Friday, September 28, 2012

Quarterly Top Five


How do I pick just 5 when so much as happened over the past 3 months?

I will do my best!

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Aubs blowing bubbles at Nanny's house
These were her first successful bubbles on her own.

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My two girls- one in and one out.
This is when Aubs started to get excited about being a big sister

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Brand new
No explanation needed

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It's tough being two
This totally sums up Aubs terrible two side

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All dolled up with no place to go
Nothing better than a pretty little sleeping newborn
You can check out the rest of Finley's newborn pictures here


Click.Pray.Love.

Linking up with Amber, Ashley & Sarah

One Month


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Onesie sticker c/o Picky Sticky
{I promise to try and get more pictures of her awake}

Can you believe it? Finley turned a month old on Wednesday. It's so crazy, on one hand she still feels so new and on the other it feels like she has been here for awhile. So what can I tell you about Miss Fin.... well she is a little more particular about things than Aubrey was. We haven't really found a great way for her to sleep. Ideally I would like for her to be swaddled and on her back in the pack n play next to our bed but she isn't having it. My solution to this is a Rock n Play sleeper since she seemed to sleep so good in her swing. This is a temporary solution and I'm trying to wean her into sleeping on her back by having her nap in her pack n' play more frequently. Sleep in general is going better. Last night she gave me a 4 hour stretch followed by a 3 1/2 hour stretch. Her doctor said yesterday that there is no reason why she can't be sleeping two 5 hour stretches at night now so we are going to try to work up to that by letting her fuss a little and hoping she puts herself back to sleep. This has only worked once so far but as she gets older I'm sure she'll get better with it.

Physically Finley (say that 3x fast) is doing really well. We had a one month check-up yesterday and she is tipping the scales at 9 lbs 13 oz and is 21 inches long. If you do the math you will see that she has gained a little over 2 lbs in a month which supposedly is fantastic. Now that she is able to go longer between feeding, her weight gain should slow a little bit.

The reason we had a one month check-up instead of the standard two month is because at her last appointment our pediatrician found that Finley's left hip was a little "clicky". Unfortunately at the appointment yesterday it was still clicking so we have to take her to get an ultrasound on Tuesday at the children's hospital. It sounds a little more serious than it is. Basically the joint that connects her femur to her hip isn't rotating as smoothly as it should. This is supposedly a pretty common problem and usually heals itself. If the ultrasound reveals that her socket is shallow and not likely to heal on it's own then she will have to wear a soft brace on her legs until she is about 9 months old. Of course I'm not thrilled about this but what can I do besides stay positive and be thankful that she has no serious issues. If she should have to wear the brace, it will heal her hip completely and she won't even remember ever having to wear it. Being a parent throws you so many punches, doesn't it?

kisses from crazy haired big sis
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It Clicked


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I had mentioned before that Aubrey wasn't adjusting too well to her role as big sister. Well that all changed after about two weeks she started to come around. Her behavior is night and day what it was when we first brought Finley home. I am so happy that she is back to her old self and she is actually happy about being a big sister. She constantly looks to see where Finley is when she wakes up in the morning or comes home from preschool. She also showers her little sister with about a million hugs and kisses a day.

Not only has she taken on the big sister role but she has also decided to rock the big girl status. When I say, it clicked- I mean potty training. Our girl is potty trained!!! She still wears a diaper for naps and night time but other than that she has been in underwear since last Wednesday. She even went on a 2 hour boat ride and 3 hours of preschool with no accidents. I have been trying to potty train her since she turned two without much success. You can read about it here. Everyone told me that one day it would just click and that's totally what happened. I always gave her the undies or diaper option and she started choosing undies. For the first two days there was a lot of sitting on the potty with no success but by day three she just started going. We haven't looked back since and it is fabulous. She may not have been trained at 2 like I had planned but I can now say that my 2 1/2 year old uses the potty like a champ.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Finley's Newborn Pictures


This time around, I decided to take my own baby pictures. Why? . When I had Aubrey I had a bit of a bad experience. I found a photographer online who was top rated on some mom's site and I booked her. I sent her $100 deposit (to a PO box which should have been a red flag) and stayed in touch so that she could come to our house a few days after Aubs was born.
While we were in the hospital I had Joey call her a few times and leave messages but she never got back to us. When I got home I did some research and it turns out that she had done the same thing to a bunch of people. Basically took a deposit and fell off the face of the earth. I even found a complaint stating that she shot someone's wedding and then never gave them the pictures. Thank God, it didn't go that far with us. Since we had no photographer and I didn't have a nice camera back then, we decided to go to a studio in the mall.
Did we get nice pictures? Yes. Did it cost an arm and a leg to get some girl in her early twenties to take a few shots in a a fancy studio with a fancy camera and software with little skill or creativity required? Yes.

I'm no professional but I think that these shots turned out pretty good. Also it saved us about $600.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Pretty Please?


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Hi Guys! It's that time again. Top Baby Blogs reset and it would be awesome if you could help this little blog of mine out and give us a vote. All you have to do is click the banner below and then click on the first owl. If you want to be awesome you can vote for us every time you stop by, just click the vote button in my sidebar.

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Thanks so much to all of my regular readers for sticking around during this crazy time in my life. Having the new baby in the house makes it tough to post as much as I'd like and I appreciate everyone who still comes by to see what we are up to. I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy reading all of yours.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Sleep... what's that?


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I absolutely love having a newborn in the house, especially my newborn. I love her tiny little body with her big belly, her sleepy smiles and on the top of my list is the way she smells. I could smell Finley's head all day long. Weird I know but she is probably my last newborn so I want to soak it all in. I don't know if she smells that good to everyone but I still insist that everyone smell her head. They might be just humoring me when they say she smells as good as I think she does. The one thing that takes away from newborn perfection is their tendency to only sleep for two hours at a time.

Finley sleeps three hours at a time a most, but usually two. Which is to be expected because she is only 3 weeks old. It's tough on Mama though. There have definitly been nights where I want to throw in the boob towel and give her a bottle but I know I will regret my decision in the morning. Oh and every time I have to heat up a bottle for the next year. All in all, I'm actually dealing with it pretty well. As long as I get 6 broken hours of sleep and drink about 2-3 cups of coffee a day I can function like a normal person. I have found that the real trick is to not think about the fact that I haven't slept for more than a three hour chunk in almost a month. If I don't dwell on it than it's not so bad. Instead I try to focus on the fleeting moments with my newborn babe. Sure I'd rather not get up at 12, 2 and 5 but I know that years from now I will miss the quiet moments that I have in the middle of night with my little Fin.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scenes from Sunday


This was suppose to be "Scenes from the Weekend" but I always seem to forget to take my memory card out of the computer and put it back in my camera plus I keep forgetting to put my spare memory card in my camera bag. So yeah, you're just getting "Scenes from Sunday". I will tell you what we did on Saturday though. We went up to my parents house (aka house with the best light ever/worst place to forget your memory card)and everyone went out on the boat and ate a yummy dinner. When I say everyone, I mean everyone minus Finley and I. She's still a little young for the boat, we are thinking about taking her on after the new year.

On Sunday we went to my mother in-laws for a little bit of a Sunday family dinner. Here are some pictures from that day.

These 3 are total baby hogs
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A trip to Nanny's isn't complete without playing in the slip n' slide pool out back.

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Rounding out the evening with some sidewalk chalk.

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Amazing group shot of the cousins- yeah right. That's what you get when you ask two 7 year olds, a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a 2 year old to stay like that while Aunt Mal runs and gets her camera. I just love Aubs face in it.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"A" is for Attitude


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I've got my work cut out for me with this one


Linking up with The Paper Mama for “Starts with the letter…” challenge.

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge



Monday, September 17, 2012

Cute.tuques Crochet Beanie Giveaway

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Fall is right around the corner which means cooler temperatures, pumpkin flavored everything and most importantly cute fall clothes like boots, layers and hats! Here in Florida it doesn't really cool down until December but I can live vicariously through all of you. To celebrate the arrival of Autumn, the super cute online shop Cute.tuques is offering one of my readers their choice of hat or beanie from her shop.

Her hats are absolutely adorable. She sent my girls (ahh! plural)each one of her owl hats and I couldn't be happier with them. The quality and the colors can't be beat. I can hardly wait until the temperatures drop a little so that they can wear them. The Florida heat hasn't stopped Aubs though, she has been sporting her hat daily.

Here are a few of pictures of my cute girls in their hats.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Big Sister

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Adding a baby to the mix has been a big adjustment for everyone but the person who has had to adjust the most is Aubrey. There really isn't much you can do to prepare a 2 1/2 year old for this life changing event. Sure we talked about it a lot with her and she seemed excited about her sister but we really have no way of knowing if she really understood what we were talking about. Actually I'm pretty sure she had no idea what we were talking about and just went along with what we were saying.

Aubs was a lot better than I expected upon their first meeting. Aubrey hates hospitals because she goes to All Children's Hospital to get her eyes checked so every time we have walked into a hospital she has lost it. Thankfully this time she kept her cool. My in-laws brought her to meet her sister the day after she was born. Joey met them downstairs so that could help out with any potential meltdowns. When she first came into the room she immediately ran over to me and gave me a big hug. All she was concerned about was showing me the princesses that she brought with her in her Minnie Mouse purse. We then pointed out her sister. Joe walked over to the bassinet with her and held her up to see. The first thing she did was poke her in and the face and said, "baby". Luckily the poke wasn't hard enough to wake a sleepy newborn. After that she looked at her for a little bit and said, "Finley, so beautiful." Yeah that girl knows how to warm your heart like no other.

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So how has Aubrey been since we brought Finley home? Ehhh.... she's been okay. The first few days we didn't encourage too much interaction between the two of them because Aubs had a runny nose. Also Aubrey seemed pretty uninterested so we didn't push it. Now she pays more attention to her. She will ask to give Finley kisses and hugs. She will also help out by running Finley's dirty clothes to her room to put in the hamper. So I guess things are looking up as far as interaction goes. As far as behavior goes, Aubs hasn't been great. She is definitely acting out and being a lot more aggressive than usual. We expected her to do this a little bit but I wasn't expecting her to do it as much as she is. Thankfully Joe is home to help tame her but she has definitely been more than a handful ever since we brought the baby home. It has only been two weeks, less actually because I was in the hospital for two days, so it's all still very new. Luckily the baby seems to be falling into some what of a schedule so I am able to hang out with Aubs a little more than I was able to the first week and that helps.


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Helping out with Fin's first bath

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Dancing to the music from the mobile and mimicking Finley's finger touching her cheek.

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Don't let this sweet face fool you.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Twenty Nine


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With all the chaos of having a new baby in the house, I have kind of ignored the fact that I turned twenty-nine last Friday. I'm officially in the last year of my twenties. How do I feel about this? I'm really okay with it, I feel like I am in really good place in my life. I am married to a great guy who I've been with almost 11 years, I have two beautiful and healthy little girls, I own a home and a car and most importantly I have the privileged of being able to stay at home with my children while they are little.

Sure there are things that my younger self would have wanted to or thought I would have accomplished by now but I'm pretty sure that nearly everyone is in that boat. There are important things such as graduating from college, which I still kick myself for and can't believe how much time and money I wasted by not earning my degree. There are also superficial things like wanting to have the body of fitness model, keeping my smile whiter and learning how to make my hair look good in Florida's humidity. Then there are less important silly things like being able to sew clothes or having all my pictures organized into beautiful albums. Hopefully I can continue to work on checking all of those things off of my list of life goals in the future.

So what do I want to focus on in the last year of my twenties? I really want to start making a valiant effort into becoming someone that my girls can look up to and admire. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty great now but there is definitely room for improvement. The two main things that I believe will get me to the next level are getting back down to a weight where I feel comfortable in my skin again and to have a more positive outlook on everything that comes my way. The weight loss thing is because I feel like one of the most important trait in life is confidence. If you aren't confident in yourself than life is a lot harder to live. Since gaining weight over the past few years, my confidence in myself has dwindled and I really feel like it's important to get that back. As for positivity, I tend to always go to the negative part of my brain instead of the positive. Obviously it would benefit everyone in my life if I stopped doing this. Plus being negative is really just a waste of time and energy.

So basically I plan on being ridiculously awesome by the time I hit the big 3-0.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Finley's Birth Story


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If you told me Wednesday morning that I was going to give birth by 8 o’clock that night I would have laughed at you. It started out like any other Wednesday. The only slight difference was that after my morning pee I noticed a little bit of blood on the toilet paper. I wasn’t very alarmed by this because at 39 weeks I figured I was just started to lose some of my mucus plug. Also I had an appointment with my midwife scheduled for 10 am that morning so I would just have her check and see what was going on.

I dropped Aubrey off at my in-laws and headed on over to my appointment. My midwife reported that I was about 2 ½- 3 centimeters dilated. She than told me that she was going to strip my membranes without even given me a chance to say if I wanted her to or not. Thankfully it didn’t hurt as much as people have told me it does. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty uncomfortable but maybe because my membranes were already soft it helped out with the actual pain part. I then headed home to get a few things done before Aubrey came home for her nap. I made a big pot of sauce and meatballs that I had planned on freezing into a few portions for post baby dinners. While I was making them I was also having some minor contractions.
My contractions were happening about every 5- 20 minutes but nothing consistent or terribly painful. Aubrey came home and we played for a little bit and then I laid her down for her nap. I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and sat down on the couch to write my giveaway post and watch Pretty Little Liars (yes I am aware that I am too old to watch this show). About a half hour into my computer/sandwich/television date, I felt a strange little bubbling at the top of my stomach and about 5 seconds later, felt my water break. I immediately called Joey and told him that alarming news.

I rushed around and got the rest of what I needed for the hospital together and called my mom. While I was on the phone with my mom I went out into the garage to get a few things from the dryer. As I was doing this I could literally hear Joey running up the driveway, it was hysterical. We got the rest of what we needed and then waited for my in-laws to come back over to stay with Aubs. I was pretty upset that I wasn’t able to say goodbye to Aubrey or even be able to prepare her for the fact the I wouldn’t be around for a few days but there wasn’t really anything I could do besides hope that she would be okay with it.

We arrived at the hospital around 4:15. We told the head nurse that my water had broken and she instructed us to have a seat while she dealt with the insurance issue of another patient. I wasn’t really concerned about waiting at first but after about 5 minutes I started getting pretty painful contractions. Also as the minutes went by it seemed like more and more people were coming to check in, I was praying that they remembered that I was there first. Joey looked over at me and realized that I was sweating really bad and starting giving all of the nurses the stink eye. After about 20/25 minutes the head nurse finally looked over at us and said, “I almost forgot you were here.” Yeah- not funny.

After I signed a few forms I was led to my delivery room. The nurse hand me a gown and a cup to leave a sample in. I headed to the bathroom and had the most painful contraction yet. I just remember holding on to the sink and thinking, “What have I gotten myself into again” and “I need to get an epidural, stat.” I was in so much pain and discomfort that I wasn’t able to leave them a urine sample.

The nurse checked me and to see how much I was dilated and I was at 4, so almost centimeter and a half more than that morning. I asked her right away if I could get set up to get an epidural because I already felt like my pain level was at the point or even past the point that I had an epidural with Aubrey. She said they would set me up with an IV and send my blood work to be tested but I had to wait until I had all my fluids and my blood work was cleared. It seemed like everyone was taking their time which was really frustrating. I soon learned that weren’t really taking their time, they were just trying to take care of the insane amount of women in labor who suddenly came flooding in. It turned out that nine woman came in to deliver that night. The nurses and doctors believed it was because of the low pressure from hurricane Isaac.

I was checked again after about a half hour because my contractions were really intense and on top of each other. This time I was dilated to 6. The nurse then informed me that I was going incredibly fast and that there was a good chance that I wouldn’t be able to get an epidural. This shocking news made me immediately burst into tears. I told her that I really didn’t want to push the baby out without an epidural. She told me that I could have it as soon as everything was ready but at the rate I was going even if they administered it, there was a really good chance that it wouldn’t take in time. I was also introduced to the staff midwife because they weren’t sure if my midwife was going to make it there on time.

By the time I was ready for the epidural I was at 8 ½ centimeters. You would think that at that point I would have just declined it but I had the fear that I would be pushing for an hour and that scared the hell out of me. I tried to distract myself during my contractions by thinking about meeting my girl soon or by thinking about Aubrey. Unfortunately my mind took over and the only thing I could think of while I was in pain was the Huggies potty training song which Aubrey had been watching on repeat all week. You know the one that goes, “Left side cross, right side cross, step, step, toes, waist, celebrate. Do the potty dance.” It went back and forth between that and “The Wheels on the Bus.” I was hoping that the epidural would help me stop singing ridiculous songs in my head during such a momentous event.

A team of 3 people came in to do my epidural. They had me sit on the edge of the bed with my feet up on a stool. I’m not sure if the woman doing it was new but she seemed pretty unsure of where my spine was and kept asking me if she should go left or right. She finally got it in and then tested it only to see that it wasn’t placed right and she would have to do it all over again. I told them if they couldn’t do it than don’t worry about it because it is my spine they were messing with and that’s not something I really wanted to mess around with. While they were redressing me for their second attempt, I had my strongest contraction yet and the rest of my water broke. They said the baby was probably plugging my cervix and that’s why my water continued to slowly break throughout my entire labor. It seemed like a bunch of people came into the room before they went in for the second time which made me even more nervous. Turns out that they brought the OR anesthesiologist in and she was the one to put the second one in somewhat successfully.

I kept waiting for relief to come but it never did. The only thing that changed was that I was feeling more and more pressure with each contraction. They checked me again and I was at a 9 ½. They had me lay on my side to help relieve my pain and told me to let them know when it felt like I had to push. Within 5 or 10 minutes I literally felt like the baby was pushing herself out. It was the strangest feeling ever like the baby was going to deliver herself if I wasn’t going to do it. I told Joe to go get the nurse and the midwife now because I couldn’t hold back from pushing any longer. Thankfully they were right outside the door and the sounds of my screams had two more nurses running in. I always said that I hate when women scream during childbirth when I see it on television but there was honestly no way I couldn’t scream. I feel bad for those eight other women in labor around me because I probably scared the hell out of them. They asked me to roll over and I just kept saying that I couldn’t. They basically did it for me and Joey said as soon as they opened my legs you could already see they baby’s head, like that visual? They then had me hold my legs the best I could and push. Finley Kate was born in about 3 pushes at 7:51 pm and I felt every boney inch of her coming out.

She wasn’t moving at first which scared Joey but as soon as they suctioned her nose and mouth, she started wailing. They held her up for me to see before placing her on my belly. I was relieved to see that she wasn’t the 10 lb baby that I envisioned lived in my belly. As soon as I delivered the placenta, which was a piece of cake compared to delivering a baby, Joe cut the cord and I pulled her up to lay skin to skin on my chest. I held her for about 20 minutes and then I let Joey hold her. The nurses took her after that to weight her before I fed her. She came in weighing 7 lbs 11 oz. Joe and I thought she was closer to 7 because she looked so small.

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They gave her back to me and I nursed her. She wasn’t as quick to take to it as Aubrey had been but she still latched after some coaxing. After she was done nursing, I handed her off to Joey and got cleaned up. We hung out in the delivery room until about 11 o’clock before being transferred to a recovery room. They were so busy with all of the other women in labor that they weren’t able to transfer us sooner. This gave us some time to take in what had just happened. We went from joking around about having a baby that day to having one less than 12 hours later. From the time my water broke to the time I gave birth was only about 4 hours and only 3 hours after checking into the hospital. If her birth is any inclination to the rest of this little girl’s life than watch out because Finley is a force to be reckoned with.

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