Friday, August 7, 2015

Meet Avery

Hello all!
I know it's been far too long since our last update on this old blog, but things got a little busy towards the end of my pregnancy and posting was the last thing on my mind! Since we have had some significant developments since our last post, I thought now would be a good time to share a big update (mostly because it's nap time and I have a few minutes to myself for the first time in weeks)! Sorry for the lengthy post...lots of photos! 

As you likely know, Travis and I welcomed our son, Avery James Peterson into the world nearly three weeks ago. Here are some highlights from that wonderful (but crazy experience):

Saturday, July 18 was a VERY hot day in Seattle around 95 degrees. Since I was just a few days from my due date, we figured we should get out of the house as a distraction. Not sure why I though this was a good idea, but we decided to spend the afternoon at Green Lake with Jamie and her pal Jenni. Although we were under a shady tree, it was still quite HOT and as you can see below I was quite large and in charge. Jame took it upon herself to pose for a shot of a "leg rub" she was going to give me to help my swollen feet. 

Later that night, at 1:00 am early Sunday morning on 7/19 my water broke and we were out the door within 10 minutes headed to the hospital. I was quite surprised that my water actually broke since I had heard that only 1 in 10 women actually have that happen. It was probably a good thing though since it was a clear sign that things were happening and took the guesswork out of the equation as to whether I was really in labor or not. 

Once at the hospital the party really got started. It was an extremely long day to say the least and there were lots of complications. To sum up the short version...

  • The doc confirmed my water broke and officially admitted us.
  • I spent most of the morning walking around through contractions trying to move things along
  • Things were moving very slowly, so the doc gave me Pitocin to try to progress things faster. However, baby wasn't responding well to the Pitocin, so they backed off of it and wanted to let my body progress on it's own.
  • Unfortunately, because my water broke I ended up with a uterine infection which caused me to spike a high fever during labor. I also had a big drop in my blood pressure. Both of these factors were impacting the baby and causing distress. At this point we knew there was a 50/50 chance I'd end up with a c-section depending on how things progressed.
  • After 23 hours of labor, I did get fully dilated, however, at that point the doctor felt it was best to proceed with a C-Section since my health was declining and the baby was in distress. It was the a race against the clock to see if we could get the baby out before midnight - this was not a medical need but more of a personal sentiment as 7/19 was my Grandma "Gaga's" birthday and we though it would be really  neat for them to share that special day. Especially since I share a birthday with her husband (my Grandpa John). Sort of a neat coincidence that we wanted to take advantage of.
  • At 11:59pm, one minute before midnight, we met our son! Travis was a champ, right by my side in the operating room keeping me calm. I will say it was a very strange experience to be fully aware of what was happening but unable to see it. Since we didn't know what we were having, it was really neat to have Trav announce the gender and then bring him over to me behind the curtain. What a moment...
  • Although I was smitten with my new boy, there was a little more drama on the operating table - there was a tear in my uterine artery, so that had to be repaired before I could be closed up. Although this was a bit of a scare and caused a lot of blood loss, I was just fine in the end.
  • My doctor noted that it was a good thing we went ahead with the c-section since I would have had to do one anyway given Avery was "sunny side up" in the womb (different than breach), and he was also larger than anticipated. We were not expecting a nearly 9 lb baby...although many of the hospital staff took one look at Trav and told me they weren't surprised given his 6'5" frame. 
Avery James Peterson entered the world weighing 8 lbs 12 oz, 21.75 inches long. It was love at first sight. Here are some photos from those first moments:

Since it was after midnight in recovery, our visitors came the next day. First to meet Avery were my Dad and Jamie (Dad was in town on business and was there just in time).

Here are a few other shots from the hospital. We ended up staying until Wednesday given all the complications with  my infection and c section.

Needless to say we were so excited to go home. I was in rough shape given I had the full labor experience and a c section, coupled with complications. We packed up quickly Wednesday morning and headed home! Here are some shots of us settling in as a family of three:

5 days just felt like the right time for the first trip to Target : ) 

First walk in the stroller 

 Playtime with Daddy 

 Clearly he is his mother's child...already giving me attitude
 Hint of a smile for the first time
 Yup, we're all pretty exhausted around here :) 

Then we were lucky enough to have more visitors! My Mom and Molly came out to join the fun. It was so amazing to have almost all my family (sorry Mag) out with us to help us transition into our new life at home. My mom, bless her house, basically cleaned our house from top to bottom on a daily basis. She also had the magic "Granny Nanny" touch, rocking Avery to sleep when no one else could. I'm not sure if we would have made it through the last few weeks without their support, it's been amazing. Here's a few shots from their time with us:

Of course a visit from Chef Jimbo couldn't be complete without some protein. He showed up one morning with two GIANT briskets for us (as if we even had room in the fridge). Trav and his "meat baby" are below next to Jamie and our "real baby". Not complaining though...he and Trav teamed up and made a killer smoked pastrami dinner that lasted us all week. 

Despite some challenges with jaundice and dropping too much weight, Avery is now doing great and very healthy (growing rapidly everyday and Mom trying to keep up with his appetite already)! It has been a pretty crazy and exhausting two weeks, but it has been equally amazing to welcome this little man into our family and become parents. Our hearts are bursting at the seams and we literally spend hours just looking at him and smelling his head. His personality is starting to come out already (see his many changing faces below) and we can't wait to see who this little man shapes up to be. Mom is on the road to recovery and everyday we figure out a little more about what our new life is like and how to manage the "new normal" every day. It's hard to believe we waited almost a year to meet him, and he's finally here, all ours. 

We love you Avery James, can't wait to see you take on the world! 

Thanks to everyone for the support, kind words, congratulation and well wishes. It means a lot! Sending lots of love from Seattle. 

Cheers! (and a yawn)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Girls Weekend

Good morning!
I hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday. It's a gorgeous Spring morning here in Seattle - birds chirping, Mount Rainier is out and the sun is shining bright. Unfortunately another round of the bad cold/cough has hit our house and Trav and I are both quite under the weather. I've been up for a few hours - couldn't sleep since I'm coughing so much. So I figured, make use of the quiet time and catch up on the blog. 

It's especially relevant this morning since I just realized today is exactly one year since we arrived in Seattle! It's so crazy to think how much change we've encountered in the last 365 days - new jobs for each of us, 3 new places to live, new people and now a new baby on the way! Wow life is quite different than it was a year ago. We are so glad we took a leap of faith and moved out here, it has been quite an adventure and we love Seattle. Anyway, enough nostalgia for now...

Last weekend we were lucky enough to have some visitors! My mom and sisters were all in town for a girls weekend. It was so wonderful to see them and have all of us ladies together. I hadn't seen them since Christmas, so they hadn't seen the growing baby bump that has now appeared since the holidays : ) 

I took a couple of days off from work to spend time with them, which was much needed and wonderful. Thursday after their arrival Maggie, Nance and I went to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. It's about an hour and a half drive north of Seattle, and we picked an amazing weather day - conditions were PERFECT. Being there on a weekday was critical. Trav and I had attempted to go to the festival the weekend before, but it was so congested with traffic we couldn't even get near the tulips even after spending a few hours in line on the freeway. It was quite the tulip failure, so I was excited to be able to head back there with Mag and my Mom to get a look at those lovely flowers. 

The photos don't do it justice - the colors were out of this world, especially against the rolling hill and mountainous backdrop. 

After wandering around the tulip fields we went over to La Conner for a quick lunch before heading back to Seattle. There was a nice waterfront view as we were driving back to the freeway and I couldn't resist this tug boat (I have a thing for tug boats - weird I know). 

Moll and Jame weren't able to join us during the day since they both had to work, but we met up with them afterwards for a beer at Fremont Brewing, a great neighborhood brewery just down the street from our place. Don't worry, that drink in my hand was a Strawberry Rhubarb Soda they brew in house and keep on tap for kids and in this case pregnant ladies - it was quite tasty and allowed me to participate in the festivities. 

Friday Mag, Mom and I went island hopping and took the ferry to Whidbey Island (Moll and Jame had to work again so unfortunately it was just the three of us). None of us had been there before so it was a fun day of exploring small shops in the cute little waterfront town. We also stopped for lunch at a local cafe where I enjoyed one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I've ever had. It had aged white cheddar, crispy bacon and was served up on cinnamon raisin bread. IT WAS DELICIOUS! A great find that I've been replicating at home. The weather wasn't as nice but we did get a few good shots near the water from the island. 

We enjoyed a nice dinner Friday night at a great Mexican restaurant we love in Ballard - Senor Moose. We were all pretty sleepy so we didn't stay out very late but we did enjoy some late night games at our place before turning in for the night. 

Saturday we enjoyed a day almost all together (poor Jame was sick and stayed home to rest) and took the ferry to Bainbridge Island for lunch and a bit more exploring. The weather was really beautiful on the ferry ride over to the island, but we did get caught in the rain later that day. We had another nice lunch by the water, walked around a few local shops and came back to the city for a delicious italian dinner at another one of our favorite spots - Tavolata in Belltown. 

No matter how many times I take the ferry, it just never gets old. The views of Elliott Bay with downtown and the Olympic Mountains in the backdrop are quite spectacular. 

Before heading off to the airport on Sunday we had a nice breakfast together in Fremont and walked around the Farmer's Market. We also strolled down by Lake Union which is where we took this lovely shot. I realized over the weekend that all the ladies in my family literally wear black almost every single day. I was the only one with any color in my wardrobe - my black rain jacket just happens to be covering up my colorful sweater in this particular photo. We must have looked like some sort of gang walking around like this together : )

I wish they all could have just stayed out here in Seattle with us, but it was so wonderful to have some quality time with my sisters and amazing Mom. I'm thankful that I have great friends and family who take the time out of their busy lives to come visit and spend time with us. 

At least I will get to see them again in a few weeks when we head back to Minnesota for a baby shower! I am a few days shy of being 27 weeks pregnant now, it has gone by quickly - despite the rough first several months and current lack of a good night's sleep (I guess I should get used to that). Now if I could just get my immune system to buck up and avoid getting a bad cold/cough every 8 weeks, that would be great! It's crazy to think that in about three months we'll have a new addition to the family...we absolutely cannot wait! 

We also have another round of visitors in a few weeks which we are so excited about - our other set of sisters and second mother are coming. That's right, the infamous trio - Sue, Steph and Katie Goethke, three of my favorite members of our blended "Goeth-Strom" family. We can't wait to see you!!!

I hope everyone enjoys their Saturday and has a great weekend!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Trav's Birthday in San Francisco

Good evening!
Getting caught up again on the blog, this week I found a few minutes to round up the photos from our trip to San Francisco in mid January. I surprised Trav with a weekend getaway for his birthday, told him to pack his bags but didn't reveal the destination until we got to the airport. It was a fun surprise and a great weekend to getaway and spend some time together after a busy holiday season. 

We had a very busy weekend, taking advantage of many great recommendations from one of my pals at zulily who used to live in San Fran. We pretty much ate our way through the city with a few other notable stops - Ghirardelli Square The Ferry Building, Alcatraz, North Beach, Chinatown, The Painted Ladies, Haight Ashbury and The Golden Gate Bridge to name a few. We got a lot of exercise in, walking nearly everywhere (with a few short Uber rides as well). 

Alcatraz was our favorite stop, although a total tourist trap, it was completely worth it. We spent a few hours walking around the grounds and took the audio tour, which was really well done. We both really enjoyed it, highly recommended. 

Here are a few photos from the weekend: 

A mandatory stop at In & Out once we arrived

We walked down to the water and Ghirardelli Square - mainly to walk off our In & Out...

Saturday Morning we walked over to The Ferry Building for breakfast at the farmer's market. A lovely shot of the Bay Bridge on a foggy early morning. 

After breakfast we went over to the cruise terminal to grab the boat over to Alcatraz. The photos don't do it justice, what a neat place. 

The recreation yard

One of the isolation cells - total darkness with that door closed. 

A standard cell - it's even smaller than it look sin the photo

 A view of the city from the island

Trav "taking care of business" on the alcatraz cell toilets

After Alcatraz we went over to North Beach for a stop at Golden Boy Pizza. This was a delicious lunch and definitely worth the wait to get inside. 

After lunch we went over to Chinatown. As you can see the window displays were quite interesting. Quite the variety of poultry in this one...

From Chinatown we stopped by the streetcar museum and then took the streetcar back down to the hotel. It was a gorgeous day and it provided some great views of the city, what a fun way to get around! 

Before dinner we stopped by Alamo Square to watch the sunset and take a peek at the Painted Ladies. 

As you can see I was excited to be there...just had to take this cheesy tourist photo. 

Trav tried a different approach to his "jump"...I think he was going for the superman approach but it didn't quite work out as planned. 

Sunday morning we got up early before flying home to explore near the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a misty and foggy morning but we still got a few good shots of the bridge before saying goodbye to San Francisco. 

In addition to the weekend getaway, we did celebrate on Trav's actual birthday with a nice dinner with Jamie out at a BBQ restaurant in the Ballard neighborhood. We had walked by it many times and wanted to try it, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity! We got the "cowboy killer" dinner and split it among the group. It was basically a giant plate of assorted smoked meats and some yummy sides. Overall it was a success! 

Finally, I just had to post a photo of the birthday card Jamie got Travis since it was such a keeper. I mean, come on...Justin Beaver!?!?

Well that's all I've got tonight. Trying to get better about getting back in the habit of posting, at least once a month! February has been pretty uneventful so far, particularly because I had a nasty cold/cough combo for several weeks and have been quite a hermit while trying to kick it. The weather though has been great in Seattle, so we have been trying to get outside and at least walk around the neighborhood when we can. We've also been cooking a lot at home and enjoying our new patio furniture and bonfire table! It's so nice to be able to hang out outside during "winter." If you consider 50+ degrees in February to be contrast to what we're used to! 

Other than that not much to share, approaching the 19 week mark with Baby Peterson and happy to report the nausea has finally improved. Phew! It's hard to believe we're nearly half way there already! CRAZY...but so exciting : ) 

Have a great week!