Saturday, July 8, 2017

Riley: months 4-8

I have been terrible at keeping up with Riley's milestones. Our lives have been so dang busy.

1) Riley started rolling from back to tummy during her fourth month.

2) Riley was on breastmilk until 6 months thanks to generous donors and then started transitioning onto goats milk. She was fully on goats milk starting at 7.5 months.

3) At 7 months Riley started getting up on her hands and knees, rocking, and rolling from her stomach to her back on accident. She also started being able to sit on her own and preferred standing up in a walker or rolling around on the floor.

4) Rileys sleep has been inconsistent. There are some nights where she will sleep 11 hours straight, some nights where she wakes up once and other nights where she wakes up multiple times.

5) At four months grandma norman started watching both girls during the day and aunt Kim went back to work.

6) At about 7 months Riley really started getting interested in solids more so than bottles.

7) Riley has been in general a very happy and expressive baby.

8) Riley got her first ear infection and we didn't know because she was still acting calm.

9) Riley went swimming a lot and mostly wasn't phased too much to be in the water one way or another.

10) Riley loves putting everything in her mouth and chewing on her fists. She still doesn't have any teeth.

The girls on Easter.

The girls on the 4th of July.

Charli loves reading to Riley.

Getting an x ray on her hips since she was breech for so long.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Life Updates

I don't get a lot of time to blog with 2 kids under 2 but I like to when I get a chance because I've always enjoyed looking back. Life goes by so fast and with kids it is even faster so I often forget what life was like even a few months prior. That is another lesson I have learned with kids.. that nothing is a permanent state. They are growing and shifting so quickly that I can't get stuck on any routine for too long before it no longer works.

Life is going pretty decently. Charli's 2nd birthday is in a couple of weeks and we are going to have it at Jungle Jims with just a few family members. My mom and I are going to make her a Minnie Mouse cake and I bought her an adorable Minnie Mouse dress to wear that day. It should be a fun and relaxing birthday party so I look forward to that.

I go back to work the day after her birthday party and on her actual birthday. I am sad to lose my time with my girls but I am definitely ready to go back into the adult word and start working hard on my career goals. I have been at Nelson for 6 years but I may not be there much longer. I want to stay long term but unfortunately I am starting to feel like the companies priorities are on their profits and not their employees. A lot of the family friendly benefits are going away and I never get more than a basic 3% raise which doesn't really even cover the increase in cost of living year to year. I am waiting for my annual review in March but I have a feeling I know how it will go. I won't leave unless it's for the right opportunity but I can't help feeling that I could be doing so much more for my family so that Kyle can focus on goals that actually make him happy as well. He has been working at Nelson the last year and a half and they haven't really taken care of him at all either. He works hard and is productive but he doesn't play the politics well unfortunately. I feel like he would honestly be better if he was his own boss anyway. We are hoping he can get his real estate license and start looking at investing... assuming I can get a better job of course.

Charli is growing up so much and is a super fun and happy toddler. She is also an absolute challenge and is definitely testing boundaries but we are hoping that with firm and consistent rules that she will grow into a well behaved child. It's a hard balance because I want her to always communicate with me and to not hide from me but it's also important that I raise her to be a good person and to not be entitled. Parenting is so much harder than it looks sometimes...

Riley is also doing well but she is struggling with her weight gain and has also been sick. I am feeding her the same (if not better) than I fed Charli but she appears to just have different genetics and to just be on the smaller side. I think that it is okay but my PTSD from Charli not gaining is coming back so I worry. Just want her to be healthy. Otherwise she is meeting her milestones and is super happy and calm. It has been easier for me to connect to her and I think it's just because I've been down this road before and I know how short this difficult stage is. Charli I think was a bit of a shock so it took me awhile to gain some confidence.

Kyle and I are doing well but I definitely miss my husband.  A new baby takes away some of that one on one time for awhile. I feel like we have both been good at supporting each other through this stage though. He has also been sick for a couple of weeks so that has been rough. I really love my husband though, I honestly couldn't imagine life without him. I really feel like I found the perfect person to share this life with. We are also strongly leaning towards Riley being our last kid. We are really excited for our girls to get older and to start going on family trips and doing more active activities. We love our kids but it is a huge sacrifice to start over each time. I feel at peace and like our family is complete.

Anyway, most of my days consistent of feeding, changing, keeping a toddler out of danger, and putting a baby to sleep in a consistent rotation so it was nice to find a few minutes to update this blog. I was also able to get a work out in which is super nice. I can't wait to get back into a strict routine with diet and exercise but my main focus right now is my mental health and taking it easy.

Riley's 3rd Month

1) Her weight gain slowed down which concerned mom a lot.. 2) Riley got sick for the first time with a cough that would cause her to throw up. this was also scary to mom and dad. even when she was sick, she had a smiley demeanor and was super happy and chatty. 3) Riley slept about the same (usually one 5-6 hour stretch and then up every 3 hours after that). Once and awhile she liked to pull all nighters with daddy. 4) Riley liked laying out and kicking her legs and talking. 5) Riley enjoyed talking and smiling with Charli. 6) Riley started sleeping 8-9 hours in her own crib. 7) Riley went back on breastmilk only with the help of donor milk. 8) Riley discovered her tongue. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Riley's 2nd Month

1) Riley struggled a bit more with gas, but definitely still happy the majority of the time.

2) Celebrated our first Christmas with Riley. Riley got to meet my cousins and aunt and uncle. She got a lot of clothes that she hadn't quite grown into yet.

3) Started intentionally smiling a lot more and interacting. Could definitely tell that sometimes she was just bored and wanted to see new things.

4) Riley is sleeping 5 hour stretches at night still. Did occasionally sleep 6 hours and also had nights where she was up half the night.

5) Started practicing with bottles.

6) Riley had an ultrasound on her hips since she was a breech baby. It was inconclusive at 2 months.

7) Riley had her first blow out.

8) She loved her bouncer.

9) Riley started wearing 0-3 month clothes and size 1 diapers.

10) At her two month appointment she was on the growth curve at 9 lbs 3 oz (15th percentile) and 20.9 inches (9th percentile). Her doctor said if she was only a month that she would be closer to 25th percentile for weight and 40th for height.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


For awhile now I have felt an annoyance that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I've been stressed out about how much clutter Kyle and I have in our lives and how much stuff we just don't have places for or stuff that we are trying to organize that we will never ever use.

I stumbled upon the concept of minimalism thanks to Facebook and honestly, it rings super true for me. I have a long way to go before I can really say that I am following the concepts but I know that I definitely want to get rid of the majority of stuff we have and live a more simple life with only the things that bring me joy. I really do believe that stuff takes away your energy especially if it's just stuff you are holding on to and not using.

One of the first steps of minimalism is to write down why you want to become a minimalist so I thought I would start there:

1) I am tired of feeling overwhelmed by things all the time.

2) I don't want to spend my free time moving stuff around that doesn't bring me joy.

3) I want to spend less time cleaning and more time with family.

4) I want to buy less and focus my money on paying off debt so that we can travel and experience life with our girls as they get older.

5) Getting rid of stuff will allow me to focus on what is truly important in my life.

6) Less stuff = less waste.

So far, I have made very small steps but I have a long way to go. I have thrown quite a bit away but my intent is to go room by room until my house is completely cleared out. I feel like Christmas will kind of slow down my progress because we tend to get a lot of stuff around this time of the year but I will continually purge/sell/donate all the things that aren't being used and aren't making me happy. I will also strive to be more aware of the things we are spending our money on and try not to gain more stuff that we won't use at all. 

Riley's First Month

1) She was a super easy baby! Slept a lot and had to be woken up to eat. Sometimes feeding her was difficult because she would fall asleep a lot.

2) Gained weight like a champ - an ounce a day. At one month old, weighed 6 lbs 12 oz.

3) She was also a great latcher, great at breast feeding which was the opposite of her older sister.

4) Was amazing during her newborn pictures, slept the whole entire time. Was told she was the easiest baby.

5) She was super easy in the hospital.. had to do a lot more tests than Charli due to her being a preemie. Did pretty well with all of her tests except for failed a glucose test once. Discovered I would probably need to supplement again. Lactation consultant showed me how to use an SNS which was the best thing I have ever been introduced too. I am so grateful to be able to breast feed my baby and have a well fed baby that is gaining weight.

6) Her umblical cord fell off (Started to) at 5 days old, completely at 8 days old

7) Slept in mom and dad's bed. Much more peaceful when held skin to skin.

8) She grunted a lot in the hospital.. thought it was just her being noisy but apparently preemies have more trouble adjusting to being outside of the womb and will stress grunt.

9) Post partum was much easier on mom the second time around. no stitches to recover from and energy/hormones were a lot better. Riley slept most of the night which also helped with recovery as mom and dad weren't too sleep deprived.

10) We had amazing neighbors and family that brought us meals again.. really helped us stay on our feet.

11) Mom and dad were pretty restless but didn't want to take riley out with how small she was especially with colds/flu going around.

12) Charli didn't show a lot of jealousy with Riley and was very affectionate and interested in her sister.

13) Riley started to smile and become more alert.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Riley Kate's Birth Story

At my 31 week appointment, the doctor noticed that my belly was measuring at 26 weeks. He did an ultrasound and saw that Riley was measuring in the 30th percentile but that otherwise everything looked good. At 33 weeks, he checked her again and saw she was measuring in the 18th percentile but that otherwise she looked good so he decided he would just keep monitoring her to make sure everything was on track. He also noted that she was breech but wasn't worried that she would turn.

At 35 weeks, we checked on her again and although her growth looked stable my amniotic fluid levels seemed pretty concerning to the doctor. Normal fluid levels are 8-14 and I was measuring at a 5.8. At that point, the doctor scheduled a non stress for the next day to make sure that the baby was getting enough oxygen. He told me that if that test looked good that I would have to do a non stress test twice a week and that if they ever looked bad that he would want to deliver her to be on the safe side. At this point, Kyle and I were both super worried. We were worried that she was possibly in an unsafe environment but also worried about the possibility of her needing to go to the NICU due to being so early and being on the smaller side. The next day we did the non stress test and although my fluid levels were still low she looked great. 

The next week she still looked good for the first stress stress on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I finally felt her turn head down. It was super painful, but her movements were completely different and I knew that she had flipped head down. On Thursday, I had my 36 week appointment and the doctor confirmed that she had flipped down and that I would be able to be induced rather than have a c section if she came early. I was so excited because I had pretty much given up and been okay with the fact that I would have a c section.

Friday morning, I woke up feeling a little off which I figured was just because the baby was head down and starting to settle. At lunch, I talked to Kyle and told him I felt pretty off and like it wouldn't be long before we would be meeting her. I joked that she just needed to make it to Tuesday the 22nd so she could be a Sagittarius like him. Kyle also agreed that we would be lucky to make it to Tuesday. I had finally finished cross training so I joked that I could now have a baby. 

We went to our non stress test at 3 pm. Immediately, the fluids didn't look good. The nurse was really struggling to find any deep pockets of fluid and she was being extremely generous in her measurements but could only find a fluid level of 4.7. We were told all along that the magic number was 5. I could feel my heart racing as I knew that we would probably be having a baby. They hooked me up to the monitors to make sure baby was looking good and luckily she was although it did show I was already having some contractions. My doctor was called over and decided not to even repeat the measurements because after going through the pictures he could tell that the nurse had really tried to be generous and give us as much fluid as possible. He told us that he wouldn't feel safe sending us home and that it would definitely be best to be admitted that day. I asked him to walk me through the induction process because I was pretty nervous and hadn't had time to research it. He was super patient and explained it to me and then told me he would be seeing me later. 

We texted Kim and my mom to let them know what was going on and waited for the nurses to get us a delivery room. I was pretty nervous just because I knew that Riley was still on the early side and it felt surreal to know we would be meeting her soon. Luckily I was prepared to be admitted at anytime so I already had a bag in the car and was ready to go. We walked down the hallway to our delivery room (Room 8.. which we are pretty sure that is exactly where we delivered Charli). The first nurse was super awesome and handled me having a little bit of a breakdown pretty well. She could tell I was nervous and made the mistake of asking me if I was so of course I started crying. my biggest fear at this point was that once they started the pitocin that Riley would become stressed and need an emergency c-section. I was also afraid that she would come out needing assistance to breathe or have other complications. The nurses got my information, gave me an IV (after blowing out my vein on the first attempt) and then checked me to see if they would need to dilate my cervix. I was already 70% effaced and dilated to a 2. To me, that was already a great sign that we could skip one step of the induction. 

Pitocin was started at about 5 pm and my mom arrived shortly after. Contractions quickly became very uncomfortable and were right on top of each other. I could tell that I was tensing up and that I was going to delay my progress but I was also way too prideful to already ask for an epidural. The nurse came in and mentioned that the anesthesiologist on call would be leaving and it would be awhile before he would be back and asked me if I wanted the epidural. Luckily, Kyle agreed for me. I knew that it was more important that I progressed without a lot of stress especially for Riley and I wasn't planning on going unmedicated to begin with. Contractions felt a lot like when I had Charli but much more intense.. like my hips were splitting into pieces. I was able to get my epidural at 7:30 pm which was actually more painful than I remember it being with Charli.. maybe because I was already on edge. I was checked shortly after getting my epidural and was still only dilated to a 2 but 80% effaced.

The nurse during this timeframe wasn't my favorite as she was super serious and didn't really interact with us much. I had a really hard time with heartburn at this point since I hadn't eaten all day so at one point I was given a medication to help and it was awful... it burned the entire time I drank it and pretty much made the heart burn worse. My mom and Kyle were able to sleep for a little bit and although I tried to rest, the constant interruptions and me having anxiety already kept me awake for most of the night. I was checked again at 10 pm and was dilated to a 3 and 90% effaced with baby at -2 station now. I felt like it was going to be a really long night at this point. I do remember feeling like once I got to a 5 that it would progress super fast though just like my labor had with Charli.

At 12:45 am I was dilated to a 5, 100% effaced and the baby was still at -2 station. I was starting to feel contractions on just one side of my body which was pretty painful but something I could handle since it wasn't on both sides and it was probably still not the full effect due to the epidural. Kyle helped by putting a lot of counter pressure on my hip and eventually I was able to get it to calm down. I remember telling Kyle and my mom that I just wanted her to come out screaming and healthy and that's what I kept focusing on. I remember Kyle reassuring me throughout the night that everything was going to be okay. At this point, they were talking about breaking my water but there wasn't a doctor available to do it. The plan was to have the onsite doctor come and break it after he was done with a c section. Riley's monitor had looked awesome the whole entire labor so far so I was feeling reassured that she was strong.

At 2:45 am I was dilated to a 7, baby was at -1 station and the nurse could feel my water bag. I liked my new nurse as she was a lot more laid back and friendly. In the next hour or so, we found out that the other two babies that were being monitored that night were showing signs of distress. The problem with this is that Riley also needed a special care team in the room during her delivery in case she came out in distress. They decided not to break my water at this point because the other two babies were probably going to need to be delivered first. The nurses did come into the room and start setting up for delivery just so they would be ready if things progressed quickly.

At 3:45 am as I was trying to relax I felt my water break on it's own. I knew at that point that she was going to be born super quick. The nurse came into the room and checked me and saw that I was dilated to a 9 and that baby was at 0 station. She checked me again at 4:00 am and saw that I was dilated to a 10 and went to call my doctor. luckily, he lived 5 minutes away because I knew that with Riley being a smaller size that she was going to be born super quick. I remember asking the nurse if they could catch her if she happened to come on her own because I was super worried my doctor wouldn't make it in time.

My doctor arrived about 10 minutes later and joked about how these things always happened at 4 am and that he had run a red light and parked illegally to get here. I felt pretty relaxed at this time and although I was nervous, I was definitely ready to meet my baby girl. I had about 7 people in the room all watching just in case she had any issues. My nurse had explained that they would do everything they could to let me hold her right away as long as she was healthy. At this point, my contractions weirdly slowed down which could have been because the baby was so low and they were having trouble keeping the contraction monitor on me. This had been an issue all night long whenever I switched sides. My first contraction hit and I was able to push 3 times and feel her crowning. My epidural was amazing during this labor as I wasn't in pain but I could feel a lot and I could feel everything when I was pushing. The doctor told me I could feel my baby's head if I wanted to and I reached down and felt her hair. I asked the doctor if he thought I would have to have an episiotomy again and he told me he didn't think I would have to. My next contraction hit, I pushed once, and Riley was born at 4:30 am on November 19, 2016 and immediately started crying. My first thought when I looked down was that she was so beautiful and so tiny. She was immediately placed on me and she calmed down and just started at me like a little owl. I talked to her and told her how beautiful she was while the doctor worked on delivering my placenta. 

During recovery, I breastfed her right away as she was immediately acting like she was hungry. She was great at latching which I also found amazing for how early she was. Eventually after an hour or so I allowed the nurses to take her and weigh her. I had guessed ahead of time that I thought she would be 17 inches long and weight about 5 lbs 3 oz. She was 17 inches long, and 5 lbs 4 oz. She had an Apgar of 8 to 9 and had a head of dark hair. Dad and grandma were able to hold her during recovery. 

She did great at the hospital and passed most of her tests with flying colors. She is tiny and so she had needed extra help with supplementation to help her gain weight while my milk has been coming in. Other then that, she has been amazing and been a super calm baby so far and she eats like a champ as long as I can wake her up enough to eat. We are so grateful and so blessed to have such a healthy baby as early as we did and we couldn't imagine our lives without her. Charli has really taken to her and is handling her presence well. I have been recovering well so far and feel a lot more confident with a newborn this time around. We can't wait to watch this little one grow and get stronger and gain weight so she can keep up with her older sister. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

End of Summer Updates

I am not too great at updating this blog anymore. Anyway, this summer has flown by. Between being pregnant and working full time I don't really feel like I've had a lot of moments to just rest. We took a trip to Park City for our anniversary at the beginning of June with just Kyle and I and that was a blast. It was also super weird leaving Charli behind and we really didn't know what to do with all the extra free time. We went out to eat, saw a comedy show, went to a movie, went hiking and went swimming but it still felt like we had a ton of extra free time and we were constantly showing up too early to things ha ha.

We also went to California for a week at the end of June (family trip) and that was great. We found out the gender of the baby right before so we were able to announce on the beach. Found out we are having another sweet baby girl and we couldn't be more excited. Charli loved the beach and did so well in the car considering we drove straight through both ways. She really only had one miniature meltdown on the way back but I thought that was awesome considering how long she had to sit. We did stop more often then we would have without here but mostly just to give her a break to get out and walk around. At one point on the way back we stopped in cedar city just so she could play with rocks ha ha.

Charli pretty much has all of her teeth now. They all came in at once but it really wasn't too traumatic when it happened. I kept waiting for the horrors of teething to hit and they never really did. She is also consistently sleeping 11 hours at night which is great for mom and dad. She is learning limits right now and constantly testing mom and dad. I feel like we are handling it pretty well though as we try to stay calm and talk through things with her. Some days Kyle is more patient and other days I am but are goal is to make it so she always feels like she can communicate with us even if we have to say no. She is absolutely amazing and so smart. She is constantly picking up on new words, loves her books and is such a dare devil. I couldn't be more proud to have the stubborn child that I do because I can tell she is going to be such a strong personality as she gets older.

I am 25 1/2 weeks pregnant today and I am feeling pretty good. I feel this baby a lot more than Charli due to my placenta being posterior so I really haven't had any anxiety or worries about her. She is super busy and constantly rolling around and kicking me. I did have some hip pain for a bit that seems to have gone away for now and the heartburn started but cutting out sugar seemed to help a lot. I've been trying to do yoga frequently to keep my back and hips aligned and that really seems to help. I know that I am probably about to get super uncomfortable but for now I am just really enjoying being pregnant and creating another miracle. It amazes me that in just 3 short months or so we will have a newborn again. Right now I am nesting like crazy and getting everything ready. I definitely haven't been able to rest as much this pregnancy but I am hoping that recovery will be easier since I've been a lot more active. We have decided to name baby #2 Riley Kate. I can't wait to see how she is similar to Charli and how she is different.

Anyway, that is just a quick snap shot of what has been going on in our lives. :)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Updates for the Norman Family

I feel so behind on blogging. I really enjoy when I take the time to do it but life is just busy busy and my toddler tends to be even more busy.

Charli really has developed quite the personality. She started walking at about 14 months and has just gotten faster and faster. She doesn't crawl at all anymore and is constantly on the move. She is so happy, loud and bossy and she has definitely started having temper tantrums as she experiences her emotions. She still naps a couple of times a day and sleeps pretty good at night.. most nights. She also finally got one tooth to break through and I am pretty sure a ton will soon follow.

One of many silly faces.

So dang happy to be with mom. <3 p="">
Eating watermelon at the park on Mom's birthday.

Exploring the hospital when mom was there for a really bad cold.

I love her so much and I am so lucky to be her mommy even on days where it can feel more difficult. She has become so much more fun though now that she is so interactive and I love getting to show her new experiences as she grows up.

Charli also had some exciting news to share recently:
She is going to be a big sister come this December. :) I am currently 12 1/2 weeks pregnant and it has been a rough go this time. I have definitely experienced a lot more morning sickness and fatigue this time and chasing a toddler around in the midst of it has been difficult. I am extremely blessed to have a loving husband who has stepped up in every way to make sure both of his girls are well taken care of and for that I am forever grateful. He really is the best partner I could have ever asked for.

We find out the gender in two weeks and I am so excited to find out if our next baby will be a baby brother or baby sister. I honestly have no idea. Kyle is very confident that I am carrying a little boy and at times I feel that I agree, but I haven't been 100% sure. I guess I would lean more towards girl because boy just hasn't felt right and that's how I felt with Charli.. but I can't say I am one of those moms who just knows. I just want a healthy baby and so far everything looks great and the baby is measuring perfectly. This will more than likely be our last child since Kyle and I would like a smaller family so we  can do more family trips and it's just easier to handle financially. We also want to be super close to our kids and be able to give them a lot of one on one attention. Let's face it.. parenting is hard and although we love our baby we can't wait to have older kids who we can do more with.

We are going to California for a week right after we find out the gender and plan on doing a beach announcement of sorts so I will try to update the blog when we get back and share our adventures. 

Memories With Charli: 12th Month

1) Charli was very busy and was getting into everything she wasn't supposed to.

2) Charli fell and lost her balance a lot as she was getting used to pulling herself up on her feet.

3) Charli had a severe sleep regression since she liked to wake up in the middle of the night and practice crawling as well as playing with toys.

4) Charli graduated to a convertible car seat.

5) Charli went to the midway ice castles with mom and dad. She got to meet Anna and Elsa.

6) Charli started sitting in the grocery store cart instead of in her car seat. She always had to be holding something.

7) Charli had her smash cake pictures and although she was a bit grumpy (8 am was too early for pictures) they turned out really well and she loved her cake.

8) Charli celebrated her first birthday: frozen style. She slept through some of her birthday and had a cold, but she had a blast when she woke up and enjoyed all of her new toys and all the yummy food. Charli's aunt Danielle made her official smash cake for her pictures and it was a beautiful cake. Mom made her birthday cake with love and it wasn't pretty lol.

Visiting the ice castles with mom and dad

Family pictures for her 1 year

My beautiful 1 year old.

Being timid.. look at that beautiful cake!

One more from fotofly :)

Her actual birthday

Mom's ugly cake made with love.

The slide she got for her birthday.

Charli and her cousin Mason :)

Decorations and food

First time sitting in the cart at the grocery store