telling it like it is.

atticus is finally asleep and i have a second to actually update!

it's been a good couple of weeks. atticus had his two-week appointment on the 19th, and he weighed 9 lb 2 oz, and was 21.75 inches long. (are you kidding me?! atticus is awake again.) the doctor said he looks really healthy, which is good.

the next day, atticus began his second growth spurt. he was wanting to eat like every 45 minutes - and when it takes him 20 minutes to eat and another 5 minutes to change him, that only left me around 20 minutes to do anything else at a time. it made for a few long days of doing very little other than sitting on the couch.

(over the span of the last 5 minutes, atticus has been put back to sleep, woken up again, and been put back to sleep. i have a feeling this is going to be a long afternoon...he has slept a total of about 10 minutes in the last 5 hours. and of course, he wakes up the second i put him down in his bed, so i'm having to do most things one-handed.)

anyway. by wednesday after he started his growth spurt on saturday, i was going crazy. i'd hardly slept at all, and spent most of my waking moments feeding him. i was starting to suspect that he was over his growth spurt and had just gotten used to eating so often. plus, with as much as he was eating, i bet his tummy hurt. he was grouchy, i was crying. todd worked an overnight, and i didn't know who to call for help, since my mom lives 3 hours away and it was christmas eve and i didn't want to bug anyone. i tried calling first nurse to see how long a growth spurt was supposed to last and how to tell if a baby has just gotten used to eating super often. her less-than-friendly answer? "we don't have information on that. every baby is different." well.

so on christmas, we went over to the duvicks for the day. since ami has six kids, i figured she knew a thing or two about getting a kid back into a decent routine. oh my word, she was awesome. by the time we left that afternoon, atticus was back into a three-hour routine, was sleeping like a champ, and was all around a much happier little guy! it was a christmas miracle.

on saturday, we were supposed to drive down to my parents' house, stopping on the way to visit my dad and his current wife, my dad's ex-wife, and my dad's parents. (as todd says, this holiday brought to you by divorce.) however, the roads were REALLY bad, so we couldn't leave until 5.5 hours after we had expected to. we drove about 40 miles an hour on the highway for about a quarter of the way, and i lost count of how many cars we saw in the ditch. we even saw a charter bus in the ditch.

the next day we did a big christmas thing with my stepdad's daughters. one of the highlights of the day was when i let the four-year-old son of my stepsister's friend help me with atticus. he was awesome at holding him, and really wanted to help with other stuff, so i offered to let him help me change him (meaning, he got to attach the velcro tabs on the clean diaper). however, during the cleaning process, gavin was like, "what's that brown thing?" even though i thought it was strange that a four-year-old boy didn't recognize it, i was like, "that's poop." "no, i meant that other brown thing." oh.... um.... "well, uh, that's his privates." awkward. last time i'm allowing a stranger's kid to look in my kid's diaper. mistake noted.

speaking of diapers, over the course of 36 hours over the weekend, atticus crapped his way through 10 outfits. i hate target brand diapers with a passion. another mistake noted.

the drive back to ames was going to take about 3 hours, so i fed atticus right before we left, thinking that we could hope to barely make it back to ames before he got hungry again. he slept for six hours. i'm not even kidding. it was amazing. then last night, he slept about 5 hours in a single stretch. i'm hoping that sticks, although i'm thinking that's the reason he's having kind of a difficult time falling asleep today.

and...i think that's about it. i've typed virtually this entire blog while balancing atticus on my chest. i feel accomplished! we have a bunch of new pictures...i'll post some soon!


our upstairs neighbor is particularly endearing. so endearing, in fact, that i have dubbed him/her "the yeti." through very little intentional sleuthing, i have gathered these facts about our mystical friend:

*the yeti enjoys the game rock band. the yeti has an affinity for drumming.
*the yeti has friends who thoroughly enjoy the f-word. and, quite likely, getting drunk.
*the yeti often wears high heels, or has a partner who often wears high heels. typically around 7:30 in the morning. and especially in the uncarpeted kitchen and bathroom areas.
*the yeti has interesting hibernation patterns. dormant for long periods of time, the yeti will then awaken and tear the kitchen cabinets off the walls. or something.
*the yeti does not wear houseslippers.
*the yeti must have an inherent ability to sense when babies are sleeping, and is kind enough to offer unusual lullaby services in the forms of stomping, dropping, and chairscooting.

i do appreciate all the yeti's efforts. it has actually made me more comfortable living in an apartment building with a new baby. i'm not as worried about waking up the neighbors. not so much because the neighbors don't seem super concerned about waking up their neighbors, but more because apparently the neighbors don't sleep anyway.

ah, the yeti. makes me (almost) miss last year's upstairs neighbors, Leadfoot and his crazy-antic'ed cat, Leadpaw. almost.

we kind of like him.

this is his "old man" look. he ended up with a striped onesie (since he pooped on the solid-colored one) to clash with his striped pants. that go up to his pits. classy, atticus.

the carseat face.

man, does he hate the carseat.

awww. i love this little sweatshirt.

at his first dr. appointment, before he had to get all cold and naked.

after he got all cold and naked.

a little happier in the carseat this time.

"the home alone"

watching football in his sweats with dad.

atticus looks thrilled to be a member of the family.

"the dead guy"

rocking the fauxhawk

not even sure what's going on here...

he loves mommy, but he hates being changed.

2 weeks

atticus has hit his second growth spurt and has been keeping us on our toes. or rather, keeping me on the couch pretty much 24 hours a day, feeding him. he's been kind of a grouch. we can tell he's growing, though; he's getting so strong! he has so much more control over his neck, back, and leg muscles.

my mom was here last week helping with atticus and helping around the house. it was so nice to have her here!

well, i can't think of much else to say and atticus thinks he's still hungry even though i fed him half an hour ago. i'll have more time to update later. i'll add pictures later today.

the life, death, and resurrection of johnny cash


also, check out the comment section of my last johnny cash blog under andrew v's comment. download the link he placed there. it is a Christian johnny cash comic outlining a more detailed account of the above video. also see, "walk the line" the movie with joaquin phoenix.

for more awesome stories of Christians who wrote beautiful songs that sprung from beautiful, Christ-inspired lives, search using the words, "rebel's guide to joy" and you should find upwards of 10 different 4 minute stories from isaac watts, john newton, fanny crosby, horatio spafford, charles wesley, etc... they're great reminders of where we've come from and where we're going.

hebrews 12:1 "therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses...."

they're God's witnesses to us, echoing from the past to persevere, to keep on keeping on.

cashin' it in

my dad listened to johnny cash when i was a child. in an 8 year-old kind of way, i remember thinking, "this is kinda neat." don't know why, but it never took. until recently that is. i checked out johnny cash "IV: the man comes around" from the library. it was amazing. it is amazing. if you haven't bought into the man in black mystique, it's worth checking out. here is a sample, i love this old timey country Gospel-type stuff.

(this is not on "IV: when the man comes around")

1 week

so, atticus is 1 week old today, and already i've learned and seen a lot...

*atticus really likes to pee on todd. and poop on todd.
*once he even peed into his own face.
*he doesn't so much poop as he does some heavy-duty sharting. he's not subtle.
*he projectile pooped onto todd's pants and the carpet. i had to use my martha stewart handbook to look up how to remove pet stains, because even she didn't anticipate projectile baby poop stains.
*he does great impressions of an old man, a cartoon turtle, and a dead guy.
*i typically run 1-2 loads of laundry per week. in a little while, i will start load 5. why? see most highlights.
*while his hair is awesome, i didn't anticipate pubescent levels of grease. his 'do is rather high-maintenance.
*he has already gained a lot of muscle strength and coordination in his neck and arms. he'll probably be a wrestler.

do any of you moms out there know what i should do about a goopy/runny eye? yesterday his eye was running with this weird clear-brown stuff. any insight?

welp, that's all i can think of for now. i'm sure there will be more to come.



(our first family photo)

(learning about good oral hygeine from the master)

(HAHA. mom trying out her hand at burping him the way the nurses suggested. he doesn't look too thrilled.)

okay, so much has been happening that i haven't had a chance to update!
so, like todd said, contractions started thursday night around 11:45. i had had my membranes stripped at my appointment earlier that day, so i was really glad it seemed to have worked! after the first contraction, i waited for the second one before waking todd up. (i wanted to make sure i wasn't just constipated or something.) after the second one, i was sure i was in labor, so i woke todd up.

at about 12:45, my water broke and my contractions became a lot more intense and close together. i called first nurse, who told me to take a shower then head on over to the hospital. that was seriously the best advice ever - i'm so glad i got to shower before we left. however, by the time we got to the hospital, my contractions were coming around every 3 minutes or so; i'd had 3 just walking from the parking ramp to the hospital entrance.

we checked in and got settled into our room around 2:00, and around 3:00 or so i got my epidural. they checked me and said i was dilated to 5 0r 6, meaning i was well on my way! the nurse did a couple other things (taking vitals, etc.) and then i tried to lay down to sleep. the epidural made me REALLY itchy, though, so i didn't actually sleep until around 5:15 or so after they gave me some anti-itch stuff.
at around 6, the nurse woke me up, checked me, and told me i was dilated to 10, and that we'd start pushing in a little while! (at this point i'm thinking, this was WAY too easy. who knew i'd sleep my way to 10 cm?)
we started pushing at 6:30, and at 8:03 our little guy was born! i feel so blessed at how EASY my delivery seemed to be. there were definitely unpleasant parts, but overall there is nothing that i wish went differently.
it was so nice to have the whole day on friday and the whole day on saturday to hang out as a family and see friends and family that came to visit. it was actually kind of sad on sunday when we left, because it had been so nice! not to mention our nurses were AWESOME, and one even fauxhawked atticus' hair for us! :) it was also kind of scary to leave, since i wouldn't be able to ask a nurse to come in every time i had a question. we were going to have to deal with stuff on our own...yikes!

(i don't know if you can tell, but our awesome nurse jill fauxhawked his hair!)

however, atticus is a great kid and we're all doing really well. he slept for 3-hour stretches the first night, and i was able to get almost 8 hours of sleep! he's so chill during the day, too...what an easy little guy to love!
he's an awesome eater (he was born pretty much knowing exactly what to do to nurse, which was a huge blessing) and at his homeward visit they said he's gained 4.5 ounces just since he left the hospital on sunday! that's like a quarter pounder. nice work, atticus!
thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers, and i hope to update soon!
(that's his lopsided stank-eye. he does this quite a bit.)

the beginning of a life on earth

today the LORD introduced the world, or at least those privy to our general influence, to one mr. atticus jacob rhyne van voorst. here are some highlights from his grand entrance.

and so it begins...

paige woke up at 11:45 pm with some serious, painful contractions.
mostly of the "don't and can't" variety.
*insert rim shot"

her water broke around 12:45 am.
we called the first nurse and paige took a shower.
we are off to the races here in a short bit.

please keep us in your prayers.
we read psalm 100 before going to bed (last night) this morning.

Psalm 100
His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

A Psalm for giving thanks.

1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.


(looking happier than i feel holding this particular sign...)

i had my appointments today. first, we went in for an ultrasound, which wasn't really as exciting as i thought it would be. the kid is so big that we couldn't really see him on the screen. the ultrasound tech would point out what she identified as a foot or something, but it was really hard to make out. so we're trusting she knew what she was talking about and that he's still a human baby.

then todd and i went to valentino's for lunch, which was really nice. it was nice to get to spend that extra time together, and the food was awesome. plus, this lady that worked there kept giving me compliments on how good she thought i looked... never an unwelcome compliment, especially now that i feel huge and walk around like i have a stick up my butt and a watermelon between my knees. then we started shooting the breeze with this lady, and she told us all about how her daughter is a golfer, how they were in arizona last february and she stayed with a friend and it was freezing and the friend's house smelled like cats, and how the tolls in ohio are like 10 bucks a pop, and how her husband got her a gps system. oh yes, and she has two pomeranians. ahh, rebekkah. loved her.

we went back to the doctor's after lunch for a non-stress test, which they said looked really good. the baby's heart rate is awesome and i'm contracting, which is good news.

then we met with donna, our midwife. she did an exam (which hurt like the dickens) and told me that i'm about 90% effaced and she thinks i'm dilated closer to 3 by now. she wasn't for sure, though, because it would've been too painful for her to find out conclusively. she also stripped my membranes, which is supposed to help get things started. she said that between the ultrasound (which said my fluid is low, a good sign for late pregnancy), the results of the non-stress test, and where i seem to be physically, that she thinks i should go into labor in the next couple of days. however, we scheduled an appointment for monday, and if i haven't had him by then, we'll schedule an induction.

so...relatively good news all around. i was sort of hoping they could do more to get me started, or tell me more conclusively that things would start soon, but it was good for what it was.

when i think about the fact that i'm only four days overdue, it seems like it's not that long. but these last four days have seemed like they've taken FOREVER, and i'm not sure how much longer i'll have to wait. i'll admit, it's been a pretty emotional few days. i'm just hoping hoping hoping he comes soon. i really don't want to be induced. it scares me to think about. but i also don't want to be pregnant indefinitely. so i'm hoping he comes on his own. preferably tonight? not sure if it's actually preferable or not, but it seems preferable as of right now, so i'm going with it.

seriously, this kid needs to come out. he hurts.

i had a kindergartener say the other day, "wow! are you gonna have a baby?!" i told him yes, then he was like, "that baby sure looks HEAVY." then he proceeded to try to peer under my shirt to see him. he's right. this kid IS heavy. pretty soon you'd think he'd just slip right out due to gravity. if only it were that easy.
(scratching my itchy belly with my t-rex arms)