Happy New Year!

Monday, December 31, 2007

This year began and ended in very different ways. In January, I was all geared up for nursing & had started taking prerequisites at a local community college. I planned to be ready by fall to send out applications to several nursing schools in the area. Fast forward to December, 2007, and here I am with a newborn baby daughter. Never had it crossed my mind in January of this year that my life could take such a different (but wonderful) turn. I never thought I'd have a daughter. I always pictured myself with boys, especially after having Samuel. Juniper was a big surprise! I found out I was pregnant with her in a bathroom by the produce department in a local grocery store in Eastsound on Orcas Island (the largest of the San Juan islands). We were vacationing there during my spring break in March. Then, fast-forward to July 11th, when we found out we were having a healthy little girl--what an exciting day! Then, after going nearly two weeks over my due date, Juniper's waterbirth at home was amazing--absolutely no complications! The births of my two children--Samuel in early 2005 and Juniper in late 2007--cannot compare to anything else I have experienced in my life. I am so lucky to be their mother and watch them grow up. Nursing school will always be there, but these years with them I wouldn't trade for anything! Happy New Year and all the best to each of you in 2008! --Karli


Sunday, December 30, 2007
While Landon and Samuel hung out at OMSI this morning, I headed to a local coffee shop to do some reading. Following a recommendation from a woman in my book-club, I just picked up a copy of Henning Mankell's novel, Faceless Killers, at Annie Bloom's. It's my first try at crime fiction, and so far I really like it.

Later today, we had some visitors, but other than that, it was pretty low-key. I'm trying not to panic too much, but Landon is going back to work on Wednesday. Originally, he was going to take four weeks, but Juniper was nearly two weeks overdue, and he'd rather not take time off in January if possible. He's been joking that he's going on vacation on Wed., not work. Sitting in a quiet office really does sound like a vacation right now compared to life around here with a newborn and nearly 3-year old boy. Landon has been such a huge support the past three weeks that I just don't know what I'll do without him!

Rainy Saturday

Saturday, December 29, 2007
So much rain!
Landon had a procedure today to remove a squamous cell mole on his shoulder, and we all went with him and waited in the lobby to offer moral support. My moral support while waiting in the lobby with Juniper and Samuel was a nice, hot, caramel latte. While there, I made Juniper's first MD appointment, as the care with our midwives will end at 6 weeks post-partum (I try not to think about it, as I'm going to miss them a lot!). I also made Samuel's (gasp!) 3-year MD appointment. Afterwards, we ran a bunch of errands--boring stuff like stops @ Goodwill and the Post Office. Still, I feel accomplished when I check things off my to-do list.

Juniper's 2 Week Appointment

Friday, December 28, 2007
Yesterday, Juniper and I went to see our midwives @ their office for our 2 week appointment. She unfortunately had to be pricked for her 2nd PKU test, and didn't like that very much. She has a bad cold right now, and it having some trouble breathing at times, but overall is doing very well despite her cold. She's now 9lbs. 11oz., so is 4 oz. over her birth weight, which is great.
I've been educating myself on vaccines this week. My favorite author on parenting and everything related is Dr. Sears. He just came out with "The Vaccine Book," which is a balanced look at vaccines so that parents can make informed decisions. I am considering delaying a few, and he offers some alternative vaccine schedules in his book to consider. I've definitely learned a lot about the 12 vaccines on the vaccine schedule, and realized that some are serious, but some of these diseases (like the flu) aren't nearly as serious as the media makes out. Anyway, I know vaccines are contraversial, but if you'd like a middle-ground, informative approach, I'd definitely check out Dr. Sears' latest book.

Juniper & Mommy, 2 weeks, 4 days

Our friends, Cindy & Josh, were in town from NJ for the holidays & came by for a visit. I miss Cindy a lot, as she's one of my best friends, and recently moved back to her home state of NJ. Juniper and I hope to fly out for their wedding in June.

My good friend Cindy. Her mom crocheted the pink blanket around Juniper. She made a white one for Samuel when he was born. Thank-you, Shirley!

Merry Christmas, Landon!

Thursday, December 27, 2007
Landon got a Blackberry Pearl for Christmas. It was about time he got a new phone. When the keys started falling off his 4 year old flip phone, I knew it was time to invest in something better. Even though he picked it out & made the purchase, it's supposed to be from me for Christmas. I didn't get out to do much shopping this year! --Karli

The Day after Christmas

Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The day after Christmas is always lots of fun. Leftovers & new toys to play with. Mike & Susan even brought over turkey sandwiches in the evening. Even still, it's a big help when friends/family help out with meals. Plus, you can't beat a fresh turkey sandwich (unless you're vegetarian). We did some grocery shopping this morning & made a trip to Costco, but other than that, took it easy. All the Christmas decorations came down, as our tree was about ready to ignite, even though we only got it 9 days ago. What's up with that? We're thinking about getting a live, potted tree for next year. It took up most of the morning cleaning up all the needles that came off the tree when it was carried outdoors. Lots of vaccuuming. Samuel had fun all morning playing with his new toys. After the shopping, it was great to come home and have turkey sandwiches. --Karli
Daddy turns the pages of "Peter and the Wolf" for Samuel the day after Christmas. Samuel now knows how to do this by himself. We plan to get more books on tape/CD for him over the coming months.

Christmas, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007
I thought it was pretty darn cool that it snowed for the first time in 17 years in Portland for Juniper's first Christmas. In the morning, we had a nice morning--Starbucks Christmas blend coffee & a warm, toasty fire while watching Samuel open his presents. He had a fun morning. Mike & Susan (Landon's parents) came over to watch him open his presents. This year was the most fun w/ Samuel so far, as he's almost 3 now & was very excited as the days went by & Christmas got closer. Christmas morning he was very cute. Landon did all the Christmas shopping this year, which was a huge help, and did so on Amazon. It was so much easier than shopping in the malls. He picked out some great stuff for Samuel, like this, this, and this. He also got some books on CD, like "Peter & the Wolf," and loves to have the story read to him while he can turn the page by himself.
Later in the day, we went over to Mike & Susan's for Christmas dinner. Mike smoked the turkey, and it was delicious! I plan to start doing Christmas dinner from now on, but this year, I opted out since Juniper's birth was only two weeks ago. It was a fun afternoon. Landon brought over a couple of bottles of wine that we received from my parents on Christmas Eve, and everyone said how good it was. I didn't have anything more than a few sips, as I'm trying to stay hydrated for breastfeeding. I did have a little rum & egg nog, but for some reason it gave me a bit of a headache. Anyway, it was a lot of fun this Christmas Eve & Christmas, and the best part was having Juniper this year. Merry Christmas!

Me with Samuel & Juniper, Christmas morning, on our way to Mike & Susan's

In front of our house on a snowy Christmas morning in Portland.

Juniper, Christmas Day, 2 weeks, 1 day old

Samuel, Christmas morning, opening a present.

New Coat from Landon for Christmas.

Susan (Grandma K.) with Juniper & Samuel on Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve

Monday, December 24, 2007

Juniper is 2 weeks old today! Unfortunately, she caught Samuel's cold, and we were up quite a lot last night together (I got 3 hours of sleep), but she's hanging in there, poor thing! We were down in McMinnville today to celebrate Christmas Eve with my family. It was a nice afternoon, dinner, and evening of opening presents. Hopefully, Juniper will be feeling better by tomorrow for her first Christmas. Samuel is so excited. We're going to open presents together as a family as soon as we wake up, and I have a pound of the Christmas blend from Starbucks in the freezer I plan to grind in the morning for a fresh pot of French-pressed coffee. Sounds SO good right now. As I type this, Christmas Eve has already turned to Christmas morning--Merry Christmas everyone! --Karli

Braving the Dressing Room at GAP, 2 Weeks Postpartum

Sunday, December 23, 2007
I'm starting to feel a lot better, and we've been venturing out off and on the past couple of days to get some last-minute Christmas shopping done and run errands that have been neglected for the past couple of weeks. I even went down to our local coffee shop for an hour to read for my book-club. We're reading Blackbird House this month. So far, I really like it--it reads like a fairly tale. Although I only was able to read for 30 minutes before breastfeeding & burping Juniper, it was nice to have some time at the coffee shop as I've been home pretty much since her birth. I'm just glad I'm starting to feel a little more back to my old self.

Having said that, I was in GAP today down in NW trying on a few things, because I really do want to burn, I mean donate, all my pregnancy & beyond clothes at this point. I'm still about 15 to 20 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, although I have lost 25 pounds since the birth, and there's nothing like those big mirrors in the dressing room to make you realize just how far you really are from your old body, especially at only 2 weeks post-partum. Anyway, two young women in the dressing room next to me were carrying on a conversation something like this:

Woman 1: "Yay, I thought I was a size 4, but I totally fit into these size 2 jeans!"
Woman 2: "That's awesome!"
Woman 1: "So, do you think these pants are too blah, or are they sexy?"
Woman 2: "It's almost like those pants are made for a heavier woman, and they are definitely blah."
Woman 1: "But they are size 2."
Woman 2: "I know, but they still look like they are meant for a heavier woman--and they're definitely not sexy. I'd say they look very blah on you."
Woman 1: "Really? I wonder why that is!?"

(Conversation continued, but I tuned out at this point...)

I sighed as I looked at my soft tummy (still deflating slowly at two weeks postpartum), tried to not look at my size G you know whats, then looked down at little Juniper and realized how far away the days in my life of worrying whether I looked blah vs. sexy were from today. Then I surprised myself as I realized I felt content & even a little happy as I reached for the size 16 blouse, realizing the 10 and 12 were never going to fit around this current bust of mine.


Saturday, December 22, 2007
Lately, Samuel hasn't been going to bed until 10 or 11pm at night, so we started skipping naps a few times a week, because when he skips a nap, he is ready for bed by 7:30pm and sleeps soundly until 7 or 8am the next morning. We enjoyed the time we had in the evenings so much on those nights that we've now decided to skip his nap indefinitely. He seems to do just fine, although on some days we still do a "quiet time" at some point in the afternoon. It's been working out well so far. The past two nights, Landon and I have stayed up way too late catching up on Season 3 of Lost, which just came out on DVD (we use Netflix). It's been a great way to spend time together in the evenings, and to be honest, I wasn't sure how I'd get Samuel to sleep in the afternoons once Landon goes back to work now that I have a newborn as well (getting Samuel to sleep requires laying with him until he drifts off). In the evenings, of course Juniper is up with us, but she is usually sleeping or breastfeeding, so it's a much-needed restful break after the end of the day. And P.S. Juniper has started sleeping for 3 1/2 hour stretches at night! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this continues! P.S.S. Juniper had her first bath today--we have pictures, but I'm keeping those ones off the web. Happy Winter Solstice! --Karli

Visit from Sarah

Friday, December 21, 2007
My friend Sarah visited us yesterday & brought us dinner. She is expecting her own little girl in late January. Her son Ben is just a week younger than Samuel, and they are good playmates. It's going to be fun to have our girls near the same age as well.

We went for a walk tonight through Multnomah Village & did some last-minute Christmas shopping. I'm still feeling painful being up & about, but not nearly so much as last week, and each day gets better.

Landon and I are looking forward to Christmas with Samuel this year. It's going to be a lot of fun! --Karli

Sarah, Samuel, and Juniper
Samuel and Juniper (11 days old)
Just before a yawn.

Waking up.

Last Day of School Before Christmas Break

Thursday, December 20, 2007
Samuel's last day of school until the first week of January was today. He gave each of his teachers a $10.00 gift card to Starbucks. He loves Teachers Amanda & Tanja & enjoys school quite a lot. They are learning the alphabet. I think they are going to be working on 'J' starting in January. Samuel surprised me recently by singing the entire ABC song, so he knows his letters, at least in the song. Starting in the spring, I'm going to start observing classrooms around the area for next fall, when he'll start preschool. We're thinking about Montessori, and there are several good ones in our area. --Karli

Teacher Amanda receives her Starbucks card from Samuel for Christmas.
After school, Daddy takes Samuel to the playground for some fun.

Miss Juniper, 10 Days Old. P.S. She really likes the pacifier--Samuel never used one.

Sculpy Fun & Juniper, 9 Days

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Landon has been spending a lot of quality time with Samuel over the past couple of weeks. Today, they made more sculpy figures. Samuel collects them in his nightstand drawer and is very proud of them. Today, Juniper is 9 days old. Her umbilical cord fell off on day 6, so her belly button is still in the healing stage as the inside hadn't dried out yet. She's starting to sleep for 3 to 4 hour stretches at night, which has been great. Still nursing like a pro!

Juniper, 8 Days Old

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wow, sitting upright between 12am and 5am holding a newborn is a little trippy! We spent most of today napping together and catching up on the sleep we didn't get last night. I feel a little trapped in a time warp, but I know the rest of the world is still going about their day-to-day lives. I'm missing out a bit this year on the holiday season. For the first time in 6 years, our Christmas cards might not happen. I might wait and do cards in February for Valentine's Day or something...

Here is a picture of the two of us tonight. We slept until about 5PM today. Of course, only in two hour increments.


Juniper's Homebirth (the short version)

Monday, December 17, 2007

One week ago today, I called my midwife, Susan, at 11AM to tell her that I'd been having contractions since the night before every 8 to 10 minutes that were lasting 30 seconds to a minute, and that it was possible that at some point later that day if things intensified, I would need them to come over. After I hung up the phone, Landon started timing them, and they were lasting a minute to a minute and a half and were every three minutes. I had only estimated them at 30 seconds, but in actuality, they were lasting much longer. They were painful enough that time slipped away during the height of them. By 11:20AM, Landon was on the phone with Susan and I heard him say that someone needed to come over soon. By 12PM, my midwives were at the house, and Samuel was off to our neighbor's. They checked me right away, and I was 6cm. dilated. I said, "So, would you say this is true labor?" They said of course it was. I'd had so many false labor experiences that I had been in a state of denial since the day before when the pains started, but honestly, these pains were nothing like all the false contractions. During labor, I remember feeling peaceful & relaxed in between my contractions. I could be found in various rooms in the house. Sometimes I'd lean on different pieces of furniture. Other times, I'd be on my knees hugging our rocking ottoman in my office. One of my midwives or Landon was always nearby to support me through them. My music was playing softly, and candles were burning all around. There was the smell of grapefruit oil in the air. I had started to feel nauseated, but I only got sick once shortly after my midwives arrived. After that, the nausea disappeared. Close to transition, I felt painful enough that I laid down on my bed. I remember shaking gently, and knew that I was getting close. Shortly after that, Susan came into my room and asked if I'd like to try out the birthing tub. They had been boiling water to get it full in time, as I was progressing so quickly. I agreed, and walked downstairs in between a contraction and got into the tub. The contractions were stronger than ever now, but I still had 30 seconds to one minute breaks in between. During those breaks, I would zone out and rest before the next contraction. When I got into the birthing tub, Susan checked me, and I was 8 cm. They only checked me those two times--at 6cm. and 8cm. Landon was in the birthing tub with me, supporting me from behind. It felt great to have him there, and what a huge support he was during that time. After about thirty minutes, I started pushing on my own. Active labor had lasted just over 3 hours. My midwives never told me how to push or when to. I did it all on my own in my own way. After 27 minutes of pushing, Juniper Octavia was born at 3:21PM, only a few hours after my midwives arrived. It was a joyous moment, and one I will never forget. She had a full head of dark, curly hair, and cried as soon as she came up out of the water. There were no complications. After about 10 minutes, Landon cut the cord, and the placenta came out fully intact. Shortly after, we got out of the tub & went upstairs. Juniper weighed in at 9lbs. 7oz. and was 21.5 inches long. I'm so glad I pursued a homebirth for Juniper; it was an experience I can't really put into words. Every mother births her baby in the way she feels most comfortable. For me, it was giving birth at home in my own way in an environment of love and peace.
Landon supports me through a contraction.

Landon changes Juniper's first diaper, shortly after her birth.

Midwives Susan & Brandee do a newborn exam on Juniper.

Midwife Brandee at our one week post-partum visit.

Brandee listens to Juniper's heart tones, one week post-partum visit.

Juniper, One Week Old

6 Days Old

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The color in this picture didn't turn out quite right since the flash wasn't used, so I made it a B&W. Anyway, it's Day 6. Everything is going well. Lots of nursing, changing diapers, burping, changing her clothes, and then starting over again. I'm enjoying every minute as the days pass so quickly. I am still having a hard time getting around as I still feel quite sore from childbirth, but every day gets a little easier. I'm trying to make up the hours of sleep I lose @ night during the day, which is making it a challenge to have visitors. Hopefully, this week will get a little easier...okay, gotta run. --Karli

5 Days Old

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Little Juniper Octavia is 5 days old and doing very well. We're all making adjustments & Landon and I are learning how to manage a family of four. Samuel had a few days where he wasn't himself, but seems to be doing better now. Landon has been such a huge support, and has been very good about giving Samuel lots of love and attention every day. Today they went and got our Christmas tree & decorated it & hung up some lights. We're looking forward to this Christmas, because Samuel is so excited. Above is a picture of Juniper in her Papasan Nature Swing, which was Samuel's swing when he was a baby. --Karli

Juniper, 4 Days Old

Friday, December 14, 2007
It's day 4, and I'm still feeling a bit sore; being on my feet for more than a few minutes becomes painful. I'm hoping I'll be able to move about a bit more after the weekend. My milk started to come in last night, and really came in today. Nursing is going well for Juniper, but is still a little painful for me as I adjust to breastfeeding again. I've been up most of the past couple of nights with her as her awake times tend to be more at night, so I still haven't been able to return e-mails or very many phone calls quite yet, as I've needed to sleep during the day when I can. She never cries except when I change her diaper, but then again, I meet her needs before she realizes she has one. She is a peaceful baby, and a joy to have in our lives. Here are a few pictures from today:

Juniper Octavia, 4 Days Old
Dressed & waiting to meet Aunt Tracy
I sleep during the day, and I'm awake at night.

Karli and Juniper

3 Days Old

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Juniper is the sweetest little girl. Here is a picture from this afternoon of her first time in the vibrating chair (thank-you, Matty & Jody!). She loved it! At 3 days old, she had her PKU heel prick this morning, and I was given my last dose of Rho-GAM (Juniper's blood type is A +). My milk started to come in today, and breastfeeding is going great. She lost 10oz. since her birth, but will quickly regain that weight at the rate she is feeding.

Pictures of Juniper

Juniper, 3 Days Old
Caught a Smile!
Celeste, one of my midwives, checking Juniper's heart tones--3 days old.

On day 3, Juniper weighs in at 8lbs. 13 oz.

Pictures from Juniper's Homebirth

Proud & happy parents--Moments after her birth...
Samuel's first glimpse of his baby sister.
Samuel meets Juniper.

Samuel holding Juniper for the first time.

2 Days Old

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Juniper is a sweet little girl. I'm in love with her!
Everything is going great! I've been thinking about my birth, and will hopefully post the story in the next day or two, as well as some more pictures.
I want to thank every person who has e-mailed, commented, called, and encouraged me along the way throughout my pregnancy with Juniper and since her home birth. Your support has been amazing, and has made a big difference to me along the way. I'm hoping to make it downstairs at some point tomorrow, and will post some more pictures if I do.
Okay, off to bed...for an hour...or two...


1 Day Old

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Juniper took right to nursing shortly after she was born and has been nursing ever since. Shortly after she was born, she started sucking on her two fingers, and loves to do this as she's drifting off to sleep. She has lots of long, dark hair and looks a lot like her Daddy. Samuel loves his baby sister and likes to give her kisses. Birth story and more pictures to follow over the next few days.


Monday, December 10, 2007
Juniper Octavia
Born at Home in Water
December 10th, 2007, 3:21PM
9lbs. 7oz.
21 1/2 inches long

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