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

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Memories with Charli: 11th Month

1) Charli went on her first plane ride to California for Christmas. She did amazing on the plane and didn't cry. She enjoyed smiling and clapping and was happy to interact with any stranger. She refused to sleep on the plane so by the time we got to the airport she was so exhausted she immediately passed out in her car seat in the stroller.

2) She did amazing in California and loved all the attention that she got from her grandparents, cousins, great grandparents, and great aunt and uncle. She stayed up super late every night and didn't sleep too great since she shared a room with mom and dad but she was pretty happy and content.

3) She got a lot of gifts for Christmas and wasn't quite sure what to do with them. She mostly seemed overwhelmed by them. She loved her ball pit and stackers.

4) Charli started to learn how to wave and got much more interactive and started to mimic people's facial expressions more and more. She was extremely social and loved being around a ton of people as long as she wasn't tired.

5) Charli still did not have any teeth.

6) Charli started to enjoy her bottles less and less and demand more solid food.

7) Charli started to whine and have temper tantrums a lot more frequently (not mom and dad's most favorite thing).

8) Charli got to see the ocean for the first time on Christmas day and take pictures with the family. She also got to experience being a part of an escape room even though she ended up falling asleep in dad's arms.

9) Charli started to army "scoot" around and was close to crawling.. just wouldn't use her legs.

10) Four days before Charli turned 11 months, she started crawling.

11) On New Year's Eve, Charli went sledding but mostly just slept the entire time. 

Charli and Mama at the beach.

Charli and Daddy at the beach.

Christmas morning.. tons of gifts and all she wanted was that candy cane.

Christmas Eve dinner with uncle Ryan.

Getting on the plane with mom and great grandma.

Outside with daddy in the snow.

Norman family Christmas party with her cousins Mason and Chloe.

11 months and so active.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Memories with Charli: 10th Month

1) Charli got really sick the week of Thanksgiving. She had pneumonia, had a 103 degree fever, and was extremely dehydrated. She had to get an IV for fluids at the doctor and mom and dad had to feed her by syringe until she started feeling better. She initially lost half a pound but quickly made it up when she started feeling better.

2) Charli had her first thanksgiving but was pretty tired because she was still recovering from being sick. She was pretty happy still though but was more interested in making a mess of her food than eating it. She did love the deserts of course though.

3) Charli started to show signs of crawling and would get up on her knees but then fall over onto her head.

4) Charli definitely became more clingy and loved being carried around by mom and dad. She made sure we knew that she wanted this at all times.

5) You couldn't eat a meal alone anymore. Charli remained interested in all food and had to have her share.

6) Charli would clap on command and started to high five her dad.

7) Charli had Christmas pictures taken and did awesome considering she was up all night the night before.

8) Charli continued to sleep pretty well with a rough night here and there.

Being silly with mom :)

Rolling everywhere.

Beautiful baby blues.

IV at the doctors.

Stylish baby.

Sitting in front of the christmas tree.

Time with daddy on thanksgiving.

One of Charli's Christmas pictures

Another of Charli's christmas pictures.

Charli at 10 months.