Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Fresh Prince(ss)

In the west of Wisconsin we lived our days
With our family and friends we worked and lazed...

Without trying to come up with more horrible rhymes, we'll just say that our lives have totally been flipped turned upside down.

Only a few weeks ago, our lives were slightly under control. We had our routines; homemade meals were the normal; bread was freshly baked a couple of times a week; progress was being made to keep the house clean and organized; and we hadn't been awoken at 3am by screaming since it got too cold to leave the windows open at night and hear the neighbors get into it on their lawn after bar close.

On March 14, we headed up to Osseo for our third annual Pi(e) Day trip to the Norske Nook. It was a gorgeous day for a drive, and the pie was amazing as always. A few day later on the 17th, we had our traditional viewing of The Quiet Man to celebrate St Patrick's Day. Then late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning arrived, and it was the beginning of the end of everything that we knew or even thought that we knew as the stork delivery service made final preparations for arrival.

At first, Sarah was pretty sure that this was just another false alarm - like had been happening for weeks. Attempts (unsuccessful ones) were made at sleeping, and Charlie nervously left for work reassured that if anything actually happened, one of our volunteer drivers would pick him up from the store. This was totally a case of wishful thinking though. After a late dinner, it seemed like it was time to head to the hospital to meet our little bundle. However, labor hadn't progressed enough to be admitted since we live close to the hospital. Home for a night with even less sleep than the previous (ok, none this time), we waited until late Friday morning when we called for our ride to head back to the hospital. This time, we were far enough along to stay. Our future diva wanted to ensure a build up to a grand entrance though, so she decided to wait until Saturday morning to make her debut into the world.

Being born is exhausting!
At 6:45am on Saturday March 22, 2014, this little girl changed our lives forever. Now, we are probably a little biased as excited new parents, but we think that she is absolutely beautiful. If you think otherwise, just keep it to yourself. We are choosing to remain completely oblivious to any contradictory opinions.
Who could have imagined that at 6lbs 11oz and 20 1/4in long she would make as big of a splash as the big guy at the pool doing a cannon ball off the high dive? Somehow, she did.

Ready to head home for the first time.
We took our time getting to know this little wonder before the three of us were able to pick what her name would be. We had gone to the hospital with a short list of both girls' and boys' names, but none of them seemed to be quite right. It took until Sunday night for us to finally feel comfortable her name is supposed to be Elska Rose Teresa Sheffer. Now it seems strange that it took two days to figure it out since it just seems so perfect.

Daddy carrying Elska into the house.

The ladies at the Franciscan/Skemp/MCHS hospital birth center were absolutely wonderful for our entire time there. To say that we got a little spoiled would be the understatement of a lifetime. Lois, Tammy, Jamie, and the rest took fantastic care of us and didn't bat an eyelid at all the times that we hit the call button not having a clue what to do with this little person we're supposed to take care of. We are eternally grateful for all of their advice and suggestions that made for a much smoother transition to parenthood. Also, knowing that they're still available to help is comforting. (Side note about the birth center itself: the whirlpool hot tub is awesome. There aren't a lot of tubs long enough where someone 5'11" can actually relax in the water.)
Cheers for making a stinky diaper!

 We have been home now for a little over a week now. We do NOT have this parenting thing at all figured out yet. The dining room table is somewhere under a huge pile of clean laundry, baby gifts, and probably bills that need to be paid; we forgot to bring in the mail for two days this week, and it's only Wednesday; nothing more challenging that scrambled eggs or a sandwich have been cooked at our house since coming home; and the garbage didn't get taken to the curb this week. At the same time, we have learned a few things so far:
  • Not immediately having a child's name decided causes a lot of people to freak out - and in a bigger way than not knowing in advance if it's a boy or girl. The instant access of the information age has caused a lot of folks to have no patience.
  • Cosco greatly exaggerated the weight range on the car seat that we had purchased. There is no way that a 5lb baby could use that thing. This caused Mama and Daddy a lot of stress on a cold wet day. Cosco - we did not need the extra panic thank you very much. We might be able to start using it when Elska gets to be around 8lbs. We had to get and install a second seat in order to leave the hospital. 
  • The level of sleep deprivation caused by college has got nothing on the zombie mode that a newborn can create. Also, it is amazing how long it's possible to stay functional under the circumstances. New babies should come with warning labels about driving though....exhaustion is probably more damaging to reaction time than alcohol. Just sayin'.
  • I totally forgot that now Mama will change my diaper!
  • Hiccups during a screaming session are completely hysterical. You just can't keep from laughing at how goofy it sounds.
  • Compared to the indignity of childbirth, nursing in public doesn't seem nearly as daunting as it did only a month ago.
  • The time that it takes to write a blog post increases from minutes/hours to days when you have a small distraction who insists on being held at ALL TIMES. You can even see it in her eyes...the look says, "Peasants! Bow to my every whim! Move faster!" We have prevailed upon Aunt Katie to refine these diva tendencies. We are hoping to move to the more manageable Barbara Streisand mode from the current full on Diana Ross that we have now.
  • It is possible to have a child prefer a wet/stinky diaper to the temporarily bare bottom required to change said diaper. 
  • It is possible to fall so deeply into a pair of big blue eyes that you never get out or even want to.
  • There is no way that we could ever thank our friends and family enough for the amazing support that they have given us in just the last few days. The prayers, meals, help with errands, and all the rest have made it possible for us to feel like almost competent parents.
 God Bless!

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