Catching Up….

I have a little catching up to do on this blog. The last entry that I started to write was actually about my baby shower. I never finished that post, but I’m sure you will see it here within the next week. It was a really great baby shower by the way, my friend Megan (her blog Growing Up Blessings can be found here) did a spectacular job putting it together and we all had a great time!

The week after the baby shower, crazy kind of went wild in our house. Five and half days after the baby shower, Memphis had arrived! After his welcome home I began an intense battle with postpartum preeclampsia. I’ve never had ‘regular’ preeclampsia, so I’m not sure what that feels like, but having it postpartum is a complete nightmare. I was placed back in the hospital a few days after coming home from the hospital with Memphis. After coming home the second time, I was complete wreck, and am still very far off my game.

One great thing about my extended recovery, I was able to spend nearly a month doing mostly nothing but holding my sweet baby boy while laying on the couch. Thankfully also, we have a huge comfy sectional that easily accommodates our big family. If I’m in just the right spot, I can easily cuddle 3 of the kids at once.

Tonight was the first time I’ve been home without John or Atlantis for more than half an hour in about 6 weeks. John and the girls have an overnight thing at our church, so it was just the boys and mommy. It has been a fabulous night! I’m starting to feel more like myself each day and can do a little more each day. John did order gluten free pizza from Uno’s for Troy and I so I wouldn’t have to worry with dinner. Which gave us time to do this little craft

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and I had a little time later for me to finally finish these up

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Guest Post On Intoxicated On Life (1 of 3)

Hello Everyone, check out my guest post on the Intoxicated On Life blog. This is the 1st post of 3 that I am doing about my breast feeding experience for Intoxicated On Life.

Here is pic of my new little guy sleeping

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Welcome Memphis!!!

Welcome Memphis!!

He came into this world May 4th , weighing in at 9 pounds 14 ounces and 21 inches long.

Has it really been a month since we added this little guy to our family? I’ve herd other parents make the comment that when they brought home their baby, their family just finally felt complete. I think I know the feeling they have talked about now. We all love him so much and he seamlessly has meshed right in. Memphis is definitely the bigest of all of my babies and has a big personality to match. He is generally a very happy baby. He is rarely put down, which is good because he loves snuggling with all of us. Literally, this kid is generally in someones arms about 16 to 22 hours a day. Although he didn’t sleep through the night last night, the previous 6 nights he has slept a solid 6 hours. Memphis has a fiery temper that goes well with his red hair. When he wants something, he lets you know immediately, and continues to let you know for a short while after he gets what he wants. So far he is generally calm and very observant. He likes watching things that move, like the mobile above his swing and his super speedy sister Petra.

I am amazed at how well  my older children have adjusted to their new baby brother, but I have to say I am especially impressed with how well troy has taken on his new role as a big brother. As soon as Memphis begins to cry, Troy often feels this is a call to duty and grabs whatever he feels the baby might need at that moment. Troy’s favorite thing to do right now is to hold or lay down next to his baby brother. Troy was very timid around Memphis until the 2nd day we were home. For a few months before Memphis’ arrival  Troy had acted out a situation with dolls and Memphis’ bouncer seat where he would put a doll in the seat and cover it with a blanket then proceed to kiss the doll’s head and rub the doll’s hair. After Troy seeming to be afraid of getting to close to Memphis in the beginning,  I decided to see if Troy would like to have this playtime routine reproduced in real life. It was the sweetest thing, and was exactly what Troy needed to affirm his abilities as an excellent big brother.

The girls also love having a new baby in the house. Partially because they have had an extended vacation from school, I’m sure. Atlantis, is our family’s care taker. So, she obviously snatches him up every chance she gets. She likes feeding him bottles and snuggling up for nap time with him. Nothing would make her happier than to be put in charge of baby care for the entire day. So far, Memphis and Atlantis seem to kindred spirits with very simular personalities.

Petra likes to hold him also, but she isn’t much on sitting still for very long, so she generally likes to hold him for helpful tidbits when someone needs to hand him off for just a few moments. Her favorite time with Memphis is playtime. She likes making faces at him and holding things up for him to look at. She is also my little songbird and has quieted Memphis down several times by singing to him.

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Baby Countdown Update

After my OB appointment yesterday, I thought I would give a little baby countdown update. Today there are 23 days remaining til my due date!!! The hospital bag is packed and in the car. My bedroom is set up for our little guy to come home. Tiny clothes are clean and put away. All of the necessities have been put into place. Now, I just wait, and make more baby crafts (like the one to the really wrinkly one to the left).

My appointment yesterday went really well. The ultrasound reviled  fluid levels were actually up just a little from a few days ago. No induction this week, whew! That’s a relief. He has moved down where his head is against the pelvic bone, which I have to say isn’t comfortable and also means there is no way do get a look of his face. This is where I should point out how jealous I am of all of my friends 3-d and 4-d ultrasound images of their little ones’ faces. However, I was told this is a good sign as it means he is in the “I’m ready to come out” position. Here is a run down of how things looked yesterday: All of Baby’s stats are looking great! He is in the 73 percentile in size, heart looks good, heart beat looks good, all measurements are exactly where they should be! My heart- looking good. My blood pressure- starting to creep up there, but not a cause for concern. Swelling- rarely and even then very little. Lower back- hurting often, but gets better quickly. Blood sugar levels- also really good.

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Pregnancy in the North and South

Even though several people warned me that once you hit the Masson/Dixon line it’s like a different world, when I was preparing to move to Ohio, I never really thought there would be much of a difference between it and Kentucky. After all, they are only separated by a little water. I have lived south of Kentucky in Tennessee, Florida, and Gorgia. Those 4 states are simular enough, how different could one state up be? Was I in for an awakening? Heck even living in foreign countries is more like living in Kentucky when compared to Ohio. Things that are considered normal or kind in the south (and many other parts of the word) are invasions of privacy and rude here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad. There are some things that are definitely better in Ohio. Here are my major comparisons, keep in mind this is only the items that stand out for pregnancy. The girls were born in the south, and the boys either were or will soon be born in the north.

Touching. In the South people were always touching my pregnant self. Most generally in my belly region.  I have to say, it would get annoying sometimes. When pregnant with Atlantis, I was washing my hands in a public restroom when an older women put her arms around me from behind to rub my belly. NOT FUN! On the other hand, in the North, pregnant or not it is extremely rare anyone touches me period. Even my closest friends up here wouldn’t dare put their hand on my pregnant belly. If you would have told me this after the hand washing incident, I would have been thrilled. A few nights ago I actually found myself crying about the lack of touching though. I got used to people touching me when pregnant with the girls. The people doing the touching are always thrilled and have a big smile. Being pregnant is stressful, constant happy touching helps a lot with that.

Advice. There is just something about pregnancy that seems to encourage even the most timid people to give you their opinion. On parenting. On sex. On what you should and shouldn’t do while pregnant. You get the idea. It still happens up here in the North, just not as much. Also, if your really obvious about not wanting to hear an opinion, a northerner will generally shut up about it. A southerner, well, they are going to give you their opinion until they think you have adopted it.

Heat. It’s a lot hotter in the south. The girls were born in Tennessee and Kentucky. Where we lived in Kentucky is generally about 20 degrees warmer than where we live now in Ohio. Pregnancy and heat don’t mix. Although, it does make watermelon taste so much better.

Hospitality. The south is known the world over for hospitality, people just do things for you. If your pregnant they do even more. I never carried anything, opened a door for myself in public, or had to look for a spot to sit in the south while pregnant. Here, I’ve carried groceries into the house while my neighbor sat on his front porch. A simular situation in the south would have had a neighbor griping at me for going to the grocery alone in my condition while he carried in all the groceries for me.

Tea. You can get a fabulas glass of iced tea in the south anywhere you go. It’s the easiest thing in world to make, Petra can do it and I’d bet with a little help even little Troy could manage the task. But somehow, it just doesn’t seem to work out for the restaurants that try to make tea up here. With the gestational diabetes I don’t get it sweetened, but a southern girl REALLY needs her tea if she goes out to eat.

Men. Men in south are not expected to do much. My friends always considered me really lucky because John does do stuff. He feels he should do an equal amount being half the parental unit. This isn’t always the case down south. Many men don’t do much if anything at all at home and laugh at the guys that do. In the North this would be really frowned upon. People get divorced for this up here.

Free Stuff. There is so much free stuff for pregnant women in the south it’s crazy. I have to wonder if it’s because the south has a much higher poverty level. Birthing classes, always free. If you show up, more free stuff. From car seats, to diapers, to high chairs, if you need something for your coming baby in the south, you can probably find an organization or state funded entity giving it away. Not the case up here in the north. Enfamil and similac will each send you a free sample. Huggies and pampers, 1 free diaper and 10 wipes each. That’s about it when it comes to freebees in the North.

Visiting. People have a tendency to just pop in down South. If someone drove by your house and you were home. Instant company. This really doesn’t happen in the North. People don’t go out their way to drive by your house and most wouldn’t dare dropping by without calling first. Funny, in the south it can be considered rude not to drop by someone’s house if your in their neck of the woods where the opposite it true here. I wouldn’t have known about this etiquette rule had I not had a friend with a northern mother growing up. People popping in for no reason, without calling drove her crazy and I did it all of the time.

Medical Care. With Atlantis, I’m fairly sure now I had gestational diabetes. I gained about 90 pounds and was over the top moody. I was never tested for it though.  Otherwise, I have to at least say the doctor was nice. With Petra’s pregnancy I remember handing my mid-wife a birthing plan. She laughed at me. Also with Petra, I was told I asked way to many questions and if I wanted to talk about an idea, a procedure, or a treatment I had read about, I generally got a eye roll before being told that it just didn’t happen outside the big city.  I would have happily went elsewhere, but the next nearest doctor or mid-wife was another 45 minutes away (which put them about 75 minutes from my house). In the North with Troy and my current pregnancy, my OB (his website) is fabulas! He asks me at least once each visit if I have questions and is more than happy to answer them. He also always makes sure I have all the information I could possibly want or need. He and everyone in his office is also very nice, caring, and supportive.

Delivery. With both the girls, I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed once I got to the hospital. With Petra, there were even tie downs attached the bed when I arrived and I was told that if I got to out of hand, they would be used. When the girls came out, I got one look and they were whisked away to the nursery for measuring, testing, and cleaning. With Troy, much different experience. As far as deliveries go, I would even describe it as enjoyable. There was a large tub, exercise ball, and anything else I could have possibly wanted to use while in labor or during the birth. I was encouraged to get out of bed. I had three nurses and one was with me nearly the entire time just incase I wanted to send her to get something for me. One nurse seemed to be there just to massage my back, help me relax through the contractions, and give me words of encouragement. I held troy for 3 hours before I decided to have him cleaned up. Which happened in the delivery room and then John got to hold him.

So, to sum it up, through this pregnancy and Troy’s I was really homesick. More so with this one. It feels a little lonely being pregnant up here to me. However, the difference in care from the medical community during pregnancy, delivery, and after has been worth the loneliness.

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Essential Oils: Lavender

I’m kind of new to the essential oil craze, my first experience being with lavender. I say “kind of” because I’ve actually been using lavender oil for a couple of years, but only picked up a few of the other oils in the last few months. My first experience with lavender oil happened when I was pregnant with Troy. I had been to baseball game with my family, and despite being sufficiently lathered with sun screen, was burnt to a not so nice shade of lobster. I tried putting every sunburn remedy I’ve herd of or googled on my skin. I killed and entire aloe plant, lathered on yogurt, bathed in buttermilk, sprayed on stinky sprays, and picked up a few other drug store concoctions. I would find relief for a few minutes, then back to pain. A couple of days after acquiring the burn I was at an evening church service where someone said, “I’ve got an oil for that.” She gave me a small bottle and I proceeded to sprinkle way to much of it on the red areas.  Ahh, relief. I was sure the pain would be back soon, but I was pain free for the rest of the night. The next morning I it was sensitive to the touch, but I wasn’t exactly in pain anymore. The skin was still red, but didn’t hurt.

I spent several hours that day searching the town for more lavender oil with no luck (I now know you can find it in the health and beauty aids sections of Whole Foods, Giant Eagle, and Raisin Rack). The friend that had allowed me to use her oil actually sold oils through doterra, I would come to find that several of the women in my church did so at the time. I ordered a bottle, I didn’t want to chance ever getting a sun burn again without it.

It sat in my cabinet for a few weeks, then I came across a diaper wipes solution recipe to use with cloth diapers. So, when troy was born I started using it in my wipes. A few months later I was given a suggestion to use it for diaper rash. I developed a rash on my arm and decided to see what would happen if I put some of lavender oil on it. Soon it was time for another bottle of this miracle oil. This was the point I decided google what else this oil could do. I went through the second bottle much, much quicker than the first. I was loving the oil, but at about $30 for 1/2 an ounce… well, I had to either find it cheeper or stop using it so much.

I had been using lavender oil for about a year. This was about the time I put some on a friend’s son that was staying at our house for a few days. He had developed a rash that was responding to nothing. He had been to the doctor several times. My friend was amazed and actually knew where to get 4 ounces of the oil (in a different brand) for the price I had spent on 1/2 an ounce. I have to say I was amazed when her MUCH cheeper oil worked just as well as my doterra. Don’t get wrong, I love my doterra selling friends & want to support their bussines, but 8X the price is just a little more than I can logically do on a regular basis.

With my current pregnancy, I actually crave the smell of lavender oil. I’ve found putting it on my feet before I go to bed at night is the only way I can get more than a couple of hours at a time at this point. Last night I slept a miraculous 6 hours.

I purchased a few more oils when winter respiratory nastiness entered our home this year and being pregnant, there isn’t much that is safe to treat those bugs with. I now generally purchase the NOW brand of essential oils from amazon. A 4 ounce bottle of lavender oil runs around the $20 mark. Some of the other essential oils our family has tried are eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree. I’ve liked them all. I’ve ordered and am waiting for frankincense, clary sage, and geranium oils to come in.

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