Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So 3 Months Later...

WARNING! This is ridiculously long. I've been doing this post for 4 days. It's tough to stay motivated when the browser crashes every time you try to upload multiple pics. Oh well, it's done now. Hope you enjoy it, if you make it all the way to the end! Also, I'm fully aware of the shameless self-indulgence exemplified by the absurd number of pictures... and I'm ok with it. Have fun scrolling. Here goes...

"For this child I prayed..." -1 Samuel 1:27

It's hard to believe that it has been 3 months since my last post, which means it is also hard to believe that Abbott is 3 months old! Where to begin, where to begin? How about this:

And now with a little more pizazz!

Before I proceed, let's get one thing straight... I'd be lying if I said I didn't go through my Limp Bizkit phase in college. Come on, you know you did too. However, I currently think they are one of the most terrible bands of all time, so that is in no way an endorsement of Durst and Co. That said, the song seemed appropriate.

So a lot has happened in the past 3 months, and Abbott is changing every day. Perhaps I'll summarize each month separately.

We spent most of the first month home just getting used to having an additional family member. Fortunately adjustments were minimal because Abbott was a pretty easy baby right out of the gate. Our main focus was trying to get a pattern established and letting Em get as much rest as possible. We had many visitors and Abbott got to meet lots of friends and family. Kyle and Julie stopped by, and Gwendolyn came to visit for a few days. So did Mason, Amber, Anna Kate, and Grace. We got to see Nana and Papoo, Moninny, and Poppy and Dovey as well. Charlie, Oriana and Clare and Kyle were also here for a few days. It was the first time that I've seen my brother since May of 2007 and we finally got to meet Oriana! We had a blast with them just hanging around the house and playing some serious Wii Disc Golf. Here are a few pics from August... just a few.

A very eventful month. We didn't get to go on the annual Gulf Shores trip this year, seens how the baby was only 2 weeks old. However, Hudson, Melissa, and the kids met us back down there over Labor Day weekend and we had a blast. And Abbott did great on the 8 hour car trip, which actually ended up being about 11 hours! Both ways! Around 1 month, she really started being responsive, cooing a lot and smiling at us and to our voices. She also started tolerating a little tummy time, but only a little. She experienced her first football Sunday with Dad too. Oh, and lets not forget that first round of shots. That was not fun. Em and Abbott took a little road trip to Crossett one week and then I met them with Nana and Papoo in Hot Springs for the weekend. Abbott got to go out on the barge, but she pretty much hated her life vest. The picture should explain why. Here are some more pics from the month... just a few.

This has been the least eventful month since Abbott arrived, yet it has still managed to be a blast. Of course, how can every single second not be an absolute blast when you have such an amazing, beautiful, perfect child? We haven't done much. We haven't gone anywhere. I spent a Sunday with Mom a few weeks ago for Family Day with her church and had a great time. She's been over a few times for dinner, which we've really enjoyed. Abbott loves to see her Moninny. We've spent a few Sundays with Chip and Kirsten for football. It's become tradition on the weekend when we're all in town. Dad and Deb came over one Saturday for a few hours as well. It's been really great for Abbott to get to spend so much time with all of her grandparents, on both sides. It's truly a blessing. Here are some pics from October so far. Marc and Dana are coming in on Friday for a long weekend. We are super excited! This will be their first time to meet Abbott. We'll post more pics afterwards... but just a few! Enjoy!

If you've managed to make it this far, then thanks for taking the interest. Now that I've proofread it, it actually isn't that long, there's just a lot of scrolling with all the pictures. Maybe it felt long because it took FOR-E-VER to get all the pictures uploaded and arranged. Ironic, since I decided against doing slideshows because they are so time consuming! We'll keep the updates coming, and it won't be 3 more months. I made a home page to serve as kind of a central hub for this blog, both of our Facebooks, and our MobileMe gallery. Feel free to bookmark it for quick access:

PS-I just want to make it perfectly clear to all who read this how truly thankful I am for my beautiful wife and daughter. I don't know yet what God's will for my life is but He has, at the very least, given me a taste of what fulfillment is.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our First Day Home

We're home! The doctor gave Abbott a clean bill of health and we got discharged this morning around 11:00. First order of business was to introduce her to the dogs. Sam, Frodo, and Lola were very excited to see us since we've been gone for 3 days, but they were also very curious about the baby. After some sniffing and licking, everything seems to be great. Frodo seems to have taken to her the most. He has been very curious all day and he keeps lurking around whenever we hold her. He likes to sit next to me in protective mode. Emily got a long nap today and I hung out with the sleeping beauty on the couch. She spent a lot of the day in the cradle that Em's dad made for us. Not much else has happened today. Max grilled some awesome filets on the Green Egg and went ahead and rewired and installed a few light fixtures... just because. I just wanted to give a quick update and let everyone know that we are home, Em and Abbott are both doing great, and we couldn't be more thrilled. I've put more pics at MobileMe so check them out when you get a chance.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Abbott Clare

Where do I even start?! How about... I'm a DAD! Words cannot describe the last 48 hours. Once Em was fully dilated, which happened super fast, the doc wanted her to "labor down" so that she wouldn't have to do a bunch of extra pushing. So about an hour and a half past 10 cm, the nurse came in and got the party started. (NOTE: I'm fully aware that this post, and probably the rest of my life, is going to be full of cliches about childbirth and feelings that every first time dad has... and I simply do not care.) Obviously, I'm not going to go into detail about the birth, but it was absolutely amazing. Emily was a true champ! It was my first rodeo so I don't have anything to compare to, but she made it look like a piece of cake. I'll say this too, for any of you dads-to-be... watch the birth. I don't care what you think now, or how queazy you are, it's not gross, it's freaking amazing. So Emily pushed for about an hour and 10 minutes and at 2:22 pm on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009, Abbott Clare arrived. And as soon as she did, there was a huge gasp of amazement throughout the room when we all realized how big she was! 9 pounds, 12 ounces and 21 1/2 inches long! Are you kidding me?! She is the most beautiful thing on planet earth, I don't even know how to describe it. All the stuff they say about your life changing instantaneously is absolutely true. The rest of the day was spent putting Abbott through the ringer... poking, prodding, pushing, pulling, cameras, tons of people, bathing, screaming, crying... sounds awesome. Both of our families were here for the event and we have had waves of visitors. Things wound down last night around 10:30 and it was finally just Mommy, Daddy, and Baby. Once it was quiet and just us, the reality and emotion and joy of the entire day came crashing down on both of us. We kept her in the room with us until about midnight and then called the nursery to take her for the night so we could sleep. And sleep we did. They brought her in around 3 am so Em could feed her and then took her back. Speaking of that... so far, Em and Abbott are taking to nursing very well. We pray it will stick! We both slept great and then this morning they brought her back in and we've spent the entire day with family and visitors. Mer came by with Allie and Mary this morning because they've been dying to hold Abbott. My mom surprised us by dropping in this afternoon and Em's dad got here around 5:30. The pediatrician is gonna clear us to go home in the morning so we're crashing here one more night. But the room is nice and big and the service has been top notch the entire time, so it's actually not that bad. It has been a whirlwind and we're pretty beat, despite the good sleep last night. Now we're just ready to get home and start the next chapter. Emily and I want everyone to know how much we appreciate you all. We have been inundated with phone calls, voice mails, text messages, Skype chats, and visitors. Technology has made it possible for us to share this with so many people. I feel like there is so much more to write about, but I'm beat and slightly distracted by this little piece of perfection next to me. I will say this... this has been the greatest birthday of my life. Here are a few pics from the last 2 days. To see more, go to my MobileMe gallery. I'll also get an album up at emmyadam as soon as I can.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Waiting Game...

Well, it's finally here! We're having this baby whether we like it or not. We got to the hospital last night around 8 and got settled into our rather large room. By the time everything was done and Em was all "patched in to the system" it was almost 11. They gave her an Ambien and it knocked her right out and she got a few hours of sleep. Her water broke about 1:45 this morning so there was a lot of activity for a while. The contractions really started getting her attention after that and they gave her the epidural around 5 am. Some tiny spurts of shuteye was all either of us really got once her water broke. Em's mom got here around 7 this morning and Mer around 8. The doc checked her around 8:15 and she was dilated to 4 cm. Another check around 9:30 and she was at 6 cm, so it looks like things are moving along. Her contractions are pretty strong and fairly regular, but she doesn't really feel them. Her biggest issue has been some nausea, which the doc says is a good sign and very normal. So we're just waiting now. Uhh... the nurse just checked... 9 cm! Looks like she's coming way sooner than expected! We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Super Baby Shower Extravaganza Weekend!

Hello all! It’s been too long since a post has been... posted(?) about the goings on in the Koelling household. My last post was on January 31st and Em’s was on February 7th. Sad, sad, sad. It’s been the most eventful year in our 7 years together and I haven’t written anything about it. Hopefully everyone knows by now that Emily is pregnant. And although you can’t tell by looking at her, she’s due in basically a month. July 16th is the official due date and so far, everything has gone pretty smooth. I know I can’t speak from “I have a baby growing inside me” experience, but I don’t think that Em would disagree that her pregnancy has been pretty perfect so far. Not until about 3 weeks ago did she really start showing any true signs of discomfort. My first taste of it was a few weeks ago when I called her at work and she answered the phone breathing very heavily. I said, “Em, you sure are breathing hard.” And she replied, “Yep, I’ve been walking.” That, for me, was the tide turner, if you will. But MAN... she’s just about the cutest little pregnant thing I ever did see! So needless to say we’ve had a lot going on, from remodeling our house, making baby preparations (nesting, I’m told it’s called... see, I’m learning!), and being gone or having people here every weekend, the last 8 months have flown by and here we are just 36 days away! There are several “events” that have occurred that I want to write about and share with everyone, and I’ll do it in a retrospect kind of way; however, this post is to kick things off again and share the great weekend we had last week. It was Emily’s baby shower and there was a great turnout. We had so many friends and family come in for the whole weekend and it was a blast. We definitely scored on supplies and the house is all “babied” up. Em has done a great job on the nursery and the closet is packed full of clothes. We aren't going to have to buy clothes for a while, that's for sure! I know, I know, famous last words. I've already bought shirts since the shower. One has the Star Wars lettering on the front and it says "Barf Vader". Yeah, it's not exactly girly, but it was $6 at Walgreen's and I couldn't pass it up. But I digress. The shower was incredible. Em and I feel very blessed to have so many friends and family that care so much. I think we're about as ready as we can be. I'm very excited about being a dad and can't wait to see Em as a mom. We just got back from week 2 of our childbirth class at the hospital. Tonight it was all about labor itself and it did not pull any punches. I turned to Em during the video and said "yeah, good luck with that." She starts her weekly appointments on Monday. Up to this point, everything has looked great. Friday marks 35 weeks... we are definitely on the home stretch! I'll do my best to keep everyone posted and I have full intentions of posting more often now. I'm certainly gonna have plenty to write about, the question is, will I have the time?! We had a great time with everyone last weekend. Thanks so much to everyone that was there and thank you all for the wonderful gifts. I've posted a few pics here, but if you want to see them all, click on the link below. I've started a website for us to post pictures and info, etc. I'll keep blogging here, but pictures, videos, and random stuff will be on the site. Enjoy!