Saturday, April 20, 2013

Road trip - Colorado, New Mexico, Moab - February 2013

In mid-February, Eric and I decided to take a road trip with our little family. We decided we'd take a long weekend and head over into Colorado - Craig, Steamboat Springs, Vail, Leadville - then head South to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and back to Salt Lake via the Moab route. As with all of our road trips, we spent a lot of time driving (surprising for a road trip right? ;)), sightseeing, stopping at anything that interested us, and trying out little Ma & Pa restaurants. On our road trips I always read a book out loud for Eric to listen to. This time it was "Chasing Lincoln's Killer", a good and very interesting book. The kids liked that every night we had a hotel booked with a pool so they got to go swimming each night - smart move and good bribing tool ;)!
 We went through lots of little ski towns. I would love to come back one day with either just Eric or with our kids too when they are old enough to all participate in snow sports. It would be fun to rent a little place, go snowboarding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing all day, and then head back to the house to get cozy by the fire...oh, and sip hot cocoa with whipped cream of course!
 There was a huge hockey tournament going on in one of the towns. They had a large icy area with multiple hockey games taking place at the same time.
 An old abandoned mining town.

 Leadville was a neat city with all kinds of cool old buildings. And at 10,200 feet it is dubbed the "two-mile high city".

 It sort of reminded me of Disneyland with all the neat colors of exteriors.

 When we were driving through New Mexico we spotted Chaco Culture National Historical Park. We decided it was worth the semi-long dirt-road drive to the destination.

 Ivan was not himself on this trip. He was teething for one thing. So he had a fever for most of the trip, a runny nose, and was grouchy as can be. His balance was also way off for some reason and he had a lump on his spine, which stressed me out the whole trip. I now think he must have just hit it at some point since it went away within a day or so of being home. Anyway.....he was pretty miserable the entire time driving, which was NO fun! It was nice to be out of the car for a bit to allow the kids to run around and enjoy the fresh air.

 These were all SO amazing! We were astonished! And we were walking out we spotted a plaque that said that lots of it had been rebuilt. The magic of it all faded :( Eric was crazily disappointed  almost to the humorous stage - I was kind of surprised he didn't walk into the Visitor's Center and give them an earful about how misleading it all was.
Dead Horse Point. It sure does make me anxious, having little kids to worry about falling off the side!
Porter was a champ. I love traveling with newborns because they sleep, eat, go to the bathroom, and sleep again! SO predictable and SO easy!
We finally moved Ivan up front with Eric. He was still on the grouchy side but was quite a bit better. It was fun eavesdropping on their little conversations. I think these two will be good pals growing up.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Porter James

Due to differences in my ultrasound due date and the due date based on my calendar, I had a 2 week window of being "due". Due dates are such funny things because you think your baby ought to for sure be there by the time your due date comes and goes, and it just causes anxiety! I figure babies come when they are ready (or sometimes too soon in some people's cases) so really we shouldn't fret over a due date. However, that is much easier said than done. 

After the holidays were over I was READY! I felt such a strong connection with my baby while pregnant, maybe because it is my third and I realize the love that comes with a new baby. Whatever the case, I would "snuggle" my belly and tell that baby daily, or multiple times a day, that he could come out so I could cuddle him on the outside. Even Reese was excited, praying each night that the baby would come out, and talking to my belly, telling the baby to come out so she can hold him.

 We passed the time as best as we could with tons of indoor activities, since it was bitter cold!
 For at least two weeks prior to my delivery, on most nights I would get strong contractions that were definitely doing something down below. I could tell my body was getting prepped. Each time this would happen I'd embrace the pressure and discomfort and hope it would progress into the real thing. Each morning, I'd wake up disappointed, seeing as I was still pregnant, and the contractions had only lasted a couple hours.

On January 28 I went to bed per usual. Kind of late. Those contractions began again, same as most nights. I downloaded a contraction counter app a few nights prior and read how long and how far apart contractions typically are during each stage of labor. At 1am I started recording my contractions that were anywhere from 20 - 90 seconds long and were occurring between 2 - 13 minutes apart. SUPER irregular, which means false labor, right? Because I was uncomfortable, like most nights I made myself a nice warm bath to relax for a while. I climbed on in and began to relax. By 2 am the contractions felt slightly more painful than "normal", and I was definitely on the ripe side of my due date range so I thought, "ok, if these continue for another hour and keep getting more painful I will call my midwife". That next hour my contractions were pretty much all under a minute long and would occur every 1 - 7 minutes, again, irregular. I finally decided that I must be in labor so I called my midwife. I told her my contraction history, as well as that with Ivan my labor was pretty quick. She told me that she was currently in Orem but would meet me at the SLC birthing center at 4 am. I called my mom to see if they'd come up to get Reese and Ivan. Well, I was sort of in denial when an urge to push accompanied the next couple of contractions. I thought, "Nah, I'm just in pain and my body is being weird."

Well that sensation only got stronger on the next couple contractions. So I made Eric call the midwife to tell her that I was ready to push and to see if someone could meet us sooner. She told us that a midwife was heading over to the birthing center to prep things so she should probably beat us there (even though we live 6 blocks away). I also had Eric call our sweetest ever neighbor Sarah Wells to see if she'd come over to be with the kids until my parents made it up. THANKFULLY she had just woken up for something and saw the light on her phone turn on (since it was on silent). She came over and saw me in all my glory as I am fighting the urge to push, while Eric is putting my tennis shoes on me, and I waddle out the door trying to keep that head I can feel from zooming out.

I mostly don't push during the contraction I have while driving to the birthing center. We get there, I practically run from the car to the building and bang on the front door. The midwife answers it, I walk in, a contraction begins so I lean my head on the stair banister and fight to push, but kind of fail. When that contraction subsides I run up the stairs to my birthing suite, pull down my drawers, get on the bed and after one push the bag of waters is protruding, on the next it pops, and the third his head is out. And what a wonderful sight that was! His little head out but his body still inside of me, his eyebrows raised like he is trying to open his eyes to see the world he is entering. AMAZING! Born at 3:30 am on January 29th; 7 lbs 11 oz and 21 inches.

Everything went as I hoped. I hoped I wouldn't have labor pains for long and although I experienced them for 2 weeks prior, taking them in small doses is totally doable! I hoped that their would be no complications, there weren't! And I made it to the birthing center!!!!! I hoped not to have a home birth (maybe someday?) My midwives told me that next pregnancy I ought to consider a home birth, since supposedly each subsequent birth will even be faster.
I chugged juice, as I knew I would, while I nursed my new baby boy. They gave me a shot of pitocin to stop my bleeding, which they said is typical in such quick births. I didn't faint!!! I was hoping I wouldn't faint this time!
 We hadn't chosen a name but had a few that we liked quite a bit. So when the midwives asked what his name is I looked at Eric. He said, "how about Porter". That one was my favorite :)... so I agreed. Then for a middle name I said, "James?" We hadn't discussed middle names but I had been thinking about the name James for a while because 1) It is the name of our last bishop, James McConkie, who is an amazing man who we respect a ton, 2) It is the name of our stake president, James Wood, also a stellar spiritual giant, 3) It is a great sounding middle name. So Porter James it was!!

Eric was supposed to be out of town on January 29th for work. Although we had made plans that if I went into labor he'd meet his co-worker half way between SLC and the city he was going to be in in Idaho so he could come to be with me, I was hoping SO bad I wouldn't go into labor while he was gone. Thank goodness that didn't happen too, because by the time I realized I was in labor, he would have never made it. Instead of going out of town he took the day off, realizing he'd been up all night with me and that it probably wouldn't be the safest idea to be the driver with no sleep. I enjoyed having him with me, in our bed, our new baby snuggled between the 2 of us.
 The little guy came out with quite the chubby little brow so I dubbed it his "bulldog brow" and kissed it LOTS and LOTS!
 I think he looks like his daddy quite a bit.
 Reese and Ivan came home 2, maybe 3 days after he was born. It was nice to have a little one on one time with the babe and I slept a crazy amount (hence the confusion as to whether it was 2 or 3 days). Reese instantly wanted to hold him, as did Ivan. They were instant super siblings!
 Ivan is quite the protector. He loves his "baby Porter". And Reese is a total mother! NOT surprising!
 Although I haven't held him as much as I probably did Reese when she was a baby (and only child), I have taken full advantage of the newborn stage since it goes by SO quick. And because the older kids have adjusted well and allow me to easily do such.
 I couldn't wait to fill this little cradle with a baby and now I know why. From day 1, he has been an angel baby! He struggled a bit with latching on for a while but I found out he was tongue tied and got his tongue snipped at his 2 week appointment and that fixed the problem. He is happy, very calm, observant, and cute as can be. By 2 months old he was sleeping through the night, smiling lots, cooing and blowing bubbles. I am pretty much obsessed with his sweetness.

 Life has slowed a bit. It took me a good week or so before I dared take all 3 kids anywhere by myself, but as always, kids rise to the expectations you have for them and Reese and Ivan have matured quite a bit. It takes a while to get everyone ready and out the door, and oftentimes I forget essentials (like extra clothes for Porter, extra diapers), but we survive :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Holidays 2012 - Disneyland and California Adventure

After meeting up with my family we spent 4 days at Disneyland and California Adventure. It was so fun, being on a trip with all my siblings, their families, and my parents.

We did a LOT of walking. To and from the hotel, all around the parks. I actually lost weight, which was a welcome surprise in my last month of pregnancy. I let go of my pride pretty quickly and allowed myself to sit in the strollers when waiting around for our group to get off rides.

 It worked out nicely. I kind of thought I wouldn't be able to ride any of the rides but I was wrong. I rode every ride I wanted to. Only once was asked about my pregnant condition and all that was asked was whether I was ok to ride or not. I had had an uncomplicated pregnancy, my body felt fine, and the rides, especially the newer roller coasters, are actually very smooth.
 The kids were in heaven. Not only were they at the "happiest place on earth" but they were also with their favorite people. Non -stop attention from their cousins, aunts & uncles, and papa and grandma.
 Reese was so sad when on the first day she was told she couldn't go on a ride because she was too short. We told her to stand taller the next time around because she was so close to the right height. Well, she stood as tall as she could but was still slightly too short and was told she couldn't go on the ride. She was distraught and I think she felt like she let us down.

The 2nd day at Disneyland was Reese's 4th birthday, so Eric and I went out shopping the night before and went to multiple shoe stores until we could find some shoes for her with thick soles. We wanted to make sure she'd be able to ride the rides so not only did we get her some thick soled cowgirl boots, but we also found some thick insoles that Eric cut down to size and inserted into them. In the morning she opened some presents from me and Eric and then we headed to Disneyland. She was so excited to be tall enough to ride the rides and thought it was because she was now 4 years old (nothing to do with the shoes).
 The kids LOVED all the rides....

 ...except maybe the Tower of Terror. I was surprised that Reese consented to go on this ride. I even thought it was pretty thrilling/ slightly frightening so I was super surprised when I looked over at her and she wasn't crying. She did however say she didn't want to go on it again and she still talks about how scary it was.
 We finished her birthday night off with dinner at 9pm and presents from the cousins and aunts & uncles.

 The days warmed up nicely so everyone would shed their jackets around lunch time.

 It is so nice having aunts and uncles who want to hang out with you! My kids are so spoiled!

 Reese's all time favorite ride was the teacups.

We had such a good time. Reese and Ivan still talk about the trip and ask when we can go back. When we play pretend, Ivan usually says "wanna go to Nisneyland?" It was a perfect end to our holiday vacation and a great time passer for the end of my pregnancy.