Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day in the Life

I shared a day in our life over on The Domestic Wannabe today! Go check it out!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Logan's Birth Story

::This is a labor and delivery story, and while there are no TMI pics I do use some birthy words, but nothing too graphic. ;) ::

Logan was born at 40 weeks and 5 days.
I remember being out shopping with my mom and strangers asking when I was due.

In today's birthing culture of elective inductions most people didn't understand how I could be that pregnant.  I just recently watched The Business of Being Born, (amazing! a must-watch for anyone expecting or planning to have children) so I am all fired up about the birth industry, but that is all I will say here for now. *climbs off her soapbox*

I never formally wrote out my birth plan, but I wanted to go as naturally as possible. I wanted to go into labor on my own, labor at home for as long as possible, my water to break on its own, and use no drugs. I delivered in a hospital with and Ob-Gyn. It wasn't until halfway-ish through my pregnancy that I decided natural was the way for me and started doing tons of research. Before then I knew very little about midwives, homebirth, natural birth, doulas, etc.

OK! On with the story!

Logan's due date was May 9. My parents arrived from out of town on May 5. A week of visiting passed, my due date came and went, and still nothing! My doctor was not a fan of me going past the due date, and as a result there was an induction scheduled for Tuesday, May 15.

We spent that whole week walking and waiting, but on Saturday the 12, with the 15 looming in my future, I got serious! Matt was at work, but I drug my parents on a two mile power walk at 40 weeks and 3 days up and down the extreme hills in our neighborhood. Then we went out for Chinese food, which is among the giant list of wive's tales said to put you in labor.

I thought my fortune was so appropriate!
I went to bed that night a little low, and with a feeling in the back of my mind that I would be induced in three days.

But, no! At 2:30 am a real contraction woke me up. I was absolutely giddy. I couldn't believe it. "We will have a baby today," I thought to myself. I entered my first contraction into the app I had downloaded weeks before and tried my hardest to go back to sleep.

The contractions continued and weren't crazy painful, but I could definitely feel them and tell that they weren't Braxton Hicks. At 4:20 and again at 7:30 my body made its first attempts at cleaning itself out. I was afraid that calling my parents (they set up there RV at a camground a few miles away since our apartment is tiny and they knew they would be staying a while) to inform them that labor had started would jinx, but contractions had been pretty consistent since 2:30 so I finally called around 9 am.
They said they would get ready for the day, pick up some lunch, then come on over.

Sure enough, after I talked to them the contractions came to a sudden halt. I was a determined woman at this point, and so ready to hold my baby, so Matt and I tried out one of the oldest wive's tales about starting labor. Plus it was nice because we knew it would be the last time for a while.

It worked! By the time my parents arrived things were moving again.

This seriously was not planned, but we thought it was so hilarious that we were all in green. I still think it is hilarious!
We had Subway for lunch and spent the afternoon laughing and playing UNO. I bounced on my ball, drank water, and popped tums like they were all going out of style.

The whole time my contractions were getting stronger and closer together.

Matt and my dad went out to get supper while my mom and I walked and walked and walked.
We had fried chicken and potato salad from Kroger, and I remember it being SO delicious.

Big Mama, eating until the bitter end. Did I mention I gained 45 lbs?

The evening progressed and so did the contractions.
(and my poor dad got more and more nervous. I really think he was afraid we were going to end up having a baby here in this apartment. Little did he know, my sister would give birth in her bathroom five months later! If you want to read a birth story way more interesting than mine, go check out hers!)

Discussions of going to the hospital (less than two miles away) started around 11pm. I wasn't ready to go. I wanted to be near 7 centimeters and close to transition when we arrived. My mom, Matt, and sister (via skype) all convinced me that I was probably closer than I thought.
So I conceded and a little before midnight we arrived at the hospital. We got a room and a nurse came in to check my progress.

2 centimeters.

What!? I had been 1.5 a week before at my appointment.
I can't begin to describe the feeling of defeat I felt.
I was completely discouraged.
I wanted to go back home and just go to bed. Not that I could sleep through the contractions I was having! I thought that if there were just the 2 centimeter contractions how could I handle 7-8-9-10!??

I did NOT want to get into that bed. I knew once I did I was strapped down. (except for the 27 trips to the potty)

The nurse said I was welcome to go home, but that my bag of waters was bulging and it would probably break soon and we would have to come right back.

"Fine. Just give me and epidural."

I shut down at that point and gave up on my natural birth plan.

Luckily Matt and my mom knew what I really wanted and they helped calm me down and rationalize our choices.

The nurse suggested Demerol, which would only last a few hours, but would help me get some sleep in the mean time. Definitely not my first choice, but I was exhausted at that point and still having pretty painful contractions. I was going to be useless without any sleep. By the time the Demerol was started it was after 2 am. Almost 24 hours in.

Unfortunately, this is the last picture taken until after Logan was born. When things got real I said no more pictures, a decision that I now regret!
***At this point I have to stop and make sure I make special note of the terrible conditions my poor mother and husband had to endure. They nearly froze to death in the Arctic hospital room even though I was sweating and had only a thing blanket each and a small bench to share to sleep on. Matt ended up sleeping on the cold hard floor by my bed, where he informs me I was moaning out from pain in my drug-induced sleep state every few minutes, but the real story here is how neither of them got any sleep and nearly suffered from hypothermia. The poor, poor souls. ;)

The nurse came back to check me at 5 am.
5 centimeters! Progress!
Then she started the Pitocin... Yay...

After that, of course, things really picked up. Owie!

Around 6 am my water broke on its own. Another small victory!
My poor wrung out self turned to my mother and told her, "I think I just peed on myself, and it is still coming." And in the sweetest voice I think she has ever used she said, "Sweetie, I think your water just broke."

Once the Pitocin was in my system the contractions were coming hard and fast. The best way I could deal with them while being strapped to the bed by iv's and and monitors was sitting up with my legs crossed and leaning forward a bit. I alternated that with leaning back against the elevated bed. Pretty much the only positions you can get in other than on your side.

During each contraction my mom would talk softly about imagining my body as soft butter and just letting it melt away. Matt later said that at the time he thought she was crazy, but it seemed to be working. And it was! By using that visualization I was able to relax my body and let each contraction take over and do its job.

A few weeks before I assembled a list of inspiring natural birth quotes. My mom printed the list and brought it to the hospital. During a contraction she began. "300,000 women will be giving birth with you today.

Relax and...." I interupted, "Talk more about butter." So she did, and it worked.

Matt and my mom were on each side of me as I labored in the hospital and almost never left, except to wet a rag for my forehead or a quick restroom break. They are the reason I was able to make it. I am so thankful for the best doulas I ever could have asked for. 

It is so crazy when you are in the trenches of labor and transition. From the outside I probably looked like I was completely out of it, but on the inside everything felt perfectly clear, and I was even still making jokes (how I deal with every situation). I just couldn't voice them!

As it turns out, Logan's head was in the wrong position and wasn't flush against my cervix. Hence the prodromal (false, my hind-end!) labor.

Once I was dilated to a 10 there was still a "lip" on my cervix as a result of that whole head turned the wrong way thing... My amazing (no, seriously, I loved her!) nurse "assisted" finishing out the dilation with a few contractions. (insert awkward face here) 

Then it was time to push.

I honestly can't say how long I pushed or how many times, but I do know that when my Dr. said I needed to get him out or he was going to need to use the vacuum, there was only one more push. (Hello hemorrhoids!)

Then suddenly, there he was, and I was in love. It was the most magical moment ever. Up until that point he had  been a stranger kicking me in the ribs and squishing my bladder, but as soon as I saw his face it was as if I had known him forever.

I love him more and more every day. I can't believe it took me 14 months to write all of this down, but I am so, so glad I did. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Afternoon Stroll

This afternoon Logan and I went on a little walk. He is obsessed with this little bridge, and always wants to climb on it. When it isn't in the sun and blazing hot, I let him go for it. He absolutely loves being outside and we will definitely be taking advantage of the mild weather coming up this week! It only got to 85 today! 
I didn't even have him dressed cute, just in a too-big t-shirt and comfy at home shorts, but I still wanted to share these fun pictures.

Logan also discovered his shadow and had fun making it move!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Another Day, Another Splash Pad

Matt was off the past two days and we had so much fun doing summery things.

In two days we went to two different splash pads that I didn't even know existed a week and a half ago! It took Logan a little bit each time to get comfortable, but then he was running around with the crowds of kids like he was just as big as them. I think he liked climbing on the rocks even more than splashing in the water! We need to find some more places for our little monkey to climb! 

We also made our second trip to a local farmer's market. It feels so good to buy local! 

Our haul, small but delicious.

Summer is my favorite time of year. It makes me think of fun and the outdoors. I love being outside, and that is one of the things I dislike most about living in an apartment. We know we will be moving sometime in the next 6 months We aren't sure where, but criteria #1 is a yard! I dream of having a garden next summer and seeing my son run around in our own backyard!

Since Matt was off for two days the apartment is in a state of shambles. For some reason I let all cleaning go by the wayside when he is home. Too much fun to be had! Now I am off to whip things back into shape. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rainbow Cake Tutorial

When I saw rainbow cakes like this one on Pinterest, I knew I had to make one! What better occasion than my son's first birthday? And just like that the theme was set. I perused post after post of cake tutorials. After all of the research this is how I went about making mine:

After much deliberation I chose to use boxed cake mixes over starting from scratch. I used three boxes. Yes, you read that right THREE. I did not want wimpy layers! 

I used Wilton's icing colors to get nice vibrant layers. Make sure you grease and flour your pans so your layers don't tear up! Let your layers cool completely before you even attempt to start icing and stacking.

I iced my cake directly on the stand, but put foil under the edges to keep the stand clean. (we were out of wax paper/parchment paper. always improvising!) Use a long knife to cut the bumps off of each layer so they are even across the top. The entire process of stacking the layers was wonderfully fun and exciting for me. I was absolutely giddy by the time I added on the red layer!

You can use toothpicks to keep your layers from sliding. I certainly did! But it also helps if you make crazy faces, don't wear makeup, and have sunglasses on your head even though it is dark thirty at night.

Make sure your icing layers are nice and thick! When you are done stacking add a verrry thin layer of icing called a crumb coat. It does what it sounds like, captures all of the crumbs. After adding my crumb coat I let the cake sit out over night. Logan's party was the next day.

When you add the icing feel free to put it on thick! You can use it to hide imperfections in your stacking. See above how the yellow layer goes in a little? Keep working and smoothing until your icing is just like you want it. Oh by the way, I used this icing recipe. It worked very well and tasted great!

Last step: Slice and dig in!

I'm sure I left something out. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Do you ever feel like there are so many things you want to get done that you just never get around to?

Things that might make the list if you had to list out your day-to-day priorities. 

I have so many things that in my head rank as priorities, but in real life never seem to make the cut.

Obviously, Logan is my #1 priority and is always taken care of. Next come keeping the house clean and getting food on the table. Both of which get met daily, but most likely in a so-so fashion. They are both continuous and the latter feeds the former. Kitchen is perfectly clean? Wonderful! Ok, time for lunch!

So, there is the child, then food and the house. Next comes the "extras." Like laundry, daily Bible reading, craft projects, keeping up with friends and family, exercise (ha!) blogging, and so, so much more! Yes, I totally just put laundry in the "extra" category. These are all things that I think I would put on my priority list, but what does my real life say? I think if someone were to document my priorities by observing me, Instagram would be above all of these on the list. *blush* #iloveittoomuch

Every Sunday morning I come home from church pumped to be more diligent about my daily Bible reading, then more often than not my Bible will sit in the same place Monday through Saturday. I can't tell you how many blog posts I "write" in my head that never make it to the computer. This is definitely not the first time I have written this post, but it is the first time I have typed it! My unspoken goal to myself is two posts a week. As far as craft projects... oh my, so many things I want to do. I have never mentioned it here, but I have been in the works of launching an Etsy shop for over a year now, but can't seem to get it off the ground. I have even contacted mommies to try out my product and have yet to mail one to them! 

It all boils down to time management. I have been terrible at it for as long as I can remember. Plus, let's be honest, priority #1 can be quite the time-suck. ;)

Am I all alone in this? Please say no. The fact that I am actually about to publish this post gives me hope! 
C'mon mama friends, let's cheer each other on!

***after i published this I realized that I didn't even mention my husband. He is obviously right up there with Logan, but our relationship comes so naturally to me that I don't have to put much effort into it. Not to say that our relationship doesn't take work, they all do, but maybe not conscious work? Anyway, I am one lucky lady. :) 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

One Year Old!

Didn't get around to monthly pics today, but still wanted to get this up. I'll add them in tomorrow.

Our first year with Logan came to a close today. 
Our little boy is one year old. 
Throughout the day today I cherished each moment with him, and remembered how much he has changed in the past year.The differences between a newborn to a one year old are remarkable.

For Logan's birthday he got to go to the pediatrician and get two shots. Isn't he lucky?
He is 31 inches tall and weighs 19.7 pounds. He is in the 20th percentile for weight, which is the highest his weight percentile has been since July. So, we were glad for that. He is around the 80th percentile for height. We have a tall and slim little boy!

It seems like in just that past week Logan has shifted from baby to toddler. He is walking more and more now. Probably about 40% of the time. Maybe more, but it increases every day.

He comes out with new words all of the time. At the pediatrician today they asked if he had at least two words. "Um, yea." He has tons of words! He also uses several baby signs. Books are still a favorite. I finally realized this past month that books are the perfect thing to give him in the car! Other toys end up thrown overboard, but he will sit and happily flip through a book. 

We have successfully made it through a year of breastfeeding and a year (almost) of cloth diapering. With no end in sight for either one. He still nurses 4-6 times a day. I wouldn't mind if we dropped down to two times a day, but I am definitely not ready to quit altogether. We are on Logan's time table as far as weaning goes. I don't even like to use the word weaning, because I don't plan on it. We will nurse until he decides he is done.  Barring him wanting to nurse til kindergarten. ;)

Monday is finally, finally, finally the procedure to close the PDA in his heart. I am so ready for that to be past us! I wouldn't be surprised at all if his nursing dwindles a little after he recovers from that. We shall see.

As far as sleep goes Logan has been doing pretty well. He still gets up in the night occasionally, but not every night. This past weekend he decided that before six was the best time to start his day. Luckily today he slept til 6:45. Let's aim for past 7 tomorrow, little man! If I could sleep til at least 7 every day I would be ok with that. Naps have been easy for a while now. It is so wonderful to know that everyday I have two almost guaranteed periods when I can things done (or get nothing done, depending on the day) without my little one tugging on me. 

This year has been absolutely amazing. I always knew I wanted to be a mother. And now I know how wonderful it really is. Through all of the ups and downs, sleepless nights, the crying and whining, smelling like soured milk for the first four months, it was a joy and a blessing. I've heard someone say that it is a privilege to be a mother, and I think I am inclined to agree.
Here's to enjoying every moment and savoring the next year as much as the first.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Logan's First Birthday Party!

This past Saturday we had Logan's first birthday party! It was a fantastic success. I had a ton of fun at the party and just as much fun planning it.
I picked the rainbow theme several months ago. Logan doesn't have many "favorites" yet, but what one year old doesn't love colors and balloons? Honestly I was so excited to have an excuse to decorate with crepe paper streamers and balloons myself. The whole party was so bright and cheery!

This cake was my masterpiece. I will be sharing my recipes and techniques soon!

For drinks we served chilled water bottles and the single packets of either raspberry lemonade or tea. This party was all about seeing how far I could make a nickel stretch. We used scrapbook paper and a sharpie to easily make these bottles more festive.

I chopped, sliced, and plated the fruit and veggie trays the night before. The morning before the party it was easy to quickly mix up the dips. I kept them super simple with two ingredients each. The veggie dip was sour cream and a ranch packet, and the fruit dip was cream cheese and greek yogurt.

These lollipop bouquets were the perfect final touch for the table.

I definitely have a thing for pennants and garlands. There are a few throughout our home. A rainbow pennant is even better!

When I came across personalized balloons in the party colors at Party City there was no way I could resist.

This wreath was a breeze to make. Crepe paper, scrap book paper, and wrapping paper. The "1" was stolen from an extra invitation.

The best part of the party was how much fun our little guest of honor had! He seriously had so much fun. He never once got upset or overwhelmed. Here is is clapping after the birthday song and candle.

Yum! About 20 minutes before party time I realized that I never made the banner for his high chair, but decided it was no big deal. As you can see, it didn't affect Logan the slightest bit.

Logan was so delighted with this cake. He wasted no time at all digging right in. A crowd wasn't going to keep him from eating!

The aftermath. In the spirit of full disclosure, he did not eat all of that cake by himself! It was a huge slice! Mama saved the day and ate a few layers. ;)

While we are getting all honest, wanting to make this cake may or may not be the entire reason for a rainbow theme... 

Logan's cousins were in attendance and the patio was dubbed "The Kid's Pavilion." We left the sliding glass door open and they were able to enjoy their cake and activities outside, but still be right there with us. 

There is currently an extra large TV camping out in our living room (anyone wanna buy it??) so instead of having that monstrosity in all of our pictures it was quickly turned into a fun backdrop for present time.

This sweet little chair was a big hit at the party. You never knew who was going to be sitting in it next.

All in all it really was the perfect party for our little man. Love him so, so much.