Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 In Review

In the car the other day I noted that the three best things to happen us this year was that both our cars were in accidents and we had Liam.

Why is being in an accident a good thing? Jason drove a 2000 2-door Blazer. At our budget meeting before the year started, we discussed needing to replace it by the time Liam was born and saving extra for the down payment of something 4-door. And then on Jan 2 he was rear-ended. We thought for sure it would be totaled (it was worth maybe $2k) and we'd have to start car shopping. In the end Geico gave him $1,200. We still started car shopping because we weren't able to open up the back hatch. In mid-February he decided on a Chrysler 300 and we found an amazing deal on a used 2012 one. And then the dealer gave him $1,700 for his broken blazer! He never would have gotten $2,900 for it in non-broken condition, so total win.

I planned to drive my highlander into the ground. It was paid for, in good condition, and we had discussed getting it "painted" to repair a few cosmetic issues it had. I figured in 3-4 more years I would upgrade to a larger SUV. I might not have quite the down payment, but I would have something toward a new one, and by then we'd be debt free and have a nice savings for a new one. But the world doesn't work like that, so mine got totaled and we bought a larger SUV.

And now Jason and I both drive brand new cars, with car loans. Totally not Dave Ramsey-isk. We actually hope to pay off one of these vehicles this year, we still have some savings to apply. We did pay off another loan and are down to two car loans and two student loans. Our car loans actually have lower interest rates than the student loans! Once I'm employed again we'll be able to tackle these few remaining debts and knock them out! 

So to look back at my 2013 Resolutions... I should fess up and say that when I wrote them, I knew I was pregnant.

1) Pay off car ($980 to go!!)
2) Lose Weight
3) Gain Weight
4) Have a baby
5) Stay childless
6) Don't start smoking
7) Drink
8) Work
9) Work Out
10) Sleep

  1. I did pay off my Highlander (and 11 months later it was totaled.) 
  2. I lost weight! After I had the baby. 
  3. I gained weight, since I was pregnant. 
  4. I had a baby!
  5. I didn't stay childless. 
  6. I didn't start smoking. 
  7. I drank, water, and lots of water. And more water. I have had 3 glasses of wine (so far) this entire year. 
  8. I worked. And worked. And now I work as a stay at home mom. And I work on job searching so I can get back out in the work force. 
  9. I worked out. I continued to work out from January until the first week of August. I haven't done much of anything since then. 
  10. And I slept. A lot more in the beginning of the year than the end of the year. 
I've been thinking a lot about my 2014 and what I want to happen. I'll post more about that later, but looking back at the half-ass resolutions I made and how big of year it was, makes me want to have another big year, even if I don't set a resolution. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Welcome Christmas!

It's been a few weeks... or like 16 days since my last blog. It feels like it's been months. 

Liam is growing and gets bigger and heavier (15 pounds) every day! Some nights he sleeps through the night, some nights he doesn't and I'm a zombie. Some days he lets me put him down and I get other things done, other days he doesn't. 

I'm amazed at how much I actually don't accomplish. I only get to shower because Jason is home at lunch to watch Liam. And some days I get upset that I don't get things done. Sometimes I get upset that I'm *only* at home, not getting housework done, and most importantly, not bringing in income. 

And then Jason gives me a pep talk and reminds me that raising Liam is a job. And that keeping him out of daycare right now is the best for his immune system. I read on the baby boards about all the sick kids. I know I can't keep him out of daycare and germ free forever, but at least during these few months of flu seasons, RSV, whooping cough... I'm keeping my little man safe and healthy. 

And my complaints? My days are filled with:

  • Dirty diapers
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Tummy time
  • Play mats
  • Sitting up
  • Spitting Up
  • Swinging
  • Swaying
  • Pacing
  • I love yous
  • Crying (more him than me)
  • Pee
  • Poop
  • Baby talk

....and well, I love it all. But I am ready to go back to work, to talk to human beings my own intellect, discuss something more than when my child last pooped or ate or if he finally rolled over! I hope that going back to work will help me appreciate the weeknights and weekends more. I wait patiently for Jason to get home, and some days I hand him the baby, take a shower, and lay down for an hour of my own down time. It's the mental rest I need to keep going. And usually the physical rest I need to be able to stay up most of the night if Liam is up most of the night. 


Christmas is around the corner! Liam doesn't really know. He stares at the lights on our tree. We have some simple presents for him - PJs and a Book. I know my parents have bought a few things, and we're waiting until after Christmas to see what he got before we buy a few more things. Next year it'll be bigger. 

I can't believe 2013 is almost over! It was a such a huge year for us. If I don't make it back, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Young Living Essential Oils

In March my friend Lani introduced me to the Young Living Essential Oils. I was skeptical of a few things, and just wrote a huge rant about the presenter that I decided to delete. In summary, oils are good for you. You should look into them. 

With the pregnancy and now with breastfeeding, I haven't been able to take some of my favorite drugs like Excedrin for Migraines and Mucinex with Speed (the one behind the counter that people use to make meth). I had to find other relief for the headaches, and most recently, my cold/ear drainage. 

A lot of people use Young Living Essential Oils. There are a lot of websites (like my favorite one), pinterest boards, and facebook pages from users who also make their own remedies. 

Breath Again Roll-on
For migraine relief, my number one go-to is an ice pack on my forehead and an ice pack on my neck. However, I found that adding peppermint, pan away, and armo siez helped the headache go away quicker. The site Baby Steps to Essential Oils offers these headache suggestions. YLEO also has some additional Roll-Ons for certain ailments like stress or headaches. You can also make your own roll-ons using the roller balls from YLEO. More on that later. 

Sometime around Grandpa's funeral, I caught a cold. Liam got the sniffles too. I used Lemon Oil on my throat to help, and it did, but it didn't work as well as my Breathe Again Roll-On and homemade Vapor Rub. My cold and ear drainage were gone within 2 days of the combo. Liam's snotty nose also cleared up - he only benefited from being close to me while I used the oils on myself. Oils are safe for kids, but in diluted amounts. There's an entire book about Babies and Oil, and even an oil called "Gentle Baby."  

I did for a few of the first days use non-meth Mucinex. The issues is a decongestant dries out your nose and as an unfortunate side affect, your milk supply. I saw my milk production slow down, no matter how much water I was drinking. The lower dose non-speed mucinex was also not helping. 
The homemade vapor rub has done wonders! I weighed 2 ounces of coconut oil into a glass jar and placed it in a hot water bath to melt the oil. I added the Option 1 oils and wish I would have added the Eucalyptus oil into it also. Give it one more kick. I mixed it well, let it solidify, and rubbed some on my feet at bedtime (and put on socks.) Not only did it soften my feet, it helped get rid of my cold and drainage. 

If you're interested in learning more about oils, contact me. I ordered Brig a Breathe Again roll-on and she attests that it made a difference! I also made lotion bars for myself and family. Another blog for another time. 

And because I must say this: I am not a doctor. I only use Young Living Essential Oils. Other oils are not the same quality. Each body reacts differently to oils and the statements above have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA.  You're on your own if you use them and your symptoms get worse. Sometimes you should go to the doctor - be smart about your health. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole

Having a baby makes it hard to cook. We've been eating through our freezer but sometimes I want to try something new. And on the weekends (or holidays), I can usually find a little time to cook while Jason is on baby duty. (And sometimes he sleeps and Jason can help in the kitchen!) 

I have seen this recipe floating around Pinterest for a while and wanted to make it. So. I. Did. :) 

Most of the pins I found didn't have a recipe attached, it was a pin of a pin of a pin. That got annoying so I turned to The Google. 

The only deviation I made from the recipe was I added two extra tablespoons of Dijon Mustard. The mixture you pour ontop is very similar to my Chicken Divan mixture and as my husband stated, it tastes similar to chicken divan, except instead of brocolli there is cheese. I have to warn you too - somehow my dish came out a little extra salty. I only added the tsp of salt, and I'm not sure if it's just the salt in the ham and cheese and maybe I need to somehow choose less salty meat. 

Even though I used the recipe as is, I'm going to copy it below (with a few small edits) word for word because I really hate having to constantly scroll through pictures and instructions. 

Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole
Ingredients
1 large rotisserie chicken, meat removed and pulled (about 5-6 C)
1/2 pound sliced deli-style black forest ham, chopped
1/2 pound sliced swiss cheese

Sauce:
4 Tb butter
4 Tb flour
3 C milk
1 Tb lemon juice
2 Tb dijion mustard (Substitute ground mustard if needed.)
1  tsp salt
1 Tsp of Garlic 
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp pepper

Crumb Topping:
4 Tb melted butter
1 1/4 C seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 C Parmesan cheese

Directions 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick spray.  Layer the chicken in the bottom of the dish followed by the ham and finally the Swiss/Havarti cheese.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk, whisking to keep clumps from forming.
  4. Turn the heat to high and cook until the sauce thickens and boils completely, whisking often.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the remaining sauce ingredients.
  6. Pour the finished sauce over the base layer already in the dish.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients until the butter is evenly distributed over the crumbs.
  8. Sprinkle over the top of the dish and bake for 45 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving so the sauce will thicken just a bit.

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

My inspiration for this comes from The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond). She has one of my favorite food network shows and everything she makes looks really delicious. It's also hearty since she is serving her ranch hand family. 

Her recipe calls for a few more peppers, twice the potatoes, and doesn't incorporate sausage since it's a "side dish". I wanted to make this a breakfast casserole. 

I also like this because it's a two-dish casserole. One large skillet on the stove and one 9x13 glass casserole dish. (Unless you have to grate the cheese with your food processor... then there's an extra clean up item.)

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1 red pepper
2 poblano chilies (for more heat, add more chilies or pick a hotter one.)
1 white onion
2 pounds diced frozen hash brown potatoes (1 bag)
Salt & Pepper
1/2 pound grated sharp cheddar
1/2 pound grated Monterrey jack 
8 slices of bacon, fried & chopped
1 pound sausage

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. 
  2. Cook the sausage & bacon (separately), and set aside. Drain sausage/pat dry bacon. Chop bacon.
  3. Dice the onion, red pepper, and chilies.
  4. Melt the butter in the large skillet and saute the onion, red pepper, and chilies until onion is clear and pepper & chilies are almost blackened. (I also added garlic, parsley, and cilantro frozen cubes at this point. - See below for more info.) 
  5. Add the cooked sausage and the frozen hashbrowns, salt & pepper, and mix together. Let cook about 15 - 20 minutes. (Or however long it takes to shred your cheese.)
  6. Pour half the potato mixture into a greased 9x13 glass dish. Cover with a thin layer of cheese, pour the remaining half of hte potato mixture over the cheese layer. Spread the rest of the cheese over the casserole, top with bacon.
  7. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 30-40 minutes. 

Notes:
  • You can change the peppers to make it hotter or milder. I think it had the perfect spice for breakfast
  • You can make this the day before (I did) and I took it out about an hour before putting in the oven so it would come to room temperature. 
  • If you haven't discovered the frozen cubes of spices at Trader Joes, or now at Wal-Mart, you must! I keep the garlic, cilantro, and parsley on hand to flavor my dishes. As much as I love having fresh cilantro as a garnish, it's a pain to keep on hand. 
  • Since this has sausage in it, you don't really need another protein, but it would go good with a side of scrambled eggs. 
  • If anyone ever finds shredded Monterrey jack please, please call me ASAP. I love the flavor of MJ cheese, but am tired of always shredding it. My food processor does wonders, but then I have to clean that! 



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Moving onto and into bigger things

State Farm totaled my Highlander. I was a bit heart broken until they gave me a check for $15,800!!!! Say Wha??

It took a few weeks and a lot of research. It originally took me a year to figure out I wanted to replace my Ranger with a Highlander and a couple months of keeping my eye out for a great deal. Oh, I paid $17,700 for my Highlander back in October 2008. So that was quite a deal! 

I knew that in another 3-4 years I would want to upgrade my Highlander to a larger SUV. After looking at the budget, Jason and I decided we could do it. (Even without a second income.) So I started looking. First I asked my friends what they drove. Some drove smaller SUVs then what I wanted. Some drove what I considered "beasts". I read a lot of ocnsumer report reviews for their top rated picks and the pros and cons. I narrowed it down to a GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, and Mazda CX9. And then I used autotrader to look for the best deal. 

Uncle Pat laughed when I told him I wanted a 7-seater SUV, remote start, and with All Wheel Drive for under $35k. He said I would never find it. With the help of some Black Friday deals and a lot of research, I found Traverses and Acadias that met my criteria. The cheapest I found was a 2013 Traverse for $32,300 and next was a 2014 Acadia for $32,900. We wound up paying a wee bit more than $35k for an upgraded Acadia. Leather seats, tow package (boat buy is next!), navigation, dual sunroofs, and some other features that I can't describe because I haven't discovered them yet or figured out how to work it. (Today Jason and I had to figure out how to put gas in it.) 

The *only* reason we would really afford this SUV is because I had the $16k for my highlander. Otherwise we never would have considered an expensive vehicle. If I was going to have a car payment, I wanted it to fit in my budget.  

So without further ado, here is Em-V, my new SUV. She's called Em-V because Jason wants to call her my minivan. Because honestly, the interior is very similar to a mini-van. 





Monday, November 25, 2013

Get up and do something

On Thursday November 14 the world lost a hero. 

Grandpa Bill passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family. I have a lot of mixed emotions and am not grieving the way a normal person grieves. It's hard to grieve when you have the most adorable 10 week old laughing at you while you cry. After so much loss throughout my life, I bury my emotions and it's easier to deal with them later. 

Grandpa has been sick for many years. And constant "This might be it" trips to visit him in the hospital. It happens a few times each year. It wasn't a surprise. He was airlifted on Sunday to Barnes. He had a great day, a surge, on Monday. But then Monday night took a turn and didn't recover. 

My father gave a great eulogy.  Grandpa was in WWII and when he landed on the beach  near Zamboanga in the Philippines, he had two choices. Lay there and get killed or get up and do something about it.

He received three Bronze stars, two for valor and bravery in combat. And one of those reads “for organizing and leading Philippine infantry in attacking and overcoming three Japanese machine gun positions.

So my father challenges all of us to Get Up and Do Something.

Grandpa's obituary:
William E. “Bill” Reed, 87, of Red Bud, Illinois, formerly of Belleville, IL,born Thursday, August 19, 1926, in Saint Louis, MO, died Thursday, November 14, 2013 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Bill was retired from CBS/Viacom, having worked at Channel 4 television station for 35 years. He was a member of Saint Matthew United Methodist Church in Belleville Illinois. He was a volunteer for the Violence Prevention Center, Meals on Wheels, former Boy Scout and Cub Scout leader, Khoury League coach, a member of IBEW Local 4. He was a decorated combat veteran of WWII, having served in the Philippines and Japan with the 41st Infantry Division.
He was preceded in death by:
  • Father:  Henry Clay Reed 
  • Mother and Step-father:  Frances nee Domagolla and Charles Dougharty
  • Mother and Father-in-law:  Jesse and Pearl nee Rhine Fox
  • Brother and Sister-in-Law:  Bob and Beryl Reed
  • Nephew:  Larry Lee
Surviving:
  • Wife:  Wilma “Jean” nee Fox Reed of Red Bud, IL 
  • Son and Daughter-in-Law:  William Michael and Terri Reed of Red Bud, IL 
  • Grandchildren:
    • Melissa Reed of Red Bud, IL 
    • Meghan (Jason) Guilford of Maryland Heights 
    • William J. (Kelci) Reed of Godfrey, IL 
  • Great-Grandson:  William P. Guilford
  • Niece:  Sandra (Dan) Malan of St. Louis, MO
  • Cousin:  Reed (Carol) James of St. Joseph, MO
  • Great Nieces and Nephews
  • Special Cousins of the Rhine and Fox families
Memorials: Memorials may be made to the St. Matthew United Methodist Church, St. Peter United Church of Christ in Red Bud, Monroe County Humane Society or St. Louis Honor Flight 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All I wanted was a new pair of shoes....

Saturday November 2. Liam is two months! 

So with Liam's Baptism a week away and a new dress hanging in my closest, I decided to venture out to the new Premiere Outlet Mall. My goal was to get a new pair of pumps form Easy Spirit. I tried on a pair Friday that were Size 8 Wide, but needed a little more room - like 8.5 Wide. The Outlet Store was going to be my best bet. 

The three of us headed out in my paid for and very well taken care of 2007 Toyota Highlander. We had the stroller (for the quick stop at the mall), were planning on getting some lunch, stopping at Sam's Club, and then going over to Cotton Babies to look at baby carriers. 

We had turned onto Outlet Blvd from Olive Street and I was in the left lane of our two lane road. Everyone but me was going in the first mall entrance. I was headed further north toward the second entrance. I wanted to get in and out - I was hungry for lunch. We had noticed an older green Ford in the right lane had slowed down and a few cars passed it. The Ford even started to pull onto the shoulder before deciding the best way to get out of his "lost" status (I assume he didn't want to go to the mall) was to make a u-turn. IN FRONT OF ME. Wait, he wasn't in front of me. He was still next to me when he decided to make a u-turn. I didn't have time to honk or brake before he was making his turn and dragging my poor little SUV with him. I kept braking but we weren't stopping. That was probably the scariest moment of it all. I just wanted to STOP MY CAR. 

When we did stop, we were in the opposite lanes, blocking traffic (thank heavens no cars were oncoming!!). My passenger door and his drivers doors were smashed together. I jumped out and checked on Liam. Who was still sleeping. Yea, he slept through me being broadsided. And I'm glad he was on the drivers side. I guess Jason crawled out the drivers side, I don't remember. Two vehicles with two lovely ladies (each) stopped and one of them called the police. They showed up quickly, which usually happens when you are blocking lanes of traffic. 

The other driver? Older man (70s?), he hit his head or something. He was bleeding, asked me to put a band aid on. I refused. I told him I wasn't giving him first aid, an ambulance was on the way. The EMT was very happy with our car seat install. The first thing he did was shake the car seat - which shook the car. Liam seemed/seems a-ok. I had a very sore right breast (from the seat belt) and bruised my left knee. Jason thinks I probably "turtled up" and hit my knee. Both my breast and boob have nasty bruises. I did call my doctor. No need to go in, me or Liam. Jason has a bruise on his elbow - he was probably turtling up and/or bracing himself. 

The air bags didn't deploy. I have side air bags too. It wasn't a head on crash... it was more like something you do with bumper cars.

While Jason stayed at the scene and for his brother to show up, Liam & I rode in the ambulance back to the firehouse. We waited inside the kitchen for Tim & Jason to come pick us up. It wasn't that cold, but it was nice to be away from the accident site and inside. 

The other driver admitted fault right away. To I think everyone - his son on the phone, the police officer, Jason, everyone that stopped. Or so I imagine he did. Jason just said "he admitted fault." And the police officer said he was going to write him tickets. The guy even had "expired insurance"... ok, 2-days, but still, gotta carry your new card! 

The truck driver asked Jason if he wanted to "sugar coat" it as he was picking up the pieces of my SUV. Jason wasn't sure what he meant - it pretty much looked past repair. You can't "sugar coat" the damage to the vehicle. Major frame damage, plastic parts of my engine laying on the ground... I'm not sure how insurance won't total it. If they fix it though I would be ok with that! I love my car. It was paid off, I took very good care of it, and it was holding it's value (still worth around $12k). If they do total it, hopefully the check provides a very large downpayment for my next SUV. I am not ready to buy a new SUV. It took me over a year to decide I wanted a Highlander, and two more months to bite the bullet and purchase one. I got a great deal on her too. 

We never made it to the mall. I ordered the shoes online... hope they fit ok. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Shoulder Roast Recipe

We are halfway through with our half of the split-quarter from Crooked Creek Beef. We also reserved a split quarter that will be ready in December. They have some left if you want to reserve yours!

We have eaten most of the steaks and have ground beef and the large cuts of meat left, like roasts.

Here is what I did with the shoulder roast. I started with this recipe and added things based on the comments. I love crock pot roast. I hate crock pot potatoes. They come out all mushy. One of the comments said to add them half way through the day. I would say bake them in the oven or microwave. Or have Tater Tots, as we did. I love Tots. 

Ingredients
2-pounds boneless beef roast (I used the Shoulder Roast)
flour
2-tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Salt & Pepper
Worcestershire Sauce
1-yellow onion
16-ounces Baby Carrots (or peel/cut your own, who has time for that?)
16-ounce mushrooms (whole or cut)
14-ounce can Beef Broth
10.75 can Cream of XYZ Soup. I used Cream of Mushroom & Roasted Garlic
2-tablespoons fresh parsley
Garlic 

Directions

  1. Dredge the roast in the flour. In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the roast in the oil for 15 minutes, or until all sides are well browned. Season with salt & pepper and set aside.
  2. Layer the carrots, quarter the onion, and mushrooms in the bottom of a slow cooker (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) 
  3. Sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce & garlic powder. (and other spices you might like)
  4. Pour the can of beef broth in the slow cooker.
  5. Place the roast on top and pour the soup on top of the roast.
  6. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours. 
  7. Eat with baked potatoes (or tater tops) or pasta. 
Enjoy! 



Monday, October 21, 2013

Quick Update - Job Front

It's been 2+ weeks since I have updated. It's mostly a time thing. Weekends have been busy and nights have been spent sleeping, or not sleeping. 

I have 3 draft blogs started...one is called "Couch Potato" about all the TV shows I watch, and the random ones I've started DVRing because I am bored. 

I need more stay at home mom friends. Or any. I'm getting better at braving going out by myself. I also have my days where I am efficient with laundry and dishes and cleaning. And I have plenty of days where I am not. I am very lucky to have a hands on husband with both household chores and the baby. He is in the nursery right now trying to get him to sleep. He's been sleeping in 6-hour chunks the past three days so crossing our fingers we have another good night (so far it's not looking like it.) It just means I'll put in my time in the nursery recliner. Note - comfy recliner BEST. IDEA. EVER. (Thanks Dee!) I cannot imagine sleeping in one of those stupid gliders that everyone wants. 

In the job front, it's been 6 weeks so I'm cleared to work and/or start looking for work. I'm going to slowly ease into it. I'd *LOVE* to stay home for 6-months (through February), but I also don't want to pass up the possibility of the greatest job if there is an opening that pops up. Finding the right job is important, especially since we can't afford for me to stay at home forever. I already have a few job leads, and I need to decide how or if to pursue them. I'm not sure consulting is the line of work I should stay in. Reasons to leave consulting - I hate timesheets. Ugh.... and even after the timesheet thing, I still never feel done with my job. Take fast food workers, their job is done when they go home at the end of the day. There's never a report that still needs editing or another round of groundwater sampling to complete, an invoice to send, or a client phone call to make. Consulting is not bad, it's just stressful. My last job stressed me out past my limit. Lots of factors/reasons why, but it did. Being pregnant during a new job sure didn't help anything either. Moving on though, totally moving on. Just need to decide how and when. 

We got our announcements in the mail (ok, all but the last 10 because I'm still writing a few thank you cards.) This is one of our pictures that Lani took. 
http://lmtphotography.com/

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lazy Days & Cloth Diaper Update

Liam thinks sleeping, especially at night, is overrated. And he is fussy what seems like all the time. 

Most days I am exhausted and I get to stay at home. Jason is exhausted but he has to work. Most week nights I try to do all the getting up, but a few nights I am so exhausted I don't move and don't wake up at all. Jason will be standing next to me holding a crying baby and I won't hear him at all. I am in a coma and most days feel like a zombie. I only start to feel normal after lunch. I haven't had a good nights sleep in what feels like a year. I would guess it's at least been a few months now. If you add up all the sleep I get throughout the day, it probably is 7-9 hours. But it's in 2-3 hour blocks. And that isn't sufficient for my body. At least not yet. I guess I eventually will get used to not having deep sleep. (Since starting this journal entry a week ago, I am starting to feel more rested.)

I feel very selfish complaining about this. Who am I to complain? I have an amazing husband who helps. He even comes home at lunch so I can shower. And he'll get up with Liam too in the middle of the night. How do single moms do it? Or moms with more selfish husbands who don't get up at night?

I also don't have to work. My work loads includes some light housework and caring for Liam. That's it. Jason helps with chores in the evening and weekends. And the cooking. Sometimes I am able to make dinner, sometimes Jason gets home and has to do most of it (like making a salad or heating up the dinner, grilling, serving, and cleaning up.) I actually made dinner the other night - Jason came home to dinner cooked and ready to be dished out. And I think Liam was calm enough that I was able to clean up. Or not, I actually can't remember much about Thursday night. The days run together, and I can't know what day it is.

I eventually will have to return to work, and sometimes think I want to stay home for more than 12 weeks, like 6 months. And then I have days where Liam is fussy all day/night and only wants to be held and/or eat, and I wish I was at work and we had daycare watching over Liam. Then I wonder how daycare handles a newborn. Do they let him sit and cry it out? What if he isn't on a feeding schedule? Will they feed him on demand? Then I start worrying about leaving him and realize I want to stay home longer.

And while it seems like I'm whining about something frivolous - he wants to be held or fed the entire afternoon - and some people would love to sit at home on the couch feeding a newborn or holding him, it is exhausting when he decides one of those two things doesn't satisfy him and he cries, and cries. Jason will sometimes come home and I'm in an uncomfortable sitting position and Liam is sprawled across my lap, finally passed out. Or he's latched on and been that way for an hour.  And I like that he's sleeping/latched because he's quiet, but it also means a few things - 1) I can't move, and 2) he won't sleep later in the evening, or 3) my boob is drained dry. I worry the long feeding sessions are draining my milk, not aiding in the creation of milk.

Cloth Diaper Update
On a side note of cloth diapers - I bought liners and they help tremendously!! A little less rinsing of the poo. (Though you don't have to remove breastfed poo from diapers before washing.) I read a bunch of reviews on various liners and decided on the incredibum liners. At the moment, at our house, we do not flush them - they go into our diaper trashcan. Out and about, they can be flushed in the restroom toilet. We are still using some disposables, like at night. We have some newborn size left and it helps since disposables do absorb more than cloth.

We have had a few leaks in the cloth diapers. It's out the upper back, when he is laying down. I'm trying to figure out if the diapers are repelling (I don't think they are because they do absorb pee) or if it's because his penis is pointed upward in the diaper. I can only guess since I don't actually have a penis. We don't have any leaks in disposables.

I wash diapers every other night and hang them up to dry overnight (in the basement.) We have this drying rack and it is great. We also have an oscillating fan and the dehumidifier on to keep the air circulating in the basement in the laundry area. On the weekends I try to wash early morning so they can hang outside and dry - and be bleached by the sun.

So far, so good with the diapers! Decent transition and Jason doesn't hate it.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cloth Diapers

I'm not a tree hugger, I'm not an environmentalist, but I am interested in saving money. Many people choose cloth diapers for many different reasons. All in all, most people will argue that you aren't saving the environment by using cloth diapers. I might save physical landfill space by not throwing away diapers, but I'm creating a different waste by the extra water I'm using to wash them. 

I chose to do cloth diapers for a few reasons - cost savings, reduction of waste (mostly at home, not too concerned about the landfill at the moment), and chemical/allergy/diaper rash reasons. 

Here is a great blog about all the "dangers" of disposable diapers. I agree with most of the points brought up - I don't know the validity of the numbers they came up with, so take those as a grain of salt. 

Cost Savings
It is estimated that it costs around $80 a month to diaper. If you manage to get your child potty trained by age 2.5 years/30 months, it totals $2,400 spent on disposable diapers. It's a lot of money to throw away. Cloth diapers require a large upfront cost while the cost of disposables is spread out over the span of the child being in diapers. 

My mom purchased 2 boxes of Huggies Newborn Diapers from Sam's Club, and then we purchased 1 box - 108 diapers each box for around $30 each box. We knew we wanted to use disposables diapers during the first weeks of adjusting to parenthood. 

My mom also helped buy cloth diapers. Total purchased was 24 BumGenius 4.0s and 5 BG Elementals from Cotton Babies while they were onsale this past summer. The 4.0s were Buy 6 for $86.90, and the 5 elementals cost $95. In total, mom and I spent $442.60 on the 31 diapers. 

We also purchased cloth diaper wipes - 5 packages of 12 for $12 each - so $60 on cloth wipes. 

Half my newborn stash
I wanted to switch to cloth diapers this week. However, our 4.0s are still too big. Liam has skinny legs and the diapers are super bulky. Jason and I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the BumGenius Newborn diapers. Cotton Babies sells them in a 24 pack for $280. I got them all washed today and dried and we've made the switch. Liam is now over 9 pounds and the NB diapers are good up to 12 pounds. 

Newborn diapers are a big splurge and I wish I would have done it two weeks ago. However, they are worth the price, especially if used for two children and if properly cared for, have excellent resale potential.

Along with the cloth diapers comes the purchase of cloth diaper wet bags. BumGenius only just started making them. The best bags (rated best by random internet people at least...) are Planet Wise bags. They have a variety of sizes and patterns. I purchased 2 pail liners ($15 each), 2 large hanging dry/wet bags ($30/each), and 2 medium sized bags ($17 each). So $124 on bags. Wet bags are the most expensive part of cloth diapering.

So in total:
$60 Wipes
$125 Wet Bags
$443 BG 4.0s Diapers
$280 BG Newborn Diapers

Grand total of $908 to cloth diaper my child. At least this is savings of over $1,500 from using disposables. And if we decide to have another child, it's even more savings. And hopefully I can resell everything when I am done having kids.

Reduction of Waste
In general I think about landfills and wonder where in 100 years people will be putting their trash, but I know I can't reduce the landfill waste being created. A lot of Americans are wasteful and won't try to reduce the waste they send to the landfills. I am more concerned about the trash I create at home. I make sure to recycle and want to limit what trash I throw away. At least with cloth diapers I can reduce my trash footprint a little more.  

Also, the production of disposable diapers and the chemicals used during the manufacturing process create waste - chemical waste - which also must be disposed of. 

Chemical/Allergy/Diaper Rash
My brother, sister, and I were all cloth diaper babies because we were allergic to disposable. Sensitive little bums. 

Using disposable wipes and diapers introduces a lot of unnecessary chemicals to an infant that can harm them. The absorbency of cloth diapers isn't just cotton - it's a chemical in the cotton that aids with the absorbency. This chemical also produces a reaction with urine that can cause a rash. 

Cloth diapers mom will tell you they very rarely have diaper rash. When a child has diaper rash, there are a lot of creams (more chemicals) you can put on that rash to help heal it. At some point, I'll post about the natural diaper rash remedies.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Baby dreams

Liam is growing so quickly!! And he's adorable. And has these facial expressions while he's sleeping. He smiles, he scrunches his nose and eyes, and sometimes it looks like he is trying to talk in his sleep. Jason brought up a great point - what do babies dream about? What do they have to dream about? 

My dreams are usually about experiences in my life. I have a lot of work dreams. And dreams that involve past residences - like the house in Union, Missouri (lived there until 1992.) My dreams include people in my past and present life.... so what does Liam dream about? 

Jason and I did well this week. We are more in the swing of handling nights and managed to get more sleep overall. We even went out to eat! On Thursday night we went to Red Robin. I figured if he started crying no one would notice since RR is already so loud. I put away a cheeseburger like I hadn't eaten in a month. It was delicious. I love not worry about counting carbs. 

I have lost 20 of my gained 28 pounds. It pretty much fell off in the first week. I lucked out with having GD and not gaining too much weight. That was the only saving grace. I hope to get in a better schedule during the day with Liam. Well, one that helps me be productive. Watching repeat Grey's Anatomy from noon until 3 pm, then Ellen at 3pm, news at 4, Jeopardy at 4:30, and more news at 5 while waiting for Jason get home is a schedule, but not a productive one! I'd like to start walking and exercise a little. Nothing major, I'm not looking to start Insanity, but I could add some light cardio and strength training back in my routine. 

I'm trying to keep up with some journal entries.... there's not a lot going on. I spend most of the day cuddling with Liam. And it makes me happy. :) 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Newborn Weight & Breastfeeding

With the iPad it's easy to start blog entries and jot down my thoughts during the day or nights. It is harder to edit the entries and get them posted. I started this entry and thoughts earlier. It's not really an important entry for my readers - it's more important for future google-ers to find and maybe learn a bit from my experience.

I included some helpful links I was given at the end of the post. I also included some St. Louis resources for those in the area. 

Newborn Weight
Liam weighed 8 pounds and 3 ounces at birth. I consider this an elevated birth rate. I had been on IV fluids for 53 hours. I'm not sure how much fluid was pumped into my body, and even though it was a slow drip, it still affected my body (lots of swelling) and affected his birth weight. 

When we left the hospital I should have asked what his discharge weight was or what other weight they measured. He had a 24 hour birth rate of 7 pounds and 14 ounces. This is important to know. 

I was told to take him to the doctor on Monday (September 9).The main doctors I see (Dr. H or Dr. W.) were not available, and I asked for a pediatrician appointment and was scheduled with Dr. D. 

Jason went back to work and my mom went with me to the doctor appointment. (My mom is awesome, she came and stayed with us Sunday through Thursday.) Dr. D didn't know my birth story. Nor did she know Liam's birthrate or 24 hour weight. Nor does she have children. And it turns out she's only done a handful of infant exams. This is the only downfall to my doctor's office. I love that when I am sick I can get an appointment that day; but my newborn's first appointment should have been scheduled with a doctor who actually knew what they were doing. 

My doctor (Dr. H) is a lactation consultant and has a 5 month old! This is very important. At least maybe give me a doctor who has breastfed before! 

6-day old doctor appointment
So the doctor's appointment - Liam's weight had fallen to 7 pounds and 10 ounces. We had already talked to Lactation at Mercy on Friday afternoon because we were concerned about him not latching and how frustrating it was getting. Dr. P came in to examine him also. Liam wasn't dehydrated, and he was in great condition, but he had lost 9 ounces of weight. 

Dr. P told me to stop breast feeding and pump. He wanted me to measure how much milk Liam was getting. I wanted to know how much to feed him - and wasn't given a straight answer - "Feed when he's hungry." We were already supplementing with a friend's pumped breastmilk and increased that 10 fold when we got home. A first time mom, 6 days into having a newborn, does not want to pump exclusively. Later, I came to found out that Dr. P wasn't informed at all to tell a new mom to pump exclusively. I need a medical grade pump, not my little Medala personal pump. Dr. P also didn't tell me how to bottle feed my son correctly. He offered no advice - just a statement to "Pump and measure." 

We made a follow up appointment for Thursday (with Dr. H) for a weight check.

Depression Settles In - Thanks Dr. P
I spent the next two days very depressed. Pumping made me feel disconnected and demoralized. I sobbed the first night because I hated that I couldn't provide for my son. And in the end, it wasn't that I couldn't provide, it was that the doctor put this thought in my head that I wasn't able to provide. I had no desire to get out of bed at night to pump. I didn't want to be hooked up to a machine.

On Tuesday night and Wednesday I started to vocalize myself more about how unhappy I was. And my friend D said to stop pumping. Being depressed and pumping wasn't going to get me anywhere. I have a lot of resources in St. Louis (more on those later) but I figured I'd wait until I saw my real doctor on Thursday to see what other steps I should take. 

The most helpful was on Wednesday I went to Kangaroo Kids to purchase some nursing bras. This local place is very helpful and they fit you and give you a lot of options (even larger chested women have options.) The owner, who helped me with bras, is also a lactation consultant (LC). And I'm glad I talked to her. She agreed the doctor was wrong/stupid/dumb/on my shit list, and explained how to correctly bottle feed my son. She also told me that if I was going to pump I needed to be using a medical grade pump - and the doctor should have told me that. I've listed a few of her links down below. 

Doctor appointment Thursday
Jason went with me and I was very happy to see Dr. H. Liam's weight was 7 pounds and 15 ounces. I made a note to ask Dr. H about his elevated birthrate. She was able to pull up his hospital records and see all the important info. Why Dr. D couldn't do that four days before, I don't know. 

Dr. H spent an hour with us. She even had me breastfeed and helped me check his latch issue. She told me to stop pumping and just breastfeed as much as possible. I walked away feeling a lot more confident and reassured about breastfeeding. She said Liam was just perfect and his weight was fine. 

When I got home, I put the pump away. She did suggest that in the morning after feeding Liam, I could pump to help start establishing a supply, if I wanted. But no need to pump all day long or everytime, just once a day if I want.

Since the doctor appointment, things have been going much better. I haven't pumped since last Wednesday and Liam latches and eats well and often. I am not depressed about breastfeeding. Sometimes Liam still gets worked up and has trouble latching, but a little patience pays off and usually once he latches, it's a 20-30 minute latch.

Helpful Links & Resources
I have "flat nipples". (apologies if too much info.) At the hospital one of the nurses noticed this and gave me a Medela Contact Nipple. This little piece of plastic has been the most helpful tool with breastfeeding and establishing a latch. My doctor says she even used this with her child and it was a lifesaver. She recommends using it to get started during each BF session and then taking it away halfway through to teach him a true latch. Liam has done well with it and without it. It has helped a lot - I recommend it for anyone with latch issues, especially since it is not expensive. 

Caring for your baby and young child - This book is very helpful. It even covers prenatal care and birth (for the woman) before getting into newborn care. It was recommended at our Mercy Baby class. The book has a LOT of information and I would recommend it for all new parents.

KellyMom is a great resource for breastfeeding help. The LC at Kangaroo Kids gave me a few specific links to check out. My doctor also recommended checking out this website.
Establishing and maintaining milk supply when baby is not breastfeeding
How to bottle feed a breast fed baby
Is my baby getting enough?

For the St. Louis area folks - Kangaroo Kids is a great resource also. They offer breastfeeding support groups and lactation consultations. Kangaroo Kids is a resale shop - check them out for used children's clothing and toys. They also have an infant scale so you can weigh your baby. You can weigh, breastfeed, and weigh again to see how much your child took in. (This is useful unless your kiddo is like mine and poops during or right after breastfeeding.)

St. Louis La Leche League - this group is a breast feeding support group. The meetings are free to attend. A seminar is being held September 28, 2013 at the Zoo. It appears World Breastfeeding Week is coming up.

The other resource I have is the Mercy Hospital. They also have lactation consultants who answer questions via phone and will meet one-on-one for a small fee. There is also a free Breastfeeding with Confidence Group which meets every Wednesday from 1 to 2pm at Mercy Hospital. They also offer a newborn scale for weighing. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My story of induction

I was scheduled for induction on the afternoon of Sunday, September 1, 2013 at Mercy. Baby Liam decided to finally arrive at 9:24 PM on Tuesday September 3, 2013. We remained in Labor and Delivery until 4:30 AM Wednesday September 4. (Yes, this is abnormal.) We were discharged from the hospital about 2PM on Thursday September 5. 

I logged as much as possible during my stay. It was just random blurbs of the timeline. It's taken a few days to get it in order for reading. Ok, honesty, it took me over a week to have time to get back to the computer to edit this entry. (Some of the tenses are past or present, I didn't care to change them all.) 

Note - I was being induced at 39 weeks because of the gestational diabetes diagnosis. Even though my GD was controlled by medication and diet, they (doctors?) still prefer to induce to prevent complications of high birth rate or placenta problems. 

Here it is - My Induction Story

Sunday September 1, 2013
The phone call came about 2:30 PM, my bed was ready. The car was already loaded and we were ready to go. We stopped at McDonald's to get some cheeseburgers and ran by the post office to mail my Baby Shower thank you notes, and got to the hospital around 3. I was checked into my room by 3:30.

They checked and I was only 1 CM dilated. (Same as the previous Friday.) They hooked up my IV and monitored the baby heart rate and my contractions for a while. It turns out I was having contractions and did not feel them. I was able to order dinner and eat. Luckily I wasn't being starved to death during my stay. While we waited, Jason and I watched Field of Dreams. I had never seen it! We had to keep pausing our movie when I was being checked.  

Around 9 PM the doctor gave me the 12-hour induction drug. It has to be placed near the cervix - which is very painful. (I edited out some of my commentary from the placement of the drug....it's better that way.) 

Even though I had an IV, I was still drinking lots of water. And around 11PM I was sprinting to the bathroom to pee for like the thousandth time since I got there. I tried to sleep. I am very uncomfortable from the contractions. It's hard to get all comfy in bed with an IV in one arm and two monitors strapped around my abdomen. I wish I had an early morning induction... I wish I would have slept more during the day (yesterday). And then during a 3 AM pee break my (wireless & waterproof) fetal monitor fell in the toilet. I felt bad for the nurse who had to fish it out.

Monday September 2, 2013
2PM. No baby yet. At 9 AM they checked and I was still only 1 CM dilated. So they did the 12-hour drug again. I was fortunately able to take a shower and go see my friend Alexsis and her new son, Cole, for 15 minutes. At the rate I am going they will be discharged before I give birth. I was able to eat lunch and napped on and off. I have to wait to be checked around 10 PM. At that point they will make a decision to do the 4-hour induction drug or the foley bulb. At this rate though, he's not coming until Tuesday.

Note - My parents, thinking I would be induced on Monday afternoon, told me they had planned to come Tuesday evening and Baby G better be here by then. I hated that added pressure for a less than 24-hour induction and birth experience. And that was why I didn't want waiting room warriors.. too much pressure and stress about giving birth on someone else's timeline. Especially when it turns out I was only 1 CM dilated. When my doctor changed my induction date to Sunday the 1st I lied and told very very few people. My friend Alexsis knew because she was already in the hospital with her new son. I told Dee in case I needed help with Monday (my dog), and Jason told his brother in case we needed his help. 

5:30 PM - Still only dilated 1 CM. Good news - I can eat dinner. Bad news - This kiddo is comfy. Super comfy. 

We spend the evening watching Harry Potter #6. We bought a handful of movies and are watching those and Cardinal baseball games. 

Around 8 PM I started to have regular contractions. I was starting to feel them more, but I still had to wait until almost 11PM to be checked again. 

11PM rolls around - and I am still only 1 CM dilated. I'm annoyed now. And in pain. I have nicknamed the cervical checks, vagina torture. And I still think that's a nice way to describe this process. The next step is using the foley bulb. You can feel free to google that - but again, it's not a walk in the park. This whole process sucks. 

General FYI-- I am still in "induction". Even with contractions, I am not considered in labor. 

Tuesday September 3, 2013
Midnight. Hopefully today is Baby G's birthday. He would share his birthday with Dave Ramsey! I am waiting an hour to be checked again. I am ready to be done. This is emotionally, mentally, and physically draining.

1 AM - The foley bulb has worked!!! I am 4.5 cm dilated. The most joyous part has finally arrived!! I can get an epidural!!! I take a quick shower since I won't be able to move after the EPI. Oh wonderful EPI, my new BFF. No pain, no pain, no pain... I can sleep through the contractions, I have a catheter and don't have to get up anymore. Everything is all tingling and there is no pain during cervical checks. (And no more crying).

I sleep. And sleep. Oh it's nice. My water breaks at 4:30 AM and they check my, I am 5 CM dilated. And am still not considered in active labor quite yet.

I always wonder how women calculate how long they were in labor when they say things like they labored for 24 hours or 40 hours with their child. When do they start counting? I would probably count from when I got the EPI, or maybe a little before that, but I won't count the 34 hours prior where they were trying to get my body ready. Of course, the big deadline is when your water breaks. The doctor's want the child out within 24 hours of your water breaking. 

9AM Tuesday September 3, 2013
I am now considered in active labor. I am 6-7 CM dilated. Whew whoo!! Progress has been made. We are currently watching Top Gun. 

When the nurse checked me around 3 PM she noticed my EPI was bleeding. I had complained that I was more uncomfortable during contractions, but I didn't know what was normal so I wasn't aware that something was wrong. Once my EPI was redone, I was much more comfortable. 

At 530 PM was finally 9.5 CM. During this time I discussed with doctor how I can push the baby out if I can't feel anything (which turns out wouldn't be a problem.) 

During the new few hours, my blood pressure and temperature kept rising. The doctors were concerned about this. I was too. I hated that my blood pressure was being taken every 15 minutes. It got annoying having it taken so much and being able to see my blood pressure continuing to rise. 

Around 7 PM I was finally 10 CM. My doctor wanted me to try some "test pushes." I think they tell FTM's (first time moms) that to trick them into actually starting to push. Baby G still hadn't descended all the way down (really, he was comfy and not ready to come out), so the test pushes should help move him down. 

I wasn't able to log during the next few hours - so this is all from memory a week later. 

Pushing was painful. My epidural had wore off. During the latest stages of pushing, my Epidural drug actually ran out. Maybe the epidural just lessons the pain of contractions but cannot actually eliminate the pain from pushing. I was in a lot of pain during each push. I no longer wanted to do it. And pushing wasn't making a ton of progress either. 

Eventually, after almost two hours of pushing, my blood pressure was raising with each push and Baby G's heart rate was dropping. I trust my doctor fully and the decision was made to use vacuum to aid with the birth. And Baby G was born at 9:24 PM. He weighed 8 pounds and 3 ounces and 21.5 inches long. 

While Mercy encourages immediate skin to skin contact, I wasn't able to do that because due to vacuum extraction and the falling heart rate they needed to examine him. 

Jason was able to hold him almost right away.... I had to wait almost two hours. Usually you spend only two hours after delivery in the Labor and Delivery room before being moved to postpartum. Due to complications, I remained in the room until 4:30AM - an extra 5 hours. 

Jason and Liam
So the complications..... I haven't spoken about the complications with many people, and I wasn't aware of these two possible complications so I want to share so other people will be aware. 

After birth, you have to deliver the placenta. (I was aware of this.) It usually happens within half an hour of giving birth. It didn't for me and I wasn't aware that it could or would be a problem. I was also still in a lot of pain. They wound up giving me a shot of the Epidural drug and morphine. (Which morphine sucks - it made my body feel like it was on fire.) My doctor had to check with the main OBGYN in the hospital to determine the protocol for the placenta complication. A few options were considered with the final option being a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) which means a surgeon would extract the placenta. Fortunately, additional pitocin and another drug aided with the placenta delivery. I'm not sure the timeline, but I know it wasn't long after my doctor inserted the second drug that my placenta delivered. 

It still wasn't over. 

My uterus wouldn't constrict after the placenta delivery. This is another complication that can be a problem. In order to help constrict my uterus, the nurses and doctors are constantly pushing on it. This also aids in "clearing" it out and making sure all the blood clots are out of it. All in all, another painful experience. It took awhile, but eventually it did constrict and was getting smaller. 

By the time we were being moved to postpartum around 4:30 AM, I was very much physically exhausted. And mentally drained. And so full of confusing emotions. I was in a lot of pain from being poked and prodded at for three days, and I was super swollen from the 3 days of IV fluids.

And thus ends the story of my induction and birth of my first (and most likely only) child. 

Some of the good - 
Almost every nurse we encountered was amazing. Very helpful, answered my questions, was helpful with anything I needed or asked about. The postpartum nurses are really great too - especially with helping new parents establish newborn care and breast feeding. We had some additional questions and the lactation nurses stopped by to talk to us. (And we called them after being home.) 

The rooms are great. The labor and delivery rooms are huge with large bathrooms which include jet tubs and the most amazing showers!  The postpartum rooms are smaller, but comfy, especially for the dad's sleeping. They talk of redoing the postpartum rooms - mostly the bathroom needs to be redone. It is such a let down after the L&D bathroom. 

The meals are great. You are given a huge menu and told to choose 1 item entree, and then 1 item from this list, 2 from this list, ect. It winds up with a lot of extra food sometimes, especially if your eyes are bigger than your stomach!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cha-cha-cha-changes.... 39 weeks of pregnancy

Today (8/31) I am 39 weeks!! 

I will have been pregnant (and known it) every single day so far this year. That's 243 days. That's a lot of days without wine and tequila. 

The little man could be here sometime on September 2nd. I'm not crazy about being induced. I am scared it could lead to a c-section. I had a lot of questions for my doctor yesterday at my final appointment. She is wonderful and explained it all very well. Being induced and giving birth could take a few hours or up to 24 hours, it will depend if I am having contractions and if I am dilated when I go in, or how quickly I become dilated. There are a lot of unknowns so I am trying to be very patient and calm. We added a few more movies to my hospital bag. :) Hopefully we'll even get to watch the Cardinal game while we wait.

My grandma called last night. She doesn't know I am being induced. She also said I should call her the second we go to the hospital so she can start praying. I just told her I would have mom and dad call her. (As in, call her when the baby has come out....) Mom said dad will be calling me on Monday to get updates - well, my phone will be on silent. Jason's phone will be on silent. (I still don't get people's fascination with wanting to know every detail of every minute of this experience....it's a waiting game for me, it's a waiting game for you too.)

I imagine that after Baby G arrives, we'll call immediate family (parents, siblings), we'll text a couple friends, and we will wait another 12-24 hours to post on facebook. (And I will be pissed if it is posted on facebook before *I* get to post it on facebook. Very pissed.) I don't want a ton of visitors. I don't know how I'll be feeling. It's such a huge unknown. And it's not meant to be offensive to my friends or family who want to visit. It's because I am a cranky bitch and no one should have to deal with me except my very loving husband.

Best husband ever too! He surprised me this week with a ring to match my engagement ring. It's pink sapphire and diamonds, and doesn't quite fit yet. I can't wait to be able to wear my rings again. My fingers have been super swollen these past few weeks. Better my fingers than my ankles!

Overall the past 9 months have gone well. It wasn't a hot summer, only this week did St. Louis finally hit 100! That has been a saving grace for most pregnant women. Last summer was pretty unbearable for normal people, and I can't imagine if I would have been pregnant too.

Final prep for the baby happened this week. My friend R lent me 20+ baby bottles that I cleaned and got ready. Hopefully Baby G is ok with this bottle. I don't want to have to keep testing to find one he likes. It's too early to be "LIKE IT OR GO HUNGRY."

I had the week off and spent my days sleeping in, making phone calls to register for Short Term Disability, looking at finances during maternity leave, napping, trying not to shop, and of course had my three doctor appointments. I'm glad those are over with and I can return to weekly or monthly. Baby G will have his follow up appointments during my maternity leave, and then fortunately after that they are monthly. I will have my first follow up at 6 weeks postpartum.

I've been reading up on what type of foods to eat to help produce breastmilk. Oatmeal is one of them, so I've been digging for Oatmeal recipes that I can tolerate. Like Oatmeal Muffins. I'm going to try and make these or having my mommy make them for me when she is here. :) 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

38 Weeks and only one week left

The weeks have really flown by! I can't believe that just two weekends and I'll be holding my new bundle of joy!
 
We still have a few things on our to-do list. In order to make room in our bedroom for the bassinet, we have to move out our hamper. It's just for a few months and won't be a big deal. Our hamper is a piece of furniture and I keep my little items on top of it, so I need to do some cleaning and organizing to move my pills and deodorant and medication/vitamins around.
 
Other things to complete:
  • Hook up our video camera so random strangers can watch our child.
  • Change the internet password so random strangers can't watch our child.
  • Double check bags for hospital.
  • Move recliner into nursery.
  • Reformat my personal computer. It hasn't been redone for at least a year or more.
  • File all paperwork needed for STD.
  • Finish Baby Shower Thank You notes.

And yea, that might be about it. The little things to do include vacuuming and finishing some little odds and ends around the house. Jason is working on the to-do list right now. Monday just got back from the Spa and is chilling. I think she's ready too. I have this week off and will enjoy the extra rest and have some random meetings and doctor appointments. We are finalizing our wills on Wednesday with the lawyer - plenty of time to get in my good graces and get added.... I also have my standard 3 doctor appointments, and we are meeting with the newborn photographer to discuss Baby G's first photo shoot.
 
I feel like I am out of things to talk about or mention... Here's some pictures of Baby G's nursery. It is much cuter in person! We still have to move in the recliner, but it's waiting for him.
Bedding and letters from SkipHop. Was really excited when I found it. The lamp was purchased by mom and found on Amazon. We picked up a Cooperstown/St. Louis Cardinals Build a Bear at our last Cardinal game.

I've had that fish painting since 1987. It actually hung in my brother's room until 1992. I have a matching penguin painting. Liz is making curtains so the blinds will come down shortly. (Note - this is the closest to the "true" color the nursery. Flash/light makes it hard to see sometimes.)

Erin helped organize the closet and dresser drawers. And Jason redid the closet so it's a lot more open.
 
The T-rex is made out of ABCs, and the other photo is a picture of our Superman cupcakes at our home wedding reception. Lola took the picture and framed it for us.
 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why I don't want Waiting Room Warriors

WARNING! DANGER!!
This post is VERY blunt, can be disgusting, and is a major rant as I gear up for the biggest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life.
 
In reading the Babycenter birth boards, I've learned a few important things. I had them listed but well, in the end they aren't important because this thread is going to concentrate on one thing.

I wrote this a few days ago and think I finally got the point across. However, I like what I wrote and maybe someone else googling "Waiting Room Warriors" will find it helpful.

No Waiting Room Warriors
 
This is what it's coming down to. I don't want people in the waiting room. And while some people are very excited about my new child, in my opinion, I feel like they can't seem to grasp that until the child is actually out of my vagina, this is 110% of me and a major major major medical procedure. And it's scary! Sure, women do it everyday.But I've never done it. Sure, a woman's body is meant to do this. But my body never has. I can do a lot of things that a human is meant to do - ride a bicycle, do a cart wheel, drive a car, run -- but it all took a little training and practice. And I don't have any practice in "giving birth."

Here's a short thread about it and why WRW are a bad idea. And if you have tons of time, here are the two largest thread about horrid delivery stories! Best of Delivery Room Thread 1 and Best of Delivery Room Thread 2. There are some horror stories about parents walking in at the end when their daughter is still a bloody mess and being stitched up. I'm sorry, you can't see that. Because you can *never* *ever* un-see that. Ever.  

My mom had the audacity to suggest that Jason call her when I start to push. Um, excuse me? If I am in the middle of pushing and he pulls out his phone, he will need his own medical procedure and his phone will forever be nicknamed iPenis. And I won't let him get a new one.


The birth suite at the hospital.
And if the waiting room warriors do manage to wait until the baby is born, Jason and I get two hours of bonding time with our little guy. So after what could be an hour of waiting to 15 hours of waiting to a possible emergency c-section, there's still another 2-hour wait. Less we forget that if I just spent 15-20 hours awake I will be a cranky bitch who needs a nap. What if the little guy comes at 2am? And let's go back to that cranky bitch who needs a nap and food. She's always a pleasant one to deal with.

So the plan - we will call once the little guy is here. That gives me and Jason our bonding time and me time to get a nap and get cleaned up. Then we'll stagger visitors (hopefully not a lot) throughout our super short stay at the hospital.
 
I have 2 amazing friends lined up to help with Monday. I trust them both - they might tell their spouses, but it won't be facebooked that I'm headed to the hospital. I also have an amazing dog boarder at Baxter's. Tony said he'd do whatever he could to help.
 
Next rant? It'll probably be about my facebook privacy.