Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cousins Cousins Everywhere!

Over the past few weeks, Will has enjoyed getting to know his crazy cousins, Eli (7), Ezra (5), and Elena (4 months). Eli and Ezra are so good with him, and love to give him non stop kisses. They have had a lot of practice with their baby sister, Elena. Eli tends to call him Little Will, and Ezra likes to call him Willy Billy, or Will the Pill. Elena is fascinated by him only when he has a bottle or a "doddy" (paci) in his mouth. She always looks at him like she's trying to figure out a way to steal them. It's so cute. I love that we are so close to both of our families and Will gets to grow up with his cousins. What a blessing.

Since I am posting about all the cousins on my side, I wanted to say that my Mom has been lucky enough to have seen all four of these beautiful babies being born into this world. Not many people can say that, and according to her (and my Dad), there is nothing in the world more precious than their grandchildren.

I just thought that was pretty special, and wanted to share.

Eli loving on Will

Ezra and Will staring at each other.

My mom, Elena (4 months), Will (1 week), and me.

The crazy cousins, otherwise known as the loves of my life (next to Ben and Will of course)

Rub a Dub Dub, Life is Grand in the Tub!

Who's that good looking guy in the mirror? (Photo edited for public viewing)

Okay, so bath time is one of my favorite activities of the day with Will. Of course the first few weeks, we were only giving him sponge baths, and he wasn't too thrilled with those, as he would get cold immediately after he was rubbed down. So, as soon as the umbilical cord fell off, we were super pumped to be able to have him take a bath in his baby tub.

He absolutely loved it. He sat in his little bath hammock and watched himself in the mirror as he was cleaned. He had a look on his face like, "It doesn't get any better than this. I'm laying back in warm water, Mom is rubbing me down with a warm cloth, and Dad is rubbing my head just to keep me calm. I'm living the dream, and I smell good too."

His not so favorite part of bath time is the lotion at the end, because he gets cold. Other than that, bath time is a hit in our house!

Ahh, this is the life.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tummy Time!

It's our new favorite time of the day! We still like bedtime, and we'll never pass on dinnertime or lunchtime. Don't get me wrong, I love having him lay in my arms during feeding time, and who doesn't enjoy being close to their baby during nap time. It's close to playtime, but for a four week old's parents, it's the best time!

Tummy time, or as I like to call it "As good as it gets to wrestling around on the floor time" brings the biggest smile to both mine and Krissy's faces. We get Little Bubba (Krissy's been calling him this recently) on to his Boppy in the middle of the floor, and ever so gently turn him from his back to his front. Will loves it! He streches his little body (now more than 7.5 lbs), pushes with his feet into a crawling position, and works out his neck muscles. The best is the little grunts he makes as he attempts to do a push up. While in Lafayette, Lulu even tried helping him out. Kind of like a momma bird tending to her chick in the nest.

Here are some of recent tummy time shots.

Will trying to escape his Boppy. Yes, those are socks on his hands.

Will looks like he's laughing as Lulu does her best tummy time impression.

Tummy time has its perks, like having your thumb easily accessible to suck on.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Sounds of Silence

I've got Ozzy blaring out of the stereo (my comfort music), but the condo still seems so quiet. The whole place feels very stale.

Krissy and Bean went back to Lafayette yesterday to visit with family friends from Anniston, AL, which leaves me away from my little guy for the first time.
:( With a new-born in the house, time seems to fly by! There's always something to do, there's always someone to care for, there's always action and interaction. "Hey, can you clean those bottles, and fill some more up?" "I'm going to do a load of laundry, can you grab Will's burp cloths from the other room?" "Shush shush, every thing's alright Little Man, Daddy's coming with your bottle." "Ben, how long does it take to warm up a bottle?!?!"

I miss my Bean, and I miss my Darlin'. I can't wait to see them tomorrow! They are my life. They bring an incredible purpose to my being on this planet.
It's crazy how quickly life's priorities change. Three weeks ago, things seemed so difficult, but with Will's arrival, everything just seems easier and clearer. I'm here to be the best Dad and husband I can be.

You're my religion, you're my reason to live
You are the heaven in my hell

We've been together for a long long time

And I just can't live without you

No matter what you do, I'm here for you.

- Ozzy Osbourne "Here For You"

We've said it before, and I'll say it again, we are very lucky to have found some great friends in Alexandria. We had friends who were there when we needed them (and still are) in Asheville, and we've been blessed to have found some equally fantastic people here. Thanks Byrds for inviting me over for some delicious "American" Enchiladas!

I always have to leave you with a new photo of Will, so here's a shot focusing on his tiny little feet.

Ten perfect little toes

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sweet Dreams

Will does the cutest things when he sleeps. Some times he'll make a cooing sound, or if he has a pacifier in his mouth, he'll suck on it while sleeping, but the cutest thing by far are his "sleeping smiles." I like to think that he's dreaming about his Daddy, but in all honesty, he's probably dreaming about Krissy.

Will's "sleeping smiles" happen very quickly, and I was lucky to photograph one of these rare occurrences when I got home from work yesterday.

The famous "sleeping smile"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Pierce Boys

Four generations of Pierce men, 1925, 1953, 1982, and 2009.

Sorry it has taken us so long to update. As you can understand, our lack of postings is due to our new priority in life, and is definitely not a reflection on a lack of things happening with us. In fact, we have tons of new stories to share about our new life with Will, which hopefully we will find time to post.

This past weekend we were lucky to have my Grandpa Ed come down from Michigan to meet his first great grandchild. It was both a joyous and somber occasion. As some of you may know, my Grandma Jo passed away last August, and it's been tough on him and the family. You could tell that she was on his mind as he was meeting Will. My Grandpa was so sweet with Will, even though he felt a little uncertain about the whole holding him thing, and was proud to finally have a new addition to the family.

For me in particular, this event was also difficult, because of my own memories about my Grandma. She wanted so much for me and Krissy to have a child. She was the biggest proponent of the idea. The news of our pregnancy was also the last thing I told her before she passed. Even as sick as she had gotten, she found the strength to sound so excited about the fact that she would be a great-grandma. I really feel that she is one of Will's guardian angels.

Even with all of the reality of the situation, we really had a great visit, full of stories and laughs, some good pizza and a nice hike in the woods.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Heaven Sent

Ben and I have been loving Will! He is such a good little boy (except at night when he thinks it's play time). We have done a great job sharing duties, one of us will change diapers or manage bottles, while the other takes care of late feedings or helps with cleaning. We have really become a great team together! Luckily Ben's work has allowed him to take paternity leave to let us transition into being the best parents we can be, and my Mom has spent several days in Alexandria to teach us the ropes. It's taken some time, but we're getting a hang of this parent thing. It still feels so surreal that he's finally here!

We are looking forward to Saturday, when Ben's Grandpa will be in town. Will is his first great-grandchild, and when he gets here, we'll have four generations of Pierce men under one roof!

Until next time, here is a photo Ben took of Will. I'd seen these types of photos taken of other babies, and wanted to try it ourselves. Next time, we'll make sure he is good and tired before the shoot.

A cranky boy from Heaven

Sweet boy loves his paci

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our Beautiful Gift

Since you can't read his shirt, it says, "If you think I'm SUPER cute, you should see my Mom!"

Will posing during his first photo shoot

Modeling for Dad is way too much work

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ben's Birth Story...

The real name for this post should be called Krissy: A Tribute to the Most Wonderful Woman in the World. I know that sounds a bit cheesy, but it's true. She did the most amazing job!

It all started with a wake up call from Krissy at around 1:30am on Wednesday morning, April 1st. Krissy sat up in bed complaining of back pain and stomach cramps. I'm not going to lie, I really thought she just had indigestion, and at the time wasn't worried or assuming of anything. As time went on though, her stomach continued to hurt. About 3 hours later, she asked me to time her "cramps," just in case. The first time was 15 minutes between them. The second was 18 or so minutes. I thought to myself, "Yikes, what's going on here?" After timing them for a couple hours, I realized that something more serious was going on, but we both decided that it was not serious enough to act on it. Besides, it still could have been the extra large pepperoni pizza from dinner. I had also, only hours before, written a blog post about how cool it would be if Little Bean was born on my birthday, April 4th. I obviously was not ready for the arrival of a baby.

After having only slept a couple hours that night, Krissy and I both decided to call in sick for the morning, so we could go to her doctor's for an impromptu checkup. Just to reiterate how unprepared we were, Krissy and I decided not to bring our hospital bags. We didn't want to be "that" couple who goes to the doc, just to be told that she has an upset stomach. Besides, it was April Fools Day! What a sick joke it would have been to us to think we might be in labor and then not be.

By this time we got to the doctor, Krissy was wincing in pain every 3 to 5 minutes. A girl in the waiting room, who had just had a baby, took one look at Krissy and said, "What are you doing up here? You need to be downstairs [in Labor and Delivery]." We saw our doctor at around 9:30am. She checked Krissy and announced that she was 3 centimeters dilated! This caught us totally by surprise. She told us to go home get our bags and head downstairs. If you know me at all, you know what a complete wuss I am when it comes to anything medically related. I get really weak around blood, pain, needles, and the like. Basically, not someone who you would think would be calm and collected when he finds out that the pain his wife is feeling is the early stages of labor. Well, to every one's surprise, I was a rock in the early stages. Probably due to a combination of excitement, nerves, and a desire to get Krissy to feeling better.

We arrived back at the hospital at around 10:45am, and were admitted into the room at 11:00am for what we both thought would be a very, very long day. From my understanding, labor progresses at about 1 cm per every two hours. With that math, we still had around 14 hours left to go, which would put us at a 1:00am delivery on Thursday morning. That would not be the case...

Krissy's parents arrived around 12:30pm to help and provide support. Many thanks to them for being there. This allowed me to vacate the room from time to time, just to gain a perspective on all that was going on. In the room, my amazing wife fought every contraction, moaning louder as they got more and more frequent. From time to time, she would get a little aggravated with us cracking jokes (we were just trying to lighten the mood), and would tell us to "Please shut-up!" At least she was kind enough to say please. She was actually less foul mouthed then I thought she would be. At around 3:00pm, the doctor and nurse ordered an epidural to relieve her pain. Krissy's parents and I left the room, one to prevent me from passing out, and second to probably prevent them from doing the same. I talked with my Dad on the phone in the hallway, and he could hear Krissy moaning loudly, before they administered the good stuff. When Krissy's parents and I got back in the room around 3:30pm, the doctor took a measurement and said that she had progressed to 5 cm. Basically right on schedule for my 1:00am delivery prediction.

to us, things were going to progress very quickly! Due to the fact that things were only moving "on schedule," and we all know that births aren't determined by the woman's progress, but more by the schedules of doctors and nurses, our doctor decided to break Krissy's water at around 3:45pm. This was one of those times I got a little weak in the knees. Seeing only a little fluid come out wasn't so bad, I just wanted the pain to end for Krissy. She had been dealing with the uncomfortable feelings of labor for nearly twelve hours. I must say though, only a couple of hairs had gotten out of place on her head. I've only experienced one birth, but I'm sure she was the most beautiful birthing mother ever. Back to the water breaking. Just to check things again, at 3:50pm her doctor took a measurement. Holy crap! Krissy was at 9 cm!!! The doctor was a bit taken back. She hadn't seen a first time momma progress so fast. I told everyone I had to take a pee, and literally ran out of the room. Splashed some water on my face, looked in the mirror and told myself that now more than ever was the time to "man up!" for Krissy.

As soon as I got back it was pushing time! Krissy was getting positioned, and the nurses were preparing the bags. Just to quote Drake Fowler, they were preparing for the "smelly, messy miracle." Krissy began pushing at around 4:00pm. Her doctor had left for a quick meeting across the street and was immediately called back. Krissy did such an amazing job! She pushed her heart out! She never even looked winded. Midway through I even asked her if she wanted to have more kids. That's how easy she made it look! Besides the birth of Will, the big talk in the delivery room was the "flying gravy." Let's just say there was some fluid under pressure behind Will that exploded 10 feet across the room as he was halfway out. In all of 20 minutes, five of which was waiting for her doctor, Krissy made it though the most miraculous event of our lives, and gave birth to our little blessing at 4:21pm.

For those keeping track, that's only 5 hours and 21 minutes of time spent in the hospital during labor. Not too shabby for a rookie Mom!

Our immediate reaction to seeing Will was that he had the biggest most observant eyes we had ever seen on a newborn. Where most babies keep their eyes tightly closed, Will keep looking around the room none stop, trying to take it all in.

Soon after the birth, they took Will off to the nursery for measurements and tests. He did such a good job! All the other babies cried and cried, while our little guy just laid back staring with his big eyes back towards the nursery window. Will had a little trouble breathing at first, which kept him in the nursery a little longer than we would have liked, but soon he was back in our arms ready to start our family.

I am so proud of Krissy, she was a super patient! She never complained, she made it look so easy (even though I know it wasn't), she just stayed focused on the job at hand. She is the most incredible person I have ever met! I am more in love with her than I have ever been. Thank you Krissy for all that you have done for us over the last 9 plus months. I love you!

Walking around the room before the fun begins

Quickly finding out that rocking eases the mind

Will meets his Momma

Proud Momma

Welcome William Joseph!

It's kind of interesting that we are breaking this news on Will's original due date.

After 39 weeks and 3 days, William aka Little Bean was born on Wednesday, April 1st at 4:21pm. He weighed in at a modest and healthy 6 lbs 11 oz and a length of 19.5". He is absolutely perfect! We are so happy that he is here!

Of course, we have been really looking forward to posting color photos of our little guy, so without further delay, we present to you, William Joseph Pierce.

Bundle of joy

Ball of nerves leaving the hospital

Ruler of the kingdom

Be ready for a whirlwind of posts about our birth stories, finding out how to be parents, mistakes and accomplishments and of course all of the moments that Will steals our hearts.