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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 5 at 4:19 am

Yes, it really is 4:19 am. You may have forgotten what these night feedings are like:)

Eliana had her first doctor's appointment yesterday. We had been concerned because she was starting to be a little yellow, and she hadn't had a bowel movement in a day. Our pediatrician was super gracious and allowed us, the slightly worked up brand new parents, to be overlap patients in his schedule. It turns out that she is doing fabulous! He wasn't worried about her tinge of yellow. He explained it was very common in breast fed babies. He also explained that babies initially get dehydrated until mom's milk comes in. Well, my milk has arrived all the way up to my eye balls! Yikes! Eliana is sleeping longer now that she is getting this transition watery milk. We absolutely love her. I am overcome with just how great God is that He allows Kyle and I to be her mommy and daddy.

Last night Kyle and I heard a loud noise from Eliana. We both rushed over. I was concern that she was choking. Instead, she had that bowel movement we were waiting for. She was quite content and happy with herself.

Things we love about being new parents:
*She gets the hiccups and makes lots of other cute noises. It is nice to see her have them and not feel like I did during labor!!! Who has time to have the hiccups during birth?!?!
*She is eating well! Who knew I'd ever get so excited about someone burping?!?!
*We have had amazing support of family and friends!
*We are starting to recognize her cues and patterns. Not every cry is 9-1-1 crisis like we both first felt!

Cousin Rachel to the rescue! Mommy needs a quick reprieve.

Cousin knows how to wrap. I am such a cute burrito.

Kallie was fascinated by her cousin Eliana's movements and noises. She talked it up with Eliana while we visited.

What a lovely picture of Eliana with her proud Aunt Aimee. If only we could get Eliana to smile on cue.

Troy was a H-U-G-E help showing Kyle how to assemble the crib and how the bedding set went into it. The dolly to the right came from Grandpa Mark. Bonnie told us that Mark had to go through the whole store before he made the selection.

Gram-E is so elated to be here visiting with her grandbabies and they love her so much too!

Kyle kept putting Eliana in the middle of this bathing seat. Eliana liked the side more so she'd grab the side and pull herself almost to it and then be content. Still small in size but we expect her to be big in opinions. We already knew she was opinionated because she would dictate what clothing was good for me to wear. She'd kick against my tummy to let me know that she did not like those shorts or those capris. Dresses became the main attire the last few weeks of pregnancy.

She's such a good sleeper, and eater!

Right now her toes are long and skinny. Kyle is called "Monkey Toes" by Ashlee. Maybe Eliana won't retain the monkey toes trait, or maybe she will. :P

Kyle was asleep so I did not have his wedding band. One day this ring will fit my hand again. :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Eliana Rose Guess entered the world June 25, 2010 at 1:11pm. Mommy was in labor for just 13 hours, which is pretty short compared to another Mommy that was in labor for 22 hours. Tasha says, "J-U-S-T 13 hours? You try having a baby in J-U-S-T 13 hours." Cousin Rachel was an incredible help. I had called her at 3:45am to let her know that we were headed to the hospital soon and to check her email for the phone list of people we wanted her to contact. Then I called her again once we were settled in our Labor and Delivery room to ask her to come move the car from the ER loading and unloading only zone. Well, she ended up staying the whole time and got to join us for such a huge event in our lives. Rachel told us that she loved being there and that all that was required in return was for Tasha to do the same for her when that time comes for her and Ruli. Tasha says, "Rachel was the helper that God knew I needed." And I second that. Eliana weighed in at 5 pounds 14 ounces and measured 17-1/4" long. Tasha figured that she'd be at least bigger than she was because of her pregnancy weight gain and how hard labor was. She came earlier than we expected but is doing wonderfully well. We heard repeatedly how small she was but then would hear how great she was doing. The nurses and doctor at Clovis Community Medical Center were phenomenal. Tasha says, "Phenomenal doesn't even cut it. They were J-U-S-T what she needed. Special shout out to Olga and Jonelle!" We had such a great experience. I brought Tasha and Eliana home June 26 at 7:00pm. We survived our first night, which was full of wonderment and challenges. Eliana is amazing. Tasha is a great Mommy and I think I am getting a hang of this Daddy thing, at least until Eliana goes nuts because I don't get her to Mommy quickly enough for her hungry little body. She's eating so well.

Eliana is pronounced el-ee-AH-nah or say Ellie-Ana fast and it flows together. Daddy took Hebrew and wanted me to have a Hebrew name. He and Mommy liked Eliana because it means "God has answered". My middle name is Rose because roses are pretty, plus Mommy loves to take pictures of flowers.


Our first look at God's special blessing.

Daddy talking to Eliana at the infant care center just a couple yards from the delivery bed.

Peaceful me.

Cousin Donald holds Eliana like a pro.
Tasha says, "I love watching Donald mature before my eyes as he got to hold his little cousin. I knew he was excited and nervous. When he first held her, he was shaking so Kyle helped him to the chair to sit. Her squeaks and movements had Donald mesmerized."

Proud Mommy basking in her Mommy light.

One of our favorite poses while in Postdelivery.

Beautiful flowers from the Barkers. Judy picked lilies and roses since she knew they were Tasha's favorites. Plus, Rose is Eliana's middle name.

Daddy had fun taking lots of pictures of me.

Checking Eliana's vitals again before Daddy had to leave for the night. He just had one hour of sleep the night that Mommy's water broke and 1-2 hours of sleep on the floor of the postdelivery room while the Barkers visited just feet away with Mommy and I the following day.

Daddy's aunt Dacra made me this cute bonnet.

Here I am taking the car seat challenge to make sure my heart beat and oxygen saturation stays were it needs to. I passed this test with flying colors.

Daddy laughs at me in this picture.

Here I am at home in a super cute outfit.

Mommy snuck up on Daddy and I while we slept.

This is what cute looks like.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Super Blessed

I had an amazing baby shower this weekend! My sister Tara went all out to make my day super special. Butterflies was the theme, and they were everywhere!

Kyle and I were able to come the night before. I love cooking with Tara. Although, I did get a bit teary eyed cutting up red onions for the delicious potato salad and pasta salad. My mom brought sandwiches from Costco. Oh how I love those croissant sandwiches! Kevin picked up the cupcakes that were put together to form a butterfly!

I was so blessed when so many ladies came. Let's just say I was a little curious to see if anyone would come since I've been out of town for 3 years. I'm so glad for Facebook, email, seeing friends at Valley, and visiting when we can. I think the shower would have been different if those forms of communication weren't open.

Ashlee was so excited to be in charge of the games. She wanted me to know about them all before Saturday even came! I loved the games. The guests had to see how well they knew me by answering 20 questions. My cousin Rachel and my brother's girlfriend have been paying attention! They got 14 out of 20 right! I found it humorous that my Nanny didn't remember my middle name. Then again, all of us girls have an name starting with "l". I guess that could be hard to remember! We played the game where the guests have to guess how big my belly is by cutting a piece of yarn. Rachel also knew just how big my belly was. Her piece of yarn matched perfectly to my actual size! One of the most comical games was trying to figure out what baby food was in the jar when you couldn't open the jar and the labels were missing. I only got 4 right! The last game was to try and remember the 50 items that were on the diaper cake that my sister and her family spent hours making. I remembered only ten. My sister-in-law remembered many more!

Thanks again to everyone for making my shower an amazing event! My little girl truly has been showered in gifts. And amazingly enough, with Kyle's fabulous packing skills, we were able to fit it all in the car for the ride home!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Random Thoughts on Pregnancy

Some of my favorites:
*I love feeling my daughter kick and move!
*I am SUPER blessed that people say I look cute despite how big I am getting!
*Cereal is one of my favorite snacks. The current flavor of choice is cinnamon Oatmeal Squares.
*I've been totally fascinated by the changes in my belly button! I'd currently describe it as a volcano! HA!

Unexpected things:
*I didn't expect to find that Thanksgiving foods didn't agree with me. Mashed potatoes finally taste good again!!!
*One week garlic tasted fabulous, and then there was the day I woke up from a nap to the smell of Kyle pressing garlic for some toast. Let's just say I was neither kind nor compassionate in my response to that smell!
*We've been totally blessed by people giving me maternity clothes, and the baby already has tons of clothes too!!!
*I've bumped into a lot of things as I continue to adjust to my growing belly.

Things I'm looking forward to after the baby is born:
*I think it will be amazing to see my daughter rather than just feeling her.
*I can't wait for Kyle to hold her!!!
*I'm really looking forward to taking pictures of my little one.
*It will be nice to hug Kyle without my belly bumping him first.
*I'm looking forward to my feet not swelling anymore!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

God Provides

About a month ago I was praying about what to do with my love for teaching. I'm taking a year off, and I was struggling with that. It isn't that I don't want to be a stay at home mommy; it was a struggle to let go of the school and kids that I love dearly. After truly laying down my fears and struggles with this to God, He laid it on my heart to teach ladies this summer through the book of Ephesians. Do you know there are more than 5 Bible studies on Ephesians at Berean??? So after 2 trips to Berean and Kyle's help, I chose a Bible study by John Stott. I liked his format because it focuses more on what the Bible says rather than what someone says about the Bible.

Now some of your are realizing that my daughter is due to arrive in the middle of July. No worries, my good friend Michele will be in the study with me, and she will lead once my little one gets here.

So, I spread the word of this Bible study and then waited. Did I wait patiently? No, I got a bit anxious when I hadn't heard from anyone. Kyle reminded me at that time that only a day had passed, but I figured I'd contacted about 50 ladies. Didn't anyone want to study God's word??? For days I went back and forth between fretting and trusting God. I prayed many times that I would be content with those He decided to bring.

Part of the hope for the Bible study was to have gals from my apartment complex come. One of the ladies on the apartment office was interested. My hope was that she and one other lady would be able to come. I checked in with her midweek last week. She said she had several ladies interested. I tried not to get my hopes up. Interest and commitment are often two different things.

Well, last night was the first Bible study. The fabulous gal in the office came, and she brought FOUR girls from the apartments with her!!! I look back and realize that God had everything under control. I sure wish I could take back some of that fretting. I know Kyle would have appreciated that too! :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Letting Go

This has been a week of letting go. I am taking a year off to be home with the baby. That means I had to figure out what to do with all of my teaching stuff. There isn't space in our apartment for much of it. What to do, OH WHAT TO DO!?!? This question pained me for weeks. I got the official blessing from my principal that I could store things there. On Monday, I found out that my room could be a 4th grade room, or it could be the RSP/Reading Lab. I had to clean up totally differently depending upon which it was going to be.

The night before the last day of school was simply agonizing. I couldn't sleep, and it wasn't just because I'm 7 months pregnant. I was consumed with worry. Do I keep or give away stuff? How much do I keep? What do I keep? Is God even going to call me back to my school? After tossing and turning for what seemed like ages, I got up at 1 am to journal. I poured out my concerns to God about school and other things for an hour. As I moved from my fears about school to praying for others, my body finally began to relaxed. This is a very good thing. My daughter wasn't too happy that I was anxious. She was uncomfortable solid as a rock. I realized I'd been breathing in shallowly. By the time I was done praying, I was breathing deeper. As my body relaxed, so did my daughter. The answer from God was to let it go. Over and over I was gently nudged to let it go.

I found out at 12:30 pm on Tuesday that my room would be RSP/Reading Lab. That meant just about everything in the cupboards had to go. Please understand that three years ago when I arrived, ALL of my cupboards and cabinets were full. Some of it was useful stuff, and well some of it not so much. Over three years I've weeded out some stuff, but there were still TONS of stuff in the cupboards.

Kyle and I had spend 7 hours and 20 minutes at my school the Saturday before all of this. We were able to start the sorting process of keep and give away. I then had a FREE sale in which I invited all of the staff to come see and pick up what they wanted. Some of the things included buttons, beads, math manipulatives, books on every subjects, posters, and bunches more. We had started the cleaning process, and I continued to work on it as teachers came by.

Once I got word that RSP/Reading Lab was coming, I shifted into high gear. The last activity my 4th graders did wasn't to continue watching Up, it was to move, move, move all of the textbooks and teacher books two doors down. All of that moving helped me to not think about this being the last few minutes with a bunch of wonderful kids I'm going to miss. They were excited about helping me. I was SO blessed to see these great kids helping out. Many of them were sweating by the time we were done, because walking things from room to room wasn't nearly as exciting as half jogging so that you could then get the next stack of books. Helpers, what super helpers they were.

After school I realized there were more books that needed to be moved. I recruited the help of the After School Program (ASP). They moved stuff two doors down, and then it hit me. They could use a lot of the left over supplies. They got TONS of construction paper, glue, yarn, tissue paper, and all kinds of other jazz. I can't really explain the feeling as all of this was going on. I guess the best way is to say that I had peace. Was it hard to see MY things go? Yes, part of me was sad. But another part of me knew this was God's will. A teacher friend came by as ASP continued to load up on goodies. She watched as load after load disappeared, and then she said what God wanted me to hear. "If/when you come back, God will provide what you need." I had forgotten that. I knew I was to let go, but a tiny part of me was panicking. What if I needed post it notes? What if I needed folders? What if I needed paint? What if I needed rulers? What if I needed that book on poetry? What if I needed that book on how to make puppets? What if, what if, what if? My friend's words went straight to my heart. God is my provider, and I need not worry. Those words came at just the right time. I continued to let go of my things. The cupboards are now empty. My desk is empty, except for a few things I thought the teachers might need like staplers and such. My classroom library, OH I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE BOOKS, is being moved and loaned to the 4th grader teacher next year. I am saving a few things, like posters, sheets to cover the walls, boarder, and a few of the precious supplemental books I used. I'll be sorting through my filing cabinet tomorrow and preparing files for the 4th grade teacher to use for next year. The technology teacher is going to show me the quickest way save my computer documents on an external drive next Tuesday. And then, I'll turn in my keys. A precious chapter of my life closing until God opens it again.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Huntington Library

A little over a week ago, we visited the Huntington Library. It is simply gorgeous there!

Kyle and I really like the Japanese garden. They even have a Chinese garden now. Last time we were there, that whole area was under construction. We were very impressed with the beauty, but totally dismayed that fried rice cost $9 and chow mien cost $11!!! Yikes! We gladly took our free cups with ice and filled them with water at a near by drinking fountain.

My husband, the adventurer, had no problem standing in the middle of the coy pond to take pictures of these ginormous fish.

Young and old were fascinated by these fish.

Awe, and now for my favorite shot of the whole day. I just might frame this one for my daughter's room!!! I simply love red and yellow roses!!!