Friday, September 28, 2012

Are there Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on New Years Eve?

NO

Trust me this is fully based on experience. After ending a 2 week backpacking trip in Europe we found ourselves in Paris waiting for the new year to start 5 years ago. After standing around for hours and waiting...huge disappointment....THERE ARE NO FIREWORKS AT THE EIFFEL TOWER ON NEW YEARS EVE.

The only exception is for the new millennium and when they were putting in a bid for the Olympics. I truly hope they change this because people expect fireworks.

I never thought to Google it before we left because I just assumed there would be fireworks. Recently a friend posted on Facebook about how she is excited to see the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on New Years Eve in a few months and I tried to tell her there wouldn't be any just to warn her. Heck I wish I had been warned! She brushed me off saying I was wrong. So here is my warning for others. Not a reason not to go as Paris is one of my favorite places to visit just a cautionary note when planning your festivities.

Au Revoir!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guest Blogger

I have joined the team over at the blog Outnumbered 3 to 1 as a guest blogger and reviewer. This blog will still contain my personal rants and raves. I will be blogging over there on a monthly basis about outdoor family fun kinda stuff and posting reviews and giveaways of some great products you might be interested in. My bio can be found on their blog here. Check it out!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Exciting News....

I am super excited about what lies ahead for my family. Big changes. After living in our current city for 4 years we will be moving back home to where I grew up. Move on over Mickey you are getting some new neighbors, Orlando here we come! This coming January we will find ourselves starting a new journey for our family.

I say new journey because ever since we had kids this is the only place we have lived. It is a small coastal community and although I am use to a much faster paced city it has become home. Well at least home for my girls. I am not one for change. Living here has become comfortable. Like an old sweater. Everything is in its place. The idea of finding new pediatricians, dentists, pediatric dentist, hair stylist, optometrist, family physicians, preschools and a place to live is a bit daunting. Husband's current employer is letting him transfer offices so he still gets to stay working with a group that he likes. Not to mention that every single provider of services we have here I absolutely love. Right down to the local donut shop and how they know us even though we don't go very often.

I never wanted to move away from home. Life had other plans. We found ourselves pregnant with our first baby and my husband was fresh out of law school in a horrible job market. Eight months later a great job offer came along but it required us to move. It was a no brainer. Less than two months at his first job as a lawyer and we were first time parents to an extremely difficult baby. Transitioning to small town life was difficult for me. Add in the fact I didn't have a single friend within 100 miles and I became extremely lonely.

Slowly things started falling into place. This city started out as a not so comfortable itchy sweater, after lots of wash and wear it has become quite comfortable.

As slow and easy as small town life is I have always craved something more. I crave theme parks and outlet malls. Heck, my first job ever was working at a roller coaster. I love that I will be living in the same city as my parents....free babysitting...score! Another huge benefit of the move is that the school system we currently live in is horrible. Like worst in the state kind of horrible. I am all about public school but those around here are bottom of the barrel. Leaving our current house will be hard. We got it in foreclosure and gutted it and fixed it up right down to the oil rubbed bronze doorknobs. The house really is too big for us so we are hoping for something smaller.

I am writing all this out because the hubs has prevented me from sharing it on facebook....just yet. I am just so excited and nervous at the same time. I'm ready though. I really feel that in the long run Orlando is where we belong.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Super Undies - Giveaway - Closed

Remember my amazingly awesome review of Super Undies found here? Of course you don't but here is your chance to win a pair for your little super hero! These are a must for your cloth diaper stash come potty training time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This is my first rafflecopter giveaway so be nice.

What's That Sound....

Oh right that is the sound of my thighs scraping together. It has finally happened, the husband and I are officially members of our local gym. The important thing to remember here is we are both lazy. Like sit in front of the TV and veg out kind of lazy. Like watch yet another House Hunters International kind of lazy.

In high school my husband played football and was on the weightlifting team. So he was in the gym 5+ times a week. He worked out hardcore. After high school he called it quits.

In high school I was an athlete. I was on the soccer team, rowed crew for a year and for a few years was on the...ahem....bowling team (that is still exercise!!!).

All of that was over 11 years ago for us. Seven years of marriage and 2 beautiful baby girls later and it is time.

Of course there will always be the issue of our mutual love of laziness. Hopefully trying to remain fit (notice I did not say skinny) will prevail. The gym is 2 minutes from the house. Locally owned by a family for over 30 years. Nothing fancy about it. But hopefully we will be there. Making ourselves healthier for ourselves and our family.

Let's face it, we will never give up McDonald's tasty salty fries. Exercise is healthy for the mind and soul as well as the body. So I raise my sugar free vanilla iced coffee in the air and toast myself....You can do this Katrina!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Super Undies - Review



As a cloth diapering mama cloth trainers can be just as important as cloth diapers. The sad thing is there does not seem to be a lot of cloth trainers out there that can be easily pulled on and pulled off by my toddler yet still be big kid looking enough for her to want to wear them. That is where I found super undies to excel. With a name like super undies what big kid wouldn't want to wear them. No diapers for these big kids!

I opted to try the pull-on potty training pants on my oldest daughter since we are towards the end of our potty training journey and they offer an easy on/off with some padding for small accidents. When I opened the package I was actually surprised with how soft the material on the sides were. Like super soft. When I showed them to my 3 year old and told her they were super undies she wanted to wear them right then and there. They were so trim! Of course the pocket version or the overnight version would be much bulkier. It came with an extra insert that was simple to tuck into the flap on the inside. I love that you can adjust the absorbancy to fit my daughter's needs.


I found these are great for my toddler since she has very few accidents. She can wear these on long car trips where we might not be able to pull over right away and at night to keep the bed from getting totally soaked in the case of an accident. These are way nicer than disposable pull ups that cost a fortune and are more filler for our landfills (see how I inserted my somewhat crunchy mama-ness into this review).

The pull on potty training pants are made from the following materials (taken straight from their website):
Inner fabric - Touching skin:A smooth poly-Lycra blend
Absorbency inner:Microfiber Terry Cloth
Colored outer fabric:Waterproof PUL
Tabs:Lycra

The inner fabric reminded me of a stretchy bathing suit layer and it is actually quite soft and not irritating at all. My daughter hates tags or itchy fabrics and she did not complain once about the super undies' materials.

The only con I found is that even though my 3.5 year old is completely average in size she told me that the leg holes were too tight on her. I got her the medium that said it fits 2-5 years of age and I wish I had gotten her the large that is suppose to be for ages 5+. The elastic around her stomach fit great. They obviously need a tight fit to hold in pee but they did leave little red marks on her legs after using them overnight. This would not dissuade me from using them though. I would just get her the next size up. Of course I would also love it if they added some cute prints to their designs.

I wish I had known about super undies months ago when we started this whole potty training process. When it comes time to potty train my youngest I will definitely want several of these on hand. It took overnight for them to line dry (which is how I dry most of my cloth diapers) so I will need several on hand. When it is really hot around the house I will let her just wear these. They are cute enough that they don't need shorts over them when we are all just hanging around the house. In fact super undies should make matching shirts with capes so that toddlers can run around screaming "super undies."

Check out their videos to learn what will work best for your kiddo. Sure the videos are cheesy but I like to view videos because it gives you a better idea on how they work besides just looking at cute pictures.

As quite the super hero fan I find that super undies are indeed super!!! Completely off topic but the Incredible hulk is my favorite super hero.

Buy It:
Visit the Super Undies website to find some cloth trainers for your big kid.

Connect:
You can follow Super undies on Facebook & Youtube

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product from Super Undies to facilitate in this review. No other compensation was received. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. This is my 100% honest opinion and may differ from yours.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

First Family Trip - Success!

Breastfeeding Humor
Recently we took our very first family trip since our first was born. Off to Stone Mountain, Georgia with my parents. My baby girl was amazing during the entire car trip from central Florida. My oldest was able to watch movies and play on her itouch so she was as good as a 3 year old that does not want to sit still can be. It was just so much fun to just get out of town. Violet just loved staying in a hotel. The hotel pool was awesome and since it was the hottest day on record in Atlanta since records have been kept everybody was in the pool. Because it was freakin hot!!!!
Ready for the Laser Show
Lily is now 9 months old (8 months in the picture). Yet again time is flying by. In fact it is flying by even faster than with my first. She is crawling super fast now and likes to pull up on stuff but she is a little timid so walking is several weeks away yet. She will take steps with her push toys but not independently yet. I am constantly saying how did I get this lucky???? Nothing beats being a mom. Lately Violet has been telling me she wants to grow up and be a super hero doctor mommy. I told her that would be just awesome.
Sisters on top of Stone Mountain, Georgia
Getting a picture of them both together without my oldest throwing a tantrum or poking her younger sister is next to impossible. So here you have it. Both are relatively happy. For some reason Lily took to this particular pacifier during this trip so this picture is Maggie Simpson style. Upon return home she will only take a pacifier in the car or in bed.

Lots of stuff going on in our family lives. Big changes in the future. Right now I will settle for evening swims in our pool and impromptu beach trips on the weekends. Days spent sleeping in as a family (all in the same bed plus a giant dog and a cat). Loving how simple life is right now. I am one lucky mama.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dandelion, Earth-Friendly Goods - Review

Dandelion, Earth-Friendly Goods offers an array of innovative toys, bags, layettes & feeding items, made of organic, natural & recycled materials. They have a wide selection that any baby or toddler would love to have.

I have recently decided to make a switch to a greener lifestyle. Not in a completely mega crunchy way but a more subtle way. Doing a little better for my family and the environment all at once. Organic toys and feeding supplies are just one of the ways I am doing that. Are all ours toys organic and safe? Heck no! We have piles of toys that are made from plastic crap and break within minutes. I do find that organic and more earth friendly products are nicer and sturdier and I wish I had more in my house.

From their website:

Dandelion, earth-friendly goods, is a new division of Re-Think It, Inc., a family owned, family-focused company. In 1987, owners Craig & Amy Shumway had a vision to bring something truly different to the market. They’ve been developing new ideas and fresh creations ever since! The Shumway’s vision has culminated in 20 years of experience in the design and manufacture of infant products and feeding items. Our office and warehouses are located in Winter Park, FL; but you can find our quality products nationwide.

Smart parents are more concerned than ever about what babies touch and teethe, and the Dandelion brand gives you peace of mind. Dandelion offers a sophisticated look while reflecting a back-to-basics, eco-conscious style.


For my review I was sent an assortment of feeding items for both my toddler and for my baby girl as well as some stuffed animals for the girls. Pictured below right out of the box before the girls got a hold of them.


Their organic plush animals are super soft and extra squishable. My oldest daughter just loved the bear and could not stop loving on it. I honestly wish all our stuffed animals were organic and this soft!


Of course little sister (only 2 months here hence the lack of smile) had to hold hers too.


The feedings sets are actually made from corn! They are naturally BPA free and Phthalate free. The only drawback from the corn ware is that it is not dishwasher safe (which I read on the packaging). Not a big deal for me because we have a pile of bottles, pump parts and sippy cups that are hand washed every night anyway.They were super easy to clean.

Big Sister loved her feeding set. Worked great with quesadillas and yellow Mexican rice. Yum! I thought the size of the plate was especially nice for a toddler. Not to big or too small. She is 3 in this picture so you can see the size of the fork and plate in relation to her. Absolutely perfect. My husband on the other hand is not a fan of forks without metal prongs so to speak. He thinks it makes it more difficult for toddlers to spear their food. Not a problem with these forks but all toddler plastic forks in general. His suggestions would also be a third compartment instead of just two for dips such as ketchup which Big Sister loves!


They also have a pink line that is absolutely adorable! With two girls I can never have enough pink! I would definitely buy their items for myself to use with my girls or as baby shower gifts.

Dandelion recently launched a line of eco-friendly eating tableware called Re-Play. I have actually already bought the bowls and divided plates from Wal-Mart. They can even go in the dishwasher. Super sturdy and cute too! I was given some crappy little plastic bowls as a gift when I was pregnant with my first. After I bought these the old ones went straight into the trash. These are really great bowls!

I feel confident that any products I use from Dandelion, Earth-Friendly Goods are top quality and good for my family to use and enjoy.

Buy It:
Visit the Dandelion, Earth-Friendly Goods website to find some eco-friendly products for your family!

Connect:
You can follow Dandelion, Earth-Friendly Goods on Facebook & Twitter.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products from Dandelion, Earth-Friendly Goods to facilitate in this review. No other compensation was received. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. This is my 100% honest opinion and may differ from yours.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How I Wash Cloth Diapers in My Front Loader HE Washer


When making the switch to cloth diapers by far my biggest concern was how am I gonna wash these diapers and keep them clean? I googled the issue more than humanly necessary. For every blog and/or article I read on how to wash them I found another one contradicting it. I am writing this post on how I do it. I will preface this by saying that every mom is going to do it different. It all depends on your washer/water type and so on.

I start with a simple rinse and spin cycle with no detergent on cold/cold. This is to get any loose poop off.

I then do a normal cycle hot/cold with detergent and I press the button for an extra rinse. I also set it to heavy soiled to give it maximum water levels. This gives it a very long wash with hot water to kill bacteria and get them clean. You want lots of water so that it can get them clean. HE washers use less water than top loaders so to me this step is key.

You will read everywhere to use as little detergent as necessary. I find this to be wrong. I bought and tried a multi pack of many different all natural detergents. They all work just fine. For me I use powdered Tide original formula. The enzymes in it keep the whites white and the bacteria away. We have had zero stink issues and my diapers look like new. I am well aware that this is the opposite of natural and crunchy but I completely OK with that. I use a scoop full up to the 1 line.

I then do an extra rinse and spin cycle on cold/cold to make sure to get all of the suds out of there. This helps to prevent buildup. Buildup can make your diapers repel liquids. If there are still suds I will repeat this step.

I hang all my diapers on a small rack in my laundry room. I stick all the liners in the dryer with 4 wool dryer balls. The dryer balls are to help reduce dry time by absorbing liquid and mine have a scent called hint of baby which makes them smell nice but not overpowering.

I wash mine every 3-4 days. I use a diaper pail that looks like a basic kitchen garbage can. I use a reusable diaper pail bag that I wash along with my diapers and hang dry. I shut my lid after putting each soiled diaper in but I leave the lid cracked a very small bit (like a millimeter). I find this keeps the diapers from smelling too bad and I never smell anything near the changing pad and I am cursed with a very strong sniffer.

I do use bioliners for a majority of the changes. They are basically a thin layer of biodegradable material that catches poo. I just wipe and throw away. I also use a diaper sprayer to get a majority of the poo off for when I don’t use a liner or when it does not contain all the poo. All the poo does not need to be removed. Just the big stuff.

When it is nice and sunny out I line dry my diapers outside. This is not very often because I am busy and a wee bit lazy. It is important not to leave your diapers in the sun too long or the strong heat can break down the laminate in your diapers. It should be 2 hours max unless you live in a strong heat climate like Florida and then you should leave them in the sun for no more than an hour. inserts can stay out longer.

So that is how I wash my diapers. Like I said everyone is different but this is the method that works for me. There is a lot of information out there on washing diapers and it can be very confusing. In this household I do all the laundry and I actually enjoy making my diapers fresh and clean each time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Can It be Easy to Be Green?

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would become a somewhat crunchy mama I would have said you have too much granola in your ears. It all started easily enough. I breastfed my first and although the first 2 weeks were pure hell on the nipples and my sleeping “schedule” was non exsistent we continued on for 15 months strong. This led to casually picking up a pair of reusable breast pads at Babies R Us.  I quickly discovered those were crappy and I sought after ones that worked better and were cuter. That was pretty much the extent of my crunchiness with my first baby. She was an extremely difficult baby and the idea of doing anything of the crunchy variety was quickly brushed aside as I took every spare minute to catch a few winks of sleep.

My second baby girl arrives. Breastfeeding is far easier this time around. Reusable breast pads were immediately placed upon my boobies and the only disposable ones I have used I won in a blog giveaway. In the three years since I have had a baby there has been a boom of “organic” and “natural” being thrown in my face. This time around I started thinking...hmm…could I do a little more for my family? Truth be told I can be an incredibly lazy person and I can honestly laugh at the crazy blog propaganda that is thrown around today in the tone of what is best for baby. It really all came down to money. The first major crunchy switch for this mama was the switch to cloth diapers. Can it be so…poop in my washing machine! Yep, I did it, I made the switch to cloth diapers and it has been so incredibly easy. I wash diapers 2 times a week and 3 months into this cloth journey has been dare I say…easy. Cloth diapers are wicked cute and I am saving money over disposables. Saving the environment from piles of my daughter’s poopy diapers has been nothing but a huge bonus. Go me! I am also a realist and to be completely honest to the 5 people that read this I use cloth diapers about 95% of the time. Could I do better, of course I can, but I am doing enough for me and my family.

How does your garden grow? So far, so good, thanks for asking. This is partially to give us healthy fruits and veggies to eat and partially because it is a great thing for my daughter to have…her own little garden. She waters it almost every day and she helps us weed and plant everything. We check on it every afternoon after daddy gets home from work. It is nice for her to see something grow that she did all on her own. We have big plans for an above ground garden next year. We have a huge back yard for it.

Do we shop at farmer’s markets, yes, we have tons all around us since we live in a small town on the coast. We have always used fresh ingredients for dinner every night, this does mean almost daily trips to the grocery store but it is right near our house. Other than frozen pizza our family rarely uses frozen food....oh yeah and bagel bites...yum! Do I make my own baby food, no, unless we happen to have something at dinner that can go in my baby blender real quick. I tend to buy more eco friendly cleaners, clothes and toys but they are not the driving force in my purchasing decisions. Am I a garbage picker, heck yes! Just last weekend I was driving by my parent’s neighbor’s house and they had a kid’s art table just sitting out there by their garbage. It would not fit in my minivan so I walked that thing 2 blocks home. A few Clorox wipes and aside from some scratches and paint marks from the previous owner it works great. I have also found a step 2 mini play house set and other goodies that people have thrown out. Re-use people!

Some say that since I am a hunter that makes me the opposite of crunchy but I say that makes me even crunchier. We do in fact shoot and eat animals so I know that my animals are cage free and they eat their meals off the land and that they had relatively good lives until they crossed the path of my weapon of choice. Some bunny people out there might think I am a horrible person and as a woman with a master’s degree in research would say…do your research. Hunting is a proven method of wildlife management. It is also a fun hobby I have done with my family most of my life and I hope to share the love of the outdoors with my girls as well. During gator hunting season here in Florida I also partake in that fun activity. Talk about crazy hunting....it is by far the hardest and most fun hunting that I have done. If you live in Florida you probably understand how important it is to keep the gator populations down...they are literally everywhere.

My next journey is a big step. Dare say it my biggest into the crunchy domain so far. I will be taking the cloth challenge and will attempt to switch to cloth reusable menstruation pads. In the long run cloth pads will be much cheaper over buying disposables every month and obviously they are better for the environment. The question remains…can I do it? Can I in fact make yet another small crunchy lifestyle change? I will be posting about my journey. Thanks to My Posh Pads they have furnished me with a starter set in the promise that I blog about my switch to cloth. Challenge excepted Posh Pads. This mama is ready!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hatred of the Squinkies

I despise squinkies. They are small and easy to loose, they are expensive for tiny pieces of plastic and I hate the ball that is so easy to step on and break. If you have no idea what I am talking about then consider yourself blessed. My daughter had asked for them a time or two. I said no that she was not old enough. She accepted this which she always does to the age reason. So of course my Mother in Law bought her a pack. I was absolutely FURIOUS!!! The main reason is they are the perfect choking hazard for my 5 month old soon to be crawling baby girl.

So of course having one set my age reasoning went out the window. The only thing in the world she asked of the Easter bunny was squinkies. He of course had to comply. Each plastic egg that was placed in the back yard had a disney squinkie inside. Of course she loved them. But in the next month I will have to take them away until baby sister is much older. Husband and I have actually done really well keeping the choking hazards out of the house.

I also hate all things tiny and made from China. When she gets them at school or parties or from mother in law they immediately go in the garbage. I know many might think it is silly but this is one thing that husband agrees and supports me 100% on. We just hate crap!

Here are Violet's Easter Funnies:

Upon going through her Easter basket she had quite a few funny things to say. When seeing that she got a ballerina umbrella her full of attitude and slowly stated response was "I don't need another umbrella." Upon seeing a package of disney panties she replied with "all I really wanted was squinkies." By far the best was when she picked up a Melissa and Doug sand bucket set to pretend to make sand ice cream cones. She picks up the bucket with one finger cocks her head to the side and says "an ice cream bucket.....really?" Looks like Santa better watch out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Birth Radomness

I was reading the blog My OB said what today and it got me thinking about my daughters' births.

I was particularly thinking about my 2nd daughter's birth and how the epidural had not yet taken affect for the pushing. After she was born the doctor was down there checking everything out when I started feeling a warm watery sensation. I asked him what that was. Apparently my labor went so fast there was no time to cath me and I had a full bladder so he emptied it for me. I definitely felt everything down there this time around but since I had an epidural I do not get the badge of honor so to speak of a no epidural birth.

With my first it was a really large birthing hospital. Like 9 floors large. Right before push time it was my husband holding one leg, labor and delivery nurse holding the other leg, student labor and delivery nurse standing next to her (looking quite nervous), the doctor standing between my legs, pediatrician standing by the incubator and like 5-8 people rushed in last minute to stand behind the doctor and watch. Of course I could reallyy care less at that point. I felt a ton of pressure and wanted her out!

With my second daughter at a small local hospital it was a labor and delivery nurse holding each leg, my husband holding my hand while standing next to me and the doctor between my legs. That was it. It seemed a little more calm with less people in the room.

With my OBGYN practice I recieved nothing but great care from the nurses, doctors and midwife. The nurses at the hospital were amazing and very compassionate. Since my husband and I chatted with the head nursey nurse so much she even came and hugged us goodbye before we left. The discharge nurse sat in my bed with me while we went over discharge paperwork and chatted and it felt so natural.

With my first daughter my delivery nurse was AMAZING but other than that the staff was nice but they just went about their business. Maybe it felt that way since it was such a big baby hospital and with my 2nd it was a small local hospital.

With both I also did cord blood banking through CBR. Sure it was expensive but thankfully it was a gift from my parents and we pay only the yearly storage fee. The research out there on cord blood banking is amazing and I know in the future it will only get better. I know it is a luxury most cannot afford but it is definitely something worth looking into.

I would say around 80% of the time I feel completely done having kids. Then once in a while I think it would be nice to have one more. I was packing up all my pregnancy clothes this past weekend and trying to fold them nice and neat into a big bucket so I could sell them. When I told my husband this he said we should hang onto them...just in case. I was very surprised to hear this. There will be no surprises this time around since I now have an IUD in place. In a year or two we will decide if we will be trying one more time. I am 30 now and if by 34 I am not pregnant then we are more than done. Maybe the husband will get the big snip snip.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Each Pregnancy is Different

I already wrote the birth story of my two girls. Then I wrote a post on their differences and similarities of the birth itself. Now I want to post on my pregnancies carrying them.

With V it took me over a week to realize I was pregnant. I did not really follow my time of the month. Then one day it just hit me. I might be pregnant. My husband was actually out of town for a bachelor party but I called him and let him know that I might be pregnant. As soon as he got back I took a test. It said pregnant almost instantly. I was suprised and a little nervous since this would be my very first baby. After the first visit to the OBGYN and getting that first ultrasound everything was confirmed. One little baby and one little heartbeat. We were excited but nervous.

With V that first trimester I just felt full all the time so I never really ate. I did not gain a pound until 14 or 15 weeks. Heck I did not even go maternity clothes shopping until that time too. We announced on facebook at 12 weeks after hearing the heartbeat on the doppler for the first time. During the early 2nd trimester we even flew to DC to visit my brother for a few days. I did throw up in an air sick bag on the way there which was beyond gross. During the late 2nd trimester I gained a hefty 10 pounds in a month. At around 20 weeks I found out it was a girl despite us both thinking boy. The whole family thought she was a girl and they were all right. Cue lots of baby shopping for cute little things. We get some decent 3D images at a just for fun ultrasound place.

Here is a picture of me going to a college football game at something like 34 weeks preggo.

My pregnancy with L was completely different. When V was in the hospital for a concussion the techs were placing her on the CT scanner when the woman asked if I could be pregnant. I was literally about to say no. I mean the n was already being formed in my mouth when I just stopped. My period was due that day or the next and I said something along the lines as it could be possible. After a whirlwind of doctors, overnight stays, and finally getting home I took a home pregnancy test. I did not think much of it and after peeing on it I took it in the shower with me to watch for the results. It took forever so I really did not think I was pregnant. A few minutes later there it was as clear as day...the words Pregnant. I immediately called my husband in. After I told him he just smiled and said it looks like we are going to have another baby.

We told the grandparents right away this time. Then I told some of my closer friends. First OBGYN visit included an ultrasound. One little baby and one little heartbeat. How exciting! This time the first trimester was not so easy. I was nauseas all the time. Threw up several times along the way. This time around I did not gain any weight until the start of the 2nd trimester again but I got out my old maternity clothes by 7 weeks. I started showing much much earlier this time around.

We opted in for extra testing so at our 11 week ultrasound everything looked good except a hematoma that would need to be watched. The 14 week ultrasound looked great. I was surprised to find out at at this appointment we were having a girl. We just knew it was a boy. Our little girls are tricksters they are. At the 17 week ultrasound everything looked good except the hematoma was still there. Around 18 weeks we make the big announcement on facebook. At around 21 weeks it was gone and all still looked good. At the 25 week ultrasound is when when the pregnancy stopped being fun. I had extremely high fluid levels. Of course I was at this appointment all by myself and I left in tears.

The librarian in me means research. I did so. I googled till my eyes hurt. It did nothing but scare me more. At the 27 week ultrasound one of the tubes to her kidney is slightly enlarged. More panic and more googling. More tears. I beg for a echo of her heart from my high risk doc. He said no. My regular OBGYN said yes. So my high risk doc scheduled if for me. In one valve or chamber I can't remember which the blood flow is not as strong as it could be. This leads to a 2 hour echo of her heart from a pediatric cardiologist. Finally some good news...everything looked good.

I do not like the way my high doc talks to me or treats me or basically anything about him so we change high risk docs to another one 2 hours away at a top notch birthing hospital. My OBGYN is behind me 100% with whatever I want to do for my high risk care. Multiple ultrasounds at the hospital show that everything looks really good. We even go to a fun 3D ultrasound place and get some amazing pictures. The rest of the pregnancy is uneventful. I still worried until she actually got here.

This picture is literally days before my 25 week ultrasound. I am extremely happy and excited in this picture. All I could think about was next year at that time I would be able to take both my girls to the beach.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Each Birth Has A Unique Story

Ever since Lily was born I find myself comparing the births of my daughters. As time passes I think about it less but it is something my husband and I enjoy chatting about. Both birth stories are posted below but I wanted to write about the similarities and differences between them.

Labor. With V I got to the hospital at 8cm and although at that point I felt every contraction they were tolerable and I would just close my eyes through them. I could not sit so I would stand through them. With V there was no pitocin but since L was an induction there was pitocin from the start. Let me tell you that the word on the street is true...contractions with pitocin are 10 times worse than normal ones!!! I was in pain and with every contraction I would squeeze my husband's hand and would find myself screaming Matt, Matt, Matt very very loudly. They came fast and furious!

Pain relief. I got an epidural with V and it was not too bad to get other than my flinch when the catheter was placed. I just breathed through the contractions. Then my last few hours of labor were very peaceful and we just watched tv and chatted. With L getting the epidural was pure hell. I kept flinching and I could not get my back to curl just right and every contraction hurt so very very bad! I was near tears. I thought I was only a few centimers dilated so I seriously wanted some relief. Of course by the time it was push time the epidural was still not in affect and did not start to work until I was pushing and by then it was still only the tingly leg feeling of numbness, not the full blown feel nothing like with V.

Push time. With V I felt no contractions so they told me when to push. I did not like this. Pushing those 40 minutes was the hardest part. With L I still felt every contraction so I told them when I wanted to push. I actually liked pushing with L, I had the urge to push and until the doc got there I actually had to not push, no real pain just pushing with the contractions.

She is here. With V I screamed once when I pushed her head out and then the doc sort of turned her and she just slide out the rest of the way and I did a mild scream then. With L I did not scream when she came out. I pushed her head was told to then wait a second and then I pushed out her body. Both were placed on my chest immediately.

First look. With V my first thought was of pure relief that this human child was now out of me (did I mention I really hated pushing her out). Then I looked at her in pure disbelief that I now had a baby girl. It was very surreal. I just kept looking into her eyes that were looking at everything in the room while she took it all in. With L the first thoughts and feelings were of pure happiness and love. Not that I loved her more it just felt like I was more prepared this time around. I kept kissing her all over even though she was covered in goo.

Breastfeeding. With V she immediately latched on like a pirrana. It hurt! Chomped down as hard as she could. She breastfed great but those first few weeks were hard. I was tired, she hardly every slept unless she was nursing. I had the bruised and cracked nipples but I kept going and after that our breastfeeding journey was easy going for 15 months except for thrush around month 14 that was easily fixed. With L she immediately latched on gently and it never hurt. I did suffer from some awful thrush week 2-4 but we worked through it and it has been easy sailing every since. I do have to pump every morning before work so she has something to eat in the mornings but so far so good.

Sleep...so far. V has never been a good sleeper. From the beginning things were very HARD and my husband and I were very very very tired. Around month 9 I brought her to bed with us and I nursed her laying down on my side and we finally started getting sleep. L has been a great sleeper from day 1. Slept 5 hours a night from the day she was born and around week 6 she moved it to around 6-10 hours a night. Such a huge difference. We are not tired and feel very refreshed.

Overall V was a very difficult baby and a lot has to do with her sensory processing disorder which I did not know about till 18 months. Looking back there were lots and lots of signs (for a different post one day). L is so incredibly easy. She will play with toys, lay on her back and enjoy looking at toys of which V did none of. L is incredibly easy to take out and with V we did not take her many places for over a year...it was just too hard.

I still enjoy going over their birth experinces in my head. It is like this specialy memory that only I have and it always makes me feel good when I think about them.