Last week my little brothers got in town and my parents took all of us to Silver Mountain Ski resort to stay and play. We got to snowboard for a day, and play in the awesome water park. Ollie loved it, Nora would fall asleep immediately. I guess the loud noise from all of the water was like a noise machine or something. She would get all drowsy and spacey and when wrapped up in a towel she would fall right to sleep. Which may have been part of the reason she didn't sleep well during the two nights we were there.... Here are my brothers on the flow rider. I didn't get any other pictures because swimming and snow boarding aren't great environments for expensive cameras.
Oh and here is one of sweet Nora in her swim suit I just found on the phone.
Then our two families were wonderful enough to spend yet another holiday together. It's so nice that they consider each other family. Of Danny's siblings we were the only ones here, so after hors d'ouevres with Danny's extended family on Christmas Eve afternoon, Mom and Dad Olson joined my whole family at my parents for Christmas Eve, our home for breakfast and presents Christmas morning, and Christmas dinner back at my parent's house again.
We love our family, and are so grateful that through the miracle of Christ's birth, death and resurrection we can be united together for ever. I am grateful to know that my Redeemer lives, and that He was indeed born in humble circumstances, lived a humble life, and taught us each the way to live our lives that we might live with our Father in Heaven once again. Merry Christmas everyone.
I've been quizzing Ollie about birthdays for the last month or so:
Me: "Ollie, are you going to have a birthday?"
Me: "How old are you going to be?
Ollie: "Cake!" or sometimes "Big!"
I can't get him to respond by saying two. But he knows he is getting cake. Or at least that's what I think he is saying. Maybe it's "Chips!" He loves those too.
Here is a short list of how awesome my little Ollie man is.
- He is a very snuggly boy.
- Drinks probably half a gallon or more of milk a day.
- He's very helpful. He throws away diapers, gets toys for Nora when she is sad, puts away his toys and books, and goes upstairs to get his own toys and blankets that he wants.
- Ollie s so sweet to his sister. He loves her. She's usually the first one he asks for when he wakes up in the morning or from naps. He gives her hugs and kisses all the time and loves to make her laugh. And occasionally, he will even share his blankets with her.
- Counts to ten and likes to continue on saying "evan, ooteen, ooteen, ooteen." We'll get there with those teens, and maybe get a twelve added in.
- Recognizes several letters.
- He sleeps on a mattress on the floor since we took his crib for Nora and haven't set up his toddler bed yet. His favorite activity by far is jumping off the mattress onto the floor. His closet has mirrored doors and he thinks it is pretty awesome to watch himself jump.
- When asked who he loves he always lists a few friends, sometimes mama and daddy, sometimes grandma and grandpa and nana and bapa, and always Abby, Sam, Andrew, Chari, Joe and Lydia. Every time. In the same order. Loves his cousins.
- He screams this awful high pitched scream when he is ready for us to get him out of bed, and is always sitting up smiling waiting for us when we open the door.
- He loves nursery and playing with kids. He understands our routines pretty well. When it's Sunday we go to church and he has nursery and gets to "play!". When we are going to the park he lists off all the friends who come to play group or to soccer on Saturday mornings.
- He loves cars, airplanes, and trains. Especially the movie "Cars." He loves to run fast and say "Me. Speed." Which I can only guess is him quoting Lightning McQueen saying, "I am speed."
I sometimes have a really hard time believing I am a mother to two sweet little babies and the second one was born SIX months ago! Little Nora is so fun and sweet and easy to love. Here's the rundown on our second-born at half a year old.
- Ollie calls her Nor, sister, or a sweet little name that I can't figure out how to spell so you would hear it in your head right. Danny's best guess would be "Xio Xio." Somehow, to Danny and I, she is Nora-bug. And therefore bug-face, bug, etc. I also call her Nora Squish. Because she is squishy, and I love it.
- She is napping finally! Except for today that is. Two naps a day and sleeps through the night. Mostly.
- She is a little thing, still fits into some of her 0-3 month clothes. She has an appointment on Monday with the doctor and we'll see how she stacks up.
- Nora is teething. We started her on some baby food about a week and a half ago and she did great for about a week, then her mouth started hurting and she pretty much refuses to open up for the spoon anymore.
- Rolls over both ways, and sits up like a champ. She doesn't mind being on her tummy but shows no interest in crawling yet.
- She has the sparkliest blue eyes I've ever seen, especially when we go outside.
- Nora loves being outside. When she's having a fussy day all it takes is to get out in back and lay her on a blanket and she'll quietly watch her brother run around like a maniac in the sunshine for an hour.
- Getting very grabby. She loves to pull on my hair, my nose, my cup as I try to drink, my plate off the table when she sits with us at dinner, Ollie's blanket away from him, the books I am trying to read to them. All with huge smile.
-She is fascinated with hats. She laughs at Danny's helmet every morning as he gets ready to ride his bike to school.
Just for kicks, here are some side by side shots of Nora (left) and Ollie (right) at about six months old. There are some similarities! I always wondered if our kids would look alike or not. Danny and his siblings all look similar to each others, definitely siblings. While my brothers and I, well...not many people have guessed we were related before.
I truly did not realize that Nora was five months old. My little brother came over to help me with some things yesterday and we were talking about the kids when I figured it out. Holy cow! How does time go so quickly!
Here is what this pretty little girl is up to:
She loves her big brother. He makes her just laugh and laugh. He can climb all over her, give her hugs consisting of him laying on her, throw toys at her ("share" he says) and she just smiles and laughs.
She hates to nap. I've got her trained to fall asleep at night in about 10 minutes, but during the day she just hates to be put in her bed. Ugh. But she does sleep through the night (except last night, for some reason).
She has rolled over a few times, but usually when no one is around to watch her.
She is a happy girl. She smiles all of the time.
She is in the 44th percentile for length, and the 18th for weight. We just barely started putting away some of her 0-3 month clothes.
She is becoming a Mama's girl. I used to be able to hand her off to anybody, but she gets sad pretty quickly when she realizes she's not with me (or Daddy, he is passable).
She loves to dance (or maybe Danny likes to make her dance and I find it hilarious).
Danny and I love love love Cannon Beach. We had such a great time there for the Fourth last year that we immediately began planning to go again this year. Unfortunately, our children don't share our love of the beach yet.
We brought some great friends along with us this time - Kyle and Bianca Skogen - and their little guy appreciated the ocean about as much as Ollie did. Which is to say not at all.
However, we took turns hanging with kiddos at the townhouse we rented and got some time on the beach, along with a few other outings that we dared take them all with us on. Like watching the fireworks on the beach in Seaside, when Kyler hated the sand the whole time and Ollie acted he got shot every time the fireworks went off. These pictures are mostly from the first day when Ollie and Kyler hadn't yet developed the terror that that ocean brought them the whole rest of the trip.
Danny's aunt Nancy crocheted this beautiful blessing dress for Danny's mom's grand daughters. And since we have the last grand-daughter to be born for awhile (besides Chari's baby - but they have a special dress they are using for her already) she gave it to us. Aren't we lucky?! My mom just finished sewing the slip underneath it this week so I could try it on her to make sure we were ready for the big day. I may be biased, but isn't she gorgeous?
Week one of being a stay at home mama of two is over - and it went great. My kids are the best, I think so. Granted - Nora still sleeps all of the time, bu
t they were super easy on me this week and I am grateful.
Nora lets me sleep almost all night long - we are usually up for only one feeding and she goes right back to sleep. Ollie love Nora, he's always asking "baby?" when he can't see her, and always wants to give her some love. Which usually means laying his little cheek down on whatever part of her body he can reach at the time.
One more night in the hospital, may as well use the time to my best advantage while I can still remember some of these details. Ready for the longest post of my life?
Tuesday morning (3/20) I had what was supposed to be my last doctor's appointment of my pregnancy, as I was getting induced one week later. They found that I was dilated to a 1.5 and stripped my membranes to help prepare for induction. However, my doctor was worried that I was measuring smaller than the week before and ordered an ultrasound. They found that my amniotic fluid level was really low, so I was sent home with strict orders to drink as much water as possible and come back Thursday morning for a follow up ultrasound. At the follow up appointment things were looking much better on the ultrasound (and I gained 4lbs from all that water!) and that I was further dilated to almost a 3. Dr. Hechtman stripped my membranes for the second time that week and told me that she had seen women go into labor with second babies very quickly from a 3 and that maybe this baby was even coming tonight! She told me if I was having contractions for 2 hours or more and wasn't sure if it was labor or not to give her a call, because she would be on call that night.
All Thursday I had very painful contractions - just a couple every hour. They continued at night and would wake me up about every hour and a half. Starting just before 3am they started coming a little faster but not super consistent. Around 5am they still hadn't stopped and I was 100 percent sure I was in labor, but I called the doctor and let her know I had been having super strong contractions for about 2 hours between 8 and 20 minutes apart. She said that this could possibly be it, but to wait until they were 6 or 7 minutes apart or they would just send me back home from the hospital. I got off the phone, and tried to go back to sleep...and didn't wake up for another hour and a half. My contractions had stopped. We were so bummed. We didn't even know what to do with ourselves all day Friday because we had been convinced that we would be spending our day in the hospital.
Friday afternoon we went out with the missionaries to help teach a discussion to a really great family. After the lesson the wife, Roxanne, was asking me about my pregnancy and when I was due. I told her about the night before and how we figured that this baby would be showing up any day now. She said something about eating a whole pineapple making her go into labor with one of her babies. Most do it yourself inducing labor techniques sound pretty sketchy, or just plain not fun to me - but I figured I could eat pineapple. So Danny bought me one to eat with dinner.
Friday night I sent Danny out to play video games with my brothers, even though I was having really strong contractions again. I just felt like if this baby was coming soon, he needed to get to have at least one fun night out for his Spring Break before he stuck around taking care of me and babies for the next week and a half. When he got home around 1:30am I had still been having really bad contractions, about 10-20 minutes apart. Still not close enough together to go to the hospital according to Dr. Hechtman the night before. We decided he should sleep on the couch so that he could get a few hours of sleep without me waking him up with every contraction I had. I laid down in our bed, hoping I would at least be able to sleep between contractions, and sure enough they started slowing down and I could sleep for 20-30 minutes at a time. Around 3am they started getting steadily closer together and were 7 minutes apart at 4:30. I woke Danny up and had him call my little brothers to come stay with Ollie while we went to the hospital. By the time my brothers arrived and we got to the hospital it was 5am and my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart. I spent 15 minutes in the bathroom trying to get the stinking hospital gown on because I would have to stop and lean over the bathroom counter every time I had another one.
I finally got into the hospital bed and the nurse checked me and said I was dilated to a 6 or a 7 and that this baby would be there within the hour. Distressed by this news I asked if there would be time for an epidural and she told me she was going to try, but she wasn't sure she was even going to be able to get my IV in. Yikes. Yikes is an understatement - I was terrified. I started begging during contractions for nothing in particular. "Please, please, please." Then screaming during contractions. I always kind of wanted to know what it was like, and how I would handle having a baby naturally. But never bad enough to actually do it. And it was hard, and painful, and scary.
The doctor arrived remarkably quickly and was very calm and reassuring. I was dilated to a 10 and ready to start pushing by 5:30. And it was good because baby's heart rate was dropping dangerously low. The nurses and doctor started telling me that I was good to start pushing and it looked like the baby really wanted me to. Really needed me to. Like her life depended on it they said at one point. They called for the NICU nurse. They all screamed at me to push and push harder. The Dr. said she was going to use the vacuum to help but I needed to push first. So I pushed and I screamed so much and so loudly that I'm sure I woke up everyone on the floor. Danny was crying and letting me break his hand and telling me how great I was doing. And then she was born at 5:39am with the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck. And I couldn't open my eyes or stop shaking. I had to make myself look and see that there was a beautiful baby girl here and that she was the reason I had just gone through all of that. Once they got her out and unwrapped from the cord she pinked up quickly and cried like a very healthy baby girl for an hour.
Nora Elise is gorgeous. She weighed 6lbs and 7 oz and was 19 inches long and was born at 5:39am on March 24, 2012. She is just so tiny. We can see Ollie in her expressions and I think I've seen a dimple in her right cheek, though it's hard to tell when she doesn't smile yet. She has lots of soft, dark hair. She is nursing well. Danny keeps saying it feels so different to have a baby girl - I asked him if he could feel her wrapping him around her little finger yet and he just smiled and said "yes."
As traumatic and scary as that very quick birth was, recovery has been much easier than it was with Ollie. Other than afterbirth pains, I feel really great. With Ollie, I'm pretty sure I was sore and had a hard time sitting for at least a week.
Thanks to everyone to helped so much and gave so many kind words and congratulations. Especially my parents and brothers and Danny's parents. They have all taken their turns watching Ollie and taking care of us here in the hospital over the last few days and we are so grateful.
Okay little one, feel free to show up any time now.
I always want a picture of myself pregnant, but I feel so silly getting one taken. But we're getting close, and it's exciting! I'm scheduled for an induction on March 27 just for our convenience. Danny's Spring Break ends the day after I am due, so my doctor said she would schedule some help for this little girl to come early so that he can be around a little more for a few days. And maybe she'll decide to show up even earlier to participate in more of Spring Break!
- At least once a day he goes and gets all of the vacuum attachments and hands them to me or just goes around scooting them on the carpet making vacuum noises.
- When I take him around to do my job cleaning our apartment building he needs to have a paper towel to help wash windows, or the broom to drag around and sweep.
- He knows where we keep our dust pan and pulls it out for me all of the time. The other day when he was with me cleaning the laundry room he kept taking the dust pan and banging it in the garbage can like I do to get the dirt out.
- He also knows where the garbage can is kept, and even though it is in a child proofed cabinet he will open it the crack that he can and shove any little tiny piece of garbage he finds in it.
- He picks things up off the ground for me when I drop them (this one is certainly appreciated at this point in pregnancy!).
- He hands me the rag to wash his face when he's done eating.
I love it all. My little brother Conrad says it's the "first child syndrome" and that first born babies are born helpers. Whatever. I just think he's the best. I hope he wants to help out even more when his little sister is born.
(I swear he has other clothes. He just happens to always being wearing the same ones when I take pictures of him. Oh well.)
I'm not sure I announced it to you all over blogging (because Facebook isn't enough), but Danny has been accepted to medical school at the University of Washington! Hurray! We are so happy and feel so blessed. We were pretty much planning on waiting another year - Danny was days away from signing up for an expensive MCAT prep course because he was sure the interview didn't go well at UW and we just hadn't heard from the U of U yet. But then, he got a call from his UW interviewer the day after his interview! We were both shocked and crying and happy and Ollie was also crying because it was dinner time and he was in his high chair without food because Danny and I were too excited. It was a great night.
So currently, we are just waiting to find out which campus Danny will b
e attending. They have a satellite campus here in Spokane that you can attend as a first year student but we won't find out until April if they assigned us to stay here or to go to Seattle. We would love to stay here near our friends a
nd family for another year, but we are just so grateful to be accepted at all.
Anyhow, most of you knew all of this, and what I really wanted to do was to share these photos with you. I think he might beat Danny to being Dr. Olson.