Thursday, August 27, 2015

Welcome, Gideon James!

Our son is here!  We are so proud and thrilled to announce Gideon James made it into the world on August 19th at 8:51 p.m.  He weighed 7 lbs 8 oz and was 20 inches long.

His delivery was perfect-everything we hoped and wanted with no complications.  Our birth team was phenomenal and the entire experience was absolute perfection.

I'll blog his birth story shortly because I'm so proud of the experience and I don't want to forget the details.  For now it's pretty amazing I'm even on the computer today getting this post up!

Welcome to the world, Gideon!  We think you are the sweetest gift and most handsome boy around.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thank You Gifts For Labor & Delivery Nurses

Sooo...we are probably going to be what some L & D nurses interpret as "pesky patients"...

We have been working very hard on achieving a natural labor and delivery and have the typed up and laminated Birth Preference document to prove it ;)

It's actually a very kind, well-worded document that thanks our nurses and support team ahead of time and phrases everything with politeness overkill. 

Ex: "We prefer not to be offered any paid meds" instead of "Get that damn epidural away from me!!"


Anyway, we thought that since we will be asking for atypical things like no IV fluids, minimal monitoring, no pain meds, access to water, etc that we should come blazing in the doors with gifts to make sure we can get on everyone's good side ASAP!

I put together these little nurse thank you goodie bags in less than 5 minutes this week.  I think it will go a long way to show we are appreciative and hopefully encourages them to accommodate our birth preferences.

Everything is from Target and cost about $5 each. You could fill these bags with anything and make them as simple or as fancy as you like.

I chose a burlap bag from the dollar section at target but you could put everything in ziploc baggies, gift bags, or anything else cute you find!

I wanted ours to be "healthy-ish" so I stuffed them with dark chocolate and two blends of tea.  Then we stuck in a miniature pen but what I really wanted was a miniature permanent marker.  Nurses always need a permanent marker!!

We wrote thank you notes and finished it off with a bottle of hand sanitizer.

I think other fun ideas to fill up the baggies would be unscented hand lotion (no scent is best since patients are often allergic or nauseous from smells), granola bars, a little gift card to a coffee shop or lunch place near by, or any other chocolate-y treat. 

I'm sure any gesture is appreciated!

Have the bags filled up and thank you notes written so once you show up to your hospital you just have to pass our the goodie bags and become everyone's favorite patient!

I loved the burlap and they were only $1

I put in Easy Now tea for tension and stress and a calm chamomile blend.  Thinking both are appropriate for a busy baby floor

I'll let you know if our nurses like them and hopefully you can make these too if you have a little peanut on the way! Every bit of thoughtfulness counts and I think nurses often go unappreciated and unthanked so this will be a a breath of fresh air for them.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lots of Pictures Update

It's almost mid-week and that means we are nearly 38 weeks preggo!  It's so insane how fast this pregnancy has gone by.  We try to keep healthy expectations by saying we will meet Baby Decker in 2.5-4.5 case I am mega over due!

I hope Baby Decker doesn't cook to 42 weeks but Lord please give me patience if he/she is so comfy in there.

Well like I've been posting, Ryan has been cranking out house projects like its his job.  His biggest one yet was replacing cracked concrete in the front of our house that was causing drainage issues.

He worked SO hard doing demo work by hand with a sledge hammer, hiring a contractor, and the two of them laid and finished almost 6000 lbs of concrete one afternoon.  Ryan lifted ninety-nine 60 lb bags of concrete into a mixer!!  




On Thursday my parents took us all out for a VERY belated Ryan Decker birthday dinner.  We have all been pretty hard to corral this summer (mostly just Ryan and I) but we finally made it to Red Robin for Ryan's favorite burger.  Then Sweet Cow ice cream cake afterwards for dessert!  

Ryan was in heaven. 

Linny and I look very preggers.  And Linny making pregnancy look particularly sexy

Poor husband has had quite the weekend and week so far with some sickness.  Thursday night he started having super red, itchy eyes.  We thought maybe allergies but weren't sure.  He suffered all through Friday with gritty, itchy eyes that were making him miserable!
Saturday morning he woke up with crusty eyes (BAD NEWS!) so we headed to a clinic where they told him double pink eye and started him on antibiotic drops.  Since Saturday nothing has gotten better so he saw another doc today that told him it's actually an infection called blepharitis.  He is on two antibiotics, an anti-histamine drop, and regular drops.  We are really hoping he can kick this eye infection asap because he is miserable!

Prayers please for a sick husband who just wants to be able to see and not be in pain all day :(

Poor husband just crashes after work with a hot washcloth on his eyes

Sunday night Ryan's mom called us on Facetime so we could say hi to a few sweet babies!  Rilyn, Xander (his forehead, anyway), Ryder, and Sawyer all said hello in their pajamas and told us how much fun they were having! 

Look at all these Decker babies!!

Also we are getting 5-6 eggs a day right now!!  Our ladies are so happy and laying us gorgeous eggs every morning.  Ryan built them a little sandbox full of dirt that they love to take baths in.  They are some pretty spoiled chickens but happy chickens = delicious eggs!

Look at all those colors!  Green, blue, and all shades of brown

My two boys each doing their favorite things right now.  Grumples: napping and playing with toys.  Ryan: prep for baby and become an expert swaddler. Swoon! 

When Grumps gets a new toy he literally takes it everywhere with him and sleeps with it at night (thanks to his Aunt Linny who gave him this toy!).  And Ryan practiced swaddling after we watched "Happiest Baby on the Block".  HIGHLY recommend that movie/book!

Well I have a passed out husband on the couch who is fighting off eye infections so I'm going to go help that poor guy out!  Have a fantastic rest of your week.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you

Ephesians 4:31-32

Friday, August 7, 2015

Baby Prep & Doodle Love

We were recently talking about what we could be doing to be best prepared for baby Decker.  I mentioned in my last pregnancy post that I've been learning as much as possible about all things baby related.  And Ryan is too but his time is more limited.

While I read and research, Ryan has been doing house projects and making our home ready for baby.

And while those things are very good, we also came to the very obvious conclusion that the most valuable thing we can do for baby prep is to fully fill up our marriage fuel tank!

Lot's of walks to connect and enjoy meaningful conversation, date nights, encouraging texts throughout the day, praying over and with each other, and building one another up.  I think we've been doing fairly well at this but we can always do better!  And so that is our goal these next few weeks.  To make sure our "marriage tank" is brimming if not overflowing to make sure we are healthiest and then that pours out into baby.

  [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:7

We built a fire in our fire pit last weekend and enjoyed some amazing nighttime summer weather over s'mores.  This time was so valuable and needed to reconnect.  I'm so grateful for my sweet husband and how he invests in our marriage and family.

A few evenings ago Ryan was finishing up a house project to prevent drainage issues so the doodles and I hung out on the grass.  I ADORE this picture of my Grumpie bear and want to frame it!  He looks so sweet and perfect (which he is not, I assure you).

Within 5 seconds of capturing my all time favorite picture of him he found something dead to roll in and looked like a crazed, blood thirsty wolf!  Sigh.

 Meanwhile, my precious little Poppy just quietly chewed on a rawhide I had given her and ignored her wild brother.

Ryan was very serious about explaining what he was doing...

Oh, hello handsome husband!  He did a great job on this project and now our basement is protected from crazy water leaks.

We have plans tonight to see a movie in the park (favorite summer time activity!!).  We pack dinner and then I usually scout out the cupcake food truck which is a glorious treat.  I have a Bible study at church Saturday morning while Ryan puts gutters on a part of or house with his dad, and then we are seeing our good friend's daughter baptized.  Should be a sweet weekend and we hope you have an amazing weekend too!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pregnancy Weeks 35 & 36

Week 35 & 36 Pregnancy Questionnaire

Baby Size: A head of romaine lettuce except that this kid weighs 6 lbs and romaine lettuce doesn't...

My weight gain so far:  
Somewhere in the ball park of 28 or 29 lbs.  Depends on the morning I guess.  After seeing my belly last week, our doula actually suggested we bring a newborn sized outfit to the hospital but to also pack a 0-3 month outfit too because this kiddo is a large healthy bundle!  We were laughing about what nice robust babies the Decker genes produce ;)

Food loves: 
I've been eating a lot of raw veggies dipped in cottage cheese.  Cauliflower, carrots, and celery (although celery tastes no bueno).  I microwave a sweet potato most days to go with lunch and try to keep fresh fruit on hand all the time to snack on.  Cold grapes right before bed is always a good choice!

We have been grilling a lot so burgers, brats, chicken, and veggies are yummy.  I like coffee ice cream, anything with chocolate, greek yogurt smoothies, and of course my beloved Cheerios.  Recently I have been eating Clif bars when I'm on the run and those are very yummy!  Nothing else too crazy with food...I eat what I can when I can and just try to get in enough water and protein.

Food hates: 
Nothing too new here...basically anything too pork-y, grease-y, cheese-y, egg-y, or just gross.  Also, I loathe sausage.  And the inventor of cumin.

3 Pros of Week 35 & 36:
1.  We are officially done with our Bradley classes after a final private session with our teacher and doula.  We covered breastfeeding, newborn care, and labor details.  We feel about as prepared as we can intellectually and know that no matter how much we prepare the learning curve will be steep!
2. As I've mentioned before, my very hard working and generous husband makes it possible for me to stay home.  I've been trying to steward that time responsibly to learn all I can about everything baby.  From vaccines, to parenting styles, newborn calming techniques, and breastfeeding dietary needs.  I've been using the last two weeks to learn all I can and am grateful for the chance.
3. Being so very close to birth!  I'm feeling increasingly more crowded with each week and to know we will meet our peanut in the next 4-6 weeks keeps me encouraged.  Although it does nothing to help my poor bladder :(

3 Cons of Week 35 & 36:
1. Not getting great sleep due to a large baby Decker head on my bladder.  It's a real problem, people!
2.  Walking a little more slowly. I used to be able to cover a mile with the doodles in less than 20 minutes.  Now it's more like 25 minutes.  Oh well, just have to plan more time for exercise.
3.  Minor aches and pains that come with a bigger belly.  I have some internal ligament pain that kicks in when this kid really stretches out.  And my ribs feel super scrunched whenever I sit too long.  But if those are my biggest complaints...I shouldn't be complaining at all!

Working Out:
Walking my life away!  I have started getting the doods up again for a 1 mile walk in the a.m. (if it's cool enough) and then Ryan is always a wonderful sport and we walk 2-3 miles at night.  I can't say enough good things about walking when pregnant.

Best Moment of the Week:
There are always lots of good moments but I was feeling particularly large and in charge one day at the grocery store.  This exuberant/friendly older couple (with their enormous service dog!) stopped me in the aisle and genuinely told me how good I looked and that I "had that glow".  They were so, so kind.  They asked about baby and then I got to hear about their ridiculously huge dog.  I know I say this every post, but you can never say enough encouraging and nice things to a preggo!

Also, last weekend Ryan and I basically got the entire weekend together.  I didn't have to share him with anyone or any house projects!  It's been really important to me (to both of us!) that we are making the most of our last few weeks together.  A Ryan-Decker-filled weekend was just what I needed.

Ryan has completed just about every house project he set out to do before baby. His nesting instinct is SO strong!  I appreciate him making sure our house is safe and welcoming for baby Decker.

He tells me everyday how excited he is to meet our little one and is already making plans to utilize paternity leave well.  His work give him 3 weeks off-how amazing is that?!

Thursday, July 30, 2015


The last week has been very, very restful!  I am so thankful.  For so many weeks I used to snap out of bed, get in some easy protein for breakfast, and then zip off to the library or coffee shop to start my study day.

But nowwwww...mornings = a cup of coffee, have a quiet time on the back porch with the doodles, do some yoga in the living room, running errands, meeting friends, and relaxing.  It is such a gift to be soaking up the last 4 weeks of this pregnancy like this.

A few mornings ago I busted out my new library copy of Heaven by Randy Alcorn (must read!!!) and  just enjoyed learning all the wild amazing-ness in this book while eating a delish breakfast.  I recognize how spoiled I am :)

Eat a nectarine as soon as you can--it's better than dessert!

A few weeks ago we met our sweet friends Ali and Daniel for dinner at PF Changs.  We don't see these friends super often but when we do it's like no time has passed at all.  We can go from laughing hysterically one second to sharing something deep the next.  We love them so much!

Two preggo ladies full of Chinese food.  They had their baby boy just yesterday--he is a healthy little man and a true blessing to their family!

The four of us have been friends for so long.  Ali and I for 12 years and our double dates have been going on since college.

Yesterday I met my friend Hannah for coffee at a new place, St. Marks in Denver.  Highly recommend it!!  They have these HUGE homemade cookies for $1.50  So cheap!!

I paired mine with a decaf latte while we talked all things baby, vaccines, parenting styles, and life. Very grateful for good friends. 

Well that is a boring little update about us!  July can just keep moseying along because we love these summer days.  Yesterday (7/29) marked exactly one month until Baby Decker is due.  That is SO wild!  

Every word of God is flawless;
    he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 30:5

Saturday, July 25, 2015


I don't think I could ever capture just how relieved, thankful, and excited I am to have passed the NCLEX!!!  

That beastly test is no joke.  I studied hours and hours for it, making it my "full time job" for weeks to assure I passed.  You can take it again if you fail, but with a baby on the way (plus all the hard work I put in) once would be enough.  I took my test Tuesday morning and to be honest the testing experience was must harder than I thought it would be.

The NCLEX is a computer adapted test so it "reads" you as you test.  If you get a question right, you get subsequently more difficult questions.  If you get one wrong, you get easier (which is bad overall).  You want the hard questions to prove you are above a competency line the test makers set, but it's hard to really tell between higher level questions and if you're just an unprepared idiot.  

I finished my test in about 1.5 hours from check in to check out with 1 potty break.  I did get the minimum number of questions required, 75, which was an absolute gift in and of itself!  I left that testing center though just sick and so worried.  I was CONVINCED I failed.

I called Ryan right away and he talked me down and then called my friend Nylah who also reassured me.  Then I called and texted lots of other friends and family but I just couldn't get over my anxiety and feeling like I just bombed it (P.S. most people walk out of the NCLEX feeling like that so I'm not a totally crazy loon).

Results wouldn't be posted until Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. and let me just tell you that day wait...was ugly.  I wasn't a mean stressed out person, but I was so on edge and absolutely unraveled.  Ryan said that he had seen me deal with his surgeries, sickness, hospitalizations, the stress of nursing school, and more but never ONCE had me seen me like this.  HA!

Wednesday was a lot of laying in bed just being exhausted from studying and wiped from the stress hormones.  The doodles kept me company during my frequent naps.

They look like baby bunnies

All that to say, Ryan and I each checked the website where results are posted probably 50 times between the two of us all morning waiting.  Finally, it posted and I was able to see that I PASSED!

I talked to every friend and family member expcept Ryan over the next hour.  He was stuck in a big meeting but I did call him first so it's the thought that counts.  Phew!  Just had to word dump that whole story because I am so proud of my accomplishment, so beyond thrilled, and I survived the NCLEX stress.

It is official...Carly Decker BSN, RN.  What's up!?!?

The Lord made my brain so capable, I had TONS of prayers being prayed, and such a strong support network behind me.  The gratitude I have been feeling is overwhelming.  Nylah and I would text back and forth, "God brought us this far in nursing, He will bring us through this."  Amen!

To finally see this on my screen was such a relief

In other news...

We did hike last weekend to take a morning off from studying.  That was such a good idea.  I would encourage any nursing student reading this to make sure you have good study breaks when prepping for the NCLEX.  I did 4-7 hours per day/5 days a week and never longer than 50 minute increments at a time.  And you will need breaks.

Anyway, we have gorgeous trails here in Golden and can be on a nice hike after a 10 minute car ride.  We did about 2 miles and the doodles were thrilled with the new smells and sites.

A gorgeous trail

Two very obedient doodles who were overall fairly well behaved given the excitement of a new area

Also, we used our fire pit the other night and had a blast sitting outside late into the night.  We had s'mores and milk, talked life, and stayed up late.  The doodles chased bugs and were curious about the fire, it was a perfect night.

Also, always make your s'mores with Reese's instead of plain chocolate.  You can thank us later.

Now that I am finished studying and officially an RN...I can relax!  We have anywhere from 5-7 weeks before Baby Decker arrives which feels amazing.  Just the other day we were talking about how perfect God's timing has been with pregnancy in relation to graduation and test taking.

It couldn't have been better orchestrated.  I'll fill my days now with baby prep, people, being healthy for baby, and running our home.

Ryan is busy with a million exciting things at work, a concrete project to prevent drainage problem, weekly frisbee team, and taking care of his pregnant wife.

Our season of life is full and we are so thankful!

My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right

Proverbs 23:15-16


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