New Traditions and Something Personal

This past Christmas, Russell and I had decided to not exchange gifts with each other…for many reasons.  The first reason and main reason was, because Ella was gift enough to both of us!  We wanted to really focus on her and make this Christmas special for her, (even with her being a little over 3 months old) because she had already made it very special for us.  We actually couldn’t wait for her to wake up on Christmas morning to take her downstairs.  All the firsts with her make you have the best feeling inside-makes your heart melt.  She just makes my heart melt everyday with her amazing smile and laughs…

Ella on Christmas morning, admiring the beautiful tree and all of her little gifts...

Ella on Christmas morning, admiring the beautiful tree and all of her little gifts…

The second reason we decided not to exchange gifts was because we wanted to start 2 new traditions with her.  We wanted to instill goodness into her heart and as she grows up and into our own little person; make her aware that there is more to Christmas morning than receiving.  That its about family, giving, and being there for people that need you.

So this past year, we “adopted” a family.   This was our first time doing this but we have admired our good friends for doing this the past few years.   We worked with the Lord’s Pantry on this.   We ended up adopting 2 little girls…a 2 year old and a 5 year old.  They each had a wishlist of a few things they each wanted for Christmas…specifically, a Little Mermaid Backpack, a Baby Doll.  We filled their wishes and in addition, bought them each a couple of outfits and some new PJ’s.  Each year as we continue to do this, and each year as Ella gets older, it will be fun to have her help us pick out gifts and deliver them.  It warms my heart to think about those little girls being able to open gifts on Christmas morning with their families.

The other tradition we started was specifically for Ella.  Each Christmas, we plan on giving her 2 books.  We will write a special message inside of each one for her- somewhat pertaining to what the book is about.  This year, we got her  “The Giving Tree” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”  The Giving Tree was in line with adopting the family and that when give, we will receive back.  And the Where the Wild Things Are” refers to her and her wild little personality and amazing energy.

giving tree

wild things

Years prior to this Christmas, Russell and I had started making each other gifts, with a $20 limit.  But this year, like I said before-no gifts!   ….guess who didn’t follow that rule?  Miss Ella!  She gave mommy her first little gift and it’s such a personalized one…she’s so advanced for her age 😉   It’s something I will treasure for the rest of my life (thanks for helping her Daddy).

Here is my personalize roman numeral gold bar necklace, with her birth-date 9.10.14.  Check it out at this wonderful Etsy Shop: Shop LUCA

9.10.14

9.10.14

Did you receive any special or personalized gifts for Christmas or a recent birthday from your little ones or hubby that you will cherish forever?  I can’t wait to get her a little something with a Sapphire in it for her first birthday!

xoxo

Reba

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Labor Day (not the Holiday)

September 10th, 2014.  That was the due date that my first baby was due.  My sweet baby girl.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written here (about 5 months to be exact).  Life, I can tell you, has been super crazy…because after she arrived, there hasn’t even been much time for this mom to take a frequent shower, let alone, brush her teeth everyday.

The few weeks prior to my due date, I made sure to get in the last of my relaxing pool days, sitting in the sun, reading my book in peace without a little one running circles around me…because I knew what that next summer was going to be like and what it was going to bring.  It would never be those days of sitting and having no responsibility, except for myself.

The Saturday prior to baby girls due date, we had invited some family over to our community pool.  Below is me with my husbands cousin Ashley and her son Cian.   She shared some exciting news with us that she was 8 weeks pregnant, with her next baby due in April 2015.

Ashley & I at the pool with her son Cian

Ashley & I at the pool with her son Cian

That Sunday, we had friends over to watch the Eagles Football game.  My friend Lindsey also paid a visit.  I was begging her for first time mommy advice.  She had just had her first baby in May and became an amazing sounding board for the millions of questions running through my head.   And she still is to this day!  We all ordered Primo Hoagies and I have to say I devoured mine.  I hadn’t had a hoagie the entire pregnancy, but I figured by the Sunday prior to my due date, she was fully baked in there and that eating a hoagie at this point wouldn’t matter….I also had a small glass of red wine….don’t judge-I needed it.

Monday-I started to work from home.  2 days away from hitting my 40 week mark.  That  night night, Russell and I had something spicy for dinner.  I can’t recall what, probably Mexican Food, because I’m obsessed with it.

Tuesday morning I posted a pic on Instagram updating my “fan” base.   “Baby watch update: no baby yet.  She’s comfy in there. #40weeks tomorrow!”

Day before I hit my 40 Week mark

Day before I hit my 40 Week mark

That night, I went out to dinner with my friend Annie, for even more, spicy Mexican food.   Annie is another first time mommy (with a 20 month old girl), that was someone I always went to for advice.  Later that evening, my hubby and I relaxed in the living room for an hour or so.  I was sitting on the exercise ball, like usual, because its the only way I can be comfortable at this point in the evenings before bed.  I do a couple of yoga squats to help ease the pain of her kicking the hell out me 🙂  Then it’s time for bed, ha!  My bedtime routine was going to bed between 9-10pm and watching reruns of The Office on my iPad.  I said goodnight to my hubby and off I went.

Russell came to bed around 11pm that night.  At midnight, I woke up to pee, got back into bed and something just didn’t feel right.  I got back up, went to the bathroom and before I made it to the toilet, a gush of liquid came out….my water had broke!  My water broke at 12:05am on her due date.  How unbelievable is that?!  I came out of the bathroom and said, “baaabe, I think my water broke.”  Poor guy had only been asleep for an hour!

We gave the doctor a call and she advised us to  head into the hospital.  I calmly helped Russ gather our stuff (he was a little scattered, it was cute), feed the cat, and get out the door.  We were checked into our room by 1am.  Even for the middle of the night, this is the last time we have looked so rested!

photo 3

 

I ended up not really being dilated when we got there.  All that had happened was my water breaking.  They told us to get some rest and they would be back in around 7am to check in on me.   Turns out by 7am, I was dilated just enough to be induced.   9am, it started.  The contractions started out small and I had them for about 2hrs before getting my epidural.  I wanted to experience these contractions, since I was one of those few women who’s water breaks and they have no contractions.  I am actually really thankful that I didn’t have to sit at home with contractions, waiting for them to be timed out just perfectly to be allowed to even head into the hospital.  Once I had the epidural though, I think that was the last best sleep of my life before she arrived.  Family came in and out checking on us.  The support we had was so wonderful that day and it has continued each day after.

By 3pm, the Dr. said we could start pushing at 3:30pm.  So we did…….and Daddy was ready to catch her!

photo 4

 

After an hour of pushing….and an hour of Russ, the nurse and Dr. basically telling me, she’s almost there, keep pushing, she’s almost there…..little girl with her big head finally came out.  She was here!  My sweet baby girl, Ella Duffy, arrived ON her due date, September 10th at 4:30pm.  She was 8lbs 5oz and 20″ long.  She was a good pound heavier than I expected.  But she was PERFECT in every single way.

1st Family Photo

First family photo

 

This little girl has created so much happiness for us….it’s indescribable how happy!  Seriously, you really have to experience it for yourself.  That moment when that little mini human comes out of you and you’ve been wondering who they will look like…you don’t care…you just know that you made that baby and no matter what, they are perfect.  You have this perfect little baby that they hand to you…and when she looks you straight in the eye, it’s instant love and magic.

Welcome to the world, Ella Duffy!

Ella