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The Name

You all know how much I stressed over Tenley's name.  It wasn't an easy decision.  If we hadn't named Tate what we did she would have been Katherine Louise, called Kate for short. But you can't have a Tate and Kate, so Katherine was out.  Totally broke my heart, I love the name Katherine, and it has my name in it! :)

So while pregnant with Tate I had suggested Tenley if he was a girl.  It never really stuck, mostly because of Katherine, so it was tucked away and forgotten.  When we found out we were having a girl this time we threw a ton of names around, but none seemed to fit.  I reminded Andy of Tenley and he was all over it.  I, right away, said no way, it was a fake name and to forget it.  He didn't.  It kept popping back up. Then Bachelor in Paradise was on, and there was a Tenley!  I though for sure he'd veto it then, but no, he still really loved the name.  Hmm, ok, I'll add it to the short list but never in a million years did I think it'd be a real contender.

Finally, with about 6 weeks to go, we were no closer to having a name picked out.  Avery was tossed around but Andy was still in love with Tenley.  Finally I started using the name when talking about her.  I made sure Andy knew I hadn't agreed to it, I was just testing it out.  It started to grow on me. And finally, I fell in love with the name, too!

Louise.  That is my sweet grandma's middle name that she went by.  Her full name was Marjorie Louise, but her mother never really liked the name Marjorie so they always called her Louise.  I have always known my daughter's middle name would be Louise, also.  Grandma and I were kindred spirits and had a very special connection, I couldn't imagine using any other name for my little girl.  Before Grandma passed away, when I was pregnant with Aiden, I told her if we ever had a girl her middle name would be Louise.  In her sweet little way I could tell she was so pleased.  Gosh, I miss her. She would have adored little Tenley Louise.

And that's how we came to name our little girl Tenley Louise.  She already has many versions of her name said to her: T-Lou, Tenley Lou, and my favorite, Tallulah.  Andy came up with that one.  It was some morphing from T-Lou.  I never have any idea how he comes up with his nicknames but he's a champ at them!

Thank you again for all the sweet messages!  We are so blessed to have our sweet little Tenley Louise.

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She's Here!!!

I'm so happy to introduce you to our sweet little girl,

Tenley Louise!

She arrived Sunday, November 15th at 4:58 p.m.  She weighed 8lbs4oz (!!!) and was 21 1/4" long (and perfect as can be!).  Here's her story...

We arrived at the hospital at 8:00 that morning to begin our induction.  It was about 8:30 by the time I got laid down in bed and our nurse Brittany started hooking me up to the monitors and got the IV started.  The Pitocin was started at 9:30 and away we went.  I was dilated to a 3 when we arrived and at 2:00 I was still only at 3cm.  I was a tad frustrated, the meds were working pretty good all morning then started to peter out a bit after noon.  I asked the nurse what I could do to help things along, she suggested laying on my sides or sitting on the exercise ball.  I rolled over to my left side and almost immediately the contractions really started up again, including back labor pains which were awful.  I told Andy 5 minutes into that to go tell the nurse I was ready for my epidural.  He questioned me ("Are you sure you want them now?") and I told him "GO!"  So she called in the anesthesiologist and by 3:00 I was all hooked up and the pain was starting to go away.  At 4:30 she checked me again and in the 2 hours between when she checked me last I was dilated to a 10!  Yep, went from a 3 to a 10 in TWO HOURS!!!  Our little princess was about to make her debut!

The doctor came in at 4:40 and at 4:45 I started pushing.  13 minutes and 5 contractions later Tenley Louise was born!  It was so amazing, that was the shortest time I'd ever pushed, she came so easily!  I had no tearing so no stitches, which was great.  They laid her right on my tummy and wiped her all up, then we had skin to skin time for a good 5 minutes.  We've never done that before and it was so wonderful to have that contact with our little girl.  She was pretty calm for most of that, just a few little cries here and there.  Her eyes were wide open and she just looked around her at her new world and her daddy (who she already adores, by the way!).

After that they took her to do her APGAR tests.  Andy was there with her the whole time.  Meanwhile, they cleaned me up and removed the epidural.  Then I laid there and waited for my little lady.  Finally she was all ready for some snuggling.

We made a few calls and then my parents came in with the boys to meet their new baby sister.  They each came in carrying a pink gift bag - each boy had picked out a stuffed animal for their sweet sister. They were all immediately smitten with her.  Tate was so excited to see the 'bay', he kept giggling and pointing out her features.  He'd point and say "eye!"  He'd squish her little nose. He'd rub her little head.  She'd make a little noise and he'd giggle all over again.  We took some really cute pictures of those two together.  The big boys were like old pros, they were so gentle with her and just sat and cuddled her.

Tenley has been an amazing sleeper at night from the beginning. The first night she slept 8 hours.  At 5 a.m. I finally asked the nurse to take her for her first bath so she'd wake up so I could feed her.  The second night she was a fussy little gal so I had the nurse keep her in the nursery so I could try and get some sleep. She was brought in at 1:45 to eat, then again at 5:30.  She was still a little fussy that morning, then at 9:30 I fed her and my milk had already come in. That calmed her right down!  She was super calm the rest of the day.

We were discharged at 10:00 Tuesday. Bringing her home was emotional - Tate was so excited that the 'bay' was at his house.  The boys came running home from the bus stop after school, super excited to see their little sister!  That night she slept in her crib all night, waking up twice to be fed and going right back to sleep.  This was all new for me, we were used to babies being up a lot the first few nights getting used to their surroundings, not sleeping alone in their crib all night long!  I figured it was a fluke but here it is, Saturday morning, and she has continued to be an awesome sleeper!  The nights since I have only been up with her once, just to feed, diaper and put her back to sleep.  Awesome!  All of this sleep has helped a ton with my baby blues.

We are all doing awesome, adjusting well.  As soon as I get the last couple of things for her room in I'll do a nursery post.  I LOVE her room!

I am busy taking care of all these kids (and husband!) so if you don't hear from me don't panic - I'll be back!  And thanks in advance for the kind comments, I probably will not have time to reply to those but THANK YOU!

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Baby Girl - 38 Weeks

I can't believe it but this will be my very last, EVER, pregnancy update!  This has been the longest 10 months ever - time seemed to drag on and on.  February was a long time ago!  But here we are, days away from meeting out sweet little ******.  That's the only hint you'll get about her name, but I do have to say, I've almost spilled the beans about a dozen times. Andy and I call her by name when it's just the 2 of us, and I'm getting very used to calling her that, so when talking about her to others I've just about let it slip.  I can't wait to share it with you next week!

How far along: 38w 3d
Total weight gain: 19lbs.  Yep, gained 2 this week.
Sleep: As great as sleep was for the majority of the pregnancy, these last few weeks it has really stunk.  I wake up 2 - 3 times every night to use the bathroom, or just because I wake up.  This usually happens later in the night, about 4 a.m., so I never get back to sleep before it's time to wake up at 6.  Then, around 9, I doze off on the couch while Tate is playing tractors on me.  I am tired quite a bit and just think, it's just going to get worse next week.  That worries me more than anything - being so tired all the time that I'll be worthless for Tater.
Best moment of this week: FINALLY getting the Princess's room decorated!  Everything is hung but I am not quite done with it.  For one, I have a picture frame that needs painted.  I have a friend who's going to paint it with chalk paint and distress it for me.  Not sure when she'll get it done so the big reveal post of the nursery won't be done til that's back. Also, I am making a bunting of sorts for one wall, and haven't even bought the fabric for that.  Hopefully Wednesday I'll get that stuff and start working on it right away.  But besides that, everything's hung and I love it!  I didn't do a gallery wall like I had originally planned, partly because Andy told me he though they looked cluttered when I showed him some on Pinterest, and partly because my vision just didn't pan out.
Miss anything: I miss getting close to my Tot and my husband.  Tate tries snuggling on my lap, which I love, but I can't pull him in close enough and then he presses too hard on the baby bump which hurts, so I have to move him to my side.  I just miss being able to be close.  Soon!
Movement: Yes, she's still moving.  Not like 10 weeks ago, of course, she's run out of room! But she must be laying on her side facing my right side because she likes to push a foot (I think that's what it is) out my right side.  I love to push back gently on it, she'll play with me sometimes.  There are very few actual 'kicks', mostly it's rolling or moving an arm/leg along my belly or pushing out here or there.  
Gender: GIRL GIRL GIRL!!!    Have I told you before that I'm afraid she'll be born and she won't be a she anymore?  Or, that she never was a girl??  One of my many fears.  *Sigh*
Labor signs: Lots and lots of Braxton Hicks contractions.  I'm calling it early labor - they are often, very intense - although not painful - and usually come fairly regularly for a good 2 - 3 hours.  It's mostly in the evenings, too, but I do get them here and there throughout the day.  Some are strong enough they almost take my breath away, in a good way!  And, this might be too much info for you, I lost my mucus plug last week.  It freaked me out because when I lost it with Aiden I started contractions about 30 minutes later and he was born that night.  I never saw it with the other two, so this time I was in full on panic mode.  But excited, too. :)  Also, this weekend I was in full on nesting mode!  I cleaned the oven, washed windows, did laundry, cleaned the couch (cushions off, vacuumed under them, Febreezed the whole thing, washed the pillows, etc), cleaned the garage and got it all winterized, moved everything in the front living room and vacuumed the heck out of it, took the rug from in there out to the clothes line and beat the dust off it, packed up the cushions on the deck chairs and put the tables and chairs against the wall and out of the way, emptied out and organized the corner cabinet in the kitchen, organized and swept/cleaned the furnace/storage room.... what else?  I know there was more.  It was just non-stop.  It felt good to get all of that done, though.  Most of it was stuff I wanted done anyway so it worked out that I had the burst of energy to get it all done.
Happy or moody most of the time:  Mostly moody this week.  I just didn't get the humor in most things.  Yesterday was much better - lots of laughter, probably because Andy and I were together all afternoon for my appointment. :)
Looking forward to: SUNDAY!!!  D-Day, our induction and the day we for sure meet out sweet little girl!  I just can't wait!  Not just the meeting her part, but the whole experience from the second we wake up that morning!  It's going to be so great, I am so excited.  To finally see Andy a daddy to a little girl!!  He is so beyond thrilled for this.  The things he says about her already, makes my heart pitter pat.  She is going to be the luckiest little girl on the planet - Daddy's already smitten with her, to see him lay eyes on her for the first time is going to be one of the most magical moments of my life.  I can't wait. <3
Dr. appointment:  I am still only at 2cm, thinned to 75% thought, so that's a tiny improvement.  She still hasn't really dropped or lowered into position yet, going to need to do some walking this week.  We discussed what to do if my water should break, or real contractions should start, and also what time to arrive at the hospital Sunday morning (between 8 and 8:30).  We are forecasted for what could be a nasty severe storm outbreak Wednesday, so I mentioned that and asked how often weather fronts really bring on labor.  The nurse said she thought more than my dr did.  So we'll see if it helps us.  That was pretty much the extent of my very last appointment.  Oh, she stripped the heck out of my membranes, it was super pleasant.  ;)

Unless I get a wild hair, or something fun happens around here that I want to blog about, you won't hear from me until next week after  Baby Girl has arrived.  I can't wait to introduce her to you all!  See you soon!

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Halloween 2015

This year was an unusual year for Halloween and Trick or Treating.  With October 31st being a Saturday we had a 2 night event this year.

Friday the boys had their school parties and costume parades.  I sat this year out so Tate could get a good nap so didn't get any pictures of them at school.  The boys had fun and came home wired and excited for trick or treating.  Our little town decided to have their trick or treat night that same night from 5-7 so we loaded Tate up in his stroller and walked around our neighborhood.  In that short little 30 minute walk they got a ton of candy, cookies and chips.  We came home to go to the big city for a quick errand so called that night quits early.

Saturday they got all dressed up again and we headed out to trick or treat family in our hometown as the Iowa game was ending (priorities!).  Our hometown's trick or treat night was on Halloween, from 6:30-9.  We decided to forgo the door to door stuff and just hit up family.  Even though we only made 6 stops they came home with a ton of loot.  Each place gave them a goodie bag full of candy (and at one stop Tate was given a full bag of Goldfish crackers!) so it didn't take long to fill their buckets.

We ate supper at my folk's house, chili!  My sister's family came, too, so I was finally able to see her kids all dressed up this year.  I didn't have my camera with me to get a picture of all of them together, darnnit.  I'll have to get a copy from my mom.

Tate fell asleep in the car on the way to our last stop so he sat that one out. ;)   The boys had a fun Halloween, got a ton of candy, and are already dreaming up ideas for next year's costumes!  I already have plans for what Baby Girl will be for her first Halloween and I can't wait!

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Baby Girl - 37 Weeks

How far along: 37w3d
Total weight gain: holding steady at 17lbs some how.
Maternity clothes: I'm frustrated with clothing right now - my maternity clothes still fit but I'm bored with all of them. This week the temps are back in the low 70's, which feels like 90's to me, but I can't find anything in my stash to wear.  I guess you could say I'm being picky.  I just want it to be 50's so I can wear my jeans or leggings. 
Sleep: I wake up 2 or 3 times every night.  The first time I can usually fall back asleep but the last time I wake up and am up for the night.  It totally stinks.  If we hadn't had Daylight Savings time I'd be waking up around 5 a.m. which is totally a doable time to just go ahead and get up and start your day. But now it's 4 a.m. so I lay in bed tossing and turning and hitting Andy to get him to stop snoring or breathing so loudly and it's just frustrating as hell.  
Best moment of this week: Friday night I thought I was in labor.  We walked around the block trick or treating then made a quick trip to the big city to find some basketball shoes for Aiden.  We had just got to the city, about a 40 minute drive, when I started to feel funny.  We went to supper at Carlos O'Kellys and I didn't eat one single chip - awful!  I went to the bathroom a few times and started to feel better. Then the contractions started.  Oh crap!  I had nothing packed for myself, didn't have my camera with me and knew to go home before heading to the hospital would have been about a 1 1/2 hour ordeal by the time we drove the 40 minutes home, I packed, then we drove the 25 minutes to the hospital.  I had everyone hurry up and snarf their food down quick so we could get to the store for those shoes before I really needed to get moving.  I contracted every 3-5 minutes consistently on the way to Scheels.  I thought  maybe walking around Scheels would make them stop, but nope.  We found the shoes and loaded up to head home.  Now the contractions were every 2-4 minutes apart.  No pain with them, just really tight and some pressure.  I kept telling myself they were Braxton Hicks since there wasn't any pain but that did nothing to calm me down.  We  made it home about 9:15.  We got the boys to bed and I started running around here getting everything packed and ready to go, just in case.  Andy packed his bag then we went to bed.  The last time I remember feeling a contraction was at 10:48p.m.  I slept until 4:30 a.m. and woke to no more contractions.  In all it lasted about 3 1/2 hours.  So, as freaked out as I was because I wasn't ready and I didn't want to wake the boys in the middle of the night so I could get to the hospital, it was a really exciting evening knowing that Baby Girl is so close to arriving and completing our family.
Gender: GIRL GIRL GIRL!!!    
Labor signs: See above. :)
Happy or moody most of the time:  Happy!  Lots of laughter and fun around these parts.
Looking forward to: Meeting our little girl!
Dr appointment: Yesterday at my appointment my dr. checked my cervix again.  I am still at a 2, almost a 3, but have thinned out quite a bit (thank you Friday night contractions!) to 60%!!!  She stripped my membranes, never the most fun process, but said she was pretty sure she'd see me at my next appointment on Monday.  She said sometimes you can tell things are really ripening but I wasn't so she didn't think I'd have her in the next week.  Fine by me - as anxious as I am to have her, this week is busy again and I'd hate to make my mom do all that running with the boys.  Now that I know we will definitely be meeting her no later than the 15th I am super calm and relaxed and okay to wait til that day.  Besides that I am measuring at 38 weeks, still consistent with measuring a little ahead.  Her heart rate was 143.  Because I am being induced on a Sunday next Monday's appointment will be my last one.  I can't believe that - it makes me sad because I love those appointments but it's also so exciting to know we are almost ready to hold Princess Grace in our arms!

Sunday I finally got the car seat installed in the car and am living out of my overnight bags for the next 2 weeks.  Everything is packed and ready to go. The diaper bag and her special blanket are in the car, the camera is in the car, the laptop sits on top of the laptop bag ready to throw in, grab and go.  I've sent emails to my mom and the boys' teachers with directions and info.  I have a ride set up for Aiden to get him to and from his basketball game that Sunday we are induced.  We are ready.  I am hoping tonight to finally hang everything on the walls in her room so her room will be 100% done and ready for her to come home to.  The end is here, she is considered full term at 37 weeks and it's time to bring her home to our family!
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