Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Baby is here!!!

Baby #3 is a............

BOY!!!!!!! Our sweet little man Elliot arrived on September 28th at 12:31pm, weighing 7lbs 7oz and measuring 20" long. He is perfect and healthy, and we all just adore him :)

My repeat c-section and tubal ligation went well. I had a fantastic anesthesiologist and recovery nurse that made a huge difference in how I felt right after surgery. It was the best I have felt after any of my c-sections. Recovery at home has been pretty good, besides the migraines returning. It was an emotional adjustment for me again being away from the kids and losing the strong bond that Cora and I had. It's getting better, but I can't pick her up until 6 weeks post partum.

Elliot latched on great from the beginning and exceeded the weight gain he needed at his second doctor appointment. He is a joy and I really am loving this newborn stage we get to experience one last time, even at 3 am when I'm up changing another poopy diaper while being peed on :) Our family is complete and this stage of our lives is done. It's bittersweet to be done with pregnancy forever, but I am really enjoying our family and looking forward to all the upcoming holidays with three kids!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Baby #3 - 36 weeks

A few of my baby bump favorites from our maternity / family shoot at 35 weeks:

How far along.... 36 weeks! THREE WEEKS TO GO, PEOPLE! It's getting serious over here.

How am I feeling....  Good! I do feel extra huge this time, like this baby literally has nowhere else to go so he/she is going straight out. Sleep is not painful and my compression socks keep the ankle swelling down, so besides having to pee all the time, I really have no complaints. My emotional state is still all over the place, but that's normal for me, ha. I am still very, very excited to find out if baby is a boy or girl and that keeps me focused on something happy and positive, and my mind off the impending c-section surgery and recovery that I always dread. 

How is baby doing.... Very good. Staying put and moving all the time, day and night. I am at the doctor weekly now and while my blood pressure tries to creep up every time they take it, I get good readings at home. Darn "white coat" syndrome. I just want to make it to our scheduled date, especially with the recent news that Nick
will be traveling for work the WEEK BEFORE our c-section. 

Last time to see baby on the ultrasound screen... 32 weeks :)

Milestones, etc.... 
 I thought I had that terrible itchy PUPPS rash again like I did with G, but it only lasted for 4 days and went away, so my doctor doesn't think that's what it was. It was very weird and it made me think I was having a boy again. But now I am totally unsure again. The guesses at work are pretty even for boy vs girl. We scheduled our newborn shoot so it's on the calendar. I still don't think we are 100% sure on a girl name, but we do have a boy name we love. What else? Grayson is very excited to meet his newest sibling and he is mama's biggest help these days! Such a love. He helped me get my jeans off this morning as they were stuck and not going to happen at this point. And Cora is completely enamored with her baby doll, so I think she will be very interested in this real baby. She is such a mama's girl, but she loves Nanee even more if she has to pick between us. That will help a lot with the transition. I plan to check in once more here before baby comes.... almost a family of FIVE!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Baby #3 - 31 Weeks!

31 weeks

How far along.... 31 weeks! I can hardly believe it. We are just so crazy busy all the time that I can't even remember that I am pregnant sometimes or how far along I am when someone asks. Life is a blur right now. A good blur, but a blur :) 8 weeks to go! We have scheduled my c-section for 11:30 am on September 28th. I love that Grayson's, mine and now this baby's birthdays all fall on the 28th of the month.

How am I feeling....  If I am on my feet all day, I am pretty tired and sore at the end of the day. But otherwise, I'm feeling good. I really do enjoy being pregnant. I am always hot and sweaty, but that's just how it is pregnant in the summer + I'm always hot anyways. I am having some vestibular/inner ear issues: dizziness, sudden sensitivity to loud sounds, a weird pressure/sensation feeling in my head that comes and goes, etc. My OB said it's temporary and normal during pregnancy, due to the increased fluid in my body. So the good news is that it should go away when baby comes. I am SO EXCITED to meet this baby!!!!!! The anticipation feels even greater not knowing the gender! This is hanging on my window at work:

How is baby doing.... Everything has been great. Lots of big movements now, and they are constant. I always laugh when my doctor asks about kick counts. I have another ultrasound next Friday to check the growth because of that little shelf thing on my placenta, but so far it doesn't look like it's affecting anything as of now. I am being vigilant about drinking a lot of water and trying not to be on my feet too much to minimize the swelling in my ankles and feet. And HA HA to that, seeing how full our schedule has been and continues to be, and includes lots of me "being on my feet." 

27 week ultrasound

Milestones, etc.... 
 We are having a baby next month!!!!! It's crazy to be able to say that! I'm well into the third trimester and we are ready. Well, except names. Yikes. Picking names for both genders that also goes with two sibling's names is proving to be a challenge for us. I honestly think we will be going through our list of names once baby Cashew arrives and deciding in the hospital, ha! I really think knowing the gender will help us get to the right name easier as well. I am freaking out a little bit about this whole name thing. We are doing maternity / family photos next weekend and I'm very excited about them. It's a new-to-me photographer and I just adore her work.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Baby #3 - 23 Weeks

Hiking in Zion National Park, up to Scout's Lookout - 21 weeks!
Capitol Reef National Park
Carrying two babies, Cora on my back in the Ergo and baby Cashew in my tummy :) Plus my little man holding my hand. Such an amazing trip, creating a great love for the outdoors with our family.

How far along.... 23 weeks! More than half-way there now. Crazy, crazy. Each pregnancy flies by faster than the last. I wish time would slow down so I could enjoy these moments longer. My doctor officially put my due date at October 4th, so my c-section will be scheduled at 39 weeks, or around September 27th. I won't have an exact date until two months prior.

How am I feeling....  Awesome! No nausea at all anymore. I am just eating all the things, all the time. Even so, my weight gain has been in check so far. We went on a road trip to southern Utah to several national parks and I did quite a bit of hiking, even the strenuous hike up to Angel's Landing in Zion, and it felt great. I need to keep that up now that we are home as it helps later in pregnancy and with recovery after my c-section. I have no complaints at all! I really do love being pregnant. 

How is baby doing.... Great! I've been feeling movements for quite a while now, but just this week baby Cashew has been so active!!!! My gosh, I feel baby all day long, before bed, when I wake up in the morning... it's just constant. Sounds like G and C too. We love a wild bunch over here haha. Growth looked good and our anatomy scan went great. There is one thing the high-risk doctor {see below for that appointment} pointed out. My placenta has a little shelf on one side where it attaches to the uterus. He said in a small amount of people with this, it can affect the growth of the baby. It hasn't yet, but he said they will probably have me back for ultrasounds every 4 to 6 weeks at their office to be sure.

Milestones, etc.... 
 We didn't share this with many people, but my 2nd trimester blood work came back with an elevated risk of Down Syndrome. 1/150 to be exact. My OB referred me to a high-risk doctor for genetic counseling and further testing, if we wanted it. And we did, most definitely we did. We wanted to know for sure. Talk about freaking out, worrying, anxiety-inducing, crying, etc. It was awful. Just talking about the what ifs, what would we do if something was wrong, all of it was just terrible and sad. We went to see the doctor on May 17th. We talked to the counselor, had an extensive ultrasound and then decided to do an amniocentesis so that we had 99.99% accurate results. The procedure wasn't painful, just a very strange feeling deep inside. And the cramping for the following three days was weird and scary, plus the worry of that tiny chance of a miscarriage due to the procedure. This was right before we left on vacation too. It was a lot all at once. The results take 7 to 10 days to get back and on day 10, while driving through the middle of nowhere, my phone thankfully had reception and we got good news: baby is fine! No Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida. All chromosomes look normal. Phew. Talk about the worst wait ever. I am so thankful that everything is okay.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Grayson - 3 1/2 years old

My sweet boy! It's been a little over a year since I last posted an update for him. So much has changed. An old video popped up on my Timehop and even just his voice and the way he speaks has changed SO much! You don't realize it while it's happening. He will be 4 at the end of July. Crazy.

Grayson at {a bit over} 3 1/2 years.....
  • He is officially over 40 inches and can get on a lot of rides at Disneyland that he couldn't before! We were so excited for that milestone. 
  • He is a great big brother, always helping with Cora. The other day he helped her put her shoes on for school. He still has a great deal of energy, so getting outside often and working on projects that help him focus make a world of difference in the kind of day he has. He doesn't stop moving except to sleep, so toys sometimes go flying and he needs to be reminded to be careful. He seems to have the most trouble/crying episodes when he is frustrated with an activity not going the way that he wants or when something in his routine is thrown off, which I do my best to avoid. We work hard to stay patient and encourage him to work through the problem. I make sure to acknowledge his feelings every time. The other difficult times are pottying and brushing teeth, and sometimes getting ready in the morning altogether. We all have our bad days ;) He can be very resistant to these daily activities. I read a lot about innovative ideas on helping children at this age and it helps give me new perspective.

  • He is very independent and we encourage him to do almost everything himself if he wants to. He has even started helping with dishes, his favorite right now. He is VERY curious about everything. He asks a lot of questions about all subjects. He even asked me the other day where babies come from!!! I wasn't expecting that this early, ha! We tell him all the details and information, as he wants to know and understand all of it. His vocabulary expands almost daily and he cracks us up with the things he says. I have a little book from my Mom called "Quotable Kid" that I write the best things down in :) His teacher told us he is the class clown, always making others laugh.

  • Legos have become a huge part of his life. He is building things with Legos every day, just like his Dad did as a kid. He builds things completely on his own that blow us away. They are so creative and the symmetry of his designs are incredible. I think it helps him learn to be patient as well, while he searches for each piece that fits just where he wants. We have Legoland passes so we visit there often. He does a great deal of imaginative play now too - that is my favorite to just observe from the sidelines. He is very good at entertaining himself. We don't turn any TV on all week, and reserve weekends for a movie or two. We also do not let the kids play on the iPad or our phones. I know I am pretty old-school with that, but we spend time doing everything else together, including eating our meals, talking about our day, reading books and enjoying each other's company without distractions and technology.  We started swim again this month, and he has moved to semi-private lessons with an instructor. He learned a lot last summer with just us in our pool, but after a winter of not much swimming, he needs to refresh and get his confidence back. 

  • He is doing very well at his Montessori school! He is still in the Ladybug class and has made some great friends. His favorite thing to do at school are the art projects and the practical life jobs, like spooning, tonging, pouring, as well as the cylinder blocks and matching/sorting jobs. At the last parent-teacher conferences, his teacher suggested art classes when he gets a little older and his dexterity improves. 

  • Potty training... WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's been about 6 weeks now that it's been official. The peeing was easy and he has been peeing on the potty for quite some time, with accidents happening about once a week. But now he is pooping on the toilet, and has been consistently for the last six weeks! It honestly felt like it would never happen and we would soon have THREE kids in diapers/pull-ups. What a relief! I'm so proud of him. Sometimes it just takes more time, but we made it through.

  • He is a good sleeper and we are so thankful for that. He is still napping, about 2 hours in length. He does skip them on the weekends sometimes. He continues to eat well too, and we feed him a huge variety of foods just like we eat. He even joins us for all-you-can-eat sushi and eats as much as we do, raw fish and all!

I just love this little man so much and we are having so much fun watching him grow up. He is super excited to be a big brother to another little one. He is CERTAIN that baby #3 is going to be a girl. He never changes his answer or hesitates when I ask him. It will be fun to see if he's right! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Baby #3: 14 weeks

We are going to do family/maternity photos again in July,
but this one is from a big family photo shoot we did in Ojai a couple weeks ago.

How far along.... 14 weeks, 3 days!

How am I feeling....  The nausea is beginning to subside some. My cravings/aversions are still very strong so I listen to my body ;) I definitely noticed a big improvement coming into my second trimester. However, this past weekend must have been a fluke. I woke up with an awful headache on Saturday morning, and despite eating right away, threw up all day until dinner. I also woke up Sunday feeling pretty bad, but managed to keep my food down. Phew. Otherwise I feel good.

How is baby doing.... Wonderful! We had our NT scan two weeks ago and everything looked great. My blood work came back normal as well. That was a huge relief as I have had this weird feeling that something was wrong. After talking to my Mom, we realized we have both been feeling that way because this miracle baby seems too good to be true. And I almost forgot... I have been feeling baby moving!!!! It's so early, but I really know what the feeling is and I have a posterior placenta, so I've been feeling movement since 12 weeks. So crazy.

Milestones, etc....
 We are having fun making our list of names. It's crazy to think we need to have at least two picked out, one for a boy and one for a girl! We are officially in the second trimester now and I am beginning to believe I am pregnant. This third time is the most surreal yet. I find myself imagining a third every time we are doing things with the kids, wondering "what will this be like with one more..." I found an adorable Etsy shop {I love Etsy!} that makes bonnets for boys and girls and bought two to bring to the hospital.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Baby #3: 5 - 11 weeks

This is what 9 weeks looks like for a third pregnancy!! Whoa.

How far along.... 11 weeks!

How am I feeling.... I'm doing alright, but every day is different. I was pretty worried there for a couple weeks that I was going to have a repeat of Cora's pregnancy and end up very, very sick. But *knock on wood* I am hoping that's not the case. Just these past few days, I have been feeling a lot better and my appetite is improving, although I still don't want much. I stick to my safe foods: cereal, lots and lots of cereal! I don't want meat, but I like eggs. Cheese, fruit, salads, soup, and most carbs are good right now. I am pretty tired, but keeping up with my two munchkins okay. Otherwise, I'm feeling good!

How is baby doing.... We had an ultrasound around 9 weeks to date the pregnancy and everything looked good. The heart was beating and the baby was moving around a lot.

Milestones, etc.... 
I'm really looking forward to our NT scan in 10 days to see the baby again. We also announced this pregnancy to everyone, so it's no longer a secret. Did I mention we aren't going to find out the gender this time?! I think it will be so fun to hear it announced at the delivery and then be able to tell/show our parents and family at the hospital!

Monday, March 7, 2016


I can't even believe I am writing this post.... On February 3, 2016, we found out we are expecting another baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Number 3!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhh!

No infertility treatments, no medications, no injections, no stressing and worrying and anxiety, no doctors, no thousands of dollars. We just got pregnant on our own. Oh, how I hate to be one of those cliches. But then at the same time, we are SO happy! We always wanted three children. We talked about it and decided that it would have to happen on it's own. But we never, ever thought it would. Because why would it? After all we have been through and all the years. And then it did.

The shock still hasn't worn off. I was shaking for several days after taking the pregnancy test. I didn't even want to take it because I was CERTAIN I wasn't pregnant. Absolutely sure there was no way. I waited WAY longer than I ever have to even take the test because I thought it was stupid and not possible. Nick actually pushed me to finally test. You should have seen our faces when I got out of the shower and told Nick "ummm, this expired cheap test says I am pregnant!" I took the kids to school and then stopped at the store for two boxes of tests. And sure enough, they both were positive too.

My sister was completely shocked. My parents were shocked. My best friend was shocked. My Mom told me that she has never been so surprised as she was when we told her this news. It's just crazy!!!

My due date is October 1st, but I will have a repeat c-section so baby will be here end of September, unless I go into labor on my own sooner. We also decided to wait to find out the gender when he/she is born. It should be fun for Nick to walk out to the waiting room and tell our parents :)

Even after a whole month has passed, I am still in total shock. Today I am 10 weeks and feeling sick all day, every day. We had our first ultrasound and everything looked good, we saw the heart beating away and little arms and legs forming. We go back for the NT scan on March 24th.

Cute side story: Grayson knows there is another sibling on the way and he is SO excited! He always points out that the new baby will sit here, and he will play with and tickle the new baby, and the baby is definitely a girl, and he even kisses my belly goodbye at school. Melts my heart. The other day we were talking about the baby again and he asked "mama, what's the baby's name going to be?" I told him that we won't know until the baby is born because we won't know if the baby is a boy or a girl. He replied "we should call the baby Cashew. Or Peanut. Because the baby is so small." My sweet boy! Cashews are his favorite nut so it makes sense. And we told him the other day that we can call the baby Peanut for now since we won't have a name for a long time.

Cora - One Year!!!!

My sweet girl is ONE!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe it! And this post is super late. Embarassing. She turned one on January 23rd, more than a month ago. So much going on to start off 2016.

  • We had a wonderful birthday party for our girl with all things rainbows and unicorns :) She had a great time and her adorable cake pops were a huge hit!
  • At her One Year check-up on January 26th, she was 20 lbs 13 oz, 30.5 inches long, and her head was 45.5 cm. She is wearing 18 month clothes and just switched to size 4 diapers.

  •  She is done with formula and is on cow's milk and using sippy cups very well. I still give her a bottle at bedtime. She is a good eater and has lots of favorites: black beans, string cheese, chicken, tuna, blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli, raisins and of course (just like her Mama) she loves some ice cream for dessert!

  • She naps for an hour or two at home, and 45 minutes to an hour at school. Her nighttime sleep is great now! She goes to bed between 7 and 8pm and we get her up at 7:15am on weekdays.

  • I think she is at 11 or 12 teeth now. Since my last update a couple more teeth have popped through, mostly molars. Ouch. I can definitely tell when it's hurting her as she eats a lot less and wants her cold teethers more often. And she's gets pretty fussy. Poor thing.

  • Her and Grayson are so sweet. He always tells me "I want to do _________, and then I can play with Cora." He is always so thoughtful of her, offering to share bites of his food and offering her a toy if she is crying. He also wants her to chase him around and play with him any way she can. They give each other big hugs and he is still her favorite person ever. She squeals and laughs as soon as she sees him. My heart feels so full watching them together. 

  • Her personality is really showing lately! She is so brave and determined. She loves to give hugs, kisses and high fives. She also waves, when she wants to ;) She is very independent now and wants to go where she wants and do what she wants. She has started reaching her hand up to hold ours when we walk around, down/up steps, etc. and G loves to walk around holding her hand - I about die from the cuteness!!! She also understands SO much of what we say, it blows me away! She knows to get her shoes when it's time to leave. She knows when I ask if she is hungry. She does a pretty good job at communicating what she wants. She says "mama", "dada" and "uh oh" right now. I am hoping she starts to pick up more words soon. I can tell she gets frustrated sometimes and is whining for things instead, but we will get there. Unfortunately the teachers in her class don't use sign language like Grayson's teacher did, so she isn't picking that up. It was so helpful for him so I will keep trying at home.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Apollo's first picture, at 10 weeks, driving home from the airport in my passenger seat :)

We lost our Man Bear Dog on January 2nd. I am drowning in sadness right now and sick to my stomach with the pain his loss has caused me. I saw my husband cry for only the second time in the 16 years I've known him.

He had a seizure at 2 in the afternoon and we realized after it ended, that he has likely been having these episodes for months but we were always asleep and had never seen the actual seizure, only the aftermath. The vet said the most likely cause in a geriatric dog is a brain tumor. He was 9 1/2 and that's quite old for a Mastiff. He was also on a lot of pain medications and anti-inflammatories to help with his bad hips and back, and even those weren't enough for him to be completely comfortable. We knew this time wasn't far off, but that didn't make any of it any easier. 

I don't want to forget him. As each day passes, I am afraid I will forget his smell, the way his fur feels, the sounds he made, every little detail about him and all the ways he did things. I stroked his ear while we were waiting for the doctor at the emergency vet hospital. I memorized exactly the way his ear felt and never wanted to let go. I sit and stare at the thousands of pictures and videos we have of him. They simultaneously make me happy and make me sob.

Nick and I are gathering all of the photos to make a giant photo book so we can look at them all whenever we want in one place. We also had a paw print impression done at the vet. I wish these items would heal my heart, but nothing will bring him back and I'm having the hardest time with that. That I'll never ever see him again. That reality hurts so, so much.

He was the biggest sweetheart, so amazing with the kids, he loved everyone he met, he went so many places with us - exploring L.A., hiking all over, Yosemite in the snow, to the family ranch in Ojai many times, on road trips all over Southern California. He lived at both our first house and this current one, at my parent's house in the very beginning and in between houses. He let me dress him up for every holiday. He loved to kiss faces, especially Nick's, all over. He was there through all of our infertility struggles, he was there when we brought both babies home from the hospital, he was there for every part of our lives, the good, the bad, the ugly. All of it. Gosh I miss him. 

This pain truly feels unbearable and I feel like I will never surface from this drowning feeling. It's terrible. It's a blessing in disguise that Grayson (and obviously Cora) cannot fully understand what has happened. We have told him several times that he is gone, that he has died. But he doesn't get it. He asks periodically where he is. And my heart breaks a little more. The empty space where he used to sleep looks so large and empty without his 200 lbs there. Every time I look at where his bed used to be or where he used to lay outside or where he used to drink his water, I get that painful pit in my stomach. I catch myself going to let him outside or check on him in the yard, but he's not there. I even think I see him out of the corner of my eye but it's never him.

We love you so much Apollo. We will never forget you and we will never stop missing you. You were the best dog ever.


I wrote this post back in early January, only days after we lost him. Things are better now. I don't cry as often and the pain is not unbearable anymore. But I still think of him daily and miss him SO MUCH :( Grayson still asks where Apollo is every once in a while and my heart breaks all over again.