Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolutions!

Oh brother if I write resolutions on my blog that means I'm even more obligated to fulfill them right?

I just really love the idea of a new year. I mean I know people can "change" things any time of the year, but something about January 1st makes it seem that much easier. As if you are given a clean plate to start out with and the past isn't take into account. The things one can do in the following year are endless and things change so quickly! Embrace the change and love every second of this life that we are given. It's a breath of fresh air the kind where you can breathe it in so deep and feel totally refreshed.

In 2011 I hope to (start with the most cliche of all...) loose 10 lbs of the baby weight I was supposed to loose this past year.

Be kinder to my husband! Why is it sometimes the one that stands by us through everything and supports us the most we are the meanest to? Not in 2011!

I hope to say "yes" to my girls more and no much less.
"Mom can we skip dinner and just eat ice cream?" Yes!
"Will you play Barbies with me?" Yes!
"Can we go to the park?" Yes!

I am set and determined to make it to church all 52 Sundays this year! I hope to grow closer to God and be more spiritual.

Volunteer more.

Graduate from college!

Enjoy the "bad" things in life and see them for the good opportunities they are!

Still get our passports (one of my resolutions from last year).

Be a little more selfish and find more time for myself, something I need.

What about you dear readers? What do you hope to achieve in the year 2011? The possibilities are endless.

The Year 2010

I'd like to recap this past year so I don't forget any of the memories.

We celebrated January 1st in our family room with our two girls and had just become parents again for the 2nd time for only 8 days. We let Riley stay up and watch the ball drop and I snuggled Raigan and was drunk from her intoxicating new born scent.

January was a crazy month that just blew by. I was back in school (that semester feels like a lifetime ago!) and was just trying to survive and adapt to 2 children.

February we celebrated Raigan's baptism and then she came down with a horrible month long upper respiratory virus. She has her first trip to Cincinnati Childrens and got through it with lots of albuterol and prayers.

March Riley turned 3 and had a gymnastics barbie party.  I turned another year older and Hub and I celebrated another Anniversary!

April brought Raigan's first Easter and a looong nursing strike from my 4 month old, but lots of sunshine and beauty!

May was the start of the Summer and the end of another semester. My girls and I spent the spring playing in the back yard and at parks. I had so much fun being a mommy to 2 little girls.

June we joined a pool and spent the whole month there playing! I took most of the summer off to work to enjoy my girls! They loved the pool and I love them loving it!

July and August were spent much of the same way that June was with lots of trips to the zoo and splash parks around the city. I started another semester and Brandon turned another year older. Riley started her first year cheerleading and I had a blast being her coach. Brandon entered into the world of being a cheer dad and there was no one prouder!

September signified the end of the summer and we took our family vacation to Hilton Head Island and enjoyed every second of it. By far has been one of the best weeks and memories of my life. It just felt like everything was relaxed, in place, and exactly the way it was supposed to be!

October came and went as fast as the rest of the year. Much of it was spent and pee wee football games and Riley was in her first cheerleading competition and made me so proud! We celebrated Halloween as a crayon family.

November flew by so fast that I don't even remember it haha. It was spent working a lot and eating Turkey with our wonderful family.

December is here and now almost gone, it's almost unbelievable. I got a new job at the hospital and Raigan turned 1 year old! We had a blessed Christmas with our amazing family and I am forever grateful for this year of memories I've got to spend with them!

2010 was a beautiful year filled with watching my babies grow, growing even more in love with my husband, and learning to be grateful  because the challenges I do face in life are wonderful ones to have. They challenge me to be a better mother, wife, and person in general.

I hope 2011 is as wonderful as 2010 was and full of love and family and new life experiences!

Sharing Is Caring

First of all... Raigan is so close to walking. She stands by herself very well and can pull up and sit down. Just look at my little baby doing big girl things! And this post may just not make any sense because I had to work all morning, day, and evening and am on autopilot.

When the Hub and I were shopping for Christmas for our girls I first thought, and said many times during the season, "We are going to need to buy two of everything!"

I didn't want to get them too many toys since all our house needs is a neon sign and cute cuddly marketing character to open as a toy shop. So we limited the number of toys.

We bought the girls a few small toys and then one larger joint toy. Their gifts from "Santa" were mostly clothes, pjs, and other practical things the girls needed anyway. We only bought one large joint toy because frankly it would be crazy to spend the money on two large dollhouses and even crazier to never teach our girls that they need to learn to share. What was I thinking two of everything?!

Sometimes I think our culture and society influences me much more than I'd like to believe. What would honestly make me think that I should buy two of everything to avoid this necessary conflict and opportunity for cooperation and delayed gratification. These things can be beautiful! I mean just look at how beautiful my girls make sharing look (I later found out):

Something I almost missed out on. I would be doing my girls an injustice if I were to lead them to believe that they weren't going to have to share, consider others' feelings, and always get everything they wanted instantly.

I think it straightens their bond as sisters, teaches them social skills and empathy to just have one doll house.
Some may think I'm reading way too much into a doll house, but I feel like a lot bigger of a picture and it's just one of them many rolls I take on as a mother to look at that bigger picture.

I never in a million years thought that buying toys would be so involved and that a parent needs to focus on how it impacts your children developmentally. Shhhesh being a parent is a loaded job.

I am so just in love with these girls and the way they interact and love one another and Raigan's face in the next picture too! haha

We let them play even well into their bedtime because they were playing so sweetly together...

Until Riley melted down, expressed that sharing was no longer a skill she wanted to practice and then flung herself on the floor. Which was still a beautiful thing. I'm sure glad I only bought one. Maybe they can share a car later in life too... and maybe college tuition... haha one can dream.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's official

It's official... I'm out of control with Raigan's Birthday. I couldn't find any cute things to secure the silverware for Raigan's party with, so I just made stickers myself that match her stuff. I got some sticker paper, used photoshop, and a circle punch.

And I ordered this super cute shirt from this kick ass Etsy store Sticky Noodles. I know I'll be ordering one for Riley's Strawberry Shortcake Birthday too!

Keepin It Real

This is what our house currently looks like.

It's out of control.

The 4 of us have been home long enough for baths and a bedtime story today.

We are smooshed for time and I'm wondering if our house will be clean again and not look like a combination of a toy factory and our laundry room exploding.

Maybe I'll tackle all this tomorrow after work... or maybe I'll just come home and take a nap, I like the later.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Festival of Lights

We finally went to the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo! It was freezing cold when we went, but it's been freezing the whole month of December it seems. I didn't take too many pictures because I was busy trying not to loose the three kids that weren't in the boat double stroller we took.

 The thousands of beautiful lights made the temperature in the teens seem more tolerable.
Here's Riley and my goofy nephews:

Here are the kids in the reptile house. Riley is totally scared of this whole place, especially the tiny little alligator that lives in the middle of the round house.

They even had Santa Claus!

... and Reindeer!

I'm glad we made it again this year and squeezed one more visit out of our season pass. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010


My sister in law watched my babies for me while I had to work the other day. When I came to pick them up she had a mini chocolate factor going on making these:

Oh my goodness., it was all soo good! One of my favorite was something called an Oreo Truffle you can find the recipe here. All you do is blend up oreos and cream cheese and then dip it in melted chocolate. There is a hard part to it though, not eating the whole batch.

Then! You wouldn't believe who showed up...

Long lost fundraiser space camp kid from a month or two ago! haha He brought me these:

You can't see the bottom box label but it says espresso bites. yum!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Chritsmas!

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus! 


Merry Christmas from our family to your's!

Friday, December 24, 2010


I'm still recovering from spending the vast majority of the past few days in the car. I usually never wait till the last minute for Christmas, but there's always a first I guess. I drove to three states yesterday getting gifts, it was nuts.

Yesterday was Raigan's 1st Birthday!

I cried a little lot, especially when I saw the email that baby center sent me that referred to her as toddler and pretty much told me that her baby days were over for forever... ugh!

Poor thing got all of her year vaccinations and I teetered whether or not to allow them to give her Hep A. It seemed really unnecessary, and  I'm as pro vaccination as a  mommy can get... (I'm scared to death of microbes just for the record). I decided to let them give it to her just like the erythromyacin eye drops solely on the argument I was having with myself of if I decided not to let her have it.. she is going to be effected by it, because that is my luck. haha good reason huh? and then the benefits outweighing the risks stuff too.

I was hoping to do a post on her birthday of her check up stats, but it will have to wait because I still have not done her Birthday Pictures yet... Horrible, I know. That's exactly the reason I was feeling guilty about having a Christmas baby, because unfortunately, the birth of Christ trumps everyone else's birthday.

Merry Christmas Eve to everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Raigan Faith's Birth Story

On this day (December 22)  last year I had just finished a semester of nursing school a few days prior, obstetrics  no less. Was really pregnant and tired of having preterm labor. I was already 5cm dilated and taking was finally allowed to stop taking Procardia. I really don't remember much of the day, but I remember the evening and night very well. My brother, Chuck, was home from Japan and wanted to get some gifts from his friends to take back when he returned. He, my parents, Riley, and I ventured to Jungle Jim's. I really don't remember at all why Brandon didn't come with us and neither does he, but he was at home.  Jungle Jim's is a huge international food market that has imports from all over the world. It's a very large store and requires lots of walking and is about 45 minutes north of our house.

About halfway through the store I started to have contractions.

No biggie, I had been having contractions for weeks.

Getting closer to the checkout I needed to lean on the cart a little with each contraction, still no biggie. 

We finished our shopping, I had bought some hazelnut spread from Ireland, miniature plantains, organic cous cous, and a few other random things. I think it's interesting that I remember what I bought but not why Brandon stayed home. I think maybe he just knew that he should rest because the baby was coming. Or maybe it was because he took care of Riley and I for months while I wasn't supposed to do anything because of preterm labor and just needed to rest.

Walking out to the car the contractions started to hurt a little more.We stopped at White Castle, gross haha. and my dad took over driving because I was having contractions. Which again, was no big deal since I drove myself to the hospital while in labor with Riley and very far along and could have done it this time, but he offered, so I let him.

On the 45ish minute drive home the contractions got stronger, but nothing I couldn't handle and I called Brandon. My mom suggested I go to the hospital and get checked out. I didn't want to go because I had been about 20 times before and the previous Friday was having contractions that I couldn't breathe through and they sent me home because I wasn't progressing. That's when I told them they would have to call psych for me haha. My midwife didn't think it was too funny and gave me some medicine to help me sleep and sent me on my way.

So the contractions I was having were really no big deal.

My dad dropped my mom and Riley off at the house and Brandon and I went to the hospital. I went into to be checked and didn't call anyone because I thought for sure I was going to be sent home.

It was the two days before Christmas Eve after all. I did have all the Christmas presents bought and wrapped just in case something crazy would happen.

I went to the hospital and got checked, I was now 6cm. My midwife told me to hang out there for another hour and we'd see what would happen.

I walked the halls with my sweet super supportive husband that had stood by our daughter and I through this rough pregnancy. He loved me every day of it when I was miserable and complaining. He took on the parenting role that I couldn't fully share since I wasn't even able to lift our little 2 year old. He did dishes and laundry while I was on bed rest and only allowed to attend class. He supported me and helped me through another semester of school (that looking back I have no idea how I made it through!).

We walked the halls for an hour and I distinctly remember a Christmas tree that was decorated with skeleton ornaments and thinking how inappropriate for a hospital....haha but after our 20th lap around the hospital we realized it was the radiology department, which made it a little less morbid I guess.. haha

I cherished those last few minutes I had with my husband and our sweet second born inside my belly. We  walked and laughed and I leaned up against the wall with each contraction as the hour reached its end. I remember getting a little desperate to see my midwife at the nurse's station so I could ask her to let me know that I wasn't doing all this walking and suffering for no reason and that I was going to have my baby finally. I finally asked one of the nurses to go find her, and when she did finally check me I was at 7cm.

She said, "Well, we're going to keep you." 

and I remember saying, "Like keep me to monitor me? or keep me to have the baby?" which I thought was a totally legitimate question, because if they had sent me home the previous Friday, they would send me home again.

She laughed and said, "We're not going to send you home 7cm dilated." I was relived none the less.Finally, we were going to meet our daughter.

They put me in a room and we called our moms. My mom, Brandon's mom, and my brother Chuck came to the hospital. It was nearly midnight at this time. My dad stayed at our house with Riley who had already been in bed for hours. I'm so glad that my brother was home and got to experience Raigan's birth with us and he took some really awesome photographs of the whole experience.

I did want to call our friends or other family because it was so late and who knew how much longer I'd be in labor. I didn't really want to have everyone there either as horrible as that sounds. I just wanted it to be intimate and truth be told, I didn't want anyone to steal my time or snuggles with my second daughter. There would be plenty of time for everyone to see her and love her, I wanted those first few hours of life with her to myself.

I also wanted to have the time and space for nursing her. Having lots of family and friends in the room isn't very conducive to a mother and baby learning to nurse. I struggled greatly with nursing Riley and I didn't want the same this time around. I wanted it to be relaxed and enjoyable and it's hard to whip it out with a room full of people that don't feel comfortable seeing your breasts.

I asked for an epidural and let me tell you, after getting one the second time and having something to compare it to, I can confidently say that my epidural with Riley did not work. I honestly think I could have done without the epidural as I had already gotten to 8cm without it but was just tired and wanted to be able to sleep, it was now around 4 in the morning.

This time though, I was totally numb, something I hadn't experienced with Riley. My midwife came in and broke my water and I could feel nothing, it was bliss (I felt the surge of contractions when my water was broke with Riley).

I was able to rest and Brandon, our moms, and my brother talked about the next hour.

I woke up started feeling pressure and I knew she was coming and fast. I mean, she had been trying to get out for the past few months after all. I remember the nurse coming into the room, me telling her that I felt a lot of pressure and her saying, "Ok, I'm going to page your midwife." and she walked out of the room before I could stop her. I yelled for Brandon to go her!
This baby was coming and now!

The nurse quickly returned and my midwife entered the room but looked as though she had just fallen asleep in one of the on call beds. There was hardly time for her to gown and put on gloves and felt like screaming HURRY UP! haha

She sat down asked me if I was ready to push and literally seconds later yelled for me to stop pushing and Raigan was born half a push later on a Wednesday at 5:18am . My midwife literally caught her it happened so very quickly. I remember her being placed on my chest and I was instantly in love.

She was beautiful and made from love.

I instantly switched into nurse mode when they took her away from me and kept asking for her apgar scores  and if she breathing fine. At one point my midwife while stitching me she told me I need to lay back, relax, and be the patient. ha. She was beautiful, healthy, and 6lbs 15 ounces and 20 inches long.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Raigan's Frist Year:

(Don't begin unless you have time to enjoy the post in it's entirety, because it's a long one!) 

Here is the story of the life of my little girl's 1st year through photographs. 

Some are artistic.
Some are just smiles captured in time.
Some are posed.
Some are just snapshots of our daily lives.
Some crack me up.
Some bring tears to my eyes. 
Some make me smile from ear to ear. 
Some make me fall in love with my husband all over again,
because of the amazing father that he is. 
 Some make me feel like I must be doing something right.

But all of them tell her story.


Which is your favorite? 
I'm really partial to the last one of Brandon and Raigan, you can just hear them laughing can't you? 
The very first one will always be my favorite, but I really like the ones too that she is looking into the camera with a curious or goofy look on her face.I honestly think she now thinks that it is a normal part of life to have this big lens in her face and to hear a click haha. 

I am still coming to grips that it has been a year.
A beautiful year full of ups and downs and love and joy! And one more perfect beautiful little girl added to this family.

God has blessed me many times over and over and over and over, amen.
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