Thursday, March 22, 2012

True Beauty

Do you know what is beautiful?

I'll tell you.

Those early morning hours, holding my sweet baby and rocking him back to sleep- as only his mother can, I'll have you know, and knowing that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing, what I was always meant to do.

I saw this the other day on Pinterest, and loved it so much.

President Hinckley always puts it so beautifully. It's seems like such a fundamental truth, that motherhood is a birthright.  I am more and more grateful every day for choosing this path over some "bauble of passing value."

I had some acquaintances who had a hard time understanding why I worked so hard in school and completed internship after grueling internship, if I knew all along that I wanted to "just" be a mom.  Before Isaac, I knew this was the right choice for me, but now I am strongly reminded every day when I look into his sweet face that this baby boy was meant to come to our family, that he is ours; and I firmly know with everything that I have that if I live my whole life through, and the only thing I can say for myself is I was "just" a mom, I will have lived a most fulfilling and happy life, and that my influence through this decision will extend far greater than any other choice I could have made for myself.

I am so lucky, and I am so grateful.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Alphabet Games

Last weekend we headed up to Blake's family's cabin in Idaho.  It was momentous for a few occasions, first it marked Isaac's first time out of state, first long car ride, and first time on a snowmobile... yes, really.  But before you judge me, there is too much snow to drive up to the cabin in the winter and we have to snowmobile up to it.  So I held on to Isaac's car seat with a death grip as we took the slowest snowmobile ride ever recorded up to the cabin.

It also marked the first time I played the alphabet game since I was in kindergarten. I was wasting Blake.  Big time.  Until he told me that the official rules for the alphabet game say you can only use letters that appear at the beginning of the word.

To which I replied, I haven't played this game in 18 years, can you just give me this?

And also, are you sure?

And another thing, I'm at J, and you are just now noticing that I haven't been playing the right way this whole time???

The cabin is huge and was built Blake's dad and uncles.  In the summer it's for four-wheeling, swimming in the Lava Hot Springs swimming pool, playing in the pond, going to the hot-pots, and cooking outside.  In the winter, it's a snowmobile and sledding paradise. 

Packed to the brim, ready to go. There's a baby in there somewhere I think.

I have since learned that despite what Blake may tell me in my moments of intense panic; bears, cougars, and possibly sasquatches, do indeed exist in these mountains. 

 Please allow me to introduce you to Blake's all-time favorite hat ever.

Here are some of the boys playing a very intense game of Risk.  Blake has the smug look on his face of someone who has the WMD's to take out all of Europe.  Or something.  I forgot how to play this game.  Long games bore me to death.  After many hard-fought battles and bloody wars, Blake and his cousin Reuben were the only ones still standing.  They decided to call a cease-fire for the sake of preserving humanity and enlightening generations to come with the story of how their ancestors put down their weapons and decided to live peacefully side-by-side.  Or maybe it was because we started watching Cinderella Man in the next room and they had already been playing for like 3 hours. 

Blake's dad can get Isaac to sleep in about 30 seconds.  Every time.

Now this impressive specimen is the elk that Blake shot when he was about 14 I think? I asked him if it worries him that the creature he brutally killed is residing within the confines of his own cabin, silently watching, biding his time, waiting until the perfect moment to seek his bloody revenge.  

He said no.  

Really though, this thing is huuuuuge.

When we got home, we gave Isaac a bath and wrapped him in his very own bathrobe.  Because I firmly believe that all babies should be entitled to owning their own cuddly bathrobes.  Really, it is the basic right of a mother to cuddle her freshly washed and lotioned baby in a little ducky robe.

And now, just because... But can you blame me??

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Day in the Life

I'm back in the saddle.  I gave myself some time to block out everything and just enjoy my baby.  I didn't realize that this "me" time would turn into nearly 3 months, but you win some you lose some.  

I have had the most blissful time just holding, smiling at, playing with, kissing, and loving my little baby boy.  I also spent some time transitioning from a full-time student and employee to a mother.  I got my diploma in the mail a few weeks ago, (!) and it forced me to step back and realize just how different my life has become these last few months, and how wonderful this kind of "different" is.  I loved school, I really did, but now I have time to get back to the other things I love as well.  For instance, I started reading again.  I used to be a huge reader.  Growing up my parents had to resort to taking my books away as punishment instead of grounding me, and believe me that was much more effective.  I've read four books in the last week and a half, and it feels so good!

Yes, my days are very different now, and it is wonderful.  

I wake up every morning and see:

Or sometimes it's more like this:


Then we get up and read some stories, maybe throw in a little tummy-time if we're feeling really crazy, and then: 

Baby waits patiently while his mom gets ready for the day.


 Then we run some errands

And take adorable pictures wearing adorable outfits.  (According to Blake, boys don't wear "outfits." I think I'm just supposed to say "clothes," or maybe even "clothing" if the situation really lends itself to that.)

We scatter a few naps throughout the day

Then once we get home-and this is a very important step- Isaac makes sure to cuddle with his mom.

 Some nights he gets a bath, and if he's really good, he gets to watch a little upside down TV.

 By the end of the day, he is pretty wiped out and begging his mother, please, no more pictures.

 And there you have a day in the life of little Isaac Denzel and his mother. 


Monday, December 12, 2011

It's about time

I introduced you to Mr. Isaac Denzel Steele

I have been selfishly keeping him to myself for 3 and a half weeks now, and enough is enough.  It's been so hard to blog (or do laundry, or dishes, or vacuum for that matter) for these past few weeks because I can't justify putting this perfect little baby down for any reason.  I have been spending an uncharacteristically low amount of time on my computer lately, and a very large amount of time smiling into the face of my sweet little boy.  He's incredible, he's finally here, and he's mine!  I still can't believe it.

Every second of it, the 4 a.m. feedings, the dirty diapers, the sore post-labor body, is amazing and I am so grateful for it!

On the morning of November 18, we headed to the hospital for my scheduled induction.  Isaac was adamant about making an entrance, and insisted on making us wait a week past his due date of 11.11.11.  We got to the hospital at 7:30.  At this point, I was surprisingly sane.  I've never been someone who does well with medical things.  Okay fine, I'm that person, you know, the one who passed out in health class every year from junior high on up, the one who won't tell you if there's something in your contact because the sight of you tugging at the bottom half of your eyelid makes her faint, the one who swore she would become a nun because the thought of enduring childbirth was just too much... (no offense to the nuns, but I'm glad I didn't end up following through on that one.)

Blake and I got to the hospital and rode the elevator up to the labor and delivery floor with a very tired looking new father who had rushed to his car to get his new baby's car seat so he and his wife could take their son home.  My nerves started to subside a little and the excitement of meeting my new baby grew.

...Until we checked in to our room and the nurse handed me a hospital gown and shut the door.  Blake and I looked at each other and finally it all became real.  We were about to be parents.  I was going to have a baby, me of all people! We were going to leave this hospital with our son! After the initial mini-breakdown fueled by the fear of it all, I put on the hospital gown and declared myself ready to have a baby.  (Because having a baby is such a monumental occurrence in the first place, in my mind it is worthy of being declared.)

The nurse came in and put my IV in, which, ouch! She messed up, she even admitted it.  I'll  spare you all of the details.  The doctor came and broke my water.  I wanted to feel contractions for a while before I asked for an epidural.  Looking back... why? Anyway, I waited a couple hours in to the contractions before they became pretty unbearable.  After the epidural, I was a much more pleasant person to be around I'm sure.  

True to Peterson woman fashion, I dilated pretty quickly and was ready to push around 4:45 p.m.  After  about a half hour of pushing, Isaac was born at 5:11.


8 lbs. 1 oz.
21.5 inches long
dark hair
dark eyes
big hands and feet
my little Isaac.

Literally the second he was born, the nurse laid him on my chest and he reached up and touched my face.  It was the most amazing experience to finally get to see my baby.  This was the baby I had been thinking about, praying for, and waiting to hold for a lot longer than the past 9 months.  I finally had him.  

I think what shocked me the most was how much I felt like I knew him.  I recognized him.  He was so familiar to me, immediately.  It was incredible. 

And now, please enjoy this display of a million pictures:


The day before my due date, my sister took these last-minute maternity pictures



Looking a little rough before the epidural.  Those things are a miracle I tell you!



Such a crazy feeling.  So many emotions, but mainly just so excited!







My sister Stephanie drew a picture of what she thought Isaac would look like on the hospital whiteboard, and my niece Lily drew pictures of "mermaid ghosts," because, what else?


Post-epidural, and life is beautiful once again


This was the view outside my hospital room.  It just can't get better than this.


Oh look, it just did!  This is Isaac just a few minutes old.






Hours old, this was our first night in the hospital.


One day old, much less swollen and extremely adorable!



So tired.  Our first day home from the hospital


And here's a few pictures of Isaac when he was a week old.




We are so grateful for a safe delivery, a healthy baby, and our new little family of three.  Throughout these past few weeks of new motherhood, my testimony of a Heavenly Father who loves us all eternally has grown so much.  I am so grateful for this little person that I get to raise.  It's hard to explain, but Isaac already has such a calm countenance.  He is a very calm and contemplative little baby.  I can't wait to watch his personality develop and to be the person who gets to help him cultivate his good qualities.  I feel so lucky to get to have this little guy.  I keep saying I can't believe he's mine! I just hope I can be the type of mother that this sweet little boy deserves.