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February 10, 2012

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Becoming a Mother… Part Two

January 24, 2012

Let me start this out by saying in almost exactly 12 hours (at the time written) I will have a toddler, a one year old, no ‘babies’ in my house.  Weird. Everyone with more than one child in their house will tell you, it goes faster the second time. They aren’t lying!

So here is comes… the Birth Story! Again it might be ‘graphic’ to some readers, so here is your warning!!!

Peanut’s Birth Story

It started a couple days before New Years Eve. I was having crazy strong contractions.  These were not Braxton Hicks and I knew it. They never stayed for long enough but got pretty close at times (7 mins or so). I wasn’t due until Feb 4th so this made me pretty nervous! Another concern was that our hospital was about 45 mins or so away (much longer with traffic).  These contractions continued just about every day until I delivered Peanut.

Each week I was checked from 36 weeks on. The OB was pretty sure she would come early… but there was NO guarantee! When I was checked I was progressing about a centimeter a week.  I knew it meant nothing.  I was a big fat ZERO when I was checked 4 days before I had a beautiful baby girl named Munchkin.

I took Munchkin to a story time that Monday and we had a pretty typical day. That night I was SUPER bummed because I wasn’t having the time-able contractions like I had for WEEKS! Rand McNally was working swing shift so he wasn’t home.  I decided to head to bed at about 10pm. I tossed and turned. Rand McNally came home around 1AM. I had just taken a Tylenol PM hoping that would make me sleep! Then I realized I couldn’t sleep because I kept having to get up to pee. It dawned on me… maybe those were contractions… I told Rand I was going to the basement to time them. I figured I would let him get some sleep in case it was the real deal.

I used this website called the Contraction Master. It is pretty cool and easy to use. If you have ever been in labor… clocks, watches, and telling time are practically impossible when you trying to continue to provide oxygen to your baby. I lasted about 15 mins before I realized they were LEGIT! I went upstairs and woke up a sleeping Rand and said..”Guess what buddy I am pretty sure this is IT! “

Things weren’t as easy as just heading to the hospital… because we had Munchkin! I had about 400 plans depending on where/when I started labor. My dad was going to come down but he had a 2 hour drive. In the meantime one of me best friends here had offered to come over and stay with Munchkin. I hopped in the shower  and realized they were getting closer and closer, not to mention REALLY painful! Just after 3 Rand called my Friend Miss B. and she was awesome… gathered her things and was there about 4ish!  When she came in I was packing Munchkin’s school stuff and making her lunch! I wanted to make sure she knew I loved her even if I couldn’t wake her and hug her.

We arrived at about 5am (after what seemed like the LONGEST ride of my life) and made our way up to labor and delivery. There was another woman (NOT having a baby) and I swear it took forever to get signed in! In triage, I was checked and was a good 5-6cm. There was a monitor in the room scrolling pictures of food… all I wanted were the pancakes for breakfast ( I mentioned this SEVERAL times in labor :) ).  She asked me if I was interested in medication and I told her I was not. This was the ONLY time anyone asked me.  I let them place a heplock and that was it!

I labored in my tank top and it rocked! I spent most of my time on the labor ball and about 45 mins in the shower. I had reserved a labor tub but never asked for it.  My placenta was on my stomach this time (anterior) and because of this Baby 2.0 was sunny side up. Obviously, at this point this wasn’t confirmed however the back labor was enough confirmation for me! I made Rand use counter pressure and that was one of the things that made it bearable.   I also got on all fours as the nurse suggested and and that helped too!

It was about 630ish when I was checked at about an 8 or so… needless to say… things got  busier in my room. People set up things for baby to be but  it was still dim and quiet. It was pretty sweet. My doctor wasn’t on call but had been called in, she was on her way. Next thing I know I knew it was time.  The partner in my practice was there to catch the baby and it was FINE by me! My water had never broken so as I began pushing the OB sliced it. It went EVERYWHERE… on the right side, all over the NURSE. Rand was glad he chose the left!

5 contractions later…. out came a Beautiful crying baby girl! Nathan and I saw she was girl as she rested on my chest. It was amazing the amount of skin to skin time they let us have! Peanut came into this world screaming like her sister.  She was 7lbs and 20 1/2 inches.

I tore again but not nearly as bad as the first time. I was also repaired much better!!! She was an 8/9 on the apgars but I guess the nurse said it is the best they typically give! My OB never made it because she was stuck in traffic and I had Peanut really fast!

So no epidural, no medications (just some pitocin after to control some clotting I was having). The experience was different than Munchkin’s but the end result was still an amazing healthy baby girl! I had great nurses, and really enjoyed time at the hospital they were helpful!

Watching Munchkin meet Peanut for the first time was pretty amazing! Words really can’t describe it She was so excited and couldn’t get over how ‘bitty her hands and feet were”. She also thought her belly button was GROSS and broken.  :)

Breastfeeding went much easier this time. Peanut was a little jaundiced so we spent several days getting her levels tested. I was pumping to try and increase my supply (which came in on day 2!) She took a bottle to try and drop her bili levels.

Tonight I am going to sleep knowing I am waking up to my toddler. She can walk, climb, talk (I wish I could remember all the words!), sign, and give a hug/kiss like no other 11 month old. We  are blessed…. and in love with her. I am probably going to cry… okay I am crying.

Being a Mother is hard… But that hug, that glance, that time they look at you and say Momma… it is priceless.

 

Oh… I wanted to add… I got my pancakes!! They were amazing… but I think ANYTHING would have tasted awesome at that point! :)

Happy First Birthday Peanut!

 

 

Becoming a Mother…. part 1

January 23, 2012

This is going to turn into a birth story. There, I gave you plenty of warning. So you can stop reading here in the next few sentences to avoid anything that might creep you out.

In two days Peanut is turning one. How did this happen? It has been a busy couple weeks  preparing things for her party (a HUGE post to come!!). However, she didn’t make me a mother for the first time. Munchkin gave me that honor. Their births’ are very different but both hold a HUGE place in my heart.

I am what some might say crazy… but my goal was a non-medicated vaginal birth (ok I said vaginal… if you are still reading and that word made you freak out… STOP now!)  Tonight’s story is about Munchkin’s birth and the LONG ordeal that happened. Tomorrow I will fill you in on Miss Peanut’s story.

The  Birth Story  (Last chance to click the x in the top right corner!!!)

Well it all started on a Wednesday in 2008. I was definitely having contractions, which had been occurring irregularly for a few days. I had an NST (Non-stress test) the day before and the nurses told me I was definitely having some contractions but they were not close enough together.

Back to Wednesday, I called my husband at work and asked him to try and leave early because I wanted to get things set around the house.  We were having my Dad and  sister in law arriving  on Saturday. On his way home from work his radiator hose popped off… resulting in me having to bring him fluid and help him fix it (thank God he was not far from home) in the sweltering AZ afternoon heat. I must add I was LESS than thrilled about this!!!

When he got home he helped me bring in the groceries from my trip to the store. He brought in the dog food and as we were talking about his day in the kitchen, I felt water dripping around 5:30pm. I looked down and said “Uh, I think my water broke!” to which he replied, “I think so, seeing as it is hitting the floor!” I put on a pad and waited a bit- not wanting to go to L&D if I just peed myself. I made some dinner and we ate, I took a shower and we left for the hospital. I got all checked in and was in triage about 7:30pm. They did a preliminary test to see if the fluid was amniotic. Nope (great I am here and all I did was pee myself!!!)… but they did a second test and this one came back positive. Sure enough… it had broken!!!

All night I labored I was 3cm and barely effaced when I got there.  I wanted as natural a birth as possible. They were ok with just a heplock, until our baby started having a bizarre heart rate. Nothing terrible but they thought fluids would help.  I wasn’t too cool with it but I would do anything for the baby. I got 4 bags of fluids in about 18 hours. Needless to say I was swollen! Then they put me on Oxygen to try and help the heart rate as well. I was able to get up every hour though which really helped me get through the contractions- even attached to the IV pole.

By 6am I was 6cm…. by 9am no change… then they started the Pitocin.

Here is where I am going to insert a disclaimer…. Pitocin is a TERRIBLE drug! It caused my body to RUSH through labor and let me tell you it was more painful than the delivery!!!

I didn’t want this and was pretty upset. They also inserted an internal monitor to see if my contractions were intense enough (oh let me tell you they were). It didn’t take much Pitocin to get them moving. By 10 I was begging for meds. My husband knowing how I really wanted a natural birth was such an amazing coach. I ended up with a little bit of Stadol- that really just allowed me to relax. But by a little bit after 11am I was fully dilated.. . I pushed for 37mins and out our suprise Baby came… a beautiful girl! She was crying before I could get her shoulders out! It went so fast!!! Then the Dr. stitched and stitched (He did this for longer than I pushed)… who would have thought my 6lb. 9 oz. baby would do such damage! She was a 9/10 on her APGARs.

My husband was an amazing coach. He helped me through all the contractions. The Doctor who delivered Munchkin was someone I met that day (my OB was in Cancun!)- he wasn’t my favorite but he brought her into the world. Oh, and because of the full moon there were so many woman giving birth the night after I delivered we got moved @ 2:40AM to another room across the hospital! It was more than slightly annoying. My husband and I ended up sharing my hospital bed!!! The staff tried really hard to encourage me to get an epidural and thought I was nuts (many expressed this too me through out the course of my stay!), I am proud that I didn’t cave under their pressure!

The last week or so has been great. We had to go buy some clothing because NOTHING fit her.  Breastfeeding was tough at first but each day we both get better. We finally got to use our cloth diapers the middle of the week and LOVE them.  My husband commented on how much easier they are then disposables.

Though I didn’t deliver completely med-free I am very glad I didn’t get the Epi. It was amazing to feel in control. I can say though I understand why someone would choose it! In the end… no matter how it happened there was a beautiful baby waiting!

This was written a week or so after Munchkin came into our lives. Now over 3 years later she is a beautiful, intelligent, and caring little girl. I am proud to be her mother. I am really thankful she chose to have us as her parents. We are blessed… I can’t wait to see where she takes us!!

Bye Bye Christmas… Hello Consignment Sale Season!

January 9, 2012

For those of you who aren’t personal friends of mine I am going to let you in on an addiction of mine. Besides Pinterest (hehe), I am going to publicly come out and admit it. I am addicted and in love with consignment sales and stores!

 

I know  it is an addiction because do you see that picture above. Just looking at it makes me get all excited. I have mentioned before but will reiterate here, I am cheap! Thrifty really. I have nice taste in clothing, but can’t justify spending a bunch of money on an outfit that might be worn once before being covered in a bodily fluid, rejected because it has; too few ruffles, too many buttons, ect.  or out grown with in a week (how does that happen?!). So that brings me to my point. Consignment sales allow me to buy the clothing brands and styles I want for nearly nothing and then make some money back by reselling them!

Now we have been living in this area for a couple years so I have become aware of what sales I like to shop and sell at. Once you start shopping Consignment sales you will figure out your favorites too!

Typically, I sell what the girls have out grown. This consists of clothing, toys (those that don’t get played with or drive us parents crazy!), and gear (think jumperoos, baby baths ect.).  I have a pretty easy system for storing my items ready to consign. As Peanut grows out of things I throw them into a box. When the box is overflowing I take it to our basement. There I have a couple tubs ready for the next sale. One for fall/winter clothing, one for spring/summer clothing, and one for toys/odds and ends.

Usually I shove pieces of an outfit together (bloomers into the dress/skirt or pants into the shirt), this really helps so you have it all in one place. Outfits sell better than single pieces but all the items in an outfit need to be the same size when hung up.  Save all those store hangers to use for the sales. No need to spend money on hangers! Also, invest in a tagging gun. You will want one after you poke yourself 1 or 15 times using safety pins. They are not very expensive and worth the $7 on eBay! Blood on clothing doesn’t help it sell. :)

Every thing sold is hung up and each sale has specific rules about tagging and hanging. One thing ALL sales have in common a quality control inspection. Before items are hung up or put out sales have people checking each item to see that it is stain free and all parts work (zippers, buttons, batteries, ect). Obviously, there are items that get missed but this is helpful for the consumer.

I spend a few nights hanging and tagging the items, but it is worth it! Last year I sold about $300 worth of items (this was the $$$ in my pocket) and bought about $150 between all the sales! This got me MOST of them items needed for both girls for the fall! I was also able to offset the cost of Peanut’s new big girl carseat with my earnings.

My fall 2011 Haul

 

Above you can see my haul from one of the sales I went to this fall. In that photo I have 2 name brand winter coats (Old Navy and Osh Kosh), 2 name brand Christmas dresses (Gymboree and Carter’s), a hand full of sleepers, holiday outfits, and a bunch of toys (most were given for Christmas- the zebra is for Peanut’s birthday!). How much do you think I spent… wait for it…. $100. Yup, you read that correctly! $100.  I will use all the stuff I bought for Munchkin again for Peanut, and resell after her.

These sales are NO joke. You need to try and get to the presale if at all possible! The best of the best are sold most of the time before the public even walks in! In order to get to the presales  you need to work a shift (hanging, sorting, checking in items) or be a consignor. I really try and work a shift during set up so I can scope out the stuff we have to have. I usually show up with an empty stroller/wagon and a couple of big blue Ikea bags to grab my loot!

Now you are asking yourself, why haven’t I consigned and shopped consignment sales? Where are they Mae? How can I find these gems in my area? Well look no further… Consignment Mommies  has the answer. They are getting the latest information on sales across the country!

Check them out on Facebook too. They offer tons of suggestions on how to shop, what to look for, how to organize your items to get the most  money for your stuff! You are going to want to check them out and learn from all the seasoned shoppers that frequent their wall. There is a method to consigning and shopping consignment sales and you can gain a lot of information from their posts on Facebook.

This is only the first of what I am sure will be MANY posts on consignment shopping you will see! I am getting excited because the sales are right around the corner.

And the winner is…. Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce

January 8, 2012

Jennifer!

As chosen by random.org

Hope you find LOT’s of uses for this awesome sauce! Can’t wait to hear how you used it in your cooking!

Please email me within 48 hours to claim your prize.

Stay tuned for more giveaways … coming up YesterYear Soap!!!

If you are looking to purchase some stop by Country Bob’s Online!!!

Munchkin’s 2011 Interview

January 4, 2012

Oh Pinterest you always keep me busy, between crafts, recipes, organization ideas, I have found myself being  MUCH more productive.

A while back I had read this blog post from Hey, ho, KellyGO and then my friend Stacy over at Just Two Sisters did something similar with her crew. I figured why not see if Munchkin would participate and answer a few questions for me too! Needless to say at first she said the same answer for everything. UGH…  So we took a break and I revisited today.  She finally gave me real answers!

I also saw an idea about asking some questions on the kiddo’s birthday. So we might be trying that too.  We will see!

Needless to say, here is our 2011 end of year Interview (artwork by Munchkin)

2011 End of Year Interview

Munchkin Age 3

1. What makes you happy?

Playing and sharing toys

2. What makes you sad?

Friends that don’t share

3. What makes you laugh?

Funny things like when Peanut is silly

4.What is your favorite thing to do?

Feed Nii (the Fish)

5. What are you really good at?

Learning at school

6. What are you not very good at?

Kicking things at people

7. What is your favorite food and drink?

Peanut Butter Sandwich

8. What’s your favorite color?

Purple and Pink and blue

9. Where is your favorite place to go?

School

10. Who are your best friends?

A, C, and F

11. What are your favorite movies or TV shows?

Belle (Beauty and the Beast)

12. What are your favorite books?

Princess books

13. If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

Belle

14. What does Mommy do when you’re not around?

Play catch up… (though I think she meant Ketchup)

15. What do you do when Mommy isn’t around?

Play with balls (the ball pit)

16. What is something Mommy always says to you?

I love you!

17. What do you and Mommy do together?

We play alone when there is no Daddy or Peanut

18. How are you and Mommy the same?

We always love each other

19. How are you and Mommy different?

You are a Mommy and I am a Munchkin

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?

You hug me.

21. What is your favorite toy?

Belle Doll

22. What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?

Daddy time when we play with Peanut

So excited to see what 2012 brings!!!!

Crunchy Baked Mozzarella Sticks!

January 1, 2012

Since graduating college I have spent every New Years Eve with Rand McNally. Okay, all but the one he spent working for Uncle Sam in a Desert. His family tradition for this night is a instead of a meal, they have lots of appetizers.  So we have adopted this tradition in our house as well.

As I have mentioned several times I am slightly addicted to ‘pinning’ new things to try on Pinterest.  I thought I found the perfect recipe while pinning one night for Mozzarella sticks, until I read the word ‘fried’. I don’t own a fryer and too many fried foods make us sick! So I continued the hunt for a baked recipe.

I came across a couple but wasn’t sold. I did use them for inspiration but changed it up… why not! The verdict.. they ROCKED!!!

Crunchy Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Ingredients

  • 12 egg roll wrappers cut in half
  • 12 string cheese sticks cut in half
  • water
  • 1 cup Italian Bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Panko Bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (or olive Oil spray)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat type baking mat.

2. Cut the egg roll wrappers in half (My kitchen shears were perfect for this! ). Cut all the Mozzarella sticks in half. You can choose to skip this step but I will say they are pretty big even cut in half!

3. Place an egg roll wrapper  where it looks like a horizontal rectangle when you look at it. Place the Mozzarella stick in the middle. Fold in the ends and then roll to completely cover the stick. Use a little water to ‘seal’ the wrapper. Repeat for all the sticks.

4. Use a pastry brush or dunk the wrapped mozzarella stick in the egg wash. Then roll (use a spoon for better coverage) in the bread crumbs. Place on your prepared baking sheet.  Repeat this step for all of the sticks.

5. Lightly brush the tops of the sticks with the olive oil. I used my Pampered  Chef sprayer and this worked well!

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then place under broiler to finish.   Don’t walk away from the oven!!! Sticks are finished when the edges turn brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving, unless you want to scold your guests and family :).

Serve with a marinara, ranch, or Alfredo dipping sauce.

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