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Vivian's Birth Story





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April 22, 2014

It has been on my to-do list to get rid of my side garden bed for over a year now! We were going to have it taken care of last spring but with a new baby planning the work fell to the wayside and by the time I got around to it the season was nearly over and it would have taken a lot of work to keep the new grass happy and healthy. So it was at the top of my mind as spring rolled around this year.

I put an ad out on Craigslist to see if I could get reasonable estimates without having to make all the calls and emails myself - potential workers flooded in! It looked like we could definitely have the work done for us rather than me trying to do the back-breaking labor of moving soil all by my 8-month-pregnant-self (Tyler has his own list of to-dos to take care of).

So last week the work began. My neglected garden bed and slug/mole haven was to be demolished! The weeds were pulled, Laurel hedge trimmed, raised ground was leveled and tapered down to match our existing lawn and sod was laid. It now looks so much better!

Now we have just a little bit more grassy space and hopefully a lot less weeds to maintain! The challenge now will be to keep the grass happy and keep moss away… an ongoing project for the rest of the lawn that will never cease to be a problem with all the pine trees and acidic soil. Oh well! Still better than looking at a bed of weeds.

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Before
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During
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April 21, 2014

Holidays are great but they are even more wonderful when you get to see the holiday magic through the eyes of children. Last Easter, Viv was such a tiny peanut that even though the Easter Bunny brought treats, she didn’t even know what was going on - she was still very much just a lump and snugly baby.

This year, she was excited. When she saw her basket in the morning she instantly started yelling “BABY!” because the Easter Bunny had brought her a baby doll. Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s backup to Saturday first.

On Saturday we were supposed to go to a fun Easter egg hunt and BBQ with my mom’s group but unfortunately it got rained out. Since the big party got cancelled, Marissa - who was hosting it - still wanted to celebrate so our family, along with Keri, Guy and River still got to hang out. As luck would have it, the rain stopped for a bit too so we took the kids outside to try out their egg hunting skills. They loved it!

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"Smile!"
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Family Easter photo
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Found one!

The hunt started on the deck but then moved to the yard. It was chilly out but the kids didn’t seem to care as they ran around in the grass picking eggs up and putting them in and out of the shared basket. It was a hoot to see them so interested in the activity. None of them wanted to go inside but we finally decided we were getting cold so we dragged them in!

We had some dinner and chatted while the kids played for a bit before it got too late and bedtimes were near. Despite the on and off rain, we had a wonderful time - after all, these are Pacific Northwest children even if us adults are all transplants!

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The gang (minus the Ross clan)

Sunday morning brought the excitement of the Easter Bunny’s visit. When Vivian woke up she was greeted by jelly beans and a decorated egg carton at the stairs right outside of her room.

Viv didn’t realize that the colorful little rock look-a-likes actually were edible at first so she was diligently collecting as many as she could in one hand while going up the stairs. Near the top, when her hand was full, she somehow realized that the jelly beans were treats that she could eat!

The jelly bean trail lead to the the first “hidden” Easter egg and Vivian was thrilled to find out there were treats inside of the eggs too. She carried around the opened egg snacking on her bunny crackers while we tried helping her find a few more eggs. Then she spotted her basket.

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Viv with her Easter loot
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Kisses for baby - she’s going
to be such a good big sister!
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Easter morning

Eggs and jelly beans were no longer important. She spotted a baby doll.

I don’t know how, when or where she realized that baby dolls were so amazing but some how my little miss fell into the girly-girl stereotype of loving baby dolls. After exploring the other goodies in the basket she got the baby out and carried it around saying “baby” over and over. Clearly the Easter Bunny had brought the perfect gift.

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The girls at church

Finally, Tyler and I decided to get some breakfast going so Viv didn’t fill up on jelly beans and crackers and so that Viv and I could eat, get dressed and make it to church where we were meeting Katie, Marlee and Carmen.

I arrived just in time to get Vivian checked into Sunday School/nursery with her cousins before Katie and I sat through service. The little girls played together and when service was over Viv did not want to leave the play kitchen at all. After church we all went back to our homes to nap the kids (and myself!) before getting together that afternoon for our Easter dinner and another egg hunt.

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Ready for a hunt!
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"Yay! Eggy!"
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Being pushed around for the hunt

While Viv and I were napping, Tyler held down the fort. He had to wake both of us up so we could leave on time. Once we got to Katie and Brandon’s house the kids started playing and snacking while the guys hid the eggs. We eventually headed outside to start the egg hunt and Vivian immediately got distracted by a push bike. She could care less about the eggs this time around and only wanted to ride the bike. So I decided to merge the two activities and took her down to the grass with the bike and her basket to find eggs while riding around on her throne-like chariot bike. Of course she loved every minute of that!

We all stayed outside long after the hunt was over to enjoy the beautiful sunny and warm day. The kids played on the swings and slide and Viv even decided to try out the big girl swing and loved it. She also climbed the ladder up to the slide (with very closely hovering supervision from Tyler).

We had dinner out on the patio and it just couldn’t have been a more lovely Easter.

April 18, 2014

In exactly one month we will finally get to meet you! I cannot believe how quickly you’ve grown - time has flown by these last months and I am ever so grateful to your big sister for helping out with that.

You have been quite a wiggle worm in my belly and I love it! Your most favorite thing to do is wiggle your little butt back and forth under my ribs. I bet you are ready to come out and stretch a bit. In fact, you are welcome to come slightly early if you want but not for at least two more weeks. You should get as big and strong inside my womb for a bit longer but I’d love for you to pick your own birthday and try to come on your own the week before the scheduled c-section. Just a suggestion, my little love. No matter when you come we will be thrilled to just have you in our arms finally.

At your Non-Stress Test (NST) yesterday morning you were sleeping. You probably take after your daddy and like to sleep in - we definitely wouldn’t mind if that were the case! But of course for the purposes of a NST it wasn’t great. The nurse had to get out a little vibrating tool to give you a little wake up call. It sure worked and you were pissed! You wouldn’t stop moving around for the next 10 minutes or so and proved to the nurse that you were just fine. I also apparently am having contractions that I can’t even feel and was told to try and be more aware just in case. Ummm ok?

I promise when you do come out that we won’t let Vivian tackle you or step on you as she sometimes does these days while you are in my belly, so don’t be afraid! You will be under our protection for the first few months at least… then maybe you will have to learn to toughen up and fend for yourself ;) I know you will be a strong little guy and love your big sister as much as she will love you. Despite the rough and tumble on my belly, I have a feeling she will smother you with kisses and hugs. She will also probably try to give you lots of little gifts - like necklaces, rocks or crumbs. You will be one lucky guy to get Viv’s precious treasures.

Anyway little man, keep on wiggling and we will see you in a month!

Love you lots!
Mommy

April 16, 2014

Mmmmm Oreos… nah that’s not what I’m referring to here although they do sound good now that I’ve mentioned it! Instead of delicious cookies I’m talking about diapers.

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Proudly showing off her bellybutton.

Lately Vivian has been leaking through her cloth diapers at least once a day. There is nothing wrong with the diapers nor are they being left on her too long but rather she is growing up! She now can hold her bladder until she needs to go and the quantity is much more because she has also picked up on my habit of drinking lots of water throughout the day - she has her very own 750 mL Camelbak that she gets refilled daily. So we have to be extremely prompt in getting her diaper off which is a very hard task with little to no warning despite our best efforts to get Viv to tell us if she has or needs to pee.

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"Viv, where’s your diaper?"

Of course, we never caught on to the thought of bringing extra pants anywhere so I’d occasionally be stuck in the car using the air vent to fan dry the pants to be presentable in public - this actually happened for the last time two weeks ago on our way to dinner. Vivian was in a clean dry diaper and during the 40 minute drive to Seattle she managed to flood her diaper and thoroughly wet her pants - of which I had no extras.

Anyway, something had to change. I had been chatting with Jess at dinner a while ago about our constant battle against leakage and she suggested something genius: double stuff the diaper inserts!

Why didn’t I think of that?!?!

It was such a simple solution to a longstanding problem we’ve been having and I was so excited to try it out. So two weeks ago from today, I finally got a set of diapers double stuffed - along with expanding the waist and legs for my growing girl - and alas! Vivian had a leak-free day for the first time in a long while.

We have yet to have a leak since this simple change - going on two weeks - and I could not be happier!

April 14, 2014

Today was Tyler’s birthday!

Last night Shelby baked a special treat for Tyler to kick off his birthday - Blue Moon cupcakes! We had a little celebration singing before watching Game of Thrones.

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Tyler blowing out his candle.
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Special Blue Moon flavored
cupcakes with a Blue Moon!

Today when Tyler left for work I was still sleeping and was so out of it when he kissed me goodbye. After a day full of work Tyler came home and we went out on a date night to El Gaucho for a special birthday dinner. We ate so much steak! It was so very delicious and relaxing to enjoy a leisurely meal - especially a five course meal - without our impatient sidekick demanding to run around or eat something from our plates. We also left with extremely full bellies and lots of leftovers to enjoy tomorrow. Yum!

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Finished present.
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Unfinished present.

While we were gone Shelby and Viv worked on a special birthday project. Since Viv is extremely into rocks right now she collected some special rocks at the beach for Tyler. Then they painted the rocks pretty colors and put them into a pot that was also painted by Viv.

Once the pot dried, there was a paper inserted with Vivian’s preciously collected rocks saying “You’ll always be my rock <3 I love you daddy”

Now we are just relaxing and enjoying the rest of the evening before I turn in for bedtime - little man is starting to drain me!

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April 10, 2014
What&#8217;s wrong with this picture?

Haha, silly Viv! Sleeping on the floor!!! Ty went down to rescue her and make her more comfortable back in bed.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Haha, silly Viv! Sleeping on the floor!!! Ty went down to rescue her and make her more comfortable back in bed.

April 6, 2014
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Viv was in awe that the front part came off!

Yesterday Tyler got it in his head that he wanted to switch Viv’s crib into a toddler bed - with the safety rail. He wanted to do it for a few reasons:

  • to get her used to sleeping somewhere she can get out of for camping this season
  • to see if she would stop gnawing on the wood and further ruining the crib
  • so I can put her to bed since my belly was no longer making it possible to reach all the way to the mattress… let alone grab socks, blankets, pacis or whatever other things may have ended up in the crib (luckily Vivian is a great listener and helper and she would get whatever I asked her to from the crib)
  • it would make it a lot easier to change the sheets
  • just to see what would happen
  • something to do on a rainy afternoon

So on Saturday afternoon after Viv’s nap we all went down to her room as a family and helped. Tyler took off the front piece and Vivian and I were the sticker removers. It was a pretty quick process and Viv loved helping out.

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Testing out the new found freedom.

Later that night we got her all ready for bed and had our fingers crossed since we had absolutely no idea how this experiment would go - although we were ready for the worst case scenario of putting it back together in the middle of the night or waking up early to show Viv back to her bed.

We were pleasantly surprised though! As usual, Viv pouted for about two minutes when initially put down then rolled over and went right to bed. Too easy.

We had the video monitor on all night with sound turned on. We usually only rely on our audio monitors but they cancel out noises other than screaming pretty much and we wanted to hear any little noise that could potentially be Viv getting out of her crib.

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Saying “night night” before sleeping in
her big girl bed for the first time.

Again to my surprise, I woke up at about 8am and Vivi was still sleeping soundly and most definitely in her crib. At 8:30am I started to hear her moving around and decided to watch her. She wiggled down to the opening and hung her legs out half way then decided to climb back into bed and laid there for another 30 minutes. Then she dropped out her lovey and climbed out to get it and then went back into bed again.

Finally she decided she was ready to get up and started talking. When I got down to her room she greeted me at the door! I wasn’t expecting her to be at the door though since she wasn’t out of bed when I headed downstairs and kind of whacked her as I opened the door… oops!

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Snoozing away - right in
front of the open edge.
My girl likes adventure
even when she’s sleeping.

First night was a success.

Then for her first nap today she went down without a problem. She woke up crying shortly into it but quickly readjusted and went back to sleep. When she was ready to get up from nap - probably because she heard all the excitement of her cousins upstairs - she started crying, got out of bed and ran to the door. My kid clearly does not want to miss out on anything!

Tonight for bedtime she did pretty well given the circumstances. We were all upstairs - including her cousins - finishing dinner but she had eaten earlier and was just too far gone to sit it out until everyone left. So Tyler took her to bed and she laid there for a few minutes before running to the door screaming.

I went down to calm her down and told her it was bedtime and put her back in bed and she was fine. She ended up just laying there playing with her blankets for quite a while before actually falling asleep but she didn’t get out of bed again.

Now to see what tomorrow morning will bring!

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April 5, 2014
Best virgin margarita shelf :)

Best virgin margarita shelf :)

Photos

April 4, 2014

Photos

April 3, 2014

Someone looks a bit like his daddy! Loving those chubby cheeks!

32 weeks today and yesterday at a growth ultrasound (standard for gestational diabetes) he was measuring right on track at 4 lbs 3 oz and estimated to be a little over 7 lbs when he is scheduled to arrive May 18th.

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