Theodore's baby blessing.

Remember how I said I was going to be blogging more? I *think* that time has finally come. either way, check back for recaps of our summer and maybe one day I'll be up to date. Maybe?


My parents and Ryan's dad came to the big apple in April for Theo's blessing and even with a rainy Saturday it was the perfect weekend to celebrate our newest baby.

My mom had been planning out Theo's baby blessing outfit for weeks, she had a vision and she was out see it come to life, and it was so cute: a darling little white and blue romper with a Peter Pan collar and a little white cardigan over it. If you ever need a personal shopper, she's who you want. And so is my sister. And my other sister's got cute style as well as amazing makeup know-how. The style apple definitely fell far from the tree with me...but I digress.

My parents came in on Thursday night so we adventured on Friday on the Upper West Side getting Levain, Gray's Papaya, Jaques Torres hot chocolate, and stocking up on Trader Joe's for groceries and goodies. Walter was a trooper and walked all around with us while Henry was in school and we got back right as he was dropped off. Ken came in on Friday night and so on Saturday we all went to Inwood Park to watch Henry play baseball. My mom got some adorable shots of Henry, I got a few videos and we all got to see him be in his element playing baseball and soaking it all up. The price to play sports is pretty steep in the city, but seeing him light up and in his adorable full uniform is totally worth it.

It started pouring as we were coming back from the game so my parents/Theo/and I stayed in for the rest of the day while Ryan/Ken/the boys headed out one more time to get a few more wiggles out and get a few items for lunch and dinner on Sunday.

The dynamic was, for the most part, my parents in charge of Theo and Ken in charge of the big boys. It was so fun to see my mom and dad in baby mode, and Ken in Henry mode, being silly with him, and even playing chess with him and helping him learn how to make more strategic moves (he's learned how to play/how all the pieces work at school).

On Sunday Ryan gave Theodore a beautiful blessing and we made sure to get a group picture right after sacrament meeting since I knew it would be total chaos/meltdown modes after church. The sooner the boys gave sweet smiles the sooner they could go to class (which they LOVE) and it worked! There are no guarantees with smiles in pictures for these two, but I'm grateful we got some pictures of our family that day. It also helped that we just did one group picture and then they were done. One and done. After church we played on Dongan Lawn with some friends and had a fun dinner of hot dogs and chips and veggies (it felt like a summer meal!).

I am so so grateful for such wonderful parents/in laws who take the time to come to our home, sleep on an air mattress, and play and LOVE my kids. Our home may not be the roomiest for our guests, but I'm grateful that they sacrifice a little comfort to hang out with us. Come back, soon!!


Henry is five!

I feel like this picture sequence from when the boys visited me in the hospital captures Henry quite well. Energetic. Creative. Not a huge concern with safety...

Henry turned five at the end of February and since Walter had a "knight" birthday last October (my first big/with friends/not in our home party) I wanted Henry to have a fun but low key experience like that as well. First off: planning a birthday party one month postpartum is no joke. Thankfully, Ryan was still on maternity leave (oh those blessed six weeks!) and Henry was happy to have a simple "red" theme. I invited all his friends to wear red shirts and we hung out in the church parking lot/basement for a scooter derby. We had pizza, brownies with raspberries on top and a piƱata to end the party.

Unfortunately, the only record of the party I got was Henry blowing out his candles. But it's a cute little video and I'm grateful I remembered to get something. I fed Theo until right before we had to leave to get the party set up and he slept the entire time, what a kind little brother birthday present :).

Henry has grown in leaps and bounds since starting pre-k this fall. He's becoming both a leader and a follower, he has made so many new friends, and his interest in writing and drawing has grown so much thanks to some super loving teachers. And it's been fun to see him in Primary as a bigger kid, with Wally in the class below him. He still loves to sing in Primary and he's memorized a few lines to some favorite songs of his friends as well. We started reading chapter books after reading some picture books before bed and I love watching him listening to Ryan. He has always loved to be read to. He started baseball this spring and even got a bike as a belated birthday present (in May <--insert am="" and="" at="" been="" being="" building="" closed="" different="" emoji..="" energetic="" eyes="" for="" friend="" fun="" grateful="" hard="" has="" he="" him="" his="" i="" kid="" loves="" magnatile="" many="" monkey="" of="" outside="" p="" pictures="" playground="" practiced="" proud="" s="" see="" so="" still="" structures="" taking="" the="" them--it="" this="" to="" today.="" with="" work.="">


Theodore Louis. (his birth story)

We found out I was pregnant in the spring. It was fairly uneventful pregnancy, but at 37 weeks baby boy went from transverse (sideways) to breech (bottom-down, instead of head-down, like he was supposed to be). Apparently I have a roomy uterus? Goodness. After tears were shed I had the option of seeing if he went head down on his own (not likely) or having the doctors move him (and making a pros and cons list with that, too) I went into the hospital for a version, where my doctor, a physician's assistant and a nurse manually turned him from the outside while I played flat on my back. At 37 weeks pregnant. Without an epidural. I am amazed at modern know-how and that he was safely turned from the outside, and I didn't want an epidural because honestly, I haven't ever had one and just wanted to keep it that way. But I had a contraction while they turned me and was reminded just how much contractions/natural births/labor can be. OUCH. They stopped turning him while I breathed through my contraction for a few minutes and then finished turning him. He was finally head down and the goal was for him to stay there. After the version I had a scheduled induction date for the day before my due date. I really didn't want to be induced. I also didn't want an emergency c section. But I also knew that it didn't really matter how he came. During my last week of pregnancy he was starting to come on his own. YAY! And at my last doctor's appointment she predicted that he would be born that week--before the induction date--and she was right! On the day before his induction date, he came.

My mom came the day after my doctor's appointment, on Tuesday night. She had booked her ticket the week before after I cried and moped to her how much I didn't want to be induced. I was so grateful for this amazing pregnancy, for a healthy baby, and I knew deep inside that it didn't matter at all how he was born, but I still had it in my mind what I wanted and was in mourning that the birth I had imagined may not happen. Nothing happened on Tuesday other than some cramps/Braxton Hicks and I went into Wednesday thinking nothing may not happen again. But shortly after Ryan left for work and Henry left for school I was feeling like moving and that this baby may just come with a little walking. Or he would have come anyway and I just wanted to feel like I was doing something to come a little quicker. So my mom, Walter, and I headed to Target to walk this baby out. We got to Target, picked up a few things for baby boy, Wally got a new shirt, and as we headed home for lunch I felt a big contraction. A real-deal contraction. I timed them on the way home and they were about 6-10 minutes apart. Since we were still unsure if he had moved from head-down we quickly headed home, I called Ryan to meet me at the hospital, dropped Walter off at a friend's place a little before 1, grabbed my hospital bag and headed out.

Of course once we were at the hospital the contractions subsided and I was worried that they had stopped altogether and I was the "experienced" mom who headed to the hospital for false labor, but once in triage, donning that beautiful hospital gown, the contractions started back up and stayed consistent. I was officially admitted around 2:45 when I was 4cm at 90% effaced. Unfortunately, while in triage I could only have one person with me, so my mom headed downstairs and Ryan stuck around. And unfortunately, there had been an emergency and all the nurses/resources were in the OR so they couldn't find enough nurses to staff a labor and delivery room so unfortunately, I labored the whole time in triage. Boring, small room, no window, triage. FORTUNATELY I always try and watch a comedy while in labor (Parks and Rec. for Henry and Walter, and this time, The Office) and laughter is the best distraction. And season 4 does not disappoint. It was pretty fun to laugh with Ryan as he timed my contractions. As with Hank and Walt, I did not get an epidural. I sat in the hospital bed for a while, waiting to be wheeled from triage, but when it looked like I was going to be there a while they graciously took off the monitoring belts and let me walk around the room and in the hallway. So the contractors were coming, the crampy stomachaches were continuing, and I was nervous that this baby was going to take longer than I thought I could manage. But lo and behold, around 3:30 my water broke. I knew it was go time, that there was no more barrier and this baby was ready. It's all a blur after that, but they checked me one more time, quickly wheeled me into an L&D room, and Ryan called my mom to come up. I had to move myself from the triage bed to the L&D bed "in between contractions". But the contractions were coming so fast and that seemed like an impossible feat, but I got to the other bed, my mom came into the room, and I pushed baby Theodore out of me within minutes. My mom was pretty ticked she didn't get to really labor with me since I was stuck in triage, but I was so grateful she was there for the birth and for the recovery, giving me kind words and calming my aching body.

And here's baby Theodore in all his newborn glory!

Born at 4:11 pm, he was a whopping 9 lbs 15.5 oz, with a beautiful head of hair, and beautiful baby blues (that are turning grey? I'm still hopeful!). I am still amazed that my body pushed that huge baby out of me. It was my third baby and my biggest and my body is definitely having a harder time getting back to normal. But when I remember that it pushed a huge child out, I cut it a some a lot of slack.

And although I am so grateful for my birth story, I know that this story is not the only way neither is it the "right" way to have a baby. And I know that having a baby is not the only way to know that our bodies are amazing and capable of amazing things.

Having a newborn in our home has made it even better than it was before. There is something so special about having this brand-new beautiful spirit in our home that has made all of us a little better.