Monday, May 30, 2011

Blueberry Picking

Our dearest friends, Brandon and Kim, came to visit this weekend.  We really wish that they lived closer (Whittier is way too far away), because their friendships are the most important to both of us!  Anyways, we went to Jessop Farms in Ripon with them on Saturday to pick blueberries, and we were blessed with pretty good weather.  It was cloudy and windy and we got a little bit of rain on the way in, but it stopped raining when we were picking berries.  We picked over 8 lbs of berries, and they're so delicious.  I'm freezing these ones, but I'm hoping to go with my mom before the season is over to pick a bunch more for blueberry syrup.  Brooklynne hung out in the stroller the whole time, and was a happy girl.  We ate lunch by the river, which was lovely, but a bit cold, and then went to a thrift store.  We're hoping to spend some time with them again tomorrow before they head back home, but wish that we could have had more time with them this weekend!  We love you guys!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

14 weeks old!

Our daughter is 14 weeks old, and she's just so precious.  She's still waking up around 4 or 5 to eat, but I've  been able to anticipate it a little better so instead of taking her into bed with us to feed her, I've been feeding her in her room and then putting her back in her crib.
She's sitting up really well, laughing at us when we do silly things and she loves Barley.  I love being a mama, my daughter amazes me every day, and I just feel so blessed!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A letter to my daughter

To my B!

I have wanted you for almost all of my life. As soon as I knew what babies were, I knew I wanted one.  The first baby I really knew was your Aunt Juli; she’s mommy’s younger sister.  She’s only 2 years younger than mommy, but I remember waiting for her to come home from the hospital, and I remember holding her and thinking that someday I wanted to have a little baby of my own.  We named you after her for a few reasons: she’s mommy’s best friend, a super cool lady, the best aunt ever, and the reason mommy wanted to have babies in the first place.  What a blessed girl you are to have such an amazing aunt!

I met your Daddy when we were 13, but didn’t really know him until 2006 when I was 21.  As soon as I saw his picture on Myspace, I thought he was a total hottie, and hoped to get to know him better. We started dating in April, and in February 2007, he asked me to be his wife.   I knew right away that he would be the best Daddy ever, and oh, was I right.  We were married at Nana and Poppie’s church on December 29th, 2007, and I wanted to start having babies right away, but Daddy knew we needed to wait a little while.

I found out that you were growing in me on June 12th, and I was so excited!!  I went out and bought a little boy shirt and girly pajamas for you since we didn’t know if you were a boy or girl yet, and a bottle of “Dad’s Rootbeer” early in the morning and came home to tell Daddy, and he was just as excited as me.  We decided to wait until I had been pregnant for three months to tell most people, but we told Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Jared and Uncle Evan on Fathers Day (June 20) while we were up in the mountains.  Most of my family was together for our sister trip the next weekend, so I made cookies to tell my family.  It was so much fun!!

Daddy had been promoted in January, but his insurance didn’t start until 6 months later, so we didn’t go to our first doctors’ visit until August 26, when you were almost 15 weeks old.  They did an ultrasound, and we got to see you for the very first time, and it was such a beautiful experience.  I, of course, cried, and Daddy smiled a lot and held my hand the whole time.   We could already tell that you were such a beautiful baby!

We had doctors’ appointments every month; they would check my blood pressure and your heartbeat.  Your heartbeat was always so strong, and such a beautiful sound!  On September 25th we had a special ultrasound at a different office to find out if you were a boy or a girl.  It was so cool to see you moving around inside of my belly.  We asked the technician not to tell us if you were a boy or a girl, but to write it on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope.  Daddy went to work after the appointment, and I was left at home all day with the envelope just itching to open it, but I was good, and didn’t.  We met Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Evan, Uncle Jared, Aunt Brittany, Nana and Poppie at B.J.’s that night; Daddy and I had been there earlier for dinner, and given them the envelope, so they were all super excited about what we were doing.  We waited for what seemed like forever, and they came out with a giant chocolate chip cookie, and on it they had written “girl.”  I was blown away!  I had wanted a girl so bad, but I thought you were going to be a boy because there are only boys in Daddy’s family, but my dreams came true!  Grandpa and Grandma thought you were going to be a girl, so they brought you a pink soccer ball; it was very sweet!

Because of Daddy’s work schedule, he wasn’t able to go to many of our doctors appointments, and after my appointment on November 11th, the doctor called me back in to go over the ultrasound they had done.  She said that there was an abnormality on the ultrasound and that they could see something on your brain; I couldn’t hear anything else that she said.  I was lost. I didn’t know what to think; there was something on your brain that could be harmful.  The doctor asked if I was okay, and while trying not to cry, I said I was.  I went out to the car, and just sobbed, I felt completely helpless.  My little girl, my precious baby growing inside of me, had something bad growing on her brain.  I called Daddy and told him, not knowing much information, and he so bravely told me that everything was going to be okay, then, he called Grandma and Grandpa.  I also called Aunt Bethany, and she called the rest of my family to ask everyone to pray.  I drove back home and called the doctor to find out exactly what she had seen.  She said it was a 6 mm choroid plexus cyst, and that they’re common, but could potentially be harmful.  Grandma and Grandpa picked me up and took me to the farmers market, and out to lunch because they didn’t think I should be alone, and they were right.  

Our doctor asked us to get another ultrasound done to recheck it, so on December 8th, Daddy and I went to another doctor for the ultrasound.  As much as I loved seeing you again moving around inside of me, I was so nervous about the cyst, but praise the Lord, it was gone, they didn’t see it at all!  Daddy and I were so happy!

My sisters and Nana took me out to lunch in Washington while we were at Uncle Bob and Aunt Wendy’s for Christmas, and it was such a wonderful time.  They gave me the wonderful Ergo backpack that you already love!  On January 15th, Nana’s church had a baby shower for us at Donna Gruenholz’s house.  It was a lovely day, and I felt so honored, and you got so many beautiful things!  The our church had a baby shower for us the following weekend, and I was surprised at how many people came. Jessa, Alita and Lori hosted the shower and it was so nice.

I was starting to feel so big by this point.  For the most part, I had loved being pregnant, I didn’t mind my growing belly, I never got morning sickness, and the only two things that I didn’t like were the horrible heartburn, and the carpel tunnel in my hands and wrists.  But, now that my ankles were so swollen, and I couldn’t get comfortable at night to sleep, I was ready to have you, to meet this beautiful girl growing inside of me, but it was only the end of January, and you weren’t due until February 19th.  I started cleaning the house. I didn’t go too crazy like some people, but I cleaned more than normal.  I finished your room, tried to pack my bag for the hospital, and tried to keep busy. Daddy would give me things to focus on before he left for the day: laundry, vacuuming, dishes, taking a walk with Barley. But it usually wasn’t more than two things a day, because he still wanted me to take naps and not stand on my feet for too long.  

On January 29th, my good friend Julie got married up in Oregon, so we had traveled up there to make her cake and go to her wedding. Since that drive home, I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions almost every day.  Finally on February 16th around midnight, the contractions changed, and I just knew I was going to meet you soon!  They were about 10-15 minutes apart, which meant I was still able to sleep in between them.  I woke up at 9, and started timing them, and they had gone to 8-10 minutes apart.  I ate some breakfast, and then took a shower, which slowed them to 15 minutes apart again.  I took a nap and when I woke up at 11:30, they were 7 minutes apart, and I was so excited.  The contractions hurt, but they were bearable, so I went to the kitchen to make some macaroni and cheese.  I opened the refrigerator to get the butter out, but dropped the butter plate, which broke on the floor.  I was trying to lean over to sweep it up, because Barley was trying to get into it, and I couldn’t do it.  I called Daddy, sobbing and asked him to come home to clean up the butter.  He got home at 1, and we worked through the contractions together and ate lunch.  Our midwife had told us that we would need to go in early because I was strep B positive, and they needed to get the antibiotic in me before you were born, so at 2:45, when the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart, we went to the hospital, and called Nana on the way over.

The nurse checked me in. I was 4 centimeters dilated, and completely effaced, so I was admitted as active labor.  After they had hooked me up to the IV for the antibiotic they told me I would have to get the IV fluids because I was dehydrated.  Once they were done, they dimmed the lights and Daddy and I hung out, talked about you, laughed and worked through the contractions, and they were hard.  They hurt very badly, but I wanted to bring you into this world without nasty drugs in your body, and I didn’t want to have drugs in me hindering me from remembering everything.  I wanted to give you the best start to your life here possible, and I knew having a natural birth was the best way to go.  The contractions hurt worse than I had prepared myself for, but your Daddy was so strong and held my hand throughout the whole thing.  All I wanted to do was lay on that bed and go to sleep, but I couldn’t, so Daddy would hold my hand, then massage my back, and he tried doing my favorite thing, massaging my feet, but I hated it.  I wanted to keep moving my feet, I couldn’t keep them still, and I did not want him touching them. 

Nana got there at 5:45 and we were so happy she got there on time.  My midwife, Irene told us that it would probably be a while, that you might not make your arrival until around midnight, so Nana went to the cafeteria to get dinner for her and Daddy, and Irene went home to get dinner at around 6.  My water broke at 6:15 and the contractions got even harder. I knew I would meet you soon and all I wanted to do was push.  Daddy went to tell the nurses that my water broke and I felt like I should push, so one of the nurses walked slowly into the room, thinking I didn’t know what I was talking about, but when she saw the computer, she called for the other nurses.  About 8 of them ran in and started changing the room around.  One of them put 4 more bracelets on me, one on Daddy, and another started breaking apart the bed I was lying on, another got the warm bed ready for you, and the others were just running around doing other things, but I was focused on you.  My nurse told me I couldn’t push, that she wasn’t going to deliver you, and that I had to wait for Irene to get back.  Nana finally got back with dinner, she had been on the phone with Poppie, and Irene got back at 6:50.  When she opened my legs she cold already see your head.  Despite the nurse telling me not to push, there was barely anything I could do to keep my body from pushing.  Irene told me I could start pushing with the contractions, and Daddy did such a great job, never leaving my side, holding my hand and my leg, and saying he was so proud of me.  I pushed 4 times, and it was the most incredible thing feeling your little body come out of me.  Irene told me to stop pushing after your head was out because the umbilical cord was wrapped around your little neck four times, you must have been doing so many somersaults in there.  She cut the cord and got it off your neck and you were dark purple, but they put you right on my chest and you turned pink right away.  You were born at 7:09pm, weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces and 18 inches long, and so perfect!   I didn’t want to let you go.

They took you to the warm bed and daddy cut the rest of your cord. He gave you your very first bath, swaddled you up in a blanket, put a hat on your head and held you, just staring at your pretty face.  Daddy was so excited to meet you.  

Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Evan got there a few minutes after you were born, because you came so quickly and Daddy didn’t have time to call them before you came. They were so happy to meet you!  Uncle Jared and Aunt Brittany came a little while later, and everyone helped us move into our other room.  We hung out until 10:45 when they all left, and then it was just the three of us, our first night together as a family of three.  Daddy got in bed with us and cuddled until 1 am when we put you in the little bed next to next to us.  I just wanted to keep holding you, counting your fingers and toes, and looking at your beautiful hair, nose and your gorgeous face.  I didn’t want to go to sleep, I just wanted to hold you, but Daddy told me that I needed to sleep, so I did.  You nursed right away, and I was so happy that you did it so well!

Nana came over the next morning with Starbucks, and the four of us stayed together all day.  Nana loved singing to you and you would just stare at her and listen.  Grandma and Joanne came over on their lunch break to visit you, and then Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Evan, Uncle Jared and Aunt Brittany all came over again that evening to see you, and they didn’t want to stop holding you.  We were able to go home on Friday afternoon, and Daddy introduced you to Barley. He was very nervous to meet you, but loves you so much now. 

Since leaving the hospital, you’ve had so many visitors.  You’ve met your Poppie, all your aunts, uncles, cousins, and so many of our friends.  You were dedicated at our church on Mothers day, and it was such a beautiful experience.  We are so blessed to raise you in such a Godly church. 

You’re 3 months old now, and I am daily amazed with you.  I love holding you, changing your diaper, singing to you, talking with you, praying with you, giving you baths, anything that has to do with you, I love it!  You’re now 11 pounds, 24 inches long, and sleeping like a champ.  Your doctor loves seeing you, and has commented at every appointment about how cute you are.  She’s also very proud of your weight gain and growth!

You are such a blessing to our family, Brooklynne.  I thank God for you everyday, and we feel so blessed to get the chance to raise you.  Thank you for being such an incredible daughter!

With all the love in the world,

Monday, May 23, 2011

B's first wedding: Ty and Ashleigh Caskey

Brooklynne got to go to her very first wedding this past weekend, and we had so much fun.  Ashleigh is Brittany's sister and she married Ty Caskey on Saturday at a beautiful wedding.

Matt held her during the ceremony, and said she was super wriggly, so he stood in the back.  It was at a winery in Manteca that was gorgeous!  The backyard has this huge pond and fountain with a beautiful seating area.

Brooklynne looked so pretty in her fun dress and new bow!

My beautiful family at the reception, I am such a blessed wife and mommy!

Our family (Matt's parents, brothers, and us) were the only ones who danced the entire was so much fun, but it would have been so nice if more people had joined in on the dancing fun.

The place was absolutely gorgeous, and we had so much fun looking around and exploring a bit.

They hired us to make the wedding cake, and I really enjoyed this one.  I baked all day Thursday, and frosted the cake on Friday, and I was nervous that B wasn't going to let me get as much done in time...she slept more than normal on Friday which gave me the opportunity to get a lot done during the day, and I really appreciated it.  Matt's parents watched her while we delivered the cake, and I'm super thankful they were able to, because it would have been difficult to set up the cake while holding B.  

I neglected to bring a warm blanket with us for B, I only brought a thin receiving blanket.  Luckily I had some extra clothes in her diaper bag, so we put together an awesome, clashing outfit.

It was an absolutely beautiful wedding, and I'm so glad we were invited!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

13 Weeks Old!

My little pumpkin pie is 13 weeks old as of yesterday.  She also decided that she didn't really feel like sleeping much last night, which made for no fun for mommy!  She hasn't eaten in the middle of the night since 7 or 8 weeks, and she woke up at 4:30 and wouldn't stop fussing till I fed her at 5.  She still woke up super happy though.  

B gets to go to her very first wedding this weekend, and we're very excited about it.  Uncle Jared's girlfriends sister is getting married, and we're doing the cake...this is my first wedding cake since B came, so I hope it goes well.  I've been working on flowers all week, baked all afternoon today, and frosting starts tomorrow.  I'm hoping to have it all done by tomorrow night so I can sleep in a bit and not worry about it on Saturday.  I'll let you all know how it goes on Sunday!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

B's night time routine

Like I talked about in the last post, B has a night time routine.  Her bed time is 9 pm, with her night time routine starting around 8:15 when I feed her.  After she eats I put her jammies on and give her to Matt, he reads a book to her while sitting on the overly huge teddy bear in her room.  I then sing Silent Night to her, and pray with her; I pray part of the prayer my mom used to pray with me every night "I pray that she would grow up to be beautiful inside with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit." Then I wrap her snuggly in her swaddler and put her in her crib with a blanket.  She goes to sleep so easily, and it's really nice to have her in her crib, Matt mentioned tonight that he loves the she's in there and we don't have to worry about her waking up from the tv.  She's amazing...we're so in love!

I couldn't not post some pictures of these cuties...they're so wonderful!!

12 Weeks Old!

At 12 weeks old my baby sleeps, eats, poops, rolls over, talks, gets fixated on things, and loves Daddy time!  She's 10 pounds 11 ounces, and growing more every day.  The doctor is very pleased with her growth, and so am I!  I don't mind that she's littler than some other kids her age, it just means clothes last longer.  She's sleeping 11 hours a night, and eating 5 times a day, with 3-4.5 hours between feedings, and her doctor is beyond impressed with that!  We love that she's sleeping in her crib, it definitely makes a difference in her sleeping and in ours.  She loves her Minnie Mouse stuffed animal, getting her diaper changed, taking showers with us, being swaddled and singing Silent Night with me (it's the cutest thing ever).  Our little girl is more of a blessing than I ever thought possible, we are such a blessed family!

We went to the doctor today because B has had a bump and red spot on her head for a little over a month now, and some people were worried.  On April 3rd I was making banana bread before church, and B was crying if I put her down, so I was holding her.  I had to get the vanilla extract out of the cabinet (not organized at all), and a plastic spice jar fell down and hit B on her head, right on the edge of her soft spot (bad mommy).  She cried a little, but got over it quickly.  The next day I looked at her head and there was a large goose egg and a big red spot.  I anticipated that it would go away in a few days, but at her 2 month appointment it was still there, so I asked her doctor about it, and she said not to worry about it.  Well, when a month passed and it was still there, my mom said I should take her to the doctor.  So I called and scheduled an appointment to get it checked out.  Her doctor said it is a capillary hemangioma, which is a completely normal thing and it was totally coincidental that it happened after her head bonk, it would have happened anyways.  She said it can go away within a few months, or a few years, but should be gone by the time she's in elementary school.  Luckily it's under her hair!  By the way, excuse my stupid, funny looking thumb, it's short and squatty.

Monday, May 16, 2011

3 Months Old!

This little girl is growing way too fast, and I'm having so much fun!  I realized over the weekend that she definitely needs a bed time.  Matt went to Southern California this weekend, so I slept at my in-laws house on Friday night.  I went to a church service with Jessica on Friday night, and didn't leave until 9:30, so by the time I got home and got our stuff and headed over to their house it was 10:15.  I fed her when I got there, but it was 11 by the time she went to sleep, and she woke up at 4 on Saturday morning.  Saturday night we waited for Matt to get home, so she again went to bed at 11, and woke up at 4:30 on Sunday morning.  Her usual bed time is between 8:30 and 9:30.  She went to bed at 9:15 on Sunday night and slept till 5:30 on Monday, so I'm hoping she's getting back to her schedule!!  Despite all of that, I am loving every minute I get to spend with this little beauty, and I never thought I'd be so blessed.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

B and B

No, I'm not talking about Bed and Breakfast, even though Matt and I would some day love to open a bed and breakfast, I'm talking about Brooklynne and Barley.  These two are pals, and we've been so pleased with how well Barley has adjusted to Brooklynne being in the house.  The first week that she was here he was super nervous.  He has always done this thing where he chews on blankets without making holes in them, but it's usually only in the evening, however, during her first week, he was chewing on the blankets all day long.  He loves to lick her face, so we try to keep that to a minimum,  but it's so cute watching them together!  I grew up with cats, and since they are very independent animals, I was never super close to any of them, but I knew when we adopted Barley two years he would definitely be an important part of our family.  We are so thankful that Barley is so good with her, and that we didn't have to give him to my parents when she was born!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mothers Day 2011

This year was the very first time I got to celebrate Mothers Day as a mom, and it was fun!  My parents came over at around 8:30, and Mom and I made breakfast (pancakes, sausage and fruit...yumm!!).  Then my sister, brother in law and their two boys got here at about 9:15 and we ate.  Since we live less than a mile from church, we walked over together, I love walking to church!

She's the reason I got to celebrate Mothers Day!

My sister is one of the most amazing moms I know, and my mom is THE most amazing mom I will ever know, and I am so blessed to be her daughter!

Not only am I extremely blessed to have an absolutely incredible mother, but my mother in law tops all other mothers in law, her kindness and love is amazing, and always apparent.  This is also her first Mothers Day as a Grandma, and she is such a terrific Grandma!  Brooklynne is so blessed to live 2 miles from her Grandma, and I hope they always have a very close relationship.
Since my mom is from Wisconsin, and my dad is from New York, I didn't get to know my grandmas very well, but Matt's Grandma has always treated me as a granddaughter, and I am blessed to be able to call her Grandma!!

My pretty mothers day flowers.

 I thought I'd add this fantastic picture of our family!! 

Brooklynne's Dedication

This past Sunday was Brooklynne's Dedication at church, and it was very special!  My parents, sister and brother in law and their two boys, Matt's family and Grandpa and Grandma all got to be there, which made it even more special.  Pastor Mark called us onto the stage and we stood there with another family while he asked us if we would raise up our children in the way they should go, and we said "we will," and then he asked the congregation something similar (I was slightly caught up in the moment, so I don't remember what he asked really), and they all said "we will."  Then he held each baby and prayed over them (Bentley is a month younger than B).  They both received a certificate of dedication and their first Bibles, and it is just so cute!

Brooklynne in her dedication dress that her friend Tynlee let her borrow!

It was a wonderful experience!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

11 weeks old!

Brooklynne is 11 weeks old today, but it wasn't an easy day.  She was fussy for a good part of the day, which made for a hard day, but we had fun nonetheless.  She rolled over for the third time today, and sat in her bebe pod  for a while.  Her wake times are becoming longer (2 hours this morning), and her nap times are getting a bit shorter, which gives us more playtime during the day, but also gives her more cry time on fussy days.  She still is sleeping 8-10 hours at night, and goes down so easily after I sing Silent Night and pray with her.  Her new favorite thing is her Minnie Mouse stuffed animal, she was screaming this afternoon and Matt put it next to her and she calmed down instantly and started playing with it.  Despite our tough day, she's so much fun, and I'm having a blast being her mommy!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Nana came to visit this weekend, and we had a wonderful time.  She came Friday evening, and only planned on staying until Saturday afternoon, but the day had other plans.  We had originally just planned on going to Costco, but on Friday evening I saw a post on my friends Facebook about free strawberry picking.  Jessop Farms was having a free u-pick session for people that we're fans of them on Facebook, and so I became a fan, and we went to the farm on Saturday morning.  It was so much fun hanging out with my mom all day, and since we picked strawberries, we had to make jam.  We headed to Costco after strawberry picking, and then went back home to start making jam, and it was so much fun.  It ended up getting late, so Mom had dinner with us and watched a movie instead of going home.  We made 24 jars of jam, and it's delicious.  I made a loaf of bread tonight so we could have the fresh jam on fresh bread...the best thing ever!!!

We also saw our childbirth coach, Debb, at the farm and she got to meet Brooklynne for the first time.  The sun was obviously a little brighter than B liked.  Thanks for all your help in training us, Debb, you rock!!!