Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Summer synopsis and baby update

As I look at the emptiness of this blog over the last 5 1/2 months, I've come to realize two things.
Firstly, new technology (aka. Instagram) has a way of changing the way we record events in our lives drastically, and sometimes it's not for the better. As much as I love posting pictures for friends and family to see each day, it is NOT the same as writing on a blog or in a journal. Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but they still don't capture the more intimate details of the every day grind. 
Secondly, I've realized that Wesley is most definitely a second child, and therefore has not gotten the same treatment of constant monthly updates that Max had as an only child. I have mommy guilt of epic proportions, but alas, having two kids at very different stages of life keeps me busy. Such is life.

Anyways, here are the highlights of our summer

  • We've pretty much gone swimming 2-3 times a week all summer. Got a babysitter for Wesley on some of those days, just so I could give Max more one on one attention.
  • We celebrated Max's 3rd birthday! We kept it pretty low key again this year since I refuse to throw my kids birthday parties until they are 4 and will actually remember them. I can't believe he's already 3! We love him so much, I am so thankful he joined our family.
  • Max took his very first swim class in July. They mostly just played games and worked on blowing bubbles and kicking their legs in the water, but I'm glad he had fun and adapted well.
  • Spend the 4th of July with the Halls and Cramers. We went hiking, swimming, ate delicious bbq, and watched fireworks from our bedroom window. A perfect way to celebrate our country!
  • We went to our usual Rockies games. Such a fun tradition, and it's fun to see Max learn to love baseball too. 
  • Adam left for two weeks to England for work, so I got to experiment being a single parent this was harder than I thought! Single parents and military spouses are beyond amazing for what they do. 
  • While Adam was gone, I flew with the boys alone to WA to be with my dad and Tanya. They live in the most beautiful area and we had such a great time! Adam flew to Seattle after his business trip, and he and I had the three most lovely days as just the two of us. We stayed in Seattle for a night and walked around the city and ate the most delicious (and expensive!) food. We also stayed two nights in the mountains of northern WA at a cute bed and breakfast. During the day we took ferries to the San Juan Islands, took a 45 min flight over the islands, and did some hiking in the freezing cold Cascades. We are SO grateful to Tanya for taking the boys so we could have these few days alone. We really lucked out with her, she is awesome! 
  • In August Max started preschool! He is now going 4 days a week in the afternoons and loves it! So does mommy, especially since I can sneak in a nap nowadays while Wes naps. Win win situation. 

More pics of our Seattle trip to come!

It's been a fabulous yet busy summer, and I can hardly believe how fast it has gone! Since Wes is nearly 8 months now, I should probably write an update of him...

  • Since he was about 2 months, Wes has not been a good eater due to reflux. Luckily he is slowly gaining weight, but we are so ready to give up the bottle. Too bad he needs to drink formula for another 4 months! 
  • He loves solids, especially anything he can feed himself like soft fruits, teething crackers, etc. Oh, and he LOVES yogurt. 
  • Still waking up 1-2 times to feed every night, but usually goes right back to sleep and then sleeps in and takes long naps during the day. I really can't complain too much.
  • Sits unassisted very well, and launches forward to get toys. Starting to scoot on his tummy some, but not quite ready to crawl yet. 
  • Has had amazing fine motor skills since he was like, 2 months. Loves to play with toys, and especially Max's cars. It drives Max crazy though, which is kind of hilarious!
  • He gets fussy if he's tired or his reflux is bothering him, but overall he is such a happy baby. We are all crazy about him.
Here are a few pics to show how much he's change over nearly 8 months...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wesley's birth story, Part II

Since Wesley was going to be a late preemie, we talked with the doctor and decided to try for a vbac. After a couple of hours of pushing and closely monitoring the baby, we finally decided to go in for the c section. I would have LOVED to deliver him naturally, but I guess my body's just not right for child birth. Adam and his mom both got to come in for the surgery, and after all the labor, pushing, and intense pressure I felt during the c section, it was such a relief to hear my baby's strong healthy cry. I couldn't believe he was here, and so early too! Luckily, Wesley was healthy enough not to need to stay in the NICU, and I got to finally hold and cuddle my sweet little boy.
A few hours after the surgery, we were informed that there had been a complication, and essentially my bladder was leaking and I was going to have to go in for surgery right away. There were lots of tears on my part, especially after being told my uterus might be taken out during the surgery (fortunately, I got to keep it!)  I felt so angry and cheated...I was SUPPOSED to have had a planned c section, and I was SUPPOSED  to have this time to recover, sleep and snuggle my newborn. How could this have happened?! 
After a blessing from Adam and one of the OB docs, they wheeled me into the OR. Thankfully the surgery was overall a success, but the recovery was rough. First off, my urologist informed me I would have to wear a catheter and stent for three weeks...I was ticked! And secondly, around day three at the hospital, I threw up the entire day, couldn't even keep my medication down, and ended up with a blood transfusion. Just my luck. 
Finally on Saturday I was able to go home, and thankfully got to bring baby home too. The next couple weeks were difficult for me. Maybe it's my low pain tolerance, but I was just so sore, exhausted, and embarrassed lugging the catheter around. I hated that Adam had to help me change out my catheter, I hated that I could barely take care of myself, let alone a newborn. I don't think I've been more humbled in my life than in those first couple weeks...if there was one thing I took away from this experience, it was acceptance. I had to learn to accept and find peace with the fact that I really needed Adam's help taking care of me, that I couldn't do everything on my own. I had to accept that the baby came early even though I was enjoying my pregnancy and hadn't prepared freezer meals, bought diapers, or finished decorating the nursery. I had to accept the catheter, rather, embrace it, for three long weeks. In the end, it wasn't my fault or anyone else's that I delivered so early and had so many complications with the cesarean. It is just the way things happened, and Heavenly Father had a plan for me and my baby. It wasn't easy, and I'm not even sure we'll be able to have more children after this experience, but I eventually found peace with everything. Sometimes things aren't going to go the way we want, and there may or may not be a purpose in our trials, but learning to accept the situation is essential for having the strength and faith to overcome them.
I am fortunately now catheter free, and enjoying life at home with both boys. Wesley has so far been a sweet baby who sleeps most of the time and loves to cuddle. Max has been pretty patient with me, and is generally good at entertaining himself. He has been extremely sweet with Wes and loves to hold him occasionally and give him lots of kisses. Sure, there is the sleep deprivation, some soreness from my surgeries, and the daily frustrations I run into with having a two year old, but I finally see the silver lining. :) And I feel so blessed...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wesley's birth story Part I

Since baby is sleeping and Max and Daddy are at the park, I thought I would take the opportunity to write this all down, before I forget details. And, to forewarn you, this is going to be lengthy and TMI.
Wesley Adam Hall was born January 27th at around 10:20 in the morning. 5 weeks early, yet still a whopping 5 pounds 13 oz. 
I had originally set the date for a planned c section on Feb 23rd. I was excited to have everything scheduled out, and was planning on putting on some make up and looking cute for the big day. However, the Lord clearly had another plan for me and this little guy. On Sunday, Jan. 25th, I remember sitting in relief society and turning to my fellow pregnant friend, Candice, to ask if she ever got super painful contractions this early. She said "yes" but that it was probably just braxton hicks contractions. I felt reassured, and continued to ignore the painful but very sporadic contractions. All through Sunday and Monday, I continued to have contractions anywhere between every 15 min to an hour. Instead of resting and taking it easy, I got a sudden burst of energy, and did a ton of cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning out our car and our pantry cabinets. Coincidence, or maybe a sign? 
On Monday night we went to bed around 9, and every 20 minutes I woke up with short but painful contractions. I tried to sleep through some of them, but finally went downstairs at 1 am to eat a snack and grab numbers and info from Obstetrix, as well as maps of the hospital....just in case. I still wasn't convinced I was in labor though, and went back to bed until 5. At that point I kept waking up moaning through each contraction, so I finally bounded out of bed  to take a hot bath. You know, because hot baths can TOTALLY stop labor...evidently I was in major denial. Luckily Adam had the sense to call Marilyn, and she convinced us to go to the hospital. I showered, woke up Max, and left for Pres St. Luke's Hospital without my bags, thinking they would just end up sending me home and I would be miserable for the rest of my pregnancy with these painful braxton hicks. 
In the car, the contractions started coming every 4-5 minutes, and I pretty much yelled the whole way to the hospital. Max thought it was hilarious I was yelling, and decided to take part in the fun. Once we got there, I told Adam NOT to get a wheelchair and take me to the ER because it would take too long, so we made a dash for the 3rd floor where the nurses were waiting for us. 
Marilyn and Dennis came in to get Max and pretty much got to see the crazy, super dramatic side of their daughter in law. Let's face it, I have a super low threshold for pain. The nurses checked me...I was fully dilated! Finally, after what seemed like forever, they put in the epidural. I remember being so angry it was taking so long to work, but gradually the pain faded,and I suddenly felt so much awe and respect for women who go completely natural!
More to come soon...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

October fun

October was a fairly warm month for Colorado this year, so Max and I took advantage of the great outdoors and went to the park a lot and visited a few farms.
We went to our traditional "Flat Acres Farm" for some good old fashioned pumpkin picking, tractor riding, and corn-mazing (is that a word?).

Another day, toward the end of October, a friend and I met up at a farm out in Parker that was holding its annual pumpkin festival. Max had a blast with all the animals and activities they provided. 

Max and his cute little girlfriend, Roxy.

Spiderman "bawoon"

We lucked out in October with so much family visiting! I wish I had taken more pictures, but here are a couple of Max and Kylie playing in the leaves. These were taken at GG's house, shortly after visiting Great Grandpa Hall's grave site. Such cute cousins, we loved having them in town! 

Adam was partly in charge with the Young Men for our ward Halloween party, so he and I decided to go all out this year with costumes. We dressed up as Hook, Wendy, and Peter Pan. Had a blast at the party, and Max loved trunk or treating for the first time!

Sexy Captain Hook 
For Halloween Day, I tried to be a fun mom and made ghost pancakes. That evening we got our traditional Chinese food, attended our neighborhood's pathetic little Halloween party (lol), and took Max trick or treating. I think overall Max had more fun answering the door and handing out candy than anything else. 

And last but not least...I forgot to announce on here that we confirmed in October that we are having a baby boy! He is due the end of February and we couldn't be more thrilled!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

5 year anniversary in New York

Many thanks to Adam's parents, we were able to leave Max for a long weekend getaway to New York City in September. For some reason, neither of us have ever made it to the big apple, except for layovers to other destinations. So, to celebrate the big 5 years, we decided to tackle our bucket list and fit as much in as we could of New York in three days. It was a crazy venture, but it sure was nice to have some much needed time as a couple. 

                           We mainly hit up all the typical tourist sites. Not usually my travel style, but our time was too short to really do anything else. 

Received a wonderful, heart warming welcome from the people of New York at Times Square.

Brooklyn Bridge

City hall???

On the last night, we found a fun, authentic Brazilian restaurant right down the street from our hotel in Queens. It was both delicious and entertaining, as they had these old guys playing and singing a bunch of Brazilian songs. Adam was in heaven.

Best sweet and sour chicken ever at a delicious, authentic Chinese restaurant in China town. Yes, the food warranted its own picture. 

Being 18 weeks pregnant, I insisted we eat a lot of delicious food and spend our money trying new restaurants. We ate some yummy authentic Brooklyn pizza as well. It was well the worth the almost hour walk to get there. 

St Patrick's cathedral. I have an obsession with cathedrals, I was so happy we found this gem. 

 911 memorial. It was seriously so vast and incredible, I cried the moment I laid eyes on it. What an amazing tribute to all those people who died or lost loved ones. 

Adam in chess heaven at the chess club in Central Park...if only he'd had someone to play with!

Central Park was seriously amazing! Both Adam and I agreed we could have spent the entire weekend exploring the park alone because it was huge and offered so many things to do. You don't truly realize how big it is until you're there. Also not pictured...visiting the Metropolitan museum (amazing and huge!), seeing Phantom on Broadway (I cried during that as well, so incredible), and many other restaurant adventures..what can I say, I need and love food! We had an amazing time...probably won't be back to New York any time soon though. I discovered after navigating the streets and getting sick in the subway, that perhaps I am an ol' suburb girl at heart. And, at the end of the trip, we were so happy to return to Max, we love our lil guy and missed him more than we care to admit. Thank you M and D for making this possible!