Friday, October 21, 2011

Baby's 1st Autumn

Our little one has learned to sit up by herself by discovering the autumn leaves!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A New Home

Our little family recently moved out of town into the country. We now live in a cute little double-wide. We knew we were lucky to have such a big house for our first home, and didn't have any problems filling it up with our junk. Now we've had to figure what to get rid of, and how to fit the rest into our new house!
We have a gorgeous view from our front porch.
And it's even possible to see the beautiful sunsets now!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Now that's a Bargain!

One of the gifts we received in honor of Princess Zana's birth was a $50 gift card to Babies R Us. After some thought I decided it would be best to use it to buy some more winter clothes for her as that is what we lack the most of. There is no store front near where we live, soI kept checking their website, but everytime I went on they still had the "New for Spring" tab up. Even in July. Weird huh? Plus, I just couldn't find anything in the clearance section that was the right size.

So when I was getting ready to visit my parents for 3 weeks this last month, my mom suggested I bring the card and we could go to the Babies R Us within driving distance to their house. This was perfect as now I also didn't have to worry about using some of the card for shipping too.

At first I looked through their new for winter clothes and found some that I liked. But I didn't like the price tag. A cute set of warm looking pants and hoodie jacket for $22.99. Ouch! That would be half the card right there. So we started looking through the clearance racks. There was found some winter clothes from last year. Things marked done to $2 or $3! The most expensive thing I bought was a pair leggings for $7.99, and the cheapest was a long sleeved turtleneck onesie for $1.60! Thus with $50 I was able to purchase 12 items!! Now that's what I call a bargain. :-D I don't think I could have done better at a thrift shop either.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Baby Dedication

On Wednesday, the 29th of June, Zack and I formally dedicated our little girl to the Lord and His service.
Even though the occasion was to dedicate Princess Zana, it was also our time to make a public commitment to raise her in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. We heard many verses read (by Zack's dad, who is a minister) about how much children are a blessing from the Lord, and how to be Godly parents. Then it was Zack's turn dedicate his daughter to God. What a lovely experience and time it was.
She is such a wonderful blessing to us! I thank God so much for loaning her to us for this time, I only hope we can do the best job we can. Parenthood is such an experience that nothing can prepare you for. I still wonder how I can possibly be a mother? And yet, there she is!
Zana was fussy when we began the ceremony, so I gave her to Zack, and she calmed down almost instantly. Daddy's touch. :-D
Asleep in Daddy's arms. So precious!
If you would like to read about the beautiful dress my mom made for the dedication, you can visit my other blog HERE.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sunshine and Roses

Well, not really roses, but it sounded like a nice title for a really nice day. I wanted to write this post a few days ago, but life with fussy 6 and half week old means I rarely get to finish what I start on the same day. Including this blog post!

It was a such I nice day that I really wanted to get outside, plus my herbs desperately needed a spring pruning. So I asked Zack if he would put this little outside bed-thing on the porch for me, and I put Zana in it while I worked on the herbs.
It's a really neat thing as one side acts as a shade against the sun, and the other has a screen to keep the bugs out.
As you can see the poor sage and mint were not looking their best. Not only were they seriously overgrown, but also had gotten a light freeze on them a few times since they had been put back outside a month ago.
There, much better! Now they look ready for some healthy summer growth. I can't wait to harvest some sage again. I use quite a bit for my cooking, and actually had to buy some recently.
Guinivere also wanted to come out, but alas she's been an in-door cat since we moved here, and certain neighborhood cats have their territories all staked out. One such cat, we call him Bobtail, is the meanest one of the lot. He won a territorial fight against our neighbor's cat, and now she has to be careful in her own yard! Sorry Guiny, but you're better off staying in the house.
Beauty shoot. It felt so good to be outside again! I even got out the jogger and took Zana for a walk later in the afternoon. The rest of this week it's been super windy and I haven't been able to get out again.
Hopefully now that I'm getting used to being a mommy I'll be able to blog more often. Here's hoping!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How She Arrived

It seems that every first time mom who has a blog nowadays writes her birth story on it, so I thought I'd write mine too. :-) Also, we finally decided on an internet nick-name for Baby, "Princess Zana," or just plain Zana, so that's what I will be referring to her as from here on out.
Saturday morning, the 9th, I woke up with what I thought were Braxton-Hicks. Though they were different the all the one's I had previously felt, in that the pain wrapped around my back. This, one of my midwives had told me was a sign of real labor. My husband started timing the contractions, and we found that they were all over the place. I'd go from 3 in a row of 12 to 15 minutes apart, to the next being 30 minutes apart. This lasted all day.

In the evening we went up to visit my in-laws as Zack's grandparents were visiting, hoping the baby would be born while they were here. My mom had arrived the week before to be on hand as well. The contractions continued in their sporadic form the entire evening, Zack keeping track of every one. Because of they had lasted all day, we made plans for the trip to the hospital that we expected to be making the next day.

About 3 o'clock the morning of the 10th, the contractions woke me up with their intensity, especially in my lower back. My groaning also woke up Zack who started timing them again. This time, they were between 4 and 7 minutes apart. We decided it was time to call the midwife. Deborah was on call that night. And she told us it was time come to the hospital. Zack woke up my mom, then called his mom so they could get ready too. Funny things we do in times like this. When I was getting dressed I felt my finger nails and found that 2 of them were rough so I cut them and smoothed them out not wanting to scratch Baby.

Now it was time to leave. The only problem was that a spring snow storm had come in and left the road icy. So my poor husband, wanting to get me to the hospital as quickly as possible was forced to keep our truck in 4-wheel and drive slowly most of the way. He was really happy that it was 3:30am and didn’t need to worry about any extra traffic on top of that. Even though my contractions were stronger and closer together, they still didn't come with any regularity. It was the longest hour and a half trip to the city ever.

We finally arrived at the hospital and I was taken up to the family center, (they don't call it a maternity ward anymore). The nurse checked me and found that I was between 4 and 5 cm. dilated. So I was admitted, and we expected to be holding a new baby in the next few hours.

I tried taking a shower as the nurse said the warm water would feel really good on my back, but every time a contraction came I had to lean on the wall. After having labored the entire day before and not slept very well, my body was already extremely tired, and my arms didn't want to hold me up. So I didn't stay in the shower very long. I also found out at this time that I was having back labor.

Zack had started coaching a little while we were still at home, reminding me to breathe through each contraction. But now I was beginning to need him more and more. I must admit now that I was a bad girl and didn’t practice and of the breathing techniques we had learned at the labor class, so all I could do throughout the labor, with Zack’s help, was to remember to breathe, and not hold my breath during contractions.

The morning shift change came, and I got a new nurse, Carol. Without her, I don’t know what I would have done.

My midwife arrived to see how I was doing, and a little later another woman arrived to deliver her 6th child in the room next to mine. We could hear her baby's heart monitor for the longest time. My contractions continued in their irregularity, but would pick up their pace if I took a walk. I tried sitting on a birthing ball, but found it was too hard to balance when my back would tighten up and hurt like crazy.

Sometime in the morning I was out in the hallway walking with my mom, (Zack was exhausted and trying to nap) when the lady next door started pushing. Hearing her yell suddenly made me afraid. I was feeling really tired again and just wanted to lie down. After getting back to my room and laying down my mom and mom-in-law talked about how neat it was that the lady next door only had to push 4 times before her baby was born.

Now that Zack was refreshed a bit he was able take up his position again as my coach and help me breathe through my contractions. They were really getting painful now and I wasn't doing a very good job breathing through them. His constant presence was more soothing than anything else could have been.

I had gone into labor hoping to make it through without pain medication, but unsure if I would be able too. About mid, to late morning the pain reached an all time high and I couldn't stand it anymore. Both moms kept telling me that it was okay to ask for pain relief. So next time Carol came in to check on me I asked for some pain meds. She gave me a very low dose to start, and the next contraction felt so much better!

I was so tried that all I wanted to do was sleep. I should have been walking around more, and the Jacuzzi would have been really good for me as well, but all I wanted was rest between each irregular contraction. It wasn't long before I was asking for the other half of my pain medication, as it didn't stay in my system very long. But after that I had to wait much longer as it was making the baby sleepy.

I don't remember exactly when it was, but sometime late morning, my nurse checked inside me again and found that I was up to 7 cm. It had taken a long time to get there, and my contractions still weren't coming fast enough for being so far along, and my water still hadn't broken yet. So Deborah decided that it was time to break the water. What a strange feeling it was! Unfortunately, I was now stuck in bed for the most part since after the initial gush, there was a constant drain of fluid.

By early afternoon my contractions still weren't coming fast enough, in fact they hadn’t really picked up at all. So the midwife decided to give me some Oxytocin to help move things along. Zack really had to talk me through each of my contractions at this point. I was feeling beyond exhausted by now because everything was taking so long, and I needed his support more than ever.

I suppose I should pause right now to explain that I've always carried a ton of tension on my body, and have the hardest time relaxing. That is the main reason I believe why my labor lasted so long. I just wouldn’t let that poor baby descend through the birth canal.

Finally, Carol asked me if I felt like pushing. I didn’t. But she said it was time to start pushing anyway. I’ve read so many stories of women knowing they had to push, and wanting to push so bad. And they just seemed to know how to do it. I knew what it was supposed to feel like, but not having any kind of internal urge made pushing really hard. Being completely exhausted by this point didn’t make it any easier either. But push I must!

After trying to push while lying on my back for a while and not getting anywhere, Carol asked if I wanted to try getting on my knees and leaning against the back of the bed. I figured gravity might be helpful now, so I did. Zack came around to the head of the bed and each time a contraction begin and I was told to push, I would hang onto his arm for dear life. At this time I also discovered that I am capable of not only screaming, but screaming very loudly.

At some point during all of this I told Zack that I didn’t want any more, (children), and I heard Carol say, “She’s in labor now!” Zack told me later that when I said that, he was thinking that he didn’t know if he could put me through that again either. I’m sure by this point that all the pain relief meds had worn off, so I was going “natural.” The pain was more intense than anything I have ever felt in my life, and all I wanted to do was get away from it. Carol kept telling that I need to put all the energy of screaming into my pushing, to “scream out my butt.” I remember looking at Zack and seeing the anguish in his face. He told me that I seemed to look straight through him, as if I couldn’t see anything.

Carol decided that it was time to turn me back over, and she and Zack helped my legs in position. After several more pushes the baby finally began to crown and Carol asked if I wanted to feel her head. But I didn’t. I still don’t know exactly why, maybe it was taking all the concentration I had to continue to push, and I couldn’t take any kind of distraction; or maybe it was something else, I don’t know.

I don’t know when Deborah finally came in, but she was there when little Zana slipped out at last. But somebody put her on my stomach. Her cord was short, so they couldn’t put her up very high, and all I could really do was feel her, I couldn’t see much being able to only look under my glasses. The moment she was out Zack started crying more emotionally then I’ve ever seen. Somebody told me that the baby was a little blue so they needed to give her some oxygen. As soon as Zack had cut the cord they took her to the other end of the room to clean her up and give her the oxygen.

It was almost 12 hours after we had first arrived at the hospital, and nearly 33 hours after I had woken up the morning before feeling the first contractions. So much for hoping to have a short natural labor like my mom had with my brother and then with me.

Unfortunately, I had also torn pretty bad, a 3 out of 4, so Deborah needed to stitch me up. But first she gave the cord a little tug and pulled the placenta out. That at least was pain free. But the stitching wasn’t. I’ve always heard that a woman sort of forgets all her pain as soon as the baby is born, but because they had to take her away, and finish stitching me up before bringing her back, the pain came back full force. Because the tear was deep it needed to be stitched up in 3 layers. Each time Deborah would take a stitch I screamed again. Only this time when I screamed I would scream for my baby. “Where’s my baby!” “I want my baby!” I was crying so hard. Once Zack was able to stand up again, he came back and held my hand until it was over.

Carol finally brought Zana back to me all clean and wrapped up. I can’t remember if she helped me nurse her first, or if I just held her for a while. I was so physically and emotionally drained that I couldn’t feel much of anything, but apparently I was crying. All I could really do was hold onto her for dear life.

In closing, giving birth was not what I had expected it to be. Is it ever? All the child birthing books in the world can’t prepare you for it. Back labor is not something I ever want to go through again. I sincerely pray that the next baby will be much easier, but if it is back labor again, I want to have an epidural. That’s something I never thought I’d say before! My pain tolerance is a lot lower than I thought it was, and at this point I don’t know if I’d be able to give birth at home.

I love my daughter so much! She continually makes me cry when she looks into my eyes with those adorably beautiful eyes of hers, or when she makes facial expressions too cute for words. Thank you Lord so much for this precious gift, and thank you for carrying me through her birth!

Princess Zana's first Easter Sunday. 2 weeks old exactly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So Precious

Our little one came in the world on April 10th, at 3:47pm. Weighing 6lbs. 7.5oz, and being 19in. long. Just like her mama, she was born with her hand next to her head, and still likes to sleep with it there.

We are so over-awed by her little presence in our lives, and still can't believe she's really here. We are constantly praising the Lord for the wonderful blessing she is, and praying for the wisdom and knowledge we will need to raise her. How can I say thank you enough oh Lord?

When I have more time and energy I will write her birth story here as well. :-)

Friday, April 1, 2011

39 weeks!

39 weeks today. I can't believe it. I haven't been very good at blogging through this pregnancy, so I guess I'll try and make up for it now. I'll start with some basic facts.

Weight gain? 30lbs. You wouldn't know it, but I weigh as much as my husband now!

Belly button in or out? Neither. It's totally flat!

Boy or girl? Girl!!! I had to have another ultrasound done last Tuesday, and it's still looking like she going to be a beautiful baby girl. ^_^

Is the nursery ready? Sort of. It was our storage room before, and it's been really hard to find homes for all the stuff that was in there. We were able to get rid of a ton of things we really didn't need anymore though. At it stands, the changing table is ready, the dresser is filled with lot's of beautiful clothes, and there's a rocking chair ready to rock a nursing baby. :-) Plus we have the bassinet in our bedroom. The crib is still in the hallway waiting to be put together, but we figure we don't need it up right away anyway.

Anything else? She's been getting lot's of hiccups lately. And her kicks can hurt! Looks like we're going to have a strong little baby. I've been having lot's of Braxston-Hick's, but sometimes I don't even feel them unless I touch my stomach and discover it's really hard. My back pain has hit an all time high, especially when I'm trying to sleep. And I can't stay on my feet very long before they start to ache. Ah, the joys of becoming a mother!

I really want to have a natural labor. I've read of so many benefits. Like both mom and baby are alert, which makes that first breastfeeding way better. But I have to admit that I am a little afraid of how bad the pain is going to be, and honestly don't know if I'll be able to do it without some pain meds. One of the midwives I've been seeing said that I'm entitled to 2 full nights in the hospital, and I plan on taking both of them!

We have decided not to share the baby's name on public websites like Blogger and YouTube, but if you know me on Facebook we will share it there.

In the mean time, it has gotten so hard to be patient as we wait for this little one's arrival. I want to see her so bad! And to hold her. I hope that I can be the mother she'll need me to be, and to raise her the way God wants me too. And always remember that she belongs to Him first. Dear Lord, please give me the wisdom I need as I begin this new stage of my life.
Hubby took this picture last night. People keep saying I look tiny for being full term. :-P I'm not complaining!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Somebody is Jealous!

"Mommy, you need to stop looking at these new baby clothes and pay attention to me now!"
"I mean it! I'm way more important."
Needless to say, Guinivere is going to have a lot of adjusting to do. :-) And I need to go call my grandma now!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

That Hamburger and French Fry Thing

Note, this recipe first appeared on my other blog A Seamstress Cat on May 12 of 2010. When I made it, I did not have this blog, but since it has nothing to do with sewing, I figured it would be better off here.

That Hamburger and French Fry Thing

I made up a new recipe last night, and my husband, Zack, really liked it, so I thought I'd better write it down before I forget it. ;-) Like all meals I make up off the fly, I never measure anything. Let me know if this sounds good to you too!

1 lb. hamburger
Chopped onions, (as much as you like, I only used about 1/8 of a cup)
1 chopped garlic clove, (or if you don't have any, a good shake of garlic powder works too)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
Frozen French Fries cut in to 1 in, pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brown hamburger in a large skillet with the onions and garlic, mine started to dry out before it was nicely browned so I added some oil to it. Cut up the French fries until you have a little less then the amount of hamburger. Stir in chopped fires and cream of soup into the hamburger. Pour into casserole dish. (I couldn't think if a proper topping so I didn't put anything on top of it, instead I covered it with a glass lid) Bake in the oven until hot and bubbly, about 30min.

Well, there you go! Hope you like it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Last night I made up another recipe on the fly, a homemade version of Hamburger Helper. My husband loved it and wants me to make it again, so I thought I'd better write in down before I forget what I did. :-) Plus I figure this is way healthier then the box stuff anyway. ;-)

Once again, I didn't really measure anything, so it probably will never cook up the same.

1 lb. Ground meat, (this time I used beef instead of venison for a change)
1 can cream of chicken soup
Frozen peas
Garlic powder
Garlic salt

Brown meat in a large skillet. When it's nearly done, sprinkle a generous amount of garlic powder on it, and stir in. Turn stove temp. down to low. Pour in about 1 1/2 cups of water, a little milk, cream soup, pasta (I added what looked like a similar amount as what comes in the box), some frozen peas, and a couple shakes of garlic salt. Stir together. Once mixture starts to boil, cover and set timer for 10-15 minutes. Cook until pasta is done, and most of liquid is absorbed.


There are endless options on how to customize this to your own preferences too!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Labor Class

Today Zack and I took our labor class at the hospital I'll be delivering at. Well, actually it was more than a labor class. That was just the morning stuff! More on the afternoon stuff later. Our instuctor was one of the birthing nurses. She has been a nurse for over 30 years and has always helped with deliveries. The first thing we went over was the stages of labor and what to expect during each of them. Then we got to watch a wonderful video! For trying to make us feel more informed and less scared of labor, it sure was an eye opener on just how intense it can get.

Next we learned relaxation and breathing techniques. This is when my dear husband learned that there is going to be more to his job than he at first thought. But I'm confident that he will be the best birthing coach ever! For the next couple of months we will practice working together more as a team. It seems, that once I'm in active labor I'm not going to be able to tell him what I need anymore and he needs to know exactly what it is. Am I right in thinking this is one of the ways a couple truly bonds and become one?

After lunch a lady came to speak to us about Colorado Right Start, a state wide program to help new parents become the best they can be. Her talk was very interesting, though most of the information was stuff we already knew.

Next we learned about C-sections in general, and this hospital's policies on C-sections. It was nice to hear that they really don't like to do them unless it's absolutely necessary. Just the same, I'm glad I'll be under the care of a mid-wife. I hope I never have the need to deliver through C-section, espcially after watching the video.

The rest of the class was on taking care of our newborn. From breastfeeding and diapering, to safety measures to take at home. All that stuff you need to know about babies!

I'm very glad we took the class. Though I must say it doesn't take all the fears out of wondering what it will be like, and how well I'll handle it. I suppose every mother-to-be for the first time wonders that. I'm so grateful to God that I'll have such a wonderful support group around me when the time comes. Mothers and mothers-in-law are truly one of His greatest creations. Not to mention extraordinary husbands. ;-)