happy birthday griffin

For Griffin’s birthday we whipped out the stashes and combed over the hair to celebrate our Little Man turning one! I know it’s so cliche to say it but time really does fly! I can’t believe a year has passed. I had so much fun putting together little things for his birthday. I spent the whole day before in the kitchen whipping up mustache treats and working on his birthday board. My aunt yet again made the smash cake after we looked through some ideas on Pinterest. For the party favors I filled little treats bags with stache kisses and mustache buttons that I found on etsy. The fantastic quilt was made by my friend Christina. And a mustache pillow was made by my other friend Brooke. I am a huge advocate of homemade gifts 🙂










happy birthday griffin

a day to remember :)


The Lil Man of the day.  Griffin was baptized July 27, 2013 after the 5:30 pm mass.  It was a great evening at St. John the Evangelist and we even had some background music as we shared a dinner in the courtyard (courtesy of NUVO on Georgia). WARNING: this post is picture heavy.

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Griffin with his godparents my brother Dominick and his girlfriend Kristen.DSC_0038 DSC_0039 DSC_0040 DSC_0041 DSC_0043 DSC_0044


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Baby Ayla with NeNe and Fr. Rick photobombing in the background.DSC_0057

And finally some shots of us with his grandparents and some family pictures.DSC_0058 DSC_0061 DSC_0064All in all it was a beautiful evening with family. The kids were starving and getting cranky, the music was blaring, and it was chilly for a July evening. 🙂

a day to remember :)


Coming out of the fog of lack of sleep and pain medicine I think I am finally able to make it a few minutes to share our newest arrival.  Here he is Griffin John Nguyen Schnell born May 24, 2013 at 10:43 am. Measuring 6 lbs. 9.5 oz. and 19.75 in.


Where do I even begin… we knew the day long before it seemed possible and even then as it got closer I became more and more anxious about the surgery. If you remember my dream of a natural birth here turned into a very long day and something that at first I thought was disappointing but later knew that it was perfect for us.

Let me back track a bit I am a planner and a list maker and for weeks before his arrival I had made lists and plans and tackled a lot of things I wanted to to accomplish before I knew my time would be limited. So when the day before came and I had yet to see the Hubs take care of his share of list I became cranky and started to nag because I knew I wouldn’t feel “right” until everything was done and in its place. The night before I lay in bed, then got out of bed, then lay in bed, then out… I just couldn’t get comfortable and my mind just wasn’t able to settle down. I knew that I needed to get some rest because the next day even though we knew when the arrival would happen would most probably be long. Finally into bed and it felt like I had only been there two minutes before the alarm went off.

We headed to Nene’s (my mom’s) house to drop Archer off in the morning. My sister (Amanda) was going to watch the girls while my mom worked part of the day and then headed to the hospital. We arrived early and met the nurse that would be spending the rest of the day with us. After checking in and heading to our to be prepped all we could do was wait. I made sure the Hubs took one last picture of me pregnant as we did with Archer.


This is where the story takes a downward spiral (for the planner like me) because we were on time even early and now all we needed was to be monitored and for my fluids to get in. Well the nurse tried she really did and I warned her even but it took three tries for them to finally to get an IV started and even then they couldn’t use it for my blood draws so I had to get stuck twice more before the day was through. Once the IV was in things started to go quickly as they wanted me prepped and ready when Dr. Asdell arrived. Off we were to the OR where the numbing took place and all the other fun details. When all was set up they brought in the Hubs and began to get to work. I made a request to be able to see the surgery and they were able to maneuver the light so I could see in the reflection and know what was going on. My doc is a wonderful and talked me through the whole thing. And here is where the story turns into something that makes me appreciate life just a little bit more.

Once they had me opened up (which is totally cool by the way since they use a flexible retractor) they were able to see that getting this little man was no easy task. Thinking back to my last appointment my doc had guessed that he would be about 8 lbs., from the way I was carrying him and also based on our other pregnancy. Well they soon found out that this man was going to be easy (just like his sister) and be all the way up in my ribs.  We had thought his head was down and that he had dropped some time before but that wasn’t the case. She had to use a vacuum (called a Kiwi) to pull him down in order to get him out. Now I have always thought about horror stories when I hear about those being used in birth, but literally it took less than a minute. They popped his little body over the screen (but the Hubs wouldn’t take a pic of that) and announced that he was a tiny little one at 6 lbs. 9.5 oz. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and neither could Tyler. He had his eyes open and was only calmed when he was near one of us.

This is where the story takes another turn as this part should be part of the surgery where I am just focusing on my new little buddy, but I started to feel sick and was having trouble breathing so they gave me oxygen. Things were taking longer and I remember someone asking for a towel because my blood was pouring onto the floor. My doc quickly spoke to me how they were having trouble sewing my uterus shut and that there would be a lot of pressure. Time seemed to stand still for me and later I found out that it was 45 mins or more. And the craziness didn’t stop there… this week has been full of ups and downs with my health and pushing me to the limit of my sanity. But also with the overwhelming joy, happiness, and love knowing that my family is complete. Such a blessing.




Archer wasn’t so sure how she felt about all of it at first. She took a look a me in the hospital bed and was very confused.  But when she saw him she said baby and wanted to be able to touch him. She was very tired the first day that she met. Now that we are home she has been a great help. Getting things for him, kissing him, being very quiet when we are napping. I’m not going to say that everything is peachy keen but it sure has taken a lot of my fears and anxiety away to see how much she loves him already. It’s been great having the Hubs home to be with the family and help out. He has taken her on trips alone(zoo, bike rides, park, to work, the store) during the week and allowed me to hang out with her.




To be continued… surviving with two