Monday, May 31, 2010

Polka Dots

Country Living had a great article on polka dots in their June magazine, and I couldn't help but think about how much how I LOVE the look of dots. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite dot items with you all.

This dress in the below navy and green pattern

Galvanized Tub on Etsy

Please share your favorite dot items with me!!  Especially if they revolve around baby boys :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Why, yes, I am crazy....

Who thinks that traveling 3 hours away with a 2 week old, a stroller, golf clubs, and a 100 lb dog is a good idea?  Oh, you do too?  Great, want to come help me pack?

B and I are taking Spencer and Junie up north to my mom's for the weekend.  We're leaving Sat a.m. and heading back on Monday.  We've been debating the trip all week- it seems like a lot after the c-section and with a tiny, tiny baby, but it's one of the bestie's baby shower and the other bestie's little sister's wedding, so how could we not go?  B has made me promise to take naps in between events when Spencer is napping, and we definitely won't be going out on the town as per our normal.  I really don't care if all we do is walk, have meals, and visit with a few friends, I just want to be up there!!  It's going to be a gorgeous weekend as well- in the high 70s, low 80s.  Usually it's only in the 50s or 60s this early in the season, so the fact that I can wear summer clothes will make me a happy camper (well, those that fit anyway- oh, and can be functional for breastfeeding- that's like 2 things in my closet!).

In other news, B and I took Spencer and Junie for their first walk with the stroller last night.  We went for an hour, and it was great.  While I could feel it slightly near the incision site, it really felt good to stretch my legs and use my body for something other than feeding my little man.  I also weeded in the garden for 1.5 hours when B and Spence were napping in the afternoon, which also really made me feel awake, alive, and somewhat normal again.  Yea!!  I can feel my body waking up again :)

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  I hope it is wonderful and full of sunshine!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our little slice of heaven gets mentioned by the "Big One".

On May 2nd, Ann Pachett (author of Bel Canto and others) wrote an article for the NYT on Petoskey and Julie Norcross.  As you all know, the Petoskey/Bay View area is my summer home and holds onto my heart almost as much as B and Spencer do.  And, Julie, wonderful, wonderful Julie, was my boss for many years as I worked at her amazing bookstore each summer in the evenings and on the weekends.  She is one of the nicest, kindest, smartest, and most loving people I have ever met, and her love for the area just radiates whenever you talk with her. 

I would encourage you all to read this lovely article and then start planning a trip to experience my favorite part of the world :)

New York Times article on Petoskey and McLean and Eakin

Make sure to check out the pictures on the top of the article.  You'll see a few Bay View Cottages as well as the front of the bookstore.  Ahhhh, heaven!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A birth story..............

On Friday, May 14th I went to the midwife's office for another apt, non-stress test, and fluid level ultrasound. I was dilated to about a 2 (no change from earlier in the week), Spencer (or Pud as he was still known then) still hadn't dropped, and all the testing was fine. Since I was going to be a week overdue on Sat, the midwife wanted to induce over the weekend. She said the risk of fetal concern was significantly larger between week 41-42 and often not worth the risk of waiting. Well, neither of us were going to argue that logic and so we scheduled the induction for Sat night at 8 p.m., thinking we would meet our little one on Sunday, May 16th. much for planning :)

Friday night B and I went out for dinner as our 2nd "last date night" before the baby (we also did this the weekend before). We headed out for Italian food and settled in on the screened in porch for a great dinner. As we were deciding on dessert, all of a sudden I felt a gush. Like, a huge, just wet my pants, gush. I said to B, I think my water just broke. He looked at me like I was crazy!! We grabbed the waitress, told her we were ready for the check, and then I asked very quietly if she could bring a few towels from the kitchen as my water had just broken. She went to grab them, the manager came (and comped our check!!), and they hustled us out of the restaurant as quickly as they could. They were really sweet about it, but I'm sure they were thinking "Let's get this crazy pregnant woman out of here so that she doesn't deliver in our restaurant!!" On our way home to grab our things, we called the midwife who said to get home, take a shower, and start couting contractions. Then I was to call her again at 10 to let her know what was going on.

From 8-midnight, I wasn't really progressing. Occasional contractions, but nothing consistent and was still leaking lots of fluid. So, we were told to head to the hospital as they would be inducing me that night. We checked in, I got an IV, we were hooked up to monitors, yadda yadda, and we were allowed to sleep for a few hours. I got a total of 1 hour of sleep in 36 hours, so that 1 hour became more and more precious to me as time went on. They started the pit at about 5 a.m. and I did start having more regular contractions. We walked in the hallways, used the birthing ball, and got in the tub (awesome) until the midwife got there at about 9 a.m. When she did an internal exam, I had the most excrutiating pain ever. WAY worse than contractions. Since Spencer hadn't dropped (ever), my cervix was pulled up extremely high and she had a really hard time finding it and couldn't feel his head at all. I seriously lost it and was hysterically crying on the table. It was awful (and embarrassing). That's when they decided to start the epidural. I hadn't wanted one, but in light of the fact that they would be checking my cervix every 30 min - 1 hour and they wanted to jack up the Pitocin from 5 to 20 over the next few hours, I agreed. The anesthesia was a blessing as the next internal was barely registered by me.

They turned up the Pitocin at that time and after the anesthesia kicked in, both baby Spence and I started having some troubles. My blood pressure dropped to 80s/40s (quite low and stayed this low even after 5 liters of fluid - it shouldn't have) and his heart rate dropped to the 80s (babies should be between 120-130 in utero). Also, even with the Pitocin going and the increased contractions, he wasn't dropping at all and was angled slightly towards my hip bones rather than towards the birth canal. It was at that time that my midwife called in the OB as a consult for a potential c-section. He came in (lovely, lovely man) and explained what was going on, why everyone was concerned, and what my options were. They all basically said that I could labor for approx 4 more hours and see if he would come out naturally and then perhaps have an emergency c-section if necessary, or I could have the c-section right then. Well this extremely hormonal, tired, and scared lady just lost it and started in with one of those crying jags where you feel like a five year old who didn't get the treat he wanted at the store. I felt terrible losing it like that and knew I should get myself under control, but I just couldn't! So I cried it out, talked to both B and my mom, and then made the decision that getting a c-section was the most logical and safe choice for all involved. I would've kept going if it were just me (I really, really wanted a normal delivery), but with the baby's heart rate so low and the risk that that presented, I knew I would never be able to live with myself if something happened to him b/c of what I wanted vs what was safe at that time.

Very quickly after I made the decision, I was rolled into the small OR on the labor floor and the surgery commenced. All in all it went quite quickly and smoothly. B stayed up at my head the whole time- he was NOT interested in seeing my insides (ugggg….glad he didn’t). He did look over the drape once the baby was out to announce to me that it was a boy! I just cried and cried at that point. The nurses took Spencer right away to do all of their assessments (unlike in a natural birth where the mommy gets to hold the baby before anyone else) which was hard. I really just wanted to see him and make sure he was healthy. But they were able to assess him, do his Apgars (8 and 9!!), and make sure he had no heart rate problems outside the womb. B was able to trim the cord at that time too. I was a little surprised to hear that he was 9 lbs 2 oz as that was much bigger than he seemed when he was inside. I can’t believe that he actually fit in me now that I’m holding him- that’s a lot of baby!

I was very disappointed in the fact that I had to have a c-section for numerous reasons. All of which I still feel regret for; although in my heart of hearts, I know it was the right decision. In the grand scheme of things, it’s okay now b/c he is here and healthy. Funny though that the number one reason I chose to go with a midwife group was the significantly lessened chance of a c-section!

Overall, I am healing up pretty well. Yesterday was my first day without having to nap and I survived. I’m weaning myself from my pain medications, and the incision site looks pretty good. I have on a “regular” outfit today (a skirt a size larger than I normally wear, but hey, at least it’s not maternity!), though I am not sure I could get into jeans or real pants any time soon. It’s soooooo weird to now have a flabby belly where just 10 days ago a rock hard (albeit huge) belly stood. I know, I know……………all the weight will come off over time. I’m not even worried about the weight at this point to be honest. It’s just an observation about how our bodies work. B is mightily impressed by, shall I say, the upper portion of my body now that my milk is in. Holy Toledo, Batman, it’s definitely different!

Updates on Spence and new pictures to come soon. Being a mommy takes a lot of time, especially now that my mom is not here cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, gardening, etc. She was the most amazing source of help I could have ever hoped for. I would highly recommend a week long stay post-partum by a parent if you get along with them. We could not have done it without her!!

Trying really, really hard to keep up on everyone’s lives out there. Commenting is tough, but know I am thinking about you all!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A few pictures of our darling little boy

Hi All,

More details surrounding Spencer's birth to come, but I thought you all might like to see a few pictures from our first two days home.  We can't help but be proud parents and want to show him off a bit.

My first car ride!  I cried at the beginning when I got into my car seat, but I was quite once the car was moving.

Meeting Junebug.  So far she doesn't seem too interested in me!

My first sponge bath at home.  My daddy had to get a few directions from my mommy, but he did a great job washing all my hair!  I didn't like being wet and cold at all.  But I loved getting my hair combed afterwards and then snuggling with daddy.

My faux-hawk. 

My eyes are a really dark navy blue and my mommy loves it when they are open.  I do a great job sucking my thumb- I can find it all by myself.  This is my fabulous Lilly outfit that I came home in (and promptly wet through the whole thing - even the blanket). 

Scrumptious, huh?  I so wish you all could just hop right over and meet him.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

B here..........................

Hey Ladies,
B here.  It's a big day in the UNP world.  As you all can guess, since this isn't a B's Peeves - NHL Playoffs Edition, there's little other reason I would be writing except that my wife is a little tired after the arrival of


We wanted to announce to the world that Pud arrived today (not in a package and bow, but awesome none the less), and................................

He's a perfectly precious baby BOY!!!!!!!!

Mr. Spencer Young T.
9lbs 2 oz and 22.5 inches long
Born today at high noon (exactly 12:00pm)

Mom and baby are resting comfortably after a long week of overdue pregnancy.  I am ecstatically exhausted.
Lots more information to come once AEOT, Spencer, and I are home and settled in.  Until then, here are a few photos to tide you over...

Daddy immediately falls in love.

Puddin' Spencer gets his first shampoo!

Mama couldn't be happier!!!

Check out that mane!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No news isn't always good news..........just the same news over and over again.

Just wanted to let the faithful followers know that we had an apt yesterday and both Puddin and I are healthy and doing well.  They did some testing and all were pretty perfect.  Amy, my favorite midwife, doesn't have a problem with me working full-time until I go into labor, so I'm still at work this week.  I felt a little tired at the end of the day today, but no different than I did last week!!

We have another apt on Friday to do another Non-stress test and fluid check.  They will induce no later than next Tuesday (10 days overdue); however, they will induce whenever we want if we would like to do it earlier than Tuesday.  Right now we're still hoping that it'll happen naturally sometime this week.  If it doesn't, we'll discuss our options again on Friday.  My darn lazy uterus better get it's butt in gear soon though or it's going to get a serious awakening by big time drugs that I've heard are not fun. 

It's so weird- I never thought I'd be in this position, late, uncertain, still not having contractions, and potentially getting to pick a due date for Pud.  I'm praying every day for something- but the Big Man above knows more than I do, so we'll be patient and wait (and wait and wait). 

Come out, come out, come out Pud!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Popular baby names (cause seriously, I have nothing else to blog about anymore!)

One of the besties sent me this list.  Our names aren't on there- either of them!  I was actually slightly surprised that our boy's name is that uncommon to be honest.  There are a few names on both lists that are really, really cute that we never even considered.  Too late now though :)

Just thought some of you would get a kick out of this.  Mrs. Preppy- Baby A is on here.  So is Evelyn- still one of my faves.  Enjoy!  Happy Monday!

Oh, BTW, here's another list for you Preppy baby names  (just thought I'd throw this one in.......hint, hint!)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fifth Third Riverbank Run

Hey Ladies, B here.  You know, Puddin's baby daddy.

Apparently AET told everyone I'd send out an update after this weekend's run, so here goes.  Since Puddin' seems remarkably comfortable in his/her personal hot tub of amniotic fluid and perfectly content to continue doing the in-belly backstroke and climbing on mama's ribs, I figured I'd go ahead and run the Fifth Third Riverbank Run here in The Rap (that's the local slang for Grand Rapids, all the cool kids are doing it).  I think AET has mentioned that I've been on a personal mission to run 1,000 miles in 2010, and I'm about a month ahead of the pace so far.  I didn't really train specifically for this race, but I was told this was the best race in town of the year, so I signed up for this:

Which has a course that looks like this:

And an elevation chart that looks like this:

Final result--- NAILED IT!!!

I've never run a half marathon or longer at a pace better than about 9:55/mile.  My time yesterday looked like this:

If you can't read the image above (I'm totally new to SnagIt), my final time was 2:19:41 for a 25k (approx 15.5 miles).  I have no idea why the powers that be in the GR running sene decided to do a 25k instead of a half marathon every year, but I look at it like a "half marthon plus a little extra."

That time equates to a pace of 8:59.  I've officially taken a full minute off my per mile pace from any other half marathon I've done (4 before this, plus last year's Chicago Marathon).

Felt great all day.  The weather was cold and crappy, which is perfect for setting a personal record on a race course.  I knew I wanted to take advantage of the downhill grade at the beginning of the course, but never really had to pull up and slow down, which made for just about perfect execution of the race.  My cousin was only 1:40 behind me, which was also a great finish for her.  I'm really proud of how hard she has worked over the last few months to get ready for this. 

A friend took a few photos afterwards, so if I can get them emailed to me or pull them off of FB in the next few days, I'll try to post them too.  If it that doesn't happen pretty soon, I have a feeling I will be posting about something else and something much more exciting the next time we chat.

So thanks to all you runner girls out there who have been encouraging through your comments, etc.  They help.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

This post is exactly what I need to read this a.m.  A wonderful blogger, a new baby (Wynn), and an incredibly strong belief in our Lord.  Thanks, Erin, for helping me renew my strength this morning and for lettting me know that waiting, listening, and patience are noble ventures and worth of my time. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Today's midwife apt

Well, it wasn't anything like I was hoping.  They checked me for the first time today (this office waits until 39 weeks unless you've been contracting), and I was not dilated at all, and Pud's head is still not engaged.  Plus I'm still having no "real" contractions.  Soooooo.....good news is that B's race won't be interrupted by the birth of the baby (only yucky b/c it's going to be 44 degrees and raining- boo!).  Bad news is that there is little chance of us having a baby this weekend :( 

We have another apt on Monday with a non-stress test, an ultrasound to check for fluid levels, and a full apt.  We have to start talking about induction at that point, apparently.  She asked me if I wanted to talk about it today, but I just couldn't.  I would like to see how Monday goes before I make any decisions about that. 

Also, the midwife said today that she does NOT want me going back to work.   At all.  As of today at 5 p.m.  Ummmmmmm......yea, that didn't fly so well.  I do not want to spend my days at home waiting for Pud.  I want to spend them WITH Pud.  We're going to discuss this again during the apt on Monday- maybe I'll go in for half days or have a lightened load or something.  I just don't want to take up my very limited precious maternity leave without a baby, you know?  And especially since I'm not on bedrest or having any problems- seriously, ladies, I'm as healthy as a horse (love these genes!)!  She seems to think that if I rest, relax, stay calm (all three slightly hard for this go go go lady) then my body will know that I am ready and tell the baby to come.  I'm just slightly stressed about this, but, as I told B today (who is completely agreeing with the midwife, btw), we'll see what happens Monday, open up all the options and go from there.  I did promise I would really, really rest this weekend, and I plan to stick to that.

I've been so blessed with such a good pregnancy that it's hard to know that a possible induction and/or c-section could be in my future.  Not really in my original plan, huh?  But, God knew I was terrified of a pre-term baby and he's just answering a big prayer, I suppose.  I'll get through this, I just know I will.  Probably with a breakdown or two this weekend, but hopefully with a super healthy, chunky, happy baby in the end (even if that is not by natural methods). 

And, really, isn't that all one can hope for??? 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother for Mother's Day???

I am so hoping that I will be a mother by Mother's Day.  I am really ready to hold such a tiny piece of love and such a big piece of B and I in my arms, to nurse it for its nourishment, and to instill hopes, dreams, and goals into it.  I just don't know how much longer I can wait- it's getting harder and harder by the minute. 

All the work is done, our bags our packed, and our minds are focused on tools to use during labor to help us get through it as strongly as possible.  Now I just need my body to get to it!!! 

I've had a few contractions today (like, very few) and I've definitely "dropped".  However there's been no loss of mucous plug, bloody show, or any other "telltale" signs of impending labor.  We do have our midwife apt tomorrow at 11:45, so I'll have more news about Pud's status after that.  Plus we will find out at that time what happens after you are officially "overdue". 

B is signed up for a 25K (15.5 miles) Saturday morning here in GR.  So, part of me says, "Stay in there Pud until Daddy runs his race."  It's a pretty big deal and his running has just been amazing this year (unemployment makes for LOTS of running time).  The other part of me is just saying "Get out and let me breathe again and love on you!!"  Plus, being born on Mother's Day would be cool, PLUS May 10 is my brother, cousin and good friend's birthday, so all that would be fun.  However, being born at the end of next week would not be fun OR cool b/c this lady does not really want to go to work next week.  Honest to God, my feet are just tired. 

Please, please, please Pud, come out and meet your mommy and daddy.  We are dying to know you!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cute bed linens

I received the LL Bean Home catalog in the mail today, and I had to post some of their adorable summer bed linens.  They're just too cute not to share!

There is also a navy set that is more masculine

There are seahorse sheets that are girly as well

Okay, not a bed linen, but 100% perfect for our family room and the toys that will come with having a new little one around!  I'm going to order at least one of these, if not a few.  They come in two different shades of madras plus solid navy and red AND they can be monogrammed!

Cute stuff, huh?  Me likey too!!  Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Empowering moments

QBS did a post this week on her 9 most empowering moments so far.  I don't know if I have 9, but I thought I'd share a few with you and see if you all can come up with some from your own lives and do posts on them.  This is a great way to celebrate accomplishments we all have made in our lives and to contemplate decisions that have gotten us where we are. 

So here are mine in no particular order
1.  Graduating with my master's degree:  I was never uncertain about going to college or getting an undergraduate degree.  It was my (naive) opinion that "everyone" goes to college (and graduates).  I never really thought about a graduate degree while I was in undergrad- honestly, I was just ready to be done with school for awhile.  After being a nurser for a few years, I knew I wanted more and was ready to be back in school learning, studying, and challenging myself.  I did NOT know what I was in for.  After 3 years of 60 hour weeks before homework, it all came to an end last May, and I am LOVING my new career and my new found knowledge.  I would do it again in a heartbeat even knowing how hard and stressful it would be.  Definitely worth it.  Now the only question is "Is a doctoral degree really worth it?  Do I want to publish?"  Not yet, but perhaps!

2.  Planning my wedding:  Okay, I'm not sure this was life changing in any way, but I worked my butt off planning my wedding while in school and working full time.  Those things made it more stressful than it should have been, but I adored my wedding day and, looking back, wouldn't have changed a thing.  My mom really wasn't a typical mother of the bride- she didn't really want to make decisions and/or help do much (she loved it all, she's just not an event planner at ALL), so the whole thing was really left up to B and I.  I really did love that day, but I'm so glad that the planning is over- it's a lot of work and pressure to be "different" and show your personal style and all those things that get serious hype on all the wedding blogs you read.  Thank God for seersucker.  It pretty much ruled my life for 12 months but made keeping a theme so easy!

3.  Paying off my student loan:  My mom always said she would pay for 4 years of college.  Well, this chicklet went for 5 thanks to not being a nursing major my first year and that the program is a strict 4 year deal (with no summer classes or chances to make things up).  So, I took out a loan to pay for my 5th year and paid it all off within two years.  It felt amazing to be able to budget rent, food, going out in Chicago, shopping, etc while still paying WAY over on my loan.  I knew then that I had a good financial base and would always be able to budget well and make ends meet.

4.  Buying our first house:  Enough said.  I'm truly a grown-up now!!!!  And I love that we waited to buy something we truly loved instead of buying something earlier that was less expensive but "okay".  Hopefully, this is our "one and done" and we'll throw Puddin's graduation parties here. 

5.  Dropping a friend:  Okay, so this might sound mean, but hear me out.  I love my friends with very strong hearts and I would do anything for them.  However, there just gets to be a point when you are no longer friends with someone and it doesn't work anymore.  This wasn't just drifting apart or a huge blow-out that left us not repairing a fight.  This was me deciding that I didn't really like her or her adult decisions and just ending it.  Not even friends on facebook.  Why continue something that doesn't work?  And why hold on to a friendship b/c of shared history?  I don't respect her decisions, I don't get positive vibes from her, and it just wasn't worth it anymore.  While it's weird b/c we're still both good friends with our group, and I'm sure we'll see each other in the future, I know I made the right decision. 

6.  Well, this hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure that giving birth will be one of the most empowering things I ever do.  Pushing a newborn's head and shoulders out of my birth canal (the politest way I could put this) is still a scary thought, but I know that I have the ability to get it done, and hopefully it will be safe, successful, and sans drugs (this is still up in the air).  Girlies, I haven't worked out for 10 months with this belly on my tummy just for kicks!!!  It's all in preparation of the big day and helping Pud and I to be the strongest team out there.  B keeps saying that his mantra is going to be "Pink or Blue".  I'm definitely a believer that not knowing what we're having will help keep me going so that I can finally just KNOW!! 

Okay, so I've got 6.  I'd love to read yours, so think about it and blog this week as who knows what will happen next week for me :)  Enjoy your Sunday!!