4.27.2017

Bryce Canyon Trip - April 2017

At the beginning of April, I was getting a bit of Cabin Fever. It's been a long winter (or just a very "flip-floppy" one, weather wise! It'll warm up and I get my hopes up, and then we see snow the next day. Pretty normal for Utah, but still). I was pretty cooped up in my house a lot of the time.

This is all to say, I was dying to get out of the house and my normal routine. So, when my mom mentioned that she and Grant were thinking of heading to Bryce Canyon for a couple of days, I jumped at the chance to join them. :) And I'm so glad I did! It was a blast.

I almost didn't go, due to Jack coming down with a cold the night before! He's now old enough to take ibuprofen, so I thought I'd try it seeing as it was pretty obvious he was in pain, and it lasts longer than Tylenol.

Turns out, he doesn't like it. Or so we learned the hard way!

This kid has a STRONG gag reflex and when I gave him the ibuprofen he proceeded to gag it right back up (that and all the food he had just eaten) ALL OVER ME. And then he was just as happy as can be after that. Ha. It was delightful.

I was hesitant after that incident but my kind mother still allowed to come with my sick child, which in hindsight was a bit stressful but actually turned out okay! Aside from one more barfing incident in the car (because like a fool I gave him ibuprofen again... sometimes I need to learn things the hard way, twice!) he actually was just fine. He slept perfectly in the hotel, and was really a happy camper overall. I'm so glad I went!

We definitely didn't escape the cold (it was freezing!) but my goodness was it beautiful, and absolutely worth it. My mom has always wanted to see the red rocks with the snow, and I can see why. I was just in awe of all the beauty, and it was wonderful for my soul to get out and see some of God's breathtaking creations.

So, without further ado, here are some pictures from the trip! Without a spec of editing, might I add! They just didn't need it.
This is the face of a baby who just threw up on his mother, again. Obviously he was quite proud of himself.
No more ibuprofen for this one!

Pretty sure this little arch is man-made, but it was really fun to drive through, regardless!


Sunset point. AMAZING! I actually skipped out on this since it was a bit too cold for Jack, but couldn't resist including this gorgeous picture!

On the hike to Calf Creek Falls! This is actually about an hour outside of Bryce, but we went here on day one because it was only like 18 degrees in Bryce Canyon! We'd actually done this hike before when I was kid, but it was absolutely worth it a second time! So pretty! And Jack just slept pretty much the whole way. :)

The waterfall at the end! AMAZING! I could've sat and gazed at it all day!



Good little hotel sleeper. :)



The next several pictures are from all the different lookout points! Amazing, and breathtaking. Pictures just don't do it justice, wow!








What a trooper, this kid.
Thanks mom and Grant for letting Jack and I mooch off your trip! We loved it!

3.09.2017

6 Months of Baby Jack

It is truly so crazy to see how much this baby boy has changed in the last 6 months! He's certainly gotten chunkier from his itty bitty 6 pound debut into the world. I'm about to say a whole slew of cliche things so brace yourselves: I wish I could just stop time! Looking back at how tiny he was, I already find myself wanting to turn back the clock. But at the same time, each new stage is even more fun than the last. Plus, his interactions, giggles, and curiosity about the world right now are such a joy. Being Jack's momma makes me so happy! And so, without further ado. Here's a little glimpse at his last 6 months! Love this boy.

First day of life
1 month
2 months
3 months

4 months

5 months
6 months!

And now for some stats about 6 month old Jack:
Weight: 14 lbs .4 oz
Height: 26.5"
Head: 17" 
Eating: Rice cereal, bananas, and apples so far! And still nursing. 
Loves: Rolling over, spitting, whining the second mom or dad stops giving him attention. :)
Hates: Being alone, and the carseat if he's awake
Sleep: Sleeping through the night! Woohoo! Usually about 10 hours. And we're still trying to figure out naps.

He smiles easily, is loving toys, grabbing anything within his reach, as well as scratching everything, which is hilarious unless it's your face or grandma's leather couch. :) He's also starting to scoot around, and pull things off of shelves! Here we go, folks!

Love this boy! Happy 6 months!! 

2.21.2017

Jackson Wesley Neve: A Birth Story.

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with these. Before I was pregnant I loved to read them, and see the pictures. WHILE I was pregnant, they t-e-r-r-i-f-i-e-d me. Ha! And now that I've had this baby, it seems almost... weird to share this? Overall I'm so incredibly grateful that Jack is here, healthy, and happy, but my birth experience wasn't earth-shattering or anything. But, I remembered how much I loved reading others' stories so here we are. I'll keep the details to a minimum. :)

----

When I first got pregnant, it just didn't feel real. But as time went on with the pregnancy, I got more and more nervous to have this little baby. So much responsibility! Not to mention the fact that giving birth terrified me. But also, as it got closer, I got more and more EXCITED to have him here! I will never forget the first time I felt flutters - I was jammin out to some super loud music in the car and he totally moved! And then the next day, I was playing the piano and I felt it again! I felt like he loved music already and that made me feel the biggest connection to him.

After those first flutters, every time I would teach or play the piano he'd move around like crazy. So I'm convinced he's gonna be a musician. :)

The last good picture of me while pregnant. :)
I had a very healthy pregnancy, and every time I went to the doctor he always said everything looked perfect. Until about 37 weeks. 

I went in for a routine checkup and after they took my blood pressure, they told me it was "borderline high" which can be dangerous for the mother. So, they told me to watch for certain signs of it going up - i.e. headache that won't go away, and abdominal pain, etc. Well that was Wednesday. On Sunday morning I woke up with a terrible headache and of course felt super nervous. Once Jim woke up he convinced me to call the doctor, even though by this time my headache had gone away. I was nervous to call because I had been convinced Dr. Spencer was going to tell me to go to the hospital, but he just told me to take it easy and they'd check me at my next appointment in a few days.

On the following Wednesday (38 weeks) I went in again and my BP had skyrocketed... which I'm sure the stress of that being a possibility didn't help, ha!
Dr. Spencer says, "What's your husband doing today?"
"Working", I said.
"Well, he's gonna have to come home. It's baby day for you!"

I wanted to be shocked, but honestly I had kind of suspected this would happen since my blood pressure was borderline the week before. So I texted Jim and told him to come home. Dr. Spencer told me I had time to go home and get my things, so we decided to meet there and get everything ready. On the way home from the doctor I may or may not have freaked out just a little bit. :) But once Jim got home, my parents came and met us at our house and my dad and Jim gave me a blessing that all would be well.

With that comforting send off, we were on our way to the hospital! It wasn't how I envisioned at all - driving to the hospital without feeling any contractions/water breaking/anything. Dr. Spencer checked me before I left his office and I hadn't really progressed toward labor AT ALL, so he prepared me for a long labor.

We checked into the hospital quite calmly at about 10:00 AM on August 31st (again - not what I expected at all, but looking back it was pretty nice!) I changed into a hospital gown... and then the excruciatingly long wait began.

Because of the high blood pressure, I was told by my doctor that I would have to be on magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures during labor (scary!) and that "it wouldn't be very fun". They started me on pitocin about an hour after they got me hooked up to everything and I was progressing very s-l-o-w-l-y. I honestly didn't feel a single contraction. And every time they'd come check me it was like: 
"oh you're a little less than a one!" 
-one hour later - 
"oh you're right at a one!" 
-one hour later- 
"you're a little more than a one!" 
Seriously... excruciatingly slow.

They monitored my blood pressure every 30 minutes and it always stayed really low so I was hopeful that I wouldn't have to have the mag. By about 6:00PM... pretty much nothing had happened. Ugh! People kept texting my mom asking why they hadn't seen pictures yet, when it was really because 8 hours later we still had no baby, nor were we even close! Jim and I were honestly so bored. We had brought some DVDs to watch (which was a great suggestion!) BUT the TV didn't have a remote so every time I got checked we couldn't pause it and we couldn't hear anything... so that ended up not really being helpful. :) Because everything was so slow at this point, the doctor suggested I get an epidural so they could do some more things to progress my labor.

This was the part I was most scared about, but it ended up being super easy! I've had dental numbing shots worse than this. My anesthesiologist was an older gentleman, and he was fantastic. He kept calling me "kiddo" :) which was cute and helped me relax. After the epidural, Dr. Spencer broke my water and I started progressing a little bit faster.

Then, the dreaded magnesium sulfate was administered. I was hoping I wouldn't have to have it because my blood pressure was always so low when they checked! But I guess it was needed as a precaution. This was honestly the worst part about my whole experience. It made me feel so loopy, tired, and dizzy - and I had double vision. I couldn't focus on anything. It was a loooooooong night because I was exhausted, but I couldn't sleep due to the fact that on top of the normal check-ins, I had to be checked even more often because of the mag. I would just drift off to sleep and then my oxygen monitor would beep (my level dipped every time I fell asleep), or a nurse would come in to check my reflexes, change my medicine, etc. It was excruciating.

Honestly after the magnesium it was all kind of a blur until all of a sudden it was time to push (I say "all of a sudden" like it was so quick... but I really mean 26 crazy-long hours later!). I felt really lucky that I never felt a contraction - the only pain I felt was in my tailbone... which wasn't fun but it was bearable.

When it was finally go time, I only pushed for 30 minutes. Such a tender mercy after that long labor! My contractions were strong but far apart, so I had quite a bit of time between each one. I was SO THIRSTY so I had Jim give me ice chips every time I had a break. At one point my doctor fell asleep in between my contractions! Lol! It was nice though, it honestly helped me feel relaxed and comfortable. 

FINALLY, after 26 hours of labor (did I mention it took 26 hours?!?!?!), Jackson Wesley Neve was here. Born at at 2:38PM, September 1st, 2016. 19 3/4" long, and 6 lbs 1/2 oz! He was beautiful. 

First picture ever! 

So teeny.

First-time grandparents meeting baby Jack! I think Grandma is a little bit smitten. :) And Grandpa is so happy he doesn't have to do the sleepless nights! 
So many people talk about that "magic" feeling when they hold their baby for the first time, but I want to be honest here and say I didn't feel that at first. I didn't get to hold him immediately - he needed a little help to breathe right at first. But because of the magnesium and the double vision, the first look I got of him was.... two heads. Haha! Even though the birth and labor went well, it was still a bit of traumatic experience for me. As they were cleaning him up and everything I just started crying. The sweet nurses kept reassuring me "he's going to be okay, don't worry!" but that wasn't my thought at all - I knew he was fine. I was just exhausted, overwhelmed, scared, and a million other emotions I don't think I can even quantify! It was like I had been holding it all until that moment.

The recovery was rough until they took me off of the magnesium... and then I felt twelve billion times better! That stuff is rough, I tell ya. By the time all was said and done, we had been in the hospital for nearly 4 days. And that was quite ENOUGH! I was so sick of having nurses come in our room every other second. Jack had a bit of jaundice, so we had to wait for the arrangements to get a bilirubin light at home. By the time we left it was 5:00PM on Saturday!

First time in the carseat. I think this picture is hilarious! :)

The first few days at home were difficult because he was on the jaundice light which had to be plugged into the wall. And while we were grateful to finally be home with him, it's hard to take care of a baby in the middle of the night when they're essentially hooked up to a cord! Luckily though, that went away after a few days and it's been good ever since. :)

We called him our radioactive baby for the first few days. 
I was kind of embarrassed to admit that I didn't feel that magic feeling right at first, but I think it's important to not sugar coat that part of my experience. I was pretty distraught about it at first because it seemed like everyone I talked to had that moment! I was worried something was wrong with me because I didn't have it immediately. But, I can honestly say that I feel it now. My heart has grown and Jack has occupied his own little place in there. :) He lights up our whole world! He is so smiley, happy, sweet, and just adorable. He has really been a good baby from the beginning and we are so grateful! He's even sleeping through the night these days! 

A few pictures from his first week of life: 

Meeting Grandpa Neve for the first time! I don't have one with Grandma Neve...
First bath at home!




Love how much he is loved! 
First family photo. 
Being a mother is both challenging and incredible at the same time (on top of a million other things). And I wouldn't trade Jack for the world! Now that I have experienced giving birth I can honestly say I am in awe of all the mothers who sacrifice so much to bring children into the world. What an incredible, terrifying, rewarding, beautiful, difficult, tiring, amazing experience! 

I'm so grateful for the beautiful spirit sweet baby Jack brings into our family. Happy {almost} six months, little baby. 

2.15.2017

Currently {Part 3}

Hello there, little blog. Considering my journaling habits are abysmal, and I've HAD A BABY and have only written in my journal twice in the last year+... I need to step up my game. For some reason when I get like this I always find myself coming back to the ol' blog. So, for now, here's one of these "Currently" things because I think they're fun. And I'm considering making a goal to blog once a week. WE'LL SEE.

Making: Crockpot meals, every day.

Eating: ALL THE SOUP. My coworkers make fun of me because I bring soup in for lunch nearly every day. Also, Kodiak cakes. Yum.

>>>Since this is sort of an update on my life I will use this section to mention that yes, I am working part time. Two days a week. I truly think it has saved me from PPD... I think I was on the brink before I came back. My mom is an angel and watches Jack while I work, and my boss is fantastic and worked this schedule out with me. I never thought I would work after having kids, but it's the right thing for me and our family. I couldn't be happier!

Drinking: Water. Dr. Pepper (I missed that stuff hard core while I was pregnant).

Reading: SO MANY THINGS. Okay, actually, I can really only read one book at a time or I can't handle it. But my list of "to-reads" is about a mile long. Thank you for coming back into my life, Goodreads. Currently, I'm reading The Count of Monte Cristo. Like, the big kahuna. I'm on page 950 out of 1462. And it. is. awesome! It's so long, but never boring.

Wanting: to be back to my pre-preg weight... but also at the same time wanting all the chocolate. So it's a struggle.

Watching: New Girl. The Bachelor. Castle (new discovery - thanks sister Lex! Not on any streaming sites, but the local library has the DVDs. It's old school and we are lovin it). Psych (always). Gilmore Girls (always). Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (first season was a bit rough at first but it's slowly getting better). This Is Us (LOOOOVE).  Growing Pains (ha! This was a childhood favorite and I just found season 1 at Target for $10... wasn't hard to take that plunge). Fixer Upper.
(CAN YOU TELL I HAVE A LITTLE BABY AND TOO MUCH TIME TO WATCH TV RIGHT NOW)

Playing: Five Crowns with the fam. It's our fave!

Wasting: Money. On books. This is a problem. I literally have 30 books at my house that I haven't read. I have bought them over several years with the intention of reading them. :) But since I read 11 books in January, I think my prospects are lookin good. I just have a self-imposed ban on book-buying now...

Wishing: I could go to NYC. My parents and sister are going this weekend and I'm so jealous!

Enjoying: Being a mom. It kinda threw me for a loop there at first. But that little baby, he makes me so happy. Also enjoying said baby sleeping through the night the past two nights!

Liking: Athletic shoes. I want all the pairs! Seriously coveting these ones in all the colors.

Excited: FOR JARED TO COME HOME. He comes home in FIVE MONTHS! It went by so fast. I can't believe it. I can't wait for him to meet Baby Jack!

Loving: Working out. My dad's old work building has a gym in the basement and his former boss is kind enough to let him and us use it for free! We basically have a private gym. Except for the few times when the shirtless sweaty man is in there doing his ab exercises. Ew. (for the record... he just smells bad. But I'm sure he's perfectly nice).

Needing: A vacation. So badly. I think it'll have to wait til summer though.

Smelling: Baby smells. Some good... some not so good. Ha!

Wearing: The same things every week. I'm getting sick of the few things that fit me (nobody told me that I still wouldn't fit into my old clothes after giving birth... because #nursing!) but I don't want to buy anything new either. Bleh.

Following: Family blogs/instagrams.

Noticing: My hair falling out. And so many baby hairs. Ugh.

Anticipating: The weekend! I need some quality Jim time.

Knowing: I should chill out with my road rage. Lol.

Thinking: About finding a new hobby.... besides reading and watching TV.

Opening: Packages. I love online shopping far too much.

Feeling: Sick. Boo! Woke up with a nasty sore throat this morning. And also because of #nursing, I can't take cold meds. I'm afraid.

Missing: Playing the piano in primary. Favorite calling ever!

5.02.2016

BABY NEVE

Considering it's been more than 6 months since I've written here, and I'm a slacker at any sort of journaling, I figured I might as well do a 'lil update because...

WE'RE HAVING A BABY!

The Facebook Announcement
 I am now 20 weeks along. Translation: Half Way There!
**Pssst. I wrote the majority of this post on 4/27 but didn't get around to publishing til today. I'm actually almost 21 weeks, but I'm too lazy to update the entire post. :)**

And we are so not ready, but also feeling really ready at the same time. How is that possible, you ask?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we're really excited to be parents and feel like now is the right time for us. BUT we're also scared out of our minds to be parents and have no idea how to take care of a little tiny human 24/7. Equal parts exciting and terrifying.

Whew! What a crazy mix of emotions. Add in dash of hormonal craziness and I'm just a big ball of fun all the time. :)

So... let's rewind a bit. I want to get this down for my own sake, considering I can hardly remember my own name these days. #preggobrain

Over the nearly two years of our marriage, I've had myself convinced several times that I was pregnant, when I definitely wasn't. I even told a dentist I was once, only to go back to said verrrrrry excited dentist for a return appointment and have to tell them it was all a false alarm. Embarrassing.

But over Christmas, I knew something was different. It was too early for me to take a pregnancy test yet, but something just told me this time was not like the others. I also had this strange metallic taste in my mouth (one of the earliest signs of pregnancy for some women) so I strongly suspected there was a little one bakin in the oven already. I kept this to myself, mostly because I'd had enough false alarms before that I didn't want to look silly yet again.

Fast forward to Sunday, January 3rd. Finally time to take the test. Result? Positive. I wanted to be shocked (seemed like an appropriate reaction) but mostly I was just relieved and happy that I was actually right this time! HA!

It was early in the morning and Jim was still in bed. I wracked my brain (for all of about 5 minutes) on some sort of cute way to tell him, but I was feeling much too anxious and didn't want to wait! So I shook him awake and just told him, and I guess saying it out loud was when the shock kind of set in, because we spent the rest of the day freaking out. Mostly in a good way, but what a thing to find out at the beginning of a new year! "Hello, happy new year, major changes comin' atcha!"

A close friend of mine had just had a baby in October, so that day I poked her brain for about 8 hours for any and all info on baby stuff, claiming "we were just talking about having a baby and wanted to know what to prepare for". And I'm sure she saw right through me. But that calmed my nerves for just long enough to keep the secret for a little bit.

I waited to tell my family for all of about two weeks before I just couldn't hold it in any longer. Plus, since I'm over there teaching piano two nights a week, they totally would've started to figure it out anyway. I knew my family didn't care about the cutesy announcement stuff, so I decided I would just tell them. So at an awkward Sunday dinner (only awkward for me since I spent like 3 hours being nudged by Jim and trying to decide how to say I was pregnant), I FINALLY just blurted it out at like 8:30. "Uhhh... So... I don't know to bring this up but I'm pregnant!" And then I hid my face. Cause for some reason I was embarrased? I'm a dork.

Of course they were thrilled, and my sister Breanna's reaction was best, or the most vocal at least. Although in the coming weeks my dad's excitement level proved to be the highest. He kept begging me to let him tell people, and even resorted to telling random strangers at the bank because it was just bursting out of him. Oh, my little dad.

I felt his pain though, because keeping the secret from everyone else was excruciating, ha! But I did it, mostly.

The first trimester was pretty brutal for me. And I didn't even throw up once. I know a lot of women have had it much worse and will roll their eyes at my saying it was hard since I never tossed my cookies, but trust me, I was in agony nightly for about 8 weeks. I was definitely blessed to have my "morning sickness" at night so I could get through my work day, but by the time 4:30 hit it was like a switch was flipped and I was a slug the rest of the evening. Jim made a lot of dinners, cleaned the house, and did a lot of laundry all by himself; what a champ.

Because of that sickness, it was very hard to keep it a secret when all I wanted was some sympathy. HA. So I resorted to texting my mom pretty much constantly, and what a trooper she was for just patiently listening and telling me it would be okay. :)

At 13 weeks I finally told the extended family and some close friends. I'd also told my boss, figuring he would start to wonder why I was suddenly going to the doctor every four weeks.

Then at about 15 weeks, I told the Facebook world. I felt extremely silly taking a picture of myself, but I wasn't about to do one of those announcements with the baby shoes, or the onesie in a tree, or the like. No offense to those who have done those. They are cute. Just not my style.

After about 16 weeks it's been pretty smooth sailing for this momma to be. I've started getting stretchmarks on my hips, and pasta inexplicably makes me sick which is the saddest thing ever, but I'm feeling SO MUCH BETTER. Exercise was a joke during the first trimester, but now I've even started back up a very mild pilates program because I hated that I wasn't moving my body. I've got myself a snoogle pillow which is the best invention ever, and in just the past two weeks I've started to feel baby kicks! Ahh! Sweetest thing ever even though it's also very strange, ha.

In just a week from today I go in to the doctor to hopefully find out the gender of this little babe. I used to feel pretty strongly that it was a girl, but now I just don't know anymore. I'm just so anxious to know for sure.

Blah blah blah, ramble ramble. But it feels good to get this all down to hopefully remember it all!

One final thought: my sweet sister-in-law is (well, was) pregnant and was due in June. But her little babe decided to come at 31 weeks! It was definitely a super scary turn of events but luckily all has turned out well and even though baby has to be in the NICU til her due date she is a rockstar and is doing awesome. But as we went to visit them in the hospital, it all started to become very really that WE will be doing this too! Hopefully not quite so early ;) but all the same it just really hit me finally that this is happening! It's finally feeling real!
And a 19 week pic for funzies.
We are so excited, and can't wait to meet our little one!