A Baby Story

It's been a while since I've posted, but for good reason! Our newest family member arrived early Friday morning!!! This time around was almost as exciting as the last time. My water broke at 2:15 in the morning, and though I tried to climb back in the bed and pretend it wasn't happening, the contractions began right away and I had to face reality and wake Hubby up. We both hopped onto our laptops to send quick emails to work and and friends, then gathered the kids up and headed to the car. We tried to keep the kids asleep by not putting their coats on and wrapping them in blankets instead, but the cold woke them up. We drove to my parents, dropped the kids off and sped off to the hospital. By the time we checked in, it was 3:45am. I was 7cm dialated upon check in, and within half an hour was 10, pushed once for the head, a second time for the rest of the body and praise God, we had our second daughter!

She was 8lbs 8oz and 22 inches long. Beautiful and chubby with a nice loud cry. She got 9 and 10 on her agpar. The first 12 hours were fantastic, then things took a sudden turn. Her temperature, heartrate and respiratory rate went up, while her routine bloodwork came back with a shifted white blood cell count. I was GBS positive but did not arrive at the hospital in time to get a full dose of antibiotics. You need to be there for at least 4 hours. I only got one dose of penicillan. Because of this red flag in our chart and the sudden show of symptoms, the doctors became concerned that she might have possible infection. The medical team made the decision to discharge her from the nursery and admit her to the NICU. As upsetting as this was to Hubby and I, especially since it was almost an exact repeat of what happened with the Little Guy, I understood the logic of airing on the side of caution rather than the, "let's wait and see what happens" approach. I did not want to unknowingly take a sick baby home and end up in the ER a few days later under dire circumstances.

Once she was in the NICU, some of her vitals stabilized, but her blood cell count was still off. They put her on two antibiotics and monitored her. They performed a spinal tap and ran lots of tests, but everything came back negative. I was allowed to breastfeed, which was comforting for both of us. Hubby stayed two days until my official discharge, after which time he went home to take care of the kids. I took up residence in a rocking chair next to her bed in the NICU for the next five days. A couple of nights I was able to get a room on the NICU floor, and one night ended up sleeping in a meeting room/library. The final two nights the nursing staff agreed that she was healthy enough to room with me. After her last dose of antibiotics she was cleared to go home!

Now we are ALL recovering from the ordeal. The baby is getting used to her very loud and active surroundings. Lil' Miss is head over heals in love with her new sister. The Little Guy is trying to figure out his new role in the family. Hubby and I are learning to function with only a few hours of sleep at night! Soooo.... if my posts are infrequent for a while, it's because we are adjusting to life with three little ones.


Getting Ready

Well, it's getting down to the wire. At our appointment last Thursday the midwife gave a green light for the baby to arrive. Everything is apparently ready (I won't go into a reproductive lesson describing what that means) and it's just a matter of waiting. Her instructions were to "take it easy." I thought that was hilarious, as I have a 2yr old and a 4yr old with me all day, every day! Taking it easy is NOT an option. She then told me to pay attention to any pain I may have. For some reason I don't really feel strong contractions until the very end. I actually slept through the contractions last time and woke up having to push. The Little Guy was almost born in Hubby's car on the way to the hospital. This may seem like a dream come true, but I personally would rather have a bit of time to get prepared. So, I'm doing the next best thing and trying to get everything set well in advance. The kids' suitcases are already packed and at their grandparents' house. My bag is packed as well. Hubby... well, I'm sure he'll just throw something in the car as we rush off!
When the time does come, I'll try to put up a quick post before leaving. Stay tuned!

By the way, I wanted to mention a couple of Blog Candy/Giveaways I won recently!

This is my gift from Trudy at Bits of Wool. The box was FULL of goodies, so much that I couldn't fit them all on the table for the photo. Not in the picture is a huge box of Hickory Farms tea - 96 packets! There is also a beautiful hand stiched embroidery piece and the cutest apron. She made most of the stuff herself.

From Terri at Purple and Paisley I won a wood sign that says YOU SEW GIRL, which goes perfect in my craft room. It came with a flannel pillowcase with the sweetest little elephants on it.


My First Blog Award!!!

I'm so excited! Marie*Jolie from Permission to Unwind awarded me the Lemonade Award for having a blog with Attitude and/or Gratitude. This is my very first blog award! Thanks so much Marie! You really have to check out her blog to see all of the great ideas, tutorials, and tips she has. Plus she's funny as all get out!

Here are the rules for receiving the Lemonade Award:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Now I get to choose 10 blogs to award! I hope they like lemonade as much as I do! I am nominating the following 10 blogs:

Jenn at Mama Jenn
Tony at Well Watered Woman
Bethany at Happy to be Called Mommy
The busy mom at Green Jello
Jennifer at Life in a Small House
Kelsey at Vanilla Joy
Nanette at Freda's Hive
Terri at Purple and Paisley
Trudy at Bits of Wool
The crafty mom at Bella Dia

Please stop by to check these blogs out - I think they're great!
Thanks again Marie!


Treats for All

I love it when a lesson is easy enough for my two and four year old to complete and actually understand, but engaging enough for older kids as well. The homeschool co-op we participate in (for ages 2 to about 7) had just such an activity for our get together yesterday. It was pajama day, since the kids hadn't seen each other for a while over the holiday break. So they were already in happy, cozy moods being able to run around in their pjs with all of the other kids. After some coloring time, a story telling and two books we had snacks. I was scheduled to provide snack yesterday and I baked dairy free pumpkin muffins (not from the can but from an actual sugar pumpkin) - they were a big hit! The kids all settled down for their activity. Each kid got a large blunt needle with embroidery floss, and the table was filled with several bowls of popcorn, grapes, raisins, dried cranberries, peanuts and cheerios. The kids strung the embroidery floss with the snacks to make a nice little treat to hang from a bush or a tree for the birds and squirrels! My kids had such a great time doing this, they actually sat long enough to almost fill about two feet of embroidery floss. Of course, I ended up finishing the rest while they ran around playing with their buddies. We brought them home and hung them in the front yard in hopes of being able to watch the animals enjoy the treats. However, it either must be too cold outside or too strange looking for them to eat because they haven't touched them yet! I think if I were a squirrel or a bird, I'd love to have some - I was almost ready to eat them while the kids were making them! Well, here are their little gifts to the animals, still hanging from the tree.

I suppose if they haven't been touched by the end of this weekend, we'll move them to another location. The woman leading the activity did say that she noticed the squirrels were the fattest she'd ever seen them at winter time which could mean that we are going to get a lot of snow. Maybe they have already stuffed themselves and are too full to eat our creations!!!


Iced In

We got a huge ice storm today. Schools were closed, Lil' Miss' violin lesson was cancelled and according to the news, the roads were dangerous to travel on. Soooo...we stayed in. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I get stir crazy when I have to stay in the house all day. Our schedule is set up so that we get out at least once a day. However, I had a feeling we might be stuck in today, so I already had a plan as to how we were going to fill the day so that I wouldn't go too nuts!

I found a great activity on a fantastic blog I follow, Permission to Unwind. We used empty cardboard boxes to make thank you cards for the Christmas gifts the kids received. I cut the cardboard down to small note sizes (smaller than the instructions suggested) and let the kids cut pictures out of magazines to cover one side. The cardboard side is left blank for them to write their thank you notes. I wasn't sure how well this would go over with them, but they sat for over an hour working on the project! The hardest part for me was not "micro-managing" their work. They kept cutting out pictures that were too small to cover the entire box front and wanting to make a more collage type cover. That's okay, except that Lil' Miss' pictures were mostly ads - for cameras, sanitary napkins, detergent - you name it. I couldn't get her to cut out other things. When she would finally find something cute to cover the entire card, she'd decide that she only wanted ONE part of it - like a beautiful image of a group of penguins, and she only wanted the "daddy" penguin. Don't ask how she knew which one was the daddy, but one penguin did NOT cover her card. I finally had to just let it go and let her do her thing.

The Little Guy, on the other hand, was happy to just glue and cut. So he'd cut out a big image, and I'd cut it down to the size of his cards and then let him glue them on. The activity as a whole was great though because it reinforced the idea of recycling (which we discuss a lot in our schooling) and the Little Guy got a chance to practice his cutting and gluing skills.

After that, we made chocolate chip cookies and had lunch with cookies for dessert. Then while the Little Guy took his nap, Lil' Miss and I practiced violin and then got on the computer. Lil' Miss loves Starfall and will practice her letters and beginning reading for as long as I let her, which allows me to catch up on work for my part time job.
Okay, these obviously aren't chocolate chip cookies! The kids made these gingerbread folks a few weeks ago. There was NO WAY I was going to let them eat them with all that candy on them, so they've been sitting around individually wrapped. I finally explained to them that the candy would make holes in their teeth, unwrapped them and arranged them on the counter to take a nice little picture and then threw them all out!

Toward the end of the day though, I began to get anxious about Hubby coming home. I thought maybe I should go out and put some salt down because our driveway was a sheet of ice, but I was worried 1) about falling on the ice, especially with my balance being off with this big belly and 2) having the kids out there falling on the ice since I certainly couldn't leave them inside alone. So poor Hubby had to shovel all of this when he got home, after working all day.

Now, normally after being in the house all day, I would have been cranky by the time Hubby arrived, but I was pleasant and had dinner ready - baked ziti with ground turkey, veggies and extra, extra cheese, and hard dough bread with butter. He went out to finish shoveling (ice is pretty heavy so it took a while) after dinner, so I had the kids clean up the playroom and got them bathed. By the time he came back in they were ready to read bedtime books while I sorted out baby clothes, then we had Bible time and prayer!

All in all, I feel very proud about how I handled the day being trapped in the house! Praise God for giving me patience today! Maybe I can learn to stay in more often - it would certainly save on gas money!



I am slowly getting my footing back from all of the holiday madness. Not madness really, but just lots of work that I suppose I created for myself. It really wouldn't be Christmas to me without all of the baking and cooking and sewing and crafting and company and visiting and giving of handmade gifts! I made a few things that I am quite proud of. I don't know how they'll look online in these photos, but I am sharing anyway!

These are tutus I made from this no sew tutu tutorial. You do have to sew just a bit, for the waist, but the rest was easy. I made one for each of my goddaughters and one for Lil' Miss. It's hard to see how cute, colorful and poofy they are from these photos.

I made a little "scrap pocket" for my mother. I saw a woman at a scrapbooking retreat using one and just fell in love with it. It was so cute and adorned with little buttons. It was also bigger than the one I made for my mother.

The top is filled with fish tank gravel encased in a ziplock bag, surrounded by batting for softness. The gravel keeps the top on the table while the pocket part hangs down off the side of the table and mom can just throw paper scraps in it while she's making cards.

I made a "cobbler cozy" for my father. He loves making peach cobblers and will often make them as gifts for people or bring them to events and gatherings. I thought it would be nice to have something to keep it warm and easy to carry. The outside is a black denim material with black and white gingham lining. You place the casserole dish in the center, the sides come up and snap shut, then you pull the other sides up and hold them together by the handles (made out of pvc pipes - didn't have wood dowels on hand).

Now that all the sewing is done, sort of (I still have a couple of little boys I'd like to make something for), I can get down to the business of nesting! We spent a lot of the holiday break working on the nursery - putting the crib together, sorting through old baby clothes, etc. I have quite a bit of washing to do, especially getting all of the cloth diapers in order. I would REALLY like to try my hand at making some cloth diaper covers with my serger, but I haven't figured out how to use it properly yet. I tried it on one of my Christmas gifts and just made a big mess. If anyone has any tips, I'd really appreciate them!