Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Meet Penelope!

My baby girl, Penelope Ann, was born on September 26th at 2:36am.  She is unbelievably perfect in every way and I am in love :)

Labor started early in the day, so we just tried to go on and treat it like a pretty normal day.  I'd kept hearing all kinds of stories from people about how their 2nd baby just shot right out....labor was 20 minutes, etc.  I didn't think I was in for anything like that, but I still didn't want to be caught off guard on the opposite end of the zoo, with Ezra, and have Jordan be at work.  So, with that in mind, we decided that Ez and I would go up to La Jolla while Jordan treated a few patients.  It turned out to be really nice -- Ezra got to take a nap in the car and afterwards, we spent about an hour at the beach, at my request.  It was lovely and exactly what I needed to recenter myself.  

Unfortunately, the calm that I gained from the ocean also helped to calm down those contractions.  After dinner, I managed to convince Jordan that we should go walk around & push Ez on his bike.  By the time we were about 5 blocks away, the contractions started back up again and this time, were much stronger.  We kept going, at my request, and by the time we got home, they were about 5 minutes apart and pretty intense.  

I managed to get Ezra put down to his race car bed...while I tried to maintain composure during contractions.  As soon as he was down, I laid down and listened to some of my hypnobabies tracks.  It wasn't too long after that that things started happening.  I had no idea how long this part of labor would last, so once again, I was hesitant to call Vickii.

At some point during the end of a contraction, I felt a pop...and realized during the next contraction that it was my water.  I'm about 90% sure that it was shortly after that when Jordan called Vickii...but much like with Ezra's labor, I was on another planet.  

Things heated up again and I could feel a lot of downward pressure, like I was pushing...but I wasn't. I went and knelt on the floor, using a stability ball to rest my head and chest on.  This was amazing.  SO much more comfortable than the postures I took with Ezra (lots of sitting and ultimately lying down).  During contractions, I remember needing to have Jordan help pull me forward to "balance" the pressure I felt moving down/back.  I felt so much more with this labor and because of that, I felt like it didn't hurt as much.  Moving around was productive (though, I didn't like to change positions once I was in one for awhile).  During this time, Vickii and Nicole had arrived and they'd begun monitoring baby and whatnot.

I'm sure that I'd been down there for awhile when Vickii suggested that I try lying on my side.  I did, and it was another relief to change positions.  By this point, I was pushing and it seemed that I could feel her moving down, little tiny bit by little tiny bit.  I stayed in the this position for another good while until, once again, I was encouraged to try standing, squatting, something else.

By this time, the contractions were coming nearly on top of one another, so changing positions was not an easy feat.  I got down to the floor and made it to the foot of the bed, another contraction hit and I was stuck there.  I remember that being another double one -where I had no break in between - and at that point, the baby's heart rate had slowed pretty drastically.  I think it was Vickii that said that I had to push the baby a rather stern voice (for her).  I squatted, pushing, and could feel her head come down and I'm pretty sure she was crowning at that point.  

Once that contraction was over, there was a bit of a mad rush for me to get back up on the bed and get her out.  I remember getting on all fours and pushing like I'd never done before...because there were no more contractions to help.  I could hear in Vickii's tone that she was serious and that in no uncertain terms, this baby needed to get out.  If I had to guess, I'd say I pushed 4 more times (full-on, holy crap, kind of pushing) and out came her head.  She let out a cry, much to everyone's relief, and a push or two later, the rest of her was out too :)

On her way out, she left me with a little parting gift of a giant poo -- although, I had no idea she'd done that -- we were both covered ;-)  Considering the circumstances under which she arrived (it was a little more intense and scary than I'd expected), it was quite a relief to lie back and hold her in my arms.  A couple minutes later, Jordan lifted up the towels around her and confirmed what I was already pretty sure of -- that she was our little girl.  I got my Penny :)  

Weighing in at 9 pounds and 21.5 inches long, she's my "big" little girl.  She's got blue eyes (that I imagine will stay that way) and dark brown hair, just like her brother, though, she's definitely got less of it than he did.  Oh, and she's absolutely beautiful.

I managed to walk away from her birth relatively unscathed, thankfully.  No crazy tearing (just a couple minor ones) and no coccyx issues.  Yay!  Seriously, that was awful last time and I was hoping against hope that it wouldn't happen again.  

I should also mention that, while I was laboring on the bed, Ezra woke up and required me to help him go back to sleep.  I kind of had a feeling this was going to happen and there's really no way to plan for it -- since he only allows me to help him back to sleep.  So, the lights were off in my room anyways, so he just crawled in bed next to me and fell back to sleep while I labored away.  And because of that, he was right next to me when she was born.  He managed to stay asleep the whole time and only woke up when she began crying just after she arrived.  He sat up, still groggy, and said "A baby is born?"  He then proceeded to fall in love with her alongside his Dad and me :)

So, she's here.  She's perfect.  She eats well, she sleeps pretty well, she's awesome.  She's a great snuggler.  She's a happy baby.  She loves to look at her brother.  I just love her to pieces.

Here's some pictures from right after she arrived.

Jordan gave her her first adjustment...

My "big" little girl getting weighed...

And here's a few more...
One day old

Two days old

Three days old

My little girl, smiling while she sleeps (5 days old)

10 days old

 Little Penny with her big brother...he loves her so much!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ezra's actual birthday :)

Since we decided to celebrate Ezra's birthday at the beginning of the month, we had to make sure to celebrate our boy on his true birthday :)  He was adamant about having a vanilla cake with vanilla icing.  So, I got everything ready - found a super delicious looking recipe for a stark-white, yummy vanilla cake.  I also found a new frosting recipe...I love new recipes.  Love.  But, as it turned out, I started getting pretty uncomfortable and having some very real-feeling contractions the day before his birthday.  Ultimately, it wasn't the real thing...but for about 7 hours, I was pretty sure that getting knee-deep into cake baking & decorating was a very bad idea.  

So, my poor child had to make do with a store-bought cake.  Ice cream cake, to be exact (at his request).  Please don't judge me.

We had already given him his other presents on the day of his party, but we held on to his brand new, big boy bike.  It's a push bike/balance bike.  He thinks it's awesome (and it is), however, he's still getting used to it.  He much prefers to just pick up his feet and have Dad push him around, instead of doing the work himself ;-)  Eh, he'll get it.

He's such a big boy now.  He seriously cracks me up  SO funny.  He can drive me crazy and then melt me with one little "I love you, mom."  He's got the most vivid imagination and can come up with the most outrageous storylines for his toys.  I love this kid.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ezra's 3rd Birthday Party!

We had to have Ez's 3rd birthday party a little early this know, so that we could be guaranteed to actually have the case this baby decided to come out and make an appearance ;-)

We celebrated in Dr. Seuss fashion, since my little man loves The Cat in the Hat.  And Horton and Green Eggs & Ham and The Grinch...and so many other Seuss books.  Let's say he's a fan.

I know he's still too young to understand why I had to make truffula trees, had to give clever names to all the food & drink, had to have 2, 5+-ft Cat in the Hat cut-outs, etc.  But it all happened and I'm happy it did because, in spite of the crazy heat (and flies.....omg, the flies!), it turned out to be a super cute party for my boy :)  I love this kid, man.

Here's our birthday boy -- he was so excited to finally have everyone sing him Happy Birthday (he's the last of his 'main' group of friends to celebrate)

Aaand the blue icing was a hit!

I was still getting blue icing out of his nose during his bath that night.

The Cat with some truffula trees (remember?  from The Lorax??)

The favor bags were actual real things!  Not just bags of crap to throw away ;-)  I did Cat in the Hat crayons, pencils, giant erasers, and cups...all inside these cute reusable bags.  

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!  Or, goldfish crackers in a fishbowl, served up with a fish net ;-)

Who-Hash Bars were my crackalicious chocolate oatmeal bars & Beezlenut Cookies were coconut cookies -- a new recipe that I tried & LOVED.

The cupcakes!  They were supposed to be Thing 1 & Thing 2, complete with cotton candy hair, but the  intense heat and humidity caused that idea to be pushed aside (melted cotton candy tastes good but looks bad).  It's a good thing my dear friend is a quick-thinker and was able to switch it up that morning :)

Ez was really excited to get Bullseye!

Opening more presents!

The ball pit was a nice escape from the bounce house...

I was shocked to see this picture.  Usually, I think people feel a lot bigger than they really are.  Turns out, this was exactly how big I felt.  Scary-big :)

More presents!

The bounce house was a hit.  I can't imagine a birthday party without one, from now on.  So much easier than trying to entertain a bunch of 3-year olds!

It was a little bit crazy in there...

Ez and his buddy, just hanging out...looking like a couple teenagers wasting time at the park before a Blind Melon concert back in 1994 ;-)

So, the party was a success and Ezra had a blast.  He's such a sweet, funny kid and I couldn't be more proud of the little boy that he's turning into :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Toddlers with mustaches...and some giant belly pics.

I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever find time to update as much as I did when Ez was little (and nursing all the freakin time).  I keep thinking that I'll be better...and then I find other things to do instead.  We'll see.  

Either way, it's been a busy couple of months.  We've been trying to catch up with friends, spending most every weekend at a birthday party, taking advantage of extended hours at Ezra's favorite places (Sea World and the zoo), and getting ready for our little man's birthday party.  Lots and lots to do....

Oh, and there's the new baby coming in September :)  So...yeah.  There's a little bit going on lately.

Ez's friend had a pirate birthday party, so of course, Ez got into it by putting on a fake 'stache and pirate  hat ;-)

Pirate Ez and Pirate-Mermaid Claire :)

Ez had a fun morning playing in the tidepools in OB a couple weeks ago.  We got there during high tide, so it wasn't ideal, but the kids still had fun and were able to find some cool creatures.  Oh, and they got completely filthy playing in the wet sand ;-)

He really likes letting the water shoot directly into his face ;-)

On Labor Day, we decided to spend the evening over at the zoo.  It was the last night of Nighttime Zoo for the 2013 season, so naturally, we had to make an appearance.  I mean, this kid pretty much owns the zoo, so it's only right ;-)

Ez gave a rousing lecture on the differences between African and Asian elephants...

Here's my 35 week pics.  

 Aaand 36 week pics.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

More Maine Pictures

I guess I forgot about these pictures.  They're from our last few weeks in Maine.  It was pretty nice getting all that time to spend with family while we were there.  I'd never been that close to my Dad's side of the family but, as these things do, we were definitely brought closer by Dad's illness and subsequent passing.  They've been beyond amazing and I'm incredibly grateful for them.

Here's Ez with one of his cousins...I think.  I mean, I'm really not sure what they are to each other.  Her dad is my first, yeah.  They're related somehow ;-)  Either way, they just loved each other and played together a handful of times while we were there.

Some fun shots from one of the many days we spent lounging at my aunt and uncle's pool...

Ez did a little tent shopping at L.L.Bean :)

And of course my kid spent some time at the Freeport Fire Station...

Finally, here he is riding a cousin's (or whatever) mini 4-wheeler.  Holy shit, he loved that thing.

I've got another couple weeks of belly pics, but I'll save those for next time.  No need to thank me, folks ;-)