Matthew. Emma. William. Paul

Matthew. Emma. William. Paul

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Matt graduated on a Saturday and was back at school the following Monday. Happy graduation... Graduating Law School is a giant let down. Congratulations... you are now qualified to start studying for the BAR. For the next ten weeks he'll be studying twelve plus hours a day. Our slogan for Summer 2014 is LAME! No fun and all study makes Matt something something.  (Simpsons quote... anyone...?)

When I first met Matthew, he was working at a soils lab on BYU's campus. Law school was not on his radar but then within a few months of being married, he decided to take the LSAT. I think the process of studying, taking the exam and applying to schools happened within three months. Waiting for response letters seemed to take forever. I still remember the first acceptance package that arrived, I couldn't wait for Matt to get home so I drove up to his work and surprised him. I  just started jumping up and down as I passed it to him and continued to do so while he read.

I also remember being pregnant with William and thinking, we will have an almost three year old by the time Matt graduated. That thought was so weird and crazy to the both of us.

Now we have two.

This purple velvet and black polyester robe represents so much to me. Firstly, how relieved I am that as a society we've veered away from ceremonial robes.  

But mostly, it sends me down a mushy and sentimental memory montage of long nights, early mornings, deadlines, resume revising, on campus interviewing, saturdays in the library, moving six different times, journal meetings and the dreaded blue book. I almost burnt that blasted blue book on at least three occasions. 

And with all that said, there are happy memories of babies being born, trips to the coast, voodoo donuts, friends that became family, training for our first half marathon, first steps, pumpkin patches, library story time, ice cream at prince pĆ¼cklers, splash pool, bowling and mini golf.

I really do start to cry when I think about leaving Eugene and the friends we've come to know and love... I'll save you the tears on my keyboard though. 

The ceremony was wonderful and a lot more entertaining than I had expected. William spent a lot of time out in the hall with Nanny (thanks mom for taking one for the team!) My favorite quote of the night was, "People say that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. After law school I know that's not true. Whatever doesn't kill you, only makes you cry in the shower" - Frank Lin

So here's to our next adventure and our seventh move in four years of marriage. We are packing up the family and heading three hours south of Eugene to the small town of Klamath Falls. Matt accepted a job as the deputy director of a non profit organization. He'll be representing agricultural water rights in the Klamath basin.

My hat is off to you, Deputy.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Picture Perfect

A few weeks ago our amazing friend, Michelle Davis took some family photos for us. She claims she's not professional but lets face it, these are pretty awesome.

I had originally just wanted pictures of the boys but decided last minute to dress Matt and I in coordinating outfits so we could "assist" William or Paul in cooperating for the pictures. 
We did a lot of assisting. 

taking pictures of my children is no small accomplishment!

Thank you, Michelle!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Oregon Coast

This years Spring break was extra special--it was Matt's last one. It's hard to believe that Law School is wrapping up (in two weeks) and we will be leaving Eugene (in two and a half months) but that's another post.

Spring break coincided with my birthday once again.  It was a magical week of sleeping in and family time. Well, sleeping in relatively speaking/not at all.

We took the boys to the Zoo in Portland. This was William's (and Paul's) first time at a zoo and they LOVED it. It took William all of five minutes to figure it out and he began to chime in and say, "Okay let's  go see another animal!" I think his favourites were the fish and the sea otters because he could watch them swim all around him and walk right up to the glass. Paul was a stud and slept in his stroller the entire time. We had so much fun and completely forgot to take pictures. William is just getting old enough to really enjoy things like this and I loved watching him react to the animals and make their corresponding noises.  I have many fond memories of the Toronto Zoo growing up and it was fun to share a similar moment with my boys.

When it came time to go home Matt decided he wanted to go to the coast, so we took a large detour home and drove to the ocean. Growing up on an island I can confidently say not many things make me happier than dipping my feet in to the freezing cold ocean. Now I know there is one thing that beats it-- having my son do it with me.

Normally, I'm not a fan of kissing photos but because you can see William freaking out in the background, I love this picture.

We made it in just enough time to watch the sun set. We payed for William's late night the next day but it was worth it. I would never have taken William on an all day car ride when he was 5 weeks old but Paul as the classic second child didn't really get a say.

I know this makes me sound like a hippie BUT there is something about the power of the ocean that instantly makes me happy. Simply put--the ocean is my drug.

William was a little timid at first (It was FREEZING) but after just a few minutes I had to run after him so he wouldn't go out too far. Man that boy can run!

please note the almond in my tooth. 

William foot prints

William kept making these little sand piles and laughing hysterically at them.

This day made me so happy! William is getting to an age that is SO MUCH FUN! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paul Westbrook Vickery

In typical second child fashion, I'm just getting to Paul's birth story 7 weeks later. 
*Warning* this is a very long post were the word cervix is used once... now twice.  Enjoy. 

On Friday January 3rd I entered the hospital in the middle of the night experiencing 6 hours of intense false labour and a partial breaking of my waters. Can that even happen? Yeah--new to me too.  The nurse was convinced we were having the baby that night. Here's a few things she said to me: "You're having this baby tonight hun." "Your baby will have to go to the NICU for at least a week. He'll probably be okay but it's just policy before 36 weeks." I was exactly 35 weeks.

What. The. Crap.

My usual over prepared (OCD?) self is not proud of this fact BUT Matt and I ordered Paul's car seat from our phone that night in the hospital room at approximately 4 a.m.

Mom fail.

At 6 a.m. my Dr. arrived to check me--I hadn't dilated. Quickly every monitoring device was stripped off of me and I walked back to the car and we drove home. Shaken up, confused, and so grateful that I would, hopefully, carry him full term. And that he would arrive after his car seat. 

I sure got my "wish."

I'm not sure if it's like this with everyone but false labour really did something to my body. I felt like I had experienced real labour and my body was physically exhausted. From then on things were considerably more uncomfortable. My legs started giving out from under me while walking. I had pelvic bone pain and basically everything hurt. I also kept experiencing contractions. Every time I bent down to open a drawer or put on William's shoes, I had a contraction. 

As my due date came closer I continued having contractions but nothing was consistent, or at least not consistent for long. The contractions started getting stronger and I wasn't surprised when a week before my due date the Dr. checked me and I was dilated to a 3 and fully effaced. We were all pretty convinced this baby was coming soon. Now I just hoped he would stay in until my Mom arrived. 

Mom arrived.

 Due date arrived.

 Snow arrived.

 Paul did not.

Anyone who has gone past their due date knows this simple fact- IT SUCKS. Everyone looks at you like a ticking time bomb, which basically you are plus E-VERY-THING hurts. "Getting up"or should I say hauling your body sideways and hoping for the best, takes so much effort you're ready for a nap. Thank heavens for my Mother who made us meals, washed dishes, played with my energetic toddler and took care of basically EVERYTHING. I seriously don't know what I would have done without her helping and willing hands.

Nanny toddler yoga.

Because Eugene is not equipped for snow and doesn't plow roads unless they are major freeways we were pretty much snowed in. Matt went out to clear the car hourly and put chains on our tires just in case. At this point I was basically miserable and surely not fun to be around. I was over due AND snowed in, I didn't know which annoyed me more. 

After my due date passed and the snow started melting, I sheepishly called my Dr's office to make an appointment. This time I was at 4cm and the baby was at a +3. We decided to schedule an induction on February 12 (five days after my due date), none of us believing I would keep that appointment. 

I did.

It's a pretty weird feeling to enter the hospital and reach the counter, "Yes, good morning. I have a 6 o'clock appointment to have a baby come out of me." I was all hooked up with monitors and an antibiotic by 8 a.m. and could comfortably walk around with my pitocin in tow. After four hours of the antibiotic in my system the nurses increased the dose of pitocin to really start my labour.  Contractions were manageable for most of my labour and I contently watched the olympics (couples freestyle dance--which, sadly, the Americans won). Things didn't get real until my bag of waters was broken at 12:45 p.m. Then I started having "piggybacking contractions" (just when you'd think it's starting to get better it would come back and punch you in the cervix). After a few of these lovely things I asked for the epidural. The anethesiologist came in and kept trying to talk to me and ask me questions.  By this point, my eyes were mostly clamped shut and I was breathing through contractions so I didn't really take in much of what he was saying. I kept thinking, "please shut up and give me the epidural." He didn't have much time between contractions to administer but he did. The nurse took one look at me and said, "You'll let us know when you feel like pushing okay..?" to which I replied, "I feel like I need to push."

Dr. Beyerlien had anticipated a quick delivery and stayed just outside my door after he broke my waters. He came in and quickly donned his gloves, tucked in his tie and told me to push. In the time between my next contraction he set up the sterile area and put on his lab coat in time to catch the baby-- my next push. Paul Westbrook Vickery was born at 1:25 p.m on February 12, 2014. I was told he came out like superman, one arm raised in a fist. I'll thank him for that later.

At 1:35 p.m., exactly ten minutes after Paul's arrival, the epideral kicked in.  Thank you anesthesologist for nothing.

Because he came so quickly and his nose was smushed, he was faintly grunting instead of breathing clearly. They suctioned out his mouth and listened closely to his lungs. I was able to tell them that the same thing had happened with our older son and that they kept a close eye on him. This time they didn't take my baby off to the NICU and I was SO grateful for that! Instead, he quickly started nursing and we spent some time just getting to know one another. The nurses let us snuggle and waited an hour before weighing and measuring him. They kept saying he looked big but I couldn't really tell.  Paul weighed in at 9 lbs 10 oz and was 22 inches long.

When they set him on my chest my first thought was--he has hair! He came with more hair than William had on his first birthday. I couldn't get over the fact that he had eyebrows and long lashes and it was brown. He even has a tuft of hair on his ears and is affectionately called our little wolverine. I honestly can't stop touching his little fluffy head and hope his hair doesn't fall out.

Nanny and William came to visit us and we quickly learned that a hospital room is not an ideal place for a toddler interested in buttons.

I stayed in the hospital two nights and couldn't wait to get home to my own bed.  I was a little hesitant to return to "real" life and be responsible for two children though. 

Paul's first few days home were great. I still had my Mother helping with absolutely everything. Paul had his days and nights in the right order and was proving to be a great sleeper. And he ATE. ALL. DAY. leaving the rest of his time for snuggling. He rocked the car seat and I took him all over the place  because I already physically felt great.

Then my mom left.
I cried.
Paul cried.
William cried.
Matt was sad, and now regrets not crying.

At Paul's two week check, he weighed 10 lbs 10 oz (94th percentile), was 23 inches long (95th percentile), and his head measured at 15 inches (96th percentile).  My back hurts.  

Then Paul hit 3 weeks and decided it would be super fun to cry a lot during the day and be cranky but sleep well at night. He also instituted a 1 hour time period (5-6 a.m.) of constant loud grunting brought on my flatulence. This makes him a terrible roommate during those times. 

By 5 weeks he was less cranky and starting to have longer wake periods. I started trying out "tummy time" and he seemed to really enjoy it. He can roll over from tummy to back and seems very please with himself when he does. 

At week 6 he slept 7.5 hour stretches for 2 night in a row. That has since stopped but I remember those nights fondly!

Tomorrow Paul will be 7 weeks and I can't remember life without him... that might be because I'm so tired I can't remember anything... but I am grateful to have Little Butterball Paul in our family. He is starting to smile when you interact with him and coo when he's awake. He is so snuggly and sweet!

William is so good to Paul. He often brings him toys or "bobbits" to share. He'll read books to Paul or build him a block house and say, "Look it's Paul's house!" He's also very concerned if he can't see Paul at all times, just incase mom forgot him. He's woken Paul up from a few naps trying to give him his "piece-of-fire" or pacifier if you're not a 2.5 year old. 

Being a mother of two is HARD work. Sometimes William is crying in a time-out because he's not listening and Paul is crying because he wants to be picked up and it's 3pm and I haven't eaten lunch.  It's in those times I wonder if other parents have just forgotten how hard it is or if they were better at juggling it than me but I hold on to the sweet moments in the day when I have them both in my arms and we're all snuggling. I know one day they won't be this small.