Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reese's 1st week at home

We just wrapped up Reese's 1st week at home and it has truly been a whirlwind as we adjust to having a BABY!

Thankfully, Reese's Aunt Ana visited and helped out a TON!

Even with a newborn, we managed to make it to Trufire to celebrate Ana's 40th birthday (and Reese's 1st excursion out of the house) and Whiskey Cake to celebrate Christine's 35th.

We had visits from lots of friends coming to meet Reese. And we gratefully enjoyed wonderful meals from Stephanie, Katherine, Cayce, Lauren and Sindhura.

Reese made it through her 1st pediatrician appointment with with flying colors. She is eating and sleeping great and already back past her birth weight! I can't believe how fast she's growing - in a way it makes me sad... I'm totally amazed at how much I love having a newborn.

Our 1st bath was a success thanks to great teamwork...

And our newborn photo shoot was a blast and I couldn't have been more pleased with our photographer. The shots turned out AMAZING! The most difficult part will be picking which one to put on our baby announcement, and then finding walls in our house to accommodate all of the rest! Stay tuned for a peek at these soon...

So to sum it all up, it's been a busy, fun week and we are LOVING Reese!

Father Daughter Bonding

What a sweet sight... My heart melts at how much Dana loves his new daughter! And I can tell she's already crazy about him as well.

Dear heavenly Father, I thank you today for my husband. You have given me and my daughter a precious gift, and I praise you for allowing us to spend our lives with him. Take control of my will Lord, that I might be the wife to him that you want me to be. Give me patience and help me always to be kind. Amen.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reese's 1st day home

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our little angel is born!

We were thrilled to welcome our baby girl to the world this week. This is the story of how she made her first appearance...

Reese Elizabeth Allen was due on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. We chose to be induced on Tuesday, August 23rd because we were already basically at 40 weeks into the pregnancy so we knew the baby was ready, and our doctor was going on an extended vacation the following weekend. To top it off, it had been 100 degrees+ for pretty much the entire summer, so I was just feeling hot and uncomfortable and ready to get this show on the road!

Monday was my last day at the office prior to starting maternity leave. All of my coworkers kept asking me what I was doing there (instead of relaxing at home), but I was so excited and felt very ready so it was the best place to be to help pass the time until Reese's arrival.

I left early and arrived home a little after 5 PM. At 7 PM, I felt my first contraction. It was much stronger and more painful than anything else I'd felt during pregnancy, so I knew it could be the real deal. The contractions started 9-11 minutes apart, but came regularly. Dana was working late getting things wrapped up (since we were expecting to have a baby the next morning) so I called him just to give him a heads up, but told him not to worry since they were still far apart.

Much to my surprise, just an hour later they were coming every 5 minutes. Since they tell you that you should go to the hospital once they are 5 minutes apart consistently for an hour, I called Dana and told him to come home and grab some fast food on the way (he had initially planned on a cooking a nice dinner for us, but I had a feeling we were going to be on our way to the hospital shortly).

Dana got home at 8:30... just in time to take a quick shower and get us to the hospital by 9. By 9 o'clock my contractions ranged from 4-6 minutes apart. Luckily, we live 2 minutes from Baylor Frisco, which is a wonderful place to deliver a baby (it's basically the country club of maternity wards!)

When we arrived I was 4 cm dilated and in a lot of pain. The contractions, while they didn't last long, were pretty horrible. Dana kept trying to distract me from them with random questions (Where should we go for Spring Break? If you had a pet dolphin, what would you name it?).

Thankfully, I was able to get rushed right into a delivery room, and I had an epidural by 10 pm. After that, everything became blissful. I couldn't feel a thing besides very tingly legs and toes. We darkened the delivery room, set up LED-lit, vanilla scented candles and played Sarah McLaughlin music to help me relax. I honestly felt like I was at the spa. I was so happy we'd thought ahead to pack these things!

Our nurse, Allison, was INCREDIBLE. She coached us almost the whole way there and she was such a cheerleader. At the end, they gave me a little Potosin because Reese wouldn't drop low enough. I pushed for 20-30 minutes and my doctor, Dr. Fleming, arrived when I was about to cross the finish line.

Reese was born at 2:32 AM. I was happy but unfortunately very nauseous... quite possibly because I succumbed to having a Chic-Fil-A milkshake to make me feel better during contractions, and you're not supposed to eat before labor. Anyhow, I did eventually throw up (not fun) but then I felt much better and was able to fully welcome our darling to the world!

We were at the hospital from Monday PM to Thursday at 11 AM. The staff took incredible care of us, and the food was delicious! (They have a 5-star chef on staff)

We fell more in love with Reese every day, and when the time came for us to leave, we felt very ready to start our new life together as a family of 3.

Baby Allen has arrived!

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

The clock is ticking...

Here are some final pregnancy photos!

We are just about at 40 weeks and after a lazy weekend, we are feeling ready to meet little miss Reese! I'm being induced on Tuesday at 7:30 AM (one day before our official due date) so just one more day to go!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A date night suprise & a visit from Dad

Friday night I planned a surprise for Dana. After we had a call with our cat psychiatrist (don't ask), we dropped off dinner for the Boyles so that we could visit their new baby Matthew again.

Following that, we went on a "progressive" date, stopping at 3 places (appetizer, entree, dessert). Dana knew there was a pattern, and he was supposed to guess what it was. The restaurants I chose were based on his initials (Dana LeRoy Allen - so DLA). I had planned to go to Dish, La Duni and Artins. Amazingly, he guessed the pattern right away (he's just that smart) and decided he instead wanted to go to Dish, Local and Abacus. Anyways, it was a memorable evening with amazing food - and way too much of it!

I also gave him a bag of presents that represented things I love about him (really I just rewrapped things we already had - it was the message behind them that mattered). He unwrapped: a measuring spoon (because I love our precious time on Saturday mornings when he makes me breakfast), a photo of us in Vietnam (because he is the best travel partner I could ever imagine - and I also think he's gorgeous :-)), a love letter he once wrote me (because I love how great he is with words of affirmation, and a book "The Power of a Praying Couple" because I love how he is a spiritual leader in our home.

Saturday we had a leisurely day and just enjoyed having our last precious "me time" that we'll likely have for awhile. Christine got a prenatal massage and Dana played around with his new camera that he recently picked up in anticipation of taking a lot of baby pics. This weekend also kicked off Dallas' Restaurant Week so we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Silver Fox steakhouse with Nicole and Stan. The food was really amazing, and it was great to catch up with them before Reese arrives!

Sunday Christine's dad came to visit for the day on his way home to St. Louis, during a stopover from Chile. We had a really nice day together eating brunch at Breadwinners, going to Watermark Church, shopping at Central Market and then cooking up a delicious spread for dinner.

Tomorrow we're going to Ken Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen for dinner and then on Thursday we're headed to Nobu with Janelle (I think the plan is to just stuff ourselves silly before the baby comes and spend all of our money, so that we're happy to stay home for awhile!)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Food, Friends and Fun

Of all the advice we've received in preparation for our little one, the two things we've heard repeatedly are to sleep now while we can, and go out to eat a lot to get in those date nights!

The sleep advice doesn't work so well since it's pretty much impossible to sleep through the night when you're this pregnant (and it's over one hundred degrees every day). BUT, we've done a great job of getting in lots of nice dinners out and date nights!

Tuesday we ate at Whiskey Cake (Christine's new favorite restaurant) with Burke & Alyssa. Friday we went to Trufire - we eat there ALL THE TIME but never get tired of it. This time was interesting because we ate quite early (6 PM) since Dana had a birthday party for Jeff Klein to get to afterward, and we couldn't believe all of the kids that were at our favorite date place. We finally put it together that families eat out early... and we were seeing a glimpse of our future!

Saturday we finally got to try The Meddlesome Moth with our dear friends Maisie and Darren. The beer menu was INCREDIBLE and Darren and Dana had a fun time working through it and trying a bunch of new beers. The food was really, really good too!

Today we enjoyed a yummy potluck dinner with our church community group. Stephanie made amazing mango salmon and Elizabeth and Jordan brought little Baby Larkin, who is just over 4 weeks old. He's such a cutie!

So all in all, while we still are wrapping up some odds and ends and trying to get everything ready for Reese's arrival (sometime in the next 2 weeks!), we're having a ton of fun along the way!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

All-Natural Rap

We see a lot of crazy stuff here where we work. But I have to say... this has got to be my favorite. Makes me laugh every time I watch it!