Saturday, December 8, 2018

Poppy is ONE month old!

One month of Poppy has been pretty amazing.

We spent the first three days of her life in hospital, where they kept an eye on her abdominal mass (making sure it was stable and didn't need surgery right away...which it didn't, thank GOD!). As experienced parents, we knew the importance of sleep, so each night we asked the nurses to take little Poppy to the nursery so we could get some rest (and they brought her to me when she needed to nurse).

The boys visited Poppy for the first time while we were in hospital. They brought her sweet gifts, a balloon, and flowers for their mama. It was so special to watch as my little guys each picked up their new sister and held her for the first time. Be still, my heart.

Poppy has been nursing very well since her first moments after birth. She doesn't sleep well, however. She wakes up every two hours, and after three in the morning, she wakes almost every hour.

In her first week of life, Poppy reached her birth weight again (she was born at 6lbs. 8oz and left the hospital weighing 6lbs. 2oz.) She started out wearing preemie clothes and is now rocking her New Born outfits!! Everyone comments on how little she is, and how perfectly round her tiny head is (which were the exact same comments our other two babies received). When she was born, I immediately noticed tiny red marks right at the base of her nostrils and a small red raspberry mark on the back of her neck- we'll see if they stick around.

i was determined to keep Poppy in the bassinet beside our bed and NOT bring her into bed with me- but alas, I am a co-sleeper in my bones. Poppy tends to start off in her bassinet and after her first wake, I put her in the DocAtot next to me in bed. She wants to be touched and/or held at all  there is a LOT of snuggling going on. poppy makes a ton of squeaking noises- usually when she stretches or begins to wake up. the boys lovingly refer to her as a "squeaky toy." She loves to look out the window and she loves to gaze at her big brothers.

In the last several days I've noticed more eye contact and some sweet little coo's.

In Poppy's first month of life she's had several out of town visitors: Brandi (dear friend from California), Nana and Grandpa, and Auntie Heather! What a lucky little girl!

This month has been absolutely amazing. I'm so grateful to have a baby once again! I'm definitely in my element.

If you're interested in reading about her Birth Story, you can find it HERE.

Easton's One Month post is HERE and you can find Sailor's HERE

Easton's at one month and Poppy at one month....

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

welcome, Poppy!

*it's taken longer than i had expected to sit down and write poppy's birth story, but here it is...

On November fourth I checked into Swedish hospital at 8pm. I went by myself because Tony and the boys were picking up our friend at the airport. Brandi flew to Seattle to help us take care of our boys while Tony and I did the important work of having a baby.

By the time I checked in to labor and delivery, tony and Brandi and the kids arrived at the hospital. I gave Brandi a hug, said goodnight to the boys and the three of them left for home. My labor was being induced- so I wasn't in actual labor when I arrived at the hospital. The doctor checked my cervix, only to find that I was not dilated at all. ZERO. The induction was scheduled to start the next morning, but first they needed to give me a cervix softener to help prepare my body for the induction.

The cervix softener became the only induction intervention that I needed. By 5:50 in the morning I was in active labor. Tony woke me up, asking if he should call the nurse because I was "groaning" in my sleep every three minutes or so. I told him not to bother the nurse, as they were "just contractions." Ten minutes later, I called the nurse. The nurse checked me, and I was dilated to five centimeters. I asked her if she could give me a bit of pain medicine- while she gave me medicine via my IV, tony decided to run down to the hospital Starbucks to grab a quick breakfast. I believe the pain medicine relaxed me enough to progress my labor VERY quickly. I went from five centimeters dilated to 10 centimeters in forty five minutes.

Tony walked in the room, coffee in hand, just in time. I had Poppy at 8am on the dot. She wasn't put on my chest right away, because the NICU nurses had to check her vitals and suction her mouth and nose. Once they put little Poppy on my chest, she started nursing RIGHT away.

Her sweet face and tiny body were perfect.

When I think about my labor and delivery with Poppy, I am so grateful. My team of nurses and doctors were absolutely amazing- they put up with my panic (once the feeling to push started...I got very very panicked...and was begging and PLEADING the doctors to give me more pain medicine...which they couldn't.) I pushed for two contractions, and out she came. The moment I saw her, I said..."it was you the whole time."

A couple of my favorite moments/tid-bits about Poppy's birth: I wore the same dress/shirt I wore for my other two deliveries, tony cut the umbilical cord (he didn't want to on the other two deliveries), and tony stayed right by my side (minus the Starbucks run) the entire time...just like the other babies. I'm so thankful for my husband.

Poppy Naomi...I have waited for you my whole life.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

keep calm and gestate long hospital stay (no baby yet...)

there's a sign in the visitor's room at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, that reads, "Keep Calm and Gestate On." i'm trying. it's been a long few days...tony and i rushed to the hospital around 12am on Wednesday night. i had started bleeding...bright red blood. the kind that no pregnant woman wants to see.

we went straight to the closest hospital (Good Sam in Puyallup) where they wheeled me straight up to labor and delivery. they gave me a steroid shot to develop the baby's lungs faster- in case of early delivery, then checked the source of bleeding. a tear in my placenta.

the kids are all right. tony went back home to relieve our dear friend a few hours after i checked in at the first hospital. he got easton off to the bus in the morning and sailor settled at our best friend's house- then came back to the hospital to visit me for a bit. he's been back and forth- cleaning the house to prepare for possible guests/helpers, doing laundry, packing hospital bags (that should have been packed by me weeks ago), and getting the kids settled.

once things stabilized a bit, i was transferred to Swedish hospital in Seattle- where i have been under the care of the Maternal Fetal Medicine department since September (our baby will be requiring surgery at some point post birth because of a mass located on her intestine).  i really needed to be at the hospital that will be treating baby girl once she's born.

the boys came by for a visit yesterday. movies and homemade cookies kept my little ones entertained in my tiny hospital room for a few hours. I was so happy to see them. honestly...they seemed to have grown in the few days that i hadn't seen them. how do they do that?

i've met some other mama's here in the antepartum ward at Swedish; mamas who have been here a LOT longer than I. one of them has been here for three months and will stay until she delivers in two weeks via c-section. the other mama has been here for one month and has one more month to go. i can't even wrap my head around how hard that must be. staying in the hospital...waiting for borders on torture. except, this kind of torture is all about keeping the baby and mama as healthy as possible. so maybe not torture at all...just extremely hard.

i'm super stable, and get to leave today. if i have any more bleeding...i'll be back here immediately and delivering a baby right away.  hopefully all will be fine back at home and i will, in fact, be able to KEEP CALM AND GESTATE ON (for one to two more weeks).


Saturday, October 20, 2018

notes on travel: my solo trip england

i was lucky enough to visit my dear pal in england in July. i have always wanted to explore england (my ancestral homeland) and when my friend moved back to england in march- i felt like...this just may be a perfect opportunity to take the trip.

i arrived on friday morning...tired and swollen. pregnancy and planes aren't a lovely combination. i rested for a while at my friend's house (legs up the wall works every time). we went for a long walk by the River Thames (a stone's throw away from her mum's house) and had an early dinner. then bed.

saturday we took a boat ride down the River Thames from Maidenhead to Windsor. While in Windsor we walked through the town, gazed at that beautiful castle and ate a classic English meal of chicken pie and mash at a local pub (wow there are a lot of pubs in england)! once home we went to an AMAZING Thai restaurant, the Crazy Bear, which was super swanky and delicious. after dinner, kirsten took me to an ancient pub that has been standing since 1000AD. I felt pretty amazed by the history of that place...(this history nerd, loves old things) and loved imagining all of those people throughout time taking rest in such a place. the sign in front of the Royal Standard pub read: "Go in peace. Go gently pilgrim."

old door!
sunday: we were off to London. we stopped in Cavent Garden for brunch and a stroll through cobble stone streets. we spent most of sunday at the west end show, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It's a play written by J.K. Rowling- tickets are sold out for the next year but we magically (pun intended) got two seats the day before the show started. the show is two parts. between part one and two we headed to Haksmoor pub (near the seven dials) for a traditional sunday roast (i ate yorkshire pudding...which is not pudding...but a bread thing! who knew?!). we went back to the west end for the second act of Harry Potter. our seats were amazing....and the show was phenomenal.

monday: we strolled through some seriously fabulous areas...soho, seven dials, cavent garden (again), and the west end. Kirsten wanted me to take a look in the swankiest little shop, Liberty of London- i loved it! we looked through the baby department FOREVER and I bought a couple things for the new baby and jammies for Sailor. we grabbed a double decker bus tour, and saw ALL of the city via the bus. we got off at the Tower of London- i didn't want to go in (i feel like I know so much about that castle, i could probably give a tour), but we walked around it and took in the view of the tower bridge and the castle itself. i had the pleasure of eating my very first 'fish & chips' meal at Poppie's. yum. we headed back to the hotel in the evening- tired and ready for bed.
 famous wall art by artist known as Bambi (we stumbled upon this close to Hawksmoor Pub)

tuesday: one of the two tours I really wanted to do was Westminster Abbey. we got there bright and early, and spent about two and a half hours walking through time in that massive and mind blowing cathedral. it was so beautiful, i was brought to tears. after a quick stop at Buckingham Palace to view the changing of the guard, we headed over to the Dorchester Hotel for high tea. This pregnant mama couldn't get enough of the tiny sandwiches and little cakes. and scones. the scones were absolutely the best i've ever tasted. we headed back to kirsten's hometown on the train, and checked in to our air B&B- a boathouse sitting on the Thames River. it was beautiful.

 Kirsten and I at Westminister Abbey

wednesday: we took a tour of Hampton Court Palace, the residence of King Henry the 8- who happens to be my favorite super villain of all time. we spent hours there- it was beautiful and very cool to walk in the path of the King who set in motion the change of religion in England from the catholic church to the Church of England (which is the religion of my family). after this tour, Kirsten took me on a drive through, what the english refer to as,  "a chocolate box village." Hambleden Village was quaint and old and so so cute. we had dinner at a local pub, Bull at the Belle, and went back to our Air B&B overlooking the Thames.
 the front of Hampton Court Palace which was built in 1515 during the reign of King Henry 8- this is where King Henry lived with all six of his wives. 

back of Hampton Court Palace (renovated by King James I)
Hambleden (chocolate box village)

thursday: my last full day in england was spent in Bath. we drove to Bath bright and early- the architecture is so cool, and so different then the architecture in London. we stopped by the famous Crescent, and then toured the Roman Baths. for lunch we ate baguette sandwiches while we popped into local shops, then we drove to the Priory Hotel where we had relaxing spa treatments at the Priory Spa.
 the famous, Crescent
 Roman Baths
 Spa at the Priory Hotel
old door...

it was a good trip. i can't wait to go back with my family and explore more. I couldn't believe the number of pubs everywhere- and how old everything was. my friend Kirsten would be talking to me....and she'd say....'what are you looking at?!?!' i'd be like....'i'm staring at that old do you think that door is?!?'  i loved the idea that we were walking over so much history, seeing such old and ancient things still standing and still a part of everyday life. i was quite overwhelmed.

also....i do have a love of old doors...and when we were at the Hampton Court Palace, we stumbled upon a door with a sign that read "the oldest known door in Britain...." so... i was in heaven.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Easton is SEVEN.

I don't get it. I don't understand how a child can grow up so fast. I feel totally proud and shattered at the same time.

Easton began first grade a few weeks ago- he wakes up before me, gets himself into the shower, does his hair...all before I have brushed my teeth. He may as well start shaving while he's at it.

Easton still has the most tender heart of any child I have ever met. He cares so deeply about his people. He comes running every time he hears me throw up (pregnancy "morning sickness" is still a thing in the third trimester...) and rubs my back, and asks me if i need anything. He loves being around his family... he just loves spending time with us all day- and would genuinely prefer to be with his mama and daddy over almost anyone else...except maybe Hollace.

His favorite past time is school recess- where, he informs me,  he plays soccer everyday.  He likes oatmeal in the morning with brown sugar (obviously) and milk. He gets excited about the EXACT OPPOSITE things that I get excited selling fundraiser goods for school so he can earn prizes (I'm feeling like a very bad mama for not encouraging his entrepreneurship...but seriously, fundraisers are the worst). He decided to put on his own garage sale a couple of months ago... he earned six dollars, 100% of which was from the neighbors across the street and next door- who "bought" a few of his toys.

Easton is observant, and analytical. He watches people (not in a creepy way). He decides what he thinks about a situation and doesn't wait for his parents to tell him what they think. He prays for people he loves...every single night. He prays for his Grandma to be safe, for his auntie to be a "good mommy," for his daddy to have a good day at work, and for his mama to stop throwing up. he asks God to make his baby sister healthy, and for his brother to have good dreams. Easton is  a lover of people. He is everything I'd hoped he'd be...and more.

happy seven, little muffin. you make my heart sing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

notes on travel: Olympic National Park & Hoh Rainforest

ever since moving to washington i have wanted to visit the Hoh rainforest. it's the largest temperate rainforest in the northern hemisphere and considered one of the seven wonders of washington state. it also has the designation as a World Heritage Site (swanky, aye?).  the moody mossy backdrop of the forest and the many trails made it a must see for my little family.

we camped about an hour south of the Hoh rainforest. the campsite, also a rainforest, was beautiful and sat right on a huge lake. the lake was formed over 15,000 years ago by a giant glacier which settled and melted into the Quinalt Lake. the weather was a bit too cold for us to go swimming, but we enjoyed the view from our tent.

last year we went camping and realized that our tent was a tad smaller than we remembered (it was a two person tent). this year we borrowed a tent from a friend (a huge two room tent) and realized that it actually WOULD NOT fit in the tiny campsite we reserved. so... half of the tent sloped downwards, while the usable part fit perfectly on the 10x10 ft. tent space. next year, we'll have just the right tent...i just know it.

the boys spent much of the time stoking the fire with "pokers" found on the trails. three burns and one singed hairline later we finally stepped in and told the children to stop playing with the fire. there were tears and very high pitched objections. it rained all night long (we were very thankful for the 'almost' waterproof tent. i, being 21 weeks pregnant, went to the bathroom a total of eight times from the time i zipped into my sleeping bag until the time i woke up for the morning....both nights.

we drove to the Hoh rainforest on our second day camping. easton was very upset by the poncho i bought and insisted he wear, and had a rather bad attitude for most of the hike. he brightened up a bit when we discovered our first banana slug (i thought banana slugs only lived in the santa cruz mountains...a happy surprise!). sailor was happy and optimistic on our entire hike, happily taking photos and crawling into tree holes. he's our eternal optimist! we always try to encourage the kids to take part in the "Junior Ranger" program that national parks offer. so we went through the forest drawing pictures and answering questions in the free work-books they give at the visitor center. both kids were sworn in as junior rangers of the olympic national park. we were very proud.

we walked the trail called the "hall of mosses" and were amazed by beauty. tony commented that he felt it was like the grand canyon, in the way that no picture could ever do it justice. the forest looked ancient and majestic and far more beautiful in person than i could have imagined.

as always, we roasted marshmallows made trader joe's frozen dinners (gnocci on the first night and mushroom risotto on the second). tony set up the tent, i made the meals, and we all helped in making the fire last as long as we could (tony is beginning to improve on his campfire skills). the older the kids get, the more comfortable we are at letting them explore farther from the site and the more they help in the camping duties (sailor helped clean the pots while easton helped make dinner). it was a really awesome trip...we are hoping to get one more camp in this summer. we shall see.


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