Baby Boy Update: 38 Weeks

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Friday, July 25, 2014 7:21 PM

38 weeks & all's still well!  At the now-weekly check-up, the doctor said he's still "way up there" - so his arrival is not yet imminent - and truth be told, we're rooting for an August baby, for the simple reason that we now have four July birthdays in the family, and no August birthdays currently.  But, you know, like an August 1st at 12:01 a.m. baby would be just fine.

The kicks & movements, which don't seem to have slowed though everything I read says they will have due to the more cramped space in there now, are just as rambunctious as ever, and getting to be quite painful at times.  I am determined not to complain (much) - but this stage is really uncomfortable.  Vianne was born at exactly 38 weeks, so this whole 38 weeks and 2 days thing is unchartered territory for this Mama ;-).  Trying to a) be patient, and b) embrace the adventure, every day of it.

Meanwhile, poor Vianne is subject to a tired and short-on-patience Mama while she flexes her Two muscles daily...and there's been a bit more crying - from both of us - than usual the past few days.  This too, as they say, shall pass.

A belly shot from 37 weeks.  I was really trying to stick it out, since people are still telling me that I don't look pregnant.

New Nephew/Cousin!

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:32 AM

The newest member of the Gustafson clan came to join us in the world on July 17, 2014:  Edmund Thomas Blair. We were thrilled to find out the Blairs had a boy to join the girls, but are sad to be so far away and not able to meet him yet.  If I weren't so close to giving birth myself, I would be on a plane already!!  For now, though, I'll just have to settle for Love at Long Distance.

This makes four nephews for us, nine grandkids for my mom, and eight cousins for far!

A couple of first day of life pictures...isn't he so handsome??

Vianne Rose: 25, 26, & 27 months

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , 11:04 AM

I completely forgot to take pictures of Vianne on her 25th monthiversary I finally decided I'm not going to be able to keep up with the monthly pictures and updates on the 8th of every month but I'd still like to record the Cuteness of Vianne Rose here, as much as I can get to it.

We're already 3 months into her being two - and it's been a wild ride.  Definitely having our share of "Terrible Two" moments as our little ladybug discovers her will and her opinions, with emotions very close to the surface...but overall, there is still so much sweetness and cleverness and joy and she's learning, with help, to calm herself down and avoid full-blown meltdowns/tantrums.

She is ridiculously verbal and she is constantly amusing us with the way that she express herself through speech. 

She loves to crawl into bed with Mama and/or Daddy and snuggle into the pillows and pull the blanket up over herself, which she calls getting "cozy and cozy".  She also asks to get "cozy and cozy" when she wants to be tucked in at night.  Not sure where this phrase came from, but it sure is cute!

According to Vianne, everything is always going to happen in "one minute".  If you ask her what time it is, it's always "Eight".  A sandwich is a "swannich", lemonade is "yemyade", and look is "yoot", but in the past tense, it takes on more of a 'k' ending.  She says emphatically, "Where is my [insert noun]?  I yooked and yooked and I tan't find it" - and often she hasn't even begun to look for the thing.  (Hard c's are generally t sounds, and l's and z's are still y sounds, and g's sound like d's - which makes for a very cute "toddler accent" all around.)

For the past few months, she has gotten a big kick out of calling me "Amy" and her Daddy "Patrick" (which sounds more like Patritt).  Sometimes when she's trying to get out of her nap, I hear "Aaaaa-mmmyyy" from the bedroom.  Whenever Patrick's phone rings or I get frustrated with something like my computer, she calls out, "Paaa-triiiitt!" (in the same tone I usually use).

Things I particularly love: Whenever she sees a power line tower or similar structure, she exclaims that it's the "Eiffel Mama's".  Whenever I wear a skirt or dress or a blouse (especially if she hasn't seen it before), she says, "Pretty dress, Mama!" with this adorable awe in her voice.  She also feels that every flower she sees needs to be picked for me.

She has a razor-sharp memory, and remembers seemingly everything, from stuff that happened a month and a half ago while we were in Oregon (like if we're cleaning up her room, she says, "Clean up! Clean up!  Everybody clean up!...that's what Jenny says!") or which pages in her vast array of coloring books she colored with whom last week.

We talk a lot about her baby brother coming soon.  She seems to be pretty excited, especially when we bring out a new piece of equipment or something baby-related and we talk about how he will use it.  (Mama did a boppy demonstration the other day, for example, and now she likes to replay what it's for...)  She still likes to stick out her belly and say he's in there, and she's also getting a little bit more into feeling him kick on mine (but he does it so much, it doesn't require as much waiting as it used to).  We are anxious & excited to see her in action as a big sister.  She has been taking such good care of her baby dolls lately (feeding them milk, changing their diapers, giving them rides in the stroller) that it will be fun to see how this translates to a real live wiggling, noisy baby!

4th of July (2014)

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Monday, July 7, 2014 2:00 PM

A festive banner to commemorate the 4th...doesn't clash too badly with our pink house ;-D...
We had a really fun day on July 4th this year, celebrating La Verne, CA, Style!  We got to 'Uncle' Jon's place about 8:30 a.m. to nab a spot for parade-watching.  Our sweet little patriot...

 The parade starts at 10:00 so we had to entertain ourselves a bit beforehand...snuggling...
 ...watching the neighbors...
 ...a bike ride with Grandpa...
 ...waving flags...
 ...Mama playing with her camera...1) Curls!
 2) Patriotic Baby Belly (approx. 35 weeks)
 The parade begins with a battalion of Harleys...
 ...which is quite loud.
 Rachelle & Joel & Jesse walked down from their home a few blocks away!

 And finally, closer to 11:00 than 10, the parade made its way down to our spot.  It was featuring Star Wars characters for some unknown reason...

Parade watching is serious business.
Our friends, the Grovers, found us, too...
 Jaimie, Canyon, & Scott
 Their other kids, Caden & Leilla, were on this float...Caden's fourth from the right...

After a very fun time, we went back home to prepare a scrumptious BBQ (well, until the propane went out half way into the meat being cooked...).  Vianne helped Grandpa shuck the corn!
We had a great meal and then took a break for naps.  In the evening we went back over to La Verne's Las Flores Park to watch the fireworks.  This would be Vianne's first fireworks show & we weren't sure how she would take it, as she's pretty noise-sensitive.  Mama didn't mind too much that she opted for snuggling into my chest, half asleep, with hands cupped over her ears, without viewing a single one, for the duration of the show :-).  The fireworks were gorgeous & it made a lovely end to our fun day.

Baby Shower For Our Baby Boy

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Saturday, July 5, 2014 2:09 PM

The last weekend of June, my Aunt Pat & cousin Sarah hostessed a baby shower for us in honor of Baby O.'s imminent arrival.  It was a lovely time with dear family & friends and we felt very blessed by the creativity & generosity that was evident in every detail and so many wonderful gifts that have helped us feel so much more ready for O's arrival!

As V is to ladybugs, we've decided O will be to sailboats - hence the nautical theme of the shower.  Aunt Pat & Sarah came up with so many cute ideas along this line!

I mean, really?  A diaper boat?  Does it get cuter than that?

 L to R: Jacob, Glenn, Shanti, Uncle Lynn, Bill, P & V
 L to R: Laura, Rachelle, Melissa, Jaimie, Hadley, Cindy, Mom O.

 Vianne got a special Big Sister Helper Bag with all sorts of fun things inside!

 The expectant couple...
 Reading her new ocean book with Captain Grandpa :-)

May & June 2014

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Wednesday, July 2, 2014 1:52 PM

Our photos from this era are a bit scant, since the first half of May was spent preparing for the road trip to Oregon, and the rest of June was spent a) recovering from said road trip, b) Patrick getting (what we think was) salmonella, and c) mostly staying at home while Patrick suffered and V & I juggled playing and cleaning/projects constantly dictated to me by this crazy taskmaster called Nesting.  As June drew to a close, Patrick still wasn't quite himself, the house showed very minor signs of improvement, Vianne was much happier when we left the house during the day, and Mama was trying not to just want to fast forward all of July.  None of this is easily (or desirably) photographed.

It is hard not to dwell in anxiousness about the unknowns that lie ahead, with the timing and details of the birth of Baby O., and the present setbacks that don't allow me to feel as ready as I'd like.  But it's all a constant reminder that these things are out of my control anyway and they are securely in the hands of the One who goes before us and who'll never leave or forsake us.  So I'm prayerful even if terribly imperfect in my trust, and trying to refocus each moment on just that - the moment - these last cherished ones with just the three of us, all the beauty and joy and life that Vianne brings to every day when her old folks are tired out, the lessons that even the trials hold for me, and the wonder that is carrying a child, despite the many discomforts of the third trimester.

Couch potatoes...a common scene these days.  I think we were making tents with the beach towels, too.  So that's something.
 Smelling Mama's roses (a gift from Daddy)
 We enjoyed a bit of rain in early May (so little this year!) and once the downpour was over, Vianne couldn't not don her rain boots and jump up & down in muddy puddles...
 After doing flannelgraph with Grandma up in Oregon, we finally remembered to bust out our set of the Christmas story.  Vianne tells her own version, which seems to favor the angry Herod on the throne character.
 Clever Cup Holder
 Heading out for a breakfast date with our friend Andrea... meet Baby Eli (6 months old).  Such a sweet little boy!  Vianne was taken with him (and even got to hold him for a few seconds).  She was climbing up to smother him give him kisses.
 Adventures in Potty Training...
Mama thinks it would be really nice to have one out of diapers before the next one comes.  Mama also does not have the stamina to sit in the bathroom all day or the presence of mind to check in as of 2 weeks, we have about six stickers on that chart.  I figure she's getting the logistics down...but I don't really think she's ready yet.  Still, this was priceless.  French dress, rain boots, VeggieTales on the computer, half of her book collection on hand...
 Just going out for a walk with Mama (which are fewer and farther between these days...because IT'S PAINFUL!!) - but looks like she's in a parade :-D.
 Petite Artiste...we made a trip to IKEA (Vianne thought we were going to Zacchaeus' house and kept asking where Zacchaeus and Jesus were) and brought home this great easel!