Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big Baby Post

One year ago, I looked like this...
I'll be vain. I had a freaking adorable belly!! Ignore the face in this picture, this was about 6 hours into my 9am induction on August 24th, 2010. I'm gonna say I was 5-6cm.
The night before, Chris and I snuggled and watched a movie. I had already fiddled around the house, getting everything packed and ready, throwing out fridge items I knew would go bad, getting the last dish washed and set to dry. He laid his head on my belly and talked to Nevaeh, telling her this was her last chance to come out on her own before we had no choice but to get her out ourselves. She didn't listen of course.

Previously, I had tried the following natural inductions:
Sex. Lots of uncomfortable, unwanted sex. (I mean really, who actually wants to do it when they're 40+ weeks pregnant?!)
Pineapple. Within two days, I ate an entire pineapple. Tasted awesome, but did nothing.
Spicy food. I am not a spicy food person. Eating it was horrible and painful! My belly was torn up with burning, my mouth was on fire. I hated it. But inside my womb was this little soccer player, flipping and kicking like she was having a blast! Apparently she's a spicy food kid.
Walking. I walked every single day. I carried small loads of laundry up and down the stairs (One so I didn't lift too much and two so I did more exercise) I walked around the neighborhood, paced the living room while watching TV, walked the mall, squated, did yoga. All forms of exercise. I even did a dance video, and I'll unashamedly post a part of that video here...

Go ahead...take your time laughing. Get it alllllll out :-) Nevaeh again, thought it was awesome. This is probably the reason she's such a dancing queen now :-)
Castor Oil...twice...never, ever, ever again. I have no idea why I listened to everyone swearing by it, telling me it'd work within an hour. The first time, I mixed it with a chocolate carnation drink. I gagged severely chugging it, and an hour later I was in the bathroom with severe...ahem...unpleasant experience. The second time I made an even worse mistake. A1 sauce was my biggest craving. I put it on every food item. It was delicious. I was also big on eggs, especially scrambled eggs with A1 sauce. So I had the bright idea to put the castor oil into the scrambled eggs to mask the taste. It did not mask the taste. It made me gag, run to the bathroom and have more very unpleasant experiences, and I can no longer eat scrambled eggs with A1 sauce :-( Terrible...terrible terrible!! Nevaeh had to be laughing her butt off in there, because there was no activity from her that showed she was coming out any time soon. Brat!! :-)

So needless to say, none of those escapades worked, and only one of them was enjoyable (the pineapple...Ok, I kinda liked the dancing too...Ok, I loved it!)

I swear on everything Holy, my next pregnancy will be much better. Better in the sense of my doctors. The pregnancy itself was a complete breeze, I don't think there could have been anything easier. I had no morning sickness, extremely mild nausea, I craved healthy foods and hated fried foods, she slept under my right rib cage but if I laid on my left side I was fine. I peed like a leaky faucet, but I've always had a small bladder so that wasn't a big deal. 8 1/2 months I got pretty uncomfortable and my back ached, but I've always had back problems and Hello, I had an oversized beach ball on my stomach so of course my back was going to hurt!
What I did not enjoy at all, was my doctor. Or, I should say, my lack of a doctor. I was dropped from my mother's insurance after she died, and didn't qualify for my school's or work's, so I was forced to get on Medicaid/Caresource. Miami Valley seemed like the best option. I had so many problems getting the insurance finalized, that even though I found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks, I didn't get in to the Dr. until 20 weeks. I was already furious. I never saw the same nurse or midwife twice. I had to repeat my story every single visit, even though you'd think they'd have my information on file. I had more hands up my hoohaw then I'd ever want, and to be honest I don't even know who the random resident was who ended up delivering me. I told them not to offer me an epidural because I knew if they did at my weakest moment, I'd give in. They offered, and I gave in. Furious! I couldn't even do labor in the water like I wanted. They let me go 2 weeks overdue before inducing me, which I felt was unnecessary. But that's all I'll say about that, because it's not important.

I was induced at 9am, August 24th, 2010. Easy easy labor. The nurses kept asking "Did you feel that contraction?" and I did not even know I was having one. My dad, stepmom and sister came up pretty early and stayed the whole time. My MIL and her boyfriend came up as well. We all sat around chatting and laughing. When the Doctor came in to check me my dad would bolt out of the room like lightening. God forbid he caught a peek of anything! :-)
8cm hit me like a freight train. For all the ease and comfort I was feeling before, those beautiful little blips of contractions, this was the complete opposite. Chris graciously ushered everyone out for the hard labor period. I got the shakes. My entire body shook so hard that the bed was vibrating. My mouth was full of cotton, I couldn't sip enough water to wet it down. It was almost like being seasick. A wave of contraction would crash over me, I'd have that surreal lurch of pain and soft moans would come out of my mouth. Then the contraction would receed and just when I took a relieved breath it'd come crashing around and down again. I told the nurse I was going to vomit, but she couldn't get the bucket to me fast enough. I puked over the side of the bed. Shakes, contraction and vomit all at the same time. I could barely breathe because of it. That was when the damn doctor offered me the epidural. At my absolute weakest. I couldn't even really talk. I whispered No, and the doctor said he (Or she, I don't remember who the Dr. was at this point) was worried I wouldn't have the strength to push, because I was still only 8 1/2 cm and had basically stopped. It would probably be a few more hours before even pushing, and then however long I had to push. He swayed me, damn him/her. I told Chris to send in my dad and go smoke a cigarette so he could calm down. My dad came in and brushed my hair back, held me on the side of the bed sitting up, put his forehead against my sweaty one. The epi. team asked questions and I'd barely breathe out my responses, but somehow my dad heard what I said and translated for me. He talked softly to me, telling me I was doing such a great job. I really needed to hear that from him. He really came through for me that day.
I don't remember much after the epidural, I know I was much more relaxed. Still had the shakes but no more crashing of contractions that had my incoherent. Family popped back in to check on me but for the most part they stayed in the waiting room so Chris and I could have our time. Started pushing at 9pm. Being numb made it impossible to know if I was pushing right, so I just tried to bear down like I was pooping. Apparently that was the right thing to do. 3 hours of pushing 12:19am, August 25th, the most beautiful child slipped out of me and into my arms.

9lbs, 7oz, 22 inches long. Brown hair, wide blue eyes. A healthy cry and an overjoyed Mommy and Daddy. Nevaeh Christine Smith came into the world and completed us.

One year later, we are getting ready to celebrate! Tomorrow will be Nevaeh's 1st birthday. My how she has grown!!

Not sure why it's sideways, I can't get it turned rightside??

My beautiful little lady. You have made daddy and I's life so much better! You are such a joy!!

At last, because I know this is ridiculously long already...just a few things that my girl can do :-)

8 teeth, 3 molars in the works
Dance. Girlfriend can bust a move! Since she was 7 months old she's shimmied her shoulders and shook her booty to the beat.
Stand! and today she danced a little while standing
Take 2-3 steps
Momma, Dada, Baba, Hi, yeah, dog, lala

Happy Birthday (tomorrow), my little slice of Heaven <3 I love you so very much!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 7th

I didn't post a blog on August 7th. I wasn't really sure what to say, and really I wasn't technologically connected that day. I focused on my family, I did a lot of cleaning, a lot of thinking. When 9:30pm rolled around, I held Nevaeh as tight to my chest as I could get her, closed my eyes and breathed in the sweet baby smell of her. I love that smell. Untainted skin, sweet breath flowing in and out of her precious body. I looked at her and I realized that I was more connected to my mother than I had ever been before.

As Nevaeh grew sleepy in my arms, I lightly scratched her back. She stretched like a pretty kitten, just like I did when my mom scratched my back. I would crawl onto my mom's lap even at 18 years old, wriggling my shoulders to let her know what I requested. And she always complied. Those long fingernails of hers traced patterns on my back, scratched away the day's worries and stresses. She'd tap rhythms to whatever tune was playing in her head, and she'd barely audibly tick the tune out with her tongue on her teeth. I can still closed my eyes and remember those nights where it was just her and I, mother and daughter. No one can scratch my back like she could. She had told me when I was a baby, that's how she would put me to sleep. She'd run her fingernails lightly over my arms, my legs, my back. She'd trace my baby skin. No wonder I'm so addicted to it :-) I'm determined to do the same with Nevaeh.

Having those connections with  my daughter is so important. Even if my mother was here, I'd want to experience that bond from the other end. Look down on my child and feel that overwhelming, unconditional, impossible love, as opposed to that unconditional, innocent love a child feels for her mother. I can cry just thinking about it. These past two years have been the hardest, and the most beautiful years of my life. I've grown so much, I almost can't believe how young I used to be. How young I still am. That saying "Age is just a number" rings so true to me. I feel aged, like a wine with wisdom yet so much life left to live. I'm in my prime.

It'll never be easy, living without my mother. Every time I come across a new parenting challenge, that tear in my heart aches, wondering what my Mom would have done. What if she was here, and I could pick up the phone and call her? "Mom, Nevaeh is teething bad and I don't know how to help her." She'd probably tell me to do the old whisky trick. I'd like to think I can guess what she'd say...but I hate not knowing. We hadn't reached the point in our relationship of parenting advice. We'd only made it through the funny stories of when I tried to pee out of my finger, because "That's how big brudder does it." Or the few times she cursed me, saying my children were going to be exactly like me; impossible and ornery. I know she held me ten days straight when I had RSV. I know she breastfed me, I think she cloth diapered me.

Either way, I supposed I'd still have my own way of parenting. It's not like I'd take her every word for gold, necessarily. It'd be nice to hear though.

I want to be the kind of mother she was, and I think that just requires one thing. Love. An undivided, unimaginable amount of love. I want my children to know they are my world, and I will do anything for them. I want to be their rock, the one they come to for anything. The one who guides them and has the biggest dreams for them. My mother is still very much a part of me. In the short nearly 20 years I had with her, she filled me with such love and compassion. I am a great and kind person, a lovely woman who smiles all the time, from the inside out. Because of her. She will always be a part of me, because I am a part of her. Just as my daughter is a part of me.

The past three August 7th's have been grieving ones. But I think, I know my mom would want me to celebrate her life. Celebrate the legacy she has left behind in her three children. We are all diving headfirst into our lives, all of us on different paths but with the same heart beating in our chests. She did such a wonderful job raising her children, living for us and for God. She never lived for herself, and while I know she should have at least a little, I know she didn't regret it for a minute. She loved us, and still does from her perch in Heaven (With her strawberries and curly potato chips, probably a Mike's Hard Lemonade) She probably bowls with her Mom and Dad every storm, and laughs with stories around the table during a game of Rummy or Dominoes. There are several seats at their table, awaiting all our family on the days we are called Home.

Until then, I'll scratch my daughter's back and live for her with love.

Patricia Jo Walter
December 18, 1958-August 7, 2009
Her Heart will live on

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Crime Scene

The evidence was everywhere. The suspect was covered in head to toe, well sort of. Trails all over the place. This was one crime scene I was seriously dreading cleaning up.
Date: August 12, 2011
Time: 5pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio. Our house.

Landon has been doing good the past couple of days. I started a new calm approach, where every time he started acting up, I completely ignored him. If he didn't want the food I fixed, that's fine, he could get down and play and if he was hungry, he could eat that. If he couldn't share with his sister, that's ok, he would just be removed from that toy alltogether. This has been working pretty well.

Today, I played with the kids outside for about an hour, getting them nice and worn out for their nap at 3. Tucked Landon in, settled in on the couch with Nevaeh. She passed right out, I heard Landon talking to himself and then was quiet, so I drifted off to catch up on my severe lack of sleep.
Around 4pm I heard the toilet lid upstairs. No big deal, he knows how to go potty. I heard him jump back into bed and then he was quiet, so I drifted back off to sleep.
5pm came around and a plane flew low overhead (we live near an airport) and heard an excited gasp followed by the blinds being pushed out of the way upstairs. He was awake, right around when he usually got up, and Nevaeh was smacking me in the face anyway so I got up, went to the bottom of the stairs, and told Landon he could come downstairs.
He came down the stairs...rounded the corner...butt naked. Slippery??? I knew immediately that he had fooled me. While I snoozed on the couch with Nevaeh, convinced he was snoozing upstairs like usual, he was in fact committing a three year old crime. One that he has never even come close to doing, so I was caught completely off guard.
Vas. A. Line. Usually one word, but this was too big an incident. For this, it has to be three words. Three terrible words for a very ornery three year old. Vas. A. Line.
On his bed. Under his bed. On the wall by his bed. On the blinds and window screen (Remember the airplane?) On the cabinet. Under the sink. On the toilet and toilet seat. On the diaper pail. In the bathtub. On the door handle. On the bathroom tile. On the step stool. On the carpet. Along the rail of Nevaeh's crib. On a variety of toys. On the TV. On the toilet paper. On Landon.
He was like a greased pig. A butt naked, slippery greased pig. Head to toe and in between. I think he want to spike his mohawk because it was caked in his hair. The tub of Vas. A. Line had only had my finger swiped through it a couple times when Vae had a dry nose, so it was basically full. When I found the tub, it was under Landon's bed. Empty. EMPTY.
For a good couple minutes I just stared, taking in the greasy, goopy mess. Nevaeh had pooped so she stunk, and I couldn't set her down or she'd be a greasy piglet as well. Landon was standing there butt naked with his hands held up, clearly no longer enjoying being covered in the once fascinating goop. Running a bath was the only logical way to clean him up. Bed sheets off, scrubbed what I could out of the carpet. He did the rest.

That was his punishment, cleaning it up, because I didn't really know what else to do. Obviously I couldn't send him to his room. I followed behind and pointed to everything he needed to wipe off with his already vaseline'd bedsheet and pillow case. I couldn't even really be mad at him. I was more than upset that he got into the cabinet that he knew he shouldn't get into (And that I didn't think he could reach). I was upset that out of all the things he could grab, he had to grab vaseline. I was upset that he had to touch everything in a 12x12 radius, but I couldn't be mad at him. What three year old boy can resist slimy, squishy, messy goop?

His second punishment is this blog. I am writing this blog and saving it forever, and anxiously awaiting the day he has a girlfriend and brings her over to our house and I sit down to have a lovely little chat with her :-)

I'll laugh about this later :-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Color me Decorative

So I think we should just buy a house now. That way I can really just let loose and go crazy with my decorating ideas!! I have so many, and luckily a lot of them are portable so I can do them now and move them with us. My house is slowly being put together with that homey feeling and with me being a SAHM, I just keep getting more and more ideas!

These are things I want to do:
Ok seriously?! What kid would not want this in their room!! This is obviously just a dream right now. But hopefully someday I can do my kids' rooms all fantastic like this!

Now I know what to do with my Grandpa's trunk :-) right now it holds all of his 1950's Encyclopedias, but I plan on getting a bookshelf too so I'll display those so they don't just sit gathering dust!

See those shelves? Made out of fabric! How stinking cute, and I think already have a fabric choice I would use :-) That would be perfect for either the kids' room or once I have an office/sewing room it'd be perfect for sewing magazines

Definitely going and buying this for my car's a plastic cereal container turned car garbage can!

I love upholstering chairs <3 and I have these two short bar stools that look nice but would be comfier with a cushion. Also two tall metal bar chairs, it'll be difficult to make a cushion look nice on it but we'll see!

Garden planter holders! AND this would double as wall decoration :-) Especially since we're not painting while we rent, this is a fantastic idea. and it would get rid of those eye sore tubs holding all their toys!

When we own a house and have a back deck, this would be neat to put on the wall

This is too true to not put on the wall!

This will have to wait until I'm done having kids. This is a crib turned bench! How cute! And Vae has a very cute crib that I could either leave it's dark brown color or paint a more fun color and set outside :-)

My cousins do this with their kids every year on their birthday. Interviews! I'm going to do one with Landon, maybe today to make up for his 3rd birthday, and hopefully make that a yearly tradition!

Ok I'm not a fan of pringles, but Chris will eat them. I hate keeping my pasta in the cardboard boxes, and this is very innovative! I can cover it with decorative paper. I could probably use this for things other than pasta too!

Soon I will post some pictures of the things I've already done around the house. I just have little things done, and I want to have an entire area finished before I take a picture :-) Yay for creativity!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sparklers on Bridges

Becoming a mother (Or a father) is the most drastic change anyone can have in their lives. It's a cause and effect that keeps rotating over and over, and you're taken aback by the unexpected things. I knew having my daughter was going to "Weed out" my friends list. Some went unpleasantly, which is unfortunate. Some drifted off like the natural course of life. I don't want to say bridges have been burned, but there are definitely sparklers hovering above them.

I was never a partier. I'd have fun hanging with friends but alcohol was never required, and I am just as content sitting at home with a movie and pizza. After Nevaeh got here, the movie and a pizza night became much more frequent, and in fact I've really only been out a handful of times without her, and only one of those nights involved alcohol (And not out of control type).

I've been noticing a lot more sparklers recently. Maybe it's just me growing up and them not, combined with me having a child and them either not having a child, or having a different definition of what being a mother means than I do. I've made plans with a few people and they were either cancelled, or it was awkward because I had Nevaeh with me and we couldn't go go-carting or anything like we used to, so we just kind of sat around. The only things we would talk about were either my new role as Mommy or "The Old Days." Those were the last get togethers I had with those people. Blame is placed on both parts. I have not exactly made the effort, but neither have they. Living in Columbus away from everyone doesn't help, either. I get so tired making that drive to Lima, and so far no one except my brother in law has made the trip here, and he's obviously not one of my girlfriends.

It's bittersweet, for sure. Not that I miss the past, persay. I miss the friendships. Even my fellow Mommy-Friends. The ones I'm close with either live States away or aren't able to drive here, or are too busy (Like I admittedly am a lot of the time) to "squeeze" me in. It's wonderful to see everyone starting their new chapters in life, but it's a real shame our paths have gone too far apart. I really hope they can be rekindled someday, or that I can cross paths with a new chapter of Mom's who'll connect with me on the right level. Ones who live in my zip code, preferably. If it were up to Chris and I to choose where we end up (Speaking in terms of his employment with Sherwin Williams) we'd be off to a new State, a complete new start where there was a legitimate reason for no visits from friends, instead of excuses from both ends. I have a friend in PA whom I see being a lasting friendship (And our babies are arranged to be wed, so we might as well be friends anyway! ;-) ). There's also a plant there, so that wishful part of me crosses my fingers that if we end up in another state, PA is the one the arrow lands on. I really do need that friendship, that phone number I can dial by memory and gab away about nothing and everything. The spontaneous trips to the mall (now with our kids in tow). The one I can send random pictures to, the Just Because cards. The playdates and Mom dates, venting about our husbands. I have my long distance friends for that, but everyone knows it's just different, having someone just down the road.

Just a bittersweet post for today :-) I'm not upset at the way my life has turned out, I hope this blog doesn't portray that. Just a bit of mourning for the sparklers on long built bridges.

Friday, August 5, 2011

You are in Control (With my guidance)

Landon is 3. Oh...he is definitely Three! I'm not quite sure what this stage is that he's going through, and we're getting through it together.
He wants it, but doesn't want it. He doesn't like it, but then he likes it. He's trying to figure out what he likes and doesn't like, I believe, and it frustrates him. Which frustrates me, admittedly. We will watch cartoons from 7am-9am, then I'll turn it to the Today's Show to watch some news. He will throw a royal fit and stomp around screaming "I don't like cartoons!" So I'll say "Ok, then we won't watch cartoons" and he'll scream "NO, I like cartoons! I want cartoons!" (He says cartoons like "cah-zooms" <3 ) If he gets unconsolable, I make him either sit down where he's at or stand in the corner until he can calm down and rationally talk to me. I explain this to him the whole time, saying "You are in control of what happens, Landon. If you want something, you need to politely ask for it. Screaming and whining will only make you stuck right where you are. If you want unstuck, you have to be nice and polite. But even if I say no, then that is BB's answer and I need you to be ok with that." Things along that line. I usually have to say that line two or three times before he calms down and is ok, and it'll typically start up in another 5 minutes or so.

One thing I'm not sure how to handle are his choices. With Nevaeh, if I am getting her something at the store, I'll hold up two options and let her decide. The excited screech she smile she gives is priceless, and she looks at each item a few times before reaching out and grabbing one. I hope this instills a sense of decision making and rationalization in her (or helps). With Landon however, it doesn't go as smoothly. Breakfast for example. I ask him what he wants, and he'll say "Cereal" or "Eggs." This morning he wanted cereal. I was fixing eggs for Vae and I, and I asked him a few times if he was sure he wanted cereal and not eggs. He instead he wanted "C-wall" So I poured him a bowl and sat him down. The second I sat down with the eggs he started his royal fit and wanted eggs. Sigh. I don't want to just fix the same thing for everyone as a way to prevent these fits. I want him to understand that he can choose what he wants, and understand that he needs to weigh his options carefully. His actions have consequences. With some things of course he can change his mind, but I am not about to throw away a bowl of cereal because he suddenly wants something else. We do not waste food in this house.

It's hard being 3! There are so many rules and guidelines, different instructions for different things. Ultimately I want him and Nevaeh to know that they are in control of their lives. They are not being raised to obey everyone around them. They can choose what they want. But I want them to know that their choices have consequences, good or bad. Fits will get them nowhere exept right where they are.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Extreme Couponing

I've been couponing for a few months now, but today's trip was so Awesome, I had to blog about it! I'm finally getting a good handle on it, and I know I'm only going to keep improving which keeps my blood pumping fast! I get so excited when I see that number tick down further and further with every beep of the scanner :-)
So...*drum roll please* My August 4th Extreme Couponing Extravaganza! (And might I add, I had two very cranky babies with me and I still rocked it!)

First stop was Giant Eagle. They always double their coupons. My first transaction was five items totaling $20, and that followed a deal they had that would give me a total of 11 dollars off my next shopping trip. Scanned coupons and the total was $9. Bonus: The printer didn't print out the two "$2 off your next trip" coupons so they sent me to the customer service desk and they gave me 3 extra dollars for the inconvenience.
Second transaction was the rest of my things. Scanned the previous coupon ($14 off the total) and $11.50 worth of coupons which doubled to $23.

Fuel Points earned: 40 cents/gal
Total at Giant Eagle: $51.48
Amount Saved: $37.03
Total Spent at Giant Eagle: $14.45


Next store was Kroger
I bought a Visa gift card which will give you 4x the fuel points (I used that card to pay for my purchase, I just bought it for the points hehe)
I had received a packet in the mail of coupons from Kroger for being a valued customer (sweeeet). A few of the coupons were for flat out FREE items. I combined those with the coupons I already had, and it was a doubling day (It was hard to get that out of the manager, as to when the doubling days were. But I am a Momma who needs to save money so I haggled the dates out of him!)

Fuel Points Earned: 60 (so 10 cents/gal)...GE's fuel points are better!
Total at Kroger: $61.02
Amount Saved: $33.95
Total Spent at Kroger: $27.07

Tadaa!! I saved a whopping $70.98!!!!!!!! The total spent was $41.52.

63% SAVINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a fantastic day it was :-D