Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Cards from Shutterfly!







I made our Christmas cards...aren't they cute? 
Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Father's Day...

What's that saying?  Oh yeah...Better late than never? 

Thats the motto of this Father's Day post.  We're only about 2 weeks late on it...but with a new baby I think I have a pretty good excuse for not posting right away.  (Yes...I'll continue to milk the new baby excuse for as long as possible.)

The man of the hour....notice he has become the bearded one...thats what 10 days of paternity leave will do to a man.  :)



Anywho...Father's Day was fun.  John wanted Greek food and bowling.  Easy to please, he is.

First...Greek...



Delicious it was.  I'm a huge fan of the lamb...and the tzaziki sauce.  Sooooo good.

After dinner we went bowling...It was Jax's first time bowling...he was a real champ.


Oh wait...a close up of his excitement...



John was the only one that bowled.  I was too recently post partum...Bella just didn't feel like it.  So Big Papa J bowled by his lonesome and bowled a pretty mean game...



Bella and I took cameo shots of each other...its amazing how much more beautiful she gets every. single. day.


And the mama...



So, happy Father's Day to a man that I've always considered a great dad.  I don't know two little kids who adore their daddy any more than my little ones adore him.


HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

A 4th of July in the middle of the week.  Its a little weird, I must say.  I'm sure in the history of my 38 years on this earth this has happened before, but for whatever reason I seem to only remember 4th of July holidays that coincide with a weekend...or extended weekend. 



Regardless...It was a GLORIOUS 4th of July Wednesday.  The sun was out...it was hot and humid. (Thats not part of the glorious bit.)  We spent the 4th lounging around...like any good holiday should be spent.

I did find time to finally put together the 4th of July outfits for the kids...I'd been planning it for awhile, but never got around to actually making them.  So...we ended up with these makeshift outfits, but they looked pretty darn adorable in them!





I crockpotted a turkey breast roast...John mixed up a cold potato salad and we dined on a delicious dinner before heading out to Grafenwoehr for the fireworks.  We met up with some friends there and spend just a couple of hours chatting and socializing...






And then it started to get dark and the show started!



God Bless America...Land that I love...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Baby Jax has arrived!

Once again the process of bringing a little life into this world was dramatic....but I am so glad this little bug has finally arrived! 

John Xavier Larson (Jax)
Born 9:27AM on Saturday, June 9, 2012
7lbs 10oz
18.5 inches long
St. Marien Klinikum, Amberg, Germany



I ended up in the hospital on Wednesday, June 6th with pregnancy induced hypertension and extreme swelling in my feet, legs and hands.  Its one of the signs of preeclampsia (which I had with Bella) so they admitted me and said I wasn't going home until the baby came via c-section on our scheduled date of June 19th. 

Talk about a stress case.  That was nearly 2 weeks in the hospital.  Who was going to take care of Bella!?  I think that stress caused me to worsen...because by Friday my doctor said the baby was coming early...at exactly 37 weeks...and they tentatively scheduled the c-section for Saturday morning 9:30AM on June 9th.

This is me saying goodbye to my belly on Friday night...


On Saturday morning they took me in for "monitoring" at 8:30....and once I got there was told it was actually prep for the surgery and they had moved my time up.  EEEEEK!  John wasn't there...nobody was there yet!  Within 10 minutes I was in the operating room and getting a spinal and I was a complete stress case.

The spinal wasn't working so they told me it was likely I'd be put under a general anesthesia.  The anesthesiologist told me to breath some air....the next thing I remember is gasping for breath, and asking what happened and where is my baby....

The "air" was the general and it knocked me out pretty quickly.  As a side note...waking up from a general anesthesia is A.W.F.U.L.  I would gladly NEVER experience that again.  Ugh. 

They took me to the ICU for recovery and I was there for nearly 4 hours before I finally got to meet Jax...I couldn't help it...I just cried when I finally got to hold him.



Apparently when I went under, my body reacted very badly to the general and my blood pressure skyrocketed.  When that happened it apparently caused Jax to become distressed and before you know it both of us were "critical."  They delivered him quickly...he wasn't breathing...a byproduct of the general anesthesia and the traumatic birth process...raced him to the baby NICU and thankfully got him taken care of quickly...Little man is PERFECT with all 10 fingers and toes and the cutest little mug....he did have low blood sugars, but that was quickly remedied and we didnt' have any other problems. 

John holding Jax just about an hour after birth...


Bella holding Jax for the first time after we got back to the hospital room...


Me and my baby boy after I returned from the ICU...


I still look drugged...and he is cherry red.  We found out later that his poor little extremeties were being deprived of oxygen because they put the bands around his hands and feet on too tight.



Of course the good news is that neither Jax nor I remember anything related to the actual delivery.  We were both passed out.  :)  And despite the experience were both able to heal and get moving around pretty quickly.  They released me to go home a week after I arrived in the hospital on Wednesday June 13th.  I was so excited to finally get back to my house, my bed, my little girl.....


Getting ready to go...Bella brought Jax his little Simba stuffy.



Bella pushing Jax in his little stroller around the hospital floor...



Bella also fed Jax his last little bottle before we left the hospital and headed home.  We wanted a content happy baby with a full belly for the 30 minute drive back to Vilseck.


Me and my babies...loving on my children.  I am a blessed mama.


The all-new extended Larson family.  Headed out from the hospital in just minutes!  Yeah!


Daddy carrying Jax in his car seat out of the hospital...


 Now that we're home we've had quite a fun time getting adjusted to having a baby around...

Bella drew this little picture of baby Jax and signed it.  We're not sure if thats all his hair or a little cap on his head.  :)


I am spending lots of time just loving on both my kids...


When he doesnt think anyone is looking we get random extreme cuteness...


He had his first bath and loved it...yes...that is his loving it face...



and he was dressed up like Elton John...


Overall, he is an absolute blessing and treasure...a little piece of heaven...just like his sister.  


Welcome home baby Jax!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kutna Hora and the Bone Church

As part of our trek into the Czech Republic we took a day and went to see the old city of Kutna Hora.  Its famous mostly for the old Bone Church that stands in its center.

The story goes that in the 13th century, JindΕ™ich, the abbot of Sedlec monastery, returned from a visit to Palestine with a pocketful of soil and sprinkled it on the cemetery surrounding the Chapel of All Saints.

This direct association with the holy land led to the graveyard becoming a sought after burial site among the aristocracy of Central Europe. At the time of the thirty years’ war in the 17th century, the number of burials outgrew the space available, the older remains began to be exhumed and stored in the chapel, and it’s estimated that the chapel now contains the bones of up to 40,000 people.

Urban myth has it that a monk went mad and made things from the bones, and there are stories to suggest that partially blind monks entrusted with the care of the ch
apel were the first to begin piling the bones into geometric shapes. (Find out more here.)


The church was pretty cool.  This is actually the second ossuary that I've seen in my time.  The first was a church located just off the main Duomo square in Milan.  It was pretty creepy...and this one was too.


Wanna see?


This is the All Saints Church. The ossuary is in the basement and there is a small worship chapel on the top floor. Is a beautiful church and a graveyard surrounds it.




This is one of the gravestones I found particularly enchanting. I loved the ivy covering it...


And welcome to the entrance inside the Bone Church...pillars of bones, macabre wall drapings and a bone chandelier. Creepy, eh?




More bones piled in geometric shapes...






The two girls who thought the place was pretty weird...






And this little statue I found particularly disturbing...It just looks a little "chucky" to me.



And a few of the "designer bone statues" made by the monks...











John and I enjoying our little foray into the macabre...


Bella too!






People would throw coins into the pile of bones...I'm guessing kind of like a wishing well???






When we left the bone church we took a little walk down to the Cathedral of the Assumption Our Lady and St. John the Baptist. (Say that 5 times fast!) It was closed so they all did a Nacho Libre pose for me.



This is not ALL Kutna Hora had to offer...but I'm saving that for the second blog on this beautiful city...