Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sofía Meets Sydnei

Stormy and I wanted Sofía to be the first family member to meet Sydnei. It was very important for us that they establish a relationship upfront—although Sofía clearly knows that she's the big sister, and refers to Sydnei as "her bebé." When Sofía walked in the room, Sydeni had a little gift waiting for her: a pink pony with sparkling hooves (right up Sofía's ally). Coincidentally, Sofía, with the help of her Mama Thompson, had a pink teddy bear to give to Sydnei. It was a very sweet moment watching these two meet for the first time; Sofía was so overwhelmed with joy to see her little sister, and, of course, had many questions, like, "Mom, how did Sydnei come out of your tummy?" Yeah, try explaining that to a four-year-old girl. Oh, yeah, and, "Mami, what color are her eyes? Are they blue like mine?" And to top it off with "Mami, can I pet her?"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Welcome to The World, Sydnei!

Sydnei Nicole Staley arrived into this world fast at 11:35PM on Monday, June 23, 2008. She weighed 6 lbs. 9 oz. and measured 19 1/4 inches long. Mother and baby are doing well, and we're all so happy to finally have little Sydnei with us; she's a little angel! Below are some pictures of the great event:

Mom and Sydnei for the first time.

Enjoying the warmth!

Little Sydnei enjoying being in mom's arms.

Sydnei sucking on her fist.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Coming to you LIVE from...

...Labor and Delivery at Oregon Health & Sciences University to let you know that Sydnei is on her way. I'm in labor and weathering contractions that are about 3 minutes apart lasting a little over a minute each time. 

I had a NST appointment this morning where they monitored Sydnei for over an hour.  Her heart rate was dipping each time I contracted every 6 minutes plus my BP was elevated.  They did an ultrasound and found my fluid was low so the decision was made to induce. Fortunately, my body is already in the labor process so I won't need a whole lot of the Pitocin hormone to get things going!

We'll keep you posted!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sofia Rocks at the Doctor!

Yesterday, I took Sofia to her 4-year old well child exam. I was so proud of myself to have managed to schedule this appointment and get her there all before Sydnei arrives. She was SO EXCITED to be the patient. (probably because she has been with me to almost every prenatal appointment--it was finally her turn) The appointment was a big one and included some letter and shape writing along with a picture to see how her skills are developing.

The doctor asked her to draw a picture of Mom. This was the precious little picture that resulted! Me, with an awesome huge belly...I couldn't have been more pleased. She did such a great job. :) I love you, Mamita.

How do you like that preggo stick figure, Auntie Tristyn?!?! I thought you would love it...wink wink.

Aside from the writing and drawing exercises, Sofia passed her physical, vision, and hearing exams with flying colors. She's now measuring 75th percentile for height (looks like she's now leaning to the Staley side of the height genes) and 68th percentile for weight. Sofia topped off the appointment by toughing through 4 yes, 4 shots all given one at a time!

I told her I was so proud of her and that we would go get a treat for doing such a wonderful job. She immediately asked for Strawberry Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory! Awesome, I wasn't about to say no! We even enjoyed a slice of Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake...(sorry Nana you couldn't be here to indulge with us--we missed you). After cheescake galore, Sofia went and played at the mall playground....a happy little camper she was.

No baby yet...

....I just have to say that I'm SO DYING to have this baby! I'm huge, uncomfortable, and completely sleep deprived. (not like the sleep deprivation will improve anytime soon after birth) anyway, all typical complaints of a woman as pregnant as I am. :D I was thinking that if I posted saying that I was still pregnant, Sydnei, would suddenly decide to come into the world to prove me wrong! We shall see...Happy 'huge' thoughts!

p.s. We're now secretly hoping that Sydnei decides to arrive in about 33 hours--after 12:01am on Sunday, June 22nd, it would be her Grandpa Staley's 50th that would be special.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Words and Experiences to Live By

I've been thinking a lot lately about how much my life has changed in the last 18 months. I went from being a full-time successful career Mom that was essentially "going places," moved to a new state, and chose to end my professional career, stay home with our daughter, Sofia, and focus my time on our home and family.

In the beginning it was incredibly hard not to sit in front of my computer drafting spreadsheets of our financial plan over the next 5-10 years or looking at all the job listings I qualified for and then some. It wasn't easy to swallow the financial impact of our decision for me to stay at home. But that said, with time, it became easier and easier. Why? Because of all of the simple life experiences and lessons I've learned along the way.

Sofia Elizabeth, Memorial Day, 2008
Oceanside Beach, Oregon

Experiences such as getting Sofia out of bed and holding her for as long as I want to and as long as she'll let me vs. running out the door to get to school and work on time. Moments where I actually plan and prepare a healthful meal that we can all enjoy vs eating out. The spontaneity that I love in my life returned in abundance when I chose to stay at home. In any given moment we can run to the park, go walk around Target, surprise Ry by dropping in on him at work, and play dress up. These moments are ones I will cherish and love for the rest of my life. I haven't wasted my time and instead I'm able to develop as a mother and cultivate my relationship with my husband and children. Nothing is more special to me than that.

Ry and I, Memorial Day, 2008
Oceanside Beach, Oregon

Today was an awesome day full of fun ordinary moments. I spent a couple of hours helping Sofia practice writing and teaching her how to play the memory game. We made homemade cupcakes with hot pink frosting and I even took a much needed nap. When we were writing vertical lines, Sofia looked at me and said, "Mami--I love you to teach me." I'll never forget those words. The second Ry told me to close my eyes and dropped a bite size 3-muskateers bar in my hand, pure sweetness. The moment where I let Sofia crack an egg open and she did just that but on the counter top instead of the bowl was hilarious. The second that Ruby (my kitchen aid stand mixer) started to turn the frosting from white to hot pink and Sofia's eyes got bigger and bigger...priceless. A second later when she begged for a taste, it was confirmed, she's my baby girl and we both love frosting. :)

My BFF, Tori, has an awesome quote on her blog that goes right along with what I'm attempting to express:

"The weddings, the birthdays and the graduations are special, but they aren't the most important days. It's those in between. Washing the dishes, reading a book, having a good laugh, planting a garden, playing catch, making a strong cup of tea. What happens in and around these moments is what we remember and should celebrate. A simple appreciation of extraordinary ordinary life. Now that's worth saving."

-Lori, Murraysville, PA

Sydnei Nicole, February 2008 at 20-weeks Gestation

So moments like the other day when Sofia prayed for Sydnei to be born AND that she could be pregnant are the ones I'll always remember and celebrate.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June Birthdays

In celebration of the birthdays of our two daughters (Sofia: June 10th, Sydnei: June ??) and my preggo cupcake craving, I've chosen to redecorate the page with nothing other than cupcakes! Cute, huh?


As some of you may recall, during my first pregnancy with Sofia I was so dang sick I was hardly able to enjoy the various cravings so many women experience throughout their pregnancy. That is until the last month of my first pregnancy. When I hit about 34-weeks ish--my craving for cake set in, cake with LOTS o' buttercream frosting. This particular craving was such a joy as it's already one of my favorite sweet indulgences when I'm not pregnant.

Well, much to my delight the cake craving has returned with this pregnancy. It's truly the only real consistent craving I have on a daily basis. All the other cravings I've experienced this time around (and there have been more since I wasn't as sick as long) have been random and never stuck. The cake craving hit about a week before Mother's day and it's hasn't gone away. Darn. Wink wink.

Unfortunately, we found the single layer cake supply is quite unreliable at the grocery store. So, in one of Ryan's stellar husband efforts to feed my craving he substituted with cupcakes. They're always at the grocery store and Safeway has the best we've discovered. They're so good and keep me from eating a whole cake. I can have one, and yes, sometimes two, and then the craving is satisfied and this momma in her last miserable weeks of pregnancy is pacified...that is until the next day when she has to have another cupcake!

Just so you all know, I made a promise that after Sydnei is born, we won't buy anymore cupcakes on a daily basis. It's just during the last weeks of pregnancy. Promise! (For the record, I kept the same promise after Sofia was born.)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

We Hit the Jackpot!!!!!

No, we didn't go to a casino, gamble, and hit the million dollar jackpot (dang it!), instead we went to garage sales and shopped craigslist religiously and that's the jackpot we hit baby! As a result, Sydnei's room is ready to welcome her into the world.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I scored some great puzzles and alone time garage sale-ing one Saturday morning. Well, let me just say I haven't stopped since then. Back in April my in-laws came to town for a visit. (still need to post about that, sorry I haven't yet, D&C) The Friday they were here, they joined me for some good-old-fashioned garage sale bargain hunting. It was awesome! We literally hit the "garage sale jackpot" and quite honestly, the success hasn't ceased. Allow me to share some of my killer finds and how Sydnei's nursery has come together perfectly and quite inexpensively.

This picture shows the crib set I purchased at the garage sale with my in-laws. I love the story behind this. First off, I lifted it up and asked the man running the sale how much he wanted for the set, he turned to his wife, and she quickly responded, $10 bucks??? I said, super, I'll take it. The crib set came complete with bumper, double layer bed skirt, diaper stacker, and changing table pad cover. Right after I agreed to purchase it the wife couldn't stop talking about how much she loved the set and that she purchased it for her first child. She explained:

"we had it custom made at pottery barn know...with your first child you do everything custom. By the time my son was born I just chose my favorite boys crib line they offered."

I, of course, smiled, nodded my head, and acted like I understood. In my mind, I kept thinking, "Right, right, I totally know what you mean considering I'm shopping for baby stuff at a garage sale!" Ha ha ha...Thanks to her high end taste and initial investment, we're able to enjoy this sweet set.

Continuing on at the same garage sale, check out this solid wood changing table with drawer and new changing pad. Can we say $25 big ones for this bad boy? Hello! Talk about a steal! I couldn't believe it and was so dang excited and grateful to have found such a stellar table for a rock bottom price. The changing pad cover I mentioned that came with the set is pictured. Oh, and you'll notice on the bottom shelf just next to the wipes, a sage green changing pad cover, from the same line at Pottery Barn Kids. Yep, I paid a lady $7 bucks for it at a garage sale over a month after I purchased this table. It still blows my mind how I managed to piece this all together from different sales.

The precious diaper stacker that came with the crib set. Note the satin hanger that it hangs on was 50 cents at a garage sale--such a sweet touch.

Here is a nice close up of the brand new, never used, lambs and ivy musical mobile. The same day I came home from finding the crib set, I did a search for a mobile on Craigslist. This precious little thing popped up for sale by a lady not far from our house for $5 bucks!!!!!! Apparently, the seller had decorated for a girl and was surprised with a baby boy. I couldn't believe she only wanted $5 for it. It sells for $49.99 new on babies r'! Simply amazing. Here's a link to prove it:

Another craigslist score, this green glider which came with ottoman (not pictured) is in excellent condition and cost me a whopping $30. I love that I have one upstairs and downstairs. When I rock Sydnei in the middle of the night (gearing up for the 2-3 month sleep deprivation period) I won't have to go downstairs and it matches the color scheme! YAY!!!

Continuing on, we found this solid wood dresser for $40 on craigslist. The previous owner put brand new nobs on the drawers and casters on the bottom. Each drawer is set on metal gliders so if either of the kids try to pull the drawer out, it will not fall on top of them, what a nice safety feature. The drawers are big and deep and this bad boy is going to be around for years! The lamp on top of the drawer was one I had in college (> 10 years old) and the sage green lamp shade is one of the two things I actually purchased new for the room.

This darling lavender gingham check valance was the only other item I purchased new for the nursery. It goes PERFECTLY with the pattern of the crib set.

This hamper that I LOVE was a gift from my good friend, Lindy. Seriously, I'm so practical, I would have never purchased it and would have just used some hamper I had around the house but she knew how much I loved this one. Thanks, Lindy. It goes perfectly with the nursery. :)

Here is a picture of the whole room, the killer closet door mirrors help provide a panoramic view and as my father-in-law states: "they're supposed to make the room look bigger!"

To recap cost:

Crib Set: $10
Changing Table w/Changing Pad: $25
Extra Changing Pad Cover: $7
Musical Mobile: $5
Glider w/Ottoman: $30
Dresser: $40
Lamp Shade: $13
Valance: $17

GRAND TOTAL: $147.00.....CCCChhhhh-ING!!!!!

All in all, we're very much a "reduce, reuse, recycle" frugal, and practical kind of people. We feel that by finding the vast majority of these items in excellent used condition is a way for us to do our part to reuse and recycle these items for good. We have been blessed more than we ever believed possible and couldn't feel more grateful and humble to be prepared for Sydnei to join our family.

Stay tuned for a couple of extra unprecedented finds: Cradle set (from the same garage sale as the crib set), Reese Li designer diaper bag compliments of craigslist, and finally a gender neutral baby papasan vibrating bouncer chair from another garage sale 10 days ago--in perfect condition. I just haven't taken pics of these things yet.

We're so excited and if Sydnei could just decide to be born!!!

p.s. Ry said this post sounds like I'm introducing products on the Price is Right...LOL...fantastic, mission accomplished.