05-26-2016

Quincey Nox | Birth Story

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Well, Quincey was due May 15th. Naturally that date came and went. At 41 weeks I had to do a non-stress test and an ultrasound to make sure he was looking good. Which he was.

Wednesday (May 25) was a weird day for me. My hands were so swollen that I couldn’t hold a pencil while doing school with Audrey. And Ruby kept crying, this wasn’t different than any normal day but it really upset me and I ended up calling Jordan and asking if he could come home, which he did. Dr. Sara said that if I had told her that she definitely would have known I was having the baby that night/early morning. As it was, her guess was Thursday anyway.

My mom had been texting me that night saying that I was having a baby on Thursday. So she was going to sleep early so she’d be ready for the call. Lauren texted me similar messages as well. There had also been many messages from friends telling me they thought Thursday would be the day.

That night we went to bed around 10:30 p.m. As we laid in bed I told Jordan that I was suddenly very nervous to go through labor again. Surprisingly he was very reassuring, and I drifted off to sleep. (Jordan usually saves all sympathy for the actual labor, and reminds me that I wanted more babies, so labor is part of that. He’s not wrong.) I woke up about 3 times between that time and the 12:30 am. I was crampy, having some Braxton Hicks contractions, but really nothing new except that they’d occasionally wake me. At 12:30 am I got out of bed and started pacing the downstairs. My sister-in-law was working so I was texting her, and let her know I thought I was in VERY early labor. Every time I’d sit down or try to lay back in bed everything would feel intense. But not like contraction intense, it was just really uncomfortable and I didn’t want to hold still.

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At 1:30 am I no longer wanted to be alone. I still wasn’t having real contractions, but I was uncomfortable and wanted company. So I woke Jordan up. It was seriously the weirdest thing I’ve ever done. “Um, I’m uncomfortable and lonely, will you pace with me?”

For the next 20 minutes we paced, and cleaned the downstairs. I just couldn’t hold still! Then at 1:50 am I had my first real contraction. It wasn’t super painful, but it definitely required some attention to get through. I had been instructed since the beginning of my pregnancy that as soon as I had a real contraction I was to call Dr. Sara, because Ruby was born so quickly. There was a bit of an internal questioning as to if I really should. I mean, I’d literally had one contraction. And I was still very much in control of my brain. But I followed orders and told him to call Dr. Sara. In the 30 minutes it took for her to get to me I had another 5 contractions. I still didn’t want to lay down or sit, so I kind of knelt on the floor on the side of my couch and would rock my hips as Jordan applied pressure as I’d have contractions.

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This was the weirdest labor I had experienced. It didn’t start off really intense. In between contractions the midwives, Jordan and I just chatted. I felt a little discouraged, and pretty certain that this was going to fizzle out and that I had wasted everyone’s time. Lauren was called around 3 am to come, and she joined in on the conversation.

Around 5 am everything was set up and the birth tub was ready to go. So I jumped on in! I love the warm water when I’m in labor. While I was in the tub I played with my phone, Jordan, Lauren and the midwives took a nap. I was boredWhich made me certain that labor was going to stop at any second. Or that I at least had several more hours or days until my baby was coming out. Dr. Sara kept telling me that this was a much more “normal” labor than what I had previously experienced and that it wasn’t going to fizzle.

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Around 7 my mother-in-law joined us, and at 8 my mother did. I was grateful for some new people to talk to, since my current companions were very tired and taking naps (as they should! Nothing was really happening.) We also invited my sister-in-law to join us, and she did after her shift.

The girls woke up around 8 in the morning, and sat on the bed for a while. Sydney quickly lost interest but Audrey wanted to help pour water on my back. Although, she REALLY wanted to get into my tub! haha.

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Around 8:30/9 things finally started to pick up and it became the labor pain that I had previously experienced. Very intense and needing help, a lot of help. As usual my back hurt so badly, and I asked Dr. Sara to break my water because I knew that would relieve the pressure in my back. And it did. I started trying to push around 9, but it was different. It hurt, it didn’t feel relieving at all.

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It was the strangest sensation I’d ever felt. It hurt to push. But it also hurt to not push. I also felt that while I was pushing he wasn’t moving. Around 10 I decided I wanted to lay on my bed, so out of the tub I went. During this time I wasn’t doing so well, I was hurting badly. I was pushing hard and felt like he wasn’t moving and I was using up all my energy trying to get this kid out. Dr. Sara put me into different positions to try to help him come out. Very slowly he was starting to come out. But pushing was really hard this time. I would hyperventilate between contractions trying to catch my breath, I was squeezing Jordan’s hand so hard that it was also hurting. I kept saying that I couldn’t do it, and I truly believed I couldn’t.

 After an hour and a half of pushing he finally was born, and he was placed on my chest. Born Thursday May 26th, 2016 at 10:43 a.m. Quincey kept going from anterior to posterior while I was pregnant, and he couldn’t make up his mind in labor either. He came out kind of funky, which is why it hurt so badly to push him out and why it took so much more work to get him out.

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This is when things got scary. With Quincey also came a big gush of blood. Or as Jordan calls it “a blood waterfall.” Dr. Sara told someone to get ready to call 911. Dr. Mia instantly grabbed a shot of pitocin and stabbed it in my leg, then grabbed a second shot. Dr. Sara gave me a suppository and Joy (the student midwife) put pills in my mouth while Dr. Mia started an IV. This all happened within a few minutes, and the bleeding subsided so it was determined that we didn’t need to call 911, the storm had passed.

The older kids came in and said hello to their new brother. Sydney cut his cord. The mood in the room had returned to being light and fun and enjoying the new baby. The kids then got ready to go to Grandm’a house while Dr. Sara weighed Quincey. 7lbs 9oz, the exact same weight as Zachary.

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And then comes what is suppose to be the easy part. The placenta. Except that it wasn’t coming. And it hurt really badly to try to push it out. Dr. Sara also tried to help it detach but it wasn’t budging. So it was time to call 911 and be transported to the hospital. At this point my wonderful mother-in-law grabbed my four older kiddos and put them in the car, making sure they were gone before the ambulance came.

The firefighters got there first. They tried to start an IV (it didn’t work) and then the EMTs got there. Since I was on a bed, had lost a lot of blood and had said a few times that I was really tired (Dr. Mia was making me tell her stories to try to keep me awake, I was slurring all my words and had super foggy brain, so this was a difficult task) they decided it was best to have the firefighters carry me out of the house using my bed sheets to help them. I guess this is one of the times it’s really good to be so small. Because that’s exactly what they did, carrying me out to the stretcher outside of my house.

Despite being scared, tired, and trying to stay awake I managed to tell Lauren that she needed to be the one to put Quincey in his car seat, because I knew she’d make sure he was properly buckled and fitted. Jordan and Dr. Sara were riding with me, Quincey was going with Lauren and meeting us at the hospital.

Once in the ambulance they started (successfully) another IV and hung up another bag of fluids. We got to skip the ER visit and went straight to Labor and Delivery where I was greeted by about 6 nurses and a doctor. The doctor’s bedside manner was lacking, especially because I was so scared to begin with. First thing she said to me was, “It’s probably placenta accreta and you’ll need a hysterectomy in that case.” This didn’t help anything for me in the whole “I’m terrified” department. (Placenta accreta is when the placenta embeds into a previous c-section scar and cannot detach because of placement.)

Once at the hospital they started yet another IV, and did several ultrasounds of my uterus to see where that placenta was and to figure out why it wasn’t detaching. During the ultrasound I lost it and started crying. I cried because I was so scared. I cried because I didn’t want to have a hysterectomy at this point in my life. I cried because I was so tired. I cried because I hurt so badly. I cried because I couldn’t move. I cried because I couldn’t hold my baby the way I wanted. I cried because I was crying and therefore felt like a big baby.

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They scheduled my surgery, it looked like it wasn’t placenta accreta and that I’d probably just need a D&C. But first we had to wait for blood, in case I needed a transfusion. That took a few hours. During this time they called in anesthesia to talk to me. She told me my options and my best option was to have a spinal, which made me start crying all over. My last experience with a spinal was with Audrey and it was so awful that Jordan didn’t want to have anymore children, and I didn’t want to birth in a hospital or with drugs ever again. So the idea of having a spinal was terrifying. Jordan and I talked it over and agreed that while it was scary, it was the best course of action. The anesthesiologist told me they could give me something to relax me, then give me the spinal. So it sounded a little better.

Poor Quincey pooped right as he was born and managed to cover himself in it. So Dr. Sara gave him a bath while we waited in the hospital. Poor kid had poop in his hair.

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But we were still waiting for blood. And as the time ticked by I was in more and more pain. My back was cramping really badly, and I had 3 IVs and a blood pressure cuff. My anxiety was getting worse, I don’t do well with the anticipation of pain. The nurse kept saying that my uterus was filling with clots, which is why it was hurting so badly. But I wouldn’t let them touch me to “massage” them out, I had beyond reached my pain threshold. I couldn’t really move, and I wanted to just sit up and snuggle my baby, but I wasn’t able to. And as I watched the clock tick by I was becoming more and more terrified of what was going to happen during surgery. I hadn’t been given anything for pain at this point, and my back was becoming unbearable. I was also so thirsty, the back of my throat was so dry.

Finally at 4:00 p.m. they gave me the medicine to relax me and took me down to surgery. I gave everyone in the room strict instructions to make sure Jordan slept while I was gone. He had also gone through so much and he needed to sleep as well. My mom and Dr. Sara were still there and able to snuggle my baby while he slept. Once I was in the OR I was so relieved to see Tonia, the older sister of one of my best friends. I started crying all over again because it was so nice to see someone I knew, especially when I was so scared.

The anesthesiologist was awesome and got my spinal in on one try. Thank goodness! And while I still cared a lot about being there and having the spinal, I wasn’t so scared that I was dry heaving (like I was with Audrey.) Once I started going numb they laid me down and I told the anesthesiologist that I was still scared, and she asked if I wanted to go to sleep, which I really wanted to do. So she gave me some more medicine to make me sleepy, put a small pillow on my eyes and I went to sleep. I woke up to her taking off the pillow and the doctor telling me that it was the best case scenario. They didn’t even do a D&C. The actual procedure of manual extraction took about 10 minutes.

Since I was now completely numb from about my ribs down life was dandy. I got to keep my uterus, my back wasn’t hurting. I was being wheeled down to recovery where I’d be met by my husband and my sweet baby. The nurse helped me roll onto my side so I could just snuggle Quincey, which is what I did for the full 2 hours in recovery while Jordan and I talked. At this point the hormones kicked into high gear and I couldn’t stop shaking, they probably had some help from the medication. At this point I was told that at 9 p.m. they’d be taking some blood to determine if I still would need a blood transfusion. I had lost 1800 cc of blood, and had spent most of my pregnancy anemic (although thanks to iron infusions I wasn’t at the time I delivered Q.)

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At this point Jordan also told me that we didn’t have a car. So when it was time to go home we’d need someone to give us a ride. That’s what happens when you are brought via ambulance.

Besides getting to hold my baby the best thing happened, I finally got to drink water! Yey! Seriously, that was awesome.

My 9:00 p.m. labs showed that my iron levels had gone down to 7.2. Dr. Sara had suggested before she left that if they suggested the blood transfusion that I should do it, that it would help me feel better quicker, and we wouldn’t have to worry as much about fainting, anemia, anxiety or problems with breast feeding. Originally my nurse told me that I wouldn’t be doing a blood transfusion because my numbers were above the threshold. So I got all excited about going home! Until Dr. D came in and told me that the threshold was a 7, so I was barely above the threshold and she strongly recommended that I do the transfusion, for all the same reasons that Dr. Sara had talked to me about.

I was then taken to a post partum area, and they got things set up. Around this time I told Jordan to go get something to eat, because 10 p.m. is really late to be getting dinner and the cafeteria closed at midnight. He was halfway to the door when he realized that he also didn’t have a wallet. Dangit! I told him to call his sister and ask her if she’d bring him some food, because I was only given jello cups and crackers. It wasn’t filling me up, let alone him. (At one point I requested to be brought 20 red jello cups. I think the nurse thought I was kidding since she only brought me 1 at a time. I wasn’t joking. I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours, I was starving!) He refused and said he’d be fine. Luckily, she called and asked if she could come visit and asked if she could bring anything, and she brought him some food and pjs.

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Blood transfusions take a long time! They gave me two units of blood, and each unit takes about 2 hours.  They started the first unit around midnight, the second just after 2 am. I was still unable to sleep, but I could move my legs, so I asked if I could get out of bed, for the first time in 11 hours. My nurse originally wanted to remove my catheter but I was starting to get a little tired so she left it in so I could just sleep and not worry about going to the bathroom until I’d napped. They got me up and out of bed, cleaned me all up, remade my bed. It was a little strange to me, because previously when getting out of a hospital bed I’m in a lot of pain and I require a lot of help. I was a little shaky on my feet at first, but was totally fine as I had no stitches from Q’s birth and nothing from them removing my placenta.

But I still had 3 IVs and a blood pressure cuff. Moving my arms was difficult, and any moment that Quincey wasn’t in my arms he was crying. Around 3 am I asked Jordan if he’d snuggle with the baby so I could sleep just a little bit. This was the first time I’d slept in almost 2 days, and before I fell asleep I was starting to get a headache from my lack of sleep. Thankfully Quincey accepted Jordan’s snuggles and I got to sleep for three hours.

Finally at noon it was time to go home! My sister-in-law brought Jordan and I lunch from Burgerville and Jamba Juice. My in-laws brought my other children so they could see Quincey. And then they finally took out all my IVs, I had to sit in a wheelchair to leave because my feet were so swollen from fluids that I couldn’t put on shoes. But it was finally time to get back home and snuggle my sweet baby in my bed!

So the stats:

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Quincey Nox Sherman
May 26th, 2016 @ 10:43 am
7lbs 9oz 19.5 inches long

9 hours of labor, 1.5 of pushing.
(Totally not impressed, Q.)

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05-13-2016

While I Wait…

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So here I am, two days before my guess date with my Quincey Nox.

This part of pregnancy is always really hard on me since I was pregnant with Audrey. It was especially hard with Zachary.

Being a VBA2C mama, I always tend to think, “If I’d just had a scheduled c-section I’d have a 5 day old baby right now.” This was especially true with Zachary, when he was 21 days late.

There is nothing wrong with deciding to have a repeat c-section instead of a VBAC, that’s not what this post is about.

But mentally I’m pretty exhausted with this whole pregnant thing. I’m jealous of those who don’t have to hit their due date. I’m jealous of all the sweet mama’s hold their newborns that I see on my Facebook feed. So I decided to come up with a list of why it’s better for me to wait this out.

  1. I really like my provider this time. She’s a naturopath doctor, and she’s really amazing. In order to get this baby out right now I’d have to switch providers, and I really don’t want to do that.
  2. Yup, I wake up to pee every few hours in the middle of the night. Making sound effects as I roll out of bed. And then I’m thirsty, so I go downstairs and drink water. You know, so I can pee again in a few hours. And while this cycle sucks. At least I am capable of getting out of the bed without being in intense pain from a c-section incision.
  3. Ruby wants to be held often. I can still (kind of) easily hold her. This absolutely wouldn’t be possible if I was recovering from a c-section.
  4. Zachary and Ruby’s skin? Pretty much perfect with no signs of eczema. I contribute this to a vaginal birth, delayed first bath, and breastfeeding. All things I wasn’t able to do for my c-section babies.
  5. It’s allergy season and I can sneeze without feeling like I’m going to die.
  6. I can also cry when hormones get the better of me.
  7. Quincey isn’t here because he’s not ready. Plain and simple. When Zachary was born we realized that if I’d had a repeat c-section like my OB recommended, he would have been born 4 weeks earlier. Zachary was born at 43 weeks weighing 7lbs 9oz. He would not have done well being born the month before.
  8. Despite my jealousy, I am really very thankful for my body. It has safely and successfully grown 5 people. FIVE. It protects them, it nourishes them, and it keeps them in there FOREVER. I am blessed with weeks. Which is much better than the alternative.
  9. Relearning how to pee is seriously stressful. And panic inducing. And just flat out sucks.
  10. Major abdominal surgery is just not for me. I don’t do well with it. My babies don’t do well with it. So I am grateful for those amazing midwives in 2012 who took a chance on me and allowed me to let my body do what it knew how to do. And I am beyond grateful that I have the option and ability to VBA2C, successfully and safely.
  11. I’m just now starting to regain some of the feeling in my c-section scar. It no longer has phantom pains or itches. It is finally starting to lose the pins and needles feeling if I poke it. I don’t want to start that process all over again if it’s not a medical emergency 😉

Good things come to those who wait. Quincey’s gonna be great. I’m not a patient person, but somehow I’m pretty good at waiting for people to show up like they say they will. So, baby Q, I’m waiting for you!

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04-14-2016

Ten Favorites on Thursday | Mama Must Haves

I LOVE lists! Not that I’m great at sticking to them, but I do love to make lists.

So here’s your top 10 lists of mama must haves after a baby is born. Now, I’m talking like RIGHT after the baby is born, within the first two weeks. Most of these will not get a long in-depth explanation because I think we can all use our imaginations and figure out how awesome they are.

1. Motherlove Sitz Bath Spray

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This spray is awesome for all the owies post birth. I usually make sure to have a bottle in my purse in case we aren’t at home and I don’t have my peri bottle.

2.Tucks Witch Hazel Pads

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Much better than toilet paper.

3. Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter

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Just guess. 😉

4. Cramp Bark

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Having had 4 babies I now know that after pains are a real thing, and they are extremely painful. I’m not huge on pain medication, I think it’s important to feel pain it keeps you from doing too much too soon while you’re healing. I also don’t like taking pain medication when I feel pretty good, but have a couple of minutes of pain every few hours. So cramp bark tinctures are awesome. Make sure you buy some orange juice to chase it down with, it’s nasty tasting!

5. Bamboobies Nursing Pads

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They are heart shaped. What could be better? Also, I prefer reuseable, because I like to be a hermit the first few weeks after baby is born.

6. Nursing tanks

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Takes away the hassle of figuring out a nursing bra and a shirt.

7. Bathrobe

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For when people visit.

8. A good TV show to binge watch

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Netflix is my best friend. Sydney and I binge watched Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars during our middle of the night feedings. Audrey and I watched Grey’s Anatomy. Zachary and I were enjoying Bones. Ruby and I really into Gossip Girl. I just found out that Roseann is on Netflix, so Quincy and I will be enjoying that.

9. Belly Bandit

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Definitely helped any separation of my abdominal muscles post Ruby. I’ll be using one again after Quincy.

10. Motherlove Thrush Relief

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I seem to have a problem with yeast, despite never personally having any problems. But my babies get it and we exchange it back and forth. It’s fun. Motherlove Thrush works GREAT. It also doesn’t dry you out.

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02-22-2016

28 Week | Baby Q

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A friend asked me to do more pregnancy updates on the blog. So here you go.

Baby Quincy is now 28 weeks along. We’ve now hit the THIRD trimester! Yey!

For the most part this pregnancy has been rather uneventful, symptom wise.

But at 23 weeks I went in for my anatomy scan, and it was just about the weirdest ultrasound I’ve ever had.

It started with the doctor saying, “You’re here for a 20 week scan?” Yes. “You’re TWENTY weeks?” No, I’m 23 weeks. “Oh, wow, you’re really small!” Thanks?

Then he was getting everything set up and he goes, “Wait, have you had a c-section?” Yup, two of them. “You’ve had TWO of them?!” (Puts his face inches from my c-section incision) “Wow, you’ve got great skin! You healed really well.” Again, thanks? Please get away from my incision and focus on my belly.

Anyhow, Quincy measured right where he should, and his head measured 4 days bigger than his body. So another big brained baby is in my future. He’s still a boy, and he has all his vital organs and they look amazing. And then I got asked the weirdest question ever.

“Have you ever been told you have a short cervix?”

Um, no. What does that mean?

“Well, it could be indicative of preterm labor. If you make it the third trimester you should have it rechecked.”

Um, IF?! I had 5 weeks left. Are you telling me I’m going to have a micro premie in the next five weeks?!

Wonderful. Anyway, talked to my midwife, looked up the info from all previous ultrasounds, and we’ve come to the conclusion that I’m probably just fine. With Ruby I was short and dilating at 36 weeks and still went another 4 weeks. So, Baby Q, you’d better stay in there for another 8 weeks minimum.

Anyhow, here are some stats for you:

Total weight gain? 10 lbs. Which made WIC really unhappy. Apparently I need to up my calorie intake so I fit into the grey area of their chart. Not happening!

Maternity clothes? Yes, I’ve been wearing the shirts for a while. But I finally gave in and started wearing the pants.

Stretch marks? Nothing new. I haven’t had any new ones since Audrey.

Sleep? Thanks to my Cal/Mag supplement GREAT. I’m still exhausted though.

Best moment this week? Making it to the third trimester! Seriously, such a relief!

Miss anything? Breathing normally.

Movement? He’s finally starting to move a lot! Jordan even got to feel him! He’s still not super crazy like several of my babies, but he wiggles.

Food cravings? Poptarts, Circus cookies, Rainbow goldfish. Basically every 2 year old’s dream food.

Anything making you feel sick or queasy? Nope.

Showing? Yup.

Gender? Boy!

Labor signs? None.

Symptoms? Heartburn. Burning all the hair off my baby.

Belly button in or out? In. When I had my endometrosis surgery in 2014 they glued my belly button back together very nicely. So it’s way cuter than it was after my first three babies. That was very kind of Dr. C 😉

Wedding ring on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy, just tired from severe anemia.

Looking forward to: Starting Q’s blanket!

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01-29-2016

One Year Old! | Ruby Lyndis

First birthdays are hard on me. I can’t believe how quickly it flies by! The days are so long sometimes, but the years are so short!

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Anyhow, Miss Ruby is now ONE.

This year I gave a hair flip to tradition and decided to have a birthday party at our house instead of going to Izzy’s Pizza. Because I just didn’t feel like it. Her party was also the day AFTER her birthday. Ooooo.

And you know what? It was awesome.

Ruby got to run around our living room being held by various family members, she got to take her time with her cake and really enjoy it. She got to sit on the floor with me and open her presents. Or rather, sit in the boxes, because kids and cats are pretty alike when they are one.

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I seriously cannot believe that the first year is already over.

In the last month she’s really started to walk everywhere.

She finally started to sleep in her OWN bed. Bittersweet.

When we tell Ruby “no” she smiles and waves at us. Then tries to do it anyway.

She is a HUGE fan of bathtime.

Whenever you pick her up she rests her head on your shoulder. And if you aren’t moving she will start to kick you.

She says uh-oh, loves food of all kinds.

Refuses to give up the bottle yet. Whatever.

Loves her pacifier but if she can’t find it she will suck on her thumb.

At 1 year she weighs 17lbs 4oz, and 29.5 inches long. Petite and perfect. She has four teeth.

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Happy birthday, sweet Ruby Roo! We love you so much, and are so happy you are part of our family!!

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01-22-2016

Five Favorites on Friday | Newborn Baby

So I’ve made it my personal goal to write more on my blog. Not just the monthly updates about Ruby but really work towards making this blog our family’s history.

So naturally, I’m writing a post about five of my favorite new baby things. Because what goes on in my life more than babies? This also will serve as a remember in case I forget what my favorite things are. Mama brain is a REAL thing!

So here’s a list of FIVE of my favorite things for new babies! This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own and I bought all these products myself.

  1. Lil Joey Cloth Diapers

These diapers are my favorites for itty bitty newborns. My babies have all been 7lbs and we cloth diapered Zachary and Ruby from the start. For both of them the first diaper on the bum was a Lil Joey. They fit great, we didn’t have any problems with leaks, and I love their snap down for the umbilical stump. My husband is really awesome and changes the diapers for the first two weeks, these also get the hubby’s thumbs up for ease. I bought a new diaper just for baby Quincy, and guess what? It’s nautical! (Which is truly why I bought it.)

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2. Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm

Yeah, try saying that 3 times fast! I absolutely love Earth Mama Angel Baby products, and their bottom balm is no exception. When my newborns are first born we try to keep their bum moist so that the horrible meconium poop doesn’t stick to them. It makes diaper changes much easier! I also use this product on older babies when they get diaper rashes and it works great.

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3. A carrier

I’ve tried a few different carriers over the years. The first one I tried was a Baby Bjorn but it definitely was not meant for someone of my height and it was horribly uncomfortable. I’ve also tried a Moby which I liked for around the house but all the tying was not fun while trying to make sure my 4 year old and 2 year old didn’t escape 😉

Which led me to the Ergo, I’m a big fan! And last year for my birthday Jordan told me to get another carrier for the house, while I love the Ergo it’s not great for sitting. Ruby always wanted to be close to me and I needed something I could sit in while teaching homeschool lessons. Enter Baby Hawk! It’s a soft structured carrier like my Ergo, but it ties like the Moby, which makes it so, so, so awesome and very comfortable. Ruby spent a lot of time in it while I’d made dinner or teach lessons.

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4. CJ’s Spritz

Okay, so maybe it’s time to admit that I’m really picky. Or I have a weird thing with scents. I really don’t like unscented wipes. They just…don’t smell clean. But a lot of the smells of scented wipes give me a headache and give my babies a rash. With Audrey we had to use cloth wipes because whatever is in mainstream wipes would make her rash worse. So I’d use water and just a little bit of CJ’s Spritz in a squirt bottle to clean her up. We do the same thing now, except that we just squirt our wipes. This makes the wipe a little wetter, which is useful, and it makes it smell so good! CJ’s has so many yummy scents, my favorites being Sweet Orange and My Pixie Pie.

spritz_so__75319.1431382948.500.7505. WubbaNub Infant Pacifier

I saved my favorite for last. Because without these I don’t know what I’d do! I’ve breast fed the last 3 babies with ranging success (2 weeks-10 months. It’s a range!) But around day 3 I need something to help them sleep that isn’t my boob. These pacifiers are the BEST. I swaddle up my baby and pop the pacifier in their mouth after they’ve fallen asleep and I’ve unlatched them. The little stuffed animal makes it so easy to find in the dark, and it also holds just enough weight that if they stop sucking it will hold it in place for them. They come with a Soothie pacifier attached, but I’m now seeing that you can buy one that you can attach to any pacifier. I think Quincy might need one 😉

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And here’s my Ruby modeling how we swaddle and pacifier the baby. With Audrey snuggling her, because that’s a big part of being the baby! Lots of snuggles.

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Next week I’ll share my favorite products FOR MAMA.

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01-04-2016

Hello, 2016!

Well, it’s time for a new year, which means it’s time to review last year’s goals.

And laugh.

I mean, see how well I did. And create some new ones for 2016!

My goals for 2015 were:

(Actually I made 12, but lost my list, so here are the ones I had on the blog.)

-Finish Ruby’s baby quilt. CHECK!

-Finish Audrey’s big girl quilt. CHECK!

-Have a baby girl named Ruby in February. Kind of check? I had a baby girl named Ruby…in January! SURPRISE.

-Graduate with my AA from Portland Community College. CHECK!

-Start my bachelors degree at Washington State University. CHECK.

-Buy a house by November. Kind of check? We bought a house, in December!

-Sell enough Jamberry nail wraps to take my family to Disneyland.

Yup, insert the laughter. ‘Cause that didn’t come anywhere close to happening! Oh, well! Disneyland will be a great place for them to go later in life…like their honeymoon.

-Post more on the blog. I don’t think this really happened. So better luck next year!

Looking back, I did pretty well. Granted my goals were things I pretty much planned to do anyway, so that might be why it worked out for me. But I really liked that. Goals that one can actually accomplish.

So my goals for 2016…

-Make a blanket for Quincy

-Finish Zachary’s twin sized quilt

-Unpack the house

-Donate a ton of our stuff. Because we have TOO MUCH STUFF.

-Convert our homeschool schedule to year round and 4 days a week.

-Have Quincy in May.

-Start saving money for our 10 year wedding anniversary which is in two years!

-Finish my ABC cross stitching

-Take the kids to Mt. Hood next December

There we go, 9 goals for 2016! Let’s rock this! <3

2015 was definitely a good time for our family. We had a few really crappy years there, and 2015 really made up for it. We started off with the birth of Ruby, we are blessed to be expecting a baby boy, we bought a house that is WAY better than we ever thought we’d be able to find, Zachary potty trained, Sydney was baptized, Audrey didn’t have any ear infections, surgeries, or ER trips. We traveled to Idaho, saw family from Utah and Germany. It’s been an amazing year and we are looking forward to what’s in store for us this year!

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12-29-2015

11 Months | Ruby Lyndis

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Well, this is the last month of Ruby’s first year.

And it’s very sad to me to think that she’s almost a year!!

She is very independent in most things.

This month we moved! We bought a house in Battle Ground, and Ruby is loving crawling up the stairs. In this house she has her own room (it’s a half room), it took a couple of nights to get her to sleep in it, but it finally happened.

She loves to say “ooooo” to just about everything.

When she doesn’t like something she does what we call the “devil banshee scream.” The name is pretty self explanatory.

She’s figured out how to hold her bottle while sitting up.

When she is really hungry and you are shaking the bottle she will spit out her pacifier and throw it across the room.

She also throws the pacifier when she isn’t ready for sleeping and she thinks you’re going to make her go to sleep.

Throws the bottle when it’s empty or doesn’t want it anymore. Apparently she likes to throw.

Just discovered books!

Loves to give mama kisses.

My first child to not be afraid of the vacuum

Wasn’t afraid of Santa. Wasn’t particularly fond of him, but no tears.

Loves to pull things out of drawers.

Starting to climb more every day.

Starting to gain more confidence with walking.

Finally got two more teeth on December 26th, 2015.

I can’t believe that next month she’s going to be ONE. This little girl has brought so much joy and laughter into our lives over the past 11 months.

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12-26-2015

Christmas!

Once upon a time I use to photoshop every single picture I posted. I’d swap out faces, fix flaws, and crop out what I didn’t like in order to have the “perfect” picture every single time.

And now I’m finding joy in the pictures that aren’t perfect. The faces that are silly. This is life. There are no edits, no do overs.

It’s messy, it’s imperfect. And it’s beautiful.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Enjoy the pictures.

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This Christmas was a bit different than years previous. We moved into our new house on December 22nd. It was a crazy exhausting day, but before Jordan and I went to bed that night we set up the Christmas tree. The next day the kids decorated it a little bit, I think we had like 10% of our normal Christmas ornaments on the tree. No tree topper. No ribbon. The rest of the house was sparsely decorated. Unless you count boxes and random stuff everywhere “decorated” 😉 No Santa plate. No cookies. Not even milk, because we didn’t have a refrigeration yet. That’s okay though, Santa doesn’t care. Our Elf on the Shelf only came twice this year, his job was easy! Our Christmas countdown started at “2 Days Until Christmas!” Stockings weren’t hung, they lay on the coffee table. My Christmas cards were late.

But in it’s simplicity it was wonderful. The kids still enjoyed themselves, loved their presents, and had way too much candy. Sydney and Audrey slept on the couch, read a few Christmas books. In years past we’ve let them watch Christmas movies until they passed out but our computer wasn’t hooked up to the TV yet, so that didn’t happen either. Zachary was booted for being a pest within an hour and slept in his bedroom. On the floor, because his bed wasn’t put together yet. Ruby slept in her pack and play in her room. Regardless of all of our “not normal” things it was enjoyable and it was memorable.

The girls tried to wake us up at 3 am, and were sent back to sleep.

I made all four kids their own pair of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajama pants. And they each got a shirt that was one of the turtles “colors.”

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11-29-2015

10 Months! | Ruby Lyndis

This is another month in which we are going to pretend that I’m on it 😉

This month has been very exhausting! We are in the process of buying a house, and really I feel like that is a full time job! I’ve pretty much sworn that I’m never doing it again.

Anyhow, my baby is really cute.

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This last month introduced us to a few new things with Miss Ruby.

Ruby celebrated her first Halloween, and her first costume was a representation of the Gryffindor house at Hogwarts. She makes mama proud 😉

She also celebrated her first Thanksgiving, she enjoyed eating all the yummy foods! Mashed potatoes, yams, and rolls were her favorites.

She started letting go of furniture and leaning with her bum against the couch. Eventually this turned into her “trying” to walk, which was basically her belly flopping onto the floor and becoming very irritated.

She hates pants!

She figured out how to climb up the stairs.

She has taken a few steps unassisted, if she’s properly motivated.

No new teeth yet, but it looks like we are working on those top teeth.

She has figured out how to pull on her hair bows. Which means she usually snaps herself in the face.

I’ve convinced Jordan to keep her bows on during church. The compromise is that she won’t wear one the other days of the week, or the rest of the day on Sunday. Only during church. This deal does have the clause about monthly photos being taken.

She doesn’t try to suck her thumb anymore. She’s purely a binkie baby.

When she gets angry about being put in her crib she throws her binkie or bottle out of the crib. Then screams because she actually wanted those.

She’s FINALLY settled down into something that resembles a routine. She is usually awake at 8 am, eats, then plays until about 11 in which it is time for a short 30-60 minute nap. Eat around 1, play, sleep at 3 until about 5, play until 8. Bedtime seems to be either 8 or 10 depending on her mood. Occasionally she will fall asleep on her own, but on the days where she can’t I’m enjoy the snuggles.She claps about everything. If something makes a big noise she says, “Ooooo.” She waves, in the sense that she sticks her hand out. No actual movement yet, so we joke that she’s saying, “Goodbye, peasants! Your queen is leaving now.”Oh, and guess what? Ruby’s going to be a BIG SISTER in May! <3DSC_7519

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