Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Steph Snippets

~Thanks for the comments, tweets, instagram messages, emails about Violet's birth story! It was one crazy, beautiful day--that is for certain!  She's doing great and growing so quickly and if I have time to sneak in a shower between she and Lily, well, then that's a great day!

~I have pictures and stats to update about Violet here. If you can't wait to see her, follow me on Instagram. That's my favorite social media outlet these days! :)

~Andrew had a birthday, so I have an update about him. I think the shock of having a 14 year old has begun to sink in.

~Life is tough with a newborn and a toddler.  And a big kid.  And a stepkid. And a husband.

~I do not understand the patterned leggings craze. They're out of control.  The Aztec? Whoa. I think it's because they remind of those Mexican blankets and those were itchy, but the fact that I put patterned leggings on my toddler and baby, so I think they're kind of weird for adult women.  And I crack up at the bootie craze too because I wore those ankle booties when I was in 8th grade. They were my favorite pair of shoes. Seriously.  I think this just means I'm officially old.

~I do not have the Christmas spirit this year.  At. All.  Bah humbug. :(

~Andrew has recently lost his electronic privileges. 14 is tough. He just said to me during a conversation about making better choices: "There's nothing left to take from me but my dignity." He was serious. I laughed. Out loud. 

~We got rid of cable a little more than a month ago. Honestly, the only thing I really miss is watching the local news (lame, I know), sports, and specials live.  Worth the money saved each month. One of  Lily's new favorite movies is The Lorax.  She stood up on a chair in our family room and shouted, "I. AM. THE. LILYYYYYYYYY"   She's clearly made the no cable transition just fine.  Netflix is ok by her too.

~Three is way more difficult than two.  In both age and number of kids.  ha!

~I love saying "the girls" or "my girls."

~Lily has asked for Christmas lights for Christmas.

~Lily's glasses got broken today at school. She slammed heads with another boy and her glasses went flying.  Here we are a week before Christmas and as I said above I have zero Christmas spirit...all I kept thinking was that she HAS to wear glasses and to be without them while the time to replace them plus the cost of replacing them... bah humbug again.  I took them to the place we bought them with a crying Violet and a can-I-spin-on-the-wheelie-chairs-in-here Lily and asked the woman when we walked in if they were repairable. She asked about Violet while she looked up our information --"How old is she? Ohhhh she's so cute"  She walked to the back while I kept Lily occupied spinning on the chairs, came back to her work station and said she had the same frames and to give her a minute.  She replaced the demo lenses with Lily's lenses, handed them to me and said, "Merry Christmas."   I cried.  A little less bah humbug now.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Violet's Birth Story: part 2

Part One

I was in our bedroom getting the hospital bags out of the closet and gathering up my last minute toiletries to throw in there while my contractions continued to strengthen.  I knew I was not going to make it in time to have an epidural at this point.  I leaned over the edge of the bed, the bathroom counter, sat on the toilet, trying to get through the pain. As I leaned over the bed, trying to get those last minute items together was the moment I knew I wasn't going to make it to have an epidural.  I momentarily debated having George call an ambulance. For real.

When I stood upright again hoping to move quickly in between contractions, I shouted to George, " I think my water broke!"  Back to the toilet, I went.  I discovered I was bleeding and wasn't sure if my water had broken or I was just feeling the blood.  He yelled that we needed to hurry up and get going because we weren't having this baby at home.  I honestly do not know how long it took me to get from the bedroom to the car, but I know that every moment I tried to do something...walk, get out the front door, get in the car, I'd have another excruciating contraction and have to stop.

I am not one who is very vocal about pain.  I know I'm a wuss and tend to keep it in, deal with it and keep moving. Kind of like the day I broke my ankle at 31 weeks pregnant.  It hurt. Badly.

And I knew it was broken, but I didn't want Lily to be disappointed to not go to the park with our friends. So we went and my ankle hurt. I pushed through it.  There was no chance of that here.  I was crying, moaning, shouting, and swearing. I held nothing back.   I yelled at my husband to shut up after he told me I needed to get it together to get out to the car, but couldn't finish what I wanted to say because he had no idea that I wasn't just freezing up. The pain was debilitating and I had to wait to move until the contraction had subsided. Although I didn't have any more time except to say, "shut up!" 

In the car at 10:48am and we're off to the hospital!  Par for the course, we needed gas.  George was in list mode:  Get enough gas to get us there.  Make a plan for Lily to get picked up at noon at school. Not have a baby in the car. 

I found a position that was the most bearable and needed to lie back in the seat on my side facing the driver's seat.  Now mind you this did nothing to stop the pain or my crying, moaning, shouting and swearing.  Just was something I was able do.  When I tried lying back in the seat at first, the seatbelt was cutting into my neck.  So Ms. Always Wear Your Seatbelt No Matter What, shouted, "How do I get this fucking seatbelt off??"  Not a shining moment.

We called my good friend whose daughter goes to school with Lily and asked if she could take Lily with her after school.  George was on the phone with her, I was shouting they knew at school I was in labor and it would be ok for her to take Lily too!  That peace of mind knowing Lily was in good hands was the last piece of the puzzle I needed in place so I could to focus on nothing but this baby--  both keeping her inside until we got to the hospital and praying for a healthy delivery.

For the most part, I had my eyes closed on the way to the hospital.  When G was on the phone about Lily, I had opened my eyes to know where we were {approximately 7 minutes from home generally} and then again when we crossed the Vets Bridge through the city and once more when we had to slow down drastically for a car that cut us off merging into the one lane to take us to the hospital. 

The rest of the ride, which I learned we took at 105 mph, I was going through my cycle of crying, moaning, shouting and swearing.  Repeated theme:  "We're not going to make it!"  George was honestly the only thing that kept me from going over the edge.  Everytime I cried that we weren't going to make it, he'd reassure me that we would, we were almost there, I was doing great, and to keep breathing. 

The thing about Pittsburgh is that there is no rhyme or reason to traffic in this city.  I'm so thankful my husband used to be a police officer and was trained to drive at high rates of speed in this city. Truly.  However, nothing can be done when you turn onto the street to get into the hospital and it's backed up with 20+ cars waiting to turn into the parking lot.  I had opened my eyes again here.

So, what does any former police officer do?  Drives down the opposite side of the road.

It was clear until right before we needed to turn in when opposing traffic was there.  George honked the horn, rolled down his window, shouted that I was in labor going to have the baby in the car, "BACK UUUUUUUUPP!"   A security guard on my side of the car/street shouted he was going in to get a wheelchair and managed to get cars moved enough to get us up to the front door of the hospital.

For as much trouble as I had getting IN the car at home, it was just as difficult getting OUT of the car at the hospital. For the last part of the ride, I had been squeezing my legs closed tighter than I had ever before trying to keep this baby in and not deliver her in the car.

 Finally, I was able to get out of the car, but had to wait again before I could sit in the wheelchair as I contracted that closely again.  Again, more crying, moaning, shouting...I think I had stopped swearing at this point!

Once I was in the wheelchair, George ran me through the lobby while I {now embarrassingly} was screaming out in pain hoping we'd make it to deliver this baby in a bed instead of in the car, in front of the hospital, or in a wheelchair in the lobby.   I'm pretty sure I traumatized some first timers who may have been in or around the echoing lobby of the hospital. 

Labor & Delivery is on the 2nd floor, so luckily we were off the elevator quickly. George kept running, pushing me through the hospital. It was honestly like a scene from a movie where the registration clerk shouted out questions as we flew by... "What's your name?! What's your birthdate?! Who's your doctor?!"  George replied with my name and birthday and "She's been here before!" I shouted my doctor's name as the double doors opened and a nurse took over pushing my wheelchair down the hall.  It was a sea of people in blue scrubs parting the way for me. I kept thinking, "Wow this breeze feels so good," as whoever was pushing me was running to get me into a L&D room. I was so hot and sweating bullets all the while still shouting out in pain.   It felt like a scene from a movie where the camera is the essentially the character.  The doctors and nurses standing on either side of the hallway looking down at me as I blew past them in the wheelchair, people shouting about me to find my doctor and trying to gather details about my pregnancy. Very surreal.

Somebody helped me get my undies off as I was trying to get out of the wheelchair onto the bed and I felt no relief lying down at all.  I kept screaming, "I need to push NOW!"  A doctor told me they were trying to help me, but I needed to get in the bed before I could do that. I'm so grateful I was clean after having both showered that morning and then taken a bath.

The doctor I had hoped would deliver me was on call that day I already knew, so while they were calling for her, another doctor--Dr. Cheeks introduced himself.  George asked if I could get any pain medicine as they were checking me once I was on the bed and all I heard was... "She's at a 9 1/2, there's no time." 

I shouted some more while I cried.  Some things like, "It burns so badly!" {even then I used adverbs correctly} "I need to push!" "I can't do this!"  and a lot more incoherent moaning/shouting something or other.

I had my eyes closed trying to focus on something other than how painful this was and all I could hear was George when they told him to grab my leg. I also heard my doctor say, "I came running!"  

My love was so encouraging throughout the entire process {not that the process was a long time, mind you.} telling me I could do this, her head was coming, we were almost done, I was doing great, reminding me to put my chin to my chest and push, here she comes...

And finally the relief was there!

Our baby. Our girl.

Born at 11:23am.

We had just left our house at 10:48am.

When she decided she was ready, she was ready.  On her due date. 

I had referred to her as "our grand finale" many times throughout my pregnancy. 

She definitely made it ring true.

Violet ilyanna, my littlest love, born weighing 10 pounds even and 22 inches long. 

Thank God I didn't know she was 10 pounds before because I don't think I could have overcome that mental hurdle during my labor.  It was not my plan to give birth naturally. What's that saying about telling God your plans... :)

*Part 3 will have pictures and some more details from nurses, friends that I want to always remember

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Violet's Birth Story: part 1

last picture pregnant: 39w4d
taken October 14, 2013

October 16, was a typical day of being nearly 40 weeks pregnant. 

Lily had preschool at the high school and then we hung out at home doing laundry and a little bit of cleaning. The baby clothes are neverending!   George was off from work.  He and I stayed up watching a couple of our shows together before he started doing some work on his computer while I finished working on Lily's Halloween costume.  I felt pretty good that night, commenting how I couldn't believe I was still pregnant, wondering when we were ever going to have this baby. I finally decided to go to bed a little after midnight.

I should have known that since she came into our lives surprisingly, she'd enter the world the same way.

October 17.

After sleeping pretty soundly, {given the weeks previously that I had been up every few hours} I was woken up around 6:00am, having some contractions.  Nothing too strong, nothing really timeable I'd say.  Just enough discomfort to stir me awake to look at the clock and see how much longer I had to sleep until it was time to get Andrew up for school.  45 more minutes.  Back to sleep I went... or tried.  I laid in bed for a few minutes then decided to check my email, and read through my Twitter timeline and maybe a game or two of Candy Crush hoping my eyes would get drowsy enough to go back to one of my last nights of decent sleep that I'd been having. 

I did manage to sleep a little bit longer before getting Andrew up to get ready for school. I laid on the couch half asleep, waiting until he left for the bus, all while having a couple more contractions.  I told him that I was having a few contractions and thought we'd end up at the hospital at some point today.  We made a plan for him for after school if no one was home and off he went. My first baby.

About 40 minutes, later it was time to get Lily up for school.  I started timing contractions finally about 8:15am.  They were anywhere from 6-8 minutes apart, sometimes 10, but still not too strong. I'd have to stop to catch my breath here or there, but was still able to walk, talk, get Lily out the door to school and drive.  When we got to preschool, I had one pretty strong contraction in the doorway where I did have to stop talking to her teacher a minute.  She asked me if I was ok to drive. I knew that I was, but also knew we'd for sure be heading to the hospital that day.  I kissed Lily goodbye, told her I loved her and off I went home...contracting just a little bit stronger.

When I got home, I woke George up to tell him that I had been having some contractions. When he asked how far apart they were, I said about 10 minutes or so and I was going to take a bath to relax some.  He came in a couple minutes later and asked if I had called the doctor's office yet. I had planned on it when I got out of the tub.  I sat back, closed my eyes relishing in the hot water that almost immediately relaxed me.  I kept my phone nearby to continue timing the contractions and had a couple more while I sat in the tub. George hollered in to ask me if I was ok a couple times. I told him he probably shouldn't head to his physical therapy appointment that was pretty soon.  He started gathering his things together for the hospital as I emerged from my blissful bath. I totally understand why people want to have waterbirths!

I immediately called my doctor's office and spoke with a nurse about when to head to the hospital. I explained that despite being a 3rd timer, 40 years old and capable, I had no idea when to actually head to the hospital with contractions. She asked how close they were currently and I explained 6-8 minutes mostly.  She told me that once they're 5 minutes for an hour, we should head to the hospital. Ok, easy enough.

Shortly after I was off the phone, our baby decided she was waiting no longer.  My contractions went from 6-8 minutes to 2 minutes apart just like that. 

It's funny the things you think you know about having a baby--especially when it's not your first time, but when it all comes down to it, there's much more reaction than anything.

My last timed contraction was at 10:26am. It was 2 minutes after the last one and lasted for 1 minute 17 seconds.

We live about 20-25 minutes away from the hospital...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

She's Here!

Violet ilyanna  
She came into our lives as a surprise and entered the world the same way.
October 17, 2013
Birth story to come...

Snow White's Tutu: review & tutorial

When I had a daughter in 2010, I was excited for all things girly! Which is actually pretty shocking because I am so not girly, but imagining my daughter in hairbows and tutus was a dream!  Turns out she's a perfect mix of girly and rough and tumble. :)  I am not one to spend a ton of money on boutique clothes

I've always been one to buy at the end of a season for the next season when it comes to kids clothes in particular.  The same holds true for costumes.  So last year, I was on the hunt for costumes for a potential Halloween option this year as well as dress up clothes.

I was lucky enough to find a lot of princess dresses on clearance last year.  When it came time to choose a costume for this year, I wanted something that both {how crazy is that to say!} my daughters will be able to wear even though one of them will be a newborn.  The lucky thing is even if Lily chooses something different to go trick-or-treating in, we have other events to wear them to.

Here comes Snow White and her apple. 

Lily has been blessed with long legs, so I wanted to add a tutu to her existing costume to make it a little more unique and of course, longer. 

I do not sew. 

I'd love to learn, but I currently do not.

Making a no-sew tutu is easy peasy though, so I was excited to be able to do this courtesy of The HairBow Company

I don't enjoy complicated, so the easier the better. I hope you find my no-sew tutu instructions simple!

  • ribbon  {for waist}
  • tulle {3 rolls if using rolls or roughly 4-6 yards off a bolt for toddler/preschooler}
  • scissors
  • tape measure/measuring stick
For this tutu I was using 3 colors and I wanted the tutu to be full and big!

~Measure your child's waist using the ribbon. I do this simply by wrapping the ribbon around her waist and marking where my fingers meet with a Sharpie.  Make sure to leave lots at the ends to tie around her waist~ you can shorten it later!
~Tie knots where the marks are.  The space between the knots will be where your tulle gets tied to create your tutu.

Although I used rolls of tulle for this tutu, I provided the instructions if you use a "sheet" of tulle, as well.

I measured out a yard {36 inches} in length of the tulle to start my tutu.  I guessed I'd need roughly 15 pieces of each of the 3 colors to fill the tutu for my daughter.  This also depends on how tight/close you place the tulle together between the knots.  I wanted the tutu to be really full, so ended up using the entire rolls of tulle.

After you have the individual pieces of tulle, fold them in half and loop around your ribbon between the knots.  I patterned yellow, blue, red.  Repeat folding the tulle in half, looping around the ribbon until you reach the other knot. 

 As I said, I like longer, fuller tutus which is why I used the full yard I'd cut.  If you like shorter, cut the tulle in half before then folding in half and looping. I've seen those too and they're really cute!

Continue your pattern, pulling the tulle tight around the ribbon until you reach the other knot.

She LOVES it!  And she's super excited for her new baby sister to be her apple complete with her very own red tutu.

Instructions are if you're using a large "sheet" of tulle fabric:
~Lay your tulle out in a single sheet--one yard increments--and begin folding the tulle up flat. Mine generally is about 3 inches wide, but I just eyeball it, not measure it.
~Next, cut off the ends of the "flat tube" of tulle to make it even.
~Measure about 3-4 inches in along the tube with your tape measure and cut.  Continue cutting in the same size increments until you have the "tube" all cut.
~Open the cut piece of tulle completely and fold it in half and then cut there.

The best part is, the measurements are not crucial. You can choose wider or not depending on how you want your tutu.  Once you commit to a size though, stick with it!

Thank you to The Hairbow Company for providing me with the materials for this tutu and the red hairbow for Snow White.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

40 weeks ~ baby i2

Date:  October 17, 2013~~ Yeah, my due date.  **This post was written after midnight on 10/17/13...little did I know how the day would turn out. :)

How far along:40 weeks. WHAT?!?!

Total Weight Gained:  No gain this week for total:  9lbs.

How big is baby? What the hell is a jackfruit?  Baby is the size of a baby! haha
"Your baby's the size of a jackfruit!
In month nine, the average fetus is about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds and measures about 18.9 to 20.19 inches (wow!)." 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Simple Saturday

Well here we are 39weeks, 2 days pregnant...Yep. Still pregnant.

Fortunately, I'm not miserable.  Somewhere in the late 2nd and early 3rd trimester, I was pretty miserable physically.   Baby girl has been mostly kind these last few weeks, thank God.   I've had a handful {like 4 over 5 days} of contractions and nothing else really going on.  Each day I wake up and know this could be the last day home with just 2.

This morning I woke up at 6:00am due to the bear my husband's snoring next to me. I tried to go back to sleep, but after having him roll over and still snoring for 15 minutes, I was up.  Off to the couch I went, but there was no going back to sleep.  Lily was up around 7:00am and thus the day had begun. 

She decided she was hungry pretty early and asked for pancakes.  So pancakes it was going to be. I don't make box mix pancakes.  Never have. It's easy enough to make them from scratch and she was excited to help!

You know when you tell your kids, "This isn't a restaurant. You get what I fix." ?  Apparently, this IS, in fact, a restaurant when making pancakes.  Lily likes sprinkles in hers, Andrew likes chocolate chips, and George and I like blueberries.  I did make a few extras to freeze for Lily  since she's the only one who eats breakfast with me at home during the week.


 Breakfast was yummy and Lily was happy.  Made for a good morning with my girl. ♥

While Lily watched a little bit of tv, I worked on a print for the baby in her room and a little banner to hang on the bassinet at the hospital. Mind you, the guys were still asleep all this time. Must. be. nice.
I can't find my 2 inch circle punch to finish the banner, so that's driving me crazy. I used it for Lily's birthday party and I have no idea what I did with it.  Hopefully I'll be able to find it.  Ugh!
The kids and I are going for ice cream this evening since we have a rare evening home with nothing to do. Lily keeps asking Andrew and I  what kind we're going to get and making sure we're getting her daddy some too.  :)  I love that she's sweet and considerate.  I'm getting Snappy Turtle, by the way.
Saturdays will soon be filled with the early days of a newborn baby, so today I'm enjoying the peacefulness with my first two babies doing simple things that are happy things.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

39 weeks~ baby i2

Date:  October 10, 2013

How far along: 39 weeks--5 days longer than I have ever been pregnant!
And officially at the point where people ask me if it's time when I call...

Total Weight Gained:  One more gained for a total of 9lbs.

How big is baby? "Your baby's the size of a watermelon!
Baby keeps growing, despite being so crowded in there. He probably weighs around 6.2 to 9.2 pounds and measures about 18.9 to 20.9 inches.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Steph Snippets

Some random things that have been going on aside from pregnancy updates:

~Andrew got his cast off this week!  He's got 2 more weeks until he goes back to the doc and hopefully will be completely released back to normal life!  It was super stinky and filthy!  He'll be in a brace until we go back, but he's happy with that.  What a trooper!


~When we went to the doctor that day, we had an interesting encounter with some random lady.  She stopped to turn left into the parking lot in a place where the concrete is angled for right turners only and a big "Do Not Enter" sign is posted.  She suddenly stopped to turn. No signal and obviously the wrong way. I honked at her and continued on to the place to turn in to the parking lot.  I ended up in a spot before she did and she pulled up behind my car and yelled out her window, "Who are YOU to beep at me like that?! You are NOT the police!"  I just said, "You were going the wrong way and I nearly hit you." 

Her {still screaming}: "How do you know that one of my kids (3 and 5 in back seat with window down) didn't have an emergency!?!"
Me: "Well, then you wouldn't have been turning into the medical building parking lot, but going up to the emergency room where you're supposed to turn."
Her {still screaming}:  "YOU'RE A BITCH!"
Me: "Way to teach your kids class."
Her {still screaming} "YEAH! YOUR KID IS RIGHT THERE!"
Then screamed at Andrew: "YOUR MOM IS A BITCH!!"

I laughed, said "Wow," and into the office we went. 

Good thing she didn't catch me last week when I was totally pregnant hormonally raging! ;)

~I have a lot to catch up on with Lily... preschool and new glasses.  That will happen soon enough!

~I've got a tutorial post coming up about Lily's Halloween costume {and the baby's too} that I'm excited about as well as a couple giveaways to get posted!

~Marching band has been in full force this fall and Andrew is loving it! I feel like a taxi most days.

~Hockey season has begun for the Penguins, the Pirates are in the playoffs for the 1st time in 21 years {that's since my husband graduated from high school}, and there's a 40ft rubber duck on the river in downtown Pittsburgh. 

~George has finally taken his hunting desire seriously after a couple years of talking about it. I love a man's man.  So, he's been peacefully enjoying the woods and learning about his new craft.

~Lily and Daddy had a fishing date recently and it ended with sitting around a fire at home roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.  She loves her time with him and has been enjoying one-on-one time with each of us before the baby arrives.   She cracks us up every single day. So glad she's us and ours.

~Andrew's dad crocheted the CA-UTEST gift for Lily from Daniel Tiger's neighborhood and a sweet little pumpkin hat for the baby...although I think the hat will be too teeny, I love it!  I also truly and genuinely appreciate the relationship we have. I hope Andrew does too. He and his wife just celebrated their 1st anniversary.  They're truly a good match. I'm glad he's happy.

~I haven't seen my friends and their kids in like a month.  Life got crazy for all of us when school started.  I miss them. 

~I'm loving this new season of tv shows!  Currently watching/recording some newbies: Hostages, The Blacklist, The Goldbergs, The Michael J. Fox Show.  And some oldies: Chicago Fire, Revenge, Parenthood, The Voice, Law & Order SVU, Nashville, 2 Broke Girls, and The Good Wife.   We have to remedy something about Homeland to get that without paying for Showtime because that's one of our faves, but so far we haven't watched this season.    So far we are loving The Michael J. Fox Show and The Goldbergs! I love the others, but I watch them on my own.

That's all for now!  Lots to do and lots to catch up on here!  ... p.s. I still need to pack my hospital bag.

Friday, October 4, 2013

38 weeks~ baby i2

Date:  October 3, 2013

How far along: 38 weeks ~

Total Weight Gained:
  One more gained for a total of 8lbs.

How big is baby? "Your baby's the size of a pumpkin!
Baby is about 18.9 to 20.9 inches long and weighs about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds. Her head is now about the same circumference as her abdomen."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

37 weeks ~ baby i2

Date:  September 26, 2013

How far along: 37 weeks is full term!!!  She can arrive anytime now!

Total Weight Gained:
  I gained 5lbs since my last dr. visit! Whoa. That was last week. ;)  Doc thinks it's water weight.  No biggie, really because I had zero protein in my urine and my blood pressure was good still...so that sudden weight gain alone didn't terrify me about pre-eclampsia.  Up 7lb total this pregnancy.

How big is baby? "Your baby's the size of a winter melon!  {whatever that is}
Yay! Baby has reached full term. likely measures around 18.9 to 20.9 inches and weighs about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds. gaining about 1/2 ounce each day." 
**taken from The Bump

How baby is growing:
  • practicing some skills: inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping and blinking.
  • getting first sticky poop (called meconium) ready for first diaper.
  • **taken from The Bump
    Maternity Clothes:  Without a doubt. And many shirts are too short. This last pregnancy is no joke! ha

    Sleep: Insomnia has set back in. I've been up a lot in the middle of the night.  Thankfully there's Candy Crush to play and Law & Orders and CSIs to watch.

    Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:  Having a woman in the elevator tell me how great I looked for 40 and pregnant after asking me how old I was.  I'll take it.

    Movement: She's a tumbler and I think for the first time ever, I've experienced a baby in utero with hiccups. She's able to be seen moving from the outside which freaks George out. haha  He is not one of those husbands who enjoys feeling a baby move inside.

    Food Cravings:  frozen coke, ice cold water (like half frozen), chocolate, salad, cereal, strawberry yogurt.

    Food Aversions: Nothing specific, but sometimes just the thought of food makes me sick.

    Gender:  our second precious baby girl

    Symptoms:  My hips have been hurting while sleeping, but the baby has moved back up, so that super painful pressure has gone away thankfully. Heartburn still killing me. Lower back cramps have begun the last few days. 

    What I miss:  Not wanting to go to bed at 6:30pm every night, having energy, and being able to do simple things like jump when my Lily says "Jump with me, Mama!"

    What I'm looking forward to: An October baby, enjoying our last newborn time ever, Lily meeting her baby sister and how she embraces this new role in her life, getting through Andrew's last appointment for his wrist/getting his cast off before the baby comes, and being done with the crazy emotions that this pregnancy has brought on.

    **Weekly appointment:  heartbeat was 136 {the lowest hers has ever been}, bp 120/80, cervix still closed, 40% effaced

    36weeks 6 days

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013

    Sponsored: Move to the “Head” of the Class – Visit ExpertAdviceOnLice.com for Head Lice

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    The Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice website aims to help you do just that. Created by head lice experts (and moms) for other moms, families and communities to learn about head lice—what they are, what they look like and how to treat them.
    The site offers a variety of tools including:
    The How to Lose the Lice Guide, with a handy checklist to save time and reduce stress when battling head lice
    The Headfirst! Lice Experience video allows you to choose your experience, whether it be you’re not sure you have lice, or you just want to get rid of them:

    So if you are trying to get rid of head lice, or a parent who always likes to be prepared, visit Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice for more information.

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    36 weeks~ baby i 2

    Date:  September 19, 2013

    How far along: 36 weeks = only one month to go woooooooo!

    Total Weight Gained:
      Still only up the 2lb from the beginning.

    How big is baby? "Your baby's the size of a honeydew!
    She's still in the 17.2- to 18.7-inch and 4.2- to 5.8-pound range and continues to beef up.  
    **taken from The Bump

    How baby is growing:
  • She's getting closer and closer to being able to breathe on her own.
  • Her skin is getting smooth and soft and her gums are rigid.
  • Her liver and kidneys are in working order.
  • Circulation and immune systems are basically good to go, too.
  • She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath.
  • Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.
  • **taken from The Bump and Babycenter
    Maternity Clothes:  Without a doubt. And not too much fits over this belly anymore. Boooo!

    Sleep: I've actually been able to sleep a little more the last week or so.  Thankfully.  The heartburn still blows.

    Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:  finally deciding on a middle name!!  Being out of my stupid walking boot!!

    Movement: She definitely lets me know she's there. I can see her move from the outside.

    Food Cravings:  frozen coke, lemon-lime powerade, strawberry yogurt, chocolate--around 9:30pm

    Food Aversions:
     Nothing really is making me want to stay away except the heartburn, but my appetite is pretty minimal these days.

    Gender:  our second precious baby girl

    Symptoms:  irritability--like shut the front door about your stupid pumpkin spice lattes,
    heartburn like crazy--mostly at night,
    Braxton hicks have begun,

    What I miss: being comfortable.

    What I'm looking forward to: having all this laundry done and organized, a new baby, seeing my husband more...I miss him.

    Friday, September 6, 2013

    34 weeks~ baby i2

    DATE:  September 5, 2013

    How far along: 34 weeks = only 6 weeks left!

    Total Weight Gained:
      I'm finally over the beginning & have gained 2lbs!

    How big is baby? "At less than two months to go, baby weighs in at about 4.2 to 5.8 pounds and measures about 17.2 to 18.7 inches. By week 34, she's recognizing and reacting to simple songs, if you're

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    What Time is It?! JBF Time!!

    It's that time of year again! 

    Consignment sale shopping!!

    Ever since I was pregnant with Lily, this has become one of my favorite sports! Sports?! Yes, sports! If you're doing it right, you're sweating when you leave!

    I've been going to the Just Between Friends Pittsburgh sale for the last 3 plus years and it continues to remain my favorite!  The volunteers who are working, the people who run the sale, the organization of the entire event both before and in the actual venue are unmatched.

    Last Spring, I was newly pregnant with this little baby girl who is about to grace our lives in the next 6 weeks and my main goal was to find a sit and stand stroller for her and LilySeriously the bargain of the day for me!! 

    Y'all know how quickly kids outgrow clothes, right?  Why buy them new when someone else already has and decided to consign them.  You won't find ripped, stained, blemished clothing at this sale.  No one would know most of Lily's clothes come from a consignment sale if I wasn't bragging about it! 

    I love a bargain and the JBF sale is the place to go!  Toys, books, clothing, bigger outdoor toys, sports equipment, baby items like strollers {duh}, bouncy seats, boppies, potty chairs...and so on and so on and so on.

    I'm cutting it close on finding newborn, 0-3month, and 3-6month stuff for this baby... she and Lily are wrong seasons for the teeny stuff, so I will definitely be there for sleepers and long sleeved onesies and hopefully a newbie Halloween costume!  Here's hoping I don't have her that weekend!!

    The deets of the sale:

    What: JBF Pittsburgh Children's & Maternity Fall/Winter Sale
    When: Friday., Sept. 20 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    Saturday, Sept. 21      8am-4pm (NEW Merchandise!)
    Sunday, Sept. 22    8am-2pm (Many items 50% off). 
    Where: RMU Island Sports Center in the Golf Dome, 7600 Grand Ave., Pittsburgh 15225
    Admission: $3 on Friday (under 18 is free - or print your FREE admission pass below for Friday). Admission is free Saturday & Sunday.
    And if you're ready like Eminem to clean out your closets...
    It's not too late to sign up to sell any new and gently used items your family has outgrown at the JBF event. Consignors prepare and price their own items using an easy, online bar code system. They earn 60% of their sales or if they join the team and help out at the event, 70% of their sales. Anyone interested in consigning can sign up for the Pittsburgh event on the jbfsale.com website.
    Team members are an important part of the JBF event. JBF Team Members shop FIRST and earn 70% on their consigned items.  Anyone is welcome to join the team at the event.  You can register to join the team for a short 4-hour shift to guarantee early admission at the pre-sale event!

    **And one final goodie for you... I'm giving away 2 presale passes for you to shop before the general public!  Aren't you excited?!  Taking a friend is THE BEST!  This year, my bestie and bargain shopping twin and I are both pregnant, so there should be entertainment if you run into us! We wear our running shoes...only this time we have bellies to balance too! hahahaha

    How to enter:

    Leave a separate comment for each entry:

    Mandatory entries:
    1~ Follow my blog publicly via GFC -- click "join this site" over there on the right under Fans!
    2~ Like Just Between Friends of Pittsburgh on Facebook and tell 'em I sent you!

    Bonus entries:

    1~ Like My Not So Little Guy & My Little Punky Pie on Facebook.
    2~ Follow @JBFPittsburgh on Twitter.
    3~ Tweet about the giveaway using @JBFPittsburgh and @LittlePunkyPie. {can be done one time a day}

    Giveaway will run through Friday the 13th {oooooooooh} at 11:59p.m. Winner will be emailed and posted on this post!

    Good luck!! 

    ***Winner:   Congrats, Melinda!!!

    Disclosure: I was provided a presale pass for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

    Free Shutterfly PhotoBook

    Come on, you know you took amazing pictures this summer that you want to preserve in a photobook!

    These are my favorite photobooks!  I've just started working on Lily's 3rd birthday book and lo and behold what came available...

    one free 20 page hard cover 8x8 photobook

    use code: SUMMERBOOK

    Hurry, you've got 6 days to make it...so get there!  

    {Any of my links above will take you directly to get started!}

    *Offer expires September 11, 2013 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free 20-page 8x8 hard photo cover photo book through shutterfly.com or the Shutterfly Photo Story app for iPad. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping, and handling will apply. Customer may add options to their 8x8 book (extra pages, cover options, layflat pages, Storytelling styles, memorabilia pockets, etc.) at additional cost. Alternatively, customer may apply the “Offer Value” of $23.99 — the current price of a 20-page 8x8 hard photo cover photo book — toward the purchase of any larger photo book. Not valid on 5x7, 7x9, 8x8 soft cover, or 8x11 soft cover photo books, prepaid plans, other products, or prior purchases.

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    He'll Always Be My Baby

    I shared our recent life update and hoped to get back on track with catching up on the blog...

    Well, y'all know how that goes.
    Life happens.

    Our weekend went from pretty uneventful to a marked-in-time event.

    Saturday was a very laid back day. We were all worn out from the back to school week and basically just hung out at home all day.  Later that evening, Andrew, Lily and I headed to McD's for an ice cream cone. I think Andrew was secretly bummed he missed out on Friday night when Lily and I went and he was at the football game since it was his suggestion. :)

    After we came home, Lily wanted to play outside on her atv and Andrew wanted to ride his bike. Too bad his tire was flat. He then decided to ride his scooter. Off he went around the circle we live on.  Not too long later he called me to come get him, said he fell and couldn't get up. He told me where he was in relation to the house and I loaded Lily in the car to get him.

    We came up to him and he couldn't lift his right arm up without using the other arm to hold it up.  He was pretty upset and I was beginning to really worry.  We got home and got some ice on it right away to see what happened with the swelling to determine whether we headed to urgent care that night (it was 8:15pm) or wait until the morning. 

    For lack of a better description, his wrist was pretty floppy. His hand just kind of hung here and was pretty painful, so we thought he had broken it.  Off we went to urgent care where they xrayed it and confirmed it was broken.  The doctor came back into the room before Andrew had returned from xray and said, "He's got a pretty significant break in his wrist. He broke both bones."  I immediately started crying then.  {Crying now again, as I type this}I feel so terrible for him and I'm sad he was in so much pain all the while apologizing to me how sorry he was that he did this. :(  He's such a considerate person and I just hate this for him.

    He had to hold it up otherwise his hand just hung.

    Kinda hard to tell in pictures how swollen it was and out of whack, but he's holding his arm straight.

    Urgent care sent us to Children's Hospital to see an orthopedic doctor to have his wrist/arm looked at to determine how to best care for it.  We arrived at the emergency room around 9:45pm Saturday night and didn't get home until 9:30am, Sunday morning!

    waiting in ER with his arm splinted from urgent care (which helped some)

    This was our first visit to Children's Hospital and apparently everyone else in Pittsburgh decided to join.  There were 6 kids with fractures there, one nurse to do the sedation before casting --each sedation takes a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour, and one orthopedic doctor available for all of that.  We were 3rd in line.   Add to it, the billion other kids who needed to be screened, seen, called back, and different xrays done. It made for a very long, long night.  They actually had to re-do his xrays that we had brought from urgent care because something was wrong with their computer system and they couldn't get the xrays uploaded. Seriously, our luck. 

    George was working when all this began.  After we left urgent care, I let him know were on our way to Children's and he left work to help with Lily and check on Andrew and me. Thank God considering how long we ended up being there and it was way past her bedtime to start with.

    Andrew is seriously a trooper. He was given some ibuprofen at urgent care, I had given him some Tylenol before we left the house and he was still debating on whether he needed pain medicine when the nurse asked him some time in the ER.  Finally, he decided he needed something since we had no idea how long we'd be there.  They gave him morphine and he immediately looked at me and said, "I feel weird."

    The staff was great! We actually saw 3 different doctors not including the orthopedic and 3 different nurses during the time we were there due to shifts changing. 

    When the ortho came into talk with us after seeing the xrays, he said that Andrew's fracture was a very common type, as he was trying to brace his fall.  50% of the time, they're able to sedate, reset and cast in the room and the other 50% of the time, they'd have to go to the OR for deeper sedation to complete it.  I asked if he felt optimistic about Andrew's being able to be completed in the room and he said yes, he did.  So, there's that.

    Around 4:30am, the orthopedic came in and said it would be about 15-30 minutes and then it would be Andrew's turn to get sedated and his arm reset and cast.  It actually was around 6am when it started.  They let me stay until he was out and then I left while they reset and cast his arm.{I wasn't allowed to stay in the room}  It took about 50 minutes which was longer than they had hoped, but apparently they'd had a trouble getting it stay when they'd set it.  The bones kept popping out of place and finally the last time, it stayed.  Thank God!!! 

    When I came back in, Andrew was still out, but starting to come to. His eyes were really wide when he looked at me and said in his mimicking Lily voice, "Helloooooo Mummy."  It made me laugh.  Immediately his eyes closed again and he nodded off and on until he finally said, "Am I going to turn into Captain America?"  I couldn't help but crack up and told him no, he wasn't today.  This kid has loved superheroes since he was 2 years old!

    This is what he looked like when I came back after casting.

    Ultimately, it was an exhausting night primarily just because of the duration of time and the fact that he was starving and so thirsty and couldn't have anything. We both just wanted to go home and sleep.  For the record, the chairs in the rooms are not advantageous for a woman who is 33 weeks pregnant.  I'm glad he had gotten some sleep throughout the night. The rest of the time we watched the end of an Indiana Jones movie, one of the Pirates of the Caribbeans, and the news.

    He had picked red for his cast because it's a school color and you know, in marching band where he plays the saxophone...that he now cannot hold. :(  

    Finally we were discharged around 9 something a.m. When we got home, Andrew went to bed and slept until 5:15pm.  He only woke long enough for me to give him ibuprofen in the middle of the afternoon.

    Today starts a whole new adventure with him having to figure out school with his non-dominant hand.  I hoping he had a good day!

    In the scheme of things, a broken wrist and gimpy fin for 6 to 8 weeks isn't that big of deal. He's healthy and functional and I'm trying to keep that in perspective. My heart just hurts for him trying to do everyday things and missing out on activities he loves, and being in a cast when his baby sister is born.  He's resourceful and thankfully asks for help when he needs it, but tries to do things first.

    I'd rather it be me. 

    I love this kid so much and I'm so, so glad he's mine!!

    Friday, August 30, 2013

    A Little Life Catch Up

    Well, let's see...

    We've had a lot going on lately. Some great, some not so great!

    Thank you for the support and comments on my post about life as a stepmom.  I'm not looking for life to always be easy, just not quite so difficult all the time in that realm.  Taking the step back has been good for my blood pressure and my sanity.

    Also within the last couple weeks, we got a new to us car.  This is actually our first car together . George was beginning to worry about not having something big enough to have all 6 of us go somewhere after the baby is born, so he came home one afternoon from running some errands and said he wanted to go look.  I said ok and off we went.  The second place we stopped, we found a deal too good to pass up.  So, back the next day we went.  We both love it!

    Lily is a big fan of the headphones so she can listen to music or watch dvds. 

    As if buying a new car wasn't exciting enough, I decided that breaking my ankle at 31 weeks pregnant would add an element to our lives that would be awesome.  I stepped in a hole in our front yard, twisted it and down I went.  It hurt pretty badly from the get go, but I decided to see how it went for the rest of the day.  When I woke up the next day, it wasn't any better at all and off we went to urgent care where they x-rayed it and found the break.  My fav question at urgent care was, "When was your last menstrual cycle?"  My answer: "January 2013"  The guy stopped and actually looked at me.  Lightbulb! "Ohhhhh how pregnant are you?" 

    I was lucky to get an appointment that afternoon with the orthopedic doctor, so I didn't have to endure the weekend.  She gave me a walking boot and told me to lose the crutches so I didn't break my neck trying to balance my baby belly while walking on one foot.  Let's be honest, it's been a pain in the ass. It's hard enough nearing the end of my pregnancy, chasing a Lily all day, tending to the activities of Andrew's busy schedule and trying to maintain some semblance of a working home.  Going up and down stairs sucks. Thankfully, I have a good husband and son who have been amazingly helpful.

    Andrew went away to band camp for a week for the first time this year.  This deserves its own post, so I'm only going to touch on it, but on the Friday before they came home, they performed all their shows and invited parents to come to camp and watch.  It was so good! 
    This current week, was back to school which was also back to waking up early and I am worn out.  It's definitely an adjustment and I have napped more this week than I have since the beginning of this pregnancy. 
    So I have marching band, back to school, pregnancy updates and some Lily updates to catch up on. Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to get to some of it. I also need to get going through baby stuff too! Ackkkkkk!
    Happy Friday!

    Thursday, August 22, 2013

    32 weeks~ baby i2

    DATE:  August 22, 2013

    How far along: 32 weeks = rounding the home stretch!

    Total Weight Gained:
      Still down 1 pound from beginning.

    How big is baby?  "Your baby's the size of a squash!
    Still growing, your baby weighs in at about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds and measures about 15.2 to 16.7 inches"
    **taken from The Bump
    How baby is growing:
  • She's getting ready for her descent -- she's likely in the head-down position now.
  • And she's probably feeling a even more cramped
  • **taken from The Bump

    Maternity Clothes:  I can still wearing regular comfy pants (read: no buttons/zippers) and big shirts for the most part. If I put on real pants/shorts, then they are most definitely maternity!  A lot of dresses and skirts oh and pajammies of course.  And now a walking boot. Grrrrrr

    Sleep: I'm still worn out all the time.  The aches and pains at the end of the day make getting to sleep difficult and bedtime is usually when my heartburn kicks in. Adding a broken ankle into the mix did nothing for my sleep. ha!

    Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:  I'm truly trying to embrace this pregnancy since it is my last, so I spend a lot of my time I'd love to be sleeping, thinking about who this baby will be and what her personality will be like.  It's pretty magical.

    Movement: She's a mover! She doesn't really kick me though, she jumps and tumbles.

    Food Cravings:  lemonade, chocolate, hotdogs, cereal, watermelon, canteloupe

    Food Aversions:
     Nothing really is making me want to stay away except the heartburn.

    Gender:  our second precious baby girl

    Symptoms:  irritability still, exhaustion, lots of low pressure especially at the end of the day when I'm trying to go to bed. I'm not easy to be around. :(

    What I miss: not feeling exhausted all the time and being able to roll over in bed.

    What I'm looking forward to: My ankle healing and not delivering this baby in a walking boot, watching Lily become a big sister, feeling better physically, Halloween, the baby being here, figuring out her middle name.
    31weeks, 1day~ broken ankle day.