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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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July 20, 2014

Last Sunday while we were in Michigan we had the kids baptized. We had been planning to do it for a while for Vivian but we never got a chance to go to the baptism preparation class until the very end of my pregnancy with Conner so we decided to just wait until Conner was born so we could have both kids baptized at once and have family make one trip.

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We had the baptism at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish which is the church for which Suzi is the principle of the school. We chose to have the kids baptized there because after we lost Zachary we got a lot of support from Suzi’s coworkers and church. Then when I was pregnant with Vivian we continued to have support from afar and they even had a Celebrate Life day which included a full size banner that had a picture of Vivian’s ultrasound photo.

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Too cute to handle! I’m going to say
Viv was excited to get baptized.

We don’t have a church that we are strongly connected to yet here (although I have been taking the kids to church with me and I even got a congratulations card for Conner’s birth) so I definitely wanted to make sure it was somewhere meaningful. It also made a lot more sense to have the baptism somewhere that family could come celebrate for the day and a three hour drive for a few people is much easier than a flight and overnight stays - as much as we would have loved to have family in town.

So on July 13th at 1pm my parents, grandparents and brother drove from the east side of the state and Leigh drove from Chicago to Grand Rapids to meet up with us, Ty’s parents, Miss Shirley, Nick and Sarah, Katie and her kiddos for our small baptism ceremony.

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A private ceremony allowed everyone to come up close.
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Deacon Denny blessing our children.

The ceremony took about an hour including time for photos afterwards. Vivian hated having the water dumped on her head but I think part of the problem was that she wasn’t feeling well. This was the first day of her fever (we now know was Hand Foot Mouth virus) and she only was able to have a 20 minute nap since the baptism was during her normal nap time. So she was in as good of spirits as I could have asked for and once Deacon Denny was done anointing her with oil and water Vivian could not stop telling everyone about the water - “wa wa, wa wa!” while pointing to the baptismal fountain.

Conner slept through the entire ceremony and didn’t even flinch when he was anointed. That’s what taking him in the shower with me will do I suppose!

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Viv getting baptized.
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Conner getting baptized.
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Kids, parents and Godparents.
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Candles lit.
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Conner with his Godparents.
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Vivian with her Godparents.
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All done!
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With the cousins!
imageWith the Grandparents.
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With the Great Grandparents.

After the kids were officially baptized we took some photos with the family before heading back to Suzi and Steve’s house for a little celebration. Suzi and Steve were kind enough to host a wonderful backyard BBQ for the family. We all ate and drank and enjoyed each other’s company catching up for a few hours before my side of the family had to retreat to the east side of the state.

It was a wonderful day of family and celebration.

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BBQ after the ceremony.
July 18, 2014

This little man sure is growing fast! In addition to growing leaps and bounds, he is getting stronger and more interactive. Conner is great at tracking faces and objects and gives some great smiles, coos and some silly chuckles.

I’ve learned that Conner absolutely hates the heat and sweating. He’s not a huge fan of diaper changes or clothes changes but since he spits up a lot he is prone to frequent wardrobe changes. He absolutely hates when he has a bubble in his throat/belly and screams until we work it out of him. Going back to the spitting up - the burping to rid of the bubbles nearly 99% of the time brings up whole meals. It is very messy business holding Conner after mealtime. Today we got some of the cloth diapers resized for Conner and we tried one out and it turns out he also hates being in wet cloth diapers. He never seemed to mind disposables when they are soiled but the cloth made a difference. So more frequent diaper changes will also be in his future if he continues to be so aware.

Even though he spits up a ton, Conner always wants to be in your arms or on the boob. He will nurse till pigs fly. He is a very active fellow - again not helping the barf situation - and loves kicking his feet like a madman. He does pretty well during tummy time but I am always so reluctant to put him on his stomach because he is almost guaranteed to be sloshing about in his barf within minutes. In fact today I put him down and he was happy as a clam until he unloaded and then proceeded to wiggle his was up through his spit up and covered his face and belly. Pretty gross and I didn’t blame him for screaming after that.

Every day seems to be getting more and more interesting with Conner. He is getting into a schedule (if only we didn’t interrupt it with travel) and is awake for more of the day. Vivian continues to be a great big sister and loves to help out her baby “Dondu.”

July 17, 2014

It may be a while before I can post about our wonderful Michigan travels. I was hoping to get a chance to write when we got home and Tyler was finishing his paternity leave but that does not seem to be in the stars for me.

That said, today has not quite been the homecoming I expected. Last night we got home from our trip to Michigan but unfortunately brought back a nasty virus - Hand Foot Mouth.

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Vivian’s sores on Tuesday evening - the
first day of sores and peak of the illness.

On Sunday Vivian had a low fever (100.7) but was otherwise just fine so we didn’t think much of it and on Tuesday sores around her mouth started growing which I thought were from teething drool (she just cut 3 teeth). Then I noticed some bad diaper rash (which she never gets) and had diarrhea. I thought it was too coincidental that all was happening at once and WebMD told me it was likely she had HFM. Sure enough when I looked at her feet she had some red spots starting. Oi vey!

No need to go to the doctor for a diagnosis since there is nothing to do other than ride out the virus which is awful considering how contagious HFM is. So far Conner and I are fine (knock on wood, fingers crossed, praying and all other methods of luck) but yesterday Tyler started feeling poorly and traveling home with Vivian while he was ill was awful. Today he has been in bed sleeping - literally - all day trying to get rid of his fever and aches. In fact I saw him awake exactly once and that was when he was going to get some water. I told him to go lay back down and brought it to him and he was back asleep by the time I returned five minutes later. Hopefully he doesn’t get the sores around or in his mouth and feet or hands as that sounds like it is mostly a symptom of children and the sore throat, fever and body aches are quite enough.

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Sad Lu

So while Tyler was down for the count I had both kids and couldn’t go out to do anything. Conner was super fussy because our house is near 90 degrees inside and he sweats a lot and Vivian was bored since even though she is contagious and looks awful, she seems as though she is feeling fine. It was definitely a time I wished the illness had her sleepy like Tyler although I would probably be worried sick if she was.

To top it all off, Lu got some sort of bite on his paw the other day and I have been nursing his wound which he kept licking so I had to pull out the cone. The cone makes him and I miserable because he drags himself around knocking into everything and meowing constantly. Annoying for him and I!

Vivian is now finally in bed (not yet asleep), Conner for the moment is content and Lu is back to bumping around and meowing after I let him have the cone off to eat, drink and potty.

May tomorrow please be a better day?

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July 4, 2014
Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

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July 1, 2014

Are we there yet?!? Almost!

After leaving the house at 9am PST we have only 24 more minutes to go… Not like I’ve been counting down or anything!

We are all going to sleep well tonight.

July 1, 2014
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Wubby in the car during the incident.

Luckily the only one in our family who needed transplant surgery is Vivian’s dear Wubby. While in the car on our way home from dinner with the Furt family our little miss was sucking on and then snapping (biting and pulling) her Wubby’s pacifier. Wubby finally had enough and a fit of shock, sadness and rage came through Vivian’s screams as it broke.

Of course this happens on the night right before our big flight to Michigan. Wubby is a huge part of calm travel so once we got home and packed (probably around 10pm or 11pm) I performed transplant surgery on Wubby.

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Wubby ready for surgery.
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Mission accomplished - a happy Wubby!

Surprisingly the pacifier wasn’t too hard to unstitch and resew a new one on. Vivian sure is one lucky kiddo. I told her Wubby was broken but she will be thrilled to see a new fixed pink Wubby as a surprise on the plane.

The things we do for our kids to make them happy. Please send calm travel vibes for our flight!!!

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June 30, 2014

Yesterday we tried a new activity with Vivian - soccer! Tyler has a friend whose kids take soccer lessons and invited Tyler to join for a free trial class. It was supposed to be a dads and daughters activity but I wanted to watch!

So we packed up the van with the whole family for a Sunday morning activity. Both Tyler and Vivian had a blast doing the various activities which included “red light, green light,” cone tower building, parachute games, squishy ball play, obstacle course and of course kicking around a soccer ball.

Conner and I got to sit and watch behind a plexiglass wall for a while until Viv noticed and kept trying to run over to me. So Conner and I went to a more discreet spot behind the netted wall. Needless to say daddy and daughter might have a fun new activity together on the weekends!

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June 25, 2014

Yesterday I got a Fitbit and today was the first full day using it to track my activity. A little before 11pm I noticed that I was only 1,000 steps away from my goal of 10,000 steps so I decided I was going to hit my goal and took off jogging around my kitchen loop.

Shelby was sitting at the kitchen table and thought it would be funny to capture my (not so flattering) finale especially since the majority of my jog was mocking a "Prancercise" video she had just shown me.

My jogging around and prancing made for some good laughs but hey, I made my goal!!! One day down, now I just have my whole future to get back in shape.

Here’s to a healthy tomorrow!

June 21, 2014

Six years, three children, two pets and one house later I am not the same person, but a better version of myself because of you. Thank you and I love you, my dear, sweet, patient kind, loving and understanding husband.

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Candidly (I took about 500 photos in a row)
taking a moment to look at our beautiful children.

Today we spent a gloriously sunny day as a family. First we went to the mall - per Tyler’s request - then out to lunch at PF Chang’s. We headed home for Vivian’s nap which ended up being amazingly long so Tyler went to get his hair cut and mowed the lawn while I did some household chores and organizing. Once Vivian woke up (around 5:15pm!) we headed out to Redmond Town Center for some outdoor shopping and a picnic for Viv at the water fountains where Viv was excited to run around. Conner all the while was a pleasantly sleepy baby in the stroller other than to have a meal or two.

We got home a little later than the normal bedtime and Viv got put to sleep while I nursed Conner. After the kids were settled down, Tyler and I started our dinner - special fresh caught jumbo prawns and lemon garlic linguine that Tyler picked up along with some beautiful flowers from Pike Place Market. As luck would have it, there must have been some anniversary magic at play because both children slept while we had a relaxing dinner just the two of us.

After that we just enjoyed the evening together and watched a movie. Doesn’t get much better than this!

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Smile! What two lives together can make.
June 18, 2014
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All smiles with me and my little man

I thought time went fast with one kiddo, well now that there are two it seems to go twice as fast! Conner is already a month old and he is growing like a weed. He is even starting to grow out of some newborn sized clothing.

At two weeks he was already a whopping 8 pounds even (up 7 oz since birth) and now he is 9 pounds 5 ounces and 22 inches (up 2 inches since birth).

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Getting ready for a nap snuggled in our bed.

For the first three weeks we had Conner sleeping in bed with us on a contoured pillow - which we also did with Viv - since it raised him up safely out of roll-over range and it kept him snugly in place on the pillow from the dipped contour. It also was helpful because for the first week I slept sitting up because it was too hard to lay down and then sit up to nurse after my c-section.

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Ready for bed in his rock ‘n play!

Once I was feeling better and it was comfortable to lay down in bed and sit up when necessary - at three weeks - we moved Conner to the rock ‘n play next to my side of the bed. It was nice to regain space in the bed which allowed more space for me to side-lay nurse and for Tyler and I to snuggle too.

Now a month into the parenting-a-boy gig we can look back on some lessons learned. Namely that changing a little boy’s diaper is much different and harder than a girl’s! Conner is a pretty easy going baby and so far he only seems to cry when trying to tell us something. Either his diaper is wet/dirty, he is starving to death, or he has a bubble and needs to burp. Sometimes he does cry when he just wants to suck on his paci and he has lost it but otherwise he is mostly easy peasy. The only exception to this is from about 5pm to 9pm when he routinely turns into a fussy pants. That simply is the magic of the witching hour - whiny for no reason - it shall pass.

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In the early part of the month Conner was sleeping like a champ. He would sleep 3-4 hour chunks of time and I would wake him to nurse. Then he started waking up more frequently requesting a meal about every hour to hour and a half because he didn’t like having large meals at night (thankfully because it limited his spit up). Once the early morning comes he prefers to snuggle and nurse on and off while side-laying and sleeping snuggled up which is fine by me - although Conner gets a bit sweaty. I am enjoying his snuggliness now while I can because I learned too late with Viv how quickly this phase passes and once he no longer wants to snuggle there is no going back. Maybe if I’m lucky he will be a total mama’s boy because Vivian is absolutely all about daddy, daddy, daddy (with some extra love for baby too).

The main challenge with Conner right now is his spitting up. Luckily it generally isn’t an issue at night (probably because of the lazy intake and I wish I could replicate our actions during the day) but during the day he gets gassy and upset and requires burping which sometimes can hold off the spitting up but other times just triggers the spit up - and I am talking letting loose a dam kind of spit up, the kind that flows down your shirt and pants and into your sandaled toes (so sorry Nora… it’s because he loves you)! Needless to say it is gross and I smell like baby barf almost constantly since I am the one generally in range and I can only get proactively lucky part of the time. Next time you see my little man, he will probably be donning a bib. It’s the only way to keep him reasonably dry.

Thankfully, Conner’s pediatrician thinks the spit up issue is because of my large supply and fast flow and his lack of ability to control flow yet rather than reflux or anything else. In time he will learn and hopefully the spitting up will lessen but until then I will just be doing a lot of laundry.

In other Conner news, he is just cute as a button and that’s about it!

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