Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Yes, these are about 9 months late... 
I realized I'd never put up Ellis' 1-year photos that I took when he was 15 months :)
Mom of the year here...
Better late than never! 

I miss his long hair so bad!










Monday, November 19, 2012


look at those little boogers.
i'm really tired and getting into that 'what am i doing still awake when my 2 month old has been asleep for almost 2 hours and could potentially wake up any minute!?!' part of the night. so i really need to get to bed! damon is in marshaltown, about an hour away, on a psych rotation where he has to stay the night monday nights- it sucks! i'm so excited for him to get home tomorrow evening, and then a few hours later for my sister and her husband to get here for Thanksgiving!! i'm excited to have some other people here when damon is gone to hang out with, and i'm sure ellis is ready to hang out with somebody other than me!

my brain is on pause, so i'll have to write more another time (i'll try not to make it almost a month before my next post! maybe i'll actually put my camera out on the table and use it in the next few days. i have realized i'm really going to regret not taking more pictures of our life right now, with these 2 little dudes and our little life here in iowa and all the craziness we do. i've got to try harder there...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

catch-up photo bomb!

Woohoo, we made it through our first Holiday! Well technically Holloween isn't over, but here in Iowa it is. I don't understand the point of it, but here they do 'Beggars Night' as Halloween... It happens the day before Halloween usually, and the kids trick or treat by going house to house and reciting jokes (usually) for the candy... I don't understand why they can't do it on the actual night, but Iowa is just weird like that.  Both of the boys were skeletons this year. I bought Ellis' skeleton hoodie after Halloween last year at Target for probably $3, and then on Saturday we went to Old Navy to return a pair of pants and they had 1 skeleton pj left for $4- a size bigger than Hudson is in, but it worked perfect! Damon and I didn't dress up, cause we are lazy and uncreative. Haha. Maybe next year! Here are lots of pictures from the last week...

We had some decent rain last week and tons of mushrooms popped up outside our fence. So Ellis spend some time Mushroom Hunting. Kinda like Easter Egg Hunting but weirder.




A rare moment...



Ellis loves the pumpkins he has... We got this one to carve but I don't think we can kill it. He also has 2 little ones, one that he painted at the DMU Halloween party, and another that he stole from said party. He takes them to bed with him most nights, and even brought one to church to play with on Sunday.

Trick or Treating! or Begging, or whatever...

Little Hud is getting cuter and cuter, I can't even stand his cute cheeks (ok, they aren't the biggest cheeks, but they are compared to what Ellis had, and they are so soft.) and his happy smiles.











Thursday, October 18, 2012

Maybe soon

I've been asked lately when I'm going to update the blog here... I really wish I was better at it right now. I wish I was better at taking and sharing more pictures of the boys or talking about fun things we do or are planning or big changes in our lives...
But really, I just can't handle it...
I hate to leave family hanging, waiting for updates on Ellis and Hudson, but I really have nothing super great to write about, and the most I do is take phone pictures of them (and post to instagram most days, if you want to follow me there! @taratoday)

Maybe soon I'll be able to do regular posts again.
It might be when Hudson sleeps through the night (Ellis was pretty much at this point, and I think Hud has a long way to go)
Or when Ellis isn't in time out all throughout the day for hitting the baby or spitting
Or when Hudson starts being able to put himself to sleep, instead of needing to be rocked/bounced/shushed for sometimes hours before he'll doze off... Or at least when he doesn't have to be held constantly when he's awake
Maybe when he has less gas
Or when I can go more than 2 weeks without getting mastitis and want to give up nursing altogether
Maybe when I feel like I can handle not sleeping at night, then being productive during the day and playing with Ellis instead of turning to Disney Jr., and also making dinner every night...
When I don't feel like I need to get away every single day, need a break and alone time every night and need dr. pepper to get through the hours at home
Or when I don't talk to my best friend on the phone on her birthday and spend about all of the conversation telling her how hard it is to have 2 kids
Or when I don't consider every hour of the day starting Babywise with a 5 week old.
Maybe when I feel like we might actually have another kid someday.


It may be another few weeks. I hope it's not long.
I guess I'll see ya when I do?





video

Friday, September 21, 2012

12 days

We took some pictures of Hudson yesterday, a little past the time it's ideal to do newborn pictures, but I'm a major slacker. He was pretty wide awake the entire time, but I think we got a couple cute ones, or at least one we can hang up on the wall.  Hudson is a great baby, we love having him around.

 Ellis is still adjusting, throwing tantrums and whining a lot.  Also he's pretty defiant which makes me want to pull my hair out.  He especially likes to push buttons by walking up to the baby and screaming as loud and high as possible, or pushing the swing really hard when Hudson is in it (we may be getting rid of the thing, the baby pretty much can't use it at all without getting whiplash or Ellis havinga complete meltdown/tantrum when he sees the baby in it), or banging on the bedroom door when Hudson is asleep inside, or head-butting him... It's a lovely list. Luckily he has a few cute redeeming qualities that keep us from selling him on Craigslist.

It's hard to believe we've gone from 3 to 4, it's definitely weird to drive around with 2 little boys in the backseat.  Yesterday we went to Walmart for groceries and had to have 2 carts, one for Ellis and Hudson in the carseat, and one for food... I'm guessing I'll never go shopping during the day again (at least I hope not, right now).  We don't leave the house much while Damon has been gone during the day, I'm not sure when that might happen.  On Wednesday I tried to go to playgroup which was in the morning, but by the time I got the 3 of us ready and Hudson fed (him eating every 2 hours is really cramping to any type of activities we try to do, at least for now until nursing is better), we had completely missed playgroup... I'm hoping I'll be able to get it together soon!








Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hudson's story...

It's taken a while, but I'm finally sitting down to write about Hudson and the crazy awesome last Sunday we had. We have sure been enjoying him the last 6 days.  He is pretty content and easy, he sleeps all day and is sleeping much better at night, because he's sleeping with us. He must like memory foam better than a thin bassinet mattress.  He just has his mama's taste for the finer things.  This is long long long!!

I knew I wanted to have Hudson at home from the beginning.  I'd been studying home birth (and pregnancy/labor/deliver in general) since I was pregnant with Ellis. With our first, we both felt more comfortable being in a hospital, since as much as you can learn in a book, you have no idea what to really expect when the real thing happens.  Ellis' birth was great, but many things happened in the hospital (and even before the hospital, with being pushed into an induction I didn't want) that I had wanted to avoid.  I don't have many memories from the labor, though I know I was really out of it the whole time, and because of that, it was probably much more difficult than it should have been (I'd been given an Ambien the night before, right after they'd started my induction- and silly me, never having taken sleep meds, didn't question why I needed it).  This time, from the get go I was determined to have a completely different experience.  Damon took a little more convincing.  2 years of med school had trained him to look for every possible thing that can go wrong.  Which is not the best way to look at pregnancy and birth.  But eventually, he came around.  We didn't tell many people we were having Hudson at home, because I didn't want to deal with the judgements of those around us (most of whom had never researched the whole process at all, but still seemed to have big and often false notions of it).  I told some people and got looks and weird questions or accusations.  I wasn't the kind of person to do that sort of thing.  I wasn't a hippy. Why would I want to put my baby in danger (That one made me the most angry- anybody who is a mother would never do anything to put her child in danger, especially just to accomplish something or go against the grain)?  What if something went wrong?  And of course, lots of horror stories of how if so-and-so had not been born in the hospital, they would have died, etc etc etc.  So I stopped mentioning it until closer to the end, to a few people here and there.

My midwife is a great woman, she took a little warming up to- she is very to-the-point and direct and not very mushy, which is really nice, it just took a while to feel completely comfortable with her, but it happened, and I am grateful to her for the care she took of our little family.  She is a Midwife/Nurse Practitioner, and she also brought a nurse along to the birth.

One of our biggest tip-offs that labor was coming was Ellis.  All day saturday he was so clingy and needy and wouldn't eat, we actually thought he was sick and were giving him tylenol.  He wanted Damon to hold him the entire day, from walking around the farmer's market, to just laying on the couch at home.  He is never never like this, and I said to Damon that I just knew that if Ellis was sick that I would have the baby, that was just my luck! I also had a real urge to get things done and buy anything else we needed- in case we did go into labor, that way we wouldn't have to go to the store on Sunday (haha, as if it would have mattered in the moment).  I went to Joann's fabric and finished a couple of blankets off.  I also went to lowes at 8:30 at night to buy things to use the hose to fill my inflatable pool, and cleaned up the house.

I started having contractions around 4:30 Sunday morning.  I really had no idea what to expect, since I didn't go into labor on my own with Ellis, and when labor did start, I was zoned out.  But I was cramping about every 5 minutes from out of nowhere, so I started timing them on my phone app (isn't technology great).  From the get-go, they were lasting over a minute and were anywhere from 4 1/2 minutes to 5 1/2 minutes apart.  I was surprised when they didn't go away, and they progressively got stronger and a little closer.  I got up a lot to walk around, go to the bathroom, and pace (where during one contraction I leaned on the toilet paper roll holder and broke it halfway off the wall, oops!), and then at almost 5:30 Ellis woke up crying.  He never wakes up this early, but like I said, we're pretty sure he knew that something weird was happening.  I got up and rocked him, having contractions the whole time.  Eventually I needed to just be alone, so I took him and woke up Damon, and they laid on the couch together.  I told Damon that I thought today was going to be the day.  I ended up calling my mom to come out earlier than planned, because I thought that Ellis might be sick and I wasn't going to be able to send him to any of our friends since they all had children.  We looked around flights, and of course none of them would have gotten her to Iowa at any decent time, so she ended up driving.

I stayed in our room and blew through contractions, moving around when I could.  Damon and I discussed what we should do with Ellis, and eventually just decided we had to send him somewhere, even if he was sick, because I needed Damon.  Our amazing friends Kelsi and Tom ended up taking him, they planned to come get him right before church at 11.  Sometime around 10 though, they asked if we were sure we didn't want them to take him early, and we jumped at the chance, cause the contractions were really strong and I was moaning my way through them but needing Damon as well.  Tom came and picked up Ellis and I was so sad sending him off, him having no clue what was going on.  I took a shower, hoping the contractions would be easier with the hot water, and Damon worked hard filling up the inflatable pool I'd bought, with a cooler!  Our hose setup didn't quite work out.  I moved all over, and hung out in the pool for a while which was really nice, though the contractions were strong and painful, I could still talk through them.  I called the midwife and told her about where I was at, and she thought I sounded too talky in between contractions (though we were on the phone for one and she listened as I blew and moaned through it and thought maybe I was progressing ok).  She said to call her back if I thought I needed her there soon, she was out at church.  About a half hour later, Damon texted her back saying yes, we wanted her to come.  I was so worried that I wasn't as far along as I'd hoped, cause Ellis' labor took a lot longer to progress and I remember feeling a lot more pain (or not handling it as well, I guess) and then being checked after hours and hours and only being at a 2.

Sheryl showed up sometime around noon and checked me and happily announced that I was at an 8.  I was shocked, it hadn't really seemed all that horrible, even moaning and making Damon squeeze my hips through the contractions each time.  She said she was going outside to bring in her stuff and call her nurse.  When she left I told Damon that I thought maybe she'd just told me I was at an 8 so that I wasn't disappointed that I was only a 3 or so, thus slowing down labor more. She came back in and took up a knitting project while I labored on the living room floor, sometimes just laying down and other times leaning over onto the couch.  After about an hour she checked again, when I'd been getting a little louder in each one, and proclaimed that I was at a 9.  I was again amazed that I was progressing and actually almost at the end! I decided I wanted her to break my water, to get things going cause I didn't want to be doing it much longer.  She did so and I again moved back to the shower, then back to the pool.  After a while, I started getting upset that I wasn't feeling any urge to push, even though at that point I should have been at a 10.  With Ellis, I felt like pushing and after a few minutes couldn't not push, my body just took over and did it on it's own.  This time was completely different, I wasn't feeling anything like that.  Maybe because of a different baby size or positioning... Either way I was getting frustrated and tired, and Sheryl wanted me to get out of the water to see if I could push him down any more anyways, to make sure that we would be able to stay home.  If he didn't progress downwards, the whole party would have had to move to the hospital.  The thought of driving in my current state was horrifying enough for me to try pushing a little, though not very well and not really progressing more.  Eventually, with everyone's help and direction, I was able to work up to very very veeeerrry small pushes each contraction, until eventually after an hour (Damon says, to me it felt like maybe 20 or 30 minutes tops), it started working and Hudson moved down and out!




I was amazed when he was born, I can't believe we did it again, that we had another healthy boy (he had no issues, I think the cord was around his neck once, but that's common and he had zero decels the entire labor so it wasn't an issue at all) but he was very calm when he was born, he didn't cry much at all, he seemed as bewildered as anyone.  We were so happy that we were able to do it all, together and at home.


Within an hour, I had taken a bath with Hudson, then Sheryl took him to be weighed and checked over (he was 8 lbs, 6 oz and 21 inches long), she threw everything away, and was out the door.  It was great, Damon and I just sat there on the couches still in shock that the whole thing was over and that it went so well.  It was amazing to be able to be present for the whole labor- which sounds ridiculous being the one doing all the work.  But I don't remember Ellis, and this one is completely different.  My recovery has been wonderful, I feel better this time (though Ellis' recovery was easy too, I felt) and Hudson has been happy and healthy.

Kelsi brought Ellis home a little later, and we were so excited to show him the baby.  He was interested, glad to be home, and seemed back to his old self.  He calls the baby "bob" or something sounding like that.  It is amazing to know that we have 2 sons, I am overwhelmed that my Heavenly Father has given me such an opportunity to care for two of His children.  I am learning, though it's been probably too easy, since my mom has been here helping so much with Ellis especially, and since Damon has been home every day except a handful of hours in the week we've had Hudson.

Ellis meeting Hudson for the first time

I couldn't have done any of it without Damon by my side. I know he had a much better experience this time also, considering I wasn't a blubbering incoherent mess like with Ellis and could actually get through things more on my own but also could articulate to him what I needed. He was loving and caring and hardworking (lifting those coolers of hot water back and forth to the tub all day!) and I couldn't have done it if he weren't the one with me.









We get a lot of reactions and questions about home birth and why we chose it. The most common  ones are:

Wow! You are amazing and so brave/strong/hippy!
 I honestly don't think  having our baby at home was terribly brave- we had a very experienced and educated midwife, we were well educated on the whole process ourselves, and there was a hospital minutes from home.  Sheryl is not a person to ever put a mother or baby in jeopardy (as is any midwife) just to save face, and she would have sent us straight to the nearest ER or OR if the need had risen).  Honestly, I felt more at risk birthing in a hospital, with the disease present there, the rates of intervention and the snowballing effects of those interventions. Unless I am seriously sick or dying, I never want to be in a hospital again. I knew what to expect pain wise, because I remember being in a lot of pain with Ellis, so that helped me to realize what was happening and that it would eventually end. I think it's funny that people think home birth and see visions of women laboring in the dark with candles burning and dirt floors and some witch doctor tending her or something... I guess I don't find it super hippy or crunchy to do it at home, maybe cause I don't feel like a hippy or a pioneer myself. After Hudson was born we plopped on the couch with a can of Mr. Pibb and watched the newest episode of the Kardashians. Some other home birthers?? Pam Anderson, Demi Moore, Cindy Crawford, Gisele Bundchen, and even my BYU room mate Chelsey, who's a nurse herself!  Pretty good company, none of them do rain dances (that I know of!) or wear home made dresses and no makeup...

Was it messy!??  I think this is what we are asked the most.  People want to know if we got blood and guts all over our carpet and bed and had to have a crime-scene cleanup crew come in.  Actually, it wasn't at all. We used about a pack and a half of those square hospital chucks and there wasn't a drop of blood left on anything we owned. Even better, Sheryl picked up after it all and the house was actually pretty clean when all was over.

Will you do it again?  Yes, I would.  It was very easy and calm and I progressed so fast and easily on my own, being able to move around from floor to shower to pool  to pacing.... It was honestly great.  I am not opposed to a hospital birth if I ever need it.  And an epidural sure sounded kinda nice while I was in the middle of pushing.  But really, I loved being at home.  If we were near a really birth-friendly hospital one day and I could labor there naturally without being so bothered, I would do it- mostly cause I missed the snack room with the fountain machine in it.

video

*i have enabled the 'no right-click' setting on the blog, to try to protect my pictures (and my babies) a little bit here on the internet.  i've had many friends who've had pictures stolen and used elsewhere, and that's not cool, you know? sorry it's super annoying to not be able to right-click links, i'll try to think of a better way of doing things! for now, i'd rather people have to ask for a file than just keep them on the internet for anyone to misuse. i have no problem sending images to anyone interested though!*

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

For Michelle! =)

Cause I miss you sooooo!!!

I've been the worst blogger in all of blogland the last few months. There aren't any excuses, I just don't feel like it. About ever....

But it's time for an update.

Since we got back from St. Louis we've been just hanging out, cleaning and organizing, and enjoying our time as a family of 3.  We've gone swimming and shopping and organized every room and closet in our little apartment to make room for one more.

Here are some pics from the last little bit (some of them are on instagram so sorry if anyone is tired of them yet!)

Ellis gets super bored here at home during the day. Which makes no sense to me cause I would love to spend a day laying on the couch watching HGTV for 8 hours straight. But he doesn't think that's fun. So I try to get him somewhere each day. Some days its just to the car, where we go somewhere and sit in the AC and he plays with the radio dials and emergency light button.  Other days we take field trips to places like Krispy Kreme. (it's no Round Rock donut, never will be, but I do like those sour cream ones)  Ellis had a cotton candy donut and wouldn't wear a hat.  Then we left and he ran away from me in the parking lot and I got to chase after him. I know why parents buy those kid leashes, and if they were socially acceptable, I'd have one.

We also got to go to a Cubs game the other night! We went with a few ward friends and Ellis had a blast walking back and forth down the row of chairs and cheering for something, he's not sure what.  After 4 or so innings, we headed out to .... QT!  Where we got nachos and hot dogs and a root beer to eat on the ride home, for dinner. Cause we're classy like that...

Ellis' favorite person is dad, and after Damon finally came back to Iowa he decided that DAD IS THE  BEST PERSON EVER!!!! He follows him around and wants to be held and cries if he leaves the room and just wants to do everything dad does.  Also, as you can see, he lets dad dress him.


Ellis' new favorite thing is to pray. Which is awesome. He does it all the time. Including in the pool while swimming and meeting neighbors, during conversations, and sometimes, appropriately at church or at night when we pray together as a family. But usually at night he likes to wander around instead and figure out ways to get out of going to bed.

We've been doing lots of fun cleaning and organizing and purging of junk and buying of more junk and wandering stores like it's going out of style. Ellis loves looking at fish and finding things to destroy or carry around or eat while we shop. He also loves pushing the cart and gets so mad if you try to help steer. Like throws a fit mad. He also just throws a lot of fits in general. So that should be fun for the next 2 years.

We are excited for little number 2 to make his debut hopefully in the next week. Promise, we will post/text/facebook/instagram when it happens!  For now we are enjoying our friends and our little family, and waiting for what we consider sacred time when we welcome a new baby into our home. We are so excited!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My brother

Rik is married to Damon's sister Heidi.  He is the kindest, happiest, most loving person. And generally one of the biggest highlights of our trips home to Spokane.  And he is amazing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

obligatory post of the month...

i suck at this blogging thing lately. instagram is my new blog. but i'll try!
we have lots of pictures from the last week or two so i know my family would want to see them, and here we are!

dudes, i even lightroomed a few of these bad boys.

4th of July party at our friends' home, it was SOOOO hot!
 so hot you wanted to make out with a swing!
 so hot you didn't want to play on a tramp!
 so hot 2/3 of us whined a lot.
 so hot you needed a LOOOOOTTTT of lemonade.
 too much lemonade.
 One day last week we decided to do everything there is to do in Des Moines in one trip. So we went to the Better Homes and Gardens test garden (it's where they shoot all the pics for the mag, cool eh?)
 but dirt and pebbles are way cooler than plants.
 don't you dare try to make me leave this spot!
 want some??

 fences are like, so hilarious.
 I will kiss all of these pebbles!

 hearty.
 then we went to the sculpture park, where Ellis practiced his new trick of backing himself up till he's leaning against something, and then pouting.
 it's contagious.
 we also went to the Dallas County Fair in Adel, IA... where there were more animals than people and less ride/foods than the mall down the road from home.
 But. There WERE huge tractors. Well, one.
 Also, Ellis was asked to come play drums as the opening act of the 7 pm grandstand show.
 which was a family act with an 11 year old frontman, based out of Branson, MO
 that other trick he still does.

 i will kiss your face.
 post a traumatic bang trim done by dad. wherein we gained a daughter.

i see you too...