Saturday, December 26, 2009

Then and Now

One year ago on Christmas Eve our family consisted of:

and Craig (making hamballs!)

This year on Christmas Eve our family consists of:

me, Craig, and TWO more...

our two precious sons.

What a difference a year makes!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eli's Birth Story

Today is Eli's due date. I wonder if we hadn't induced, would he have come by now or would we still be waiting? Dr. Lines, my OB, knew it was a tough decision for me to induce, so after he was born and we learned his birth weight was 9 lbs. she said, "Aren't you convinced you did the right thing? Next week you would most likely be delivering a 10 lb. baby!"

So, no stories of driving to the hospital in an ice storm and stopping at Burger King on the way, but a wonderful birth story all the same. We were ready to leave the house by 7am, said goodbye to my mom who came to be with Gage, and drove to the hospital with my stomach full of butterflies! My heart was heavy to leave my little boy for the longest I've ever left him, but I was so excited that the day had arrived when I'd be meeting my little "mover and shaker" I'd gotten to know over the past nine months!

My mom and my sister were the only two who knew the exact day we would be inducing since they were both planning on coming to care for Gage while we were in the hospital. Right before we left for the hospital my sister texted me this verse: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you." Deut. 31:6 What a great reminder. I needed that.

Once we were checked into our hospital room I was much more calm. We were in the exact same room where I delivered Gage! We had a wonderful nurse, Jenny, up until 3:00 and then found out that Beth would be taking over (hopefully my delivery nurse) who we remembered from last time and loved! I could feel God wrapping me with comfort and confidence that all would go well.

Dr. Lines broke my water at about 9:15am. I started feeling contractions within the hour but they were sporadic and hard to even measure. Craig and I spent the morning playing games, walking the halls, watching tv, and just talking. It was such a great day! By noon we decided it was time for Pitosin. Nothing really got going though until Dr. Lines came back around 5pm and checked me. I was at a 4. I couldn't believe it - 8 hours later and only at a 4! Whatever she did though was just what it took because by 5:30 I was getting an epidural! At 8:45 we knew I was dialated to 8 and we hoped for a baby by 10pm.

Dr. Lines came in a little after 9 and said I was complete! So I pushed a few times and Beth said, "I can see hair!" Really?! I was shocked! Last time it took over 2 hours of pushing to get to that point. And the next thing we knew she was paging the nursery nurse to "get here right now!"

All of a sudden Dr. Lines said to me, "Heidi reach down and take your baby." Those were the most beautiful words to me. And the second set came next..."It's a boy!" What I wanted so badly. A little brother for Gage!

I had several moments to hold my new little boy, white slimy stuff and all! Everyone laughed at how much he was touching my face, making me white and slimy too. The nursery nurse just waited patiently until I was ready for her to have him. It was such a treat! I didn't want to let him go.

And now it was time for us to get on with a name for him... Eli Craig it would be, there was never really any question. That name was in my heart the whole time he was in my womb.

So that is Eli's birth story. A long, wonderful day for me, a quick entrance into the world for him, the Lord seeing us through it all. One of the best stories I could tell!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And so came our JOY...

After nine months of waiting, anticipating, imagining and worrying...
Eli Craig Engelbrecht joined our family on Wednesday, December 16 at 9:19 pm.

He came into this world with ten long fingers, ten long toes, two dimples, many long eyelashes, and a hearty cry. He is our beautiful blessing!

After nine months of shock, awe, and disbelief... our JOY came on a beautiful winter evening.

Welcome to our world baby Eli! We are a better family with you in it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Side to Gage

If you read the 11 months old post, then you know I mentioned Gage has been demonstrating his little temper lately. Well, I actually caught it on camera today:

What a face! We think he is still pretty cute even when he's upset! :) Here he was getting upset because he wanted the camera. Thankfully he gets over things quickly.

And now on to making the next mess...

Monday, December 7, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Last year the only Christmas decorating we did was a very mini tree with white lights on an end table in the living room and a poinsettia on the kitchen table. And that was just fine with me - I had more important things on my mind, like having my baby anytime around the holidays!

This year, being in the same situation, I was content doing the same thing, but a part of me really missed the larger tree and decorations around the house we used to have. Well, we were so blessed to have some friends who run a Christmas tree farm over Thanksgiving weekend (and through the weekends over the holidays) bring a real tree back for us! Craig and I have never had a real tree before! And although it's very simple, and all of our ornaments are in storage so I spent a total of $10 at Wal-Mart in decorations, I absolutely love it! Gage does too - he says many "ohh"s while looking at it...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dear Gage...11 Months

Dear Gage,

You are now 11 months close to one year! I can't believe it! It is so fun watching you grow and change. Well, most of the time...! I have to admit, this past month has been the most challenging so far. You are displaying your strong will and frustration these days, just as all babies eventually do, so we pray that we are doing a good job in guiding you well!

Something that is fascinating you lately is the garbage can! You love lifting the lid and seeing what you can pull out. No matter what we do to steer you away you always go right back. The first time I put a chair in front of it you crawled into the kitchen and just cried and cried because you couldn't get to it. Now you have realized that you can move the chair...You are just too strong for your own good!

In just one month you are now:

~ Standing on your own! One day you stood up using a box and then let go with your arms out for about 5 seconds. You knew you did something great and I cheered and cheered! Then a day or so later Daddy got to see you stand up right in the middle of the floor without using anything to hold on to. Do I see some walking in your near future?

~ You love to grab my fingers and take off walking! You would do that all day if I didn't tire out. You know where you want to go and lead me all around, quickly!

~ Clapping, a lot! One evening you were watching a show with Daddy and something must have struck you funny because all of a sudden you started clapping and laughing. After that you clap at all kinds of things and when anyone else claps first. It is so cute!

~ Waving! We would see it every now and then before, but now you wave when someone else waves and when we say "bye bye"! It happens at home, at church, at the grocery store...

You still love your walker and you are going faster and faster now. No more old man moves from you! Last week I was talking to Daddy in the living room and all of a sudden out of nowhere you tore past us on that walker! Oh we laughed so hard! It was such a funny sight, especially because before that you usually needed our help in getting started.

You are such a silly boy! You make me laugh so much. I love your funny faces, the way you bend over with your head touching the ground just waiting to be flipped over, and spontaneous things like this:

When I was working on something at the desk, out of the corner of my eye I could see you reach for the extra bibs nearby and when I turned you were holding one on top of your head just waiting for me to look at you. Silly boy!

"Driving" around one of your books:

Some tidbits I don't want to forget:
~ You have 4 teeth on top, 2 on the bottom and one more that just popped through!
~ You love pulling your hair - especially at mealtime which can create quite a mess!
~ You have recently started saying "ohh" when you see something you want!
~ You are very attached to your yellow blanket, the one that has been there from the beginning...It makes you so happy!

Sweet, sweet Gage, I just can't express in words how much I love you and how proud I am to be your mommy. You are so special. My prayer for you is that you flourish in all the special traits that God has blessed you with. Very soon you are going to be a big brother! I know it is so soon, and you will have to share me then, but I know you will be such a good big brother and I can't wait to share our lives with another Baby E!

Next time I write you are going to be a big 1 year old!

Loving you always,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gobble Gobble...

...was what we did over the Thanksgiving holiday! Look at this spread of desserts alone:

My mom always prepares a feast.

I contributed a broccoli salad, sweet potato casserole and oatmeal pie this year. (Remind me not to offer to make broccoli salad when I am nine months pregnant again...lots of standing and cutting, ouch!)

Gage enjoyed the turkey, and crawling up GrandMary's long set of stairs!

Craig and I were up at 4:30am on Friday and out the door by 4:45! We had some sales to take advantage of! No large purchases this year, just fun ones like a Christmas onesie for Baby E (2) that says "All my Mommy wants for Christmas is a Silent Night!"

On Friday we had a second Thanksgiving feast at my sister's house with my dad.

We were on our way home by Friday afternoon with a tired little guy and the satisfaction of good food, and GREAT family time together! I have so much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Brief Recap

Oh my goodness, it has been almost two weeks since I last posted?!

Life has been good, slow, busy, and fast I guess! To recap, Craig was out of town during the week of Nov. 8. I had been dreading it for a long time leading up to it because I always miss him terribly when he's gone, and because I am exhausted and moving slow these days, which is not a good combination when you have a 10 month old!

But we got through it just fine! It helped having my mom here 2 1/2 of the 6 days. I loved spending time with her and seeing her bond with Gage! Gage loved having GrandMary here too.

He was so happy to have his daddy back on Saturday! We took him to another ISU football game, and once again, he did great. We left a little early, and as we were walking by a woman a few rows behind us, she leaned over to me and said, "Oh, now we don't get to have fun watching him anymore!" He is definitely entertaining...even when he's tired! He actually fell asleep in the carrier on Daddy's back by the time we got to the top of the stadium steps so we stood at the top and watched the last quarter. And we got to witness the Cyclones win - yippee!

Last week Craig was gone again from Wednesday through Friday, a spur-of-the-moment business trip. I made him promise not to be gone again at least until January! He does want to be here for the birth of our child so I think he is planning to stick around...

The best things that have happened over the past two weeks are all about Gage...just when I was starting to wonder what I will be writing about in his 11 month letter, he started doing some big growing and changing! You'll have to wait and see how... :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dada Wins

Gage was talking up a storm recently so I wanted to capture his sweet little baby talk on video. Well, the conversation didn't quite go like I had planned, but I succumb...Dada wins.

(I realized too late that I need to hold the camera differently so it's not sideways! Oh well, next time!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gage at the Game

Last year, Gage attended many ISU football games, cozy and snug in the womb. This year, he was able to actually watch the game at Jack Trice stadium, cozy and snug in Daddy's lap.

And he loved every minute of it!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

10 Months Old

Dear Gage,

You turned 10 months old the day after your mama's birthday! We are watching you grow and change very quickly these days.

This is what's been new in the past month:

~You are giving us kisses! They are big and sloppy, and they even come when we ask for them! Oh they make us feel so loved. You even blessed GrandMary with big kisses while she was here this week.

~You are walking behind your walker! That is probably your favorite activity right now. It keeps us busy turning you around everytime you come to a roadblock! We love watching you have so much fun.

~You love music! You have always loved hearing SteveSongs, now you love dancing to him, and all kinds of other music. We first noticed it when Michael Buble was playing on tv.

~You have gotten so good at things like putting the little ball into the right hole in your shapes box, and placing the rings onto the little stick. The rings toy has been one of your favorites for awhile now. Whenever you see it with the rings stacked on it you have to quickly pull them off. Just in the past month you are now putting them back on. I think you are so smart!

~You are a good little grocery shopper with me. Everything I put into the cart must go through your hands first though, and you like to help me hold the bags on the way out. My wallet continues to keep you entertained going through the checkout, and it never fails that we hear the comment, "Well, is he paying today?" For some reason stores like Target and Kohls are not your favorite...hmm, sounds a lot like your daddy!

~You are eating all kinds of finger foods these days! We even ordered your first kids meal at Hickory Park a few weeks ago: a chicken drumstick and mashed potatoes! You love chicken. That is the most consistent favorite. Some days you like carrots, some days not. Some days you like pears, some days not, etc, etc. I really hope you will not be a picky eater!

You love to get messy!

You bring such joy to everyone Gager! Wherever we take you there are smiles and laughter. We are so blessed that we get to experience that joy with you every day! My prayer for you is that you will never lose that joyful spirit, or the desire to share it with others. You will always be our precious boy, our wish come true.

Loving you always,

Just love those big smiles!

Friday, November 6, 2009

33...and counting

I wasn't thrilled about turning 33 this year. It sounds so much older than 32! But I still had a great birthday, and I think I will always enjoy my birthdays even though I don't like the number...

I started out the day with an OB visit. 33 weeks on my 33rd birthday! Great news - first and foremost: the baby/my belly grew 2 cm and the heartbeat sounded wonderful! Also my hemoglobin had been low last time and is now back up to normal, so no additional iron tablets for me! And secondly: I gained 0 lbs. since my last visit! Woohoo! I can't help but rejoice at the way the scale is going this time around. I'll admit it...I gained 43 lbs. last time! So I am very happy that it shouldn't be near that this time.

My sweet hubby stayed home the whole morning for me as a little surprise! We had a McDonald's breakfast when I returned, a favorite of mine! (Between that and lots of birthday cake to come we'll see what the scale says in 2 weeks - ha!) And he had some presents wrapped and waiting for me on the table. (Remember last year when my gift was handed to me in the car? :)

Speaking of last year...what a difference a year makes! I would never have DREAMED that I would be this pregnant AGAIN one year later!

When Gage woke from his nap I got to open one present from adorable card and Michael Buble cd. (We learned a few weeks ago that Gage likes to dance to Michael Buble!) I was so impressed with Craig's effort! A card from Gage (and even one more later) and wrapped presents?! He did good.

I received lots of wonderful birthday wishes through Facebook and email, and visited a dear friend in the afternoon. Then my mom came that night and watched Gage for us while we went out to eat at Red Lobster and walked through Borders. It was so nice to have a date with Craig. I just wish I hadn't been so tired! Between the time change, my on-the-go 10 month old, and being 33 weeks pregnant, I am an early-to-bed girl these days!

Before we left I opened more presents with Gager's help. Later Craig apologized for giving me cooking and cleaning aids for gifts (a Dirt Devil cordless vac and a food processor!) but I couldn't be happier! Anything that makes those two things easier for me is a wonderful gift!

Gage is happy about it too!

So that was my day in a nutshell. My second birthday in a row that will be a "last"... Last year was my last childless birthday, and this year was my last one-child-only birthday! Many times "lasts" are a sad thing, but in this case, they're a GREAT thing!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gage's First Halloween...

The "pumpkin" and the skeleton...

Craig was tenderly calling me a pumpkin all day! :) I had to agree.

Since we don't have any relatives nearby we decided to show off our little skeleton at the mall! He had a great time playing in the kids' play area and chasing a little ladybug...

Is somebody getting tired? I don't think it's the 9 month old...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

9 Month Pictures

This photo session was very different from the previous ones we've had...a lot faster! We had to capture those smiles and cute expressions quickly before our little "cyclone" was on the go! Here are some of my favorites: