Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hello October! (massive video blog!)

Hi there! Sorry I have been a bad blogger! I would rally off excuses (like, "We are so busy that I often forget to take the time to upload pictures and video," or, "Nate and I are still getting used to being grownups that when we attempt to upload we can't find the right USB cables!" or, "Well, we could upload them now, but mom and dad Sellers just visited, and so maybe the update can wait til next week and we'll just relax for now," or, "Well, we upload new photos on facebook every so often, so maybe it doesn't matter if we put off the blog a bit."), but excuses are lame, and so I am sorry for my procrastination. At any rate, I apologize and hope to manage the blog better in the future, although this is unfortunately not very likely since we honestly have so much going on in our lives right now.

I will elaborate!
I work 30 hours at Starbucks. Nate works Mondays and Saturdays at Doubletree. Nate has classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. We do youth group on Wednesdays. Church on Sundays...

But, to be honest, aside from work schedules being less than optimal and sometimes very inconsistent, this is what we wanted, and we are planting some roots here in Pittsburgh.

Other new things: Baby weight is very hard to lose and that is frustrating. Every time I lose five or so pounds, I seem to gain it back accidentally. Nate is doing so well in German that his professor has asked him to tutor another student for extra credit. We are spending Thanksgiving here and plan on driving to New Hampshire for Christmas (though we're still figuring out exact dates). The Pens have lost their first two games of the season and that makes me very sad. Auden is growing more hair, and it is obvious that she has Nate's signature cowlicks. We went to the movies and we really liked Scott Pilgrim (in Center, there is a $5 movie night. wahoo!) I am very allergic to bananas post pregnancy and probably for the rest of my life. We painted Auden's room, and it looks great! Maybe in the next post I'll post a before and after picture. We also had a half birthday party for Auden, and that was a lot of fun.

Anyway, here are tons of videos. They are listed in order of oldest to newest, (from early August to this past weekend!), and maybe it is silly to post older ones, but I think it is really cool to see how Auden developed over the last few months. (she gets much more chatty as the videos progress, plus, you can see her learning how to reach and the grab for things).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Auden is officially five months old!

Can you believe it? I surely can't.
It seems like yesterday I was in terrible agony giving birth to a stranger.

Anyway, check on facebook for all new photos of her. I would upload them here, but that seems redundant since I just put everything on there. (Save for some pictures from my cell phone... oops!)

Anyway, maybe we should all start thinking about Auden's half a birthday party!! (Maybe you think I am kidding, but her being alive and thriving for six months is obviously something to celebrate! At least I think so.)

So! Let's see. Nate just began school this week at CCAC; finishing up his undergrad degree by taking a phys ed class and his language and lab credit. I am working in Sewickley still at Starbucks. We are still just making ends meet, which is both good and frustrating.

Our apartment is slowly but surely coming along. We (myself, mostly) are really wanting to paint Auden's room (a light earthy green, I think..) before I start hanging pretty things on the wall, but I don't know how realistic this is. So although the walls are bare, her furniture is all put together and looks GREAT! The guestroom/office is pretty much all done, so please feel free to visit with us! And after asking our landlord several times, he finally painted the porch like he had initially promised!

We had a Hlopek get-together at Frank's; Jenn and Frank were both home from New York/work trip, and Val even came.

Life is too good right now, albeit stressful at times. God is too good and really takes care of the three of us, and when trouble befalls us we have such good family who have our backs. I eagerly wait for the day when we are able to share our resources.

Also, I am considering pursuing a graduate certificate in secondary education. (I just can't help but feel that it is my responsibility to earn more money so I can distribute it to people and communities who need food and water, etc..) The only thing that is holding me back is the potential cost. But I can't help but think that living (very far beneath) the poverty line and having a kid will warrant me a decent amount of financial aid. RIGHT?

Give us a call, or an email, or a snail mail. Love all of you! Please don't forget to stay in touch.

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Thursday, July 29, 2010

three four more videos!

Good afternoon!

Here are three more videos that are from the last week or two. I had another one that I had wanted to upload as well, but each time the upload has failed during the lat 2% of it... So we'll see if i can get it up here in the next couple of days. Nevermind! Got it loaded!

Here we have Auden giving Nate the crazy eye...

A milk daze combined with a giant poop. Don't think she could be more comfortable

And here Auden is holding her own in a conversation with the daddy. (Although she seems to get pretty mad at the end!)

Taken just this morning by Nate while I was at work

That's all! Let's remember to keep Nate's sister and her husband in our prayers; they have a baby boy due December!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

At the risk of sounding overwhelmed...

Hello weekend!

We have a big spacious apartment and a beautiful baby, but needless to say sometimes it's still just as hard as ever.

We still have boxes yet to unpack and little Auden's room is nowhere close to being finished. This can mostly be attributed to financial reasons, with how we are generally paycheck to paycheck, and more often than not it is OK, but when it's too hot to hang outside, and you don't have too much to spend leisurely, being inside an unpacked apartment still gets to you..

Auden's new dresser came with a defective piece that we can neither replace nor reorder, so we're still waiting for Babies R Us to reccomend what to do. So her clothes are still wrinkled in boxes and bags..
We dont have a desk for the computer yet so we sit on the floor with wires all through the spare room, which is full of garbage bags of our clothes because we still need to buy tension rods to put in our closets for the clothes to hang on! And although I found a washer and dryer on craigslist for only $100, we still need the duct to vent out the gas, and that is another expense that we simply can't do right now, and that clearly does not help our apartment look anymore organized.

Oh, frustration! I know we made the right choice getting our own place - and Auden's own place, and our apartment is a real gem, but it's so hard waiting and waiting for us to add a certain essential every [other] month.

The situation will only be worsened when our health insurance starts getting taken fom my pay come September.

In the meantime, it has become my goal to find a career I fully enjoy, with a modest salary and benefits, by this time next year. I do not think this is too lofty a goal... I've applied to one faith based nonprofit thus far and am regularly looking for more options.

Please excuse the slight pessimistic nature of this blog.
In the meantime, we're more than thankful for our current situation - albeit occasionally tired of it.

Please keep thinking of us. I'm thinking of you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bath time!

Nothing like a warm bath to soothe a gassy tummy...

Also! Today, just 3 minutes ago or so, Auden shared her first laugh with us while I was kissing her belly!!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Auden can roll over!

This video is a week or two old.. When she first figured out about rolling over.

Now we have trouble laying her down without her rolling!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

a video!

Auden watching her babygenius DVD and swinging.

(Around halfway through she starts talking about how much she likes the Christmas lights.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My birth story!

Hi! For some reason, I have yet to share my birth story. I wrote it a while back and for some reason forgot to share it. So here it is!

Auden's natural (and fast) delivery

Our baby girl was born on the evening of March 26th, much to the surprise of both myself and my husband.

This was my first pregnancy, and I had learned from others that I should pretty much expect to carry over term. Bearing that in mind, I planned to begin my maternity leave on March 27th, just five days before my due date. Apparently, the baby and I were on the same page because my water broke just an hour and a half after I got off work!

I left Starbucks shortly after 5, when my shift ended, and proceeded to get ready to go out to dinner with some friends and my husband for a friend's birthday. At 6:35, just as I was putting on my shoes (with much difficulty - that belly!), my water broke. It was such a strange feeling, and so theatrical! It was entirely both random and unexpected; not only had I not experienced any contractions or even Braxton Hicks by this point, but I just had a doctor appointment earlier that day where they said they had decided to induce on the 30th since I wasn't experiencing any contractions but was almost fully effaced and was already 4 cm dilated.

I yelled to Nate that I thought my water had broke. He came into the room and was like, "Well, yeah. Obviously!" He quickly called our friend to cancel our plans, and just as he was hanging up I began experiencing very intense contractions.

I didn't know what to expect, and so although I wasn't surprised by how bad they hurt, I was still alarmed at the thought of how much worse they would get later. He helped me change pants and we were off to the hospital.

The drive to the hospital was unforgettable. There's pretty much a red light at every block, so it can take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes to get there. He did a great job driving there, weaving in and out of traffic and cruising through yellow lights. Although it only took about 15 minutes to get there, it seemed much longer because my contractions were getting much more intense and were getting closer and closer together - going from six minutes apart to two by the time we arrived at the emergency room.

Once we got there, we were checked in right away, with everyone in the waiting room looking at me excitedly, which made me feel even more anxious.

I got into the room and was changed into a hospital gown. The pad I had put on for the drive was more than overflowing and bloody, too, which made me very nervous, but the nurse assured me that was normal. They strapped monitors to my belly and began asking my questions for the computer system's information, but by this point my contractions hardly had a break in between!

I couldn't bear the contractions, and not having any break in between them was more than exhausting. I wrongly assumed (and so did the nurses and doctor) I would have several more hours of labor to go and was distraught because I didn't think I would be able to bear with the pain and gave in and agreed to have an epidural, which I was hoping to avoid at all costs as I had wanted Auden to be born alert and naturally.

But the contractions kept coming and I couldn't do anything to be more comfortable. The best thing for most of my labor was to sit up on the side of the bed with the nurse supporting me. The pain was entirely unbearable! I kept telling them that I had to push - that I couldn't help but push! They told me I couldn't push yet, that I couldn't be that far along in my labor.

But, your body knows what to do and when to do it. I told them "Sorry! I'm pushing, I'm sorry!" and finally the nurse checked to see how I was dilated. Within 45 minutes I had gone from 5 to 9cm and Auden was on her way out whether they thought she was ready or not. We then began the pushing process.

The anesthesiologist hadn't come in by that point, and neither had the actual doctor. After pushing for about a minute or two, the nurses (who were frustrated that the doctor hadn't come), began calling out into the hallway for him. After he arrived, though, the nurses wouldn't let him help deliver the baby (so says my husband. I was too busy pushing and experiencing the most terrible pain of my life!).

So the doctor just stood behind them with his arms folded, nodding. At this point, says my husband, the anesthesiologist opened the door most likely planning to administer an epidural, but the baby was crowning, and so after looking very surprised, quickly left.

"Two more minutes!" the nurse said. "ONE more minute," the doctor corrected.

"A couple more pushes!" the nurse said. "ONE more push the doctor corrected.

And then, after one more push like he said, Auden was born. It was so overwhelming. I heard the nurse tell the doctor that she was trying not to get my hopes up if it were more than one push or so, but the doctor laughed and said something about how fast and efficient the labor had been. The nurses seemed both proud of themselves for handling the delivery mostly on their own.

They put Auden on my chest and she began to cry, and it was so so so overwhelming and beautiful! I was still in tremendous pain, and I could see them stitching me up down there, but I decided to just look at the baby and Nate. Even though the dull pain was constant and terrible, nothing could compare to the last couple of contractions and her crowning...

I had lost a lot of blood and my body must have been in a bit of shock, because I began shaking a lot, but I guess that's normal and they covered me up with several thick blankets. My husband cut the cord, which he really hadn't been planning on doing whatsoever, but changed his mind last minute.

She was cute and so new, and so tiny. I'll never forget how she looked laying on my chest, comforted because I was the only familiar thing to her in this new world.

After a couple minutes, they took her, cleaned her, checked her vitals, then brought her back. We had her for a while, then they took her to the nursery to let me rest and to finally give me some pain medication since I hadn't had any at all at that point.

I don't know how women experience a labor longer than mine, but I will say I am so glad to have delivered Auden naturally. She was very alert and wide awake her first day and throughout the night - the nurses mentioned it every time they brought her from the nursery, and when I nursed for the first time she immediately latched on without any problems (and we haven't had any so far yet!).

Auden Noël was born at 8:55pm, less than three hours after my labor began! She was 7 lbs, 6 oz. and 20 inches long.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hello from our new home!

Hello again, from Pittsburgh this time.

I was considering this blog several days ago; I was thinking that since the baby is here and we moved to where we have family there might no longer be a purpose for this. "After all," I thought, "Who else should we keep updated anyway?"
And then I was thinking about how excited I am to see Nate's parents again when they visit for labor day, and how great it will be for them and for Auden.
And then I thought of our friends in Eastern PA and how we miss them dearly.
And the Pratt-Russums in Oregon.
And Nate's friends in New England.
And Jenn in New York.

And then I decided that facebook is a nice connector, but really I can't write so many details there, and that friends and family who've proven to be so valuable to my nuclear family of three should be able to find personal updates and picture of our babe.

And, so this blog continues. I hope to update it once a month with photos of the apartment, my garden in the back yard, pictures and possibly videos of our Auden, and whatever else proves to be interesting.

In the meantime, here is news:
I work at the Starbucks in Sewickley.
Nate is working at the Doubletree Hotel Friday and Saturday evenings.
Auden can easily suck her thumb and comfort herself.
Auden can also roll onto her tummy! (sometimes!)
Nate failed his vision test when he went to trade in his NH license for a PA one, but now he will be feeling great because he'll have good eyeballs again!!
Tim just visited us last weekend.
Nate and I are working together as youth coordinators for a covenant church in Allison Park. (We are so excited!)

We'll be in touch!
In the meantime, here are some of my favorite pictures as of late!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

34.5 week ultrasound!

Hello! We got another sonogram today. Since I've been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I've been testing my blood sugars somewhat regularly and cutting lots of carbs out of my diet. The only big risk with gestational diabetes is that the baby might get too big in while in the belly, meaning that I might need an early scheduled c section.
So today's ultrasound was to make sure that Auden isn't becoming a fatty, and that I am doing an OK job with my new diet. And fortunately, everything is looking great!
She has a good brain and good organs and a heart that pumps A LOT and she is actually a little (not in a bad way!) smaller than average. This is probably because I am a petite little person, and so the baby can't be too big.

So! Good news. Looks like we'll be having a solid baby.

We're hoping for a March baby. Keep your fingers crossed! :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Thanks to everyone who was able to come to the baby shower and be so generous to us. We both feel much better knowing that we are more tangibly equipped to care for a baby!

In the next several of months, we obviously will be going through a lot of change. Auden will probably come whenever she'd like, I'll be taking off work for several weeks, Nate will have to figure out how to juggle school, his part time job, and being a new dad all at the same time. Plus, we've extended our lease here until the end of May and have begun skimming around for a new apartment in western PA; Nate has tentative plans for grad school at seminary, and we are both looking forward to a better apartment with less expensive rent. Plus, we think Auden will be needing her own room...

Keep your eyes and ears open for us; we're on the market for both new jobs and a new apartment by June.

Love all of you!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hi! It's been a while since we've blogged on here; we traveled to Pittsburgh for Christmas and enjoyed a visit with Nate's parents mid December, so not only were we busy, but we got to see almost everyone for whom this blog exists. So, if we missed seeing you, Happy belated Christmas!

Things have been going well. Nate's sitting next to me and he wants to write this blog so his section will follow after mine. Excuse any double updates we both might accidentally share with you! Auden moves around regularly, and I guess she is around 15 or so inches long at this point. For a more accurate idea, think of an eggplant?
We finished our registries, too. We're registered at both Target and Babies R Us, mostly so everyone who wants to help us out will have more than just one place to go looking.
After getting some blood work done, we also found out that I've become very anemic, and so I'm taking iron, which is boring. That's all really, on my end. The shower in Pittsburgh is January 30th, I think, and my mom is sending out invites this week (I think). Love and miss all of you!

So, first week of classes and I am still alive. I just got a job at the sandwich shop on campus and I am actually pretty excited about it. I haven't worked in a while, so I am pretty pumped to start doing something other than reading and writing papers. We'll see how it goes.