Happy Birthday Sammy!

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Sammy, you’re one! I can’t even believe it. This past year has flown by the fastest of them all. And yet, I can hardly remember our family without your sweet smile. You have a contagious joy for life. I love watching you discover things around you. Even the simple things become fascinating as you investigate. I love seeing you accomplish new things. The look on your face when you reach the top of the stairs all by yourself or give me a high five when I ask is priceless. You are super ticklish and quick to smile. You’re a snuggle buggle through and through. I love that about you because I’m one too.

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I love how your whole face lights up when you see your brother or your daddy. And the little twinkle in your eye when you try to crawl away from me knowing I’ll chase you and tickle you. You are probably going to be quite the talker as you always have a lot to say, even though we can’t understand you yet.

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I can’t wait to see more of your personality as you grow over the next few years. You’re a true gift from Jesus and we celebrate you today.

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Happy birthday buddy. Smooches and cupcakes and lots of hugs for you.

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Sammy’s Birth Story

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One year ago Sammy’s birth story began. I meant to type it up and post it shortly after he was born. But, life with two kids took over and I never got back to it. I don’t know if anyone out there really wants to hear the nitty gritty details (well, not all of them), but I wanted to have a place where it was written down so I could remember! Warning: this is long. I won’t be offended if you don’t read it. :)

My due date, February 6, came and went without much fanfare. Sammy was comfy cozy in his little home. I decided to mentally prepare for a Valentine’s day baby instead and moved on with my regular schedule (as much as you can when you’re that preggo!) Thursday night, the 13th, rolled around and Jason was uber tired and so he went to bed early at like 8pm. I was dawdling around and watching the olympics and thought to myself, “I should go to bed. It’s 11pm and I might have a baby tomorrow!” Well, then I thought to myself, “um, did I just pee my pants?” and I ran to the bathroom. I sat in there debating what to do and called my mom. And then my doula. And then decided that yes, my water had broken and labor had started. So, what do you do? I decided to let Jason sleep and I sent emails and surfed the interwebs while letting my contractions grow.

At 1:30 Jason came down stairs wondering where I was. I excitedly told him I was in labor. “Let’s have a Valentine’s day baby!” (haha, that would have been fun). We called our doula and she came over around 3am. She’s so great, I don’t know what I would have done without her! Jason went to the store around 4am to buy mayo (naturally) and came back with fun valentine’s chocolates and tulips for me. Awwwww. It was a low key waiting and listening to music in the dim light sort of night. No sleep but not really awake either. Peaceful, really.

Around 7am Joshua woke up and came downstairs. I was feeling pretty normal in between contractions but was dealing with contractions by being on my hands and knees and breathing into a pillow. He came over and gently rubbed my back and our doula let him use her back rubber thingy on me. He was so tender and sweet. It was precious.

My sweet boy rubbing my back during a contraction

My sweet boy rubbing my back during a contraction. You know you’re jealous of my pjs

My mom came over around 8am so we could head to the birth center. She took Joshua home with her for a little vacation at Grandma and Grandpa’s and awaited news from there. They checked me out at the birth center and said I was only 1/2 cm dilated and not really effaced at all. They said I should go home and come back that evening and we’d see where I was at. We hung out at home. Honestly, I can’t remember that day at all… it’s so weird how quickly it fades from memory. I drank some castor oil mixed with a protein shake to try to get things moving a bit more (and boy did they move!)

Sometime in there my sister Kristan called and asked how I’d feel if she came up while I was in labor and helped out however she could. I said, “bring it!” and so she got to our house right as we were getting ready to head back to the birth center that evening. At the birth center they said I was now really only 1 cm dilated and that I should go home and try to get some sleep. Not exactly what I was hoping to hear but we took their advice and all tried to get some rest. Mind you, it’s hard to sleep when you’re having contractions every 6 minutes, but I laid down and did my best. Sometime in the middle of the night the midwives offered to come check on me at our house so I wouldn’t have to get in the car again. Bless them. I was 2.5 cm dilated. Not exactly swift progress, but progress nonetheless! My midwife called the hospital since it had been over 24 hours since my water broke. The hospitalist on duty said that if I had progressed to a 4 or 5 by morning (and the baby’s heart rate was good) I was safe to keep laboring at the birth center and didn’t need to be transferred. I was determined to have this baby at the birth center! So we carried on. Jason and our doula, Kathy, and Kristan took turns napping and caring for me and texting our prayer warriors. They were all so wonderful and supportive. I pretty much felt like a rock star the way they waited on me hand and foot!

In the morning we all headed over to the birth center. Let me tell you something about contractions. They are painful and uncomfortable. One way to make them unbearable? Sit in a car! I just wanted to jump out of my skin in that seat. They checked me out and said I was at 4cm! Wow, talk about barely making it.

(warning: I wrote the first half of this story shortly after Sammy’s birth. From here, the rest of this story was written almost a year later… details are kind of fuzzy at this point. I wish I had finished writing when I started!)

At that point I think we finally got to stay at the birth center. The time at the birth center blurs together into a great big hazy cloud in my memory. I think we were there from the morning of the 15th until I went to the hospital the morning of the 16th. I remember that the big bath tub was my favorite place to be during a contraction and so I spent quite a while in there. I also remember the only thing that sounded good to drink was ginger beer from my favorite pizza place (La Fiamma). Kristan, being the superstar she is, went and got some for me two different times! At some point contractions became much more intense and I remember having a moment in the tub where I mentally told myself I did not EVER want to do this again. I think that’s about the time that one of the midwives asked me if I still wanted to have the baby at the birth center. I stubbornly said yes, I wanted to stay. I also remember that my midwife was called by another client who was in labor. My midwife left after dinner time and came back around 2am. Apparently, her other client had her baby start to finish during that time! I was so jealous! (In her defense, it was her third baby. And I did have the most marathon labor ever.)

My wonderful doula, my wonderful hubby. The only birthing photo I'll ever make public :)

At the birth center. My wonderful doula, my wonderful hubby. The only birthing photo I’ll ever make public :)

Back to the story, I think it was around 2:30am they told me I could start pushing. I was so excited. Maybe I’d be done soon! Haha, or maybe not. I pushed. And pushed. I tried different positions. I yelled. A lot. I always thought I’d have this quiet, peaceful birth because I hate being loud and am especially quiet when I’m in pain. Well, not when I’m in labor! I’m like an amazon woman with my grunting and yelling. It helps, though, and I didn’t really care anymore! Around 6 am (yes, that’s at least three hours of trying to push) my midwife looked at me and told me she thought I needed to go to the hospital.  She said I was doing everything right but I was not progressing enough and I was so tired the contractions weren’t strong enough to make pushing him out possible. (They felt strong enough!) I was disappointed but I trust her immensely so I agreed.

Jason was such a trooper. He might not have been in labor but he still stayed awake for the better part of three days. Here he is taking a cute cat nap with my sweatshirt at the birth center.

Jason was such a trooper. He might not have been in labor but he still stayed awake for the better part of three days. Here he is taking a cute cat nap with my sweatshirt at the birth center.

They signed me in so fast at the hospital I don’t even know if they got me to sign my name. By the time I got to the room I was DONE. Not literally, just emotionally. I welcomed the epidural that I had never wanted. And I took a glorious one hour nap before they made me start pushing again. I had some awesome nurses. And they cared for me so well! I got lots of pitocin (slowly increasing) to increase my contractions… but I couldn’t feel a darn thing anymore so I didn’t really care. Then it was time to push and they kept saying “push harder!” and I kept saying “am I?” because I couldn’t feel it. Ha! Finally the doctor said he thought I needed either forceps or a vacuum. We voted for forceps. Which, it’s a good thing they don’t show them to you before hand because I was imagining small salad tongs. When I saw them I was like, “whaaat? those things are huge!” I’ll spare you the details but the wonderful doctor and his giant forceps brought Sammy into the world with just two more pushes at 1:30 pm on the 16th. There was meconium in my water (aka. baby poop) so they had to whisk him off to clear his lungs. In just a second, though, he was a beautiful snuggly bundle in my arms. I cried when I met him. And then I slept.

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You were worth every minute of it, Sammy. All 62 hours :)

 

Brand new. 21 inches, 9 lbs 2 oz.

Brand new. 21 inches, 9 lbs 2 oz.

 

Meeting big brother. I love Joshua's face. He was so excited!

Meeting big brother. I love Joshua’s face. He was so excited!

 

All four of us

All four of us

A Letter to the Bobo Brothers

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Dear Littlest Bobo,

We are starting to get excited to meet you in the next few weeks! Joshua has already declared that you’re “awesome, like us” and is ready to teach you all sorts of things. I told him he might have to wait awhile before you can play with him but that he can help me take care of you. Daddy likes to talk to you through my tummy and is predicting that you will arrive on my birthday. Who knows, but wouldn’t it be fun to share a birthday? I am cherishing these last few moments of having you inside of me. Every kick, every wiggle is such a gift… I will miss feeling you move inside of me. This whole pregnancy journey is such an incredible mystery… I can’t get over it. Even though you’ve been living inside of me for 9 months I still can’t believe it’s real. Jesus has sure blessed us with you already. I hope you’re ready to be smothered with love when you come out!

Love you lots already, mom.

We've been watching you grow inside of me...can't wait to watch you grow in person!

We’ve been watching you grow inside of me…can’t wait to watch you grow in person!

Dear Big Brother Bobo,

You are already such a great big brother! You love to give your little brother kisses and hugs through my tummy. I see you look at other babies with great fascination and interest and I know you will be kind & loving to this little one. You are such a delight. I love your smile, your giggles, your snuggles. I love the way you are learning to express your thoughts and emotions. I love your independence and your fearlessness. I love your imagination.

You are my first baby. You are the one who made me a mom. You were so long awaited in our lives. Joshua, I hope you know how cherished you are. You are so special. Our family and our lives will change when this little one arrives but remember, even though you’ll have to share mommy and daddy, our love for you will never change! Never doubt that.

I love you with all my heart, mom.

I love you my little fishy face.

I love you my little fishy face.

Happy 3rd Birthday Joshua!

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JAK's 3

Happy Birthday little man! You are getting so very big. Just a year ago you only said a handful of words and now you can have an entire conversation with us. We love talking to talk to you and learning what’s going on in your mind and heart. You are a tender boy and yet full of passion and energy. You often come in for snuggles in the morning- definitely my favorite time of day.

I love your appreciation for order- how you like to line up your toys or you always make sure the pantry door is closed when you walk by. I love the twinkle in your eye when you’re kidding about something. I love the way you hold your head to your shoulder when you’re being shy and you don’t want to tell a new person your name. I love watching you learn and process new concepts. Sometimes you make fun connections- like when I said your fingernails were getting long and you said, “yeah, they’re grown up!” or how you told me you were turning 5 on your birthday because of how badly you want to play on that playground at the school that only five year olds get to go to. You adore other people, especially other kids. I like that about you too. You are fearless, yet careful- which puts me at ease as you climb all over tarnation. You are more and more independent every day and even went to your first camp this week without mom!

We are so grateful for you. We love you. Happy birthday! Let’s go get a cupcake and some balloons.

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all ready for Super Hero Camp!

The Three Month Blogger

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I was thinking about posting an update on our lives so I came to our blog and looked back at the last few entries. Apparently we are every-three-months sort of bloggers :) Well, it may not make for a massive following but it’s still fun to post our updates here for those that are interested and for our general posterity ;) So, here you have it, our lives for the last three-ish months!

1. In January we discovered the Bellingham railway museum. Hours of indoor toddler fun!

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2. My friend & neighbor, Megan, and I happen to have the same birthday in February. So, naturally, we had a twintastic birthday bash. Complete with photo booth.

yes, we both owned these shirts before we even met each other

my favorite twins of the day

3. I have long held the opinion that in Bellingham you always get a really nice week of weather in February that fools you into thinking spring has arrived. When it happens, get out in the sun and enjoy it! Just don’t expect it to last :)

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4. Baking. What better way to survive the dreary winter? I’m heading into new territory and learning the art of sourdough.

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And perfecting the less healthy art of cupcakes :)

mocha glory

mocha glory

5. Although we now live near our family we decided we liked our tradition of delaying Christmas until February. So, during another deceptively sunny day we celebrated Christmas with our family tradition of the grab bag.

seesters together!

seesters together!

cousins! too bright for a proper photo :)

cousins! too bright for a proper photo :)

6. February 28 was the nation-wide Collegiate Day of Prayer. Jason helped coordinate the various campus ministries at WWU to come together for 10 hours of prayer on campus followed by an evening gathering of prayer together. It was an encouraging day of unified prayer! Throughout the day as students came and went there were 20-45 students there for every hour of the 10 hours of prayer. Then, in the evening close to 200 students, faculty and community members gathered for a time of repentance, prayer and worship. Leaders and students from each group helped facilitate a time of moving through the Lord’s Prayer with group prayer and short exhortations throughout. It was powerful! And now there are bi-weekly worship nights and daily student-led prayer meetings on campus that have sprung from the event.

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7. In March we took a spontaneous vacay to Winthrop for a long weekend. Good family time!

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ready for sledding!

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7. On another March weekend we were able to head down to Seattle to visit Jason’s brother & fam. Of course I forgot my camera (gasp!) but I swear we had a great time! (good thing Auntie Lisa has an iphone and shared this photo with me!)

cousins!

cousins!

8. And we wrapped up March with Easter egg hunting fun & more cupcakes!

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Now we’re ready for spring! See you all in three months :)

Talking, Turkey and Travels

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Somehow three months have gone by since we last blogged. Three months? How did that happen? Last time we blogged it was sunny summery August. Now it’s wet, cold, cloudy November! We’ll spare you the blow by blow of our lives the last three months and give you the fun highlights (in list form, of course) :)

1. In September Jason turned 38. We had a fun time celebrating with friends, eating cupcakes, playing games and giving him words of encouragement. And in honor of his birthday he graduated to a smart phone. Only two more years and he can graduate to his 40’s! I’m pretty proud of my cupcake making accomplishments for the party :)

Jason’s favorite new flavor: salted caramel chocolate- this time in cupcake form

2. Fuel School: Jason directed the Light of the World Prayer Center’s first every internship in August/September! It was an intensive three weeks of teaching and experiencing the prayer room. There were 15 interns who completed the program. It was awesome!

the fuel school crew

3. After the fuel school ended we took a little vacay to the Oregon coast and spent some down time with Jason’s dad and bonus mom. It was fabulous!

our little guy LOVES the beach. a boy after his mama’s heart!

4. Every year my family visits an apple farm in the fall. I always look at their pictures with jealousy and wish I could have been there. Well, this year I got to join in the fun! Have I mentioned how much I love living back in Washington yet?

Joshua, his beloved Auntie, and a bunch of pumpkins

5. While Joshua and I were gallivanting at the apple farm Jason was in Washington D.C. A team from the prayer center had the opportunity to represent our lovely state at David’s Tent (40 days of worship leading up to the election). He saw the sights, was encouraged by some wonderful peeps and even got to play the ukelele!

the team leading worship at David’s Tent

6. In October I had the chance to go on two weekend adventures! I went with some wonderful ladies down to Portland for the Women of Faith conference. It was a fun, refreshing time away. Then, Joshua and I traveled to Moscow, Idaho to visit some close girlsfriends (and their kiddos) from our time living there. We all packed into our friend’s uncle’s ranch house- five women and 7 kids under the age of three! It was a crazy, chaotic and glorious time. While it was not physically restful seeing these precious friends was life-giving to my heart.

so fun!

7. We started up a weekly service at the Light of the World Prayer Center called New Song Fellowship. It is a weekly gathering on Sunday nights, serving as an equipping arm of the prayer center, helping articulate the vision and values behind establishing night and day worship and prayer in Whatcom County, training believers from various local churches on how to have a more intimate and effective prayer life.

Jason has been directing the weekly service and teaching a couple times a month. If you want to hear some of what he and others have shared you can listen in from the website: http://www.lowpc.org/archives

8. Joshua has been asking for a beard every since we started reading the Jesus Storybook Bible together. Well, this halloween his dream came true. He transformed into Joshua the pirate! Stubbly beard and all. He was pretty darn cute and seemed to instinctively know how to use a sword.

arrr matey!

9. November 15 marked our 9 year wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a shmancy dinner and a movie (Argo). Here’s to entering our tenth year of marriage!

anniversary dinner date

10. Over the past three months Joshua has become quite the talker-head. He’s moved on from a word here and there to lots of cute little sentences pretty much all day long. He also makes up songs, which I find especially precious. My favorite song is “grandma movie” Although his words are mostly distinguishable he has quite a few that take translation. In fact, many words start with the letter P and become extra beguiling. He says “pup-pakes” for cupcakes, asks for the “pie-pod” (which is my ipod) and just this week started to declare “pissmas lights!” all the time (Christmas lights). And, as you’ll see in the video below, pickle is actually pronounced “pipple.” (Yes, he loves pickles. Why? Because daddy loves pickles, that’s why.)

11. As a fundraiser for our adoption Katrina and I opened an etsy shop! We’d been talking about designing typography prints that people could buy and etsy seemed like the perfect format. So, if you’re looking for some holiday cheer for your walls, an inspirational quote to frame, a gift for a baby shower, or anything custom we could design for you, go check out our etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DreamsvilleCreations (and tell your friends!)

a snapshot of what our store looks like

12. Another great part of living near family? We got to have thanksgiving together! It was super fun to host turkey day at our house on our big ol’ table. We had a Japanese exchange student stay with us for the weekend and experience his first Thanksgiving meal. So fun! We even got to have a second “pizza thanksgiving” with Jason’s brother & fam. Good times. Good food. Yay!

aunties + cousins = fun!

Happy Birthday Joshua!

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Welcome to the Terrific Twos, Joshua!

You grow more fun each day. You take such delight in learning new things and doing things yourself. It is so fun to watch. You are growing more affectionate with each day and now when I ask for a kiss you will lean in to my face, or when I ask for a hug you will stretch your arms out, or when I ask for a “nose-nose” you’ll put your cute little nose right up to mine. I love you tremendously.

You are constantly talking. I don’t know what you’re saying most of the time, but it is a stream of precious words. And I love it when you sing! I sometimes forget that you pretty much understand everything I say but you remind me often by surprising me with your comprehension.

You are an outdoor-lovin’ boy, a climbing monkey, a playground addict, a smiling and laughing joy, a button pusher, and a somersaulting wiz. You LOVE water in all it’s forms- drinking, splashing, swimming, bathing, rain puddle stomping.

We took you to get a birthday haircut this past week and you look so much older now. You’re our handsome little man! But don’t forget, you’re still our baby bobo and we love you with all our hearts. Happy Birthday, Joshua Aidan!

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