Introducing Chase Kenneth

So we had a baby a week ago. I’m not sure if I’ve even been on this blog in the last nine months to share that I was pregnant. But with two kids, a growing business, and trying to keep a (sorta) organized home, I don’t have time for documenting their lives in any sort of physical way. And I certainly don’t remember anything unless it’s written down. So I’m going to do my best to keep up with their lives here so we have a record of these fun yet exhausting years.

Family photos to come soon! But here’s our little guy. Chase Kenneth Martin, born at 4:29 on 4/8/17. 7lbs 6oz, 20.5″. 

First up, Chase’s birth story. I could just say “read Paige’s birth story and it’s basically the opposite, minus the induction”. But if you want the full story, read on…

Staring around 32 weeks I began weekly acupuncture appointments with the hope of avoiding another induction. Fast forward to 41 weeks + 3 days and I found myself in a similar situation: no labor and a decision on inducing. My appointment was on Thursday, and I was given the choice of Friday or Sunday for inducing. I ended up choosing Friday because I figured it gave Greg a few extra days at home if we had the baby (who was not named at this point) over the weekend and my favorite two midwives were on call over the weekend.

In some ways this was much less stressful than a sudden induction like Paige’s, but it was also kind of weird. We were given a time to show up at the hospital on Friday evening, like it was a hotel reservation.

Friday, 4/7

10:00am Greg had gone into work as normal and Paige and I headed off to the first meeting of our new mom’s group. It’s a group specifically for moms of toddlers and an infant. Great way to meet more moms and have something on the calendar weekly. I was the only mom who had yet to actually birth the newborn, but there was a two week old and a five week old, as well as a handful of other babies between two and five months.

12:00pm We returned home and had lunch, then I had Paige snuggle with me on the couch for her nap. It was her last nap as an only child (dramatic, much?) so I wanted the snuggles even though I’ve been working so hard to get her to nap in her own bed. Motherhood…it just messes with your mind at every turn.

2:30pm I dropped Paige and Alfred off with Grandma and Jim. Once they were situated I headed home to a very quiet house. I finished packing a few things, cleaning up the co-sleeper, and just sort of walking around the house enjoying the quiet. It’s never quiet here.

4:00pm Greg arrives home and I jump in the shower. I couldn’t figure out if I should put on makeup and do my hair or just go in with a clean face. My induction was schedule for two parts and there were no plans to have a baby Friday night, so I ended up just going au natural.

5:00pm We head out the door to have a baby! I’m a little sad I never got to experience the “oh sh!t, I think my water just broke” or tracking contractions, but that’s just not how we have babies. We stopped by the gas station to fill up the car and Walgreens to buy bobby pins so I could pin back my hair.

5:30pm We stop in at a taco place and have dinner. It’s early, the food arrives fast, and we are done eating by 6. But we’re less than 10 minutes from the hospital and our ‘check in’ isn’t until 7pm. We look for open houses (the market is so crazy here there have been Friday night ones recently), but don’t find anything. It’s pouring rain so we can’t take a walk, and at this point I’m pretty bummed about the induction so I really don’t want to do anything else. We swing through the Starbucks drive thru to kill a few minutes then head to the hospital early.

6:30pm We arrive at the hospital birth center and check in. Someone just departed a room in the new wing, which has private tubs, so they have us hang out for a bit in the lobby while they clean the room. Things are looking up – I’m now 2/2 on snagging a room in the new wing and I LOVE spas/hot tubs/baths, so this is very promising. (The old wing also has tubs, but they are not in your room so you have to walk to / from the tub to use them.)

7:30pm My favorite midwife, Mary Lou, and her midwife-in-training, Dominique, come in to chat with us. At the appointment the day before we decided to start with cervical ripening because my Bishop’s score is still quite low (a tool that estimates the likelihood of an induction being successful).

8:00pm The midwives and nurses got their stuff together and I had the same Cook’s catheter procedure as I had with Paige. We had baby monitoring for two hours then we turned off the TV and tried to get some sleep. I was woken up for vitals and 20 minutes of baby monitoring at 2am and 6am. I had some pretty intense contractions but they subsided around midnight and I was able to get a little sleep.

8:00am After ordering and eating breakfast and cleaning up a bit, the nurse came in to remove the catheter. And then then Deborah (new midwife on call) did a quick exam and oh-my-gosh this time it worked so well! I was at 5cm and 75% effaced – major progress from the night before. We all agreed we were ready to go so they started to get things set up for pitocin. The one fun complication was that I had a reaction to the tape they used to secure the catheter to the inside of my thigh. I had a terrible rash on both inner thighs (I guess because I slept on my side so it ended up touching both?) that was actually quite painful.

10:00am And here we go… my least favorite drug on earth starts flowing. I had my hep lock put in (the fun IV that goes in your hand for all drugs to be pushed through), and this time they only blew one vein before a successful insertion. Once the pitocin was going, they told me to get up and walk. My nurse, Jenny, was awesome – she was ready to get this baby out so she didn’t let me sit around. We wandered the hallway back and forth for about 90 minutes. Because I was on pitocin the baby had to be monitored at all times. I had wireless monitoring, but we had a short distance we could walk for it to be picked up.

11:00am This is probably the time I started to feel some regular contractions. Nothing too crazy, but I would lunge, squat, or do forward bends (per Nurse Jenny) each time I felt one. We also decided that we weren’t super in love with any of the names on our short list and started checking out all the birth announcements and Christmas cards that lined the hallways. And that is how Chase was named. Five letters, monosyllabic. I was sold. (Like Paige’s middle name, Clara, we have a Kenneth on both sides of the family so his middle name was already set.)

12:00pm Jenny has me come in the room and gives me two different sets of exercises to do during contractions. The first I did for ten contractions, the second for three. I thought my hips were going to fall off during the second – that was actually worse than the contraction – but I followed orders and completed both.

12:30pm It’s like Jenny knows what she’s talking about or something because I went from talking or just lightly breathing through contractions to telling her I was going to start making animal noises soon. She suggested we call my doula, Jenne, because things seemed to be progressing.

1:00pm I got in the tub just about the time Jenne showed up. My contractions were definitely not fun at this point, but I was on a really low dose of pitocin (about 1/3 of what I was getting with Paige) so I was actually getting a 2-3 minute rest between each, which is night and day difference than constant contractions.

these times are all approximates because things get fun at this point and the last thing I’m doing is looking at the clock

2:00pm The nurses start changing the room to delivery mode. Brining in all the baby stuff, adding a pediatric nurse to the group, etc. This should have given me positive thoughts, but for some reason it really got my head stuck in Paige’s birth and I became convinced – completely convinced – that it was going to be another 12 to 24 hours before this child was born. It didn’t matter what anyone said, and they were all saying ‘this baby is coming soon’, I wasn’t having any of it.

2:30pm Jenny decides I need to get out of the tub because I’m sounding “pushy”. This center does not do water births (but they sometimes accidentally happen), so it was out of the tub for me and resting on a peanut ball on the bed. At this point I was in the fun transition phase, which I did not experience pain med free last time so it was a whole new level of fun. The center has since added nitrous to their offerings, which I have to say is awesome. I asked for it at this point and they handed me my mask. With nitrous you have to breath in and out into the mask (so you don’t get everyone else in the room high), so you do get dry mouth. I’m not sure it lessens the pain, but it makes you loopy enough to not care as much about the pain.

The room also starts filling up at this point. In the end, there we had a full house but I have no idea who came in when. I’m all about training, so I’m always fine when people bring their trainees along. For the actual birth we had Greg, Jenne, Nurse, Jody the nurse trainee, Deborah my midwife, Dominique the midwife trainee, and two baby nurses (not sure why there were two?). 

3:00pm I demanded an epidural and they humored me by starting the fluids bag (you have to have a full bag of fluid before you can get an epidural, and that’s not the quickest process) and calling anesthesiology. But they were all telling me that the baby would come before I would be able to get an epidural. And I was telling them they were full of it. According to Greg, there were lots of knowing looks and smiles shared among everyone in the room.

3:30pm My beloved nurse Jenny is off shift and in comes a new Nurse. I have no idea what her name is even though in the end she was nice enough and cleaned up our room and was on shift for several hours. But she came in the room and 1) wasn’t the anesthesiologist so she was dead to me and 2) started offering suggestions in a very annoying way. I looked over at Greg and told him to tell her to “shut the f*** up”. While he is a great birth partner, I don’t believe he relayed the message.

4:00pm The anesthesiologist arrives. Why anyone would want a job that involves sticking large needles in irrational women I don’t know.  But they have me sit up (which is not a fun way to experience contractions) and I get the first needle which is just a numbing solution for the actual needle that goes in your spine. It still creeps me out 100% to think about an epidural and the only time I have any desire for one is in middle of labor. He’s got the shield up (no idea what that is but I remember them talking about it during both labors) and is literally, like seriously literally, about to pump me full of the epidrual, when…

4:25pm I tell the anesthesiologist he needs to stop because I’m having a baby. I roll over on my side and…

4:29pm With the next contraction Chase Kenneth Martin pops out.

So apparently the midwives, nurses, and doulas who do this for a living know what they are talking about. I stand corrected.

While I’m so happy I didn’t end up with the epidural because I was immediately able to move around as I wanted and unhooked from all monitors and solutions, I had to birth the placenta and get a few minor stitches sans epidural. Not fun. They do give you a few lidocaine shots to help with the stitches, but frankly they might as well have not. I did get to keep the nitrous during this part. They would not allow me to take it home to use (for myself) during toddler tantrums though.

And with that we became a family of four.

Greg and I hung out with Chase for the rest of the day and Grandma brought Paige over on Sunday after nap time. She was very uninterested at first, but after about an hour she asked to hold the baby.

Greg is home for two weeks but that’s about to come to an end. It’s been so much fun to have this family time, though I’m also excited to see how our new routines shake up, get back to my business, and watch this little guy grow and see who he becomes. I only wish I could freeze time for newborn cuddles. Knowing this is it for kids is bittersweet. I’m over the moon that Chase is who completed our family.

22 Memories at 22 Months

Paige will be 22 months on the 28th, and since I haven’t written anything in six months it’s probably time to write down a few of her quirks, mannerisms, and general loveliness before we forget.

She used to say ‘milk’ and ‘bottle’. Now she just says ‘muckle’. 

Yes, she still drinks a bottle before nap and bed. I don’t have that fight in me right now. 

The way she’s says ‘hello’ makes my heart melt. I really need to get it on video. 

She started to say ‘brother’, and I think she gets that a baby is coming, but who knows.

She loves to pat to right where she wants you to sit. Which is usually not the eaiest location for my 35 year old, 6 month pregnant body. 

She has zero interest in opening presents this year.

She was not into Santa at all. We ended up taking a family photo in which she sat with her back to him. We may not even bother with this tradition in future years because there about a thousand better ways we could have spent 90 minutes of family time. (And I’m a total curmudgeon who has hated santa and the idea of santa since I was 3 years old.)

She wears size 18-24 months clothes – took a year and a half but we caught up!

She says 2-3 new words a day. They are always surprising as they are things I have no idea she knows. Yestersay I asked if she wanted fish for lunch. She responded with “ummm, steak?” Well okay then. 

She loves animals. Naming them and making their sounds are her favorite current activities. 

Book nerd! It’s fun (and exhausting) that she will now sit for an extended story time. She will also review her bookshelf for a good long time while she picks exactly what book she wants.

She mostly sleeps through the night, but she’s back in our bed. We’re hoping to get back into her room starting next week. We started with new fun lion bedding for her bed. 

She has been so good with the Christmas tree! All the breakable ornaments are above her level, and she made takes one or two of the safe ones off a day, but that’s about it.

She loves the Wiggles. She can sing many of their songs along with them and makes all the hand motions and dance moves. 

She’s uninterested in anything animated (another trait she got from me). 

She sings Twinkle Twinkle on her own and it’s damn adorable.

She says ‘thank you’ about 90% of the time. We just model it, don’t teach it, and I’m really amazed at how well this has worked. If you don’t say ‘you’re welcome’ quick enough, she says it again. I’ve read ‘please’ comes much later developmentally. 

She is really into the dog right now. She calls him Buddy and always has to know where he is. She loves to give him treats and insists that he follows us upstairs or downstairs. He’s in it for the treats she wants to give him all day. 

She loves to announce “poo poo” loudly when someone walks into a bathroom. Working on that one.

She loooves being outside and going for walks. She says ‘walk’ fifty times a day and will bring out our shoes if we’re not getting moving on her timeline. 

She likes to sit on her mini potty fully clothed, but has no real interest in potty learning yet.

She refuses any sort of bows in her hair. Sadness. 

San Diego Vacation Days 1,  2 and 3

We arrived in San Diego Saturday evening for a week of family time and a big family reunion for my dad’s side of the family. 

We rented the most adorable little house in Encinitas for our family vacay portion of the trip. It’s perfect – 2 min walk to park, 10 minute walk to beach or downtown shops/restaurants/Whole Foods.


The house has everything we need for a toddler (mat or pack n play for sleeping, booster seat, bubbles, puzzles, and other toys) and trips to the beach. It really was an amazing find, and maybe 10% more than an average hotel. But about 200 times better because we don’t have to take a toddler out to eat for every meal and there’s a bedroom we can out her in to sleep at 7pm. I’m happy to share the info if anyone is interested in the property!

Anyway, we flew down Saturday afternoon. Flying at 16 months is not fun – too old to nap, too young to care about screentime. We entertained the little monkey however we could. And snacks. All the snacks. 


We didn’t get to San Diego until 5:30 and by the time we got bags, car, and stopped at Whole Foods for dinner, it was someone’s bedtime. We originally got the house instead of a hotel so we could have a room to put her to sleep in without having to sit in the dark after she goes to bed. But her sleep is so bad right now we still sat in the dark on our computers in the living room, less we make a peep and wake her up. 

In the brilliant words of our good friend Jon: there is no such thing as a vacation with a kid, there are trips. 

Sunday was so much fun! 

Paige woke up at 6:05 and was a total grump from not enough sleep. Greg had some work he needed to get done so he could shut off for the week, so I took her to the park that is about 100 yards from the house. We were there at 7:02am.

After 30 minutes of melt downs I gave up and put her in the car. She took a nap for awhile while I drove around. The we hit up Whole Foods (trip 2) to get goodies for the week and for the BBQ we were hosting. 

Our friends Ashley and John and their one year old live in San Diego so we invited them to come over. I also invited my best friend, her husband and their three year old to come down from LA. Then my sister ended up being in town early for that reunion too, and since her kids are the same ages, we added them to the mix. It definitely filled up the casita! There were a few tears, but for the most part a ton of laughs and a great time visiting with people we don’t get to see often. 

I took no photos, but here are a few from others. 

Paige and Owen, with my nephew Oliver with his back to the camera.


Paige and Sloane, who thinks P gives the best hugs and kisses. 

Monday we took advantage of the nearby beach and had a beach morning. We packed up this fun cart with toys, snacks, towels, all the sunscreens, an umbrella,  and a cute toddler. We rolled her and all the stuff right from the house to the beach. 


We left our phones away to keep out sand and to spend time together so I didn’t get many photos. 


Our beach babe loves the water. We took turns chasing her in to splash in the waves. Like with most things, she has no fear of the water. 

We headed home to try to get her to nap. As usual, that was a failure so Greg took her to a car nap while I got a few thigs done. 

In the early afternoon we walked into town. First stop: kombucha on tap at the local vegan cafe. So tasty. 


We walked forever until we found a park to play in for an hour or so until it was late enough to eat an early dinner. 


Dinner at the fish shop! It was so good and they had a kids menu that didn’t have typical kids junk food on it. Yay. 


We walked back home and hit the park near or I rental again. I swear, day to day parenting is a lot of trying to figure out how to pass another hour. I can’t be alone with this thought, right? 


We got P down to sleep (or maybe we didn’t, honestly the nights all blend together these days) and I headed to the yoga studio on the propert (a little one room studio that I’m guessing they legally can’t call a bedroom so call it the yoga studio instead) to do some yoga. Loved this mat when I rolled it out!


Next up: Paige and I take Greg to Legoland to fulfill a childhood dream! 

Paige at 16.5 Months 

What’s going on in PC’s world, in a ten bullet list format:

  • Balls. She loves balls right now. She recently learned the word so she points out every ball she sees and her favorite toy is an old gross tennis ball of Alfred’s. 
  • Birds. We’ve moved on from dog obsession to bird obsession. She calls then “bac bacs”, which is her attempt at saying “quack quack”. It’s applied liberally to anything that flies.
  • Climbing. All the climbing. She’s constantly climbing furniture.
  • Stair fall. We had a little incident recently where Alfred knocked her all the way down the stairs. She’s fine, but it was scary.
  • Good byes. She’s said “Buh bye” a few times in the past, but the last two weeks she’s using it way more and she can anticipate the end of a conversation. She also tells Greg “buh bye” when’s she’s ready to go to bed so he’ll leave the room (input her to bed because at the moment that is the only way she’ll go down). #everythingisaphase
  • Nursing. We’re down to just before bed and in middle of the night. I wish it was nothing, I’m SO DONE, but she is not so I’m trying to be gentle with my weaning. You can read more about the rocky road it’s been here
  • Mimicking. She copies so much of what we do now. Hilarious and scary! If you squat down to talk with her, she’ll squat too. Or she’ll copy a routine we have, like putting Alfred’s pillow away in the morning, that I didn’t realize she noticed. She also likes to take wash clothes and kitchen towels and wipe down the floor. Obviously she’s learned that from me. 😉
  • Not sleeping. She’s teething and not sleeping and we’re just going with it. Hopefully her canines will break through by the time we’re back from vacation and she’ll sleep in her room again. We’d be (even more) exhausted if we tried to fight her sleep patterns so we’ve learned to just roll with them. She’ll sleep through the night in her own bed in high school, right? 
  • Dancing. This girl still loves dancing. She will dance anywhere if she hears a little music. Or if someone says the word “dance”. 
  • People. She loves loves loves people. I’m finishing this up while she eats her snack at the zoo and all she’s done in the hour we’ve been here is watch people, wave to them, ask them to pick her up, and climb. 

Fourth of July

We’re on our way home from another Fourth of July with good friends on Camano Island.

Because we had to time car naps and hope for not being up all night, so we left at 4pm. Before dinner and hours before fireworks. #parentlife

I just had the brilliant idea that I can blog from my phone, and maybe there’s a small chance some of our adventures will be documented!

So here’s 4th of July. Paige is 16 months old. We joined our good friends at Becca’s childhood home on Camano Island (about an hour north of Seattle).

The small town has a parade to kick off the holiday. And this year was a typical 60 degree 4th. Summer in Seattle starts on July 5th.


This is the view from the Holland’s home and backyard. NOT BAD.


Paige is obsessed with wearing everything right now. Including buckets.
She’s also into climbing into chairs, and was very excited to find this pint sized one.

Family photo. Because we never take them and I’m trying to get better about that.

Hope you had a great holiday!

Paige at 15.5 Months

I’ve done a terrible job of documenting Paige’s life. I started off strong, and have pretty much tapered to nothing. I am using the 1 Second Everyday app, which is super fun, but it doesn’t really tell any of the stories.

So, here’s the first ten things that come to mind about Paige right now, at 15.5 months. And a few unedited pictures. Because something is better than nothing, right?

  1. Paige LOVES dogs. She calls them “woof woofs” and gets so excited when she sees one. She points out our windows to the park all day saying “woof woof”.
  2. Paige talks all the time, and says a handful of understandable words: dada, mama, up (which means “up”, “down”, or “i want out of my carseat”), ball, Alfred (“al-bed”), grandma (“mo-ma”), all done, this (all day long she says “this” and points to things), thank you (some gibberish if you hand her something), and “woof woof”.
  3. Paige loves water. So far this summer we’ve been to the beach twice, swimming twice, and to the splash park. She has loved every second. At the splash park she was in the biggest sprays. I learned not to wear a thin cotton dress to the splash park.
  4. Paige sleeps. Sort of. I hesitate writing this because I 100% believe in jinxing children’s sleep. But she wakes up 1-2 times a night now, during a 12 hour period, which is light years better than 4-6 like we did for the first 14 months. (Literally 5 minutes after I wrote this sentence she woke up. WHEN WILL I LEARN THAT BABY SLEEP IS LIKE FIGHT CLUB.)
  5. Paige likes to go up and down our stairs on her own. She’s getting better at climbing down stairs, but still usually sits down and scoots if she’s not being assisted.
  6. Paige is a great eater. The only thing she won’t currently eat is broccoli. She eats meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables. I tried to give her some cheese the other day and she looked at me like I was giving her poison. If I hadn’t spent 43 hours birthing her, I would question if she is mine.
  7. Paige loves Alfred. She follows him around, hugs him, always is ready to grab his leash and give him a “walk”. He is coming around to her and tolerates her quite a bit, even parading around with her while she walks him.
  8. Paige weighs 17 lbs and 13oz. At her 15 month appointment she had moved up to the 7.8%. Quite an accomplishment for the girl who was in the 3rd percent for quite some time.
  9. Paige poses for the camera now and needs to see the photo after you take it.
  10. Paige does not like toys. Do any kids? She spends MAYBE four minutes a day playing with toys and all the rest of the day trying to play with real life objects.

Apparently I can’t add photos because I’ve reached my “plan limit” and I’m too tired to figure that out right now, but she’s really darn cute.

 

Hello There

Friends! It’s been quite some time since I’ve stopped in here. 2.5 months to be exact. Since then, Paige has turned one and started part time daycare. That’s right, I’m officially a (part time) working mama. I’m so excited to introduce you to my second baby – Small Bites Wellness.

If you are interested in nutrition and wellness, I invite you to join me on my new website. I’ve been writing articles for the last few months, but just this week I opened up my nutritional therapy services and shortly will be opening group nutrition classes. The first class is around nutrition to optimize fertility, which will be offered this spring. I hope to offer a general nutrition class starting in the summer, as well.

I hope to get back into the habit of documenting our personal life here. At the moment all my efforts are going into building a business (the paperwork! the technology! the headaches!), but I do hope that dies down eventually. For the meantime, here’s baby girl at her first birthday party. We love her more than words can say and watching her enter toddlerhood both breaks my heart and expands it daily.

PCPartyGirl2