Monday, December 2, 2013

In which we reveal what Baby #2 will be...

Being pregnant the second time around is both different and fun. I enjoy that the pregnancy goes a lot faster and you don't focus on the aches as much because there's already one out that you have to take care of. Of course, being pregnant the second time around means you feel a lot of those aches sooner, which is not as fun. Sometimes comparing the two pregnancies is fun because as you compare the way the baby is acting, you feel like you get a glimpse of their personality before you even meet them.
For example, this baby is a lot more active than Jace was when he was in utero. We started feeling this baby move around 15 weeks, and the first movements we felt were very strong kicks, strong enough for Rod to feel, even though the baby was so little. Actually considering how little the baby would have been at that point, it was more likely the baby had catapulted itself across the uterus to the front in order for us to feel the baby that strongly. It felt very clear that the baby wanted us to know that it was there and ready to meet the family.
 Then of course, there is the ultrasound. That was a lot more fun this time around than the first time. We were able to understand what we were seeing and the ultrasound tech was a lot more skilled than the first one. The baby looks really healthy, and we got some great photos of the profile. Then, when it was time to reveal the gender, this baby was very cooperative. He had no problem flashing his manhood on the screen--over and over again! For a few minutes, that's all we could get shots of. He's a little exhibitionist!
His legs are crossed here.

After he decided that we had been convinced that he was a boy, he then allowed us to continue the ultrasound, checking to see that his legs were properly formed. These too, he showed us without any shame. As we watched, he gave us very good images of his legs and then crossed them. Then searching for the arms, we discovered he had put them behind his head and stretched out full length, as though to show us how comfortable he was in there. Hopefully he stays comfortably in there for another 20 weeks too!
  It was so fun to watch as this child hammed up the ultrasound. He seems very happy to be here and very comfortable with who he is!Now that we know which one he is, we can call him by name, Ander. I am so excited to meet him, even though he can easily wear all of his brother's hand me downs, I picked up a couple of outfits just for him. I can't get over how little those newborn outfits are! I can't wait to put him in them!!
  We found out Ander's gender the day before Thanksgiving, so then, in my excitement, I had to make a stocking for him to hang when we decorated the day after Thanksgiving. His is the red one on the end :) I'm so excited to have him as another member of the family.

 I'll admit, I was surprised it was a boy, because I was convinced that this baby was a girl. But we had such fun with the ultrasound, I have been mostly just really excited for this child to join our family. If I have any shock or disappointment, it's more that I'm shocked I'm going to be the momma of a group of boys! I did not see that in my future! :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

The truth about getting pregnant

First the happy news (since I haven't posted it here, but you probably already know from facebook anyway):  We're pregnant! We're expecting baby number two in April 2014! We're so excited! We love being Jace's parents and we can't wait to add to the family. We're fourteen weeks along right now, so we don't know the gender yet. We're hoping for a girl, just to change things up, but ultimately, we're just hoping for another little bundle of joy to hold and cuddle!

14 weeks, and there's already a significant belly this time around!

With this exciting news in mind, I wanted to share with you something I have learned: getting pregnant isn't easy.  Even when you're both fertile and doing everything right, it still isn't easy.

    In school, we spend a lot of time learning how not to get pregnant. Contraceptives, abstinence, I feel like the majority of sex education in our teenage years are spent learning about how not to conceive. Understandably, this is because we don't really want pregnant teenagers. Unfortunately, it also results in under-educated adults. Coming from the LDS culture, we also spend these years focusing on not thinking about it, let alone not doing it. So even if you got the birds and the bees talk--which unfortunately, there are those who don't--you can still go into marriage clueless. You know the basics--insert part A into part B, the technical definition-- although this easily overlooks details that are necessary for conceiving. As a woman, you understand your menstrual cycle and how that plays into fertility.
   As an LDS woman, I always expected, and looked forward to, the time in my life when I got married and began having children. My family is a large family, and my parents come from large families, and most of my aunts and uncles have large families. So I always assumed that I would have no problem with fertility.  I thought I was a "fertile myrtle." When I heard stories about people joking that they winked at their wife and accidentally got her pregnant, I'd smile thinking that was going to be my life story. And when I heard stories of women getting pregnant after one-night stands or rape, then I figured, it must be pretty easy. Follow the book and nine months later, baby.
  So this is what I assumed when going into marriage. There were actually a lot of details that I didn't know, and therefore took us a while to figure out in order to conceive. I also undermined the importance of tracking ovulation so that you know the timing. There are more details than I originally thought necessary that go into play here.
  Well, people getting pregnant the first try is actually unusual. That level of fertility(or luck) is not the norm. I cried and cried for 5 months as we tried to get pregnant with Jace. The first two, I thought I was accidentally pregnant until my period arrived, since we weren't planning on starting quite yet. The last three we were actually trying to get pregnant. After two months of trying (or was it one? I can't remember) we actually visited a doctor because we thought we were infertile. The doctor didn't tell us anything except to recommend a specialist. He didn't bother to tell us that this is completely normal.
   Did you know that the chances of getting pregnant the first month are 25-30%? I had no idea. And even getting pregnant within the first three months, for two completely fertile people, is still only a 59% chance. I didn't know this the first or second time we tried. The first time it took us three months of trying and crying. The second time, we thought we had it all figured out this time, so we should get it the first or second try, no problem. Instead, it also took three months of trying, plus a few days of crying.
   And ours is by far not the worst case scenario. It's even a little above the norm, but I only ever heard stories of the extremes before trying. Either you get pregnant within the first month, or there must be fertility issues, and then the long and trying road of fertility options and perhaps adoption.  But the truth about getting pregnant is that those are the extreme cases, not the only options. Most people have to try a few months before getting pregnant, and they have to work to get pregnant for every child.
   I feel like I need to share my normal story for others to hear, so that perhaps you'll not be so disheartened when you fail after one, two or three months. 85% of couples get pregnant after one year, not because they're doing anything wrong up to that point, but because that is what the average chances are. If you haven't had success yet, keep trying. You haven't failed if you've only tried a few times. If you haven't started trying, I hope you'll go into it with a more realistic expectation than I did.   Don't be disheartened if you don't succeed right away, you are right on track.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

1 Year Old!!!

We made it to one year with this little cutie pie! We had a fun day. Jace opened up a package from his Tamanaha family and got a Chase-me Kitty and a toy phone. Now Jace has a phone smarter than his parents' phones!

You should see the way he giggles chasing that silly kitty and his little victory dance when he catches it!  He played with those during the day while mommy cooked, and cooked and cooked! I made him spagetti and meatballs for dinner with home made bread and a dairy free, egg free cake for dessert, which we had with some coconut ice cream. Rod's one rule of thumb for this birthday celebration was that there was nothing new so Jace wouldn't have an allergic reaction on his birthday. Well, mommy forgot to check the spagetti sauce, so Jace had a reaction to the spagetti... We thought we'd discovered a new allergy until we looked at the spagetti sauce label and discovered there was cheese in the sauce. Failed on that one! Then we pulled out the cake and ice cream. I made a little cupcake for Jace so he could dig in and Rod and I just had slices of cake.
What am I supposed to do with this?

I could try eating it...

After getting blinded with the flash too many times, this was Jace's trained response to seeing the camera last night!

This must be the neatest first birthday cake eating I've ever seen! I think he takes after his father...

The proper way to hold your cupcake: stick a finger in it!

MMMmmm, Ice cream!
So, to those of you wondering how good an egg free, dairy free cake might be, it could have been quite good. It seems the recipe was good, but I didn't mix it enough so it had that baking soda flavor all throughout. Not very good at all. We threw it away. Jace munched on it a little bit, but not more than what you see in these pictures. The dairy free ice cream was delicious though! Definitely worth it!
And then we opened presents. Jace seemed to have a better grasp on what to do with wrapping paper at Christmas than he did with his birthday... he wasn't sure what to do at all!
Mommy had to help him unwrap everything (may I just say, I look a lot better for this birthday than his actual birth day?)

His first gift was a ball from mommy and daddy. He lost interest in the other presents after opening that one... 

Books from Grandma and Grandpa Haehnel! This one's on fire trucks, Jace should be well versed in types of trucks now!

Daddy modeling Jace's new hat!

Jace got a tractor from mommy and daddy, and it didn't take him long to figure out how to crawl around with it making "brrrrrr" noises! 
All in all, I think it was a pretty happy day for Jace! It was a crazy party evening for mommy and daddy! I just can't beleive I've been a parent of this sweet little one for an entire year already! I can't beleive the way he's gone from a tiny little baby to a still small, almost toddler.

We had no idea what we were going into, how much crying we'd endure, and how much joy we'd have in the course of this next year just cause this little one joined our family! 

Can you see how helpless and little he was? All curled up on himself, now he sleeps all sprawled out! And in these pictures, not mobile at all, and now we chase him around the house! What a difference a year makes in the life of a child! In the life of a baby! It's such a fun, crazy adventure, we're loving it and looking forward to many more years to come.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Pinning Mommy

So, my little Jace is getting older, and he's less content to just play with the toys I throw in his way. He needs to explore and discover everything! So, in an attempt to entertain him better while giving him chances to discover new things, I've been trying some of the activities suggested by pinterest. These ideas claim to be "great for littles" "even my youngest can enjoy this activity" and so forth. The truth of these statements is now being tested. My critera for activities is something I can make with materials around the house, contained mess, and most importantly, does it entertain the little one?

First attempt: bag of goo
This is usually labeled as "sensory activity." I feel like that's a buzz word for little children right now. If we go merely by sensory... I'm pretty sure food coloring in a bath doesn't count as sensory stimulation. But I digress. Basically, you stick a bunch of goo, like hair gel, in a bag and some small items (probably items that would otherwise be choking hazards) and seal it up, then let them play. Well, I used some old aloe vera gel we had hanging around the house and some sparkly letters left over from scrapbooking. Jace's reaction: squish, squish, here mommy, you have it. No interest whatsoever, no matter how cool looking I thought it was. Admittedly, I have noticed that my child lacks interest in anything he's supposed to touch and marvel at the difference in textures. He doesn't really care about textures.
I'd say pinterest fail, my child had no interest. But, it was a contained mess and I could make it with items around the house.

Second attempt: magnets
You can find lots of cutesy ideas for magnet boards on pinterest; I just used the good old fridge. And hey, it worked great! I think the flat magnets for advertising wouldn't work very well here, and I was too cheap to buy letter magnets, but we have a set of round cute magnets on our fridge, so I put them within his reach and let him have at it. He loved it!
He has enjoyed this activity so much, we repeat it often. Plus we can show him fun things like flipping magnets and attracting magnets from afar. Super simple but super entertaining!

Third attempt: "painting" with colored ice cubes
This is also fairly simple, but takes some advanced planning. You fill an ice cube tray with water and add some food coloring to each cube. The next day, I pulled them out and stuck Jace in the tub with several cubes. (I didn't use them all figuring I could save the activity for another day if he really liked it) Note: make sure you take clothes off before putting him in the tub. Also make sure the diaper is clean. You could probably leave the baby in the diaper to play with them. I figured Jace would like this one because he keeps stealing my ice packs I've been using lately for a bad sunburn on my back. He loves the ice packs, so I thought ice cubes would be pretty fun. Plus, colors! What's not to like? Well, apparently ice cubes are awfully cold. Jace did not like playing with cold ice cubes. As for painting, he wasn't interested so much in making colors on the bath tub.  There may also have been some disappointment that he wasn't actually taking a bath. 
This is what it ended up looking like. Mostly trying to eat the ice cubes, that and asking to come out.

You know what happens when you combine random colors? They all become one gross color.
This was an ok activity. Not particularly interesting to Jace, he mostly wanted to come out of the tub. He got very messy. If you do this, plan on giving your child a bath afterwards. His legs were still slightly stained green the next day.

Fourth Attempt: Pulling objects out of tissue box
I saw this for a couple of things, putting balls in box, and pulling strips of fabric out. Since I don't have either right now (we'll try strips of fabric when we get back to Utah), I just put some of Jace's toys in there. Plus a plugger, because he likes those. That's extra motivation to pull things out of the box. Super simple and he really likes it. We've entertained him with this one several times already. He'll pull out and put things in a few times throughout the day.

Fifth attempt: Moon Sand
This is one of those weird texture things, (sensory activity!) like gack, flubber, and so forth. It's pretty simple, eight parts flour to one part baby oil. I did 2 cups flour and 1/4 cup baby oil, because I don't have eight cups of flour to waste on a toy. It comes out really soft but moldable like wet sand. It also advertised being easy to clean up. Well... it was fairly easy to clean up, but it gets very messy first. Like sand, it gets everywhere easily. Washes off of skin, scoops off of smooth surfaces, but whatever clothes he was wearing are going straight in the laundry after this activity. He liked it, played with it much like a baby plays with regular sand, tries to eat it, destroys anything you make with it, and pulls it all out of the container. Bonus though, it makes your hands super soft after playing with it... It would probably be a better activity for an older child; in the end Jace was more interested in the scoop I gave him to use than the sand itself. It was good enough to be worth saving to play with on another day.

One other activity we've been doing with Jace lately is bubble blowing. He loves that too. It's not on pinterest, so I didn't label it as an attempt, it's just an old classic. The activites he likes more have to be put away so that they don't get boring, he's already getting kinda tired with the tissue box, so I think I'll put that away and pull it out again in a while. There you go, there's one mommy's review. Any suggestions from other mommies who have tried activities like these for entertaining their one-year-old?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Exploring the World!

      As Rod and I have been exploring here in Seattle, our little Jace has been busy exploring and discovering the world too. The other day, Jace and I went to the aquarium, and Jace loved to watch the fish swim around. He is learning to stand and will stand on anything that holds still long enough, which makes our role as parents change into more of a spotter role.

Jace wanting to be held
Jace discovered stairs at church and is now eager to try his hand at any set of stairs he sees. Fortunately, there aren't many around where we live! Jace discovered asphalt the other day, and has little scrapes on his lip to show for it as he dove headfirst off the sidewalk. He is also beginning to communicate with us with body language. If he comes up to us and sits back on his knees with his arms reaching up to us, we know he wants to be picked up. He reaches for things or people he wants.
        He is also learning the cadence of language. If you talk to him, he will talk back at appropriate pauses in conversation, and he even makes inflections in his voice that are similar to common phrases we say. The other day, as we were out on a hike, I was talking to Jace saying, "your mommy is so nice. You are so thankful she does nice things for you like that, aren't you?" He responded with something that sounded very much like "Thank you!" Rod and I cracked up at this! This morning as we were getting ready for the day, I stuck my tongue out at Jace and he made a sound much like "Oh my gosh!" and promptly turned around and showed me his butt... I guess I was a little too insulting. :)
      He's also trying lots of new foods. We've finally introduced him to meat, and he's liking it. Fortunately, so is his waistline. He finally seems to be gaining and maintaining a good weight. We went out for a walk yesterday and the black berries are just coming into season. The roads here are lined with blackberry bushes; it's so prevalent it's a weed. So I picked some that were just ripe. Admittedly, since they're just coming into season, some of these were a little under ripe, not quite fall off the bush ripe. Rod and I enjoyed eating some, even despite a little bit of tartness. Jace, seeing we were eating without him, really wanted some. So I gave him one. He bit in eagerly then stopped. "eugh," he said making a really funny face. He finished it, looking doubtfully at Rod and I as I laughed at his face. We decided not to give him another because we didn't want to give him what he didn't like, but he insisted he needed another because we were eating them. So I gave him a second one. He bit into it then made a shuddering laugh. Also too tart. He wasn't so sure if he trusted Mom anymore. Later I offered him a third one. He opened his mouth just the littlest bit to take it, then first took a bite to taste it while it was still on his lip, grimaced, and took it out, giving it back to me. Admittedly, that one was REALLY tart. Strike three, I had lost his trust for blackberries.... Until Rod and I gathered another handful. These ones must have been better, because even though he occasionally puckered his face, he kept eating and asking for more. He decided he loved the tart blackberries. He ate until they were all gone and he sadly searched around for more.
Practicing riding with Daddy!

Playing with his all-time favorite blankie


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

100 Names of Christ

I once studied various world religions and learned that the Muslims have 99 names for God, or Allah as they call Him. They beleive that if they know these names, they will enter paradise. At the time, I thought 99 names was a bit excessive, but recently, I've been noticing the names that we use for Christ. There are a lot. Just think of Christmas songs alone, and there are probably a few you cannot list without singing them (ex, Wonderful Counselor).
 So, as an activity for Family Home Evening last night, I decided to see if we could list a name or title of Christ for each letter of the alphabet. It started out like that, but as we were enjoying the activity and trying to find names for the hard letters, we ended up with a list of 100 names. And that wasn't listing all of the names listed in the Bible Dictionary. Here's our list:

  1. Advocate
  2. Atoning One
  3. Almighty God
  4. Anointed One
  5. Author of our Salvation
  6. Author and Finisher of our Faith
  7. Alpha and Omega
  8. Bright and Morning star
  9. Eldest Brother
  10. Bridegroom
  11. Bread of Life
  12. Branch
  13. Beloved Son of God
  14. Chosen of God
  15. Consolation of Israel
  16. Christ
  17. Creator
  18. Cornerstone
  19. Captain of our Salvation
  20. Carpenter
  21. Deliverer
  22. Divine Redeemer
  23. Everlasting Father
  24. Emmanuel
  25. Father
  26. Fountain of Living Waters
  27. Fountain of Everlasting Life
  28. Foreordained
  29. Firstborn
  30. Governor
  31. Great Jehovah
  32. Good Shepard
  33. God of the whole Earth
  34. Heir
  35. Head of the Church
  36. Holy Infant
  37. Most high Priest
  38. Holy One
  39. Hope of Glory
  40. I am
  41. Jesus of Nazareth
  42. Jesus Christ
  43. Jesus of Galilee
  44. The Just one
  45. Judge
  46. Jehovah
  47. Jew
  48. King of Kings
  49. King of the Jews
  50. Lord
  51. Lord of hosts
  52. Lord of the Saboath
  53. Lord of Lords
  54. Living bread
  55. Lamb of God
  56. Light of the World
  57. Messenger of the Covenant
  58. Messiah
  59. Mediator
  60. Master
  61. Meek and Lowly
  62. Nazarene
  63. Newborn King
  64. Only-Begotten Son
  65. Prince of Peace
  66. Prophet
  67. Judge of the Quick and the Dead
  68. Redeemer
  69. Rabboni
  70. Rabbi
  71. Rock
  72. Ressurection and the Life
  73. Savior
  74. Shepard
  75. Son of God
  76. Son of Man
  77. Son of Abraham
  78. Son of Mary
  79. Son of David
  80. Seed of the woman
  81. Shiloh
  82. Stem of Jesse
  83. Wondrous Stranger
  84. Servant
  85. Teacher
  86. Undefiled
  87. Lord of the Vineyard
  88. One true Vine
  89. Wonderful Counselor
  90. Word
  91. the Way, the Truth and the Life
  92. Exemplar
  93. the same Yesterday, Today and Forever
  94. Yaweh
  95. King of Zion
  96. Light
  97. Seed of Abraham 
  98. Seed of David
  99. Counselor
  100. Holy Anointed One
It was really interesting to look at this list and see how much He has done, is doing and will do for us. And how broad the scope, from humble Carpenter to Creator of the world. From Holy Infant to Redeemer. It's really amazing, and something worth pondering. I'm thinking of making this into a quiet book for my kids to use during Sacrament meeting. Can you think of any more names we missed?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Growing, growing, growing!

Wow, look at that baby go! He is growing so much lately and so quickly, it's turning our world upside down a little bit. So, he figured out how to crawl at the end of last week, now he enjoys crawling all over the place. Sometimes following me around the house, sometimes off to explore new places, always away from a diaper change. We have discovered Jace does not like his diaper to be changed. Last night, Rod pulled out the wipes and a new diaper to change Jace's diaper. Jace saw this and took off crawling in the opposite direction. He hid behind the door frame in the bathroom. This was so funny, I decided to join in on the action and watched him crawl to the door frame. He saw me and peeked out behind the frame. When he saw who it was, he started crawling back towards me. He was almost to me when he saw daddy just behind me. Then he abruptly changed direction and went back to the bathroom. He knew what daddy was up to and he was having none of it! Unfortunately, he got distracted by us laughing so hard that he never made it back to the bathroom, and made it quite easy for us to catch him to change the diaper.
 Of course, sometimes this is funny, othertimes, like when you have a naked baby, it's a little more of a rodeo. Jace's morning routine goes something like this. Take the baby out of the bath, all wrapped up in his towel. Place him down on the floor and go grab a new diaper and the lotion. Come back, baby's gone. Go catch the baby. Put him back on the floor and begin to put the diaper on. Check that, wrestle the diaper on as he tries to twist away to get to books. Now it's a race, can I get him back on his back and the book in his hands before he can roll over again to start crawling towards it? He wins about half the time. The other half of the time, I get his diaper, lotion and clothes on. But not all at the same time. With breaks between lotioning every limb to catch the baby and put him back on his back. The most efficient way to do this is have one person holding him standing up while the other diapers, lotions and clothes him, but being only one person, it's more of a rodeo. Oh, the adventures!
 Then he discovered how to pull himself up to standing today. While in the tub, which of course meant that at one point he lost his footing and hit his chin on the tub. Fortunately, he has a harder head than he lets on, so there was no harm done. He was more frustrated about not standing anymore than he was about hitting his chin. Crawling and standing within the same week, oh boy! He took his time about crawling, but I'm thinking he'll be moving on to walking as soon as he can get it all figured out!
  He's also figured out how to say mama, which he usually does when he wants food, and dada is for when he wants his parents. At least, that's what the pattern seems to be so far. Hopefully someday he'll discover I'm good for more than just food!He's been saying dada for a while, so it's fun to see him say that, but mama is really cute because he has to bring his lips all the way together so that his cheeks look really huge.
   His diet has changed too, since he's getting older. Aside from still nursing at every meal and between meals to make sure he's getting enough, our skinny boy, he eats cereal with coconut milk for breakfast, an avocado sandwich for lunch with some fruit and crackers, and we try to give him something similar to what we're eating for dinner when we can. So far this has meant pasta with spaghetti sauce, which he loves wearing as much as he likes eating it!
  What a big boy already. A little, emotional part of me wants to cry when I see him crawl away from me to go explore his books... he's already grown up enough to want to go do his own thing without mama, and he can get there without me too!

So sweet when he's sleeping! He always sleeps on his side now. Of course, the way he is about cameras, he woke up right after this picture was taken so he could pose for the camera.

Hulk baby likes his avocados SMASHED!

Our future missionary loves when Daddy reads the scriptures. He loves to take them from Daddy and not let go!