Thursday, July 31, 2008


It's official--Mike & I signed our lives away today, and now we are officially homeowners. It's a scary but satisfying feeling. I'm thinking we'll feel much better about the whole thing once we're actually IN the house, which won't be for another two weeks.
Okay, I'm exhausted, so I'm leaving you a photo from Aiden's bath tonight; it's starting to scare me how big my little boy is getting. But he's still so darned cute!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gary's Fourth Birthday Party

Well, we headed back up to Lex yesterday for the third time in a week. It was well-worth it, though--it was time to celebrate my nephew Gary's 4th birthday! My sister hosted the party at the same park she's used for two previous birthdays; the only difference this year is that the weather was comfortable--in the low 80s as opposed to in the 90s and humid like those previous parties. Gary got lots of nice gifts, and it was relaxing to hang out with family and friends. I even succeeded in getting a photo of Aiden with my grandma (she refuses to pose for a pictures, so you really have to steal the moment) and it turned out great!
Aiden was WORN OUT by the time we got back to Columbus last night; he fell asleep during his evening bottle, so his usual evening bath was not an option. Luckily Mike was kind enough to do it before work this morning--I love when Daddy steps up to the plate like that! :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

How We Became the Cotter Family

I was at my parents’ house on Thursday, visiting with my sister Heidi, her husband Joel, and my nephew Gary who were visiting from South Carolina. Heidi & I were sitting at the kitchen table talking with my mom, and somehow we started discussing what happened the day Aiden was born. Then it struck me that I had never posted Aiden’s birth story—I just kind of popped on here to let everyone know he HAD arrived, not HOW he had arrived. I'd also like to have some sort of record for me to read later before the details get to fuzzy.
So sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a 22½ hour labor and delivery…

Mike & I arrived at Riverside Hospital at around 8:15 since our scheduled induction was supposed to begin at 8:30. (Small back story—and I do believe I posted this—at my 37 week appointment, my OB (Dr. Somani) determined that I had low fluid and decided to schedule the induction.) Keep in mind that I had never been in the hospital for myself before, so I was a bit tense. The nurses got us all settled in our room, including setting up my IV and my antibiotics (I was positive for the strep B—you moms and preggies out there know about that, or at least you will) and before long, some of the hospital doctors came in to begin the foley induction (I’m not going to go into any detail about it because some of you may have just eaten, but feel free to click on the link if that strikes your fancy). At that point, with two doctors and three nurses standing at the edge of my bed and seeing all my womanly glory, I lost whatever sense of modesty I may have had. They also started me on pitocin to get the contractions started.

I was actually pretty comfortable for the first few hours; Mike & I were able to just talk and watch TV, and before too long his folks arrived for a visit. Not long after noontime, though, I really started to feel those contractions, and the nurses decided I should probably take some pain medication. That didn’t work out too well, as it made me feel instantly drunk, and I started to throw up. It was at that point my main nurse looked at me and said I wasn’t going to make it without an epidural. I could only frown as my doctor had told me I might not be eligible for an epidural as I had a low (and getting lower) blood platelet count; they were concerned about my ability to clot.

What I remember about the next few hours is more visitors (Hugh, Abby, my aunt Jodi) coming and going, all while I was trying my best to breathe through the contractions and not throw up again. My nurse came in and said it was time to remove the foley, so everyone (except Mike) had to step out. After they removed the little bladder, my water broke, and I had dilated to 5 cm. I was pretty excited; the nurse said she thought Aiden would arrive no later than 7 PM. And she had even better news for me—she talked to the anesthesiologist, and he was willing to give me an epidural! I was pretty happy that everything seemed to be going as planned.

After my epidural, things slowed down immensely. Seven o’clock came and went with no Aiden, and I was starting to wonder when they’d want to throw in the towel and do the C-section I’d always suspected I’d need. I went through several nurse changes over the next few hours (Riverside was VERY busy that evening—there were 17 babies born in a 12-hour span), and all would say the same thing when they’d examine me—5 cm and holding. A few times, several nurses at once would rush in and reposition me because Aiden’s heart rate would drop when they’d dose the pitocin. It seemed the little guy had no intention of being forced out of my cramped but apparently cozy womb.

At about 1:30 AM, my 6th nurse or so (I can’t remember how many nurses I had—at least 10, I think) came in and measured me and told me I was at 4 cm--I was actually closing off as opposed to opening! She called Dr. Somani, and she decided it was time for the C-section. She asked if I was disappointed and I pretty much said something along the lines of “No—let’s roll!” After she left the room, Mike & I texted everyone to say we were going in for the procedure, and then we turned off our phones before the batteries were exhausted. Not even two seconds later, nurse came back and said they wanted to try one more thing. We left our phones off.

Around 3 AM, the nurse came back to say they were definitely going to do the C-section, but we had to wait on a lady who was having twins to go first. I said no problem, and Mike & I tried to go back to sleep (there was no sleeping for me, however, as I had Aiden's heart monitor just over my left shoulder and had NO intention of sleeping so long as I could hear him). An hour later, another nurse came back in to say that another lady had to have an emergency C-section, and since Aiden & I were “relatively” comfortable (they stopped dosing the pitocin at this point), we’d wait and go after her. So Mike got another hour of sleep, and then at 5 AM they came back in to prep us for surgery. They gave me an extra pump of the epidural and some medication to keep me from throwing up—which of course immediately made me throw up.

We headed to the operating room (jeez, that sounds bad even now), and they set up the little curtain in front of my face so I wouldn’t freak out upon seeing myself cut open. Mike came in with his scrubs and camera—he was so cute! Before we knew it, Dr. Somani was rooting around in my abdomen, trying to get to my uterus and saying “No wonder this guy didn’t want to come out—he’s facing the wrong direction. He’s got a lot of dark hair, though—see, Mom?”

And in that instant, as she held that bloody, screaming face above the curtain, my life changed forever. I just remember how overwhelmed I was in seeing Aiden’s face, thinking, THAT was inside of ME?! That’s him, the one who’s little foot has been kicking my right side constantly for the last 3 months, the one who gets hiccups at least three times a day, the one who keeps me up at night with heartburn—that’s him?! I watched with tears streaming down my cheeks as Mike followed the nurse to his little clean-up station, listening to his cries (which I’m sure translated into “WTF?!”) and praying that they could sew me up faster so that I could hold him with my own arms.

Eventually, Aiden did make it to my arms, and once he did, I never wanted him to leave. I still feel the sting of tears even now, four and a half months later, when he looks into my eyes as he eats, or when he smiles at me when I pick him up from the sitter, or even when he giggles as I change his dirty diaper. Aiden has changed my life in a way nothing else ever will, and I’d gladly re-live all 22½ hours again and again to have the pay-off of his silly face popping over that curtain. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rice Cereal

We've been attempting rice cereal with Aiden for the past week, and I have to admit, it's been kind of a struggle. He seems to get the general idea; he'll open his mouth when he sees the spoon headed his way, and he'll lap at the cereal and eventually swallow it after it's in his mouth. Our biggest problem is that he gets impatient pretty quickly; food off a spoon doesn't offer the instant gratification that formula from a bottle does. But tonight was much, much better! He ate most of the cereal before he decided it was taking too long! It's really funny the mess that he makes, too, as you can see in the photos. Hopefully he'll really get the hang of this so we can move on to oatmeal soon. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'm Getting Old

I did something this weekend that if you'd ask me ten years ago if I would do it, I would have laughed in your face--I went to my 10-year high school reunion. That's right, the good old LHS Class of '98 got together at Buck's Saturday night to reminisce and have a few beers. I knew I was taking a chance at reliving some of my high school insecurities, but ultimately the curiously factor was just too strong--I really wanted to see what some folks were up to since we left that sweltering gymnasium with our diplomas and entered the real world ten years ago.
Surprisingly, I had a great time!--despite the heat! It was SWELTERING in the banquet room and on the patio. There was actually a better turn-out than I had expected, too--I'd say about half of my class of 208 made an appearance. I really enjoyed talking to some folks I hadn't seen in awhile, like Emily (your husband was a sweetheart, and I can't wait for your little Lydia to arrive in a few months!), Tracy, and Danae. It was also great to hang out with folks I see more regularly, like Courtney & Claire. I'd also like to throw in a shout-out to Mike, who was wonderful enough to accompany me to the shin-dig, despite the fact that he'd only know one or two people--I really appreciate it sweetheart!
Will I go again in ten years? I'm not sure. For now, my curiosity has been satisfied, so I'll go back to living my life with Mike & Aiden and not worry so much about the purple & gold. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008


DISCLAIMER: Megan, I borrowed these photos from you--I needed some recent ones! Thanks for understanding. :)

A HAPPY BELATED 30th BIRTHDAY to my sister Megan--glad we got to see you last week, however briefly! Enjoy your entrance into your third decade!!!

Also, a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my nephew Gary, who is turning four today! Can't wait to see the little goofball next week!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Four Month Check-Up

I kinda feel silly for worrying about Aiden's appointment today--he made it through MUCH better this time than at two months, and he received the same number of shots! I think it helped that I made myself his focal point. And I was smart enough to give him the Baby Tylenol right when we got home as opposed to waiting for him to cry.
Before Dr. Brown made it into our room for the exam, Aiden & I were having a GREAT time; the rooms have a mirrored wall, so I faced him in the mirror and kept pretending to whisper secrets into his ears, which made him laugh hysterically! I SOOOOOOOO wish I had brought my camera--he's got a great baby belly laugh when he really gets going! :)
Aiden is 13 lbs 10 oz (25th percentile) and 23 1/2 inches (10th percentile), which the nurse told us was a bit on the small side but by no means a problem. We also get to start rice cereal and oatmeal this week, and if he handles that well, we can start orange vegetables! Someone stop this kid from growing up so fast on me!!!

How Aiden was Almost a Chihuahua

Last July, Mike & I went to a pet store on Bethel Road just to kill some time on a Saturday. We were walking past the puppy cages when one of the store associates literally shoved a teacup chihuahua in my arms, asking afterwards if it'd like to hold a puppy. That tiny puppy crawled into our hearts, and somehow, Mike & I stayed in that pet store for over an hour, agonizing as to whether or not we should break the bank and purchase the little guy--for $1500. Ultimately we said no, and went home and looked in the paper for more affordable chihuahua options. We called a lady and decided the that the next day, we might go look at her puppy after I returned from a friend's baby shower.
The next morning, I woke up feeling differently. I can't quite describe it, but it was the same feeling I'd had earlier that March before we miscarried. I tried to ignore this feeling while I traveled to Dayton and back for my friend's shower, but by the time I returned and Mike suggested we go look at the puppy, I told him I might need to take a pregnancy test. He thought I was being silly, but agreed it was best to know first. Imagine his surprise when I came out of the bathroom and showed him the "Pregnant" readout on that glorious little stick.
It was July 15, 2007--one year ago today--that we found out we were expecting our little peanut. Maybe we're just not meant to have a chihuahua. :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Messin' Around

Poor Aiden--he's never going to forgive us when he sees these pictures in the future! But when Mike & I saw this pacifier at Spencer's Gifts a few weeks ago, we knew we had to get it. Sooooooo attractive, don't you think?

And then there's Aiden's new favorite thing--the thumb on his Brutus Buckeye. Why suck his own thumb when he can suck Brutus' thumb?!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Four Months Old

I can only shake my head at this point--time is flying! I have a four-month-old baby, for crying out loud! Everyday just keeps getting better and better. Aiden is a blessing to Mike and I in ways I can't even describe (mostly in fear of sounding too cheesy). Poor Mr. Bibbly is looking a bit dwarfed now. That's pretty odd considering the tables were turned a short 3 months ago!

A few facts about our little guy at four months:
--By Mike's & my approximation (we'll find out actual numbers at his 4-month check-up on Tuesday), Aiden weighs about 14 lbs--no wonder my back starts to hurt after holding him for awhile!
--He's been sleeping through the night (we're talking 8-10 hour marathons here) for over a month now.
--Aiden is eating between 6 and 7 oz. every 4 hours; he really seems to like keeping to this schedule, and he's sure to scold us if we mess it up!
--We've been narrowing down his nicknames; we mostly call him Buddy and Monkey at this point.
--Believe it or not, this guy loves to "say" his name. When he's babbling away on his mat or in his bouncer, you'll inevitabley here him say "Aiden"--or at least what sounds like it--a few times. Sometimes he'll even repeat it when we say it first! Hopefully I can get a video of that soon.
--Speaking of videos, Aiden DEFINITELY knows when Mommy & Daddy have the video recorder or camera out; he'll be all smiles beforehand, but the super-serious once he sees a lens. Makes a lot of work for us to get smiles, but it's totally worth it.
--He becomes a total zombie if the TV is on while we're feeding him; it's gotten to the point that if the TV is on, he'll forget to eat even though the bottle is in his mouth! I'm looking forward to him having his own room in a month so we can eat TV-free.
--Aiden is already having a hard time fitting into his 3-month outfits (sniff sniff), but we're excited to try some of his other stuff on him soon. I swear the kid has more clothes that I do!

Besides the four vaccinations (shudder) he's supposed to get at his appointment on Tuesday, we're excited to talk to Dr. Brown about beginning cereal! OMG--real food! We're also going to ask him what his thoughts are on switching to an off-brand of formula, as the Similac is getting a bit costly. I don't want to sound like a cheapo-mom, but I know the ingredients in baby formulas are government-regulated, so I'm not about to put Aiden's well-being in jeopardy; it's just that we bought this new house, and then I go to Target and see a $12 difference between a can of Similac and a can of the Target formula, and when you buy up to four cans of formula a month--that's $48 back in my budget! Kind of makes my wallet moan. But we'll see what Dr. Brown says first.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Video

One of these days, I'll hopefully be able to get a movie of Aiden actually doing something. :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Surprise Visit

Megan called me this morning to say that she & Denver were unexpectedly coming to Lexington this evening, so could I please bring Aiden up for a visit?! Kind of short notice, but for an aunt & uncle that live out of state, sacrifices must be made :) We arrived at my folks' house at about the time the Dills were crossing into Ohio, so Aiden was able to eat & get changed and relax for a bit. Then we headed to Buck's to meet everyone, including John & my grandparents. And that's when it happened--Aiden threw his first public fit. He would NOT stop yelling and crying for anything. I knew he was over-tired (his baby-sitter had warned me that he got his naps backwards today), but I just couldn't get him to calm down. Luckily, my mom came outside to help me, and we decided to open another bottle just to give him something else to concentrate on. Worked like a charm--after two ounces, he was fast asleep. Now we're back home and he's snoozing happily in his crib. Not bad for a Monday :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

An Aiden Quirk

This is definitely something I'm going to need to get a video of sometime so you'll know what I'm talking about, but I'll try to explain it anyways. For some strange reason that I can't quite figure out, Aiden LOVES when I say "I don't want no pacifier!" while shaking my head at him. He ALWAYS smiles--I'll even say it to him while he's asleep in my arms, and he smiles then, too! Just one of the crazy things about this kid I love. :)
I took some pictures tonight and just got waaaaaaaay too many cute ones--enjoy!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Our New Home :)

Here she is, in all her glory. We found out yesterday that we'll be closing on July 31st and taking possession on August 10th. Slightly excited here. It's a ranch house, 1458 square feet (which does not include the HUGE basement), two-car attached garage, 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, fully remodeled kitchen, hardwood floors, front & back porch, corner lot on a nice, quiet street, etc, etc! We are so happy that we were able to get it! We're hoping to move in the weekend of August 16th, so if any of my dear friends and family out there would be interested in helping us, consider this your official invitation!

This is the back porch--very cute!

Here's the new kitchen--check out those stainless steel appliances!

The eat-in area of the kitchen.

The very 1964 fireplace--I love it, though!