Monday, June 30, 2014

Christian at 2

This post I found still in my drafts for April 23, 2013. Since I didn't actually post anything in 2013, I feel like I should go ahead and post what I did have written. This is a good reminder I need to write more about Christian! Ahh -- I'm so behind!

Wow -- I can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged. I don't know where I've been! Update on my weight -- I have been able to stay within one or two pounds of my ending weight. That makes me happy! I feel like I can do this the rest of my life. It is not easy in a lot of ways -- watching everyone eat ice cream or brownies while I sit there isn't ever going to be "easy" but I know I can do it cause I've been doing it for over a year now.

It makes me sad that I have not been more vigilant in posting updates on the kids, especially Christian. Kate got a lot of updates as she was growing, and I've been way more lax about it with Christian. Christian is so so sweet. Even when he is throwing a tantrum, I just can't get over how much I love this boy! He can do no wrong in my eyes (which is probably very, very bad).

He loves his family, and he has such a tender heart. If Kate is crying or carrying on, he always asks what's wrong with her (he asks in a nice way not the WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? variety). She usually screams at him to leave her alone, but instead of listening to her he always wraps his arms around her in the sweetest hug you've ever seen. Even if she won't hug him back, he presses his cheek against her tummy and holds on and pats her back.

He generally only has tantrums himself when he has not taken a nap (he rarely takes one these days), and by dinner time he has had it with life. If I ask him why he's crying, he'll say, "Cause I'm sad." But lately he's been making an effort to get over it faster, and sometimes minutes later will say, while wiping his eyes "I'm a happy boy now!"

He loves cars, trains, airplanes, helicopters, bikes, scooters, well you get the idea -- anything with wheels or wings. He doesn't like big noises of any kind or anything that might be slightly scary.

He loves to give hugs and kisses. He loves playing games on the computer and on Daddy's ipad. He's learning a ton, probably thanks in big part to Kate who loves to try to teach him things. He's learning his letters, knows his colors, and has a great vocabulary.

I love his sweet little voice and should probably spend more time recording it than I do.

He loves to say prayers, even though he says the same thing every time (unless someone helps him), "Dear Heavenly Father, please bless the food. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

He sleeps with his cars, trains, or balls every night. He is obsessed with Thomas the Train and every week will ask me (usually in a hopeful whisper), "Is it Christmas time yet?" because we have a Thomas train set that we only get out at Christmas.

I am with him in nursery, and it is so fun to watch him interact with the other kids. Sometimes smaller kids will climb on him or steal the toy he's playing with, but he usually just looks up at me with a slightly worried expression. He doesn't ever hit back or yell at the kids (like other kids do). He is very patient and helpful with younger kids (like when his 18 mo old twin cousins come to visit). He will make a great big brother if we ever make that happen for him.

He is kind, calm, loving, and obedient. I feel overwhelmed that I get to be his mother. He has a maturity beyond his years, that's for sure. He's two, for heaven's sake, but I have loved him at this age so much and often wish I could freeze him at this spot forever. He brings so much joy into my life.

Our parenting style is loosely based on Love & Logic. I don't follow through well enough to say I follow it, but there are sometimes when Christian needs an "uh oh" or a timeout. At first, I just held him and sang the uh oh song in the bathroom. He would calm down right away, and sometimes later when he did something he wasn't supposed to he would say, "I need an uh oh." I realized this was probably not as effective as I hoped. I asked my sister about it, and she told me that ideally they should be alone in their room and should go there on their own. So I started trying that, and told him to go to his room for the uh oh. He would say, "Ok, mommy." Then go to his room. I would go in a minute later, and he would be standing perfectly still, facing the door, not crying or anything.


Andrew and the Kiddos

Well, I just found this lone picture without text in my drafts for May 2013. One of two things I thought about posting in 2013, so I am going to go ahead and post it. :) I do love this picture.

The Birth of Luke

Here is the birth story. Not one I'm too likely to forget! (The details might get a little cloudy over time, though.)

At my 36 week check-up, Dr. Skinner told me I was dilated to a three! I almost fell over. Then I began to panic. For the previous several weeks I had been actively nesting: organizing, cleaning, and preparing. I had retrieved stored clothes from Idaho, put up the crib, and donated a ton of stuff to make room for more baby things. All I had left was to buy a used stroller and borrow my visiting teacher's bassinet. When I found out I was already dilated to a three, I immediately got those things checked off also. My doctor gave me the "What to do if" speech about when to go to the hospital. He told me that if I went to the hospital this week, the nurses would not try to stop the labor. I was far enough along that they would let the baby come. I couldn't believe it. Neither Kate nor Christian came early, and I was mentally prepared to go 41 weeks (oh who am I kidding, you can never be mentally prepared for that).

All that week, every little contraction freaked me out. They were painful, but not regular. I avoided doing too much. I really wanted to make it to 37 weeks at least so that the baby could have the best chance. Well, 37 weeks on the nose came on Sunday, April 27th. I woke up at 3 am to a screaming Christian. Andrew had not yet gone to bed, and we both went in to check on him. I had several hard contractions, and I left Andrew with Christian, went to the bathroom, and went back to bed. I woke up just a couple hours later at 5:30 to very hard contractions -- the kind that wouldn't let me go back to sleep (I tried). The doctor said when the contractions were five minutes apart for an hour to head to the hospital. I timed them for a half an hour, and I knew it was time. I woke up Andrew, who jumped out of bed, even though he hadn't been asleep very long. We both started scurrying around (luckily I had my hospital bag packed already, but I had forgotten to pack Andrew's things...). Andrew started shaving for some reason (I think he was a little out of it), and I hurried upstairs to tell my parents that we were leaving. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom (#2), but I was worried if I tried that a baby might come out instead. 

I had to deliver in Payson, which is about 20 minutes away. Those were a long 20 minutes! I was screaming and gripping the car's upholstery, and Andrew was running red lights (luckily no one was around). By the time we got to the hospital (around 6:30), the contractions were just two minutes apart! I was so glad to see the hospital and know that Andrew would not be delivering our baby in the Honda Accord (no money to buy a new car!).

We rushed inside, and there was no one around! We saw a note that said to check in at the emergency room, so we headed back outside to go there. The guy behind the desk started asking me my name, my birth date, my social security #. We got through a few answers when Andrew blurted out, "She's having a baby! Right now!" The guy stammered a bit, and said, "Oh ok. Come back later." He told us to go back to where we had gone in before and go upstairs. I was getting a little grumpy having to walk around so much while having contractions.

We finally made it to Labor and Delivery. The first nurse I saw was Miranda, my MTC companion's older sister. Miranda took me in to get changed into a gown. It was about 6:35 - 6:40 at this point. They immediately checked me, and told me I was at a +1, as in dilated to a 10 PLUS one. They told me that an epidural would not be an option at this point. I had actually always wanted to have one baby naturally to have the experience and to save money. So that worked out, I guess.

The nurses were all scurrying around, and I heard one whisper to the other (on the other side of the room), "If she pushes, the baby will come out!" They seemed a little panicked since my doctor was not there and told me to try not to push. It was so weird to experience that part of it because I felt like I almost had no control over pushing or not. My body was pushing, whether I wanted to or not! It just felt like that baby wanted out!

Luckily, Dr. Skinner lives in Payson, and he made it there in ten minutes. As soon as he arrived, bed head and all, he had me "start" pushing. It gets a little foggy here, as my brain has already blocked this out, I think. I remember them all telling me to breathe. I kept holding my breath or just screamed my guts out. Neither one was super helpful, I guess. Luckily, we were the only ones in labor and delivery at the time, because I think anyone arriving at that point would have been scared out of their mind by my bloody murder screams.

It felt like the baby was going to explode out of me. The "Ring of Fire" is a very real, real thing. It was horrible, horrible pain. By far the worst pain I've ever experienced. The doctor said that he was going to cut me a little because the baby's head was stuck a bit, and I seemed to be "struggling." Yeah, you could say that. A second later, there was a baby. Out just before 7 am. They didn't lay him on me right away, as they had with my other two babies. They whisked him off. I wonder if the reason was because he was early, and they had to make sure everything was okay. It felt like a long time before they brought him to me, but was probably only 15 minutes, I'm not sure. The doctor stitched me up, which was also very painful -- the numbing shots hurt like heck, and then one time the numbing didn't work so I just felt the whole stitch. UGH. My legs were shaking like crazy. It was about this time that I got a text from the Primary president (and VTer) asking me to prepare something for church in a few hours. I texted back and said that today wasn't going to work for me.

Finally, they brought our baby over, and I got my first look at him. He was beautiful. 7 lbs 13 oz and 20.5 inches. Above 90th percentile on both. I think I was in a little bit of shock that he was there so soon (not just weeks early, but the labor was SO fast!). He was perfect. Healthy and adorable. Overwhelming.

At my 36 week check up they had me tested (routine) for strep B. The results had not come back yet, but at the hospital they had the results, and I had tested positive. I should have been on antibiotics, but no one knew in time. So they were worried for the baby (we had not named him at this point). We had planned on checking out the next day to try to save money, but the nurse said that the baby might have to stay another day so they could make sure he was healthy. Luckily, the pediatrician checked him out and said he was good to go, and we could watch him closely at home to see if he developed a fever (he didn't). 

We finally decided on a name, really just because they were forcing us to before we left. Literally, on our way out the door, and we decided on Luke Elias. During my pregnancy, I had gone to the temple and was in the Celestial Room praying. I was praying about the baby, and was asking Heavenly Father to bless the baby to be a light in this dark world he'd be entering. Immediately, the spirit stopped me in my prayer and told me, "Luke means light." Luke had been a name we were considering, and I had looked up its meaning at some point. But it was that reminder at that very moment that made me feel we should name him Luke. I told Andrew about it, and he thought it was cool, but he wasn't convinced, and we kept kicking around names. At the hospital, Andrew gave the baby a blessing (we were worried about the Strep B thing), and during the blessing he felt like we should name him Luke. We chose Elias because it is a variation of Elijah, Christian's middle name. It means the same thing: "Jehovah is my God." I liked the idea of them having almost the same middle name. So there ya go.

The kids loved to meet their baby brother. When I asked Christian if the baby looked like how was expecting, he paused, then said, "He looks like a triangle!" It took us a few minutes to realize it was because of how the nurse had swaddled him in his blanket. Ha. One of the first things we noticed (and the nurses, too) was how LONG his arms, legs, and hands/feet were. I guess his feet barely fit inside the stamp card. Might have a tall guy on our hands.

Kate loves to hold him, and at home she was holding him, and she started to cry and kept saying, "I can't believe this is really happening!"

We have the sweetest kids, and we are so grateful to have Luke be among them now!

Well hello again

Well, I am sure no one checks my blog anymore since it's been almost TWO YEARS since my last post. Yeesh. But I am going to post anyway. :)

I want to write down Luke's birth story before it's all forgotten, but that will be for another day. Starting this week (today!), I am beginning a familiar journey: LOSE WEIGHT / GET HEALTHY. I have signed up for Gold's Gym, and I am going to alternate days with Jillian Michaels' videos. My goal is to get back down to where I was before I got pregnant, which means I have to lose 29.2 lbs! Yikes. That seems like a lot, but I know I can do it. I've done it before, right?? I would like to reach my goal by the end of September. THREE MONTHS. Almost ten pounds a month. That might be hoping for too much, but that's what I'll shoot for right now.

If anyone out there happens to see this post and wants to join me, please do! We can keep each other accountable. I'm excited to fit into my old clothes again!