Corbin Travis: 1 Month

24 Apr

Little man is already a month old! He was 4 weeks last Thursday and 1 month on Sunday 4/22. Some nights are super long but the time has actually gone by fast.

Size

Shortly after he was 2 weeks old, Corbin outgrew his newborn clothes, and is now wearing all 3-month size. He has also been wearing size 1 diapers since we came home from the hospital, and I’m contemplating moving him to size 2 already…

At his 1-month well-child checkup yesterday, he weighed 11 lbs 13 oz (95%!!!), was still around 21 inches long (14%, but they have measured him shrinking since he was born so who knows!?!), and had a head circumference of 15.55 inches (97%).Eating

Corbin has gained 3 pounds on top of his birth weight since he was born, so it’s obvious little man loves to eat! He still eats every 3 hours pretty much around the clock, though he has given me a handful of longer stretches at night.

During one of those longer stretches, I woke up before him, so I got up and pumped, partly to not inundate him with milk after 4 hours, but also so that we could start feeding him a bottle. And he has done great! He’s taken a bottle from my mother-in-law a handful of times now, which is so encouraging, since I’ll be heading back to work in the next month or so.I met with a lactation consultant yesterday because even though Corbin seems to nurse really well and is obviously growing, he is fussy and unhappy often. Almost the only way he’s happy while awake is being tightly swaddled, cradled horizontally in our arms, and jiggled/bounced — and he can tell if you sit down (and doesn’t like it), which makes for some very sore arms and back for whoever is holding him. The lactation consultant observed a partial lip tie and referred us to a dentist in a nearby town who will do a consultation for free, so I think we’ll look into that.

However, starting last night, I started only nursing Corbin on one side for each feeding. That seems to help him be more comfortable and it doesn’t majorly decrease the amount of time he goes between feedings, so I think I’ll stick with that for a while and see if it continues to help, or is just a fluke.

Sleeping

Corbin may be a fussy baby but his one saving grace is that he will let us put him down in the Rock ‘n’ Play once we get him to sleep. We have a vibrating pad that fits in a pocket at the bottom of the Rock ‘n’ Play, and turn that on whenever we’re putting him down — I think it helps the transition. But that vibrating pad burns through 4 AA batteries every week! Still, it’ll probably end up being cheaper than buying a whole new Rock ‘n’ Play with vibration built in.

We’ve tried Corbin in the Baby Bjorn several times — both of our girls loved it, but he does not seem to be a fan. My sister-in-law loaned me a Moby wrap, though, and he seems to like that so there’s that.Similar to Annabelle, Corbin will fall asleep in his carseat on car rides, but wakes up immediately when we try to move the carseat inside. Yesterday, I took a nap in the car with him while the girls played outside in our driveway. It was glorious.

Corbin is starting to be awake for longer periods of time, but still mostly just eats, sleeps and poops. There are times that he has been awake for an hour or more, but only because he’ll be almost asleep and then gets woken up by what appears to be gas pains, and it starts all over again. A few times, I’ve had to wake Travis up in the middle of the night and ask him to take over because Corbin has taken over an hour to get back to sleep, between pooping, burping, and squirming in pain. Poor little guy.We have noticed, however, that one thing that gets Corbin to sleep faster than anything else (once you have him swaddled, cradled, and bouncing) is for him to hear people talking, either in person or on the TV/radio, or even the girls screaming. I had been avoiding watching shows at night out of fear that the noise would stimulate him and keep him awake longer, but it actually has the opposite effect on him. He also seems to like being carried around (swaddled, cradled) while I tidy up and out toys/clothes/dishes away, which is nice because then I can at least stay on top of the housework (for the most part) while holding him.

Development

There’s not a ton to report on development yet, because Corbin still pretty much sleeps all day. He still hates his carseat, but will tolerate it when the car is moving. He doesn’t mind baths, but hates getting his face washed. His hair is as awesome as ever, but he has a little bit of baby dandruff from a flaking scalp (though I expect that to go away in the next couple of weeks).

He hasn’t smiled while awake yet, but he does smile a fair amount in his sleep, which is just the cutest thing ever.I will say that the hardest thing about having a newborn this time around is not the newborn himself, but our other kids. Two kids was a juggling act, and three is even more so. It is very helpful that the girls are as old as they are. Emma can get snacks and drinks for her and Annabelle while I’m nursing (as long as she’s in the mood to be a helper and not a helpee), and Annabelle is about 75% potty trained, so we don’t have to change her diapers/pullups very often.But because the girls are older and capable of more things, they are also harder to wrangle. Emma will take off on a walk through the woods, or climb up a snowbank in her tennis shoes and regular pants, and I can’t race after her because I am holding a baby (and Emma is pretty stubborn/defiant so she doesn’t listen to my pleas or threats). Annabelle is better about sticking in the driveway or yard around the house, but is also more needy in terms of getting her shoes and jacket on, and getting hurt doing stuff she sees Emma doing but can’t quite do herself.

Then there are the dinner and bedtime struggles, and the middle-of-the-night wakings with our other kids that make having a newborn even more challenging. Travis and I have agreed that in general, I will take care of Corbin at night while he will get up with the girls–in the middle of the night if something happens, but mostly in the mornings when they rise at the ungodly hour of 6:30. I’ve usually just gone back to bed around 6 AM after nursing Corbin, so Travis gets up with the girls (and often Corbin too) and lets me sleep until around 8 AM. I relish those extra two hours of sleep, and am severely devastated if/when they don’t happen. But after a cup of coffee and the reminder that God’s mercies are new every morning, I soldier on.

This is just a season. It will get easier. This is just a season. It will get easier.

“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, for his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Corbin Travis: 2 Weeks

5 Apr

Corbin is already 2 weeks old!Corbin is nursing well. He was discharged from the hospital on Friday 3/23 at 8 lbs 9 oz and when we took him to the doctor the following Monday, he was down to 8 lbs 6 oz. But my milk came in late Sunday so by his follow-up appointment on Thursday, he was up to 8 lbs 10 oz. He had been tested for jaundice on Monday but his level wasn’t high enough to be treated, and since he was gaining weight and having plenty of wet/poopy diapers, his doctor felt he was headed in the right direction.

He eats every 2-3 hours around the clock. During the day, he sleeps like a champ and I sometimes have to wake him up to nurse after it’s been 3 hours. He almost always nurses himself back to sleep but the past couple of days, he’s sometimes alert after nursing so then we let the girls hold him or give him a bath, and then swaddle and rock/bounce him to sleep. He also likes to suck on his thumb. Sometimes he finds himself (by accident), but sometimes we help him. He also seems to like vibration like Annabelle did, but not so much swinging in the swing.We had a couple of rough nights that first week, with him feeding every couple hours and/or being awake and hard to get back to sleep (so I was only getting an hour of sleep here and there) but the last several nights, he’s given me one 3-hour stretch of sleep and gone right back to sleep after nursing.

Corbin is hard to burp so he has a fair amount of random spit up, and seems to struggle with gas pains (he sometimes cries at random intervals). He is also a poop machine!! During our roughest nights, I’d nurse him on one side, change his diaper to wake him up, then while I nursed him on the other side, he’d poop. So I’d change him again and he’d poop again while nursing. And there have been several times when he has peed or pooped all over his outfit in the middle of a diaper change. But I think I’m *finally* getting the hang of changing a boy’s diaper!The girls are enthralled with Corbin and give him loads of affection by patting his head and stroking his face. They love holding him and try to help other ways, but are limited by how young he is and how much he sleeps. (He has to be in his room to get good sleep, because the girls won’t leave him alone if he’s out in the main room with us.)

When Corbin is awake, he loves to look around and seems very content. He only cries when he’s hungry, cold, getting his diaper changed, or being held by the girls when he’s tired. But those things can probably be said about any newborn, and like I said, in just the past couple of days, he’s started being more alert and not just sleeping all the time. So we are just beginning to discover what he’s like!Corbin wasn’t a huge fan of the sponge baths he received before his umbilical cord stump fell off when he was about a week old, but he doesn’t seem to mind a real bath (until he has to get out).

Likes

* Held lying down in arms (vs. upright)

* Nursing

* Being bounced/walked around

* Sucking on his hands or thumb

Dislikes

* Being in his car seat (unless the car is moving)

* Tummy time

* Diaper changes

* Tight swaddles

We’re getting Corbin’s newborn pictures and family pictures taken in a little over a week! I’ll be back with his one-month update in a few weeks.

Corbin’s Birth Story

28 Mar

Corbin Travis (aka Jellybean) made his debut on Thursday, March 22, four days before his due date. He was 8 lbs 15 oz and 21 inches long with a head circumference of 14.25 inches.IMG_2938 (Large)

IMG_2932 (Large)I went into labor the evening of Wednesday, the 21st. I had actually seen the doctor that morning, who said I was still 3 cm but now 70% thinned — my cervix was doing what it was supposed to, and it could be any day, we just didn’t know which one.

After Travis got off work, he went on a run and showered, then we went to Costco for dinner in the food court (I had a major craving for pizza) and some groceries. My hips and inner thighs were killing me, and I was walking as slow as a grandma.

Bedtime with the girls went as usual and I got to bed around 9:30. I woke up again around 11 from a few strong Braxton Hicks with a lot of downward pressure (which I had been having almost every night), and a small pop similar to when my water had broken with the girls, only this time nothing came out.

About 5 minutes later, though, I had my first real contraction. I laid in bed for a few more contractions, just to make sure they were consistent and that first one hadn’t been a fluke.

It hadn’t been. The contractions were all strong and about 6-7 minutes apart. I got up around 11:45 and moved to the couch to watch some episodes of Modern Family while continuing to time my contractions. I also reviewed my list of stuff to bring to the hospital, put my nursing pillow and the Rock n Play by the door, and retrieved the infant car seat from its storage spot in the garage (and discovered the straps had gotten moldy, so I washed those too).

Around 3 am, the contractions were still coming every 6 minutes and strong enough to require some intentional breathing so I ate a bowl of Cheerios with strawberries and then woke Travis up. “I think it’s time to have a baby,” I said. “Oh goodness,” was his response.

He asked if my water had broken. I told him no, I was just having contractions painful enough to know they were real. So he got up and took a shower while I finished packing my bag, and then I jumped in the shower while he finished packing. After getting dressed, I called my friend Brenda, who had graciously volunteered to be our middle-of-the-night childcare.

She arrived at our house around 3:30 and we got to the hospital around 3:45. Since it was the middle of the night, we had to go through the ER entrance. They immediately asked if we were headed upstairs to the family birth place, and a nurse escorted us up. I totally accepted her offer of a wheelchair so that I could be sitting during any contractions that I had on the way.

I was wheeled right into a room, and the nurse had me change into a hospital gown and then hooked me up to the baby and contraction monitors for 30 minutes. By then, my contractions were more like 2 minutes apart and I was 5 cm dilated. They seemed to take their sweet old time getting everything set up but by 5 am, I had my IV in and was getting my first round of antibiotics (for the Group B Strep), as well as the liter of fluid required to get an epidural.

The contractions were quite painful by that point, and I was panicking just a little at the thought of having to wait a whole hour to get an epidural (that’s how long the liter of fluid takes) so I asked about the possibility of using nitrous oxide in the meantime. My nurse, Kathy, asked the anesthesiologist, who approved it, so they got that going and it definitely helped. At the very least, it gave me something to focus on during that hour besides just the pain of the contractions.

A little after 6 am, my nurse, Kathy, checked me again. I was 6 cm dilated and decided to go ahead with the epidural. The anesthesiologist arrived around 6:15. I was worried about the pain of the epidural but needn’t have been. The numbing medicine was a sharp pinch, but I barely felt the actual epidural being placed. I told Travis later that the most painful part of the whole thing had actually been getting that darn IV put in my arm.

After the anesthesiologist was done, Kathy had me lay down in the bed, tilted to the side, which I have to admit wasn’t the most comfortable position ever because of how heavy my belly was. But overall, the epidural worked perfectly — I could feel the pressure of the contractions but they weren’t painful, and I could still move my legs and feet. They checked me again shortly after the epidural was placed, and I was 8 cm.

A little before 7 am, one of my contractions must’ve pushed Corbin’s foot up into my ribs and it was so painful that I demanded to change positions. So Kathy tilted me the other way, and that helped. At 7 am, there was a shift change and my new nurse, Shawnna, gave me a pillow to prop up my belly, and I was actually fairly comfy that way (though I would’ve preferred to lay on my side instead).

Because I was positive for Group B Strep and my first round of antibiotics had been started at 5 am, they wanted me to wait until at least 9 am to have a baby, because the antibiotics need 4 hours to take effect. So we had a couple of hours to just rest. Travis fell back asleep but even though I was relaxed and was really trying to sleep, I just couldn’t turn my mind off. It was nice to rest anyway.

Around 8:45 am, the on-call doctor, Dr. Senica, came in, introduced himself, and talked about the game plan. He’d come back down around 9:15, break my water, and then we’d have a baby. Shawnna checked me again around 9 am, and I was still at 8 cm because my water still hadn’t broken, so Dr. Senica broke my water around 9:15. By 9:45, I was almost fully dilated, and I was starting to feel pressure by 10 am. Because the pushing stage of labor with the girls only lasted a few contractions, they weren’t planning to have me start pushing until the doctor came back down. Just to be sure, Shawnna had me push a little while Dr. Senica was on his way, and confirmed that yep, we want to wait until he’s here to start pushing.

He got into the room a little after 10, got all set up, told me that we were going to push until the baby’s head came out, clean baby’s nose and mouth with a bulb syringe, then push the body out. When the next contraction came, they told me to go for it, so I took a deep breath, and with three pushes, Corbin’s head was out. A few minutes later, they were ready for me to push again, and his body came out with a huge gush of amniotic fluid. Then Corbin peed all over the doctor while he was clamping off the umbilical cord. 😉

After wiping Corbin off a little bit, they put him on my chest for skin-to-skin. He was covered in vernix and very purple. He cried a little bit right away, but once he was snuggling with me, he was totally content. Too content. It was taking him a little too long to pink up — Shawnna had to keep rubbing his feet to make him cry and exercise his lungs. After 10-15 minutes, they took him over to the warming station and gave him some oxygen to help get his oxygen levels up (they started out at 60, and were up to around 80 by that time, but they wanted them between 85 and 95). Eventually, his oxygen levels got up to desired number, and they brought him back.

Within an hour of birth, Corbin started making motions with his mouth like he wanted to nurse, so I put him to the breast and he did a great job sucking. He nursed for about 45 minutes straight, then wanted nothing to do with it until the next morning because he was so sleepy. When he wasn’t being poked and prodded with needles, oxygen sensors, and stethoscopes, Corbin pretty much slept the whole time we were in the hospital. We were grateful that he was willing to sleep in the bassinet and didn’t need to be held the whole time.

Having a child born in the morning was a new experience for us–both the girls were born at night. About 2 hours after Corbin was born, he got his first bath and the Hep B vaccine and erythromycin eye ointment. The epidural had worn off by then, so I was able to walk to and use the bathroom on my own strength.

I was starving and parched by then (since you can’t eat or drink during an epidural) so we ordered breakfast–french toast for me, eggs and bacon for Travis. And I drank a whole bottle of Gatorade, plus two glasses of apple juice, and a bunch of water.

After eating, we decided to try to get some rest, so we closed the shades and laid down, but I still couldn’t sleep! Ugh, it was so frustrating. I just could not stop thinking about anything and everything.

One of my co-workers came to visit around 3 pm with balloons and gifts for the girls, and a card for us. My boss came to visit around 5 pm. They both stayed about 20 minutes. Travis and I ordered dinner, then around 6:30 pm, Travis’ parents came with the girls. They were very excited to see Corbin, and wanted to hold him for about 5 minutes, then they were interested in checking out the room. Having kids in a hospital room is chaotic. They left around 7:30, with Emma crying because she wanted to stay with us at the hospital, or have us come home with her.

I ate an amazingly delicious sub from Erbert’s and Gerbert’s, then my Bible study ladies came to visit around 8:45. They stayed for about half an hour, then left so that we could get some sleep. I tried to nurse Corbin once more before going to sleep, but he wasn’t interested.

For the first few hours after “going to bed,” I was able to fall asleep but was woken up by intense cramping (afterpains). I paged my night nurse, Jena, and asked for pain meds. She gave me some Tylenol, and then an hour later, some ibuprofen, but even after both of those, the cramping was still really painful, so I asked if I could have anything stronger. The doctor on call approved Tylenol with codeine for me, so sometime between midnight and 2 am, they gave me some of that with a heating pad to place on my belly, and that helped a lot.

After that, the night is a blur but I recorded on our breastfeeding and diaper log that Corbin woke up at 2:45 and nursed for 10 minutes on each side. He nursed again at 6:45 and 9:30. Sometime during the night, Jena took Corbin for his hearing test and baby pictures, and Travis and I were able to get some sleep then too.

A little after 7 am, our day nurse, Katie, came in to let us know that the pediatrician would be coming by soon. I was also starving so I woke Travis up and asked him to order french toast, bacon, eggs, and coffee for breakfast. Since we were trying to leave the hospital before noon and knew that there was a slew of things that needed to get done before then, we decided to just get up. It was sunny that day, so that helped wake us up (the day Corbin was born was cloudy).

After the pediatrician looked Corbin over and gave the green light, I took a shower. Dr. Rice, my OB, popped in a couple times while I was in the shower, but I didn’t actually end up connecting with her (not sure if this was an oversight?). She did write me prescriptions for a breast pump and Tylenol with codeine, though. Then we worked on getting all our stuff packed up and loaded onto a cart.

Right before discharge, Katie did Corbin’s newborn PKU screening and the CCHD test. When the girls arrived with Travis’ parents, we quickly had Katie take some sibling pictures and while they printed those out, Travis and his dad took a load of stuff down to the car.

Finally, it was time to go home! We had always been required to stay for 48 hours in the hospital (I think because my water was broken so long with both girls?) so it was nice to get to go home earlier, and stop being monitored constantly by nurses.

We ate lunch when we got home, then took nice long naps. And the rest I’ll talk about in Corbin’s 1-week update, coming soon! He’ll be a week old tomorrow already! We are in love with our little sweetheart already.

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Pregnancy #3: 39 Weeks

18 Mar

Well, tomorrow I’ll be 39 weeks. I was really hoping baby boy would decide to come early like Annabelle did but no such luck, even with three bouts of false labor trying to suggest otherwise.

The first instance happened on our way back from Eau Claire on March 4 (I’ll talk more about that trip shortly). I had been feeling sick all day, with what I assumed was bad acid reflux. Once we got to around St. Cloud (an hour from home), I started having contractions every 5-10 minutes, and my back was killing me. I texted my friend Brenda to make sure she’d be around to watch the kids in case I got home and it was the real deal, but alas, when I laid down in bed at home, the contractions stopped.

The second was the following Wednesday night. We had gone out to dinner at a restaurant so I once again had fairly bad acid reflux (but it was from my favorite dinner of Tequila Lime Chicken Tacos, so #worthit). I was woken up around 2 am with contractions that were consistently every 8-12 minutes, but they didn’t increase in intensity or pain, so after about an hour, I stopped timing and figured if they were the real deal, I’d find out eventually. They pretty much continued the rest of the night, but when I got up in the morning to take a shower, they stopped. (So annoying!! I tried googling “Does acid reflux cause contractions?” but couldn’t find anything.)

The third time was the following Saturday night. I didn’t have any acid reflux this time, but was woken up by sharp pains on the side of my belly. I got out of bed to see if I could relieve the pain by a change in position, but the pain and cramping continued. I drank 3 glasses of water and tidied up the kitchen counter and downstairs to see if being up would make it go away, but it didn’t. Finally, around 4 am, I woke Travis up and told him to pack a bag just in case. No sooner did he have his bag packed than the pain subsided, and we both went back to bed.

Thankfully, since then, my contractions have been very obviously Braxton Hicks so we haven’t had any more fake-outs (even though some of them produce so much downward pressure that I’m amazed my water hasn’t broken yet!). It’s hard to wait when you keep being taunted!

So our trip to Eau Claire… we left Saturday morning and came back Sunday night. While we were there, we visited my brother, sister-in-law, and niece that was born in December. My dad was there too, and we saw one of my other brothers, sisters-in-law, and niece born in September on our way back through the Cities. The drive out there went well, and the girls had fun seeing their baby cousins. We booked a hotel that had a waterpark, and Emma had a blast swimming and going down the big waterslide. Annabelle, true to form, was more conservative and not so sure about all the splashing and swimming. The waterpark was definitely geared toward bigger kids, like Emma’s age.

My SIL in Eau Claire also threw me a surprise long-distance baby sprinkle by asking friends and family (info provided by Travis) to send gifts during the week of February 26. It was very unexpected but so thoughtful! We received several boxes of diapers and quite a few adorable outfits, plus a few extras like boy blankets, boy towels, baby sunglasses (I die!), and a picture frame. We’re borrowing boy clothes from friends who have 5 boys, but it’s nice to have boy clothes that we can keep, and Travis appreciates getting some hunting-themed ones. I got all the clothes washed and put away this week, and thank you notes written and mailed, so now we’re just waiting for baby boy to make his debut.

Last weekend, Travis took the girls up to Bemidji for our nephew’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor. I had been planning to go, but after the rough drive home from Eau Claire, I decided to stay home. I did our budget, took a long shower and a long nap, and did some shopping. It was a nice day!

OB Appointments

I’m going every week now, and my doctor has done 3 pelvic checks. After my bout of false labor on the way back from Eau Claire, I was dilated 2-3 cm. Jellybean’s head is very low and my waters are bulging. At my most recent appointment, my doctor said that I’m 3 cm and 50% effaced. Progress! With both girls, I was still at 1 cm, even when I checked in to the hospital after my water broke, so I’ll take any forward progress I can get (even if it doesn’t mean I’ll go into labor soon).

I tested positive for Group B Strep again. No surprise there. I’ve also decided that if I get to the hospital and am dilated to 6 or 7 cm, I’m going to try to give birth sans epidural again. But if I’m only 4 or 5 (or still at 3) cm, I’m going with my half-med epidural plan still. We’ll see how things go down, hopefully sooner than later! I’ve been doing some anecdotal research online about timing tendencies with third babies (because that’s what majorly pregnant women who are sooo ready to be done do), and read that the third child can tend to be a wild card, and not follow suit timing-wise. Emma was born on her due date, and Annabelle was born at 38 weeks 2 days, so Jellybean will either be born between them, or late!

Symptoms

Acid reflux has gotten better with the combination of Tums and Zantac (though I am still trying to be more mindful about what I eat for dinner).

I’ve had a little sciatic pain with Jellybean’s head being so low, but overall I’m still feeling pretty good (as long as I’m sitting down, ha!). I have a little bit of swelling in my legs and ankles, but I can still wear my wedding rings so the swelling is less with this pregnancy than with my previous ones. I have a very faint linea negra, and have noticed more stretch marks this time around (boo). Sometimes it feels like the skin on my stomach can literally not stretch any more, so I guess stretch marks are not surprising.

Jellybean still moves around a ton, and when he pivots his head, it’s not a very pleasant feeling (right on top of my bladder and pelvic bone), but it’s reassuring that he’s still healthy and active.

Sleep

My hips are definitely feeling the weight these days. I usually go to bed propped up against 3 big pillows, plus 2 smaller ones (one for head support, the other for lumbar) and sleep that way for the first couple hours. Then I throw the little pillows on the floor and sleep on each side as long as comfortable. Usually somewhere around 4 or 5 am, I get my pillows set back up for sleeping sitting up and stay that way until morning.

The weirdest thing about sleep (and actually about this pregnancy in general) is how sweaty I’ve been. I’m not normally a sweaty person (and wasn’t when pregnant with the girls), but I have been during this pregnancy. Usually in winter, I wear a long-sleeve shirt and pants to bed, but the last couple of weeks, I’ve been wearing either nursing tanks and undies, or nightgowns, to bed, and I still wake up sweaty. I can only imagine how sweaty I’ll be after Jellybean comes. :/

Food & Cravings

Still loving cereal. If it were advisable to eat it for three meals a day, I would (but it’s not). And I’ve been eating more sweets lately (Girl Scout cookies, anyone?)… I’ve also been craving juice–specifically orange juice–but don’t dare drink it because of the acid. I can’t wait to eat cold deli sandwiches like they’re going out of style. (I’ve eaten a few this pregnancy, but am trying to behave.)

Nesting

I’ve been trying to do some cleaning and organizing as I have energy and time. I cleaned both bathrooms, the kitchen (including the oven), and the rest of the windows upstairs that I hadn’t gotten around to cleaning a month or so ago. I’m also wanting to figure out Easter and family picture outfits, but we’ll see. I did buy these adorable shirts from Etsy for the girls and Jellybean to wear in the hospital for sibling pictures (and probably for family pictures too).

Master Bedroom Redo

10 Mar

Over the course of our marriage, Travis and I have been fortunate to receive lots of free furniture and find good deals on Craigslist. When we moved into our first house, we bought a brand-new queen-size bed, and moved my full-size bed from college into the guest room.

The rest of our furniture was hodge podge. We had my grandparents’ old bedroom set, plus a dresser bought from a garage sale (which was so beat up that you had to hold up one of the drawers with your knee to get anything out of it). We used a garden table and wicker hamper as night stands, which we replaced with cheap, tiny Target night stands when selling our house, just to have something that matched. The assortment of couches and futons we had over the years were all given to us (with the exception of a new futon for the guest room before Emma was born, and the couches downstairs in our current house, which we found for an awesome price on Craigslist).

All that to say, last year when we had saved some extra money from Travis working so much overtime and were wondering what to do with it, buying a nice, quality bedroom set came to mind. Travis’ main desire was to have a nightstand taller than 2 feet with more surface area than a dinner plate; mine was to improve the aesthetics and functionality.

But as we always say with having kids and dogs, “We can’t have nice things.” So when we were looking at bedroom sets, we were drawn to the rustic, imperfect designs–I love that look in the first place, and they would hide chips and scratches easily. After looking at several stores and quite a bit online, we had decided to buy a floor model dresser and bed frame from HOM in St. Cloud that was made with reclaimed wood from an old tobacco mill (the brand-new prices were out of our range), but it was sold before we could get back down to buy it.

Then I saw a Costco flyer with a bedroom set I really liked. It was about the same price as the floor model we had wanted, but it came with two nightstands, a bed frame with two drawers, a 6-drawer dresser, and a large mirror. After several weeks of consideration, we finally decided to pull the trigger.

We had a great experience ordering from Costco. Almost right away, we received an email from a customer service representative, giving us a delivery timeline and number to call if we had any questions. The delivery team worked around our schedule and showed up exactly when they said they would. They set up the furniture where I asked them to, and were very efficient and friendly.

The brand of furniture we bought is aspenhome and we love it. The drawers slide easily and between the six dresser drawers, bed frame drawers, and large nightstands, we easily have enough room for all our clothes. The headboard has buttons on each side for turning on lamps, as well as two outlets on each side. The nightstands have indirect lighting with 3 settings underneath them that work great as night lights when one of us comes to bed later than the other. We didn’t expect to use those features much, but we do all the time.

ANYWAY, since we bought a new bedroom set, we decided to paint the walls (before the furniture came) and finally do something with the TV built-in between our closets (which was just being used as a dumping ground to keep things out of reach of the girls).

Without further ado, here are the before and after pictures.

Before

master 2

The wall color was MEH.master gallery wallbefore

Lots of clutterIMG-4487IMG-4505After

IMG_7173IMG_7174Comforter is the Avondale Manor Ella Pinch Pleat set; bedroom set is the Audrey 5-piece Queen set from CostcoIMG_7188Prints from Hobby Lobby and cotton wreath from AmazonIMG_7175IMG_7179IMG_7176IMG_7178IMG_7182I plan to replace the toolbox for Travis’ stuff once I find something.IMG_7180IMG_7183IMG_7190IMG_7191Jewelry hangers from Hobby LobbyIMG_7187IMG_7186Lamps from TargetIMG_7185Curtain rod and curtains from Kohl’s

Pregnancy #3: 9 Months

28 Feb

It’s the home stretch, baby! I’m 36.5 weeks along and ready to DO THIS THING!IMG_7166OB Appointments

I’m going every week now. At my appointment this past Tuesday, my doctor verified that Jellybean is head down (yay!) and swabbed me for Group B Strep. Since my labors with Emma and Annabelle were so similar, I’m pretty much expecting the same thing this time around (though who knows, Jellybean could surprise me!): positive for Group B Strep, water breaks in bed, lack of natural contractions leads to Pitocin, labor happens slow and steady (with Emma, my labor was 12 hours; Annabelle, 8). This time, though, if labor is slow (as in, I have time to get pain meds), I’m planning to get an epidural with just half the meds to start — enough to take the edge off but still let me feel what’s happening. I didn’t get an epidural with Annabelle and was so absolutely exhausted by the time she was born, I felt almost delirious. And then to start taking care of a newborn and 2 other kids? :\

Symptoms

I’m still tired but my daily naps really help. My main complaints at this point are just a general feeling of heaviness/whale-like-ness, acid reflux, and Braxton Hicks. Holy cow, the Braxton Hicks. It’s hard to appreciate them when they do nothing in the way of dilation. But my doctor said that Jellybean’s head is low, so maybe I have Braxton Hicks to thank for that (my doctor with Emma said they helped with that). They’re mostly just uncomfortable, but some of them are actually a little painful, and I get them a lot at night, which sometimes limits my sleep positions.

As for acid reflux, I’ve been taking Zantac morning and night, and that has helped some, but not taken care of it. My doctor said I could take Tums at the same time, and I did notice a difference when taking Zantac before dinner, as opposed to afterward (now I just need to remember to do that).

I’ve gained about 25-30 pounds so far.

Clothes

After seeing their ads pop up on Instagram a bunch, I bought a couple of dresses from Wren & Ivory that work now for maternity, and can be worn after baby comes too. So far, I am very impressed with them! The fabric is super soft, they both fit well, and they wash well too. I bought the Liza Floral Faux Wrap in Mauve and the Floral Maxi with a Twist in RavenIMG_7035I’ve also continued my quest for maternity leggings and ordered these under-the-belly ones from Amazon, and love them. They don’t attract dog hair like magnets, they haven’t pilled at all even after washing, and I can wear them even after baby comes! I’m planning to buy a couple more pairs. I also ordered these maternity leggings but ended up returning them because the top elastic around the belly was a little too thick and tight at this stage of pregnancy, and I’d also rather spend my money on something I can wear even after baby comes.

Food & Cravings

Probably my biggest craving during the last month has been cereal–specifically Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries and Honey Nut Cheerios–and glasses of milk (especially when eating PB&J mixed in oatmeal). I’ve also been digging canned mandarin oranges (but I have always loved these), grapes, and blackberries. I just realized during this pregnancy how much I love blackberries. I can polish off a pint on my own in one sitting.

Exercise

I’ve pretty much thrown in the towel at this point. Just picking up the girls’ messes every day is plenty. I’m looking forward to getting back into running outside this spring though, and would love to train for a race, but that depends on how good of a sleeper Jellybean is.

Nesting

As much as I would love to have Jellybean’s nursery perfectly organized and ready for him to make his debut, I know it’s an exercise in futility because of the girls. They get into eve. ry. thing. So we hung a couple things on the wall, bought some diapers that are being stored in the closet, organized baby clothes in the makeshift bookshelf dresser, and are calling it good. #thirdkid

We focused more of our energy on other house projects. We finally finished redoing our master bedroom–only took us 9 months. We bought a bedroom set and painted last July, I replaced our lamps and comforter at Christmastime, and we finally got things hung on the wall and curtains + rod replaced in the past couple of weeks. I’m planning to do a separate post on our bedroom soon.IMG_7173We also made a playhouse for the girls under our stairs. The previous owners left a giant TV behind that was built into the wall. When we got rid of the TV, we had a giant hole to deal with. It stayed like that for oh, about 2 years, until I finally had the idea to just close the hole off with a homemade chalkboard. Easier than sheetrocking (which is our long-term plan, to be done at an unknown time in the future), but better than nothing. We turned the spot they had used for a DVD player and stereo into the kid door (there’s a real door too), added plexiglass to the speaker hole, and added some trim to the outside wall to make it look like a house. We painted the inside bright pink and bright purple (the girls’ choices), added some wall stickers and battery-operated lights from Costco, and three weeks later, voila! A playhouse. IMG_6209IMG_6315IMG_6565IMG_6863IMG_6866IMG_6870IMG_6878And that’s pretty much it for 9 months!

2018 Focus: White Space

6 Feb

whitespace copy2017 was a crazy year…

Because of me. I made it one.

The whole year, my mantra was, “I just have to get through this/finish this/do this… THEN life will slow down and I can spend more time with my kids/have a consistent quiet time/read more books…” Except that following each one of those “had-to’s” (some my own doing, others expected of me) was another, and another, and another.

Don’t get me wrong, I was busy with good, worthwhile things…

I decluttered our whole house, did a garage sale with friends, and we donated $500 to the Lakes Area Pregnancy Center.

I co-organized and hosted a pallet-painting craft night. I organized several events for our church group. I threw a baby shower for my brother and SIL.

I brought meals to families with new babies and other needs.

I served on the leadership teams of both my local MOPS group and our church group.

I worked 2 days a week and served in the church nursery once a month.

But the more important things suffered…

I had no consistent quiet time with God. I’ve been using the same journal since June of 2016, which for me is unheard of. To me, that shows how poorly I’ve prioritized my relationship with God as well as my mental health.

I went months without actually playing with my kids, or spending time outside. There were too many “When I finish this” and “I can’t right now” responses to my girls’ pleas to do something with them. Too many days of errand-running and just keeping the kids “occupied.”

By the end of the year, I was feeling crushed by obligations. I deeply desired a day to just BE and not have anything I had to do, but it seemed I always remembered something that was either already overdue or would be overdue if I waited. I felt bitter and boxed in by my life.

Life actually slowed down in December, giving me the chance to reflect and decide that this year…

I’m choosing White Space.

I’m going to Say No and Do Less.

I’m giving myself permission to not bend over backwards to meet every demand, see every person, milk every opportunity, and take every chance.

I’m letting myself step back from being the responsible person, and the person responsible.

I’m promising myself (and my husband) that I won’t plan any events this year, and will never do a garage sale again.

I’m setting up boundaries, limitations, and borders on my time and my family’s time, so that we can live out a schedule that aligns better with what we say our priorities are.

Because that’s the thing about busyness and no margin, regardless of how good the reason: they squeeze out the important for the sake of the urgent.

NO MORE.

Things may fall through the cracks. Balls may get dropped. Opportunities, untaken. Fun things, undone. Expectations, unmet.

But I’ll be gaining my own sanity. And spontaneous memories. Time with my family. Relaxation. Refreshment. Freedom from responsibility.

That’s not to say I won’t ever Say Yes and help others. I don’t think that’s what God wants. But I will Say Yes with a much more intentional mindset, remembering that a Yes to one thing is a No to something else. My time is finite, and I can only do so much. And I want to Say Yes to my family more.

WHITE SPACE. It’s about time.