Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crazy

Ben and I went to the hospital today- he had a temp of 105 and was vomiting, so off we went. Fortunately Stephen was home so I didn't have to worry about bringing Sophie to the hospital, the un-happiest place on earth.

Ben had to get chest x-rays, which, let me tell you, are the biggest pain in the bum. You have to make sure your kid is absolutely still or the image comes out wacky. I'm just glad they didn't try to do a cat scan and have to sedate him or something. Turns out he's in the early stages of pneumonia.

On the bright side, we got to come home with a cute little hospital smock that has clowns and elephants on it. Ben vomited all over his clothes (and his carseat and the couch and my pants and up my sleeve) so they let us keep it. He is now sleeping on the couch wearing a diaper, socks and shoes. He looks so tired, but his temp is finally down to 98.

Sophie has a cough so we're going to try to have her looked at tomorrow when Ben has his doctor's appointment, but fortunately she hasn't had a temp at all.

Did I mention that I had a really bad migraine today, too? I didn't? Well, I lost vision, was dizzy, and I vomited. Fun.

I'm not sick- just a little worn out and feeling a little crazy. You know, twitchy crazy. Time to sit down with some cocoa and a book then crash for the night.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Family Pictures & Christmas Cards from Shutterfly

I have been trying to get Christmas cards together since Stephen and I got married, but I really stink at it, considering this is our fourth Christmas and we haven't sent a single one. I justified the lack of cards initially with a corresponding lack of children, but now that I have two, that excuse is out the window. I've resolved to just get over my bad self and finally do it.

What goes with a Christmas card? A family picture! We hadn't taken "formal" family pictures since Ben was 7 months old, so we were past due. Also, being from the beach, I have always wanted to take pictures under the Manhattan Beach Pier. So, after some grumbling, we did.






I was so excited by how well they turned out. My mom is amazing and took them for us with Stephen's camera. Now, on to the next step:

The actual card! I've wanted to do a photo card because I like them: they're personal and yet simple to put together and send. Shutterfly has an awesome deal where you can get 50 free Holiday cards just for blogging about them, so who am I to ignore a deal like that? I want to do a blue card to go with the ocean in our pictures.

I like this:
Or this:

I'm excited! I'll just make sure to keep it together and actually send these out. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

L.A. County Fair

So, it seems we've been spending lots of time in L.A. County. Actually, the L.A. County Fair is nestled in the Pomona Fairgrounds on the easternmost part of the county; only a hop and a skip away from our lovely city. Anyway...

We were able to secure tickets and a parking pass for FREE because a friend was leaving town and wouldn't be able to use them. Lucky us! We met our neighbors, the Ingrams, there. The had also conveniently scored some tickets and with them came Ben's best friend, Ava.

That day there was one of those amazing end of summer thunderstorms. You know, the kind that is warm and windy with scattered showers but makes the sky look like someone threw paint at it. This is what we saw:


It was beautiful. That streak of light reaching the mountains is actually a rainbow, but these were taken at sunset so the colors were insane.


The first stop we made was to see the animals, which just so happened to be on the opposite side of the fair (lucky us).


Ben's reaction was mixed with delight, fear and reservation. He liked to touch animals if and only if they were on the other side of the fence, Ava was touching them, or he was being held. He had a deep respect for them.


As you can see, he was a little afraid.


Yep. Still a little afraid.


Sophie enjoyed her outing in the stroller.

Ben and I went down a slide together. One of those huge carnival slides. The kind that you look at and realize that it had been disassembled and reassembled recently and then wonder how safe it is and how healthy it could possibly be for a slide to be disassembled and reassembled so often. Nevertheless, we went down together. He was delighted and I was afraid.


Going down together.


The only picture taken of me that night... Ben's thinking, "Mommy, what's wrong with you?"

Ben, of course, wanted to go down again but we were conveniently out of ride tickets.

Ben's favorite FAVORITE part of the fair were the trains. Pomona Fairgrounds has a permanent train display of retired engines and coaches. He and Ava love Thomas the Tank Engine and they love trains. They can't get enough and run around our houses screaming, "Choo choo! Choo choo trains!" They got to go in the cabs and look inside the trains.


We had a great time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Los Angeles Zoo

Since I'm already behind on the posts, I figure I'll just start wherever I want. So... how about our trip to the L.A. Zoo?


It was a great day to go to the zoo. It was overcast and a little rainy, so there were less people and more animal activity. Perfect!

We got to use the new "Sit n' Stand" stroller and, let me tell you, it is AWESOME. It can be stripped down to just a platform and one seat, built up to have two seats, or stripped to just be a double infant seat carrier. I love this double stroller.


So does Sophie.


We went with some of my friends who also have cute kids, including our next door neighbor and her daughter Ava. Ava is Ben's best friend and we can't say her name at home unless we are going to see her. Ben gets really excited and then really disappointed if we accidentally let her name slip.

Here they are sharing lunch:


And here we are as a group:


The kids had a lot of fun looking at the animals.


Chimps



Gorillas


Bears


Here's a pic of all the older kiddos. We had to bribe them with fruit snacks to get them to stay still:


We had a blast!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lame, I Know

I am super lame for being super tardy in writing something new on here. ESPECIALLY with a new baby and then destroying my goal of updating on a regular basis. Like Sophie's two month check-up.

Side Note: I thought I lost the camera. It's not really my camera in that it was Stephen's birthday present from his wonderful parents (though they fully intended for me to use it, too). I thought I lost it and couldn't bear to tell him for almost two weeks. I'd finally given up searching for it and began confessing my crime, when he laughed and said he hid it and knew exactly where it was. It was on his desk about four feet from my computer in a mug he got from Germany. Stinker. Thus, there have been no pictures lately. :)

Ben's newest antic is pretending to hurt himself. He'll throw something on the ground like a car, a piece of train track or himself and yell, "OW!" then peek at me, wanting a hug and a kiss. It's really cute (until he's done it about 25 times).

Sophie's two month check-up went great. She's had what I thought was a bad case of baby acne on her face and the doctor revealed that she has eczema. We've been battling it for about two weeks now and it's slowly improving. I've had about 5 people highly recommend Aveeno, so that's what we trying starting today. She gets really itchy though, so we're treating it with hydrocortisone as she needs it, plus she has to wear her little mitten things (which I've never really used on my kids). So, why was the check-up great? Because we've solved the mystery of the bad case of baby acne!

Did I mention I'm a little tired? Sorry if my thoughts are a little garbled.

She's 11 pounds now and all her measurements are about 50th percentile. She's very healthy (except the eczema thing). I feel like a lame mom because I want to take her to get pictures taken and I'm being vain about it and waiting for the eczema to clear. I need to just get over it and take her since I bought an ADORABLE dress and just need a big, fat bow for her head. Anyone know where to go to get bows?

I'm experiencing a little nerdy excitement because the release date for the next World of Warcraft expansion was announced for December 7th! Stephen and I are excited. Sometimes for a hot date we'll stay up after the kids are in bed and play the game together. Aw, nerd love. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it.

Pictures to come.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Today

Today was a lovely day.

I woke up with a migraine and, while lying in bed listening to Sophie cry and Ben yell, "Mommy! Mommy!" I resolved that I had to make today be wonderful.

And it was.

We walked to the park. Ben splashed in the mud and his white socks became brown. I laughed.

We went with friends. Ben screamed, "Ava! Ava!" and she screamed, "Ben! Ben!" back.

A new friend became a better friend.

I snuck a dollar menu chicken sandwich from Wendy's with the change in the car. I put ranch dressing on it. It was delicious.

Sophie smiled at me. Lots.

We went to the store. With friends. Lots of friends. It was fun- and funny. We had four grocery carts and six kids. Definitely funny.

We had chicken tacos for dinner. Ben didn't fight me over it and, in fact, ate most of his taco. He was an angel.

Ben asked for a bath, which Daddy graciously did for him, and Ben sauntered into his room and plopped on his bed at 7:15.

Where did the angel child return from? He's been away, and now he's back. At least for now.

Stephen and I had a nice evening together (almost) alone. So nice.

It was a wonderful day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sniffles

I am the only healthy person in my house. Everyone else has a stuffy nose, though in Ben's case it's more of a "wipe my snot on everything" nose. Sophie's been sleeping pretty well, but between 3 and 6 a.m. she gets snotty and mad. She's really mellow and I've hardly ever heard her "mad" cry. It makes me so sad. Hopefully everyone will start feeling better soon.

Ben had an awesome moment the other day. Lately he's been falling asleep for his naps in odd positions. I think he just tries to get comfortable wherever he is. The result is as follows:

And yes, he IS asleep.

What a sweetie.

Stephen is going to New York on Sunday and won't be back until the 7th. He'll be gone for Labor Day! :( Oh well. These trips are pretty beneficial financially, so I don't mind. I'll miss him like crazy, but we're trying to pay off our student loans by our 5th anniversary (next July) and every little bit helps.

Time to go and take care of the babies.

Friday, August 20, 2010

One Month


Well, we survived our ten day separation. For the most part. :)

It was lonely. But, amazingly, the hardest part about being apart was getting used to each other again. There's nothing like a little selfish independence to make you appreciate being in a relationship. Things were weird, but now we're all getting back to normal.

Unfortunately, he has to go back at the beginning of next month. BOO! We'll find out the details later. On to happier business:

Today is Sophie's one month birthday!

One of my old friends who I now blog-stalk is pretty good at this and I wanted to try it. By "this" I mean providing regular updates on her kids. In general, I am awful about communicating updates on the kids, like the fact that Sophie has rolled 3 times now and Ben speaks in sentences and repeats practically everything anyone (including the TV) says. And he sings the ABC song.

Plus, I just know you want to know absolutely everything about them.

Sophie is special. She is gentle and calm and a heavenly baby, and I feel ridiculously lucky to have two kids that, for the record, are easy. As in, they are about as calm as a glassy lake. We are not without our challenges, but there is simply an aura of calm in my house that is ever present that I'm grateful for. Thank heavens the Lord has chosen to bless me this way, because I have a hard time with the feeling of chaos (I basically break down and shove my head in pillows).

Sophie can hold up her head for a short amount of time, loves her hands, likes to be swaddled with one arm sticking out, can roll back to front, and likes to be held. She has the talent to nurse, take a bottle, and enjoys a pacifier.

Sophie's appointment with her pediatrician is on Monday, so I will have stats then.

Now, for some highlights of the impromptu photo shoot we had yesterday:


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Allow Me a Moment to Whine

Stephen is in New York. For 10 days. And I'm home alone with a 2-year-old and a newborn.

I'm afraid.

"Stop whining!" I hear you all say. "It's only 10 days!" While that may be true, I have realized that the longest we've been apart since we've been dating was a mere 5 days in December of 2005 when I visited my grandparents for their 50th wedding anniversary. I feel this is sort of pathetic. I should be able to handle 10 days on my own, right?

Right?

RIGHT?!

Hopefully my dear son will make things easier for me, and my house won't become one of chaos and confusion.

And I won't see too many faces like this:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Baby Sophia

Welcome, Sophia Lorraine!

Warning! Birthing story to follow... but I promise you it isn't graphic.

Monday afternoon was quite relaxing. I went to JoAnn's with Kari and Sarah to buy some fabric for Sarah's trek, then we went to a Sushi restaurant and found a candied apple store. Sarah and I shared a mudpie caramel apple and Kari got a pistachio covered apple. Very yummy. Meanwhile, I'm feeling pretty good- active, energetic, etc, when I noticed that I'd lost my mucous plug. In the pregnancy world, this doesn't mean anything much at all; labor could be within hours or weeks.

I continued my day with some swimming, Stephen and I made burgers, and I started to put Ben to bed. I felt a fun little gush while trying to prompt Ben with his prayers. I wiggled a little. More gush. Uh oh. I quickly finished prayers with him and ran. My water had definitely broken. I wasn't having any contractions at all, so I ate my burger, took a shower, and relaxed while Stephen's running around, unsure what to do. It was fun to watch. Kari came over to pick up Ben and we headed to the hospital and were admitted right away.

Contractions started up around 11:00 and got very intense, though not frequent, and I was only a 3. They gave me some painkillers so I could sleep for a little while, but those wore off by about 2:30 and I was a 3-4. Everything was getting more intense, so I ordered the epidural and by 3:15 when they got it going I was a 4 1/2-5. I had gotten the shakes, so the nurses thought I would give birth very soon. Unfortunately, I think the epidural slowed things down a bit. I also think they had given me a dose that was too strong, because I had no motor control over my right leg. This was scary for me because last time I had complete control over my body and it was easy when it came time to push. It felt MUCH harder this time, but she was out in 25 minutes, half my previous pushing time.

Baby Sophia was born on Tuesday at 9:06 a.m. She weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz. and was 20 inches long. She came out the color of a purplish-blue jelly belly (a very cute purplish-blue jelly belly). She kicked and cried, but once they put her on my chest, she calmed down almost immediately. She was such a calm baby from the get-go and for the first two hours or so of her life, she just looked at Stephen and I, super alert and very content.



That day was kind of fun (though I was pretty tired after being awake most of the night). We had most of our immediate families visit. My parents came after they had finished work, around 7:30. My new evening nurse came in to check on me and said, "Where's that baby?" My sister was holding her at the time, and the nurse said, "That baby's blue- I'm taking her to the nursery." So she picked her up and left. Meanwhile, the doctors and nurses had been telling me all day that her bluish color was normal, and the nurse hadn't shown us her name badge which tells us if she's allowed to take her. Stephen chased after her to see her badge, and I'm freaking out a little bit that maybe something's actually been wrong and feeling like a bad mother for not noticing, as the nurse so clearly did, that my baby was blue.

They took her to the nursery and found that her sugar was low, her oxygen concentration was low, and she had a high number of respirations. They put her under an oxygen tent and fed her some formula and saw some improvement, though every time they removed the tent, her oxygen levels would drop again. Dr. Wu, the NICU doctor, came in to check on her and removed the tent. It had been 6 hours at this point, which is the maximum amount of time they're allowed to assist babies in the nursery without moving them to the NICU. Her oxygen levels still weren't where they needed to be, so our little Sophie was admitted to the NICU.

Under the tent.

The next few days are a blur for me. I was moved into a shared room with another mom who had her baby in the NICU, too. This was actually very comforting for me to see someone else in a similar position- both of us without our babies, trying to pump and recover from birth without that little reward sitting on your chest. I stayed in the hospital until Thursday evening, then the next few days were a blend of pumping, sleeping, eating, and driving to and from the hospital.

So, what was wrong with her? She had breathed in amniotic fluid when she was born. The fluid caused damage to her lungs which made it harder for her to breathe and process oxygen. This was something that would repair itself over time. I was relieved it wasn't something I had done. The doctor had a few goals for her before she would be allowed to go home. She had to:
  • Be off antibiotics. All babies are given antibiotics when they enter the NICU and a blood culture is taken to determine if there's an infection. This takes 3 days to develop. Sophie's turned out negative.
  • Be off oxygen. The fluid was absorbed into her system through her lungs and by early Friday morning, she no longer needed the extra oxygen to keep her levels where they should be.
  • Be off the IV. They started feeding her on Friday after she was removed from supplemental oxygen. By this time my milk had come in so she was able to be fed breast milk. On Saturday, they allowed her to eat as much as she wanted and reduced IV fluids proportionally to how much she ate. She was off the IV by the afternoon.
  • Maintain her temperature. She runs a little cold, but she was still in the normal range.
By Sunday morning, she was allowed to go home!

In the NICU.

No more wires or tubes!

Finally leaving.

It's been a whirlwind experience. We are just so grateful to have our family all at home and safe. Ben seems to be handling things pretty well. He volunteers to hold her and is very gentle. He likes to take her pacifier away, though. It's pretty funny.


We are just so glad to have her home.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Funny Thing...

I am silly. It's official.

I went to the hospital on Wednesday to turn in paperwork for pre-admission. As I was sitting in the lobby, I thought I felt a small gush and went, uh oh. I hadn't moved, wiggled, coughed, or sneezed which will usually trigger leaking, so I went to the bathroom and checked the damage. It didn't smell bad, so I called Kari, my mother-in-law, to see what I should do (mom was working). She recommended I just go in to have the doctors check if my water really broke since I was already there and Ben was at their house. I thought- good idea.

I walked to the labor and delivery wing and was put into a room right away. They set me up with a gown and monitors then laid me down on a super-pad. I knew within a few minutes that my water hadn't really broken since the pad stayed nice and dry, but I got a sweet little bonus- I got to just lie there, listening to the baby's heartbeat, for about an hour and a half while they monitored me. It was so peaceful.

I had a few contractions, but nothing that indicated I was progressing, and when they checked my progress I was 2 cm and 40% effaced. So, home I went.

When I got the discharge papers, the second sentence down said, "You should not feel embarrassed" which made me feel a little better, since I was quite embarrassed. Oh, well. Better safe than sorry!

Next time I go to the hospital, I won't be coming back until I've had that baby. That's a promise.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hey everyone! So, I'm surviving the last weeks of the pregnancy (only three weeks to go!!) and just enjoying the last of my time with only one child. It's surprisingly relaxing. I'm just really savoring the moment. I don't think I've done enough of that in the past, and it feels great.

L.J. and Melissa's wedding was great. It was an exhausting and exhilarating experience. I'll wait to do a more thorough post when I get pictures from Melissa, but I took these from Kari's facebook (thank you).



Loved her choice of colors/flowers. Apparently, these colors are very "in" right now. I want to do it again, but I do not want to do something like this professionally. It was enough stress, even with a very casual bride (all self-inflicted stress, I'll have you know).

I have an OB appointment tomorrow, which I'm excited for since they did not check my progress last week. Stephen and I toured the hospital last Wednesday and we feel pretty good about the facilities and room options. Their rooms are the kind where you stay in one room throughout the whole process, which Utah Valley was not. The only annoying thing is that our pediatrician has privileges at another hospital, so we have to choose a temporary pediatrician for the one I'm giving birth at. Lame.

In other good news, the kids' room is ready to go. I went though Ben's old clothes to pull out the neutral ones (not a ton of those, but enough) and we set up Ben's twin bed. He really likes it! He'll crawl into it at bedtime and pull up the covers. It's quite sweet. The crib is set up for the baby and Ben hasn't tried to climb in it yet, which I was a little worried about. It was his, but he is coping well. I'll take pictures once the final decorations are up.

Catch you later!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Busy Bees

Hey everyone! I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I'm not expecting that to happen until at least Friday.

It has been project time in my house. We have been diligently preparing for L.J. (Stephen's brother) and Melissa's wedding and the arrival of Baby Girl. My to-do list is a bit daunting, including doing Melissa's flowers and making a blessing gown for Baby Girl.

Part of me would really like Stephen and I to go on a "Babymoon" by ourselves as a break between the wedding and baby's arrival, but as time goes by I am seriously doubting it will be possible. I think we may just take Ben camping next weekend as a substitute, which I'm anticipating will be just as fun.

Did I mention that the wedding is on Saturday? Well, it's on Saturday. I am trying to deep clean the apartment so that when relatives come into town, they can come over here and I won't be severely mortified. The plan is to be done on Wednesday so I can play on Thursday, then attack the flowers on Friday. I am slightly worried about the difficulty of doing her flowers, because Melissa has fancy taste and we are doing lots of orchids and her bouquet has gardenias in it. Gorgeous? Absolutely. I just want them to look their best for Saturday and I really don't want to mess up.

Here are some sneak peeks at my project progress:

The jacket for the blessing gown (minus decorative ribbon at the waist):
Ben's vest and tie that I made for the wedding:
So, lots going on. I just need to be better at documenting it. :)

***
Ben Moment of the Week

Ben's new favorite words are:
  • Poo Poo
  • Pee Pee
  • Dirty
  • Wet
He enjoys saying these words at every opportunity. Like each time he passes gas. Or is in the grocery cart at the store. Or bored in the car.

He's a smart kid, that one. Because each time he says these words, I have to check his diaper, which results in attention for Ben. Honestly though, about a third of the time he's accurate. We're making progress.