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. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

7 Days...

I slept for about 3 1/2 hours last night.  Is this what the end of pregnancy feels like?  Great.  However, I did manage to shave my legs this morning, so, you know, there's that.  If you don't know why this is incredible, then you have never been 39 weeks pregnant.

It hit me a few weeks ago while I was making the trek from campus to my trusty parking spot next to the car with eyelashes in the Marriott Center parking lot, (have you seen that car? It's so funny!)  that I'm not only having a baby, but I'm also graduating.  I always thought I would be more excited.  I mean, of course I'm excited, but I'm also really going to miss school.  I loved every second of being a BYU student.  I really, really did.  I even loved the seconds cramming for those awful American Heritage tests.  Even those excruciating seconds I loved deep down because I love BYU, and I love learning, and I love school.  

About a year ago, my sister Natalie told me to enjoy every moment of being in college, because it is the only time in your whole life where your main focus can be on making yourself a better, smarter person. Of course, you can always improve, but in college, the whole time you get to have your #1 focus be on becoming a more knowledgeable person.  When you think about it, it's kind of selfish, and it is wonderful.

I only have ONE week left until my due date, and FIVE weeks until I'm an official college graduate.  I'm going to miss school, but I'm very excited to move on to this next adventure.

Our little guy is constantly moving and reminding us that he's coming soon.  I like to think that I have a lot more time left than I really do.  Most of my sisters have had to be induced a week after their due dates, so I'm not very hopeful that he'll come on his awesome due date of 11.11.11.  My sister asked me if I've packed my hospital bag, and I found myself answering, "no, I'll probably just do that the night before..." then I realized that I don't know when the night before will be... which is still a very hard concept for me- the perpetual planner- to wrap my head around. 

We are VERY excited around here.  Blake and I love to look at the baby swing that now occupies the space next to our TV in our living room, and I love to do my homework in the baby's room and just spend time in there. At least I know that at the very most I'll be holding my baby in 14 days!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Forgetting Stuff

You know how people say that pregnancy makes you forgetful? Well I always scoffed at that idea (yes, that's right, I said scoffed).  How could being pregnant possibly make you forgetful? What correlation do the two have? In fact, about a month ago I told Blake quite smugly-you see, I get smug when I think generalizations don't apply to myself- that even though people claim that pregnancy causes forgetfulness, I was living proof that it does not.  My memory was just as sharp as ever.  And by sharp, I mean really sharp, because I have always prided myself on my memory.  You're allowed to pride yourself on at least one thing, right?

Well a few days after this very conversation took place, I was getting ready to leave for work in the morning.  Blake was already in class.  I grabbed my laptop, my cellphone, my lunch, my water bottle, and then I stepped onto our porch and shut the door to my apartment.  In that very second that the door clicked shut, I realized with sinking hopes of getting to work on time that my car and apartment keys were locked inside, as was our spare key.  Great.  So what does my rational brain think to do? Oh maybe just start to walk to work...about 3 miles away... in the late morning sun...8 months heels.  Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.  I walked for about 5 minutes before I even thought to stop and think, "what the heck am I doing?" So I called my dad, who in typical dad fashion came to my rescue by picking me up and taking me to work. Once in the car I thought, what just happened? I don't forget things, I really don't! Or maybe I do, I can't remember.

Last weekend, I went up to my parents' house in Midway to watch General Conference with my family.  Blake was going to come up the next day.  I got in the car and drove all the way up to Midway.  Once I got there, I opened up my back door to get my bag out, only it wasn't there.  So I called Blake, "yeah, it's right here in our apartment by the door."  What is happening to me!? That night, I went up to the Park City outlets with my mom and sister.  While drooling over the delicious baby boy polos and corduroy pants at the Ralph Lauren store, I suddenly realized: My phone is gone! 

I ran (yes, you heard me, I actually ran in this current state of mine) up to Baby Gap to hopefully retrieve my phone.  In retrospect, why did I run? I don't have an iPhone (woe is me) so who would even want to steal my relic of a cellphone?  I ran in the doors and asked the very hairy teenager behind the counter if he found a phone.  "Yes, can you describe it?" Seriously? I was just in there like 15 minutes ago.  "Okay, it's black and old, and not cool, and not a smart phone." "Yeah, here it is.  I actually saw you leave it on the counter before you left." .....Really? And you didn't think to say, "Hey lady, you left your phone???"

Anyway, aside from feeling like a complete moron when my boss asks me a question at work and I completely forget the answer to it mid-sentence, having a 10 second short-term memory span has its perks.  For instance I have completely stopped depending on myself.  See? No pressure.  Also, I'm getting really good at not feeling dumb when I start to tell a story and then suddenly remember that I can't remember the ending.  Like water off a duck's back I tell ya.

However, its still a very small price to pay in exchange for a sweet little baby boy in 5 weeks.  I hear that your memory never fully comes back, but when I'm holding my little baby, and Blake asks me what the capital of Uganda is, and I can't remember? Who cares.  (Kampala! Only I really do still remember that, I didn't even look it up, I promise.)

P.S., I don't have any pictures yet, but my mother-in-law threw me a really fun shower last Saturday.  It was a blast, and I'm so grateful to everyone who came.  Thank you!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The secret code

I made eye contact with another pregnant girl on campus today.  There's a certain camaraderie that exists between pregnant women, especially third-trimester pregnant women on college campuses.  Like a secret code.  We communicated to each other with our brief eye contact and friendly little smile and half-nod.  It was like we both said, "You're having a baby a few weeks before finals too? That stinks. Good luck." Or maybe like, "Do you also have to pause to catch your breath every 30 steps?" or "So how do you enjoy being a classic BYU stereotype?"

I remember one of my first days of school my freshman year.  I had class in the SWKT, in one of those big auditorium classrooms.  The first thing I noticed was how many married people were in my class.  It was so weird! I thought, I can't possibly be old enough to go to school with married people. This is too weird.  I remember sitting in a seat and realizing the guy sitting next to me had a wedding ring on.  The whole class all I could think about was, am I not supposed to sit here? Is there some unwritten rule that you don't sit next to married people? Does he think it's weird that I sat next to him? It wasn't on purpose! It's the first seat I saw!  The other thing I noticed was how many pregnant women were waddling about on campus.  I distinctly remember thinking: that will not be me.  

Not that I wasn't excited about marriage and kids, but just watching some of those women shuffle to their classes with their heavy backpacks and largely protruding bellies didn't look ideal.  I almost feel bad telling this story because I think about how happy I am to have my own protruding belly, heavy backpack, and yes, very distinct waddle.  I definitely didn't think I would be here while I was still in college, but I feel so lucky that I am!


At 34 weeks I am:
-Sleeping about 1 1/2 hours at a time
-Going through Tums like they're sour cream and onion Pringles
-Always craving sour cream and onion Pringles
-Unable to eat anything citrus (it burns my throat too bad and makes my ever-present heartburn increase to an unbearable level)
-Reading about a page every couple days out the book "What To Expect When You're Expecting," and then getting too scared, having a little breakdown, and making Blake read the rest.....only to repeat this cycle every 3-4 days.
-Stressing out over not having a name yet.
-Using three very strategically placed pillows to sit comfortably at a chair and avoid the constant stabbing pain in the middle of my back.  (Middle of my back? That is the weirdest spot to have back pain.  How does that even happen?)
-Nesting like a crazy person (read: the inside of my fridge is seriously SO CLEAN!) 
-Getting a lot of funny stares from freshmen on campus
-Hoping that the non-maternity shirts and pants I've been wearing will shrink back to normal after this pregnancy.


And another picture, because every time someone pulls a camera out, I instinctively turn to the side to give them the classic pregnancy shot.  Sign #432 that pregnancies last too long. Six more weeks, come on baby!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Little Brother

I miss my brother.  My darling little younger brother Sean is serving in the Spain, Malaga mission.  I miss him so much! It's pretty cool he's in Malaga because Blake served in Barcelona, and the church has since changed the mission boundaries so Sean gets to serve in a few of Blake's old areas. 

Sean's emails are always so uplifting.  It is such a neat experience to hear his stories illustrating how the Spirit of God works through his servants to answer prayers and provide help to people who need it.  The gospel is just so amazing.  There are simply too many amazing "coincidences" that happen in our lives to not be attributed to Heavenly Father. 

In his last letter, he sent home some pictures of his most recent baptism.  A little 8 year old boy in his ward asked Sean to baptize him.  When I saw this picture, I could not stop laughing.  Sean is 6'6".  While his awesome height served him very well in his basketball career, and is not out of the ordinary for our very tall family, or even for America, it seems the people in Spain aren't used to it.  

This is a picture the father of the baptized boy took of the baptism:

Sean looks great, doesn't he? Really happy and healthy.  Love that haircut.

Oh poor Sean, but this is the world's best picture.  

He let us know that somebody else took this next picture:

Oh I miss my cute little brother.  Sean is a great missionary and he's working really hard.  I miss him to death but I'm so grateful for his decision to serve a mission.  His example of selfless service influences me every day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Football, Basketball, Baseball...

I was organizing some of our baby clothes a few nights ago, (Oh my goodness! There are SO MANY adorable little boy clothes! I am so excited!) and it reminded me of something that happened after my baby shower a few weeks ago.

I was opening my present from my sweet friend Jennica, and she got me the cutest little sports outfits.  Most of the onesies had footballs on it, and Jennica said, 

"I bought all these outfits with Blake in mind.  I made sure they had footballs on them so they could be Blake-approved."

I told Blake about it when I brought all my cute presents home and was telling him what was from who.  When I told him what my friend said, Blake said,

"Well he doesn't have to have ALL football stuff..." just as I was wondering what happened to Blake, and when did he suffer a personality-altering head injury, he said "He can have baseball and basketball stuff too."

That's more like it.  I was worried there for a minute!

We are getting so excited! Our little guy squirms around all day long and every time I see my alien belly morph, I get even more excited to see him in about 8 1/2 weeks.  (8 1/2 weeks! How did this happen so fast?)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

blondes vs. brunettes

A little story:

There are six girls in my family, including my mom, and five of us are blonde. Stephanie was born with beautiful dark brown hair, which, although stunning, also caused her to be mistaken for a neighbor child most of her life.

"Now who are you?"
"I'm Stephanie, I'm one of the Petersons."
"Oh no you're not, the Peterson girls are blonde!"


"Now when did you dye your hair?"

Stephanie's hair is gorgeous, and she loves that it's one of the attributes that makes her look the most like our beautiful grandma; but I'm sure this conversation she has on repeat with every distant relative and former ward members gets old.


When Blake and I were engaged, Steph realized I would be the only blonde in a family of brunettes.  She thought it was so funny that someone else was finally going to experience a fraction of the case of mistaken identity she went through her whole life.

The Steeles took family pictures a few weeks ago... can you spot the blonde? I showed this to Steph at my baby shower. She felt vindicated.


In other news, I'm now 31 weeks pregnant. I can't believe I only have 9 weeks left.  We're getting so excited! It's really crazy to watch this active little boy distort my stomach all day long.  He doesn't stop moving for a minute, (and if he does, then he gets the hiccups) which makes my stomach look like something out of Alien.  We're having a blast getting his room ready.  Now if anyone has any name suggestions, go ahead and send them our way.  We are really struggling here!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


First of all, my new blog design is courtesy of the great Darrian Watts, one of my co-workers and web designer extraordinaire.  She designs blogs and websites as part of her business, so if you're in the market, look her up and see some of her work.  You can find her here.  She is amazing and extremely talented.  Also, since she's still a student, her rates are incredibly low. 

The last few weeks have been so much fun.  Blake and I have been focusing on getting ready for mini-Blake to arrive.  We've been painting, cleaning, organizing, and preparing and we're getting so excited! I, of course, am so nervous about the labor, (have you met me? I can't believe I've remained conscious the last few times I've had to get my blood drawn.) So thank heavens for epidurals, in fact, I think I'll go ahead and get one now if you don't mind--you know, just to be safe and make sure it kicks in in time... ten weeks early.

Part of our preparation included baby showers! One of my best friends Jennica threw me a really fun shower, and then my mom and sisters threw me another one a few days later. I have such great friends and family, I had the best time at my showers!




All the Peterson girls with Mom and Honey

I had a blast, thank you so much everyone!

And a blurry 30 week picture for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

One year later.

This is a hard post to write, but at the same time, it's the easiest thing in the world to talk about my grandpa.

I blogged about Papa's funeral last year.  I can't believe it's been a year.  He was sick, especially near the end, and I know he is so happy now.  That knowledge that he's happy and that he's where he deserves to be is the only bright beam when we lose a loved one.  That and the sweet peaceful knowledge that we'll see him again. 

When Papa passed away and we were preparing for the funeral, one thing that kept popping into all our minds was, "we loved him because he first loved us." 

Honey and Papa made it a priority to be a big part of our lives.  They loved spending time with their grandchildren.  Growing up, I always knew they loved us, not just because they told us so frequently, but by how they treated us.  Papa walked my little brother Sean and I to the bus stop almost every day in elementary school, and he was always there when we got home.  The bus would pull up and Papa would be standing there with our golden Labrador, Cougar, waving with his ever-present happy smile waiting for us.  We would get off the bus and run to give Papa a hug.  All our friends loved our grandparents, and many of my friends knew my grandparents better than they knew their own.  

Papa was Mr. Fix-it. He could fix anything! With 12 grandkids, it seems like every day Papa was fixing someone's bike chain, or pumping up someone else's tires.  He also loved cars. He taught Drivers' Ed at Orem for years, and had a passion for cars.  Most kids have to struggle to get all their roading hours in with their parents to qualify for their drivers' licenses, but Papa would call me and ask me if I wanted to go for a drive to practice.  He made sure I got plenty of hours driving in the dark and during rain storms too so I could be extra-prepared. (When I took my actual driving test, the woman who tested me said I was the only 100% she'd ever given.  Thanks, Papa!)

I could tell stories about him all day.  One of my favorite of Papa's qualities was his ability to be happy in any circumstance.  You'd never know it by his attitude, but he had a lot of hard times in his life.  People very close to him didn't treat him like they should.  But Papa was always happy, always smiling, and never held any grudges.  He was an amazing example of not being a victim of circumstance.  When he was dealt a difficult hand, he didn't dwell on it.  He chose happiness.  He made a conscious choice every day to be happy.  It wasn't always easy for him-- how could that ever be easy for anyone? But he did it.  Always smiling, usually whistling, and never dwelling on the negative.  He was a very forgiving man.  Yet another lesson Papa inadvertently taught me by the way he lived his life.  People who forgive live the happiest lives.  

There have been definite times since his passing when I've been able to feel Papa nearby.  I am so grateful for those peaceful moments when I can feel his presence.  Tears instantly spring to my eyes and I'm filled with so much warmth as I think about the wonderful lessons I learned from my amazing grandpa.  Little reminders about not being in such a rush.  Taking time to appreciate the little things, and choosing to be happy.  He was a wonderful man, and together with my equally wonderful grandma, succeeded in accomplishing much good in this world. 

It's hard, and we miss him, but I am forever grateful that I was able to know him.  My heart goes out to the people who never had the opportunity--or worse, had the opportunity but disregarded it-- to know their grandparents.  Especially with grandparents as wonderful as mine, there would be few greater tragedies.

July 31, 2011- One year later

If there's one thing to be known about the Peterson women, it's our uncanny and often hilarious ability to dress almost identical on a daily basis.  Inadvertently, of course. Repeating color patters, and even complete outfits, as demonstrated by my mom and Steph, more fully illustrate this point. We're just missing Tiff in this picture, but I'd bet my life she was wearing a pink shirt that totally matched Lisa's.

I looked over and noticed Blake was wearing Papa's socks.

Honey and Spencer watching the rest of the grandkids racing.
Telling our favorite Papa stories.
Yellow was Papa's favorite color.  So fitting for a man who lived such a happy and bright life.  We released yellow balloons into the air, just like we did at his funeral.  Here are my parents watching the balloons.

We love you, Papa! Thanks for all the trips to the creamery to get ice cream, all the times you loaded us in the back of your blue truck to go fishing, all the trips to rock canyon park to go sledding, all the jokes you told, all the love you shared, and all the lessons you taught.  You are one of a kind.