Saturday, December 31, 2011


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2011 was a big year for our family.

I lost all my baby weight and ran my first 5k race.  I found out I was pregnant with my third child, and subsequently gained back most of my baby weight.

Nathanael was very sick at the beginning of the year, and we determined that dairy was a contributing factor.  Only now, almost a year after the initial illness, is he back on regular dairy products, and that on a limited basis.

My children gained two new cousins in just one months time, one of who spent a while in the NICU with some superintensive life-saving interventions.  The Lord has blessed him (and us) greatly, and his is a healthy, thriving boy.  My aunt, who works with his hospital and the NICU tells me babies with his complications don't normally do as well as he has. A miracle baby, indeed!

My neighbor, Dennis, started off the year well, and passed away in August.  It has been a big change for us, and E and N both still speak of him, and want to see him.  It's still hard to explain it.  We went on a big family vacation to Arizona, probably the last one in a while. It was a great trip, but hard to enjoy when a loved one has passed away.
We birthed our third child at home, and around that same time, we decided it was time to move from rural Missouri to Chicagoland.  We've had a lot to think about and talk about in just a few short months.

I've been preparing for 2012:

I bought new running shoes  - Asics GT - 2170.  I hope they prove to be great shoes - I'm going to run them into the ground!  I really wanted to break out in a run today on my treadmill, but considering that I haven't even walked for more than 10 minutes straight in more than 3 months, I thought it wiser to just keep it slow for now.  Running will come soon enough!
ASICS® 'GT 2170' Running Shoe (Women) 

I bought the Motivated Moms planner so I can tackle my house, keep it clean regularly, and maybe keep it that way. It is printed and ready to go.  Perhaps I lucked out that the first day of 2012 is a slow day, chore wise.

I'm sorting things for the big move. Keep, Recycle, Rehome, Trash. We've lived here for 9 years (with a brief stint living in another house.) So many things I have, that I don't use! I'm looking for houses, and we're plotting our course for the next few months.

Bring it on, 2012. I'm going to eat you alive!

Friday, December 30, 2011

a month in cloth diapers: newborn madness!

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Currently, A is wearing the red diaper in the photo.
Adelle has been in cloth diapers from day one. Well, a disclaimer: I have to say that we have used disposable diapers, too, because we have them.  But, for most nights and days, the girl is in cloth.

It's been working pretty well.  We are lucky (I guess?)  that Adelle apparently doesn't care if her diaper is wet or poopy. Really,  Doesn't faze her.  And since she sleeps for long stretches at night and/or we both barely wake up to get her fed, there aren't a lot of diaper changes at night.  I know.  I'm a lazy mama.

For the first 3 weeks, Adelle had been in Kissaluvs Size 0 fitted diapers and infant sized prefolds.  I love the fitted diapers especially for new babies.  They're pretty easy to put on, and they keep the stuff in the diaper.  We've also been using infant sized prefolds with snappis, which are also great and easy to use.  For covers, I've had 4 different styles in our rotation: Thirsties (absolute favorite for fit), proraps, and bummis.  

Here's what I like and don't like about the covers I've used:

Thirsties covers - love the fit.  Fits nicely around both the fitted and prefold, without leaving absorbent material exposed. Has an umbilical stump cut out, which makes them great for that first week or two. These are very easy to rinse out or wipe out between uses, which means needing fewer covers.

Proraps - Inexpensive, has an umbilical cutout that is very nice for new babes.  The was okay at first, but as Adelle has gained weight, we had to go up a size from the newborn cover (6-10 pounds) to the meduim cover(10-15) because even at 9 pounds, the cover was leaving gaps at the thigh that exposed absorbent material to contact with clothing.  The next size up cover wis a little too big/long in the rise, so I still have some problems with gaps. These are also easy to clean between uses.

Bummis super whisper wrap, Newborn and small - I have just one of these, and the fit is very nice, but we're at the very limit of the newborn.  The small is a little big for the girl, but it doesn't leave gaps.  Just extra material that bunches up (room to grow!)  I have some with snaps, but I prefer the velcro, as I can get a better fit.  A is between snap sizes right now.  These don't wipe out well between uses, since the inner side of the cover has a fabric material.

Dappis - I have them, because they came free with the infant prefolds, but I really don't like the covers.  I will use them in a pinch when I have nothing else.  They pull on, which means a fight with newborn feet, and they just don't fit well.  Again, though, better than nothing.  

Of these covers, if I had to pick one, it would be the Thirsties.  

During week 4, I started trying out the BumGenius one-size diapers (all 2+ years old, but still decent condition). Adelle is right at 10 pounds, so she should be within the range of fit for the various one-size diapers I have. I tried stuffing them with the regular microfiber insert and a hemp babies little weeds doubler, hoping to get through most of the night without a diaper change.  This caused some serious gaping at the legs, leading to an unfortunate diaper leak on our bed. A few nights later, I got out the newborn insert that came with the diaper. Honestly, I was never quite sure what to do with the newborn insert, but I figured I'd try it in the diaper all by itself, with a plan to check and change frequently.  Another leaky night, but I think this time it was caused by ill-fitting diaper and a bit of repelling, since the insert was barely damp.  Boo for that.  Finally a different approach: Regular insert, and playing with the fit. I made sure the diaper rested pretty low on the thighs - more like boy cut briefs than like high-cut panties. They were snug around the thigh, and stayed that way.  The diaper kept everything in, but I did need to change her diaper every couple of hours.  Unfortunately, the old inserts still have a funky smell about them (not as bad as toddler pee, and no ammonia smell or burn, but still, not good.  I'll try some bleach on the microfiber, but I might just call it done after 2 years, and buy replacement inserts.  We'll see.

I've been using some of the BumGenius one-size diapers as covers over a fitted, which works well.  It also solves my problem of not having quite enough covers in size small.

Overall, it's been working well.  No funky rashes, diapers smell clean, with the exception of the oldest microfiber inserts.  They have yellow poop stains, but that's life with a breastfed baby.  The stains fade over time, and again, the smell clean, so I'm not concerned about lingering poo on the diaper.

I've been satisfied with my experience this time with newborn diapering.  So far, I've gotten three kids into the same set of diapers (again disclaimer: I have added to the stash since I first bought them with E - adding covers and a few more of the fitted diapers.)

I look forward to trying out some new diapers and products over the next few months.  I have some new diapers that that I haven't prepped yet, and I'm curious to see how I like them!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

bring it on: fitness after pregnancy

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For the third time in my life, I'm going to attempt to loose weight after being pregnant.  I actually did succeed the last two times, but it took me almost a year and a half to get to my pre-pregnancy starting weight.  Maybe I can make a better go of it this time.

I thought I was starting off on the right foot in the two weeks after birth.  I'd lost 17 pounds of my pregnancy weight. I was only about 10 pounds from my starting weight.  And then I got hungry.  Ravenously hungry.  All day.  Even when I woke up at night, I was hungry. So I ate.  I ate a fair amount of junk food (chips, pizza, easy to prepare packaged foods). And over the past 3 weeks, I've seen my weight creep back up.  Sigh.  An additional 6 pounds. I won't beat myself up too much, though.  It's important, especially in the first weeks to not limit myself (as in dieting or restricting calories) to ensure that I have enough energy for healing and for breastfeeding. However, I think the error was in the type of foods.

Clearly, breastfeeding makes me hungry like none other.  I didn't even feel this hungry when I was pregnant.  But, the excessive eating has to stop.  I watched a bit of a talk show yesterday, and I was reminded that being sleep deprived contributes to weight gain, because we crave fats and carbs.  Guess what?  I'm sleep deprived, and that's totally what I've been craving! 

So, steps in getting back into good shape:
  1. get more sleep (ha! right!)
  2. keep the junk out of the house
  3. squeeze in a few minutes a day on the treadmill - really, even just a few minutes at a time add up!
Those are my baby steps. So what if I added more weight after I had a baby.  I'll be working on changing things.  It may take me a bit longer to get there, but I'll still get there.

I'm looking forward to getting back into running.  I forgot something in my car the other day, so I ran the 40 feet or so to the car.  It felt nice.  I want to go get myself my new shoes.

I also did some minor calculating about breast milk, and I figure that just by making milk, I could get ahead in calorie burn.  I figure if I pump some breastmilk each day, then I could possibly increase the amount of calories my body uses, in addition to what's used to feed Adelle.  There are about 20 calories in each ounce of breastmilk. 3 ounces a day (thus far, that's been easy to get) 5 days a week would be an extra 300 calorie output.

Now, the challenge is that I'm hungry, and I'll likely be hungry even more if I'm putting out more calories.  So, to find balance between my hunger and my actual needs is my goal.

Yay!  I'm so ready to get back to fitness!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Adelle: 1 month

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We've made it to the one month mark. I think we're doing pretty well!

Adelle is a sweet child.  She still doesn't cry much. She's like her mama, and wants to eat first thing whenever she wakes up. Convenient that the meal is usually warmed up and right next to her.

Here are some one month stats:
  • 10 pounds even.  That's up 1 lb 12 oz since birth, an average of 7 ounces (almost half a pound) a week. 
  • 21.5 inches, which is really about the same length. Probably.  Hard to tell with newborns.  They're so springy!
  • Not too many nicknames out there for Adelle. E gets mad now if I call her Cakes. "That's not her name!" she says. 
  • She likes looking at us now, and she enjoys gazing at her siblings.  As long as they aren't trying to crawl all over her, that is.
  • She doesn't seem to be much of a comfort nurser.  Apparently she does not like being drowned in milk. Coughing, choking, and gasping for breath could certainly dissuade anyone from spending too much time nursing.
  • She smiled an awake smile at about 3 weeks old. They are fleeting, and haven't yet been directed at anyone.
  • Her skin is super soft, and she's got cute chubby thighs. She's so cuddly!
  • Sister's got an outie.  Seriously.
Talk about dry, flaky skin. poor kid.
All that hair!
Elizabeth's favorite thing about Adelle: "Kissing her, holding her, and holding her hand."

Elizabeth has proven to be an asset in the car.  E will hold Adelle's hand and talk to her, and when all else fails, give her a pacifier.  I wised up this time and got a pacifier for A for the car trips to and from town (a 20 minute drive).

My attempt at some of the newborn portrait cuteness.
Nathanael's favorite thing about Adelle: "Blue!"  I don't know what he means by that.

Watch out.  She's gonna take you down!
Adelle's only a month old.  Seriously, there's not much to report or photograph. She eats, she sleeps, we change diapers and clothes several times a day. (Watch out, she spits!) We watch a lot of TV.

Maybe after her nap, that is.
The photos are from the past month that never quite made it to the blog. Many of these are two weeks old.  Yeah. I'm that behind.   Poor kid is suffering 3rd child syndrome: even fewer pictures than child 2!  I think it's kind of silly that my photographer-husband doesn't take candid shots of his family.  Good thing I have several cameras and a couple of willing young children to play photographer.

 And an arm. That helps with the self portraits.

Mama and her girl!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

9 years of (mostly) wonderful

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9 years ago, I married a wonderful man! It has been a (mostly) wonderful 9 years. Although, I can't really point out any particular event or timeframe when it was not as fun.  It's been good.  It's been great!  I love Jude, AND I still like Jude as a person!  We still joke around about random things, argue about trivial things, dream big and small together.  We stay up late into the night talking, when we both know we should have gone to bed hours ago.

We've learned to improve our communication skills over the years. We've learned to be more understanding, and take time to pause when we're ready to lash out in anger.

We've certainly changed in 9 years.  Our interests are different than they were. Each of us has changed physically. (Hello baby belly, Goodbye hair!)

I'm happy to be married to Jude, and I wouldn't trade him for anyone.

I love you, Jude!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

potty trained!

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Done with these!
Somehow, in the midst of being pregnant, having a baby, and caring for a newborn, we have managed to get our son potty trained.  Both poop and pee (with the exception of night-time).  And he can use a big potty.  We don't even have a potty seat. He's 2.75 years old (as compared to the 3.25 that E was when she potty learned).

I'm a little befuddled as to how this happened.  I'd been inconsistent for weeks, months.  Jude gets home for Baby Watch 2011, and decides to work with N for a day or two. Since Jude was working with him, It helped me be a little more consistent, too.  And it just... happened.  He was in underpants all day, and he would let us know if he needed to use the potty.  The first week or so, there were occasional accidents. Still are, but usual it involves having trouble getting his pants off fast enough.  We have been using skittles as a bribery tool, but if he doesn't mention it, I don't give it.  Distract him enough, and the skittle is forgotten.  Soon, the container of skittles will run out, and we'll be pretty much done with the "training" part, and working on the maintenance part!

He sits on the toilet backwards, and can climb up on the seat himself. (Thanks for the idea, mom-in-law!) Sitting backwards on the seat allows him to be stable when on the potty, and to see what's going on.  This is kind of a pain, in that going potty requires the complete removal of shoes, socks, pants and underpants.  I've been working with him to sit on the potty forwards (with support) for the times when we are out and about and he needs to go.

I'm not awesome enough to have cloth trainers for night time.  We have some disposable diapers that we're using up, and after those run out, I have some pull-up left over from when E was potty learning.  It's entirely possible that those will last until he's consistently dry at night.  It's not that we have so many diapers and pull-ups, but he is dry often enough that we're not going through them very fast.  Not anything for me to be sad about!

At first I thought that having a kid who is potty learning, while dealing with a newborn would be tough, but it's not been too bad.  Compared to having two in diapers, it's just... different.  Neither is better or worse, at this point.  It's definitely been nice to not be washing diapers every single day in order to keep up with them.  I'll be posting later about how cloth diapers have been working this time around with Adelle.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

sweet baby days

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3 weeks! This is just moving too fast.

Adelle is making eye contact with us now, and watching faces and the world around her with much greater interest.  She is stretching out more, and has lost much of that "newborn" look and smell.

She doesn't cry much, but she does fuss about things - grunting and growling, along with flailing arms and legs. She prefers to be upright - she likes to walk around that way, and fall asleep in arms or baby carrier/wrap that way.

Elizabeth and Nathanael have been doing really well with her.  Elizabeth is very careful when she holds Adelle in her lap on the couch, and they'll sit together and watch a movie for long stretches of time.  Nathanael likes to get nose to nose with Adelle, which is fine  for a few seconds, but the Adelle turns her head away, and he persists in getting in her line of sight.  A work in progess. Otherwise, he's very gentle with her - no pinching like E was prone to at a similar age.

The dark circles under my eyes have not diminished, but I feel well. No sign of postpartum mood disorders (a concern since I had anxiety/panic attack issues for months after E was born).  I'm looking forward to getting back to exercising, but I see that it could be a challenge to get that fit in. Adelle really likes to be in arms, and of course, I really like to sit around cuddling with her.  I think first steps will literally be steps - hopping on the treadmill for a few minutes here and there during the day.

Now we're looking out for the next big things - first smiles, awareness of hands and feet... we've seen some expressions that might be precursors to smiles. Just waiting for the show of gummy smiles to start!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

2 weeks

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Two weeks old.

It passes by so quickly!  I need to record some of the things I'm remembering from this time, since I know I'll forget them, otherwise!

I weighed Adelle a few days ago (for the first time) on our kitchen scale. 9 pounds! Assuming there's not a big discrepancy between the scale used at birth and the home scale, The girl gained nearly 12 ounces in 12 days.  An ounce a day!  Clearly, breastfeeding is working out for her, even if we are dealing with some oversupply that leaves her coughing, choking, and popping of the breast when things get flowing too fast for her.

She still fitting into newborn clothes, just barely.  The 0-3 month size are too long in the leg. Newborn won't fit her for much longer, though, especially while wearing cloth diapers!

Thinking of, the cloth diapers are going well, too. We've been using cloth most of the time.  We have some newborn disposable diapers that were given to us, so I use those when I'm too lazy to go grab the cloth diapers from upstairs, or wherever they happen to be stashed. Adelle doesn't seem to be fazed by having a wet or dirty diaper.  She doesn't fuss about it, and there has been a night or two where she went for 6 or more hours in the same diaper because she didn't wake, and I didn't wake to change her.

She is for sure a sleeper.  At first, she would only wake 1-2 times a night to nurse - quite predictably at 1 am and 6 am. It seems like she's nursing more frequently in the last 2-3 days, but since she's in bed with me, and we both wake up just enough to get her latched on, I don't have a real sense of how often she's nursing at night.

She is such a precious, serene baby.  I usually catch her feeding cues (or rather just put her to the breast whenever she wakes up), so she doesn't have much to fuss about.  Adelle hasn't been upset by gas (unlike he older sibs).  We can tell when she has a gas bubble to work out one end or the other.  She starts grunting and wiggling, but as soon as the gas is out, she just relaxes again.  Sometimes, she wakes up with a cry for an unknown reason - it's so sad a cute at the same time.  The bottom lip quivers, the newborn siren is in full force. But as soon as we put a calming hand on her, she settles, and resumes her regularly scheduled peacefulness.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Indigo Wild winner

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The Indigo Wild giveaway is done, and baby didn't interrupt things!

The number was 25 - The winner of the Indigo Wild sampler is Alison!

I've emailed the winner, and hope to hear back from her soon.  Thanks for playing, everyone!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

enjoying the babymoon

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It's only been 10 days since we brought out daughter Adelle screaming into the world. I've been enjoying this time for the most part - bah to you, postpartum hemorrhoids! It goes by so very quickly, and her face is constantly changing.  The "new baby" smell already seems like it's wearing off too quickly.

Some of my favorite things about having a brand new baby:

The smallness - the head resting on my elbow while the little bottom sits in my palm.
The curled, balled up way she cuddles in to my arms or on my chest.
The smell.  New babies have a distinct smell. Sniffin' babies is a new mama drug.
The sounds of a baby rooting for some food.
Kissing those sweet baby cheeks and lips.
The newborn cry (although we try not to let crying happen to much).
Baby bobble-heads. So cute!

As for me, I feel like I've been doing well. Spectacularly, in fact.  I suspect this has much to do with the way I spent the first few days postpartum. On the day she was born, I spent most of the time laying in bed, except for one trip downstairs, when I showered, greeted our first visitors, and got some dinner. The next day, I stayed in bed all day, except for trips to the bathroom.  I rested. People brought me food and drink. Visitors came to me. I napped. The next day, I stayed in bed, except for a trip downstairs to shower, get some lunch, and then back upstairs.

So you see how it went.  I actually rested.  I focused on not being up, on letting other people do things for me. After having the first two kids, I sincerely think the way I have felt has to do with the quality of my rest and inactivity.  Yes, it seems obvious, but until I experienced it myself, I would have thought my recovery after the first two was pretty good, too.

There are a few things I've been using that I think have made a big difference in how I feel, physically.

The Belly Bandit. Wow. I seriously recommend this, or something like it. I haven't felt like my innards are falling out. It helps me remember to sit up straight. If I leave it off for a few hours, I can tell, and I'm ready to have it back on. People have commented that I look slimmer than I did after the last two, and I totally attribute it to the belly bandit.

Earth Mama Angel Baby postpartum stuff.  Monthly comfort tea, earth mama bottom balm, and the bath herbs. Oh, and the Booby Tubes. Bliss, Cold Bliss!

iPad. Seriously.  I think this is what allowed me to stay in bed for so long.  Thanks Apple!  I surfed the internet, facebook and my forums, watched shows on netflix, and managed not to go stir-crazy.

Another thing that's different this time around is that I feel like "myself"mentally, and even somewhat physically - I feel comfortable in my skin and body, and I'm able to focus and think on things outside just surviving the day, and outside of simply staring at my newborn all the time (I still do that a lot, though). Even though I'm sad to think of my new baby loosing her new-ness, I'm ready to get right back to working on projects that were unfinished before Adelle arrived.  The sewing projects are things I can start on, as well as some computing projects.

I have the wisdom this time around to continue with low-key activities for another couple of weeks, but I think that once I'm at the 4-6 weeks postpartum mark, I'll be ready to start tackling some of the big things we have coming up over the next several months, like getting ready for my 5k!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Introducing Adelle Jane

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On Saturday, November 19 we welcomed the newest addition to our family:

Decorations by E and N, proud siblings.
She was born at home at 12:57 pm, after about a 13 hour labor. She weighed in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and is 20.5 inches long.  She is the exact same dimensions as her sister was at birth!  She is quite clearly a different child, though. She has dark hair all over her head, and slept most of the first two days of her life. She's a very peaceful child, and rarely fusses or cries without a clear reason.

If you're not interested in reading about the details of Adelle's birth, please feel free to skim through and just look at the pictures! This birth story is a little bit harder to share than Nathanael's because the whole experience was a much harder one for me.

One hour after arrival - tired but happy mama and sweet baby.
On Friday November 18, I started having some light prelabor contractions in the morning. After lunch I decided to try timing them. They were more than 5 minutes apart and shorter than 40 seconds. Nothing intense. The kids and I made pumpkin muffins, and I made some buns for our burgers for supper. I called the midwife, N, to let her know things might be gearing up. Around 8 pm, I saw some bloody show.  Jude and I thought 'this might be it!' and decided to turn in early.

Day 2 - resting up in bed - what a difference it can make!
We went to bed around 9, and it took me quite a while to settle. Contractions were distracting, but not so much that I couldn't fall asleep around 10:30 or 11:00. I slept until about 12 midnight, and then was up with contractions that continued to distract me. (Although the midwife wasn't there at this time, she suspects this is about the time that I transitioned from pre-labor into the real thing).  I worked at breathing through contractions, and I used a contraction timer app on Jude's iPad throughout the night. I could doze lightly between some of them.  I was definitely applying some of my relaxation and breathing techniques! Jude got up to help me out by rubbing my back and applying pressure. It felt nice! They gradually got closer together, and I called the MW around 5:30 am to let her know things were moving along, and we thought it was time – contractions were less than 5 minutes apart and generally about a minute long. She said she'd come over to check on things and we'd go from there.

Mama, E, and Adelle - E loves being with her sister - she totally called it!
She arrived at 6:30 am, and a cervical check showed I was about 7cm dilated! The kids were up about 7, and Jude put in a movie for them. N and I had talked about how I thought I labored better if I didn't have people hovering around me, unless I requested some help. She was respectful of this, and stayed in a different room, except to come and check in on me once in a while. The midwife's assistant, L, arrived around 8, and I got into the bath tub to see if it could offer some pain relief.  It did for a while - I listened to my labor playlist, and sang along through some contractions, which helped me to focus. The kids would come up and talk to me every once in a while. Contractions seemed to slow down, so I got out of the tub at about 9:30 am. Another cervical check – a stretchy 9 cm – almost 10! 

Calm in the water - she liked to stretch out!
I stayed out of the tub and walked around briskly to encourage contactions, which did the job. They got more and more intense, and I was moaning and vocalizing trough them. I spent quite a while in the bathroom, alternating between squating while holding on to the edge of the tub, leaning over the tub and swaying my hips, sitting on the toilet, and doing some side lunges. I just wanted to be done. Things kept going along without seeming to get to a pushing point, and I was getting tired of being upright. I was still able to keep my humor between contractions, although I got more and more serious as time went on, because I was so tired and hurting.

I remember hearing Jude talking on the phone, and the noise of the kids and the midwives talking, and I found all of that noise really annoying. I told the midwives I wanted to lay down, and headed back into the bedroom. I got into a side lying position on my left side, and found that lying down did seem to help some with the pain, but I also was having a hard time with all the energy. I took to gripping Jude's hand, which helped. After a bit, N suggested I try a push to see if it felt better putting some energy into that. At first, it didn't seem to matter either way, but then it seemed to feel better to be pushing into the contraction.
Day 4 - Naming Day! Cuddling up with Daddy.
I never felt a distinct urge to push. I continued to put my own effort into the contraction, and I felt my body start to kick in some automatic bearing down. It hurt a lot, but pushing seemed better than not doing anything. N suggested I put my upper leg up. L tried supporting my leg, but that felt tense, so I had Jude hold it for me, which helped. I felt like I was yelling now through the contractions, and I kept throwing my head back. N reminded me to tuck my chin. It was so intense, and I really didn't want to keep working at it anymore. I was pushing, and I knew I needed to keep pushing more. I would start in pushing at the beginning of a contraction (because it felt better than not pushing) and about the time I was done, my body would kick in some urge to push, and it seemed to go on forever. I could feel the pressure in my face and lips. I was squeezing my eyes shut each time. Jude was encouraging me all the way. (Still glad I didn't have a chorus of "push! push!" - I just did what worked for me.) I remember trying to talk the baby out - 'Come on baby, I want to meet you!'

Day 5 - with Papa, an experienced baby holder.
I didn't want to move, but I felt like I needed to get over onto my hands and knees, and work that way. I rested my arms on a stack of pillows, and Jude was holding my hands. I was gripping him so tightly! He said something, which I interpreted to mean that I needed to put the energy into the push and not the grip (not what he said at all, though!) I knew I had to push to get through this, but it just kept hurting and burning more. I could feel the baby sliding back in at the end of a contraction a couple of times. Pushing through, pushing through. Oh, how I wished it would get over with! I kept thinking it couldn't get worse, but it did. N was trying to help by stretching things, but after a bit, that felt awful, and didn't help, and made it harder to handle the contractions. I really did feel like things were just going to rip apart, and I couldn't help myself from making some noises indicating my distress. But finally, we were there! I felt her crowning, and coming, out, out, out, and then relief! I pushed for about 30 minutes, but it sure felt like forever.

Baby girl was pretty blue to start with, but she was breathing and crying right away. N was vigilant in suctioning the mucus out of the way and stimulating her make sure the baby was clearing her airway. I flipped over (with assistance) and we got her right to my chest, skin to skin. She was crying quite a bit, and pinked up nicely. I was so happy to see her! It totally made all the work worth it, but unlike the previous two babies, I didn't feel this “wasn't too bad," or "I would do that again.” It was a lot of hard work.

Day 6 - We give thanks for our wonderful children!
Elizabeth and Nathanael both saw their sister born, sitting quitely on a bench next to the wall. Both seemed pretty excited to be there, and still talk about it.

Afterwards, I stayed on the bed for quite a while, snuggling with the girl. Jude tells me that shortly after the birth, Nathanael left the room. Jude went to find out what he was doing, and found him getting a cup of water for the baby (Elizabeth said the baby was thirsty). I remember Nathanael bringing a cup of water to us. He also got a cup of yogurt for the baby, because Elizabeth said the baby was hungry! He is quite attentive and loving with Adelle.

It was nice to get to see the baby weighed and measured, something I missed out on with the other two. Adelle started nursing at about a hour after birth, and continued for the next hour.  It was nice to just cuddle in and get to know her. N and her assistant stayed around for more than and hour, making sure everything was going well, and giving us some reminders of things to watch for to make sure that baby and I were doing well.

We are absolutely in love with our beautiful little girl!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Our newest family member arrived on Saturday. I'll be posting an official introduction in the next few days.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

40 weeks!

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40 weeks!

Hopefully this is the last weekly update picture I'll take.  No black dress picture today.  The dress is  hiding somewhere.

Come out, Baby Cakes!

Even though I don't have a desire to be pregnant longer, I know that babies come in their own time.  Due date? Pshaw... More like guess date.  Two weeks on either side is considered normal.  So really, I could be looking at two more weeks of fun and excitement (although I'm not anticipating or hoping that I'll be hosting Cakes in my belly for that much longer.)

I'm amazed that I still have no new stretch marks.  Perhaps the previous two did all the stretching.  If only I could get what I have to go away... oh well, that's wishing.  Mama marks. There's really nothing wrong with them, except that society tells us we should have perfect, flawless skin. They tell a story, though - the work my body has done for months and months to produce the beautiful, intelligent children I have.  People brag about other scars and marks. Perhaps stretchmarks are brag-worthy, too.

I'm mostly just biding time, now.  I have several designs for baby announcements, but for whatever reason, I'm inclined wait until after Cakes arrives to pick a design and order the papers and envelopes.  I have quite a bit of baking I could do - lactation cookies, pumpkin muffins, bread....  I've been thinking about making some homemade tortillas and putting them in the freezer (which is getting quite full).

I'm trying to keep the house in the same state of "clean" that it currently is in.  Which, really, I should do all the time. It's much easier to keep up with every day it than it is to let it slide till everything needs a good cleaning.  I'm so glad Jude is home.  He motivates me to clean. I see him cleaning something, and I'll pitch in and work along side him.  Not so much for self-motivation when it comes to cleaning.

I've been trying to work out a vague plan for post-baby return to fitness.  Since I want to do the 5k in April, I'll need to start doing some walking.  Now, I know from previous experience that it is better for my body and mind if I play it pretty low key for the first 3-4 weeks.  Makes my recovery sooooo much better. After 4 weeks, I'll be better able to evaluate where I am, and hopefully, I'll be able to get out and buy my new shoes (yay!), and start building up my minutes walking.  I figure I'll have to start with something small, like 10-15 minutes a day at a slow pace, and then increasing over several weeks to a longer walks at a more brisk pace.  I am so grateful for the treadmill I have in my home!  

Monday, November 14, 2011

saving for something

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photo from  xJason.Rogersx via flickr
I really need to take a close look at my household budget.  I really need to figure where I can start making some additional savings.  Jude and I have a couple of short term and long term goals that we need to save towards.  We've been blessed that our life situation has allowed us to save money regularly, and we are grateful that we have a good chunk of money set aside for some of our goals (like replacing Jude's truck, or replacing the car when it won't fit our family anymore). We set aside an amount each month that gets put directly in our savings account, but I have a desire to increase that amount, and perhaps find something that gives us a better return (I'm just not feeling the stock martket right now...).  Since I'm the one who manages the household budget, and since I'm the one who tends to do the less necessary spending, I feel the responsibility for reigning it in falls on me.

Before Children (BC), I was really great about regularly entering all my receipts into Quicken, reconciling my checkbook, reconciling my credit card statements, and keeping track of my spending in general.  Now? My receipts are more than half a year behind, as are my other statements, and I haven't actually maintained the register in my check book for more than 2 years!  Ack!!  I need to get back on track.

I used to do a lot of couponing, but I've fallen out of that, for the most part. It seemed like I didn't save enough to justify purchasing newspapers for coupons (although I never figured the actual numbers).  I tend to avoid the boxed, processed goods, and I prefer to purchase natural/organic products.  There aren't as many coupons readily available for what I buy. I might need to take a closer look and find out where I could adjust some of that more. 

I totally need to check my impulse buying - it's been bad with baby Cakes on the way. I see a cute baby outfit, and although I totally don't need it, sometimes I buy it anyway. I see a handy gadget, or get an idea for a craft project, and want to buy the supplies. (On each of these, though, most of the time, I walk around with it in my cart for a while, and ultimately put it back in stead of buying.)  I eat out once a week with the kids when we go shopping, and I could cut that out. 

I know we've already adjusted our spending from several years ago, and have more cash to save, but I also know we could do more, and not really feel it.  We might even be at a point where we want to really tighten up our financial ship for a year or two, so we could make some major headway in our savings goals.

This won't all be happening within the next few weeks, I can guarantee.  I think, however, that when January rolls around that we'll have the chance to dig in and get a clearer idea of how we can get even farther down the road to achieving our goals.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"a pig in a box"

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Elizabeth's first sentence. She spelled all the words her self, and made up the sentence all by herself.

"A pig in a box"

The "a" between pig and in was misplaced, and she didn't erase it.

She also went on to write "A ball in a box"

(The note book is a home-made dry erase workbook, inspired by Mama to 4 Blessings. Super easy to make, and Nathanael loves it too.  I might have to make one just for him so they don't fight over it.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

39 weeks (come out, baby Cakes!)

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I'm tired. Say cheese?
39 weeks!

We are almost there, almost done with being pregnant!  I am fortunate that this pregnancy has also proven to be a pretty easy journey.  No morning sickness, and generally I've felt pretty good throughout most of the pregnancy.  And, at 39 weeks, I STILL have no new stretch marks, which I find completely remarkable, considering I had them with the other two.  Thanks, Earth Mama! In the early half of pregnancy, I was dealing with some mild SPD/pelvic girdle pain, but it has improved remarkably since then, along with regular chiropractic care.

Don't forget to put in your guess about baby Cake's arrival!  I'll be closing the game in a few days.

So many projects are unfinished, but that's okay.  Things will get done eventually, and having a baby won't put life at a stand-still forever.

This morning, Nathanael told Cakes, "Come out, Baby!" Perhaps hearing it from a sibling will encourage things along?

I'm now a mix of impatient and "wait baby, not yet!" I've birthed two babies before, but each experience is a new one, entire unto itself.  I  know it's hard work, and I know I can do it, but that doesn't mean I look forward to the unknown factors involved. Actually, what I look forward to the Least is the possibility of several days of prodromal/pre- labor at night that keeps me a wake, and leaves me tired, without actually getting the baby out, or any obvious progress. Thank goodness for naps, I guess.  The upside of all the work is that eventually we'll get to meet baby Cakes, and THAT is well worth any process!

So now, we're just waiting. My due date buddy from church already had her baby. Waiting, waiting...

Friday, November 04, 2011

warm days of fall

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Last week we had the last few warm days of fall.  The kids were outside playing, and I had to take some pictures of them enjoying what they didn't realize would be one of the last days of running around outside without a jacket or coat.

A boy and his tractor.

A tractor needs dirt.

Boy + Tractor = Dirt on Boy

He can't really be getting that big. Right?

See me, Mama?

Here comes Elizabeth...

Let's Race!

Wanna go again?

Good thing E believes in Win-Win Races!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

38 weeks

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38 weeks! Almost there!

I'm for sure in the last few weeks' stretch, where I am kind of ready to be done.  Anytime would be good.  I'm impatient to meet Cakes, to find out if Cakes is a girl or a boy.  (Don't forget to make a guess in the game! You don't have to register to play!) I'm not necessarily outrageously uncomfortable, but it's hard to sleep (and stay asleep), it's hard to tie my shoes, and I'm definitely waddling, especially when I'm tired.

I  need to give a shout out to my photographer, lo, these many weeks: Elizabeth! She's done a pretty good job working with the "big" camera.

I've been surprised to see my weight level off over the past few weeks, and even, just maybe, drop a bit.  I've read that's not uncommon in the last 4 weeks, but it sure seems counter intuitive.  It's also not consistent with my previous two pregnancies. But whatever.  So, as it stands, I've gained somewhere between 29 and 32 pounds.  That's really a pretty good place to be.  And know what else?  I have ZERO new stretch marks thus far, in distinct contrast to the last two babes, where I had them around 36 weeks. I might be crediting the Earth Mama Angel Baby Stretch Oil with that.  I used other products the previous two pregnancies, and they didn't help then.

Back to the arrival of Cakes. Although I say anytime would be good, really, Cakes needs to wait until at least Friday night, when Jude will be home for Baby Watch 2011. Even though my house is NOT clean, and my projects are NOT done, that's just how it goes. We'll manage, if Cakes arrives before everything is as perfect as I want it to be.

The infant seat is in the car, the diapers are washed and ready to go.  Baby clothes are in the dresser, birth supplies are readily available.  I'm charging my phone regularly, and keeping it nearer the bedroom in case it's needed in the middle of the night. (Usually we keep all electronics, excepting the digital clock, downstairs and out of the bedrooms.) I have downloaded a contraction timer app on Jude's ipad so we don't have to mess with watching a clock or writing it down.

Some things I kind of wish I had at this point, but don't really matter:

A cute nursing pajamas set.  I haven't found one that totally grabs me, but something like this:
Long Sleeve V-neck Lace Trim Nursing 3 Piece Set   or this:        

A stylish diaper bag that doesn't scream diaper bag.  Something not too big and bulky, but that can contain enough cloth diapers for a day out, nursing supplies, and a change of clothes for the kids. Something that has a shoulder strap, or is messenger style, rather than tote/handle style.

And probably a few other things, but I can't really think of them at the moment.

It's funny to think we've gone from this:

To this in just 9 months.  How did it go so fast?

How did it GROW so fast?  Here's a little (poorly done) slide show demonstrating the degree of change from week 12 to week 38.  I look almost skinny (comparatively!) in the 12 week photo. The hair is now longer, the skirt appears to be shorter... Oh, how bodies can change.

My kids being goofy is one thing that has remained the same. E is playing the drums.  Nathanael? is wearing a hat. He likes hats, as long as he can take them off shortly after putting them on.  Hats are funny, don't you know? And, of course, E getting some just "her" time dancing.

One of our last portraits of just Mama with only two birthed babes..
I think they're pretty cute!

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