Monday, May 28, 2012

A good reminder

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekend Links 5/25/12

Home and/or Organization
10 Ways to Organize Clutter Hot Spots - Home Your Way
SCOUT by Bungalow Storage Bins - such fun colors and great for organizing any room!

I Can't Pick A Movie - (in)courage
What to do when you can't find a mentor - Simple Mom
What Do People See? - Life Rearranged
A Letter To New Moms - E, Myself and I
Families Dealing With Traumatized Kids Don't Need Your Judgement - Rage Against The Minivan

Food and/or Recipes
Bacon and Cheese Quiche Tart - Brown Eyed Baker
Gluten Free Sour Cream Chicken Quiche - Mommy? I'm Hungry!
Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches - Pioneer Woman
Tiramisu Cake - I Adore Food!
Salted Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites - writing chapter three
Kids, Veggies and Grace:What To Do With A Picky Eater - Keeper of The Home
Baked Ham and Cheese Pretzel Sandwiches w/ Garlic Butter - Iowa Girl Eats

Eating Disorder and/or Self Esteem
Body Image: I Love How I Look In A World That Doesn't - Huffington Post 
5 Tips For Staying Sane When The "Bikini Season" Talk Starts To Get Crazy - We Are The Real Deal

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award + tag you are it

Hey Everyone! Hope you all had a good weekend. We camped out at my parents all weekend (they were out of town! ha) just to get a change of scenery. My sister, Ashley, also slept over both nights and it was SO nice having an extra hand when I needed/wanted to eat, pee, shower and dry my hair, etc! Ash also cooked for us all weekend. Think scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns for breakfast on Saturday. Yes she spoiled us and I woke up this morning feeling bitter towards my boring Kashi and Honey Nut Cheerios cereal combo.

Anyways, recently Marie from Feeding Five tagged me for the Kreativ Blogger award. Have you checked out her blog? She is so cute and has the most precious family around. She is a bargain queen (how does she find the cutest clothes at thrift shops???) and oh how I wish I could sit and feast on her baked goods. :)

So here are the required "10 Random Facts about me", followed by the 5 people I now tag! Have fun!

  1. My biggest pet peeve (as of late, ha!) is paper piles around the house. There is no need for a stack of papers a mile high on my kitchen counters. Just no need. 
  2. I am constantly organizing something. Brandon loves this about me, he really does. Not.
  3. I look forward to breakfast more than any meal of the day. I sometimes think about what I will eat for breakfast before I go to bed the night before. 
  4. If I have an extra $20 or so to spend on anything I want, I will choose a mani or pedi or SOME type of pampering any day. Forget clothes or shoes. Maybe this is why I wear the same 2-3 outfits all week and my closet still has items from high school. 
  5. Having Clara makes me understand just a tad bit more about Christ's love for me. It blows my mind how He was willing to sacrifice His own son for MY sins. I cannot imagine sacrificing Clara yet I now understand the deep type of love a parent feels for a child. Putting Jesus on that cross was NOT easy, even if you are God. 
  6. When I was younger I wanted to be a school teacher. I would line my baby dolls up and play school. I had a kids chalk board and I would make up daily lessons and homework assignments. Not sure when exactly this passion died out. I admire teachers SO much, but I cannot imagine being one today.  
  7. Morning is my favorite time of day. Love sipping a cup of coffee and watching the news or Good Morning America (at a really low volume). Something about the quiet of the morning that just calms me.
  8. I know nothing about cars. Other than the two cars we own, I could not tell you the make, model or actually identify any other car(s) on the road. 
  9. Three places I would love love love to travel - Italy, Australia and Hawaii 
  10. It has been twenty days since Clara's birth and the cankles are officially gone. Enter Hallelujah chorus here. 
And now the lucky 5 people I tag with this Award + questionnaire. I know I know... You all are SO pumped and thrilled to participate. :)

Ps - If you take a second to check out these lovely blogs, please say an extra prayer for Amanda and Erika. Both are navigating the winding road of infertility. They need prayer warriors! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekend Links . . . 5/18/12

Eating Disorder and/or Self Esteem
Shaming Skinny Women is Not Ok - Rage Against the Minivan
Recovery actions, recovery thinking - ED Bites
You're Never too old for an eating disorder - MSN Health
Eating Disorders at Stanford - The Stanford Daily
Is Your Definition of Healthy Eating Keeping You from Doing It? - We Are The Real Deal

How to work from home without losing your mind - The Gypsy Mama
How I broke up with myself six and a half years ago - The Gypsy Mama
Decorating Truths from a 15-year-old Tanzanian Boy - Nesting Place
Why Moms Need A Mom Cave And How To Make One - Inspired To Action
When There Are No Answers - (in)courage

Food and/or Recipes
Creating A Culinary Experience with Cheese - Keeper of The Home
Super Frico Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Steamy Kitchen
Health bar ice cream pie - Gimmie Some Oven!
Colossal Reese's Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies - brown eyed baker
Grilled Flank Steak with Black Beans Corn and Tomatoes - Skinny Taste

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Clara's birth story. . . Part II. . . Brandon's version

It was important to me that I write down the events of May 1-2, 2012 so that I could look back and remember what actually occurred. Many people cautioned me that you think you will remember every detail of your child's birth but in reality many of the details will fade quickly. I had mentioned to Brandon that I wanted to take a notepad to make notes of our time at the hospital leading up to Clara's birth. I reminded him of this once we were admitted to our room and he replied "Oh don't worry I will handle it for you." I said "Ok but I want details not just one liners about what is going on." He said "Babe, I got it. Don't worry." I put my control freak tendencies aside (ha!) and let him take the lead. The notes below are straight from his IPad. I didn't go back and spell check as I thought the original, sleep deprived version would be fun to have for the record. Enjoy!!!

(To read Clara's birth story Part I click here) 

Clara's birth story. . . Part II. . . Brandon's version.

Got in tonight just before 9.  Checkin was very quick and we were in room 305 in matter of minutes.  Britt got in the hospital gown and we waited for about 10 minutes before nurse Mary came back.  

Nurse Mary started with an Iv for fluids ... Which made britt a little dizzy and light headed.  Then Mary added the strep antibiotic (I blame this on Dana).

Ashley was the first to arrive and her first comments were " you aren't wearing any makeup? You sure don't know how to do this ... You need to be ready for the pictures."

Dana and Sheila arrived next followed by my parents.  We all sat around and chatted for a few hours and played games on the iPads.  

I tried to mention multiple times that the nurse said we should be able to rest tonight in between more medicine.  My mom didn't really seem like she wanted to leave.  But eventually everyone left around 11:15. 

11:50 It took me a while to figure out how to turn the lights out.  And you were getting annoyed by the beeping noise ... The printer was out of Paper.

1 am Nurse came in at one for more antibiotics and pill.  Would not be back until 4.  She gave you a new fluid bag.  At about 1:05 your toco number went to 77.  You said you felt your stomach tighten.  You were sleeping very soundly prior to nurse Mary interrupting.  You said you forgot where you were when you woke up.

6:30 am dr galvan came in to check and he said you between a 2-3.  They were about to break your water but dr said he was going to hold off for a bit.

6:45 am a nurse came in named Paula.  She was going on about the epidural and you had a really confused look on her face.  She mentioned dr. Huebner 2 or 3 times.  Finally you said is it standard to do the epidural before the potosin? Then you said um I have dr galvan.  Paula then came to the conclusion that she was in the wrong room.  So she left embarrassed.

7:09 our real nurse came in.  Her name was jennifer.  She hooked up the potosin.  

8:20 the nurse and anesthesiologist came into put in the epidural.  They wanted to get it in because the anesthesiologist was headed to another location.  You handled it really well and it didn't seem to hurt very much.  I asked how it compared to the sesame progesterone shots and you said you thought the shots were worse.  It was in about 10 minutes with no problems.  You said your legs felt heavy.

Your parents came in just before the epidural and then my parents came after. Sharon also showed up to check in.  Everyone sat around the room and chatted.  

Someone turned it on an awful singing show. Guess who?

Everyone just guessed times and weight.  They think they are going to to win a prize but they are kidding themselves if they think they are actually going to win something.

Sharon left on the phone ... The nurse just happened to come in and say galvan was coming in to break your water.  I told Sharon she cheated and called dr galvan.

10:50 am water was broken no yelling or screaming.  Your mom and Sharon stood behind the curtain (Sharon peeked once).  It went really quick and they said you were now at 4-5 90% effaced.

12:18 nurses just came in and checked twice we were told you were an 8.  No pushing just yet.  Jennifer also said the Clara was at a zero which mean she is dropping.  You were told you could press the epidural button every 10 minutes (and you took advantage very quickly 12:19).

12:43 Gavin in now she is much further along than 8.  Sharon just came in and said 10. You are now about to push.  You seem a little nervous but excited. You also said things have gone much smoother than you expected.  Although nervous you seemed very relaxed.

You started to push really soon.  I think they said you pushed 12 times over 30 minutes.  After each push you had a smile on your face.  I stuck it out and didn't pass out.  Now the whole dr/nurse team was cheering you on.  I was holding back tears.  Once the head was half way out you were in a lot of pain.  You did say "holy crap" at one point.  Made me laugh and galvan.  You also commented that you felt like you were grunting.  You weren't really grunting or very loud at all.  From there it all went very quick.  

1:29 at 6lbs 5 oz 20 inches and a 9 abgar score Clara was here.  Dr galvan was trying to get you taking care of - I got to hold the baby.  I was trying to hold her near you so that you could see her.  They told me not to pass her off until dr galvan was done.  

There was a lot of blood as you know there was some tearing.  At that point galvan started stitching.  It lasted quite a while.  Once they finished and everything settled down there was a lot of cleanup.

This is where you scared me, the nurses and Sharon.  I was standing by them you started feeling like you were going to pass out.  Thats when I sat down. I passed off Clara to Sharon. You did pass out and your heart rate dropped.  Sharon had dr galvan back on the phone in a second.  That had you on oxygen. It scared me.  

The End.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Clara's birth story. . . Part I

9:00pm - We checked in to Sugar Land Methodist Hospital and got settled into our room. Since I preregistered the check in process was super easy! We were in our room in about 5 minutes flat. The nurse told me to change into my robe and then hop into the hospital bed. At this point (out of nowhere) I started to get nervous and feel rather dizzy and lightheaded. I was SO VERY excited but started to feel my heart racing just due to all of the unknowns of the night and day ahead. After a few minutes the feeling passed. The nurse started my IV bag of fluids. I also got a bag of antibiotics (distributed through the IV that will be changed every four hours) to prevent Clara getting the Group Strep B bacteria that I carry.

My parents, sister and Brandon's parents came up to visit us that night. We chatted and played games on the iPad and eventually everyone went home shortly after 11pm to sleep. We didn't expect anything to happen overnight as they were just giving me a pill to ripen my cervix, which in turn would help my body accept the pitocin more easily and hopefully speed the induction along the next day. (It did!)

10:00pm - Nurse gave me my first pill of Cervadil. Nurse mentioned that they will come back every 3 hours to insert another pill. I would get three pills total.

1:00AM - Nurse gave me pill #2 and said to expect some cramping and backaches. She also changed my bag of fluids. My Toco number (monitors contractions) went up to 77 and that is when I felt my stomach tighten more than it had before.  The nurse was sure right about the cramping and lower backaches yet after a while I was able to get comfortable and sleep, for a few minutes. :)

4:00AM - Nurse gave me pill #3. I slept for a tad longer but by 5:30am I was up for the day.

6:30AM Dr. Galvan came in to say good morning and to check me. He decided not to break my water just yet as I was making some progress and he had to head to another hospital for a while. I was dilated to  2-3 centimeters.

6:45AM My new nurse came in to introduce herself. She started asking me questions and asked if I was ready to prep for my epidural. I was confused and asked "Do you normally get an epidural before you start me on pitocin?" She replied with a frank "No." I said "Ok... um...." She then said "Well Dr. Huebner said you were in quite a bit of pain and requesting your epidural." To which I replied "Dr. Huebner is not my dr. My Dr is Dr. Galvan." Said nurse realized she was in the wrong room and left looking rather embarrassed yet without saying anything. It was pretty funny after the fact. Glad I spoke up or I would have gotten some poor woman's epidural before my labor even really started! Ha!

7:15AM My real nurse, Jennifer, came in, introduced herself and started my pitocin. It was probably within an hour that I started feeling what felt like really strong menstrual cramps. Nothing too bad but definitely not comfortable.

(Side note - Jennifer was amazing!! Multiple people had specifically prayed that Brandon and I would be blessed with a loving, friendly, compassionate and informative nurse and Jennifer was ALL of these things and more. We told her multiple times what an answer to prayer she was to me and the rest of our group! So from here on just know nurse = Jennifer.)

8:30AM Nurse came in and mentioned that the anesthesiologist was going to be gone for several hours so I had two options. 1 - get my epidural now before I am in more pain or 2 - wait for her to return and just chance it knowing that my pain level might increase to an uncomfortable level before she returns. Ummm... don't have to ask me twice. Epidural please! Best. Decision. Ever. Within a few minutes the cramping subsided and I felt nothing. Nurse mentioned that the epidural should last a good four hours but if it starts to wear off and I begin to feel pain I can push a little button to up the meds. Awesome. (Note - I only had to push the button once before Clara was born, but then like three times AFTER her birth... keep reading). Oh and the epidural pain was SO NOT BAD. I actually asked the anesthesiologist at one point "Was that the worst part?" She replied "Yep." And I said "Wow that was so easy."

9:00AM Both sets of parents returned for the day. Sharon Galvan (my dr.'s wife) came to be an extra support and labor coach. Sharon is a retired Labor and Delivery nurse and it gave me such peace knowing she was there with me. Sharon - if you are reading this... THANK YOU! You are beyond amazing. We all sat around talking, playing Scramble with Friends, watching some corny TV singing show and just relaxing.

10:15AM Dr. Galvan returned and broke my water. My mom and Sharon stood behind the curtain and Brandon said Sharon peeked one time, ha ha. The process was quick and painless (thank you again epidural) and I had progressed to 4-5 centimeters and 90% effaced.

12:15PM Nurses came in to check me and I measured 8 centimeters. Yay! The nurse mentioned that Clara was at a 0 which meant that she is dropping appropriately. I was told I could push the epidural button every ten minutes if needed. I took advantage of this rather quickly, about 12:20pm, ha.

12:43pm Dr. Galvan comes back in and checks me again. I am at a 10!! It's time to gear up for pushing. At this point I was started to get nervous but still overwhelmed with excitement. I was going to meet my daughter soon!! I remember saying that things thus far had gone MUCH smoother than I had anticipated and overall I did feel very relaxed. From here on out I started pushing. My epidural was starting to fade some so I could actually feel enough pressure with each contraction to know when I needed to push, which was a blessing. Dr. Galvan just let me lead through the pushing. Brandon was on my left side and Sharon on my right side. With each push they would hold my legs back to give me more strength. Brandon said after each push I had a smile on my face. I do remember pushing with all my might and then between contractions crying and smiling (due to the rush of excitement). The entire team was cheering me on with each push. I loved these moments. It was SO encouraging and they kept me going!

With each push I felt like I was grunting and going to bust a blood vessel in my face. The team told me I was actually a lot more quiet than I thought and I wasn't grunting hardly at all. Good to know because from my perspective I swore my entire family could hear me outside our room door. :)

Once I felt Clara crowning I actually felt a lot of pain. I yelled (ok not yelled but I proclaimed rather loudly) "holy crap!!!" and they all started laughing at me (in a good way!). From here it went pretty quick.

I pushed for a total of 12 times (or so we guess) and then my life changed forever.

1:29pm Clara Anne Blackburn was born. She weighed 6 pounds 5 ounces and measured 20 inches long. After Dr. Galvan cut her cord, syringed her nose and wiped her off a bit he laid her on my tummy. I lost it. Totally. Tears of joy just started flowing. I was told she scored a 9/9 on her APGAR. Soon after Dr. Galvan started to deliver the placenta, clean me up and stitch up my tearing.  I asked if I could see my placenta after it was delivered and he said "sure." But of course I wouldn't have a normal placenta delivery now would I? It came out in many many many pieces instead of one whole piece. Dr. Galvan said this was rather weird. I would agree. Watching the placenta come out of me piece after piece was a little odd to say the least. It took a long while for him to find all of it and then stitch me up. Oh yes - I tore pretty bad.... think 20 stitches and a tear to my urethra. Awesome, right? (And at this point I was feeling him stitch me up. Like bad. Enter multiple pushes of my epidural button!) But SO worth it. SO SO WORTH IT. Brandon got to hold Clara during all of this time and for that I was so very thankful. He tried to hold her close to me so I could see her better but he was told not to pass her off to me until the Dr. was finished. Brandon told me later there was so much blood in the room, on the floor, on the Dr. etc. that it "looked like a murder scene."

About an hour later I was all cleaned and stitched and the nurses tried to sit me up in the bed for the first time since pushing. All of a sudden the room started spinning and going black and spotted. I immediately started saying "I'm going to pass out guys, I'm going to pass out!!" And sure enough... I passed out. Brandon said it was scary to watch because I did this weird head and shoulder twitch thing and then fell back down into the bed. My blood pressure dropped to 60/40 and (all of this I am told later) Sharon called Dr. Galvan on his cell phone while a nurse runs out of the room to the nurses station and then runs back into our room. A few of our family members that were sitting outside in the lobby picked up on the nurses rushed behaviors and suspected something might be wrong. I eventually woke up to the nurses waving alcohol swabs under my nose and putting me on oxygen. Dr. Galvan came back in the room to check on me. He attributed my passing out to the heavy amount of blood loss I experienced as well as just going from a laying to sitting position too quickly. Brandon was able to take Clara out to the lobby, in the hospital bassinet, to meet all the extended family (while I was still on the oxygen) and to explain the events that just occured. Once I was feeling better our family came into the room and from there things were all up hill. I then got to "really" hold my baby girl for the first time and like I said. . . life changed forever.

Clara's birth story. . . Part II. . . Brandon's version coming soon. . .
To Be Continued.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Nursery tour (and a few more pics!)

Well we got the nursery finished just in time for Clara's arrival last Wednesday. I LOVE the room and I am so happy with the way it turned out. It is 100% over the top girly! Enjoy! And of course I couldn't resist adding some additional pictures of Clara at the end just for kicks. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

This "C" is on the outside of her nursery door

This sweet pillow rests on the doorknob, under the "C"

View as you enter the nursery. Don't you just adore the chandelier fixture? So stinking cute.

Left side of room - we still have to put up a few pictures on the wall

Where I rock my sweet baby girl

Another glider shot

Changing table and fabulous mirror my parents made us. See the scripture? I love it. I also love how you can see the elephant pictures in the mirror reflection.

Closet shot

Closet shot #2 - I think the girl has plenty of clothes, don't ya agree?

What girl doesn't need a fancy tutu dress?

A huge shootout to my parents and sister for ALL the work and ideas they put into the nursery. I couldn't have done it without them. I mean let's be real? Do you guys think I am the one that painted those stripes under the chair rail? Um no - thanks dad! Also, a big thanks to Debbie (Brandon's mom) for taking all of these great pictures while we were still in the hospital. She captures the best shots. Y'all are awesome!

Ok... now a few more pictures of my little cutie. Are you guys sick of baby pictures yet? I promise I will write about other things. . . in time!

And a few more recent shots as of this last week...

Weekend Links 5/11/12

Testing Unfine - (in)courage
coping with miscarriage - Rage Against The Minivan
Six things adoption has taught me - Simple Mom
Mothers Day for the motherless daughter - the gypsy mama
Where is the Mommy-war for the motherless child? - Rage Against The Minivan
Avery's Bucket List - Has anyone heard this story??? I cannot imagine the pain this family is experiencing. Please take a moment to read up on this precious little girl and spread the word regarding SMA.

Food and/or Recipes
Homemade Food Gifts for Mothers Day - Food Your Way
Strawberry Pie - writing chapter three
Blueberry Crumble - I Adore Food!
Greek Salad Nachos - iowa girl eats
pasta with goat cheese, chicken, asparagus and mushrooms - gimmie some oven!

Home and/or Organization
Basket Labeling - i heart organizing
The Eat from the Pantry and Freezer Challenge - Keeper Of The Home

Eating Disorder and/or Self Esteem
Jessica, if you are listening "Your body is perfect, just ask Maxwell." - We Are The Real Deal
What You Are Looking For When You Want Food And You're Not Hungry - We Are The Real Deal
How Brain Networks Influence Eating Disorders - Psych Central

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A few more Clara pics :)

Just because I couldn't resist. Enjoy! I'll try to be back to more regular blogging once we get settled here at home. Hope everyone is having a great week! Blessings!

My sweet nephew loving on Clara

Clara posing for us

My sister, Ashley, and I had just given Clara a bath. All of a sudden she starts pooping in her infant tub and then as I was carrying her to put her diaper on she started pooping again. Ashley took this picture as I am frantically trying to catch the poop before it goes everywhere. It was pretty funny.

Clara with hiccups at 3AM. If it looks like I haven't slept in 6 days it is because I haven't. Ha! But all the sleeplessness it is worth every second!! Wouldn't trade it for the world. At the end of the video I'm trying to say that she gets her hiccups from her mom and her sneezes from her dad. Her hiccups are pretty intense (just like me!) and anytime she sneezes it is never less than 4 times in a row (just like Brandon!).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Introducing Clara

Clara made her grand appearance on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 1:29pm. She weighed 6 pounds 5 ounces and measured 20 inches long. She is absolutely adorable and we are so in love!!! Hope you enjoy a few pictures from our few days at the hospital. I plan to write a post about her birth story, just so I can look back and remember, but that will have to come eventually. Right now the three of us are just getting to know each other, enjoying lots of cuddle time and learning the ropes of caring for an infant. Catch up with you all soon! Thanks for all the love and prayers over the last nine months!

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