Throwback (and Thankful) Thursday: Dear Kyle

I can't believe today is your 5th birthday! It seems like only yesterday that I found out you were joining our family.

Your daddy and I knew it was time to start our family; we just didn't know it would happen so fast! It was barely more than a month before we found out you were in my belly. I didn't want to believe it at first, because if it didn't turn out to be true I would have been devastated. Fortunately, Daddy was confident enough for the both of us, and I took a test. When it was positive, we quietly smiled, cried a little, and hugged.

We wanted to wait before telling people about you (just to make sure you were healthy and strong), but neither your daddy nor I are very good at keeping secrets. It was your uncle Dan who managed to work it out first, and he thought he was pretty awesome. We ended up telling Grandma and Papa just before our first appointment with my doctor. They were so excited to hear about you, because you would be their first grandchild. Telling Gammy and Bumpy was a little harder because they were away, but when they found out you were coming, they were just as excited.

I remember the first time we saw you. It was at our first doctor's appointment. I was so glad he wanted to do an ultrasound, because it still didn't feel real. After all, I couldn't see you or feel you moving yet, so it was hard to believe you were there. I remember thinking you looked like a little jelly bean.

Our very first picture of you
We were so grateful to hear a nice, strong heartbeat and know that everything looked good.

I have to admit, I wasn't always excited to be pregnant with you. There were days that I couldn't really get off the couch because you made me so sick. I was finishing up my last little bit of school, and I'm so grateful I had nice teachers who understood and took it easy on me. :) I graduated from BYU with you still in my belly, and it is still one of my greatest accomplishments.

Me (and you, too!) on my graduation day
Daddy and I counted down the days until we could find out whether you were a girl or a boy. We didn't care one way or the other, honestly, but I knew you were going to be a boy (I knew you would be a boy before I even married Daddy, but that's a different story...). 

When the day finally came, we were so excited to get a chance to see you again! The nurse even gave us a video of the ultrasound so we could show you to our family.

Such a handsome profile!
We hoped you would cooperate and show us whether you were a boy or a girl, and you did not disappoint--you weren't shy in the slightest!

You left no doubt whatsoever...
The nurse gave us a bunch of really great pictures of you. This is one of my favorites, even if it is a little creepy...

We didn't have a hard time figuring out a name for you. We already had our boy names narrowed down to two (funny enough, our other boy name was Lucas...but we got to use that one for your brother later!). We knew we wanted to name you after Bumpy, because you would be the first grandchild to carry on the Christensen name. So, before we even met you we knew your name would be Kyle Steven Christensen.

My belly grew and grew. I started to feel you move the night after we found out you were a boy. After that, it seemed like you never stopped moving! I remember your uncle Dan loved to sit by me and watch you roll and kick, because you were so strong we could see you from the outside!

Sometimes, I might have taken advantage of by big belly...

Yes, I used you as a table for my cereal
 You liked it when I played the piano.

The summer that year seemed to stretch on forever! We couldn't wait until fall because we knew that was when you would make your debut. We wondered (and maybe hoped a little!) that you would come early. But, the days went by, and you stayed put. 

This was about 3 weeks before you were born
I started to worry that you would stay in my belly forever! I loved having you there, but my belly was getting big and awkward and a little uncomfortable and I wanted to see your little face more. We went to the doctor the day you were "supposed" to come, and he gave us the best news: if you didn't come by yourself before then, you would definitely be born in one week! We were so excited. Of course we wanted you to come on your own, but at least we knew we would see you soon!

Well, you didn't come by yourself. I should have known you wouldn't--you're just as stubborn as I've ever been. The night before you were born, my uncle came over and helped your daddy give me a blessing of comfort and safety. Daddy and I went to bed late that night, and I'm not sure either of us really slept much--we were too excited! We woke up bright and early the next morning (which happened to be a Thursday, just like today), got dressed, and headed to the hospital. We got all checked in and ready to go, and by about 7:00 I was all hooked up to the medicine that was going to help you come.

(this next part is more for me to remember)

I remember the contractions starting out pretty painful right off the bat. I didn't think it would hurt so much at the beginning, and I was kind of disappointed. I wanted to see how much I could do by myself without an epidural, and it didn't look like I was going to get very far. I made it about 3 hours before I couldn't take any more and asked for the anesthesiologist. At around 10:30 he got my epidural placed and the pain was gone instantly. It might have been a little overdone because I couldn't feel ANYTHING. Cole was amazed, because he watched the contractions on the monitor get progressively bigger without any response from me. After that, things got really boring. I watched some TV (mostly A Baby Story--after all, I was in the middle of my own baby story!) and slept. Cole even squeezed a nap in! My sister came over to visit on her lunch break from work, and it was somewhere around that time that the nurses declared me fully dilated. But, instead of pushing right away, my doctor let me "rest and descend"--meaning, I sat around some more while my body naturally pushed the baby down. That probably lasted for nearly two hours, and let me tell you, it got pretty tedious. We even got a little impatient, because we thought "fully dilated" meant "let's push this baby out NOW" and we didn't want to wait any more. Looking back, I'm so grateful my doctor didn't have me start pushing before he did because I probably would have been pushing for HOURS. Around 6:45 my doctor rolled in and everything was set up for delivery. I pushed for less than 20 minutes, and Kyle was born.

(back to Kyle's story)

When the nurses first saw your head they all talked about how much dark hair you had. One even joked about putting a bow in it! You were born with a little conehead--the doctor said you looked like a pterodactyl. They put you on my belly, Daddy cut your umbilical cord, and then they weighed and measured you and got you all cleaned up. I think they were a bit surprised that you came so fast, because you were pretty big--9 pounds, 8 oz., 22 inches long. You cried and cried and yelled some more, but I wasn't really surprised, because being born is hard work! We had called Grandma and Papa earlier in the day so they could come down and see you, and they made it not very long after you were born. Aunt Stephanie came from work to see you, too.

We visited for a while and everyone helped us move to our new room in the hospital where we would stay for the next couple of days. Papa took some pictures of us with you, and we both look really tired (it had been a really long day).

Mommy and Kyle

Daddy and Kyle. I promise he was happy; he was just really tired
The next day we had lots of visitors! Grandma Great came with my aunt Melinda and your Christensen aunts and uncles and cousins came. Everyone was so excited to meet you! The nurses in the nursery also had a great time playing with your hair.

They gave you a little faux-hawk
We stayed one more day at the hospital before coming home. I remember being so scared. I didn't know anything about taking care of a baby! They were just going to let us take you?!? We got everything loaded into the car and got you all dressed in your "go home" outfit. 

Even though you were a pretty big baby, the outfit was
still way too big for you!
The day we brought you home from the hospital was rainy and chilly. We stopped at Wendy's for lunch, then went to pick up some medicine for Mommy. There was a nice lady at the store who made everyone else let us go to the front of the line because she saw that you were a brand new baby. I remember being so grateful to her for that.

We got home on a Saturday afternoon, and we started our life as a family of three.

Kyle, I can't even express how much I love you. The day you were born forever changed my life in so many ways, and I'm so grateful for you. You made me a mommy, and I know I haven't always been perfect, but I've always tried my best. You've grown and changed in so many ways, but you've stayed the same, too. Each day that you grow older makes me a little sad, because I know that one day you'll become a big, strong man. But, no matter how big you get, I hope you always remember that I am your mommy and you are my little boy.

"I'll love you forever.
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be."

Happy birthday to my beautiful firstborn!

I love you forever,


What I Made Monday: Halloween

I have a lot of Halloween decorations, but they're all kind of the same--jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, the like. I wanted something different to spice things up. These candy corn fit the bill perfectly, not only because they're distinctive but also because we can't get enough candy corn at our house this time of year.

This monster trio was too adorable to pass up. My sisters, mom, and I made these for our craft night during the Priesthood session of General Conference.

I think of this one as my "Lucas monster" because it has a rather adorable underbite, just like my Lucas. :)

I also needed a Halloween-y door hanger, so I made this witch. Cole told me "Witches don't need bows!", to which I replied, "everything is better with a bow." (am I right, fellow crafters?)


What I Made Monday: Door Hangs

Since the flip-flops can't hang on my door year-round, I decided I needed to make a door hanger for the fall. I didn't really like the "fall" door hangers, so I decided to go a different route. 

Football in our house is almost like a religion...second only to our ACTUAL religion. We may or may not be those "sinners" who watch football on Sunday, every Sunday. In fact, we upgraded our cable service to get all of the football channels..that way, we'll never miss a Titans (Cole's team), Eagles (my team), or 49ers (my back-up team, because let's face it, the Eagles have had a rough couple of seasons) game. Oh, and let's not forget college ball...

The only football team we'll agree on
It's a little dangerous to put a BYU door hanger up in my neighborhood--I think the majority of my neighbors cheer for that OTHER school, which shall not be named on my blog. But, I don't hide my light under a bushel. I'm true blue...and if he isn't, Cole wouldn't dare tell me because I might leave him for a true Cougar. (psst...not really. He's not getting away from me that easily).

I also made a more all-purpose door hang for when it's not summer and not football season.

C is for Christensen
Yeah, it's a mite girly for a household dominated by testosterone, but hey, I made it. I get to choose the colors. Plus, it DOES have brown and turquoise. Those are boy colors, right?


What I Made Monday: Birthday Countdown

So, at some point in my crafting frenzy I realized it was possible to go a bit overboard. :) I didn't want to overload my credenza-slash-bookshelf with crafts, especially since they were all similar in style. So, I streamlined my bookshelf and decided to leave only one square and the top for rotating, seasonal pieces. I had 6 other squares filled with stuff/decorations that I would keep the same throughout the year. That left one square empty, and I wasn't sure how to fill it. Fortunately, my friend Lisa blogged about a set of countdown blocks, and I thought that would make the perfect decoration for my last square. 

(P.S. Sorry the resolution of the pictures isn't so great. I'm not sure how that happened.)

The blocks--to count down to the next family birthday.

A birthday cupcake

A birthday present

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