Sunday, November 23, 2014

Meeting Boston

Our "typical" Wednesday started with a slow morning at home. It was actually extra slow and extra sweet...dancing and Nutella toast were both involved. :) Later I took Brooks to preschool, and while he was there, Ava tagged along for my--hopefully last--OB appointment for this baby growing in my belly. He or she was looking great, and I was just looking [and feeling] 39 weeks pregnant. ;)

After that appointment Ava and I enjoyed a quick target run together, then grabbed Brooks after preschool...to go home?...Or more grocery shopping? Well, I chose the latter. I had plenty of things needing to be checked of the to-get list for baby's arrival. Procrastination is my middle name. It was while shopping that I felt contractions. At first I assumed they were just the strong Braxton hicks I had been feeling the past few week...but then they started happening in my lower stomach, they were getting stronger and just 10 minutes apart. Could this really be happening??

I called Adam as I was loading the groceries in the car...telling him the contractions were closer together and much lower than I've felt before. And we should plan to go to the hospital tonight to check things out. :) Part of me was giddy on the drive home, but a another part of me was thinking, "Wait little one, please! Just a few more days!" I still had some things to get done and clean at the house, items to buy, my bag to pack, and I was mentally and emotionally prepared and looking forward to enjoying "one last weekend" with my little family of 4, and a date night with Adam. I felt sad I was being so selfish, but goodness those feelings wouldn't go away.

After getting home, putting away the groceries, and showering, with plenty of contractions through it all, I called my mom. I told her this could be it! And through tears I asked for her to pray for me. Anxiety and the fear of not feeling totally prepared was smothering me. And I'm not even the always-prepared type! That angel woman shared encouraging words, and told me she'd book a flight to come Friday, which was such a relief.

Later, while Adam was putting the kids to bed and I was packing my bag for the hospital, thoughts of doubt in my ability to mother THREE children had crept into my mind and I wanted those thoughts out! I stopped and knelt to pray, practically begging Heavenly Father for comfort and strength. I heard my three loves laughing in the kids' bedroom. :) And an incredible feeling of calm washed over me. It was all going to be okay...the house didn't have to perfectly clean, I may not get my "last weekend" but instead I'll be enjoying my "first weekend" with our new family of 5, and I'm not a perfect mom but I'm doing my best. This baby would come home to a family that was ready to love and cherish him/her, and that's all this baby really needs. Well, that and a few fresh diapers and mama's milk. ;) The excitement I had felt through my pregnancy was back and I could hardly wait to meet this little boy or girl!!

Adam's sweet mom came just before 10:00 and we headed to the hospital, knowing Brooks and Ava were in the best hands. On the drive there, we shared our final guesses as to who this babe was...we both said girl. Upon getting to the hospital, we found that a room had been made ready and waiting for me, thanks Doc! :) I was at a 4 and fully effaced. The contractions were staying consistent (now less than 5 minutes apart) and, like Ava's birth, focusing on my breathing helped me get through each one.


I was anxious to know how I was progressing so my nurse checked me again (laying down for those checks made for some HARD contractions) and I was now 7 cm dilated. In between contractions I could feel baby moving...and I was suddenly overwhelmed with sadness knowing how much I'd miss being pregnant. This go-around giving birth I was buckled down tight on an emotional roller coaster! But Adam put a smile on my face by talking about how awesome it's going to be when we finally hold our son or daughter. That desire to meet our babe and find out if it is a boy or girl has given me extra motivation to get through the contractions and push harder--with all three of my births.


Midnight came and went and I felt like pushing was right around the corner. I asked my doctor to break my water (it doesn't break on its own) and as soon as he did that a wave of contractions came, and came hard. Within minutes I told them I needed to push...at 12:18am, with everything I had, I focused low, and pushed..."There's a head!" the doctor said. To say I was shocked was an understatement! I took a few breaths and pushed again..."It's a boy!!" Adam said! I could hear the joy and some laughter in his voice (remember, we had both guessed girl;) but I couldn't get my eyes to open for what felt like eternity, shock maybe? But when I did, oh my goodness it was LOVE. Heaven and Earth touched, and our BOY was here.


Our doctor handed him to me and with tears in my eyes I said something like, "Hey little guy, you sure are messy. Goodness I love you!" Haha ;) I kissed him and snuggled his tiny body, looked at his Dad, and soaked in the euphoric feeling that WE DID IT. There's nothing like it! After the umbilical cord stopped pumping, Adam cut it, and they took our little boy to be measured, weighed, and get prints of those tiny feet. :) He was 6 lbs 13 oz and 19 inches long. He was calm during all of that, and then came over to cozy up with mama. That first feeding, with Adam by my side...I'll treasure it forever.


My two handsome boys went off so the littler one could get his first "bath" and then they met me in the room we'd be staying in the next few days. Adam headed home to get a good night's rest, I stayed and enjoyed the magic of our first middle of the night feeding (trying to enjoy those still, but it's getting harder, haha). I went to sleep looking forward to introducing Brooks and Ava to their new baby brother in the morning!


When they came I was so so excited to see them and squeeze their little, but not-so-little-now-compared-to-baby-brother, bodies! And they were happy to be with Mom. :) Dad and I introduced them to their brother, Ava was more than excited to snuggle the "Beebee!" I suspected that, she's always been a little mama. We giggled and counted his toes and found his tiny nose. I was in heaven! Brooks just wanted Dad at this time and was very hesitant. I could see he was almost getting upset and not wanting anything to do with the baby. It was then I remembered I had a tiny "gift from baby" for them. I pulled out two Pez Candy toys  and told them their little brother wanted to give these to them. Brooks was thrilled with his Buzz Lightyear Pez, and I think it warmed him up to our new addition. ;) His little heart melted a bit, and watching him be so tender with his brother was magic! Adam helped Brooks be "so careful" with the baby, Ava was coloring, I was beyond content watching it all, and in that moment our little family was complete. I'm so glad I have these photos--physical records of memories I'll never forget.


It took us a week to decide on his name...Boston Karl Kjar. Karl after my Dad, a man whose footsteps we hope Boston follow in. :)

Now, it hasn't been easy adjusting to to caring for three little ones at home. If it wasn't for Brooks' preschool, I'm pretty sure days would go by without us leaving the house. But we take things one day at a time, and we are SO happy our Boston is here. Brooks and Ava have been incredible with him...kisses and snuggles around the clock. We love you sweet boy!!

*** And a huge thank you to Malissa Mabey for taking these photos! They are treasures to me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bumping



I've abandoned this poor blog of mine (it's Instagram's fault, haha)...but LOTS has happened since my last update. Biggest and best: we added another member to our family! But before I can share details on that little miracle, here are some awesome and awkward memories from my pregnancy. :)

Awkward: 
- Losing my breathe when tieing shoes and buckling sandals, or bending down to do anything really. ;)
- Feeling like my ya-hoo is going to fall off due to funky pressure "downstairs". Umm. Tmi? Not sure how else to explain it.
- Trying to squeeze past someone, thinking there's enough room and definitely forgetting my width, so I bump them with my bump. Oops.
- Being asked by a stranger at the park if I was going to have a boy. I answer, "We'll see! We like to wait and be surprised. What makes you think boy?" She looked down at my ankles, "Oh, you're swollen." Well, thanks.
- Squatting down to pick up the receipt I was handed then dropped, and feeling the crotch of my pants rip. Greeeaaaaat.
 - Walking out of the doctor's office with splotches of the belly-jelly (ultrasound gel) on my shirt. I was feeling all sorts of classy.
- Much of the time I walked around like an old woman because of my intense lower back pain. I won't miss that.

 Awesome:
- Feeling and watching the baby kick and stretch in my belly. Never loses its magic!
- Brooks turned 2 the week before his little sister was born, so he wasn't really aware of what was happening...but this go-around he's much more excited about baby brother or sister! And I think it's rubbing off on Ava. :)
- Knowing Brooks' or Ava's clothes will be used by this second boy or girl!
- Closing my eyes and imagining bringing this babe into the world. I treasure my experiences giving birth, and my heart can hardly wait to open up and feel love for another little one after laboring to get him or her here.
- I was nervous to be pregnant through the summer, but it hasn't been as dreadfully hot as I expected. Plus I don't have to suck in for even a second in my swim suit. Haha, I'm ridiculous. ;)
- Brooks and Ava love to feel the baby move (okay, sometimes I move it so they think it's the baby;) I get to watch them get so excited, and then I feel their bellies. Sweetest back and forth interaction. :)
- I had this little "vision" of Brooks and Ava helping me rub lotion on our freshly bathed babe...it was a boy, and his little arms and legs were wiggling around and big brother and sister were giggling the whole time.

The babe's birth story will be coming tomorrow. Feeling beyond blessed thinking back. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Late night tub time

Lots of tickling and kisses happened during Brooks and Ava's tub time last night. You would have never thought they were driving each other cray-zy allllll day yesterday. ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries Vol. IV: Adventure


Dear Ava,

"To live would be an awfully big adventure." -- J.M. Barrie

You should read that in an English accent, because that brilliant author is English and I think it sounds more beautiful that way. ;) Aves, I love that quote, it's simple but powerful. I interpret it as saying that truly living and appreciating each day and each experience makes for an adventurous life!

Your adventures and life experiences do not have to be perfect or go just as planned to be wonderful. Sometimes the ones that have uncomfortable bumps or unexpected left turns are the ones we treasure and never want to forget! They shape and mold us. I'd say being a mother has been one of those adventures for me. You and Brooks are my greatest adventures yet, and I know your Dad agrees. We've felt a rainbow of emotions because each of you have stolen our hearts--the highest of highs, moments of pure peace, and lows that are hard to describe. But you are allowing us to live life more richly! And loving you gives your Dad and I a taste of how much our Heavenly Parents love us. Being able to experience and see life through your ever-learning eyes has been such a gift.  

You have turned mundane moments into pure magic. I can only hope that you continue to soak up and appreciate life's little and big adventures...

Dance in the kitchen--it's our favorite dance floor. ;)

Pick funky ice-cream flavors.

Be brave and be kind to those whom others are not. And introduce yourself to the "new kid" at school.

Go on trips and talk to strangers along the way.

Never take a sunset for granted. Or cool sheets in the summer time. A warm house in the winter time. Or true friends that will always have your back.

Be weird. I promise, everyone else is too. :)

After you find your other half and get married, keep dating him.

Rock your babies to sleep.

Soak up nature! On short walks take your shoes off to feel the grass on your feet. And on multi-day backpacking trips take time to be still and pray to God out loud in His creations.

Laugh when you feel like it, and even when you don't.

Cry when you're sad, and when you're happy.

Write down spiritual experiences you have.

Add as many stamps to your passport as possible.

If you get to visit Niagra Falls and you take the 'Maid of the Mist' tour, stick your tongue out when you're getting sprayed by the water's mist. It's kind of gross, but kind of awesome. Trust me. ;)

Forgive. Yourself and others. It can be insanely hard, but is insanely liberating too.

And wear your babies Ava. Being able to wear you in our slings, at home or on our travels, has made for some of my most treasured motherhood moments.

I love you. And I love our adventures together.

Love,
Mom


PS - These photos are from last night's adventures into the city--the Salt Lake City Capitol sure is gorgeous! Loved wearing you for a bit, and I'm grateful Dad took the photos he did. I treasure them. :) It was such a lovely spring evening with you guys, my favorites.


*** In all of these photos I am wearing Ava in our Simple Silk Sakura Bloom sling, in Bittersweet.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Honey Cilantro Lime Chicken & Mango Avocado Salsa



We're trying to be better about what we put in our bodies over here. Goodness it's not always easy, we all love our baked goods and ice cream. haha ;) But I know it's what we need! Cheers to whole foods. Tonight's dinner was all sorts of delicious. I especially loved that it included blackberry honey my sweet brother and his partner got us for Christmas, local from their Whidbey Island home. :) It was fun creating in the kitchen tonight and I wanted to share the recipes...



HONEY LIME CILANTRO CHICKEN
(adapted from food.com's Cilantro Chicken)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 1/2 Tbs honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Trim and rinse chicken breast then place in a shallow baking pan (I used an 8x8" glass dish). In a small pan, melt coconut oil and set aside. In a small bowl, mix lime juice, cilantro, garlic, honey, melted coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Pour over chicken and turn pieces to coat evenly. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes (I marinated mine for about 7 hours and it worked great!). I cooked my chicken on our George Foreman at the lowest setting (300 degrees) for about ______ minutes, until there was no pink in the middle. Grilling them would be amazing though! Enjoy!

MANGO AVOCADO SALSA

1 mango
2 avocados
2 roma tomatoes
1/4 orange bell pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
juice of 2 limes

Chop, dice, and mix it all together! Put in a bowl with a lid or plastic wrap to seal it, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

PS - I posted the photo below on instagram last summer, but in case you want a fun and easy way to cut a mango, here ya go! I'd just cut the squares/cubes much smaller for the salsa.



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