Monday, August 12, 2013

Parenting, buckle up for the ride! :)

I have only been a parent for seven months. That doesn't sound like much, but it is a whole new type of school. And boy do I wish they had a textbook for it. Here are some of the lessons I have learned.

Parenting 101

Intro: Being a mom is pure bliss..... There is not much more rewarding then making your baby laugh, and smile. When they reach for you because they know YOU are THEIRS. Those moments when they are sad and they look around the room searching for your face. Watching them grow and enter new stages is thrilling. Being a mom is indeed pure bliss. But it wouldn't be the schooling I discussed earlier if I was not learning. Here are the courses I have taken in the last 209 days to be exact.

Lesson 1: Being a mom is (super) gross. First you have the spit up.  Ryks has had reflux since he was 3 weeks old. I feel out of place when I am not wearing a nice white milky patch (or lately, orange, green, or whatever color of vegetable or fruit he ate) on my clothes. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't change my clothes after he spit up. Going through 15 outfits a day isn't super realistic, for me at least. Judge all you want. :) You learn to love the smell of rotten milk and dried up food. It's delicious.  Then you have poop and pee. Blowouts, and getting squirted are just another part of this blissful ride. However, all the sudden you become fascinated with your babies poop. Is it the right color? is it too thin? too hard? "dang it! he is constipated! grab the apple juice!" (maybe i'm the only mom that does that............awkward.) The last thing I will mention is that you shed. I don't know if it is from pregnancy hormones or what but I am losing my hair. Literally I should be bald. Yes, I am admitting this, but whenever I put Ryker on the ground I put a blanket down so that he doesn't get my hair in his hands. It's that bad.

Lesson 2: When you have a baby that wakes up every two hours you become... exhausted? that might be an understatement. I can honestly say that Heavenly Father has blessed and carried me beyond what I can express. I have not slept longer than four hours since Ryker was born, yet somehow I can function like a normal human being. At least I hope I do and I am not just delusional. I have been nervous to sleep train because of Ryker's reflux. However, I mentally got to the point where it was time. I have heard so many things, such as...having your baby cry it out will cause trust issues later on. Or,  it kills their brain cells. Being a Social Work major I am a sucker for these types of studies. But it  has gotten to the point where I need the sleep to be a good mom during the day, and quite honestly Ryker needs the sleep too. So last week we started. (I am also a sucker for all of the SIDS studies so I try to follow them to the T) I didn't want Ryks sleeping on his tummy. I didn't get bumpers. I don't like loose blankets in the crib, and so I just use sleep sacks. Alas, I gave in to the stomach sleeping when that is literally the only way he would stay asleep for longer than 10 minutes. Then, when we started sleep training I discovered....My kid is a wild child. He would start rolling and bang his head against the crib and get his feet caught in between the openings. Another rule broken, I ordered bumpers. Three nights ago we started the real training. That night was pretty rough, but not bad compared to others. He cried a total of an hour and a half. How much has he cried the last two nights? Not at all. He slept for six and seven hours straight. HOLLA! When he wakes up I go in and give him his binky and he goes right back down. Moral of the story.....moms know their babies. Studies are generic and bundle all in one. Yes they have value. But babies are not generic. They are one of a kind and moms know and have an intuition for them that is more powerful than studies. Trust yourself.

Lesson 3: Breastfeeding is wonderful, but isn't the easiest task. (Quick plug in: I am not in any way hoping to knock formula feeding with this portion of the post. There is not much that I hate more than when people judge how another mother chooses to feed her child. That is simply between mother and baby. Being a mom is hard work and I personally know how it feels to be judged when you are simply doing the best that you can).
I chose to breastfeed Ryker before  he was born. I am one of those extremely fortunate women that could be half cow half women. In fact a lot of the time I feel like I am 3/4 cow. Anyways....At first it hurts. Dang bad. When they latch and you get those insta tears and that toe curling sensation. Then you get the hang of it and another challenge comes up. For instance, for us it was Ryker's reflux. Wow I am bringing that up a lot. However, he has had to eat every two hours and still most of the time does. It is hard to do or schedule anything when your reason for existence is to feed your child round the clock all day every day. Sometimes we would need to feed every hour. It just depends. Then you get the questions and comments from people saying, "maybe he spits up because you feed him too much." "Are you sure he is getting enough?" "Why don't you supplement with formula?" or some other comment that just feels like a punch in the stomach to a new mom.
          If you breastfeed you get aquatinted with quite a lot of super comfy situations. You know the feeling of feeding on a public bathroom floor because you are too embarrassed to feed out in public. The backseat of a car becomes rather familiar. Feeding while standing is a super great workout for the biceps. I got the opportunity to pump ALL THE TIME because I am gone part time for my internship. It is hard wanting to get so many ounces from pumping in the bathroom during a 5 minute break in hopes that your baby will have milk for the next day when you have to leave them again. To the lady that asked, "wouldn't it be easier to just give him formula?" yes, it would. However, I made a commitment and I want to stick to it as long as possible. Breastfeeding is a teamwork sort of a challenge. Support is definitely ideal.
    Are you ready for my favorite breastfeeding story so far? One early morning Addison and I went fishing. We were at a nice isolated area and it was time for Ryker to eat. It was sooo early and seriously nobody was around. So I whip out the girls in preparation for the feeding. After a few short minutes a boat full of fisherman come whipping around the bend....Just my luck. I am sure they weren't expecting to get breakfast and a show that early morning, but they got one for free!

Lesson 4: This is my current lesson that I am studying for and not quite ready to take the exam. You have to be comfortable in your own skin and know that your love for your baby is all that matters. People have opinions, and judgements that simply don't matter. Church was not ideal yesterday for Addison and I. Ryker is super busy and insists on standing on the chair next to us holding on to the back and staring at the people behind us. Well he spit up everywhere. On the ground, on the chair, all over himself and I. TWICE. I was so embarrassed that the people behind me where wondering what I did to make him do that. Obviously not a rational thought, right? Why would that even go through my mind? Then Addison was watching him while he was sitting on the ground and he fell over and hit his head pretty hard. He started crying, and so Addison took him out. I sat there just knowing people were judging us for abusing our kid. HA! What the heck is wrong with me? Parenting is hard. It will always be hard. Mistakes are made. Parents are mortal and definitely not perfect. Why then am I so scared of messing up and learning?
 Along with this, I need to learn to stick to my guns. Tell people the way I want something, and let them know when something bothers me. I have a tendency to back off when others are around and act like I agree with what they are saying, when in my mind they sound completely off base. I am the mom, it is now my role to fill. I sound more pathetic than I really am....hopefully :)

Lesson 5: I would not trade any of the other lessons for anything. The small sacrifices I have to make for my sweet boy are nothing in comparison to the joy and happiness that he brings me every single day. Being a mother is my richest blessing and nothing compares. Slobbery kisses, toothless smiles, happy smiley eyes, big ears, busy body, and the best little hugs in the world are what I live for now. Parenthood is a ride for sure. It is not a school for the weak.
Here is to the lessons of the terrible twos, puberty, and the beaming teenage years. Boy howdy am I excited :)


Here is a quick update. It seems day by day not too much is going on. Yet, In all reality looking at it, we are at a critical time in our life. Addison and I both have an internship to do in the fall and then we graduate this December. I will be doing Juvenile Probation again, and Addison has several options that he will be choosing from. Addison is the hardest worker I have ever met and I couldn't be more grateful for the man he is and for the way he supports our family. He has been working construction for the last three and a half years. It isn't easy, but he rocks at it. What a guy. I am lucky he works so hard so that I can stay home with our son until the semester starts up again. Ryker is getting bigger and busier as each day passes. He is definitely loved.
As for what we are doing come December when we graduate......that's in the works. Addison and I can't agree on a place of residence :) It's cliche but I (we) hope something comes up and are sent to where Heavenly Father wants us. It's tough growing up and making these huge decisions. I know things will work out, especially since I have my best friend by my side. I have loved these last few years being in school, and I am a little sad to leave them behind. It will be a fun transition though and I am excited to see what life has in store for us.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dear Dad.

I am a daddy's girl. Always have been. Always will be. I don't think my dad really understands the love I have for him. Which is a bummer, because he is my biggest hero. Now that I am a parent I will be forever grateful for the example that he set. 
   I discovered my love of sports because of my dad. Some of my fondest memories are of him taking me out to play catch. I still remember him showing me how to put my glove up so the ball wouldn't roll up and smack me in the face. I remember him taking me home from games and we would talk about what I did well on and what I could improve on. Of course he would work with me and encourage me in way that always made my goals feel achievable. Even years later at college when I would be playing on the intramural teams the first person I would look for in the stands would be my dad. He showed me my competitive side and loved me even when it got out of control :)
   My dad has taught me how to serve and has showed me how to be a true disciple of Christ. His whole entire life has been given to others. He is easily one of the busiest men I  know yet he finds time to help people shovel their driveways, or just sees a need that a neighbor has and does it with a loving heart. I have never once heard my dad talk negatively about another person, in fact I have never heard him use any type of profane language. He has never yelled at me for punishment. Whenever we would get in a disagreement usually the next day I would have a letter from him on my bed. He would explain his love for me and his side of the story. He always knew how to keep circumstances from boiling over.  I still have all of the letters he has written me. They are some of my most prized posessions. 
    My dad is the one that taught me about modesty. He expected this from all of his girls, and how I am so grateful for it. He continues helping me strive to be better even today in this area. I love that he is still my father and still teaches me how to be better. 
    My dad has taught me what real love is. The way he has loved my moms shows me how I need to be in my marriage. He has always put them first above all else. He has never fought or talked back to them in front of his kids. I have a loong way to go before I can be like him but I am grateful for the example that he has set. 
    My dad has helped me gain a love for knowledge both spiritual and temporal. Every Sunday we would have family devotional where he would teach us about the gospel and we could discuss what was going on in our lives. He helped me learn the importance of scripture study. He has such a love for the temple and doing family history. He graduated with his bachelors in political science, and got his masters and doctorate in education. He is so smart, but so humble. Like I have mentioned, he taught by action. All the while getting his schooling he had kids and held callings for the church. He knows how to encourage me and build me up so that I feel as though I can accomplish goals that I set for myself. He never told me what I needed to do or what path I had to take. He believed in me and when I made a decision he would support me. I love him. 
     My dad is a goof. He has some of the best dance moves I have ever seen. He still wears his white socks up to shins and works out with his shirt tucked into his shorts. He has some of the lamest yet somehow funniest jokes I have ever heard. He is extremely witty and I love how he and I can banter. 
     The only thing that I have ever thought was weird about my dad was the way he peeled an orange by biting into it. Well, I found myself biting into an orange a while ago. I hope that I can copy all of my dads attributes. I pray that I can be half the parent to Ryker that my dad is to me.
Love ya old man. 

Meet Ryker it's been 40 weeks since I have posted. No biggie. However, it has been the best 20 weeks of my life. I realize it is late to write a birth story, but I want to always be able to remember that special night. Meet Ryker.

This right here is my life. I don't know how to describe the love I have for him. He truly is the most wonderful thing that I could have been blessed with. Here is the story of how we met.

On January 15th 2013, at 3:00 in the morning I was laying on the couch asleep in the living room. (This had become a nightly thing seeing as my contractions would keep me up most of the night for the last two weeks) All of the sudden, water was everywhere. Coolest thing ever! I walk into the room where Addison was sleeping and told him that my water had just broke. He jumped up so quick and ran to start the car. I just sat in the bathroom shaking the whole time while Addison got everything ready to go. Once he was done we were off. It was a pretty scary drive because Addison was speeding and the roads were soooo icy. He said that if we got pulled over the cop would just let us go seeing as I was in labor and all. Ha! Once we got to the hospital and got checked a nurse brought me to a delivery room and started an I.V. I was dilated to a 3 and was 100% effaced when I was admitted. When I was laying in bed I could not stop shaking, and I was freezing cold. It felt so good to have the nurse put a warm blanket on me. I was having pretty good hard contractions, but they were a little inconsistent ranging from 2-5 minutes apart. at 6 am they gave me some pitocin to try and speed things up. By 8am I was finally able to get an epidural. Holy Moly, I have never loved anyone so much at that point in my life. Thank Heaven for Anesthesiologists.  Addison and I just pretty much just hung out from then on. My sister, Alyssa, came to say goodbye to me because she was leaving that day to go on her mission. She missed seeing Ryker by one hour. Anyways, by 2:15 PM I was ready to go. ( side note: to all you new moms out there that are getting ready to have a baby: stop to get food on the way in to the hospital. For you will not eat again until your perfect baby is out of you.)  The Nurses had me start pushing and the doctor showed up at 2:40PM. It was pretty funny how everyone kept saying how he had so much hair! I thought for sure he would be bald. I couldn't wait to hold and see my little boy that everyone was talking about. Ryker Casey Peterson was born at 2:49 PM. He weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces and was 21 inches long. 

Right when Ryker was out he sucked his binkey like crazy. He just knew how to eat and suck right from the beginning so well. I am so grateful. At least one of us knew what we were doing. 

We spent the next two days in the hospital. I didn't love it. Mainly because Ryker wanted to sleep the whole first day but he had to be constantly poked for blood. I had gestational diabetes so they had to check his sugar levels a lot that first little bit to make sure he was ok. Also, the nursery was under construction and so I had Ryker with me the whole time. Which was nice, but by the end of the stay I was pretty much hallucinating due to how tired I was. Addison had to go back to work the day after Ryks was born so I had a lot of good alone time with my sweet new baby boy. It was good to get home though and have my wonderful mom stay with me for a night and help me throughout the day. 

The day we took Ryker home it was 12 degrees outside. Welcome to Idaho sweet baby. Addison has never driven so carefully, we had precious cargo to get home safely. 

January 15th is the day that my life really started. I have always wanted to be a mom. It has been my dream. I'm not saying it's not hard and extremely challenging at times, but it is indescribably perfect.

Meet Ryker:
-I love to eat! (every two hours due to reflux)
-I had my first social smile at 1 month old. However, I smiled at my dreams way before then
-I started rolling from tummy to back at 7 weeks
-I have the cutest laugh. Aunt Amber got me to laugh first at 3 months.
-June 6th I started rolling from my back to my tummy
-at almost 5 months I refuse to stay on my back and only like to lay on my belly. I think its especially cool to get my legs clear up and scoot toward my toys.
-I am the friendliest baby that has ever lived
-I also am shy. I like familiar places and things. When out of my element I am very observant and take everything in
-I love to talk, and I have the sweetest voice that my mom and dad have heard. 

Meet Ryker
one day
2 weeks

one month

6 weeks

just cute

2 months

He is such a goof

3 months

He has the biggest most contagious smile

4 months

He has to get hauled every day to my moms house while I go to my internship. He is such a great sport.

5 months! 

I could not ask for more than him. He makes everyday so fun for Addison and I. We are lucky parents for sure! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bouncing Baby BOY!'s official. Addison and I are going to be parents in January to a little buddy. I need to start by saying, I am horrible at talking about things! So to any of you that didn't know before just recently, I apologize :) Just a week ago my little sister Baylie came up to me and asked me how big my baby was this week. Right after she asked her twin sister Carlie walks in and says, "What?! You're pregnant?!"haha, whoops. From now on I will try to be better at giving updates.

It is crazy to me how much I already love this little mister. I may be a little biased...but I think he is the cutest thing that has ever lived. Here are a few pictures from the ultrasound yesterday...

 He covered his face with his hands like this almost the whole time so we didn't get very many profile or face pictures.
 He has got his dad's long legs!
 little feet
 The bottom of his foot, so precious
 One of the profile pictures
 This picture could be a little creepy, but I think it is so cute that you can see him yawning
 Addison't favorite picture. He asked the lady to get measurements of his bicep! haha! It was a whole 2 centimeters.

 Just for fun, here is our little gummy bear at 10 weeks. He has grown so much!

This is a short post, but I need to hurry so that we can head to Logan for a Utah game :) I will post more about the pregnancy soon. I love feeling this little boy move and kick inside of me. Addison has been able to feel him these last few days which has been so neat! The first time he felt him Addison asked, "what is he doing in there?" ha :) he will be such a good dad. There is not a cooler feeling than a little person growing inside of  you, I am sure of it. :) I feel so blessed to know that our baby is healthy and growing exactly how he needs to be. He weighs almost a pound, and is growing more everyday.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bryce Canyon-Perkins Reunion

This year we had a Perkins reunion. So fun! They are such a fun family and I love being apart of it. It was especially good to be able to spend time with the Petersons. We don't see them enough. This reunion we went to a rodeo, hiked Bryce Canyon, went rock climbing, hooked climbing gear up to a tree, and had the famous auction and skit. Oh, and we ate like kings. It was a great weekend!

Our Family :)
 The Skit
 During the reunion we had the chance to listen to the Perkins talk about their childhoods. It was an awesome experience.


It was a great weekend and reunion!

Idaho Reunion

I have not posted in a very long time, hopefully I will get better at updating seeing as things are going to be changing for the Peterson clan fairly shortly :) Here is an overview of the last few months, in a few short posts.

My whole family, and I mean whole family, got together for the first time in a long time at the beginning of July. It was so much fun to have everyone together again. It was a week filled with fun activities and laughter that gives you a mad six pack. During the week we played kickball, had a huge water slide, flung the kids on blankets, took family pictures, went to the firework show in Idaho Falls, went rock climbing, and just hung out. I am sure I am missing some things but that is the basic idea :) Here are a few pictures of our family packed week...

I found out when we were doing this, that might be slightly paranoid :) It is safer than it looks though, and usually we don't do them that high. Keslie is a little dare devil...
 wrestling: somehow I always end up in the middle.
 My dad is good at just about everything....except puzzle racing.
 Cutie soy bean
Kelyn wasn't able to go to the fireworks unfortunately, but here are a lot of us :) I am so lucky to have my sisters. They are truly my best friends.
 We started the week with having a baby blessing for this precious little man.
 Family picture. First one in 8 years.
 All the grandkids.

It was such a fun week and I am so glad that we were all able to be there. It is hard to get 12 kids together when life is going on. I sure do love my family and am so grateful for the experiences we have had to bring us closer together.