Life is A Journey...Come Follow Our's

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's All About Quinn

That's right. Life is all about our Little Man now. Wow how life has changed in 2 short weeks. Of course I knew it would change, but I don't think I ever realized how much and how quickly it would all happen. Of course, it's all for the better, but it's a change nonetheless.

Brad, Quinn, and I are so fortunate to have so many great friends and wonderful family who have stepped up to help us out so far. My mom was here until Thursday and let me just tell you, I cried like a baby when I realized that it was time for her to leave. It's not that she was parenting for me or that I was able to just sit and do nothing, but rather she was always there to fill in the missing pieces of whatever I was doing. She allowed me to be able to parent and to try to find my groove while never worrying about food, keeping the house clean, being able to take a shower, or being alone and overly emotional. She thought of all the little things that would make my life easier for instance, I woke up the first night to feed Quinn and went out to the couch to find a nursing station all set up for me complete with pillow, blanket, burp cloth, and a HUGE cup of water. Sure, I could have scrounged around and found all those things at 1am, but she had it all set for me. It was the little things like that that really made the world of difference. It was teaching me how to be a more organized mother without ever criticizing but rather by doing. It was amazing. In fact, I'm crying right now thinking about how she's gone. I hate that she lives so far away. She truly is my best friend and greatest role model. Shoot, I hope I can convince her to move down here to beautiful Northwest Arkansas soon. If I can't, maybe Quinn can.

So yes, Mom left on Thursday and the first thing I did was take Quinn out for a run to get some endorphins. Exercise has been my saving grace throughout my pregnancy with Quinn and has continued to help regulate my hormone levels post-partum. We had a good day that Thursday having lunch with Daddy, shopping a bit, and napping a lot! If it wasn't hard enough that Mom left on Thursday, Brad left on Friday to go to our friends Jeff and Lisa's wedding in Sonoma Valley, California. I have been a single mother since about 6am Friday when Brad left for his workout, work, and the airport. Yes, we're doing fine here, but it is absolutely exhausting being on call all the time with no relief. My mom was right, it's a new kind of exhaustion. Who would have ever thought you could sleep for 8 hours and be so tired (granted it's sleep accumulated in 1.5 to 2 hour increments)?

Friends have been my saving grace while Brad's been gone calling, texting, bringing over meals, inviting us over, and coming over to go for walks with us. I have honestly been doing well, but there is no such thing as routine in our day right now. Quinn is growing and seems to be eating every 1.5-2 hours meaning I can't really make any plans (we tried this morning leaving both of us in tears) and it seems that whenever I'm the most tired, something goes wrong like him peeing his cradle, co-sleeper, and my bed all in a matter of the same hour!?!??! How can anyone so small have so much urine in them? But whenver I get frustrated there's that sweet little face looking up at me in awe, cooing, smiling, and nestling into my chest in pure peace and comfort. How can I possibly be frustrated with such a sweet little boy there reminding me what life is really all about -- enjoying every moment and remembering that this time too shall pass whether I want it to or not.

A few pics from the past week:

First Bath

First Pontoon Ride

Friday, May 21, 2010

And...We're Home!

Quinn was born jaundiced to the point that he had to spend 2 days under the Biliruben Lights. He was so sweet and the nurses loved him. Hysterically, he is so strong that when they'd put his snowboarding/sun tanning goggles on him, he'd push his way from the bottom of the bassinet to the top in order to wiggle his way out of them. Those clever nurses at Northwest Medical Center decided to concoct their own version of Nacho Libre meets Captain Underpants to try to get them to stay on. Enjoy the pictures...we are so happy to finally have him home where he belongs!

Quinn and Gigi - 1 Day Old

Quinn - 2 Days Old

Quinn's Best Impression of Nacho Libre Meets Captain Underpants
- 2 Days Old

Quinn's Going Home - 3 Days Old

Quinn and His Proud Daddy Going Home

Quinn and His Favorite Mommy Going Home

The Pope Family...Now a Family of 3!

Quinn Signing Out - Word to Your Mom!

Announcing...Quinn Edward Pope

He's here! The day Brad and I have been waiting for for over 30 months (yes...that's how long we dealt with infertility issues, in vitro, and our 41 week pregnancy), Quinn is finally here and he is PERFECT! He made his arrival on Tuesday, May 18th at 4:38 in the afternoon. He weighed in at 6 pounds 9 ounces and measured 19 inches long. He's a skinny long thing...cute as can be. I'll share some pictures and if you don't want the details of the labor and delivery, stop there, otherwise, read on to get the whole story! Hope you enjoy the pics...I'm sure this blog will be loaded with many more in the months and years to come!

Beth, my amazing Doula, my mom who has been completely God Sent, Me, Quinn, and Brad

After 30 hours of labor...Quinn and me

Proud Daddy!

My super sweet expressive Little Man!

Okay...stop reading NOW if you want to be spared the details, we go!

Monday morning, I went in to see Dr. Smith at 9:45 and was dilated to almost a 2. I asked him to strip my membranes and within an hour, I started having contractions. I wish I would have known that this simple procedure would have gotten me going so fast...we could have done it a week earlier!! Either way...I was having contractions but was determined to enjoy the day with my mom who had driven in the night before. We went shopping, out for lunch, and enjoyed some good talks and laughs that, probably for the last time, revolved around me and not around Quinn. By 3 o'clock, I called Brad at work and told him he had to come home because this was the real thing. Mom and I went for a mile long walk and although I had to stop and go when there were contractions, we still did the walk in under 20 minutes (just a heads up, I gauged my labor on how long it took me to walk a mile!),turned on
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and took a nap. I woke up to the contractions getting worse but knew I still had a while left, so we made dinner and by 7 o'clock, we were ready for yet another walk. This time, the walk took almost an hour to go 1 mile! Yes...things were definitely coming along. Contractions were now almost a minute long and 6-7 minutes apart. They were strong enough to make me stop dead in my tracks and as horrible as it sounds, all I wanted to do was poop! It was so bad (for those of you who know me well, you won't be surprised by this one) that, much to my mom's dismay, I squatted across from my neighbor's yard. My mom tried to get me to get up and get going again, but my response was "The cold breeze feels so good against my bum...I'm fine right here!" Oh My Gosh...looking back, I'm dying laughing! What a train wreck I was!!! Anyway...we made it home without any further incidents =)

Brad was waiting for us and I must say he was absolutely amazing throughout the entire labor. He was by my side, so patient, encouraging, and supportive. I really think he should be for hire as a labor coach/assistant because he was that good! Knowing that we both wanted this to be a natural, drug-free labor, it was important to us to stay home as long as possible. Brad had downloaded a contraction timer on his phone and was religious about timing and having the data ready to download (did you know he loves spreadsheets?!??! That's my analyst husband!) We talked to our doula, Beth, around 9 and she decided that with contractions 1-2 minutes long with 3-4 minute breaks in between them, that she would come over. By 10, with contractions only 3-4 minutes apart, we decided the time was right to make the uncomfortable drive to the hospital. We were certain I'd at least be at a 5 or maybe even a 6, but after being checked, I was only at a measly 3!!! Oh My Gosh! Were they kidding me!?!?!

We labored throughout the night, using our rest periods to sing and dance along to the Broadway Showtunes CD that my brother so cleverly crafted for us until I measured a 6-7. I started having contractions that were intense for 5-6 minutes with 1 minute rest intervals for over an hour. We labored in the shower and wow do I believe in the power of water for labor now! Unfortunately, when they measured me after all those contractions and I was back down to a 5!! I was so disappointed, but was ready to push on! Until it was 6am, they measured me again after wicked bad contractions and I was measuring a 4! At this point, 19 hours later, I was exhausted...shoot, we all were...and I was ready to consider the epidural. At 8:30, after much contemplation, I got the epidural, they broke my water at 9 and I had no idea I had a single contraction from 8:30-3:30!! It was amazing! We all were able to sleep (me less than anyone else with all the anticipation) and relax. By 3:00, I was shocked to know I was at a 9 and by 3:30 I was at a 10 but told I couldn't start pushing until 4:00 because the doctor was in surgery and couldn't guarantee that he'd be able to catch Quinn. My response "This wouldn't be the first doctor to miss a delivery!"

I labored down and was able to hold off pushing until Dr. Smith arrived, pushed for 25 minutes and had the most beautiful baby boy laying on my chest by 4:38! Now, I'm not delusional. I know that newborns are not really cute. Shoot, my son resembles ET's child with his skinny scrawny body, has baby acne which we have promised to have resolved for him by the time he goes to Prom, and his eyes roll back into his head because his eye muscles are not developed enough for tracking things very well yet, but he is BEAUTIFUL! He has a tongue that is half Michael Jordan, half lizard, he LOVES to hear his Mommy and Daddy's voices, has great muscle control (you know he's been working out for the past 9 months), whimpers when he can't find what he's looking for (let's be honest, when he can't find the teet), and only has been crying when we force him to wake up for feeding. He is AMAZING! All I can say is that Life is Good and God is GREAT! We're hoping to be able to take him home today and be able to spend the weekend with him enjoying the sun, beating his jaundice, out on the boat.

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and support this past week, nine months, 30 months, and lifetime. Brad and I are so blessed with friends and family who love us and who love our Baby Quinn as much as we do!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quinn's Room

We have finally hung the last pictures and I feel ready for Quinn to make his arrival...hopefully not a day too soon as I will be 40 weeks in the morning.

Here are a few pictures for you. The room isn't that big so I had a hard time getting it all in, but you'll get the idea!

It's simple but simple is what I like. Hope Quinn enjoys it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Perfect Recipe (or 26) for Nesting

You always hear about people nesting right before they have a baby. Usually it involves them frantically cleaning, however, for me, I think I might be nesting in a different way - though planting flower beds, tomatoes, and an herb garden at 39 weeks and 4 days might be considered nesting as well.

Nesting to me has been more about accomplishing my goals. I set my goal to make one new recipe a week for 52 weeks in 2010 and so far, I've completed 26 new recipes. I'm almost 2 months ahead of myself at this point! This past week we had 3 more winners all courtesy of Cooking Light magazine.

Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce ( started out our week with a bang! I had never had a vodka sauce so thought it might be fun to try something new and I am so glad I did. I followed the basic recipe but added bacon bits, grilled chicken, and fresh mushrooms to it to make it a little heartier. This dish was not overly rich and had a nice little kick of flavor from the crushed red pepper. It reheated super well and Brad is now hooked!

Garlicky Clam Grilled Pizza ( was good too. It almost tasted like linguine with clam sauce, but on a pizza pie. Unfortunately, I did not prepare enough in advance to make my own dough, but with Pillsbury as my reliable stand it, I persevered and cooked up this dish pretty quickly in the oven at 500 degrees. I can't say it was AMAZING, but it definitely put a new twist on pizza.

Lastly was a Turkey-Spinach Lasagna ( which I added mushrooms to as well. The lasagnas that I've had are always multi-level and very very filling. This lasagna only had 2 layers of noodles and I kind of enjoyed that. The filling of cottage cheese (so not Italian), mushrooms, ground turkey, and jarred tomato sauce was delicious. Another dish that reheated well so we have another keeper!

Here's to hoping Baby Quinn makes his way into this world soon so I don't have any more new-recipe posts for awhile =)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

39 Weeks in Fort Knox

If you would have asked me a few weeks ago, or even last week, if I was getting excited for Quinn's arrival, I would probably have told you that it's all so surreal I wasn't even thinking about it too much. I know that's not how most soon-to-be-moms look in anticipation of the birth of their child, but honestly, that's how I've felt. Yesterday, at 39 weeks, that all started to change.

In the morning, I knew I had a week (give or take) left before Quinn would enter our lives and was excited. Okay...and maybe even a little excited to know that my school year would be finishing soon. I went for a 2.5 mile run in the morning in hopes of getting him to really "drop" so that the doctor would at least have some kind of news for me. I really believed that he had dropped somewhat on his own because his kicks were lower, but I figured a run (okay...more like a saunter) couldn't hurt anything.

When we went to the doctor that afternoon, I have to admit I was disappointed to hear that he was "locked up tighter than Fort Knox." There was nothing going on down there. Normally, I would be okay with this news, but then we got to talking about what would happen after 40 weeks. Dr. Smith won't let me go past 41 weeks (May 19th or 20th), but I really want a natural labor and therefore don't want to be induced. Pitocin is just such an intense drug to try to get through a drug-free labor with. Then I started thinking about C-Sections and honestly, it just brought a tear to my eye. More than anything, I want for Quinn's birth to be as natural and as intervention free as possible while keeping him safe. For myself, more than anything else, I DO NOT want a C-Section. It scares me. The recovery time. The inability to lift more than my own son's weight. Okay, let's be honest, not being able to truly work out as soon. It's my nightmare. I know I would be okay, but oh the thought.

I'm just praying that Quinn decides to make his entry into this world in the next 10 days so all these fears can be pushed aside and Brad and I can bring home our handsome son. In the meantime, my belly is measuring 33 weeks. Here it is for all to see...


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Still Cooking Up New Recipes

I have 3 more new recipes to share with everyone and I still think I'm picking them really well! In the past 3 weeks, I've made Chicken with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Feta, and Spinach in Phyllo Cups from Rachel Ray, Sour Cream Chicken, and just this morning for breakfast, Strawberry-Banana-Granola Crepes.

Rachel Ray's Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Feta and Spinach in Phyllo Cups ( was a good recipe, but not at the top of our list. With its good mix of Mediterranean flavors, it definitely packed a good flavor punch. I have to admit, I wimped out on making the phyllo cups (time was of an essence that day), but I served it over penne noodles and that was really good. I tossed my noodles with olive oil and then mixed in the tomato, feta, spinach, and chicken mixture. It made a very tasty pasta salad though it didn't necessarily re-heat very well if you wanted it as a warm pasta dish. Here's what they say it's supposed to look like:

The next week I made Steve's World Famous To Die For Sour Cream Chicken ( I think the "to die for part" was the fact that it called for an entire cup of melted butter for 6 servings!!! Needless to say, I slimmed down the recipe to work for Brad and me. I cut the butter down to a 1/4 cup, used 2 rolls of Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers (probably could have used 1 1/2 rolls or less), light sour cream, and used marjoram for the spice. The concept of marinating chicken in sour cream is one I will definitely use again. It made the meat so moist. I will definitely try this dish again!

And last, just this morning, I mixed up strawberries, bananas, and strawberry yogurt as a filling for my crepes. I topped the crepes with a little more of the filling and some granola and Brad and I feasted. While there's no real recipe, I had to share it because it was so easy, so flavorful, and perfect for our warm summery weather! It has earned its spot in my Sunday Breakfast/Brunch rotation.

Next up...Penne with Vodka Sauce and Garlicky Grilled Clam Pizza! My mouth is already watering!