About Me

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Western North Dakota , United States
My husband, Allen, and I are high school sweet hearts. We started dating Sep.99'- I kind of followed Allen home one day, and never did leave, is Allen's story. November 02' we were engaged, and on November 22,2003 - we were married. Having been married for 6 years in 2009, marked the 5th year we had been trying to start our family. With the referral of a Fertility Specialist from a friend, our IUI attempts ended up being a complete success despite my doubts. We welcomed our sweet little girl, Hayleigh into the world on June 30,2010 at 6:28am after 37wks and 1 day of gestation. She weighed 7lbs 14oz and was 20 in long. We found out that we were Baby #2 on April Fool's Day- a complete surprise! Reid Allen was born 11/13/12 3:24am 9lbs 8.2oz 21", after 38wks 5 days. Our 3rd baby, Eva Jane, was born on April 19, 2015 after suffering a pregnancy loss June of 2014. We are currently anxiously awaiting baby #4 due 2 days before Eva's birthday, so we are having Irish Twins! Our family is so blessed and happy to be growing!

Blog Archive

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Insomnia, Emotional Hot Mess, and Music Therapy

Once again, here I am big belly and all pregnant listening to different music than I usually listen to. The last few weeks of being pregnant with Hayleigh, I found myself listening to Eminem, Kid Rock, just anything pretty much like that. Could not get enough of it...

 Well, here I am once again for the same reason plus a few others. I guess being an emotional ball of hot mess the last few weeks, drives me to listen to that kind of stuff- otherwise I would be teary eyed all day long. I'm not ashamed of it. I just think I get frustrated towards the end of pregnancy, and music is always an outlet for me to let out my frustrations. Truth is the last few weeks, I almost cannot get enough of that hard edgy stuff. I do tend to listen to it every now and then, but not to the extent I have now, or back when.

I usually listen to country- anything country pretty much, but once again, it's put on hold for a few weeks. The only problem I have this time, is that I have to be careful of when I listen to this stuff... Hayleigh has ears and can talk... so, I guess my insomnia nights are my outlet to getting it out of my system when she is not awake to hear the music.

There has been a lot on my mind lately..particularly the last day or so. I have many worries, and concerns that I know it does no good over me getting all worked up about it all. What is meant to be is meant to be, and I just have to let go, and let God handle it all. Everything will work out in the end, and that's what I have to keep in mind when I get so angry over things I have no control over. You cannot control other people or other things... the only thing you can control is yourself and how you handle things. At least I'm smart enough about that...NOW.

I give up on trying to get Reid here on my schedule- he will come when he wants, and there is nothing I can do about it. So, if Allen, my mom, or Allen's mom miss him being born, and I have to have Hayleigh in the room with me, or have someone watch her while I labor by myself, it is a possibility, and I have to just let it go that it could happen. No need in stressing about things I don't have control over, things will be alright. That is just one of my many worries and woes... no wonder I found a white hair a few weeks ago....

So, anyway, good morning to all of the early birds back on Central Time Zone, while I sit here wide awake at 3:30 am with pure insomnia. Tomorrow's forecast...busy, busy, busy, and hopefully a chance for me to catch a nap.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Recap of 36wks and planning the week to come

36wks 1 day- before Dr Appointment
So, this has been the week that will not end. At least tomorrow is in sight, and Allen will be home. This past week has just dragged on and on. I think part of it is having everything ready to set up in Reid's room, but not being able to do any of it. This week, with Allen home, we are setting up the whole nursery, and getting a mountain of to dos done before my mom makes it here in a week and a half. Just the whole waiting game is making it seem like we have the blahs here- I'm ready in some ways for labor to be done and over with, while hoping that Reid gets here in time to get to come home and take pictures with my mom before she has to leave back out on the 18th. It kind of makes me nervous if I don't get induced to have Reid until the 14th- have him the 15th, and have to stay for 2 days after he is born. I hope this is not the case!

This past week, I got my exercise ball from Amazon- to help get Reid to drop down. I plan on doing lots of walking and everything else possible to get him to come out by the 12th. I did have my 36wk appointment on Thursday, and ended up not happy about it. Reid measured 38 1/2 wks, 150 bpm, and I gained 1lb. They did find protein in my urine, so I got the joy of going down to the lab and sitting for an hour with a 2 year old who needed a nap. Other than that, everything that my midwife had previously told me, she managed to back track on at that appointment. Next appointment is on Halloween, and I get to see the OB I had seen the time before last, Dr. Whittman. Hopefully, I'll be dilated some, and starting to progress a little bit. We also have Hayleigh's wellness check up on Friday as well too.

There has not been a whole lot going on. I had to order a new breast pump- the one I had bought on ebay, come to find out is faulty. So, I got a refund for it, and ordered a newer one- it should be here tomorrow. We got the rest of Reid's nursery stuff in this week. I'm only waiting on the canopy cover for his car seat that I had ordered off of etsy.com,  here it is.. it should be here by the end of this week. I also ordered a JJ Cole breast feeding cover off of amazon too- love it! It folds into it's own pocket too! here it is.. got it last Thursday with the exercise ball. The last thing we have had to prepare for was for when my mom gets here. We ended up ordering her an air up mattress in a twin size off of amazon. After price and comparison shopping between 5 different sites, amazon seemed to be the cheapest, with best reviews on their mattresses- and they come with the built in pump- which most of the others did not for the same price. The mattress should be here on Tuesday- so Allen and I can get it set up in Hayleigh's room for Mom to room in with Hayleigh. We ended up opting for a twin size for Mom so that it would fit in Hayleigh's room and leave room for them to move around, plus in the next few years when Hayleigh has someone over, there is a small bed for sleep overs too. Luckily, I have saved all of my twin bedding from way back, so all we will have to go out and get now is a few extra pillows. Allen's mom is shipping her air mattress to us, and will be rooming in Reid's room. So, as far as having help here, as long as Reid isn't too early, we have it all covered.

So now, we just wait..wait for Allen to get here, wait to set everything up, wait for Mom & Allen's mom to get here, and wait for Reid to decide to get here. Then, I am sure it will be total chaos. I'm trying to enjoy our quiet time now, but we are just flat out bored, and just excited in some ways to get everything going at the same time too. Up for this week: Trick or Treating, 2 doctors appointments, setting up the nursery & Hayleigh's room, getting the to do list done, and trying to relax and enjoy our time left as a family of three.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Basket Case

The closer we get to Reid getting here, the more emotional I get. The other night I was looking up what astrological sign Reid will be- Scorpio. Hayleigh is a Cancer, and she fits the description to a "T". I found that funny, so I looked up my sign, Aquarius. What I read finally made sense to me, why I think so much about everything, trying to understand everything.. apparently that is what we Aquarius people do. I found that pretty interesting. Makes me kind of wish I was a Pices instead sometimes. I tend to over think things or dive into them so deep, there is no going back. I really have a problem trying to understand people, and why people are the way they are... why??? I cannot control other people, and I have no idea why I even bother.

Being emotional now, has made this really nice~ makes me even more emotional over things that I have completely no control over. I wish some things were different, and I am usually fine with things, until I see the picture of a few different people, or hear their names. Because of those people, and the choices of another individual, things are a complete mess. I realize sometimes I just have to let it go, because apparently things were not good enough, or worth it to one individual. I tried, and pleaded my case, and they chose to just keep things the way they are. I guess what makes me the most upset over all of this is that that person chose those people over us. Over Hayleigh, Reid, Me, Allen, my sister, etc. They gave everything they had to them- money, time, and things that they will never be able to get back that are completely priceless. I don't know if that person loses sleep over any of it- I don't. Just makes me really sad is all. Tonight, it just hit me, and I'm trying for all I'm worth to keep it from upsetting me.

That same person still checks in with me every week or so, I don't know if there is regret driving those calls, or what is exactly behind them all. All I know is that I can be the best person I can without them, and try to be the best mom to Reid and Hayleigh, and keep moving forward. Living for the past, or in the past will get you nowhere.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What it means to be a Mom

I want to take a moment to capture the whole essence of what it means to be a mother...every single detail of every single second. The good, the bad, and the sometimes-stinky.

Being a mother means...

having super powers. Suddenly you can heal boo boos with kisses. You can hear silence and know exactly what is happening in the next room. You can smell it and know who dealt it. You can predict the future: "that cup is about to be knocked over"...bump, SPLASH. And you can demonstrate super human strength with the ability to carry a car seat, a toddler and one thousand bags of groceries all at one time. Put on your cape, you deserve it.

being present. In every moment- even the ones when you are not physically there. When they look out into the crowd, they are searching for your smile- your pride. When reaching down within themselves, they are searching for your words- your encouragement. Just knowing you are in the room next to them at night, and they are not alone to fight of the scary monsters in their closet. Your smiles and sayings can be with them always even in moments of solitude. 

suddenly being the wiser of the two. With life comes life experiences. Suddenly, you will be the one giving advice to eager listening ears. Suddenly, you will be the one who knows what it best. Be certain to learn from each day and remember that the lessons you learn will be lessons you teach. 

getting messy. Let them get messy. Get messy with them, no matter how much it makes you cringe inside. Splash in the puddles, smudge brownie mix on faces, make mud pies, throw water balloons, let them have the stickers and bath crayons that Grandma sent. Then laugh and bathe.Messy floors and faces are temporary, memories are permanent. 

providing good role models- you being one of them. Introduce your children to great minds and successful people. Women can lead, and write and think and speak. Men can do all of the same. Their are no boundaries, no limits. Their are no reasons why she cannot play football or why he cannot dance. Teach them that success is not measured by possessions, but rather happiness. 

keeping secrets. Seal your lips and throw away the key. Big. Small. Simple. Or complex.
A secret is a promise, and promises are forever. 

sharing secrets. When the time is right, share your little untold words of wisdom. Remind them in moments of hardship that you too have failed. You too have made mistakes, have suffered from a broken heart, have been teased, and have failed tests. They need to know that you have been through the good, the bad and the ugly and that in the end, you found the beautiful. 

learning everyday. Learn about yourself, about your child, and about what you believe 
in. But most importantly, learn what life is all about. Family.

encouraging. Encourage your child to follow every whim, every thought, every passion. She may want to wear her brother's backwards hat or play football. He may want to put on your nail polish and play dress up, so what? Allow it. Encourage them to be whomever they choose to be.

putting your child first. Before everyone and everything. No matter what. No guilt required. 

teaching independence. You teach your child that the only thing stopping them from not doing it is not trying it. Do not button their shirts or tie their shoes if they can do it themselves. Do not tell them what to think or how to act, let them decide for themselves. Help them to see the power of their own minds and muscles. 

experiencing the ups and downs of e.v.e.r.y emotion. As a mother, you experience a large spectrum of emotion, and each is magnified and more intense than the last. One moment, you are practically be jumping  with joy and pride. While the next, you are spiraling down in agony as you try to steal your child's pain of broken bones or broken hearts. You feel everything for your child. You reach every extreme, ride every roller coaster, and at the end of the day you will always look back and know that it was a wild ride, but absolutely worth it. 

being selfless. Makeup and showers are no longer top priority in the mornings. It is suddenly about making sure breakfast is warm, faces are smiling and the day is ready to roll.

being healed by tiny smilesTheir giggles, their smiles, their squeals of joy can heal you in even the darkest moments. The worst of days and the worst of news can be forgotten with a kiss from your child. They make it all better. 

driving a minivan. Okay, okay, maybe not always the minivan. But forget the sports car. Your car is a means of transportation, not style. It is likely to be polished with the scent of old milk, smeared with goldfish paste and full of screaming children. Stick on some stick figures in the back window and embrace the crazy.

learning about yourself. You learn that you are capable of big things. You are more patient than you could have ever dreamed. You are able to smile even when you are completely exhausted. You can reach down deep and find the strength to get through anything. And suddenly, you are a better person.

having more heart. Suddenly, you get it. You see every person as someones' daughter, someone's mother, someone's son, or someone's father. You are more tolerable. You are more understanding. And you learn to accept people for who they are because you want the same respect for your own children. 

seeing the world with young eyes. Flying a kite. blowing bubbles, singing out loud, dancing in public, finding the magic in Santa Claus, taking ridiculous pictures, sledding down hills that are teeny but seem gigantic as you whip down them, having dessert every single night of the week, drawing with chalk, running through sprinklers, picking dandy lions, reading favorite books over and over again are all completely acceptable, even expected. As a mother, the wonder of the world is brand new again. Every day is full of magic.

having your heart walk around outside of your body. Period.

learning your true meaning. Your whole world. Your whole purpose. Your whole reason for being on this Earth. You are holding them in your arms. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Becoming a Mother of 2: Expectations and Worries

Today, the thought of being a mom to not just Hayleigh has been on my mind. The only thing I have to compare this to is dogs..Yes, dogs. When you get a puppy, your time is spent watching that puppy like a hawk- trying to potty train it, thinking in the back of your mind about your other dog sitting there already potty trained, and how much easier it was before this puppy. When potty training the puppy, I would think of things I wanted to be doing then, or needed to be doing, wishing we had a routine, and that the little stinker would cooperate. I would tell Missy that I was sorry, and she would just sit there giving me a look like, "Why did you have to bring this little monster home?"

I worry that this is the way it will go when Reid gets here, and I have Hayleigh hanging on me, begging me for more time with her. I remember when we brought Hayleigh home from the hospital, after the first few days, thinking, I was a complete lazy bum- I did nothing! That is in fact not true. I worked part time at UPS- nights, through the day, I would sleep 6 hrs to just get up to clean, and then baby my yard- push mowing for the joy of it. I worshiped our yard- it was my thing. Needless to say that once I got pregnant, the yard was off limits, and after that, my haven was gone. There were more important things to take care of- Hayleigh.

I LOVED my maternity leave. I would stay up until 1 am, cleaning the house- making it pristine. I even painted our living room and hung decals, redecorated our bedroom, and the living room. I thrived like that. I would be up at 5 am after going to bed, to feed Hayleigh, then we would both sleep until 8 am. I was up and about- out and on the go. I dreaded going back to work after a two week shy of being 3 month leave. Then, when I started working part time again, things were harder. I had to be up and getting ready to go to work at 5am, out of the house by 5:20 to make it to the sitter's, to make it to work 5 min before 6 am. Things were then harder- I was worn out by the time I picked Hayleigh up at noon. We would go home, and take a nap, then onto our schedule. I was no longer able to stay up and get stuff done as much as I would like, and I did not have the relief most moms get- when their husband would get home from work every night. I had Hayleigh all week long, and Allen was there on the weekends. He would try to help me out, give me breaks, etc. This all brings me to today...

This morning, I was up at 3:30 am. I had been up every 2 hours through the night. Hayleigh did not want to go to sleep by herself- I have no idea why we are struggling with this now. I sat there thinking is it going to be the same way again? After Reid gets here, am I going to think I did nothing- I was lazy. We had soo much freedom? I'm guessing I will. Hayleigh can play by herself, and keep herself entertained to a point. I can at least lay on the couch and try to relax. Some days, she is demanding,and some days, she is a big help to me around the house. I worry now about her. I'm not worried about coming home from the hospital- those first few weeks- there will be people here to help- and help out with keeping Hayleigh happy and busy. It is after everyone leaves that I am worried about. How to keep a 2 year old content, while getting a newborn on a schedule and keeping him happy as well, WHILE adjusting to having 2 kids to take care of all by myself for 2 weeks at a time. WHEW!! I imagine there will be lots of tough days, and I will not have the convenience of taking Hayleigh to my mom's house, or another relatives house to get a break. It will be all on me, while Allen is 12 hours away, and my family and friends are 19 hours away from me. I know I can do it- I have to. There is no other choice for me/us.

This time I will at least not be returning to a job- so I will not be having to get 2 kids to readjust to another schedule for me to work, and to try to work around them as well. But, at the same time, this scares me. I do get lonely every now and then now- I love talking to friends and family back home most days. Those adult conversations that do not include Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, or anything related to Disney Jr. help keep my head above water. I know that these people do not realize just how much 30 minutes on the phone a few days a week helps out, but I only get to talk to Allen maybe 20 minutes a day, and that is added together from 2 phone calls- one to wake him up, and the other to try to catch up on what little we can after he gets out of the shower, before he goes to eat. We mainly talk about what is going on, concerns with anything, and try to get a simple how are you out of each other, with a 1 minute vent each. I realize that some are annoyed that he doesn't get to call them as well every day, but WHEN can he do this? Our top priority is our marriage. Without a strong marriage, our kids suffer, we suffer, everyone suffers. I just wish people could keep this in mind when they are giving him a hard time when he does get to call. It is hard on us all, and trying to keep a marriage strong on the phone with 20 minutes a day on the phone, not counting our week together when he is home is very hard. And to add to that, trying to keep up with a 2 year old, and making him feel like he is a big part of our family, and is not missing out is even harder with Reid on the way. Anyway, done with my little rant.

But, all of this really does scare me- being home alone with 2 kids under the age of 2 1/2, 24/7, 2 weeks at a time. How will I keep my sanity? Will I be able to keep our whole family a float while Allen is gone? I just pray that Reid is a happy, easy baby. Hayleigh was a really easy baby, and I am praying for Reid to be even easier for me- for our sake. I know I can't be superwoman, and do everything, but I know Allen already thinks I am. He calls worried about me being this far along, taking care of the house, bills, Hayleigh, and myself with Reid, and him too. I tell him all of the time, we are fine. He always replies with, "I know, you're tough Supermom..." I always tell him I have to be, and good thing I'm already somewhat tough. With Allen being up there far away from us, the last thing I need is for him to worry about us, and me handling it all.

So, I'm trying to prepare for Reid, for becoming a mother of 2. After everyone leaves, I want to be able to stand with my head up, knowing I got this, not sitting there crying, pulling my hair out, hating my life. Because, in the end how can you ever say that you wish that you wouldn't have had a baby? I want to be able to enjoy every day with our kids while they are little. I want to have those fun days- which I am aware that not every day will be fun. I want for both Reid and Hayleigh to both know that I gave them all that I had, and tried to be everything to them too. Our house may not ever be this clean again, and I may look pretty frumpy for quite a while, until they get older, but I want to at least give my all for my family, knowing I did, instead of wishing I had given more someday, and not worried so much about everything else.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Etiquette = Stuck Up?


In days gone by, whenever a person received a gift, they would write a thank-you as soon as possible. This rule was true even if the giver was a relative. Parents would sit children down after a birthday or Christmas and coach them in their first thank-you notes. It is a shame that gift giving has now become a virtual obligation and the idea of a thank-you note would be scoffed at. If you ignore every other item on this list, at least try to teach your children to write thank you notes – they will have a greater appreciation of gifts they receive.

Read more at http://listverse.com/2008/11/26/top-10-lost-rules-of-etiquette/ 

With all of the weddings and baby showers going on in the past few months, and up coming months, I had to say something about this. Etiquette. What the heck has happened to etiquette?? I realize that times are more relaxed now, but has it become the standard now to not send an invitation, or Thank You card? As I type this, I have been working on the Thank You cards for Hayleigh's informal birthday party. I realize that people have good intentions, and we are all busy now a days, but really?! I also realize that cards do get lost in the mail too.

One would think as much time as we all spend online everyday, that one could simply at least send out an ecard? Most ecards are free, and emails definitely are free. So, why is it that no one can send out a proper invitation, whether it be online, a text from a cell phone, or via mail in today's world? Christmas cards are even dying- don't even get me started on those. To me this is very sad.

I cannot even count now how many showers I've been invited to without even receiving an invitation. Also, appalling to me is when people ask on Facebook "for anyone wanting to come to my party, I need your address".... Isn't that part of the job of the hostess?? It really makes me cringe, because I was brought up a completely different way. I'm not saying I am better than anyone else, but to me not receiving an official invite, or Thank You card or note is rude, especially when expected to give a gift. The etiquette I was brought up with, and I know Martha Stewart also goes by, no invite received, means that you are not required to attend or bring a gift. How hard is it to email, or message people individually asking for an address, or texting or calling around? I've done this all on my own every time I've needed addresses for an event, not demanding them online.

The other thing that bothers me is that in today's world, no one is made to suffer. I know this sounds harsh, but it is true. I know many people are gracious givers, and want to help people any way they can- I feel this way, BUT, when do we draw the line? Teenage mothers are now able to spoil their babies they are choosing to have in high school thanks to their parents. They are given lavish baby showers, and people feel obligated to give to the young new mother, and help her out as much as possible. What happened to being embarrassed of having a baby in school? Times have changed I am well aware, but this makes me sick. Why should a teenage mother be given more than the person who has waited until an appropriate time to have a baby? I'm not saying that there needs to be more gifts, or anything like that, but why are we as a society rewarding the ones who get themselves in sticky situations more than the ones who follow the road?

I have given many things to help many young people out. While a few have been gracious and thanked me over and over, there are a few that stick out to me. Those that stick out to me never did say thank you, send a Thank You note, card, email, text, nothing. Instead, they expect more. While the stuff I did gift was left over from my garage sale, there was quite a bit. When the showers came, was there a formal invite? Well, if you call a event page on Facebook an invite, you could say yes, but I know there was some invites sent out. Did I receive one? NOPE... Was I expected to still gift, just because they knew I could not make the shower, and that was the reason for not receiving an invite? YEP. I had already given more than most guests that went to that shower already. Most gifts for a shower average $20, give or take. One of them still has not even thanked me for the extra homemade gifts I left when I did get the gift to them.

Now, lets back track to 2 years ago. These same people, I did send invites to for my baby shower. I took the time to buy the invites, get addresses, stamps, and mail them out. I realize that with the economy the way it is, some cannot afford gifts. But, to not come or gift me for my shower, and then expect me to open up and give and give and give to them 2 years later, just because things just happened... not cool.

I realize some may think I'm a little harsh, but this has been eating at me for a while now. Why is it that a few of us still abide by etiquette, while the rest throw it out the door, and spit on it? It is not like finding out what the proper etiquette, even the relaxed version of etiquette is now- GOOGLE it. You can find it- I promise. I guess in all reality, people do not care today. I would like to think that since people go on about trying to be closer together, especially with how the economy is, that 2 simple things could stay in place. A simple Please will you come to my event, and Thank You for coming, and for the very nice gift. People spend a lot of time and money just to get that gift.. why is it so hard to take the time to say Thank You?

Nesting List Revised AGAIN....

I know I've posted this before, and I did this with Hayleigh too, but I am a creature of habit, and that is making lists. Things I have left to do on my nesting list, or get help with doing...aka Allen's honey do list when he gets home in another week.

  • 1. mow the yard for the last time
  • 2. blow out sprinklers and cover swamp cooler on roof
  • 3. Help me set up Hayleigh's toddler bed, and move her furniture to Reid's room
  • 4. Clear out Hayleigh's toys of Reid's room, and finish setting up his nursery
  • 5. Clean out both refrigerators, and get deep freeze cleaned and plugged in somehow
  • 6. Finish reorganizing the garage, and cleaning it up.
  • 7. Pick up final things needed at the store- new air mattress for my mom, things we need before it gets crazy here- toilet paper, paper towels, etc.
  • 8. Have a pile ready to throw into the hospital bag of clothes for me- and keep everything else close at hand ready to stash- makeup, deodorant, etc.
  • 9. Pick up another box of diapers, and get Hayleigh's cruisers and wipes reordered- that will get us through until January.
  • 10. Go Trick or Treating with Hayleigh
  • 11. Clean out both vehicles, and wash them.
  • 12. Install car seat bases for Reid's seat in both vehicles
  • 13. Get our niece's birthday present picked out, wrapped, and shipped.
  • 14. Give the house one last good deep cleaning before Reid
  • 15. RELAX! spend as much time with Hayleigh as possible, sleep, and wait for Mom to get here to help out

35wk Dr. Visit, and Ramblings of Prego Woman

Yesterday, I took Hayleigh with me by myself to the 35 wk appointment. I ended up getting a call a few hours before the appointment, Anita, my midwife had to be at a c-section, so I had the choice of seeing another OB in the office or rescheduling for next week. Since we are already on a week to week basis now, I opted to see another OB- Dr. Whittman. She was really great. I went ahead and saw her because I wanted to be checked, so we could know what we were up against on time. We managed to make it to the appointment just fine, and early! People in the waiting room kind of annoyed me a tad bit. People do not want to watch or control their kids... seemed like I was babysitting for everyone in that room while they all read their magazines. Hopefully they found something useful in the articles they were so infused in.

Anyway, got called back, with our fabulous nurse. Weighed in- only gained 1 lb- I can handle that. Went on back to a different room than usual, got to get down to bare bottom- Yay! I knew that was a given anyway. My nurse stood there with her back to me while Hayleigh entertained her. I told her I was going to go ahead and strip, she said she could give me some privacy. I told her it was not necessary... after going through all of the visits first being pregnant with Hayleigh with my mom and Allen in the room, and after giving birth- I don't care anymore. I was re accounting one of our first visits to Dr. Gentry's office, my mom and Allen in the room and I had to strip bottoms. They both stood there and stared at me, like I was going to put on a show. I told them to start throwing money or turn around.. that was back when I was still somewhat modest. The nurse got a kick out of that, and I told her, you look at hoo hoos all day- you see one, you've seen them all... Anyway, it was only a few minutes later and Dr. Whittman came into the room, and immediately took to Hayleigh. They were buddies. I laid back on the table- measured 36- 36 1/2 wks- just a week to a week and a half out. Good sign that Reid is slowing down, and just packing on weight now. His heartbeat rate was in the 140's, still head down, but not dropped. She went ahead and checked my cervix, per my request. With Hayleigh, I was already at a 2, and partially thinned out, with Reid, nothing, and nice and thick. So, looks like we are on track to keeping him in there until we are ready for him to come out- hopefully on the 12th!!!! We went ahead and did the strep B test, even though I still have to have antibiotics when I go in- kind of pointless. Finished the appointment, and called Allen and told him the good news.

So, from there, it was game on for going to Walmart to pick up Hayleigh's toddler bed that was in. If I had been dilated any, we would have waited for Allen to get home, and I would be going home to be on partial bed rest to keep Reid in there as long as possible. So, off to Walmart we went. We have 2 here, and this was the other one that we have never been to. Kind of ghettoish I thought. Not very clean. We managed to pick up Hayleigh's bed, and find a lamp for Reid's room, after a day long debate on what lamp shade to buy. We purchased this lamp, for $21.97, and it is the only thing camo going into Reid's room. After we get his room all set up, if we don't like it, I'm taking it back, and ordering one of the lamp shades I had picked out originally.

We finally headed home, and rested the rest of the night away, watching Dark Shadows, with Johnny Depp. It was okay.  Hayleigh didn't have a nap, so she went to bed early- 8:30 last night..about an hour early for her. I managed to stay up, and got to talk to Allen for 20 minutes about the happenings of the night. I Christmas shopped- well bookmarked some things I will be getting for people for Christmas, and then went to our room to watch tv.  After debating over watching the Shinning- I've never seen it before, I decided it probably wasn't a good idea, and watched a special on Jason Aldean, then turned into bed for the night.

This morning, Hayleigh and I managed to get around the house after Allen gave us our wake up call. Talked to him for a bit, then headed out to the living room for grapes and Mickey Mouse. Since then, I've managed to pick up the house some, taking breaks to uninstall things from my computer, and watching a clip on CMT. Hopefully by the end of today, the house will be clean, and I will not be worn out completely.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

35 weeks - keep cookin Reid

Today, is 35 wks with Reid. Kind of makes me a little nervous the closer we get. I'm just hoping that he can stay put until 38 1/2 wks. I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions like crazy- that makes me kind of worry some days too. I've almost started timing them a few times- shhh! Don't tell Allen that!

I managed to snap a few pics tonight in the bathroom, while Hayleigh was occupied with bringing more toys out into the living room, while I was taking a break from cleaning. Kind of a one step forward, two steps backwards. Bare with me! I realize my makeup is gone, and I look less than enthused, but I really am, just tired of cleaning tonight. I realize I am huge! I should measure at 37 1/2 wks on Friday when I go in. I feel huge- but at least besides the thighs, I am all baby belly for this big guy. My beloved Target Liz Lang shirts are just about to not cut it anymore. My belly is wide open under the part that just sticks out, and doesn't stick to me anymore- that feeling I HATE.

Reid is still very active, which is a good sign he is not done baking yet. When he starts slowing down, then I worry- because then it won't be long! We have our 35 wk check up this Friday afternoon, and Anita is supposed to check me, to see if I'm dilated or not. I'm hoping not for now.

At this point with Hayleigh, I was already dilated to 2 cm, and things were in full swing. I was preparing, toughing up my nipples- like my mom told me to do. This time- no touchy until we get closer! Anita told me I can start using my breast pump for 5 minutes on each side, once we hit 35 wks, BUT... I'm waiting until my mom gets here, and I'll be 38 wks on that day. I don't want to get everything rolling too soon!

My teeth have been driving me crazy- just like they did with Hayleigh. My right top side wisdom tooth is working again- same one that worked just before I delivered Hayleigh, and right after. Nice!

We now have Hayleigh's toddler bed on the way, and I just ordered Reid's new mattress online. Did I ever mention just how much I love shopping online?! His mattress is coming straight to our front door, sometime next week. Only cost me $2.00 shipping- totally worth it to me not having to load, unload, tie down in the back of the truck, etc.

I did manage to rearrange Reid's closet again for probably the 10th time yesterday. I have everything ready to go as soon as Allen gets here to move furniture for me. Reid's diaper caddy came yesterday- another Sarabear, just like Hayleigh's except it has a white waffle liner- her's has a floral pattern on it, and she will soon be getting it to use for her dress up stuff. I plan on changing both kids on Hayleigh's dresser that will be in Reid's room- just stashing her diapers inside the one side with the door. No point in changing and buying another changing pad, table, etc when Hayleigh will soon- HOPEFULLY, be out of diapers.

 One thing I do find funny, that I have no other idea on how to get around it without buying a completely new diaper bag is my diaper bag situation. I do not want to buy another diaper bag- maybe I'm being cheap, or I would like to look at it all like I'm being sentimental. I will be using my original diaper bag that Allen got me for my birthday when I was pregnant with Hayleigh. It is a brown microfiber Vera Bradley diaper bag. I have been carrying a floral tote bag by Vera Bradley now for Hayleigh, and I guess, that Reid will have his own diaper bag, and so will Hayleigh. I'm thinking for my sanity of organization, it will be easier carrying two different bags. I do not carry a purse- my wallet currently matches the tote bag, so it acts as our anything we need bag. If I tried to put everything for both kids into one bag right now, my tote bag would be too big and heavy, not to mention heaping over, with stuff too. Hayleigh's stuff goes in the tote bag- snacks, diapers, wipes, toys, crayons, sippy cups, extra clothes, etc. Reid will have his own stuff that is completely different than what Hayleigh's needs are too. So, I will be the crazy lady with two diaper bags. Good thing for us that by the time we will be going out on a regular basis, Reid and Hayleigh will be a lot closer to sharing a bag together. Hopefully Hayleigh will be potty trained by that time, making this a realistic thing.  We will see in a few months if I still think this is a good idea.

For the most part, everything is coming together quite well. Mom will be here in 3 wks from today. I'm getting excited but anxious for her to get here. The closer we get to Mom getting here, the closer we get to Reid getting here too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Broken Record

I know I talk about this entirely way too much, but maybe it's just that I'm extremely grateful for what I have in my life now. Little things set me off on this- this time of year, a music video, looking at Hayleigh's baby pictures, being this pregnant, feeling Reid's kicking and moving, or just a smile from Hayleigh seem to get me going.

3 years ago, we started going back into Dr. Gentry's office for our second round of IUI. In fact, on the 26th of this month, Hayleigh was conceived in a doctor's office room. I never did think that round would work. In fact, I've found when I've had the most doubts things seem to have worked out after all.

This time around, we didn't have to go through all of the shots, pills, ultrasounds, and doctor visits. Makes everything just so much different. I wonder how labor will go, when exactly it will be that I will be in labor. Since nothing goes according to plan, it kind of makes me worry just little bit. I worried a lot about Allen making it to Hayleigh's birth last time around. This time, I'm not so worried- should I be? I guess I just know things will be okay and work out somehow.

I look around at Hayleigh's toys everywhere, and now going through all of Reid's things, getting all of it ready for his arrival, and I sit there dumbfounded on just how we got here. I know it's a broken record I keep singing, but I guess I'm very proud of where we are today, and beyond thankful for what we have now. We never knew just how empty our lives were before kids- like we could help it. But, things have worked out as they should, and I am still looking out for those who are fighting to get to where we are. I don't think I'll ever forget what we went through to get here, and I'm thankful once again to have made it through everything with my sanity.

Monday, October 15, 2012

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day Oct 15th

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, where we remember all of the babies that left us all too soon. In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. "When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn't a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes."

Many of us have experienced a loss of a child, whether it was from miscarriage or SIDS. Because of our miscarriage with our first round of IUI, we were blessed with Hayleigh going through our second round of IUI. Going through a miscarriage was one of the hardest things I have ever had to endure in my life, because the one I had in 2009 was not the first. It was in fact my second. While we don't understand why it happens, or what we could have done different, it seems like a failed attempt at being a woman for many. So, tonight, remember the babies we couldn't hold, and the ones that left us all too soon. Be educated on trying to prevent SIDS, and on taking care of yourself during your pregnancy. While I do not advocate abortion, I am a fighter for infertility, and miscarriage and have beat it- with one 2 year old to prove this along with the little boy we are expecting in the next month.  Chemical miscarriages account for over 40% of all miscarriages- which was what our miscarriages were a result of. I would imagine that the percentage of miscarriages among infertility treatment patients is quite high as well. So, just remember that 1 in 3 women experience this loss. What breaks my heart the most is the ones fighting just to conceive and carry a healthy baby experience this all at once.

Miscarriage Statistics

Sadly, miscarriages are a very common occurrence. Sources vary, but many estimate that approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage; and some estimates are as high as 1 in 3. If you include loss that occurs before a positive pregnancy test, some estimate that 40% of all conceptions result in loss. 
Although statistics can vary slightly from one source to the next, here is a general account (based primarily on information provided by the March of Dimes) of the frequency of miscarriages in the United States:
  •       There are about 4.4 million confirmed pregnancies in the U.S. every year.
  •       900,000 to 1 million of those end in pregnancy losses EVERY year.
  •       More than 500,000 pregnancies each year end in miscarriage (occurring during the first 20 weeks).
  •       Approximately 26,000 end in stillbirth (considered stillbirth after 20 weeks)
  •       Approximately 19,000 end in infant death during the first month.
  •       Approximately 39,000 end in infant death during the first year.
  •       Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage; some estimates are as high as 1 in 3. If you include loss that occurs before a positive pregnancy test, some estimate that 40% of all conceptions result in loss.
  •       Approximately 75% of all miscarriages occur in the first trimester.
  •       An estimated 80% of all miscarriages are single miscarriages.  The vast majority of women suffering one miscarriage can expect to have a normal pregnancy next time.
  •       An estimated 19% of the adult population has experienced the death of a child (this includes miscarriages through adult-aged children).

    SIDS Statistics by the numbers
    SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants aged one month to one year. In 2009, 2,226 infants passed away from SIDS (2009 reflects the most recent data available).1
    Babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancyhave a 3 times greater risk of SIDS. Babies who breath secondhand smoke have a 2.5 times greater risk of SIDS.
    Babies who sleep in an adult bed have a 40 times greater risk of SIDS.
    African American Babieshave a 2 times greater risk of SIDS.
    Babies who sleep on their tummies have a 5 times greater risk of SIDS.
    Babies who sleep on soft bedding have a 5 times greater risk of SIDS.
    Babies who sleep on their tummies on top of soft bedding have a 21 times greater risk of SIDS.
    A Scottish study showed that 87% of SIDS deaths occurred in unsafe sleep environments, only 13% were found in a crib or bassinet.
    Studies show that for infantswho received any breastmilk for any duration, the likelihood of SIDS was 60% lower.
    Accidental Suffocation or Strangulation in Bed (ASSB) claims the lives of 665 infants per year.1

15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 years

Okay, I found this on Pinterest, and some things I worry about pinning being deleted, so I had to copy this to my blog for safe keeping. I totally agree to all of the ways they suggest. Funny how some of them, Allen and I have already been doing for quite a while. While we are fast approaching Reid making his grand entrance into this world, we are also fast approaching our 9 year wedding anniversary the day after my due date. I don't think there is much of a secret to staying married, but finding what works for you and your spouse, and ironically, most of the things that Allen and I believe and do in our marriage are right here in this list.

While I do spend time worrying about my thighs when I'm sitting on the couch 8 1/2 months pregnant- it's the only place besides my belly the weight has gone... I know Allen will be here thunder thighs or not. He loves me for who I am, not for what I look like. Because, he tells me what is most important now is being a good mother and wife for him and our kids- not looking like a model. I laugh and tell him he bought "this" all before kids, and before stretch marks, so he is now stuck with what is here now. It doesn't mean that I don't want to take care of myself- I'm planning on doing Weight Watchers after Reid arrives, but it means that I will never look like the girl he dated before we got married. I'm sorry, but a size 0 in jeans is not in my near future, and I am okay knowing that, and so is he. Anyway, I thought I would share this, because it goes against what some might say are the keys to a good marriage. One key doesn't open all doors. 


So the world is blowing up with all the details of Katie and Tom's failed marriage and all that that entails. When I was sinlge, I devoured details of celebrity divorces. The scandal! The intrigue! Now that I'm married, it kinda just makes me sad. I hate when that ever popular 50% stat is proven right. So whenever I start to get a little down about my own relationship or the state of marriages in general, I pull up what is probably my most favorite piece of writing on the internet. I know, that's a bold statement. But it's true. Author Lydia Netzer has been married for 15 years. She and her husband aren't experts on marriage, just their own, and you can tell they are super proud of their relationship and totally still in love.
As Lydia says, she and her husband Dan got married when they were 25 years old. I love her self decprication: "Looking back I’m surprised we didn’t, as 25 year olds, self-destruct just for the heck of it. Now that we are older, we are perhaps surprisingly also wiser." Trust me, they are definitely wiser.
Here are the things they have learned over the years, that helped them stay married and -- gasp! -- even happy for fifteen years. (Beyond that, she says you’re on your own. She can’t promise another 15.) Their list does not resemble the one you will find in Cosmo or Ladies’ Home Journal. She says they have never had a regular date night, nor do they prioritize “communication” or play sex games or see a therapist. He doesn’t bring her flowers every Thursday, she doesn’t cook his favorite food very often. But they do have some other ideas. Here they are in Lydia and Dan's own words!
1. Go to bed mad.The old maxim that you shouldn’t go to bed mad is stupid. Sometimes you need to just go to freakin’ bed. “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath” is prefaced in the Bible by the phrase “Be angry and sin not.” So, who’s to say it doesn’t mean “Stay angry, bitches. Don’t let the sun go down on that awesome fierce wrath of yours.” Seriously. Whoever interpreted this to mean that you should stay up after midnight, tear-stained and petulant, trying to iron out some kind of overtired and breathy accord -- was stupid. Shut up, go to bed, let your husband get some sleep. In the morning, eat some pancakes. Everything will seem better, I swear.
2. Laugh if you can.In any fight, there is one person who is really mad, and one person who isn’t that mad. That person should deflect the fight. Make a joke, do something stupid or corny, make the other person laugh. If the fight is very serious for you and you feel like you really want to plant your flag and die on this hill, fine. Do it. But if you’re fighting for entertainment, or because you’re just reacting, then you be the one to deflect. Fights are bad. Deflecting a fight whenever possible is a good idea. When you’re the one who’s being pissy and raw, and the other person helps you get out of it and brings about peace, that feels fantastic. This was a hard lesson to learn, for me. Letting Dan deflect a fight is the best thing, now. He does it really well.
3. Don’t criticize. Ever.Here is a fact: Whatever critical thing that you are about to say to your wife is already being loudly articulated in her head. And if it’s true, she already feels like crap about it. Assuming you married someone intelligent enough to like you and sane enough to let you put a ring on it, trust that they are self-aware enough to know when they screwed up. It may feel good to you in that moment to say the critical thing, let it go ringing through the air in all its sonorous correctness, but it will feel awful to hear it. The only, only way it’s beneficial to give your wife criticism of any kind is if you’re absolutely positive she is completely unaware. And you better find the nicest, kindest way possible to tell her. And even then, good luck convincing her. Their recognition of the thing you are helpfully trying to point out will be INHIBITED, not facilitated, by your criticism. And then you’re the asshole. So be careful.
4. Be the mirror.Your husband is the mirror in which you see yourself. And the things you say to him give him an image of himself too, which he will believe. You want him to believe it, so make it good. Be a mirror that reflects something positive: you’re smart, you’re successful, you’re fantastic in the sack, you’re a great provider, you’re the best. Can you MAKE him any of these things just by telling him he is? I don’t know, but consider this: the alternative really sucks. The things my husband says to me are 1000 times more convincing than anyone else’s opinion on earth. Don’t think he won’t believe you because you’re married and you’re contractually obligated to say nice things. He’ll believe the shitty, insulting things you say, and the gloriously positive things.
5. Be proud and brag.Let your spouse hear you talking about them in glowing terms to other people. Be foolish. Be obvious. It will mean everything. You will stay married forever.
6. Do your own thing.Dan races bicycles. I write books. I don’t race bicycles or have any desire to race bicycles. He doesn’t write books, nor does he even read the books that I write. Seriously. And I don’t care. My opinion is that he’s the fastest, coolest most awesome bike racer ever. His opinion is that I’m the bestest, coolest writer ever. We don’t have to know all about cycling or writing in order to form these opinions -- in fact knowledge of literature or actually reading my book might damage Dan’s opinion of me as “best writer since the dawn of time.” We can still support each other without being all up in the other person’s stuff. Doing your own thing, having your own friends, being completely insanely passionate about something that the other person has no idea, really, about, is awesome. It allows your spouse to be your cheerleader, uncomplicated by knowledge or personal investment. And it means you’ll always have stuff to talk about, because you’re not overlapping all the time. You don’t have to read the same books either. You don’t have to have the same friends.
7. Have kids.Kids stop you from being as crazy as you want to be. Because when you have kids, you can’t be that crazy.
8. Get really good at sex.You’ve got all the time in the world to get really really good, not just at sex in general, but at having sex with your one particular husband. You should make it your life’s mission to become the perfect sex machine exactly for him. And he for you. There is no reason to hold back, or be embarrassed, or not ask questions, and get everything working properly. There’s absolutely no excuse for letting years drag on without becoming fully skilled, gifted sex partners for each other. It makes everything so much better. Does talking about this make you uncomfortable? How uncomfortable would it make you to know that your spouse is secretly, silently “just okay” with your sexual performance? Yeah. You want to last fifteen years, remember? That’s a long time to be mildly happy.
9. Move.Live in different houses. In different parts of the country. Travel. Make it so that you can look back and divide up your life into the years you spent in different cities, or different houses. If you’re feeling stuck geographically or physically, you can confuse yourself into thinking you’re stuck romantically. See your husband in different places, in different contexts, in different countries even. Try it. Take him to a mountaintop and give him another look. Pretty sexy. Take him to a new city and check out his profile. Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to change personally, or let your wife change as a person. Don’t worry about “growing apart.” Be brave and evolve. Become completely different. Don’t gather moss. Stagnation is unattractive.
10. Stop thinking temporarily.Marriage is not conditional. It is permanent. Your husband will be with you until you die. That is a given. It sounds obvious, but really making it a given is hard. You tend to think in “ifs” and “thens” even when you’ve publicly committed to forever. If he does this, I won’t tolerate it. If I do this, he’ll leave me. If I get fat. If I change jobs. If he says mean things. If he doesn’t pay more attention. It’s natural, especially in the beginning of your marriage, to keep those doubts in your head. But the sooner you can get go of the idea that marriage is temporary, and will end if certain awful conditions are met, the sooner you will let go of all kinds of conflict and stress. Yes, you may find yourself in a horrible situation where it’s absolutely necessary to get a divorce. But going into it with divorce in the back of your mind, even in the way way way back of your mind, is going to cause a lot of unnecessary angst. Accept that you’re going to stay with him. He’s going to stay with you. Inhabit that and figure out how to make THAT work, instead of living with the “what if”s and “in case of”s.
11. Do not put yourself in trouble’s way.Leave your ex boyfriends and girlfriends alone. I’m sure you’re very trustworthy. Aren’t we all? The thing is, there’s absolutely no reason to test it. Your husband and your marriage are more valuable than any friendship. Any friendship that troubles the marriage should be over immediately. Protect it with knives and teeth, not because it’s fragile but because it’s precious. Don’t ass around with a “hall pass” or a “harmless flirtation.” Adultery isn’t an event, it’s a process with an event at the end. Don’t put your feet on a path that could lead someplace bad.
12. Make a husband pact with your friends.The husband pact says this: I promise to listen to you complain about your husband even in the most dire terms, without it affecting my good opinion of him. I will agree with your harshest criticism, accept your gloomiest predictions. I will nod and furrow my brow and sigh when you describe him as a hideous ogre. Then when your fight is over and love shines again like a beautiful sunbeam in your life, I promise to forget everything you said and regard him as the most charming of princes once more. The husband pact is very useful because you want to be able to vent to your friend without having her actually start hating your husband. Because you don’t really mean all those things you say. And she, the swearer of the pact, knows this.
13. Bitch to his mother, not yours.This is one I did read somewhere in a magazine, and it’s totally true. His mother will forgive him. Yours never will. If you’re a man, bitch to your friends. They expect it.
14. Be loyal.All the crap you read in magazines about honesty, sense of humor, communication, sensitivity, date nights, couples weekends, blah blah blah can be trumped by one word: loyalty. You and your spouse are a team of two. It is you against the world. No one else is allowed on the team, and no one else will ever understand the team’s rules. This is okay. The team is not adversarial, the team does not tear its members down, the team does not sabotage the team’s success. Teammates work constantly to help and better their teammates. Loyalty means you put the other person in your marriage first all the time, and you let them put you first. Loyalty means subverting your whims or desires of the moment to better meet your spouse’s whims or desires, with the full understanding and expectation that they will be doing the same. This is the heart of everything, and it is a tricky balance. Sometimes it sways one way and some the other. Sometimes he gets to be crazy, sometimes it’s your turn. Sometimes she’s in the spotlight, sometimes you. Ups and downs, ultimately, don’t matter because the team endures.
15. Trust the person you married.For two people who are trying to help each other, it can almost be harder to let the other person help you than it is to be the one who’s helping. It can be harder to let the other person deflect the fight than to be the one deflecting. It can be harder to believe that your husband is fully committed to a lifetime of marriage than to commit yourself. Harder to change yourself than to let the other person change. Harder to be loved than to love. Weird, but true. I’m saying this to everyone who’s newly married, and to myself: trust that person. Love them completely and let them love you. If it all goes to seed, it’s going to hurt either way. Better to have gone into it full throttle. Full throttle marriage is a thrilling ride.
This list is simply the best marriage advice I’ve ever read. It closely resembles a lot of what my parents live, and they are the best example of a happy marriage I’ve ever known. Like I said, I read this list often…do you agree with me that this is such smart advice? Do you do these 15 things with your husband or significant other?

{Lydia Netzer’s original article, complete with adorable pictures!}