Monday, December 31, 2012

Meeting G&G Lyon

As crazy as Claire's beginning was we didn't make it to meet Oliver's grandparents for about a month after she was born.  On Sunday November 4th we stopped by their home to make the introductions. 

Here is 4 generations just missing Oliver's mom.  She doesn't love having her picture taken and wasn't with us that night - so it's as close to a 4 generation picture as we can get.  Claire did what any child does at the end of a Sunday-day - she cried.  At least that's what our kids do at the end of most Sundays.
Grandma Margene is the best piano player.  We could name just about any song and she could play it without a book.  Addison danced and sang around their front room for quite awhile singing ABC songs, Christmas songs, Primary songs and anything else she could think of.  At the end of our sing-along Addison played chopsticks with grandma.  It was a great Sunday evening.
Grandpa Lyon passed away on December 18th so this was our last visit in their home.  We saw him a couple more times in the hospital before he died - but we were glad to have this evening to share with him.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Things to Remember

December 19th (traveling home from Nana and Papa's house on a Christmas night-light tour):
Addison: Look the temple
Me: Yep, it's beautiful
Addison: I get married there.
Me: Yes, you and Claire are going to get married there.
Addison: Jesus be there?
Me: Yes
Addison: Mary be there?
Me: Our friend Mary?
Addison: No, Mary.  Mary be there?
Me: Jesus' mom?
Addison: Yes.  Mary be there?
Me: Um, yes, Mary will be there too.
Addison: Good, I want Mary there.  Joseph there?
Me: Yes, Joesph will be there too.
Addison: I married with Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Me: Yep.

December 28th - Addison says her first unassisted prayer
Heavenly Father.  I love thee.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Often Addison has tried to say her own prayer but usually she just says Heavenly Father in Jesus' name Amen.  This is the first time she's inserted some text in the middle.  She is getting so big.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Claire's Blessing

We had Claire's blessing yesterday and it went wonderfully.  Almost all our family was here to support us.
We made Claire a dress from the fabric of my wedding dress just like we did for Addison.  Addison's was long and single layered and Claire's has several layers to make it puffy and it is considerably shorter.  I might find time to get some detail pictures of the dress - but for now - here's a comparison.
And of course Addison needed to lay out like Claire and have her picture taken.  Whenever Claire is getting some extra attention Addison jumps in and wants to be doing the same thing.
Three generations.
 The entire Hansen family and no one is in a wedding dress!  We can put it up on our wall and everyone looks great!
And just for more comparison...

Monday, December 17, 2012


If you know me well then you know that I hate my cell phone.  However, we have never been able to justify the expense for a land line on top of our cell bills and Oliver has never been supportive of me not having a cell and only having a land line.  However, I've been staying home since February and don't have great cell service in our basement and don't like having to run to answer my cell phone and usually it's on silent.  Often, when Oliver comes home Friday night I put my phone on the kitchen counter and don't touch it again until Monday when he's back in the office and I need to talk to him.  I'll pick it up and have 8 voice mails and several texts.  I don't like feeling tethered and I just wish we had a land line that rang throughout our house!

Since I read this blog post on March 24, 2011 I have wanted to get an Ooma system which is kind of like Vonage in that it runs your home phone through your internet - however there is no monthly fee!  You pay a one-time $150 purchase of buying the box system and they you pay whatever your state taxes are every month to have a land line.  In Utah it is $4.  For the grand cost of $4 I now have a phone line with free long distance, call waiting and an answering machine!  Several times I've looked into adding a land line to our internet service and the most basic phone line is $12 per month with $10 in taxes and no long distance or call waiting.  It would only take 7 months to trade to OOMA at that price.  My mom pays upwards of $50 for her home phone line with long distance and it would only take 3 months to convert to OOMA. 

Don't misunderstand, I wish OOMA was paying me to advertise for them, but they aren't.  I just love the savings and I LOVE having a land line phone in our home.  I don't have to keep my cell attached to my body and my mom bought us phones for our house for Christmas on black Friday.  We have four handsets (playroom, office, kitchen, laundry room) and they work like an intercom system through our house and they ring when you call so I can always hear our phone ringing!  I can also call Oliver down in the office from the kitchen and say "dinner is ready"!  It is awesome!

The most important part of this message - other than I think that you should get an OOMA - is that we now have a home phone number.  Please start calling me at 801-441-2202.  Thanks!  Much love!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Merry Christmas

Addison was very excited to go and see Santa.  She ran right over to where he was sitting and jumped in front of him exclaiming "boo".  She then jumped right up onto his lap and told him that she wants a kitchen and an orange backpack.  She wasn't as excited to have her picture taken - but she was earning a cookie sheet with four wooden cookies if she would cooperate.  She did great and Claire started crying right after the last picture.  All in all - it was very successful!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stationery card

In Our Hearts Girl Birth Announcement
Shutterfly has personalized baby birth announcement cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 8th - First Day Home

The minute we walked in from the hospital Addison was begging to hold Claire.  We went and introduced Claire to her bedroom and then Addison and Claire sat on the rocker to bond.  Addison just loves her!

Addison then wanted to show Claire her own bedroom and share her toys with her.  She stacked her blocks around and behind her and they will have so much fun learning to play together!  Hopefully it will always be so exciting. 
Claire needed a hat because our house was a little chilly.
Addison refused to be outdone and ran to her room to get her own hat - which she wore until nap-time.  This also documents that Addison drinks her yogurt with a straw.  I got tired of cleaning up the mess of Addison trying to feed herself yogurt and so we switched to her drinking it.  It works WAY better and she actually consumes a hole lot more now that she isn't spooning it everywhere and purposely making a mess and spreading it on the counter.
After nap-time - where everyone in the house got at least two hours of sleep - we decided to go to the park.  We tried out our new stroller and this is also the park where we took Addison on her maiden stroller walk two years ago (you can remember it here).  We are loving our new stroller.  We have been on several family outings this week and it off-roads and on-roads wonderfully.  It was a great purchase.  My favorite feature is the brake :)  Oliver says that's not really a selling point but there is a hand lever that you just flip and the thing is locked in place - AWESOME!

While Addison and dad were playing on the playground and rolling down the hill - I fed Claire and then she napped in Addison's seat reclined.  Like I said - versatile!  Had we known this stroller existed when we were having our first child we would have bought it - it can be a single/double/or triple stroller so it grows with you while you're having kids and then it downsizes with you while you're finishing having kids.  
Addison loves to roll down the hills at the park.  Here she is with her dad having a great time!
More fun adventures to come - but our first day at home as a family was wonderful!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The End of the NICU - Through Day 15

NICU Day 13 (Saturday, Oct 6):
Saturday morning Nana was flying home to Oregon.  We woke up at home and had a package from Aunt Rochelle and Uncle Scott.  They sent a tee-pee for Addison and so we had to assemble it first thing.  It has been a huge hit at our house and Addison loves that Dad can come in with her and that they read together.  

Because of all the things going on at the hospital - our camera has mostly been up at the NICU.  There are very few pictures of Addison and Nana together and they have spent a ton of time together and done a lot of really fun things.  I left the camera one afternoon for my mom, but forgot that I had it set for the light scoop, and she didn't check to make sure it was working.  Sadly - not one picture turned out and, even with Photoshop, not one of them can be salvaged.  Luckily she'll be back one month from today and we'll be able to get more pictures of Addison with Nana.  Here's one I snapped right before my mom and I left for our last trip to the NICU before dropping her at the airport.  Her deciding to come out last minute has been the greatest blessing for our family and she will be greatly missed!
Oliver and I traded off being back and forth to the NICU to do all of Claire's feedings today.  Our neighbor offered to sit at our house during priesthood so that I could go and feed Claire and Oliver could attend conference.  We have watched/listened to various talks off and on today but we haven't been the most diligent.  Luckily, they are so easy to access after-the-fact!  Nothing exciting happened at the NICU today - which we are grateful for!  Just one more day and a little bit and we will be done.  I didn't actually bring the camera to the NICU today at all - but luckily our night nurse is up with the times and has an iPHONE so she let me take some pictures of Claire and emailed them to me.  I would be sad to not have documented one day of this experience but my phone just isn't cool enough to take and send pictures :)
NICU Day 14 (Sunday, Oct 7): 
Oliver and I traded off and on to go the NICU today - except - Oliver's parents graciously came out to our house (after driving back from the St. George Marathon this morning) to play with Addison so that we could give Claire her bath.  Claire always eats well after her baths.
One of the last things that Claire has to do to get out of the NICU is pass her car seat test.  She has to sit in her car seat for 2 hours while being monitored to make sure that she can hold her oxygen levels.  She sat in her seat from 8-10 Sunday night and passed with flying colors.  

After her car seat test, I fed Claire one more time and then it was time for her to receive her ampicillin which is one of the antibiotics she takes.  As I was dressing her for bed I thought her PIC line looked a little strange and asked the nurse to look at it.  She looked at her PIC line site and felt concerned as well and decided that she could give Claire her antibiotics without checking with the charge nurse first who was off assisting with a C-section.  It was already after 11 pm and the only reason we were still in the NICU was for Claire's 11pm and 7am dosage of ampicillin.  Instead of waiting for the C-section to play out and the charge nurse to return, I decided to head home and asked the nurse call me as soon as they decided what to do about her PIC line and how to administer her last two doses of antibiotics.  

I went home feeling frustrated.  I knew they wouldn't move her PIC line for two more doses of antibiotics but I also worried about them sticking her again to find an IV site because I am just tired of the NICU sticking Claire - period!  However, I want her to come home, so whatever makes that possible is also okay.  Oliver actually wasn't feeling well and so he was already in bed when I got home - I lay awake waiting for my phone to ring and playing out possible scenarios.  I got a call about 1:30 am saying they had removed her PIC line and spoken to the neonatologist and decided to give her one dosage of rocephin which is an injection in her leg.  The rocephin is mixed with lidocaine which just made me feel wonderful.  Oh - by the way - we have to mix your daughter's antibiotics with a numbing medicine because it is most likely painful going in and we need to numb her leg for awhile after as well.  AWESOME!  Seriously - couldn't her PIC line have held up for just two more doses!  The nice thing is that the rocephin is a three-day time release antibiotic and so she only needed one dose to replace the two doses of ampicillin.  We were getting so close to being done - now the only thing standing in our way is her hearing test!  I got a few hours of sleep before Monday morning.

NICU Day 15 (Monday, Oct 8):
We woke up to an alarm Monday morning - anxious to go and get Claire.  All Oliver has wanted since this delivery was scheduled - was to come home as a whole family.  We woke up Addison and took her with us to the NICU at 7 am to make that dream possible.  They gave us permission to have Addison come in to room 1 and watch a Dora video while we worked on our discharge paperwork and Claire had her hearing screening.  

Claire's hearing screening went well and she passed in both ears!

I then removed all her leads and got her dressed to come home!
This is the first time she has been un-tethered for 15 days!
After signing a few more papers and agreeing to pay our bill - or trade our house to cover it - we were finally ready to go home.  We took Claire down to room 1 and Addison was waiting to climb into her car seat and give her a kiss.  
We headed down and loaded into the car.
Addison talked to Claire the whole way home and gave us a play-by-play of everything she was doing.  
She was excited to help carry Claire inside.
And we were just glad to finally feel like we're starting life as a family of four!
So - this is the end of the NICU saga and the beginning of our lives with two girls!  We just can't wait!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Errands with Addison and Time with Claire

NICU Day 12 (Friday, Oct 5):
No word about my ultrasound today.  It was necessary to run a few errands with Addison and so I went to the NICU to do the 7 am feeding.  I then went home and got all ready to go.  When Addison put her shoes on she began to fuss and upon asking her what was wrong, I learned that her shoes hurt.  Apparently, while I have been lying in bed over the last month, she has out-grown all her shoes.  Maybe it's just our family, but it isn't really the dad thing to buy her shoes or recognize when we're ready for a change.  It is also fall and she should be wearing something other than sandals anyway.  

She didn't really want to run errands - but off we went.  We stopped at Target to make a return and then we swung into Old Navy to buy socks - she also has no socks that fit!  I picked up a shirt for me and 15 pairs of socks for Addison :)  It's wonderful to not wear maternity clothes and just feel a little less frumpy.  After Old Navy we went to Costco because a dress boutique that I like was having a road show and I also found matching Christmas dresses for the girls.  It is nearly impossible to find matching dresses from the toddler sizes to the infant sizes and so I was happy about that.  Costco already has all their Christmas toys out and I am not ready to decide what I want to buy.  One thing I don't like is that you have to decide now - because when I am actually ready to make a decision about toys for Christmas it will be too late to get anything from Costco - and there are several things I like but nothing that we actually need. 

When we finished at Costco we went home for lunch and to play and then I put Addison down for a nap.  I then spent a quite afternoon with Claire and came home for dinner and to put Addison to bed just to return and spend my evening with Claire and Oliver.  My mom flies home tomorrow and so it is the last night that Oliver and I could just spend together in the NICU.  It has been so great to have my mom here - because while we will be able to trade off for the last two days of our NICU stay - it has been a nice end to our days to have time to just sit and visit and hold Claire and not feel like we're running in a million different directions.  It has been a time for Oliver and I to connect and talk and plan and just be together and it is one of the greatest gifts that came out of my mom coming to town to help.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Nana Gives a Bath

NICU Day 11 (Thursday, Oct 4):
Addison spent the night at Grandma and Papa's last night which freed up Nana to spend a day and night with my sister and her kids before she flies home on Saturday.  It also allowed Oliver to accompany me to my ultrasound appointment this morning.  The tech isn't allowed to divulge any information and having an ultrasound of my pancreas, gall bladder, both kidneys, liver, and stomach is far less interesting than having an ultrasound to have a baby.  She said that doctor would call after the radiologist reads the results in a day or two.  I imagine I won't hear anything until next week just because of how the weekend is going to fall.  I also imagine that no news is good news - and hopefully it turns out to be nothing.  The ultrasound was actually kind of painful because of the pain that I am in and the positions I had to lay in - but hopefully they captured what they needed.

As we were pulling in from our appointment, Oliver's mom was pulling in with my mom and Addison.  It worked out beautifully because my sister lives right by Oliver's parents and so his mom was happy to do the shuttling for us.  After a few minutes at home, getting dad off to work, and mom being able to eat breakfast after fasting for her ultrasound we were out the door again.  Anamarie volunteered to watch Addison for me in the morning so that my mom could come and spend a few hours in the NICU.  It has been wonderful because my mom has been so available to us so that Oliver and I can run to the NICU in a moments notice...but it has also meant that she isn't as free to just pop into the NICU to see Claire.  We coordinated with the nurses to allow us to bathe Claire during the day shift instead of the night shift and Oliver graciously gave up witness to one of her baths so that my mom could participate.     

After spending some good cuddle time with Claire, my mom and I went to pick up Addison, had lunch, and then everyone went down for a nap.  After nap we played and then we met up with Oliver at Buy Buy Baby to purchase a double stroller.  We have been testing strollers for the past 5 months, probably because we really hate the stroller we bought when we had Addison and so we wanted to be sure that we would LOVE our double stroller and actually use it!  We have taken the model out to our car to see how it fits and paced the aisles on several different occasions.  After testing Addison in the stroller one final time - we finally took the plunge!

Oliver then went back to work and Nana and Addison went home and I headed back to the NICU to spend my evening.  Oliver had to work VERY late because he took a week off work to have Claire and he was trying to catch up.  But he is also trying to get ahead so that he can take next week off work - which isn't the best timing because of the close - so he ended up working until past 11.  I fed Claire and then stayed between feedings and then fed her again.  In all the hours I have spent at the NICU today she has mostly slept - but of course - when I'm packing my things to head home a little after 11 she decides that she wants to be awake.  My nurse was covering three babies and the one to our left is going through drug withdrawl and having seizures and the one to our right had a failed head IV.  The NICU was in a state of commotion and I felt horrible putting Claire into her bed awake!
Here's the thing - Oliver and I believe in sleep training and think that it's very important to put your children to bed drowsy but awake so that they can learn to put themselves to sleep.  However, when we trained Addison to sleep - we knew that she had been stimulated throughout the day, talked to, played with, and moved about.  Claire is tethered to an IV that allows her less than 3 feet of travel and she has spent her entire 11 days of life living in three different rooms.  The only visual stimulus she gets is staring at beeping monitors and the plastic sides of her bed (that's a slight exaggeration because I had been at the NICU for more than 8 hours today - but it is how it feels).  The thought of lying her in her bed wide awake was distressing and I started to bawl.  I called Oliver to see what he thought I should do - and he felt that I should say her prayers with her and come home.  She and I prayed together and then I put her to bed, drowsy but awake, and bawled the entire way home.  I asked the Lord to comfort her and help her to not be lonely and then I walked out of the NICU feeling like a neglectful horrible parent.  Whether or not I did the right thing is a moment of the past and can't be changed - but I can't express how badly I would like this roller coaster to come to an end! 

I can't wait to bring Claire home and know that she has been talked to, played with, moved about, and visually stimulated.  Then I will feel much better about putting her in bed awake.