A Walking Weekend

We went on a walk Friday evening. We had gone far enough and were heading home when we stopped at a big intersection to wait for the crosswalk. When the crosswalk light turned on, we began crossing the intersection when a car started to turn towards us. He was going slow at first, so I looked at him to make sure he was going to stop for us, as we were already well into the intersection. Jason was in front of me with Grizz, and I was walking a few steps behind pushing Seth in the stroller. All of the sudden, the car sped up and was headed straight for Jason. I called to Jason something about whether he thought this guy saw us and as Jason saw the car coming at him, he tried to quickly turn Grizz around to jump out of the way. And let's be clear, turning Grizz around quickly is like trying to take a sharp right with a Navy Aircraft Carrier. As the car got closer, I didn't know what else to do other than scream. Right as I was screaming, the driver slammed on the breaks and the car screeched to a halt. Luckily, he stopped 5 or 6 feet away from Jason, but it was still close enough that it got my heart racing. The rest of our weekend was much less eventful.
Seth walked around Jason's office on Saturday while Jason was grabbing a few things. Within a few minutes, Seth had gathered all of the balls from all of the surrounding desks and started relocating them. Footballs were in trashcans, and stress-balls were under desks 15 feet away from their original location.

Later than day, we walked around Aurora Resevoir, which we thought would be beautiful because we'd gone on walks over there on warmer days this winter. But the bugs were out in full force. We spent most of the walk waving our arms and keeping our mouths shut tight. So yeah, a very pleasant walk.

Then, Seth walked all over our car while we ordered a few drinks at Sonic.

And to top it all off, Seth walked around and around the pews, and rows, and hallways at church. 3-hour church with a 16-month old is a rare form of torture. Just 2 more months until Nursery! Hallelujah!


Is this thing on?

When Seth was about to turn 1, I realized I'd done a pretty terrible job of recording our memories from the past year. I'd been keeping a journal through a website called OhLife but they went belly up. I'm no good at writing in an actual journal. So I'm returning to what is familiar.

Yes, Seth is now 16 months. So I didn't do a really good job of writing when I felt that urge many months ago. But, here we are. I recently got to do some extra writing for my company blog. And it made me realize just how much I had missed writing.

Off we go.

Seth is almost 16 months. He's walking and talking - baba (anything he drinks from. used to be bottle but now he uses a sippy cup), dada, mama, up, moo (when asked what a cow says. also when asked what any other animal says), gaga (doggy), cag (catch), ball and a lot of other gibberish we haven't made sense of yet.

He loves food like no other (except maybe his dad) and doesn't like when the food comes to and end. He's got big blue eyes. Whenever anyone sees his eyes they say "Wow his eyes are so blue." Their next action is to stare deeply into my very brown eyes, which is never not awkward. I feel like I'm supposed to open my eyes extra wide to give them the answer that "No, those blue eyes did not come from me."

I was home with Seth full-time until he was 9 months. I worked a bit from home with my old company but the projects that came in were fewer and far between. I was kind of looking for other work-from-home opportunities when a research company reached out to me. I figured it wouldn't hurt to figure out what they were all about and went through a rigorous round of interviews and found I really liked the company. And when they gave me a good offer and told me I'd have the chance to work from home a couple days a week, I figured this was one of those "meant to be" situations.

Being back at work has been a great experience and also a hard experience. But Seth is thriving and when I'm not home with him, he's at my wonderful sister-in-law's house so I know he's in good hands.

I feel like this is turning into a Christmas letter where you get updates on each member of the family. So I guess Jason's next? He's still working in financial sales and genuinely enjoys going into work every day. So that's a win.

And Grizz the dog is huge. 170 the last time we weighed him. He was promptly put on a diet but I swear he only lost weight that first week and has completely plateaued since. So I'm estimating that he is now 160? The moral of the story is, bullmastiffs are already large but Grizz is particularly large for a bullmastiff. But he's generally a good dog and Seth loves him so I tolerate him and his mess of slobber and shedding and poop. (Who am I kidding. I don't pick up his poop.)


The One with Seth in a Grandpa Sweater

Jason is out of town on a "business" trip. Okay. Fine. Inappropriate use of quotation marks. He is on a business trip. Playing golf. So... "" it is.

Meanwhile at the Hammond House, perfect baby Captain Sethington decided that he'd had enough of being the captain of babyhood. Because reserving whine/crying just for when you're hungry is such a waste of your young, strong, freshly off oxygen lungs. So today, he decided to cry. A special treat for mom while dad is away.

But we survived, and now that little bundle of happy is asleep in his crib for the next 11 hours. And that is why he's the captain of babyhood.

I should probably just go to bed too, but instead I'm having a healthy and balanced dinner of muddy buddies and just realized that all I've eaten today in addition to my chocolatey friends is a handful of cheerios and a peanut butter and honey sandwich.

Annnd this is why I don't blog anymore. A crying baby and a lack of food consumption. Riveting stuff over here.


His Arrival

It's 3:00 AM, Monday, December 16th and I'm awake. This is not uncommon because at 33 weeks pregnant, I wake up a lot during the night to go to the bathroom or lament that I am stuck laying on my side wishing I were laying on my back. But this time, I'm awake, and I'm in pain.
They were too painful and coming too quickly to just be practice contractions, but I was also in denial that they were the real deal. Half an hour later after trying what I could to make the pain subside, I called the nurse advice line. This denial led me to describe my situation to the nurse as such, "Hi, I'm 33 weeks pregnant, and I woke up with severe abdominal pain. The pain comes in waves about every 5 minutes." Yes, I'm pretty sure I gave her the text book definition of a contraction, but I still refused to use the word.

Even though I was planning to deliver at a hospital close to us, she told me she wanted us to go up to St Joseph's Hospital in Denver (because they have a level 3 NICU, though she didn't tell me this). I asked, "Do you want me to go now?" She responded, "Yes, go now, and if you feel the baby coming, pull over and call 911."  ....Umm, what?

At this point, I woke Jason up and told him we needed to go to the hospital. The drive there was painful. I told Jason to drive fast. We sped past not one but two cop cars on our way there and luckily neither one of them pulled us over. The whole way to the hospital, I kept thinking that the worst thing that could happen was that I'd be put on bedrest. We were supposed to be flying out to California on the 20th to spend Christmas with my family, so I was naively hoping that it was still a possibility.

When we finally got to the hospital, they brought me to an observation room. An ultrasound showed that my cervix was very thin. Then the resident checked and announced that I was dilated to a 6 and 90% effaced. ....Umm, what!? I knew enough to know that those numbers meant I wasn't going home for Christmas. The resident looked at Jason and I and told us it was likely that the baby was coming today. As this shocking news started to sink in, Jason needed some clarification, "So.. what are the chances that this baby is coming today?" Clearly, those numbers made a little less sense to him. The resident explained that there was nothing they could do to stop this baby's arrival. He was coming today. While we were slightly nervous, we were mostly excited. Actually, I was slightly nervous about his early arrival, but Jason was not at all. He was all excitement.

Once they got me into a labor and delivery room, I was dilated to an 8. It was 10 AM. Then, everything stopped. We waited and waited and waited. And since we came to the hospital unprepared to stay, we waited with very little entertainment and comfort.  They finally broke my water at 4. I started pushing a bit later. (For the record, I got the worst heartburn in my throat while pushing...which was awful. Ice chips did a whole lot of nothing.)

By 6:18 PM our sweet baby boy was crying, announcing his arrival to the world.

At 33 weeks he was a whopping 4 lbs 15.8 oz and 18 1/4 inches long.

We named him Seth Douglas Hammond.


Oh hiiiiiii

I think I've reached the "I feel huge and would prefer to never go out in public" stage of pregnancy... annnd I'm only 33 weeks. Here we go.

So Craigslist. I keep telling myself to stop visiting that site. But I've found so many gems already (e.g. wine button-tufted chairs, a rustic West Elm console table, vintage metal lockers, a mid-century dresser) that it's hard to just say no. I told myself I was done when I'd finished furnishing the family room, kitchen, and master. But the office/guest room started calling to me, and the nursery needs to be addressed at some point. So I'm back at it, and there is no stopping me. (Furnish is a key word here. Furnished, yes. Decorated, no. There are still no holes in any of our walls. Not a one.)

Speaking of the house, we've been in it for a month and a half and Jason and I still turn to each other and say, "This house is awesome."

Grizz is the worst. And I love him. But for about 10 minutes every day, I dislike him greatly. And for the other 1,430 minutes... he is asleep.

And now for the captioned life:
1. The Colorado sky was showing off.
2. This is the extent of our Christmas decorations this year. I feel like a failure. Sorry Christmas, you deserve better.
3. A little family picture from Thanksgiving.