Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sew, a needle pulling thread.

Well, for some reason I had it in my head that I wanted to sew a diaper bag for this baby. Which is sort of crazy because, well, I don't sew.

I mean I still have to look up how to thread the machine, people.

I want to sew. But, I just don't seem to be able to make the time during the school year and if I need to do any trouble shooting, well, just forget it.

But, I had decided I wanted to sew a diaper bag and that's what I set out to do.

Brittany found some discounted canvas in a very cute owl print when she worked at the fabric store. So, I picked that up and it sat for a couple of months on my desk.

Then, around the middle of May I realized that if I was actually going to make this thing then I needed to get on the ball, so to speak.

I went to the store and bought the fabric for the inside, the batting and the thread. And, it sat on my desk. And then I had the baby.

Then, I realized that if I were actually going to use the diaper bag for this baby, it wasn't going to sew itself. And, I need to get on the ball for real.

So, I cut out the fabric and then it sat on my desk for another week while I wondered what in the world I had gotten myself into. Then, I told Bethany, that live or die, I was going to sew that diaper bag on Monday. I did the mechanics and Bethany ran the sewing machine.

Here's how it turned out.........

I LOVE how it turned out!!! There are also four pockets on the inside.

I added these buttons, but otherwise, I followed this tutorial from Sew Christine. The pocket directions were backwards, so make sure to read the comments to get the correct way to fold.

As a matter of fact, I was so pleased with it that I had Bethany help me make one for Brennan. I altered the measurements to make a smaller bag, and I didn't do pockets inside for hers.

Since this was supposed to be "the easiest diaper bag ever" I guess I shouldn't sing my own praises, but it did inspire me to try some other projects and the girls are going to make bags to enter into the fair.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Trace's Birth Story

Now, that Trace is 3 weeks old I finally have time to post his birth story. I know this is a lot of details, but I want to remember.

So, when I calculated out when I thought my due date would be based on the usual signs and symptoms, it came up as May 25. But, after I had an ultrasound the doctor thought it looked more in line with June 13. I had another ultrasound a month after the first and the measurements were still in line with June 13. I was fine going along with that date since I have had due dates based only on ultrasound before when I haven't been able to calculate it out based on the usual signs and symptoms. So, I was preparing for a June baby.

When I was still about two weeks or so out from May 25, I felt like the baby was so low I could barely walk and he was moving around so much, and I just felt all over "big and pregnant". And, I had already stopped walking on the treadmill about three weeks before, because I could barely walk afterwards. This is usually the sign the end is near and  I still had over a month til my June due date and then a little more if I was my usual week or so late. I still had in the back of my mind that I could be due the 25th, but I still focused on June 13th.

This pregnancy had really been, well, boring. Which is GOOD. It seems like with every other pregnancy there is some other crazy big life changing event taking place or something with the pregnancy like high blood pressure or the scary bleeding that I experienced with Brennan. But this time, everything was good. My blood pressure was good. My sugar was good. The baby was good. The ultrasounds were good. NOTHING out of the ordinary had happened. I didn't even have Group B Strep this time.

The morning of May 27th I had a doctor's appointment. That week I intended to finish up homeschool for the year and get the rest of the baby's things in order. That would still give me two weeks to get some meals in the freezer and a few other things I felt like I needed to get done. So, before my appointment I went to Walmart and got the little dresser for the baby's things and some cleaning supplies. Going to Walmart always seems to involve a lot of walking, which I had been trying to avoid, but I wasn't feeling any contractions or anything.

I stopped and got an egg mcmuffin and small coffee that I was going to wait and have after my appointment, but I was so starved after walking around Walmart that I decided to go ahead and eat it. I had gotten in the habit several kids ago of not eating before my appointments, because no matter what I would eat, inevitably the nurse would test my urine sample and say, "WHAT did you eat this morning?" and then need to do a finger prick (which would turn out fine). So, I learned to just schedule my appointments in the morning and then eat afterwards to save myself (and my fingers) some trouble.

When the assistant took me back to the room for my appointment, she said that (dread of all dreads) the doctor wanted to do a cervix check. Now, I hate cervix checks for at least two reasons. 1) PERSONAL SPACE and 2) What my cervix is doing is usually no indication of when I will deliver.

He found that I was at 4 centimeters and 100 percent effaced. I wasn't really having any stronger contractions than Braxton Hicks, but he felt my stomach and said that I was having a contraction right then. Didn't I feel that? I told him that yes, I did feel it, but I wouldn't describe it as painful. He said, "You must have a really high pain tolerance." I said, "I don't know about that, but I do know how painful it will eventually be, and this isn't that."

He wanted me to come back at 1:45 to see what the contractions were doing then.

Now at this point, I know how this is going to go.

I will go home. I will come back at 1:45. He will admit me to labor and delivery. I will have to labor at the hospital tied down with monitors and ivs. I will continue to have contractions, but at some point he will determine I'm not progressing fast enough and want to give me pitocin and then I will want the epidural and then I will throw up.

That is the exact opposite of how I wanted it to go. I wanted to labor at home, get to the hospital at the last minute and deliver before I could be tied down for very long (I was only at the hospital 20 minutes when I had Brennan. Perfect timing!), avoiding the epidural and the throwing up.

I left the doctor's office and texted David to call me when he had a stop on his route and then Brittany called me because she was supposed to pick up Tyler from work, but abandoned him when he didn't walk out the door at 11 on the dot. So, I headed to pick Tyler up and found him walking halfway home through the neighborhood. David called me and I let him know what was going on. I drove on home and sat on the bed and the contractions got to where I could feel them, but they still weren't really painful.

Brittany insisted that she was driving me back to the doctor.

Because, what if you are driving yourself and you have the baby in the van BY YOURSELF, or something crazy.

I guess everyone thinks that by your 11th, the baby is basically just falling out, and don't sneeze or anything, because HERE COMES THE BABY!

That is a myth.

Anyway, Brittany drove me back to the doctor at 1:45. We had to wait at least an hour because he was already over at the hospital delivering babies. I guess out of consideration all the women waited until after Memorial Day to go into labor. After he finally got there he said that I was a 4/maybe 5 and to go on over to labor and delivery. I told him, "Well, I guess this means I'll have to cancel my dinner plans." My good friend, Julie was planning on taking me to Olive Garden that evening to celebrate Trace's upcoming birth.

I convinced the doctor to let me go home, because I hadn't even packed my bag. He said I could, but just don't waste any time and get back up to the hospital. I was thinking to myself, "Well it might take a reeeaally long time for me to pack my bag........"

But, Brittany wouldn't let me waste any time and insisted she was driving me back to the hospital, because what if I drive myself and have the baby in the van BY MYSELF.......

I texted David and let him know what was going on and he texted back, "DON'T WAIT TIL THE LAST MINUTE!"

I texted back, "Why would I do that?"

So, between the doctor, my husband and my daughter, I was outnumbered and had to make my way up to the hospital. David called in to get someone to finish his route and met us there after we checked in.

It's funny, because of the difference in priority when you come up to labor and delivery and say in a calm, cheery voice, "Hi, the doctor sent me over to be admitted.", you get sent to the waiting area for half an hour. If you come in doubled over in pain and moaning they escort you back to a room right in a hurry.

We were in the waiting area when David showed up, and a little while later they took us back to a room. I had to do the usual paperwork, got hooked up and tied down with the monitors, and I had to get two ivs again. Contractions at this point were still not really painful. I told the nurse, "No offense, but if it weren't for everyone else, I wouldn't even be here right now." She was a really supportive nurse and said she totally understood and agreed with me and she wanted me to be able to move around if I wanted to. I appreciated that so much, but still, there is only so much moving around you can do, because the monitors end up losing the baby's heartbeat and and you have to move all the tubes and wires (they ended up inserting an internal monitor as well for contractions so they removed the contractions monitor on my belly), and it's just a bother. So, basically I could move from the bed to the chair (where I ended up spending most of the evening) and that's about it.

David, Brittany and I just sat around and waited for the contractions to get closer together. David was mostly playing on his phone and Brittany was mostly taking pictures of us and posting to instagram. Finally the contractions got a little stronger and the doctor wanted to check my cervix. I knew I probably was at a six. And, I was. He also broke my water.

So, we continued to wait.

I don't remember the exact time frame, but I would say around 11 pm he came back in to check my cervix again. There was really no point, because I knew I was still at six. And, I was.

I could have told him every step of the way what my cervix was at, because I can tell based on what the contractions and pain feel like.

So, remember how earlier I said that I knew how this was going to go?

Apparently because I've had so many children I have a "tired uterus", and he wanted me to have some pitocin to make the contractions stronger. And, as I had already told him, I would get the epidural. I am so over dealing with pitocin. My doctor said you wouldn't be able to pay him to have a baby without an epidural. Ha!

Well, if I hadn't have had that darn appointment that morning, then everyone wouldn't have freaked out and I wouldn't have had to go over to the hospital and I could have labored at home. Oh well. I know that I could have refused the pitocin, but by that point, I decided it was fine to just go ahead with it and get the baby here sooner.

So, I got the pitocin, and the epidural, and by this time I'm sure it was after midnight-well past my bed time, so I dozed off a bit. After a while I felt a lot of pressure on my bladder and about that time the doctor came in and and Trace was ready! It only took maybe two very light pushes and he was born at 1:21 am.  He was 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 20 and 1/2 inches. His apgars were 8 and 9. And, then I threw up for the next two hours from the epidural. Yay.

Brittany had stayed for the entire thing. It was her first birth. I guess everything really worked out for the best, because 1) she got to be there, and 2) she wasn't permanently scarred from ever having her own children because I had gotten the epidural and things were fairly uneventful. She had stayed the entire time and didn't leave until around noon when my friend Jennifer and her daughter came by and, also the lady came in to take Trace's pictures. David had gone on home just a short time after I delivered. He always stays until he makes sure the baby and I are fine, and then he leaves.

I know that ultrasounds are pretty accurate, but this time I think that my calculations were correct. Trace was average weight, but he was long, and he had long fingernails. And, when I look back on the four weeks leading up to May 25, it does seem like things were progressing like that was my real due date. So, I'm going with that. Trace, like his ten brothers and sisters was LATE. Eleven for eleven.

I'm so, so thankful he's healthy and already here!

Waiting for Trace to show up......

Travis and Trace

Brennan reaching for her new brother.

Brennan wondering why she wanted a new brother.

Bailey and Trace

Tristan and Trace



Brittany and Trace

Travis, Thomas and Trace

Trace had a little jaundice so he had to spend a few days under the bili lights.

And, now he's doing just great!

Friday, May 30, 2014

It's a BOY!

He's here!!!!

Trace Emory

Born 5/28/14
1:21 am
7 pounds 7 ounces
20 and 1/2 inches

Mama and baby are doing just wonderful!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Finances on Friday!

 Each week I'm trying to link up over at Renaissance so I can share and keep track of what I did that was frugal for the week!

Here's how this week went..........

  • On Saturday, our local Christian book store had most of their stuff marked down 20 percent for homeschool weekend. My daughter was invited to a birthday party and so were were able to get a gift and tissue paper and a bag for for less than the original price of the gift.
  • Also, I splurged from the homeschool budget and got a small Betty Lukens bible felt set. I've been wanting one for at least three years now and always talk myself out of it. I asked David, and of course, he said to get it. So I did. It cost me $63 with the 20 percent off at the same store. I'm still trying to justify it in my mind.
  • Filled up David's van with gas at Sam's and saved 6 cents a gallon.
  • Made a batch of laundry soap.
  • Our local community has a homeschool book benevolence where local homeschoolers and teachers can take what they need FOR FREE and donate it back when they are done. A lady keeps it organized as her ministry. It's like a big yard sale with only homeschool curriculum and you don't have to pay for it. It's like a little slice of heaven! I could spend hours browsing. Hours. I really didn't want to bring to much stuff back home this time since I just donated a ton of stuff last month, so I took a reusable shopping bag and limited myself. I found some file folder games books, and a few other odds and ends that I'll use when I start planning out next year's lessons later on this summer. I didn't get through the geography section while I was there, so I need to go back and see what I can find for that.
  • Bailey wanted to play go fish, so I cut up a piece of paper into squares for her and she made her own cards. It's been fun playing with her.
  • Went out with David for a date night at the dollar theater, because he really wanted to see Lone Survivor. He waited a long time until it came to the dollar theater.  I didn't have motion sickness this time, so I actually got to watch the movie. Yay! 
And here's where I wasn't frugal........
  • Put off getting gas in my van so that I couldn't make it to Sam's to save 6 cents a gallon. :(
  • Didn't fix David's lunch twice this week so he needed to eat out. He didn't complain, but my budget did.
  • I've been keeping the AC turned down especially at night because I just can't sleep if it's warm. I hope this big old pregnant belly won't destroy my electric bill budget.
  • Went to dinner last night with my book club at Los Cabos. We only go out once a quarter which really isn't that bad. I made lamingtons for everyone since, the setting of the half of the book was in Australia and they mentioned eating those. We made them for our Australia study last year for home school. It's basically sponge cake squares (I used angel food) covered in chocolate icing and coconut. Very yummy. I had a mahi taco, a shrimp taco and a seafood enchilada for dinner. It was yummy as well!
And as for the "Use It Up" challenge?

Last week I mostly used everything I had up, so I can't even think of a single thing that I used up. Which is good, I guess?

Well, I have three weeks until my due date of June 13. And, I'm always late, so most likely it will be at least four weeks. I'm just not sure I'm ready yet. It's going by so fast and, probably like every time, I feel like I have a ton of stuff to do by then.

Here are a few of my goals to finish before baby......

  • Make the diaper bag from the discount fabric I got a few weeks ago
  • Find some more discount fabric to make the crib skirt and then make the crib skirt.
  • Get a plastic dresser from walmart to put the baby's things in. We have forgone dressers for the kids a long time ago and use shelves and baskets for clothes, but back when I had Bailey, David bought me a plastic dresser and it worked so well, that I've used it for every baby since. Right now, I have that dresser holding the three youngest kids clothes and it's in my bedroom so I can keep better track of their things. But, I'll have to get another for the new baby, because there's no more room in the other one.
  • Some things that I want to get in the freezer: at least a week's worth of meals, and 2 batches of granola bars, protein bars, and banana chocolate chip muffins for breakfasts. I also want to make up some pancake mix ahead of time and stick it into baggies for a few easier breakfasts.
  • Have the kids get a few things ready to plant in one of the raised garden beds.
  • Finish home school next week. Except for one child who will have to do his work over the summer to get caught up.
  • Settle on baby names.
  • Get bag to take to the hospital packed.
  • Wash the newborn things to go into the plastic dresser.
Don't forget to link up over at Renaissance and share your frugal story!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Park

Bethany has been asking to go to the park for a few weeks now before it gets blazing hot, and the kids have been sick for a few weeks with different things. So this week everyone is feeling better and despite the fact that we really needed the day to home school since we are trying to finish by next week, I decided to take the kids to the park.

The kids are smiling and enjoying themselves. In the pictures. But really, there was plenty of whining and griping. I'm not really sure why. Maybe being cooped up sick for weeks has taken a toll on everyone.

Brennan was more interested in finding and kissing babies and trying to steal their snacks than playing on the playground.

Some kids complained of a headache. Then they wanted to go down to the drainage ditch to look for tadpoles. But, Brennan wanted to go, too, and it's on sort of a steep cliff, so it was difficult trying to keep her from falling down.

I was exhausted by the time we left, since everything I do now is gauged on how much walking will be involved. But, I guess when all was said and done everyone got a little fresh air and I got some good pictures.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Getting Stuff Done

As I have mentioned before, this pregnancy I've been suffering from serious lack of motivation. (I think that means I'm having a boy....)

Well, anyway, I normally am a driven, make-a-list, and get stuff done kind of person. So, today I actually accomplished a lot- well, a lot for how it's been lately- and I was quite impressed with myself.

Today I had my 36 week check-up even though I will be 37 weeks on Friday.

Goodness, do I look pregnant.

I never know what to do with my hands in pictures.

Then, I went to the store to pick up a few essentials like angel food cake and cocoa. (It's for something special I'm making tomorrow night for book club.)

I picked Tyler up from work.

I did science with the kids. I let them do an artsy bean mosaic since we are covering plants from my Five Kingdoms science rotation.

I must really be motivated because there was glue involved. And an entire bag of beans.

I made a batch of laundry soap and washed five loads of clothes.

I made dinner. Enough said.

I scrubbed the backsplash and wall beside the stove.

I typed this blog post.

I still need to sort the loads of laundry and make David's lunch for tomorrow, so those are my two goals for this evening.

I sure hope this productive streak doesn't come to an abrupt end!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Musings: Spleen Edition

Last week during the stomach virus/puke fest........

Travis (3): "Mom, can I have some of that juice, because my spleen hurts."
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