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Zachary's Birth Story
Pregnancy Loss
Third Times the Charm
Vivian's Birth Story
Conner's Birth Story




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October 21, 2014
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Conner still is such a chill and happy baby! Lately he has been such a wiggle worm and loves to roll over, inch worm forwards and backwards and even has started to hold himself up on his hands and knees for very brief periods of time. Conner enjoys the activity center bouncer and sitting up assisted. He still topples over when trying to sit alone but is getting stronger each day.

The spit up situation has been getting better and now burps are only about 50% of the time followed by mass eviction of milk. I’m extremely thankful the spitting up is improving since he now has to actually wear clothes! Some days we even can get away with wearing only one outfit! It’s the small things ;)

Conner’s sleeping habits aren’t bad but they aren’t amazing either - I’d say pretty average baby. He goes to bed in his and Viv’s room around 6:30pm on most nights and then will wake around 11pm or 12am for a feeding. We’ve tried just patting him back to sleep and using a pacifier and sometimes it will work but most times he absolutely demands the boob before he calms back down to sleep. He then wakes around 3am and 6am before wanting to stay up for good and play around 7-7:30am. We try to get him to stay in his crib until the 6am wake up but sometimes during the 3am wake up Conner decides he cannot sleep down in his crib.

Yes, he has us trained but it is so much easier to bring him up to bed at either 3am or 6am (especially 6am) instead of risk waking Vivian up and having both of them up for the day so early.

Conner is still strictly on a breastmilk only diet, despite non-pediatrician suggestions of giving him rice cereal in his milk to help the sleep situation. I’d rather wake up and nurse him than give him filler food - my own opinion. However I am open to the idea of letting him try solid foods as he shows interest. He hasn’t yet but maybe soon!

All in all Conner is a fun little dude to hang around with. His grins, snorts and bubbly giggles crack us up.

October 19, 2014

At the beginning of the month - how is it already the middle of the month?!? - Tyler and I packed up Blue to drive the family down to Portland, OR to meet up with Brittany for the weekend and cheer her on while she ran the Portland Marathon.

We arrived Friday night around 7:30pm and went to dinner before heading to a parking garage a block from Brittany’s hotel to “camp” for the night. We went to a high level floor and slept quite cozily. It was pretty late (11pm) so Vivian was out like a light the instant we got her ready for bed.

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Brit and Viv at the Multnomah Falls

Saturday morning we met up with Brit, her parents and Saba at their hotel a block from our “camping spot” in the parking garage. From there we went to Multnoma Falls and Oneonta Gorge for a hike. The hike was pretty intense with some climbing and wading through ice cold water. Brit wasn’t sure we’d be up for trying it with the kids but we strapped them on to us in their carriers and off we went. Climbing over logs and fallen trees was the most challenging part for me as it was slick with water and my center of gravity along with visibility was off having Conner in the front carrier. Tyler had Vivian in the backpack hiking carrier so he was slightly better equipped.

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Tyler waist deep!
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Brit and Viv at Multnomah Falls
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Us crazy hikers!

At one point I held back with Conner while Brittany, Saba, Tyler and Viv (on Tyler’s shoulders) waded through waist-deep water to get to a waterfall. I wasn’t about to take little Conner through that.

After the hike we went dinner and retired early to our “camp-out”. We decided to instead of stopping at a high level floor, go all the way to the rooftop of the parking garage as I had scoped it out earlier in the evening. It was a huge upgrade and something we will definitely consider doing in the future! All in all, parking garage camping was a major success. We felt safe, were in the heart of the action, and paid a fraction of the cost of a hotel - especially that weekend with various events in the city.

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Our amazing practically waterfront,
rooftop “camping spot”
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Our view in the morning.

Sunday morning upon waking we got the kids ready and met up with Brit’s parents and friend Saba for breakfast before heading to mile 24 to cheer Brittany on for her final stretch of the marathon. We ended up arriving at mile 24 quite early and waited about two hours for Brit to make her way to us. At first Viv was having fun clapping at the runners and trying to run next to some along the sidewalk but the novelty of that quickly wore off. Luckily we were next to a field with some wildflowers otherwise Vivian would have been a tough sell for sticking around to cheer on Brit. Thankfully, Viv’s spunk returned when Brittany came into view and we all cheered her on and gave high-fives as she continued through to the finish.

Once she passed, we all high-tailed it back to the train to rush back to the finish before Brittany got there. It was an extremely close call as we had to wait for the train but we ended up beating her ever so slightly with just enough time to get to the finish and cheer her to the end as she ran by.

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Our family with Brittany, Portland Marathon Finisher!

After the race we all went out for lunch and then we packed up shop to head back home. Unfortunately the driving reminded us to make our trips few and far between… that said - we go to Vancouver, Canada next weekend for my first half marathon. That should be interesting!

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October 18, 2014
It’s a snuggly Saturday morning!

It’s a snuggly Saturday morning!

October 16, 2014
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Vivian proudly clutching Zachary’s balloon.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and this year I was so excited to attend Parent Support’s 13th Annual Walk to Remember with my wonderful little family and my mom! My first year I attended alone and last year I brought along baby Vivian. It was nice to share the event - of which I helped organize as the organization’s president - with Tyler, my mom and my kids.

The event as a whole is very well rounded. Besides the short walk there are activities for kids but also a highly emotional poem reading with a balloon and carnation release. Vivian participated in the craft of decorating a star for Zachary. It was fun watching her take part and I love that she will be able to incorporate Zachary into her life in fun ways.

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Tyler and Viv making Zachary’s star.
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Final product.

Of course, right now she doesn’t understand, but someday she will and I can only hope that both of my children will be more compassionate people because of Zachary and what he has taught our family.

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My mom and Conner during the walk.

It was also nice that my mom happened to be in town to join us at the walk to see how big a part of my life the loss community is. Even though I don’t mention it on a day-to-day basis, I do a lot behind the scenes and appreciate what the organization has allowed me to do; helping others which in turn is also helping myself continuously heal.

I’m glad we had such a nice day for the walk. I cannot believe my first baby would have been three soon.

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Our family will always include Zachary even if he isn’t here with us.

Photos

October 3, 2014

Unconventional camping down in Portland for the weekend to visit Brittany! Fun but late night for the kiddos :)

September 28, 2014

Getting new windows for the downstairs has been on our to-do list for a while. Last winter was the first time we actually spent any time downstairs since we did most of our living pre-kids upstairs but now that we have a full house and forsee lots of time spent in the playroom it was important to get windows that actually keep heat in and cold out. So we finally bit the bullet and got a few quotes for window replacement.

The upstairs living room windows had been replaced in 2009 before we bought our house so we used what we knew about those windows as a starting point. We got a few quotes and ended up using the company - West Coast Vinyl - that the prior owners used because of quality, matching and cost. After making the final decision it took three weeks for our windows to arrive before the installation date.

The day finally came and it was so interesting to see a good portion of our house with big gaping holes! The new windows were beautiful and really brightened up the playroom. In addition to the playroom the guest room upstairs and nursery downstairs required updating.

Unfortunately the upstairs guest room window was ordered incorrectly so we had to wait to get that reordered. They also needed more time to install the doorwall so they came back out to do both on another day. We weren’t in a rush so it wasn’t a big deal. We’d rather have it done right rather than fast!

We are so glad that we were able to get the new windows before the cold crept in! I sort of wish we did it sooner because now the downstairs windows can actually open since there are screens. Something to enjoy and appreciate next summer! Although if Tyler gets his wish we may have another big project to enjoy by then too… 

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Before new exterior trim on
master bath and bedroom windows
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After with a slightly more bold
white trim to match all other windows
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Before the new window in guest room (up)
and exterior trim only in nanny room (down)
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After with a new upper window and
bold trim on lower window to match
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Before the new window in guest room.
No screens so it was basically useless
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Not only a brighter picture, bigger,
brighter seeming window with screens too!
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Before the new window in nursery
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Not much change with the new
window in nursery. It will still likely be
unused and covered by the blinds.
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Before new windows and doorwall in playroom (from about a year ago since I forgot to take a before pic!)
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After new windows and sliding door in playroom (and a year’s worth of new toys). The biggest difference is lack of bar down the big center panes!

Video

September 25, 2014

Roll over, baby! Conner has been rolling over every which way while swaddled in the crib but had yet to roll from back to belly during regular activity. Today he did for the first time! I missed the first two times just minutes before but the third time I saw it and got it on video. Such a silly boy!

September 24, 2014

Last week we bit the bullet and decided to put the kids together in the same room. The first few days were extremely rough on us parents then it got better because Vivian realized it wasn’t a special thing but was going to be the norm every night. Viv liked her new bed and stayed snug in her new bedding that now included flat sheets and comforter instead of crib sized comforter. We got into our rhythm of putting the kids to bed together - I nursed Conner in the rocker while Tyler and Viv read books on the floor. Then when Conner is done he goes to bed and so does Viv for a final song.

It goes pretty well now… except when it doesn’t.  The last few days with the new changes have made it a little rough. Both kids got off schedule and bedtime was a disaster. Last night,however, the putting down went well but Vivian was up and down, up and down, up and down nonstop for over two hours. She kept going to the potty and of the seemingly endless times, she did go pee twice. Then I finally realized I didn’t give her babydolly and once I finally did she stayed in bed. Oi that was a long and tedious lesson!

On top of the bedtime fiasco, Tuesdays in general just seem extra long because Tyler is out late at basketball and the evening routine is off, Vivian wants her daddy for nighttime. But hopefully as we get back into the normal swing of things and the excitement of Marina’s arrival dies down, Viv will go back to her easy to bed nature… maybe?! I definitely won’t forget tucking Viv in with babydolly again.

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Entry of the nursery before the
big kiddo merge
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Nursery with just Viv and her converted
crib to toddler bed
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Entry of the nursery with Viv’s
temporary setup
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Viv’s mattress was on the floor
for the first week
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Final entry view with both the crib and bed!
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Both beds set up and ready to go!
September 21, 2014

Exactly a year ago today we were welcoming Shelby, Vivian’s first nanny. Yesterday we dropped Shelby off at the airport and said our goodbyes as nanny/employer but not as friends. Shelby will be coming back to live not too far away so we will hopefully still see her around.

Now, exactly a year later, we are welcoming our second nanny! Marina and her little pooch, Baxter, should be arriving very shortly and we have been anxiously getting ready for their arrival.

To prepare I was able to get a few fresh new things for her room including an updated bed set to better match the desk chair. Shelby actually found the comforter! I put together a little welcome basket just like I did for Shelby too.


Shelby’s previous room

View of bed previously

Marina’s updated version

Full view of the chair and bed matching so well

Shelby’s previous bathroom

Marina’s updated bathroom with
the bowls for Baxter too!

Baxter’s private restroom access right
outside of Marina’s room… if he so desires.
September 18, 2014
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Conner sure is a mellow fellow. At four months old he is extremely flirty and loves to be coy smiling at you then looking away all sheepish then looking back with his gummy grin only to look away embarrassed that he was caught again.

He is right around the 25th percentile for height and weight clocking in at 14 pounds on the dot and 25 inches long. He is rolling from tummy to back and in the crib while swaddled he can roll back to tummy but hasn’t yet figured that out when he is unswaddled.

That said, he is now a tummy sleeper. He also had been sleeping in the guest room in the pack ‘n play for the last few week but since last Sunday was officially moved into the nursery with his big sister. More on that big move later!

We just got out the jumper activity center and he seems to enjoy that although after a little while he gets pretty tired and slumps.

I also started work just the other day and it really makes it seem like he is growing even faster! Now with work in the mix time truly will fly by and soon enough it will be next month… but not to get ahead of myself yet!!! Trying to savor each moment with my sweet boy.

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