Friday, July 31, 2009

happy birthday to me

thanks to all the well wishers!

i can already tell twenty-six is going to be a year to knock my socks off.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

jumping jack flash

summer has a new best friend:
the trampoline.

heat wave

we've yet again witnessed history during our tenure in the pacific northwest.

yesterday (july 29th) was the hottest day in seattle since they started recording temps in 1891.

103 degrees officially, a few degrees higher where we live (for some perspective, we average around 70 in the summer months).

yes folks, it was hotter here in washington than it was in tuscon, arizona.

a special thanks to the bostrons who have extended their air conditioned hand to our family this week to help us wimps (with newborns!) beat the heat.

kami, if you ever need a kidney, you know who to call.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

playing favorites

every time the phone rings, summer comes a running, squealing with delight, "dada!"

every time the garage door opens, summer dashes to the stairs, "dada!"

the other night, when i tried to put her to bed, she says to me, "not mama -- dada."

and when we leave bryan's office after visiting for lunch, all the way home, she weeps and sobs for her "dada."

i think we have ourselves a bona fide daddy's girl here.

ps - when she gets hurt, she still cries for mama.

Friday, July 24, 2009

bed time

don't you wish you could come play at our house?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

flower power

watch out, people! emily has rekindled her
relationship with oversized botanical hair accessories!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

one week

it's hard to know exactly what to say about newborns. afton's first week of life has been fairly uneventful -- spent mostly doing what new babies do best: sleeping and eating. with some intermittent harassments by older sister, summer (who still absolutely adores her baby sister).
of note is that afton regained her birth weight in less than one week (due in part to the fact that i produce a milk supply to rival that of most dairy farms) and that she smiles all the time. i know that the experts claim babies so young can't really smile, but afton can. three out of four times you smile at her, she will smile back. and often throughout the day we'll find her staring off and smiling all to herself.
i think she knows a secret.

Friday, July 17, 2009

tubba love

afton's first bath at home.

Monday, July 13, 2009

hold on tight

(facebook users: this post contains a video)

bringing home baby

Sunday, July 12, 2009

labor day review

i know you all are just dying to hear about afton’s grand entrance in to the world. so please, take a seat and join us for the ride.

first things first, how was the induction? frankly, i feel it played a pretty small role in the birth story/experience. i needed only about two milliunits of pitocin before my body kicked in and took the reigns of the process. am i glad i did it? absolutely. why? because, as predicted, from the time i began “feeling” contractions until the time i needed to excuse dear afton from her cozy womb was only about an hour – and definitely not an hour where i was in any state to be traveling.

when we arrived at the hospital, bryan was put in charge of the captain’s log. here are his thoughts from the first, rather uneventful, six hours:

5:31AM: Nurse A tried to put in an IV. Fails. Tries again. Fails. Emily doesn’t react well.

5:45AM: Nurse B doesn’t like the way the veins look. Nurse A+B call in nurse C, a poking expert. Nurse C isn’t successful either. Bryan doesn’t like the way things are going, and almost passes out himself. Validates his decision to NOT go to medical school.

5:58AM: Nurses decide to page the anesthesiologist.

6:08AM: After answering the same questions over and over, Bryan wonders what’s so hard about moving all these paper forms to electronic medical records.

6:15AM: Anesthesiologist arrives. Has IV inserted in less than 30 seconds. No wonder these people get paid the big bucks.

6:27AM: Pitocin drip starts.

6:44AM: Nurse informs Emily she’s having a contraction. Emily is surprised.

8:15: Dr. Dydell comes in to break Emily’s water (technical term: bag of waters). Dilated to a 4.

8:20: Bryan returns from retrieving a power cord from his office so that he may continue to log his observations.

8:30: Nurse makes a joke about Mormons and polygamy. Mild awkwardness.

8:56: Wendy finishes eating Emily’s breakfast.

9:17: Turn down Pitocin because she’s going strong on her own.

10:13: Watch Rachel Ray pour a bowl of bacon grease on a pile of fries. Increase Pit back to 2.

10:33: Saw a massive contraction on the machine. Emily feels little.

10:56: Emily at a 5.5. Leave for a brisk walk around the maternity ward.

11:34: Come back from walk. Have a new, Russian nurse. The accent rocks.

at this point, bryan’s musings come to an abrupt end as the poo-poo hits the proverbial fan and his attention is needed elsewhere.

about ten minutes in to our walk, i have a contraction wherein i need to stop and lean against the wall. when i walk back into my room, i have another such contraction. and five minutes later, i’m lying on the bed, experiencing a transitional contraction, dilated at a nine and crying uncontrollably.

essentially, i dilated nearly four centimeters in a half hour and went from feeling nothing, or just twinges, to going in to transition. this may seem like an incredible blessing, but it’s a real shock to the system. i chose again to not have any type of pain medication, and most women who have been through transition on their own will tell you that they did not think they would make it out alive. those measly last two centimeters really take all you’ve got, and some you don’t, to complete.

but for me, personally, transition pales in comparison to pushing. and at around this time (12:30pm), after about ten contractions, i enter complete (seriously, complete) hysteria.

remember the princess bride? when wesley is hooked up to that machine that sucks out years of his life, and prince humperdink comes in and gives him a lecture about true love and suffering and then throws the gears to their highest point (the six-fingered man yells, “not to fifty!”), and wesley seizes violently and screams so loudly the whole nation can hear. that’s pushing for me.

unfortunately, as bryan, my mom, my doctor, and my entourage of nurses will attest, this is not hyperbolic. it’s the sad, sad, truth. but i don’t want to unduly frighten all you ladies out there who haven’t yet had children—as with much of my birthing, such an experience is not “normal.”

another bit of good news is that this time, pushing was only 30 minutes.

baby afton made her eight pound debut, they placed her on my tummy and bryan cut the cord. 1:07pm.

afton is so sweet and so soft, calm and content and very sleepy. she is, of course, another wheeler baby with that chin and mouth, and only time will tell what she ends up inheriting from the fairer genes. summer loves her already, and bryan and i continue to be amazed at how pieces and fleetings of perfection grace our lives.

welcome home, afton.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Introducing Afton Noelle

Born July 11th, 2009, 1:07PM
8lb. 1oz.

Friday, July 10, 2009


for those of you who may not have been around for summer’s birth, there’s something you should know: i can’t feel contractions.

yup, you read it right. i guess it’s my body’s recompense for the hellish first four months of pregnancy.

and while such ignorance has its many, many advantages, it also has one decided disadvantage: timing. with summer, i was in happy oblivion, but this time, i feel like a ticking time bomb.

to add some perspective, even after my water broke, and i was nine centimeters dilated, they had to hook me up to a machine to tell how far apart, how long, and how strong my contractions were. i was no help. eventually, yes, i did feel something (um, excruciating pain), but that was only an hour or so before it was time to push. not the best situation when you live 45 minutes from the hospital.

anyhoo, i’ve been sort of crossing my fingers that everything is going to just work out (as in, i don’t deliver in the car), but today when i went to the doctor for a “labor check” (again, because i can’t actually tell when i’m in labor), they recommended me for an…an…induction!

dun, dun, dun, DUN!

the doctor, for her part, thought she was handing me a golden ticket. she didn’t quite understand why i looked so confused and nervous. why wasn’t i jumping at the chance? but even given my apprehension, we went ahead and scheduled the induction, and she reminded me that if i decided to cancel, i better call as soon as possible because there was a line of women who wanted my spot (like i was at an elvis concert or something).

most likely, i’m going to go through with it because i can see the concern in allowing me to wander at will and wait until the last minute. additionally, given what they told me today, i’m already nearing active labor (having passed latent labor), so very little intervention would be necessary.

but be it known that a little piece of my “principles” was sawed off and floated down the river today.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

uncharted territory

comparing pregnancies, summer was delivered four days ago already. but that’s not totally surprising—just the other day, she escaped from her car seat straps after a mere 45 minute drive (an eternity to her). hating any type of confinement, i have no doubt that baby summer was planning her uterine escape from the moment of conception.

little girl two, on the other hand, appears to be something else altogether: content. she’s locked and loaded, ready to debut at any moment, but just put- put- puttering around. dilating here a little and there a little, contractions sometimes and sometimes not, getting lower and lower and lower everyday (seriously, if she doesn’t hurry up, she’s going to just fall out in a week), and essentially taking her sweet, sweet time.

i’m imagining going swimming with my two girls in a few years: summer will be the one impetuously jumping in the pool (the deep end, mind you) while her sister cautiously dips in a toe and waits.

**i found this photo on my mom's camera from september 2008. i miss my jeans.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

o say, can you see

celebrating our nation's independence:

summer savors her first tootsie pop at the carnation 4th of july parade.

many thanks to the harper family for a comfortable chair in the shade!

never one to stay still when music is playing, summer begins spontaneously dancing in the street.

emily's flag cake.

our little patriot enjoying a delicious backyard barbeque.

emily secretly hopes the fireworks will scare little baby right out the womb.
unfortunately, little baby decides it's much safer inside.

fireworks bounty.

not surprisingly, summer LOVES fireworks.
it has all her qualifications for a good time:  lights, loud noises, and most importantly, danger.

happy 4th!

Friday, July 03, 2009

signs of summer

nearly naked toddlers running amok.

pregnancy zen

we’ve reached the point in pregnancy when the baby really could be born *any day now,* also known as the time when friends stop saying how cute you are and instead compare your physique to an overextended balloon (“wow, you look like you’re ready to POP!”).

overall, i find this period a lot like the onset of labor and contractions: you can either fight it or embrace it. of course, as with those lovely contractions, the natural tendency is to fight it. i find myself thinking thoughts like,

“if i gain one more pound…”
“if i see one more stretch mark…”
“if summer kicks me in the belly one more time…”
“if i’m even pregnant for one more day…”


but that’s not very embracing of me, now is it?

to help me cope more effectively, i’ve decided to reach down deep and find my inner pregnancy zen. i’ve been re-indoctrinating myself with all my naturopathic birthing and pregnancy philosophies (in order to keep far away from that “evil” pitocin), i’ve stopped wearing bryan’s t-shirts around the house (nothing lowers my pregnancy self-esteem quite like giant, shapeless advertisements for microsoft), and, most importantly, i’ve taken part in an experimental procedure where now i can’t even remember my due date.

so don’t bother asking. my only reply with be “oooommm.”