February 25, 2011

Life

As I attempt to tell you the stories of your life I am writing chronologically from the very beginning. This brings us to my pregnancy.

Here you are rocking out to some Britney Spears, or some Debussy, hard to tell.

My pregnancy was a bit of a roller coaster. Not the pregnancy itself, I believe I may have had the easiest pregnancy ever, but life all around us was a jumble of peaks and valleys. I have been contemplating what to include as I write to you about that time in my life. I don't know when you will read all of this and how many discussions it will bring up, but I do know that these are stories that you should hear. I suppose I will just write everything down for you an we will handle these discussions when we get to them.

Two major losses rocked our world during the time that I was pregnant with you, I will save the second for another day.

I hope that if my friend ever reads this note, she will not mind that I have told a small piece of her story.

During the early months of my pregnancy, a very good friend of mine was pregnant as well. She was exactly 8 weeks further along than I and though she lived over a thousand miles away, we were keeping in close contact about our pregnancies and enjoyed sharing this excitement that our other friends had yet to experience. When I was 4 months along, and she was 6 months along, she planned to come to Seattle for her baby shower. The Tuesday before she was to arrive I got a phone call from her sister. She had lost the baby.

For me, miscarriage had always been a huge fear. I know it is something that happens all the time and usually it is in the first few months and the emotional pain far outweighs the physical. I also know now from experience that I was a mom the moment that line turned pink and a loss at any point would have been absolutely devastating.

This, however, was far worse. Being as she was so far along in her pregnancy, she would have to deliver knowing that the baby was gone. Even today after experiencing childbirth firsthand, I cannot  begin to imagine what she went through. After this loss, we all tried to be there for her and offer as much love as we could from far away, but I knew it would be different for her and I. I knew if the situation were reversed it would be terribly difficult for me to talk to her while she was still pregnant. We kept in touch through facebook and group emails, but I understood why she kept her distance. I cannot quite express the feelings of joy mixed with guilt over my own healthy pregnancy. I can tell you that I had very few complaints about being 9 months pregnant. I tried to relish in the incredible discomfort that a healthy full-term pregnancy had given me.

A couple of days after my birthday (aka a couple of days past your due date, yes I was still pregnant!) I saw a missed call from my friend. We hadn't spoken over the phone in about 5 months and I knew this could be a somewhat emotional conversation. I sat myself in your nursery and called her back. She had called to wish me happy birthday and tell me she was thinking about me as your arrival approached. She started to apologize for being distant. I understood, I said, it would have been hard for me to. Then she told me the best news I could hear. She was pregnant. She hadn't told many people and had only just found out herself, but she wanted me to know. That happy, healthy baby was born just last month.

Life is full of both joy and sorrow and I suppose all we can hope is that the former outweighs the latter.

February 17, 2011

A first

Tonight will be the first time that I am not there to nurse you before you go to bed. I am sure it must seem silly to anyone else, but it is a big deal for me. I know you will be fine, your daddy puts you to bed all the time, but I'm always there too.

Tonight I am attending a memorial service for a friend that recently passed away. Papa is going with me so your daddy can be with you.

I know this time had to come eventually, and I'm sure you won't even notice I'm gone. I am not even sure why I am at all upset about it. I think you are just growing up so fast and I know these days will soon be gone.

I hate to miss anything I suppose.

So sweet dreams little bean. I am confident I will see you in the middle of the night as you have two more top teeth poking through your poor gums. The cold washcloth has become your constant companion:

February 16, 2011

Baby's first photoshoot

September 29, 2009 was the first time I saw you. I was so nervous going in for the ultrasound that it had all been a mistake and I wasn't really pregnant. You see, I wanted you so badly that I thought maybe this was all too good to be true. But there you were...and you were MOVING! Your tiny little legs and arms waving to a beat only you could hear. Thinking back now I can't believe those were the same little arms and legs that I kiss every night with their sweet, soft, tiny fingers and toes.

When we got home I sent the following email to all of my girlfriends and your future aunties:

Dear Aunties,

I just had my first picture taken yesterday and I wanted to see what you think.  The doctor described me as looking like Glinda the good witch in my little bubble which made my mom very happy as she loves Wizard of Oz references.  I even danced a little for my mom and dad to show them how much I like it in here and showed off my little heartbeat which my dad says looks like a butterfly. The pictures don't really do me justice as I promise I am not a fuzzy blob, but well, you get the idea.  Oh also, I thought it would be REALLY funny to make my due date April 26th and steal my mom's birthday, I am hilarious. Ok, love you all, I promise to tell you in about 10 weeks weather I am a boy or a girl! Hehe, I already know, but I'M NOT TELLING! I won't even tell the doctor until then, I am sneaky.

See you in 6 1/2 months!

Lots of love,
Peanut

You can see that your original due date based on size was 4/30/10, which they later adjusted to 4/26/10 (my 28th birthday!) Little did they know you would choose another holiday for your arrival.

A closer look (Nani said you looked like an owl holding a beer)

Here are some of the responses we received:

Dearest Peanut,

I am soooooooo excited for you to get here and your aunties cannot wait to teach you the ways of the world.  Auntie Jess will be waiting to accessorize you the second you come out.  Always remember, when you're having a bad day... just have mommy take you to Nordstroms, its a magical place.  And when you get older, Auntie Smita will teach you how to use those vocal cords to wooo the opposite sex.  That's how Auntie Smita landed her husband, Justin Timberlake.  Auntie Lisa will teach you all about football and beer (when you're old enough) and she'll be like your other mommy because, hello, you are best friend's with her little one.  Auntie Beth & Paula will tell you all sorts of secrets about your mommy when she was little when you visit them every year when mommy and daddy need some "alone time."  Most importantly, you need to know that you can always ask Auntie Emily anything you want.  She knows about everything.  As for me, I'm not allowed to hold you until you're three... but as soon as you can walk, I'm going to teach you how to run.  And later on, if you're lucky, I'll teach you how to sneak out of your bedroom to go to a party.  That is a very important life skill.  But that's going to be our little secret, ok?

Can't wait to meet you!

Auntie Mo


Ashley M.:
   
Mamma Chelsea!!!  Glinda (or Glindo, if it's a boy) looks beautiful!  I can't believe you got to see the babe already in there.  Have you started telling people yet, or are we still sworn to secrecy? More pictures please! :D

Love you


Smita S.:
   
PEANUT! I CANNOT WAIT TO MEEEEEET YOU!!! ahhhh you're cuter than your mom! ;-) xoxoxoxxoxo


Beth K.:
   
Yayayayayyayayayaayayayyayay!!!!!!!!!!!!


Emily J.:
   
Dear Peanut,
You are already an adorable little nugget.  I love you SO much and you are going to be the most spoiled nugget in the world.  I'm going to put your pictures on my bulletin board at work so that all my kiddos can see you.  Can't wait to meet you!  Be nice to your mommy.

Love, Auntie Em


Lisa M.:

Such a cute e-mail Chels!  I cant wait until our Peanuts can play :)  I love that your due date is your bday, now I wont forget!

Lisa


Paula:

Oh my gosh!!! I am so excited I can hardly stand it. Love you so much, tell your momma she better give you lots of good stuff so you are a cute lil' chunky monkey!!!!


Natalia F.:

Well Hello, Peanut!

Aren’t you just the cutest little thing!  You would steal your momma’s birthday, wouldn’t you – you little stinker!  (…I like you already!  Hehehe)

Don’t even worry about your gender now, you’ll have plenty of time to deal with THAT once yr out of the womb!

Love you,
Auntie Tal


Lauren F.:
   
Well hello there, Peanut! You look like you're going to be the cutest little thing in about 6 months! We can't wait to buy you lots of toys and onesies! Maybe we should start calling you Glinda? You can get back to me on that.

xoxo
Lauren


Katie W.:
   
This is sooooooooooooo exciting!  -- You are going to have the best parents in the world!!!! -- (and the best aunties :)

Congrats Chels and Ryan!!  Keep us posted every step of the way!  (except for the gross stuff... although I should probably know about that stuff too)

Love you guys so much!  -- I had a wonderful time Sunday!
xoxo Auntie Katie (i like it :)


Krista W.:

you are so photogenic! must take after the mum and pops and aunties! :)


Dana F.:
   
WEll Hello Peanut! It's wonderful to hear from you, you look comfy cozy in your mama's belly. Kevin and I can see where you get your name : )
Can't believe you'll be entering the world in 6 months! We best start preparing for your arrival

Can't wait for our next message from the womb : )

Lots of Love to you, mom and dad!

Auntie Dana xo


Nicole P.:

Hello Peanut!

Aren't you just the cutest thing ever?  You have a lot of anxious aunties out here getting more and more excited every day for your arrival.  Boy are you going to be one spoiled little kid. :)  We love the Wizard of Oz references too, so your doctor must be a good one.  Can't wait to meet you in just over 6 months!!

xoxo
Auntie Nicole


Meghan B.:

I can't get over that there is a little person living inside you. Amazing!


Kaitlin V.:

Congrats!  Glad to hear everything is going well:) Congrats again to both of you!

-k


Katy C.:

So amazing Chelsea!!  I am so excited for you.  Tell us as soon as you find out the sex.  Little selfish peanut stealing your b-day!!!  Hopefully I will get to see the little one sometime soon after it is born :)

love you
Katy Co


Kristen T.:

Oh my god!  So amazing!  I can't wait to meet you Peanut :)


April G.:

Chelsea!!  It's so amazing!!  I love it!!  Maybe the peanut will decide to come 2 weeks early and steal my thunder instead...ha ha!!  Lots of love to you, Ryan, and Peanut.  :c)


Emily C.:

Peanut is getting big!! What a cutie. I feel so honored to have already spoken with him/her.  Can't wait to meet you too, P-dogg!


Thalia S.:

Peanut, it's so nice to see you!!  I am looking forward to holding you in a year! Your mom threatens to sit me down and make me do it earlier, but I am planning to wait until you are a solid little nugget.  You have a lot of us to meet and just like in Sleeping Beauty with the little fairies each of your aunties will bless you with a gift we will help you to develop.  I plan to help you with the gift of "playerness".  Whether you are a boy or a girl you will be an undercover 'playa' and know how to get whoever and whatever you want.  You will be charming and beautiful and of course, since your mom is a DG and it is in her blood which she is passing on to you, you will be able to drink beer like a DG and handle your liquor.  This drinking talent of course will have to wait a number of years, but in the meantime you will be quite the little flirt.  I'm pretty sure you will have all your aunties' hearts with just a single yawn and a blink of your eyes.  Looking forward to seeing you nugget, in the meantime your mommy will keep you warm and well-fed.

Lots of love,
Thalia


Kristen T.:

Ooh!  I like the idea of bestowing gifts on the Peanut.

To you Peanut, I bestow the gift of humor: you will forthwith find all poop/fart jokes hilarious (especially when Auntie Thalia clears the room out), love to have spontaneous dance parties involving belly rubs, think the word "horticulture" is real knee-slapper, and die laughing when one of your clumsy aunties does something stupid (which will happen a lot).

I have to admit, Peanut, I might be a little scared of you... but only at first.  I might have to practice passing Howard to April (Thomas is too fat) to make sure I practice supporting your little neck, but I'm ready for the challenge because I have a feeling I won't want to give you back once I get to hold you.

For your first gift, it won't be a pretty silver rattle, or cute little dainty pair of shoes.  No, I will be giving you a martini mixer and make sure you know how to use it by the tender age of 5 so lazy Auntie Kristen doesn't have to get up off one of Mommy Chelsea's comfy couches.  Okay, okay, your mom might get mad about that.  (But really, we will.  We'll just keep that as our little secret.)
Can't wait to meet you, Peanut.  Stay warm in that belly of yours.

Love, Auntie Kristen


Donita N.:

I loved your letter on little peanut.  I am so happy for you growing your little family.  We look forward to sharing in your joy.  We love you very much.

Grandm


Clover S.:

Ryan & Chelsea-

Congrats!!!! What an exciting time for you. I promise that it only gets better. Being a parent is the best thing ever! I can't wait to hear more from "peanut".

Clover


Tahnee N.:

Sneaky Peanut!  How am I supposed to buy you clothes if you dont tell if you are a boy or a girl :)  Can't wait to meet you!

Tahnee


Tasha M.:

Ryan and Chelsea,

To cute for words!  I am so thrilled for you and really the adventure beyond your comprehension, is unfolding for you both.  Tayler, Tori and Troy each are such blessings and the love I have for them is immeasurable.
This love affair awaiting you will take your breath away!

Tasha


Lisa N.:

Soooooooooo  excited for you guys !!!  Can't wait to meet you Peanut...


Tilena K.:

Love your little story peanut!!! Looking forward to meeting your sweet face.

Thx for sharing!

Tilena

9 months

Wow, 9 months old! I can't believe it. Here is a photo and video extravaganza:

You had your first ear infection a couple of weeks ago. When you stopped eating I finally took you in to see the nurse. As soon as she started to look in your left ear you burst into tears. So hard for me to see you in pain. We started you on antibiotics that afternoon and the change was almost instantaneous. We had our happy girl back. I hated giving you antibiotics, but it was out of necessity. You took amoxicillin, which I am allergic to, so we watched you closely for any reactions. You are never a fan of medicine, but you took it like a champ (getting much praise and applause when you finished). It is such a relief to see you being your silly happy self again. I didn't know you were hurting so badly, it is hard to tell us how you feel when you can't speak!

This last month has been fun, even though you were sick for a small chunk of it. I know I say it all the time, but you are changing more and more every minute.


Playing with leftover ribbon from Great Grandma Nana's birthday. Guess we don't need to buy expensive toys!

All dressed up for the SAG awards

Lovin on Auntie Em. Notice the ruffle butt that I enjoy putting on over your pants. Nani may think I'm strange, but I'm a sucker for a good ruffle butt.

9 month Ugly Doll photo! Showing off your teeth and your goofy personality.

You are getting so close to crawling. You reach for things juuuuust out of your reach and then go to your tummy from sitting, but you just haven't figured out how to move forward. You scoot all over in circles and backward. We can't leave you sitting by yourself for too long or you might get into trouble!


Peeeeeek

A bit blurry, but cute nonetheless!



Be proud of that belly!



This turned out blurry, but I thought it was so sweet. I was trying to get a picture of the two of us, but in every one you are looking at me with I love you Mom eyes!

Growing up too fast with your cute piggies


Bath time faux hawk

You are always crossing your ankles...little lady




Your love for music grows and grows. You love every song, doesn't matter who sings it. You like a good beat so I just bought you some cool maraca toys and a tambourine! You love to shake shake shake! Here is a video of you watching Darlene Love on the David Letterman show. This is Papa's favorite performance every year and you guys watched it over and over together. Usually you would clap and smile, especially when the snow starts falling, but we weren't able to capture your biggest reactions on film. Mostly you are just mesmerized!

video

You love love love bath time! Here are a couple videos of you and your love for the tub!

video

video

What can I say about my girl? Every age seems to be my favorite. You are so aware of everything around you (which makes nursing a little difficult). It is crazy to see you understanding and reacting to things we say and do. Soon you will be crawling, walking, talking, I can't believe it!

Oh, you are a waving fiend! It is very deliberate (much like your kisses) and is usually just one arm straight up in the air. It is a welcome greeting morning and night. You wave at your "friends", the mobile above your bed with Mr. Owl, Mr. Squirrel, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Raccoon. I don't know why they are all male. You wave at them every morning and we thank them for a good sleep (even when its not so good).

There is so much more to say, but I just cannot fit all of your loveliness onto the page. I am working on a few posts about the earlier months of your life, but it will take some work to select only the best photos and videos as I have so very many.

And here is a little video of you with your daddy. I dressed you up to watch the SAG Awards! This was while you weren't feeling well, hence the occasional baby yelling. Before I started filming Daddy was getting big giggles out of you, but you are always distracted by Mom and the camera!

video

February 2, 2011

Sharing the News


We had so much fun telling our friends and family that we were pregnant.  The day we got back from the doctor (where I had an official blood test even though she said 4 positive pregnancy tests were probably enough!) we gave Auntie Em a “housewarming” gift over at Nani & Papas house.  When she opened it, it was a tiny baby onesie! They were so very very excited. Some friends we were able to tell in person, I would just slip it into casual conversation, or wait for them to notice that I didn’t order a glass of wine at happy hour. Others we told over the phone or eventually in e-mails. Universally everyone was beyond excited and many happy tears were shed.

Just before I went “public” with our news, I made sure to contact close friends that I hadn’t had a chance to tell in person. I thought it might be fun one day for you to be able to read some of their responses:

Andrew S.
 to me, courtney
   
show details 3:12 PM (0 minutes ago)
   
Whoa.  Hold up.  Did you conceive on my wedding night!!!!  That is so cool!  I mean, that's what Courtney and I do - we make special things happen!  Of course, it didn't happen for us (THANK GOD!) but I'm so happy it happened for you!!!!  That just makes my wedding day all the more special.  I am so happy for us all! :)

Totally kidding.  Obviously I'm smart enough to know that you didn't conceive on my wedding night.  Pregnancies are 11 months long and thus, if you're due in April, you conceived months before my wedding day.  (kidding again!)

Kidding aside, I'm so happy for you guys!  I told Court (who hadn't checked her email yet) and she screamed!  We're pumped for you cause you guys are gonna be such good 'rents (weird that you're gonna be a mommy - wow).  Let's plan a time next week to do dinner or something to celebrate - you guys around?

Oh, and....how serious were you regarding that whole "not public knowledge" thing.  Is it bad that I sent a text to my whole phonebook making the announcement?  I was just so excited! ;)  (again - kidding.  Promise!)


Stephanie B.
 to Bjorn, me, Ryan
   
show details 11:44 AM (1 minute ago)
   
Congratulations you two!  It is so fun and you will love being
parents.  I am excited Camden will have a playmate and in time for
Doden and Emily's wedding too :).   We are so excited to have another
couple with a baby!!!!  I hope you are feeling okay Chelsea....Old
Navy online is a good place for maternity clothes :).  Congrats again
and hope to see you soon!

Steph


Sarah R.
 to me
   
show details 6:55 AM (4 hours ago)
   
CONGRADS CHELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see you and yur
belly!! that is so great. I should be home around the end of the
month, so I will see you then, or thanksgiving, or whichever comes
first...Can't wait!!! and Congratlations again!! Xoxoxo


Kristen R.
 to me
   
show details 4:58 PM (18 hours ago)
   
Chelsea!!! Congratulations!!! Indeed mom has been very good and hasn't said anything to us. Thanks so much for sharing with us and letting us in before it is "public". I won't tell anyone (not sure who I'd tell!). How are you feeling??? Hope you're doing well.I'll be in seattle in December, so I'll probably see you at Christmas!  Lots of love to you and Ryan.

Kristen


carly
 to me
   
show details 9:35 PM (13 hours ago)
   
YYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

I'm sorry, if you missed that, it was:

"YYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY"

I am so so happy for the two of you! I hope I get to see you soon, too!

Much love,

-Carly


Chels!!!!! congrats!!!!!!! i am so so so so SO happy for you.

this is so fantastic. you are hte best grandma ever so i know tat you will be the best mom ever too!!!!!

so happy for you and ryan, friend!

i promise i won't say anythign

love
kin


courtney
 to me
   
show details 5:57 PM (17 hours ago)
   
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We're freaking out for
you (don't worry - this is GOOD freaking out, not bad freaking
out!!!!)!!!!!!  This is the BEST news I've had since Andrew said, "I Do!"
I am soooooooooooooooo happy for you!!!!

Andrew agrees that we should all go out and celebrate!!!!  When are you
guys free?  How about dinner soon?  Andrew has school Monday-Wednesday,
but any other days work great for us.  Andrew just said that this will be
perfect because he and Nelly and I can all get really trashed in your
honor, and you can drive us around!  I told him as punishment for his
ridiculous comment, he will remain sober and you will order all the virgin
drinks you want and then proceed to pretend to get crazy drunk and HE can
drive all of US around!  He didn't like that idea as much ...

Oh this is so GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  April 26
is a good day - not only because it is your birthday, but because it is
the day before my little brother and Eliza Arai's birthday also - so it's
a GREAT time to be born!  I can hardly contain myself!  I'm so
happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Andrew says to change that to WE'RE so happy
... WE'RE SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let us know when you are free!!!!!

C&A

P.S - Your secret is safe with us!!!!  We kept the Bjorkmans' secret for
over a month!

|
Bjorn B.
 to Ryan, me, Stephanie
   
show details 5:06 PM (18 hours ago)
   
Wow, thats awesome.  We are so excited for you.  You both have messages on you cell phones right now too.  Yeah, Steph noticed that Chelsea wasn't drinking at Shultz and Courtney's wedding and we might have mentioned that it could be baby related.  But we only mentioned to ourselves so no one else suspects.  So my math may be a bit off but that puts you at about 10 or 11 weeks along now right?  Or I might be off.  In any case hopefully you are getting close to being done with the first trimester.  Steph said that was by far the worst.  Hopefully the morning sickness hasn't been too bad.  Yeah, we are gonna have to have lots of play dates.  So excited.  Ok I'm done now.  And I promise to keep my mouth shut.  Have fun telling everyone.  Thats the fun part.  Talk to you soon.

Bjorn

P.S.  Steph and I pretty much just hang out at the house now so if you want to practice baby things you should come on out.  Just let us know you're coming.


Sean K.
 to me
   
show details 4:36 PM (18 hours ago)
   
That's so cool. I'm so excited for you and Nelly. It was fun seeing you at the wedding. We all need to hang out again soon and I can't wait to see the little guy or gal. I miss you guys too! I think of all the fun we had at Whitman and it always makes me smile. Anyway, that's awesome and I guarantee I will try to be a good influence on the little tyke.


Emily M.
 to me
   
show details 4:25 PM (18 hours ago)
   
Chels!!!

Congrats to you and Ryan!!!  April is a great month to have a baby :)

When can I see you?

Thanks for sharing!!

-Em


Vanessa K.
 to me
   
show details Oct 6 (4 days ago)
   
A little birdie told me today that someone is expecting.... OH I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!  Seriously that is wonderful news.  You both are going to be the BEST parents.  How are you feeling?  I bet your parents are going crazy with excitement.  Well congrats!!!!  We will be thinking of you three lots over the next few months.


Nicole P.
 to me
   
show details Oct 1 (9 days ago)
   
I had a dream last night that you had a baby girl and she was BEAUTIFUL!!!  :)
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