Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Band-Aid Theory... Quick and Painless?

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who rip the band-aid off in a hurry because hey, if you're going to be losing a layer of skin it may as well be fast, and then there are those that slow but steady pain is less awful. For me, I'm the quick and it's less painful. That's how we're going to play catch up on this past year... Since I'm the world's worst blogger. That being said, does that mean that I'm not a blogger, just an occasional spouter?

Warning: lots of pictures!

I'll just start the highlights with James since he is everyone's favorite!

*Today he turned 14 months... How is that possibl

*He turned one in October and had his first taste of chocolate... love at first timid bite

*He started walking at 9 months and our apartment has yet to be the same... same with the dog

*Favorite foods include bananas, avocados, pizza and mac and cheese... DNA is strong with this one

*Flew to Utah over 4th of July weekend and he loved the window seat... happy baby, happy parents!

As for Jeremy and I, not much is different with us. Jeremy really likes his job and working at Epic. He travels every few months which means that I travel too! Off to the grandparents for James and I! Becoming parents has been the biggest blessing for us. We have a weekly conversation of how is it actually possible that two average humans can make such a miracle. Seriously, when you look at the really random DNA that could result, it makes you grateful for just how good your child turned out! Yes, we have gladly succomb to being those parents! 

 *I did my first 5K and we had a blast as a family!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Arrival of Sweet Baby James... Sorry It's A Long One!

So James is almost 4 months old which means... this post is long overdue! As they say, life gets crazy when you have a baby. Add to that lots of traveling and having to move, and you get a healthy dose of chaos as well.

James made his appearance on Monday, October 14th, which was his due date! However, I thought he was going to be arriving a little sooner. My contractions started on Saturday morning at 3:15am. I woke up and started getting excited, waiting to see if there was going to be another one and then another (I had a morning about a week earlier when I had some contractions, but then they stopped). Around 4:45am I woke Jeremy up because the contractions were still coming, though they were still around 10 to 12 minutes apart. We talked for a while, I had breakfast, and tried to be busy doing things to keep my mind busy.

At 6:00am I was just too excited and called my parents. I told them that I was having contractions (they were planning on coming up when I went into labor), but not to come just yet because they were still far apart, and they could potentially stop again. I was busy in the kitchen around 7:30am when my dad sent me a text saying they were in West Branch (about 35 minutes from their house), and would be at our house around 3pm. He said they were taking that 'leap of faith' I had been teasing them about the day before (I had said they should just come up because this was going to be the weekend the baby would come). That was the day I learned I really should watch what I say! :-)

Saturday passed rather slowly, mostly from waiting for my baby and parents to come (no offense parents, I was really rooting for the baby!). Jeremy and I went on a few walks to help speed up the contractions (I got my contractions down to being 7 minutes apart!), and then my parents arrived. My mom took me on a few more walks and my contractions continued to progress. By around 11:00pm, they were around 5 minutes apart! Jeremy and I were super excited (they'd been like that for an hour) so with a good bye from my parents (they were going to wait at home until things were closer to delivery), we headed to the hospital!

We checked in and I got all gowned up. I was so excited! Things were amazing, just as I imagined! The nurse came in to check on me, and asked how my contractions were going. I said how far apart they were but I noticed they had started to slow down a bit (I was tired and was resting on the bed). My nurse checked me and said that I was between a 1 to 2 cms. That was pretty deflating! REALLY?! After an entire day of having contractions, I had hardly dilated AT ALL!!! They let us stay for a few hours, but when I didn't progress they sent us home so I could continue early labor at home. So at 2am we went home. Jeremy and I went to bed, but it was hard to sleep since I was having contractions every 10 minutes (yeah, they were back to being that far apart).

Sunday morning we got up and had a nice breakfast, got cleaned up and started walking again. Something to add about all this walking: it was cold outside! Very windy and cloudy, so going outside was not something we enjoyed. We would come inside and I would keep walking around or do something in the kitchen (I know, how could there be anything else to do in the kitchen, but don't worry, I found something every time). As the day went on my contractions got harder and harder, but were still about 7 minutes apart. Then, finally around 9:30pm they really started to get stronger!

I took a nice shower to get some relief and then laid down to rest (I was pretty tired by this point). My contractions didn't slow down this time and they were continuously 5 minutes apart and difficult. At 11pm, I felt it was time to go to the hospital again, and this time I felt like I needed to go! I'll admit, this time I wasn't full of so much excitement because I was trying to survive that 15 minute car ride (women who have a longer car ride to the hospital, I don't know how you could do it! So painful!). We check in again, gowned up, got checked and was at 3 to 4 cms! That night, I was determined not to rest and have the contractions slow down again! It was around 1:30am when my parents sent a text saying they were in the waiting room because they couldn't sleep at home so they may as well wait at the hospital (I'm sorry people, I have the sweetest parents of all time).

Jeremy and I walked around the second floor ALL NIGHT LONG! I was having very painful contractions so I would get through a contraction and then we'd pop in and see my parents (I knew it was hard for them to see me in pain). Around 4am they went to the store to get Jeremy some breakfast and came back with a foot long sub sandwich for him, the most comfortable furry slippers for me to walk around in, and a stuffed bunny for the baby to come! Again I say, they are amazing and such a blessing to have around!

Skipping ahead to around 10am, I was to the point of exhaustion. I hadn't slept in two days, my contractions were absolutely killing me, walking was out of the question, I was too tired to sit on the birthing ball anymore, and I was falling asleep between my contractions, which were about 3 minutes apart now. The nurse came in to check me and I was at 7 cms. I was excited, but I knew I couldn't do it anymore. I asked the nurse about getting an epidural and she said she'd get the anesthesiologist. Jeremy had fallen asleep on the couch so I had the nurse wake him up when she left. I told him my decision, he made sure I really wanted it, and then the nurse came back with the man with the drugs that I was so in need of. Believe me, at this point it was no longer a want, it was a need! My anesthesiologist was VERY good, and by 10:30am I finally had some relief!

Now, those of you know know me know that I HATE needles. We will never be friends. Period. Does it tell you what kind of state I was in to have a very long needle put into my back? I still can't believe it myself!

I can't tell you what it was like to finally have some relief, to not feel any more contractions! I had the BEST two hour nap I've ever had! However, that was short lived. Two hours after getting the epidural, the nurse came in to say that my contractions were slowing down (because of the epidural I was now on a monitor), more than likely because I was no longer able to walk around (also because of the epidural), and she asked if they could start me on pitocin. At that point, I just wanted to have my baby, so I said yes, no problem.

Every hour got me closer and finally at 3pm I was on the home stretch! The nurse said I would probably be ready to push in an hour, and that even though I had an epidural I would probably start to feel some part of the contractions (turns out I felt them on my right side but not on my left... a little weird but whatever). By the time it was about five minutes to four I was ready to push and was just about to send Jeremy for the nurse when she walked in.

For me, pushing was the easiest and best thing about this whole experience! I only had to push for an hour! I had a great coach (Jeremy) and a wonderful nurse! When the baby's head first appeared Jeremy said there was hair on the head, which only made me want to push harder! I wanted to see this baby with hair! Finally, at 5:09pm, James Clayton West entered the world! Jeremy said "It's a boy!" and I said "It's a boy?! It was supposed to be a girl!" This is funny because we never found out what we were having, but were fairly certain we were having a girl :-) I had gone to two doctors and they thought it was a girl as well. So a boy was a surprise, a beautiful, wonderful surprise! He was immediately put on my chest and I fell in love with that amazing little creature! His story after this is anything but ideal, but he had finally made it here!

Poor baby! As you can see I'm happy he's here, but blue wasn't a good color!

Motherhood has been such an amazing journey! I look at my baby boy, and I think to myself "How is it possible for me and my husband to create such a perfect little baby?" I wonder where I would be without him, and it's hard to remember life without him even though its only been three and a half months. Baby. That word brings on a whole new meaning now.

P.S. Sorry there aren't many pictures... I need to get them organized! And by organized I mean I can't find them because they aren't on my camera! But here's the latest and greatest for your enjoyment :-)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Long Awaited Day... Jeremy's First Marathon!

Its been a while! I'll admit, sometimes I forget I have this blog! I know, I'm a terrible person! Moving on...

Jeremy participated in his FIRST EVER marathon on Saturday! It was on Grand Island (Munising area) and I have to say, that island is a lot bigger than it lets on! But it's beautiful and fairly undisturbed by people. There was a VERY strict no littering policy so that it would stay that way.

We got into town on Friday and got Jeremy all checked in for the run. You may not be able to read it, but at the bottom of that banner under "Welcome Runners" it says "and their cheerleaders!" Oh, you can't read it... neither could I, but I know it was there :-)

After that we checked into the campground we were going to stay at and then went to eat at the spaghetti dinner. Now don't get me wrong, I love my carbs, and the spaghetti was delicious... but the tossed salad that went with it was AMAZING! Lots of chopped veggies and crisp salad! So many levels of YUM!

Jeremy knew how to eat like a runner before the anticipated day of triumph! See, look at that salad! I forever get to drool over it (or at least until these hormones go away... that's right, blame the hormones)!

Saturday came very early (3:30am to be exact) because I had to go to the bathroom (seriously, that ruins everything!). So we got ready and excited that the day had finally come! We caught our bus, took our boat to the island, and then waited for the race to start! Jeremy was so ready to start! And as you can see, it was still pretty dark!

I got to ride a bus to certain checkpoints of the race, and I got to see Jeremy once! It was wonderful to see him in his element! I also had Sulley with me, and he was such a trooper! Everyone loved him and he was the perfect distraction for us as we waited for our runners :-)

I got a picture of Jeremy when he finished, but alas, it is on my phone and I can't find the cord I need to put it on my laptop... but I'll find it and post it... it was a great ending!

This is the souvenir that everyone got for participating:

And this is what Jeremy looked like when he was all done: a pillar of salt! Poor guy was so crusty from sweating so much! Oh, and sore does not even come close to describing what he felt, but he was so proud that you couldn't even tell :-)

As you can see, this is why my husband is my hero! He did a monumentally difficult thing! I can't imagine what it was like, though he did tell me it was so hard (and that coming from the guy who doesn't complain much)! I'm so glad that I was there and got to support him in his epic endeavor! Way to go Honey, you killed it!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

All Sorts of Changes!

The past few weeks have been full of changes! We signed on the house we are moving to next month (huge sigh of relief), Jeremy is finishing his second semester of grad school, and the elementary school is always a busy place! Oh, and my belly has undergone some changes too... time for show and tell!

13 weeks was this...
Yeah, not much going on there... 

15 1/2 weeks was this...

And HELLO first sighting of the baby bump!

Last Tuesday I woke up to quite the surprise, but trying to not overreact, I blamed it on bloating (seriously, who hasn't had that problem in their life?!) and went throughout my day. Funny thing was, it didn't go away... so I went home and asked Jeremy to take a look (just to make sure I wasn't seeing things and being too hopeful). I showed him the changes to which he said "Whoa! Ummmm yeah that's new!" I love him :-) He has such a way with words!

Today I'm 2 days shy of 17 weeks. I can't believe how fast it is going! This has been such a fun time for us! I can't even think about what life would be like without this little one!

In other news, it FINALLY decided to warmed up for a few days over the past weekend!!! After a second blizzard two weeks ago and continual snow this week, 70 degrees seemed like a miracle! Current problem: flooding. As they say, beauty is pain in the drain! Today it's been snowing again with some ice and sleet on the side. At least now I know that spring is not a myth! I've seen it so now I believe (I know, my faith only goes so far on certain topics)! Wish me luck that it comes back!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What, Say What!

Normally I don't have a problem with words and coming up with something somewhat witty to say, but honestly, this has got me stumped so instead, I will let the picture do the talking:

      (It's a little hard to read but it says "I'm gonna be a Big Brother and I'm gonna be a Big Sister!")

If you're thinking puppies or kittens, you're not too far off, just think less hairy (well, hopefully!). If you thought of a human baby, you're pretty spot on! Jeremy and I are going to be venturing into the world of parenthood around October 8th (my first ultrasound next Friday will verify this date)!!! I still can't get over being able to tell myself I'M PREGNANT!!!!! Currently I'm 11 and 1/2 weeks which means I'm nearly done with the first trimester!!!! Thank goodness (I'm really hoping for my all-day sickness to go away)!!!!

We found out around the beginning of February, on a fine Sunday morning. I woke up and excitedly went to put the pregnancy test to work! Not a minute later my test came back saying I was pregnant (thank you Clear Blue)! I tried to compose myself (is that possible to do?!) and went into the bedroom where Jeremy was still sleeping. I said good morning, turned on the light and went to sit next to him and show him my hard work. Poor guy, I really should  have let him wake up a little bit! He stared at the test and said things like "What is that?" and "Where's the lines?" and "I don't understand it." I told him it was digital and it used words, not lines. He looked at it again and said "Oh! Yay, you're pregnant!" I find it a very cute story (hey, he was prepared for the hard 'line' test and not the easy one so I'm not complaining) :-) 

We have ended up doing this a lot lately in the evenings because of me not feeling good... I have some awesome cuddle buddies who are always willing to volunteer their services :-)

Not too many days later I developed some of my first signs of pregnancy, which definitely made it more real! I told the teachers that I worked with and my principal, but that was it. And let me say, it was SO hard to stop it with just those few people! But thank goodness I had them to talk to about it or I may have gone crazy!

Last week was Jeremy's spring break from Michigan Tech. I was trying to hold out for going down at Easter, but alas, it just wasn't in the cards. So with two days notice, we made the journey to down to see our families. I'll write about telling them the awesome news soon :-) It was awesome!

I still have moments where I think "Is this really happening?!" and am reminded it is with every bathroom run and every moment of nausea. Sometimes when I'm having a hard time falling back to sleep in the middle of the night, I think of what kind of mom I'll be and what an amazing dad Jeremy is going to be. Then I just cuddle up to my favorite person in the world and go back to sleep with a smile on my face. This is going to be an AWESOME adventure for us!!!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What's White and Smooth and Cold All Over?

... It's a Ski Hill! Or in this case, a very specific ski hill called Mount Ripley! Why do I start this off mentioning a ski hill you ask? Well, I happen to collide once again with this white beast of nature!

Two winters ago, Jeremy introduced me to skiing. I did it twice. Both were very fun times (as well as very brutal I might add), and I honestly wasn't too bad at it. It was a fun thing to do in the winter and something that I had always wanted to try.

Fast forward two years... I was a very lucky girl and got snowboarding gear for Christmas! I know, not skis but a SNOWBOARD! I have always wanted to learn how to snowboard so I was pleased as punch!

                                                      Right before my lesson... excited!

 I got signed up for classes and had my first one on Thursday and let me tell you what: it was a BLAST! I have two really great teachers and a nice sized class (about 12 to 15 people). I learned 'skating' and how to turn, but not how to ride the T bar so what that means is that in order to practice going down the hill I had to WALK up the hill! What a workout!

And let me tell you something else about that night: it was absolutely FREEZING! Like 3 degrees freezing with a windchill of  below zero! But thanks to Jeremy teaching me how to layer my clothing (I felt like a marshmallow) I stayed pretty warm!

                                   Super happy, but pretty sure my smile was frozen on at this point!

My partner in crime didn't get to do any snowboarding because he broke a binding on his board... but he sure looked good and ready to go!

                                                   He looks like such an expert doesn't he!

And for all those who are worried about me breaking something... don't worry, they taught me how to fall correctly so I don't hurt myself :-)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cat vs Dog: The Inevitable Collide!

Close your eyes and picture this: an adorable white ball of fluff with a brownish pink nose bouncing around, saying hello and acting like you're its favorite person in the world and just wanting to love you. Meet Sulley, the adorable Pomeranian with loads of energy and spunk! He loves to give kisses (we are working on teaching him to ask first... who wants their kisses stolen! NOT I!), chew on his rawhide, and take long walks on the beach (he also likes to dig in the sand).

                                                      Sulley, Santa's little helper

Ok, close your eyes again and imagine this: a black ball of fluff and the only thing distinguishable are two very large yellow eyes that just stare at you and don't move. Say hello to Arya, more commonly called 'The Princess' (what can we say, she's a bit of a diva!). Good luck trying to catch her unless she's in the mood to cuddle and, if you do manage to catch her, she will be yelling at you until she either gets away, you let her go, or she consoles herself... the last one has yet to ever happen by the way!

                                       Arya with the deer-in-the-headlights-look (camera shy)

If you were to come and visit us, Sulley would be the greeting committee while Arya would be the supervisor (that is kindly saying she will not come near you but will observe your every move). That is just one of the many differences that make them each unique, but so funny to be around! They love to wrestle and play with each other, try and steal each others' food, and see who can annoy the other the most in order to get the whole couch.  

What can I say, they are peas in a pod!

I know it's dark, but they are too cute not to share! Then again, I'm incredibly biased! :-)