in which manual breast pumps are mentioned

Friday, February 6

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A picture from the end of the summer. Feels like yesterday, but holy crap, look at how tiny she was!

9 days after Isla was born, Tyson and I headed to her second pediatrician appointment with both of the kids. We checked in, and were sitting in the waiting room when I began to experience some pain in my abdomen. I'd been having post-delivery uterine contractions all week (aren't those great), so the pain didn't catch me totally off guard and I tried to ride it out in silence. Soon though, it became too much to barrel through while in a public setting, so I left the waiting room and locked myself in the bathroom. Within a few minutes, the pain grew until it was excruciating, leaving me doubled over in tears and a cold sweat on the bathroom floor. After a few minutes, and with no responses from me on the phone, Tyson asked a nurse if she would head to the bathroom to check on me. And there I lay. After determining that I was immobile, the nurse decided to call an ambulance to take me to the hospital. Isla, voracious nurser that she was (is), began to be hungry, while I remained in a state that kept me from feeding her. Everett, who followed Tyson back to check on me, came to my side and started rubbing my back, leaning over into my face to ask, "wus wrong mama?" and after seeing me the way I was, began to cry. The nurses whisked him away with some stickers and dum-dums and reassured him that I was alright, which I was so grateful for, since my own reassurances were clearly not convincing enough. I heard the conversation between Tyson and the nurse in the hallway, trying to figure out how best to take care of our hungry baby. And then suddenly, there was an excruciatingly attractive paramedic lifting me onto a gurney and into the back of an ambulance while he asked me questions about what I was feeling. I somehow managed to say the word "vagina" out loud more than once. Since once was obviously not enough to get my point across. I GUESS?? Tragic.
A friend of ours met Tyson in the parking lot of the hospital and took the kids back to their house so Tyson could run in and be with me. The nurses had loaded our bag up with formula packs and bottles to feed Isla and a friend even offered to nurse her in case she wouldn't want to take a bottle at nine days old. Even Tyson's parent's drove up that same day and cared for us over the next few days. It was the greatest anxiety in the world for me, getting whisked away from her and her hungry cries at the doctors office, so it meant so much to have so many people step in and care for her when I couldn't.
We ended up staying at the hospital for the rest of the day and into the night, so for several hours, it was just me and Tyson under the stark lights of the hospital room - a real strange thing to experience right after having a baby. My breasts were starting to become painfully engorged, so Tyson went out and asked if we could have a breast pump sent over from the maternity ward. The nurse graciously dropped it off on the end of my hospital bed, and asked if we'd ever used a manual pump before. We hadn't. She hadn't either. So she left us to it. Tyson put it together and scooted his chair up closer to my bed so that I wouldn't have to do the pumping myself. And there we were. Me in a hospital bed with my boob shoved into a pump while Tyson sat there, his arms working, literally milking me, and slightly mesmerized by the process. My milk supply really struggled after Everett was born, so while Tyson pumped and watched this bottle fill, it was sort of like this mildly victorious moment, laced with wonderment and congratulations. Sitting there, I couldn't help but think back to the first time we met. I don't know why. But I suppose when you're sharing a deeply personal moment with someone, and/or being milked by that someone,  you think back to that first exchange of phone numbers and laugh that those two human beings, flirting for the first time, couldn't possibly have imagined that this manual breast pump moment would be in their future together. It's fun. All of this with him.
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In other news, Tyson will be here tonight! For exactly 36 hours. And then he'll take a flight back to school until March. We originally didn't think he'd be able to squeeze this quick trip in this month, so it was an enormously happy surprise. And it will be an enormously happy 36 hours. I can't wait.

have no fear, everett is here. with compliments.

Monday, February 2

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Shoes: Frye, Jeans: H&M, Tee: Target, Coat: ASOS (old), Sunglasses: Target (old), Watch: c/o Arvo

If you look, not so closely at the last picture there, you can see my postpartum bald spot coming in nicely. I always seem to have an extended and overzealous period of hair loss after having children, so I'm sure by the time Halloween rolls around, I'll be able to dress as a convincing version of Dracula with a pair of fangs and a sharpie outline of my new forehead.
HOWEVER. While we were out celebrating my sister's birthday the other night, Everett was standing on his chair, admiring his cupcake, when he looked over at me, rubbed his hands over my hair and said, "Happy Birthday Mama! I LOVE your hair." And then his fingers moved down and smoothed over my brow bone while he continued, "and I LOVE your eyebrows."

So I don't know where this kid is picking up his manners and smooth moves, but go ahead and bring it bald spot. WE DON'T EVEN CARE ANYMORE.

the kids are alright

Thursday, January 22

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The developing relationship between these two siblings is very much an actual love story. Most love stories do not begin with love at first sight and neither did this one. When Isla was born, Everett had been staying with friends for a few days, and the morning we brought him home to meet her had been a tough one for him. Just one too many nights away from his own bed. Before Tyson and Everett came through the door, I'd made sure to set Isla up on a pillow with Everett's favorite treats and a wrapped "big brother" present for him tucked around her legs. Bribery, basically. I ran to the door and gave him a big squeeze and we talked about how much fun he'd had at his friends. I took him in the kitchen, and balanced him on top of my empty and now slightly smaller baby belly while we continued to talk. Finally I told him there was someone I'd like him to meet and we walked over to the couch where Isla was sleeping. He popped his head up over the side of the couch, got the biggest grin ever, snatched his treat and asked us to open it. If he saw the existence of a baby, he did not let on. Then, with the quickly unwrapped wrapping paper still on the floor, he tried on his big brother cape and mask and zoomed off to another activity. And that was that. And that was fine. We went about our business taking care of her and let Everett come and check out the baby at his own pace. Sometimes he didn't seem to care at all. But then, during one of her diaper changes, he caught a glimpse of her umbilical cord, or her "bili cord" as he called it, and became intensely amused that this bili cord thing that he'd read about in a book, was in fact, sitting there in real life before him. He wanted to see it up close. Then he wanted to help change her. Then he wanted to hold her. And rub her head while she nursed.

Watching them now, it's as if he was never without her in the first place. First thing in the morning, in our darkened room, I'll be startled awake by his voice whispering my name right next to the bed. And then his eyes will pop up and he'll ask, "Hey mama is baby sister awake?" Most of the time the answer is no. But he'll want to make sure just in case, and climb up on the bed to see her regardless of my protests.

They are two dreamy little peas in a pod. If Isla's laughing, 99% of the time, it's because she's watching him. Just the other day we were at the park, and I had Isla on my hip and was holding Everett's hand as he jumped from rock to rock. She thought this was the stinking funniest thing she'd ever seen. There were several other kids that would jump by occasionally, doing the exact same thing that Everett was doing, but no laughs for them! Or sometimes I'll be sitting next to Everett playing Legos while I feed her, and she'll stop to do a complete upside down back bend just to take a look at what he's up to. She has heart eyes for her brother like somethin' else. 

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-13
We've had the house to ourselves this week, just me and these two munchkins, while my dad travels for work. At first I was slightly terrified by the idea of it - putting the kids to bed, being alone in a big house. I don't know WHY. I mean I've essentially experienced this whole scene for the past year or so. I guess it was just the idea that no one was coming home AT ALL, not even after midnight. But it's been fine, really. My world is filled to the top with these babies right now. I am so aware of and grateful for this time of life they're in - this cocoon portion of their childhood. Every day is made up of what I am able to create for them: The fire place, lit and warming the cool morning house while they stay in my bed for a little longer. The music that's playing while they sit on the counter and watch me fix breakfast. The pom pom balls, and popsicle sticks, finger paints, and glitter remnants on the dining room table. And every single lego, domino piece, scrabble cube, book, playdoh container, and puzzle piece you can think of, spread out over the living room floor and under the couches. My sweat pants, the only REAL permanent fixture. The water on the floor after Everett's helped me with the dishes. The newly instated "quiet time" as the afternoon sun streams though the windows, while I lock down at least a solid 15 minutes to sleep during Isla's nap. A red wagon ride to the park. More time on the counter, testing spices and narrating while I make dinner. The teeth brushing routine before bed. And finally, the night. The night that has brought very little sleep with it. I am sure they are plotting my demise even as I write this.

It is a real  privilege to create for them. And to somehow still have the ability to create myself simultaneously. I am happy. I am whole. And I still feel like me even under all of everything BABY. It's sort of a relief.

how my beauty regimen has changed since moving to the desert

Tuesday, January 13

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After calling the East my home for more than ten years, moving to southern Utah, land of the cactus and red rocked desert, has been a big adjustment for me in the skin and hair department. First of all, I'm a walking static machine. The hair under all of my beanies is so full of it, I swear I need to be labeled with a high voltage warning. Also, when I first got here, every morning I'd wake up with lips that had literally cracked and bled in the middle of the night. And while getting my hair done, my stylist told me that since I had left such a humid environment, oil treatments were an absolute MUST, and that a little bit of coconut oil on my ends every day would be my saving grace. That's proven true. What else has proven true is that some eczema symptoms that had once been tempered with coconut oil and steroid cream, were starting to flare up again. And my normal winter habits of washing my hands excessively, without moisturizing, were leaving them bone dry. I've never been that girl with the lotion on the kitchen counter and in her purse. But out here, I'm the girl with the lotion on the kitchen counter and in her purse. Oil and cream everywhere. All the time.
OK so while in the midst of this oil and cream fest, I found this new stuff at Target. (Where else do I shop.) It's called Skinfix. And apparently it's been around in Canada for 150 years. Like a big Canadian secret miracle paste that's just now launching in U.S. stores. And I, a U.S. of A-an, am stoked about this. I went out and bought the hand repair cream to give it a whirl after reading the reviews on it, and you guys, it's awesome. It's rich, without being slimy, and a little bit goes a loooooong ways. I don't know if it's breaking the rules to use hand cream on your face, but I totally used it on my face. Just to see if it would help with that eczema flair up. AND IT DID. I'm tossing my steroid cream! I passed the Skinfix tube around to my family to try when we were sitting around one night, and the next day after my dad was done with the dishes he was asking where the tube was so he could use it again. The man who doesn't use lotion. Wanted some more.
So! Take from that what you will.
But if you know of someone who battles eczema in any form, I'd think about picking them up a tube. Or really, anyone who is dealing with winter dryness and/or washes their hands on a semi-regular basis. I haven't come across a dry patch that it didn't improve.
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Trusted for generations, Skinfix's award-winning products ensure head to toe happy and moisturized skin. Available exclusively at Target.

five things

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Boots: Jessica Simpson, Jeans: F21, Tee: Gap, Jacket: American Eagle, Hat: Free People

1. We're in that awkward nap stage with Everett right now, where if he takes a nap, it's a luxuriously long, three-hour snooze fest from late afternoon to evening, after which he is good to go until midnight. But if he doesn't take a nap, then he absolutely must be in bed by 6:30 or heaven help all of us, followed by an early morning wake-up call at a time that I'm still in denial about. This morning after one of those wake-up calls, I'd shuffled out into the darkened house to get him a drink and the ipad (like, THANK YOU youtubers, and makers of surprise egg videos. I still don't understand it, but thumbs up) so that he could climb in bed next to Isla and me, and I could keep her asleep for a bit longer. Every sputter, cough, arm flail, and wiggle that came from Isla, Everett would lean over and ask me if baby sister was awake yet. After being incredibly patient, the waiting was just too much, so he rolled over on his belly next to her, with one hand under his chin and with the other, squeezed her cheeks until her eyes popped open. "Mama! She's awake! Baby sister woke up to play wif me!" And then, "Oh! I have an idea! I'm gonna go get my narbles (marbles)." 
They're just delicious, these two. Sorry about your cheeks Isla. And the not sleeping in. 

2. Speaking of Isla. She is my littlest roly poly. My mini Michelin man. My chunkiest chunk who ever chunked. Like I'm so lucky I could cry. We've started to introduce apples, bananas, and sweet potatoes just this last week and she downed an entire bowl full right after we'd just nursed. I mean it was a revelation really. My milk was working overtime allllll the time, and it never seemed to be quite enough. And then SOLIDS! So sit back, breasts. Relax. Take a load off. Put your feet up. We are ALL going to enjoy this.

3. I called Tyson this afternoon to initially ask him about a bill, but then we ended up having some time to just talk. Most of his face-time calls since leaving have been absorbed by our babies. Everett drilling Tyson's face with his tool kit and what not, and Tyson reading him a bed time story or getting close-ups of Isla's extraordinary cheeks. And then an hour will have passed and it's back to work for him, and a bedtime routine for me. But while talking to him this afternoon, Isla slept on my shoulder and it was just us. There's something about having only the ability to talk to each other, that makes our conversations seem more meaningful, and intimate, and not the word precious, but you know, precious in a way. I married a really good man. And it's so fun, to be able to know someone deeply. So inside and out. And then on occasion, still get taken aback by who they are. 

4. I am currently undergoing a welcome brainwashing. A lifestyle change if you will. A tournament of wills. Trying to bring energy back into my life one green thing at a time. No that's dramatic. But I moved in with my dad see, so I LITERALLY HAVE NO CHOICE LIKE THERE IS NO CEREAL IN THE CUPBOARD. No, it's fine. It's FINE.
I think the green things are working. I mean I'm not in bed right now, so.

5. I'm writing this at 12:30 in the morning. So just barely 5 minutes ago, I heard the slow squeak of Everett's door opening. One squeak. Anoooother squeak. "Mama!" he scream whispered, and I ran into him to see what was up. "Mama, I had good dreams!" "Oh good, I'm so glad!" I replied. I gave him a squeeze and told him it wasn't time to get up yet, and made some attempts to send him back to his bed. But the "can I sleep wif you's?" persisted. And won. So now I have two babies in my bed waiting for me. The placement of my body for a stealthy slide-in, I have yet to figure out. But goodnight to you. May the force be with me this night. 

the Adams 5

Thursday, January 1

You know, as opposed to the Jackson 5.
Cool play on words. High five. IMG_8727IMG_8812IMG_8858IMG_8869IMG_8881IMG_8918IMG_8989IMG_8968IMG_9022IMG_8935IMG_8962IMG_9059IMG_9043IMG_9073IMG_9039-2IMG_9082IMG_9104-2

our christmas morning

Thursday, December 25

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Merry Christmas!!! It was such a good one. Last year we had one baby in the family, and this year we had three. The morning belonged to them. Last Christmas, about this exact time of day, I had my sister drive me over to the 24 hr Walgreens on a hunch. I picked up a pregnancy test while my sister asked me incredulously if I was pregnant. I casually diverted the question with something about always wanting to have a stock of pregnancy tests on hand, just in case, no biggie. Essentially a lie. But a Christmas lie! Ho ho ho.
We returned to the house and I snuck off to the bathroom. With a pounding heart, and shaking hands I emerged and passed my husband who was reading on the couch, to ask my dad if he had any extra boxes leftover from that morning. He did. I went to find the extra wrapping paper and bows and wrapped up the proof of the gift we'd been hoping for the most, and a note congratulating him as a father of TWO. I ran, excitedly out of breath from the bedroom, feigning forgetfulness about this one. last. present. And now a year later, here she is! Our best Christmas gift ever. A four-month-old miniature elf.
Every Christmas I'm pretty sure that nothing could possibly top the day we had together. And every year I'm wrong again. JOY TO THE WORLD.

Merry Christmas you guys!
And P.S. isn't my mom the best Christmas morning photographer ever??
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