Friday, October 1, 2010

Back Update

I am six weeks out from having back surgery, and I would love to report that I feel 100%, but I can't quite yet.  I was doing great, incredibly well up to 4 weeks out, but then, like everyone who has had a surgery, I tried to do too much and spent an entire day at work then went to coach a soccer game and kicker a few balls at the goalkeepers (by a few I mean 5)  It didn't hurt right away, but I have been fairly stiff ever since.  The Doctor said that everyone does that and to take it easy for the next four weeks as well.
Keith is still doing as much as he can, and as much as I ask him to do.  The for me is just to ask, I am a do it my self type of person.
Today i am going to go and re-join the gym we belong to so I can start swimming Yeah!  I am very excited to get back into the pool, swimsuit not so much.  Rebuilding my core strength gradually is important, and swimming is a great way to start off slow. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nolans half birthday

I can't believe that six months have gone by already. What an amazing adventure parenting has been. I've learned, loved, and grown more in the last six months than any other time in my life. Being a mom had definitely changed my perspective on life. Happy half birthday Nolan!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The scariest moment as a parent so far

Tonight just like every night we put Nolan to bed in his crib. I wasn't very tired so I was still awake looking at facebook on my phone exile Keith was asleep. Nolan had been in bed for about 2 hours when he started screaming, not crying, screaming. I rushed in there to try and calm him but realized right away that there would be no calming here I scooped him up and immediately stared a shushing rock but he screamed and screamed. I couldn't get him to wake up he was crying so hard almost to the point of hyperventilating. Keith can running in he must have heard me saying "wake up Nolan wake up" through the monitor. I set him on the changing table and started to quickly take off his pajamas, now trying not to start crying myself I felt very helpless. My mind started to think about the emergency room and all the possibilities. I took off his diaper that had just ben wet and that seemed to help. That's when we realize that he has a small cut or crack on his (sorry to be crude) sack. He is still sobbing. I ran and found the aquaphor while Keith held comforted him and shushed him. What could we do? We found a spare of the old kind of diaper we used on him since we just switched to a new brand today. As I was running around looking for the diaper bag he peed again all over him pajamas but settled down a bit.
We are all in bed now. Keith asleep Nolan asleep. I'm wide awake terrified he's going to wake up in that pain again and knowing there really isn't anything I can do about it. Is this what they meant when he was born, " congratulations, you'll never get a good nights sleep again"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Montana Trip Day 1

We had a great drive yesterday.  10 hours in the car all the way from Arlington to Helena, MT.  Nolan slept from arlington to Moses Lake where I fed him, then I sat in back with him from Moses Lake to Courdalene, ID and kept him awake and entertained.  Then He ate again there and went to sleep all the way to Helena.  What a great little traveler.  He even had a great visit with Great Grandma Petrino at 2:30am he was a happy boy.

There was a great thunderstorm as we came over the pass last night, it was really neat to see.  I always forget how beautiful it is here.  Pure blue skies and 85 degree temps, there is nothing to complain about.  Tonight we are going to dinner with Keith's Aunt Kathy and Uncle Jeff.  I know that Nolan will have fun with that.
Tomorrow we are heading to Big Sky!!!  Another of Montana's most beautiful places, we might even take a quick detour through Yellowstone.  I lived here for 4 years and never went through it so that is exciting for me as well.  Then "Uncle" Karl will meet up with us as well as Grandma Jojo and Grandpa Ken.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sleeping like a baby...

When we got back from Washington family ranch we decided it was time for Nolan to sleep in his own bed. I was very sad the first night because I enjoy our in bed snuggles, but I did, reluctantly, lay him down in his crib. I woke up plenty of times that night straining to listen to the monitor, not trusting that it would really alert me to his cries. There were no cries. Nolan slept all the way through the night until 6:30am. That was a little over a week ago and he has been sleeping all the way through the night every night. When he does wake up Keith or I bring him back to bed for some cuddle time. Now, it's just matter of retraining myself to sleep all the way through the might. It's been a really long time since I've done that.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I can touch my toes

Nolan has taken a liking to his toes. Every time we are changing his diaper he immediately starts reaching for his ankle. Once he has a firm grasp with both hands he will pull his foot all the way to his mouth and start sucking on his big toe as if it were his thumb, making loud slurping noises. Eventually the pull on his leg must be too much because he will lose his grasp and his leg will snap back down. He is very proud of himself for such an accomplishment.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Assignment at Washington Family Ranch

We are in week three of our assignment and I'm having mixed feelings about going home. Something about Young Life camp is so special. When we are here we have such a purpose. Camp is "the best week of their life" for so many high school kids.

This session we have had life signs. Five of the people on our assignment team share their real life stories and how Jesus changes their lives. It is a powerful and healing experience that these people are willing to be so vulnerable and share their brokenness with 700+ high school kids.

This time they have also showed a video from, following that we invite kids to share something they have never told anyone. There are 3x5 cards available for them in the cabins and an anonymous box for them to drop them in. I am crying just thinking about the adult problems these kids have had to suffer. It is NOT fair that they have been robbed of their innocence and their childhood.

Today is Day 4 (the day that the problem of Sin is addressed). It is the day that a lot of tears are shed and a lot of hearts are broken. It is a hard day. We are stuck. There is nothing that we can possibly do to fix the situation. That is why it is called sIn. When we (I) come before God. That is what we saw today in the postsecret video. A world full of I. The Good News is coming tomorrow, but for today we see how wrong this world really is.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bath Time

Nolan loves bath time. The first few attempts were not so great, I think the water was too cold. Now he enjoys long warm soaks. He will splash the water all over the place if I'm not paying attention. We have even taken him in the big tub in the master bathroom. In there he can swim and float and kick. Once he even fell asleep. Afterward we wrap him up in his ducky bathrobe and cover him in baby oil. Bath time is fun.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baby Sunscreen

Sunscreen has come a long way.  I used to hate putting sunscreen on.  I still don't like it, but will tolerate it if it means I can avoid skin cancer.  I always hated the smell, and if would feel so oily, sometimes even burn.  So I looked at a lot of products for Nolan before buying any sunblock.
Before we came to camp I purchased two different kinds of baby sunscreen, one was Nutrogena pure and free sunscreen/ stick combo, it had a small tube of sun lotion, and a stick as well.  The other was Hawaiian tropic Baby sunscreen in a stick form.  The Nutrogena is a white pasty sunscreen, Nolan squirms and squirms when I put it on, I don't think he likes it much.  The Hawaiian tropic looks more like chapstick, it is a clearer looking lotion, and Nolan loves it.  I think it is the smell.  He will lay there and smile as I rub it on his face.  I know he is getting more lotion on with the Hawaiian Tropic, but I feel safer about the Nutrogena.  I just don't want him to end up hating sun lotion as much as I did.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Back Update

My back is not doing very good. When Nolan was 3 weeks old I tweaked it and it continued to hurt a lot, so I went and had an MRI done. It showed 2 herniated disks and 3 bulging disks. Just before we came to camp I had a cortesone shot in the worse of the disks and it really hasn’t helped at all. We are doing a lot of walking here, about ½ a mile down to the dining hall for each meal so about 4+ miles a day. It is great exercise, but I’m really stiff by the end of the day. I even have the Ergo carrier, and it is great for me, but Nolan isn’t a huge fan of it. I have an appointment set up for the 20th of July with the surgeons office to see what the next step will be. Malibu is from July 31st -August 7th and then Soccer starts back up a week or two after that. There will never be a good time to get this fixed, but we will figure it out. The sooner the better.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Nolan can hold onto a rattle now and even pass it from one hand to the other. It is really cool to watch, his main objective is to get it into his mouth, but it’s not possible with the design of the rattle. It was a great $2 purchase.  I also got him a small apple toy that he loves to bat at while in his car seat.  It is fun to watch him interact with the sounds and textures of the toys.


I think Nolan is having a love affair with his thumbs. He found his fingers early on and would shove his whole hand in his mouth, but just in the last few days he has discovered that he can suck on his thumb. He will thrash his head from side to side and switch which hand he is sucking on. Sometimes he even prefers his thumb to his pacifier. Speaking of Paci’s I just got some bigger size pacifiers and tried to give them to him, he really doesn’t like them, it may be the clear silicone, the others he has is the darker rubber, but he spits them out with a disgusted look on his face. Its pretty funny.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Young Life Assignment at Washington Family Ranch

We're at Big Muddy, I mean, Wildhorse Canyon, I mean, Washington Family Ranch, I mean, WaFaRa, I mean, The Canyon. This place is having a serious identity crisis I wasn’t sure what to expect for an assignment here, we have always been at Malibu in June. It is beautiful here not too hot, yet. The camp is huge so there is a lot of quiet and alone time, which I like. I’m able to just play with Nolan and work on some projects. We take naps in the late afternoon and stroll into camp for meals.

The Program team is doing a great job, their main characters are stunt men, and they have two other sets of characters, Mario and Luigi and also Techno Dancers. I’m really excited for the opera in a couple of nights to see all of the characters interact. Maybe I can film it and put it on the blog too.

Keith is enjoying his role as a Summer staff coordinator. He has been connecting with the college guys and helping them in any way he can. So far this has been a great little assignment for our family.

Is that Normal?

You can’t talk about babies without talking about poop. Recently Nolan has gone to a 5 day stool schedule. I’m not complaining, but it does seem like a long time in between. I’ve read that breastfed babies can go up to 14 days without pooping when they are in a growth spurt. They literally use every last drop of nourishment that they get. Since June 7th he has pooped 3 times...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Arlington Airport Run #2

I put on the second annual Arlington Airport Run on June 5th. We had about 100 runners, and raised about $2300 for cap scholarships. It was a stressful day, but I think we made some great progress this year, and learned a lot about how to make this a huge success in the future. I got to the course at 9am and there were runners waiting for me there so excited to get going. The race started at 11am and although we felt like chickens with their heads cut off, everything went very smoothly. I’m so excited to be able to give camp scholarships out again this year. Next year we are going to do the race a little closer to the camp date so that the kids feel a little more urgency in getting people to sign up for the race.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bargain Shopping

While I was in Portland my mom and I went to some baby resale shops. And while I still have a hard time with used baby clothes, I found some great deals on toys. We got Nolan an activity gym with dangling toys. We got a Bumbo seat that he can sit up in. And we got a bucket tub that he will enjoy a lot when he can sit up a little better by himself. Everything was more than 50% off of the retail prices SCORE.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Did he just roll over?

Today was a big day for Nolan last night he slept for 8 hours straight, no complaints here. We went to friends house who have a baby the same age and he played with the activity gym, smiling at the little cow toy that had a mirror on the belly. Then he actually started reaching for it with his hands and batting it around. What a fun new trick. Now tonight I just put him on the bed on his back and Keith and I watched him flip over onto his stomach. What a day! Nolan is two months old today.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The First Weeks

My friend Alison has inspired me to be writing more on my blog.
It is amazing that 6 weeks could have gone by so fast.

Nolan is growing so fast.  Here are some of our experiences so far.
Keith's family came during Nolan's first week.  Everyone enjoyed holding him a lot.  I just tried roll with all of the hormonal changes that happen in the first week.  I'm sure it seemed like I was being reclusive while they were here, but I was just soaking it all in.  Loving being a mommy.

We gave Nolan his first bath at home.  Videotaped the whole thing.  This one might be better if left on mute.  He screamed through the whole thing.  I was following the guide for water temperature, in my book it was not nearly warm enough.

My parents came the next weekend.  It was cool to see The Dzia (read: polish grandpa) wanting to hold the baby all of the time.  He can sure put him to sleep.  I was feeling a lot more active and we were even able to go out for dinner.

I threw my back out, really bad.  Couldn't even walk for a few days.  I was laid up flat on my back.  In the morning I would be able to pick up Nolan, but after a couple of diaper changes and getting the boy dressed, I would have shooting pains all up and down my back.

My mom returned a week later to help me with things around the house since I was so limited with my movements.

Young Life had a great banquet.  We raised over $7,000 for Young Life and over $3,000 for camp scholarships.

I am putting the finishing touches on our Fun Run (June 5th)  It is the biggest fundraiser we do for camp scholarships.

We are learning a lot about being parents.  What each cry means based on the sound and what time it is (when he was last fed/changed/played with).  Each Ayea-ayea he makes when we give him a binky to stop the crying is fun.

Just this past week he has started smiling.  We will get a big toothless grin when we smile at him, especially in the morning.

6 weeks ago Nolan weighed only 8'15oz now he weighs 12'2oz.  That is huge.  I have some 3-6 month gerber onesies for him that are already being stretched to their limits.  I cant believe it, and I really don't want to put him into 6 month clothes when he is only 6 weeks old.  Somebody screwed up in the sizing department.  Why can't they just label all of the clothes by weight? That seems to make a lot more sense.

I did get organized and I bought bins for his different size clothes.  I even returned some of the clothes Erin had loaned me because I couldn't get his dresser drawers closed. It felt so good to get "organized".  I was even able to set aside some extras that I am going to send with Alison to Ethiopia for the orphanage that they are adopting their son from.

Baby Gear:  I love my Bob Stroller.  It is HUGE to pack around, but it rolls so smoothly.  I know that it will be great for running when I am finally able to run again.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Nolan is finally here!

15 days late, but well worth the wait...

Here is an account of what I can remember from the whole experience.  Some of it is in present tense because I was able to jot down some notes.  The rest I'm just filling in now that I have some time at the computer.

We came to the hospital on Thursday night for a round of pitocin and meds to help soften my cervix and help dialate. Short story, it didn't work. We went home around 7pm Friday evening.

While we were there Kathie Schroeder came by with these awesome shirts made specially for us by a company called RowdyDow BBQ out of Chicago.  I guess they must have gotten a lot of calls from people who know us.  They are so cute.

Sunday night and Keith got me all checked in and hung out for a while.  For round two of the same process that we did on Thursday/Friday.  I was still pretty skeptical that it would work.  So, I sent him home to get some good rest. The hospital bed is really uncomfortable, so I didn't get much sleep at all.  And, right when I got checked in the nurse hooked up my IV incorrectly so that the entire bag of saline got dumped into my system in about two hours.  I had to pee a lot.  Every time I would have to page the nurses and have them unhook me from the blood pressure cuff that was going off every 15 minutes and from the fetal monitor that was providing a constant thump.

Monday morning.  4am  A couple of minutes ago I heard a crack crack in my pelvis it sounded kind of like a piece of plastic snapping.  I figured it was Nolan connecting with the monitor on a couple of kicks. Could he have just broke my water? 20 minutes passes and nothing happens so I write it off. Then I have a chance to get up and to to the bathroom. Half way there I start to leak but make it to the toilet.  The nurse had put a little measuring hat in it and the liquid that fills the bowl is very dark and murky looking. It scared me enough to call out for the nurse. She reassured me that meuconiun staining is normal in post date babies. It just means that Nolan has already had his first stool, and that things should start to progress soon.  That water was protecting me, now I can definitely feel the contractions. Will try to sleep, that was a rush.

530am No sleep, these are definitely painful.  The nurse gave me a small dose of pain medication and some Kleenex and told me to try and ignore them.  Not possible.  Once I get to 4cm I get to have an epidural, so that is the goal.  2 3/4 down hopefully I can make it to 4 before the day is too far gone.  Its 5:30 am now, so I'm trying to decide when to call Keith and have him come over, I know I could handle the pain on my own, but he will want to be here as a support.  I'll text him and see if he wakes up.  No luck, 6:00am I call and he is by my side in no time.

9am the nurse comes to give me the epidural.  She has to give me about 15 shots of "local" anisthetic before she can put in the catheter.  I had 12 contractions in the time it took her and I had to sit up really straight on the side of the bed.  It was really painful.  Now that I have the epidural, it is great I can't feel a thing, I've requested that they tuen it down a bit so I won't be quite so numb, I want to have some of the "real" experience.  I'm excited that I won't have to have a C-Section. I am at 5 cm now

11am the nurse just checked me again 9 cm! And, the nurse just discovered that they had forgotten to start the pitocin drip after they gave the epidural, she started it to try and get the contractions into rhythym. Now they are getting the room all ready for delivery, so excited this is all moving really fast. It's wonderful, not the miserable and painful horror stories thay I've heard. We are so excited to meet Nolan.

They have gotten the room all ready for delivery.

Noon, ready set get ready. The nurse told me not to push. That my body would take care of everything it needs to. I feel like I have electrical cords cords coming out of me in every direction.  I have the monitor hooked up in two places, the epidural lines, pitocin, saline, a catheter, and an internal fetal monitor.

1:00 Dr. Hoffman gets there and tells me that I can start pushing.  I start pushing, and also pushing the epidural button for more meds as well.  The nurse tells me that where they had to put in the epidural line it provided a great block for the contractions, but isn't going to help much for the delivery.  Great, I keep pushing the button anyway.  The nurse tells me that I need to push down hard three times per contraction.  I continue with that even when no one is there to remind me, it doesn't feel like I am making any progress.  At some point they tell Keith that he can see the top of the baby head.  He looks amazed.

The delivery is kind of a blur.  The last few pushes hurt a lot, most of what I remember is that they wanted me to push more than three times per contraction and I didn't want to.  I was mentally prepared for three and to bring on the pain more was asking too much.  I was telling them I can't push any harder when all of a sudden it was over.  There he was.  Gray skin and lots of hair, he is beautiful.  It took a little bit for him to start crying and opening up those lungs, but he eventually let loose.  Keith says he looked shocked.  They took Nolan over to the warming table and suctioned his nose and ears and got him cleaned up.  Keith stood by his side, but kept looking back at me with concern.

After just a little but they brought him over to me and let me hold him.  I feel like I can't even remember it much because of how much else was going on, but it was the best feeling in the world to have his warm little body in my arms.

The Doctor was fixing me up and I told Keith that the Grandma's are probably wanting to see him so he took Nolan out to meet them, then cam back pretty quickly so we could all be together as a family.  What a miracle.

Friday, February 19, 2010


It has always been a dream of mine to go to the Olympics.  The spirit and excitement of the games is something that I've always wanted to experience.  On Tuesday, Keith got a call and was offered two tickets to a womens first round hockey game between Finland and China.  We don't have any connection to either team, but we do like to watch hockey.  I wasn't going to let a little thing like work get in the way of this opportunity, so I called in a replacement and we left for the border at around 3:30 for a 7:00pm game.  What a night.  Keith and I have a lot of things up in the air right now, so here is an account of what happened throughout the evening.

• We got to the border and every lane was open, ZERO wait time.  It could have been the fastest we've ever gotten across the border.

• Our GPS has Vancouver maps luckily.  As we are exiting onto Marine Drive the GPS prompts us that we need to exit onto Marine Doctor.  (Dr.)  I would have thought that Dr. (drive) is a common word for the GPS to know.

• Against suggestions we decided to try and find parking near the arena at the University of British Columbia.  Expecting to have to walk a long distance, we were happy for find public parking about 1/2 a mile from the arena and it only cost us $7 for the entire night. :)

• The tickets we were getting were coming from Keith's boss and they were on a city bus coming from downtown so we waited for them at the beginning of the security line.  Celebrities like Matt Damon, Elvis Costello, Carrie Underwood all thanked us via prerecorded loudspeaker for supporting the Olympics and warned us about what we could and couldn't bring into the arena.  It was pretty funny.

• When Mason and his family came into view, there was a neat surprise, a couple of other area directors that are Keith's friends were there too.  They had been walking around downtown taking in the tourist events all day.

• Inside the UBC arena now, it holds about 6500 people.  Smaller than the local semi-pro league in Everett.

• At the Olympics and we have to find a souvenir.  As expexted, everything is pretty expensive.  Keith's dad requested a t-shirt so we poke around in two different kiosks.  Finally we settle on a shirt for his dad and a beanie that we will share.  Keith points out a little mascot stuffed animal "for Nolan".  We get all three.  When we get back to the stands the stuffed animal is the first thing that he shows to his friends. :)

• China scores first and the stadium goes wild.  Nolan starts bouncing around in my stomach.  I know he can hear everything that is going on.

• Keith gets a text about work and the fundraising situation.  Debating if he wants to think about that stuff he replies that we are still about $8000 from our goal of raising $20,000 this month.

• 5 Min later he gets a text back that a family (angels who have blessed us with their generosity before) has just pledged $8000.  Sitting with Keith's boss and getting that message at the same time was incredible.  They go out to concessions to get a beer and have a heart to heart.

• Finland Scores, all ties up 1-1.  The game is getting more physical and more penalties are being called.


• Finland scores again and Nolan Kicks me really hard.  Sorry buddy, I can't make them quiet down.

• We figure out that the campus has free wi-fi so all of us iphone addicts connect and start updating facebook.

• End of the second period so Keith and I run out and get a yummy Canadian hot dog.

• Heartburn ensues.

The third period gets really exciting with lots of penalties and both teams playing really hard.

• I am just trying to soak it all in.  I can't believe we are at the Olympics.  At the buzzer the whole arena is on its feet cheering for both teams and a hard fought match.  Nolan feels like he is trying to join in.

• We walk slowly back to the car and debate whether to drive downtown and try to see the torch.  We dont have any idea where it is we instead just decide to head home, it's 9:30 already.

• We use the restrooms at the grocery store we parked by and get some Canadian delicacies, Ketchup lays and Coffee Crisp wafers.  Yeah Canada.

• Driving back we can see all of the lights in Vancouver and the lit ski runs at Grouse Mountain and Cypress Mountain. Shaun White is winning his gold medal right now.

• What an incredible night, we both feel a physical weight lifted from us with that pledge of $8000 coming in.  And what a better way to find out, when we took a step back and decided to just have fun for a night.  Tears of joy for the provision that God provides.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So many changes

Life can never just throw one thing at you at a time.  It seems like in our lives there are always a lot of really bug changes that always happen at once.

Keith and I put in an offer on a house today. 
Here is a link to the listing

Now we wait to see if the bank accepts it.  If they do we get to figure out when we will move.  Before or after Nolan is born. 

Nolan is coming.  I have 26 more days until my official due date.  This Saturday i will be considered full term, so really anytime after that and he could be there.  Maybe moving could be a good way to induce labor. :)

We are still waiting and praying about Keith's job and fundraising situation.

Have you noticed a pattern.... WAIT, patience, WAIT.

Only one guarantee.  Our baby boy will be here soon enough, life will continue, everything will work out the way God intends for us.  Can't we just have a hint about what the future will hold?

In the meantime, we were given tickets to a women's olympic hockey game tonight between Finland and China.  So excited to go to the OLYMPICS!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Care to take a guess?

This is a fun website that lets everyone guess when Nolan will be joining us.  It only takes a couple of minutes.

Things you should know.
We are having a Boy
The Due date is March 14th

Friday, January 8, 2010

Week 31 Survey

31 week Survey

How far along: 31 weeks, 62 days and counting!

Total weight gain: Yes

Maternity clothes: Yes, I have 1 pair of pants that I wear everyday,
and one that I wear when I'm washing those

Stretch marks: Not yet. :)

Sleep: No, it has been a rough start to the new year.  I wake up at 1 or 2 in the morning every night and then wrestle to fall back asleep until 5, and get a little more sleep from 5-7:30.

Best moment last week: We had another ultrasound (pictures to follow)  It was cool to see the baby and learn that he is head down.  Keith looked pretty amazed by the ultrasound too.

Movement: The baby is kicking a lot, sometimes it feels like he is stretching and twirling.

Food cravings: Tums, Heartburn has been a problem :(

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: None, thank goodness.

Belly Button in or out: Still In, I'm not sure that mine will pop out.

What I miss: coffee

What I am looking forward to: More sleep and getting into the safe delivery time.

Milestones: Baby now weighs more than 4 lbs.