Monday, February 11, 2013

Christmas Hearts

I wrote this back before Christmas but never got around to publishing it. This whole two kid thing is a little hard on my blogs. I love it though!!! Now that things are calming down (ha!) I want to post more. 

I have somewhat mastered going shopping with both girls but it never fails to totally stress me out and totally overwhelm me. Someone is usually crying or needs something and it never fails Piper wants to nurse again as we are walking out. 

 Today I decided to run to Toys R Us to grab Ela's last minute gifts. I've been putting this off because I mean who wants to go near the mall or a toy store this close to Christmas? Per the norm Piper screamed the whole way there. When we were picking up my coffee (no time to brew!) the barista at Starbucks asked if she cried all the time in the car. I said yes and he seemed pretty happy with the fact there were no babies in his life. Yesterday the barista at Starbucks gave me my drink for free because I pulled up with a handful of diapers, a screaming baby, no wallet and a look if total despair . ( Don't judge my Starbucks habit I've been too busy giving life abs nourishment to a baby to make coffee in the morning if I need to bake a quick exit . And the power was off this morning. )

Today is freezing and the wind was whipping around. I got us to the store and into the store. I also managed to load a large toy kitchen box into my cart while balancing a baby in a sling. The bad thing was, I couldnt see over or around the box and the store was getting pretty crowded. After nearly taking out one of Santa's grumpy elfs (she was tiny, covered in red and green glitter and was below my eye level) I made it through the checkout. But there was no one to help me to the car. So I am balancing a huge box and a 37 pound  toddler in the cart and trying to use my chin to keep Piper covered up from the wind in the sling. The wind rips the cart towards a car as Ela rips off Piper's blanket. The blanket goes flying through the air as I narrowly miss the car but not amused looks from strangers. Thanks for the help guys! I get to the car and get Ela in her carseat and out of the freezing 40 degree Georgia winter wind. Now it's time to tackle the box while keeping Piper covered up, holding her blanket up with my chin. I would like to thank the gentleman watching from the warmth of his car right beside me for just looking very amused at my struggles and for not even offering to help. 

After loading up the car I climb in the backseat to Piper buckled in. I shut and lock the doors with my keyless entry. Can't be too safe these says you know. I always sit in the backseat, lock the door and then take Piper out of the sling in a warm car. We have the childlock on Ela's door but not the other door. I get Piper settled in and by that I mean she is screaming. I am rushing to get going because she usually quiets doen once the car is moving. I tried to open the door but it wouldnt open. I pushed harder and harder.  I guess it the childlock turned itself on because I was sure stuck. Piper was still screaming and Ela is yelling "Mommy, seatbelt put on your seatbelt!!!" And the door won't budge. There is zero room to climb over the infant seat and over the driver's seat. Especially wearing skinny jeans and knee high boots. As I sit there and thinking about my options I realize unless I want to spend the whole day sitting there trying to get a stranger to open my door I have no choice. I also haven't done yoga or anything in a while and am still pretty sore from my C-Section but I have to get home before I loose my mind. I loop one leg over the infant seat and throw my butt into the drivers seat with both legs sprawled in the air, one over the steering wheel. I'm sure the man beside me really enjoyed his entertainment while he waited. I finically got my long booted legs under the wheel and put on my sunglasses, head held high I burst out laughing. When I backed out the man who offered no help decided to move his car  forward to get out of my way even though I was no where near hitting him while I backed out. Pretty sure he was questioning my sanity.  Piper screamed the whole way home and Ela sang the three lines of jingle bells she knows loudly and didn't stop. My head was pounding and the driver in front of me was going ten under the speed limit (she didn't have two kids in her backseat clearly!). 

I was not feeling very thankful at all, okay maybe downright irritated and upset, when I passed several State Troopers waiting for the funeral procession of a police officer killed while on duty. I thought of his parents and friends, the parents of the kids in Connecticut and my friends and family who have lost loved ones and won't be spending Christmas with them. I started crying, my heart aching for these losses. I thanked Jesus for my two precious loud, drive me crazy girls and actually enjoyed hearing Piper scream the rest of the way home. Ok, maybe enjoy is too strong a word but I was thankful that my girls are alive and healthily and able to drive me crazy. We have been abundantly blessed and I am beyond  thankful. 

I pray for the families who have lost their family, especially at Christmas and pray God's protection over my family. 

"For He has sent His angels to watch over you." 

Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Piper's Birth Story

We welcomed Piper Virginia into our lives November 13th at 5:44pm. She weighed 8 pounds and 8 ounces and was 20 inches long. Her birth was supposed to be planned and predictable but turned out to be an exciting and very special time.

We had Piper's C-section planned for Thursday, November 14th at 8:30am.  I had a planned C-section because of many issues during Ela's birth. (Is Birth Just an Entry Into the World? ) Even though I wasnt looking forward to another C-Section I was excited about everything being planned. My friends even made me pack my hospital bag two weeks early because I was so convinced it would all go as planned. But babies have a mind of their own, even when it comes to making their grand entrance. 

On November 11th Jered and I went to our small group meeting.  During small group I started having what I thought was pressure pain but kept getting worse and no matter which way I sat or stood. As soon as the meeting was over I jumped up and told Jered we needed to go. I thought walking around would help. I had had bad pressure pains the whole last few months and thought this was the same thing. We hadnt eaten dinner and grabbed some sushi before heading home. During the whole dinner I kept gasping because the pains were so bad. I started thinking they were braxton hicks and kept waiting for them to end. 

By 4am Monday morning I had looked up false labor on my iPad and realized that was it. By this point the contractions were every seven minutes and I hadnt gotten any sleep. I took two baths and did my breathing. The back labor was the most painful. I tried sitting on my ball, more baths, heat and walking. Nothing helped but the baths. By Tuesday I was in tears and exhausted. I called my doctor at 9am and talked to the nurse. I asked if I could come in and see if I was dilating at all. My doctor said I would have to check into the hospital. Not what I wanted to hear. The contractions were still staying at 7 minutes and I felt they would just send me home at this point. Thank goodness my mom and two sisters had come to stay with us a week early to help me out. 

Finally around 1pm on Tuesday I called Jered and told him we needed to go to the hospital. My contractions were every five minutes. This sounds so silly, but I was really wanting to have Piper Thursday because our office was booked solid Tuesday and Wednesday.  But Piper had other plans.  all the patients were rescheduled for next week and Dr. Hull headed home. By the time Jered got home around 2pm I was still  every five minutes but the more I walked around the closer together they started coming. We have a good 45 minute drive without traffic. I started getting nervous and picturing giving birth on the side of I-75. My mom helped me calm down and keep breathing through the pain and nerves. We finished packing and my emotions got the better of me and I started sobbing. 

My sweet Ela had been so wonderful through all the changes. I hadnt been able to pick her up for the past month. And the past few days every time I had a contraction I had to focus and even trying to talk to her was so hard. She knew mommy was hurting and was so sweet. I even tried to put her to bed so we had time together. The emotions of adding to our family and leaving Ela for four days just hit me all at once and I just couldnt stop crying. I just held Ela and sobbed for a good five minutes while she hugged me and said "it's okay mommy, it's okay." which made me cry even harder. 

We said our goodbyes and told Ela we were going to go get her new sister. Once we got in the car I started having contractions every three or two minutes. They were getting really intense as well. I gave Jered the green light to get us there fast. I called my OB to let her know we were on our way. I was so excited to "press one if your in labor", I had always wanted to do that. We arrived at 3:00pm and went to check in. We were given a room in the surgery prep area of Northside Hospital and I was given my beautiful gown. I asked the nurse if I wasnt progressing would they still do the surgery today? I was told yes and felt so excited all of a sudden. We were having a baby today! I was a whole five centimeters when they checked. Thats three more then I ever got with Ela. I started having even more intense contractions and a lot of pressure and pain. It felt like when Ela got stuck and couldnt progress. I cant say for sure what would have happened had we continued in the natural labor. My OB doesnt do VBACs and we had decided to continue on our birth plan even if I went into labor. 

I had to have two IV bags pumped through before they could do the epidural. During that time we called Ela on the ipad using Facetime. It was so good to see and talk to her. Finally we were all prepped and ready to go in for the surgery. I had to get three doses of meds through the epidural because I wouldnt numb all the way through. I was good and numb by the time we were ready to go.  Before we went into the OR Jered and I held hands and prayed. I had been feeling so nervous and started to feel a peace come over me followed by excitement  We were about to meet our baby girl! I got wheeled into the operating room and the surgery started. 

Hearing Piper's cry was the most beautiful sound in the world. Jered got to watch her get pulled out and  told me right away she was a girl for sure (people kept telling me I was carrying a boy!) and she had a head full of black hair. I got to hold her after a few minutes. We couldnt believe how tiny she was. Holding her was like being able to breath again after all we had been through and all the months of waiting. They took Piper to the transition nursery while they were still finishing up the surgery. 

Once we got into our room we had to wait a few hours before we got Piper. It was SO hard waiting to hold my sweet little girl. I had only seen and touched her for a few minutes before she left.

The first night was so special. We didnt get back Piper back into the room in time for my mom, sisters and Ela to meet her that night. It was just Jered, Piper and I until the next afternoon. That night I felt great and was able to really bond with Piper. The meds stay with you until early into the morning and then it's hard but totally worth it. I was bond and determined to make this a fast recovery and wanted to be up and walking as soon as possible. I had forgotten how truly painful those first movements are. But you gotta do it to start the healing process. 

Ela got to meet her new sister the afternoon of the 14th. Her whole face lit up and she was so excited. She couldnt wait to hold her and kiss her. She was also so happy to her mommy and daddy. 
We had bought her medical bag and doctor toy set for her big sister present. She loved playing with it and checking everyone's hearts.  I have never been so happy as having my little family all together. We stayed in the hospital for four days and Ela visited everyday. We loved watching our families meet Piper for the first time. It was a very special time with so many wonderful memories. 

Have two littles girls is so special. I adore being them both and love watching our family grow and change. Bringing Piper into this world was exciting and surprising. During the pregnancy I was worried I would always love Ela more. How could I love anyone else like I love her? I was amazed at how quickly Piper filled my heart in the exact same way. I now have two little girls I love with all my heart. 

Here are some pictures from the hospital and some that my sister, Cate, took of Piper for her newborn pictures. 

Is Birth Just an Entry Into the World?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

5x7 Folded Card

Your Day Tangerine Birthday Card
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Making crayons

Fun day making crayons 

Ela and I had a great time making crayons while Daddy had a long work day. I get a little stir crazy being home all day and all night alone so finding fun crafts to make with a toddler helps pass the time. 
We found this fun craft on Petite Lemon Blog. This website also has the cutest custom Big and Little Sister outfits.  The crayons turned out really perfect and Ela enjoyed watching and helping with the process. I cant wait to make more shapes! 

Put any broken crayons into a silicon baking dish.
This one is from Ikea, we also have a flower and fish one but chose the hearts for fun! 

Ela helping pick which colors go where. We made them multi-colored but you can also color coordinate. 

Bake at 225 for 10-15 minutes and look what comes out!
Let cool for a while, I even stuck them in the fridge to speed it up.
They turned out perfect! 

The finished product.

Ela using the finished product. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Five Weeks Away? Thank you?

After months of planning and excitement, it turned out that Jered couldn't make on our family vacation. Opening your own business, in this crappy economy, is time consuming and hard.  I have first hand experience to say this with great pleasure- shove it Mr. President, we did this ourselves and it took a lot of HARD work and sacrifice. But I know it will be worth it in the end.  I absolutely love how passionate Jered is about the form of chiropractic he does. He loves working with athletes and really anyone, watching them get better and better. It is so rewarding and that is so important. I am so happy he isn't in a job he hates.

The hard part is being content where we are now. I always plan these wonderful things in my head. I had labeled this "The Summer of Fun". I pictured us taking Ela to the zoo, spending two weeks at Aylen Lake, Ontario, taking little day trips here and there in-between opening a business.  I have a feeling had I had shared all my plans with Jered he would have quickly informed me of my daydreaming and set my feet back on solid ground. I pictured the four years of sacrifice (there's that word again!), the nights sitting at home alone waiting out storms, power outages, sickness, loneliness, homesickness for my family, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner alone would finally be over. I could just see our new life, there would be so much time! The problem with daydreams is, they hardly ever are reality. Talk to anyone who has a successful business and they didn't get to just play while everything magically fell into place. It took a lot of hard work and time. So, needless to say, we are still stuck in the limbo of getting from here to there. God has reminded me time and time again, just enjoy the ride. Be content where you are. Be thankful for all that you have been blessed with. My heart just wants to always be there, instead of here. Being content is not my thing.

I think God was laughing the day I spent crying when I found out Jered would need to stay home to keep working on the business. We had put so much on this trip, it was like when you say "if we can just make it to here... then we can relax..." We kept saying, once we are at the lake. This was a lot more then a trip, this was a time, the only time, we could spend two weeks worry free away from reality. But reality never let us get there. I hope that helps you understand why this was so emotional for us.

Mom and Dad had generously offered to let Ela and I ride to the lake with them. Anyone who offers to let a preggo lady and a toddler spend 18 hours in a car with them, well, they may just be crazy. My parents must be crazy because I planned to ride up with Mom and Dad have Jered drive up at a later time to join us once things where moving along more smoothly. I will skip the rant on banks and loans and all of that and just say, it is really hard to move forward on anything unless you gots a lot of dollars in the bank and a really really solid credit score which is really hard to do when you've been in school for the past eight years. I digress... so after a lot of tears, fights and more tears, I packed Ela and I up and Jered drove us to my parents house. And so our time away started.

My parents must be saints because my Dad only complained a small amount about the enormous amount of stuff I brought, the many bathroom breaks we took on the trip and some late night crying spats from Ela. All in all, it was a great trip and Ela did fabulous. Any 20-month old who can spend that long in a carseat and not have a major meltdown is doing great! The feeling I get as we drive over the dirt road to our cottage, and you finally get a glimpse of the lake, is one of pure bliss and excitement. I will post another blog on Ela's adventures at Aylen because there are too cute and funny not to! This post is about my selfish self learning some important lessons.

Two weeks into our vacation, I got tired of asking Jered every night when we were on the phone, when are you going to join us? I just knew it wasnt going to happen. Finally he came out and said, it wasn't going to work. Even though I was expecting it, I still cried. I understand there are a hundred million things much much worse then spending five weeks at your family lake house in Canada and being upset because your husband can't join you. To me, at the time, it was a pretty big deal. I just felt like this was the story of our lives. I go, you stay. There was always something that kept him from coming. To me, it felt like just another let down. If you don't know my husband and are just reading this, I am making him sound pretty awful but keep reading. I am just a selfish wife learning everyday who I am in my marriage.

I do need to take a minute to point out how wonderful my family was during the trip. I never needed anything and Ela never needed entertaining. Her aunts, Nana and Papa were always there to help. I really am just so thankful to have parents like I do. We were surrounded by love the entire time.

It was during a conversation with my mom that I started thinking about Jered and what he may be feeling. I took a step back and my heart hurt. I was in my favorite place on earth, with my family, whom I adore, surrounded by love and people loving on us and where was Jered? At home, in boiling hot Atlanta, alone. He had been so excited about fishing, fixing the Bayliner, reading books and spending time with his wife and daughter. He wasn't doing this because he wanted to be working over being with his family. And I felt crushed. It really opened my eyes to my attitude as a wife. I was always looking to Jered to fulfill me. To praise me. To make me happy. And I was never satisfied. I was looking in the wrong place for all of those things. All of the marriage classes, books and all that I read state that a hundred times. It has taken five years and a lot of "why can't you do more!" fights to get to this point. I just felt so broken down and so utterly selfish. It was the be content lesson again.

For Mother's Day, my mom gave me "1000 Gifts" and I have been reading it on and off. But God has really been working in my heart to be thankful this whole trip and I have taken so much away from what I have read. I felt like this vacation was a lesson in thankfulness. I am thankful to have a husband who loves me enough to give me a vacation away from him when he needs me at home. I am thankful to have a vacation home to go to. I am thankful I have the kind of family I do. I am thankful for where I am NOW, not where I am going to be.

Combining the lessons was overwhelming. Really coming to the point of not leaning on Jered so much and also being content was daunting. Knowing what needs to change and how to change are two very different things.  I am currently working on being a strong, independent woman of God who is thankful and content. I will be working on this until the day I die. I really am so blessed and have literally no reason to complain. I get how trivial and silly this may seem reading it but somehow, being in the middle of it, was a lot harder. Relationships are so complicated and it is so easy to be self absorbed.

I want to share my 1000 gift and I hope it is okay with Claire, but I am going to copy her and write them down on my blog. It is so easy to get caught up in life and forget how thankful I really am and I truly need to be held accountable. I want to end this insanely long post by telling you what was waiting for us at my parents house.

Being in Canada, I can't use my phone, so once we crossed into New York I was so excited to be able to text Jered. (well BBM because I am still in the bloody blackberry world, oh iPhone 5 please rescue me) He was going to rent a U-Haul at 9am on Sunday and be at my parents house a few hours after we got there. We were trading Nan a double bed for a set of bunk beds for Ela's room. I was getting really irritated because Jered wasn't answering my texts and seemed really distracted on the phone. He claimed he was so tired and went to bed at 9pm. The next morning he didn't really want to talk either. I was starting to get my feelings hurt (still a work in process people!). I called him to let him know we were almost to their house, where was he in the trip? He couldn't talk because he was getting gas. I was starting to feel like he didn't want to talk! Good thing I was working on my attitude and refrained from sending a nasty text because when we pulled into my parents house there was a huge Welcome Home sign and a beautiful silver Sequioa in the driveway. That crazy man had surprised me and was waiting for me. My wonderful sisters Claire and Mary and my BIL Witt had all made a delicious lunch of baked beans, potato salad, burgers, dogs, the whole works. Jered had brought Ela a little surprise, a new Barbie (she had broken hers). We were SO overjoyed to be back together. Claire and Mary told me this was all Jered's idea to welcome us back. I felt so blessed and so happy to be surrounded by all the people I love in one house. So if you were thinking I am married to some overdriven, work is his life man, you would be wrong. Sometimes, I just think i am until I step back and remember how much he loves me and his family. I am thankful for my family man, my husband.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Weigh In

I had my monthly OB  check up yesterday with my wonderful doctor, Dr. Sun. I love her enthusiasm about everything! Every time she hears the heartbeat (my favorite sound!) she just beams! It makes me even more excited.

 I was especially proud of myself yesterday because I am 16 pounds lighter this pregnancy then I was at the same time when I was pregnant with Ela. I've been working SO hard at eating healthy, walking 2 miles everyday and doing yoga that it felt so good to find out that it has been worth it.

 I also can't believe it has already been almost 17 weeks and I am almost halfway there. I cant wait for Ela to meet this new little one.

Ela wearing my high heels 

My little water bug 

Ela and her best little friends, Kaylin and Kins

Helping me clean 

Being a silly little lady 

Playing in Rascals kennel. This is what I need at nap time! 

Wearing Papa's shoes 

Her backyard pool set up 

Pushing her frog around 

Playing Rascals doggy kennel... this is what I need to for nap time ! 

Enjoy your weekend!!!