Sunday, August 25, 2013

California Dreaming

Kevin had an internship at Lawrence Livermore National Lab in Livermore, CA this summer. Working at a national lab doing research is pretty much his ideal job, so this was really exciting. We packed up our stuff and moved out to CA at the end of May. Our apartment was right next to downtown Livermore which was so fun. We loved going for walks around downtown in the evenings. We were so close to fun things like outdoor concerts that the city put on twice a week, and the farmer's market that we went to almost every Thursday evening. There was a fun fountain downtown that we went to all the time. Ryder loved to play in the water! Livermore had so many awesome parks! Every weekend we would take a picnic to a park and just relax. We definitely didn't hit every park while we were there. We were about 40 minutes away from San Francisco and it was fun to go there a few times. We also went to the Muir Woods Forest a couple times and it was so beautiful! We ended up loving our time in Livermore and it was hard to leave. We were very excited to come home and see our families though :)
Ryder playing at a splash pad on one of the parks a short drive away.

Playing with some homemade "flubber"

Enjoying one of the many parks
My smiley Eastieboo!
Hanging out at the farmers market. They would usually have live music and everyone would bring blankets and chairs to sit down, listen to music, and eat yummy food from the market. So much fun!

A huge box of strawberries at the farmers market was only 6 dollars! Some of the strawberries were the size of small apples. Very yummy!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Rodeo Parade

Today was the rodeo in Livermore. It's a pretty big deal, like the Strawberry Days rodeo in Utah. It is also going on tomorrow. This morning was the parade that is part of the celebration. It was downtown so we walked (I love being so close to everything!) and we got there about half an hour before it started. It was packed!! We found a spot in the shade thank goodness because it was HOT. This was Ryder's first parade, and Easton's too of course. Before it started, they were handing out stickers and things to the kids. Ryder got a sheriff''s badge, some stickers, and a rubber bracelet. He thought that was pretty awesome. It was fun and we stayed for about half an hour of it, but it was so hot we ended up leaving before it was over. As we left we passed all the firemen in their gear walking in front of the fire engines. I bet they were ROASTING in their gear! Ryder loved seeing the fire trucks and hearing their horns as we left. Later today, we were driving to Costco and the car said it was 108 degrees outside! I believe it, it was miserable! Let's hope today was just an exception because I read that the average highs during the summer in Livermore are in the high 80's. We went to the library today since we wanted to do something indoors. The library here is huge and really nice! It even has a cafe/deli inside. We have gone there a lot since we've moved here.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Farmer's Market

Here in Livermore they have two farmer's markets a week. Once a month, they do a family night at the farmers market. The family night was last night and it's at a park downtown, which was about a 10 minutes walk from our apartment. It was so nice outside! We made one loop through the market to check out what they had and then we went back through and bought a few things. We bought some walnuts and almonds for a brownie recipe that I want to try. We also got three baskets of strawberries, a wedge of cheese, a loaf of bread, and a bag of kettle corn. There was a man playing music and lots of people were spreading out blankets and chairs on the grass listening to him. We sat down and ate our kettle corn while we listened to the music and let Ryder run around. It was a perfect evening! We would have stayed a lot longer, but Easton  loves moving/walking and gets really fussy when you sit down. We will definitely be going to the farmer's market a lot more this summer!

Three Months

Oh my sweet little Eastie Boo! I cannot get enough of this little guy! He is seriously the sweetest baby boy! He is so easy going (except if you put him in his car seat. I'm pretty sure he's scarred after the long drive out here to CA..) and so smiley! I could just kiss his cheeks all day long, which I do as much as possible! He is more of a cuddler than Ryder ever was, which is so fun. He has started laughing and I love it when we can get him going! He rolled over for the first time a couple weeks ago which surprised me because Ryder didn't roll over until about 5 months old. He is genuinely happy most of the time. He loves to stare intently at me and then as soon as I look at him, he'll bust out in a huge grin. It's really sweet. I can't imagine our little family without him! He's very patient with Ryder always hugging, kissing, smooshing him, and generally just being right in Easton's face all the time. You can tell though that as soon as he is able to start voicing his opinion more, he's definitely going to let Ryder know when he's annoyed. It's going to be interesting for sure! I love this little chunk more than I could ever say! Even just looking at this picture that I'm posting, my heart just wants to burst! I can't contain how much I love this kid! I'm so lucky to be his momma :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Two Months

Easton is two months old today and I'm more in love than ever! He's seriously the sweetest little guy! It's so fun to "chat" with him and make him smile/coo. I could do it for hours! He had his shots this morning; four of them and an oral vaccine. He took it like a champ and only cried for about 30 seconds. His stats are in the picture, but I'll list his percentiles too.

weight: 75th percentile
height: 80th percentile
head circumference: 73rd percentile

We are having so much fun with this little guy! He looks SO much like Ryder did at the age. Sometimes I feel like I have deja vu because it feels like I'm holding a baby Ryder again. It's crazy!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Oh Ryder!

We were watching the Mormon Tabernacle sing on TV a Sunday morning while we ate breakfast. They were singing a fast paced song. Ryder said, "Whoa, they are singing fast so that they can go to nursery!"

Ryder: I wipe off Grandma and Grandpa kisses.
Me: Why?
Ryder: Because I don't want them to kiss me so I wipe them off.
Me: What about my kisses? Do you wipe them off?
Ryder: No, because they are flowers!

Ryder was playing with his cars on his train table, and he came running over to me with his eyes wide and said really excitedly, "Mommy, the cars screeched to a stop with all their mights!"

We were watching Bambi and at the end there is a scene where some dogs are chasing/attacking Bambi. Ryder was watching and then said, "Those dogs are so handsome and mean!"

Ryder brought his toy bus over to me pretending it was a cake. "Here Mommy. Here is your birthday cake." He then started licking it and said, "I'm licking the frosting off so you can eat the cake"

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Easton's Birth Slideshow

Right after I had Ryder, I saw a slide show of someone's pictures that they had taken at the hospital during the birth of their baby. I LOVED the idea and decided I wanted to do it for our next baby. Birth story photographer is typically very expensive, but I found a woman who charged so little, it was a great deal! I LOVE how the pictures turned out. I think it's so amazing to have these images and it was so nice to not worry about taking pictures at the hospital. I put together this slideshow so if you want to watch it, the password is "easton" (Don't worry, there aren't any "graphic" pictures!)

Easton Samuel Briggs from amybame on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

One month!

I can't believe our little Easton is already a month old! He is so sweet and adorable! We just can't get enough of him. Especially Ryder! Ryder loves to kiss Easton's head all over and get right up close to his face and talk to him. He loves Easton so much! It's so sweet. I heard Ryder telling Easton that he loved him with all his heart. I also heard Ryder say, "You are my best friend Easton!" He is such a great big brother! Whenever Easton makes any little noise, Ryder instantly starts asking, "what's wrong with my baby?" He get's really jealous when other people want to hold and touch Easton. He'll say, "Don't touch my baby!" He doesn't mind when people look though, he is very proud and likes to show Easton off haha. I can tell Ryder is really excited for when Easton can actually interact and play with him. He's excited for a buddy to play cars and trains with. I'm sure that will last until he actually has to share his toys, then it won't seem as fun!
     We are slowly getting back into a routine. I was having a really hard time the first week or two. I told Kevin that it's a good thing Easton wasn't a girl, because we'd be done having kids! Things have definitely gotten better, I just tend to have a really hard time with changes. Ryder was and still is a little bit starving for attention. I try as hard as I can to give him the attention he's craving, but sometimes i just can't. I started doing a sticker chart for him. He gets to puts a sticker on anytime he does something nice or does what I ask him to do. When he fills out a row on the chart, he gets a treat. When he fills out the entire chart, he gets to go do something fun with mom or dad. The first time he got to go on a fun "date" with me. We went to Scheels and rode the ferris wheel.Then we got treats at the Sweet Tooth Fairy bakery. I think he had fun having some one on one time with me. The next week he got to go with Kevin and ride the train and merry go round at the mall. He seems to have calmed down as far as demanding attention. However, he still is 2 going on 3 and they only behave so much, so we are still dealing with normal age misbehaving. I'm starting to wonder if 3 is going to be worse than 2... He seems so defiant lately! I guess we'll see, he turns 3 next month!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Easton's Birth Story

Thursday, March 7, 2013, I was 41 weeks exactly. I was scheduled to be induced that morning. The hospital called around 6:20 and told us to be there by about 7:15. We got to the hospital around 7:20 and they had me hooked up to pitocin and water broken at around 8. There was meconium in the water. My doctor wasn't too worried or surprised. She said they would just have the NICU team there and waiting when i had him. Things started progressing pretty fast. I was 2cm dilated when i got there and when i was a three they had to slow down the pitocin and give me oxygen because Easton's heart rate kept dropping with the contractions. I made sure to breathe really deep during the contractions and that seemed to help a lot. After his heart rate steadied, they upped the pitocin again. Things started to get painful and so when I was at 4cm dilated, i told them I was ready for an epidural. The anesthesiologist rushed in and said he only had 3 minutes to do the epidural because there was an emergency with twins waiting. That made me nervous, but he did the epidural, and everything seemed fine. It was soon apparent that the epidural was not working correctly. My legs went numb, but my belly and back (where all the pain was) still felt everything. My nurse told the anesthesiologist, and he was so cocky saying that it had to be working because he had done everything perfectly. It definitely was not. Anyways, he tried several things over the next hour or two and it still wasn't working. I was in so much pain. The contractions were strong and fast, about 30 seconds apart. I was shaking and almost in tears. He finally decided to just do a whole new epidural. That one started to work really fast. The nurse checked me then and said I was at a 7. She had me lay in an funny position that she swore would make me dilate to a 10 within the hour. She was right! Next time she checked me, I was at a ten and he was ready to come out! The bad part about the two epidurals was that my hips on down got a double dose and were so numb i couldn't feel them and everything was flopping around ha ha. The nurse had me do a couple of practice pushes and it was hard to feel where to "direct" the push. I must have been doing it right though because on the third practice push, she hurried and stopped me because she didn't want things to go to far without my doctor there. Soon my doctor arrived and i pushed for about 20 min and he was here! They hurried him over to the NICU team in the room to suction him out and make sure the meconium wasn't a problem. His color was pale at first but soon improved. He also had a slight temperature but it immediately dropped. They watched him for about 5 minutes and then finally weighed and measured him. I was so shocked when they said he was 8lbs 1oz and 20.5 inches and 36cm head! I am so used to my little Ryder who was only 5lbs 6oz and 18 inches, I would not have ever guess this baby would be close to 8lbs, let alone over it! I was so happy though. I had a second degree tear, so not too bad. I finally got to hold him and nursed him immediately. He is an awesome nurser, which is also a big difference between him and Ryder. We decided that the name Easton fit him and so then he had a name! After we'd held him for a little while, we had Ryder come in and meet him. He ran in with a big smile saying, "There's my baby brother!" It was so adorable! It's so nice to finally have Easton here to join our family. It was love at first sight and he is so sweet! There is absolutely no way i could love him more, he is amazing!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Well, here it is March 2nd, and I'm still pregnant. This little guy is pretty comfortable in there. After you go past your due date, my doctor has you go in twice a week for Non-Stress Tests on the baby. I had my firs one on Friday. They did and ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid levels, which mine were fine. Then they strap a fetal monitor onto my belly and watch him for 20-40 minutes. They watch his heart rate to see if he has at least two accelerations above his baseline rate in the 20 minute period. Our little bud was probably having his nap time right then because he was pretty even on his heart rate. So they took this little noise machine that emits a loud buzz and vibration on my belly just for a second. It doesn't hurt him, just is supposed to startle him and get his heart rate up and down a bit more. It worked a little bit, but they still wanted to see more accelerations, so they buzzed him again. I could really feel him jump when they did it, poor little guy! I hope he wasn't too scared! After the second time, we saw a few good jumps and so they let us go home. I was hoping a little bit they they would say something looked a little off, let's induce you right now! Oh well, it's better that everything is looking healthy! I have another NST on Tuesday, along with my regular OB appointment. Then, if he hasn't come by Thursday, the 7th, I have an induction scheduled that day. I'm really hoping he will come on his own so I wont have to be induced, but it's very nice to at least have a countdown.
I'm feeling huge! Everywhere I go, people are asking me when I'm due and telling me I look like I'm about to  pop! I definitely feel like it! I have gained 47 lbs so far, as of my appointment last Tuesday. I'm so curious how big this little guy will be! I know one thing, he will for sure be bigger than Ryder was at 5lbs 6oz! I'm having a really hard time getting around because I've been having a ton of bad pelvis pain. It's really horrible in the morning! My feet having been swelling like CRAZY! At my last two appointments, I gained a total of 7 lbs in two weeks, while my normal gain has been 1 pound a week. My doctor said it's all water weight which I'll pee out after I have the baby. Yay! I sure hope that's the case. I don't have a single pair of shoes or boots that will fit me right now. Even my flip flops and slippers dig into my feet! I have been borrowing a pair of boots from Kevin's mom because she wears a size or two bigger than me. Other than the pelvis pain and swelling, my other biggest complaint is heartburn. It's SO bad! It woke me up the other night and I had to hurry and sit up in bed because I was going to throw up! Oh  I can't wait for that to be gone!
At this point, I'm just trying to be patient. My doctor offered to induce me starting at 39 weeks, but I've been holding out because I want to avoid some of the problems that induction gave me and Ryder last time. However, I know it becomes less of a healthy environment in the womb as you get closer to 42 weeks, so I don't want to go that far past my due date. If I end up being induced on the 7th, I will be exactly 41 weeks. I'm OK with that! 

This shows how bad the swelling has been getting on my bad days... Elephant feet!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

More Cute Things Ryder Said...

After I got dressed for church the other day, I was looking at my outfit in the mirror. Ryder walked up to me and said, "You look like an angel, Mommy!"

Kevin was reading Ryder a book and something reminded him of Santa. He said, "It's like my friend Santa!" So they talked about Santa for a minute and Ryder said, "I didn't get to tell Santa thank-you for my trains!"

Ryder is the most polite little boy I have ever known. He is constantly thanking me for things throughout the day. "Thank you for changing my diaper", "Thank you for feeding me lunch", "Thank you for giving me kisses!" It always makes me smile!

Ryder was playing with his cars and made them crash really hard. He looked over at us and said , "That was incredible!"

While potty training, I asked Ryder if he needed to go to the bathroom. He thought and said, "no my pee pee's are still sleeping."

When flushing the toilet, Ryder always waves and says, "Bye pee/poop! See ya later!"

Ryder was giving me a hug and said "I love you so much!" Then he switched his head to my other shoulder and hugged me again and said, "I love you on this side too!"

Ryder was walking behind me down the hallway this morning and said, "I'm following your booty Mom"

Pregnancy Update

I am now 36.5 weeks along. Only 3.5 weeks to go! I have been feeling ok, but there's plenty I complain about regularly to Kevin. It's hard to breathe with this belly taking up all my midsection. It's hard to bed over to do anything! Putting shoes and socks on is ridiculous. I get so exhausted from doing just about anything. My feet and hands are swollen. In fact, I had to switch my regular wedding ring for a fake one that is a little bigger because it was getting to be really hard and painful to take my real one on and off. I know overall I am so lucky. These complaints are all the normal annoyances any pregnant woman goes through. I am measuring right on at all my appointments and baby boy seems healthy and strong. He feels a lot stronger than Ryder did, which I'm hoping means he is bigger. I'm so scared of having to deal with the NICU again! Hopefully everything will go smoothly and we can take this little guy home with us right away! I am showing a lot more than I ever did with Ryder which is reassuring. I am on track to gain about the same amount that I did with Ryder, which is a little more than they recommend, but only by about 5 pounds.
My feelings keep alternating between being really excited to meet and hold this little guy, and being terrified of all the changes that are coming and worrying that I wont be able to handle the stress of caring for two a toddler and a newborn. I know I will figure it out somehow, but it's just a little scary!
I have definitely been in nesting mode lately! I have a huge list of things I want to get done before baby boy comes. I feel exhausted all day, and then I always suddenly get a burst of energy late at night. It's when I feel like I want to get everything done, which isn't that great, because I end up staying up way too late and regretting it the next day. I have made a few things the past week. I made a homemade version of a baby carrier called the Baby K'tan". I think it turned out really nice and I can't wait to try it out. I also made a nursing cover/shawl. I made a big brother shirt for Ryder. I haven't been able to find either of the two car seat canopies that we had with Ryder. I decided just to make one. It was so easy and only took about 2.5 hours to make from start to finish. Everything is slowly getting done, and hopefully we'll get everything ready in the next few weeks. I can't wait to see this little guy!
 Ryder's new shirt

 The car seat canopy. Polka dots on the outside and a cute bicycle print on the inside.

This was taken at 35 weeks

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Potty Training Ryder

(This post includes a lot of boring details about potty training Ryder, but it's mostly for my own future reference.) I was originally going to wait to start potty training Ryder until a few months after the baby comes. On a whim, I decided "what the heck!" and we just went for it. I had bought some underwear and potty chairs a while back in case I decided to try it out. I had him just go naked from the waist down the whole first couple days. He only had three accidents, and they were all when he was wearing underwear. He did awesome when he was naked! He had a Thomas the Tank Engine sticker chart and got to put a sticker every time he did pee or poop in the potty. When he filled up a row with stickers, he got a little prize, which were mostly new toy cars. He loved this system. We also gave him treats. I'm pretty sure he though potty training was the funnest thing ever! 
After a day or two, we tried underwear again, and he did awesome. By the second day, I wasn't even having to remind him to go potty, he just told me when he had to go. He has done awesome ever since. He loves to  flush the toilet and wave goodbye haha! For nap times, we have him wear underwear with plastic underwear on top. I would say 99% of the time, he wakes up dry from his nap. When we are out and about, we bring a little travel potty that folds up and fits in the diaper bag. When we are out, he usually has a lot of false alarms before he actually does the real thing. That's alright, I'd rather have him try several times than just having an accident. It's been three weeks now and it's like second nature. I think he must have just been really ready. I was the one who was putting it off because I was intimidated by the whole process! 
For nights, we just have him wear a pull up because I'm not sure he has the bladder control to wake up during the night to go or go through the whole night without wetting his pants. We'll tackle night time later. I'm so proud of him! He is becoming such a big boy!
I'm already anticipating Ryder having accidents when the baby is born. It will be a lot of adjustment and I know it's normal for kids to regress a little when there is a lot of change. At least it's nice that he has a solid foundation and I know he knows how it's done.
 Cute naked booty!

So happy about big boy underwear!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Testing Out the Baby Chair

The other day, we were getting some of the baby stuff out of storage and putting it in Ryder's room because he will eventually be sharing it with the baby. Ryder loved the little bouncer chair! He was just lounging in it and he looked so big!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Little Bunny Foo Foo

My brother, Logan, recently bought a pet bunny. He named her Foo Foo. When we went to my parent's house for dinner on Sunday, Logan had brought her and all the kids were so excited! They loved to crowd around the cage and stare at her. When Logan got her out she was so scared because all the kids would follow her everywhere she went! She is so cute!
 Ryder and Payton

 Logan feeding her a carrot

 Trying to see her in her cage

 such a cute, little bunny!

Logan holding Foo Foo