Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September Birchbox Review

I love this month's box.  They let me choose it this month.  I had an option to take this box, or to be surprised and get a different combination, but I ADORE the silver Cynthia Rowley eyeliner and my mascara is running on low.  I usually love surprises, but this box looked perfect for me and I actually forgot what I had chosen by the time I opened it!

Cynthia Rowley eyeliner in silver- I love it so much- it's so creamy and stays put for hours. 
Laura Mercier Mascara- I haven't tried this yet.
dr Brandt pores no more vacuum cleaner- haven't tried this yet, but it sounds good.
Naobay lotion- I've gotten this in other month's boxes and am happy for the spare.
Macadamia Cleansing Conditioner- it's to be used in wet hair instead of shampoo and conditioner- sounds interesting, I've never tried something like this before.

Yay!!  I always love Birchbox!

September Citrus Lane Review

Here is what we got in this month's Citrus Lane!

V is 7 months old, but I went back one month on her birth date when we signed up this month.

We got a gorgeous Tea Collection bodysuit + a coupon for $25 off a $50 purchase at Tea Collection.
Fleet Stacking Boats from Boon - I actually just gave these as a baby gift and had wanted to get some for my girls, so that's great!
Radish Dish Soap sample from Mrs Meyers and a baby food pouch from Happy Family.

Super happy with this month!!  I also got a coupon for a free box, so I'll be able to get a box next month, too!  We love Citrus Lane!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I guess it's paying off

I guess it's paying off.  The hours I've spent reading, thinking about and discussing Motherhood and what kind of mama I want to be.

I just swept up my late grandmother's antique crystal butter dish.  I knew it was risky to use it with littles in the house, but every reminder of her kind heart helps me along in my day.  She was steadfast in her faith and she loved being with us. Plus, I'm tired of storing things.  If something is special, I want to use it and emjoy it instead of tucking things away to get dusty and forgotten.

The girls were eating lunch while I was pumping so the baby can eat while I'm at work tonight.  I just needed a few minutes of quiet. My 2 year old is in a whiny phase where she's not really sure what she wants, but making the whole house know that she is needy is top priority.  Daddy is at work all day so he wasn't here to help with lunch like he usually is.  I heard a crash and my first thought was a mug.  I was hoping it wasn't my favorite color of Fiestaware.  I hadn't even thought of the butter dish.

I made it down the hallway to the kitchen and saw my almost-5-year-old with a scared look on her face.  As soon as our eyes met she started wailing.  I saw the pieces scattered around the floor. She was so scared that I would be angry.  I've told her at least 458 times to not climb up and try to get things from the cupboard.  Instead of hollering like I wanted to, I got on the floor and held her while we cried together.  It's just stuff.  I'm not angry, just sad.  A dish and a heart could have been broken today, but I held my tongue and showed grace even when it was hard to do. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A birth story

Violet Caroline's Birth Story - My second home water birth ~ My third girl

This got loooong.  I can't help it.  It was one of the best days of my life and I don't want to forget anything.

Wednesday was a long, hard day.  I was extra tired.  I had cancelled plans with a friend, and totally ditched out on calling my parents- they had wanted to visit the girls.  It's been a long winter and I'd never been so pregnant before, since both girls were born during the 38th week I hadn't expected to go to 40 weeks, let alone 3 days past.  It's funny how different every pregnancy is, even though it's your same body doing the work.  I had just spent 6 weeks terribly sick with a virus or something, and I was finally feeling better and wanted my baby here!!

I had 2 bouts of good, strong, every-3-minute contractions in the week before, but each time they fizzled out at the perfect time to avoid chaos.  One night they stopped when our 2 year old woke up and couldn't stop coughing, and the other time was when my husband had to take a Friday evening to fix a sewer issue and we had nasty water in the basement and 4 loads of yucky laundry to do.  It was disappointing to have them fizzle both times, but in my heart I knew those would have been really bad times to have a baby.  I called my midwife the morning after the first spurt to tell her something was brewing, and she said it was my body getting things positioned right and moving baby lower.

We went Wednesday evening to visit a friend who just had a baby girl.  Her due date was a week after mine and her baby was born a week before mine.  We brought them supper and I joked that holding the baby would give me good baby having vibes.   We went to the mall and walked around after that and I was pretty tired.  It took a lot of work to keep moving, but I really needed to get some cupcakes after thinking about them all day and I knew walking could only help me at this point.

We went home, got the girls to bed, I ate a lot of mini cupcakes, and we went to bed at about midnight, suspecting nothing.

At 4 AM I woke up to a pop and a gush.  My water broke while I was sleeping!  I hobbled to the bathroom to assess the situation and attempt to clean myself up.  I grabbed a towel and came back to our room to tell Bryan what happened.  I may have thrown a tiny fit about it happening this way.  My water broke with my first baby and we went straight to the hospital where they only gave me a few hours for contractions to start, then started me on Pitocin, so I was a little scared of how things would progress.   We just started praying for contractions to come and I read in a few of my books about broken waters, and most of them said labor would start within 24 hours.  I worried about how I'd get through the next day with leaking amniotic fluid. How will I parent like this, How will I cut hair like THIS at work tonight?!

I rested on the couch for awhile and thought about what was to come.  Bryan and I talked about whether or not he should plan on going to work in a few hours, we talked about what needed to happen with the house to get ready- the birth pool needed to be pulled into the living room and filled, and there were toys everywhere.  Life with littles.  <3 p="">
I ended up back in bed shortly after to try to sleep, but by 5:20 I was having contractions every 2-4 minutes.  Some were stronger than others.  I decided to let our midwife, Paulette sleep until 6- then I would call her.  Bryan was not on board with this, he wanted me to call her right away because she lives pretty far away.  I wanted to make sure this was *it* and let her get a little more rest.  At 6:10, I gave her a call and told her my water had broken and contractions were coming every 2 minutes but weren't super painful yet.

She said she wouldn't be able to make it in time because the roads were awful and that I should call her apprentice, Miranda who lives 20ish minutes away. We hung up, I pouted for about 5 minutes, then got a hold of myself.   I had said I wanted this to happen.  I had been telling Bryan for a few months that I would love to have our midwife, but if it means a shorter labor, I would be 110% comfortable with her apprentice who I've grown to be really good friends with.  I just wanted to get it done!

Paulette called me back just a bit later and told me to call Miranda right away, because Miranda would have to go in to work soon and it would be easier for her the sooner we called.  She also said she was planning to come to our town that day anyways, so she would be on her way as soon as the snow plows came through.  She said she'd be praying for me, that she'd be in touch, and that she would come see us as soon as she gets to town.

I called Miranda right away and asked her if she'd like to come catch a baby.  :)  I also told her we were thinking about having her bring her little sister to help out with the girls.  I told her to not come right away because I wasn't sure how far we were in this process and that I'd call her back when we were ready for her to come and to let her know for sure about her sister. I really liked laboring all alone with Bryan during my last labor, so I was holding off on bringing help in too soon.

We went downstairs and talked about it a little more and tried to decide what to do.  I took a quick shower and polished two of my toenails that had chipped polish.  Bryan was like "REALLY?!"   Haha!  We were also trying to decide if we should ask Miranda to bring her sister to help out with our girls.   We REALLY wanted them here for the birth, but we were unsure how a 2 and 4 year old would handle it.  I also was thinking if we had to transfer for some reason, bringing the girls would not be good or convenient and I needed someone here for them..  We had several people offer to come be with them, or take them places, but we knew we needed to wait until we were in these moments to make our choice.

About 20 minutes later, things had picked up considerably and I called her back to ask her to start on her way over and to bring her sister with for the girls.  Somewhere here, our 2 year old woke up.  I gave her kisses and daddy took her back to her bed and got her settled back in.  I was mostly staying in bed now, resting.  The contractions were getting very strong.  I got up and took a few short, hot showers and went to the bathroom a few times.  I tried sitting on the couch for awhile, too.  Laying in bed is what felt the best, so I stayed there most of the time, just breathing and "floating" through the rushes.  I was trying really hard to try to gauge where I was at by comparing it to Hazel's labor, but this time was so much more intense.  I was afraid to make myself think I was further than I actually was and run out of power, but I figured I was getting pretty close.  I was starting to get nauseated around this time and I was also very hungry, but afraid to eat because of the nausea.  I knew what the nausea meant- Transition!!  I was having a hard time believing I could be THAT close to having our baby!

I'm not sure what time Miranda came, but it must have been shortly after 8.  It was perfect timing.  I was in a lot of pain and was still in bed, under a huge soft blanket.  I had just told Bryan a few minutes before that I needed her here soon, I was starting to get a little bit scared- I remember that feeling with Hazel, too.  I was hot, then cold, then hot over and over and Miranda  came and stood next to my bed and was rubbing my leg telling me I was doing a great job and that the hot/cold cycles meant I was getting closer.  I was starting to make noise during the contractions- they were really intense. 

Meanwhile, Bryan cleaned the living room, did a ton of other random little jobs, and pulled the birthing tub to the living room and was filling it and probably praying that we'd have enough hot water!

Olivia woke up and came out of her room and I was the first thing she saw.  I told her to not be scared, that mommy was in labor and she would have another baby sister soon.  She said something like "I wondered if this was happening!"  I got a quick kiss from her and she went downstairs with our helper.   Seeing her excitement gave me an extra boost of bravery.

I wasn't in bed much longer before I told Miranda I needed to be doing something different, and asked if the pool was ready for me.  Bryan had it ready to go in just a few more minutes, so I hobbled out to the living room and got in.  Best. Feeling. Ever.  The warm water brought so much comfort and relief.  Hazel woke up shortly after, got a kiss from mama, and went downstairs to play.  

Not long after I got in the pool I was starting to push involuntarily.  It HURT and I couldn't believe it was happening so soon.  I was kind of trying to hold them back because my head couldn't wrap around the fact that I could be this far already.  Miranda told me to let my body push and she went to the kitchen to get the tools.  She came back and I asked her if she could see anything yet and she said she couldn't.  She got out a pair of gloves, and laid everything out and I was thinking "THIS IS IT!!!"  I noticed tons of white flakes floating in the water and we figured out it was bits of vernix that were coming out with my contractions.  It was pretty cool!

Soon, my noises changed and things were happening.  Bryan said I started making Xena : Warrior Princess noises.  HAHA! Miranda told me that baby was right there and to go ahead and start putting some power into the pushing urges.  I pushed with the next few urges and Miranda just keep encouraging me.  I remember saying "it's on fiiiiiiiiiiiire!!"   Miranda had me stop for a second because the cord was over her shoulders.  She freed it, and Violet was born into the water just a few pushes later at 9:38AM.  I reached down and pulled my beautiful baby to my chest and we started rubbing her back and talking to her-  she pinked up pretty fast.  I was still in shock at how fast the whole labor and birth had gone.   She was so beautiful and she was here, in my arms, after all these months.

When I delivered Hazel, I had trouble in the pushing stage because I couldn't quite get my bearings in the pool.  I didn't know what to hold onto or how to position myself.  This time it just worked so much better for me- It was almost EASY and this baby was a few ounces bigger.  I'm not sure if it's because I was more prepared, if baby was in a better position, or if it's because we forgot to use the pool liner and I had more traction.  The pushing stage this time felt quicker to me, too.  I felt like a rock star!

Bryan ran downstairs to get the girls right away.  It was so much fun to see them react to their new baby sister.  Olivia said "Thank you God for our new baby!"  Paulette called around this time and Miranda got to tell her the news!

We put a few towels over baby to help her stay warm on my chest while I regained my strength to deliver the placenta.  I took off the bra I had been wearing so we could have skin to skin and we tried nursing right away, but Violet wasn't interested yet.  We snuggled for a long time, but it was getting cold.  Once I was strong enough to get up we double checked that the cord had stopped pulsing, then Daddy cut it, and took Violet so I could go to the bathroom and deliver the placenta.

Miranda and I checked that my bleeding was normal, got me cleaned up, dressed, and in bed with Violet where she nursed immediately. I had a hard time getting my other girls to latch, so this was a huge deal to me to nurse right after her birth. I was SO hungry- I ate several bananas and a handful of string cheeses and we talked about how stinking FAST that was!   We weighed her and were shocked when the scale said 8 pounds, 11 ounces!  She didn't look that big to us!  Paulette made it to town a few hours later and came right to our house to check on baby and I-she confirmed everything was great!

The birth was absolutely incredible.  It was fast and hard and just what I needed.  It was perfect for Violet and I.  I'm honored to be the 2nd birth that Miranda has attended on her own.  Bryan and I love homebirth.  It's so nice to be tucked into your own bed afterwards and have all your own things right there.  I loved having our big girls home with us the whole time- knowing they were asleep in the house/playing happily in the basement was so comforting to me- to know they'd get to see her right when she was freshly born. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Subscription Boxes : Citrus Lane and bluum - get them for 50% OFF!

I'm excited to share a new box that I discovered ~ bluum!!  I was able to get my first box for 50% off- so it was just over $12.  You can get it 50% off with this link!
I got it for our newest baby,  she is just over 5 weeks.  (birth story coming soon!) We got a Boppy bumblebee rattle, a super soft white onesie, a book with tips for stay at home moms, a Luna bar, and my favorite item- Hello Baby flashcards.  It's a ring of pictures to show baby.  We have been having a blast showing our newest addition the pictures and watching her react!  Awesome box for $12!  The retail value on this box is listed at $47 - Can't go wrong!

This month I got Citrus Lane, too.  They sent me a 50% off code and I couldn't resist. (you can use this link to get 50% off your first box!!)  I've gotten Citrus Lane 5 times and I always love it. The code brought my box to just $14.  |

I put in my almost 5 year old daughter's birthdate because her birthday is coming up and I wanted to start stashing some fun things for gifts.  I got a memory game, a fun little book with stickers to make your own story, a super neat car, and my favorite item- a little manicure set with files, a brush and some non toxic polish.  She is gonna LOVE it!  Also, not pictured, but for $2.75 I was able to use some credits and get her a little insulated lunch bag for taking snacks to the zoo all summer!

I also got Birchbox this month, but forgot to take pictures.  It wasn't a very fun month.  LOL

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What I Got : October ~ Citrus Lane and Birchbox

First up, Citrus Lane!!  I was really happy with this month's box!  Gripe Water was on my shopping list this week, so I was excited to get it in our box!

The girls love the Odd Duck from Boon because he's funny and I like him because he's sealed up so he can't get icky inside!  We actually just threw away a ton of bath toys because we were sick of them getting grimy.

The other two toys are really sweet and will be great for Baby #3.  We have a lot of baby toys, but nothing quite like these.  They both rattle and will be great to teethe on.  This is exactly what I wanted from this subscription - a few gender neutral things for the new baby.  So sweet!

 They have also been emailing me every month with special offers that I can add on to my box.  Last month's was Aden and Anias products with an awesome discount.  I passed on it because we don't know baby's gender...but otherwise it would have been a great add-on!

Use my Citrus Lane link and we both get $10 off our next box!!

Birchbox!  I got an awesome moisture mask that was fun to use in my Friday night bath.  A chapstick, 12 Benefits which is a great detangling spray/leave in conditioner, some sunblock and a pretty pink lip gloss!  It's always fun to get Birchbox, and for only $10 a month it's not a bad deal! 

What I especially love about Birchbox is you get to leave reviews for every product you get in your boxes and you get 10 points each.  100 points = $10 to spend in their shop, so I get a lot of free stuff as time goes on.   You also get points for referring friends, purchasing in the shop, and there are special ways to get bonuses during promotions, too!