Tuesday, September 25, 2012

more pictures of baby Isla.

My biggest regret about the exciting delivery of this little girl is that I forgot the camera! Sarah lent me one she had in the car; I wish I would have thrown it at someone when we were rushing into the hospital and demanded that they follow us and take pictures!

So, nothing was really documented until the delivery was all over and we had gotten into an actual hospital room. Here is what we were at least able to get.

Baby girl showing her weight. 
Isla was really blue when she was born. I guess the cord was around her neck a bit, and I didn't know it until later, but they gave her some oxygen right after she was born. She was also blue from just having a bruised little face, and she had a good little cone head for a bit! She must have been hanging out in the birth canal for a while.
There's the cry! She really hasn't cried much since she was born. This looks a lot like a newborn Faye, especially the full mouth and lips. (Except Faye cried a lot more during her first days of life!)
One of the best things about my quick delivery is that I really haven't felt like I'm recovering at all. No tearing, nothing. I didn't even have to have an IV!
This baby definitely has the biggest cheeks of any of our newborns!
This is me, VERY happy to be ordering some food soon after delivery. Giving birth really makes me hungry!
Don't you love the nice pink robe they let you wear at the hospital?
Getting all documented and ready to get a birth certificate.
This is the triage room where Isla was born.
Rick brought the boys over at night the same day their sister was born. They were so cute. But then they got a little crazy, and they had to go home. Here Carson has the bed all the way up.
Close up of sweet baby Isla. (By the way, her name is pronounced "eye-la.")
Wearing the same sleeper Faye first wore when she was born.

The sisters meet! Everyone came to pick us up and take us home. 
Blurry, but I had to show Faye's cute face. (I get so frustrated that half our pictures turn out this way!) Surprisingly, Faye has been nothing but gentle to her baby sister. She can beat up her brothers and makes Everett cry daily, but so far Faye hasn't taken it out on the baby. 
All three kids are really sweet to their littlest sister. We love having her home with us!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

our baby girl, and her birth story.

introducing Isla Page Otto.
born Friday, September 21, 2012 at 1:05 p.m.
7 pounds, 12 ounces.

I had been having contractions daily for several weeks leading up to Isla's birth, so I knew it was going to be hard to tell when it was the real thing! I had an appointment with my midwife on my due date, September 19th. I was delighted to find out I was 3-4 cm dilated and looked like I would go into labor soon. I didn't mind at all going over the due date; I was just happy that it looked like I would avoid being induced.

Friday morning began as usual: I got Carson off to school and played with Everett and Faye at home while preparing yet another meal to freeze. During the morning I felt a few contractions, and it occurred to me that they felt a little more intense than the ones I had been experiencing. I tried to call and page Rick to tell him this might really be the day, but I got no response. We met Carson's bus a little before 10:00 a.m. and took him straight to his piano lesson. (It was an early release day at school.) When I got out of the car at the lesson, I felt a good contraction, and another one while we were there. I tried getting in touch with Rick again and was a little worried that he wasn't responding.

We got home from the piano lesson and had lunch outside. I really felt like I wanted Rick home in case I was going to go into labor so he could take me to the hospital. I called a friend whose husband also works at the Army Medical Center and asked if he could get in touch with Rick. Garett said he could, and I told Rachel to tell him not to worry about it yet, but that if it was an emergency I would call back.

About five minutes later, I was walking around picking toys up when I felt a pop and the familiar feeling of warm amniotic fluid. My water had broken at 12:15 p.m. I ran upstairs to change and get a towel while calling Rachel back. Over at the hospital, Garett got in contact with someone in the surgery department who went into the OR and told Rick, "it's time!" (Rick had been sewing someone up in the OR and hadn't known his pager was on mute!)

I immediately called friends to help: Sarah was at my house in five minutes ready to drive me to the hospital, and a neighbor girl (a lifeguard from the pool) was able to run over right away to babysit. I told Carson my water had broken, and he was so cute. He jumped up, ran to my room, grabbed my hospital bags and put them in the car. He found my list of instructions for the babysitter and got all ready to tell her what to do. Everett was busy playing int he backyard and had no interest in coming in for me to tell him I was leaving to have a baby. I hurried and put Faye down for a nap before jumping into Sarah's van.

Sarah and I both didn't have a great idea of how to get to the Army hospital, but we entered the address in the GPS and hoped it would take us to the right place. The drive is about 30 minutes. For the first half, we just chatted while I breathed through a few contractions. During the last few minutes of the drive, I was having some good contractions and was really, really wanting to be out of the car. Sarah got on the phone with Rick when we drove into the medical center and was trying to figure out what entrance to go to and where he was.  She pulled up to an entrance, and I tried to get out but was sort of frozen in a contraction! Some stranger guy tried to help me, but I had started to maybe melt down a little bit and was calling out, "WHERE is Rick?? Where is he??" Finally, Rick came running up (from another entrance) and helped me out of the car and into the hospital.

Some people were trying to help and brought a wheelchair, but I just could not sit down. Rick took my hand, asked someone to hold the elevator, and we made it to the elevator after pausing for a contraction or two. As soon as we got off the elevator, I felt the urge to push. This totally shocked me: I had been in some pain, but I did not think it was already time! I could actually feel the baby's head, and I froze in the hallway of the hospital, my body starting to push. Rick dropped the hospital bags, scooped me up in his arms, and ran towards the labor and delivery ward. The man at the L&D check-in desk looked a little befuddled when he heard and saw us coming down the hall; fortunately the triage nurses could also hear us, and they directed Rick to the nearest bed. Finally we got to a triage room, and were joined by the nurses and the doctor right away. Rick dropped me on the bed, removed my skirt, and two minutes and two pushes later out came our baby girl, born at 1:05 p.m.

They put her on my chest right away. I was just in a little bit of shock and disbelief that she was really here already! I think it took me a little while to feel like she was really here and mine, but I am loving her more every minute. After a quick 24-hour hospital stay, we are home and are all enjoying the newest member of our family.

We are grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who watched over a miraculous and safe delivery. (I keep imagining the what-ifs, like if I had waited just five minutes later to go to the hospital!) I am especially grateful for a strong hero-of-a husband who carried his laboring wife while running down a hospital hallway.

Baby Isla is sleeping on my chest right now. She is just perfect and we love her so!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mis amigos chilenos!

LOOK what I have in the first picture!! Real Chilean empanadas!! I don't know if you can tell how happy I am, but I seriously cried a little bit when Patricia handed me the plate. And then I cried again during the Chilean national anthem, and while watching the dance la cueca. 

Soon after moving here, someone at church mentioned that there was a family in our congregation from Santiago. So, a couple of weeks ago I tracked Patricia down and introduced myself. Turns out she is from the exact area where I served for the last 9 months of my mission! We became instant friends, and when she invited me to this party for the dieciocho (the Chilean independence day), I could not have been more excited. I miss Chile, and I'm so glad to have found some great Chilean amigos!

I promise my belly is way bigger than this in real life... almost 40 weeks here. SO happy to have empanadas!!
The kids liked them too!

The whole night, Faye kept asking for a "bite, bite."
The holiday is really a celebration of Chilean culture. This brought back so many great memories for me! Viva Chile!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

house update.

A few new things around the house... 

One is a gallery wall. I went back and forth trying to decide what wall to put it on, and I think I chose the best one. It's a little bit hidden, so hopefully the busyness of the kind of gallery wall I chose to do isn't too much.
So, first I laid out the picture frames how I wanted them on the floor. I didn't want to spend any money on the project, so I limited myself to using only frames I had on hand. (None of the things actually in the frames are staying.)

Then I cut newspaper out for each frame and taped them to the wall in the arrangement I wanted. I marked the nail holes right on the paper, and hammered the nails in through the paper.

Finally, I ripped the papers off and hung all the pictures. Even though I tried to measure perfectly, there was still some adjusting (and maybe a little frustration!) going on during the hanging. Now I need to actually fill the frames with the pictures and prints that I want! I like the eclectic combination of the different frames and colors, and hopefully they're all brought together by being in one nicely shaped group. Since I will never get around to writing my own tutorials, here is one for gallery walls that I like.

So then I have been struggling with what to do for that wall over the couch. I am trying this mirror (which was thrown in for free with a Craigslist purchase!), but I'm not loving it... maybe because it usually reflects a messy kitchen sink?! I can't stand just having a blank wall, but there is already so much color going on I'm not sure what to do there. Ideas?
I had also planned on doing a mirror here, so maybe I really should take down the other one...

Ahh, the living room. I sort of love being in this mostly completed room, helping Carson practice the piano while trying to distract Faye with a puzzle on the coffee table. The table was a Craigslist purchase, and I finally got around to sewing the floral pillow and covering the piano bench. I sort of did a quick job on it though, and I kind of want to go back and make another one, now that I found my zipper foot to add some piping to the edges!

The last thing I want to do in this room is add a bookshelf next to the piano. I am thinking of trying to custom make one with my dad when he comes to visit!
My favorite pictures from Chile get to take up a corner of this room.
And then Rick gets to have his Cambodian space as well.

This is a wall hanging for the new baby's room, which I sort of love and am using the pink/reddish colors as an inspiration for the room.
The dresser I just painted! I bought the dresser on Craigslist, which was really pretty to begin with. But then I got the idea to do the drawers with the ombre effect, and I didn't want a pretty dresser anymore; I just wanted a plain one. So I used wood putty to fill in the details on the drawers, and Rick took off the detailing on the bottom for me. It was sort of a shame; I should have just bought a plain dresser to begin with, but oh well.
So I only remembered to take a before picture when I was in the middle of the project, but it had some sort of curvy detailing on the front of each drawer, gold drawer pulls, etc.
Faye is trying to show the cute mobile I got for the baby's room from Joss and Main, one of my new favorite sites. (You can join from that link. Most of the time their things are too expensive for me, but I get great ideas from them and actually have made a few purchases that were great deals! The mobile was $6.)

There's my cute girl. The prints that will go above the dresser are from etsy, purchased with money I made taking online surveys! The mats are a bit too small though, so I need to find out if I can cut them or get them cut.
Faye's room hasn't seen much action. I did get her fabric flowers up. I have always meant to try and recover that chair or something!
And making curtains for her is next on my list. I got some fabric for $2 a yard!
The boys' room needs a little more work with picture hanging, but it's getting close.
Here is Everett's newly-made bed, and I rearranged the room and like their beds much better here. (But yikes, that means moving their reading lamps that I just barely had Rick drill holes in the wall for!)  They have always wanted nightstands; I found these on clearance at Target! I put some chalkboard vinyl I had up on their closet doors, and Carson loves having his morning schedule up there.

I am sure I will never get to posting a real tutorial for making that ottoman in the family room, but for those who have asked, I used a combination of tutorials here, here and here. I decided to use a vinyl fabric, which is awesome because it wipes clean! I had an impossible time making buttons out of vinyl, though, so I ended up just using a cotton fabric in the same color, and you really can't tell. It was a fairly simple project to complete; the nail heads in the corners at the very end was the most time-consuming part. And when I look at similar ottomans that cost hundreds of dollars, it was all worth it! If anyone makes one, I would be happy to help along the way.

I know my decor and pictures aren't anywhere near professional, but I really, really love trying to make our house into a very happy home!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

daddy time.

Rick is on Plastic Surgery this month, which means we have been seeing a whole lot more of him. Hooray! One of the most fun parts about this busy General Surgery residency year is that the rare evening or weekend that he is home feels like a huge celebration. 
We have gotten some good projects done together. A couple of weekends ago we finally built Everett a twin bed instead of his little toddler sized one. He let the kids color the wood first! We have gotten good at building beds... we bought the wood in the morning, Rick made it in the afternoon, and I upholstered it before Everett went to bed.
Wow, got enough screens? Rick also has a lot of reading to do while he's at home, plus he should be starting to study for Step 3.
The kids found a pack of water balloons and had fun doing that with their dad.
A couple of Saturdays ago, as soon as the kids woke up we went over to O.P. Schnabel park for a family bike ride/walk along the trails. Everett lasted a long time on his little bike!
The boys have always wanted to see the deer I tell them about after my early Saturday morning runs, and we did get to see some! (You can see one in the distance here.)
We spotted a park just off the trail and played for a bit.
The girl is a good climber! She totally embarrassed a 2 1/2-year-old boy at a different playground today by scaling a little rock wall while he tried and failed.
And last Saturday, our neighborhood pool opened one last time. Too bad it closes long before the heat leaves! This was a big summer for the boys: they both learned to swim and to ride new bikes (a two-wheeler for Carson, and the balance bike for Everett.)
Whenever Faye climbs out of the pool, she takes a minute to observe the water dripping off her swimsuit. Lovely!
Faye is getting a little uptight here because she realizes Rick is about to leave. (I think he was on call this weekend? I can't remember why he's wearing his uniform.)