Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

My favorite version of my favorite Christmas song.
By the Punch Brothers

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Miscellany Monday

- If you've noticed on Pinterest, I've been posting a million music education things (I'm really sorry, by the way, if you have no interest in that.  Feel free to unfollow that board to make your life less stressful and annoying).  This is mostly because I got a new job! I'm now the music teacher at a small private school in town.  Teaching K-8 including band and choir! I'm incredibly excited and nervous.  There is so much freedom with this position because it's a private school and there are only about 15 kids in each grade.  And, did I mention that it's part-time?  This means that I get to STILL be with Ellie half of the week and still work at a job that I have been wanting since I graduated.  I think this is what one might call a win-win situation.  We'll see how it goes when I start mid-January!

- I recently downloaded an awesome app for my OCD list-making self.  It's called Priority Matrix and it's quite exciting.  I can have many different to-do lists and I can even prioritize each to-do on each list.  Thank you!

- Have you ever heard Delilah on the radio? I've always despised her shows. Ever since middle school. I don't know if it's her voice, her cheesy theme, or just her cheesy show, but it really bugs me. Am I the only one?

- I will leave you with this. It makes me laugh over and over and over.
The 40 Most Awkward Cats Of 2013

Merry Christmas Eve eve!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Parenthood: Opinions

*This wasn't originally supposed to be an incredibly long post, but it is.  An incredibly long rant.  You've been warned.*

One thing about parenting that can be incredibly frustrating, confusing, and/or disheartening is all of the opinions the entire world has about parenting.

Before having Ellie I had thought I had all of my parenting desires and plans laid out.  I thought that everything I wanted to do I knew and somehow it would all just fall into place.  Well, you don't really get to decide exactly when and how everything falls into place.  Nor do you get to decide exactly what it is you want right away.  Okay, maybe you do get a few things exactly the way you want them, but still...

So what do you do when you have questions about parenting or baby gas relief or even just packing a diaper bag?  Well, you research.  And yes, I did research what to pack in a diaper bag.  Don't lie, you did (or will do) it too.  And the place to research is: the internet.

The internet.

It's amazing.  It can give you the best of the best sites to find information on everything you may need to know.  It can give you advice on books to read, techniques to try, the best products to buy, and so much more. 

But, it can also tell you the exact opposite.

I've learned that you almost HAVE to take everything you read, and even hear, with a grain of salt. 

I'm a part of a mom group on Facebook that is meant to be a place for other moms to ask questions and get support on many, many parenting things.  It's been very nice to hear of other moms going through exactly what I'm going through.  It's also quite comforting, and I'm going to be brutally honest here because we are all this way, to know that some moms are going through the same things you are, but much worse.  It makes you take a different look on it all and realize that you really don't have it that bad. 

Recently I've been doing a lot of reading and research on sleeping. 
It's one of the most discussed issues of moms. 

Things like: "Why won't my baby sleep through the night?" "How do I get my baby to not nurse to sleep?" "Should I let my baby cry it out?" "How do you get your baby on a schedule?"

These questions litter baby forums.  It's terrible too because there are so many parents with all different experiences and opinions on what you should do because it's what they did.

You can decide you want your baby to decide his/her own schedule by following their cues, you can start a strict eat/sleep schedule for your baby so you can plan your life/outings around your baby, or you can do a combination of both.  There are books, articles, forum posts, and more books on each of these.

Babywise, Happiest Baby on the Block, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child, The Baby Sleep Book, and so much more.  It's overwhelming!  Many people claim that each one worked wonders for them and their little ones.  But how do you even start?

I keep fighting the urge to do any of these, or finish reading any of them, and just let Ellie make her own schedule.

I would love for her to have a set schedule, but I don't want to set a strict schedule because it entails working incredibly hard and listening to her cry and cry and cry.  That's not what I want to do.

I would love for her to just set her own schedule, but I know that right now, it tends to jump back and forth between a really nice and easy day to a difficult no-nap and very sleepy day. 

I would love for her to be like other "perfect" babies who sleep through the night at 2 1/2 months or are able to take a bottle no problem, but I want her to be her own self.  I want her to be my own child who does her own things her own way.  Although this no bottle thing is going to drive me crazy.

It's frustrating.  I agree with different aspects of different books/theories and yet I don't want to follow one specific idea because it tends to be in the extreme.  

We don't co-sleep because our bed just isn't big enough, Nick is a really sound sleeper, and I'm just not entirely comfortable with that all the time.  I'd rather just have the occasional nap together on the bed.
I also don't let her cry for more than a few minutes because I don't like listening to her scream when I know I can easily soothe her back to sleep.  Plus, many people state that you can't spoil a baby and they won't get attached to the idea of screaming for you to calm down them down. But, many people will claim the exact opposite of those statements.

Do you see where it gets frustrating, confusing, and annoying?

No babies are the same, so why are we saying that they are?  Why are we trying to get babies to be on the same schedule? 

I don't know and I'm trying not to get carried away with everyone's opinions.

For now, all I need to know is that my daughter is happy, well-fed, and alive.  Everything else will just fall into place over time, right?  I'll just keep telling myself that.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Everything comes in threes

Have you ever heard of that saying?  Everything comes in threes? I've heard it quite a few times lately.  Sometimes it seems like everything does happen in threes, but really?  Is that a thing?

Well, whether it does or makes for a great blog post!

3 things that broke last week (the inspiration for this post):
- Nick's saxophone the day before a gig.
- Nick's mandolin (a lot easier to fix than the saxophone)
- Our computer.  It just won't start.  Luckily we both have laptops from our college days that STILL work.

3 of my recent favorite movies:
- Robot and Frank.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch it or not, but I saw that it got good reviews on rotten tomatoes (our go-to for movie ratings) so I gave it a shot.  It's pretty fun.  You should check it out on Netflix.

- Europa Report.  A crazy sci-fi film made to look like a documentary about Jupiter's largest moon.  It's pretty crazy and incredibly captivating.

- Lord of the Rings.  Okay okay, it's not recent, but I'm currently watching it and I just had to say it.

3 parenting things you don't think will be difficult (but can be a real pain in the butt):
- Buttons.   Terrible, terrible things.  Especially at night and in the dark.

- Feeding a very happy baby.  She becomes too talkative and smiley to eat.  It's annoyingly cute.

- Babysitters.  It's a battle.  Taking babysitters when they are available, but not overdoing it.  I'm so worried that we're going to take advantage of family members that offer to babysit.  It's also a battle because she has a hard time going to sleep on her own without being nursed to sleep.  We're working on it..

3 things I can't get enough of:
- Baby cuddles.  She squirms too much most of the time to cuddle with me.
- Hanging out with Nick.  He works way too much and has way too many extra activities.
- Great Christmas movies.  The Holiday, White Christmas, Christmas Story... need I continue?

3 things that have taken over my/our minds:
- Cob/straw bale houses.  My grandma had a book about cob housing that she picked up from the library just for fun, and now Nick and I have a whole new outlook on our future.  We are hoping to one day build our own house.  Nick is more adamant about it than I am.  I mean, what man doesn't want to build his own house for his family?  It will also save us a lot of money and we'll get to be eco-friendly.  I'll explain it more someday.

- Nap time.  Ellie refuses to take long naps in her crib.  Nighttime is wonderful because she will sleep in her crib perfectly.  Daytime, however, is a battle because she'll only sleep for small chunks of time and then wake up tired.  UNLESS, she sleeps in her swing.  Then she can sleep for a couple of hours and wake up completely refreshed and happy.

- Christmas.  Of course this is because it is only a week away and I haven't bought half of the gifts I was planning on.  That's the chore for tomorrow (goodie!).  I also JUST sent out our Christmas cards today.  A little late, but oh well.  Anybody want to swap cards??

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Easy Canvas Prints

Note: I was given a free product for this post in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own

Nick and I share mostly the same views about what goes on our walls.  I say mostly because he really doesn't like pictures of us on the wall.  While I enjoy a cute couples picture or two or four up there, he thinks it's just silly to look at ourselves all the time.  So, we compromise and I get one or two. (as long as he thinks they're appropriate).

We both, however, agree that anything else that goes up should be something that was made by someone we know (like a canvas print from a good friend).  If not someone we know, then it has to at least be handmade and have a meaning behind it (like a painting we won at an art auction).

So, when Easy Canvas Prints asked if I wanted to do a review of their products I quickly jumped at the opportunity because who doesn't love a beautiful canvas print? Plus, we've been looking for reasons to get more photographs up on our walls and Nick's friend and co-worker, Alex, has some pretty amazing photography skills that we have been admiring.

Their website is incredibly easy to use AND they offer tons of options for how you may want your picture wrapped, mounted, etc. on the canvas itself.  I honestly had no idea there were that many options to choose from.

I ordered my canvas and had it at my door (during the holiday season) within a week and a half.  Not too bad for the holidays and being a print.

I am incredibly pleased with how easy it was to get the canvas and with how beautiful it turned out!

Photograph done by Alex Pollitt
Canvas prints do tend to be a little pricey, like most good things, but they usually have decent deals and they're even doing a great one right now!

Easy Canvas Prints has decided to give you, my reader(s), a coupon code good for half off of all canvas prints PLUS free shipping!  Use the code: 50freeship at checkout Just in time to get all of your cute Christmas card pictures done, right?  Right. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Miscellany Monday

- We took Ellie up snowshoeing for the first time yesterday.  Well, we had the intention of taking her out snowshoeing.  We remembered everything (even double-checked), including the snowshoes, but somehow forgot the baby carrier.  So that meant we had to carry her the whole time.  A lot more work than it seems.

There actually wasn't much snow in the area where we were going either, so we just ended up hiking around to see how she would do out in the cold.

She did surprisingly well (even with my motherly worries bugging Nick the whole time) and stayed really warm in her warm puffy.

- I'm still working on our Christmas card.  A little late, don't ya think?  *Sigh* We'll get there.

- I love Christmas music.  Especially when it's simple and not overly embellished (like a lot of these modern pop ones).  My all-time favorite Christmas albums are done by: Sufjan Stevens, Ella Fitzgerald, Vince Guaraldi Trio (the Charlie Brown Christmas), Harry Connick Jr., Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby (of course). 

- Nick and I discussed our 5-year plan yesterday.  If everything goes really well (right...) then we will be debt-free and may be on our way to owning a piece of land and designing a house.  Note: not just any house, but a cob house.  An eco-friendly house.  The idea just seems even better the more we discuss it and research it.

- This Blues Brothers lego re-creation is amazing.  People have a lot of patience and a lot of free time.  But that's okay with me if it entertains me.

- I don't really have anything else today.  My brain is fried and I'm hungry.  Ask me again next week.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Live blogging: Tuesday

*Yes, I realize Tuesday was yesterday, but I wrote most of this from my phone and it desperately needed to get edited afterwards.  Just bear with me*

I saw this done by Angi and I thought it was a pretty fun idea, especially since I hang out around the house most of the day anyways.  Easy right?  We'll see...

5:41 am: Feeding time. Also, changing diapers in the dark makes you feel like a champion. Who needs night vision goggles?

6:11 am: I had to put her in the swing to sleep. I hate doing that. I want her to just sleep in the crib so we don't have potential issues later. But, I really want to go back to sleep and right now she has gas issues so putting her in the crib means she's going to be fussy and will wake herself up.. I'm selfish and tired. Don't judge me.

6:13 am: Nick's alarm is annoying. It always bugs me because it seems so loud and it might just wake up Ellie. I'll kill him if it ever does.  Love you!

9:53 am: Well, that makes this about 7 hours of sleep tonight. Not too terrible, but I'm going to need a serious nap if I want to survive the rest of the day without being incredibly lazy.

10:10 am: This is a reoccurring problem we have. She doesn't want to eat and just wants to talk. It's too cute to be annoying.

10:30 am: Diapers in the washing machine (my favorite time of the week...) and boiled eggs and toast for breakfast. Yes, I realize it's late but this is life when dealing with a wonky schedule.  Is wonky the right word?

11:25 am: She is super tired and getting fussy. I have to feed her while bouncing on the yoga ball. I'll let you just picture how that might look. Why does the yoga ball soothe her so?  Probably because I bounced non-stop the last 3 weeks of pregnancy.  You've been warned.  I think once she calms down I'll put her in the swing and if she doesn't fall asleep I'll vacuum.

11:33 am: Well, she fell asleep but woke up when I put her down. Figures. Time to vacuum. 

11:45 am: I did it, but she just stared at me the whole time. I guess I'll go finish washing diapers and see what happens. She just needs to sleep!

12:02 pm: Hung up diapers outside! It's pretty windy, super cold, but very sunny. I just want them to get sun-bleached again.  Everything is better with a little sun.  I can always throw them in the dryer if they get frozen.

12:24 pm: She is getting pretty darn upset. I think it's nap time for both of us. Time to feed her while lying on the bed! Have I mentioned that I'm still in my PJ's (or is it PJs)?

12:44 pm: Still not sleeping...

12:56 pm: *seven minutes earlier* Ellie: I'm asleep mom! Go take your nap now. *fast forward to now* hah! Just kidding. I'm going to escape my swaddle now. Stinker.

1:16 pm: This is ridiculous. I need the swing.

2:09 pm: Well, a 30 minute nap it is.  I'm still tired, but now I'm incredibly hungry.  Time for some lunch and green tea.  Green tea will save me from sleepiness.  By the way, I got dressed!  Go mom!

3:06 pm: Diaper rashes suck. She's had one for way too long. It's not incredibly nasty, but it's just red. I'm going to google ideas.

3:08 pm: Maybe it's the wipes! Someone else had a problem with wipes being the main cause of it all. That would make sense since we've tried different diapers (switching from cloth to disposable for a few days) and it didn't do much.  Thanks Google!

3:13 pm: An hour later and she's tired and hungry again. I'm thinking of trying a new swaddle technique I saw on Pinterest. Maybe this will help her sleep harder, better  and longer.  At least I ate some food and finished my laundry!

3:30 pm: Success!

4:03 pm: Just kidding. We'll try again.

4:15 pm: No success. Going to go work on a puzzle with my 10 year old cousin downstairs.  Ellie can just hang out and be cute.
5:40 pm: Playing quizup against Nick.  Destroying him at this General Knowledge category. This is how we converse when we're trying to be quiet and get her to sleep. An extremely addicting app.

8:46 pm: After only a 30 minute nap since her last one, its no wonder why she's so incredibly crabby and refusing to sleep. Nick and I had to switch off bouncing on the yoga ball just to get her to quiet down. I finally got her to eat a little (hence the reason for this update) and hopefully she'll stay asleep. I'm hoping it's not a long night, but it easily could be with an overly tired little girl.

Well, that's just a glimpse of a normal sleepless day.  Filled with diapers, fighting sleep (and sleepiness), pajamas, and a cute baby.  Maybe we'll try this again on a better day.  Or at least when my days get a little more interesting.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Miscellany Monday: On-time edition

- I have an informal interview this week for a potential part-time music teacher gig.  Keep your fingers crossed!

- I have yet to understand why Black Friday is such a huge disatrous deal.  People are hurting each other to get something that they really don't need.  AND most of the time you can get the same deal online or some other time of the year (it's just not as heavily advertised).  I do enjoy finding great deals on cheap movies and things, but it's not worth the insane lines and brutal people.

- Ellie has her check-up this week.  I'm pretty excited to see how she's grown!  Her last check-up was when she was 1 month.  We were supposed to do a 2 month one, but it was inconveniently cancelled because of annoying insurance things that I don't want to get into.  Anyways, I haven't heard how much she weighs or how long she is since then (besides our at-home measurements which probably aren't that accurate).

- Toast with honey and sea salt is really the best.  Try it.

- All I want for Christmas is a ton of gift cards/money so I can spend it all on shopping.  I am enjoying having my post-pregnancy body back way too much.

- My mosaic is finally coming along!  All I have left is to add some blue tiles for the sky and some tan ones for a little more contrast and hill-like background, and add the grout on top.  Mosaic work has become one of my new favorite hobbies that I really enjoy, but I should probably work on smaller projects after this.  This one is just incredibly big and time consuming, especially with a baby.  It's around 36" x 20", just FYI.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Miscellany Monday: Late night edition

- Ellie's baptism was this weekend!  She did surprisingly well for being extremely tired the whole time and being awoken suddenly with warm water in the baptismal font.  And her godmother (Nick's sister Emilia) was a baby professional.

- As you can see from above, my little point-and-shoot camera is dying.  I need a new one.  Can I buy myself a Christmas present early?

- Speaking of Christmas presents, Nick got me mine early and I'm SO excited about it.  A Patagonia puffy!!  (See? TWO exclamation points excited)  It's so incredibly warm and cozy.  I can now survive outside in the cold and not feel a thing.  Why did it take me so long to get a coat this nice?

- Christmas Unicorn by Sufjan has been stuck in my head for the past 5 days.  Nick really likes it (so does Ellie) and we've listened to it many many many times.  I'm warning you, it will probably get stuck in your head too.

- Sharknado.  A movie about sharks being swept up in a hurricane/tornado and wreaking havoc on California.  It exists on Netflix.  Curiosity got the best of us, and my boss and I decided to watch a little bit of it on our break from classes.  Oh. My. Gosh.  It's ridiculous.  The worst acting, the worst script, and the worst special effects I've ever seen.  It was hilarious.  And I couldn't stop watching for about 20 minutes.  Then I had to because it was just terrible.

- Ellie is now 11 weeks.  Once again, too fast.  It's all happening too fast.

- Christmas gifts are much more difficult when you have a child.  Seriously.  It takes MORE planning than normal and somehow, I did not plan enough ahead of time. Especially if you want to do homemade gifts and have a difficult time finding the right gift for your husband.  The man wants too many specific expensive things!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Miscellany Monday

As a way to build myself up to blogging more regularly, I'm taking an idea from Kristin and am going to start hopefully be doing a weekly random post.  Let it begin... Hey, it's still Monday!

- Date nights now consist of going out to eat somewhere and then running as many errands as I can convince Nick to do. No one tells you how stressful and difficult shopping can be when your baby won't sit quietly in the car seat while in the cart. Nope. She must be rocked or swung in order to not hate the car seat. Therefore, carrying her AND shopping at the same time is a two person job that can only last about 1 or 2 stores. I miss grocery shopping.

- I now spend way too much time cooing and playing with my daughter. Okay, maybe not too much time, but a lot of time. I try and make lists of things I want to accomplish, but my day just gets sucked away with playing when she's in a good mood and feeding/attempting to get her to fall asleep when she's not.

Family selfie in the bathroom! Oh yes.

- It's incredibly difficult to blog about things that don't relate to my baby.  This is mainly because I only work super part-time (3 hours a week part-time) and my days revolve around this little girl.

- Speaking of work, it's been fun getting back into the swing of teaching.  I'm not really teaching, just assisting the band director at a private school here, but this has already led to a maternity leave substitute job in music and a possible addition to my part-time job next school year.  SCORE!

- Part-time work has spoiled me.  I don't want to work full-time again.  I really enjoy being able to hang out with Ellie most of the week and spending time with Nick when he has off.  It really is an amazing thing.  Now, if I can only keep this up so I only work part-time until my kids start high school.  Homeschooling is my goal.

- I came up with an awesome blog name, but Nick thinks it's ridiculous.  Listen to this: Three Scoops of Granola.  It's incredible, right?  I thought so, too.  But my husband finds it too silly.  I guess we'll just stick with Just Sayin' for now. I'll find a use for that name someday. Maybe I should trademark it so you don't steal it!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Rainy Thursday

You know what the books don't really talk about?  Growth spurts.  They mention them here and there and let you know when they may occur, but they don't talk about what may occur during said growth spurts.  This includes a very hungry baby, which may lead to less sleep.  SURPRISE!

I honestly don't really know if she's having a growth spurt, but it's nice to put a label on these kinds of moments.  Like when she decides to get upset 5 seconds after being in a really good mood.  Sometimes it's just nice to say "oh, she's hungry" or "she's probably just tired".  It just sounds better than saying "I'm going to try different things and see which one it is that she needs", especially when she just ate and you are pretty sure it isn't because of that (even though it is).

Speaking of eating, breastfeeding is quite fun. I love bonding with her that way. You get to cuddle, clean out all the lint gathered in her tiny long fingers, and just stare at her while thinking about how amazing God is for allowing us to create this beautiful baby. Plus, it's kind of empowering to know that you are the one who can always stop her from crying  with a simple breast. Go women!

It is nice to have my full stomach back, too. Even though I have to eat more now and sometimes at a faster rate because she won't sleep.
On that note, you should try this recipe. It's sweet potato kale pasta and it tastes like macaroni and cheese. It's amazing and I foresee myself using this to trick my kids later in life. Anything to help, right?

Now if I could only trick her into sleeping more. Sometimes that would be nice because right now, as I write this, it is 5:00 (she went to bed at 11 and woke up once already) and she is wide awake. Someone should tell her that it's bedtime not let's-be-cute-and-smiley time. She makes it so hard to be upset sometimes. That's probably a good thing...

Oh babies.

Obligatory baby picture

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


1.  Settlers of Catan never gets old.  Even when you play it once a week (sometimes twice).

2.  I birthed a girl.  This means that I may have to one day be with her when she births her first child.

3.  My posts are in lists these days.  It's just more fun.

4.  While marrying a musician is quite fun (especially for Ellie who gets to listen to him), it can really be a drag when he is busy during the day for work and at night for music stuff.  Even more so right now because he is recording an album.  We miss him.

5.  When you are extremely tired and frustrated because your child won't sleep, but she decides it is time to be very happy and smiley, it is very hard to be upset anymore.

6.  My pride gets in the way of help sometimes.  I don't want to wake up Nick to help because he needs his sleep, but sometimes I just need to elbow him to change the diaper at 3 a.m. for my sanity's sake.

7.  Nick and I don't really celebrate Halloween and we didn't plan on doing too much with our kids, but when there is an adorable costume at the second-hand store, it's kind of hard to pass up.  I know it's terrible, but it's so much fun to dress up babies!  Just wait until we show you the elephant costume her great-grandma got her.  That will come once she can actually fit into it.

8.  I am incredibly picky when it comes to blog designs.  I have been playing with different ideas for way too long.  I need to just pick one and go with it.  Or change my layout every month like Angi did...hah!

9.  Living in a small space (think small studio) means that clutter builds up really fast. This drives me crazy faster than normal. I try really hard to ignore it, but sometimes sleep deprivation and my need to organize get in the way and I just have to get frustrated. It's a terrible never ending battle.

10.  Since we've become parents, we now cheer for poop and gas and work on getting our baby to pass gas and poop. We sit with her for 10+ minutes trying to get one or two little farts out and it's wonderful.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Things they don't tell you: Baby edition

Want to know what they don't tell you in all those baby books?  Well, I've made a little list to inform you on a few things.

1.  Breast milk, when left somewhere for too long (i.e. a shirt, bra pad, blanket, etc), will stink.  Sour breast milk does not smell good.

2.  You get used to the smell of sour breast milk.  This can be uncomfortable for you if you are being social and don't smell it on you (until you're in said social situation) from when your baby unlatched and it sprayed everywhere.

3.  Baby acne is completely normal and sucks.  Ellie has it really bad right now and it makes her look like a little teenager.  I can't do anything about it, except wait, and it sucks.

4.  Sleeping next to your baby is awesome and super convenient, but she will make so many sounds it will drive you crazy.  It's even worse when you're first learning her sounds and wake up each time she sighs or moves around.  Don't worry.  You do get used to it and become aware of when she is really awake and when it's just her trying to pass gas in her sleep.

5. Taking a really good picture of your squirmy infant is almost impossible.  This must be why people do photos of them sleeping.

Case and point.  A lot of blurry movement going on and she hardly ever looks right at you.

6. Sometimes your baby will be weird and it will take loud noises and/or a LOT of movement to calm them down.  For instance, Ellie really likes both of those things.  The vacuum will put her to sleep.  I even discovered that the hair dryer is one of her favorites.  Confession: I may have put it on the "cool" setting and let it sit while turned on underneath her swing.  She fell asleep almost immediately...until I turned it off, that is.

7.  Any fear you had of holding a newborn will quickly disappear and you will become a pro at maneuvering your baby.  You'll even become so good that you can do it one-handed.

7.  You really don't remember the pain of birth.  You can tell someone that it was really painful and intense, but you honestly can't say what, exactly, it felt like.  And, honestly, it is well worth every uncomfortable moment of that labor.  Even though you don't think it at the time because I seriously did tell Nick that we weren't going to have anymore kids.  I've changed my mind since then.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Survival of the Mommy

Having a baby is hard work.  And yes, I know that everyone says that.  I'm just reiterating the fact.

Between my stubborn baby who doesn't want to fall asleep when she is tired, cloth diapering, and 2 am diaper changes/feedings, there is a lot that can make a mom go insane. 

So, this is how I survive the late nights, too many feedings, and crying (both from mom and baby):

1.  Netflix & Hulu.  In other words: TV shows.  I can't tell you how tired I get in the middle of night while feeding her.  Not to mention that the hormones released while breastfeeding are also supposed to make you tired.  One way to combat this is to watch something to take my mind off of being tired.  This works pretty well, especially when they're incredibly cheesy and dramatic.  Such as: Grey's Anatomy, New Girl, Walking Dead, ANTM, Parenthood, Call the Midwife... and of course Parks and Rec and reruns of The Office.

2.  Food.  Now that my appetite is back full force and then some, I eat a lot.  Or at least I feel like I eat more.  Late night feedings are much more comfortable with a snack to go with it.  Especially when it's something like ice cream.

3.  Baby gear.   Sometimes I wouldn't know what I would do without my baby carrier.  Ellie LIVES off of movement.  Nick and I are constantly bouncing on the yoga ball with her to get her to sleep.  It's the one thing that can almost always calm her down.  Sometimes her swing will calm her down, but (I'm watching her do this now) sometimes it just keeps her content while she fights her closing eyes and sleep.  Seriously.  She will take forever to fall asleep even though she is SO tired.  It's terrible.  She gets her stubbornness from her mother.  Ugh.

4.  Showers.  Showers are amazing.  It's one of the few times where I can just relax and refresh my sore breastfeeding muscles. 

5.  Blogging.  You guys keep me sane.  I may not blog that much these days, but there are still drafts and ideas floating around.  Someday I'll get to finishing them.  Reading blogs and just having blog friends keep me occupied and my brain flowing.  I'm brainstorming a new blog layout as we speak (or you read and I type).

6.  Support.  I can't even begin to say how wonderful it has been to have a great support system around.  My grandparents have been so amazing with all of this and are constantly helping out.  We have been blessed with such great people in our lives!  Nick has been a pretty wonderful husband and dad as well.  He takes care of nighttime diaper changes even when I told him not to. 

7.  This face.  It's hard to be stressed and frustrated when this little girl has a face like this.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Birth Story

My baby girl is already three weeks old.  THREE WEEKS!  How the heck did this happen so fast?  I feel like we're still in the first week.  Just a reeeaalllyy long first week.

Since she'll be a month old next week, I figured it was high time I shared with you her birth story.  Especially since she is completely content right now sitting with me in her carrier.  As long as I keep bouncing on this yoga ball.

Most of you know already that we were so ready weeks before she came.  We tried many tricks to try and get labor going.  Nick and I even walked at least 1-2 miles a day up until she came.  People would tell us all these things to try because they worked for them, but honestly, she was going to come when SHE was ready to come.  No amount of help was going to get her out.

Monday (the 9th) started with me having an idea to bake a labor cakeYes.  Labor cake.  My cousin sent me a recipe for this super chocolately cake that supposedly can help start labor.  I figured we were going to a friend's house that night so I wouldn't have to eat it all and, plus, why not try something just for fun?

Well, turns out you don't even have to eat this cake to start labor because as soon as we got into the car my water broke.  And continued to flow for way too long.  No one talks about how awkward it is when your water breaks.  Sure, it's not like the big gush in movies, but it continues to leak for HOURS afterwards.  Of course you wanted to know that, right?

We called the hospital and they said, since I wasn't having major contractions, that we should wait a little bit, eat some food, and then come check in.  By the way, eating is incredibly difficult when you're anxious, excited, and nervous.  

Long story short, we checked in to the hospital around 8:00 pm and hung out waiting for major contractions to happen because I was only 4 cm dilated and nothing big was happening.

We did a lot of walking around the halls, soaking in the tub, bouncing on the yoga ball, playing Words with Friends and Boggle, eating boring hospital snack foods, and watching stupid TV shows.  

Around 7:00 the doctor came to check and I was only 5 cm.  He said that if we didn't get things going we would need to think about inducing labor (pitocin) because my water broke and there was a higher risk of infection the longer I waited.  I was not looking forward to this because I wanted to have an all-natural childbirth.  So, we walked around outside with my mom and I actually got some more intense contractions.  Unfortunately, they went away as soon as we got back to our room and rested.

At 12 we decided that it was probably a good idea to get induced because the contractions were getting weaker and weaker.  Once it was in, though, the contractions were a million times worse.  My mom and Nick gave some pretty wonderful massages, though.  I don't think I'll ever get the same amount of massage time ever again.  Around 6 or so (honestly time was kind of blurred together, so just go with me here) I was told to start pushing when I felt I needed to push.  This is also when things started getting very real.  I mean, I was cringing in pain and clutching onto my mom's and Nick's hands like no other.

The doctor and nurses couldn't figure out, though, why she wasn't further down than where she was.  They thought her head may have been tilted a bit and that must have been why.  I was told that I needed to try and push more during my contractions to try and get her head down.

The worst part of all of this?  As they got stronger, I was told to change positions.  It may not seem terrible, but when you are moaning in pain, the LAST thing you want to do is to move because moving means being uncomfortable for a little bit.  I think I cried each time I was told to change positions.  It sucked.

Around 9:00 or so my mom went to sit down on a chair in the room.  Nick and I both assumed she just needed a break from the craziness of it all.  Well, we look over and there she is waving her hand in front of her face and her eyes roll back.  I immediately thought she was having a heart attack (worst possible scenario, right?) and Nick thought she was was having a seizure.  Nick, the doctor, and the nurse run over to my mom to make sure she is okay.  WHILE this is happening, I have a major contraction coming on and I'm supposed to PUSH!  PUSH.  Hah. I yell at Nick, who comes running over, and proceed to push while worrying like crazy about my mom.  She gets taken out on a stretcher, we call my step-dad, and in the end we find out she just passed out because she had low blood sugar from not really eating.  Nowhere near a heart attack or seizure.

After that whole ordeal the doctor tells me that if she doesn't get her head down more, he would need to use forceps to get her out (which would involve anesthesia) or we would need to possibly consider a c-section.  This is where Nick said that I went into 'beast mode'.  I pushed some more for about 10 minutes (probably less, but again, time is blurred) and what do ya know?  She was a LOT further down.  I just needed the threat of very uncomfortable things to get me going.

LOTS of incredibly uncomfortable pushing, crying, screaming, breathing, crying, saying "I can't do this", and writhing in pain, she was out.  At one point they asked if I wanted to touch the head and I thought to myself "are you kidding?! I'm in pain!!".  I didn't do it. I quickly yelled "no" and proceeded to end the whole process.  She came out and they all mentioned her having football shoulders and her head was never in there the wrong way.

She came out a whopping 10 lbs. 6 oz. and 23 1/2 inches long.  Nobody knew she was going to be that big.  This is why I suggest to all future moms to bring 0-3 month clothes to the hospital JUST in case.  You never know.  Ellie didn't get to fit into ANY of her newborn clothes.

I was told afterwards that if she had been any bigger, she would have been too big for my body to handle and we probably would have had to get a c-section.  I'm so grateful that she wasn't any bigger.

We are so blessed with this big bundle of cuteness.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


The newest member of our family:


Born: September 10 at 10:30 pm
Weight: 10 lbs 6 oz
Height: 23 1/2 in.

Now you know why I've been gone from this here blog lately!  To be with this chubby cheeked little girl.  I'll be sure to include a birth story and much more once we get the hang of this breastfeeding constantly and sleeping very little routine down.  Until then!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Complaint Department

It's 5 am and I'm blogging. Why?  Because I'm an awake, emotional, pregnant mess and I need to just let it out someway.

The past few nights I've had contractions.  Last night's were even stronger than before. But somehow, when I try to sleep in between to get rest for the big moment, they disappear. I originally go to sleep because I know that when they get strong enough I'll wake up and it'll be time. THE time we've been waiting for.  But does it happen? No.  
Instead I just wake up 20 times in the middle of the night hoping to feel at least one little contraction or a huge painful one (the ultimate goal).

I already know that I shouldn't be stressing about it. She'll come when she's ready.  Just be patient.  Perfection takes time. You can't force labor to start.

And I know all of this is true.

But I just need to complain. We're both so ready for this little girl to get here and we can't help but get a little anxious/excited when there's a possibility of her arriving into this world.

So for now let me vent, and my husband and I will just try to take life one day at a time. One walk, one date, one hopeful contraction at a time.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Toys, toys, toys!

I'm sitting here trying to relax and do absolutely nothing. 

This little girl (or my body) decided that this last weekend was a good time to practice contractions and put us on edge.  Therefore, since we had a first moment, we've been trying everything to get this little girl out!  Nick is incredibly anxious which, in turn, makes me super anxious.  It's very difficult to be calm and anxious all at once.  

The only thing we haven't tried is doing nothing.  I was told today by two wonderful women that I should probably just sit back and relax because that may be the one thing to help my body along right now.

So, that is what I'm doing.  Trying to not be anxious and relax my mind.

While I'm not trying to be super anxious, I can at least be excited for it all, right?

I know I'm not holding a babe in my arms, nor am I using these items, but I have to share with you some of the things I have that I am incredibly excited to use as a parent.  I'll let you know later on what my favorites are.  I'm sure they'll change.

1.  BOB stroller
I am most excited about this.  Not only is it a cool looking stroller, but it allows you to take your kid on gravel or dirt paths, is incredibly light when you are pushing it, and is awesome for jogging.  I'm almost tempted to try it right now without a baby.  Almost...


2.  Sound machine
Nick and I are pretty stoked about this one because it has a port for our iPod.  This means that WE don't have to listen to the same three cheesy classical tunes played by a terrible midi sound and Ellie will be able to expand her horizons with some awesome music chosen by her parents.  It also has about five nature sounds that are pretty sweet, too.

3.  Nosefrida
This is one of those "are you serious?" items that I saw in action and had to have.  I mean, who isn't excited to suck snot out of their child's nose?
This lady is excited.
4.  Sleepsacks
These are just fun.  Since you can't put a blanket over your baby, these sleepsacks make it so they're warm, snug, and swaddled.  Plus, some kids don't like to be swaddled so you can keep their arms out so they don't feel constrained.

This picture kind of cracks me up.

5.  Boba
There are way, way, way too many baby carriers out there.  This is the one that I found that works for infants and older AND weighs about a pound less than most of the other ones.  Plus, it's not super complicated like a moby wrap, which is just a long piece of stretchy fabric.

6.  Shoes
I absolutely love baby shoes (and always have).  They are tiny and adorable.  Most of the time they are incredibly expensive (for the really cute/nice ones), but I managed to acquire many shoes through second hand stores or people for a tiny fraction of the original price.  And, most babies don't wear shoes that often or long enough to wear them down.  Score!
Baby Toms?!  Oh yes.  A gift, second hand.

7. Cloth diapers
Okay.  I may be a little nervous to try these out because I have 3 different types to try (maybe I'll talk about their success or failure later on), BUT I am pretty excited because if they work I will have some serious money and environment saving going on in my house.  Plus, they look incredibly cute.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Take a step back

Whew!  Life has finally slowed down. Now I can actually DO things that I've been putting off for ages. 

Let's just take a brief moment to catch up on life.

1.  We moved out of our old place (cleaned it and everything) and now live in a little studio at my grandparent's house. 

2.  I just finished my job 2 weeks ago and won't be working for the next few months.  MONTHS.  How weird is that?  Although, it isn't that weird if you're a teacher.

3.  Miss Ellie is now head down (she wasn't for awhile) and I think just about ready to come out.  We'll see when she decides is the right time to grace the world with her presence.  Personally, I wouldn't mind if it happened a week before the due date.  I'm ready for my body to be somewhat "normal" again.

4.  On the same note as her, this week marks number 37.  I actually had to check the app on my phone because I did not remember how far along I was when Nick asked me (I thought 36).  This means that I'm now FULL-TERM and there are only 3 WEEKS left until her supposedly due date.  We'll just see about that...

Someday we'll get some photos NOT on an iphone...

5.  Nick is incredibly ready for this little girl to come out while I'm still sitting here reading and researching everything I can about everything I think I need to know about having a little one.  He's too calm right now.  I need to learn his ways.

6.  Now my time is being taken up by trying to finish little projects, start new projects, and organize for my little girl! 

I'll make sure you all know when she gets here.  And I'll try not to wait an entire MONTH to do so.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What time is it? It's baby time!

No, don't get excited.  She's still growing and getting bigger.  Yay and ouch all at once. 

I'm sure you all want a nice baby update.  I don't even know when I did my last baby update.  Too long ago.

Weeks:  34!  What?!  September 4th is coming waaayyy too fast.

Baby:  She is great.  Moving like crazy and almost CONSTANTLY pushing on my ribs.  They hurt at least 30 times a day.

Nick has decided that her name will be Lucy instead of Ellie.  He claims that he gave in at a moment of weakness, but I'm still set on Ellie.  Although, I do like them both quite a bit and I keep going back and forth in my head (don't tell him... I can't give in that easily).  Maybe we'll know when she comes out.  If not, she's Ellie.  End of story.

Side story:  My 5-year-old cousin likes to keep saying: "but what if it's a boy?".  It drives me crazy because she's said it at least 6 different times and each time I think, what if she's right?!  I'm waiting for this baby to come out as a boy and her to say, "I told you!"  Not really.  I want a girl.  I don't want to search for new clothes.


My body:  My belly button is on the verge of popping out.  See in the picture?  That's not even OUT.  I know you all are dying to know this, but it is driving me crazy.  Every other week I notice it and the space is noticeably smaller and smaller.  I'm not looking forward to having an innie.  Thank goodness that it goes back in after birth.

Can I also just mention how much I dislike stretchmarks?  I know they'll go away and I'm not going to do anything drastic to try and get rid of them, but my mom never got them so I was SURE I wasn't going to get them because we've been pretty similar so far.  But did I get those nice genes?  Nope.  I should've known though.  I mean, I got stretchmarks in high school just from growing.  At least I know that they'll fade to my skin color and not be so noticeably purple.

Also, I finally bought a cheap-o Claires ring for my semi-swollen fingers.  They aren't that swollen, but my rings weren't fitting that well.

Everything else:  I had my shower a few weeks ago and it was very fun.  I think my registries got lost or something, however, because only a few things I got were from them.  Everything else was clothes, clothes, and a couple other odds and ends.  At least Nick and I have been putting money aside in separate account for this very reason and we live in a pretty awesome county with many awesome baby consignment stores.

I only have one more week left for work (WOOHOO) and so you will get more updates and fun baby-type posts before she gets here.  I'll even share my loot with you.

Until then, enjoy this amazing craigslist ad.  I wish everyone sold things like this.  I want to buy this van just because it was written so wittingly well.  Just accept my new word and say "written wittingly well" ten times fast.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Life and all of its currents

I'm not dead, nor have I gone into labor.  I promise. 

As I write this, actually, I am unable to sleep because nobody told my daughter that when mom is tired it means no more kicking, squirming, and rolling around.  Kids these days...

Like all my long unexplained hiatuses, it's because life just got too busy.  I mean, come on, I'm 32 weeks pregnant!  32 WEEKS!!  How did this happen already?  I can only do a fraction of the things I used to be able to do without having to take a massive break to catch my breath.

Can I share with you just a tidbit of my to-do list?

1.  We're in the middle of moving.  We have to be out by the end of this month.  I highly recommend all future pregnant woman to NOT move while you're pregnant.  Especially if you're like me (stubborn and OCD) and you have a busy husband.  This means I have to do little things and then wait for Nick to come home, when he has free time, so I can tell him that I want this one box moved on top of this box so I have more room to pack all the other little things and lay out boxes.  It's a horrible problem to have.

2.  I have a baby/pregnancy to-do list that is a mile long.  Seriously, but not literally.  I need to decide on a doctor for her when she pops out, what kind of immunizations I want to do (I don't want them all), schedule a hospital tour, watch some informational videos and such on birthing/labor, figure out insurance, and a million other things.  And all of this leads me to number 3...

3.  I'm still working full-time.  I know many pregnant work full-time up until a week or so before the birth and I don't know how they do it.  My last week is the end of this month.  I can't WAIT until I get a breather, which includes me not having to wake up at 4 am to work until 5:30 pm.
4.  There are only 8 weeks until my due date.  This means that my entire list of things I need to buy before she gets here needs to be ready to go before then.  I don't want to have this little one two weeks early and discover that I have no diaper wipes.  No thank you. 

This doesn't belong on a to-do list, but we're actually leaving for a week-long family vacation on Friday.  I'm ready for a break and some hopefully relaxing, much needed floating time on the lake.  This also means that while I disappeared for way too long, I'm disappearing again for another week because there is no internet/cell phone service where we are going. 

Now that I have given you my entire list of complaints excuses, I hope you'll forgive me and still be my friend.  I'm working on getting life back together and it is only going to happen one check mark at a time.

Until next time...

Monday, June 17, 2013

What's up witchu?

My blog posts have been pretty erratic lately (sorry), and you can be sure to count on continuous erraticness until after miss Ellie gets her butt here.  Or after I take my month off from work.  Probably that one.

Since my posts have been so random, I figured it'd probably be best to do a little "what's up" post.  Just so you all are up to date.

29 weeks.  Apparently she's supposed to grow 1/2 lb. each week.  How will she fit?!

- Pregnancy is starting to get to me.  Do you know how hard it is to sit back and not be able to do anything?  Well, when you are a stubborn Dutch person, like me, and just want to get things done, it is pretty difficult.  I can't lift heavy things so I have to get help with them.  I am noticing a very nice shortness of breath taking over when I try and do too much at once, too.  It would be nice to be able to do a butt load of work all at once without feeling like I just ran 3 miles.  But, alas, I am just ready and excited for this little girl to come out!  I'm not even at 30 weeks yet and I can't wait to meet her.  And see her!  Nick and I are pretty opposite so I have NO idea what our little girl will look like.  The suspense is terrible!

Alright, let's examine this.
My hair is blonde and straight, Nick's is brown and wavy.
My eyes are blue-green, Nick's are light brown.
Nick has huge hands and feet and mine are average.
My face is a little short and pudgy compared to Nicks.
SEE?!  The possibilities are ENDLESS!
Except, we both have pretty long legs.  That could be a given.

- Minus being pregnant, I am getting quite a lot of goodies from my family.  Most of the stuff is hand-me-downs from all of my aunts that have had recent babies (and baby girls).  Have I told you that with all of the clothes I have received already, I have enough to clothe our baby for her first two years of life?!  I am so thankful for this awesome family and for how much they are willing to give and share.

- Nick is super incredibly busy all the time.  He's preparing to climb Mt. Baker again (I'll try and spare you all with my worrying) and his bluegrass band plays at least twice a week around the area.  Therefore, he is busy hiking and playing music.  And working when he's not doing the other two.  I think he's just trying to get all of it out now before the baby gets here because, well, I'm going to need him and so will his daughter.  I told him he has 'til August to get it all out.  His response is to climb Baker AND Rainier this summer.  And possibly Adams.  I can't keep up.
His very fun bluegrass band.

- I have been catching up on some newly acquired TV shows.  Mostly because I'm lazy tired too often now.  But these shows have included Arrested Development and Call the Midwife.  They are both fantastic and have sucked my life away.  Well, Arrested Development has.  Call the Midwife is such a great show, but there's only one season on Netflix.  Figures.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What I've learned in pregnancy {part 2}

It's about time for round two of the things I've learned while being pregnant.  Part one was written about a month ago when I was only, sigh, 23 weeks.  That seems so long ago now...

1.  There are a million different baby items.  Literally.  Millions.  Okay, okay, it's not that difficult to pick out what you want for your child, but it makes things VERY difficult when there are 30 different types of diaper rash cream or baby shampoo.  I just want a good, decent, natural one, but when the reviews are a hodge podge of varying reviews it gets to be a little difficult.  Who would've known, right?

2.  You stink.  It's true.  The massive increase of hormones in your body make you have way more body odor than you may be used to.  I never had a problem with it pre-pregnancy, but now if I don't put on my deodorant I will most likely get nasty b.o.  It will even come when you are doing absolutely nothing all day.  And it won't bug you until you notice it and then it will drive you crazy all day (or at least me).  Nick has even told me a couple times that I smell.  What a nice guy, huh?

3.  Water is amazing.  I wish I owned a pool because I would live in it.  I practically do when I shower because it feels SO good to just be in the water.  Your whole body forgets its pains and aches and everything just feels.. normal.  Ah, to not be pregnant...  I'm planning on living in the bathtub when labor comes.  If I had my way I would be doing a water birth, but insurance just won't cover it.  Stupid.

4.  Your stomach will become a sci-fi movie all on its own.  I can be sitting down while reading a book or blogging and notice from the corner of my the stomach jabs and ripples that she creates.  Sometimes they are just giant waves rolling across my belly.  It was, and still is, the weirdest thing to witness.  I can't quite explain the craziness of seeing your stomach move on its own, but trust me... it's weird.

5.  Everything grows way too fast.  Not only does the baby/stomach grow super fast, but your hair and nails also grow at super speeds.  Shaving becomes incredibly difficult once you can't actually see your legs or feet and at the rate my leg hair grows.. I just go au-natural.  I'm glad I have blonde hair.  Toenail clipping and painting is equally annoying.  You can't just prop your leg on a table and do it.  It doesn't work anymore.  You become a heavily breathing acrobat just trying to clip your baby toe.
We'll just sing this song every time we shave.

6.  Speaking of breathing heavily, that also happens.  It happens WITHOUT ME KNOWING!  Nick has told me many, many times that I'm breathing really hard.  I don't even notice until I start thinking about it.  It's pretty terrible and makes you feel old and lazy to be breathing so hard.  But guess what?  It's normal!

7.  Say goodbye to that wonderful deep, constant sleep.  Maybe this doesn't happen to everyone, but I toss and turn all night.  Lately it's been taking extra long just to FALL asleep because this little girl won't stop kicking me.  I hope she plays soccer.  It makes it worse when you wake up randomly at midnight to change sides, deal with unexpected and terrible heartburn, and/or have another kicking session.  At least this is prep for when she's here, right?

8.  Waiting for the birth day just gets more and more exciting with each new gigantic kick (after the uncomfortableness goes away).  I can't wait until I get to hold this crazy active girl in my arms!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Things I don't get

1.  How sayings, phrases, and words get to be so popular.  Words like: presh, totes, or lawl.  I know lawl is supposed to be "lol", but why say it?   Or even the saying YOLO.  It just makes me think of the new Lonely Island song.

2.  Couples that go on dates and sit on their phones the ENTIRE time.  I've seen this more than once!  We went out to eat the other day and the couple in the booth next to us came, sat down, whipped out their phones, ordered in record time, and said probably about five things to each other.  AND they even finished before us!  I fear for our children and their future dates... or worse: blind dates!

3.  Toilets that suck so hard they splash you back.  You know what I'm talking about.  The kind they put in tiny stalls so you have to race against the toilet flush to get out of the bathroom door before you get splashed by the water.

4.  This article about parents being fined for their kids being bullies.  It would be good for SOME parents to know that their kid is a bully, but there are quite a bit of bad parents out there that would probably make their kids pretty miserable and want to bully more if they were fined for their child.  Although, I do understand that they aren't just handing them out like candy, but still...
I couldn't resist.

5.  Captcha images for blog comments.  'Nuff said.  Referring back to #1, shouldn't it be 'nough said?

6.  Bikers who don't wear helmets.  This bugs even more now that Nick bikes a lot.  Why do cyclists bike on busy roads, or even roads in general, and not wear helmets?  Did they not learn anything in school?
Michael Scott knows where it's at.