Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Thank God for parents. More specifically these two:
Photo Credit: Jessica Trimble
What a blessing to my life they are.  Who am I kidding?  A blessing to all of our lives.

Photo Credit: Jessica Trimble 2012
I'm clearly biased on this subject but I must say, that in my 24 years on this planet there doesn't exist another pair of people who have ever impressed me more.

I've watched them raise a blended family together without any of us truly feeling "blended".  I'm one of four, and I will admit that at times I feel as though my life choices have not always made me the easiest child to love and I'm probably responsible for more than just some sleepless nights.  And yet, here I sit, equally loved and equally cherished.
Photo Credit: Jessica Trimble
Quite possibly the two most selfless people.  I've seen them help my friends when they didn't have enough money to join a high school team.  I watched them devote years of their lives and their home to caring for my ailing grandparents.  Always so eager to give and to help.  I've seen Dad, the union president and a shift worker, lose valuable sleep to help co-workers and their families to receive hard earned benefits.  I've witnessed Mom stay awake for days on end caring for my grandparents, holding their hands, managing the slew of doctor's appointments.

I'll tell you what I haven't seen:  I've never seen them waiver from what's right and I've never seen them withhold love.
These two people are there for our family at a moments notice.  I'm forever grateful for the lessons I've been taught and the values they worked hard to demonstrate and instill in all of us.  Now that I'm in the very early stages of parenting I'm getting a glimpse of the devotion it takes to raise a family.  So it must be said: I love you. I'm thankful for you. I'm proud of you.  I'm proud you're mine.  I'd be lost without you.  Our little family would be lost without you.
Photo Credit: Jessica Trimble
Thank you for loving me  us.

The professional photo credits belong to Jessica Trimble, a fantastic photographer and she has her own blog as well, you can find her here: Heart on Homestead.  Thanks Jessica!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Family Halloweekend - Part 2: Photo Edition

Actual Trick or Treating fun over the weekend/week.

Isabelle requested to be Peter Pan, it was a much thought over debate on her part.  Originally she was torn between being a pirate or a robot, but it only took one story about Peter Pan and later the movie to solidify her choice as one of the lost boys.  Her costume was a really quick sew and she was quite the helper the evening we made it.

She made out like a bandit with all of the doting grandparents to visit:

Nana and her Peter Pan.

My parents. Mimi and Papa.

Pepaw and MeMaw

Family Halloweekend - Part 1: Photo Edition

On the weekend of my hospital stay we also had family staying with us.  I'd much rather remember the weekend this way:

My husband Corey gets all of the photo credit.

Making pretzels with Nana

Tea time with Uncle Giant and Aunt Nana.  Isabelle chose the name Uncle Giant after hearing so many people call him by his nickname: Big in'

this is the only picture I get credit for.  Trust me, it's for the best.

Monday, November 5, 2012

HG Diary Catch Up - 27 weeks

Where to start?
In October at my midwife appointment I'm measuring weeks ahead but we were expecting that given my history.  We aren't changing the due date since we are positive about our window of conception.  The midwife pulled up a chair and allowed Isabelle to help with the Doppler reading of Fiona's heartbeat, which she of course loved.

Daddy and Isabelle playing doctor while waiting for the midwife.
Now, the not so fun.  So at 25 weeks Isabelle's Nana (my husband's mom, or as we call her Mother <3) came to stay the weekend (other family members come to play that weekend too, but there are so many awesome pictures I'm just going to make it a separate post).  That was fantastic and as it would turn out a major blessing.  We went trick or treating in a town just down the road and everyone was thoroughly enjoying themselves, I had been struggling with some back pain that I had been shrugging off as normal "pregnant lady spending too much time hunched over at a sewing machine" pain.  So the day we went trick or treating I was on back pain day #3, it progressively getting worse each day.  When we returned home around 6 pm I felt horrible about it but I absolutely had to go lay down, all of the walking had taken it's toll.  I took a two hour nap and when I woke up that's when all heck went crazy...

Nana trick or treating with her Peter Pan.

When I woke up I was uncontrollably shaking, not shivering, shaking.  I was in horrible pain and the shaking was making my back tense and feel even worse.  Poor Mother was just so worried.  I hadn't talked to Corey yet, as he was upstairs rocking Isabelle to sleep, but by the time he came down stairs I had already tried to get comfortable through the pain but it just wasn't happening.  I wasn't able to get a full breath because it would hurt my back, my breathing was shallow and my speech came out in segments because of it.  I sounded like I was going into shock.  I told Corey, something was very wrong and as much as I dreaded it, we needed to go to the hospital.  Thankfully having Mother here, and her being the Nana she is, she kissed us goodbye and went straight into Isabelle's room and slept with her.  This was a major relief of worry.

When we arrived at the hospital I was admitted to the labor and delivery floor, after checking for pre-term labor (I was certain it wasn't labor, the pain was relentless), ultrasound(s) to check for kidney stones, and lots of blood work and urine samples it was determined I had a kidney infection. (The longer version of this story: admitted the L&D, all tests came back clear, and since I refused pain medication and it was determined the baby was safe I was discharged and sent to the emergency room to check for a muscle - skeletal issue.  Get to the emergency room and it turns out the midwife read the test results incorrectly, the ER doctor diagnosed me with pyelonephritis , I was discharged, and readmitted to L&D for the remainder of treatment).

Two horribly frustrating things took place:

  1. The pain medication debate.  I didn't want it, I understand I'm in pain and they are trying to make me comfortable.  Staff kept telling me that it won't have an effect on the baby.  No.  I have researched and found MANY articles and medical journal entries stating the opposite.  I stated I was against it and I would see the frustration on the staff's faces.  Tell you what, figure out what's going on first before you try and cover up my symptoms and then we'll talk about management techniques.  I'm planning on a natural birth, I've given up every single thing potentially harmful (even those safe in moderation, ie. caffeine) since we first began trying to conceive this baby.  Why would you think I would jump on the pain med bandwagon?  Thank goodness I did refuse, otherwise I would have been sent home, doped up and without an answer.  Frustrating as it was, at least the emergency room caught the mistake!
  2. I had been singing the praises of my midwife, so on the ball, so aggressive with my treatment concerning HG, totally on board with a natural birth.  She's the one who misread the test results. Epic fail on her part.  She is also the one who kept pushing pain medication.  I thought we were on the same team here?  Needless to say, my confidence is a bit shaken on what to expect when labor comes.  I know for certain now that I will definitely labor at home as long as possible.
The great news is, that after two nights in the hospital on IV antibiotics, I was sent home and feeling better.  I'm still not 100% but I'm not expecting to be while still on the antibiotic regime.  I have a follow up appointment later this month where they will take cultures to make sure I really kicked this infection once and for all.  I was even able to hand out glow sticks with Isabelle to the droves of trick or treaters that came by on Halloween.
26 weeks, looking haggard and tired on Halloween.  Thankfully, Isabelle was gracious enough to not take it to heart that I wasn't able to romp around with her as I usually do.
That's the update in a nutshell. Oh, I'm super anemic, which isn't really news to me because it's something I always struggled with.  I'm taking 2 vitamins and eating a bowl of high iron cereal every day.  They'll be checking for that as well on the next midwife visit, I was threatened with iron IVs if my levels didn't rise.  My body fighting this infection has my HG symptoms flaring, I'm getting sick more often, I'm hoping I'm not losing what little weight I may have been able to gain.

Have I mentioned how excited I am to meet Fiona?  Not just for the struggle of my pregnancies but for the sheer joy of holding both of my babies at the same time.  It's something I seriously day dream about.

I have so many more happy, fun, exciting things to write about but in the spirit of chronicling our family history I feel like I had to get this yucky post out of the way.  Much more enjoyable blog topics to come...promise!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Liebster Award!

As I attempt to make my return to my blogging habit after my battle with a wicked kidney infection, I must take care of a very neglected honor first.  I hope my tardiness in response doesn't reflect my sentiment over this thoughtful nomination because I am sincerely flattered I was even thought of.  Mrs. Davis over on DIY Davis Style was kind enough to nominate me and has a pretty snazzy blog herself!  Be sure to check her site out. (If I were a wealthy individual I would certainly hire her as my interior decorator, I appreciate that it comes naturally to her because it most certainly does not flow naturally from me!)

Liebster Award rules:
1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the 11 questions the tagger has set for you, and then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 bloggers [with less than 200 followers] to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs

11 random facts:

  1. I am a musical fiend.  I love Disney movies and classics like My Fair Lady and Pretty Girl.  I can sing every single song.
  2. I'm a "fly by the seat of my pants" crafter.  I can read and follow patterns for sewing, knitting, and crocheting but more often I prefer to just make my own because I don't like the constriction.
  3. I detest hard rock and metal music.  Southern rock and classic rock are fine but you can keep the shouting nonsense.
  4. My handwriting when first start writing something to once my hand is tired varies so much it looks like two different people wrote it.
  5. Before I became a mom I was an avid roadside animal saver but once you've got a baby in the back seat it abruptly stops.  The most I can do now is pull over and call animal control and it stings my heart a little bit.
  6. I am horrible at math.  Thank the Lord Corey brought his math gene to the table or our kids would have been in serious trouble.
  7. I have a hard time telling people "no".  I will take on too many projects to help family and friends and it usually always ends with me tired, slightly frazzled, and stretching myself a tad too thin.  I know I only ask for help when I truly need it so I always take anyone asking for advice or help very seriously.
  8. I'm terrified of bugs.  Not just spiders.  I don't even like butterflies touching me.  I'll look but not touch.
  9. I can not stand what Corey and I call "pass the baby".  I will not share my newborn with anyone other than my husband and daughter.  My parents who live 5 minutes away and were here almost every day after the birth didn't hold Isabelle until she was about 4 weeks old.  They understood that the baby needed to bond and stay close with Mama, it should be a peaceful transition.  They came to take care of everything else, like laundry, dishes, dinner, etc.  I will forever be grateful for them teaching me it's okay to not give into the pressure of letting others hold the baby and for letting me just be a new Mom 100% of the time for those first precious weeks.
  10. I'm crunchy.  Probably more so than I state on any social media.  I like holistic methods of healing, breastfeeding until the child decides to stop, I would totally home birth if it were an option for me, I prefer "frugal" living, and so much more.  It's a tad bit controversial because people have been conditioned to think one way about health or birth, but the evidence based research is there if you look for it.
  11. I am truly madly in love with my family and our lives.  My husband is not just my best friend but just an all around great guy.  Our daughter is such a source of joy for everyone she comes in contact with.  When I wake every day my heart beats for them and this new member to be joining us soon will be no exception!

And now, my questions from Mrs. Davis:

1. Who's your biggest celebrity crush?
Ryan Gosling.  The man oozes charm, and if you've ever gotten to know my husband you'll soon find I'm a real sucker for it.  Also add the movie Crazy.Stupid.Love and all of the "Hey Girl" memes and yeah, *drool*  

2. What is something you completely dread doing?
Laundry. I have told my husband many times, I wouldn't want to live extravagantly if we won the lottery but my one "splurge" would be laundry service.  I would never do laundry again.

3. If you had to define your style, what would you say?
Not sure if we're talking about clothes or our home sooooo:
Clothing Style: cheap, simple, and wear well.  Being a stay at home mother I am fortunate that I can wear whatever I would like, and spending my day chasing Isabelle, comfortable clothes win out every time. My one personal obsession is antique jewelry.  Luckily, Corey "gets it" ;-)
Home Style: I like light and bright.  Natural sunlight pouring into the house is good for the soul.  I like traditional and heirloom anything, photos, handmade quilts, afghans, furniture, things from our family past are cherished.  Functionality wins out here as well.  I have a toddler, she lives here, learns, plays, loves, and prays here.  For as long as our house is blessed with children, it will look like they live here and not a page from a magazine.

4. Chocolate or vanilla?

5. What's your go to outfit? Something maybe you have had in your closet for years and just can't let go of...
Since I'm currently in maternity I would say a Target maternity t-shirt and some black active wear pants.  But who am I kidding, I'm still wearing it even after the baby comes.

6.  Your favorite room in your home...and why?
I'm torn between saying the living room or the kitchen.  Lots of amazing memories and soul filling moments happen in these rooms.

7.  If you could change absolutely anything in your house, what would it be?
I would prefer all of the bedrooms on the same level, but 3 out of 4 isn't too bad.  I would also want a larger kitchen, we seriously have one of the smallest kitchens I've ever seen. A fence around the entire backyard and a large deck on the back of the house. Hey, you said anything.

8. Dogs or cats?
Dogs.  I think I have a natural cat repelling pheromone, I think they are cute and cuddly but the feeling isn't mutual.

9. What is your best childhood memory? 
Oh my.  This is tough.  Being one of four with a large age gap in the middle, I would say anytime we were all together, family trips, dinners, holidays.  We have so many stories and inside jokes there just isn't a single memory.

10. Live on the edge or play it safe?
Safe.  This has changed since motherhood, Corey and I both have settled down quite a bit.

11. What is the one thing in your life that you have wanted the most? Whether you already have it or are still trying to get it!
Being able to stay at home with our children is an amazing blessing that I cherish and honestly have always dreamed of.  Corey and I had also always planned on having a larger family but given that we struggle with my health issues during pregnancy I'm not sure what God has in store for us.  But, two healthy girls is an amazing, filling blessing and I am more than thrilled with that for the rest of our lifetime.

My 11 nominations:

These are my only blogger friends that have less than 200 followers!

My questions:
  1. Has your life ever had a turning point? If yes, what made the change?
  2. What are your top two dream professions?
  3. What is your guiltiest indulgence?
  4. Proudest moment?
  5. Favorite time of year?  Holiday?
  6. Favorite food?
  7. Do you have a hobby? What is it?
  8. What's your greatest fear?
  9. What makes you unique?
  10. Would you consider yourself a good dancer?  Would your friends agree? ;-)
  11. What literary figure could you most align yourself with?

Well that's it folks!  I hope these questions find you well and thanks again Mrs. Davis for this, it was fun! xoxo
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