Monday, November 28, 2011

Family pictures

Two months ago we had a good friend of ours take our family pictures. She did great and I think she did a wonderful job capturing the kids' personalities. We of course had to get a classic Iowa corn picture!
The primary song, "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home" completely applies to our family. It is absolute mayhem when Brandon walks in the door. I have never seen kids adore their dad as much as these kids do Brandon. He is the best father!
My sweet Tessa! She is my little giggler. She laughs at anything I say and is always up for a dance party.

Kayla is getting to be such a big girl. She has learned to read and can read almost anything. She has such a desire to learn. She is always asking Brandon to teach her things that he has learned about at school. She loves learning about the human body and how it all works. She amazes me!
This is a perfect picture to depict what these kids are like. Kayla is always trying to cooperate and do what she is supposed to do. Tessa makes her feelings quite known and Jace is the smiliest brightest light in the world.

This little man has brought so much joy to our lives. His sisters can't get enough of him and to tell the truth, I can't either. I can't kiss him or squeeze him enough.

I feel so lucky and blessed to have these people in my life. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Jace’s birth story FINALLY!

I had a few weeks of the pregnancy left and I had to get an ultrasound because my belly was measuring about 3 weeks too small. I got the ultrasound on March 17th, and the tech told me that everything looked great, in fact, Jace was measuring exactly what he should. On the 22nd, I got a call from Dr. Wenzel. She said that my fluid was very low (it was a 4 or 5 and normal is above 10), so I needed to come in the next day for a non-stress test and be prepared for induction if there were any problems. Kassie Abarca took the kids the next morning (Wednesday), and Brandon and I went to the hospital. We had mixed emotions about having Jace that day- Brandon had his big internal medicine exam on Friday, but we were really excited to meet Jace. Again, Jace looked great, so they said the induction could wait. We were a little disappointed, but we scheduled induction for the next Monday (the 28th). Brandon got a day off of his next rotation (family medicine). I liked knowing when it was because I got a lot of organizing/cleaning done before hand.

I woke up at 6 on Monday to call and make sure there was an open room for me. There wasn’t! We were so anxious to meet Jace so it was hard because we had no idea how long we would have to wait. I hadn’t slept the night before because I was so excited, and it would be hard for Brandon to get another day off of work. As I lay down to take a nap around 10, Brandon came running up the stairs and handed me my ringing phone. They told us we could come and be there by 11:00! We rushed the kids to Elsha Haberle’s house, and then went to Mercy Hospital in Iowa City.

We got there right around 11:00. Dr. Wenzel was very excited to see me. They had been very busy all morning and she had been asking the nurses if I was there yet. She pulled some strings so I could have priority to get in faster. I had been having minor contractions through the night, so I was ready. They broke my water and started a normal does of pitocin, but my contractions started coming too close together, so they backed off on the pitocin. I think I might have gone in to labor that day even if they had not induced me. Because of the past 2 labors we knew that the epidural would take a long time to work, so I started getting it when I was at a 4. Brandon told the anesthesiologist about my issues, and so when the epidural didn’t work (for the third child in a row!), she did an intrathecal injection, which felt GREAT! But about an hour later, it was wearing off. I started feeling pressure with the contractions, then pain, then I was feeling everything. I wanted something else for the pain, but the doctor came in and said I was ready to have the baby! It was 2:45. She got prepped and came back in at 2:50. I could feel everything and it hurt so bad! But I pushed for 5 minutes and he was out at 2:55 pm. The entire labor was only 2 hours long! I keep cutting 2 hours off my labor time with each kid. Kayla was 6 hours, Tessa was 4 hours and Jace was only 2. I better just camp out at the hospital for my next kid!

With my past labors I didn’t feel a thing because the epidural s eventually started working. I couldn’t even feel if I was pushing with each contraction. All I did when they told me to push was hold my breath and it seemed to work. With Jace I could feel EVERYTHING. I think if the labor had lasted longer the epidural would have finally kicked in because in the past it took a couple of hours to work. It was such an intense feeling when I had to push. It made my eyes water because it hurt so bad, but I loved the feeling of accomplishment I had once he came out. There was such a sense of relief. Feeling that intense pain made the experience even sweeter when it was over. Brandon cut the cord and they placed Jace on my chest. Brandon didn’t cry, just like he didn’t cry with our other two children or at our wedding. Jace was so cute! He weighed 7 lbs 12 oz and was 20 in. long. His little bottom lip was trembling when he cried and he had little stork bites all over his body. The stork bites went away after a couple of hours. He definitely looked like he belonged in our family. It is so fun to see that we have a family look going. He looked different than the other kids, but also so similar. He really looked a lot like Tessa. Sometimes when we see a baby picture of Tessa we think it is Jace until we see that she is wearing pink.

I stayed in the hospital for 2 days and my mom came that Thursday. It was so nice to have her here to help. I think she helped a lot with the transition for the girls because I was able to give them the same amount of attention as I had been before since my mom was here to hold Jace for me a bunch. She was here for three weeks and about the day she left, Jace was one month old, he started getting fussy a lot more. We really didn’t know what to do to help him, but we put him on an acid reflux medicine that seemed to help a little, but he still cried for hours every day. It was a difficult time because he just wanted to be held all day, but because he is a third child it just wasn’t possible. He just screamed and screamed and screamed. I never left the house because it was such a process and I usually made a big scene where ever I went because he would just cry the whole time. We really loved the little guy so much, I was just so exhausted mentally and physically because of what was being demanded of me.

When Jace hit 4 months old we hit a breakthrough. He let me put him down! Up to that point I knew that if I ever dared to lay him down he was going to break out into a blood curdling scream. One day I put him down expecting to hear his wrath, but he didn’t do anything. I couldn’t believe it! His happy moments began to linger and his angry moments began to disappear. I felt like we were starting all over again and I was getting to know my precious baby boy all over again. I started running errands with the kids again and taking them to the park and I was able to do all these things successfully! He remained calm and happy the whole time. He would even coo and giggle and smile! It has been so wonderful! We love this little man so much! He has such a sweet personality and is always all smiles. He loves his sisters. He follows their every movement. He still isn’t a great sleeper, but I would much rather have him happy in the day and rough at night than vice-versa. In the beginning when he was colicky he was actually a pretty good sleeper. I only had to get up with him twice a night to feed him and it lasted about 15 minutes and then he would go right back to sleep for about 3 more hours. Now he isn’t eating at night, but he wimpers all through the night. We are now making him cry it out and it is going a bit better, but there is still A LOT of room for improvement. He is growing so big. He is greater than the 95th percentile in both weight and height (and of course head).

I’m so grateful to have this boy in my life. I can’t imagine my life without him and I truly am in love. I feel so blessed to be living the life I get to live.

Monday, March 7, 2011

36 Week Belly Pics

I can't believe I have less than 4 weeks to go! I am so ready for this little guy to come! I can't wait to hold him and see what he looks like! I'm not a fan of taking multiple pictures documenting my protruding belly so I usually just take one when I am 8 months along and call it good. I would say that I am quite a bit bigger this third time around than the last two. If you look at the picture below this one it was when I was pregnant with Kayla and I seem a bit smaller. I am measuring 2 weeks smaller than average right now, but with both Tessa and Kayla I was always measuring 5 weeks smaller than average. I also seem to gain 5 more pounds with each pregnancy. With Kayla I gained 15 lbs. With Tessa I gained 20 lbs, and for this one I have gained 20 lbs so far and I will probably gain 5 more over the next 4 weeks. I have definitely felt this pregnancy more than the last two. Pretty much every step I take is very painful and I can't stand for more than a few minutes. I always thought people were just being wimps when they complained about their aching bodies when they were pregnant, but now I am seeing how tough it really is. I look forward to having my body back and being comfortable again.

Kayla is taking swimming lessons right now and having the time of her life. Every day she asks if it is a swimming lessons day.
I love these people so much!
Brandon missed his bus the other day so he took the van which left us stuck at home for the whole day. So, what did we do? We made a tent out the of the bunk bed!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our Christmas!!

We had a blast this Christmas! The week before we left to Utah we celebrated with just our family and had the girls open their presents from us. It was such a fun day and it truly felt like Christmas. We spent the whole day just hanging out in our pajamas and playing with our new toys. Brandon bought me a new sewing machine which I am so excited about, but I have yet to sew anything with it. That is my next project.

Brandon is so cute with Kayla... he had the idea to make this fun Christmas wreath with her cute little hands. I love it!
We spent the first two weeks of our vacation with Brandon's family so we celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with them. All the kids woke up to the presents having been placed like a Christmas tree.
After we opened all our presents at the Egbert's we went over to my parent's house. Kayla loves to dress up and my mom gave her a new Cinderella dress. She wears is all the time. It was fun because Grandma Egbert had given her a Cinderella Barbie doll so she carried it around while she wore her beautiful dress.

Once again they are dressing up. My mom saved all of my little sister's old dance costumes so Kayla and Tessa had a blast trying them on.
Every year for the last 4 years Brandon has taken on the project of making the tallest snowman he can manage. It gets taller every year. This year's project truly was amazing. His whole family pitched in and it was a fun day trying to break our record.
We went up to Yellowstone for a few days one of the weekends we were there. I left my girls with my parents and we drove up with Brandon's family. It was such a great trip. It was fun to have a little break from parenting and Yellowstone is absolutely beautiful. It averaged 0 degrees so all of our pictures are comical because we were so cold, but we had a great time. We saw buffalo, and bald eagles. We saw Old Faithful and more snow than I have ever seen in my life.

I had to say good-bye to my little brother for two years when I left to come back to Iowa. He is leaving on a mission to Mexico City in two months. We got a family picture while we were out there because it is the last time we will all be together for several years. It is already almost outdated because I am pregnant and my sister-in-law is expecting in June. I guess that is how it is going to be from now on though. We will always be adding new members to the family. Hopefully we will add a wife soon for my brother Jason :) I snatched this picture off our photographers website so ignore the words going across my dad's face. I love my family so much. I'm so grateful we were able to spend so much time with both of our families.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saying good-bye to an old friend

Today my best buddy and pet passed away. He was the best dog any girl could ask for. I begged my parents for a puppy and they finally gave me one for my 14th birthday. My dad wanted him the least, but Quigley softened him up on no time. That dog preferred my dad over anyone else and eventually my dad because just as attached to him. He has been my most loyal friend. He slept on my bed every night up until the time I moved out of my parents house. He had the most playful spirit. I loved him so much that when I was pregnant with Kayla, Brandon worried that I wouldn't be able to love our daughter as much because I was giving it all to Quigley. The last year or so he has started getting very sick and today he decided he had had enough. I'm so grateful that he chose to pass away on a day that my whole family was gathered together for Thanksgiving. My mom and brother sat with him and pet him while he took his last breaths. A part of me wished that I could have been in Utah to grieve with my family, but I am also glad that I wasn't there to see him die. I can just remember him for what he was. I will miss his greeting when we come for Christmas. I'm so thankful I got to spend 12 wonderful years with him.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We're having a BOY!!!!!

We are having a boy!!! We are beyond excited! We had our ultrasound last week and Brandon could tell it was a boy within 3 seconds of looking but he didn't say anything. He is trained with ultrasounds so it took me a little longer, but I saw it for myself before the tech even told us. We are so happy that we will have a boy and girls in our family. We would have been just as excited if it was another girl, but I do know for sure that I don't want a family of all girls. I want both genders represented so now a lot of pressure has lifted and we are ecstatic! I can't wait to have a little boy. I love their energy and I can't wait to buy little boy clothes! Four more months and we get to meet him!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


We got back from Utah last week and Brandon surprised the girls by buying them four goldfish the day we were coming home. Unfortunately two of the fish died within a few hours. The remaining two fish died sometime during the drive to Des Moines and back when he went to pick us up. When we walked in the door the two little fishies were belly up. So, Monday for family night we went back to the pet store and bought four more fish. The girls were so excited. Three of them made it through the night and then each day we lost one more. I was getting sick of seeing dead fish floating around in a bowl and I was even more sick of seeing what the other fish do to the dead fish. I don't know what this one fish was doing, but he looked like he was trying to eat the dead fish. He would just lurk around it and run into it over and over again with it's face. It really gave me the creeps. Finally with three fish dead and only one living I told Brandon to flush it down the toilet because I knew it was only a matter of time before that one went belly up as well. He took care of it and flushed in down the toilet. We did this without Kayla and Tessa's knowledge. Later Kayla came into the bathroom and started laughing hysterically because the fish somehow survived the flush and was swimming around in the toilet bowl. The girls got a big kick out of that. We put some food in the toilet and since we have two toilets we decided to leave it in the toilet and see how long it would last. It lasted until the next day so I flushed it down. I don't know what the deal is. They were only $.28 each, but we couldn't seem to keep them alive. Rest in peace little fishies. We are going to take a break from purchasing more fish for awhile. I can't take any more deaths.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fun with family

We just got back to Iowa last night from a three week trip to Utah. We had such a great time. The girls had fun playing with their aunts and uncles and they loved all the attention they got form grandparents. I love everything about Utah! I love the weather, the people, family, THE WEATHER, and the mountains. I'm so happy we got to go out there again. We went a few months ago and on our way home it took us two days to fly because of cancellations and dumb United Airline employees. For our trouble they gave me some vouchers so we needed to use them up before the next baby came and we had already bought our Christmas tickets so I picked a time when Brandon would be the busiest and we boogied on out of Iowa. We fit a lot into those three weeks. We went down to St. George for part of a day; we played in the canyon; we went to a Halloween party; we hit all the restaurants that I crave when I'm in Iowa by eating out A LOT; we went to Gardner Village; and we did a lot more things that I just can't remember right now. I didn't do great at taking very many pictures but here are a few.
My dad's work lets kids come in and trick-or-treat. Luckily my mom had some fun things for the girls to dress up in because we hadn't brought costumes with us. It turned out to be really fun. I was surprised at the amount of people that were there. Apparently Symantec is a popular place to trick-or-treat. Tessa is dressed up as a little leopard.
Kayla is my beautiful fairy princess.
Every day is dress up day at our house. Tessa looks like she is wearing some kind of turban :)

My grandma was there visiting from Delaware for the first three days we visited. She hadn't seen Kayla since she was a newborn and she has never seen Tessa. We had to get a four generation picture.

My crazy family!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Baby #3!!

Yes! We are expecting baby number three! We are so excited! This picture is actually a picture of Tessa's ultrasound. I am 14 weeks along and doing well. I think the worst is behind me. Up until last week I was feeling very sick and practically nonfunctional, but now I feel a lot better and I am so happy about that. It's hard to have two little ones that need my constant attention and not have the energy to help them. We feel so blessed to be expecting this new addition to the family. I have no inclination as to what the gender is. All three of my pregnancies have been very different. When I was pregnant with Tessa I was positive she was a boy, just because of the difference between her pregnancy and Kayla's. This time around I have no idea. We really want a boy someday so we would be ecstatic if it is, but I have also loved every minute of my life with my two girls so I would not be disappointed in the least to have another one.
Tessa of course has no idea what is going on, but Kayla is at a fun age where she understands and is really excited. Kayla wants it to be a boy named Charlie. When we were visiting in Utah a few months ago, my parent's neighbor had a little newborn baby named Charlie and she was loving seeing the baby so now she thinks we are having a Charlie of our own. Don't worry Mandy we aren't going to steal your name :) I will be sure to post in 6 weeks when we know the gender.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hats off to Dad and Garrett!

I'm so proud of my dad and my little brother. On Sept. 11th they participated in the craziest bike race I have ever heard of. It's 206 miles from Logan Utah to Jackson Hole Wyoming. It took them 12 hours to complete the race including stops to refuel (you gotta eat a lot if you are using that much energy!) My dad as of late has become a bicycling maniac, if you will. He would do it all day every day if it was socially acceptable and if he didn't have to go to work every day to provide for his family. I'm glad he and Garrett got the chance to do this. They had a blast and it always feels great to accomplish something so challenging. Way to go guys!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First day of Preschool!

Kayla went to her first day of preschool today! She was sooo excited! The preschool is on a little farm with all kinds of animals for the kids to take care of. Kayla is so excited that there is a llama with her same name! Today they got to feed the pig named Pearl. I love the program they have at this school. Each of the children is given a little chore to do and they switch off feeding the different animals. There is a pony to ride, llamas, chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, cows, swans and two dogs that follow the kids around and are just like little kids themselves. Kayla's teacher is so sweet. There are so many fun activities for the kids to do. They have mounds of books and Kayla's favorite, they have a little stage! There is a sledding hill for the winter, and a wonderful playground for the warmer days. I signed Kayla up for their van service that comes and picks her up in the morning and drops her off in the afternoon. It's wonderful because the school is about 20 minutes away and so I don't have to worry about driving her there. She came home exhausted, but very happy and couldn't wait to tell me everything she did. I missed her so much while she was gone. I cried as she drove away. She is my little buddy and I love spending time with her. Tessa and I are going to have to figure out what to do with ourselves while she is away. Tessa had a hard time with it too. She is Kayla's little shadow and so she became my shadow while Kayla was gone, but I'm not as fun as Kayla is.