Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter, etc.

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday last week. Casey was on the road but got home at about 3:00 am Sunday morning. Ellie and I spent the afternoon before decorating eggs. She was VERY serious about it and did a fantastic job. She's such a fun girl.

Thanks to mom ("Nana B."), the girls had matching Easter dresses! Here are some pics including one of Ellie giving Peyton "Harley kisses..."

The weather for the past 3 weeks has been AMAZING!!! We hadn't been out of the 40's since last October and saw the sun about once every 2 weeks. Now all of a sudden, it's been high 60's and sunny every day!!! It has been amazing. I get to go for runs OUTSIDE instead of on the treadmill, I get to take the girls to the playground every day, etc. The nice weather started right about April 1st and within a few DAYS the entire city is green again! It really is a gorgeous city and the good weather makes it so much better.

We went on a walk the other day and sat on some benches in the middle of the Ku'Damm (THE biggest shopping street in all of Berlin, 1/2 block from our house.) Ellie played in the flowers and Casey watched the nice cars go by... It was a nice afternoon. :)

Ellie is hilarious, as always. She is speaking more and more German (again, most of the time when she's angry) and can count to 10 in English, German and Spanish now. She continues to be a "freak of nature" as far as her size goes. On "Blue's Clues" the other day, they were measuring each other to see how much they'd grown. We made marks on our wall last December of how tall we all are. Ellie wanted to measure herself again like Blue. I wasn't expecting much of a change but let her do it anyway... She has grown a full INCH in the past 4 months!!! So then I threw her on the scale and she has now officially passed Harley in weight at 36 lbs. :)
I pulled up child growth charts on the web. She's not even on the chart for height... it just says "above the 99th percentile." Haha... She just turned 2 1/2 a few weeks ago and she's the average height of a FOUR-year-old! Even if she were 5 she wouldn't be abnormally small. We went to the playground this afternoon and she was playing with 6- and 4-year-old boys. Their mom literally wouldn't believe me that she's only 2. The three of them played tag and for some reason the boys kept making HER chase THEM. Bless her heart, she just ran and ran and ran as fast as she could but never could catch them. :) Here are some pics... One of them is an action shot of her eating it after one of the boys tagged her "it"... HARD.

Miss Peyton is still doing well. She is a smiling machine these days and is growing quickly. She tips the scales 14 pounds now! She's happier when awake, sleeping better and just all around easier in the last few weeks. She's still pretty "needy" and wants to be held most of the time but I don't mind that. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mr. Spider

Sorry it's been so long! Just a few updates on the kiddos...

Ellie is, as always, hysterical. She has developed in the past few weeks an irritatingly severe fear of insects: bees, flies, spiders, even ants! It's not like she's just being girly about it, either. If she sees a gnat she lets out a blood-curdling scream and flies into an unbelievable panic; she shakes, sweats, etc. It's tough because I'm SO annoyed that she's being such a wimp, but can't be mad at her when she's truly that scared.

So we've been working on "bugs are nice, bugs can't hurt you", etc. the past few weeks. A few days ago we were walking through the house and she pretty calmly told me (with only slight panic in her voice) that there was a "little teeny guy" in the dining room. I thought it was a gnat but it was actually a teeny tiny little spider hanging from his web in the middle of the room. I tried to get Ellie to go near it but she started to freak out. I told her to come with me to the kitchen where we got an old peanut butter jar. I scooped him up and screwed the lid on. Ellie thought this was the coolest thing ever. After making me reassure her that he absolutely could not get out, "Mr. Spider" became her best friend for the next few days. Seriously, she wouldn't leave the house without him for 2 days! Haha...

Well, we got back to the apartment from a trip out when she realizes that she's left Mr. Spider in the car. She loses it and tells me, "We HAVE to go find him!" I had just put Peyton down, was exhausted and the car is a few blocks away. I told her we'd see him in the morning. She starting crying that she had lost him... When I still wouldn't go to the car, she blurts out through her tears, "But Mommy, I LOVED him!!!!" LOL! Such a drama queen.

Mr. Spider was alive and well in the car the next morning and we released him outside on the balcony that afternoon. She still goes to the window and talks to him (well, the spot where we let him go anyway) every once in a while.

Peyton is doing MUCH better! She is finally happy when she's awake! This may seem trivial but it is a major step for us as anyone who's had a colicky baby can attest to. She is a little smiling MACHINE these days and so much fun. She's still waking up to eat twice a night but I can deal with that. :) Here are some cute pics I got of the girls the other day:

I celebrated my THIRTIETH birthday on Thursday. Casey had been on a road trip and got home at 4:30 that afternoon, then had to leave for practice at 6:00, got home at 10:00 pm and then had to leave the next morning for another road trip! Haha... At least I got to see him. The day was actually VERY nice. Both girls were super happy. We just did normal stuff like doing the laundry, going to the park, etc. but what's better than that?! We picked Case up at the buses from his road trip (Ellie looks forward to it every time... kept telling all Daddy's teammates that "Mommy is THIRTY DIRTY!!!") and went to lunch with the girls and Adam Chubb, Casey's best friend here and truly a member of our family now. Here are a few pics:

When Casey got home from practice that night, he gave me my present which was a book that he had put together for me. He had all my friends and family that he could get in touch with write down their thoughts/memories about me and literally had a BOOK bound together with them all, including pictures of me with all of them. It was AMAZING. I have the best husband. EVER. He is so thoughtful and caring and wonderful. I love you, dude.

One more Ellie anecdote:
On my birthday, I told Ellie it could be her birthday present to me if she would just sit and watch Backyardigans and let mommy do her hair. :) She said, "Okay, Mommy... I'll watch Backyardigans." Well, 5 minutes later I hear her in the hallway laughing hysterically. I came out to see what was going on and there she is, with MY toothbrush, brushing Harley's teeth!!!!! I lost it, laughing as hard as Ellie was... it really was hysterical.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Peyton's Blessing and Ellie's Poker Face...

Last Sunday, March 8th, we blessed Peyton at church. It was a wonderful day and Casey did a great job. It was a little sad to not have any family with us but it was the only Sunday in the first 6 months of Peyton's life that Casey would be able to make it to church!!! The poor thing only got home from a road trip at 4 a.m. that morning. Here are some pics:

Ellie continues to be the most hilarious person I know. We rarely ever have the radio on in the car mostly because even though it's March she INSISTS on still listening to Christmas music! Haha... The other reason is that there's no such thing as a "clean" or "radio" edit of songs... They play the real deal here. But it's amazing how she picks up songs she's only even heard a few times. Her current favorite song is Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." It came on the other day and she sang almost every word!!! So today it came on and Casey was driving so I actually got to watch her. Not only does she sing the words, but she ACTS it out!! When it got to the "my-my-my poker face, my-my poker face..." part, she kept jabbing herself in the cheek. I began to wonder what in the world was wrong with my 2-year-old until it dawned on me... "Poker Face" to Ellie equals "POKE HER FACE!!!!!!!" LOL!!! Casey and I were crying laughing! I am going to try to get her to do it on video and post it... it really is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. LOVE that little girl!!!

Ellie is also very multilingual these days. From kindergarten (preschool), she now speaks more German than I do! She can count to ten, etc. and it's adorable. That is until she gets mad at me... I'm not kidding. When she is REALLY mad at me, she yells at me in German!!! LOL. I can't even stay mad at her when she looks at me and yells, "NEIN!!!" She also loves the show "Go Diego, Go!" Yesterday she was trying to get a toy out from the closet but got stuck. She started to panic a bit and yells, "Mommy, ¡ayúdeme! ¡ayúdeme!" This little one is just too much...

Friday, March 6, 2009


For the first time in MONTHS, we hit the big 4-0 today! Can't tell you how amazing 45 feels compared to 35. :) Not only was it warmer, it wasn't raining, either!!! No sunshine still (feels like I haven't seen the sun in years), but we're not being greedy.

To celebrate, I took Ellie and Peyton to the playground. Ellie had such a great time. She is such a happy, fun little girl. She ran around like a maniac for 45 minutes straight until I made her leave because Peyton was hungry and tired. Another little girl came along who was exactly her size... she was 4 1/2! Haha... my little giantess. She was so excited to have someone to play with... too bad the little girl was so shy. But no matter... Ellie just smothered her until she HAD to play with her. Here are some fun pics:

Unfortunately, it's supposed to be back to 30's and rain the next week or so but I just KNOW it's gotta warm up sooner or later. :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

U.S. Citizen

We were finally able to get Peyton's German birth certificate in our hands and went this week to apply for her U.S. Passport and Social Security card!!! She will now officially be an American citizen. :) Peyton has been a bit better in the colic department, but still much room for improvement...

Ellie is her usual hilarious self. The other day she found a tape measure and told me she wanted to measure me. She measured from my elbow to wrist, studied it super hard then looked at me very matter-of-factly and announced, "Forty pounds o'clock!" LOL... Every measurement term she could think of, just not the right ones. :) I love that little girl.

Ellie also got a new shirt today, a shooting shirt with "Jacobsen" and Casey's number on it. She, of course, insisted on wearing it to school and tells everyone who will listen that, "Daddy's number FOUR!", while putting up four fingers. She played basketball all afternoon with her jersey and Nike shox on:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Look Alikes

I finally got Peyton to be happy enough this morning to take a few pictures. She is 5 weeks old now and just gave us her first "real", social smile yesterday. I managed to catch one of her smiling this morning. When I uploaded it to the computer, it looked oddly familiar. I searched through my old photos and found what I was remembering... Can you tell which baby is which???

Definitely sisters, I'd say. :) The dimple on Peyton (bottom) is a dead give away but otherwise...

Ellie is so much fun. She goes to kindergarten (preschool here) 3 days a week from 9-12. She LOVES it and every time I pick her up declares, "I want to go to kindergarten some MORE!" Haha... She has two teachers, one who speaks English to the kids and one who speaks German. It's great... except that Ellie now speaks more German than I do! She loves her friends at school and tells me all about them on the drive home. Sophie, apparently, ALWAYS cries... ;)

Ellie is SUCH a girl. She has always been obsessed with shoes but now it's clothes as well. She changes her outfit at LEAST 5 times a day and has to find a pair of shoes that "match perfectly!!!" She also loves mommy's boots. She somehow manages to tromp around in them without falling over. Gotta love the thigh-highs!!!

Whenever we're just hanging out at the house, though, Ellie wants to be "just like Daddy!" and is usually in basketball shorts and no shirt... Just like Daddy.

We went to Disney on Ice's Finding Nemo on Saturday for Valentine's Day. Ellie was in HEAVEN, even if it was in German.

On the way home from the show at the O2 Arena (where Casey plays), Ellie announced that she wanted to go to "Old MacDonald's [what she calls McDonalds] for cheese and boogers!" Casey and I about died laughing...

I love my family!!! We are so blessed...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I'll be the first to admit that it is RIDICULOUS that Peyton is 5 weeks old and I am just finally posting!  Sorry... I'll try to catch everyone up. :)

We were planning a Caesarian Section for Peyton because of how things ended up with Ellie last time... My doctors basically said it's not gonna happen naturally.  As it turned out, Peyton managed to flip herself around in the last month and was in breech position anyway so even if we hadn't been planning the C, we would have been then.  

We arrived at the hospital on January 12th at 6:00 a.m. CET (Central European Time) and they wasted no time.  Since we had filled paperwork out earlier, we didn't have any paperwork to do... Kinda weird, not one signature.  They just put in the epidural within minutes of us arriving and started prepping for surgery.  Once they wheeled me into surgery, it was only a matter of minutes before she was out... so amazing!  Case was there by my side, watching me get my abdominal wall sliced through for the second time. :)  All I could feel was some numb pulling and tugging and then... a baby crying!  At home they take the baby to get cleaned up, weighed and measured immediately.  But here, they brought her straight to me... purple, slimy, wonderfully brand new. ;)  7 1/2 pounds, 21 1/2 inches.  She was born at 7:30 a.m. CET on January 12, 2009.  Interestingly, it was still the 11th at home in the States. :)

As I was being vacuumed out and sewn up, the nurses started to huddle together around Peyton.  They seemed to be concerned but we had no idea why.  After I was put back together, they wheeled me out to another room where Mom and Ellie were waiting and they brought Peyton to us.  It was wonderful being together with our new family for the first time!  

I've never seen Ellie so still or quiet.  I think she was overwhelmed by it all, but mostly she was just worried about ME.  She did NOT like seeing me in that hospital bed.  She's amazingly perceptive.  

After holding Peyton for a few minutes, they came and took her away.  Finally one of the nurses clued us in.  Peyton wasn't breathing all that well and wasn't getting enough oxygen on her own.  They assured us that it was just some fluid in her lungs (common with a Caesarian) and that she'd be fine within 12-24 hours.  However, they wanted to transfer both of us to another hospital with a NICU just to be safe.  The hospital we were at is more of a birthing clinic.  It's this gorgeous old mansion that's been converted.  The private suites are like hotel rooms with flat screens, etc.  I was a little bummed to be leaving, but of course just wanted to do what was best for Peyton.  

Next thing I know, some EMTs arrived in an ambulance and they were rolling Peyton away.  I hadn't understood that we'd be traveling separately.  :(  Of course, being a hormonal mess, I lost it.  So Casey and I waited.... and waited... and waited for my ambulance to come.  We waited for over TWO HOURS before they even came to get me!  Now, when they decided to move us, they disconnected my epidural from the medication, thinking we'd be leaving immediately, like Peyton.  When I was finally being loaded up to head to the other hospital just happened to be when the epidural started wearing off.  With every single bump in the road we encountered on the 20 minute drive to the new hospital, it took everything I had to not scream out in pain.  So miserable.  Anyway, after my septuagenarian drivers got lost trying to find the right building, we finally arrived at the new hospital.  

They wheeled me to a room and left us there to wait... and wait... and wait.  I sent Casey to go try to find Peyton.  It had been hours and we had no idea where she even was!  I stayed in the room (like I was going anywhere) and pressed my call button over and over as the pain got worse and worse.  I finally got a nurse to come in but she spoke very little English and said that she couldn't administer any medication to me until I had seen a doctor.  So I waited... and waited... and waited.  Another few hours passed as Casey tried to find Peyton and I tried to withstand the pain while waiting for a doctor.  Finally I saw someone and they gave me some meds... which did absolutely NOTHING for the pain!!!  I found out later that they were giving me ibuprofen... that's it!  A little bit of Advil after having had pretty major surgery?!?!  Long story short, by the time I got something that actually helped alleviate the pain at all, it was over 8 hours after surgery/the epidural.  Obviously the epidural had completely worn off by then... Ouch. :(  

Casey finally found someone who could take him to Peyton.  When we finally got to see her, we were disheartened and a bit overwhelmed at the sight of her.  

All she was receiving was a bit of supplemental oxygen, but it looked so much worse.  The doctors again assured us that it was just some fluid in her lungs and she would be better by morning.  Well, morning came and she was actually worse. :(  They had run every test they could think of, done ultrasounds, x-rays, CT scans, etc. and could not find one thing wrong with her.  The head pediatrician at the hospital actually said the words, "I have no clue what is wrong..."  Nice.  Just what every new parent wants to hear, especially in a foreign country so far from home!  Since they couldn't find anything, they decided to start antibiotics to see if it would help.  Also, that night Casey and a dear friend from church here gave Peyton a blessing.  Within 24 hours (day 3) she was doing MUCH better, only needing a small percentage of oxygen.  By day 4 she was off the oxygen altogether and by day 5 ready to go home except that they wouldn't let us leave until they had completed the 7-day run of antibiotics.  

I was going a bit stir crazy on my end.  I was in a room a few hallways away from Peyton.  Casey was back and forth between practice and the hospital and mom ("Nana B.") was at home with Ellie.  They would come to visit once a day but otherwise, all I got was German television and I was served only one hot meal a day!  Haha... Felt a bit like prison.  Breakfast and dinner were just some bread and weird European meats (cured, not cooked) with cheese.  The nursing care didn't get much better either.  Half of the time, no one would even respond when I pressed my call button. :(  I basically just sat around waiting for the NICU to call and say Peyton was ready to eat again.  Thank goodness the nurses at the NICU were FANTASTIC!  I'd much rather Peyton have great care than I.  

The time (finally!) came for us to leave when Peyton was one week old.  

They never could find anything wrong with her blood work, x-rays, etc. but concluded that she was born with some sort of infection... who knows?!  We came home on a Monday night and poor Casey had to leave the next morning for a road trip.  Luckily mom was here but they BOTH left a few days after that... Casey for another road trip and Mom for home.  I was a bit overwhelmed but made it through. :)  

Ellie was an angel until about day 6 in the hospital.  I think she just wanted me to come home and for things to be "normal" again.  That lasted another week after I got home, but now she is back to her normal funny, sweet self.  She is AMAZING with Peyton.  She is the least gentle toddler alive but is so tender with Peyton.  She loves being a big sister and just wants to hold and feed her all the time.  I am so blessed to have her!!!  

Peyton has had a pretty rough time since about 2 weeks old.  She is very colicky and if she's not eating or sleeping, she's pretty much fussing. :(  It's been tough but things are getting better and she sleeps pretty well... Just not usually happy when awake.  Ellie just can't understand why she won't stop crying all the time:

I'm going to conclude this so that I can try to move on and be more regular about posting.  We are so grateful that Peyton is healthy and home and feel immensely blessed.  Thank you to Nana B and everyone else who helped out... and to all of you who offered prayers and well wishes on our behalf.  We love you all!!!