Thursday, March 31, 2011

Long Awaited

WOW!!! I haven't been on here in a very long time. I have found that with having 2 kids the free time I get is during their nap. Until now I have either napped with them or had other things on the priority list. None the less I am here now! (I will be adding pictures but for now here are the events)

Here is a list of things I will be blogging about so if you don't want to read the entire post you can find those stories that interest you and move on : ) ...

Date nights, Brooke, Thanksgiving, Blessing, Visitors, Family Pictures, Anniversary, Christmas, Mold, Surgery, 2 month and 18 month check up, Sara and Josh, Presidents Day, Cheer, Lip, Tsunami, Sharks Cove, Brooke's 4 months and Brennan's dictionary

Date Nights:
The week of Halloween we were able to sneak out on 2 dates : ) The first one had been planned for a bit and the other one was a random blessing! As an activity in Relief Society (women's organization in the church) we have a service auction. This is where each person writes down 2 services they could give and then they were auctioned off with points that we had earned through giving service for a month. One of the ones I won was "Babysitting by the Crofts" (they are a senior couple in our ward)! So we went to "Glow Putt" which is glow in the dark miniature golf. There were black lights everywhere!! At every other hole you had to run your ball through a tube to light it up : ) It was a place for little kids which meant we got to be little for a night and it was ok ; )! There were a few gifts they give away to everyone that plays, glowing wrist bands and a little light that could be worn as a ring, but to those that hit a "hole in one" on the 18th hole received a special prize ... a magnetic blinky light! As we went through Taylor had 4 "hole in one", but I was the one that hit the one that counted!!!!!!! We went home and Brennan had crashed another ward's Halloween party, taken a walk, played ball ... (had grandparent time basically)!

The other date was a night at the Haunted Lagoon! We live 5 minutes walking distance from the Polynesian Cultural Center where there is a lagoon through the villages. During the month of October they make it haunted with all kinds of different characters and creatures in a variety of places! You ride on a canoe through the water as you would walk through a haunted house. Every night they do it there is a 3-5 hour wait and we ended up waiting 2 hours which was not bad because we could to talk and spook people around us. I think the best reactions were when I told people I was due in 3 weeks!!! (I have friends that swear I am a mu-tin because I don't have a typical pregnancy)

Brooke: (this will be the longest) November 25th, 7 lbs 11oz and 19 1/2 in
I was due on the 19th of November with a surprise gender! My older sister Sara was do on the 19th as well, until she changed her c-section date(to the 20th) because her husband was gone a business trip. My youngest brother Brad, his birthday is the 20th so everyone was hoping I could hold out one more day! With Brennan I gave birth on the very day the ultrasound projected, but nobody knows until it all happens : )
The 19th came and went ... no action
The 20th came and went ... no action
... worried text after text and call after call ... still nothing
The 24th came and I was nauseous most of the day. Taylor's parents were here and wanted to take us out for the evening. We ended up eating at Sharks Cove grill and then taking a little walk down the the water for some pictures. I did eat a few bites of a sandwich and fries because I was feeling better at this point. Once we got back to the house we hing out with our friends, Tyler and Lauren : ) I put Brennan to bed and the contractions started. This was not too much to get excited about because this had happened almost every night for a week and as soon as I fell asleep they stopped. I was tired so I went to bed (as the usual party pooper) and Taylor stayed up to play. About 30 minutes later I text him (yes from the other room) "I think tonight is the night!"
The contractions were getting stronger and closer together which hadn't happened the other nights. It was getting to the point were I started timing from one to the other and it was 5 minutes!!!! We live an hour plus from the hospital and Taylor's worst fear was not making it there in time. He had no idea what to do and we were borrowing a car ;) and that was one mess he did not want to deal with!!!! This was it...
We packed our last minute things and left! Tyler and Lauren stayed with Brennan because by this time it was around 1am. There was plenty of time to send out text messages to everyone because the drive is so long, but Taylor made it in 45 minutes! There were 2 cars that pulled in front of him that he pased the entire way : )
Before we left I called the hospital to let them know we were on our way and from how far we were coming so they were prepared when we got there. We checked in at 1:45am and I was at a 6!!! We both laughed as the nurse asked "on a scale of 1-10 was is your pain?" I said a 7ish and then she asked if I had an epidural with my first. She then said "ok, then you scale is a true scale" : ) 100 questions and 6 needle pokes later, I was set for the IV and could be left to contract in peace!
The nurse told me that she would only come in if I called or a few hours went by. I never called so she came back in about 4 and checked me. I was at an 8 almost 9, which was lucky because she was going to make my walk around if I hadn't progressed.
Now it was about 6:30 and the intensity had increased so I called for the nurse. She checked me and said I was ready so she call for the doctor to come break my water. It was clear so this time Taylor got to cut the cord!!!!!!
A little before 7 the urge to push was there and everything was ready to I started pushing. Both times I have ended up with an oxygen mask on because I don't get enough air between pushes for both of us. Through one of the pushes Taylor commented "keep it up Honey you are doing awesome!" The nurses and doctor looked at each other and giggled : ) he never asked why, but the assumption is, I had been pushing for 10 minutes before he said something. Every push they had some comment about what is normally happening, women screaming at them, hitting the spouses saying you did this to me ...
Needless to say, at 7:17am we had a 7lbs 11 oz 19 1/2 in baby girl!!!!! The joke is every year on her birthday she gets a Slurpee form 7/11!! Taylor tried to take a picture of him cutting the cord but it was too complicated and it didn't cross his mind to as one of the nurses because they were busy doing their thing.
The room was all put back together and they started the IV with patosin (drug that makes you contract), we were able to enjoy our new little bundle of joy. The nurse came back in to check on me and asked if I would able to pee because my bladder was too full and in the way of what she needed to feel. I stood up as if nothing had happened and she told me to slow down and wait for her ;) I left a trail of blood so she went to grab more towels to clean up, meanwhile I got off the toilet and began cleaning what was in the bathroom. She was stunned!!!! She was used to helping people get off the toilet and back in bed. It is official, I AM A FREAK!!!
We had Papa and Gigi visit with Brennan and our friends Lauren and Tyler! They didn't stay long but we did get a chance to introduce the new big brother to his little sister. He wasn't so sure about it all (lots of new toys is what he was thinking as he looked around the room) but he did hold her long enough to capture a few pictures. Once she was at home he was very ok with her staying and LOVES her now. Every time he holds her that length becomes longer and longer : )
We also had a visit from our friend Leisa Tapia for 3+ hours! She even ran to the only open store to grab Taylor a chocolate milk and DP afterward!!!

We were torn because this year was going to be like no other Thanksgiving yet we had a new addition on this day and were stunk in the hospital for another 24 hours! Instead of turkey we were going to have kalua pig (cooked underground). Taylor's parents were able to enjoy it for us and our thoughtful friends brought some to us. The hospital that we were at didn't provided the dads with anything meat : ( I tried to share my meal with Taylor but he said he was going to save all the room he had for the food that was coming and not use it up on cafeteria food! Brennan got to hang out with Papa and Gigi during the dinner and Papa taught him some new tricks ;) to spit his food ...!

Brooke was blessed on December 5th 2010! We had the wonderful privilge to have my dad, Taylor's dad, Tyler Miller, Chris Tapia, Joey Freebarin and our bishopric (bishop Compton, Andrew and Hiro) join in the circle. Thank you wonderful men for being worthy to do so!!!! Taylor blessed her and did a beautiful job of speaking the words our Heavenly Father wished for Brooke hear. One thing that stuck out to me was, she was blessed with a healthy body to play sports! So stay tuned to see what she ends up choosing : )
I wanted to make her dress as I did the outfit for Brennan but I didn't have as much time and the stores are limited here. Brooke did wear one that was even more special!!! My older sister Sara had sent my dad with the dress my mom made for Maddy (Sara's daughter). A big THANK YOU to Sara and Maddy for sharing something so simple yet extremely special! After all my mom did keep her from coming to join us 6 days longer than she was suppose to ; ) We miss you Mom but know you are here with us in spirit for all our celebrations!!!!!!

As the saying goes it is either feast or famine : ) We had a feast for almost a month!!! Gigi came with Linda (Taylor's aunt) on November 16th, Papa and Brian (Taylor's uncle) came on November 23rd and left together on the December 6th. Grandpa and Grandma Skinner (my dad and Bobbie) came on December 3rd and left on December 9th.
Gigi and Linda were here to help but I think they ended up playing more ; ) Brennan was with them everyday almost all day! It was a good break for Taylor and I but we missed him. He was LIGHTLY spoiled! The philosophy in the Southwick family (Gigi's side) is "they will just need a little fix'n" after they visit the grandparents but he bounced back quick and almost painless ; ) He is a good kid and knows what mom and dad expect of him!! There is no reason he can't enjoy his Gigi and Auntie time and be spoiled once in awhile. (She is already planning a trip in June ; ) )
Papa and Brian arrived here the day after a huge snow storm in Seattle! Brian lives about 3 hours from the airport but is took him 13 hours to get there. Luckily the plan was for him to meet Papa the day before so they could go together the next morning. There was no delays or cancellations until later so they were saved again!! They were extremely happy to walk on the beach in shorts!
We didn't go and do much before Brooke was born because we didn't want to be too far from the hospital in case we needed to go. After she was born though the adventures started! We got home from the hospital Friday afternoon and Saturday Gigi and I were off to the mall to find a dress for Brooke's first Sunday. Tuesday we all headed to the zoo (Taylor didn't have class on this day and he wanted to join in on the fun). Friday we ventured around the Polynesian Cultural Center (Grandpa was here now so he joined us). Saturday everyone enjoyed some garlic shrimp from Giovanni's famous shrimp truck and pie from Ted's Bakery. Sunday after the blessing we had dinner with several that participated in it (ham and to die for scolloped potatoes by Linda). Monday we said bye to Papa, Gigi, Brian and Linda. Wednesday we accompanied Grandpa and Grandma to the Swap Meet. Last but not least, Thursday we kissed Grandpa and Grandma Skinner bye.
Then on December 17th, a friend of mine, Jessica and Nate Dana, came to stay for a week. It was fun to catchup with her because it had been before I got married that we had seen each other.

Family Pictures:
A sweet friend so kindly took out family pictures. Her and her husband were moving back to Utah that same week but she took the time to meet up with us! This was her first time taking pictures of a family outside of a studio so she was nervous because it all depended on her, lighting, smiles from the kids ... but she did AMAZING! She had Brennan's attention with a fruit snack on her camera : ) he doesn't get those often.LinkPlease take a look at her blog
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A friend of mine was coming in to stay with us that night so we didn't have plans to leave (Taylor forgot they were coming until I reminded him a few days before and he was bummed). She had called me and said their flight was delayed so they missed their connecting flight which was even better because I had already made plans for us to go out, surprise to Taylor : ) We have hadn't been to a luau so I thought it would be fun to go to one. I arrange for someone to stay with the kids and we were ready to go, but he found out : ( early. Oh well, it was still a fun surprise for him and we enjoyed the night away (Brooke wasn't even a month old yet so things were still busy trying to figure out having two kids). We decided to try the smoothie they have there served in a pineapple ... as you can see we ended up with two... they were YUMMY! Towards the end of the show they asked those with birthdays to stand and we sang and then they asked those that were on their honeymoon or anniversary to step up on stage!!! We had told the people we were sharing a table with that is was our 4 year anniversary so they started pointing, making sure everyone knew, so we had to go up. They then had everyone on stage say how long it had been since they were married and then sang us a song while we danced!!! I think that was about the third time ever that we have danced, and our first where it was in front of an audience : )

Taylor really wanted a palm tree for a Christmas tree this year so one creative person shared her talent with us!!!! Lauren had gotten the idea from another friend, Richelle and Cole, to save space and money to make the tree out of wrapping paper! GENIUS, especially because she put it high enough that Brennan couldn't reach it! Papa and Gigi had so lovingly given us some lights which worked perfectly around the paper. My personal favorite was the fact that Lauren added presents around it ... did that mean I didn't have to get any ; ) We had plenty that were sent!!!!!!!!!!!!
We then Skyped with my family who were all together accept for Tod and his family. They all got a kick out of Brennan not wearing a shirt (he had his swim suit on because we were headed to the beach after). While were there we say about 3 different families make sand men and put a Santa hat on him : )
Later we Skyped with Papa and Gigi and saved the biggest present for them to watch Brennan unwrap. It was a WAGON! This is how we take the kids places now. I had several people ask if I wanted a double stroller but I told them our backpacks would work with the single stroller we already have. This is way better and Brooke's car seat fits perfect. Our neighbor calls her wagon their "beachmobile" so that is what we call it now.

When people told us that the wet months were coming we kind of laughed at them because living in Seattle area we had a lot of rain. Well, it's different here because the moisture stays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Taylor was having some serious asthma problems and we finally got to the root of it ... MOLD : ( We had mold growing on our walls! After some research Taylor found a solution of bleach and water so we gave it a try. This meant we were going to have to live in the living room for 4 days while we did our room and Brennan would continue to be there for another 4 while we did his room. Since then we have found it on our clothes in the closets, in the kitchen ... by now we have it under control and know that when the winter months come all windows have to remain shut : ( unless the sun is out!!!!!

We had been here in Hawaii for a little over a month when Taylor started having really bad pains that would keep him up at night. They lasted for about a week and then they stopped. We thought it might be an ulcer in his stomach or a kidney stone. Nothing happened for a long time. He had a few more flare ups that were worse than the first time so he decided to see the doctor. They told him it was because he worked out too hard and the cartilage was separating from his ribs. This meant he needed to take it easy for about a month and then he would be good.
Well, they started happening once again just after he started his new semester in January. This time the pain was like nothing he had felt before. He ended up in the ER 3 different times and all 3 times they thought it was something else. The third time the nurse, who was a respiratory nurse, thought it might be a blood clot in his lung so she sent him to another hospital that has better equipment. After a clear CTScan they looked at his gal bladder in an ultrasound and discovered an extremely inflamed/full (of stones) gal bladder. The surgeon made it to see him later that night and decided it needed to come out NOW! He was scheduled for surgery at 8:00 Wednesday morning to solve the problem once and for all : )
Everything went well and the doctor called me at 10:30 to let me know he was able to do what he needed with scopes so he wouldn't have very big scares. He did tell me that his blood test were showing he was jaundice so this meant there might be a stone that escaped and could cause problems. They watched him carefully and kept him an extra day (longer the 2 that were required) because your Billy Ruben count should be less than 1 and his was at a 4 after surgery. He came down to a 2.5 and yet they still hesitated to let him go. Taylor was so bored he talked them in to letting him go : )
He was home!!!! It was great to have his presence at the house but it was more work for me because he couldn't lift Brooke (who was 2 months old at the time) or dishes : ( He wasn't supposed to lift anything for a week but it was killing him to watch me do it all he broke the doctor's orders!
After 4 weeks he was back to normal!! He can do anything he wants now ... accept eat a lot!!!!!!!!!! He has to be careful with fat and needs to eat every 3 hours or he has a lot of acid, but other than those 2 things he is as good as new ; )

2 month and 18 month check ups:
I know Brennan was late for his 18 month check up because by this time he was 20 months ; ( but the kids are 18 months and a day apart and I was focused on Brooke not Brennan at the time. He weighed 26lbs and I don't think they got an accurate height for him because he got scared! That is a new Brennan, scared, says ouch to everything and acts shy!!!!!!! I hope this stage passes quick and I get the old Brennan back because Taylor has no patience for him : ( From what I have been told Taylor was the same way so no wonder he doesn't have patience for it, he is his own worst enemy!

Brooke weighed in at 12 lbs ; ) and was a champ with her shots!!!!!!!!!!! She didn't get a fever or anything : ) she was a tad bit clingy for half of the day but I can't complain with that!!!

Sara and Josh:
My sister Sara and her husband Josh were kind enough to use their miles to come spend time with us!!!! they brought their 2 youngest boys (who happen to be the same age as our kids) Jackson and Austin. They were here for 4 day in February and we enjoyed ever minute of it! We went to the beach several times, PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center), BYUH basketball game and ate and Kahuku Grill. I wish we could have gone more places but we didn't have a car to fit all of us : (
President's Day:
There aren't very many day Taylor has off of school so we took advantage of this one! It was a beautiful day the Saturday before so we enjoyed the beach. One of Taylor's past times is digging holes in the sand. He took one of Brennan's little shovels and began ... about 2 feet later he had one perfect for the little man ... he started again ... 4 feet later he had one for himself! By this time Brennan needed a nap so we planned to come back on Monday. This time we had friends come with us and Taylor brought buckets to dig with!!! They started with 2 huge holes and then decided to join them together. It was a big hit for all who walked by : ) and for Brennan and his new found friends because he has a "cool" dad!

Those of you that know Taylor well, know he has a passion for gymnastics and stunting. He has a friend here that has gained a similar passion and asked Taylor to be his instructor (Taylor has a hard time being called coach in this situation because they are friends enjoying their time together). The goal is to have Sone (the friend) ready for BYU Provo's team in January! There has been a lot of progress but now that he is in the off season for the squad here he has more time and an increased desire to learn. In so ding, we have made friends with several of the cheerleaders so at the basketball games they take Brennan and throw him up and do stunts with him. Everyone loves it even the camera guys!!!! there was one game he was spot lighted about 5 times : ) Too bad we weren't famous enough to join our basketball team in going to the national Championship ; ( Oh well! It was the first time they had made it past the sweet 16!!!!!!!!!

I had my first trip to the ER and a chance at getting stitches for the first time!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is how it all happened...
I was finishing up my workout with some crunches when Brennan woke up from his nap. He stuck up behind me and grabbed the 5 lb weigh I had behind me. He lost his balance and fell on me. Of all things to hit me, the weight did : ( thank goodness it was a rubber covered one! They gave me a tenacious shot anyway.
I thought it was just my teeth at first, but it was my teeth that cut my lip : ) I grabbed ice and text Taylor, who was in class. He came home after instead of going to a meeting he had. We hunted down a car and headed to the ER. The nurse asked "on a scale of 1-10, what is your pain". Taylor laughs very loud at that question now because he says I don't have pain. I said one and the nurse looked and him and smiled. The doctor came and looked at it and decided that no stitches were needed because the inside (which was the worst) would heal faster than the outside. The nurse cleaned it out and then put "durabond" on it and the inside was already closing!!! I couldn't stick my tongue through any more!!!!
It is all healed now, I just look like I have a whisker ; )

Just before we were to head home a friend of ours, Tori who is an RA, told me that there was a tsunami warning out and they would be sounding the siren at 12am and every hour after that until 3am when it was suppose to hit us here on Oahu. On our way home they sounded the siren!!!!! but it was only 9pm : ( And yes, it went off every hour until 3am!!!!! We turned on the news when we got home to see what more info they had. There were evacuation zones so we looked those up, and we were not in one!!!!!!! Plus we live on the second floor of our building so we felt OK. The plan was for all of us to sleep in the same room so if we did need to leave we were all together and it would be somewhat quicker to get out. It was suppose to hit Kauai first so Taylor and I got up to watch the news and see if things changed. Nothing had so we watched it hit but there wasn't much difference in the water so we decided we were fine where we were and didn't need to leave. As we watched and watched and watched : ) Oahu was hit but the water went 150 + yards out and the came up to the side walk in Honolulu (Diamond Head area). Other than that a few older docks were damaged a bit and that was the worst for us! Thank goodness!!!!!!!! A friend of our has a cousin that just moved here a month or so ago and they are living on a boat so they had to leave the harbor and ride it out at sea where they wouldn't be effected much. Crazy to think about but they were safer out there : ) There had been another tsunami hit a year before from the Chile earthquake. These are signs of the times and we can only be prepared spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally knowing we are doing what we have been warned and counseled to do.

Sharks Cove:
We had the opportunity to go with two other families to Sharks Cove. This is where our friends, the Browns, had taken us in September and bought us snorkel gear. We have been dying to go back and we did it finally!!!!! There was no school on Thursday or Friday (due to business plan presentations and a Hawaii State holiday) so after Taylor worked on homework for the first day, we played the second ; )
We were hoping to go to the same deep spot we went before but the waves were too big and we would have been thrown into the rock : ( so we went to the little puddle left from the waves crashing over all the coral! We have yet to get a underwater camera so no pics of what we saw, but hopefully one day we will remember so grab one of the disposable ones before we go.

Brooke's 4 months:
Brooke went in last week for her 4 month check up! She is doing awesome! Weight: 13lbs 12oz and Height: 24 1/2 in This puts her in the same curve for weight but she has jumped 2 curves for height (hopefully she gets her dad's height not mom's!!!!!!!!!!) Once again she mastered the shots. This time she got 3 (5 different vaccines) and she didn't make a peep until the 3rd which was the one that turned red the next day and the nurse said she would be the most sore with.

Brennan's dictionary:
I saw this on one of my friend's blog so I thought I would use the idea!

mom/mama (this one is for Gigi!!!!! Taylor would say mom, mooooom, mom, mooooom ... so she said she was going to teach the same thing to my kids but she doesn't have to it is innate, THANKS : ( )
nuk (when Brooke cries he looks for her pacifier (Taylor's family calls it a nuk and it has stuck with us))
ba bye
nigh nigh=good night
dank oo=thank you
guk or gukie=food
aguawat or wat (almost butt thanks to Lauren)