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

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February 21, 2014

I haven’t written in quite a while. It doesn’t seem like there is much to write about lately. Life has been going pretty smoothly and has been consistently the same for the most part - work during the week with low key weekends spent finding fun things to do with Vivian.

Daddy makes everything feel better.

Last weekend, after Valentine’s Day, Vivian got sick and came down with a fever of 101.4 that evening. It went down Saturday to in the 99 degree range but she was then snotty and coughing like crazy. By Sunday the fever was gone but snot and coughs were in full force and sleeping was little-to-none for the next few nights because she’d wake up in horrible coughing fits. No fun for anyone in our house! Luckily none of us adults seemed to catch it but it was a bummer because on Saturday she and Tyler had to miss little Vivian’s first birthday brunch and on Monday she also missed her birthday playdate. So sad. But I went to celebrate and had a blast!

The weekend prior Tyler, Viv and I went to breakfast Saturday morning and during nap I did some much overdue garden cleanup and weeding. After nap, Ty wanted to take Viv to the mall to play and we impromptu met up with Nora, Adam and River to let the kiddos play then grabbed a bite to eat for dinner. At dinner it started to really snow for the first time this year and it actually stuck! By the time we were driving home there was good accumulation and the Seattle drivers were acting all sorts of dumb.

Since we live up a very large hill we knew we’d run into problems and were not surprised when we came to a long line of stuck cars. Thankfully the lineup ended right before we could turn into a secret back entrance to our neighborhood. We passed a few other stuck cars in the hills within our neighborhood and even stopped to ask if anyone needed help. When we got home we saw that Shelby was out and hoped she’d be able to make it home ok - thankfully her car also had four wheel drive and she has east coast driving skills like us so all ended up fine.

The snow continued falling throughout the night and we woke to a winter wonderland. Of course it didn’t stick around for long and was mostly melted by midday. Needless to say, we stayed indoors nice and cozy.

Other than that, the Super Bowl was three weekends ago and of course our Seattle Seahawks murdered the Denver Broncos much to our city’s delight. There was all sorts of excitement all over and it even now the high energy is just starting to fade. We didn’t make it to the celebratory parade but apparently much of Seattle and surrounding areas did and it was a huge street party with hundreds of thousands of people (nearing the millions I believe).

Now jumping back to present, this weekend we are hosting a playdate and then are going to celebrate Marissa’s birthday which is actually today!

Other than that, pretty low key which has been really nice although I am ready for the go-go-go of fun activities that spring and summer brings!


February 20, 2014
26 week belly!

26 week belly!


February 16, 2014

My Valentines


February 13, 2014

I got cleared by Dr. Lacy to try for a vaginal birth (VBAC) this time around!!! Of course there are a few caveats such as the plan goes out the window if:

So all in all, I am pretty excited at the possibility of getting to labor and actually look forward to the result rather than dread what is coming next as was sadly the case with Zachary after my 12 hour labor knowing I was delivering a dead baby.

And of course, if plans change and I can’t do a VBAC I will be just as thrilled because I will do whatever it takes to bring a healthy baby home. End of story.


February 8, 2014
Saturday morning family breakfast date!

Saturday morning family breakfast date!

February 6, 2014

This is a point in pregnancy I am always very happy to reach - viability. Now at 24 weeks along, this little guy could survive outside my womb. With lots of help, he would have a fighting chance if something happened.

Of course, I prefer to keep my littlest cupcake cooking for as long as possible!

February 4, 2014

The other day I was chatting with Marissa about a friend of hers who adopted a child from Russia. The child was 12 months old and came fully potty trained because the orphanages cannot afford diapers so they make the children sit on the toilet for 20 minutes after meals starting very early.

This got me thinking… why not give that method a try? Sure, I wasn’t going to force Vivian to sit on her potty for 20 minutes if she hated it or didn’t want to, but heck, what did we have to lose?

Since I am working from home this week fully utilizing my flexible work arrangement as Shelby is out of town on vacation, I thought the timing was right to experiment. So today after breakfast I pulled out Vivian’s potty that I purchased at IKEA long before she was even born and into the bathroom it went.

I grabbed a few books so we could make it fun and planned to see how long she would tolerate it - especially since my little miss is always on the go - and see if she would go.

Concentrating hard!

To my complete surprise she loved sitting on the potty with books, reading and listening to my encouragement after every few read words “go potty, you can pee pee” not knowing exactly what to say since this was a totally new and random suggestion she probably never has heard before.

Within about five minutes she was done. She started squirming and was ready to do something else. As she was trying to wiggle off the potty I saw movement inside… there was pee!

I didn’t even realize or hear her go but she did! We had a celebration that she had no interest in because she wanted to go play. So off we went.

Later after lunch I figured we’d give it another go since we were so successful after breakfast. We walked hand in hand to the bathroom while I kept telling her we were going to go potty now.

Mid-“Yay!” celebration.
Reading on the potty is so exciting!

She instantly wanted to climb onto the potty but I had to take her diaper and pants off first - this was a good sign! Once seated on her little green and white throne we started reading again. She flipped through pages while I encouraged her to go potty, tinkle and pee pee.

Not very long after it was apparent she was going poop! And at that moment I realized I was not prepared for that - I had no wipes.

The smart thing would have been to just use toilet paper and forget the wipes but I thought Viv looked content with her books and I made a mad dash to the diaper bag about 20 feet away. In that 10 seconds things changed.

Viv wanted to get off the potty now being done and she didn’t quite know how, so out came the potty insert with her and her mess. I got there just in time to watch it happen. All I could do is just continue congratulating and cheering while cleaning her up. (Of course I snapped a photo but it  isn’t quite appropriate for the internet as my little Vivi’s buns and mess are shown.)

The mess got on the bath mat and one of the books but I’m pretty sure that rug needed to be washed anyway and that book - well, I’ve got disinfecting wipes. So I cleaned up Viv’s leg - ironically I wouldn’t have even needed wipes and toilet paper would have served just fine - before we got a diaper back on and headed down to get ready for nap.

After her two hour nap Vivian woke up with a dry diaper so up to the potty we went. She sat down and peed right away. I’m in shock.

I’ve got to say, I am one proud mama. Even if I am not intending to actually and fully potty train right now - I think we will continue the “Russian Orphanage Method” to decrease diapers a little if possible.


February 2, 2014
Way to go Seahawks!!!!!!

Way to go Seahawks!!!!!!

February 1, 2014

I haven’t taken the time to sit down and write about life’s happenings lately. In fact, I’ve pretty much neglected this space of my life - my blog - and I’ve been ok with it. I’ve been snapping less pictures and living more in the moment instead of trying to write it all down.

Seattle Children’s Museum

Besides working hard to make a deadline (that was yesterday), we’ve done a lot of fun stuff this past month. Lucky for Viv, life is all fun and games while Tyler and I work as Shelby takes her to do tons of awesome things! This month they’ve gone to playdates, the park, Seattle Children’s Museum, Kid’s Quest, and Woodland Park Zoo among everyday fun. I’m lucky to get to see their fun in pictures when the day is done - it makes it seem almost like I was there.

playing at home
At the park
Best friends watching otters at the zoo
Feeding the penguins
with Shelby at the zoo


Other than the fun Viv has without us, weekends come and we just enjoy family and friends. Today instead of sleeping in as one would think after a late night, Vivian was up earlier than ever. We went to McDonald’s to play in the play place for something fun to do while it rained and Viv got a nice big goose egg with a bruise on her head because she tripped into the structure. It slowed her down for a second then was off to play with the other kids. Later today we will be heading out with some friends and tomorrow we will - of course - be at a Super Bowl party rooting on our Seahawks!

McDonald’s Play Place!
Someone loves the slide even
when it makes your hair stand up!

Last night we got together with our Vivs and Rivs clan to unwind and celebrate life. We got takeout and all caught up with each other while the kids played together and shared snacks and sippy cups with each other. Once it was time the Rivers went to bed just fine but the Vivians were having none of it! Our little lady was such a party animal that she decided she’d rather scream bloody murder instead of sleeping so we snatched her out of the pack ‘n play and she got to party with the adults. She was in a pretty good mood thankfully and we all got to go enjoy the hot tub - including Viv with some bath toys! Finally when we were ready to get out of the hot tub Viv was at her breaking point - that kid does not like to get out of the water. It was 11:30pm so we knew her good mood would very quickly turn south so we headed home thankful that we did get to stay sooo very long and sooo past Viv’s bed time! She conked out immediately upon her head hitting the crib.

Sharing a snack while the adults chat

Last weekend we had a celebratory birthday dinner with some friends on Friday night then Saturday was beautiful so we got to enjoy the sunshine at the dog park then brunch with Ali and Alex and their pup. We also had a fun one year reunion party at our home with our birth class! It’s hard to believe that all the kiddos are walking, babbling and becoming such unique individuals with very strong personalities!

Six kiddos that could make the birth class reunion

Two weekends ago was pretty low key. Vivian and I went to a rare weekend playdate and had so much fun catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in quite some time because of my work schedule. We went to the park to play at Zachary’s playground and we also got together with friends to watch the Seahawks winning Championship game which was fun! Viv wasn’t sure of all the screaming but all the kids had fun playing together and grazing on snacks all afternoon.

Go Hawks! And zoom goes River
with Vivian in the toy stroller.
Zachary’s bench!

Three weekends ago I had lunch sans children with my friend Phoebe. Then we had a family dinner over at Katie and Brandon’s place. It’s so awesome that Vivian has three cousins so close by and that they have so much fun playing together now that Viv is a lot more interactive and interested in other children. Sunday we met up with Nora, Adam and River for brunch before going to a first birthday party.

And that about brings us to our cruise vacation! Of course there were various other things scattered about during the weekdays - a few dinners with friends, a pedicure and more recently chiropractor appointments. My coccyx has been acting up and causing very sharp pains so I have been getting adjusted twice a week for the last two weeks and it is helping immensely!  Vivian joins me because she needed her milestone adjustment for learning to walk (we were recommended to bring her in to get adjustments as she hits milestones - rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, etc.) and we also wanted to get an opinion on her walking technique.

She has now been walking about a month and a half and her gait has not improved from the robot technique - swinging her legs and not bending her knees. It became quite apparent when we got all the new walkers together that she should be improving more than she is and we were right. It turns out her hips are extremely tight which was likely due to her being frank breech and not having the full range of motion en utero. Makes perfect sense to me as I can now unmistakably agree that she did NOT move as much as she should have at least compared to her little brother who is - at this very moment even - kicking up a storm. Vivian just never could wiggle the way a baby should inside the womb.  So anyway, she has been coming twice a week for adjustments to help loosen her hips and knees and it seems to really be helping! Of course it will take a bit more time, but I can already see her bending her knees and swinging one leg much less.

Vivian also had a doctor’s appointment at Seattle Children’s to check up on her medication dosage for her birthmarks. She has been on Propranolol (a beta blocker) since September to primarily decrease the height of the birthmark on her back. Of course it lessens the redness of that birthmark as well as the one on her head too. We have been going in about monthly for checkups and dosage adjustments as she grew and this time we got the word that she will be on the medication for a month then we will start to wean her body of it to determine if the birthmarks are out of their growth phase. If they aren’t, as we wean it will start to raise up again and we will have to continue medication but if they remain the same while weaning we will be clear to quit!

The only other update I can think of is that unlike I thought before the cruise, I seem to not have gestational diabetes (at least not yet). When I realized my numbers were awful, I was sick and stressed which greatly impacts your insulin. I continued to monitor my blood sugar while I was on the cruise and everything was fine. I’ve continued to check and still I am apparently in the clear. I will have the official test sometime in the next few weeks but I will continue self-monitoring nonetheless. I may get lucky!


January 30, 2014

Making chocolate covered strawberries with Shelby!

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