Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Recap: Zions Edition

This summer has been fast and furious, but one of my favorite to date. You know when you get that itch that you need to go on vacation? Well I got it, and I itched it and itched it, and itched it again. Between the 3 of us, we've been gone the majority of the summer. Sadly, most of the time it wasn't together. Luckily, this trip was!

The beginning of June is when I got a little itchy for adventure. So we talked our friends, Jake and Heidi, into go with us down to Zion's National Park for some hiking. Some of us had never been and some of us hadn't been in forever so we were excited to get some exploring in. We rented and drove down in this tank of a car, because why would we want to drive separate!?


Good times were had by all. It was hot but Zions is surprisingly shady -- in the good way. With kids things were a little more slow going, but I think it helped us stop and enjoy the amazing beauty that was around us. The first day we started things off with a hike along the river walk and the beginning of the narrows, which was covered about 80% by water, so we didn't make it as far as we wanted. It got a little slippery and I was a wreck with the babes in the backpacks. Of course, everyone ended up safe, sounds, and drowsy by the end of the day. We actually made it home with only the most minor of scrapes and zero sunburns!



Funny side story: We got all the way down to Jeremy's grandparent's house (where we stayed) and unloaded the car, and at 2 a.m. we realized that Ellie had NO CLOTHES, as in, we forgot her whole bag. At home. Luckily, I packed diapers and the super basics, but no clothing. Don't worry, her sunglasses made it though. Thank goodness, Jeremy's grandma is always prepared and Ellie had jammies, church clothes, and hiking apparel. Oh, and Holden was kind enough to donate a pair of his shorts for the weekend. It's amazing how much you really don't need when it comes down to it.



We love the Allens! Heidi and I have been friends since freshmen year of college. We lived on the same floor in the dorms and were in the same Kappa pledge class. People are always telling us we look like sisters, and I honestly think that's just what we are, long lost sisters. She gets me, like really gets me. Our hubbs get along swimmingly, which thank goodness for that because it doesn't always work out so well. Also, our kids, they're getting married. Holden and Ellie love each other already!



These two were troopers, I think they liked being on their daddy's backs better than being out.








I'd say day one was a success. We drove home tired and filthy and I loved every second of it!

Day two Heidi and I started the day off by carrying the babies on our backs. We didn't make it a full day, but we had some fun along the way and I thoroughly enjoyed the extra calories burned. Thanks Elles! Those hiking carries are da bomb! I want one, in a bad way. But, until I'm ready to chalk up the cash renting one for $20 is fine by me.



 Ellie got some of the best naps of her life in that thing. Happy as a clam.


The second day ended up being my favorite. We hiked the 3 emerald pools, but got lost between the 2nd and 3rd pools somehow and we ended up scaling up the side of a mountain only to find out we'd hit a dead and and had to scale back down. Of course, Ellie was on my back for this one. See that picture above? It's of a vertical beast. J.rue is literally standing above me. I was proud.

Once we made it to the 3rd pool though, it was well worth it.




Needless to say, we left a little bit of our hearts in Zions and I can't wait to go back. Not pictured were our delish food escapades. There was tacos, pizza, and ice cream involved. Also, tip: we packed a bunch of snacks, meat, cheese, and the most delicious pretzel rolls (from costco of course!) and snacked our hearts out. It was so nice having food on the go. And really, the tip was to just go and buy a bag of those pretzel rolls because you will die and go to heaven. Really, you will.

This trip was also a little bitter sweet because it was the last time that we got to be with j.rue's sweet grandpa Burdell. He passed away about a month later and I am eternally grateful that Ellie got to love on him one last time. I'm so thankful for the knowledge that we'll see him again.



Summer recap, part one: over and out!

Monday, August 11, 2014

FULL HEAD, EMPTY BLOG



So I just had a birthday not too long ago and it was wonderful and glorious and everything that I would want in a 25th birthday (except that j.rue was in India). Also, I love having a birthday in July. It's (kind of) halfway through the year so it's the perfect distance from Christmas (optimal present distribution) and it's the perfect time for a new beginning. I'm not planning a major life overhaul or anything, I'm actually quite content. However, I do want to use my little internet space to write more.

Why oh why is it so hard for me to sit my bum down and write though? I mean, really, it's hard for me. Usually because I have a million other things that I really need to be doing. But honestly, I think I need this too. I really do have a head full of so so many thoughts and poor j.rue can't be expected to listen to ALL of them. Yes, most of them, but all of them, that would just be cruel. You know, what I mean?


So, here's how it's going to go: I'm going to write and I'm going to do it more often. It's so amazingly therapeutic. Plus I'm feeling terrible Ellie's first amazing year of life hasn't been better recorded. That girl, she is a good one and deserves to be recorded and even this is easier than keeping an actual journal. The best I'm doing is a "one line a day" journal but if we're being completely honest, sometimes I catch up on 3 weeks at a time so there's that...

Is anyone else devastated that summer is almost gone?! Every time I think about it I have a panic attack, throw Ellie in her swim suit and head to the pool, which is not completely a bad thing. Girl loves the pool in her floaty. But at the same time, I'm REALLY excited for it to be fall. It's going to be full of birthdays, holidays, snow (yes, I'm actually excited for snow) and we're not going to miss a second. Last Christmas it was all I could do to kind of decorate for Christmas. I'm kind of  a wuss when it comes to having babies so I plan on going full throttle this year. From September 26th (j.rue's birthday!!! all the way to January 1st). Decorating, baking, family outings. I'm pumped. Now I need to go an make a list...



This really has been a good summer though. Our little family has been to Wisconsin, California, Zions, Glendale, St. George, and India (that's all j.rue, but it still counts) and everywhere along the Wasatch front. We've played in the pool, eaten too many delicious meals, added to our family, and have spent some good late nights with some of our favorite people. I'm hoping to have at least one post for each of our out of stater destinations, but you guys, I'm only human. And only a human that sucks at updating her blog so let's not get too carried away. But really, I want to.


Okay, I could seriously write a novel RIGHT NOW, but it wouldn't be very good. So to wrap this up, j.rue is home from India after 3 longs weeks of absence. I've learned a lot about myself, like when one of your 3 is in India and the second of your 3 hardly eats solids, dinner doesn't happen too often. I am capable of changing a million diapers in a row, but I don't like it, and babies miss their daddies too much for them to be gone for that long. Also, Ellie is SO COOL right now. Really, I just revel in her day in and day out.

SO MUCH MORE TO WRITE. Until next time!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter 2014

Friday evening we joined our better halves and dyed some Easter eggs. Brookie was the egg dying extraordinaire and shared her stickers with Ellie. Sadly, Ellie forgetful mother left the eggs at J&M's house. It was still fun, none the less. 


Melinda was born to be a hostess and always have the cutest set-ups. She had a latte bowl for every color. I envy her latte bowl collection, so much!


Earlier that day Melinda and I got to escape for a 3 hour lunch free of kids. We couldn't remember the last time we had done that and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We ordered our Zupas and chatted the afternoon away. Of course I wouldn't let Melinda leave without a run to Krispy Kreme and Sonic. I arrived home to a happy but hungry baby and a relived husband. Don't get me wrong, he loves spending time with his baby, but he can't feed her and that adds a little bit of extra pressure.


After the egg dying extravaganza, dinner was eaten (burgers and fries) and House Bunny was watched, because you know bunnies and Easter and such :) It was a late night so we decided to stay for a sleep over. Ellie didn't mind sleeping in her old bed and she didn't mind waking up to her favorite cousin even more.


The girls snuggled in bed and made googly eyes at each other. Brooklyn is so sweet with Ellie. She couldn't have lucked out more with an older cousin.




Then a bath was in order. Ellie saddled up in the bumbo (which kind of floats) and Brooklyn helped me wash her hair. She was also kind enough to show Ellie the ropes of a big girl bath. I think Ellie's excited to graduate from the kitchen sink.


We hit up an Easter egg hunt at Sonic and Ellie managed to get her hands on a couple eggs (thanks to j.rue) and got 3 jolly ranchers and 2 snickers. We gladly donated them to Brookie's Easter candy collection. 

On Sunday morning the Easter bunny visited Ruesch Manor and it was so fun watching Ellie poke through her basket. Even though she didn't have a clue what was going on, she still brought some magic back to the holiday. Holidays with kids are about a million times more fun.



My mom was alone so we decided to join her for church. I really really wanted a family picture in our Easter duds but Ellie had a blowout in her dress during church so we walked out of there in a diaper and blanket. Oh she was proud. I tried to get a couple photos of us after, this is the best I got. She's a little reacher.


Lucky for Ellie, the Easter bunny got confused and also dropped off a basket for her at Cece's as well. Double spoiled.


She got some more bubbles and books and bears. She's a fan of the bubbles.


I have about a million darling photos of her, but I'll spare you...unless you're friends with me on google +, then beware. Oh and we also tried to fly a kite. J.rue ran that sucker from one end of the field to the other but to no avail. Ellie and I didn't mind watching though. Hopefully next time we can get it up in the air.


I love Easter. It always feels likes a new beginning with spring and the sweet reminder of our Savior and his love for us. I think next year we're going to invite the Easter bunny over on Saturday so we can better focus on the true meaning of Easter come Sunday.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ELLIE'S FIRST EASTER DRESS

If it seems like we celebrate holidays for an extended period of time...you'd be correct. We love to squeeze every bit of celebratory goodness out of every holiday possible. Our Easter weekend started on Friday. My sweet MIL sent the girlies over the most precious Easter dresses and we couldn't wait to get them dressed up and snap a few pictures of them. Melinda and Brooklyn Jayde came over and we headed up the street to probably the cutest house in all of Kaysville, complete with chickens of course.


I had to wake Ellie up from a nap so she wasn't the happiest gal, but I managed to snap a couple decent photos. Brooklyn looked beautiful. She is the biggest girly girl and make sure to point out her beautiful yip gloss. She was glowing. I'm so excited for Ellie to grow up with her cousins. I never lived close to mine growing up and I feel like I missed out. She already loves Brooklyn with all her heart and I know she'll love her new cousin Kendall just as much.


I realized after Friday that I'm not good at taking photos, but lucky for me, these girls look cute none the less.

I seriously couldn't get enough of this sweet dress. I don't think I could have found a cuter one if I could have tried. The little details are to die for. Luckily I had a little bracelet that matched perfectly and I couldn't pass up this little peeps bunny headband.



...Easter weekend festivities up next!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A HALF BIRTHDAY & A BIRTH STORY...FINALLY

Today my little Eleanor Blythe turned 6 months, half a year! I've been a mother to this beautiful little soul for half a year. I couldn't be more lucky! As I write this she's sitting in her bumbo, sucking on those dumb straps that will never be used for their intended purpose, and cooing at me. She has a light in her eyes that's indescribably joyful and I'm convinced that it's my purpose to keep that light right where it is.



Today I woke up tired and completely unmotivated and I'm pretty sure Ellie did too. Then I realized it was a birthday day and celebrations needed to happen. We ate some delish ice cream for breakfast and I put Ellie in her confetti dress and we joined Melinda and Brookie at the park. I most definitely have a sun baby, too bad her poor fair skin doesn't agree. It was a lovely day...but how about a birth story?

Please note: this is long and the pictures of me are...not cute.

The last week of my pregnancy was quite the ride. I started the week off with two solid days off puking my guts out. I then finished the week at work, wept as I walked away from the U and my wonderful job and co-workers on Friday, watched more like slept through General Conference on Saturday and Sunday and then spent that Monday (my actual due date) in labor. I didn't know it though.

I had some irregular contractions early early Monday morning from about 2 - 3 am and then I was just mostly uncomfortable for the rest of the day. Other bodily things happened, but I'll spare you. I actually didn't pack my hospital back until my actual due date, ugh I can be such a procrastinator. Honestly though, through all of my dr. appointments no one thought this little gal was going to be coming on her own. We had an induction scheduled for the 14th, the following Sunday. I was dilated to like 0.5 and about 40% effaced. Would you have gotten excited over those numbers? Me either.



Monday night around 10 p.m. J.rue and I finished up our frozen burritos and I started getting contractions again. I was sure that they would be around for just a little bit like the morning before, but they stayed around. I sent j.rue to bed just in case we would have to take an early morning drive up to the U Hospital. I showered (3 times) to try to help the pain, but to no avail. I figured that since I was showered I might as well get ready. My contractions started getting gnarly. They would roll from my back to my front and rolled up to my teeth. Every time a new contraction came along I have to grip to sink and tippy toe around. Contractions are miserable.

I called the hospital and they told me to call back once my contractions were 4 minutes apart. I live about 30 minutes away from the U of U so I'd be damned if I was going to be sent home after driving all the way up there, especially in the middle of the night. So, naturally, I started doing laundry. Sitting on our bean bag chair helped...a little. I waited until my contractions got down to 3 minutes and called again. The PA said that I could come in and if I wasn't far enough along they could at least give me pain meds, but she encouraged me to wait until my contractions were two minutes apart. I went upstairs and tried to get some sleep. I had that dumb contraction timer on my phone and I was so tired I started falling asleep between contractions, which were about 3-4 minutes apart. All of a sudden my contractions must have gotten bored and they decided to get irregular and I was waiting 6-8 minutes in between contractions, but I couldn't handle those dang contractions any longer. I woke j.rue up in the grouchiest state (me, not him) and told him that he was driving me to the hospital to get pain meds, and probably nothing more. It was 2 a.m. how cliche.

The roads were deserted and I was grouchy as can be. I wanted j.rue to talk to me, but not about stupid things. I thought women who gave birth naturally were stupid (I REALLY DON'T THINK THIS, I PROMISE). I thought that it was stupid that the U was so far away. It was also stupid that we had to drive anywhere at 2 a.m. when j.rue would have to go to work in the morning. We pulled into the lot and I waddled/limped into the hospital. The super nice security guard offered me a wheelchair (which I declined because...? Ugh, so dumb when I'm in pain) and took us up to labor and delivery.

We were then greeted by the sweetest PA who promptly got me situated and checked. I was holding my breath and telling her that I was sorry for wasting her time. I really just wanted the pain meds so I could get some sleep. She popped her head up (from you know where) and exclaimed that I was at a 5! I broke down in tears. She looked at me flabbergasted. She told me that it meant I could stay, I just had to be at a 4. I replied saying that I knew, I was just SO happy I didn't have to drive all the way home. She quickly gave me my IV, told me that it would hurt much more than my epidural that I was about to get and sent me on my way.

I had a lovely labor and delivery nurse. She promply gave me pain meds because I had to wait about 30 minutes for my epidural. Of course they started asking me important questions AFTER those loopy pain meds. Remember how I am on laughing gas? Well, this wasn't as bad, but kind of close. My resident (yes you read that right RESIDENT) finally arrived to give me my epidural . It took him 3 times and 30 minutes to get that sucker in. You know how my PA told me that the IV would hurt way worse. No. Just no. The nasty pressure is indescribable and feeling blood run down my back. Yes. Plus, he didn't have a single shred of humor, which is a huge problem for me because I say stupid things when I'm nervous. It's my coping mechanism. He didn't find me entertaining, not one bit.



Once that joyful task had been completed several nurses started the prep. I was wondering when they were going to break my water, but I wasn't going to ask. I'd heard that a tool, which closely resembles a crocheting needle was used, so you know. that didn't sound scary

The nurses were having a hard time keeping track of Eleanor's heart beat so they had me put on an oxygen mask, I'm still not totally sure why, but I'm not one to ask questions. Okay I am, but really, I was in labor. The plastic smell of the mask made me super nauseated. I politely asked for a bowl, but I kind of learned that you can't ask for things politely, you must ask for them urgently. Luckily, I figured that out right in time for them to get a bowl beneath my mouth. At the same time I was throwing up a felt a huge gush of water. I was SO relieved! I wouldn't have to go one of one with that crochet needle at all! One of the nurses checked and she then informed that that I had actually peed my pants, but probably in more medical terms, and that I hadn't broken my water. Nuts. So I had my water broken, it wasn't so  bad really. I actually just didn't look.

Rule numero uno whilst giving birth. Release yourself of any and all expectations of obtaining any pride. It will briskly be stripped from you, I promise.



Right after this second joyous event my mom and brother arrived. While they watched movies and ate snacks, I ate ice chips and tried to ignore the fact that my epidural was starting to ware off on one side. Since the nurses couldn't keep track of Ellie's heart beat I was told to lay on my left side and that I couldn't move to any other position. You better believe that I pushed that epidural button every 10 minutes on the dot.

(pushing the button)

Around 7 am they were still having a hard time keeping track of little Ellie's heartbeat so they had to put one of those heart rate monitors in her head...while she was still inside. I still shudder thinking about it. I didn't even know they could do things like that. Around 8:00 the nurses sent my mom and brother to get lunch. J.rue almost went, but decided that I shouldn't be left to my own devices, thank goodness!

Right after they exited to breakfast the nurses started prepping me for practice pushes. I honestly don't think there was a time when I felt dumber. They would tell me to push and I seriously could not tell if I was or not. I know this all could have been avoided, but seriously. No. So for the next couple minutes I "tried" pushing. All of a sudden my doctor arrived and said I was having a baby...now. I kept saying that  he was mistaken. I was actually doing to start pushing around 9, because it makes sense to argue with your doc. He simply responded with, no you're having this baby now and these forceps are going to help. Then walked in the two biggest sizes of salad tongs that I've ever seen in my life. Shudder. I don't even know which size they used, and I'm completely fine with that.

I started pushing (I think) while frantically asking the nurses to page my mom. I pushed 3 times in two rounds and am pretty sure that very little, if any, progress was made. Finally my mom showed up so I had j.rue on one side and my mom on the other, I was feeling pretty okay about everything. Thank goodness because all of a sudden there were about 15 people squished around me and my doc said that if I didn't get her out this round of pushes, we'd be having a c-section. I've never tried to do anything so hard in my life. I pushed with all my guts and I felt a release of pressure and our Eleanor was here at 8:30, 15 minutes after I started pushing. Yikes!



They cleaned her up and I had her on my chest in seconds. I couldn't believe she was here! I kept asking if she was cute (I already knew she was) and saying that "I have a baby!" but I was too tired and too scared to move her body to get a good look at her. My mom was crying and I'm pretty sure j.rue got a little teary eyed as well.  I finally got my hands on my phone and saw the most angelic little face as wide awake as could be. I then checked for a butt chin and hair. She had both and I was more than okay with that.



Oh and while all of this was going on they stitched me up. It took them LONGER to stitch me up than it did to push her out. Can you guess how my recovery went? Let's just say that when the epidural wore off the first words out of my mouth were "people willingly do this twice?"


Of course I would do it again a million times just to get my sweet Ellie again, it just took a month or four to get to that conclusion.



The rest of my hospital stay was stressful and painful, thank goodness for percocet and stool softeners (yes I said it, if you want, I'll shout it from the roof tops!) It wasn't all bad though. I had the best nurses a girl could as for, was spoiled with visits, and got to snuggle my baby cakes all the live long day. I chose to send her away to the nursery both nights and I felt terrible at first, but then I got to sleep, so I got over it pretty quickly. The night nurse did mention that Ellie was already a leader. She had a lovely soprano voice that started a chorus of soprano voices at 3 am. That's my girl. The only thing I regret is that I don't have a picture of the 3 of us that I can find ANYWHERE! I hated how I looked so that was probably a factor, but I'm not missing out on that next time. J.rue was there for every second and was and still continues to be the most patient, loving, and supportive husband and daddy every. Ellie and I couldn't have lucked out more and we thank our Heavenly Father for him every day.



Maybe I'll write about my recovery sometime, but it was hard and it was long, and I don't want to paint giving birth in a negative light. But I did learn that every recovery is different and if you're in pain it's legitimate even if the girl next to you was running errands two days later. Oh how I hope for a recovery that quickly next time around.


Anyway, that's how our sweet Eleanor came to be and it makes my heart flutter just reliving it while writing this post. I've never loved anyone the way I love her and I feel so blessed that she's mine, and forever at that.