Wednesday, December 31, 2008

She’s here…


I know this is a little late coming, but things have been a bit busy around here lately (besides the obvious, the icky winter storm also left us without power for almost three days).
So, our baby girl has arrived. Avalee Apryl was born on December 12th at 8:19 AM. She weighed 7lbs 10oz and was 19 ½ in long. She came out looking gorgeous, of course, and a lot like her big brother Z. She had lots of black hair and piercing steel blue eyes.
Colin and I spent three days in the hospital bonding with her, which was amazing. Z came up and spent time with us as well, although he didn’t much like leaving Mom and Dad. We also rode out most of part one of aforementioned winter storm. It was nice just watching the snow falling outside, knowing we had nowhere to go. We had a beautiful view from our room of the Capitol building and the trees at Willamette University, lit with Christmas lights. The worst day of the storm though, just happened to be the day we were released from the hospital. It had been snowing for days, than everything froze. We ended up driving about 5-10mph to get home. It was like a completely different world from what we had left. We were never so happy to get home!
So, now we are all home enjoying each other. Colin is off work until the second week in January, which has been so nice.
Avalee is doing very well and growing quickly (she has already grown an inch and a half!). She is the mellowest baby I have ever encountered, and we’re certain she has Colin’s personality. ;) She rarely fusses and doesn’t let much bother her (even when her big bro is running around screaming!). She is also quite strong, already holding her head up for lengthy periods of time and rolling to her side. She just might be our little overachiever. :)
Z is taking his role as big brother very seriously. He is great with Avalee and it’s so exciting to see them together. He asks to hold her and wants to help with everything. If she does get fussy, he’s right there to kiss her head or rub her tummy. He tells us that he loves her and that she’s “just precious.” Of course, we agree with him. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

One Week left...

It’s hard to believe, but we’re only one week away from our delivery date. These last few weeks (well, months!) have just flown by, and I can hardly believe we’ll be meeting Avalee in just one week!
We’re very excited, but a little anxious too. Although Z seems to be taking everything pretty well most of the time, he has moments that concern us. He will get jealous if Colin talks to A and sometimes tells us he’s a baby, not a big boy. We’ve been trying to prepare him as much as possible, and of course spend as much time with him as we can. Last week, he and I went on a ‘date’ to McDonalds. I explained to him what will happen before A comes, and that he will stay with Grandma and Grandpa while Colin and I are in the hospital. He told me he wanted to stay with me, and not to leave him. That broke my heart, but I told him he can come to the hospital every day, that we’ll still read to him and that Daddy will take him out to lunch even.
We have also told him he gets to be the first person to hold her (after Mom & Dad) and he seems very excited about that.
Monday, we’re going to take a tour of the hospital to show him where we will be staying and let him take a peek at the new babies.
I will miss our little family of three, but I’m so excited to start a new chapter in our lives as a family of four!
So, Friday is the big day and everyone is welcome to come visit us after the surgery. We should be settled into a room by noon, and welcome visitors. :0) We will most likely leave the hospital on Monday.
Hope to see you soon! :0)

He’s three, right??

Last night, Z decided he needed his froggy backpack (who knows why…). It was downstairs and we were already upstairs for the evening. We told him he could go down and get it, if he came right back up. Well, after several minutes he hadn’t come back, so Colin went to search for him. He found him, candy cane in mouth sitting under the Christmas tree. They came upstairs and Colin told me what happened. Z was listening carefully and watching our reactions closely.
He then says, “I don’t want to call Santa (we’ve told him we have Santa’s phone number and can let him know if Z is being naughty). I’ll get new candy canes for the tree.” Trying to hold back our laughter, we asked how he would do that. Without missing a beat, he says, “I will go to Wal-Mart. You’ll drive (pointing to Colin) and I will sit in the little seat in the cart.” Now, at this point, we’re trying incredibly hard not to laugh. We ask him how he’s going to pay for the candy canes and he says “the girl at the store will give me money.” We’re not sure who this mystery girl is, but we’re a little concerned that he’s already got girls paying for him and he’s only three!

Monday, November 17, 2008

36 Weeks

It’s hard to believe we’re already this far along. I keep thinking back to when we found out we were pregnant, and I think it doesn’t seem so long ago, but it was March!
The months, weeks (and soon enough days) are just flying by. It would be nice for time to stand still, but on the other hand I’m very excited to meet my little girl.
It’s been a very busy pregnancy for me, but I have loved all of it. From outings with Z to holidays, football games, birthdays and showers, it seems like I’m always going.
We are working on the nursery now, but it’s already painted and Colin put the crib up this weekend. Now, we just need to put up the border (which we don’t even have yet…any takers? ;0)) and get everything put away.
Still, I think most of the busyness is over now, so I’m taking some time to just catch my breath. Thanksgiving is the next big holiday, but I’m going to let everyone else do most of the work. ;0)
After that it’s the home stretch! Only three and a half weeks to go. :0)

Here are some pictures of Z 'helping' paint the nursery, and the latest pregnancy/belly pics. :0)




Saturday, October 25, 2008

Number 3

Z turned three on Sunday. It’s hard for me to believe my little guy is already three, but it meant I got to throw him another cool party. :0)
His birthday theme this year was pirates and it was so much fun to plan. From the invitations to the activities, I had such a blast with it all! Of course, I had to let go of some of my control issues (there Colin, I said it!) and let people help me. It’s not like I had much of an option with this darn belly in the way! ;0)
Zavion had a great time and so did all the other kids, which made me proud. He refused to let me take down the decorations though, so I gave him one week. I told him it was his ‘birthday week’ which made him happy. :-D

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Great Loss…

On Friday we lost our beloved kitty, En Fuego.
He had not been eating and had lost a lot of weight. When I took him into the vet, she said he was dehydrated and his kidneys were shutting down. She said it could be any number of things causing it, including a parasite, sudden onset of diabetes or even cancer. They immediately started him on an IV with fluids to help with the dehydration. In order to have an idea of what was wrong and “possibly” fix him though, he would have had to undergo a lot of tests and procedures. Besides that being long and possibly painful, it was also very expensive (at least $1,000). Even then, we still might not know what caused his decline and more importantly, it may not work.
Colin and I made the very painful decision to let our kitty go. We were able to spend time holding, petting and talking to him. We let Z come in to say goodbye, because we knew he would always wonder what happened to his “Fuego” if we didn’t. He told the kitty he loved him and kissed him on the head.
We buried him in our backyard yesterday. Mercedes made a headstone from a river rock and it was perfect. My mom planted some beautiful orange flowers (that matched En Fuego perfectly) next to his grave. He will always be with us now, and we can visit him whenever we want.
The past few days have been very difficult. He hasn’t been there waiting by the door when we come home. He’s not there to get in bed with us at night or jump on my lap for love.
I can’t help thinking back to when he adopted us…
He would sit on our car when we went to my parent’s house. When we got ready to leave, I would pick him up to get him off the car and he always ‘hugged’ me. I kept threatening Colin I was going to bring him home and one particularly cold night, I made that decision.
Colin chose his name; “En Fuego” was a phrase used by a sportscaster on ESPN and since he was fiery orange (later we discovered, it also fit his personality too) it was a perfect fit.
He definitely had a unique personality and he fit in with us perfectly. :0) He was your typical cat in some ways; standoffish and aloof. But, he also loved to ‘play.’ His idea of playing though was to wrestle and often used his cat-like skills to his advantage. ;0) He also loved hiding and pouncing on unsuspecting ‘victims’ as they walked by (especially in the dark). This led him to have a reputation of being mean or scary, but that just wasn’t so. He was just very playful and full of energy. Another activity he enjoyed was playing fetch, usually with our socks or the cap to a water bottle. He also really enjoyed getting into our socks and leaving them in areas he knew we would find them. Usually it was my socks, and although I occasionally got annoyed, usually I found it amusing and sweet.
When Z came along, we were worried kitty wouldn’t take too well to a new person. But, to our surprise he became very protective of him. One day, just weeks after we brought Z home, we found the kitty standing guard over Z’s bassinet. We knew if Z needed us before he did, because En Fuego would come running in and start ‘talking’ to us. The two of them eventually developed a sibling-like relationship.

They would constantly vie for our attention and fought like any siblings. But in, not-so-rare, moments we would find Z stroking the kitty’s head or the kitty rubbing up against Z’s legs. In their short time together, they really came to love and respect each other.

Over the years, En Fuego didn’t pounce or wrestle as much, but he still had his fiery spirit. And he was always that loving ‘Kitty Shmitty’ we will remember.

We all miss him so much and will never forget the joy he brought to our lives these last seven years.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

23 Weeks

Well, we're over halfway there! Everything is going pretty well. I'm very happy the heat wave is over though. That was not a comfortable time for me. :(
Avalee is doing well and is moving up a storm. I joked to Colin she must have really liked the gymnastics during the Olympics, because every time it came on she was doing her own backflips!
Z is always asking what's in my belly and when I ask him what he thinks, he says "A baby sister!" He talks to her all the time saying, "Hi Avalee. It's me Zavion. Your big brother. I love you." It's super-cute and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it, though I suspect it's just a stage and soon he will start getting annoyed with all the baby talk again.
Tonight Z was playing football with Colin and suddenly decided to stuff the ball under his shirt. I thought it was adorable, but Colin was (of course) alarmed. ;0) We asked who he looked liked and he said, "Mom!"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Trifecta

I would love to think of a word more suited to Z than ‘precocious’ but for now, I’ll stick with that.
This past week has been an interesting experiment in raising an almost three year old. Actually, I feel like my job as a parent is now more about keeping him alive and out of the hospital than anything else.
I’ll start with the most recent incident.

Yesterday, we went to the Pow Wow at the coast and decided to stop by the factory stores on the way back home. We had the jogging stroller but opted to let Z walk since he had been stuffed in the car seat so long. Our first stop was Carters to check out the cute baby clothes. Z decided he wanted to play his new favorite game, hide-n-seek (“You count, I’ll hide” he instructed) and immediately dove under a clothes rack. We indulged him for a minute, and then told him to come out. He wouldn’t budge. Mom, Dad and Grandma all told him again to come out but he stayed put. Grandma tried getting him out and said he seemed to be stuck. We looked underneath and he had both index fingers stuck in small holes on one of the bars! His little arms were as stretched as far they could be (in a crucifix-like position) and his fingers were very stuck, past the knuckles. We tried pulling, which resulted in Z screaming. The store clerk, Kelly, came over to check it out then ran back to get some lotion. We started dismantling the rack and poured lotion all over, but his fingers were still no budging. Each time we tried pulling, Z would let out a blood curdling scream. He was really panicking and crying hysterically. I was down on the floor with him, trying to hold him up so his arms didn’t get so sore and Colin was trying his hardest to get Z’s little fingers out. Grandma had the good idea to run next door to the book store to get a book for Z, as a distraction. In the meantime, the store manager came over and did what she could. We all finally agreed it was time to call 911 to cut him out. We explained to Z a fireman would come help him and he seemed to calm down a little. Kelly’s quick thinking to grab a box Z could stand on to relieve some pressure, helped as did Grandma reading his new book. The fire department came, and an extremely kind firefighter named Steve came in. He talked to Z a little, explained who he was and started pulling his fingers. Z was in awe and just stared at Firefighter Steve with a silly grin on his face. And, just like that, he was free! We think it was a combination of standing on the box (which helped relieve the pressure) and that a real firefighter came to save him. :0) So, Steve invited Z outside to look at the fire engine. The EMT came and quickly assessed his fingers then gave him a stuffed puppy and asked if Z would ever do that again. Z said “noooo” and waved at everyone. He was left with a couple small cuts on one finger and a little swelling, but was otherwise ok. The rest of us were obviously quite shaken and relieved!
I have to say the staff at Carters was extremely understanding, kind and helpful. Kelly and her manager Fran went above and beyond to do everything they could to help. And, the Lincoln City Fire Department was amazing. Those guys were so personable and engaging, Z calmed right down.
So, thank goodness all ended relatively well! :0)
We were all a little busy to take pictures during the ordeal, but I got a picture of the EMT giving Z the stuffed puppy.




A few days before the Carters incident…
Z and I had just finished lunch when he bumped his head on the dining room chair. I kissed it better and he moved on…or so I thought. I was in the kitchen cleaning up, when I noticed he was unusually quiet. Then I noticed the sound of rustling paper. Well, as any parent of a two year old knows, those two sounds together are very bad news! When I went to the couch where Z was sitting, I noticed the box of bandaids and a bandaid wrapper, but no bandaid. I asked him where the band aid went while I scanned his entire body (nope, not on the arms, legs, face…). He then turned his head and said “It’s right there” pointing to the back of his head. And, sure enough there was a Diego bandaid stuck to his hair on the back of his head. I tried pulling, but Z has my hair (very fine) and his screams convinced me there was only one way to get it out. I grabbed the scissors, much to his dismay, and started cutting. He was very upset (I’m not sure if it was more because I was cutting his hair or ruining his bandaid) and screamed the whole time. After several minutes of snipping and telling him to hold still, I got the bandaid out. Besides the poor bandaid being cut in two, Z was missing a fair amount of hair (luckily he has a lot, so it wasn’t too big of a deal). Once again, I asked if he would ever do that again and his response was a vehement “no!” We’ll see…





Then, just two days before that
Z likes to run behind the couch between the window to ‘hide.’ He usually announces he’s there, so it’s no big surprise, but he enjoys the game. This time I noticed he had ran back there, and was too quiet. When I checked, he had a package of gum in his hands getting ready to open it. I took it away and decided since I was there, I would open the window. Z was leaning back with his hands on the window sill, until I started opening the window. For some reason, he put his hand on the track at the same time I was sliding the window open. He started screaming and his face turned white. I picked him up and ran to the couch to check him out. He had a huge chunk of skin off his pinky and was bleeding all over. I grabbed a washcloth to clean him, but when he gets hurt he won’t let anyone touch him. He cried and screamed for about 15 minutes while I held him and tried to keep him calm. I knew when Colin got home, between the two of us we could get it cleaned and bandaged. He calmed down just before Colin arrived, and was happy Daddy was there to give him love too. While Colin distracted him by putting a tattoo on one arm, I cleaned and bandaged the finger on the other. A week later, and he still has a big mark on his pinky which I’m sure will leave a little scar. I’m sure it won’t be the last though; I have a precocious kid. ;0)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We have a winner!

That's right folks, we finally decided on a name for our baby girl!
For some reason, it was more difficult this time around. When we found out Z was going to be a boy, the name was picked the day after the ultrasound.
For this one though, I have been searching for a long time (since before we found out the gender). Nothing seemed right, and I just assumed it would come to me right after the ultrasound. I know it's only been five days, but to me that's forever! ;0)
But, after narrowing it down from three choices...we finally have one we love.
Avalee Apryl

Friday, July 25, 2008

No deal

So, I tried bribing Colin with a free Crunchwrap from Taco Bell, if he would just decide on a darn name!
We are down to three choices, but he said he needed to 'sit on it' for a few days. Well, I reminded him today, his time is running out. This is when the bribery (or attempted) took place. I had been pestering him all night, and he said he couldn't be swayed; that when he was ready to decide he he would let me know. Well, sheesh!
It was at this time he mentioned he was hungry and was vying for my coupon for a free item at Taco Bell [I complained about something and they graciously sent me one free item...score! ;0)]. I told him he could have it, if he made his name decision. For a second, I thought he might go for it, but alas his principles were stronger than the call of the Crunchwrap. Darn!
So, for all if you waiting for a name, blame Colin (oh, and if you can find something better to bribe him with, go for it!).

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's a GIRL!!!


The ultrasound was today, and we found out we're having a baby girl! To be honest, I didn't really care what the sex was, but when I heard it was a girl, I was ecstatic. Having someone finally on my team (even the cat is a guy!) is a refreshing feeling. ;0)
We also witnessed our little Princess having a little fit, which pretty much crushed our dreams of her having Daddy's personality. We could have another Z on our hands, which is like saying another me, which is very scary for poor Colin.
After the ultrasound, I convinced (ok, that's an overstatement; it was mutual) my mom to go looking at girly clothes at Target. We dropped off a sleepy Z with Grandpa and headed over. I made a beeline for the kids clothes and couldn't get over the insanely adorable girl clothes! I actually haven't looked at baby girls clothes since before we found out Z was a boy. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they have much more than the standard pink (not my favorite color) for girls now, although I did like the new pink and brown combo in a lot of things. I couldn't resist an adorable onesie that read "I Love My Daddy" with hearts coming from a bubble wand. Adorable!
I was having so much fun, I lost track of time and realized Z had been napping over an hour (one hour is our limit, otherwise it might be a late night for everyone)! So, already Z is taking backseat to the new baby. ;0)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Potty (or poop) humor

So, lately Z's favorite new word is 'poop.' He loves to use the word in every possible instance. One game he likes to play (well, not really a game to his unsuspecting 'victims') is to ask if you smell something. When you innocently ask what, he yells "It smells like poop!" He laughs and clearly basks in the knowledge that he's pulled one over on you.
But his favorite new game is this: he asks us what his name is and we tell him he knows his name. He gleefully exclaims, "Zavion!" Then he asks what his full name is (we taught him to say his full name a while back) and again we tell him he knows it. Then he gets a devilish smile on his face and responds, "POOP name!" He laughs hysterically, as if watching Jerry Seinfeld perform at The Comedy Club. And, it doesn't help that Colin is right there laughing with him. He says he just can't help it, that it's such a funny word. :p And, at that point, I often think we could use a little less testosterone and a little more estrogen in our house. *Sigh*

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

90 degree heat+Preggo lady=one HOT Mama

It has been hot lately-really hot. In my younger days, I loved the heat. The hotter the better. But, in my older age, I've found I just can't deal with these 90 degree days. Of course, it's especially worse when you're pregnant. You're already uncomfortable in many ways, and the heat adds to the already queasy feeling. So, what's one to do? Go to DQ, of course! ;0) So, off the three of us headed to our local DQ to try and cool down. I opted for the new Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie Blizzard. I love those cookies; so much so that I happily abandoned my usual Peanut Buster Parfait to try it out. We decided to get Z a child ice cream cone, and when he saw it, his eyes widened with anticipation. He rarely gets sweets, so this was most definitely a treat for him. We noted that he was going to get one big sugar buzz after just a few bites of his cone. Boy, were we right! After less than 1/4 of his cone, he started vibrating! He was yelling "I love ice cream" repeatedly and making crazy faces out the window. Of course, Colin and I couldn't help laughing at his crazy antics. We knew he would crash before too long and maybe even fall asleep on the way home. ;0)
video

Monday, June 30, 2008

Princess Mom



Today Z called me a Princess. To be fair, I was wearing a skirt which he rarely sees me in. But, when your son calls you a princess, it makes your day. :)
Later in the afternoon, the three of us went to the park for a picnic (at Z's request). We ate a little, Z played a little then he ran off. He came back a couple minutes later and presented me with flowers saying, "For you mom." Awww! Now I really did feel like a princess. It did cross my mind that he may have been angling to borrow the car years from now, and I was almost inclined to hand over my keys. ;)
Later, Colin and I dropped Z off with Grandma and Grandpa and went to dinner. On several recommendations, we went to an Italian restaurant in Keizer. The restaurant was beautiful and the view was amazing, overlooking the lake. The food was even more impressive and we both agreed to return again soon!
We topped off our anniversary evening with a movie, Iron Man. It was excellent and perfect for a couple of superhero geeks like ourselves.
It ended up being an awesome day, and I was reminded how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family. :0)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

15 weeks

We are now 15 ½ weeks pregnant, and into the second trimester. I am feeling a little better than I did in the first trimester. I have a lot more energy (which I’ve been using to systematically clean and organize the house!) and feel a little less queasy. I still get kind of nauseous at night accompanied by a really annoying dry mouth. Otherwise, I’m feeling pretty well.
I had my second prenatal visit on Monday and the baby and I are doing great. I actually lost some weight, which is most likely due to not being able to eat as much, walking a few times a week, and drinking lots of water. The baby has a very strong and healthy heartbeat.
I will be having a repeat c-section, but we don't know the date of that yet. My doctor said they usually do it about a week before the due date (so before my birthday now), but she has to wait for her surgery schedule to come out, which won't be until at least August.
We have the ultrasound scheduled for July 21st, and we’re really excited about that! It will be at the same place I went during my first pregnancy, so we’ll get the 3D pictures again and hopefully a video. We plan to let Z come in at some point to see the baby.
We have explained to him that Mommy has a baby in her belly, but at 2 ½, he doesn’t quite understand yet. He does pat my belly sometimes and wave at the baby, but just when we think he might have a grasp on the situation, he tells us he has a baby in his tummy! Nope, not yet! ;) I think when I start to show more and he can feel and see the baby kick, he’ll begin to understand a little more.
So, I’ll post again after the ultrasound (if not before) and hopefully update everyone on the sex of the baby. If you want to place your bet, just let us know and we’ll get a pool started. ;)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Yup, we're pregnant!

I think everyone knows by now that we're pregnant. For those we haven't talked to yet, here are our answers to the most popular questions we get. ;)
  1. Yes, we are very excited
  2. No, we don't know the sex (the ultrasound is in July)
  3. The baby is due Dec. 15th
  4. I'm feeling ok

We had our first official doctors appointment last Friday and were able to hear the heartbeat. My Dr said it was one of the loudest she has ever heard! So, maybe this one will be as feisty as Z, although we're hoping that Baby will have Colin's personality. :)

We'll (meaning Peggy) will try to keep everyone updated on everything Baby as well as what's going on with our family. So, check back often. :)

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