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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Best part: 9 hours of sleep.

Jessa ~

I feel like this week was full, but looking back, it seems pretty boring. Maybe because most of what I filled my life with was actually feeling like being productive. Which doesn't make it into my calendar or photo library.  Alas.

Damian was back again this week. This time he brought his brother-in-law, Matthew, to help out. They finished (I think?) all of the mudding and taping. Which is his least favorite part. But he's coming back tomorrow night for a few days. I think next up is texturing the walls. It's coming! Hooray!

So the girls finished their swimming lessons this week. It was bittersweet. I miss the time alone in the middle of the day. They miss swimming. But it is nice to have a normal schedule again. And it's nice for BJ not to take 1-2 hours off of work every day. Kessa almost passed level 2 this time. She only missed being able to float on her back unassisted while kicking for 2 body lengths. So the question now is... do I put her in level 2 again? Hmmm...

Abby has decided she hates her diaper when it's dirty. So she takes it off, then poops on the changing pad. Or the blanket. Or wherever she feels like it. In good news, she doesn't play/paint with it like I've heard of other kids doing. Hooray! But it's still annoying to clean up. Or when she pees and it gets everywhere and I end up putting 7 blankets, 12 stuffed animals, plus a pillow or two, and sheets and mattress pads, etc. in the wash. Or scrubbing down half of her floor on my hands and knees. So we've decided to start potty training. We keep a potty chair in her room (because her accidents often happen at nap or bedtime) and one in the kitchen. Once she starts having some successes and figures out what we want from her, I'll move them into the bathrooms. But I don't want to spend my life in the bathrooms. We have her sit on it multiple times a day. We're bribing her with jelly beans, which she really wants. And she's getting the language down. So far, though, our only success was today when she told me she got a "little pee pee" in the potty. And she turned out to be right. It was maybe the size of a nickel. It was tiny. But I made a huge deal about it and gave her a jelly bean. So hopefully we're on the right path? I feel like we're not giving it our all, though, because we usually put her in a diaper at night and sometimes naps. It's not like she can't take it off... but it might prevent some cleanup for us. So we hope. And she's in a diaper whenever we go somewhere, which is often as we have been taking walks every couple of evenings. So basically, we're hoping for a miracle.

Yesterday we had a party at your parents for Brian and Danztel's wedding. It was fun to see everyone. Kessa insisted on bringing her bike, so she rode it around a lot. And there was lots of yummy food. So it was good. Also, Chelsea brought down clothes for the girls (and a skirt for me) for the wedding, so we tried them on. It was adorable. Just look at the picture. But the best part was Abby, pleased as punch, walking around saying, "Abby pretty! Pretty dress! So pretty..." She thought it was the greatest thing ever. And she cried when I told her she had to take it off.  I'm going to have to hide it lest she find it and put it on herself and get it dirty before the wedding.

Then we rushed home and I changed into a dress and headed over to our Stake Activity Days Day Camp, aka Daddy/Daughter Princess Ball. My Activity Days counselor and her committee planned and did the whole thing, which was great as I've been busy recovering from baby stuffs. They did an INCREDIBLE job. Especially considering our teensy weensy budget for it. I loved it. And there was a HUGE turnout. I'm guessing around 200 people total? The gym was full of little girls and their daddies. We had several dads that wore suits (and sometimes cummerbunds!) to match their daughter's dresses. Adorable. But my favorite parts were 1) watching the dads that were clearly way out of their comfort zones, but dancing anyway, because their daughters wanted them to, 2) watching the dads bust out 90s dance moves, including a line dance I didn't even recognize, whenever their era of music came on. Songs like "Ice, Ice, Baby". And the girls watching them and trying to mimic them. 3) The last song was Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up." I was seriously moved to tears as I watched several dads pick up their girls and dance with them in their arms, or kneeling on the floor to be on the girls' level. It was so incredibly sweet. I heard that it was a similar heart-wrenching scene when they played "Butterfly Kisses" halfway through, but I missed that one. But we had several requests to do this again, so I think it was a success.

And THEN last night? Peter slept for 9 hours. Which means I slept for 9 hours. It was amazing. I am trying not to get my hopes up for a repeat performance. It's hard.

So you know Pi Day is 3/14 every year, right? Well, that means 6/28 is 2π day! But it was crazy busy yesterday, so we didn't have time to celebrate. Instead we had a 2π+1 dinner tonight. Travis and Brenda came and we had a chicken pot pie for dinner (except I forgot the chicken... oops!) and an apple pie for dessert. Then we played some MarioKart and Dominion. And it was great.

Random pictures:

On a walk the other day, Abby was really tired. So she'd lean over the side of the stroller and sat there, half comatose. It was kind of cute.

On another walk Peter managed to get his arms out of his swaddle blanket. He also really likes to kink his head way back in the most awkward looking positions.

Kessa made a monster out of Duplos and immediately asked me to take a picture of it. You can't tell, but those red legos are angled and look like feet.

With long hair I would wash my hair at night and let it dry while I slept. It would be a little crazy in the morning, but gravity kept most of it under control. And I could always pull it into a ponytail if I didn't have time to tame it. Turns out, this haircut is not going to allow me the same privilege. Check it out. Pretty awesome, huh? And this picture doesn't even begin to do it justice.

One of our projects this week was to dig up our front flowerbed, dig up all the tulip and daffodil bulbs, add compost to the almost pure-clay soil, replant the bulbs, then plant some annuals for color. We only got the first half done, but that was by far the hardest part. I'm hoping to get the rest done first thing tomorrow morning. Though, I may let the bulbs dry out and wait till fall to plant them again. Which means I could get the petunias planted in about 3 minutes and call it done. Kessa wanted to help me with the shovel.

Having Damian here all week also meant lots of time with our garage door open, which means lots of flies. So BJ climbed over storage, strollers, bikes, etc, onto the couch, to hang a fly strip on the garage door braces. The things we do... Also, it's probably a really good thing we got rid of our second car. We don't have room for it anymore.

Abby and Peter cuddled up with Trav tonight while we played MarioKart. It made it a lot easier to beat him when Abby was constantly trying to throw his items for him. Bwahaha. 

Random things

From my journal: 
Tonight both girls had memorable prayers.
For the first time Abby actually said a prayer. Generally we just say one for her. Not even a repeat-after-me prayer. She won't repeat. “No, Daddy say it!” We just say a prayer on her behalf. Tonight BJ did that, then was trying to get Kessa to pray when suddenly Abby started praying aloud. She said Thank You for 15-20 different things before getting distracted and not really finishing. Thank you big monkey and little monkey. Thank you Kessa's bed. Thank you window. Etc. how adorable is that?! 
Kessa was saying a pretty good prayer when she stopped partway through. “Daddy, I stopped to listen to the Holy Ghost, but I can't really hear him.” So they talked about how he can sometimes help you think things. “So what are you thinking?” She thought a moment more and said, “He told me 'In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.'” So she closed her prayer. 

Abby doesn't know the meaning of the word "scared" yet she really loves to use it. For example, she was walking with BJ down the stairs, holding his hand. At every stair she'd happily say, "I too scared" and then she'd jump down to the next stair. All the way down. There's another example in the kiddisms. It's hilarious.

I got an email from Pinterest telling me I'm a top pinner and inviting me to try out a new feature. I'm not sure if I should feel embarrassed about this or not. But turns out, nursing gives me lots of time to pin! So I've been pinning again. I hear there's a max number of pins you can have and the official advice is to just set up a new Pinterest account when you hit that number.  I think that's a horrible solution and I'm fearful for when that day comes. :/

I've started reading aloud to Kessa. We started with Charlotte's Web. We just read a chapter here and there throughout the day, whenever one of us thinks of it. So far she really seems to be enjoying it. I'm enjoying it, too, so I'm glad I decided to do it. I can't wait till Abby is older and I can have both of their rapt attention.

  • While I was doing Abby's hair:
    Abby: I'm scared.
    BJ: Is mommy making your hair so pretty?
    Abby: I'm happy now!
  • Travis: How come you pay more attention to Peter than you do to me?
    Kessa: Because I love Peter more than I love you.
<3 Tianna and Co.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A normal week post again!

Jessa ~

I think I maybe told you Damian was here this past weekend? Well, Monday he and BJ worked hard all morning finishing the sheetrock in the basement for the second inspection. Unfortunately, the inspector came before they were done. Fortunately he looked at everything else they had done and said, "You clearly know what you're doing and I expect you'll continue doing it right," and passed it. Hooray! So there is only one inspection left, and it is the final inspection! Damian used the rest of his stay to start mudding and taping the sheetrock, so that's partly done. Progress!

Both girls started swimming lessons this week. Kessa seems much more excited about everything she is learning this time, so I'm hoping that means her confidence is higher. Perhaps she'll even have the confidence to float on her back and front unassisted this time around so she can pass level 2. I don't mind her repeating levels. She doesn't realize she's repeating and it's building her confidence, so I think it's great. Abby is doing a parent/child class with BJ and our backdoor neighbor is also in it! Surprisingly, Abby is the one who is being more cautious and nervous about everything. Go figure.

I got a haircut on Wednesday. It's short again. So far I like it, but I haven't had to style it myself yet (bonus of not having to wash my hair daily!) so we'll see how that goes... That's always the scary part. But I have high hopes for it.

BJ and I had our 6th anniversary this week! We thought about going out to dinner or something, but realized that where Peter hasn't been introduced to a bottle, we really wouldn't have much time. He often eats every 1.5-2 hours. And by the time we travel to and from wherever we were going, we wouldn't really have much time. So we had this brilliant epiphany and decided instead to celebrate it as the birth of our family. Which sounds like it should be a family celebration! So we ate at home, then after dinner took the entire family to the Timp temple, where we were married, and walked around it, looking at different things on the temple (like the stained glass windows, and the sun, moon, and stars) and the landscaping. Kessa wanted to go in, so we went into the waiting room and talked quietly in there about eternal families. Then we went back outside and sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" ... at least part of it before Kessa got distracted. Then we went to Coldstone and got ice cream. It was So Much Fun. So I think we're going to make it a tradition. BJ and I may still go out on a date when we don't have a brand newborn, but the family date will definitely have to be repeated.

Travis came home from his 7-week adventure to Australia, Samoa, and New Zealand yesterday. That's exciting. :D Except he's going to want his blender back, so that's sad. Alas. But hopefully more frequent game nights will remedy that.

4th Sunday dinner was tonight. I swear we've eaten at your parents house 4 out of the last 5 Sundays. It's really quite possible, actually. Thankfully they don't seem to be sick of us yet (we can probably thank the cute kids for that) and we love going up there, so it seems to be a win. But I think we're going back to our normal schedule of only going up once a month. Alas. We have to grow up and be big kids someday, I guess... ;)  But we got to meet Sis. Payne! Which was exciting. She's fun. The Christensens came to look at her pictures and stuff and we warned her that they were nervous about Sam going there and she was like, "Oh. Maybe I should have brought different pictures." Hah! The very first picture was a pile of skulls. Then later she talked about how if you get hit by a car, you have to get yourself (or your companion has to get you) off the road ASAP lest they come back to hit you again, because it's cheaper to pay for a funeral than hospital expenses. Then she immediately turns to them and says, "But don't worry, that won't happen to your son!" Bahaha.

Random pictures

Our strawberry patch is producing magnificently. This was one harvest. We get about 6 cups every time we harvest, at least 1-3 times per week. It's insane.

Kessa got stick-on earrings for her birthday. Obviously she and Abby love them. But in her obsessive love of Peter, she likes to stick them on him as well.

Kessa loves to sit on Abby's chair with her. Especially for dessert. Abby doesn't seem to mind, so I let her. It seems like good sister bonding. Especially when we get scenes like this over strawberry shortcake. *love*

And Peter! I took him for a walk the other day while BJ put the girls to bed. Hence why he's not actually buckled. I don't expect a high-collision crash while walking on the sidewalk. Call me a risky parent, I know. ;) But seriously, isn't he so handsome?!

Abby: "I painted my fingernails!"
[sigh] That's watercolor paint. At least it's easily washable. Tonight she found a marker at your mom's and did it again. At least it's just on her hands? And at least she's adorable?


  • Kessa: Every night we need to have ice cream from now on! That's the new rule! [folds arms and stamps foot!]
  • BJ: You're missing out on so much if you don't know everything! … that's kind of my whole philosophy on life.
  • Me: I love you Kessa.
    Kessa: And I never want you to die. Never, ever.
  • Fashion diva just powered up to a new level. Abby wants me to tuck her shirt into her pants/skirt. She told me to “hide her shirt”. How does she know that tucking in her shirt is a thing?!
  • Abby took her diaper off last night. Then wet the bed. So her nightgown is all wet. While BJ was telling her she needed a bath, she was yelling, “No bath! Want diaper on!”
    Go figure. [rolls eyes]

Random kid tidbits

Kessa loves Peter. Perhaps a little too much. The most commonly used phrase in the house these days is, "Kessa! Just leave Peter alone!" or "Just let Peter sleep!" She always wants to hug him, kiss him, hold him, show him things, tickle him, etc. Which is, admittedly, adorable. But not when she's constantly waking him up and I just want him to sleep so I can get something done! There are worse problems, I know.

Abby also loves Peter, but in a less demanding way. Whenever she comes into a room and sees him, she'll start saying, "Baby! Baby!" And then she'll run over and look at him for a minute, then run off to do something else.  She's starting to talk in more full sentences, so sometimes she'll say, "Can I hold him please?" which is adorable, so how can I possibly say no? But her idea of holding him is coming from his side, one arm under and one over. So basically I hold him and set him on her outstretched arm for about 15 seconds, then she's done.

Kessa rides her bike outside about 17 times per day. At least when I let her. Thankfully she's getting old enough that I'm comfortable letting her play outside without me. I know she'll follow the rules and I can check on her periodically. Plus, we live on a cul de sac that she can safely ride in. So that's nice.

Both girls have started playing "I see the temple; I win." Kessa is actually pretty darn good and legitimately beats us fairly often. She's even started saying the name of the temples that she knows. One day we were driving to your parents' house and then I hear, "I see the temp— Noo! I see the Drape! temple; I win." a) she got the word Draper adorably wrong (she's now knows it) and b) we never taught her to say the name or what the name of that temple was! She figured it out on her own by listening to us! Incredible!  Abby mostly just says, "I see the temple; I win!" whenever she sees a church steeple or hears one of us see the temple. But at her age, that's awesome enough.

Did I tell you that BJ has started to teach Kessa piano lessons? Unsurprisingly, she's picking up on it super well. Also, today she read me part of a Little Critter book before she got sidetracked. She was reading words like, "Sometimes" and "remember". Where is my little girl!?

Abby likes to be knowingly mischievous. Like after a meal, she'll ask us to wash her hands, then while we're getting a rag wet, she'll run to the family room, occasionally looking back to make sure we're watching, all with a huge grin on her face. The more we say, "Come back here Abby..." the bigger the grin gets, until she runs and hides behind the couch. The entire time with her hands up in the air so as not to touch anything. Then BJ will go fetch her and start counting down from 5, and she'll run out, gleeful that she's been caught, and hold out her hands to be washed. But we got after her for doing that enough times that now she just runs to the line where the carpet starts and sits down on the carpet and holds out her hands. She knows she's supposed to stay in the kitchen. So she literally toes the line. I fear for her teenage years. :D

And... that's all the random tidbits I can think of right now. Hope you have a great week!

~ Tianna and Co.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A less than half-hearted attempt at catching up

Jessa ~

I'm sorry you haven't gotten a real letter from me for a few weeks. I like to believe that I have a decently good excuse. If it makes you feel any better, I have the detailed birth story partly written up. Does that count for anything? But tonight I have a headache, kids are screaming, you're getting online at any moment, my computer is running at about the speed of snails, and I don't have BJ's pictures on my computer yet. So there are my excuses for this somewhat lame post. Please don't hate me. I'll do my best to get a better one up next week.

Let's see.  I think you've missed...

  • I got two prenatal massages, which were great and allowed me to lay on my big pregnant tummy for a time.
  • Nana had a birthday party up at Aunt Barbara's. Good times were had by all. But much fewer candles than at Grandpa Goddard's last party. We didn't think Nana would have had the same reaction...
  • I spoke in another ward with a high councilman. I warned him that I might have to cancel last minute due to a baby being born, but he felt strongly that I should be the one to speak with him, so I accepted with that disclaimer and he prayed I'd still be pregnant on that Sunday. I was. 5 days later Peter was born.
  • That same Sunday BJ played a musical number in sacrament, I was asked to tell the story of Jericho and Rahab in Sunday School while BJ subbed Sunbeams in Sharing Time and then I came and joined him and helped him teach Sunbeams. I think we also had home teachers, and then we went up to your parents for 4th Sunday dinner. It was a pretty busy Sunday.
  • Kessa graduated from Joy School and we had a little program for them. It was cute.
  • Peter was born! Yay!
  • Because of it I missed craft night and stake baptisms.
  • Kessa started taking an art class every Wednesday where she basically does crafts and it's adorable.
  • Then every Thursday she takes a music appreciation class where she learns about composers, hears her teacher (a 12- or 13-year old girl in our ward) play one of their songs, then she gets to learn a very simplified version of part of the song which she gets a week to memorize and if she does, she gets a prize the next week.
  • BJ helps her with her memorization. He would teach so much past what was required for class that we decided to buy her piano books and BJ has started teaching her piano lessons.
  • Peter has been going to the chiropractor 3 times per week, because he has a recessed chin that makes it hard for him to latch on to breastfeed. He gets plenty to eat, but it hurts me and doesn't make nursing pleasant. I had the pediatrician check for a tongue or lip tie, which apparently are quite common and rarely diagnosed, and he said he had absolutely none, but has a recessed chin, which can cause similar effects in nursing. So I asked my midwife and she said to get into a chiropractor. So I found one who thought he could help and we've been going in ever since. Next week we start twice a week. He's had 6 visits so far and thankfully it has helped a lot! Today I surprised myself by realizing that nursing hasn't hurt at all today! IT'S A MIRACLE! It's been slowly getting better, but today was the first day that it honestly just didn't hurt. (Of course, the next feeding after the realization hurt to start, but got better. Go figure. [sigh]) So I'll keep taking him in until it's consistently better or shows no signs of improving. Wish us luck!
  • Meanwhile, BJ has to get another root canal, I have a cavity that needs to be filled and possibly other work, but we were waiting for me not to be pregnant to get the X-ray and Kessa has two cavities to be filled. We're going to go broke just on medical/dental expenses! Yipes.
  • Kessa had a birthday! She's now 5. She woke up to balloons in her room and tied to her chair at the table. We had german pancakes (her favorite) for breakfast, then went to the new children's museum, ate lunch at a restaurant, she played with her best friend, Izzy, while Abby napped, then we ate pizza and cheese sticks at Grandma Homer's. Outside as a picnic. Then had an ice cream cake. Plus got presents of clothes and a new bike. No training wheels.
  • Speaking of the bike, she's a pro. She can ride it by herself without any help. It only took a couple of days to go from brand new bike to 100% confidence. She's even crashed a couple of times and was most upset when I told her to come inside so we could put a bandaid on it and and she cried, "But I want to ride my bike again!!!!" Good girl. Way to get back up and get back on! She'd ride it all day if we let her.
  • Saturday Chelsea had a bridal shower up at her grandparents' house in Bountiful. Teresa, Peter and I went. Peter was a hit. Of course. ;) It was a chill party, mostly just talking and eating gourmet food. But it was fun.
  • Damian came down again this weekend. He brought all of his kids, so they all played hard yesterday. Today they went to a farewell where they met Kim and she took the kids home. Damian has an inspection for sheetrock scheduled in the morning, so we're crossing our fingers that he can finish all the sheetrock by then. He worked hard yesterday (with help from BJ in the evening), though, so I think he'll manage it. Then he wants to mud and tape the storage room so he can call that room at least done. Then it'll be on our shoulders to get shelving in there and move all our storage out of the garage and into the basement. Hooray! A light at the end of the tunnel! It'll be weird having our garage back again. But we're considering having a guy in our ward build them and he's out of town a lot the next few weeks, so he wouldn't be able to get to it until July. So... it might still take some time.
  • Father's Day today was good, I think. But I'm not a father, so I can't fully vouch for it.
  • Kessa and Abby both start swimming lessons tomorrow. I'll let you know how that goes.
And... I think we've caught up the last few weeks!  Whew! And you haven't emailed yet, so I assume you're not on yet. So I'll go find some kiddisms for you.

  • Getting out of the bathtub, Abby: My bum is pretty!
    Me: Your bum is pretty?
    Abby: Yes. It has flowers on it!
  • We have dinosaur probiotics. Our girls have reassigned them more familiar animals. From what we've been able to determine so far:
    Stegosaurus = horsie
    T-rex = kitty
    Allosaurus = elephant
  • Kessa specifically requested that daddy blow on her dinner, so that it would fog up his glasses.
  • BJ was teaching Kessa Spanish during dinner. He was pointing to everyone's nose and saying, “me nariz”, “tu nariz”, “nariz de Abby”. Then he started again, “nariz de Kessa,” “nariz de Papa”. At which point Abby pipes in laughing, “No… that's Daddy!”
  • At one point I thought I might be in labor, so we sent the girls to bed telling them we needed them to go to bed quickly just in case. Up to this point, Kessa had been pretty adamant that Peter needed to be born on her birthday, not earlier. As BJ was putting her to bed... Kessa: I just want to tell mommy that if she does have the baby it's ok and I'll be very excited.
  • We officially started piano lessons with Kessa today. BJ was teaching her about good piano posture, specifically sitting up straight and not slouching.
    Kessa: Yeah, because if you slouch down, your chin will hit the keys.
    And then she demonstrated for us. 
  • Kessa: you're as funny as an angel!
  • A friend: Happy birthday!
    Kessa: Happ– Aaahhhhh! No! Thank you!
  • Dad: Kessa, I just want you to know that I think you are great, in every way.
    Kessa: i'm even greater on my bike!
  • Kessa at the lunch prayer: Please help us to eat lunch and breakfast good. And not choke. And at dinner. And help is to be a good family and not throw fits anymore.
  • Kessa: Abby! Not my pink bike! My bigger pink bike!
  • Peter was laying on the couch and Kessa climbed up to the back of the couch above him. “I am the king of Peter. You'd better believe it.”
And now I'm tired. And pictures are a pain. So... you'll just have to wait for next week for pictures. Sorry.  Truly. But I still love you. :)

~ Tianna and Co.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A somewhat brief birth story

Peter Russell Homer
May 30, 2014; 6:57 pm
8 lbs. 13 oz.
21" long
14" head circumference

I will tell the story in more detail later, and include pictures from our awesome birth photographer, Cali, but for today, a brief summary and pictures from our phones will just have to do. I'm too busy cuddling a sweet newborn on my lap to spend too much time typing on a computer.  :)  (Note: just because this is brief doesn't mean I'm avoiding words like 'perineum', so consider yourself warned.)

Once again, we decided to do a natural induction. Again, to allow a family member (this time my mom) to have time to get here.  That morning I went in for a pre-natal massage that I had scheduled several days earlier. When I told them I was being induced that day, they switched gears from a comfort massage to a labor-stimulating massage. I actually liked it better than the comfort one I had a week or so before. Hah!

Kessa holding Peter. Abby was more excited about the horse on the couch.

For various reasons, the induction got pushed back from 2 pm, but it gave everyone plenty of time to get here, get everything set up, etc. Abby didn't take a nap, so when everything got started, we just got her up and took her downstairs to play with Kessa. I had bought them a bunch of new toys (bubbles, glitter sidewalk chalk, golf set, legos, play dough, etc.) so they were quite happy. Meanwhile, upstairs, they checked me (I was dilated to a 7) and broke my water. Then they set me to walking. Pretty soon everyone realized I was boring, so they went down and played with the girls. :D I still couldn't feel contractions, so I just walked up and down the halls with BJ and my doula, Carrie in tow. It got really boring really fast. I just walked, feeling like I was constantly peeing my pants. We joked about doing jumping jacks, but all agreed that didn't sound fun. So I joked about playing the Wii... maybe Hula Hoop on WiiFit? Haha. But I didn't. I should have. That would have made a great story.

After about a half an hour of walking aimlessly, I started feeling contractions. I went back upstairs and breathed through them on the birth ball, or leaning against the side of the tub. They were several minutes apart, so I would have time in between to gauge how intense they were and how to deal with the next one. We got out a contraction timer app on my phone and BJ started timing them. (This is the first birth we've ever timed contractions for, but I've always been interested in knowing what it was afterwards.) Soon I decided I really wanted the buoyancy of the water, so they filled up the tub and I got in. It was definitely easier to labor in the water.

It was less than an hour and a half, I believe, in the water before Peter was born, but I had decided to be more vocal with what I was doing, and I decided to be open to the idea to moving around. When I noticed my legs were starting to fall asleep, I'd turn over and sit instead of kneel against the side. I didn't really like sitting through contractions, though, so it wouldn't last too long. Before long I hit transition and pretty much stayed kneeling with my head on my arms on the side of the tub, though I'd rock back and forth and up and down.  Before long, he started to crown. I definitely felt the ring of fire on this one. Yipes. And since my main goal was to not tear, I had one of the student midwives right at my head, helping support my perineum and talking me through it. "I know it's hard, but you have to push slowly. Relax. Wait until the next contraction to push. Let him stretch you. Blow through your lips." That may have been one of the hardest things I have EVER done. And probably the thing I'll remember the most from this labor. I just wanted him out so much. But despite it, I listened to her. And waited it out in agony for the next contraction and pushed slowly and made horse noises (and felt silly, but didn't care At All). And then he was born.
Hello world!

As I was kneeling against the side of the tub, they were going to pass him up through my legs so I could hold him, and I had had my hand on his head the whole time, so I was right there ready to help him up, but it became very obvious very quickly that he had his cord wrapped around his neck (and maybe shoulders?) and it made it so the cord was too short to let me pull him up. I could also tell they were pretty urgent about needing to unwrap the cord, but couldn't because it was tight in that position, so I instinctively turned around to sit in the tub. They unwrapped it quickly and next thing I knew, I was holding a little boy, with lots (relative to the girls anyway) of dark hair, and a very purple face. (BJ likes to point out that he blended in with the purple towel he was being wrapped in. Don't worry; he got better quickly.) And I loved him.

Grandma Lovell sleeping with Peter

The rest is all unexciting birthing business (I tore, but only a few stitches worth) that I won't bore you with in this version. Stay tuned for the detailed version if you care. (Though I ended up throwing in far more details than I had anticipated. Lucky you!)

The important part is that both he and I are happy and healthy and content.  I am as pleased as punch with how everything went. I wouldn't do anything differently if I could.

Everyone was great and loving and supportive. I loved it.

4 generations of Homers