Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nielsen Lola.

So the last time I got my family to visit me, I had to graduate college. (That was four years ago.) This time was more difficult; I had to have a kid. However, I guess that technically means that they were visiting her. I'm okay with that.

My dad was in love.
So were my sisters.

We took the family to John's fish house at Dana Point Harbor for fish'n'chips
and to the Shake Shack at Crystal Cove for malts.

I figured two-weeks-old was old enough for a first visit (albeit a short one) to Disneyland
where my dad was excited to take Lola on "It's a Small World"
It was Anna's favorite ride.
Before the family got there, my mom and I took Lola to the beach. My mom is originally from southern CA and was anxious to see the ocean. And 11-days old seemed plenty old for Lola. And I was able to both rest and get out of my apartment. Win-win.

Lola loved cuddling with grandma.

When the family came, we of course had to go back...this time for a bon fire.

And lots of time was spent in the pool at their hotel. LOTS of time. Unfortunately, Lola (and I) had to sit this part out.

It was fun to have them. I miss you, family.
Please come back...

Some photos

My last post was...wordy. So this one will be photo-heavy. Of course, they'll all be of our girl, but she's still sort of new to us and she's all I've got going on right now. and I'm okay with that. So, in no particular goes.

Kenny loves napping with her. I have more photos of it than I care to admit.

A bunch of babies have been born into Kenny's family recently, so his mom and some of her sisters got together to make the rounds. Here they are meeting Lola. (from left: Linda, Diane, DeAnne (with Lola), Karen, and Lynnae.)

The De Gala ladies came, too...and brought us dinner and gelato! We love gelato. And we love the De Gala's. (from left: Chace, Jennifer, and Madison.)
DeAnne is one proud grandma.
I love this...Lola's cousin, Lucy (below, on the right), was born just twelve days before her. They're already buddies.

I love this face...So does Kenny.

And I can't get over that bottom lip.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Birth Story

Yesterday my baby turned one month old. I'm not going to express my thoughts/feelings concerning this event, but I did want to mention it. And, before much more time passes, I thought I should maybe record some details of her birth. (This is a LONG post...with LOTS OF WORDS. I'm not sorry - this is MY blog, after all - but you've been warned.)

Our baby was born at 12:07pm on April 22, 2010 - one day before her due date. It was a rainy Thursday. Kenny was there (of course) as was his sister, Amelia, who pulled double duty assisting me with the "pushing" part of labor all while photographing the event. DeAnne, Kenny's mom, waited patiently just outside eager to welcome her fourth grandchild.

The day before was fairly routine - nothing to signal that I might be going into labor a day early, anyway. In retrospect the searing back pain that, at one point, had me on my knees (at my desk at work) may have been a sign. Anyway, no new-comer to back pain, I kept working from my knees, jumping to my desk chair whenever someone walked by my office . I even put myself through a lunch-time gym session (stair climbing) hoping the activity would loosen my back. (It worked for a little while.) That night we had a fantastic dinner with some friends (the Brewer's) and got to bed early. I had a doctor appointment the next morning and hoped to get a good night's rest and to get to the gym before the appointment. I got neither.

Fast forward to 2:00am. I was wide awake with more back pain.

3:00am: I gave into any hopes of a decent night's rest and hit the shower. The shower eventually turned into a bath. Still wide awake I "got ready for the day" (i.e. hair, make-up, etc.). My thinking was that I'll just take advantage of being awake and hopefully tire myself out enough to get a nap in before my doctor appointment. The back pain was getting worse and I found myself again on my knees while drying to effectively blow dry my hair.
5:00am: I crawled back to my room and, with Kenny's help, quite literally climb back into bed where I assume a modified child's pose and beg for both a back rub and the computer (thinking I'll multi task and finish addressing my thank you cards). Kenny declined my request for the latter and instead handed me a watch. "Start timing," he instructed and he started trying to get a hold a Amelia.

But I couldn't focus on the stupid watch.

Truthfully I didn't last five minutes. "Maybe we should pack a bag," I finally suggest. Kenny began to throw things in a suitcase, returning every few minutes to rub my back when the pain would flare up (oddly in short, fairly regular intervals). I refused to admit that they might be contractions.

We got to the hospital just after 6:00am. We couldn't get a hold of Amelia and didn't ever call my doctor. Kenny finally called Sarah Windes and asked her to drive over to Amelia's and tell her to get to the hospital, which she did because, you know, she's awesome.

For my part, I remained convinced that the baby wasn't coming anytime soon or even that day.
"Kenny, they're going to check me and tell me I'm only at a 1 and send us home," I worried.
"Jill. You were at a "2" over a week ago and lost your plug 5 days ago. You aren't going to digress," He reassured me.

I got all checked in and signed a whole bunch of paperwork (while sustaining ever-worsening contractions). The nurse finally checked me around 7:00ish.

I was 5.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced.
"Do I have to go home?" I pathetically asked the nurse
" You definately are NOT going home," the nurse chuckled.

And so Kenny started making the calls. My game plan was to just "see what it felt like" before deciding on an epidural. Given the back pain, I gratefully accepted it when offered (an hour later). Amelia showed up, camera in hand, and DeAnne came in to say hello and check on us. Labor moved quickly and by 10:00am, I was ready to push.

I pushed for two hours.

I declined my doctor's offer of the vacuum the first time he suggested it. But I practically begged for it at the end. Thankfully, he used it only for the very last push. I figured the baby would for sure have a cone head at this point anyway and that the vacuum wouldn't be used long enough to cause any serious damage. (I hoped.) Also, I was sooooo tired at this point that I needed any help possible.

(Side note: I really don't know how a person can go through labor and not be in shape before hand. It was physically exhausting.)

The epidural had worn off toward the end and I was crying pretty hard. My nurse, Michelle, asked me at what point "where does it hurt, Jill?"

I'm told I didn't even open my eyes and blurted out (while sobbing) "emotionally! I'm so tired...please, just get it* out"

*we still didn't know gender...thus "it" remained an It until It was finally out.

Well "It" was a girl. A 7 pound 6 ounce beautiful (but very swollen and cone-headed) baby girl with blue eyes and lots of dark brown hair. And a very healthy set of lungs. After a minor set back with the whole breathing thing, she made sure we knew those lungs worked just fine.

I was stunned to learn she was a girl. We were convinced she would be a he. I couldn't even call her by her name that first day...I think I just referred to her as Buddy all day, at least until Kenny reminded me that she wasn't an elf.

So that was how She came into this world. Nothing unusual or particularly interesting, but it was my experience, and I want to remember it. Truthfully, I'm incredibly grateful that nothing "interesting" happened. Everything worked like clockwork and we have a healthy baby. I wouldn't have wanted anything else. It's cliche, but it's hard to believe it has been a whole month and yet it seems so much longer.

How's motherhood, you ask?

I guess it's what I expected. I love her. So much. The first day was so disorienting and I was so tired that I don't know what I felt. Overwhelm-ment? Does that word work? Overwhelmed by many often conflicting emotions. I don't love every minute I'm meeting her needs (I mean, can one really enjoy cleaning up poop?), but I do it happily, knowing that I willfully signed up for this and that it means I get to see her thrive and be happy. So, on the whole, I love it. I'm so grateful she's here. And, yes, I think she's perfect.

I predicted my favorite thing would be getting to watch Kenny interact (finally in person) with this baby, and it has been the coolest thing to watch. At the moment, he's balancing Bottle Cap candies on her nose and them eating them off her. I'm excited to see how their relationship develops.

I was told once, in a very personal and special moment, that this baby and I knew each other "before" and had a meaningful relationship. I believe that. Everyday I feel a little closer - a little more "reacquainted" with her. And somehow more complete...and more comfortable in my new role.

Anyway, this has taken long enough. My girl is asking for attention and I want nothing more than to give it to her.

(When I get the photos from Amelia, I'll post a few. They're awesome.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sometimes we're famous.


Did you know our maternity photos were featured on the wonderful baby-blog: "Grey Likes Baby?"

(Again, all photos were taken my Amelia Lyon. She's wonderful, too.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Elderly Escape Artists.

Story A -
Once upon a time, before I got married, I was trying to get to an appointment, but was running late. Making matters worse, I realized I had forgotten an important document I needed for the appointment. I quickly pulled into the first place I saw - a senior home - to search my car.

While checking my trunk for this document, an elderly woman walked out carrying a weekend bag and called to me "Excuse me, Miss? Would you perhaps be able to give me a ride?" Startled, I just stared as a nurse came running out after the elderly woman yelling "Where do you think you're going?" The sweet elderly woman turned nasty and yelled back "I'm going HOME!"

At this point I jumped into me car and sped off.

Story B -
Several years ago, as I was commuting home from work/school, I heard a news story about a elderly man who had escaped from a local senior center and was still missing. He was "last seen wearing all white and using a walker."

I laughed out loud thinking, "how far could he have gotten, really." And then I called my Grandmother in Utah to make a joke about my Grandfather.

Story C - forward to today (Friday). I got the following text from my parents: "Grandpa escaped. They found him a mile away at a bus stop."

Some background: just days after Lola was born, my grandfather had both a heart attack and a stroke. Awesome. He's doing relatively okay, but can't really speak. Well, he seems to be speaking Spanish okay (a language he briefly studied in high school), but he isn't able to really communicate - which is REALLY frustrating for him. Plus, he HATES going to the doctor and LOATHES hospitals. Being stuck in a V.A. hospital without being able to communicate has been torture for him. Plus, his brain is The man just had a stroke, after all. To say Gramps has not been a cooperative patient might be a tad of an understatement. From what I've heard he has retaliated against his nurses (i.e. punched one of them), has repeatedly disconnected himself from all the tubes keeping him well, and has made several attempts to escape. At one point it took four male nurses to coral him. (He may be pushing 80, but the man is strong.)

Anyway, around 6:00am this morning, the attending nurse noticed he was no longer in his bed. Or anywhere. Like I said, they eventually found him a mile away at a bus stop, evidently trying to go home.

Sigh. These things are always funny until it's someone you know.

(Alright, it's a little funny even if it is some one you know.)

I love you, Gramps.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The post where I officially shove my kid down your throat.

Not to go all "mommy blogger" on you, but I have some family requesting photos. And, in my new-mom euphoria, I will indulge them.'s Lola Dee's first week.

Okay, these next two don't have Lola in them, but they're pretty awesome. When Kenny's family all came to meet the girl, Kenny and Hudd took the boys outside for some skate boarding. A 500 square-foot apartment feels a whole lot smaller with a 5 and a 2.5 year-old in it.

Kenny with Sloan then Hudd with Hudson...

And yes, Hudson insists on wearing his boots everywhere. And no, we do not let him take them off in the house. (Little boy feet can be pretty smelly (: )

And here's "Aunt Mamy" or Amelia. I could (and probably will) devote an entire entry to how wonderful she has been throughout my pregnancy and Lola's birth. More to come on that...
"Uncle Mickey-Michael"
"Uncle Gordo"
Some of Kenny's fam...Jordan, Ana, Lola, and Mom DeAnne
Skyler and Elise came to visit...
Skyler was super tired. So was Lola for that matter.
Lola is the first grandkid on my side. My mom is sort of relishing all this.
Bathtime wasn't so fun. I pretty sure I cried a little, too.

Of course WE love her...

I love her toes.
Jason (and little Charlie) took Kenny to an Angels game, but came in to meet Lola (and my mom, Doreen).
Hudson came for another visit and was sure to "santertize" his hands before holding Lola.
Uncle Ryan also drove down from Utah for one night to meet his first niece.
Lola really likes to sleep. Grandma's lap was a pretty good place for a nap. (Thanks Pickle for the cute clothes!)
Okay...Lola Dee is named after her great-grandmother, Lola Gene. Thanks to Skype, the two Lolas were able to meet sooner than expected.
Kenny LOVES her.

And finally we come to this one. When Lola came, I had NO clothes for a baby. Not knowing the gender means = no clothes. So, once Lola made her debut, I received BAGS of clothes from everyone (Nicole, Amelia, DeAnne...) - my mom even made Kenny stop on the way from the airport just to buy clothes. And, with Lola being a girl and all, I was inundated with pink - all cute stuff, but still pink. So, my mom indulged me yesterday and made some leggings. See below.

My little Disco Queen.
It's official. We'll keep her.