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.