy Labor Day to all and here's to NO labor for me for a couple more weeks! I'm off to take a much-needed nap!