Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First visit to Kennett

Banks and I traveled to Kennett for a day trip on January 2nd, when he was just 2 weeks old.  We didn't intend on spending the night, but ended up staying because I was pooped!
However, our first REAL overnight trip to Kennett was January 19-22.  We had the best time!
Alex had a work trip to Des Moines during those days, so it was the perfect time for us to go visit everyone.  Plus, it was my grandmother's 73rd birthday on the 20th, so we were able to celebrate with the rest of the family (something that I get to rarely do since I'm usually teaching during this time of year).
My brother was also able to come home and spend two of the days with us.  I was so thankful that he was able to come and spend some time with Banks.  I never dreamed that Tyson could be so crazy about a baby, but he is! It is the cutest thing!  Banks is going to be one lucky boy to have him as an uncle.  I cannot wait for Tyson to take him hunting, fishing, and golfing with him in just a few short years.
My parents were so happy to have Banks and I (ooooor let's be honest.... mostly Banks) in Kennett for a few days.  It was so nice to see them.  I can only hope that they are able to see Banks as often as possible! I wish they lived closer to us.

We also had a nice surprise visit with Bill and Linda while in Kennett.  They just happened to be passing through on Tuesday, so we were able to have dinner with them on Tuesday night.  I am SO glad that they got to meet Banks at just one month old! What an absolute blessing that it worked out so perfectly for them to be passing through while we happened to be in Kennett!

It was a great visit, and I am looking forward to many, many more in the near future.


Banks is 1 Month Old

{First overnight trip to Kennett.  January 21, 2014}

I cannot believe this baby boy is already one month old!  Where have the past 5 weeks gone?  They have certainly been filled with nothing but joy for me!
We had Banks' one month check-up today, and he did great.  We have to start his shots and vaccinations next month, so I know that will be a completely new experience for both of us. :(
His one month measurements are:
Weight-  9 pounds 10 ounces
Length-  21.75 inches
Head-  14.5 inches

Those are really all about average measurements, which is right where he needs to be.

During his first month, Banks celebrated his first holiday (Christmas) at just one week old.  He also took his first day trip with mommy to Kennett at 2 weeks and 1 day old.  At 5 weeks, he went to Kennett to visit Honey and Poppa No Name for three days.  They LOVED getting to spend time with him and show him off to friends and the rest of the family.
 {Banks' First Christmas.  Christmas Morning 2013}
{January 3, 2014}

Banks is exclusively breastfed, and eats every 3 hours throughout the day.  He is such a good eater, and typically eats for around 30 minutes at each feeding.  At the beginning of the month, he was sleeping around 3-4 hours between feedings at night (waking up 2-3 times each night).  By the end of the month, he is sleeping 6-7 hours between feedings and wakes up 1 time each night.  Mommy and Daddy are SO proud of him for this (and are SO very grateful!).
He wore newborn diapers the entire month, but switched to size 1 diapers on his 1 month birthday (January 18th).  He is beginning to outgrow most of his newborn onesies, especially those with feet.  Banks has some extremely long feet and toes!  Most of his newborn gowns are still fitting nicely.
We first saw Banks smile on Tuesday, January 7th. Alex and I both got to witness it at the same time, so it was an extremely special moment.  I only wish we could have captured it on camera.  Since then, we have seen him smile numerous times, especially when he is drifting off to sleep.
Banks is one strong boy, and has been able to lift his head up since he was about 2 or 3 days old.  It is quite impressive!
 {January 8th, 2014}

{First day trip to Kennett. January 2, 2014)

He is one of the most alert babies I have EVER seen in my life.  He is bright-eyed and wide awake 75% of everyday.  Banks is not a big napper, but sleeps so soundly at night.  Everyone who has met him cannot believe how alert, awake, wiggly, and strong he is!
That's the monthly update on my main man.  I am absolutely LOVING watching him grow and change each and every day!

{January 9, 2014}

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Banks' First Christmas

Banks turned one week old on Christmas day this year.  Needless to say, he was our most favorite Christmas gift we have EVER received.  While most, if not all, of our holiday traditions got pushed aside this year due to having a new baby and me having just had a c-section, this Christmas was truly amazing and one that neither of us will ever forget.
My parents were already in town from his arrival, so they were able to stay all the way through the holidays.  Therefore, we had our family Christmas in Memphis this year.  Normally, it would break my heart not to be able to go to Kennett for Christmas, but I was more than okay with not having to travel this year.  This was my very first Christmas in 26 years to not spend it in Kennett--- no Christmas Eve dinner, no Christmas Eve church service, no Christmas in Kennett, no Hallelujah on the Square.  But, I survived and honestly never thought another thing of missing all of these wonderful events!
Christmas Eve was actually a very nice, not too cold day.  Therefore, we were able to get out of the house and take Banks out to Alex's parents house for a Christmas Eve lunch and presents.  On the way out there, we stopped so that Banks could get his picture made with Santa.  Alex thought this was absolutely crazy, especially on Christmas Eve, with a 6 day old, but I didn't care.  I knew that in future years I would regret not having Bank's First Christmas picture with Santa.  So, we stopped and got it made.  And boy, we were not disappointed! Take a look at this bundle of cuteness:
I am a little obsessed with this picture and know that I will love and cherish it even more in the years to come.
After lunch, the three of us came back to our house and enjoyed Christmas Eve at home with my parents and brother.  We watched A Christmas Story and had a wonderful evening at home.
The next morning, we woke up to find that Santa came to visit Banks! I am so excited that we finally get to look forward to Santa stopping by the Griffith house from now on!
Banks was too busy snoozing to really care about his gifts from Santa, but at least we have it documented that Santa did stop by for a visit!
The rest of our Christmas Day was very relaxing and stress-free.  It was so nice to not have to travel or pack for a trip the next day this year.  Don't get me wrong, we've never cared about doing any of those things before, but we did enjoy this low-key holiday season at home this year!

 We hope that you and yours had a blessed Christmas as well.  We are so thankful that Banks arrived a little early and that we were all able to be home for our first Christmas together!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Banks' Nursery

I chose to do a very simple, neutral nursery for Banks.  I knew this was the type of nursery I wanted regardless of the baby's sex, so I got started on it pretty much right after I found out we were expecting.
The one request I had for the nursery was to get a dark bronze metal crib.  I have had this set in my mind for a very long time, and I was determined to find the perfect crib.  I wanted one that I could use for all of my future children, and that's exactly what we got.
After I had found the crib I wanted, my next purchase was the crib bedding.  I went with a natural colored linen bedding, with cream sheets and a monogrammed pillow. 
I found a matching dresser and chest at a flea market in Mountain Home, AR.  I had actually found them a couple of months before, while at the lake with my parents, but at that point I wasn't 100 percent certain they were the look I was going for (it depended on the sex of the baby).  After we found out that we were having a boy, I called back and they were still available! So, the next time we went to the lake, we loaded them up at took them home with us.  I got both pieces for a total of $150. Score!  We sanded them down and repainted them to go with the light and airy scheme of the nursery. 
 What the piece looked like before
I also found a cute wooden twin bed at an antique store in West Point, MS.  It was painted bright blue, so we just painted it using the same white we used on the chest and dresser.  I love the way it turned out. 
For the twin bedding, I found a white quilt at Home Goods and had the pillows and duvet made out of fabric I found on sale here in Memphis.  I also had a changing pad cover made out of one of the fabrics. 

One of my coworkers was getting rid of her nursery glider right around the time I announced that I was expecting.  She called and asked me if I would take it, and of course I jumped on the offer! She and her sweet hubby delivered it that day, so all I had to do was find some fabric and get it recovered.  Easy enough.  

The bookshelf was another flea market find.  I had been wanting a bookshelf of some sort for the nursery (it's the teacher in me I suppose), but was really out of wall space for anything too big.  My mom found this one in Kennett, so I just repainted it using the same white paint.  This turned out to be the most difficult and time-consuming project for the nursery.  Those rods cannot be removed, and my hands did not really fit between them to paint!  In the end, it turned out great. 

Another project I did was the monogrammed canvas above the twin bed.  I ordered the monogram from a website I found on Pinterest, and had it shipped unfinished and unpainted.  I then painted it using a chocolate brown, and painted the canvas using that same exact white from all of of the pieces of furniture.  Using lots of gorilla glue and super glue, I glued the monogram to the canvas and voila! Cheap, boyish art for the nursery. 

All of the lamps, frames, accent table, etc. came from Home Goods and TJ Maxx.  I really lucked out and found some cute, inexpensive pieces that coordinated perfectly. 

So there's the nursery.  I think it was a big success.  I have found both Alex and Charlie spending time in there by themselves, and I love to go in there and just hang out.  It's such a peaceful room, and one that I hope Banks will really enjoy and be proud of when he's a little bit older!


Welcome Banks!

I have been terrible about blogging, but I really want to do better so that I have Banks' milestones documented.  I know that one day, when life slows down a bit, I will appreciate having this to look back on!
So, without further ado, let's meet the newest member of the Griffith family: Banks Blaxton Griffith.
Banks was born on Wednesday, December 18th 2013 at 4:20 in the afternoon.  He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.  He was born with lots of dark brown hair, dark blue eyes, and a darker complexion than I've ever had in my entire life.
Due to my small frame, the size the doctors predicted Banks to be, and the way he was positioned, I had a scheduled c-section on the 18th.  I had been experiencing lots and lots of pain for several weeks prior to that day, and the doctors finally did an ultrasound, only to discover that his head would not fit through the birth canal.  Basically, he had been trying to drop for quite some time, but could not fit and was not reaching my cervix to begin the dilation process.  Quite painful, to say the least!  I was a bit nervous about the c-section (I had never even had an IV before, let alone surgery), but was happy to finally have an end in sight.
I didn't have to be at the hospital until 2:00 that afternoon, so that morning I tried to keep myself busy by doing last minute chores around the house, triple-checking my hospital bag, etc.  I couldn't eat or drink anything at all that day, which was extremely hard for me, even with my nerves.  My parents arrived in Memphis around lunchtime, so I went and watched them and Alex eat lunch (at one of my favorite lunch spots, of course!) before we finally headed to the hospital.
We arrived just before 2:00, got admitted, and were so excited because we had been told that my c-section would begin around 3:00.  After getting to the "preparation room", we were told that my surgery had gotten pushed back to 4:00.  Great.  Another hour for nerves to build up.  Another hour of no food or drink.  Another hour before I could meet my sweet boy.  However, time really did fly by with all of the nurses coming in and out of my room, giving me fluids, starting my IV (which turned out to be the worst part of my c-section experience), pumping me with anti-nausea meds, etc.  Finally, it was go-time, and I don't think I've ever been more scared in my entire life.
I wasn't scared about the actual c-section.  I wasn't nervous about becoming a parent.  I was scared because the anesthesiologist completely freaked me out while going through the list of things that I will experience, things that could go wrong, things I may or may not feel during the procedure, etc.  Like I mentioned above, I had never had any type of surgery before and I panicked while getting the little IV in my hand, and now I was being told that due to being so short, that I would probably be numb all the way up to my neck?  That I could get a bad pain shooting up my shoulder?  That I may or may not start throwing up during the surgery?  That I would be completely strapped down to the table and would not be able to move at all?  Great! Let's do this!
I told all of my family goodbye, and got wheeled into the operating room.  I, very shakily, sat on the edge of the bed and got my epidural (which turned out to be a breeze for me).  They strapped me in, got me ready, and finally allowed Alex to come into the room.  That made me happy.  Except that he was smiling, and just about the time I saw him, a huge wave a nausea hit me like a ton of bricks and all I could say to him was "why are you smiling right now?".  He knew something was wrong with me, and I told him I was about to be sick.  I did, and they immediately gave me more anti-nausea meds and I felt so much better.  From then on, everything went as planned.
It was so quick, so simple, so perfect.  Alex was able to video Banks being pulled out, which I am so thankful for since my view was completely blocked by a huge sheet.  I have watched that video countless times since he was born.  While the nurses got him all cleaned up, the doctors finished stitching me up.  I was getting super antsy (back to typical impatient Kristen by this point) because the only thing I wanted was to see what my son looked like!  Alex was over watching him get bathed and weighed, and no one ever brought him over my way!
Finally, the moment arrived when Alex brought him over for me to see.  Such a special moment.  One that I wish we could have had documented (but I was still strapped in and being stitched up).  He was perfect.  Absolutely perfect.
After an hour in the recovery room with just Alex, Banks, and I, we were finally taken to the room I lived in for the next three days and were reunited with all of our family.  It was such an awesome experience watching our family members take turns holding Banks, making memories that I will never ever forget.
It was such a great day.