Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best week of my life thus far...

Jett Spencer Ward
December 23, 2011
6 lbs 14 oz / 20 inches

Words can't express Spencer and my feelings over the past week. We've been SO blessed!
Jett is the light of our lives already, the reason to get up in the morning, and the reason to count our blessings at night. He's so precious.

Thanks to all the family and friends who've expressed their love and congratulations to us. We've had lots of visitors - there's no doubt that this baby is loved!

The story:

There were several factors that influenced our decision to induce a week earlier than my due date: my doctor would be here to deliver, insurance coverage, deductible met... exc. I worked my last day at Idaho Central Tuesday, December 20th. We went in that night to be induced. Our bags were packed and we were ready to have a baby the next day :) They used a pill called Cytotec, checked on me periodically throughout the night while monitoring my contractions and baby's heartbeat. The doctor came in in the morning and tried to break my water... it just wasn't meant to be yet. My cervix hadn't budged from a 1 1/2 and it was too small to break my water and further my progress. Dr Carlson gave us some options, one being that we could try again, using a different and more expensive drug, Cervadell. So, after taking a little break, spending the day with Spencer, going to walk laps in the mall, and having a spicy Panda express lunch, we went back to the hospital. It was another night on the monitors and another uncomfortable night on a pull out bed for Spencer. At 4:30 in the morning, they took out the Cervadell only to discover that there was still no progress. The doctor came in again, talked to us about what we could do. Maybe I was one of those women who just didn't dilate... we could schedule a c-section that day... we could wait and see what happens, potentially just running into the same situation and having to c-section anyway, without my doctor (who is the best by the way). We left the hospital discouraged but happy with our decision. We were going to wait and see if I progressed, and scheduled another cytotec run with Dr. Jones on Monday. We were happy with the decision, figuring we didn't want to rush into it if it just wasn't meant to be right now and we'd give it one more shot - not wanting to just give in.

So we went home...again, Spencer ran some errands, came home, and I let him know the little bit of encouraging progress I'd had while he was gone. (MP if you're interested). He called his friend Jennifer Beck and scheduled a massage for me. We went to Aberdeen, all the while having small contractions (I'd rate these ones at a 3-4 on a 1-10 scale, not super uncomfortable). The massage was lovely! Jennifer said that there are certain pressure points that masseuses can focus on to help labor progress. The rest of our day was spent visiting with family and going to bed early. That was short-lived however, as I started waking up every 10 minutes with contractions. For a couple of hours I debated whether to call labor and delivery, and it wasn't until midnight that I woke Spencer and told him I was going to call the hospital to see if we could come in and get checked out. I rated my contractions at about a 6 at this point, super uncomfortable, not quite painful at this point.

We got to the hospital just after 12:30 am. The nurse (Wendy, who was amazing through my labor) and resident doctor checked my cervix: I was dilated to a 2, 100% effaced and my cervix was no longer posterior as it had been.

The doctor broke my water around 1:00 am. (Weird feeling) I was already hooked up to an IV, and the nurse soon started me on Pitocin and a Penicillin (I was possitive for Strep B) drip.

At around 3:30 am I got an epidural. I was seriously watching the clock the entire time after having my water broke and asked the nurse and resident multiple times where the anesthesiologist was! I don't do well with pain: I threw up several times, seriously considered never having more children, and questioned why in the world I didn't just go for the c-section! I was checked at this point and was dilated to a "7 or 8".

Once the epidural kicked in, it wasn't long until I was dialated to a 9 and they started having me push with each contraction. No pressure at first - not knowing if I was even doing it right. As they got more intense and frequent, Wendy was so encouraging and said things like "good push" and "best push yet". My sweet husband was there, apprehensive and overwhelmed, but super supportive and there by my side. I had my mom and sister there as well, and I was happy they could be witnesses to Jett's birth. I think Courtney was first to exclaim "blond hair!".

Jett was born at 5:22 am, 6 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches long. Spencer cut the cord and the doctors placed him on my chest. He was white from all the vernix (which I account for his beautiful completion now). They got him washed off and made sure he was breathing normally before Spencer was able to hold him and bring him back to his mom. He was so bright eyed! Pam (Nanny) and Sarah came in at this point too and everyone gawked at how cute he was, looking around and already content in my arms :)

Highlights from the rest of our hospital stay included:
  • Nursing - he latched right away and I love being the one to provide him with comfort and nourishment
  • Aunt SueAnn's helping Spencer give Jett his first bath and watching over him while working her shift
  • Family and friends visiting
  • Circumcision - Thanks to Dr. Fulks, this truely was a highlight. Spencer and I are both curious and wanted to be there for the little guy in his first surgery
  • Getting discharged on Christmas Eve to spend our favorite Christmas yet with a beautiful baby boy

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Time to call the Doctor!

No, it's not quite "time" yet, though I hit my 37 week mark tomorrow, which is considered full term. But I am going to call my doctor first thing in the morning (4 hours from now). I've had a head cold for the past week, but now I'm 99% sure I have pink eye as well. Yuck! I've never had it before, but my little niece and nephew have it (we saw them once before we knew and before they'd been treated for it) and apparently all over town. Double Yuck!

Ug.... So looks like it's another day home from the office for me. I didn't save all my PTO for THIS! But, the last thing I would want to do is spread it to my coworkers: Samantha, who works right next to me, just hit her 38 weeks in her pregnancy and another guy has a 3 month old, that would be bad.

In any case, I can't sleep, my eyes are driving me nuts and this is my usual time I wake up to go to the bathroom anyway. Thought I'd catch up on the ol' blog. The past month FLEW BY!

I had another baby shower, this one thrown by my lovely Ward sister-in-laws. The decoration & theme was so cute! (Sorry, pictures are still not on my computer and every time I think to put them on here, it's 3 o'clock in the morning and I can't find our card reader) Thanks to everyone who made it out to support us. We are so excited to have such a supportive family to bring this little guy into!

We were very busy at work, getting ready for our 100,000 member celebration! We gave away 2 New Ford Fiestas to lucky ICCU members. The parties went off pretty flawlessly! It was alot of fun. Being busy has sure made this pregnancy go by fast too.

I had a birthday this past month too! It was a biggy... 25!!! It was a great day, I took the day off and basically spoiled myself (with help from others). My co-workers got me a gift card to my favorite nail spa, so a pedicure was a great way to start my day. Spencer purchased me a 1 hour massage a while ago and I'd been saving it for just the occasion. I scheduled a maturnity photoshoot with my good friend Alisha and had some fun pictures taken.

Thanks Lee! The day was far from over, it was a girl's night from here on out. We went and ate

sushi at Sumisu and went to the Twilight premier. We went to the early showing, which was a little more expensive, but well worth it. So fun!
Thanksgiving was a definite highlight over the past month! We went shooting in the morning. It made for some good pictures and laughs when I got my prego self up to shoot. :) My favorite is always shooting clay pigeons, but I got lazy in my form and gave myself a good bruise on my arm.

Dinner was at my family's this year. We also had our good friends the Bravermans over. Dinner was amazing - Moms turkey was excellent, Grandma's stuffing is always my favorite, Angela's stuffed mushrooms were a hit, and I nailed my spinach poppyseed salad. I was also in charge of making a centerpiece: the thankful tree. We wrote what we were thankful for and put it on the branches of our tree. Spencer and I had many contributions to that one - we are so blessed!

We also made a visit to the Hancocks, where everyone was busy frosting sugar and gingersnap cookies. Here was my contribution.
It was especially great to see Jenna and Richard, as they live in Phoenix and we don't get to see them very often. Thankfully, I didn't gain 15 pounds over Thanksgiving like I worried I would. I actually lost a pound between appointments (not that I was trying of course - and of course they weren't concerned).

Another huge thing that JUST happened: we traded in the Pathfinder for a cute little Hyundai. It's not as big, not as spacious as we're used to, but it also comes with a title and no monthly payment. With a new baby coming and me quitting my job, we're preparing to tighten our belts on our finances. Dave Ramsey would be proud!

Short story is, alot has happened over the last month. I'm going in for weekly visits now, first appointment to check how I'm measuring (dilation and e-phasing) is tomorrow. We are excited for the holidays, and know that the next three weeks is going to go by SO quick! We still need a few essentials, but otherwise, we are pretty set!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hickups and Insomnia

After laying in bed for about 45 minutes and monitoring my baby's every movement, I decided to just get up for a little bit. Counting Jett's hickups is not the same as counting sheep I guess. I don't think I've mentioned his name before, but we are pretty set on it... Jett Spencer Ward. It was pretty official once we put it on the back of the invite for my baby shower yesterday. My mom and sister threw me a great friend baby shower. I love having friends from different parts of my life come together in one place - so fun! I didn't get the pictures from my mom, so they'll be on here soon, but here's a picture of the invitation. I provided the design, mom and Court did everything else. Thanks guys!
On the back it included a poem which read,
From Peter Rabbit to Mother Goose
Goodnight Moon and Dr. Seuss
Curious George and Winnie the Pooh

Eloise and Barbar, too.

In lieu of a card, please bring

your favorite childhood classic.

Let's build a library for Jett
that will be fantastic!
I didn't make it up - but I loved it! Thanks everyone who came and got to share in some baby fun!

I'm also very excited for the shower my sisters-in-law are throwing me next week for family. It will be super cute I'm sure.

Lots of happenings lately. October has flown past us and we're into November nearly a week now. I haven't been great about taking pictures, but I'll highlight on a few key points: Spencer was busy with Highmark Farms for the month of October, driving potato/beet truck 12+ hours 6x a week. This left me the much needed time to get Jett's crib bedding done. I'll post a picture of the finished nursery soon... but it's not quite there yet. A few more wall hangings and it should be ready.

I was able to attend the baby shower(s) of my 3 Howard cousins in October too! They are due in November, December and January. So here we are in all our glory!
{Tara Green, Tristan Neider, Taunie Bailey, Cali Ward}
Tae and Chase were able to come down this weekend too, which is always fun, especially so we can see little Beckham grow week by week. Chase helped my parents rid themselves of a virus filled computer (they just need to get a Mac and they'd never have a problem).

The next week, I was able to do some needed shopping in Idaho Falls with my momma. I got various things: crib mattress, new maternity dress, select items for Jett, and mom treated me to a purchase at VS! The girls have grown.... hopefully they'll shrink with the rest of me after this baby is born. It's often a natural occurrence from breastfeeding and I plan on pumping with the best-of-em!

I was also able to attend the 1 year birthday party of the smiliest baby I've ever known! Thanks for the invite Linda - Jaden is one cute kid!

Another thing I was able to finish while Spencer was busy with harvest was our office Halloween costumes. Idaho Central always lets it's employees show off their costumes a bit by having a small gathering in our large conference room and looking at each department. We were Angry Birds! We even did a little skit to display our anger!
It was pretty fun! The costume masks were constructed out of foam core, a bit of paint, painted felt for the beaks, electrical tape and an elastic band to secure it. Can you believe we didn't win best costume? It's rigged I tell you... people expect this display of awesomeness from the marketing department, so they don't reward us for our efforts... I'm not bitter at all...

I know there's a picture out there of Spencer's Halloween costume, I don't have a picture of it handy, but I'll be sure to post one here. He made great use of his facial hair he grew out during October.

Well... it's now been two hours since I woke up... maybe I'll attempt to get some more sleep, though I have my doubts. So much for an extra hour to sleep in before church (Daylight Savings).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Past Couple of Months...

Wondering what I've been up to?... Here's a sampling...
I haven't posted lately, but wow alot has been going on. Today is a day to celebrate! I haven't spent a spare minute doing much else but painting. Twelve weeks ago, I signed with an artist agent and shortly afterward, I was assigned my first official illustration job. Today I sent off my final illustrations for approval! So exciting! There may be some changes, but so far they've been very satisfied with the sketches and have had no revisions for me. Sorry to all those friends that I've totally ignored lately... I feel like a hermit. But - today I went to the movies, which I felt was an appropriate celebration.

I want to report all my recent happenings as well - because though I've been painting alot, life has been in full swing as well. Last weekend we were able to go down to little Beckham's blessing. What a special day! He was so good, and so handsome!
Two weeks ago now, I went on vacation with my parents, my sister, and her little boy. The trip was originally planned with my parents and us (me and Spencer), but Spencer decided to stay home and work harvest with Highmark Farms. I missed him all week, and we all wished he could have been there, but we respected his decision to stay home (I think this is his way of "nesting"). Even with the change of company, we had a great time.

We started the vacation off in Lake Mead Nevada! Definitely my favorite vacation spot on earth! The weather was perfect (hot!). Hyrum loved the water, and it was nice to jump in and cool off.
We spent two days on Lake Mead, staying in Henderson 3 nights. I debated putting my bikini belly baring pictures, but... decided against it, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting my momma-tan on all day.

Our next 3 days were spent in Disneyland! I had way to many pictures to post them all, so I made this lovely collage for you all to enjoy. If you were wondering which rides a pregnant woman can ride on in DL: all the ones a toddler can, I could. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Little Mermaid, the Flight of Peter Pan... etc. I did my fair share of shopping, people watching, and perusing through all the shops. I loved seeing Disneyland from an artist's perspective, thinking how fun it would be to help design and paint these props, rides, and backgrounds.

I loved the fact that it was Halloween decor! I love Halloween! Enjoy the baby bump pictures! I've popped out in the past couple of weeks. My family enjoyed feeling my baby kicks throughout our vacation. The car rides were the only bummer part of the vacation, but they were made alot easier thanks to Rio and new portable DVD players.

Our final day of vacation ended in St. George, meeting up with Tae and Chase and going to Sand Hollow. Chase offered me a swig of his Diet Pepsi while I was hanging ten :) That was baby Ward's last surf before he's doing it by himself one day.

Like I said before, I haven't posted in a while, so I thought I'd backtrack a bit and share some more pics! Another highlight of the summer was the Eastern Idaho State Fair. We went a couple of times, enjoying great food and even better company!

Spencer finished off his footlong corndog as I enjoyed a cherry-lime specialty drink. Yum!

Spencer and I both enjoyed some fair treats. I try to find something new for each year. Last year it was spicy crawfish, this year I decided to go with a fried candy bar. Though super-delicious, it was border line too sweet, and that night I had my first ever run-in with HEARTBURN!!! Ugh! Unfortunately that wasn't the last time either, but that was definately the worst case.

Another main event of our summer was the Salsa Shack! Spencer spent nearly every Saturday at the Farmer's Market, and every Wednesday night at Revive at Five in Old Town Pocatello. I wish I could say I was an uber-supportive wife and was his right hand gal every time... but my illustration job put a kink in that plan. We were both working hard I guess. Thankfully he had some great help most of the time. Thanks Jessi, Rachel, Aly, Tyson, and Shad for filling in and lending him a hand. He's the salsa master! Can't get it any fresher!

Anyway, I've been doing great, totally enjoyed my summer, love that autumn has come, and anticipate winter to be more exciting than both! Little boy is growing more and more, I'm enjoying being pregnant and feeling his little movements all day long. Sure, I'm getting more uncomfortable every day, and I cry at the thought of anything nostalgic or heartfelt, but I have been so blessed, and love that my family is growing and can't wait for this new chapter to start.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Week 19 & 20

Weeks 19 & 20...

Well we were going to find out what baby was in week 18, but Spencer decided to make a trip down to Las Vegas to do some
interviewing. That went well for him, he worked his charm, but no job offer yet... there are alot of things to consider, even if he were to get a job offer from them tomorrow. I'm glad he went down for the experience though. We spent an awesome weekend in Bear Lake over my 19 week mark. Raspberries up to your eyelids!!! It was a very fun weekend. Spencer even had some fun with my cousins and family on the new go-cart raceway in Garden City! During the next week, I got to paint the windows at our Pocatello Branch - the second time in my ICCU career. I actually only painted one window... but it was 9 feet tall! We did this for Welcome Back Orange and Black, rallying in the new ISU season. Well, on August 17th we found out we're having a BOY! We are so excited! Spencer and I were in shock... we really thought it was a girl (we weren't wishing, but if we had to take a guess, that's what we would have said). But we couldn't be happier! Everything is going great - our little guy is kicking constantly and it was so cute to see him move around on the ultrasound.

Here's a picture of the cute display I came home to on my kitchen counter! Thanks Rachel & Emily!!!

I was really sad when I found out that I could have had the whole sonogram on DVD :( My radiologist gal didn't mention it, nor did my doc or nurse. I was even sadder when I sent my sweet baby pictures through the heat laminater and lost the images forever!!!! I'm being dramatic, because the doctors office has printed me off new ones and I will go pick them up tomorrow... but still, I was sick! I thought I was being smart, trying to preserve the first images of my baby the best way I could think of... little did I know that they would be melted into a non-baby-showing black image of death!

Well, I'll get those pictures back tomorrow and show all of you his royal en-utero-cuteness soon!

Oh - and another fun activity to bring in week 20... stock car races at the Pocatello Raceway!!! The car fumes and burnt rubber smell may not have been the best venue for a prego lady, but at least it was outdoors.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Week 18

Gas bubble? No... no, that's something different. People most commonly refer to their first lil' feelings of the baby's movement as a "fluttering" or like butterflies in your stomach kind of feeling. To me if feels like a twitch. Like one of those involuntary muscle spasms you get... only this one's in your gut!

This has been a huge source of happiness for the past few days! I was caught smiling goofily in the middle of a conversation today at work, because I could feel the babes!

I've felt very very happy during this whole experience. I don't know if it's the extra hormones, yet I haven't been to weepy, but I'm just HAPPY! I've been thinking alot about all the things that make me happy right now, so I felt like writing them down.

Cali's HAPPY things:
  • Baby "twitches"
  • Being a care-free, non-confrontational person
  • Sewing baby things
  • Painting with a purpose
  • The new (but very old) pea-green box that my I inherited (took from my parent's house)
  • Nicki Minaj's song "Super Bass" - I blast my radio when it comes on!
  • Thinking about all the things that my HF has blessed me with
  • Shaved Ice - Tiger's Blood
  • Texting during work... that's bad, but don't take it away from me - it makes me happy!
  • Late night walks with my soul-mate
  • Thinking about the fact that I'll know what baby is in another week!
  • My vivid pregnancy dreams... though some have been lil' nightmares, so those ones are not good, but most are
  • Spencer's Salsa Shack
  • The happiness Bruce brings to my hubby (not the actual dog, he gives me more grief than happiness)
  • Calendars... I need one in every room

Week 17

Definitely the most significant happening of week 17 of my pregnancy is that I had a new nephew brought into the world! My awesome brother Chase is now a daddy! Tae is the cutest little mommy you can imagine and that little guy is so SO precious! I couldn't use a better word than beautiful when I first saw him. So cute!

We went for a camp-out with our friends over my 17 week mark. (Emily - thanks for the post so I could steal the pics). It is always fun getting together with people and chatting around a fire til the early hours of the morning! We didn't sleep at our campsite with everyone else though - Spencer woke early to do his Salsa Shack at the Farmer's Market, and I headed off to Provo to see my new sobrino!

I'm an excellent Jiffy Pop popper!

The Girls! - - Lindsey - - Angela - - Emily - Me

The Boys! - - Brooks - Alan - Heath - Spencer

Angela-3 months, Cali-4 months, Emily-6 months
Hmm... I'm ready for my baby bump now. I know I may not be wishing that in a few months, but right now, I FEEL pregnant, I AM pregnant, and I LOVE being pregnant! So, I want to LOOK pregnant too!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Last 16 Weeks

Have you heard? We're expecting! I'm recapping my pregnancy and the things that have happened up to this point. I'll sum up the first 8 weeks as an emotional rollercoaster. We had worries, excitement, lots of happiness and luckily never any sadness, never any sickness (wah-whoo!) I've really felt so good through this whole experience, I think I did it just right... I won't get "huge" until the cooler months and I'm loving the summer and staying active and happy!

Week 8...

My 2nd doctors appointment - we thought I was closer to 10 weeks along, but good-ol' Doc Carlson knew better. He couldn't find the heartbeat on the doppler, but brought in a small ultrasound machine, were we saw it beating away - a small blink in the middle of a bean!

Week 9...

I ran the 2011 Bear Lake 1/2 Marathon with my friend Charish! We weren't at the peak of our running game, but we had fun and enjoyed a stroll around the lake.

Week 10...

We finally told the family! Everyone was so happy! Spencer let his parents in on the secret just before father's day. I told my family with a father's day card that housed pictures of his his father's day gift with an additional secret card inside. He shared the happy news and the tears began, dad shed a tear, mom struggled to read the card outloud through tears, and sister Courtney cried and cried! I think she's really excited to have cousins for Hyrum. We topped off the night with Kiwi Loco! So yummy!The next few days we let the rest of the family in on the excitement! The Wards are all very excited for another grandchild/cousin! Of course, we just hope for a healthy-happy baby, but its fun to think about whether it will be a boy or a girl.

Girl Pros.... 1st girl on the Johnson side. Piper will have a girl cousin on the Ward side. I would get to live out all my fun girly design aspirations!

Boy Pros.... Spencer has a buddy. Ward family name goes on! We get the "Big Brother" in our little family.

Week 11...

Been thinking that I need to paint more. I haven't done a new illustration in a while - I'm going to have to find time. This week I took a chance and reached out to some artist agents. I think I'm on to something!

Week 12...

We spent an awesome weekend in Bear Lake at the cabin, and other than me getting the worst sun-burn of my life, it was perfect! We invited our friends Sam & Sarah down from UT. She's actually a couple of weeks ahead of me, so it was fun to have someone to talk pregnancy with! I'm sure I'll get sick of it one day soon, example, but until then, I soak it up!
Week 13...

We love the boat! Whether it's taking Spencer's parent's boat out on the reservoir, or surfing and kickin-it with my parents, we love it all. No better day than one on the lake. I went to "Wake in the Snake" in Burley for work because my Awesome CU sponsored, so I got to go help and talk with people. I joked that if I wasn't prego, I'd totally win the woman's category... but then this chick went. Uh... whatever I said about your bright pink bikini earlier, forget it, you can wear whatever you want. She was that good!

Week 14...

My first official ultrasound happened this week, which put me at 14 weeks, because they wanted to measure the baby to see exactly how far along I am. 14 weeks! Hurray! Here's a sneak peak, our next look at our little munchkin is August 11th - at the 18 1/2 week point!

Week 15...

We spent an awesome weekend with Sarah & Abe down in Colorado. Our nephews were alot of fun, and very well behaved on the drive down. I loved Colorado! Boulder was very artsy and fun! We went to Estis Park on Sunday and enjoyed the wonderful views that the national park had to offer!

Monday we spent the day in Denver. Shopping and baseball! One of my favorite purchases of the trip is a new Eric Carle Baby Journal that I got from Barn's & Nobel. FUN!

We went to Coor's stadium and watched the Rockies vs. the Braves! Abe is a dentist for Comfort Dental, and they have a box suite! What an awesome view! I forgot how much I love baseball! Spencer didn't forget how much he loves hot wings though - free perks of the suite!

Week 16...

It's not risky when you're awesome.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hello World!

Just so you all know... I still plan on blogging here regularly when life gets a little more exciting. Life is pretty much the same-ol'-same-ol', but here's a few highlights.

  • Spencer GRADUATED with his Bachelors in Public Relations and Advertising at ISU.
  • I recently got my Illustration Website up and running! Thanks Chase!
  • Dad turns 50 tomorrow! Wowza - go wish him a Happy Birthday!
  • We are planning a baby shower for Tae, who will give me another nephew in late July!
  • I'm still working at Idaho Central Credit Union - and still loving my iPad!
  • Spencer is looking into jobs in Las Vegas so he can attend UNLV for his MBA.
That's about it...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New blog

So, I don't know if my life is exciting enough to have a family blog yet, and I certainly don't have time for one. But I figured I'll probably have one some day, so I might as well find a good name for one and post on occasion.

This is going to be my spot for every day life. I have my art-blog and that's enough for me right now. So - until there is something out of the ordinary that I want to proclaim to the world, find me posting at