June 30, 2011

therapy thursday: endless options

I love taking photos.
And I'm not to shabby at it, either. If I do say so.
But taking the photos is only half the fun, the other half is in how you process them.

Today I'm going to highlight an online photo editor called Picnik (www.picnik.com).
This great editor was recently bought by Google, so you know it's got to be good.
And the best part is, the basic features are FREE! If you want to pay (I think it's totally worth it) it's only $25 a year.

I find it therapeutic to get on and see what new creations I can make. Here's a little sample of some late night creating:

The options are endless. Play with the preset effects or make your own up as you go along. :) My personal favorite effect is the Cross Process. Give it a try!

Endless options:
Internet connection
Digital photograph
Time to play
Read More

June 29, 2011

wifely wednesday: go read a book

I nearly left my husband once.

It wasn't like I just got bored, or fell out of love, or anything like that. No, I had a very specific reason. A very specific hurt. Without going into personal details, I'll just say I reached the point where I had to make a decision: do I stay or do I go?

Yesterday was our 8th wedding anniversary. Needless to say, I stayed. And for the most part I've been very happy with my decision. Although there were a few moments when I was birthing my children that I may have thought otherwise. But now, after the pain of childbirth is over, I'm happy with the decision I made and the life that has followed. 

Getting back to the leaving my husband thing though - we had an older, wiser couple who really helped us through this dark time in our marriage. They had been through the same thing, had the same hurt, and made the same decision. I'll pause here and say if you're having marriage troubles in any way, you might greatly benefit from your own older, wiser couple to mentor you and your spouse. If you don't know any older, wiser couples that you feel comfortable talking to, I suggest praying about it. A local church might be a good place to find one, or parents of a friend, a friend of the family. The most important things are that 1. You trust that they respect you and will keep your interactions private between you and them. And 2. They are supportive of your marriage surviving the hurdle you're facing and will be a source of encouragement. 

One thing this couple did for us - and that I'm going to give to you (well, give the recommendation to you) - is give us a book. And very specific instructions along with it. The book was "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. The instructions - to read the book together. It seemed weird and totally awkward at first, but soon we were both engrossed in the story and it got easier to read aloud and be read to as we went. 

We benefited in 2 very specific ways by this activity. We became closer together by the mere activity of reading together and spending the time together and doing the same thing together, and we also benefited from the story. I believe you will also benefit in these ways. Reading together is a great habit to get into. After you finish this story, you can read others by her - she's a fantastic author and has may wonderful stories. You can read other authors together. You can read the Bible together. I recommend starting with "Redeeming Love" though.

Go read a book:
20+ minutes a day
Read More

June 28, 2011

make it monday: DIY photography

Want great photos on the cheap? 
If you can't afford a professional photographer, give it a go yourself! 
Here are some examples of what you can do at home:


DIY Photography:
+Lighting is KEY - don't use your on-camera. Find a spot in your house that has great natural fill light. There are 2 spots in my house that work great - in front of the sliding glass door and in Millie's room. Make sure the light is always behind you.
+Pay attention to your focus. You usually want the eyes to be in focus, unless you have a reason for them not to be the main focus.
+You don't need a fantastic camera - I shot these on my little old Nikon D40. Just make sure that you have your camera set to shoot on the highest resolution available.
+Pay attention to detail. What's in the background? What's in the foreground? I used a plain old down comforter on the floor for these. There is a Boppy nursing pillow under the comforter in some of them.
+Keep it fun, try new angles, and be creative!
Read More

toddler tuesday: stamp art

I gave Millie stamps for the first time.
I'll admit, I had an ulterior motive. I wanted to stamp her and Samuel's hand and foot prints on a card for the hubs for Father's Day. 
Yes, I know I'm rather late on this one. 
But I spent Father's Day in the hospital with Samuel.

Millie is not keen on getting dirty. She was not impressed with the ink all over her hands.

But she had a blast stamping. :)

Let those creative juices flow!

She was very proud of her artwork. :)

Toddler stamp art:
Washable ink pads

For more great toddler activities visit Jenn's blog!
Read More

June 26, 2011


While I don't plan on posting everyday (because let's face it - I have a newborn and a toddler) I've come up with some goals for posting. 

Here they are:
Make-it Monday (sewing/crafting/scrapping/card-making/etc)
Toddler Tuesday (ideas/activities/tips/etc pertaining to toddlers)
Wifely Wednesday (date ideas/practical romance ideas/etc)
Therapy Thursday (things to inspire and encourage your creative or non creative soul)
Field-trip Friday (practical (or not :P ) outings - with tips/advice/etc.)

We'll see how it goes. I just needed some motivation to tend to my blog. :) It's requiring me to do some planning & forethought which I haven't been doing (blog-wise... I do think before I act... typically). And I also reserve the right to stray from these parameters. 


Meanwhile, while I haven't been blogging, I have been snapping photos of the big sissy and "her" baby. She is enthralled with him. But you can see that...

I love my babies.

PS - I can't wait to make this!
Read More

June 23, 2011

good baby

I know, I know... this blog is sorely neglected.
I'll just say being on bedrest may have seemed like a great time to start a new blog, 
but after bedrest came Samuel. 
Ah, sweet Samuel. Can I tell you about him? He (like his bis sister was) is the baby everyone hope they have. 
I mean, the kind of baby that you hope and pray and dream about. 

The kind of baby that is content to he held, or to swing, or to ride in the Ergo. 
He doesn't cry at all - we can probably could on one hand how many times he's cried in his week of life, and mostly because 
I'm still a little awkward at this breast feeding thing. 
Speaking of which, he nurses great. 
And, he makes little noises and smiles in his sleep. 
I love watching him sleep. 

Papa just brought him to me. Now he's sleeping in my arms. 
Mmmm, sleeping baby.

Millie is throughly enjoying being a big sister. She is VERY helpful.
Well, she's kind of helpful.
The important thing is that she TRIES to help, right?
But oh how she loves kissing her Samool.

Sadly I haven't even gotten my DSLR out since we brought him home. 
I keep snapping on my P&S. 
I meant to take it to the park, but packing for 2 babies seems to have given me memory loss. 
At least I remembered the kids, right?

I have some fun ideas and a great new blog I just discovered that I want to share, 
But with little Sam in my arms I seem to be a mite distracted. So I'll try to post tomorrow.

For now, snack on these little feet.

Read More

June 15, 2011

Samuel's Birth Story

I’ll warn you right now – if you’re about to give birth don’t read this. Still reading? Ok, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

5:00 Up and in the shower. So, so, so excited to not only meet my boy – but to finally be pain free from the unbearable hip pain. We’re soon on our way!

6:50 Let the games begin! The cervix-softening pill is inserted against my cervix. I’m 3 cm dilated and 85% effaced. Doc is full of optimism and guesses I’ll be holding Samuel by early afternoon. Since I am group b strep positive, I am on the IV every 4 hours for antibiotics throughout the day.

9:15 Water is broken. No turning back now. Cervix is nearly totally effaced, still 3 cm. I spend lots of time walking. Contractions begin immediately. I walk the perimeter of the hospital a few times and labor in the tub.

12:45 Checked by the nurse. 5 cm. Contractions are strong and I feel discouraged they aren’t progressing me faster. I’m a little impatient, but in good spirits and still in a good mood.

2:40 Checked again – 6.5 cm. Why isn’t this going faster?? Lots of laboring in the tub, the contractions are very intense and close. I’m having about 50% back labor. Ugh.

4:00 The pain is unbearable. I’m only 7.5 cm and have been working through contractions for nearly 7 hours. I need a break. I take a shot of phentonal in my IV. It makes me loopy and the contractions slightly easier for about 30, maybe 45 minutes. Then it’s back to laboring through the back labor. Lots of crying during this time.

(Times after this point are estimates)

5:30 Still 7.5. No changes. More pain. I have another dose of phentonal somewhere in here. It’s hard to know what happened when at this point because I’m screaming with pain. Back labor is the worst. “I don’t want to do this anymore,” (phrase heard in my room about 300 times after this point).

6:00 My cervix is 100% dilated on one side… still 8.5 on the other. I am defeated. I want to quit. I ask for an epidural. I’ve been in hard labor for about 4 hours with my cervix stalling. I can’t handle the pain anymore. I want an epidural, I can’t imagine dealing with this any longer.

6:30 I am told all of the anesthesiologists are in surgery. They cannot come. I cannot have an epidural. I must keep going. There is no change to my cervix. Nor is there an end in sight.

7:00 The doctor asks me to push, he is going to try to push the part of my cervix that won’t dilate while I push to get Samuel out. I have no energy. I’ve been laboring for 10 hours. I want to give up. Somewhere in me I think to start praying. So I did. And God gave me the strength I asked for.

I don’t even know where it came from (other than from God), but a beast arose in me and I pushed like my life depended on it. I think I may have believed that. I beg for an episiotomy to get him out faster. I remember screaming at this point, both at my wonderful doctor and my dear nurse.

When I finally can start to feel the baby move I’m told no more pushing. His shoulder is caught on my pubic bone – pretty much as his head is crowing – the most painful part. It takes a minute for the doctor to free the shoulder. I have to just wait, but I am given my episiotomy. A few more pushes – 2 or 3 and I can see him. His beautiful face is free, seconds later, he is placed on my chest (7:25 pm), and my labor is over after 10.5 of the hardest hours of my life. Samuel is 6 lbs, 9 oz, 20 inches long. 

Oh wait, no, it’s not over. As I’m being stitched up and deliver the placenta – which came out in one piece – my doctor becomes concerned about my blood loss. Having a history of hemorrhaging, he calls for blood-clotting drugs in my IV. In my extreme pain, I tore the IV from my arm. I took a shot in my leg instead. It finally clotted enough to not be a concern.

Once I am finally stitched up, my bleeding slowed, I am able to try to nurse my little boy. It’s rough-going, but with the help of a nipple shield we are soon nursing. It’s a good feeling.

The entire day was pretty rough and certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. I wanted to give up 100 times but I somehow didn’t. I’m praising God for that now. Samuel is perfect and beautiful and I felt like I’ve waited my whole life just to hold him. I’m in love. 

I found out the next day from my doc that the reason I wasn't dilating like I should have was because Samuel's head was tilted a bit, so it was only pushing on half my cervix. But who can blame this precious face?

Read More

June 2, 2011

a chance to give

Just a quick post before I go get the wee up for the day. Wanted to share this link to the memorial fund for my friends that lost their 18-month old daughter earlier this week.

Read More
cas anderson (2016) . Powered by Blogger.