Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Christmas Recap

Every year Christmas just gets better and better when you have small children. This year Oliver really got it. He was so full of excitement he even woke up Christmas EVE morning and came running into our room saying, "IT'S CHRISTMAS"!!! His reaction on Christmas morning was just priceless, I had to show you this short clip of him waking up.

Sean and I of course stayed up pretty late that night setting up.
well, I guess I just watched...
I mean look at those muscles...
he's HOT!!!
Okay anyway, enough of that :)
Lily woke us up at 3am. We told her she needed to go back to bed for a few more hours. So she sat awake in her bed for two hours before coming in again. So 5am it was.
We set out these pictures for the kids to see, and boy were they excited.
I'm sure you've heard of the website you can make these on, but just in case you haven't, it's called Elf Cam.
That morning our house quickly went from this...
to this...
It took me two days to get it back to normal again, but we sure had a lot of fun.

I got Sean a new ipad (because the kids have kind of claimed his existing one), and Sean got me these...
I know what you're thinking, it's exactly what I was thinking when I opened it. I was like, uh, what the heck are these!
Then I read the card he gave me. It said something about him not knowing what it was like to watch an entire movie thinking the main actor was George Clooney only to find out it was Mel Gipson all along. Basically what he was saying was that my eye sight sucks and for Christmas he was giving me a new set up eyes. In other words he payed for me to get Lasik eye surgery.
Creative right :)
So yes, I have bad eyes and I NEVER wear my glasses or contacts. I hate them, so I just get used to seeing things a little blurry :), which can be a little embarrassing sometimes. Like for example, I'll be out at the store or something and I THINK I see someone I know, so I wave and smile. Then once I get up close and see the confused look on the persons face, that's when I think, well maybe I should start wearing my contacts.
We all had an amazing Christmas. I love my little family so much and can't imagine life without them.

Holiday Fun

What a wonderful time of year this is. I just love all that comes with it. The crafts, the outings, the shopping, the yummy treats, Christmas lights and so much more. What a special time to have a baby :)

I wanted to share all the fun things we've been doing over the past couple weeks!!!

We took Brooklyn on her first outing last week (in the car only) and we went to see the decked out neighborhood of Christmas lights. The kids sure loved that. Look how cute she looks in her little car seat :)
Sean and I have been out on a couple dates since she's been born which I think has saved my sanity. It's important to schedule alone time with your spouse, especially the more kids you have. I finally know what people mean when they say adding a third child to the family changes everything. We are having a lot of fun, but it's definitely harder to get that alone time with one another. So that's why we PLAN it. Thanks to Sean's mom we've been able to get out and leave the kids knowing they are safe and well cared for.
I pretty much spend most of my day nursing, which I LOVE, but I feel bad I'm not getting as much time with my other two kids. It's definitely a balancing ac trying to fit it all in each day, but I'm starting to figure it out. Thank goodness for Sean, he's been helping me out so much, doing dishes, making me breakfast lunch and dinner. He's also making up for all the time I'm NOT spending with the kids, and they are loving it. People are always asking if Oliver is getting jealous of the baby, but he's totally not thanks to Sean. He's been keeping Oliver pretty busy with sword fighting, wrestling, dinosaurs and playing the Don't Break the Ice game over and over and over. Such a good dad he is.
He's doing stuff like this all the time. The kids just can't get enough of him he's so fun!
We tried to add a little Christmas to their bedroom. Here's the storage space turned reading nook play room. Isn't it fun!
Yes, that's marker on the wall. I told Lily she could do it. I figured a kids gotta have a place where they can actually color on the wall and get away with it.
Here's a festive lunch idea I made for the kids the other day. I've just been taking advantage of all the Christmas cookie cutters and making their sandwiches a little more fun.
Then we made some Christmas ornaments out of homemade playdoh and green food coloring. After the kids did their little prints we just baked them in the oven for about 20-30 min at 400 degrees.
And here are some popsicle stick Christmas trees we made yesterday. I just hot glued them together after breaking them into the right sizes (I trimmed the rough edges with scissors). Then we colored them with marker and decorated them.
I found a fun little fine motor skills activity on Pinterest. You can get access to the printout HERE.
We got Lily's friend gifts all ready to deliver. These are little homemade play doh kits (also an idea I found on Pinterest, go HERE for recipe).
Lily had her Christmas dance recital yesterday. It was adorable!!!
And Sunday we tried to get some family pics. I didn't get around to sending out Christmas cards this year but I thought I could at least manage to get some pictures of us all to email out to everyone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brooklyn's Photoshoot

My friend Heather at Heather Lewin Photography offered to take some newborn pics of Brooklyn. Here she is, only 5 days old. I think the pictures turned out SO cute!!! Heather is very talented.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Post Partum

It's been 7 days now since little Brooklyn came into our lives. What a joy it is having a new little baby around the house. Even though I thoroughly enjoy this stage, It does take some adjusting. Figuring out a new schedule, finding time to sleep, getting quality time with each child as well as still finding time to do some things I like to do, like blogging :) Also, I'm already feeling the urge to start working out. I know I need to take it slow, but to be honest, I'm feeling pretty good. Why wouldn't I, look at this cute belly Brooklyn left me with :)
Haha, yah, that's a joke. I'm afraid to go out in public in case I got one of those dreadful comments, "when are you due"? in which I'll have to respond with, um, I'm not pregnant, but thanks for asking.

I just wanted to share this picture because I'm trying to embrace every part of pregnancy this time around, post baby belly and all. So now instead of sharing pictures of my belly growing, I'll share pictures of my belly shrinking :) I gained about 45 lbs with this pregnancy, I don't know, it could have been more. I actually was less worried about my weight this time and hardly ever weighed myself (midwives don't check your weight at appointments either, so that helps). The last time I weighed I was about 36 weeks and I had gained 40 lbs at that point. So I weighed myself last night, and yay I'm down to 140. My goal is 110 since that's where I started out at.

I pumped my first bottle of milk for Lily and Sean to get the chance to feed baby. Lily thought that was pretty awesome.
So, feeling pretty good. Walking up the stairs is not so hard anymore, sleeping is luxurious, bending over to put my shoes on is no longer a chore. Back pain, heartburn, leg cramps... all gone. Feels so nice not to be pregnant anymore.

I did have one day, I think it was day 4, where I felt a little depressed. Not even sure why, but I just felt like crying. So I did... and afterwards I felt much better. Cabin fever was probably part of it, so I decided to get out of the house and spent a little time just walking around KMart. It was so nice.

One thing I always worry about at this point is postpartum depression. I don't think I've had it that bad in the past, but I do remember feeling those baby blues soon after giving birth both times. Hormones can sure do a number on us women. So I'm always looking into ways to prevent it. Getting enough sleep, exercising, eating nutritious food, ect. Recently I learned about a new method. Well, I guess it's not really new, it's actually very common in other parts of the world. What I'm about to say may gross you out a bit, but hear me out okay...

Eating the placenta...

I know I know, sounds totally gross right? Well, lately I've been open to all sorts of new ideas. So when my midwife told me about placenta encapsulation, I have to say I was a little intrigued by the idea. There is absolutely no way I'd ever actually EAT the placenta, but I sure don't mind swallowing it in pill form, especially considering all the benefits.

So anyway, studies have shown that eating the placenta can prevent postpartum depression, replenish nutrients, increase milk production, balance hormones and slow postpartum bleeding.

"The placenta contains high levels of various vitamins, such as B6, which can help curb postpartum depression. Eating the placenta enables the mother to "reclaim" these vitamins and put them to use in her own body. Human placenta is rich in various essential nutrients such as iron and protein. Placentophagia can help replenish these nutrients, which are often depleted during childbirth due to blood loss. This benefit of placentophagia may be especially important for vegetarian or vegan mothers, who may have slightly lower blood iron levels to begin with. (Many animals also practice placentophagia, presumably for this reason.)"

Information from Yahoo Voices

With my last pregnancy, after delivery I noticed my hair becoming so thin and breaking off. I also ended up getting mastitis, a UTI, and even lost my milk completely after only 3 months. I was a complete mess and so sad about not being able to nurse Oliver longer. So when they talk about replenishing the nutrients lost giving birth, it totally made sense to me.

I decided to go for it. We sent my placenta off to the specialist and received the capsules in less than two days. I've been taking them for a few days now and I think it's really working. I'm feeling great, energy is up, bleeding is very minimal, my skin is clear and I feel happy and healthy.
Here it is... my placenta...
Here's the umbilical cord dried into a heart shape :)
I hope that wasn't too much for you to handle. But hey, desperate times calles for desperate measures. I'm willing to do pretty much anything to avoid depression, low energy, and loss of my milk which I like to call liquid gold. I want my baby getting as much of that as possible.
If you're here locally and would like to look into placenta encapsulation then you can contact Tiffany at

Brooklyn's Birth Story

It all started Tuesday Nov. 29th at my prenatal appointment. I was 3 days past due and asked my midwife if she could help move things along. So she did the usual stripping of the membranes and gave me some black and blue kohosh to take and told me to go for a 30 minute walk. I'm not sure what did it, or if it was simply the combination of it all, but soon after I got off the treadmill I began having contractions. I was so excited, but still a little skeptical as to whether or not I was really in labor. I continued to have light contractions that evening but didn't think to time them yet because they didn't seem too strong. I sent a text to my midwives and doula around 10:00 pm just giving them a heads up, then started to keep track of the frequency of my contractions. At that point they were about 10 minutes apart. I took some melatonin and began listening to my hypnobirthing audios to help me relax and hoping to get a little sleep in before the contractions got worse...

Well, that didn't exactly happen. I laid in bed for about two hours until deciding to go downstairs to sit in the recliner. At about 2 am the contractions were coming about every 6 or 7 minutes so I decided to call my midwife. I was afraid to call her in case it was a false alarm. I didn't want to wake her up or make her come over unless I was sure things were progressing. She said she'd come over and see how far dilated I was. After I got off the phone with her I called my doula and photographer and told them to come over. I went upstairs to tell Sean, he had only been asleep for about an hour so I told him to try to sleep longer and I'd let him know what Melissa (my midwife) said when she got there. So of course Sean couldn't sleep after that and ended up coming down stairs anyway.

Melissa arrived with all her gear, she then gave me a quick examination and was shocked to find I was already 7 centimeters dilated. I was shocked too because I didn't think the contractions were that bad. At that point I was thinking, this is going to be easier than I thought.

Sean and Melissa quickly started filling up the birthing tub thinking I'd probably want to get in soon.

After everyone arrived I think the labor progression slowed down a bit. Probably because I felt bad about them being there on little or no sleep and felt pressure to be fully dilated and pushing out a baby as soon as possible.

We sat around and talked for a while, my awesome doula gave me like a two hour massage using essential oils which was so nice. I went upstairs to take a hot shower, drank some calming tea, listened to more of my hypnobirthing audios. Then around 4am Oliver woke up. We were afraid this was going to happen because he went to bed so early that night. He came down all wide awake, wondering what the heck was going on. Especially when he saw the birthing tub all full of water in the middle of our living room. He was pretty excited about that.

Sean decided to call his mom over to come help with Oliver. When she arrived my contractions suddenly became very intense. I started shaking like crazy and finally broke down in tears. My thoughts that this was going to be easy quickly became thoughts of, WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING!!!

I got into the birthing tub knowing I was getting close. We promised Lily that she could be there to watch her sister being born. So Sean went up to get her. The first thing she said when Sean woke her up was, "BABY"!
Photography by the amazing Crystal Pickering at Pure Photography and Design
Soon after that I felt the huge pop and gushing fluid of my water breaking. The contractions continued to intensify and I was getting very weak and overcome with the immense pain. I began to wonder why I had chosen to do this. The pain was much worse than I ever expected. I prayed over and over in my mind that it would be over soon. I kept my eyes closed the whole time and couldn't even muster up the energy to respond to anyone when they asked me questions or gave me guidance. I felt like any movement at all, even just to open my eyes was too much to bear. At this point I felt I should probably try pushing even though the thought of it seemed impossible. I couldn't imagine using all my muscles to push at the very moment the pain was at it's highest. I screamed and wailed, which is funny to me now because when I watched all the birthing videos on youtube I thought for sure I wouldn't scream. I kind of laughed at the way some of the women reacted in these videos. But here I was making all the funny noises I swore I wouldn't. Anyway, I'm not sure how long I pushed, but pretty soon her head was half way out and I remember screaming, "can't you just pull her out now"! I had to wait for the next contraction to push again with the burning pain of her head stuck half way. A couple more pushes and out she came at 6:59am. I had never felt more relieved. I took one look at this little baby and couldn't believe my eyes. What a miracle this was.
Photography by the amazing Crystal Pickering at Pure Photography and Design
I felt like I was on top of the world. I couldn't believe I did it! Although, I did actually make a comment about not ever wanting to do it again... but that was before the amnesia set in. Already I've seem to have forgotten exactly how painful it was. Probably because the feeling I have now makes it all worth it. I said something about the next baby to Lily yesterday and she said, "but you said you didn't ever want to do this again". Well, maybe not anytime soon, but I think I could definitely do it again. The best part of the whole thing was getting to be at home and the fact that Lily got to be there to welcome her little sister into this world. I loved how calm and relaxed everything was when Brooklyn came out. I got to sit and hold her as long as I wanted and also nursed her before we even cut the chord. This was the most amazing experience I've ever had and couldn't be more grateful to my midwives, doula, photographer, and especially my husband. He was absolutely amazing! He only got one hour of sleep that night and stayed up all the next day with the kids while I rested. He's been catering to my every need, doing the dishes, laundry, and taking care of the kids. He's such a wonderful husband and dad. I couldn't be happier and more content than I am now.

I've got lots more pictures and even a video I'm putting together. So stay tuned for more!

Brooklyn Star

Brooklyn Star was born at 7am this morning. She's a beautiful healthy 8 lb 4 oz. baby. I've got lots more pics and video to share, plus I'll be sharing the whole birth story with you. It was an incredible experience having a home birth. It's so nice to be here in the comfort of my own home with all three of my kids and my wonderful husband.
As of now, we're all just trying to catch up on sleep.

A Little Update

I hope you are all enjoying this wonderful holiday weekend. I just wanted to give you a quick update on my status. As of now I've not had the baby, but hopefully soon :) I guess my due date is actually Nov. 26th instead of Dec. 5th. So we'll just have to see how it goes. I haven't been having any contractions yet, but feeling quite a bit of cramping down there. I'm about ready to pop!
Look at that thing, it's huge!
I'm not sure if you can tell, but this picture actually captured a little kick. Do you see the little bump right in the middle? She just happened to kick right when the camera went off. Pretty cool I thought.
So these days I've been keeping busy with the whole nesting syndrome. I've just about got every drawer and closet in my house organized.
I talked Sean into putting up the Christmas tree, yay!
Can you tell who did the decorating?
After the kids put ALL the ornaments at the bottom of the tree I finished it up later :) What do you think?
In the past I haven't really done much decorating anywhere else in the house, but this year I felt like taking the next step. I decorated the front entry way using glass vases and ornaments from Walmart.
Since I'm not sleeping much lately I've been doing a ton of projects and DIY crafts using ideas I've found on pinterest.
Here is one brilliant idea I had to copy.
Hiding all your chords in a shoe box. LOVE it! (just cut holes and used a little spray paint)
Here is a fun and pretty easy Christmas decor idea.
Just hot glued these flowers and tinsel onto kleenex boxes.
And I made this cute flower for one of Brooklyn's newborn hats.
And I just LOVE this idea for organizing all your computer and camera chords. I've already started collecting empty toilet paper rolls for my huge stash of chords I have stuffed in a cabinet.
I tell ya, some people just have incredible imaginations and think up some pretty amazing things. Thank goodness for Pinterest right :)