Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hip Hop

Blake had his first hip hop dance class today.  I went with full intention of snapping pictures and practicing to be the best "stage mom" there is.  The teacher shooed us out of that room before we even knew what hit us.  She told us parents that the kids really need to focus so we were encouraged to come back 45 minutes later when the doors opened up again.  I was so shocked, I had to call Andrew and listen to myself complain that my little dancer was in there without my guidance or support.  I took a few laps around the building with Piper asleep in the stroller and managed to laugh at how absurd I was being.  Blake said he wants to do hip hop class everyday and that just might be because he has 45 minutes to himself without my "guidance."  You go kid.  I am really happy that I found the balance between scheduled activities.  I have decided that I am not signing him up for anything during the school year, but will save the fun lessons for summer time.  Only two years to go before I get to sign him up for surf camp!
I asked him for a hip hop pose.

The best "biggest" brother with his octopus hands sister.
The two are quite smitten with each other.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


 My new hunt revolves around recliners.  I want a funky recliner (not a recliner with a funk) that costs less than $50.  I have called every thrift store and there seems to be a shortage of retro recliners in the Bay Area.  It needs to be fabric, no cats, and smoke-free.  If you see one sitting on the curb then text me ASAP and I will come get it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Birthday Fun

I had a great birthday today.  First, donuts.  Next, a nature walk.  Lastly, a great Indian food dinner followed by yummy cake.  Back to real life tomorrow.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Love...

Things I am loving right now:
The amount of ear hair on my baby.
Flowers from family and friends.

My boys who remain happy and silly during these early days.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Birth Story

The Birth Story...

So here is the birth story of how Piper Hallie Kay Hurst entered the world (warning: contains icky birth details so read on at your own risk):

6:00am - I wake up with mild contractions that come every 10 minutes.

7:00am - I am amazed that the contractions are still coming since they usually petered out within 20 minutes.

8:00am - I cancel my babysitter and call my midwife to let her know that I am having continuous contractions and might not make it to our prenatal appointment at 1pm.

11:00am - I check in with my midwife and let her know that the contractions are still 5-10 minutes apart, but are getting a bit more painful.  I decide to make banana muffins.

2:00pm - My contractions have become more painful and I can't sit down.  I walk around the house and go outside grabbing onto things to help me through the pain.  My midwife calls to tell me she has appointments until 5pm and that she will be showing up then to check me out since my contractions aren't that close together.

4:00pm - My contractions get more painful and I try to get relief by kneeling in front of my washing machine and hanging onto the top of it (aka. trying to do laundry while contracting).  I move to the bedroom and start to writhe on the bed and then move to the ground.  I realize that the contractions are super painful and sit on the chair in my bedroom with three pillows stacked in my lap so I can squeeze them to help with the pain.

5:00pm - My midwife shows up and is a bit surprised at my progress since we last talked on the phone.  She checks me and says I am 5-6 cm. dilated.  She gets on the phone right away to call the back up midwife so she can get to our house ASAP.  Andrew hears her say I am 7 cm. dilated.  I get super overheated with each contraction, but I kept closing our french door in the bedroom because I could see my neighbor hanging laundry up on their line in the backyard.  I didn't want them to call 911.

5:30pm - I go back to the chair and have lost my comfort zone and curse the fact that I was forced to move out of that spot.  My contractions get a lot more painful and are now coming 2 minutes apart.  I  feel the urge to push with the contractions and my midwife tells me to do whatever feels comfortable.  I move to the kitchen and plop a pillow right on the island and bury my head so the pain will go away.  I love that Andrew had to move knives and other food items out of the way for me.  The pain is super strong so I moved to the kitchen floor with my pillow.  It kind of helped to push the bottom of the fridge with my feet with every contraction.  I felt a huge urge to push so I pushed like heck for three contractions and then my water broke.  Andrew was standing above me and said something like "Uh, oh, um, Faith her water just broke."  There was such a feeling of relief for about 30 seconds and then my body wanted me to push even harder.  Faith had been bringing her supplies in from her car and came running in saying, "Okay, we need to get you up off the kitchen floor and onto the bed."  I said I just wanted to birth the baby right there, but somehow they got me up and we made a mad dash for the bed.  Faith called for Andrew's help on her side of the bed and within a few pushes her head popped out.  Three pushes later, her whole body was out.

6:36pm - My wonderful baby girl was in my arms.

6:45pm - The backup midwife showed up.

This birth story was fabulous for me and I am so thankful for my wonderful midwife and husband.  I wanted so much to be in the comfort of my own home and it has been super to recover in my own bed with home cooked meals from my husband.  Another great thanks goes to Andrew's parents for watching the boys so we could be without worries during our birth story.  More recently, a big thanks goes out to my parents for a week of great support.  What a family!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dough Baby

Good things must come to an end.  My parents are going home tomorrow and boy will I be sad to see them go.  They were such a great help and the boys already miss them.  Blake said we are all driving to Sacramento the "day after this day tomorrow."  I have a feeling it might be a while before we attempt a road trip.  Andrew made some sourdough pizza crusts and we got back to our normal Friday night routine.  Piper is growing before our eyes and has outgrown some newborn sized clothing.  She looks like a cross between Reade and Blake so hopefully her feminine features will start developing too!

Pizza Guys + a Grammie

Pizza Girl

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On Our Own

Andrew drove to Berkeley with his mom for acupuncture and my dad golfed so us ladies were left to fend for ourselves with the three kids.  I added one more car seat into the minivan and we headed to Shoreline to play at the pirate ship park.  Blake and Reade loved watching the kids at summer camp learn to windsurf and sail sailboats.  We got ice cream after playing at the park.  Piper slept the whole time.  My mom and I both took naps once the men got back!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One Week

A day of new:
New outfits.

First shot.

Same family, new conversation.

New iPad for my parents.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fitting In

Piper is fitting in well around here.  My nursing issues are close to being resolved and the kids are getting used to a new baby in the house.  Andrew still thinks being home on paternity leave is fun and my parents haven't high tailed it back to Sacramento yet!  Baby woke up at 1am & 5am only to nurse and fall right back asleep.  I hope this posting doesn't jinx myself.

A made a berry pie for Piper and the family:

The boys being tucked into bed by their sister:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Out and About

Happy Belated Father's Day to all you dads out there.  My parents are in town now and are a crucial asset for my sanity.  The weather is great and it was great of Andrew to make his own Father's Day fajita dinner for all of us (such a great man!).

Blake made his dad a tie in preschool.  Oh, the first of many I bet.  Maybe Andrew will let me eat the chocolate See's candy ties when those come into play?

Piper had her first outing today.  We headed on over to PAMF (Palo Alto Medical Foundation - our doctor) for a meeting with a lactation consultant.  Breastfeeding has been super painful this time around and it was time to call in the professionals.  Turns out that Piper is/was tongue tied and I was a bit off on my latch technique.  A pediatrician was called in to snip her tongue frenulum to help nursing.  This was not as traumatic as I expected and she seemed to barely notice the procedure was done.  It still boggles my mind that to learn breastfeeding basics from my "village" I need to enter a medical facility with a parking garage with men directing traffic, pay $150/hour even though I have health insurance, and sit in the waiting room of pediatric urgent care with a pure, healthy five day old.  I embrace our times and loathe them all in one breath.  I learned important techniques so I am very happy I went.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 3

My stuffy nose turned into a full blown cold today.  So much for keeping baby healthy.  My midwife came back today to check in on baby and mom.  She says Piper is doing great.  Hopefully, I will have some immunity to shorten the duration of what would be a normal cold.  The kids came back home this evening and both of them are smitten with their baby sister.  Blake is so much more maternal than I thought he was going to be (yes, friends who told me he has gotten to that age were correct!).  Reade thinks she is a rubber toy just for him to bend, poke, and tug on.  I need to watch him closely around her big toes.

Here is my cabbage patch kid:        

Wearing a dress for the first time:

Blake and Reade enjoying their first day with Piper:

Friday, June 15, 2012

So Small

Wow, day two. My body is sore from using all those labor muscles (for example, my arms are super weak from gripping pillows and screaming into them). Nursing is a bit painful right now due to Piper's piranha jaws. I hope that will ease up once my milk comes in. For now, I am trying to rest when she sleeps and Andrew is keeping me well fed and well supported.

Daddy on duty while I shower.

I call this "octopus face."

First videos:

Thanks everyone for all of your nice, welcome wishes.  I just want to remind people that we won't be receiving visitors for the first 30 days.  We can't wait to show off baby after that and I am sure I will be more than ready for some adult conversation!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Introducing Piper Hurst

Born 6/13/2012, at 6:36pm, weighing in at 8lbs. 1oz., 21 inches long.  My midwife and husband were the best and I was so happy to deliver baby girl in the comforts of my own home .

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Break

It felt like summer this morning.  Instead of school, we watered some plants and then the kids built "spaceships" on the front lawn.  We looked like a junk sale.

What made it really feel like summer was waiting for Grandma to bring Mia over for a morning of fun.  Grandma went to work at Stanford and I took the kids to the library, a sushi lunch, and then cookies for the ride home. 

Mia will be here all week and I am bummed I am too pregnant/lazy to drive us all to the beach.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Husband and Wife

How fun to upload the videos and relive the moments through photos.  A great "family" wedding and I am looking forward to watching the couple grow over time.

The church.

The ceremony.

The crowns.

The cake.


Here comes the bride:

 Here comes the couple:

 The couple's first dance (worth watching in entirety):

My father standing in for the father/daughter dance:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

There and Back

We did it!  We made it to Sacramento for a very special wedding.  I can't believe they allowed me in looking like a tropical marshmallow.  The wedding ceremony was fabulous (my first Greek Orthodox wedding) and I really felt like we were all part of their union.  Creating their wedding video montage will be quite a feat and I hope my kids can find some fun things to distract them while I am busy.

Mr. Skinny and Mrs. Plump

Friday, June 8, 2012

Not Forever

No labor in sight so I headed down to my favorite store (when do you think they will ban me from tarnishing their image?) to buy a last minute dress for a family friend's wedding.  I look like a tropical marshmallow in this dress, but I am super excited to be attending the event.

Now listen to me.  There is a drive involved with this one so you stay snug and tight in there and give me until Sunday before you even think about coming out!  Do you think she reads my blog?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Dinner was consumed so Farmer Dad took the kids out to pick our peas. I expected a few pods, not the basket full they brought back in.  Impromptu pea shelling parties are always fun on the kitchen floor.

Baby update: I had my 38 week check-up with my midwife today.  Everything is going in the right direction at this point.  My blood pressure is within normal range, baby is in a good position and growing, and the pain on my right side seems to be muscular instead of something like my placenta detaching (thank goodness).  I asked my midwife if women tend to deliver at a certain week or if it is random.  She said that in her small sample size, women tend to deliver right around the 41st week.  She rarely gets people before or after that.  That gives me two more weeks to get my ducks in a line!  I can't decide if my children are suffering more now or if their lives will be turned upside down once baby is here?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quiet Busy

Here is Reade keeping busy in the garden:                                                 

Here are two kids chairs I got off of craigslist.  I love school chairs:                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

I started and finished a throw quilt yesterday.  I bought this seed sack in Iowa and used some of Ellen's old cowboy fabric to edge it (the quilt is folded in half in the picture).  I call it my Ellen and David quilt.  It is so pleasing to accomplish a task that has been on my mind for over a year now.

Today is my 38 week mark.  I did it.  No contractions and no sign of labor.  What else can I keep myself busy doing?

Monday, June 4, 2012


Ellen finished the desk and I love it.  I still have a lot of decorating to do around the space, but at least the essential components are in.  I need a funky chair to fit the space also.  I think it will be a great space for baby girl to "loan" to mommy and then take back as a study area later on.

Ellen added her touch to the bottom of the desk.  Ellen signed the desk and let Blake and Reade sign their names also.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012


There is so much to say today.

FIRST!  Happy Birthday to my sister.  She probably won't see this for a few days, but I am trying to wait until a reasonable morning hour to call her.

I finally finished a "welcome baby" gift a year after baby was born.  Better late than never.  I started a quilt a long time ago, but it didn't turn out the way I had hoped for.  I love the birdie print so much.  I included shorts from Carter's since I hate dealing with elastic.

We went to the Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival yesterday and I was super excited to pop into the Goodwill and check out their baby selection.  I got two dresses for $4.

A big thank you goes out to Erin for these adorable air plants from Robincharlotte.  They are so delicate and small and I can't wait to find the perfect place for my three little creatures.  You rock Erin and they definitely represent the three kids I have a the moment!

Baby update:  No more contractions.  I now have this pain (like a runner's cramp) in my side and am trying to get that to go away.  I am going to call my midwife tomorrow if it persists.  Everything seems so difficult (walking, going to the bathroom, just sitting) so I took a bath to try and calm my body.  I feel so edgy and impatient and know this could go on for a while so I better figure out some relaxing tricks.  Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Co. called (yes, I am on their call list) to let me know they have rootbeer flavored fro yo today.  I think I will start there for a sweet treat that always brings happiness.