April 28, 2012

My Little Britches scores this sale!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE the Little Britches Consignment sale??? (For more info on this sale, visit their site that I linked up there or my post about the last sale).

I shopped Friday night with the volunteer presale and then again at the half price sale on Saturday afternoon. I had budgeted $100 plus the $10 Britches Bucks I had won a few weeks back (can we say EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!) In in the end, I spent just over $78, total (after my Britches bucks), so $22 under budget! Now, I do still have some things I need to finish out their spring/summer wardrobes, so I need to get some more shopping done elsewhere, but I definitely put a huge dent in it!

Oh, yeah. About that "them needing new wardrobes" thing. I am just getting into the benefits of my previous pre-buying the season before. So I thought, Awesome! I will be set and will just need to finish things off. However, those plans get a little wrench thrown in them when your son decides to have a ridiculous growth spurt that pushes him in the next size for shirts (and officially puts him back in that annoying phase where no pants are both the right length and fit the waist. Ugh), and when your daughter decides to fully take on her momma's booty and need to pretty much skip 2T and go right to 3T (a size her older brother still wears in most pants). But back to the fun part- shopping!

Here was my total haul minus a remote control car that Jameson wasn't willing to part with for a picture. $3 well spent!

Delaney's haul- including a like new Gymboree outfit, 3 sets of summer jammies, a nice little dress, some shirts, jeans, little outfits, and that adorable Cheerleader outfit (more on that further on)

Jameson's stuff- several new t-shirts in 4T, a little dress shirt, some dress pants, little striped shorts, a like new red polo, several "comfy shorts" as Jameson calls them, and some Thomas the Train books.

So, again, not as many items as I am really needing, but I really got some things that I love...

I got these 10 Thomas the Train books for just $5 total, or $.50 a book! We actually stashed these away so that we can pull them out the morning of Jameson surgery so he can have a distraction.

I got this Gymboree button up shirt for just $2 at the presale! I love these little shirts because you can roll up the sleeves in the spring and summer and then they work great in the spring/summer as well!

Finally, Delaney's new cheerleader outfit that I got for $5! I have wanted one of these for her since I found out I was having a girl when I was pregnant with her so I was so excited to get it, especially for such an amazing price!!

In the end, I had a great sale! I haven't gotten any numbers back for my consigned items, but I picked up a fraction of what I dropped off, so I am excited about that! I also volunteered with a group of really fun, hard-working people so it was really great! Now to just start the countdown to the fall/winter sale!! :)

Shopping trip this week!

I had a SUPER busy week! Between it being my last week at work, our garage sale, and the Little Britches consignment sale (more on that later), I was so happy to have enough food in the stockpile that I was able it through the week with only my milk stop and one other quick stop to Dillons over lunch one day.


Bananas: 6.38 pounds at sale price of $.33/lb= $2.11
Carefree liners: $1.00, had $.50/1 coupon, doubled to $1.00 (my last one- glad to have built up a nice stockpile of these now!)= FREE!!!
6-10 count allergy medicine= $1.00 each

Total with tax: $13.49

April 27, 2012

It's official!!!!

As of 3:27 this afternoon, I can officially call myself a stay at home mom!

As excited I am about this, it was SUCH a hard, but awesome day.

Early on in the day I was given my going away present from Karen, my boss. It was PERFECT, and super cute!!! My SAHM survival kit:

Included in this awesome kit were:

-An apron (duh!)
-A little jar of M&Ms labeled "Mommy's Happy Pills"
-Dum dums (for making kids happy!)
-An egg timer
-A SUPER CUTE Vera Bradley wristlet wallet
-A Pizza Hut gift card (to take Karen out to lunch with)
-A Dollar Tree gift card (to buy a balloon to Delaney so I can keep track of her- kind of an inside joke)
-Magic towels (to entertain my children)
-A little Mom wall hanging and Wits and Wisdom book
-Mom Rocks wine glass
-And my favorite part: The little Biohazard planner. In the planner she entered in days that I need to come visit throughout the year! Had me cracking up!

Throughout the day I had several of my coworkers come tell me how much they enjoyed working with me and that I would really be missed. It was so incredibly sweet! 

We had a super delicious lunch of Famous Daves, therefore the entire staff was in a meat coma the remainder of the afternoon. I also got a super sweet card from our manager (and Shaun's aunt) Carmen with some restaurant gift cards for when I need a night out.

Finally, I got a card that the entire staff signed for me. It is crazy how one card can hold so many emotions. I had messages from people thanking me for some certain thing I had done for them. I had people telling me how they would miss me. I had people (a lot, actually) comment on how they were happy I would no longer be there to give them errors (a big part of my job was informing the staff when they had done something incorrectly) which I thought was hilarious! 

As my day started wrapping up, it was so weird. As I logged out of the computer, I realized that it would be the last time I would use my computer. I walked through the center to say goodbye to everyone, I realized that I was saying goodbye on my LAST DAY. Weird!!!! I was so proud of myself- saying my goodbyes with my eyes only getting a little watery. 

Then I clocked out. 

Don't ask me why, but this is what broke me. As I walked out of the center the tears just came. To make that even more awesome, a donor was walking in as I walked out of the building with a basket of stuff, so he probably thought I just got fired. Oh well... I cried about half the way home. Not only am I really going to miss my work people, I was also just so touched by all the kind words said to me throughout the day.

Picking up the kids for the last time at Barb's (their sitter) was much easier than I thought, partly because we will probably be paying her a visit on Monday to help her with something (we definitely don't mind having an excuse for a visit!). It was really hard to take that box filled with blankets, clothes, and extra diapers that have accumulated there in the past few years (hard enough, actually, that I am actually tearing up as I write this). Have I mentioned that we will miss her TERRIBLY?????

Overall, it was an amazing day. I don't think it will fully hit me for awhile- I am a stay at home mom. I am living my DREAM. I am so incredibly blessed to have such beautiful children to care for and a amazing husband who has worked incredibly hard to make this dream come true for me, and I am SO excited to start this next chapter in our family's life!

April 23, 2012

Delaney's birth story

Those of you who have read Jameson's birth story know that I went in to this pregnancy and delivery with an entirely different mindset. Shortly after we found out that we were expecting again we selected a new doctor. We spent a lot of time speaking with friends about their experiences and found a doctor who understood that childbirth was something where you needed to empower the mom, not take over.

When we got to about 35 weeks our doctor let us know that unless I went into labor early or we wanted to induce early (at 37 weeks) he probably wouldn't be there for the delivery. I was bummed about this, but I knew that I wanted to avoid being induced so we decided to go with it and be satisfied with whoever we got.

When I was 36 weeks pregnant we had a follow-up ultrasound (at my 20 week appointment they thought they saw something on her brain but it was gone at her 36 week check) and discovered that she was not yet head down. My doctor discussed with us all the options, giving us as much information as he could and as well as telling us what he thought the best choice was (and he worded it "This is what I would have my wife do"- which I LOVED). So we decided that we would go have her turned. This was scheduled for the day after I hit 37 weeks and meant checking into the hospital for it as it had a risk of inducing labor. We were really nervous about this, but we knew that if she stayed breech it would be a c-section and that was something I REALLY didn't want. After sitting in the hospital for about an hour, being hooked up to machines and an IV, the doctor came in, ran the ultrasound over my belly, and discovered that she decided to turn on her own. And her "I do things on my own time" attitude hasn't changed, might I add.

So fast forward two weeks to my 39 week appointment with the nurse practitioner. I had just had 2 appointments being told "any day now", so I was not a happy momma. I was also dealing with PUPPs. I will say that this was one of the most not fun things I have ever gone through. PUPPs pretty much consists of itchy little bumps all over your body for which the only cure is having the baby. I was absolutely miserable and was toying with the idea of being induced because I simply didn't think I would take it anymore. When she checked me and told me I was at a 2- the same number as last week- I wanted to cry, and I am pretty sure I did.

The next morning I decided that I needed to just resolve myself to the fact that I would be pregnant at least a few more weeks. After all, I was 39 1/2 weeks. They wouldn't let me go past 42. And wasn't this what I wanted? For my baby to choose when to come? I had really reached an acceptance.

At about 3:30 that afternoon I was at work. I had gotten up to get something on the other side of my office. When I sat down, I felt that "pop" I remembered so well. I was pretty confident about what had happened but wanted to be sure. A quick trip to the bathroom confirmed it- my water had broken. Luckily it must have broken at the top of the bag because I wasn't gushing. I went back to my office and calmly called up to the front office... "Um..; Carmen? Can you drive me to the hosptial? Because my water just broke" "What, are you serious". "Um... yeah." Carmen got back to my office and looked instantly at my pants, which weren't wet. I reassured her that I wasn't joking and that my water had really broken. She informed me at this time that she was half expecting it to be a joke that Shaun and I were playing on her.

On the way to the hospital I called Shaun. He was a little grumpy because he had to work early that morning and had just laid down for a nap, but I was happy to hear that he wasn't freaking out like with Jameson (probably because I was already at the hospital). But I was happy he was at home because he was able to grab my bag for me! Next I called my mom at work. It was really fun to tell her "Thundercats are go!!!!" (Re: Juno).

After they got me all settled my mom and Shaun arrived. I was rather bummed about one thing this time: The hospital had really strict visiting rules going on so I could only have two people with me other than for a few hours in the evening, which meant that Shaun's mom wasn't going to be able to be there. We were really hoping to have her with us since this was something we were cheated out of the first time and our new doctor didn't set limits as long as there were no problems. But I was also feeling lucky since not long before she was born they only allowed you one person for the duration of your stay.

A few hours after arriving in the hospital the on call doctor came in to discuss starting pitocin as I hadn't started any contractions on my own yet. After some begging and pleading he agreed to hold off for a few hours to see if they started on their own. He was actually more than happy to agree to this request which really set the tone for the whole experience. About 1 1/2 hours later I was finally starting to have contractions. They were barely strong enough to feel but they were registering. I was so excited! Finally I was going to have the experience I wanted. At the two hour mark the nurse came in to check me and said that they need to make a decision if they were going to start the pitocin. I was so certain that she would check me to find that I had changed enough that we could avoid the pitocin, but I hadn't changed at all. I was heartbroken. The nurse came back and said that the doctor really wanted to get the pitocin started and I just started to bawl. I told them about my first child and how I really didn't want to be bound to the bed and wanted to avoid the epidural. They were so sweet and explained that I could sit in the rocking chair as long as I kept the monitor on and that he had ordered a very low drip so it more mimic natural labor. After a few more tears we agreed to the pitocin knowing that if I didn't start dilating we were looking at a c-section. I put my trust in what the nurses were telling me.

It turns out that they were trustworthy afterall: The contractions started, but they came on very slowly. With each contraction I was able to learn how to breathe through them. Even as they started to get worse they were bearable. Don't get me wrong- they hurt! But I was able to fully relax through each contraction. I also had about a minute of break in between each contraction so I was able to collect myself and give requests to my mom and Shaun. I was actually in the bed most of the time since my back labor made the rocker really uncomfortable. Around 9:40 they checked me and told me I was at a 6. At this point I was getting really scared for the transition period that I knew would be coming soon (during the transition the contractions get stronger, longer, and closer together). I really, really didn't want an epidural, but I figured I was looking at a few more hours of labor and needed to just take a little of the pain away, so I asked for Stadol. Stadol is a drug given through the IV that doesn't take the pain away completely, just takes the edge off. For me, it actually only made me feel drunk and didn't take any pain away. Didn't like it!!!

Shortly after they started the Stadol I started to have a weird feeling in my stomach. It came with each contraction and felt like little muscle spasms. I couldn't figure out what was going on until one made me start pushing. I asked the nurse if I should be feeling an urge to push yet. She smiled sweetly at me (crazy lady- you are at a 6) and checked me again. Her facial expression changed and she ran to get the other nurse (the nurse who checked me was training). The other nurse came and checked me and calmly said "Liz- go call the doctor, she is ready to start pushing". Pa... what??? I am not ready for this, I was thinking! But my body sure was! With each contraction my body would be pushing. The nurses were trying to get me clean and help me with panting so I could avoid pushing, but there was NO avoiding it- it was all my body's doing. As they started to get me set up in the bed for pushing, which I DIDN'T like. Throughout this time I was apologizing to the nurses repeatedly for pushing (which my mom and Shaun still laugh about) which just kept making them giggle. They kept trying to encourage the panting, but you could tell that they could see that it was out of my control.

I can tell you now that there is one part of childbirth that I have NO sweet memory of- crowning. I am not going to go into detail, but, ouch. Like, BIG ouch. Right before the crowning was when the more senior nurse turned to the one in training and said "We might be delivering a baby tonight". As I started crowning the doctor came in, literally throwing on a gown as he walked. During this time I really started to get scared and was asking my mom to pray for me. As much as I didn't like it, I knew she was coming, and I could feel it. And it was still my body doing everything. As I was pushing her out, there was only once when I made myself push and that is when she was almost out. I could sense that I was one push away so I purposefully pushed her out. She was here! We aren't entirely sure, but I was probably pushing somewhere between 5-10 minutes.

All I could think was how she was just beautiful, and she was here. My attachment to her was a little different than Jameson, though. I think the rush of everything and the lingering Stadol made things a little slower. I remembered the same missing her while she was at the light table that I had with Jameson, but I didn't believe that she was mine yet. I actually didn't get this "this is my baby" feeling until the first time she nursed. I will actually never forget that experience because it surprised me- she nursed totally differently than Jameson. Jameson had to be taught how to nurse so his nursing was always softer and more formed. Delaney was a natural. And, ahem, not a soft nurser. She went to town on the first shot! I remember looking down on her gazing up to me while she nursed that first time and thinking "this is my little girl." It was just another testament to letting your body decide when the baby is ready.

The afterwards of her birth was quiet. It was 10:19pm when she was born, so no one else would get to come meet her until the next evening, including my dad, Shaun's parents, and Jameson. While they took her to clean her up we ordered some food (yea!!!!!) and discussed what her name would be. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that? We hadn't decided on a name yet. We had a list of names that we liked, but we really felt like we needed to see her first. It was actually the next day before we would decide on Delaney Pearl Ann. Delaney was a name that I had always liked. Pearl was for my maternal grandmother who lived with us until she passed away when I was 11 and was very dear to me. She was an absolutely amazing woman and I have known for as long as I could remember that my first daughter would share her middle name. Ann is actually for my mom, Shaun's mom, and Shaun grandmother. And the two middle names? This was something we decided to carry on. My parents had given me two middle names because they couldn't pick just one. I always loved having this little thing "different" about me and thought it would be neat to pass that on to my daughters.

The next evening we finally had the family meeting time that we craved. Though, I will admit, that first morning with only having my mom as a visitor was kind of nice, especially knowing that Delaney's time getting mommy and daddy to herself would be limited with brother around!

The first time Jameson met his sister was priceless. He was literally shaking he was so excited.

And something else about that morning? I couldn't be bothered to sit down. By this point, I had been nesting for about a week (a stage I never reached with Jameson) and apparently childbirth hadn't cured it (though my PUPPs had already started to heal!!!!). I was reorganizing our room, getting our bags sorted out, just being ridiculous. And you know why??? I was in VERY little pain. I actually didn't ever need any pain meds except for the cramping that the nursing caused, and then I just took Ibuprofen. A few of the nurses were calling me the "champ" mom which cracked me up. I know my description of the pushing with Delaney wasn't great advertising for a pain meds free delivery, but I promise you- it was worth it. I recovered within just a few days. I wasn't completely back to normal, of course, but I was able to be up and moving around with very little limitation. Shaun actually scolded me about a week after she was born because I was up on a kitchen chair pulling our bay window down to clean it by myself.

Delaney's birth was so incredibly precious to me. It was amazing to feel my body at work doing what it was made to do. I felt so in control of everything, even when a few medical interventions were needed (I also had to get an internal monitor due to the crazy girl not wanting to be still). I owe so much of that to the doctor and nurses who put MY needs and the needs of my little girl ahead of their convenience. The fact that both the on-call doctor and the nurses were willing to listen to what I wanted meant the world to me. I will never, ever forget the night I got to meet my baby girl- my little one who got to come out when SHE was ready, and by that, I mean the SECOND she was ready! :)

April 21, 2012

Shopping trips for this week

I made several stops this week but two of those were pretty much in and out shops, so pretty good!

One of my trips was on Wednesday to get milk and, as always, no picture! (Do you really want to see pictures of milk each week!) Though one of my gallons was free since she misunderstood me and used my free punch (I usually save these punches for weeks when we need a random extra gallon so it doesn't mess with my grocery budget).

On to the fun shops!

Rays x 2

2 bags of chicken (3 pounds each): $3.99 each (WOW!!!!)
2 clamshells of strawberries: $.99 each
1 bag flour: $1.29 
2 Blue Bunny ice cream: $.99 each

Total with tax: $14.33

2 Bottles Purex: $1.99 each, had two $0.50/1 Purex Detergent, liquid 03/11/2012 RP Insert, exp 04/21/2012)  that doubled to $1.00= $.99 each
4.97 pounds of banana @ .29/lb= $1.44
2 bags of chicken (3 pounds each): $3.99 each (Yes, I went back for more!)

Total with tax: $12.51


1 bag of chicken breast: $5.99, had a $1.00/1 coupon (sent by the store)= $4.99
1 package of Carefree: $1.00, had a $.50/1 coupon that doubled to $1.00= FREE!!!
1 Huggies wipe: $1.99, had a $0.50/1 Huggies Baby Wipes, 56 ct+ 04/01/2012 SS Insert (exp 04/28/2012) that doubled to $1.00= $.99
1 Comforts wipes: $1.00, had a $.60/1 eCoupon= $.40 each
2 Comforts toddler wipes: $1.09 each, had a $1.50/2 coupon (printed at the register with my big Comforts item score)= $.34 each
4 packs clearanced hamburger buns: $.69 each
4 packs clearanced hot dog buns: $.49 each
4 packs clearanced bread: $.49 each

Total with tax: $15.06


2 packs egg dye: clearanced to $.14 each (they say they expire in January. I figure that for $.28 I can take a chance)
2 boxes of pasta and 2 jars of sauce: $1.00 each, had 2 $1.00/pasta and sauce coupons= $.50 each
2 boxes of Band-aids: $1.87 each, had 2 $2.00/1 quilted Bandaids coupons (no longer available)= FREE plus overage!!!
1 Nexcare bandages: $1.74, had a $.75/1 store coupon and a $0.55/1 Nexcare 04/01/2012 SS Insert (exp 05/31/2012)= $.44
2 packs of Starbucks naturally flavored coffee: $7.99, had 1 $5/2 Target coupons and 2 $1.50/1 coupons= $3.99 each
1 Method kitchen cleaner: $2.67, had 1 $1.00/1 Target coupon and 1 $1.00/1 coupon (no longer available)= $.67
1 Cootie game: $7.99, had a $3.00/1 Target coupon (no longer available) and a $3.00/1 coupon (no longer available)= $1.99
2 Mossimo tank tops: $6.00 each, had 2 $3.00/1 Mossimo apparel coupons= $3.00 each
1 Merona tank top: $6.00 each, had 1 $3.00/1 Merona item coupon= $3.00 
3 Greenworks bathroom cleaners and 1 Greenworks dish soap: $1.99 each, dish soap free with any three Greenworks items, had 2 $1.00/2 Target coupons, 2 $1.00/1 Greenworks item coupon, and 1 $1.00/2 coupon= $.24 each item!

Total with tax: $25.86

April 20, 2012

Jameson's birth story

I was just looking on another blog and thinking how much fun I have reading other peoples' birth stories and how nice it is for them to post them. Then I realized that I have two children and have never posted a birth story... fail! So, now, 3 1/2 years later, I decided it is time to post them! I'll start with my first born- Jameson! I obviously feel very attached to both birth stories, but I think that Jameson's birth story is a good lesson in why it is important to find a doctor with similar "theories" on birth in mind.

See, I am all for home births for moms who desire them (I don't think they are for me, but think they are a great thing)! I am also all for medical interventions when they are warranted (for the safety- real safety- of the mom and/or baby). I like a middle ground. I believe that a woman's body was made to carry and deliver babies and should be allowed to do it naturally if it is safe for mom and baby and is something that the mom desires. I also believe that, often, having one medical intervention starts a domino effect where more medical interventions start to happen...

Jameson's birth story really started at my 38 week appointment. My doctor had been great throughout my pregnancy, though I wasn't a fan of her attitude when I talked about my desires for a natural birth. For example, when I told her that I wanted to do it without an epidural, her response was "You know it will hurt, right? There's no need to be a hero". I had taken multiple human/child development classes in college and was aware of the risks from an epidural. I was okay with getting one if I found it necessary. After all, I had never experienced labor before so I wasn't so arrogant as to believe that I knew at that time what I would really want. But overall, she was a great doctor. I emphasize "doctor" because she takes a 100% medical approach, which is clearly not in line with my approach to childbirth. Considering that I had zero risk factors and had been having an uneventful, healthy pregnancy, there was no need for any medical interventions at that point.

Anyway, back to the 38 week appointment. Since I had been checked at 36 and 37 weeks, I knew what to expect. It isn't super comfortable, but it also isn't incredibly uncomfortable. This time was different. I could tell she was in deeper (sorry, TMI) and there was a little pain. After she got done, she simply informed me that I was at 1 cm and she stripped my membranes (medical intervention #1). I had no idea what she was talking about, and she just explained that it pushes the water sac away from the cervix to allow hormones to get to the cervix and help it to soften and dilate. I didn't see any concern to this, so just said "okay!" and went on my merry way.

Since I was 2 weeks late when I was born, I had no plans of seeing my little boy anytime soon. That is why I was shocked the next morning when I sat town on the toilet (again, sorry, TMI) and realized that my water had broken. One of my favorite memories from this experience was telling Shaun (we were supposed to carpool to work that morning) "Honey, it's time to get up! We are going to be late... or my water just broke". It was 6:05 am. My hubby, usually the cool headed of the two of us, was running franctically around the house, getting everything together (even though I already had a hospital bag put together), calling our moms, and basically freaking out. When I told him that I wanted to grab a bowl of cereal (I knew they wouldn't let me eat once I got there!) he started flipping out even more. To be clear, I wasn't even having contractions yet.

Once we got to the hospital the nurses were wonderful. They weighed me in and then got me set up in the room. They checked to make sure my water broke which I thought was funny since my pants were soaked when I walked in. They were actually laughing about it too, but informed us that it was required. They let me know that I was still at 1 cm.

After they got me hooked up to the monitors and IV they could see that Jameson was doing great and that I was not yet having measurable contractions, though I was starting to feel semi regular pressure. They let me know that they were going to call my doctor and find out what she wanted to do. When they returned they said that she wanted to get me started on a pitocin drip since my contractions weren't starting on their own. She said that since I was positive for the group B strep I needed to have him out in 12 hours from the time the water broke, so it was best to start the pitocin than to risk the c-section. I happily consented thinking I was doing what was best for my baby (intervention #2).

Once the drip was started, I very quickly went from no pain to excruciating contractions that would last about a minute with only about 20 seconds of rest inbetween. When I say quick, I mean that I had only about 3-4 contractions that I could talk through before I got to needing to lay down and grip my hubby's hand for the duration of each one.

Over the lunch period one of the on-call doctors came in and I found out that I was at a 2. A two! After about 5 hours of these insane contractions I had hardly changed at all. I knew that the reason was the fact that the contractions were so strong that I couldn't relax through them. After talking to hubby, we decided that the best move was to start the epidural. At this point I was terrified that I was looking at 6-7 hours more of those contractions only to end up with a c-section. I was sad, but grateful once the epidural got started (intervention #3).

That's when it got scary. Not two (painless) contractions later my monitors started going off. This didn't alarm me too much since Jameson had been moving around all morning and constantly set it off. But when the nurse laid me down, called in another nurse, and put an oxygen mask on me, I knew it was bad. I was getting so scared. The nurses were wonderful. They started turning me from side to side, reassuring me the whole time. Finally we got his heartrate back up, but they had the mask on for a little while longer. I would later find out that my mom who had gone to the bathroom learned that an doctor was on his way to my room for an emergency c-section when Jameson decided to chill out! (Thank you momma for knowing not to tell me that until days later!)

The rest of my labor was uneventful. I had a lot of family in the room while I was laboring (I know that some moms would hate this, but I loved it!) We all watched the contraction monitor and cheered when they got really high. I did have a brief time when the epidural wore off in one spot and I went back into pain where I didn't think the cheering was so funny, but was all better when the anesthesiologist rolled me around to fix it (she was also amazing! I was very lucky to have such an amazing hospital staff!) I was tied to the bed for the rest of the labor with an internal monitor set up (intervention #4) and a catheter (intervention #5) since I couldn't even feel my legs let alone walk on them. As bummed as I was to turn to an epidural, there were some great memories. I will never forget how mad Shaun's grandma, who had delivered four children with no pain meds, was getting when I was laughing through such huge contractions. One not-so-good memory was shortly after Jameson's heartrate came up and one of the nurses commented on why she didn't know why my pitocin was up so high and got permission to turn it down (too little, too late!)

A little before 6pm the nurse checked me and said I was ready to start pushing. Everyone was kicked out of the room with the exception of hubby and Kym, my friend for whom I was her core mom for nursing school. My doctor only allowed two people in the room and, although Kym wasn't supposed to count since she was a nursing student, my doctor wouldn't allow my mom to stay in the room, which really bummed me out. But, again, I didn't really think I had a choice, so I let it go.

During my pushing they were constantly adjusting my pitocin. I, of course, didn't really know if this was normal, so I went with it. (I would later learn that my doctor had four of her patients deliver one right after the other in perfect sync. That was just lucky, right???) Once my doctor got in the room and the pushing really started, I just couldn't get the hang of it and was getting really frustrated. I couldn't feel anything, so I had nothing to push against. My doctor was really starting to make me angry as she pushed against and told me to push against her hand. Really, you mean that thing I can't feel? Sure! With each contraction only I was only getting one good push. My doctor starting threatening the vacuum if I couldn't start pushing right, and even had a nurse get it ready for her. This made me even madder since it was NOT motivation issue. I wanted him out! I wanted to see my baby already! I was doing the best I could!

Now, I should probably take a break to let you know a few things. First, when my doctor first came in the room, one of my nurses commented to her "stripping membranes at 38 weeks, huh?". Which I thought was just awesome. Sure, it was a little unprofessional on her part, but it was sort of my first glimpse on just how out of my control this experience had gotten. Also, I need to tell you about my wonderful (non-doctor) support staff I had in this room. My nurses were wonderful. They all were helpful and encouraging me. I know they see births everyday, but they truly made me feel like mine was special. Kym was also amazing. She is now in OB, and I am so happy about this. At the time she was early in nursing school and hadn't even done her OB rotation yet, and she was amazing. She had just the right balance of babying me and pushing me at the same time. As somebody who is normally a somewhat quiet person, it was sort of entertaining for me to really see her in her element (love ya, Kym)! And the hubby. He was just as scared as me, but was a trooper throughout the whole thing. Even with his hand probably still throbbing from before I got the epidural, he was by me the whole time- even when a nurse had him hold my leg, something that he wasn't stoked about.

Back to the pushing... I was working so hard that I had started to close my eyes each time I pushed. So when Kym and Shaun starting yelling "look down! He's here!" I was a little confused (still couldn't feel a darn thing!!!!). I looked down, and there he was. My little gooey covered, cone headed slime ball was here (affectionate, huh? Anyone who has ever seen a birth gonna argue this?????). And... bliss.

See? Bliss and goo.

They say it takes some moms weeks to grow an attachment to their child. Not me. I was instantly in love. The second that they moved him to the light table I was freaking out. I wanted him back! They put an oxygen mask on him (which freaked me out even though I knew it is routine). They asked me his name- Jameson Robert. And it suited him. He was perfect. He was beautiful. The nurses all told me that he was one of the cuter babies they had ever seen (yes, I know they tell this to everyone, but it still meant the world to me).

After an unsuccessful first attempt at breastfeeding, I was cleaned up my family came in. First our parents. They were naturals. Jameson made them each a grandparent and it was instant. Jameson has always been a charmer. :)

I love this picture of my dad. A carpenter/pig farmer with his heart completing melting for his first grandchild

As the rest of the family began to trickle in (I think that the final count was 19 people in the waiting room), the room was filled. My new night nurse (Jameson was born at 6:13pm) came over to ask if I needed an excuse to kick people out. I quickly said no. This was exactly what I wanted. Everyone that would be so important in Jameson's life getting to meet him instantly. I was tired, still numb, and looked like a train wreak, but I loved every minute.

The waiting room

After the family left, they got me up from the bed and moved to our room for the rest of the hospital stay. The nurse took Jameson for his first bath while we had some pizza (I was STARVING!!!!!). I missed him. I thought I was ridiculous, but I actually missed him. It was maybe 15 minutes and I was dying to see him again! 

The nurse came back in and said that I need to trying peeing. And this actually led to one of my favorite memories I had ever had.

Don't stop reading, it isn't gross...

The nurse said that I needed to hand baby over to daddy. Shaun sat down in the window seat with our son and I witnessed something amazing- the making of a daddy. I saw a smile on his face that I had never witnessed in our 9 year relationship- it was pure love. Sure, I saw love when he looked at me. But the love I saw on his face when he looked at and held our son was breathtaking. I felt so blessed for God to have sent such an amazing man to be the father of my child.

This wasn't even taken at "the moment" and you can see how happy he is

What would follow wasn't so precious. I was in intense pain for a few weeks. Because I hadn't pushed properly I had a lot of trauma in my lady areas. I eventually had to be cut off percocet. I had a host of issues for about 10 months following his birth. And it wasn't just me- we had a lot of breastfeeding struggles off the bat. I would later realize that the stripping of my membranes caused him to come out before he was ready. He wasn't ready to breastfeed. I was lucky to have an amazing lactation consultant work with us for several hours and got him to nurse and ended up having a very successful 14 months of breastfeeding. Jameson was also so jaundiced that he had to be readmitted when he was just a few days old. After researching I would learn that this was also because he wasn't ready.

In the end, I got an amazing little boy. But this experience taught me that just because someone is a good doctor that doesn't make them a good doctor for me. If you are a high risk pregnancy or prefer a very medically guided labor, my doctor would have been perfect for you. That just wasn't me. We learned a lot, and would later apply that to our next baby...

All my pain was worth it...

But that is another, probably equally ridiculously long story...

April 19, 2012

Shopping trips for this week

Um... so I am a little late in posting this. I realized this morning that I totally spaced it this past weekend. I guess with the tornado craziness I had other things on my mind! Sorry!

Anyway, after my ridiculous shopping trips week before last, I was so happy to have a more chilled week! I only made three grocery stops all last week and they were all very brief stops... I didn't get pictures of two(fail) but I will share!

The first stop was just to Ray's for milk!

The second stop was to Dillons, and happens to be an excellent example of why it is a great idea to sign up for free samples and coupon books!

1 bag of Craisin's: $1.49, used free item coupon= FREE!!!
One box of Comfort's diapers: $14.39, used free item store coupon= FREE!!!
One pack of Comfort's wipe: $1.99, used free item store coupon= FREE!!!
One container of Comforts snacks: $1.69, used free item store coupon= FREE!!!

Total with tax: $.13! (Because the Comforts coupons were store coupons I didn't have to pay tax so I only had to pay tax on the Craisins! Score!)

My last stop was at Dillons again. The west Dillons was moving across the parking lot and apparently they weren't allowed to move any meat or veggies, so they were marking everything down. I was really hoping for an awesome deal but truely didn't find much. But, I did get:

5.75 pounds of pork loin at $1.49/lb: $8.58 (I had them cut this into chop behind the counter for free! I just learned that you can do this! You get much more quality chops and pork loin is usually cheaper than individual chops! I love this "trick")

2.78 pound of apples: $.50/lb: $1.39

Total with tax: $10.80

April 8, 2012

Menu plan

Here is my menu plan for the next couple weeks. I am just listing out the items that I have plans to make since I never make them the right nights anyway!

Chicken and noodles (from the freezer)
Breaded chicken
Lasagna casserole
Homemade pizza
Chicken and rice bake
Crispy SW chicken wraps
Pancakes and eggs
Beans and rice
Grabbit (come up with whatever you can!)/leftovers
Homemade pizza

Shopping trips for this week

Ugh. This turned into one of those weeks when I felt like I was CONSTANTLY shopping. We had people over for Easter today, plus I had to buy for my meal plan, so I spent all week hitting stores trying to get everything I needed for the best prices I could. I usually don't really mind grocery shopping (really enjoy it, actually!) but this week was too much! I also felt like I could have gotten these down into MANY fewer trips, but I didn't do the best planing. :( Oh well, I did get some good deals and I can do better next week!


Two quarts of clearanced milk: $.70 each
4.73 pounds of bananas @ $.29/lb: $1.37
Gallon of milk: Free with full punch card

Total with tax: $3.01


Two baby washes: $1.49, had two $1/1 Up and up body wash coupons= $.49 each
Two Reynolds wrap foils: $3.49, had 2 $1.50/1 coupons (no longer available)= $1.99 each
Flip flops for Delaney: $2.50

Total with tax: $8.35


Crescent rolls: $1.88 each, had a $.50/2 coupon doubled to $1.00= $1.38 each
Marshmallows: $.99 each 
Two dozen eggs: $.99 each, had a $.50/2 coupon doubled to $1.00= $.49 each (we get free eggs from Shaun's grandma, but we needed white ones for egg dying!) 
Two Suave deodorants: $1.00 each, had 2 $.50/1 coupons $0.50/1 (Suave Deodorant Product 03/18/2012 RP Insert, exp 04/15/2012) , doubled to $1.00= FREE!!!!!

Total with tax: $7.62


2 packs Strawberries: $.99 each
Chicken breasts: $5.99 
2 pineapples: $.99 each
Tortilla chips: $1.19 
Beans: $2.29 
2 Cottage cheese: $2.29 each
3 sour cream: $.99 each
4 pounds Ground turkey: $1.49 each
4 tomato sauces: $.29 each
Flour tortillas: $.99 
2 Black beans: $.55 each
3 gallons skim milk: $2.74 each
2 gallons 2% milk: $2.80 each
2 cantaloupe: $.99 each
Quick oats: $1.99
Lemonade drink mix: $1.79
Flour: $1.48

Total with tax: $55.63

Target (again)

2 packs light bulbs: $3.89 each, had 2 $2/1 Target coupons, 2 $1/1 manufactuer's coupon (newspaper coupon): $.89 each (by the way- there are a good deal with just the Target coupons if you don't have the newspaper coupon!)
2 packs ibuprofen: $.99 each, had $1/2 Target coupon: $.49 each

Total with tax: $2.76

Dillons (again!!!)

12 Birds eye Steamfresh vegetables: $1.00, had 4 $1.00/3 coupons ($1/3 Birds Eye Steam Fresh Varieties 03/04/2012 RP Insert, exp 04/15/2012)= $.67 each
2 packs Philadelphia cream cheese: $1.00 each
1 jalapeno peppers: $.89 
Marshmallow creme: $2.00
Carefree pantyliners: $1.00, had 1 $.50/1 Carefree product coupon= FREE!!!!!!

Total with tax; $20.25

Dollar General 

(My hubby actually made this trip for me! He wasn't crazy about being handed a list and a stack of coupons, but he was a trooper!)

8 cans Libby's vegetables: $.50 each, had 2 $1.00/4 coupons (no longer available)= $.25 each
6 bottles Fantastik cleaner: $1.50 each, had 6 $.75/1 coupons ($0.75/1 Scrubbing Bubbles Fantastik all purpose cleaner 03/25/2012 SS Insert, exp 05/05/2012)= $.75 each

Total with tax: $7.61


2 butters: $1.58 each  

Total with tax: $3.46 (I actually went in for several other things as well that were either out or turned out not to be as good as a deal as I hoped).

April 6, 2012

Sharing the Wealth: Finding your "buy-at" price

Now, I know that I have talked about "buy-at" prices several times before. The buy-at price is the price that you set as a price that you consider to be a good price to buy and stock up an an item at. When I stock up, I buy as much of the item I can afford on my budget to get me through to the next sale.

Though I have talked about using buy-at prices, while I was shopping yesterday, it occurred to me that I have never really explained how it is that I arrived at my buy-at prices.

Just to be clear, the buy-at price is kind of the key to couponing. People often ask me how couponing saves me money since the coupon doesn't typically make a brand name item with a coupon lower priced than the store brand. The idea is not to just buy an item because I have a coupon for it, but to use that coupon when the item is on sale for a great price. Since I don't have a crystal ball that tells me when that item is going to be at its lowest before my coupon expires, I use my buy-at price. So, for example, my buy-at price for cereal is $1.00. I typically will stock up on as much cereal as I can afford whenever I see it at $1.00. If I have a coupon for $1.00 off a box of cereal but that cereal doesn't go on sale for $2.00 or less before the coupon expires, I won't be using that coupon.

To start, I figured out what the best price I can get an item for on any day. This is typically decided by figuring out what I will pay for an item at Aldi or by buying the store brand. For example, the regular price for 3 pounds of chicken breast is $5.99. Since I don't tend to find a ton of chicken on sale in our area, I consider anything below $2.00 a pound to be a good price.

Another thing that goes into my decision is the necessity of the item. If it is an item that I do not consider to be necessity to keep in the house I will not purchase it unless it is free. For us, this is soda. Although I love to have soda around, we don't usually keep it around unless I can pick it up for free. On the other hand, milk is considered a must have around this house. Because I know that it is going to get purchased every week regardless of the price, my goal is just to find the best price I can each week.

Now that I have started couponing and deal hunting, I am constantly adjusting my various buy at prices. For example, I started out with toothpaste being a good buy at around $.25. Since then, I have figured out that I can keep my stock plenty full waiting until I can get it free. It also goes the other way- when I started couponing I stocked up on a bunch of body wash for free. Since then, the body wash deals have been few and far between, so I have would be willing to do any good deal now.

So I hope that better explains how I reach my buy-at price!

April 5, 2012

Our "True meaning of Easter" night

During Christmas time, we have a night where we have a birthday party for Jesus and spend the whole evening talking about the true meaning of Christmas. We do the same for Easter. Even though we talk about the stories throughout the holidays, I think it is important that we have a night devoted to talking about the meaning behind Christmas and Easter so that they can grow up knowing what it they are all about.

One thing I have discovered as the mother of young children is that the story of Christmas is easy to get kids interested in- pretty star, cute animals in a barn, sweet little baby. 

Easter??? Little different. Even if your kiddo understands death, which most 3-year-olds don't- trying to explain rising from the dead is dang near impossible. But, we do the best we can!

We started with sticker scenes. I explained the Easter story in the most simple, yet straight forward words I could. Then, they made their sticker scenes.

Delaney's is on the left, Jameson's, the right

I wasn't sure if Jameson was picking up on everything, but then he told me that he wanted Jesus out of the "cave" because that is where Jesus went. I was pretty satisfied with that!

Next, we made Resurrection Rolls. These are tasty little treats you can use to explain Easter.

Resurrection rolls
*I wish I could give credit to where I got this idea from, but I honestly don't remember!*
1 pkg of crescent rolls
8 marshmallows
3 T butter
2 T sugar
2 T cinnamon
(you may had to add more of the bottom three ingredients depending on how good your kiddos are at the roll in butter and cake in cinnamon/sugar thing).

  • Separate the crescent rolls into the individual triangles. You will start with explaining the marshmallows. Explain that, pure and white, the marshmallows are like Jesus- pure and without sin.
  • Next, roll the marshmallow in the butter, and then the cinnamon and sugar- explain that this is like how they anointed Jesus with oils and herbs.
  • Wrap the marshmallow in a crescent roll, careful to close it off as well as possible. Explain that this is like how they placed Jesus in the tomb.
  • Place the rolls on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown, around 8-10 minutes. 
  • Let cool. Before you break the rolls open, remind the kiddos that there was a marshmallow inside when you made them.
  • When the rolls are broken open, the marshmallows are gone! Explain that this is like how, when the women went to the tomb, Jesus was gone.

Getting started

Putting the rolls together.

Delaney enjoyed making the rolls eating the marshmallows.

I wish we could have gotten a shot of when he first opened the roll. He was so amazed! 

He told us that the marshmallow was gone just like Jesus was from the tomb. Then, he told us that Jesus is fluffy like a marshmallow. Oh well, I'll consider it a half success... :)

April 1, 2012

Shopping trips for this week

I didn't have much shopping to do this week. In addition to a trip on Wednesday to get some milk, I just made one grocery trip and then a Target and Staples trip. I already talked about the Staples trip, but here are the other two!


Scrabble Flash: On sale for $15, had a Target $5/1 coupon and a Manufacturer $5/1 coupon= $5
Monopoly deal: Free with the purchase of the Scrabble game
Little People car: $3.42, had a 50% coupon= $1.71

Total with tax: $7.71


Sour cream: On sale for $1
2 Suave deodorant: $1.00 each, had two $.50/1 coupons that doubled to $1.00= FREE!!!!!
8 Snickers eggs for Easter baskets: $.50 each, had 4 $1.00/2 coupons= FREE!!!!!

Total: $1.51