June 10, 2015

Graham Has Come!

Well, we have officially been a family of 4 for nearly 6 weeks now and it has been a crazy ride so far. Things will balance out soon, but let me tell you what we have been through in the past 6 weeks...

Graham was born on May Day, at 12:30am after we had been taking our time doing a few more natural induction techniques on and off since 8am the day previous. I started out with citatech (sp?) in the morning which helped put my body into labor for a few hours during which time Brandan and I roamed the hallways at the hospital, chatting with his many co-workers and sipping juice and enjoying strolling without kids, arm-in-arm! I can't even remember the last time we'd been able to do that. I only dilated a bit after a while so my water was manually broken around noon and stronger contractions hit, dilating me a bit more. After several hours however, my contractions were strong but not able to progress things along any farther, so we opted for an epidural and pitocin. However, after only about 20 minutes on pitocin, baby's heart rate was going crazy and my nausea was overwhelming, so our awesome nurse shut it off and let me sleep for a couple more hours to see if my body would kick into gear. Well, it worked great because at midnight I woke up and rolled over to the side of the bed where I threw up and realized a baby was trying to come out! Graham was born a half hour later with no complications. He was just an angel of a baby! Hardly cried or even wimpered from the moment he arrived, slept almost the entire time we were in the hospital and for the next few weeks after, and nursed really easily. He was and is absolutely adorable and we couldn't be happier to be his mom, pop, and older sister! Kaiya loves him and is always right by his side to put in his binky, pat his back gently, or soothingly tell him "it's ok baby brother, it's ok" as soon as he begins to fuss.

So after the first week of life, we realized that Graham constantly had rotten egg smelling gas and stools and was incredibly gassy, even though he wasn't fussing. This was the first sign Kaiya gave us of her lactose issues before her acidic diaper rash began, so we preemptively cut out lactose from my diet and he quickly became a normal, yummy smelling baby! My poor sensitive babies... so we had the lactose issue taken care of, but Graham also had another sensitivity issue that was about to ensue.

At Graham's 3 week mark, I became incredibly sick and ended up in the hospital for two days with fluids and several IV antibiotics treating a postpartum infection. It was undetermined how I even got the infection (which irks me a bit...) or how it had taken three weeks for it to spring into full gear and overtake my body. In retrospect, it's now easy to see the random headaches, body temperature regulation issues, physical recovery, extreme tiredness, and other weird symptoms and how they were all due to the infection. Of course when you are recovering from having a baby, you just feel tired and crappy anyway so any other weird symptoms you just kind of ignore. Anyway, the infection was bad enough that I was nearly septic when I arrived at the ER (SO grateful we went in when we did, or things would have turned out very badly for our little family...!) and I could barely function enough to use the bathroom and take my pills for the next week. Brandan had to take off work to take care of me and the kids, our friends and the ward helped provide us with meals and babysitting, and slowly but surely I could function enough to be somewhat mobile and actually carry my baby again. It took about two weeks to fully recover and I actually am just now beginning to feel back to myself, about 6 weeks postpartum. Talk about a long recovery process, oh my goodness! So back to Graham's sensitivity - he had issues with my antibiotics so we had to give him soy formula for over a week which made him super constipated and have a pretty bad acne breakout. So we were dealing with me recovering physically, trying to pump every few hours day and night and storing it, treating Graham's intestinal issues, and even an illness that Kaiya caught all at the same time.

But we are all back to normal functioning now - thank goodness! I am back to not being exhausted 24/7 and nursing Graham full time, Kaiya's post-viral rash is disappearing, Brandan is able to go to work each day without worrying about me being able to take care of our kids, and we are able to be out and about once again. Luckily, all of our recoveries were nearly done for Graham's baby blessing weekend when a lot of Brandan's family was in town so we could enjoy doing some fun things while they were all here :).

[May Day!]

[Graham's eyes were wide open for the first hour or two of life before the week-long sleep began!]

[Who wouldn't be stoked to have this baby added to their family?]

[Bonding with Daddy]

[Kaiya thought it was pretty fun comparing baby Graham to her baby dolls]


[Little stud]

[I could watch Graham sleep all day]

[Handsome little guy - I can't believe how quickly his hair went from brunette to blonde!]

[The great men who participated in blessing Graham :)]

[Blessing Day!]

[Thank goodness for etsy and people who use it to sell desperate people like me adorable outfits!]

[The family who were all here for the blessing weekend :) we had a lot of fun together.]

[It's a definite tie between my love for Brandan and this new little man in my life ;)]

February 8, 2015

2015, A Year of Changing Things Up... Again

It's 2015 now and this year is going to bring a lot of changes in our little family's lifestyle. For the last two years I've had the opportunity to stay at home with Kaiya all day every day; just she and I, a busy young mom with her little co-captain. This year we will be adding a baby boy into the mix. He is due April 30th and will not only bring new challenges making my easy 'doing whatever I want with Kaiya tagging along' to 'trying to do what I need to do while hauling around a feisty toddler and a newborn.' Brandan is excited to have even teams of gender in the household though :). We are excited!! And if that won't be a big enough change, we will also be changing up our living situation as I begin a Physician Assistant program at Idaho State University in August. The details aren't completely figured out, as a lot of things about housing and job possibilities for Brandan are up in the air still. But it will be a totally different experience being a full time medical student and a mother of two! I'm excited though - excited to get started and excited to be done so that I can be completely done with school and become the best PA and mother I can be! I'm so grateful to have such a loving and understanding spouse too who knows me well enough to know that I need to do this, for myself and my family. He is willing to help me make all of this craziness work!

So anyway, we have just under three more months to prepare for baby boy, then a month or so of newborn craziness, then all the preparations for PA school will begin! I feel like life never slows down, but I am totally fine with that. Ever since Brandan and I got married, we've had some big life change occur every few months, whether it was beginning or finishing college or grad school, or moving to a new place, or adding to our family. So bring on the continuing changes!

[Kaiya holding the blue balloon announcing the gender of her younger sibling]

[Can't believe we're going to go from a family of 3 to a family of 4 soon!]

[Brandan turned 29 in January! And of course he got his light and fluffy no-bake cherry 
cheesecake ;)]

[which of course meant I needed a super dense, over-the-top rich chocolate dessert for my 26th birthday in February!]

December 3, 2014

Kaiya Turned 2!!

What a whirlwind the past month or so it has been at the Lym residence! Helping coach the High School cross country and boys soccer teams wrapped up (my runners ending up at state - woot woot!), Halloween preparations and celebrations came and went, Kaiya and I flew all the way across the country to spend a week with family then came home for about 14 hours before driving out to Idaho, Utah and Arizona to visit more people and places for another week and a half, then drove all the way home and had three days to prepare to have a full house of family here for Thanksgiving and Kaiya's birthday. Phew - all done! Pre-Christmas holidays celebrated - check, Kaiya had a fun party for her birthday - check, we got to see a good portion of our far-far-away family - check, I attended PA school interviews and now just accept one of the offers I've been given - check. Now we can relax and enjoy the next few months of Holiday cheer and spending time together as a not-so-busy-or-stressed-out-family!

And all our craziness could not have taken place and been done with in better timing. Kaiya is finally starting to become crazy independent and a bit more difficult to dealt with at certain times throughout the day, baby #2 is finally popping out to an obvious amount and kicking me when I've been sitting too long, and now I have a few weeks to finish planning out Brandan's and my 4th wedding anniversary and our Christmas festivities. I'm excited to not be traveling or doing anything too crazy before this baby comes and our lives become a little more fun.

[Family of scarecrows for Halloween - fake eyelashes were fun but SUPER annoying, straw was cute but SUPER itchy.. notes to self for next time..]

[Grandma Young with same-age cousins Kaiya and Emerie in Philly]

[Awww cousin-ly love! Speaking of which, I LOVE these girlies!! Lyndi, Emerie and Kaiya ran around, danced, sang songs, read books and had a blast for the whole week we were there]

[Yes, we saw the liberty bell and some historical buildings, but my favorite thing to see was Rocky!! (and yes, I definitely ran all the way up the stairs he did in the movie!)]

[Kaiya with her great grandma Gwen in Idaho :)]

[Kaiya's birthday party lay-out, YUM. The theme was "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"]

[Cousins Clayton and Brody had to help blow the candles out, but her cheeks looked so cute all blown up!]

[She's TWO!!!]

Just as a head's up - we will find out the gender of baby Lym #2 on December 17th so I should have another blog update with ultrasound pictures then!!

October 13, 2014

Family Photos Fall 2014

Well, it's finally come that time again when I look at our family photos up on the wall and can't help but feel like those people look nothing like us anymore - my hair is double the length, I have a different style of favorite jeans, Brandan now wears glasses all the time rather than contacts, and Kaiya is many pounds heavier, several inches taller, has longer hair and less baby-ish features. I cannot even begin to express how ecstatic I get to have new, very well done, family photos!!! Thank you Kylie Cooke Photography for your amazing work!!! These pictures meant a lot to us - they prove that we've grown and changed in the last year in numerous ways. A year ago, Brandan was in graduate school and now he has a full time "big boy" job at the hospital as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. I was preparing to take another online class to finish my prerequisites for PA school and now I am done with those and am awaiting to hear back from the applications I've sent in. A year ago, we were soon celebrating Kaiya's very first birthday; we thought of her as our little baby, but now she is our little diva of an almost-two year old toddler! We were comfortably living in Iowa last year and were very comfortable in our group of friends and community, but as of the last few months we have moved to the west coast (literally, we are an 8 minute drive from the ocean!!) and have only recently found more of a niche with friends and the community. Oh - and in case you didn't know, we have baby #2 on the way, due April 30th 2015!!!

[Kaiya loves playing with leaves and sticks!]

[LOVE this photo - it captures our sweet pea's blue eyes :)]

[Kaiya was running from the camera most of the photo shoot, but these ones of her off on her own are soooo cute!]

[Kaiya and mommy]

[Our little family of three]

[Play time always gets the giggles out!]

[I love this man with all my heart!]

[I can't believe Kylie caught Kaiya like this - her very typical, Kaiya-like look of whenever we are with new people - adorable!]

[There are some smiles!!!]

[Girly girls]

[Relaxing on the grass]

[I can't get over Kaiya's face here, haha!]

May 21, 2014

Oh, The Places We'll Go...

[Kaiya in all her cuteness at the playground at Brandan's work - a daily occurrence]

Well, we're moving to Tillamook, OR!!! Yes, the place where the Tillamook dairy products come from (best cheese!!!)! It has been a crazy past few weeks getting through Brandan's internship in Spokane, driving to Oregon for job interviews, then making our way slowly back to Iowa for graduation week.

[10 minute drive from Tillamook :) Mountainous coastline :):)]

Beginning a few months ago, Brandan searched for and applied for any job he could find available. We thought it should be simple since physical therapy jobs are needed just about everywhere, but no one told us how difficult it would be to find a position for a NEW graduate with no experience or specialty. Well, after several jobs fell through, we took a little break from searching over the Easter holidays and Brandan's preparation for his licensure exam. During this little break, we had an angel of a recruiter fall into our lap and help us job hunt. He basically searched for and set up job interviews, giving us options and taking our desires for location or job site into account. We ended up deciding to focus our search in Oregon. We had such a great experience living there last summer and knew we couldn't be happier surrounded by green mountains, flowing rivers and the coast close by. So anyway, Brandan took an interview in Tillamook and Newport that both went well and we left Oregon feeling really good about Tillamook!

During the interviews, we were set up in nice hotels, given a welcome basket, and fed fancy lunches (we should have taken on MORE interviews just for the benefits! haha). Tillamook had such a more family-oriented feel to it and is set amid mountains with some of the best fishing, hiking and hunting in the state (and country!) PLUS the coast is 8 minutes out of town! The coworkers Brandan will have are awesome and care so much about not only him, but also Kaiya and I. The ward is helpful and anxious for us to move and the only two PA schools in Oregon are close enough for me to commute to if I get into them! Anyway, Newport was also great - the ocean was gorgeous there and the coworkers seemed nice enough, but even before we got to that interview, we knew that Tillamook was where we should go. Sooooo Tillamook it is!
[Kaiya and I waiting to meet Brandan's future coworkers]
[On the deck of our hotel room in Newport - awesome view, eh?]
[Playing at the beach - Kaiya is going to LOVE being right by the ocean!]
[Daddy and Kaiya played in the ocean after our morning run along the beach]

After traveling from Spokane to the coast of Oregon for a few days of interviewing, we made our long journey back to Iowa for graduation week. With all the hours driving and making pit-stops at the homes of some family and friends, it took use many days. We honestly lived out of our car and on the road for 9 days! But it was good. It was good to see those who we don't have as easy an excuse to visit in the Midwest and it felt great to know that this was the last cross-country road trip we would have to make in a very long time.
[Kaiya had her first Happy Meal on our long drive back east - we were probably more excited than she was (hence the photos) but we rarely go there so I thought I'd better document it!]
[AND SHE LOVED IT!!! this is now her happy/cheese face for photos all the time, haha]
[Kaiya with our friends' son Logan, a potential future boyfriend/husband - he's one of the few kids she really gets along with and likes to chase around, and it helped that he loved pushing her in the swing and going in for a kiss on the cheek when she'd swing back to him!]

I know that I will really miss it here - despite the humidity, it is such a great community to grow up in and through yourself into and I find so much beauty in the rolling corn and soy fields and in the way that storms (tornado-y or not) roll right over you. But I am ready to move on, shut this door and start somewhere new with a new, not-so-poor, student-family lifestyle. We get to grow up even more and own a house and more than one vehicle, to get a continual salary and budget money that we haven't borrowed but that we have earned! All of this can happen as soon as Brandan graduates this weekend and we get all our stuff moved out to Oregon and into a home :). SO EXCITING!!!

[The drive over to Portland/Tillamook area is BEAUTIFUL for those of you debating coming to visit us!!! ;)]