May 31, 2011

no more goodbyes

It doesn't take advanced education to see that I am utterly and undeniably infatuated with my little girl. I stay home with her and she really is my life - in more ways than one. Everything I do - everything I eat - everything I say either revolves around her or is effected by her in some way. She is a little mime and we've learned to be extra guarded with what we do and say around her.

I loved this little creature before she was even born.

And while I'm quite certain I'll someday talk about the little boy I'm about to give birth to, this post is just for Millie.

My sweet pea. My little angel. Snuggle buns. Lovey bear. Boo boo. She's got love-names coming out of her ears. I'm not sure if it's a bond that all stay-at-home-moms have with their kids, or if it's a first-child bond, or if I'm just weirdly obsessed with my child. Maybe a combination of the above. However, it's there and it's strong.

From an early age (of about 4 hours old - when I met her) she was just an uncannily good baby. She had a short bout of colic but other than that, she never really fussed or cried much. She's been sick once in her life, she must have been around 6 months old. Her and I both got pretty sick and she handled it like a trooper. She isn't a pill when cutting those awful molars (for the most part) and really, in the 20 months of her life, we have been overwhelmingly blessed by this little girl.

Which is why I can't imagine saying goodbye to her.

I've spent a good deal of time the past few days thinking about what it would be like to loose her. No, not a random morbid thought... a mama that I know lost her daughter early Sunday morning. She was 2 months younger than Millie. To say my heart aches for her is an understatement. I yearn and cry and pray for her. This poor, poor mother. And then I watch Todd with Millie, and I hurt all over again thinking of the father... there is such a special bond between a daddy and his little girl. A bond not meant to be broken.

I'm not trying to be a downer but I just wanted to share a matter of my heart. And ask for prayers for these hurting parents. And though I hope to God I never have to go through what they are going through, I also hope to God that He will bring them comfort and peace and understanding. Oh how I long to live in a world where there are no more goodbyes. No more hurts. No more broken bonds. That world is called Heaven. Someday we'll call it home.
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May 30, 2011

gardening with millie

 There is a local historical farm here that also rents spaces for community gardens. We are the proud temporary guardians of one of those plots. Todd and Millie go out to water and weed several times a week. Every once in a while they talk me into joining them.

Of course Millie likes to help water (play in the water), help weed (play in the dirt and pull up anything green), and check out the animals - horses, goats and chickens. We also have a friendly robin who gets surprisingly close to us. At least, at first we thought he was friendly, now we think he's just protecting his much-loved munchies (the green beans).

This is really our first garden. I've tried a few things in our flower beds in previous houses, but we've just never had the space to garden (hence the rental plot). We're learning as we go. Todd and Millie planted from seed (I was on bed rest during planting time and watched from a blanket). Next week we're going to have to buy some already started plants as the majority of the seeds are being less than productive.

We're enjoying the garden and the farm though. It makes for some fun family time.

In pregnancy news, I'm still pregnant! I'm 36.5 weeks, this is the day in Millie's pregnancy that my water broke. I keep waiting for it, but so far no puddles. I'm starting to really think I'm going to have a full-term baby this time! Hoping that means less of the problems we fought with Millie - namely breast feeding.

I am going on a record-breaking 8 weeks (surely that breaks SOME record?) of contractions - every 3 minutes (give or take) 24-hours a day. These started around 28.5 weeks. I'm pretty sure that I should win some sort of award where the prize involves large amounts of ice cream. They are getting stronger everyday and more painful, but not turning into active labor. Sigh. Someday...

On the sewing front I've been making more skirts and dresses for a couple of my mommy friends' little girls. I've been making simple elastic skirts and making up the dresses as I go along. They've been fun to make but I'm nearly done. Shipping them off later this week. My other in-progress project is making costumes for the kids to wear at my church's Vacation Bible School.

I'll be off now to sew a bit. ;)
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May 23, 2011

a morning in the life of millie - 20 months old

7:50 - Sitting up in the crib. Too much work... back down.
7:55 - Ok I can stay up now... klonk.
8:00 - No really, I'm up now.
8:02 - On the potty. Yes I want a carob chip, no, I don't want to potty.
8:03 - Crying because no potty = no carob.
8:05 - Diapered and rocking with mama. Time for a book.
8:07 - Now I need a new book.
8:09 - New book.
8:10 - Surely we have a better book than this? "Want Veggie Tales."
8:15 - I'd like to order my usual, yogurt with a side of whatever cold cereal Mama's eating.
8:18 - I can get the spoon to my mouth, but somewhere between the bowl and my mouth the cereal keeps jumping ship. "Mama help."
8:20 - It looks so easy. "Millie do it."
8:21 - "Mama help."
8:22 - "Millie do it."
8:23 - "Mama help."
8:30 - Chewy vitamin? "Yes please!"
8:31 - "All done"
8:32 - "Want Veggie Tales."
8:33 - Mama has found some tantalizing toy for me to play with while she cleans up!
8:40 - "Want Veggie Tales."
8:41 - Ooh, I can take the tantalizing toy upstairs to play with while Mama showers!
8:50 - The longer Mama is in the shower, the less tantalizing this toy is.
8:51 - "Want Veggie Tales."
8:55 - Ooh, "Mama bra. Mama panties. Mama pants. Mama shirt. Millie jammies."
8:56 - "Millie want panties."
8:58 - "No potty. All done. No try"
9:00 - "Millie diaper."
9:01 - "Want Veggie Tales."
9:02 - Mama carry me down stairs. I don't want to go on my tummy. Or on my bottom. "Mama carry."
9:03 - But I don't want to walk down. "Mama carry."
9:04 - Come on, can we compromise? I went down 4 stairs. "Mama carry."
9:05 - But I went down 3 more. "Maaaammmmaa carrrrryyyyy."
9:06 - <Insert crying fit here.>
9:08 - Fine. I'll slide on my bottom. But I won't be happy about it.
9:09 - "Want Veggie Tales."
9:10 - Yay! Veggie Tales!
9:20 - This silly song does not hold my attention. "What doing Mama?"
9:35 - "More Tales."
9:36 - Something else to do? Like what?
9:37 - Pushing Elmo around in the stroller. Wait, he's not buckled in. "Mama buckle."
9:38 - "Mama buckle off."
9:39 - Oops, he fell out. "Mama buckle."
9:40 - "Mama buckle off."
9:42 - *Making amazing artwork from simple copy paper and crayons.
9:44 - Do these things work on the table?
9:45 - Do these work on the wall?
9:46 - What do you mean I'm done? I'm not done!
9:47 - "More colors."
9:48 - <Insert crying fit here.>
9:51 - Hugging Frafra (stuffed giraffe) makes everything better. So does biting his face. "Mmmmmaaaafff."
9:55 - "Want snack."
10:00 - Crackers and Veggie Tales. Now this is the life.
10:05 - Veggie Tales looses it's appeal when the crackers run out.
10:06 - I love this part!
10:14 - Hey wait a minute, where did Mama go? "Maaaaaaama!"
10:15 - How can you do dishes now? Larry Boy is about to find out the monster is a lie!
10:21 - "Sit with Mama."
10:22 - What, it's just an elbow.
10:23 - My knees have to bend that way.
10:24 - My foot isn't IN your belly, Mama.
10:25 - Why do I have to sit in another seat?
10:32 - That's over. What now?
10:33 - Why yes, I'd just LOVE to read a book.
10:34 - Nope, not that one.
10:35 - No, not that one.
10:36 - Let's do something else.
10:37 - What do I want to do? "I no know."
10:38 - Woah, we have lots of exiting toys upstairs!
10:45 - These toys are all boring.
10:46 - Blocks? Why yes, I'd love to build a tower with you Mama!
10:49 - It was simply too high and needed to be knocked down.
10:51 - "All done blocks."
10:52 - "Downstairs."
10:53 - "Mama carry."
10:54 - But I don't want to go down myself. "Mama carry."
10:55 - Ok, I went down 3 stairs, was that enough? "Mama carry."
10:56 - <Insert crying fit here.>
11:00 - It's time to call Papa? Ok, I'll come downstairs now.
11:01 - "Hi Papa."
11:02 - But pushing buttons is fun, Mama, I don't want to stop.
11:03 - "Papa at work."
11:04 - *Walking around with phone to ear not talking, just listening.
11:08 - No you can't have the phone back. "Millie talk."
11:09 - I didn't mean 'talk' as in verbalizing.
11:12 - "Bye bye Papa!"
11:13 - Not even 2 and I already have chores. At least they're fun! *Helping Mama put wet laundry in the dryer.
11:16 - Here Mama, I'll help you fold that. And that. And that...
11:18 - Oh, I thought it was a tower that you wanted me to knock down.
11:21 - I thought it was just the stack of shirts I couldn't knock down. My bad. Here, I'll help you pick all the towels back up.
11:26 - Ooh, I basket of folded laundry, for me? What do you mean stay out of it? But...
11:27 - A trip to the mail box! I'll get my shoes!
11:28 - I don't know where my shoes are.
11:30 - Why walk when you can dance?
11:31 - I'll put the letter in, Mama. "Millie do it."
11:33 - "Push Elmo."
11:34 - *Pushes Elmo down the walkway, turns around and comes back. Without the stroller.
11:35 - "Mama get it."
11:36 - Fine, I'll get Elmo. He needs to be buckled anyway.
11:38 - "Mama buckle it."
11:39 - "Mama buckle off."
11:40 - "Mama buckle."
11:45 - "Want ball."
11:47 - *Watches the ball roll off. "Mama get it."
11:51 - "All done outside. Go inside."
11:53 - "Shoes off."
11:55 - "Want snack."
11:56 - I don't want lunch, I want snack.
12:03 - "Dear Jesus. Thank you food. Amen."
12:04 - Mmmm, cheese stick!
12:09 - Why would I eat both pieces of bread together? Then I'd have to eat the peanut butter AND the jelly at the same time.
12:10 - Jam side first...
12:14 - ...Then the peanut butter side.
12:19 - Strawberries!
12:24 - "More stwabewwees please!"
12:29 - "All done!"
12:32 - No! Not the mouth! Wipe anything but my mouth!
12:35 - Going upstairs.
12:37 - "Potty!" Yes! Scored a carob chip!
12:40 - "Night night, Mama." *Gives kiss.
*Millie now wiggles for 10-20 minutes, not unlike a furry animal trying to find JUST the right spot. After she's found it, with Frafra under one arm and Dolly under the other, she is asleep. Nap time (aka Mama break time) begins.
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May 22, 2011

custom hospital/nursing gown

A while back a friend (who started out a friend of a friend) and I started talking about making a custom hospital gown - as we are due to give birth around the same time, her being due first. I hemmed and hawed about it for a long while, then I bought some cheapie Wal-Mart fabric to play around with. After shopping for fabric together via cell phone, text, and photos (as the state of Nevada is separating us), we found a fabric that she liked and I got to work. The result:
 I am modeling it, however I happen to be a good 4 inches taller than my friend, so it's not going to be so short on her.

My first attempt at taking something very plain and boring (and often times ugly) and turning it into something special and pretty. I learned I have a lot to learn about making patterns and altering them.

So, it's done, will be packaged later today and shipped out tomorrow. Hope you like it Rachel!

If you're interested in learning how I made it, drop me a comment letting me know. If enough people are interested, I'll whip one up for myself and make up a tutorial as I go. :)

If you're looking for a plain-jane no-frills hospital gown pattern, I found one here:

The one I made is made to be somewhat fitted on the top with room for a pregnant belly. The other one I made opens in the front (as well as snaps in the back) and fits kind of like a wrap skirt over the top of the belly.
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May 21, 2011

reminiscing about birth

Since I'm about to be pushing another wee little baby out of my body again, I wanted to read through the story of Millie's birth again. It's been a long, long time. OK, it's only been 20 months (and 13 days, but who's counting?) but it seems like a long time. This once teeny, tiny little girl is now a big girl. She can identify circles. She can make just about any animal sound you ask her to. She can go pee-pee on the potty. If that's not big, I don't know what is. She seems to big and old, yet wasn't she just a baby? Sigh. Everyone says they grow fast... I was hoping that was just a saying, but as it turns out, they grow pretty fast.

So, copied from the blog of our last chapter of life, here is Millie's birth story. I'm putting it here so both of my baby's birth stories are here. Cause I like birth stories. :)

September 9, 2009
It was a surprise beginning when my water broke Monday (Sept 7) at 12:30 in the afternoon. I got to the hospital a little before 4, was only dilated 2 cm, and was only having sporadic contractions. They wanted to induce labor, but I said I wanted to try to get it going naturally. I didn't want drugs. I also had less then 24 hours to give birth because my water had broke.
When Todd arrived around 5, I was still happy and only having minor contractions. Around 7 they started to get a little more intense. When the nurse who would be my nurse came on duty, I got the crushing news that I tested positive for Group Strep B, which doesn't mean anything for me, but is potentially lethal to baby. That meant that I had to be on an IV and get antibiotics so not to pass the GSB to baby. That also meant that I was not able to get in the jacuzzi to help with dilation or pain.
My friend and doula arrived around 8, and we started the birth ball, which ended up hurting my hips so much it was too hard to use.
I was checked sometime between then and 9 and had progressed very little. I was at 3 cm and contractions were still not super strong. I was still walking around trying to get this show on the road.
Shortly after my dad visited around 12:30 I was checked again. I was only at 5 cm but my contractions were now very strong. I was already struggling to get through them. Because of my slow progress I was offered 3 solutions: to induce and get the epidural, to continue struggling and hope I can start progressing, or to have a bit of Stadol, a pain reliever, into my IV. The Stadol was supposed to only take the edge off. I would feel and be awake for contractions and would be relaxed and sleep in between contractions. As soon as the Stadol hit my IV was out. Todd said that as soon as I fell asleep my contractions immediately began to get more intense.
It must have started to wear off around 2:30, because I remember feeling the less than delightful experience of what is called "back labor."
I was checked around 3 and was dilated to 9. The Stadol had done its job to help me relax so my body could to its job.
I began pushing at 3:35, Pushed through about 8 contractions, and didn't think I could keep going. The baby was so low that the doctor said one good push and I'd have a baby. Unfortunately that was easier said than done. My blood pressure elevated to the point of requiring me to go on oxygen and upping my IV (not the Stadol, I only had one dose), while baby's heart rate began to drop. The doctor said baby had to come now, and I needed help. He gave me two options: episiotomy or vacuum baby out. Because I learned in childbirth classes how much the vacuum hurts the baby (gives them a wicked headache) I chose to have a full episiotomy.
2 pushes later I heard a cry and Amelia Jane was born and was placed on my tummy. It was 4:01 am Tuesday, September 8. No pitocin, no epidural, just one dose of stadol.
She and I were both so worn out we just looked at each other, neither one of us even had the energy to cry.
As doctor began to sew me up and clean me up, baby was taken and cared for by papa and a nurse, while I delivered the placenta and continued to be sewn up. It quickly became apparent that my bleeding wasn't stopping. The doctor tried to find the cause, but was unable to reach it... part of the placenta had torn and was still attached to my uterus, which caused uncontrollable bleeding and wouldn't allow my uterus to contract back down. I was prepped for emergency surgery.
I woke up in ICU after having a D&C, which is where they went in and scraped the inside of my uterus to get anything, like the torn placenta, that was left behind. It took a long time to wake up from the anesthesia but I as soon as I was able to form words I asked for my baby. She was not allowed to leave the maternity ward and I had to stabilize before I could move.
Around 7 am I was finally taken to my room where Papa and baby waited for me. I finally got to hold my beautiful baby girl.
Meeting my girl for the first time. Love.

First family photo!

Puffy little face. :)

Millie was 5 lbs 1 oz when we brought her home. 

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lunch date

Yesterday I had what may have been the best morning I've had in very long while. It might SOUND simple enough, but being pregnant has made the simple difficult... so the simple picnic date we had made for a lovely morning.

Ingredients for a picnic lunch date:
-easy lunch foods
-wet wipes
-a ball
-bottle of bubbles

And while I generally take enough photos that Millie starts scowling when she sees it, yesterday I was just too busy playing, munching, and enjoying the warm sunshine to take photos. Luckily a friend snapped one last week at the park for your viewing and "aawww"ing pleasure:
Millie is in the hat
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obligatory first "yay, I started a new blog!" post

It seems that no matter what stage of life I'm in, there is always something to write about.

I've written several blogs over the years, ranging from mission work, to green living, to a self help blog. Writing, creating, photographing, and sharing bits of humor are good ways to relieve the constant outflow of ideas. So, as I close one chapter of my life, and the blog that goes along with it, I begin a new chapter, one that often is smudged by peanut butter or has chew-marks in it. It's the story of life as a stay-at-home-mom to one amazing little girl we call Millie... and her brother who has yet to make an appearance despite nearly 6 weeks of preterm contractions and all the signs of early labor.

Millie is 20 months old. She loves to dance, watch Veggie Tales, and is rather bald. She wears a lot of hats. Not that we're ashamed of the bald head, it's just... bald. She is feisty in every way that a toddler can be, with the whole spectrum of emotions to match. Part of this blog will be about her and the many ways she keeps me dancing on my toes, and falling on my butt (metaphorically and physically).

Samuel is due to make his appearance mid June. He's been itching to come out though, and I've been on meds to keep the plethora of contractions under control since 30 weeks. I'm currently 35 weeks and happy that full-term is just around the corner. So far I can tell you 2 things about Sam: he likes to wiggle, and he's bald. We just make bald babies, ok?

I spend my days with Millie, at home, at the park, out exploring... well, we did all that before I went on bed rest. Now we stay home, watch more Veggie Tales than I care to admit, and have dance parties where I don't actually dance. It's more of an arm flail, really. I spend most nap times sneaking foods that "we don't eat in our house" (but I'm pregnant so I'm magically exempt from this rule), catching up online, and sewing. And of course, blogging.

I am married to a rather peculiar man who is currently out running. He is training for another half-marathon. Because running is... fun? I guess if you don't sew you have to have something to do, right? He works 40-50 hours a week on aircraft. Though he is currently working as a mechanic, he also happens to be a mutli-engine commercial-rated pilot (I think is the right way to say it). Basically, he can make them go up and go neeerrrmmm. We've been together 10 years in October, married for nealy 8 years. I like this guy.

So in a nut shell, that's my family. We are on-the-go a lot. We like the beach, camping, traveling and collecting stamps in our passports - although since Millie came along we haven't strayed too far from home. That much change soon. We live in a townhouse but we also have a garden plot at a local organic farm. We eat healthy (ah hem, well, most of us do... so I crave brownies and ice cream with crunchies... I'm pregnant, so lay off), we're vegetarian, and we live on a budget.

So, that's what this blog will be about: travel, family, home, and my desire to create. Follow along if you'd like to join our journey.

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