Thursday, July 7, 2016

5 months

Every month I say the same thing, but I really can't believe how fast time has been going by. 5 months already? Before I know it I'll be planning her first birthday (and yes... I may have already picked out a theme).

Cecilia has such a fun little personality already. She smiles all the time. When she is fussy all it takes is Amelia to cheer her up. She loves her big sister. She watches her every move and gets so excited when Amelia gets down and plays with her. 

Cecilia is just like Amelia. If you put effort into spending time with her and letting her get used to you, she will like you. If you don't... forget it. She is good with people until 8 o'clock at night and then a switch flips and she only wants mommy. No one else will do. It happens every single night, without fail. 

She is quite a stubborn little one already. With Mark and I as parents it's bound to happen. She will not take a bottle!!! I mean, will not! During some post surgery testing I had done I wasn't allowed to feed her for 12 hours. Now we've tried this bottle thing for a few months now without success but people always said "well if she's hungry she will take a bottle"... nope, not our girl. That one day I wasn't able to feed her she went 15 hours without taking a bottle. I do have to give her props though... she is an awesome sleeper. She still wakes up once a night, but she's also still really tiny. I mean, tiny. So I have no issues with her getting up to eat. 

She moves all over the place when she's on the floor. She thinks she's a big girl and is always trying to sit up. She eyes everyone's food. She grabs everything in sight and immediately puts it in her mouth.

Cecilia is as sweet as can be. She loves to sit and snuggle... and yep, she still rocks some crazy hair!!! I'm so in love with her. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

4 months already

It's hard to believe that our little peanut is 4 months old today. Life has sure been wonderful since she arrived. I think we're finally getting into a good rhythm, which is nice. She usually only wakes once a night now so I'm feeling a little more rested. Cecilia is a happy little thing. She's always smiling and making the most adorable little noises... and she's completely obsessed with Amelia. She could be screaming and crying and if big sister walks into the room all is instantly good. Amelia is pretty obsessed with her too and is eager to help dress her, change her diapers and play with her every chance she gets. I really love the sibling bond that is already so strong between the two of them. 

In other news... Amelia is almost done with school and on summer break. She decided to audition for the school talent show so she'll be Irish dancing next week. I'm looking forward to watching her. It's crazy to think back to how shy she was when she started kindergarten. There's no way she would have wanted to do something like that back then. Now she's a fairly outgoing social butterfly. I'm really looking forward to our summer together. Speaking of summer, it has been so ridiculously hot here lately. I hate 100+ degree days and we've had a few of them lately. Seriously, Oregon is letting me down. I like 70s-80s. At least it's giving the kids a chance to play in the pool. My nephew Liam lives just two blocks away so he gets to come and play too. I can't wait for days spent in the pool and nights around our fire pit. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

the perfect peonies

Motherhood is a beautiful thing. Yes there are times when you might question whether or not you are truly succeeding in thing called motherhood, but then something happens and all of those doubts you have about yourself and your ability to be the best parent you can be disappear. That happened to me this weekend. I'm exhausted, which is to be expected with a new baby, and sometimes I doubt that I'm doing a great job. I doubt my ability to give enough of myself to both girls in a way that makes them feel equally special... equally loved. I mostly worry in terms of my attention toward Amelia. Having another baby has been the most amazing thing in the world, but newborns need their mamas a lot and I notice that I can't always be there for Amelia like I was before. It tugs at my heart when I can't just stop feeding Cecilia to crawl around and play Legos, but seeing the love Amelia has for her baby sister and the bond they already share reminds me that the two of them having one another is far more important. Amelia told me the other day that she loves her sister so much that she can't wait to have even more siblings. How reassuring it is to know that she doesn't feel put on the back burner. That she understands life with a new baby and she loves it. So back to the story I wanted to share... the one where my heart melted and I felt like I might be winning at this mothering thing...

Saturday the girls and I spent the day in downtown Portland. We visited the art museum and strolled up to the farmer's market after. We wanted to get some flowers for my Grandma Grace for Mother's Day. While we were wandering from booth to booth Amelia said "mommy, I'd really love to buy you some beautiful flowers. I really want you to have some". So I handed her some cash and she found a booth that sold beautiful peonies. I love peonies. She read the sign, looked at how much money she had, and decided she wanted to pick out 10 stems for me. Noticing that some of the flowers were open and some were still closed she walked up and asked the owner of the booth how long they would last based on that. She decided that she wanted to get peonies that were closed so that they would bloom at our house and last longer. For the next 15-20 minutes Amelia looked over every stem... trying to find the perfect flowers for her mommy. I couldn't help but notice that the two woman working the booth kept eyeing her and smiling. Finally she had found what she thought were the perfect peonies. With her cash in one had and ten stems in another she walked up to the counter to pay. She told them that they were for her mommy. The care she took in choosing something for me... my heart was beaming. The woman had heard Amelia say that she wanted to get the closed flowers so that I could enjoy them longer, so she asked Amelia if she'd like to have some already opened to take home too. That way we could have flowers now and all throughout this upcoming week. She was so happy and I thought it was so kind of the woman to give her extras. On the walk back to our car Amelia said "mommy, this has been one of my most favorite days. I love you so so much". In that moment I felt so much love. I felt like I was doing things right. and I felt truly blessed that this is the person I get to raise. Amelia has a huge heart and spreads kindness like wildfire. She makes people feel special without even trying. The world is a better place with her in it.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Wonderful Weekend Recap

This weekend was wonderful. Saturday was a busy one, but full of pure awesomeness. We got up and got Amelia ready for Irish dance class. After class I had plans with her and Cecilia to go to the Portland Art Museum. A fun girls day while Mark worked on our house remodel. They had a Native American Photographers exhibit with work by Zig Jackson, Wendy Red Star and Will Wilson. Being Native American myself and a photographer I was so excited to check this out. Amelia knew that there was a Monet at the museum so she insisted on going with me. She's a Monet and Van Gogh fanatic.

She picked out a pretty dress to change into after dance and we headed into downtown Portland. The weather was perfect. When we got there she carried the museum map around and led us to different galleries she wanted to check out. She kept saying "this place is so great"... yeah, she's my kid. I really feel blessed to have Amelia at the school she attends. They have an amazing art teacher there who has really inspired my little artist. She's always creating beautiful paintings, oil pastel drawings and sketches. Our house is always filled with so much color thanks to her. 

The photography exhibit was awesome! It reminded me a lot of my time back on the Indian reservation that my family comes from. My grandpa and grandma took me back when I was about 12 and I loved it there. The museum had a cute place set up where anyone could color native dresses and they would hang them up in the museum. Amelia of course jumped on that. 

After that exhibit we made our way to see the paintings she was so eager to lay eyes on. She was so excited. Two Monets and a Van Gogh. She got up as close as she was able to and really examined the brush strokes. It was so cute to watch her. 

After the museum Amelia changed back into her dance clothes so we could wander around downtown. We headed up about five blocks to check out the farmer's market. I have the cutest Amelia story I plan to share tomorrow from our day in Portland(it's too long to add to this post).

We ended the fun day with some Irish dancing at Kells in Portland. I love watching Amelia dance. It's always so much fun. 

Sunday was another great day. Mark barbecued for my grandma, mom, sisters and I. We just spent the day hanging out. It was a lot of fun, as it always is with my family. It was my first mother's day as a mommy of two... and what a special one it was! 

And that was our fun weekend. I hope all of you moms out there enjoyed your special day.

Friday, April 29, 2016

our time with two

We are nearing 12 weeks since Cecilia was born. Time goes by fast with one, but add a second and it's even worse. I'm not gonna lie. I've never been more exhausted in my entire life, but these weeks with Cecilia have been absolutely amazing. Watching Amelia's love for her baby sister, and watching Cecilia's face light up when she sees her big sister is what dreams are made of. The other day I asked Mark if he felt done having kids. I've heard that some people just know when a child is born that they will be their last. He had always said he'd like two and then see how he feels after that, and I always wanted four which is why we agreed that three was our magic number and then we'd decide on any more after that point. It made me laugh when he said he doesn't feel like we are done having kids yet, but he really doesn't like feeling this tired. This time goes by so fast though and both of us are just trying to soak it all up before she's crawling... walking... going to school... and driving... because before we know it that's where we'll be.

I really struggled during my pregnancy with the worry that I wouldn't be able to give enough love and attention to both of our girls. Amelia had been it for seven years and I wasn't sure how adding another baby to our family was going to affect her. I'm so happy to say that our transition to a family of four has been pretty smooth. I do feel bad when Amelia wants or needs my attention and I'm feeding Cecilia or trying to put her to sleep, but Amelia is really good about understanding the situation. She's also super helpful and does little jobs for Cecilia and I, and I think that makes her feel important. She is so in love with her baby sister. Considering my sisters are also my best friends I'm glad that these two girls will have one another. Sisterhood is a special kind of bond.

In other news... we're closing in on the end of the school year already. How did that even happen? I'm starting to make plans for summer break. There are so many things I'd like us to do during that time. Amelia has continued to keep us busy with dancing and religious education classes, and she plans to start up horseback riding again next week. Cecilia is being baptized this weekend on my 31st birthday. I'm looking forward to spending a day celebrating her with our family.
This girl has changed so much in the past year. She amazes me.

Life lately just seems to be filled with so many blessings. Even with the chaos I still feel so happy that this is our life.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Cecilia's birth story

Cecilia Kateri turned one month old on Monday. You can tell by my delayed post that I've been soaking up every minute of snuggle time there is. She's just so incredibly precious.

Our littlest lady surprised us by actually making it to her due date. Even my midwife thought she'd arrive early. With moving to a different house in my third trimester and remodeling the house, along with all of the other activity in our life, I had pretty strong, and somewhat regular, contractions early on. My midwife advised me to take it easy or I'd end up on bed rest. I believe her words were "you need to start taking it easy, and by that I mean delegate everything and stop doing so much". Her advise worked. Cecilia arrived on her actual due date.

When I was pregnant with Amelia I was induced four days past her due date. My labor was hard with her and lasted 38 hours with 4&1/2 hours of pushing. I knew this time I really wanted to avoid induction if at all possible. At my appointment four days before Cecilia was born my midwife did a membrane sweep and told me that if it was going to work, she'd be here either on or before her due date. I spent the next couple of days having very strong, but very irregular contractions. I also really wanted to labor as long as I could at home.

Fast forward to 3:02am on Sunday February 7th. A super strong contraction woke me up and within 5 minutes another one hit. I grabbed my phone and decided to start timing them. 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes... they weren't letting up. By 5:00am I had a pretty good idea that I was in labor. I stayed in bed hoping to catch some more sleep in between contractions, but there was no way I was going to be resting between them. At about 6am I decided to get up and shower. The second I stood up the gush happened. The one you see in the movies. Since my water had been broken for me with Amelia, I had never experienced this before. All over the floor. In the midst of the pain, it made me laugh. At this point contractions started coming on much stronger and definitely regular. Every 4-5 minutes. I decided we should get ready to go in so I woke up Mark. Since we both procrastinate we had to finish packing our bags. I called into labor and delivery and had such a hard time talking through the contractions to tell them who I was. They said to come in right away. I woke up Amelia and got her ready to go to Grace's house. She had kindly offered to keep her for us until we were close to delivery and then she planned to bring her to the hospital. My mom headed our direction and Erica was on standby to come too. I love how my family (mom and sisters) rally around one another.

Mark, mom and I got to the hospital at 8:00am. Because of having symphysis pubis dysfunction I knew I was going to have an epidural. I could barely walk and the pain from spd was a million times worse than the pain from contractions. They checked me and I was only dilated to a 3. Within 30 minutes the epidural was being placed and contractions were 4 minutes apart. The epidural didn't do much for the pelvic pain caused by spd. It was horrible. The anesthesiologist came in two additional times and gave me extra shots directly into the site. At 11 o'clock they checked me again and I was dilated to a 6, and by noon I was at an 8. As 1 o'clock came around I started feeling ready to push. At that point Erica was there and Grace had come up with Amelia, Chris and Liam. They checked me and I was fully dilated... and I kept telling them I needed to push. Erica ran out and grabbed Grace from the waiting room. Oh I should also mention that I had to set my camera at this point. I insisted on taking the very first picture of Cecilia. Blame it on the photographer in me. My midwife hadn't even gloved up yet and was still getting her gown on when she said I could try pushing. First push and Cecilia's head was crowning. That sent everyone into overdrive to get ready. Three pushes later and she was out. I grabbed my camera and snapped her picture. Our beautiful baby girl was here.

The first photo of Cecilia, taken by her mommy who just delivered her. 
Amelia had asked to be in the delivery room when she was born, but I was afraid she would be worried seeing me in pain. She has watched her own birth video so that part didn't concern me as much as her worry for me. The hospital I delivered at does delayed cord clamping so I had my sister run out and grab Amelia as soon as Cecilia was out. She came in, looking somewhat concerned, but I'm so glad she was there. Mark got to cut the cord with my mom, sisters and Amelia there. It was perfect.

A huge thank you to Grace for snapping these photos for me. My epidural didn't wear off for quite a while and I couldn't move my legs to get up and take these photos myself. Having photographed these moments for other couples it was hard to hand over the camera, but she did a fantastic job!!!
Amelia didn't leave her side

I LOVE that you can see Amelia in the mirror, watching every single thing they were doing. 

We spent just over 24 hours in the hospital before going home. It took a few days getting used to life with two littles (one who I have to get to and from school every day on time), and I'm in a permanent state of exhaustion, but my life is more amazing than ever. These girls and their daddy are my everything and I can't imagine life without them. I'm definitely a blessed mommy.

Friday, February 26, 2016

She's Here

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you've known for a bit now, but I am so happy to share our news with you all. Our precious baby girl, Cecilia Kateri, made her grand entrance into this world on her due date of February 7th. She weighed 7lbs 9oz and is 21 inches long. I've been so busy snuggling my two little girls that it's taken me almost three weeks to even write this post. My heart is just overflowing with joy at this moment. It's true what they say, a mother's heart just grows with each child. We are adjusting to life as a family of four, but so far it has been absolutely wonderful. I will be sharing her full birth story tomorrow. Here are a few phone photos that we took during her first 24 hours. I of course have non-phone photos, but I'm still working on finding the time to upload them to my computer.

The proud big sister

Waiting for her to hit 24 hours so we can take her home.