Friday, July 31, 2009

And she lived (Gracie pt 3)

I left off here, as I was being rolled into the OR for a now emergency c-section.

Even writing this now, I feel nauseous and almost don't want to go on. But I will. It's good for me. And hopefully interesting and perhaps informative to those reading it. I'm beginning to think that it's been more than just a lack of time keeping me from blogging this.

Time for some writing therapy :)

Once I was in the OR, they quickly began to prep me for surgery. They upped my epidural so that I became completely numb. I was finally numb on my left side, which by then was quite a relief. I had a wonderful nurse who had been with me from the time I was admitted and even though her shift was over, she came with me to assist in the OR. I remember she was hooking me up to the monitors and began to call attention to the baby's numbers.

Baby was not looking so good. She told me that her heartrate was really low and all of the sudden the OR went into a complete flurry. More people descended upon me as the baby's stats continued to decline. I asked the nurse what was going on and if my baby was okay. She did her best to reassure me without making me any promises. I hear the word STAT several times and the dr say "let's get this baby out of her now." There were some minor preparations that hadn't been done yet, but the doctor no longer cared. The OB who had been caring for me was the on-call dr. that night. But all of the sudden I saw my OB, who I'd been seeing in the office. She'd come in to assist in my surgery.

In the midst of the flurry I kept asking the nurse if my husband was going to be able to come in. She affirmed that they would be bringing him in shortly. I heard nothing positive about the condition of my baby and everyone was frantic to get the baby out. I was beside myself. I was in tears, praying harder than I've ever prayed for my baby to be okay.

Then Bean was by my side. I sobbed out that something was wrong with the baby. At first he didn't realize the gravity of the situation. But as I explained more, he understood and we cried and prayed together.

C-sections happen pretty quickly, and this one happened even faster. They pulled the baby out and I think they even announced it was a girl (we didn't know the gender) as they took her to the infant table. It took a few minutes, but finally I heard her cry. She had required a lot of suction and some oxygen to stabilize her.

Bean went with the baby while they completed my surgery. Once surgery was complete, my doctor explained the situation. When they did the primary incision to get to my uterus, they found my uterus already completely open. Her words were that it "split in two like a piece of paper." They did not need to make any incision in my uterus and pulled the baby out of the opening. As they stitched my uterus up, they found that it has split right at the place of my first c-section scar.

Now you know I'm being real on my blog by posting this awful picture of myself! The only thing that mattered was that I was holding my baby. I'd been awake for over 24hrs, labored, pushed, had surgery and went through all that trauma. Apparently Gracie was sharing her opinion of it all too!


The baby is at most risk when a uterine rupture occurs. There is a loss of oxygen once the uterus opens. This explains why Gracie's heartrate began to fall and didn't recover while I was being prepped in the OR. Although it's hard to say, I suspect my uterus ruptured as they were transferring me to the OR, when I was feeling so much pain and pressure in spite of the epidural and wondering if the baby was going to be born before they even got the c-section started.

Uterine rupture is not very common. My doctors and nurses continued to talk to me about it during my stay in the hospital. Gracie never had to spend any time in the nursery and had no ill effects from the lack of oxygen she experienced.

While I had done my research and made an informed decision to try a VBAC based on the low rates of failure and low rates of rupture, I had not realized that the baby was in the most jeopardy when a rupture occurs. In search for more information and personal accounts after she was born, I found an online support group for women who had experienced a rupture. What broke my heart was how many of their baby's did not survive the rupture for a variety of reasons. They carried their babies for 9 months and never got to bring them home. Many of these women had prior c-sections. Some of them tried a VBAC, others just spontaneously ruptured.

Looking back on probably the scariest experience of my life, I can't help but see the hand of God. On me, on Gracie, on my doctors and nurses.

The next day, looking more put together!


Like I shared, I covered this all in so much prayer leading up to my due date. I prayed for wisdom for myself and Bean and all involved. I so desperately wanted to try to have a vaginal delivery, and on paper I was a good candidate. But I didn't want to be stubborn when it came to my safety and the safety of my baby.

I know God was involved in prompting the doctor to recommend a c-section when he did. And of course he had prepared me to say "yes" when that moment came. It was God who protected Gracie when she didn't have enough oxygen and spared us a most horrific outcome. God was all over it.

Sweet Gracie


Looking back, it may sound odd, but I don't regret my choices. I made the mot informed decision I could. I had a new OB with Lily and without me even asking, upon hearing my history she told me that I had been a good candidate for a VBAC and it was good I tried when I did. Sometimes, in spite of ourselves, God grants our petty wishes. I relish the memories of feeling those first "real" contractions, the gush of water, the labor and even the pushing. Me, the girl who would have had drug-free deliveries if possible, who ended up with 3 c-sections.

Even while recovering from Gracie's delivery, my OB assured me that I could have more babies, I would just be closely monitored and be delivered early. Gracie was 8lbs and 8oz! I looked back at a birth story I typed out and saw that the doctor said I had some "prominent pelvic bones" which combined with the baby's size were making for a difficult delivery. The hours of labor, the pushing, the big baby, just stretched my uterus beyond it's capacity. Some ruptures tear up the sides of the uterus, I was lucky I only tore at my previous scar.

That's why, I was so surprised to find myself pregnant again just a year after this traumatic delivery. I had wanted to give my body a bit longer to recover. I definitely experienced my share of anxiety and fear during my post-rupture pregnancy. But I knew I was in God's hands, as was my baby.

That's why, when I began to feel contractions at 36wks, I quickly made my way to the hospital. And that's why the doctor on call didn't want to touch me with a ten-foot pole. I guess they don't often see post-rupture pregnancies. They wanted me to consult with my dr, which is why they tried so hard to stop my labor that night. (God blessed me with a nurse who prepped my for my c-section who'd had 3 c-sections herself with various complications. It was so nice to know I wasn't the only one who took a few risks to have a baby!)

That's why I was SO relieved when my OB decided to deliver me the next day. I was petrified of experiencing another rupture. She said my uterus was in pretty good condition considering my history. It was just slightly thin, but holding up well. I'm sure it helped that little Lily was just 6lbs, a lot less for my scarred uterus to support!

So, this is the end of the world's longest birth story! I am SO blessed that she lived. That my little Gracie is here, to make me laugh and hug my neck. I pray for those mama's who's babies were born straight to heaven. I can't even imagine.

As you can tell, it's still pretty overwhelming for me to think about. The feelings will probably never go away. I do try to share my story whenever I can to inform and encourage and provide a rare perspective.

Although Bean teases me sometimes about wishing I lived on a farm or the little house on the prairie, I'm glad I don't and I'm thankful for good health insurance and medical care.

And I'm thankful for an AMAZING God who is so close and leads us and guides us and protects us. He is the key factor in everything.


I can't imagine life without my Gracie-girl.


Lily's birth story (my post-uterine rupture baby)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Six

Six months ago I headed to my OB to discuss my labor that had been stopped the night before. I was concerned for my baby's safety and was praying that she would feel it was time to deliver me. And she was.

Six months ago, Lily joined our family.

I can't believe it's been six months. Half a year. That's just incredible. It's gone so quickly. I've tried to enjoy the moments. But they pass so quickly when you're juggling a 3-ring circus with work and all the other things in life. It makes me a little sad that I'll probably never have the first six months of a new baby in my life. But I'm also excited to experience new things and move on from the difficult parts of having a new baby.



Lily started out as a little thing, just over 6 pounds. Now I think she weighs about 15 pounds. With such cute chub, especially on her legs!

Lily spent her first few months in the swing, then she moved on to the bouncer and now her favorite place is the exersaucer. She can roll over, but like my other girls, she's not very motivated yet to do it much. Her tummy is so sensitive that tummy-time is limited to minimize the spit-up. I would guess that she'll be a "late" bloomer when it comes to gross motor skills--just like Miss Rose and Gracie. It must be in the genes.

She's the most vocal of our babies, already trying to compete with her sisters. She's not as attached to her pacifier as the other girls were as babies, lately Lily's two middle fingers on her left hand are the pacifers of choice.

Lily enjoys watching her sisters and her face often lights up when they enter the room or interact with her.

Besides watching Lily develop, so much has happened in six months.

Gracie is potty-trained now, even sleeping through the night in her panties with minimal accidents.

Our house addition is moving closer to completion.

Miss Rose got into the school that was our first choice for her and we went to a Kindergarten playdate last week for her to begin to get acquainted with the teachers and other students.

If anyone has found a way to slow down time, please let me know.

I couldn't help but share these sweet photos from last week. Miss Rose is a great big sister (although she does get annoyed when Lily takes away from her precious time with babysitters and grandmas!) and Lily loves her too.





I'm working on the last installment in Gracie's birth story. Sorry...you'll have to wait a few more days for the conclusion.
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Not meshing (Gracie part 2)

Make sure you've read part 1 first.

So we headed to the hospital around 7 or 7:30, to be joined by my mom later, who I had asked to help coach me. My mom delivered four children (between 7 and 9lbs) without any medication or intervention--and three of them were home births attended by a doctor or midwife. I knew she would be a huge help.

Because my water had broken, the contractions were getting painful. Of course, as all first-laboring moms do, I thought I must be progressing quickly. I think I was just dilated to 2cm when they first checked me. I began to doubt my ability to cope without an epidural, especially since there was little chance of me actually walking or being on my feet because they required constant monitoring due to my previous c-section.

I did end up getting that epidural. I just felt like it was not the time for heroics. Had I been able to labor out of the bed, I may have been able to cope without it. The few contractions I experienced while changing or using the bathroom were much more bearable, then the ones experienced tied to the bed.

And yes, that epidural was delightful. Except for the fact that it didn't take completely on my left side. Most of the pain was alleviated however, so I was still thankful. Later in the night as my labor intensified, so did the pain on my left side. It meant that there was no napping in between contractions, just active resting.

Around 5am I started feeling a lot of pressure, and sure enough I was completely dilated. It was a small victory for me, to have labored in the bed, with an epidural and dilated without any pitocin or other form of induction. I was proud of my body and what it accomplished.

Shortly after I was checked, the pushing began. And I pushed and pushed. It helped some that my left side wasn't completely numb because I knew when the contractions were coming and could feel the effects of pushing. At some point a mirror was brought in and it was amazing to see the small portion of my baby's head trying to make it's way out.

After about an hour, not much progress had been made. The doctor suggested I rest a bit and labor down. So I did. And then I pushed again. With all my heart. But still, not much progress was made. At one point I even asked Bean to get firm with me while counting as I pushed so that I would get fired up and have more energy to push.

Another hour of pushing passed, and the doctor came in again. Although the baby had descended much more, she wasn't much closer to actually coming out. The dr. did a rather thorough (read, up to his elbow practically) exam of my pelvis and the positioning of the baby. After his exam, he felt that everything just wasn't meshing well. I was pretty delirious by then after being awake almost 24hrs and laboring and pushing, so my memory is pretty fuzzy. I doubt he said things weren't meshing, but that's what I took from his explaination of my pelvic structure, baby's head and positioning.

The doctor decided to try the vacuum. The delivery team descended upon the room and it felt like we were about to meet our (gender yet unknown) second baby. After a few tries with the vacuum, the baby still wasn't coming. At that point, the dr. said that he felt we were at the point of another c-section. After pushing so long with no significant progress, and with my history, he wasn't comfortable with me continuing to try for a vaginal delivery.

Although I was emotional about it, I trusted him. Through my whole pregnancy I prayed for God's wisdom. I prayed for a good doctor. So when he gave his recommendation, I agreed. It was time to move to the operating room.

As they were rolling me out of the delivery room, towards the operating room, I remember feeling intense pressure and pain, especially on that left side, where the epidural didn't fully take. I thought, maybe the baby is closer than they think. What if the baby just starts to come out as they move my bed, or while they prepare me for surgery?

Bean was whisked off to change into his surgical scrubs and would be escorted into the OR right before my c-section would begin, as is the usual procedure at our hospital.

**well, I intended this to be a two-part series, but I think it's going to be three. Recounting all the details seems to be cathartic, so I'll just roll with it. More tomorrow.

And she lived (gracie part 3)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I had to try (gracie part 1)

Back in January, I shared Miss Rose's birth story with you in honor of her birthday on January 26. I had planned to share Gracie's birth story shortly after to lead up to the birth story of #3. I started this post, but never completed it. When I went back to find it, I found that I started it around 8am, the morning of January 28. I must have decided to kill some time before my doctor's appointment that day, following my stopped labor the night before. Once I left for the doctor that morning, I didn't come home for three days because Lily was born that afternoon!

In the fullness of life adjusting to our three-ring circus, I've never gone back to finish it, until now. I think I'll always love reading birth stories, so I hope you enjoy this one. It's long...so I'm doing it in two installments.

Here's Miss Rose's Story.

I always knew I didn't want my children too far apart. My brother and I are 18 months apart and before having children 18-24 months seemed like a great spread! But my mom was able to stay home full-time with us, and I am a working mom. When Miss Rose was 9 months old, I realized I'd have to get pregnant to have an 18-month spread--and that thought was absolutely crazy! If I was a stay at home mom, it would have been a different story.

When Miss Rose was around 2 we (I!) started planning our second child. I finally got Bean on board. He thought "one and done" was great. Typical man! When Miss Rose was 2.5 we got pregnant in our second month of trying. This pregnancy was definately different. I was pretty sick the first trimester.

I spent a lot of time reading and researching vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC). I was still disappointed that I had needed a c-section with Miss Rose because she was breech. I felt that I was a pretty good candidate for a VBAC as my c-section had not been related to problems with labor. I even switched doctors at 30-weeks in favor of a doctor who was more supportive of VBAC's and gave me better care.


One of the main risks of a VBAC is uterine rupture, where the uterus opens up at the point of the previous scar and can even tear beyond that. Initially, this situation is more dangerous for the baby than the mom. But most research I found said that if you went into labor on your own, the chances of this happening were 1%.

Going into this, I knew that I could not be induced, would not have my labor augmented and would require constant monitoring. The biggest factor in my deciding to try a VBAC was my faith in God. I knew there were risks involved, but I trusted God to lead me (and Bean) in our decisions. I trusted God to lead our doctor and nursing staff when the time came. And I determined to not be stubborn and trust the medical staff as well. Sure I wanted a vaginal delivery, but more importantly I wanted a healthy baby.


Because going into labor on my own was crucial to trying a VBAC, I did as much as I could to encourage my body. Starting around 37 weeks, I walked and bounced on an exercise ball, I got on my hands and knees and cleand floors, I did squats and lunges and I used Evening Primrose Oil. I did not try castor oil however!


I worked up until my due date, since I mostly sit at a desk. I had all my responsibilities covered though, as I waited for the baby to come. On my due date, April 4, 2007, I wasn't feeling very energetic and I decided to stay home. It was a Wednesday and at that point I was overseeing our Junior High Ministry and it was youth group night. Early in the day I thought I'd rest and go to youth group that night. In the afternoon though, I wasn't feeling great so I decided to stay home.

My sister-in-law was over for dinner that night and we were also sharing a house with my parents, so there were lots of people around. I remember while I was visiting with my sister-in-law that I was having a few contractions that caused me to catch my breath. She actually noticed and mentioned it to me, even though I was trying to minimize it--not wanting to get my hopes up.


I wasn't too hungry and the emptying of my bowels had begun. I decided to lay down in bed while the family ate dinner. Bean came in to check on me sometime after 6. I had a strong contraction just then, accompanied by a pinching feeling in my lady parts. Then a popping feeling and a small gush. I told Bean- "I think my water broke" and he froze.

I had to coach him to help me get out of the bed and get towels because as soon as I stood up, Niagra Falls proceeded to flow from me. He helped me to the bathroom, where the flow continued. Of course the house became frenetic as he quietly announced what was going on. We didn't want to alarm Miss Rose who was just over three years old. My contractions picked up in intensity and frequency.

Bean made a few necessary phone calls, including to the youth pastor I worked with, even though it was the middle of youth group. He happened to be making some announcements to the students and when he saw Bean was calling, decided to take the call. So all the students found out that our baby was on it's way!

Our good friend and my co-worker would come pick Miss Rose up a short time after we left. As we were leaving Bean ran into the house to grab an extra towel. When Miss Rose asked him what it was for he said "mama has a little juice coming out of her." While at our friend's house, Miss Rose decided to tell her 18-year-old son's friends that "my mama had juice coming out of her." Definately a story for the baby book!


And so we were off to the hospital....

Stay tuned.

Not meshing (gracie part 2)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Snot

Honestly, I hate snot. I try to use that word very sparingly and mean it. I do abhor snot though. I realize it has a purpose and often is an indicator of illness or allergies.

But I hate it in my kids noses. I hate how they can never seem to blow it all out. It's still stringing out. Gross.

Unfortunately, we see a lot of snot in our house. Allergies run rampant in Miss Rose. Which means that she often develops sinus infections. Which means buckets of snot in my house.

I shared this photo last summer as proof of the allergies and sinus infections and serious Kleenex supporting household we are. Miss Rose fell asleep with her hand in the tissue box because she needed them while in bed.



Right now I think Miss Rose has a sinus infection. Or a developing one. I've actually learned though, that just letting the infection run its course, is just as good as antibiotics. As long as she isn't miserable.

But that means a lot of snot. Which she doesn't ever seem to notice dripping down onto her philtrum. (no, I did not have to look that word up. I already knew it!) I'll tell her to blow, which she does half-heartedly and I can still hear the snot resonating in her nose. More often than not, I will hold the tissue and ask her to blow, and "super-blow" until her nasal cavity is empty.

Because I hate snot.

And yes, I AM that mom who picks boogers out of her baby's nose. Deal with it. I hate snot, and all the forms it comes in.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Firsts

Because I believe you can never go wrong with photos, here's some photos showing what we've been up to lately.


Our first trip to the beach! I thought I was pretty clever figuring out how to capture the three-ring circus together with the water in the background. (and some tourists of course) We are SO blessed to LIVE here and come anytime we want. In fact, it may become a weekly thing this summer with this group of friends.




It took Miss Rose a little while to warm up to the water as this was our first trip of the summer, and she hasn't spent all that much time at the beach. But by the end of our few hours there, she was already a beach bum. (In fact, I have a photo of her bathing suit wedgie, proving she was a beach bum. Miss Rose spent a lot of time practicing on this boogie board, mostly in about 2 inches of water. But hey, you gotta start somewhere.




And Gracie, well, she liked the sand. The taste of it as well as playing with it. I found her licking her arm and also putting handfuls of it in her mouth. Gracie had fun in the water, although she didn't get quite as brave in the water as her big sister.




She was content to practice swimming in the sand.



Lily slept in the stroller for a while, which gave me time to play with the girls in the water. She's a few weeks away from the "sunscreen age" so I had to avoid the sun with her. Next summer she'll be eating sand with the best of them.


What I learned...
It takes two hours to prepare to go the beach on your own with three small children.

Having friends there to help keep an eye on everyone is a MUST!

Getting there isn't so bad. Leaving is another story! Sand got lodged in the stroller wheels and they refused to turn. Lily was not a happy camper in the sling while I tried to push a sleepy Gracie in the non-turning stroller. The idea of trying to rinse the girls off was ridiculous. So they rode home sandy and wet. And rode in their sandy carseats again today, because I haven't cleaned them out.

Then it takes two more hours to clean up and do sandy laundry when you get home.

And when you go to a concert later that night...you are one exhausted mama the next day!

But it all was much fun and worth being tired. And in my tiredness I still accomplished some cleaning and laundry today.

Parenting is fun as we've years of "firsts" ahead of us.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fancy Schmancy

I was very excited last week to come home to this big box!



My fabulous "Celebrity Bump Bag" prize from Modern Mom (via Jewels & Pinstripes). You can read about the contest I won here.



If you want links to the specific products, go here.

Here's my bits and pieces impressions of some of the stuff. If I were able to use everything, I'd feel quite fancy schmancy--definately like a celebrity! I'll try not to bore you with lots of details, just the basics!

Fisher Price Bouncer: LOVE IT! Seriously, fabulous. I've been using a Fisher Price bouncer from 2004, which I like, but my kids never were able to reach the toy bar, except with their feet because of it's design. And the toy bar was kind of clunky. This new bouncer has a toy bar that's totally reachable. Lily is already grabbing the toys with her hands and feet. And this bouncer is so light and easy to move around.

Peanut Shell Sling: Another new fave! It's very deep, which I like a lot. Lily feels very secure in it. A sling is not her favorite mode of babywearing, but when she's in the mood, she's happy in the Peanut Shell. I really like the gray/white/yellow color scheme too.

Peanut Shell Hospital Gown: This makes me want to have another baby! I looked into the designer hospital gowns when I had Lily, but they were too expensive. I realize that hospital gowns get messy and so a cute one isn't so practical, but I would seriously feel like a celebrity mom in the hospital wearing this. I just may hang onto it until we get our long term birth control figured out :)

Robeez: Had them before, love them. Super duper cute! The girl ones fit Lily right now and I think she'll be debuting them at church this Sunday. Bright pink Mary Janes with applique flowers. She'll be a fancy schmancy girl! My nephew, the Baby Bird, will get to look snazzy in the boy shoes.

Bamboo Swaddling Blanket: one of the softest things I've touched. Lily is beyond the swaddling stage, but I definately would have used this.

Angel Dear products: A super sweet white 2-piece newborn outfit. It's SO soft and precious. I would have loved to use it with Lily. But she's way past that size now and it's more appropriate for a fall/winter baby. Also a soft frog rattle and some knit booties for a newborn. Lily is learning to play with toys and the soft frog will be one she enjoys.

Born Free Bottles: BPA-free, why not? I'm using them and so far so good. My bottles were from when Miss Rose was a baby (although I've replaced the parts that deteriorate). I feel more green using them.

Baby Kaed diaper bag: Very posh! I love all the goodies that come inside it. Still haven't decided if I'm going to use it or not because it's rather wide--and I'm not one for super oversized bags or purses. It's very soft.

Snuggle Me'z: If I lived in a cold climate, this would be awesome! But it doesn't get cold enough in So Cal to need a bunting. I love the print though and it's very soft.

Moses Basket: Man, I always wanted one of these while preparing for a newborn. It just doesns't seem like there would be anything sweeter than a newborn baby in a Moses basket. Now that there is one in my house, I'm not sure how I would have used it. Maybe if I had a large home. However if I had a newborn in my house, I'm sure I would find a way to use it!

And my favorite item in the basket...



I know. Pretty silly! Such a small item. But I love it. Lily likes to grab blankets and hold onto them. Especially when she's trying to go to sleep. And with my obsession with all things red for her, this fits the bill. It's a great red with satin on one side and a soft velvety cotton on the other, with a cute duck attached. What's not to love?

I've actually been checking ebay and doing various Google searches trying to find a red "lovey" for her that wasn't made of a super heavy material. They are hard to come by. Everyone has pink and blue and various other colors. I really think there is a market out there for more variety in color of ALL baby items. Anyhow, I digress. This little lovey goes everywhere with us and is something Lily can actually hang on to and play with for short amounts of time.

Thanks Modern Mom!
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Me! Monday on Tuesday

I wrote most of this blog in preparation for Monday, but I ran out of time to finish it. But I wouldn't post a Not Me! blog on Tuesday. Nope, not me!



Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Here's our weekly opportunity to bare our souls, confess our blunders and come clean with our shortcuts in life and mommyhood.

I certainly have NOT been bemoaning the static number on the scale, while still indulging in almost nightly desserts. Not me, I always stick to my diet.

My shoulders and back are NOT sunburnt from an outing with my kids. While I coat my children carefully with plenty of sunscreen, I would NOT forget to coat myself.

Even though my 5.5month old is showing some signs of being ready to start solids, I am NOT avoiding it because it will add one more thing to my already full life. I would NOT decide that nursing more is easier and try to hold off on that cereal a few more weeks.

And when the sheet in the co-sleeper needs changing, I would NOT just flip it around so that the dirty (slobber, spit-up infested) portion is at her feet. Nope. NOT me.

My sweet husband is NOT currently wii bowling right now, practicing, because a bunch of kids almost beat him last night! He did NOT just say to me, "I refuse to let those kids beat me."

Although my two-year-old has been potty-training since Memorial Day weekend, I did NOT just buy her first actual panties. Which means she has NOT been going commando since then. And I did NOT recently find a photo that proves the point. Nope, not me.

So, what's NOT new with you?




Thursday, July 9, 2009

They're my girls!

I love comparing photos. Photos of the girls at the same ages. Photos of Bean and I compared to the girls. It's fun to see the similarities and the differences. To see how our girls are so individual in their looks, yet they bear a family resemblance as well.

I was looking for some other photos and came across this one of myself--and realized there were some similarites to a recent professional photo of Gracie. People usually find more resemblance in the girls to Bean than to myself. I don't often hear that they look like me. But in this photo, I definately see a lot of similarities. Gracie and I are both 2 in these photos. She is my girl!! (Can you believe how blonde and straight my hair is? Now it's dark and curly. Crazy puberty.)




So of course I had to search out Miss Rose's 2-year photos. Miss Rose definately favors her dad more than me, however she totally has my chin and jaw line. And of course my post-puberty curly hair!




Pictures are fun! I haven't been as good about photos of Lily. I need to get on that. We WILL get her 6 month photos done at the end of the month. I have photos of both Miss Rose and Gracie at 6 months in blue/green/aqua sundresses. Not matching, just similar color schemes. Both were gifts. When we recieved the dress for Gracie, I knew we had to do a photo in it to match what we already had for Miss Rose. So now I'm on the hunt for a THIRD complimentary dress for Lily. We want to get them framed in matching frames eventually and put them somewhere special in the house.

It will be fun to see how Lily changes and grows into her look just as the other girls have. So far I see quite a mix of how Miss Rose and Gracie looked as infants.

The one thing I have yet to do is PRINT the photos we have. Thank goodness for digital photography!
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And the Beco gets the win

When it comes to baby purchases, I like to be frugal (lots of craigslist and baby resale stores) but sometimes, when it really matters, it's worth spending the money. We all have our "must have" items.

Diaper bags have been one of my most sought after items. Looking for one that was the right size, with the right compartments. My first favorite came from Pottery Barn Kids . After having Gracie, I found the Skip Hop dash (purchased for a steal on ebay) and have gotten a TON of use out of it. Now, I'm looking forward to trying this one from my Celebrity Bump Bag. I think it may fulfill my unrealized desire for one of these bags.

Another huge deal for me was finding the right double stroller--I decided a jogger would be most useful--and was so excited to find my Bob Revolution Duallie on craigslist at a savings of over $200 new. This stroller has now seen us through many trips to Sea World, the zoo, the fair and MANY miles run at the lake.

The only baby carrier I ever used with Miss Rose was the Baby Bjorn. I never found it very comfortable and didn't use it as much as I thought I would. She was my firstborn, so I was able to carry her in my arms quite a bit.

By the time Gracie was born, the babywearing buzz had hit and I thought I would give it a try. After all, with a 3-year old to care for as well, I would need a way to be hands free. I found a New Native sling at a baby resale for just $15 and it turned out to be one of my best purchases! [In fact, I couldn't decide if I wanted to purchase it or not. So I originally left the store without it. But after reconsideration, I called and they held it for me.]

Gracie was quite a colicky baby and I spent many wee hours of the morning pacing the house with her in the sling. She loved it. She would fall asleep in an instant in the sling and enjoyed many waking hours there too. As she got older, she would wave her hands and kick her feet in excitment when she saw the sling. When Gracie was 3 months old I spent 10 days in Ireland on a missions trip and the sling was invaluable.

Lily, notsomuch a fan of the sling. This time around I gave Hotsling a try. [I must confess, I don't find the sling deep enough and it's not as great as the New Native.] There have been a few times she's slept for a bit in the sling, but usually she arches her back and fights it.

Lily loves to be upright. Hence the search for another style of babywearing. I found this chart helpful. It boiled down to the Ergo and the Beco. I heard positive reviews of both. There were two swinging factors for me. Construction and style.

My Beco arrived a few weeks ago. I decided that was what I really wanted for my birthday. Yes, I know it's really for the baby and not for me. But it makes my life easier, so it's for me in some ways. And it was hard to justify the price, just for another baby carrier. I liked that the construction of it supported a smaller baby. We tried a mei tai, but it just made Lily mad because her head doesn't sit high enough yet. I think once she's taller, we'll get more use out of it. Plus the Beco comes in a ton of cute patterns, and I chose River.

We've had some VERY successful uses of the Beco so far. Lily seems to feel very secure in it, and she can see out of it. The most convicing experience so far was that she was content to stay in it while I sat a baseball recently for about 45 minutes. When she's in a sling, I have to be up and moving for her to be content.

It made a BIG Target shopping trip a cinch since I could put Gracie in the cart and not have to worry about the infant seat or Lily getting mad in the sling like what happened at Costco one time.

Yes...the Beco was the little surprise I was waiting for...and it gets the win for baby carriers this time around. [I'm glad too, that it seems to have good resale value, which is another criteria I use when making purchases!]

Here we are at the zoo...she refused to fall asleep in the stroller, but it didn't take long in the Beco. And there is the handy cover to shield her from the sun! [photo taken by Miss Rose, that's a elephant statue in the background and Gracie in the jogger]


Monday, July 6, 2009

Not Me! Monday



Confession is good for the soul, and none of us is perfect! This is a great opportunity to share those moments you're not so proud of and the ones you can't help but laugh at.

I haven't played along in a few weeks and I'm sure I've wracked up more Not Me! moments than I will be able to recall.

I did not notice this afternoon that there was pee in the potty chair (which sits in our living room because the bathroom is so small)--even though I'm fairly sure it hadn't been used since the morning. Nope. No pee sitting out for hours. Not at my house.

Bean did not encourage me to just for the bean and cheese burrito on Saturday afternoon, in spite of Lily's intolerance for dairy. And it wasn't Bean who left the house at 5:50am the next morning for a bottle of Mylicon. We are much smarter than that.

Speaking of Lily, she's bathed quite often, if you were wondering. I do not question on a weekly basis, when she had her last bath, because it's never been long enough that I would forget.

And no, that was not me, waiting for 10+ minutes in the Starbucks drive-thru, while my kiddos and nephew were entertained by the minivan dvd player that I insist I don't use very often. I did not pay for my doctored up caffeine with $3 secretly borrowed from Miss Rose's stash. I would never be that desparate.

I am a very honest and responsible shopper. I did not leave Target with an unpaid item in my 2yr old's lap. It had been a long and successful trip, so instead of risking meltdowns, I did not decide just to bring the tag back later this week and pay for the item. Nope, not me.

I'm quite curteous and would not annoy my followers on Twitter my adding #moonfruit to my tweets in order to win a new Macbook Pro. That would be rude!


I did not win the Celebrity Bump Bag from Modern Mom by submitting their favorite advice for new and expecting moms. I am not anxiously watching for the UPS or FEDEX driver to make a delivery to my house sometime soon.

So, what's not been going on in your house this week? Write your own blog and then link up here.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Happy 4th in Photos



The one opportunity to dress her like this! It's actually a 0-3 month dress, but worked quite well as a tunic style shirt with her little denim shorts. Such a BIG smile!












Gracie and I getting ready for some fireworks--as seen from a friend's driveway. No fighting crowds or traffic and no loud booms--although Gracie insists that everything is loud these days.








Evidence that Miss Rose had fun. She's in her swim cover-up (she swam 2x) and is covered in dirt and food. Hiding her face from the camera like always. Some things never change.







Gracie enjoying her first fireworks show! Last year she was too young to really understand what was going on. She said they were "big huge" one of her favorite phrases these days. She kept asking where the fireworks went until she went to bed.





Cuddling with Nana aka Nannie during fireworks. Of course they both wanted to be on her lap.










Another of our self-portraits.





Great fun was had by all!


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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Even the worst, is still the best

Today has been one of those days. And yes, it's only half over.

I started out tired, thanks to 4 days of work and some insomnia on my part, added to a dose of stupid.

The baby hasn't been sleeping so well. Waking up and wanting to nurse back to sleep, although she's been known to sleep 7-8hrs straight many times over. Not lately. She doesn't have her own room yet. We are still under construction. Hopefully by the end of the summer.

She's quite well-fed, as evidenced by the rolls on her legs and the rash in her sweaty neck rolls. When she woke up for the SECOND time last night at a three hour interval, I decided to see if she would go back to sleep. (That my friends, was the dose of stupid).

There was a small amount of bloody murder screaming (during which Bean took his pillow and headed to the couch...I didn't blame him). Then some fussing. Then some quiet. Then more fussing. Then she found her thumb. Then she cried. Then I held the pacifier in. Then I patted her bum and her back. And yet she never settled back in. I can't blame her. I'm right there. She can smell the comfort and she wants it whether she needs it or now. (hmmm, sounds like my issues with sweets)

So I gave in. She's my last baby after all. (In case you were wondering, I detest the phrase "last baby" no matter how true it is and no matter how much peace I feel about it.) All in all, I lost quite a bit of sleep in the process though. Poor Bean did too. And he had to go to work today. Brutal.

Made for one tired mama when Gracie started calling for me this morning--at least it was after 7am though. Miss Rose slept through the yelling somehow. Quickly it was time to go pick my nephew up for a few hours to give his 2wk post-c section mama a break. I think I've JUST decided to nickname my nephews Big Bird and Little Bird on my blog. If you know them, you know why, and you are laughing too!!

Yeah, Gracie isn't doing so well with sharing toys in her own home. It didn't matter what toy Big Bird picked up, she wanted it. And cried and cried. And cried. And cried. And threw fits.

I attempted to Shred but that last a whole FIVE minutes. Baby was done with her nap. Early I might add. Would she sit in the bouncer while I finished a measly twenty minute workout? Nope. She wanted to nurse.

Oh, and did I mention I had pumped an hour prior. I only have a few ounces stored and need to build up a bit more of a stash. So there was no fast letdown for her. And did that ever make her mad. So she cried. And cried. And cried. Finally we worked through it and she found out with a little more work--yes there was still plenty for her.

So let's go outside and play. We have no backyard currently. Under construction (notice the theme here). So we pull the playhouse out of the garage and play in the driveway. It was going well. Then the contractor came. Time to pack up and head inside.

We managed to make it through another hour playing playdough and eating lunch. I took Big Bird home, put my babies down for naps and Miss Rose is playing next door. Ah, finally. Peace and quiet.

Here's the thing. I've been working on my attitude lately. And how I express myself. Was it crazy and hectic? Yes. Did I get to do what I wanted (Shred). No. Sure I could focus on those things. But I CHOOSE to focus on the fact that I'm at home, being a mommy today. I was able to give my sister in law a few hours with just one of her fledglings. I nursed my hungry baby, instead of her getting a bottle. I am the main influence on my children today.

And that is why, even the worst day--(and this wasn't the worst day by any means), is still the best day. Because this is the life God gave me. This is the balance between my job and my home. This is the opportunity to help out a loved one.

It's about my attitude. And how I face the day. I can have a bad day and still love my life and love my kids. I'm learning. I'm being molded and made more into HIS image.

I do suppose at some point, I need to take a shower. Maybe I'll finish Shredding. Or do some housework. No matter what, it's still the best.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I WON! I WON!

As I was laying in bed last night, awake, between the hours of 2:30 and 4:30am, it occured to me that the contest I entered on Modern Mom was over or ending soon. Why was I awake? I don't know. I initially woke up because the baby wanted to nurse. She went back to sleep easily, I did not. Too many things on my mind I guess.

Back to the contest. I checked my email this morning. And lo and behold, there was an email announcing that they had picked MY advice as their favorite and I won the fabulous prize of $1600 worth of baby related items. I was so excited. I immediately shared the news with some of my co-workers and we oo'd and ahhed over the goodies.

I've submitted the necessary paperwork and given them my address. I'm not sure how long it will take for me to receive it--I expect it could be awhile. I'm very excited about the diaper bag, Robeez and Peanut Shell sling. I'll be able to share some of the loot with family members who have recently given birth or are expecting. (Although I will admit the idea of ME being pregnant again to take full advantage of all the items is dreamy...but adding another child to our family would pretty much be insanity. So I'll be content to share with others and live vicariously through them.)

I still can't believe I won! I guess the time and thought I put into my entry paid off. You can read it here.

I'll be sure to take pictures and share my thoughts when the goodies arrive.