Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Real Life

It's 10:15 p.m. and my husband and both boys are sleeping (which yes, begs the question why am I still awake?), but I'm really close to finalizing the photos for my long-dreamed of and nearly finished gallery wall. So while they sleep, I'm enjoying the soft whir of the fan and clicking through snapshots, trying to find the perfect pictures to frame. One of my goals is to keep the pictures real. None of them are professional photos (though some by my Dad come close), and I keep telling myself that's okay. I want the photos on our wall to be just a glimpse of the wonderful, messy and sometimes chaotic life we have.

I came across this photo and nearly cropped the laundry basket out, but then I remembered that life is laundry and little boys and Eric Carle books, and I decided to leave it in, showing life as it really is.

Friday, June 15, 2012


What life looks like as we adjust to having two under 2 (busy to be sure, but so, so much fun)...

 One day old
 Resting on the patio
 Mother's Day 2012


Monday, June 04, 2012

Finally (the birth of Isaac Jeffery)

Apparently blogging letters to your unborn child is an effective way to go into labor. Who knew? Had I known, I would have started writing to this little guy a whole lot sooner.

My doctor was willing to let me go up to 2 weeks past my due date, and although I was very uncomfortable and ready to be done being pregnant, I really wanted Baby to come on his own, as Timmy had. A non-stress test on Thursday and an ultrasound on Friday showed he was fine, just enjoying his stay. That weekend I went for a few walks and ate a bunch of pineapple the beginning of the week, and it really did feel like my body was getting ready for labor.

Thursday morning, I woke up with Chris' alarm around 5:30 (normal for me) and tried in vain to get more rest once he got up. It was about 6:15 when I felt a painful pop! (which I swear was audible) and then...nothing. I was slightly confused, because I was positive my water was broken, yet nothing was happening. I needed to go to the bathroom, and once I did that, fluid did start trickling. By now it was 6:30ish and Chris was about to leave for work. Because contractions hadn't yet started, I told him to go in for a few hours and tie up loose ends, which he reluctantly did. (I knew it'd be less stressful for both of us if he had things taken care of there.)

 It was about 7:30 when contractions started, coming about every 10-15 minutes. Timmy woke up sometime in there and we had breakfast and I started washing some cloth diapers (did NOT want to come home from the hospital to a stinky pile of those). I also let my parents know what was happening, along with the friend who was going to watch Timmy. I tried to straighten up the house, but contractions were picking up and I still felt tired, so Timmy and I sat on the couch reading stories. After awhile, he laid down and fell asleep. This from the boy who only sleeps in his crib or the car. It ended up being a wonderful, wonderful thing because by this time I was having to focus through each contraction and had a hard time devoting the necessary energy to Timmy. Because he's mobile in his sleep, I wound up moving him to his crib, which woke him up, but since he was happy, I let him play with his stuffed animal in there. An active toddler and a laboring mama didn't seem like a good combination to me.

 By 9:30, I needed Chris. The contractions were definitely painful and I wanted my husband. Thankfully, he was on his way home when I called him. Once he was home, we had our friend Kate come get Timmy so we could focus on labor and go to the hospital whenever we were ready. I'd planned to go walking with Kate and another friend, Abbi, that morning. Unfortunately, I forgot to text Abbi that I was in labor, so she came to our house as planned, surprised to see Chris home and me on the couch in labor.

 Around 11, we decided to head to the hospital. I think contractions were 6-7 minutes apart at that point? Sleep deprivation kicking in, sorry. The hospital is an hour away, so we figured it best to be near the hospital, especially given that I was only in active labor with Timmy for 10 hours.

We arrived at the hospital and got a close parking spot (miracle!) but I quickly realized I was in no shape to walk to the doors and go up to the second floor. Chris drove to the drop off spot, left the van and we went inside. Unlike with Timmy, I opted for the wheelchair ride to the maternity ward, where we were quickly given a room and I got changed into a gown, etc. They tried to give me a hep lock, but weren't able to find a vein. Since I didn't have Group B strep this time (thank you, Jesus!) the on call doctor said I was fine without one. (My doctor was out of town that day.)

The charge nurse, Renee, was incredibly kind and stayed with me while Chris went to park the car. She also checked me and said I was 7 cm dilated--woohoo! Unfortunately, no one had any idea just how many hours those last three centimeters would take.

My contractions kept coming every 5 minutes or so. They were painful, but between Chris and my Bible verses, I was hanging in there. In our birth plan, we'd asked to mostly be left alone and the nurses were quite respectful of that.

Around 5:30, the nurse checked me and I was at 7 1/2. So discouraging. She was a little concerned that he might be sunny side up, so she suggested I labor on the edge of the bed. Just like in my labor with Timmy, moving was excruciating and miserable, but once I had done it, I felt SO much better. I also spent about an hour in the shower, which was AMAZING.

Since it's been a month, some of the details are fuzzy, but I do know that progress took forever. With Timmy, I ended up on Pitocin for a few hours, but that was never even suggested at this hospital. At about 6:30, the on call doctor wanted to put me on an antibiotic since my water had been broken for 12 hours. They were able to get an IV going, which ended up being a really good thing. Although I had been eating Jello and drinking water, I was still dehydrated, and the nurse thought that some fluids might help me finish dilating. (At this point I was about a 7.5.) She also wanted me to try laying on my side for three contractions. I remembered trying to labor on my side with Timmy and not being able to do it because the pain was so bad, but with a concrete number like 3 in my head, I thought I could, and I did.

After that I also labored on the side of the bed for awhile. By now, I was definitely in transition and feeling absolutely miserable. I was convinced I'd never finish dilating. At the end of each contraction, I was having a slight (though not overwhelming) urge to push, so I got back in bed and the nurse checked me. She then uttered some of the most beautiful words I've ever heard: "you're complete." I'd gone from 8 to 10 in less than an hour!

Right after that, I felt like I absolutely without question needed to push. Our nurse (who, by the way, was awesome and chose us specifically because we were doing a natural/drug-free birth) wanted to try a few pushes to see where I was. I pushed once and she could see Isaac's head! Chris told me this and I was so thrilled--I'd been praying that pushing would be mercifully short. The doctor was standing outside the room, so someone got his attention, he (literally) ran to put gloves on and two or three pushes later, Isaac was on my chest, healthy and with a head full of dark hair. He started nursing when he was less than 30 minutes old (a HUGE answer to prayer as Timmy struggled to nurse for a long time), and we called our families to tell them the good news, after we figured out his name, that is.

About 15 minutes after he was born, I said, "I think he's an Isaac!," and as Chris told me later, "I figured after what you'd been through, you deserved to pick his name." Had he been born after midnight, he would have been Benjamin Mark, named after my brother whose birthday is the 27th, but since he wanted his own birthday, we went with Isaac, which Chris had suggested months ago and I'd fallen in love with.

So, that's the story. Short on specific details because it's somehow been an entire month since this all happened, and my mommy brain, though functioning, is certainly doing so at a diminished capacity these days. Timmy loves his baby brother and constantly points to him, saying "baby!" and giving hugs. God is good, my friends, and these two beautiful boys are one more proof of that.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

World, Meet Isaac

So this is very delayed, (typed one handed on my touchpad while holding a sleeping baby) but Isaac Jeffery is finally here! After 14 hours of hard labor, he was born on April 26 at 9:55 pm, weighing 8lb 4 oz and measuring 20 inches exactly. So far he's shown himself to be a champion eater, gaining a pound in less than a week. After Timmy who struggled to nurse and gain weight, it's a blessing to have a baby who likes to eat.

I don't have any pictures on my touchpad, but he has a full head of dark hair, an adorable double chin, his brother's cowlick and we are in love with him.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dear Baby (a letter to my son)

Dear Baby Boy,
In case you didn't see my Facebook status, you have a name and we have a van now. Our hospital bags have been packed so long I've nearly forgotten what's in them. Timmy has his Big Brother shirt and waves at my stomach when we ask him "where's baby brother?"

It was your great aunt's birthday today and while I know she would have loved to share it with you, maybe you're wanting a day of your own (which is fine) but if that's the case, please remember that it's your uncle's birthday on Friday, and we'd really like to meet you before then.

In the last month, I've organized the linen closet, pantry and several other places around the house. If you want me to rearrange the kitchen cabinets before your arrival, please let me know.

You've officially beaten your older brother for longest stay inside of Mom. There are scads of people waiting to meet you who eagerly answer every phone call with "baby yet??" So really, little man, don't you think it's time to come out and meet the world?


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm

Timmy's napping and I'm eating clearance Easter candy blogging while I wait for a friend to come cut my hair. These last moments with just Timmy and me seem so quiet and precious knowing that once Baby Brother arrives, life will be anything but calm. We have our routines, both for the morning and each day of the week. While I can't wait to hold this little baby in my arms, I also remember that the early newborn days are usually tearful (for mom and baby), and sleepless, but then I see pictures of Timmy snuggling us, sleeping in our arms or as a happy 4 month old baby and I get even more excited. I can't wait for my boys to play together, and really, who can resist these baby smiles?
Timmy at 2ish months

I think that once Timmy gets used to this little boy who turns his world upside down, he'll love having a brother. He's a very social little guy, so a built in playmate will (hopefully) seem like heaven to him. And just because he's cute, here's a picture of my favorite 14 month old on Easter Sunday. (Blurry, but at least it's of the front of him and not the back of his head!)

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The MoneySavingMom's Budget

Audio books are perfect for me right now. If I read in the evenings, I have a tendency to fall asleep, and daytime doesn't allow for much, if any, sitting still to read. Audio books, however, can be enjoyed while folding laundry, loading the dishwasher or any number of things that fill my days. So even though I have a hard copy of Crystal's book, I jumped at the chance to review the audio book, simply because I knew I'd actually be able to hear the whole thing (even if it did take nearly a week).

I know a lot of people would probably write the book off as advice they've heard before, or only something that applies to them if they want to use coupons, but there's much to be gleaned by everyone (mom or not). Yes, Crystal does say you should use coupons (and gives very practical tips on how to do so) but it's so much more than that. Because we live an hour away from most grocery stores, I don't think couponing is super practical for me right now, especially since I have Timmy with me while shopping and we have no Sunday paper in our area.

However, we have drugstores in our town, so what's to stop me from playing the drugstore game and lowering our grocery budget that way? I'm inspired to try it in the evenings when Chris can stay with Timmy and I can fully devote my attention to taking advantage of some great deals.

One of the things I appreciate most about Crystal's book (and blog) is how down to earth and balanced her approach is. As she says over and over again, "if you can't afford something, it's not a good deal." Simple as that. She doesn't advocate blowing your budge on something just because it's a good deal, which is something I need to keep telling myself.

Oh, and if you're looking for motivation to declutter/organize, just listen to her chapter on clutter while staring at your very messy pantry. Quite inspiring!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Walking Disaster

That's what I informed my mother I am--or at least have become in the last 24 hours. Since last night, I've managed to squirt dishsoap in my eye (which is about as fun as it sounds, possibly less) and strain my lower stomach muscles (you know, the ones that hold up the baby) by doing the oh-so-dangerous task of sitting on the couch.

This afternoon, I got a huge chip in my fingernail because I ran my hand into the corner of the wall. Seriously...who does this??

I'm hoping that all this klutziness isn't a sign of impending labor. But it's okay--I packed the hospital bag today.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Where I've Been

Two weeks ago now, we moved! This move has definitely been the most challenging (ripping up linoleum anyone?), but also the most exciting (we own!). The house is starting to feel more like home each day, and I got almost giddy the other night when I asked Chris to hang pictures in Timmy's room and he was able to pound nails in the wall.

Loving some Pinterest inspiration

Speaking of Timmy, he loves our new place. Freedom to crawl everywhere (no stairs) and a yard! He's getting much better at standing on his own, and playing independently, too.

A little morning reading

I know I said Baby2 had a name, but we're not quite so sure now. It depends on the day if we've settled on one or not. I'm currently voting that we wait until he's born and see if he looks like a ____ or ____.

Back to searching Pinterest menu planning!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back (And Items of Note)

 How many times can a blogger declare she's back from an unintended break before it comes true? Christmas was a wonderful time of family and friends. We came back tired but ready to embark on our next adventure--home ownership!

We got the keys last Thursday and so far have cleaned, removed/prepped all the doors, drawers and cabinets for painting, put the first coat on the doors and ripped up the dining room carpet. And yes, I get tired just looking at the list of what we've done. Hopefully the painting will be done by the weekend. That, along with installing laminate flooring and putting up curtains are on our pre-move in list. So, so excited to live in a house that we own. One that has space for entertaining, a larger garage, no stairs and a real yard. Meanwhile, any spare evenings are spent at the new house and I've come to accept that easy meals and two slightly chaotic residences are just life right now.

A week from Thursday my little boy will be one year old. Yikes. He's not walking, but loves to stand and does pretty well on his own. Cheerios are his new favorite food. Other favorites are his finger puppet books, blocks and teddy bear or fuzzy lamb, depending on which stuffed animal is clean. ;)

Baby2 (who has a name, but we're keeping it a secret) is doing well. Somehow the third trimester sneaked up on us like crazy; yesterday was 27 weeks!