Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Christmas is a wonderful time of year! I love watching Allison's face light up when she sees a Santa Claus or tree full of decorations. The hard part was doing the shopping for presents. I loved going out with my mom Christmas shopping. We would go down every aisle looking for just the right gift for everyone on our lists. This year, my heart wasn't in it without Mom!

I knew I had to get presents for both kids. JR because it was his first Christmas and Allison because she was finally old enough to understand about Santa! I waited and waited, hoping I'd catch some of Allison's excitement. Finally, 10 days ago, I knew I couldn't wait any longer. Allison had been begging for a doctor kit (a booboo kit in her words) from Santa for the over a month and I was afraid if I waited too long I wouldn't be able to find one. As it was, I had to go to 3 stores to get it! I got each kid 4 presents, one thing they wanted, one thing they needed, one thing to read, and one thing to wear. Allison got her doctor kit, PJ's, a matching/memory game, and a shirt. JR got a set of cars, PJ's, a bedtime story, and a second set of PJ's (he really needed some that would go over his huge night time cloth diaper!).

On Christmas Eve, James got a bonus and went to the Cal Ranch Store (think Tractor Supply Company). He got the kids a pedal tractor, a wooden train set, and wooden Lincoln Logs. He also got me a 3 cookbook set of Crockpot meals and a play yard for JR. I love it and it will be well used!

Monday, November 26, 2012


The kids and I went to visit my dad for Thanksgiving. Since Mom passed away, my dad goes and lives where he wants (he spent most of the summer in Williams and headed south when the weather got too cold!). He's staying in Parker and loving it! We invited James but he was completely uninterested in going anywhere so we went on our own. It was my first time driving a long distance with the kids alone. I was worried because JR doesn't always like his car seat and Allison gets antsy being cooped up in the car for too long.

It was a lot of worry over nothing. The kids did great, I had fun, and we had a blast in Parker! We decided to stay at a motel for the 3 nights instead of cramming 2 adults, 2 kids, and a dog in Dad's travel trailer. They were in rare form- it was $75 a night for a Motel 6! I paid it though.

We went to the local casino to have a buffet Thanksgiving dinner! Lots of yummy food but lots of people too. I managed to get 3 plates of food (1 for me, 1 for Allison, and a small one for JR) back to the table in one piece :)

Daddy's 1965 TravelEze Trailer

Grandpa and JR

Allison eating

Monday, August 6, 2012

School Already?!

We've been going to the park with our local homeschooling group for the past few weeks. Allison has made some great new friends, even though she's the youngest (smaller siblings excluded). All the older kids make sure to include her and keep up with her. It's pretty amazing to go to the park for 2-3 hours and not have your kid permanently attatched (and not be worried about that with a 2 year old!).

I planned on starting to homeschool Allison in January. Nothing major just some basic skills, numbers, letters, days of the week, colors, shapes. She had other ideas! From talking with the older kids, she decided she wanted to start school when the big kids did, today. So, I got on the ball and found all the websites I planned to use in January, printed things off like crazy, laminated them so they will last... all the fun stuff that goes along with starting a new school year!

Today, was our first day of school. I expected to spend 5 minutes on it and have her want to do something else. She spent an hour on it and I had to bribe her with going to the park to stop! I think I've created a monster...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mi Vida Loca

What have I been up to since I updated last? Quite a bit! We joined a local homeschool group and have been going to play at the park on Mondays. Allison loves it and has heard from the older kids how much fun school is and begging to go to school like the big kids! So, starting August 6 we are starting a pre-k/kindergarten mix. Kind of scary if you consider Allison is only 2.5!

I have checked out the typical things that a preschooler needs to know and she already knows them... I had to think fast and break it to James that I will be buying curriculum this year. He took it better than I figured, but he also knows I know best about homeschooling.

On the JR front, he's getting big! 14.2 pounds and 24 inches at his 2 month check up. He is starting to babble and coo, smile at things, and, generally, is a happy baby.

I have also managed to herniate a disk in my back! The doctor thinks it happened during pregnancy and we just chalked it up to pregnancy aches and pains. I'm in pain doing certain things like laying down or too much walking but I'm still doing them :) I'm taking ibuprofen for the pain because I can't take the Flexoril that the doctor prescribed (home all day with the kids and have to drive/function) unless I have help.

I am also on the board of my local MOMS Club (treasurer) and have started hosting a craft/educational activity for the kids at the business meeting. That should be fun!

Well, more later. Kids are up and want my attention!

Friday, June 8, 2012

JR's Birth

I had lots of anxiety leading up to JR's birth. I was worried about how Allison would handle having a little brother. How I would handle being a mom of two. How his birth would go. How I would recover. The list went on with no end!

Here is the birth story, with great detail!

I had a repeat c-section scheduled for April 26th at 38w3d because my OB didn't want to take a chance I'd go into labor. I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am for my 7:30 surgery. After registering, DH and I were taken to our room (a LDRP room- the only room we'd need besides the OR), I put on the wonderful hospital gown, and I was hooked up to the monitors. Our nurse came in and did all of the paperwork that is associated with a hospital visit and delivering a baby. Another nurse came in to start my IV (one of the only "problems" with my entire stay). I warned her I was hard to stick, she told me they had a 2 tries per nurse policy at the hospital, so not to worry! She tried twice on my right arm (so I could have my dominant hand free) and missed both times. So she switched with the nurse doing the paperwork. The second nurse got the IV in on the first try, sadly, it was in my left hand! After this, we were left alone for a while. Finally, at 6:45, the nurse came in and told DH to get his scrubs on, gave me the nasty acid reducer, and hung my antibiotics.

Then, shift change happened (7 am). I met my new nurse, my OB came in, and the anesthesiologist came in. Finally, it was time to go to the OR and have a baby! I have a great OB- my nurse was having a hard time pushing my bed down to the OR so she grabbed the foot of the bed and away we went! I was quickly moved into the freezing cold OR, where I got my spinal (easy as pie and nothing like my epi from DD's birth!) and was given a nice warm blanket! Meanwhile, my OB is on the phone, in the OR, trying to find an assistant for my surgery because the one she had requested over 12 weeks ago had been pulled to assist another doctor! By the time my spinal was finished, we had a good assistant scrubbing in (OB was picky because DS was a bit early and this is a small community hospital without a NICU or even a staffed nursery). DH was brought in, the drape was hung in front of my face, and surgery was started! All was going well until my doctor said holy cow about 10 minutes into surgery.

I had an AFI and growth check ultrasound on Tuesday, 2 days before my c-section. DS was estimated to be 8lbs 14oz and was head down, facing my back. As my OB was getting ready to deliver the baby she was expecting to grab his head/neck and pull him out, what she found was his butt! My monster baby had turned breech! After she recovered from the shock of this, she welcomed James Robert into our family at 7:54 am. He measured 8lbs 9oz and 21.5 in long Not bad for a baby that was almost 2 weeks early...

He was taken over to the baby warmer to be cleaned off and looked over. The ped was amazed at how big he was. Junior did not give the loud cry that we all wanted to hear (he's not big on crying at all!). DH went and cut the cord and sat next to me with Junior while they finished my tubal and sewing me up! We were taken back to our room together about 15 minutes later.

As soon as we were back in our room he was put on my chest to BF for the first time. He was given his first bath by Daddy and the nurse while I watched. This was so much better than him going to the nursery and me going to the Recovery Room like when his sister was born. Since Junior was so big, his nurse kept taking his blood sugar (6 times in total) to make sure he was maintaining his blood sugar. My nurse kept watch on my vitals while I kept a watch on my baby boy! After the immediate checking up on us we were left to enjoy our new not so little boy. I was up and walking by 2 pm, to the amazement of the nurses.

My recovery has been awesome- I was let out of the hospital at 10 am on Saturday (at my request- I wanted to get home to Allison) and I have been going places and doing whatever I want!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cloth Diapers

I cloth diapered Allison using some awesome fitted diapers my mom made while I was pregnant. They were fine- kept her dry, clean, and happy until the laundry got to be too much with Mama's chemo and doctors appointments. We kept it up part time until Allison was over a year old and was outgrowing the fitteds. I never thought I'd go back to cloth diapering with JR.

I have a few friends in real life that are/were pregnant and due around the same time I was. Amanda is one such friend. She is a wonderful mom to a beautiful sparkle goddess, Ivy. Amanda is an earth momma and spent much of her pregnancy researching natural parenting. She and I talked cloth diapers, breastfeeding, babywearing, and what baby items are truely useful :) Last week, she was looking to sell off some of her cloth diapers that were not even used. She and her husband had fallen in love with prefolds and covers for Ivy. She had spent a good bit of time and money getting multiple types of cloth diapers but they didn't go beyond the first ones she tried. It was too good a deal to pass up, 41 one size pocket diapers for $160, less than $4 each! After a bit of research of my own, I found this was a terrific price. There were pockets that were $20 or more each! I decided to take a chance on them.

I got the diapers yesterday and spent the day getting them washed and organized (got to love Allison's sensitive skin!) Today, I decided to give cloth another try on both of the kids. I'm in love! These have snaps to hold them on, no pins like I was used to with the fitteds from Allison. They fit both kids wonderfully even though they are dramatically different sizes.

Here are some pictures of the kids in cloth.

First, Allison in her first fitted cloth (ignore the date my camera was acting weird).

JR in his first cloth diaper

Allison in her first pocket diaper

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Allison's Birth Story

Having had JR a little over a month ago I was thinking back to Allison's birth. There were many things that went wrong that shaped how JR was going to come into the world, but the one thing that went right was the fact that Allison was born! I am going to post Allison's birth story from a mommy website I posted on when I was pregnant with her. It was written a few days after her birth with all the emotions I was feeling after an emergency c-section and not having the birth I had planned.

Labor was an interesting thing- since I was high risk my OB wasn't going to let me go past 40 weeks. I went to the hospital on February 8 to be induced at 6 am. The nurse started my IV and Cervidil by 7 am. Things happened slowly. By the second dose of Cervidil, at 1 pm, I was only dilated to 2 cm. I came to the hospital at 1 cm and 50% effaced. I got my third dose of Cervidil at 7 pm and was still at 2 cm with a few contractions but nothing in a pattern. My OB came in and said things are moving slow, but that's okay! We'll give you the night off and start Pitocin at 6 am tomorrow. I had dinner, watched TV, and walked until 11 pm when the nurse said, "Go to sleep! Labor will be here soon enough!"

The next morning I woke up to the nurse starting the Pitocin and my OB coming to see me. My OB said we're going to take things slowly, only up the Pitocin by 1 mU/hour, until you become uncomfortable. When you get uncomfortable and can't take it anymore we'll stop and leave it there or lower it 1 mU. She also said she was going to be at a conference in Phoenix for the next 2 days (speaking) and another doctor from the practice would probably deliver me but she would call tonight to find out how I was. I was okay with this because she was wonderful during my pregnancy, I had met each of the doctors in the practice, and she knew it was her butt on the line since she had an agreement with my high risk OB in Phoenix to deliver me in Prescott (only going to 40 weeks, everything favorable, and at the first sign of problem either induce me or send me to Phoenix)! Since I was on Pitocin I could only be off the monitors for 30 minutes an hour (this included bathroom time) so I spent the next 30 minutes walking the halls of L&D. During this time nursing shift change occured and I came back to my room to meet my nurse for the next 12 hours.

As soon as I get back in the room the new nurse wanted me on the monitors. Since it was close to time I agreed and got in bed. I should have known something was bad when she said, "My shift ends at 3 and I want a baby by then!" (I was still only 2 cm, 50%, and -3). I sat in bed and talked to my mom and husband for a while and the nurse came in 15 minutes later and upped my Pitocin. I didn't think much of it until she came back in 15 minutes after that and upped the Pitocin. I asked what's going on Katie (my OB) said we are only upping the Pitocin 1 mU every hour. The nurse replied, "No we're upping it 2 mU every 15 minutes, I want a baby by the end of my shift." Since I was on such a low dose I didn't mind kicking up labor a bit since my contractions had ended during the night. By 10 am I didn't care for Pitocin as much, my contractions had picked up and were coming every 5 minutes and lasting for 30 seconds or so, I was ready to get used to them before continuing. The doctor on call came in and introduced himself to my family and I and checked my cervix. I was able to stretch to 3 cm, 75% effaced, and still -3. I brought up what Katie had said and what the nurse was doing. The doctor said I am the one who ordered more Pitocin, Katie was going too slow.
At this point I was mad! Katie was awesome and this doctor, who had never seen me, thought he knew more than the one who had followed my case from week 12! I said I would like to stick to Katie's plan and take a bit of time off from raising the Pitocin, he said we'll see what breaking your water does and go from there. He broke my water but left the Pitocin alone for the time being. But 15 minutes later the nurse came in and upped the Pitocin. This continued until 12:30 when I couldn't move during contractions, they were coming every 2 minutes and lasting a minute and a half. When the nurse came in to up the Pitocin again my mom and husband told her you have to do something she's can't cope anymore. She upped it and went to get the doctor.

He came in and checked me, quite possibly the most painful thing in the world during a contraction! I was at 4 cm, 75% effaced, and -3 not much change in an hour and a half but he said I could get an epidural if I wanted. I wanted! The anesthesiologist came in and watched a couple of contractions. He said I can get this in between contractions to make you more comfortable. I liked that idea! I found out later that in order to get it in so fast I had a HUGE bruise on my back. The pushy nurse was on lunch and a different one came in to hold me in position. She was wonderful and when she saw what I was like during contractions, she knew I was in need of the epi! After seeing a nurse who had compassion I asked if the other nurse could be kept out of my room, I needed to focus and she didn't help!

After the epi, the anethsiologist said take a nap and get ready to have a baby. I took his advice and while I was asleep Allison kept going off the monitor. That wasn't unusual, during NST's she would wander away from the monitor frequently. The nurse passed on my request to keep the bad nurse out and sent a wonderful nurse that I had had the day before, who coincidentally was named Allison too. Allison sat in my room for the next hour and kept chasing the baby around my stomach with the monitor. I couldn't see the monitor but I found out later that with each contraction, that were still coming every 2 minutes and lasting 1.5 minutes, the baby's heart rate was dropping. Her heart rate would come up quickly but Allison was getting worried. Finally, at 3 pm Allison went to get the doctor, things weren't getting better and my heart rate and oxygen was dropping too.

The doctor was delivering another baby in the next room but was watching my stats on the monitor. He told Allison to give me Terbutiline and oxygen and stop the Pitocin. He finished up in there as quickly as possible and came in the room. He checked me to see where I was in labor. I was at 5 cm, 75% effaced, and -2 station with the baby's head moulding. He said the baby wasn't going to come out naturally and she didn't like Pitocin contractions. We needed to have a c-section and now!
This scared me to death! I had not even planned for a c-section and now my baby is not doing so well! The room became a flurry of activity and I held tight to my dad in one hand and James in the other. Allison brought papers for me to sign, acid reducer to drink, and scrubs for James. I was shaking so bad from nerves and Terbutiline I could barely sign my name. James put on his scrubs and off we went!

In the OR the anethsiologist met me again and told me I said to get ready to meet baby but not like this! I laughed and he gave me a top off of meds, switched my oxygen mask for a nasal cannula, and put the pulse ox monitor on my right thumb. Allison came in and told me how things were going to go, the doctor would come in get the baby out ASAP, shown to me, and she would be checked out by the pediatrician. If everything was okay she'd be cleaned, wrapped up, and handed to James for some family cuddle time. After some cuddles and pictures the baby, Allison, and James would go to the nursery to get her measurements and I would finish up and meet up with them in my PP room. Then James came in and sat by my head. Lastly, the doctor came in and began the surgery. This went quick and Allison Ruth was born at 4:53 pm. I said look at that little bug when I saw her and touched her little hands.

She was checked out and was great! Her heart rate kept dropping because she had the cord wrapped around her neck twice and a huge head. The Pitocin was trying to get her to drop but her giant head wouldn't fit! Allison Ruth, Allison, and James went to the nursery while I was stapled up. I went to recovery where I was to stay until I could move my legs (it took about 20 minutes), and off I headed to my room, still shaking (an after effect of the meds).

My parents were already in love with their first grandchild! Allison (the nurse) came to make sure we were okay and knew what to do with breastfeeding. I was set. They set me up with a morphene pump and showed me how to use it. I used it twice but it didn't seem to work. I was so in love with my daughter that I didn't notice the meds or lack thereof. Allison brought me a liquid dinner. I had never been so excited to eat chicken broth and jello! It was the first food I had had for 24 hours. Finally, around 9 pm, my parents left and James and I were a family of 3 for the first time alone. Allie kept eating every 2 hours (she sucked like a barracuda!) and finally around 1 am I noticed that my stomach hurt like you wouldn't believe. I called the nurse and she called the doctor at home to find out what to do since Morphene wasn't doing anything for me. He said to give me Percocet. It worked and I felt so much better.

The next morning the nurse came in to get Allie and James for measurements (baby's don't stay in the nursery at this hospital and anytime Allie was out of the room James was with her) and asked if I'd like to get up and walk. Having walked around L&D so much in the past 2 days I said yes. It was uncomfortable but I wanted to do it. After a short walk I came back in to my husband and parents watching Allie with awe.

I was in the hospital for a total of 6 days because I developed a PP fever. The doctor who delivered my daughter thought I had an infection so he put me on IV antibiotics for four days. When my OB got back to town she was already mad at the other doctor for going against her wishes and inducing my labor too fast and now I had a fever! She was fit to be tied! It ended up that I was running a fever due to my RA (rheumatoid arthritis) but we couldn't prove it so Katie (my OB) had to run blood work, an EKG, urinanalysis, CT scan, ultrasound, and chest x-ray to prove I didn't have anything else!

Allie wore an adorable pink jumper, white onsie, and pink tights home. I wore my black yoga pants and a purple top (non-maternity!). Allie didn't really cry much during her stay at the hospital and going home was the same. She slept all the way home, after a quick stop at Wal-Mart to get diapers! We had another stop to get my prescriptions (Percocet and antibiotic) filled and then dinner at my parents. It was wonderful not to have to cook that first day!

On a side note, JR had his 1 month check up today and is now 11.1 pounds and 23.5 inches! That is a 2.5 pound increase and 2 inches in height in 1 month and 3 days. He's growing like a weed!

Monday, May 28, 2012


As you can tell from the title of this blog, I am a stay at home mom. I have two wonderful kids, Allison and JR. Allison is 2 and JR is a newborn. They are the best part of my world! I have been married to the most wonderful man, James, for almost 6 years (in July). We still live in the same small town that I grew up in- I've never lived anywhere else that I can remember!

Before I had kids I was an elementary/middle school teacher. I started my (very short) career teaching second grade for two years and ended it teaching 5th grade and 6/7th grade math. I enjoyed the children and the classroom a lot but my heart knew I was supposed to be a mommy.

This blog is going to be a spot to document what I'm doing with homeschooling the kids (starting in January), day to day life, and just talk about the kids and my family!