Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Welcome to the World...Mikah Joseph van Herksen

So here we are taking Mikah's first selfie...literally minutes after he was born. My hair looks pretty good, no? That is because I went get my hair done that morning. Labor came as a surprise to say the least. On Tuesday I went to the hair dressers, picked up the boys from school, took them to an ic skating birthday party, had my 38-week appt (yes the doctor said he wasn't coming anytime soon) and had time for a trip to the grocery store. Little did I know that a few hours later when I would lay down to rest for the day my water would no dramatic fashion by the way.

I have to say that this was the most relaxed and easy going birth EVER. I hope it is a sign of what is to come from our little Mikah Joseph van Herksen born on June 18th at 4:05 am weighing in at 3.460 kg and stretching a whopping 53 cm!

Mikah's arrival was something like this...

11 pm - I start to leak and I am not sure if it is my water breaking or if I really had to pee. I call the midwife and she says to monitor it for one hour and call her back.

12 am - I call her and tell her that I think my water indeed broke...but slowly. She says to breathe and meet her at the hospital at 1 am.

12:30 am - We drop off the boys at our friend's house. Thank you Sanchez family!

1 am - Arrive at the hospital and as I am changing in the bathroom my water OFFICIALLY breaks. So it wasn't the shopping mall or grocery store movie I had thought about...but it was broken and it was time to rock and roll. At this point I was 3 cm dialated and no pains at all.

2 am - By now I am 4-5 cm dialated and the contractions are coming. Not too painful, but since we had decided to go the epidural route with this one. They called the anesthesiologist.

2:18 am - Epidural is in. They induced me with drugs. Feeling great. Cracking jokes with the anesthesiologist. JJ and I just realized we brought our nice camera, but no memory card...CLASSIC. So this will be an iPhone documented birth.

3 am - Everything is moving along. I can feel the contractions, but I am in no pain at all. They call the doctor since the midwife can tell that this is going to happen FAST.

3:30 am - They ask me NOT to push and close my legs. I am 10 cm dialated and Mikah is ready to come out but my doctor and pediatrician are not there yet.

sometime between 3:45 - 4:05 am - Three nice pushes

4:05 am - Doctor asks me to grab the baby's shoulders and I put our new son on my chest. AMAZING...Mikah is with us. He cried the whole way out and opened his eyes right away to check us out.

JJ and I can't believe how fast it all went. After a while of spending quality time with Mom and Dad they take Mikah to make sure everything is ok. He is SUPER healthy and Dad gets to officially cut the umbilical chord. 

Mikah and I spent the next 4 days in the hospital. Nothing was Chile they just like to pamper you and make sure you are ready to go home and take care of your new baby. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

I was very ready to go home on Saturday and start our new life with THREE boys. Luka and Sam were also excited to have their new little brother at home. Here are the signs they made for us. Don't you like how Luka calls us a "crazy" family. Still trying to figure out if this is good or bad. I am going to think he means crazy "good."

 Another sign from Luka...

 Sam decided to go the abstract route...

So there are tons of photos to share. You can see some on Facebook. I promise to try and get organized, but between recovering from the birth (three little stiches can cause lots of pain...OUCH) and figuring out Mikah's feeding schedule. Currently his schedule goes something like this...He eats about every 2.5 hours and it takes me about 45-1 hour to feed if you start counting from when I started I am basically feeding him all the time. At night he does manage to sleep for about 4 hours straight, but then at about 2 am or so he is up till 5 am.

I am not sleeping to say the least, but the good news is that I also don't have time to eat so the baby weight is coming off fast. I have almost lost 20 pounds since Wednesday!

Wow, I went off on a tangent there. They talk about preggo brain, but newborn baby brain is worse. In conclusion I will try and post photos of all of us with Mikah soon.

Monday, June 16, 2014

2013 Brag Books

Okay, so these are for 2013 and it is 2014...technicalities. I am playing catch up before the baby is born. Actually these books were done on time (in December in time for Christmas)...I just have had  it on my to-do list FOREVER to go ahead and post on the blog to share with the world.

Every year these books are created for the grandparents. They are business card sized brag books and it is the perfect way to chronicle the year for the boys and share with family living far away. They are actually super easy to make with iPhoto. 

Here are the videos for everyone to enjoy!

We are pretty lucky to have two such amazing little 2014 I will have THREE books to make..FUN!

Sam's 2013 Brag Book
from Melissa van Herksen on Vimeo.

Luka's 2013 Brag Book
from Melissa van Herksen on Vimeo.

Our Family Getaway to Argentina

A few months ago (yes, back in March...I am a little behind) we took a quick trip to Argentina. It was the last trip we would take as a family of four before I stopped flying for the pregnancy. Back in March I was still able to walk all day and had the energy for sightseeing by day and dining by night. We had the opportunity to meet JJ's dad and step mom there for an amazing trip.

We met in Buenos Aires and then took a quick flight to Iguazu Falls to see these amazing falls. We can now check it off our bucket list. You can actually see Iguazu Falls from multiple countries. We stayed on the Argentina side. Although it was easy to get to the Brazil side, as an American I had to pay quite a hefty reciprocity fee so we thought Argentina was good enough.

Here is a photo recap of our trip...

Our first day in Buenos Aires it poured. We had to wait for daddy while he spoke to some colleagues at the Dutch embassy. We found refuge in a little cafe where we had many yummy treats. Sam and Luka were just so happy to spend time with Oma and Opa.
Luka being silly as we walk around the city... 
Here she is...Evita..Luka thought she looked like a man. 
Luka was particularly obsessed with the obelisk. He wouldn't stop drawing or talking about it. 
Like in Santiago...Buenos Aires has some beautiful street art. 

We also kind of ate our way through the city. I was on strict orders from the doctor to eat a lot of red met on this trip due to a little anemia that I had. I was happy to oblige.

Oma and Opa are awesome travel companions...they are always game for anything and boy do they love to walk!
Luka and I at the cemetery with Evita's tomb. The boys were peeking into all the tombs...kind of creepy I think. 
The boys really had a great time and enjoyed our stops in the city for snacks and drinks. 

Cafe Tortoni is Buenos Aires' most famous cafe. We made a stop there for some delicious coffee, hot chocolate and pastries. Really we ate a ton...They also have really awesome tango shows, but they are all really late at night and we skipped all the "late night" events on this trip.
But by far the best part of this quick trip to the very interesting city was reuniting with part of our "family" from Maputo. We met up with Laura and her kids. We hadn't seen each other since we left Maputo almost four years ago...but like with family and close friends the minute we saw each other it was as if one day had not passed. The kids picked up right where they left off and Laura and I as well. My friends from Maputo will always hold a special place in my heart and this lady is amazing...till the next time Laurita. 

Here we are off to Iguazu...didn't really now what to expect.
Our hotel was literally in the jungle. The boys were so into this adventure. I was following everyone with mosquito repellent like a crazy woman. Actually no one got bit that bad. Not sure if the situation wasn't that bad or I was just really good about putting repellent. I guess we will never know...
The boys enjoyed the pool with Opa.

Here is a picture of one of the falls...they are enormous and it takes about 1 hour or more to walk to the them. It was an all day affair seeing these spectacular sights from different vantage points in the park. 

Argentina...till the next time...and I think there will be a next time.

Friday, June 13, 2014

When do kids graduate to a bath on their own?

I don't know why but today I started thinking about bath times and how I was going to coordinate three bath times a night. You know the silly things you start thinking about before you pop out a baby. In addition to...
- I should be caught up with my photo books (NOT)
- I really need to organize my drawers.
- The laundry room needs a good purge.
- I don't have enough nursing shirts or bras.
- I really need to move the legos and toys with tiny pieces out of the playroom for the baby.
- I need to start working out after this baby is born.

I could go on and on with all the little things running through my head, but this morning it was bath time.

Luka is 7 and Sam is 4 and they still bathe together. Is that too old for Luka? They have so much fun and really it is a matter of convenience. Usually JJ bathes (especially these days since my belly is in the way) and then I prepare the room, PJs, clothes for the next day and help dress them when they are done. We have it down to less than 10 min (including some play time).

I noticed on our blog that I had posted about this before here and here. Since we are reminiscing about bath times why not show you....

- One of Sam's bath when he was teeny tiny (in a hotel) since we were in the middle of moving from Maputo to La Paz

Okay, sorry to go off on a tangent there, but bath time is so fun when they are little.

So, I was just wondering when your kids started bathing alone? Oh I forgot to mention one thing...we have the most tempermental water temperature EVER. Apparently other people have that problem in Santiago with the gas heaters. In our house the water from the shower might be perfect then suddenly scolding hot, then freezing cold. This makes it hard to let my 7-yr old shower alone. Heck, it makes it hard for me to take a shower without using numerous expletives in a 10 minute time span.

I was just curious when your kids started bathing on their own...