Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Something that I have toyed with in the past has finally become something I am committing to.  Last week I removed all grains, sugar, dairy from my diet.  We have done paleo/primal stints before, but this time I think I finally jumped in with both feet- and boy am I happy I did!

I haven't posted much in this last year, but if I had you would have really noticed a change in my mood/outlook.  Something must have happened to be physically/hormonally during this pregnancy, combined with some situational stressors, but I would say I was depressed, overly anxious, and unable to move past it with my usual techniques.

I have to say that within this last week (yep, juts one week), my mood is markedly improved, it's more stable, and my focus, ability to be mindful, is back.  I'm just an n of 1 but this makes me want to sing the diet changes praises.  I thought it would be harder then it has been, and I think what makes it so much easier this time is due to the fact that I had reached a bottom with how I felt.

Fortunately E is just naturally a primal baby- her favorite foods are eggs, turkey, butter, bacon, green beans, and rice cereal (not primal).  Yep, she loves proteins, fats, and veggies, oh and of course she is still nursing for most her food sources.  She dislikes most fruits, and oatmeal, although we keep trying to introduce new foods.  It seems sweet is a flavor is dislikes.  Now L, he will be our challenge.  L would eat cookies, cake, ice cream, and chocolate every day all day.  He dislikes most meat except deli meat occasionally.  But we are working with what we have, offering berries, nuts, eggs.

It's fascinating to me the connection between mood and mental health- depression and diabetes are heavily correlated, and I can not deny that blood sugar swinging contributes to mood instability.  And the addictive power of sugar, wow.  This experience has sparked a strong desire to learn more about the science behind this and to understand nutrition as medicine.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Where have I been?

We've been busy, very busy.

We almost moved back to our old house.

But then...

We bought a house up here.


We are in contract selling our old house.

It's been crazy, emotional, fun, exciting, and almost too good to be true.

We are currently doing a few things to the new house before we move in, before Thanksgiving!

Painting, floors, cleaning...

We are so excited to welcome the kids to the new space.

Monday, August 12, 2013

And so it goes...

This blog is rarely going to get with it.

I'm back to work, we're juggling our crazy ever changing work schedules.  Literally D & I can have our whole weeks schedule change in a matter of minutes.  I have to say this is a huge source of stress for our family.  At least if we worked a set time/schedule we could build around it.  Some days I go from having 1 client to having 3, or the other way around.  Some weeks D is scheduled to work 5 days then it's down to two.  Making plans is hard, so I try to be more spontaneous and just do things when we both happen to have time off.

L started preschool- like the kind where we don't go with him.  The first day was great, the second day was HORRIBLE.  It took me 35 min and a lollipop to get him out of the car, then he ended up breaking down about 2 hrs in to the day screaming, crying, peed himself and refused to let the teachers change his clothes.  I picked him up early, still in his pee clothes.  The third day we re-evaluated and did a short day, he was content and stayed an extra 20 min to finish the activity.  But of course now he has a cold and our groove is gone.  He missed today for being sick.

But overall I think L turning 3 will be the start of things getting a bit easier with him.  Everyone kept telling us 3 is worse then 2, but I think it depends on the child.  L is already showing more ability to regulate his emotions, be more sensitive of others feelings, communicate more effectively, and OMG he has practically stopped hitting kids.  This is HUGE, we can take him to the park and have fun.  I think E has been a big influence on him.  I will watch L be drawn to babies at the park, and be extra careful around them and watch over them.  Before he used to hit them and knock them down.

We took L to the beach for the first time, he was amazed at the ocean, but grossed out by the seaweed on the sand and the feeling of the sand in his shoes/on his feet.  He is totally my son.  We also took him bowling- that was fun.  In all the craziness we updated our fireplace with a magnetic chalkboard.  E is teething up a storm, but still sleeping like a champ at night and when we go out.  Overall this parenting 2 kids is starting to make sense....but that will change again soon I'm sure.  My goal for L's 3rd year, and E's first, is to make it about experiences, not things.  My pregnancy was so physically hard and we were busy working that I feel L missed out.  He also has too many "things-" grandparents can be pretty bad with boundaries about gifts.  It makes me sad when L wants to stay home all day and use the ipad or play with his toys.  Yes he is looking to be an introvert who is slow to warm up, but I think balance is important. So we are planning more days to parks, events, trips to out of town, and experiences that will hopefully be memorable and meaningful for our kids.

I started running again- finished up week 4 of C25K- seems harder then last time.  We are looking for new renters since our tenants are moving out (surprisingly not as stressed about this as I should be- I miss that house and constantly think about moving back).  D & I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary, I wish we could have done something more then a lunch date eating out and a movie, next year.

Monday, July 8, 2013

They grow so fast

Life with 2 kids is survival. Some days, mostly moments I think we have finally got this, but more often I think we are failing/drowning.  Over this last weekend we had a few successes such as clearing out some of the garage, taking some cute pics of the kids with a real camera- not an iPhone, finishing laundry (oh there's a new batch to be done), having a few minutes of adult talk.  But then we had two big boo boos- E bumped the back of her head and got her first boo boo.  Nothing major, but still so sad to see her cry.  L had a pretty intense boo boo- he got a gash on his forehead from running straight into the corner of our counter- the smack was so loud, he was immediately on the floor with blood gushing out.  Fortunately the bleeding stopped and he acts like it's barely there any more.

I'm doubting we will ever find a rhythm with 2 kids- but logic tells me we will.  E is so easy, just a normal newborn needing to be nursed, changed, and cuddled- but sleeps so nicely and enjoys being put down and just talked to.  L is still very intense and needs so much from me, he is always asking, "mama, will you play with me?"  It's in the sweetest voice, so darling and innocent- but I can't always play with him.  So I tell him, "soon", "after I feed your sister", "not right now".  And I feel guilty.  But sometimes he doesn't accept those answers and he screams- a horrible scream, and I just wish he would go away and leave me alone to care for the newborn that can't care herself.....and then I feel guilty.  Sometimes I look down at E after jostling her a little too much to navigate preparing Ls snack or rush into the room to check on him..and I see a sad little face thats saying, "mommy be more gentle"...this makes me sad and guilty.

Having two is hard- makes having one seem like nothing (well if the one was easy like E...L was not nothing as a newborn!).  I compare them a lot like that, easy versus hard- I am just so amazed by the difference in intensity, needs, temperament, and sleep/eat/diaper habits.  I wonder if having E by VBAC has impacted her in positive ways, I wonder if me being dairy free right away has helped prevent so many of Ls gassy tummy problems.  Or maybe it's just their personalities....whatever it is I am amazed daily by this.  As I look through the pictures I am also amazed by how different they look from each other.

Bedtime is such a sh*t show at our house- L just wont fall asleep quickly or without our help- for a while he was asking for me only- so if I needed to feed E he would fall time I can survive alone, bedtime is a two person job so my mom or D have had to come by.  I hope we can find some solutions to bedtime soon.

But the point of this post- they grow so fast!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Turning 30

Yep- it happened.  But really I just wanted to post these pics:

Monday, May 27, 2013

1 month old

Great sleeper, slow eater, easily soothed, 
Starting to focus more, hoping for a smile soon. 
Love this little girl.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

After the birth...

After the euphoria of having had a VBAC and welcoming our daughter- things started to look less peachy...

I had some "extensive" tears from the hand/elbow scraping and after 1 hr in the delivery room the OB wasn't able to stitch me up correctly.  They moved me into the OR and 3 Attendings worked on me for over 1 hr.  Apparently I didn't tear all that bad, but the location of the tear was very difficult to access and stitch- also the bleeding was reducing their visibility- yes they vacuumed blood out of me during this.  Man so much trauma to my poor body. I felt very panicky in the OR, I was shaking uncontrollably from the increased meds so they could work on me without me feeling it, and something was going on with E and D.  I asked to be mildly sedated because although my legs were numb, I was about to jump off the table.  Something about numb legs makes me very panicky- it happened during my epideral too, but with everything else going on in the OR I couldn't cope.

D was fortunately able to accompany me in the OR with our little girl, E.  But as I was being wheeled in I hear the nurse say to another nurse, "she doesn't sound so good, we need to check her out."  So there I am on the table and they begin to asses E- I look over and she looks a bit blue and they say she needs to be checked out because her breathing sounded like grunts.  So D goes with E, and I go into a sedated state till they finish with the stitching.

When I get back to the room they discover I have a fever and begin me on tylenol and antibiotics (oh joy!).  Then D comes back and tells me E is in the NICU having some trouble breathing- she had to have a CPAP to help her reach 100% oxygen.  I was honestly so exhausted and also so high off the birth hormones that I coped surprisingly well.  A bit later the pediatrician comes in to say they did an X-ray and it looks like pneumonia.  So E was started on antibiotics.

She was born around 6:30 pm and went in the NICU around 10:00 pm.  By the next morning she was doing much better, not needing the CPAP, the next X-ray looked much better (no longer were they thinking pneumonia), but her blood tests came back showing some sort of infection could be present.  So they wanted to continue her antibiotics and monitor her for 5 full days.  This was devastating- I hated being in the postpartum section without my baby.  And despite having a vaginal delivery I was seriously struggling with walking, I was in a lot of pain from the surgery, and carrying around my own IV of antibiotics- so visiting the NICU was no easy feat.  I was also pumping and then visiting her every few hours to nurse.  We managed to use only a few ml of formula (mostly because those NICU nurses were NOT very supportive of exclusive breastfeeding- they are all about pushing fluids, measuring output with each diaper, and expecting major weight gain in the first week- I understand why, but E was not preemie or dealing with multiple major issues).

Long story short- E did great, never needing to stay past the 5 days of antibiotics, and we were able to stay down the hall from the NICU in a parents sleep room for the remainder of E's NICU stay after I was discharged.  It was hard being away from L (we visited with him a few hours at a time), but E needed us, breastfeeding was our full time job till she was out.

My recovery has been rough- at times it feels harder then the c-section, at times not...
I am less then 3 weeks postpartum but still in a lot of pain at times, walking hurts, but at least I have my abs!  I can't imagine being around L after a c-section- this guy has been expressing himself by jumping on me, pulling me, climbing, and throwing himself into me.  Poor guy is really struggling with having missed us for about 1 week and now mommy is even more incapacitated then during pregnancy.  Overall he seems to adore E, but he doesn't like to share me with her.

E is turning out to be such as easy baby- despite the difficult delivery, the NICU stay, and health scares, she is calm, sleeps really well, only cries when she wants her diaper changed or to be fed.  It's like a whole new experience to D and I- L was ridiculously hard as a newborn (ha and even still!), so thankfully E will create some balance in this intense family.  She looks a lot like I did as a baby, very curious to see how she grows both physically and personality.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

VBAC Birth Story

She's here, our little girl, our VBAC baby, our soft tempered child.  April 24th, 39 weeks, around 4 am labor began.  L had woken up and D had already left for work so I went to soothe L back to sleep.  I was cramping a lot and needed to use the bathroom so I was very appreciative when I told L, "Mama will be right back." and L said "ok", then fell back asleep.  In the bathroom I discovered bloody show (what a fantastic term).  I was excited and went to lay back down. I texted D to tell him it *might* mean today. Within an hour my water (well a small part) broke- the pop is like nothing else.  D headed home, my mom came by since L would be up soon, and we waited.

Everything was already off to a better start then my last labor- we were excited, we both had slept the night before and contractions were picking up slowly and giving me a lot of time to figure out how to cope with them.  I ate food, watched some shows with D, and eventually put on the TENS machine when the pain was getting intense.  My mom took L to her house once I started getting agitated and he started getting way too interested in the TENS machine.

I took my time after that, showered, bounced on the birth ball, ate more food (I was very hungry!), then called our doula to give her a heads up.  I felt great and was able to relax during the contractions.  As far as timing of contractions I varied from 4-5 min apart to 7-12 minutes apart.  We decided to have our doula come by around 12.  She was awesome and supportive and encouraging.  She wanted to work with me to get me to the hospital to push, meaning labor mostly at home.  I wanted this too, but things turned out a bit differently.  It seemed like the intensity of my contractions and the pain I was experiencing increased, but the frequency/pattern of them varied and weren't consistent.  Certain positions were so painful I would refuse to do them again.

Around 5 I started loosing it- crying during contractions, wanting to go to the hospital.  My doula and D really pushed me to stay.  D and I took a shower and he kept me in there for about 1 hour, each contraction I begged to leave, he stayed strong and got me to stay.  Now why did I want to go to the hospital?  To escape the pain, and to know where I was dilation wise, to be closer to the end.  I always said I would love to have a natural unmedicated birth, but my only true goal was to have a VBAC.

Driving to the hospital was horrendous and traumatic- lets leave it at that.  We arrived and I tearfully stumbled down the halls to Labor & Delivery.  They put me in a triage room to "assess"- that sucked.  In that room I experienced the worst cervical check of my life- it was so painful I about jumped off the table.  Then the words, "3 cm 70% effaced" made me cry.  I felt the same thing happening from Ls birth, lots of time, pain, little progress.  Looking back it was more progress then with L, and I had been able to sleep, eat and manage it better.  But at that point I wanted to be admitted and we discussed pain meds.

I was still fearful of the epideral, which I believed stopped the progress with my last labor and led to the c-section.  So we discussed morphine and decided on that.  Once in the room our doula had D take a nap- she was awesome about encouraging us to rest at different times- this actually made a huge difference because last time we were both so sleep deprived.  I sort of dosed off between contractions, but then felt like I had to pee after each one and had to get up.

Something really special happened for us while we were there, we had previously made friends with a mom at Ls preschool who happened to be an OB at the hospital.  She was very natural birth friendly and had a home birth herself, and was friends with our doula.  Our doula was texting her throughout my labor with updates so when she knew we were headed into the hospital she called and let the staff know to take good care of us.  They absolutely did, I felt more attention and support from this huge teaching hospital with OBs and residents then the small midwife birthing center we used for L.

At some point they said they wanted to check me again- I can't remember the time, but we had seen my contractions slow down from the morphine and with my water being broken pitocin was our next step.  I knew I could not deal with pitocin without an epideral so I agreed.  At this point I was sad, and believed that a c-section was in our future.  I agreed to a check, but requested a different Dr- that first check was so awful I needed a different touch/energy.  We go a great Dr and it didn't hurt at all (amazing how different  check can be).  She noted I was still 3 cm but now 90% effaced.  I cried, I felt broken.  This was hours later, and no more dilation.

Then I heard words that changed everything- the Dr. asked if I had any past cervical procedures- I had about 12 years prior and asked why.  She said because you have scarring.  She noted that my internal part of my cervix was more dilated then the external, which is the opposite of what they usually see.  She massaged out the scarring (again basically painless- this woman was a godsend)- I immediately went to 4 cm.  Not a huge difference, but now I had some hope, and some explanation for why labor is so slow.

I got the epideral and they started me on a small dose of pitocin.  We ended up stopping at 6 (which is a very low dose) because thats all my body needed.  The next time I was checked a few hours later I was a 7 and 100% effaced!  I cried, happy tears of course, I had never heard anything above a 4-5- my body was working.  I was able to sleep some with the epideral- again big difference from last labor.  My Dr. came by to visit me which was nice- again I just felt very supported there.

At once point I started feeling more pressure and they checked me to find the rest of my bag of waters had broken (D said he could hear the water rushing out of me it was so much) and baby was moving down and engaging.  A few hours passed and the nurse made a call, and very quickly a bunch of people rushed in the room to check on me.  They decided on an internal monitor on the baby because they weren't picking her heart rate up on the monitors.  The Dr. checked me first and said, "you're complete and baby is at +1 station""- of course I cried again and I knew it was really happening this time.  As quickly as the people came into the room they left.  They let me labor down a bit, turned down the epideral and rest so I could push.

I was so happy but also afraid that pushing would be hard.  I got the best nurse for the delivery, and until our little girl crowned, it was just D, our doula, and our awesome nurse.  I puked and started to feel some intense pain prior to pushing.  When I started pushing I liked using the mirror (something I wondered would be uncomfortable prior to labor).  I didn't feel her moving down, but I did feel her crowing and seeing her head and touching the top of her head was incredible.  I felt a lot of pain on the topwhen she came out and that was due to her hand/elbow tearing me on the way out (more on that later).  When she came out they handed her to me and I said, "shes so slippery".  She was, and had almost no vernix.  She cried and looked around.  Her cries were a bit "wet" sounding (more on that later as well).  But she was there, on my chest, my little girl, my VBAC baby.

After the delivery things got a lot less positive and I will write about that soon- both little girl and I had to have some medical attention.  We are both happy and healthy now.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Our Little Girl's Nursery

It's a small space, but we managed to most fit everything we had from L plus a few extras.  The closet is devoted mostly to non baby stuff (most of our closets are not for the clothing of the person/people in that room, we have a teeny tiny linen closet and THATS IT, so all closets are filled to the brim with all sorts of stuff).  Don't under estimate going from 1700 sq. ft. to 1100 sq. ft. and adding a new baby....

Big Boy Room

L's big boy room is done- well as done as a room can be to me.

37 weeks

Well I'll be 38 weeks in a couple days- but yeah- full term, will be 100% ready in a few days when I officially stop working.  This photo can probably explain how I feel:

HUGE, tired, ready to return to a non pregnant state...I definitely feel larger then last time.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Of course it's been forever since I made a blog post...

It feels like so many things have happened, yet not much to write about, or nothing that I want to write about.  We have been trying to get the house more "ready" for our little girl arriving in the next 7-9 weeks (if she's on L's schedule she will arrive before the due date, but I have to at least be aware that I could go after my due date, boy will that be difficult to handle).

We are finally making some real progress on the nursery.  after L was born I really felt like his room was a waste.  He never slept in there and I spent all this time making it so cute.  When I first got pregnant this time, I toyed with not even having a nursery and just keeping the 3rd bedroom as an office/playroom.  Well I couldn't stand it, and I started to think about how the baby would need a space her own, off limits to L for naps.  I figured he would have a harder time staying out f our room then the "baby's" room.  We also moved L into the bigger room and I am so glad we did.

Since my last post, L has not once been walked down to sleep- YAY!  That does not mean bedtimes are easy, but it's progress.  L now enjoys his night time routine of teeth brushing and stories, but he still fights sleep.  This shows up in different ways depending on the night.  He will ask for food/drinks oevr and over, he will want to have a certain toy in bed and then be distracted by it, or he will want to read certain books that engage him way too much.  Books with pop ups, texture, flaps to be lifted, etc are off limits at bed time.  We also realize that we need to change books out often or he gets bored.  So we decided to go to the library to get a bunch of books every few weeks.  My favorite bed time book for him is Bedtime for Francis- the way it is written works well with a fairly monotone voice and usually gets him to bed.  But L is so smart that when he wants to fight bed, he fights the books that are great at putting him to sleep.  L is also pretty much day time potty trained.  He has an occasional accident, and still has some some anxiety about pooping, but I am so happy we can put on underwear, bring our potty in the back of the car and just go.  Night time we use pull ups and L seems to avoid pooping during the day on the potty by pooping when he wakes up in a pull up.  I am fine with this for now.

We are having a lot of struggles with Ls behavior with other kids at preschool/playgrounds.  L hits/pushes if they simply approach him.  He really believes they are going to take his toy or get in his space.  It's embarrassing to have the kid that causes the other kids to cry....but thats a post for another time.

Here are a few pictures to make this post less of an essay...

Starting at the top: L playing with "colored" water- sort of our version of a little montessori activity.  The next two are nursery progress, got a great deal on a room and board glider off craigslist, make some cheap curtains out of clearance sheets, bought fabric for the skirt and pillows on the crib, and repurposed most of L's nursery stuff (light, birds, etc).  Bottom left pic is L coloring eggs at school- he looks so old here, no more puffy diaper paints!  Last is me at 27 weeks.  I am much larger now but have to yet to take another pic.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Big Boy

I really thought I would be blogging more during this pregnancy- it always seemed like something I wanted to do.  And then here I am blogging the least I have ever...and there is so much going on.

L is making some major progress in the potty training, and sleeping department.  Tonight will hopefully mark the SEVENTH night in a ROW that he has fallen asleep with a story (not a book, but just being told a story in bed).  This is HUGE.  L has probably done this 2 times in his life prior to the last seven days.  It's like he is finally ready to let go of his hate for night time and relax.  The potty training was also a huge breakthrough- I started offering him semi sweet chocolate chips to go pee- since he was holding it for hours without his diapers.  He started going regularly and now doesn't need a reward to constantly go.  He hasn't mastered pulling his pants/underwear down so sometimes he goes on the potty through them. He also sometimes tries to stand/squat over the potty backwards- this made for a hilarious poop that was dropped on the floor in front of the potty.  Thankfully we have hard floors and he missed the few carpeted spaces.  He we isn't ready to go out of the house without a diaper.  But yeah, these things are amazing and so nice to see happen before the next baby comes.

We moved L into the other room. It's a larger room and close the the kitchen so he can play in there while I do stuff and still watch him.  He likes it a lot better and I credit his better sleeping in part to the room change.

We upholstered his headboard to make it safer and better looking using Daniel's tutorial.  We only did the headboard so it would still be easy to take apart, and we do plan on painting the wood gray.  We made a wall shelf of books using the Ikea Ribba ledges.  I really love how they turned out.  We also got a chew nightstand on craigslist.  There is so much more to do but it's finally coming together.  Here's some shots of it now- far from finished.

I am excited to get started on the babies room.  So far we have L's nursery furniture out, but nothing decorated on it's it's permanent spot.  I also really want to find a glider I like thats not $1000.  I look on craigslist and in the stores but nothing has really popped out at me yet.

L has found his love for legos again- constantly masking "sail boats, "robots", "monster trucks"- have I mentioned how "boy" this kid is?  So boy.  I got him a doll for Christmas and he frowned and said it belonged to his cousin, who is a girl...oh well.  Below L is building towers with D, and then I had to include this sweet sleeping picture.