Camdon’s Birth Story

After nine months of growing little LBD 2, I was ready to meet our little one.  I was happy to hear that I was dilating and effacing, but then again, since it was my second child, I guess that is to be expected.  This time around my back was killing me and I was way more uncomfortable than I had been previously.  We went in for a doctor appointment a few days before my due date as my final check up.  My doctor said that things were progressing and I should expect a much quicker birth experience.  We told him that we would have a 30 minute drive to the hospital.  And he said that would be too much.  And, like that he scheduled my induction for Friday, March 11th!

Finally knowing when this baby would arrive gave us a huge sense of relief.  There was always a chance that the baby could decide to arrive on his or her own, but we were focused on the 11th.  We frantically finished last minute projects and I cleaned the house like a madwoman.  We finished just in time to celebrate Doug’s birthday and my due date!  We had a gathering at Top Golf with friends a week before.  For Doug’s actual birthday, we decided to enjoy one last family dinner.  The Cottones and my sisters came over to play a game of Catan.

In a horrible turn of events, I dropped my phone and the screen was blank.  Nothing was cracked. It just didn’t show anything.  This became a difficult issue since it was about 7pm and I really couldn’t be without a phone the next day and I was having a baby the following day!  Leah and I went to the mall to have some guy at a kiosk fix it but then he camera wasn’t working…and who wants a phone without a camera?!? Especially when I was about to have a new baby to take pictures of?

The next day, I basically spent a few hours running errands and getting my phone fixed for real.  It was way too much to worry about when I had to get ready to have a baby.  But, all is well that ends well.  I got to spend lots of quality time with my little guy, who had been fighting off a bug for a week.  He kept getting a random fever and I was hoping that he would be healthy in time for his sibling to arrive.

The timing of my delivery was perfect because Rachel was home for spring break.  She was my on-call person if I happened to go into labor and needed someone to watch D.  She came over that night and we had dinner and got ready for the big day.  It was hard to believe that we would be meeting our little one so soon.

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One of the many perks of being induced is that you have time to shower and do you hair and make up before heading to the hospital.  We arrived at St. Joes around 6am.  After the usual questions and medical history review I was hooked up and ready to go.  I assumed that it would be the same as before when they used Cervadil, but this time they used Pitocin.  I was dreading this because of the horror stories I had heard about how intense this drug made your contractions.  I had heard that they could make your contractions really close together and very strong.

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My doctor came in around 7am and said he was going to break my water.  This was also new since my water wasn’t broken until the very end last time.  It was the weirdest feeling.  Just like a warm gush of water. And every so often, more would leak out.  Especially during contractions.  It was so strange because it literally felt like I was peeing or something because water just kept on coming out.  How much water was in there?

So Doug and I were just hanging out.  I started getting contractions and we would watch them spike on the machines and the go down.  We played Phase 10 again.  I was feeling lots of contractions as we played so I was a bit distracted and yet, I still won!  My nurse kept checking on me and would turn up the pitocin each time, which was both horrible and wonderful.  I was progressing more and more.

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Since they had broken my water, they did not want to check to my progress too often since I would be more susceptible to infection.  Last time I got updated often so I knew how far along I was.  The contractions weren’t great but I was able to breath through them and I wasn’t in too much pain.  I didn’t want to get the epidural to early since I knew it could slow my contractions and stall the process.  My nurse was really sweet and kept saying that she would know that I was ready for pain meds when I couldn’t joke around any more.  I like to keep things light when I’m stressed and I guess I never really got to a point of sheer horrible pain.  Finally, I was ready for the epidural.  Thankfully, there wasn’t a long wait for the anesthesiologist.  The epidural wasn’t bad at all and I was happy that I would be able to feel some relief soon….or so I thought!

As the team was leaving the room, a nurse asked me if I felt any pressure yet.  Literally as she said that I felt a huge surge of pressure.  It caught me off guard and she checked my progress. I was 10 cm and ready to go. I suddenly had the urge to push.  She told me this baby was coming and to not push and she ran out to get the doctor.  Doug and I both were both looking at each other in shock that it had all happened so quick.  I immediately started pushing the button for my epidural meds because I could still feel everything.  Apparently, it takes a bit for the epidural to kick in.  I was not ready to have a natural childbirth!

Quickly the doors burst open and the whole medical crew rushed in.  They set up all of their surgical paper and wheeled in all of the instruments.  It is amazing how fast they all arrive and your empty room becomes instantly packed in a matter of seconds.  My doctor came in smiling and said that he knew I would have this baby quickly.

Meanwhile, I was freaking out.  I was not ready to have this baby.  It had only been a few hours.  And, my epidural was doing nothing!  I looked at Doug and told him I could not do this.  I mean, what were my options?  Couldn’t this all just wait for a few more minutes?  It was all happening so fast  My doctor asked if I had ever been skiing.  Maybe he was trying to lighten the mood.  He told me this baby was coming now and to start pushing.

The pushing was harder than I remembered but I wasn’t pushing long.  After 8 pushes, Camdon Richard DeGroot was born at 10:43am! That’s less than 5 hours of labor! They handed him to me and he was all slimy but I was happy to hold my sweet boy for the first time.

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Meeting my new little guy 🙂

Thankfully, my epidural kicked in just enough to not feel a thing. Camdon was 8 pounds 4 ounces and 21 inches long.  The nurse who was taking his vitals said that he was really strong for a newborn. We enjoyed a bit of time nursing and holding our new little guy.  It is so unbelievable how tiny and perfect new babies are.  Soon we headed off to our hospital room.

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That afternoon my Mom and Dad arrived.  Rachel and D came after nap.  It was such a special moment introducing D to his new brother.  I think he was more excited about the special gifts he got for becoming a big brother.  Leah, John, and the Motleys all arrived to welcome Camdon to the world.

We left the hospital at about 10pm Saturday night.  We were not interested in hanging out any longer than we had to.  We wanted to get back to be with D and so that we could actually sleep without being woken up for vitals every hour.  When we got home, it was decorated by my family.  And our fridge was stocked with lots of frozen meals!

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We felt so much more confident in our abilities as parent this time and we were happy to be home with our healthy baby boy.

With Love,

From Me to You

 

Third Trimester: Re-Cap

I had written this right before Camdon was born.  So, I’m going to leave it the way I wrote it, even though the tenses will be wrong.  It is so fun to look back and read this now!

Get ready for the birth story!  Coming up next!

Projects:

The third trimester total caught me off guard.  Pregnancy seems to go on forever and each week I have felt that I still have more time to wait until the baby arrives.  I have felt less anxious and concerned about getting things finished, that is, until the very end.  I think we might have underestimated the number of projects that we wanted to complete before the baby arrived.  Of course, if anything was left unfinished, we could finish it later, but then we would be contending with two children instead of one.  And one of those children will be very demanding for a while.

I had painted the soon-to-be-nursery over the summer, not too long after we found out that we were pregnant.  In January, I got the idea  that our beige master bedroom was too dull and needed to be repainted.  So, I painted it a light blue and we rearranged the bedroom, which was Doug’s idea.  I was pretty against it, but it did end up opening the space and made it feel bigger.  The painting process required more coats than I expected because the beige was darker than I thought so we basically had to do the trim and walls three times.  It was a project that I thought could be accomplished in a weekend and dragged out to a full week.  But, it was so worth it in the end!

The biggest project was relocating Doug’s office to the space in our garage and relocating his tools and outdoor equipment to a shed.  We explored shed options and even though Doug is pretty handy, we didn’t want the stress and the time commitment of building it on our own.  We opted for a pre-made shed from a local company.  Once we got it delivered, Doug then needed to build shelves inside and reorganize the garage. Thankfully, my Dad was able to help with the building and they got it done in one day.  Sorting and moving and reorganizing the garage took a little bit longer, but it felt good to get it done and we are enjoying the additional space!

Doug’s office was the next space to tackle.  Once it was emptied it had to be painted.  We went with Red and gray to set a Keller Williams vibe.  At 38 weeks pregnant, I was out there with Doug painting and getting that room finished.  Oh, and we decided to make my Dad a cornhole set for his birthday, so that project took over our garage for about a week.  And, if you decide to make one set, you might as well make one for yourself, too. Right?

Having the nursery cleared out we had to decide what to do about furniture.  We had finally found a sleep training system that was working for us and D, which was really awesome as we all were getting more sleep.  But, we should have done this sooner than we did.  We also didn’t feel right about taking away D’s crib after he was finally sleeping so well.  Plus, I’ve heard from many people that you want your child contained in a crib as long as they will stay in it.  So, we bought another crib.  I even assembled it myself!  I reorganized D’s room and moved over a bunch of items that he didn’t need in his room anymore.  It is nice that now he has room for more toys, which frees up our living room from a ton of clutter.  Having the nursery set has been a huge relief.  Although, I really liked not having to do this at all last time.

And then there are all of these little projects that you want to accomplish…crafts, decorations, fixing things that haven’t been working, making spaces more functional, moving clutter around.  We have done some serious reorganizing in preparation for this baby to arrive.  I feels so good to cross those things off of our list.  Any it makes us realize that we have so much “stuff” and that we need do this more regularly so it doesn’t become such a long list…easier said than done 🙂

How are you feeling?

Overall, I have felt pretty well this whole pregnancy.  I am certainly more tired as the end approaches.  As I mentioned before, this baby is carrying much lower than D did.  As I approach my due date, I am becoming more miserable.  D was induced a week after my due date.  I wasn’t have any contractions and I wasn’t dilating or effacing.  So, while I was “over it”, physically, it wasn’t bad at all.  This time around I am and it feels awful.  The only plus is that this baby is lower than D so I’m not getting kicked in the ribs at all hours.  But, it is leading to lots of lower back pain.

I am far less annoyed and crabby this time around.  I think I have mentally prepared myself to accept the fact that I will go late and there isn’t much that I can do about it.  Plus, this is extra time to get projects done and enjoy time with Doug and D as a family of three.

Breastfeeding

I had such a hard time getting started with Donovan and I worked so hard to keep with breastfeeding.  I loved the bond it allowed for Donovan and I and I decided to let him wean when he was ready.  Being pregnant wasn’t go to stop or change anything for me.  At some point in November it just become really uncomfortable and I was always annoyed that he needed me all the time.  It was hard for me to end our breastfeeding relationship, but it was nice to finally enjoy a bit of freedom from it.  I am happy to have given him 21 months of milk and to see him become a little more independent.  I hated that it had to be imposed on him instead of him choosing to wean, but breastfeeding a toddler is pretty minimal anyway.  He only got a little milk each time and it was really more for comfort.  We still snuggle all the time and he knows that I’m still there for him.

Does D know what is about to happen?

Donovan notices my belly more but that doesn’t keep him from climbing all over me.  He will put his ear on my belly and say that the baby is sleeping.  Recently, we have been watching Daniel Tiger on PBS and in a few of the more recent episodes Daniel’s mommy has a baby girl.  It was pretty cute talking about it with him and it seems to be the thing that has made the most sense to him.  The following episodes have addressed how life changes with a baby.  We might need to rewatch them later.

Last minute predictions

I still think girl.  Doug still thinks boy.  We are getting so close to finding out!!  It was fun seeing the predictions on the baby bookie.  It looks like the votes are pretty even for boy and girl.

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30 weeks-Merry Christmas!
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40 weeks- Happy Birthday, Doug!!

With Love,

From Me to You

 

 

Back at the Blog

Somehow this little blog is about to turn two! And, it is about time that I get back at it.  I’ve been debating about the direction of this blog.  The original intention was to share photos and stories with family and friends who live far away and want to keep up with our growing boys and our lives.  While I like sharing and love hearing that people enjoy the photos and stories, it does take a bit of time and energy.

Like I said, life has changed a lot since my last post in my second trimester.  Camdon was born and life has been a whirlwind.  We expected life to be more work with two children and we expected that priorities would shift for a bit. I feel incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed a lot of time at home with my new little guy.  I know that many women do not have this luxury and I am deeply grateful for the ability to do so.  I am thankful for my exceptionally supportive husband, who has given me the time and space to focus on my role as a mom.  And, I am always mindful of the flexibility our business has allow us.  Returning to work has been an interesting balancing act. Doug and I talk about work all the time, so while I might not physically be in the office or out in the field everyday, I still know what is going on and can work on projects from home or with clients in  a way that works with our family’s schedule.

Donovan’s first seven months were total chaos.  Looking back, I just laugh to myself as I remember how much we did.  As if becoming new parents was not enough, I job searched and accepted a new job. We traveled to Alaska. we moved to Florida. I started working full-time (and commuting to work for the first time in 3 years…living on campus had its perks!). I was pumping five days a week.  Doug was restarting his real estate business and learning a new area.  We bought and moved into our first home!  We were out of our ever-loving minds.  Only now, as I look back, do I really realize how chaotic it all was!  But, it was what we had to do and we did it.  Life seemed hectic and frenzied at the time but somehow, it really wasn’t all that bad.

Camdon’s first seven months have been the exact opposite.  We had a nursery ready for his arrival. Our house is thoroughly kid-proof and most of our projects and to-do lists were accomplished before he was born.  We knew what to expect.  We had been through the new baby transition before. We knew what to do.  We knew our resources.  Our family was close by and were an amazing support!  We planned for time as a new family and what work would look like.  We only planned one big trip to Wisconsin to celebrate two wonderful women who both turned 90!

With any new baby, life was filled with lots of highs and simultaneously, plenty of lows.  Taking care of two children at one time is no joke!  And nursing is freaking hard at the beginning, even if you have done it before.  Also, nursing a baby and keeping a two-year-old happy and safe is not an easy task.  Amidst the daily struggles and growing pains, so many special moments occur. I knew they would all fly by before my very eyes, so I worked extra hard to just be present.  To be in the moment as much as possible and to remember as many details as I could.  And, even with that mindfulness, I still sit here typing and wondering how seven months has really passed by.

So, I’m going to catch you up on the months that have passed.  I think I left off in October of 2015…so I might shorten some of the stories and there will be fewer pictures.  I think I’ll add a few more blogs about life.  Not just what we do, but some reflections on what is on my mind.  And, you might see more about work on here because work and our life is pretty intertwined.  As always, I’d love to hear what you think.

Here are few pictures of the boys in the cutest shirts from Auntie Yaya!

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With Love,

From Me to You

Second Trimester: Re-cap

Rings on or off:

On-I never had to take them off last time, so I figure that I’ll be fine this time.  I did have a reaction to metal during my last pregnancy, which lead to a rash on my ring finger.  This time, all is well!

Cravings:

Anything sweet. Candy. Cookies. Ice cream. Fruit. Christmas Tree Cakes. I try to keep it all in moderation, but it is pretty nice to have an excuse to eat whatever you want 🙂

Aversions:

I’m still not a fan of raw meat or anything with strong smells or flavors.  Thankfully, I have an appetite again and I don’t feel like I’m going to puke all day.

Physical Differences:

This baby is carrying lower than Donovan did. I am also having way more pelvic and hip pain, which is supposedly caused by stretching ligaments.  When I stay active it doesn’t seem to bother me as much.

The long flight to Barcelona was way harder on my body than I expected.  On the way there, I slept in a weird position and had lower back pain for a few weeks.  As if being pregnant wasn’t hard enough on my back!  I also had to pee a million times on both flights.  Sitting in one position for long periods of time is not comfortable, so I felt pretty miserable on the flight home.  Oh, and add a fidgety toddler to the mix.  It was a loooong flight.

Does Donovan know what is going on?

I think he is understanding more and more.  During Christmas, he was very interested in Baby Jesus and once the holiday was over, he began referring to the baby as Baby Jesus…I had to help him understand the difference 🙂

When did you start feeling the baby move?

It was some time around 20 weeks and my trip to Chicago.  Those hiccups.  They are hard to miss.  The rest just feels like flutters.

What are you doing to get ready for the new baby?

Not much yet.  Just lots of thinking about doing things.  With all of our traveling, BOLD and work, the holidays, and just general lack of anxiety this time around, we just haven’t really made any moves to get things in order.  I am certainly a planner and I know that we have lots to do, but I also know that what needs to get done, will get done.  The rest is extra.

Any predictions about the sex?

I think girl and Doug thinks boy.  Donovan is still certain that he is having a “sissy”.

Any names chosen yet?

I thought that we had our names set from the get-go.  But, Doug just didn’t seem as excited about these names as he did last time.  So, we have been looking for inspiration and we have yet to decide.

Other differences this time around?

It is nice to not feel so anxious and uncertain about what was to come.  Doug and I both know what to expect so we just pray for a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby.  Not finding out the sex also takes some pressure off of us to have certain clothes and everything monogrammed…like I would anyway 🙂

All of the doctor appointments are way more annoying this time, since it is all pretty boring until the end.  Plus, I forgot how much they stick you and take your blood in the second trimester. I go to a large practice so I see different doctors for each visit. It is interesting to get to know each of them and understand their different perspectives and personalities.

I am lucky that I haven’t really gotten too big either.  Some people really have no idea that I am pregnant.  And, I sometimes forget, too.  I’m not too uncomfortable and I can still do pretty much anything that I want.  If I overdo it, then of course I feel it, but for the most part, I have to remind myself that I am pregnant and to slow down.  Donovan certainly keeps me pretty busy.  I am still able to wear Donovan (thank goodness!) and I am still breastfeeding.

One of the biggest differences is work.  Last time, I was in a college setting with students who, I’m pretty sure, were just worried that being pregnant was a contagious condition.  I didn’t get a lot of attention from them or tons of questions about how I was feeling.  And, no one touched me, ever…which, I was ok with!  This time around, I work with more people who have their own children or grandchildren.  They have experienced pregnancy and are so open and friendly about discussing their experiences and want to know how I am doing.  And, the touching of the belly is way more of a frequent occurrence.  This time around, I am ok with it.

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Week 16–.can you tell it is bedtime 🙂 I lost week 17’s picture somewhere 😦
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Week 18–From California!
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Week19–First day of BOLD!
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Week 20–On my way to Chicago to see the Cubs!
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Week 24–On our way to Barcelona!
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Week 25–From Barcelona!
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Week 27–BOLD graduation!

With Love,

From Me to You

Donovan’s First Birthday

Donovan’s birthday arrived quickly and before I was ready.  Of course I had the decorations up and the food ready, but I was not ready for the first year to end. It was a long year and a tough one.  But it was also the year that I became a mom, a role which, I was unsure of at first, but quickly grew to love fiercely.  I was filled with sentimental memories of the week leading up to Donovan’s birth.  The frustration, the lacking patience, the excitement.  Donovan’s birth was one of the most special moments of my life. As I reflected on Donovan’s birthday, I realized that a child’s birthday is all about celebrating their life, while also celebrating the the joy of being their parent and welcoming them into this world.

Donovan woke up happy and excited to enjoy his first birthday. We ate breakfast and headed to the Lowry Park Zoo.

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The day was overcast, which kept the weather nice and cool for our morning outside.  Aunt Allison had flown in from Minneapolis as a surprise to Doug. I am still completely proud of myself for keeping the secret.  Her arrival was perfect and Doug was unsuspecting and caught off-guard! Donovan enjoyed spending so much quality time with his Auntie Al!

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Doug and I decided that Donovan’s birthday gift would be annual passes to the zoo.  Growing up, my family used to go to the zoo once a month.  I have such fond memories of seeing the animals and playing in the water fountains before heading home exhausted.

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Auntie L was also able to join in the fun!

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We had a blast at the zoo.  We saw many animals.  And Donovan enjoyed his first doughnut!

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Donovan went on his first carosel ride.  He only enjoyed the first half and then wanted to get off.

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We went to PDQ for lunch and then to Sports Authority to get a few last minute birthday party items.

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We avoided most of the rain that day, which made for the the perfect nap time!

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We took his measurements for the family measuring stick.

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And we took his last month photos, which were really difficult since he has become super fast!  We were lucky to get the sticker and the bunny in the same picture.

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Donovan’s Birthday Party was on March 28th and it was a baseball theme.  We asked everyone to wear their favorite baseball team apparel or colors.  And naturally, Donovan was the Rookie of the Year.

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We had hamburgers, hot dogs, Cracker Jacks, peanuts, and nachos.  The nachos were served in those plastic dishes that are used at real baseball games (Thank you, Sam’s Club). And they were a special request from Doug.  They were quite a hit and everyone loved them!

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I think everyone would agree that the highlight of the party was the cake smash.  We posted the video on facebook (https://vimeo.com/134027550) and people loved it!  Donovan was not shy when it came to enjoying his cake.  He eventually put his entire face in it.  He was polite and offered to share some with me, as I was attempting to keep the cake on his tray.  And, Donovan decided to have his cake and eat it too, by searing it all over his hair.

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The party was a blast!  We were so thankful for all of our amazing family and friends who came to celebrate our special boy. Donovan was a party animal and almost missed his nap!

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Donovan’s birthday and party were both special days for our little family.  Even though, it wasn’t easy to see Donovan’s first year come to a close, I was comforted by the fact that the best would be yet to come.

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With Love,

From Me to You

Donovan: Month Twelve

March is a big birthday month in the DeGroot household.  Doug turned 34 and we celebrated by watching some spring training baseball!  Doug finally got his grill and, of course, we enjoyed our favorite strawberry shortcake.

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Donovan's first Chocolate chip cookie.
Donovan’s first Chocolate chip cookie.

We celebrated St. Patrick’s day with an Irish dinner with the Mitchells, Sweeney’s and Schwartzes:

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We cheered on Leah and Becky in the Sarasota Half-Marathon:

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And just like that, Donovan’s first year came to an end.  When I took his 11 month pictures I felt an impending sense that this ending had completely blindsided me.  How had time flown by so fast?  I knew that I had cherished every moment, but still, I found myself wondering where the time went.

The first year was a roller coaster of emotions. Watching Donovan grow was a gift unlike any other.  And as time passed I look forward to the new experiences to come.  But I also couldn’t help but long for those moments that had already passed.  Packing away outgrown clothes, reaching new milestones, and looking at old pictures served as reminders of how much had changed.

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Even though he is a bit too big for this seat, it still worked when I needed to take a shower.

There was something about the end of the first year that made me even more sentimental.  I was hyper-aware of the last time Donovan would take a bath as a baby, the last time I would tuck Donovan in as a baby, the last time I would read Donovan “Fox in Socks” as a baby.  It seems silly looking back now, but at the time it just felt like a momentous ending.

At least Donovan still likes to be worn 🙂

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As his birthday drew closer, we started getting lots of fun gifts in the mail:

A new chair from Grandma Kimmy!
A new chair from Grandma Kimmy!
A train from Grandma and Grandpa DeGroot.
A train from Grandma and Grandpa DeGroot.
And he started making a list for his thank-you notes!
And he started making a list for his thank-you notes!

And on March 26th, I put Donovan to sleep for the last time my little baby.

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With Love,

From Me to You

Donovan: Month Eleven

February was all about visitors!  Grandma Kimmy arrived just in time to babysit so Doug and I could go to the Bob Seger concert with my family.  I know you are wondering why we would go to a Bob Seger concert.  Well, each summer the Schwartz family would drive to Illinois to visit family.  Looking back, the summer road trips are some of my favorite family memories.  Sure, it was a really long time in the car and there were some moments on each trip when one, or all, of us would wish we were there already, but the quality time was so unique and special.  To help pass the time, we listened to a lot of music.  The driver usually had final say and there ways really only so much N’Sync that my Dad could tolerate.  Bob Seger was a favorite and the greatest hits cd reminds me of those long hours on the road.  My Dad purchased tickets for my Mom’s birthday and he let the rest of the family tag along.  The concert was great!

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Adam and Kristin had spent their honeymoon in Costa Rica and on their return, they planed a stop in Florida to visit with family.  Kathy decided to come visit us before we traveled south.  The visit was perfect.  Ann and Frank were excellent hosts!  And, both Kathleen and Maggie, their two daughters, were able to come home.  It was so fun seeing Kristin’s growing bump!

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Ann and Kathy had planned a surprised baby shower for Kristin and Adam, so Doug and I were responsible for distracting them.  We took them to Buy Buy Baby to test-drive some strollers and so Kristin and Adam could check out all of the fun baby gear.  I’m pretty sure that every new parent that walks through those doors is overwhelmed by all the stuff lining the walls.  I remember wondering if I really needed any of it.  We did the best we could to not add to the baby stuff mania.   We showed them exactly what we used and what was just fluff.

When we got home, Kristin and Adam were so surprised by the Baby Shower.  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and Ann had some fun games to plan.  My personal favorite was when Frank, Doug and Adam had to put a balloon under their shirts and accomplish a number of tasks while being “pregnant”.  I wish they could actually know how challenging it is to carry around that baby bump, but it was pretty entertaining to watch.  Unfortunately, Doug made me swear to not post any pictures from the relay.

Kristin and Adam are waiting to find out the sex of the baby, so we offered our favorite baby names.  Some of them were better than others.  We can’t wait to hear if any of our suggestions made it to the top of their lists.  We still don’t know what names they have decided on!

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The next morning Doug, Donovan and Kathy took a swim, even though it was still a little chilly.

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We left the next day, but not until we took a bunch of family pictures!!

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On the drive home...the car was parked :)
On the drive home…the car was parked 🙂

Valentine’s day was a busy one.  I had to work in the morning, so my Valentines met me for a walk at Flatwoods Park.  They brought food for a picnic.  The weather was still a little cool, but the sun was warm, which made for a beautiful walk!

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That evening we went with Phil and Amber to check out Top Golf.  Being a non-golfer, I did not expect that I would enjoy the outing.  But, in the end I was really impressed.  It felt really similar to bowling because there was a place to sit when it wasn’t your turn and their were different games that you could play.  I thought that you would just hit the ball as far as you could, like a driving range.  There were these different colored ball pits that indicated different points and you could play different games depending on what your group wanted to do.  Everything was super high-tech and the seating was really nice.  The beer was great, too!  However, I am not any better at golf, nor do I think that I will enjoy golf anytime soon!

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Aunt Joni and Uncle John came down for a two week visit.  It was so nice to see them! They came over to see our house and we enjoyed a nice dinner outside on our awesome new patio set that we found a yard sale.

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February is also the beginning of Strawberry season in Florida.  After an afternoon adventure hike, we found this amazing produce stand that sold the best strawberry shortcake.  After our discovery, we became addicted!  So delicious!

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We celebrated Italian night with the Mitchells and Sweeneys while Aunt Joni and Uncle John were in town.  Michael came down for the second half of their visit and it was so nice to have everyone together!

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Donovan reached a big milestone this month.  After a few steps here and there he started WALKING!

A few random moments:

Donovan loves spaghetti!
Donovan loves spaghetti!
Stella puts up with so much!
Stella puts up with so much!

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Still babywearing!
Still babywearing!

Eleven month Photos:

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With Love,

From Me to You