Saturday, April 30, 2011

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times...

While we are all still recovering from this past week's storms, it is only right to stop and give thanks to our Heavenly Father for His blessings, which include a certain little doodle bug. 

Here's a recap with pictures of what's been going on since his debut on April 20th...


Thursday, April 28, 2011


Yesterday will go down as one of the worst in not only my memory, but the thousands of Alabamians who lost beloved family members, friends, and livelihoods. 

My day started with a phone call from my Mother a little after 5am, saying there was a Tornado Warning and why didn't we get the baby in the hallway.... just in case.

Her and my dad were going to get in their little storm shelter under the main staircase in our house.... just in case

And as usual, Mr. Smith and I rolled our eyes at the Alabama spring time weather, woke up, and I laid in the hallway with Harrison.... just in case.

Once the winds calmed down and the sirens went off, we went back to bed, only to get another phone call from my Mother.  "Everything's gone,"  she said.  "The house, the barn, the outside buildings.  We can't find the dogs or horses.  The house is gone." 

Shock.  Confusion.  Panic.  And then helpless tears as I was just so relieved they were alive by the grace of God's hand holding up that staircase.  I sat on my bed and cried like a baby, while holding my baby, who slept soundly while providing comfort to his Mommy.  What had started out as a just in case scenario turned real in a matter of seconds.

A tornado - the first one of the day to make its way across our state had just taken out my childhood home, and yet we knew the worst was not over. 

Mr. Smith, Sister, and I would watch later on as seemingly endless rounds of tornados spawned off - like some sick joke - to completely destroy my hometown of Cullman and their hometown of Tuscaloosa.  And in some cruel joke, everything was caught on film.  So we watched, literally, as these tornados made their way flippantly through our homes. 

I don't think I've ever cried so much in my entire life.  The absolute feeling of helplessness of yesterday was overwhelming and still is weighing down on our state today.  I think no less than 6 tornados made their way through Cullman. 

However, just like at the end of any storm... today there is sunshine.  My parents are positive-thinking people, and I am still overcome at the generosity of family and friends who made their way to their home yesterday to salvage whatever they could before the storms of the afternoon made their debut.  The dogs and horses were found.  Pictures and other sentimentals were gathered.  And my parents have a place to stay until the rebuilding is complete.  And the Smith family is safe in Tuscaloosa.

And yet, many were not that lucky.  Lives have been lost.  Homes destroyed.  And people are still missing.  Getting on facebook to read status updates can be both inspiring - as volunteers start coordinating and galvanizing the troops - and heart-wrenching - as I read friends' status updates who have lost a family or friend, or worse - still looking for people. 

The feeling of helplessness has to be one of the worst ever, as I sit here - ready to spring to action - on bed rest from last Wednesday's C-section.  I'm a doer.  A fixer.  I like to get things done, get things organized, and make it right.  And yet, here I sit with tears as I physically cannot do anything except care for a new life, ironically while so many lost theirs. 

Pray for our great state.  The people who were affected by the storms.  The volunteers who are out there trying to put back the puzzle pieces of these cities.  Our sweet home of Alabama is suffering.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baby Smith is here!

Guess who is here?

Baby Smith! 

Harrison Edward Smith was born after a long day on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, weighing 5 lb, 12 oz, measuring 19 inches in length. 

We're so in love. 

But let's backtrack, okay?  And let me tell you how it all went down...

Tuesday night, I got home from work feeling not that great.  So, Coop Dawg and I walked in the backyard some, hoping to relieve this Momma of some serious back pain and swollen feet. 

We went to bed early that night, around 9:30pm, because Mr. Smith had an early morning work meeting at 7am (needless to say, he didn't make it there).

My lower back was killing me, and I would doze off, only to wake up with it getting stronger and more intense.  I walked around the house - a lot - and debated on waking Mr. Smith with a "This is it!" call to action.  By 3:30am, I couldn't take it anymore.  Either there was an invisble 400-lb. man sitting on my back, or something was seriously wrong.  Either way, I wanted to go to the hospital to check things out. 

I woke Mr. Smith up, got him in the shower - which bordered on 30 min, I swear - and we were at the MEU (Maternity Evaluation Unit) around 4:30am.  As soon as I waddled in, the nurses there took one look at my Shrek feet and said - Oh girl, you're in labor.  After three blood pressure tests (they were through the roof), they checked me in as "active labor" since I had been laboring progressively since 10:30pm.  We started calling our families at that point, I think it was around 6-6:30am with the news. 

Within a couple of hours, our families had gotten there, and I let them know I wanted to wait on the epidural so I could see what all some real contractions would feel like.  Crazy talk, I know.  But I just wanted to know, ya know?  I had been on the Pitocin drip since around 7am, and I took it - by myself - until around 11:30am.  So, I can proudly say I went a little over 12 hours without the epidural. 

Within minutes of the epidural, they broke my water, and the Doctor let everyone know it would at least until 4-5 pm until my body was at 10cm and ready for some real action. 

Around 1pm, the Doctor came back to survey the scene and popped back up saying, "Okay, everybody out, she's at 10cm and we're ready to push."  Talk about my body wanting to spring into action!  The families (except for Mr. Smith) left the room in a hurry, with the doctor saying it would be about an hour before the Baby made his debut.  (Famous last words...)

I started pushing around 1:10pm, with Mr. Smith and Nurse Jenny (my new BFF, who was amazing during all of this).  A little after 2pm, Jenny let me know that we had stopped making progress, because the Baby was "sunny side up" - which means he was face up, instead of face down - and that Dr. Hoover would need to come back in the room and turn him.  A few minutes later, Dr. Hoover appeared, assessed the situation, got right up in there and turned the Baby around with her hand, and let me know that now it shouldn't be any trouble at all.  (Basically at this point, we were starting over in the process, since she had to push him back up in the placenta to get him turned.)  Still, we were in high spirits.  We had watched "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" during all of this, laughing and pushing during contractions.  God bless epidurals.  Ooo.... and we had a mirror during this part, so I could see everything going on. 

Around 3:30pm, after an hour and a half of more pushing, Jenny let us know that the Baby was stuck in the same spot - again - and that she needed to beep the Doctor because it looked like he was stuck on my pelvic bone.  Correct, Nurse Jenny!  The Doctor agreed with her and around 4pm, the decision was made to move us into the Operating Room for a C-section, since my pelvis was too small for him to go through.  By this point, I'm not going to lie, I was a little defeated.  It had been almost 24 hours since I had eaten last, the epidural was wearing off, and I could feel almost everything going on down there. 

They quickly got us in the Operating Room, where it took almost an hour to get my epidural level back up to where I wouldn't feel anything.  Obviously, this is not routine; I was just having an adverse reaction to the epidural and did not want to be "put under completely."  Once the epidural reached its appropriate level, Baby Harrison was out within 10 minutes, and the Doctor let me know that any future Smith babies would need to be born via C-section.  Mr. Smith rushed off to watch the baby's assessments, and I laid there waiting to meet him.  (I did get a little sick to my stomach during the stitching up because of the epidural, so no more cherry popsicles for this Mama.... ever.)

Once they moved us into Recovery, the nurses let us know I would need to be put on Magnesium for 24 hours because of my high blood pressure.  They likened it to having flu-like symptoms.  I liken it more to being placed on the face of the sun, because you're body gets so hot that you're loopy.  But, at least it didn't make me throw up. 

It was a true, 24-hour Labor and Delivery story.  But, except for maybe a solid hour or two, it wasn't that bad.  And, as my Doctor and I were talking (trying to put a positive spin on it), my body and I got to pretty much experience both sides of labor, which I'm now recovering from. 

We are forever changed, and so in love! 

More details to come...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Raise your hand...

...if you're excited about this Lifetime movie tonight!

(Or, just all things William & Kate/Royal Wedding/I thought I would marry you when I was younger, Prince William - related.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Waiting Game

We're still playing the Waiting Game at the Smith Household. 

So, while we wait, I'll share some pics of Harrison's nursery, deal? 

It's not completely finished, so don't judge me too harshly. 

Here's the crib and Little Lamb swing that Mr. Smith put together all by himself yesterday.

I'm also waiting on a piece of artwork that will hang above the crib. 

Close up of the crib, inside. 

The blanket matches the pillow, from Pottery Barn Kids, but you can't see it in this picture.

Top of the dresser. 
Monogrammed lampshade, courtesty of Stitched Blessings (you can find them on facebook). 
Framed "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" prayer.
Basket of stuffed animals, ready to be played with.

I think this is where all the "action" happens... the Changing Table. 
I Spy...
Martin's silver rattle from when he was a baby, courtesy of Grandmother Beth.
A baseball piggy bank, courtesy of Great-Grandmother Nancy.
Lots of books!
Some potpourri (best offense is a good defense, right?)
Apothecary jar of pacifiers and another one of cotton balls
Three "Rock a Bye" Baby CDs - Guns n' Roses, Journey, and The Rolling Stones
The basket stocked and ready for many, many diaper changes

Bassinet, ready for our bedroom
This is the same bassinet and bedding that my brother and I used.
My Nanny made the bedding for it, so it's sentimental... 
Little Lamb lovie, courtesy of Aunt Susan.

And... this guy, who loves to hang out in here. 
He's super excited for his new little buddy's arrival.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Preggers Post - Week 37

Week 37

Otherwise known as reaching Full-Term.

I'm affectionately also calling it "Get this baby out of me" syndrome.

The Shrek feet.  The lack of continuous sleep.  The cankles.  The leaking ladies.  The sharp jabs and kicks to what I'm assuming were vital organs...

It's all caught up with me this week. 

Let's chat about what our daily adventures are these days...


Nesting is suppose to be a sign that you're ready to pop. 

In that case, Mr. Smith is due any day now. 

He's been a cleaning, organizing machine this past week.  I love it.  Especially since I feel like I've been nesting since, oh, last August. 

We had our house professionally cleaned on Monday (thank you Groupon!), which was a nice way to start out the week, and they got all the nooks and crannies that someone carrying around a large basketball in their mid-section can't quite bend over to get clean anymore. 

From the medical perspective...

We had our weekly doctor's appointment on Monday morning, along with a growth ultrasound.  Precious Babe is still looking good, measuring in at a little over than 5 pounds.  I'm 2.5 cm dilated, 50% effaced.  If that sounded like a foreign language to you, Google it.  I'm not going into detail about it.  In layman's terms = the doctor says any day now. 

I may or may not have had high blood pressure at Monday's check-up.  I can't imagine why.  Type A personalities absolutely love to be told to just "be ready" and not have anything finite on the books.   There'll be none of this "Having the baby tomorrow!" or "Can't wait to meet Harrison today!"  status updates on facebook.  That's not how they roll at UAB.  You don't make "appointments" there to have your Precious Babe. 

Anywhooo.... the blood pressure numbers were high enough to get super fun blood work done.  I'm under instructions to take it easy. 

And so... our bags are packed. 
I've got a spare change of clothing in the car just in case my water decides to break at work.  And our parents are on the ready for our call. 

What's packed so far, you ask?
  • Cute Pajamas and robe
  • Thick socks and house shoes
  • Big Sweatshirt (don't think it's not a Central High Falcons sweatshirt either for those from T-town reading this!)
  • Some large and in charge white briefs I picked up at Wal-Mart for like $6 that I don't care if I ever see again after this.  You could also probably use them to sail a boat or as drapes, that's how big they felt when I bought them, red-faced. 
  • Tolietries and feminine items
  • Make-up, Straightener, Blow-dryer
  • Camera
  • Camcorder
  • Kindle
  • Harrison's sign to hang on the hospital door
  • Baby clothes, socks, mittens, blankets and "Going Home" outfit
  • Boppy
  • Pillows
  • Down comforter
  • Important paperwork, like our Birth Plan (don't read too much into this, it's basically just some necessities...typed out in bullet-form, of course) and Disability Paperwork for work. 
  • Oh yeah... and Mr. Smith has some stuff packed as well. 
Let's get this party started. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: My feet look like this guy's....

And as I always say... don't be jealous. 

Thank you Bama heat for my swollen Shrek feet
(cankles and lower legs included, the heat does not discriminate!)

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm Lovin' It

I have a life, I swear, other than preparing for the precious babe's arrival. 

Here's a list of Top Five Things I'm Lovin' Right Now...

Meet Russell Brand. 
This guy formerly got on my nerves, now I find myself giggling hysterically at him.  Mr. Smith and I desperately want to be his friend.  He's a nut, that's for sure, but I'm fascinated by him.  Utterly and completely fascinated.
His books might just be my next purchase on the Kindle. 

Our new oscillating fan.  Just purchased today, after record high temps in Bama. 
After two unsuccessful nights of sweaty sleep, I felt this was a necessary purchase at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
With a 20% off coupon, of course. 

Mr. Smith and I saw this movie Friday night at the neighborhood dollar theater with Brother and Miss Stallings.
The soundtrack alone is worth it. 
When "Straight out of Compton" blasted on, I almost died.  Of sheer bliss.
And the Barry character is hilarious.  Don't we all know a Barry? 

Ice Cream.
Mint chocolate chip.
The Oreo McFlurry that Sister surprised me with yesterday. 
Bring it. 
I'll eat it. 

This is my BFF, Bethenny.
Maybe you've heard of her?
She keeps it real, every Monday night on Bravo. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Preggers Post - Week 36

Never fear... we're still here.

Although it didn't look like it yesterday afternoon, starting around 3:30pm. 

Momma Smith starting getting some major contractions at work. 

Like, intense enough to turn my face bright red and get some pretty splotches on my chest.  Intense enough for me to act like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get stuff divided and conquered, so there wouldn't be unfinished business left unattended.  And enough for me to tell some of my co-workers... I think this is it.  Pray for me. 

Intense enough for Mr. Smith and myself to go ahead and pack our bags yesterday evening.

And intense enough to keep me up most of the night in a haze. 

So...  you guessed it.  Momma Smith spent the day in house arrest on bed rest. 

It might not have alarmed us quite as much, if we hadn't had our doctor's appointment on Monday, where when the doctor measured my stomach, it had shrunk 3 centimeters, down to 30 centimeters.  (Last time it was 33; this time was suppose to be 35-37).  Perplexed, the doctor said, "Um, most women don't shrink during pregnancy.  Have you felt him drop?"  Which I totally had... and totally said last Preggers Post, remember?  Women know their bodies, peeps.

The doctor then examined me and proclaimed, "Yep!  There he is.  I can touch his head.  You're at least 2 centimeters dilated.  You're looking at a delivery within 2 weeks." 

Okay, so I was expecting to maybe to be at 1 cm.  Maybe.  But 2cm?  With a touch of his head?  With an accelerated due date?  I'm sure our faces were priceless.  I was told to take it easy for the rest of the week and not to do anything at all. 

Which is exactly what you don't want to hear when you have a To Do List.  And maybe I didn't follow those directions.  Maybe.  So, lesson learned.  Momma Smith is not doing anything except sitting and laying down for the next few days.  So, I'm a load of fun.  Loads.  And I'm sure my brain has been permanently fried from all the riveting daytime television I soaked up today, ranging from a Real Housewives marathon to Kim & Kourtney Take New York (why are these people famous again?) 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"I Heart My Husband" Banana Pudding

With Mr. Smith gone turkey hunting for four days over the past weekend, I decided to surprise him with a Welcome Home present that would never make him want to leave me again for that long, especially when 36 weeks pregnant

Banana Pudding!

Maybe it was the 9,348 casseroles that Mom and I made and froze, but I was in the cookin' mood. 

Here's the recipe for "I Heart My Husband Banana Pudding" or "Easy Banana Pudding," whatever floats your boat. 

You'll Need
(this makes a large 9X13 casserole dish)
1 box Nilla Wafers
At least 3-4 bananas
1 can Eagle Brand milk
8 oz. cream cheese (whipped!)
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
1 large container Cool Whip

What To Do
Mix milk, whipped cream cheese, Eagle Brand milk, and instant pudding mix until thick.  If your cream cheese is not mixing like you want it and you are getting frustrated with the lumps that will not go away, pop your mix in the microwave and heat it for a few seconds.  Then stir again. 

In your casserole dish, line the bottom with Nilla wafers. 
Place sliced up bananas on Nilla wafers.
Spread mixture over bananas.
Make another layer of Nilla wafers and bananas on top of mixture.
Top with Cool Whip.

I also like to decorate mine with a wafer border.  See below. 

I'm adamantly pro-Nilla wafer, so the more the merrier in my book!

Refrigerate for a couple of hours (preferably overnight) to let it "set." 

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Special - and it's a good one!

How cute is that? 

If you spend $31, you get this awesome tote for $9. 

That's not a typo.