Friday, January 20, 2012

Evie's Birth

Sweet Evie's pregnancy was much different than Bobby's.  And, she lived up to that difference in the way she came to be!  She was an active little baby in my belly, and her entrance into this world was just as exciting.  Evie's due date was December 2nd.  I was 39 weeks with her the Friday after Thanksgiving.  I did not want to schedule the delivery that day, because I wanted to try and enjoy the holiday, and relax.  Plus, my main reason was because I wanted to wait until the following Wednesday, November 30th.  Bobby was born on April 30th, and I thought it would be neat if they shared the same day of the month.  

But, alas... Evie had plans of her own.  I remember my doctor telling me that I may be pushing it, by scheduling for the 30th, but we went with it anyways.

I had been having pretty strong braxton hicks for a few weeks leading up to her birth.  There were a couple of instances where I thought labor was starting.  Boy, was I wrong!  Those contractions were nothing like what I started having on Monday (the 28th) night.  As Bob and I watched TV that night, they were getting stronger, and closer together.  Around 10pm that night, I told him that he better make arrangements for our neighbors to be on standby, (to come watch Bobby) if we had to leave for the hospital.  I then told him to text his parents.  An hour later, at 11pm, we were still watching TV, when I had one strong contraction... and, then, my water broke!  Coincidently enough, I had just looked online earlier that day about your water breaking. BabyCenter's website said that it only occurs in about 15% of women, when they go into labor.  Of course I'd be in that 15%!  And, it also stated that most of the time it's not like how the movies portray - with water gushing out.  Ummm... again, wrong!  Mine was just like that!

We called our friends, Tim and Courtney, and started getting our things together for the hospital.  I changed quickly, and attempted to put on something decent.  I had showered earlier in the night, and I was a mess with wet hair, and no make-up.  This was not how I wanted to look in the pictures - ha! I spoke to my doctor, and he told us to head on in, and he'd meet us there.  {By the way, I just love my doctor!  Even though he was not on call, if he's in town; he will always come in for the delivery.}

We arrived at the hospital a few minutes before midnight.  I was checked, and had not progressed very much at all.  But, it didn't matter... they were prepping me for my c-section.  I was not allowed to have the epidural until I was on the operating table.  And, I was not given anything for the pain, because of the surgery.  While everything was being prepared, I labored for about an hour.  It hurt.  Bad.  Poor Bob... I think I squeezed his poor hand so hard!  And, I know that laboring for an hour is nothing, compared to some women who give birth naturally.  I commend you!  I could never do it!  An hour of that was enough for me! :)

Finally, around 1:15 am or so, I was wheeled into the O.R.  The epidural was awful, because I had a contraction start, just as it was being administered.  I couldn't move, and had to have three nurses hold me down.  Finally though, I felt numb, and pain-free!

At 1:37 am, sweet, little Evie was born!  She came out crying, and I started to cry.  Bob took the obligatory pictures of her being weighed and washed up.  I couldn't believe all the hair she had, and how dark it was!  (Bobby was born a blondie.)  The hair color did not surprise me though, as I had dreamt just days prior that she would be brunette.  She was handed to me, and I held her for a couple of minutes.  At that moment... it all seemed worth it.

After she was taken back to my room with Bob, the doctor began stitching me back up.  And, of course... I started to get sick, and vomited.  

Overall, the birthing experience between my two kiddos was so different!  Although I had c-sections with both, the drama unfolded with the two in very different ways.  Bobby was born 6 weeks prematurely, but the surgery went well, and was easy.  Evie went full-term, but the surgery, and labor was not a pleasant experience at all.  I also had a harder recovery with Evie, due to a seroma.  Wikipedia defines it as, "A seroma is a pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery."  The seroma was in my incision.  This literally just healed last week!

Overall, I'd do it all over again for my sweet baby girl.  Although, I hope Miss Evelyn Lee doesn't surprise me too much ahead in life!  This mama can only handle so much! :)

I'm smiling, but in pain!

Already tired, and our night has just begun!

Bob in his monkey suit, ready for surgery!

Off to meet Evie!

There she is, in all her glory!

Her first Spa day... just kidding.

She's probably wishing she was back inside!

Meeting my daughter.

First family picture.

 Wanna read Bobby's birth story?  Click here and here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Family Photos

My sweet neighbor and friend, Volree, shot some professional photos of our family in October.  Volree did a beautiful job, and we'll definitely be using her services again!  If you're in the Birmingham area, check out her website, Volree Photography.  

For posterity's sake, here are the lovely photographs!

Aren't they gorgeous?

I can't wait for Evie to get in front of her lens!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bobby-isms and Life's Little Adjustments

It's been quite the eventful few weeks.  Life has definitely changed around here, and I am loving our new norm.  Yes, of course it's hard, and tiring; but, I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Along with adjusting to our new little one, we've had the sickies around here, and more company (I'll recap about it all soon enough!).  I actually have a lot to catch up on with the blog, but it's what to expect with a 2 year old, and 7 week old.  I'm hoping to recap our holidays, Evie's birth, and some other events or changes.

Now, onto Bobby...

He's been quite the character lately.  After all of our help left, he had a hard time adjusting to having a sibling.  He has always had my full attention, 100% of the time.  But, with little Evie - not so much.  Poor guy.  He has been great with her, but acting out more toward Bob and I.  Things have definitely gotten better over the past few days.  It could be because he's been sick, but I hope not!

Here are some of the things he's been saying lately:

-  He's somehow learned to say "sorry" to everything that happens.  He'll drop his fork, and say, "sorry, mommy."  He'll apologize for things that don't need an apology.  (That's actually one of my pet peeves about myself!).  I'm not sure where he picked this up, but it is cute and endearing.

-  My sister came to visit for a few weeks.  Her name is Kathy, and he pronounced it "khaki."  I thought that was funny and cute too!

-  We say our prayers for nap time and bedtime.  He told me last night, "I want Baby Jesus to come to my house tomorrow."  I tried to explain to him that Jesus is always here, but his little mind didn't quite grasp it.  He calls Jesus, Baby Jesus, because of what he learned about Christmas, and it's true meaning.  He also has asked to pray for our cleaning lady, Ann, and Mickey Mouse.  And, he of course prays for his family, friends, and classmates.  He'll always pray for Winston "Pup," too.  

-  The other night, after reading a book, he closed it and said, "Amen," instead of "The End."

-  He tells me many times throughout the day, "mommy, I'm so happy." It makes my heart melt.  I told him the other day, that I hope he's always happy in life.

-  I always tell him that he can play "for a little bit," or watch T.V. "for a little bit" to keep him preoccupied while I do something.  So, now, anytime before nap or bedtime, he asks if he can watch T.V. or play "for a lil' bit."  Again...super cute, and his way of stalling bedtime!

-  Today, he was calling me from the family room.  He kept saying, "hey babe."  I asked him where he heard that, and he said daddy.  Bob and I will call each other "babe" in conversation a lot.  

It is so amazing how much he picks up on!  We really do try and watch what we say and do.  He's so sweet, and is always asking to snuggle.  I hate that I can't do it each time, because of trying to take care of both he and Evie.  He seems to also notice more now when things are scary.  He told me today the cow-tipping (tractors) scene from Cars was scary. He's always talking about thunder, and the noises he hears in the house.  He sleeps with his door open, a hall light on, and now, a night light in his room.  I love this age, and he has become quite entertaining!  He talks a mile a minute, and I can't get in a word sometimes (especially in the car!).

Oh, and little Miss Evie started cooing and babbling this past week too!  I love her socializing!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Evie is One Month Old

Evie turned One month old on December 29, 2011.

Weight:  9 lbs. (56%), 21.25 in (63%)
(My iPhone app, Total Baby, was able to calculate her exact percentages.)

Sleeping Patterns:  Evie is turning out to be a pretty good sleeper thus far.  She has her last bottle of the night usually between 9-10pm.  She'll wake just once for a night time feeding (most of the time).  She is usually up for the day around 6am.  She is still sleeping in the Pack n' Play in our room.  She is napping well too, and usually has her best two naps in the morning (in her swing.)  The longest stretch she's gone yet is 7 hours, and then 5 hours.  But, usually, it is 4 hours.

Eating Habits:  Eats every 2.5-3 hours on average during the day.  She is formula-fed (which is a whole other post!), and taking 4 oz.  I may be changing her formula, as she has had some spitting up, and gas issues.

New discoveries:  Evie is learning to track objects and voices more and more.  Her "wake" time is getting a bit longer, and she seems to be pretty entertained by what is around her.  She has also found her fingers a few times, and quickly started to suck on them.

Milestones:  Smiled for the first time at 4 weeks, while playing with daddy!

Places Evie loves:  Her swing (thank goodness), bouncy seat, being held, swaddle blanket, and she's also pretty good in the car. 

Special Friends:  Bobby, Reid (Harper's little sister), and Parker (Cooper's little brother). 

Current Events:  GOP primaries are starting, Occupy Wall Street movement, LSU vs. AL in Natl. Championship game, NBA season starts late due to salary negotiations.  

What We Did this Day:  Harper and Bobby had a play date at our house.

Here's Bobby at one month old:

And, here's his one month birthday post.
(There is no comparison to the two; due to Bobby being a preemie!)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Look, New Year, New Baby!

Well, hello there, 2012!

With my fabulous blog makeover (thanks to my sweet friend, Shannon at Sweet Bean Co.), a new year to look forward to, and a new baby; we've got a lot to be thankful for!

We, along with our Regal Pup had a wonderful, memory-filled holiday season.  We welcomed a new addition to our family, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

It's been non-stop since little Evie's arrival, but things are finally starting to return to our new normal.

Without further adieu, our little blessing's birth announcement:

Created by Sweet Bean Co. Designs
My theme for this year?  

Mindful Living

I plan on making a lot of lifestyle modifications for myself and our family.  I am eager to share this journey with my readers, and hopefully shed some light on some important topics.  Although this blog's main purpose will still be to journal our family's everyday life - I need accountability to incorporate these shifts to our everyday norm.  So, I have decided to include these changes on this blog.  

The reason for starting this journey is simple - good health.

As I have learned more and more about the dangers of what I use everyday, I often have wondered if I was giving myself a slow, death sentence. What causes cancer?  What exactly am I eating?  What am I using to clean my home?  How is the computer, cell phone, and TV affecting my brain?  What is my carbon footprint in this world?  But, of all of those reasons, the one thing that stands out to me the most is the cancer question.

Within one week, my best friend's father was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma cancer.  Then, a few days later, my dad called to tell me that my uncle was just diagnosed with stomach cancer that is in it's 4th stage.  By the way, my dad himself has been fighting sarcoma for over 6 years.  The cancer had spread through his veins, and he had his right arm and shoulder amputated in September, 2010.  A quadruple amputation (meaning 1/4 of his body was removed)!  Cancer has been a royal pain in the you know what in my family.  Cancer is not picky.  It can strike anyone, regardless of age, gender, and social status.  I'm beginning to truly believe that what we put in and on our bodies is the cause of cancer.  Are we all destined to have this horrible sickness at one point in our lives?  With all of the people I know who have had survived it, and died from it,  I'm leaning towards that wild assumption.

I was first made aware of the dangers of certain foods back in 2007.  I had just read the book, Skinny Bitch, written by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.  While the book was written to help people lose weight, and ultimately, change their diet and lifestyle;  it also included a manifest of what the dangers were in eating certain foods, and how the food made their way to our plates.  It's not an easy topic to digest (no pun intended), but it unveiled the toxins and chemicals in our food, and how animals can be inhumanely slaughtered for our benefit.

Shortly thereafter, I caught an episode of Oprah.  Oprah happened to have a woman by the name of Kris Carr on her sofa that day.  Kris' journey is amazing, and you can read about it here.  She has been able to stop the growth of her Stage 4 cancerous tumors by changing her diet and lifestyle.  If that's a possibility; then shouldn't this lifestyle change prevent cancer, for those that have not succumbed to it?  I am hopeful of that - which, is why I am starting this journey.  But, I also know that there are many other positive reasons to embark on this little project of mine. I want my mind, body, and spirit to be all that it can be.  I want to leave this Earth, KNOWING that I lived my life the best way possible.

What changes do I want to make?

Let's start with my mind.  I rely far too much on my iPhone, TV, and laptop to entertain myself.  And, what's worse?  I use these same devices to entertain my son.  I find myself getting irritated with him, if he's a distraction to these things.  How sad is that?  (As I am writing this, I am jumping back and forth between tabs of Facebook and Pinterest.  And, playing Words with Friends on my phone).  "Multi-tasking" has become a new standard in our lives.  How many people do you see on their cell phones while driving?  I am certainly guilty of that!  I crave the simpler times of my childhood, but, am I too addicted to cut back; or even give up some modern technology?  I feel like it is just another way to put ourselves in danger; whether its by driving or by living our second life online.

Next, my body.  Obviously, eating healthy and exercising regularly helps.  But, I feel like that may not be enough these days.  I have always used the excuse "you can eat anything you want, as long as it's in moderation."  Well, I don't find that to be true any longer.  Chemicals, preservatives, and toxins run rampant in the food we devour each day.  More and more people are altering their diets to eating only fruits and vegetables (raw).  Or, eliminating gluten entirely from their diet.  And, not surprisingly, they feel more energetic, healthier, and happier.  I had quite the emotional pregnancy with Evie, and to think that what I eat can affect my mood is astounding.  I'm excited to jump on this "bandwagon!" 

The outside of the body is just as important as the inside.  Am I using all natural products on myself?  Are my kids safe from certain products?  I am excited to share that I am already using a new skincare line that is truly 100% all-natural.  Check out Annmarie Gianni Skin Care for some great products!   My kids are now using California Baby products too.
{These are products I discovered on my own.  I am not being compensated for these recommendations.}

In addition to taking care of our bodies, I plan to take a more natural, chemical-free approach in our home too.  

Lastly, I'd like to enlighten my spirit this year.  I want to reconnect with others, with myself; and deepen my relationship with God.  I want to let go of resentment.  I want to be happier.  I want to not sweat the small stuff so much.  I want to enjoy my family more, play with my kids, and laugh a lot.  I want to seek God first, and then allow everything else to take shape.  

I am sure I may fail in some areas miserably.  But, I hope that between being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend - I can keep it all together.  With a little guidance from others, and research - I hope to accomplish my goal:  To live mindfully, and be happy.


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