Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Checkadee Check it


Another little blog created by yours truly.  It's really a blog just for me, but since there will be pictures posted of the littlest Petersen's, thought people who check me out here, might like to check me out there too!  :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Another "P", Another Pod - Brynlee's birth story and other updates

Well, Jackie, how's two plus years off from blog posting feel?   Sigh.

It's terribly sad, really.  And I know I will regret it one day, not having all of Brody's updates to look back on.  Heck, I already regret it!  But it is what it is.

Actually, knowing me, I more than likely won't keep posting to this blog anyway, but I wanted to at least get Brynlee's birth story down before too much time passes and I forget any more details.
I owe her this.
So...here goes...

Dear Miss Brynlee,
On the day you were born...It was HOT!  The kind of humid-hot only an Iowa summer can bring.  The kind that when you walk outside at 6:45 AM you're already sweating.  And that's just what we did, your dad and I.  Brody had spent the night at Grandma and Papa's house the night before so we could head straight to the hospital in the morning.  You see...we knew you were coming.  Mommy had to be induced because you were a whole week overdue, and you were apparently in no hurry to come out on your own (lil' stinker).  The day before your birthday mommy went to see Jenny, the midwife, and have some standard tests done.  Everything checked out fine, and you were still healthy inside my belly.  Jenny said I was 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced - which probably means nothing to you, but someday it will.  :)  The ultrasound, however, estimated that you were going to be 8 pounds 11 ounces at birth.  Give or take a whole pound!  That could have put you in the near 10 pound range!  And considering your big brother was born at 8 pounds 14 ounces, I was convinced you were going to be HUGE!  :)  So mommy and Jenny said...let's get this baby out!  We scheduled the induction for first thing the next morning.

I set the alarm for 6:00 AM on Thursday, July 18th 2013.  I got up, took a quick shower and got dressed.  Then I woke daddy up and he threw on some clothes, brushed his teeth, and made some coffee.  We grabbed our bags and camera and headed out the door.  Daddy took this picture of me in front of our hydrangea bush in the front yard (by the way, we had only lived in this house for a week!).

Then we jumped in the car, stopped by McDonald's for some breakfast (because mommy needed to eat!!), and drove to the hospital.  After getting checked in, the nurse started the IV at 8:00 AM with the medicine to make mommy start having contractions, although it was a little while before I really started feeling anything.  The midwife, Jenny, came in to visit around 9:00.  Daddy left around 9:30 to run home and check on some things at the house since I was feeling ok and we lived so close to the hospital.  I hung out for a while in the hospital room just checking Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. on my phone before Grandma V came up to visit me around 10:30.  I was having contractions during all this time, but not really feeling them very much.  I think it was around 11:30 that daddy came back up to visit.  And a little while later Grandma went home to watch cousins Owen and Nora for Aunt Mary.  

All day the nurse was having a really hard time keeping the monitors on your heartbeat.  You must have kept moving around because the monitors would be working and tracking everything fine one minute, but then the next minute it wouldn't read your heartbeat at all.  At first I was scared that it was because your heart wasn't beating correctly...but then I learned it was just the way you were laying in my belly that made it hard for the monitors to pick up your heartbeat clearly.  Jenny and the nurse actually thought you might be what they call "sunny side up", which means your face was up (facing my belly button) instead of down (facing my back).  Jenny said that labor and delivery can be harder (and more painful) when a baby is sitting in this position, but that it wasn't anything to be worried or concerned about.  They suggested that I try to get in the all-fours position to help encourage you to turn around.  So I did this for a while, as well as sat on a birthing ball too.  And it must have done the trick because Jenny said when you were born that you weren't "sunny side up" anymore.  :)

A little while later, Jenny came in to check on me again and we talked about having her break my water depending on how dilated I was.  She checked and said I was about 5-6 cm dilated!  We were all pretty surprised and I was pleased to hear that because since I wasn't in much pain with the contractions, I thought they weren't really doing anything to make me progress.   But they were!!  So, around 1:30 PM, Jenny broke my water.

After that, things started to progress and I was really starting to feel the contractions.  Around 3:00 they were getting pretty strong, so I decided to relax in the tub.  I did this when I labored with Brody too, and it seemed to help progress labor and also helped take the edge off the contractions a bit.  So I got in the tub around 3:15 and stayed in there about a half-hour or so.  By the end of the 30 minutes I was REALLY feeling the contractions and told daddy and the nurse that I was ready for an epidural!  :)  So they helped me get out of the tub and called for the anesthesiologist.  In the short 10 minutes or so that I waited for the anesthesiologist to get there, the pain got A LOT worse.  In hindsight I should have asked Jenny to check and see how dilated I was because I'm thinking this is around the time I entered the final stages of labor before pushing...I'm sure I was probably 8, 9, or maybe even 10 cm by this point, based on my pain level.  But at the time, all I was focused on was getting the epidural so I wouldn't feel any more pain.  The anesthesiologist was a very very nice lady with long dark curly hair and a petite little body.  She was so sweet and she even waited between contractions (which were about a 60-90 seconds apart at this time) to insert the needle in my back.  Mommy was pretty grouchy by this point though...those contractions HURT!  And I was desperate to get the whole epidural process over with so I could start to feel some relief.  After the medicine was in me, the anesthesiologist hung around until she knew I was doing OK.  Both she and Jenny told me it would only be another couple of contractions until I wouldn't (shouldn't) feel pain anymore.  And I remember that was true for Brody's labor, as well.  So, I not-so-patiently waited for the relief.  I remember not being very nice to the anesthesiologist.  I kept saying (in between contractions), "WHY DOES IT STILL HURT!?"  and "SHOULDN'T THIS BE WORKING BY NOW?!".  It seemed like every passing contraction was just as painful as the one before.  Three painful contractions passed...Four...Five...OUCH OUCH OUCH...Six...Seven...  What was going on!!??  Jenny and the anesthesiologist kept eyeing each other with knowing looks.  I knew they were saying "she waited too long", but no one was actually saying anything to me other than, "should be anytime now".  I knew something wasn't right, but I could only focus on the pain.  Finally Jenny asked if I felt like I needed to push.  I said No immediately, harshly.   But then I took a second and realized...Yes!  Yes I did feel like I needed to push!  So I told her, "yes I think I do".  Then it was like whoa!  Yes, I need to push.  Like NOW.  Right now.  Now now now.  Jenny said, let's go!  So, physically my body was ready.  Mentally, I was not.  "NO"!  I said.  "I am NOT pushing yet, I. STILL. FEEL. EVERY. THING!".  I was thinking, there is NO way I am going to push a 10 pound baby for THREE hours with ZERO pain relief!  (I pushed for three straight hours...to the minute...with Brody, so naturally, I figured I'd be doing the same thing with you).  But Jenny gently leaned over to me and calmly said, "Honey, it's time to get this baby out.  I'm sorry.  But you will be fine!  It's time to go.".  I was so afraid.  It was all happening so fast.  I was ready, but not ready.  I was in so much pain, but couldn't wait to meet you.  Sad, happy.  Terrified, exhilarated!  So much was happening.  In my head and in the room.  Ok, I can do this, I thought.  I can do this.
I. Can. Do. This.
Daddy grabbed my hand while everyone was bustling about the room.
It was 4:42 PM
It was go time!

I should mention that while this was all happening, daddy got this text from Grandma V. and replied by telling her to come back to the hospital now:  


A few minutes into pushing, the door to our room abruptly opened.  I immediately snapped "Who is that!?".  It was the pediatric nurse...for you.  Silly mommy.  I was worried that someone was coming in to visit me, not knowing I was...ahem...as "exposed" as I was at the time.  Jenny laughed at mommy for overreacting, and Daddy said "Jeez!".  It was all just kind of funny.  But I still feel a little bad that I was being so rude.  :)  But the pain!  Oh, the pain.

Anyway, the next few minutes went by in the blink of an eye.  I remember some more pain, but not the same kind of pain I was just having just moments before.  After a couple of pushes, Jenny told me she could see your head.  She asked if I wanted to feel you.  If she had asked me at any other point leading up to this, I would have said no in a heartbeat.  Because...well...it's just kinda gross.  But I didn't really think twice about it.  I looked at daddy, he gave me a shrug like "go ahead".  So I reached down and touched your head with my fingertips.  I'm not gonna lie, babe.  It was gross.  I think I even said, "Ew, it's so groddy!".  But I'm still happy I did it.  You will understand someday when you have babies of your own.  "Miracle" is so SO true about what is happening in those moments.

...a few minutes later, a few pushes later, at 4:55 PM, Jenny said "Open your eyes, mommy.  See what you had!".

I did.
It was a girl.
You were here.
You were pink.
And slimy.
And beautiful.
And perfect.
I had a daughter.
A daughter!
I had a boy and a girl.
It was overwhelming.  And exciting.  And simply amazing.

Jenny laid you on a towel on my chest.  You were so warm.  I will never forget that warmth.  You were crying at first.  But almost immediately after you were laid on me, you were soothed.
I remember that.
A calm rushed over you.  And a calm rushed over me.
Daddy smiled and said you were beautiful.
You were, my dear.  You ARE, my dear.

After a few more moments of the nurses cleaning you, wiping you up, suctioning you out, and doing all sorts of things I hardly remember because I could only stare at your tiny perfect little face, Jenny asked if mommy wanted to cut your cord.  (I did this for Brody too).  Of course I did!

Then it was time for you to be weighed and measured.  7 pounds and 7 ounces.  19 1/2 inches long.

Then it was time for your first bath...which you did NOT enjoy.  :)

Then Daddy left the room to go see if Grandma had made it to the hospital yet.  She was just coming up the elevator.  Here is a little video of the next few moments:

(I pushed for 13 minutes, actually, not 8...but who's counting?)  ;)

Daddy came back into the room a little while later with Grandma V.

You still didn't have a name yet, so we talked very quickly about some options we had previously come up with.  Some of our first thoughts were:  Brooklyn Leigh, Rae Kathleen, and Mila Kathleen.  We wanted to name you before you met your big brother.  And Daddy was leaving soon to go pick him up from Papa and Grandma's house.  But, none of those names seemed right somehow.  I loved them all, but they just didn't seem right.  So daddy left, still not knowing your name.

Mommy got to cuddle you for a while by myself while Daddy was gone.  During that time, it hit me.  Brynlee!  Brynlee Rae.  Brynn was always a name I liked, but we didn't LOVE it.  So it didn't make the first cut.  But Lee...well, to carry on the tradition, of course.  And Rae, because we loved that name and even considered it for a first name for you.  And bonus that it is your Auntie Rachel's nickname.  So mommy pieced together the name Brynlee Rae.  And I loved it.  Not as much thought went into it as I just made it sound, I swear.  It truly just came to me while kissing your head and staring at your face.  Brynlee Rae.  I thought it was beautiful and perfect.  So I called up daddy and said..."What about Brynlee Rae"?  Daddy said..."I like it"!  I said, "Is that it?  Is that her name"?  It was!  And that is how you were named, my dear.  We didn't know how we were going to spell it yet, but we knew that would be your name.

Well, I suppose that is the end of your birth story.  I hope to post the next chapter soon.  Where you get to meet Brody and come home to your new house!

But, in case I don't get to chapter 2, know this, Miss Brynlee Rae.  You. Are. LOVED.  So, so, so loved.  And I hope you never go a day not feeling that love.  I may not be very good about posting updates, like I did with Brody's first year.  And I may not take as many pictures.  Or record your monthly stats and milestones.  But it doesn't mean I don't FEEL you in my heart just as much.  You make me smile every day.  You are such a special gift to me.  A daughter I never realized I wanted so much until you were here.  You have changed my life.  You are special, my dear.  I don't think I could love you any more.  But I will try, until my dying day, to never let you feel anything less.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TRP - Totally Random Post

I've been MIA on this blog for a while.  I've been busy busy BUSY!  Don't get me wrong...I'm not complainin'.  I have been LOVING all the busyness lately.  But since so much has happened in the last 5 weeks since I've posted here, and I know it would take me forever to go into detail about everything (who has time for that?!), I thought I would create this TRP of pictures and thoughts and just kinda dump my brain out to you all.  Exciting, isn't it?  And, of course, as usual, it will mainly be about the little Petersen.  Also, you might recall my last post was about all my pictures on my cell phone.  Well I finally took the 3 minutes to upload them all to my computer, so all of these pictures are from my phone. No judging my photography skills on these!

Anyway....here we go...

Brody loves to eat...have I mentioned this before?  Maybe once or twice.  He hears a package of food opening and he instantly throws eye darts at you and whines until you bring him something.  Kinda like a dog, I guess.  Just call me Pavlov.  But instead of a bell, it's anything that can remotely look or sound like food.

Brody is getting really good at walking lately.  I'll talk more about that in another post, perhaps.  He can make it almost across the whole living room on his own now.  But before that he practiced with his walker a lot...

And this picture is one of my favorites of all time...and one I will cherish for many years to come...
Saturday, September 17th 2011 at 8:03AM ~ Brody is 11.5 months old

No, I didn't accidentally stick the wrong picture in there.  That, my friends, is the first step Brody ever made on his own.  And it's the most godawful picture you've ever seen.  But I love it.  It shows him hands free from the coffee table and in motion...granted he was crashing to the ground at this moment, but only after that first step.  Awww, the pride!

Brody does a lot of things with his index finger.  He has for a while.  He used to try to pick Cheerios up with just his pointer.  He would try to get them to stick to it.  It was the weirdest and cutest thing.  But even still he does so much with that one finger.  Spins the wheels on his toys with it.  Turns the pages of his books with it.  Plays with his food with it.  Touches my lips and mouth with it.  Lots of things.  I don't know if every baby does this or not, but I think it's special.  Others have commented on it before so I'm tempted to think this is just one of those unique things about my son.  I love it.

Brody has gotten the big D a few times lately.  Causes some nasty diaper rash.  So I let him do this for a little bit one night...you know...to air out:

Yah, I spent then next half hour cleaning up diarrhea out of the carpet. 

Brody wouldn't nap one day when he wasn't feeling well.  So he napped with Daddy.  I LOVE these two guys.

Almost every morning Brody watches Elmo.
Is there is an ice-cream cone shaped plastic spoon on my face?  Why yes, yes there is!

We had to rip up our old kitchen floor because of a flooding issue.  Our old "floating floor" was literally floating.  But we put this gorgeous 16x16 porcelain tile in instead and I lurrrrrve it.

And this pic is the closest finished kitchen pic I have...
We still need kick boards under the cabinets.
Prepare yourself for this next pic.  It might make you sick with envy.  Envy over me having the cutest baby in the world...

Sorry if your computer just crashed due to Cuteness Overload.  I warned you though.

Mommy trying to get one decent picture to text to Daddy...

Brody looking under the entertainment center for his block...

We finger painted with cousin Owen on Brody's actual birthday.  One-year-olds don't really understand the concept of finger painting...they just want to eat it.  Although, Brody did have fun putting his index finger in all the paint!

More Cuteness:
Super blurry picture but I think it shows how much fun we have together.  :)

We sometimes take a couch cushion off the couch for Brody to play with. He likes to climb up on it and roll off.  It's probably strange to others, but I'd have to admit that it is probably his most favorite game to play at night.  One night he discovered how to climb up on the couch when the cushion isn't there.  Oh boy did he have fun up there bouncin' around!

And this picture was taken today.  I really ought to pay more attention while driving...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Ever have those kind of days where you just feel like crying? 
I, thankfully, don't have them very often.  Usually I am able to brush things off enough, and not "sweat the small stuff" so to speak.  But occasionally, blame it on hormones if you want, I have one of those days where I just want to go home, crawl into bed, snuggle with my boys, and maybe shed a tear or two.  Today was one of those days. 
I have a very challenging co-worker - and my patience is often being tested by her.  Today she won.  I let her get to me enough that I felt defeated. 
And I hate that. 
So, on my lunch break today, to try to keep from tearing up, I asked myselfwhat would make me feel better right now?  What would make me forget about my stresses?  What can I count on for relief? 
So I called Jeff.  I am a very lucky girl, and whenever I need him, he is there for me.  Always.  Every. Single.Time.  But, today he was busy at work so he couldn't answer his phone.  Darn! 
Time for Plan "B".  Well, I can't exactly call my son at daycare and tell him about my crummy day.  Butseeing his face is all I need for a little pick-me-up.  So, I scrolled through the pictures on my phone. 
That's how many pictures I haveon my phone!  And 77 video clips.  Now, I can't say that all of them are of B, but I'd probably be safe to say 97% of them are (maybe more?). 
I purchased my phone only a few weeks before Brody was bornso it's really fun to start at the beginning and watch him grow up through the screen of my Samsung
Thank God for technology.  Most days you'll hear me complaining about my phonebut today I'm thankful for it.  Because it connects me to my loved ones (all of you!) and helps lift my spirits when I need it.  :)
What or who is your go-to for a quick pick-me-up?  And how many photos are on your phone camera? Am I the only loony with 533?

It's Personal...

Actually, it's not...hopefully I'm not offending anyone by making this blog for personal viewing only.  I have actually been wanting to do this for a while now, but kept hemming and hawing about it.  At one time I had different plans for this blog - to maybe even try to make it more public, but that just never happened.  And my thoughts at that time would have taken it in another direction, instead of primarily blogging about life with Brody.  But it didn't get there.  Nor do I really have any desire to do that anymore.
The good news is, that I have been getting some good exposure as a "photographer" lately!!  That's kind of what prompted me to make this blog private.  That sounds backwards, huh?  It's just that, I don't necessarily want potential clients (those that are outside the realm of my lovely family and friends), to always hear about the latest happenings in my personal life.  Prospective clients don't really need to hear about my drama-queen moments when I think the world is going to end because my son cried when I picked him up from daycare one time.  Nor do they probably WANT to read about that.  (Do you guys even?).  But I love blogging here.  It's my diary.  But a diary I only want people who KNOW me, to have access to.  Make sense?  So, if you are reading this, it's because I either invited you, or you invited yourself because I didn't have your email address!  Haha.  But, I'm glad you're here and checking in on us!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

11 Months

Brody is 11 Months!  
Almost a whole year old.  
I cannot believe how fast the year has flown by...slow down little man!

Not a whole lot has changed since my last post, so I'll keep this one short.  And I've sadly hardly taken any pictures of him since my last post either (hence the photos all being ones from this shoot).  I've been so busy with other peoples photos, I've neglected to take some of my favorite subject!  We'll look at it as a little break, B.  Your birthday will be here soon, and you know I won't let this milestone go un-captured!  :)

Here's what's new:
  • Brody still crawls all.over.the.place.  He's so speedy fast, I am constantly amazed.  Not walking yet, but I will finally say that I think he's getting close.  He cruises around the furniture with ease and will reach for the next thing he can hold on to while he takes a big step to get there.  He has been practicing standing up on his own quite a bit too, and will stand for up to about 20 seconds or so before falling to his bottom.  He always seems really surprised at himself whenever he realizes he's standing on his own too...it's very cute.  Also, if he's standing up and you extend your arms out to him, he will reach for them and attempt to take a step towards you.  Sometimes he forgets the step part though, and just leans over till you catch him.  Maybe he's just playing the game "Trust" like his daddy likes to play too...hahaha.  Anyway, the point of this incredibly long bullet point is that he is making progress and starting to show signs that he may be walking soon.  I always envisioned him toddling around at his first birthday party, but I'm realizing since it's less than 4 weeks away now, I doubt that will be happening.  No biggie...soon enough he'll be running around, I'm sure!  :)

  • Brody's eating schedule is still the same, but as of a few nights ago I decided that I am D.O.N.E. with baby food.  I mentioned in his 10 month post how much I detest some of the baby foods we've given him, and I just couldn't do it anymore.  The fruit ones aren't bad, and I may still keep some of those on hand for a pinch, but the dinners are too gross, and he does better with table food anyway anymore. I guess I never noted it, but around 9 months or so, I started buying organic baby foods for him, and those level 3 dinners tend to be smellier and grosser looking than the old jarred baby foods we used, so maybe that was my issue...I don't know.  Anyway, we're done with those.  I'm sort of struggling with what all to feed him now though...so anyone that wants to offer good suggestions for a menu for an almost one year old, I'm all ears.  So far we've done: spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, teensy bites of chicken and lunch meat, and of course cooked veggies, fruit, toast, and the normal stuff.  I've heard I should try fish sticks (thoughts from you moms?), chicken nuggets, waffles, and jelly sandwiches. 

  • B still gets formula 3 times a day, but we've switched out his second bottle to a sippy cup instead.  He does just fine with it actually, so I'm going to start changing out his first morning bottle to a sippy cup too.  I have a feeling his night time bottle will be the hardest one for us to eliminate, but I'm not gonna worry about that one yet.  I'm looking forward to being done with formula and moving on to cows milk though.  And looking back, I wish I would have tried to pump/nurse longer for him (although I'm proud we made it 6 months), but overall formula seemed to work out for us too.  Cows milk will be much easier though, and I'm looking forward to not having to buy formula and mix bottles all the time!

  • Brody is starting to repeat a lot more sounds he hears now.  He will still sometimes cough after hearing someone cough, he mimics the ahhh sound that people makes after taking a refreshing drink, repeats Uh after I say Uh Oh, and still occasionally says Hi after we say it...not always, but sometimes.  Too cute.  
  • He also claps now!  And still waves hello, goodbye, and night night (and about 100 other random times a day).  He loves to dance and shake his head back and forth in his high chair, just acting silly.
Elmo (and Grandma) helps get smiles...wish I'd thought to use him for past monthly picture sessions!

  • Brody is still working on that darn tooth number 8.  So far all of his teeth have come in as pairs, but he got the 7th one while we were on vacation, what about 6 weeks ago?  And the 8th tooth still hasn't made an appearance.  I think it's giving him a heckofa time too, poor guy.
  • Brody's been sick, yet again, too.  Had some serious diarrhea and diaper rash issues last week.  I kinda feel like every few weeks it's something...ear infection, colds, fever, strep, diarrhea, etc.  He's such a champ though, and really handles it all very well.  My strong little man.  

Well, the big birthday bash will be here before we know it.  I can't wait to celebrate with friends and family.  And to watch B eat cake and ice cream!  What fun! 
Ok, I think that's all the updates this month.  Did I say this post was gonna be short?  Surely I didn't.  Oh, I did.  Ooops!  :)