Thursday, December 24, 2009

It Wouldn't be Christmas Without..

Snowman Mints
They will put a smile on any Grinch or scrooges face! And they are so easy to make!

I found this recipe in the November/December 2000 issue of American Girl Magazine. I used to make them all the time but its been a few years so I'm a little rusty on all the tricks. Here's the recipe (the comments in italics are my add ons):

  1. Wash hands. In a bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon softened butter (do not use margarine, it's too greasy and they won't stay together), 1 tablespoon light corn syrup, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon mint extract with a fork or spoon. Gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar (really really do it gradually if you add it all at once it won't mix together, also if you have to little the dough will be too soft and "melty") When dough becomes too stiff to stir, knead with hands. (it should be the consistency of play dough or a little stiffer)

  2. Make 12 snowmen with 3/4 of dough by forming 2 or 3 marble-size balls for each one. Stick balls on wax paper to make bodies. Really just have fun with the size of them and I use all of the dough to make the bodies and whatever is left over I use for step 3. The heat of your hands will make the dough softer so just keep adding a little powdered sugar to keep it stiff, or put it in the fridge for a little bit to keep it stiffer.

  3. Divide rest of dough in half. Knead 1 drop blue food coloring into one half. Wash hands. Knead 1 drop red and 2 drops yellow food coloring into other half. Wash hands. You really only need a little bit of orange dough (for noses) so I do less than half. Also I put the food color on an end of the spoon to control how much color goes into the dough.

  4. For each snowman, press on candy sprinkles for mouth, eyes, and buttons. (do this first its easiest when the body is soft also, putting the face on and then sticking it to the body works well and using tweezers (clean ones!) to put the face on works well too) With the blue dough form a scarf, hat or earmuffs. With the orange dough form a nose. (like with the bodies the dough will get softer so just add more sugar or put in the fridge for a little bit) Store in fridge. ( they will harden in the fridge but I know afterwards I used to leave them out on the counter or table covered in plastic)

They are really fun and easy to make! You can change up the colors, sprinkles or features to fit your fancy. You can even just roll out the dough and cut it with small cookie cutters or make plane balls to use it for another season.
Here are some that I made yesterday :)

I messed up a lot and they still came out cute, they just look like they're melting!

Merry Christmas Eve! I hope your celebrations are wonderful!
I tried rolling the mints out and they get really sticky so just sprinkle powdered sugar on top as you roll. Its also easier to move the mint cut outs if they are thick-ish. I think you can see my thicker mints verses the thinner ones in this picture. (these rolled mints are going in a jar as part of my grandma's present)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas is Coming

And Amber's getting fat! Well not really but she's about 7 pounds now. Its more like and the momma is very busy! I've taken all our Christmas pictures, finished Christmas shopping, made tags for the presents, made a gingerbread house and sent Christmas cards! Now all I have left to do is wrap presents (that's today's goal) and do some more baking!
Wednesday night I was up till 12am making the pieces for the gingerbread house and yesterday my cousin's wife and I attempted to make the houses. HOLY CAT FIGHT is that hard!! My shapes weren't exactly straight (this is very important lol) and the frosting wasn't getting hard enough (we were too close to the heater lol). It was frustrating but we had a lot of fun, and were very entertaining to everyone watching. My cousins house was beautifully decorated but sadly fell apart before I got any pictures of it. I was so done with the whole thing that I kind of just slapped some things on it to be finished lol. Here it is.

the other side the hearts are actually in some kind of a pattern

I spent this morning making tags for our presents (because I usually wrap first and then forget what present goes to which person) It didn't take me too long and was really pretty easy. I cut some squares of card stock, stamped it, colored it in, added some glitter glue and wrote to and from. Here they are:

I'm very proud of the fact that I actually sent cards this year :) I think it came out pretty good

I've made quite a mess lol I have wrapping paper, gifts in bags and just Christmas-y things all over the place! I really need to go wrap those presents now, while Amber is happy. I've got two little helpers too!
Can you see Boo sleeping on the gifts and Mr Pickles doing something (probably along the lines of eating them).
Christmas is coming soon!! I have some very cute and festive pictures of Ambergini I'll upload later! Uploading pictures from my phone is fast and easy but, the quality is a tad crappy lol like the ones above :/
btw sorry I said lol about a million times in this post!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Feline Friend

I'm done with Christmas shopping! Today I'm supposed to be wrapping presents, getting a Christmas card picture done and baking. Well that's not really happening because Amber was (emphasis on was) having a good morning and wanted to talk to and be played with. I ran upstairs for the Boppy and came back down to find this:
She was telling Jada some big story (they're very good friends)

Then she realized I was there and told me some big story (I talk back)
This is some of our conversations...please ignore my ridiculously high pitched voice.

I took the video on my phone (can you see the other cat in the background)
I was able to get some cute pictures for our car and some gifts before she started fussing and fell asleep again. I still need a few more pictures and I think I might post them tomorrow, they really are adorable! Well I'm off to make gingerbread pieces for house making tomorrow!! Wish me luck I've never done it from scratch before!!
BTW we have 4 cats...sometime I'll introduce you to them :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some of my favorite things and being random (a favorite thing)

I don't know about you guys but I'm loving the fact that I have not had to do any serious blog posts lately!! In case you haven't gathered from the scatterbrained posts that I do I love to be random (probably because I can't keep myself on one subject and/or focused)

Our church's Sunday school Christmas program was today and it got me thinking about my favorite Christmas things. So here is a list (in no great order) of my all time favorite winter things!

  1. Sunday School Christmas Programs ~ adorable
  2. Gingerbread Houses ~ !!!!
  3. Christmas Lights ~ need I say more?
  4. Nativity Sets ~ how different and special each one is
  5. Ornaments ~ each one has a story to tell
  6. Singing Christmas Carols ~ anyone can sing them
  7. Christmas movie specials ~ I can not miss one!!
  8. Watching the snow fall
  9. Hearing the snow crunch under foot ~ two reason I won't leave New England
  10. Baking Christmas cookies ~ yum
  11. Getting Christmas Cards ~ better than bills!!
  12. Babies in snowsuits ~ I love how they can hardly move
  13. Wrapping Christmas Presents ~ bows and shinny paper :)
  14. Getting together with friends and family ~ always seems extra special this time of year
  15. Christmas Morning ~ exciting!
  16. The Candlelit Christmas Eve Service ~ amazing and probably my favorite thing of all time, its beautiful and powerful! I look forward to it all year long.

I could go on and on!! This is probably why I collect snow globes :) I hope you're all enjoying your favorite things about this time of year too!!

Can't believe she's 3 months now!! (1 month in a tree at Diana's Bath in North Conway NH)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

snowy days and minty cookies

Well it finally looks like winter in New England thanks to a snow storm on Wednesday! The hubby brought me home some Holiday Minty M&M's, they're great by themselves but are heavenly in these cookies and perfect on a cold winter day with some cocoa! I found this great cookie recipe in my moms cook book. Its from you have to be a member to get they're recipes online. I think that's kind of lame, since its such a good one I'm going to try to copy and past it here :)

Makes 1 1/2 dozen 3-inch cookies. Published January 1, 1996.

These truly chewy chocolate chip cookies are delicious served warm from the oven or cooled. To ensure a chewy texture, leave the cookies on the cookie sheet to cool. You can substitute white, milk chocolate, or peanut butter chips for the semi- or bittersweet chips called for in the recipe. In addition to chips, you can flavor the dough with one cup of nuts, raisins, or shredded coconut.

2 1/8 cups bleached all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark), 7 ounces
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 - 2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (semi or bittersweet)

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.

3. Following illustrations below, form scant 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchment paper-lined 20-by-14-inch lipless cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month—shaped or not.)

4. Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). (Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.) Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.

This is my new favorite cookie dough recipe! Just to let you know it still comes out really good if you make a few mistakes. Amber was having one of her days were she must be held at all time or she cries I was a bit frazzled when I made them. I ended up not melting the butter first, I didn't bother with the fancy shapping, I cooked them on a stone and I put 1 egg and 1 egg white in instead of 1 egg and 1 yolk. They still came out amazing and to prove it I have no pictures of the cookies to show you! I'm going to try the recipe again and follow the directions a little better to see if they come out any different and I'll let you all know!!

Happy Holidays and Happy Baking to you all!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Showing off :)

I know I promised some holiday posting and yes it will be coming soon but we had such a good day today that I just had to share it!!!
Today our regular early intervention therapist came with a nurse who specializes in development to discuss some of Amber's setbacks and what the Dr's have told us so far. It was my turn to impress them first sharing my knowledge of medical terms, explaining her conditions and my super binder skills! Not to pump up my own ego but there is such a stigma associated with young parents that it was nice to finally have someone recognize that I actually know whats going on :)
Amber's turn was next she totally aced today's session! She did everything cognitively that she's supposed to be able to do right now. This is a recent accomplishment and it really wow'd the nurse and her therapist. She did great eye contact, turned her head to the side and up to look at me and her Grammpy, was being very vocal in a bunch of ranges and talking back and reacting to the talking around her! Her neck control is getting a lot better even in just a week! Her therapist even commented on the remarkable improvement she's had this week, even in her hands! I know its still going to take some time before she's all "fixed" but I'm so proud of her accomplishing so much already! Thanks again for all your prayers I really believe Amber couldn't have come so far without them!
Here are some pictures of Amber and her PA Grammy enjoying some time together!

I'm proud to say her face making ability is one of the few traits she got from me :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

What a Week! Everyone needs a Med student :)

What a week it's been! We started a little rough but it seems like we're back to better than normal! Its been quite some time since I've seen Amber smile but she gave me a few today and a pretty good attempt at a laugh! She also slept completely through the night last night!! She went from 9 ish to 7! It was probably due to a stressful day but fingers crossed it happens again tonight... she just fell asleep :)
To start Tuesday we had Amber's 2 month appointment. She is now 6lbs 11oz (13oz on Thursday) and 21 inches! That puts her in the 10th percentile for height and the 3rd percentile for weight. The good news is she went from the 3rd to the 10th percentile for head size! She has a little impetigo around her mouth but thanks to some antibiotics its almost cleared up.

At our appointment we met a med student, as part of her training she needed to follow a family who has a child with a on going condition. So she got to come with us to all of our appointments on Thursday. It was nice she asked a lot of questions we wouldn't have known to ask and they told her "Dr things" they wouldn't normally say around us.

We had our joint appointment with our geneticist and orthopedist. It went ok we really didn't find out anything new except that they both really think its Beals syndrome (which they had mentioned from the beginning) Beals is very rare but our orthopedists has had one other patient with it who turned out fine (yay!) They told us was her bones are very very brittle (more brittle than someone with brittle bones disease) a startle could break her thigh bone :( they were very surprised she hasn't had a break yet. By looking at the x-rays she had they could tell the Vitamin D has been working, the bad news is it's making the top of her leg bones ossify (this is bad because ossifying doesn't happen until the bones are done or almost done growing).
The other bad news is she started with very low levels of vitamin D and now she has very high levels of it. So her endocrinologist stopped her vitamin D and calcium treatment. She'll have her levels tested again in January and then in March after that we'll go from there. Its hard news to hear because we came from one Dr's appointment where they said the treatment was working but we still had a long way to go to another Dr who says no she can't have the treatment anymore but hadn't even looked at her x-rays yet. The good news is the orthopedists thinks that since we started Early Intervention and the stretches so soon the joint and muscle problems she has should be fixed without surgery or splinting! The other good news is the ultrasound on her soft spot came out perfectly normal! So I'm not sure but I think that means we can cancel our Jan. neurology appointment!

We won't see the geneticist or orthopedist until February and we'll continue to see them together. Our geneticist is conferencing with other geneticists this weekend about Amber so hopefully at our next appointment we'll get some better answers, I don't think we'll get any diagnosis until Easter at the soonest.

I'm so thankful that we have the holiday season off from Dr appointments so we can focus on spending time with our family and enjoying the holidays! You can expect some cooking and holiday fun blogging coming soon! Lol I was supposed to start some cookie making tonight but sadly that hasn't happened....I'm not even sure this post makes sense! Yikes I really need to upload some new pictures of the peanut too!

Monday, November 30, 2009

What Happened to November!

Yikes! Time just seems to be slipping through my fingers these days! I can't believe tomorrow is November : / On the 15th the hubby and I celebrated our 1st anniversary! Yet again I can't believe how fast time is flying by and that we've already been married for a year!! And what an eventful year it has been! To celebrate we did an over night in a little Bed and Breakfast called Stepping Stones in Wilton NH. It was very cute and run by a little old lady who is an amazing cook! Amber was all smiles when we came back.
 For Thanksgiving we went down to PA to see my hubby's family. It was a whirlwind 6 day trip but worth all the time, it was so nice to see our family down there again and most of them hadn't meet Amber yet. We also got to spend some time with my brother and dad. Needless to say Amber was hardly held or showered with love the whole time ;)
I don't have much of an update on Princess Stinky Pants except that she seems to be doing well, getting very long! Her endocrinologist called today (I didn't talk to him) but he said to stop the vitamin D. My guess is her levels are back to normal! Tomorrow is her 2 month appointment, I can't wait so see how big she's gotten! Thursday is our joint appointment with the geneticist and the orthopedic dr in the morning and the endocrinologist in the afternoon! I can't exactly say I'm excited but I really can't wait to get the results from her tests. We finally have a date for her neurology appointment it will be Jan. 4th, it seems like a long way away but I'm sure (like always) the time will just fly by!
Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I'll try to get better about posting more this month but who knows with the busy holidays fast approaching!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An update!

Yikes time flies and so much is going on I just haven't found the time to get back on here!!
Soo I'll try and do this in bullets to make it as short as possible (if that possible!) and then do some fun pictures at the end b/c I just love to show off this cute peanut who is changing soo much!
* 10/26 & 11/11 Early Intervention Evaluation went well she's qualified! And we will be seeing them once a week for services and then in 6 months (4/11) we'll have another evaluation.
* 10/26 ~ 10/29 We visited my grandparents at their place in North Conway NH (where we stayed for our honeymoon!) and had a lot of fun taking Amber to Diana's bath and enjoying family and the outdoors
* 10/30 We had our Endocrinology appointment (a hormone Dr) who will be dealing exclusively with Amber's bone issues, the good news is this seems to be something that will be fixed over time!! YAAY We also found out her lack of vitamin D could be b/c I have a lack of vitamin D
* 10/31 Amber dressed up in a duck onesie from daddy and we went to my cousin's house to hand out candy and enjoy the warm Halloween night
* 11/10 We had the follow up appointment with Amber's geneticist. The good news is her chromosomes are completely fine! This rules out a few of the disorders they were looking at! The bad news is they are still concerned about other genetic disorders and she will have to have further testing done. The Dr still hasn't given us a good idea of what we might be dealing with b/c they still need to gather information on her. They also tested her for a rare metabolic disorder.
Upcoming Events for us, again I'm going to do the bullets b/c there is a lot going on!
- Amber (again) and I will have our blood tested to check the levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D and the parathyroid
- Amber will have an ultrasound done on her soft spot to check her brain structure and she will also have an x-ray to check her entire skeletal structure
* 11/24 We have Amber's 2 month visit so we'll have another weigh in!!
-We have a joint (no pun intended!) genetics and orthopedic appointment to discuss test results and discuss whats going on with her hands and hopefully get her hands splinted that day!!
- We will also have our follow up appointment with the endocrinologist that day. If her levels have gone down we'll be able to decrease her medication and if not she'll have to have a bone density test done.
At some point she will also be seeing a neurologist to determine why she is reluctant to lift/move her head, use her arms (especially the left one) and to discuss a few episodes where she becomes distant and non responsive.
Yep there is a lot going on!! But she's doing really well despite it all and we're doing a good job managing everything! We are so thankful of all the help and support we receive from our family, friends and Dr's, we are truly blessed!
Some Milestones She's Hit
* She is now 6 pounds 5 ounces!!
* She is eating a little over 3 ounces!!
*She is pretty much sleeping through the night!
* She is now smiling!! Her first smile was for daddy :)
And now here are some fun pictures!!

Happy Veterans day to all our service men and women! We are truly grateful for the hard sacrifices you all make to keep our country free! Love you and thanks Dad and Ian

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Enjoying a Fall Day!!

Its been quite the week! But today we took a moment out of our crazy life to just enjoy a nice fall day. Daddy did some lawn work wile Mommy and Amber caught up with Auntie Allie :) and then Amber got to play in the leaves!! She wasn't too sure at first but I think she liked it (or at least the noise). We went to a pumpkin patch too and saw some giant bunnies!!
Monday-we had our first meeting with Early Intervention, it was a tad frustrating b/c the lady had no idea why she was there :/ and had no idea what camptodactyly was. We're praying that her evaluation this coming Tuesday will go better!
Wednesday- she had her one month appointment. It went really well, she weighed 5lbs 13.5 ounces (yaay almost 7 ounces in a week!) And she was 20 inches long (yaay her newborn outfits are now getting shorter!) The best news is 1) she didn't have to get any shots!! 2)we don't have to see the pediatrician for a WHOLE MONTH!!
Upcoming appointments- on the 27th she has her Early Intervention evaluation and the 30th she has an appointment with an endocrinologist (I'm guessing this means there was something up with her parathyroid levels, there is a serious lack of communication going on :/) and Nov. 10th a follow up with the geneticist (still no word on those tests :/)
I also got out twice this week!! And its amazing how God used both situations to remind me of His presence in our situation. The first was a Sunday night encouragement service. It was hard not to apply all the encouraging things everyone said to our situation. I was also very blessed by two lovely young women with their arrangement of the hymn "It is Well with My Soul". If your not familiar with the hymn or the powerful story behind it check it out:
The second was Tuesday morning bible study, it was great and very encouraging to be around such godly women and learn from them!
In my search for something to encourage the man in my church and a dear teacher who has just been diagnosed with cancer I found two verses that have calmed the storm of worry I let brew during this time of waiting. "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14 and "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
It never ceases to amaze me how if we just open our eyes we'll see how God uses every situation to show us something or encourage us!
Thank you for all of your encouragement!! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

4 Weeks Fly By So Fast!

I can't believe that on Sunday little Amber will be a month old! And its been one crazy month! We've been going to the Dr's a couple times a week for weight checks and she's finally made some progress! It took her a month but she's finally over birth weight 5lbs 6oz :)
She's looking a little bigger and is finally wearing a few newborn sized outfits! Her hair is still dirty blond with platinum streaks and growing growing growing! She has long beautiful eyelashes that she likes to bat at mummy and daddy :) Another milestone....she got her first tubby! She's not too sure how she like being in the water but loves getting her hair washed!

I haven't mentioned this yet but I finally feel OK talking about it. At birth the pediatricians were concerned with a few things about her. She has very long, slender fingers, a narrow chest, loose skin, hyper mobility or double joints in most of her joints and one pediatrician said she had low ears (they determined it was one crooked ear). The pediatrician sent us to a geneticist in our area to have her looked over. They did some blood tests to check her genes and chromosomes and we are still waiting for the results to come back. They also took an x-ray of her chest and back. They didn't say anything was wrong with the x-ray except that she has osteopenia. This means her bones aren't mineralizing. After further blood tests they found that she has low vitamin D and high levels of alkaline phosphates. We're also waiting on the results on her parathyroid. The geneticist also diagnosed her with camptodactly (permanently fused joints) in her two middle fingers on her left hand and possibly part of her thumbs. So far treatment for these two things just consists of a liquid multivitamin, vitamin D drops and early intervention to work with her fingers. As of now I'm not really worried about any of this she acts like a normal, happy, healthy baby. The Dr's are jumping to the worst just to make sure they don't miss anything. Waiting has to be the worst part of it all but we're just focusing all of our attention on loving our little girl :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And Baby Makes Three! (very long!!)

Amber Skye is here! She arrived September 18th at 2:14 after 38 hours of labor, weighing in at 5lbs 4oz and 19 inches tall, a long skinny baby! We were not expecting her to come so soon, her estimated due date was October 4th and we had just had the baby shower 6 days before!
A Labor of Love
Thursday September 17th. I woke up at 7:30 with contractions that were 6 minutes apart. I had had days before where I would have tamable contractions for most of the day but eventually they would go away. This morning I knew it was different because these contractions felt stronger. I spent the morning washing and putting away baby clothes and trying to figure out what we still needed before Amber arrived (thinking I had weeks finish all of this). We spent most of the day at the mall and I was still having contractions between 8 and 6 minutes apart. At 3:30 my contractions slowed down to about 15 minutes apart and I figured they would just go away at this point. We had our last makeup Childbirth Class and left early to go to Marshalls to find my husband some new sneakers and me a nightgown. At 4:45 (on our way) my contractions went back to 6 minutes apart and they were a lot stronger. I found out that night that it’s very hard to practice good Lamaze breathing in class when you’re at a peak of a real contraction and supposed to be breathing for the beginning of a mock contraction. During class we watched a video called the Stages of Labor. This is when my husband and I realized that maybe I was actually in labor right then. We got home around 9 and I decided that maybe I should have a bag packed, because at some point the baby was coming (I did not think it was going to be the next day) My contractions at this point were still 6 minutes apart but they had started to take my breath away, so I decided to call my midwife Amy, she told me to come down when I got to point where I couldn’t talk through them for an hour. Well an hour or more went by and they were getting stronger but I was managing. I really didn’t want to go until my water broke but my husband decided that we should probably head to the hospital. We got there around 1, they hooked my up to the monitors and my contractions went down to 8 minutes apart. I was really discouraged because they had slowed down and weren’t really showing up on the monitor. My midwife came in a few hours later, she felt my stomach during a contraction and decided that it was more intense than she had expected so she needed to do an internal. Well to my utter shock and surprise I was almost 5 cm dilated and 90% effaced! At that point they realized the monitor was not working right and fixed it. I continued to manage my contractions really well even as the intensity grew; I just did what came naturally. I breathed how my body told me to and/or focused intently on something in the room and talked myself through it. I didn’t do it on my own though! I had a lot of help from my husband; he’s apparently the perfect doula. Amy was a lot of help to, she had my sitting on the ball (which was amazing!) and she spent hours talking to us and talking me through contractions. Some time after 7 Amy checked me again. She was worried I wasn’t progressing because my contractions were still 8 minutes apart. At this point I 7cm dilated and 100% effaced. I was so happy because if I had not progressed she would have broken my water. At this time our nurses changed. Our new nurse was Patrice and she was amazing! She had me get in the shower to see if it would speed things up. It didn’t but the hot water combined with my husband massaging my back was wonderful (at this point you could feel my tail bone sticking out). The contractions were getting more intense but still 8 minutes apart. At it must have been after 8 because my mom arrived and our midwife changed to Anne. Anne decided to check me and I was still 7 cm dilated so she decided to break my water. My aunt arrived at some point after this but from this point on the rest of my labor is a little fuzzy and I lost all sense of time. My contractions slowly got closer and closer together. They were really erratic time wise, some came close together other were far apart. I was starting to have a hard time managing them especially as I got closer to the transitional stage. At one point they had me stand up and try to sway back and forth as I held on to my husband. Once I got up I felt like the baby was just going to fall out there was so much pressure and the contractions were very intense. The baby started to show signs of distress so they had me drinking lots of water and lay on my side. I was in full transitional stage by this point and completely freaking out. Now I know why people get drugs during labor! I started doing really shallow breathing at this point which was really not good for the baby. They gave me oxygen and finally ended up giving me an IV of fluid. Somewhere in there they checked me again and said I was about 8/9 cm dilated but very stretchy. This was good because it allowed me to push a little without doing any harm. Transition just got worse and worse, I was not coping well at all. Midwife Anne sat down on my bed and told me that it was my choice to go drug free and that I pretty much needed to get my act together. It was a polite slap in the face and just what I needed from that point on I did a lot better. I’m not sure when but shortly after Anne spoke to me it was time to start pushing. For me this felt like the worst part I couldn’t tell when my contractions were starting and ending and I didn’t have a super urge to push. I felt like I was making no progress, my husband would say “oh she has hair!” or they would say she’s almost here but there would still be more pushing to do! Finally her head was half way out, the worst feeling in the world but also the most exciting and I just pushed with everything and didn’t stop till she was out! They put her up on my stomach and she had the sweetest little cry and big curious eyes! I won’t lie it was hard work and I screamed through most of the end! I know I couldn’t have done it without my husband and I’m so grateful that my mom and aunt stayed it was wonderful to have all that love and support!
Welcome to the World Baby Girl!
I can’t believe she’s almost two weeks old now! It’s been touch and go for a little bit. Even though she was born at 37 weeks they consider her a “near term baby” but say she acts more like a preemie. She had a lot of feeding issues in the beginning from showing no interest in eating to latching on problems. But we’ve come a long way this week! As long as I use the nipple shield she’ll nurse like a champ and we don’t have to do any bottle feeding! We’ve been to the Dr’s almost every day since she’s come home because she lost 8% in the hospital and then some more when we got home. But as of yesterday she up to 4lbs 15oz so almost at birth weight! She has some breathing problems which caused her to fail her car seat challenge twice. Meaning she stops breathing when put in a car seat or if she’s in a similar position. So she has to ride in a car bed that keeps her flat on her back. She also has a serious spit up problem similar to acid reflux that requires her to be kept in an upright position for almost an hour after she eats. She is the sweetest little baby so calm and peaceful and hardly ever fussy, I know I’m so lucky!
The Mamma
I’m doing really well! Almost everyday I surprise myself with how much pain and/or discomfort I can put up with. I think because it’s for such a wonderful little person it makes it a lot easier. I ended up with a 2nd degree tear and 6 stitches but after 5 days I felt almost back to myself with minimal pain. I’m beginning to think that maybe I was a blue ribbon milk cow in another life. I’ve got enough milk for 8 babies and no room left in my freezer! I love being a mom despite all the hard work its something I wouldn’t trade for the world! And Baby Makes Three!
My husband is an amazing dad, not that I had any doubts! It just seems to come naturally to him and it so beautiful to watch them together! It’s been so nice to see both of our families enjoying the new addition. She has been blessed with very loving and caring aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, grandparents and great grandparents!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Painting is DONE!!

Here it is! The process wasn't really as hard as I thought it would be, a tad time consuming and a good lesson in patience but I would do it again in a heartbeat! Just two walls have the stripes on them the eastern and northern facing walls aka the two window walls. Here's me and my dad pulling off the tape that took us forever to put on!

I did a lot of research before hand and here are some tips I found or were told that really helped us (in case any of you are inspired to add stripes to your rooms)
1) Paint your entire wall the solid color first and let it dry a few days or a week before you tape. It lets the paint set and prevents it from being riped off the walls when you take your tape off.
2) Use a laser level to get a straight line to tape off of. Your line will be straighter and it makes your life a lot easier!
3) After you put you tape on make sure its flush on the walls and there are no "bubbles". Then take your solid color and paint over the tape. This seals the tape and if there is going to be any bleeding through its the same color as the wall. (this is a wonderful tip!!)
4) Do all your stripe painting in the same day. Let each coat dry for about 30 - 45 mins. On your last coat as soon as your done painting start pulling the tape off (yes wile the paint is still wet!)
We followed these tips and have beautiful stripes! We had been planning on doing a stencil over the stripes but we love the way they look so much I think we're going to skip the stencil. This means that the room is all done being painted and we can start setting things up and decorating!!
Yes the fun begins!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I've been busy busy busy (and not updating so this is a tad long)! Time is winding down and things are slowly being finished and put together. I finished (kind of) another one of my "big" baby projects. We had bought plain foam letters that match the old bed set a wile ago and I decided the colors would no longer fly with the new bed set. So I to covered them with scrapbooking paper and magazine clippings in some coordinating colors to the new bedding. They came out soo cute! Now all they need is some ribbon around the edges and they're ready to get hung up! Here they are!

I can't believe how fast the date is coming!! Here's some other updates I haven't been able to share!

1) At our appointment on Thursday the little lady was back on target for growth! And we're praying that she stays that way for the next couple of weeks!

2) I've finally gained a total of 20lbs!!

3) We got a pediatrician finally!! (another answer to prayer!)

3) The tape is finally up (thanks to a very patient dad!) and the stripes should be done tomorrow (fingers crossed)!

And my goal is to get the stenciling done either this week too or by early next week. But I'm not sure how realistic this is because we have soo many appointments and classes these next two weeks and some very missed family coming to visit so work will be put on hold then as well.

Oh and if you couldn't guess the name here are the letters all together :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oh Baby!

I've been working on the wall letters all night (and early morning) and something about seeing her name always gets me! I don't know what it is. We may not know what you look like baby but at least we have a name for you! Here's my favorite picture of the tiny wonder so far! Tiny being her word for the day, at every appointment she measures a week behind but today/yesterday (its 1:48am!) she measured almost three weeks behind. They're not concerned yet, mainly because hubby and I are not very big people, but we will be starting our weekly appointments sooner to keep an eye on her. Of course whenever we have any worries about our little peanut it always makes me think of Psalm 139: 13-16. How He is creating her innermost being, He knows the day she will come and all of her days before she is even born! She is and will be exactly how He has purposed her to be so there is no need to worry He is in control of her tiny life.

Good night! (and good morning!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Appliquéd Onesies

My grandma gave me these two onesies earlier this summer, they're preemie size so I decided to try out some new embroidery stitches on them and some applique. Here's an up close of the apple, I did in one evening (thanks to some extra nesting energy) Its an open chain stitch around the apple, the leaf I drew first and then did a satin stitch to make it and the stem is a whipped chain stitch. All three were new stitches and I'm happy to say they were pretty easy! Here's an up close of the kitty, it took a lot longer to finish I lost some steam trying to get the outline done.
The outline is the open chain stitch again, a little messy I was getting sick of doing it lol! The nose and ears are a satin stitch, I really like how that stitch looks. The whiskers are the whipped chain stitch (another encore stitch) and the mouth is a single fly stitch. The patches are a whipped running stitch, a new one but very easy :) And the eyes, my new hard stitch for this one, are FRENCH KNOTS! This stitch is a big achievement for me but I still hate it, it only works when it wants to lol. I love how the face came out :) Now I'm not sure what to do with them! I don't think this baby is going to be small enough to wear them, which really isn't a bad thing! So I might hang them somehow, somewhere in her room or put them on a doll or bear in her room.... Its nice to have at least one project finished! Now its time to start another heehee!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Growing Growing Growing

Here's my 7th month pictures! I think my hubby took these before vacation (on his phone)

She's getting to be really really big and running out of room. I could probably do a picture everyday or week at the rate she's going! Most days the bump is no longer nice and round but very lumpy due to random appendages that she's sticking out (I got hold of a chubby leg the other night and was able to move it around lol)

Painting is almost done!

What a weekend and what a week so far! We've been madly painting and the main wall colors are done (mom just finished the final wall this morning!) now its time to paint the trim, stripes and stencils!! I haven't been painting the room because of the poor ventilation in there so I've been in the garage cleaning, sanding and painting a doll highchair and the changing table. I still need to add some "flare" to them but they're ready! It getting very exciting the colors look amazing in the room (the pictures do not do them justice the green is more bright)
We had my family birthday party this weekend and my mom gave me the bedding and three elephant wall plaques (that match the bedding) and its even cuter in person!! I can't wait to put everything together its going to look super awesome! By the way we've actually had some summer weather this week so here is a picture of me dying as I try to clean off the changing table (my feet are still trying to recover from the last few days)