Mar 16, 2017

Part 2: Theo's Birth Story

Read PART ONE here.

After my water broke things started to get harder. Harder to focus, harder to not be irritated that hubby wanted to watch the news and I couldn't stand it (haha!), contractions were harder, and I was getting so tired, I mean, it was 2:30 am!

Up to this point I was pretty comfortable about how everything was going. The nurse(s) never pressured my about my non-epidural decision, never mentioned giving me Pitocin, kind of left me alone to do my thing. ..

I think it was around 4:30 our nurse came in to check on me, I told her I could tell it was getting time! So she headed off to get everything ready to bring in. So shortly after, the nurses started coming in and getting set up, the Doctor (on call/not my regular OB) came in and introduced himself . But he didn't stay long, he apologized but he was not-so-patiently waiting for the next Dr on call to come in, I remember specifically looking at the clock at that point and it was 4:45 am. Something about being in charge of his sons science fair project and he was in charge of driving it meet the bus ?!? (He came and check in on me later that day and said he should have stayed, he hit a deer on the way! We all had a good laugh.)

Oh, the stirrups! ugh. They must have gotten new ones because they were more like tables to hold my legs up.! I was thinking What the... Anywho, the new Dr came in and was very nice, made some jokes, and lightened up the atmosphere a bit.

Up until this point I really felt in tune with my body, understanding what it was doing, working with the contractions, not letting the pain tense up my body too much. But when you have your nurse poking your belly and telling you to take a deep breathe, and counting to 10, all while your body is telling you it wasn't ready yet was hard. I tried to listen, but since this was after all my fourth I needed to listen to my body more than her. ... Thankfully he arrived less than 15 minutes of Dr change/pushing!

At 5:02 am Theo Christian was born and cried right away. Due to the meconium we were not able to do delayed cord clamping and have him on my chest right away, but daddy got to cut the cord and the NICU nurse took him right away off to the side of the room to get evaluated. I literally barely got a glance at him. Standing up, Calvin was able to watch the nurses take care of Theo and told me he looked like Ashton.

It seemed like forever to get cleaned up (no tears/no stitches) and for Theo to get evaluated. It was so sweet for Calvin to get to hold him first and finally hand him to me for the first time. I'm pretty sure I had tears rolling down my cheeks.

He weighed 6 lbs 5 oz, our smallest baby and perfectly healthy.! He nursed within that first hour. Daddy headed home to get a little cat nap before bringing the big kids to meet him!

And here's a picture overload :)


He is a wonderful 4th addition to our family and so thankful he is healthy and already SO loved.!

Mar 15, 2017

PART 1: Theo's Birth Story

The last 3 weeks of my pregnancy I had pretty constistent Braxton Hicks contractions (almost daily) and back pain. Calvin and I both thought he would come early!

February 16th (Thursday) came and we were honestly surprised baby boy hadn't came yet!

I went to my appointment on Friday afternoon. Doctor said I was 3 cm, I let her do a membrane sweep (she did one at 39 weeks also with no such luck). Left the office, went on a walk with the family like everyday for the last week or so, ordered pizza and enjoyed the evening with hubby and the kids.

We had just put the kids down for bed (7:30 pm) and Calvin had made us tea (raspberry leaf tea for me!). I'm sitting in bed with my tea watching a movie and feel a contraction. I'm talking to myself in my heading "I'm pretty sure that was the real deal!? was it? Oh my gosh, our baby is coming!" .. And then I feel another one, "okay, that for sure was real.!" .. .And I tell hubby that I'm pretty sure I just had a real contraction..  They continued and were consistently 10-12 minutes apart. After four or five I called my mom to give her the heads up and told her not to rush over but if they keep coming pretty steady i'll let her know when to head over.

That lasted another half hour and she was on her way. In the meantime Calvin and I got our bags around, I grabbed the last few last minute items, got changed, put my contacts back in.  ... We wanted to be prepared. They say typically your labors go shorter with each child, be alas I've had 4 now and for me, it isn't true.

Calvin tried to lay down. I stayed up waiting on mom, made a snack -veggies, ranch, crackers, and cheese-  I've been in labor STARVING and I wasn't going to let that happen again ;)  and started using a contraction app to keep track on how far apart they were and how long they were lasting. Mom showed up around 10 I believe. Contractions were starting to get closer together but I wasn't ready to go to the hospital yet, so we watched a movie. The movie was called "Mr. Church" and a good watch! It was a nice change to see Eddie Murphy play a serious character! I would watch it again.

I missed logging a few while we were getting around to leave :)

Calvin came out to check on my around 11:30  and contractions had been at 5-7 minutes apart for about an hour so I knew it was time to head to the hospital. They weren't that painful but I could feel them getting stronger and longer.

We got to the hospital right after midnight and headed up to get checked in. The computer system was down so even though I pre-registered that didn't matter. So we had to sit there and answer ALL THE QUESTIONS. When was your last period? what do you was your starting weight? What do you weigh now? when was your last appointment? Family history?    .. thankfully I'm not a crazy labor lady and was only minor irritated haha! .. It took just over an hour to get all that done!  She checked me and I was already 5 cm dilated. So we got moved into a birthing room. I really wanted a whirlpool tub to labor in, but neither were available.

I got my IV in, but since I was moving along quite well on my own and did not want an epidural they left it unconnected (not even to a saline drip)- I was able to drink water on my own instead. yay! I labored until 2:30 am, mostly on an exercise ball.

At 2:30 she came in to check on me and I let her break my water. It took her a minute to do it (ending up mid contraction- not fun!)  She then said the dreaded words "There is meconium present so I need to call up to the NICU to have a nurse present for delivery."  I couldn't help it, I started to sob. .. Ashton (our second child) had meconium and ended up being transferred to the hospital I was at this time and had to stay for 7 days. Not getting to hold him for a couple days, seeing a big IV  from his head. ugh. I just didn't want that again.  Calvin just kissed my forehead and said that no matter what, that he was going to be alright..

Read PART 2 here.

Feb 1, 2017

It's Baby Month! 38 Week Bumpdate!

Ah, February is finally here!!

I had an appointment last week and ended up getting sent down for an ultrasound to make sure he was still head down, because she wasn't completely sure. A tad nervous for a second, but he is! I've never had an ultrasound so late in pregnancy so I enjoyed it! I had her double check he was really a boy ;) and got to watch him practice breathing with his lungs! I'm pretty sure he's going to have a bit of hair too!

Weight Gain: 24ish lbs.

Cravings: still fruit! Lots of fresh fruit and/or smoothies!

Watching: Last week I watch "The Business of Being Born" on Netflix. And when hubby isn't home I've been watching an episode or two at night of "Call the Midwife" on Netflix!

Problems/Issues: sleeping is just horrible now. He is very active at night so it is hard for me to fall asleep until he does... then there is the constant tossing and turning, waking up to pee... etc etc! I'm starting to wonder if I will get more sleep when he gets here! ;)

That and the fact most of clothes are starting to not fit.. hubby's sweats to the rescue! ;)

I have been practicing hypnobirthing this pregnancy and it really has been helpful to relax throughout the day and to fall asleep faster at night. I am hoping I can keep focused during labor. You can read a bit about hypnobirthing HERE if you haven't heard of it. In other countries it is a common  practice for pregnant mothers (along with having homebirths), although uncommon here in the USA.

Last minute check list DONE!
  • purchased his infant carseat last week so now he can officially come when he is ready! We do baby-wearing so I also purchased myself a Moby Wrap which will come in hand while he is small and something I can wear him around the house in.
  • hospital bag is packed!
  • birth plan written up and went over with hubby to refresh his memory !
  • pre-registered at hospital

a gift from our friends! .. I think I'm going to hang that card up in the boys' room!

We are pretty much ready for him! Although I am getting a bit nervous along with the excitement. Thankfully hubby is a great helper, but I know there will be a shift/adjustment in our family.

Jan 18, 2017

5 Ways That Have Helped Me Become a More Productive SAHM


Between having a husband that travels for work, homeschooling, housework, meals, and being pregnant (baby #4), I've been trying to find ways to help me keep on top of daily life and get more stuff done.

Here are 5 ways I've Become a More Productive Stay at Home Mom:

1. Start the night before!

  • A clean kitchen-- for me, it's a mental thing. I cannot go to bed with dishes on the counter (clean or dirty). When I walk into the kitchen in the morning I can go straight into making breakfast.
  • Decide breakfast the night before. Just deciding has been a help! It may seem a little too simple I know, but try it! And at least once a week I make baked oatmeal in the evening and pop it in the fridge for a bake and serve breakfast.
  • Lay out {my} clothes. Since we homeschool, I don't have the kids lay out their clothes on a daily basis unless we need to be somewhere early in the morning. The big kids (6,5) can reach all of their clothes and they get dressed by themselves after breakfast.

2. I get dressed shortly after waking up.
  • I have been getting dressed before breakfast. I find that I don't "lounge" around as much and can jump right into making breakfast and start my day.
  • After breakfast and getting things cleaned up and toddler dressed is when I finishing getting ready- contacts, make up, hair, etc. The kids are usually content and start playing without much bother to me. Melanie (2) usually ends up in the bathroom with me and she will brush her teeth and then play in the sink while I get finish getting ready. Now, somedays I do just throw my hair in a bun and put my contacts in, but I find if I get ready I can rush out the door on last minute errands without worrying about not being ready.
** I know a lot of people talk highly and suggest getting up before the kids, but my kids are naturally early risers (up by 6:30) and with a baby coming in less than a month it just isn't going to happen for my season of life.

3. Make a daily task list.

I'm a list maker, ask my husband! He kindly reminds me to add things to my grocery list and will make sure I write myself a note if there is something he needs me to remember. No shame here!  With that said, I usually have a list of stuff I want to get done/errands to run/menu plans etc. for the week ahead. When looking at the list(s) as a whole, it can get overwhelming, so everyday I choose 3-5 tasks to get done for the day.
  • vacuum out the van
  • paint nails with the girls
  • sweep and mop hardwood floors
  • bake bread
  • go to library
  • wash kitchen towels
  • pack hospital bag

4. Meal prep mid afternoon.

Orange Cranberry Muffins

I aim to get homeschool done in the morning so afternoons are free for the kids to play. Except for the occasional (ahem) sibling fight I can get a good start in the kitchen.  I have been spending more time in the kitchen either making an extra batch of dinner or making something else to pop in the freezer (post coming!) to bless my future self when baby boy comes ;)  I really like doing this and I may keep it up 1-2x a week after we get settled in with baby.

nacho/taco salad night -- my kids love this AND it's easy!! #momwin

I know in my house it feel like chaos starts as soon as I need to start dinner, but since doing this afternoon prep I haven't been stressed or upset with the interruption due to not being on a dinner 'time crunch.' Dinner has been served on time (or early) and less after-dinner rush to get baths, books, and bedtime.
  • make energy balls or as my kids call them, chocolate balls for dessert or tomorrow's snack
  • chop veggies for dinner (taco night: wash produce/chop tomatoes/shred cheese)
  • double check that nothing needs unthawed
  • prep & stick in fridge until you need to put it in the oven (casseroles or lasagna) -- make a double batch, label, and put it in the freezer
  • even if it's an easy meal putting the pans on the stove and dry ingredients out on the counter helps!

5. Stop being a slave to your phone.

It's amazing how much "more time" I seem to have these days. Not only that, but I found that I was getting irritated with my kids interrupting me because I was more interested in my Facebook feed than their needs.

notebooks from Target dollar spot and phone case from Etsy

  • turn off the push notifications, especially with sound. I wasn't even realizing the constant noise all day long until hubby made comments about how my phone was ALWAYS making noise. My kids are more important than FB feed and an email telling me about a sale and Instagram thread.
  • If I happen to come across an article I want to read I will open it in a new tab, if I don't have interrupted time to read it right then I can come back to it later in the day.
  • I enjoy YouTube, but I stopped sitting on couch with my phone in my hand. I now watch it while I'm cooking, or folding laundry, getting ready for the day, or after the kids go to bed.
  • stop taking my phone with me to the toilet. I knew this was a problem when Melanie was starting to potty train and insisted on grabbing her toy phone in order to sit on the potty. yeah, I know you don't have to tell me.
  • My phone is kept in the kitchen during homeschool now. I will go get it to look something up (homeschool related) or to take a picture and send to hubby but that's it. Besides the kids, my morning coffee is the only other thing that has my attention ;)
  • If I watch a movie or tv show before bed, wifi gets turned off for the night and my phone gets put up.
  • I now have pockets of time during the day to do other fun things like: drink a hot cup of tea, read a chapter or two, snuggle on the couch and read an extra book to the kids, make a phone call without multi tasking, or an extra minute to clean the ever-dirty toilet.... totally your choice :)
  • If I'm out with the kids, like Library Storytime for example, I'm in the moment. I don't sit there scrolling through my phone. If I expect them to pay attention, I need to lead by example.

I've been implementing these for the last few weeks and it's really been helpful. If I can get more done at 36 weeks pregnant, so can you!! 

Come back and leave me a comment, email me ( or message me on Instagram on your progress! And feel free to leave a comment here with your productive tips!!


Jan 9, 2017

34 weeks pregnant: baby #4

Ah, less than 6 weeks left. I almost can't believe it, but then again I sure am feeling it these days!

Weight gain: 20lbs  I'm on target weight-wise but I do feel like I'm carrying the weight pretty much in my belly. This may perhaps be the healthiest/fittest pregnancy and I think that is because  our eating habits have gotten better in the last few years. The only cravings I continue to have really is fresh fruit and/or smoothies.

Baby is the size of muskmelon  (our babies have all weighed 7 lbs)

Name: Yes, he has a name. His name was already in my heart before we found out we were pregnant with him and knew he was a boy.

We went through our hospital walkthrough last week. Although I have delivered there before it makes me more comfortable having a refresher tour. I also pre-registered online following the tour which I highly recommend! No woman wants to come into the hospital and have to sit and be asked a bunch of questions about insurance and if you have the same address in between contractions...

Fail : bought a going home outfit... only to realize AFTER washing that I bought preemie size instead of newborn.

The farther along I get, the less space this girl gives me!

We have pretty much all we need except to buy a new infant carseat. Hubby has been doing research on a bassinet and I would like to purchase a Moby Wrap or other woven baby wrap.

TO DOs  this week: write out birth plan ( the hospital doesn't supply that paperwork anymore so I will make my own via research and our wishes)  and write out a list and start packing our hospitals bags.

Worries: My only worry is that hubby is suppose to start working in a new location.... 5+ hours away. Although I worry, none of my other 3 labors have been less than 8 hours so...I'll just keep praying he comes when daddy is home! Hubby made a passing comment he will come early, so we shall see!


Jan 5, 2017

My 2017 Word

Well hello there!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas break and a good start to 2017!

Hubby is back to work after a week+ break and the kids think it's funny to test mommy on what they can get away with, so I'm having fun times over here. * eye roll*

I love Christmas break not only because of Christmas per se, but we get quality family time, projects done, enjoy 24/7 hubby/daddy time, and we always have good conversations about the year coming up and goals and dreams and plans.

It's definitely refreshing. And fun things like this happen ;)

I haven't really ever done New Years resolutions but last year I chose the word: Enjoy.  I can't say I stuck with it all year but I did try to remember to stop and enjoy the little moments with the kids, 'enjoy' the stresses of a stay at home mom with a hubby that travels vs the alternative. I thought about and decided that I did want to have another word to focus on but to make it a purposeful one that I contemplate on a regular basis, not just one I forget about in February.

My word this year is Grow.. and truly in every area of my life. I want to grow my relationship with each child (including baby boy in Feb), my Spiritual walk, the foundation of my marriage and as a wife, I want to grow certain talents without giving up when things get hard, and grow our knowledge of healthy living.

Just to name a few things ;)

I'm kicking off the year with a few books, book recommendations welcome! I have a few 'fun' reads on my library wish list too.

Dec 6, 2016

My husband is a great gift giver but...

My husband is probably the best gift giver I have ever known ( I AM lucky!) but he is the WORST at waiting or keeping the surprise a secret!!!

So.... I know all of my Christmas presents already. Some actually showed up on Friday, so I have already started to enjoy them! .. This year I actually came up with a Christmas list, which did make his job a little easier. I like practical every-day items.  And the fact he saved us some money but making the purchases over the Thanksgiving holiday. extra win!

I got to say, he did goooood this year, as always! He got it good this year too, as we picked up his present on Friday ... a new TV for the living room. Which took us a hot minute to get it set up and mounted on the wall. The kids played well, while  we were trying to get it figured out and ended up eating cereal for dinner... but no one complained ;)

And then Saturday I made up for it by breaking my Dutch Oven with my first pot roast! Both were a success. I used a mixture of this recipe and this one, if you are interested!

I think all of the presents have been ordered..   Now to focus on our Christmas bucket list. Our two big things are gingerbread houses and going to see Christmas lights.

Is your hubby a good gift giver? Do you know what you are getting? Holiday shopping done yet?