Saturday, September 29, 2012

Carter's Pinterest Project

I have like, 5 bajillion things pinned on Pinterest that I a)have no knowledge of how to make, b)will never take the time to figure out, or c) wouldn't even know where to get the supplies for. But one day at the end of the summer I decided I was going to paint a picture for Delaney's room(um have you seen my artwork??) and I knew that the cheap canvases were sold in 2-packs at Hobby Lobby so I thought I'd let Carter do a painting, yet another thing I saw on Pinterest. Off to HL we went, where I let Carter help me pick out all the supplies. But because I don't trust myself when it comes to craft projects, we took it all to my mom's house and enlisted her help.

He wasn't too sure about using his hands to paint at first.

But clearly that didn't last long.

After directing me where to put the blobs of paint and covering almost every square inch of canvas, we used a blow dryer to speed up the drying. I had let him pick out some stamps to do on top of the hot mess of color.

He chose jungle animals of course. Mostly because of the lion and elephant.

Then I let him help me pull off the painters tape where I had spelled out his name.

He was so proud of his masterpiece!! He made me hang it on the wall over his toy corner at home. It's literally the only thing we have hanging on the wall in our whole apartment because I don't want to have to patch a bunch of holes when we leave here. But for him? It's worth it. :)

I would like to point out that there are no pictures of the painting for Delaney's room. Mostly due to the fact that the sack of supplies hasn't moved from the spot I put it when we got home that afternoon. Odds are that it will never get done, or I'll pawn it off on my super talented sister in law, who I should have just called to paint it in the first dang place.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Its's a Girl!

My poor baby, she has gotten no attention whatsoever on this blog so far. Second child syndrome, or whatever. I have been keeping the written journal from the beginning just like I did with Carter, but that one is not intended for the viewing public. And I still haven't come up with a clever title to rename this blog now that we are married and expanding our little family.

So about our girl.  We found out very early about her. It was total and complete torture, but we waited until Mother's Day to tell even our moms, which was about 3 whole weeks. It was especially hard because about a week after we found out, I began getting horrible "morning" sickness. I say "morning," because with me its more like 24 hours sickness. I mean, who is woken up in the night to throw up?? I think I knew a little better this time how to curb some of it, and at my first appointment I made sure to ask for Zofran. But ultimately, sucking on sour candy 24/7 was about the only thing that provided momentary relief!

Our families were shocked and thrilled. We waited a couple more weeks after that to tell our friends, after we had the first sonogram. I'm gonna be honest though...I cheated and told my friend Deanna! Like the week we found out we were pregnant...oops! I couldn't stand it, plus it gave me someone at school that I could go cry to when I felt like death warmed over! Our friends were all totally shocked too. We were just the next in a line of several people announcing pregnancies. Its totally the year of babies around here!

I hate putting it this way, but really the next couple of months through the summer were routine. The nausea began to fade after the first couple weeks of summer, and basically I was just tired all the time. But then again, I also have a very active 2 year old to chase after this time! It wasn't until the day before the "big" sonogram that anything out of the ordinary happened, I had Braxton Hicks all day, which I thought was kinda early, but apparently I was just really worn out. I think my nerves also didn't help! For some reason I was crazy anxious about finding out the sex of the baby! Basically everyone thought it was a girl, I was on the fence either way, and Christiaan thought it was a boy. We had yet to agree on a boy name, but were set in stone on the girl name. The heart rate had consistently been at 160, which was why most people thought it was a girl. I was seriously so anxious and nervous that I was on the verge of tears for 2 straight days! It didn't help matters that the appointment was in the afternoon, and we arrived to find a full waiting room, which meant a huge test in my patience! And we had Carter with us, which meant for some creative entertaining.

FINALLY it was our turn. First the sono tech came in, and I swear she took her sweet time taking measurements before getting to the goods. By the time she made her way there, our little turkey was fast asleep and the legs were crossed!! The tech work and poked and wiggled the wand around to try to get the baby to move, but it wasn't budging. I started to hyperventilate because I thought good lord I can't wait until the next sonogram at like 34-36 weeks!! It didn't occur to me that the doctor would also take a look himself....duh. Finally....she moved. And it was a she! I was so shocked and finally released all my tears that I had been holding in for 2 days! I think that deep down I was really hoping for a girl, because this might be our last baby, and because I so desperately want a daughter with Christiaan curly locks! 

By the time we left my phone had about a bajillion missed calls and texts since we had been there for 2 hours. People thought something was wrong! Which is the whole point of that particular scan anyways, not to find out the gender. She was given a clean bill of health though! And of course, we couldn't resist picking her out some super cute clothes that night.

Since then school has started, and we are collecting more and more things for baby girl. We finished our registry, and had one more sonogram. This time instead of sleeping through it, she was on crack and doing gymnastics. Like to the point where every time they pushed on my stomach with the sono wand, you could literally see her punch it or kick it!

Up until this past weekend this pregnancy has been rather normal and uneventful. We are all the way to 25 weeks! I am feeling rather large and very uncomfortable MUCH earlier than I did with Carter, but my mom blames this on genetics and being the second pregnancy. 

Then this weekend I got a stomach bug. I have no desire to share with you any details of this bug, but I assure you it was not pretty. I guess I was not adequately hydrating myself, so Monday was a very rough day with a lot of Braxton Hicks.  I also had what I will call leaking that morning, and my doctor's nurse advised me to get checked out if it happened any more. Well about 9pm that night I had another episode, only much more, and I was momentarily paralyzed with fear because it was very much like what happened when my water broke with Carter. I immediately called the doctor and he said to go straight to the hospital. Christiaan and I were terrified and prepared for the worst. Mom came with us, and we were checked into the hospital. After about 3-4 hours it was determined that my water had not in fact broken, and the monitor was not registering contractions which meant that I was only having some intense Braxton Hicks, and I was released! The nurses commented on how active she was, kicking straight on the monitor on my belly. They said for a "25 weeker" she was active and had a good heartbeat that would actually register. And she is my calm one....hmmm. Apparently I will be watched a bit closer for pre-term labor from here on out, although I am not sure what exactly that entails. A positive to this whole event is that the nurse that I had was awesome, and seems to jive with all my ideals for a drug-free hospital delivery, and she told me that we can call ahead when I do go into labor and request her!

Most of these pictures I have posted previously, but here they are again....

4 preggos at a party! I was about 10 weeks here.

Around 13 weeks maybe??

At the "big" sonogram...She was waving to us, but of course Christiaan says she is doing Sic'em bears

Sister's first clothes!

First Baylor gear

At 21 weeks. She has Carter's nose and Christiaan's lips!


23 weeks and growing

And the only picture of our hospital adventure....we checked in through the ER since it was so late when we got there, and while we were waiting for someone from L & D to come get us they brought over this so called wheelchair.  I looked at Christiaan and asked him if he was checking me in for a mental evaluation because this totally looks like it belongs in a mental hospital!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Call Me Crunchy

I realize that I haven't really blogged at all about this pregnancy, and I'll get around to that eventually. But first, there are some things that have been on my mind a lot lately, mostly in regards to labor and delivery, and dealing with a baby afterwards. Umm, if you are a man, you probably want to skip this one. Although I am not sure what man other than my husband might be reading this blog anyways.

I have said for several years that I wanted to attempt to labor without the assistance of an epidural. My reasoning behind this has nothing to do with what some people think, that women who CHOOSE not to have one do so due to religious reasons, or what I get most from people is, well women have been giving birth without them for centuries, why shouldn't I? Negative, that particular statement actually makes me mad. And I personally do not feel as though God wants us to have such pain because of Eve's downfall, why in the world would he have given man(woman!)kind the knowledge to create such wonderul pain drugs?? I have several reasons of my own: the main is that I have a nerve disorder called Hereditary Neuropathy with Pressure Palsy that has been passed down through my maternal grandmother. Basically how I describe it to people is that when I wear high heels for longer than an hour, my toes go numb. The difference is that the feeling takes sometimes around a month to come back to my toes, rather than a few hours. After I had my wisdom teeth removed several years ago, this showed itself by me not having feeling in a portion of my mouth and lip for over a month, despite 2 rounds of steroids. So that, coupled with the fact that my mother has had horrible experiences with getting epidurals, possibly related to this disorder as well, led me to the decision that it would probably be best if I forgo the epidural route. The thought of my legs being numbed and then the possibility of it taking longer than a couple hours to regain the feeling is a terrifying one. Also, my aunt, who is a lot smaller framed person than I am, delivered 2 of her 3 children sans epidural, and I saw how amazing my mother was to coach her through it, so I figured I could do the same.

So with Carter, I enlisted the support of my mom, who is an amazing labor coach. She is essentially what some women hire these days, a doula. I knew with her support(and the fact that if I started to cave to the pain, she would tell me to suck it up!) that I could make it. And, thank you Jesus, my labor was not very long either. I was incredibly nervous that I wouldn't be able to handle it though, and so I did ask if there was something they could give me through the IV that would take the edge off. I now regret that decision because they gave me Demoral, which I thought was a small dose of it in the first place but now I think the nurse just said it was, and it basically only made me drunk. Like very drunk. Like the drunk I felt that time in college at Nascar when I thought it would be a good idea to drink straight out of a bottle of tequila or something. Not my finest moment in life, and not a feeling I ever wanted to experience again. So I felt every. damn. contraction. Only I had to keep my eyes closed for a period of about 4 hours so as not to see the room spinning and throw up. I felt very foggy and have vague, odd memories of that whole time period, and when it came time to deliver that was also a fog. And then very shortly after he was born the nurse handed me a handful of pills, and in my drugged stupor I just swallowed them. Turns out they were pain killers. My body overreacts to anything stronger than tylenol, so that whole entire day was a blur. I think I may have taken one more half dose of pain meds, but after that I just dealt with the soreness or asked for regular tylenol because I absolutely cannot stand feeling so out of control of my body. 

From pretty early on in the pregnancy, I began to get nervous about the delivery part. Could I make it again? What if my labor was longer, instead of shorter, like most supposedly are? Then I started having dreams about the hospital forcing me to have a C-section. They kept telling me it was because I had already had one previously, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't convince them that they were wrong. I had this dream multiple times over a few month period. So I became obsessed with not letting that happen or not caving into the pain. I began reading up on natural delivery, something I never even thought about doing when I was pregnant with Carter. I watched youtube videos of natural labor and delivery. In doing that I discovered a film called The Business of Being Born. It was produced by Ricki Lake, strangely enough, and I watched a 28 min clip of it on youtube(with like Russian subtitles or something) and was totally fascinated. In that short clip it reiterated and put into words exactly how I feel about the whole process, and how it has become a business, and not just a natural part of life. I would love to see the whole film, without the annoying subtitles, but I'm too cheap to pay $19.99+shipping for it.

I am definetly not judging people on their choices.  Its wonderful that we have the technology and availability of modern medicine here in America so that you rarely hear stories of women or babies dying during labor and delivery. But I would be lying if I said that it didn't disturb me a bit how the whole process is handled these days. It is entirely too easy for a woman to decide that she wants to have a C-section just to avoid labor and delivery, and doctors have way too much control over the choices made for a woman. Even though I am blessed to have a doctor with a rather laid back old school attitude, I still feel as though he makes more of the decisions with my body than I do. For instance, 4 days before I went into labor with Carter I had my last weekly visit, at which I told him I really felt as though it could be any day. He checked my cervix and decided that I still had a few weeks to go, even told me it looked like I would go to my due date. Lo and behold, 3 days later I was most definitely in the home stretch, and the next night my water broke. He was literally shocked to see me in labor when he got to my room. I got in a big I-told-you-so there. Had he listened to my insticts and what I was telling him, he might not have been so surprised. I mean, it didn't really matter, but what if it was something more pressing than just that, like something not being right? I feel like a midwife would have handled that differently. It seems as though women are mentally coached these days not to listen to their bodies, and put much more stock into what a medical professional tells them than what they feel is going on. A woman's instincts are nothing to joke with, they are usually right! I almost feel sorry for women who don't realize that they can have a say in this whole process, and they don't have to do what "society" tells them is the norm. It makes me want to be very public about it, like I'm helping women's rights movements or something.

It really got me thinking about the whole hospital delivery experience. Fortunately my first was pretty good, with no one really telling me you need to do this or that, or giving me a time table of when events needed to occur, and they allowed me to be very much in control of the situation. But what if this time around I get a pushy nurse?? What if they decide I am not dilating or contracting to their satisfaction and want to give me a buttload of pitocin? That was the one thing I was really mad about with Carter, was that the nurse pushed a (what she claimed) small dose of pitocin to regulate my contractions, before even giving them a good chance to get going on their own, which I feel like intensified the contractions.  I am way too chicken to have a home birth with a midwife, but I am really wishing that I would have had these thoughts sooner in this pregnancy and found a birthing center and midwife to deliver at. I just feel like a midwife is trained more than sufficiently to handle what would come up, and that I would have a lot more freedom during the process. I hated having an IV in, for the "just in case" reason. I hated that they wouldn't let me out of bed to labor. I hated that I had to lie flat on my back to deliver. Which, by the way, is widely known to be the worst possibly position to push a baby out of your hoo ha. Gravity people, think about it. Again, its for the convenience of the doctor and his or her abilty to be all up in your business. Which I get, I really do, but its just not necessary.

The whole point behind that filmed being made is to educate American women on the fact that they do have options and they do have a say in how things go. And that you are not a freak if you choose to not follow the "rules" of the hospital or doctor. I feel like women are judged here for choosing to have a midwife deliver their baby instead of a doctor, whether it be in a hospital, birthing center, or at home. They are looked down upon as hippie freaks, even judged for the risk people think they are taking of putting their own and their baby's life in danger by not having a medical doctor present. In reality, America is one of the few countries where it is not the norm for midwives to deliver.  They are often times trained better and more specifically in the labor and delivery process, and everything before and after it.  My own friends have told me that I'm nuts for choosing against an epidural. Several of them didn't think I could actually do it the first time around, which because of my personality, made me even more to determined to do it!  It wasn't easy or anything, it wasn't some out of body spiritual experience. It sucked. It hurt. But you know what?? It was a mere few hours of my life, and when it was over I wasn't in pain anymore. Well, not the same kind of pain. And less than an hour later I walked myself across the room to the bathroom, and I didn't have to lay in bed wondering how long it would be before my legs found themselves again.

Another option that I am exploring and leaning towards this time around is cloth diapering. Christiaan thinks I am nuts. And again, so do a bunch of my friends. Its way different than when my mom used them with us and had a diaper service, seems much easier to deal with except the whole washing them yourself thing. Its my understanding that once you get a system down its just part of everyday laundry. Those suckers are not cheap to get your stash started, but I absolutely HATE buying disposable diapers. I can't stand going through them that fast. And because Carter is stubborn and obviously following his own calendar, it is looking like he may still be in diapers or pull-ups by the time Delaney is here, and I really am not looking forward to buying twice the amount of diapers. My current tentative plan is to stock up on cloth diapers, but use newborn sized disposables at first, because I have been told that their little legs are too skinny in those first few weeks for the cloth ones to be effective, plus they poop that nastiness like every hour, and I would imagine that would create a laundry nightmare! Once she is big enough for cloth diapers, we will try switching to those, but use disposables like for church or babysitters. Who knows, this may never work for our family, but I am willing to try!

Also, something I have recently discovered is a concept called baby led weaning. This one I haven't even discussed with Christiaan yet, but I am sure he will think I have truly lost it. There is a book to buy that describes it, but basically instead of starting them on rice cereal and jarred baby food at about 3-4 months(or 2+ like I did with Carter!) you wait a bit longer until about 6 months.  At this point, you begin giving them the same food items that you are eating at mealtimes, for the most part, and letting them explore holding them and how to eat them. Apparently their grasping and coordination are beginning to become more definite and this eating activity allows them to be expanded even further. Also by this point their risk of developing an allergy has lessened. I haven't read the book yet, but the basic concept makes sense, and seems to be cheaper than buying jar after jar of rank smelling baby food. Which I also despise doing! Again, I have no idea if it is a good idea or will work with us, but Delaney should hit 6 months about the first of next summer, so I figure that would be a perfect time to try it out!

Despite what this post might sound like, I am not a hippie freak nature girl. I am not trying to get in tune with my chi or aura or whatever, am not trying to be all spiritual about the labor and delivery process. Because believe me, the words going through my head were nowhere near spiritual! And by some miracle from heaven I managed to keep them inside my head instead of sharing them loudly with the whole L&D ward like my brother had predicted! I am also not what some would call green or trying to save mother earth from the toxic trash of disposable diapers, and I can guarantee you that I will not be consuming my placenta in any form, nor do I have any desire to breastfeed my child til they can walk up to me and ask for it. Although I do plan on utilizing my chiropractor to get my body in alignment in preparation for delivery, but um hello what huge preggo wouldn't want their back to be popped when you can't turn past a certain radius of your body??  And its kinda like having a massage. I just want to explore my options and be in control of my life and decisions regarding my children and their well being, as much as I can be. I feel like I should know what is best for me and for them, and for our whole family.

Please do not think that I am judging people for not feeling the same way as I do. I am very sorry if I offend anyone by this post, so please don't take it the wrong way. Many of my friends and family members have had many different labor and delivery experiences, and every woman is completely different. Ultimately, you should do what is in the best interest of your baby and you, and if that means being induced or having a c-section, so be it! Obviously there are circumstances at which point I would make the decision to do either myself. I just feel it is important that women know they have choices and its ok to make a choice other than what your friends or family think you should do.

I'll get off my soapbox now. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Our Crazy Goon

Carter is really shaping up to be quite the little class clown.  I am shocked almost every day at some other thing he has said or done, and generally its done to get a laugh out of people. For posterity sake, and the fact that I never take the time to write anything down, I want to journal some of those things on his blog. You know, for the blog book that I'll never get around to creating. :)

Carter goes to a private daycare/preschool with my aunt Karen for half of the day, where she teaches part time in the class he actually is in right now. Her co-teacher is a lady that, well, I would not be able to work well with, but thankfully Karen is a much nicer person than me so she just writes it off as a personality clash and moves on.  Every so often a man called Mr. Chris comes to visit the kiddos and sing songs and usually brings different puppets. Apparently Carter eats this up and its the funniest damn thing he's ever seen, every. single. time. and gets quite into the whole show. A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Chris brought with him a monkey and a spider puppet.  Ms. L is apparently quite terrified of spiders, and when Mr. Chris produced the spider puppet from his bag she ran screaming like a little girl out of the room, arms waving in the air and everything.  Karen said the adults in the room were taken aback by a grown woman's inability to be in the presence of a stuffed spider, when suddenly my little angel, who had been laying on his tummy, head perched in his hands, fully immersed in Mr. Chris' show, jumped up and began to flail his arms and scream, not unlike what his teacher had just done.  Essentially, my two year old mocked his teacher for acting a fool. Under normal circumstances, I would be embarrassed about that, but homegirl was afraid of a stuffed spider puppet, therefore she deserves said mocking, amIright??  I mean, its no secret that my brain and body shut down in a full-fledged hysterical panic attack in the presence of snakes, especially free roaming ones that show up uninvited(see: snakes getting jiggy wit it in my garage), but a stuffed puppet would leave me unaffected.

The other night we went to Arby's for dinner.  After Carter was done eating, I got out the toy from his kid's meal and discovered it was actually a cool little parachute thing.  So I tell him, "Carter look! You got a parachute with your food!" And throw it in the air to demonstrate.  He looks at me blankly for a moment and reaches down to pick up the sandals he had worn that day.  He says "I have a pair of shoes." I said "no, I said para-SHOOT, T-T-T. You throw it up in the air and it flies down." He is staring at me blankly still, picks up yet another pair of nearby shoes and says "these a pair of shoes too."  At this point I'm dying laughing, and after a couple minutes of him staring at me like I was an idiot I convinced him to try throwing it up in the air as intended.  Maybe we ask for the younger toy next time??

One day last week I drove through Sonic on my way to pick Carter up and got us both slushies. I have craved these things almost constantly, so coupled with the 100 degree heat and the fact that my classroom AC was broken the first 2 weeks of school, I need all the frozen I can get. Problem is, he doesn't seem to understand the need to leave the straw in the cup and is constantly playing with it. While I was stopped at a light I turned back to make sure he wasn't making a huge mess, only to see him with the straw in his mouth, partially pulled out of the cup, and he was using his fingers to make it look like he was playing clarinet or recorder or something. I stealthily got my phone camera going and asked him what he was doing, and he replied, "just playing da horn."

One morning Christiaan was actually at home when we were leaving for the day because he has a weird schedule right now. Normally I turn off all the lights on my way out, leaving the house in total darkness since its so early still, and the last set of light switches is not very close to the door. Carter always holds the door open for me so that I can see to make it to the door using the porch light.  So when Christiaan walked us out yesterday, Carter was saying "no hold door, dat Carter's job help momma see!" He talked about it most of the way to Karen's, little creature of habit.

Last weekend while spending time in Southlake with my aunt we hit up a sale at Gymboree. Almost immediately Carter picked up a hairbow and insisted "buy for baby Waney momma tummy!" and literally wouldn't let it go until I paid for it! Thankfully it was on sale for very cheap, but how can you resist that sweetness anyways??

We have taken him to 2 high school football games, and he has been totally into every single aspect of the game, from the start to the finish. The mascots, drill team, band, almost all of the plays of the game, even the food people are eating. He talks about the things that he saw while there for DAYS on end.

One night last week Christiaan was mowing(poor dude has to use a push mower to mow all the land around the barn so it takes awhile)and Carter wanted to play outside and watch him. We were taking advantage of a beautiful evening outside and letting the dogs run free for awhile. Lola ran by and Carter took off after her saying "Wowa, guess what?? I gun chase you! Come back here!"

I found out yet another incident of Carter mocking his teacher....I am so proud.  So one of his little friends apparently caught a tummy bug, which caused him to suddenly squat in the middle of play time at school and have an "issue" right in the middle of all the kids.  It apparently caused quite a ruckus, and the poor little dude was flipping out, and it wasn't made any better by Ms. L's reaction to said issue.  Now, I understand that it is quite gross and very smelly, but if you worked with a bunch of toddlers everyday, wouldn't you get a bit used to that?? I know EXACTLY how rank and smelly it was, because Carter experienced the same "issue" this weekend, and no amount of Febreeze did away with the smell. So Ms. L was gagging and near puking, and Carter decided that was funny and so he started acting like he was puking too. He has demonstrated it for us many times in the last few days without being provoked. "Ms. L bleccchchhhh." I guess I need to take some of the blame for that one, because he probably saw me do it a few dozen times or more when I was battling morning sickness. Otherwise, I doubt he would have found it so hilarious.

One final story, and keep in mind these are only a few of what we witness. Last night he had been watching football with Daddy all day, and they showed a clip of some cheerleaders with pom pons. He said "Momma da girls wiggle wiggle wiggle!" And talked about it for the next couple of hours. Sometimes he said they "shake a shake a shake." Either way, not something I want my 2 year old being aware of!

Just some things/phrases he says a lot these days:

-what ya do-nenn(doing)
-wha happen??
-Lola kwiet!!
-Ga morning, kitty Washer!!( the "feral" barn cat greets us at the bottom of the stairs every day. Christiaan calls he/she, I've never looked, Washer, because it hid behind the washer for the first few days we had it. Dryer apparently met an untimely death or found better living quarters after only a couple of weeks living with us. The cat is OB.SESSED. with Carter, and gets in the car with us almost every morning. What cat voluntarily gets into the car?? Carter of course thinks this is hilarious.)
-Red light! Green light!(while riding in the car)
-talks a lot about grasshoppers, as they are invading us with all the fields surrounding us. The only bug he is afraid of. Except that when he says it, it sounds like he is foreign... gwass---HOPPA....complete with a pause in the middle and a severe emphasis on hopper
-wook a hi do!! (look what I do)

Some random stuff he is into:
-playing with his Hot Wheels, usually lining them up to race.
-All sports. Hike the football, kick the soccer ball(with the inside of his foot, might I add!), throw and catch a baseball, tetherball at my mom's, and is a bit obsessed with bouncy balls.
-playing games on the iPad. The other day he asked to play the "basekaball game with man." Then pointed to the stick figure in the logo on my school polo shirt. We had to find the NBA jams game that shows stick figures. Smart kid.
-We have to read a certain book every night, and he basically can recite it by now