Friday, December 31, 2010

And like that!

Another year is coming to an end!

Can you believe it??  Another year has passed us by.  Some parts of the world are already experiencing 2011 and in just a few short hours, we will be too.

2010 was a good year. 

In January we got used to having a puppy in the house.  Chico was a good addition to our family and Kaitlyn was so happy to bring him home and to keep him.

In February we found out that we were pregnant and would be expecting a little one in November. 

In March we went through the first 7 weeks of pregnancy and Kaitlyn started t-ball.  We played in the rain and had fun welcoming in spring!

In April we heard our baby's heart beat.  What an AMAZING sound!  We played with a couple intelligender tests to see if we could predict our baby's gender.  Kaitlyn played more t-ball and hit off the pitch.  And for the 3rd year in a row, we Marched for Babies in Matthew's memory.

In May, we found out that we were having a GIRL!  Dusty chose her name: Samantha Anne.  Kaitlyn was in her first school play as a Coyote and finished up a season of t-ball!

In June, we went to New York, Kaitlyn met her cousins Kimberly and Lauren, then we went to Alabama and had a blast!!  I continued to be pregnant and Samantha continued to grow.  We started weekly p17 injections to help her stay where she belonged!  Kaitlyn graduated Kindergarten as the best reader in her class and the best at math in her class.  We went camping and she learned how to ride a bike without training wheels!!  It was a busy month.

In July, things calmed down a bit.  Samantha reached viability.  We worked on Samantha's nursery, we enjoyed the summer, went to the fair, six flags and water world!

In August we celebrated Matthew's 3rd birthday in Heaven with a balloon release.  Dusty and I celebrated 6 years of marriage, Kaitlyn had her tonsils and adenoids removed, lost her first tooth, she started 1st grade and we helped Camaryn celebrate her 5th birthday!  I got to go to my first game at ATT park and my tummy continued to grow with little miss Samantha in it!

In September, we had a party to celebrate Baby Samantha's upcoming arrival, I had my 10 year high school reunion, we went wine tasting before Samantha's big day!  And Carmen turned 2!

October was a big month!  We had Samantha's wedding, the breast cancer walk, baby Samantha became full term and we celebrated Halloween!!  We also remembered Matthew on his third angel day.

November brought us a BABY!!  Samantha Anne was born November 9 and has been amazing!  Kaitlyn turned 6 and we had a surprise party for Daddy's 30th birthday!  We celebrated Thanksgiving and had such a great time bonding as a family.

In December, we celebrated Christmas all month long!  Samantha turned a month old and we spent a lot of time together :)

What a wonderful year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

If I could...

I know a lot of people wish their babies would stay small forever, or that time would stand still so that it would slow down so that you could enjoy every single moment of it.  I wish I could go to sleep tonight, wake up and have it be April. 

90% of SIDS deaths take place between 2 and 4 months of age.  Matthew was 2 and 1/2 months old, 10 weeks on this Earth.  Samantha is 7 weeks old.  She is less than 3 weeks away from being how old Matthew was when he passed away.  She has already been home longer than he was considering that he spent 26 days in the NICU.  In 11 days she will enter the the highest risk factor age and stay there for 2 long months. 

I can feel the anxiety start to get worse.  I sleep less because every little noise wakes me up and has me checking her breathing. 

Last night I was going through all of Matthew's pictures to work on his shirt for this years march and it was so hard.  I wish I would have taken more.  I wish I had more good ones.  I wish we had more that showed his expressions.  I wish I had more video of his grunts, his little noises and his features.  I wish we would have got a picture of his sleeping smile.  We were so close to seeing his awake smile, I wish we would have been able to.  I wish we had so much more to remember him by.  I just figured we had more time.  We should have had a lifetime.  Had I of known how short that lifetime was going to be, I would have taken so many more pictures.  I would have had that video camera out every minute of every day.  

I find myself taking so many pictures of Samantha because I don't want to not have them.  I want to capture everything and have it to look back on.

This morning I found myself researching SIDS.  Again.  It seems to be a regular thing, even more so lately.  Rarely do I learn anything new, but every once in a while there is a new study.  The study I read this morning showed that of the time babies who passed away from SIDS had the hearing in their left ear better during their newborn hearing test.  In healthy babies, the hearing in their right ear was the better of the two.  Now, I cannot wait for her 2 month appointment to get the details on her newborn hearing test.

Samantha's two month appointment was supposed to be January 10.  But, her health insurance won't kick in for well baby visits until the 15th (bad mommy for dragging her feet on turning in the paperwork!).  So, we have to reschedule.  Matthew's two month appointment was rescheduled as well.  His doctor was sick the day he was supposed to be seen.  His appointment was rescheduled for October 15 at 10 AM.  He passed away in the wee hours of the morning that day and never made it.

I knew there would be times that would be hard, but I don't think I realized how hard some times would be.  Watching Kaitlyn with Samantha can be hard because I know she didn't get those times with Matthew and I know that Matthew missed out on those times with his sister.  We didn't let her hold him nearly as much as we let her hold Samantha.  With him being premature we were so terrified of him getting sick and going back to the PICU.

I think it comes down to the fact that we are going to be paranoid parents.  We jerk out of bed several times a night to check on her.  I wish we would have been as paranoid at night with Matthew.  I wish we wouldn't have practiced safe co-sleeping.  We typically put him to bed in the bassinet and then after the first feeding he came to bed with me to nurse and sleep.  With Samantha, that isn't even remotely close to an option.  She gets nursed, wrapped up and put back to bed in the co-sleeper.  No matter how tired I am, no matter if she fusses over it, no matter if I can barely keep my eyes open.  And on the rare occassion that I have closed my eyes while nursing her, Dusty is right there to wake me up.  I wish we would have been more diligent, maybe then there would be fewer "what ifs" but deep down, I know that there would be what ifs no matter what.  I wish I could just answer the whys.  Why isn't he here with us, why don't we get to enjoy watching him grow, why don't we have a 3 year old little boy running around causing havoc?  There isn't anything I wouldn't do or give to have that.

If I could, I would skip through the next two months.  I would jump right to 5 months and not look back. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

March for Babies- Shirt Design Poll

With the March just a few short months away, I wanted to get a jump start on the shirt design, and since I had an idea rolling around in my head, I wanted to work on putting it together to make sure I don't lose my idea.

Here are the two designs I came up with, which do you think?

Design #1:

Design #2:

Pictures and Important Dates ;)

First, I just wanted to share that I uploaded every picture we have from 2004 - today onto our shutterfly share site.  There are also a couple of videos.  The cool thing is that you can order any pictures you want (I have a ton of cousins and friends from their birthday parties, holidays and events like that) or a CD of pictures or whatever really.  Email me if you need the link =)

Next, I know we are still in 2010, but I wanted to share the important dates that I know we have coming up for our family in 2011.

March for Babies - April 30, 2011  8:30 AM Sacramento:

As everyone knows this is an event that is really important to our family.  It our opportunity to share Matthew with the world and to do some good for other families in his name.  This will be our 4th year walking and one of only 2 times a year that we ask family to celebrate his life with us.  This year, instead of ordering shirts, the shirt designs will be on iron on transfers and then you can buy them for $5 (100% of that going to our team goal!) and buy your own shirt to put them on.  I'm torn on the color shirt, but we have time to decide :)  Be sure to sign up soon, you can start taking donations already.  Plus, I don't want to bother anyone that isn't planning on joining us, so I will ONLY use the email list they provide of walkers to keep people up to date:

Matthew's Balloon Release - August 6, 2011  11:00 AM:

Matthew's 4th birthday falls on a Saturday this year so we will be able to celebrate his birth and his life on his actual birthday.  We will have some cake, ice cream and food at our house after to continue his celebration of life.  We have not yet decided what balloon colors or theme we will use this year, normally we let Kaitlyn pick, and since it's quite a ways off, we will be waiting until closer to decide on those details.

Kaitlyn and Samantha's birthday party - November 12, 2011 2:00 PM

With their birthdays only 8 days apart, they will be sharing a party this year :)  The theme is tentatively going to be zebra and hot pink, YAY!  And we are hoping to have it at the Mooselodge again.  Of course, details will follow since it's 11 months away, but I want to give everyone a head's up since I know how quickly our calendars start to fill up as we keep adding kids, events and activities to our lives :P

I hope everyone had an AMAZING Christmas and is ready to celebrate a beautiful new year!!


My 6 week check-up

Last Monday, I had my 6 week check-up.  Aside from the fact that it ran super late, it went really good.

I'm all healed up and released back to my normal routine of whatever I want to do.  My incision looks awesome and I know the scar is going to be so much better than it was before, so I guess in a way, that almost makes not having a VBAC worth it in a vain way :P

Blood pressure was great as always, I'm in great health, my uterus is back to it's normal shape and for some this may be TMI, but I already have AF back.  Which is shocking to me.  With Kaitlyn I didn't get it back until she was 10 months old, and with Matthew, it was a little over a month after he passed away and nursing obviously ended.  So, to get it back at 5 weeks this time was different.

When I went in, my weight was at 141, I hadn't lost a pound since the 3 week check up, but looking at my diet, I wasn't too surprised.  I was given the goal of getting to 125 - 130 by my yearly exam in February.  Which, I do think is a realistic goal, especially with how my metabolism tends to be.  Still, I don't want to just lose it, I want to be in good shape and toned.  After 39 weeks on restricted activity with most days spent with my feet up and then resting after delivery, my muscles are crap.  Since my appointment 6 pounds melted off (which really helps with buttoning my pants) but starting next Tuesday we start eating better and I start going to the gym every day with Dusty.  My goal is to be bikini worth by May!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas, 2010 edition

This is the first year we have been able to celebrate Christmas with two living children.  It definitely kept us busy, but there are still emotional aspects that are incredibly hard to grasp some days.

We, and our kids, are very blessed that we have a lot of family that we are really close to, both physically and emotionally.  This helps make Christmas time quite the ordeal for us.

Christmas started this year on Christmas Eve.  It has become our tradition that we spend Christmas Eve at Dusty's parents (Nana and Papa) and Christmas with mine (Grandma and Grandpa).  This has made the holidays so much easier to just park it at one place on each day and not have to battle holiday drivers, and this way everyone gets plenty of quality time with eachother.

Christmas Eve, we got to Nana and Papa's close to 1 in the afternoon.  Kaitlyn was so excited to see Camaryn.  Although she didn't get to dive into her pile of goodies until close to 4, she didn't once ask to.  She was just so excited to see everyone.  Of course, I think when Camaryn got there and she realized she didn't have to wait on anyone or anything else to get started, she sure did start hinting an awful lot that she wanted to start opening stuff!!  Normally, those girls rip through their stack of stuff in under 20 minutes.  This year, I came up with the bright idea of having them take turns, read the tag and then open.  An hour and a half later and I was wishing there was more of a happy medium ;)!

Samantha slept through most of the present opening.  So, the girls first opened all their presents from Nana and Papa, their presents from eachother, presents from Larry and Nita (Nana and Papa's neighbors) and presents from their Aunt Barbara and Uncle Dean and finally from Danny.  Holy Moly they were spoiled.  Kaitlyn was so excited, she walked away from Nana and Papa's with a flip video style camcorder (I'm sure there will be plenty of shows done with that!), tons and tons of clothes, sweaters, jackets and cute boots, ds games and stuff I'm sure I don't even remember her getting!  Auntie Christy and Uncle Dennis made her day with an iCarly ds game, clothes, gloves a hat, an iCarly dsi set (which she has had so much fun with) and stickers that made her day!  Larry and Nita got her another dsi iCarly game and a computer game, Aunt Barbara and Uncle Dean gave them their traditional ornaments, and Danny gave them a very generous gift card that Kaitlyn can't WAIT to use!  Then they were so surprised to get an xBox 360 and kinect from Nana and Papa for their house and Larry and Nita got them a BMW car to share.  Samantha got more clothes than I think will even fit in her closet, blankets, shoes, headbands and cute toys!

They had a ton of fun.  After presents they made giant gingerbread men courtesy of Uncle Dennis, danced around, played games, pretended to eat dinner ;), and play like crazy.  They had so much fun, even knowing Santa was coming, they did not want to go home.  We got home after 10, and it took several trips to get everything in the house and I spent 3 hours trying to get it put away before I went to bed.  Kaitlyn was out in minutes after getting home!

Before going to bed, Dusty and I got to play Santa.  I had it pretty easy, I had already set up Kaitlyn's santa present and just had to put it on her desk and fill the stockings.  Daddy got the privilege of putting together Samantha's!  This year, Santa brought Kaitlyn a purple notebook and Samantha a Baby Einstein activity center.  We were in bed by 1.

By 8 Christmas morning, I was ready to get the show on the road.  I got up, used the bathroom, changed and fed Samantha and loudly let the dogs out.  Kaitlyn did not budge.  At 8:30, I finally went in there and asked her if she wanted to see if Santa came.  She did.  Dusty waited with the camera and she FLEW out there.  She saw her computer and was so surprised.  I don't think she even knew what to make of it for at least 5 minutes.  Then, her first question was "can I go online to iCarly's website?"  HA!  We convinced her to work on her stocking and other gifts first!

Kaitlyn got some new computer things from us, iCarly toys, board games, a ds game, Barbie Flairy Dolls and some other stuff that I've already forgotten about.  Samantha got her bumbo chair, some cute clothes, toys for her car seat, bottles, paci's and some cute newborn and infant toys and books.  Both girls made out pretty good.  Dusty did awesome for me too!  I got two new bottles of Juicy perfume, a ton of really nice make-up that he picked out himself, a new robe and all of my favorite candy :)  He said those were my "under the tree" gifts and I can order the stroller I want as my "big" present!  Yay!!!

Next, we all got dressed, Samantha ate again and we were in the car with Matthew's stocking from Santa to the cemetery.

Sadly, this is the first time Samantha has been there, which makes me feel so guilty.  But, between the weather, healing, the hours it's open and not wanting to take Samantha out there in the rain, it has been hard to find a good time.  Kaitlyn told Samantha all about Matthew and how he was in Heaven and then helped me unload his stocking of goodies to put on the marker.  We stayed and talked for a little while before the rain started and headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Kaitlyn had been talking about Grandma and Grandpa's house for the last couple of weeks.  She was really excited because her cousin was going to be there that she hadn't seen since she was a baby.  Maylia spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house and although the girls hadn't ever played together they became fast friends and dove right into playing dress-up, having fashion shows, singing us songs and playing with Barbie and her friends.  There was a houseful there, that's for sure!  Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie Christina, Uncle Brian, Auntie Sammie, Uncle Davey, Auntie Jamie, Uncle Scotty, Aunt Beth, Uncle Donny, Great Grandma Mauda and Larry and Sharon were all there.  Soon, the presents were sorted and I got claustrophobic being in between Kaitlyn and Samantha and their towers of presents.  Samantha came home with some great toys, organic clothes and blankets, a TON of clothes, the most adorable headband I have EVER seen, a new bjorn, baby monitor and soo much stuff.  It took forever to open it all.  Kaitlyn got everything on her wishlist and stuff she didn't even know she wanted.  She loved her Barbie gliterrizer, her handmade sweatshirt, her pillow pet, her mp3 player, ornaments, a ton of clothes and jeans, boots, my little pet shop toys and her favorite that she has been walking around with non-stop, a "grown-up" digital camera from Grandma and Grandpa.  She has already taken so many pictures with it.  She does not like to put it down for anything.

We had a yummy dinner and spent the rest of the day hanging out, eating treats and dreading the ride home in the rain to unload another gazillion presents to put away ;)

Finally, this morning, well, I guess it took all morning and it's the afternoon now, but I can say that I put it all away.  Everything has a home, everything is washed, everything is cared for, everything is being enjoyed!

Yesterday, we took down all the Christmas decorations.  I always get so excited to put them up, but honestly, by the time Christmas comes, I'm itching to take them down.  They just start to look like clutter to me and stresses me out.  We found out Dusty's cousin Ray was in town visiting and on his way home, so we went out to dinner with him and Dusty's family.  I didn't realize how much I must have done because I was STARVING and ate way too much!!

Today we are taking the girls roller skating and then having dinner at Nana and Papa's to celebrate Christmas with some amazing friends!  I can't wait!

In other news, Samantha is 7 weeks old tomorrow and doing SO good.  It sounds like she has another cold (curse having a 6 year old in school!) and is congested but handling it well.  She is such a good baby, she smiles all the time, coos and talks to you and tries to laugh.  Kaitlyn loves her and she is in awe of her big sister.  She is doing really good at night.  She sleeps in her co-sleeper and does a first chunk of 3 1/2 - 4 hours, then wakes up to eat and then wakes up to eat every 2 hours.  She only uses the bathroom once a night too, so she gets changed after the first feeding and usually stays dry until morning.  She also is so great about going back to sleep.  She fusses awake, I feed her and she's back to sleep within 15 minutes of her fussing to wake up.  Daytime naps are getting even better now too.  The girl LOVES to be swaddled!