Wednesday, February 17, 2016

FIVE: A BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW




Q: How old are you today?
A: Four. Five.

Q: What do you like to play?
A: E I Joe's (GI Joe's), Legos, superhero toys.

Q: What do you like to do with Mommy?
A: Go buy Shopkins at Walgreens.

Q: What do you like to do with Daddy?
A: I like to go to the grocery store with Daddy, I like to wrestle him.

Q: What do you like to play with Orelia?
A: John Queen Shrek Fiona King Pets (a made up game they created).

Q: What do you like to play with Alma?
A: Ooh, I like to play with her.

Q: What do you like to do with Otto?
A: We fight a lot. (True story). Me: Do you build Legos with him? Milo: Kind of. (Otto loves him so much and will play anything with Milo, any time.)

Q: What do you like to eat?
A: Hot dogs, hamburgers and taco salad. Me: What's your favorite thing to drink? Milo: Pink drinks (Shirley Temple)

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Blue. Yellow and brown and blue and pink and yellow. And kind of greenish-blueish.

Q: What is your favorite TV show?
A: Superheros.

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: Peter Pan and Emmett (Lego movie).

Q: What is your favorite store?
A:  Walgreens and Target.

Q: What makes you happy?
A: When Mommy gives me a hug!

Q: What makes you sad?
A: When Otto hits me in the face.

Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: Lion, cheetah, puma.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Kevin on This Old House and a construction worker like Emmett.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

THE CUTEST LITTLE HAIR CLIPS YOU EVER DID SEE.

Hi friends! I'm just popping in quick to share with you a super simple, quick and cute craft you can make with your littles for the holidays!

Last weekend my girlfriend and I planned a little craft night with our two oldest girls. We each picked a few crafts to lead and shopped for the supplies. It was the most adorable night ever and we all got joy out of it! It was totally worth blowing our bedtime, and our heads hit the pillow dreaming of glitter and all the snow globes. Heaven.


Alicia shared on Periscope about all the crafts we made, and there were some questions about the hair clips. I thought I'd answer them here so you can come back and reference as time allows! (It's a busy time of year!) The supplies are minimal and you seriously will only need ten minutes to make a handful. You can make them yourselves, or employ your daughters. Our girls are both 7, and did well on their own. Just make sure they can handle the hot glue gun safely, or help with that step if needed.

Here's what you need to get started. Add in a hot glue gun and a scissor and you're set. I bought the clips at Walgreens (I couldn't quite find what I wanted at Target), and bought the elastic on Etsy. I ordered a yard each of the 5/8 inch fold over elastic. You can also find this at Joanns, but the options are limited.


Cut your elastic pieces to roughly 3 inches.

 
Next, snap your elastic piece in between the clip like I did here. Make sure the pattern is facing down like this so that when you run it across the top of the clip your design will show. Fire up your hot glue gun and put a dab on the tip. Fold the elastic over the top of the clip.
 

 
Now you will put a dab of glue on the underneath side of the clip, opposite end. Fold your elastic around the end and secure here.


The under side will look like this when glued on both ends.


Make lots more, because it's addicting and they are SO cute!


Grab some packaging supplies and wrap them up! I tend to collect this stuff all year round, so I just gathered what I had on hand. A cute cardboard gift card box and some twine would be darling! Or drop them in a paper bag and jazz up with some washi tape.


Give to all the little girls you know and watch their faces light up!


Happy Holidays friends! I hope you are enjoying this magical season!

xxoo.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

ANIMAL INSTINCTS.


Placentophagy: (from 'placenta' + Greek φαγειν, to eat; also referred to as placentophagia) is the act of mammals eating the placenta of their young after childbirth. (Source: Wikipedia)
 
Y'all. Don't freak out. But I ate my placenta. Or rather I am eating it. Don't worry-I didn't hack away at it with knife and fork in the hospital, but rather I had it dehydrated and encapsulated into pills.


Thanks to some girlfriends who are passionate about childbirth, I became very intrigued about this process. Both of them had done it and benefited from it. After doing research of my own, I decided it was something I wanted to try. My girlfriend referred me to a doula who offered these services. It was fairly easy to secure her, as the work really couldn't begin until I gave birth. The doula, Natasha, gave me instructions on what I needed to do, and I approved it with my doctor before delivery. He noted it in my chart and was also an advocate for me after I gave birth, as my nurses thought it was the most obscure thing they had ever heard.

In the hospital I just had to make sure it was saved, as typically it is discarded of after birth. They placed it in a sealed plastic bag, and then placed it on ice until Natasha could come retrieve it. Since I gave birth in the middle of the night, I waited until a decent hour to notify her that I had delivered. She came right to my hospital, and Nick met her outside with it. Her turn around time is quick, and she often delivers the pills to her clients right back at the hospital before they are even discharged. I only stayed in the hospital for roughly a day and a half, so Natasha delivered them to my home the following day.

Here are some of the reported benefits of consuming your placenta:

  • Reduction in feelings of postpartum sadness and anxiety 
  • Higher energy levels
  • Balanced hormone levels
  • Replenished iron levels
  • Increased milk production
  • Faster return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state
  • Less post partum bleeding
*Click here for source and additional information

I followed the recommended dosage for the first few weeks postpartum, and the most notable effects I experienced were the reduction of postpartum sadness along with higher energy levels. I mean, I did experience bouts of brief sadness here and there, and of course I was tired, but both were less than I had experienced with my three previous births. I am now nine weeks postpartum, and I take two pills once daily, or whenever I feel I need a little boost. I don't necessarily believe that encapsulating your placenta gives you some kind of magic pill, but I do believe that it has benefited my body and general well being. I have not experienced any negative effects from doing so.

One sweet little feature of Natasha's services is that she also dehydrated my umbilical cord. That's the little heart shape in the photo above. Following suit from our other children, we planted a peach tree for Alma at our farm property. Alma's umbilical cord is buried underneath it, where it will once again serve to nourish and grow life.



If you live in my area and are interested in placenta encapsulation, click here for Natasha's information. If you do not live near me but this still piques your interest, I encourage you to seek out doula or midwife services in your area and ask for a recommendation for this service.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ORELIA SCREAMS FOR ICE CREAM.

My oldest girl is 7. SEVEN. I'm not sure how that happened, but it's actually okay. Seven means she's able to do most things for herself, and even help me out with her siblings and around the house. Seven means she can read me bedtime stories. Seven means she can make her own breakfast and put away her own laundry. Seven means she still thinks I'm cool and wants to be around me. Seven is pretty awesome, if you ask me.


I am so grateful for her summer birthday, because summer = outside! I much prefer to host a party outdoors than in our small home. Less cleaning, less mess. And fresh air and sunshine are just good for the soul.

She was torn between a Barbie party and an ice cream party this year, and since Nick and I are pretty anti-character themed parties, we nudged her towards the later. I kept it pretty low key because 1) I have a baby, 2) I have four kids to keep up with, and 3) I'm learning that a party is a party no matter how fancy or simple it is. We did just enough to make it fun and special, but not so much as to push me over the edge while juggling my full plate. I also had the brilliant idea to have Alma baptized at church that morning, so we could couple the two celebrations together, and it actually worked out great.



Orelia helped me with all the party prep and decorations this year, which was fun! Usually I want to do it all myself so everything is just right, but I've been embracing the "perfectly imperfect" motto and its actually been a breath of fresh air. I'd much rather be creating with my girl than shooing her away so I can do it myself. It is a day to celebrate her, after all.


Probably mine and Nick's best parenting idea EVER was to hire and surprise Orelia and our guests with an ice cream truck! A clean, legit, trustworthy one, not the rusty, creepy, questionable sort of one. It's a sad day in age, but I think it was my kids' first time ever having this expereince! It was so fun for all. And the best part?  We did this in place of serving cake and ice cream!




She got to call the shots the next day, which was her actual birthday. It consisted of a trip to the park, her pre school assessment and meeting her new teacher, presents, and of course ice cream. Always ice cream.





Cheers to number seven!

Monday, August 31, 2015

SEVEN: A BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW


Q: How old are you today?
A: Seven!

Q: What do you like to play?
A: i like to play Barbie Legos, house, Barbies, and cooking show.

Q: What do you like to do with Mommy?
A: Snuggle, read books, cook, and go to fun places with Mommy and Sissy-just us three!

Q: What do you like to do with Daddy?
A: Wrestle, read, and snuggle.

Q: What do you like to play with Milo?
A: House (Shrek, Fiona, King John, Queen)

Q: What do you like to do with Otto?
A: Cooking show, house, kitties and puppies.

Q: What do you like to eat?
A: Macaroni and cheese, chocolate chip pancakes, taco salad, and pink drinks and sprite.

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Pink, purple, light blue, and yellow.

Q: What do you like to watch on TV?
A:Barbie, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Mermaid show, Handy Manny, and Sophia.

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: The Little Mermaid and Tangled.

Q: What is your favorite store?
A:  American Girl doll store. Is Patty's Place a store?

Q: What makes you happy?
A: When Daddy tickles me.

Q: What makes you sad?
A: When Milo takes my Legos.

Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: Dolphins and horses.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: A cool Lego Builder.

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)