Hi guys! Things have been busy in our household this past week. We are now officially a family of four! I can’t believe that this time has finally come. As before with Clark, I’m going to share Colin’s birth story. If this isn’t your cup of tea, you might want to navigate to another post. However, if it is, prepare for a teary-eyed, joyful celebration of our newest son.
Last Tuesday, I started having fairly regular contractions around 9pm but because of some fun insurance complications, I wanted to go to work the next day. I was 39.5 weeks along but I was determined to ignore them. About 1:30 am, I moved to the couch, hoping that the change of position would slow/stop the contractions. They did temporarily, and I felt relieved and went to sleep.
Until 2 am, that is. I woke up because I heard and felt a resounding pop inside my body. You know when your joints pop and make a loud noise you can hear from the inside? That’s what it sounded like. I can’t describe the feeling, but it was really weird. When my water broke with Clark, I didn’t feel a thing except the gush. I hopped off the couch just in time to save the leather lol and yelled to my husband, “My water broke! I’m hopping in the shower!”
Ten minutes and freshly washed hair later, we were scrambling in excitement to wake up our toddler, make sure we had all our items, and call my parents. My mom laughed when I greeted her with, “Happy early morning wake up call!” to let her know it was time to meet us and get Clark at the hospital. We had to bribe him in the car with jelly beans but he was really very agreeable for being woken up and transported in the middle of the night.
As we went off to the hospital, I realized that I probably needed to time my contractions which were picking up in intensity just slightly. I was pretty surprised to see that they were only three minutes from the start of one to the start of another — things didn’t progress that fast with Clark, and definitely not without Pitocin!
My parents met us in the parking lot and took Clark to their house so my mom could get him settled in and head back to the hospital. Even though things were obviously progressing, it took almost an hour to get through evaluation and into a room, but by that point, my midwife had arrived and my contractions were still picking up. I was breathing through them and trying to settle in just in case the labor was going to be long since it was only 4 am. I was 4 cm and 80%, which made me hopeful that I wouldn’t need any meds to help the labor progress this time (and the added pain that goes along with them).
At 5 am, Christy sat down with me to chat about my last birth and reconfirm what I wanted for this birth, feeding me Popsicles and rubbing my legs as my contractions started to make me pause during the conversation. It was so refreshing to sit down and have personal attention from her, and it kept me super calm. At 6 am she suggested I get up and walk around, and even though I wanted to conserve my strength, I got moving about 15 minutes later.
It only took one lap around L&D to send my body into high gear — by the end, I was leaning all of my weight onto Mom and Jason and really trying to focus on not succumbing to the pain. I almost didn’t make it back to the room because the contractions weren’t letting up, and I couldn’t get back into bed. I laid across the foot of the bed as my mom called Christy to let her know about the contractions. Granted, it was only 6:40 by then. When she checked, I was 6 cm and progressing quickly, so she encouraged me to hang in there as it wasn’t going to be long.
The next part was the hard part. I can still remember it very vividly, although parts are fading as they inevitably do to help us move on and have more babies later (gotta love biology). The contractions were strong at best in between the earthquakes that were progressing my labor, and I had to play a massive psychological game with myself to get through them without pain medication. I wanted to give in so bad, but it was too late and I knew it was almost over anyway. I was sweating so bad trying to deal with the pain; Mom and Jason were pressing cold compresses on my neck and forehead to try to help me keep calm and focus.
My head was a battlefield; I thought I was bawling but they said I looked determined and in control. I kept going between I can do this and I can’t do this. Christy kept telling me that I was doing it. It was so painful and overwhelming. At 5 minutes to 7, Christy checked and I was at 9 cm. She told me that I would be ready to push after the next contraction.
That’s when mentality changed. I was in control of this labor? I could choose to push? I could end this pain and move on? As soon as that contraction was over, I started pushing. It only took 5 or 6 pushes and he was out.
Colin was beautiful. He was healthy, crying, and all mine. She places him on my chest within a minute, where he stayed for the next hour. He was there when Jason cut the cord, he fed within 20 minutes with a perfect latch, and I experienced something new: instant bonding. Could it really be possible to love this child so quickly? Bonding didn’t come easily with Clark and PPD was a monster I had wrestled with. Don’t get me wrong, Clark and I are incredibly close now, but it took awhile for my head to understand what my heart knew.
So, at 7:04 am on Wednesday, my 8 lb 4.3 oz, 20.25 inch long preciousness was born. Things have been so different and easy. I was up walking around and getting dressed two hours after Colin was born. I have felt terrific with just ibuprofen and I’ve had a fast recovery. Colin is feeding so well. Who knew breastfeeding could actually be manageable?
We are now a week out and I feel like we have been a family of four forever. It isn’t easy getting things done by any means but it works. Clark is adjusting fairly well, we are sleeping in nice 3-4 hour spurts at night, and MawMaw is here helping fill in the gaps as we learn how to navigate our new lives. I really wouldn’t change a single thing.
What a crazy few months it has been. Yes, it’s been three full months since I have really kept up with my blog and I think that might be the longest hiatus I have ever taken. This post will serve as a quick update to a lot of things, and hopefully a gateway to new posts. After all, I’m getting ready to go on maternity leave (and summer break! squee!) so even if things start back slowly, I will have a lot more time to get things organized and caught up.
We’ll start with the biggest elephant in the room – me! LOL I’m just kidding. Seriously, though, this pregnancy has been a lot different and yet eerily similar to my last pregnancy. In January, I started having contractions in the middle of the night and had to go get shot with Breathine to stop them. That was fun, considering I wasn’t even to the survival threshold yet! Things got better but then at the end of February I started having trouble walking and started having a lot of pain. They still aren’t sure what is causing the pain, but basically standing, walking, and even changing positions when I’m sitting or laying causes me extreme pain near my hips and pelvis. It’s not the baby pushing on things, but it’s not fun. Did I mention that I take four flights of stairs eight times a day with my third graders??? Not fun. I’ve been wearing a belly support band and that helps a tiny bit, but it is still excruciatingly painful to do things as simple as stand up from a sitting position or put on my pants. I’m not joking – sometimes I have my husband hold my pants and I lean on him to put them on because it hurts less than trying to bend over.
You can imagine how clean my house looks (actually, it is not that awful thanks to my amazing husband) and how disorganized my classroom currently is. I have to wheel around the room or hop from chair to chair to try to limit the impact during the school day. Still, I’m not quite ready to let go of my classroom. I want to finish as much of the school year as possible. Last week, things got even more complicated. I’ve been having series of regular contractions a few times a week, and this time they were pretty darn close together and time-able – at school of all places. In addition to the contractions, major pains started stabbing me and my legs even went numb for a few minutes. My blood pressure kept crashing and spiking. I finally left about 15 minutes before the end of the school day and went to the hospital. You know what caused all this fun? My son had turned himself around breech, taking with him a lot of my nerve impulses. Luckily, he finally stopped and settled in feet down for the afternoon, so after 2.5 nonstress tests (because he kept kicking and punching the monitors off), I got to go home.
And of course, I got to experience all that pain and fun again that night as he turned himself back around. Quite enjoyable at 35 weeks, don’t you think???
Now, things are going much better. This week off has been good for the both of us. I’m still in immense pain like before, but I’ve been getting lots and lots of rest, which means that I haven’t been having regular contractions this week at all. I’ve had a few here and there, but no more 13-in-a-row-at-6-minutes-apart contractions lol. By comparison, my water broke with Clark on what would be this upcoming Wednesday, so I’m interested to see what happens with Colin. I thought I really wanted him to come early like I did with Clark, but now I kind of want another two or three weeks with my class to get them close to the end of the year, and a bit more time to prepare for him to arrive. I wonder what’s going to happen?
As for the house, there are lots of updates and there are very few updates. Confused? So are we. We are reorganizing our priorities based on the fact that I haven’t really been able to help the last two months like I was and based on possibly buying the house next year – meaning, do we want to do quick fixes or do we want to wait, save money, and do the major upgrades we’d like if we bought?
Anywho, here’s what has been going on so far. We’ve finished Clark’s room except for a few tiny tweaks and design elements, meaning we KILZed the whole room (ceiling and all) a few times to cover old paint and nicotine (after washing the walls – yes, J did this part – I did not wash nicotine off walls while pregnant!), painted, tore up the old shag carpet, hung new blinds and curtains, and painted the ceiling medallion under the ceiling fan. J tore up the shag carpet in the living room and we’ve rearranged the furniture, added a for-now IKEA cabinet, got a new couch and rug, and have been deciding what we are going to do next. We honestly aren’t sure yet and it isn’t really high priority.
In the master bedroom, we have pretty much only set up our “walk-in closet” area. We haven’t really done anything. In the kitchen, we’re just living with things as-is for now because if we buy, that’s going to be a major upgrade. The bathroom has just had some new caulk, and the basement has been completely reorganized, to the point that we can finally move around and even store some stuff again. The exterior has just been cleaned up a bit with a couple quick fixes for the time being.
And Colin’s room… well, that is enough drama for a couple of posts. We haven’t been great about taking pictures (I know! I’m a terrible blogger!!!) but let’s just say we are finally moving on to the completing-prep stages and getting ready to paint during the next few days. Still so much to do before he gets here (and even after he gets here since some of it he won’t use immediately), but I’m hoping he’ll hang on so I can get some of it done. J has been amazing footing all the work with no complaint on top of pretty much being a single parent since I’m prepping for leave and doing a ton of work for his fast-tracked grad school. I owe him big, big time after all this pain is gone and I can do stuff again.
So, that’s a really-quick-please-don’t-kill-me update that will hopefully be accompanied by lots of posts and such moving forward. After all, I will soon have lots of time to kill as I am trying to feed every hour or two and I can always blog from my iPhone, right? You’d forgive me for less than perfect pictures taken while breastfeeding, eh?
I keep seeing these wonderful student data binders floating all over Pinterest. Each time I think, “I’d love to do that!” So since it is spring break and I’m pretty well laid up in bed until this baby comes, I created a data binder that I can use and I wanted to pass it along for FREE!
Let me say first that it is not complete, but in the most fabulous way. The missing pieces are blank pages for content standard checklists, which means you can customize it to YOUR state’s standards! Here in KY we use Common Core for math and ELA, but our social studies standards are quite a bit different and we are changing to the new NextGen science standards once they are finalized next month (so therefore I have no idea what the final draft will be yet). Everything is customizable since it is a word document (for example, I used the third grade MAP benchmarks but you can change them) or you can print the PDF version and paste in the extras you want. Just follow the directions on the info page to download the cute fonts, too!
Click on the pics to go to the zipped folder in my Dropbox. These are not all of the pages – just a sampling of what’s available (and you can add your own pages, too)!
Hello, my name is Amanda, and I have a problem.
I am extremely picky about couches.
And to make it worse, I actually listen to what my husband wants/needs, making me even pickier.
We’ve decided on dark brown leather.
And a normal back (many leather couches have a low back). But other than that, my husband doesn’t really care if it is fluffy like a man cave/dorm room leather couch, and I want something super high class that goes with the rest of our style. We are going to transition this living room over the next few months, and this couch will be our main couch for at least the next 5 years, so… I’m picky.
I loved this couch from Target:
But Target no longer offers it! Sigh. Jason wasn’t thrilled with ordering a couch and not being able to sit on it first. And honestly, I couldn’t disagree with him.
Being the crazy online shopper I am, I have been scouring websites for a couch that fits my parameters: not too loose on the cushions (I hate when leather looks super squishy), an easily-cleanable leather, clean lines with rolled arms (to match that hint of a traditional style), a good color that doesn’t look too worn, no gaudy details that will be hard to match if my style needs tweaked down the road… But I get discouraged because the local furniture stores (Ashley, Morris, Value City, etc.) either don’t have what I want at all, or refuse to put any prices on their websites.
Puh-lease, Morris Furniture. I am not going to get my heart set on a couch only to find out that it is Pottery Barn priced. We have kids, plural. We want something reasonable.
So I checked out Macy’s. All of their furniture is on sale right now (and to be honest, it seems like it is almost always on sale). AND BONUS, they have a sample of a couch I love at our local store, so hubby and I can sit on it and test it out.
You can click on the image to go check it out, as always. Gotta be a responsible blogger.
So I said I love it? Yeah, well I hate the feet. They are a little too traditional for me, and I don’t think the color really matches the leather. But those are super easily changed. Seriously, you just unscrew them and screw in the new legs.
I like these unfinished legs from Lowe’s. And they are super cheap, meaning you can score all four of them for $36. I’m sure there is a different option through the manufacturer, but it wouldn’t be nearly as cheap. I’d probably paint them an espresso color, or maybe even ORB?
We still have yet to actually try out the sofa, and we haven’t even finished the move yet so it will be a few weeks until we buy it, but I think this may be the one!
I’ve been reflecting on past posts, both top views and favorites, to start off the New Year, but what about where I want to go? After all, reflecting is only useful if it helps inform what you are going to do next (or so all of my teacher training tells me).
Last year was a great blogging year for me, but it could’ve been much better if I had been more consistent and published better content, more often. So with that in mind (and keeping the realities of the upcoming year in check, too), I’ve developed a list of goals for 2013.
- One good post a week, focusing on content and pictures. Obviously, posts will be sparse once Colin is born for a few weeks, but if I start putting up good content, it will drive everything else on the blog.
- 20,000 views. This is over a 50% increase from last year, but it breaks down to about 54 views a day, which really is quite little compared to the “big blogs”. Again, with great content, and the marketing I’ve already done on Pinterest/Facebook, this should be easily achievable!
- Decide if this is the year to jump into business. Do I want to finally take the paid sponsorship/giveaway plunge? I’ve had a tiny bit of interest for some giveaways by people other than myself, but I’ve been hesitant to take that next step because it requires quite a bit of financial background work. Same thing with my invitation business.
- Make this blog an extension of my life. I love love love this blog – it’s my third child, after all – but I often don’t take the time to nurture it or share some of my life events because I don’t feel they would be worthy. Duh, they totally are! The best blogs out there share the mundane (aka: cute and genuine) stuff right along side with the big stuff. I’ve learned a lot from some of the smaller, successful blogs out there (seriously, click the link to DIE over how hilarious and awesome Bon is!) over the last few months and all I can think is how much less stressful life would be if it were more integrated. Consider it done.
Last year, I also added DZP goals, but life has changed so much in the 2.5 years since I made that list, that I know most of them will not be completed. Boo. But hey, it expires in September, so we can start over again! Or maybe I’ll even start over in the next few weeks to symbolize the new year. After all, it has been almost the entire time and we have crossed off quite a few items!
What are your goals for 2013?