Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lily's Birth Story

I can't believe she's already been here almost a month!

I also can't believe that she's already been here almost a month and I've slept approximately 17 minutes...

But, I digress.

Here's how our little Lilypad came into the world :-)

During my 39th week of pregnancy my birth team flew in. My birth team consisted of one of my oldest friends-- and Jake's Godmother--, Gabby, and my mom. Gabby would stay with Jake while I went to the hospital and my mom would go to the hospital with me. It was unbelievably comforting to know Jake would be taken care of when it was time for Lily to arrive. Despite this whole three year old thing being so temperamental, as in the good days are good but the bad make me want to light myself on fire, I suppose I still had a draw to make sure he'd be ok ;-)

At my 39 week check up, everything looked great; my blood pressure was amazing, I had, inexplicably, lost 2 lbs (making for 10 total lbs gained), and was dilated to 1cm and my cervix was beginning to thin. Physically, I felt uber amazing and mentally I was ready to do battle. Bring it.

For quite a few weeks, the option had been put on the table to strip my membranes at my 39 week check up since my birth team was scheduled to only be here simultaneously for one week and we wanted to make sure all I'd have to concern myself with is pushing a baby out. but, I opted against it when the opportunity arose.

Gabby got here a couple days after my mom, but when she did it was game on to keep my contractions going in the right direction. The ones I had been having were mild ('mild' being subjective because I have a pain tolerance like a mofo), but we wanted to make sure, as best we could, that I'd go into labor naturally. The hospital would allow me to go to 41, maybe even 41 1/2, weeks before they'd step in, but that's not a risk I wanted to take!

So, we hit up those Old Wives' Tales like you wouldn't believe. I took castor oil for the first time :: barf ::, I ate spicy foods--even hot Cheetos kill me so eating anything spicy made me wish I'd been poked in the eye with a stick instead, and walked anywhere and everywhere.

Friday, the 9th, I had started having regular contractions. My mom, Gabby, and I were laying around watching TV one late afternoon and for an hour and a half my contractions were right on top of each other. Until they weren't. They just slowly started to slack off until they weren't regular at all. Sadface emoticon.

Until!

Until around 9:30 that night when I lost my mucous plug! YAY! I had Jake at 38 weeks so I never got to experience that end of things. Naturally, I called everyone into the bathroom, still seated with pants on the ground because obviously, to verify that that's what a plug looks like... and to share in the excitement that I swear on Luke Bryan was coming out my ears! Let's just say if we're friends we're really friends. Seeing-me-on-a-toilet close. No biggie.

And then? My phone started BLOWING. UP. It's like my friends just knew. There was such a sense of urgency from all my friends' messages. So, when I woke up the next morning still pregnant I asked, "Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot, universe?!" Kidding, of course. Kind of...

The next day, Saturday, Gabby and I walked the mall about 7,000 times. Contractions, but nothing notable. Sunday my mom and I went to the PX and then to Target. I was having contractions as we walked around, but I still felt great otherwise. So, I let go of castor oil and spicy foods and vowed to just let things happen.

The one thing that we all agreed on was that whenever I laughed I had some good contractions so that night (Sunday) we ordered pizza and watched Bridesmaids. I had been having contractions, good ones, but since the ones on Friday night had just faded I didn't say anything to anyone. I went to bed still having contractions. The contractions were so good that I couldn't fall asleep and anyone who "followed" my pregnancy knew that falling asleep was never an issue for me. I still said nothing.

I got up around midnight to pee, resumed feeling contractions, and heard Jake crying. He had slid off his bed so I put him back in bed and when I closed his door, all of a sudden, I had this flash that something was about to happen. Little did I know my mom was thinking the same because she wasn't able to sleep and was hanging on every step she heard me take. At 12:30am my water broke! I sat on the edge of my bed, for what seemed like forever!, letting the water finish up, and waddled my wet jammies over to the bathroom. I wrapped myself in a towel and came downstairs to my mom, who sat up from the couch like she'd seen a ghost, asking, "What?! What's happening?!" Gabby just got up and stared, and then flew into action when I exclaimed, "It happened! My water broke!" Next thing I knew, my mom was up getting dressed, Gabby was upstairs stripping my bed and packing the rest of my hygiene items, and I was getting dressed and getting Gary on the phone.

By the way, it was thee cutest thing when I called Gary. The first thing he said when he answered was,  "BABE. WHAT'S UP?!" The excitement was almost palpable :-) Then, all I heard was, "My wife's water broke! My wife's water broke!"

We got to the hospital, checked in, and went over my birth plan with the nurses and midwives. Everyone was beyond accommodating. They were all supportive and completely on my side. I'd recommend this hospital to a friend.

My contractions were picking up speed and strength, but the staff was leaving me alone--per my request. I was handling things well. And, then back labor kicked in. Let me tell you, I'd dropkick a small child to never feel that again. But, I was still handling it. I'd go back and forth between using the calm hypnobirthing techniques to relying on one Mr. Rob Zombie, and some Trick Daddy!, when it was pissing me off that some of the contractions would come within seconds of one another so I didn't get any break. I'd be bouncing on my birthing ball going, "fuck this shit!" I felt there was a challenge and I was not about to let it beat me.



The point when everything turned was when Lily started to have trouble handling the contractions. Her heart rate dipped pretty severely a few times. So, my new shift of nurses and my favorite midwife came in to get me into a position that she'd find more tolerable. Problem was, my position of choice was putting the birthing ball on the edge of the bed, draping myself over it while standing next to the bed, and rocking back and forth, but what Lily needed was for me to be slightly reclined in bed and to, basically,  not move. I'm pretty tough with pain, but having contractions + back labor + not being able to move? That's probably the worst thing that's ever happened to anyone. Ever.

One of the best aspects of this whole birthing extravaganza, aside from the amazing attending staff, was that Gary was able to be right there with me through such a large portion of it! I had the laptop on the bed next to me and he'd talk me through the contractions. It was soo amazing to have him "there".

To add insult to injury, not only was, pretty much, my entire torso contracting I was dilating so slowly I was sure my body was building the mucous plug back. I decided my superhero name would've been 'Samantha, the Anti-Dilator'. A repeat c-section was brought up. Of course you guys know it was my life's mission to get my natural VBAC. Let me tell you how quickly I kicked that idea to the curb when I realized the severity of having your daughter's heart rate dropping. I wasn't ready to just go for the c-section, but there's no way anything would be prioritized above her health.

During the shift Lily was born in, the attending nurse, Jon, was rocking the house. Ya know that feeling where a person was put in your path for a reason? That's how natural it felt to have him there. So much so that when the c-section was brought up, my mom turned to Jon and asked, "If this was your daughter, or your wife, what would you suggest?" He responded, "I'd for the c-section. I just don't like how her heart rate is dipping" 

After more than a few tears, and my mom verifying I was ok with everything--she didn't want me to have any regrets, a team of people were in my room getting me prepped.

Did I want the VBAC? H-E double hockey sticks to the YES. But, I did not feel comfortable trying to get me to dilate further, especially since it was going so slowly, with Lily not being excited about labor. I couldn't regret any method that brought our daughter here in the safest way possible if I tried.

The anesthesiologist came in to give me the rundown for the spinal. You guys? I swear he was the real life version of Mr. Magoo. He was the older guy who'd be behind you in line at Target, telling you so many random stories that you'd be sure he was going home to his litter of cats. As he was giving me the rundown, I kept looking at him thinking, "If I start to feel any part of this c-section I'm going to donkey kick you in the jugular. Promise" He ended up being unbelievably comforting in the operating room.


My mom was allowed into the OR, after forever!, and Lily was here in a matter of minutes. I cried when I heard her first cries :-) My mom kissed my forehead than ran over to see our precious girl.





She looked EXACTLY like Jake when he was born! It was unreal. They could've been twins for sure.



Lily was brought over to me and everything felt so right. I'm not sure why it's in my plan to only have babies via c-section, but I knew in my heart the right decision had been made. Not one member of that staff forced me into anything, and they allowed me the time to make that decision. She was laid next to me and I just knew everything happened exactly as it was meant. She was here and we were both healthy. Nothing else mattered.



She took to breastfeeding like she'd been starving for 9 months. She cluster-fed so much at first that before she was 24 hours old she had pooped three times! Homegirl can get it done!





As far as my recovery, I've even surprised myself! The next day following the surgery, I was walking upright. Anyone who's had a c-section knows that's not an easy feat! All the nurses were saying how impressed they were. It's me, did you expect anything less?! ;-) Not only was I walking upright, the baby weight was lost by the time I left the hospital. HOLLABACK. By the time she was one week old, my belly was almost completely gone! (I'd post pictures, but there's this soldier coming home in not too long that I want to knock back on his hiney when he sees me for the first time!) I worked out all the way until the day I went into labor so it was a relief to know it wasn't all for nothing! Since I'll have to have another c-section if we decide to have more babies, I'd do everything exactly the same. It's nice to see and feel that your efforts matter, ya know?

As far as little miss Lily, she's amazing! She had lost 7oz following birth and by her 4-day check up she had already gained 3 back. By her two-week check up, not only had she gained back her birth weight, but she tacked on another pound and 3 oz! She weighed 8lbs 12oz! I knew she was eating well, but holy crap! She only cries if she needs help with getting to sleep or has to spit up, and has thee most amazing blue eyes :-) Love her!



Aside from three-year-old douchiness, Jake has handled things well. He's so gentle with her and kisses her every chance he gets. The first night she was home, Jake was eating a yogurt so when she started crying and I told him it was ok-she was just hungry, he tried to give her a bite...but ended up stabbing her in the eye with this spoon! It's the thought that counts right?!


A big thank you to my mom and Gabby for coming out here and being so amazing and comforting to me. Love you guys! And, to all my friends who've been so involved and caring throughout the pregnancy and birth...THANK YOU! I appreciate it so much :-) You guys are family! xo

Now, we just need to get my hunk o' man home to meet his little girl and this journey will be complete :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

36 weeks!

Nine. Months. Pregnant.

I remember how far off this day seemed when that test turned positive. Now, it's here, and my heart feels like it's going to explode. Since I do these monthly, this will, hopefully, be my last pregnancy-quiz update. Soon, we will have a little girl. Soon, I will introduce my daughter to the world.

I remember being 9 months pregnant with Jake; I remember wondering about so much. As speechless and humbled as I was by the experience of meeting our son for the first time, this time it feels much more...beautiful. I'm exponentially more laid back--which I guess is to be expected; I'm not concerned with how anyone else does things; I'm comfortable with my hippie-like ways; I, most importantly, completely trust my body, and everything it was intended to do.

I think that's why I'm not nervous about labor and delivery. I know my body is a pro, and I don't intend to get in its way.  I was going to play devil's advocate about certain possibilities for a sec, but I'm not even going to go there. There's a plan for me and our precious daughter, and I trust it.

Before we know it, it'll be time for shopping dates, painting tiny toenails, and playing dress-up :-) I so can't wait to meet her!

I have her coming-home outfit planned, but my amazing friends and family are making it difficult to not change my mind! A big, fat, thank you to the most incredible surrogate aunties/grandmas who are already showing our daughter so much love! Donna, Whitney, Katie, Tami, Julie, and Marie....THANK YOU for the gifts for Little Miss!!! I love them!



And, here's our baby girl!


There's nothing like getting dressed right before you head out the door and realizing your shirt is mildly see-through when there's no time to change.

So, I took this from my phone because, until after I took the pics of course, I figured out how to use the camera with our full-length mirror--which has previously been the bane of my picture-taking existence. This was taken as soon as I got up- at o'dark thirty because I had to get up before the boy, hence the darkness.

Just so you know, cheetah-print jammies are the epitome of class.

We have a good news/mild news situation: The mild news is that, although it's holding up better than the average bear, my lower back is starting to feel things; as in, when I bring in a mountain of groceries I'll need to take a breather to rest my back on the couch while they wait for me on the counters, or when I bring up laundry from the basement I need to go up the stairs a little more...gingerly. And, Baby Sister has a serious affinity for my lungs; I swear there are times she sits right on top of them and I have to breathe like Darth Vader. Onto the good news! I still have ankles, and can still shave and touch my toes! :-D I could not be more grateful to be so close to my due date and still feel way more amazeballs than you'd expect.


How far along? 36w 2d

Weight gain: 11 lbs. No change since last appointment...not complaining!

Maternity Clothes? Totes magotes. I don't want to stretch out my shirts, they're getting too short for me to feel comfortable wearing them in public anyway, but still have a couple bottoms that don't squish the belly.

Stretch Marks? None new. But, seriously. Have you taken my advice about getting Alba Botanica lotion from a while back? The belly's about as stretched as it's going to be and, thanks to Alba, if this is the extent of how noticeable my stretchies are....YAHTZEE!!!!!

Sleep: I had a few days where I just wasn't tired, and couldn't seem to get that way, regardless of keeping up my 5-day-a-week workouts. Nothing could tire me! I was worried that I hit that point in the pregnancy where sleep and I would no longer be BFFs-- for obvious reasons, but also because I'm an eyeshadow+mascara type girl. If I was going to have to go all Joker with face makeup we were going to be up a creek. I don't know how to do it so much. :: hangs ovaries in shame ::

Sleep and I are back to BFFs, but I feel this may set me up for some serious failure in 4ish weeks...

Best Moment of the Week: Recalling something my, very sweet, youngest brother said to me a few months back: "I like how you look pregnant. It looks good on you" 

C-money, you have no idea what that meant to me xoxoxo

And, Jake getting his Meemaw and Grampa here the week of his birthday! He loved it!

Miss Anything? My husband and sushi. In that order and both to very strong degrees.

Movement? All the time :-D I love feeling, and seeing!, her reactions to music or temperature etc.

Food Cravings? My turkey burgers, Tostitos with mild queso dip (yellow NOT white), Chinese food

Food Aversions? Peanut butter, sweet potatoes

Sex: GIRL!!

Labor Signs? Just practice ones 

Belly Button, in or out? In

Wedding rings, on or off? On

Looking Forward to: Holding our daughter for the very first time xo. And, my mom and my friend, Gabby, coming out in a few weeks in time for the birth :-)

Weekly Wisdom: Christopher Walken for president.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's starting to hit me.

From the time we started trying for numero dos through the past 8 months of this pregnancy, I've never once worried about how Jake would react to not only being an older brother but to no longer being an only child. It's never struck me as something to spend a whole lot of time on for our specific situation.

We're kind of a roll-with-the-punches type family. And, Jake is definitely that kind of kid. Not saying it'll always be perfect, or we won't have our moments of spazziness while we're getting adjusted to being a family of four, but I definitely don't think it's something, for us, to be a source of real worry.

Instead, I'm going the other way. I'm the one developing an obsession with how our tiny man might feel. It's starting to hit me that it'll not longer be mama and boy: the couple.

I get all weepy just wanting him to know that no matter how many babies we have (Gary said something about 3 or 4 a couple weeks ago...how sexy is a man who wants lots of babies with you?!), he will always be my firstborn; he will always be the one who launched me into motherhood; he will always be beyond special to me.

I've planned special things for him that I hope he gets as much a kick out of as I do. I've always loved birthdays, but it became of unbelievable importance for him to feel so celebrated and loved this year; I'm so looking forward to our upcoming trip to the pumpkin patch--complete with pony rides, and food, and face paint; I can't wait to dress him up for Halloween and watch his little face light up at Boo at the Zoo again. I just want him to know that he's still so important to us.

Gary and I have talked about making sure to take each of our kids out for their own special solo dates with mama and the same for daddy. And, while that won't be possible while he's deployed, I seriously intend on taking tiny parts of everyday and making them special for me and him. Even though our regularly scheduled programming will be thrown off with breastfeeding and tiny diaper changes (EEEE!!!!!), I really hope we can still have those post-bath, pre-bed moments where I get to smell that clean-goodness of a toddler while we rock in the rocker and he rests his head on my chest before leaning up to give me his squishy, wet kiss. Definitely some of my favorite things of all time.

So, while I'm sure our big boy will handle this beautifully life-changing thing relatively well, I just want him to know I love him to the tiniest of pieces.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

He'll always be my baby.

I could not be more proud of this little man I get to call my firstborn.


He's the most hilarious, sweetest little boy with the most genuine of hearts.


He's recently developed a love for dancing that is the most hysterical thing I'm sure to ever be seen ever. And, the look on his face while he's dancing? That shit could melt even the biggest of haters. There's such a pure happiness that radiates from him. Infectious. He's such a sweet boy.

He's very physically competent, the little linebacker I'm sure his size will dictate him to one day be. He counts to 22, with zero help from me, or prompts from anything. He counts backward from 17 like it's second nature; honestly blows my mind how easy it is for him. He spells his name with unbelievable ease. He knows his colors and his shapes, although "aye-angle" (triangle) and "quare" (square) are his favorites. He puts together jigsaw puzzles and is obsessed with animals, "shoo shoo trains", books, and the water.


He doesn't get much TV, but his absolute faves are Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies, and Little Einsteins. Music is the way to his soul. He is so hilariously-awkwardly proud of himself when he fake sneezes so he can say "muse me" (excuse me), or fake laughs because his trucks are just riotous. He loves being around kids who are having fun--we went to this tiny playground in the mall one day and he couldn't stop laughing watching all the other kids screaming in delight. Can't even describe what that does to a mama's heart to watch you kid genuinely ecstatic that others are having fun. Sweetest of boys.

Counting and building are probably his favorite activities in the known universe. Lincoln Logs can both be counted and used to build so they, kind of, make him implode. He's extremely thoughtful; you can almost see his wheels turning as he plans his next move for his Lincoln Log or block.

He loves to cuddle, and love on his "baby dister". He gives the greatest, little chubby-armed hugs. He's going to be thee best big brother.


He's my little boy. And, he always will be.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

32 weeks!

EIGHT weeks left!!!! Single digits!!!

:: roundhouse kicks ::

I'm really not trying to beat a dead horse, but if someone would've told me during my last pregnancy I could feel this amazingly amazing at 8 months along I would've told them their pants were on fire. I feel strong and energetic and overall kickass.

I'm really not trying to be all in yo' face with how great I feel, but I've put my time in. My first pregnancy was full of things I couldn't help. I've earned this celebration, dagnabit! ;-)

Kicking ass and taking names on my to-do list! When I was pregnant with Jake, I remember being supa jealy of my friends/strangers that were in the last few weeks of their pregnancies and able to just be up and moving around like normal humans. Last week? I brought in a metric ton of groceries all by muhself and my lower back didn't even go into spasm! WIN.

Baby Girl is taking up some space; my hunger has seriously tanked. With the exception of lunch, I, basically, eat because I know I should. However, I'm the thirstiest girl who ever lived. I drink 100 oz of water a day and still wake up the next morning jonesing for a bottle. First world problems.


This is the most comfortable maxi dress who ever lived. Ever.



How far along? 32 weeks

Weight gain: 11 lbs

Maternity Clothes? Definitely down to the last few pieces of pre-pregnancy items that can work, but nearly all maternity. Oh, and you guys! I got the most uber comfy pair of maternity jeans evar at Burlington Coat Factory for $15!!!

:: moonwalks ::

Stretch Marks? None new.

Sleep: Adore. Every single night, I fall asleep on the couch, because I lead one sexy, exciting life, and when I wake up to go upstairs to my own bed I swear it's like trying to pull me out of a coma.

Even though I'm getting a lot done around the casa, how much my bod enjoys sleep makes me have to do some serious pep talks to get up and get moving. Preach it, Mr. Gaffigan:

Best Moment of the Week: Getting my hair did! It was long overdue, and because of the past bedrest, it's so great to feel put-together at this point in the pregnancy :-)

Miss Anything? Still just sushi! I remember wanting, so badly, to just feel "normal" again at this point when I was pregnant with Jake. This time, though, I feel so much better :-)

Movement? All the time! She's definitely on the move! And, I can feel her hiccups every single day around lunchtime and every single night around 8:30 :-)

Food Cravings? My turkey burgers. Can you guys just check this thing out?

:: dies ::

DE-LISH.

It may not look like much, but it kicks your taste buds right in the pants. You can even sub a veggie burger (hey, I had a coupon...) and it's still super tasty. So filling, so good!

And, smells. I was browning ground beef with garlic and onion for part of a dinner one night and was literally salivating. Or, chicken cacciatore in the slow cooker? I swear on a California Roll that nothing could smell better.

Food Aversions? Sweet potatoes, sharp cheddar cheese (by itself. I'm ok if it's in a recipe), and peanut butter

Sex: GIRL!!!

Labor Signs? No, but I have gotten a couple Braxton Hicks that I've actually noticed.

Belly Button, in or out? In.

Wedding rings, on or off? On.

Looking Forward to:  Going into labor! Of course, Little Miss, you're not coming out for 7ish more weeks, but I am soo looking forward to using the hypnobirthing. There's not one shred of me that is nervous/anxious about this. I don't think I've ever been so determined. Complete confidence.

And, Gary being right there with me via Skype!! xoxo

Weekly Wisdom: Have a baby at the end of the year. That way your maternity jeans become your Thanksgiving, and Christmas pants. Love me a food baby.


Friday, September 7, 2012

My Birth Plan

I haven't written anything out to make it "official" or anything. Partly because I'm a lazy mofo, but also partly because I don't know that I find it necessary. The midwives and I are so in-tune with one another and, if anything, we're so like-minded that even if an issue were to arise I feel like they'd handle it the way I'd want whether I was addressed or not.

That said, I plan to be pretty involved in the pushing-a-human-out-my-bajingo thing.

I came across hypnobirthing and it was a love at first sight type thing. At first, I was all, "Dafuq?! This term has 'hypnosis' in it. Maybe not..." But, as I read more into it, I realized that it's not some trippy, voodoo situation; it's simply, at least from the impression I've gotten, mind over matter; it's a way to take yourself out of, what could be, an incredibly painful moment by turning your focus to something else. Whether it be visualization, or meditation, or breathing...or a combo of all three... it's a way to relax your body by relaxing your mind. Transcendent.

This is what I'm all about. How else do you think I haven't gone all Exorcist during any of our four deployments?! You have to take yourself to a good place. This is a mentality I've really come to love since I first discovered it in my first yogalates (yoga+pilates...DOIY ;-)) class when I first started college. Let me think of a way to say 'first' again in that sentence...

So, I ordered this book. And, it's suggested that you listen to this for weeks leading up to the birth. I completely plan to handle. this. shizz. I honestly don't doubt my ability to do this. It certainly doesn't hurt that one of my midwives gave me the total confidence boost that if I handled 12 hours of pitocin contractions without any type of help, while laboring in bed I might add!, that I'll be able to handle "regular" contractions like a boss.

Growing up, me and my brothers constantly had tournaments. No matter what the sport, we always had something going on. And, we weren't just shuttled to these tournaments; we were honed. It was a eat-right and get-your-mind-right situation. I remember, one time, my dad was taking me to an All-Star soccer tournament in Redlands. He asked if I wanted Metallica or ACDC for the drive. That's the kind of situation I feel about this upcoming birth; I'm going to do it so let's do it. By the way, I chose ACDC. Natch :-)

I already believe my body was meant to do this, but I'm not going to go into this blindly; I'm going to have done my reading, listened to my CD, and will have two playlists on my phone (1) relaxtion/meditation to get me through the bulk of labor and 2) straight up gangsta rap --plus some ACDC ;-) --if necessary, for the end to get through the worst). I'm going in totally prepped. I mean, how am I supposed to tackle this natural childbirth if my heart and my head are not fully invested?

I'm going to do this.

If anything, I've posted this publicly so no turning back now ;-)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Total Nesting.

This house doesn't know what hit it.

OK, but not in the way that I'm Monica-Geller cleaning....yet. But, in the way that my productivity has skyrocketed, and I'm already a productivity-loving kinda chick.

Well, there was that one instance in which I was on my hands and knees, spot-cleaning the carpet in the living room--with a smile adorning my cranium. Bee tee dubbya, my homemade cleaner of water/vinegar + baking soda + scrubby brush is THEE MOST AMAZING CLEANER EVER. That cleaning combo is actually amazing for just about anything. And natural! But, I digress....

I have this urge to never leave anything on my to-do lists (and, oh mama, are there to-do lists!) longer than it takes for the ink to dry. I'm unstoppable. Ya know what? Let's just sum it up like this:



Although I feel pretty unbelievably amazeballs at 7 1/2 months pregnant, buying a pasta machine was probably one of the top seven smartest decisions I've ever made ever. Before, I was doing it by hand. Yet another instance where I'd rather have a fork in my eye.


I was making slow-cooker lasagna for dinner one night (kicks way more hiney than standard lasagna) so I had to make the lasagna noodles. Depending on the type of pasta I'm making, I can get 2-3 separate dinner's worth of pasta in the 30ish minutes it takes for a batch in its entirety. Such a lifesaver! And, who doesn't love that the pasta's ingredients are 1) flour and 2) water? HOLLABACK.


Adding to the one dinner's worth of pasta I already have frozen, now I have 3 dinner's worth of pasta in the freezer just waiting to be used. So, not only do we get super fresh pasta for dinners, I'm building up a stash in case the last couple months of this pregnancy become pretty brutal. But, once I hit the 8-month-mark, I'm going to be a pasta-making-and-freezing crazy biatch. I will have two kids by myself soon. I'm preparing like it's Y2K.


Smelling this cooking all day was just about all I could take.

But, there are also home-d├ęcor items that need to be marked off the to-do list. Because obviously.

Every time I do dishes water splashes up and hits the used-to-be-tan knife block, leaving it looking dirty and grody. How could a nesting chick stand for such an atrocity?! I could not. So, I did not. I painted that bad boy and I'm pretty effing in love with it. There's no way I could've left that, or the $30 in change I rolled during nap. Baby girl will be here soon and she won't stand for such things.


We're going to begin potty training in early October (I don't care what age he's PTd by...I just want it done before Little Sister arrives!) so I needed a stool so J could reach the sink to wash his hands--our downstairs bathroom is stool-less. I got the idea to paint it from this timeout chair I've seen on Pinterest. You know the one.  Plus, it also doubles as a kitchen stool for me because my belly is beginning to limit my reach into our cabinets! 

Jake's already scuffing it up. Blast! My handiwork! Eh...it's for the kidlets, anywho.

Also? Chevron stripes!


I've also started a second Pooh drawing. I'm not sure why. 
But, it's happening.


Jake helped me paint this frame long ago--before we found out she's a she; the blue is much more periwinkle than it looks. This was on my list of things to do before baby #2 arrived (along with the large drawing and blanket) because that's what I did for J when I was pregnant with him. Gotta squash possible sibling rivalry! ;-)


I hung the framed Pooh (ha!). That just couldn't go another second leaning against our dresser. Could. Not.



Apparently when you live on post, and have kids of the opposite sex, you're able to get back on the housing wait list for a larger house. But, once she's born Gary will only have about a year left on his contract...and I'd rather saw off my left arm with a butter knife than move for just one year. Kidlets will deal, yo.

So, I cleared out a drawer in Jake's dresser for Baby Sister's clothes I'll be washing in a few weeks (!!!!) and moved that stuff to the closet. Because of how itty bitty her clothes are, and because of how often clothes rotate as she grows, we don't need a second dresser now...but maybe I'll pick one up just to have?

I'm not even close to normally like this, but after going grocery shopping last week, I went all Sleeping-with-the-Enemy on our cabinets. I need to be able to easily inventory what we've got when I do my stock-up trip right before she gets here. Or else all Hell would break loose, obviously...

We're not huge from-the-box eaters at all, but sometimes? You just need to go straight gourmet for dinner.

Why not? 

Lists! I love lists! 

Just because I tend to run around Target like a chicken with its head cut off without one. Now's not the time to fix what ain't broke. Mama needs her lists.


I'll also be making another batch of laundry detergent. I'm also in the midst of having the cars serviced. Oh, and I've couponed my way to about 10 bottles of conditioner/shampoo, 30ish rolls of toilet paper, toothpaste/brushes, dish soap, bar soap....You guys, there will not be one thing I have to do once Little Miss becomes an outside baby. I feel like two babies will be enough of an adventure without finding something I should've done before she got here!

Time for a nap....

Sunday, August 26, 2012

That time we almost went extinct.

We were sick all last week.

In the entire 16 months I've been pregnant in my 27 years, I've never been sick while pregnant and, you should know, it's one of the worst things that could ever happen in the history of ever.

So, I've felt strong, and good, and physically capable this pregnancy. I had no idea I could feel this good at just past 7 months into the person-making time. If I didn't have a belly I'd honestly forget I was pregnant.

Until last week when I could've sworn I was going to die.

I think the Hitler-version of the cold we had lasted so long not only because my body's resources are used up growing our tiny girl, but because Jake and I just kept passing it back and forth since we didn't have a third party that could come in with their white horse and clean bill of health to pick up our sad selves.

Neither of us were sleeping well; neither of us had much interest in food. We'd lump ourselves onto the couch, watch way more TV than we ever do in this house, munch on Goldfish, and wipe each other's noses.

I think Jake had a, relatively, standard cold. He had the nasty, awful, phlegmy cough and a snot-faucet. He felt awful, and I hated seeing my tiny man like that. But, I feel like mine was a 'go big or go home' version of the cold. I started out feeling short of breath, then the phlegmy-cough, then the snot-faucet, then the mild fever, then the gnarly sore throat--with subsequent voice loss. Because of all my body was going through, I also got to enjoy headaches and nausea. I'd take two hot showers a day, just so I could keep the congestion from keeping me from breathing, and just sit on the floor of the tub and cry. It's not like I'm close enough to anyone out here to send someone a text and say, "I'm about to die. Please come take our trash to the curb, pick up some cold meds for Jake, and bring me a Diet 7-Up" I had to power through. It's amazing what you can do with lack of options.

Crying because you just can't take another day of the sickness + caring for a toddler + mildly running a house by yourself isn't funny. It's really not. But, it was almost comical how little I cared about the house. Dishes were all Jenga-d in the sink; there were diapers in various parts of the house dying to be washed; I turned anything, and everything, within arm's reach into a snot rag. So cute...

I think my saddest moment was when I was half-awake on the couch, as J was upstairs napping, and dropped my phone. It rolled under the couch and my first thought was, "Well, fuck. Guess that's gone forever"

BUT WE MADE IT.

Just another deployment-curveball I'm proud to say we kicked the shit out of.

Although it was probably a combo of the plague-like illness running its course and my natural remedies, I'm still passing this intel along: If you're ever in my situation where you're up shit creek without a paddle (can't even bring yourself to leave the house for any type of meds), here are three homemade remedies that I can almost guarantee will work for you:

1) Tea and a ton of honey (OK. so you've all heard of that one before. Whatevs.)
But, be generous with the honey. It coated my throat enough where I could squeak out sentences to Jake without wanting to die. I text my friend Amy, after forgetting I had a sore throat and let out a full-blast cough, "It feels like my throat has a UTI" But, after the tea and honey it was much more manageable.

2) Hot water (8oz) + honey + apple cider vinegar
You're only supposed to do a tbsp of the honey and the vinegar. But, in my desperation, I added a lot more than that. For those that don't know, apple cider vinegar is seriously amazing. It does all kind of great stuff for your insides. It's actually not a bad idea to take a couple tbsp's a day just because of its amazing benefits. That being said, this concoction tastes like hate. It's not cute. And, I can't even decide which is worse, the smell or the taste. But, very soon after I started taking it there was a noticeable difference. It brought me back from the dead.

3) Cinnamon and honey
Got this off Pinterest for cold-ease. 1 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp cinnamon 3 times a day. I took the 3 servings all at once. I think it definitely does take the edge off.

These things, along with my madre and good friends to text-check on me, saved me. And, practically made up my diet last week. If you're sick, DO THEM.

And, the great thing? That week is behind us! Now to pick up some more things for our baby girl, take my mini man out of this house to celebrate life, and put on clothes! Should I have mentioned, last week, the only thing I found comfortable were jammie pants, or shorts, and a sports bra? Well, it's true. And, now I find shirts insensible.

I will be thankful that this has shown me what I'm capable of. In case you haven't heard, I have a newborn coming my way and it really shows me that this, too, shall pass.

But, know what it also shows me? That even if I'm sure I have not one ounce of anything left in me, I can really dig my nails in like a sonofabeech.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

28 weeks!

3rd Trimester! THIRD TRIMESTER?!

Feeling pretty bombdotcom still :-) Every once in a while my lower back will ache, but I think my workouts have helped to retain my posture.

:: Judo chops gravity ::

And, I still suck at getting decent pictures when I want them. In my defense we were up and headed out the door VERY early....






When I see pics of my belly I'm always shocked at how big it is! I mean, that's the name of the game when you're 7 months pregnant with wee babe numero dos, but I don't feel nearly as pregnant as my belly looks!

pee ess, so my stomach has been developing more freckles this pregnancy, dafuq?!

I am way pumped to meet her. I can't wait to go through labor and delivery and then hold our daughter. But, also? I think I should breathe into a paper bag because Holy Dora she's really coming. And? TWO. KIDS. By muhself.

I've only had those ERMAHGERD!! moments twice this pregnancy, but it comes from a good place, ya know? Like, my excitement to meet her, hold her, and grow our family tickles my insides all the while being all, "HOLY CRAP it's really going to happen!"

Knowwhatuhmean?

How far along? 28 weeks

Weight Gain: 8 lbs

Maternity Clothes? Almost always. Still have a couple pre-pregnancy shirts and bottoms that can work, but the shirts used to be much longer ;-)

Stretch Marks? None new.

Sleep: I feel like I need to bump up the status between sleep and myself from BFFs to straight lovahs. My body feels very relaxed and when I lay down I'm out like a light.

Best Moment of the Week? Having maternity photos done! (Allison Easterling is beyond talented and sweet and understanding. If you're in the Colorado Springs area, snatch her up!). I didn't get them done with Jake because it was all preeclampsia and swelling and late-in-the-pregnancy bedrest, so it was such an amazing experience! And, Jake kissing his "baby dister" :-)

Miss Anything? If you don't know this by now we're fighting. Fine, I'm not a fighter...it rhymes with 'shmooshi'

Movement? Tons! She's an active little girl :-) There was one night I kept waking up and going right back to sleep. I couldn't figure out what the deuce was going on until I woke up for the day because my belly was bouncing around! Pretty much the best kick-you-in-the-pants way to wake up!!

Food Cravings? Smells (especially of onion and Del Taco), green tea frappuccinos (with nonfat milk and no whip--that's where it's at!), and TURKEY.BURGERS.

For lunch, I make myself a turkey burger sandwich that goes like this: grilled turkey burger with a slice of melted cheese, in between wheat bread with a little mayo and a fair amount of mustard on one slice of bread and spread mushed avocado on the other, and then I enjoy the taste-bud-fiesta. :: dies :: Super filling and so healthy. I look forward to lunch every. single. day.

:: finger guns ::

Food Aversions? Peanut butter, sweet potatoes, sharp cheddar cheese

Sex: Girl!!

Labor Signs? Nope. And, if I've been having Braxton Hicks-- I'm sure I have -- I'm unaware of it.

Belly Button, in or out? In

Wedding rings, on or off? On

Looking forward to: The birth! I can only guess what Gary will feel over in Afghanistan when he, out of the blue, gets the Red Cross message that I'm in labor (can you just imagine?!), and I am SO. STOKED. at the possibility of a water birth. I cannot wait to do what my body was intended and then have her placed on my chest. Cannot wait :-)

And, part two:
You guys? There's a strong possibility Gary will be able to skype the birth!!!! Of course we'd rather have him here, but being able to phone-in to your daughter's birth?! Fughetaboutit...

Weekly Wisdom: Crocs are ugly. Forever. No matter what.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I wish the second time could come first.

Except not in the way that I'm saying I wish I had one kid before the other. In the way that Holy Monica Geller the second time is sooo much easier than the first.

I wasn't all nervous and spazzy when J was in the ute, but I had to wonder about a lot because I just didn't know. First time mama status.

I wasn't sure of what baby gear we needed vs what was some marketing scheme to get us to spend on the unnecessary. I didn't know if there were certain things I should be doing during the day, other than the whole keeping-a-wee-person-in-one-piece thing. I didn't know if I'd, physically, ever feel the same or if I'd ever like my belly again.

What a rookie, eh?!

This time I just feel so much more relaxed. Not only do I not have to be all, "HOLY H-E DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS, how will we get everything the baby needs? Where will we put it all? Do I get a say in how our day will go at all??", I know that, aside from the healthy eating/working out thang, she pretty much grows herself. You just kind of sit back and let the bump grow.

Now, though? It kind of goes like this, "She'll have warm clothes, will feed straight from the tap, and has a place to sleep. DONE"

I know that the belly eventually goes back and the baby weight gets lost. Not, like, when you leave the hospital like every. single. mama. secretly wishes or anything, but eventually. I know that regardless of the platform social media gives the people who are like, "Opinions! I has them!", nothing matters except what your little fam' needs; not when someone else feeds their kid, puts them to sleep, what brand clothing they put their kid(s) in. Kind of an everyone-else-can-suck-it type thing. Truth bomb.

I look back at all the time Jake slept as a newbie. It was like a boob-and-bed situation with him. And, a diaper change, obvio. I remember not freaking out, but not fully taking that sigh of relief that he was asleep and I'd have an opportunity to do whatever I needed.

I know that this time the challenge will be adapting to having two kids; making sure Jake still has his needs met and doesn't feel left out, while getting Baby Sister the pretty constant care she needs. BUT, the thing about this time is that I know we'll all survive.There's not one thing outside this house that matters. We'll find our new. And, although, it won't be a pretty picture with dishes piling up in the sink and being behind on 2, or 3, or 17 loads of laundry, it'll be ours. And, it'll be fine. The thing I know this time is that I love these babies more than I will ever in my entire life be able to describe and that's all that matters. The rest figures itself out.

This time, the great thing is that I don't have one expectation of myself except keeping two kids happy and healthy.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Midwives are where it's at.

At my 20 week appointment I had to see an OB for my VBAC consult. I'm not sure if that's how it goes for all women, but this is how it goes for this Army post.

I left there devoid of almost all the confidence I've had this entire pregnancy that my body was more than capable of getting the natural birth I so desire.

Well, things changed at my 6 month checkup when I was able to go back to seeing midwives. Thank God.

The midwife I saw, like all the other midwives I've seen this whole pregnancy, restored my confidence, reassured me that they were, in fact, on my side, and even cared about me past the physicality of being pregnant. She cared about me. It was unreal how comfortable I felt. I've never felt that with someone of the medical community. I felt like we were friends and she just happened to be seeing me for the duration of the pregnancy. I wish I could adequately describe the sense of empowerment I got from her, as well as all the other midwives.

....

At my 20 week checkup, the OB, as friendly and non-threatening as she was, already had a plan about me when I walked in the door. I wasn't a face, I was a file. She determined that I was, without question, a candidate for a VBAC, but that was about where my dream ended. Upon going into labor, she wanted me to come in right away, not even wait for active labor, have an immediate epidural, and labor in bed. I was blown away.

I wasn't going to argue with her; I knew it'd go nowhere, and I have way more class than that. But, I did let her know that I feel so, unbelievably, capable; that I feel great and that I have, literally, zero reservations about myself doing this naturally.

She didn't care.

She was all about scare tactics. And, unfortunately, a teeny, tiny bit of them sunk in and worked. She said if I labor at home AT ALL, and something goes wrong, we'll lose the baby for sure. She gave statistics like, "There's a 1% chance your uterus will rupture [because of the previous c-section] during labor" Hi, that means there's a NINETY NINE PERCENT chance it won't. And, "Of all women attempting a VBAC 60-80% of women do so successfully" Hi, it's me again, that means the odds are in my favor. I mean, I'd go on the Price Is Right with those odds.

C'mon now.

I asked if, instead of getting the immediate epidural, there was a way to assess, once I am in labor, if my ute is holding up so that I don't *have* to get the epidural. She said no. Super. I asked if I could labor in the comfort of my own house for at least a couple hours since I live no more than 10 minutes from the hospital. She said no. She was a big, fat stick in my spokes.

I left there feeling so....dejected. She was punishing my me for what my body did almost 3 years ago when I was having Jake. She was punishing the weight gain I'm so proud of (minus my CA spike :-/), the blood pressure that shows no bad signs of anything (118/63), and the healthy way I've been maintaining myself for just over 6 months now. None of it mattered to her.

What a weiner.

I walked into my 6 month checkup, back with a midwife, and she restored every single bit of anything I needed. I vented to her about the evil OB and she totally understood. As "luck" (?), would have it, she was someone who went from an unwanted c-section with her first child to a vaginal birth her second time around. She was me, plus 15 years.

In fact, she was so supportive I felt she was trying to sell me on how much they were going to be there for me. She said that although all the midwives are aware that I have a slightly higher risk of things to go wrong, because of the c-section, that no one was going to treat me as if I was broken. And, no one has.

There will be constant fetal monitoring while in labor, because you can easily monitor how the uterus is doing based on baby's reactions, but that doesn't mean I'll be strapped to the bed for the duration of labor, as the OB insinuated. I'll be on somewhat of a leash, where I can move around. Because she knows how much I want am going to do this naturally, she was like,  "we'll get you on the birthing ball, you'll move around your room, if the fetal monitor allows, you'll get in the birthing tub..." It's like she was the one who wanted what I want. She's that much in my corner.

Per her approval, I can labor at home until active labor. She doesn't doubt me because of the nothing-I-could-do-about-it pre-eclampsia of my first pregnancy. She even gave me the extra confidence boost when she said that if I could handle 12 hours of pitocin contractions without any type of meds with Jake that regular contractions should be completely doable for me.

She also made sure I was going to have people with me, and she made sure that the people who'd be with me (Jake's Godmother, Gabby, and my own madre) were supportive of what I wanted because it can be difficult to see someone you love in pain. I wasn't just a file to her, I was an actual living, breathing, people-making person sitting in front of her. Amazeballs.

And, after I read this incredible story, I couldn't help but share this. Midwives are bombdotcom.

Au naturale, I'm comin' for ya :-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

24 weeks!

It's getting closer and closer to meeting her and I, like Jennifer Love Hewitt, can't hardly wait!

Still feeling so great! My only issues are, sitting for *long* periods (like when you drive across the country...) pisses off my lower back and if I don't sleep with a body pillow (like when we go back to CA for a visit and I freakin' forget it...) I feel a little stiff in the morning, but not one complaint otherwise! I feel so much more physically competent than I did while pregnant with J. And, my boobies still get pretty sore! 


:: moonwalks while clutching the milk-makers :: 

Like, really sore. Believe me, ladies and gents, I'd take this ANY day over the having-to-get-my-supply-going days. Bring on the tender boobies! It's about as much action as they get anywho... Anyway, ADORE how it's going and feel so blessed to feel this great! If I can keep this strong, great feeling going I'm going to kick the crap out of labor and delivery! I can't wait :-)

Bee Tee Dubbya, why is 40 weeks so.... 40 weeks?!


(Please forgive these pictures. OH EM GEE, it was too much to ask to get myself into position AND hold the camera AND get a shot in focus. I could not have felt more like mothereffing spaz.)




(The only decent bare-belly pic I could get was right before my workout. Otherwise it was just fuzzy like a peach.)


A couple things: 1) I'm at the point in the pregnancy where Baby Girl is sitting right on top of my bladder. I have to pee constantly. Even when I haven't had anything to drink yet. It's a hoot. Thank goodness I make my own foaming hand soap, I guess?! ;-)

2) It is SO CRAZY how my belly is growing this time. I thought, for sure, I was going to start showing by the end of the first trimester because of this being a second pregnancy and all. Negatory, morning glory. Everything was very gradual the first half of the pregnancy. But, I looked at the belly once we got back from CA and whoa, mama!! BOOM. Belly! I guess she grows in spurts because that's how I started showing, too; one morning I woke up and saw the roundness of my belly under my jammie shirt. Ohh, how I can't wait to meet her :-)

How far along? 24w 1d

Weight Gain: 7 lbs. See whatcha get for going back to your native land for a couple weeks!? 6 lbs in a month! Sadface emoticon.

Maternity clothes? Almost always. I physically felt my belly's growth spurt in week 21 and I'm SO HAPPY to be filling out more of my maternity clothes! Feeling much more comfortable in my skin :-)

But, can I ask you guys for some advice? I asked my mom and she only knew of super expensive ones, but I need sports bra help! I buy a medium to fit my body, but then my ladies are seriously squished. Total boob show. If I go large to accommodate my boobies, it's loose on my body. Can anyone help a sista out?!

Stretch marks? None new.

Sleep: Sleep and I are still BFFs. I even take a cat nap in the afternoon during J's nap. I wish sleeping in the middle of the day made me feel more like a bum; instead I just feel like I owned that day.

Best moment of the week: Watching Jake play with his uncles <3 IN-N-OUT; Still not being over the fact that I'm baking a baby girl <3 :-) Oh, and knowing where she is based on the shape of my belly is about as awesome as it gets!


Oh, and less ass sweat during my workouts. Win.

Miss Anything? Sushi. Forever and always. GET ME SOME SUSHI.

Movement? Tons :-) I can't even describe how much I love every second of it. So amazing!

Food cravings? Lemons, lemonade, peach tea, raspberry tea.... Basically I'm a glutton for water-based drinks. And, I don't know if this counts as a 'craving', but I LOVE smells. Whether I'm making alfredo sauce, or can get my hands on some lime, I love smelling things way over eating them. Now if I can just get someone to start making food-related candles I'd be the happiest pregnant chick evah.

Food aversions? Peanut butter, sweet potatoes, sharp cheddar cheese

Sex: GIRL!

Labor signs? Nope.

Belly button, in or out? In

Wedding rings, on or off? On

Looking forward to: Meeting our daughter :-) I don't know how I'm going to make it these next 16ish weeks. Pretty sure I'm going to implode from excitement :-D

Weekly wisdom: Much like I felt about bagels, watermelon froyo is for winners.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Baby girl pretties!

Remember how I used to think thrifting was grody?

Mama was trippin'.

Today I went out and got all kinds of cute for $40!!!! Thanks, Once Upon a Child!

It was pretty painful to pass up all the cute ruffle-butt bottoms and totes adorbs rompers, but I had to keep reminding myself, sometimes aloud, that WE ARE HAVING A NOVEMBER BABY. Summery clothes in newborn-sized would cut the cheese.

The employees weren't the happiest people I've ever encountered, but I walked around that place like I slept with a hanger in my mouth! BABY GIRL SHOPPING!!!! SHOPPING FOR OUR DAUGHTER!!!!

::: does the sprinkler :::

 So much loot for so little dinero!

Check this out...thick jammie onesie, little coat, and beanie....$6!!!

As my mom calls them, "warm-warms" for $2.25 each!

PeeEss...I am SO digging polka dota right now. 

This is one of those warm, cover-up deals that button up the front. 

::: dies ::: 


The 3 top onesies were $1/ea and the 2 on the bottom right were .75/ea!

OK...let's talk about this---> My archenemy for little girl wear is anything that say "Princess" or "Diva" on it; I've even threatened infant-clothing bonfires should we receive any as gifts. BUT, I saw this, and I thought about our daughter's daddy meeting her for the first time. My uterus ached with adorableness and then I snatched this mamma-jamma up like I was on fire.


I can't even handle this. At all. 
The green is much less limey than it looks, but OH EM GEE. My heart has palpitations.

Seriously.
OH.EM.GEE.

This long sleeve onesie and pant set comes with a sleeveless vest (which is optional to me...until I see our baby girl and EVERYTHING looks cute on her!) and was about $5. 

I picked up a couple extra pairs of shorts for my firstborn, because he needed them (& they were $2/ea!), but I almost feel bad at how much less-cute boy clothing is!



I also stopped at Burlington Coat Factory (aka, baby gear crackhouse) and got Baby Girl her keepsake box :-) Jake has one and it keeps his sonograms, baby book, newborn hospital tags, first haircut...I so love it. Can't wait to build Baby Girl's!

And, as my friend, Megan, reminded me, and what Rachel went through on FRIENDS, the enormo cute of the outfits I got today won't leave any room for any pain-in-the-tush to ask,  "Why would you put a bow on a boy?" ;-)

I am way too excited right now.

::: roundhouse kicks :::