Thursday, January 22, 2015

Life with Petey

It is true that no matter how much you think you've prepared for a baby, you are never truly ready. Being a mom has been amazing, exhausting, stressful, and the best thing I have ever done. It is a roller coaster and we still take each day hour by hour pretty much, but I have to say... I've never met a cuter kid in my life! =) 
The first week or so was crazy and a blur. Petey had jaundice so we had a billi blanket delivered to our house. Luckily his levels weren't high enough that we had to go to the hospital. We were able to stay home with our glow worm until his levels were low enough. 
(Looking at this bottom picture I forgot how small he was! Look at those toothpick legs!)

 We had Petey the week before Eric's week of tough finals of the hardest semester yet. Luckily Kim was able to come out early and save us! It was so much fun to have here her to love on Petey and to help us out. We were also blessed by amazing ward members who brought us dinner before Kim was able to make it out. I can honestly say those meals, as small as they seemed, were a tender mercy! 

 My dad came out a few days behind Kim. He had a cold so he just had to look at Petey from the across the room. It was so fun to have my parents out! It has been hard to not get to share this cute bundle of joy with our families! 

After my parents left, Petey's other amazing grandparents came! LeeAnn and Brian were able to be here over Christmas which was so fun! Having both sets of parents come out was such a help and a blessing!!!! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Meet Peter Brian Russell.

Meet Peter Brian Russell. 

He was born on November 29, 2014
Two weeks early.
7lbs 4 oz.
19.5 inches long.

Here is our birth story:

I found out I was pregnant back in April. Eric and I were beyond excited (and a little(lot) nervous). Both my mom and my sister were both really sick(nauseous) in all their pregnancies. I was crossing my fingers that maybe I got the other genes... the ones where being pregnant was a piece of cake... but as many predicted I was lucky enough to learn that when people talk about morning sickness they really mean morning/noon/night/all day sickness. Pregnancy was a journey for me, and Eric was so patient with his sick and hormonal wife. Around the second trimester I made the decision to quit work and stay home for the rest of my pregnancy. Eric supported me, and I am so very thankful! My pregnancy consisted of throwing up, suddenly being allergic to the heat, understanding what sciatic pain means, and getting to experience contractions at 28 weeks and on.

Eric and I both had a feeling I would go early. With the amount of contractions I experienced the last couple of weeks and the discomfort I was having, we both were praying that I would go early. At my 36 week check up, I was 1cm dilated and the baby was nice and low.  All I wanted to hear at our appointment was... You will have you baby on this date... However all we got was, "Statistically speaking your baby will be born sometime around December 13, your due date." When I went in for my 37 week check, I had only progressed a little bit and was now barely 2cm dilated. At this appointment my doctor talked about how the chance of me having my baby will increase with each week as we get closer to 40 weeks... basically, that there wasn't a high chance I would go into labor that week. That night I was having some uncomfortable contractions - the only thing different on this night was they seemed to be regular, more uncomfortable and around 3-5 minutes a part (which really they were about 7 minutes apart, I was tracking them wrong. Oops...) and they lasted for 2 1/2 hours until we decided to call the doctor to see what we needed to do. The doctor told us to go in to the hospital and just get checked out. I hadn't progressed since my doctor appointment that day so I was sent home.

Surprisingly enough, I wasn't too discouraged. It was actually almost a relieved since I was so stressed about whether or not I was really in labor. That was Tuesday and I continued to have some uncomfortable contractions Wednesday and especially Thursday (Thanksgiving Day). On Thursday I told Eric the baby was welcome to come anytime after I finished my Thanksgiving Dinner. All I wanted was some delicious home cooked food. We went to a friends house and I was having contractions the whole time, but I knew they weren't close enough together or painful enough to be concerned that I was in labor so I just hung out. That night all I wanted to do was walk around and see if that helped, but good ol' Wisconsin decided to be FREEZING, temperatures were in the teens, so Eric and I decided we would walk around on Friday to get me out of the house.

Friday we walked around almost all day, got some few last minute things for the hospital and just windowed shopped all the black Friday sales. I felt a lot better that day, only have a few sporadic contractions throughout the day. We ended our night watching some Jimmy Falon and went to bed. As I layed in bed that night about the fall asleep I remember thinking...  Wow, I don't feel sick at all right now. No nausea, no contractions, I am going to sleep great tonight! and no sooner then I finished this thought did I have a contraction and felt a pinch/pop. Sure enough, my water broke. Eric had already fallen asleep, so I got the bag and myself ready - I just needed a moment to take in the fact that I would be seeing my little man in the next 24 hours and our lives would be changed forever - I then woke up Eric and told him I was pretty sure my water had broke and we needed the head to the hospital. After scraping off the ice from the conveniently timed frozen rain storm, we headed to the hospital about an hour later getting there around 1AM.

We got to the hospital around one, did the test to confirm my water had broke and I was in fact leaking amniotic fluid, which I was. At 2AM I was admitted into labor and delivery. I was still only 2cm dilated at this point. The real labor contractions started right when we got the hospital. I was not a fan! I knew I was going to get an epidural, I just hadn't really thought about how long I wanted to wait. The nurses said they would be in at 3AM to put in my IVs and get me ready for an epidural if that is what I wanted. I decided I would wait until then to get my epidural. I may be a wimp, but I stared at the clock unsure if I could even make it until then as my contractions came on stronger. I was having a couple of cluster contractions where I wasn't always getting a break in between them. Eric was my rock just sitting there with me. 3AM turned into 4AM by the time I was able to get my epidural. At this point I was dilated 3cm. People ask if the epidural hurt and my response is, I don't think so. I was having pretty strong contractions at this point so that is all I remember.

At 5:30AM when the nurses checked me to see if they needed to start pitocin, I had progressed to 5cm dilated on my own so they just let my body continue on its own. My new nurse came in probably around 8 to check on me. My doctor was on the way to the hospital that morning for a scheduled c-section and she wanted to check me so he knew how to handle his time when he came in. Eric was just waking up at this point and you can imagine his face when she checked me and said... Well you are at a ten, we'll start practice pushes while my doctor was still on his way. Crazy! After about an hour or less of real pushing once our doctor got there, our beautiful baby boy was born at 9:30am.

Labor was such a low key and intimate experience. For the majority of pushing it was just Eric, me, and our delivery nurse. Our little boy came out healthy and we were instantly in love!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apostle Islands

Been way too long for a blog update. I meant to update this more often to document what we have been doing out here and so friends and family from home can see what we've been up to as well. And it's been over a year... oops. =)

Milwaukee has been pretty good to us. We love it here! I couldn't ask for a better place to live during fall. We went to a pumpkin patch called Elegant Farmer with some friends a couple weekends ago. The apple cider donuts are by far my favorite thing about going there. 

The trees are beautiful this time of year, even though they are starting to become pretty bare. The bitter sweet thing about fall is it means winter is right around the corner, which is depressing a little bit. Nothing could have prepared Eric and I for the record cold winter last year. It was the coldest winter Milwaukee has had in around 20 years or so, and predictions are that this winter will be right there with it. 
Tree in our backyard
One cool thing about last winter was it was SO cold that Lake Superior froze over and created access to these really cool ice caves in Northern Wisconsin. Eric and I decided to make the road trip to the Apostle Islands to see the caves since they can only be accessed every couple of years. We didn't know if it would happen again while we were here, so we headed up the last weekend they were allowing people to walk around. We went in March. It was awesome! So glad we made the drive! 

Just walking on one of the great lakes. No biggie....

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Anniversary Trip

This summer Eric and I were able to go on a couple of trips together. I must say, this has been our best summer yet!

In June we decided to go on a mini road trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone to celebrate graduation and our anniversary. Two years baby! This gave us a chance to go and spend time with my grandparents that live in Alpine, WY. I rarely see them so it was great to see their home and to spend time with them. It was also great to have Eric get a glimpse of my mom's family since we don't see them often. 

Their home was beautiful, though you can't see it in this picture. They definitely live in a serene place. 

From there we took off towards Grand Teton National Park where we stayed at Colter Bay Campground. I was a little nervous with all the bear warnings, but no worries... we are still alive. 

The mountains were breath taking. Eric and I were in awe the whole time we were there. 
From there we headed to Yellowstone. We were pretty lucky to have gone when it was green and the weather was beautiful (minus the mosquitos).  

I was amazed by the different landscapes they have here. There are these beautiful trees and green fields right next to hot spots and steaming ground. 

Most importantly, I got to see wildlife! Woot Woot. 
Eric would say this picture is off center because I was too scared to stick my phone out of the car and take a good picture... I would just say that I was being artistic. 

Needless to say, it was a great trip. We were able to take the weekend and go see some of the beauty that America has to offer. It was so fun to be together and just relax while taking in natures beauty. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

No big deal, it has been almost a year since I posted on here. Whoops. Here are some small/big updates on the last little bit of life:

After all the hard work, all the waiting, all the stress, all the prayers, and all the $$$$$ spent....
Eric got accepted into 2 out of 3 of the dental schools he interviewed at. Woo Woo! So proud. We decided to go to Marquette University.
Where is Marquette you may ask? Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Yes, yes. Isn't it cold there? Why yes, thank you for asking. I am in the market for a full length parka. (Only kind of joking)

I am super proud of my man though. Getting into dental school was a long process. He did it! They loved him! and now come beginning of August off to Milwaukee we go, to officially be off on our own building up our family. --No, I'm not pregnant.

I am also proud to say that Eric and I are officially USU alumni! Yeah, we are kind of a big deal. WE know. It was a crazy, but great day. I graduated at noon, Eric graduated at two, MacKenzie (my step sis) graduated at two, and Olivia (my step sis). LONG day to say the least.

He finally kissed me on the A. about time.

Eric and his Twin Jeff. These two have been our very best friends. Happy for them for Jeff getting into Louisville Dental School. Sad for us we won't live just down the road.

A special shout out to these two. Thank you for all the support!
 I don't know how to shrink down this photo, but a special shout of to my fam as well. They are a big reason why I am now a USU graduate. 

Until next time.  =)

Friday, June 29, 2012

San Diego

We made it! One whole year! Look at us go!
          And no.... there are no babies on the way thank you very much.

For our anniversary we went to San Diego for a week. We drove down and stayed with Eric's Uncle Todd in Mesquite and drove into San Diego the next day. Right about when we hit California the traffic stopped.  We were stopped for about 45 minutes.  We had no idea what was going on, but people were getting out of their cars to try and figure out why we suddenly stopped.  When we finally got to continue on our way we saw the crash.  A car had rolled on the side of the road.

This was the best picture I could get at the moment.  The rolled car is on the right hand. It was pretty bad. 

We went to La Jolla Cove.

It was beautiful!

There were sea lions just sun bathing and hanging out.

Yea, we know. We're good looking and all that.

We went for a little walk around the cove.  I miss the ocean!
 After our little beach day we went searching for some yummy fish tacos.  My mouth is watering still thinking about the fish tacos we had everyday we were there.  
The next day we went to the Kobe Swap Meet.  We got some new tee shirts there for $5 each so that was pretty nice. Then we went to the San Diego Zoo.  That zoo is so big! We were exhausted and took the guided bus around so we could make sure to see everything.  We were pretty bummed because the larger cat were all just lazy and hiding from us, but we did see some pretty cool animals.

Here's Eric, talking on the phone like usual.

Just being tender.

Monkey monkey

Enjoying our one of three days of sun.

Lions, they are huge!

On Sunday we got to spend the day with Eric's Uncle Phil and Aunt Diane, along with his cousins Charlie, Allie, Chris, Heather, and all their kids.  Eric's Uncle Phil thought Eric just made me up so it was nice to prove to him that I really do exist. The next day we went to one of my favorite parts... SEA WORLD!

We were on the sky ride deal and it was COLD!

I loved all the shows! Those animals are amazing! Watching whales do flips and trainers ride on dolphins. My favorite part of the whole thing was watching Eric smile like a little kid because he loved it all! 

Our last day there we spent in Coronado.  It was cold and gloomy, but we sat and watched the waves for hours.  It was great! We loved just relaxing by the beach.
He's real attractive....

We are real good at normal picture faces. I don't know if you can tell... but it was not sunny, warm California.

We ended our trip with a stop at the San Diego Temple.  We did a session there.  We did a session there and the spirit and the temple beauty itself were both amazing!

So that was the extent of our trip.  It was so great and refreshing! 

I am so lucky Eric and I are married.  He is such an amazing man! With all the stress of dental school he still find time to be there for me.  He still makes me laugh and makes me smile.  I know this part is gross and cheesy, but I love him. I am very blessed to have him in my life.