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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

{ summer: gone so soon? }

Summer loses a lot of its meaning when it no longer represents a long hiatus from school. It feels even less distinct when you live in San Francisco and miss out on that characteristic surge of hot weather and ice cream cravings. As a result, it doesn't really feel like I had a summer at all. Maybe that's because I didn't spend any of it in New York, walking around the sweltering streets of the city in search of another street fair, lounging by the pool, or ATVing through the trails at home in search of wild berries to snack on. Regardless, I'm mourning the loss of the summer I never had. It's hard growing up! As James has been saying, you know you're really mature when summer is the same as all the other seasons and you opt for a thick layer of sunscreen instead of a tan (depressing?). Oh well, life is still good. But hey, just because we didn't get to spend 3 months straight on vacation doesn't mean we didn't get to enjoy a little summer fun!

Two and a half weeks after Will was born, we headed down south for the Pace family reunion in Newport Beach. Somehow we survived the trip with a fresh newborn and even managed to have fun! I'm so glad we seized our one opportunity to see the whole family together for at least 2 years. Although I will admit, the beach is not nearly as fun with a tiny baby you have to protect from sun/sand/heat...

baby's first plane ride
we did a lot of this in newport
first trip to the beach!

the soothing sound of waves meant extra naps for this guy
like i said, we did a lot of this
We took advantage of everyone being together to bless Will, so we rounded out the week with his baby blessing. My dad flew all the way out to LA so he could meet the little man and participate in the blessing, and I'm so glad! It was fun to see him. What an awesome grandpa this boy has. The blessing was so amazing, and it made me feel so blessed that my son has such amazing examples of righteous men who love him.

their first meeting

A week later, we celebrated my birthday. Birthdays with a newborn are a little different, but we still had a great day! We walked to Japantown to enjoy our favorite crepes, got burgers at Roam (if you haven't been there, you're missing out--best burgers I've ever had! unfortunately for my wallet, we live half a block away...), and then grabbed a late dinner at a delicious Peruvian restaurant up the street. Call me pathetic, but I decided to make my own birthday cake this year...James offered, but I actually love baking and decorating, and I wanted to do it. But he helped! We made a triple layer pink lemonade cake that was perfectly moist and delicious (if I do say so myself), and we loved/hated devouring it for the next week. For breakfast on my actual birthday (the next day), we made challah french toast with fresh strawberries (mmmm). I told James that in my book, a good birthday simply involves delicious food, and I'd say we nailed it. 

unfortunately this is the only picture i have...
Two days later, my little man turned 1 month old! What the, where is the time going?! He's getting so, sooo big. At his appointment that day, we found out he was in the 90th percentile for weight and the 75th for height. He also got a shot, and the cry that followed pretty much broke my heart...

someone tell him to stop growing!
A week and a half after that, we headed back down to James's hometown of Newbury Park to welcome his brother home from his mission and bid farewell to his youngest brother, who is about to leave on his mission. It was bittersweet. 

that right there is a frogley smile!
Summer didn't end there! Our whirlwind adventure continued a week later with another trip, this time to Florida for my family's reunion. William got a whole lotta lovin' this past month from his aunts and uncles and grandparents, and it definitely continued when we arrived.

Kate didn't know how to deal with the new creature stealing mommy's attention...
cute little Mount Dora
Once everyone had arrived, we all headed to Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure, where we enjoyed some awesome roller coasters and, of course, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Part 1). Once again, touring anywhere with a wee babe is no walk in the park, but I can attest to the fact that Universal Studios in 95-degree weather with a less-than-two-month-old baby is just hard. But we did it! (HP Land makes everything worth it hehe)

And of course, butterbeer! It was even yummier than I remembered.
haha--apparently we were unfazed by the hogwarts castle ride...
Day 2 was a trip to the beach. Perhaps there can't be much said for the waves on the east coast, but my oh my, was that water warm. It felt like we were taking a bath in the ocean, and that's just how I like it! We went to a beach called New Smyrna, which for some reason sounded familiar to me, but I wasn't sure why...the sand was soft and white, the water was warm, and the waves actually weren't too bad, so I jumped in the water and played! James taught some of my family members how to surf, and I even got a tiny bit of color on my pasty white skin. Successful trip! Toward the end of the day, I was sensing there was something my family wasn't telling me, so I finally forced my sister to spill it. Well, it turns out, New Smyrna is the #1 beach for shark attacks in the world. 300 attacks in the last 10 years! And my parents' friends, who had been there the week before, had seen a shark while they were there. My family, aware of my deathly, irrational fear of sharks, decided to make that fact a little family secret (sans Lauren). So without knowing it, I conquered my fears (does that still count?) and played at the beach with the highest incidence of shark attacks in the world. Yikes.

Day 3, we went to the other half of Universal Studios. I was mostly just excited to experience the new Diagon Alley part of Harry Potter World (okay, excited doesn't quite cover it...). Let's just say it was the most magical place in the world! The pictures don't come close to doing it justice, but I took lots anyway. I need to go back there ASAP, because just a few hours at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, Gringott's, Florean Fortescue's, Grimmauld Place, the Knight Bus, and Knockturn Alley (to name a few) were not nearly enough for me. 

even better than i imagined it would be
Weasley's Wizard Wheezes 

that dragon was spit fire and everything! 

proof that little Will has been there too
James was pumped to find some more butterbeer :)
the knight bus! schnickles and i have had this scene from the movie memorized for at least 8 years, so we were pretty excited about this one
number 12 grimmauld place
We spent our last full day together at a water park (Wet 'n Wild), which I don't have any pictures from, but it was super fun. I'm proud to say we survived the heat, avoided any major thunderstorms, didn't get eaten by the ENORMOUS fuzzy brown jumping spider we found in our car (that was the second one, I might add--thank goodness marriage provides you with an automatic spider-killer...seriously that thing was huge), enjoyed some delicious meals courtesy of my dad, and all in all had a great week together. I hate being so far away from my gathering a year simply isn't enough for me! Luckily we'll all be together again for Christmas this year :)

Kate was SO funny with her new cousin--this is her putting his binky in his nose
she wouldn't give anyone kisses but the baby
aaaaand this kills me
so squishy
he sure loves his dad!
So in spite of the lack of 3 months of constant vacation, we definitely made the most of it. Besides, I'm ready to start putting pumpkin or apple in everything I bake (is it too early to be thinking about the peppermint though?). Here's to hoping next summer is just as good!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

{ william james }

I've been wanting to document the day of my little man's arrival before he even arrived, because I knew it would be something I never want to forget a single detail of. I realize the following may be way more information than most people want, but I figured I'd post it on here for those who may be into this sort of thing. It's long, but feel free to read if you feel so inclined!
A little background info: the day before my due date, I went in to my doctor's office feeling like I was doomed to be pregnant forever. My mom had to leave in a few days, so we were both getting panicked thinking she would miss the birth altogether and James and I would be on our own. During my exam, the doctor found that I was already 3cm dilated (10 is the max, for those who don't know) and 75% effaced--things were happening, I just hadn't noticed because I hadn't really felt any contractions yet. The doctor said that if the baby didn't come on his own before Saturday, we could go into the hospital and move things along ourselves a little. To be honest, I did not want to be induced. I wanted my baby to come all on his own, and the idea of forcing him out made me feel like the meanest mom in the world. However, my own mom was leaving on Tuesday, and the thought of surviving the first few days without her was even more terrifying. We all prayed and prayed that the baby would arrive on his own before Saturday, but the little man just wouldn't budge.
So, after one last baby-free night of sleep, James, my mom, and I arrived at the hospital at 8am on Saturday (July 12th) following a large feast of pancakes and bacon. The nurse let us choose which labor and delivery room we wanted because they were mostly empty. We picked a larger one with a nice view, and then I changed into a hospital gown and was strapped to some monitors. The monitor showed that I was actually having contractions, but they weren’t painful (I didn’t even know they were happening) and were still pretty irregular. Around 10am, my doctor came in and broke my water. They referred to the whole process as “labor augmentation” rather than “induction,” because (as I said before) I was already dilated and effaced, so they didn’t need to give me any drugs; they just broke my water to speed things up a little bit.
After that gush of warm fluid, things definitely started moving along. The contractions started getting painful and more regular, but still not totally even. They gave me the lowest dosage of pitocin to help things along, and by noon, those contractions were no joke. I dealt with them for as long as I could, but by around 2:30, the pain was too much. I had gone in feeling unsure about whether or not I wanted an epidural, but after dealing with the most intense contractions for about an hour, I caved in and got the drugs. I can honestly say I don’t regret it one bit! I could still feel everything and move around (to an extent), but the unbearable pain was gone. Right before the epidural, they examined me and said I was dilated to about a 5. Once the drugs set in, I was able to calm down and rest for a little bit, but about an hour afterward (just after 4:00), I started feeling intense pressure as if I had to use the bathroom. I mentioned it to the nurse, so she decided to examine me again even though it had only been an hour. She was shocked to discover that I was at a 9 and ready to push. That was not what I was expecting to hear. Things were moving so fast! My body started shaking uncontrollably, because I wasn’t mentally prepared to push so soon. James tried to hold me still and calm me down, but to no avail. No one was expecting this baby so soon—my doctor had even headed home for a little while! We waited about 15-20 minutes for him to come back, and then he examined me and affirmed that I was definitely ready to push. What the heck? I had been expecting to be there all night.

post-epidural relaxation
Around 5:00, I started pushing 3-4 times with every contraction. A few contractions later, my baby was out! He started crying as soon as his head was free, even though his body was still inside of me (haha, awkward..?). His little hand came out with his head, so the doctor reached in and pulled his whole arm out as I pushed him the rest of the way. At 5:24pm, my baby boy arrived! 7lbs 6oz, 20 3/4 inches long. I’ll never forget his adorable little high-pitched cries. Even the nurses said he had the cutest cry they had ever heard.
They wiped the baby down and then placed him right on my chest, where he immediately lifted his head up all by himself and looked into my eyes. He was perfect from the very start. It’s all still such a blur. The next half hour or so passed quickly as the doctor stitched me up, James held his son for the first time (I think I melted at that point), baby got his first bath, and they weighed and measured him. 

They soon moved us into a much smaller recovery room, where we stayed for the next 2 nights as we got to know our little boy. Oddly enough, he didn’t sleep at all for a good 4 hours after he was born; he just cried or looked around at everything. The most alert newborn I’ve ever seen! It didn’t take us long to figure out some of Mr. Will’s quirks. We soon learned that he absolutely hates having his diaper changed and being naked (although he's getting much better with these), and he adores being held and snuggled. During our stay in the hospital it was hard to even convince him to sleep without being held. James and I had to take turns sitting up and holding him while he slept, but we were so enamored with him that the lack of sleep wasn't unwelcome. It took us our entire hospital stay to make a final decision on his name (and I take full responsibility for that). I’m just no good at making decisions. Finally, the morning of our discharge, the lady from the birth certificate office called to ask for his name and I just made a decision on the spot. William James Pace! It was the name I had wanted all along, but it took that kind of last-minute pressure for me to finally make up my mind.

We got to take our little angel home on Monday afternoon and sat at home and just enjoyed him for the next week. My mom had to leave on Tuesday night, which was such a bummer, but we’re just grateful she was able to be here at all. I really can’t get enough of this baby boy! I could sit and just stare at him all day long. He’s too perfect! I can’t decide what I love most about him…his long, soft dirty blonde hair? His cute little nose? His kissable lips and cheeks? His smell? His tiny hands and feet? His wide, blue eyes? His squishy little ears? His sad little whimpering cries? The sweet facial expressions he makes? I could never choose! It’s all just so perfect.

James is so incredibly sweet with him. When I was in labor, the nurse said she had never seen a dad so excited to meet his baby. He absolutely dotes on little William and jumps at any opportunity to hold or kiss him. It’s so cute to watch him stare at and talk to his little boy. It all melts me! He’s already been pooped and peed on multiple times, and yet he still volunteers to change diapers. I have 2 perfect boys!

William is now 12 days old and is already growing way too fast! He was 7lbs 7oz at his 4 day-old appointment. This kid definitely loves to eat! I don’t want him to grow up so fast! I love how tiny and delicate he is now...but he’s probably going to be a chubster with how much he eats and sleeps. I better make sure to enjoy him while he’s still a tiny little snuggle bug, because heaven knows it won’t last long. I love this little boy more than I ever thought possible! My heart is so full. I feel like this is what I was made to do, and I honestly feel so fulfilled even as I sit here, covered in milk, counting dirty diapers and the minutes between feedings. Life is too good. Will really is such a sweet and easy baby, and he brings the sweetest spirit into our little home. I feel so blessed. I still can’t believe he’s ours!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

34 Weeks

I suppose it’s high time for another baby update. This little boy is not so little anymore! As of today, he’s the size of a cantaloupe (about 4.75 pounds) and almost 18 inches long! He’s starting to put on some fat, and if he were born now, chances are very good that he would be just fine. I can’t believe it! He’ll be full term in just a few weeks. Time really has flown by!
Maybe all moms think this when a person is in their belly, but I could swear this kid is abnormally strong for his size. Some of his movements literally cause me pain! He’s been moving so much lately, so you’d think I’d be more used to it, but when I see my entire belly moving back and forth, it still kind of feels like I’m playing host to an alien. You can kind of see for yourself in this video, although it's low quality and my dark shirt makes it harder to tell:

The latest pregnancy aches and pains include heartburn and reflux every night at bedtime without fail, so Tums have become part of my nightly ritual. I also have occasional sciatica and other weird nerve pains, which have been keeping me on my toes (or off them). The headaches also continue to persist, but other than that I can’t complain too much! I have yet to swell up or anything crazy, so I still feel pretty lucky.
I’ve been surprised to hear multiple people comment on how small I look in the past 2 weeks or so, because until this point I had constantly been hearing about how huge I was. I think my belly just got really big really fast, and now it’s finally normalized. I had to go up to Cal Berkeley a few weeks ago to take a midterm, and for the first time I couldn’t help but feel a little self-conscious as I walked around the campus and realized that unlike at BYU, these kids were probably not very used to seeing pregnant girls walking around with backpacks on, so they stared a little more than usual. Haha.
I’m still in awe at how quickly time is winding down! It’s causing me to freak out a little as I think about how unprepared we still are in terms of baby supplies we have yet to acquire. We’re moving apartments in 3 weeks, so I’ve been trying to wait until we’re in our new place before ordering a crib, diapers, and everything in between, because there’s just no space to store it at our current place. But waiting so long is kinda stressing me out.
Regardless, I just can’t stop thinking about the magical moment when we’ll finally get to meet this little angel! I really can’t wait. And no, the poor little guy still doesn’t have a name…help! Apparently naming a human is kind of a big deal…

{ lately }

It’s crazy for me to think that we’ve been living in San Francisco for almost a year now. It feels like we just got here, but also like we’ve been here forever. I’m excited to upgrade to a more spacious apartment (with an actual bedroom, hallelujah!), but truth be told I will actually miss this little place. If our little family weren’t expanding, I’d consider staying here. We’ve loved being right in the heart of downtown SF, and it’s been awesome being so close to James’s work. We’re mere blocks away from tons of shopping, movie theaters, and restaurants, and the ferry building, fisherman’s wharf, Little Italy, and Chinatown are all within walking distance too. I’m so sad to leave this fun area!
This past weekend we headed down south to visit James’s family in Newbury Park. It’s always so fun to see them, and a long weekend is never enough time! We got to visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which was so amazing and inspiring. I’m ready to go back! We spent the rest of our time eating spudnuts (pregnancy has brought with it a serious obsession with donuts, and those maple ones are unreal), barbecuing outside, enjoying the gorgeous weather, spending time at the beach, hitting Cheesecake Factory, doing some major damage at the Baby Gap Outlet, and just cherishing the time we got to spend with some amazing people. What a great Memorial Day Weekend. I feel so lucky to have married into such a wonderful family! I need this baby to come a little early so I can see them all again in July. Come on, baby boy!

beach day!

that weather? unreal. 

 outside the reagan library

an actual piece of the berlin wall...pretty cool! (yes, I look like a marshmallow here...I'm over it)

Other than that, the past few months have really flown by thanks to a two-week trip down to Florida at the end of April to see my family (lots of hard work sprinkled with fun…I miss them already!). 

so fun surprising Nicole for her birthday!

best buds. I miss this little girl!

Disney World isn't quite the same when you're preggo, but I still love it!

round 2 of Dole Whips! shhh.

exploring Mount Dora...the cutest little town!

 seriously, this town is too cute! this place reminds me of The Shire or something...

James and I also celebrated our anniversary in the beginning of May, which was so fun. We went out to brunch, saw a movie, and then he surprised me with a fancy dinner cruise around the bay, and I’m still in awe. The next day (our actual anniversary) was Sunday, so we went to church and then came home and watched a sappy slideshow I made of all of our pictures and videos together, enjoyed a homemade candlelit dinner, and re-watched our wedding video. It was perfect. I can’t believe we’ve been married over a year now! All I can say is I have no idea why people always say the first year is the hardest. It truly has only gotten better with each passing day. I’m so excited for the rest of eternity with this incredible man! Only a few more weeks of just the two of us! It’s hard to believe. But I love this baby so much that I don’t mind sharing my husband with him. It’s gonna be great!

 the cutest.

I love the Ferry Building!

not a bad view if you ask me...

also not a bad view...they put candles in our dessert so we felt pretty special ;)

 the Bay Bridge all lit up

love this husband of mine!