Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2 months already!

June at 2 months old
  • 12lbs, 15oz
  • 23 inches long
  • cooing & "talking" now
  • smiling ALL the time, all i have to do is make intense eye contact with her & smile big and she smiles right back. she has a faint dimple on her right cheek and when she smiles, her eyes smile more than her mouth does- like two little half moons
  • first trip to the beach! we went to Huntington on Dec. 30th! she slept the whole time in her sling.
  • went to her first (and second and third and fourth) movie. The Hobit, Hunger Games, then Saving Mr. Banks and Frozen. The little sweetheart slept the whole time. We went to early showings so the theaters would hopefully be more empty. I love movies and was going through with-drawls with all the good holiday films that came out while I was in newborn hibernation. 
  • favorite way to be held is on my right shoulder. she's got such a strong neck and holds her own head up already. she loves to look around. my favorite part of holding her on my shoulder is that she always sucks on her little fist. she did it right out of the womb, but has stopped because i swaddle her fists down & stick a binki in her mouth. so it warms my heart a little because its the only time she does it anymore.
  • also loves to lay flat on the couch or bed - she prefers to be sprawled out  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Back to School Feast

This fall, my first child started elementary school. The occasion seemed deserving of something special, so we copied NieNieDialogues and the night before school started we had a special "back to school" feast for family night (however, on a MUCH smaller scale than Mrs. Nielson). As a mom I feel like it is part of my job to make special days special. It makes me feel good to be able to pull it off. 


The theme was simple: apples and chalkboards. I pulled from what I had and didn't have to spend a penny! Wendy & I made a crown for each person with their first initial on it. We used black paper "chalkboard" place-mats and wrote each person's name and educational status at their seat. Harvey wouldn't wear his crown, I don't think he had a clue what was going on (I kinda hope he didn't or he probably would have felt left out). I made Wendy's favorite dinner: hard shell tacos with beans and rice, then we APPLE pie for dessert.



After dinner, the festivities continued. We had a little lesson about the importance of an education and Ryan gave Wendy a father's blessing for the beginning of the school year (just like my dad used to do for me). It was a very sweet and tender moment for me. I feel very blessed to be married to a man that can do this for my children. I might have cried a little bit. After the lesson, we had Wendy pick out her new outfit for the first day of school (I pulled some options out of the 5T - 6T tub of hand-me-downs and cute clothes on sale I purchased in the next size up) and had her do a fashion show for us with some music on in the background. You can see her dancing pretty hard on that ottoman. I'm pretty sure the song "Gangnam Style" was on repeat. My kids love that song more than I'd like to admit. But it made for a very fun night!  All in all, I feel it's a tradition I can easily keep up and one that will make the special things in life special for my children.

*look at those moves! don't mind the partially finished renovation in the background

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Graduate

*Oh hello there gigantic belly

After years of late nights, financial sacrifices, writing papers, group projects, studying for exams, long hours, and countless other sacrifices, my sweet husband became the first member of his family (including his siblings, parents and grandparents) to graduate college. AND graduated with HONORS, no less. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of this man and all he's done to achieve this amazing accomplishment. I get choked up at the sacrifices he's made to better himself and provide a better future for our little/growing family. It was a very special (and uncomfortably pregnant) day.

*there he is!

We are crazy and brought the kids to his graduation. Although we know graduations are long and boring, and our kids are basically toddlers who don't sit still or have very long attention spans, we felt it was important to see their daddy get his diploma. He was doing it for them, after all. There was a woman in the crowd of graduates who had taped the words "For my boys" on the back of her graduation cap. I don't think "For my wife, and son, and daughter and baby on the way, and possible future babies" would have fit on his cap, but it hit me when I saw her reason for going back to school and brought a lump to my throat because I knew Ryan's reason was the same.

*luckily the people sitting in front of us left early. i REALLY needed to put my feet up. i don't think I've ever been more uncomfortable in my life

*I'm SO proud of this man!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One week old!

Juniper Belle at one week old:
  • weighs 8lbs 4oz (76%)
  • 20 inches long (68%)
  • head circumfrence (71%)
  • loves to sleep all day and party all night :)
  • eats every 2 - 3 hours
  • LOVES to be naked (uh oh - hope she grows out of that one eventually ;)). When I get her naked to give her a sponge bath or change her clothes she calms down, her movements slow down and she seems to get very calm and awake. 
  • gets the hiccups ALL the time, like almost after every burping (so basically after every feeding). used to get the hiccups every single night in my tummy, and it's fun to get to see them live and recognize that feeling that used to be on the inside. 
  • likes to stick both legs straight out, she did it soon after she was born and does it all the time. It's like she's finally getting to stretch after being curled up in a ball for nine months.
  • loves her swing (which is good for me. I don't think I even used it for Wendy, but by baby #3, sadly, I have to put her down more than I'd like to to be a mother to the other children. I hate putting her down, but I remember my aunt Ruth once telling me that a new baby won't remember that you put them down for a little while, but the older children will remember if you stop picking them up and giving them attention. It's good advice for me. I could happily sit and hold her all day.)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Introducing Baby June!

Juniper Belle Williams
Born November 14th 2013
at 7:32pm
8lbs 5oz
19 1/2 inches long

Tuesday, 11-12-13: I REALLY wanted to have my baby girl on such an awesome date. I mean, how cool would it be to be born on 11-12-13!? (And not to mention an easy date to remember). I was super active that day, I tried to WILL her out of me. Ryan even googled ways to induce labor. Even as I went to bed at 10pm, I thought, "Okay, two hours. It could still happen." I woke up a little sad the next morning, but what can you do? I was told that the hospitals were packed with people getting induced that day anyway, so maybe I wouldn't have gotten as good of treatment if it had been on that awesome day.

Thursday, 11-14-13
7:30am: Ryan tells me he's planning on going to the temple for a 12 o'clock session that day. Being 39 1/2 weeks pregnant I tell him he should probably bring his cell phone in with him on silent (totally not acceptable) just in case the baby decides to come that day. He isn't comfortable with that so he decides to cancel his appointment (good choice hun). 
8:00am: I drop Wendy off at school, kiss her goodbye and tell her the good news that she gets to go to her friend Amelia's house after school. She squeals with excitement and skips onto the playground (she LOVES going to Amelia's house and, bless her mom's heart, she was taking Wendy every Thursday for a playdate toward the end of my big, uncomfortable pregnancy).
8:30am: I get to my prenatal appointment a little early after going straight from dropping Wendy off at school. I listen to music and put on my make up in the parking lot. 
8:45am: During my appointment I learn that I'm almost 3cm dilated and 80% effaced! (At my last weeks appointment I was 2cm dilated and I'm happy I'm progressing a little). I confide in the doctor that I'm nervous I won't know when to go to the hospital if I have to count contractions because with my first two children my water broke and I didn't have any real labor until I was already admitted into the hospital. Also, I haven't even had any real/painful contractions yet, just a lot of fake contractions- braxton hicks- where my whole stomach tightened up but it didn't really hurt. Then the doctor says something profound, "A contraction is a contraction whether it hurts or not." I honestly hadn't thought of that before. He also tells me that I'm far enough along that I don't even need to count/time contractions. He tells me if they're consistent just to go to the hospital (even if I feel no pain).
9:45am: I get home from my appointment and I decide to time my painless contractions anyway, just for fun, because they happen all the time. 
10 - 11am: I time my contractions while getting little things done around the house. Wendy is at school, but Ryan and Harvey are home and we're having a nice, quiet morning together. I take note of my contractions while I play with Harvey and pack overnight bags for me and my soon-to-be three children. I'm packing just to be prepared, not because I think I'll need them that day, but I start to notice that the times I'm writing down are pretty close to each other. Every 7 to 4 minutes I jot down the time and length.
11:30am: My contractions start to last a long time. I don't know when one ends and the next one begins (especially when I'm standing or walking around, so I don't stop walking around). And they're getting a little uncomfortable. I also think my water MIGHT have broken. So I call the doctor and he tells me to head over to the hospital.
12pm: Ryan and I drop Harvey off at his grandparents house and head to the hospital. We park and as we're walking in I chuckle to myself at the realization that Ryan was supposed to be walking into the temple at that exact time, where I would have no way of reaching him. I also notice how HOT and sunny it is that day in the middle of November. For some reason I always pictured myself delivering my babies in the middle of a rainy night and it doesn't feel right. (side note: this is probably because I watched the movie "Saturday's Warrior" one too many times as a kid. Another side note: none of my children were born in the middle of the night OR during a rainy thunderstorm). 
1pm: Laying in the hospital bed in a backless gown, hooked up to the fetal heart rate and contraction monitors, I am told that my water did not break and that I'm only dilated to a 3 1/2. I also notice that my contractions are slowing down and getting softer the longer I'm laying still in the bed. Ryan was across the street getting himself lunch and they tell me if things keep slowing down they might send me home. At this point I REALLY don't want to get sent home because we already (pre-maturely) called Wendy and told her where we were and listened to her excited squeals. My mom also (pre-maturely) blasted it on facebook.- we were all just a little too excited. I really don't want to disappoint all those people. I call Ryan on the verge of tears and tell him it might not happen today.
1:30pm: I decide to focus on willing the pain to come. Ryan wants to watch t.v. but I tell him I can't be distracted. I need to focus on having more/harder contractions and don't tell me that's not how it works because it will work! I also keep shifting in the bed (which isn't easy when you're HUGE and hooked up to twenty belts and wires) but every time I move I have a contraction. I think I can be sneaky and just switch the side I'm laying on every 1 - 3 minutes to force a contraction and trick the nurses when they get the contraction reading into thinking I'm having them naturally, but shifting around moves all the belts and wires and I come un-hooked a couple times so they have to keep coming in and hooking me back up (they probably hated my guts). They asked me once or twice to remain still if I could.
2:00pm: Nurses come in and out, checking me and looking at the contraction print out. I progress to a 4, but no one can be sure if I'll get to stay or not. Also, Ryan tells my nurse she looks familiar and we discover he went to school with her children. (The man knows everyone, I swear). He starts to flirt (or as he calls it, "bro down") with the nurse in hopes it will increase our chances of getting to stay.
2:30pm: The contractions are getting a little stronger and more consistent and I welcome the pain. I rejoice in the pain. It literally makes me happy because it means they might not send me home.
3:00pm: I'm told that the doctor on staff says I get to stay and have this baby! I'm SO relieved, but can't shake this anxious feeling like they still might send me home. I tell Ryan he can turn the t.v. on now if he wants because I no longer have to focus on bringing contractions or tricking the nurses.We channel surf through different daytime television shows like Ellen and Law & Order and the news while my contractions get harder and painful. I don't feel like Law & Order SVU sets the happy mood I want to bring my child into so I watch a channel that is playing I Love Lucy reruns back to back. That will work.
4:00pm: I'm having to breath through my contractions that are getting worse. The ceiling has indentations in the form of giant leaves and I focus on the leaves to get through the pain (I'm pretty sure they were put there for that exact purpose). I imagine myself lying under a large tree with the giant leaves moving in a breeze and it gets me through. As soon as the next nurse steps one foot into my room I tell her I'm READY for an epidural. 
4:15pm: Giant needle to the back and instant relief. Thank you modern medicine. 
5:00pm: My mom shows up with some fast food for Ryan (she knows the way to his heart) and emotional support for me. She gets SO excited and her giddiness is contagious. 
6:00pm: My aunt Ruth shows up with her camera (bless her heart, I love the photos she takes).
6:30pm: I'm dilated to an 8 1/2. 
7:00pm: I start to get uncomfortable. The monitors around my stomach feel way too tight, giving me the feeling that I can't breath and making me a little nauseous. The numbness starts to wear off on my left side, even though I'm leaning to the left and the nurse says the side you're laying on usually is the more numb one. My right side is completely numb, I can't even move my right leg, but I have full control of my left leg and my contractions start to hurt on the left side. I plead with the nurse to give my epidural a boost but she refuses me, saying that we're just about ready to push (that's what I'm afraid of).
7:15pm: I'm hurting. I'm breathing through the contractions but I can handle it. The doctor comes in and he's amazing. He makes me feel calm. He even makes me feel modest the way he keeps me mostly covered and I like the comfort of not being so exposed. My mother-in-law walks in with perfect timing, just as I'm about to start pushing.
7:20pm: I start to push. Although I know the epidural is making it bearable, I can feel the pain. The doctor's soothing voice and calming reassurance that I'm doing a good job help me. I push for what seems like a long time. I can feel my body telling me when to push and when to rest - a sensation I've never had before since I was COMPLETELY numb for the birth of my first two children.
7:30pm: The doctor and nurses are telling me to take breaks, but I can FEEL that I need to push. I tell them so and they tell me to go ahead. It really starts to hurt, and with my eyes closed I can't help but sob in anguish.
7:32pm: First the head, and then the shoulders. The sound of the suction, then a cry and my precious little girl is placed on my chest. She is so beautiful and tiny. Along with TONS of black hair, I see Harvey's mouth and Wendy's eyes and I immediately recognize her as one of my own. I'm in love for the fourth time.

Wonderful photos by Ruthy Lou who is officially invited to the births of all my children because she does such a superb job of capturing some of the most important and beautiful moments of my life. Thank you Ruth. These pictures are priceless to me.