Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Snippets (24 months)

Owen's 24th month has come and gone. I think this has been my favorite age so far. His vocabulary increases every day, and it's so fun to teach him new words and hear him try to say the words back. Here's a couple of Owen snippets from the last month:
  • He loves his sister Heidi so much. He always wants to kiss her, hold her, grab her hands and toes. Sometimes he isn't as gentle as he should be, but we're working on it. I love witnessing the sibling bond that they share, and I hope that it continues to strengthen as they grow older.
  • Speaking of Heidi, apparently we practiced the answer to, "What's your sister's name?" a little too much. If you ask Owen, "What's your name?" He replies, "Heidi."
  • Owen has the most enthusiastic, "Choo-choo," I've ever heard.
  • He pretty much knows the sound every animal makes. The best is his sound for bears, tigers, lions and dinosaurs. They all go "rawr", but Owen whispers the roar every time.
  • Owen had his first kiss on Thanksgiving with my sister's great niece.
  • When we leave for daycare in the morning, Owen says, "Bye-bye, house."
  • He likes giving good night kisses to everyone, including the dogs.
  • He prefers wearing clothes and pjs adorned with footballs.
  • He loves spotting buses. When he sees one, he often waves to it, and then says bye-bye to the bus. 
  • He's learning his colors. Must everything is blue, although snow is either white or yellow. He gets the color of the buses right the majority of the time (city buses are white and school buses are yellow, of course).
  • Snow is pronounced, "nose."
  • Our family from North Carolina came to visit. Owen had a lot of fun with his aunties and grandparents. His aunties even took him to the Mall of America for some shopping.
  • Dinners with Owen are [usually] a blast. He loves making us laugh, and laughs at himself. He also loves telling us his food is nummy, nummy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Owen is two!

Owen is 2. I can't believe it's already been two years since his birth. He's grown into a such a sweet, loving boy. He loves giving kisses to everyone, including the dogs. He melts my heart every day with his laugh. He loves animals, books, trains, planes and buses.

Owen has grown up so much in the last year. A year ago, he wasn't walking and barely talked. Now he runs and is saying new words every day. He knows colors and animals (and their sounds). He's learning how to catch balls. Here's a video montage of Owen's last year.

We celebrated Owen's birthday a couple of days early. Thankfully, we had planned on keeping it low key this year, as I was on bed rest. Dave did an amazing job of making sure Owen's birthday was special. He bought and prepared all the food. He did the clean up. He picked up the cake. Thanks to my mom for letting us have the party at her house! Here's a little video of the b-day celebration!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Introducing Heidi Noelle

Heidi's birth story: I spent 6 days on bed rest, because of high blood pressure. Even with the bed rest, it wasn't getting much better. Thankfully my urine and blood work were negative for pre-eclampsia. But we still decided to get induced since i was 39 weeks, and there wasn't really any benefit to keeping the baby in longer with the risk of continuing the high blood pressure. So I was induced around 1:30 p.m. I was about 3 1/2 cm. I wasn't sure if I was going to get an epidural or not -- with Owen everything progressed too fast and I delivered him without any pain med. So I knew I could do it. However, since I was getting induced I was afraid the labor would be longer and more intense from the pitocin. The contractions weren't bad until my water was broken at 4:40 p.m. when I was 4 cm. It was a little frustrating that all afternoon I hadn't progressed hardly at all, but I was hopeful that would change with the bag of water being broken.

From then on, labor was really intense. I had a couple of moments wondering why I didn't opt for pain meds earlier, but I was still determined that I could do it. An hour later, at 5:40 I was at 6 cm. 20 min later I was pushing.

The last couple of contractions were right on top of each other and were super intense. They weren't ready for me to push yet, so i was trying to fight the urge to push, which was really hard. She came out in one contraction -- 2 1/2 pushes.

The nurse that came in for the baby couldn't believe I didn't have an epidural...apparently i handled myself well. I know I did better than with Owen -- I didn't cry because of the pain and anxiety, and I didn't scream when pushing either. There was something reassuring about having gone through it once before that labor wasn't quite so scary. Mostly, I knew that it was going to end. The first time, I thought the pain was going to continue forever.

Heidi was super alert when she was born. She nursed right away without any issues, and didn't want to stop. She weighed in at 6 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches long. She's really long and skinny

She's been such a great baby. She still loves nursing. She loves to sleep. She hardly cries. We are all so in love with her -- even Owen.

We went back to the doctor at 6 days, and she already surpassed her birth weight -- weighing 7 lbs 2 oz. Her weight is the 26th percentile and her height is 90th percentile.

Here are a couple of pictures.

 5 days old

The sweetest love of all.

I'm here!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Snippets (38 weeks)

Baby girl, this has been an eventful week. Two doctor appointments. Two trips to the hospital. Bed rest. Whoa.

At my doctor's appointment last Friday, it was noted that my blood pressure was high. My doctor wasn't overly concerned about any immediate danger, but she was concerned enough that she wanted me to come back again on Tuesday.

So I went back on Tuesday. My blood pressure was higher. At this point it was high enough that I was sent to the maternal assessment center at the hospital to be monitored and to do some tests on me and the baby. Thankfully, there were no signs of pre-eclampsia and baby was looking great. My blood pressure went back down and I was sent home with no restrictions.

The next day at work, I started feeling light headed. I went down to the blood pressure monitor, and the reading freaked me out. I called the doctor's office, and they told me to go back to the hospital. Once again, while I was there my blood pressure went down. I was sent home, but told to take it easy. I couldn't go into work, but I could work from home.

I went back to my doctor for my regular weekly appointment. My blood pressure was once again really high. They checked the baby again, and she is still doing great. Since the blood pressure is my only issue and that the bed rest at home was helping keep it down, I was put back on bed rest until Tuesday. No more work for me until after maternity leave. If she doesn't decide to come on her own, I'm pretty certain the doc will recommend getting induced, since I'll be 39 weeks.

So she's not here yet, but her birthday is likely just days away! Stay healthy baby girl, we can't wait to meet you!


10 years later

I don't have very many memories of meeting the important people in my life. My parents, my sisters, my friends -- either too much time has past or I didn't realize the significance of the moment while it was passing.

However, there is one meeting that is so deeply etched in my mind that I can replay it in my mind as if it just occurred last night. It was ten years ago.

I was sitting on Heather's bed talking to Megan trying to convince her to join us for a night out at Stargate.

I heard him walking up the stairs and before I even saw him, I was telling Megan that "Hot Dave" was here and that she should definitely come over.

He walked into the room. He was wearing a Northwest Airlines t-shirt, a black leather jacket, and a Corona hat.

I doubted him, but he was right. Even though his hands are bigger than mine, the lifelines etched on each of our hands match.

Somewhere, deep in my subconscious, I knew that this was a moment to remember. This man was my soul mate. Within the next ten years, he would become my best friend, the father of my children, husband, life partner.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Snippets (37 weeks)

Full term. We made it. Now we need to start getting serious about things like installing the car seat, getting bottles washed, etc. Because we only get to work on these projects on weekends for the most part, and there are only three weekends left until the due date. One weekend my husband will be out of town and another is Owen's birthday weekend, so our weekends before baby are already busy. Although worst case, Dave could install the car seat before we drive home from the hospital, and we probably won't try bottles for several weeks anyway.

At the last appointment (36 weeks), we had an ultrasound. It is crazy how big the baby is compared to the 20-week ultrasound. They put the wand down and boom, there is the head, or boom there is the foot. There is no way they could get the whole baby's body in one shot like they could do a couple of months ago. We had the ultrasound to double check the baby's size, since even though Owen was born healthy, he was tiny. But good news. All measurements are right on track. The weight is estimated to be over 6 pounds and 61st percentile. (Owen was less than 6 pounds at birth, so it's good that this one is already that big....and kinda crazy considering we still have three weeks until the due date). Fluid levels are good. My measurements are right on track too. The baby and I impressed the doctor with all the measurements being so spot on. I'd like to think the only thing that isn't spot on is my weight -- I've already gained the same amount this pregnancy that I did with Owen. However, considering this baby is already as big as Owen was at birth, I guess my weight gain is ok. And it's not really out of control either -- especially considering the number of trips to DQ we've been taking. lol.


September Snippets (22 months)

The month of September flew by. For most of the month, we kept things pretty low key. Between the pregnancy and my allergies, I didn't have much of a desire to do too much. But we still managed to have some fun. Here's a bit of what we did, and what Owen is up to.
  • Swim lessons. Owen and Daddy started swim lessons in September. Have I ever mentioned that Owen loves the water. He still does! The hardest part we've been struggling with during swim lessons is keeping him focused on the lesson for the full 30 minutes. We've learned he does much better if I'm not there watching. He'll make it through 20 minutes, but then just wants to get out to see me. So it's kinda a bummer not to go watch, but if it gets him through his lesson, I'll make the sacrifice.
  • John's farm. We took a day trip down to John's farm. We had a great picnic lunch and Owen enjoyed hanging out with his Great Aunt Ann and eating all the delicious food. I'm pretty sure he ate a whole quart of freshly picked raspberries -- or would have if we let him. He also enjoyed the graham crackers (aka snacks) that Ann brought especially for him. And he had to make sure he had the most comfortable chair. 
  • Trains. Owen's friend Liam's birthday was at a train museum. Owen LOVED it. Trains are one of Owen's favorite things. He got to see and go in a lot of trains. He even got to see a big Thomas train. We bought him a little Thomas train to take home.
  • Apples. We enjoyed lots and lots of MN grown apples. Of course, Owen has no problem eating a whole apple (and half the core). He'll often come into the kitchen when I'm cooking or cleaning, and say, "apple, apple." 
  • Words. Owen's vocab continues to grow. He mimics singing songs and likes to repeat words. He loves saying things like Mama's car or Dada's bike -- everything is Mama's or Dada's. He even often calls us Mamas or Dadas now.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Snippets (34 weeks)

Sometime in the next 3-6 weeks, a baby girl will be joining our family. That's like a month, people. We're slowly getting ready. We need diapers, but the clothes have been washed and put away. We have a bassinet, but it still needs to be put in its spot. We need to re-install the infant car seat. We've bought new pink receiving blankets and a video monitor. Owen is getting ready too. Last week he stopped sleeping in the crib and started sleeping in his big boy bed. He'll pull out a bottle out of the cabinet to tell me it's for the baby.

We need a name! We can't seem to figure it out the right name for our girl. We don't like crazy names, but don't want a common name either. This is the first time we've struggled with names. We've come close a couple of times. The name has been my biggest stress this week -- especially as I'm realizing how much time we've had to pick a name and how little time we have left.

As the pregnancy is coming to an end, I'm trying my best to make the time to just treasure this pregnancy and our new baby girl. It seems our life is pretty chaotic right now, so sometimes it's hard to find those moments. I love feeling the kicks and watching my stomach roll around. While my body has been more uncomfortable throughout this entire pregnancy with Owen, I try to remember that this could very well be my last pregnancy. The kicks and the hiccups and the stomach rolls are something I may never get to experience first hand again. So this is it. 

We're looking forward to meeting our baby girl and to touch her toes and smell her new baby smell. We're excited for Owen to finally understand what the baby is all about. We're looking forward to being a family of four. We can't wait to meet you, baby girl!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August Snippets (21 months)

  • Last week, Owen pooped in the toilet for the first time! Dave and I weren't even considering potty training Owen yet, but perhaps he is more ready than we think. That night, I went to the store and bought a potty chair. Unfortuantely, there hasn't been a second successful attempt -- yet.
  • This month we took a vacation to visit Dave's family in North Carolina. Owen loved spending time with his cousins, aunts, uncles and Pappy and Grandma! We spent a day at the ocean -- Owen's first time really spending any time in the water. He loved swimming with Dave and I as well as having the chairs at the shoreline, so he could kick the waves as the came up to his feet. We spent another day at the aquarium. It was a short, but fun trip.

  • Owen usually calls Otis by the name, Puppy; Cooper (Coops) by the name, Oops; Gracie by the name, Kitty.
  • Owen recognizes my parent's neighborhood, and yells out, "Papa's house" when we turn onto their block.
  • We celebrated 22 months by getting Owen's first haircut. He tried so hard to be brave for mama and dada, but a few crocodile tears slipped. So long baby curls, hello toddler!

  • The word "no" has finally made its way into Owen's vocabulary. Morning conversations with Owen often go like this:
    • “You’re going to go see your friends today.”
    • “No.”
    • “Don’t you want to see your friends?”
    • “No.”
    • “Put your paci in your crib.”
    • “No.”
    • “It’s time to put your shoes on.”
    • “No.”
    • “Do you want me to get your neck?” (tickle his neck.)
    • “No.”
    • “Do you want your train?”
    • [silence] (hasn’t quite figured out the word for yes yet.)
  • Owen's understanding of language keeps growing every day, and it's really remarkable to watch. He follows instructions when he wants to (brushes his teeth, leaves Baba and paci in his room, puts trash into the garbage). He is also starting to put two words together at a time -- some examples: Dada bye-bye, bike loud, Papa house, Dada bike
  • He got new shoes for fall, and he loves wearing his socks and shoes.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I haven't posted in a long time, but Owen is at an age where he's developing and changing so much every day. I need to keep track of all the cute stuff he's doing. Otherwise, I'll forget it. So here's a couple of cute things he does.
He hasn't figured out the difference between nouns and proper nouns. He refers to most men as Dada. He refers to almost all women as Mama. He refers to kids as Manna (after his cousin, Amanda). Little boys are Maa (after his buddy Max at daycare), or else they're babies.
Owen calls himself the baby. He loves looking at the pictures and videos on my phone, so he can see the baby.
Bananas are no longer his favorite food. Now he loves Teddy Grahams, crackers, Chipotle and any kind of berries. And naturally, he wants to eat or drink whatever is in my hands.
Owen loves planes.
Owen recently started singing along with songs. His favorite is "Yeah, yeah, yeah" by GB Leighton. He also likes "Drive By" by Train and was also singing an Usher song that I hadn't heard before he was singing along to it.
That's enough snippets of life with Owen for now. It's crazy how adorable I find him to be. After he goes to bed, I find myself looking at the pictures in my phone. I sit and wish that he was still awake and goofing off with Dave and I. The boy makes my heart swell every day, and I just can't get enough. J.B.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New year and stuff

I've had a couple of blog post ideas swirling in my head. Mostly about the new year. I can just feel that 2012 is going to be a significant year for me. I'm starting a new job. I'm turning 30. We even have fairly realistic hopes to buy a new home.

But nothing gets me more excited for what the possiblities of this new year than this:

Going to Haiti.

I just got off the phone with my friend of a friend, whose uncle started Healing Haiti. He makes it sound so easy to go. I simply pick from one of their already scheduled trip and go. Obviously, I know there will be more than that. But really, what have I been waiting for?

I can't really explain why I would want to give up my vacation time to go to such a poverty stricken place. And visit kids with no parents. And see first-hand how people live without clean water, clean clothes and a decent home. I know it's going to be sad. I know it's going to be so difficult emotionally. But I have a deep, deep desire to do this. I know it will change my life.

Stay tuned...