10 Minutes

I decided in the craziness of this packing marathon I would give myself 10 minutes to blog. A post typically takes me an hour to write and edit and edit and edit so this might be less than perfect. Here are some thoughts I’ve had today.

– I can’t decide what is important. I want to do it all, I want to have the most perfect organized move. I’m realizing this isn’t possible. I’m going to have to do another purge when we unpack and I’m coming to terms with it.

– I don’t need help with the move, I need Stephanie to come and tell me what to do. My mind is full of too much stuff and I’m paralyzed by the amount of decisions I need to make.

– I was so proud of Andrew for packing up his closet so we could show the house. And then we moved our bed to paint our wall and I was less than proud of him. He didn’t pack it, he hid it under the bed. Who hides things under their bed when they are moving…Andrew, that’s who. Yesterday I was mad, today I find it funny.

– Does anyone else find it odd that they are growing weed in this children’s book?

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*yes I know they aren’t actually growing weed, it just struck me as funny!

9 Month Letter

To My Chatterbox Ellery Wynn,

You take after me in that you started talking and haven’t stopped. Whenever I’m on the phone you make it your mission to talk louder than me. You definitely want to be heard, I hope this is a quality you continue to possess. You know what you want and let us know, we take away a toy, you scream, we finish our meal, you scream, I leave the room, you scream. You get the idea, this month has been a month of tears and tantrums. I often look at your dad and say,”what are we going to do?” On the flip side you are as sweet as can be, I often say you look like an animated doll. You discovered your hands can wave, so you wave at yourself everyday, we are working on channeling that talent into waving at people. Your favorite thing to do is look at pictures on our phones or camera, you smile ear to ear every time. You love pat-a-cake, and especially love the roll it part, you are working on doing it yourself and it is super sweet. We appreciate how well you play independently, especially as we pack the house. Crawling is close, you are starting to reach and rock, trying to get up on your knees. As much as I will not enjoy your mobility, I have a feeling you will absolutely love it. Dad and I were taking a walk the other day and he said it was the first time in his life that he wasn’t wishing it away and looking toward the next phase, that he likes you just the way you are and has enjoyed each age, I couldn’t agree more.

Love you forever,
Mama

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P.S. It is nearly impossible to get a decent picture when a huge sticker on your belly is involved!

My Raw Birth Story

So when Ellery was born I wrote our birth story. I read it probably once a month and it is very accurate. I still feel mostly that way about how it happened, but recently I have felt the need to write down the real raw story of how our Ellery came into the world. I’m writing this for me and I’m writing it for her and I’m writing it to never forget, but please don’t feel obligated to read it. Although you are more than welcome to.

My labor was done to me, it didn’t happen. I can no longer watch torture scenes in movies or television shows because it reminds me of my birth experience. The nurses came in every 30 minutes on the dot to increase the pitocin and near the end I would beg them to give me just 5 more minutes. They always said no, “I had to keep on track” and within a minute or two my contractions would get more severe, it especially stunk that the pitocin did just about nothing for my dilation so it was completely pointless.

I will likely never again get an epidural. Not because it wasn’t the most magical drug ever because it.was.magical. But because if by chance I have to have another c-section after laboring all day long I want a spinal, getting a c-section with an epidural was absolutely terrible. Here are the gory details of this hour in our life.

The doctor came in and told me it was time for a c-section, it was around 2 o’clock the morning of Ellery’s birthday. I signed some paperwork, she went over the risks and we were off. They wheeled me into the c-section room down the hall and assured me they would get Andrew before we began. I was glad I had previously had surgeries because I don’t remember feeling scared. Once I was in there a team of people hoisted my dead weight body from one bed to the other. I remember feeling extremely awkward and very heavy. I thought I was mentally prepared for a c-section, I had seen them on television, but somehow missed two details. The first was they strap your arms down at the wrists like you are on a cross. The second was how close the curtain is to your face. Like suffocatingly close. I vaguely remember asking if they had to strap my arms like that and he said yes in case I needed an IV or something. Looking back I would have preferred to have no curtain at all, I would have really liked to have seen my doctor, but maybe the blood would have freaked me out, I don’t know. There were 15 people in the room, some dressed in plain old street clothes, not sure how that was sterile. I knew there were a lot, Andrew told me later 15.

They started cutting me open, as they are cutting the anesthesiologist starts asking who is going to “get the dad” someone says I’ll go in a minute and he said, someone needs to get him NOW! I remember starting to panic at this point. I knew I was cut open and facing the door so Andrew would see my cut open bleeding belly when he came through the door. My husband passes out nearly every time he gives blood so I completely expected him to hit the floor when he walked in, luckily he did not, he did however see my cut open belly, yikes! How did I know that I was being cut open? I felt it, not pressure like people talk about, but pain and felt every bit of the cutting on my right side. I had a friend that communicated her pain to the doctor and they knocked her out so I decided to very calmly let them know I was in pain. Every minute I would calmly say, “I have pain on my right side,” he would put more meds in my drip, and this continued for a bit until I gave up. I was so determined to see her that I didn’t really care if I could feel the pain of her cutting me open. I was secretly panicking, but didn’t want to say anything for fear of not seeing Ellery in her first moments. Andrew was nowhere near me (or that’s how it felt) and he was too tired to talk to me. Luckily the anesthesiologist sat right next to me and did his best to distract me and keep me calm.

Here she comes…I again expected pressure, um not so much. I screamed the whole time they were pulling her out and the doctor kept saying breath like it’s a contraction. They were pulling, I was screaming, and finally she was out. My OBGYN came around the curtain holding my sweet girl, in a childish voice she said,”here’s your baby” and then she was whisked away. After they did her tests and weighed her Andrew held her and I caught my first glimpse of her, I remember saying,”oh my goodness, she’s so precious.” And then they essentially put me to sleep. The doctor pumped me so full of Benadryl that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I think he did this because he knew I was in pain, but maybe this is standard. Then I woke up on and off and would say,”I have to nurse my baby.” It amazes me that motherly instinct is that strong. I probably couldn’t have told you my name at that point, but I knew my baby needed to eat. After I did this several times my OBGYN leaned over the curtain, looked me in my eyes and said,”Laura you can’t nurse your baby right now, your job is to sleep. Your baby needs to breathe better before she can eat, you will nurse her as soon as she can.” It didn’t register with me that something was wrong with Elle, she was having breathing problems, a c-section complication, so I was pretty mad that I couldn’t feed her because our agreement was within the 1st hour I got to nurse.

It was time to go back to the room, hospital policy says only staff can carry babies in the hallways, so Andrew couldn’t carry her. My doctor asked if I wanted to hold her back to the room since I was being wheeled and I sadly told her I couldn’t because my arms weren’t working. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep in the 30 feet from the operating room to my room, I would have likely dropped her. Then they started working on Elle to clear her lungs, they did a chest x-ray and had her on oxygen, I would wake up periodically and ask Andrew to show me a picture of her because she was too far away to see. Then I came up with a plan. I told Andrew to go get some ice and shove as much in my mouth as possible. I wanted to nurse her so bad and I wanted to be alert enough to hold her. This didn’t really work like I had hoped and I continued to be extremely out of it. I remember at 4:30 the medical staff had cleared out and Ellery was left alone with us in her warming bed hooked up to stuff and had oxygen in her nose. My OBGYN came in and I asked if my family who was STILL in the waiting room could come see her. She said yes if I was sure I wanted people to come in, I said “of course” considering they had been there since noon the previous day and were waiting to see our sweetie. I vaguely remember them coming in, no one could hold Ellery because of all her tubes, so they saw her and told me they’d be back after they got a little sleep. I soon held Ellery for a few minutes with the assistance of our nurse, but after a few minutes my arms stopped working again and I had to put her back in her warm bed. Then I fell asleep holding her sweet little foot and every time she cried I would wake up, say “mommy’s here” and she would immediately settle down.

Looking back I feel like I was robbed. At the time I felt rescued. Time gives clarity, I’ve processed this for nearly nine months, and now it’s time to heal. I still love and respect my doctor, I still have no regrets about the day of the actual birth (we really did do everything we could), I don’t feel like a c-section hurt my bond with my child in anyway what so ever, and even though it wasn’t in my time frame I still got to nurse and she never had formula. I still got a beautiful, healthy, awesome kid out of the whole ordeal and I’d do it all over again for her without a second thought. Now I’m on a quest for an awesome OBGYN in our new town who will help me VBAC with our future babies or baby…one at a time.

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If God Exists

This is a question we will no doubt hear over the coming weeks and have heard over the years, “if God exists, why do bad things happen to good people?” The simplest answer I can give for this is, “because evil exists too.” I don’t really believe in coincidence. I’m sure there are a few things in life that are coincidence, I’ve had examples in the past that I think might be coincidence, but I can’t think of one right this minute. Rather I think God and Satan are both at work in our lives and the good is from God and the bad is from Satan. God is good, all the time, and satan is bad, all the time. They are at war and sometimes satan wins a battle here and there, but I promise you this, God wins the war.

I’m sickened and saddened by this tragic event. As some of you know my brothers have participated in many races and we have had the privilege of spectating at marathons and an ironman competition. Just a few years ago we attended the Boston marathon to share the accomplishment with my brother Kevin. It is a joyous occasion, the entire city shuts down for this fun day where everyone comes together and cheers on the runners. I can only imagine the sheer panic, fear and chaos of the days events. While evil created this event God was in attendance. The stories of good have started coming out. God was in the hearts of the people that sacrificed their safety to help others. I watched 100s of people stick around to help, pushing wheel chairs and seeing what they could do. I saw on twitter that runners ran to the hospital after they had finished to donate blood. I’ve seen a quote going around the Internet from Mr.Rogers, “when I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

God is in the helpers. I urge you to strip the glory from evil and not dwell on the tragedy, rather praise God for the good that has been happening, pray for the victims and families, and pray for our country and the decisions the government has to make in the coming weeks. I’ve seen a lot of people post that they are “praying for Boston,” let’s really do this, not just say we are doing it.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Inspired to Get Dressed

My friend Lydia posted on Facebook weeks ago about getting inspired to get dressed everyday in something kinda cute. I will admit it’s hard with kids, just this morning I got sneezed on with a mouth full of oatmeal and I was glad I wasn’t wearing a beautiful silk top. I have been tossing this idea around in my head for weeks and here are some thoughts. She was thinking doing themed days, I like this idea. Her thought was something like one day would be black and white day, etc, so here are my thoughts to expand on her idea.

Pre-kid day: I typically do this on Sunday or Saturday date night. I wear something that I wouldn’t wear with a kid, but would have worn pre-kid. It might be a silk shirt, high heels, a shorter skirt, but something that makes me feel less mom. I do this on the weekends when Andrew is around, usually I just wear it out for a few hours or to church, Andrew carries her mostly on the weekends so for me this is practical.

Pop of Color day: I’m thinking you could do all one color like white jeans and a white top with a fun shoe or statement necklace. Or a neutral outfit with a pop of color. This girl did this just right.

Whatever Wednesday: is it just me or do you feel like Wednesdays are a crazy long day of the week. For some reason the middle of the week is always a rough day so I’m thinking cute comfy. Like a maxi dress or skirt and a cute top knot hair do. Or maybe boyfriend jeans and a slouchy sweatshirt like this from Kendi.

Inspired day: I have never done this before, but this lady makes it look like so much fun. I don’t know about you, but when I had a baby I lost my clothing budget so this one is exciting to me because it’s all about using what you have.

I’m sure there are tons more ideas out there, feel free to leave some thoughts in the comments. My goal from day one with Ellery was to be showered and dressed by 4 PM so Andrew didn’t come home to a disheveled wife. I can’t say I’ve been 100% successful, but I will say that when you get dressed you feel so much better about yourself and I have noticed I look a lot thinner dressed than I do in my jammies.

Smile for Nana

Today I took Ellery for a walk and she looked so much like Andrew I just had to take a picture for Andrew’s mom. I said smile for Nana and this is what I got, these were the first, second, and third shots. These might be my favorite pictures to date! Sorry for the Ellery posts lately, she’s the bright spot in my day these days and you probably don’t want to hear about my stress, packing or missing my husband who is out of town again after only 24 hours at home this weekend. So instead of all the bad, here is my smiley girl!

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Super E

This weekend was our nephew Hudson’s 4th birthday party. He chose a super hero theme so I decided to whip up a little cape for my sweet girl so she would fit in with all the other kiddos. The party was adorable and they set up a little super hero photo op that Ellery was more than happy to participate in unlike all the other kids who refused to play along. I think it turned out pretty cute and I look forward to seeing the photos taken with an actual camera.

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Let’s Be Honest

You don’t wear everything in your closet. Even I don’t wear everything in my closet and I’m a freak about purging every season. I had to get really honest with myself as I packed up my closet last week. Everything I wear on a consistent rotation will fit into a suitcase, no joke. Part of this is because I have a nursing body so some of my tops just don’t fit right now, partly it’s the season, and partly it’s because while I’m under where I was weight wise when I got pregnant my hips and belly don’t lie, I had a baby. Shoes, do you have trouble getting rid of shoes? I do, I am not a big shoe person, but once I find a pair I like I have a terrible time getting rid of them, I know some of mine are not really in style anymore, but they are in good shape so they get to sit in my closet, it’s time to part ways. I kept about 7 t-shirts and 4 pairs of workout pants in there and packed the rest away months ago, I haven’t missed them one single time. Moving puts a lot in perspective. I have a garage full of boxes and I have only missed two items in the last month or two, why oh why do we hold on to so much? It’s time people, get honest with yourself, clear out those closets, cupboards and garage. Have a garage sale, list on e-bay or Craigslist, or just donate it!! It is probably complicating your life much more than you realize! How is your minimization going? If you are just joining me, check out the other ways we’ve been minimizing our year HERE! And this is my closet right now and surprisingly I’m kind of enjoying it!

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Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was much more laid back than expected. We go to church on Saturdays right now because Sunday mornings are hard with Ellery’s nap schedule. Saturday we had church at 4:00, then friends over for dinner and a sleepover with oatmeal cookie pancakes for breakfast Sunday morning. Followed by Ellery’s best bed head nap to date. Then we did a late lunch at my brothers with 30+ people and ended the day laying on the couch trying to get over these crazy allergies that have hit us both. This was the first holiday with Ellery that was fun for her. She got into her Easter basket way more than I expected and I must admit I enjoyed dressing her up this weekend. I hope you all had a great weekend with family and friends celebrating the greatest day in history!

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And as a reward for looking through all these pictures of my kid, I will tell you we also found out that Ellery will be getting a new bestie in September when my bestie Steph has a baby GIRL!!!