Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Andrew is THREE months old already!

Eli is such an awesome brother. He's always trying to make him smile.
My chunky monkey

   I feel so incredibly vulnerable having an itty bitty baby around during what they are calling a flu epidemic in Illinois. Ugh. The fact that he's older comforts me (so he isn't so fragile and can at least have the option of getting meds that are approved for older babies instead of absolutely nothing--not that I'm a big "med" giver in my house) but the fact that he IS getting older makes me also want to ugly cry in a corner somewhere. Why can't they just stay super sleepy cuddly a little while longer? WHHYYYYYYYY??
   With that said, this kid is good for me. If I'm having a crabby day, all I have to do is look at his face and I can feel all my tension literally release from my body and I'm happy again. I just came to the realization that I'm kind of in a mourning state of Eli not being my little baby anymore. He's graduated to full on little boy status, and the nerve, without my permission! Psha! I also noticed that I'm totally eating up my nephew Liam at the moment because he's just about a year and a half and it was such a great age for Eli with their personalities EXPLODING during this time! They get their words, they become more coordinated, and well lets face it, they're finally FUN! Ha ha. So thank you Liam for bridging me until Andrew gets to that age. In the meantime I'm eating up the squishy baby stage and enjoying adult conversations with my oldest. Seriously, he says to me "mom? Can I have a conversation with you?" Ha ha. That kid kills me. Anyways, I'll get to Andrew's stats now...

Size: I tend to gauge his size by how much smaller the pack-n-play is getting in comparison, ha ha. We don't have a well visit at 3 months so I'm not sure about his weight. He feels around 15lbs-ish but that's a guess. I've retired the 0-3m and 3m clothes and brought out his 3-6m and 6-9m bunch. Since going up to the next sized diapers last month, he's been pretty good in that department.
Yowza! ("3"on his bum as in 13 weeks/3 months)
Likes: He's really digging his swing these days with the animal mobile just like last month but now he stares at those guys and coos like crazy like he's legit having a conversation with them! Ha ha. I call them his friends. He loves his brother, being held, the boob, falling asleep in people's arms and smiling.

Dislikes: The bottle, (throw in a hysterical cry for good measure) and car rides, (although it is getting better since I've adjusted the straps and took out the newborn insert. He seems more comfortable in it now but it's still hit or miss.) He's still very easy-going otherwise.

Feeding:See above about the bottles. Ugh. I returned to work yesterday and lets just say that daddy and baby had a rough time. (I'll try to blog about that experience soon.) If he can get the milk on tap, thats what he'll hold out for. He took the bottle yesterday while I was at work but he was pissed about it. Needless to say, breast feeding is going well and that's what he prefers. I now have a nice freezer stash of breast milk and I hope it doesn't go to waste on account of his stubborn nature.

Sleeping: It's still about the same as last month. He's down at 7pm-ish and still getting up once during the night for a feeding. Unfortunately, all my boys are early risers. Ugh. Why can't I just be a morning person and make life so much easier for myself?? He's been getting up as early as 5:30am and not wanting to go back to sleep. Oooooh daddddddy! Somebody neeeeeds yoooou...But on a good day, he'll sleep until 7am. He's been taking a big 3-4hr nap in the morning and then takes 1 or 2 little catnaps in the afternoon.

Milestones: Not much to report here. He smiles a ton when you talk to him, he's been drooling a lot and trying to fit both hands in his mouth at once just like Eli used to so I know the teething process has been started but I don't expect any teeth to pop through yet for a few months. The other day I had him doing belly time and I propped his arms out in front under him and he tilted his head and rolled over. I'm not sure if I should count that as his first roll because he hasn't done it since but I was pretty excited in the moment. Ha ha.
"Wait, what's this business about being 3 months??"
Yep, I'd pretty much say we have the breastfeeding thing down.
"It's hard to see my yummy toes with my 5 chins in the way..."
Back fat has never looked cuter!
And that's all she wrote!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Andrew is TWO months old!

  Can I just say how much I love being a mommy of two? Because I do. I'm sure I'd be singing a different tune if Eli was a terror to his brother and Andrew was a colicky baby who didn't sleep, but nothing could be further from the truth. Eli still adores his little brother and Andrew has fit very nicely into our little family. He's starting to smile at you when you talk to him, and even babble in his own little baby language (he just cooed on the baby monitor in his sleep as I typed that! I kid you not!) The best part to me is he's predictable--a very desirable trait in a little person with no big boy words yet, ha ha.

  Well here are his stats after his 2 month well visit with the doctor today:

Size: He's growing by leaps and bounds as babies are apt to do. He's quickly gained the nickname "beefcake" (among 20 other nicknames that Eli comes up with daily.) He outgrew his size 1 diapers about 3 weeks ago but me not wanting to waste diapers did my best to shove all his thigh rolls into said too-small-diapers and we've cleaned up many a poopsplosion as a result of it. Was it worth it? No, because I still have a boatload of size 1's in the house. Ha ha, doh! As far as his weight goes, he's 13lbs 6oz and 22 1/2 inches long. (Eli was 11lbs 8oz and 23 inches long at this age.) Beefcake is right! He's fitting pretty snuggly into his 3 month clothes and I've started to bring out the 3-6 month bunch in anticipation of needing them very soon.

Likes: Sleeping, being held, nursing, his swing with the mobile that he loves to watch, staring at lights, his bouncer seat that vibrates his bottom, watching his brother, and being talked to.

Dislikes: trapped burps, his carseat, (we joke that he'll only tolerate it once we hit 55mph or better because then he'll suddenly stop crying like flipping a switch, ha ha) and baths. Other than that, when he fusses its pretty predictable in that it's his nap time, feeding time, or he needs to burp. He's pretty easy to please.

Feeding: I'm still exclusively breastfeeding and feeding on demand. I worried that after the newborn phase if I didn't enforce an every 2-3hr feeding schedule and stop "feeding on demand" that I would end up being more of a pacifier and creating bad habits. I didn't want to be the only one able to soothe him (by nursing), but so far that hasn't been the case so I'll continue to follow this pattern. He has naturally fallen into an every 2-3hr feeding pattern on his own with an occasional need to feed sooner than that. Now that I don't have nipple "pain" anymore, just sensitivity, I'm ok with "indulging" him. I'm definitely not the mom who sticks a boob in her kid's mouth each time he fusses though. Like I said before, he's predictable and I find his cries easier to decipher than Eli's ever were. The only difference is it's hit or miss if this kid will take a bottle. Ruh roh. Eli never had a problem with bottles. Hopefully Andrew will get over this by the time I go back to work. Fingers crossed!

Sleeping: I'm happy--no strike that, ECSTATIC to report that he's a great sleeper. He's been sleeping in our room in a pack-n-play, just like Eli did. I put him to bed at 7pm (same time as Eli) and he's been doing 7-8hr stretches consistently since about 7 weeks. He wakes up anywhere between 2am and 4am for a feeding and then goes back down until about 7-7:30am. Sometimes he wants to start the day at 5:30 or 6:30 am but I'll feed him and do my darnedest to convince him to go back to sleep and then I'll wake him at 7:30 if he's still sleeping. (Wait what?!?! Wake a sleeping baby? Blasphemy! No really it's all a part of my master napping plan!) If he gets up at 7-7:30am, then right at 9am he's ready for a nap. This will be his big nap of 3hrs. Then I have 2hrs to myself when Eli is in preschool, or an hour overlap on non school days that I get to myself as Eli naps too. Can I get a woot woot?! Happy dance! As for the afternoon nap, I'm still working on nailing down a time, but ideally I like him to go down at 3pm or 4pm so he'll be up by 5pm and happy to go to bed at 7pm, ha ha. But in all reality, with the afternoon nap I'm more flexible, depending on what our day looks like. As long as he's taken a good nap in the morning, I'll let him cat nap on me (or a willing visitor) or in my wrap in the afternoon.

Milestones: Not a whole lot to report here other than him making eye contact and focusing better. I can tell he's starting to see farther than just a few inches in front of his face and he's starting to babble, as I mentioned earlier. I freakin' LOVE it!

And that's my bubbercakes! If you are curious like I was to compare him to Eli at this age, here's his 2 month update. So far they have a lot of similarities aside from Andrew's dislike of bottles and carseats. So cute.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

A baby-wearing coat!

I could stare at this view alllllll day. Sigh

  As most of my readers/friends know, Eli had to wear a Doc band due to a flat spot on the right side of his head. I honestly have no idea how he became flat on the one side other than a short 3 week span where he sucked his right thumb at night and would bend his head to the side to get it. (I witnessed this on the baby monitor when I was surprised one night when he started crying and then stopped almost immediately. Lo and behold, he'd found his thumb!) But just as quickly as he had started the thumb sucking, he stopped cold turkey. I have no idea why. Weird. Anyways this is the only theory I can come up with as to why he was flat on the one side and not the back since I always placed him on his back to sleep. Well of course I dealt with mommy guilt over that one so I am bound and determined to spare Andrew the same fate by baby-wearing whenever I can and doing plenty of belly time. I also figured it would be a must-have to get anything done around here with a 3 year old to tend to as well.

  One day on Instagram, I stumbled upon a girl using a Sollybaby wrap and I instantly fell in love with how light weight it seemed and how much easier it looked to use compared to the Moby wrap. It even had a little pocket at the end  to tuck itself into and would take up little to no space in the diaper bag! Sold! (Well after I heavily debated for weeks if I wanted to spend the money on one versus trying to make it myself.) Once I had made up my mind to buy it and that little boxed arrived, it sat on my kitchen table and made me so giddy for Andrew to finally get here. I couldn't wait to try it out and I still had weeks left to go in my pregnancy! Aaaah!

  The minute we walked through the door after being discharged from the hospital though I made a beeline for that little box and excitedly put it on and got him snuggled in there. It was heaven and just as awesome as I'd hoped it would be.

   Well now that we are in full blown winter weather and there will be snowmen to build and sledding to do with Eli, I wanted to be able to have an option to go out with Andrew as well. I began googling DIY options for a baby wearing coat and saw some pretty cool options out there, but ultimately I found one listed on Etsy that was what really caught my eye. (It even doubled as a maternity coat!) With a hefty price tag of $158, I couldn't justify buying it for the few times I might actually be outside in this polar vortex. I felt if I had this coat I'd be more likely to go outside with Eli and daddy but it wasn't a given that I would, so I'd hate to spend that kind of money and only start to use it in the spring time, if at all (especially since I wouldn't be using it as a pregnancy coat now that I'd already had my baby.) So I stared and stared at that picture and decided to give it a go at making my own. I must say, this is one of my proudest sewing moments, you know why? Because first off, I drafted my own pattern pieces (there was no tutorial available, obviously) and not only did the pattern pieces work out the first draft, I didn't have to make a single alteration to them once I started! This is unheard of for me! I've made clothes before, but usually its following an established pattern. So for me to draft my own pattern and not have any measurement errors is baffling to me. Before I do a project, I will sit down with my notebook and write it out as I see it in my head, step by step. If I can see it through to the end in my head and then ultimately on paper, then I'll proceed with the construction part. Guys, it went without a hitch! Whaaaaat? 

Here's the inspiration picture. Gorgeous huh?
  Here's what I came up with. 
Collar down, neck exposed.
Collar up, neck warm
   Although a loud floral isn't typically my style in coat design, I had this fleece already in my stash so I wanted to see if it would even work, before I went through the trouble of getting to the fabric store and buying new stuff (because if I had done that, you KNOW it would have never worked out. That's how my luck goes) However, I'm kind of really liking it. Maybe because I associate it with success so it's likeble to me now, ha ha!

    I didn't care for the tie option like in the pic (I originally made it with the tie but it just didn't look good to me) so I just went with short straps and velcro. Also I couldn't figure out the top part as it looks like it zips up through the collar and down the chest piece...? How far does it go down? How would a carrier fit under that? (Obviously it could per the seller's claim but I still couldn't figure it out) so I just did a wrap around collar with buttons that could also be left undone and worn down if the weather is warmer but still requiring a coat.  The front wraps from both sides for 2 layers across baby's back. The under wrap piece has a strap that sticks through a hole on the side and velcros in place. The outer wrap also has a similar strap that also secures with velcro along the side.
The inner front flap secures through a hole on the side

And the outside strap is secured along the side with velcro as well
   So what do you think? Would you wear it? I'm bummed I didn't have the opportunity to try this out while pregnant. But then again, I purposely planned a non-winter baby so I wouldn't have to buy a pregnancy winter coat that I'd only get to wear for a few months. True story.

  Alrighty, time for bed for this momma. Na night.


**Update, I made another coat for a friend and this time added buttons to the straps instead of velcro. I definitely LOVE the solid colored fabric for this coat.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

An update on being a mommy of 2.

   First off, I just want to say how absolutely CUH-raaaazy I am about these two little boys. Sigh. If you told me 5 years ago that I'd be a mother of not one, but two BOYS, I'd laugh in your face. I was going to have a house full of girls didn't you know! I would put them in frilly outfits and do their hair every day in fun styles. I had plans to make ruffled diaper covers, baby shoes, and bonnets to match every little dress in their closets (and I WOULD have too if you know anything about me. Ha!) Fast forward 2 years, and I found myself staring at boy parts on an ultrasound and my chin hit the floor. But I wouldn't have it any other way. 

   Now that I'm on my second boy, I'll be honest, a part of me still wonders what my life would be like to have a little girl as well, but never in a million years would I ever have believed how much I could love little boys. Eli has been a pure joy except his terrible three's moments and so far Andrew is a lot like him and a GREAT baby.

   Mommy confession time. I had a cabbage patch doll as a little girl who was my "real" baby. Gosh I loved that thing. Then one day I had the opportunity to get another cabbage patch doll and in my little girl thinking, if one doll was so awesome, two would be even better! But what I found when I got this second doll is that it didn't mean as much to me as my first and I ended up ignoring that second one. I felt like a horrible "mother". I beat my 10 year old self up about it. Because of this experience, in the back of my mind I've always worried about having more than one kid and loving them equally, especially since Eli already had my heart nearly bursting. I couldn't imagine how I could possibly shove any more love into what I thought was a confined space. But you can! It stretches! Phew, what a relief!

  Next fear of mine: Eli would be insanely jealous of now having to share mommy/daddy/grandma/complete stranger's attention and would start regressing in his behavior. This kid is a people person and thrives on attention. Would he act out? Would he be mean to his baby brother? He's potty trained now, would he start having accidents? How would he be with his favorite people now fawning over a brand new baby? Just fine it turns out! He loves him and loves showing him off! He talks to him all the time. If Andrew cries, he immediately notifies me (even though oftentimes I'm actively in the process of soothing him, ha ha.) "Mommy, Andrew needs milkies. He's hungry." When we're in the car and Andrew starts singing the song of his people, ("waaaaaah!") Eli will respond with "hush little baby, don't say a word..." It all makes my heart soar. I wish you could see how Andrew stares at Eli as he dances like a maniac in front of him and turns to face him when he's talking to him. I don't know what it is about Eli, but even I don't always get Andrew to focus on my face, ha ha. 

First night home, Eli is loving on him

He's always asking me to take their picture together.
   So now that I can definitively say, 6 weeks in, that those 2 fears are a moot point, we have fallen into a nice little routine. Andrew is a great sleeper/napper and eater and Eli is a great helper (when his 3 year old self wants to be, that is.*wink*) While pregnant I wondered how I'd fit in all those nursing sessions with another kid to tend to but again, Eli surprised me by being incredibly patient and waiting until I'm done feeding his brother. He hasn't shown any resentment or anything. It's just understood that mommy is busy with the baby and he will find something else to occupy his time until I can get him what he can't get himself, usually a snack. I also wondered if all the prep work I did while pregnant would even make a difference. For example, I constantly talked to Eli about Andrew and what to expect. I told him he was going to be a big brother and that one day, although not right away, they would have lots of fun playing together. I warned him that he'd be pretty boring the first year and that he'd have no words to use and would only cry to communicate and that we'd have to be patient with him and figure out why he was crying. I explained that he needed to always be gentle with him and that as a big brother he needed to protect him. Now, I'll over hear him explaining to people meeting Andrew for the first time that "he cries because he has no words" and "I'm his big brother, I protect him." So he is getting it, and he is listening. That kid is a little sponge. Every little phrase and term of endearment I say to Andrew, I've heard Eli parrot. It's hilarious! Love that kid.

   One of the main reasons the transition has been so smooth is because of my hands on hubby and the boys' amazing grandparents. Once again, my mom has bent over backwards to help me out whenever I need the help. She offers to babysit and to let me have some mommy time and takes the BEST care of them. My hubby, being considerate of my sanity, arranged in advance to have his mom come stay with us for the past 2 weeks while he'd be traveling and she's been a Godsend as well. She is the baby whisperer and both kiddos adore her. If I didn't know any better, I'd say she has a doctorate in child psychology because she knows exactly how to handle a willful 3 year old (I know you know what I'm talking about.) So lets add preschooler whisperer to her list of talents as well. It's fascinating to watch! She reminds me of Cesar Millan, only with children, ha ha. True story.
I have yet to see her NOT get a baby to sleep, even when you swear you've tried everything!

Love them.
    I'm not going to lie, having my mother in law here has been great and I'm going to be sad Eli will bother me at 6am instead of her she's leaving. I can't thank her enough for her help these past 2 weeks!

   In the meantime, my hubby has made it clear he's set on having just 2 kids so I'm soaking up EVERY cuddle, coo, and gassy grin I can get. I wish I could bottle up the baby smell and have it on hand for when they're teenagers and I want to wring their necks because it'll take me back to this moment in time and remind me just how worth it it all is.

 Night night,


Friday, October 31, 2014

Andrew is ONE month old already!

How did THAT happen?
  Well 4 fast weeks have come and gone and our little guy is a whole month old already. I still feel like I'm going to wake up at any moment and realize this whole mommy thing has all been a crazy awesome dream! I'm not even kidding when I say it took me a full year to actually fully wrap my mind around the fact that 1, Eli was mine, 2, he was mine to keep, and 3, I made that little person. I think when he actually could call me "mommy" is when it all really sunk in. Weird, right?? I'm kind of in that place right now with Andrew too. I look at this perfect little human being, my heart swelling to max capacity, and I can't believe I made him. He's really truly here. One thing is for sure, I. Am. Blessed.

  Before I jump into his stats I'm happy to report that for those of you who followed my horrendous nipple pain issues with Eli, this time around, although by no means pain free, is WAY better! I mean night and day better! I don't dread nursing him and the pain is tolerable without needing prescription strength motrin. Halleluia! But, with that being said, I still wish I had a bullet proof vest or something to prevent even a wayward sneeze from accidentally sending a gust of wind my way. I like to think I have a high pain tolerance (heck I delivered 2 babies!) but this nerve type pain turns me into a whiney baby and it doesn't take much to make me want to cry out. Aside from the nipple pain/sensitivity, does anyone know when the rest of my boobs won't feel like I got donkey kicked repeatedly?? Anyone??? My girls look pretty amazing right now, but what a total waste if even looking at them hurts....

  Anyhoo, lets move onto what's new with Andrew, shall we?

Eli crashing Andrew's photo session. Andrew's like "hey, I thought this was about ME?"

Size: This kiddo has just gained 2 pounds in 2 weeks! If you recall, his birth weight was 8lbs 2oz and he's now up to 10lbs 10oz! So far he's beating Eli for age because he was 9lbs 9oz at one month. He's now filling out his 3 month clothing pretty well and I've since retired the newborn clothes (and no, I don't want to talk about it. **sniffle......snort...sob!**)

Likes: Naps, his big brother (he can't see a whole lot yet but he tends to track his brother moving around him like a maniac), being rocked, having his butt patted, eating, lying on his belly, and going for walks tucked snuggly in his wrap against mommy.

Dislikes: His carseat (I reeeeeally hope he grows to like this because the hysterical cries in the back seat that only subside when the car is moving and start back up at stop lights, is gut wrenching for the mommy all the way up in the front seat), and diaper changes.

Feeding: He is exclusively breastfed and for now I feed on demand being that he's a newborn. It took almost 6 freakin' days for my milk to come in so I made it a point to nurse as often as I could to prevent the jaundice issues we experienced with Eli and to encourage my milk to make an appearance eventually. He also had a tongue tie at birth like his brother so our pediatrician snipped that at our first well visit and he's nursing like a pro now.

Sleeping: He's a newborn! Enough said, ha ha. He eats, poops, and sleeps, in that order. During the day, he can only stand being awake for about an hour max (including feeding time) before he gets fussy and overtired and then he'll take a 2 hour nap. The past few days he's been able to stay awake a little longer, stretching it to an hour and a half or 2 hours in between naps. At nighttime he does his longest stretch first, sleeping for about 4hrs, then he wakes up 3hrs later, then 2hrs later and then 1hr until we're up for the day around 7:30. His morning wake time is still very erratic at this point but I'm hoping he'll start to fall into a predictable pattern soon.

Milestones: Rolls! He's starting to fill out nicely. Also neck and head control. I'm not even kidding but this kid could lift his head and turn it from side to side while laying on his belly from week one! He made it look so easy and I had to constantly remind myself how young he was because it makes him seem so much older! Even in my wrap, he would push off and hold his head up to stare at me! Hilarious! 

Rolls! That's some good eatin'

   So that's it! I'll try to find some more time here in the next few days to update you all on how it's been with 2 kids and how they get along.

   Here's some of our outtakes from our month one photo attempts:

Giving Eli the stink eye for crowding his picture moment, ha ha

"Wait, what am I supposed to do again here?"

Winner winner, chicken dinner!
Until next time...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My birth story!

**Disclaimer** This is MY personal story. I am NOT an OB/GYN, labor & delivery nurse OR Doula. This post is not meant to give medical advice. I'm just a momma with an opinion...and a blog.

He's just a couple hours old here

He has such great hair.
   Well naturally, having done this whole birthing thing before, I can't help but compare the two. So I apologize if jumping back and forth gets annoying. Both my birthing experiences were very similar, yet also very different. As you may remember from my first birth post, I had every intention of laboring at home as much as possible because I didn't want any hospital interventions (IV pitocin, breaking my water, epidural etc.) and my feelings hadn't changed this time around either. In fact I was even more certain of my choice to labor at home as much as possible. I didn't plan to go pain med free just so I could have bragging rights, but simply because I knew I could do it and the added bonus would be a quicker recovery for me and baby. I believe our bodies are designed to carry and deliver babies and the medical profession is complicating all that with unnecessary interventions. (Seriously about to get on my soap box with this topic so I better just move on. If you wonder what I mean, please watch Ricky Lake's documentary "The business of being born" and you'll see exactly what I mean.) And ladies, what's with us intentionally trying to scare other momma-to-be's with the pain of child birth? "You're gonna get an epidural right??" or "omygosh I thought I was gonna die until I got the epidural!" Stop. Just stop. Yes child birth is painful. It's one of the worst pains I've ever gone through but hear me when I say this, its TOLERABLE and it's WORTH IT. Do your research and I have no doubt you'll release that fear too.

  So with Eli's birth, I had just had the privilege of witnessing my best friend's birth 7 months earlier and after being admitted with contractions every 5 minutes, she decided to go home because she was barely dilated and did not want her water broken for her and pitocin started in order to "get things going." I remember thinking I would never have had the guts to get there and leave because I wouldn't want to inconvenience them. It was an eye opening experience for me. Her drive was only 7 minutes to the hospital but mine was 30. I couldn't imagine driving to the hospital with the contractions I was having and choosing to go home because I wasn't "progressing" as fast as they wanted, and do that drive another 2 times. So I waited. With Eli I waited until my water broke at home and thats when the contractions became super intense and I knew it was time to go to the hospital. I thought I'd do the same with this one but this time around, it was very different.

    I woke up at 11:30pm thinking I might have felt a little wetness, wondering if my water had broken. Sure enough I noticed my underwear was slightly damp but I showed no other signs that it had actually truly broken (ex: passing my mucous plug, bleeding or being soaked.) Also at this time I started to feel an achy sensation to both sides of my lower back, that would shoot down to my rectum and then wrap up to my lower belly where it felt like menstrual cramping. Pleasant. NOT! So. Much. Pressure. I was afraid of 2 things with labor; laboring through the night where I'd lose my beloved sleep (Waaah!) and the dreaded "back labor," and here I was starting it off with the two things I was hoping to avoid. This rattled my confidence a little, I'm not gonna lie, but then I just chose to focus on getting through each contraction (which were every 2-5 minutes from the get-go. No training wheels, no ramping up, just "go" time. Thanks uterus.) This is it. It's the real deal. No noticeable braxton hicks for this girl.

   I decided to let my hubby sleep for a bit before I let him in on the big news because I knew I wasn't ready to head to the hospital yet and I figured he had a long road ahead of him if I was going to labor for 16hrs like I did with Eli. I decided to text my mom instead because she's way more helpful when I'm in pain or sick than my hubby is. But just a few hours later at 1:45am I realized the pain was getting intense and that it was almost time to leave so I woke him and Steph. We actually didn't leave until 3:30am and that was only because the contractions were every 2-3minutes and super intense to the point where I thought I had to be close. I was disappointed my water hadn't broken yet because I really didn't want them to insist on doing this for me once I was at the hospital. 

  Once we got there, the nurse checked to see how far dilated I was and it felt like she shoved her whole hand up there which made me think I wasn't even close. I thought his head should have stopped her at some point if I was "close" but it didn't seem to. Sure enough though, she confirmed that I WAS just about there because once again I came in at 9 ½ cm dilated and his head was "right there". Deja vu. I'd heard those exact words over 3 years ago. Looks like I'd be having both my boys at 39 weeks and 1 day. Ha! Consistent, that's me! They called my doc and also decided to call the in-house on call doctor because they didn't think mine would get there in time. Turns out my doc and the in-house doc got there at the same time (within 12 minutes!) They had just gotten me to the bed, strapped the fetal monitor on my belly, applied the BP cuff to my arm, and helped me to lie down on my side when the craziest sensation ripped through my body. My water broke! Holy cow! With Eli it was a slow trickle that made me even wonder if it HAD broken, but with this one, it reminded me of the Coneheads movie where her water breaks and comes out in a torrential downpour and floods the floor! I'm not even kidding. The best way I can describe it is this huge release of backed up pressure like a giant water balloon being shoved through a small hole and finally giving way under the enormous pressure and exploding everywhere! Move out of the way, this baby was coming! My doc had enough time to put on gloves and this was how I welcomed her to the party. Hey doc! (In hindsight, I find it comical that I put on a pad "just in case" for the car ride to the hospital and what a joke that would have been if my water broke with such magnitude in the car. Oh. Em. Gee! We would have needed to buy a new car! Ha ha ha. But I digress...)

My "birth plan" that I asked Steph, Aaron and Jac to help me with

   During my mental prep and research about the best laboring positions and natural childbirth, I had read that even a comatose woman could birth a baby! The body WILL do the work and that technically you didn't even have to push--the contractions are THAT strong. I had also learned that for some reason, the united states was slow to respond to the current evidence that "coached" pushing or "blue pushing" (where mom holds her breath and "bears down" to a count of ten with each contraction, thereby denying herself and her baby much needed oxygen during a crucial time) was BAD for mom and baby and actually NOT recommended. How come with the 3 labors I attended, Jac's, Steph's and my own, we were ALL told to do this?!? Well that does it. I made up my mind that I was NOT pushing. No siree bob. With Eli, the nurse treated me like an epidural patient and told me when I was contracting (thanks, I feel that you know) and instructed me to push while counting to 10. My gut and body said it was wrong. It felt wrong and I had no desire to push, hence the reason she kept telling me I was "doing it wrong". There were only a select few contractions that made me WANT to push, but not all of them did. To me it was a waste of precious energy to push when my body said not to. My research has since indicated that the new evidence says that mom should only push when she feels the urge and not to push with every contraction simply since she's 10 cm dilated. I felt vindicated! Then I felt angry. Never again would I doubt my instincts.

   After my Conehead experience, (skip to 1:33 of the video if you want to know what I mean) I didn't have to do anything. No seriously. My hubby held up my leg, I moaned/groaned (a tight jaw=a tight perineum. Did you know that?? I didn't) and let that baby come on his own. I "pushed" (shhh, no I didn't) 4 times (read:4 contractions did the work FOR me) and he was out. I was admitted to the hospital at 4am, baby in my arms by 4:35am. Only 10 minutes after hitting the delivery room. Halleluia! Each nurse who took care of me during my short hospital stay kept saying "so I heard you barely made it to the hospital on time." Not true. I had no urge to push until I got to the hospital. We had time.

This is my so-relieved-to-be-done face

Meeting each other for the first time

Daddy cutting the cord

I can't even believe he's finally here!

He looks like he has a cone head here but that's because the blanket is covering part of it. He actually had a perfect shaped head!
Proud daddy, got a son that looks like him!
I present to you, Andrew Major Scicluna
  When I mentioned being consistent earlier, Andrew weighed in 1 ounce smaller than his big bro at 8lbs and 2oz. He's an inch smaller at 19 ½ inches but we joke that Eli had a conehead that gave him the extra height, ha ha.

  The best part of a natural labor was that I was up and moving around later that morning. I had zero swelling because I didn't get a ton of IV fluids to combat low blood pressure if I would have chosen an epidural, no spinal headache from said epidural, and no urinary catheter. Yay for that alone! I was ready to take on the demands of being a mommy of TWO!

  So yes, I mentioned how birth was one of the most painful things I've ever gone through but I chose to go without pain meds twice because it was the best thing for ME. I have friends who have had uncomplicated deliveries with an epidural and rave about them and I say more power to you. I get more discouraged when I hear stories of "I got xyz (insert: epidural, pitocin, cervidil, induced etc) because "they recommended it" or "that's just what they told me I had to do." Then my heart breaks when I hear of the adverse effects that follow and eventually leads to that "emergency" c-section. To go through the pushing stage in labor and endure contractions, only to end up with a c-section is my worst nightmare. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

  I'd like to especially thank my hubby, my sister, Jac and my friend Caylan for their incredible support and guidance.  Just knowing that my hubby, sis and Jac were there to advocate for me gave me tremendous relief and my friend Caylan, although not in the delivery room with me, is a doula and mommy of 3 (with her 4th just born a couple days after me!) allowed me to pick her brain as often as I needed and gave me invaluable advice that ultimately gave me the most confidence. Muuuuah to you lovies! I can't thank you all enough.

Welp, that's my story. We're home and getting adjusted to being parents of 2 boys but so far its pretty dang awesome. Stay tuned for updates.


p.s   A super awesome natural birthing link that rocked my world regarding the pushing stage was this one. If you're pregnant, I highly recommend it.



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Preschooler in the hiz-ouse!

Yay for preschool!
   Wow the time has come where I'm sending my first born off to school! I remember the first 3 days of his life vividly as if they occurred yesterday and now he's 3 years old and I have another little one on the way and due in just a few short weeks. **mind=boggled**.   

   Well believe it or not, I didn't shed a tear. I was and am, super excited for him to experience this next chapter in his life. I suppose if he was extremely shy and/or was scared to leave my side I might have handled things differently but if you know anything about Eli, being shy is not something he knows! He didn't hesitate one bit to jump right into friend making and toy exploring. He's nosey (like his momma) and an extrovert (like his daddy) so I feel other kiddos may be more overwhelmed with him than him with them. I realize kids can be down right cruel and that I can't control other parent's brats offspring so as a mother I'm focusing on teaching/guiding my child to be a leader, not a follower. I can't put him in a bubble but I can help build his confidence. I can't stop bullies but I can encourage my kid to stand up for other people. I have to just stay focused on the things I can do and let God handle the rest. Sigh. Easier said than done I know.

Stealing kisses while he's too young to protest.

  I almost didn't sign him up for preschool this fall because I was too lazy to fill out the stack of paperwork almost missed the deadline and luckily got my butt in gear and snagged the last slot for his age group. I heavily debated even doing it because of this new baby on its way but then got to thinking how nice it would be to have a nice 2 hour chunk of time in the mornings, 3 days a week to just have with Andrew or to squeeze in a nap while Eli is entertained and surrounded by friends...AND he'd come home for his OWN 2 hour nap after that for a total of 4hrs of "me time"! I started to get lightheaded from all the giddiness inside me! "Me time" again? I seriously heard angels singing!

  Then the reality sank in and my bubble of bliss deflated. Yes I'd get "me time" again, and yes Eli would be in a super awesome learning environment right down the street, BUT now he'll be among the other kids bringing home every germ known to man and I'd have a vulnerable newborn at home. Ugh. Right decision, or was I being selfish??? I sure hope Breastfeeding and the school's huge emphasize on hand washing will save us. So if you're the praying kind, put us on your list please and thank you.

He'll alway be my baby

     After his first day, I of course grilled him for details and laughed when he started with "well my ladies took my handprint and we made a craft project!" Ha ha ha ha. His "ladies" would be his 2 teachers. He seems to really like them and school in general so far after only 2 days of attendance so I'm excited.

  Anywho, did you notice his snazzy new backpack?? I'm super proud of this creation. I absolutely love his Planes movie backpack that we use for everything but when I got his supplies list required for school I realized it wouldn't fit a binder (come to find out, the binder was only needed the first day and his Planes one would have sufficed but I had already made this new one.) I followed a few different tutorials to get the look I wanted. This was the tutorial that got me started, but I didn't like the strap placement in the middle of the back of the bag so I changed that up and then just used my previous bag making experience to finish it. This bag tutorial was another excellent resource if you're interested in making one for the little person in your life.

Here are some more detailed pics:

I added a simple velcro closure to the front pocket

   Best part is it's fully lined! I loathe raw edges. For the lining you just repeat the same construction steps as the outside of the bag but instead of doing the zipper part again, you just fold over those edges and either sew over the outside zipper stitches or hand sew in place. I chose to hand sew it so that it would look more finished. I lucked out having all the supplies on hand including the little plastic adjustable strap pieces! (shhhh, don't tell my hubby but he had a bag that they were a part of that I swear were on there just for decorative purposes so I seam-ripped those puppies off and stole them. You'd never notice they were gone so don't tell him!) Thrifty thrifty sir.

    I get a stupid grin on my face every time I see him wearing it. I just love that kid. Here's to a successful first year of school bud! Mmmmmuah!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

My 30 week pregnancy check-in


    Is it just me or is this pregnancy going by super fast?? I realize January, (when I conceived) seems like forever ago but sheesh, I'm already 30 weeks! I'm still feeling good but bending over to pick something up is the pits, and I really hate only being able to sleep on my right and left side. I can't wait to flip over to my stomach after the baby gets here. Oh, and I'm definitely waddling full time now, ha ha.

  I just had my third ultrasound this past Friday because I'm rotating practioners so I can meet them all before I deliver (since God knows I'll deliver probably on a weekend, or at the very least during "off" hours and get the doc on call instead of my usual one) and this last doc had a hard time feeling the top of my fundus and claimed I was only measuring 24 wks (this was at my 27 week, almost 28 week appointment) and thought an ultrasound was needed "just to make sure he's growing ok." Apparently this wiggle worm was moving like crazy 24/7 but not growing for the past month. I don't buy it. Honestly, I wasn't worried because he's been super low from the get-go and I could already tell he was head down based on the location of the hiccups he has often and I also get him kicking off my right hip bone regularly so I was sure he was just wrapped more sideways, then up. Plus my usual doc has always measured me right on target. Sigh. Anyways I didn't mind the extra ultrasound since they did one each trimester for Eli since I was "higher risk" being hypothyroid.

  Well as the ultrasound confirmed, he IS head down, and he does kind of wrap around with butt to my left and feet off to my right lower abdomen and incidentally is measuring a week larger then expected at 30 weeks and 3 days. He needs to steady his pace though because I'm shooting for a 7 ½ pounder ;)

She got a big 'ol preggo belly!
I made this yoga band style skirt a year or 2 ago. Love how versatile it is that I can even wear it pregnant
Back to the pregnancy questionnaire I did at 20 weeks. Lets see how much things have changed shall we:

How far along: 30 weeks!
Total weight gain: I'm up 22lbs (Yowza! That was pretty easy to do. Dang appetite)
Maternity clothes: Pickins's are getting slim now since I would wear long non-maternity tee's and blousy shirts up until this point but now I'm "Gus-Gusing" it so I definitely need to stick to only maternity tops. My pants, although maternity, are getting snug so I'm thinking of hitting up goodwill for some more bigger comfy pants soon.
Stretch marks: None yet. I've been using's organic belly balm that I reeeeeally like. It's very greasy and my belly shines like a bowling ball that's just gone done a freshly oiled lane but I've had ZERO itchy skin. Two thumbs up for this stuff.
Sleep: Eh. This has been so so. I get up to pee every 2-4 hrs and as mentioned above, I can only rotate between left and right sides which gets old. I've got my giant "C" shaped pregnancy pillow, a body pillow, and 2 regular pillows to help me get comfy though. Ha ha. If my hubby doesn't hold securely to his pillow though, I've been known to take that as well. Don't judge.
Best moment of this week: Having another ultrasound and getting to see him again and finding out I passed my glucose tolerance test! Woo hoo! What a relief. Last time I had to do the 3hr test because they want you below 140 and I was AT 140. Ugh.
Miss anything: Sandwiches still make the list, belly sleeping, and going to Great America because its summer time. :(
Movement: SO much movement. Lots of hiccups and big belly shifts. He has an uncanny ability of knowing when I have a camera on him to catch him in action because without fail, he stops instantly and waits patiently for me to put the camera down. Little stinker.
Food cravings: Everything and anything. Unlike with Eli where I had a strong aversion to pizza, (and I think red sauce in general)  I've actually really enjoyed pizza this time around, especially home made from scratch.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Labor signs: Not yet. I don't think I'm having any Braxton hicks either but they say the second time around you should feel them earlier because now you know what to look for but apparently I don't.
Belly button in or out: My usually deep "inny" is officially now an "outy." So weird.
Wedding rings on or off: Sadly it's been off for a while now since we're in the middle of summer and I'm toasty warm for once in my life. I've resorted to using a bigger ring that I got on my honeymoon instead.
Happy or moody most of the time: Overall, happy but this past week I've felt pretty irritable at the drop of a hat, mainly because nothing is easy anymore and I swear everything I need is on the floor.
Looking forward to: The arrival of this little one in 9-10 short weeks. EEEEEK!!!
What a hambone he is with that tongue!
Until next time....