Monday, July 28, 2014

Love/Hate Relationship with Strollers

“I participated in a Blog Blast on behalf of Mom Central for Urbini. I received information from Urbini to facilitate my post as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”
Strollers. I have a love/hate relationship with them. They are GREAT in my ways. The not so great thing about them is how bulky many of them are and space they demand in a car. Urbini has launched as a new brand with it’s first three products in the US debuting at Walmart stores earlier last year. Among them is The Omni 3-in-One Travel System, which offers a variety of strolling options as your baby grows from nesting in an infant car seat to riding in a built in bassinet to finally riding forward or parent facing in the convertible stroller seat. This 3-in-1 Travel System allows you to take your baby from infant to toddler years with one stroller. In it’s popularity at Walmart stores and online, the Omni 3-in-One Travel System sold out in just one month when first released and is now back in stock for moms to enjoy this versatile product! Urbini also sells the Hummingbird which is the world's lightest full-featured stroller with a one handed closing capability! Urbini's other product, the Touri, includes a stroller and Petal Infant Car Seat which creates the ultimate on-the-go travel system. 
With my new little one I learned quickly that a lightweight stroller was going to be necessary when heading out for every day errands. I had received a very nice jogging stroller as a shower gift and I originally thought that would be all I need. However, one trip to the store with that stroller and I learned the jogging stroller was going to need to be just that...a jogging stroller...perfect for hikes, jogging, walks around the neighborhood, etc. but not the best stroller for errands. It simply took up too much space in my  trunk and was way to heavy to tote in and out of the car. A lightweight stroller such as the Hummingbird would be the perfect solution to this problem. 

Check out Urbini on social media below:
·         Urbini Facebook page
·         Urbini Twitter page
·         Urbini Instagram account
·         Urbini Pinterest page


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Announcing the Arrival of Our Little Guy + Birth Story

So if you follow me on Instagram this is old news but for those who don't I am SO HAPPY to FINALLY announce our little guy, "E" arrived last Wednesday, 6/25. He was 7 lbs. 4 oz. 20.5 inches long with a full head of hair! He is perfect in every way! I am SO incredibly thankful to God that He blessed us with this little guy- it was quite the delivery but "E" was totally, completely worth it! 


Now for the birth story and some more pictures...

Tuesday, 6/24, I simply didn't feel good...plain and simple...I went to work and when the hubby and I got home from work we went to our church small group. The entire small group I just didn't feel myself (no contractions just felt icky). Thankfully, when we got home I took the following picture because I felt HUGE. I told my husband that I was not sure how much longer I could take pregnancy and we went to bed (ok he went to bed while I laid in misery). Uniquely enough this is also the evening I wrote this post about how miserable I was and asking for prayers for the baby to arrive soon



At 2:30 AM the start to my dreams came true. My water broke. Ya'll this was no small amount of water. I thought that it wouldn't be a lot from what I had read but it was a lot (by the way did you know once your water breaks it continues to leak until baby is born? I didn't but it does). I screamed a yell of joy and woke the husband up who asked me if I was sure it had broken until he looked down....he jumped out of bed faster than if he had seen a snake! HAHA! I called my doctor who, much to my surprise, told me I needed to come in immediately. I was surprised as I had always heard that you wanted to labor at home as long as possible before coming in but she explained to me that once your water broke they had 18 hours to get the baby out before things get really risky. So we loaded up and headed in...I was in no pain...no contractions....in fact on the way to the hospital we sang to Izzy and I texted my family and close friends. We arrived at the hospital at 3:28 AM. 

We had to enter through the emergency room and people let me tell you something. ER folks FREAK OUT when they hear a 40 week preggers lady with a broken sac enter. They do not want to deliver any babies. They INSISTED I get in a wheel chair and it was all I could do to beg them to wait 2 mins for my mom to run in before they wheeled me up to Labor and Delivery. 

Once we arrived in labor and delivery they took me to triage and did a few checks to determine that yes, in fact my water had broken. Bad news is I was only 1 cm dilated (had been this way for two weeks) and still no contractions. An hour later the contractions started and they decided to take me to a room.  We checked in and like clock work about 4:15 the contractions stopped. They decided to start me on pitocin. The doctor kept coming and doing checks and they starting slowly but surely upping the dosage of pitocin they were giving me. My doctor went off call and another doctor in the practice came on. When he checked me he told me I was going to have a very small baby he guessed 6 lbs. and that delivery should be relatively easy. He said I can guarantee you that you will not need a c-section which everyone knew was my #1 wish. Never make a guarantee. At 7 AM I was offered the epidural and around 9 AM I accepted. Ok, I am going to make a risky statement here and say you are nuts if you don't get an epidural. I don't know why everyone makes them in to such a big deal. Really getting the actual epidural is not bad....the worst part for me was by this time the contractions were coming in BIG time and you have to sit totally still for about 20 minutes while they do it and sitting completely still bent spine over the side of the bed while contractions are hitting you is no joke. Try AWFUL. It took 20 minutes for the epidural to do its thing even though it is supposed to take 5. I was happy again and able to text friends. Until about an hour later when it COMPLETELY and totally wore off.
Long story short turns out that I have a VERY VERY high drug tolerance and my epidural was not taking. I ended up having 8 throughout the course of labor and was still in LOTS and LOTS of pain...much more than I should have been according to everyone. The doctor told my hubby that I had enough drugs in my system to kill a racehorse yet I could still feel everything EXTREMELY WELL! 

At 10 AM the doctor came back to check me again and found out I was dilated to a 6. He also told me that he had bad news and had been very wrong previously and that I had very small hip bones and that a vaginal birth was going to be nearly impossible. He told me there was above a 90% chance that I was going to end up with a c-section. I cried. Then I wanted to punch him for promising me earlier I wasn't going to have too...he also told me he was now able to see I had a bigger baby than he thought I had and it wasn't going to be a very easy delivery after all. 

That's when I texted every single pray warrior I know and asked them to pray and pray hard. Pray for a vaginal delivery. The pitocin dosage kept getting upped. They kept giving me a more and more meds. I was in serious pain and scared out of my mind. 



As things progressed it got scarier and scarier. My blood pressure was out of control. It was 193 over something at one point. The doctors and nurses were worried. My hubby and mom were REAL worried. I could see it all over their face. Doctor told me I would be holding my baby by 3 PM then that changed to 5 PM then that changed....then it changed again. At 2 PM the doctor tried to convince me to go ahead with the c-section. You can either wait until 8 PM and push for three hours and then still end up having to go back for a c-section or we can go ahead and take you now and you can be holding your baby in a couple hours he told me. He said it would be a miracle at this point if I were able to deliver vaginally. I opted to wait it out. I prayed and asked everyone to pray harder. More high blood pressure. Medicine to try to get my blood pressure down. More epidurals. More drugs. Lots of contractions.

At 6:15 he checked me and told me I was dilated to a 8 and that it would still be a few hours so he was going home to get dinner. At that point the anesthesiologist came back and told me that since the epidural was not working he needed to redo the port. He explained to me that in the case I needed to have an emergency c-section which was likely my current epidural would not suffice since it didn't take. I was in such pain and just didn't feel I could sit still for 20 mins through contractions so I begged him to come back in 30 mins. At that point the doctor came back in and checked and said we need to push now.

That's when the hardest most exhausting thing I have ever done kicked in. I pushed for three hours. With my hubby on my left side giving me oxygen between contractions and my mom on my right side feeding me ice chips because I was totally parched. I couldn't talk. I simply started at the bed they would put my baby in and focused on praying in my mind, breathing, and one thing and one thing one...get this baby out vaginally. The entire time the doctor kept telling me it really was not working. I was regressing. 


FINALLY after about 2 hours and 50 mins (I was exhausted and simply could not push any longer) he asked me if I was ok with the risk of trying the vacuum (while pushing I never got a break I was pushing for the length of contractions and he was stretching me with all kinds of tools in between). I could not talk but nodded. He put it on I pushed and he said we had finally reached the turning point and he said it might just work. My husband, mom, and I all bawled. Minutes later my little perfect guy was laying on my chest as they cut the cord. He did not cry. At the time I was in too much pain to notice. In rushed in a huge array of people (the respiratory team). Thankfully they got him breathing and when I heard him cry my entire life changed. It was magical! I was crying. My wonderful husband was stroking me, also crying, telling me I was his hero. My mom took off to follow the baby. The emotions that filled me I have never felt. His time of birth 9:02 PM. 

However, it was not over. I tore in three places. Two level three tears and one that he called a complex tear that is beyond a rating up in my fat layer. The next two hours I under went surgery to fix things. It was really rough. Thankfully I got to hold my little guy through part of it but it was bad. There were people everywhere...tools, things flying. FINALLY about 11:15 it was over. The doctor told me what I had just undergone was probably worse than I c-section but I was sown up and fixed up and my wonderful baby was here! I was happy! 


It was the most pain I had ever endured but it was so totally worth it!

I believe with all my heart that God answered the prayers of all those praying for me to have a vaginal birth. I am overwhelmed once again in my life by the power of prayer and the power of my God. He allowed this magical moment to happen.

It's hard to believe my little man will be a week old tomorrow. We are in absolute total love and still praising God each and every minute for the biggest gift He has ever blessed us with! If this little dude isn't a testament to faith and power of prayer I don't know what is...

Here are some more photos of the little guy:




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

39 Weeks/4 Days Pregnant + What God is Teaching Me

I have one word for you my friends...ANXIOUS! My due date is this Friday and at 39.4 weeks pregnant it is very hard to not let the anxiety over take my emotions. I have had "pre-term" contractions now (in addition to the Braxton-Hick contractions I have been having for a month) for two weeks solid and the fact that I am getting very little sleep makes the whole waiting game that much worse. 

Last night I really thought it was going to be the night. After having contractions for 6.5 hours spaced almost exactly 17 mins apart lasting a minute a piece I thought it was surely the real deal. Much to my disappointment the contractions stopped around 4am....just enough time for me to get two hours of sleep before I had to get up and get ready for work. This has been my nights for the past two weeks...people I feel like a zombie! 
 
And check out the swollen feet...sexy, huh? 



Through this entire miserable last few days I am constantly reminding myself of a scripture that I have put to memory now from reciting it in my mind so frequently: 

Philippians 4:6-7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 

Through this sweet, wonderful blessing that God is about to give us I am reminded that I should not be anxious but instead should be full of thanks to God who in turn will give me peace regarding the arrival of my sweet little man....after all, nobody can stay pregnant forever, RIGHT? 

That being said if you feel so inclined to send prayers my way I would be forever thankful as we CAN NOT wait to meet our little guy and are really hoping and praying he comes on his own without a scheduled induction. Our 40 week appointment is this Thursday so we will schedule a date then. In the meantime I just keep growing and growing and growing....here is a photo from two weeks ago....


For the fun of it for all you mommies out there was there anything you tried that made you 'naturally induce?'

Here's what I have been trying thus far:
  • Evening Primrose Oil taken three times daily for the past two weeks (may be why I am having stronger contractions I don't know?)
  • Pineapple
  • Spicy foods (I've eaten more Mexican in the last few days than I know what to do with but the only result as been me popping Tums due to the heartburn)
  • Walking (more of wobbling but hey I try it!)
  • Walking up and down steps
  • Jumping
  • Swimming
  • And yes, we have been trying my doctor's advice which I refuse to put into writing because it feels weird but let's just say it's how this baby was made to begin with :)
Any other suggestions? What worked for you? Also, thoughts/advice on inductions? 

By the way my little man moves ALL THE TIME. And I do mean ALL THE TIME. Here is a video from him kicking me in the car on the way to a wedding the other night. Sorry for the weird angle. The hubby was driving and I was in the passenger seat trying to get his kicks on video so the video is from my head looking down.

video


New Front Door Summer Wreath from White Sand Creations

I am so excited to share with you all my new wood door initial for my front door from White Sand Creations



White Sand Creations is owned by Dee Dee. A sweet lady who I have enjoyed getting to know in writing this post for her. Dee Dee is a 10 year veteran home school mom of three (ages 16, 14, and 12) and has been crafting for as long a she can remember. Dee Dee and her family live 20 miles north of Gulf Shores, AL so she has spent most of her life on the beaches and as a result has a beachy, southern style (which I love! So much so that would it be weird if I adopt this style when I don't leave at the beach)? Her greatest memory from growing up is crocheting with her grandmother during summer days. One year they crocheted a blanket together that she still has...would you believe that it was a chevron print? What comes around goes around, right? Dee Dee's mother, like her grandmother, is also very crafty and was always making things to sell for extra money as Dee Dee was growing up. She sewed, painted, hammered, crocheted, arranged flowers, made Christmas decorations and more! So it was not much of a surprise when, in 2009, Dee Dee decided to start her own business, Lyrical Letters, where she specialized in personalizing items for businesses, family, and friends. In 2012 she started crocheting again for a hobby and had several people ask her to make things for them. That is when she got the grand idea to join her two businesses and open White Sand Creations

In March of this year her 16 year old son was presented an opportunity to go on a mission trip in June. Living on one income the family knew it was going to be a God thing if he were able to go. Putting works with faith she got the brilliant idea to open her Etsy shop to sell her items to help pay for his trip! And, thanks be to God, the family has been able to successfully raise all of the funds for her son to go on the trip! 

Some of the other wonderful items Dee Dee sells include wood monogram letters for home decor, door mats, organizers, hats, and table runners just to name a few. Beautiful, simplicity is Dee Dee's store motto! Since joining Etsy, Dee Dee says she has had the opportunity to meet some great people, meet challenges, grow as a crafter, and create beautiful items! "It has been a thrill to have complete strangers not just like my products but believe in my work enough to make a purchase," she told me. 

Here are some more pictures of the wonderful "T" initial I received:

:


I absolutely LOVE my door hanger and have gotten so many compliments since receiving it from my neighbors and friends. It is made of wood and is very solid! I think this wreath would make the perfect wedding or housewarming present! And you can order them in any letter and color you choose! 

I have some really exciting news for you! 
Dee Dee has graciously offered a 50% discount on any purchase over $20 or more to readers through August 31st. 
Just use code SUMMER2014.

I highly encourage you all to take advantage of this wonderful deal and order a door hanger or door mat while supplies last!

Finally make sure you follow Dee Dee through the below links:
Dee Dee's Personal Blog

Disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for a honest review based on personal experience with this product. No monetary compensation was received or will be received between MFJ and the associated company with this product. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

4th of July Picnic Style with Kool-Aid's New Fruit Beverage


I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

It's hard to believe that the 4th of July is right around the corner! To me nothing says 4th of July like a picnic at the lake! Now you can make your 4th of July picnic even more simple and delicious with Kool-Aid's new fruit beverage! We recently had the opportunity to spend some quality family time together before the baby comes at a lake side picnic. To prepare for the picnic I headed to Walmart to purchase all the necessary picnic essentials. Some of the items on my picnic list included: fried chicken, supplies to make pasta salad, fun summery drinks, baked beans, chips, potato salad, and cupcakes! I was really excited when I rounded the corner at Walmart and found the new 96oz Kool-Aid in delicious Watermelon flavor. The 96oz pre-made beverage was the perfect size for our picnic and required very little work on my part! I mean let's be honest...the less dishes I have to mess up means the less I have to clean up and at 9 months pregnant that is something I am willing to invest in!


I decided to take it a step further and mix the Kool-Aid drink with green tea to create a DELICIOUS, summery beverage perfect for adults (and pregnant mommies like myself)! The 96oz Kool-Aid container provides plenty of beverage and is a convenient way to purchase this beloved beverage. This delicious beverage created the perfect way to cool off on a hot summery day and would be the perfect compliment to your July 4th Picnic as it comes in red and would make a great red, white, and blue themed drink!



As you can tell from the leftover product in my fridge the drink was HUGE hit! I'm telling you if you want to "spice it up" mix it with a little bit of green tea. The result is SO delicious!




I also wanted to make sure to let all my readers know about a cool event that might be coming to your local Walmart in support of this new product:


Jim Dillard, pro fisherman, could be coming to your local Walmart to help promote the new 96oz Kool-Aid bottles! There will be product giveaways, t-shirts, games, and more fun activities!

Friday May 30th 5-7pm:
13675 Highway 43 Russellville, AL WM Supercenter
Saturday May 31st 3-5pm:
3100 Hough Rd Florence, AL WM Supercenter
Saturday May 31st 6-8pm:
517 Avalon Ave Muscle Shoals, AL WM Supercenter
Friday June 20th 5-7pm:
1210 Mineral Wells Ave Paris, TN WM Supercenter
Saturday June 21st 3-5pm:
1225 Paris Rd Murray, KY WM Supercenter
Saturday June 21st 6-8pm:
809 N 12th St Murray, KY WM Supercenter
Friday August 8th 5-7pm:
360 Harbison Blvd Columbia, SC WM Supercenter
Saturday August 9th  3-5pm:
1326 Bush River Rd Columbia, SC WM Supercenter
Saturday August 9th 6-8pm:
2401 Augusta Rd West Columbia, SC WM Supercenter

I would like to thank #CollectiveBias and #Kooloff with Kool-Aid for the opportunity to try this wonderful product and write this 4th of July post on their behalf!

Cheers, everyone! I'm off to enjoy my refreshing beverage!