Sunday, October 21, 2012

What a Year!

Well, it finally happened!  WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!  To those of you who live near us, this is no surprise, as it happened last December.  We closed on a cute little house in a Snow White neighborhood on Decembe 23rd, 2011 and Marli got her castle.  :) 

Not much else is super new, other than Marli starting Transitional Kindergarten this August.  She LOVES school and is among the top students in her class.  She is starting to read and is loving every minute of it.  She will be 5 (whoa!) this November and we are planning a big Harry Potter-themed party for her.  It will be fabulous! ;)

Penelope will be 1 year old this November and she is going to participate in the Harry Potter party as well.  She is smiling and has 8 teeth so far.  She loves to crawl around and get into everything!  She's not the best sleeper at night, but since the girls share a room, that might be why.  We weren't able to let her cry it out like we did for Marli, otherwise she'll wake up her sister.  But, she's getting the sleep she needs, even if Mommy isn't.  *yawn*

Ibis is still working hard with ECS and he will be starting his basketball referreeing (is that a word?) this November.  He's still training at Kong Submission Academy when he can and loves to do choke holds on anyone who tolerates it.  LOL!

I have been auditioning all year long for different theater companies with no luck.  :(  For my San Diego Opera audition (the most important one of the year) I was sick.  *scream*  Not cool.  Well, I was able to get through it and they must have liked it, because they offered me two operas for the upcoming season. Yay!  Samson and Delilah will be in February and Murder in the Cathedral will be end of March/April.  So nice to have something to look forward to on the performing front! 

Here are a few cute pics of the family that were taken by my friend, Rachel Wattson

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Penelope Layne Bueno

Whew! This birth went sooooo much easier and faster than Marli's! I'm so amazed at what my body was able to do. Here's how it all went down:

I had been dilated to about a 3 for a week and I was about 70% effaced at my last appointment. So, I knew that my body was getting ready. Pepper was due on the 9th, and right on time at 1am on Wednesday the 9th, my contractions started. I had gone to sleep at 11pm. So much for getting a good night's rest before labor started! I had been having contractions for the past 3 weeks, but they weren't painful at all, just tightening and some pressure down on my cervix. The one that woke me up at 1am was definitely different! I felt it all in my lower back and I actually had to breathe through it and force myself to think through the pain. They were coming every 10 minutes, so I just went into the living room and started sitting and rolling on my birthing ball and tried to take my mind off of it. At about 3:30, I texted my mother to let her know that the contractions were 10 minutes apart and painful. She didn't respond (of course, it's the middle of the night!). I called her at 4:30 (she gets up at that time anyway to go to the gym...I know, crazy) to let her know that we were heading to the hospital soon. She said she'd meet us there. Ibis called his mom to come stay with Marli and I called the hospital to let them know what was going on. Since they were 8 minutes apart and I was attempting a trial of labor and a VBAC, they said I should definitely come on in.

So, we got to the hospital at about 5:30 and got all checked in. They said I could do 20 minutes on the monitors and 40 minutes off to walk around, use the ball, or hop in the shower to ease the pain. So, we walked around the halls for a bit and then I used the ball for a while. This was such a different experience because with Marli, I never felt a contraction. My water broke 2 weeks early and then nothing happened for 3-4 hours, so they hooked me up to pitocin and then they started. It was so nice to be able to walk around and get into any position I wanted. They couldn't give me pitocin anyway with Penelope because of my previous C-Section scar. Fine by me! My body was doing what it needed to do anyway!

They hooked me back up to check me and make sure Pepper was doing fine. Her heartbeat never dipped or showed any sign of distress throughout the entire thing. Awesome! My blood pressure remained around 120/60 (just like normal!). Things were looking so great! Around 8am, I had a monster contraction and I felt *pop* *pop* and a gush of water. Then, the contractions just started coming like crazy and SUPER strong. Ouch. I remained lying on my side in the bed not hooked up to anything, but not really able to move much due to the pain. My mom was next to me and Ibis was in front of me sitting and holding my head and upper body, as I was practically in his lap. They both were rubbing my back and shoulders and helping me through the pain.

One funny thing that everyone was telling me to do in the weeks leading up to the birth was that I should sing through the contractions. Yeah, right! That is the last thing I'd be able to do. However, I did do my breathing to songs. I could only think of a few and one was the March of the Torreadors from the opera Carmen. I'd also do Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Someone to Watch Over Me. I'd breathe in rhythm to that playing in my head and it helped a bit. lol! Hey, whatever works, right?

I have to say that I had the BEST nurse ever. She really was more like a doula or a midwife. Her name is Betsy and she was helping me through the contractions and had such a soothing voice. My fear was that there would be nurses like last time who would make comments like, "if you don't have to be in pain, then why would you choose this? Just get the epidural." Ugh! I don't like to be pressured or told what to do. It's MY birth plan and I'll stick to it or change it as I see fit without pressure from you! Betsy was actually the opposite of all of them and encouraging me to stick to my plan of all natural. No one even breathed the word epidural. So nice. However, I started to cry out for one and my mom made me look her in the eye when I wasn't having a contraction and tell her that I seriously wanted one. She made me do that about 4 times before she realized I was truly serious. lol!

So, after about 10 hours of labor, Betsy asked that if she checked me and I was far enough along, would it change my mind. I said it wouldn't. Well, I was about 8cm and the baby was totally coming down. Betsy said that before they did an epidural, they'd have to get an entire bag of fluid in me and then the anesthesiologist could do the epidural. So, after another hour into it, I finally got the epidural. However, I was progressed so far and my body was moving pretty quickly, that I could still feel quite a bit of the contractions and all the pressure. But, I was able to relaxed a little bit and allow Pepper to come down and get into position. She was facing sideways, so she wasn't quite in the right position, but by the time I progressed to 10cm, she flipped facedown. At about 1pm (12 hours after labor started) I was ready to push. They had me start pushing and Pepper was bungee jumping up and down. We could see the head and then it would disappear and she kept doing that. lol! Finally, at 1:52, she came all the way out! What a relief! I am so glad that I was able to experience a vaginal birth. What a difference from a c-section. My doctor, Dr. Khan, looked at me and said she was so proud of me and that I did such a good job. She also mentioned that she is very happy that I wanted to do a VBAC and that she knew I could do it. It was so awesome to hear that from her and know that she believed in me and wasn't going into this just to "see" if I could do it, but that she actually "knew" I could. We were able to go home Thursday night. So nice to get home so soon after giving birth. I'm in pain, but it's so worth it and Penelope is just perfect. She's a great little baby and so precious.

A friend from high school on Facebook wrote a cute little poem about Penelope:

Prompt Penelope was always on time,

To be early or late gave a shiver.

And on the ninth of November,

Penelope remembered to remind her mom to deliver!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thoughts on birthing....

Marli's birth story wasn't what I would call my ideal plan. I wanted to have a completely natural birth with no epidural and no Pitocin. My water broke two weeks before my duedate, I went to the hospital about an hour and a half later without feeling ANY contractions. Zip. Zero. Zilch. So, they began to give me Pitocin 2.5 hours after my water broke. Ick. Not really what I wanted to have to do to speed things up, but when your water breaks, times a tickin'. My first contraction (of course it was induced so it was worse than a natural one) hit me and it was painful. I stuck it out naturally for 11 hours and then decided at 2am (after finding out I was only at 3cm) that I wanted an epidural. So, I got one and promptly fell asleep. Since many women actually have shorter labors than 11 hours, I felt I did a good job at sticking it out for at least that long!

In the morning, I continued to labor and they kept checking me and my progress was just not coming along. Marli was just too comfy in there. By 2pm the following afternoon, I was FINALLY dilated to 10cm...sort of. There was a bit of an issue with my cervical opening and the nurse had to hold it open slightly while I pushed...interesting. I pushed for 2 hours with absolutely no progress. I was pushing for all I was worth, too! Since it had been 27 hours since my water broke and there was some concern that the baby would have a dry birth (definitely not good!) I was taken in for a c-section. :(

The last thing I wanted to hear was that the baby wasn't going to come out the natural way. I cried and Ibis just held my hand and said that I was doing a good job and it doesn't matter how the baby gets here, just that she gets here healthy. So, off to the operating room I went with Ibis in his oh-so-sexy blue scrubs. At 4:36pm November 6th, Marli Jayne was born at 8lbs 1oz. Completely healthy and with a very cone-shaped head. I was told that she was face up and the cord was wrapped around her neck. So THAT'S why she was being stubborn and not coming out. It made me feel a bit better. Also, because of my condition with Gestational Diabetes, the fact that the doctor let me go so long with the labor (since she could have been a lot bigger) was good, though futile in the end.

Moving on to Penelope. My goal is to try it again. I may seem silly, but I don't like failure. Not that Marli's birth was necessarily a failure. I just want to have that opportunity to put my baby up to my chest and hold her immediately after the birth instead of waiting 3 hours!!! Ridiculous. I had to wait in recovery, then they didn't bring me Marli until 7:30pm. My plan for Pepper is to have another trial of labor and NOT have to have Pitocin and an epidural and a c-section. Why do I want to inflict this kind of torture on my body? Because I'm a woman and that's what my body is meant to do. It will know what to do when the time comes. I also feel a bit more prepared as far as my expectations and how it feels. I'm just praying that I can deliver the way I would like and hoping for the best.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Getting Closer

I am now almost 34 weeks pregnant with baby #2. This child has nonstop hiccups! So annoying, really, but totally normal evidently. Marli never had them in the womb. Coco tells me that Annya had them every single day when she was in the womb. Ah, well.

I am carrying this baby a bit differently from before. Marli was very much all around and my tummy was round and wide. This baby is sitting right in front and I kinda look like I swallowed a basketball. Every pregnancy is different!

I have been diagnosed once again with Gestational Diabetes. Boo! But, like before, I seem to be losing weight in this last trimester as opposed to gaining it. The baby is gaining, but I'm losing weight all over my body. Sounds good to me! This is because of the strict diet I'm forced to be on. Very little carbs and absolutely NO sweets. :( If you know me, you know that's tricky for me to do. Because I have to hold myself accountable by pricking my finger after every meal and testing my blood sugar, I make sure I'm eating the right things. Also, if you know me, you know I don't like to fail, so I've been pretty good about my diet!

My sweet friend, Jessica, has offered to throw me a baby shower even though this is my second girl. I truly don't need anything other than diapers and wipes and some new bottles, but she insisted, so what can I do? So sweet of her.

Ibis has been working hard as a foreman for the company he's been with for the past couple years. A lot of overtime lately to get this particular jobsite done.

I've been teaching dance, cake decorating and still working my MK biz when I can. Things are good and we're just waiting rather impatiently for Penelope to make her appearance. I'm thinking that she'll be coming out right around Halloween. Spooky!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Somethin's in the Oven!

And, no, it's not a cake! Well, I hope it's not! We will be welcoming our newest addition to the family this coming November (same due date as Marli's, actually - who could have planned that?!). We're very excited and I'm very sick and tired. But, I am very much looking forward to a new little one to hold and love. Marli and the new wee babe will be exactly 4 years apart, which I believe is perfect for my sanity and those around me. Marli is such a good helper and is always taking care of everyone. :) She'll be a great big sister. I had my first ultrasound last week and the baby is in the right place and heart is beating nice and fast! No gestational diabetes (YAY!) yet for this pregnancy, but they'll check me later on at about 28 weeks where it most likely will show up. :( Stay tuned for more news!

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Year!

Princess Marli and Princess Mia
So, things have been busy for us this year thus far. I'm teaching tons of dance classes a week in public schools, choreographing for a musical and a show choir, teaching cake classes and I just finished performing in The Gondoliers at Lyric at the Birch in the role of Tessa. Whew! Not to mention, being a wife and mother on top of all that. Somehow, I manage to be home enough so my daughter knows who her mommy is and Ibis knows who his wife is. Ibis is super busy, too, with calling high school basketball games and working full-time, sometimes overtime.

Marli is growing and growing and growing! She loves to talk and is so curious. She loves her "so sunny days" and is just a precious gem. I'm on a waiting list for preschool for her to start in the fall at Sevick Elementary. It's a reverse mainstream program. They are looking for normal-functioning 3 year olds to be examples in classes with children with Autism and other disabilities. Since it's decidedly cheaper and Marli has been around Tristan (her cousin with Autism) for 3 years, I felt it would be a good match for her. We'll see how she does if she's accepted.

I'll be starting Faust in the chorus at San Diego Opera next month and will be choreographing in the summer. I'm also auditioning more and have a big one coming up in March for all the theater companies in San Diego. That should get me lots of least I'm hoping! :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Big 3

We had a busy busy weekend planned for this little girl. We did Disneyland on Friday with Ibis, myself and a friend of mine and didn't get home until almost 1am. Whew! If that wasn't enough, we got up the next day and went to the San Diego Zoo with my mom. She has passes and got us in for free. :) We were there all day and then I came home and made my homemade spaghetti sauce for the party/dinner for Sunday evening with both sides of the family.

Marli had such a blast. We dressed her up as Princess Aurora and we got pictures with Jasmine, Tiana, Belle, Woody and some army guys from Toy Story. I try to get pictures with different characters we've never seen every time we go to Dland. She LOVES Disneyland and can point out anything you ask her to point out on the map. She even knows the place I like to take her for lunch. LOL!

If any of you have ever been to the San Diego Zoo, you would know that it's so incredibly hilly that one can burn a ton of calories just walking around pushing a stroller all day. Oy! I had two days of being on my feet and I was dead by Saturday night!

The Sunday party was great! She got so many presents (mostly clothes and just a few toys) and had so much fun having all the attention on her. I made her cake (Sleeping Beauty) and the whole dinner for about 25 people. We had a pinata that she refused to come outside to hit. However, she insisted that she get her own bag of candy from it. We ended up having the other kids in the family hit the thing and some of us grownups too.

Anyway, she had a very fun weekend and so did Mommy and Daddy. :o)