Friday, July 30, 2010

Enjoying Today

Busha came over today to spend time with the boys, which gave me the opportunity to run some much needed errands. My stops included the blueberry farm, the bank, the local toy store, the farmers market, the co-op, the gas station, another farm stand, the grocery store, and the meat market.
The grocery store was my 2nd to last stop and after buying all local, fresh foods from my other stops it was kind of a downer walking into the big box store. Buying and eating fresh food makes me feel so good. And Damn does it taste good! For dinner we had New York Strip steaks from the meat market and potatoes and zucchini from the farmers market/stand. All cooked on the grill. Mmmmm, that's summer.
The picture above shows my loot - blueberries, cantaloupe, peaches, tomatoes, baby reds, garlic, onion, zucchini, lettuce, carrots, sweet potatoes, and fresh bread. And those flowers? Cost me $5 at the farmers market. Not pictured is the sweet corn that Collin picked up from the farm down the road on his way home.
As part of my Summer Soul in the Season list I wanted to make a conscious effort to buy produce locally at the various farmers markets and I'm happy to tell you I've done that this summer. I've been hitting up the markets about once a week and getting just enough produce to get us through the week (in the past I always bought too much and then it'd go to waste). Not only does the food taste better but it makes me feel good knowing I'm supporting the community. If I can't have my own garden this is definitely the next best thing.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Around the House: The Nursery

Sam has recently written some "around the house" posts and I loved peeking in her house so much that I thought I take you on a tour of our home. I decided to start with the Nursery or the room now know as "Keaton's room" and in the future will be known as "the boy's room." The first set of pictures are the "before" shots (although, technically not the original "before" as there used to be a book shelf under the window by his dresser but once Keaton started walking and getting into things it was clear this had to go. He was constantly clearing the books and trying to climb up on it to look out the window. The shelf now holds our shoes in the mud room.) and our recent changes are found at the end.
This is the view from the door.

And a close-up of the dresser and changer.
Above the changer hangs Keaton's newborn pictures hung from a curtain rod. I got this idea from a friend of Collin's sister who displayed pictures this way in her son's room. I loved the idea so much we did it ourselves. Please ignore the fact that the pictures are a little crooked. It adds character, right? Right?
On the left side of Keaton's dresser is a the poem "If a Child" displayed in a frame. My aunts had this displayed at my family shower and let me keep it afterwards. They even had it printed in green and brown to match the room. The figurine on the left was from my mom and is an angel holding a baby. The candle was also from my family shower and says "Here is a candle that glows so bright given to you for you to light when Baby Kono has come to stay to celebrate the joyous day." And the Willow Tree figurine was given to us by Kira & Justin following Keaton's birth.

The right side of the dresser has a "God Bless this baby" frame that holds Keat's 3-,6-,9-, and 12-mo pictures. Keaton received this from Em & Drew for his baptism. Behind it sits a personalized growth chart given to him by Kira & Justin for his 1st birthday. I'm scared to actually hang it on the wall because, well, let's just say Keaton is all boy and I worry about it getting damaged. Trust me though, it is really, really cool. The baseball is from his first ballgame and the piggy bank is engraved with his name and baptism date and was given to him for his baptism by Kira & Justin.

Below his dresser sits this book holder. I received this from my mom's friends at my Earlville shower. They stenciled the saying on it and filled it with books for the baby.

On the opposite wall of his dresser/changer is the crib and glider.

The paintings were drawn by the very talented, Geri. When I was trying to decide how to decorate the nursery we had a couple of ideas floating around and then it hit me, I want paintings to match our crib bedding. I instantly thought of Geri and asked her if she'd be willing to do it at my shower. Thankfully she was because these totally completed the nursery for me. She drew these free hand. Can you even imagine?? As someone who has issues drawing a stick person I can not. (Geri, my mom still has a thank you gift for you and I keep asking if she's given it to you yet and she keeps telling me you guys need to still meet for lunch. You guys need to meet for lunch!! :) )

The valances also match the crib bedding. That dang valance makes me all twitchy looking at it. I asked Collin to fix it for me so I could retake the picture but the look I got from him told me I was being anal.
From one of the curtain hooks hangs Keaton's drum that CaS and Ben brought him back from their trip to Africa. We hang it here to be sure a certain dog doesn't get ahold of it. I wouldn't blame her if she wanted to as one of Keaton's past times his chasing after her while banging on it.
If we move back to the lamp by the glider for a second, here hangs a cross given to Keaton for his baptism from Gail. Ever since he was young Keaton loved to play with this during our nighttime routine. He'd climb up on me as far as he could just to touch it.
Looking diagonal from the glider is the closet.
From the closet handle hangs our "due date" ornament given to us by Jill as a shower gift.
The shelf below the window holds puppets and stuffed animals. I picked it up for this picture but lets be honest, it typically looks more like this....
Looking diagonal from the dresser is the door.
The shelf to the right of the closet holds random toys including the peacock Keaton got at his first trip to the zoo.

Oh wait, you can't see the shelf because SOMEONE KEEPS STICKING HIS FACE IN THE CAMERA!
Here. Here's the shelf.

Above the shelf and on the wall when you walk in the room are pictures.

One of Keaton and Justin & Kira, his Godparents, at his baptism.

And on this wall another of his newborn pictures as well as one with us and Father from his baptism.

That's the end of the "before" pictures but of course this photo shoot would not be complete without a certain little boy you needs to say "Cheeese!!".

Before Hutton's birth we made two big changes to the nursery.
1: We moved the glider into our room and replaced it with this bookshelf/cube thingy.

Those cubes are lifesavers. One contains foam building blocks, another wooden blocks, and a third cars. I think the fourth is still empty. It makes clean-up time so, so much easier.

Oh, let us pause for a second as someone would like to make another guest appearance.

Okay, let's continue.
2: We also moved the changer into our room and moved Keaton's toy box (which used to be housed in the living room and OMG we can't fit another damn thing in our living room!) into his room.
Collin was contracted by Santa this year to build this toy box. He did such an awesome job. It's on wheels so we can easily move it from room to room and, maybe my favorite part, he added an engraved block of wood with Keaton's initials. We plan on making one for each child.

And that's the nursery.

Enjoying Today

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dear Hutton: 1 Month

Dear Hutton,

Today you turned 1 month old. In some ways it feels like it was just yesterday we were welcoming you into the world and on the other hand it feels like you have been here for much, much longer than that. You have meshed into this family more smoothly than I could have ever expected. In fact, it is hard for me to remember what life was like before you were here, and frankly, I don’t want to. Your arrival, and especially the time we spent together in the NICU, has been a good reminder to me of what is important in life. In the past month I feel like I’ve become more patient and appreciative. Each and every night I go to bed and count my blessings and you and your brother are always the first things I list. No, I don’t want to remember life before you because I feel like I’ve become a better person since you got here.

As I write this you are sleeping peacefully on my chest. You’re gripping onto my shirt, suckling on your nuk, and breathing slowly in and out. If I could bottle moments like these I would. I love this hour when the house is quiet and I’m able to take in all that is you – your sweet baby smell, the little noises you make in your sleep, and the way you grip my thumb with all four fingers. I delight in this time and if I could sit right here in this moment forever I think I would.

You spent a great deal of this month snoozing as, technically, you shouldn’t even be here yet, and so far you’ve been a really good sleeper. You sleep in your bassinet out in the living room during the day and at night we wheel it into our room and place it right next to my side of the bed. I love being able to peek in on you easily, especially when you are making noises at night. My most favorite noise you make is one that sounds like a small billy goat. It makes me giggle every time I hear it. Within the past week though we’ve noticed that you are having longer and longer periods of alert time and when you are awake you are usually a pretty content little guy. You have big blue eyes and you love to look around, your eyes darting to each new sound. Your big brother loves it when I put you in the bouncer. He sits next to you talking to you and playing with your hands and feet. You always stare up at him and take it all in and I can’t wait until the two of you are able to play together.

Before you were born we knew that we’d call you Hutt for short, what we didn’t know is what other nicknames you might acquire. So far your Daddy hasn’t really used anything other than Hutt but I’ve found myself calling your Hutter Butters and every once in awhile Benjamin or Mini Me. Your Daddy hates it when I call you the latter two but I can’t help it, sometimes the faces you make look like an old man and I can’t help but be reminded of Benjamin Button and the way you move your limbs look like Mini Me from Austin Powers. Of course I call you these names in the most loving way possible Buddy, promise.

At one month old you love to be held and calm pretty easily to the sound of our voices or the touch of our skin to your cheek. You love to sleep on our chests and be snuggled on the couch or in bed. You hate bath time with a passion and let us know each and every time we subject you to the routine. You tolerate the bouncer and enjoy rides in the Ergo carrier. You take a bottle with no problem and eat like a champ, in fact two days ago I had you at the doctor’s for a weight check and you weighed in at 7 lbs 1 oz. You were a full pound bigger than we expected! Though I suppose I shouldn’t have been too surprised as you are now starting to fill out your newborn sized clothing.

This has been an amazing month Hutt; becoming your Mommy has changed me in so many good ways and I will be forever appreciative of that. The next several months, and even years, are going to go by so fast and having you here has taught me to slow down and enjoy each day, each moment. I just want you to know how much I love you; how much more complete our family feels because of you.

All my love,

Enjoying Today

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Enjoying Today

I tried posting this from my phone earlier tonight but had some issues uploading the picture. I thought about getting up and moving to the other couch to finish from the computer but then decided against it; I was enjoying this moment way too much to disrupt it. We got back from the cabin yesterday afternoon and I've spent my day trying to get the house back in order. This peaceful moment was exactly what I needed at the end of a somewhat stressful day. It's now 12:30 am and I'm up pumping while Collin is feeding Hutt a bottle. Good night everyone.

Hutton's Birth Story

Looking back I think I knew in the week leading up to Hutton’s birth that the end was near. For starters in that last week I was miserable. Miserable. On Thursday night Collin walked into our bedroom and I was sitting in the glider crying. When he asked what was wrong I told him – I can’t do this for another six weeks. Secondly, I never had a really strong feeling one way or the other regarding the sex of the baby but the one thing I did feel strongly about (from the very beginning) is that this baby was going to be born in June. I only told a couple of people this because, come on, my due date was August 5th, people would think I was nuts if I told them I expected a June baby. I mentioned before that once the calendar turned to June I felt the pressure looming to get everything done (which, of course, it didn’t) and that was the reason why. But, as June started to draw to a close I wondered if my gut had been wrong for all those months.

Cut to the morning of June 28th….

It’s 4:30 a.m. when I’m awoken with a start. Holy crap, that one was painful, and intense, and longer than normal; these Braxton Hicks have been waking me up for the past week. I close my eyes and drift back to sleep. When the next one hits I look at the clock, it feels like I’ve been sleeping for at least a half hour but the red luminescent numbers tell me it’s only been seven minutes. Damn, I think, that’s pretty close together. I have two or three more, all six to seven minutes apart, before I get out of bed to walk around and try to use the bathroom. When I sit down things become much more intense and something tells me this isn’t just Braxton Hicks and I should maybe call the doctor. Something also tells me I should jump in the shower and shave my legs….but I didn’t listen to that something. Just before 5:30 a.m., after moseying around the house through a few more contractions, still trying to figure out if this is real or just false labor, I wake Collin up and tell him that it’s been an hour and they are still six to seven minutes apart. I asked if I should call the doctor to which his reply is:

Well, you know they are going to make us come in. And then we’ll just be sent home.

I was thinking the exact same thing, I mean, I was only 34.4 weeks, this can’t be real, right? But that little something was still in the back of my mind nagging away and so I listened to it and called the clinic. I talked to the on-call doctor and when she asked if this was my first baby I explained no, it wasn’t, and the reason I was concerned is that my first came four weeks early and fast. When she heard that she said okay then, you need to come in.

I walk back to our bedroom to tell Collin we need to start packing and find him lying in bed.

You’re back in bed??

Yes. I think better here.

Okay, well it’s time to get up; the doctor wants me to come in.

Collin gets up and puts a call into his parents, waking them up from a peaceful night’s sleep.

Hey guys, want to come pick up your grandson?

He explains that we don’t know for sure if this is real, but we need to get it checked out. They tell us they are on their way, which means we have about 20 minutes to finish our packing.

I know what you’re all thinking here, they weren’t packed up yet? Even when they went early last time? No. We weren’t. Didn’t I tell you I have a minor in procrastination?

Oh, but it gets so much better than that. Not only were we not packed, but our gas tank was also on empty. Oh yeah, we frickin’ rock at being prepared for labor.

I spend the next 20 min. packing my clothes and toiletries for the hospital while Collin gets the car seat, computer, and cameras. As I’m up walking around the contractions slow, they are still intense, but I don’t think they are as frequent as they had been.

I get everything packed and still have a couple of minutes before Papa and Busha arrive so I put in a call to each of our siblings and send a text to a couple of friends telling them we’re heading to the hospital. It might be a false alarm but better safe than sorry. We’ll keep them posted. My phone log tells me it was now 5:53 a.m.

Within a couple of minutes Collin’s parents arrive and we hustle a sleeping Keaton out the door. I’m standing in the kitchen talking to Busha when another contraction hits, but I’m still telling her I’m just not sure. This might be a false alarm.

We finally make our way for the car and as Collin opens the door for me I look up at him and ask:

Do you want me to drive? (See, when we are running late to something I always drive because I have sort of a lead foot.)

Collin looks at me in shock and confusion.

No, we need to get gas.

I’m kidding! I’m not driving, dumbass! As I give him a sucker punch to the arm.

Okay, he says, this IS the real thing, because you have your sense of humor back!

It’s now roughly 6 a.m. and we’re finally on the road (heading first for the gas station) and instantly my contractions have become super intense and only 3 min. apart. This is like déjà vu. The exact same thing happened when I went into labor with Keaton and I’m now convinced that this position, sitting in the car, progresses me quickly. I beg Collin not to fill the tank up, just put in enough to get to the hospital and at this point I think we both know we won’t be coming home.

We hit the Interstate and my God, there is a lot of traffic for it being 6 a.m. For each car that pulls into the passing lane, inevitably cutting Collin off with no way to maneuver around them, I grip the handle bar and holler out a friendly “Move it, Mother Fucker!” Collin’s riding their ass and I’m sure they can see me spewing profanities in their rear view mirror. I still wonder what they thought when they looked over to see me he he he hooing through a contraction while we drove past.

Okay, I wasn’t technically he he he hooing, but I was panting like a Labrador and I’m guessing by the grimace on my face they probably knew what was going on.

For the second time I find myself counting down the miles until our exit. We finally make it to the hospital parking lot and after grabbing our small point-and-shoot camera we head for the doors. I have to pause on the way in though because oh shit, these contractions are fierce. As I’m having one Collin looks down at my stomach and asks:

Are you still pregnant?

The baby had dropped so low that when I looked down I replied:

Oh my God, is it still in there?

Labor and Delivery is on the 2nd floor and I swear the wait for that elevator felt like 3 years. When I finally get to the check-in the ladies at the desk are expecting me and after a few moments I’m ushered towards my room. On the way I look at the clock and note that it is now 6:45 am.

Once to my room the nurse hands me the gown and says everything off, snaps in the back. I ask her if it is okay if I go pee and she says yes, that’s fine, but follows it up with:

You don’t feel like you need to have a bowel movement do you?

I lean over the cabinet that houses the flat screen t.v. and brace myself through another contraction and tell her:

Well, actually, yes I do.

I can hear Collin from the other side of the room say, Yeah! She does. Apparently I must have mentioned this a time or two on the drive in. The nurse’s eyes grow big and she says I DO NOT want you to do that.

(If you remember from Keaton’s labor, Nurse Kathy told me to go ahead and try to poop. Minutes later I came waddling out practically in tears saying, I don’t think this is poop!)

So I change into the gown and come back into the room where the on-call doctor is waiting for me. She introduces herself and says lets get you checked out. I hop up on the bed and she asks for the results of my Strep B test. The Strep B test that I have not yet taken. The Strep B test that would have been performed at my next appointment. I explain the situation and she asks the nurse to get the stuff to do it real quick before she examines me, but seconds later the nurse comes back to explain that they don’t have any swabs. The doctor is confused as to how they have no swabs and decides there isn’t time to wait; the monitor is telling her my contractions are about 2 minutes apart.

She gets on her glove and nonchalantly performs the pelvic exam. If I had to guess I would have expected her to tell me I was 7 or 8 cm dilated. I knew that car ride had progressed me but I was not yet feeling the need to push.

So you can imagine our surprise when she finished the exam, looked at the nurse and said:

All right, she’s essentially 100% and ready to go, call Dr. Modi (NICU team) and I’ll get A.J.

The nurse starts to prepare an IV put the doctor tells her to forget it, there isn’t time.

At that Collin called his Mom and I heard him say, Mom? Yup this is the real thing. We’ll call you back soon.

Thankfully the doctors in the clinic had a meeting scheduled for 7 a.m. that morning so as my doctor was walking in the door the on-call doc pulled him aside and explained that he had a patient who was ready to go. She told me when she came back into the room that he was confused saying no one called him and she explained to him, yeah, she just got here!

While we were waiting for the team to be assembled, and team there was, holy cow, everyone introduced themselves, but I kinda lost track as to what was going on as I was too concerned about apologizing for the fact that I hadn’t showered for two days or shaved my legs for…well…longer than two days.

Within a couple of minutes Dr. AJ walks in, says Hi and comes to shake Collin’s hand. I look up at him and tell him:

Sorry, but I had to get in before you left on vacation.

(At my last apt. I asked if he was going to be gone over the 4th of July. He looked at me kind of confused, yes, he said, but you’re not due ‘till August.)

He looks down at me and says:

Or, you could have waited 3 weeks!

With that we review my status: 100%, contractions 2 minutes apart, water hasn’t broken.

The order is given to breakdown the bed as he pulls out the big ‘ol crotchet looking hook. As he breaks my water he tells me on the next contraction he wants me to push. I’m confused by this as I still don’t feel the need to push but he tells me that one is coming and holy fuck, here we go!!!

3, 2, 1 and without time to mentally prepare I’m pushing with all of my might and oh shit, I forgot how incredibly painful this is. My legs are shaking and stuck in this odd suspension over my body. The nurses are yelling at me too tuck my knees to my chest. I hear every word they are saying but I can’t physically move my legs, it’s like I’m knee deep in quicksand. Or a bucket of cement.

I feel something come out and I must have been paranoid that they weren’t going to tell me if this baby was a boy or a girl because as soon as the contraction was over I impatiently asked:

What is it?

To which Collin responded:

It’s a head.

Oh. Okay. I laid my head back and took a moment’s rest between contractions and told the nurses:

I’m having a hard time following directions!

The rest didn’t last long though and before I knew it the next contraction was coming and they were yelling at me to tuck my legs and there I was again pushing.

I knew the moment he came out and I think I threw my head back on the pillow in relief because I missed the part where the doctor held the baby up so we could see what it was. A split second later I opened my eyes and again questioned:

What is it?

And at that moment, even though there were probably 10 people in the room, it was just Collin and I and he looked me in the eyes and said:

It’s a boy.

I didn’t know if we were going to have a boy or a girl, but when he said those three words it felt so right in my heart.

A boy.

Hutton Andrew.

Welcomed into our family at 7:07 a.m. on Monday, June 28th.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Enjoying Today

We're heading up north to spend the weekend with my parents and Justin & Kira at the cabin - so we've been busy packing today. And since the cabin addition/remodel project is well underway - drywall, painting, and carpeting are complete! - we're also "moving in" with our bed, dresser, etc. and no shit, that kid pushed the dresser across the kitchen floor without Collin's help. My Enjoying Today post will likely come through Twitter tomorrow since I'm not savvy enough to know how to post to the blog through my phone.
Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Enjoying Today

I know I said these posts were going to be no words, just pictures, but I feel the need to explain today's "fun". Here's the deal. The state of our dining room was driving me MAD. I was cranky all day yesterday because I slept with the boys during nap time and didn't get any cleaning done and it was grating on me so much that I found myself in a bad mood again this morning. And that's when I realized I needed to just do it - even if it meant cutting into our "fun" afternoon time. So while Hutt napped in the afternoon Keats and I worked on the dining room. And even though it wasn't digging in dirt or splashing in the pool, the truth is he enjoyed it because we were doing it together. I wish I could have gotten a picture of him scrubbing the floor along side me.
When we were done there was also some time for a little book reading. You can't see Hutton in these pics but both boys were on my lap.

And to top the day off Mama got a little girl time at a spa party this evening. Ahhhhhh, relaxation.

Enjoying Today (Yesterday)

After I climbed into bed last night I remembered I never posted this. So, enjoying today, yesterday....or would it be enjoying yesterday, today. Whichever, enjoy!