Baby K!

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Nope! Not me having a baby this time, but my brother and sister-in-law are! Enjoy this first post by Kristi, I’m so excited for another new niece or nephew!

Bumpin’ for the First Time – First Trimester

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Brett and Kristi sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love….then comes marriage…..then comes morning sickness….then comes bizarre and vivid dreams….then comes sore boobs and constipation….THEN comes a baby in a baby carriage. That’s how this this limerick should go. They conveniently left out the hardest part, SURVIVIING THE PREGNANCY! I’m not sure if it’s because we’re taught as little girls that when you grow up you’ll get pregnant and then POOF, you have a baby (as if no effort is involved). Or maybe I’ve just been blissfully naive to the strong women in my life who have also trudged through the early stages of pregnancy without complaint. I couldn’t appreciate it until now.

So let’s talk about some of these symptoms that nobody really broadcasts because they are so embarrassing and uncomfortable. Weird dreams, excess discharge (yuk!), headaches, sore boobs, saliva, tons of saliva, CONSTIPATION….. those are manageable, right? Let’s add a couple more. Fatigue. Such a peaceful word. Not when you’re propping your eyes open at your desk or rolling down your windows in traffic to try to stay focused. How about morning sickness? Now we’re gettin’ to the good part….. that sick feeling you have ALL day long, knowing that you may not be able to hold back puking, but you still must carry on with your normal day. So, you decide to stuff plastic Target bags (which you now have to pay for in California BTW) into every nook and cranny that you come into regular contact with because it actually relieves your nausea a little to know that it won’t happen all down your work clothes. All of the side effects take a backseat however, to the emotional toll. When you’ve been through a miscarriage, visits to the doctor can bring anxiety. Waiting and praying for a sustainable pregnancy, and having those prayers answered, was an emotional roller coaster that no one could prepare us for. So despite all the obstacles, we’re beyond grateful.

Ok, it’s not all bad in early pregnancy…. You get that excitement of seeing one of those sticks you have been peeing on for years actually work! Accompanied by that smile you can’t take off your face. And that feeling of butterflies and racing of your heart when you get to tell your biggest fan (baby daddy) that you guys get to go on this awesome journey together! You get to see adorable babies on TV and in advertisements and day dream that your baby will be that cute (even though he/she will always seem that cute to you). And through the hardest time of the first trimester, when all you want to do is lay down on the couch, even though that doesn’t give you true relief, you get to hear other mothers cheer you on “hang in there, it will get better almost magically in the second trimester”.

Managing the roller coaster of the first trimester is all worth it, right? This is a statement I know in my heart to be true…. And something I remind myself of daily.

Dear Husband and Boys…

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I’m stealing this idea from my buddy, Elaine.

Dear Husband and Boys,

This is a gentle reminder (in my public space of the internets) of what I may like for Mother’s Day.

1. No fart/poop/pooter/pee talk for one day.

2..THIS bird art from West Elm.

3. THESE sheets from Anthropologie.

4. Any thing in the sparkly blue, white or silver family from THIS company. Wrenn Jewelry.

5. A laptop.

Thank you in advance.

Love, Mommy

Tanor’s on Exclusively Pumping

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Kelly wrote this post for me a looooong time ago. I am just getting around to posting it, but the information in this is so good.

There are tons of opinions on breast feeding. Tons. Overwhelming at times, I thought Kelly’s story was interesting and one you don’t hear about to often on the internets. Enjoy.

My first daughter was born at 31 weeks and 5 days gestation. That’s over 8 weeks early. Two months left on the egg timer. That sealed her ticket to a lengthy NICU stay, and began my love affair with my Madela Pump.

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My second daughter is due February 11, and I can’t decide if I’m going to exclusively pump EP again this go around. So to help me decide, here are 11 things I could remember that I needed to be reminded of before I decide:

1. It’s all about the beginning. At first everyone understood why I was pumping. My preemie couldn’t suck swallow and breathe. Oh and I couldn’t take her home. Hell, with half the NICU staff I had to practically beg just to hold her, so pumping while sitting bedside was how I parented for two months. It was all I felt I could do.
2. It’s all about other people’s opinions. Wait, what? This is my list, and it was important to me. After we came home I had more than one person ask why I didn’t just start nursing. Because everything was normal, right? She was home, clean bill of health, just pick up where you would have been if she was just born! Simple, right? Yeah. Except she had no idea what to do with this thing that looked nothing like a bottle. Find a cheerleader. Mine still mentions in amazement that she can’t believe I did it for so long. Makes me feel good.
3. It’s all about circumstance. There are many, many reasons why people pump to begin with. Baby driven, anatomy driven, I won’t get into that because I can’t possible name them all and I don’t want to forget someone. Mine was baby driven. But it turns out my body produced “rocket fuel” (neonat’s words, not mine) to compensate for my tiny baby. And boy is she huge now, so something worked out in the long run. I could see results, and I liked them.
4. It’s all about time management. Want to schedule a haircut appointment? Guess who is going to want to eat in the waiting room with dad? No problem-o, you being the genius that you are scheduled your appointment for right after a pump session, so dad has a bottle ready to go.
5. It’s all about the booze. Yes, I enjoyed a cocktail (or several) far more often than some of yay nursing friends because I knew my schedule and felt like I could control it better.
6. It’s all about the math. Want to obsess about how many ounces per feeding your baby is getting? Who needs a baby scale and to count wet diapers, the bottles have labels!
7. It’s all about ME time. Pumping gave me 15 minutes 8 times a day to myself. I have never read more, or dominated more levels on candy crush saga in my life. On one hand, I needed help watching the older baby while I pumped at home, but It Also gave me a state mandated break at the office a couple times a day, which I won’t complain about either.
8. It’s all about baby time. Between pumping a bottle and feeding said bottle, it seems like you are constantly in the feeding mode. Unless you get a hands free bra like this one. Then you can do both at the same time.
9. It’s all about the dishes. Dear Husband and I got in more fights about washing bottles than any other single sleep deprived new parent issue. I felt like all I did was wash pump parts. Quick tip: store your pump parts in the fridge in between pumping for the day. Saves you from having to wash them each time. Which is especially good if you out work with all men and you don’t want to use the break room sink to tidy up.
10. It’s all about the money. If you need a pump to go back to work anyway, you can’t even subtract that from the cost of formula. Whenever I had a bad day, I went to Target (which is usually enough itself to pick me up), and cruised down the formula aisle. Ain’t no one be able to afford that.
11. It’s all about you. Honestly. There are examples ad nauseum on the inter web device about how breast milk is best and blah blah blah. No parent wants to do something that’s not good for their baby (duh); choosing formula over EP is totally legit. So you have to want to keep up the routine for whatever reason you decided is enough of a reason for you.

UPDATE:
It’s still January and guess who is here! One month left to go and the preeclampsia came back, and came back fast. I’m writing this update at 3am spending more time staring into the sweet little eyes of my week old daughter, as hidden by my giant sized left boob. I mean breast. One month early earns a “triple feed protocol” at my hospital, and the Mag that kicked my ass last time meant the pump will again be part of my life. That and I will go back to work to make some chedda in three months. But I’m not gonna lie, I’m glad I get to have an option this round.

Rachel is Getting Married – Venue

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Reading others thoughts about wedding planning is so good. Why do I love it so much? I LOVED my wedding, but would I like to plan another one? Hell yes I would.

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The day Cass and I got engaged we had already been questioned on where and when the big day would happen. Of course we didn’t have any plans that day. We didn’t start seriously planning until January really. We discussed doing a destination wedding, we both like to travel but my mom thought that my 89 year old grandma that lives in Montana would probably not be able to travel very far.

I had been thinking that I would like to do a wedding in the mountains. I looked into the Silverthorne Pavilion it was pretty reasonable to rent. I also started looking into the Donovan Pavilion in Vail at the suggestion of a friend of mine.

Cass was on board with the mountain wedding plan. His first request in the planning was not to do it in Denver proper. I agreed because I didn’t want my family to have to have people staying at their houses along with being involved in the wedding. I thought that by choosing the mountains, that people who live in Denver can stay the night or drive home that night if they wanted.

I researched the prices and also started looking on Pinterest for weddings held in these locations. I emailed both places to check on their rates and availability for the dates that I wanted. I was getting a lot of ideas from Pinterest, some people are so creative!!

Some friends of ours are getting married in September and they had chosen the Donovan Pavilion as their location. They mentioned that most of their 2014 dates were booked. I emailed the Donovan Pavilion and the date I wanted was open I almost put a deposit down that day.

The woman that I was dealing with was really nice and suggested we come up and look at the venue. I set up appointments at The Silverthorne Pavilion, The Donovan Pavilion and by my brothers suggestion the Four Seasons in Vail (he lives in Vail and works at The Four Seasons) He said they had very competitive prices and their wedding coordinator sent me some information. I read over the info and decided that I would go look at the Four Seasons just to see it but that it was pretty much out of the question because it was pretty pricey.

The day we drove up to see the venues it was a Saturday and it was snowing. That combination meant that the traffic on I-70 to get to the venues was crazy bad. We left Denver a little before 8 am to get to our 10:30 appointment at the Silverthorne Pavilion. We did not make it. I called the woman there and let her know that we would be late. She was booked up that day so she wouldn’t have time to show us around. She did say we could come and look around on our own and she gave us some information. The venue was a nice basic space, they provided tables and chairs. It was a little strange though because from the pictures on the website you don’t see that it is actually located in a strip mall right by a fly fishing store. There is nothing wrong with that it just looked like a stand alone building from the pictures online.

We decided that we weren’t that interested in the Silverthorne Pavilion after that, they didn’t have a space for the bridal party to be before the ceremony and they date I wanted had actually been reserved but not fully reserved. If we really wanted that date we would have had to challenge the other couple to either pay the deposit and fully book the date or they could give it up and we would put the deposit down.

Our drive to Vail after that was really smooth compared to our drive to Silverthorne. We went to the Four Seasons and had some lunch and met with the wedding coordinator. She showed us the ballroom which we thought was beautiful and was set for a wedding later that day. She showed us everything that was included in the price we had seen from the materials she sent. It was starting to look like a pretty good deal and a whole lot less work. We were talking about with the other venues having to make multiple trips to the mountains to decide on different vendors to use and then choosing the linens, plates, silverware etc. I had told my mom that I did not want my family and friends to have to do a bunch of work on my wedding day. I know they would be more than happy to help but I want them to have a good time and enjoy the day without having to worry if the caterer showed up.

We knew that if anything went wrong at the Four Seasons they would do all they could to make it right. We also looked at the Vail Interfaith Chapel to have our ceremony at. I have been to a wedding there and it was beautiful.

We went and looked at the Donovan Pavillion which is owned by the city of Vail. It was a beautiful location but was a blank slate. They had tables and chairs and that was it. I have been thinking I wanted a mountain wedding for a while but other than that I didn’t have a specific vision of what I wanted the room to look like. I don’t have strong opinions on linens or silverware.
On our drive back to Denver my parents and Cass and I all decided we really liked the Four Seasons and pretty much decided that is what we were going to book.

We did everything in one day but I’m glad we did it that way. The venue includes all the food and booze along with the cake. It includes the tables, linens and silverware . We still have some choices to make but not nearly as many if we booked a different venue.

We have more things to plan but our next big step is getting the guest list finalized and sending out our save the dates.

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(Photos from Four Seasons Vail website)

What I Am Doing:

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Watching: Not much really. Survivor still continues to be my favorite reality show ever. Which reminds me, should I have a “Reality Roundup” on the blog? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Reading: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. I heard its great and I LOVE his other books.

Listening: Summer by Calvin Harris. Great song.

Making: A Kiki to be auctioned off at a charity event. Details coming soon.

Feeling: Excited for our little husband/wife weekend getaway to Hawaii at the end of May.

Planning: An end of the year teacher gift for Cam’s teacher. We adore her.

Loving: Shaken iced black tea from Starbucks.

Casey is THREE

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Boomer,

Daddy and I are so lucky to have you. You fill our days with laughter and smiles. Here are just a few of the things that we love about you.

1. You are smiley and hilarious. I wish we could constantly have a video camera on you, because you are hysterical. You have funny facial expressions and you try them out on us, just trying to make us laugh.

2. You love your binky and Kiki. We do not go ANYWHERE without them. You have a little spot on your Kiki that you rub on your nose and on Mommy’s nose. We affectionately call it “spot”. Frequently, I will wake up to cute little noises and “Spot” getting rubbed on my nose. Adorable. Unfortunately, binky is getting ready to leave, cross your fingers that goes smoothly.

3. You are going to be my artist! I am so excited. You will sit down and color, paint or decorate with stickers for a long time. After you draw something, you always tell me what it is. It’s usually some sort of animal.

4. You have solid opinions about what you are wearing. I wouldn’t necessarily call you a fashionista though because your opinions are usually between different train or animal tshirts.

5. You are a player and tinkerer. You will play with anyone that asks, but you are also so good about playing by yourself for long amounts of time also. While you play, you are constantly trying to figure out how things work or taking them apart just to put them back together again. Your favorite things to play with are any types of transportation toys. Trains especially, but planes, cars and trucks take a close second.

6. You love to explore. By foot or car. You love to see the ocean daily, you love to watch the trains at the train station, we love to drive downtown and see the boats. You love to look for bugs and animal poop (boys, sigh). You love to point out pretty trees and flowers to me. Every day, we go and look for snails in our yard, just so we can see where they are. It’s possibly one of my favorite qualities about you.

We love you so much Boom. You are a ray of sunshine in our life on a daily basis.

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Collin is THREE

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Dearest Collin,

Daddy and I have come up with a list of just a few of the things we love about you most.

1. You are smiley and affectionate. You love to rest your head on our shoulders when we hold you. You like to give me kisses all the time, even your funny open-mouthed kisses. After we get you dressed, you ask us for a hug every single time. We love it.

2. You love to read. You also love reading with us. Your three favorite books are: Hug Time, Nighttime Ninja and Pigeon Wants a Puppy. You love these books so much, that you could basically read them to us if you wanted. We hope you always love reading as much, because let me tell you, there are some good books awaiting you (Harry Potter anybody?)!!

3. You are stubborn. You want what you want, when you want it, and if that doesn’t happen, we will hear about it. While this can be very frustrating at times, we want you to always fight for what you want.

4. You are emotional. When this trait mixes with the stubborn trait, watch out, because it can get ugly. But, we do love that you clearly wear your feelings on your sleeve. We also value and appreciate the empathy you have for others, especially your brothers.

5. You like a solid routine. You function so much better when you know exactly what is going to happen next. One of the funnier “routines” you have is when we pull back into the driveway. You always want to stay in the car and “watch a minute?” Basically, you want everyone out of the car before you so you can watch a little extra DuckTales or open the door yourself.

6. You are adventurous and physical. You will climb things and jump right off with no warning. Every morning, you like to be carried down the stairs, and you will jump into our arms from almost four steps up. Crazy. You lead the way on all of our hikes and run the entire way. Daddy and I think that you are going to learn how to ride your bike first out of all the brothers (shh, don’t tell Cameron).

Collin, we love you so much. You are such an awesome kid who puts us through the ringer daily, but gives us solid amounts of love each day too.

Love, Mommy and Daddy

P.S. You also have the most nicknames in the family: Collie, Collie Bear, Collie B, Collis Wallace, Collis, Collie Kid Vicious, Stone Cold Collie Robert and C-Bob