Tuesday, August 4, 2015

MY BOOKEND BABY.

Well I suppose there is nothing sweeter than the birth of a new baby to try to redeem this blog one last time. I've tried and failed many times, yet here I am again. I know I'm missing the opportunity to document so much here, but um, I have four kids. So I'm a little busy. And there's Instagram, so at least that's something.

It's wild to believe that its been one whole month already since our little Alma girl was born. I've been dragging my feet on writing this post because, well, I'm not sure why. Her birth was pretty intense and has been an interesting one to reflect on. Y'all, I chose to have a natural, unmedicated birth. And it hurt. A lot. My three previous births were all done so with the aid of an epidural. And while the first two went fine, the third one did not, and I desperately did not want to relive those feelings. It was so strong that I could not feel a thing. You might think that's a good thing, but for me it wasn't. Also, the older I get, the more I learn, the more I feel empowered. Knowing there is a great possibility that this would be my last birth, I knew it was my last chance to challenge myself. And I did it. And while I'm grateful I did, I can't say that I would choose a natural birth again. Whoever invented the epidural was a genius, and I shall forever remember that.

***

My little Alma. She's here. And she's going to be strong and fierce and independent. I just know it, because that's the way she arrived in this world. She kept me guessing, and came just one hour past her due date. I thought for sure she'd come early like the others did. She gave me contractions every night for a week, which resulted in a really clean house, fresh laundry for days, and a fully stocked fridge. One good thing that came from her staying in as long as she did was that my doctor was able to deliver her. He'd missed my two previous deliveries, and was on vacation until just a few days before she arrived. And after my wild ride that was her birth, I'm so glad he was the one to deliver her. For a situation that I couldn't control, it all worked out in its own way.


My contractions began around 8:45pm on the night of my due date. I had wanted to labor at home for as long as possible, but I had an appointment earlier that day and my doctor advised that I not wait around at home too long, and come in after having regular contractions for two hours. He was afraid if I waited, I may not make it to the hospital. I wanted a natural birth, but I wasn't quite looking to deliver her at home. So I did as I was told, and headed in to the hospital around 11pm.

I was checked in and settled into my room at 11:30pm. I was 4cm dilated and 70% effaced, and from there things progressed rather quickly. Since I was screaming through my pain,  I don't have a clear memory of how it all went down exactly. That's probably a good thing. Nick jotted down a few notes, but again, we didn't have much down time.


I tried to walk around as much as I could, anything to keep me from having to lie in the bed. My girlfriend was coming to take photos, and I just kept telling myself I had to hold out until she got there. She arrived at 12:45am, and there wasn't a dull moment after she walked in the door. The urge to push kept getting more and more intense, and at 12:55am while sitting on the toilet I felt it was time. I knew enough to not deliver her there, so I sent Nick to call for the Dr. He quickly came in as I made my way to the bed. He checked me and I was 6cm dilated and 90% effaced. I heard him whisper to Nick to not let me get out of bed again. I don't think my doctor was even out the door when I was hollering that I was ready to push. He turned around, checked me again, and this time I was complete. The next eleven minutes were the most painful and intense minutes of my life, and I honestly had to piece them together from the photographs. I know I screamed, which both startled me and felt necessary at the time. We all weathered some choice curse words and a handful of pushes, and at 1:06 am, my little Alma slipped into this world.




I was spent. Every ounce of my body was exhausted, and I barley had enough energy to hold my daughter in my shaky arms. But I kissed that sweet, warm face and smelled in her beautiful scent and even shared her with her Daddy.



I've never before had the feeling that our family was complete. I never knew exactly how many children I hoped to have. But Alma makes me feel those things. There's always a chance for a curve ball later down the road I suppose (never say never, right?) but for now she's my bookend, and I'm pretty satisfied with that.



To see more photos, watch this beautiful slide show my girlfriend captured and created for us. (Photo credit to Jennifer Bahn Photography.)

https://vimeo.com/133375940

video

Welcome to the world, my sweet baby Alma.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

TWO: A BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW.


Otto is two today! How did that happen? He is such a sweet and silly boy and he brings countless smiles and laughter to my day. Although he's talking up a storm these days, I'm going to help answer his interview questions :)

Q: How old are you today?
A: Two!

Q: What do you like to play?
A: "Bogo guys" (Lego guys), race cars, look at books.

Q: What do you like to do with Mommy?
A: Help with anything in the kitchen, snuggle and read books.

Q: What do you like to do with Daddy?
A: Wrestle and play Legos.

Q: What do you like to play with Sissy?
A: Dress up and wear her dresses!

Q: What do you like to do with Milo?
A: Copy anything he does, play Lego guys.

Q: What do you like to eat?
A: "Oggie" (yogurt and granola), jelly, almond butter, waffles, cereal, candy.

Q: What is your favorite color?
A:  He's working on learning colors, and knows orange, purple, and pink.

Q: What do you like to watch on TV or what is your favorite movie?
A: TV: Dora, Diego. // Movie: "Movie night!"

Q: What is your favorite store?
A:  Grocery store. He loves to ride the horse there, which he calls a "moo".

Q: What makes you happy?
A: Playing with Orelia and Milo, being with Mama, wrestling with Daddy.

Q: What makes you sad?
A: When he gets hurt or frustrated.

Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: "Kiki!" (kitty)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

FOUR: A BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW.



Q: How old are you today?
A: Three...(as he holds up four fingers!) Me: You're four today! Milo: Yes!

Q: What do you like to play?
A: Batman, decorate my room, I like to play Max (his puppy), Legos.

Q: What do you like to do with Mommy?
A: Watch a show. Snuggle in the morning and play Duplos.

Q: What do you like to do with Daddy?
A: Hang out with him. Fishing and wrestle. He build me something cool (with Legos).

Q: What do you like to play with sister?
A: Fiona, John and Queen (dress up).

Q: What do you like to do with Otto?
A: Funny stuff. (They have a mad game of monkey see, monkey do)

Q: What do you like to eat?
A: Hot dogs and taco salad. Soda water and orange juice.

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Blue and black and pink and purple.

Q: What do you like to watch on TV or what is your favorite movie?
A: TV: Green Ninja (Lego) and Batman and Lego Superheroes. // Movie: Peter Pan, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Scooby Doo and Batman movie.

Q: What is your favorite store?
A:  Lego Land. It's pretty  far away.

Q: What makes you happy?
A: When Sissy plays with me.

Q: What makes you sad?
A: When Sissy punch me in the face. (I promise this has not happened! Yikes!)

Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: Sharks!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

SANTA BABY.

Santa :: Baby

He's my favorite.


Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

STRANGE FOLK.

My bestie Jen and I had been dreaming for a long while about doing a craft show together. We tossed around some dates and locations, but nothing was seeming to line up just right. Then one day this summer, she called me up excited, and had just learned about a promising festival called Strange Folk. She submitted her application, and once we learned she had been selected as one of the 150 vendors, I started looking at flights. I was a little nervous about the timing...being just three weeks into a new school year and not knowing yet what to expect with Orelia. But the very affordable plane ticket sealed the deal for us both, and I booked it that very night. We knew that if I didn't, one of us might get nervous and talk ourselves out of it! (fyi-flying with no kids and only a carry on is a breeze!)

Fast forward two months, and there we were, together again! (And all was right in the world!)


We wasted no time in getting to work. Jen was the mastermind behind it all, I was just there to help! One trait that I adore the most about Jen is her attention to detail. She put so much time and effort into planning her tent display, and nothing went overlooked. She's a gem and her efforts were noticed.
 






We rocked the sales, and even had time to sneak in some fun. (She knows how to show a girl a good time!)




It doesn't matter what we do when we're together, time with this girl is a rare and welcome treat. I went home with a very full heart, belly, and suitcase....filled to the brim with Swank of course! (Which my kids were thrilled about!)

***
And because Jen is such a doll, she asked me to share a coupon with YOU!

These are just a few of my favorites that Otto is rocking this fall...(Yes, his closet is 90% Swank!)




You can find all these, and loads more, in her Swanky Shank shop. Use the code "amysfaves" for $10 off your order of $30 or more TODAY only! Isn't that a sweet deal? Let me know what you get, Otto and your babe might just get to be twinsies!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

BIG BOYS.

Well, my Nugget girl has a month of school under her belt now, and things are going pretty smoothly. We miss her terribly while she's away, but that just makes our time together all the more sweet. She loves school though, and that really makes things so much easier.

School Spirit Day

My boys have also went and gotten big on me, and they have both started school as well. Milo has started preschool, and Otto and I go to ECFE together weekly. This time is so tender and precious, and is some of my favorite of their littleness.

Milo was very reluctant to start school, as he really wanted to go back to ECFE with his beloved teacher Miss Britt. His first morning of preschool was pretty rough, despite it being the same program Orelia had been in for the previous two years.


I really was not prepared for the tough separation, as he is usually so go with the flow. But yet again, I had to leave another one of my babies behind, kicking and screaming, and of course I was fighting back the tears as I walked away. Again, I was humbled by the support of his teachers, and I got a phone call just a few minutes later that he was happy and playing with dinosaurs. Another mom shared this photo with me, and I love it.

 
When it was time for pick up, I spied my little man at the back of the line. He was so serious until he spied me back. Then he couldn't wait to show and tell me all about his day!




He now asks every day "Do I have school this year?", which really means does he have school that day :) He'd go everyday if he could.

Otto was the easiest one to bring to school, probably because we stay together for the most part :)




We walked into his classroom and his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. So much to explore and discover! ECFE is my absolute favorite, and this year is the seventh consecutive year that I have been bringing my babies there. When one graduates out, its time to bring the next one in :)



Here's to my big girl, my big boys, and a year of learning and growing!

Friday, September 12, 2014

AN ENCHANTED GARDEN PARTY.

I've been anxiously wanting to blog about Orelia's sixth birthday party, but our new fall routines are proving to keep us pretty busy. We're getting in the swing of things-with a handful of days of Kindergarten under our belt, along with preschool, ECFE, gymnastics and dance. I know we'll find our new grove soon. But I'm finally able to carve out some time to share my girl's very special birthday celebration.

We started with the theme of a secret garden, steered a bit towards fairies, and alas, mixed the two and settled upon an enchanted garden party. Our new farm was the perfect setting, we just needed to provide the magic.



Celebrating my girl, the day she was born, and the day I became a Mama is pretty special to me. I think this day really captured her magic of being six. It was so "her", which made my heart happy.


She enjoyed planning and creating right alongside me this year, and I think that's the part I love the most.



I shared with the girls a little about the magic of fairies, how to spot a fairy house, and how we have to be so quiet as to not disturb them. I love watching the magic unfold in their little eyes.

We had a little fairy hunt:








And made houses for the real fairies (who we hope will visit us!):






We ate a homemade strawberry cake, which was delicious (minus its slightly wonky appearance):




We opened presents of course:





And parted with fairy treasures:



We played hard, and had some surprise visitors:




And went home with full and happy hearts. Here's to a new year of love and learning, and the magic of being 6!

xo