Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day Three

Whew. Today was not easy breezy. Imagine that. We had friends over last night so I stayed up a little later than usual. Violet woke around 5 a.m. so I went ahead and fed her. (She's been doing that lately. I've decided to not be a sleep nazi about it.) She went right back to sleep. It was tempting to sleep in, but the power of what-you-would-think-of-me carried me to the shower.

There's a couple reasons this is easier than I thought it would be. I have always had a very bad association with getting up early as a self discipline. Mostly because in the past I've always failed. It has never worked for me. I always end up going back to sleep mid-morning or needing a nap later in the afternoon. Or snoozing until I give up and turn the alarm off. But this time around, I have little people to take care of. Once I'm showered and ready, the girls are getting up and the day truly begins. I have no go-back-t0-bed option. And they're cute little things so I'm not bitter. Also, Ryan goes to work at 7 a.m. every day. It helps that he is up and getting ready like I am. If he was still sleeping away, I would be more tempted to snuggle back in bed with him. Or throw a cup of cold water on his face in jealousy.

My eyes are very heavy this afternoon, and I will probably crash early tonight after the girls get tucked in. Tomorrow is the last day of my experiment. But I think I'll leave the programmed alarm on my phone going. We'll see...

Oh yeah, after I took the picture above I thought to myself, "So THAT'S where Violet gets her cheeks!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day Two

I was still motivated by the novelty of this new venture this morning. It wasn't torturous getting up. I'm sure that will wear off soon. Probably tomorrow.

Today I appreciated the 6:30 wake up call because at 8:30, while we were eating breakfast, I remembered there was a huge kid's consignment sale in town. It started at 9 a.m. and I wanted to get there early to see the good stuff before it sold. It was so nice to be able to just get the girls dressed and jump in the car and go. (Omaha moms, the sale was a little disappointing. But it goes until Saturday. Twice as Nice Kids Consignment Sale at the Omaha Police Union behind Outback and Dave & Buster's, 132nd and Center.) After that we went to JoAnn's Fabrics for fun, then stopped at Ry's office so Violet could nurse. We were home for lunch by 11:30. On a normal day, I have trouble getting out of the house by that time!

I do feel tired today. But some days you just feel tired, right? I didn't get all those little chores done like yesterday morning, either. Violet woke up a little earlier today. But, over all still loving this. I feel a little stupid, though. Four whole days of blogging about WAKING UP in the morning. Weak. :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day One

I did it! When my phone oh-so-pleasantly announced it was 6:30 this morning, I rolled out of bed straight to the shower. "Don't even think about anything else. Snooze is not an option. Just keep moving." And I'm so glad I did.

Things I've loved about getting up at 6:30 today:

  • Chatting with Ry before he left for work.
  • Being alone in a quiet house before the girls woke up. (They slept until 8 and 8:30 today. Score!)
  • Having time to run to Target between lunch and nap because we were all dressed and ready.
  • Passing by the hallway mirror a million times and seeing someone who was ready and dressed with make up on. As compared to seeing someone with wacky hair, mismatched pajamas, and smeared mascara. I seriously think it elevated my mood.
  • Getting a bunch of little things done before lunch time. Like emptying trash cans, cleaning the kitchen, and general pick up. Feels good.

Things I haven't loved about getting up at 6:30 today:
  • Getting up at 6:30 today.

One day down, three to go!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Shower and Shoes

Working moms are going to hate me for this. And I understand how this personal challenge would annoy you. Stay at home moms will totally understand me on this one. At least I hope. If I'm alone on this one I'll feel like a huge dork.

So here I sit. Mid morning on Monday. Still in pajamas. Both girls still in pajamas. Nola is on her second hour of tv. No joke. Can you believe I just admitted that?! I feel guilty that Nola is watching this much tv. Even if it is "educational". I feel guilty that I'm still in pajamas. If someone showed up at my door right now I'd be mortified. And I need to go grocery shopping. I should be leaving right now, but I can't because none of us are ready. It will take a long time to get us all out the door, by then it will be lunchtime. So we'll all be hungry and cranky at the store. My day is running all over me. And this is a common occurrence.

So here's my personal challenge. For the rest of this week (Four days. Weak sauce, I know. Smaller goal= greater chance of success.)I'm going to get up at 6:30, take a shower, get dressed, and put on SHOES. This should get me up before both girls. Nolie's been up at seven lately, but some days this might have me up for an hour or two without them. Score! But that will just be a plus. I'm not going to plan those hours. I've never been an over achiever.

So, friends, it has been written into cyber space. You all know my goal. You're my accountability. My reputation is at stake.

Here's to more productive days! Quality mornings with my girls, and kissing Ryan goodbye each morning while coherent.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Mundane Memories

The girls are asleep. Both of them. At the same time. This is still a rare occurrence.

Went to Kohl's and exchanged a few clothes for the girls for summer. Thank you, Grandma Nita! Nola is hard to fit right now. She has a teeny little waist, so pants either fit her at the waist or fit her in length, but not usually both. I thought shorts would be easy to get right. She tried on some size 6-9 month shorts today (Yes, 6-9 month) and they fit her little waist, but the tushy looked all weird. Probably because they're made to fit over a diaper. We did get some 12 month denim capris. Violet has so many hand me downs from Nola, but she got a couple of new cute things anyway.

We went to Sgt. Peffer's with Ryan for lunch. We all had a slice of pizza. Nola and I had yummy wheat rolls, too. When Nola heard me talking on the phone to Ryan about lunch she chimed in from the backseat, "I want pizza!" *Sigh* She's getting so old.

Violet is still the happiest little baby ever. All smiles. And she LOVES Nola. We have a couple great videos of Violet laughing at Nola.

Nola is in love with Dinosaur Train. A show on PBS. She also really gets into Sesame Street. She watched both those this morning while I sorted through the girls' clothes and got everything packed up to go shopping.

Love my husband. Love my girls. Love my life. So thankful.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I think I'm in labor...Hello, Violet!

I couldn't fall asleep at all that night. I tossed and turned until the clock went past midnight. At 1:28 I decided if I wasn't asleep by 1:30 I was going to get up and eat something. I was starving. 1:30 came so off I went to the kitchen. I ate a bowl of Grape Nuts. Headed back to bed hoping to fall asleep.

Instead, I starting feeling contractions. Just little ones, but they were very rhythmic, and uncomfortable. After about an hour, I went to the bathroom and realized I was shaking and cold. I am usually burning up all night long. It was the kind of uncontrollable shaking that I remember when I was in labor with Nola. So I woke up Ryan. Poor thing.



"I think I'm in labor..."


He was pretty awake then. I asked him to help me time the contractions with the contraction timer app I made him put on his phone. For about an hour we timed them. The app does all the work for you. You just push start and stop with your contractions. We would lay there almost asleep, then it would hit me. "Start!", I'd tell him, relax through the contraction, and then tell him, "Stop" when it was over. He was falling asleep between and during my contractions. A couple times he never heard me say stop, and once or twice he had to ask if we were stopping or starting! Such a trooper.

After an hour we were sure the contractions were about seven minutes apart, lasting about a minute. I didn't feel quite sure I should call my midwives. It was around six in the morning, so I knew on-call shifts would be changing soon anyway. I decided to wait until at least seven so I'd be talking to the same midwife through out my labor.

I did call my mom, though. Just for a heads up.

"Hey, I'm pretty sure I'm in labor."


She was planning to be with my sister that day. Serenity was having a consult with the surgeon who was going to remove cancer from her lungs in a few weeks. Mom was understandably torn. But she decided to get herself ready and packed, and talk to me after I'd talked with the midwives, before she decided to make the five hour drive to Omaha.

Around seven I was planning to call the midwives, but my contractions stopped. I only felt slight cramping. So I took a shower instead. Ryan stayed home just in case we did need to make a sudden dash to the hospital.

For a couple of hours I thought it was over. False alarm. But then around nine they started up again. Luckily I had time to get showered and put makeup on by then! Still the contractions were completely manageable. I called my midwives just to give a heads up. My labor with Nola was only seven-ish hours, so I wanted to make sure I was on their radar. When I called, my contractions were pretty serious don't-touch-me-or-talk-to-me minute long ones, but they were only coming every ten minutes. I had just been at an appointment the day before, and CeCe (one of the midwives) had checked me and I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Since I had a pelvic exam the day before, they thought maybe I was just having some cramping due to that. So I stayed home. I called Mom. She was at my grandparents helping them with their computer. She decided she better head my way. And are they sure they don't want you at the hospital?

I packed my bags. I cleaned up the house. I sat down to get through a contraction. I packed some more stuff. Cleaned up something else. Sat down for another contraction. Ryan and Nola ate lunch. I wasn't hungry. I called my friend Revonna to cancel Nola's play date. I told her I was pretty sure I was in labor and we didn't want Nola to miss meeting the baby. I said I'd let her know when we were actually headed to the hospital.

After lunch, my contractions really picked up. I was watching Dora with Nolie, and realized I was getting reeeeeally agitated with her if she touched me during a contraction. So I got up and started doing laps around the house. Walking through them seemed to make it easier than sitting through them. They got stronger and stronger. I called the midwives and kept getting the nurses voice mail. I timed it poorly once, and wasn't even able to leave a message because a contraction hit me and I couldn't talk. Ryan had called his mom to bring me some Boost. I wasn't hungry, but I knew I was in labor and needed some energy. She came while I was trying to reach the midwives. We weren't sure what the midwives would say, but we thought surely we would be going to the hospital soon. We asked her to stay with Nola while she napped. Finally, the nurse called me back. I told her my contractions were 4 to 6 minutes apart. She said, "Oh, honey, what's your date of birth? I'm gonna send you on over to the hospital."

Out the door we went. Ryan grabbed all our stuff. I just got in the car. My contractions were so close together I barely had time to get in the car before another one started. Our dog escaped while we were loading up. There was nothing we could do. He would come back. Eventually. So we just left.

I got my mom on the phone between contractions to tell her we were on our way to the hospital. Then I said a quick goodbye because another contraction came on. At 2:10 p.m. I sent Revonna a text message: Headed to hospital. Ouch.

We pulled up at the Methodist Women's Hospital. As the valet was taking our car, I ran inside to get in the door before another contraction knocked me to my knees! Luckily, there was a bench right inside the door. I barely made it to the seat.

The receptionist a few feet behind me asked, "Ma'am, are you in labor?"

I could only nod my head.

"Do you want a wheelchair?"

Again I nodded. The security guard at the door was asking me at the same time about the wheelchair so he ran and got me one.

I was definitely in the zone at this point. Ryan pushed me up to the second floor. The lovely nurses took their sweet little time deciding what room to put me in. 17 is open. Oh but there's no jacuzzi...I'll go check 15. Be right back. Then they took their sweet little time punching my info into the computer. Since I handle my pain by going inward, I guess they couldn't tell how serious my pain was.

We finally got in the room, and so begins the 20 questions and signing of a million forms. Honestly, they could've gotten me to sign anything at that point. I wasn't listening to them. I did my best to find the X and scratch my name on the paper. They put an IV in my arm. I guess my veins weren't too cooperative so they had to try both arms. The nurse apologized for the pain. Haha! Sister, that does not even hurt. My uterus is what hurts! They also filled up the jacuzzi for me, since I was planning on using it for pain management. I couldn't wait to get in the water.

The other nurse checked me and said I was "a 4, almost 5". I wanted to cry just a little bit. I could've sworn I was fully dilated and ready to push this thing out! They called Marilyn to tell her how I was doing. I love all three midwives, but I was excited to hear that Marilyn was on call, since she had delivered Nola.

When Marilyn came she agreed I was about 4 cm dilated. She asked how I felt about getting my water broken. She said it would get things over more quickly, and I said, "Yes, please!" Then she said, "After we break your water, we will probably have a baby in about 45 minutes." So Ryan called his parents to let them know to go ahead and bring Nola on up to the hospital.

When Marilyn was breaking my water she said that it was really bulging and ready to pop soon anyway. When she broke it, I felt crazy pressure and the contractions were super intense. She said the baby had come way down with the water breaking, and now I was 8 cm dilated. She told me I needed to relax through three of four contractions, and let the baby come down a little more before I started pushing. She also said I couldn't get in the jacuzzi because I was so close I might end up having the baby in there (They don't do water births at this hospital). At that point I didn't care anymore because I could feel it was so close to being over.

Wonderful Marilyn talked me through the contractions. I didn't get a break in between them. Maybe a mini breath. But she would tell me when they were at the worst part, then talk me through relaxing them through to the end.

It really was only three of four contractions before I started naturally pushing. I just couldn't stop myself. She told me to stop it, of course. She wanted to make sure I was fully dilated and the cervix was completely gone. She checked, and I was. I did my best to not push...sort of...while everyone scrambled to get ready for the delivery. I was a little at this point. I wasn't exactly screaming in pain, it was more like groaning, I guess. I wouldn't want to see video of it. Neither would you. But it was almost over. After everyone was in position, they gave me the go ahead to start pushing. As if I wasn't already. :) And then it was a blur of screamy pushing. I just barely remember the "ring of fire" people talk about when the baby is coming out. I felt a mild stinging feeling, and then I heard Marilyn say, "Well, hello, sweetheart!" I thought, "Her head is out?!" One more push and then they plopped her on my chest. Her face was towards mine and I stroked her little face and said, "I'm so glad you're here!" Then I threw my head back on my pillow and said, "Ugh! I'm so glad that's over!" Everything. The pregnancy and the labor and the delivery. I was just so happy it was over, and my beautiful baby was here.

Because the delivery was so quick after getting to the hospital, none of our family was actually there right when the baby was born. I had planned for my mom to be in the delivery room with me, but she was still two hours away when the baby came. It turned out to be a nice, intimate time for just me and Ryan to welcome the baby into the world. We had a minute just to ourselves to decide her name. I was pretty set on Violet, but Ryan wanted to check her out and make sure it matched. Violet she became. We decided to pick her middle name later. We had nothin' in the middle name department.

A few minutes later Ryan's parents came in with Nola. They let Nola come in by herself first, if I remember right. Nola really liked Violet. Then everyone came in to see her. Ry's parents and his sister. A while later our friends Liz and Andrew came in to say hi. Everyone said they were a little disappointed everything went so fast. They had brought books and homework and toys for Nola to wait it out. I, on the other hand, was not sorry they didn't get a study hall! I was so thankful things had gone so fast.

The next day Ryan found the middle name Emery. Violet Emery. I had heard it before, but never considered it for a middle name. Now the girls' names rhyme a little. Nola Serenity and Violet Emery.

My recovery with a second baby has been way better than I would've imagined. I'm enjoying these first few weeks a lot more this time around. (Sorry, Nola. I was totally freaked out when you were born. The first few weeks were HARD!) Adding a second baby to the mix is a milder life change than when you have your first. I feel like I could add five more now! We'll see...

Remembering Rubies

When Ryan and I found out we were pregnant for the first time, I was freakishly excited. I told him, "I've wanted to be a mom since I was two years old. Hate to say it, Babe, but little girls dream of being moms before they ever dream of being wives." The baby would come in July. Ruby would be the birthstone. In typical Ryan fashion, he made a movie to announce our news. It was awesome. We showed it to everyone. We shouted our news from the rooftops. We found out that THREE of my friends were expecting in July as well! I was feeling great, and to make life even more wonderful, it was Christmastime.

And then the baby was gone.

I had been feeling strange all day. Somehow my body just didn't feel right, and even in my spirit it felt like something was wrong. We went Christmas shopping that night, and I started cramping so much that I had to sit down on a bench in the middle of Wal-Mart. I hate that bench. I still pass it all the time. Right by the spray paint. Once we got home, I knew for sure something was wrong. I called my parents. My poor doctor Dad. I know it must be hard to wear both those hats at the same time. I know he didn't want it to be what it sounded like. I called my midwife. She told me what to expect for the night. The next day we went in for an ultrasound and found out that the baby really was gone. I think it was December 19th.

Time passed. It was heart wrenching to watch my friends' bellies grow and not be able to join the pregnancy chatter after church. But Ryan and I were very lucky. By the time July rolled around, I was blessed to be visibly pregnant with Nola. But even though I could feel Nola kicking inside me, when my friend's babies were born that July...I cried.

It hit me that the baby I was pregnant with now, was not the baby I had lost. We got pregnant again so quickly after our loss, that sometimes the pregnancies rolled together in my mind. It was as if the miscarriage was just a set back in starting our family. After getting pregnant again I had myself convinced I was fine. But that July I grieved again for our first baby that would have been born that month. It was an important, but painful, realization. Nola's birthstone would be a beautiful orange topaz. The baby I lost was a deep red ruby.

It was amazing to me how many women I knew had stories to share with me after they heard about my loss. It really is such a private thing, losing a baby so soon after announcing your pregnancy. Some women don't even get time to announce it, or choose not to, by the time their baby is gone. Everyone grieves in their own way. Some people name their babies. Some people plant a tree. Ryan and I never did any of those things. But the month of July has a special place in my heart. And even though I have the memories of the loss in December, I still feel a little heartache each July.

A few months after Nola was born, I went to a funeral for a good friends' grandad. Keith Lawson. Yes, his name deserves it's own sentence. If you'd known him, you'd understand. He was one of the kindest men I've ever known. He was at church every Sunday when I was little and always gave high fives to all the little kids. It was a beautiful funeral full of the hope we have in Jesus. During one of the songs, I saw what was like a little video playing in my mind's eye. I saw Grandad Keith, happy in Heaven. He was giving a high five to a little tiny girl. After the high five, he pointed at her and said, "Hey! I knew your mom." I cried and cried. I knew that Jesus was taking care of my baby, even though I couldn't.

I know there are probably a surprising number of you reading this who share this story. I hope you feel reminded today...

Jesus remembers our rubies.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mundane Memories

Violet had her four month check up today. All is well in her little world. She was in the 50th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height. She smiled and smiled at the doctor. Until he gagged her with the tongue depressor. After that was over she gave him the most pouty little face she could muster. (Note to self: Gotta' get that pouty face on camera.)

Nola woke up not feeling well. Just a cold, probably. She sounds all plugged up. Coughing every once in a while.

Both girls are sleeping soundly right this minute. That's a lovely feeling. Violet sucks on her index and middle finger on her left hand. Nola sucks her thumb still, and today she is sleeping with her big stuffed Tiger from Papa Tom and her little white bunny from Grandma Kaffy.

I've got a load of peed sheets and clothes washing. Diapers are next. Beans are cooking in the crock pot. Ryan is home working today as he always does on Thursdays.

Now Violet's up. She's probably ready to eat.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I put up the story of Violet's birth. But I wrote it a LONG time ago, and I can't figure out how to put it at the top of my blog. Until I figure it out, check it out in the December 2010 archives...