Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Time in Photos and Captions

She was too shy to talk to him but she rather liked him, and also the candy cane! She also asked me a few times where the reindeer were. I said they were sleeping..... ??
We saw the Nutcracker together!!! The most magical part of the holiday thus far. I may or may not have cried a little bit. Ella sat through the whole thing, riveted during the first half and a little tired in the second half. She especially liked how Clara had a little Nutcracker and it turned into a big Nutcracker.. and the fight between him and the Mouse King.
Outside the theater... running around. It was lovely.
She got the little stool out all by herself to get off an ornament to look at. It was so adorable. To keep it real, this specific day was super hard- both kids were all crying and mad about something all. the. time. and it was driving me nuts. Whatever, we get past it.
Festive.

For Christmas, we are giving our ladies (fingers crossed Ella loves these items- Christmas shopping is such a gamble! you never know whats worth it):
toddler drum and maraca set (I'm sure I'll regret it)
some other crap, I can't remember.
play mat for Lucy

Also, Lucy is almost 3 months and she is such gem. She sleeps well (5 hour chunks at night and is easy to get back to sleep) and has started smiling and cooing- which brings me such joy. 

Ella Chats: 2 1/2

Some things Ella says:

when I ask if she wants to go the park, "Maybe Yes?" And another time she answered, "Um, sure."

The other morning after waking up in our bed with Brent, she says to him, "You are my best friend." Heart eyes all around! Then she said it to me, and then Lucy. But it was lovely every time.

Brent and I saw a movie today and our neighbors were kind enough to watch both Ella and Lucy. Ella has never stayed with them before so I was prepping her beforehand about how she was going to stay at Lori and Kristen's house and then I would come back for her. She said, "I'm scared about that... a tiny bit" while putting her thumb and pointer finger together to show me just a little bit.

I told her we were going to the bouncy place to play, she responds with an unelicited "I'm excited!"

She asked me if she could put orange soda in her chili. I told her that wouldn't taste very good, and she responded, "Well, I have to try it." Parent logic about tasting food before judgment turned against me.

I got my haircut a month or so ago, and when I came home she said, Mom your hair looks so nice! as she smoothed her hands over my head. Girlfriend notices the details.

Eleanor is annoying 75% of the time, but I love her and I think she's a genius. I think I mostly need to adjust my attitude about the annoying part...

Friday, December 9, 2016

Happy Birthday Granny Phoebe!

A generous and beautiful granny, an excellent biscuit baker, and can tell a real good story- when you want one and when you don't :)

Love you so much Granny Phoebe and the happiest of birthdays. Ella is lucky to be named after you.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Lucy & Ella photo gig with Aunty

she always asks for chocolate milk these days
My sister in law Natalie is a wonderful photographer and I am so happy to share her photos of my kids with the world, they are so beautiful. 
ella has named this baby doll Lucy also.. she asks for this "big baby" several times a day and prefers it for some reason over her two other smaller baby dolls.
heres some more if you'd like to see:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween & 2 kids

Ella has LOVED witches and ghosts and pumpkins and corn mazes and all things Halloween related. She was not a tiger for trick or treating, but she did try on the mask at target.
We did go trick or treating (Ella was a witch, and Lucy stayed home with Brent, not dressed up, to give out candy) and I told Ella to knock on the door and what to say when it was opened. But, she did her own thing, saying, "I have a baby sister!" instead of the usual trick or treat. Which was adorable for me but confusing, as we did not have the baby sister with us.
Also, I'm getting marginally more comfortable with 2 kids but thats not saying a whole lot as I was deathly scared and cried every two minutes when we first brought Lucy home. And the thing is, I have so much help, and its still so hard. My parents are so helpful and so is Brent- though he does have to work- but lately he's been working from home- and he helps out when I'm in a pinch and it is so wonderful. I'm very lucky.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Lucy's Story

Lucy is such a doll. She was born on Monday, September 26th when she was 1 day shy of 39 weeks. I was not expecting to have a baby on Monday, but I'm glad I did- 9 lbs 8 oz and 20 inches is not messing around.

9am: I went in to the doctors office in the morning to have my regular non stress test. Baby Lucy didn't move as much as the nurses wanted, so I was set to come in a little later to do further testing at the hospital (this didn't concern me yet as I had done this at 32 weeks as well when baby didn't move too much, and nothing was wrong).

11am: Before I went to the hospital, the OB/GYN doctor checked to see how far along I was (nothing crazy, 2cm and somewhere around 50% to 75% effaced) and at this time also checked my blood pressure- which was quite high. Since this is worrisome at 39 weeks, they also checked the protein in my... pee... sorry... which was also high. Therefore, preeclampsia was a high probability. So, a lot of things going wrong. a no good Non-stress test and probably preeclampsia. I was feeling nervous at this point, but also kinda excited because I knew all this stuff would further things along. and, I was so ready to not be pregnant.

12pm: Because of all this, they just sent me to the hospital right then for a "possible induction." Brent took off work and came with me, I was so glad. As we were walking down the hall, Brent noted how we would have the baby today. I said, no way- last time I went to the hospital at 32 weeks, things took so long so I figured I wouldn't give birth at least until the next day.
Brent won that one.

1-3pm: The hospital ran some tests and determined I did indeed have preeclampsia-  and doctor (who was kind of a scary old man) gave me two choices:
1. he would break my water, insert internal monitoring (yiiiiiikes) that keep track of baby's movement and heartbeat, administer a little pitocin, and hope my body would successfully go into labor and hopefully I wouldn't have a face up posterior baby, which according to the doctor, was likely due to my pelvis shape.
2. Schedule a repeat c section.

I was so torn. I cried like a dummy and it was embarrassing in front of the old doctor. I wanted the experience of a vaginal birth and I was hoping the recovery from that would way easier than a c section. But I was a little freaked about the internal monitors, and frankly, about going through all the contractions and having it just lead into a c section anyways. And option 1 didn't have an end time in sight, like after they broke my water I could have the baby in a few hours or in another day or two, which felt depressing. Also, I felt like the c section was an "easy" route - which it isn't, looking back. Anyway, I chose the repeat section. I felt a bit like a failure (I think it's crazy and annoying I felt this way- emotions are so weird.)

3pm: Brent leaves to pick up lunch and a few things from home. Nurses/anesthesiologist are prepping me for c section- I get an IV and an epidural. Things start to get a little freaky in my head. My blood sugar was a little low, and I think it affected me mentally. Plus, I was about to have a baby and I was all alone in the hospital room, so I'm sure that added fuel to the fire. Anyway, I started having such anxious and depressing thoughts, I'll never be able to handle two kids, Ella will get severely depressed and I won't be able to help her, I'll never be happy again, my life will never be the same. It was horrible. Brent is such a rock in these situations. He had just come back to the hospital and I was telling him how anxious and scared I was, and he was calm and happy and seemed excited about having a baby, and it was so reassuring. Also, I had some juice, so my blood sugar was coming around.

3:45pm ish; I'm wheeled into the operating room for the c section. It is so cold in there- for sanitary purposes? I don't know, but my teeth were chattering and it was uncomfortable- I was just in my hospital gown. The anesthesiologist put in the numbing stuff, and I could feel my legs and body start to get warm, starting from my feet and moving up. Creepy what medicine can do. The sheet went up in front of my face and oxygen into my nose. At this point, I kept telling Brent and the anesthesiologist I was frightened and couldn't feel myself breathe. Thankfully they were as calm as cucumbers telling me that was the normal (the epidural makes it so you can't feel your chest rising and falling). I also heard a nurse say the platelet count was low. I asked what that meant, and was told it wasn't me, that was another patient. And I thought, what the heck, why are these doctors talking about other patients, lets focus on the naked and pregnant body right in front of their faces. What if they made a mistake on me because they were thinking about another patient? That was scary and I stopped thinking about that.

4:21pm: I hear, "look at that double chin" from a doctor and that her weight is 9 lb 8 oz, and I'm astounded. Cause you know, Ella was only 7 lbs. I didn't hear any crying though and I got worried so I asked, and I must have been out of it or something because the anesthesiologist was like oh yea, she's crying. Brent brings our sweet swaddled baby over to my face and I see she has that dark thick hair and her eyes are now closed.
After the surgery, my teeth chattered like a crazy person and I was pretty nauseous. I lost my cookies a few times as they were wheeling my bed to my room. That didn't happen last time... but nobody seemed worried.
Birth is crazy. Some things, the stuff I described above, are so vivid in my memory... but other things I've completely lost. Like, I can't remember when I nursed Lucy for the first time, I know it was soon after she was born, but I can't place it. Or when she was first placed in my arms... I can't picture it.

Anyway, Lucille Marie Mouritsen (after my mom Belinda Marie) is a model baby. She sleeps and nurses like a pro (nursing is so so so much easier this time around) and has a little cry that makes you want to snuggle her right away. Ella is adjusting, as well as can be expected under the circumstances. More to come, of course, of this new family of four.
 My face is so swollen!


Sunday, September 18, 2016

My thoughts

when will this baby be born? PLEASE GET OUT OF ME RIGHT NOW. every time I go to the bathroom, I think to myself, is this my water breaking or a normal bathroom situation?
Will she be too big or too little or just right?
Will I just end up having another c section?
how many frozen pizzas should I buy to prepare for having two kids?
How necessary are these baby booties that promise to stay on way better than socks? I mean, it will be getting cold soon. How cold is cold enough to buy these booties? How often will baby be wearing non footed pajamas to warrant this purchase? Why am I thinking so much about this. buy the stupid booties or don't buy them, and get over it.
How necessary are these adult booties? They pop up in ads all the time on social media and they always look so cute. They are not necessary. I will not buy them.
Why won't Ella wear a jacket in the morning when its cold? I tell myself, don't stress about it. It's not cold enough at all where anything bad will happen if she doesn't wear it- so it really doesn't matter.
I'm not keeping up with any television shows right now. How is that even possible? I don't remember the last time that happened. I've been hearing of some good ones - "Stranger Things" for instance on Netflix, but I weirdly don't have the patience to start.
I bought peaches from a farmers market stand the other day- and they are some of the most delightful things I have eaten in a long long while.
I am so blessed and lucky to have my parents living so close to me. They are such generous parents and grandparents. I love that my experience with my grandparents was so good as a child (running around in their gardens and picking fresh figs and green beans and seeing lizards and spiders on their porch and loving their company- thanks Granny Phoebe) and Ella is doing those same sorts of things with my parents- vegetables and wildlife and company included.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pregnancy Comparisons, Worries

Pregnancy is really poopy at the moment. The normal complaints, swelling feet, hurts to move, cant hold Ella for very long, hard to lay down, hard to get up, hard to keep up with Ella in general, you know.

It is interesting to compare bumps with Ella. I've gained around the same weight it seems. around 40 lbs or so, but it does seem all in the bump and not as much all around.

I did have an emergency c-section the first time, and I'm in the green to go for a VBAC this time around. The only catch, I have to basically go into labor naturally before 39 weeks (because of diabetes, I have to delivery by 39 weeks), otherwise I'll just have another scheduled c section. Maybe if I'm a little farther along dilation and effacement wise, they'll induce me before 39 weeks, but it seems the doctors don't love that idea. Induction increases the chance of my c section scar bursting open. We'll see how it goes. I've been having non-stress tests twice a week where they measure baby's heart rate and make sure it goes up when the baby moves and NOT down when/if I have a contraction. They've been going pretty well. Also, my belly is so so so itchy, so they've taken blood to see if I have chloestasis, a liver condition that can affect baby. It's not likely, as the itching isn't on my hands and feet (the usual symptoms) but the doctors wanted to check anyway. I'll get those results soon.

Having two kids is frightening. Brent thinks I get overwhelmed a lot with just one. Which is a little offensive. But sometimes true. I just cry a lot- so its super obvious I'm overwhelmed. I MEAN THATS NORMAL RIGHT IM NOT BEING DRAMATIC. Being overwhelmed is very natural- being so pregnant with an irrational toddler, but I just wish I wouldn't express being overwhelmed by crying. It's so obvious and public.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Trauma

Ella busted her bottom lip the other day. We just came inside the house and her little feet were wet and slippery from playing in some water outside- and down she went on the floor. Her top teeth biting her bottom lip. I picked her up, and there was blood all around her mouth and dripping out. It was horrible, my heart stopped a little bit.

Does she need stitches? how soon do I need to force her to open her mouth to assess the situation- given that she's crying so intensely? I wasn't sure.. but I did end up waiting a few min for her to calm down and I think that was the right decision.

It didn't seem too bad once I wiped off all the blood- thank heavens. and it seems to be healing nicely. She seemed pretty interested in taking a photo of it...

I hope I have a bit tougher skin when my kids break their arm or have some bigger injury which I'm sure will happen. It is traumatizing.

Speaking of traumatizing, I lost Ella in Costco the other day. It was for about 5 min. Which felt you know, so so long. I was calling out her name and trying to calm my breathing. I ended up finding her climbing in the middle of a clothes rack, like a hooligan, hidden from view.

Kids are tricky.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

34 weeks

I'm almost 34 weeks. I feel so gross and big all the time. In fact, I think I look quite petite in this photo... I seem bigger when I look in the mirror, maybe thats just a good angle I got. I put on some maternity shorts yesterday, and the over-the-belly maternity band on the shorts was too tight. Yikes. Also my feet are swelling, so that's nice. Pregnancy whining over here.

Also, we bought this glider this week:
photo from Babies R Us website
Brent wanted a different one that was more comfortable for him... but this one was more comfortable for me (the seat isn't quite as deep so I don't have to scoot myself back when I sit down). So, I hope I don't regret it because this one was $50 more expensive. It'll be delivered soon, so I'll see what I think.

Oh you guys, I'm so curious how a family of four will be. What will Brent and I's dynamic be like since we'll have two on two adult to kid ratio instead of two to one? Can we keep our relationship up to date? How will Ella survive not being #1 all the time? and maybe more importantly, how will I survive Ella learning to survive? I'm anxious that even though Ella is done with bottles now (but she was SO SO attached to them when she was using them, like emotionally attached) that when she sees the baby getting bottle, that will put her over the edge and she'll be, like, emotionally scarred.

Also, I was chatting in church with someone about my hobbies.. and I thought to myself... what hobbies do I have? Thinking of the next meal Eleanor will eat? Picking up dinosaurs off the floor? It makes me feel like a dummy to not have any hobbies except my family/kids. Any suggestions?
This is 34 weeks and 5 days. I updated it to this post... I didn't want to make a new post since its a grimy photo. ha.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Work & 33 weeks

August 31st is my last day of work. !!

I'm looking forward to not having to stress at work and not having to stay longer than my 4 hours (which I do way too often). But I'm worried that without a set 4 hour work time, I'll have no routine, and so I'll go a little bonkers. I'll have to think of more things to do during the day for miss Eleanor- I can't just chill at home feeling content knowing that she's already done something awesome with Grandma and Grandpa while I was at work.

Also... this pregnancy is way more uncomfortable way sooner. I'm 33 weeks, and if I start to "run" after Ella... yiiiiiikes. it's basically impossible. Or turn over while laying in bed, or bending over to pick up something, or being hot all the time.The usual dumb pregnancy struggles.

I've started having non-stress tests twice a week also. I've had two so far (they make sure the placenta is giving the baby enough oxygen-which is a worry because of diabetes. They test that by measuring baby's heart rate after she moves- the rate should go up by a certain amount of beats after a movement. I think I have that right). Baby is healthy so thats awesome. She is measuring a week and a few days bigger than usual, but the doctor said in the 3rd trimester, as long as the baby is within 3 weeks of the due date, that's cool. so, Phew.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Baby Names

We are having a tough time picking a baby name for this second kid. At first, both Brent and I really liked Mila, but I can't stomach how close it sounds to Ella, both having the same exact 2nd syllable. Here are our (and my) other picks so far:

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Pool

We went to the pool with my old college room mates and it was so good. It takes a bit of work to go the pool with a kid (putting on the swim diaper, the sunblock, packing the snacks, the drinks, the floaties that take up a lot of space but may or may not be used, the towels, the sun glasses, blah blah) but it is always so worth it. And spending time with these ladies below makes me realize that I dont have any girl friends any more and its a real bummer. Somehow, now that I have a family, I don't make as good friends for myself anymore- like my guard is up because oh, my family is my best friend right now, but that doesn't quite cut it all the time.
I got Ella a doctor kit, and it came with glasses...? I was getting her pajamas ready for her one time after a bath and she ran in in the nude and with these glasses. ha, its pretty cute hearing her say "doctor kit" and it helps her stay still during a diaper change if I tell her she's having surgery (brent came up with that one, kudos).

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Comparison

Interesting to compare. I think the bump looks a little pointier? The summer is too hot already for me to be pregnant. Yeesh. Also, my Grandma Phoebe is coming to Utah on Thursday and I hope she loves it. She hasn't come here in ages and I really hope we can show her a good time.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Anxiousness

I get anxious about stupid stuff, and its annoying me. For instance:

  • Ella's room has simply her bed in it, and a rocking chair for the rare instance I rock her to sleep. nothing else. nothing on the walls, no dresser (I still use the one in her nursery- which will be given to the next kid). I'm getting anxious about it. I feel this weird necessity to put her room together. But then I look online for ideas and things are so pricey and I think to myself, are colorful pom pom banners and decorative plants really necessary? No, they ain't. 
  • Finding a nursing bra. I've been looking at amazon for ages and I. just. can't. decide.
  • I searched online for 2-3 weeks for summer sandals for Ella so her feet wouldn't get hot. It made me stressed. so many options. whats worth what price? will she wear it? is it comfortable? should i get sandals that cover the toes? I mean good hell, she is 2.
I look at this teeny list. Stupid stuff. Why do I get anxious about it? Good question. Also, all of them are about shopping... that is not something to stress over. Perhaps I need to reevaluate my priorities.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Toddlerhood

Hello. Ella's just turned two. She's a tantrum throwing, attention demanding, opinionated, extremely irrational and infuriating toddler. A real joy.

I hope it all channels into a confident and strong woman when she's older- but I don't know if I'll live to see it, as I constantly want to jump into a lake. Changing a diaper, getting into the car seat, not getting multiple bottles of milk in a row (I'm weirdly quite embarrassed that I haven't weaned her from bottles by now), leaving my parents house, not being able to go outside because I'm half naked because its 7am- all big challenges.

And on that note, we are expecting a second baby girl on Oct 4. We are very happy, and extremely anxious. Eh, Brent doesn't seem too anxious, just me I think.
Her 20 week ultrasound profile (here's Ella's ultrasound profile. I guess they look pretty similar...). I'm pleased to hear she's measuring well and everything seems healthy so far- which is always a miracle with diabetes and all.

My google search history consists of, "tips for a newborn with a toddler" and "how to handle a toddler tantrum in public" and "how to respond when someone says you look tired."

That last one- someone said it to me at work the other day AND someone at church asked my mom if I feeling alright- they thought I looked so tired. I will never say that to someone from now on- I guess its coming from a place of concern, but it reads as, you look horrible and let me mention it your face. I've decided my response will be a slight grimace with, "Huh, bummer. I feel quite good." Then, hopefully they will feel embarrassed.

Also, I have now bought 3 of the exact same dresses in different colors. It is so comfortable- like jersey- and long enough and loose enough and with a high neck to not worry about a thing. Excellent with and without pregnancy.
perfect twirling dress in black + white stripe
Plus, it's my sweet mom and mother-in-law's birthdays this upcoming 2 weeks (Billie is June 7th and Kathy Mouritsen is the 9th). If you have any awesome gift ideas, I'd love to hear. My mom is so so so good with Ella. I have to constantly remind myself that she's already had 4 kids herself and so I can't compare myself. We are very lucky. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Amsterdam

We were lucky enough to take a trip to Europe a week ago. It was both lovely and a hair too long for me. As I get older... I think I'm a bit more grumpy about travel! Anyhow, here are some photos if you'd like to see.
The windmills in the city of Zaanse Schans- an hour ish bike ride from where we stayed in Amsterdam. I think Brent may have gotten annoyed with me because I biked so slow... but he was a good sport. The little town is known for its windmills- some work, but some are just for show. A lot of the little buildings in the town were green- it felt like the munchkin land from The Wizard of Oz. I asked a local about it and she said years ago, each community had their own paint color- green, yellow, whatever, to create a sense of unity. That sounds fake... but I have no better info, so I'll go with it. I rather liked this outing because we toured a little cheese factory and got to taste an awesome bunch of cheeses. A lot of gouda. Gouda from sheeps, goats, and cows milk (I liked cow gouda the best-the aged, sharp one was delightful). Even a lavendar gouda- which tasted a bit like soap.
 We took a Sound of Music bike tour in Salzburg, Austria to see the sights from the movie. It was such a lovely day and the bikes were awesome- breezy in your face and the seats were very cushy! This was on the path around the lake where the kids and Maria fall in from their canoe ride when they come home to see the Captain.
 These rapeseed flower crops were everywhere. In fact, Germany had a lot of dandelions too- like a weird amount. A lot of yellow flowers. I google why there would be a lot of dandelions there.. but nothing.
Tulip fields in Amsterdam. In thinking of Amsterdam, i thought there would be tulips everywhere. That wasn't quite the case. We did have to bike a while to find them, but they were worth it. We should have brought a picnic to eat by them.
 In one of the rental houses we stayed in (using airbnb.com website to book them) there was a little pond outside in the back. It does look a bit raggedy in the photo, but it was lovely and, like, "wild moss and flower garden" ish in real life.
The Neuschwanstein castle built by King Ludwig of Bavaria. It was a beautiful view, but we didn't go inside. It was very touristy- like kitschy almost. Like how Las Vegas is beautiful, but so fake. So, I wouldn't recommend it I don't think.
 In Salzburg on our Sound of Music Bike tour again- a sure highlight of the trip. I love the movie and I love biking. Win win. However, this courtyard was in the movie somewhere, but only really briefly. It was quite pretty of course. It you turn left and go through an archway, there is another fountain where Maria in the movie splashes her hand in when she sings "I have Confidence in Me"

PS did you know the movie was based on a real nun named Maria? I had no idea, and now I love it even more
Van Gogh's sketch book. We went to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, which I loved, and Brent kinda liked. There was this one seaside painting on display:
And Van Gogh must have really painted in on the beach because there are still grains of sand, blown by the wind, and stuck in the paint!
However, the museum was really too crowded, which really bummed me out. Art is hardly worth looking at if you have so many heads to look through. But, what can you do, I guess.

Friday, March 25, 2016

No Easter Plans- Photo Jumble

 I was going through some photos yesterday. This is Brent in college. Yowza lookin good.
 My mom and I circa by ballet days.
Halloween, 2014
Back when Ella was just a little newborn.

Anyway, I'm a bit bummed to say I have nothing planned for Easter. Any suggestions?

I haven't gotten Ella an Easter basket or anything. I've gone to the store at least twice with that in mind, and then I look at all commercial Easter crap- and realize that this fake grass I'm gonna put in the basket will end up in the trash the next day anyway- and will Ella even care? And then I don't buy anything.

Well, we'll see.

We had a fun egg hunt at my parents-in-laws the other weekend, and my mom took her to one in the park today thrown by the neighborhood ladies. Soooo, maybe thats enough.

What I would really like is an Easter feast that someone else cooks for us. Quiche sounds so good- and a really good salad with sunflower seeds and sharp cheese and tangy dressing- and maybe some of that cheesy-cauliflower soup from Zupas that is so good. You know- you can buy Zupas soup by the gallon. I think I might do that. Delicious. Easy. Expensive. Awesome.