Friday, November 29, 2013

Captain's Log, Week 188

Hi everyone! Happy Thanksgiving!

We've had a pretty low-key week around here. We're still enjoying Jason's paternity leave and being able to spend so much time together.

This week Jason and Ellie played in the pool/jacuzzi a couple more times. One of the times, she kept going over to the big (cold) pool, dipping her hand in, and carrying her tiny handful of cold water back to the hot tub and and throwing it in, like it was going to cool the jacuzzi down. :) We also went to the park one day and Ellie played on the swings and jungle gym.

Also, one of the funny things she says is "My okay." She says it when she falls down or something, and we're like, "Oh no, are you okay?" And she stands up and will say, "Yeah, my okay." I think she's switching "I'm" around, with the "m" sound first and the "i" sound second. So, "my" instead of "I'm." I love it. :) Also, something very toddler-ish that she's been doing lately is picking up various toys and declaring, "This is mines" or "This is Ewies" (Ellie's).

One of the big things Jason and I did this week was our date! On Monday Jason's mom watched the girls for us, and we went on a date and saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It was so good! They really did a great job. They followed the book really well and it was just awesome in general.

Other things we did this week:

Put on chapstick:

Laid around the house:

And did a little light reading:

Also, my sister Alyse met Dennis Rodman less than a block away from her apartment:

Our Thanksgiving yesterday was really good. We stayed home from any big family get-togethers (we think Zelda's still too little to be around many people) and made our own dinner. Sarah and Tyler joined us and we all had a really nice night.

And that was our week this week!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

B is for Monkey

Lately Ellie has been doing this funny thing where she takes her baby stroller into her room, loads it up with books, and then brings it out to the family room where she unloads it. And then she does it again. And again. And again. And most of the time she wants to read some (or all) of the books. After a while there is a mountain of books in the family room.

Even though it makes a big mess, I'm glad that she's been doing this. It helps us to read more books during the day, and then she's okay with reading less at night during her bedtime routine. And now Jason cleared out a shelf on her toy shelves in the family room, and filled it just with books so they're more accessible (and not all back in her bedroom).

We got her this new book (pictured above) a couple weeks ago, called "Animal Alphabet" or something like that. It's actually really cool; for each letter of the alphabet it has an animal, and you slide this little piece of cardboard back and forth so that when it's on one side, you see the uppercase and lowercase letter and half the animal, and when you slide it to the other side you can see the full animal. Does that make sense? So you can look at it and be like, "I is for...(slide the cardboard)...Iguana!" Ellie really likes it.

I was really impressed the other day when she picked up the book, opened it to the first page, and said, "B is for...Bear!" I was like, "Good job, Ellie! B is for bear!" And then she turned it to the next page, and said, "B is for...Camel!" And I was like, "Well, not quite, C is for -" but she was already on to "B is for...Elephant!" and I was like, "Hang on just a second there Ellie, E -" but I was being drowned out by "B is for...Frog!"

B was for every animal. She went through that entire book, and B was for everything. "B is!" "B is for...kangaroo!" "B is for...monkey!" I tried to correct her by saying the right letter each time, and sometimes she would repeat the right one, but then she would move right on to the next animal, and B was definitely the right letter for that one. She has B down. She knows, without a doubt, that some words in the English language start with B.

Oh, Ellie. :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Captain's Log, Week 187

Hi everyone! Time for me to try to remember everything we've done this week. :) Mostly we've been hanging out at home, taking care of Zelda and playing with Ellie.

We took some family pictures at the park last Friday with Jason's grandma. This is our favorite one:

What have we been up to this week? Good question. Jason and I bought new pillows at Target. I'm sure that's suuuper exciting to read about. (It is pretty darn exciting for us. We've had the same pillows since we got married, and they went all flat a long time ago. It's been great having big, new, cushy pillows. I've fallen asleep a lot faster the last couple days.)

We cut one of our old pillows in half, I sewed it up and sewed it a cover using one of my old t-shirts, and now Ellie has a pillow too:

One funny thing Ellie has been doing this week is downloading tons of apps on the ipad her grandpa gave her. She isn't even that interested in the new apps, it's the downloading them that's the fun part. And after Jason puts in the password for the app to download, she'll sit there with the ipad watching the little blue bar fill up (to show the app is downloading) and say, "Wait for it, wait for it...turning blue...It's a BIT CLOSER, DADDY!" and she'll do that over and over with different apps. It cracks me up. We've put a time limit on the ipad, though, because she's started playing with it too much, so now she can only play with it for a certain time each day.

Speaking of playing games, Jason and I have been playing Lego Indiana Jones 2 on the playstation the last couple weeks. We love the Lego video games. They are so fun, and so funny. Anyway, that's the one we're on right now; we borrowed it from Tyler and Sarah.

Jason was waiting for the weather to warm up all week so that he could take Ellie to the pool in our apartment complex. It never did get really warm, though, so the day before yesterday he took her to the jacuzzi in our apartment complex. She had a ton of fun. I came too, and sat on the edge with Zelda strapped to me in her moby wrap (which I love. I didn't have it with Ellie, but it's awesome and anywhere we go out I carry Zelda in it). Ellie ran around and around the jacuzzi on the circular step, and Jason helped her "swim" and do all sorts of stuff. It was really fun.

Afterwards we came back the apartment and Ellie had a chocolate pudding. Ellie looked like some kind of pirate with her chocolate beard, so we took a couple pictures:

Yesterday morning Zelda was lying down on a blanket in the middle of the family room, and Ellie ran over and laid down next to her. And it was cute, and I was like, "Aw," and then Ellie started yelling, "Mommy's camera, where are yooouuuuuu?" And Jason and I started laughing, because. Because.

Just look at these cuties!

Here are some more pictures of Zelda right then:

Also yesterday I made a ton of paper snowflakes. I know Thanksgiving is still a a week away, but I've just been itching to start decorating for Christmas and yesterday I finally gave in.

I took down all of our fall decorations and put up paper snowflakes in their place.

I'm pretty sure our Christmas decorations are in storage and we won't be able to get them for the holiday. I still definitely want to decorate, though, but I don't want to spend any money buying decorations. So, I have a goal: to completely decorate our apartment, but without spending anything. I'll let you know how it goes. Paper snowflakes were the obvious starting point, because they're big and pretty and all you need is paper and scissors. I think the next thing I'll try is maybe Christmas printables from pinterest. And I'm going to cut out shapes like Christmas trees and ornaments and have Ellie color them, and then put those up. Basically, I'm planning on a lot of different kinds of paper decorations.

Also yesterday, Jason made Kalua pork in the crockpot. Mmmm. It was delicious. Tyler and Sarah and my dad and Debbie came over for dinner, and it was really fun. Ellie got super excited and hyper when they got here, and was running all around the apartment. Then she had my dad read her like thirty of her books.

Aaaaand that's all I can think of for this week. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Captain's Log, Week 186

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you've been having a good week.

We got a new nephew yesterday! Tyler (Jason's brother) and Sarah (our sister-in-law) had their little baby boy yesterday morning. Everett Allen was born at 5:55 a.m. on November 14, weighing 7.3 lbs and measuring 20 1/4 inches long. Everett is actually the first boy grandson in Jason's family, after seven granddaughters. So this'll be a change! We are so excited for Tyler and Sarah. :)

One thing I've been doing this week is making Zelda's birth announcements and our Christmas cards. There's a lot of deals on holiday cards at the different photo book companies right now, and with some different promo codes put together I think I can get a bunch of cards for practically free.

Some of the codes I'm using: Mixbook has an offer for 10 free cards (you just pay shipping, which is like $4) if you use the code "10FREECRDS". Shutterfly is also offering 10 free cards if you just send an email to five of your friends; you can see that offer here. And "CARD4U" is another Shutterfly code for 1 free card. And "CARDTASTIC" is a Shutterfly code for up to 50% off cards (Which is great because I also have two $20 credits in my account towards cards, and that way I can get more.).

Another eventful thing that happened this week was that I got sick yesterday. Jason took care of the girls single-handedly the whole day; I was out of commission. My fever (it got up past 102) broke in the early evening, though, and by nighttime I felt almost normal. Today I've been much better. :)

And here are pictures from the week!

Ellie wanted to get in the baby's bed, too. 
Jason did Ellie's hair really cute for church. :)
This is what happens when we leave Ellie alone for one minute.
Holding hands! :)
This is one of Zelda's favorite positions - upright, with her head straight back. If we try to push her head up, she resists and pushes back against our hands. She wants it at that 90-degree angle. It amuses us greatly. :)

And that was this week. :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Zelda's Birth Story

Zelda's labor was completely different from Ellie's. With Ellie, I began getting contractions around noon on a Tuesday. They got steadily more painful throughout the day until they were very painful (and consistently about 5 minutes apart) around nine or ten at night. We went to the hospital, got sent home after a couple hours because I wasn't progressing fast enough, came back, and finally got admitted at 6 AM when I was 5 cm along. I got an epidural, got the antibiotics I needed for group B strep, got pitocin to speed up labor, and finally had Ellie at 1 in the afternoon.

So, in a nutshell: About 24 hours long, with many hours of extremely painful contractions, but the actual delivery was pretty easy and not very painful thanks to the epidural.

This labor was basically the complete opposite.

Right about nine o'clock on Friday night, I started getting very, very minor contractions. They were only slightly more uncomfortable than all of the Braxton Hicks contractions I've been having for months, and so I didn't think of them as any different. They were pretty regular at about 8-10 minutes apart, but that wasn't that different from the contractions I'd been having earlier in the week. Just a couple days before, on Tuesday, I'd had very minor contractions about 10 minutes apart all through the morning and into the afternoon, and they had led nowhere and eventually fizzled out. So, I didn't think too much of these ones. I timed them, but mostly out of curiosity and not because I thought they were going to do anything.

Friday was also Jason's last scheduled night of work before his paternity leave. He left for work at 9:30, and I told him I was probably going to go to bed soon. Well, what with timing the contractions and kind of cleaning the house and doing random stuff on the internet, I was still awake two hours later at 11:30 when Jason texted me asking me if I was still awake. I said yes, and explained how I was still timing the contractions I'd been having when he left, and asked him how he caught me. He said it was because I'd posted something on my blog, and he saw it when he was taking a break. I told him I really would go to bed then, and I did. I figured the contractions would probably go away while I was sleeping. Or, if they really were labor contractions, they would wake me up when they got more painful. They were definitely uncomfortable at this point, but still not really painful. Nothing compared to the contractions like I had with Ellie. These were more just very uncomfortable Braxton-Hicks. So away to sleep I went.

I woke up from the pain a couple hours later. These contractions were beginning to really hurt. These felt like I was beginning to go into labor. Checking my phone, I saw that it was 1:30 AM. So, I'd only been asleep for about two hours. I got up and began to put last-minute things in my hospital bag, and called Jason. "Hello?" He answered in a funny, the-only-reason-you'd-be-calling-me-at-work-in-the-middle-of-the-night-is-because-you're-in-labor-are-you-in-labor? voice. "Hi," I said. "So, I think I'm actually in labor. My contractions are getting really painful, and they're regular and pretty close together." "How far apart are they?" "About 4 minutes." I told him. (This wasn't, strictly speaking, true. They were more like 3 minutes apart, or even closer. But I didn't want to freak him out.) We talked for a minute and decided that I would keep timing them, and he would call to see if someone could come replace him.

I put all my last-minute stuff in my hospital backpack (a process which was greatly slowed by the frequent, painful contractions), and had just about finished when Jason called back ten minutes later. "Okay, Ashish is going to come in and cover for me. How are your contractions?" "I've had like five since I talked to you," I told him. Which was true. And it'd only been like ten minutes. Which was worrying. "Call Tyler." He told me firmly. Tyler, his brother, and Sarah, our sister-in-law, live in our same apartment complex. They'd been our "back-up" for weeks; if I went into labor when Jason was at work, they were going to come over and Tyler would take me to the hospital while Sarah watched Ellie.

So, I called Tyler. Luckily, he answered, and I told him I thought I was in labor, and he said they'd be right over. And they were - they got to our apartment in just minutes. Tyler and I left to go to the car, which was parked on the opposite side of the apartment complex. We'd speed walk for a minute or two, and then have to pause because I was having a contraction, and then we'd speed walk again. After a couple minutes, we got to the car, hopped in, and sped down the road. Luckily, since it was two in the morning, there were no other cars on the road and we had no traffic impediments. We got to the hospital in like ten minutes, parked, and headed inside.

At this point, it was like 2:15 AM. We went to the main check-in desk, Tyler got a wristband, we went to the elevators and headed up to the third floor where labor and delivery was, I told the lady at the desk I thought I was in labor, she told me to write down my name/doctor/due date, I did, she asked how far apart my contractions were, I said three minutes (they were really more like two), she told us to come on back. 2:20 AM.

A nurse met us at the room as we came in, handed me a hospital gown, and told me to go put it on in the bathroom (that was in the room). I went to the bathroom and tried to put on the gown, but it was really difficult at this point because my contractions were getting really painful. It took me three contractions long to put on the gown and head back outside to the room, and at this point, because of how my contractions felt, I was suddenly very worried that the baby might be coming right now. 

The nurse was no longer in the room. I made it back to the bed, sat down, and started having another really painful contraction. "Where's the nurse?" I asked Tyler desperately. I needed the nurse now - my feeling that the baby was coming right now was just getting stronger and stronger. "I don't know; do you want me to find her?" he said. "Yes, find her." He left to go track down a nurse, and returned a minute later to say that one was coming. 2:25 AM.

Two nurses came into the room just before I started having another contraction. "Okay, now just lie down on the bed and we'll check how far along you are," one said cheerfully. In my head, I was just like, They don't get it, they don't realize this baby's coming RIGHT NOW! And right as she was speaking I started having another really really painful contraction, and couldn't move. "I can't; I'm having a contraction right now," I told them. "Okay, well just wait until it's over and lie down then." But the contraction wasn't ending - it just kept going and going and going. "It's not ending!" I told them. Then, suddenly, I felt my water breaking. "And my water's breaking right now!" I yelled.

"Okay, okay, just lie down," the nurses said, and started moving me to lie down. But I was still having the contraction, and it was really painful. Somehow I managed to move and lie down. And at this point, right after my water broke, I started feeling this strong pressure down there and knew it was the baby, but I didn't want to be like, "The baby's coming right now!" because what if I was wrong? and I didn't want to be a drama queen. But as soon as I laid down the nurse finally checked me, and said, with sudden urgency, "She's crowning!" And then things really got moving.

One of the nurses hurried out of the room, and returned a minute later with like five other people. More nurses came in and there was someone from the NICU (because there had been light meconium in the amniotic fluid and they wanted to check the baby for any respiratory distress as soon as she was born). I just remember there were suddenly a lot more people in the room, and they were closing the curtain in front of the door, and they were trying to pull Tyler in (they thought he was my husband), and he was like, "No, no! I'm just the driver!" So they told him where a waiting room was.

It was now right about 2:30 AM, or slightly after. I was in incredible pain, but there was nothing they could give me because it was too late. Trust me, I asked. They had no time to give me anything; they didn't even have time to strap the monitors around my stomach. The baby was coming now. I was in so much pain that I actually started screaming during the contractions. I couldn't help it; I wasn't meaning to, it's just the only thing I could do when I was in that much pain.

After a few contractions, I started to push. I didn't choose to start pushing, my body just started pushing - it was an involuntary action. "Don't push!" The nurses said. "The doctor's almost here!"  "I can't help it!" I yelled. And I couldn't - my body was doing it without me telling it to, and I couldn't stop it if I tried (and I did try). Just then, the on-call doctor came in, and she and the nurses were like, "Okay, you can push now." But the contraction was over now, and I felt no urge to push at all. "I don't want to!" I told them. "Okay, just push when you feel like it," they said, and then we were all waiting.

The next couple contractions came, and they were really painful, and I pushed really hard, and one of the nurses helped talk me through them. I remember on the last one she was like, "Okay, now if you do just one long, sustained push this will all be over," and I remember thinking, "Yes! All over! I want this all over!" And then it was! And the doctor was holding Zelda up! And I looked over to the left, and Jason was there too! He came in right as she was born. And then we had a new baby! It was 2:38 AM.

The next little while was all fixing me and Zelda up. The NICU doctor checked Zelda to make sure she wasn't negatively affected by the meconium (she wasn't), and they measured her and cleaned her and warmed her up (all at a little baby table just a couple feet in front of my bed). Jason stayed by her side the whole time. Meanwhile, the doctor stitched me up (I tore). And then, after a little while, it was just one nurse and Jason and Zelda and me, and we both got to hold her and snuggle with her and love her. After a couple hours they moved us to the recovery room upstairs, where we stayed for the rest of our stay at the hospital.

I can't believe that we almost didn't make it to the hospital. I just didn't realize how far along I was; it was so different than Ellie's labor! Now having had one labor and delivery with an epidural and one without, I can tell you that I DEFINITELY prefer the epidural. I didn't need it for the contractions this time, they weren't that bad, but the actual delivery was the most painful thing of my whole life. I just don't know why you'd voluntarily choose to be in pain when you can choose to be not in pain, and be relaxed and peaceful and alert. Yeah, I liked the epidural sooo much better. :)

So that's how Zelda was born! She definitely made a very dramatic entry into the world. :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Photos of the Girls

Zelda's one week old today! It's hard to believe we've had this little ball of love for a whole week already.

Zelda is a very deep sleeper. During the day (especially the afternoon) it's almost impossible to wake her up, even if we try. This is great for taking pictures. :) We can pose her any way we want, and she'll stay there. So this week (on Thursday) when she was in a particularly deep sleep, we set up a blanket in the family room to get some newborn pictures. And look how cute she is. :)

After a few minutes, Ellie decided she wanted to join in on the fun. She came in and laid down next to Zelda, copying her. 

Ahaha. I love this one. :)

Then Ellie decided that Daddy needed to lie down next to her.

And then Mommy needed to lie down too.

And then both our girls were cute cute cute. Like always. :)

Happy sigh. :)