Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy 8th birthday, Gracie!!!!!!
(more later)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

good week

This has been a busy, but good, week!

Gracie had 'art camp' at church which she really enjoyed. Monday, they went to a pottery making place. Tuesday, they painted ceramics and started working on a pinata. Wednesday, they finished the pinata and worked on an embroidery project. They also did a stained glass at some point in the week. She really had a great time.

I felt like this week was kind of my 're-entry' into the real world since I was driving her to the church building by 9:00 M, T, & W + going to church Wednesday night. I was a little nervous about getting out & about with all 3 by myself but knew it had to happen sometime. It went really well, and it was good to get that 'first time' out of the way and know that I could survive! I even took all 3 to the doctor by myself. They all 3 did great!

Taking Gracie to & from art camp also gave me an opportunity to spend time with some ladies from church and get to know them better which I've been wanting to do. It was so good to hang out & have lunch with new friends! I have been needing this 'girl time' so bad, so I was especially thankful for it. I have been praying specifically about this sort of thing, and I'm thankful to have been blessed this week with time spent with new friends.

Monday when I picked Gracie up from camp and was preparing to leave, a lady in the parking lot told me that they were going to Chick Fil A and asked if we wanted to go. I happily agreed and followed her there where Gracie & Katie enjoyed eating with & playing with her 5 year old girl & 3 year old boy. I enjoyed visiting with their mom, too. Funny thing about this family is that her husband spent some time while growing up in the Atlanta area which is where I grew up and she has lived in Augusta, GA which is very near where we were in Aiken. Now we're both in Houston attending the same church. Small world when you think about it.

Tuesday & Wednesday I had a great time shopping with my new friend Cindy. She & her 10 year old son let us hang out with them, and she showed me some new fun places to shop. Her son did a great job pushing Ellie's stroller and was a real trooper shopping with all of us girls! After we picked up Gracie and her 9 year old son, we ate lunch together. The kids had fun together, and I enjoyed the 'girl time' with Cindy as well. She & I were actually at ACU together although we didn't really know each other.

Tuesday afternoon the girls had fun playing in one of the fountains at the mall. They got soaked and had so much fun doing it!

Wednesday night someone brought us dinner for the next night which was really nice. Soon after Ellie was born we had offers from people to bring us dinner. However, we had so much family here for so long that we didn't need it. We appreciated the offers though! (We did have someone bring it the day Chris's parents left though which was really nice.) She also handed me a gift from her & Cindy. They had gone on a 'scrapbooking weekend' a few weeks ago. Lisa had finished her projects, so she used a book Cindy had and made some lay-outs using all sorts of 'girly papers' (they both have 2 boys, so they don't get to use those kinds of papers very often!) and labeled different sections for each of my girls. Now all I have to do is add cute pictures of them to the pages. That was really sweet of them, and I appreciate it!

Friday, we had a small 'dolphin' birthday party for Gracie where she enjoyed swimming, playing, & celebrating (almost) turning 8 with one of her new friends. Her actual birthday isn't until Monday, so I will write more about our sweet first-born then. She got such a sweet gift from her best friend in South Carolina. It's a necklace that says 'friends.' Her friend has a matching one that says 'best.' We still have more celebrating to do in the next few days......

Friday night, we had a great time at Aaron & Cindy's house for dinner. She cooked a wonderful dinner for us and another family from church. Their house is so beautiful-I am definitely going to be wanting her to help me decorate our new house! Speaking of.......

We were supposed to go look at houses with our realtor Saturday, but she had to cancel on us. We're hoping to be able to look next week. We're getting anxious to get out of our apartment and find a house where we can feel even more settled.

Next week is Katie's turn to go to camp. She will be attending 'Creation Station' day camp 4 days. Gracie & I (and Ellie) are going to help 1 day, so that should be fun. I know Katie will enjoy it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ellie Hollyn is 1 month old!

Today is Ellie's 1 month birthday! We are truly blessed to have our little girl as part of our family~she is loved & a blessing from God!

Her nicknames are "Ellie Roo" and "Ellie Belly." We know that "Ellie Belly" probably won't be appreciated when she gets older, but it just comes out so easily and sounds so cute at this age.

She has started putting weight on her legs when we hold her up and is starting to smile which is adorable. Her hair has started falling out on top which makes her look somewhat like a little old man!It is precious when her big sisters talk to her and she stares at them. I just wonder what she's thinking.

She is doing a tad better at night. Still getting up of course but not quite as often and is going back down somewhat better after eating. She is still mainly sleeping in her bouncy seat but has taken a few naps in just her bed.

She sleeps pretty much everytime we get in the car which is good since with 2 older sisters and living in a big city she should be spending lots of time in it! She enjoyed going to church for the first time Sunday.

Here are some 1 month pictures of our sweet little girl.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What a week

*My darling husband put this new background on for me. Isn't it cute? However......he lost all of my links. Thanks to 'facebook' and most of you being linked to one another, I was able to find an address for most of my former links. I still don't have some of the links I used to have though. :-( Kim....Adalie's're one of them! I can't find you! Please leave me your link if I used to have a link to you and don't anymore and I'll add you back. Thanks! Jill, Julia, & Sara are 3 others I can think of that I can't find.*

little rundown of this week:

Wednesday-It was a hard night Tuesday night, so Chris nicely decided to come home a little after lunch to give me a chance to rest. He actually said it wasn't just for me, that he was tired & not feeling great himself, but it was nice nonetheless. He truly is one of those 'one in a million men' who is such a great husband & daddy! He's not one of those who sits back and expects me to do it all. He is amazing!

Thursday-I guess this night seemed a little bit better but maybe just because I'd gotten a nap the afternoon before.....because she was up quite a bit (like 12, 2:15, 4, 6:35, 8:30) Also, Chris was nice enough to show up in the nursery at 4:00 offering to hold her and feed her. I'd pretty much been just nursing her, but we had thought maybe a little formula would fill her up more. I happily agreed to let him take her at 4-no complaints from me as I crawled back into bed.

I thought I might get out a little bit that afternoon as I was feeling a little 'stir crazy.' I did feel a little 'off' but thought it was just from being tired. I went through the whole routine of getting Gracie & Katie dressed and hair done and getting myself showered & dressed, etc. Ellie was taking a nice long nap and was still napping when I got ready, so I lay down on the couch to 'rest' while she finished her nap. Gracie & Katie were playing in the den where I was laying down. The longer I lay there, the worse I felt. I quickly realized that I actually had chills and felt horrible-similar to the flu.

I texted Chris to let him know and he immediately called me and said he'd come home. I called the doctor because I had a pretty good idea what was going on and knew antibiotics would be needed. The nurse called me back pretty quickly and set me up with an appointment-although not with the actual doctor, but I felt bad enough that I didn't really care who I saw!

Chris got home pretty quick and we got Ellie fed and everyone ready to go. He ended up sitting in the car with all 3 girls rather than bring them inside the office-he was prepared with videos to help G&K be happy. I felt horrible waiting for my turn but it was okay. The nurse practitioner came in and said that yes, it looked like I had what I thought I did...I really think it was the beginning of it, that we caught it early. I had 101.5 fever which made me feel like I was justified in feeling badly!

She told me she'd give me a prescription, that I should go to the ER over the weekend if things got worse and to come back for a re-check Monday. So, an hour later I was able to leave. I guess an hour really isn't that long to be in & out when I just made the appointment that day. I met Chris & the girls in the parking lot and we headed out, stopping for some errands along the way-all of which I stayed in the car for because I still felt horrible.

I took some Motrin soon after we got home to help with my awful headache & the achy feeling and also took my first dose of my antibiotic. I started feeling a little bit better-thanks to the Motrin I'm sure. Chris was supposed to work Friday but said he would see how I felt. When I woke up at 1:00 am with chills again, I guess he decided to stay home for which I was grateful! I mostly fed Ellie during the night when she needed it, but he gave her a bottle at some point and let me sleep in the next morning. We stayed pretty close to home Friday with Chris & the girls going out to swim and to the grocery at some point.

She had a pretty good night Friday night. She actually slept in her room by herself while I slept in my own bed which was nice. We probably all slept better since she couldn't hear us and we couldn't hear her! Chris let me sleep in some this morning also. I think having some extra sleep has helped alot. The antibiotics have helped quite a bit I think and I'm feeling quite a bit better although I do currently have a headache.

Since I was feeling better, my 'stir craziness" was back today, so we headed out to do some things this afternoon. We ate a late lunch at 'Carrabba's'-yum! Chris, Gracie, & Katie just headed out to the pool, and Ellie is snoozing in her bouncey seat while I'm updating the 'ole blog.

We have been talking to a few realtors about starting our house search. Chris really likes the one he had been talking to, so I think we'll probably end up using her. We are tentatively set to go look at some next week. We've been looking online and sent her a list of ones we'd like to see in person. That will be fun!!!!!!!

Also on the agenda for next week is Gracie attending 'art camp' at church. She is sooooo excited, and I am so happy for her to get to do this. She & Katie have both been really good the last couple of weeks and have really played together well, BUT I know they must be a little stir crazy as well, so I'm really glad that she's going to get to do this. She LOVES art and attended an art camp last year in Aiken and loved it, so I know she'll love going to one again this year-and I love that it's at church. Such a neat thing to have offered. The week after, Katie will be going to 'Creation Station' day camp for preschoolers at church. She is soooo excited, too. I'm fully prepared for her to be a little clingy and whiny about being left there, but I'm sure she'll do fine once it all gets started. She keeps wanting to know when she gets to go to her special thing. I'm also fully prepared for her to be whiny when we leave Gracie at church and she doesn't get to stay with her (when Gracie goes to art camp). However, she'll just have to deal with it. We'll probably head to the mall for at least part of the time. There's one nearby that has an indoor playground that I think she'll enjoy while Ellie & I sit and watch.

Also happening next week is a 'mini birthday party' for Gracie!!!!!! Her birthday isn't until July 28th, but the friend she wanted to have help her celebrate wasn't going to be in town that day, so we're celebrating a little early. I asked her what she wanted to do with her friend, and she said she wanted to have a play date and order pizza for lunch. Wow-I got off pretty easy with that one! So, we'll pick up her friend Friday morning and bring her over for them to play, then we'll have a little 'birthday party' around lunchtime then at some point take her friend back home. The theme this year is 'dolphins.' may not be very 'theme-ish' since I didn't find much at Party City and don't plan to drive all over Houston looking for things, but I hope they'll still have fun! After the party, we'll hopefully head out to meet with the realtor and look at some houses!

We'll probably do a little something as a family on her actual birthday and may do something when my brother & niece come visit the first week of August (I hope they get to come!) then we're also going as a family to San Antonio in a couple of weeks to go to Sea World!!!!!! I'm sure we'll see some dolphins there! So, I think Gracie will still have her birthday celebrated plenty even though it may not be one "big" party. With all the changes we've been through the past few months, I truly hope she feels special...because she is!

Ellie & I are probably going to church tomorrow!!!!!! It'll be nice to get out and be back at church again. We'll see how tonight goes and how I feel in the morning, but I think we probably will be there.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

little update

In an effort to be mindful of how much time I sit here updating, I'm going to do this update utilizing 'bullets' rather than wordy paragraphs-well, try anyway.

*signed a bunch of papers that morning to finish the closing on the sale of our house!

*Even though we've been keeping Ellie home from church, we have gone out a few places with her. You know, they say it's better to take them to a store than church because at church people want to look & touch, etc. while at a store, people don't necessarily pay much attention to them. So, I decided I'd like to try to go to one of the local outlet malls. We got all loaded up and made it through 1 store before the lawyer handling our house closing called saying we needed to sign yet 1 more paper and she could fax it to the store across from our apartment (we don't have a fax machine) so we drove the 15-20 minutes back to sign 1 more paper. A little frustrating but for a good cause!

*took the girls to the pool. Ellie is getting practice riding in her stroller by this point!

*It was Gramps's birthday (the day before) so we went out to celebrate. Decided to go to the Galleria afterwards. I was hurting quite a bit by this point but had the 'itch' to be out of the house! Remembered we had left the stroller at home (ugh!) so Ellie had to be carried. I was a little worried since she wouldn't be as 'sheltered' as she can be in all covered up in the stroller, but she was kept pretty close to one of us the whole time.

*Gramps & Gramme left to go home after spending almost 2 weeks here helping us.

*"Nana Kay & Mr. Ron" came to visit for a few hours. They were at the hospital in Uvalde when Gracie was born and were 'surrogate grandparents' to her for the first 9 months of her life before we moved to South Carolina. It was good to see them and let them see Gracie again and get to meet Katie & Ellie! We look forward to seeing them more often now that we live closer.

*A sweet couple from church brought us dinner that night.

*Chris, Gracie, & Katie went to church while I stayed home with Ellie.

*I was able to sleep that afternoon in a hope that it would give me more energy to stay up that night if needed since 'someone' around here likes to stay up in the wee hours!

*Chris, Gracie, & Katie went back to church that night. He had offered to let me go while he stayed home with Ellie, but it'd be a little hard for him to feed her at this point. He brought home a gift from someone at church-some beautiful burp cloths & a bib. LOVE them!

*Ellie slept in her own bed (well, mainly in the bouncey seat in her bed!) for the first time since her room is also the guest room and has been occupied for some time now. I slept in the other bed in the room so I could be closer for those times when I need to get up with her-which is all too often!

*This was my 1st day to stay home with all 3 by myself all day. I survived. I guess.

*A sweet lady from church called and said she and some others are going to plan a shower for us. That is so nice of them to do that-especially with Ellie being a 3rd girl. Someone told Chris, "Everyone gets 1 shower (at this church) whether it's your 1st or your 3rd." Very sweet of them!

*Chris was kind enough to stop & pick up dinner on the way home.

*I got some precious monogrammed baby gifts from my college friend, Valerie! Also, the girls received some letters from South Carolina, we got another gift from a SC friend, and a 'welcome baby' card from another SC friend. It was a great mail day! Getting mail is a huge highlight for me, so it was really great to get so much at once!

*The girls had planned a 'family party' for us that night. We played "Pretty, Pretty Princess" together, Gracie did her daily Bible reading for Bible Class, we sang some songs then gave Ellie a bath. Giving the bath wasn't part of what G&K wanted to do, but since we let them 'help,' it made it a little more bearable for them.

*Monday night was a tough one. Ellie just really wants to be held...a lot. She also has tummy issues poor thing. Makes for a sleepy mommy is all I can say.

*I went back to sleep during Ellie's first morning nap. It was just necessary.

*Gracie & Katie were so great today (well, for most of the day anyway. Gracie was the whole day. It's hard for Katie to be good the whole day poor thing!) They played together and are really such good helpers.

*Ellie had a great afternoon of being peaceful, so that was good.

*I spent some time looking at houses online and talked to at least 1 realtor. My prayer is going to be that we can find something BEFORE school starts and somehow not lose too much money getting out of our lease early. I'd really like Gracie to start school where she's going to finish out the year rather than have to switch again. We've pretty much decided on which suburb to look in, so we feel good about that. Lots of people from church live there and the schools seem to be great as far as rankings & test scores & reputation, etc.

*My mom & mother-in-law had put some things in the freezer, so I got out one of those for dinner tonight. It was nice to have that available.

*I'm hoping for a good night of rest. *sigh* We'll see. I'm struggling with this newborn stage as I usually do. I'm just tired and miss going to bed and sleeping all night. I know 'this too shall pass' and my baby will be grown up sooner than I want, but I still miss sleeping.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

VBS week!

Regardless of what it looks like by looking at Katie's face, the girls enjoyed VBS at night this week. I didn't get to see any of it in person myself, but from what I hear, the Jonah "musical" that was performed at the conclusion of each evening-after classtime-was very entertaining....especially the large parrot....a British parrot if I'm not mistaken. I really think it's neat that so many people were involved in putting on the production-people with children, people without children, elders, etc. Last night, I enjoyed hearing Chris, Gramme, Gracie, & Katie singing some of the songs for me. "Give me a 'J!' You got your J, you got your J....." Katie was cute singing, "Where is Jonah? Where is Jonah? In a fish, in a fish. What is Jonah doing? What is Jonah doing?...."

Katie has been kind of clingy about going to class, so I think going to class 4 nights in a row probably helped her with this. One night when Chris picked her up, she said, "I like this church!" This is a good thing because the clinginess was getting bothersome! (Gracie is in the orange hat.) I think one of Gracie's favorite parts was the ear they made out of plaster (?) with 'ear wax' in it to represent Jonah not listening to God. I think Chris & Gramme are a little glad VBS is over just because it makes for a long week. I'm sure all the people involved in helping with VBS are a little glad too! We sure do appreciate everyone who worked so hard in putting it all together. We've been involved with VBS in Aiken, so we know how much work it takes. Thanks Jennifer!

Today is Gramps's birthday, and we're going to take him out to dinner tomorrow to celebrate. Chris doesn't work tomorrow (yea!), so it'll be nice for him to get to sleep in and stay home & relax. Maybe he'll make it out to the pool with the girls. Gramme has been spending lots of time at the pool with them. Gracie will now run & jump in the shallow end!!!!!! You have no idea what a big deal this is! I am so proud of her. I really think by the end of the summer she will be "officially" swimming. She's getting really close now! Katie is getting braver, but she's not ready to be called a swimmer yet.

Gramme took the girls to the movies this afternoon, and they also each came home with a toy from the nearby "Learning Express" toy store. Fun for them! Ellie was in the mood to be held a lot this afternoon-I think her little tummy was upset as it often is-so I held her and typed with one hand while I browsed around online. I then was able to lay her next to me on the bed and she slept for awhile. She just couldn't quite settle down in her bed or bouncy seat though. However, she slept really good last night!!!!! I fed her around 11:15 and then not again until 4:45. That was awesome!!!!!!!! So, I'll give up my afternoon nap without too much complaint since I got to sleep longer last night! :-)

Gramps & Gramme go home Saturday, so we'll be back to the real world of just us. It's been...what....6 1/2 weeks or so since we've been 'alone'? It's been wonderful to have such good help, but it'll be good to be 'just us' too!

We are set to close on our house TOMORROW MORNING!!!!!!!! Our realtor told Chris it was a 'God thing' because nothing was closing in Aiken. She said the realtor for the buyers is a single mom who needs the money, the buyers really need a house, and we needed to sell, so it works out for us all! Chris's company has thankfully been willing to reimburse us for our house payment, but that deal would not have lasted forever!

We have some friends from Uvalde (where we lived before Aiken) coming through to visit for a couple of hours Saturday afternoon. They were 'surrogate grandparents' to Gracie for the first 9 months or so of her life, so it'll be so neat for them to see her again and get to meet Katie & Ellie!

Here are some cute pics of our little "Ellie Roo."

Sunday, July 06, 2008

birth of Ellie Hollyn

I am going to attempt to post my 'birth story' since I'm sitting here next to a somewhat peaceful Ellie. The rest of the family, including Gramps & Gramme, are at church while I have stayed home with the baby since I feel she needs a little more 'home time' before taking her to church to be around lots of people. Something about the doctor telling me that ANY fever before 6 weeks is immediate admission to Texas Children's Hospital makes me want to be careful with exposing her to large groups. I doubt I'll stay in for 6 weeks, but a little longer anyway.

We are slowly getting used to the whole 'newborn' stage again. *sigh* I am waaaay too old for sleepless nights! HA! Seriously, I have never done well with the sleepless night thing, and I guess she's not doing any worse than either of the other 2 have done, but there are times when I just wish she would be as peaceful as she looks right now at 10:30 in the morning. I'd love to go to sleep and just wake up in the morning around 8:30, well rested. Of course, I don't guess I'm the first mom to have such feelings. This too shall pass.....and then I'll probably be sad that she's growing up so quickly! I want to savor each moment as I know she's our 'last' baby. She really is pure sweetness, even at 2 in the morning!

My official due date for baby Ellie was July 4th. Since this was a 3rd c-section, we knew she would have a scheduled date that was a little before the due date. The doctor scheduled it for June 24th. We truly felt she would come before that date because Gracie & Katie have both come on their own which was so exciting. Gracie came a little more than 3 weeks early and Katie came about 10 days early. Ellie's scheduled date was actually about 10 days early, so I guess she came about the same time Katie did. I just kept hoping & hoping that she would come 'on her own.'

Part of the reason I wanted her to come on her own was because of the excitement! The adrenaline is pumping, and there's just not as much time to be nervous about the fact that someone was about to cut open my abdomen and take out a human being! For weeks, I would go to bed saying, "I think tonight might be the night." It got to be quite the joke with Chris & my mom because we all said it so many times. My dad had scheduled his flight from Atlanta for the 23rd. We thought the baby would be here way before he was, but he ended up making it in time! Even when Katie was born only 2 1/2 hours from my parents, they still didn't make it before her c-section was over, so they were both excited to be here for Ellie's arrival. We had let Gracie & Katie's gender be a 'surprise' and had really debated about finding out if Ellie was a boy or a girl. I loved the suspense of finding out Gracie & Katie's gender at birth, so this experience was totally different-knowing that Ellie was a girl AND knowing her birthday! It was nice to already have a lot of things we needed though since we knew she would be a girl.


Monday, the 23rd, Mom & the girls took me to the hospital to do my pre-op blood work and get all that stuff squared away. Since we had just moved here in April, I wasn't real familiar with the hospital and had chosen it based on a recommendation from a new friend. We went upstairs to catch a glimpse of the birthing center and were impressed with what we saw and the friendliness of the lady who showed us around. Chris had worked that day but was of course taking Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday off. He already had Friday off which worked out nice. That night after dinner, Mom left to pick up Dad at the airport. They got back home kind of late, and the girls were excited for Pappy to be here. Guess who didn't sleep much that night??? ME!!!!!!!

Yes, I went to bed but sleep wasn't coming very quickly. I ended up bringing the laptop into the bedroom and watched parts of old episodes of "90210." I know, I know.....crazy! I used to LOVE that show, and it took my mind somewhat off what was coming the next morning....I was nervous!

I didn't have to be at the hospital until 10:30, so once I did fall asleep I got to do so for a little while. I finally got up and got ready. The girls were ready to go with us, but they stayed with Grammer & Pappy and came later since there was no reason for them to hang out at the hospital for any longer than necessary. Katie was having some issues with 'separation,' but Grammer & Pappy stepped in to help with that.

We got to the hospital and signed in and were taken to my room. It was a nice room, and I was kind of surprised we were put there since I was having a c-section. With Gracie & Katie, they never really let me have the "nice" room since I would be taken to the operating room soon. I got all set up with my IV and monitors and all that good stuff. My doctor came to talk to me for a minute. Once Grammer & Pappy got there with the girls, Pappy distracted Katie so Grammer could bring Gracie to see me. We didn't want Katie to come back because we thought it would be hard for her to see me for just a minute and then have to leave again. Like I said, she had been having some 'separation issues.'

So, Chris & I are sitting there waiting. With Gracie & Katie, things had always moved so quickly since my water had already broken. This time, it was just 'relaxed.' Well, I'm not sure how relaxed Chris & I were, but it was a routine kind of day for pretty much everyone else there! When it was time, I walked into the operating room (something else different since I was rolled into the OR with the other 2). I sat on the skinny little operating table and watched the nurses count the equipment (I'm glad they did since I sure didn't want anything left inside of me!) I sat there a little too long though in my opinion since I was getting more & more nervous as I looked around the room and thought about what they were about to do to me!

The anesthesiologist (I don't know how to spell that!) came and started my spinal block. I tried very hard to be still (the nurse was holding me really tight to help with that) and tried not to think about how easy it would be for him to paralyze me! Soon after he got that done, they laid me back and I started feeling veeery warm & a little loopy. It is a claustrophobic feeling to me to not be able to move my legs, so I had to try to keep my mind off of that and pray not to freak out.

The doctor came in and talked to me for a minute then they put up the little curtain so I couldn't watch what they were doing-thank goodness!!!! Chris came in soon after and they began. I told Chris at one point I needed ear plugs so I couldn't hear what they were saying. At one point, I heard them say, "Suction." "Suction's not working." "Oh is." I don't need to hear them say that suction's not working! HA! The spinal block works pain but I still felt tugging, pulling, & pressure. I remember one time trying to swallow and having trouble then noticing that my upper body was feeling kind of numb so I really had to try to calm myself down. I don't think anyone else knew I was freaking out on the inside, but I kinda was! I kept moving my arms to reassure myself that I could move them! was all worth it once I heard Ellie's cry!!!!!! Wow-I didn't worry at all about her lungs-she was really letting go with the crying! Chris left me to go watch her while the doctor finished up with me. I was so surprised when he came back and told me that she was 8 lbs. 3 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long! Gracie was 5 lbs. 11 oz. and Katie was 6 lbs. 10 oz. Ellie was a big girl! They actually said she was 'too big' for her gestational age, so they had to check her blood sugar for awhile after birth, but it all turned out okay. She has lost quite a bit and was 7 lbs. 15 oz. at her ped. appt. at 8 days old.

Chris left with Ellie and they wheeled me to recovery where we met Chris in the hallway. They asked him to wait in the hallway for a few minutes then allowed him to come in to see me. I still couldn't move my legs which was really bothering me, but I was keeping it together. The nurse let me sit up a little and brought me some ice chips, but I felt dizzy even lifting my head enough to eat them, so I tried to keep pretty still. Something in the anesthesia makes my nose & face itch soooo bad, so I was dealing with that, and they did put something in my IV to try to help with that. Chris went ahead & called a few people while we were in recovery, and it was fun to hear him tell our friends & family about Ellie Hollyn's birth!
After awhile, they wheeled me to my regular room. When they went over bumps, I could feel a tingle in my legs-such a relief!!!! Soon after I got to my room, I could move them. was like taking a deep breath after not being able to for awhile. I was happy to hear the nurse say that the doctor had cleared me to eat regular food that night and they went ahead and brought me some jello & other liquid type things.

I was still feeling pretty dizzy if I would raise my head too much, so they gave me something for that and I was on some pretty good pain meds as well. I did end up getting sick once-well I guess twice but right after each other-and it HURT! Not much I could do about it though. I was glad Chris was there to hand me what I needed!

Mom & Dad had taken the girls to get some lunch after they'd seen Ellie through the window, then they came back later that day and were able to see her & hold her & love on her. Gracie & Katie both love her & want to hold her constantly! We're having to watch Katie because she's not quite as gentle as she should is expected with a 4 year old!

I spent Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday nights in the hospital. We were sooooooooo happy with the hospital! 99% of the people were sooooo nice and we would really have to think hard to come up with anything bad to say about our experience. We were just so impressed with the care that both Ellie & myself received. It is a fantastic hospital that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a good place to have a baby in the Houston area! Chris was able to stay overnight each night since there was a fold out couch in the room. He left a few times but never came home. Grammer & Pappy did a great job of taking care of Gracie & Katie (I know they were tired!) They took them to church and brought them to the hospital and took care of them. One of the really neat things about the birthing center for Gracie & Katie is how they decorate the walls with the handprints of the big brothers & sisters-they had fun doing that!
On Wednesday, he took Gracie & Katie to a pizza/games place (similar to Chuck E. Cheese but bigger) so they could have some Daddy time. Mom & Dad stayed with me so they could help me with Ellie. I was getting around somewhat okay by that point, but it was nice to have someone else there to help me pick her up, etc. We also found out Wednesday that we were getting an offer on our house in South Carolina!!!!!!!!!!!

We heard the official offer Wednesday night and had to decide by 5:00 Thursday what we wanted to do with it. Based on the details of the offer, we decided to accept it AS IS. Chris had the realtor fax the offer to the hospital, but then he had to go somewhere else to fax it back to her so he took Katie with him Thursday afternoon to find a fax machine. The house inspection was done Monday after which we did a little more negotiating. Now we have to have the appraisal tomorrow then the buyers want to close THIS NEXT FRIDAY! We are thrilled & thankful!!!!!

Thursday was the day for visitors! I had 3 new friends come visit-all 3 of them are named Lisa-too funny! I was also thrilled to have Jaime-a 'South Carolina friend' who now lives in American Samoa-stop by to visit on their way through Houston. That was sooooo wonderful! Chris was able to go downstairs and visit with Philip & the kids.
We were able to leave the hospital with our precious Ellie Friday and brought her home to her 2 very excited big sisters & Grammer & Pappy! We then had to take her back to the hospital Sunday morning for a jaundice check (which came back okay!) since our new pediatrician doesn't have Sunday office hours. I took her to her first 'real' pediatrician appointment Wednesday which was traumatic because of them having to stick her heel and squeeze way too much for her liking-mine either. Oh...she was mad!!!!!!! I wasn't 100% impressed with the whole ped. office, so the jury is still out on whether or not we'll continue to use that one. I did go ahead & make her 2 month appt. and Gracie's 8 year well check appt. since one time when I called I was on hold for OVER 20 MINUTES! ugh

My c-section recovery is taking its time. I still hurt and get tired easily, but I've recovered twice before so I'm sure I will again. It has been wonderful and a blessing to have such great help with Grammer & Pappy and Gramps & Gramme!

Ellie is precious, sweet, and 100% a gift from God! She is loved by her big sisters and her whole family, and we are so thankful to have her in our family! We have been blessed to have lots of family come love on her-my aunt & uncle, Chris's Houston relatives, Chris's brother & family (Uncle Mike, Aunt Erin, & Sara Jane), and both sets of grandparents! We look forward to watching Ellie grow and see what kind of plan God has for her.

We are also looking forward to starting a serious search for a new house! We are so thankful that we have been blessed with someone wanting to buy our house-especially in the stinky real estate market Aiken has been having! I have been praying that it all goes through!

This week is VBS at church and Gramme has agreed to take the girls during the week. I know they will have a blast! Jennifer-and many others at church-have been working hard on it, and I look forward to hearing all about it!