Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Time Flies!

Wow has time gone by! For the sake of time I'm going to report on Thanksgiving weekend.

We did our second annual LeSueur Turkey Trot at John and Becca's house. So fun! Becca clocked out a 4.5 mile course which was beautiful! We had a lot more people join us this year and I hope that this tradition continues. Unfortunately, I realized that I didn't take any pictures until it was all over.

We had Thanksgiving dinner at my parents with some friends of my parents and my Uncle Darwin and his family. Dinner was wonderful as always and then we got to have some fun games. We did the chicken launch...pretty awesome! and then played croquet which lasted forever! Later that night all of my siblings except Ray and his family (they were in Utah with Amanda's family) help my parents put up all of their Christmas stuff which was followed by some fun visiting. I love holidays...especially the ones that mean you get to hang out with family!

That Saturday we took family pictures at the Cardon's, went to the Leslie reunion and then watched the UA/ASU game (in Tivo (spelling?) which we finished in like 1 1/2 hours). Glad that the UA won!!! Phil and I were by ourselves watching it without any ASU fans to give a hard time to. It was still fun.

And that sums it up in a nutshell! We sure have a lot to be grateful for!

Hot game of croquet

Chicken Launching...lovin' those bloomers Phil!

Picture day

Monday, October 19, 2009

Music in the Making

Last weekend I had a life changing event. We bought our first piano( was actually a graduation gift...thank you so much mom)! Why is it life changing? Our home can now be full of music and hopefully our kids will learn how to play the thing!

I had seen the ad on craigslist and Phil and I went and saw it. It was a nice looking piano and the tone was quite nice but the pedal kind of bugged me a little bit. I told the guy how I honestly felt about it and told him that we were still going to look around. A week or two passed by and I hadn't looked for any other pianos in the meantime when I received an email from him again saying that the piano was still available and that he was willing to negotiate on price. I emailed him back asking if he'd be willing to drop the price $150 and he said it was ours. Phil went and picked it up and we've used it almost every day since we got it. The more I play it, the more I fall in love with it. I guess I'm just going to have to get used to the pedal. The other downside is that the keys don't have a cover so I guess I'll have to get used to kids plunking on it all the time! What better way to get them to learn to love music, right? :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Love Affair

There have been a few things in my life as of late that I have fallen in love with.

#1: Donation #3

I've been growing sick of my hair and have been needing a change for quite awhile but I finally got around to doing it. I found out that my cousin Jill (or phil's cousin) was cutting my sister-in-law's hair and decided I'd seize the moment and get in on the action. We cut off about 13 inches as you can see by the picture and I plan on donating it to locks of love (thus the title as this will be my 3rd time doing it). Jill thinned my hair and put in some layers. I am slowly learning how to do it myself but am loving how light it is. My neck feels as if a huge burden has been lifted! Hopefully I'll get around to doing it more often now!
Modeling my amazing new hair cut!

#2: Rollin', Rollin', Rollin!

Yea for strollers! I was getting so sick of not having a stroller. Every time I wanted to go for a walk with Phil, we'd have to carry James which didn't make the walk as much fun. Phil found out about some guys who played basketball in the morning and so if I didn't get one soon, I wouldn't be able to go running. I finally stopped looking for deals and got this one. It is a Phil and Ted's sport stroller (thanks for the

suggestion Janette!). It was a pretty good deal and it wasn't my first choice as for design but I quickly fell in LOVE with it. Phil says that he likes this design better than the one I had wanted (but maybe he was just trying to ease my mind...what a wonderful husband!). I'm able to use it for every day use (I go on walks with James in the evening since the weather is getting to be so nice), I use it for jogging, and I've even got the second seat as you can see in the picture so when we have kid #2, we are already set. It moves so easily and can turn some sharp corners! James loves it. He usually falls asleep within 15 minutes of my runs. The bassinet portion kind of rocks him to sleep. He wakes up as soon as we get home so it is kind of a motivation to stay out longer...well, I'd like to think so!

#3: Who couldn't love this guy?!
Yes, this face blesses my life everyday. Amanda, my sister-in-law, took some pictures of us on James' blessing day. As you can tell, James really enjoyed it! James is talking more. He does it mostly when he is getting tired. When you talk back to him, he'll talk more. SO...I tried to upload a clip of him talking but I haven't been successful. I'll try again later.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Summer in Review

I can’t believe how fast summer has flown! Talk about staying busy! This is a recap of what we have been up to all summer as it has been one of our most eventful yet!

On May 15th, Phil and I completed our undergraduate degrees at the University of Arizona, College of Nursing. It was a very exciting day and a relief that we finally made it! We are so grateful for our nursing instructors and nursing friends that we have worked with for the past several years and will miss them greatly! The ceremony was very nice and Phil was honored with the Gladys E. Sorensen Award for Excellence. I was a very proud wife! The next day was the university-wide graduation. I wanted to attend and Phil didn’t so I went and Phil came with my family to watch and support me! Although there were some aspects of the ceremony that was disrespectful (like students throwing tortillas), I really enjoyed the speakers and was very glad I went. The nursing students wore white nursing hats during this ceremony to stand out which was kind of fun.

James Philip LeSueur
Just a disclaimer, this is really long and I don’t worry about terminology since it doesn’t bug me. So, if it bugs you, you might want to skip this section. There are also some not-so nice pictures of James as well, just so you are aware.

On June 20th, Phil and I had gone to the Arizona Health Science Library (AHSL) to do some studying (Phil-to prepare to teach an MCAT Kaplan course and me-to study for my NCLEX exam the next week). Prior to this, I had been having menstrual like cramping for weeks. I had also had a vaginal exam at my doctor’s on the 15th and had no dilation but had been paranoid the whole week as I thought I might have lost my mucous plug. Because of this, I told Phil that it would probably be a good idea to pack our hospital bag to have it ready just in case. I had thought about it throughout the week (due to my paranoia) and we finally got around to it that morning. Anyway, while studying about noonish, I started to have cramping again, but this time I was also having some lower back pain as well. Around 1pm I started timing contractions just to see if they were getting any closer. For the next couple of hours they moved from about 10-15minutes to 5-10minutes between contractions and slowly increased in intensity. We finally decided to leave the library around 4pm and at about this time I started to feel really yucky and feverish. We rode our bikes home and stayed at home for a little bit until we decided that this was very likely “the real thing.” We ran to the store to pick up some food so Phil would have something to eat at the hospital and while we were shopping it came to a point where I just needed to stand instead of walk around during the contractions. When we made it home Phil made sandwiches while I just sat on the couch. I was still feeling yucky and feverish and even threw up twice. We started to call family to let them know that they were maybe going to have a new family member in the near future. When we talked to my parents (who were in Utah as we felt confident I wouldn’t go into labor 3 weeks early) my dad, being the worrier that he is, told us we should go to the hospital. We kept putting it off because I wanted to labor as long as possible at home. However, we finally called the on call doctor to get her suggestion at what we should do(since it was Saturday and my doctor’s office was closed). When we told her the situation, she said that having a fever and feeling “yucky” was unusual and that we should probably go to triage to just get checked out just in case. We got to the hospital about 8pm after Phil and our friend Tyrel gave me a blessing. When they hooked me up to the fetal monitoring, James had a late deceleration (or in other words, his heart rate dropped to the 70s) and the nurses said that it bought me an admission at least for the night. I was only dilated about 1cm at that time. (The picture above was right before we left to go to the hospital. I wanted one last picture to see how big I got).

From here, things are kind of blurry for me (and not just because it has been 3 months since this event!). My nurse told me if things went well, they might just send me home in the morning. However, during the night, James had another deceleration. My water broke at 1am and we knew that this baby was for sure coming! Soon after my water broke, James had another really bad deceleration and my nurse even called a rapid response. That was probably the scariest part of the whole night…trying to get his heart rate to come back up and being surrounded by nurses and doctors. The on call doctor came in at that point and said that they needed to take me in for a c-section. However, my doctor came in right after that and said that he wanted to see how things went and if I could deliver vaginally rather then get a c-section. I was VERY grateful for his presence as I didn’t want to have a c-section if possible.

Contractions continued to get harder but I hardly progressed dilation-wise. I was having really hard contractions so it was unclear to my doctor as to why I wasn’t dilating more. They put in an internal monitoring device to better watch my contractions and James’ heart rate. At 5am, I decided I was ready for an epidural as I didn’t know how much longer I was going to be laboring. I was also hoping that it might relax me more to help with dilation. When I mentioned it, the doctors decided that it would be best for me to have a spinal rather than an epidural if they had to take me in for a c-section and asked if I could hold out until about 7am (my doctor wanted to consult some doctor’s at UMC about my condition as it was boggling his mind at my failure to progress and they did not arrive at UMC until 7). Of course I said I could although I was very disappointed. Around 8-8:30am, James had another deceleration and they decided it wasn’t worth waiting any longer. My doctor checked me once before they took me in for the c-section and I had progressed to a whoppin’ 2.5cm. As disappointed as I was about having to have a c-section, I was relieved that labor was almost over and there was an end in sight. They gave me the spinal and it was a relief. I was finally out of pain although the spinal was the most odd sensation.
AND…James Philip LeSueur was born, or pulled out, at 9:17am on June 21st, 2009, summer solstice, or Father’s day (the best gift I could have given Phil). They took him away right away and I didn’t get to see him until Phil brought him back for a few minutes after they found that he was okay while I was still getting sewn up. It was like I never even gave birth.

James was pretty beat up. My doctor told me later that when he first saw him he thought something was majorly wrong with him and wondered what tests he missed during my pregnancy. However, he has healed up quite nicely and you’d hardly know that he had such trouble during his delivery except for a little red mark on his nose. He weighed 6lbs 9oz and was 19 in. long with a little bit of brown fuzz on his head. I wouldn’t necessarily say he was beautiful, because he wasn’t. But he was beautiful because he was my son (although it was hard for me to fathom that he was mine for several weeks…just seemed like long term babysitting). The reason he was so beat up is because he was brow presentation rather than occiput presentation (that means his face was trying to come out first rather than the back of his head).
The cord was also wrapped around his neck and they think that when he tried to turn to descend further into my pelvis, the cord would tighten around his neck thus causing his late decelerations as well as me not progressing.

Overall, it isn’t an experience that I would have chosen for myself or for anyone else for that matter. I have had to tell myself over and over again that I just need to be grateful for a healthy baby boy (and I am) but it has been hard as it would be for anyone who has been dreaming of that beautiful and sacred birthing experience for years and it ends up being completely opposite then how you had dreamed. My mistake was not preparing myself at all for the chance of having a c-section which made the experience more of a shock than it might have been. I’m hoping for a VBAC next time but won’t get my hopes up (that stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). And that is the rest of the story…

I stayed in the hospital until Wednesday, the 24th to take advantage of the lactation consultants which were awesome. We were supposed to move to Phoenix on the 27th after I took my NCLEX exam on the 26th and the birth of our little boy really changed plans…at least for me. My mom came down from Phoenix (they came home from Utah a day early to come see me, or should I say James?) to help get me home as Phil had to teach his last Kaplan course. We decided, as no one would let me do anything in regards to moving, that I would go back up to Phoenix with my mom and stay with them while Phil did all the packing and move us up. I insisted on packing a few boxes before we headed up and so with the help of Phil, my mom, and my two friends, Megan and Callie, we
got quite a bit packed up. Mom and Dad LeSueur came up on Friday with their horse trailer and helped pack things as well as two ward friends, Tyrel and Todd. Then on Saturday, family came to our house and moved everything in. I got to be the director as people brought boxes in. We had a lot more stuff then we thought we did. I was impressed at how we fit everything in our small apartment! We couldn’t have done it without all the help. We were very grateful and humbled at what wonderful friends and family we have.

Sprinkler System
The home we moved into in Phoenix does not have any watering system outside…well, besides a faucet and a hose. The people who lived here prior to us must have watered everything by hand. Well, that wasn’t going to fly with Phil. The thought of having to water the lawn, trees, and plants by hand was not a pleasant one so we decided that, with permission from my parents (the home belongs to them and we are just renting it from them), we were going to put a sprinkler system in. Phil’s dad, mom, and uncle were very willing to help and two days before school started, July 20th, they got to work. They got the majority of it put in but there was still a lot of work to do. So, on weekends and weekday mornings before school, Phil worked on it and got it finally working. It is beautiful. I was a little wary at first as Phil has never put one in before, but me of little faith as gained a lot of respect for my determined and hard working husband. We don’t have to put hardly any thought into watering our plants anymore. It is so nice when hard work pays off.

Medical School
It is amazing how this summer has held the closure of one major chapter and the opening of many others. Medical school is one of those. Phil has been dreaming about medical school for years. He has always wanted to be a doctor and finally his dream is coming true. It is crazy to finally be here. Phil started his orientation with 47 other students at the University of Arizona Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University Medical school (how about that for a full name!) on July 22 and classes began on the 27th. He had the white coat ceremony on the 30th and mom and dad LeSueur as well as Phil’s brother, John were able to attend. It was a neat ceremony especially because of what it represented…
the beginning of a dream. And to sum up the first7-8 weeks?...he loves it! But who thought it would be different?  I’ve adjusted well to life without Phil 24/7. But, it has been an adjustment. He leaves between 6-8am depending on the day (whether there is basketball at the YMCA) and gets home around 6pm. We then have the evenings together. He has been trying to study at school and then be husband/father when he’s at home. He doesn’t study too often at home which is smart as I have a hard time not bugging him when he does. On weeks before tests he usually stays at school until 8pm. I guess this is just good practice for me for residency! The two pictures are of Phil, his first day of school, and then James and I on Phil's first day of school.

Before starting med school, Phil took his NCLEX on July 17th and passed. I was not surprised but at the same time became worried as Phil thought that it was difficult and had around 100 questions (if you need an explanation of how the test works, let me know). If Phil had that many questions AND he thought it was hard, I was feeling there was no hope for me. I re-signed up for it on August 4th (since James complicated things when I was supposed to take it before). The date came, I dropped off James at my mom’s house, and dreadfully yet a little excitedly went to take my test. My only wish was that I get 75 questions, whether I passed or failed. To my delight, I only got 75 questions but was convinced that I had failed...I even had myself a good cry over failing. There were just too many that I was not sure on. I checked online the next day to see the status but there was no news. Later in the day I received a pleasant message on my phone from my friend Megan congratulating me on passing. I couldn’t believe it and wanted to cry again out of relief. Phil and I are official RN’s. It’s real!

Blessing Day
James was blessed on September 6th, 2009. It was a very sweet experience. We had lots of family come to support him. My sister-in-law, Amy, was holding him right before he was to be blessed. All of a sudden, they passed James over to me and said, “I think he is stinky!” Great! There was another baby being blessed the same day so when the got up to announce them, thankfully they had the other baby go first. This allowed me to jet for the door, change his diaper quickly in the foyer, and bring him back to place him in Philip’s arms just as he was getting up to go up to the front. He cried just a little at the beginning but then was quiet throughout the rest. We sure love our little boy!

Also, a little update on him. He has gained at least 6 lbs and grown 4 in. since birth (plus more since this was from his 2 month appointment). He is cooing and smiling a lot these days and he even sleeps through the night for me! What an angel! When he does get upset, he puckers out his lower lip which we think is so cute! The picture isn't very good of him doing it but it was the best we could do.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A week old!

James is officially one week old today! It seems like yesterday he was born (which I guess wasn't that long ago!). He has made some major improvements. The bruise on his head is practically gone and the abrasion on his nose has scabbed over quite well. He is such a good baby. He sleeps so well and is becoming a great eater! Breastfeeding is a work in progress! His parents are in love! Here are some fun updated pictures from today. I really will write the birth story soon!

Birth Pictures

Finally some pictures!

First ride home!

Right after birth

He was pretty beat up when he was born. We are comparing his bruised head with a peach here. Poor little guy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Love at first Sight!

So...I guess it is definitely time for an update but unfortunately without pictures! (Phil finally figured out how to download pictures from our camera onto our computer but he has it and I'm not with him).

I finally decided to post a little baby countdown last Saturday when I was at the library using the internet. Little did I know that it would only be useful for another 24 hours! Our little James decided to join us 3 weeks earlier than expected on June 21st. I'll write the birth story another day but all is well with me and baby. We are learning to get along and our efforts are really paying off! :) We are in love! He weighed 6lb 9.2oz and was 19in long. He looked pretty beat up on his birthday but is getting cuter and cuter. He is very content which has been very helpful to me! More details to come in the next few days...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blog Wagon

SO...I've finally done it! I've joined the blog world. It will just be interesting to see how on top of it I stay! Don't expect too least not for the next few weeks. Blog world, here I come!