Sunday, December 6, 2015


Mom: Elise, your hair looks so pretty!
Elise: You hair not look pretty, Nonny (Mommy).

Jr Primary has been really rough and crazy the last few weeks, and today my plans weren't working. I was flustered and ad-libbing when this happened.
Sis. Casaday: We've been singing a lot of Christmas songs. Why do we even care about Christmas?
Unidentified child: Presents!

One of Elise's new favorite words is "actually." (It's funny and sometimes scary to see what Brian and I must say a lot based on what words and phrases she starts saying. We're not sure where she picked up "oh gosh" though.)
Elise (on potty): Need toilet paper.
Mom: Did you pee in the potty?
Elise: Um, actually, I didn't.

Mom: Elise, take one more big drink before we go upstairs.
Elise: *gulp* One. *gulp* Two. *gulp* Three. *gulp* Four!

Other favorite phrases are "not really" and "a little ____." For example...
Mom: Elise, did you poop?
Elise: Um, not really.

Elise (looking at plate of food): It's hot.
Dad: Is it?
Elise: Um, no, a little warm.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

life with a toddler

We taught Elise about the "got your nose" game a while back, but she has started to take it a step further. It's not uncommon for her to walk up to me and say, "Mommy, I hungry. I eat you nose?" She then grabs my nose and mimes putting it in her mouth.

With that in mind, this conversation happened...
E: Mommy, I eat Au-ee [Audrey's] nose?
*grab's A's nose and "eats" it*
Me: Oh, no! Now Audrey has no nose! What is she going to do?
E: Um, get new nose?
Me (chuckling): Where is she going to get a new nose?
E: Um, store?

I sat down and took a few bites of cereal one morning.
E: I eat Mommy's cereal?
*I try to give her one bite*
E: No! I want bowl!
*E grabs the bowl and drags it down the table to her seat, then eats the entire bowl*

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween FAQ

Q: Where did you get that?
A: We bought the adult costumes and made the ones for the girls.

Q: You made that (Slimer)?
A: Yes, that's what I just said.

Q: What's it made of?
A: Various kinds of foam. The base is an egg crate mattress topper, and then we added foam pipe insulators and some layers of expanding spray foam. Expanding spray foam is Brian's new favorite toy...umm, I mean tool.

Q: Can I touch it?
A: No, this is a blog.

Q: Where did you get the idea?
A: The wonderful world wide web. :) This lady basically provided a supplies list and tutorial, and we stole her idea and modified it.

Q: You guys always have the most awesome costumes.
A: Thanks, but that's not a question.

Q: You made Elise's costume too?
A: Yes, I (Amy) sewed it (without a pattern, I'm not brave enough to try those yet). Don't look too closely, but I'm pretty proud of the result and I learned several sewing-related skills in the process. It was a fun project (albeit a little frustrating at times).

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Elise has been a great helper since Audrey was born. She's so proud of being "Mama's big helper." I suspect that somehow led to this conversation:

Elise: Where Daddy go?
Mama: He went in the bathroom.
E: Daddy go pee?
M: Yeah, I think he probably is.
E: I help Daddy go pee?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Elise loves Audrey

This is not an uncommon sight in our house. Elise is very sweet to share her toys. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Audrey's birth story

I never wrote down Elise's birth story and I'm regretting it now, so I figure I should do Audrey's while I can remember better. :) I'm also giving fair warning: it should be obvious since it's a birth story, but some of these details may be considered TMI.

The last few days of this pregnancy were pretty uncomfortable, although I think that really just comes with the territory. Little Sister (we didn't know her name yet) really liked being under my ribs, even more than Elise did. It didn't matter if I was sitting, standing, or laying in any number of positions, my ribs were sore and my back hurt. She was also head down for at least the last 3-4 weeks and seemed to have her hands/arms up by her head a lot (she still does). If I ate any sugar after dinner, I paid for it with a dance and kickboxing party directed at my cervix.

Saturday (5/2) morning, our neighborhood in San Diego was having a 5k in conjunction with the annual Fiesta de los Penasquitos. It starts at our stake center and ends at our church building, so a lot of the members of the Church get involved. Assuming Little Sister hadn't come yet, Brian was going to run it and I would decide to participate or not based on how I was feeling. I had been having more contractions throughout the week but they seemed to be mostly Braxton Hicks with a few uncomfortable ones thrown in here and there, so I ended up deciding to walk it. When I showed up, plenty of people asked if I was really going to do it, and there was laughing and joking that I was just trying to jump-start labor. (Did I mention I went to Disneyland twice the week before this?)

On Sunday (5/3) night, I told Brian I was hoping she'd come soon because I was just done with this pregnancy (probably didn't help that I gained more weight this time around). I even apologized for complaining, although he seemed to think it was allowed. ;)

Monday (5/4) morning, something woke me up around 3 AM. That wasn't uncommon for the last week, but then I couldn't get back to sleep because I started having some uncomfortable contractions. I finally fell asleep again around 4:30 or 5 and got up when my alarm went off around 7. I've been walking with friends on MWF since coming off bed rest, so I got myself and Elise ready while the contractions started up again. Since I was induced with Elise, I was a little uncertain about what "real" contractions feel like, but I suspected that these might be closer to the real thing. They kept up throughout the walk and breakfast, but I wasn't really in (much) pain and was definitely in denial. ;) I refused to time them and got ready for my regular prenatal appointment at 10:10. Between the walk and my appointment, I did spend some time in the bathroom with some digestive issues. That seemed like it might also be pointing toward labor, but...nope, still in denial.

My parents were flying in on Monday. I texted my dad to let him know Elise had woken up with a cold (Murphy's Law?) and I was having contractions. I told him I would keep them posted but was still planning on picking them up at the airport later. He responded, "If it's a choice between picking us up and going to the hospital, Go To THE HOSPITAL!"

I hadn't yet packed a hospital bag but at least had the foresight to quickly throw something together before the dr. I figured it couldn't hurt to have it in the car even if today was not the day. Elise and I headed out (I hadn't gotten a babysitter) and I continued having contractions while driving. At that point, they were more uncomfortable but I could still get through them just fine with breathing.

The nurse asked how I was doing, and I mentioned the contractions and diarrhea and said I thought it was possible I was in labor but didn't really know for sure. She asked if I'd had a bloody show yet - I had just had a little blood when giving my urine sample for the appointment. She also asked how far apart the contractions were and looked mildly surprised when I said I hadn't been timing them but they were less than 10 min apart. Dr. Dietze wouldn't normally do a cervical exam at that appointment, but with all those signs she said it would be a good idea for him to check. I told her she seemed a little concerned, but she laughed and said she wouldn't have taken my blood pressure if she was - she would have pasted on a big smile and told me she'd be back in a minute. She did think it was funny how nonchalant I was about everything since I was talking about all these labor signs but then carrying in my 2-year-old and the backpack/diaper bag like it was nothing.

Dr. Dietze came in and chatted for a minute then listened to Little Sister's heartbeat and measured the fundal height. He did the cervical exam while we kept talking and then looked at me and very calmly said, "You're 7 cm." I think I laughed a little bit and responded, "So I guess I should go to the hospital, huh?" He said he'd call and put in orders for me to be admitted so I could bypass triage and recommended that I go straight there (even with Elise) unless I wanted to risk having the baby in the car. ;) I cleaned up Elise's toys, picked her up, and headed out to get her in the car and make a couple phone calls. (Elise, of course, didn't WANT to get in the car, so we had a bit of a struggle in the parking lot but I think I convinced her by asking if she wanted Tyra to come pick her up.) I did have to start leaning over a little to breathe through contractions, but it was still manageable.

Brian said he'd meet me at the hospital, although I found out later that he was concerned about me getting there ok by myself - he did ask if he should come to the dr office to get me instead of just meeting me. I guess I figured I didn't want to leave a car at the dr, and I had made it to  my appointment just fine even through some contractions. I couldn't get ahold of Tyra, but Diana said she could meet me at the hospital and take Elise until my parents flew in. Brian beat me to the hospital, and Diana arrived not long after. By the time we got Elise squared away, it was probably about 11 and both Brian and Diana were asking why I was out in the parking lot helping them.

The front desk sent us up to triage (even though I said my dr sent me and I had orders to be admitted), where they started taking my information. I mentioned Dr. Dietze's orders to the nurse at the window, and she called someone to confirm before telling me to wait for a bit and a L&D nurse would come get me. The nurse also told me (jokingly) she didn't believe I was 7 cm because I was smiling and laughing too much.

An awesome nurse named Amy took us back to a room and got me settled with a gown, IV, monitors, etc. I think it was probably about 11:30 by then. I had been thinking it might be neat to try a natural delivery, especially since I had made it to 7 cm without too much discomfort, but I was certainly not opposed to the epidural. When Amy asked about my expectations for the delivery, I explained this and said something about getting the epidural if I needed it. "Need" was the wrong word - Amy joked that she was happy to tell me if I "needed" it. (As a side note, my non-existent birth plan would have been one sentence, something like, "Get this baby out of me - safely!")

A lot of time after this was spent hanging out and waiting, with some paperwork and stuff thrown in. We talked to a lady about cord blood donation - the public kind, not paying for private storage - and got that all set up (though there was some miscommunication and it ended up not happening after all). Brian told me stories and made me laugh through some contractions, which was surprisingly effective pain relief. Eventually, I did decide to get an epidural.

Nurse Amy came in at some point and said the doctor (not my OB) could come break my water if I wanted. He was busy with another delivery but would come after he was done. Not too much later, we heard a pop and a splash and I was suddenly very wet. ;) When the dr finally came in - he had finished the delivery but another lady was having trouble so he went there first - he found out my water had broken and said that was fine, it would just be a social visit. :)

More waiting. Amy eventually checked me again and I was fully dilated and ready to go. However, I was still comfortable with the epidural and didn't feel any urge to push, so we just waited until the dr was available and let the contractions do the work for a while. I was feeling more pressure (not exactly pain) with some of the contractions and kept saying it felt like I was pooping a baby. Amy said that was fine and I just needed to let her know if I needed to push. She got all the tables and tools set up so that when the dr got there we'd be ready to go. Unfortunately, when it came time to deliver, she had been told to take her lunch break because she probably wouldn't get one if she didn't take it then. Another nurse assisted Dr. Shipp in the delivery.

I learned something new about childbirth - somehow, it never occurred to me that the contractions are meant to push the baby out. Babies could be born with no extra help pushing, we just do it to make things go faster. By the time Dr. Shipp came to deliver, Audrey was quite far down (I think the nurse even checked and said something like, "she's right there!"). They had me push through 2 contractions and then again right after the 2nd one was done because she was practically out. That extra push was all she needed. She was born at 3:15 PM.

I remember with Elise, I immediately reached for her when she was born and said "Give her to me!" The dr then was a little surprised (and we all laughed about it later). But at Mary Birch, that's standard practice - they immediately handed Audrey to me and she laid on my chest for a while as Dr. Shipp worked on stitching and cleaning me up. (Side note: Later, he did give me a prescription for Vicodin but said if I got to 7 cm without much pain, I probably wouldn't need it and would likely be fine with Ibuprofen. I guess I must have a high pain tolerance. I don't know if I would have said that about myself before - we learn new things every day. :) I did think it was funny that it seemed like every person who came in to see me knew I was 7 cm before getting to the hospital. I guess word spreads quickly, haha.)

Most of the time after delivery and before moving to my postpartum room was spent doing skin-to-skin with Audrey, which I loved. Amy cleaned her up and weighed/measured her (7 lb 11 oz and 20 in long) after a long time bonding. I also tried breastfeeding a little bit, and she took to it pretty well.

Tyra picked up my parents at the airport (around 4 PM) and they all came to the hospital to meet Audrey. They held her and took some pictures and we hung out for a bit while my epidural wore off. Eventually they went home to get Elise and I was transferred to my room upstairs.

Overall, Audrey's birth was a very good experience. I'm grateful for all the doctors and nurses who took such good care of me (and her). We're really enjoying having this sweet, healthy baby in our family. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015