Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Parker Birth Story, Part 2

when you have a man like this by your side...
be still my heart

Here are a few more pics of Parker's arrival that were worth sharing...
If you missed the first post of Parker's birth story, click here.  

My mom was the only grandparent here for this birth,
but so very thankful to have pics of her like this b/c
she wasn't able to get here in time for Briggs' birth.

the boys first meeting

can't help but include this one.  
all the nurses and doctors thought his shirt was awesome
and HE packed it...not me..promise!

we had to spend a little time in the NICU.
click here for more details on that

one of my favorite pics...GOING HOME!

Now our little buddy is healthy, thriving and literally learning new things every day.  Looking back on these pics makes me miss that baby phase. I will say...we are also embracing and living presently in our busy life of two toddler boys...and loving every second. (hints the slacking on blog posts)

Here is one of my favorite pics of my little guy right now...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Healthier Lunch Ideas

Our boys go to Mother's Day Out (a preschool program) two mornings a week.  They bring their lunch those days and I'm always trying to think of ideas on what to send them.  Thought I would share a few of them.

pepperoni, cheese, carrots, hummus, fruit (whatever I have fresh is what they get), 
applesauce pouch, yogurt, raisins and granola bar.  

turkey roll, cheese, fresh fruit, nutri grain bar, 
some sort of veggies (carrots, cucumbers, sweet peppers)/hummus,
and then the staples: yogurt, applesauce pouch and granola bar

peanut butter and jelly sandwich (no peanut allergies in our classes right now, 
but you could always do a jelly sandwich), 
fruit, raisins, rice cakes, teddy grahams, 
fresh fruit, veggies, applesauce and granola bar

other suggestions:
rice cake and peanut butter
hotdog (already cooked and chopped)
turkey sandwich
plain cheese sandwich on wheat bread
veggie straws
leftovers from dinner...(i.e. turkey burgers cut up)

Those are a few suggestions off the top of my head.  I do use a few things that are packaged like the applesauce pouch, some sort of snacky food (teddy grahams, veggie straws), and yogurt.  But the rest I just prepare ahead of time, so we aren't so rushed the morning of school.

You are probably all thinking....that sure is a lot of food for a 3 yo and 1.5 yo.  Guess what...they come home with empty lunch boxes every day!  My boys are very good eaters, thankfully.  They might eat us out of house and home as they get bigger, but that's ok too.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Iron-on Onesie Station

Thought I would break it down how the onesies happened.  
To see the other baby shower details, click here.

the iron-on onesie idea
was inspired from here, after LOTS of searching.  
The goal was to find something the guests could "create" 
that would be meaningful
 and that we could send to Celeste for Nora Mae
There was an area with these super cute iron-on appliques
They came all ready to go, along with instructions on how to apply them.
and did I mention how CUTE they were! area with onesies.  All different sizes and a combo of
short and long sleeves.  
The picture is blurry so I didn't include it.

complete with instructions 

...and name tags
the tags are from Office Depot and the stamp from Hobby Lobby

Other items needed are:
pen (for the nametags)
we put a towel down over the table so the iron wouldn't burn it
any extra accessories you would like to add..buttons, ribbon, etc.

And then just have fun and get creative...

 When people were done, we hung them on this fabric banner

To make the banner, cut slits in some fabric scraps,
tear it, and tie it on some rope
I strung it across my kitchen to fill in the gaps 
and make sure the colors were spaced out right

All that was left to do was stitch around the appliques.  It's not required but recommended for them to last longer.  There are two very special and talented ladies who got assigned this task.  This whole thing would be a complete flop without them!

Final product...and they were so cute I couldn't pick just one here ya go.

The whole project turned out to be a success.  Nora Mae is definitely going to be stylin and Celeste knows they were all made with lots of love from the people here who love her!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Virtual Baby Shower

Anybody ever had a REALLY good (like the best of the best) friend living/working overseas, while pregnant with their first baby?  Well...if so...welcome to the club.  After wracking my brain on how to throw my friend a baby shower...this is what we came up with.


How would you go about pulling something like this off?  Glad you asked...let me tell you

1. Pick and order an invitation.

I ordered these invites off Etsy.  Super easy...just pick a design you the wording...they customize it...the buyer and seller email back and forth a bit...when it's all finalized and approved, they email you a digital copy and you print...I used Office Depot.  I also cut these myself, which was a first (usually I get Office Depot to do it). It was surprisingly very easy, just took a little time.

You're probably wondering what in the world to goes a little something like this...

With a brand new baby on the way
and our dear friend so far away
we can still get together and celebrate
in a very special way
Please join us for a virtual baby shower honoring....

 (I Justin blurred the words for privacy purposes)

2.  Order a Cake.  Celeste's favorite...Edgar's strawberry cake.

3.  Have a Face Time area set up.

we went ahead and had the laptop/tv/sitting area where
we could open the gifts too.  Celeste could see what she got
and hung the onesies (see below) all in the same room

4. Do a little Face Time test on your phone

 I love this pic of Kate holding the phone.  
She is talking to Celeste like she is standing right there...
hand motions and all

5.  Come up with a few activities for the shower...

prayer tree

cut and hole punch some cute scrapbook paper
put some simple instructions in a frame
"write a prayer, hang a prayer" 

iron-on applique onesies
(this little activity gets its own post)

6. Personalize it a little

all I did was print a few pics of David and Celeste
put them in frames I already had
with some fresh flowers

7.  Visit with the guest of honor
I love this show and tell picture.  
Everyone is sitting and if you look close...
you can see Celeste (and Nora Mae's) side profile...
So Sweet!

Lots of visiting.

and some group shots

Overall the shower was a success.  There wasn't a huge crowd, but it turned out to be the perfect amount of people.  We gave an option (through an insert with the invite) for people to send gifts or money to an alternate address which helped Celeste and David to get most the things they needed and feel very loved by many.  

Through some creativity, teamwork and resourcefullness, we pulled it off.  It's amazing what the internet, a few emails and some sweet friends can pull off.

Thank goodness for technology because Celeste was able to be right here in Birmingham for her baby shower, even though she was all the way around the world. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Briggs

I'm a few days late, but...

My baby is THREE! I'm a little bit sad AND happy he is growing and thriving into such a sweet little boy.  For example, this morning when I was heading out the door for the gym, our conversation..
Me: I love you buddy, so much
Briggs: I wuv you too much too mom
....heart melt.....

We kept things fun and simple this year.

Briggs woke up to streamers in his doorway.

balloons in his floor


for both our boys

zoo trip

and just some general hangout time at home doing what he loves to do...
 be Daddy's little shadow 

Briggs got his own lawn mower, "weeder" (as he calls it) and blower to help daddy in the yard.  
Hoping he is this enthusiastic when he really is big enough to mow the yard one day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Natural Childbirth - Parker's birth story

If the term "natural/unmedicated childbirth" wigs you can go ahead and stop reading NOW.  However, if you have ever, will ever, hope to ever or soon will be having a baby, this post might be of some interest to you.  It's a lot to put our birth story out there, but since I did it with Briggs, I guess it's time to do it for Parker.

We had an eventful pregnancy at the end just as we did with Briggs. If you want more details on that process, read here, here, here and here.  Short version... whole pregnancy of weekly shots, oral meds, 5 weeks bedrest, in and out of the hospital and other fun stuff. 

 I made it to 39 weeks which looks a little BIG something like this...

 We tried to pack our days with some sort of walking and activity to help Parker come.  So we headed to the zoo this day and walked, walked, walked.

Made it through the whole day.  I was hurting but not much different than any other day.  Went to bed that night and my back (back labor) was hurting/ cramping/ aching pretty good.  It kept waking me up.  I finally decided to get up and take a shower to see if that would help.  By the time I got finished drying my hair...I was having to stop and breath.  It got to the point where I knew it was time.  I got Justin up and went to sit in the living room to wait for him.  Things progressed quickly from here.  I started having to breath through contractions and then went and woke mom up to tell her we were leaving.  Everyone was buzzing around the house (it's about 11:30 pm now).  Contractions were 2-3 min apart.  I called the hospital to tell them we were on the way and I just started walking to the car.  I felt like that kid was coming right then with as fast and hard as my contractions ramped up.

It was really cold outside.  I don't think we said one word the whole way to the hospital b/c I was just breathing through contractions.  Well I did do one thing...texted our amazing friend and birth photographer, Allison so she could be on standby.  My hands were shaking the whole time b/c I was hurting, but two words...PRIORITIES PEOPLE.

We get there and Justin let me out at the L&D door so he could park the car.  This was probably one of the stupidest things EVER!  So they have the doors locked (security purposes).  There is a little 15 year old security guy sitting at a desk.  I'm OBVIOUSLY in labor trying to get the door to open.  He is yelling at me to push some button on the wall.  I can't hear him b/c I'M ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY and just need inside.  I'm about to ring this kids neck and he finally walks over to tell me through the glass what to do.  This makes me tired and annoyed just typing this...I ring the calls L&D... the nurse asks me who I am...(I'm thinking some not very nice words in my head)...get buzzed in...go up the elevators... get to the desk....check in...triage room...they decide I'm really in labor (could have told them that)...get me to a room... GEEZ! Quite the process!

Sidenote, this is the perfect day b/c all my people are there, or almost.  Allison is on her way.  Amy (our L&D nurse for Briggs comes on at 7am), Dr. Swindle is on call at 7am and will be at the hospital.  Mom is at our house and ready to head to the hospital when we call.  It was perfect!

So the day, or night should I say looked a little something like this....

Justin gets upstairs and we get situated for the long night ahead.  Allison arrives and was able to be there and capture all the pics you see below.  If you want her version of the day, read here.

Things actually started slowing down a tad when we got situated.  I just figured once things got started, we would be cruisin.  NOT!  I got there and was 4 cm, contractions steady at 2-3 minutes apart.  They started fluctuating and lightening up.

So we hit the halls to walk....A LOT!

I used this thing to try and help me out.  If you're scratching your head on this one, email me and I'll explain.  It did help a little, but only for a period and then they would slow down again and we would...walk.  BIG SIGH!

Everybody got there.  mom, Allison, Justin of course was there.  And we are all just hanging out and chatting.  I'm just gonna be honest. I felt so guilty right about now. It's the middle of the night.  My neighbor had come over to sit with Briggs since he was sleeping, all my people have come to the hospital and they are all just waiting for something to happen.  I know there is only so much I have control over, but I think I was almost having performance anxiety or something?  I felt so bad they were all waiting on...ME!

but we did have a good time visiting...

mom got busy wiping everything down while we were out walking 
(YES...I got it honest and this pic proves it)

Just to recap...we have gone from midnight to 7am and then the game changer walked in...AMY.  
She was our nurse for Briggs' birth and made all the difference in our experience.  
I had known her schedule for the past month and knew she would be here this morning, 
so we went ahead and requested her as soon as we got to the hospital.

She comes in...and says her famous words...
"we are gonna have us a baby by lunch".  
Just for the record... She was right.  
She checks me. water breaks.  I cry.  Just for the other record, it HURT, but
... IT WAS TIME...
  It is the only time I cried during the whole thing.

 Things quickly changed.  The room when from a laid back, joking, chatty time to this....

And this...

 And this...
Poor thing!  I said this with Briggs, but seeing this picture makes me feel it even more.  I feel so bad for him because he feels so bad for me that I'm hurting and there is nothing he can do about it.

I've got my game face on.  If that's not a look of determination...

Poor justin.  And my sweet little momma.  Probably texting my sis b/c she was chomping at the bits to be there.  We can all give a...BIG SIGH...that my mom is here for this one.  So special!

MY PEOPLE!  wouldn't have made it without them...for real!

The pictures narrate our morning well... I went between rocking on the ball to standing and leaning on the bed mostly.  It was a pretty intense labor and got there quickly after my water broke.

Things got super intense toward the end...This (above pic) was actually the last pic of me standing up.  I remember getting to the point where I was shaking it was hurting so bad and all I could do was breathe. That was my focus...deep and out...I had told Amy a few times...I think I need to push.  She checked me and I was 8cm. It was about 2-3 more contractions and I was like, I've got to do something.  They helped me get in the bed and I couldn't help it...I just started pushing. 

This pic isn't pretty...but it's real life people..

She checked me and I was at 10cm.  She hit it into high gear.  Pushed the button on the wall, started yelling for them to get somebody in there, looked at me, saw his head and told me to stop pushing the baby was coming out (only because she didn't even have gloves on yet).  I couldn't stop...The end of the bed didn't come off...nobody else was in there, NOT EVEN DOCTOR SWINDLE...when it's time, it's time...Parker just came out right there!

This pic captures a good view of my mom.  I already said it was intense...poor thing.  I'm sure it's hard to watch your child hurt, but so special to be a part of all at the same time.

Three pushes and Amy was holding him up!

A happy look of relief that our baby made it here safe

And Swindle walked in.  I still haven't let her live that one down.

A few little hugs, kisses, high fives...and just when you think it's all get to take it down a few notches and deliver the placenta.  It's still cramp-y contraction-y type pains...I had to breathe through them and  focus a little...but not as intense as labor.

I wanted to see what it looked like.  Thank me for not including a pic....really!

That's it.  The rest is just some stitching up, chit chat, more picture taking...
see Parker's birth story part 2 (coming soon) for more pics of the little cutie. 
But that's the story on how our second son got here.

One last thing I have to share...
My theme verse for the birth that the nurses had given me (in all my visits up the hospital) was...

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
John 16:21