Wednesday, April 28, 2010

thank you, sunshine.

it's amazing what a little fresh air will do for you. there's a reason the term cabin fever is around - because it's so very real! i am not going to attempt to justify jackie's behavior with the past winter months, but i do think it's interesting that we've had a couple good days in a row and both days have been filled with sunshine, playing outside and breathing in the good ol' ak air!

here are a few pictures from our monday:

and notice jackie's new playhouse... he loves the half-door; the light that he can turn on; and the house even came with a phone! there is a small slide that her prefers to jump off rather than sliding.

this afternoon, we got together with the niessink's at the lucille lake park. like typical jack form, he was very weary of the bridge at first. not sure why those always trip him up. the slides are likely his favorite as well as just running around and finding the one water puddle to traipse through repeatedly. maddy and him are quite the adorable toddlers. and gaige, well he is turning into quite the little boy there too. no longer looking like a baby! and those pictures:

the snow on the 22nd had me a little concerned, but the way this week has started off, gives me hope that there's another beautiful summer just around the corner.

Friday, April 23, 2010

i'm being bullied by a toddler

there are going to be good days, and there are going to be bad days. i'm aware of this. the hope is that the good times will get you through the not so good ones, but as of late, i can't remember jack being any different than flat-out naughty. a holy terror. a menace to society. and sometimes, a little a-hole. yep, i said it. and do i think i'm out of line? hmm, not really. i've been telling myself things will get better once we get back to normal. once the visitors have said their goodbyes, once grandma d heads south, once it's just me and bubba, back to our routine. but, nothing has changed. he's still his screaming, wild, toy-throwing maniac.

we've had to instill some new rules in our household. we no longer use the N word (no) ... it usually causes him to go on strictly no dialogue for the next 5 minutes. so ben and i are getting really creative with our choice of words. also, if toys are thrown, they go bye-bye. if he screams, he gets a spray in the face from the squirt bottle (yes, just like you do to cats to keep them off furniture) and surprisingly, it works... for the moment. time outs are done for a minute at a time, sitting on our bench in the entry way. if he gets up, the time starts over. and yes, he can cry through the whole time out, if necessary. and lastly, threatening does work. ha. it's amazing that he does respond to these things, but the problem is that he forgets so fast. i remember my parents saying something like sounding like a broken record referring to my brother and i - ah ha! now i get it! i feel like that is my life now. i'm constantly saying the same thing to him, a thousand times a day.

jack is now into climbing in a big way. he's forever barefoot, so his feeties work as great suctions to the cabinets, and he can practically scale up them in one long stride. he's also discovered that the handles work as nice assistants to the top. i was sitting on the sofa, facing the island when i heard him sliding a knife out of the block - he had gotten up on the counter via the cabinet handles! what the heck?! he's also started climbing dylan's changing table to get a better view. nothing is safe, not even his sister!

i guess they are called the terrible twos for a reason. i used to see kids out in store, on airplanes, in restaurants and think, "my kid's not gonna do that." oh, how quick we are to judge! my kid has been the one screaming for no reason in the middle of the grocery store. my kid has thrown a piece of salami on the guy's head in front of us on an airplane. my kid has slapped my face while sitting in a booth with me at a restaurant. all these things that if i would have seen, as an outsider, would have laughed at and said to myself those 6 little words.

along with the good days and bad days thought, i also try to keep in mind that it's not always going to be this hard. jack isn't always going to be this little. the more time that passes, the more he'll understand. and i've never wanted to fast forward any of his life (or now dylan's for the matter), but i really would love to say good bye to the terribles.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

two weeks later

ben went back to work last monday, grandma d left ak the following wednesday, leaving me to fend for myself against the babies. mostly jack, really. he could not be sweeter with dylan but with us, well, that's another story. i think it's having people in and out of the house - not to visit with him - that has had him acting like an attention hound. it's made for some pretty uncomfortable visits with family and friends. and i find myself saying, he's really not like this! but alas, he is. regardless, i am relieved that all he wants to do when he sees his sister is kiss her head, hold her hand or show me where her elbow is.

dylan is a very sweet baby. she is happiest eating and unhappiest at diaper changes. and don't even get me started on attempting to put lotion on her; she loathes lotion! she loves to be swaddled; she lost her bellybutton stump on her one week birthday; and she's already attended her first sportsman show at the sullivan arena. we go into the doctor in a few days, and i'm anxious to see how many ounces she's packed on. she's working on a nice double chin these days; i just love seeing my babies fill out!

ben is doing well, as am i. he's managed to catch up on sleep and finish rebuilding "jack's" four wheeler. (this is the same four wheeler that we've had for 6 six years, but now it's become jack's.) he completed a defensive shotgun training course over the weekend, emptying close to 800 hundred rounds. the kids and i just kicked it at home. jackie and i played in the yard both days, while dylan snoozed inside. (don't worry, grandmas, i had a monitor with me.) i predict a lot of ventures into our woods this summer; i struggled with keeping him in the yard. he wants to walk over the uneven terrain and fall onto sticks and get dirty - total boy, right?! although, he loves, loves, loves the swings. and i think if we can get our hands on a slide, that may also keep him nearby. i managed to get us out for a walk, as well. i am completely amazed by my recovery this time around. i am only two weeks postpartum, and i feel pretty well back to normal. it was sooooooooooooooooooo not like this with jackie. i feel incredibly blessed to be healing so well because i know a certain little someone that would not allow me to continue being a slouch. i think he's been patient long enough.

jack is so fascinated by dylan, or "dee-dee" as he calls her. here is a sample of the sweetness...

sharing his books

love this one

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

first family shots

the next morning...

how it all went down

since april 1, i had the pleasure of contractions every 8-10 minutes. it became such a thing of the day that i wasn't giving it much thought. and i certainly wasn't going to be getting my hopes up like i had on that thursday. that stupid april fool's day thursday. but on monday morning, i just felt lousy. same timing of contractions, but they were radiating down my legs and giving me more discomfort than what i was used to. i spent some time in the bathroom on and off (joy) and decided it best to get out of the house and keep my mind off of another false alarm.

i went to visit with my girlfriend sarah at her work, as her birthday had been the day before, and i wanted to brighten her day with some flowers. even as i was driving there, having consistent contractions, relatively intense, i just kept my focus on the birthing affirmations cd that was playing throughout the truck. i visited with her for about an hour.

back at home, roughly 2:30 pm, i got into the tub to see if i could relieve some of my discomfort. noticing that my contractions persisted and even got to 6 minutes apart, i decided to get out - change positions - and see what happens. i sat at the edge of the bed, on my birth ball, painting my nails. there was nothing on the tv that could keep my attention, but i knew the nail painting, i would have to focus. ha. (that reads as ridiculous to me now, but at the time, it made perfect sense. the mind of a pregnant lady is not sane, i tell you!) i would get up right before a contraction came on, stand in the door way and rock back and forth. after it seemed i could only paint two nails and then get up, i decided to really keep track and write down the times. after 45 minutes, realizing they were 2-4 minutes apart at times, i called ben. "are you working late?" "you might want to head home..." i didn't want to get his hopes up anymore than mine. he was near birchwood when i called him a second time. "where are you now?" then the last time i phoned, a little more urgent, "you really need to get me to the birth center." i had phoned the midwives after my first phone call with ben. they wanted me to come in before they closed at 5, just in case to get checked. we didn't quite get there in time, but i think they were anticipating that i would be staying since they had me go right upstairs into the room we had picked out. i should back up and say i had my last contraction at the house at 5:24. (i know this 'cause i yelled to ben, "what does the clock say?!") the birth center is roughly 10-15 minutes away depending on the traffic, so we likely got there at a quarter to six.

i peeled off my jacket (how are the hot flashes during labor?!) and proceeded to have 3 contractions pretty close together, close enough that midwife #1 was not able to finish all her questions and exam in one sitting. at my next contraction, i got up to the doorway and realized my water was releasing. she asked me if it was running down my leg and i said, "no, i don't think so." but then a second later it was. and even more, then even more. and then my focus was on my slippers. "ben, get my uggs off!" haha. the things that stand out. so after that contraction, she checked to see how dilated i was. "woah, you're 7-8 cm." she recommended i get in the tub during transition. i bellied up to the jacuzzi and had one contraction that was definitely the most intense of all - and i really didn't like being in the water. it was too high and a too warm. but my next contraction came pretty close and with this one, i was pushing. it still amazes me that the body just KNOWS what to do! i heard ben's voice, and the commotion of the midwives running back into the room "is she pushing?!" ben, "uhhh, i think so." midwife #2 said that if i didn't want to birth in the water, then i needed to get out now. i got to the bed just in time for another contraction and with that, we were underway!

i had 2 pushing contractions that got her head well into sight. her heart rate dropped once she was there and they directed me into my side to continue with the rest of her delivery. another one brought her head to the good ol' ring of fire position and from there, i didn't have a contraction for another minute or minute and a half or so - which is forever when you're in such a compromising position, let me tell you! the next contraction that came however, was the ticket. my eyes were closed, my chin was down, my arm was about to pull the headboard off the wall, but i remember them saying to ben "if you want to catch your daughter, you better get down here." all so calm about it. (he was at my side holding a leg.) i pushed for about 30 seconds and she finally slipped out into benji's hands at 6:48 pm, where he then placed her on my chest. relief. reward. love. the first words out of my mouth might have been "i deserved that."

we may have been at the birth center for an hour before her arrival, but between her and i, we had been working at that for d-a-y-s. we stayed until 10:30 when we were ok'd to head home. dylan june was an eater from the first half-hour, she's got that sweet baby smell and is competing with her brother in the sleepiness category.

and speaking of jack... i need to figure out how to upload videos. jack holding his sister for the first time was pretty dang cute!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dylan June

i will write more later, but i at least want to get the pictures out there for family and friends to see. she was born april 5 at 6:48 pm, weighing 7.3 pounds and 20.5 inches long. she has a full head of reddish-orange hair and pretty blonde eyelashes. we are already in love.

welcome, baby girl!
on the phone with grandma d
love at first sight
cutting the cord

can you believe what just happened?
back at home, the next morning

Friday, April 2, 2010


there are certain things you just don't say to a pregnant lady. all questions and comments about weight should be kept to yourself. we're so damn sensitive during this time that even the nicest of comments can and could be taken the wrong way. i am amazed at how people feel this is an OK topic in general, but especially when pregnant - when you're already feeling uncomfortable in your new pregnant skin. the other (which seems like a no-brainer but still surprises me) is outsiders feeling as if their opinion matters when choosing a name. this is something i will never ask people because i am not a good liar. i don't have a poker face. so if i didn't like their name selection, my face would say how i felt about it. if you have a name you like, birth a child or adopt a labrador. just my opinion. and last but probably THE most important: don't tell a pregnant lady (this pregnant lady) that her due date has been moved.

some of you may remember a little confusion back in august. i had gone on a 12 mile hike when i was newly pregnant (7 weeks) and a few days later, noticed some spotting. since i hadn't experienced this with jack, i was alarmed, enough that i went to my doctor in anchorage. at the ultrasound, they determined that i was indeed pregnant but there was no baby... huh? they had me come back 4 days later where at that appointment they found my little girl. the doctor concluded that i was more like 5 weeks pregnant and not 7. i was extremely confused by this because i had been meticulous about tracking my periods, ovulation and even the possible conception dates. referencing my calendar, i could not be assured that i was two weeks off. i had taken a positive pregnancy test exactly 30 days from my last period and it was positive. so i would have only been 2 weeks pregnant when it was positive?! i don't think so. it takes ten days for implantation. so at the time, i didn't really think much of it. it was a source of confusion at a few doctor appointments along the way, but when transferring over and speaking with the midwives, they also concluded that by going with an early ultrasound, earlier than 8 weeks, they didn't feel that to be very accurate. they wanted to go by my last period since i had documented and been so consistent for 4 months. the last period would give me a due date of march 23. i felt confident with that and happy that they understood my confusion and frustration. fast forward to april 1, 2010...

i awake around 4 am to contractions about every 7-8 minutes, lasting about a minute. these were strong enough to keep me awake. about an hour into it, i had ben grab my ipod for me so i could listen to my relaxation music and birthing affirmations. around 6 am, i asked him to stay home. i would not have done this if i thought this was just another false alarm. i hadn't been able to sleep through them, convincing me that this was it. i thought about taking a bath or heading out for an early walk, but figured the best thing to do would be to try and rest. around 8:15, i got up to shower. contractions were still every 8 minutes. i called the midwifery and they made an appointment for me to come in at noon. after breakfast, ben and i went for a long walk and the contractions were consistent. we headed down to the midwifery where i was checked and was 2 cm, baby girl's head was "right there" and they also did a membrane sweep. i was feeling pretty rough after that. i continued to have some significant contractions while i was there and they were confident they'd be seeing me back this weekend. (they also told me that i was their last march lady and that 3 babes were born last night - these comments did not help my morale.) they sent me home with a breast pump which can keep contractions going and usually help to push you into active labor (they said i was in pre-labor) but advised me to rest before i tried it. after a bath but before i fell asleep, the midwife called. she wanted to express that she saw that i was worried about my "deadline" of 42 weeks approaching and that she and the team had looked over my chart and determined they could extend my due date to april 4, thus giving me another two weeks. i cannot express enough how this made me feel. i didn't have much to say on the phone, but after i hung up, i burst into tears, well, sobs really. maybe she didn't QUITE understand that i was wanting to get things going and not have two more weeks of being in this pregnant state. i thought we had already cleared this up?! my frustration level was through our vaulted roof. i may not be as physically uncomfortable as i was with jack, but i am more mentally exhausted than i was last time, than i have been in a long time. i'm so ready to be in labor! i'm so ready to hold her!

so that is where everything now stands. i am contracting every 8-10 minutes (still) but they are not as intense as they were yesterday morning and early afternoon. i guess it's just all preparation, but it's hard to keep my spirits up.