Happy New Year's Eve!

So long, 2014!

You've been good to us and we can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for the Oakley Four. Perhaps a few more rhymes? You never know. ;)

TWO weeks old!
almost TWO!
sister girls

Leighton's Birth Story

Every well-planned scheduled c-section deserves a birth story, right?! Right!

We are {almost} two weeks into life with our sweet Leighton Lynn and before it gets any crazier, I wanted to type up her birth story before I forget the important details.

Apparently, my babies do not like to come out on their own. We must force them to evacuate my womb. I was induced with Gracyn at 40 weeks 4 days, labored all day and ended up having a c-section. This time around, my doctor gave us the option to go for a VBAC or go ahead and have a repeat c-section which we could schedule weeks in advance therefore knowing and anticipating the little lady's birthdate! While labor and childbirth sounds like a party, I opted to go ahead and book the operating room ahead of time. I recovered really well from Gracyn's c-section - no complications and very little pain. I anticipated recovery to be a little harder this time around with a toddler at home but figured it was still manageable and the best decision for me.

My due date was December 18th and our c-section was set for December 17th. Like Gracyn's pregnancy, I never felt any type of Braxton Hicks contractions or anything like that leading up to our scheduled day. Had I gone into labor on my own, my doctor would have proceeded with the c-section at that time but have no fear, the morning of the 17th came and we found ourselves checking into the hospital as planned.

My parents had come down to stay with Gracyn while we were in the hospital. It was my first time ever being away from her overnight. I was more worried about her at home than the whole having surgery thing but she loves her Grandma and Papa so I knew she was in good hands. Justin and I got to the hospital around 5:30 that morning. We did paperwork, got my IV started and waited to get this show on the road.

almost baby time.
The anesthesiologist came in around 7AM to go over the spinal block and my doctor stopped by 10 minutes later stating we were ready to rock and roll. I was wheeled back while Justin put on his fancy scrubs and waited until they came back to get him.

Meanwhile, I was drugged up and situated on the operating table. The spinal block, which I guess is a little different than a regular epidural worked so. fast. They shot me up and then immediately had me swing my legs onto the bed and lay down. By the time I was laying flat, I could already feel my legs going numb. So crazy.

I had the nicest CRNA by my side the whole time. She went over step by step what the doctors were doing (catheter, getting supplies ready, pinch test, first cut, etc.) and kept me so calm. She brought Justin in and had him sit by my head behind the curtain. When it was getting close to delivery, she told Justin to stand up and look - "It's not that bloody, I promise" - so he could get pictures. By the end I knew where she grew up and where she went to school. I wish I could remember her name so I could send her a present for being so nice to me. Seriously.

Anyway, back to the delivery.

I was numb, Justin was camera-ready and baby girl was ready to be birthed the good ol' surgical way. At 7:53 AM on December 17th, 2014, Leighton Lynn Oakley arrived weighing 8 pounds 9 ounces and measuring 20 inches long.

The doctors lowered the curtain for me this time so I could see her right away, something they didn't do with Gracyn. It was so cool to see her for the first time like that. Justin went to the front of the room to be with her while she got cleaned up. I could hear her cries and immediately started crying myself.

Everything went smoothly and according to plan. It was so fast and effortless, really. My doc put me back together while Justin went with Leighton back to our room to finish getting checked out. She was considered "large for gestational age" which just ended up meaning they needed to test her blood sugar before each feeding for the first 24 hours to make sure she was maintaining it like she needed to. Other than that, she was {and is} perfect.

Once I was back to the recovery room, we had some skin-to-skin time. I never got that with G so I was determined to make it happen this time. Leighton nursed for the first time shortly after that and hasn't stopped since.

Later that day, my parents brought Gracyn by to meet her little sister. I thought for sure she'd freak out once she saw me in the hospital bed but she did such an awesome job. No tears, no jealousy, nothing. She immediately wanted to hold Leighton and sit with me in bed. I died when I saw the two of them together - such a sweet moment.  I'm sure the novelty will wear off at some point but we haven't had any issues with G so far. She's in love with her sister.

Leighton was born on what would have been my Grandma Jane's 93rd birthday. My grandma was a very special lady and we miss her dearly so it's comforting to know that Leighton will share her day with Great-Grandma Jane.

Leighton's name is pretty special to us, too. I lived on Leighton Avenue in college in a house with two of my very best friends. I formed lifelong friendships and have so many great memories from the 3 years we lived there that I never want to forget. It's also where Justin and I started dating "for real" after he came to visit me one weekend during my senior year of college. I've loved the name Leighton for a long time and I'm so glad we were able to give it to our little girl.

Her middle name, Lynn, is after Justin's grandma Lindy. She unfortunately passed away before I had the chance to meet her but based on stories I've heard, she was a strong woman and the matriarch of the family, much like my Grandma Jane was to our side. I have no doubt both Great-Grandmas were with us that day as we welcomed sweet Leighton into our family.

We busted out of the hospital a day early to head home and begin life as a family of four. Justin's been off work and home with us as we adjust to a new schedule. I'm feeling great and recovering from surgery nicely. Leighton is growing, eating and is more alert every day. We love her so much and couldn't imagine life without her!

merry & bright

Merry Christmas!

We are having a quiet Christmas at home just the four of us. It's definitely different being home and not surrounded by my parents or brothers or other extended family but this is just as good and sweet.

We had a full day of baking and frosting cookies for Santa, a nice steak dinner {with wine}, opened a few gifts, changed into our Christmas jammies and read a few new festive books by the tree. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

And this little nugget is one week old today. She's the sweetest little baby and fits into our family just perfectly.

snack break

In between all of the newborn baby loving going on around here (and trust me, there's been a LOT of that the last 6 days...), Gracyn and I took a break to satisfy one of my post-pregnancy cravings. That's a thing, right? Having a craving after the baby is born? I hope so because I needed to make and stuff my face full of puppy chow something fierce the other day.

G was the best helper in the kitchen. Leighton sat back and watched sister make a mess. It was a success as the puppy chow tasted amaze-balls.

Now, back to the baby snuggles.

It's a Girl!

Our sweet girl is here!

Leighton Lynn Oakley was born 12/17/14 at 7:53 AM. She's a little chunk weighing in at 8 lbs 9 oz and 20 inches long; her noggin measures 14.5 inches.

My c-section went according to plan and without any complications. This morning I was able to get unhooked from the I.V. and catheter, take a shower and put on my own clothes which made me feel 10 times better about life. I'm a little sore but as long as I take it easy I'm getting around just fine. Breastfeeding seems like it's going better this time around so I'm hopeful things continue to go well!

Sweet Leighton, we are madly in love with you already. Even big sister Gracyn thinks you're pretty awesome. Daddy and I are so lucky to have two beautiful daughters. We couldn't imagine life without you.

Bumpdate :: 39 Weeks

The final countdown! The final weekly bumpdate! The final blurry picture! Amen, right?!

The Bump said the baby is the size of a watermelon, but we already used that a few weeks ago. Another site says she's the size of a bunch of Swiss chard (wtf?), but I think she's the size of an actual baby since I'm fully expecting to deliver a tiny, squishy human instead of a fruit or abstract veggie in a few days time.

Yep, come Wednesday we will be a family of four. I'm praying everything goes as planned and our scheduled delivery is uneventful. We can't wait to meet our little miss and have her join our family.

We spent the weekend getting the rest of the house ready for baby girl. The car seat is in the van, the pack 'n play is set up in our room and I bought diapers for both girls today, which, if I'm being honest, totally 'effed with me a little. I'm going to have TWO. BABIES.

That, and the fact that two packs of diapers cost $50. Yikes.

Gracyn helped Daddy set up sissy's bed and has been putting her own baby doll to sleep in the bouncy seat that is now occupying the living room. She really is the best and I'm excited to see her in action, teaching everything she knows to her little sister including, but not limited to, the fact that everyone poops...


Bumpdate :: 38 Weeks

"Cooperation" was the word of the day. Not.

Gracyn wasn't having any of this bump business. The only thing she agreed to was coloring the pumpkin early this morning. It was downhill after that.

Considering this is our second-to-last bump picture, we've had a pretty good run and she's been a good sport the whole time so I can't really hold this week's picture against her.

38 weeks. Baby Girl is the size of a {large} pumpkin and this shirt pictured above is the only thing that fits me. I hope no one minds me wearing this and only this for the next 10 days...

Holiday Survival Kit + Man Crates

The holidays can be stressful. Luckily, through this little blogging community, I've had some help along the way this year when it comes to thinking of stocking stuffers and gift ideas for the people I love best. Heck, I even sat down and thought of a wish list for myself. It was fun to think and dream about the things I really want under the tree this Christmas. That, and the fact that I really like making picture collages...

Any way, my wish-list is just that - wishful thinking. Who knows what Santa will really bring me. But what do I need to survive during this crazy-busy time of year?

Enter my Holiday Survival Kit. Five things I can't live without during the most wonderful time of the year...

{ONE :: Christmas Music}

New and old! Pentatonix has a new Christmas CD that sounds pretty legit. Even Hootie, um, I mean Darius Rucker has a festive album out this year. Don't forget the classics though: N*Sync's Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays is one that I like to leave on repeat and we blast Rich Mullins' You Gotta Get Up loud and clear on Christmas morning.

{TWO :: Wine & Champs}

Can I just say that I'm really looking forward to a glass of wine or maybe even champagne after this baby girl is born? That's one thing I've kind of missed during this pregnancy. Even a cold beer sounds good at this point.

{THREE :: Online Shopping}

I have no desire to walk around a crowded mall at 9 months pregnant. No thank you. I've done all of my Christmas shopping online so far and I think I'll stick to the cyber deals for the rest of the goodies on my list.

{FOUR :: Easy Meals}

I have a feeling frozen meals and crockpot recipes will be our go-to's for dinner time come the middle of December.  Justin will be home with us the last 2 weeks of the month after baby is born and he does the majority of the cooking around these parts but with a toddler and a newborn, we don't need to be spending whatever energy we have left prepping complex dinners. Except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of course. We're going all out those days. Mama needs ham and alllllll the fixings.

{FIVE :: Baby Girl, duh!}

My newest munchkin will be here just in time - she'll be the best gift. I cannot believe we'll be a family of four in less than two weeks. We have so much to be thankful for and cannot wait to have her home with us.

P.S. Those are her initials above. Any guesses!?! ;)

Now, if someone could package up all of those thing above {minus the little lady, of course} and send it my way, I'd be a happy camper.

As for Justin? He has a Holiday Survival Kit too... courtesy of Man Crates.

Man Crates is a company dedicated specifically to coming up with great gifts for the men in your life. They have a crate to suit every manly man's personality. I know Justin would get a kick out of the Clean Shave Crate. A crate dedicated to his beloved OU Sooners? Obviously. And I'm pretty sure any guy would appreciate a crate dedicated to whiskey, am I right? Man Crates guarantees a safe delivery of your goods and can even ship your crate the same day, making sure it arrives when you need it.
We say 'no' to ugly neckties, cologne samplers and executive trinkets. We don't save wrapping paper, we don't do ribbons.
We ship bragworthy gifts for guys. Gifts that you can't wait to arrive because you know the recipient will love opening them.
Gifts that people gather round at the office, people following the sounds of wood being torn from wood by the included, laser-engraved crowbar. 
We are Man Crates, and we deliver awesome gifts for men.
Did you see that the crates they deliver need to be opened with a crowbar? Pretty badass, no? It's a pretty sweet concept and I definitely plan on using them in the near future. Go check 'em out!

I was contacted by Man Crates to share a little bit about their company and product. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. Oh, and I would never, ever promote anything that wasn't awesome or something I wouldn't use myself...promise! ;)

And as if you haven't noticed already, link-ups are my jam. It's the best way to find new blogs, make new e-friends and connect with new readers...

These are a few of my favorite things... {gifts for friends & family}

The third and final installment of the Favorite Things Link-Up!

For me, it's always hard thinking of gift ideas for my immediate family and friends. The gifts listed below are good but I'm most excited to scroll through other peeps who have linked up to get the scoop on some other goodies out there.

  1. Velvet Crate. I think these little packages are prefect for your mom, sister, or girlfriend if you're just not sure what to get them. They have several different categories of crates filled with goodies and it's shipped directly to the gift-getter. 
  2. Justin lost his wedding band (I think it's a thing - everyone I talk to seems to mention their own husband has lost his ring at one time or another...) well over a year ago. He works outside and after a day of wading through creek beds with cold, wet hands his ring fell off and he didn't notice until it was too late. One of these QALO silicone rings will be the perfect replacement - for now anyway. He can wear it to work without worrying about losing it; they are so affordable, he may even get two under the tree this year. I'd like to get him an actual wedding band someday - I really loved the ring he lost - but for now this will definitely work.
  3. I haven't actually tried Candelles but I've heard nothing but good things about them from other bloggers and Instagrammers.
  4. Everyone needs a good serving tray, right? Right. I hit up the new West Elm store here in Kansas City a few weekends ago and they had quite a few good looking trays to choose from. I'm kind of loving the clear acrylic ones.
  5. This is a good gift idea for the hairy man in your life - the Dollar Shave Club. Justin's already a member and for $1 a month, he gets a set of razors sent to him every 30 days or so. You can even splurge and get the fancy razor which will still only cost $9 a month. Can't beat that.
  6. I love tote bags. The end.