31 October 2011

A Case of the Schnepfs

Am I behind in blogging or what?  This post is about something we did LAST weekend {not the weekend we just wrapped up}!  I'm thankful for a napping baby and a toddler who spent the night at Nana and Poppy's house last night so that I can try and get caught up.

{I love that she can still wear this outfit from last year!}

Sooo...last Saturday, we loaded up the crew and headed over to Schnepf's Farm.  This place is a typical pumpkin patch times ten!  They have TONS of stuff to do and even with the 100 degree heat, we did most of it.

We started off the morning with the pig races and Olivia actually got chosen to be one of the pig "cheerleaders" and got to go down front for one of the races.  Her pig didn't win, but she won a huge lollipop as a consolation prize.  I'd say she was pretty darn happy about that.

The pig races were right next to the pony rides, and well, you know our love for pony rides!  I swear, I could have just done this all day.  And when I say I, I mean she.  {Actually, I mean WE}

 Just like a cowgirl!

Sweet little Oreo.  Of course she chose the pony whose name was a dessert!

After that, we headed over to the carousel where she went on another "pony ride."  Girl loves her ponies, what can I say?!

The farm had a petting zoo, two corn mazes, roller coaster rides, a train that went all around the farm, a hay ride, a pumpkin patch, and tons of food!

She met a little friend and asked him to tag along!

The farm is fun for adults too!

Olivia saw the flying bumble bees when we stopped to grab a drink and she just HAD to ride on them! She got a little scared climbing in, but loved it so much that she wanted to go for seconds.  

But, we took her over to the airplanes where the line was much shorter!

I was really grateful that the farm had a guest services house with a room especially dedicated to moms who were nursing.  It was so hot and Sydney was snuggled up against me in the Ergo, so it was nice to be in an air-conditioned room to let her stretch, cool down and eat!

 Train ride with Daddy.

Self portrait on the hayride

By the time we got around to going to the actual pumpkin patch, little Miss Olivia was WORN OUT!  She barely wanted to look at pumpkins and most of the shots I got of her were of her showing off her big girl panties.  

We had an awesome time at Shcnepf's Farm and definitely plan on going back again.  Apparently they do all sorts of seasonal things out there and it looks like they have ice skating this winter!  {Which, with 90 degree temps still a regular occurence,  is hard to believe is right around the corner.}

Stay tuned for a post about our fun at the Fall Festival at Nana and Poppy's church from this weekend!

Happy Halloween from the Valley of the Sun!

26 October 2011


When they make a DSLR that fits in the palm of my hand, I'll start taking more pictures with it than my iPhone.  Here are a few instagrams from the last couple of days.

Happy Wednesday from the Valley of the Sun!

The Birthday Where Mama Cried More Than Baby

Happy Two Month Birthday, Sweet Sydney!  You are such a wonderful addition to our family and we all just love you to pieces!  You are such a good baby - you eat, sleep and poop like a champ!  I never dreamed I would have a baby who slept so well, but then you arrived and blessed me with 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.  Love you and your sleep habits so much.  I also never thought I would have a baby who loved being in their carseat, and, well, let's just say that still holds true.  If I can make it the two miles from our house to Nana and Poppy's without fussing or tears, I feel like we've just hit the lottery.  You LOVE being carried around in the Ergo and to be honest with you, I much prefer having you snuggled up against my chest.  I LOVE my babies.  Why would I want to PUSH them away from me?*

This morning, I took you to the pediatrician for your two month check up.  I can't believe how much you've grown in just two short months.  You now weigh 11 pounds, 6 ounces and are 23.5 inches long!  You had to get your vaccinations today and it was hard on both of us.  Not only did we have to wake you up from a comfy nap, you got the shock of your life on both of your sweet little thighs.  I cried the second I saw the pain on your face.  I hate that you have to go through that, but I know it is what's best for you.

Lately, you've been taking your baths with your sister and you absolutely love them.  You just watch Olivia splash & play and you smile at her non-stop.

Happy Two Months, Sweet Baby Girl
I wrote this post yesterday, but didn't get to publish it until today.
* From the movie Away We Go

24 October 2011

Family Visits

Last week, the Michelson grandparents came out to Arizona for a visit!  We were SO excited to have them come out and spend some time with us.  We hadn't seen Peter since the Strawberry Festival and we hadn't seen Irma since our quick trip up to San Jose last June.  It was really great to have them out here for  an extended period of time.  We tried to pack as much in as we could while they were here.

We hit up the Children's Museum in Phoenix (which we are so excited to have a family membership to now) and Olivia had a blast playing in the "grocery store" and the "pizza shop."  And, leave it to her to find the little library too.  Sydney was as good as gold snuggled up in the Ergo with me.

My mom and I had a great time doing some quality shopping with Irma - she had never been to a Hobby Lobby before and I think Peter is kind of lucky that the closest one to her is 150 miles away.  I know she could do some serious damage there!

One of the highlights of their trip was having Irma make her famous spaghetti bolognese.  Ohmyword, I never knew spaghetti could taste so good!  It is definitely a labor of love and I'm so glad she made extras for us to freeze because I know I won't have time to make that anytime soon and I'm pretty sure going back to plain-ol' spaghetti won't be very easy!

The girls really loved spending time with their grandparents and we had a blast catching up with them.  Our fingers are crossed that they will be able to come back out this spring with some of Olivia's cousins!

Thanks again, Peter and Irma, for taking the time to come out and visit us.  
We love you both!

19 October 2011


Today was a good day -- not one temper tantrum from my two year old {thank you, Jesus, Mama needed a break} and very little crying from my {one day away from being an} eight week old.  Lord, give us another one like this tomorrow!

Mom and I ran some errands and got the cutest vintage doll house today {Christmas present} and I can't wait to jazz it up for her.  She's going to LOVE it!

Today is Day Three of Operation Big Girl Panties and we made it through the entire day with NO accidents.  We were even out for most of the morning and early afternoon.  I am SO proud of her.  And I just can't believe how my little girl is growing up.

I love seeing my girls together.  The other night I gave them their first bath together.  Sydney couldn't take her eyes off of Olivia - it was so cute!

Love these pictures of them together!

Skyping with Uncle Rhino

And a few of just Sydney...

18 October 2011

Two and a Half

Yesterday was Olivia's half birthday and somehow she knew it.  During breakfast she kept saying, "Today's my birthday." And it took me a few minutes to realize that, yes, it was.  And, in fact, it was her half birthday.

We marked the occasion by going full-force on the potty training.  On Sunday, we bought three packs of big girl panties and a new toilet seat (fitted to go on top of a regular toilet seat).  She's done great so far with only a couple little accidents.  She sure loves getting a jelly bean after successfully using the potty!

My baby girl sure is growing up!

Hello Kitty big girl panties, of course!

Happy Tuesday from the Valley of the Sun!

La La La Labor Story {and a little something extra}

Sydney turned seven weeks old on Thursday and I am just getting around to typing up her my our labor story.  This may be long and it may be too much information so bear with me.

Sydney was due on Monday, August 22nd, but just like with her sister, the due date came and went without any kind of action.  On Tuesday night I started having a few cramps, but it was nothing that I couldn't sleep through.  I had my weekly appointment with my doctor on Wednesday afternoon and I made David go with me just in case.  I truly had a feeling that she would say, "Oh, you are just 1 centimeter dilated," but she actually told me that I was between 3 and 4 cm.  She gave us the option of going into the hospital and getting a contraction assessment done or going back home and waiting until my contractions were regularly coming at 5 minutes apart.

We ended up staying in San Luis and walking around Costco for awhile.  I downloaded a contraction timer app on my phone and began timing my contractions.  They were really sporadic and occurring about every ten to twelve minutes.  We headed home to have some dinner and wait for the contractions to pick up.  Of course, the minute we pulled into the driveway, my every five minute contractions began.

We managed to make it through dinner, but you know I was {mentally} freaking out the whole time worrying that we wouldn't get to the hospital in time.  Everyone kept telling me that second deliveries were much shorter.  I should have known better.

We got to French around 7:30 and got settled into our room.  They strapped me up to the monitors and we proceeded to go through the multiple pages of paperwork.  Wouldn't you know that it took an entire 19 minutes for me to have a contraction?  The nurse also started setting me up for my IV.  I really did not want to get one - I remembered it being such a bother when I was in labor with Olivia - but my doctor really prefers that all of her patients get one just in case.  Again, it was one of the most annoying parts of my labor having that IV hooked up to my arm.

Once I had been monitored for at least 30 minutes, David pulled out his laptop and we started watching Happy Endings while I worked through the contractions on the birthing ball.   At this point, I was at about 5cm and working through the contractions was fairly easy.  I used the breathing techniques that I had read about in my HypnoBirthing book and after each one had passed, we went right back to watching our show.  I kept thinking to myself, And, why was this so painful with Olivia?

After a few episodes, our labor nurse Zabrina, came in to check on me.  I may have been at a 6 or 7 "with a bulging bag of waters."  Well, it didn't take but about 2 or 3 more contractions before that bulging bag broke.  It was at this point that I really appreciated my labor nurse.  I mean, all modesty goes out the window when you are in labor, and the many labor nurses that I worked with were all so great.  Zabrina helped get me cleaned up and I quickly began to have more intense contractions.

The contractions that I had prior to my water breaking were very manageable, but the ones after?  OhDearGod.  They were not easy.  For me, there was a huge difference in pain.  The first were more like cramping types of pain and the ones after were more of an intense pressure.  INTENSE.

I did my best to work through the contractions as calmly as possible.  David was amazing at helping me.  He breathed through every contraction with me and rubbed my back non-stop.  I moved from the birthing ball to a couple different positions on the bed.  It truly felt like I was in this transition stage for an eternity.  I remember my body shaking uncontrollably - a common occurrence during this phase of labor.  I remember feeling so out of it and out of control.  And, I still remember the pain.

Zabrina checked me again and said that I was almost to a 10.  Best news.  Only it wasn't.  The next time she checked me, she had a panicked sort of look to her face and immediately called in another nurse.  Zabrina thought that she felt the umbilical cord, but when the other nurse checked me, she found that it wasn't the cord, but my cervix, and I was only at an 8, "a stretchy 8," but an 8 no less.

Worst news.  And, that's when this Mama fuh-reaked out.  How can you say that I was almost a 10 and now I'm just an 8?!  How did I move backwards?!  That's not fair! I can't do this anymore!

After what seemed like an endless amount of contractions, I was finally ready to push.  I wanted to cry.  I remember watching the clock and thinking that I'd pretty much been in labor the same amount of time I had been in with Olivia.  So much for a fast labor.  I also kept thinking about how I pushed for over an hour with Olivia and I just couldn't imagine another hour of hard work.  I was physically drained.

With the help of David and my two labor nurses, I was able to deliver Sydney with only about 10 to 15 minutes of pushing.  And, let me tell you, it was physically and emotionally the best feeling ever once she was placed on my chest at 3:50 the morning of the 25th.  Turns out, Sydney was "sunny side up" which is why the labor was a bit more painful for me.

The next couple hours were a blur with the doctor and nurses taking care of me and Sydney.  She latched on almost immediately and we did our best to take in as much of her as we could.  Around 6, we decided to try and get a little bit of sleep.  I am pretty sure David was able to sleep a lot better than I was - it seemed like every fifteen minutes someone was in to check on us.

We decided to wait until Mom and Olivia were there before she had her first bath, and so around 10 or so, David went to pick them up.  I took advantage of a sleeping baby and some eager nurses to take a shower.  Our Friday nurse had come in about 3 times sort of "encouraging" us to be in a commercial they were filming for the CHW hospitals that afternoon.  Apparently they needed a mom and baby for the last scene and she thought we would be perfect.  After a little cajoling, I finally agreed.  {More to come on the commercial at a later date.}  Filming the commercial took up most of the afternoon, but luckily my only job was to hold my sweet, sleeping Sydney.

Olivia was SO excited to meet her sister!  She was so sweet with her and just wanted to hold her the whole time.  She sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Jesus Loves Me to her while we gave her the bath.

So, even though the delivery was painful, it was obviously worth it.  Sydney is such a sweet baby and she is the perfect addition to our family.

We are blessed!