Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Erik's Birthday

What a great day! Pedar left early this morning to go skiing with his good friend Kealii. He had really wanted to go before Christmas, but Erik and Casey took turns getting sick and that deleted all of our personal plans.

I took it slow this morning, got the kids off to daycare a bit late. I wanted to have a fun breakfast time with the boys. I got them all settled, worked for awhile and then I went and had a honey dip!!! I've had a gift certificate for a Honey Dip at Esthetics by Jeanette for quite awhile now just begging to be used. I thought, what better day to treat myself to some "me" time than on my gugga's first birthday?!!! Last year I was in labor on this day and this year I am being pampered! I mean, I did survive an entire year with two kids. I should have spent the entire day at the spa and shopping for the kindle, tiffany box and digital camera that wasn't in my stocking!!

It was the most perfect hour I have had in a lonnnggg time. I felt brand new after my honey dip. I was ready to pick up my boys and celebrate! I had Erik's adorable little carrot cake and another larger carrot cake for the rest of us to enjoy. It is a tradition to buy a huge number balloon on Casey's birthday, so I went and got Erik a huge number one balloon today.

Kekoa and Claire came  over and we hung out and played and then Kealii and Pedar got back from skiing. We had a yummy dinner and sang to our little birthday boy. He really liked the frosting on the cake. The birthday boy then had a bath and was whisked off to bed.

Good night my adorable little man. I look forward to seeing you in the morning. I have this feeling that you are getting cuter right this very minute!!

Happy 1st Birthday, Erik!

My little sack of sugar is one-years-old today! Erik has such a sweet temperament.  He is almost twenty pounds and currently has four teeth and a gorgeous head of curly hair. He has the most beautiful blue eyes with  eyelashes that most women would give anything to have. He isn't walking yet, but he is cruising around holding on to furniture and has stood up all by himself for a minute or walking is coming along.

Erik loves: Casey, Curly, his pacifier, his lamb blankie, his folks and of course being held. He loves to drop food off of his highchair. He loves bath time. He loves to go for walks in his stroller and he likes going for bike rides in his special little seat. He loves to play in Casey's room. He loves music, he likes to dance and he likes being tickled!

Erik's nicknames: Gugga, buddy, brotha and sack of sugar.

I went into labor around 1 a.m. on Dec. 29th, but the contractions kept stopping. I walked around and I did some stretching. I felt better, so I went back to bed, only to get up and walk around  again at 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. We finally called the grandparents around 8 a.m. and let them know Erik might be arriving today. Mor-Mor and Nana came over to hang out with Casey and join me for walks. I walked my neighborhood all morning and most of the afternoon. I circled El Camino High School's track several times and climbed the bleachers. I even went for a ride on the swings. Finally, at around 5 p.m. my contractions started to get more intense. It was finally time to head to the hospital. I avoided going to the hospital too early, because my goal was to avoid another c-section. 

After about 13 hours of labor with Casey, I had an emergency c-section. I felt like I failed after my c-section, it wasn't rational, I definitely had some postpartum depression, but that is how I felt. When I became pregnant with Erik,  I knew I wanted to try and have a different birth experience.

When we arrived to the hospital I found out I was 4cm dilated!! We called our Mom's and told them to come on down and hang out with us. I walked the halls, bounced on the birthing ball, but my contractions would not stay together. I did not want pitocin, I had had that with Casey and then I couldn't manage my contractions and then my epidural didn't work. My labor with Casey was a mess.

With Erik, I really wanted to try and have a drug free birth. I didn't even have an IV  attached to me. I just had a hep lock. By 10 p.m., not much had changed. Everyone was getting tired. We sent the Mom's home and told them we would call if my labor took off. At 11:30 p.m. my doctor decided to break my water. All of a sudden, I was in CRAZY labor. Pedar said I never opened my eyes after they broke my water. Next thing I knew I was pushing. I remember thinking, "I'm doing it! I'm having my baby!" I felt pain, but it was mostly manageable.  At one point I did want relief, but it was too late. After about 45 minutes of pushing, my doctor said, "Reach down and get your baby, Nora." I reached down and felt his tiny armpits and lifted him onto my chest. I will never forget that feeling. I was laughing and crying at the same time.  

Erik Kenneth Bruce was born on December 30th at 12:59 a.m.

So many people told me that I probably wouldn't be able to avoid a c-section. That a vbac was too dangerous for me and the baby, especially the baby. The comments made me feel like I was going to harm him by trying for a vbac, like it was a selfish decision. My sister Bridget and a few others really supported me to go for it, and I am so grateful that I didn't fold. I am so proud of myself for canceling my c-section. 

I hired Consie Kunst, a doula and she prepared me for what I needed to do to avoid another c-section.  I am so grateful that I hired Consie and gave myself the experience that I wanted and needed. Consie was absolutely perfect.  She believed in me and that allowed me to believe as well. 

I prayed a lot about my decision. I prayed that the baby and I would be fine. I can't explain it, I just knew that everything would be OK. I had always imagined that I would have a birth like Erik's.

Pedar was amazed at the entire experience. He was scared, but he knew I couldn't just walk into the hospital and lay down in an operating room without trying for what I really wanted. I am lucky to be married to such a calm and supportive man.  He was so proud of me.

Having had a natural birth still makes me feel like I can do anything. Erik's birth experience was the complete opposite of Casey's. I had no postpartum depression. Erik took to nursing so easily. I nursed him for ten months, that is when he finally took a bottle, and then he was done with nursing, which was absolutely fine with me!

Erik's first year was so beautiful. He completes our family. We are so happy. Happy Birthday, Erik. We love you so much!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day

A few weeks ago we were in church and our pastor asked a few kids what they wanted for Christmas. He pointed the microphone at Casey and Casey said, "An Indiana Jones costume!" Good thing Santa was listening.

Casey was SO excited Christmas morning. He ran out of his bedroom into the living room and then ran into the kitchen, saw that Santa had eaten some cookies, drank the milk and fed the reindeer the carrots. He began jumping all around saying, "There are presents EVERYWHERE!!" He began ripping into his presents. Erik slept till 8:30 a.m. By then Casey was long done opening up his gifts and was ready to help his little brother.

After opening our gifts. We got dressed and headed to Mor-Mor and Pop-Pop's to celebrate Christmas at their house with Aunt Dagny for a bit. We enjoyed a delicious brunch and had even more fun opening up MORE gifts. Around Noon we headed back home to prepare for the Bailey family's arrival at Casa Oxbow. Nana, Pop-Pop, Bridget, Chuck, Liam, Lila, Margery and Arturas all arrived around 2 p.m. Nana made delicious enchilada's and the side dishes and dessert were equally scrumptious. We played a kitchen themed gift exchange and it was a lot of fun. I didn't get enough pics of the Bailey celebration! DRATS! I didn't even think of getting a group picture! I am so disappointed. Ah well..better luck next time. I'll get you all at Easter if not sooner. I've got to work on my timer and tripod skills.

We had a wonderful Christmas. We love our families so much. We look forward to watching all the kids grow and become the amazing people we know they will be!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas friends and family. We love you. We are grateful for you. We had a beautiful day, surrounded by family. We hope you all had a great day too. Erik is sleeping, his cough is SOOO much better. Casey is feeling almost 90% better as well. We are so content and full of love. Goodnight. Sleep tight.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Leif!!!

Yeah! It is Leif's day! It is not just Christmas Eve. We are excited because it is Leif's birthday!! The day he gets even OLDER than us!! YEAH!!! We love you. We hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fever, ear infection and croup

There are two days till Christmas. Our little guy got a fever on Monday night and starting seal barking on Tuesday night. Pedar anad I took turns sleeping with him in the rocking chair last night. We tried the carseat in his crib and he wasn't having it. We made several trips to the steamy shower and about four nebulizer treatments. We just got back from the doctor. Erik is still 102, his right ear still has the same ear infection from Thanksgiving and he has a terrible case of croup. His doc thought about admitting him to the hospital because his breathing is so labored. We have instructions to head there this evening if is gets worse. We now have steroids and augmentin to fight this nasty virus. I have not gone grocery shopping. I have not cleaned my house. I have not finished my Christmas shopping. It all stopped last night and I am hoping I can resume some kind of normalcy tomorrow.

Please let Erik get better....Please!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Am I 5 already?

Casey woke up this morning, came into our bedroom, climbed up in our bed and I said, "Happy Birthday, Casey!"

He said, "Are we going to gymnastics?"

I said, "No honey, we already had your gymnastics party, today is your real Birthday! Today is Dec. 22nd."

"Oh!" said Casey. "I'm five already?"

"YES! Today you are five-years-old!"

I can hardly believe it either. Last year Casey learned how to ride his bike, swim and he got a baby brother.  He also grew about 4.5 inches and got smarter, quicker and louder.

My adorable, HUGE five-year-old amazes me everyday with his sweetness, sense of humor and kindness towards his brother and friends. He has his other moments as well, but today we will only focus on how SUPER WONDERFUL my Casey is...he is our SUPER CASEY!!

Casey at one-years-old.

Casey at two-years-old!

Casey at three-years-old!

 Casey at four-years-old!

 Casey at five-years-old!!

I love you little man. I love it when you ask me to "stay like this" at night when we are cuddling right before you fall asleep. I love that you want an adorable stuffed doggie for Christmas. I love that you run and get me when Erik is doing something new or especially cute. I love how you kiss and hug your brother and tell him you love him. I love it when you spend hours drawing at the table and playing imaginative games in your bedroom. I love it when you help me cook. I just love you, we all do. We are so lucky you chose us to be your parents. Thank you, sweet Casey. Thank you!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Norwegian Christmas Party

Each year the Remme Family (Pedar's Mom's side) gathers together to get in touch with their Norwegian roots and celebrate Christmas. Grandma Dagny began hosting this huge event many, many years ago at her house. Several family members have shared the burden..ahem...I mean honor of hosting the event and this year Ron and Deanna Erwin generously opened their home. The Remme Christmas party gets back to their roots by placing adorable Norway flags on the Christmas trees,  making and eating delicious lefse and other sweet Scandinavian delights and of course a visit from Nisse, all the way from Norway!! This is the part of the evening that we all look forward to!!!

Nisse arrived last night, almost frozen solid from his long journey from Norway to Sacramento. Casey was so excited!! Nisse sat down and called out each child by name and handed them a gift.

After the crazy Nisse fun the adults participated in the annual "useless" or "white elephant" gift exchange.  We were SO lucky to take home a singing frog, a 4 foot John McCain bop bag and really old Christmas gift wrapping paper.

The party was a ton of fun and it is always nice to catch up with our cousins and relatives. We are in the middle of planning a Remme family reunion, so we hope to see everyone again really soon! Merry Christmas
 beautiful Remme family. You sure are a lot of fun!!!

Casey's dance performance

Casey had his Christmas dance performance this evening (12/16) at Village Montessori. I knew when I picked him from school that Casey wasn't feeling well. He had a slight temperature, a cough and he didn't want a snack. Uh-Oh. He was still ready to dance his little heart out, or so he said. Erik and I arrived at Montessori, waited for Pedar to arrive. Dadda got there, I handed off the cameras, yep, we had two and tried to look over all the anxious parents and grandparents to see my beautiful boy. Finally, it was Casey's dance number. He was dressed like a little Elvis, he looked so handsome. But if you looked closer, you would have seen the glazed look and the paler than normal face. Poor guy!! The music started and for awhile he just stood there looking at the audience. Come on Casey! You can do it! Jump around, spin your partner. He woke up from his virus coma a few times to jump and smile and then the coma would take him back. For someone coming down with a nasty cold, he did pretty well. What a little trooper.

We went out to Bella Bru afterwards. Casey barely ate anything and Erik screamed to get out of the highchair. I felt a bit bad for the folks around us at Bella Bru. "I'm sorry, were you hoping to sit next to a quieter family? Oh...this is a special evening and you were hoping to hear what your date was saying??!! Oh best of luck to you, I hope you have atleast two children! HEE HEE!!!"

We finally made it home, bathed the sticky ones and put them to bed. Then we were up with the snotty coughy one for most of the night...and the next several nights.

We made it to the Elam's annual Christmas party on Saturday evening, thanks to our gorgeous babysitter/ cousin Lindsey. Casey was feeling a bit better by then.  We didn't make it to Kealii and Claire's annual cookie decorating party on Saturday. We thought we shouldn't share Casey's fever and snot with their lovely friends.

Thanks to the nebulizer and lots of love, Casey is turning a corner. His cough is sounding much better.

Hope everyone out there is staying healthy! Love you all!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dec. 19th is Ava's 6th Birthday!

Happy 6th Birthday Ava! Oh man, we adore you. We miss you, especially on your Birthday. We want to sing to you and feed you sweets and buy you treats.

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday darling Ava
Happy Birthday to you!!

Oh man, I remember running around with the first picture of Ava to all my coworkers and neighbors and friends. Ava's birth was so exciting.  Oh Ava, you have been so loved from the moment we knew you were joining the Bruce party.

We love you beautiful girl. We hope you have a great day and feel so loved and special.  We miss you.


Aunt Nora, Uncle Pedar, Casey and Erik

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Casey's 5th Birthday Party!

Casey celebrated his 5th birthday a bit early this Saturday at Tricks Gymnastics with a few of his good buddies. I'll be honest, most of the friends that attended this party are because we love their parents so much (their kids too of course!!) but mainly it gave us a chance to touch base with those folks we love and adore. We know that with the beginning of soccer and kindergarten next year, Casey's list of peeps will probably get more regimented, but until then, we had a great time at Casey's party/friend reunion!

Saturday was a cold and rainy day. It was a perfect day to jump on trampolines!! Casey had a Star Wars theme party so Pedar decorated each cupcake with red and blue lightsabers....absolutely adorable.

Casey had a great time playing with his friends and family. We all had a great day. We look forward to Dec. 22nd to take our little guy out to celebrate his "real" 5th birthday.