Sunday, December 12, 2010


Yesterday was my husband's and my 2 year wedding anniversary - wow, how the time flies. A lot has changed over this past year (with the birth of our son and all), but I'm so glad to say that my husband and I are just as much (if not more) in love today as we were six years ago. I really hit the jack-pot with Richard, and I am so blessed by my little growing family.

To celebrate this milestone in our lives, we wanted to do something special, but with our new baby, neither of us were up for doing anything big and fancy (or that required energy). Since Saturdays are Vertical Worship nights, we decided to go out Thursday while my mother-in-law watched Judah for us; while I know that he was in the most capable of hands, it was so hard for me to leave him for those few hours. It was the first time I had been away from him. Before Thursday, I hadn't even gone to the store without my precious baby boy, and as embarrassing as it is for me to admit, I cried once I got back out to the car. I did have a wonderful night, though, and my mother-in-law told me that he was on his very best behavior (not that he really ever has a bad behavior - we've been blessed with a terrific baby).

Anyway, our cousin, Natasha, was able to get us discounted tickets to see "White Christmas" at Pioneer Theatre Company, and I absolutely LOVED the show. I grew up watching the movie every Christmas Eve, and to see it live was spectacular - I was so excited. We also ate dinner at Sizzler (it's my favorite), and we watched the lights at Valley Fair Mall. Even though we missed our boy very much, and we kept imitating him all night, it was nice to get out together - just the two of us. :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Baby's A Month Old!

Judah turned 1 month old on Saturday - WOW, it does not seem like it has been that long already. He is such an awesome baby, and Richard and I are having so much fun getting to know him.

Here are a few of the updates:

1. Breastfeeding has become much easier. He is now nursing with or without the nipple shield and easily switching among bottle, Binky, and breast with no hesitations. My only complaint here is that he bites. My nipples are seriously ready to fall off from all of his biting. And for those of you saying, "just wait 'til he has teeth..." he's got them! YES, I know how incredibly young he is, but I guess this is just one are in which he takes after his momma - I was born with 4 teeth. He has 3 of them. They haven't come through completely yet, but they are in enough that you can clearly see their little white nubs, and they are quite sharp.

2. Judah is SO very strong for his age. Not only has he been holding his head up since birth (yes, since BIRTH), but he locks his legs and stands on them. Of course, he doesn't exactly have his balance down enough yet, so his standing is assisted, but he's been doing this assisted standing for about 3 weeks now. The other night, Richard was holding him, and he started making walking motions. My mother-in-law said that Daniel was walking at 7 months, so perhaps he will be an early walker like Uncle Dan. We've also had to stop swaddling him because he always punches his way out of the swaddle regardless of how tight we make it (he HATES his arms covered). My little man definitely has a mind of his own.

3. His circumcision is fully healed now - such a relief.

4. We started trying to sleep him in his bassinet this week (attempting to prepare him for his crib). He was not having it, though. Last night he cried for thirty-plus minutes before I finally brought him to bed with me, where of course, he fell immediately to sleep. I'm thinking we're just going to have to put him in his crib and let him cry himself to sleep until he learns to be comfortable with it. I just can't listen to him do it - he breaks my heart, and I cave in.

5. I've learned to angle his penis down in his diapers. Since this discovery, we have had zero "pee all over everything except my diaper" episodes. YEAH!! Now, if we could just figure out how to keep him from peeing DURING diaper changes, we'd have a lot less laundry.

6. He spits up a lot. I suppose that's normal, but it's really A LOT. I'm hoping he grows out of that soon. Oh, and he get the hiccups ALL the time - poor guy.

7. We set up the Christmas tree, and Judah LOVES the lights. We laid him under the tree, and he started to cry when we tried to take him away. He's so funny that way. So, we laid him back, and he just stared and stared. He also reached for a couple of the bulbs, but they were too high for his grasp. :) I can't wait until Christmas. I know that he will not remember it, but I will.

To close, here are a few of his (and mine) favorite things:

Cuddle U Pillow

Play Yard changing table
Diaper Genie Swing/infant seat
Moby Wrap
Breast Pump

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mommy Challenge #1

It's amazing the things you DON'T care about when you're in love. I'm not talking about that euphoric, romantic love, either; I'm talking about the most indescribable, miraculous, unconditional love of a mother for her child. Yes, it has only been 3 weeks (tomorrow), but it only took 1 second to feel the most deeply bonding love for my baby boy. Already I have been peed on, pooped on, puked on... normally, bodily fluids (among other things) would completely gross me out, and while it's not like I WANT to be covered in my son's nasty's, it doesn't bother me. In fact, in the moment, I don't really even think about it; my only concern is making sure Judah is safe, cared for, and loved.

Last night, however, I faced my most difficult mommy challenge thus far. After Judah's circumcision, he had a gauze bandage around his treated area. The doctor told us that it would fall off on its own within 24 hours. As of yesterday, the bandage still hadn't come off, so we were instructed to soak him in a tub of warm water and gently guide the gauze off. I know this probably doesn't sound like a difficult task, but every second of it, I was so scared that I was going to hurt him, or pull off some sort of scabbing that would cause him to bleed. Of course, his crying didn't exactly help matters along. I couldn't tell if he was crying because he was cold (being naked and only half his body in water), or hungry (it was about time for him to eat again), or scared (it was his first "bath" experience that wasn't a sponge bath), or in pain. I absolutely hated every minute of it.

Now, though, things seem to be healing up quite nicely, and that is all behind us. Pheeww, bring on mommy challenge number 2! ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Favorite Things Judah

I love all the little sounds my baby makes; He makes all sorts of cute little snorts, squeaks, whimpers, sighs, and coos, but there is one in particular that makes me laugh. When he gets really hungry, he starts frantically punching the air (right, left, right, left...), and as he punches, he makes these cute little grunting noises, "uh, uh, uh-uh-uh...". Perhaps he will become a boxer, though, I'm praying that he does not. Call me crazy, but I don't think I could watch my son take several punches to the head.

I love the way he lifts his hands and shakes. In my belly, I would frequently feel this fast paced beating that would quickly alternate between my left and right sides, and I would always wonder what he was doing in there. Now that he's here, I think I know what he was doing. He does this thing sometimes where he will lift both of his arms with open hands, and he quickly shakes them. I honestly have no idea as to why he does this, but it is quite funny.

I love Judah's big beautiful eyes; There are times when my baby boy will open those wonderful blue eyes of his (I think it would awesome if they stayed blue, but I know that most babies are born with blue eyes and gradually turn over the first few months), and instead of closing them immediately after, he will look around as if he's discovering a new world (which, he is).

I even love his little cries. While it completely breaks my heart when my baby cries, I am so glad that he has such a cute cry. You know how some babies have that high pitched, ear-piercing, screaming cry? Yes, well, I am so thankful that Judah's cry is nothing like that.

I love all his little faces; My favorite is when he lifts his eyebrows as high as he can without opening his eyes and stretches his head up toward the sky. His little neck gets all skinny supporting his little bobble head, and he starts to resemble a little turtle. He seriously, melts my heart.

I love all his warm embraces. When his little hand grabs hold of my finger, I can't help but fall even more in love with my Judah baby, but when he lays his head on my chest while holding that finger, it is the best! I have never experienced a better feeling in all my life.

I love it when he stares at me; His eyes meet my eyes, and we connect in ways I cannot explain. It's like we're communicating with each other, and we don't even need words.

I am just in love with my baby!
Already, I could not imagine my life without Judah...

Four Generations

Richard E. Rivera, Richard M. Rivera, Richard J. Rivera, J. Richard Rivera

My husband comes from an amazing family. They are not perfect, but they're even better than the Brady Bunch! They are big (in number not in physique), and they love and support and pray for each other; they are God-fearing, strong, and genuine. Even before Richard and I were married, they opened their hearts and made me part of the family, and I love all them so much. Since, I never met the great-grandparents, I have to say that this wonderful family legacy has stemmed out from Grandpa Richard and Grandma Lillian. Those two have the biggest most beautiful hearts, and they have definitely been an inspiration to me.

So when my husband and I heard we were having a son, it seemed only fitting to follow tradition and name him after greatness. Our only concern with this decision was one of confusion. As we have learned over the years, having the same name as your father has a tendency to create a bit of chaos. For instance, when we purchased our car (from the same dealership that Richard's parents purchased one of their vehicles), they processed all of the loan information and paper work under the correct Richard Rivera with the correct social security number, but when we picked up our registration plates, the car was registered to a Mr. Richard M. Rivera - that's Richard's dad. Also, when Richard moved out of his parents' home, he was unable to forward his mail. Had he attempted that change, it would have forwarded ALL Richard Rivera mail which would not have been good for my father-in-law... :/ Anyway, that's when we decided that a middle name would be the perfect solution. Our son would carry on on the Richard name but leave behind the confusion.

Judah's Big Day

On Sunday, November 14, 2010, at only 10 days old, Judah had his first big day out. Since my dad is in town, we decided to have Judah dedicated early, and I must say that I have the best baby in the world. He seriously did so good, and I am so proud of him. He didn't even cry once all day - even when everyone was passing him around and snapping about a million pictures of him, he remained perfectly calm.

As for the dedication itself, it took everything that was in me not to cry.
I was seriously holding back tears to the point where I had that weird knot thing in the back of my throat... It was an absolutely beautiful service, and I am extremely happy that so many of our family could be there to stand in agreement with us. I am thankful for everyone of them, and I am truly blessed that my son gets to grow up around so much love.

Nursing Update

Things are seeming to improve with the nursing business, but not without some tricks. My cousin suggested I try a nipple shield since it worked so well for her. Desperate, I purchased the shield from Target, and immediately, Judah latched on and nursed - best $7 ever spent! We have been using the shield for about a week now, and it has been an absolute life savor. In a couple more weeks, I will hopefully be able to wean him off the shield and nurse without tricks or gadgets.

Even with the success of the shield, however, this system is not without its flaws. While at the hospital, my baby's latch was perfect. The nursing issues were not due to poor latching, rather they were birthed out of frustration. Since my milk hadn't come in yet, Judah would get SO hungry, he wouldn't want to work to get the colostrum out; he wanted his food immediately. By the time my milk came in, he had already been exposed to the bottle and all of its ease. Now, with this shield, my son thinks I am his bottle, and I am noticing that his latch is getting lazy. He now latches onto just the nipple instead of the getting the mouth full of boob that is needed for a good latch, and with a poor latch comes blistered nipples - OUCH!!

In an attempt to let my nipples heal up a bit, I have decided to pump all of his feedings today (and possibly tomorrow). It takes a little more effort and time to pump (washing the cups, hooking up the tubes, finding the right setting...), but at least my pump doesn't make me bleed. I am extremely grateful to my dad and Deb for my breast pump; that thing has been an absolute blessing, especially since formula seems to upset Judah's tummy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Boobie Bothers

Today is day 6 of trying to get my little one to nurse, and in that time, I have had ONE fully successful session. Yesterday, at his 6:00 PM feeding, he didn't fuss or cry; he didn't punch or kick me or pull his head away from me; and I didn't have to use any tubes, pacifiers, formula supplementation, finger feeding, etc. I just sat him up in the football hold, and he immediately latched on and began to eat. I was so excited and relieved; I seriously thought we had a major breakthrough. Then his next feeding, everything went back to what I am now referring to as "The Norm."

I have seriously cried several times over this whole nursing business. I really do not want to feed him formula if I do not have to, but pumping his EVERY meal is beginning to wear me out - especially in the middle of the night when I have had about 3 hours of sleep. It would be so nice to not have to fight with my child for 1-2 hours EVERY feeding just trying to get him to nurse before finally giving in and pulling out the pump. Don't get me wrong, the pump is WONDERFUL, and such a life-savor at the moment, but for EVERY feeding?? I thought breastfeeding was supposed to be a natural instinct. There are so many benefits to nursing, and I want to give my baby the best start possible, but every time he refuses my breast, it makes me feel like the worst mom on the planet. I am just praying it gets better soon.

On another note:

It's hard to believe that my baby will already be a week old tomorrow. Wow, time sure is flying by. Already I am noticing many changes in him. For one, he isn't quite as chubby and his cone head has rounded out. For two, he now opens his eyes all the way and keeps them open for longer amounts of time. Along with that, I think he's starting to see more; he'll look at me, then look up at something else, then look back at me... It's really quite adorable.

So far, the mommy thing is great. Sure, I am more exhausted and tired than I have ever been in my life, and my vagina feels like it might just rip in two every time I use the restroom, but I look at my little Judah's face, and he makes it all worth it.

Finally Here and SO in Love

After 63 hours of labor, I was blessed beyond belief with the arrival of my precious baby boy Judah Richard Rivera. He was born 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 21 inches long on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at 11:19 AM at McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah. It was the most amazing experience to meet my son for the first time...

I had this little person growing inside of me for all these months. I heard his little heart beat, and I was instantly in love; I felt him turn and kick, and I knew I would forever be changed; even so, I didn't feel like "Mom." Then, as they laid my little one out on my stomach, and I looked at his not so little, little body/face, I not only became "Mom," I became Judah's mommy. I found myself loving him even more than I ever imagined possible.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Too Much Excitement for one Pregnancy

SOOOOoooooo, I just got back from the hospital, annnnnd, well, let me first catch you up.

I most definitely want to have a natural childbirth, but it has been a concern of mine for two reasons: 1. I have an artificial hip - well, if that's what you would call it. I was born without the head and neck of my right femur and no indentation of my right acetabulum (yes, thank you Kinesiology for teaching me these fine terms). As a baby, I had several surgeries to create these parts, but I believe they used cartilage, so technically, I do not have an artificial joint. 2. My mother could not have children naturally. Both my sister and I were delivered via Cesarean, and while I'm not sure whether her cervix condition is hereditary or not, I do not wish to have the same fate.

Reason 1, thus far, has not given me much concern. Though I have had quite a bit of hip discomfort, it has been evenly distributed between both of my hips, and I am told it is a normal pregnancy pain. Reason 2, however, has begun to present some issues. For the past 4 weeks, my cervix has barely dilated to 1 cm. and is, apparently, rather difficult to reach.

With Richard soon facing his winter layoff, it is extremely important for Judah to arrive as quickly as possible so that we don't end up in a delivery room with no insurance. Being that I am currently 40 weeks along, I decided to explain the insurance situation with my doctor and ask if she would be willing to induce my labor. She shared with me that the hospital does not allow labor induction (without medical cause) for first-time moms with complication-free pregnancies to be induced before 42 weeks. She also expressed concern that I would have a 100% chance of a c-section if induced under the present state of my un-dilated cervix. Then she said that she would strip my membranes and hope that would help to dilate my cervix and send me into labor.

After I left from that appointment, I went with Mike & Jessica to check out some apartment complexes for Mike before coming home for a Redbox night with Richard. Then to my surprise, I started having some intense contractions. They started maybe around 8:00 PMish, and as the night went on, they became very consistent and extremely difficult to talk, walk, do anything, through. I thought to myself, "could this really be it? Am I in labor even though I was barely dilated only a few hours before?" Uncertain whether I was experiencing true labor or not, we decided to go into labor and delivery.

By the time I arrived at the hospital, I had been experiencing regular contractions, growing in intensity, lasting about 45-60 seconds each, and about 5 minutes apart for over 3 hours. SO, they wheeled me up, had me pee in a cup, hooked me up to a machine to measure my contractions, asked a bunch of questions and checked my cervix. Even though the machine showed that my contractions were indeed regular and intense, (by the time they were taking me off the machine, they were 2 1/2 minutes apart and reaching the very top bar - needless to say I felt a little less crazy for going in at 1:30 in the morning), they decided to send me home due to my barely dilated cervix claiming that I would be more comfortable laboring at home than in a hospital bed.

ULGGG, so here I sit, writing away with my heating pad since I am in too much pain to sleep. In fact, even as I have been writing this little entry, I have had to break every couple of minutes for these stupid contractions to pass, and while, I do agree that I am possibly more comfortable at home in my own bed, I am concerned now that I won't know when to go back into labor and delivery. Pretty much unless my water breaks in a giant gush (since I don't think I would recognized the trickle version with all the discharge I have been releasing lately), I am afraid that I will just remain at home in order to prevent being sent home a second time. I am just praying that my body will start to cooperate and that this will all be over soon.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another Year Older

This past weekend was nothing short of fantastic. For starters, I would like to announce, with a sigh of relief, that Judah and I will NOT be sharing our birthdays. I know that might sound like a cruel statement, but I want my son to have his very own special day. I think everyone deserves their own special day, and while there are several people who will share his date of birth, none of those people will be close enough to detract from future birthday celebrations. With that being said, I would like to take the time to thank everyone (you know who your are) who helped make this year's birthday extra special. I have been truly blessed with amazing family and friends, and I love you all so much; my life would not be the same without you!


Friday- My day started at 6:30 AM when I took Richard to work in Layton. Then I went to Walmart, Kohls, K-Mart, Ross, Target, Michael's, Motherhood Maternity, and the bank. It made for quite the day of errands, and I was quite exhausted by time I had to pick Richard up from work, but I think we finally have everything ready for our baby boy. :)

After picking up the hubs, we made our way over to Layton Christian Academy to support our Eagles - one in particular. Most of our God's Place youth attend LCA, and while we love to watch and support all of them, this particular game was extra special for #63, our cousin, Isaiah Murillo. He has always had a desire to play football, but due to his 8 year battle (and victory over) against brain cancer, team sports never seemed to be something he would have an opportunity to pursue. This year; however, he has been working hard with the LCA football team, and the coach said that for this homecoming game, he would put him in the game for a play or two. Well, this was something we couldn't miss - to see such an amazing young man get to fulfill a dream, and I must say that he did an excellent job. We were all so very proud of him, and he not only got to run one play, but four! Also, Jaquelin Murillo made her debut as an LCA middle school cheerleader, and she did a fabulous job on her dance routine - complete with hair-flipping attitude! To top it off, our Eagles won 64 to 14!! Yes, it was a proud cousin moment for sure!! :)

Following the game, we doubled with my sister-in-law, Jessica, and her guy, Mike, at The Pizza Place (YUMMM). Pizza was a great share for us: since I don't eat pork, and Jessica's a vegetarian, we were able to share while Mike and Richard enjoyed their pepperoni (which, being married to me, is something Richard rarely gets to have)! :) We then ended the night with The Karate Kid (the new one with Mr. Haun and not Mr. Miyagy) back at the house.

Saturday [AKA: my B-DAY]- Even though my hubby had to work (insert sad face here), my birthday was quite enjoyable. Aside from the awesome gifts I received (thank you all VERY much), I was able to spend the entire day (well, most of the day) surrounded by people whom I love and who love me back. :) My in-laws drove up from Salt Lake, and we went to eat at one of my favorite restaurants, Sizzler, and OH MY, it was delicious!! What can I say, I love my beef, AND they have the best salad bar of anyone I know. We then went to church for Vertical Worship followed by some partying at Burch Creek Mercantile (even though it should just be called Farr's since their "Farr's" ice cream sign is bigger than their Burch Creek Mercantile sign) with some good old fashion hand-scooped ice cream!! We ended the night watching RED at Jorge & Martha's (and yes, I know it's not out yet [shhh])! It was a great movie to end a great day.

Sunday- When I was at Michael's in Layton on Friday, I saw the perfect lion decal for Judah's wall, but it was $17.99 - OUCH, I was not about to spend that much on a wall decal. SO, I did not purchase it. Then on Saturday, I noticed that they were having a huge clearance sell in Ogden, so I stopped in to find that their decals were going for $8.00 - the only problem was that the Ogden store did not have the lion I wanted. What?!? I was pretty frustrated, but I figured that if the Ogden location was having a big Saturday & Sunday sell, perhaps the Layton one would too.

Since Michael's opens at 11:00 AM on Sundays, and since we had worship team practice at 2:00 PM, we decided to go to 1st service so that we could head to Layton & check it out (okay, so I decided, and Richard humored me -thanks, honey). I am EXTREMELY happy that we went. My assumption was correct on the sell, AND we were able to buy the last lion one they had. Now Judah's room will look complete, and I am more than excited about it (I will most definitely be posting pictures soon)! We then made our way back home to relax for a bit before heading to the church for practice.

After practice, our good friends, Martha and Jorge took some awesome pregnancy pictures for us. We went to the Union Station, and we had a ton of fun with them. I was very pleased with how they turned out!

When we finished taking the pictures, we went back to our place where Jorge grilled some chicken, Martha cooked some rice, and Richie made some yummy cinnamon cupcakes - I got to sit and watch. It was a very nice treat, and the food was delicious! Thank you all SO very much!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just Some Catching Up

It's hard to believe that in only a few short weeks, I will be a 24 year old, married, mother of one. Seriously, where does the time go?? I feel like so many exciting things are happening so fast. It's an incredible journey, and I'm very grateful to be on it.

SO, here's some catching up:

Firstly, I was thrown 4 amazingly wonderful baby showers, by some even more amazingly wonderful people, and was overwhelmingly blessed at each one...

My Logan cousins threw my first shower.
It was a coed shower which was really nice just to have my hubby there - after all, it's his baby too!! ;) My sister made pumpkin rolls which were amazingly delicious, we played some men vs. women trivia type games, and we opened all of our extremely thoughtful gifts. It was so much fun, and it was great to celebrate our little Judah's coming with the Cache Valley Crew.

My sister-in-law and good friends, Amy & Nicole, threw my second shower for/from the woman at God's Place. This one was supposed to be a surprise shower, but that didn't exactly work out to be the case. I love my church family SO very much, and when I realized that I wasn't going to be able to have them at any of my other showers, I was trying to figure out some way to have one with them in Ogden. Finally, Richard couldn't take my sad face anymore, and he told me not to worry about it - that I was going to have an Ogden shower. He wouldn't, however, tell me how, by whom, nor when. A few days later, my mother-in-law called me and said that we would just plan a shower after my Salt Lake one, and unaware of the surprise shower already in the works, I assumed that this fake shower was the one in which Richard was referring.

The week before the real shower, all the men made plans for a guys night out, and since Richard wouldn't be home, I decided to make some plans with some of my friends from Weber State. Thankfully, Richard knew about the shower, and he called his sister informing her that I had made plans. I then received a text message inviting me to a girls night, but not knowing that it was really my baby shower, I declined on the fact that I had already arranged plans elsewhere. Finally, the surprise was tossed out the window, and she responded to inform me that I was a having a baby shower that night. I changed my plans, and when that Friday rolled around, I went to my baby shower where Lydia had made me an adorable (and delicious) chocolate cake, Judah was given the most encouraging prophetic blanket (that I need to get a frame for), and I was blessed so much by my amazing family. I love those women so much, and I had an exceptional time!!

My mother-in-law hosted my third shower. That was at Grandma Lillian's house (richie's g-ma), and I had an absolutely wonderful time. Four of my old friends from Jr. High, my aunt on my mom's side, and her daughter (my cousin), all whom I have not seen in quite some time, came to this shower, and it was SO nice to catch up with all of them! Then, of course, being with Richard's side of the family is always a delight. I am immeasurably blessed by Richard's family; I love them all so very much, and I am still amazed as to how I ended up with such an incredible man with such an incredibly welcoming, loving, generous, caring, God-fearing family. I am most definitely proud to call myself a Rivera!! Oh, and Grandma Lillian made her super yummy sugar cookies which she cut in the shapes of little baby feet and frosted in baby blue icing <3

Finally, was "Baby X3!" Two of my dancer friends from Weber are also pregnant. Jenny is due November 3rd, and Christina is due November 29th; so the three of us are all right there together. A few of our friends decided to throw us a triple shower, and it was really one of the cutest things I've ever seen. They made the invitations to look and read like show announcements staring Jenny Devlin, Brittnie Rivera, and Christina Taylor. They made it a donation event at the "Nicholl's Theater," and when we got there, it was a lot of fun just to visit with everyone. Not to mention that we had the most amazing brownies on the planet!! Jarren (sorry if it's spelled wrong) made these chocolate-caramel brownies that were seriously gone in like ten minutes - oh they were SO amazing!!

Thanks to everyone from our showers, we now have just about everything we need for baby Judah's arrival. There are still a few odds and ends that I would like to get, but for the most part, we're pretty set; so thank you all again SO SO very much!! I still need to get your thank-you cards mailed out, which I promise to do soon!!

Anyway, the nursery has literally become my favorite room in the house. It is SO cute and I just love being in there. We still need to get some white paint and touch up a few small areas, and I need to find another animal (preferably a lion) for the middle square above Judah's crib, but all-in-all, it's looking fantastic! Our travel system was delivered last week, and after Richard set it up, I spent about 15 minutes perfecting my stroller-folding/unfolding skills; I think I've finally got the hang of it. Our baby swing and diaper bag should be here any day now, and my in-laws are hoping that our glider and ottoman will be in by this weekend. I also bought Judah a baby book, and I've since been trying to fill out what I can. It is such a cute book, and there's a place for Richard and I to each write him a letter before he comes. I'm really looking forward to that; I just want him to always know how much he was/is loved and wanted even since before his birth. Yup, everything is just coming together quite nicely!! =D

I had my weekly doctor appointment yesterday. They did a Strep B test, and she checked my cervix. I am currently 1 cm. dilated, and Judah is very much head down and firmly planted into the birth canal. That is all VERY good news - no breech baby scares! AND while my doctor did inform me that women can remain dilated at even the 3s-4s for weeks, I really feel that the Judah's God-appointed arrival date and time is near; I'm thinking we've got maybe 3 weeks at most (which is when I'm due anyway)! I am so excited, and I cannot wait to hold my little baby boy in my arms!! =D

Also, my birthday is on Saturday - YEAH!! I'm one of those weird people who actually likes their birthdays. In fact, I pretty much LOVE my birthday!! :) It always makes me very excited. Richard's taking me out to Sizzler (which is one of my all-time favorite restaurants), and I fully intend on ordering the Teryiaki Sirloin burnt (just the way I like it - no mooing cows for me, no sir), complete with a baked potato and salad bar, YUMMMM, YUMMMMM!!! Then after Vertical Worship, a bunch of us are going to go to Burch Creek Mercantile for some Farr Better Ice Cream!! I am seriously so excited, I can hardly contain myself!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Road Trip

My dad, who lives in Oshkosh, WI, was getting married, and since airlines will not let me fly so close to my due-date, my husband and I found ourselves on quite the road trip over Labor Day weekend. Normally, I love road trips; I love to travel, and I have been privileged to see a lot of the country with our various road trips, but I was not prepared for the toll this particular trip would do on an 8 months pregnant body.

On the drive there, we went up through Wyoming, and across South Dakota and Minnesota. Wyoming was painfully boring to drive through, but once we got to South Dakota, if was wonderful. The Black Hills were rather refreshing after hours of yellowish- brown fields of nothing. We were able to see Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore (which was my first time seeing them, but Richard had gone as a family when he was a child), and even better, we got a chance to stay with our friends, Michael & Alisha Gruber. We have missed them since they were relocated (Michael is in the Air-force), and it was so nice to catch up a bit. The only problem was that the drive there was only supposed to take about 10 1/2 hours, but with my having to stop so frequently, it took us 15 hours. ULGGGHh!! Then, the drive from Rapid City to Oshkosh that was supposed to take 12 hours took us 16 hours. We didn't arrive at my dad's house until after midnight, and my calves/ankles/feet were SO incredibly swollen - I felt like the blueberry girl on "Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory."

Wisconsin was fun. It was nice to spend some time with my dad, and I really like his new wife. We arrived late Thursday night (well I guess technically it was Friday morning), talked for a bit and went straight to bed. Then Friday, we spent most of the day getting things for the wedding that was that night. It was supposed to be outside, but it was raining and had to be moved in. Saturday, we drove down by Lake Winnebago and saw some boat races. Then we went to Appleton and did some shopping and some dining, and my dad & Deb bought us the cutest play-yard for Judah - I absolutely love it. Finally, we went to the movies and watched "Inception" which was SO good!! I have to watch it again when it comes out.

Sunday morning, we began our drive back for home. We decided to go down through Iowa and across Nebraska on the trip back, and I am so thankful that we did. Not only was the drive shorter, but the scenery was so much nicer. We did stay the night in Grand Island Nebraska, but we tried our best not to stop as much or for as long of periods, and by Monday night we were sleeping in our own bed; I was so relieved to finally be home!

I would have taken more pictures, but I forgot to bring the charger for the camera with us. All-in-all, it was a nice trip, and it was fun to get away with the hubby one last time before our baby boy gets here in about 6 weeks =D

Third Tri Relief

I've always heard that the third trimester is the worst part of pregnancy, but I my experience thus far is proving differently. While I do miss my waist-line and being able to bend, and I hate having to pee all the time, I am finding that my third trimester is actually somewhat of a relief.

The first trimester was awful. I was so sick all the time, and I hated it. The worst part was that I didn't even throw up that much. Normally, you get nauseated, you puke, and you start to feel better. For me it was just the constant up-chuck feeling that found me wanting to vomit and move on but to no avail. Everyone kept telling me to wait for the second trimester, and after about week ten, I woke up to find the nausea completely gone. It was miraculously amazing!

The second trimester; however, brought about something almost worse: sciatica!! :/ The weight of my uterus and the baby put so much pressure on my sciatic nerve that I was in constant pain. There were days I could barely walk, and if I tried to bend over, I could just forget about straightening out again. It was starting to seem that the entire pregnancy was going to be nothing short of miserable.

As the Third trimester was approaching, I found myself trading in sciatica for intense heart-burn and acid reflux. "Seriously?!?" was my only thought. I had never had heart-burn before, but oh did it come at me with a vengeance. Thankfully, though, my doctor put me on a prescription that is helping so much. The sickness is gone, the sciatica is no more, and the fire in my chest has been extinguished; I am finding that for the first time in this journey, I am able to just enjoy the miracle of life growing inside me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Little 3rd Trimester Update

I am now 30 weeks along in my pregnancy which means that I am only a mere 10 weeks away from the expected arrival of my little boy; I am so unbelievably excited to leave pregnancy world behind and meet this little one that's been drumming on my rib cage for the past little while. Of course, at this point, 10 weeks somewhat feels like an eternity. Everyday seems to bring on new challenges - take breathing, for instance. I cannot believe how difficult it is to catch my breath at times, and I get winded doing the simplest of tasks. Then between peeing every other hour and the pain that comes from the extra weight on my hips, sleeping has become nearly impossible. The worst thing; however, is the itching.

Every place on my body itches so incredibly much, and I have had the most annoying rash on my arms for the past month plus. I have talked to my doctor about it, but she doesn't know what to make up it. At first, she thought it was an allergic reaction to bug spray, but after remaining unresponsive to various types of prescription creams, she has pretty much ruled that suspect out. Last week she referred me to a dermatologist, but he is not sure what the causing factor of my rash is either. Apparently, all of the main pregnancy rashes (PUPPP, herpes gestationis, impetigo herpetiformis, papular dermatitis of pregnancy, prurigo gestationis) all tend to start on the abdomen, but since mine sits in solitary confinement along my upper limbs, I have been prescribed another failing prescription ointment with no promising hope of relief from this torturing itch.

On the upside, I now have a prescription for my heartburn and acid reflux that seems to be helping. It was getting so bad that I would wake up choking on my own stomach acid. Literally no amount of tums could sooth the fire, and I would spend up to an hour coughing/gagging over a bucket trying not to vomit. While I still get touches of the acid reflux every now and then, I have not experienced anything to that extent since starting this medication, and I am more than grateful.

Finally, Judah's room is coming along so nicely. I absolutely love the colors of the room, and thanks to my amazing in-laws, we now have his beautiful crib. I just love walking past the nursery and seeing his nest all set up. It is quite comforting to know that, if nothing else, Judah has a place to sleep - which brings me to one of my most nagging concerns: finances. My mortal mind can't help but dwell on all of the things we still need before our son's arrival, and with each new hospital bill, those things seem to slip farther and farther away from reality. It has not been easy, but I am learning, now more than ever before, to completely rely on God and trust that He is preparing the provisions for my family's necessities.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Counter Balance

Here I sit wide awake from heartburn for the second night in a row. All I want to be doing right now is sleeping, but sadly, I cannot because my chest feels like a fire pit sending acidic smoke signals up to the back of my throat. SO, to pass the time, while I wait for these stupid Tums to start working their magic, I thought I would update my blog.

After reviewing a few of my previous posts, I realized that I complain a lot. I don't mean to, and I actually am a fairly positive person. It just seems that it is sometimes easier for me to write/vent about the annoying things of life than it is to ramble on about all of the wonderful things of life. There are several things that I feel extremely blessed about; however, and I think it would be a good time to pay tribute to a few of those things now:

My salvation, my family - especially my amazing husband and unborn baby, my friends, my church, my health, my home, two working vehicles, my husband's job in an unsteady economy, my art - all forms, food enough to satisfy daily, my clothes and shoes free from holes or stains, clean water to drink and indoor plumbing, electricity, air conditioning for the scorching heat and a heater for the frigged air, a warm bed to sleep in every night, internet, television, books to read and the education to have learned to read them...

Seriously, there are so very many things to be thankful for. Everyone goes through ups and downs - trials and tribulations as well as victories. I am not alone in my sorrow or my joy. My situations are not unique, and there will always be someone in a harsher situation just as there will be someone seen in a more glamorous light. When I weigh out my life, though, I have to say, that despite my misfortunes, I am privileged, and I am blessed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pregnancy SUCKS!!

Everyone always has an opinion about everything, so I know that even the mere indication of negativity toward pregnancy will immediately send my readers to various thoughts of mutual agreement or utter disgruntlement. Either way, I cannot help how I feel. My hips and back hurt all the time; my feet and ankles swell anytime I stand for more than thirty minutes; I am up peeing through half of the night; it has become almost impossible to sleep; I am hungry every waking hour of the day; I have hair growing in places it should not be growing; my breasts have become permanently sore; and as of late, my skin feels like it is being ripped apart by a guillotine stretcher. There are only three things pulling me through all of this right now (aside from the Lord whom I lean on for strength), and I pray that they will continue getting me through - as I hear, it only gets worse from here.

First, the fact that I am nearly halfway through this pregnancy is such a huge relief. Whenever I get to thinking about how much pregnancy SUCKS, I just remind myself of this little fact... Seriously, I have already made it through all of the yucky first trimester morning sickness (which, by the way, who ever it was that named morning sickness, "MORNING sickness," needs to be punched in the nose), and it did not take TOO long to get through the first twenty weeks; I think I can make it another twenty weeks.

Second, I have the best husband ever. I know everyone always says that they have the best husband/wife/child, but in my case, it is not just a silly cliche. I truly believe that there is not a man out there who is better suited for me, and he has been so incredibly wonderful through this whole experience. He handled all of the cooking when I was queasy and could not even stand the sight (let alone the smell or feel) of raw meats and other foods. He has made sure that I have not had to wash even one dish, and he has kept the kitchen and all of the bathrooms clean for me. He rubs my feet when they are all puffy and sore; he runs to the store for anything I need, and when my hormones are all crazy, he just holds me while I cry (over the stupidest things I might add). If it were not for all of Richard's help and understanding, there is no way that I would be making it through this pregnancy.

Third, feeling the baby move is the most incredible, alien, miraculous experience. While he/she does not move all the time (or I do not feel it all the time, I should say), when the baby does move, it brings a smile to my face, and all the negativity disappears. At first, it felt like little waves (like you would feel from someone swimming past you in a pool) in the very bottom of my stomach (just about as low as you can go, in fact), and now it feels more like someone is flicking me from the inside. I know that might not sound enjoyable, but it really is. Every time I feel the baby move, it is as if we are bonding in some strange way, and all of my nerves and apprehensions for the baby's arrival seem insignificant.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Life changes so fast. It seems like only yesterday I was that four year old girl who would hold the screen door open for her imaginary friends. Now, here I am, sitting on my new couch, next to my wonderful husband, watching Grey's Anatomy, and wondering how our little baby girl or boy will look (that's all I really think about these days - the baby that is).

Anyway, I know that I have not been very good at updating this blog in the past, but with all the changes, I have decided to try a little harder. To kick things off, I have created some new pages. They are located at the top, just under the header. Please, feel free to check them out. "A Fresh Page" explains a bit more about some of the changes in our life, "The Wedding" has just a few highlights from the day that started our little family, and finally, there is "The Belly Blog." That one is pretty self explanatory; obviously, I'm not far enough along to have logged the entire growth process yet, but I fully intend on adding to the documentary as the weeks pass.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Peeved Renter

I absolutey HATE living at Goldstone Place Apartments, and I would hate for anyone to get stuck into an extensively lengthy contract the way that we did. It seems like a great deal at first, but after you sign up for their mandatory utility package, you're paying $749.00 a month for a one bedroom apartment which is a rip off for the quality of the apartments.

Starting with the apartments themselves, the floors are heated. That might sound like a nice feature, but I assure you, it is not; you can never control them, so they are always on. It gets SO hot & stuffy in our apartment, and every time we use the oven, it gets worse. Also, the walls are extremely thin. It sounds like our neighbors are playing basketball, and we are in an upstairs apartment. The toilet has been leaking since we moved in, and the maintainance has yet to fix it; I have to leave the vent on 24/7 just block out the dripping noise. The windows are so light weight that I sometimes have to double check to see if they are open. I hear everythinng through them, and if you're near them, you will feel a draft. The garbage disposal smells like rotten potatos, and I have tried everything from a lime to bleach to rid the air of the foul scent.

As for the management of these delapidated apartments, they are completely incompetent. They will appear friendly and willing to assist in the happiness of their residents, but when faced with any kind of complaint, they look at you in a most belittling manner and pretend that they have done all they can. On top of that, the letters they send out read as if fourth graders proofed them. I have quite litterally seen better grammatical analysis from middle schoolers.

Parking is atrocious. Unlike several of the other complexes I have rented from, Goldstone Place Apartments does not provide their residents with at least one free parking space. If you would like a permanent parking stall, you would have to pay ten dollars per stall; the only available uncovered spaces are almost always taken, and if you park in office parking, they will not warn, they will just tow. Then if you try to get an explaination from the management as to why they did not inform you first, they will laugh at your expense and say that it is not their responsiblity to alert you first. As you may guess, this has happened to us - this morning, in fact - and the management went as far as to say that they were unaware of whom the car belonged even though we were required to register our vehicles through the apartments upon signing our lease.

Furthermore, Goldstone Place Apartments expects you to hold up to your end of the renters' agreement, but they do not exercise the same courtesy. The lease explicitly states that a renter is not allowed to smoke on the premisis unless it is within the renters' own apartment or vehicle unless they be fined. I have not found this to be the case. On a daily basis, I am required to walk through a cloud of second-hand smoke; it is so bad that the air surounding the complex seems to be permanently tainted, and on more than one occasion the polluted fragrance of harmful toxins that is second-hand smoke, has entered my place residence. That is not only a violation of the lease, but a violation of Utah's Clean Air Act, and the management does nothing except send out an occasional threatening letter - sure they will send out a letter on something that is in conflict with the law and with the health of their resisdents, but they will simply tow your vehicle without discretion when it proves convenient.

My husband and I have lived here for just over a year now, and in that time, we have never been late with our rent, we're always courteous enough to keep our noise level at a minimum, and we rarely make complaints (mainly because we know the management won't do anything about our complaints anyway), yet we still hate it here. The way I see it, when the rule abiders are the ones with the complaints, something is seriously wrong. It has been my experience that the only ones who could love living at Goldstone Place Apartments would be rule-breakers, smokers, and pet owners. Since the management isn't going to do anything to reprimand them anyway, the residents can pretty much get away with anything. More than once I have been jumped by rather large dogs not on leashes (as states in the renter's agreement), I have almost stepped in dog feces left on sidewalks, there are cigarette butts everywhere on the grounds of the complex that accompanies a permanent cloud of harmful toxins left in the air from smokers breaking the rules on a daily basis, and it seems the police are visiting at least one of the buildings here as part of a bi-monthly routine.