Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 21, 2011 - Rome Day 13 & 14

As sad as I was to say goodbye to Prague, the fact that we were going to Rome made me quickly forget my sorrows! I mean, this is Rome we are talking about: the Eternal City. As a history major, I have studied Rome more than any other civilization in the world because of the incredible global ramifications it did, and continues, to have. I remember my first passion for history started when I saw a special on tv about Pompeii and the Roman Empire. I must have been only about 7 or 8, but nevertheless, it impacted me in ways I could never have imagined! Enough about my obsession with Italy though.

We left Prague that afternoon via taxi. In Prague, the metro station is not nearly as convenient as in all of the other countries we toured in Europe. On our way out of the hotel, which had no elevator, I accidentally dropped my suitcase down the staircase. Suitcase number 2 was down and out for the count! We made it to the train station and actually made our train. I believe that was the 2nd time now we didn't have to wait in a train terminal for hours because we had missed our ride.

So, if you know me, you know I don't sleep in vehicles, like ever. I remember when I was super young and my family would travel, I rarely ever fell asleep. On my over 6 hour flight from the US to Paris, I was wide awake pretty much the entire flight. Something about those train rides though got me every time. I barely remember any of them. I would just hop on the train, grab my blanket, snuggle up next to the hubs, and conk out. This ride was no different than the rest. Our ride left the Praha Holesovice station on time at 1:18pm. After a lovely six hour nap, we arrived in Vienna, Austria (Wein Meidling) for a short layover. Just so we could say we had been to Austria, the hubs and I ascended the stairs of the station and walked out onto the sidewalk of the city. The wind and chill was awful so we quickly made our way back into the terminal. At that time, we stopped and bought some gyros. For the first time in my life, i tried lamb. It took everything for me not to think about what I was eating so I wouldn't upchuck!


Okay, so train arrives, we hop on, find our room, yes our room, and head out. This was not your ordinary European train; this was a night train. Nathan and I arrived at our compartment before our roommates. I had this brilliant idea, or so I thought at the time, to take the top bunks, which were not two beds up but three, with no rail on the side to keep you from failing either. Soon the others arrived into the cabin. There were two young kids, a couple ages 18 and 19 from Austria, and a brother and sister, ages 23 and 26, from Korea. We all had a nice little conversation and got to know each other somewhat. By about 9:00 though, we were all exhausted and decided to hit the hay. That night was the worst night OF MY LIFE! First off, something was wrong with the air conditioner, and as you all know, heat rises, so being on the top was almost unbearable. I had to get up several times that night because I thought I was going to puke from the heat. When I wasn't focused on the intense heat, I was so afraid the train would make a sudden stop that I would just roll off the top bunk, which could not have been more than a few feet wide. To top it all off, Nathan was on the other side snoring! I thought that night would never end, but it finally did and bright and early we all woke up and saw our first glimpses of Italy through the window. We were now only an hour or so out of Rome.

Getting ready that morning was interesting. You now when you don't sleep well and wake up too early, how you have the yucky tired feeling in the morning? That's exactly how I felt. The bathroom used for getting ready in was super packed and it took forever for my turn. Once I got in, the floor was soaked because so many people were improvising with the sink and using it as a shower. We got our breakfast, which basically topped off the crapiness of that ride: a nasty croissant with some jam.

Well, we finally arrived in Rome that morning, the morning, July 21 at 9:05 am. This station, the Roma Termini, was, I think, the main station in Rome. This place was INSANE. People everywhere. It was also a major shopping center. We somehow managed to navigate our way through the station. I remember trying to figure out how to buy our metro passes. When we finally found the "line" to do so, it was a big crazy fight. People in Europe DO NOT believe in lines. They just cut in front and push their way through. After what seemed like forever, I managed to purchase our tickets. From that point, we made our way down what seemed like something straight out of Dante's description of the black abyss of Hell. We just went down down down, saw a mother take her little boy behind a sign in the station to pee on the floor, and navigated our way through the maze. We finally found the right train and arrived at the station we thought was nearest our hotel.

By this point, Nathan and I were exhausted and super crabby. We had both gotten virtually no sleep that night and it was hot and sticky and we were lost-ish. So, a little lesson about Rome if you didn't know already know, Rome is famous for its 7 HILLS, our hotel being a top one of them located in the north eastern portion of the city. I remember getting to a stop light, probably the only one in the whole city, and just sitting down, staring like my mama doesn't feed me; dumbfounded! We started walking again, still in extremely bad moods, when this beauty just popped out from the middle of nowhere! I don't have any information on this church, but it was absolutely amazing!

Anyway, somehow we figured out where we were and made it to our hotel. Of course, it was too early to check in, so Nathan and I subjugated the hotel couches and played on the internet until check-in.

I think this is how the rest of the day went. We went up to our room, unpacked, walked across the street, got some AMAZING pizza (I think we may actually have gotten our pizza while waiting for our room), and then headed over to the Vatican. When we arrived at the terminal near the Pope's very own nation, it was quite stunning to see the gigantic wall that separates the Vatican from Rome.

We were able to walk right into the museums, no line waiting, thanks to a little bit of research we had done saying that if you go in the afternoon, the lines are non-existent. Thank you person who posted that handy little tip. We spent a few hours roaming around the gigantic museums. We even go t to see a mummy, actually, a fe. That was super exciting and unexpected. A few other things we saw: The Sistine Chapel, the Gallery of Maps and so much more!

The Sistine Chapel was very exciting but also somewhat disappointing. First off, no pictures were allowed; guards were standing around everywhere making sure no one was tempted to start clicking away. It was also very dark and extremely and, of course, crowded. We didn't stay for too long. ''
Following the Museums, which were about to close, Nathan and I made our way over to St. Peter's Basilica. This building literally took my breath away. Standing near the outside watching over the chapel was a member of the Swiss Guard. Talk about exciting!

We were able to enter into the chapel quite easily where we walked around and checked out some of the art inside. We then made our way over to purchase tickets so we could climb to the top of the basilica and even go up into the cupola! Because of the time, which I think was nearing 7, we were not able to climb the first set of stairs, darn, and had to take the elevator instead. The elevator only went so far though and then the ascension through the dome began! After what seemed like a million stairs, we made it into the cupola where we could look down into the chapel and even saw a glimpse of a session of mass! On the outside of the dome, the view of Rome was awe-inspiring! We could see so much of the city!

                                                   Mosaics surrounding the cupola!


                                              The trip down! Not for the claustrophobic!

After leaving the Vatican, we stopped and got gelato! This stuff was absolutely amazing and expensive! This was the start of our gelato addiction that still continues to this day. Of course, once we had dessert, we had to have dinner after, so we stopped at some little restaurant and ordered some authentic Italian food. It was pretty dang good. Nathan got the gnocchi. I had never tried gnocchi before that.

When we finally figured out that we had gone to the wrong metro station, we found the right one and this is what we walked past everyday!

Even though our day had started out rough, by that evening, although we were completely exhausted, we were also thrilled to be in Rome and couldn't wait for the next day to experience some more of this amazing city!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Moments and Milestones

This will probably be my last blog post for quite some time. I'm actually shocked and surprised I have been able to blog this much since making the transition from 2 to 3 kids! With school getting ready to start back up next week, I'm pretty sure any thoughts of freedom, let alone actual moments to think, will be all but gone. Anyway, here are some pictures of my boys and the fun activities we have been up to over the last few months!

Little "Pincy," as Carter calls him is nearing his 3 week old birthday. His brothers just love him, almost too much sometimes. At his 10 day appointment, which he was actually 12 days, Quincy was up to 6 lbs 15 oz and 19.5 inches long. Considering when we left the hospital he had dropped to 5 lbs 14 oz, I'd say the kid is going to chunk up pretty fast.

So far he has been a pretty good baby. He sleeps like a log and I actually have to wake him up, during the day, to feed him. Night time is another story. He is not awful, but he's not fabulous either. The poor kid eats so fast, he gets a tummy ache and ends up screaming for some time until he finally burps, then we start the process ever. He has been such a sweet blessing and joy and we all just can't get enough of him!

Carter is extremely curious about the baby, especially when it comes to nursing. When he first saw me feeding the baby, he got really nervous and yelled, "A bite! A bite!" He thought Quincy was attacking me. When I explained that this was how the baby ate, Carter proceeded to say, "I thirsty! A drink?" Such a funny little boy!

He loves going to watch Grant's t-ball games. Another little boy around Carter's age named Logan, took my little bug under his wing and the two play together the whole hour and a half we are there. Every night Carter comes home absolutely COVERED in dirt.
Carter also has quite the personality. He doesn't take no for an answer, but of course he expects everyone else to. He is talking so much and knows most of his colors now; his favorite colors are blue, green, and pink (he is my son after all). He's also pretty fearless, which makes me quite fearful! He's not afraid to run, jump, and climb just about anything. In stark contrast to his rough and tumble ways, the kid is terrified of plants! He won't sit at the dinner table if my flowers are in the middle and hides behind my back every time we try to walk inside because of the big tree planted in the front yard! Although he is extremely independent, he is still a momma's boy deep down and needs lots of snuggles and hugs, which I love!

One of my favorite things about Carter is his "Doofenshmirtz" voice. Okay, he kind of sounds like the devil when he does it, but if you know it is just his impression of the evil Dr. from Phineas and Ferb, it really is quite cute. "I love you" would be his number one phrase he does in his "Doofenshmirtz" voice and it is just hilarious! A few other things that he says, and melts my heart with...he calls Grant "Bubba!" Everything is, "here you go, Bubba," or, "I love you, Bubba!"

 Grant has just grown up into the sweetest little boy. He loves his extracurricular activities, which include karate and t-ball, and can't wait to start school in the fall! He especially loves to play catcher during t-ball and tends to throw little fits when he doesn't catch the ball! It's something we are working on!

He is the best big brother ever and loves to help me with both Carter and Quincy. His favorite song right now is, "I'm Glad you Came," by I don't even know who. His favorite show right now, which I could absolutely live without, is called "Bay Blade!" It reminds of a lot of Pokemon.

Grant is definitely starting to grow up and sometimes is even "too cool" for mommy. At the end of the day though, he promises me that he will always be my baby! What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Quincy William

    I'm a little scary in this picture, but I think the smile on my face sums up my joy!!!

In keeping with blogging tradition, I'm writing my birth story. What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't? Really though, this is more for my sake, it's much less time consuming to type than to write this all out in a journal, and less for your entertainment, although you are more than welcome to read!

Quincy William made his way into this world on April 28, 2012 at 8:25 am. He weighed in at 6 lbs 2.9 oz and 18 inches tall.

My whole labor process began that Wednesday, the 25. I went in for my weekly check-up crossing my fingers for some progress, this was, by the way, the longest I have ever been pregnant! The doctor came in and did his thing and informed me that I was at a 2 and 80% effaced. Although I was hoping I was at a 10 and was actually having the baby without feeling anything, I figured a 2 was better than nothing.

Soon after my appointment I started having some mild contractions. Nothing that hurt, and they were spaced about 30 minutes apart. As the day progressed, so did my contractions. By late that evening, my contractions, although still unpainful, were much closer together, around 10 minutes apart. Because of the baby's position, and because of how fast my labor went with Carter, my mom and sister, Carli, decided to jump in the car and head on over.

They arrived slightly before midnight and now my contractions were only about 5 minutes apart. They still did not hurt though and I was not having any other symptoms of labor. We decided to take a nice stroll around my neighborhood once they arrived, which, like I mentioned, was around midnight. After walking for quite some time, we figured we go to the hospital and have them check me, just to see what was going on.

We arrived at the hospital and took the elevator up to the 6th floor! The nurse greeted us and brought us back to a monitoring room. She hooked me up to the machines and then checked me. I was only at a 3 and 80% effaced! This was not going how I imagined. My contractions were registering at 3-4 minutes apart, but once again, still comfortable. The nurse came back in the room and said she wanted us to walk around the hospital for a couple of hours! Ugh...not something you want to do at 2 in the morning.

Nathan was starving so he decided to go grab something to eat while my mom and I explored St. Mary's. We started at the bottom floor and took the stairs to the highest level we could go several times. We explored the maternity ward, the main floor, just about everything. After the longest hour of my life, we decided to go back and see what was going on, which was absolutely nothing. The nurse checked me again; I was still a 3. I knew that I was not in "active" labor and decided to just go home and let things play out.

On a side note, while the nurse was doing her thing, sleep deprivation kicked in because we all got into joking mode. I don't know if I have laughed that hard in a long time. Being a huge supported of modern medication and technology, we had some good laughs at the weird things people do during child birth! I won't even start with some of the ideas we came up with!

Anyway, we headed home, went to bed, and that was that. This was turning out more like my labor with Grant than my labor with Carter. There was one huge difference though, with Grant I was in a ton of pain and crying for 2 days straight. I really was in labor. This one was merely wishful thinking and hoping!

On Thursday morning, I hit the gym and hit it hard. I was really hoping something would happen here, not to mention, I had this twisted fantasy of my water breaking all over the equipment at Gold's so that, for one, I wouldn't have to clean anything up and two, I could repay the raunchy employees for the lack of customer service! Unfortunately, that wish never came true! So, wake-up, gym, grocery store...what next.

By that evening, we were a little bit discouraged that I had not had the baby yet. I was still consistently contracting, and when I was active they even got a teeny tiny bit more intense than normal. The only problem was that when I sat down, they pretty much stopped. Another indicator I was not in labor. So, back to feeling discouraged. My mom had driven down while my poor father was still sick in the hospital. She was limited on time and had to get back to my dad. We were just so sure that those contractions I was having meant labor. She decided she could stay through Thursday night, but Friday she just had to head out.

That evening, nothing really happened once again. We went to bed and woke up nice and refreshed in the morning. I went to the gym again, made the workers uncomfortable AGAIN, they really thought I was going to have the baby right there, and then went home. Contractions were still the same. I can't remember for sure, but sometime around 9am, I think, I lost my mucus plug...TMI! This was a great sign though because with Carter, I lost it and popped that little dude out a few hours later. I think I went to the gym, okay, I know I went to the gym after. Carli came with me and we worked out, if that is what you can call it. Okay, so we came home and decided to go back to the hospital just to see if something was happening. For all I knew, and hoped, I could have been completely dilated and just one of those crazy women who didn't even know she was in labor!

We got to the hospital and the nurse checked me...still a 3. She asked us if we wanted to walk around and I said "no." I knew that it was still false labor. The doctor came in and talked to me a little about when I should definitely come in and what I should watch for.

We headed home sorely disappointed. My mom just could not stay another second. My dad had FINALLY been released after nearly 3 weeks in the hospital. He was still super sick and there was no verdict on what was wrong. So, my sweet mother packed up, left Carli, and headed out! We just knew that with our luck, this would be the night I had the baby.

On another side note, Nathan and I still had NO idea what we were going to name the baby. We didn't even come close to agreeing on anything. We had even given up on keeping with the "presidential" theme, but nothing came to us.

The night went on as usual and Nathan and I went to bed. At 3:14 in the morning, to be precise, I woke up! "Ow" was the first thing that came to mind. I laid in the same position until the contraction passed and decided to time just how closet these suckers were. Just 4 minutes later, another painful one came on, then 4 minutes later, another. I woke Nathan up and told him I was hurting but I didn't want to go to the hospital again. It's funny how things change from your first to your third pregnancy. With our first, Nathan probably would have jumped out of bed, ran to the truck, and with tires screeching, sped to the hospital. This time around, he just went back to sleep! I got up, went to the bathroom, came out, and decided that it was definitely time to go. Nathan got out of bed, we grabbed my hospital stuff, which was not very well thought because I didn't even have a tooth brush packed, woke Carli up, and headed to the hospital.

We walked in, got checked-in, and started the routine. Monitors, papers, etc. The nurse then checked me and I was at a 4 and 100% effaced. Yay! It was real this time, oh and about 4:30 am. She asked me then what I wanted to do, I replied, "Have a baby!" Right away, she got my iv hooked up and got my antibiotics going for group B strep. My contractions were really starting to get intense at this point, but not completely unbearable yet. The nurse informed me that I only had to finish off 1.5 bags of iv fluid and I could have my epidural! I don't think I have ever been happier. I guess there was another lady in labor in the room next door waiting for epidural as well. We had a nice little race going on to see who could finish their iv fluid first. The other nurse kept coming in and checking. My nurse was so great, even though I was loosing the race, she snuck and called the Dr so he would come to me first! Anyway, the anesthesiologist came in, I professed my love to him, I sang "Oh when the Saints go Marching in," as keeping with my epidural tradition, and was in complete and utter happiness and bliss within a few minutes. It was amazing! I'm not positive, but I think it was around 5:30 am that this all happened. Nathan was obviously feeling the effects of the epidural as well, because he wanted breakfast, so he headed out in search of a fast food restaurant near the area that served breakfast burritos!

I can't believe how the sequence of events have slipped my mind already and it has only been 4 days! So, either right before, or right after my epidural, Nathan looked at me and said, "I can do Quincy!" Happy day. This was the name I had wanted from the beginning, but he hated it, so I had just given up! So Quincy it was. I asked him about a middle name and we decided we would worry about that later. I'm not sure when we finally decided, I don't think he had been born just yet, but I remember Nathan saying, "what about Will?" I was like, "Ew not thank....wait, William, we have a few Williams in the family! Let's do it!" So, that is how Quincy William got his name!

So, skipping over a whole lot of nothing, Nathan came back, the nurse came in an hour later and checked me. I was at a 7! That was what I liked to hear. My water had still not broken though. The doctor, not actually my doctor because he was not on call, came in around 8:10 and decided to break my water. What a weird sensation. I absolutely felt a pop! Oh, I was still at a 7 when she checked me. Right away something changed. I told the resident I was feeling a whole lot of pressure. He said it was because my water was broken. The doctor then came in the pressure wasn't subsiding. I really felt like it was time to push. This was all in a matter of minutes, maybe even seconds, from the time she broke my water. She checked me again and BAM, I was complete! She looked at me and said, "I'm going to grab my stuff!" The nurse and resident then started getting everything ready to go. I was feeling some serious pressure now. What happened to my dear epidural? The doctor came back in and it was time to push. Immediately when I started pushing, the pressure and pain became insanely intense.

Somewhere within the first minute, my doctor got a phone call, which she took! It was a little odd because she was on the phone for quite a few of the pushes. So, pushing right along, the baby's head was a little cocked and kind of stuck on the bone. The fix, push harder, which I did! I could then feel the baby's head crowning, and I mean really feel it because I was kind of yelling and screaming a little bit... okay, a lot! That last push I though was going to kill me. The pressure was just insane and I thought I was going to rip open, that could have been because the Dr and the Resident were both...assisting me (tearing my woman parts to pieces)! Then, all of a sudden, pop, the head was out and the pain subsided. One small push and I was holding my sweet baby boy! Although it had seemed like I had pushed for ages, the whole process had only been 6 minutes! I remember thinking he looked so tiny, which was funny because Carter never looked that insanely small to me!

Side story, once again! Sometime during my delivery, in the first minute, before the doctor had to take her "super important" phone call, she was watching the baby and got all excited. I had told her how my kids come out basically bald, which she just couldn't believe! So, the doctor is watching and says, "Wow, he got A TON of hair! Like, a ton!" I was soooo excited. I could hear my mother on the phone in the background absolutely thrilled as well! Anyway, once he really started crowing, she looked at me again and said, "hmmm, maybe his hair isn't that dark!" Sure enough, he was my baldest of all!

What an amazing experience! Everyone, including the doctors and nurse, were thrilled and just as excited as I was! Nathan was snapping picture, we were all just so happy and excited. I did get a tiny bit nervous because it took the baby a few seconds to finally catch a breath, but then all was well! Did I mention that the second they laid the baby on me, he peed all over me! It was just the beginning of an uphill battle I have lost several times with him already!

It was so nice to just get to hold and snuggle him for a good ten plus minutes before they decided to clean him and take his vitals. I really loved that about this hospital. As a Catholic institution, they have very different policies. They did not take the baby away at night time, mom was responsible for diapers, everything they did, vitals, baths, etc, were in the room, with the mother, and they majorly promoted breast feeding! I really loved it all! We Skype called my mom, who was so thrilled to see the baby, but so sad she could not make it!

Anyway, that is the story and all the nitty gritty details! Later that day Nathan brought Carli and the boys by to see their brother! It just melted my heart to see my family all together! The boys just LOVED//love him too! Grant kept saying, "he's so cute!" Carter kept wanted to hold little man!

We got to come home Monday morning, they kept us an extra day because I was not able to get enough of the antibiotic for Group B Strep, so they just wanted to monitor the baby and make sure he was okay. Monday morning, they circumcised poor dude and about an hour later, hacked off his extra digit. It was definitely a rough day for my guy!

Now we are home, Grant and Carter are in Utah at my mom's until this afternoon, and adjusting to life. I can't believe how blessed I feel with the support and love my friends and family have shown. So many sweet presents and meals and kind thoughts! My heart is so full and it only continues to feel this way! Now FINALLY, some pictures!

Hanging out pre-epidural!

First time "meeting" munga!
Daddy and his boy!

My sweet Quincy's first bath! He looks so chubby in this, but he's really not!

My family!!!

Aunt Carsee!