At least that's how it feels. I just wanted to share some love with anyone who may still attempt to read. So, here are some photos at ...
Will it be a 9 oz day or just a 7? My life now that I'm back at work feels as if it boils down to ounces. How many ounces will I pump?...
My Life in Ounces
Soon, life will go back to a normal I never really expected for my life. Three kids, a husband, a dog, a home to keep, and a full time job ...
I don't have time for a really long post, probably never will again! It's just on my heart recently to remember how incredibly priv...
Is that a politically incorrect term...to call oneself an invalid (the noun version meaning an infirm or sickly person)? Dictionary.com doe...
Yep, the ladies I'm referring to are my boobs! I am a strong advocate for breastfeeding and I intend to push on through, but I am not an...
The Ladies want to go on Strike!
So, breastfeeding was presented to me as this beautiful, natural, organic experience filled with love hormones, joy, pride, and ease. Um, nope. Breastfeeding is beautiful and natural, but so is labor and birth. It is hard work, requires preparation, knowledge, strength, and dedication. It hurts, it takes away your control of your own body, it can be very difficult to fit in today's society, everyone has their own opinions about it, few are actually supportive, and you feel often like there is a big banner over your head announcing that your milk just let down, your breastpad is about to leak through your shirt, your boobs hurt, your nipple is cracked, the lanolin has left grease stains on your nursing tank, this stupid nursing cover is making me and the baby all sweaty, I'd rather just show the world my boob but my poor husband would likely be rather embarrassed, this baby won't stop eating, you feel like a human pacifier, and you would really with a lot of guilt and shame like to shove a bottle in your baby's mouth so you could sleep!
Too much honesty?? Sorry! Other days I feel like the best mother alive and that I'm providing my baby with the best start in life, my milk is actually changing not only the amount I produce but the actual calories, fat, and makeup of the entire substance to meet Charlie's nutritional needs. My milk is perfect in every way for her little body. She gets so much comfort when she latches on and can instantly relax her whole self and settle in for what seems like the most peaceful and enjoyable activity on the planet. I never have to go sterilize a bottle or mix up formula. Charlie's breath is sweet and her spit up doesn't smell at all, unlike that rotten potato smell of formula. Her poop is easy to clean, easy to pass, and hardly has a smell. She is content and there is always a supply on hand. I am reducing my chances for breast cancer while improving my baby's immune system, brain function, digestive functioning, and possibly increasing her sensitivity and intelligence. I am speeding my own recovery from childbirth and releasing powerful hormones that help me and Charlie bond with one another. Nursing is burning calories, allowing me to take in extra nourishment for myself while also speeding my metabolism and helping me lose the baby weight. I am a lovely picture of motherhood. God created me perfectly to nourish my child and grants me the strength and energy to do so daily.
Talk about some cognitive dissonance, folks! My advice to anyone who cares for it, try and focus on that second paragraph as often as you can but don't feel bad when the first one rears its ugly head. I just wish that women were nicer to each other, congratulated each other daily on even the small accomplishments we make, and found it impossible to judge each other for the choices we make or ways that we live that are different from our own. C'mon ladies, let's pat ourselves on the back and then go pat a friend on the back too!
Where was I.... Oh yes, the fog! I was hanging in there and I remember folks coming to check on me, but I was very focused on my noises a...
Charlie's Birth Story - Part 2
Let me start by saying that I am so grateful to everyone that has been supportive as our family has planned for this homebirth with sweet...
Charlie's Birth Story- Part 1
Fried Green tomatoes and a totally retro corningware pitcher I found at a garage sale...full of sweet tea. :) Mom made a fried feast for u...
Fun with Nanny
We are enjoying our visit with Nanny, but really wishing that Charlie would come on out and join the party! Freddie told me yesterday, "Momma, I want baby Charlie to come out today!" "Me too," I said. He then proceeded to put his mouth next to my belly and said, "Charlie, come out and see us today." She didn't listen to her big brother at all!
All myths busted 1) Spicy Food- no workie 2) Red Raspberry Leaf Tea- no workie (but did give me terrible indigestion) 3) Sex- no workie 4) ...
Myth Busters- Preggo Style
Today is the last day of work before my maternity leave! It's been hard to focus, but mostly because I've been crazy productive and...
Last Day of Work
Hmmm, my tune may be changing just a little this week so I need to do a gratefulness recap. 1) I have had four days with no swollen ankles...
1) I have had four days with no swollen ankles, feet, or hands. That is a huge blessing.
2) I am getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night, comfortable or not!
3) I have time to knit in the evenings and watch tv with Jason.
4) We got to attend our last childbirth class last night where we watched a video on The Happiest Baby on the Block techniques. It was awesome.
5) Jason will be finished with school tomorrow.
6) My mom will be here on Friday night.
7) The whole family was sick over the weekend and is pretty much all better now (thank goodness no baby when everyone was puking!)
8) I have gotten to work this week which is money we really needed.
9) I got to wear one more new maternity shirt this week!
10) I was able to finish reading the Husband Coached Childbirth book by Dr. Bradley.
Okay, I feel slightly better. I was starting to think about how heavy my belly is, how my ligaments ache when I move, how my skin is starting to break out again, how everyone keeps asking me if I'm miserable and I'm starting to believe the hype, how worried I am that she's going to be huge (considering that she was an estimated 6.5 lbs 3 weeks ago), and how freakin' hot it is outside! So, if I can just replace these yucky thoughts with my grateful ones, then I know I'll make it as long as I'm required. I just had this feeling that she would come last weekend. Addie came 8 days early...that was yesterday people! :) Oh well, no two pregnancies are alike. I have a midwife appointment today and I'm not even going to ask her to check me. I just don't need that type of disappointment! Good news, only two more days of work before I'm outta here until August, woo hoo! I need the rest!
I posted a pic on facebook this morning of my round and jolly self at 38 weeks. I am thoroughly enjoying these last few weeks of pregnancy. ...
My skin is playing nice, my hair is thick and I can go days without washing it, I love wearing maternity clothes, Charlie moves all around and reminds me of her presence constantly, I am anxiously excited about labor/birth, the kids love to touch my belly, put their hands on it and tell me Charlie is kicking them. They gave me a full checkup with their doctor kit, stethoscope and all the other day. I enjoy visiting with my midwives, childbirth class is a lot of fun, I'm not waddling too badly, my back is doing fine thanks to the awesome chiropractor, pelvic rocks feel silly but I don't care, reading all of these books with anticipation is incredibly fun, and I just generally enjoy this whole process of pregnancy! I've told Jason to just greet people at church for me with, "She has two more weeks left, there's only one baby in there, and she's not miserable." :)
Keep an ear out for news of baby's arrival!
Cowboys and Cowgirls! Freddie's party was a big hit, and here are some pics to prove it! Addie didn't want to sit next to us,...
Yup, Freddie graduated Pre-K! They had the sweetest program at his school. All the classes sang and Addie joined in. Here she is with one...
We had our 36 week ultrasound yesterday and the results are in. Charlie weighs anywhere between 5.5-7.5lbs. :) That tells me about as muc...
Margin of Error
The camera is here! I only got to play for a minute tonight, but I was glad for that. The view from above!! Addie shows on her new fwim...
I had two comments on my last post and now they are gone...strange! Tomorrow is the big home visit with the midwives. I'm probably mak...
Where'd they go?
Andrea shared with me one of my emails of horror when my dear friend, Lydia, was planning her homebirth several years ago. I was so amazed by that decision. Anyway, I thought I'd give some more details for anyone out there that may be following this blog for the steps/processes of using a midwife and planning a homebirth. At 36 weeks there is a home visit where the two midwives and the apprentice come to your home for a visit to learn where you live, get a lay of the land, and talk to you more about the birth process. I have lots of questions...I think. I mainly want to know about the water birth situation and how we do the pool, how do you fill it with warm water, where should I put the thing, what if I get tired of the pool? Then I head off to my final ultrasound on Thursday! So excited and hopeful for a good prediction on the size.
Yesterday our home birth supply kit came in! It's in this big box and it's filled with mysterious and amazing things. There are 25 p...
"Um, self...do you realize that there's a box of birth supplies on the kitchen table?"
"Well, there are also 6 bottles of hydrogen peroxide, a big plastic bowl for you to puke in, lawn bags, and a gallon freezer bag for your placenta."
I can't believe it, Mother's Days have been very special events for the last few years. The first Mother's Day of my "moth...
Mother's Day 2011
I just finished reading this book called The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. It's a memoir about this girl growing up with extremely ecc...
The best way to get out of that funk was to count through the good choices I've made and the ways that I'm able to provide my sweet babies with stability, structure, love, and pajamas. Yes, pajamas. Not that they are necessary or anything, but I know that I never really had a set of pajamas. Maybe when I was a baby I had some sleepers or something, but in my whole life I only remember having oversized thrift store shirts and old gym shorts that I slept in. My dad had a pair of pajamas that I think we got him for Father's Day once. My mom had some awesome satin type ones that she found on sale somewhere. They didn't wear them super often though. My brother and sister never seemed to have pajamas either. It was just "night night shirts" or some type of underwear/undershirt combo. I remember getting some things that more resembled pajamas in college, but I'm still pretty pajamaless. My kids though....they have an entire drawer in their dresser dedicated to pajamas. They have long sleeved pjs, shorts & tops sets, footed pjs, princesses, dinosaurs, racecars, apples, birdies, and even a matching set with fish on them. They love their pajamas, and nothing makes me happier than when they get to stay in them all day long! I love how the pants ride up and create saggy knees while the bands are tight around the calf. I love how every single pair of pajamas seems to create an insane diaper wedgie on Addie, and how their bellies poke out right under their shirts. I love how Addie sometimes refuses to take off her princess pajama top and I've taken her to school, the doctor, and out to eat in that top with a pair of jeans! I love how Freddie will create his own combos and pair an alligator top with dinosaur bottoms for the ultimate carnivore pj experience. He has this one pair of Calvin Klein PJs I found at a yard sale with little buttons on the front of the pants and they are wayyyy to small now but he won't stop wearing them. The top is an 80s midrift and the bottoms are like skin tight capri pants. I giggle every time he puts them on and make some lame Saved By The Bell reference that he will never get. I just love pajamas for my babies. It's strange how things so simple seem to make life more normal than I ever knew before. When I was a kid, the word "pajamas" was like saying "automobile" instead of just "car." It was fancy. When we say pj's, my kids think of bedtime stories, hugs and kisses, tucking into bed, night night songs, and "I'm not sweepy!"
What are some things you do to create a better world for your kids or even for yourself?
Today is April 15th. I am due June 15th, wha huh??? Things are in full spring swing around the Allen house. This weekend there's socc...
2 Months Away
Things are in full spring swing around the Allen house. This weekend there's soccer, birthday party, a friend get together, Palm Sunday service, the church picnic and Easter egg hunt, and a bake sale. Next week there's an egg hunt at school, multiple services at church, Friday off work, woot, then a weekend of Easter gatherings and remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus. I really enjoy Easter with my family. It's a time to create new traditions with my kids and find ways to share God's love with them in a way their little minds can comprehend. I never really had that growing up, so this is completely new territory for me. As I told them the story of Easter the other night, they both got so sad and asked me, "Jesus died? Why he died?" Their sadness was so overwhelming and sincere that I understood so much more fully what faith like a child really means. It's a strange thing as a parent because I want to protect them from the more painful realities of the world, but I can't really teach them how amazing God's love is without them first coming to the realization of how very grim things would be without it. Just something to think about.
Other things going on, Jason and I are taking a just the two of us trip to Dallas the last weekend of April and it's going to be wonderful. I have never spent the night away from both the kids. Not that I can remember anyway, nope, don't think I have. I'll worry while I'm away, but I know Jason and I need this time. We've been savoring alone time together a lot more lately and we are both sharing in some anxiety as we realize that three kids is a lot more than two! As we wrangled them around Wal-Mart tonight, Jason motioned towards the two of them and then to my belly and lovingly said, "We're crazy!" He's probably right! The last time we were alone together was Tuesday night for our childbirth class. On the way home we laughed about how terrible music is these days and then tried to identify those truly horrible songs that we loved as teenagers. All those dance mix songs came to mind, "Be My Lover" by La Bouche, "Sex and Candy," and lots of others. It was fun. Childbirth class is fun too, and so confirming. The folks there look pretty normal and it feels like this isn't actually some fringe of society type of thing to do. I like that and I like that Jason gets to meet other supportive husbands that seem moderately normal to him (he thinks everyone is weird...so do I really).
In baby news though, I've gained only 15 lbs and I'm doing well with my diet. Charlie is head down and definitely a girl. We had a confirmation ultrasound over spring break. She punches me all the time and moves a lot at night. My SI joint is doing better after a few weeks with a chiropractor. I have a final ultrasound scheduled for May 19th where as long as the baby is not measuring too big, I will be officially cleared for home birth. I'll have my home visit the next week where the midwives will come out and we'll talk about plans for the birth and really get going on all this. I have to order all of my supplies too. It's really just kind of on auto right now, it's gonna happen! Sweet friends are planning a shower for me in May, then there's Mother's day, then we'll have Freddie's bday party somewhere at the end of May, then MY MOM is coming on June 10th, then Charlie will be here, and the whole crazy thing will be just beginning again!
I need more patience with my children, specifically my weirdo son. Gracious knows that I love my babies with all of my heart. It is just get...
Wanted: More Patience!
This is actually a pretty productive conversation, but they usually aren't so and they happen at least 25-30 times a day. He talks so fast that he doesn't even pronounce Mama, it's just, "Maa!" This is combined with a lot of whining recently and bursting into tears when he puts his shoes on backwards. He has also taken to making airplane noises, shooting pretend guns, talking to himself, T-Rex walking through public places including tucking his elbows into his sides and stomping, rolling his head around while laughing and talking to himself, constantly sniffling and refusing to blow his nose until he's forced to by my nagging and a big droop of snot about to run into his lips. Disgusting, I know! This is typical kiddo behavior, but my patience is so short sometimes that I worry he may get a complex. I nag too much over stupid things. I know that pregnancy, a 2 year old in potty training, and the extreme pain my back are all combining factors in this though. Still, pray if you can for me to have more patience with him and to enjoy his silliness rather than let it be a bother to me. It breaks my heart when I look back on a day and see that I've burdened him more than I've praised him. Sweet crazy kid, how I wish we could all be more like you!
He is constantly talking and it is usually just saying, "Maaa!?"
"Uhhhh.....(blank stare) I like you!"
"I like you too, Freddie."
"Um.....do you....Ma do you, do you, Um....Ma do you know what movie I like?"
"That movie Toy Story 3, that's a good movie."
"I know how about we could do before bed."
"Ummm...we could, Maa we could um watch that movie...we could watch Toy Story 3!"
I feel much better thanks to more pillows at night and a few visits to a really kind chiropractor. I'm not very excited about the $40 a...
I have been busy with some crafting lately. I set out to make quilts for Addie and Freddie's beds. Toddler bedding is really a pain. ...
Anyway, I didn't really save money because my supplies cost me about $40 and there is no coordinating top sheet, but I found very cute fabric and gained experience in quilt making! It has been really fun and I was able to customize the size to actually cover the bed instead of go up to the bottom of the pillow and stop and barely lip over the edge of the bed. ANNOYING! The promises come in with me "promising" to post pictures when I'm done! We put the kids' room together today and they are both sleeping peacefully in their new co-ed room. We have worked so hard today and this weekend has more work in store with cleaning and organizing and maybe some nesting for Charlie girl. Freddie's sweet little quilt and matching pillowcase is in the washer now. I'm so excited! Not that I attached the binding correctly, cut it accurately, joined the ends right, or at all "mitered" the corners in any recognizable way, but I'm just remembering how many times a week it will be washed due to my sweet boy's pee pee palooza he has nightly. This is a functional thing! ;) Stay tuned!
I has it! I've been googling, a dangerous pastime, I know. Google has led me to the diagnosis of pelvic arthropathy. "A woman ...
I've been googling, a dangerous pastime, I know. Google has led me to the diagnosis of pelvic arthropathy.
"A woman with pelvic arthropathy will feel pain mostly around her pubic area spreading out to the groin and the front and back of the thighs.
Some kinds of movement, such as lying on her back and trying to turn onto her side, worsens the pain. When she walks, her steps will get shorter until she is almost waddling. Walking up and down stairs is especially difficult.
Some degree of pelvic joint pain affects most women in the later stages of pregnancy but the discomfort for a small group of women is often underestimated. For these women, pelvic arthropathy might develop early in pregnancy and last well after delivery."
That's me, my pelvic bones ache. Not my hips like with Addie, not even my SI joint as badly as with Addie. Every night though, my pelvic bones/groin aches and hurts especially when I lay down for bed. During the day at work I've had multiple people mention the discomfort on my face when I walk. I'll ask my midwives about this, but for now google wins! At least I have something to call it that sounds really terrible so I can talk about how my pelvic arthropathy is acting up! Would more walking help? More water? Massage? I just don't know, but for now I'm just in pain.
I am not nearly as mature as I thought. Also, lots of people 20-35 years older than me are also not very mature. I'm discovering that ...
Here's my announcement to the world that refuses to take the blinders off. JESUS is the only reason I have anything. My LOVING GOD is the only reason I am alive. OBEDIENCE to CHRIST is the only way I've found to make anything go "right" in my life. It is not because I'm "likeable," "peppy," rich, blonde, funny, a suckup, fake, cute, lucky, or even a particularly good person that anything good has ever happened to me. On the other side of that coin, it is only because of the evil living on this earth, the spirit of meanness and pain, the devil that lives here even in the hearts of men that any of the horrible things in this life have happened to me. It wasn't because I was bad, I was "unlikeable," I was unlucky, ugly, fat, or brunette. I have to remember that when mean people make my life unbearable or when it seems that the ugly hearted get nowhere in life, that God could turn their lives around just as easily in a moment. More bad things will happen in this life and I will not blame myself or "the universe" nor will I give credit to myself or the universe when blessings come. So, thank you Jesus for helping me to daily remove bitterness from my heart and anger from my soul that I may live in your light rather than darkness. Help me bring that light with me into the dark places where I find so much cruelty and selfishness so that I shall not be dragged into it!
I'm having a very hard time right now letting go of my kids in their own rooms. There are dozens of pros to moving Addie and Freddie in...
Freddie's room is bigger = more room for toys, playtime, two toddler beds
New room to decorate for both of them
Charlie's own space to sleep/not sleep for probably the first year of her life
A new nursery to nest in for new baby
Their room can be more grown up and have big kid toys separated from baby toys
Addie might do better in her big girl toddler bed with big brother there with her
Consolidation = more space to grow as a family into our home!
Emotional turmoil for Mom
Bedtime could be a terror with both of them talking/getting out of bed, etc.
Mornings could be a terror with Freddie waking up considerably earlier than Addie most days
The work!!! So much to move, rearrange, not enough closet space for both of them, etc.
The loss of individual space for them for timeouts, naps, etc.
Fear of supervision issues at night/nap time/boo boos, he hit me, get out of my bed, that's mine, etc.
Any advice for this overthinking mom? You can see that my blog has become more active free therapy for me lately, huh??
As I get further along in this pregnancy, more questions are coming to mind. Do you wanna help with some? Okay, great, thanks. :) 1) Whe...
Thoughts & Things
1) Where should I set up the birthing pool?
- I would like it to be in a room where I can close the door and just relax alone or with just Jason and me but still allow other people a common room to sit and visit. Thoughts?
2) What if I freak out?
3) Can I do this without my mom or Jason's mom? (she's not planning to attend so that she can watch the kiddos)
4) How can I explain to people that the kind of help I need when the baby comes is not the kind where they take the other kids away?
- I know that sounds odd, but I just have this fear that folks will want to help out by taking Addie and Freddie for outings, sleepovers, extended stays, etc. and this summer will be my only time with all three of them before Freddie starts kindergarten and I go back to work. Any suggestions or thoughts/experiences in this area?
5) What if Jason and I aren't "telepathic" as Ina May and her hippies say?
- I don't really think that's a good word for it but the question remains. What if he doesn't know what I need, he can't apply pressure in just the right spot on my back, he gets overwhelmed and then angry with me for being a brat? The man can't even tolerate it if he scratches my back and I redirect him to the correct itchy part and I have no idea if it's because he's a punk or if I am. Thoughts again?
I have lots more, but I figure those will be answered by my midwife as things get closer and I have my home visit. What do you say about these though??
Yep, we had one. Friday night I got to just hang out and chat with my sweet Rachel. Baby Charlie must have really enjoyed our conversation...
This morning I taught Sunday school and took both kids despite our 11 o'clock lunch date with Nana and Pappa Bob. The kids actually hate to miss church and get a little tiffed if we sleep in and they miss seeing some of their favorite people. Addie loves the ladies who teach in the nursery and Freddie loves the children's director. We skipped big church which was a compromise to go eat pizza with the grandparents, it was accepted! ;) We all got gifts from Nana & Poppa Bob. I got pens, Jason got cigars, and the kids got tons o'candy!! Once again, the kids were grateful and sweet. Even though they get gifts and surprises almost every time they see Poppa Bob, they are still excited and thankful. I told the kids that they have lucky grandparents! Anyway, we got another great nap, I finally went to the grocery store, and I even got some work done that I was behind on from last week. Now I'm watching one of those outrageous medical shows on TLC. It's late, but I'm not eager to start the week. Well, I'm eager for another weekend though! Spring seems to be springing and I couldn't be happier.
I almost finished devouring Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. I can't believe I didn't read it when I was pregnant with Add...
Ina May G.
Have I told you all that we are seriously considering Charlotte Olivia for baby girl's name? We'd likely call her Charlie. We really like it, and there have been virtually no other names Jason and I have both agreed on. There's always a chance though that the goods were seriously hiding in that first ultrasound and it's actually a boy! ;)
Okay, back to Ina May. She is amazing. Her writing is simple and you can tell she is kind of a nerd about her work (which makes me love her even more, everyone should geek out about things they love). She has educated herself from so many fields and time periods and her resources in this book are astounding. I've never heard anyone speak/write so plainly yet have such rich analysis, story telling ability, presence, and gobs of documented information/statistics to share. I'd love to meet her, and I'd probably have something like celebrity shock if I did! The funniest thing is that although she is a midwife, her nurturing side seems much more matter-of-fact than it does our Southern style of "honey-child" "sugar dumplin' " and such. She just knows women can do this and therefore she nurtures that ability. I want to go to The Farm in TN where she lives on her hippie commune and practices, but the odds of meeting her or that she'd be available seem pretty slim! I know lots of people have been on the Ina May bandwagon way longer than me, so sorry to just be catching on! The feminist in me is just so empowered by her, the things she teaches and believes in, and the women who came before her whom she respects so much. I would recommend reading her books pregnant or not. I'm on to her first book, Spiritual Midwifery, when I finish this one!
I took pictures last month during the big snow and here are a few for your viewing pleasure. I can't believe how grown up she looks, ...
Baby girl is fine, heartbeat is strong. It's possible she shifted around and is making it harder for me to feel her. At the ultrasound...
Update: All is well
Thanks for the thoughts!
I am downing a Barq's root beer and I've had two fun size candybars in the past 10 minutes. No I have not gone stark raving mad fro...
Homemade Sugar Test
I was inspired by Candice to do a recipe post for snowcream. I usually make it with Pet milk (evaporated milk), sugar, and vanilla. I c...