Friday, January 3, 2014

Life as I know It - 2014

So it has been a long time since I have last made a blog post - I decided I was due since It has been about nine months since my last one.  

In the last nine months I have managed to keep busy but yet get nothing done and continually feel like my to do list keeps getting longer.  I actually think I am writing this post today just because I can't make up my mind what really would be the best use of my time (this of course is definitely not the best use of my time but at least I am doing something).  

The last nine months have been fast a furious - Emma is for the most part is a very happy girl and Anna for the most part has acted like a two year old.  These pictures I am including with my post today are part of the photo shoot I did for Emma's 9 month pictures (today she turned 9 months) and Anna's 3 year old pictures (turning 3 the day after Christmas).

These are the actual sequence of my pictures - I thought they depicted what a normal day to day interaction is like between these two sisters.

Here is my narrative (starting with the top picture and working our way down):
Time for pictures! Anna of course isn't thrilled with the idea of pictures.

Okay - I broke down and announced a treat bribe - Cheerios for all of those who take good pictures!  Anna is now ready to smile, Emma of course is just excited to be by Anna so has no interest in the crazy sounds I am making behind the camera to have her look in my direction.

Anna took it upon her self and decided that Emma needed a hug.  Ahhh... so sweet... right???

Nope, because Anna doesn't give gentle hugs so Emma starts to cry.  Anna naturally starts making sounds because she finds it absolutely necessary to contribute more noise to the loudness of crying (every single time Emma cries).

Anna then, once again her own idea, thought it would be a good idea to improve Emma's mood by making her smile and starts to tickle her.  Anna is the very best at making Emma laugh.

At this point I have lost the attention of both of my girls - Emma still just happily watching her sister while perfectly tuning me out.  Anna is just being Anna - not really sure what she was playing her but she has an incredible imagination - to me it appears she won some sort of race or a game (most likely a game since currently her favorite past time is playing games).

Emma is now sad again - I am pretty sure Anna smacked her with her arms when she was putting them back down.  Anna of course is remembering my Cheerio bribe and decided it would be a good idea to try and smile.

Emma clams down and Anna has successfully progressed into cheesy smile phase.  Whohoo! I think.. They are both looking at the camera!  But after I downloaded my pictures and saw this sequence I think this is my least favorite picture - I love how the first seven pictures captured how I see my girls in our normal day to day life.

Anyways - this concludes yet another random post to my blog.  I am hoping that I will be able to double my posts for 2014 than few I did in 2013.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Emma Joy's Birth Story

April 3rd, 2013 we welcomed our second little girl into the world.  This is her birth story.
We decided again with this pregnancy that I wasn’t going to find out the sex of our baby.  Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was 99.9% positive that I was having a baby boy because this pregnancy had been so different from the first – the way that I carried baby and the food that I craved was so different from my first pregnancy. 
I started counting down the weeks and really got excited about meeting baby #2 at the beginning of March.  Anna's excitement about her new baby brother or sister was also increasing as each day went by and as my stomach grew larger and larger.  She would see me lay my prenatal vitamin on the counter and she would say “I want to try that,” and for about a week I explained that a prenatal vitamins didn’t taste good but it helps the baby grow.  She soon just started saying every morning “Mommy's baby growing pill.”  And every night before bed, Anna would give my big belly a kiss and a tight hug goodnight.    Every morning she would wake up and tell me that she wanted the baby out and I would just reply “Baby will come when it is done growing”.  I was continually getting less and less sleep every night and was experience Braxton Hicks contractions on and off since the beginning part of March so I would always agree with Anna that I too wanted baby out. 
I thought it would be fun to capture Anna’s excitement about the coming baby and so I asked my very good friend Danielle to take some pictures of Anna and her usual talking to my belly and kissing it. 

Four days after these belly pictures were taken, (actually it was on my birthday) I thought that my water had broke at about eight o’clock at night.  We called the hospital and they said I had to go in and be checked.  So we called my friend Danielle to come over to be here while Anna slept and called Eric’s mom to let them know they might want to get a bag ready to go.
We arrive at the hospital to find out that my water didn’t break but received comforting news that the nurse felt a head and that I was at 3 cm when she checked me.  This was especially comforting since at my 35 week appointment my doctor wasn’t convinced that she was feeling a head but the following week appointment she determined she was indeed feeling baby’s head and was dilated to 1 cm.  It was just good to be reassured that baby was head down and that things were indeed slowly progressing.
Then Easter weekend came and my husband pointed it out would be great timing to having the baby since his family was staying with us and they could watch Anna.  However baby decided it wasn’t done growing yet. 
Then Wednesday, April 3, right away in the morning I started having very light contractions about 10 minutes apart that seemed to stick around whether I was being active or resting.  I spent the morning getting dishes done, doing laundry and playing with Anna.  To make the time go by faster I put on Anna’s favorite music and we chased each other around the house.  I knew that I was very pregnant when I physically wasn’t able to catch my two year old daughter while chasing her.
Anna’s labor went really quick and I wasn’t sure how fast things were going to go with baby #2.  So at 1:00 p.m. when my contractions started getting closer to eight minutes together I called Eric at work to tell him the news and also alerted my friend Danielle who was going to watch Anna until Eric’s mom could come here from Bismarck. 
Eric canceled his appointments for the rest of the afternoon and came home pretty soon after I had called him. 
When Eric got home he mentioned that maybe I should rest so that I would have the energy for labor – I thought what a great idea.  So at about 2 o’clock I laid down to find out that my contractions almost stopped, they were more than 13 minutes apart.  At this point I was so very disappointed – had I really experience Braxton Hicks contractions for a whole morning??  I felt really bad because Eric’s mom was already on her way to Jamestown from Bismarck and I had once again alerted my friend Danielle.
So I decided it was time to blow the dust off of my walking shoes and take a stroll on the treadmill.   I was hoping that it may speed things up if by chance I was having real contractions.  A half a mile and 15 minutes later (it was a pretty slow walk) I started having contractions about six minutes apart. 
In the meantime Eric’s mom had arrived and Anna had woken up from her nap.  I took one more walk on the treadmill and we determined at 5 minutes apart it was time for Eric and I to head to the hospital.  I told Anna that daddy was going to take me to the doctor and that she got to stay home and play with Grandma Elaine and that we wouldn’t be home for bedtime.
We arrived at the hospital close to 5:00 p.m.  The nurse checked me and said I was at 5 cm and paper thin.  Eric and I just looked at each other wondering exactly what that meant and wondering how long it would be until we meet our baby.  Yeah! I cheered in my head – I am really in labor and I am going to meet my baby today – I am going to meet my baby boy today. 
The nurse then moved us into a birthing room.  I got hooked up to a fetal monitor and got on my hospital gown.  By this point my contractions were getting stronger. 
My good friend Danielle offered to take hospital/birth pictures for us so we sent her a text to give her an update on the progress. 
Our nurse had left our room because there was in influx of women going into labor that Wednesday evening.  My contractions continued to get stronger and I kept on telling Eric I felt like maybe I should be pushing during the contractions.  Then  I started to experience a pain in my legs during the contractions – I didn’t experience this pain during my labor with Anna so I told Eric the next time the nurse was in the room tell her that I need an epidural.  The very next contraction, at about 6:40 p.m.,  I decided to push and my water BRUSTED – there was no doubt that my water had defiantly broke.  Eric and I looked at each other and both were thinking the same thing.  I told Eric, “I think you should let the nurse know that my water broke.”  Eric poked his head out into the hallway and told the nurse.  Within seconds she was in the room and with within 20 seconds had my doctor and other nurses in the room too. 
My doctor was quickly putting on her scrubs while a nurse was going to start an IV.  She told the nurse to skip the IV and we would just have the baby.  On my first push my doctor announced, “That is not a head!”. 
In the meantime my friend and photographer, Danielle showed up just as everyone was rushing into my room.  She was told to stay put.
It ended up that my baby was indeed breech and was in Frank breech position.  My doctor immediately told me that she was so sorry but I wasn’t going to be awake for the birth of my child and then told Eric that he wouldn’t be able to be in the operating room either.  There was a frantic discussion if a surgeon was still at the hospital and if not who was going to be called in.  While this was going on while I was having an IV put into one arm and while blood was being drawn from the other while my doctor was coaching me to try and breath through my contractions and not push while she was physically holding my baby in. 
If I remember correctly I fought the urge to push and breathe through at least three contractions while I strongly gripped Eric’s hand.  At one point I remember asking my doctor how much longer until I was going to be knocked out - this was when I started thinking that it probably would have been really nice to have an epidural.  I also remember at one point Eric taking his pants off right alongside the bed and putting a pair of srubs on while the room was filled with commotion.
Then they put an oxygen mask on me and started telling me that we were going to push out the baby.  I just laid there until I felt the next contraction starting and then I ask the doctor, “I am supposed to push now??  You want me to push?  I am supposed to push right??”  At this point I didn’t realize but Eric told me later that they had lost the baby’s heartbeat. 
So I gave my best push on the very next contraction.  My friend Danielle, who was still waiting out in the hallway, said she could hear me push and then the room went silent for a second and then everyone erupted out in a HUGE cheer at 6:57 p.m.  I don’t remember the cheer but I do remember the relief that I felt because I knew I had pushed my baby out in one push.  Immediately that baby was placed up on my chest and everyone was commenting on how blonde and how much hair the baby had. 
The one thought I had while the my baby was being brought up
to my chest was “He’s missing something.  It’s not a boy! I just had a girl!”  Eric said it was probably over a minutes before he started to wonder what the sex of our baby was – he was more immediately concerned that both baby and I were okay.  I just kept on saying, “I can’t believe I didn’t have a boy.”  I was so convienced that I was.

Eric cutting the umbilical cord.
Eric then cut our little girls umbilical cord and then I got to snuggle and admire her.

My baby girl just minutes old.
I was delighted to finally meet our little baby.

A kiss from my loving husband.
Tired out from being born.
We were able to see our baby girl as she got cleaned up and checked over in our room.  She was wide awake and alert during this time. 
Wide awake and ready to be cleaned up.
Already sucking her thumb.
All cleaned up and getting her hospital bands on.

Calling my parents to tell them our big news.
Eric and I took this time to make phone calls to our parents.  I called my mom but she wasn’t able to answer her phone.  It ended up that my parents didn’t know that they were grandparents again for the 13th time until after nine o’clock that night.

Saying goodnight to Anna on the phone.
 When we called Eric’s mom we hadn’t decided on her name yet.  She had been watching Anna for us this whole time.  Anna’s bedtime is at 7 o’clock so Anna actually talked to us on the phone – she told us that she loved us and gave us tight hugs and kisses through the phone right before she went to bed for the night.  We decided not to tell her that she had a little sister because we knew it would then be impossible for Grandma Elaine to get her to sleep that night. 
Eric and I's discussion on picking out little girls name.
Eric and I had two different girl names picked out, Emma Joy or Oliva Joy.  I looked at Eric and asked him “What should we name her?”  He said that it was totally up to me – I think he felt like after I had a delivery like that he didn’t feel like he could have too strong of a say.  I in the end decided to name our baby girl Emma because on numerous occasions Eric had told me he really likes the way Anna and Emma sound together. 
Dad finally get to hold his little baby girl.
While Emma was getting cleaned up she was already started rooting, she was ready for her first feeding right away.  Eric brought her over to me for her first feeding. 
Eric brining Anna over to me since she was showing signs she was ready to eat.
 But before I started feeding Emma, my doctor came over to examine her.  She said she had to check her legs really well since she was a breeched baby. 

As Anna would say, doctor was listening for kitties.
Emma getting her legs checked over well since she was a breech baby.
Me putting on her very first diaper - you forget how small those little newborn diapers are.
Doctor all done checking over Emma, time to go back and see me.
After my doctor was done with her examination then the nurses had a couple of things they needed to do with the two of us.   

 Now it was finally time for Emma’s first feeding. 
Calming Emma down.

First Feeding

This day will be one that I will remember for the rest of my life.  I am always amazed when I look at my children and think – this is a combination of Eric and I, we are so blessed by both of our children, what an amazing gifts of God.

 I truly believe that it was God’s plan for me to have a vaginal birth with Emma, that she turned without the doctors or nurses knowing it and that I was able to deliver her and not tear during the birthing process, and that both baby and I are healthy.   One of the nurses their said she had been a nurse for 22 years and she had never seen a Frank breech baby delivered vaginally nor had my doctor had a Frank breech delivery before. I felt so very blessed that evening when my little Emma Joy came into this world.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  James 1:17


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Snow?!  Yes we got snow this last weekend and I wasn't expecting it (I guess for whatever reason I haven't watched the weather part of the news during the last half of last week).  Anna woke up from her afternoon nap and there were HUGE flakes falling from the sky - they were just amazing.  However we had errands to run and by the time we got back home the flakes were rather small.  She still ventured out in the snow for a bit - at first she didn't know what to think and would just stand on the driveway where there was no snow but then she soon discovered that her footprints showed up in the snow and was soon marching around our front yard. 

Althought I wasn't exactly thrilled to see snow in October there is still part of me that just LOVED seeing it.  I guess seeing those monster snowflakes maybe brings back the little kid in me. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Craft Show Prep

I know I haven't blogged at all this summer - We have been enjoying the hot weather, traveling, and being outside.  Last week I officially signed up to have a craft booth at Sisters Sojourn in mid September so my focus this last week has shifted from summer fun to getting things done.  I am currently working on taging everything I already have made and then after that is done hopefully making some more items to bring too.  Anna has been "helping" me get my crafty items ready which means things are taking a bit longer than what I thought they would. 

So if you are in Northern MN September 14-15 you might want to look into all of the neat workshops they are offering at Sisters Sojourn.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Yup, Definately Like My Mom (Frosting)

So there are several things that I do and my daughter does that my mom does too.  I made homemade chocolate frosting for Toodles upcoming party.  Now anytime I turn on my mixer she knows that something sweet is being created and proceeds to stand next to me signing and saying "more" over and over again.  I sat Toodles up on the chair and gave her a spoon and the frosting pot (I always leave a good portion in the pan for tasting purposes).  Her eyes got large, took one bite using her spoon and then proceeded to drop it and went straight for the rubber spatula - - she loves this frosting as much as her grandma does!

The Best Homemade Chocolate Frosting

1 ½ c sugar
1/3 c milk
5 T. butter
½ c chocolate chips

Bring sugar, milk, and butter to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add chocolate chips.  Beat until think.

Double for thick frosting for a 9x13 or take the recipe by a time and half for not so thick frosting for a 9x13.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What a Difference a Week Makes

   Last week at this time my little Toodles was feeling very under the weather.  I brought her into the walk in clinic after having a high fever for over 24 hours.  She was feeling so under the weather she just snuggled the whole time during our visit.  This was the first time in a long time that I wasn't a human jungle gym while Toodles and I were in public together.  When the doctor ordered x-rays she wasn't at least bit cooperative in getting them taken.  The doctor saw a little fluid on her lung and put her on some medicine.  That afternoon Grandma T arrived for a visit and so Toodles got to snuggle with her. 
  The next night, Grandma T babysat her while Eric and I went on a date.  We were planning on going to supper and then catching a movie.  During supper we both realized how tired we were - for two nights in a row Toddles was waking up and crying pretty much on the hour, every hour - so decided to forego the movie and go home.
  By Thursday afternoon she had started feeling better (at this point I started getting sick).  I was working on getting supper ready and noticed Toodles slapping her book she was looking at.  I decided to investigate.  She had found a page in her book that talked about a doctor and this was her reaction:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

    Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there!   I thought I would prvide a quick glimps into my special day and what I came to realize.  I started my day off with a card from my little Toodles.  We decided to celebrate Mother's Day by doing a little family landscaping.  We went and picked out our plants and got them all settled into their new home.  Anna was super excited because we got to go shopping and play outside - she didn't even know she was going to get to play in water, dirt, and mud.  I didn't witness it but Eric said that she grabed a handful of dirt and stuff it in her mouth.  With evidence of a dirt smile I have no doubt in my mind she did. 
   I have always appreciated everything that my parents have done for me and all of the tough love they had for a strong willed child that I was.  I did, however, realize today that I haven't fully understood everything my mom had done for me. Each year of my journey of parenthood I have a growing understanding of more and more things that she did for me.  Thanks mom!!  Love you!