Friday, December 20, 2013

Jenson Dean's Arrival

I have thought about writing again recently to not only document the arrival of baby Jenson, but to also help me cope and sort through the range of emotions since his arrival at 1:41a on December 8.

This first post is LONG. It's probably way more than anyone cares to read. I originally was writing it just for me to read but I have been urged to publish so here you go:

I noticed on Friday in the evening, which was the snow day, December 6, that baby (he wasn't publicly Jenson yet) wasn't moving very much. I started to get concerned and called my doctor and she told me to come in and get checked out at the hospital.

I must back up a little. We decided as a family that Dustin should make one more work trip before Jenson was born and he went to work the 25 Hours of ThunderHill in California on Thursday. We had been to the doctor every week for the last month and had her blessing that labor was far in the distance. We even went in one last time on Wednesday afternoon just to make sure and the doctors said, 'go, no problem, this baby isn't likely coming on his own...' so we felt sure confident in sending Dustin off for one last job this year.

I was scheduled to start Cervadil on the 10th and Pitocin on the 14th so we were geared up to have a baby by the 15th. But, as all parents know, babies have their own schedule and do what they want when they want and it was no different with Jenson.

So I came in on the evening of the 6th. Katelyn and Clay and our friend from Michigan, Ashley came over. Clay stayed with Afton and Katelyn and Ashley drove me to Mercy where they monitored us both for several hours and then sent us home. His movement was down but his heart rate was stable and otherwise we looked good. So went home and got some rest.

Starting having contractions about 2a that night but nothing I couldn't handle. Not fun, but not debilitating. Every 10-15 minutes fairly consistently. By the morning things were getting pretty uncomfortable and I had my Dad pick up Afton and my Mom and Mark stopped by to watch the OU/OSU game. By this time I couldn't focus much on anything other than breathing through the pain but I was determined to stay strong and also knowing that if I went to labor and delivery having contractions every 8 minutes they would pat me on the head and say 'buck up sweetheart' and send me home. My mom insisted that we pack up and go to her house, so we packed a very small overnight bag for myself and Afton (we didn't have a hospital bag) and loaded up Karma and headed to my Mom's in Edmond. By 5p Saturday night I had reached the every 5 minute mark, which, if you haven't had a kid, is the number they tell you. If you are having contractions that last a minute, every five minutes, for over an hour, you should go to the hospital. I called the nurse and told them I was coming in and she politely told me, 'Even if you are having contractions every five minutes, it doesn't necessarily mean you are in full labor. You shouldn't come in until you can't talk during the contractions, want to throw something, or yell out loud." I was like, ummmm, I've been that way for 8 hours, see you in a few.

My step dad, Mark, took me to the hospital, my Mom stayed with Afton, and we called Dustin with an update. He was a few hours into the 25 hour race but started to head to the airport in Sacramento in case it was time. When we got to the hospital my contractions were every 1 and a half minutes which is NOT VERY MUCH TIME TO GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER IN BETWEEN. You start to lose it when you only get 90 seconds of relief for hours upon hours. My worst fears were confirmed when the nurse says, 'you may be having regular contractions but your body hasn't progressed at all. Do you want some narcotics?' NO I DO NOT WANT SOME F'ING NARCOTICS YOU CRAZY B, I want to have this baby. And real drugs. I said this very politely without any yelling. I promise, I am a model patient which may surprise some of you. Mark was really helpful through all of this and maintained composure until Katelyn and Ashley and Clay could make it. I then sent Mark home when his eyes became the size of saucers and he started pacing.

They finally agreed to admit me which was a huge relief, as both me and the baby weren't tolerating the contractions very well. WHO WOULD?! Jenson's heart rate wasn't stable and my blood pressure was dropping. We moved upstairs to delivery and got settled in our room. Katelyn (the girl who can't handle going to the dentist or fake blood let alone HOSPITALS) put on her nurse face and took charge. She made me put on essential oils behind my ears to calm me down, let me squeeze her hands off during contractions, taught me yoga breathing, fixed my hair, got me every drink they served in the hospital, and most importantly, kept Dustin updated as he tried to make his way back from California. When I cried she held my hand and somehow knew the exact right things to say when even I didn't know what I wanted to hear. Katelyn never panicked, even when I was, and was my rock when I needed one the most.

At this point we find out there are no flights out from Sacramento Saturday night so Dustin has to stay at a hotel by the airport and fly our first thing Sunday morning with a scheduled arrival time of approximately noon. We kept asking the nurses if they thought I would make it that long but nobody would answer. We pretty much knew what that meant and came to terms with it. We came up with a game plan and agreed that the most important thing was to deliver a healthy baby and if he wasn't here, he wasn't here. There are worse things. 

At almost midnight, bless my nurse's heart, she told me I could have the epidural. I was dilated to a 3 (on a scale of 10 people!) which isn't much but traditionally the epidural slows down labor and that would give Dustin a little more time to make it. An epidural is a miraculous scientific advancement and mother's who choose to not take advantage of this gift from God are an enigma to me! I asked Katelyn if she thought she could handle it, but she wasn't so sure at first. Then she dug deep and the nurses put pillows around her chair (I am sure they are used to this with all the wimpy Dads) and the anesthesiologist came in. I thought we were never going to have enough time to get it started b/c I was contracting so often but Katelyn and I held hands, she sang Christmas songs, we almost drew blood on each others hands, and then we were done. I told the anesthesiologist that he had the best job b/c all the women love him since he immediately takes away the pain. Sweet relief. It's like you can take a deep breath for the first time. We were so exhausted we almost immediately passed out from exhaustion. Clay and Ashley went home for the night and we tried to get some rest. Lights out, tv off, Katelyn snoring (NO, just kidding!) and then at about 1:15a, the nurse comes into check me one more time. My doctor was on the phone and wanted one more update before she turned in as well. I swear the nurse almost gasped and she said, "well, you're dilated to a 10 and 100% effaced (AKA good to go). So she say to the doctor, I'll see you in a bit, and BAM! Lights on! Nurses in and out bringing all kinds of carts and shit. Lots of activity, masks, noises. Katelyn and I look at each other blurry eyed and groggy not really knowing what's going on (OK, REALLY now with it) and then I'm like, 'so we're doing this NOW?' and she says yes. I swear the stirrups were already out. Still no panicking from Katelyn.

Me? Instant convulsions. I need some time! I need to get a plan together in my head! How is this working? I am sure the sheer panic in my eyes was enough to send Katelyn running but NOPE! If you're reading this and noticing a lot of fear-related emotions throughout this process, congratulations, you are very observant. Yes, I was scared. even though I have already had one child and everything was relatively easy and 100% successful, it's still scary as SHIT. Especially when things don't happen as you expect.

Katelyn puts lavender oil and "gentle baby" oils on me and we try to call Dustin. But he's asleep and not picking up. She calls Ashley to take pictures of the baby (NOT OF THE DELIVERY, DO YOU THINK I'M CRAZY?!) and Katelyn will stay by my head and hold my hand. Doctor Wayman arrives and says 'Well, this didn't quite work out as we thought..." and immediately is all business. Katelyn, you hold her leg, who is taking pictures, do we have a video camera??!! Has anyone talked to Dustin? Someone call Dustin! Lots of activity. OK, here we go, push 1.5 times, here he is! Jenson Dean! Nervous laughing from Katelyn, Dr. Wayman: "Katelyn, are you getting this?!" She gave her more orders than me. Dr Wayman; "Who wants to cut the cord?" Katelyn and I look at each other- crickets. Ummmm... Dr. Wayman: "Ok, I'm doing it." Ashley sweeps in at the very end, probably traumatized for life, take more pictures then we think we're all good to go.

This is when I get confused. They say something about Jenson's breathing. They take him to clean him up, I order Katelyn to stay with him. He's still in the room but on the other side and I can't see him but I can hear him and he sounds good! He looks like a mini- Afton, and weighs in at 6 lbs 10 oz and 20 inches long. Small, but not real small. Afton was smaller.

They put him on oxygen straight away but everyone was playing it cool and I was not given any indication there was reason to be concerned. My doc said he was having a hard tie breathing and they needed to check him out and possibly take him to the NICU. I'm like, 'go ahead, do what you need to do...make sure he is okay!; but of course I thought he WAS okay and expected that they would check hi out as a precaution and then bring him back to me. I barely got to hold him, maybe 30 seconds, no first happy pictures together right after he was born, nothing. They took him away to the NICU and I told Katelyn to stay with him. Which she did for the next 4 hours.

20 minutes after I delivered, I spiked a fever of 102. They said this was normal. I was shaking so bad and my teeth were chattering and my whole body was tensed up and my jaw was locked. That was something new. It freaked me out but they said it was the fever and shock and after about 30-40 minutes it went away.

At some point someone (NICU nurse maybe?) called and told me they were admitting Jenson. I went down to the NICU to see him at about 4a and he was in the isolette and nobody could hold him. It was very very sad to see him in there and not be able to comfort him. Heartbreaking I tell you. I finally went back up to my room and fell asleep for a bit but didn't get more than a couple hours I was so upset.

Dustin was set to get on a flight at 5a west coast time and get to OKC around noon our time. So he was in the air traveling all Sunday morning and I couldn't talk to him. I got a call around 6a from the NICU doc saying that Jenson had an elevated CRP score and that he had signs of infection. He asked me did I have an epidural? I told him yes. He said, 'we need to do a procedure that is very similar to your epidural on the baby to do a test.' I was like, a spinal tap?!?!?!?! Why don't you just say that instead of trying to sugar coat it? Tell me how it is! I didn't understand why the need, what kind of infection he had, where did it come from, lots of questions. Never got them answered. Not for days. I wanted to scream, 'talk to me like an adult, tell it to me straight, quit bullshitting me!' but if you say things like that right after you've had a baby they wheel you up the the pysch floor. At least that's what I think. So I consented for the spinal over the phone and the doc told me it would NOT be helpful if I came down to hold his hand/watch. So I didn't. I visited him that Sunday as much as I could. Got to hold him briefly. That helped. We started to get to know each other.

Friends and family started arriving Sunday morning. This was a new thing for us. I tried to be chipper and gracious but the fact of the matter I didn't want to see anyone. I wanted my baby in my room and my husband on the uncomfortable fold out couch. So if you are reading this and you were one of those early visitors, please know that I appreciated the concern and support and know it wasn't personal. I was a very angry momma.

Afton was a shiny star, of course. He brought me flowers and a Mickey for his brother. We waited to take him down to meet his new brother until Dustin made it in, at about 2p. We went down to see him and Afton was so excited. SO EXCITED! It was so fun to see. He is so grown up and understands so much. He at one point asked the nurse, 'when will my brother get to come home?' and the nurse said she didn't know. He actually had tears in his eyes and told her that he wanted him to come home now. I am not making this up.

Fast forward a bit. I got discharged Monday evening, we went him without a baby. Single hardest thing I've ever had to do. It was not right. NOT RIGHT! I kept trying to focus on the fact that Jenson was probably the least sick baby in the NICU and definitely one of the biggest. I went in every day at 8a and left around 7p that whole week and Dustin woudl take Afton to school and then come up. We were with Jenson every moment we could be. It was exhausting but once we were able to hold him and change him and do some normal things (even though he was hooked up to wires and machines) and it helped us. His test results came back inconclusive for infection but he was started on IV antibiotics anyhow the very first day he was admitted. They said this was the ideal situation but I still didn't understand what was wrong with him. He didn't look/act/seem sick at all.

I never felt right but chalked it up to such a hard early stage of labor but by Wednesday I was having really high fevers again. My doc checked me out but said I was fine (you can't have a fever in the NICU without getting checked out to be sure you're not contagious, obviously). By Friday the NICU nurses insisted I go the the ER so we just went downstairs and the doc there said I WASN'T fine but got me the right meds and fixed me up. I'm still not 100% but on the way.

Dustin has been freaking awesome throughout everything. Like seriously. Mad props.

That's all for now. If anyone is even still reading at this point. It's really not nearly as dramatic and spectacular of a story as people were probably expecting. But, for those of you who wanted to know the first part, there you go. Now we're at home and a family of four and that will be fun to write about. Next post.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010


i am not a big fan of changes. is anyone? but i mean, i hate them. despise. but, sometimes change is necessary and sometimes changes end up being great. that's what we're hoping for.

we're packing up and heading to oklahoma. not for a vacation, but to pseudo-reside for awhile. that's right! this is what's going on...

the race team that dustin and i both work for has effectively closed the doors for the 2010 race season. this is not an uncommon thing in motorsports right now, times are rough. what this means, is, that our race team is taking the year off from racing to rebuild after the series we had been racing in shut down. so, dustin has been working at another race shop about 45 minutes from our house on totally different race cars than we have ever worked with and it's just not working out. when you'd rather accidentally break you arm so you don't have to go to work you know it's time for a job change! i made that part up but you get the point...

i am one of three people still employed the race team. why, you ask? because i am the link to the sponsor who has to date contributed 800k to the program. so basically the pressure is on to continue to make our existing sponsors happy and raise a bucket-load more money so everyone can have their jobs back and we can go racing again in 2011. no biggie.

dustin is now working for another race team which is based out of florida but that doesn't matter because he is doing what's called 'fly-in' work. this means he only works at the race tracks so he's going to be traveling a lot. but the plus side to doing fly-in work, is, that in between races you're free to do whatever. time off! in racing, there is no 'time off' during the season. so that is good. another thing that has happened is that our landlord (working in racing like we do it's better for us to rent than take the risk of buying) is putting our house back on the market. this gave us the extra push we needed to vacate asap. reasons contributing to this decision were:
-moving to OK allows us to live virtually rent-free! woo-hoo!!
-moving to OK allows me to have help from family when dustin's out of town so much (it's really isolating when he's gone up here b/c we hardly know anyone).
- we can't wait until our landlord sells the house and have to move in the middle of the busiest part of the season.
- the change might be good.

we're going to put out stuff in storage here and my mom's boyfriend is letting us stay in his house that he doesn't use. this is in case something comes up back up here. theoretically, this gets us through the 2010 racing season and we'll just take things one month at a time.

even though i hate change, i'm really looking forward to living in the same place as my family. we've never been able to do that with afton. many of you who read this blog are in the same boat, and it is so incredibly hard to raise children without family support. so, despite my hatred of change, we're hoping the transition will be a smooth one.

well, i have 37 things on my 'to-do' list before we leave in 2 weeks so i better get off the computer now. see you soon, okies!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WARNING: this is a long post!

well if you want blog posts, you're going to have to imagine pictures in your head based on careful descriptions and my flowing imagery. i broke the camera. i left it in my purse without the case and the screen is blown out. oh well. it was kind of old and the delay was really annoying but still, it was better than nothing. but for now, you'll just have to imagine what afton's hair looks like with applesauce rubbed into it like hair gel. it's pretty funny i must say.
it's beginning to resemble spring up here in chicago. we've had two nice days in a row of over 60 degrees and we're loving it. of course, it's supposed to snow again on sunday which is abhorrent. afton wants to be outside every minute now and throws monster tantrums whenever it's time to come in. he's definitely an outside boy.
terry, vicky and carlee all came to visit last weekend and we took the train downtown for the st. patty's day festivities. they dye the river green and have a parade and everyone dresses up in the strangest combination of green apparel and basically do what most people do on st. patty's day- drink green beer. we did not partake but walked around in the cold, misty weather and afton was all cozied up in his backpack carrier on dustin's back. it's a great piece of equipment with a rain/sun shield so he didn't get wet at all. he likes to be up high so he didn't complain as long as we kept feeding him garrett's famous popcorn like he was a baby bird.
dustin is about to leave on a trip for work again and afton and i are trying to decide what to do with ourselves. we don't really do so great being home alone for more than about 5 days at a time. we both get cranky if it's longer than that. :) we may go and visit some friends in michigan or in minnesota for a few days.
we want to go to oklahoma but i think we're going to wait until mid-april. this way we can go to the arts festival which is one of my favorite events! we went last year and we're trying to make it an annual thing!
yesterday was my birthday and i turned 31. i don't really think of myself as 31 yet, i was just getting comfortable with 30! my brother's birthday is today and we always used to have joint birthdays when we were little and i hated having to share them with him. now i wish we could celebrate together!
we also may be moving soon. the house that we've been renting here is going back on the market soon. who knows how long it will take to sell, probably not long though. work is changing for us and we're being forced to make some hard decisions. i hate making decisions and i hate moving! we've moved too much in the past few years and i know it comes with the territory working in motorsports but it gets old. everyone working in racing is feeling the same way. not a great industry to be in right now.
but anyways, we'll figure it out like always! hope everyone had a happy st. patty's day and drank some green beer and ate some corned beef and cabbage! we did!
some things afton's doing:
  • running
  • climbing
  • refusing to eat cut-up food
  • refusing to eat food with his fingers
  • refusing to use toddler utensils- insists on full-size forks and spoons!
  • refusing to eat foods that are taken out of their wrappers; i.e. MUST eat bananas in the peel, MUST eat fruit snacks in original packaging. (lots of refusing here, get the picture?)
  • reading to himself
  • talking on his cell phone very loudly (must have listened to me on the phone with customer service0
  • spelling his name (when prompted)
  • hiding things like milk-filled sippie cups, mommy's brush, mommy's toothbrush (after using), one shoe, measuring cups, and other important things.
  • using the word "no" as often as possible, usually in repetition.
  • putting his hand into his diaper when it needs to be changed - don't need pictures for that visual do we?
but he also does good things like:
  • blowing kisses
  • coloring on paper
  • carrying around his two blankets like linus and putting his head on your shoulder when he's tired
  • calling mommy and daddy when he wants something
  • putting his toys and cars away when asked
  • saying words like; milk, more, grandpa (paw paw), kitty, dog, baby (he loves babies and often gives kisses to pictures of himself as a baby), mommy, daddy, race car, tractor, book, hi, buh bye, socks, shoes (obsessed with shoes!), kiwi, apple, uh oh, banana, french fry, water, juice, these are all i can think of now!
  • using his language and pointing to communicate
Hopefully we'll have pictures of some of these things soon!!
much love,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wedding Day

The day we all have been waiting for...the day you dream about as a little girl...the day you've planned for years and years...! well, some of that is true, but i really didn't want all that pomp and pageantry on my wedding day. big surprise, yeah? one of the reasons we decided to have a destination wedding, other than the obvious fact that a wedding in chicago in the middle of winter is about as un-appealing as i can imagine, was that we wanted a more low-key affair. we're low key. well i am. well, maybe i'm not. but i want to be. ;) so on the day of the wedding, dustin and i gave strict instructions to our guests to NOT say things in cheesy voices such as, "it's the big day...are you nervous?!" or equally as gut-wrenching comments. thankfully they listened. we basically wanted to pretend that this day was really no different than any other, we were just getting all dressed up for it. dustin did throw a tantrum when my family wouldn't let him get ready in our room...and i honestly wouldn't have cared if he did...!

So i started out the day with a light breakfast because i was fearful that my high intake of sodium and alcohol (one word: margarita) was going to impede on my ability to fit into my wedding dress. i then proceeded to sit in the sauna for over an hour and was joined by the most of the girls. i think we had 10 people in about a 8 person sauna. it was fun.

then it was time for hair, makeup, and nails. this took 3.5 hours. i needed a lot of work. i brought all sorts of pictures of how i wanted my hair and in the end i hated it and we had to fix it as best as we could when we got back to the room.

"this doesn't look like the picture..."

my aunt jan, cousin emily, and pseudo mom gail all stayed with me throughout this torturous process. i mean, who wants to sit inside a spa for 3.5 hours when the beach is right outside??? the one thing typical of brides that i did do, was break down into tears for no apparent reason while i was getting my hair done...along with everyone else. it was ridiculous. crying about dogs and healthcare and just nonsense. it was the kind of crying where you're laughing too because you know you're being ridiculous. funny. after that we ordered champagne and it was all better.

"can you zip it?"

'it fits! yessssss!"

Then we hung out in the room for about an hour and dustin got ready with his cousin melissa and her husband allen. they were so cute. allen ironed his shirt for him.

i kept insisting that everyone be sure to stop by and harass him, as i don't think it's fair that the bride has all the attention on her. i was trying to deflect some of that.

my something old was my great grandmother elva's wedding ring, which i liked wearing so much i'm still wearing it now. my something new was my dress, my something borrowed was a pretty handkerchief that is aunt jan's that was grandma elva's that emily wrapped around my bouquet (i loved her a lot and she had a good hand in raising me and afton is even named after her - murphy- so she had a big presence there) and my something blue was my undies.

You can see grandma elva's ring and handkerchief here.

at one point my cousin colton came into the room to take the decorations down to the beach and he was like, 'there's people all lined up out there like the paparazzi!' and i nearly fainted until my aunt jan shooed him out and insisted that he was lying. he wasn't. i met my dad at our decided upon location and met the wedding coordinator and i felt like a celebrity.

it was embarrassing. when we were walking down to the beach people were clapping and cheering and yelling and i'm saying things to my dad under my breath like, 'i'm going to kill all those people...' and we were laughing and there's a great picture where he's saying something funny like that.

look at all those people behind us!

i was nervous. not like nervous to get married, just nervous to have the spotlight on me. i don't like that. and all these hundreds of people were lined up as spectators at our if my own family and friends staring at me wasn't enough! but it was great. i didn't see afton the whole day until i walked down the aisle so i waved at him and said hi to him when i walked by. he was with dustin's aunt sheri all day and he looked so handsome in his outfit. the minister was so cute with his accent and the ceremony was sweet. it was just 20 minutes or so and just perfect. everyone was quiet when the ceremony took place and very respectful.
after the ceremony on the beach we took pictures and then had a cocktail reception. at this point i was feeling relieved. whew. after cocktail time we had the reception dinner at a brazilian steakhouse at the resort and we cut the cake.

at this time afton began to get tired. my dad decided to take him up to bed (i think he was tired too) so they left and then we cut the cake and then that was pretty much it for dinner.

"the hand-off"

we went to one of the bars as a group and after awhile we started getting restless. once again, we made the decision to go into downtown playa del carmen to senor frogs. again. it was so much fun to walk through the town and everyone would just stop and clap and it was like we were famous. people wanted to have their pictures taken with us! it was funny! once again we had a great time and danced and danced and danced. then we piled into cabs and went back to the hotel.

there are really no words for this picture.

maybe not what most little girls dream of their wedding days to be...but for me it was just perfect. i wouldn't have changed a thing! thanks for everyone who made the trip with us, we love you! for those of you who didn't make it...i bet you're regretting it aren't you?!?!? ;)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mexico Part 2

on the second full day, a group of us decided to take a trip to the mayan ruins at tulum, which was just about an hour south of the hotel. myself, my dad, my aunt jan and cousin emily, our friends jack and gail and dan all decided to go.

it was incredible. the ruins were constructed over 800 years ago but were completely abandoned by the end of the 16th century when the Spaniards invaded. it was an old shipping port and you can still see today where is used to be. it's amazing to me that these buildings are so old! the beach at tulum was also amazing. it's one of the most talked about beaches in the western hemisphere and people go there just to see that!afton got to hang out with a different family member each day. this way he never got bored with anyone and also everybody got a chance to 'enjoy' him. afton was a little bit of a handful at times...:) here he is jumping on the bed with cousin allen!we also spent a lot of time at our beach at the hotel and also lounging by the pool. afton loved the water! i wasn't sure how he'd take to the ocean but he loved it!we had a 'rehearsal dinner' even though there wasn't anything to rehearse and i made dustin give a 'speech' which consisted of 10 words and i think nearly caused him a heart attack. but he did it. :)Next up: wedding day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mexico Part 1

So most of you have seen the professional wedding photos because I put them on facebook but what you may or may not have seen was everything before that. So for all of you who couldn't be with us, I'm going to spend a couple of posts describing what went on before the wedding :)

dustin, afton and i had a challenging trip down to mexico, changing planes in Philadelphia which i take full responsibility for b/c i was trying to get the best deal on airfare and waited too long! we had to leave the house at 3:15am so afton was all confused. from phillie to cancun afton pretty much cried the whole way except for when he fell asleep on his neck pillow which you can see here. needless to say, both mom and dad were needing those beers that the shuttle drivers keep in coolers at the airport!

we arrived to meet all of our friends and family, most of who had arrived just before us. those who hadn't arrived later that evening or the next day. we sat on the beach until it got dark and then sat around in the bar where we could watch everyone arrive. it was fun to see everyone's excitement and and everyone got to know each other very quickly. i should have organized an official meet and greet with name tags or something but oh well.

The resort was beautiful. we had amazing views of the ocean and the courtyard from our room. i would definitely go back there in a heartbeat. everyone was so friendly and the resort was unbelievable.
afton woke us up at 6am the next morning but no matter, we we so anxious to hit the beach we didn't mind. we ate breakfast everyday at an amazing buffet with more food than you could imagine. lunch was at an open-air restaurant by the beach everyday and dinner was at either the buffet or one of 5 specialty restaurants. there was a bar at the beach and it had swim up chairs in the pool area. the first couple of days we were so excited that we took the offers of pina coladas at 8am but later in the trip we realized this was not the best option. but every first time guest gets tipsy by lunchtime at this resort. it's just how it can't resist!be sure to drink lots of water when you're in the heat!!!a group snorkeling adventure was planned for thursday and a group of 18 of us went. it was supposed to be 19 but doug backed out at the last minute b/c the ocean was really rough that day. he gets motion sickness and he wouldn't have made it to the boat before puking. good decision doug. i refer to this part of the vacation as 'extreme snorkeling.'
now, we don't have pictures to prove it b/c if we had our cameras they wouldn't still be working. we had to wade out in the ocean up to what normally would have been our waists, but with the rough seas, was over our heads. i lost my sunglasses immediately. along with my cousin emily, we were decked by a giant wave and immediately burst into a fit of hysterical laughter that last 15 minutes. the mexican guides had to lift us by our life jackets onto the boat that was lifting at least 5 feet into the air with each wave and thus, launching each of us onto the boat while climbing up the ladder. it was great. this was my favorite part of the excursion. watching the 'older' ones come onto the boat looking like drowned rats was good too. once we started going toward the reef in the boat, i decided to put on my goggles b/c this was the only way i could see and/or breathe. the waves were pelting us so hard on the boat that we held on for dear life and dustin's mom screamed like we were on a roller coaster. also great fun. when we got to the reef, it was a lot more work than i remembered. we had to paddle so hard to fight the waves and it was not ideal to see a lot of fish. we did see some but it wasn't the best snorkeling i've ever seen. lots of our group only made it for about 5 minutes before asking to get back in the boat due to 'goggle' or other issues. it was rough. :) getting back onto the boat was another chore and vicki (dustin's mom) decided to take off her fins in the water and was nearly swept away. it was funny, i assure you. we all made it safely back onto the boat and were pretty worn out after that excursion.
after that we just lounged on the beach. afton spent the whole day with my dad and they had a great time.the younger group went to senor frogs that night as we danced like it was our job. good times were had by all.
next up: the mayan ruins in tulum...

Monday, February 1, 2010


well, i still haven't managed to find the cord to the camera so this is going to be a picture free post. also, this post will not have correct capitalization due to the fact that my hand cramps when i try to use the left-side shift key. apparently it's all the rage now in toddler circles to remove said keys from their mommy's keyboards. i am now missing 5 keys, three of which are insignificant but the "p" key and the "shift" key are taking some getting used to.
we're going to mexico for our wedding in just under two days. we're very excited. i am starting to get stressed out, however, at the travel part of this trip. the amount of stuff that we are taking should be illegal. i've been packing for two days already to make sure we don't forget anything. it's ridiculous. dustin went to florida for almost two weeks for work and so afton and i were home alone for 11 days. this is not recommended. he also managed to catch a bug from daycare and had a 104 fever for a day or so! scary! but momma and child made it thorough without dustin (barely) and now we've got less than 48 hours before we depart for mexico!
i'm really excited that so many of our family and friends are coming. there are 30 people attending! i'm sorta bummed that none of my close friends could make it, but they all have babies and jobs and lives so i understand. it still makes me kinda sad though i must admit. but that's okay! our families are amazing and i'm so thankful for all of them. my dad is excited i think and he and slade and i haven't been on a vacation together in probably like 15 years! it will be so nice to have everyone under one roof!
oh, and travelling with so much stuff and a toddler has taken lots of planning. a taxi is picking us 3:15 in the morning on wednesday! we're taking the car seat of course, my dress, two suitcases, and a box with the decorations. afton is riding in his backpack carrier on dustin's back. let's hope he doesn't blow it out b/c i can't carry him more than 5 minutes in the thing and no stroller! we're bringing a portable dvd player and lots of books. i'm scared b/c as afton gets older, he gets more rambunctious and defiant. these two things do not bode well on 3 1/2 hour flights...does anyone know about baby benadryl?? ;) kidding, of course.
say a prayer for us and i'll have pictures soon! xxxx love you all!