Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Baby Update

Being a mom is hard.  I don't know what I thought it would be like.  I guess I just thought she would sleep all the time in these early days.  Newflash:  She doesn't.

I'm trying my hardest to learn to live with a semi-clean house.  It's hard.  I would give anything for like, 3 hours to just CLEAN.  But look at this face... a dirty house is so worth it.

Miss Syd will be 8 weeks old tomorrow and I feel like maybe, finally, I'm figuring her out.  Here's what I know about her so far:

1)  She doesn't like to take naps.  At all.  She would rather cry about being tired than actually sleep.  However, she doesn't have much problem going to bed at night (usually around 11 p.m. - oh how I wish it was earlier).
2)  In order to get anything done around the house, I have to wear her in either the Moby Wrap or the Baby Bjorn.  I prefer the Baby Bjorn because it's a lot more fool-proof.  Usually I will make sure she's fed, hold her for a few minutes and then close the carrier up around her.  She normally fights it for a few, but if she's tired (which she normally is, see #1), she will give up and take a little nap.  She has to be CALM before I put her in it though or there's no point.  Now I just have to figure out how to slip her out of the carrier and lay her down so I can take a shower...
3)  She wakes up every 2-3 hours during the night, like clockwork at 2:30, 5-5:30, and 7.  She's up for the day sometime between 8 and 10.  I prefer the days she sleeps until 10.
4)  She's over the stage where she won't sleep by herself - hallelujah!  She successfully sleeps in the co-sleeper next to our bed now.  It takes some patting and shushing and stroking her face (she loves it!) to get her to close her eyes, but once she does, she's out!
5)  She's rolling over from her back to her front already!  She did it for the first time on Monday and I was shocked!  She's always been very strong, but I wasn't expecting rolling over so soon!

When Steven gets home in the evenings, he is usually able to bounce her around and get her to be chill while we eat dinner.  I think she's just tired of seeing my face by the time 5 p.m. rolls around - ha!  4-5 in the afternoon are very trying times.

I didn't realize how rewarding being a mom would be.  Her smiles!  Her almost-laughs!  Her sweet coos.  Her funny toots and burps.  Her almost-thumb sucking (she tries really hard but can't seem to figure out how to get it in her mouth).  I shower her with approximately 1,000 kisses a day.  I just can't help it.  Look at her sweet cheeks.

Only 3.5 more weeks until I go back to work.  How am I going to leave her all day?!  I'm hoping that she gets into more of a schedule once she's at daycare.  I've been trying to get her on a semi-schedule, but she has a mind of her own and doesn't always cooperate.  Especially where naps are concerned.  Have I mentioned she doesn't nap?!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Egg Bunting and a Spring Mantel

So, I decorated for Easter.

I've never done that before.  I don't know why, but I've just never been a fan of the whole Easter Bunny, chicks, eggs, pastel colors, etc. thing.  But something has gotten into me this year.  I even have a garden flag that says "Hoppy Easter."  I'm as shocked as you are.

I even carved out 20 minutes of Sydney's very infrequent naps and made a cute and simple Easter egg bunting.

I'm sure I saw something similar on Pinterest that sparked this idea but I just love it (plus I had all the supplies on hand).

Old book that you don't mind ripping pages out of (this one is on Shakespeare, apparently)
6 different colors of scrapbook paper
Jute twine (or ribbon)

First, cut out an egg shape from one of your pieces of paper.  It's easiest to fold the short edge over a little ways, draw half an egg and then cut it on the fold, that way both sides are symmetrical.

Use the shape you just cut to trace 2 eggs on each of your pieces of paper, and cut them all out.

Of the two eggs of each color, fold one in half, like so:

Run a bead of hot glue down your fold and press the folded egg onto the flat egg, thus creating this 3D egg shape.

Repeat until you have 6 eggs of all different colors!

Now it's time to make the book page bunting.  Using a ruler, find the center of a page and mark it about 4 or so inches from the bottom (or whatever you think looks good depending on the size of your book).  Make a line from each bottom corner up to the center mark you just made.

With an Xacto knife and your ruler, cut through 6 book pages.  It will likely take a few passes of the knife to get through all the pages.  Then cut the pages out of the book.

Fold the top of each page over an inch (or so).

Place the twine in the fold you just made and hot glue (or glue stick) the page to itself to sandwich the twine.

Space each page apart on the twine about an inch, and then using a glue stick (or hot glue), glue one of the scrapbook paper eggs to the center of each page.

That's it!  Seriously, it couldn't be any easier!

On the top of the mantel, left to right:
mercury glass mason jar: Pottery Barn (new-ish, ~November)
green candle holder: TJ Maxx (old)
white candle holder: IKEA (old, but I think they still have them - come in a set of 3)
moss rocks: Michael's (new)
white vase: Goodwill 
branch with green flowers: Michael's (new)
silver lantern: IKEA (old, but they still have them)

I usually have a wooden box filled with faux hydrangeas below the TV (see the bottom of the photo 2 photos up), but it's getting a little old.  If you have a TV above your fireplace, what do you put below it?  I'm having a hard time finding an alternative that isn't too big or too small.  Although I do like the simplicity of these moss rocks.

If you have an eagle eye, you will have noticed in this ^ photo that we have a new little something to the right of the fireplace...

A new chair!

During Christmas time, when we have our big leather chair here, I really like having a nice spot to sit there.  So, we got a pair of these steely blue chairs at a Broyhill outlet store that was closing and they were a super good deal!  The other one is down in the basement game room for the time being.  I don't think it will stay there, but I'm not sure where I want to put it yet.

It's actually a really close match to the paint color in person, although it looks a little more purple here.

We had Pearl the Gossip Bench in this spot before.  I still need to find a perfect new spot for her, but did anyone ever tell you that having a baby is a full-time job?  Seriously, it took me a full week to find the time to sit down and write this post, much less move any furniture around.  The fact that I was even able to do any crafting at all still blows my mind.  

I'll be back with another update soon (I hope!).

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

1 Month

Sydney was a month old on Friday.

I can hardly believe it!  I've tasked myself with taking a monthly photo of her on a cute fabric background (a la Young House Love) to mark her growth.  I was originally going to take a weekly photo, but I quickly realized that there was just no way I could keep up with that, and if I failed, I would feel like a terrible mom.  So monthly it is!  This fabric came from a cute fabric store in Hawaii when we were there in 2012.  I haven't used it for anything yet, so I figured it was the perfect first monthly fabric for Syd.

I'm taking her to get some newborn photos made tomorrow!  I didn't set anything up before she was born because I wasn't sure I wanted to spend that kind of cash (yeah, newborn photos can be mighty expensive!), but once she got here and I saw her cute newborn face, I knew that we would regret it if we didn't.  So I'm hoping she has a good day tomorrow.  She's on this weird cycle where she's super fussy one day, sleeps all day the next, repeat.  Today has been a sleepy day so I'm just hoping she breaks her cycle for tomorrow!

Being a mom is hard.  Just getting ready to leave the house is quite the endeavor!  Most days, we find ourselves sitting in our spot on the sofa (I'm surprised there's not a permanent indent in the cushion in the shape of my bum) nursing, surfing the web, reading, and watching The Price is Right.  Sydney is an excellent nurser, but she wants to eat all.the.time, which doesn't leave much time for anything else.  On those days she does take a nice long nap, I either choose a shower or cleaning up some new mess around the house.  Today I chose to clean up the basement and vacuum our bedroom and I'm feeling SUPER accomplished.  Boy how life has changed.

Yesterday, we were on our way to my postpartum follow-up appointment, when we got rear-ended.  I pulled off on the next side street and got out to survey the damage.  Luckily, my SUV is a beast so the girl's car suffered way more damage than mine did.  However, it will probably still mean a new fender for me.  It started sleeting while we were waiting on the police officer to arrive, so I got back in the car with Syd to wait.  I found myself thinking while we were waiting that I really wasn't upset at all.  I feel so lucky to have this little girl in my life that experiencing any emotion other than joy (and maybe fatigue - ha!) is hard for me.  I'm just happy.  I was probably a tiny bit annoyed that I spent the whole morning getting us ready to leave the house for nothing because my appointment had to be rescheduled for Friday.  But I'll take annoyance over anger any day.  :)

Have a great day!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week by Week Pregnancy Video

It's hard to believe that I brought a little human into the world.  As I type this, she's lying on my lap in a milk coma. #bestfeelingever

We're slowly getting used to having a baby in the house and living on minimal sleep.  I have a feeling we'll get the hang of it sooner rather than later, though.  I just can't wait until we can get out of the house some - I'm going a little stir crazy!

Anyway, remember those weekly photos I took throughout my pregnancy?  I've compiled them into a little video.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


So, we've been a tad busy for the past few days.

Our beautiful girl, Sydney, was born last Friday, February 21, at 7:58 p.m.  She weighed 7 lbs, 7 oz and was 20.5" long.  We're so in love with her!

Her birth story is a long one.  Or at least it felt long.  Here goes.

At 40 weeks and 5 days (last Wednesday), she was still hanging strong in there with no signs of exiting any time soon.  I thought for sure I'd be scheduling an induction at my doctor appointment on Friday.  I hadn't had the first contraction and was only dilated barely a fingertip at my appointment the previous week.  I was pretty much resigned to that fate.

Well, that night, around 10 p.m., my tummy started feeling weird.  I just didn't feel good.  We were in the basement watching a movie and I told Steven that I just needed to go lie down.  I went to bed and around midnight, woke up with what I thought might be contractions.  They weren't very strong, but I was having a hard time sleeping through them, so I went out to the living room and started watching the Olympics.  Around 2 a.m., I was fairly certain that what I was feeling were definitely contractions.  I opened the contraction timer app on my phone and they were coming pretty regularly, maybe every 4-6 minutes, but like I said, they weren't that strong and I was feeling okay.  I went to wake Steven up to tell him what was going on, but at that point, I knew I just needed to wait a while to see if they stuck around.  At 5 a.m., I decided to take a warm bath (per my midwife's instructions the previous week) to see if the contractions stayed the same, got further apart, or went away all together.  During my bath, they got more inconsistent, but never fully went away.  By about 7:30 a.m., I decided to call the hospital to see what they suggested.  The nurse told me to just call my OB practice (which has 7 OB/GYNs and 4 midwives - I see the midwives), and schedule an appointment to get checked in their office that morning.  So, Steven and I got to my appointment at 9 a.m. on Thursday, where one of the midwives checked me and I was 2 cm dilated, 90% effaced!  I was pretty happy that I was progressing on my own, but I wasn't quite far enough for her to send me to the hospital.  She ordered me to go home, walk around, and call the hospital if my contractions were steadily 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart for 1 hour.

When we got back home, we took the dog for a walk and I was breathing through my contractions pretty well.  They were 8-10 minutes apart all day.  We ate lunch, then dinner, and I was still feeling okay.  But that night, they kicked into overdrive.  I was in a ton of pain and not handling it all that well.  I was on my second night of absolutely no sleep and I think that, mixed with very steady and strong contractions made for a very unhappy mama.  Between 2 and 3 a.m., my contractions timed at the recommended 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart, so I called the hospital, and fully expected them to tell me to come on in!  No dice.  The nurse I spoke to was asking me all of these questions that I didn't feel were relevant and she ended the conversation by saying that (and I quote) "It sounds like you might be in the very early stages of labor.  I'm not saying that you're not in active labor, it just sounds unlikely.  You're welcome to come in and get checked, but we'll probably send you home."  I hung up the phone with her and cried.  Literally.  I knew for a fact that I was in active labor, and sure, I could have gone to the hospital anyway, but I was being stubborn and decided to wait until my regularly scheduled appointment that morning to see how I'd progressed.

Since it was my regular appointment, they had scheduled me for an ultrasound to check my fluid levels, and a non-stress test to check on the baby, as well as my usual pee-in-a-cup / blood pressure / measure baby drill, since if I made it to Friday, they assumed they would be scheduling an induction, and all of those things have to be checked first.  Well, when I got there, I told the front desk that I really didn't think I needed to go through the drill of the ultrasound and NST since I was currently in labor.  She said to go have a seat in the waiting room for the ultrasound, but she would call back to the nurse and tell them what I thought.  A minute later, my least favorite nurse (of course), came to tell me that this is their procedure and blah blah blah and I said "Even if I'm in active labor?" and her eyebrows rose to her hairline and she said "You're in active labor?" (I had seen a different nurse the previous day, whom I LOVE).  I told her that I was, and she didn't care, and sent me to do the ultrasound anyway.  I cried again in the waiting room, in front of a couple who weren't nearly as far along as me - I probably scared them half to death.  Anyway, the ultrasound tech called me back mid-cry, I laid down on the table and had several contractions in the few minutes I was in there, which were exacerbated by the fact she was rubbing the wand all over my tummy.

When she was finished, I walked back over the midwife waiting area, and they called me back right away.  I praised the Lord when my midwife came into the room and told me she would check me before making me do the NST.  Lo and behold, I was 5 cm, 100% effaced.  Why did no one BELIEVE me?  Talk about frustrating.  Anyway, she told us to go straight to the hospital and I was elated, ecstatic and thrilled that relief was on its way!

When we got to the hospital, I realized I hadn't had any breakfast and knew that I wouldn't be able to eat for hours and hours so I ate a quick chocolate chip granola bar while Steven was parking the car.  We went up to Labor & Delivery and they wheeled me right on back to our room, 258.  Before I had any signs of labor, I wasn't 100% sold on the fact that I would get an epidural.  I figured I'd play it by ear and just see how I felt when the time came.  Well, there was absolutely no question in my mind that I needed one.  At this point, I had been laboring for 33 hours with no sleep.  They quickly gave me a bag of fluids and the anesthesiologist was in my room within an hour to administer the epidural.  Boy, was I glad to see him!  By 11 a.m., my tummy and legs were gloriously numb.  But let's talk about the epidural for a second.  I had always assumed that I wouldn't be able to feel anything and my legs would feel paralyzed.  That so wasn't the case.  While I couldn't feel my contractions or my thighs, I could still move my legs and could feel my feet and toes.  It was great.  After my epidural, the midwife on call from my OB practice came into the room to check me.  I was already 7 cm and hadn't been at the hospital 2 hours yet!  We all thought for sure that I would have a baby soon.  She came back a couple hours later to check again and I was still 7 cm.  Bummer.  So, unfortunately, they had to start me on a Pitocin drip.  I was only on the Pitocin for maybe an hour or two and I was fully dilated!  Hallelujah!

Our family left the delivery room and I started pushing at 5:45 p.m.  The first hour of pushing was easy.  I couldn't feel anything, the midwife said I was doing a good job (meaning the baby was descending nicely into the birth canal), and I was happy that she was on her way!  After that, my pushes weren't being very effective (and they had to tell me when to push since I couldn't feel my contractions), so the midwife asked me what I thought about having anesthesia come in and lower my epidural level so I could at least feel when to push.  At first, I said I didn't like that idea at all, but she talked me into it, and they lowered it from 12CCs to 8CCs.  A few pushes later and it felt like my epidural had all but disappeared.  I told the nurse that I wanted it raised again, and they did.  But I never got it back.  I could feel everything from about 7 p.m. until she was born at 7:58.  

There were a few points where I really didn't feel like I would be able to do it.  I thought to myself, how in the world can I survive this pain long enough to bring our baby girl into the world?  However, when my midwife said that if I didn't make more progress in the next 20 minutes, she would have to go get the OB on call (from the same practice) to see about using forceps to deliver the baby, I gained a new determination to push this baby out as soon as possible!  I fought through every contraction and pushed as hard as I could.  Steven's job was to hold one end of a baby blanket while I pulled on the other end (tug-of-war style) every time I pushed, for leverage.  (5 days later and my arms are still sore...)  When I heard "1/3 of her head is out!" I knew it wouldn't be long now, and even though the pain was almost unbearable, there was light at the end of the tunnel.

Sydney Leigh was born at 7:58 p.m.  They placed her on my chest where she cried it out and looked into my eyes.  Daddy got to cut the cord.  For the next 2 hours, there was a flurry of activity while they cleaned her up, weighed and measured her, and Daddy got to hold her for the first time.  Oh, and I got stitched up.  2nd degree tears.  Ouch.  Total labor time = 44 hours.  Wowza.

Our family came in to visit around 10:30 p.m. and everyone was so happy to see her and to FINALLY get to know her name!  Did I tell you guys that we'd been keeping it a secret?  It nearly killed everyone not to know.  We just liked the name Sydney - it's not a family name and doesn't hold any significance for us, except that we both liked it and agreed on it.  Leigh was Steven's mom's middle name.  She passed away in 2010 after a fight with breast cancer so we always knew that some part of her would live on in our children.  

Sydney sleeps most of the day, yet wants to cluster feed at night.  We were up last night from about 2:45 to 5:45 constantly feeding and changing diapers.  However, she did let us sleep from 11 to 2:45 and 5:45 to 8, so actually, last night was our biggest success yet!  She eats like a champ, but is having issues with spitting up, which they're keeping an eye on at her pediatrician.  She had her first doctor appointment yesterday and she was down from her birth weight 9%.  They don't want it to get past 10% so we were put under orders to feed feed feed and to not lie her down until 30 minutes after a feeding (to help the milk stay in her tummy).  We go back tomorrow for a follow-up and I'm hopeful that she will have gained a few ounces!

I'm recovering well.  Still sore and finding it hard to move around much, but it's getting better each day.    Sydney and I are getting the hang of breast feeding and it gets easier and easier each time.  I'm so thankful for that.  A couple days ago, I wondered how in the world I was going to be able to do this.  Speaking of which, baby Syd is licking her lips as we speak.

I love being a mom.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

40 Weeks + Overdue

I'm 40 weeks and 5 days today.  Seriously, WHY is she still in there?!  I just have to keep reminding myself that we will meet her very soon.  Thank goodness.

Friday, February 14, 2014


I've been having too much fun with these new photography apps I downloaded to my phone, which means I've spent way more time than usual on Instagram.  So, just in case you don't follow me (@jenna2027), I thought I'd share them here with you!

Abbie finally figured out a way around my no-lap situation - just lay on the belly instead.  (Hearts added with Bokehful).

PUPPPs is a horrible, horrible thing, but I will say that Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap has helped tremendously (although it stinks to high heaven).

Abbie has found a new favorite spot for naps.  I'll share an update on our new chairs soon.

Baby P is so spoiled already.  I saw this vintage Valentiney Minnie and Mickey at the Hallmark store and knew she had to have them.  Photo painted in Waterlogue.

Oh Abbie, your shenanigans crack us up.  Text added in Over.

A shot of our snow-covered driveway, painted in Waterlogue.

Snow writing is so much fun.  Edited in Bokehful.

Of course I had to try my hand at making snow cream during the Snowpacalypse of 2014.  It was delicious if I do say so myself.  Edited in PicFrame.

In case I haven't mentioned it once or a thousand times, today is my due date!!!!!  Still no Baby P, but I will be trying all sorts of things to get this show on the road this weekend.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!

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