9.17.2014

one of the many reasons i will never be a fashion blogger

 

carter is a "happy" spitter. aka we are both always covered in spit up, but today we were in the clear so far so i asked philip to take a photo of us. he looked at me like, "seriously?" and continued to sit in his seat to get ready to take the photo i requested with complete disregard to the background or the angle from which he was taking the photo. there goes my nonexistent dreams of being a fashion blogger. my husband could use some photography lessons. i snapped the one of carter ;)

shoes: minnetonka thunderbird (old, but so glad they have been in style and lasted me about 10 years)
jeans: mossimo (target - old too)
cardigan: target
scarf + earrings: made by me

carter is decked out in baby gap
and the headband, i made for her

linking up today - xo 
pleated poppy

9.15.2014

random monday thoughts

I have been noticing how I sometimes will blog something in my mind or have a thought I want to get out, but the transition from mind to computer to hitting publish is incredibly far. I had an unspoken goal in my mind to at least blog once a week. I love reading blogs and getting a little glimpse into other people's lives, but is it just me or does it feel like instagram is somewhat replacing blogs? It could never truly replace blogs in the way that Instagram can only share so much information, but I am wondering if in our society now (and maybe especially for moms of little kids?) that its easier to take a picture and share a thought on instagram rather than having to get it all the way to a formulated thought in a blog post.

I am clearly not an expert in either venue of social media, but I was already noticing this in myself and one of my favorite bloggers, Ashley Ann, mentioned that someone called her an "instagrammer" and not a "blogger." I do love instagram and how you can cover up your pasty skin and make everything look beautiful, but I also love blogs and love hearing what other people are thinking a doing. So let's keep blogging, kapeesh? With that said here goes nothing...

Life with two kids has been challenging, but fun for the most part. My to-do list and laundry often feel never ending, but then sometimes when I get a free second, I can't remember what I need to do. Some days parenting makes me feel bi-polar because I will go from a state of love and euphoria to all of a sudden incredibly frustrated with life and my children. (I do not think I am actually bipolar.......right??)
Carter is a dream. I cannot believe how easy and sweet she is. Jude is speaking and able to articulate himself so much more. It makes life with him generally a lot more fun as he can communicate his funny thoughts. He also has moments of stubbornness that make me want to pull my hair out. One of my favorite Jude-ism right now is "What's called this?" instead of "What's this called?". He says this potentially 1,000 times in a day. He also can be really sweet to her and I caught him entertaining her the other day.
Their "shared nursery" which I will eventually share in photos on here is really just Judah's room and it happens to have a crib in it. The most Carter does in the room is occasionally have her diaper changed or lays in the crib while I am doing something with Jude. And lately, her crib as become a boat or is it a plane? We got a video monitor for Carter, but it's really been nice to check up on Judah during "quiet time."

Photos of the nursery probably will not realistically happen until I can find a spare moment where mr. crazy has not dumped all his toys in his sisters bed, but you know, maybe those are the real nursery photos anyways instead of the perfectly organized bookshelves.

These thoughts have been really random, but I guess that's how my mind is working lately. It probably has always worked this way, but I'll just pretend like it is the exhaustion of a newborn and a toddler.

9.02.2014

september goals

As much as I have tried to avoid it, summer is coming to a close. I know Labor Day sort of closes out summer, but I am pretty sure summer technically ends a ways in September. So don't push pumpkins on me yet, people! (even if there is a 6-pack of pumkinhead beer in our fridge already!!) After having a baby and the start of a new season, I feel excited for some change so here are a few goals for September...


  • Exercise 3-4 times a week. The baby weight has not just fallen off like last time while I ate whatever my heart desired. I have started running...slowly...everything hurts, but for the first time in a long time I have the desire to work out. 
  • Meal plan for the week. Meal planning for the month was a little to difficult for me...I may try it again, but for now weekly meal planning of healthy meals would be a small victory. 
  • Weekly date night with Philip...as the fall picks up and now the craziness of having two kids is in full effect, our nights are generally packed so this feels a little more important. 
  • Continue reading through my Bible in a year plan....reading has all together become a lot more difficult. 
  • Take at least one photo a week of Jude + Carter. This shouldn't be too difficult, but I want to remember to preserve these memories of them little and cute and sometimes I forget to take pictures even though its so easy with the iPhone. 
  • Sell or giveaway clothes I have not worn in over 2 years. One thing I did read was Hayley Morgan's ebook, The No Brainer Wardrobe. I am feeling inspired to finally simplify my closet and hopefully invest in some clothes that I feel good about.  
  • New fall products online....soon!
xo! here goes nothing! 

8.13.2014

august sale!

Let's be honest... the seasons are NOT starting to turn yet. I do love some pumpkin themed items, but my summer has flown by with a newborn on my lap so I am going to hold strong, enjoy August and refrain from mentioning any of my favorite pumpkin treats. However, I am doing some prep for the next season and have some new items I am excited to share with you all. 

take 25% off my entire shop (includes free shipping too!) // use the code AUGUST for the next week. 


8.09.2014

lately // 002

so this is real life...

Making: lots of breastmilk. did i start there? oh yes, i did. 
Cooking: the occasional meal. lots of family and friends have helped and taken the load of me. 
Drinking: coffee, huzzah! 
Reading: blogs....hard to read with a newborn. my hands are always full. looking forward to reading again. 
Wanting: time with philip and as a family. we have loved having visitors, but we haven't been just the four of us yet and i can't wait. 
Looking: at carter. all the time. i love her. 
Playing: trucks....fire trucks...boy stuff...
Wasting: time on Facebook? couldn't really think of anything for this, but i do hate facebook
Wishing: to freeze time every once in awhile...is she already a month old??
Enjoying: summer
Waiting: for jude's nap to end
Liking: coffee...this is a theme - i just have missed it so much
Wondering: why my phone battery is sucking lately. 
Loving: when jude asks to hold carter 
Hoping: to find a little bit of time to work on business projects
Needing: a nap or the ability to drink coffee in the afternoon and still sleep at night. 
Smelling: the occasional b.o. - natural homemade deodorant only works so well. 
Wearing: a mix of maternity and normal clothes...gosh i miss normal clothes
Noticing: how my belly has shrunk, but is still very present
Knowing: this is a short season in our lives, having two littles and i should soak it up. 
Thinking: wow, i cannot think that well. i am sleepy. 
Feeling: hazy. sleep deprivation makes it hard to think. 
Bookmarking: new craft ideas. 
Opening: lots of gifts for carter - thank you all that have sent things!
Giggling: at the kardsashians. favorite guilty pleasure. 
Feeling: happy. that is one emotion jude expresses - and i love that he says "i feel happy" so i do too...



happy saturday!

7.29.2014

Carter's Birth Story - Part II

Continued from Part I...

So we went in, but we didn't bring our bags into the hospital. We didn't want to be overly excited if this was not the real thing. Apparently a lot of babies decided July 8th would be a good time to be born too because we showed up to a full labor and delivery. No rooms. Like Mary and Joseph we had no place to go. Okay, overstatement, they were cleaning our room and the waiting room was packed out with grandparents. No way was I sitting in that tiny crowded room having contractions every few minutes. We walked back and forth the down the hallway until we had a room about an hour or so later. We met our awesome nurse, Kristine. She looked a little like Arizona on grey's. She liked helping people labor naturally. Yes, yes. Everything was coming together. I was so happy to finally sit down and be in a room. The midwife checked me and I was 4cm and said we should stay.

We settled in and tried the different options to help labor. I cannot say enough good things about Beverly Hospital and our nurses and midwives. Anything from my birth plan that was considered crazy in Virginia was basically standard procedure in Beverly. Wait to cut the pulsing cord, yes. mineral oil to minimize tearing, yes. Tub with jets, yes. I had to be monitored the entire time because of the csection, but could still move around with ease.

It started to get blurry as the night got later. Contractions seemed to be increasing and we expected to have the baby sometime that night, but as the night wore on, I wasn't so sure. I started to get really tired early in the morning and anxious when I knew my team of people would be leaving at 7am. We hardly slept at all and as I got tired and slept some in between contractions, labor seemed to have slowed. The midwife broke my water, but nothing seemed to help. We walked and walked, but nothing was working. Kristine and our midwife left at 7am and when the new nurse and midwife came in, I was a hot mess. The sun was up, but we wouldn't open the blinds because we didn't want to face the new day. Lots of babies had been born overnight, but we were still in the throws of it, only 5cm dilated. I hadn't thought about it until now, but I labored all night just to dilate another cm.

Our new midwife suggested we start pitocin. You can use pitocin to augment labor that has already started in a vbac. I did not want to do pitocin. I cried and we debated over it. I knew it would be hard for me to continue to labor naturally with the pitocin and I was already at the end of myself. We finally, tearfully started the pitocin. I was mess. I couldn't seem to breath through the contractions anymore, I just laid on the bed and cried. An hour-ish in I asked for an epidural. In retrospect, I wish I had asked Philip to walk one more lap with or tried the tub again, but I just needed some rest at that point and made a quick decision. They gave me the epidural and then I cried because I wondered if that would be the last time I would feel a contraction and realized I would now passively sit on the bed. I also had fear that I was creating a recipe for a c-section by doing the epidural. What if labor stopped or stalled or her heart rate dropped? But we slept....and slept and rested until noon.

I eventually decided I wanted to sit up a little to have gravity help even if it meant I would mess up the epidural's distribution. I don't remember much in this time frame. Everything moved slowly. They slowly increased the pitocin, we had some light-hearted conversation with our new nurse, who was growing on me despite the fact that she was not as supportive or knowledgable about natural births. We had listened to our playlist so many times that james taylor would be ringing in my ears for days and I asked Philip to shut it off. Around 3:30pm, I started to feel pressure on my bowels, which could be a sign that it was time to push. The nurse thought it was probably just the epidural wearing off because I had sat up too much. She checked me though because my midwife was busy delivering another baby (seriously how many babies would be born before my own?).

To my surprise, I was 10cm and the baby's head was very low. I couldn't believe this was actually going to work. She decided to see if I was a "good pusher" before she called the midwife and I tried to push. She could not believe how ready the baby was to come out and quickly alerted the midwife. I still had the epidural in my system and was feeling good. I couldn't believe how easy this last stretch was. After about 30 minutes of pushing, Carter arrived and they promptly put her on my chest. She was still covered in vernix and was a mere 7 lbs 14 oz. They allowed her to lay on my chest for several minutes and Philip cut the umbilical cord shortly after. The whole process was incredible. They cleaned her off and weighed her in the room and she never had to leave my side.

We are so grateful she is finally here...through a long winter and pregnancy filled with morning sickness throughout, she was worth the wait.



7.27.2014

Carter Belle's Birth Story - Part I

I am so excited to share Carter's story of how she came into the world. I love reading birth stories and always wanted one to share. Jude was a scheduled c-section because our (very c-section friendly) obgyn in Virginia predicted he was 11lbs at 41 weeks. We basically got scared into a c-section. I do not regret it now because he is here and happy and healthy, but it was certainly not one of my favorite processes. I knew I wanted to try for a VBAC with this pregnancy because I believe they are possible and can be safe and is the healthiest way for me and the baby to be delivered (in most cases).

carter's due date - july 1
For prenatal care, I picked the Birth Center affiliated with our local hospital. It is an practice with just mid-wives not in the hospital, but has the luxury of being on the campus of the hospital if anything came up. I would have deliver at the hospital regardless because of being a VBAC, which really was fine with me. Because I was a VBAC, I would not be able to be induced because of increased risks.  I felt so optimistic that maybe she would come early until around 40 weeks and then I realized how stubborn my body is and there wasn't anything I could do to make her arrive any sooner.

At 40 weeks, Philip and I started to feel anxious to meet Carter especially because at 38 weeks, the ultrasound tech suggested she was already 7 lbs and 15 oz. (We had a 38 week ultrasound, maybe it was 37 week? can't remember, but because of being a VBAC). We thought we were having another very big baby. I drank red raspberry leaf tea and took evening primrose oil like it was my job. At 40 weeks the midwife also suggested black cohosh. That stuff is nasty, but I drank as much as she suggested.

At 41.5 weeks they would schedule a c-section because they could not induce labor for a VBAC. I went in to the midwife the day before I would be 41 weeks and was about 50% effaced and not quite dilated a cm. I know they say your body can dilate quickly, etc, but my body just did not seem to want to let this baby out. Our only option to encourage labor was the foley catheter. God bless that terrible contraption. It's basically a fluid filled balloon that helps mechanically dilate you. It stays in for 24 hours and it will fall out if you get to 3cm. Sounds fun, right? I was even excited for them to do this, I was desperate woman.

Fortunately they were able to put the foley catheter in on Monday (40 weeks and 6 days pregnant). If I was not dilated at all, they would not have been able to do it. So we headed home with this ridiculous balloon. I started to feel a lot of cramping off and on. In intervals - maybe 10 minutes apart. I called the midwife, but she said, if it didn't demand my attention, don't track the time yet. So we went about our day. My mom had just arrived to help. At night the "cramping" or what I now know are contractions increased in pain and closeness. It was enough at that I had trouble sleeping and probably logged about 3-4 hours of sleep that night.

The next day we headed in to do another ultrasound because it was standard at 41 weeks. My amniotic fluid had been a little low since 38 weeks and I had to drink like a sailor (water that is) to  keep it up. We barely passed the biophysical exam because of the low fluid, but we cleared it and as usual Carter was doing great as far as moving, practicing breathing, etc. Fortunately, they did not do weight estimate. If they had, I might have been afraid of her being huge like her brother.

After the ultrasound, we headed into the midwife. The balloon had not fallen out so I was discouraged that I was probably not dilated 3cm yet and wondered if it did any good. When they checked me, we founded out I was 2 cm dilated...yay some progress! And then she stretched me to 3cm and did a membrane sweep. So again that hurt pretty bad and I was feeling a little like wonder woman with all the pain I had been through so far.

The midwife the week before had in passing mentioned castor oil if my body was starting to head into labor. The midwife that day agreed that that might be the thing to push my body into labor. Of course, Philip was all about trying this and I was not so sure if I wanted diarerra. My contractions had already started to increase on the ride home, but we did not want to have a csection so I agreed to try the castor oil.

I took an average sized dose suggested to encourage labor when we got home (and ate chipotle...because I was hungry). Contractions continued to pick up and I did not want to do the second dose if labor was really kicking in. I waited to drink the second dose. My mom's good friend brought by a delicious meal from whole foods, but nothing looked good to me. The contractions were more painful. I could still talk through them and tried to eat a small meal for dinner. Philip and I came upstairs afterward and soon after, I threw up the entire meal. Contractions were sometimes 3 minutes apart and sometimes 7 minutes apart, but we decided to call the midwife. She suggested we come in to check how far we were and that we could go home if not. We kissed Jude goodbye and excitedly (and painfully) drove to the hospital. This all happened to quickly. I didn't expect to labor at home that short, but dang, those contractions hurt a lot more than I imagined.

to be continued...