Thursday, October 31, 2013

What it be.

I figured it's been a while since I last updated you on Violet - so here's a little rundown:

She's now on two reflux medicines (omeprazole [7.5ml once a day] and Prevacid [1/2 of a 15mg solutab once a day]). That's the max she can take for her weight. Coincidentally, it is also the max my sanity can handle giving her. Have you ever tried pinning a 20 lb squirming infant down and force-feeding them medicine? It's a LOT HARDER than it sounds. The screaming, the flailing, the volcano-like spewing of said medicine back in my face. It's fairly magical. And I get to do that at least once a day! Don't be jealous! (for real, though...don't.)

The good news is that she seems to be doing a lot better through the night. She only wakes up a few times screaming now - generally between the hours of 3-6 am = huge improvement. She IS up LEAST...15 times a night for her binky, though. As soon as I'm convinced that we've got this reflux thing nailed down we're going to start working on weaning her off that freaking binky! As great as the binky has been for's making me insane now.

ALSO - Shaun and I (and Violet haha) are moving out of the basement!! We've had a whole list of things we needed in a place and we FINALLY found a cute little duplex that meets all of our needs. Two bedrooms, inexpensive, safe, close to work & family...I'm real, REAL excited. The only tough part is figuring out WHEN we're actually going to get around to moving...Shaun works 80+ hours/week and I'm going to be out of town working every weekend in after the New Year? :)

 We're going to miss all of our roommates. Violet will especially miss Seattle...she l-o-v-e-s Seattle. She loves watching her run around, she screams at her (happy screams), she gets excited when Seattle gives her toys. It's pretty cute. Vi will also miss Tucker - he actually let her touch his beard today!!! She FREAKED out with excitement. Typically he'll sit juuuuust out of her reach and watch her struggle to get him haha. When she starts crawling he's in for it.

  Other stuff: baby girl still isn't rolling. Not kidding. Haha. She can, but she doesn't. She's nowhere NEAR crawling. She gets so mad when she's on her belly (but she won't roll over onto her back?? little weirdo). She isn't eating solids yet (GI issues) but on occasion she'll get some baby food pears and she gets SUPER excited.



k bye.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Crochet Baby Cap FTW.

I figured you might need a little of this face in your life today.

In other news, I love crocheting things. Like this little cap Vi is wearing.

Nikki says it makes her look ridiculous. I say it looks ridiculously...CUTE.

Want to know how to make one?? It's easy like woah.

That is all.

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Shy Violet

Baby girl is SEVEN months old today...holy cow.

That's all.


Friday, September 27, 2013

I take it all back.

I just read my last post and it made me sigh. Loudly.

Here's why:

The belly aches Violet was getting wasn't from the Prilosec. It was just reflux. I'm fairly certain at this point that she was just adjusting to the new meds and they hadn't kicked in fully yet - and by starting to wean her virtually immediately after putting her on it, I unknowingly signed myself (and Violet) up for a horrible month/six weeks-ish.

She started doing better during the daytime because she's getting a little older, and spending more time upright, therefore she was feeling less crappy/screaming less.

As I continued to wean her off the meds, however, she started doing really REALLY bad at night. Like...up every 45 minutes screaming kind of bad. Like...want to step in front of a train because I'm so tired bad. Like...spending unhealthy amounts of time staring off into space before realizing my baby was STILL crying in my arms bad. BAD, PEOPLE.

That's when we went to the pediatric gastroenterologist. After a (much too) quick conversation with me asking about her symptoms, he launched into an "EVERY PEDIATRICIAN DIAGNOSES REFLUX MUCH TOO QUICKLY!" tirade and told me he was convinced she actually has a protein intolerance and an extra-EXTRA fancy, ultra broken down, incredibly UNBELIEVABLY expensive ($56 per can?!?!?!? YIKES) formula was the answer. It's called Neocate aka send-your-entire-paycheck-directly-to-this-company-because-depositing-it-is-just-an-unnecessary-step-at-this-point.

I already knew she had a protein intolerance. Hence our struggle finding Gerber Good Start Gentle. What he was saying backed up my suspicions about the evils of reflux medicines and sounded legit (I mean, he's a specialist, right????) so we went with it. I stopped her reflux meds completely. I put her on Neocate. I waited for the miracle of sleep to occur.


Plus she stopped eating. So, that was fantastic.

She was eating 3-4 ounces every 3-4 hours before starting Neocate.

She dropped that down to 1-2 ounces every 3-4 hours after.

THIS IS A SIX MONTH OLD CHILD, PEOPLE. An 18 pounder at that!! Eating 1-2 ounces?!

I called the doctor freaking out after 24 hours.

Apparently he wasn't super concerned because hey! she's a big, fat baby. "Give it another few days."

After a week I told that GI specialist (in my head) to shove it and I threw that expensive can of formula in the freaking trash can and picked up Gerber Good Start Gentle RTF (liquid form).

She still didn't sleep.

I called my pediatrician bawling my eyes out.

"It's reflux," he said,"Give her medicine for it."

"But the specialist told me it ISN'T reflux! And the medicine gives her a belly ache??"

"Nope," he said, "if anything, it will just give her some diarrhea. She has reflux. Trust me."

So I (BEGRUDGINGLY) forced my poor baby to swallow a teaspoon and a half of that sick nasty omeprazole (Prilosec). She literally spit it back in my face. It was disgusting. And a little bit funny. But mostly disgusting.

Guess what.


Deep breath.







She slept for five hours last night. All you moms with brand new babies who are getting more sleep than I am at night can just KEEP IT TO YOURSELVES!! Haha. But seriously.

She's up from her nap and I need to go get her.

The moral of the story is that I know nothing and I need to just remember that.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

What's new.

It's been a few weeks since we started Violet on Prilosec.

*WAIT* First...let me apologize for EVERY blog post being about reflux lately. haha. I'M SORRY. Reflux just happens to be my life at the moment, and every time I Google something it seems like a blog written by another Mom helps me out. SO! Continuing on...

Prilosec is great.

The dosage our pediatrician gave us is not so great.

He prescribed 1 & 1/2 tsp. per day. That amount DESTROYED her poor tummy. The question in my mind quickly became: "Sure, it makes the reflux go away...but are the horrendous abdominal cramping/gas/pain the meds give her WORTH it..???"

I've been slowly decreasing her dosage amount every ten days or so to see how little we can get by on. It seems the less I give her, the better she sleeps (fewer tummy aches between her all-night feedings) - but if I back her off too quickly she'll get acid rebound (where the stomach produces too much acid = reflux flare up disaster).

She's currently on 3/8ths of a teaspoon per day. I give her 1/4 tsp in the morning and 1/8 tsp at night.

She gets heartburn and those yucky, ouchy acid burps a few times a day, *but* the Fischer Price Rock 'n Play sleeper does wooooonderful things for her at night! She hardly ever cries at the reflux during the daytime now and sleeping at an angle in the Rock 'n Play keeps the acid down while she sleeps. I've wondered lately how much of the reflux bothering her was TRULY because it was painful, or if she was super sensitive because she was so miserable from not sleeping and having constant belly aches.

It frustrates me to no end that none of the three pediatricians we've seen have ever suggested that her digestion problems could be related to her reflux medications - especially now that I'm seeing there is 100% a direct correlation. I feel horrible for giving her all the medicine so early on, thinking I was helping, when I was probably just making everything worse. Uuugh  I can't even spend time thinking about it - it makes me so upset.

Tonight I'm going to skip her nighttime dose and see how she does.

She eats every 3 hours, 24 hours a day. According to our pediatrician, this is normal for a baby with reflux because eating more than that can cause distended stomach and, you guessed it, reflux flare ups. So...she's basically trained herself to eat juuuuust enough to feel not starving anymore and then she stops.

Ask me if I'm excited to have her go LONGER THAN 3 HOURS.

Go ahead. Ask me. I DARE YOU.

She's actually had a couple nights this past week where she ONLY woke up to eat. So I got to sleep in three hour blocks! Surprisingly enough, it ISN'T that refreshing. It IS more refreshing than her waking up every 45 minutes with a belly ache, though, so...I'll count my blessings there.

It's really nice to have a baby who isn't so miserable all the time during the day.

Mom used to say I would wake up and sing to myself every morning when I was a baby. Violet does that now - instead of waking up screaming. She just sits there and plays with her toes and sings. I'm excited to see more of her true personality emerge as we get further away from all this gross reflux garbage.  

That's all for now...fingers crossed that no medicine tonight will be a good thing!!

PS In case you're wondering whether I'm giving her solids yet or not - I'm not. Her ped recommended that we wait until at least six months because her digestion has been so sensitive. I have fantasies of sleeping aaaaallll night when I start giving her oatmeal cereal (rice cereal can be constipating for babies with sensitive tummies)!!  Aaah....aaaaalll niiiiight sleeeeeppp.....someday. Someday.

PPS - We also started her on Gerber's Soothe Colic Drops! They were previously sold as Bio Gaia's infant probiotic drops, but Gerber bought them out. I've been looking for them for months and didn't realize the Gerber drops were the same thing!! They're the ONLY infant probiotic that doesn't have tons of warnings about initially causing gas and abdominal pain and I really think they're helping her. ANY BABY ON REFLUX MEDICATION SHOULD TRY THESE DROPS. You're making your baby's digestion all whack by messing with their stomach acids, so help them out with a little probiotic! Seriously. Buy these for your friends. For yourself. For strangers. Just, believe me on this one. I've tried pretty much everything out there.

Ok that's all for realsies this time.

bye bye.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hope this helps someone someday.

It's been one month today since Violet's reflux started acting up again and making life a living nightmare for the both of us. It took two weeks for me to figure out that she probably needed more medicine (she went through a HUGE growth spurt and antacids are weight sensitive). We bumped her Prevacid solutab dose up from half a pill to a FULL pill (15 mg). Her pediatrician said he would prescribe that amount to a toddler...and suggested it might be time to switch to a different medicine (antacids also lose efficacy after a while for some children).

Bumping her Prevacid dose up was HORRIBLE. She was crying constantly, had terrible gas pains, belly aches all night, wanted to eat for comfort constantly, etc...I found a blog one awful, sleepless, tear-filled night and what I read there is what has motivated me to write this blog. It was a mom with a baby who has reflux explaining their experience with antacids.

Moms: I found that cutting Violet's Prevacid into quarters helped her NOT get terrible belly aches/gas. I was giving her a quarter of a 15mg solutab every six hours. Unfortunately, six hours started to not be enough - she would spit up stomach acid that left her skin pink and hot for a half hour :( Her ped recommended giving her a whole pill broken into halves twice a day - but...that was making her really switched to Zantac.

Zantac (Ranitidine) tastes TERRRRRRIBLE. She would SCREAM every time I'd make her take it (three times a day. uuuuugh). She'd spit it out. She'd choke and throw it up. Also? She wasn't 100% better. She was still coughing, crying when she was spitting up, unable to sleep at night, etc...

The MAMAROO was AMAZING for a few nights! Sleeping her at that angle was fantastic while she was on the Zantac. It was a total pain to snap her in and out of it over and over again all night (she was comfort eating every couple hours), but it helped her get a little rest at least.

We switched her off the Zantac to Prilosec (Omeprazole) after only a few days. Prilosec has been great...but taking the full dose has been really hard on her. She doesn't seem to mind the taste as much. I mean, she'll grimace and fuss and try to spit it out, but at least she isn't screaming her face off. It gives her diarrhea, gas, nausea, etc (which has eliminated the Mamaroo as a sleeping option - the strap hurts her tender belly). I'm backing her off the full dose now to see if we can find a happy medium...She was prescribed 1 &1/2 tsp every day. I give her 1 tsp a day in two, half-tsp doses. I'll let you know how that's working in a few days.

I'm not sure if this post makes total sense....I'm pretty tired. But I just wanted to get it out there for someone else who might be doing a Google search in the middle of the night, frantically searching for something to help their babies (and themselves) find happier times.

Antacids give babies belly aches. Giving them in multiple small doses per day helps! Also, give them at LEAST thirty minutes before feeding your baby - no matter what!! They won't work if you don't give them time to absorb in an empty belly (except Prevacid...those little solutabs absorb almost immediately and taste like candy. *sigh* why can't ALL antacids be like that!??)

Ok. That's all.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Light at the end of the tunnel...

Having your first baby is hard. One of the toughest parts? Not having any experience/anything to compare your child to. I've read the books about how to get your baby to sleep, I've tried all the tips. I thought maybe I was just a failure and my baby screamed all day and night because I was a bad mom :(

Turns out my baby has some serious tummy problems. I didn't know that's not how normal babies acted, because I've never had a baby before! All the advice and info in books and blogs wasn't working for my baby because my baby was in pain. So sad :(

Violet has reflux. For any mom out there who's baby screams while eating, or after eating, arches their back, wheezes/coughs/gags a lot, and spits up like crazy: LOOK INTO REFLUX. One little pill a day helps *TONS*. Even if your baby ISN'T spitting up, but has the other symptoms - look into it! There's a reflux called 'silent reflux' where the baby doesn't spit up tons, but still feels the burn!

Violet also has digestion issues. The pediatricians have told us her little system still needs to mature a bit...

At the beginning of her seventh week, we took her to see a chiropractor who specializes in allergy testing (called NAET). We had her on the reflux meds already, on special pre-digested formula, were taking her every few days to get foot-zoned, etc...That afternoon she went a few hours without screaming! It was a miracle. That Sunday she slept and we made it through all three hours of church - a FIRST for us since she was born.

She started having happy awake time! It wasn't much, but it was a massive improvement over constant fussiness and never ending hysterical fits.

We took her to get her 2 month shots the next week and told the doctor she was still struggling. He said he suspected a condition called 'delayed gastric emptying', which is common when an infant has GERD (reflux). I had read about it before and I had thought that, too. It would explain why she always pushes and grunts and fidgets and can't ever pass gas or poop without straining and crying. He prescribed a medicine called Reglan.

I had read about Reglan before and the side effects terrified me. I understand why people put their infants on it (believe me, there were days that I would've risked ANYTHING to have her stop crying!) but since she had started improving ever so slightly, I just couldn't bring myself to give it to her. As a last ditch effort, we switched her from Nutramigen (her fancy pants formula) to Gerber Good Start Gentle (a formula I had read about in online forums for parents who hadn't experienced much success on Nutramigen). I was afraid it was going to mess her tummy up worse, but it was worth a shot before starting her on a new medication.

That night she woke up every two hours to eat (like usual), but instead of taking thirty minutes to calm back down and spending every minute listening to her whine and fuss and fidget - she was quiet. She was so quiet, in fact, that I spent the entire night getting up to make sure she was still breathing! She woke up, ate, burped, fell back asleep peacefully. It was astonishing. ASTONISHING.

Don't get me wrong - she still gets belly aches and spends a lot of time cranky and not sleeping well BUT she also has days and nights that she behaves like a normal baby. I can take her out in public. I HAVE NOT HAD HER OUT IN PUBLIC LIKE EVER (because she's so miserable all the time and who likes carting around a screaming child?!). Isn't that amazing!?

So, to recap...If you're a new mom and your baby cries all day and all night:
1. Recognize that it ISN'T normal for your baby to cry that much and it ISN'T your fault!!
2. Look into reflux and how to deal with it.
3. Pay attention to your baby's gas! (Violet NEVER passed gas before we put her on this new formula. I'm not kidding you. I NEVER heard her toot except when she'd poop - and that wasn't that often! - no wonder she was so miserable!!) and consider switching formulas (if you're formula feeding. duh.)
4. Consider NAET testing and foot zoning. I never thought I'd be a believer, but after every gripe water/colic remedy/pill/etc I could get my hands on failed?? those things pulled through.

We're not 100% better, but I think we're on the path to happier times! And, oh...this day couldn't have come soon enough!! Wahooooooooo!


(PS - remember when Violet was 3 weeks old and she'd wake up, eat, then scream for two hours before screaming herself to sleep, then wake up screaming fifteen minutes later to eat and start the process all over??? 24 hours a DAY?! and how that lasted for WEEKS?! and I didn't know it wasn't normal, so I thought EVERY mother went through it and I was just a weakling for crying hysterically every day out of exhaustion?! oooh yeah...NEVER EVER again. ever. ever ever. bless america.)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


It's official: we've tried it all.

Gripe water. Colic Ease. Colic Calm. Simethicone (gas drops). Footzoning. Chiropractor. Allergy testing. Four different kinds of formula - ending on a predigested, fancy shmancy formula that costs a freaking arm and a leg. Essential oils. NEVER putting her flat on her back (she has a special wedge with sling attachment so she's always at an angle, even when we're not holding her [which is hardly ever]). Sleeping her on her belly. Antacids. Frequent burping. Frequent, smaller feedings. Massage. I mean...goodness gracious. The point of ridiculousness has been passed.

Baby girl still fidgets and fusses all night and day long. Sometimes erupting into full-blown hysteria that lasts for who knows how long. It feels like forever. It seems like the only time she's really able to get comfortable is when she's vertical in someone's arms. So...that means sleep is basically out of the question - since HER being comfortable inevitably means you're NOT comfortable. Thank the heavens above we're in Utah now and have relief most mornings after long, sleepless nights holding a crying, squirmy, miserable infant. Family, people. Family = God's greatest gift to our little peanut right now. I was crying every single day before we got here. I've cut back to about every other day now. Improvement.

We've had a couple days where it feels like there might be hope...but she always lapses back into having a hurt tummy/unable to pass gas/hating her life within a couple hours. She really is sweet when she doesn't hurt; unfortunately, that isn't very often :/ Bleh.

We're still going to a foot zoner. We go every few days. We're also planning on continuing with the chiropractor. I mean, her pediatrician(s) have told us they've done all they can do and she'll just have to outgrow it (hopefully).

...umm...outgrow it?!

...are we supposed to all make it alive and/or sane to that point...? because I'm ready to be sent to the loony bin. like, today.

So, we'll continue to see whoever tells us there's still something to be done for her. Poor thing. I hate that she spends so much time so uncomfortable and sad.

I've appreciated ALL your comments, messages, texts, etc...with advice from your experience(s). I can't think of ONE thing that someone has recommended that we haven't tried (and/or are continuing to try). Did I miss something in the first paragraph??? Hit me with it. We'll try it.

Shout out to Melissa for the essential oils! I love them. Leanna - thank you for recommending Dr Hershey. He's awesome. Alisa, Rachel, Amie (and I'm sure at least one other person) - I appreciate your foot zoning suggestions! Erin - thank you for the link to the colic article (it lead me to the wedge we purchased for her to sleep/play on!) Janay & Ainsley - for bringing up your experiences with reflux and suggesting an antacid! At least her reflux isn't bothering her as much anymore! Hallelujah :) I'm positive I'm missing people - it's just because I'm so exhausted, not because it hasn't mattered or been appreciated.

I've gone back and read through all your encouraging messages and comments so many times over these past sleepless weeks. Even just the "you can do it!" ones help. THANK YOU for caring. And for reaching out. And for being kind and compassionate.

I'm still listening. Much, much love from our little family to all of you.

xo -

Friday, May 3, 2013


As much as I'm SURE you'd LOVE for me to regale you with tales of sleepless nights, indigestion, reflux and  screaming babies...I'm just going to post pictures instead :)

These were all taken by Nikki (my sister). Enjoy!

FIRST! Please tell me how cute this little face is?! Holy moly we fell in love immediately.

 Earlier that morning:
 I remember thinking,"I don't look that big. My belly is hardly that big at all!" Haha. 
Looking at this picture I'm thinking," wonder I felt so miserable." :)

 Mom's ring.
Note: I delivered my baby at the same hospital my Mom delivered me at! And the same hospital Nikki had her first baby girl at.Tender.
 I'm laughing to keep myself from crying 
(out of terror knowing we were less than an hour away from having a baby).
 Starting to wonder what on earth I got myself into...SO STRESSED at this point!
 Completely freaking out. Sisters!
Another note: Kristina helped SO MUCH the week after Vi was born. I honestly think I would've had a complete nervous breakdown without her. She's an angel.
 Love this one :)


Here are the pictures Nikki snapped as I was seeing my baby for the first time!! 
I'm so happy she was there to capture this moment. 
I cry every time I look at them. Such a beautiful dream come true.

Isn't she precious?? I think so.

Ok. Now to get back to being a Mom to a very crabby infant. 


Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Rest

First: I would like to point out that I am not crying.

Why am I not crying, you ask?

Because my sister is coming to save me from what was quickly becoming a black hole of sleep deprivation, endless fussiness and endless despair. We were planning on heading down to Utah this weekend for sweet Tay's baptism, but after the last few nights? Let's just say that this help couldn't have come at a better time.

Also...this is exactly what Moms are for. Mom would have been here teaching me and helping me and telling me I'm not a huge failure. Cracking inappropriate jokes, cuddling and kissing my baby.

Frick. Right when I said I wasn't crying.

Ok ok ok ok breathe. This isn't going to be a bitter post. This is the rest of Violet's birth story.

I'm sure that bitter 'why isn't my Mom here?' posts will find their way onto this blog...but not right now.


Shaun and Vi went off to the nursery and I got stitched and cleaned up and rolled down to recovery where I kept asking every person within earshot, "WHEN DO I GET TO SEE MY BABY." (said in Will Ferrell's 'voice immodulation' (sp??) character's voice.)

FINALLLLLLY - after like a billion hours (like 30 minutes) - they wheeled me down to the room where my whole family was waiting! After another billion hours (like five minutes) Shaun walked in and right behind him??!?! Da da ta daaaa!! My baby!!

I was so frustrated at how slow and heavy my body was - I wanted to LEAP out of that bed and grab her! The nice nurse helped prop me up and handed that little bundle of blonde hair and chubby cheeks to me. I could barely maneuver myself, let alone poor Violet, so I enlisted the help of one of my sisters to sit her up so I could look at her.

Holy moly, people. If there was ever a question about paternity prior to this child's birth, one look at her little face cleared away ANY doubts. I felt like I was looking at a baby picture of Shaun! All that blonde hair, her eyes and eyebrow shape, her nose, all the way down to that little chin. There's just never been a more precious and wonderful tiny person. Nikki was snapping pictures like crazy and captured the moment I first saw her - I'm crying [again] thinking about that amazing moment. I'll post it here as soon as I get my hands on it!

I felt like I could stare at her all day. I was really happy when the meds started wearing off so I could hold her and cuddle her without feeling like I was about to drop her on the floor. I couldn't believe I was sitting in the hospital with my husband and my baby and my family. It really was a dream coming true - one of my oldest and most wished for dreams.

The next several days were a blur of pain meds, horrible swelling and all night breast feeding extravaganzaaaaas (worst idea ever!!) mixed with so much happiness and fatigue and excitement and anxiety. Family visiting, family leaving, leaving the hospital (which prompted a massive meltdown for both Violet AND me), and figuring things out at home.

For the record: The first ten days of recovering from a c section are NO JOKE. I scarfed narcotics like tic tacs. I demanded refills. I went from looking like a 6 months pregnant gorilla after my surgery (don't ask me why I looked like a gorilla - I just did!!) to looking 3 months pregnant in a matter of days (wooooooo stress = not eating! = weight loss!). I also experienced the most fantastically horrific rollercoaster of hormones and emotions. It was terrifying. I'm actually not sure WHO it was more terrifying for - me or Shaun. I think both of us will be scarred eternally from it.

We also had our battle with jaundice - see earlier post - which we're finally OVER! Victory!

Sweet Vi is now 17 days old! She is getting chunkier everyday and even smiles in her sleep now and then. She loves listening to Daddy's voice and will always turn her head in whatever direction he's speaking from. She likes to eat (and then throw it all up!), but fights sleep like it's her evil nemesis (not my favorite). BUT her  beautiful little face and blue eyes looking up at me - even at 3am - just melts my heart. She is my favorite. She just is.

The hormones and craziness have subsided ever so slightly (in case you were wondering), and I'm continuing to feel more and more like myself every day. My incision still hurts - like someone is burning me with a freaking branding iron! - but I'm down to a couple heavy duty motrin and extra strength tylenol a day instead of handfuls of loritab.

In retrospect, I wish I had spent more time while I was pregnant figuring out the day-to-day routine of having a newborn. Like...what's normal? What's not? What do I want for her? I honestly thought it would just come to me naturally. Like she would just come prepackaged with a little schedule that she'd implement and it would work smashingly for everyone involved and we'd be a happy little family with nothing but giggles and cuddles all around. In reality, trusting a newborn to decide your schedule with no parameters of any kind is basically a death wish. Death to your sanity! Death to your baby's ability to sleep or eat with any kind of regularity!

I didn't know that, though. But I know it now. And hopefully Violet won't be permanently damaged from all the things I DON'T currently know, but that I'll figure out with her (and myself) as the guinea pig(s). I know a lot of this will just come with time and experience - but I really and truly believe that having someone who's done it before to help answer all the questions makes a huge difference. Things I never thought to ask. Like - how often should she be awake? Isn't that random!? I have no idea, though! How much should she be eating? What's the weird yellow eye booger thing all about? How do I bathe her without hurting her?! I'm serious - I feel like I'm either going to drown her or smash her tiny little body every time I give her a bath. It's pretty scary. That's probably why she smells like barf a lot of the time. Well, THAT and she throws up all over everything constantly. Not a good mix.

Anyways. I have about twenty minutes to take a quick shower before baby girl wakes up and needs a snack. I go.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

March 21st, 2013

I could hardly sleep the night before March 21st, 2013. I spent most of the night staring at the pack n play in our room...the pink fuzzy blanket inside it, the changing table with diapers and wipes all lined up, hand sanitizer, mobile...thinking how crazy it was that the next time I spent the night in my bedroom there would be a baby sleeping in that pack n play. (note: she hasn't slept in that pack n play one time. haha. mostly because she choked on some spit up while we were in the hospital and now I can't sleep unless she's propped up in her swing [just in case!]).

One of the best and worst parts of having a scheduled c-section is knowing when your baby is coming (unless you go into labor early or something). This means that I had weeks and weeks to be neurotic about scheduling. Scheduling when I would deep clean the bathroom for the last time, when I would need to sweep and mop and vacuum to ensure optimum cleanliness upon returning home with a baby, when I would need to pack my hospital bag, her diaper bag, nag Shaun to death about this and that. You know. The usual.

On Wednesday the 20th we registered with the hospital and they told us to call at 11ish the next day to make sure all the other labors/inductions had gone according to schedule, so we wouldn't have to sit at the hospital waiting if our 12pm surgery time got bumped. When I called at 11ish on the 21st, the response from the nurse was,"Oh! We've been waiting on you! We thought you'd be here at 10:30! Can you get right now??" And ALL of my last minute cleaning plans flew out the window. My blood pressure shot through the roof and I found myself being whisked down the stairs of my apartment building, car seat, hospital and diaper bag(s) in tow. I had honestly hoped and wished for our surgery to get bumped. Til like...after Christmas. Haha. But NOPE. It was GO time. And I was late.

We stopped to take a quick picture outside the hospital. A part of me wanted to run away in that moment. Run away from the hospital with it's knives and IV's and needles and life-changing, reality-altering, baby-producing surgery.

I didn't run away though. Mostly because running was out of the question - I could barely waddle, let alone attain a speed anywhere NEAR "running". So I walked in those doors and got on that elevator and faced that uncertainty with what I can only describe as thinly veiled terror.

(Luckily for everyone involved, they had a dozen nurses jump me as soon as I walked into my room - so I didn't have a lot of time to plan my escape from that point on.)

Turns out my Dr had some kind of family emergency :perfect!: so he had to bow out of my surgery and left it to his partner - who's humor and bedside manner was just irreverent enough to keep me feeling at home. I'm pretty sure I had a heart attack when they started wheeling me into that OR. I waved goodbye to my family and kept focusing on Shaun and told myself it would all be over soon.

NOTE: Thank you to the friends who told me how freakishly cold the OR would be. Like...did we warp to Alaska?! Why, for the LOVE, is it -30 in there?! Holy cow. At least I was completely naked. That helped.

Back to the story: The nice anesthesiologist popped in to walk me through the process of giving me my spinal. Which was terrifying. I wished no one had told me and that they'd just stabbed me while I was distracted. I was afraid of the pain, and it turns out I was justified in that fear. I had a couple super intense hip spasms when he put the needle in my back and if I could have, I DEFINITELY would have run at that point. The good news? It was aaaaaaalllll gravy from there! (except for the catheter. didn't I SPECIFICALLY ask for that bad boy to be placed AFTER my spinal took effect...??? umm...yeah. thanks for holding off on that one...not. o-u-c-h.)

Let me tell you something, you know how amazing it feels to lay on your back, completely pain free, for the first time in months? AMAZING, PEOPLE. My whole body was warm and comfy and fabulous. I didn't experience the whole "my spinal made it feel like I couldn't breathe" phenomenon (thank heavens). I just felt...warm. And sleepy. Incredibly, incredibly sleepy.

"They've started," the anesthesiologist said. "That's horrifying!" I thought happily as I imagined my insides being cut open. So comfy! Didn't care.

I watched Shaun's face when the nurses prompted him to look over the blue sheet dividing our blissful ignorance from the gore of a c-section. He only looked a couple times. I can't say I blame him. Kristina got to come into the surgery, too! To take pictures. Long story - turns out I'm a little anatomically weird (hence the scheduled c-section) and they made an exception to have two family members in surgery! She watched the whoooooole thing. And was excited about it. Too much Grey's Anatomy for SOMEone...

Maybe I should post some pictures!?

haha jk. don't be gross.

Let me just say... That little cry? The little howl of disapproval a baby makes when she's brought from her dark, comfortable home into the bright, cold world? Best. sound. ever. (after coming home from the hospital? that sound now gives me a heart attack haha). I wanted to see her so bad!! But they took her off to the nursery, Shaun in tow, and left me to get all stitched up and put back together.

Oh dear. Time to feed little friend. There's not a ton left to tell, but I'll blog the rest later :)!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Holy Moly aka the Evil Jaundice Monster and Hysterical Zombie Woman

I'll write our sweet baby Violet's birth story after this post, so it pops up on top of this one. I'm not sure how many of you are THAT excited to read it, but I know I LOVE reading birth stories - so I just thought I'd throw that out there in case anyone is disappointed that this is not a post about that.


The last week and a

I'm writing this because in the last few minutes I wrote messages to a couple friends and it made me feel better to get it out. So I'm writing it here now. And hopefully I'll feel even better after sharing with you.

On Violet's second day of life, the doctors told us she was jaundiced. She was breast feeding like crazy (for hours on end in the hospital...why didn't even ONE nurse tell me how horrific that would end up making my poor nipples?? Cracked. Bleeding. Searing pain. For days.) We have a history three generations long in my family of women who are unable, for one reason or another, to breast feed. I was elated when I heard one nurse comment to me,"Wow! You're doing so great (with feeding)! You should come teach the other moms how it's done!" I had anticipated NOT being able to breast feed, so the excitement and joy I felt was overwhelming. I can do this! I thought.

And then we came home.

That's when the cracking and bleeding started. That's when her billirubin numbers started escalating (jaundice). That's when she started sleeping for alarmingly long periods of time without waking to feed (4-6 hours and I'd STILL have to wake her up). That's when we got a phone call that we needed to pick up a special light pad to put on her 24/7 because her numbers were too high (called a billiblanket). That's when I started feeling so stressed and panicked about my baby that I forgot to eat, forgot to drink, forgot to sleep, even forgot to take pain meds for the huge incision from my c section. Shaky. Hurting. Terrified.

I became Hysterical Zombie Woman. <--my alter="" anxious="" deprived="" ego.="" miserable="" p="" sleep="">
People told me to just not wake her - "She'll wake up when she's hungry enough!"
People told me to wake her every two hours - "Or the jaundice will never go away!"
People told me to supplement with formula. Don't supplement with formula.
Give her a bottle. No, don't, it will ruin your ability to breast feed.

People = pediatrician, nurses, lactation specialists, blogs. Haha. Seriously. So many blogs.

I hate the internet.


Last night I had it.

HAD IT!!!!

The nurse from the hospital had called with the results of Violet's latest blood test and had told me they believe her jaundice was being perpetuated by my breast milk (called breast milk jaundice). When I had started supplementing with formula her billirubin numbers started decreasing.

So...basically...what she was saying was...I was waking my lethargic baby up every three hours, forcing her to latch on to each side for fifteen minutes, while trying my hardest to keep her awake - feeding her skin to skin, bringing her into the bright lights in the living room, tickling, talking, putting music on, cool paper towel on the bottoms of her feet, etc... - then supplementing with a bottle, then PUMPING FOR TWENTY MINUTES = over an HOUR to feed her each time and it's MY BREAST MILK THAT'S MAKING HER JAUNDICE STICK AROUND?!!??

I'm seriously crying as I'm writing this.

So I gave in. I didn't latch her on first like every single freaking medical person had told me to. I just popped a bottle in the warmer and gave it to her.

Then she woke up 2 hours later and ate another two ounces.

Then again. And again. And again. All night long.

I latched her on again this morning and told her, "Ok...let's just try this again." But I only latched for a couple minutes, and then gave her a formula bottle. She's been waking up every three hours today now. Blessed formula. Blessed, blessed formula.

I don't know if there's really a point to this post, other than to express how difficult the last twelve days of my life have been. I'm so tired and I love sweet Vi so much. I want to do everything right, and it turns out that I'm kind of the only person who can decide what that is (which is so much harder than someone just TELLING me what the right thing is!!!!!).

My husband is nagging me to go to sleep - which I know I need to do.

In closing...if you have any extra time in your prayers to spend on our little baby and family, I'd truly appreciate it. That Violet's jaundice numbers will continue to come down (she's been in the high teens since leaving the hospital), and that my anxiety can lessen. I struggled with anxiety for years (high five for therapy!) and between these post pregnancy hormones and no sleep and worry over Violet - let's just say that the term "basketcase" was invented for people who feel/act like I do right now.

Words of encouragement and/or love? That's what the comment section is for. Use it, people.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Allow me to take this moment to completely freak out.


We were all having a great time with "Pregnancy Appreciation Week!" and life was happy and exciting, right?

Well, I am officially taking a break because I needed the last couple days to COMPLETELY FREAK OUT.

We're having a baby. Tomorrow. And it's like being on a roller coaster and you're thinking to yourself, "Meh, this isn't so bad!"
(couple minutes later...heading up a big, loooooong, steep incline...)
"Um...that looks like a straight vertical drop coming up..Maybe I could just step out and onto these little steps next to the roller coaster and avoid the huge plummet that's coming up?"
(continues climbing.)
(climbing for about nine months or so.)
(that's a lot of climbing.)
"I kind of dislike roller coasters, now that I think about it... Why did I even get ON this roller coaster?! AAAHHHHH!!!"

That's kind of what my brain has been doing the past 48 hours.

Don't get me wrong - I want this baby. I know I do. I have for a really long time! But...somehow...somewhere, that knowledge has gotten buried underneath a mountain of fear and panic. And suddenly it sounds really scary to have a baby. And to have major surgery to GET my baby. And just everything that comes along with said baby. Sleep deprivation. Weird body stuff. Hormones from H E double hockey sticks. (who came up with that saying, by the way?? it's stupid.)

So...maybe I'll finish my Pregnancy Appreciation Week countdown and maybe I won't. Maybe I'll write a couple blog posts from the hospital while I'm all drugged up - that sounds fun, doesn't it??

Please think happy, calm, peaceful thoughts of fat, healthy, sleepy babies for me so I can be less of a basketcase tomorrow, March 21st at 12pm when I go in to have my firstborn cut from my womb.

Thank you all. And to all a good night.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pregnancy Appreciation Week! Day 3: Free Pass

One of my very favorite things about being pregnant is that everyone cuts you slack. You're tired? It's ok, you're pregnant. Cranky? Pregnant. Looking especially bloated and puffy? Yep - preggo pass! It's pretty awesome.

I find myself feeling completely shameless buying impulse candy when in the check out line at the grocery store. People ask if I need help putting my groceries in my car. I'm given the comfy chair to sit in during Sunday School, and hardly anyone gives me dirty looks for snacking during sacrament meeting on fast Sundays (third trimester morning sickness, people. it's REAL.) My husband even yells at me (lovingly) for fixing the curtain rod - which, in all fairness, he's refused to fix for the past week SO my only option was to climb on top of our rickety bar stool and handle it myself the other night while he was at work. Obviously. It's actually really endearing how protective he's gotten...although, I'm not completely convinced he's not just sending me subliminal messages that he thinks I'm majorly uncoordinated and likely to kill our child because of it.

True story: Several weeks ago (when I was still working in the cafe) I ran to the store during a shift because the ice cream machine broke and we needed about a billion gallons of vanilla ice cream. I ended up buying every single gallon of vanilla ice cream at the store. I had over a dozen of those huge, plastic tubs of ice cream all lined up on the check out conveyor belt and was thinking how funny it must look to have this HUGE pregnant lady buying so much! The nice clerk rang me up and asked me,"How are you feeling tonight?" I responded with a straight face,"Oh fine. Just had a little craving for some ice cream." HE DIDN'T EVEN FLINCH. Just nodded politely and handed me my receipt! Hahaha. I laughed all the way out to the car. That man must have had a pregnant wife at some point in his life. He KNEW better than to laugh. Dozens of gallons of ice cream. No judgement.  Free pass.

There have been some days where I've legitimately needed the Preggo Pass. When I've felt my hormones doing really weird things and I find myself crying over the most bizarre garbage - or when I've been so full of RAGE that I just had to get in the car and drive to WalMart and buy yarn to calm down. (for the record: I have cried over some really stupid things while pregnant. and the thing that has made me the most upset? when I can't sleep and Shaun is snoring peacefully next to me like an angel. haha. I'm so selfish!)

Most of the time, though? I've felt like my normal self. Just bigger. And less comfortable. Ok and maaaaybe a little more crabby (because I'm big and uncomfortable. duh.) Either way - I'm going to miss having a free pass. A free pass to nap all afternoon. A free pass to demand chicken nuggets. DEMAND THEM, I SAY! A free pass to not carry in one single bag of groceries, or to skip running and just waddle for exercise.

I think I'll need chicken nuggets for lunch tomorrow, a big nap and then a foot rub. After all, I only have three more days of this. Gotta live it up while I can :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pregnancy Appreciation Week! Day 4: Getting Crafty

At 14 weeks my doctor told us it looked like we were having a boy. So we got ALL excited and picked out a name and everything only to discover (at 20 weeks) that we are most definitely having a GIRL! I felt massively relieved because, well, look at the family I come from. PLUS! Girl babies are so much fun to dress! And less destructive in nature! And are easier to change! (diapers, I mean. at least, I think so.)

Once we found out it was a girl - and Shaun has made SURE to ask the ultrasound tech each visit whether or not our baby is still, in fact, a girl haha - I started feeling crafty. That blossomed into full blown crafting mania and I haven't stopped since! We're talking blankets, bows, onesies, you name it. It's freakin awesome.  I LOVE that I've had a) the time to do all of these things (see post from yesterday!) and b) that google and pinterest and youtube exist so I could find tutorials on all of these cute things for my baby!

Here are some pictures!

Baby scratch mits. Way cuter than any I could find on!
(this is before I added the elastic to the bottoms! One quilting fat quarter for .99 cents at WalMart makes two pair of these adorable guys!)

Flannel blanket with lace edging! 
Kristina bought me a sewing machine for Christmas (and my baby shower) and this project is one that I'm most proud of :) Crooked stitching and all haha.

Baby bows! 
Felt, ribbon, left over lace from our wedding - you name it, it can be turned into an adorable infant bow which can be popped onto an interchangeable nylon baby headband and VOILA! Instant (and inexpensive) baby accessory!

This blanket took me forever. And I crocheted it for someone else. Who, it turns out, hates pink and so I ended up crocheting her a different baby blanket haha. Glad I asked before I sent it...

This is the best thing ever and I want to make a billion more.
(even though Shaun says our baby is going to look like a weird-o and all the other babies are going to make fun of her weird clothes.)
Don't care. It's cute. And I love it.

Check out these pictures from the tutorial
You're telling me this baby looks like a weirdo?! I think not.

 Babies love sunsuits
(as demonstrated by the following picture:)

Minky blanket.
Deliciously soft and adorable. 
I got the kit on sale at Porters. Woot!

Ok Shaun has suddenly decided that watching Cool Hand Luke is the most important thing in the universe and is getting MAJORLY bummed on me blogging. So I shall end this post now!

Moral of this post: BABY CRAFTS ARE THE BEST AND I'M GOING TO SPEND THE NEXT THREE DAYS SEWING AND GLUE GUNNING MY BRAINS OUT (while eating copious amounts of Easter candy...shh...don't tell Shaun...)

Four more days!!! AHH!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pregnancy Appreciation Week! Day 5: Time

Shaun and I spent some time planning when we thought would be the ideal time to get pregnant. We decided that we wanted to have our baby AFTER he finished his undergrad studies, but before his master's program started. That way, we wouldn't be up all night with an infant at the end or the beginning of a new educational venture. We didn't spend a lot of time considering anything else, however, and ended up getting pregnant the EXACT month we had decided would be ideal! Party! ...right? Umm...

What we DIDN'T consider was that I would be in San Diego working a full time job during my entire first trimester, and part of my second. We didn't consider that I'd be involved with heavily promoting my album, The Waiting Place, which meant endless flights and traveling. We didn't consider that Shaun would and I would be apart for most of that time, too - him in Rexburg finishing his final semester of school, and me working in San Diego through the end of October.

Needless to say, I cursed my lack of foresight SEVERAL times during those months. I was sick all the time, unable to sleep, grumpy and exhausted from pregnancy PLUS working full time at a demanding job PLUS travelling and performing (poor people sitting next to me on all those flights...I still feel bad for them haha). I felt overwhelmed...I felt like I just wanted to see my husband and complain to him and never, ever get out of bed again. It was a really difficult time for me.

But you know what? I got through it. WE got through it. Shaun finished his last semester at BYU-I (WOOHOO!!), I moved from San Diego back to Idaho and spent my last couple months working with a bunch of people who I truly love. We got through applying for grad school. And now? Now I've had time. LOTS of it. And it has been AWESOME.

Not everyone gets time before their baby comes to do whatever they want. Don't get me wrong, it isn't like I can do WHATEVER I want...we're on a budget here, people...but I've had time to sleep (when my body decides to), I've had time to blog, craft, write for a new project ::fingers crossed, everyone!!::, cook dinner, and get as ready as possible for this baby. I've tried to shut off that little voice in my head that says," You should be doing...:blah blah whatever:" and lay in bed a little longer. I've tried to take more time to appreciate every second I can with my husband. I mean, after just a few days it won't just be me and him alone ever again! I've had time to sit and be quiet and appreciate our tiny apartment and our simple life and think about how I'm so lucky to have a  man that I love so much and a baby that I've wanted for so long.

So tonight I'm giving TIME a shout out. Crazy time full of work and responsibility to quiet time full of anticipation and happiness and chilling out. 9 months felt like forever when this whole adventure started, and now it seems like it flew by in a blink! I'm so grateful for the time I've had these past few weeks to just BE.

Five days until my life changes forever. I have a feeling that these are going to be the longest - and shortest - five days ever.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pregnancy Appreciation Week! Day 6: The Bump

I'd like to take a moment and appreciate my massive baby bump that has magically appeared over the past few months. Sometimes I whine that I can't roll over in bed because of it (well, without grunting and needing a push from my groggy and cranky husband haha), sometimes I whine because it squishes my lungs and makes it hard to breathe, most of the time it's a catchall for every errant Pop Tart crumb and drip of syrup or orange juice (I honestly never knew I was such a sloppy eater. Before my belly did all of these things just end up on the floor??? good grief!). One time I even cried because I couldn't fit it into a maternity skirt belly band!! (seriously that just happened to me a couple weeks ago and I was devastated for a solid half hour. but then I discovered cookie dough ice cream in the freezer and all was right in the world again.)

It's true that I can't even pretend to squeeze into a pair of my old jeans anymore (seriously - who are these freak women who wear the same jeans their ENTIRE PREGNANCY with long tank tops covering the un-button-able parts?!), and it's true that I'm going to have a jiggly jello belly for a little while after baby girl is born. Shoot, let's be real and just put it out there that I might NEVER get my flat tummy back. Ever. At least not the way that it was.


Can we all agree that a baby bump is, all things considered, pretty amazing?? I mean...I've done basically nothing to create this life beyond the initial conception. I try to eat healthy, I drink lots of water, try to choke down my prenatals at least every now and then (FREAK I HATE THOSE THINGS) - sure. But ultimately I've gotten a front row seat to the most incredible creation process by just being a woman and getting pregnant. I've gotten to FEEL this little friend kicking and rolling. I've gotten to spend time awake at night feeling her hiccup and getting to know her little personality. I get to wear adorable maternity clothes (when they fit haha), wear leggings everyday without shame, feel justified waddling everywhere I go, and - best of all - I get to look in the mirror and shake my head in wonder at the miracle that my body is a part of.

I will miss you, my bump, in six days after our baby is born. I will miss watching you move around, all full of baby, and I will miss how freaked out Shaun gets when he sees a big kick or roll. I'm afraid that after she's born I'll stop feeling as connected to the 'miracle' aspect of this whole process - that I'll forget how overwhelmingly spiritual and special it has been...because my bump will go from being a quiet, constant reminder to a demanding, lively infant. I'll just have to remind myself to come back and read this post.'s to you, baby bump. You're huge and not super comfortable to lug around, but you're one of the best things that's ever happened to me. And I'll miss you when you go. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

7 Days! Pregnancy Appreciation Week

So I've decided to blog every day for the next week in honor of having spent the last nine months of my life pregnant! Because we're having a scheduled c-section, I know FOR SURE that at the MOST I will only be pregnant for another seven days. That blows my mind.

Let's be grateful, shall we? I spend a lot of time lately expressing how uncomfortable I am, how swollen I am, how tired I am, etc...BUT in reality, I am really REALLY grateful that I've gotten to experience pregnancy (and all of it's glorious, strange, and [at times] disgusting symptoms).

I spent a lot of time in my early and mid twenties feeling fairly certain that I'd never have kids. Not because I didn't WANT kids, but because I seemed to really struggle with the whole 'finding the right person to have kids with' thing. At times I felt pretty bitter watching women have their sweet babies, and loving husbands, and awesome lives.

DAY 7 of Pregnancy Appreciation Week is dedicated to appreciating God and His timing. I couldn't see it back then, but when I look back now I can see some reasons that it took me a little while to get to this point in my life. And I'm grateful. I'm grateful that God knows me better than I know myself. I'm grateful that THAT time period in my life is over, but also for all the things I learned about myself during it. I'm grateful that after all that waiting and praying for it I have my loving husband and sweet baby (almost!) and my life is awesome. Yeah, we're poor and in school. Yeah, we live in the world's tiniest apartment in the world's tiniest town with the world's tiniest income haha. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? This is what I've wanted for a loooong time. And if that means swollen ankles and heartburn 24/7 and body parts getting stretched out (that, let's be real, will probably never UNstretch...) and a budget the size of a thimble and sleepless nights and never-ending cravings for pickles and mustard and chicken nuggets and Taco Bell (...wonder why I have heartburn..??) then SO BE IT.

God knew what I could handle back then, and He knows what I can handle now. All of the waiting, all of the's all lead me here. And a week from today I get to be a Mom. And that's the best, most amazing, most overwhelmingly terrifying and beautiful gift God could ever give me.

The end.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Out of the mouths of babes:

Yesterday during sacrament meeting I went out into the hallway at church to get a drink. A group of sunbeams were making their way toward the drinking fountain as I was heading back into the meeting, and one little blond boy looked up at me (in what I can only describe as a mixture of horror and wonder) and shouted,"YOU HAVE A FAT BELLY!!" I laughed and said,"Yeah...there's a baby in there!" His teacher looked pretty mortified and rushed him over to join the rest of his classmates.

Then this morning as I was helping my five year old niece get ready for the day, she informed me that "sometimes you forget lots of things because you have a baby in your belly." Haha. Sooo true.

Kids are funny. I'm excited to have a little girl who calls it like she sees it and doesn't shield anyone from the truth. Even when it's socially unacceptable.

That's all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Let's Talk Pregnancy - part 2

First trimester = non stop sickness
Second trimester = lots of stretching/discomfort & pain
Third trimester = total and complete loss of sanity

Some women get tired during their first trimester. All I really felt was sick. Constantly. I'd wake up sick in the middle of the night and be unable to fall back asleep after forcing myself to get up and eat.

I've never felt so tired (without having first putting myself through a hellish work out, at least) as I feel now. The last two weeks have been ridiculous. The exhaustion hit me as quickly as morning sickness left at the end of my first trimester. (My morning sickness was completely gone one Monday morning during my 15th week. After having been SO SICK 24/7 for weeks on end that I couldn't believe I felt so amazing! And then I got scared. So scared that I called my Dr, went in that morning, and bawled like a crazy person when they found her heartbeat. From then on it was just on-and-off sickness...nothing that couldn't be fixed with a little snack [usually french fries].) Anyway.

I've been resisting the urge to nap during the day because I feel like napping wastes time & if I just push through feeling sluggish I'll eventually snap out of it. Usually that works. Today? No dice. 8 hours of sleep last night, followed by a solid 20 minutes of consciousness to make me & husband breakfast, followed by a two hour nap and now I'm ready for another one. Like, my eyes are burning and my body feels like it weighs a million pounds. It's so weird. I HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING ALL DAY. What the heck?!

Not only am I super, ridiculously tired, I'm also completely crazy. I can't stop cleaning things. And reorganizing things. Example: Last night I couldn't sleep before vacuuming. I felt like the floor was SO dirty that I just could NOT let it go one more second! So I vacuumed. At midnight. I'm sure all of my neighbors really appreciated it. Then I did the dishes, pulled everything out from under our bed and reorganized that. Took apart the table/storage area in our kitchen and pulled our shoes and coats from the bedroom and set them up there. Made the bed (yes, at midnight. Shaun wasn't home from work yet haha). I was contemplating tackling the bathroom when he walked in and saved me from myself.

ALSO IMPORTANT (not really, but I'm going to blog like it is!): I need to replace all of our blinds before the baby comes. They're dingy and discolored and I'm 90% sure she's going to contract something nasty if I don't get rid of them immediately. Plus, they're at least a century old (true story. when we first moved in, our landlord told us our apartment was "recently remodeled" and the nicest one! husband and I looked at each other like...uh...seriously? turns out it was remodeled in the early 1970's. ...yeah...).

...I just stared at the screen for ten minutes and then started falling asleep. I feel pretty freaking lucky that I have the option of going to lay down right'm going to take advantage.

Next installment: A lively discussion on DIY hair bows! How many does one really need? Does anyone else feel like Utah moms go a liiiiittle overboard with how big they make theirs? Is "theirs" a word? How many hours can I sleep today before I should be concerned? I digress.

TTYL, friends.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm Having a Baby. Help Me.

Hey dudes. 
Happy Monday.

Last night I had a semi-hysterical meltdown as I realized I only have 7 weeks left before I bring a child into this world. Hoooooly moly. Things just got REAL.

stolen from here

So! I started compiling my "Thing I Need to Pack for the Hospital" list and I realized I really have no idea what I ACTUALLY need versus what I think I need because I don't know any better. This is where you come in! Help me!

KEEP IN MIND: I'm having a scheduled c-section and will be in the hospital for approximately three days after she's born.

Here's my initial list:

Hair ties/pins
Face cleansing wipes & lotion
Wisp toothbrushes (for when I can't/am in too much pain/too tired to get out of bed haha)
Travel shampoo/condit/razor/etc
Maternity robe (being forced to walk around with my guts recently sewn together AND my bum hanging out the back of a hospital gown? No thanks, friend.)
 SIDE NOTE: I ordered my beautiful maternity robe last night! I haven't spoiled myself a lot this    pregnancy...and after the semi-hysterical meltdown I mentioned earlier? Let's just say I needed it.
Men's sweatpants (baggy w drawstring that come waaaay higher than my incision)
Maternity tank(s)
Fuzzy socks with grip on the bottom

Slippers (necessary? unnecessary?)
Nursing undergarments (how big should I really order these things?! sooo lost)
Belly binder (I've read these are life savers for women who have had c-sections. thoughts??)
 *also - do I wear the belly binder IN the hospital? I've read conflicting reports: they help your incision feel better vs they're horrible devices of torture. so...not feeling too sure...
Laptop/iPad with movies/reading material so I don't go crazy

Have I missed anything? Was there anything you had that you didn't need? Or WISHED you'd thought to bring with you? 

Any thoughts/advice will be appreciated - but I'd especially love to hear from my fellow c-section ladies who had to chill in the hospital for a few days before taking their little miracle home.

One last thing...

Can we talk about pain for a minute? I want the low down on c-section incision pain. What kind of pain are we REALLY talking about here..? Like...will I be able to roll myself out of our super tall bed when I get home from the hospital? Or will that feel like I'm being torn in half? Should I plan on lowering it a little for myself? Should I plan on just sleeping on an air mattress in the living room for a couple weeks? Should I just plan on asking them to keep the catheter in me indefinitely and live in the hospital for the rest of my life?

To help you in your responses, the following information should be taken into consideration: I'm a decently huge, whiny baby when it comes to pain.

Alright! I'm ready to absorb all of your maternal wisdom and experience! GOOOOO!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Little Perspective

Having a bad day? Read this story. Maybe it will make you laugh and think, " least THOSE things didn't happen to me!"

The Most Embarrassing Day Ever
by Calee Reed

*WARNING: This story is fairly uncomfortable and downright gross at times - which, I think, makes it pretty funny.*
*Read at your own risk.*

Shortly after Shaun and I got married I came down with a terrible cold. I was BAD. My throat was so sore and my cough was so intense that my voice went completely away. Fevers, chills, congestion, you name it. It was not fun. 

Pretty romantic, right? Just the way every new bride wants to look/feel as a newlywed? Let's just say I was REALLY glad we had dated for so long before we got married, so he didn't feel tempted to leave me right then and there..

It must've been on my third or fourth day of being sick that I decided to go to the store because I needed more medicine and my husband (who had been kept awake for nights on end by my incessant coughing) was at school all day. So I pep-talked my way out of bed, pulled a hat down over my blotchy, un-makeup-ed face and set out for the store. 

Not too bad yet, right? Here comes the good part.

Once in the check out line at the store, I started coughing. The kind of coughing where you wonder if you'll ever be able to stop because your throat is itching and on fire and you can't breathe. Like...people three lines over were looking that's how loud and raspy and horrific it was. And I didn't have a voice (lost it, remember?) so I couldn't explain to the check out lady that I was fine and just needed to get outta there. So employees started to ask me if I'm ok and do I need help and am I going to die!? (haha ok no one asked me that last one, but still.) As I try to see through the tears that have started pouring down my cheeks due to the coughing fit, and as I'm surrounded by concerned employees and curious shoppers, I PEE MY PANTS.

Right there. In Broulim's. Amazing. THAT'S HOW HARD I WAS COUGHING, PEOPLE. Who does that?! Soo then I started laughing - which, have you ever heard someone with laryngitis laugh?? the sound is truly grotesque - while coughing and was all

You think that's the end?? NOT EVEN CLOSE.

After stumbling out of the store and bolting for my car as quickly as my weak, sickly legs could carry me, I felt another coughing attack coming on. This time, instead of peeing myself (which would've been impressive to manage to do again), I THREW UP. In the parking lot. In the middle of the day. In the middle of the lane. One nice old man asked if I needed help and I'm sure he thought I was SO rude for not saying anything to him (I was TRYING to say I was fine, but...once again, no voice), but all I wanted to do was get home and never, ever leave my apartment again. Ever.

When I got home, I turned on the shower and started texting my sisters about how unbelievable the last hour of my life had been. I love that my sisters and I can laugh about things like that - and believe you me...we laughed a LOT about this specific chain of events. I didn't lock the door to the bathroom because...well, why would I? Without going into too much detail, I used the bathroom right before I went to get into the shower...and, just as I thought my humiliation was complete and that I couldn't be MORE embarrassed than I had been earlier at Broulim's... my new husband walked into our apartment and called out, "Calee? I need to ask you something can I come in?" I quickly tried to reach the bathroom door fast enough to lock it, while croaking/whispering,"No!! NO! Don't come in!!!" But...AGAIN...NO VOICE. So, my brand new husband (who I was trying my very hardest to be attractive and perfect for) walked in on me using the bathroom, as I was halfway to the door, in a state of complete disarray. 

That's when I knew. 

I knew that day could not possibly get ANY more embarrassing than it had been.  

And it didn't. (THANK HEAVENS.)

And now I have a funny memory of a terrible day that helps give me perspective when my hips and back are sore, or I can't sleep because my legs are restless, or I have heartburn or congestion or any other pregnancy symptoms. Because, after all, I didn't pee my pants in public today...nor did I throw up in a parking lot...and my husband did not walk in on me in unflattering (to say the least) circumstances.

So...hopefully that funny/terrible/embarrassing day helps you and your perspective, too :)

xo - 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

So...anybody need a wedding dress..?

Remember that one time I bought a wedding dress because I thought I was going to get married? And then I didn't get married which was a bummer at the time *but* a total miracle in the end because I got married a few years later and life all worked out?

WELL. I've been lugging this wedding dress around since then and I'm really REALLY ready to have it go to someone else who will wear it and use it and let it make them happy on their big day.

Here are some pictures!
(first two are not me. shocking, I know. 
BUT they show the dress fully constructed, so I thought you might enjoy that.)

 I hated the pleated top and had it removed (by a professional!). I still have the top, so if whoever wants it wants the top - it's all yours! I'm including the garment bag, too. The ONLY thing missing is the ribbon (shown under the bust in the top pictures). $75 OBO.

Anyways. I'm currently storing TWO wedding dresses in my tiny apartment, so if you know anyone who's in the market for a pretty rad organza, drop waist, pick-up skirt wedding dress with a killer train you just send 'em my way.

Thanks y'all.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

DIY Wall Art for the Nesting Insomniac

Let's get real: Pinterest and crafting blogs have become my best frienemies since this insane pregnancy nesting instinct kicked in a couple months ago. All I want to do is sew and crochet and paint things and clean and organize and then RE-organize and Google weird projects and blah blah (you get the picture). 

*truth: I've always been a crafting junkie, so maybe I'm just using pregnancy as an excuse to finally pursue whatever idea pops into my head regardless of what time of day (or night) it is? anyways*

My sister Nikki has a cute frame in her kitchen and the note inside it reads: "Happiness is something you decide beforehand". I decided that the sad, blank space on our white wall needed some cheering up *so* I set out to copy the quote and put it in a large, oddly shaped frame I picked up from DI forever ago.

SMALLER SIDE NOTE: That's about the only amazing thing about Rexburg. Sad but true. 

I went to the craft store and picked up some thick posterboard, came home, Googled "DIY Wall Art" (I was hoping to find a cute idea for painting the background of the board before writing the words in) and I came across THIS BEAUTY:

Oooohhh aaaahhhh sooo cuuuutteee!
found here by Cozamia

With a little more looking, I found a DIY tutorial! WooHoo!!

found here <--click followed="followed" for="for" i="i" link="link" modified="modified" p="p" the="the" this="this" tutorial="tutorial">

It was preeeeeetty darn late and I had work in the morning, so I did the responsible thing and started the project RIGHT THEN! (haha). Mine is not as cute, nor perfect, but it is perfect for our wall! And, bless America, I'm not super crazy about my wall art being 100% perfect - imperfections = character, right..?? - so I took some short cuts, ran out of painter's tape halfway through, and used what I had (masking tape!) to finish it up.

Picture of my tools:

don't mind the stacks of paper, pineapple, random

NOT PICTURED: Painter's tape. I ran out, remember? Word to the wise: don't run out. It makes everything a LOT harder. I only had a little bit left, though, and it was after midnight, so...couldn't run out and get more before I started (and I obviously wasn't going to wait to get started!...) 

Exact-o knife, random paint colors that I like (acrylic, latex, whatevs), a couple different sized brushes, and a neutral colored paint for the final layer. I used Folk Art acrylic paint in Champagne so my last coat is a little metallic and I like it lots! 

To understand how I went from the "tools" picture to the final project, click the tutorial link above! 

If I were to do this project over again, I'd definitely do the herringbone pattern instead of a modified chevron pattern. (I would also take lots of pictures so I could do a tutorial of my own, and download a photo editing program so my blog pictures don't look so amazingly ghetto.)

EASY. CUTE. You KNOW you have an empty wall that needs some random DIY painting on it! Just do it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Truth Time

I'm hoping that by writing this and sending it out into the universe I'll experience some kind of catharsis. Ok. Deep breath, here goes:

I feel super nervous right now.

For a fireside I'm doing.

In three weeks.

Is that crazy? No? Well, would it be crazy if I told you I've been nervous about it since it was scheduled - which was like six months ago..? And that I experience the same nerves for every fireside I do, from the moment it's scheduled until the moment I say "Amen" at the very end?

It's such a hard mix of emotions. I LOVE love love getting the chance to share some of my story, my experiences, my testimony and music with people. It makes me so happy to have even just one person come up after and say they felt the Spirit, or uplifted somehow, or enjoyed what I did/said/sang/whatever. Working with Deseret has been the best and most fulfilling "job" I've ever had - hands down. On the flip side, I feel a LOT of pressure...pressure to be prepared enough, entertaining enough, to say the right things/what that group needs to hear, to sing perfectly, to keep everyone's attention. It keeps me awake at night sometimes...just thinking about (let's be real - WORRYING about haha...) what I need to do.

There aren't words to explain how humbled and blessed I feel that Heavenly Father has given me such an amazing opportunity. I just wish I wasn't so darn AFRAID! I wish it was all sunshine and roses and not being able to WAIT to do more! Instead of this sinking, miserable anxiety that finds its way into my chest and squeezes and squeezes until all I feel is afraid.

In my brain I know that God has my back and will help me/support me. I feel like He's behind this whole Deseret adventure, and that when I stand up at a pulpit to speak or sing I'm delivering His message in my own way and with my own words/music. It's funny to think that I've performed my whole life and I still get afraid. More than butterflies, more than just the day of. Why is that..?

I'm not planning on quitting Christian music anytime soon - which will include firesides! - so I've just got to find a way to manage these negative feelings better.

What do you guys do when you're feeling stressed about an upcoming job/performance/etc? How do you tune out the adversary when he's whispering that you're just not good enough? Or that you're bound to fail somehow?

Ready? Go.

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