Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Simple Christmas

So how did Christmas go down in the Casa de Vaesa? Pretty well. I was a bit worried with crazy schedules for three days and kiddos that would get grumpy and overly tired because of missed naps, but honestly I can say that they did very, very well. However, they are still recovering; just today Benjamin skipped lunch and took a nap! Andrew has been taking 2 naps instead of his usual one. And even Meredith is sleeping in until 6am instead of 4am.

They will bounce back.

With having a one income household, there isn't much leftover at the end of the month. So gifts for many people were pictures of the kids, jelly that we made, and homemade scones. The presents that we did have to buy we used coupons and no gift cost us more than $20.

Alan and I both agreed that we don't want the kids associating that the more presents, the better. We don't have that kind of money, even if we did, we wouldn't shower them with tons of presents. Because that's not the meaning of Christmas. Baby Jesus received three presents and so will our little ones. They each received 3 presents; one from mama and daddy, one from the siblings, a present from Santa. Santa also brought a present that they can all play with. Their stockings had items like crayons, sippy cups, and socks.

I went to a second hand store for the kids gifts. I found a Buzz Lightyear and Woody for $7.50 (Target had them for $40 each!) I did buy Meredith the Jesse doll for $18 at Toys R Us since I couldn't find it anywhere else. Still not bad. The big present that Santa brought for all of them to share was the tent. Alan found the wood to make the frame. We only had to buy one piece at the Habitat ReStore for 50 cents. The fabric was the most expensive, thankfully we got it half off and only cost us $20 (most expensive present). Alan and I didn't get each other anything big, we got each other small presents. I went to Goodwill and found him an oil lamp for $8 and a small cooler to take to work for $3. I also got him some socks and candy that he likes. He went to Marshall's and TJ Maxx and found slippers and underwear for me (both less than $8)  He went to a consignment store and found a marble rolling pin for $8 (they retail for $90).

More is not better, at least we don't think so. The amount of presents is not an indication of how much you love your kids. I remember seeing a quote that went something like, "It's not the amount of money you spend on your kids, but the amount of time you spend with them." I couldn't agree more. Years down the road, kids will remember the memories, not each and every toy you got them. I clearly remember being just as excited over our little family's Christmas dinner. We got to help plan the menu, and it included food that we didn't have on a normal basis. Some years, we each got a cornish hen, some years it was sea food, other years beef tenderloin with hollandaise sauce.

Plus, the real reason for the season as we all know, is not presents or even Santa. It's something bigger. Something greater than all of us. Something that, even though we can't see, many of us believe. Because He made this all possible by arriving in a simple little manager.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Birthday B!

Dearest Benjamin,

Today you are three. How? When? Where did the time go? It seems just last year I went into labor Thanksgiving night. A labor that last 37 hours, ended in a c-section - all of which was not apart of my plans! However, the outcome was a healthy 7lb 8oz 20 inch baby of pure love. And since that day you have rocked my world! You made me a mama and taught me so much about what life is about.

In three short years you have come so far! This year you learned to talk, really talk. With the help of First Steps and Miss Sarah, she worked with you every week for an hour. We played games, working on word sounds, and putting sounds together to form words. In just 6 short months of therapy you went from saying 10 words to having over 100! You are very smart and have an incredible memory according to Miss Sarah. You know how to get to grandma's house and you've known this for over a year!

Here are some memorable events or funny things you say and do:

  • You have an imaginary lion, well, make that 2 lions. Mama rarrr and Dada rarrr. It all started when your over-active imagination thought there was a lion in your room. Instead of making it something scary, you turned it into a pet. When asked what the lion's name was, you said Mama rarr. Soon after Mamma rarr meet Dada rarr. I have sometimes heard of a baby rarr, so I guess we will see where that goes! You also have two pretend girlfriends; Tinina and Carnina. I think they are Mexican twins. 
  • Speaking of imaginations, you love to pretend that you are in a boat and the waves are rough. You also catch fish!  
  • You LOVE trains, riding your balance bike, digging for worms, cooking, going to pump gas. I know, only you would love going to the gas station.
  • Monkey and you have become inseparable. Monkey goes everywhere with you, to grandma's to the store, you don't let him out of your sight. 
  • You wake up Sis in the mornings with a "cock-a-doodle-doo" I'm sure she loves it. 
  • You have been potty trained since you were 27 months old! We still need to work on night time potty training, but during the day and even during naps you are dry! 
  • You call grandma "grrr" and grandpa "papaw or pop-pop" You can now say Jenny and Emmy. Meredith is still Sis and probably will always be Sis. Andrew is baby. I'm still Mama and Daddy is Dada. 
  • You play the harmonica, and actually, you are pretty good. 
  • You will chose fruit over anything. Grapefruit is currently a favorite.Vegetables are a close second. Sometimes you will eat chicken. You love cheese, especially goat cheese. You love Greek yogurt.You maybe allergic to peanuts and walnuts, we are going to get you tested.  
  • You are skinny, dark brown hair and the darkest brown eyes I have ever seen. I call them oreo eyes because they are so dark! You are still in size 2T, the pants are getting short, but the 3T pants fall off of you. You are hanging out at the 35 percentile, weighing in at 31 pounds and 38 inches tall. 
  • You still love to snuggle and before Sis and Andrew get up, you sit in my lap and we watch Curious George. 
  • You went from a crib, to a toddler bed, to a twin bed this year. You are loving your big boy bed! Sometimes I lay down with you and you lay on your side facing me, with one arm draped around my neck. Pure sweetness. 
Benjamin, you have a loving, sweet personality with a touch of curiosity and adventure. Never change that. You are a gentleman by opening doors and saying, "ladies first." You comfort Sis when she is crying by sitting next to her and putting your arm around her and saying, "oh, sis." You talk about how you are going to play cars and trains with Andrew when he gets bigger.

So little man, on your third birthday, my wish for you is to grow and learn and keep this wonderful personality of yours. Never lose your sense of adventure, your wild imagination, your good hugs you give, and always know that your Mama will love you forever, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.

Love Forever and Always, to the Moon and Back, to Infinity and Beyond,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Too much

We live in a disposable society where not only do we throw out an incredible amount of 'stuff'; we also collect an incredible amount of stuff.

And this stuff is getting overwhelming. I'm not sure if it's the impending winter, with long days and nights spent inside our cozy 3 bedroom home, or the fact that with three kids comes a lot of stuff. And stuff that we could do without.

I started realizing how much 'stuff' we have when I discovered the bed bug in the boys' room. With that we had to pack up everything into black plastic bags. We were only allowed to keep out what we really needed: clothes for the next few days, a blanket for each child, a few toys, etc. When we were allowed to unpack, we did so slowly, after a week of living with just what we needed, I quickly found that some of that 'stuff' that was packed in those black bags, wasn't really missed. Of course, there were times when there was that one thing that I went looking for in the sea of black bags, but for the most part, we didn't miss the stuff. As we unpacked, we went through our clothes and items to figure out what we really needed. I surfed through the wealth of organizing information online and found an extremely helpful tip with clothes: 'pretend you are going on a month long vacation and pack enough clothes for that month.' Most of us probably have a few outfits that we wear all the time, these are the ones that we feel the most comfortable in. So I went through my clothes and donated ones that I didn't want/need. I was amazed at how much room my little closet actually had!

Of course life gets crazy and that's about as far as I got with cleaning out the 'stuff.' However, it's time to get real again! On the list to clean out:

  • kid's toys; seriously they have too much! And half they don't even play with!
  • school stuff from Alan and I
  • kitchen; I do a pretty good job of keeping the kitchen clutter down, but there are some extra sets of dishes, and 'stuff' that is just taking up space. 
  • those rubbermaid totes in the workshop area, they are all labeled, but I really need to go through them. 
  • Alan has some climbing gear and 'stuff' he want to sell. 
Since money is tight, selling this 'stuff' is a good idea, so a yard sale and listing stuff on Craig's list is in the plans. 

I feel better, knowing that we don't have so much stuff. And it makes keeping the house straight a bit easier too. For me, simple is better. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Watching our garden grow

This is the best picture I could get if our garden. I didn't really think our garden was big, until I tried taking a picture and couldn't get it all in!

Our garden contains: multiple types of peppers, variety of tomatoes (about 15 plants), cucumbers, strawberries, raspberries, herbs, squash, and zucchini. It had eggplants until Mr. Rabbit came to dine!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Watermelon sorbet

Simple. Refreshing. Cold.

Plus just 3 simple ingredients:
4 cups watermelon
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

In a saucepan combine sugar and water, stir until sugar dissolves. Let cool for about 5 min.

Put watermelon in blender and add the sugar water. Blend until smooth. Pour into a 9x13 pan and freeze. Not sure how long it needs to freeze since I made it in the morning and served it after dinner.

When its time to serve, I found it helpful to let it stand before attempting to chisel this block of watermelon ice! It's delicious and the kiddos loved it! I have heard of adding a bit of vodka to help it not freeze so hard, but people frown upon giving kids, let it sit and it gets all slushy like.

Happy summer y'all!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Back in the lanes

Walk out of the locker room and the smell of chlorine hits you in the face. Ahhhh....I love that smell. Call me crazy, but I guess its because it brings back so many memories of my BC (before children) life. I loved racing in triathlons and was pretty decent at it. My first triathlon, an Olympic distance (0.93 mile swim, 25 mile bike, and a 6.2 mile run) I came seconds (literally)  from breaking three hours. My time 3:00:01 all because some gels fell out of my racing shirt pocket during the run and I went back for them! agghh! 

Anyhow, I went swimming today at the YMCA. Just getting the kids from the car into the gym was a workout. I put Andrew in the sling (plus carried the diaper bag and gym bag), Meredith in the umbrella stroller and Benjamin helped push the stroller. Of course there weren't any close parking spots (I firmly before that next to the handicap spots, should be parent parking for small children. Seriously, try to get 3 kids under 3 inside a building!) so it took us about 10-15 minutes to actually get inside the gym. Took Meredith and Andrew to the Infant room...Meredith begins to scream, Benjamin looks suspicious, like he knows whats going on. Benjamin put the death grip on my finger and we walk down the hall to the toddler room. His eyes big, my finger now completely white. We say hello to the teacher and the hand off goes very smoothly, no tears. I stood back and watched as he quickly got interested in all the toys. I dart out of site and get changed to go swim. 

swim suit - check
swim cap - check
goggles - check
kick board - check

I think I remember how to do this! The water felt great and my technique...not too shabby for not being able to swim, in forever. I swam 1,300 meters and even remembered some drills to work on. I could have kept swimming all day, but little babies have a 2 hour time limit that they can be in the childcare. And since it took me approximately 20 minutes just to get them to their room and I still had to shower, my time was closing in. 

As I was trying to remember the combination to my lock, a lady stopped and asked, "are you on a swim team?" I thought, really lady I am so out of shape, you think I'm on a swim team???

I told her no and she asked if I was a good swimmer. "I'm ok, I used to be much better."
"Oh, then maybe you can help me." Is she really asking me for advice?  

She proceeds to tell me how she gets out of breath when beginning her swim, but after awhile she breaths fine.

"Oh yeah, I felt that way today; it's my first day back in the water after having a baby. It's like running a race, you start out too fast because of the adrenaline pumping. Just tell yourself to slow down."

She said she never thought of it that way, but I was probably right. She told me she was getting ready to do her first triathlon. And asked if I had any advice for race day.

I said, "have fun."

We talked 'triathlon talk' for awhile. It was so good to talk to another adult, and even better that the conversation didn't revolve around diapers, milk supply, teething, time outs, toddler beds, etc.

Who knows, maybe I'll go dig up some of those ole' triathlon racing plans and "have fun"

In other news: yesterday this little charmer turned four months:

Not really sure where the time has gone, but it's quickly flying by.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Spreading our roots

As crazy as it is, Benjamin will be three years old this year! I swear it was just yesterday that labor began after Thanksgiving dinner! How time is quickly flying. As he turns three this year, we are quickly realizing that he will need to go to school. As much as I want my baby boy to stay home with me forever, I know he needs to spread those little wings and enter the big scary world of kindergarten when he turns five. Which, hello is two years away!!!  Que panic attack!

We have two choices for schools, public or private. There are positives and negatives to each. The reality, we cannot afford private schools. So that leaves us with public schools. The schools system in Jefferson County has 'good' schools and not so good schools. To get into those 'good' schools you have to live in the area of that school. I've known people who move each time their son/daughter goes onto elementary, middle and high schools so that they can get into that 'good' school. I'm not sure I'm up for that much moving around. 

And it's not just about the schools, though, it is what is getting us thinking. We also want some room to stretch out. Granted we have a nice size back yard, a perfect little house, and awesome neighbors, but a little breathing room would be nice too. An acre or two, a small home similar to ours now, Alan would die for a garage with a workshop, and I would love to have a large garden where we can grow enough food to freeze/can for winter. Because lets face it, these Vaesa kids LOVE to eat. And the grocery bill is getting more and more expensive! We are obviously in the 'looking' phase of this process, and looking at Oldham or Nelson County. So if you live in either of those counties, please let me know what you like and don't like about where you are.

Backyard provides hours of swinging for the little Lady

Our backyard to great for riding a scooter down the big hill!
So begins the search of our next home...I really can't imagine leaving here, our first home, where we remodeled pretty much every room, where babies were brought home to, where babies learned to walk, run, and begun to ride bikes. All in three short years. But I've gotten quite attached.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Potty Training and Cloth Diapering

Two weeks after I came home from the hospital, Benjamin decided that now would be a great time to work on those potty training skills. I knew he was getting close to being potty trained and was actually hoping until after our Florida vacation to attack this next milestone. But Mr. B is in charge and he was ready!

It wasn't easy with a newborn and Miss Meredith who is very interested in what was going on in the bathroom, but we managed and after a few days of Benjamin being stark naked around the house, he was potty trained! I was amazed at how easily it went! He is still in a diaper during nap time and bedtime and I am not sure how we tackle that, but a friend told me it may not be until he is 4 to wake up when he has to go. There are times when he wakes up from his nap and is dry, so we are getting close! Which is good because I was having anxiety over the thought of trying the big boy bed thing again! I'm good if he wants to stay in his crib for life!

And from potty training to cloth diapering, Andrew now fits into the BumGenius size small diapers!
1 month old.
 Side note: not sure why the picture is showing up all dotted like ?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Welcome Little Prince!

Sunday, March 4th the day before our little one was due, we went to church (where our wonderful priest said a blessing over me and ensured everything would go perfectly tomorrow) and then we hit the home and garden show. That evening after the kids were in bed, Alan and I packed our bags and set the alarm for 4am.

Around 11pm, because we just couldn't sleep, we looked out the window and saw snow! At 4am on our baby's birthday this is what the world looked like:
5 inches of snow!
 Hard to believe that our 'spring' baby was going to be born on a snowy day! As we stepped out of the house to head to the hospital the snow made the world so quiet and peaceful; a perfect start to the day.

At the hospital, I got my blood drawn, an IV started and monitors on. The anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about getting my spinal. I told him that last time I got sick during the delivery, so he ordered Zofran via IV before the surgery. Then Dr. L came into give me the 'game plan' for the delivery and I was set to go!
 Before I went back to the OR the family came in and we got one last picture as a family of four.
I was wheeled back to the OR and things got started. I got my spinal, which didn't hurt at all! I guess with the head anesthesiologist doing it, it's not going to hurt! I felt great during surgery, much better than I did with Benjamin and Meredith! I felt some tugging and pulling and some pain in my chest/shoulder (which is completely normal) and Alan was doing much better than last time! As they were working Dr. L was giving me a play-by-play: "here comes it's head" "it's shoulders are out!" "this one has paws, not hands! They are huge!" And then finally what I have waited 39 weeks for, Dr. Link says, "It's a boy!" And then I cried! It was the best surprise of my life! 

Alan ran right over to him and watched as they cleaned him up and weighed him. He rang in at 8lbs 8oz. 21 inches long! Big boy! And a loud set of lungs! Alan and I decided to name him Andrew Michael. After I got to see him, Alan and one of the nurses (who happened to be the same nurse that helped deliver Meredith!) took Andrew out to see the family. I heard the reactions were priceless! Everyone was excited!

 After I spent some time in the recovery room and got to breastfeed, I was wheeled up to mother/baby unit. By the time I got to my room, everything was spinning and I was throwing up. I received another round of Zofran, but that didn't help. Everyone was up in the room and I was throwing up and Andrew was crying. Alan, his mom and dad took the kids home and my mom stayed with me. I don't remember much of the day because of being so sick. I saw more of the emison basin than I did of my son! But I was told that after two shots of phenergan, I finally stopped throwing up. My body temperature was really low, 96* and didn't come back up until later that evening. However, I felt hot and kept throwing the blankets off of me. They said if my body temperature dropped anymore then they would have to start putting warm blankets on me since the internal organs don't function well when your body is that cold. I could hear people who came to see us, but couldn't keep my eyes open! I was pretty miserable! But so very thankful for my mom, Kim, my grandma, and my sisters who were taking care of Andrew or myself! The Dr. said that I got sick because of the medicine in the spinal. When I had Meredith, I was sick as well, but don't remember it being this bad or lasting this long!

Finally around 9pm; 13 hours after surgery, I was feeling much better and got to see Andrew! Alan stayed with me that first night and after that, it was smooth sailing. I felt great and was up and walking around the nurses' station. Andrew and I were discharged Friday and got home around lunch time.

dressed and ready to go home!

Life as a family of five has been wonderful! It's been crazy and challenging, but to watch Benjamin and Meredith interact with Andrew it's worth it!

There have been some funny stories to tell since we have been home, that I will share as soon as I get a little more time! Think potty training a 2 year old with a 1 year old who tries to dump out the potty and a screaming newborn!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I can see the finish line!

I feel like I am in that last stretch of a triathlon. I have completed the swim and bike portion and I am almost finished with the run. Everything hurts, the legs are cramping, my back is aching, I am tired but with just two more weeks to go I can see the finish line! It's that part of the race when despite all the pain and tiredness you can't give up now! The end is in sight....

Just two more weeks...where did this pregnancy go?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Homemade Coffee Creamer

One thing that I love is my coffee creamer (and so does the husband) and all the different flavors it comes in! However, paying almost $4 for coffee creamer (the store brand is not the same as the band names!) was making me wonder if I could make it cheaper. Plus have you ever read the list of ingredients in that stuff? It's not even made with milk! So I set off for Google to see what coffee creamer recipes I could come up with. I found two that I thought we may like and made both.

The first one I made was from Deliciously Organic. Carrie has a fabulous website full of wonderful recipes that I have tried and loved! I made the cinnamon strudel coffee creamer which consisted of the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of almond extract 

However, I didn't have all of the ingredients. So I improvised and came up with this recipe:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup half and half creamer
  • 4 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs vanilla almond milk 
Instructions: whisk together milk, cream, syrup and cinnamon in a pan over medium heat. When the mixture began to steam, remove from heat and add in the vanilla and almond extracts. Then strain through a mesh sieve (I used 2 layers of cheese cloth) if you don't do this, the ground cinnamon will sink to the bottom of the creamer. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge. 

I couldn't wait to try my creamer the next morning, it smelled so good! It was delicious, but thin. If you ever noticed the store bought coffee creamer, it's a thicker consistency, this was thin and I wasn't used to it! So I tried the other recipe I found using a different base. 

This second recipe came from The Joy of Clean Eating. I have been following Sarah and Kristy's blog for about a year now and have also made some wonderful foods! Here is their recipe for their base coffee creamer: 
  • 1 1/4 cups of condensed milk
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1-2 tbs sweetener (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp thickener (such as cornstarch, arrow root, etc) this is also optional. 
Homemade Condensed Milk
So I dug through the pantry and found a can of condensed milk, added 1 cup of milk, and 1/2 tsp of cornstarch (hoping this would help the 'thinness' I experienced in the last batch). Mixed ingredients in a pan over medium heat, let simmer, removed from heat and then added in 1 tbs of vanilla extract. Mixed together and poured into a glass jar and set in the fridge. I opted out of the sweetener, since the condensed milk seemed sweet enough. 

The next morning, I eagerly tried my new creamer and fell in love. The thickness was just right! It is a bit sweet, so next time I make it I will add more milk to help dilute the condensed milk more. Also on The Joy of Clean Eating they have a recipe for homemade condensed milk using a 1/2 cup of raisins and a cup of milk. I have yet to get this to taste right. Each time I make it, my coffee tastes like raisins, not what I'm going for! If I get it right, I'll be sure to post it!

My Choice: So after trying both, I would say add the 1/2 tsp of cornstarch to Deliciously Organic's recipe to make it a bit thicker. However, if you are looking for a quick recipe, The Joy of Clean eating is much quicker (if you just use the canned condensed milk). I am also on the lookout for a powdered version of coffee creamer. So stay tuned!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

So with number 3 quickly approaching I've come to the sharp realization that I will not be able to just run up to the store to get something. I am going to have to be a bit more organized. So I thought my answer was my free subscription to Amazon Mom; however, with their changes I'm not sure I can justify the $79 a year for free shipping. So I've started thinking about ways to make my life a bit more simpler, a bit more green, and more cost effective. Less is more, right?

We do a lot of laundry around here, with a 2 year old and a 1 year old, plus a husband who works in the concrete industry....the laundry piles are intense. Not to mention washing cloth diapers every other day. Tide was my go-to-detergent, never doubted it's ability to clean. However; the price tag was getting to be a bit much. Roughly $25 for 120 loads, which lasted us about 10 weeks (we do on average 12 loads a week, that's not counting cloth diapers).

So I tried Target's brand and it seemed to work and the price was better at roughly $8 for 64 loads. I figured the real test would be when spring time rolled around and we had to deal with getting grass stains out. However, when the entire family came down with the stomach virus, it got the clothes clean, but left the puke smell in my babies clothes and blankets. This is not cool. So back to the drawing board to find a cheap detergent that I could easily have access to without paying for shipping.

My internet search lead me to making your own laundry detergent. I used the recipe from two different blogs, DIY Naturally and the The Eco-Friendly Family.

The ingredients, minus the oxiclean

Grated Ivory soap

1 bar of Ivory 

Everything mixed in!

Stored in a container, with a tablespoon. Later, when I made four more batches,
I  put it in  two large, clean coffee containers

 I used Ivory, it was easy to find, but could only buy it in the 10 pack for about $5. Using a cheese grater I easily shaved the bar of soap to nothing. Then mixed in the rest of the ingredients. When mixing it, I noticed it had the best smell, it smelled clean, crisp, and fresh! I put the detergent in a sealed container that I had. When doing laundry, it calls for 1-2 tablespoons (depending on the size of the load). This recipe makes 32-64 loads depending on how many tablespoons you use. DIY Naturally does the math and it works out to be roughly $2.98 for 32-64 loads. Now that is my kind of price!

I did the laundry and added a tablespoon to a medium sized load of my babies' clothes, they came out clean and smelling great! I was so excited about the end result that I immediately went and made a total of five batches!

UPDATE: I just ran out of the laundry detergent that I made! So those five bathes lasted me 7 months!!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

So I'm A Bird

Photo by: Sommai

This past weekend I felt great, the best I've felt since the premature labor started! So I tackled all sorts of projects off my 'before we have 3 kids under 3' list! By Sunday evening I had reorganized my closet and dresser, cleaned under the bed, organized the living room closet and finished up some other projects (project posts soon to follow!). Sunday night, Alan laughed as I showed him my newly cleaned and organized closet and said, "I'm not sure if I have a wife or a bird!" I immediately wanted to know what that was supposed to mean. He said, "well, there are all these sticks and twigs around, seems like you are trying to build a nest."
"Haha," I said. "I'm just trying to make your life easier, especially when I'm in the hospital for 4-5 days. You'll thank me!" And as any good husband said, "You're right dear." 

I can't deny it, throw in pregnancy on top of a little bit of a type A personality and the itch to organize, clean, and cook get a bit crazy. However, I am happy to say that our house looks and feels so much better!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Premature Labor

A week ago I came down with the stomach virus and by Saturday evening I was having contractions every two minutes and were lasting 30 seconds to a minute. The other scary part was that the contractions were actually starting to hurt! In between puking, I called my Dr. office and left a message for the on call doctor. He called me back within a few minutes and told me to go to labor and delivery. The bad part was my kids were sick with it and I didn't want to leave them. My mom came over and offered to stay with the kids, but the awesome husband said he would stay.

So my mom and I arrived at the hospital and went to L&D, I believe this was around 10pm. I was admitted, the nurse checked me and thankfully I was not dilated. I was hooked up to the monitor to check for the baby's heart beat and to monitor the contractions. The contractions were still coming every 2 minutes and pretty painful. Between the nurse taking my history, Alan calls worried about the kids that keep getting sick and he couldn't reach the pediatrician's after hours number. So my mom calls the pediatrician's emergency line and I talk to the nurse there. She tells me what to do for the kids, keep them hydrated and monitor how many wet diapers they have. Other than that, there isn't much they can do unless they get dehydrated.

 My mom calls Alan back. I puke some more. The nurse gets an IV started and gives me zofran to ease the nausea. Once I stop getting sick, the nurse gives me procardia to stop the contractions. The medicine makes me flushed and my heart race. The nurse goes back to taking my history. Baby's heart rate is still high. We wait. The contractions are getting further apart, still painful, but seem like they are getting better. The nurse tries to draw blood, but I'm too dehydrated and my veins don't cooperate. Nurse calls for lab. Lab tech is taking too long so another nurse comes in to give it a try. She fails twice. Calls lab again. While waiting for a lab tech the nurse wraps my arm in warm wash cloths to get the veins to surface better. Lab tech finally shows up and has success. She draws blood to test for infection and to 'type' me in case they would have to deliver the baby. Four hours go by and another dose of procardia. This second dose ease the contractions much more and get them to space further apart. Meanwhile, they tell me to try to sleep, which is impossible as I wonder how Alan is doing with two sick kids. Contractions continue until 5:30am. They had been going on for 12 hours.

Alan calls the next morning (Sunday) and sounds stressed, kids are still puking. My mom leaves and goes to my house. She takes Meredith back to her house. Things calm down. There is talk of me getting to go home, but Dr. decides against it.

I end up staying in the hospital until Monday morning. I was never so happy to leave! My mom takes me home where Benjamin, Meredith and Alan seem to be doing much better. However, I notice blisters on Benjamin's hands and along his mouth. I get him to open his mouth and I see one on his tongue. I call my mom, "what does hand, foot, and mouth disease look like?" I call the pediatrician, Alan takes him in, Dr. prescribes medication to ease the pain and says Meredith will probably get it too. Later that evening I get sick, later that night Benjamin gets sick. I thought we were over this.

Tuesday, my mom was going to come over to help with the kids, since the Dr. said to take it easy. My dad texts Alan, mom is sick. I feel horrible that she caught it. Eventually this evil stomach virus makes it's way to my sister and my dad.

Finally by Thursday, everyone seems to be on the up swing and the disinfecting began. Today I took the kids out to Target to get the essentials that we were out of. First time we had been out in over a week! It was a rough week to say the least! Thankfully, we are all much better and Meredith has yet to get hand, foot, mouth disease! I'm not sure how we would have done it without my family, thank God they are close by and swooped in like heroes!

Getting back

November started the whirl wind of activities and it has just now let up! Between Benjamin's 2nd birthday, thanksgiving, Christmas, new year's and wrapping up with Meredith's first is just now starting to quite down! The kids have colds and mild ear infections we discovered this week but hopefully the medicine will clear this stuff up quickly.
I love the fact that January and February are quiet and slow, we need that time to prepare for #3. The repeat c section is scheduled for March 5th. Just 7 weeks away! And dearest Meredith I hope you are sleeping through the night by then!
I'll leave you with a picture of baby #3 taken at 25 weeks. I am now 32 weeks.