Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wendy's Birth Story

Being pregnant with our third child, and third girl, was a fairly smooth experience. It started off rough with a bout of giardia, but that made morning sickness seem like a breeze. I struggled mostly in the beginning because I felt like I was gaining weight REALLY quickly. It didn’t help when a gas station attendant asked if I was pregnant with twins when I was barely 30 weeks along (seriously, who does that? Don’t even assume someone is pregnant just to be safe!). But things evened out fairly quickly.

I decided to use the certified nurse midwives at our local hospital after having such a great experience with them when I had Cora. I really liked all the midwives on staff, but was bummed when one left right at the end of my pregnancy. They were planning on hiring two new CNMs  the month after I was due, but I wouldn’t have access to them. That left just one midwife who delivered babies, making my chances of actually delivering with her pretty slim. That didn’t make me too anxious since I’d had babies before, but when I tested positive for group B strep, that’s when the nerves came in. Group b strep really isn’t a big deal, but once you’re in labor you need to get IV antibiotics so that you won’t pass it on the the baby. Typically they want you to have 2 rounds of the antibiotics over 8 hours, so that meant getting to the hospital with enough time. Since I planned on having her naturally, I would much rather have labored at home for as long as possible, but the strep through a wrench in that.

My due date came and went, just like I expected it would. In fact, I told everyone I expected to have her on August 10, a week after my due date, just so I wouldn’t get my hopes up. When I went to my midwife appointment that week, I was hoping that my body had at least made some progress in the dilation department, and it had, but I was only dilated 1 cm. I made some tentative plans with my midwife about getting induced the next Monday (when I’d be 41 weeks), went on home and scrounged around for things to do. I’d really finished all of my nesting the week before so I was just bored.

Thursday and Friday were fun – James decided to begin his paternity leave those days so we did some family errands, had fun at the library, went out to eat, and watched lots of movies. I read two books (haven’t done that in a while) and tried to relax and not cry too much about still being pregnant. Saturday evening my Mom flew in and I also started having some contractions. We spent the evening timing them and talking. I figured I’d get some sleep, and then wake up when they got to be too much and we’d head to the hospital in the early morning. I had a couple good contractions around 4:30am, but fell back asleep only to wake up with them gone. I was so disappointed. I figured I’d labor the same way that I did with Cora, but I guess it really is true that every pregnancy is different.

James and I went on a long walk Sunday morning, hoping to get contractions started and move this labor forward. We walked and walked, and I contracted, but the timing was really irregular. I kept contracting all day, but never seemed to be consistent. I was exhausted and so frustrated, so we skipped church, took the girls to the park, went on another walk, then came home for naps. A couple strong contractions woke me up and pretty soon I was 5 minutes apart. We called the on call doctor who suggested we come in since I would need to get on an antibiotic as soon as possible.

As soon as we got to the hospital my contractions slowed down and got irregular again. They checked my cervix and told me I was still only a 1 or 2. I was heartbroken. The nurse and resident Doctor were sweet and tried to reassure me, but I just couldn’t believe that I’d been laboring all that day and there was barely any change. We talked to the doctor and decided that it would be best if I went home and got some sleep, then call in the morning to find out when to come in for an induction. We got some blizzards at DQ on the way home (yes, it was still Sunday, but I NEEDED ice cream after that), and then I settled into bed around 10:30.

I’d maybe slept for 20 minutes when I felt some intense low pressure, a pop, then a gush of fluid. My water broke! I’ve never had my water break before so I was completely shocked and a little freaked out. It felt like I was constantly wetting myself – labor sure isn’t the most comfy thing in the world, and it’s really messy! James and I hopped out of bed and ran back to the hospital, laughing about how we just left. Our nurse and doctor thought it was pretty funny to see us again so quickly and got us started with the IV for my antibiotic.

I’ve always thought it was ridiculous how in TV shows a woman’s water breaks and then she’s all of a sudden in full on, hard labor. I figured it just didn’t really happen that way, but like they always say, every pregnancy, baby, and labor is different. We were checked into the hospital by 11:20 and I was having very intense and very close together contractions. Because I was excited and stressed and full of adrenaline, I couldn’t stop my body from shaking. I kept trying to use my relaxation techniques but felt like I couldn’t hold it together. My well meaning, but I think in-experienced nurse struggled to get my IV in and so I had to sit through quite a few contractions in a lot of pain. After 2 unsuccessful attempts, she finally got my medicine flowing and I was able to get out of the hospital bed. It got a little easier when I could start moving, but I couldn’t find a comfortable spot to labor. My legs were shaking too much and I wasn’t mentally prepared for such intense contractions so quickly. At this point I was asking about pain meds and had decided I was going to ask for something to take the edge off (which was hard for me emotionally because I had hoped to do it naturally again). My nurse suggested we check my cervix first because I’d probably be farther along than I thought. Well, in that one hour I’d been at the hospital, I’d gone from a 1 to a 6. There wasn’t time for any pain meds, which made me feel good birth-plan wise, but terrified pain-wise.

Each contraction after that was incredibly painful, and full of crazy low pressure. It took all I could not to push too early. My body just wanted to get the baby out! We tried a different position with each contraction – standing and rocking over the bed, birth ball, hands and knees, leaning over the bed, then finally on my side using a “birth peanut” between my legs. At this point, they checked me again and I was completely dilated. They gave me the green light to push and I PUSHED. With Cora I had this whole plan with how I wanted to push – what position I wanted, how I wanted to do it timing wise, etc. Well, this time I just went for it and followed the resident’s guidance. She actually had midwifery training and had me pushing while laying on my side and panting after pushing – I felt like I was on “Call the Midwife” sans the British accents. Two contractions, and a lot of yelling later (which James will testify to), our Wendy Rose was born. We’d come back and checked into the hospital at 11:20pm and delivered at 1:51am – a very fast and furious birth!

Although I was disappointed that I couldn’t deliver with my midwife that night, the resident on call was a huge help. I think her guidance kept me from tearing this time, which I didn’t think I could even hope for since I had an episiotomy with Grace and then tore with Cora. My recovery has been so much easier this time around because of that.

I continue to be overwhelmed with how blessed I am to have this little miracle in my life. Wendy is sweet, beautiful, and a perfect addition to our family.  Gracie seems to have grown up overnight – she’s helping out more and even asks for chores to do. She is loves to “play” with her and just held her for the first time today. Cora wants to hold her and kiss her a lot, but has struggled a bit with not being the baby anymore. I know it will get easier overtime, especially if I can make it a priority to give her the one on one time she needs. James had two weeks of paternity leave, which was an incredible blessing. My Mom helped us so we could all get rest and slowly adjust into being a family of five. Woah, a family of five! Crazy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

2 Years Old

Happy birthday sweet girl! I can't believe how much you have grown. You're a big girl now, and a big sister! I'm so glad that you still love to cuddle with me and give me kisses. We've definitely hit the "terrible twos", but those kisses and hugs make it all worth it. 
You're my little firecracker! I love watching you play and run and I love hearing you talk and sing. I love how every night we ask you what song you want to sing and it's always "temple"-- both verses! You love playing with your Daddy and would have him swing you around all day. I can't believe how much you learn all the time, and I am excited to keep watching you grow. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Peanut's Birth Story

When we found out that we were pregnant with our second child, Big Papa and I knew that we wanted to approach the labor and delivery differently than we did with Goober. Goobie's birthday, as beautiful as it was, was a bit scary. My body reacted poorly to the epidural--causing my already low blood pressure to drop to dangerous levels. I also felt a lot of painful contractions -- something I hadn't prepared for. I just assumed that I would be numb and did very minimal labor prep. Big Papa and I both felt a little helpless in how to deal with what was going on. In the end, Goober was delivered safely and healthfully -- but after that day we knew we wanted to try something differently for our next child.

After doing some research on various natural birthing methods, Big Papa and I decided to take a Bradley Method birthing class. We liked how it focused on a husband coached child-birth approach, making Big Papa not a spectator in the birth, but my partner and coach. We spent the six months leading up to Peanut's birth in "training": tracking my diet, going to classes, and doing all sorts of exercises to get my body ready to deliver. I think that the most valuable thing we gained during this process though was confidence -- confidence in our knowledge of what would/could happen when I began labor, and confidence that my body could do it naturally. Neither of us felt scared in the days leading up to delivery, in fact I think both of us were ready and excited to use our training for the "big game" (Big Papa got really into the athlete analogy that Dr. Bradley liked to use).

At around 39 weeks pregnant, I started having one or two real contractions a day. I had been telling myself not to focus on my due date because realistically I could have the baby any time + or - 2 weeks around it, but on July 1st I still mourned the passing of my due date with no baby. That week I continued to have a contraction or two and started feeling more and more "done". We spent the week (the hottest week of the summer) walking the mall and Costco, trying to convince baby to come. I was super hot, uncomfortable, tired, and ready to have that baby!

My mom came into town on July 4th and the next day I had my midwife appointment. She checked me (2 cm) and swept my membranes, telling me that there was a 50/50 chance this could start something. I felt a little cramping that evening, but nothing more. My mom treated me to a luxurious pedicure the next morning and the pedicurist even showed us where to massage to start labor. Saturday morning I cried and cried -- why was I not having my baby? Honestly, I think the thing I was so frustrated with was the idea of having to go to church the next day at 41 weeks pregnant and tell everyone that yes, I was indeed still pregnant.

But around 2:00 pm that day, I started having contractions. They were far apart, but happening regularly (yay!) Big Papa and I decided to take a trip to Costco and Hyvee to get some walking in and get some last minute groceries (because hopefully, this was the real thing). I continued contracting throughout our trip, making me happy that yes, this was real, early labor!!! When we went to bed that night at around 10:00 pm, the contractions were about 10-12 minutes apart. We both got some pretty good sleep in and at around 3:00 am I had a contraction that really woke me up. They were still about 8-10 minutes apart, but they were picking up in intensity. Big Papa quickly turned into my coach and we worked on really relaxing during contractions. I ate some cottage cheese on toast, we both had a shower, and finished packing our hospital bag between contractions.

At 5:00 am, I was starting to get a little frustrated and confused, because although they were picking up in intensity, the contractions were still 8 minutes apart. Big Papa had me call labor and delivery to tell them what was going on, and they told me to wait until they were 3-5 minutes apart -- I could come earlier but I might be sent home, and since I wanted a natural and intervention free birth, I should probably stay home as long as possible (unless my water broke, etc.)

The next two hours I spent laboring on my bed, with Big Papa helping me relax through the contractions, telling me to breathe deeply while he massaged my back with his palms, fists, fingers, and a tennis ball (SO GOOD). At around 6:40 am, our little Goober woke up, and trotted into our bedroom like she usually does with a "Hi Momma! Hi Dadda!". She tried to jump into bed with me, but being mid-contraction, I wouldn't let her. I felt bad when my mom had to come get her and pull her from our room (Goober was pretty upset), but she was ok as soon as Disney Jr. got turned on :)

At that point, Big Papa and I decided it was time to get up and get moving, so we took a walk around our apartment complex. The heat wave that had been plaguing us all week had finally broken, and so the walk was incredibly refreshing and relaxing (well, the contractions weren't but between contractions  I enjoyed it :)). During these contractions I leaned my head into Big Papa's chest and we did the "labor dance", just swaying back and forth. It was around this point in my labor that I realized I needed him to be with me through every contraction. When he wasn't there, I had a hard time relaxing, making the contractions really hard to get through.

Pretty quickly, my contractions went from 8 minutes apart to 4-5 minutes. We went back into the apartment so that Big Papa could grab something to eat (I could only eat one lone frosted mini wheat at that point). I had a really powerful contraction and it was decided that it was time for us to head to the hospital. We waved bye-bye to our sweet girl and grandma, then headed out!

We parked in the ramp, and then realized we didn't know how to get to labor and delivery from there. Luckily, a woman who must have worked at the hospital noticed my laboring state and got us to the correct elevator. We met up with a L/D nurse there and she walked us right into triage, saying that she remembered seeing that I'd called that morning and that they were expecting me. I got hooked up to some monitors to see how baby was doing and to time the contractions, which had decided to slow back down to 8 minutes apart. We both couldn't believe it, and really hoped they would pick back up or that I would be far enough along dilation-wise that they wouldn't send me home. I had some whoppers of contractions during that point (the hardest ones I'd had so far), so I was pretty sure we were there to stay. It was nice to see how well baby was handling the contractions. Goober's heart rate had dropped dramatically during each one, but our Peanut was thriving. After about 30-45 minutes in triage one of my midwives, Liz, came to see how I was doing. I was dilated to 4-5 cm and my contractions were back to 4 minutes apart. She said that I could stay at the hospital or even go home if I wanted to, but knowing that my toddler was awake I decided that I'd much rather get checked in and continue to labor in a quiet hospital room.

I think it was around 9:00 am when we got into our L/D room. Big Papa and I were really impressed with the hospital facilities there -- nice big, open room with windows that brought in some soothing natural light. The bathrooms had GIANT jacuzzi tubs, which I was excited to use. I hopped in the shower while Big Papa ordered me some italian ice. It was such a relief to get off that triage bed as I was not handling the contractions super well laying down anymore. We continued to do our labor dance around the room, with Liz and Rita (my nurse) popping in and out to make sure we were doing ok. Rita would check the baby's heart rate every half hour or so,  but other than intermittent monitoring, I wasn't hooked up to anything, allowing me a lot of freedom to move. Liz brought me a birthing ball to try out and I sat on it while leaning against the raised hospital bed. That birthing ball was my saving grace. I'd used it in Bradley class during labor practice, but didn't really get the point until then. Big Papa would come around and massage my back during contractions and I could do pelvic rocks between them to help ease my back pain. I fell asleep between contractions a couple times while on the ball too.

I didn't really notice the time much at that point, except for the fact that my contractions just kept getting closer and closer together. I had started vocalizing through them, making some good cavewoman sounds (that's for you Dr. Reich!). When I wasn't as focused or relaxed during a contraction, I would start doing much higher sounds and then Big Papa and Liz would encourage me to lower my voice. It was really interesting to see how just grounding my voice helped to manage the pain.

Time passed, I guess (I really wasn't paying any attention to it), and the contractions kept getting harder and harder. I really didn't think I could do it for much longer, but Big Papa and Liz kept encouraging me. I decided that I wanted to get in the tub, so Liz checked me to make sure I was progressing well enough. She told me that I was at 7 cm -- transition time! I knew that I might not have a ton of time in the tub, but I still wanted to get in. The warm water relaxed me just enough, and about 2 minutes later I felt like my body was getting ready to push. In Iowa, it is against the law to do a water birth in the hospital, so I frantically asked Liz and James to help me out. Liz checked me again and told me that things were changing fast, so we moved over to the hospital bed where they had set up the squat bar for me. I had a few more contractions using the squat bar and then the urge to push really came. It was the craziest feeling because my body just needed to push and I couldn't stop it.

So with Big Papa at my side, Liz, Rita, and the resident who was observing (it was his first natural birth), I began pushing up at the bar. It was hard to understand how to do it at first, but my body started working for me and I heard Liz say, "Rita, we're going to have a baby" signaling her to get another nurse or two. Hearing this gave me the drive I needed. I started to really push, vocalizing pretty loudly. The nurses kept telling me to keep my voice low -- Big Papa said it was crazy to hear me make so many different sounds: the higher pitched ones were more frantic, but the lower ones almost operatic (I've gotta use my training somewhere ;)).

Then, Liz said to me, "let's have a baby with this next one" and I gave it everything I could. I never thought I'd be a yeller, but... well... I yelled! I really can't describe how it felt in words, but the relief I felt as I pushed our little girl out was the most incredible relief I have ever felt. After just three minutes of pushing, at 1:08 pm, our sweet little Peanut was born and placed right on my chest.

We spent the next 45 minutes or so delivering the placenta and stitching me up (I tore a bit where my episiotomy was last time), while Big Papa and I stared at our sweet girl. Eventually, the pediatrician came in to check her out clean her up a little -- she was perfect. I breast-fed her and then we went to our room in mother/baby and got settled in.

Looking back, I am still amazed that I did it. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I know that without my incredible husband, I could never have done it. He was the best couch and partner and allowed me to bring our daughter into the world so safely and so healthfully. I feel so blessed that I was healthy enough and had such a low risk pregnancy that I was able to do it in such a private, personal way. It really was amazing and awesome and just incredible.

So, would I do it again? Ask me in a year or two ;) because it was HARD. It hurt a ton. But it was worth it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our Little Peanut

Born at 1:08 pm on Sunday, July 8th 2012, we welcomed our new little girl, our little Peanut, into our family! She was 8 lbs 9 oz and we are so grateful that she's healthy and happy. 

It's been really interesting to see the how different our two daughters are. Our new little peanut loves to be cuddled up in blankets and swaddled. She'll tolerate being out and stretched out for a little while, but then starts to fuss until she's swaddled or picked up. Goober liked to be swaddled, but not nearly as much and I could leave her out on a blanket for ever, letting her kick her legs and stretch. Also, as loud and energetic as Goober is now, Peanut has got a much louder set of pipes. She's such a sweetie, but when she's uncomfortable (like when her diaper is getting changed, or she's hungry) she lets it out!!! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kansas City!!!

So lest you think we hated our experience here, here's a (relatively) drama free recap of our time in Kansas City -- which I think we might refer to as our brief working vacation...

The blinds when I was half done cleaning them.
Our apartment: When we first moved into our apartment, I thought I was going to cry -- it stank of cigarette smoke and was just plain filthy. I'm eternally grateful to my mother for teaching me how to keep a home, but it might have been nice to have slightly lower standards for this experience. I spent the next couple days cleaning -- wiping down baseboards and windows, vacuuming carpets 3-4 times (still hearing the vacuum picking up dirt), and spraying every chemical I could into the bathtub and then scrubbing for a minute and retreating from the fumes so I wouldn't kill my unborn child. Oh, and the blinds. Barf.

Goobie's "bedroom" -- don't you love my ghetto fabulous design?

Aside from the cleanliness, the design of the apartment is quirky to say the least. There are three different kinds of tile used in both the bathroom and kitchen. Big Papa describes the one on the floors and counter tops as "locker room tile", which is such a joy to try and wipe crumbs off of. The rest of the tile is basic bathroom stuff, but is used as a kitchen back splash -- I guess you could call the look 'eclectic'. Since this place is old, there are some fun spots throughout where you can feel the floorboards shift. It makes life exciting, especially in my many night-time bathroom runs.

Big Papa likes his BBQ from Oklahoma Joes
Mmm... brisket!
Our neighborhood: As bad as our apartment is, it is safe and in an INCREDIBLE neighborhood (there is a reason we had a sub-letter in less than an hour and received 12 e-mails from interested individuals). We live right between an area known as Westport and the Plaza. Westport has lots of hip bars and restaurants and is really close to an art school. Big Papa and I both feel very square when we walk around here with our Polo shirts and stroller. The Plaza is a 15 minute walk from our apartment and has tons of expensive and amazing stores and restaurants. There are gorgeous fountains everywhere and a large park with a running track. We've loved being so close and Goobie has woken up every morning wanting to go on walks. It's been fun pretending to be city dwellers and enjoying all sorts of things within walking distance.

Kansas City in general: We really like the area. There are some beautiful houses and neighborhoods and so many green trees and parks. The BBQ is incredible. It's been fun to explore and get to know a new place. Goober and I even went to the zoo today!

So, all in all, Kansas City was a fun working vacation for all of us (but maybe next time we'll stay somewhere a little nicer :)
Goober enjoying one of the may parks in the area.

Our Summer in Kansas City, or the 3 weeks we spent here...

Our plans for this summer have drastically changed this last week. Our original plan was to spend it all in Kansas City with Big Papa working at an internship with the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office. We got here just fine and got started with things: Big Papa with his internship and me with the task of making sure my insurance was in tact so we could be covered and have this baby. I'd spent some time before we left clarifying what I'd need to do to switch from Iowa Medicaid to Missouri, and was given a lot of confidence that it should all work out. I worked with a wonderful woman, Ms. Gilmore, at the Missouri office to make sure that all of the papers/forms that needed to be turned it were done correctly and in order. We spent almost two weeks doing this -- trading phone calls back and forth with me heading to Office Depot to fax all the necessary papers, all the while getting positive feedback that my case would definitely be approved. Then, on Tuesday of this week I got another call.

Ms. Gilmore had found out that there was an option for me to stay on Iowa medicaid since I'd only be in Missouri temporarily. I had called Iowa months before to see if there was something like that, but was told that I should cancel my Iowa coverage and get on Missouri's, so I figured nothing existed. But Ms. Gilmore told me to call anyway and I did, giving them the dates that I'd be in MO. I needed to be in MO less than 90 days to qualify, and we'd only be here 85. At this point, I started to get a sinking feeling, like something was going to go wrong, but I kept on going to see what providers would be available to me in Kansas City. 

A quick search on their website revealed that there was only one OBGYN in the whole city who had Iowa reciprocity for title 9 patients (or something like that). I quickly called his office to see if he would take me, but was told that his office works as a medical team and the chances of me being able to see just him were slim to none. At this point I decided that I needed to continue with my original plan of going on MO medicaid and called Ms. Gilmore to tell her. Normally, my calls with her go well, she's very reassuring and honest, but this one did not. Since I was only going to be in MO for 85 days I would no longer qualify for medicaid here. They needed 90 days. My heart dropped. I told her that we could stay 90 days -- it wouldn't be a problem to stay in the state for an extra week, but she told me that since I had "declared" my original intent, her supervisor would not go for it. She was extremely apologetic and kind, so I just thanked her for her help and hung up, immediately redialing the number for the woman in Iowa I had talked to earlier that day. We worked together to see if there were any other providers in MO who could help me out -- no OBs, no CNMs, no birthing centers. All that was available were a couple of Nurse Practitioners in Kirksville -- 3 hours away. 

Throughout all these phone calls, I'm desperately trying to keep from crying, but I couldn't hold it in any longer. Everyone I had talked to was so sympathetic and kind to me, but none of them knew what I should do. So, I just asked the woman from Iowa to please reopen my Medicaid case there as soon as possible and I would figure out what to do. Big Papa had come home from work at that very moment and recognized that something was seriously wrong. I crumpled. All of that planning and confidence was for nothing. We had moved our family here with the belief that this would work and now, here I was 34 weeks pregnant with no insurance. 

Big Papa (thank goodness) remained calm and focused and we thought out some options:
1. Goobie and I go back to IA while he stays here to do the internship. He'd come home on weekends and then as soon as I got wind of being in labor, he would come.
2. We all go back to IA, leaving the internship.
3. We try and find a birthing center that will give us a discount for paying cash (cash we don't really have)

I didn't want Big Papa to give up his internship for me, but I couldn't bare the thought of not having him with me when the baby was coming so soon. We've been planning on a natural birth, and I needed him there as my coach. Not only that, but the idea of him coming home every night to an empty apartment just sounded awful. So, Big Papa made some calls and told his internship that we'd have to leave.

That night I battled so much guilt and frustration -- how could I not have seen this coming? what was Big Papa going to do this summer now? how would this affect his future jobs? I should have done this, I should have done that... But Big Papa reassured me that we needed to go back, that none of this was my fault, just a really unfortunate thing we couldn't control. 

The next day, we witnessed so many miracles. Our good friends were going to be leaving their apartment June 1st until mid August, without any plans of finding sub-letters. We called them, just hoping that they might be in to having us pay their rent and utilities for that time so we could stay there -- and they were. We also were able to find a sub-letter for our Kansas City apartment in about an hour (thank you craigslist). Now I would be able to deliver my baby with the CNM's that I'd come to like to so much, in an amazing hospital. Goobie would have so many people who could watch her while we had the baby too, people who I trusted and had known for more than a month.

Even though we felt (and feel) super crazy for moving here and leaving so fast, we know that we are being watched over. It is truly amazing to me that we are being so blessed, even when I know we didn't do everything we could to make sure moving here in the first place was the best decision. Our church congregation back in IA has reached out to us, offering food, places to stay, and moving help for when we get home. 

So, overwhelmed with gratitude, we are coming home. We have learned so much from this experience and are just so grateful for all the blessings that have come from it. Sure, it would have been nice to learn this lesson without going through the stress and expense of moving, but at least we are all healthy, happy, and together.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

And now for the updates

So what have we been doing since October when I last posted?

-Making a baby! Our little Goob is going to be a big sister in July! I felt pretty awful all of November with morning sickness and fatigue, but am feeling a lot better now. We're finding out the gender tomorrow morning, so look for more updates!

Having a fun break with Daddy!
-Big Papa's working hard! School, school, school. It's not always fun, but he's doing well! He's enjoying his classes a lot more this semester and always has fun stories to tell about his professors.

-We spent three weeks in Utah for Christmas break! We also decided that next time, we'll be spending just two weeks on vacation. Three is just a little long to be living out of a suitcase and having our 18 month old sleep in a pack n' play. BUT we had so much fun seeing our families and eating cafe rio :) I could do a whole bunch of posts about what we did on our break... we'll see if that happens since it's already February.

-Cheesecake Mama started... and ended a music group! I was really excited to start a community children's singing group in January but just couldn't get the word out enough to get enough participants. In the end though, it's a blessing it didn't work out. I would have had to stay in town until early June to finish up the group's performances, while Big Papa would have already had to leave for his internship. By then I would be almost 8 and a half months pregnant making traveling to be with him a little tricky. Now that the group isn't going to happen yet, I can go be with him the whole summer (major relief!).

Looking a little nervous...
-Getting an internship! Big Papa got a summer internship with the Jackson county prosecutor's office in Kansas City, MO! We are really excited to go explore a new place and Big Papa's excited to be working at their office. Now we just need to find an affordable short-term, preferably furnished, apartment. The nice thing though is the woman who hired him told him all of the places we should not move to (it's handy having the county prosecutor on your side for that stuff).

-Goobie got her first hair cut! I was really sad to do it, but her hair had turned into a legitimate mullet, so off it went. It's still cute! I'm just sad I can't do pig-tails anymore :(

-Learning! Our Goober is starting to talk! Right now she doesn't say a lot that's intelligible, but she says "cheese" and started saying "coat" so we're making progress! She's also starting to throw tantrums... that's fun.

Well, that's enough for now. Life is pretty good and now we just need to keep on moving through it!!!