Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve.

I was off work starting on Thursday and that night we got to go on our helicopter Christmas lights tour! Kaden had even more fun than I'd hoped and if he was afraid (tight grip and all), he never showed it one bit. He was so brave and climbed right up in that seat and got his headset on without a single problem. He held my hand (quite tightly) the entire ride, but was chatting and excited the entire trip. Sadly, we thought we got the whole thing on video, but when we got back to the car, Stu realized he had it on standby and not on record, so we only got a little like ten second clip. But we have the memories and a single great pic of Kaden ready to take off with his headset on, so that will do! :) He keeps asking if he can go back on the helicopter, so hopefully we will be able to do it again... maybe next year, :)

Tonight, we took the kids out to dinner at Red Lobster and they were little angels. Jackson busied himself with his book and laying on the seat beside me to eat his bottle, and Kaden colored and read the appetizer menu. I love that I feel comfortable and confident taking my kids out in public because I know they will almost always be so good. We had planned it perfectly for right after nap for both of them, so Jackson didn't even get grumpy until we were on the way home from a Wal-Mart stop after we ate. It was great!

We are just so thrilled for Santa to come tonight! Kaden is at the perfect age for wonder and amazement and his questions just thrill me to the core. I love sharing his glee and reliving my own excitement I felt as a child for Santa's impending arrival. Even thought he's been in bed for over an hour, if he's anything like me, he is still awake thinking about Santa and if the reindeer will like the carrots we left for them. My sweet little guys.
Tomorrow we will begin our day with gifts and a breakfast casserole I put together tonight (WAY easier than making breakfast! :)) and then we will end it at Aunt Marcia and Uncle Deven's for dinner and presents. I never thought I could love Christmas anymore... then suddenly I found myself the parent of a 3-year-old.

May your Christmas be as full as ours!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

20 Years.

What a great day yesterday was! I got to go to a surprise party for my former boss, who has been with the AG's office for 20 years now! I think it is awesome that such a dedicated attorney would stay for so many years in civil service, when he could easily go off and make 3 or 4 (or more) times what he makes at the state if he went with a private firm. But that's just the kind of guy he is, moral to the core. It was so nice to get to see all of my old coworkers and get a tour of their new office, which is so much newer and cleaner feeling than the basement we used to be stuffed into. I also got a chance to catch up with my favorite people from that office and exchanged promises to get together. :)

Then, when I got home from that, I made breakfast sandwiches for dinner (take THAT McDonald's!) and then we all got bundled up and headed out for a drive to look at Christmas lights. Last year Kaden was pretty confused and was mostly just tired, but this year he was so excited and kept saying, "On my side now!"... "Now on Mom's side!" when we would pass good houses. It was a blast. Jackson snoozed for most of it and then woke up just in time to go home, without too much fussing. So all-in-all, a very successful lights-seeing night. :)

Because it isn't a secret anymore (thanks, Deven's drugs! lol), I might as well divulge that one of Stu and Kaden's presents this year from Mommy is a helicopter Christmas lights tour! We are going tomorrow night and I am so excited to take my little buddy on his first (and Mommy and Daddy's first also) helicopter ride! I am really hoping he doesn't freak out and that we all have a great time, because it sounds so freaking cool! Lol.

After Christmas lights we finished our evening cuddling for a bit on the couch, me indulging in some gifted homemade Kahlua and milk. Yummmm.

Tonight is the MAACO bowl and I am so excited to watch my Broncos take on the Utes! Go! Orange! Go Big Blue! Fight! Fight! B-S-U!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekend Bliss!

WHAT an amazing weekend we had! Mimi and Papa surprised us by flying into town without notice so we got to spend the whole weekend with them and Marcia and Deven (and Company) making cookies, eating, hanging out and laughing. It was great, and definitely worth the surprise!

Saturday morning I woke up to Stu telling me Marcia wanted us to head over the make cookies before it got too late and Kaden needed to nap and that she was going to make breakfast items, so I got up and got dressed and we headed over. Marcia told Kaden that there was a surprise upstairs and that he should go get it and bring it down to us. He readily agreed and I guessed that they had gotten us something Christmas-y, like one of those blow-up lawn ornaments or something and his squeal of delight made me imagine they had already blown it up upstairs. Instead, down he comes with Mimi and Papa in tow! I was so excited and felt instant relief because I'd been fretting over the fact that we wouldn't be able to see them for several more months and Jackson and Kaden just keep growing so fast, so I did the only rational thing... I cried like a baby! :)

We spent the whole weekend just having so much fun that of course it went by WAY too fast, but was so nice. Kaden found out that his great grandpa is SANTA and he was soooo excited! We got to take pictures with a Santa that they know and love, so we didn't get any of those terrified kid pics, which is nice. Haha.

I also got to finish my Christmas shopping this weekend with Marcia and Mimi which is infinitely better than alone, though the crowds were nuts and exhausting. It was too bad they had to leave so quickly, but I am so glad they came! Here are some pics from the weekend.

Jackson showing off Grandad's skillz in the crib he made for Kaden.
Papa and Jackson looking at each other during meal time.
Kisses for Papa! Sweet baby.
Kaden and Jackson on the only REAL Santa's lap.
Jackson and Mimi share a sweet moment together.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Working..... out.

I have had a really hard time losing the baby weight this time around and I think that is partly because it has only been 4 months and partly because I. HAVE. NO. TIME.
The last 4 months have consisted of me working full time, going to school, and then rushing home to eat and hang out with my kids for a little while before they have to go to bed, and then the next day we did it all over again. Now that school is officially over as of Tuesday, I am able to come home right from work and not have to worry about homework deadlines or upcoming tests, so I can just be with my boys. But that also means that I have no more excuses to avoid working out...

...That STILL doesn't mean that I have any motivation to. I got on the elliptical last night and after about 5 minutes I thought I might actually have a heart attack and die in my kids' playroom. But, alas, I survived and today, I feel sore, but good. So maybe I can put this into my routine without too much grief. :) Still doesn't mean I WANT to.

I mean, let's be honest, would YOU want to waste your time working out if you had these faces to play with as an alternative???

I didn't think so.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Damn you, Facebook!

Ok, so I have recently gotten back in touch with a few people I haven't talked to in years and one of them mentioned that they "still read your blog" and I felt so bad! What a horrible blogger I have become! So I am going to try to blog every day for a while (we'll see how it goes). Even if it is just something simple, because the reason I stopped blogging is both that I post everything anyone would ever want to know on Facebook (and the photo upload time is shorter) and because I always feel like I don't have enough to say to warrant opening up a whole new blog. So I just don't. And that makes me lame. SO I am really going to try to get better again! So daily blogging until I can get back into the hang of it again!

Today I have my math final and I am terrified. Suddenly my math teacher completely changed the way he was grading (as evidenced by my test scores going from a 91 and 100%s to 60 and 65s). My final is worth 20% of my grade and this should be the last math class I ever have to take (provided that I don't change my major again). I have to score above a 50% to pass the class, but after the last two tests, that seems up in the air. I have no idea what the test will cover because he refused to go over it with us. I just feel like my hands are really tied AND I am pissed that my GPA is going to be affected because some douchebag* with tenure is having an end-life crisis (it can't be mid-life unless he's an elf because he is like 400 years old).

I am also turning in my Ed-CIFS final today (my teacher was MIA yesterday, even though I've had it done for days) so after 3 PM I am DONE with this semester! (And will have no real reason NOT to blog then, see??? :))

Anyway, Jackson is growing like a weed and is a big boy 4-month-old now and just cut his first tooth this past weekend. Kaden is my little intuitive genius and has a huge heart. I just love watching him grow and develop. We ALL can't wait for Christmas... stay tuned for some surprises coming up soon!

*(And no, spellchecker, douchebag is spelled correctly.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

End of Summer.

He have had such a great summer and I am so sad to see it go. Most recently we went to a kickass wedding, the play The Woman in Black (totally freaky), and watched Bronco Football. :) Here are some recent pics from the Fox Household:

Mommy and Daddy out with grown-ups!

Mommy and Jackson enjoying some quiet time.

Kaden painting at Art in the Park.

Jack-Jack showing off his bling-bling.

Chillin' in Mommy and Daddy's bed!

Cyber Parenting.

I know what a bad blogger I am, but it isn't that I forget to blog. It's that I REALLY have nothing worth blogging about! I open a blank blogger page every so often, but then I just sit there and stare at it. I don't want to blog nonsense, so I figured I'd wait until I had something more than, "I love my kids! Now here's some pics of them!" to say. And I found it. :)

My aunt posted a blog about Parenting By Text, which I found both profoundly amusing (remembering the days my own Mom used to scream for one of us and we'd come running) and also eerily foreboding. "Is this a peek into my future???" I would be kidding myself if I didn't acknowledge that in this day and age, I too will be texting my boys to see where they are, or asking them to complete a chore. Heck, I do it already with my husband. And I am definitely guilty of texting someone in the same room I'm in, if what I have to say isn't polite for mixed company. But it's just odd how much things have changed in just 10 years or so.

And I'm also deeply grateful for technology because each day I can watch my boys via webcam while I am at work. I minimize the webcam screen and carry on with work, but when I miss them or wonder what they are up to, instead of having to guess, I can pull the screen back up and see for myself. :) This morning I got to watch Kaden working on his preschool (the letter E!) and Jackson cry, rock in his bouncy chair, and eat. I love technology.

Kaden working on the Letter E.

Jackson snuggling with Daddy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Preschool and Haircut

After seeing how expensive preschool is here and the waiting lists associated with the good ones, Stu and I decided to start "homeschooling" Kaden. Here he is learning his ABCs! :)

Oh. I also wanted to mention how hard it is going from the roll of just "Mom" for 6 weeks and then getting back into the swing of working again. So, to help my self-esteem, since I was going back to work an only marginally smaller belly than I left with, heh, I got a massive haircut! This is the shortest my hair has been since I was 19 and lived with Mimi and Papa! :) It also meant that there was a LOT of hair on the floor after the haircut with as thick as my hair is. So I had to take some pics. :)

But it didn't go to waste, there is an organization that takes old hair and makes mats out of them that soak up the spilled oil in the Gulf, so that was pretty cool. My hair went to a good cause at least! :)

And I have actually done my hair and worn it down EVERY day since I got it cut, which was last Thursday, and was definitely a first for me. :) I love it!

And an adorable one of my sweets. :)

Six Weeks Later.

Boy has time flown since Jackson was born! I can't believe it's already been 6 whole weeks since he joined our family! A lot has happened since then too, which should explain why I have continued to be a terrible blogger, but if we’re being honest, the real reason is Facebook. I post everything anyone needs to know there including pictures, so I forget to update here as well. I would like to continue here too so I can look back and read this from time to time like I do of our time in the Middle East.

So let’s do a quick recap: Jackson and I came home the day after he was born and settled into life with two kids. It was easier this time around both because I was up on my feet almost immediately, and because Stu and I were both completely off from work and school for 5 weeks after he was born, so we had ample time to get used to our new life and work out the way we had to adjust.

When Jackson was two weeks old, he took his first airplane ride! He and I flew to Spokane (Coeur d’Alene) while Kaden and Stu (and Jasper) drove up. We flew both because I wasn’t sure how long I could comfortably sit in a car a mere two weeks after blowing out my vagina, and because I wasn’t sure how good of a traveler Jackson would be, so we opted to fly.

He was a perfect angel baby traveler on the flight. He fell asleep right before I left the house and then didn’t wake up until we pulled into the driveway at my Mom’s house! He even slept through me getting him out of and back into his carseat when we went through security. Champ baby. I didn’t know what to do with myself though. I got lunch and listened to my ipod. I was so traumatized after my last flight experience (don't remember? Click here.) that I had expected for the worst and got the best! It was awesome.

We spent two weeks at my Mom and Dad’s house, which was great. The whole family got to come by and meet Jackson and spend time with him and I had plenty of free babysitting! :) We frequented the famous Hudson’s Hamburgers in downtown Boise and took in the beauty of the city. We went hiking with my siblings and out on the boat and of course, the point of the trip, we had the Pig Pickin’. And Jackson got his own “Pig Pickin” onesie just like Kaden’s from Aunt Mo! We all had a great time, but of course had to go home eventually. We got back to Boise on August 18th and then started school the following Monday.

Stuie and I at the Pig Pickin.

Sweet sleepy baby.

Such a proud big brother!

This Monday (a week later), I went back to work and I definitely have mixed feeling about being here. Part of me is glad to have something expected of me every day, but mostly I just find myself missing my babies and wishing I was at home instead.

One thing I have realized is that it is a LOT harder to lose the weight this time around. Last time it kind of fell off fairly easily and I just had to wait for my skin to shrink again. This time, there is still tons of fat and nothing fits. Talk about depressing. Plus I’m up at 6 AM after 2 middle-of-the-night feedings, minimum, then I work until lunch, have class for an hour, work again till 4:30 then have class again till 6. I get home at 6:30 (and that doesn’t count finding time for online class time), rush around eating, getting stuff ready for the next day, packing lunch, etc., then finally try to relax and enjoy time with my boys before I rush off to bed around 10 and do it all over again. It’s super tiring, when in the world am I supposed to work out too? Ugh. So we’ll have to wait and see how this weight-loss thing goes.

Anyway, that’s about it from us. Now that we are working/school every day, we’re not doing a whole lot, but eventually this semester will be over too and we’ll have that many more credits under our belts. Slow progress is still progress. :)

Me and my pretty baby. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jackson William's Birth Story

I have been waiting so long to write this post! I have even imagined what my own personal outcome would have been and “written” it in my head a hundred times. Now, I am so happy to say, I get to write my real story.

Jackson’s birth story actually begins with his older brother’s. During my first pregnancy, I was more interested in what was happening inside of me, with my growing baby, than with how he would come out. I didn’t know it was something I needed to learn about. I thought babies were just born and that was that. I now know it’s a lot more complicated than that, and after agreeing to be induced with Kaden, (ultimately a failed induction) each intervention from artificial rupture of membranes to internal monitors, to Pitocin, and eventually to a c-section for fetal distress, all could possibly have been avoided with a little more knowledge going in.

So when I got pregnant with Jackson I knew I wanted to VBAC. My mom had VBACed 3 babies after she’d had me my c-section, I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Then I started researching and talking to people, and I realized the concept of VBAC was a lot more foreign than I expected. After reading countless books (probably 15) and making my poor husband watch DVDs and read birth stories, not only had I become convinced that I wanted to VBAC, but I’d become an advocate for it in general. So many people I talked to were completely ignorant about the risks of VBAC. I heard more than once things like, “My doctor wants me to have a repeat c-section because I could die in a VBAC attempt” (not true, sometimes babies die in VBAC attempt, there are no statistics about maternal death rate associated with VBAC… moms die on the operating table) and “I’ve had 2 c-sections so I can’t have a VBAC now”.

Then I hit the 40 week mark in my pregnancy. I never really thought I would go to 40 weeks, honestly. I had polyhydramnios, which basically just means too much amniotic fluid, and I guess I just assumed I would (quite literally) pop before then. But 40 weeks I hit and my doctor, while still supportive of VBAC, said at 41 weeks we would need to start induction options. Surely I wouldn’t get to 41 weeks.

Thursday, July 15th

I got checked and had a membrane sweep done. I was 2 cm and 75% effaced, -2 station. After having tried EVERY means of getting him out on my own, including every hare-brained idea anyone threw at me (Castor oil three times, eggplant Parmesan twice, walking for miles, sex as often as possible, nipple stimulation, red raspberry leaf tea since 30 weeks, evening primrose oil since 34 weeks, etc), I was really hoping the membrane sweep would work wonders and I’d have my baby soon.

Saturday, July 17th

Kaden’s birthday was July 21st and since it looked like this baby might actually gestate forever, I decided to go ahead and plan his birthday party, and then if it needed to be moved, we’d move it. (Really, I was hoping Murphy’s law would force me to cancel it and we could have a baby instead.) So we had friends over and celebrated my little man become a big boy 3-year-old. I had been having contractions for at least a week, including several hours’ worth after the Castor oil attempts, but they would all eventually peter out in the wee hours of the morning and I would pass out from exhaustion and start the day again.

I talked with my doctor again and we agreed to an early morning induction with Pitocin at a 1 to see if anything could be jump started. I was adamant that I wanted to keep my waters intact and try no other forms of induction if this one didn’t work. My doc agreed that if after several hours nothing was happening, we’d just go home and try again another day.

Sunday, July 18th

Stu woke me up at 6:30 after I’d managed to set my alarm wrong and overslept my a half-hour, so I didn’t have time to worry or fret before going to the hospital because we were rushing around trying to get out of the door and make it on time. We got there at 7:06 am, which was pretty good for being so late getting up, and we got right in and got my IV placed and hooked up the external monitors.

My nurse, Kelly, was amazing and a Natural Childbirth advocate, as requested in my birth plan. She told me about her 3 kids’ labors (one drug-free, one an epidural delivery, and the last a c-section) and she completely understood why I wanted a VBAC. In all of my research, I’d quickly realized that the best chance of achieving a VBAC was to do so as drug-and-intervention-free as possible, so my birth plan was pretty simple, “stay away from me.” Kelly checked me before starting the Pit and I was about the same as the last check in the doctor’s office.

We had agreed to go up by 1 increment every half hour until I had a good contraction pattern going and then try turning it off to see if my body would take over on it’s own. When I was at 2 units the contractions really started to pick up and I could tell they were finally consistent and by 3 units I needed Stu’s help to feel comfortable through them. He was pushing on my hips through them and that felt amazing.

At around 10 am, I felt a contraction starting and I told Stu to “come push” on my hips and as soon as he started pressing, I felt and heard this huge POP and suddenly water was rushing down my legs. I started laughing and said, “You just broke my water!” We called the nurse to let her know and we all had a good laugh every time she would tell another new person that “her husband broke her water at about 10 am.”

My Mom arrived sometime around 11 and contractions had really started to get more intense. Jackson’s heartrate was not looking as good as they like to see, he was having some late decels after contractions, and no accelerations at all. Kelly said this was because my placenta was just done and the baby needed to come out, hopefully sooner than later. We turned off the Pitocin at this point and it never went back on.

I labored for the next few hours making slow progress from 4-6 cm. I utilized the jacuzzi tub, which was wonderful except that I couldn’t sit on my butt during contractions so my knees and legs got sore pretty quickly. Then getting out of the tub sucked because suddenly my heavy belly was my burden once again without he benefit of the water helping it float.

I got back to my room and alternated between hands and knees over the back of the bed, side-lying with modified squats, and standing up leaning on the bed (this and over the back of the bed were my favorites). But Jackson kept having heartrate decels and by the time I hit 7 cm, I was just DONE with dealing with the pain combined with nurses and the hospitalist (OB) telling me I needed to get an internal fetal scalp electrode monitor on my baby because they couldn’t tell how healthy he was. All I heard, while trying to deal with the pain is, “This is the first step in the interventions that are going to ultimately lead to you getting cut open again.” I felt like my body was a failure, my dreams of holding my goopy baby on my chest were dashed, and also that something really may be wrong with my baby and that if I refused the monitor, I might be saying, “ a vaginal delivery is more important to me than a healthy baby.” My doctor is a family practitioner, and more calm and collected than your typical OB and he was arguing with her about whether we could wait. She was a raging bitch and said that if we were refusing now, we needed to signed an informed refusal, and Stu told them to go get it. After 10 people were in my room, stressing me out, and also that nagging worry about my baby, I finally relented and got the internal monitor.

When I got checked again, I was still at about a 7 and I just couldn’t deal with the pain anymore, so I asked for (demanded) the epidural. Poor Stu, who had been listening to me preach for months about how I wanted a drug-free birth was not as easy to convince that I REALLY wanted the drugs, lol. Poor guy. He didn’t want me to be mad at him later for letting me give in. But I knew then, like I know now, that going drug-free was never about being a crunchy hear-me-roar she-woman, it was about increasing the chances of having a safe, healthy VBAC. With as much pain as I was in, I doubted that it was healthy for either me or my baby at that point and I figured being able to relax some would help my body open up those last few centimeters and have my baby.

Actually getting the epidural was Hell. I had to hold still during some seriously horrible contractions, and wondered why in God’s name I hadn’t asked for it when they were still just this side of manageable. But it got placed and I finally got some relief. It was a perfect epi too, because I could still feel my whole body and I could get up and move around on the bed (hands and knees again was my favorite and what the baby’s heartrate preferred too, so I was there a LOT), but I could finally get some relief of the pain.

I got checked and was at a “stretchy 8” with one side of my cervix completely gone and the other side “a little puffy”. Jackson’s heartrate never really liked my contractions at all, and at this point, about 16 hours into labor, we just really needed to get things moving. So I agreed to an internal contraction monitor (at that point my birth plan was so far gone, and I already had so many things up there, I figured, what’s one more wire?). The contractions proved to be good and strong and eventually I got to 10 cm and was ready to push.

Now, everyone had been telling me that pushing was better than just contractions because, “you actually get to do something” and that it didn’t hurt as bad because you were working with your body to make progress. They were liars. Pushing was the most painful part of the whole ordeal for me. Every single urge to push was evil, evil holy-shit pain. I started pushing at about 1 am and wasn’t making as good of progress as my doctor had hoped. (That’s because it hurt like a bitch and the epi couldn’t even touch it, so I think I was fighting my body and holding back some when I was pushing). But about an hour into it, doctor Shappard called the hospitalist in for a consultation (who was mercifully a NEW doctor by that time, one who got along great with my doc, and wasn’t prone to rash decisions) and I heard them say, “possible vacuum extraction” and that got my attention. I could hear, as well as anyone else could see, that the fetal heartrate was getting worse with each push and as he descended, his heartrate was worse and wasn’t recovering. Once again I panicked and had visions of having made it this far, about 20 hours of labor, only to end up in another emergency c-section. So with every contraction, I pushed my very hardest. Stu was yelling at me, my Mom was saying she could see his head, and Kristin was holding my hand (poor girl probably had bruises) and eventually with as much effort as I could possibly give, his head came out. A tiny push later and I felt his whole body slither out. What a strange and cool feeling! He was immediately placed on my belly, but he had a tight nuchal cord around his neck and body, without enough slack, so I held him under his arms and back toward my doctor so he could get the cord off his neck. Stu cut the cord pretty quickly, but because he had passed meconium and with the nuchal cord, the NICU team was there to assess him. They had to work a little bit to get him to breathe, but eventually I got my baby back while my doc stitched me up (also Hell).

It turned out that in addition to the tight nuchal cord, his head was also presenting transverse, and in a different direction than his body, so that’s what made getting him out so hard. I ended up with a third degree perineal tear and a couple of skid marks, so the repair took quite a bit of time. I got to hold my baby though and it was so awesome because when they brought him to me he was crying and I said, “Don’t cry, baby, Mommy’s here.” And he immediately stopped crying and looked around until he found me and then just stared at me while I talked to him. It was like he really knew who I was and was comforted by just my voice.

Jackson and Dr. Shappard

He was born at 3:13 am and weighed in at 6 pounds, 7 ounces, 20 inches long. After the excitement of getting to meet him died down I realized, “Oh my God, I just got my VBAC!” I was up to go to the bathroom within an hour of having him (I wasn’t up for the first 2 days after my c-section) and we were released from the hospital on Tuesday morning. While recovering has still certainly been a challenge, I am doing things I couldn’t do after WEEKS after my c-section. My downstairs DOES hurt and I have been using ice packs like they’re going out of style, but there is really no comparison to the recovery from major abdominal surgery.

My wonderful husband was the best support I could have asked for. He was there with me every single minute I needed him to be and was encouraging and sweet throughout the whole process. (He was even polite to the nurses and doctors, which I never expected, lol). He got me a ring that has two hearts and my boys’ birthstones, and a necklace that has two hearts to signify my boys. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bad Blogger :(

I seriously doubt anyone even reads this anymore! I can't believe I haven't blogged since APRIL! Sheesh. And here I thought I'd keep on blogging just as frequently when I was back in the States. Fail.

Anyway, it is definitely high time for an update then, huh?
Let's see, what has been going on since April? We might as well start with a photo montage because not only have I not blogged in months, but this blog hasn't included pictures in even longer.

Mommy and Kaden seesawed. :)

We took the kids to the zoo.

Our backyard flooded and we got a temporary pond (with ducks!)

My Dad and Maddison came down to Boise for a race weekend and we got to go see her. Kaden thought she was awesome and we all had a great time.

Then, Kaden, Stu and I drove over to Seattle for Memorial Day Weekend, which was pretty great except that it rained the whole time we were there (but it was Seattle, so it gets a pass :)).

Mo and Co. threw a baby shower for me, which was so great because I got to see so many people from my childhood (and their now-adult children!). We really enjoyed it.

Stu had never been to Seattle, so we had to do the typical tourist things like Pike Place Market, which was super crowded, and we also took the ferry over the Bremerton with Mimi and Papa and that was a freaking blast. We saw an old Navy ship while Kaden hung out with Mimi and Papa at the street fair and then we all ate lunch at Anthony's, which was the best seafood I've had in a long time. Afterwards, Kaden and Papa were pooped. :)
Me on the ferry on the way to Bremerton with Seattle's skyline in the background.

Stu on the top bunk of one of the beds on the ship.

Sleepy sleepy Papa and Kaden. :)

As far as current events go, I had my baby shower in June, courtesy of the wonderful Miss Kristin, and it was awesome. It was so nice to see so many people come out to support us and our new little Nugget. We still haven't picked a name for this one, but we feel confident that when we meet him, we'll finally be able to settle on the right one (this is me using positive thinking... it's our last-ditch effort to find a freaking name, and if we still don't have one then, "Nugget" is going on the birth certificate and he can name himself later. :))

Other than that, we've just been trying to stay busy as these last few weeks of pregnancy sure can be slow. It's been getting pretty nice here lately and we're trying to enjoy the weather, and having only one child, as much as we can. I can't believe in just a few short weeks my baby is going to be a big brother and we are going to be a family of 4!! :)

So here is one for the road... my latest belly shot, taken yesterday right at 38 weeks. :) Everything is looking good and we are both very healthy, so we're just waiting for him to decide he's done incubating so we can meet him!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Canada Says: Vaginal Birth Better for Breech Babies.

I am pretty sure only Sarah will care about this as much as I do, but this is a great step in the right direction for normal childbirth and eliminating unnecessary c-sections.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ultrasound # 4

The results came back good! We're back to normal levels of fluid in there and Bump looks healthy as usual. The only slightly weird thing was that last night around 1 AM I started having contractions (not Braxton Hicks for those who have been prego before and know the difference). They kept waking me up and were quite uncomfortable. I had them all morning too and of course, right before my appointment, they magically disappeared. Lol. She said she could see some light effacement of my cervix, but to keep an eye on them and if they get bad again, I'll just have to come back in and we'll worry about it then. I'm 28 weeks now, so even just a few more weeks would be great and then if he really wanted to come, he could without much worry. But not quite yet. :)

I have a follow-up Ultrasound in another 3 weeks to check the fluid levels again, but hopefully if they are good then, we'll be good to go for the rest of the pregnancy. :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Car Accident and Easter Weekend.

Alright, so I figured I'd better post here before I don't want to anymore. For those who have somehow not heard, Stu, Kaden and I got into a car accident on Wednesday of last week. We had just finished eating dinner and Kaden was a really good boy and ate all of his vegetables so we decided to go get ice cream real quick at Dairy Queen. Kaden wanted to take "Aunt Mommy's Car" (yeah, apparently we have had too many aunts around lately, as I've suddenly become one, lol) but I wasn't feeling like it and Daddy wanted to drive so we opted to take his truck instead (thank God).

We were barely a block from our house when, a few cars a ahead of us, a person was waiting to turn left across rush-hour traffic so we all came to a stop. Suddenly there was this screeching noise of brakes behind us and then "BOOM!" A guy in a three-quarter-ton suburban behind us decided NOT to brake and to plow right into us, sending us into the car in front of us, and them into the car in front of them. The guy ahead of THAT car was the one waiting to turn and he pulled off to call 911.

Wrecks are crazy. It's like your brain is on super speed because I remember EVERY detail so oddly clearly. I remember putting my hands out in front of me when I hit the dash and that I was turning my head toward the noise when he hit us (making for some KILLER whiplash a few days later, ugh). But mostly, as SOON as it happened, I turned around as fast as I could and all but shrieked, "ARE YOU OK?" to Kaden. That, of course, DID freak him out, and he started crying. I whipped off my seatbelt and jumped out to get in the back with him and check him out.

At that point, the driver of the suburban tried to jump out and talk to Stu, apologizing and saying he didn't know what happened, etc. And Stu said, "Not right now, dude. I have a kid and my wife in the car." Then he came around to my side as I opened Kaden's door to check on him (I was already crying) and he said, "Oh my God, and you're pregnant!" I jumped in back and looked at Kaden and by that time he had calmed down from Mommy's freak out and I realized he was okay, so I think my mind took over and did a mental inventory and suddenly realized I didn't feel quite right. I started shaking from the adrenaline and then started crying even harder. From the time we lived in Abu Dhabi, getting into a wreck with Kaden has ALWAYS been my worst fear. I kept thinking things like, "We almost took my Prius." And imagining what such a vehicle would have done to MY car and my baby, who was closest to the impact. (I freak out a little more.) Then I thought, "Poor truck." We've only had it for three months, and what a good little truck, the crumple zones worked perfectly and we were all okay as a result. Stu came over to me and convinced me to sit back in the truck since I was shaking really bad and I kept saying I didn't feel right.

That's about when the contractions started and I started to evaluate what had just happened. I was just hit by a vehicle going about 40 mph and slammed into another vehicle. Imagining what that had to look like inside my body, I realized that most of the force of the wreck was across my lower abdomen where my seatbelt had kept me in my seat, but where I had a bruise on my leg from it smacking into the dash along with my hands. So my growing baby took most of the force. Great. Before I had too long to process this, the ambulance arrived and Kaden told me "Iss ok, Mommy. Be happy." Sweet boy. Everyone agreed that the safest place for me at that point was in the hospital, where they could check on my and my baby and make sure all is well.

Marcia got there just as we were about to leave and rode with me in the ambulance while Stu and Kaden came in Deven's car. Talk about a long and bumpy ride! I can't imagine having a severed limb, or some sort of ailment where jarring movements would be painful, and having to take that ride.

We got there and I got hammered with questions about the wreck while they took my vitals and then the bitchy nurse stabbed me with a saline lock. Luckily, we got there right around shift change and by the time I got back from getting x-rays done, I had a new, wonderful nurse who said he could draw my blood from my IV and not have to stick me again. I could have kissed him. He was right, bless him, and got enough of my blood (like 3 gallons!) that the waiting phlebotomist just had to take it and be on his merry way (which means we got along great).

All along they kept telling me that as soon as I was checked out, they would get me up to labor and delivery, where I might possibly be kept for 4-6 hours of observation. At LEAST two hours later (I will spare you my experience) I finally made it up to L&D where I knew they'd want me to give them a urine sample. I waddled my way into the bathroom to finally be relieved when Stu announced that my dreams of a 4 hours observation were severely dashed. I came out to meet the wonderful Dr. Kilpatrick who informed me that with a wreck going that fast and with contractions and light bleeding, my butt wasn't going anywhere for at least 24 hours, possibly more. Ugh.

So we got a hold of Marcia and I got to direct her around my house over the phone describing where to find such necessities as my toothbrush and my sports bra (a dire need). I had to endure an "exam" (that's all I'll say for those squeamish types, lol) that I think I behaved very well for if I do say so myself. :) And then Stu and I got to watch our second Ultrasound, which was a million times better than the first, even with the circumstances, and she gave us some adorable new pics, including a "money shot" of our boy, which the last tech refused to give us (or even confirm that he WAS a boy).

Marcia arrived with my stuff and Stu had to say goodbye (the un-fun part about having one child at home already... no more overnight stays in the hospital together, lol). I killed time by discussing the merits of VBACs with my nurse and doctor, who informed me that I was "way too connected" when I combated all her "risks" with research. She was great and laughed and stayed with me for a long time before I finally decided I'd better call it a night. My lovely nurse produced an Ambien and I tried to sleep. I ened up getting about 5 hours total, with one interruption to move the doppler that was refusing to pick up my son's heartbeat.

The next day, Dr. Bobrowski, the head of high-risk obstetrics at St. Alphonsus, came in to talk to me about my Ultrasound. She told me I had high amniotic fluid in the Ultrasound they did the night before and that they would be doing another one to check it out. Between that time, I got on Google and did a ton of research and discovered that it is called hydramnios and that typically, fluid levels should be between 5 and 20 centimeters and that anything over 25 is considered high. I was measuring around 30 centimeters. They did another Ultrasound and this time I was measuring around 35. She said if I got to 40, they would be really concerned and that I may have to be admitted FOR THE DURATION OF MY PREGNANCY. Wow.

The interesting thing about hyramnios is that they often don't know why it happens. I asked if the wreck could have caused it and she said it potentially could have because they really don't know. We set to ruling out the other possible causes, which are an Rh blood incompatibility, which could have been plausible because I am A negative and Stu and Kaden are both B positive, so the likelihood that this baby is Rh positive too is quite high. They did a screen that my Mom explained to me using big words, but basically it is where they take 6 slides and make sure there is no baby blood cells along with the Mommy blood cells. So we ruled that out. I got my Rho-gam shot anyway to protect him against my mean blood cells, should any of his blood get in my system.

The other common cause is Gestational Diabetes, but they gave me a glucose tolerance test and my blood work came back fine on that too.

The next is fetal abnormalities, but throughout both Ultrasounds they did a full, detailed anatomy scan of the baby and the doctor told me, "You have a textbook normal baby". So now I go back in a week from then (this Thursday) to have another follow-up Ultrasound done to see if the fluid levels have changed at all. Hopefully nothing ends up being wrong and we can finish this pregnancy without much issue.

I got to go home after Dr. Shappard (MY doctor) gave me the go-ahead, but not before we discovered the big irony of the whole thing. He said his neighbor got in a wreck yesterday and that he was towing his SUBURBAN home while my doctor was outside playing with his kids. Stu asked him if it was blue and Dr. Shappard's eyes bugged out of his head and threw his hands up over his mouth in shock. Stu showed him the picture of the vehicle on his phone and then he confirmed the name of the driver. We all had to crack up about how odd that was. What are the chances of that?

Mimi and Papa had arrived while I was stuck in the hospital so we all got to go out to dinner after I got home and got a very painful shower (trying washing your hair without the ability to tilt your head back to rinse it...). We had a good evening, but what followed was one of the worst nights of sleep in my life. I hurt sooooo bad. I was having sciatica pain as usual, but in addition, I couldn't lift my head off the pillow without physically grabbing it between my hands and lifting it with my arms. Poor Stu, I kept crying out in pain all night long as I tried to get comfortable. His neck ended up being stiff, but nothing like what I was feeling.

Now that it has been a week I am feeling much better. My neck is still sore, as is my back, but hopefully the ultrasound on Thursday will show reduced fluid and we can stop worrying so much about that aspect.

We had a great Easter with so much family here. This was Kaden's first Easter in America and I was really excited to celebrate it with him now that he is old enough to have fun participating in holidays (our last Easter was in Rome and the one before that was in Abu Dhabi). He was a champion at the egg hunts! In addition to Mimi and Papa, Mary-Leah and Jeff came down with their kids and we all had a great time chatting and hanging out and listening to them and their talents. What a bunch of musical kids! Harrison plays the trumpet and sings, Arlie plays the flute, Hayley plays the guitar really well, and she and Hannah kept us all entertained playing and singing around the firepit. Doug drove up too and brought Stu his smoker and we got to have a pork shoulder and 7 racks of ribs. They were soooo good. I could have eaten myself sick if it wasn't Mitch's birthday and there was cake too! :)

On Saturday we went to see Cats. Mo and Jeff and their kids and Stu were all underwhelmed. Jeff quipped, "We're dog people." Lol. I had seen the movie version so I knew what to expect so I enjoyed myself. Though I was still pretty uncomfortable from the wreck and I found myself getting irritable and exhausted about half-way through it. We also got to sit by Aaron, Jo and Maddie and Maddie sang every single word to every song. I was very impressed. :)

So we have had a busy week! And it is actually kind of nice for things to get back to normal now. School started back up this week so we are just back to the typical grindstone. Hope everyone is doing well and had a great Easter!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just Trucking Along.

This past weekend my Mommy was here visiting! Yay for Mommy time! She, as she always does when she comes, helped rearrange my house, cleaned, and reorganized my pantry AND fridge! :) It is so hard to get to those things that need done every so often when I barely have time after work and school to get to the things that need done EVERY DAY, so they always get pushed to the side. Enter Momma E! She bought containers for all my "bagged goods" (I buy most things in bulk so they live in my pantry in the bulk bag until we use them up) and even came up with several frugal ideas I would never have thought of to help things run more smoothly AND save money. Now that, I like!

We had a really great time having her here, Kaden especially. He "made" breakfast with her in the mornings, the first morning making pancakes where he mixed the batter all by himself and then he made eggs, toast, and "coffee" another morning! :) I so miss being home with him during the day. Yesterday I was sitting outside with him (freaking GORGEOUS days we have been having lately!) and he was having a real conversation with me. He is so grown up every day and I am missing it! I hate that. But the positive side is that he makes me laugh so hard at all the new things he says every single day. I always turn to Stu and repeat what he said in excitement/awe and I never stop getting tickled by his expressions.

School is going well. I am holding steady at the A-B range in all my classes (freaking Art History being the pain in the ass class dragging down my average, ugh) and the work is getting easier the more I use my brain on a regular basis. We just finished midterms and I feel pretty confident about how things are looking from here on out.

Work is going along fine too. I find myself busy a lot more often, which helps pass the time, and have been taking advantage of the slow time by doing homework at work so I don't miss anything when I am finally home with my boys.

Pregnancy is going fine too, fast. Except that I have been having quite unbearable sciatica pain. It is getting worse every single day and every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when I walk across campus to my Art History class (the other two are much closer), I start having contractions and more often than not, one or both of my legs will stop working. There is nothing like being the fat pregnant lady on campus who randomly lets out of cry of pain and has to stop dead in her tracks until my legs decide to work again. Ugh. But I have another doctor's appointment tomorrow and hopefully relief will be in sight not too long after that. Tonight we have a prenatal tour at the hospital (I delivered Kaden there but was very unhappy with my experience and I have a LOT more questions this time around, especially with my goals of a Natural Childbirth VBAC... so hopefully I come out of that feeling more encouraged about the care there.) I'm just a few short weeks shy of my third trimester, so it is time to really get ready now. :)

Stu also has been having back pain these past few days. He thinks he slept on it wrong or something but yesterday was having terrible pain and kept wincing (familiarly, lol) throughout the evening. He's like, "I don't know how you deal with this every day." (Trust me, if I had a choice, I wouldn't. lol)

And that's about it for us. The weather has been so awesome and it has been great to sit outside in the sunshine on the super comfy outdoor furniture and enjoy each other. I also love that it has been getting dark so much later too so we have as much evening time as we want before we have to come in.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's a BOY... and a BOY! :)

No, no, I am not having twins, but my sister Justine found out she is also having a boy three days after I found out that we are! :) So that means our parents are going to have 3 grandsons and no granddaughters! This is particularly weird in our family because my brother and my cousin Harrison are the ONLY boys in our generation, so starting out the next generation with all boys is definitely new and exciting for the whole family. :)
Here is our little man! :)

The ultrasound went great and he appears to be healthy and growing right on schedule.

It's a bummer at the same time though because Justine and her new baby will be stuck in Germany until 2013. :( So her baby will be Kaden's age before they can move back to America and we (the family) can have a real relationship with him. That makes me sad since I never really missed much of Justine's life and I wish our little guys could grow up living close to each other and being friends, but that doesn't appear to be in the cards for us.

As far as our busy life goes, it's still going. It's been harder to leave in the mornings lately because Kaden is so vocal and expressive now. He tells me every morning, "Don't go to work Mommy, please!" And it takes everything I have not to cry and just give in to his simple demands and stay home with him. The other morning I said, "But Mommy has to go to work so we can have money to buy food to eat." And he said, "I'll buy money Mommy, it's ok." MELT. My sweet, sweet thoughtful boy. :(

The positive side of being so busy is that this pregnancy is FLYING by. By this time with Kaden I was already sick of being pregnant and just wanted a beer and to sleep without someone kicking me in the ribs. This time, partly due to an anterior-lying placenta, I rarely feel the baby and when I do, this baby more likes to roll around as opposed to violent punches and kicks like Kaden preferred (thought I still want that beer:)). And here I am at 22 weeks and I barely feel pregnant most of the time (except the nuisance my ever-growing belly presents when I want to do such things as tie my shoes).

Also, Stu has been so much more helpful and supportive this time around. It's so much nicer being older and "wiser" with this one because now he thinks to help me out without me asking for help, and does things to make my life easier. And on the flip side, I care so much less about the little, unimportant things, that I find myself so much more relaxed and happy this time around (while still be constantly overheated, sore, and tired :)). Because it isn't "new" to us, we're both able to just be excited about our new family member instead of being scared, apprehensive, etc. like we were with Kaden because it was ALL new and we had no idea what to expect.

So things have been going pretty good. We're both chugging along with school and it's going ok. My English class is without a doubt still my hardest (if anyone has read For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, or Light in August by William Faulkner, and wants to chat about it, lemme know. :)) but also my favorite by light years. I hate my Art History class with the fire of a thousand suns (or the professor, rather... who looks EXACTLY like Moby, as a helpful fellow student pointed out to me, and I can no longer take him seriously), and Math is typical dreadful Math, 'nuff said.

Stu is doing pretty well in his classes (and has a test in one today actually!). He studies hard all the time and is really working for the grades he has. I am so proud of him! If I had to guess, I'd say he probably likes his Psychology class the most and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if we had a change in major in the next few months. :)

It has been so nice outside here lately and I LOVE it. We got Kaden a swingset (thanks Granddad and Momma E!) for the backyard and he is the cutest thing out there on it. He and Jasper are the best of friends and they act just like siblings, playing sweetly one minute, hurting each other the next. Little crappers.