Thursday, January 9, 2014


In April of 2012, our family moved just outside of San Francisco.  We loved it there. We loved the weather, the sites, the ocean, and most of all our friends.  What we didn't love was the cost of living. To say it is expensive is a damnormous (shout out to Evelyn!) understatement.  In May of 2013, our landlords (who lived in the other half of our duplex) gave us a notice telling us that we had 30 days to leave because her parents were moving into our house.  We searched and searched for another place to live in the area. There was nothing.  Seriously, there were about 3 listings that came up for less than $2,200 (not a typo) a month. All of them were about 700 sq/ft methlabs.  One listing that was $1,800 when we looked the previous year had jumped up to $2,400. Yikes. We decided that it must be time for a change, so Jonny looked into transferring at work.

Long story short, we ended up moving to Huntington Beach when I was 8 months pregnant.  We liked Southern California. It was slightly cheaper, warmer, and closer to the ocean. We didn't, however, love it.  (* I did love my neighbor Mibi who was loud and funny and would give the shirt off her back to anyone who needed it). We felt really rushed into our decision, Jonny didn't like his job, blah blah blah.

Flash forward to September.  Jonny and I were talking about putting roots down somewhere and revisited our 5 year plan, which was to eventually get back to Idaho. Losing my mom really flipped a switch  in me. Living in a big city, away from family, and moving up the corporate ladder really lost its luster.  We wanted to move somewhere where we could actually afford to put our kids in different activities, go to concerts and plays, and not spend $2,000 to rent a shoebox!

So our 5 year plan was bumped up 4 years and 49 weeks.  Jonny quit his job, we packed up, and headed to Idaho.  Due to boring to read/ write about circumstances, we ended up in Twin Falls for a little longer than expected (thanks to Dad and Nan for letting us crash in your basement!!), but now we are finally here in BOISE!!

We are all unpacked, Jonny is looking/interviewing for jobs, and we are starting to explore the city.  We love it already! Boise really seems to have a lot to offer.  It's a great sized city for us. We can't wait to make friends and get more settled in.

And here are some cute pics to leave you with. I hate pictureless posts:

Meeting Mickey- he talks now... it's crazy

Oh, just heading to Dumbledore's office

Eyeing my Mickey cake pop

Sleeping beauty

Scarlett's cousin Beck- best of friends, worst of enemies

Matching Christmas jammies

Hogwarts Express

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Archie: A Birth Story

My friend, Jen, had a beautiful baby girl a couple of weeks after Archer was born.  After exchanging birth stories, she told me that she “collects birth stories”.  I like how she worded that.  It’s amazing that even though everyone around me seems to be having babies, no two stories of their arrivals are the same.  I love hearing birth stories. Complicated and smooth, medicated and natural, planned and unplanned c-sections. I love them all. If you love them too, here’s one for your collection:

My due date was July 29th.  Being pregnant until that date seemed less than ideal.  My sister, Carrie was flying to California to help me on July 19th, Jonny was supposed to fly to Dallas for business the 22nd-26th, and our house was being tented for termites the very beginning of August.  I just wanted him out!

I had an appointment on July 17th, in which I discovered I was dilated to a 2 (not that it really means anything).  I told my Dr. about all the upcoming events and she offered to do a membrane sweep.  I told her I was scared because all these women online wrote about how badly it hurts and how they were screaming and crying.  My doctor’s reply was, “Oh please, Tracie.  Only the crazies write things online.” That’s why I love my doctor.  She’s real like that.  After the sweep she said, “I’m on call tomorrow… so I did a pretty good one! If your body isn’t ready though, nothing will happen and I’ll see you next week.”

Well I felt crampy all day, but nothing to write home about.  I fell asleep watching a show on the iPad with Jonny at around 10:30.  A little before 3:00 AM I woke up feeling hot (no A/C) and still crampy.  I couldn’t really sleep so I just laid in bed until I realized, “Wait a second! This stomach ache is coming and going… hmm… maybe they are contractions!” I timed them and they were about 8-9 minutes apart.  I woke up Jonny around 3:30, but still wasn’t really convinced I was in true labor.  It didn’t hurt enough and still just felt like the cramps I had all day.  Even if it was labor, I figured it would still be hours and hours until anything exciting happened.  

At about 4:00 AM, I got in the bathtub to try to relax and get sleepy again, but by the time I got out 20-30 minutes later, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and a little more intense.  There was a lady from our church who was supposed to be on call in the middle of the night to come stay with Scarlett because she was “a really light sleeper and would always hear her phone.”  I don’t know if she had a rough day or took a sleeping pill or something, because she most definitely slept through more than an hour of Jonny calling her cell and house phone.  At about 5:30 AM we were getting desperate (and we still didn’t know anyone here in Southern California) so Jonny called a co-worker of his and asked if he could come sleep on our couch until we could get a hold of this lady, or at least until Scarlett woke up and could go play with his wife and daughter.  He was a lifesaver and was here in 10 minutes.  

Going home!

We got to the hospital around 6:00 AM and went to the ER because that’s what we thought you were supposed to do if it was really early or really late.  They didn’t see me come in, and the front desk was really tall so it took them a little while to realize a.) Why we were there. b.) That this was not my first baby. And c.) That my contractions that I thought were 3 minutes apart were really a little less than 1 minute apart.  After being scolded for not coming earlier, they quickly transferred me to L&D where I was sent to triage. 

When I was checked into triage, I was a 10.  I couldn’t believe it. I knew the 2nd baby would come faster, but not that fast!! At this point it was around 6:30 and my doctor, whom I love, wouldn’t be at the hospital for another hour or so.  The contractions were super intense and strong at this point and I was moaning really loudly with each one. As soon as they stopped though, I would laugh because I was embarrassed from the moaning.  One nurse said, "Wow! She's still laughing!" Also, I told the nurse “Wait! I think I want an epidural!” To which she replied, “We’ll see what we can do.” I told her, “I know what that means!! It means it’s too late!!” Luckily for me, the baby was still really high, and they have the fastest anesthesiologist around. They quickly started an IV, had me sign away my life, and laid me on my side to wait for him. In no time at all he was there and got that needle in my back in between contractions.  Ahhhhh… 
A little photo shoot I did with Archer at home

   Some of you are thinking, “Why would you get an epidural at that point, dummy?!” Well, with Scarlett I pushed for an hour and was stitched up for an hour (and almost needed a blood transfusion).  I knew if that were to happen again, I wanted to be numb for it.  

 My nurse was sort of annoying.  She gave me this pep talk about how the baby didn’t like the contractions and how the Dr. might need to use a vacuum or “other matters” (read: C-section) to get him out quickly.  At about 7:45, Dr. VanBlaricom waltzed in and checked me. I said, “That was a good sweep!” The nurse filled her in on the apparent urgency and she replied, “He’s doing just fine! He likes me.  He must remember me from when I touched his head yesterday.” Oh, I love her.  

From there, she put on her gown, had me push two big pushes and one little push, and out came our beautiful baby boy on July 18th, at 8:00 AM on the dot.  8 lbs, 2 oz. Up until that exact second I had the clich├ęd feeling that it would be impossible to love another baby as much as I love Scarlett, and a worry that I wouldn’t be able to bond with him.  As soon she laid him on my chest, that intense motherly love flowed through me and all my fears were gone.  I thought, “Of course I love you! Our souls remember each other. You are mine.”

Archer’s birth was perfect.  I want every birth to be as perfect as his. It was fast.  Jonny was a seasoned champ and was really encouraging, helpful, and calm this round.  Archer was so healthy.  I didn’t tear (I highly recommend that. Recovery is amazing).  What more could you ask for?! It took us a couple of days to lock in a name, which apparently drives everyone crazy. Archer/Archie was on our short list and just seemed to fit his sweet little face and perfect dark, faux-hawk head of hair.  His middle name was picked before his first name.  We wanted it to be a tribute to his Grandma, my mom, who passed away six months before his birth. Debra and Jean didn’t work for obvious reasons, so instead we used her maiden name, Shaw.

And that’s it. It was great.  His birth made me want 10 more babies (until he was 2 weeks old, my sister was gone, and I was really tired). Archer is such a wonderful addition to our family. Time is flying this time. He’s 7 weeks old tomorrow and already weighs 12 lbs 14 oz.

*PS- I haven't used blogger for a year and a half and don't remember how to use it.  Forgive my formatting.