Tag Archives: Baby R

Habits- Keeping The House Up

imageThe habit I worked on this past week was to keep the house looking the way I’d like it to look when I return. It’s actually been a great opportunity. Since R is now 19 months old and fully mobile, it’s been an opportunity to start teaching her to clean up her messes before bed or before we leave to do something else.

It’s been a work in progress… If you give her step by step directions, she’s pretty good. On occasion, though, she’d get distracted and start taking things out of her toy box. As you can see, though, I’m pretty pleased by how the house looks.

It’s also a challenge to make sure I tidy up after myself, too. In the past, I’ve always waited to pick up until right before bed. But always tidying up before I leave to go somewhere insures the house stays tidy constantly. Well, most of the time.

This week is to get up at the same time every day, which has been quite a challenge!



imageI had to find something to do with the strawberries we picked last weekend. In the end, we decided to make strawberry smoothies using this recipe, and I can say it truly was the best smoothie I’d ever made. I don’t know if it was the sweetness of fresh, ripe strawberries or the ice cubes, but it completely hit the spot. I don’t even like bananas, but I didn’t mind the flavor here. In my opinion, the strawberry flavor was stronger.

A word to the wise– do not give to a toddler who is not used to a lot of sugar close to bedtime. I probably should have thought through that better. She spent a lot of her nighttime routine running laps around the house.

Habits- unload the dishwasher

imageThis week, the habit I followed was to unload the dishwasher every morning. This was a great habit that quickly became part of my morning routine. I cooked twice today– yes, real cooking for breakfast and lunch– and the countertops are still clear.

Since I unloaded the dishwasher first thing, all I had to do was pop everything I used back in. I think this habit naturally lends itself to healthy eating, too, because I now have everything I need on hand to cook.

It looks as if the current habits are building towards a morning routine, and it’s working great. So far, I hop out of bed, make my bed, take my vitamins, throw in a load of laundry, and unload the dishwasher. The habit for this week is to leave the house the way you’d like to see it when you come back. I think this would pack more of a punch when I go back to work, but it’s a great reminder to pick up before I run an errand or the kids take a nap. Once they get bigger, I can get them in on it. I did it once today and it didn’t take long because I’m trying to straighten as I go.


Strawberry Picking

imageThis weekend we went strawberry picking. It was our first time, so we weren’t really sure what to expect. We had to do some research to see which places even offered that activity, because many farms weren’t doing strawberry picking anymore. We finally found one and off we went!

C wore J on his front and I helped R find berries. She was far more interested in mooshing berries and adding sticks and gravel into our bucket. It was a long walk from the entrance to the berries so she was already wiped by the time we got there. We were there for about an hour and still had a lot of fun.

The strawberries were delicious! They were nice and juicy. I was given the advice to try and do it at the beginning of the month since they’re even better, but they were great anyway. We ate through some and froze the rest since I’d like to make some smoothies.

After we washed the gravel and sticks away, we snacked on berries the rest of the weekend…


Mother’s Day/Teacher Appreciation Week

I kind of completely forgot about Mother’s Day this year. Thankfully, my child’s daycare put up a sign for a Mother’s Day breakfast so I was reminded. Then they reminded us that it’s Teacher Appreciation Week! I feel kind of disorganized, haha.

R and I took an emergency trip to Michael’s to find gifts for everyone.

For the teachers, we found these really cute cups:

imageThey have  the teacher’s initials monogrammed on the front. I wrote a note that basically says, “Thank you for all you do!” and had R color on the paper. She loves to color, so this was no problem. You just have to make sure she doesn’t try to eat the crayons. 😉

Mother’s Day was a bit harder. I found a completely adorable craft where the kids use their handprint to make ‘flowers’ on a tote bag. We weren’t able to find a blank tote bag so we bought these hats instead:

imageR painted with gusto. In fact, she rubbed both hands together and on the last hat we did she put both hands down in the front, as you can see above. Haha. J was a bit harder. He’s only a month old, so his reflexes got in the way. He kept moving his hand back into a fist. We had to move really fast because I was afraid both kids would put their hands in their mouth. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. We ended up making three: one for my mom, one for my mother-in-law, and one for my aunt, who never had any kids of her own, but who we love so much we want to celebrate this day with her.

Now that R is 18 months old, I’m trying to let her pick from some simple options. She picked purple and blue for the Mother’s Day craft. (I think those colors are pretty much Mother’s Day colors, aren’t they?) I painted the green stems, which didn’t turn out very well, but I’m not a very good artist.

What are you doing for Mother’s Day?

We Had A Baby

imageWe had a baby, and he’s pretty fantastic. He’s the most easy-going child in the world, unless he’s decided it’s feeding time. He likes to hear a heartbeat, so I’m perfecting my baby-wearing skills. I’ve gotten nothing done in the last week and a half, so I’m enjoying baby newness. Baby R is still going to daycare full time so I’m in a blissful (but tiring) sleep-eat-feed cycle.

Here’s his birth story.

I had a very traumatic delivery with my first. It ended in a third degree episiotomy, forceps, and a resuscitation. As time came closer to deliver my second, I had to fight back fear. Fear that my body actually wasn’t designed to give birth. Like maybe birthing children is a talent you either have, or you don’t.

Once things got going, though, I didn’t have much time to panic. Imagine my surprise when I went from ‘maybe a fingertip dilated’ to 2 cm in a week. I started prodromal labor, which is a pain in the butt. I can’t tell you how many times I texted people close to me letting them know “it’s probably time!”

It wasn’t. I was in prodromal labor for two and a half weeks before anything happened. At my appointment, I was 3.5 cm dilated. They noticed I was having contractions but the baby was still posterior, which made it unlikely that I was in actual labor. I was still working but didn’t want to play anymore. I was almost completely caught up and had nothing to do. Kept falling asleep at my desk.

My husband had April 3 off and he suggested I take the day off, too. We’d spend a day together without kids, keep my mind off my growing frustration at not being in labor yet. The doctor wanted to induce on my due date, which was April 8. I’d been induced before and didn’t want to be again.

The day of April 3, I read that a posterior baby can cause prodromal labor. Basically, your body sends signals that it’s go time, but due to bad positioning, there’s not enough pressure on your cervix to go into full-blown labor. Sounded like a bunch of woo to me, but I figured it was worth trying to turn the baby myself. They recommended sitting on your hands and knees as long as you can stand it, then leaning back on your heels. I figured best case scenario, baby would flip. Worst case… I’d look like an idiot. I felt some movement in there but couldn’t tell a difference.

I did start painless contractions, but they had no pattern. We went out to breakfast and ran some errands. We took a break to have lunch. I told my husband that I wanted a keyboard to teach myself how to play piano. We went to a piano place, and the lady somehow convinced us to buy a full piano on consignment. I had no idea so much went into buying a piano, but it was like buying a car.

We went to pick up Baby R and decided to go swimming since we wouldn’t be able to take swim lessons for awhile. I had a really strong cramp while we were in the water, and about that time R wanted to get out, too. My husband took her after the baby was born, and one of the older ladies who swims a lot told him that she saw us that evening, thought I looked uncomfortable, and wondered if something was going on.

We went out for dinner and I had some more cramps. When we got into the car, I was pretty uncomfortable. I suspected either this was the start of labor or a UTI. It was late when we got home, so my husband got R into her bedtime routine. I started having contractions, and this time they were a bit more uncomfortable than before. I suspected this was it. I excused myself to take a shower since I’d labored in the shower the first time and it felt good.

I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I told myself the contractions would probably stop once I got in the water. They didn’t, although they felt better. We were under a severe thunderstorm warning and tornado watch, so I kept my shower short. I even blow dried my hair.

When I got out, I told my husband we’d be going to the hospital later that night. Then I texted my parents, who would be watching my daughter. I told them I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but we’d probably be going to the hospital that night. I took another shower after the storm passed, and I had to meditate through the contractions at this point. Then I made my husband massage my back, which felt amazing. At this point, I was moaning through contractions, so he asked when we were going to the hospital.

I called the doctor on call and she thought it best that I go in and get checked. We dropped off R and headed to the hospital. The hospital was about 20 minutes away,  but the interstate was backed up for miles. I joked that if we waited, I’d be in the news as the girl who gave birth on the freeway. Little did I know how that could very well have been in the case!

Thankfully, my husband knew a detour. It took us almost an hour to get there, and I had to fight some uncomfortable contractions. He kept making jokes, and I finally had to tell him to stop because it hurt too much to laugh.

We got to the hospital and as I waited for my husband to get everything together, I leaned against the car, moaning. The check in lady happened to be out in the parking lot moving her car, so she asked if I needed a wheelchair. I wanted to keep moving and walking, so I said no. As we checked in, she asked if I was sure I didn’t need a wheelchair. I refused again, and we walked up to triage. I was shaking, so I leaned against my husband on the way up. I recognized it as a sign of transition, but I wasn’t in that much pain so I figured I was 5, maybe 6 centimeters at this point.

We got to triage and the nurse was seriously an angel from heaven. She checked me and I joked that I’d probably gone back in centimeters so I was about to go home. “Well,” she said perkily, “You’re staying here tonight. You’re 6, 7 centimeters right now and the baby’s head is right there.” Then she asked me if I wanted an epidural. I said I’d like to go as long as I could without one.

So I was in transition.

As they walked me to my room, I shook. I got in there and felt cold. I told my husband I didn’t think I could do it anymore. I recognized this as classic transition signs, so I knew the baby was going to be there soon. I just didn’t know how soon.

They took my blood and set up my IV. I asked for the birthing ball, which was odd because I hated that thing when I was in labor with my first. I guess it just goes to show your body knows what it needs. The triage nurse suggested I swivel my hips and brace my arms on the bed. It would help push the baby further down.

She gave me a pep talk, walking me through how I’d feel if I opted for the epidural, and what I’d feel if I didn’t. I thought my contractions were spacing out, so I asked if it was normal. She said it was, but if I felt like labor was stalling I could get up and walk or ask the doctor on call (who was on her way over) to break my water. Then she told me if it felt like I had to take a giant bowel movement or if my water broke to call the nurse’s station immediately. My assigned nurse wasn’t there yet — I think she might have been on her lunch break or something.

She left and I decided to walk around the room for a bit. Well, I felt something huge FALL OUT. Of course, I panicked and screamed, “I NEED A NURSE!” I was too scared to look, but my husband told me later basically it was part of a head in a big bubble. (My water hadn’t broken so J crowned still in the caul.)

The nurse ran in and said, “I NEED A CART AND A DOCTOR!” The doctor who ran in actually was part of the practice behind the hospital. I’d never seen him before in my life, haha. I heard her from a distance say, “Okay, try not to push.”

I was still leaning over the bed, freaking out. I was sure I’d have to give birth standing up on the side of my bed. They finally helped me on the bed, and it took several nurses to do so. I was so scared if I moved the baby would just fall out. It hurt horribly bad. I really wanted the epidural now.

Apparently, the doctor broke my water as I pushed. The first two pushes didn’t go too well. I had trouble pushing him out, and I was still panicking and becoming more and more frustrated. The nurse coached me and told me one good push and the baby’s head would be out. Then that horrible pressure would go away. I remember thinking I wanted an epidural, but it was too late. She walked me through pushing. I held on to her arm and another nurse for dear life. I probably bruised their arms, but they were fine with it. This is why nurses are awesome.

Evidently, the doctor stuck his hand in there to help keep me from tearing. I wanted to yell, “LOOK, BUDDY. THERE ISN’T ROOM FOR YOUR HAND AND MY BABY’S HEAD IN THERE” but I kept it to myself. I also decided whoever was responsible for the orgasmic birth movement was a total jerk.

I felt another contraction deep inside, and imagined my uterus bearing down and pushing the baby out. Much to my relief, the baby’s head came out. The nurse was right. The pressure went away and it became much easier to push after that. He was out in two more pushes. I pushed five times start to finish, but I really believe if I hadn’t panicked it would only have been three.

Pushing out the placenta wasn’t very much fun, since the doctor had to order Pitocin and he kept pushing on my abdomen. My uterus was also clearly over excited, and my contractions were still really painful.

However, I was distracted by the beautiful sound of my baby crying. No resuscitation necessary for this little guy. They asked if I wanted skin to skin, and I said absolutely! I held him for a bit before they gave him a quick bath and eye drops. The doctor stitched me up (again not fun, but hardly the worst part — I’d only torn slightly and didn’t even feel it.)

They handed the baby back to me, and I held the baby was long as I could. I asked the nurse if it was okay to go on ahead and try to feed him. They encouraged it. Last time, I’d had trouble with breastfeeding, but he ate with gusto. In fact, his first feed was almost an hour! I was so relieved.

I held him and talked to him and sang him a lullaby until he fell asleep. It was the easiest labor and delivery ever. All that prodromal labor really paid off! He was born 4/4 at 1:46 am.

I had forgotten how challenging it can be to have a newborn, but we’re getting into a great schedule. He wakes up at 1:30 and 5:30 most nights, and feeds about 30 minutes or so. Between feeding, changing diapers, and cuddles, I’m up for about an hour, but can usually get him back to sleep.

And look– pictures!



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    Cute, isn’t he? I’m 38 and a half weeks, so I’m hoping Baby J makes an appearance soon! They keep telling me second borns tend to come early, but other than some cramps, Braxton Hicks, and dilation, I don’t feel close to labor at all! Today I woke up feeling pretty good, other than the stark realization that none of my maternity clothes fit anymore.

    I’ve packed my bags and completed the nursery (more to follow) and had two showers so I have some stuff for the baby. We’re planning on picking up a few more things that we need but we have all the essentials, I think. Well, from my experience something always comes up once the baby is born.

    I’m definitely feeling more impatient but I’m also kind of nervous. Baby R has been such a great sleeper for so long I’m completely spoiled (says the woman who is waiting for her toddler to finish up a 3 hour nap, haha.) I’m drinking tea and eating Shamu snacks and enjoying the temporary silence. :)