Monday, September 16, 2013

Zavier's Birth Story

I like to try to get this out in written form soon after birth so that I'm not forgetting any details. Here goes..

The date was August 15, 2013. It was a Thursday. My mom came the night before to spend the night since we'd be waking up early to head into the hospital. As you may or may not know, I never went into labor on my own and my OB would not induce due to my previous c-section, so we were headed in for a scheduled c-section Thursday morning. Our surgery was scheduled for 8:40am so we had to be there at 6:40am. We got all of our hospital things together that morning and arrived on time to the hospital.

We waited in the pre-op waiting room to for me to be called back for the first part of the pre-op process. This process included putting on my hospital gowns, having my belly prepped and getting my iv and fluids. They put me on two monitors, one for the baby and one for contractions (just in case? i wasn't having any so it didn't matter). I didn't enjoy those monitors, they were constricting. I had done well with the IV when I had Scarlett so I didn't anticipate any funny business (as prior to getting pregnant I was not the best with needles.. cue nausea) however they were already talking about my crooked veins and 'which hand would be better' and 'oh it's too far up by the wrist but let's try it anyway'. I started getting hot.. light-headed.. I asked for a sip of water and they said no.. I asked to sit up for just a second and they said no.. and apparently this is when I passed out. I was trying to relax and close my eyes and focus on breathing but it all happened pretty fast and I was conscious again. They asked me to open my eyes and it's as if I didn't miss a beat, in my own mind anyway.. apparently I full on passed out which made my little monitors dip for a second and baby's heart rate to drop (which meant I had to stay on the monitor even longer!). I felt instantly better after the IV was finally in but they decided in the middle of the fiasco to go for my other hand, which then felt like I had a needle poking into my wrist bone for a good long time, though obviously there is no needle in an IV after they get it into your vein. Aaannyway, that's when they allowed Alex to come back and we sat and waited to talk to the necessary doctor's before heading off to the OR.

Dr. Rapp, my OB came to see us. Then the anesthesiologist, even though he didn't do anything during surgery other than witness it. His assistant person, Doug was the one who did all the work. Alex scrubbed up and they made me drink a nice little anti-acid drink which was super sour but they told me to drink it fast so I listened. The same OR nurses that took me to the OR with Scarlett came and got us and we headed back. The walk to the OR is usually pretty surreal.. it felt like the last time for the most part but I was trying really hard to remember everything because with Scarlett I have some cloudy spots.

Alex waited outside the OR while I went in and was prepped. I sat on the table and got the spinal block, I remember feeling less with Scarlett, this time I could still feel things touching me at times but they didn't hurt. Last time I got nauseous when I laid down, this time I got sick. Bye bye sour juice stuff. I soon felt better though and Alex came in as they were getting ready to start. All Alex and I could do was look at each other because this time we knew what was coming! And we were excited after all the anticipation of not going into labor, waiting for days, etc.

Dr. Rapp said I would feel some pressure and to get the camera ready and then Zavier joined us in in the oxygen breathing world. He was so cute and had SO much hair! They took him to the back left (my laying down left) and Alex was taking pictures as I watched. They were putting me back together when Alex brought him over so I could 'hold' him and Doug the anesthesiologist guy took some really nice pictures for us. Soon we were both headed to recovery where we spent the next two hours waiting for my blood pressure to stabilize. I'm almost 100% positive it wasn't working right because my cuff was leaking. That was found later on that night. If only I had suggested they change the cuff I could've been out of there sooner. But Zavier and Alex were with me the whole time and I got some crucial skin to skin bonding and nursing time in. Zavier was a champ!

It didn't feel like we were there for two hours so after time passed we headed to our couplet care room. We were pleasantly surprised as the size of the room was definitely larger than when we were with Scarlett, not by much but enough to notice. I was transferred to my bed and they set me up. I was still on my IV until the next day so no food needed! I got to hold and nurse Zavier more and then they came to give him a bath. Alex took some video of this and pictures and then he decided that was a good time to head back to our house to get Scarlett. She absolutely refused to get into my mom's car, so Alex took our car back so she could ride in her normal car seat. After Zavier's bath, his temp was low (for obvious reasons) so the aid asked to take him to the nursery to go under the warmer since Alex wasn't there and I couldn't get out of bed. They couldn't technically leave him alone with me, which was a bit disappointing. I even requested skin to skin since that would've brought his temp up even faster but again, they couldn't leave him with me alone. So they took him to the nursery, and surprisingly I was okay with this. I don't think I would've been if he were my first baby but separation wasn't so foreign this time around. When Alex got back though I had him immediately go to the nursery to get him!

Scarlett met her brother, she wasn't very interested in him at all and was more interested in the balloon that my mom had gotten for Zavier in the shape of a whale.

They monitored me the rest of the day and evening. Much better than being monitored through the night! I got out of bed that evening two different times to get everything going. I'm not going to lie, it was tough. I didn't remember it being so difficult but luckily this time around I was smart enough to deny the painkillers (other than ibuprofen) so I didn't get sick!

Overall, I didn't remember a lot from the first time around. I didn't remember how hard it was or how annoying it was to get out of bed and move around. It was nice to know what to expect for sure but I have no interest in doing it again.

It's been three and a half weeks now and recovery went well. I was off the meds by the end of the second week and felt back to 100% a couple days after that. I was happy with that timeline and very thankful that Alex had a week off and my mom could help me for a week.

Scarlett has been transitioning with us through this, she has good and trying moments and has regressed a little bit when it comes to her independent play but she loves her little brother so that's all we can ask for.

We're excited to get more sleep in the future, though we know it's a little bit far off. Soon I will have a one-month update on Zavier!

And here are his stats:
Time born: 9:13am
Weight: 8 lb 10 oz
Length: 21 1/2"

Zavier getting cleaned up!

Getting some up close time and getting some smooches in too!

Daddy all over again!

In recovery doing skin to skin :)

Scarlett meeting Zavier

Our handsome, full head of hair baby boy!

First family picture!

Relaxing on Daddy's chest

Scarlett showing Zavier some love with lots of giggles!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


New Logo and Packaging!
I feel as though I've been posting a lot about Tastefully Simple lately but hey, it is a side business and I do think about it a lot so why not share my thoughts?

Tastefully Simple just did a rebrand of their logo and packaging. They announced it along with their new fall seasonal line of products at an event called Party Palooza which was held in Minneapolis where the TS headquarters is located. This event filled my Facebook timeline from Thursday to Sunday with excitement and new product info. This is an event where great achievers in their business get recognized. My sponsor was one of them. She is awesome and continues to surprise me with her dedication to TS.

What I really wanted to talk about in this post though, is the stigma associated with businesses such as Tastefully Simple (like Pampered Chef and Thirty One, etc). I hate it... the stigma that is.

Tastefully Simple is exciting to me. I love food! I love making food! I love making food from scratch and I love making food that's easy to prepare from boxes! I love dips! I love party food! I love going to parties partly because of the food! This is mostly why I love Tastefully Simple. It makes it so freaking easy to make food and it tastes good. I would eat all my inventory right now if I could.

Now here are a couple of things I don't understand.. (I just want to preface that this is not directed at anyone, this is a general thought/feeling and trust me, i've had it too about parties in the past before I became a consultant for TS)

1. Why host a party if you aren't excited to host a party?

Now I'm still learning how to properly coach my hosts into success. I think in the future I might approach hosts by asking about their excitement level of eating food, making food, having get togethers with friends and earning free stuff. I can only hope that they are honest with me. It's tricky because back before I did this (and I know i've mentioned this a bit before) I had a pretty successful Pampered Chef party and as the host I was excited about most of it. Once the consultant got me to agree to a date to set the party and I sent out the invites and got the RSVPs, I was excited to have people over to my house to eat food, chat and offer them a chance to order stuff from the catalog. I knew most of them hadn't been to a party before or hadn't been to one in years so this was perfect. The thing I wasn't super excited about was the stigma. The stigma that I was only inviting people over so they could buy stuff so that I could get free stuff. The 'pressure' that they may feel to order something just because I was having a party and just because they were my family/friends.

I want my Tastefully Simple hosts to be excited about the products. I want them to feel so excited that they want to share these things with their friends and give them an opportunity to get excited as well. I don't like the stigma of the 'pressure' associated with purchasing something just because someone asks you to look at a catalog. I'm a pretty honest person in life and if I don't really want something, I don't buy it. I may look at it but I don't buy something just because she bought something from me at my party. That can be a vicious cycle.

One more thing, this isn't just for women.. men like food too. Get your male friends, boyfriends, husbands involved.

2. RSVPs

We live in a different world now. A world where the RSVP doesn't mean sh*t. Excuse my language but seriously, it means nothing! People used to care when they couldn't attend something and would have to call and verbally tell their regrets to the party host via phone. Now we have text and email and Facebook. If you can't go to a party or event that someone invited you to, cool.. that's fine, why wouldn't it be fine? Just RSVP no if they ask for regrets OR RSVP yes/no if they just ask for an RSVP. I understand that things come up and sometimes a yes becomes a no at the last minute BUT these days it seems like people do a lot based on how they feel that day. "Oh we'll see how I feel that day about going.." "Eh.. I don't really feel like it, and even though I RSVP'd (or worse, didn't even respond!) I will just go about my day like I was never invited to anything in the first place"

Can you tell this is a sore area for me? :) This is definitely a direct correlation to events I've hosted in the past. Sorry I'm not sorry. See, honesty! Feels good, right?

3. Facebook Events and Specials

I recently ran a July Special because there was a sale of 20% off the Tastefully Simple large drink buckets and I wanted to incentivize people to buy them or other products they might've needed to stock up on. I'm just going to be honest on here and tell you that only one person took that offer. ONE! I'm not disappointed because I couldn't make money off of orders that were placed. I'm disappointed because those drink buckets are DELICIOUS and because they were an AWESOME DEAL and so many people missed out on them. Now, lucky for you all, I happened to stock up on some so if you're interested, I do have some I can sell you at the 20% discounted price which is $7.99 BUT I have to charge shipping on top of that because.. hello, I paid shipping, and tax actually. So that takes the price from $7.99 to $9.49 ..... original price (if purchased direct from me) would be $11.86 so you're saving $2.37. It's like a sale at the liquor store only better, and tastier. Samba Sangria Slush is yummy, trust me and perfect for parties. Sheesh! This gets me all kinds of hyped up and I really don't even know why but a deal is a deal, people!

Take advantage of specials, that's the bottom line. I create them to offer you something, not to take your money. And if you aren't interested in them, RSVP NO! to the event. You WILL NOT hurt my feelings, I promise!

If you're interested, 'like' my Facebook Page. If you see the value of marketing, share some of the posts that I put up so that your friends may have the opportunity to see them. I'm not going to lie, this would help me tremendously and only takes a millisecond to click 'Share'.


This is getting long.. probably too long but I needed to get all of that out. So thanks for reading if you've even made it this far.

I would LOVE to hear your comments on this, if you don't want to log in, just comment anonymously, I will never know who it is but will at least get some feedback. All I ever want is honest feedback. Think the products are too expensive? Tell me! Think they taste like poo? Tell me! Think hosting is dumb? I want to knooow! Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Waiting Game

The first time around, I knew Scarlett's birthday for weeks ahead of time. This time is a lot different, obviously because I'm now waiting to go into labor.

I really do not enjoy waiting of any kind, I never have. There's a ton of anticipation though with a birth which makes it even harder!

Today, at 39 weeks and 5 days, I had my membranes stripped. I found out that I made no new progress from last week but luckily I had a man doctor and he was able to perform the strip. I really, really hope that this jump starts us somehow. Since coming home from my appointment, I've had maybe two contractions.

Each night I go to bed hoping to be awoken by pain. I have never wished for pain more in my life (or ever?) .. but I keep hoping it will happen sooner rather than later.

Through all of the waiting, I am also taking time to relax.. as hard as that can be. I am squeezing Scarlett extra tight, holding on to these last couple of days with her as my only baby. It's hard to wrap my head around what's coming but at the same time, I also know what's coming. It's tricky.

Please cross your fingers and toes for me that it happens soon, goes fast and ends healthy :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Stay At Home Mom Life

I basically want to start every post I write with .. "Here's the thing.." but that seems silly, right? I should think of more creative titles. It's hard I tell you!

So i've now been a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) for the past four weeks. I haven't quite gotten into a rhythm yet and what's the point really? I'm going to have another baby in a couple weeks which would throw it off anyway! I am most definitely enjoying spending so much time with Scarlett though and the only thing I miss about work are the people. I feel a ton more relaxed and I've gotten more housework done than I have in months.

We've had a couple of play dates with little friends so far and I have a couple scheduled for next week as well. Trying to keep things busy and interesting for Scarlett because she likes that sort of thing, plus it gets us out and about which is sometimes hard with my 'before baby to-do list' and the general tired/laziness that pregnancy often brings. Not to mention, she may have about 4 weeks of being less mobile than usual because of me recovering/getting the hang of mothering two children!

Here's a couple things I've managed to do so far:
Set up the Crib in our room! Originally, I thought I would be putting Scarlett in this crib and the new baby in Scarlett's current one but they're both drop side (read: convenient) and Scarlett is used to hers so why switch now. I learned this of course after setting the new one up in Scarlett's room only to take it down and set it up again in my room.

Upstairs bathroom cleaned! Honestly, I've never deep cleaned that bathroom before. We've lived here 3 years. Sorry past house guests! I have cleaned it, just not extensively. I recently mopped the floors and got in the crevices (gross!), changed out the shower curtain, etc. Our tub and toilet up there are blue. It's wallpapered and I don't enjoy the flooring. The toilet is completely facing the wrong direction. I usually just can't go in there and Scarlett takes baths in our bathroom so I have little use for it. After this baby arrives and I have some time, I plan to at least paint the cabinetry and remove the wall paper. Eventually we'd like to completely renovate the whole thing and close off the jack/jill-ness.. I'm just not a fan of those.

Master Bathroom Windows/Blinds cleaned! This was long overdue. I need to do it in every room but I started with ours because of all the dust on them. Babies don't need to breathe extra dust.

Baby Laundry! This has been done and put away in two of my dresser drawers. I have far more clothing for him then I did for Scarlett for the first three months. Thank you consignment sales! I do need to get another crib sheet though and perhaps a crib skirt if I can find one I ilke.

Vacuuming! I do this multiple times a week now. The house just isn't clean enough and having cats surely complicates this. I don't think I notice this as much in the winter bc I walk around in slippers but with bare feet in the summer I hate feeling debris beneath my feet.

Making Dinner! I've started meal planning and buying accordingly while trying to stay within a budget at the grocery store. This has proven difficult so far because I love the grocery store and I love sales at grocery stores. It's always hard to resist a 2 for anything! I did join Amazon Mom though and have started utilizing more coupons online for different things. So that will pay off very soon.

Other Random Stuff! I feel like that list is pretty short but I'm not going to put daily chores like laundry and dishes on there. Just seems silly to write a paragraph about that sort of stuff but trust me it's getting done!!

Still To Do:
Deep Clean Master Bathroom
Shampoo Master Bedroom Carpet
Vacuum Car
Organize Kitchen Desk
Wash Blinds/Windows in Every Room
Organize Actual Office Desk
Clean/Organize Fridge/Freezer
Sew Memory Foam Covers (for Scarlett's Crib, Toddler Bed & Pack N Play)
Recover a bumper for Baby Boy's Crib and Fix Scarlett's bumper ties
And probably more..

I take this SAHM thing pretty seriously. Alex has a job and so do I, to run a household. I try not to let him do most inside housework because he already does a lot outside and the inside is my territory. Who wants to work all day and then come home and have to do more work when I'm here all day? We'll see how crazy it gets once I add another baby to this picture though, ha!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Can I have a successful VBAC?

As you may or may not know, Scarlett was frank breech and had to be delivered via C-Section. At first I was disappointed by this, however it truly was the only way she could come into this world safely and that is really all that mattered. The thing about having a scheduled C-Section is.. you're fully rested when you go in. I didn't go through 20 hours of labor or any amount of time pushing, my body was rested not exhausted. I believe that made my recovery faster and easier. And that's what scares me about a VBAC (among other things).

What if I go through 20 hours of labor this time and spend some time pushing and THEN end up with a C-Section anyway? One of the main reasons I want to attempt a VBAC is for a faster recovery, so that it doesn't hinder my ability to care for Scarlett as well as our new baby.

Now, I do have a couple things going for me here. I am almost a perfect candidate for a VBAC. The only reason I had a C-Section was due to her position, not because my hips were too narrow, etc. This gives me great hope that I can do it. However, from what I've read, and I'm not sure if my midwives would admit to this if asked, is when a VBAC patient comes into the hospital, the staff is immediately nervous due to the added complications that could occur. Honestly though, I did wait long enough for my scar to fully heal so a uterine rupture shouldn't be an issue but I am sure they will have it on the brain.

Another fear.. the unknown. I know what a C-Section is like. I do not know what a contraction feels like, what labor will feel like, what delivery will feel like or what recovery will be like. Obviously, first time moms probably have this fear and for some reason, I wasn't scared of the C-Section. Maybe because it was a surgery, not hours of pain. Add to this that I am planning to have an unmedicated birth. Not having had any crazy amount of pain before in my life (besides some terrible gas pains in the beginning of my first pregnancy), I'm not even sure of my pain tolerance level.

One thing I do know, this is going to be a wild ride and in the end, I get a baby. I am positive he will be worth any pain I have to go through to get him here. Things I plan to remember (or that I will be reminded of by Alex during labor..) are:

This terrible pain has a purpose.
This pain has an endpoint.
Count slowly to 30 and the contraction is half over.
You CAN do this.

That's all I have so far. If you have any motivational phrases that worked for you during labor/delivery, I would love to hear them!

I hope to have a successful VBAC birth story once this little one arrives. Send some good vibes into the universe for me!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Life as a Tastefully Simple Consultant

So i'm not sure if anyone is really curious about this or not, but since I care about it I'm going to go ahead and write about it.

Back in October (as I believe I wrote on here) I was looking for something to do in my free time that would generate some income. My mom mentioned Tastefully Simple, which I had heard of very briefly. I looked at their site and decided that people like food, right? How hard could it be to sell that?? After writing about it on here, my now sponsor Tracy contacted me to see if I wanted more information and after talking with her, I joined up!

I started with a Grand Opening Party in November which went very well and I had a great time making the easy to prepare food, explaining it to my family and friends and then I chose a winner for the rewards the party generated. I have learned a TON since that first party and at each party I learn a little bit more.

I've done a handful of parties for friends and family since that time, one fundraiser for Relay 4 Life and one event, which was a community yard sale. Some parties weren't super successful and some were. All great learning experiences for sure! I have an event coming up on Saturday at Seven Valley's Winery in York which I'm very excited about. I know I will learn a lot from this too and I really hope to book some catalog parties for the months of July and August as well as some possible Fall Tasting Parties.

A Tasting Party is where the host prepares food samples for guests to taste before ordering. A Catalog Party is where the host takes catalogs and order forms around to family and friends over a longer period and collects orders to earn rewards. I set up Catalog Parties to also include two samples for tasting purposes. Facebook is pretty big right now with these types of parties because family and friends can just go online and order directly if they cannot make the Tasting Party or won't see the host in time to order for the Catalog Party.

Like I said, I have done one fundraiser so far. I am very interested in doing more but it's a little bit hard to get my name out there currently since I don't have school aged children. There are ways to do it that I plan to look into but for now, I send out messages to people I am interested in working with to see if they're interested in working with me.

Overall, the experience has been very positive and fun! My sponsor Tracy is amazing and she answers any and every single question I have and is a great role model because she has a ton of fundraisers going and sponsors a large number of consultants and that number keeps on growing! I'm part of her team's Facebook Group which is extremely helpful. There are plenty of TS Facebook groups that are helpful for sure, it's a great place to get new ideas from other consultants.

I have one recruit so far and hope to have more in the future. I currently have a coupon code for $100 off the Business Blast Off Kit. I've been told this is the first time they've ever done this (you end up paying about $70) and I'm hoping it's been successful so that they run it every year. My code expires July 10th so the clock is ticking. If you've ever thought about doing a business like this, now is the time. It really is easy and it's actually fun.

A couple years ago, I had a Pampered Chef Party and the consultant was very nice but used all the sales cliches you can think of to try to get me to sign on. I have absolutely nothing against PC.. I have tons of products from that party that I use all the time and I love them! I just thought at that time that I could never do that. I could never be a consultant like she was. She was very very nice but I didn't enjoy the extra pushes, though I now understand she was probably just following the playbook. If you don't talk about the opportunity to join, you'll never know if they would've said yes.

In conclusion, lol .. I am very happy to be a Tastefully Simple Consultant. And though I may not talk about it much, I am working on that. To be completely honest, my target demographic is older than I am so it's more difficult to get into those circles but I'm working on it. I want to be successful and I know I can do it!

If you ever have questions related to it, please let me know! I'd be happy to answer them!

If you want to order, you can go to my website at OR send me a message. I offer great incentives for hosts as well if you're interested in that. I try to make it as easy as possible for you to have a successful and positive experience while earning free stuff!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Let's talk about Scarlett!

Here's an update of how our girl is doing. I don't have stats because they were last taken at 15 months and she's currently 17 months. All I can tell you right now is she's over 26 lbs, her height is in the 98% and her head size is off the charts, haha!

She rarely walks, it's mostly running. She climbs. She holds our hands when she's forced to. She's an explorer to the max. She says about 40 words that we've counted and learns new ones every day. She absolutely loves fruit, especially any type of berry. She's a very good eater and hasn't turned too much down. She doesn't enjoy sweet potatoes much, but loves olives and pickles!

She still takes two naps a day and I love it. It must be all the exploring that makes her tired. If she's 'on schedule' she wakes up around 6:15, takes a nap around 9:30 (these vary in length) and then lays down again around 3:30/4 when we're home, if we're out, she's fine without a nap. She goes to bed consistently at 8pm each evening. She's a light sleeper and goes through sleep cycles often so it's not unusual to hear her make noises at night.

She gives us hugs and kisses. She doesn't generally like older people, especially if they have white hair. Sometimes it takes her 10 minutes to warm up to people she doesn't know. She plays with her princesses in their castle now and makes them hug and kiss. She pretty much makes everything hug and kiss. When she hugs her stuffed animals she says "aww!" and then I die of the cuteness. She loves reading books. Her favorite was 'Goodnight Beach' but more recently it's 'Goodnight Pennsylvania'. She thoroughly enjoys the iPad and any iPhone she can get her hands on. She really likes Sofia the First and Little Einsteins. She likes to dance so she likes the shows that sing a lot. She rarely watches anything on TV unless it's a commerical.

She has almost all of her teeth, she's missing a front lateral incisor on the bottom and all of her cuspids. She has taken a while to get her teeth so we don't expect the cuspids for a while, who knows what's going on with the incisor. Teething does bother her from time to time so we use the numbing gel (put onto her paci) and occasionally some Tylenol or Motrin but rarely a full dose.

I just thought today that I should write down some "Parent Tid-Bits" that I have, one being.. when you go to the grocery store, always park close to the cart return.. this way you can get a cart on the way in and you're close to it when you need to return it at the end of the trip. I probably thought about it more today after carrying her into multiple places while walking a semi-far distance while 34 weeks pregnant. I'll try to document more as they come up.

Overall, Scarlett is full of love. She smiles a lot and she laughs a lot. Her personality seems very fun-loving and we're thrilled that she is growing into such a little darling (who never sits still).

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pregnancy Update!

Today, I am 34 weeks and 3 days along. There are roughly 5-6 weeks remaining. This is crazy to me.

Time flies when you're already chasing after a wee one who is a non-stop mover/shaker. Let's review the past couple of trimesters, shall we?

1st Trimester
Everything went just as smoothly as it did with Scarlett. Small hiccup with an umbilical cyst but it resolved itself within a couple of weeks (probably a pretty common occurrence). No more tired or hormonal than usual and no morning sickness. Score! We told our families and friends around Christmas and New Years if not sooner. We didn't wait until we were out of the first trimester to spill the beans. Bumps grow much faster the second time around though too, so people probably knew!

2nd Trimester
Bump continued its growth spurts. I felt the first flutters and Alex felt movement soon after that. We found out we were having a baby boy! And we decided on his first name, which will remain secret until his birth. Sleeping became more difficult as time went on and I was forced to move from belly/back sleeping to side/side sleeping.

There's his little face!
3rd Trimester
I generally feel huge but I've come to terms with it. This boy does some crazy acrobatics in there that I didn't experience with Scarlett because of her position. He tends to sleep when I'm sleeping with naps throughout the day as well. He has been in numerous positions but stressed me a wee bit the past 4-5 weeks with the midwives saying he was breech. Today they said he's head down so he better stay that way. I am trying for a VBAC so wish me luck! I haven't had any braxton hicks but did have some belly button pain that went away with some rest. Also some groin pain when I over-do it, which also goes away with rest. I just have so much to do it's hard to slow down sometimes.

With 5 1/2 weeks left I have a full plan of things to clean and organize. I need to wash all of his baby clothing and organize the closet and my dresser drawer they'll be stored in. I need to move Scarlett from her crib into the other crib we have so that the baby can be in the drop side in our room. I need to pack a hospital bag at some point and maybe read about labor since I hope to go into it at some point. I need to bust out the car seat base from Scarlett and put it in my car and set up the pack and play and get out the bouncer seat from storage. The list goes on..

I haven't done anything nursery related because it's our current guest room and that will probably stay that way until he moves upstairs which will be when we're closer to being out of winter around 6 months.

That pretty much sums it up. Almost my whole pregnancy right there in a nutshell.

I'm baaaaack!

So lots has been going on around here lately so I'll start by explaining the absence!

 Last fall, work started getting pretty stressful and in addition to my part time hours, I started working at home as well during Scarlett's nap times and sometimes even in the evening. This contributed to the slow down of posting to the blog.

In November, I got pregnant (found out in December) plus the holiday season which seemed busier than previous years, probably because I had Scarlett to think about and plan for! I also started as a Tastefully Simple Consultant, so that took up some of my free time as well.

In the beginning of 2013, we had Scarlett's birthday party which was a blast, then in addition to working my part time job while at home, I also started a freelance project that also took more free time. Work was still pretty stressful so Alex and I started thinking about August (our due month) and how we were going to handle having two children with me working part time and if it would be worth it to look into me staying home.

Alex got a new job April 1st which has been a huge blessing. He is about 200x happier in this position and I really feel that he is now on a career path instead of just having a job. He has been loving it so far and I just know that will continue!

In May, we made the decision that I would stop working mid-June right before our vacations with our families. I put in three weeks notice after Memorial Day. My lovely coworkers threw me a surprise baby shower/best wishes party prior to my departure and it was all very bittersweet. Working at the same place for almost six years was such a great experience. I learned so very much and I'm thankful for all the great people I met there.

I went to OBX with my family a couple weeks ago and then met Alex and his family in Bethany Beach the following weekend for a few days there. I will write separate posts on those fun times with pictures! Returning last week and not going back to work on Thursday was a bit strange, and this week will be my first official full week without a steady job.

It's exciting (and a little scary) but I just know this is the right decision for our family and I am so thankful that we are in a position to do this. Plus, I can get back to writing here and documenting our life, if not just for myself, for my family and friends as well!

I definitely feel that our little boy hasn't gotten the blog attention that I dedicated to Scarlett over her time in utero but I'm going to write a couple of posts on it now and then definitely keep up on it when he arrives. Having a blog like this is like having a baby book and I love going back and reading about Scarlett and my pregnancy with her. I can't wait to do the same with him.

So stay tuned.. !

Thursday, February 7, 2013

This past weekend

This past weekend was pretty eventful. Friday during the day I went up to see my mom and sisters with Scarlett and also saw my grandmother. Later, I got my niece from my oldest sister and brought her back home with me for a sleepover. We had grilled cheese for dinner and watched The Smurfs :) Went to bed early bc we were tired and I slept most of the night hugging the edge.

Saturday, I had a Tastefully Simple party in the afternoon, so we all hung out in the morning, we watched one of the Narnia movies, Scarlett napped, I prepped for the party and soon enough it was time to go. I took my niece back to my sister and headed to the party. I learn more and more each time I do one of these and I think/hope that is making me better at it. My least favorite part is heating up the hot beverage and the soup.. neither of them really stayed hot for me or even warm really. I made new note cards though which helped immensely. It felt like we flew through the tasting part. I think next time I will engage people more, go around and introduce ourselves and if we've ever been to a TS party before, etc. Just to get people talking. A lot of people knew each other so that was good but I will remember this for next time. The party went well and I headed home around six. Hung out with Scarlett for a bit then put her to bed. Alex and I didn't do much after that, I enter orders plus we did our usual tv watching and also heading to bed early.. we're pretty early to bed these days with a 6am wake up call each morning.

Sunday, we had all day to relax until a Super Bowl party later on. We did our usual stuff. Alex has been re-seasoning some cast iron skillets for family members so he worked on that a little bit. I went to the grocery store for some supplies and made a yummy salad for this week's lunches. I posted the recipe here.. I got it from Pinterest and it's so easy and delicious! We headed to the super bowl party around four and had a great time as we usually do with our friends. It was so fun watching our girls play together.. or beside each other. And it's awesome to watch them all grow up. We went home at halftime and Scarlett went right to bed. Alex stayed up to watch the game and I headed to bed around nine thirty.

Overall a great weekend. I love the mix of relaxation and plans. I think our coming weekends will be more of the same and I'll do my best to take more pictures of these events! :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

12-13 weeks: round 2

Last Friday I was 13 weeks along but thought I would recap the last two weeks and even into the beginning of my pregnancy.. I talked about how we found out and more details about that in the last post.

My pregnancy so far has been going swimmingly. Pretty much the same as last time except a little more tired.. I attribute this to waking up at 6am every morning as opposed to last time when I could sleep longer.

I'm not having any food aversions or serious cravings, usually I hear something and it either sounds good or sounds gross, usually there are more goods then grosses. I have been reigning myself in though for the most part and def not going crazy food wise like I did at the end of the last go round. I want to gain less weight this time and make it easier to lose afterward.

No morning sickness in the first trimester again which was glorious.. I can't imagine having to deal with that while watching after Scarlett. I'm also starting to get to the chub phase where I look more chubby than pregnant. At the end of the day it's def a baby bump but in the morning, it's just plain chub. Photos coming soon.

Thus far we've had two ultrasounds, that's two more than we had with Scarlett at this point. It's def fun to see the baby but crazy that its less than an inch (8 weeks) then about two inches (12 weeks) and you can see it moving but can't feel it. We're looking forward to finding out the gender in 7 weeks! Sounds like a long time but these days are flying, I can't believe I'm already 13 weeks!

Until next time..

Number Two

We have some exciting news to share, we're expecting number baby two! Most of you know this already!

We found out mid-December and since then have found out the due date which is August 9th!

The gist of the finding out story is, we've basically been 'trying' since Scarlett was born. I breastfeed for 9 months until my supply dipped so low we switched to formula. That's when I got pregnant. I had been waiting for weeks to finally cycle and had a weird inkling that on Nov 10th I was ovulating.. I waited 5 weeks after that to test for pregnancy since I had just tested around the 10th and I was basically testing once a month anyway. We were pretty surprised when the test was positive. I texted a photo to Alex and then had to go buy more tests bc of course that was my last one! I called the doctor the following day and scheduled the first appointment. I don't know why they didn't just schedule me and ultrasound right then since I told them there was no way to know when I was due. But in went for the blood test and normal first appt. It was at a different location than I was used to which was annoying bc I took Scarlett and I had to walk around for a while and ask people before I found it. And she's heavy! Giving blood was a real treat as Scarlett wiggled around after prematurely finishing the bottle I brought to drink while i gave blood. :) I scheduled the ultrasound for the following week though, silly Christmas time schedules.

The ultrasound determined the date as August 9th, which was close to both Alex's and my guess of mid-August. It was fun to see the babe on the screen looking like a tiny bean. They found a cyst on the umbilical cord which I did not find out until someone called a couple days later, maybe they had to send it for more tests or something.. Regardless they wanted a follow up ultrasound at 12 weeks, which was fine with us. Apparently these are common and usually resolve and aren't even seen bc most people don't have early ultrasounds.

At 12 weeks, we got that ultrasound and everything is cleared up and looking good. We always decline the first trimester screen but kind of got it as a freebie bc they tested/measured that stuff during this ultrasound to rule out most chromosomal abnormalities.

Here we are now, weekly posts coming soon!

And Here's to 7 more healthy months and hopefully a successful vbac!

Scarlett :: 12 Months

Length: 31"
Weight: 24 lbs
Head size..over the 100th percentile, ha!

Eats: Still drinking the formula. We did test milk but went back to formula .. Looking back we should've just stayed with milk or a mix. She drinks about 6-8 oz about 5 times a day. On New Year's Day we visited urgent care and she was 25 lbs, height unknown! She eats 3 meals a day with snacks in between if she's still hungry, it's usually not necessary unless we're out somewhere. Overall she's a good eater and there's nothing she hasn't liked, even Ethiopian!

Sleeps: 2 naps a day, goes to bed around 7 and wakes around 6. Naps range from 45 min to 2 hours. She's a light sleeper and I'm wondering if that will be constant in her life.

Activities: well she's still walking and sometimes faster than we like. She babbles constantly but only says a couple words including yum and mama. She can clap and point and stack things, she can put things into holes so they fit and she loves music. Her favorite song and music video is gangham style, the remix one that the girl sings.

She was fish kissing her lips together, one time. It was cute but didn't happen again. She has four teeth and sometimes it seems like she's teething but then is over it after a couple days with nothing to show for it.

She can definitely understand us and decides whether to listen or not. She's generally good though and knows what she's not supposed to get into. She loves other children, especially her cousin Makayla. Instant laughs when she sees her. Overall, her mood is almost always pleasant and she smiles and laughs and is just filled with love. Sometimes you can see it oozing out of her, it's awesome!

She's been into cuddling more, hugging and kissing. Before naps we sit for a little bit and cuddle. She cuddles her panda bear and monkey and she likes to lay her head down on different blankets when she's sleepy. It's cute and also fun to see her little personality.

She's the best!

Someone turned 1!

She didn't really open many gifts herself. But enjoy them nonetheless!

She loved this quilt right away!

Just wanted to add in one picture of decor.. it was kind of falling down at the end when I took this :)

Scarlett :: 11 Months

No Stats and No actual sticker shirt pictures.. :)

She drinks about 5-6 bottles a day, varying in volume. We do about 75% formula and 25% cow's milk. She eats 3 meals a day with snacks in between if she's hungry. This past month she's tried lots of new things including having thanksgiving turkey dinners twice. Thus far she is not too picky, she eats whatever we feed her which is nice.

She has been sleeping through the night since mid-November. She does still wake up sometimes and whimper but goes right back to sleep afterward. We eventually just had to let her self soothe through one night and then she kind of caught on. She doesn't cry when we put her to bed anymore, she just cuddles up to her monkey and either chats herself to sleep or drifts right off. Her bedtime is a consistent 7-7:30pm. Her naps are pretty consistent now too, and longer than before. One day she gave me 2.5 hours. I didn't know what to do with myself! She usually lays down from 9-10am and then from 2-3pm and the naps last anywhere from 1-2.5 hours. Morning naps are generally longer.

She's been full time walking for a while now. She also added climbing to her repertoire. She can climb up on top of our hearth and stand up. Problem is, she doesn't know how to properly get down... we had it blocked off pretty well for a while but with an upcoming fireplace insert being installed, we aren't sure yet how we're going to prevent that. She babbles like a brook a lot of the time and loves to sit and laugh at her books still. She has said mama, baby and yum consistently now for a month. She likes to grab blocks that have been stacked and carry them around, trying to keep them stacked. She kicks her soccer ball and volleyball around the room a lot too.

Let's see, this past month she had her first Thanksgiving and she sat on Santa's lap which went really well. She found a snuggle buddy with her monkey which is the first time we've seen her actually cuddle something intentionally. We moved her nursery to the other bedroom upstairs for noise purposes and it's been working out so far. She loves to smile and laugh. It's so easy to make her laugh by saying "pee-yew" or tickling her. She's just so pleasant.

We love her so much!

We got our Christmas Tree!

Here is the lucky tree.. we always choose really tall and then cut part of the way up!

Christmas Morning!

Gotta sit in a tire at the Farm Show!

Scarlett : 10 Months

Weight: ??
Length: ??

We added chicken to the mix this month, hoping she might sleep a little longer at night if she had some more protein in her belly to process.. nope! It worked the first night but none following that. She's been eating the same and I asked the doctor about starting whole milk in the evening.

So far, same as usual. Consistently up at 6am. Daylight savings has not been nice to us so far.

She's definitely walking more and more. She squats down to pick something up and stands back up again. Sometimes she gets ahead of herself and tries to run, which makes her fall down. She probably walks/crawls 70/30. We chase her all over the house.

She's working on her top teeth right now. Teething is not a fun process. I look forward to the end of that but seeing teeth in her mouth is such a sight when you're used to seeing so much of her gums.

Wow, this is the shortest monthly update yet. This is due to my lack of free time and hence, the little blog hiatus I was on. But i'm back! ;)

Tastefully Simple - Update!

So I just wanted to give an update of how this has been going for me now that I've been doing it for a couple months.

First, I have to say, I could've done more in the last couple of months but having a toddler is a time suck (in a good way). I wanted to get all kind of info out to local businesses to try to get them to use Tastefully Simple as a gift option for their customers and it just didn't get off the ground. I have had a total of 4 parties and a fundraiser for Relay for Life.

My most recent party was the best yet! I totally attribute that to the host getting out there and talking to her friends and family and getting orders. She did amazing! And February was a great month for her to do amazing because she ended up with over $140 in free product. See how easy it is!

Anyway, I really want to be successful with this but it's hard with so little free time BUT i'm happy to say I have more upcoming parties and I would like to do more fundraisers so if anyone is interested in earning free Tastefully Simple goodies just by sharing these products with family and friends, please let me know!

I think once the new product line comes out (very soon!) I may have another Mystery Host event at my house to introduce the new line. I want to do something at my work too but i'm not exactly sure of the stipulations regarding selling products within the workplace. I need to look into it more before doing it. If I turned it into a fundraiser it might work better but I'm not sure.

If you're interested in looking into Tastefully Simple, as a consumer, as a host or even if you're looking for a new opportunity to make some extra cash, check out my TS website or email me: .. It's so easy and the food is delicious!

Next time I will talk about my favorite products!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Southwestern Chopped Salad

I pinned this a couple weeks ago and this weekend decided to make it! Of course my original pin did not take me to anything (ugh!) but I just googled it and found the same version here! There are plenty other links if you google it but this one looked the most like the pin I pinned. I have since pinned this.

Anyway, onto the actual recipe itself!

Southwestern Chopped Salad
Serves a big serving bowl full.. probably 6-8 as a side salad
Salad Ingredients
2 red peppers, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 can of sweet corn, drained
1 bunch of green onions, diced
1 head of iceberg lettuce (I did a mix of iceberg and romaine)
2 avocados, diced
1 cup cilantro, chopped (optional, I did not add this)

Dressing Ingredients
1/2 cup of Mayo
2/3 cup of Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp Ranch seasoning
1 tbsp Taco seasoning

Put all salad ingredients in a bowl. I omitted the avocado until serving time and since i've been bringing this for lunch, I cut the avocado right before eating and only use 1/2 per serving.

Stir together dressing ingredients and add to the salad if serving immediately. I keep it in a separate container in the fridge for individual serving type use. And I may just have to make it to completely replace ranch for salads.. taco ranch is way better! And I bought one of the small greek yogurt single serving containers, plain.. and I used half of it for this.

Anyway, it's delicious and i've had it for lunch the past two days and dinner last night so you know it must be good. I'm just hoping I don't wear it out because i'm too excited to have a salad that i love this much! And is healthy! (except for the dressing but the yogurt helps!!)