Friday, August 14, 2015

Vacationing with baby

I'm currently ON vacation. We're in Dauphin Island Alabama, we come here every year. We always rent a beach house and enjoy the week just going to the beach and taking it easy. 

There are minimal restaurants on the island, no mini golf or go karts. It is NOT a tourist trap and that is what we love. 
But..... Vacationing with a three month old is a completely different ballgame. I'm not a new mom. I have three older kids. But it's been a while since I traveled with a tiny one. 

Next week I plan on blogging about our week, gushing about the rental company and other things we have done and give tips on traveling with littles. 
For now I'm getting ready to enjoy one last day in my uber happy place! 
Happy Friday!! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bookroo Review + Discount For You = Happy Kids!

 I recently had the opportunity to review a new book subscription service  for children's books, Bookroo. I LOVE books, I'm a huge reader and my girls are as well. My son, not so much, but I'm trying really hard to change that. My youngest, 11 weeks old yesterday, of course he isn't reading yet, ;) but I'm hoping to instill in him the love of books also.

And children's books, I'm a HUGE fan! We have so many books, being a homeschooling family. I actually just recently had to rotate some in and some out as I'm running out of space. But Maverick totally needed a library started, so this was the perfect opportunity!
Bookroo was founded by three brothers and their wives. Their mission being to enable parents to build a library for their kids in an affordable way. They are also a green company, which I love! Their packaging is all made from recycled products. They also give back by donating books to children in need through Reach Out and Read!
The process is simple, select your book type (board or picture) pick a plan (month to month, three months or six months) and you're on your way!
Subscriptions start as low as $17.50 a month and shipping is free!

I received my package and it was the CUTEST thing ever! Each book was individually wrapped in adorable paper. I wish that Maverick could have opened them on his own, when he's older and we get more in the mail, that will be a huge appeal to him! I love mail (my kids do as well) and presents, so it's a win/win! 

The books we received, my daughter and I read that day to Maverick. The books for July are simply ADORABLE and I'm happy to say, were not ones that we already had.

For a limited time, my readers here will receive $4 off of any plan at Bookroo to try it out and hopefully stay with it! You just need to click here and the discount is automatically applied to your cart when you check out! The discount is good until July 31, 2015. 

I hope you love it as much as I do! And don't forget to Instagram your books and hashtag bookroo so that they know how much you love them too!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Maverick's Birth Story

When mothers talk about their birth plan and things not going as planned I never really understood this. I just thought, "oh well, stuff happens" 
I am usually a roll with the punches kind of girl. 

So, Saturday May 2, I started having significant signs that labor was imminent. This was also my due date according to my dates and ultrasound. We called the hospital around 5 pm  and they told us to go ahead and come in. 
When we arrived, I had made no progress from the doctor visit on Tuesday before. My contractions were there but not strong and not regular. From previous labors this is how things go with me, my water never breaks, my contractions are never regular, I just usually don't have the "usual" labor symptoms. I was set to be induced the very next day, so my dr came in and told me that they would give me an hour to progress, then we could begin induction or go home. Well I was there, in my lovely hospital gown, I was NOT leaving now. I got on the birth ball. I was determined to have this baby before midnight. I wanted to get my contractions going. It worked, they started coming faster and stronger. When the nurse came in at 830 I was dilated to a 4 (previously a 2) this meant I could get my epidural and hopefully be holding my baby boy in my arms soon! 
Around midnight I got my epidural, not long after that my water broke. (Remember I said this was not a normal for me labor) 
Fast forward, I labored all night long. By 630 am I was finally at 9cm, yahoo! By around 930am I was still at a 9, my dr decided to give me some pitocin to get my labor going and get that last cm gone. In the meantime that sick feeling came over me like a wave, you know the puking feeling. Yep, I got sick, 4 times. Again, when I labor I do not do that. Very unusual, but I do know now all labors are different. 
Around 11am the nurse came in to check and there was a tiny half cm left on the right side, they thought I could push past it, so at noon I started pushing. I was not getting the urge to push nor was I feeling the tightening of the contractions. I pushed for an hour and a half. In that time, Maverick's heart rate was going all over the place. I knew it was by watching the nurses watch the monitor. I know they don't want to alarm the patient, but I was scared to death. 
My dr came in after that hour and a half and told me that we needed to either use the vacuum to get him to come down or a c section, we would try the vacuum first, yeah, no go. Dr Lam only tried once and said "I'm sorry, he is just not coming down, we will have to do a c section" 
Now, let me tell you, I had twins vaginally almost 14 years ago, TWINS! And with no pain meds mind you. I also had my 9 year old vaginally. This was not in the plan. And instantly fear creeped on, anxiety and panic. I just knew I was going to die. All through this pregnancy I had this fear of dying in childbirth, I don't know why. I had great prenatal care, a healthy pregnancy and as far as we knew a healthy baby. But in that instant, I was convinced I was going to die. I looked at my dr and said "will I be awake" I just knew if they put me out that I wouldn't wake up. At least if I was awake I could see it coming and face it head on. 
Let me say that never in my life would I have imagined the care I would receive during my experience. The dr who handled my epidural was there all night with me, monitoring, she was still there when I started pushing and as they said we are doing a C section, she was the one to handle my increase in meds. She promised me that she would stay right by me, tell me step by step what they were doing as I laid on that table, terrified. And she did, she knew by then when my blood pressure would drop (which scared the holy heck out of me) and adjusted things accordingly. After Maverick was born and taken on to the nursery to be evaluated, she was with me in recovery and back to the room. 

Maverick was born at 2:34 Pm on May 3. He was a chunk of a baby, when they pulled him out the nurses said "his little neck has a fat roll" and that is why I could not deliver vaginally. I always thought my body was made for pregnancy and birthing babies but apparently it had its limitations or Mav had his own ideas. 

He was healthy and here and I was fine. In the days to come, recovery was not easy. My husband, who I have grown to love more than I could ever imagine, stayed with me every night. I had to make him go get something to eat or coffee. When we came home, I could basically do nothing. He got up in the night with Maverick, helped me in every way he had to. I am one lucky woman to have such a wonderful husband and father to my kids. 

So that's his birth story. He will be four weeks tomorrow and our love for him grows every day. He is such a good baby. Getting up one time at night and never really getting upset unless he's hungry or tired. He is the perfect little addition to complete this family. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

38 Weeks... on the downhill slide.

When I look back on these past 9 months, on one hand it feels like they have gone SO slow, on the other hand, they feel like they have gone SO fast. It's amazing to think that my life has been consumed with growing another human being for NINE months.

I love being pregnant, until I get to 36 weeks and then I'm DONE. The first trimester never has bothered me much, the exhaustion and nausea, actually I deal with that fairly well. Second trimester is when I really feel my best. I hit that 36 week mark and it was like hitting a wall. I don't feel bad, but the exhaustion has kicked back in, my feet are swollen and look pretty disgusting, it doesn't go down either, I'm eternally uncomfortable, sleeping ok until I have to roll over and then I could be up for the night. And lately, I have to get up to pee at least twice, usually after I lay there for 20 minutes contemplating if it's worth rolling my giant belly out of bed. At this point in my two previous pregnancies I was sleeping in a recliner so I have to say that this is a huge accomplishment to be still sleeping in my bed! 
We are so ready for Maverick to be here. To see his little face and love on him! 
My 36 week check up was SO encouraging, I was dilated 2cm and effaced. I came home ready to climb a mountain! So exciting that things were moving quickly!! 

37 weeks (last week) was not as encouraging. Still dilated at 2cm. :( I left there deflated and defeated. I love my midwife, she is ever my cheerleader, she said to me "you're still at a two, but your cervix is very soft, so that's a good thing! You could go home and go into labor tonight!" Well I didn't, but that's ok. 
So we hiked this week, I've worked, I walked a few miles in our neighborhood, all to get this ball rolling. I feel like he's just a little too comfy in there, I may have to send him a little eviction notice. ;) 
This will just give me more time to get things prepared (I'm pretty prepared already) and i hope to get a blog post up this week about his room. 

Until my next appointment, or a baby decides to come out... 

36 Weeks and Counting

37 and a half weeks, I can still see my toes!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Our Sixth Yolk Update

I haven't blogged in forever. Winter seems to have gotten the best of me, and really it wasn't bad at all here... but the dreary days and darkness did this pregnant girl in.
In the beginning of this pregnancy I wanted to keep a blog diary of week to week, that didn't quite happen like I intended, so I'll try to catch up now and hopefully update every Monday.

I'm now 34 weeks and two days pregnant... (I include the days to make myself feel better) HA! Things are moving right along..... we're having a little boy, which will even out this family at two girls and two boys. When we do things we do them right!
Being pregnant at 39 has proved to be a bit more challenging, nothing major, just the exhaustion is more this time around. My doctor has been very thorough with tests and ultrasounds to ensure that baby and I are healthy.  My B12 came back low in the beginning, they put me on a supplement of B12 and D (D was also low, 50,000 weekly units they ordered) My hips hurt like mad, I wake up every morning and can barely walk. They wake me in the night. I'm going to attempt some yoga today along with some squats, I should have been doing this all along, but well you know...
They retested me a month ago and my b12 was STILL low, so they ordered weekly B12 injections. Yeah, this scared me. We had to do them at home and hubby had to do it. The very first one I was a wreck, worried about air in the syringe, etc. (Did I mention that part of my biggest issue with this pregnancy has been anxiety) yeah, NO.FUN. Anyway, we got past that and completed the B12. I have an amazing husband who puts up with my crazy, whiny, anxiety ridden self. I don't know what I would do without him.
They put me BACK on the 50,000 units of D a week and again will retest. I don't know if B12 has always been an issue for me, if it has it's interesting to note that if you are low it causes fatigue, slow metabolism,  and a whole other wealth of issues.
Other than my vitamin levels, Maverick is doing well and growing, at my last ultrasound he was at four lbs. On track to weigh around eight at birth. He is SO busy, moving like crazy... last night I timed him and he moved for a full two hours straight. It makes me wonder what IS there to do in there? :)

Weight gain, this is my lowest weight gain with any of my pregnancies. Of course with the girls I gained 50 lbs. Jack I think I gained 30 or so, but it was all early on. Maverick, so far I have only gained 15 lbs (per my last appointment) which makes me feel SO good! I have eaten better with him and tried to stay hydrated. I am craving good food, fruits and vegetables, for a while it was pineapple, all of the pineapple I could get my hands on, now it's strawberries and carrots. Meat is a huge turn off right now, for the most part.

The anxiety with this pregnancy has to be the worst part. I have irrational fears, I'm not a worrier at all, I've taught myself to stay on the positive side of things and to not let things get to me. Well this time around it is ALL getting to me. I worry about the safety of my family, illness, my safety, the baby, things that I read then I think "well that will happen to me for sure" it sucks! It's getting a little better, but it's still there at the back of my mind and I am shoving it hard to get it to stay back there.
My vivid pregnancy dreams don't help either. You know the ones, you wake up and they are SO real, dreams of adultery (I will wake up so angry at Chris and will be angry for the rest of the day) fatal crashes happening, planes, etc. It's so ODD, and SO.REAL. But, six weeks.... I keep reminding myself... I love being pregnant until I get to the point where I am out of breath and feeling exhausted again. Yeah,  I'm ready.
Maverick's room is almost complete, walls painted, crib is up and changing table and dresser are finished and filled. I can now sit back and relax (a little) until he decides to make his entry into the world.

18 Weeks

26 Weeks

28 Weeks

31 Weeks

32 Weeks

Maverick's Gallery Wall above his bed

I'll do a more in depth photo of his room once I am completely finished in there.... Still have some loose ends to tie up! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

52 Week Project

I've been a professional photographer for going on 8 years now. I can't believe it's been 8 years. I love my job, love that I can use my talent to give others lasting memories, but it has also caused me some pain. I work so hard most of the year, I really have slacked off on photographing my OWN kids. I follow an amazing photographer, Sarah Cornish at My 4 Hens, if you haven't ever checked out her work, you need to. She photographs organically, from the heart, tells stories with her photos, all of them... and also, still photographs her beautiful children. Last year she did a 365 project with her own kids, now I can't commit to that many, haha. I know my limitations, I'm really bad at doing really good for about 30 days on a project and then failing miserably. But, I thought, what if I did one a week, one portrait of my kids a week for the year, 52 weeks of my kids. It will be fun to see how they change and grow, and by middle of the year we'll have four to photograph instead of three!

Here we go! {Week 1|52}
It is FRIGID today but I made them step outside... these show their TRUE personalities for sure! Especially my oldest....
Grace, oldest of the bunch. Very much her mother's daughter... she is an artist, a writer (though she would argue) a passionate girl who is a true friend, if you're lucky enough to break through that shell.
 Gabriela, second born, twin B as she was known for my pregnancy, she is an animal lover, very passionate about her beliefs, also an artist, and a true friend to you who loves hard, just like me. That's why it hurts so bad when you get hurt, you truly love with all of your heart. Not a bad quality at all.
Jackson, youngest (for now) and he IS the baby. He is a gamer, he is sensitive and goofy. I can't believe, to look at this, that he is nine years old. It just blows my mind how fast time moves and before you know it your kids are grown. 

I challenge you to complete your own photography project this year. It doesn't have to be with a camera, you can use your phone, which I'm doing as well, a 365 project with my iPhone. I am hoping to be able to stay with both of these ALL.YEAR. We shall see!