Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Charlie turns 1

It's time to party!  My baby's 1st birthday is this week and I'm so happy to celebrate her and all the joy she's brought me and all we've gotten through as a family this year.  Charlie is one of a kind.  Looking back it's amazing how much she's been her own little person & had her personality built into her since the day she was born.  She is a fun, happy, and feisty little thing.  I loved that new baby on my chest more than I thought I could love anything and it's a much stronger love now than it was then as we've spent this year together.  
 We had our learning curve with newborn Charlie and learning what she liked and didn't.  What she's always wanted was to move and be free.  She grew more and more content with each passing month and milestone and when she started walking at 10 months I can say that I don't think I've seen a more pleased person.  She walks miles/day I swear just doing laps around our basement apartment.  She isn't necessarily getting into things, she just walks in and out of rooms and laughs and is so happy with herself.  I loved when she started walking!
 She is always up for an adventure.  If she's having a grumpy day that's when I know we need to get out of the house and go do something.  She loves to be out and about and is so in awe of the world around her.  She's observant and I can see her just scanning the situation and trying to take it all in wherever we go.  She's the baby that walks up to people eating ice cream at the water park and stands there like a puppy begging for a treat.  
 My dancer!  She can't hold still when she hears music.  I love this about her since I'm the same way.  She loves to carry my phone while it's playing music around and bounce and shake her arms & hands.  It's just my favorite.
 She didn't eat food until she was 8 months old because she just wanted breast milk and she still loves nursing.  I'm not really sure how that will end ha ha.  You might be weirded out by someone nursing a toddler and then realize it's me - yikes.  She's intelligent and truly blows me away when she will show me something she's learned and my thoughts are "hooooow do you know how to do that" ha ha.  She's always surprising Bryce and I by what she knows, but of course we are the biased parents so she's probably just right on track with where she should be (jk she's a genius I know it)  
 I think Charlie's personality is going to be very different from my own and I'm actually really excited about that.  I think she's going to be a strong personality and I'm looking forward to seeing that drive make a difference in the world and watching her accomplish tasks.  I know she will teach me a lot.  She's already a class clown and loves to do things to make us laugh at dinner time.  I see a lot of her dad in her which is wonderful.  She's determined, curious, independent, social, and knows what she wants.  All positive things that I know will help her be happy & successful. 
I love these little girls...they love being sisters
When Charlie screams I brace myself for broken glass and she's really the worst sleeper, but she's so smart, funny, sweet, happy, & beautiful.  I know she's going to take life by the horns and just be a mighty force in the world.  I'm excited to enjoy the show!
Happy birthday to Charlie Marie cute as can be...

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Introducing....a new kid!

I'd love to introduce my new pride & joy to the blog...Charlie Marie.  I can't make it too easy for her to say I didn't do everything for her that I did for her older sister.  But the cold hard truth is that's just how it goes when you add another kid!  And another...and another....if you're brave.  At this point I've told Bryce I'm pretty sure our family is complete.  Of course this probably shouldn't be discussed in the postpartum period (I'm kind of a mess in the beginning).  It's just been so much work.  I never want Charlie to feel bad, but she's a tough baby.  She's ridiculously adorable & I know this too shall pass, so we are just enjoying the good times and loving her through the hard ones.  It's been sort of an anxiety filled journey from the beginning.  At 3 months old I feel like I can finally relax, well, as much as a mom can relax when you seem to always have something to worry about.  

A picture of my favorite things - new baby in my arms & epidural catheter in my back haha
I was anxious when Charlie's due date came and went.  I just wanted her out and in my arms.  Not because of my discomfort, but because I didn't want anything bad to happen while I was still pregnant.  When I was a week over due my doctor advised me to be induced because of the risks to consider being pregnant after 41 weeks.  Pile more anxiety on my plate please.  I work in women's health so I know inductions are happening on the daily, but I also hear the horror stories and they always seem to happen to other health care workers I know.  I went in to be induced and it was such a slow process.  I was told because I'd had a baby before it would be smooth sailing, but it was obvious my labor did not want to be forced.  With about as much pitocin as you could possibly be given I finally started to progress.  During the last "upping" of my pitocin I had an extended contraction that put Charlie under a lot of stress.  I could just hear how dangerously slow her heartbeat was and that it wasn't coming back up.  I pushed the call light and was absolutely panicked saying "come back up, come back up, please come back up".  My mom said that the monitor was picking up some random high number like 200, but I listen to babies in the womb at my job all day and I knew it was low 80s.  I was beyond stressed and on top of that no one had come to my room!  It was the longest minute of my life and her heart rate finally came back up.  When the nurses came to change shift and review my information at the bedside, I saw them reviewing the strip and this look of concern was on my RN's face as she goes "oh, well that wasn't good".  I'm like YA TELL ME ABOUT IT.  So again, just more stress and I just wanted her OUT more then ever.  When the time came to push she was born 3 minutes later.  This huge weight was lifted off my shoulders as she was placed on my chest and I just started giggling while holding Charlie the next few minutes.  She was just perfect and meant to be in my arms!  Then they dropped the news on me that her clavicle had broken during delivery.  Cue the stress.  Why did that happen?  Did I push too hard?  Too fast?  Is she in pain?  What's going to happen?  It apparently just happens sometimes, and it decided to just happen to my sweet baby.  She was going to be okay though.  We wrapped her arm to her body for a couple weeks as best we could and breastfed her to help with pain.  You can guess how it made the first few weeks at home.  I was always anxious to change her clothes and we avoided baths.  If I absolutely had to change her I was afraid I would re-break it again.  She would cry hard sometimes and I was afraid it was because she was in pain or I was holding her wrong.  I didn't like when other people held her either...ugh what a mess I was!  Luckily Bryce was home for 2 weeks and we had lots of help with everything, including Lucy.  She has taken to being a big sister so well.  After 3 months I'm sure she doesn't even remember not having a sister in the house.  

We had to wait to take pictures of Charlie when she was almost 2 weeks old because of her clavicle.  I was surprised that she did so well and all of them turned out so sweet.
In the hospital I was ready to enjoy the bliss of 2 days just getting to know my baby.  I felt tons better after this delivery then my first.  I guess pushing 3 minutes vs 1.5 hours will do that to you.  I don't really want to remember the details of my hospital stay...it stressed me out even more then childbirth.  From staff that ignored me or acted annoyed to Charlie choking to a point she stopped breathing in my arms.  I ran with her to the nursery and watched staff fumble with their equipment until she finally cleared her airway and started breathing on her own.  I shudder at the memory.  They had me carry all of my belongings and walk out to the car with Bryce & Charlie when I was discharged.  I was okay with it because I just wanted to get home!  Once at home I finally had my chance to relax for probably the first time since she was born.  We had Charlie's 1st pediatrician check and were told she was perfectly healthy & the clavicle was not going to be a big deal at all.  It would heal super fast.  Again, more relaxing. 

I love the first baby smiles from a full belly and passing gas :)
The weeks went on and her clavicle did heal.  She liked to scream a lot though and we figured out she had a pretty upset tummy/gas/reflux so we helped her out with that as best we could.  She seemed to get better from that, but she continues to just be a high-needs baby who's really sensitive.  She's not chill and I don't think I am ever able to hold still when I'm holding her.  I've walked countless miles with her around my house.  When I'm not walking around with her, Bryce is.  It's so different!  I've felt like a spaz trying to figure out how to be a mom to her even though I've done this before.  Lucy is probably the most patient.  If Charlie's screaming and I just have to put her down for a minute to take a time-out, Lucy will start singing rock-a-bye baby and stays super calm.  It's been amazing to watch and learn from her!  So even though she tells me "Mom, Charlie cries all the time", we all still love her to pieces.  She's so beautiful and when she's being cute it melts your heart like butter on the stove.  I'm so happy to be her mom and I feel like she's taught me so much.

I love when babies look right into your eyes 
I'm not able to relax completely since the crying episodes can sometimes make my stress levels go off the chart.  I'm still so much more relaxed now that the first 3 months are behind us.  Charlie seems much happier as she's now able to hold her head up and look around and see the world.  I'm getting into my exercise routine again so I get a mental/physical break from the craziness and it rejuvenates me so I can continue.  

A happy moment at Wheeler Farm
Charlie started smiling at me at an early age.  She continues to knock my socks off with her darling dimples.  I'm so excited to have a baby with some!  She has a strong neck and kicks hard with her legs.  She's super close to giggling and makes funny noises when she's happy.  She takes a binky about 50% of the time (another thing that has stressed me out as the binky solved all of Lucy's problems ha ha).  She's an awesome nurser and she's pretty good at sleeping at night.  She wakes up about 1-2 times to eat and goes back to sleep very well.  I can't complain about getting precious sleep!

The first outfit I bought for Charlie when I found out she was a she!
So even though she might not be your textbook perfect baby and Baby Wise can just go in the garbage for now, she's perfect to me!  My bond with Charlie is so strong as I've really tried to help her be comfortable.  She makes me work for it so those happy times make me REALLY happy ha ha.  And the truth is she is getting better and I know she will continue to do so.  I'm grateful to be a mom again and have been humbled by this experience.  I have an amazing supportive husband who's my teammate.  When one of us wants to leave the house and never come back the other one is able to talk some sense into them haha.  I know there is a God because He's walked me through this whole process and at times even held me when I cried (and there was a lot of that - oh post partum).  I'm grateful He has trusted me with a precious spirit.  I feel like my kids have life figured out more than me.  I'm learning from their innocence, purity, quickness to forgive, and their ability to show unconditional love.  We are in a good place!  

A tender moment at the pumpkin patch.  She's my little buddy.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pregnancy Round 2

I can't believe we are 5 weeks away from having another kid around here!  I'm probably more nervous for a 2nd baby then I was for the 1st.  I think it's because I KNOW what's coming ha ha and last time I was pretty clueless.  I'm nervous about my body healing quickly, breastfeeding working out, loosing my precious sleep, how Lucy will adjust, if we will ever get a routine again, etc etc.  I know things will eventually fall in to place, everyone else seems to figure it out, but it does make me a little nervous for such a big change!  Our baby girl will be here before we know it.
19 weeks - officially feeling baby & seeing a bump
Just to have some memories about this pregnancy I would say the hard times were harder, but the easy times were actually easier.  I was super sick for about 17 weeks which was much longer then my 1st.  It was extra hard because I did have Lucy & I so wanted to be more energetic for her sake.  She did a lot of self entertaining during those months I spent on the couch!  
22 weeks - my Easter egg dress
My belly exploded twice as fast as it did before - way to remember how to be fat ha ha.  I was twice as excited to be having another girl because I knew how much fun girls were, Lucy would have a sister, and I wouldn't have to buy a single thing.  It's gone twice as fast - that's nice!  I get tired much faster then before.  My first pregnancy I worked my buns off full time and I would definitely get tired, but I feel like now I do an activity/day with Lucy and I am bed ridden for the rest of the day ha ha.  
25 weeks - definitely my favorite stage
I coasted from 17 weeks to about 30ish and then I hit a super uncomfortable stage where I didn't know if I was going to make it.  Once I hit 34 weeks though I was miraculously feeling great again & now I'm in a comfortable stage.  I will take it!  I had energy this week to clean & organize and we are pretty much ready for baby.  Of course we now wait 6 more weeks, but at least I feel ready for a moment.  
30 weeks - I was afraid it was all downhill from here

Last pregnancy I was so much better at exercising - this time I don't think my body knows what that is.  Last time I had lots of fun baby showers to make this time go by faster and this time most people can't remember when my due date is ha ha.  Last time I stared at my belly constantly and this time I'm running around and playing with my toddler so it takes a real kick to the ribs to remind me to stop and enjoy this baby's movements.  Last time I spent lots of money preparing a nursery and this time it's been awesome because the girl's will be sharing their room so my money is being saved!  Last time I was super self conscious about getting so big and this time I've been so much better about enjoying the pregnancy and just being happy about a growing baby and not worrying as much about my body - that's been nice.  I really can't complain about how uneventful things have been.  I pray the same story continues for delivery & postpartum days.  Now to go float in my happy place -- our pool!  
At 32 weeks & I should never wear something this tight again....I'm 35 weeks now so we'll see if I get enough energy to take a picture!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

All about Lucy

I wanted to write a post all about Lucy since she's in her last few weeks of being an only child.  She is truly one of a kind.  I wouldn't change one thing about her.  She's really the most special little person you will ever meet.  Let me tell you why!  Lucy has so much personality.  She is very shy, but I don't think being shy takes away from personality.  She's got so much in her little body I'm always being surprised by it.  She's ridiculously smart so of course she says things and I have no idea where it's coming from besides her extremely observant & quick brain.  She's been counting for ages, knows all of her colors, memorizes books, sings songs, and is such a creature of habit that if you do something once she will remember it like that forever.  It's often difficult to get her to do something a different way because she seriously never forgets how something is done the first time. 

She plays princess - it's the best
 That leads me to the next thing I love about her - she is SO stubborn.  She's actually stubborn, bossy, and independent (in typical toddler fashion).  If she doesn't want to do it - she won't.  There's really no negotiating, threatening, or bribing that gets through to her.  I've seriously tried everything that a kid would normally cave for & she just turns up her nose at me.  It's quite hilarious & of course frustrating at times.  If I don't have the patience it can make for a rough day ha ha.  For example, she will only eat breakfast where she wants to eat it.  Today that consisted of sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor like a gremlin.    

I say "hey let's have a picnic for lunch" & she says "ya!" and then the rest of the time I watch her put out the towel and sit down all by herself and put things in place where she wants them to go.  It's sounding an awful lot like she's spoiled, but in all honesty she's extremely well behaved - she just knows what she wants!  It's hard not to accommodate someone with such a strong will.  Bryce & I actually love that she knows exactly what car she wants to ride in when we leave the house because between the two of us we could never decide.  I hope Lucy keeps the stubborn nature about her and uses it for all things good.  No one will ever get her to do something she doesn't want to do - and she'll make sure of that!  

Aside from being stubborn & bossy, she's truly well-mannered & easy going.  I've actually only had to do a time-out once or twice & it really wasn't for overly disobedient things.  I didn't even know how to do a time-out when the time came and have had to ask friends for advice.  She's never opened a cupboard she's not supposed to, never emptied a drawer when I wasn't looking, never messed with plugs/lights/switches/toilet/etc, or even ran away from me in a store or parking lot.  Now I'm not saying this isn't going to happen in the days ahead, but she's made my life very easy & that's just her personality.  

If all that wasn't amazing enough I love that she has a goofy side.  She told me the other night that she wanted to play so I asked "what do you want to play?" and she told me "crazy dance!" and started dancing around like a crazy person and she's never heard of such a game.  She calls freckles "nipples" for some reason and thinks it's so funny when I try to correct her so she can say "no, they're nipples!" and just laughs and laughs so joyfully.  It makes me laugh pretty hard too.  I love when she knows she's being silly and says "take my picture mom!"   

She's super polite!  She's full of please, thank you, excuse me (for every burp, toot, or when she wants to walk by), you're welcome, and sorry's.  She really picked up on it by mimicking people - it wasn't something I had to teach her.  It's funny because it's usually when I accidentally trip her or bump her head while putting her in the car seat that she tells me she's sorry when it's really me who is sorry ha ha.  It's adorable!

And finally her little heart is just so big.  She's so loving and my heart melts when she says "love you mom!"  She will randomly give me big squeezes around the neck and kisses.  When I get upset with her you would think she'd run away from me, but she just says "hold you mom" and wants me to comfort her instead.  I'm sure she shares a lot of qualities with other oldest only child toddler girls, but to me she is so special & unique.  We are preparing her for becoming a big sister in just a few weeks and she's so cute about it already.  She was quiet in the back seat and then just decided to tell us that "Charlie & Lucy are best friends" and my heart swelled.  She constantly talks about how Charlie's car seat will be right next to hers, they are going to be buddies, and she just wants to talk to Charlie.  Obviously big things are coming, but I sure hope her sweetness and excitement for a baby sister continues once she's here.  I'm so blessed to have my little Lucy in my life - I didn't realize how much I could love and it's such a gift.  I want to bottle her up & keep her just the way she is, but I understand there's so much joy in every stage that will come.
We love you Lucy!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

San Fran - a trip to remember

A trip to remember!  Even more memorable was the week leading up to this trip.  Lucy had a fever on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but no other symptoms until the throwing up started on Wednesday.  By that night I was really worried - she was so sick and I couldn't figure out why!  This is why being a nurse can make you crazy sometimes - you think you know everything ha ha.  Thursday morning we went to the doctor and Lucy was even more sick and dehydrated.  They said she needed an IV & fluids.  The worst moments of my life followed as the IV took 3 attempts and I had to hold my screaming baby down along with 3 other people.  The doctor finally had success and my prayer was answered.  The fluid went in great and Lucy even perked up in the short amount of time.  Then they said okay we need a urine sample and we will just catheterize her really quick.  Hasn't this girl been through enough?  So again I had to hold her down and watch attempt after attempt after attempt with no success.  I couldn't believe it.  Lucy acted like she'd been tortured for 3 hours when they finally just sent us home to wait for a urine sample.  I made it to the car when I was finally able to just sob uncontrollably for a few minutes.  Being a parent and going through that was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I have so much more empathy for parents watching their children go through test after test when their kids are hospitalized or have chronic illnesses.  It's so difficult - especially when they don't understand at all that everything you are doing is for their good.  It just hurts and they want it to stop.  We then waited 6 hours for Lucy to pee...it was the worst.  She was still throwing up, but also restless, yet wouldn't leave my lap - it was rough.  When she peed we cheered and brought her back to the doctor where we finally received a diagnosis.  Bladder infection.  I had my suspicions that's what it could've been (between me and google), but she wasn't displaying the exact symptoms to make me 100% convinced.  They gave her 2 shots of antibiotics right then and there (again as if she hadn't been through enough) and sent us home with a prescription and such relief that we knew WHAT was wrong and that our little girl was going to get better.  Thank you prayer and modern medicine.  One thing about kids is that they get sick fast, but they also get better fast.  And for that I am so grateful!  It might sound selfish, but we were really hoping Lucy would get better because we were leaving Sunday for San Francisco.  Of course if she'd been sick I would've stayed home with her and ate the cost of everything...so we were just glad that she was definitely feeling good enough to go when it was time to leave.
I was trying hard to be a strong momma!  She was not a happy camper as you can imagine

Crackers, apple juice, & Curious george - her first snack in 2 days!

This was her by the late evening - already feeling better!
Our flight left Sunday morning and we got into San Francisco pretty early.  I didn't really know what to expect, but I definitely picked up on a unique vibe to the place.  We loved eating at the one of a kind restaurants - I get really sick of the chains!  We had a grilled cheese at one local place that was made with ricotta cheese and had a layer of strawberry jam.  I was quite blown away!  And it's just food ha ha.  We were able to do a bay cruise and see the Golden Gate bridge, check out the sea lions on Pier 39, eat some grub at Hard Rock, and that night Lucy and I danced in the streets ha ha.  She is quite the city baby! 

On the bay cruise - the top of the boat spot lasted .2 seconds before the wind was literally going to blow us away so we had to go down below ha ha

When you have a baby you get on the plane first!  Which I'm not sure if it's helpful because it's more time you are stuck in one place trying to entertain them ha ha, but Lucy did really well

The sea lions were definitely a family favorite!  They are quite the characters - and according to Lucy they say "woof" ha ha

My little buddy at the Hard Rock! We let her have fries & more apple juice. We really felt bad she'd been so sick and actually lost weight. We let her go for it on this trip!
Lucy loves to dance!  If she hears music, as we often would walking around, she would want to spin in circles and wave her arms in the air.  It's so cute.  So I would be her dancing partner! 
Bryce was sent on this trip for a work conference so Lucy & I would get up first thing, go play and play, come back and turn the room pitch black so we could nap for about 2 hours, then Bryce would wake us up and we would go out and play some more!  Ha ha it was quite the adventure.  Lucy is my travel buddy & I was able to do pretty much whatever I wanted.  She attracts a lot of attention too so I talk to more people then I ever would by myself.  On Monday we went to the aquarium and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  That was nice because Lucy could walk around and see everything without getting trampled.  I thought the octupus was pretty cool and Lucy loved the playful river otters.  That night we went shopping in Union Square & Chinatown.  I definitely could've skipped out on Chinatown.  I thought it was so odd & more than anything sketchy ha ha.  Bryce & I just blazed on through not really seeing much to look at!

Octupus - so weird to watch it move everywhere

The river otters also say "woof"

My unimpressed face ha ha

Let's get outta here!

Tuesday we went to the YB Gardens in downtown San Fran.  It was fun to see some actual greenery amongst all the buildings.  Lucy rode her first carousel and they had a children's play area complete with an awesome gym and maze.  We had a lot of fun at this place!  That night was the Giant's game.  My first MLB experience.  We tried the famous garlic fries - waaay too much garlic for our taste, but still tried them.  It was a very cool setting & atmosphere - we had a great time!
At the gardens

She learned how to say "horse" after this experience - she thought it was very fun!

2 of the cutest Giant's fans I've ever seen

Riding the Muni - we don't look like tourists at all do we?  Ha ha

AT&T park was right on the water!  It was a beautiful evening for a ball game

Lucy's first baseball game certificate - I'm so the mom who makes Bryce get things like these ha ha
Wednesday I took a long bus ride and only got a little lost to Golden Gate Park.  After getting a little nervous and a long walk later I found where I'd meant to get us.  We checked out where J.Lo's movie Wedding Planner was filmed and then to the California Academy of Science.  One of the coolest museums I've ever been to.  There was so much to do.  They even had a baby area for kids under 5 that Lucy and I got to check out for awhile.  I'm a nerd and like to go to museums so I was happy with this place.  That night we did some more walking around the city and checked out Ghiradelli.  I wasn't super impressed with the area/square/shopping, but the ice cream sunday definitely impressed me.  I was a pretty happy girl after that!
Lucy has ridden a bus more than most people ha ha that's how we like to get around the cities we visit

On the bridge in the baby area - she thought it was pretty neat

Patiently waiting for our sundae - the whole place smelled delicious

I love this husband of mine!

All happy with a tummy full of ice cream & hot fudge!  That's my girl
For our final day Lucy & I went to a place called the Exploritorium.  It was seriously a kid's dream place.  It's full of tinkering   I was super entertained as well, but it was a little over Lucy's head.  She still found things she liked though.  We ate fruit & doughnuts at the farmer's market until Bryce was done before we did some last minute sight seeing & eating.  Then it was time to go home!  Lucy was so funny on the flight home wearing her giant headphones, watching Frozen, & eating cheerios.  She sat perfectly still the entire way home.  It was tough getting back to reality - we needed another vacation to relax after playing so hard!  Bryce had a great experience at his conference too...until next time!
Conducting electricity...

Playing with sound waves

A great flier!