Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sisters

On Thursday, our local library had a fall festival, which was pretty much just an excuse to wear costumes. Adoration had the most adorable butterfly costume but it was just too HOT to wear the whole thing....so I put some ruffled bloomers on her, a flower headband, and tied the wings to her. Precious.

Here she is with her friend Ellie. Ellie is always so sweet to her, patting her and giving her hugs. And, yes, Adoration is about to topple over. Ellie is kindly holding her up.
And with her friend Jade...checking each other out.
Seeing these pictures makes me excited for possible "sisters" for Adoration in the future.
I always wanted sisters growing up, but just had brothers. Today, I have a couple of friends that I consider to be more "sisters" than just friends. I know they will always be a part of my life, no matter what. Though distance and even the seasons of our life may separate us I don't worry about our friendships fizzling because they are more than just friends, they are my sisters.
I hope Adoration will have sisters of her own one day, whether biological or "sister" friends. Cause....you really just can't beat a good girl friend.


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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Run Baby Run

Adoration is 4 months old and I am within 5 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight. Let me say that again with more gusto: I am within 5lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight!!!!!
I know...go me.

I'm gonna be real. It was really hard seeing the changes in my body after having Adoration. I had to come face to face with all my demons of vanity and body image. Mix in crazy hormones and a full length mirror and there you have a recipe for many a breakdown.

You know what I discovered? That it doesn't really matter what shape I'm in, the things I felt about my body image AFTER pregnancy was EXACTLY how I felt BEFORE pregnancy.

I'm determined to get back in shape but more than that I'm determined to change my thought patterns.....by yielding them to the things that are true. I want Adoration to grow up KNOWING she is beautiful and that starts with me being the example.


About to hit the pavement, in my new running shoes.


You GO Mommy!


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Like a moth to the flame.

This past week has been a busy one. Gran Gran came to town (that is...my G'ma & Adorations Great G'ma).
My G'ma lives in Oregon so it was her first time meeting Adoration. Adoration as usual, put on the charm and turned her Gran Gran into putty.

Not only did Adoration get to hang out with Gran Gran but she saw both sets of Grandparents and two uncles. AND this weekend her Auntie is coming into town.

Remember analogies on the SAT?

OUR FAMILY : ADORATION::

A. birds : nest
B. moths : flame
C. book : library

....and the answer is B. moth : flame

because Adoration attracts our family like a moth to a flame.

I doubt you'll be seeing this analogy on the SAT's anytime soon.



Adoration & Gran Gran. They are pretty much in love.


The cuteness.
The cuteness is wearing:
Dwell Studio for Target cardigan and skirt,
a cloth Gdiaper,
and Trumpette socks.


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Can't Handle the Cuteness.


A friend had posted a picture of the cutest little asian girl in the cutest little outfit. I followed the link and found this A-mazing website: myrockingwardrobe. They sell Japanese and Korean children's clothing....and let's face it, the Japanese pretty much have us beat as far as fashion goes.

I can't really handle this adorable-ness.
Picturing Adoration in clothes like this is just too much. Can't
take it.








Oh...and they have boys stuff too. Not gonna lie, this picture
makes me pretty excited about having boys one day.








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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Letter to Myself

On Dear Baby , Melissa challenged her readers to write to their former selves. What would they tell themselves if they could go back before their child was born. Here is my letter.

Dear Myself,

You will learn what love IS, because you will truly love this child more than yourself. Your heart will grow to hold this child in a deeper way than you have even imagined. You will give away so much of yourself, but you will barely notice this exchange, because you will receive so much more.

You were made for this. You were made to carry her, you were made to nurture her, you were made to love her more than the earth and sky. No one else is more capable. Be confident in this.

God did not send this child to you to teach the child how to be, God is sending this child to you to teach YOU how to be. Dependent.Trusting. Secure in love. Content. Joyful. Peaceful. This is your daughter. Let her teach you.

Be present...that is fully saturate yourself in every moment. It really does go by fast. She will never be one day old again, or 4 weeks, or 2 months. Enjoy every stage. If leaving the dishes dirty to enjoy the moment of that baby sleeping on you chest. Just do it. You won't regret it.

Her smiles will turn you into a morning person. You will JUST NOT BE ABLE to be grumpy when you see THAT face.

You will fall deeper in love with your husband the first time you see him as a father to your child. You will fall deeper in love EVERY time you see him with her. This will be more beneficial to your marriage than a hundred date nights alone.
Good thing, because it will be a lot harder to have date nights alone! But make time to be alone with each other anyways.

Eat that ice cream and DON'T feel guilty about that. You will lose that baby weight faster than you think. However, don't even THINK about trying on your pre-pregnancy jeans for awhile. Just. Don't. Do it.

It's true. Your body will never be the same again. You will get stretch marks. Things will never quite be how they were before. It's okay to have a good cry about it, grieve the passing of your former body...but you won't stay in that place. You will look at your daughter and know that it was all worth it, a thousand times over.

Things don't usually go the way they are planned. This is alright. They never usually do. You know this a little, but it will be confirmed again and again. Just let go of that plan, and follow the wind.

In general, don't be so hard on yourself. Be kind to yourself. Being kind to yourself is also being kind to your daughter. She will one day do as you do.

You will see all moms in a new light. You will view other moms with awe and respect. Go ahead and encourage other moms as much as you can.

You will think that nothing could possibly be more beautiful than your daughter....and it will be true.

......and she will have your eyes.

Much Grace,

the future-mommy you.

P.S.
One day you will wipe away your child's boogers with your bare hand and you won't even think twice about it. I know this is making you gag right now, but I promise it's true.



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Drop it like it's HOT (aka. THE Birth Story) Part Two




My prayers are successful.
The contraction ends and my body stops pushing.

I stand up on shaking legs and say to James, "We have to go to the hospital NOW!" He trys to get me to calm down saying the baby isn't just gonna come out all of a sudden. I am thinking, "YES, she IS." We start making a mad rush for the door to get ourselves to the hospital. We get to the edge of the kitchen counter and a couple feet away from the door when I feel a contraction starting to build. I grab onto the counter for support and start screaming more from sheer terror than anything else. My body is just pushing, I don't know how to make it stop, and I can feel the baby coming out. I am thinking that James is going to have to catch this baby and needs to get ready for it and that we need to call 911. Since I am in the middle of the contraction there is no way for me to communicate this. All I can do is scream. James, by the way, still has no idea that this baby is really right THERE. He is however, very inspired by my heroic effort.

At that very moment, like an angel from heaven, Molly (our doula) busts up into our apartment (she heard me screaming from the parking lot and knew what was happening.) She gets in my face and makes me open my eyes and look at her. She tells me to lower my scream to a low groan and to start puffing. The second I open my eyes and look at her I am able to calm down and focus. My body immediately just stops pushing. If it wasn't for Molly coming in at that very moment I think I very well may have had the baby right there.

I tell Molly, "We have to go to the hospital NOW." She says, "Okay, so you want to go to the hospital." She knows it is urgent but is trying to portray calmness. I am thinking, "These people are entirely too calm." I grab Molly's hand and shove it between my legs and say, "the head!"
The baby's head hadn't crowned yet but you could literally feel a bulge down there. It was just about to crown. Molly felt it and said "O- Kaaay."



She looks at James and says very seriously, "Drive and DON'T stop."

Molly says that she pretty much made the split second decision on whether we would be able to make it to the hospital or if she needed to get ready the deliver the baby and have the EMT's meet us at our apt. She says she knew when I was able to calm down and follow her instructions that we would make it to the hospital.



We hightail it to our cars and Molly is instructing me to keep my voice low no matter what and to puff. Water is dripping down my legs. There are some guys working on landscaping just staring at us with their mouths open. We don't have time to grab half our stuff (including my phone, the camera, the car seat.)

I get in the car but I can't actually really sit because I'd pretty much be sitting on the baby's head so I'm "sitting" with my pelvis tilted in the air. I can feel that my body wants to have another contraction and wants to push so I am trying so hard to keep my groans low. I just start saying "Jesuuus Jesuuus Jesuuus," to keep my voice low and to control my breathing and to keep this baby IN. I'm just praying in my head "Dear Jesus, please let us make it to the hospital. Please let us not get pulled over. Please let us not get in accident."

We pass two cops and James runs two red lights. Thankfully the hospital is less than 2 minutes away. We get into the lobby of the maternity center and another contraction starts and I feel the baby crowning as I'm waddling in. The triage nurse comes out and is like, "Let's get you to triage. "Okay, triage is the place they first send you to check you and make sure you are far enough along to actually stay at the hospital." James is trying very hard to calmly explain their is no TIME for triage. Meanwhile they sit me in a wheelchair. Again, I stick my pelvis up in the air. I'm pretty sure her head has crowned so I reach down and check. I def. can feel the top of her head. I lift my hand up and it is bloody. A nurse sees my bloody hand lifts up my skirt and sees the head.
The nurse starts yelling, "Get her to the closest room. She's at a plus two! She's a plus two!" (Plus two basically means the top of her head is out.) There is a flurry of activity and they wheel me to the closest room. There are like 6 nurses hovering around. They put me on the bed and I just hear a nurse yelling, "Get Tina! Get Tina!" (Tina was the midwife on duty.) Molly shoves a pillow under my head, the nurses throw up my skirt, and Tina rushes in.
Another contraction/push comes and the head starts to come more out. One of the nurse holds a fetal monitor strip up to my belly as the baby is coming out to listen for the heartbeat. I hear the heartbeat, my body pushes one more time, and Adoration is here. She was in a hurry apparently.
I remember feeling the "ring of fire" that every one talks about when she was coming out but it wasn't what I expected it to feel like. I remember thinking "oh, THAT is the ring of fire." It felt like more of a relief than anything.

I hear Adoration's beautiful cry as she comes out. I see her being held up and I just can't believe she is real. They place her on my chest and I know that THIS is love. It was probably the most amazing, surreal moment of my life. I don't remember this but James says that when I saw her I just said, "My baaabbyy." I held her close, totally in awe and James cut the cord.

Since I've birthed naturally, and on super-speed, the hormones coursing through my body have pretty much made me feel HIGH. High and completely in love with my baby.

After I deliver the placenta and the midwife sews me up (I tore a little.) After all that, the nurses and midwife leave us alone to let us bond.

James and I look at our precious little girl and kiss, completely amazed, in love, and changed forever. Words are too small too hold the swell of emotion that was happening. My husband, my daughter....my heart.

So that's the story. Besides the sheer moments of terror where I thought the baby my drop out on our living room floor, I had a very blessed birthing experience. I would say, that for me, birthing naturally was totally worth it.

Oh and for some reference on the timing of everything:
I woke up in labor at 5 am.
The point where I said "I don't know how much longer I can do this" was about ten minutes before we got in the car.
My water broke and my body starting pushing the baby out about two minutes after that.
We left our apartment at about 11:30.
Adoration was born at 11:49

What just happened?
oh..I had a baby. Happiness. Exhausted and gazing at my hubby.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Drop it like it's HOT (aka. THE Birth Story) Part One


Picture of my belly the DAY before I went into labor.



Here it is... Adoration's birth story:

I really wanted to try and go the whole natural childbirth route so James and I did all sorts of things to prepare for that. We chose a ob/gyn practice with midwives and that was supportive of natural birth. We chose a hospital that was non-invasive and also supportive of natural childbirth. We hired a doula to be a labor coach and to help represent our desires to the hospital. (Even though we wanted a natural birth, I still wanted to deliver at the hospital.) We took a childbirth class based on both the Bradley Method and Lamaze.

After all of this, we were educated. We knew what hormones would be released in my body and when and what they would do. We knew all the stages of labor and what they were supposed to look like. We were ready.

THE PLAN
So the plan was to do most of the laboring at home and then head to hospital during hard active labor, preferably before transition. Also if you go to the hospital too early in your labor they just send you home, so we were trying to avoid that as well.

If you don't know the stages of labor it goes something like this:

Early First Stage
Active Labor/First Stage
Hard labor/Late First Stage
Transition
Second Stage

What ACTUALLY Happened

We had a late night the night before so I didn't get into bed until midnight and probably didn't really fall asleep until 1 am. I remember feeling really uncomfortable and crampy in my sleep but subconsciously was thinking "just sleep as long as possible because if this is labor you need your rest." So I kept sleeping. In retrospect I was feeling pretty uncomfortable the whole DAY before but didn't think it was really something to pay attention too. First baby... I am totally clueless.

I woke up at 5am because there was no way I could keep sleeping. I was pretty sure I was having contractions. They already seemed pretty intense. I waited a little bit before I woke James up just to be sure this was it. I pooped three times and the contractions just kept coming. I woke James up and told him I was in labor.

Now with most labor, early labor/first stage and active/first stage last a good bit. This is a good time to go on a walk, watch a movie, etc. Contractions usually start off pretty far apart, 10 minutes apart even in active labor.
We timed my contractions and they were already only THREE minutes apart. Translation: not a whole lot of a break between contractions. So pretty much from the time I woke up I am really having to focus during each contraction and get ready for the next one when it is over. James is helping me get through my contractions by letting me lean on him, putting pressure on my hips and back, helping me get in different positions etc. I remember thinking "what happened to contractions that are 10 minutes apart?" At the very beginning we even put a movie in to try to watch and after about 2 seconds I say, "I can't do this," and start pacing up and down the hall.

We call our doula, Molly and she is at another birth. The baby is pretty close to being born so she is planning on coming to us after that. We tell her that my contractions are three minutes apart and 30 seconds long. Since the actually contraction is only 30 seconds long and that I had pretty much just started labor we think that I must just be in early Active labor. She offers to send her backup doula to us. We are feeling pretty confident with the process and say we don't need the backup at this point. Molly tells us to call her when my contractions get to be 45 seconds long cause that will show I am progressing. We all think I have hours to go. Most first labors are pretty long.

James makes me some scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast pretty soon after we wake up. I need the fuel for labor. Not long after eating it, I throw it all up due to the intensity of the contractions. Hmm....I thought throwing up is supposed to happen during the Transition stage?

At about 9 a.m. James manages to steal himself away from me and make the call to our parents and a text to our Charlotte prayer group to let them know I am labor. My contractions have remained about 3 minutes apart and 30 seconds long (by how we are timing them) but they are def. feeling much more intense. Everyone thinks we have time. We contemplate going into the doctor's office just to have the check me but since the contractions are still 30 seconds long we think we are good to go. Plus I am in the groove of working through my contractions.

During my contractions it is too painful to sit or lie down. I am either having to stand up and drape my arms around James' shoulders, hold on to the counter and squat, get on my hands and knees, or drape my arms over the couch/bed/exercise ball on my knees. James is there for me through it all, helping me up to standing positions, putting counter-pressure on my hips, etc. In between contractions I am pacing, lunging from side to side, sitting on the exercise ball rocking my hips. All of these movements help to relieve the pain and tension from the contractions.
(side note: I can't NOT imagine having to lie in a bed during labor. That is pretty much the most uncomfortable position you can be in during a contraction.)

At some point, Brooke, our back-up doula calls. I remember listening to her talk to me but not actually HEARING a word she was saying. I start having a contraction in the middle of the call and I am just trying to get through it. I'm not really thinking about how it would probably be a good thing for her to know that I CAN NOT talk during a contraction, or listen or concentrate, or anything. That would've clued her in to where I was at in labor. I was lost in a world of contraction, breathe, contraction, breathe. Everything else was blurry.

My contractions are feeling pretty brutal now. I have thrown up a total of 4 times (even though I didn't have any more food to throw up after the first time.) I keep trying to drink water and nibble on all our special energy foods. I am now starting to groan during each contraction and am pretty much just keeping my eyes closed. My contractions are still 3 minutes apart, 30 seconds long.
(Which in retrospect, we were probably timing the contractions wrong. They had probably gotten longer, but it was hard for me to tell due to the intensity of everything.)

Molly our doula is now on her way to us, since her other birth is over. James tells her to stop at the grocery store and get me some Pedialite (due to all the throwing up.) I know nothing about this. Remember...I'm lost. Contraction,breathe. Contraction, breathe.

At this point, I am most likely in the Transition stage. I don't recognize I am in Transition because it has all felt pretty intense thus far for me. Physical signs of transition are: sweaty,shaky, hot then cold, nauseous, may vomit, water may break. Hmmm.....all of these things (except the water breaking) have been happening since I woke up. I remember glancing at our outline of labor stages, utterly confused.
During the entire labor I am pretty quiet, focusing all of my energy inward.

I decided I want to get in the bathtub. I just lie on my side with my eyes closed in between contractions. When I feel a contraction coming on I roll onto my hands and knees and groan. I am starting to feel pretty tired and I am thinking "Do I really have to do this for HOURS longer?" At this point I have only really been awake in labor for 4 or 5 hours and am thinking that we are just starting out.

I get out of the bath tub and am feeling so exhausted I just lie on the floor, again rolling onto my hands and knees during the contraction.

We are still alone in our home, me and James. No doula. No midwife. No family. JUST US.

I move to sit on the exercise ball and after a particularly brutal feeling contraction I hear myself quietly say to James, "I don't know how much longer I can do this." It feels like I am not getting a break between contractions and I've had only a 3 minute break at the longest since 5 am.
When I hear myself say, "I don't know how much longer I can do this," it dawns on me that I must be in transition (because that is what EVERYONE says when they are in transition.) I know we should get to the hospital (that is only two minutes away.)

I walk to bedroom after this contraction to put a skirt on and shoes to go to the hospital. I get to the bedroom and feel a contraction starting to build. (I think James is just following me around at this point, and probably texting Molly, our doula.) I get on my knees at the foot of the bed, throwing a blanket down under my knees for cushion. I drape my arms over the bed and try to brace myself/give in to the coming contraction. I can tell it's gonna be a STRONG one.

And then IT happens. The contraction is moving the baby into the birth canal. I can feel it. A primal scream is coming out of me. My whole body starts to shaking. It is an out of body experience. My bags of water breaks in one big gush (how perfect I had just happened to put a blanket underneath me.) The contraction is pushing this baby out and there is nothing I can do about it! It feels like the baby is going to drop out on the floor right there, in my bedroom. I am praying with my whole being for the contraction to STOP.

To Be Continued........


Click here for part TWO!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nursery Sneak-peek Amazing-ness!

Our lil' family just recently moved, so Adoration's nursery is not quite set up yet. Here is a little sneak-peek though. oh....and I did the whole nursery in UNDER $200. woot! woot!
I feel like I should get a prize for that. {pats self on back}






Gotta run....Adoration's grandparents AND great G'ma are in town!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Day that changed our lives FOREVER.


My hubbie James was in Orlando for work. (Did you know we were friends in high school? oh, if I told my 17 year old self that I would be having his babies.....but that will be a blog post for another time.)

Back on topic. James was in Orlando for two weeks. I was super blessed to get to fly out over the weekend in between and see him.

It was one of those memory-making weekends. I hate being apart from him and I was just yearning to see him. We walked to and ate at the cutest little neighborhood eatery. It was October but we were in Orlando and Orlando was also having a heatwave. So it was humid and balmy, but wonderful all the same. We wore flip-flops and our skin soaked in the air.

On Saturday night we got all gussied up and went to a Cirque De Soleil show which was beyond amazing. Trippy-tastic in the best way possible.

We spent Sunday relaxing on the beach, pretending it was summer-time...and it felt like it. The beach and the ocean is a surefire way to light up my heart. After, we stopped in at a local bar on the beach to watch the Falcons play (watching football with my husband...never fails to light up HIS heart. .)

I flew back to the Carolina's and eagerly awaited my husband's return. You could say that I am love-sick.

The night of James' flight home, on a whim, I took a pregnancy test. The day of that time of month had come and gone but I had already taken TWO pee-stick tests and they were both negative. I assumed this one would be negative as well.

To my great surprise I saw that little cross appear, signaling a POSITIVE. James was en route and it was late at night. I couldn't believe I just found out I was pregnant without him! I was flooded with every emotion but the predominate emotion was giddyness. What to do? How to tell him?

I put that little positive pregnancy stick in a box and wrapped it up like a present. I placed it in front of the door where he would see it when he walked in with a sign that said, "for James." I waited in the bedroom, positively bursting with anticipation. Sleep was not possible.

In the wee hours, I heard the door open........I heard the crinkling of the wrapping paper as he opened the package. Silence.

The next thing I knew he was on the bed kissing my tummy.

Happiness.

We spoke to each other in hushed tones, honoring the sacredness of the moment. And before we drifted off to sleep James whispered, "So what do you think it is?"

"A girl," I answered.

"I think so too," he said.

We prayed together, hands interlocked on my tummy, over the unborn life of our baby girl and from that point on, our lives were changed FOREVER.



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Monday, October 18, 2010

a thousand kisses


Dear Adoration Joy,

You are four months old. I can't believe how much you have grown from your newborn floppiness. True to your name, you bring so much joy to this family.

You have become so interactive and it is just too much fun. I love your wrinkly nose smiles, your funny little giggles, your conversational coos, your fidgety legs, and that little bottom lip tremble that happens when you are unsure. Be still my heart, I love it all.

There are lots of things I could share with you in this letter but there is one thing I know I must....

There is a scripture I want to share with you. The message it carries is something I want you to believe is true. It says,

"You are Altogether Beautiful, My Darling and there is no blemish in you." Song of Solomon 4:7

Your Daddy proposed to me with this scripture, it was written on our wedding invitations, and in those dark moments when I forget my identity, your Daddy uses it to remind me who I am.

This is who you are too.

Sure you have and will have your flaws....but this is how I see you....you are perfect as you are. As you are. Beautiful. Without blemish.

There is nothing you could ever do or not do that would make me love you less. God has inscribed my love for you into the very core of my being.....like a tattoo over my heart. It cannot be erased.
And I want you to know that God loves you even more than this.
His love goes beyond my weaknesses. He IS love.

And you are loved as you are.

I love you.
I am so proud of you.
You are Altogether Beautiful.

a thousand kisses,
Your Momma


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Daddy's home!!!

I have some very distinct memories of my growing-up years that involve my Dad.

One of those memories is bedtime: My Dad would always read me a story and tuck me in saying, "sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite."

Another memory is my Dad coming home from work. I was always so happy and excited to see him. Daddy coming home was always a favorite time of day.


It's also a sweet time of the day for this little family. The first thing James does (after taking off his shoes) is play with Adoration. She loves it and is always all-smiles, her happy-meter recharged for the day.

I was a bit of a Daddy's girl and I think Adoration might be too. :)

I know one day soon cries of "DADDY'S HOME!!!" will ring through the house.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty, darn excited about it.

Also if ya'll don't mind vote for me!


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Sunday, October 10, 2010

a walk in the park.

Fall finally decided to show up and it is Beeaauuttifull around these parts. The past couple of Saturdays we've been having fun, family play-time in the park.


momma is wearing jean cut-offs
and her fave pair of vintage cowboy boots.


baby is wearing a BabyGap romper
and a giant spit bubble.
Daddy is wearing his heart on his sleeve.




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