Sep 22, 2016

Maela's Blessing Day

We had been planning Maela's blessing for awhile, we knew we wanted to wait for a little after she was born, so my mom could attend her blessing. The last time she visited Missouri she only came for the weekend and had to Fly back Sunday morning, planning a blessing around a flight was a bit difficult, so we decided to wait. Luckily she said she would be back in September, we held off on planning everything out until we knew for sure she would be returning. As September approached we figured we should get everything squared away, after booking her flight, we scheduled the blessing. Maela would be blessed September 18. We shared with family members the date hoping they could make it.
While in church a few weeks before her big blessing day I was asked to give a talk for the same day! I was to speak in teaching our children the commandments. "Oh my", was all that kept running through my head, not only did I have to prepare a blessing dress (I knew I wanted to make a special blessing dress for her. I wanted to design it, pick out the fabric and sew it) I now had to write and give a talk! I started planning my talk a week before, I read many references that included talks, scriptures and church manuals every day trying to find out what direction to take.
When my mom arrived, I explained what I wanted and the next day we were off to the store. I wanted a dress with a Peter Pan collar, cuffed long sleeves, buttons on the back and front, scallops along the bottom and a bonnet. We found the perfect white cotton with polka dots. We then washed, dried, ironed, made a pattern and started cutting. We were up until 2 am figuring things out. Once the top was done we were off to bed, the bottom half was finished the next day. The final dress was beautiful, my Mom worked her magic and it was exactly what I wanted. While we were sewing and cutting Maela took some nice long naps.

When Sunday finally came, the boys wore coordinating bow ties of course Logan also joined the fun and wore a matching tie. Maela was the last to get dressed, she was absolutely adorable dressed in white! We arrived early at church to take pictures with family, many of them needed to leave after Sacrament meeting, so we arranged to do pictures before.

Maela received a beautiful blessing from Logan. While receiving her blessing she was surrounded by many who already love her. Grandpa and Great Grandpa were present, Uncles who live in town were able to be present and friends we have grown to love like family. I am so thankful for the power of the priesthood, it has definitely made its impact in our life multiple times, including today. While growing up I never had the priesthood in my home, my mom was the only active member while I was younger, so knowing Logan holds the priesthood worthily and can bless our family with its power if we need, comforts me.
 My talk went as good as it could have gone. I was full of nerves so I rushed through it, but was happy with the end result. We were also blessed to hear a sweet message from Logan's grandfather, I love to hear counsel from those who have seen and experienced so much. Especially when it's from someone who Logan and I already admire. After sacrament we sent those who had to leave off with plenty of hugs.
I am so grateful that our family could be present to be a part of such a special day for our little girl. She truly is a Child of God, who we are so grateful for and love dearly.

Jul 29, 2016

Her Name

For months we searched for the perfect name for our baby girl. Even before we found out she was a girl we were looking, mostly Logan because I was just sure I was going to be a boy mama forever and was giving up on the idea daughters. But I still kept track of my favorite girls names. Ella Reece was to be James's name is he was a girl it was a name Logan and I both fell in love with, but it just did not feel right any more so it was scratched off the list. Kaitlyn Alicia was deeply considered Logan wanted her to have my first name and Kaitlyn for both our mothers Kathleen and Lynnie, I love the reasoning but was not a big fan of the names. I really loved the name Ellis or Elli for short, Logan disagreed, Breeja, Eloise, Hollis, Marielle, Aila and many more were on my list of names I liked. I spent one afternoon looking through thousands of names and Logan denied them all so he took a chance and tried, he came up with Layla and Jessa I was not a fan of either, so we decided to take a break and try searching later.
With no luck after a month, one night while sitting on the couch we both decided we would look and pick one. Finally Logan said we should just make up a name we like, which lead to mixing all sorts of sounds hoping to come up with a beautiful name. I then asked who are some inspiring women in our lives we would like to honor. We both said our mothers, grandmothers and a few leaders. We sorted through the list and we chose our mothers. Both our moms don't actually go by their legal first names. My mom's is Herlinda and Logan's Shirley, as much as we love our moms we were just not in love with their first names so off to middle names Mae and Kathleen. We tried to merge the two, coming up with some odd combinations. Using Mae seemed to short and wanted something with a little more to it. Finally I mentioned Maelle we could call her Mae, Elle or Ellie, Logan still wasn't sold. I then mentioned Maela (pronounced Mae-LA), Logan loved it and I did too.
We knew if we chose one mothers name we had to use both. So we really liked Kate as a short version of Kathleen. But after much thought and discussion with family we decided Kate just didn't seem to be a good and chose Kathleen. Our baby girl's name would be Maela Kathleen after two women who have loved us, helped us grow both physically and spiritually, cared for us, taught us right from wrong, how to show love towards others and so much more. Each of our mothers play a significant role in our lives and there was no better way we could honor and thank them for all that they have done for us as children and now as adults and grandmothers.
I hope our sweet Maela Kathleen will know that she is named after such wonderful women who we both love and adore and are so thankful for.

Jul 25, 2016

Maela's birth story: part 2

[Part 1 can be read here]

By 9:31 am we were admitted, blood was drawn, monitors were hooked up I was ready! My contractions were getting more painful! And was ready for an epidural. I had always tried to handle the pain and try for an unmedicated delivery, but this time I new my body just couldn't do it especially if she was a big baby like her brothers. After the epidural was placed my legs were instantly numb, I couldn't feel anything waist down. The lights were dimmed and I tried to nap Logan was catching up on a tv show. I reached 6 cm at 1:48. Labor was progressing slowly so petocin was added to the IV at 2:15. Labor progressed painlessly, so far everything was easier this time around. 3:59 my water was broken and I reached 8 cm. At 4:30 pm I was checked again, I had reached 10 cm, fully effaced and head was making its way down. My doctor was called.
Carts were rolled in nurses were dressed and prepping everything for delivery. My legs were in the stirrups and the nurse mentioned you could see her hair. I snuck a peak and was shocked I could see her while she was still inside of me. Logan wanted to help out in everyday possible, he had talked to the nurses and my doctor about helping in the delivery. He wanted to help catch her, so my doctor said once the head was delivered he could delivery everything else. Our baby girl was pretty much pushing her was out a nurse held her head in place until the doctor came in to be sure she didn't arrive on her own. Within minutes the doctor arrived and dressed quickly and with one push At 5:35 pm weighing 6 pounds 11 ounces 19 inches long with a head circumference of 13 1/4 inches Meala Kathleen joined our family! She was placed on my chest and I was instantly in love with my sweet little girl, she was so small, adorable and finally all mine. I snuggled her while Logan cut the cord. I have wanted a little girl since I was little, I could not believe it had happened, the tears started rolling, she was here, she was safe, and adorable!

While Logan and I welcomed our new baby, my placenta did not want to detach, after an hour it was still attached. So it had to be manually removed, luckily I had a wonderful epidural, thank goodness for Anesthesiologist they are complete heroes! Later we found out my placenta had attached to my uterus from a hemorrhage I had early on.

We snuggled our sweet Maela for the next few hours, she was a big fan of nursing and latched perfectly! She was so quiet and loved to lay right on mama. Logan's sister, her kids  and his mom were able to visit before we were moved to our postpartum room I was still very numb so when I was ready to be moved I had to be rolled on a bed, Logan followed close behind.
It was about 9 pm and we were both hungry! I was able to get a sandwich and chips, Logan ran out to grab some dinner. Our first night was pretty easy, she slept and nursed. The only down fall was all the routine middle of the night vital checks. But we survived.

The next morning James and Boston came to visit! Boston was a little scared, all the wires and cords seemed to scare him and so he kept his distance. James asked to hold his sister and kept mentioning how cute she was. We snagged our first family photo and they were off to play. We later had plenty of visitors! Since I had to have a catheter because of the epidural, and I also had balloon like ball filled with water placed in my uterus to help slow the bleeding so I could not get out of bed or really move much.

We decided I would stay two nights in the hospital so I could get as much rest and not have to worry about anything at home. James and Boss were switched between family, I'm so grateful for such wonderful Sister in laws who offered to help! On Friday morning I was ready to go home, ready to see my boys, ready to be disconnected from all the cords and wires, ready to take a shower! I had the balloon removed and then the catheter and finally after two days could stand! It felt weird at first but then I was back to normal. I hopped in the shower, changed clothes, fixed my hair! Once clean and ready I snagged some newborn photos of Maela so we could announce her birth.

We were finally discharged around noon, the Boys were already home waiting for us. When we walked in Boston said he wanted to hold her and would not leave her side. He had to make sure she had two hands and feet, two eyes, two ears, a mouth and a nose. He loved her and had to make it known. James was also by her side, he wanted to help hold her talk to her. I am so lucky to have such wonderful boys. Once home everything felt complete, our family was perfect and complete! We were all happy to be with each other finally!

Maela's birth story: part 1

The first sign that Maela was showing signs that delivery was close happened while we were visiting Logan's Parents on the Fourth of July. I had some spotting, Boston was born the morning after I started spotting. So I knew something was happening, we left Mom and Dads that day knowing we would soon have a family of five. When we got home that night I started on laundry and cleaning, I needed to know that at least the main chores were done.
I had been having Braxton hicks contractions for a week now so I just monitored the time and strength of each contraction. The day seemed to fly by but I did manage to clean the boys room, the kitchen, living room, and our bedroom. I was pretty proud! After dinner I noticed that the contractions were growing closer together but still very inconsistent, so I was off to bed. With my previous pregnancies I would always start labor around one or two in the morning. I woke around four and was in pain, they were about 4 mins apart. I managed to labor for another hour and they remained two mins apart. I started packing an overnight bag for the boys, they would be staying with family while we were in the hospital. I also packed my bag, with all that I needed, and what Logan might need and clothes for our new baby girl!
I woke Logan at 5:40 and told him it was time, he needed to get ready. He jumped up and was ready in no time. I braided my hair and got dressed. Woke the boys and changed them so they would be ready for the day. Logan called my sister in law and she was on her way to pick up the boys. Once she arrived we hugged and kissed each one of the boys, then we were off. We arrived at the hospital at 6:54 am and walked up to labor and delivery breathing through contractions. Apparently it was a busy the night before and we were lucky to snag a bed in triage. After some monitoring and a pelvic exam I was only at 4 cm, and the contractions slowed down so we were sent to walk for an hour.
We walked up and down the hall, my contractions had started to make a regular schedule. There would be one at each end of the hall and two in between. I would stop at each designated area and start swaying preparing for each one. The pain was increasing and after an hour I was ready! We were ready to be checked. I had reached 5 cm and could be admitted!

Read Part 2 here.

Apr 27, 2016

Arizona, California and Disneyland

This year we knew that we wanted to go somewhere fun, all sorts of ideas started popping up, Disneyworld, Florida, Cruises, California, Arizona we were really up for anywhere! we finally decided we wanted to take the boys to Disneyland! We have gone twice before once for our honeymoon and again two years later with our good friends Remy and Brittany. So it's safe to say we love Disney and want our boys to as well. We started all the planning and during the middle of it, we decided we wanted to spend some time in Arizona seeing my family, then we thought why just visit with them for a few days, so we invited my mom, my brother, his daughter and girlfriend. they all agreed to come along! Then Logan got super excited and started inviting all the Bliss family! In the end we had a group of 28 people! We would all be traveling separately we were flying out early to Arizona to spend some one on one with my family. Logan's parents would be leaving a few days later from Missouri, his sister and her family would leave the day after. Logan's brother Kevin and his family were flying our from New Jersey, and his brother Jared and his family would be driving from Arizona. Our little family decided to stay in a hotel with my mama and my brother Erik's family, since my mom gets a killer discount!
I started preparing for our trip a month before we were to leave. I was making shirts and planing outfits so we could coordinate. ;) I had pinned everything Disneyland  related, I had to find all the kid and pregnant mama appropriate rides. I also wanted to make autograph books. Which turned out great! I found trading pins online and lanyards that were shortened for little kid length so they would not be tripping over them the whole time. When it was time to start packing, everything went really well, it was still stressful but what vacation isn't?

The Boys love to fly and have become really good travelers when flying is involved. We arrived at the airport super early, I would always prefer being to early then running to the gate because your running late and there is a super long line at security, because that is horrible and know from experience. We grabbed a quick breakfast at the airport and waited for our plane.

When we arrived in Arizona it was HOT! We were all wearing jackets since airplanes are cold and I had read that California gets cold at night and packing jackets in a suitcase takes up precious space. Arizona was wonderful, I have been craving yummy food from my wonderful state for so long! I knew I had to stop at In-n-out, Oreganos and Jack in the Box. We were all able to go out to Oregano's one night while my brother Ian watched all the kids, and it was DELICIOUS!! I have never had such a craving fulfilled as I did then. I also was able to stop at In n out and enjoy a cheeseburger and fries.

James and Boston had so much fun with Keanna, my niece. They were always found together laughing and playing it was such a joy to seem them all together! Before leaving to California, Mina invited my mom and I to one of her OB appointments so we could see my little niece via an ultrasound! It was so fun to see another little baby.

We spent three days in Arizona and then we all drove to California to meet up with the rest of the family. Our drive was long but thankfully we all slept except Erik and Logan our drivers. :) California traffic is definitely different than anything we have in MO, we finally arrived in Anaheim and settled into our hotel, we all shared a suite and it was perfect. The Hotel provided breakfast so we filled up each morning we made all our lunches and packed them up for the park, and decided we would eat dinner in the park. I also brought plenty of snacks that we could snack on at anytime!

We spent the first two days in Disneyland and the last day in California Adventure. Our large group split up and saw what each family wanted to, which worked out great since there was a group who could ride any ride without height restrictions while ours had three littles and two pregnant mamas. Luckily I could ride any ride Boston could so we stuck together while everyone else enjoyed rides.

After three days in Disney it was time to drive back to Arizona, but before leaving we had to stop by the beach so the boys could see the ocean. James and Keanna loved the water, running away from the waves was more fun than actually playing in the cold water. Boston was not a fan of the sand or water so he stayed on the play mat.

We spent the night our last night with my family in Arizona so we could fly out from the airport the next morning. Our trip was so fun, we enjoyed seeing so much family at once and visiting the "Happiest Place on Earth". I cannot wait until our next vacation.