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Much ado about plastic eggs

The Cheyenne Downtown Merchants Association hosted an Easter egg hunt today which we were excited to attend. It’s always fun to get out of the house and let Vaughan experience something new and fun. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t really cooperate with their plans for an outside hunt. So, they were forced to use their back up plan which was to have the hunt at The Plains Hotel across the street from the Cheyenne Deopt Plaza. It would have been great except that hundreds of people showed up and they weren’t really prepared for a crowd that large. Lots of kids ended up with no eggs at all because there weren’t enough to begin with and many of the parents of the young participants were not being very fair by only taking a few eggs. There were some tears (other kids…not Vaughan) and lots of frustration (mostly the parents), so it wasn’t really what I would call a fun day…but at least we did get out of the house for a while…and we saw some friends there, too.

Vaughan ended up with a few eggs (mostly due to a generous friend that Vaughan and Rick encountered during the hunt). He didn’t care much about how many he had. He played with those silly plastic eggs for quite some time after we got home.

Vaughan in his Springy vest

We had to wait for quite a while before the hunt started, so Rick kept Vaughan busy by letting him play with his cell phone.

Playing with Daddy

Found an egg!

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Meeting Rheya

My sister and her family came up to Cheyenne this weekend to meet Rheya and hang out. We had a great time seeing them. Vaughan loved playing with his cousins, Jack and Amanda, and Rheya was content to be held by any set of willing arms that were available. We had pizza night at Nana and Grandpa’s house, breakfast at Little America and then we played at the park on a warm and sunny Sunday.

When I was little, my version of my sister Sharlene’s name was “Shiny,” so we are doing our best to get Vaughan to call his Aunt Sharlene “Aunt Shiny.” He did say it a few times and it’s just as adorable all these years later!

Aunt Sharlene and Rheya Uncle John and Rheya Cousin Amanda and Rheya

Mr. Potato Head

Playing with Vaughan

Piano

Jenny and Sharlene

Looking over Mommy

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Beautiful

I took some pictures of Rheya in her great-grandfather’s christening gown. It’s amazing we’ve been able to hang onto this gown all this time. Several kids in the family have worn it at some point.

Rheya

Rheya

I took similar pictures of Vaughan when he was this age (approximately five weeks old).

Christening gown

I also took a few other pictures since she was in a cooperative mood and I had some good light to work with.

Rheya

Rheya

Rheya

What a beautiful girl!

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A visit from Pappy

We were very excited to have Pappy (Rick’s dad) here for a visit this weekend. He had a four day break from work, so it was the perfect time for him to come to Cheyenne and meet his new grand-daughter. Vaughan had a great time seeing Pappy as well!

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We played at the park…

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Pappy and Vaughan played airplane…

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We had brunch at Grandma’s house…

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Vaughan found out that Pappy really likes popcorn too!

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And Rheya got some snuggle time…

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Vaughan and Rheya

As the birth of our newest family member approached, Rick and I speculated on what kind of reaction Vaughan would have to a new baby sister. We figured he would do pretty well, but he has more than exceeded those expectations. He is a wonderful big brother and already loves his little sister to pieces. He often says “Oh…Rheya cute!” as he lays next to her on the floor and attempts to tickle her belly.

He wants to help all the time and is very eager to do things like bring the diaper basket to me, fetch her blanket, hand me her bottle, or just lay on the floor with her and keep her company while I’m attending to some dishes or laundry folding.

Rheya on Vaughan

What a great big brother!

Vaughan and Rheya

Silly

What a great pair!

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At home…our new family dynamic

We are all still adjusting, but things are going pretty well. More sleep would be appreciated, but that will come with time! Vaughan really wants to help feed Rheya, so we are having him “practice” with my old Cabbage Patch doll. It’s the cutest thing ever!

Vaughan practicing feeding the

Rheya

Even the cats are adjusting quite well. Marcel just wants to carry on about his business and doesn’t seem at all bothered by Rheya’s presence in the house…that includes his daily “lap-time” on Rick’s already crowded lap!

Sharing Daddy

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Introducing Rheya Marie Woodard!

We are so excited to have our beautiful little Rheya home at last! We waited so long to meet her and now she’s finally here!

Only an hour old!

The stats:

Born on February 16, 2009 at 5:47am
Weight: 8 lbs 7 oz
Length: 20.25 inches

Rheya

Vaughan saying hi to his new little sis

Our little family

Big brother Vaughan is doing very well with her so far, although it will be interesting to see how he feels on Monday when Rick has to go back to work and it’s just me and Vaughan and Rheya all day.

Rheya

So, here’s the whole story of the morning Rheya was born…if you are interested.

After a lot of complaining and waiting because I was already two days past my due date, I woke up on Monday morning (February 16th) at 12:30am with a pretty strong contraction…the strongest one I’d had up to that point. I had a few more spread out over the next hour, then even more through the next hour. I woke Rick up at 2:30am and said, “I don’t think you’re going to make it to work today.” He replied, “Why?” and I said, “Because I think we’re going to have a baby today!”

So, Rick started getting everything ready to go as I shouted instructions from the living room. I was on my knees bent over the glider chair, moving the top half of my body back and forth in an (unsuccessful) effort to ease the pain of the contractions which were starting to come faster and faster. In between contractions, I called the doctor, answered the questions she asked, and then was told to head to the hospital. The contractions were about five or six minutes apart at this point.

Next, Rick called his mom and asked her if she could get over to our house to stay with Vaughan. Then I called my mom and step-dad to let them know what was going on.

More contractions, more shouting instructions to Rick, more gliding.

Finally, Rick’s mom arrived. I didn’t even say anything to her. I couldn’t pick my head up off the chair. She offered to rub my back and I think I yelled, “No! Don’t touch me!” as I waved my hand in the air behind me. Rick got everything in the car and then we waited for another contraction to pass before I could stand up and walk to the car. We live about two minutes from the hospital and I had another contraction as we pulled into the Emergency Room parking area. Ok, so…two minutes apart. I glanced at the clock on the bank sign across the street and it said 4:16am. We walked in through the ER doors, the guy at the desk said, “How many weeks?” and I grunted “Forty.” He walked us to the registration area where I sat down in the chair and put my head on the desk while Rick answered the few questions she had for me. She called for them to come down and get us, they brought a wheelchair for me (thank God) and we made it up to the fifth floor…I think I had two contractions on the way. I had my eyes closed the whole time. It was probably about 4:25am by this time.

I got my pajamas off and managed to get the gown over me with some assistance. I crawled into the bed and laid on my left side. They kept asking me questions and I couldn’t answer. I remember saying “I don’t know!” quite a few times. They said they needed to check me to see how dilated I was, so I managed to roll over onto my back (really painful) and the nurse tried to find my cervix. She said she couldn’t feel it…well, there might be just a little bit of it…she had to have the resident check. He agreed. Not much there…maybe 9.5 or so. (WHAT?!?!?!) It was around 4:45am now.

I asked if I had to lay on my back and the nurse said I could stay on my side if that was more comfortable. More contractions, more groaning, more questions, more people coming in and out of the room. Rick was rubbing my back. That helped a lot. They started asking me if I felt the need to push. I said I didn’t know. How am I supposed to know? They said that I would be able to tell. Right.

So, for the next 30 minutes or so, I only remember bits and pieces. I remember they broke my water since the bag was apparently BULGING (yes, they said bulging) anyway. I remember yelling the following things at various times.

“Is there any chance I can still get an epidural?!?!”
“Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, GOD!”
“Ow ow ow ow ow!”
“I don’t know!”
“Wait! Hold on!”
“I can’t!”

So on and so forth…

Finally, I realized that this was really it. There was no epidural. There was just me and nature, so I’d have to make do with the tools that I had…screaming and yelling at everyone in the room.

I finally (and quite suddenly) felt the urge to push, so I started yelling, “I need to push! I need to push!”

Let me digress here for a moment…

It felt like I was in some sort of time warp where everything I was experiencing was happening ten times faster than it was for everyone else in the room and I found myself getting annoyed that they weren’t doing things quickly enough. I had my eyes closed a lot, but in my head, they were all milling around the room holding cups of coffee and quietly responding to my screams as they chatted about the latest episode of Desperate Housewives.

But, I digress…

Anyway, I HAD TO PUSH! So, someone (probably the nurse) calmly said, “Okay, go ahead and push with the next contraction.” They were still getting the bed set up…pulling out the stirrups…spreading out the things to catch all the mess. What?!?! I can push?!?! You guys aren’t even ready!

After what seemed like an eternity (that was actually about three minutes or so), everyone was ready and I was pushing as the contractions came on. They said to take a deep breath and hold it as I pushed for 10 seconds. I couldn’t get a deep breath. I couldn’t even muster up the strength to push for five seconds. It really hurt. A lot. I remember asking, “Is she almost out?!?!” because it felt like her whole head had just come through. They all assured me she was almost out and that they could just see the top of her head. That’s not what I wanted to hear.

More screaming. More pain. More assurances that it was almost over.

And then it was. Rheya Marie Woodard was out and the pain was gone in an instant! The doctor said, “She’s really tangled.” The resident agreed. I had a brief moment of panic and concern, but they quickly got her untangled from the cord that was wrapped around her neck THREE TIMES and placed her on my chest as she started to cry quietly. It was 5:47am.

The next 20 minutes were full of emotion for Rick and I. She was healthy…and HUGE! I said I didn’t think there was any way she was bigger than Vaughan. Boy, was I wrong. She outweighed her brother by four ounces…8 pounds 7 ounces! I kept telling Rick that I couldn’t believe I just did that without any drugs. I couldn’t believe it…I just couldn’t believe it.

Rheya ended up having pretty low blood sugar, so she was hooked up to an IV for the first 24 hours. She tolerated that very well, but it was a little inconvenient to drag the IV around while holding her. I felt really great and was up and around pretty quickly. My first birth experience left me feeling like total crap for a whole week, so this was a pleasant change!

I can’t say that this is how I wanted this birth experience to go, but it all worked out in the end and we finally have our beautiful little girl here at home with us. She truly is a joy and a blessing!

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Catching up

I suddenly realized I had several sets of photos on the camera that I needed to upload to my Flickr account, so here’s the run-down of what we’ve been up to lately.

Vaughan has taken a big interest in markers. I only let him play with the washable kind and it is always under supervision, but he has been very careful with them so far and always puts the caps back on each and every marker as he’s done using them. He’s getting very good at identifying his colors and gets them right about 95% of the time. One day a couple of weeks ago, I wrapped an old Nesquik container with paper and told him it was a “drum” and he could decorate it any way he liked.

Decorating the drum

Decorating the drum

Vaughan also has a Build-a-Bear “house” that has been up on a shelf in his closet. I got that down and asked him if he’d like to color on it with his markers. He has colored on it a little bit just about every day since then (and, of course, Mommy and Daddy have colored on it as well). I’ll have to take another picture of it to show the coloring progress we have made.

Coloring the Build-a-Bear house

Speaking of getting things out of his closet…I went through a little “nesting” spurt and organized the closet in Vaughan’s room to make some space for Rheya’s clothes and shoes. It’s a poorly designed closet because it’s very deep, but once you have stuff hanging on the bar, it’s too hard to access anything in the back. So, Rick added a second bar for clothes and I moved all of Vaughan’s clothes to the lower bar so he has better access. We also hung up a shoe organizer on the door.

The closet - clothes

The closet - shoes

Vaughan is a very good helper (most of the time), so here he is helping Rick with the dishes.

Helping with the dishes

And last, but not least, we have some very cute pictures of Vaughan playing catch. He’s getting pretty good at catching, but his throwing skills still need some work!

Playing catch

Playing catch with Daddy

He also has learned about the phrase “Say cheese!” when someone is taking a picture, so here’s his “cheesy” grin!

Vaughan and Bobo

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