Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We've Got Some News

Lish got a job! He interviewed with Dixie State College in St. George, Utah, and they liked him so much, they offered him a job. And he accepted. Whole-heartedly. We're so excited! When they called him with the offer, they asked if he was still interested. He responded, "110%!" Then they offered it to him and Lish said, "I'll take it!" They said, "Don't you want to hear what your salary will be first?" So they told him, and he accepted it again!

The thing is, they want him to start in January. We just found out about this a week ago, and we'll be moving in 2 weeks. Kinda crazy. We decided to take a trip down there so Lish could get the books for the classes he'll be teaching, fill out some paperwork, and so we could find a place to live. Mission accomplished. And Yale was great for his first trip of many down there. Because we will be making that drive a lot over the next several years. And yes, we will be living there for several years. It's close to family, it's a teaching school, Lish will get to help convert the program from an Associate's Degree to a Bachelor's Degree, the weather is wonderful and life will be grand!

It'll just be busy for these next few months, for Lish anyway. He'll be teaching three separate classes, finishing his dissertation, defending said dissertation, writing up the Bachelor's program, and being a husband and father. But, he's pretty amazing so I don't doubt he'll excel at all of it. We're thrilled about this opportunity and can't wait to start our lives down there!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yale's Birth Story

(Be forewarned, it's long!)

I had been having a few more Braxton Hicks contractions for the couple weeks leading up to the birth, but nothing consistent and definitely nothing close to labor. I had a doctor’s appointment the day before my due date and she informed me that I was 2-2 ½ cm dilated and about 75% effaced, which was huge progress from the week before, where I was 1 cm dilated and not effaced at all. So that brought my hopes up. We also set up a day for me to be induced if I hadn’t gone into labor yet. The date was set for December 8th, one week past my due date. Lish and I left that appointment feeling good, knowing that there was finally a day when we knew that he would be here.

My due date came and went and I started sinking into a funk. I was thinking, against my better judgment, that maybe this baby never would get here. Lish and I started thinking of things we could do every day to distract us until the baby did decide to arrive. We didn’t have to do that for long. I woke up early Friday morning, around 3 am, with some pains that would come and go. When I first woke up, I honestly thought it was probably just gas pains. I switched positions but when I did, it woke Lish up and he asked if I was okay. “Yes, I was just rolling over.” (He told me later that he asked because he could feel me shaking.) Those pains came and went a few times while I was lying there and I started thinking, “Okay, this has to be more than gas. I think this could be labor.”

I got up around 3:20 and went to the computer to start timing the lovely contractions. They weren’t very far apart, so I didn’t wait too long before I woke Lish up. At 3:45 I went back into the room, woke Lish up and said, “Okay, I think this is it.” He immediately popped up and told me to take a nice warm shower. It felt good. Then we packed the rest of our stuff and headed upstairs so I could get something in my system. We called my parents (my dad was in Idaho on a business trip and my mom was coming to the hospital to be with us for the delivery) and woke up the in-laws. When I was on the phone with my mom, my contractions were getting so hard that I couldn’t talk to her. I had to hand the phone to my MIL. Then my contractions were getting really hard and I felt like pushing, which freaked me out because I knew I couldn’t be that close yet. I told Lish in a very panicky way, so he started the car and loaded all of our things in it. That was not a fun ride to the hospital, but my MIL was in the backseat rubbing my shoulders the whole way. It was so nice.

We got to the hospital sometime between 5:30 and 5:45. A nurse took me into triage to check me. When we got in there I asked to use the restroom. Right after she told me where it was I started having another contraction. I was standing up, so I leaned forward and braced myself, we heard a “pop” and then whoosh! My water broke, and it broke good! You know how it is in the movies? And they tell you to not expect that, that sometimes it’s just a trickle? Well, mine was straight from the movies. It was pretty incredible, and gross. The nurse looked at me and said, “Well, we don’t have to check you. We’ll just get you straight into a room.”

After my water broke, the pushing sensation stopped and my contractions actually got a lot milder. I guess the baby just wanted to get some of that fluid out of there. When they checked me, I was measuring at a 5 and 90%. I was making some progress! My mom got there not too long after. We put some Enya and Jim Brickman music on. (Don’t laugh or hate. That music is beautiful and it calms me.) During my contractions I would just close my eyes and focus on my breathing. A few days earlier, I had read about this technique that when you’re having a contraction to pay attention to your senses and surroundings. For example, when a contraction would start, I would start thinking, “I feel my hospital gown on my body. I feel the monitors and the band on my belly. I hear the monitors. I hear my baby’s heartbeat. I hear Lish encouraging me. I feel my mom holding my hand.” I would think about everything going on except the contraction. It actually helped a lot. In between contractions I would chat and try to make jokes. When they came to check me again, I was at a 7 and 90. I was thinking, “Okay, transition is coming up. I can get through this.”
The contractions stayed about the same for a while though, not too hard, but not comfortable by any means. By the time the doctor got there, she measured me at an 8 and 100%, but a stage -1, which I had been at the whole time. Still progressing at a good rate though! When my doctor and the nurse were in the room at one point, I started having a pretty big contraction, so I used my technique to get through it and afterwards, opened my eyes and said, “Ow.” The doctor laughed. She looked at me and said, “Ow? After that contraction all you can say is ow?” I told her I kept thinking “Ow, ow, ow” in my head, but I didn’t want to waste my energy during the contraction to try to say it. She thought it was funny.

The next time I was checked I was almost 10 cm. They said I just had a little lip, but I was still a stage -1. The nurse told me to either get up and walk around or sit on the medicine ball so that the baby could move down. I did not feel like walking at this point, so I sat on the medicine ball and my contractions were definitely getting hard. While sitting there, I actually was getting the urge to push after not too long. The nurse was telling me to hold off and wait until she could get the doctor back in and I had to move back to the bed. Let me tell you, it is not easy to try to not push when you want to push. I finally got back over the bed and the doctor came in, checked me and said I was ready. I asked, “Okay, so when I want to push, it’s okay to push?” I was relieved when she said yes.

My animal instinct kicked into overdrive at this point. I was making some serious grunting and pushing and screaming noises. I was being loud, or at least I felt I was being loud. After one of the contractions, I laid my head back down and said, “I’m sorry for being so loud.” The doctor laughed at me again for apologizing and reassured me that I was not being loud at all. (But I know I was. My throat was sore for the rest of the day.) I really didn’t know what was going on around me unless someone said my name. I kept my eyes closed the whole time during the pushing stage. I was trying really hard to focus on getting the task done. And it was hard. I handled transition okay, which people say is the worst part, but pushing was the hardest for me. (Not saying that transition was easy, because it definitely was not.) I felt like crying but didn’t have the energy. My mom was crying for me. And Lish almost cried, but he held it together because he knew that I needed him to. (He said that in all the classes we went to, they never once prepare the husband/partner for how hard it’s going to be to watch the person you love go through so much pain. He said if it hadn’t ended with a baby, it would have been one of the worst experiences of his life.)

I was only pushing for about half an hour I guess. I really didn’t keep track of the time. But Yale Dinari was born at 11:45 that morning, only 6 hours after we had checked into the hospital. Getting to see his little face and that little body and hold him and kiss him was absolutely amazing. And getting to experience that whole thing without any sort of medicinal help was awesome. I had accomplished my goal! I honestly would not have been able to do it without my incredible and loving support team! Lish was the best coach ever and he really helped me a lot. And my mom was wonderful and having her there was such a comfort. I owe them both a lot for helping me reach my goal!
People have asked me if I would do it that way again, and the answer is yes! I love that my body was able to handle that, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. It wasn’t easy by any means. They really do call it labor for a reason. (So cliché, I know, but it’s true.) But now that I know it’s something I can do, and it’s something I can do without biting anyone’s head off, why not do it that way again? It was all worth it for me. And while it was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, it was definitely the most rewarding.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Newborn Photoshoot

You know how some hospitals offer to do a photo shoot for you at the hospital? Well, we took advantage of that. However, we initially thought it would just be one or two little snapshots. Little did we know it was a half hour photo shoot. She got some great pictures and my dear mother-in-law bought us the rights to these pictures! We just got them in the mail yesterday, all in color and black and white.

I am in love with this little guy!

Monday, December 6, 2010


On Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 11:45 am, Lish and I welcomed Yale Dinari Harris into the world! He weighed 8 lb, 4 oz and is 20 inches long. I'll post about the birth later, but for now, please satisfy your appetites with some delicious pictures. (In no particular order.)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All It Needs Now is a Baby

Our nursery is complete! Well, it has been for a while now. 
(I mean, today is my due date. Hello, Baby? Where are you and why aren't you here yet?
But I am finally getting around to posting pictures for the cyber world to see.
Isn't it just presh? I love it! Being in this room makes me happy. 
Now we just need a baby and the room will be complete!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day of Giving Thanks and Turkeys

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone! I couldn't go this year without letting you all know what I'm grateful for.

First and foremost, I'm grateful for this guy. He has taught me so much about life and love and handling my money. He's truly someone very special and my best friend. Basically, he's amazing and I feel so lucky to have him as my eternal companion.

Next up, I'm grateful for my family. They're incredible and the best support system a girl could ever ask for. I am so blessed to be a part of a family where all of us get along so well. We have such a fun time together. They never cease to amaze me with their awesomeness and their weirdness. Seriously.
(I wish I had more pictures with my stepsiblings. Just sayin.)

I'm grateful for this home I get to live in. My in-laws are such wonderful people for letting Lish and I stay for a year. They were so willing to allow us to live with them and they have been so accommodating and helpful.

I'm grateful for my body. I know this may seem like a weird one to some of you, but those of you who have been through pregnancy and childbirth know what I mean. And I'm sure I'll have an even better appreciation for my body after the childbirth part. But my body is amazing. It is growing a human life and we are so happy that I have felt as healthy as I have through this whole process. Thanks body.

This leads me straight into my next and last thing I'm grateful for (not the last thing ever, but just the last one I'm going to share with you because my list could go on and on). I'm so grateful for this little baby. Granted we don't know whether it's a boy or a girl, and we don't know what he/she looks like, so that may change... I'm just kidding of course. That's not funny to joke about, I know. But really, that's my humor and I think it is. Anyway, I'm so grateful for this new little addition to our family. Lish and I are going to learn so much and we are going to be so humbled and it will be the most incredible experience ever. I love that we have started our family and that before we know it, this baby will make his/her grand entrance and life will never be the same.

Our Thanksgiving day was wonderful! We were able to see and spend time with so much family. We went down to my dad's house in the morning and I helped get some things ready while Lish went and played some football (in the balmy 15 degree weather). All of the siblings there, except my stepsister Ashley, her husband McLane and their son Mason, for our delicious feast. We had such a fun time. After we ate and cleaned up and played some games while eating pie (I had my delicious slice of banana cream while Lish had 3 slices of some traditional pumpkin), we headed back home to let the dog out. Then we drove on up north and ended up at my grandparents house. It was chaos! There were almost 40 people there by the time we showed up. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, children, and so on. Their little place was so crowded and full of such energy! It was great to see so much family that I hadn't seen in quite a few years! There was lots of love in that little home. 

By the time we got back home, I was so exhausted. I slept quite well last night and it felt great to sleep in this morning. I'm glad I made the decision to not go out on Black Friday. But to those of you who did, kudos to you! I hear it was crazy. Like usual. Now Lish and I are getting ready to head out to the Jazz v. Lakers game. It should be a fun night to spend with my favorite!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Introducing our new Niece!

(I was trying to think of how to title this without y'all thinking it was our baby, so I feel that the title is a little dull. Oh well. At least I didn't confuse y'all!)

Lish and I have been blessed with a new little niece! She was born a week ago today actually, so I'm late in letting you know. Alyse Karen Woodland entered the world at 10:25am EST. She weighed a total of 9 lb 6 oz! Mama and baby are healthy, and mama actually did it all naturally! She's my inspiration! They are both home now and my MIL, Karen, has been out with them for a few days helping take care of all of them. I got to visit with them through Skype last night and it was so fun to see that little angel! I can't wait until our baby is born and then we can push those little cousins in front of the camera and have them "meet." I know they won't know what's going on, but we'll think it's precious.

Maggie and Brandon, I can't wait to meet your little baby girl! She is adorable!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Full Term and then some!

Finally. I have passed the 37 weeks mark and now the 38 weeks mark. This baby could come at any moment (though I know it won't be any moment soon) and it'd be fine and healthy. YaY! I've been feeling huge these past couple of weeks. Talk about a major growth spurt, for both me and baby. Seriously. Plus, I'm a waddler. Yes it's true. Takes me a minute to stand up, takes me a minute to get going, and then I can waddle my way pretty much anywhere. I started laughing at myself the other night because I was waddling so badly. I told Lish it was much more comfortable to walk that way and he said, "Who cares then? Keep on waddling!" And I have.

Materialistically we're feeling ready for this baby. Emotionally, we're very excited for this baby. Mentally, I'm not sure how we're doing yet. I think the baby should be more mentally prepared for having us as parents. I can't believe it's just another couple of weeks. Craziness!

38 weeks!

I made Lish take this picture of me yesterday. When he asked for my approval on it, I laughed and said, "It really does look like I just stuck a ball under my shirt." It's very round. And it's funny to me because I don't ever see it from this angle. I only get the aerial view.

I love that there is a baby in there and that it's mine and Lish's baby. And I love that that baby will be making his/her appearance soon. Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We're so Halloweenie!

Well, I guess we could be more Halloweenie, but we had fun. We carved our pumpkins on Friday and stayed home on Saturday night, watching The Ring and handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters. Jazz was going crazy whenever the doorbell would ring, like most dogs do. Needless to say, it wore her out and she slept a lot for the next 24 hours.

Sunday was the day of the annual Griffith pumpkin carving contest that my dad and stepmom host. Lish and I of course had to join in the fun. My dad and Alisia were planning on dressing up, so Lish decided he would dress up too. It was lovely.

(My dad and Alisia were Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife, Beth, and Lish was a pumpkin.)

Now onto the pumpkin carving....

1st Place - Dallas (an owl)

2nd Place - Ashley & McLane (Albert Einstein)

3rd Place - Shelly & Brian & Hunter (scary cat)

4th Place - Collin & Whitney (Tiger Woods)

5th Place - Doug & Alisia (pumpkin eating pumpkin)

6th Place - Whitney & Lish (brother-in-law Collin)

Can you believe that? Lish and I got last. Of course, our pumpkin was more of an inside joke than anything else and the judges weren't in on the joke. Plus, they gave Collin fourth. I mean, did you see how much effort went into that Tiger Woods pumpkin? Also, I think it's pretty easy to see which pumpkin carvers used stencils (cheaters) and which ones were free hand. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thrilling Night!

Remember how I kind of bragged about my amazing weekend? Yes, well, it didn't stop after my baby shower. In fact, the baby shower was just the beginning! Later that night, since all the girls were in town, we got together for a GNO (girls night out for those of you who didn't know). We met up for dinner and had a delicious meal, and then we headed to the main event, Thriller! The show was so fun and we had such a good time together! Some of the dances were new and one of the dances I really liked wasn't performed anymore, but it was still amazing! Thilling even, if I dare say it! Those dancers are so talented and I wish I could move like that. Maybe someday.

I love Halloween and I love dancing, so it was a wonderful night!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Baby Shower

What an amazing weekend!
My sister-in-law Shelly and one of my best friends, Brittany, hosted a baby shower for me and little Baby Harris. It was so fun to get together with friends and family and get to celebrate the life that will be entering this world in just over a month!

Here are some pictures of the wonderful event!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Autumn, Autumn Everywhere!

I really like fall weather. Really. I love when it cools off, but it's not cold enough for coats. Still cold enough though to justify drinking that hot chocolate. Which we do. A lot. You could call us hot chocolate whores, but that might be mean, so please don't.

And this season is awesome! Why? Because there are finally some fall colors on the mountains, it is actually cool when it's supposed to be (unlike in Tallahassee, which was too warm, although Lish may disagree with me), I can bake without getting too hot in the kitchen, and at the end of the season we'll have a little bundle of joy! Now you know why, right? Yeah.

I'm sorry I haven't written in a while. Lish and I, for the record, are both alive and well and kicking and punching, minus the punching. Life has been pretty...normal. I don't want to say slow because that's not the right word. We've been busy enough, but I guess we've finally settled into a routine. It's nice. This summer was crazy. So fun! But crazy. And now we're just working away.

Unfortunately, because life has been so normal, we haven't really taken any pictures. I mean that's unfortunate for you. Because we're pretty people.

This weekend will hold the event of my (in my mind) much anticipated baby shower! I'm so excited to celebrate this little creature's life and to see so many friends and family. So, there will plenty of pictures coming after that shower has come and gone.

To hold you over until then, here is the only picture we've taken in the past month:

My belly at 32 weeks pregnant.
When I see this picture I feel like I look much bigger than how my belly feels when I'm not looking at this picture. Maybe the digital camera adds 10...15...20 pounds? But probably not.