Bye Bye, Hair!

I cut my hair a few years ago and fully intended to send it to Locks of Love—I even put it in an envelope and addressed it!  But, sadly, it never made it to the post office because the envelope mysteriously vanished.  My hair was long enough again to donate this summer, so right before my maternity leave ended, my wonderful stylist chopped it all off!

In the end, I decided against Locks of Love and chose the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Program, but both are worthy causes.


One of my “30 before 30” goals was to complete a triathlon, and I thought it would be a great incentive to get back in shape after Hudson was born.  So even before he was born, I knew that I would be doing one at Moss Park on October 3.  When I told Andrew my goal, he said that he would join me, which was great!  We could train together and stay together during the race, and just push each other to do our best.

I started exercising regularly again when Hudson was about 3 months old, which gave me about 8 weeks to train for the tri.  I never was able to complete all three (or even two) of the events back to back in my training, but I knew that if Andrew was with me, he would keep me accountable during the race and I would finish.  We had no time goals.  We just wanted to cross the finish line (and not be last).  And we did it!  We were 28 out of 35 and finished in just under two hours, but we did it!!

So in case you missed my Instagram posts, here are my pictures from the day.

God Gave Us Sleep

God Gave Us Sleep is a sweet book by Lisa Tawn Bergren, author of God Gave Us You, and several others.  The story opens with Mama Bear calling in Little Cub from playtime to begin her evening routine, and addresses why we need to sleep, bad dreams, and a busy mind, as well as how we feel when we don’t get enough sleep.

I don’t think that this book alone will solve a parent’s bedtime troubles, but it does serve as a good jumping off point to talk about issues that present themselves at bedtime, and is just a cute story in and of itself.  God Gave Us Sleep is available at

I received this book for free as part of the Blogging for Books program through WaterBrook Multnomah.  All opinions are 100% mine.

And Baby Makes Four: A Birth Story

Our precious, lively boy arrived over four months ago and I am just now putting “pen to paper” to relive the day.  My memory has clouded a bit with the details/timing, but I think you’ll get the idea of what happened. ;)

The morning of April 28, a Tuesday, began uneventfully.  We got up, had breakfast, and Andrew left for a dentist appointment before going to work while Jane and I got ready for swimming lessons.  I had just sat down at the computer to check something when I saw an e-mail from Jane’s swim instructor cancelling lessons because of inclement weather.  Shucks!  We were really looking forward to our Mommy and Me lesson!  Well, 15 minutes later I was still at the computer when I felt a little leak.  Oh, boy!  Maybe my water broke! Run to the restroom and am confused.  There’s not much fluid, but I really don’t think I had an accident. 8:45 AM

So I called the midwife telling her what happened.  No contractions yet, and maybe my water broke?  She said that it was probably my water, to take it easy and she would check on me later.

About the same time, I texted Andrew to call me as soon as he was finished with the dentist.  That appointment felt like it took forever!!  When he finally called back, he asked if he was going to be staying home today.  And I said yes!  So he came home and we just tried to enjoy our very last day as a family of four.

My contractions started about the time Andrew came home (an hour after my water broke), but they were very irregular.  We decided to go on a walk at 1145 which helped to strengthen the contractions (and put Jane to sleep).  By the time we finished the walk, my contractions were between 2 and 6 minutes apart lasting 30-45 seconds.  I don’t remember how long we walked, but it wasn’t a really long or intense walk, but we did return hungry, so Andrew went to get lunch at Chipotle.  1:00 PM

Just look at that belly.

Just look at that belly.

20150428_114004 20150428_114021

We had decided while we were walking that Andrew’s parents should plan to come get Jane around 3, hoping that my contractions would be more intense and that Hudson would be well on his way by then.  Well, 3:00 came and though the contractions were stronger, I was still feeling pretty good and it was so hard to say goodbye to Jane.  We tried to take one last picture as a family of 3, but they all turned out really blurry and out of focus.  I held it together to say goodbye to Jane since I didn’t want her to get upset, but once she rode away, I did shed a few tears.

Callie had been checking in on me all day, but by 4:30, I was getting frustrated.  The contractions were every 4-15 minutes, lasting 20-30 seconds.  If I stayed up and active they were closer together, but by this point I was starting to get tired.  Callie told me to rest and that she would give me a massage when she got to the house.  So Andrew and I passed the time by reading, playing cards, and watching The Office.

Callie got to the house around 8 and gave me a nice massage, then I ate dinner that Andrew had picked up (Panera & Publix), and drank a glass of red wine.  By this time, it was 10:30, so Andrew and I headed to bed to try to rest and Callie laid down on the couch.  My contractions had finally started to intensify, thanks to being able to relax, so it was pretty difficult to sleep, but I did manage to doze off for about 30 minutes.  Andrew took a good nap, but every time he moved it really annoyed me, and it seemed that he only moved when I was contracting.  11:45 PM

I had had enough by this time so I woke Andrew up and had him get Callie.  She checked me and said I was 8 cm.  She called her backup midwife, and we texted the birth photographer to come over.  Midnight.

There is a mix up between my chiropractor and Andrew now.  Her first name is the same as the photographer and Andrew asks her to come instead.  When we realize the mistake, I immediately text her back apologizing.  This really stinks because she had already left her house, so she had to turn around.  I’m sorry, Dr. Spaulding!!!

Get in the tub.  12:50 AM

I got out of the tub at one point to use the bathroom, but while I was up I had the urge to push, so I actually started pushing on the toilet, but then got back in the water.  I was determined to have a water baby this time.

At some point I yell at Hudson to just get out!!

I originally wanted to catch him, but then told Callie I couldn’t.  I needed all of my strength and focus to push.  So she asked Andrew if he’d like to catch.  He didn’t really know, if he wanted to, but she helped him catch our son.

April 29 at 3:33 AM

He is here.


“I’m sorry I yelled at you, Hudson.”

e-93I stayed in the water for a little bit before handing Hudson to Andrew so that I could get out.  When I stood up, I could barely walk.  Callie later told me that my hips had prolapsed.  I eventually made it to the bed and started to nurse Hudson while waiting for the placenta.  Callie kept encouraging me to push when I got the urge, but I was sick of pushing.  So then she had to threaten me with going to the hospital for a retained placenta.  I pushed.  It was delivered.  No hospital.

e-104Between the stitches (small tear), newborn exam, and shower, Andrew and I didn’t get to bed until about 8, right after my mom came over to drop off a meal before work.  So we were completely exhausted, but completely in love with our precious boy and so very thankful for a healthy and safe delivery and such a wonderful midwife and birth team.




Photo credits: Erin Miller Photography

In This House We Will Giggle

The title of this book caught my eye immediately.  I want my kids to remember their formative years as fun, while at the same time instilling in them our core values, and that is exactly what In This House We Will Giggle discusses.

Courtney DeFeo (a member of my church, I came to discover!) lays out twelve virtues, one for every month, and outlines fun ways to incorporate that value into daily life.  The idea is that we can model these virtues and behaviors for our children and teach them in a way that isn’t legalistic or performance driven; it’s about molding their hearts.  And although Jane is a little young for many of the activities, we can still start with the memory verses and some of the exercises now, and it is never to early to lead by example.  You can check out the book for yourself on Amazon.

I received this book as part of the Blogging for Books Program through WaterBrook Multnomah.  All opinions are 100% mine.

The End of Our Whole30

Well, I’m sorry to say that we lasted a whopping 15 days on our Whole30.  That last morning Jane was spending the day with her cousins and grandparents, Andrew was at work, and Hudson and I needed to run some errands, and when I woke up, I thought “I’m going to Panera today”.  So I did.  It was yummy.

I was hoping that having been off of sugar for two weeks would have released the hold that sugar has on me, but it didn’t.  That being said, it was really good to know that I can give up sugar.

Although we were not successful in our endeavor, I would like to try it again next year.  And we have incorporated several of the recipes into our regular meal rotation.  For instance, we love sweet potato fries and cauliflower rice, as well as zoodles and meat sauce.  Next time we do this, I need to have meals planned out more than a week ahead, because it started to get too exhausting to meal plan every week.

My Whole30… So Far

I was introduced to the idea of Whole30 by a coworker who was trying to pinpoint allergens, and then it kept popping up on my radar for the next few months.  When I heard that it could help me kick my sugar addiction (which kicked into high gear during my pregnancy with Hudson) and improve Andrew’s joint pain, I was ready to sign up!

So on July 1, Andrew, my mom and his mom all started our Whole30 journey.  I have done more cooking and dishes in the last 10 days than I care for, and meal planning isn’t exactly the most fun thing in the world, but I have absolutely seen some positives.  I actually know what we’re going to eat every night instead of walking up to the refrigerator at 4:30pm and wondering how on earth I’m going to feed my family.  We’re not wasting food.  We’re eating a variety of fruits and vegetables (I’ve eaten broccoli twice in 10 days… a food I previously hated!).  We’re not wasting money picking up take out.  We’re exposing Jane (and ourselves) to lots of new foods and broadening our palate.  And I’ve lost weight!  So far the jury is still out on Andrew’s joints, but we’re not even halfway through, and some of the gluten and other potential toxins are still working their way out of our systems.

None of us every experienced horrible withdrawal symptoms, but I was pretty hypoglycemic in the mornings of days 2-6ish.  And on day 4, both Jane and I threw up.  I was also weak feeling for several days.  Now, though, we all feel pretty normal.

This nutritional reset has been about the most difficult test of willpower of my life.  If it weren’t for the fact that this was my idea and I’m dragging three other people along with me, I would have quit on the first day.  And when I lost 6 pounds in 5 days and felt super weak, I would have quit then, too.  But now I am so proud of myself for making it this far!  I have looked a delectable slice of chocolate cake in the face and said “I don’t need you”, and I have ignored the handful of chocolate chips that are waiting for me in my freezer door.  One stop closer to beating my sugar addiction!  That being said, we have allowed ourselves to consume a few “off plan” things.  First, neither of us think alcohol has anything to do with our ailments, so we’re okay having an occasional hard cider/beer.  Second, we had company over one night and I wanted to make sure everyone left with a full belly, so we had quinoa.  Finally, you’re not supposed to indulge in sweets at all, but one night we mashed up a few bananas and mixed in some cocoa powder.  All in all, though, I think we have done really well, and though we may not be following the outlined plan to the letter, we are well on the way to meeting our goals.

As far as specific recipes, we have had mostly eggs and bacon for breakfasts, leftovers or Boar’s Head turkey for lunch, and a variety of dinners:

As you can see, we’re getting quite a variety!  And although it’s hard work, it’s fun sampling new foods as a family.

Month {One}

P1130575Oh, precious Hudson, how are you already one month old?  You are such a bundle of sweetness and I cannot get my fill!  You are really laid back (except for when you have gas or a burp or are cold), and you sleep so much that I often wonder if this is normal.  You have a tongue and posterior lip tie that causes you to gag and choke while nursing, which in turn leads to some really terrible gas pain.  I feel so badly for you and look forward to our appointment to have the ties revised; I’m really hopeful that it will make a difference in your overall comfort.  You also really enjoy your pacifier, which caught me off guard and I actually had to ask Nana to run to the store to buy some extras for you.

Your big sister loves you so much and gets really upset when someone other than me is holding you.  She is mostly okay with Daddy holding you, but she will often still point at you and then say “Mommy baby”.  I guess all of our talk about the baby inside of Mommy’s tummy has helped her develop a strong belief that you belong only to me.  She loves to talk to you and frequently tells you to wake up; she also loves playing on the activity mat with you.  I hope that you two will develop a close friendship at an early age and be good friends your whole lives.

You are such a treasure, Son, and I love you so much!

P1130258Height: 22 inches (~75%)

Weight: 10 pounds, 12 ounces (~90%-ile)

Diaper size: 1

Clothing size: 0-3 months, no more newborn clothes!

Shoe size: 1, though you have yet to wear a pair

Sleep: You usually wake in the morning around 7:30, eat, and then nap again around 9.  From that point, you sleep for a few hours, wake up to nurse, and then go right back to sleep until early evening when you will have another 90ish minute alert period.  Bedtime is anywhere between 7:30 and 11, depending on the day.  After going down for the night, you wake up between 1 and 1:30 AM, 3-4 AM and then it’s restless sleep until waking for the day.  I put you in the Rock & Play when I go to bed, but then you sleep with us after you wake up the first time.  Although Jane loved her Summer Swaddle Sacks, you are not a fan, preferring instead to be swaddled in muslin blankets.

Milestones: You rolled over for the first time when you were 12 days old, and now you do it almost every time I place you on your tummy.  You started smiling in your sleep a while ago, but right before you turned a month, you gave me a big alert grin when I took you out of the tub.

Challenges: For me, figuring out how to be a mom of two and give each child adequate attention has been challenging.  I feel so badly that you aren’t held as much as Jane was, but you don’t really seem to mind.  You like to be held when you are awake, but you are just fine in the RNP when you are sleeping.

P1130490Post partum: Holy stretch marks!  Holy flabby abs!  I’m beginning to wonder if my hips will ever shrink (and I sure hope they do, otherwise I am going to have to replace half of my wardrobe), and I can’t wait to get the all clear to exercise.  I decided that I’m going to sign up for a sprint triathlon to motivate me to get back into shape and I’ve started doing some really gentle yoga just to get me into the habit of moving around.  I feel like my emotions are much less labile this time around, though getting out of the house with two kids is still something that will stress me to the max.  All in all, though, I’m really enjoying Hudson’s newborn period and I am so thankful for my lovely little family.

Three Weeks In

We are just over three weeks into being a family of four, and I am happy to report that I am not as overwhelmed as I was at this point after Jane was born.  I think this is partially because Hudson is not my first baby and I seriously lowered my expectations of myself this time around.  I have also been much more willing to accept help.  This is not to say that I’m not emotional or overwhelmed, I’m just less so.

I’m terrified to go out with both kids by myself, so I haven’t done that yet, but the day is quickly approaching when I will have to.  And the thing that I struggle with most is how to love my firstborn well.  Her world has been rocked and she has done a phenomenal job of transitioning, but neither she nor I are perfect.  Though my arms are almost never empty, they rarely get to hold her.  And I miss her.  And yet, at the same time, I am impatient with her.  We’re starting to see some behavior issues, and figuring out how to deal with them has been another challenge.  I want to avoid spanking and find a gentle way to chastise her for unacceptable behavior… but an almost two-year-old doesn’t understand time out, nor is a gentle talk explaining my expectations very effective.

Today has been a difficult day.  Andrew has food poisoning and has been down for the count, so I was pretty much on my own until my parents came over this afternoon to drop off a few things.  They ended up taking Jane to the park and helping me prepare dinner, which was incredibly helpful.  But then Hudson had a witching hour until 8 pm and then it was bedtime for Jane as soon as I got him settled.

Normally I rock Jane for a few minutes before putting her in bed, but tonight I just missed her so much and I knew that she needed more of me, so I just held her.  And even when I put her in bed, I laid down with her (which must be a funny picture… her + me in a toddler bed).  As I was holding her I began to cry because I was so overwhelmed by how much I love her and hoping that she doesn’t feel replaced or forgotten.  But then my silent sobs woke her up and concerned her, so I had to stop before she started to cry.

All in all, I think that we are adjusting well.  Every day we get a little bit closer to figuring out normal; and every day I am so thankful for the indescribable blessings of my husband and children.