Family P: Christmas Newsletter 2016

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Maybe the rate at which we experience time is a function of age and number of children.  This year, we increased on both of those inputs.. 2016 brought the longest days and months as we waited, wondered, and prayed for our baby Fern. As a result, our year was full of amazing adventures and the building of the most wonderfully supportive village in the Pacific Northwest. That said, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that we were mostly, and frankly are still, in survival mode. No doubt, there were lots of exciting moments in 2016 – but none as amazing as the addition of our sweet miracle, Fern.

Last year, an easy theme emerged as I recapped our year: The seasons seemed to mirror our experiences during our first year in Portland. The flow of words came unimpeded… Effort or not, this year has been about embracing chaos with happy hearts and positive attitudes. So here goes.

[Note: this was written of the course of 8 hours, mostly with an infant wrapped to my chest, while I served 3 meals, no less than 7 snacks, changed numerous diapers, mediated lots of toddler conflict, explained where babies come from and why we have to cover our mouths when we cough. I hung some garland, helped the kids with a less-than pinterest worthy craft and *almost* swept the floors and got the laundry put away.]

Long gone is the appeal of a wild night out on New Year’s Eve. Maybe our desire to be hip and feel young will return one day when the kids actually sleep through the night, but for now a celebration in “the Tiki Basement” complete with tamales, guacamole and an epic ping pong tournament seemed ideal. This sentiment yielded a new tradition with the bringing in of 2016.. Family Gorham traded SoCal sunshine for a New Year’s celebration in the cold and rainy Pacific Northwest. Luckily, we enjoyed a few crisp, dry days that allowed for a trip to the Gorge and wine tasting in the Willamette Valley.

As we approached the anniversary of our move to Portland, we began to feel settled in our new home. Finally feeling like true Oregonians ourselves, we learned that we were expecting our first (and only!) native. In February we celebrated Olivia’s 4th birthday with a party of Olivia’s own creation: The Rainbow Party — rainbow cake, playdoh and decorations.

In March, at around 11 weeks pregnant, our adventures with Fern really began. During what would become an emotional few months, we were fortunate to have the support of our families and an amazing village of friends. We waited anxiously, week after week, for a miracle. You can read more here, here and here about our journey with Fern.

In April, we celebrated Townes’s 2nd birthday, camp style, complete with a campfire cake and e springtime creek play. As I entered my second trimester, we shared the news of our sweet new addition with friends and family. We celebrated Easter with the first of many epic egg hunts in our front yard. We ventured to Woodburn for the Oregon Tulip festival and made multiple trips out to the Gorge to hike Olivia, now officially ambulatory on her own accord,, conquered 3+ mile treks. She has become quite the little hiker!

May brought gradual improvements in Fern’s sonograms, and by 16 weeks were very close to “normal.” Now on summer’s cusp, we welcomed the longer, warmer days. Again, we u-picked our way through the summer, trying our best to stock the chest freezer for the winter months: Strawberries and cherries in June, blueberries and raspberries in July and peaches in August. Dan made a trip in June to CA to help “Uncle Chip” move North. It was perfect timing.e needed a landing spot in PDX while he got settled, and I was in desperate need of an extra set of hands. I honestly don’t know how I would have survived this summer without his help.

We celebrated my 30th birthday,and the beginning of my third trimester, with a trip to Bend. We adventured in the Santiam State Forest at Three Pools in Opal Creek, had our first family hot springs experience at Paulina [pronunciation: PAUL-EYE-NAH] Lake, and enjoyed some amazing meals. With August came the return of weekly doctors visits  for fetal monitoring. This, of course, on top of acupuncture and chiropractor visits and our schedule seemed packed. The kiddos were lucky enough to see all three grandparents for summer visits this year. We shared concerts at Kruger Farms, picked berries at Smith Berry Barn, and hiked the Gorge.

September’s arrival also meant Fern’s arrival, and we started making plans. We were almost certain that I would need to be induced a few weeks early due to the general “high risk” nature of my pregnancy. With induction scheduled for 9/21, I was thrilled to be the parent helper for Olivia’s first day in the “Sunflower” class at her Waldorf-inspired preschool. The following day at my fetal monitoring appointment, with concern about my blood pressure, my doctor and I made the decision that induction that night was the safest call. Our perfect Fern Opal was born the next day, September 8th, at 5:05pm, 7lbs 4.4oz. I’d love to provide you a link where you could read Fern’s whole birth story, but alas,  that has yet to be documented (#thirdbabyproblems). The most uncomplicated part of my pregnancy with Fern was labor and delivery. It was remarkably fast and easy; I had a short, active labor and successfully avoided any unnecessary intervention. Townes and Olivia were over the moon to meet their new baby sister and we were anxious to get home and start settling in as a family of FIVE. Fern’s post-birth echocardiogram revealed a still-present muscular VSD (something we’d identified somewhere around the 19th week of pregnancy), resulting in a grade 2 murmur. Thankfully, this is not cause for immediate concern, and will only require a follow-up with a pediatric cardiologist at 6 months. We were blown away with the outflowing of support and love from our friends and family,especially our Woodhaven community. Through delicious meals (and wine!), rides to school for Olivia, and entertainment for Townes, we survived those first few months.

Outings were sparse., Fern’s first was a trip to the u-pick apple orchard where we collected almost 20 pounds of apples and pears.  Dan’s 6 week paternity leave allowed for him to volunteer as the parent helper in Olivia’s class several times. It was an experience he would say was  transformative, validating our choice for more gentle and peaceful parenting approach. After the first day, he came home saying that it was one of the highlights of his year!  The big kids loved having Dan home and enjoyed numerous “Dayda Dates” to the OMSI, Powell’s, “The Coffee Store” and of course, Hopworks. Qhen Dan returned to work, we welcomed more family help, and I started practicing our new normal tackling daunting tasks like the grocery store with more kids than hands and getting three kids in and out of car seats and gear in the rain.

Halloween in the PNW is challenging for small trick-or-treaters. Not only is it likely to be raining, but by October, “the darkness” has started to set in. Shorter days with earlier sunsets, coupled with the lack of sidewalks or light pollution in our quadrant of Portland bring a different Halloween experience. Still, set on trick-or-treating this year, we braved our neighborhood streets with a forest fairy, a knight, and a colicky baby.

Some of our first big storms came in the first weeks of November, turning our creek into a rushing stream (sometimes flooding into a lake) and the promise of a very wet rainy season became apparent. Since this isn’t a political statement, we’ll just casually move right into the next (fittingly dark) season.

We enjoyed the lantern walk at Olivia’s school, and despite the pouring rain, we welcomed the darker days with a celebration of light and giving. After hosting for 27 last year, our Thanksgiving was wonderfully casual and intimate this year with just the five of us. I stayed in PJs, cooking all day, Olivia handled the decorations and “turkey games” and Townes (my biggest helper in the kitchen) cut all the green beans by himself with his “kid knife.”

For Dan’s favorite of our family’s Christmas mores, we selected our very first Nordman Fir, Hillary Nordman,  retiring Juan Noble in favor of the healthiest and happiest of the u-cut trees, while also maybe paying homage to our first almost lady president. After cutting and carrying our 6.5 ft beauty through the forest, we enjoyed a late lunch (and good beer) at cozy spot in the country. Kicking off the advent season, we gathered with our Woodhaven community to participate in a spiral walk. The children walk to the center of a spiral of evergreen branches where they light a candle, then retrace their steps back to their families. Singing and watching the light in the room grow was such a wonderful reminder of the light we carry within, and the importance of sharing it with others during this season.

We’re looking forward to some fun Christmas outings including: The festival of lights at the Grotto, watching the Christmas Ships from the bank of the Willamette, and visiting hipster Santa downtown. In a year with basically zero travel, we’ve been super lucky to have our families all here to visit. Plans for next year include a 2+ week “triangle trip” to both Texas and California over spring break, and hopefully our first family camping trip over the summer! We sincerely hope that your Christmas season to be filled with love, light and peace!

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Olivia: Four and a half and will tell you her life story if you so much as glance in her direction. She loves chatting up adults and telling them all about her age, siblings ages, and her school. She still has very strong opinions about “soft pants” and what gets packed in her lunch. She loves “dragon tears,” playing doctor, and dogs. Chickens & a coop are on the top of her birthday wishlist (we told her that Santa doesn’t bring live animals and we’re on board with chickens, in fact they’re already in the works for Family P: Spring/Summer 2017). She has become quite the artist, practicing drawing pictures of her friends, family and school. You can often find her sitting at the kitchen table, listening to “Magic Treehouse” books on tape, doodling cards for her friends. She’s mastered writing most of her letters and loves to help me write “to-do” lists.

Favorite Colors: Red and Pink.

Favorite Foods: “Flat Cheese Sandwiches” (not-grilled, American cheese sandwiches). “Bongo beans and Rice” (Garbanzo Beans, Brown Rice and Aminos) and “Noodle Soup” AKA Pho from TuTus (Our favorite neighborhood food truck).

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Townes: Two and a half and becoming quite the chatty little guy. He managed to inch his way on to the growth chart this year. He’s still very reserved in new situations and environments; it takes him a tick to warm up. He officially weaned around 22 months but  is nonetheless still quite attached to his Mama. He’s always practicing all things “big kid”, following Olivia’s lead, and likes to “do it myself.”  He’s perfectly content being sandwiched in between a big “tita” and a little “Fernita” as long as he still gets adequate snuggle time from Mommy and Dayda. Some of his favorite things include: binoculars, flashlights and anything with a button, cord or plug. Loves to paint and get creative at art class at the Multnomah Art Center. Starting to get the hang of sitting on the big potty and fingers crossed will “potty train” without much assistance. Wakes up hungry and although picky, is a great little eater. Loves to help himself and knows exactly where to find the “Damn Crackers” (Perfectly endearing pronunciation of Graham). He’s a big helper in the kitchen and has become the expert potato scrubber, carrot peeler and chopper of all things. We never imagined it possible after Olivia, but Townes really is an even goofier kid. One of his favorite phrases is “oh! a joke!” followed by forced laughter. Refers to himself as “Tao Tao” or “Tao Bamboo”  and is constantly keeping us in stitches. He’s a little risk taker, not afraid to climb up on stools, counters, and chairs, resulting in the most adorable little chipped front tooth earlier in the year.

Favorite Foods: Seaweed, Any kind of pasta, Crock Pot Chicken tacos, “Ah-Wos” (Olives), muffins and all kinds of fruit.

Favorite Color: “I really want a flashlight”

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Fern: A “chunker-monker” with many nicknames. Depending on who you ask… she’s Fernie, Fernita, Tenacious Fernacious, Ferniture, the list goes on. A challenging temperament, she’s certainly the completion of our family. Colicky as she may be, her presence is such an amazing miracle and we’re reminded of it frequently. Hard as it is, we’re rejoicing in every difficult moment in this newborn stage. My best nurser, with the biggest tummy issues, we’ve at least (at LAST!) been blessed with a good sleeper! This girl sleeps a pretty predictable 6 hour stretch almost every night for which we are super grateful! Loves her paci, keeping a watchful eye on her big brother and sister, and being worn. THis snuggle bug, loves tub time with Mama and watching Dayda play his guitar. She’s already scared us with more ER/ Urgent care visits than her siblings combined. We’re all absolutely and completely in love with our little Fern and are enjoying every moment of the fleeting infant stage. The longest, shortest time.

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Meg – How many pair of yoga pants do I own? At least one pair for every day of the week. How long has it been since I last hit the mat? Let’s just say, I’m grateful that athleisure is officially a trend. Between the dusty, dirty days on the u-pick farm and the wet and muddy preschool pick-ups, I very rarely find myself motivated to really “get dressed.” This year has left me incredible thankful for lots of things,even more than spandex pants and baseball caps: some of the greatest friends – far and near, who have really come together to support our family during a really tough year. Survival mode has me saying “yes” to the big kids a little more often and indulging in take out, grocery delivery services and  coming 2017: a housekeeper!? I’m practicing choosing joy among the piles of laundry and crusty floors.

Hobbies include: breastfeeding, calendaring, pinteresting, and meal-planning.

Favorite Foods: Vanilla Hemp Latte, Coconut LaCroix, Pinot Noir, and anything I can eat easily without spilling on Fern’s head.  

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Dan – Between lots of doctor’s visits, sonograms, and fetal monitoring in the first half of the year and a generous paternity leave, Dan was actually home a lot! He successfully escaped for a weekend camping in Big Sur en route CA to OR in June and made some time to enjoy some of his favorite bands as they came through Portland. This was a year of cooking for him.  He’s learning the basics, now, but has generally assumed responsibility for breakfast every weekend morning.. Monday through Friday you can still find this dude at Intel, computing about computer stuff. He’s professionally into category theory, compilers, and hacking on distributed consensus problems,all while listening to lots of bones music and occasionally brushing up on his ping pong skills.

Hobbies include: Telling dad jokes, reading books, hiking on trails, camping in tents, listening to tunes, and the constant mission to grow as an empathetic human being.

I say it every year, this annual recap is really for us, but I really hope you enjoyed catching up with us too and would love to hear from you 🙂

Catch up with us Here: megan.gorham@gmail.com and Here: danielscottt@gmail.com

More Pictures Here:  @large_arborist and Here:  @MMOGUU

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Update: Fern (22 Weeks)

Goodness… I really can’t believe the last update I made was over 6 weeks ago. The sheer fact that our sweet Fern has grown from the size of a navel orange to the size of a spaghetti squash blows my mind. We so appreciate your continued prayers on this journey and please know that an absence of update most certainly means the best. Here’s a quick run down of our appointments and new info from the past 6 weeks.

19 Weeks (3 Weeks Ago) We had a trifecta of appointments, a typical anatomy scan, a Fetal Cardio Echogram (a detailed look at baby’s heart via sonogram, performed by a pediatric cardiologist) and a clinic visit with my Doctor.

The anatomy scan (without considering any previous scans) was completely and totally normal. The radiologist we saw that day went so far as to say, “If you had come in today for your first scan, we wouldn’t have even mentioned any abnormality to you – everything is within the range of normal!”

Our echogram revealed nothing major, however, the pediatric cardiologist did identify a “very minor muscular ventricular septal defect (VSD)” which is a very common abnormality and could feasibly have caused the cystic hygroma. The way she explained it, while Fern’s heart was forming around 11 or 12 weeks, the left and right atriums were sort-of fusing together. During this process, if you can imagine, the muscular wall between the atrium would look like swiss cheese in the early stages of fusion then slowly the holes would close leaving 2 separate sides of the heart, each with 2 chambers. In Fern’s case, there is a very small hole allowing blood to flow between the 2 atrium. The most likely scenario is that this type of small hole with eventually close up on it’s own, ideally before birth. If there are signs that it hasn’t closed (we would hear a murmur post birth) we will follow with another echogram and possibly a course of treatment to help support Fern’s body while it closes. Surgery would be HIGHLY unlikely in a case like this.

Our clinic visit was uneventful, as they usually are. I’ve had slightly elevated blood pressure (likely just caused by the stress of constant visits and tests) and an increased number of headaches (very easily attributed to the same stress and/or the CRAZY allergies I’ve experienced during the PNW Spring) which can technically be signs of preeclampsia so we’re watching that closely but won’t be more concerned with the likelihood of that for another couple of weeks.

A few weeks we’ve been able to skip, but for the most part I’ve alternated clinic visits and sonograms weekly. Next steps are really just to keep a close eye on everything. We’ll likely continue with clinic visits every 2 weeks and formal sonograms as my doctor feels the need to order them. She is able to do bedside sonograms at every clinic visit which is a wonderful reassurance under these circumstances. That being said, I’m feeling lots of movement now (at 22+2 Weeks) which is comforting and dare I say some of my energy is coming back? At around 32 weeks we’ll transition to weekly clinic visits and NSTs then around 36 NSTs 2x a week or possibly more frequently. Considering the severity of the initial cystic hygroma, I am statistically at a higher risk for still birth and other (obviously super scary) late term complication so we’ll likely follow my doctor’s recommendation of induction at 39 weeks, possibly a membrane sweep at 38. The CVS test that I had done at 11 weeks also caused a small amount of bleeding on my uterus and although it’s almost completely healed it still puts me at higher risk of pre term labor so we’ll obviously we watching for signs of that too!

Obviously VERY early on we were advised completely against any travel outside the Portland Metro area which definitely put a small dent in some of our late summer plans (We’re super bummed to miss some dear friends’ wedding in San Fran in September). However, my doctor did slightly relax those restrictions to “within ambulance ride” so we’re looking at the possibility of a weekend trip to Bend to celebrate my 30th birthday early in July!

Feeling like the best thing in the world to be able to focus on how big my bump is getting, what I’m craving and enjoying every little kick. Every little movement feels like such an amazing gift. I can’t begin to explain how much your continued thoughts and prayers mean to me (and to us!). Each time I pick up a text or voicemail from someone checking-in, I’m overwhelmed by the reminder of the number of people who are praying for our sweet Fern (and our family).

Much love and gratitude,

M

 

 

 

 

Family P: Pittman Family Christmas Newsletter 2015

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Well, looks like I missed the deadline… Sorry if we had any disappointed readers who checked in to see…. last year’s Christmas Newsletter. This post is OVERDUE and I’m finally, day-after Christmas, sitting down to dot i’s and cross t’s and hit [PUBLISH].

In past years, I’ve documented our year by month, curated our memories by relying on my trusty google calendar and Instagram to jog my memory… but if I’m totally honest, this year has been even more of blur than the last. I’d be hard pressed to REALLY remember if it was June or July… October or November? Luckily, Portland seems to have made the seasons easy to distinguish – which is a pretty easy theme to run with… so here goes:

WINTER

Our year kicked off with a bang! Big changes for Family P… we packed-up 6 bags, 2 carseats, a couple of backpacks and a stroller and moved cross-country to Portland, Oregon. Thankfully, the rest was handled by a relocation company furnished by Intel. In the heart of winter, we experienced our first Pacific Northwest “rainy season.” Our Dallas home up for sale, we got cozy in our corporate apartment in Hillsboro (about 25 min west of downtown). Hindsight – the seemingly endless “waiting” period we felt was oh-so characteristic of Winter. Our house on the market longer than expected, house-hunting EVERY weekend, and getting VERY creative entertaining two toddlers with the handful of small toys we traveled with. I became an expert at cooking in a very minimally stocked kitchen and splurged on a new crockpot. As we started to accumulate adequate gear, we started exploring the city and nearby forests, our weekends split in half – one day solely dedicated to finding our forever home, one day to donuts, beer and hiking. We ate Salt & Straw [ice cream] once a week, sampled lots of Portland’s food trucks, and started to familiarize ourselves with the city. [See Note: 1] Since we really had NO idea where we were wanting to live, we explored a little bit of everything, ultimately trading in some hipster points to narrow the hunt to SW Portland. While Dan was at work, the kids and I did plenty of exploring in the rain (and fog!). We became proud, card-carrying members of the Oregon Zoo and Children’s Museum, learned valuable lessons about rain pants and playgrounds, took advantage of the library and quickly learned that one of Olivia’s new favorite foods is Pho. (Only second to donuts). Valentine’s day, we celebrated Olivia’s 3rd birthday (with G and Papa G in town!) as best we knew how, with Donuts and a hike to “The Witches Castle” – one of our favorite, kid-friendly hikes in Forest Park.

SPRING

We were lucky enough to see the cherry blossoms bloom at our apartment complex which signaled the coming of Spring. I’m not sure which we were more anxious for, longer and warmer days or getting out of the apartment. The mornings became less foggy, the days less dark and cold and things started to look promising as we closed in on our dream house. Newness all around us, we started seeing how much greener everything was (I didn’t even understand that was possible!)  We made 3 offers on 3 different house, over the course of 3 months… We looked at 50+ homes with the most patient of realtors (if you need a recommendation, we have a truly great one!).  We fell in love with a little community called Multnomah Village, nestled in the heart of SWPortland, fairly close-in, that features it’s own indie bookstore, fro-yo establishment, Toy Shoppe and 3 great food trucks. AND it kept Daniel’s commute to Hillsboro manageable. In April, we finally closed on our house, an almost 90-year old tin-roof cabin on the most spectacular .66 acre piece of Urban forest. We love the feel of the ‘hood, the perks of being able to walk to one of the best beer stores in Portland, great brunch spots and BONUS a park, right across the street. [Note: 2] We started to get settled and unpacked, with the help of lots of family visitors, although I will admit… there are still those boxes in the basement. Made a few minor improvements, painted a few rooms and started to feel settled. Almost a month late, we finally celebrated Townes 1st birthday in our front yard with several new friends. For Father’s Day, we made our first attempt at front-yard camping. Proud to say that Dan and Via made it all night; Townes and I — not so much. At the end of June, we traveled to Santa Cruz, CA for some dear friends’ wedding in the mountains and then the kids and I ventured South to the OC for some playtime with Family Gorham.

SUMMER

Summer days in the Pacific Northwest and notoriously long. We’re talking… sunset at 9:42PM and not really totally dark until 10:30. Talk about making it difficult to get toddlers to bed! Throw an old house with no AC along with uncharacteristically long HEAT WAVES and it definitely started feel like summer! Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for… the TIKI BASEMENT. The house we bought has LOTS of awesome features, cool sunroom breakfast nook, great cozy wood-paneled “ballroom”, HUGE windows…. none as awesome as the TIKI BASEMENT. I’ve realized now that I have not a single photo to share… so consider this a huge teaser. You’ll have to rely on my descriptive words and your imagination to take you to Margaritaville for the next 28 seconds. Our new house came with a fully equipped thatched-roof bar, beer fridge, tiki glassware and the BEST part? a hand-painted mural of 3 gratuitously proportioned, scantily-clad (nude, they’re nude -ed.) hula dancers. THIS is where we retreated most nights when the main level of our house was still 82 degrees and MUCH too warm for sleeping. Long summer days found us shifting our schedule, kids stayed up late and enjoyed every waking hour of sunlight – We dined on patios, and took full advantage of the Portland great-outdoors. During the week, the kids and I spent at least 1-2 days picking produce at one of several favorite U-pick farms, exploring various fountains to splash in downtown, and doing toddler-led hikes with friends. Most weekends, we explored a new state park or hike, our favorite – Wilson Falls in the Tillamook State Forest. We hiked in Tevas and Shorts, swam in waterholes, wore LOTS of sunscreen and pushed the ‘Pause’ button on any home improvement projects. August took us to Southern California for my youngest sister’s wedding to the most awesome dude (Welcome to the family, Holden!) and family vacation. Olivia even had an extended stay to spend some “special alone time” with G and Papa G… Undivided attention, swimming, desserts and DISNEYLAND guaranteed that she came back with a huge smile! Also aided by her chaperone – Uncle Chip! Who came for a summer visit – in addition to Auntie B to experience the glory of Portland summer! Indian Summer – in my book, should probably have it’s very own paragraph, but since we’re trying to keep this shortish… The end of summer had us collecting the last of the summer tomatoes at Smith Berry Barn, making big batches of Spaghetti Sauce and Jam to freeze. Hard to believe, but we made it through most of Summer before we made our first trek to the [Columbia River] GORGE. One trip and we were hooked, 4 straight weekends and we checked one waterfall hike off after the next… [Note: 3] taking us right into Fall.

AUTUMN

Autumn brought lots of change – Olivia started school at a wonderful Waldorf-inspired preschool where she goes 3 days a week 9-12PM. The school backs up to a private forest where, rain or shine, the most kind and gentle teachers lead the play-based class outside all day on Wednesday and half days on Monday/Friday. Via’s favorite parts of school are: “Forest Day, Baking Bread Day, and Playing with silks in the classroom.” Since it’s a co-op, Dan and I get to volunteer quite a bit both in the classroom and taking on other various tasks to help the school run. Townes is also throughly enjoying the alone time with mama at home! We made our first trip back to Dallas in October spanning our 5 year wedding anniversary and Dan’s birthday – spent lots of time with friends, cousins and family, filled our bellies with BBQ and Tex-Mex and revisited our old stomping grounds. When we returned to Portland, fall was in full swing… the leaves changing to the most glorious shades of gold and crimson. The kids and I spent lots of time enjoying the last rain-free days, visiting u-cut pumpkin patches and Fall festivals and perfecting our costumes: [Olivia: Puff the Magic Dragon, Townes: Knight, Or if you ask Olivia, “The Autumn Mist”]. As the rain returned, our weekends shifted back to productivity. Yard work and Thanksgiving prep filled our weekends… maybe a little bit of ping pong! We were subjects for a “documentary style” photo shoot with a good friend and amazing photographer Lauren Allen. She captured “a day in our life” in the most artistically shot portrayal of the mundanity of a typical Saturday in the Pittman family. If you have an extra 16 minutes and love art and… US – watch it! It brings tears to my eyes every.single.time. and is truly something I will treasure forever.  [Note:4] Find link to the video and images on her blog below! Gramma G made a Portland trip and got to see the “rainy season” in full swing. We hosted Thanksgiving Dinner for almost every single one of our Portland friends! 27 total : 13 kids, 14 adults and 1 dog! Truly a wonderful party; we felt super blessed to celebrate the holiday with SO many great people. Olivia and Townes are lucky to have lots of new friends who are all very close in age and I’m so lucky to call their mamas “my tribe.”

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As long as are the Summer days, are the Winter nights. Y’all, I am not kidding you when I say that some “days” it is quite literally DARK at 4:00PM. Although the rumors are true, there are very long stretches of time when we don’t see the Sun, we LOVE the expression of seasons and the rhythm they provide. We spend lots of our “home days” in front of the fire crafting, reading books, playing blocks, or trucks or trains. Both kids love to help me cook and we get adventurous with our lunches: Attempting things like coconut curry shrimp and “ZOODLES” with Spaghetti Sauce My lumberjack of a husband chopped down his first Christmas tree and lugged it through the forest. This sparked a wonderful family tradition and kicked off the Advent season. Only in Portland can you take your kids to visit Hipster Santa: man bun, thick rimmed glasses, and tattoos. Totally legit Santa. Olivia throughly enjoyed the experience, asking “Santa in regular clothes” for the following 3 things: 1) a dog 2) a clothesline and clothespins and 3) “silks”. Can you tell she’s at a Waldorf preschool? Proud parent moment when your kid asks Santa for a homesteading supplies… let me tell you. Other fun winter activities included a chilly walk and train ride through the Oregon Zoo’s “Zoo lights” display and watching the “Christmas Ships” on the Willamette (That’s will-LAM-ette -ed.). We have loved having Mamaw in town for Christmas as well as lots of Family Gorham for New Years Eve!

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Meg –  trying to keep a healthy, home-cooked, Pinterest-worthy meals on the table, the laundry put away before it’s time to do it again and the floors from getting too crusty. Enjoying exploring a new city, planning fun, family-friendly adventures and making home-improvement to-do lists. Washing my hair WAY less than ideal, practicing peaceful parenting, trying to live in the moment. Frequently finding myself getting dirty with the kids – hands in the mud, face in the rain and feet stomping the puddles. Favorite activities lately: crafting and “doing projects” with Olivia, DIY home improvements and hiking.

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Dan – [Written by Dan] Computers: I spent most of the year exposing Intel’s  CPU features in higher-level languages in the context of my expertise: The data center.  What does this mean?  Computing is an endless pile of abstractions, and my job is to bump some of the stuff up a few levels. Home: Lots of yard work and home improvement odds-and-ends.  I bought my first lawnmower, a reel mower, and spent many weekends trying to maintain the natural beauty of the little piece of PNW forest we’ve taken responsibility for.  Family: It’s been a year.  We moved, changed jobs, experienced summer with no A/C, and hiked a cumulative of probably 100 miles of Oregon forest.  The highlights would have to be: The inspiring 5 miles we did on the PCT, an afternoon spent in a hammock with Olivia on a cool summer day, and late summer nights in the back yard with new friends.

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Olivia – “Via” to her friends, has become the expert puddle hunter. You can find her on the forest floor making fairy houses, baking a birthday cake in her play kitchen, “making a party” or putting on a ballet. Loves her new Portland besties and playdates at the Berry Picking Farm, splashing in the creek during the Summer months, and exploring downtown Portland via the streetcar. Looks forwards to “Dayda dates,” and adventures to “THE GORGE!” Blossoming at school, she has mastered the “balancing log,” writing her name, and baking bread. Will talk to anyone who will listen and tells the best stories! Has an opinion about what she wants to wear and as long as it’s “soft pants” and the tags aren’t too scratchy, she’s pretty happy. Favorite Color: Red. Favorite Food: “Hot Cheese” and “Noodle Soup” (AKA Pho from Tutu’s Food Truck AKA Noy Viet Lao)

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Townes – Snuggle master, milk-man of few words, loves his mama and Dayda. Copies everything his big sister does, climbing, jumping and running with no fear! Loves chicken tacos, yogurt and popcorn. Favorite daytime activities include: taking his vitamins, chasing his sister, dancing to music (basically turning in a circle like a ballerinO, head turn and everything) . At 19 months, still not a huge fan of the car seat, sleeping in his bed or dropping big sis off at school. Loves to be worn in the carrier, snuggled close to mama, observing the world as it goes by. Still REALLY working on growing some hair but we secretly love that he still looks so much like our baby boy. Makes the sweetest little scrunch face when he smiles and knows exactly what to do when mom wants to snap a picture

That pretty much wraps it up, and since I’m being pressured to just finish the darn thing… We wish you all a very [belated] Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Much Love and Peace,

Megan (And Dan, ed., Olivia and Townes)

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More Pictures Here:  @danielscottt_ and Here:  @MMOGUU

Catch up with us Here: megan.gorham@gmail.com and Here: danielscottt@gmail.com

 

[Note: 1] The city of Portland is divided into 4 quadrants (an additional 5th if you count NoPo)… NorthWest, NorthEast, SouthEast, SouthWest.

[Note: 2] The “future park site” across the street from our new house is what the City of Portland is referring to as a “natural playground” – a combination of logs, trees, sand pit (with “the Diggers” as our kids have dubbed it) and will-be traditional play equipment.

[Note: 3] Bridal Veil Falls, Wachlella Falls, Eagle Creek to Punch Bowl falls, Dry Creek Falls via the PCT

[Note: 4] Video , Lauren Allen Photography Blog Post PART 1, PART 2, PART 3

 

{2015 Resolutions}

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January 17, 2015

Happy New Year.

I’ll count today as my new year. Resolutions just didn’t happen this year before New Year’s Day… And ya know what? That’s OK. A lot didn’t happen this year… {I was going to post a link here to our 2014 resolutions… turns out, they never even made it to the blog} Blogging most certainly fell by the wayside. Weight loss post baby? Ha! Potty training? Forget it! But so much did {Annual Recap HERE}

This year I thought I’d try to just choose a word.  A word to live by, that encompassed most of my resolutions. In my brainstorming, I kept coming back to this verse: {John 14:27} “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  I recognized an emotion/state that I so deeply desire and settled on the word PEACE. I’m resolving to choose the calm, avoid the chaos. Slow down, appreciate, enjoy, live in the moment. I’m going to be at peace with myself – mind, body and spirit. I’m going to practice acceptance with less judgement. I’m going to try to see only the positive and complain less.  In the past I’ve made resolutions of weight loss, healthier eating habits… Not texting while driving. Not to say these aren’t still things I’d love to focus on… But not setting myself up to fail or forget such specific goals.

With Dan – prioritize each other above kids. Make more time for one another – date each other. Take a sincere interest in each other’s daily lives. Make time for intimacy. Speak each other’s love languages fluently. Support each other in goals and passions. Be intentional in how we are shaping our family – spend quality time together bonding, with fewer distractions – hiking, adventure, vacation. Pay more attention to each other than we do our smart phones.

With kids – parent with LOVE and patience. Remember to always lead by example. Set a vibe in our family we want emulated. Make daily life less of a race. Slow down and appreciate experiencing the world through younger eyes. Be less rigid with a routine and schedule – “feed them, love them, spoil them”. Let them be little. Make sure that they know undoubtedly how much we love them. Cook more together. Grow a garden – develop a healthy relationship with food. Be more intentional with kid entertainment – less screen time, more brain building/ learning activities for Olivia, sensory fun for Townes. Eliminate toys that don’t foster learning and creative play.

With myself – respect and love myself. Make time for myself – exercise, healthy eating, reflection and prayer, hobbies and interests. Love the person I see in the mirror. Make changes to BE that person. Be myself with new friends – only spend time on relationships worth fostering. Speak only words that build others up instead of tearing them down. Show acts of kindness. Be genuine. Keep in touch with Dallas friends – make concrete plans to visit and schedule (at least!) monthly phone dates. Give myself grace with weight loss and body image – remember that I’m nourishing another and set a positive example for Olivia. Drink less alcohol, consume less sugar and processed foods. Repair, Sustain, Rekindle, and Grow various relationships with friends and family.

With finances – Sell our house. Buy a house. Exercise patience with making home improvements and furnishings.  Pay off credit card debt – don’t add to credit card debt. Create savings for Olivia and Townes.

 

 

 

 

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Family P: Pittman Family Christmas Newsletter 2014

Here we go again! Time to reflect on the last year… a year that flew by in the blink of an eye.  Admittedly crazier than the last, we have lots to update y’all on this year.  Before I launch in to the annual Family P recap, I’d like to thank YOU.  Simply, for loving us.  We are so very thankful for all of our friends and family who have supported us, celebrated with us, cared for us and been part of our journey through life.  Although this “newsletter” is mostly for us – for our records and memories – We’d like to invite you to share in our reflection, celebration and thanks for the last year!

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[JANUARY] Another new year rang in sunny Southern California. Where, somewhere along the way, we got the crazy idea to list our house for sale (thanks “Zestimate”!) So, upon arriving home, we met with a realtor, made some minor repairs and fixes, patched and painted, and put our “little yellow house” on the market. Not entirely sure what we were thinking (I was 6 months pregnant at the time!)  but had complete confidence that everything would work out. Within 48 hours, we had 6 offers… in less than two weeks we were under contract and in need of a plan! Luckily, we negotiated a 30 day rental agreement with the buyer, allowing us a few weeks to house hunt… and hunt we did. Packing and house hunting.  Two things that are NOT particularly fun for a toddler… or a pregnant gal, for that matter. [FEBRUARY] What is fun for a toddler?  Scribbles and Dribbles!  A Christmas gift from Papa G – Olivia and I joined a  weekly toddler art class  at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.  With a move on the horizon, we decided to host a very low-key 2nd birthday party for Olivia at The Palaestra (toddler open gym). We also made the trek to Salt Lake City, UT to celebrate one of my childhood best friend’s marriage.  Luckily Baby Pittman traveled safely tucked in mama’s belly and Olivia got to enjoy some snow play. {MARCH} Our rental term ended, we collected keys to our new home, and in the same weekend we packed up and moved across town. We traded our urban, somewhat hip, somewhat ‘hood, for an excellent elementary school, great neighbors, and more square footage. Uncle Chip came for a long visit and to help a very pregnant mama unpack and entertain our terrific toddler. [APRIL] Surprisingly still pregnant, Gramma G’s “baby P #2 arrival trip” came and went… at 40 weeks we were all anxious for the little guy to make his big arrival. Townes Randall Pittman was born, just one week late, April 17th 10:29AM, 7 pounds 4 ounces 19 3/4 inches.  More  about his big arrival earth side Here  [MAY]  Settling in as a family of four, we spent most weekends close to home. working on the house and adventuring in our new neighborhood. I gained confidence in my new role as “mom of two” and braved the park, zoo, and museum. (Thanks to many baby wearing devices, Daniel Tiger on the iPad, and lots of coffee.) Memaw and Pa made the trip out to Dallas to meet their newest great grand baby.  [JUNE] The beginning of summer brought lots of time spent outdoors. Weekend adventures in Moss Park, patio-dining at our fav local spots, and neighborhood walks. Olivia continued at Emler Swim School – graduating to Advanced Water Babies, swimming 7 feet and holding her breath for 10 seconds! [JULY] One of the highlights of Olivia’s summer – seeing “the Booms” on Fourth of July! Close seconds, weekly swim dates at Gramma B’s with cousins and story-time at Church of the Incarnation. Lots of time spent staying cool – splash pads, sprinklers, and play dates. [AUGUST] The warmest month of the year took us on vacation with Family Gorham. Hipster San Antonio hot spots, river-walkin’ wearing babies, floating the river, IPAs in hand, we had a blast! Uncle Chip moved in for the month and quickly became Olivia’s BFF.  [SEPTEMBER] Emerging from the 6-month fog, Townes graduated  from newborn “blob” to “bouncing” baby – sitting up, smiling, and giggling. Olivia started at Ascension Day School, two days a week, giving Townes and I some one-on-one time. Gramma G made her annual “Fall” trip, complete with trek to Canton, the state fair and visit to the pumpkin village at the Dallas Arboretum. [OCTOBER] Welcomed Fall with a family weekend spent hiking in Beaver’s Creek, Oklahoma with Mawaw, The Rakowska & Kudrna Families. Papa G made a weekend “triangle trip” to Dallas to visit and indulged us in lots of kid-friendly dining and adventure. Adamant about her costume this year, Olivia trick or treated as a doctor, complete with little brother in tow – “Mr. Bones” AKA The X-Ray.  [NOVEMBER] Spent a few weeks in CA for the Thanksgiving holiday, Enjoyed the wonderful So Cal weather, slack-lining at the beach,  cruising the harbor, and of course a few days at Disneyland! We said adios to Townes precious gummy smile when he cut his first tooth. With lots of coaching, Townes officially mastered the art of crawling! [DECEMBER]  Daniel left his job at VMware to pursue a new opportunity in the Pacific Northwest. MEANING…In the first few weeks of the new year, Family P will be relocating to Portland, Oregon!  We couldn’t be more excited for new adventures in Stumptown… in fact, we heard Santa’s elves mention that some new camping gear might be making it’s way down our chimney.  We’re incredibly thankful for the friends we’ve done life with here in Dallas, and will be sad to move away from our support system but excited to start the next chapter.

And what you’ve really been waiting for…. photo recap.

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Jan 2014 Disneyland

Disneyland Jan 2014

Jan 2014 Disneyland

Olivia's Second Birthday Party Feb 2014

Feb 2014 Olivia’s 2nd  Birthday Party

Packing Up the Sycamore House March 2014

March 2014 Packing Up the Sycamore House

March 2014 Moss Haven House

March 2014 Moss Haven House

April 2014 Welcome Baby Townes!

April 2014 Welcome Baby Townes!

April 2014 - Dallas Arboretum

April 2014 – Dallas Arboretum

May 2014 Brunch with Gramma G

May 2014 Brunch with Gramma G

May 2014 Olivia & Townes

May 2014 Olivia & Townes

May 2014 Olivia & Townes

May 2014 Olivia & Townes

June 2014 Father's Day

June 2014 Father’s Day

June 2014 - Olivia & Townes

June 2014 – Olivia & Townes

July 2014 Lake Highlands Fourth of July Parade

July 2014 Lake Highlands Fourth of July Parade

July 2014 Olivia & Dan

July 2014 Olivia & Dan

July 2014 - Post Dallas Zoo Naps

July 2014 Blueberry Picking

July 2014 Blueberry Picking

August 2014 San Antonio

August 2014 San Antonio

August 2014

August 2014

September 2014 Townes

September 2014 Townes

Sept 2014 Olivia's First Day of School

Sept 2014 Olivia’s First Day of School

Oct 2014 Hiking in Beaver's Creek Nat'l Park

Oct 2014 Hiking in Beaver’s Creek Nat’l Park

Oct 2014

Oct 2014

Oct 2014 Townes

Oct 2014 Townes

Oct 2014 Dr. Olivia

Oct 2014 Dr. Olivia

November Thanksgiving in CA

November Thanksgiving in CA

Nov 2014

Nov 2014

Dec 2014 Polar Express Grapevine

Dec 2014 Polar Express Grapevine

Townes – Sweetest little fella. Snuggle-master. Loves being worn. Squawks like a parrot. Has the most precious “slow-build” cry face you’ve ever seen, although it’s rare we get to see it. Nothing makes him giggle like his big sister can. Captivated by his “dayda’s” piano and guitar playing skills. Definitely learning to hold his own with his big sister who he is incredibly patient with.  Not a fan of riding in his carseat and in the early stages of “I just want to get down!” Favorite things to play with include: keys, faces, leaves and sticks (definitely not toys.) The bathtub can turn any amount of crankiness around so sometimes we spend the bulk of “the witching hour” there.

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Olivia – Terrific Two. Olivia is our little string bean skinny mini with a bigger personality than any toddler I know. She’s as sassy as she is smart making some days quite challenging. She’s incredibly perceptive and understands so much more than we give her credit for.  Imaginary play frequently finds us coaching swimming lessons in the bathtub, feeding pretend babies or baking a “birthday (cake)”. Loves to get messy, wether it’s dirt, sand, or “hot cheese” (AKA Mac n Cheese).  Favorite activities include: riding her trike to the “chickens” at the elementary school, going to the “jump jump” open gym and Dayda dates to Taco Joint and “the music store” (AKA Guitar Center). Contact: OKPittman@gmail.com

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Dan –  Tacos, Beer and computer-ing. Pretty much still accurately describes this guy. One of our favorite pasttimes is enjoying dining out at one of the few kid-friendly spots in Dallas, The Lot or Chicken Scratch.  Nothing better than enjoying local craft beer and watching kiddos play in a giant sandbox! Bought his first pair of Chacos – specifically for spring adventures in the nature preserve across the street from our house.  Adopted “Brother Gorham’s” team (Chelsea), and took up an interest in British Premiere League soccer. Spends the little free time that he has digging deeper into computer science and perfecting his slow brewed cup of coffee. Contact: danielscottt@gmail.com // Twitter @danielscottt

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Meg – Chasing toddler, wearing baby. Most mornings are spent out of the house – even if it takes 3+ hours to get everyone out of PJs and in to the car. Surviving on  “good” coffee (thanks to Dan who ensures that I’m caffeinated) and dry shampoo. Managing the family calendar, weekly meal planing and never ending piles of laundry. Escaping once in a blue moon for yoga,  pinterest and blogging. Planning playdates and kid crafts and practicing the art of the “bento box”.  Co sleeping, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, natural remedies… Gone back to my CA roots and become just a little bit of a hippie. Trying to live in the moment and enjoy staying home with my kiddos while they’re small. Contact: megan.gorham@gmail.com // Instagram @mmoguu

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Townes Randall Pittman

Townes Randall Pittman

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Born April 17th, 2014 10:29AM

7 lbs 4 oz 19 3/4 inches

 Birth Story

Someone… actually, everyone told me that because my first baby was early, my second would likely arrive before my due date. Olivia was born at 39 weeks and you’d better believe that when 39 weeks rolled around  this time I was READY to meet our precious baby boy! Little did I know… there’s absolutely NO truth in the length of gestation being the same with subsequent pregnancies.  On top of that expectation, I experienced  at least 3 weeks of prodromal labor, a term I wasn’t at all familiar with from my pregnancy with Olivia. These weren’t the Braxton Hicks contractions I’d become familiar with at around 20 weeks… these were REAL, painful (sometimes just uncomfortable) contractions lasting 30-90 seconds, at 5-30 min intervals… just uncomfortable enough to make me wonder if “this” was the real deal.

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40 Weeks

Gramma G flew in on April 1st (my self-declared 8-day preterm due-date) to surprise me . She knew how much I wanted her to be here for “Baby Brother’s” big arrival! Her plan was to be here through April 6th… feeling positive that would overlap with our new addition. April 6th came and went… and G extended her trip, not once… not twice.. but 3 times, adding an extra day, feeling certain he’d be here “tomorrow.” After walking countless miles around the neighborhood, morning, noon and night… G finally went home… for 5 days to repack for her next scheduled trip. Meanwhile, my due date came and went… G flew back in. And finally at 40 weeks + 6 days I suspected something really was about to get started. Maybe it was the walking… or the Raspberry Leaf Tea.. Maybe it was the Clary Sage… and pressure points, or the Black and Blue Cohosh… who knows…  More likely that it was the impending Induction at 42 weeks (which I felt strongly against!).

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Hiking at Harry Moss Nature Preserve – 39 Weeks

Wednesday, early afternoon, April 16th, Olivia, G and I were on our way to Cafe of Life for my bi-weekly chiropractic adjustment. When we arrived and realized that there was an hour wait we decided to have a quick lunch at Stackhouse. Towards the end of lunch I started to suspect that my water may be leaking… (funny story… the cushions at Stackhouse had apparently been rained on – I DID NOT pee myself!) I waddled over to COL for my adjustment and between Dr. Autumn and my WONDERFUL doula Nikki we decided that I probably needed to head to the hospital to get checked out (I’d had low fluid levels earlier in the pregnancy and a decline in fetal movement.) Called Daniel at work at told him to grab our bags and meet me at the hospital. Got checked in and confirmed that baby was doing great, fluid levels were still good… amniotic bag… still in tact. HOWEVER. at 41 weeks, my doctor’s orders were “you’re not leaving this hospital until you’ve had that baby!” Determined to get labor started naturally, I got me checked in to an L&D room (at about 1pm) and the nurses agreed to let me walk. And we walked… and we walked… and we walked. upstairs and downstairs… literally, miles around the hospital. My wonderful doula and friend, who was recovering from a barre class, and my not-so-athletic husband by my side… until 10:30pm.. when  we finally decided to call it a night. At that point, my contractions were 5-10 min apart but not regular or strong enough to jump start active labor. So we slept… from 10:30 until about 6AM…  My contractions had slowed overnight so by around 6 we agreed that I should get up and back at trying to get labor started. And again, we tried EVERYTHING to get things going… By 8AM Dr. Crites arrived and insisted on breaking my water… she did agree to give me 45 min to see if that would kickstart things… at 8:45 AM I agreed to a small dose of piton… within 30 min my contractions were regular and intense enough that they agreed to back off the meds. Nikki, with perfect timing, arrived and walked me through everything. Positions, breathing (Especially breathing… breathing is SO important… who would have thought?!) By 10:00 I was sure I was ready to push… in fact, I remember telling Dr. Crites (who I had just overheard say to a nurse that she was going to upstairs to see a few patients) that I wasn’t going to be able to wait for her… that this baby was coming quickly. (I was dilated to 9cm)… I started pushing at around 10:15, maybe 4-5x?… The pain was like nothing I’ve ever experienced (obviously)… and to be honest, I’m not sure I can really totally accurately recall… I know at one point I lost focus and started hyperventilating… got dizzy and tingly fingers… Nikki talked me down and helped me remember to breathe through the contractions. Seriously… this woman was MY ROCK. I think I really may have not remembered to breathe without her!  Daniel never once suggested that I reconsider the epidural or pain management… He says, “(I) made it look easy” … I’d rather believe he just had 100% confidence that I could do it!

“Baby Boy Pittman” was born at 10:29AM. I felt as I pushed the last time and could reach out for him, Dr. Crites even let us wait a few minutes to cut the cord. From there… everything gets a little fuzzy… The endorphins rushed through me like nothing I’d ever felt. Natural childbirth… pretty exhilarating. It was the most amazing feeling of satisfaction… like I really got to experience the miracle of life. I’m still in awe that God made my body to do something as incredible and awesome.

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After I’d delivered the placenta and Crites stitched up a small tear ( 2 stitches… with lidocaine,) we enjoyed almost an hour of skin to skin time, nursing and bonding. Townes had the most amazing, intoxicating scent… He snuggled up so warm and perfect on my chest. He didn’t nurse right away like Olivia wanted to, instead he stared into my eyes, more alert than I’d ever imagined he would be, only seconds old.

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We were only in the hospital 2 days.. 18 hours or pre-labor, 2 hours of labor, 30 min of delivery and just over 24 hours of recovery. Although this wasn’t exactly the scenario I had envisioned, it was the most amazing birth experience and even better than I imagined. I am so beyond thankful for both Daniel and Nikki, who were exactly the support I needed… for Dr. Autumn Gore at COL, who helped prepare my body physically… for my mama, for giving me complete peace of mind that Olivia was safe and happy and Mawmaw for coming to the rescue with play dough and big girl toys!

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Probably deserving of a separate post completely… The first 2 weeks were a roller coaster. When we left the hospital Townes weighed 7 pounds 1 oz. My milk came in just 2 days later and by our first pediatrician appointment the following Monday he was up to 7 pounds 5 oz.

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3 days old

At 8 days old, Daniel left town for the weekend to play drums in Abilene, TX. My mom had also returned to California, leaving me solo with 2 for the first time… As if that wasn’t scary enough. Townes, who has a little bit of a reflux problem, had a particularly bad episode where he emptied the contents of his stomach, vomited up 4-5 ounces (obviously lots more than his tiny stomach could hold) Unfortunately, he got so choked up that i couldn’t get him to clear his air passages and it was obvious that he was really struggling to breathe. I stood on the front porch (performing what I knew of infant CPR) for the longest 12 minutes of my life until the ambulance arrived.  The EMTs were able to suction out his nose and throat and get him breathing normally again  before we even arrived at the hospital . A rather traumatic experience, I felt so lucky to have our good friend Laura over at the time to stay home with Olivia and wonderful new neighbors for their help!

By his 2 week appointment, Townes had gained another pound! up to 8 pounds, 5 ounces… evidence that his reflux was really not affecting his ability to nurse! Definitely a good thing because big sister came down with an awful tummy bug and 105 degree fever and mama’s antibodies proved to be great protection!

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5 days old

 

Olivia: 2 Years

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Weight: 22 lbs 15 oz, 5th Percentile

Height: 33 Inches, 25th Percentile

Size: 18 months, 24 months

Nicknames: Via, O’ia (as she refers to herself)

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Loves

Wrapping anything/ everything (toy animals, cars, play food) in napkins, blankets, towels, etc. to make “a burrito”

Going to the “jump, jump” (Palaestra Toddler Open Gym) and “Another One Jump, Jump” (The Galleria indoor play place)

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Going to the Perot “Moo-seum” for Sribbles & Dribbles Art Class

Playing in the sand (@ the Perot, the Lot, and the Arboretum Children’s Garden) rocks, dirt and mud. Loves getting dirty!

Playing with Friends and Cousins – Asks for her friends by name, followed by “today?”

FaceTime with G, Papa, Chip, Em and B

“Snuggling” with Mommy and Dayda in the early mornings

Playing in the Snow!

Playing dress-up

Likes to use her “special stool” to stand on to help cook, brush her own teeth, reach things”

Watching Disney’s Frozen

Chalk, Painting, Playdough, Crayons, any type of art project

“Play the kitchen”

Swim Lessons – can swim 10 seconds under water and approx 3.5 feet!

Her new pottery barn “Everywhere” Chair

Her “Baby Brother” doll

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Favorite Books: Teddy Bear Picnic, Forever Young, Jesus Loves Me, All things Bright and Beautiful, Ladybug Book (from Aunt B)

Favorite Songs: Teddy Bear Picnic, Wheels on the Bus, “This is the Way we Drive the Car,” Itsy Bitsy Spider, “Fox Song” (What does the Fox Say?) “Snowman Song” (Do You want to Build a Snowman? From Frozen) and “Let it Go” (Also Frozen)

Favorite Toys: Small Plastic Animals, Her Kitchen, Play Dough, Coloring with Crayons/Markers, Painting, Baby Brother Doll, Hot Wheels,

Favorite TV Shows/Movies: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Caillou, Frozen, Monsters Inc, Monsters University, Toy Story 1, 2, and 3

Favorite Foods: “Hot Cheese” (Macaroni and Cheese), Hot Dogs, Peas, Carrots, Oranges, Cantaloupe, Strawberries, Yogurt, Spaghetti & Meatballs, “I-meem” (Ice cream), Kiefer, any kind of  granola or breakfast “bar”  Tacos, Hypnotic Donuts

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Cranks

Naptime

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Packing

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House hunting

Hotel Rooms

Brushing her teeth and hair

Pigtails, Pony Tails, clips, headbands and bows

 

Milestones

Being a Flower Girl @ Ashley & Clay’s wedding in Sandy, UT

Talking in full sentences

Can say/sing ABCs

Can Tell you her name and her home address!

Understands and recognizes emotions in herself and others, Happy, Sad, Frustrated, Mad. If other kids are crying she frequently asks if they’re “OK”

Is happy to go play with friends in her class at church

Understands sharing (Thanks to Daniel Tiger who says, “You can Take a Turn, and then I get it back”)

Moving to a new house

Sleeping through the night in her OWN BIG GIRL BED….!!!

Going down at nap time and bed time alone!

 

Conversations with Via

*Puts on Hat and Backpack* – “I go to school now!”

Walks in to the kitchen on her birthday and asks, “Where’s my birthday party?”

Has an extensive vocabulary…

 

Insists that the sprinkles on her donut are “sparkles.”

Playing with Uncle Chip in the Atrium – Looking in the window to Mommy/Dadyda’s bedroom, “Look! It’s Mommy/Dayda’s Room! It’s Chicka Boom Boom inside!” (Referring to her Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book)

When Dayda lets her swing on his lap on the big girl swing at the park “It’s a little bit dangerous”

Sitting on the front porch at the Sycamore House “But… I’m going to miss my house… it’s SO… Sad”

“Mommy, I’m singing… It’s Happy Birthday Chip!”

Pretending to nurse her “baby brother” doll – “It’s baby brother! he wants to drink my milk, let’s drink my milk (baby brother)” * makes sucking noise and pretends to nurse her doll*

Miss Laura, talking about how the girls are best friends… Olivia proudly puts her hand on her chest as exclaims “I’m A BEST FRIEND!”

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Monthly Highlights

December

Gramma G visit

Purchase of Juan Noble Tree IV

Christmas celebrations

Dallas “Ice-Mageddon”

January

Trip to California to visit Family Gorham

Scribbles & Dribbles Art Class at the Perot Museum

February

Listed our House for Sale only to have it sell within 36 hours with multiple offers.

Lots of last minute home improvements including repainting interior and deck, handy-man fixes and sprucing up… lots of time spent out on the town… car naps and early bedtimes!

Spent countless hours, days, weekends frantically house hunting… made 3 offers on 3 houses before one stuck!

Purchased our second home (Closed, Moved and Settled in beginning of March)

 

Letters to Via  – OKPittman@gmail.com

Although the inbox may still be a little bit empty… i opened a gmail account in Olivia’s name to have a place to send and share messages, pictures, letters and funny things… a sort of scrapbook. If you would like to contribute, feel MORE than welcome… just send an email to the address above!

Note: Obviously Moving at 9 months pregnant slightly delayed this post… better late than never!

Family P: First Edition – Pittman Family Christmas Newsletter

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The reality is… we’ve had a relatively (and wonderfully) quiet year. But here goes… The Pittman Family Christmas Newsletter: First Edition

 [JANUARY] Kicked off the new year in Orange County with Family Gorham with a fun new tradition… BINGO + BEER – Not the most glamorous of celebrations but certainly the most fun you can have while your almost 1-year old is snoozing in the next room. Celebrated Daniel’s Great Grandpa’s life in DeLeon, Texas with family at the end of the month. [FEBRUARY] Olivia turned 1! We celebrated our little Valentine’s first birthday at our home, complete with family and friends, a plethora of pretty pink hearts and a “smash” cake. [MARCH] Spring brought the beginning of toddler-hood as Olivia started walking at around 13 months old. We found a new appreciation for the beginning of park season and lots of time spent at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. [APRIL] Showers and storms had us spending lots of indoor time at the Dallas World Aquarium. Officially kicked Dan out of his home office, freeing up some space for Olivia’s new playroom. Freshly painted and spruced-up, this multi-functional room also serves as our music room and landing spot for junk mail, catalogs and coupons.  [MAY] Olivia’s Baby Dedication at our Church (Fellowship White Rock) fell on Mother’s Day weekend allowing us to spend the special day with our parents. Good friends, Justin and Cassie came to visit, indulging us in showing off Big D. [JUNE] Enjoyed all kinds of wonderful nature-centric activities during an early summer vacation with Family Gorham in Sedona, AZ. Our littlest fish started her first session of swim lessons at Emler Swim School. [JULY] Kicked-off summer with a 4th of July Bash at home welcoming the Texas heat. Rising temps found us frequenting the splash pad at Klyde Warren Park, enjoying popsicles in the backyard and dining al fresco at Chicken Scratch. [AUGUST] was HOT. HOT. HOT. We became the proud owners of a brand new A/C unit. Also, charter members of the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science, officially the best place to entertain a toddler indoors in Dallas. Ended the summer with an escape from the heat to beautiful sunny southern California to visit Gramma G and Papa. Olivia enjoyed her first trip to Disneyland and we shared some BIG news with the family. [SEPTEMBER] Announced to family and friends that we’re expecting Baby P #2 in April. First look sonograms and doctors appointments reveal a healthy and wiggly little nugget. Welcomed the opening of the Rory Meyer’s Children’s garden with frequent visits.[OCTOBER] Celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary and Daniel turned the big 3-0. Dressed as Ladybug girl, Olivia enjoyed trick-or-treating on Swiss Ave for the first time. [NOVEMBER] Enjoyed the cooling temps and change of seasons with frequent trips to the Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum. Revealed the gender of our newest little Pittman with friends and family – It’s a BOY! Then finally reclaiming energy lost during my first trimester, we hosted Thanksgiving for 9. [DECEMBER] Preparing our hearts and home for Christmas. Thanking God for a wonderful, mostly-calm year. Feeling blessed with a happy healthy and growing family.

Stone Brewery, Escondido, CA - January 2013

Stone Brewery, Escondido, CA – January 2013

Olivia's First Birthday Party - February 2013

Olivia’s First Birthday Party – February 2013

Walking - March 2013

Walking – March 2013

New Playroom - April 2013

New Playroom – April 2013

Klyde Warren Park - May 2013

Klyde Warren Park – May 2013

Sedona, AZ - June 2013

Sedona, AZ – June 2013

4th of July - July 2013

4th of July – July 2013

Dana Point, CA - August 2013

Dana Point, CA – August 2013

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Rory Meyer’s Children’s Garden – September 2013

Halloween - October 2013

Halloween – October 2013

Dallas Arboretum - November 2013

Dallas Arboretum – November 2013

White Rock Lake - December 2013

White Rock Lake – December 2013

Dan – Computerist computering computer code at a computer company. Loves being ‘dayda’, collecting (but never actually reading) reading material, and consuming a healthy amount of beer and coffee.  Also tacos. Contact: danielscottt@gmail.com // dpitt.me

Meg – Toddler chaser. Bun in the oven. Serial Membership Addict: Dallas Zoo, Arboretum, Perot Museum, State Parks, etc. Mastered the art of salsa and taco preparation. Relies heavily on Dry Shampoo, yoga pants and nap time. Contact: megan.gorham@gmail.com // megsmileu.com

Via – Goof ball. Chatter-Box. Mac & Cheese connoisseur. Car-napper. Calliou lover. Enjoys playing dress-up, being outside and trolling “the durch” (our 12-year old black lab – not pictured,) Pending Big Sister!

Olivia: 21 Months

Stats:

PROFILE

Weight: 21 lbs 7 oz

Size: 18 months, 24 months

Tooth Count: 16

Hair: Growing… slowly but surely. Reddish blonde and slightly curly

Nicknames: Via, Doodle (Bug), Love Bug

Nov 2013

Nov 2013

Loves: Palestra Open Gym, Playing outside, going to the park, the Dallas Arboretum Children’s Garden, Doing Art the the Perot, Sandboxes, Calliou (TV Show on PBSKids), Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (TV Show on PBSKids), “Moo-sik”, Lotion, Reading Books before bed, Taco Joint Date Nights with Dayda, Swim Lessons w/ Miss. Amber, Playing in the Dirt/Mud/Sand

OPEN GYM

Open Gym – Sept 2013

Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum - Sept 2013

Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum – Sept 2013

Playing Dress Up - Sept 2013

Playing Dress Up – Sept 2013

Playing Dress-Up with Dayda - Oct 2013

Playing Dress-Up with Dayda – Oct 2013

Park Time - Oct 2013

Park Time – Oct 2013

Cranks: going to sleep alone, the grocery store, shopping, brushing her teeth

Best Friends: Bayo (Paden), Cami, Cousins Rylie & Remie

Moon Watching with Bayo - Oct 2013

Moon Watching with Bayo – Oct 2013

Best Friends, Cami + Via - Oct 2013

Best Friends, Cami + Via – Oct 2013

Favorite Foods: “Hot Cheese” (Macaroni & Cheese), “Maymos” (Tomatoes), Cheese, “Moo” (Milk), Ham, “O-E’s” (Oranges), Breakfast Sausage, Goldfish/Ducks/Bunnies Crackers, O’s, Muffins, Strawberries, Tacos, Hot Dogs, Pie (From Emporium Pie’s, a la mode, of course!), Apples, “Dipping”, Smoothies “Moo-mies”

G2G Taco with Dayda - October 2013

G2G Taco with Dayda – October 2013

 

Snacking at Klyde Warren Park

Snacking at Klyde Warren Park – Sept 2013

Enjoying a slice of Pie with Dayda

Enjoying a slice of Pie with Dayda – Sept 2013

Favorite Books: Llama Llama Red Pajama, Jesus Loves Me, Daddy Hugs, I Love You So, Goodnight Moon, Any of our Potty Books

Milestones:

Talking in short sentences – These are a few of my favorites… “Where’s Mommy’s Car?” “Is Dayda home?” “It’s Nigh-No Time” “Where’s the Moon, Mommy?”

Gaining independence and getting more comfortable with other adults (in nursery at church, etc.)

Sleeping through the night in her own bed (fairly consistently 7/8pm – 6/7am)

Completely weaned just after 18 months

Drinking Cow’s milk “MOO”

First Time Trick Or Treating

Swimming 8-10 seconds under water in Swim Class

Funny Via Stuff

While at Lunch at the Olive Garden, an elderly gentleman at a nearby table belches loudly to which Via responds, “NICE!”

Loves to wait at the back door for Dayda to come home from work – squeels “Dayda’s Home!” when she sees the back gate open.

Refers to her fur-collared denim vest as her “fuzzy” and begs to put “Fuzzy on”

Refers to the humidifier as “Fog” or “Foggy”- reminds us to “Fog Off”

While shopping, will look at clothing, find the tag then say, “Cute!”

Comments, “Mommy, Milk Ah-gone”

Says “Help You” instead of “Help Me” and “Hold You” instead of “Hold Me”

Likes to crawl between Mommy’s legs or underneath the dog AKA “Tunnel”

September

CA trip to visit Family Gorham

Big Bear Lake - Sept 2013

Big Bear Lake – Sept 2013

Pool Time - Sept 2013

Pool Time – Sept 2013

Dana Point - Sept 2013

Dana Point – Sept 2013

First Trip to Disneyland

First Trip to Disneyland - Sept 2013

First Trip to Disneyland – Sept 2013

First (real) trip to the beach

Gramma G in town

Arboretum / Children’s Garden / Perot Museum / Zoo / Palestra Open Gym

Rory Meyers Children's Garden - Oct 2013

Rory Meyers Children’s Garden – Oct 2013

October

Mommy & Dayda’s 3rd Wedding Anniversary

Dayda’s 30th Birthday

Paden’s 2nd Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

Pumpkin Carving

First nasty cough/cold/ear infection of the season  🙁

First time Trick or Treating (with Shugarts on Swiss Ave)  Costumed as “Lady Bug Girl”

Trick or Treating on Swiss Ave - Oct 2013

Trick or Treating on Swiss Ave – Oct 2013

Sweet, Sweet Via –

I can’t believe that the next time I update this blog, you’ll be turning 2 years old! My heart hurts just a tiny bit when I think about you not really being my baby anymore but I love watching you grow and learn every day. Your dad and I talk all the time about getting occasional glimpses into the “big-girl” version of you. You are such a sweet and gentle kid. You are learning to share, especially with your food, but also with toys and understanding what it means to take turns. I know you will make a fantastic big sister – I can’t wait to see you with your baby brother. You’re beginign to understand your dad and I when we talk about the baby in mommy’s tummy. You like to pull up my shirt and “pat, pat, pat” or kiss the baby. You also like to show us where the baby will get milk and very tell me all the time, “baby’s milk!” For the last few months, you’ve made such huge progress with sleeping through the night in your own big girl bed. Very rarely do you wake up in the middle of the night. Occasionally, you’ll be awake in the morning before your dad and I and you’ll just come stand at the side of our bed and say “mommy!” until I let you join us for some snuggles and a few more Zzz’s. You love to sing, especially when you’re getting sleepy in the car. You sing “Bye, Bye Olivia” and “This is the way we Drive the Car” and “Jesus Loves Me” from memory. It’s just amazing at how much you are absorbing. Your dad and I love you so much more than you will ever know. We are so proud of the little girl you are and feel truly blessed to be your parents.

Love,

Mommy

Family P: Oh, Boy!

 A quick update…

oh boy!

oh boy!

oh boy!

oh boy!

16 Weeks / 17 Weeks – Finally the nausea has started waning! Reclaiming some energy. Looking more pregnant, less chubby!

18 Weeks

18 Weeks

18 Weeks – 18 Week Appointment and Sonogram, revealed a healthy, squirmy, growing baby. Celebrated with a gender reveal (It’s a Boy!) gathering with Family and Friends at Chicken Scratch. Complete with Sprinkles cupcakes filled with blue icing.

Gender Reveal - It's a boy!

Gender Reveal – It’s a boy!

Gender Reveal - It's a boy!

Gender Reveal – It’s a boy!

19 Weeks / 20 Weeks – Lots of Christmas shopping (not the most fun when pregnant with a toddler), swim lessons (I fear it’s almost time to invest in a maternity suit) and running around town.

21 Weeks / 22 Weeks – 22 Week Visit with Dr. Crites, baby boy has a strong heartbeat and is already kicking like a little mad man. Thanksgiving prep, Hosted Thanksgiving Dinner, Bethany’s visit

Food cravings: Anything Sweet! Pie, Pie Pie! Especially Emporium’s Apple AKA Lord of the Pies and Drop Dead Gourdous (Pumpkin), Carbs (Bagels, Muffins, Bread), Macaroni and Cheese, Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Hot Chocolate

Food Aversions: Meat is still iffy at the moment, especially chicken.