Sunday, July 24, 2016

Happy 4th Birthday, Vera!

You are our sassy girl. Sassy in a good way :)
Everyday you find ways to make us laugh and melt our hearts. You are confident enough to be assertive and let people know what you are about. You are also kind and tender-hearted. You get your feelings hurt and you conjure up the most pitiful face I've ever seen.
You are always learning; I love when you blurt out a fact or some knowledge that I didn't have to teach you. You just know by observing and exploring.
You are fearless. Not always a good thing when you're ready to jump! I know that in the future, this will be a great character trait.
Love you, baby girl.

We had a fun day! A surprise visit at church from some Cali friends back in town for a business trip. We're excited to spend some time with them. :D
Our church family always makes an effort to make birthdays special. A happy birthday banner, hello kitty candle and a round of happy birthday for Vera. And, of course, a couple gifts. :)

After church we ate lunch at Panera and had Vera's birthday cake. She picked out a good one. Dark chocolate with a ganache icing. Then, we walked over to Kids Quest. Mom got Vera (and all the kids) a membership. Today was our first time going! There is a fenced off area for 3 and under. Joshua and Esther spent most of the time in there. Jamin took Vera and Elena around the rest of the museum. There was a semi cab in there; the girls would have spent their whole time in there. Jamin got them to explore the water area, though... huge hit.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I'm A Crappy Housewife

(I actually wrote this like, last month. Forgot to finish it and post it. I still like it, so I'm going ahead and getting it posted :D )

I saw this meme, today.

While it may feel accurate, it's not very encouraging.

Yesterday was a "crappy housewife" day. Motivation was way low. The two olders were fighting a lot. The baby wanted to eat a lot.
These days happen, and at the end of the day the house looks like we all just dumped all of our belongings on the floor. Which, is kind of actually what happened. lol
But there are other days. Days when all the chores get done. Days when my girls are best friends the whole day. Days when Esther takes a nap after eating (in her crib!). 

I  find it helpful to set goals for the day. If you don't have direction and focus it will be hard to see your accomplishments for the day. It will also be harder to actually get anything completed.
Three goals is usually manageable. You will probably have a mile long list of things you want done. However, by prioritizing three that absolutely must be done, you will be more likely to get them completed. Whereas, trying to do bits of everything on your list will just leave you  exhausted with nothing accomplished.
Here is an example of my goals for today:
  • Clean off couch
    • put away cd's (purge ones we don't want)
    • put away clothes
  • Laundry
    • one load of towels
    • one load of girls' clothes
  • Plan meals/grocery list for month
These goals are outside of the chores I do every day. I found a printable that lists out chores by day, week, and month. I'm very list oriented. I like having something to check off.
I also prioritize my chores. The most important ones for me are; dishes, laundry and keeping the toys out of the living room. 

I'm sure if you kept track of all the things you get done during the day, you will find you are a darned good housewife. A housewife/mom encompasses many responsibilities that would normally not be carried out by one person. Get your family members to help you (because they live there too)!

Look for a post next week about setting bigger goals for your life!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I'm back!

Maternity leave is over as far as my blogging career goes. :P
I have had so many ideas on what I want to write about. Hopefully that keeps going!

Today is all about quiet boxes! It's nothing new as far as ideas go. It's new to me, though. Seriously, in 7 years I should have done this at some point already.

The idea is that you have these boxes of toys/activities that you only let your kids get out at a certain time of the day. For instance, when you want them to be quiet and leave you alone. :P
I really only ended up doing this, because I wanted to get rid of their massive amounts of clutter.
In their room I left out quiet a few toys; dress-up, baby dolls, trucks... Anything big, that's easy to put away again.
In smaller tote boxes, I put toy sets with small pieces, or ones that were best used under supervision. Now there are fewer toys they can drag out all at once. (Like they do). Now clean up is not so daunting for them. That's the real problem with kids not keeping their rooms clean. It's easy to dump out a bucket of toys. But, when you look at a sea of toys that your mom tells you to get picked up in 10 minutes... it looks impossible. Since they aren't able to see ahead to the clean up, I've made the decision for them of not even being able to get all their toys out at once.

Today is the first day of actually getting these toys out. I wouldn't say it keeps them quiet, but it does keep them engaged long enough for me to get things done without them telling me in various ways how bored they are.

My plan is to let them play with these "quiet boxes" during Joshua and Esther's nap time. (Because I've somehow managed to get those two to nap at the same time! yeah!) This way, all kids are entertained at once, and I can tackle my chore list (or a blog post, like now).

Time to go back to my "other job". Esther is awake and hungry. :D

Monday, March 21, 2016

Welcome Esther {Part 2}

Thank goodness for Facebook chat. Haha. I am able to remember so much more by looking at my conversation with Jamin from that night.
We finished up our lunch and went on a walk around the halls. My midwife suggested I do that to try and get my contractions going. It didn't work. My nurse was concerned because we apparently walked too far. She thought I would pop the baby out in the hallway. lol. Yeah, this baby is fine where she is...
For the next 6 hours it was a lot of the same. Waiting around in the birthing suite, sitting on a birthing ball, another walk through the halls... inconsistent contractions...

At around 6pm my midwife came in and asked if I wanted to go ahead with some pitocin to get contractions going, or just keep waiting. I guess after 18 hours of waters broken and no labor they have what they call sepsis protocol. I have no idea what it entails because I didn't ask, but I'm guessing they give you antibiotics. She did say it would mean baby staying a few extra days so they could watch for infection.
I declined the pitocin and said I wanted to keep waiting it out. She said she would come back at 10 and if nothing was happening we could reassess what the plan would be.

After she left I said I would try to nap because I was feeling so tired. Staci and Jaelan went home to get some food and bedding. Staci made me promise not to have the baby while they were gone. ha! I'll do my best. Unfortunately, my nurse was leaving and a new one came in. She was really chatty, and I should have told her I just wanted to sleep... but I'm not always assertive like that. So, we talked for a little bit and then I finally was able to rest. But not for too long because then I started getting more contractions. I quit timing them sometime after 8pm so I don't know the timing, I just know they were getting stronger and not going away.

9:44pm I messaged Jamin that my contractions were picking up. About that time my midwife came in. She told me she saw my contractions picking up on the monitors and was happy for me. Then, left again because someone else was in labor. My nurse left for a break and I asked her replacement to fill up the tub for me because I knew things would probably be fast from here. I didn't want to miss out on warm water pain relief. Seriously, it's the best. Staci rubbed my back during a couple of contractions which was surprisingly helpful. Usually it's annoying more than anything for people to touch me during contractions. I had a few really long contractions which I'm pretty sure is when I  was going through transition. I just remember really wanting those contractions to be done.

At this point I think Jaelan was questioning her decision to watch someone give birth. I heard her mom tell her, this is what she wanted... So, I helpfully added, "It's getting real, Jaelan". It reminded me of Sarah during my labor with Elena. Sarah was about the same age as Jaelan is now and Sarah left the room once I was in active labor and about to push. lol.
It was about 10:45 at that time. I walked as fast as I could to the bathroom and jumped into the tub. My nurse turned off the lights. I didn't tell her to, but I'm glad she did. It's easier (for me, at least) to stay relaxed and focused when there aren't bright lights.

Things went very quickly from there. I had maybe 3 contractions once I got in the tub. I told my nurse I felt a little "pushy". That's probably when she should have made me get out, but she didn't and I didn't volunteer. I turned around onto my knees and was definitely getting a push urge, so I did. My nurse came in to mess with the heart rate monitors.
Then she asked, "Are you pushing?"
"You need to get out." (Not sure if I mentioned water births are not exactly allowed at the hospital)
ummm, no. I'm not going anywhere and her head is already out anyways. I didn't say all that because I was kind of busy, but I was definitely thinking it. lol. She pulled the emergency cord in the bathroom and tried to page my midwife.
It only took three pushes and Esther was out. I scooped her out of the water. She started breathing and crying right away.
I just gave birth to a baby all by myself!
Esther was born at 11:15 pm, 17 1/2 hours after my waters broke.

Then, about four nurses came in. All with looks of panic because they had never seen a water birth and probably lots of other reasons. Like, my midwife not being there. They tried to cut her cord right away, but I pushed away their clamps and sharp objects. We all, very carefully, walked from the bathroom to the bed. They kept telling me not to pull on the cord... I promise you, it hurts to do that, so I'm not going to... Once I was in the bed my midwife walked in. A few minutes later the umbilical cord had stopped pulsing and my midwife had me cut it. Staci got a funny picture of my face trying not to get splattered with blood. Jamin usually cuts the cord, so I had no idea what I was doing. haha.

I'm really happy with how everything turned out. People say as long as the baby is healthy nothing else matters... But, I think having a good labor experience is equally important. I may have been most comfortable at home, but I was mostly left alone at the hospital so it was just as quiet. I wasn't being checked all the time for progress. The contraction monitors were wireless, so I could move around when they were on. I only had people in my room that I wanted there. Also, most of the things that would have been standard with the birthing center I was able to have at the hospital. I just had to let them know what I wanted because their standard procedures are different.

Not impressed with being weighed... and a lot bigger than I thought she was going to be.