Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tips and Tricks: C Section Recovery

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

I'm out of my semi completely not permanent blog hiatus to link up with Megs for Tips and Tricks for Mom Tuesday. This week's theme is labor/delivery tips. Since I had two c-sections, I thought I'd talk about recovery.

Whether you deliver your baby naturally or c-section, there's an enormous amount of soreness the next day. For a c-section, it's your entire abdomen. I don't want to say PAIN because it's not like a stabbing pain, but it's a continuous ache in your midsection. Be aware that nurses will need to press on your stomach to ensure your uterus is shrinking. THAT HURTS. But it doesn't last long and it's necessary.

My best advice for post c-section moms? Sit up straight. Stand up straight. Move slowly but get yourself upright. The sooner you start getting those muscles back to upright the better. It really does hurt but each time gets a little easier. Remember, you are going to be taking care of an infant extremely soon and you can't carry a baby safely hunched over. Start by sitting on the edge of the bed. Then a chair. Then standing. Then walking to the shower. Take it slow and do it with help. Don't shower alone, have someone stay in the bathroom with you. With Trace, I got really lightheaded in the shower and my sister had to help me sit down. I could have been in serious trouble if she hadn't been there.

Take your pain medicine on schedule. With both kids, I never needed the narcotic pain medicine, I did fine with the large doses of Tylenol. I took them on the schedule the doctor told me for the first three or four days afterwards then as I needed it. When I kept on schedule, I had minimal pain. I also used a heating pad a lot and made sure to keep my waistband off my incision. The pain is totally manageable. I've had much worse pain before for sure.

Listen to what the doctor tells you as far as lifting is concerned. There's a huge risk of tearing your incision, tearing your already injured muscles or developing scar tissue in bad places that will have to be surgically removed. My solution for Rory and Trace was to put the car seat in the car without the baby in it and leave it there. I carried them in and out of the car each time for the first week or so. I also used little stools by Rory's crib to stand on to lift her in and out after Trace was born. It helped me lift with my knees and not hurt myself. I know I wasn't supposed to lift her period but I had to. Dave had to work! She couldn't stay in her crib all day. :)

Dealing with a toddler post c-section will be a post unto itself. Yikes!

Rest as much as you can. By this I mean sit with your feet up while you are feeding the baby, spend lots of snuggle time on the couch, just take it easy. Don't try and clean your entire house, don't worry about dishes in the sink. Ask for help. You just had major abdominal surgery! It's okay to ask your mom to come down and run the dishwasher for you. Trust me, people LOVE to help, especially new grandmas. It makes them feel needed. :)

Don't expect your abs to ever be the same again. For real, my entire mid-section is like bread dough. I'm taking it slowly getting back in shape because I still have some residual pain when I do ab workouts. Two c-sections in 17 months will do that to you. Expect this. Be prepared and take it slow!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I'm going to be out of the blog realm until the recital is over. June 6, I'm sure I'll be back. My apologies for not being a good comment-er. I'm trying to be three places at once all day long and it's really wearing me out! I'll be back soon! xoxo K8

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tip and Tricks: Getting On a Schedule

I'm linking up with Megs for Tips and Tricks from Mom again this Tuesday! You really need to read her blog. Her little Chase is beyond adorable. :)

This week I'm going to touch on a (slightly) controversial topic...scheduling your baby. Again, as always, I am merely relaying what worked for me with Rory/Trace. It may work for you, it may not. I'm not offended if you think I'm crazy! Try my tips, let me know how it works for you.

Now! On with the show.

I used one method with Rory and Trace both: Babywise.

I used the sleep methods in this book, not the playtime or other suggestions. I didn't need to, because Rory and Trace have enjoyed independent playtime from day one.

The basic principle behind this method is this: Eat. Play. Sleep. Repeat. A baby needs to be AWAKE after eating, each time, with the exception of right before bed. This helps a baby learn to fall asleep with out having to eat. It also puts the parent in control of sleep and wake times, as you would when a child is older. You wouldn't allow your 2 year old to decide it's bed time. A baby needs guidance, they don't understand days and nights! :)

At the beginning, R and T ate every 2.5 hours. That became 3 hours and then 4 hours. Each time they would eat, I would encourage them to eat as much as possible. This often included flicking toes, changing positions often, singing, etc. It's important in the Babywise method to get in full feedings. That started out as 4 oz, then became 5, 6 and now 7. After each feeding, I would keep the kids awake for 20 minutes at the start and slowly increased that time increment up to staying awake between feedings entirely through out the day. I took charge of the sleeping, putting T/R in their cribs at nap time and waking them when it was time to wake up.

I still do this in the mornings, I decide when it's time to come out of bed, not the kids. Rory knows if she wakes up before it's time to get out of bed, she can play quietly in her bed but she has to stay quiet so she doesn't wake brother. (Also known as...Mom needs a full cup of coffee chugged down before she tries to do the morning routine. :))

At this time, Trace eats every 3-4 hours. He also naps 2 hours each afternoon and 45 minutes most mornings. Rory eats breakfast, lunch and dinner as an other toddler does and snacks when she's hungry. Considering she snacks on apples, oranges and whole grain Goldfish crackers, I let her when she's hungry. She naps 2 hours each afternoon as well.

I think a schedule gives a baby a good sense of comfort and normalcy. As a working mom, a schedule is absolutely invaluable to me. I can adjust as I need (wake up early, move feedings around, etc) and anyone who is staying with my kids knows with a few minutes when Trace will be hungry. Dave knows the routine, my mom and my in-laws know, it's easy. It makes our days predictable (to a point) and easy to plan for. Our schedule isn't SO RIGID that it can't change around, but it is structured enough so the kids know the deal.

It's NEVER to late to get your baby on a schedule!! Eat-play-sleep is the easiest schedule to get kids on. It merely takes a couple days of "bugging" your kids to stay awake after eating and encouraging full feedings at regular time intervals. You will be dealing with some crying the first few days as a baby gets adjusted. DEAL WITH IT. Walk, sing, bounce, turn on some music and twirl your baby around. A couple days of crying between feedings, learning to get on a regular, predictable feeding schedule will pay off so quickly. Honest to goodness, it is a relief to your weary mind!

Babywise scheduling helped my kids sleep through the night in no time. Rory was a champ. She slept an 8 hour stretch at night starting July 3, 2009, right before she turned 8 weeks. From there, it go longer and longer and it was (IS!) 13 hours a night. Trace took a little longer, because of all his digestive issues but by my birthday in January (about 10 weeks old) he was doing 8-9 hours a night and by Valentine's Day, every night was 13 hours. This was achieved because I helped them learn the difference between day time sleep and night time sleep.

They have also ALWAYS slept for the night in the crib. And I do mean 99% of the time. Trace spent a few nights in his swing or cradle, but again that's due to his digestion issues. I really think that independent sleep helped my kids sleep longer and fall asleep faster. There were no distractions, no disruptions, just sleep. That is just my opinion though, not fact!

Okay this post is crazy long. If you want to know more about my scheduling techniques, please email me! Babywise is absolutely wonderful and I highly recommend it. But as always, it's merely a guide. Take the parts YOU agree with and apply them. Figure out what works for you and your baby, not me and my kiddos. You will get there. And you will sleep!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Love Dance

I'm not going to be around this weekend. Why you ask?

Well, I'm taking 29 of my favorite students (and 6 adults dancers!) to our big competition of the season! I LOVE DANCE in Pittsburgh. I'm so excited I can't stand it! We started preparing in July for this year's competition season and it has really paid off. My kids look great! They aren't perfect, but they are perfectly right where they need to be. 99% of them have logged hours and hours of hard work, long days and nights in the studio, putting up with me and my two assistants constantly stopping and correcting them.

Hard work pays off. They look great!

I'm sure I will be tweeting updates through out the day on Sunday. (@567k8) The entire competition takes place on Sunday. Usually it's at least 2 days, sometimes even three. This time though it's all on one day. Convenient, but hectic! I have to be in the ballroom at 6:45 am and final awards start at 9:15 pm. I have 28 dances performing. Solos, duets, groups, every size imaginable! Even my adult tap class is competing this year. :)

All this is to say...things will be quiet around 567Kate this weekend and Monday. I'm praying everyone on my team stays healthy and well, energetic and excited. It's a big deal to these kids and they deserve a great weekend!

Hope this weekend brings you all sun, warm weather and relaxation. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trace says HEY LADIES.

So my pal Neely requested more pics of Trace...so here you go! :)

A quick stats update! At his 6 month well baby, he was 18 pounds! I don't remember his height...yikes! He was in the 75 percentile, though. His head circumference was in the 89% though! He's a baby big head. ;) Trace sleeps at least 11 hours a night, usually 12. (BABYWISE.) He eats 4-5 times a day, usually 7 oz at a time. Two or three times a day he gets baby cereal and baby food. Trace LOVES to laugh at his sister, play with his toys and sit in his jumparoo. Trace sits by himself quite well now, rolls all over the house and is up on all fours frequently, trying to crawl. He has said MAMA and DADA a few times but not consistently yet. He also has been waving the last couple days and it is adorable. He is all smiles for all the dance moms, such a flirt already. Recently, Trace has sprouted a crop of white blonde hair! His eyes are grey-blue and starting to turn hazel/green like his dad and sister. He is so gentle and snuggley, the opposite of his loud, energetic sister. God gave me two totally different children. Trace is my light, Rory is my star. :)

Sitting up, being cute.

At the studio, looking fly.

Chilling in his sister's old swing...manly. ;)

Trace and Ro on Easter. This one cracks me up!

Look at this boy! He's my favorite son, for sure. <3

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Labor and Delivery Tips: Scheduled C-Section

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

I'm linking up with the awesome new mom, Megan, for Tips of Labor and Delivery! I'm coming from a little different place than most other moms. Allow me to explain...

I have two kids. Rory is two and Trace is almost 7 months. (YIKES.) Rory was born May 6, 2009 after 18 hours of labor and an "emergency" c-section. Emergency because my labor was too powerful for too long without making any progress. She was fine, but my blood pressure was starting to get goofy so the decision was made to have a c-section. At the time of my section, I had had "level 10!" contractions for 18 hours and was only 6 cms dilated and about 60% effaced. My body lacks the ability to produce enough natural hormones to complete the labor process. It's merely a chemical problem.

When I found out I was pregnant with Trace, the decision to schedule a C-section was made. He was born right on schedule on Oct 25, 2010. Good thing too, both my babies were almost 10 pounds! :)

My tips are for a scheduled C-section.

First, and foremost, a c-section is NOT a sign of weakness or that you did anything wrong. It is merely another way to get a baby delivered. A lot of times you will see people on the internet/read articles/etc encouraging moms to push through any obstacles to have a natural birth. This is fine, if you are comfortable with it. YOU must make decisions based on YOUR BODY and YOUR situation. Not your husband's opinions. Not your mom's. Not your in-laws. Your OWN. Research, pray, do whatever you need to do and be comfortable with what you decide.

Off my soap box now. Oops. ;)

Preparing for a scheduled C-section is fantastic. You know the time to arrive, the date, the approximate time your baby will be born. We were able to plan Dave's vacation days, my substitutes at dance, family members were present. It was nice having a plan. I need a plan to help settle my mind.

Things to bring to a C-section...

LOTS OF PADS and huge underwear. The cheapest, biggest pack you can find. You figure it out.
Comfortable clothes
Socks and sneakers. You MUST get up and walk.
Good smelling body wash.
Your own pajamas for the next day.
A heating pad.
Your iPod!
Books, magazines, Kindle, etc.

Steps to a C-section. (Please note, this is just the way things were done at my hospital and by my doctor! I'm merely listing this as points of reference, not medical advice or procedure.)
Pre-day of surgery: BE CAREFUL TO FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS. Eating and drinking must stop when you are told.
1. Arrive and check in! Go up to your room, get comfy.
2. A nurse will come in start all the prep work. IV lines, monitors, etc. At some point, you will be given a urinary catheter. OUCH. Holy ouch. This is the worst part of the c-section, for real. If you can wait until after your spinal tap/epidural to get this, you are LUCKY! You won't feel a thing. If you get it before, breathe through it and count to fifty. It doesn't take very long but it does hurt. Once it's in though, it doesn't hurt at all.
3. You will be given a "shot" to settle the acid in your stomach. It tastes totally nasty but it's small and not that bad.
4. You will have to sign about a million papers. Read them but remember, most of those papers are legalities. They must inform you of all the risks. Do not be scared by this! You will be fine.
5. You will receive your spinal tap/epidural. At my hospital, this is done in the operating room. My first c-section, neither took and I was put under for Rory's delivery. For Trace, my spinal worked immediately. Do not worry about having to be put under, it's not scary and it happens rarely.

An epidural/spinal tap really isn't painful. It's the anticipation that makes people nervous. Lean on your doctor or nurse as far as you can and really curl your spine. Stick those vertebrae OUT for the anesth. to see! Relax and take 10 deep breaths. It will be over before than, promise.

6. Sometimes your stomach will get upset from the spinal. Mine did both times and I threw up on the operating table with Trace. This happens sometimes and is no big deal. Turn your head to the side and get it over with. Your nurse will clean you up, no worries.
7. My hospital gives you an oxygen mask as a precaution. Lots do. Nothing is wrong, it's just precautionary!
8. When they actually start the surgery, you'll barely feel anything. I am not lying to you, it's less painful than baby kicks! I told Dave it just felt like when the dog walks on my stomach when I'm sleeping. No biggie at all. I was laughing and joking with the doctor during it.
9. Then. The greatest moment in the world. Your baby will cry and you will feel that all is right with the world. And it is. :)
10. They will start stapling/stitching/gluing you back together at this point. Again, you won't feel much. Certainly nothing painful! I had internal stitches and staples the first time and internal stitches and glue the second time. The glue is WAY BETTER.
11. You'll be wheeled back to your room at some point. I had to lay flat on my back for 6 hours. Trace was in the incubator for 12 hours. This is a precaution my hospital takes for all c-section babies, just to be sure. Ask about this, be aware it might happen.
12. Rest. Relax. EAT SOMETHING! :) Drink lots of water.
13. The next day, you need to get moving. It will hurt so bad to sit up straight and move around but you MUST. Listen to me. Stand up straight. Start stretching those muscles back out. The sooner you stand and get the blood flowing back to that area, the better you will feel. A belly binder helps a lot, strap that sucker on tight.
14. Most importantly, let yourself feel what you feel. Don't hold emotions in. It's perfectly okay to be scared, nervous, anxious, happy, sad and everything in between. Give yourself a break. Feel what you feel and talk about it with someone. Hold that little snuggly newborn close and realize how amazing you are! Moms rock.

I'm kind of an expert on C-sections. I had 2 in 17 months. Got a question? Let me know! I'm an open book of c-section knowledge. Ask and I will answer! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bullet Points

1) I picked up some Brew Over Ice K-cups this weekend. DELICIOUS! Anyone tried any of the iced tea flavors? I want to get those next, I think.

2) I've been re-reading Something Borrowed on my Kindle this week. I forgot how much I love that book. Now I need to see the movie...I just need some free time. Sigh. More likely I'll end up buying it instead of making it to the theater.

3) I got my dress for the end of the dance recital this weekend! It's lovely, short and sparkly. I'm proud to announce it's a full size DOWN from when I last tried on dresses. Granted, it's not my "ideal" size by any stretch, but it's a step in the right direction. I got really excited buying it (especially since it was 50% off! Love post prom sales!) thinking of how cute I'll be next year at this time. Baby steps!

4) I am out of ideas for dinner. Completely out of things to cook. Any suggestions for ground beef?

5) Trace is BLONDE. What a weirdo. ;)

6) I'm loving playing around on Pintrest. It's my favorite time waster at the moment. Want to join in? I'll send you an invite!

Okay, I need to get back to work. So many things to straighten out before competition this weekend. YIKES.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Boob Tube Babble

Welp. I wrote this long, picture heavy post yesterday to link up with Meags and Neely today for Boob Tube Babble.

And then Blogger ate itself or something and it's gone. GONEEEE. :( I'm sad, mostly because I don't remember what I wrote!

I will try again, though!

Boob Tube Babble

Can I talk for a minute about Law and Order: SVU this week?! WHAT! THE! HECK! It was so intense, so sad, so heart wrenching. Whomever played Hunter (the boy) was a genius. He really hit that transformation from messed up teenager to pyschopath to hurt little boy perfectly. I was impressed at the quality of his acting! WOW. And of course Rita Wilson was great, she's just awesome.

Did anyone watch RHONY last night?! Bahahaha omg. I can't help it, I love these crazy ladies. I think my favorite part was when Sonja was lamenting having a "tough financial time" since her divorce in one breath than literally two seconds later says she spent 200 bucks on a Halloween costume. Here's a suggestion, Sonja. If you're finances are really that dire, don't throw a party.

And the drams between Ramona and Jill?! LOVE IT. All the fights make me feel good about my life. It makes my life seem calm and collected. I need that. :) Such champagne problems!

The Voice knocked it out of the park AGAIN this week.

Although. And don't hate me for saying this...

I think it's stupid that Frenchie Davis made it through to the live shows. I'm sorry. She was a headliner on BROADWAY. Yes, lots of the contestants have indie cds out, have played tons of concerts, been back up singers, etc. That's totally different than being the headlining actress in a major Broadway musical. She was in RENT for goodness sake. Frenchie had a billboard in Times Square proclaiming HER as the STAR of Rent. That's called being a professional and that's just not fair. She brings a huge fan base with her, much bigger than any of the others could dream of having at this point in their careers.

Well?? What did you watch this week? Link up!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mama Kate's Must Have and Have-nots

Rory is two. Trace is 6 months (almost 7.) To say I'm up on all things baby...is an understatement. :) My perfume for the last two years have been a wide array of formula scents, I spend more on formula and diapers each month than on my car payment (for an SUV!) and in the last 6 months, the longest I've gone without visiting a pediatrician is three weeks.

I am a mother, hear me roar. :)

Lots of my blog friends are pregnant/trying to conceive/new moms (Hey Meg!) and I thought, in light of my recent 24 month crash course in motherhood, I'd highlight some of my baby must have and have nots.

1. Feeding
Rule number one. Of utmost importance. Wal-Mart, Target, Sam's Club brand formulas have the same nutritional values as the brands they list on the can. The same as diapers, it is simply a guessing game until you find the formula your baby tolerates best. Rory did the greatest on Wal-Mart's Parent's Choice Milk Based. Trace on the other hand, has to have weird bottles. Two scoops of Enfamil Nutramigen, two scoops of Parent's Choice Soy. Every baby is different! Try store brands, save money where you can.

Along those same lines...I HIGHLY recommend Playtex Drop In Systems. Drops ins come in a box of 80 for 8 dollars. It makes your life infinitely easier. Buy some bottles, lots of nipples and you're good to go. A quick rinse of the bottle and ring is all you need. Toss all the nipples in the dishwasher and sanitize those suckers. EASY. EASY. EASY.

While we're talking feeding...invest in the following:

Powdered Formula Dispenser. This little puppy costs about 6 bucks AND gives you enough storage for three bottles worth of formula. Hello, genius.

This is the dishwasher basket I was talking about! Nipples up top, rings in the bottom. Easy peasy. Keeps everything right side up and allows for a thorough clean.

2. Sleeping

Get a good monitor. If a video one makes you feel most comfortable, go for it. I didn't need that, my house is as big as a minute, so I can sneak in any time I want. Monitors are for your comfort, mostly. Babies makes noise when they sleep. Get used to it early! Don't go running at every little noise. You're setting yourself up for issues.

Invest in LOTS of crib sheets. That way you aren't doing laundry every day because someone spit up all over or had a diaper explosion. Trust, there's enough new laundry coming your way.

Get one of these. I INSIST.

Fisher-Price Newborn Rocker/Cradle. It's genius. It's at a great reclined position, which naturally helps babies sleep plus aids digestion. It's a perfect height to rock with one hand while you attempt to cook dinner/blog/pay bills with the other. If it wasn't 50 bucks, I'd get one for EVERY mom I know who was a baby on the way.

3. Playtime

A jumperoo is a MUST! This is Trace's...

He plays for long stretches in it. Long enough for me to get dinner in the oven even sometimes! It's also good for his mobility, independent play skills and hand eye coordination. Ideal.

A good playmat is a fantastic investment. Lots of lights, sounds, colors, toys, things to grab. It helps a baby want to have tummy time, which is so important for muscle development and neck strength. I didn't invest in a nice one with Rory, but I did with Trace. I'm SO glad I did! He loves it and he is starting to crawl already, much earlier than Rory.


Another thing I didn't buy with Rory that I wish now I would have. Trace loves this little seat and it is so handy. His is a very manly purple too. ;) I use it all the time, he sits with me all over the house and he sits in it to be fed right now. (Yep, still can't get to the high chair.) This chair helps him through a lot of his tough acid reflux days because it doesn't scrunch his abdomen and it helps him sit upright comfortably. He plays, watches his baby dvds, chews on his books...whatever!


A Diaper Genie! GENIUS.

The Book "On Becoming Babywise." Read it. Mostly the chapters on organizing a baby's sleep schedule. We used the eat-play-sleep method on both Rory and Trace. Rory was sleeping 12 hours a night by 8 weeks old and Trace was by 11. (He took a little longer because of his belly) They still sleep 12 hours a night and nap 2 hours a day. It was a lifesaver and gave me a plan of action in my sleep deprived haze of new motherhood.

A diaper stockpile. For obvious reasons. (From experience...yikes.)

A good, sturdy, washable diaper bag.

Baby laundry detergent/All Free and Clear. Sensitive skin abounds in newborns! Keep that perfume and dye away!

A good baby tub so you are comfortable holding a slippery little newborn.

Sleeping gowns, not jammies that snap or zip. Use the gowns until they are sleeping through the night. Trust me on this one, I've been known to not zip or miss about half the snaps in the middle of the night! :)

A swing. Neither of my kids really cared for our swing plus it takes up tons of room in our hose. I suggest borrowing one for your baby to see if he/she likes it before investing in one. Some babies LOVE them, Ro and T both hated them. Plus they are BIG babies and their chunky booties keep the swing from swinging nicely. :)

(Scary) Crib Bumpers. I'm scared to death of crib bumpers. Sure, lots of crib bedding is adorable and really adds to the nursery but it scares the living daylights out of me. Babies roll when you least expect it. Lower that crib, sleep them on their back and for the love of pete, get those bumpers OUT! (Or at least get the breathable ones...but still.)

Newborn Clothing. Ask your doctor before you buy clothes if he thinks your baby will be under 7 pounds. If the baby is projected at more than that, go right to 0-3 month clothes! Newborn clothes are SO SMALL. 0-3 month clothes will last you much longer. Also remember, lots of people will buy you presents and clothes, so focus your efforts buying clothes into building a long term wardrobe.

Newborn diapers. See above! :)

Honestly, motherhood will change you for the better! You will think you are prepared, but you won't be. You will survive. You will find your own path and you will be great at it! That first smile, laugh and first time you hear the sweetest sound in the world: Mama...there's nothing that can prepare you for how your heart will explode with love. And just wait until you hear the first I Love You, Mommy. That's heaven, baby. Heaven.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thanks, Mom.

My mom is amazing. She's absolutely beautiful, with clear blue eyes and a graceful way about her. She's talented, artistically, musically and in the kitchen. She is beyond caring, a true example of a woman after God's own heart. Everyone who meets her is changed for the better. She's an angel, for real.

Not to say we didn't butt heads, of course we did. I fought with her over stupid things, meaningless things, ridiculous things. But I never once doubted that we would get over the fight and move on. Our good days have far outweighed the bad.

My mom stood by me through a terrible relationship in high school. She never told me what to do, but gently guided me towards good decisions. She allowed me to have freedom, yet still kept a tight reign on me. She accepted that I am terrible at math and celebrated my accomplishments in other areas instead. She insisted on my best work at all times but never made me feel bad when I didn't achieve "perfection."

My mom has walked with me, by my side not as my leader, through so much in the last ten years. Awful boyfriends, opening a business, falling in love, getting engaged and married, two difficult pregnancies, first time mom insecurities, a second baby with a host of digestive issues, post partum depression and so many other things. Never once has she "instructed me" to do what SHE wants, but she is always willing to give advice, offer support and help me figure out what's best for me, whether it's what she wants or not.

My mom rocks.

Today is Mother's Day, of course. I know lots of people take this day as a day for mom's to have a "day off." Good for you! I did sleep in this morning, skipping out on the breakfast shift for the kids. But I don't want to spend the day doing my own thing. I want to be with the people whom made me a mom! I want to soak up a day with Rory, Trace and Dave where I set the agenda and we can just be a family. Life is flying by, I swear I blink and another month passes. I need each moment with my family because before long, I'll be reading Rory's blog about me.

And I'm just not ready for that.

Soak it in, friends. Soak in your mom, your kids, your boyfriend, your dog. Take a minute, take a deep breath and remember that this is a special moment in time that you will never get back.

And if it's your first Mother's Day, you are on an amazing journey. You will be challenged, stretched, educated, stressed, scared and amazed every day. But one day, a few months from now, it will all click in to place and you'll realize.

Baby, you were born to do this.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to Rory!

Today is an amazing day. Rory Beth-Ann turns TWO!


Wow. I am a little emotional about that. In a good way!

To celebrate the birth of my one and only daughter, I will share some pictures, highlights and memories of the last 720 days.

Rory was born at 6:50 pm on Wednesday, May 6, 2010. She was born via C-section after 18 hours of intense labor. My contractions started at midnight (on the dot!) and progressed to every 3 minutes apart within a half an hour. Unfortunately, they did nothing and I never dilated past 6 cm. FUN, huh!? :)

Minutes old! 9 lbs, 10 oz, 20.5 inches long.

Sweet Baby Girl!

First family picture. :)

3 months old!

At her Baptism.

First hair cut! 6 months old...goodbye mullet!

First Christmas. She already thinks I'm nuts. :)

Trip to the zoo for "Big Sister Day." This was the day before Trace was born.

The last two years have been filled with ups, downs and in betweens. I have learned so much about myself and about the things that are really important in life. I am a better person because of Rory. (And Trace!) Having a child changes your life in every way imaginable and you become the best version of yourself. I am so blessed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Breaking the Ice

Perfectly imperfect Jenn

I'm linking up with Jenn over at Perfectly Imperfect for this week's Breaking the Ice. Join in!

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Most definitely yellow. A bright, sunshiney yellow!

Would you ever bungee jump?

Actually, I think I would. I am moderately afraid of heights, but for some reason...I really think I'd like bungee jumping! Although, I reserve the right to wimp out once I am actually standing on a bridge. ;)

What is your least favorite thing about yourself?

Ugh. My post baby body. But I am working really hard at it and it's getting better.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My calves! I've worked for 22 years at ballet to get these bad boys. This is why I love to wear capris. I'm confident in my calves.

What is your favorite app?

TODDLER LOCK. It's a lifesaver. It's a black screen that Rory can touch and "color" on. Shapes, lines, colors, sounds the whole works. It can only be unlocked by sliding open the keyboard and hitting q p space, in that order. (Or hitting all four corners sequentially in a certain amount of time.) She could "play" on my phone all day and NEVER CAUSE DAMAGE! Added bonus? It's free!

What's the nastiest thing you've ever eaten?

Oh goodness, I have no idea. My dad loves to make us try gross stuff. Rattlesnake? Prarie Dog?

What is one thing that I would not know about you at our first meeting?


Oh I know! I'm a business owner and have been since I was 20 years old. Hard work, but not impossible. Exhilarating and scary!

What is your all-time favorite movie?

I never answer this question well. I have three that tie, so I usually alternate each time I answer. :)

Those top 3 are: The Devil Wears Prada, Julie and Julia and You've Got Mail. <3

If you could go anywhere for one week (all expenses paid), where would you go?

If I was taking Rory and Trace with me, it'd be Alunai in Hawaii. (Disney's new resort). If it was just Dave and me, then I'd pick Fiji!

What is your favorite midnight snack?

At night I (try really hard to) only eat fruit or celery and carrots. But if I am starving marvin at night, I love cereal or apple pie. Delicious. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Dave is an amazing Dad. He accomplished something last night with Ro that we have been putzing around with for months.

We started trying to get her in her big girl bed before Trace was born. I knew he would be a c-section and I was nervous about trying to lift up all 23 pounds of Rory from the bottom of crib with a big old incision.

We failed in October.

We failed again at Christmas time.

We failed a THIRD time in February.

But DAVE succeeded last night!

I got a call around 6 last night at dance from Rory and Dave. Rory, in her two year old jumble speak, told me she "gave cribby to Trace" and was going to "sleep in big girl bed." She and Dave had taken apart her crib and put it in Trace's room for him. (His crib is now trashed. It was on it's last legs, after 2 years of constant use.) Dave let Rory help him tighten all the screws on her bed, assemble Trace's "new" crib, make her bed, pick out her blankets, tuck in Warehouse Mouse and Hoppy Bunny, the whole deal.

When I got home, she was peacefully sleeping in her bed, no tears were shed AT ALL. She didn't wake up one time in the night and when I went to get her at 7:30 this morning, she was sitting on her bed, talking to her stuffed animals and waiting for me. I was SHOCKED and so impressed with Dave and with Rory. She's two on Friday and no more crib?! LOVE IT.

Dave, you are a great dad! Care to take over potty training? :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rearing it's ugly head.

I should be on a total endorphin high right now. Today I took 5 of my dancers to a small competition, just 5 solos and one duet for my girls. In comparison, our large competition is for my full team: 29 dancers, 13 solos, 6 duets, 4 groups, 1 production, 1 teacher feature, 1 adult dance with 7 ladies in it. Quite stressful. Today was easy and my kids did GREAT. Fantastic, actually. I am extremely pleased with their scores and their critiques were in line with what I was seeing as mistakes. Excellent day.


Here I sit, upset and with a headache. I was on stupid Facebook and saw that one of my dancers was hanging out this weekend with two other girls who can't stand me. I used to teach these two girls and I have nothing against them, but the rumor mills tell me they have nothing nice to say about me.

This shouldn't bother me. I am an adult, these girls are still in high school and one is just out. Their opinion of me SHOULD NOT MATTER.

But it does.

Because I am still fighting post partum depression.

Dave and I had an interesting conversation on our way to the competition this weekend. We discussed for a long time how people aren't really honest about how difficult life with a newborn-baby-toddler is. People gloss over the hard things and focus on how cute the baby is, how nice the snuggles are, how sweet they smell.

These things are WONDERFUL and yes, they do outweigh the hard stuff. Normally. Unless you have a baby like Trace who can't stop crying for four months.

Did you read that?

FOUR MONTHS. He cried, no lie, 10 hours a day at the end. As his mother, I felt like the hugest failure. I couldn't help my son. Dirty diaper? Change it. Hungry? Feed him. Fever? Give him Tylenol. Cold? Grab a sweater. But colic and acid reflux? Unfixable by mom.

You know what else people aren't honest about?

Post. Partum. Depression.

It's real.

It hurts. A physical ache at times. Achey joints, headaches, sore legs.

It's dark.

It's racing thoughts, uncontrollable worrying, sleepless nights and loss of appetite. (Well, in my case, I am starving all the time.)

It's a lack of desire to do things you normally really enjoy. The inability to rally enough energy to get up and out of bed until the last possible second.

(These, friends, are just my symptoms. Some people have it so much worse.)

Today is a dark day for me. I'm back in the fog of PPD. I am choosing to do something about it though, I'm heading to the doctor tomorrow and I will get it straightened out. I refuse to let PPD mandate my life and my schedule. Rory and Trace deserve me at my best, not at my weakest.

And that is the truth.