Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Introducing Ruby Ann Bigelow!

Our second daughter, Ruby Ann, was born Friday, May 11th 2012 at 5:05 am. I did a home-birth again. If it wasn't for all the extreme pain and suffering, I could sit here and say that it was just an "amazing" experience. It was a great experience, but very painful and very long. Everyone had told me "oh the second time around labor will be much shorter. Your body knows what to do this time around". I think having the expectation of a shorter labor made it harder during labor to accept the fact that yes, I was STILL in labor at midnight....at 2 am...at 3 am...at 4 am, and finally, 5 am.

But I did enjoy the home birth experience. I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't stand the thought of having hospital staff that are strangers to me coming in and out of my room, or being hooked up to monitors and being required to have an IV and lay on my back. I love being in my own environment, controlling who belongs there and who does not. I like having my own bedroom, bathroom, and my own clothes, music, and low-lighting. I like having my own "labor food" (protein smoothies, pears, yogurt). I discovered that movement in labor really helps the baby progress.

My doula was invaluable to me. If it wasn't for a doula, I don't think I could have dealt with the pain. She is awesome. She doesn't even have to ask what I need, she inherently knows what I need and just jumps in.

I also couldn't have done it without warm water. People can't believe I don't have pain medication. Pain relief. What they don't understand is warm water IS pain relief. I am thankful I had the warm birth pool and warm showers.

Our baby didn't have a name for 3 days. That 3 days felt like an entire week, because everyone was in amazement I didn't choose the name yet. Todd bribed me with 6 dozen cookies if I would decide on the name by Monday May 14th by midnight. That was the deadline. I chose the name Monday morning at 6 am, when no one else was awake. Ruby Ann. Ann for three women: Deanna, Annette, and Ann. The first name was between Ruby and Olivia, and it was a hard choice. I knew Todd really liked Olivia and he had been calling her Olivia the whole pregnancy. But the day she was born, she looked more like a Ruby to me. Hence the dilemma for 3 days of what to call her. But we all seem happy with the name Ruby. I love her SO much. She is so sweet and bright-eyed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Todd Finally graduates!! Friday the 13th of May, 2011

Friday the 13th. What a regal day to graduate! I am so Pleased with Todd. He never got to "walk" in high school graduation, so this is his first (and probably only) time to walk. He looked very handsome indeed. He worked extremely diligently for this day, with almost straight A's. As his wife, I can say "thank heavens", and I wish it were truly over. But he still has to finish his online Bachelor's degree, and he is in yet another program this year: Polysomnography. But this accomplishment is a great step! Now, to only get a job.....

Lena is practicing what it will feel like, a long, long, long time from now....

She is such a good baby and did awesome for the graduation ceremony and staying out late at the restaurant afterwards. We didn't get home until 11:30 pm, and of course Lena was still awake. She is a diehard!

Todd's fellow respiratory students were an amazing bunch, and Todd developed some great friendships. They are all graduating with an Associate in Applied Science: Respiratory Care. Todd already passed his Board exams to get his Respiratory RRT license back in February, and is looking for a job currently. It is a tough season for new graduates, but we are confident that with time, he will get a job.

The two graduates with their daughters :)

Todd with his sister Kristel and her children. We are so grateful they all sacrificed to come down, and enjoy being with them!

Although Deanna could not make it down for the graduation, Todd wanted to honor his mother by getting re-dressed in his gown. We suprised her at her home. Todd didn't want her to miss out on the excitement. My sister Ann, made TOdd a neat ribbon for him to wear as a graduation gift.

The poor Bracken's drove all 11 hours Friday to get to Todd's graduation, then made the trip back to Utah Sunday. They are troopers, but it was fun to have them! Matthew is getting so grown up, and I am so proud of him.

The moment you have all been waiting for..........To witness for yourself Todd graduating! To make sure I am not lying to you! So now there are no excuses for far-away family members, you can feel just like you were there yourself!! Don't fast forward, just enjoy.

The End :)

Happy 1st Birthday, Lena!!! 5/17/2011

We celebrated Lena's birthday while a lot of family was in town for Todd's graduation, and her party was awesome!

I did a polka dot theme for her party, and Todd was kind enough to get helium in the balloons the morning of the party. You can also see my new painting that my mom and dad gave me for Christmas this year. It is "The Gleaners" from T. Harwood, and I love this painting because it hangs next to the bride's room in the Mesa Temple where I served as a temple worker up until the time Lena was born.

I know, I know, these people don't look like they are having very much fun. But we really did! It's just that they are all concentrating on eating their cake, very somber and in their own solitude.

Lena wasn't sure what to think about her cake at first. I had imagined how I wanted her cakes to look like ever since she was born (lame, I know). Yes, both cakes are homemade, mainly by me, although my mom did have to help me frost them as I was in a time crunch the morning of the party. I bought the pink candle in Utah on clearance at Christmastime. I found this AMAZING cake decorating supply store in Phoenix, where I found the polka dots and the cake tins/supplies. I am excited about that find!

I hope the video works...Lena took her first steps on her own after most everyone had left the party. Grandpa and Grandma Bracken and Uncle Matthew were still with us, so they got to witness the fun event! We had a lot of fun with the Bracken's and Campagnas in town.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lena is 9 months!!

Lena LOVES her little play-table Dad bought her! she can hold herself up and play for a long time. The past week, Lena is learning how to stand alone for up to 20 seconds at a time! She did it quite a few times this morning and will soon stand all by herself, all the time!! It seems she is changing to us so quickly the past two weeks.

She is starting to "crinkle" her nose, and over-exaggerates it about everything, it is hilarious! I'll have to post a picture of that soon.

Mommy is trying to learn how to do her hair, but Lena's babysitter, Heidi, is much better at it than I am. Heidi was trying to teach me last night when I went to pick Lena up, but I'm going to have to practice! My pigtails never turn out as cute as Heidi's. I new skill I need to learn....

Lena has her little "pincer" finger grasp down and is starting to eat those little star-shaped cereals. She is a great eater of the fruits and veggies, but still doesn't like babyfood meats.

At the pediatrician's office 2 weeks ago, Lena's checkup was great! She is in the 45th percentile for weight, and 60th for height.

Papa and Lena reading a little scripture.....

This is Mommy's first attempt at doing Lena's hair. What you can't see in this picture is that 2 minutes later, the loose pigtails came out :)

This video is the first time Lena tried chicken....

Monday, November 22, 2010

November Trip to Virginia!

Virginia Leaves are so beautiful! Especially compared to the bland colors of arizona....

The cute twins! We had fun Christmas shopping

I love this picture of Lena. She is so happy, you can see it all in her face!!! SHe is "such a doll, a baby doll" as the lady on the airplane would say. She had those ladies on the airplane eating out of her hand. Everyone kept saying how they have never sat next to such a well-behaved and good baby. She didn't cry once on both flights, and she is so curious and friendly, she would stare at people and smile and coo at them.

I had fun visiting my sister Julie in Virginia. I don't know how people who have twins do it....I watched these twins for 4 hours, and was so nervous the whole time! But luckily it worked out. Joseph and Lena are two weeks apart, and are both too cute!
I did a lot of quilting while I was there, which is embarassing to say I have never quilted before then. Seeing as how my mother is an AMAZING quilter and textile diva extraordinare. So I wanted to post the picture of me quilting for her to see, as proof :) I actually found I quite liked quilting, esp. when I could watch movie after movie on netflix :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

HALLOWEEN 2010: Lena's 1st Halloween!!!!!

I was Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, the evil witch-villain who turns into a dragon (Prince Phillip slays her. I wanted Todd to be Prince Phillip, but he wouldn't). Lena was my cute side-kick and was a baby dragon.

We went to our neighborhood block halloween party on Saturday the 30th on 7th street; they rope off the street and put on an AMAZING display!!! Each driveway/house has an activity or food item. Our friend, Haylie, went with us, and we had a great time.

There was hot dogs, ice cream, snow-cones, fried scones, candy, popcorn, a live band, Trunk-Or-Treating, cake walk, haunted house in someone's garage, bean bag toss through the witch, horse shoes, etc. It has a great turnout, and all the adults dress up, too! Even people who move away always come back again. This was my 1st time going, since I always work saturdays. But I asked for this saturday off, just so I could go to the block party.

I dressed up as Maleficent and Lena and I went to Cardon Children's Medical Center's birthday party, celebrating their first year open. I was SOOO hot in my costume, it was over 95 degrees, as you can imagine (in purple and black cloak).

October 2010

Lena is so cute. She was using her teddy bear as a pillow, snuggling up to it. She is so cute in her little G diapers!
Daddy and Lena at my cousin Jared's wedding, 10/9/10 in Casa Grande. Lena did excellent: she didn't make a peep during the wedding ceremony! She did very well until at the end, maybe the dance music was too loud, or maybe she just had gas, but she got very fussy towards the end.