Owen's Birth Story

>> Friday, February 26, 2016

Owen's Birth Story
To say we were ready for Owen would be an understatement. All the bedding, clothing, and carpets had been washed. I even had the nursery ready to go (mostly). Being that it was summer, I wasn't teaching nor were we remodeling! I could kick up my feet up and relax without a tinge of guilt. I indulged a significant amount on the daybed outside watching Emily and Mary play and explore. I remember from when I was pregnant with Emily my mom saying "Babies are easier to take care of in the belly than out!". I had learned twice that she was right. So, I enjoyed reading back issues from The Sun magazine and being present with the girls.
I thought Owen would arrive in mid June, but as July 20th rolled around I began to wonder if I was even pregnant. Just kidding! My swollen feet, lack of sleep, and giant body reminded me every second that I was. Even though it was summer, I still checked my school email daily. I learned from our principal that tragedy had struck the family of two of my students. On July 23rd, I attended a funeral for the mother, father, and grandmother. Ryan stayed home with the girls, and I went alone. I was obviously overwhelmed with grief for the four children who had been orphaned. I was relieved to have time to myself and to process the tragedy. After the service, I went to Fred Meyers to get fresh fruit and a hippy pizza. I called my dad and caught up too. Once I got home, it was almost nine and I hadn't eaten dinner yet. I popped in the pizza and sat down to relax and spend some time with Ryan. I got up for a third piece of pizza, don't judge, and felt an amazing amount of pressure. I told Ryan how odd it felt, and not a second later my water broke. Of course I wasn't sure at first, but I received confirmation once I headed to the bathroom. Ryan promptly sprung into action and started filling the tub. He also laid out the birth kit. I contacted Pita and Mary. Both said they were headed over even though contractions hadn't started yet. I was reluctant to have the midwives come so soon, but I also didn't have the energy to convince them otherwise.  I was happy I didn't.

Like I said, we were ready for Owen to come. Ryan had installed the hardware for filling up the birth tub weeks before. I had all my clothing (pre, during, and post labor) already laid out and ready to go. This level of preparation is significant to mention only because of our previous two births. This also meant that Ryan had nothing to do. He was there to help me through each contraction, but Ryan works well in high intensity situations. He shines while saving the day. This wasn't needed. He relaxed on the bed until the contractions were too intense to manage on my own. He was in the trenches with me for only a few minutes as Owen's birth was quick: 2 hours and 55 minutes quick. I only remember thinking that the contractions weren't strong enough for a birth any time soon, and that our midwife team was much too early. Mary sat at my writing desk doing some paperwork while Pita and Patricia, midwife in training, talked and laughed on the chair next to the birth tub. Once they stopped recording my contractions, I knew we were getting closer to a birth. I had two really intense contractions, that I remember, before I pushed twice and Owen was born. During those two contractions, I buried my nose into Ryan's chest and breathed deeply through each wave. When it was time to push, we got work done. It was quick and amazing. We didn't know the sex  until the birth, and it was a wonderful surprise.  He was perfect in every way.

Owen weighed in at 8lbs and 4 ounces. Emily was 6 lbs and Mary was 6 lbs 12 ounces. Thanks, dude:-). To be honest, the labor wasn't any more difficult, but the pregnancy was. He nursed right away and continues to be an amazingly happy boy. We love you, Owen. 


No Sew Teepee!

>> Monday, June 24, 2013

While cruising on Pinterest, I realized I was late to the teepee party. With Emily at the perfect "let's build a fort" age, I decided to fulfill one of my own little dreams: a girly teepee. (I also needed something to fill that space in our living room.) Everyone wins!

I got the party started by picking up six garden sticks (5 feet) at Home Depot for about $2.50 each. So cheap. I wish they were a little bit taller... I wish I was a baller. Sorry, I had to:-). But seriously, I do wish they were about a foot taller, but it's good for the girls. Emily can stand up in the teepee, and that is most important.

I then dug out some fabric from my ever growing stash. I used three yards of cream duck cloth. I was dreading the moment that came next: drilling a hole in each pole. Since every room in my house contains some sort of power tool, I went on a drill hunt. I'm still not sure I used the correct attachment, but nothing caught on fire (although there was some smoke), and I got the job done. I measured eight inches from the end of each pole and made a mark. I then went to town on drilling the holes to run the twine.

Once the holes were drilled, I strung them all together with twine. This was a little tricky, but just keep arranging the sticks until you have a teepee shape. I wanted a girly teepee, so pink ribbon came next. I brought the teepee inside and used the ribbon to secure the sticks (not through the holes).

Once the frame was set, I simply draped the duck cloth over the sticks. I was going to call it a day, but I saw a Michael Miller floral fabric screaming to be made into bows to hold it all together. I cut two slits in the cream duck cloth, cut a strip of floral fabric, and I tied a bow (repeat). I'm happy I completed this extra step as it adds a little something extra, I can make matching pillows to throw in there, and it securely holds the duck cloth in place and helps to stabilize the teepee. I also knew Emily would appreciate the bows- so cute.

The project took a total of 30 minutes! Emily loves it, and Mary hung out in there for a while too. It also fills a formerly lonely space with some personality. Poor Ryan has a floral accented teepee in his family room; I'm pretty sure he is getting used to these types of shenanigans. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section!



>> Friday, June 21, 2013

Seriously winning, ya'll. I never win anything. Never. That all changed early this week when Marisa from Re-Bloom emailed me with a free consultation for our new home. Maybe I never win because I never enter "contests"... something to consider.

Re-Bloom is all about making what you already have work for you and your family. With a new house that is twice the size of our old house, I was/am struggling with how to decorate. It's a bummer because we are also still putting up trim and gearing up for a kitchen remodel. Such is life with Ryan.

Marisa was so kind and a great listener. (She even rocked Mary to sleep!) I think I talked the entire time, but I have sooo many ideas, and she was kind enough to listen patiently. It's also important to me that Ryan likes what is going on in our house, and he is opinionated; who knew? Long story short, Marisa already sent me some ideas for a table, and she had some great ideas for our long, weird bedroom. I'm looking forward to finding some temporary dividers for that space... any ideas?

So, if you want a super creative, kind, and cool person to help you with your home, wardrobe, or business, look into Re-Bloom. I just love the idea of using what you have in different ways. You can find her blog here.

Side note: Chelsea and I went to an amazing estate sale last night. I scored some potted plants and the above piece of art. I need to pick up a fern for that plant stand. Progress, people!


Mary Beth

>> Monday, May 27, 2013

She is the mostest! 

Weighing in at six pounds 12 ounces. 
Born April 4, 2013 at 10:17 AM
See below for the good stuff... or skip if you don't like birth stories from a hippie point of view.
I believe with my whole heart in natural birth whenever possible. When I say "natural" I mean no medication. Just you and your birth team. My birth team was Ryan, Mary, and Pita. I feel so lucky to have met these three people:-). Mary and Pita were our midwives with Emily as well. When we found out we were prego again, we knew we needed to get hold of these ladies ASAP.
I thought I was going into labor the night before it actually happened. I was on spring break, and we had moved into our new place the weekend before. We also had a contractor coming in the morning to finish our hardwood floors. We seem to remodel when we have babies... not doing it a third time (the remodel, not the baby). So, when I woke up at 5 AM with contractions, I thought it best to not wake Ryan. I timed them instead. The contractions were kinda strong and 10 minutes a part. I thought I was just having some joint pain. This was a common sensation the second time around. However, the "joint pain" was fairly consistent. I decided to wake Ryan when they were eight minutes a part. Good thing too. The contraction were quickly 7 minutes, then six, then... you get the point. We called Mary.
Correction: Ryan called Mary while I called my mom to ask if we could have a baby in her living room. I laugh as I type this, because it sounds so crazy. I couldn't have a baby  in our new house because I wanted those floors finished ASAP. My mom said to come on over. I packed our bags, jumped in the shower, and prepped for having a baby (mentally). It's all  mental, folks.
With Emily in the back of the truck and our birth tub right beside her, Ryan hightailed it to my mom's house. My ma took Emily out to breakfast and to play while Ryan got set up. The night before I had bought the jammies for after labor so I put those in the wash. I started to have stronger contractions, but nothing wild. This labor was so manageable and dare I say... easy? I'm not sure why, but I didn't feel the contractions were strong enough to have the babe anytime soon, and I started to worry around 10AM that we had called Mary too soon. Not the case. As Mary, Pita, and their intern sat at my mom's dinning table chatting, I felt a different sensation with the contraction: my water had broke. I had a sudden feeling of panic and (what felt like a shout) said, "something is happening!". Mary rushed over in her calm way and told me my water had broke. I promptly replied, "What do I do?". Pita laughed and said, "Have a baby". These women are amazing. Birth is so normal and natural to them. I wonder if they ever panic?
Have a baby we did. Not one minute after my water broke I had to push. I stayed in the same position in the tub the entire 20 minutes I was in there. Within three minutes of pushing, Mary Beth was born. All I remember is Mary (our midwife, not the baby) telling Pita that the head was born, and then she talked me through the next push. It was an amazing moment. We didn't know we were having a girl, and all I could do was cry. I was so happy to have two beautiful girls. Mary Beth looks so  much like Emily. Emily is the best big sister. Ryan is getting used to lots of kisses, pony tails, and talk of all things girl. We couldn't be happier.


Reading for Pleaure!

Hiya there! Since my last posting we: bought a new house, moved in, started another remodel, next day had a baby, unpacked (kinda), and have been enjoying all the newness in our new lives. (Baby post to follow.)

Oh, I also finished an amazing book from an amazing publisher via an amazing friend. I have not read anything for pleasure in a while. I almost forgot how to enjoy and not analyze every word. Here it is in all its glory: The Home-Maker by Dorothy Confield Fisher. Look into it immediatly. Not only is the content relevant, heart warming, and heart breaking all at the same time, it comes in a lovely package with beautiful end paper and a matching book mark... I mean seriously a luxury to read.


On Marriage

>> Saturday, November 17, 2012

“The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.” 



Mother's Day... Late

>> Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Oh, the difference a year makes. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. I mean seriously, where does Emily get those facial expressions?!? What a ham.

This is/was Emily's favorite gesture while saying, "What'sthat?" (Yes, all one word.)


My Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

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