Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We're Here to Paahhmp You Ahhp!

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I am constantly telling Bubba to STOP GETTING SO BIG! He gets a big kick out of it and will stand up real straight or climb up onto a chair and say, "Look Mommy. I'm getting bigger!". It's a funny joke but I'm serious too. How has he gotten so big? I haven't been able to carry him for several months because of being pregnant and so I've probably lost some of my muscles...but when I lift him now, he honestly feels like he weighs a ton! He's 33 lbs of solid baby boy.

The other day we enjoyed this conversation:

Me: "Brody, would you please stop getting so big?"
Brody: "But I have to Mommy."
Me: "But whyyy?"
Brody: "Because Jesus is pumping me up."
Me: "Oh, ok."
A minute passes...
Brody: (holding his side) "Oooh, ouch. Ouch."
Me: (thinking he's in pain) "What's the matter?"
Brody: "Jesus - I mean God - is pumping me up!"
What a funny little guy.

Geography Lesson

Sue Sue sent Brody some very awesome gifts for his 3rd birthday. One of them was this sweet puzzle of Africa. Brody thought it was pretty cool. Kevin and I thought it was the absolute coolest! I was all, "Look Brody. This is where Sue Sue lives." But even cooler to him was, "Look, Bubba. This is Madagascar!" He's a big fan of the movie, you see.
The unfortunate news is that the puzzle isn't marked so when we dumped all 53 countries on the floor...we were at a bit of a loss. Brody moved on to something more interesting immediately while Kevin and I spent 15 minutes trying to remember exactly where the Congo, for example, is located.
I was in my late 20's before I learned that Egypt, Morocco and Ethiopia were African countries (it's sad but it's totally true). Because of this precious & perfect gift from their Aunt Sue Sue, my babies will know a lot more about this beautiful continent than I did at their ages.
Also, we are looking forward to visiting Sarah in Cape Town sometime next year!!! If you're planning a trip to Cape Town, let me know and I'll put you in touch with her!
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Friday, April 25, 2008

2 Week Check Up

Well, this is pretty much what Mianna looks like most of the day. She probably has her eyes OPEN a total of 2 hours a day. It's amazing. She must be my child! The excessive sleeping, triangle nostrils and the pronounced double chin really confirm the fact that she is for sure my child.
The other night as I sat gazing at her little pink face and grey eyes with blonde eye lashes and I asked Kevin "What if she's not our baby? What if they accidentally got mixed up and gave us the wrong baby and gave our baby to another couple? What if that other couple was really mean and our baby grew up in an unloving home and then found out that she could have been loved by us if not for the hospital's mistake?..." I could have gone on but he cut me off with, "What is wrong with you?". What kind of question is that? Ironically, that was his thought too. Then he said, "This is exactly what she looked like when she came out. I saw." Ok. She's definitely our baby.

Today was Mia's 2 week check up (I actually missed our appointment on Monday so it's really an almost-3-week check up). For inquiring minds, she is weighing in at 9lbs 4oz now (75%), is 20 3/4" tall (70%), and her head measures 14 1/2" (75%). The general consensus is that she's pretty perfect. And we agree.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Baby Gift

Lookie, lookie! My honey got me the sweetest "Thank You For Having My Baby" present!

Yes, I might have dropped a few hints that this jewelry was something I might like to one day have. But I had honestly forgotten until this week when I found the little jewelry box on the bathroom counter.

You might think the bathroom is strange place to leave a gift but that's because you don't realize how much the bathroom means to us. And not just because we do important business in there! Kevin found out that we were pregnant (both times) in the loo. So the bathroom counter was the perfect place to leave this precious token of love. And I do love it.

Thank you, honey. I love you. Thank you for giving me my beautiful babies.

Green Baby Bottles

I'm not a full-on tree hugger (yet) but I've recently discovered the dangers of plastic baby bottles (as well as regular drinking bottles) and am concerned, to say the least. I have a billion Avent bottles that I intended to use with Mia but in the past few days I've seen 4 different studies/reports regarding the dangers of Bisphenol A (a hormone disruptor linked to breast and prostate cancer, early puberty, miscarriage, low sperm count, and immune-system changes) in most of the plastic baby bottles on the market. The first was an email sent by my mom with this report. Then there was a National Geographic episode on last night. Plus, with Earth day being this past Monday I saw two different experts discuss this on The View and on Oprah. Too many times to ignore.

I understand that babies have been drinking from plastic bottles for generations now. And washing them in the dishwasher is pretty common practice. I'm sure I could continue using these bottles with no effects. However, is it worth the risk? The rate of children's cancers and other unexplainable diseases keeps rising so I can't help but wonder if this might be one of the contributors? Crazy? Maybe. But I'd rather be safe.

After a bit of research I found these bottles. They are expensive, I know. But I only need a few to start with. Has anyone used Green to Grow yet? I'd love to hear reviews.

Thank you, Mor Mor!

Can I just say, for all the blog-reading-public to see, once and for all...I HAVE THE BEST MIL EVER! My sweet mother-in-law took a week off of work to come stay with us for the week after Mianna was born. Not only that, but she and my FIL had just been here the weekend before for Brody's 3rd bday party (where they graciously picked-up and purchased ALL of the party pizzas and bought extra bubbles for our bubble machine when we ran out!) & Mia's birth. They left the morning after Mia was born and then Mom made the 7 hr drive back to Santa Barbara so she could spend a week spoiling us rotten!!

Whatever! Who does that?! I should thank Dad too for sacrificing a week w/o her. I know they missed each other as they have a serious crush on each other. Dad, I understand. I'm missing Mom being here too and I only got to enjoy her for a week! Thank you!

She made life so easy for me. She let me sleep in every single morning as I adjusted to sleepless nights (plus I just really like sleeping in). She took Brody on cool field trips to the beach for ice cream and the zoo. She fed us. She washed and folded/hung every single piece of Mia clothing we own. She even played Marching Band with Brody and Daddy in the front yard. She treated us to dinners and lunches and bought Brody lots of cool prizes. She did dishes and made beds and caulked tubs! She is a servant of unbelievable proportion and I admire and respect her immensely. She also got to hold Mia a lot which I know they both thoroughly enjoyed.

I learn things from my MIL every time I'm around her. Sometimes it is as basic as realizing the many uses for paper towels and plastic bagies. Other times it's lessons on how to be a truly Godly wife and mother. I'm so impressed by her dedication to spiritual and personal growth. And I'm equally impressed by the fact that she doesn't seem to age. For the record, my MIL is just a little over 40 (wink wink).

Thank you, Mom for all that you do for us every day and thank you especially for loving my babies so dearly. We are all better people for having you in our lives. I'm a better wife, mother, daughter and woman because of your influence. Love you!
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cute GIFT!

Would you just look at this? It's a wooden "M" block with the following details egraved on the sides:

Mianna Leta Marie Sturm

Proud Parents Chrystal and Kevin Sturm

4-7-08, 9:51am, 8lbs 8oz, 19 1/2"

Monday (baby feet image) Santa Barbara, CA

The funny thing is that the packaging didn't come with any note! Kevin and I both immediately assumed this is from Uncle Nooch. If not, please identify yourself! We absolutely love it!!

Note: It was ordered from

Edited: Come to find out, this puh-resh-us gift is from my girl, Julie Palermo! I actually inquired with the company and here is what Craft-E-Family responded: "The gift giver has two different options to let you know who it's from and unfortunately Julie Palermo opted out of both of them. Hope this helps you :)" Very funny.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mianna Leta Marie Sturm

Anyone who reads my blog has already read the whole delivery story and baby-naming drama on Kevie's blog. Here is my blog devoted to our new little angel, Mianna. She is really incredibly precious. I am actually surprised by my own infatuation with her! I know that sounds weird but the truth is, I'm not really a "baby person".

I would never ask to hold an infant. They make me nervous. They have no bones and seem very breakable. I was a ball of nerves with Brody. So completely unsure and anxious about everything. If my mother hadn't been here for 3 weeks after Brody's birth I am seriously not sure how I would have managed. When he cried, I cried. Everything seemed so dad-gum HARD! He was a high-maintenance newborn, for sure. But my inexperience only amplified the stress on all of us. As amazing as my little Brody man is and as thankful as I am for him I have to admit that the first year was rough.

The good news is that Mia is an 'angel baby'. The other good news is that apparently, I'm a quick learner! Either that or it's just plain easier the second time around. I am loving every single second of this. She's so easy and sweet.

I could not have asked for a better birth experience. I was very anxious the night before the surgery. Afraid we'd miss the alarm, I woke up just about every hour after 1am till finally getting up at 5am for a quick shower, pack and short drive to the hospital by 6am. When we got there, Kevin set up his computer to run a slide-show of Brody. The heaviness of the moment finally caught up with me and the water-works started up. Being in the hospital again, being reminded of our experience with Bubba, knowing that I'm about start all over again, heading into major was a bit overwhelming. We quickly shut down the slide show.

Kevin has given a great description of the surrealness of the OR. It was awesome to be a part of it this time. Dr. Ramos (a genius) actually remembered that 3 years ago I was snoring during post op. I was exhausted and pretty stoned the first time around. I've always mourned the fact that I didn't get the 'emotional' experience of childbirth that I always saw on A Baby Story! This time, I really got to be a part of it all. When the nurses showed me Mia I actually surprised myself by the rush of emotion that came over me. Relief. Amazement. Joy. I got to be there this time and it was good.

I'll tell you what else...being in the hospital for a few days is a bit like a vacation. Except for the catheter, IV, gigantic sanitary pads and total inability to move without sharp pains to the abdomen and a completely numb bottom (b/c I couldn't lay on my sides)! Getting to stay in bed for 3 straight days, have food brought to you, visitors with gifts, staring at your baby's face for hours at a stretch...that was vacation. I was glad to get home and be with Brody again. My heart literally ached for him while we were apart. Thankfully, I knew that he was having the time of his life with Grandmama.

Speaking of Brody...he has adjusted really well to Baby Sister (or "Scratchen" if you ask him). He is interested but not obsessed. She's around and he'll occasionally ask to hold her but for the most part, he chooses his dinosaurs and Cars cars over her. He's 100% 3-yr old right now which means we're still dealing with his strong will and limit-testing. But overall, he's a Prince. God has really give us more than we deserve. So thankful. So blessed. So at peace. So happy.

Stay tuned for monthly updates on baby sister. Our little Mia. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 11, 2008

We Love Gwamama!

Also taken the day before Baby Sister was scheduled to arrive.
Brody absolutely adores his Grandmama and the feeling is totally mutual, I assure you. The woman has a never-ending pool of love for this little boy. It makes my heart so happy to see them interact. To watch his face when he thinks Grandmama is being silly or funny or "tricken me". I love to watch her spoil him rotten. Even tho it always takes a couple of days to 'detox' Brody from the spoilification - it's totally worth it to have him spend time with her.

Mom was amazing while we were in the hospital. She stayed home alone with Brody for three nights while Kevin stayed with me and Baby Sister. She did a wonderful job of making Brody feel safe and secure. He only asked for us a few times but never in a freaked out sort of way. More just out of curiosity. She and he played all morning - crafting, racing cars, playing in his room (his most favorite thing to do ever) or outside. At noon she and Brody would come up to the hospital for lunch and visiting and then Daddy would take Bubba home for nap and so he could get in a couple of hours of work. Mom would stay with me and Baby Sister for some good times of fellowship and goo-gooing over the baby. In the evening Brody and Daddy would return to the hospital after a trip to the park or wherever and Mom would take him home for bedtime routine. I couldn't have asked for a better scenario. I missed Brody terribly while I was in the hospital but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was being well taken care of and that he was enjoying quality time with his "Gwanmama".

Thanks Mom for being the best mom and an amazing Grandma. These kids don't even know how blessed they are!! I wouldn't have wanted to do this without you. Wish we had more time together. But until we live closer to each other...there's always Skype! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Day Before....

I asked mom to snap a few pics of me the day before I was to delivery Baby Sister. It was a Sunday so I was about as dressed up as I ever am which also made it a good time for some pics.

I really enjoy being pregnant - I do. I feel way more comfortable with my body. I love feeling the baby move inside of me. I like the clothes! This is definitely the best time in the history of maternity clothes to be pregnant! No more moo-moos and sleeveless tank tops (what is UP with those?!). However, this pregnancy really had me ready to get it over with. I was so tired and my body ached. I couldn't play with/pick up/lay down with to read books/do pretty much anything with Brody as much as I'd like to have.

In a lot of ways it was harder than the first time. But in a lot of ways it was also way easier this time! All because of my amazing husband and his decision to work from home. I was able to take naps almost every day when Brody was napping. Obviously, this wasn't an option when I was preggo w/Brody b/c I worked full time. Those naps really saved my days...and my ankles! Since I wasn't sitting at a desk all day long, my ankles never really swelled - at least not to the degree they did the first time! Hello, tree-trunk ankles.

This pregnancy has been good. But I was definitely ready to be done. To meet this baby and to get on with our lives as a family of 4. Sweet! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Messy Party!

Here are the invitations we made for Brody's 3rd Birthday Party. A Messy Party! They were created by Brody with watercolor and finger paints. The "M" is a stamp and I wrote out "essy" on a stripe of white acrylic paint. On the back were the details. I threw in some staples on some of them to add a random, junky feel. Over-all I am totally thrilled with them! We sent 6 by mail and invited most of the kids in his pre-school class (an additional 7). 8 kids total RSVP'd which was perfect.

The party was at our house which I knew would make things less stressful. Last year was such an ordeal with having to make and transport all the food and equipment to the park that I just didn't want to deal with all that being big-huge pregnant.

The day of the party was perfect. It is usually overcast on Brody's birthday because of the time of year. Thankfully we have been blessed with rainless birthday parties so far! We had several stations: an awesome painting station which Kevin set up, sidewalk chalk & chalk paint station, water and food coloring station, bird-seed feeder station, and a planting station. Plus water guns! Let me just say, this was a FUN party. By the end of it all they were wet and dirty and painted various colors from head to toe. All-in-all a true success!

I can't believe that my little Bubba is 3. How on earth can he be so big? His little personality is so precious and let me tell you something...this kid has a heck of a sense of humor. He's hysterical funny and I literally want to be around him all the time.

I hope you had a great party, Bubba. You are my sweet baby boy. Happy Birthday, my love.
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Brody Turns 3

This was Brody's electronic birthday invitation which was sent to our friends w/o children and families. You may notice the typo at the bottom "You should prepare to get eat...". No one was rude enough to remark on it tho :) The funny thing about us having a Messy Party is that Brody isn't a very messy kid. I mean, he'll get spaghetti all over himself when he eats it but I think that's more romantic than messy. He usually steers clear of mud and dirt and hates bugs of any sort - including worms which can be found in mud and dirt and probably the reason he steer clear. But he loves painting and LOVES water play and I know he'll get a kick out of the peanut butter bird feeders we are going to make! Stand by for more photos and details of the actual party!
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