Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The new normal?

What is the new normal? Exhaustion, apparently. All of you experienced mom's out there are nodding your head, and secretly are glad that another newbie has been initiated into your club. Misery loves company. If anyone leaves a comment gloating about how their newborn slept through the night at -- weeks, I'm going to cry. So, the last month has been an adventure for the record books, and we were so glad to arrive home last Thursday. Everything was as we left it, which was a huge relief to a worrier like me. That is, if you don't count the hamster that inexplicably lost all her hair (creepy). But still, it could have been much worse. We spent Thursday evening introducing Jack to his new family members, who fawned over him appropriately. Kyle was so excited to have a new cousin, that he informed Sue that she needed to have another baby. He even asked if they could take him to their house for a few days.

Friday, I summoned the energy to roll into my office to survey the damage. I left things in great hands, but sometimes you just need to see for yourself. On the way home, I stopped by BabiesRUs to pick up Jack's swing, which I was assured would be a necessity. He loves it! For about 30 seconds. Then he screams bloody murder to get out.
About Jack: Today is his three week birthday. What a little snuggle bunny! To say that he loves to be held is an understatement. I am more than willing to indulge him in this, but it could come back to haunt me. He's doing better about sleeping in his crib, but unfortunately he just doesn't feel the need to sleep that much. Combine a baby that wants to be held, with a baby that loves to be awake, and you have two very tired parents. I couldn't imagine doing this on my own! Daron has been indispensable these last few weeks. I keep telling him he is a natural at this. In fact, this is how I frequently find these two:
I brought him to work with me yesterday, and he did great. He has a little cradle that sits next to my desk, which he was content to hang out in. Keeping focused on work is difficult, but only because he is so dang cute! I just want to pick him up and love on him!
But Elisa- in all of these pics he is sleeping so peacefully! You said he didn't sleep?! -Yes, he sleeps some. I can't resist the sleepy pictures! So all the boys are home together today alone, which I think Daron was a little worried about. They will be fine, or I wouldn't have left them. At least that's what I told Daron. It took the dog a day or two to warm up, but they are thick as thieves now. Wherever Jack is, Skip drags his pillow over next to him. I hope this means they are going to be good buddies. This is how I left them this morning:
At least 3/4 of us are getting some sleep! Bottom line, we LOVE LOVE LOVE this boy, and are so excited to finally have him home! My mom and sister come out in a couple days, and I'm super excited to show him off. And maybe catch a nap? We will see...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Just a quick note to let you all know that we are on the road! There was a major holdup with our paperwork, but it seems to be resolved, and we've been given clearance to leave. Iowa was great to us! We were treated well, spent a lot of great time with Jack's biological family, and developed some lasting friendships.

Driving will take us about 17 hours, but that's not taking into account feedings and such. We are rookies when it comes to traveling with kids, so maybe our 17 hour estimate is a bit naive? We will see.

One thing I do know, is that after 22 days of hotel rooms, fast food, and living out of a suitcase, I will never take home for granted again!

Want to come meet Jack? We will be around this weekend if you want to pop in!


- Posted by Elisa using her awesome IPad

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Three Kids... Day 14

This post should really be called, "Woman! Bring me my milk!" (Jack shakes menacing baby fist)

If there's one thing Jack is good at, it's eating. Not uncommon for a newborn, I suppose. He had his one week checkup today, and charmed the pants off of his Pediatrician. I'm sure they never see cute babies there, so he must have been a breath of fresh air. He's gained a couple ounces on his birthweight, so we're right on track.

Living in a hotel room doesn't offer much diversion, but it has provided us lots of uninterrupted bonding time. These two are kindred spirits when it comes to relaxation.

They are pretty thick, these two. Daron is a champion feeder, changer, and general entertainer. I manage to get a couple hours of sleep each night because these two night owls are content to hang out together in the wee hours.

I've watched a lot of Seinfeld, so if any of you tell me I have a "snuggly" baby, I'll likely be offended. Even so, snuggling with Jack is heaven. He makes these wonderful squeaky little sounds that just melt me. If only we could get him to sleep in his crib. If you have any tips for this, let me know.

As for us, still waiting... We expect to be told in the coming days that we will be allowed to leave the state. This has been a wonderful adventure, but the truth is we are very anxious to be home. Daron won't admit to homesickness per se, but I will. I miss my house, my family, my friends, my dog... And so on... We're looking forward to being back, and sharing Jack with all of you!

- Posted by Elisa using her awesome IPad

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Three Kids... Day 12

Hey everyone. Sorry about the lack of posting these last few days, but we've been a little busy! As I type this, Jack is laying next to me on the bed, dozing peacefully. He will do this till about 1am, when he decides that it's party time, and will do his best to stay up all night long. He's a night owl, and we've had to take him in shifts. I've never been this tired before.

This is Jack's first post-hospital photo. We were released from the hospital last Thursday, and our first stop as responsible parents was Taco Bell. I tell you what, carrying that carseat into an establishment for the very first time felt a little strange. In the insulated world of the hospital, it was so easy. There were nurses there to attend to your every need, and having them was a huge safety net. The hospital was very accommodating, and allowed us to room across the hall from Kelli. For the few days were were there, we were able to care for Jack together, and experience all of his firsts right there on the spot. We were really impressed with the hospital here.

This is one of my favorite first photos of my boys together. After we checked into the hotel, we were so completely exhausted. We spent Thursday and Friday just laying low, and getting to know each other. Jack is such a sweet baby, and very mild tempered. He squeaks a little bit when he needs something, and is very alert and aware. He started holding his head up almost from day one, and is very strong.

Today has been a busy day. The morning was spent finalizing some of the legal paperwork at the lawyers office, and this afternoon my sisters Eadie and Susan came to see us. They were so excited to be the first family members to get to see Jack! Above is a picture of Eadie with Jack. We spent the day eating and shopping- I'm still getting the hang of traveling and going on with daily activities with an infant in tow. The number of items that must be carried with you at all times is shocking! And forget about having any kind of timetable in mind. You better be prepared to stop whatever you are doing at any given moment to make a bottle, change a diaper, find a Paci, etc.

We had a nice experience yesterday when we attended church with Kelli, Jesse, and his family. They all attend the same ward together. Everyone was already pretty aware of the situation, and the plan to place Jack for adoption, so our presence there really wasn't a mystery to anyone. The ward members were very welcoming, and seem to be very supportive of Kelli, Jesse, and the whole family. We're really humbled that they've taken us under their wing while we are here, and that this has been such a positive experience. Not easy, but still positive I think. They love Jack very much, and we will always try our best to honor that. To have so many people love you can only be a good thing, right?

Again, we're sorry about the lack of posting. I know that some of you were worried that the absence of news meant that something might be wrong. Not at all. Things continue to progress, and at this point with all the paperwork signed we are just waiting for clearance to leave the state. We just don't know when that will be. Best case scenario would be Friday, but we're not that hopeful. In any case, we'll tell you when we are on our way back!

In the meantime, here's our first family photo:

The only thing problematic about having a very small infant, is that he makes you look like giants. ...Chubby ones. *sigh*


- Posted by Elisa using her awesome IPad

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

THREE kids and a minivan

Today has been a long day. True, it was only six hours of labor top to bottom, but I'm so tired. We got here about 8am, and they started Kelli on her Pitosin drip about 9am. She started having contractions pretty quickly after that, and about noon was begging for the epidural. They kept putting her off, saying that she wasn't far enough along yet, and they didn't want it to wear off. She tried to tell them over and over things were progressing faster than that. When the anesthesiologist showed up, she was only able to get half the epidural in before Kelli had to start pushing. Three big pushes and she was done. It all happened so fast, that I hardly remember the sequence. All I know is that when he came out, I started bawling. Hence, the red runny nose. I do remember being struck by how cute he was, right from the start. These pictures just don't do him justice.

Right now, I'm completely exhausted. I'll post more tomorrow, I promise. I'm still a little shell-shocked, but completely in love. Just the best day ever.


Posted by Elisa using her awesome IPad

Monday, March 7, 2011

Two Kids.. Day Six

Still waiting patiently. The doctor made his daily visit a little while ago, and has declared Kelli to be at 2 cm, and 50% effaced. The daily request to "get this kid out of me" was categorically denied, and we will proceed tomorrow as planned. They will start a Pitosin drip in the morning, and see where the day takes us.
Last night we spent a fun evening over at Jesse's parents house,with the whole family over. I realize that I don't mention Jesse very much, but that's more out of respect for his privacy than anything. He's been very involved these last months, and getting to know both of Jacks birthparents has been so valuable. We love them both, and look forward to an ongoing friendship with them, as well as the rest of the family. We know a lot of adoptive couples don't have this great of an experience with their birth family, so we know how blessed we are.
Right now I'm getting ready to wheel Kelli down to the gift shop for a change of scenery. After 8 days in the room, she's getting pretty squirrelly.
I'll let you know more later if anything changes today..


- Posted by Elisa using her awesome IPad

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Two kids.. Day Five

Again, nothing new to report. Sorry to keep you on pins and needles, but these kids have their own timetable. In spite of Kelli trying to bribe various nurses and doctors to hasten things along, they are still insisting on a Tuesday delivery. Here's a cute picture from an ultrasound the other day. You can really see Jack's face..

He's pretty darn cute, huh? Getting here a few days early has allowed us to spend a lot of time with Kelli and her family, and get our bearings here in town. The days are long for Kelli, being stuck on hospital best rest, but the perks are good. Prenatal massage a couple times a week, and even extra insulin so she can eat some chocolate cake. No table necessary.

Even Daron has found his place in this world- a quiet place in the corner, "working" on his laptop. Tomorrow will be spent running some last minute errands, and getting ready for the big day.

If you would like to be on the email distribution on Tuesday, please let me know. Even better, post your email address in the comments section so I don't have to go track them all down in my distracted state. Thanks for all the nice texts and notes of encouragement. Talk to you tomorrow!

-Posted by Elisa using her awesome IPad

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Two Kids... Day Four

Today will be a light news day, folks. We spent the better portion of yesterday at the hospital keeping Kelli company. She's still on bedrest because of her seizures, and isn't allowed to do much. We have a definite date for inducing, and that will be Tuesday. That is, if she doesn't go into labor on her own these next couple days. In the meantime, we are spending time with the family and Daron is getting to know everyone a little better. If you remember, I had the benefit of meeting everyone back in the fall, so I'm a little more familiar.

For today, it's back to the hospital. And for those asking- no, it still doesn't seem real!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Two kids.. Day 3

As I type this, we have literally just crossed over the border into Iowa. We stopped short of our goal last night because 1. We were tired, and 2. We were hungry. Barnes's don't do well with hunger. Yesterday was a long day, with 4 states under our belt. WV, OH, IN, and IL. Traffic was light, no major delays anywhere, and the weather was nice! A couple things that we learned on day two:
1. IPAD invaluable. Turns out that AT&T does have a cap on the amount of bandwidth they will let you suck in two days, but for a nominal fee this can be corrected.
2. The Midwest is flat as all get-out. No lie, the minute we descended down from The mountains of WV (gorgeous), Ohio loomed ahead like a corn field covered pancake. Truthfully, I find wide open spaces comforting, having grown up in the desert. Daron on the other hand, was alternately fascinated and unnerved by it.
3. Why does gas have to be so $$$$$? Seriously, we topped off our 1/2 empty tank somewhere, and it was $47. This is going to add up fast!
4. Flooding. Everywhere. The heavy snowfalls this year have really contributed to the spring run-off. Banks are breeched pretty much everywhere we look.
5. West Virginia- nuclear and coal power plants everywhere. Very strange to be winding around a scenic country road, and then BOOM. Nuclear power plant. I didn't see Homer Simpson anywhere, so WV must be in good hands.
6.Xenia, OH: self proclaimed bicycle capital of the US. Not sure what makes them so, just that their water tower informs the world of this fact. Nope, didn't see a single bicycle.
7. Richmond, IN: not sure what to make of this, but maybe the church with the biggest cross wins? Use the car in the picture as perspective.

8. Almost as a flashback from my childhood, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that campgrounds still exist. Mostly KOAs, but still. That tradition of my youth is still alive, and being enjoyed here in the Midwest. Ask me about the tornado at the KOA in Kearney, NE someday.
9. Ahhh rednecks. I've discovered that being a redneck isn't geographically dependent. It's more of a lifestyle, really.
10. Daron will still sing "Sweet Child of Mine" with as much enthusiasm as he did in High School. The thing about that is this: only Axl Rose can sing like Axl Rose. Everyone else just sounds like a 9 year old girl. A whiny one.

That's all for now folks. We're about an hour away from Cedar Rapids, where the story will really get rolling. Daron will meet Kelli and the family for the first time, and I know they will adore him. Who wouldn't?

Posted by Elisa using her awesome IPad

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Two kids and a minivan.. day one

Indulge me for a moment as I make a random observation. There's something very strange about driving a borrowed mini-van, chock full of baby items that you have no idea how to use, to a state and town that you are not familiar with, to undergo a life changing experience that nobody could adequately prepare you for. On the other hand, there is something VERY exciting about an adventure that not very many people get to experience, travelled at a leisurely pace with your very best friend and partner in crime. To be able to blog remotely from a highway in rural West Virginia is also pretty darn cool. Keep that 3G rolling AT&T!

So to get everyone up to speed, we are making our way to Iowa in anticipation of Jack's arrival. Kelli has been suffering with seizures that her doctors have not been able to get under control. There was a period of time yesterday when we thought she would be induced last night. There was some concern from the doctor that Jack's lungs might not be quite ready. Results of an amnio confirmed this, so the decision was made to put off inducing for a few days, and buy Jack a little time. This bought US valuable time as well, and we are hopefully no longer in danger of missing his birth! In the meantime, Kelli is on bed rest at the hospital, and we are trying to see how many G's Grady's minivan can pull on the open road. Don't worry, we're merely getting it out of our system before the state of Iowa expects us to be grownups worthy and capable of caring for another human being.
A couple of shots before blowing town:

Yep, it's a Sheetz cup. Seriously? A road trip without Sheetz? NEVERRR. This will become problematic come potty time, but hey. We will cross that bridge somewhere in rural West Virginia.

For the record, Daron is killing me at the animals/graveyard game, but I'm holding my own at the license plate game.


- Posted by Elisa using her awesome IPad