July 28, 2011

Operation Paci 2.0

Our girl L.O.V.E.S. her paci. Her 'night-night' as she called it.

We originally took it away in April when she was 13 months old on orders from our pediatrician, who recommended that we take it before her 15 month appointment.
But the stinker had some of 'em rat holed. I still can't figure out where she had them.

None the less she managed to find them back in June and seemed to be more attached to them this go 'round.
Needless to say I was less than excited to go through the process of breaking her habit again.
Initially, we thought we would start the process after her 15 month appointment. Then she had the reaction to the MMR vaccine. No dice.
I know my limits, and taking a paci away from a head strong toddler when she's already not feeling well certainly surpasses them.

So after she was on the mend from that I made the decision to just take it away. Cold turkey. I know- hard core right? Chance says I'm Hitler. Oh well.
The theory behind it being... oh what am I saying. There was no theory. It's just how we did it before {we did it that way with the bottle too.}
The execution went a little like this.

8:00 am: Livi wakes up.
8:01 am: I try to convince her she's still tired and wants to sleep a little more. Nope.
8:02 - 8:15 am: Snuggle time.
8:16 am: Go downstairs and begin to prepare her breakfast. {And a diet coke for me.}
8:20 am: Hand Olivia her breakfast, she removes her paci, I stealthily {is that a word?} remove her paci from her high chair tray without her noticing, put it in my pocket.
8:21 am: No more paci. Operation Paci 2.0 is a success.

Now that's not to say that we didn't have our share of challenges in the next few days. Olivia's sleep patterns have definitely taken a hit since we took her paci. And she is a bit more irritable. But we're dealing with it. And standing firm. Well I am anyway- and that's all that matters right?

Hope this helps any of you like-minded momma's out there facing a similar challenge.

July 26, 2011

For the critics.

There are people in my life that think I'm a bad mom.
{Hmm writing that hurt more than I thought it would.}
They have their opinions for one reason or another. And to say that their judgment doesn't phase me would be a blatant lie.

The truth is..

My child doesn't always eat a well balanced meal. Let's be real here- sometimes I'm lucky to get her to eat chicken nuggets. But she's happy.
My child doesn't get a bath every night. But she's happy.
Sometimes when my child's not paying attention to the t.v. I switch it to E News just-for-a-minute. But she's happy.
My child doesn't have a regular night time routine. Last night she was up until 10:30. But she's happy.
I tell her 'no' a lot. But she's happy.
I worked 60+ hours a week at 2 jobs her entire first year, meaning others spent more time with her than I did. But she's happy.
Sometimes I paraphrase "Daisy's Pet Project" after the 10th time I've read it in the last hour. But she's happy.

The truth is I'm not a perfect mother, and I'm ok with that. Because she's healthy and happy and that's all that really matters to me.

And since I'm already up here on my soap box.. all of this has me turning one question over and over in my head.
Why can't we all just support each other?

Every mother I know wants the best for her children.
They all love them the best way they know how.
We're all doing our best.
When is that going to be enough for the rest of us. When will we stop judging other moms who are in the trenches with us. They should be our allies. Yet we look to them as enemies. Wouldn't this journey be a bit easier if we all took down our guards?

July 25, 2011

Olivia Marie's Birth Story

In honor of Olivia's 16 month "birthday" on Saturday I thought I would share Olivia's birth story with all of you. Warning: It's pretty boring. Nothing super dramatic, I was blessed with what might very well be the easiest labor and delivery in the history of the world.

Saturday, March 20th
On Saturday afternoon, while having a short visit with the girls at work, I began to have contractions. Though they were not getting more severe they were coming every 4 minutes. I began to think to myself.. "Is this it?" "Is it time?" I called Chance and told him that it was probably a good idea for us to go ahead and head on to the hospital. He got up and began gathering bags, he told me to sit tight and he'd call me when he was on his way. While he was getting ready my contractions stopped- as they had done many times before. I reasoned with myself that there were probably Braxton Hicks contractions, and that I should just take it easy that night. Once I got home, I took a warm bath and did my best to relax. I knew the end was near; but I had no idea it was so close!

Sunday, March 21st
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday. Again, I was having consistent contractions. Again, I told Chance that I thought we should head to the hospital. My contractions were averaging one about every 5-7 minutes. When we got to the hospital they hooked me up to all the monitors. While they were monitoring me however, the contractions stopped- yet again. So discouraged and without a baby, we walked out of Labor and Delivery at around 3 am. When we got home I did my best to get some sleep. It was hopeless, I was miserable uncomfortable, it was hot, and Chance was snoring like no other. Around 6 am I gave up and went to lay down on the couch in the study. Finally, rest! I slept until about 11a.m. when Chance came down to check on me. I spent the rest of the day on the couch resting, eating and watching television. I continued to have contractions throughout the day, but they were never consistent enough to cause concern.

Monday, March 22nd

On Monday I had my regular 38 week check up. When I woke up I felt the passage of some fluid. My head started spinning yet again. I began to analyze every wiggle, every ache and pain. This time however I knew I would be seeing Dr. Owens very soon, so I decided to stick it out until my appointment. I let the nurse know about everything that had been going on as soon as we got to the exam room. Upon further investigation we discovered that I was 3 cm dilated and about 90% effaced {I had been 1cm and 70% effaced at the hospital on Sunday.} Given the progress I'd made on Sunday and the passage of the fluid, he thought it best to go back downstairs to make sure that my bag of water had not ruptured. We sat in that hospital room for what seemed like forever. We tried to watch a movie {Role Models} but my mind was spinning in too many different directions to focus on the television. Finally, at the end of a very long afternoon it was decided that my water had not broken; but Dr. Owens said that if it happened again that we were to come straight to labor and delivery for another check. Of course- it happened again. Of course it had to be Monday. {Chance plays poker every Monday night and had already left for the evening.} At around 7pm that night my Mother-in-law Debbi and I headed back to the hospital. We went through the same old tests all over again, sat there for forever; and yet again- nothing. So we left the hospital that night without a baby. Little did I know the next time I visited would be the real deal! When we got home I happened to look down at my phone and saw that my doctor had called me. Immediately I called him back. He said that he wanted to see me in the morning so he could check my progress over night and said that we would discuss inducing my labor on Wednesday, if it was alright with me. I almost laughed at that last bit. I was so ready to meet our little girl, and so ready to get to the end of the l-o-n-g pregnancy road.

Tuesday, March 23rd

I arrived for my appointment at 10 am sharp. I was so anxious to make arrangements for our girl's arrival! She had other plans. When Dr. Owens checked me I was 4 cm dilated and 100% effaced. He looked at me and said "We're going to have a baby today." I thought my head would explode. Naturally, I had come to this appointment alone. I was shaking as I dialed Chance's number... four rings and then voicemail. I called again... same thing. Again... Then I tried the house... nothing. I was panicked when I called my Mom and told her what was going on. She assured me that someone would get in touch with Chance and that he would in fact be there for the arrival of our little one. That was the longest elevator ride of my life, and I was only going down one floor. With a smile I marched into Labor and Delivery and announced to the nurses that I was going to have a baby today!! We began the admitting process and within minutes I was getting cozy in Labor Room 1. I was so excited, nervous, scared, worried, happy and sad- all at the same time. I had been in my room for about 20 minutes when my Mom showed up. She had been at work, but left everything to be there with me. At about 11:30 I began to panic about the fact that I still had not heard from Chance; coincidentally this was around the time that they began my Pitocin drip. Let me tell you that is some nasty stuff! Dr. Owens came to check in on me around noon; he decided to go ahead and break my water {I was dilated to 5 cm at this point.} That's when things really got going; I started to have some pretty serious contractions. By 2 o'clock when the nurse asked me if I was ready for some pain relief I couldn't say yes fast enough. First they gave me Stadol. I should note that I have absolutely no tolerance for medication. I was somewhere between complete oblivion and puking my guts up when the "epidural man" as I called him plowed {and yes, I do mean plowed} through the door. He was loud, crass, and rough- all the things you pray your pain reliever isn't. I was terrified. And then in the middle of my nightmare Chance walked through the door. He immediately came and stood by me through the entire procedure. It was such a relief having him there. 

Then my legs started going numb, and then they started going "dead." Looking back, it's funny really. I had absolutely no movement in the lower portion of my body. Once the medication really set in I was VERY tired. So, as if he were reading my mind, Chance turned off the lights in our hospital room and suggested I get some much needed rest. I napped for about 2 1/2 hours. When I woke up I sent word to my Mom, Gran and sisters that it was OK for them to come back in. Quiet time was over- I was ready to get this show on the road. We sat around and visited. I enjoyed watching my contractions on the monitors. It was funny to watch some of them go "off the chart," but only because I couldn't feel them. If I could have I'm sure I would have felt differently.

Thank goodness, because I was having some aggressive labor! I was having contractions every minute, most of which peaked "off the chart." Dr. Owens came in to check on us as soon as the office was closed, at around 5 o'clock when he checked me I was finally fully dilated. {I say finally- I do realize how quickly all this transpired and how lucky I am that it did!} He recommended that we sit tight and let her make her way down a bit farther. He would check on us in 30 minutes. Those 30 minutes seemed to fly by and before I knew it there he was again. This time when he checked me Olivia was at +2 station; he said he'd be back in another 30. Chance thought he'd have time to step outside for a minute so at around 5:40 he walked outside. At 5:45 however, baby had another plan. Dr. Owens came in and said that he "had a feeling he should check me." Good thing he did, because Olivia was ready to make her appearance. He looked at me and said "We're gonna have a baby!" 

I was ecstatic, then I realized Chance wasn't there. I looked at Lindsay and said "Go get him. Now." She's such a trooper, she took off running! I don't think even a minute passed and they were both back. All of a sudden the room was packed- everyone preparing for delivery. At 5:53pm with Chance at my side I started pushing. I was so anxious that I'd have to push for hours. But I was more excited to meet our little girl. Five or six pushes later; at 6:08 in the evening she was here. The nurse placed her on my chest as soon as she was out. I remember thinking, "She's here, and she's mine." I was so glad to touch her, finally all that waiting for this moment! She was so warm and soft. After a few minutes the nurses took her to be checked. Of course she was perfect. Scored a 9 on her apgar test!

Chance helped Nurse Cindy {who also happens to be one of our neighbors}check her vitals, he even got to put on her first diaper. After she was all cleaned up and ready to love, they brought her back to me and I was able to nurse her for the first time. I'll never forget what it felt like to have her there with me, in that moment. I had waited so long to know what it felt like to be a mommy- and here it was. It was undeniable.

July 23, 2011

16 months

 Sweet girl- It's been 16 months since you came to us. 16 wonderful and happy months.
 You are the brightest light in our lives. You are such a joyful little girl; with the prettiest smile.

At 16 months:
You love to swim! We get in the pool almost everyday.
You are such a little "mommy" you love to play with your babies and your kitchen. Just yesterday we got you a toy stroller and high chair and you haven't stopped playing with them since.
You are getting much better about sleeping in your own bed. You usually wake up at around midnight- wanting to come to bed with us. Sometimes I can get you to lay back down for a few hours- sometimes not so much.
You love to have your toes painted. It's just precious. You sit so still and say "oohh" and "petty" {pretty}
Your vocabulary is growing in leaps and bounds. {Some of the words you can say: flower, duck, dog, cat, bye-bye, Daddy, Mommy, Dee-Dee, Gran, bible, baby, bird, lady bug, night-night, up, please, thank you, no, yes, book.}
You love to play with your toy make-up.
You love to read. I hope this is a passion that stays with you your whole life.
Your favorite tv shows are: Yo Gabba Gabba, Fresh Beat Band, Jack's Big Music Show, Bubble Guppies, Mickey Mouse and Olivia.
You're still the thirstiest child I've ever met- and you're still a good eater.

We love you baby girl.
Forever and always,
Mommy and Daddy

July 22, 2011


Next week marks the 2nd anniversary of the day I found out I was pregnant.
It may be a silly anniversary to commemorate, but I'm silly.

In honor of this weird milestone I thought I would share something that I wrote just before I found out I was pregnant. Looking back on the journal entry now I can't help but be reminded of the goodness of God. I'm so thankful for my little girl. And I'm so thankful that he chose me to be her mommy.

Originally written on Feb. 9, 2009
I have wanted to be a mommy since I knew what being a mommy was. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. When I was in kindergarten and the teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I quickly responded with "I want to be a mommy." {However, I've always felt that conceiving would be difficult for me.} The sight, smell, and feel of an infant are absolutely intoxicating for me. I love to hold their little feet in my hands, to caress their soft wisps of hair, to feel their soft breathing next to my chest. {Tears well up in my eyes just thinking about it. I'm such a sap.} Sometimes when I don't have anything else to do online, I look at photos of nurseries, and baby bedding, or baby clothing. I've had baby fever since the moment Chance and I walked back up that aisle after saying our "I Do's", maybe a little before that if I'm being completely honest here. It comes in spurts, sometimes the longing subsides, other times my mind dances with thoughts of nurseries, bath times and bed times. Many people say that I'm too young, or that Chance and I haven't been married long enough. Those people are the same people that said I was too young to get married and wagered in their minds whether we'd even make it to 6 months. I've always known I would marry young, and I hoped I would shortly there after become a mommy. 18 months have come and gone with not so much as a glimmer of hope. Let me make it clear, Chance and I are not actively "trying" to conceive. I'm aware that, that would be foolish. I know that God will bless us when we are "ready" in his eyes. That being said, Chance and I have done nothing to prevent pregnancy for over 2 years now. According to my doctor this is when we get serious with fertility treatments, if I want to ever have a baby. I'm not sure that I'm on board with all the medicines, ultra sounds and blood work again just yet. {Chance and I VERY briefly tried to conceive in early 2008, but I was exhausted with work, and the 5 ultrasounds a month and taking 6 medicines was just too much for my body.} The doctors say that I have Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome {PCOS}- not sure that I entirely buy into that. I've begun to feel as though that's the new blanket diagnosis when the doctors don't really have and answer for why a twenty something, perfectly healthy woman can't conceive. Chance is a strong believer in, "It will happen when it's supposed to happen." and "This isn't going to happen on our timeline." I know with all of my heart that both of those things are true. Though it doesn't make the yearning any less. He of course would be thrilled with a new baby, but he doesn't have the strong desire that I do and he doesn't really understand my fear that I won't be able to naturally be a mother. I'm not sure that he could understand completely. He's supportive and is always willing to hold me when I cry. {Which I usually do at least 2 times a week.} I pray for deliverance from the desire to be a mother, but feel no relief. I pray for a blessing of our own. I'm not really sure why I feel compelled to share such personal information, in such an un-private arena. I don't really talk about it to very many people. But lately I've felt like I was going to explode. Chance is getting less patient with me on the subject. And my friends say all the right things but are in different places in their lives and just don't wholly understand. I feel very alone for the first time in my life, and I am surrounded by more people than ever. I work with a wonderful group of women, some who have children others who don't. I have a wonderful husband and family. Yet still I feel completely isolated. I'm beginning to doubt that I'm meant to be a mother, but then again I can't believe that my God would give me such a strong desire if He didn't intend for me to become a mommy. So I suppose that for now I will be praying until I'm blue in the face- or round in the belly.

 {one of Olivia's 3 month portraits}

God is good friends, God is good.

July 21, 2011

I ♥ Pinterest

Have you met my friend, Pinterest? If you haven't you should. Allow me to introduce you.

{This is a screen shot of my 'crafty' pin board, swoon}

I'm in love. This site is amazing- but I warn you. It is addicting. Scary addicting. I could sit on this site and look at pretty things all day.
There are just so many wonderful ideas. It's an endless supply of crafty inspiration, home decor and recipes {and about a bazillion other things}
So if you didn't know about Pinterest before reading this post, I'm going to go ahead and say "You're welcome."

As for how you can get started "pinning"; creating a profile on Pinterest requires an invite. So feel free to email me or leave your email in the comments on this post and I'll be happy to send you an invite.

Happy Pinning!

July 20, 2011

Let Your Light Shine

Update on Olivia

Bless her heart. She was such a trooper.

Olivia has been having diarrhea for three days and she was crying uncontrollably yesterday. I was worried about dehydration. I called the doctor's office and they said she needed to be seen and to take her to the ER. So to the ER we went.
She was so exhausted that she fell asleep in the car on the way to the hospital. {a 10 minute drive}
We were lucky enough to be seen immediately by the triage nurse.
She took Olivia's vital signs and got her weighed. Olivia's blood pressure was low so they took to a room to be seen while I finished paperwork.

Once I got to her room they had me hold her while they checked and rechecked her vital signs.
She was having none of it. She screamed the whole time.
Initially they thought they would have to give her IV fluids, but they wanted to be absolutely sure that was necessary before they put her through that. They gave her more Pedialyte {I had already been giving it to her at home} and watched her for a bit. Eventually they decided against the IV. Thank.the.good.Lord.for.that.

From there on, it was a waiting game.
Chance got there around 7:30. Olivia was so happy to see her Daddy.
The doctors needed a stool sample so we had to get Livi to go to the bathroom.
In the 3 hours we were at the hospital I changed 4 diapers. And that's how many it took to get enough of a sample. {Her diarrhea was to the point that it was liquid. Therefore being absorbed my her diaper. TMI, I know. Sorry}

After they got the sample they decided to send us home; in lieu of keeping us overnight.
They said that she was staying hydrated for now, but if she showed any signs of dehydration to bring her back.
Even still we had a rough night at home. She barely slept. Leading to a sleepless night for Chance and myself. Every time she moves she cries, because her bottom is so raw from all the wiping. {TMI again} And don't even get me started on how she screams when I change her diaper. It's heart breaking.
We have been so fortunate that she has never really been sick. EVER. So this has been a trial for me. I know in the scheme of things that a little diarrhea is so miniscule compared to what other mommas face. And I'm so thankful that it is just a virus of sorts. Poor thing, she just seems so miserable.

July 19, 2011

Prayer Request

We are on our way to the ER with our sweet Olivia.
Please say a prayer.

My sweet Chance..

*Warning: this post has a lot of pictures. A lot.*
Today I'm linking up to Alexandra Rose for her link up party about what we love about our husbands.

Chance is an interesting man. To say the least. There are so many things that I love and admire about him. And they're kind of all over the place, so I'm going to keep it simple and just use bullet points. The type A in me is singing.

He read a "How Do I Love You" to Olivia when she was just 5 hours old. Precious moment.
He works very hard, in less than ideal circumstances for me to stay with Olivia.
He is always available to play with Olivia when he is home.

He is fiercely loyal.
He is a wonderful friend.
He's my best friend.

He loves to play video games "with" Olivia at night. {Her controller is turned off.}
He likes chick flicks. It makes life easy.
He doesn't make fun of me for my ridiculous attachment to Harry Potter and Twilight movies.

He ALWAYS brings me a fountain drink home when he's out.
He loves God.
He's 1/2 of Olivia.

He wanted to marry me, and my flaws.
He makes me laugh like no one else can.

He writes really sweet notes on special occasions.
He reminds me that I'm a good mommy.
He's an awesome father.

I'm so glad that he's the one I got to marry.