Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho!

We got a really sweet book from Ingrid, and thought we'd share some of it in our holiday post. It's called, "Once Upon a Baby's First Christmas," by Anne McEvoy. It's a tale of a little bunny that has a lot of questions upon discovering a cradle in the woods that contains a strange, unknown creature.

"What is it?" Bunny whispered, on tiny tippy toes.
"A baby," came the answer, with a lot of oohs and ohs.
"A baby?" asked the Bunny - "so what are babies for?"
"For cuddling," said the others, "and to snuggle and adore."
"It's tiny," said the Bunny, "it can't be very strong."
"That's so you can pick them up and rock them all night long."
"And what's this baby thinking?" They all looked and stared a while...
"Must be something sweet to make that precious little smile."
Thinking hard, the Bunny asked, "What do babies do all day?"
"They fill the world with wonder and steal your heart away."
"A baby is like Christmas," the Bunny finally sighed.
"It makes the world seem brighter and your heart feel warm inside..."
The others nodded slowly as the snow began to fall...
And all agreed a baby was the sweetest gift of all.

We send our warmest wishes, and hope that your holiday season is filled with love, joy, and wonder!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

By the time you read this, we'll be on our way back East for Christmas (or already there!). As we write this, however, we're still in the Bay Area, frantically completing our last minute preparations. We learned a lot about traveling with a baby when we flew to Minnesota for Thanksgiving, and are hoping that this knowledge will serve us well on this trip. We'll be flying into Washington, D.C. to see Ethan's Pa-Pa, Oma, and lots of aunts and uncles. We'll also make our way to Pittsburgh to visit the Ventura family, and Charlottesville to see Ethan's Grandma. We're so excited about this trip, and are almost all ready to go. Thank goodness Ethan is around to help us pack!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm Watching You...

Once upon a time, we could put Ethan down somewhere, say in his bouncy chair or in his crib, and he'd stay put. Well, those days are over now! Ethan is constantly moving and exploring. His hands are reaching out to grab everything in sight, he rolls around from one end of his crib to the other, and is attempting to sit up on his own. He's also lifting up his head super high when he's on his belly. Ryan noticed that Ethan was stretching up his neck to peer over the walls of his play mat, and snapped a few pictures of our little spy.

Before we know it, this little guy will be crawling. Let the childproofing begin!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gobble, Gobble!

We're back from Minnesota, still full from our delicious Thanksgiving feast! Ethan was happy to see Grandma and Grandpa Ventura again, and enjoyed meeting the rest of the family.

Ethan and his Grandma Ventura resumed their singing duets!

Cousin Logan (sporting Great Grandma's rain bonnet) tried to teach Ethan how to play with cars.

Ethan was a big hit with his ninety-year-old Great Great Aunt Frannie!

Ethan did a fantastic job with his first flight! He was sweet and quiet for the entire ride to Minnesota, but had a bit of a meltdown when we arrived. We think his ears were bothered by the landing, so you can't hardly blame him for howling. The plane ride back to California was a different story. He did a fantastic job for the take off and landing, but was very clingy for all of the parts in between. He was fine as long as Mommy held him and walked the aisles!

Ethan had his four-month doctor's appointment today, and received another glowing review. We're so thankful to have such a healthy boy! He weighs 17 lb. 14 oz., measures 26 3/4 inches in length, and is in the 97th percentile for both weight and height. Ryan jokes that Ethan should be in the 100th percentile. "Ethan is bigger than 100% of all babies on Earth," he quipped earlier today. "Call Guinness!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Godfather

We were happy to have our friend Ryan Hoke in town for a couple of days this week. We hadn't seen him in a few years, so it was quite a treat! While he was here, Ryan got to meet Ethan for the first time. He was very sweet with him, and gave Ethan lots of cuddles, smiles, and even a bottle!

Ethan had a fantastic time with Ryan, and we're really looking forward to him meeting Candace! We won't have to wait too long, as the Hokes will be joining us in Minnesota for Thanksgiving weekend.

It's also been a few years since we've seen our family in Minnesota. We're braving the airport crowds and will be taking Ethan on his first plane ride to Minneapolis for the holidays. We're having Ethan baptized while we're there in the church that Ryan's grandmother has been attending for years and years. We asked the Hokes to be Ethan's Godparents, and they will be making the trek up from Milwaukee to join us for the big event. We'll be sure to post pictures of the baptism when we return!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Not Quite as Exciting as Black Gold or Texas Tea...

Come and listen to a story about the Notch family,
Kicked out of their house because of termites, you see,
Got a call from their landlord, who rang them to say,
"We've got to relocate you to the Extended Stay."

Hotel, that is. Small room. Big inconvenience.

Y'all can't come back now, y'hear?

Well... that's not entirely true. We were allowed to return to our pest-free abode on Saturday afternoon. It was quite an adventure, being packed into a tiny space with Max, Ethan, and all of the baby gear. After the first very trying and frustrating day, we learned that the key to surviving a hotel room with a baby is to be in it for as little time as possible. Taking advantage of the need to be out, we decided to take Ethan on his first hike.

It didn't last that long - the days seem so short now and the sunset crept up on us - but it was a nice diversion.

With all of the trails around here, it will be so much fun to repeat these hikes when he's old enough to run up the hills ahead of us. For now, at least we know he likes the change of scenery.

He's really interested in his surroundings, and we'd like to think that he appreciated the views on our little adventure!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Heads Up!

Remember the post not too long ago where we said that it took Ethan about 20 minutes to roll over? He's made so much progress since then. Not only is he rolling over almost instantly from his back to his belly, we also recently discovered that he can roll back the other way! His routine when we put him down in his crib is as follows:

1) Roll over to his side
2) Insert thumb into mouth
3) Hang out for a few seconds
4) Take thumb out, roll over to belly
5) Reinsert thumb and fall asleep

It's pretty cute.

Ethan has also made a lot of improvements with his head control. Gone are the bobblehead days - this boy is doing a great job of using his neck muscles to hold up his head! Check it out:

He was doing this for about ten minutes yesterday before Ryan picked up the video camera, so he had lots of practice! Ethan is also practicing his laugh, and has tried out several different squeaks and squeals in the last week or so. He cracks himself up, and gets caught off guard by the sounds that come out of his mouth. He's such a funny boy!

Friday, October 31, 2008


One more Halloween photo for your viewing pleasure... enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We're very excited about Ethan's first holiday! Sure, he won't know the difference between the 30th and the 31st, but it's still fun to celebrate. Though he won't remember, we're looking forward to starting our holiday family traditions. Sarah is also looking forward to getting free candy again... babies who go Trick-or-Treating do get candy, right?

We used all of the goodies we got from the pumpkin patch to shoot Ethan's three month photos. He wasn't a big fan of being stuck inside of the slimy pumpkin, but was much more content once we lined it with a blanket. We can't believe that he's already three months old! He's about sixteen pounds now, and has gained a lot of strength and skills in the last month. Sarah was shocked to find Ethan on his belly when he woke up about a week ago. It's official - he can roll over - but it's about a 20 minute process that usually only happens when he's agitated. He loves sleeping on his side, and can hold himself in that position for a loooooong time. He's able to hold up his head for much longer periods now, too. No propping necessary for this photo shoot... he got a great neck muscle workout supporting himself the entire time!

He's losing his hair, which is both sad and exciting. We hate to see his baby locks go, but can't wait to discover what color his "new" hair will be. Do you think it will be dark like his Daddy's? Ryan's hair was actually blond until he was about three years old, so who knows if this new batch that grows in will be his true hair color.

We couldn't resist getting him a Halloween costume. Usually there aren't many options for a baby his age, but since he's so huge he was able to fit into a 6 month-sized costume, which opened a lot more possibilities. We chose (what else?) the cutest little monkey costume we could find. Actually, we chose the cutest little monkey costume that Aunt Mary found!

Ethan sends his love to all of his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends that are far, far away. He also sends instructions to mail all of your leftover candy to our house, addressed to him in care of Sarah. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm Only Gonna Tell You Once...

Seriously Daddy, if you don't put down the camera I will start screaming!

You have been warned.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Punkin' Pickin'

We took Ethan to his first pumpkin patch over the weekend. He 1) had just woken up from a nap and was still drowsy, and 2) is far too young to appreciate holidays, so you can definitely tell in the pictures that we were enjoying it much more than he was. There was a petting zoo with pigs, goats, and bunnies that we observed from outside of the fence (Sarah wasn't sure that she wanted the baby to get too close to the critters). It turns out that Ethan is just as interested in farm animals as he is in Max... he barely even gave them a glance. He'll love that kind of stuff when he gets older, but for this outing he was largely unimpressed. That didn't keep us from having fun with it, though!

In other news from the weekend, we're happy to report that the swaddle-free sleeping is going really well. We had expected to wake up a lot to a crying baby, but Ethan (as always) is sleeping through the night. He's actually sleeping longer than he ever has - almost twelve straight hours on average! Yes, we're well aware that we're spoiled, and are prepared to pay the price for our good fortune with a super fussy baby the next time around!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Say Cheese!

Our little smiley one was particularly happy the other day, so Ryan grabbed the video camera and got some great footage. Ethan smiles a lot lately and we get such a big kick out of it. Señor Chubbycheeks is getting more and more expressive every day, and will "talk" to us in a cute coo that makes our hearts melt. Seemingly overnight, we went from "I think that's a smile" to the big, obvious grins that you'll see in the following clip:

We know we write about it in almost every post, but Ethan is growing so quickly! We officially said goodbye to the memories of our eight pound infant, packed up all of his newborn clothing, and pulled out the 3-6 month size items. It was sad to see his cute baby onesies get put away in boxes, especially the sentimental items like his coming home outfit. It was fun, however, to hang up the big boy clothes such as overalls and collared shirts. We took the newborn insert out of his carseat, removed the sleep positioner from his crib, and, since he's busting loose, will attempt bedtime sans swaddle tonight. With every goodbye comes an introduction to a new and exciting phase. It's bittersweet to watch the traces of infancy begin to disappear, but such a joy to witness all of the changes.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Where Does the Time Go?

The days have flown by, and our baby boy is already ten weeks old! He's changed so much over the past two and a half months, and we delight in seeing what each day brings. Our favorite development is Ethan's smile - he lights up and it shows all over his whole face, which is so cute! We weren't fast enough to catch the big smiles on these shots, but you can see a glimpse of our happy, happy boy!

He's holding his head up more and more, and is getting super strong. He'll "stand up" and bear his own weight if he has someone balancing him. We recently had to start buckling him into his bouncy chair, as he'll kick and wiggle his way right out of the seat. He's no longer a limp sack of potatoes - our strapping boy is all muscle and solid as a rock. Ethan is very considerate and sleeps for about 10 or 11 hours straight at night, which we know is unusual for his age. We are lucky, lucky, lucky to have such a good baby!

In the last few weeks we've found Ethan at the opposite end of his crib when he wakes in the morning. We're amazed by how he can squirm his way around when he's swaddled and doesn't have use of his appendages. He's also a budding Houdini, and has managed to escape from his Miracle Blanket on more than one occasion. For those of you who haven't seen the Miracle Blanket before, it's essentially a little baby straight jacket, and is as impenetrable as Fort Knox - unless you're 15 pounds of sheer muscle. No blanket can match the brute strength of our little brusier!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

More Fun, Fun, Fun!

During Kelly's visit, we left Ethan in Ingrid's incredibly capable hands for nine whole hours! We knew that he would be fine, but it was still hard for Sarah since she had never been away from him for that long. We took advantage of having an excellent babysitter and went up to Sonoma for the Harvest Party at our favorite vineyard, Stryker. In addition to wine tasting, we were able to get more hands-on and learn about the winemaking process. The first thing we did was sort through the grapes on the crush pad.

We were a bit shocked to learn that they were letting us amateurs handle the grapes that would eventually be turned into their award-winning Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. We're pretty sure they'll mail us a medal if they win again this year, since we're now official honorary winemakers.

Other events that day included a grape stomping contest and a tour of the vineyard. We're lucky to live near such a beautiful location. It's so peaceful in Wine Country, and it has been a long time since we were able to make a trip up there.

We had a great time with Kelly, and are so glad that she was able to come visit! A special thanks goes out to Ingrid for taking such good care of our baby boy while we were out having lots of fun!

In other news, Ethan had his two month checkup yesterday. He's now 14.6 lbs, which is in the 97th percentile for his age. He's a high scorer for his length, too - a whopping 24.5 inches puts him in the 90th percentile! His doctor continues to be so pleased with his growth and development, especially the fact that he's sleeping for nine to ten hour stretches at night. What a good baby we have!

We have a particularly fun photo shoot planned for the two-month shots, so check back in a few days!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fun, Fun, Fun!

The Notch household has been buzzing with activity lately! We've had so many adventures, in fact, that we're making this post part one in a two-part family fun series.

Grandma and Grandpa Ventura arrived for a visit and got to meet their new grandson for the first time. They were both a big hit with Ethan, who showed his love with lots of smiles and cuddling.

Shortly after their arrival, Aunt Kelly flew in to join in the family fun. We had a great time touring the city, especially when we stopped by Musée Mécanique to take some photos in an old timey booth. Technically, this was Ethan's second photo booth experience, as Mommy and Daddy took some pictures together right before Ethan was born.

To commemorate his birthday, Grandma and Grandpa Ventura brought over a cake, complete with a zero candle! Ethan was sad that he didn't get to taste it, and is looking forward to next year when he will not only get to eat his cake, but will also get to smear frosting all over his face!

We have more pics of and stories about the fun family visit and will post them in the next few days. Be on the lookout for part two, coming soon to a computer near you!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Better Late Than Never!

Yes, we're really behind on posting this last picture from Ethan's one-month photo shoot. You know what they say, though... good things come to those who wait. Those eyes! That hair! The sweet little cleft in his chin! We're so enamored with our little man, and (like all parents, we suppose) happen to think he's such a handsome baby boy.

Don't I look all grown up? Thanks for the big boy shirt, Aunt Mary!

Of course, he's not sitting up on his own yet, but with careful incognito off-camera propping by Mommy, and Daddy's quick shutter finger, it appears as though he can!

We had a great time with Grandpa Emerson last weekend! We started the visit by "breaking into" his hotel room to set up several framed pictures of Ethan and leave a special snack. Grandpa arrived so late that he wasn't able to see his little buddy in person on Friday, so we figured some pictures scattered around would be the next best thing. While in his room on the eighth story, a 4.0 earthquake struck, pretty much centered directly below the hotel. We've felt lots of earthquakes before, but it's a different story when the quake is so close and you're up so high! In accordance with tradition, we had a wonderful breakfast at a rustic, bear-themed diner on Saturday morning, the site of Ethan's first restaurant experience. We took a walk to the park, spent a lot of time eliciting cute little baby smiles, and made sure that Grandpa had plenty of quality cuddling time. We also worked in a quick photo shoot. Here are some of the highlights (click on picture to view in larger size):

Grandma and Grandpa Ventura arrive for a visit tomorrow, and Aunt Kelly is soon to follow. We're so excited about their visits and can't wait to introduce them to our sweet baby boy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Tribute to Dr. Kaplan

Sarah had her last post-baby checkup appointment today with the most amazing OB in the world, Dr. Alan Kaplan. At the end of the appointment she shared pictures of Ethan and taught Dr. Kaplan all about baby blogging. Feeling a bit remiss for not having more classic Kaplan anecdotes in our blog postings, Sarah promised to write a proper tribute to our favorite doctor.

Dr. Kaplan put us at ease from the moment we walked into his office. Being that this was our first pregnancy, we were a bit nervous and neurotic (and let's face it... by we, we really mean Sarah). Dr. Kaplan not only took all of our questions in stride, but also put a spin of humor on everything. His laid-back attitude and East Coast sarcastic personality made each of our visits entertaining as well as informative and reassuring, a combination that is very rare to find in a physician. He always listened to all of our concerns and questions, and never made us feel rushed or as though we were wasting his time. In fact, we quite often spent a few minutes after each appointment chatting about Ryan's photography or Dr. Kaplan's fishing vacation. For all of the fun we had at our appointments, it was never at the expense of top-rate care. We trusted him implicitly, and from our scare with placenta previa to Ethan's eventful delivery, we knew we were always in the very best hands. Thanks, Dr. Kaplan, for bringing our beautiful baby boy into this world safe and sound (and keeping us sane through the entire experience)!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our Big, Big Boy!

Ethan had a pediatrician appointment today, and has definitely grown a lot since birth. He now weighs 12 lbs. 13 oz. and is 23.5 inches long. That's exactly four pounds and two inches more than he was when he entered this world! The doctor assured us that not only is this much growth okay, it's a really good thing. Sarah did some quick math, however, and determined that if he keeps growing at this rate, we'll have a one-year-old that weighs over fifty pounds and stands almost four feet tall! Thankfully, his growth will not continue in such outrageous spurts... and if it does we'll at least have the privilege of calling Guniness to see if he qualifies for a world record.

In other growth and development news, Ethan is continuing to build his strength and is doing really well with supporting his own head. While he's not able to consistently master this skill, he's certainly spending a lot of time practicing. He also is able to roll onto his side and has discovered his hands and feet. He enjoys toys now, especially rattles and anything with flashing lights. The most exciting new skill of all - he is smiling! He's smiled here and there for the past couple of weeks, but he's now deliberately smiling as a reaction to things (and people!) that he likes. It's such a heartwarming thing to see!

Speaking of heartwarming things to see, here's another pic from Ethan's one month photo shoot. We have a few more, and will post them soon. The round two photo shoot attempt was much more successful than the first, thank goodness!

We're getting really excited for Grandpa Emerson's visit this weekend, and will soon be counting down the days until Grandma & Grandpa Ventura and Aunt Kelly arrive! It's hard to be so far away from our families, and we feel very thankful that so many people have been able to come out for a visit!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Animals and Babies...

There's a show biz saying that you should never work with animals or babies. Boy, oh boy, did we find out why! While it was not as serious as a Hollywood production, our first attempt at a photo shoot with Ethan was met with only mild success. He was not a big fan of the strobes and was cranky almost the entire time. We did manage to get a few good images, and will make a second attempt tomorrow. Hopefully we'll have a happier baby then! It was our fault, not his... we started a bit later than we anticipated, and Ethan was super sleepy. Bad move, Mommy and Daddy. Here's what we have so far, and we'll post the others as soon as we are able to successfully capture them!

The experience must have worn him out, because he slept for EIGHT STRAIGHT HOURS after the shoot! Perhaps we'll make that part of his bedroom routine every night...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Almost a Month Old!

Wow - it's hard to believe that it's been almost a month since Ethan was born! He's changing so much each day, and has grown a LOT. Weighing in at 8 lbs. 13 oz. at birth, he lost weight in the hospital and got down to 8 lbs. 1 oz. At his last weigh in, he was closing in on 11 lbs. - that's almost a three pound weight gain! Needless to say, nursing is going well and our hungry little boy is a good eater!

He's made progress in other areas of development, too. In addition to the new facial expressions we've been seeing, Ethan has started to track movement. His big, bright eyes followed as Daddy walked around the bouncy chair the other day, which was a first! He's discovered and delights in mirrors, and loves to stare at himself during diaper changes. Thanks to our recent introduction of tummy time, Ethan's neck muscles are getting stronger and he'll sometimes support his own head for short lengths of time. We've seen some hints of a smile out of him, and can't wait until he starts laughing. He's an amazing little guy, and shows us something new each and every day!

Our big photo shoot will happen in the next few days, to commemorate Ethan turning one month old. Be on the lookout for those pictures, and enjoy these in the meantime!

He likes tummy time, but often falls asleep on the job. Lazy baby.

Is he throwing a massive fit, or just rocking out? You decide.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Growing By Leaps and Bounds...

We knew that babies grew fast, but this fast? Ethan already seems so much bigger than he was when he was born, and has definitely developed in personality since then. He spends a lot more time with his eyes wide open, looking around and taking in the world around him. He has a ton of new facial expressions, and a cute new belly button now that his cord has fallen off. Daddy has been waiting for this to happen before setting up Ethan's first photo shoot, so be on the lookout for some great new pictures soon! Here's a little something to tide you over until then:

Ethan went on his first field trip last week, visiting Muir Woods to see the Redwoods with Mommy, Daddy, and Grandma & Grandpa Emerson. Grandpa had a great time carrying Ethan through the park in the baby sling and, judging by his snoozing, Ethan was quite fond of the experience, too!

We've never seen Grandpa quite so happy as when he was with Ethan!

Remember the Gloworm dolls? We think he's the spittin' image...

We're having so much fun watching Ethan develop into a little person, and can't wait to see what tomorrow holds!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Week Full of Firsts!

Okay, so technically EVERYTHING Ethan does for the next few weeks will be firsts, but they're still exciting to note! Since bringing him home from the hospital, he's taken his first car ride, had his first sponge bath, gone for his first stroller outing, and "eaten" at his first restaurant. He's also met a lot of family and friends for the first time. Believe it or not, we haven't documented every single experience (shocking, we know), but did manage to catch a few on film. Here are some of our favorites!

Coming home from the hospital - what a big day for all of us!

Ethan pretty much slept through the entire meal... thank goodness!

Mommy, Grandpa E., Great Aunt Laura, Grandma E., and Aunt Mary!

Aunt Mary was always eager for cuddle time with her new nephew!

So far, Ethan has been a really good baby! He sleeps well, eats well, and is a happy, happy boy. We are having such a fantastic time with him and have learned a lot about love - just gazing at him makes our hearts melt! Thanks to everyone who has sent kind words of congratulations, and a special thanks to all of our visitors (especially those bearing food... yum, yum!) for making Ethan's first few days so special!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ethan Makes a Grand Entrance!

As promised, here are the details of our wild ride of a birth experience:

Sarah went into labor at around 9:30pm on Thursday night. Wanting to make as much progress as possible before heading to the hospital, she labored at home until about 3:30am. When we finally went in we were a bit disappointed to find that Sarah was only 1cm dilated. The contractions progressively became stronger and more frequent, but after a few hours there was still not much progress. The doctor decided to put Sarah on Pitocin, which encourages the contractions to increase significantly in intensity, frequency, and duration. Her water broke on its own shortly after that, and we thought we were on our way to a speedy delivery. Ryan was particularly excited since he chose the 25th as his guess for the baby's birth date!

As we all know know, a speedy delivery was not in the cards. Sarah lasted for about 24 hours before opting for an epidural for pain relief. She was much, much, much happier once the medicine kicked in, but had only dilated to 3cm. Still, she was able to get a bit of much needed rest. She slept comfortably until the epidural stopped working. The anesthesiologist came in to check things out, and determined that Sarah would need a second epidural administered. As with the first, the second lasted for a short while, and then began to wear off.

Shortly after the second epidural stopped working, the baby's heart rate crashed. Buzzers started sounding in the room, and about eight people rushed in and started working on stabilizing the baby. At the same time, Sarah's temperature shot up to almost 103 degrees, so more people came in to work on her. It was very difficult for Ryan to watch, unable to jump in and help. Thankfully, after what seemed like forever, the baby's heart rate returned to a more normal rhythm. The doctor checked Sarah's progress, and somberly announced that she was only 5cm dilated.

It was at this point that an emergency C-section was decided upon. Sarah's fever could have been an indication of an infection that would be very risky for the baby, and with his unstable heart rate there was really no other option. Sarah was rushed to the operating room and Ryan prepped to join her.

The last hurdle to jump was the anesthesia for the surgery. As indicated by the failed epidurals, it was impossible for the doctors to get Sarah totally numb without being completely put under. Disappointed not only with the fact that she would not witness the baby's birth, Sarah thought that Ryan would not be allowed into the operating room.

It wasn't until she came to after the surgery that Sarah discovered that she was wrong - not only did Ryan get to be present in the delivery room, he also was able to participate in a lot of important "firsts" with the baby! He was able to cut the cord, put on Ethan's first diaper, and was there for the weighing and measurements in the operating room. Ryan rolled the baby's crib down to the nursery where he saw the sponge bath, helped with the footprints, and combed Ethan's hair. After the baby's first pediatrician exam, Ryan put on Ethan's first shirt - and quite skillfully, according to the nurses! Finally, after all of that was finished, Ryan and Ethan went to the recovery room where Sarah had been since the surgery. It was good timing, as she had recently woken up from the anesthesia and was very ready to see her boys!

Even with all of the pain, fear, and curveballs, our experience was an absolutely incredible one. While we have the option of a natural delivery with the next baby, for safety's sake we'll probably opt for a repeat cesarean. When we were faced with the placenta previa, we were a bit bummed about missing out on the total pregnancy experience. Though we ended up with a C-section, we still experienced Sarah going into labor, having her water break, contractions, and the waiting game. Most importantly, our beautiful baby boy is completely healthy and an absolute joy.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

He's Here!!!

After about 36 hours of labor and an emergency C-section, we are overjoyed to announce the arrival of Ethan James Notch! He was born July 26th at 8:05 am, weighing in at 8 lbs. 13 oz. and measuring 21.5 inches long. More details of his birth are to come soon, but for now we thought we'd post some pictures and a video of the newest member of our family!

Ethan James Notch just minutes after his birth!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Less Than a Week Left!

My goodness, our due date is only a few days away! We had a BBQ party today with some friends to celebrate Ryan's incredibly successful graduate thesis review. It's hard to believe that it was probably our last get together as a family of two... we'll have a tiny party crasher from here on out! It was a fantastic day with good eats and great friends.

MacKay, Allison, Ingrid, Jim, and Ryan enjoying the yummy food!

Hmm... do you wonder how Sarah got her "Kool-Aid Man" nickname?

Baby Joey was a big hit, and he had a great time playing with Nelson!

We're so glad that Laurie & Joey were here! Matt - you were missed!

We also have a bonus picture for your viewing pleasure, taken at Ryan's birthday celebration at Rogue two weeks ago. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it out to celebrate - it was a fantastic night!

We're in full on waiting mode in the Notch household, looking forward to the big day! Sarah is having lots of contractions, some that are pretty intense and close together, but they don't last long enough to make any difference. We have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and will hopefully be told that we've made at least a little bit of progress since last week. If the baby doesn't arrive in the next few days, we'll go to Skipolini's with our friends Matt and Laurie for their famous Preggo Pizza that's guaranteed to bring on labor. We're not sure that this will work for us, since Sarah won't actually be eating the pizza... it's loaded with TONS of meat. Do you think that one of Skipolini's veggie pizzas will have the same effect?

Mommy Update:
- Has her fingers crossed that the baby has dropped since last week, and would be delighted if she's a bit dilated already.
- Is looking on the bright side if the baby arrives late... her family will be in town soon and may catch the birth!
- Has cleaned just about every surface in the house, and is running out of nesting activities to keep her occupied.
- Sends her love and thanks to everyone who keeps checking in and sending good luck wishes her way!