Thursday, October 20, 2011

work in progress

Since I'm a sucker for the big reveal after a big project with all the pathetic 'before' pictures and the glorious 'after' pictures, this is not something I would typically do... But, because it may be awhile before we arrive at our final masterpiece, I thought I would share with you our work in progress. This is what our dinning room/living room area currently looks like in the midst of improvements. It may just have to look worse before it can look better.  (Although some might argue that it already looks better than when we first moved in, minus the multi-colored wall.)

Now, just to clarify, I am not writing this post to complain.  This is far from complaining.  This mess of a dining room/living room/kitchen is actually a good thing since (a) this means PROGRESS and (b) we are getting the opportunity to make our house feel like ours.  And, I must say, I'm quite surprised with how ok I am with the fact that our window is covered with two different length curtains; there are four different colors on one wall; the other wall continues to create dust from all the mudding and sanding drywall and a drop cloth, ladder and shop-vac have become permanent fixtures in our living room for about the last 4 weeks.  Quite honestly, I think I've been very patient through this whole process (though Dan may not agree).

How many colors can you count on that wall?  Trust me, there are four... but the massive, brown, '70's intercom system is gone!  That's what I call progress!


The living room, minus the shop-vac.  You're lucky you can't really see the opposite wall.  If you could, you'd know why I say this already is a definite improvement.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Swimming Lessons!

As you may know, Kaiden turned two in August and it seems that ever since he reached the 2-year mark, he has become such a grown-up little boy.  Now that he's two, he thinks he can do anything, including swim lessons.  So we signed him up and last night was his first lesson.  He did great!

here is Kaiden with his daddy, waiting for the lesson to start


swimming on his tummy



kicking his feet



and time for a little fun too




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kaiden vs. Concrete

This is what Kaiden's face looks like after a tumble down concrete patio stairs...


Can we say OUCH!?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Better Late Than Never - Kaiden's Birth Story

I have something to admit.  It's a bit pathetic.  My son is 2 years old and I just now purchased a baby memory book for him.  I have spent this week trying to remember the major events and dates and thoughts of the first two years of his life.  Let me just give a little advice if I may.  To those of you expecting or ever plan to be expecting - purchase a baby memory book when your child is just born or, even better, before he/she is born.  I'm pretty sure it would be way easier to fill it out as you go instead of thinking back through the first two years of a child's life.

Anyway... as I've been filling out Kaiden's memory book I also typed up his birth story to put in the book.  And since I have it all typed up, I thought I would share it with anyone who might be interested.




I had a scheduled doctor appointment the morning of August 20, 2009 for a weekly check-up before I was to head to Des Moines for work.  My appointment was around 9:00 that morning and as I lay there while the mid-wife examined me, I suddenly felt a strange, uncomfortable feeling come over me.  The mid-wife could tell I was feeling uncomfortable, more uncomfortable than what’s normal at nearly nine months of pregnancy.  She asked “did you just have a contraction?”  

I replied, “I don’t know.  I’ve never had a contraction in my life... I don’t know what it feels like.”  

She felt my stomach and told me it was, indeed, a contraction.  Since I was still two and a half weeks from my due date, she hadn’t checked what I was dilated to yet, but since she thought I had just had a contraction, she decided to see how far I was dilated.  I was at 3 cm.

Okay... so, what now?  What does this mean?  To get an idea of how serious she was, I asked her if she thought I should go to work... down to Des Moines... 45 minutes from the hospital I planned to give birth.  She suggested I stay around Ames and said that if I didn’t have a baby today, then it would be tomorrow.  What?  What!  I still have 2 ½ more weeks.  I’m not ready.  The nursery is not ready.  I’ve only done one day of training with the person at work that was going to take over for me while I was on maternity leave. I’M NOT READY.

She advised me to come back later that afternoon to check how far I had dilated.  I immediately called Dan to tell him the news.  His reaction:  What?  What!  We’re not ready.  We’re supposed to have 2 ½ more weeks.  

So, when I say we’re not ready, I mean there is nothing in the nursery but a crib.  Literally.  Dan had recently torn down the old plaster and lats in the nursery closet and put new Sheetrock up and was in the midst of finishing that, along with finishing a dresser/changing table.  All the baby stuff was scattered around the spare room, still in their packages.

Well, looks like we have a lot to do before 4:00 this evening.  (that’s when I was to go back to the hospital again to check how far I was dilated.)  Dan came home from work and got busy working on the closet and dresser.  I went home and started going through all the  baby stuff, making a list of what I still needed, all the while taking note of how often I was having contractions.  About 5 to 7 minutes apart, but manageable.  

Dan and I then headed to Target to get the last-minute items.  Just a little side note here - this just also happened to be the week college students were coming back to Ames for the new school year and Target was PACKED.  I proceeded to walk my big-bellied-chicken-legged-contractions-every-five-minutes self into target and knew there was no way I was going to make it two feet farther than I had already waddled myself.  My only option- the motorized scooter.  I know.  I hate to admit it and Dan hated to be seen with me driving that thing, but there I was, in the middle of Target, driving a motorized scooter.  To make matters worse, for some reason the thing kept dying on me and there I was with my big belly, stranded in the middle of the Target aisle with college students swarming around me.  Not a pretty picture.

We eventually got what we needed and headed back home to try to unpack some things and get some more things done.  Soon it was time to head back to the doctor to see if I was dilated any more.  The mid-wife checked me and I had indeed dilated another cm.  I was now at 4 cm.  She told us she was going to call over to the hospital and tell them we were coming over after we go home to get our bags and anything we need for the hospital.  Hearing this, I began to cry.  I don’t know why exactly.  The pregnancy hormones; the reality that we were going to be bringing our first baby into this world; the fear of giving birth; the excitement that this was really happening.

By this time it’s nearly 5:00 p.m. and the contractions are getting more intense.  We went home to get our bags to take to the hospital as the mid-wife instructed.  As we are about to leave the house to head back to the hospital, Dan asked me if he could have another hour to work on the dresser and nursery before we go to the hospital.  Now, to those of you who have ever been pregnant and have ever had contractions and have ever given birth, you know that is not a good question to ask.  I don’t think I even had to say anything.  He could tell by the burning glare I shot him with my eyes that the answer was NO!  We are going to the hospital NOW.

We make it to the hospital about 5:00 and get checked in and get settled into our room.  Now the contractions are really getting intense.  I keep thinking about the birthing class we took and kept trying to do the things I learned there.  I did some heavy breathing, some walking, some bouncing on the bouncy ball...  Dan was a great support and helped keep me focused on breathing and did whatever I asked him to do.  He even stopped answering his phone when I told him to.

By 9:00 p.m. I had reached my breaking point.  The contractions where overwhelming me and I felt like I couldn’t catch a break before the next contraction would come.  I was ready for an epidural.  Finally, relief.  The mid-wife broke my water and Dan and I both took a nap.

Around 12:00 midnight, my contractions were off the chart (good thing I couldn’t feel a thing) and I was dilated to 10 cm.  Time to deliver a baby.  I pushed a few times and what seemed like only about 20 minutes later, our new baby boy came into this world.  

Kaiden Mark was born August 21, 2009 at 12:38 a.m. - two and a half weeks early.  7 lb. 12 oz. 21 ½ inches long.

I couldn’t have asked for a better, smoother labor and delivery.  Praise God!

Oh, and in case your were wondering... although I left our house that day with only a crib in the nursery, I came home to the sweetest nursery a mommy could ask for.  Wonderful friends and family helped finish the dresser, the closet, the nursery, unpackaged baby things and did laundry so baby Kaiden was welcomed home and I didn’t have to worry about a thing.