Monday, November 17, 2008

a few firsts

i thought i'd share a few pictures of riley's first ever cupcake eating experience. we had a family party for her in seattle last sunday, so i made a big batch of chocolate cupcakes for the event.

she didn't know what to think at first...

but after i helped her blow out the candle and handed over a cupcake, she acted like she'd been eating cupcakes for years...

i made a different set of cupcakes for her actual birthday last tuesday and let her have another one, and apparently she is not picky when it comes to sugar. vegetables, yes, but frosting, no. it was really cute watching her eat and at one point she just picked up the whole cupcake and tried to put it in her mouth. it ended up on her lap and lots and lots of crumbs on grandma's floor :)

we were undecided whether we should get riley anything for her birthday, being that she is only 1 and doesn't know what birthdays are quite yet. however, i had my eye on this chair for a while and my dad ended up getting her the chair and we bought the slipcover. she loves it! it came just a few days ago and we are having a lot of fun with it. the only problem is, any new item that enters our 900 square foot house causes a major re-shuffle. we are still trying to figure out the best spot for it, so for now it's shoved in the corner next to her crib. she doesn't seem to mind though...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

happy 1st birthday riley!

and so the rest of riley's birth story goes...

i labored all through the night, contraction after contraction, trying to fully dilate. my contractions were strong, but my body was just not cooperating! it was a long night, but somehow it went by pretty quickly. i think i was so focused and in such a rhythm that the hours just passed by. the sun starting coming up around 7am, and alas, i could start pushing! i pushed for 2 1/2 hours, in lots of different positions, but riley was just not coming. after much talk, tears and a HUGE effort on tyler and i's part, it was decided that she needed to come out via c-section. a big disappointment after several hours of really hard work, but we were beyond exhausted and so ready to meet our baby, we knew that it needed to be done. so out she came...

she was perfect the moment we saw her and i knew that we should name her riley - an irish name meaning valiant and courageous. she was "transverse" - her head was turned and facing the wrong way, a very challenging birthing position. friends and family flocked to meet her and we spent the next several days in the hospital admiring her beauty. her l o o o n g toes and fingers, her big bright eyes and her perfect shape. the day+ of labor did not seem to phase her - she was alert and looking around from the moment she came out.

she has been a true joy ever since. her vibrant and energetic personality keep me on my toes on an hourly basis - but i would not wish for anything different. she is sweet and full of smiles and has brought us more joy than we knew possible. i am blessed to spend every day with her. we are truly pals and i know these days are long and challenging, but something i will cherish the rest of my life. happy birthday to my sweet riley girl. i love you more than you know and look forward to watching you grow each and every day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

ten on ten (11/10)

i did something different for this month's ten on ten photo project. a year ago today - - - 11/10/07 - - - i was in labor with riley. i spent the day reflecting on last year: what i was doing, thinking and feeling, so i took some pictures that reminded me of that amazing day a year ago. riley's birth story started on this day...but it did not end until the next day. so tomorrow i will finish the story of her birth - on her birthday! - but for now, here are my ten memories from last year, as well as a brief version of what took place.

riley was 5 days early, so much to my surprise, i was awoken with my first contraction at 5am on saturday morning, the day after my last day of work. i was suppose to have AT LEAST a week until my "due date" to rest, tie up last minute details and just enjoy some down time. ha! riley had something else in mind for me, so we spent the next few hours laying in bed, shocked and a bit giddy that this baby was coming!

we spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon taking walks around the neighborhood enjoying the beautiful fall day. i remember the day being crisp, the sky blue, sun out and the colors standing out so vibrantly. tyler picked up some spicy thai food for lunch and i tried to rest as much as possible. (the picture below the sky picture is a specific street corner i remember having a contraction on!)

by the 4 o'clock afternoon hour i transitioned into active labor, so we spent about the next six hours or so in our back bedroom working through the contractions. i was leaning into tyler, on the ball and receiving some great massage from our doula.

we left for the hospital around 10:30pm (only 1 mile away!), checked in and got settled into our room. tyler brought our laptop and set it up with music and a picture slideshow. i spent many contractions gaining strength as i watched the pictures of our friends, family and beautiful scenery flash by - a really good idea for those of you who are preparing for labor.
and finally a picture of me on that day - huge and ready to give birth!!!
and the rest of the story will come tomorrow!