Friday, September 27, 2013

Five on Friday!


Every day this week I have told myself I was going to sit down and blog. That has yet to happen. I can't believe how fast time goes with a little one. My days fly by! I try to get something big accomplished every day but that doesn't always happen. It still amazes me. I love blogging and love that one day all of what we do/did will be documented (for the most part). So I must get busy again!


Earlier this week I went and visited Ricart for a blogging event. I can't wait to share photos and information with you later this week! It was a great experience and I got to hang out with Shannon and Fletcher!


This weather has been crazy! I've loved the cool, fall days but then it turns around and is 80* out. No thank you!! I'm ready for jeans (that I can almost fit in to) and sweatshirts.


This weekend J and I plan to make our own headboard. Pray for us! I have no idea how this is going to turn out. I just hope we get something out of it. We need a new headboard and it's driving me crazy without having one.


Can I just say that I love that fall TV is back on!! Thursday nights are awesome with Grey's followed by Parenthood. I have a whole post idea for this alone because I am pumped!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Menu Monday: Mac & Cheese, Brisket, and Apple Nachos!

Menu Monday will eventually come back. Since we've been home we have been lucky enough to receive meals from a lot of friends and family members. We've also used a couple of the freezer meals I made prior to Hadley being born. Until then, I thought I'd share with you some recipes that look delicious and that I would like to make once we get our routine down a little better (and once I start getting more sleep)!

Fall is a dangerous time in this house because it's the start of "comfort food season". I definitely want to make sure we eat healthy, especially because I have more baby weight and pre-baby weight to loose, but that it be yummy too. Thankfully, you can substitute leaner meats and low-fat products for a lot of regular recipes.

Here are a few recipes that are on my "to make" list...

Gouda and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Gouda Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Oh how I missed soft cheeses when I was pregnant. I can't wait to have some brie at once of my favorite restaurants!

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with Mashed Potatoes

There's not "low cal" for this one. But with portion control you can still enjoy!

Apple Nachos

Apple Nachos on

This recipe has apples, so it's totally healthy, right?

Tomato Basil Chicken

Simple, refreshing, and looks delicious!

Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders

Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders from Rachel Schultz

You could totally make these with turkey instead of beef!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five On Friday: Recipes, Halloween, & Pictures

Don't forget to link up with Five on Friday here!


Last weekend we went apple picking. I've had ever intention to make apple crisps this week but it hasn't happened yet. Josh has even asked if I wanted to go apple picking again. Let's try to eat what we have (about 30 apples). He's an apple-pickin' machine!

Doesn't this look yummy?!


If you do not have children and are planning to one day, let me tell you about a little something called, "cluster feeding". I had no idea what this was until after H was born. Basically babies will nurse for hours at one time. Not going to lie-it's exhausting, especially at night when you're already tired. But it's great bonding time too.


I love Halloween. Actually I love all things fall. But my favorite part about Halloween is dressing up. I haven't dressed up in a few years but I can't wait to dress H up as she gets older. Pinterest is busting with costume ideas. Here are a few of my favorites family costumes!

It's a Jolly Holiday! Mary Poppins Costumes Halloween 2011 - Rae Gun Ramblings

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory - Homemade costumes for kids

Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi - Homemade costumes for families
J is already hoping H will be Princess Peach one Halloween!


I still have not been behind the wheel of my car. I could have started driving this week but my dad had to borrow my car since his was getting fixed and I didn't need mine for anything. The more time that passes the more nervous I get to get behind the wheel. I'm already a nervous driver but add some time (which feels like nothing) and a newborn and I'm a mess! I'll be getting lots of practice this weekend.


On Monday our amazing photographer Kari came to take pictures of Hadley and do a few lifestyle pictures. I will definitely post more when I get them back but I have fallen in love with the ones we have so far!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What I learned from childbirth

I had no idea what to expect during childbirth. It didn't matter what or how much I read nothing would have prepared me 100%. That's life. However there are many things I learned throughout this process that I want to remember. When I look back at my blog book one day (there are websites to help you make your blog to a book), I want to remember the entire process. That is why I blog. For me. For my little family. For memories.

What I learned from childbirth...
  • Have an open mind. This is probably #1 on my list. I wanted to have a natural childbirth more than anything. Josh and I felt it was best for me and for H if we could try. I never said no to the idea of drugs. I always told people I would try to go natural and if I needed something then we would assess at the time. Because J and I both having an open mind it made getting the epidural much easier when the time came (even though I felt undefeated). I was really only against a c-section but would have done it if H was in danger at all.

  • Having a good support system is a must. Yesterday I posted all about my husband. When I told him that I posted H's birth story, he asked if I talked about him. I replied, "not really, because I have a whole post about you." That is how important he was to me through this experience.
  • Eat before you go to the hospital. If you have time or you can...haha! Since I was in labor over 24 hours I could not eat or drink during that time. The eating thing wasn't as important as the drinking. I just wanted water for hours. Ice chips and popsicles did not help my thirst. I remember telling J at one point I just wanted a PB&J and a coke...and I'm not a big pop drinker. Thank goodness I ate before we got there!

  • Don't tell your husband to push on your legs. Okay this is hard to explain. When I was pushing, J was on my left side and the nurse on my right. The doctor told me I needed to push harder. So, I told J that I wanted him to push my leg towards me as I pushed. Bad idea. While having the epidural and having him push back I ended up damaging nerves in my leg. This has put a major wrench in things. Three weeks out of the hospital and I still cannot walk normally and have to be careful using the steps. I actually fell in the hospital while walking because my leg just gave out on me. So be careful with the pushing, especially when you can't feel much of your legs!
  • Sleep. As much and whenever you can in the hospital. Then when you come home sleep when the baby is sleeping!

  • Recovery is not easy. I some how thought that I would have a baby and walk out of the hospital like it was not a big deal. I thought I'd be cleaning the house and feeling great when I got home. I knew I would be tired but I did not know that I would feel like I got hit by a bus. It's like recovering from a surgery or having the flu. On day 3 and 4 my body went into shock. I thought I had the flu! When I called the doctor they told me it was totally normal and that my body had to recuperate from everything it went through. I never thought about it like that. Next time, if there is one, joking, kind of, I will plan to give myself two weeks of recovery time. Just in case.

On top of the 28 hours of labor and difficult recovery (see birth story for more detail) I would do it all over again for Miss Hadley.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Rock.

I could have easily written about this in Hadley's birth story but I decided that it was so important to me and was such a huge part of Hadley coming into this world, that it needed a whole post itself.

My husband.

I honestly could not have gone through childbirth without him.

When we read about the Bradley Method (the birth method we had originally planned) I was worried. A lot of this method involved  husband support. Josh is very supportive. He always has been there rooting me on. But I was worried that once we got to the childbirth part he would freak out a little. He went into the birth not even wanting to cut the cord! But he came out a completely different person.

If you read about Hadley's birth story, you know that our "plan" of the Bradley Method went out the window...and that's okay. From the moment I woke Josh up and told him I thought, "today was the day" he was there for me 110%. During the laboring process he did everything I asked him to do along with asking me questions about what I needed. He rubbed my back, got me ice chips, and held my hand during every contraction. He supported me through my tears of getting an epidural because that was something we agreed that we didn't want to do but didn't rule it out by any means.

He went in to the hospital not wanting to see a thing and left being completely educated. I even joked with him during labor that he never knew he would be going to medical school that day. My nurse, who was wonderful, put him to work. By the time she was delivered he knew where just about everything was located in the delivery room. I don't want to go into too much detail but the poor guy saw way more than he ever wanted and even watched the birth of his daughter. I'm so proud of him and could not have gone through it all without his support. I'm also so thankful he decided to cut the cord. After what he went through with me, that was nothing!

Since we've been home, he has been a blessing. I was not allowed to use the stairs more than twice a day for two weeks. This was very difficult because we don't have a bathroom on the first floor (weird I know, but we've gotten use to it). Every morning he would bring up breakfast while I nursed Hadley. On the days he had to go to work, he would pack me a lunch so I didn't have to worry about using the steps alone. He made sure someone came over to check on me the days he had to work late. He always had the house picked up, dusted, and vacuumed. He is awesome at laundry! He did everything I couldn't do.

He has taken the "dad" role on and has turned around as a husband. Not that he wasn't a good husband before (because he was), to me he seems to see things differently. I thank him daily for his help and I try to tell him as often as I can how thankful I am for him.

He was my rock through all of this. And almost three weeks after being home, he still is. I'm so thankful to call Josh my husband but I'm even more thankful that he is Hadley's dad.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hadley's Birth Story Part 3

Click on the links to read part 1 and part 2 of Hadley's birth story.

Like I said in part 2, time was a blur to me. I had basically been up since 3 am and got the epidural around 10:30-11:00 pm (Sunday, August 25th). I was really hoping to have the baby by midnight but that didn't happen. I also knew since they didn't know what time my water broke they would only give me so long to try and deliver. I was thinking to 3 am since that's when I had told them I woke up to the contractions. But thankfully they let me keep going.

I started my real pushing around 4 am on Monday, August 26th. I became very frustrated at first because I was getting no where with the pushing. Hadley would not budge. The nurse and Josh were amazing. The nurse was great because, well, that's her job--to get the baby out! We were told that this nurse never has left a patient without a baby before her shift ends. No pressure. We made sure to remind her of this too. The lovely "c-section" word was brought up quite a few times. Every time I was determined to get her out myself and not have a c-section. After hours of pushing we were finally getting to the point where the doctor was able to come in.

Time was definitely a blur but this part is a major blur. I feel like when I remember her being born it's like a movie. I remember the doctor coming in. I remember the nurse and J holding my legs. I remember pushing with everything I had. I remember having so much support from all three of them. I remember my new nurse coming in and the old nurse staying because she was determined to stay with me until this baby was here. I remember the doctor telling me around 6:30 am to make sure I did not touch the epidural button anymore. I remember feeling a lot...and crying...and thinking I couldn't do it. I remember telling Josh that I was going to pass out and he kept telling me how amazing I was doing and that we were so close. Finally I remember the doctor and nurse pushing on my stomach to get her out. I told J that I was never doing this again.

Then I heard her cry. They laid her on my chest and we fell deeply in love. Then I changed my mind and told J I totally get why people forget about the pain and are willing to do it all over again.

I don't remember the nurse weighing her or measuring her. I have a picture in my mind of her in the little bed but that is it. Josh told me that she weighed 8 pounds and 5 ounces and was 24 inches long...which she was really 20 inches! Oops! J stayed with Hadley while the doctor finished things up. I could feel that he was giving me stitches and when I asked what was wrong he told me I had a 4th degree tear. Yes, that was tmi but it's something that I can't really forget about! {Trust me that is nothing to what J has told me. I'll spare you the details} I didn't know at the time what the recovery process of that would be but I definitely do now. I also found out that Hadley was face up. This is why she wouldn't move down and was blocking my bladder. It also explained all the pain even with the epidural.

Finally I was able to hold our baby once again. I was able to nurse her while they cleaned up the room and got us ready to move into our recovery room. The epidural definitely took its toll on me. I could get up by myself to get in the wheelchair (I don't know if this is normal or not but I think the nurse assumed I could) and I was extremely dizzy. Thankfully the recovery room was on the same floor so we didn't have far to go. Within a few hours our family was able to stop by for a quick visit while we were waiting for H's temperature to regulate for her first bath.

The rest of the day is a big blur! After over 24 hours with no sleep and lots of pushing, we were all exhausted. Our room was cleared out by 8:00pm and we crashed for the night. H did very well her first night and only woke up three times to feed. However, the nurses were in there quite a few times.

We are so thankful for our sweet Hadley. Even though things didn't work out as planned she is a healthy baby and that is all we cared about. Over the next few days or so I hope write about how she is doing now, my sweet husband, and the recovery process (promise not to go into detail). I definitely learned a lot through the labor and delivery process and am thankful for keeping an open mind and all of the support from my husband, family, and medical staff.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hadley's Birth Story Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of the birth story, you can read it here.

We arrived at the hospital right around noon. I was a nervous wreck. More than anything I did not want to be sent home. I was not ready to go check in yet and told Josh I wanted to walk. We decided to do a few laps around the hospital before going the the labor and delivery floor. I'm not sure how long we walked but after a while I had to slow way down or stop when I was having a contraction. We then decided it was time to go upstairs.

The check-in process itself was so easy and we were able to see a nurse within about 10 minutes. She checked me and I heard something I did not want to hear, "you're only two centimeters". Uggggh. However we talked about the small possibility that my water could have broke. I didn't think it did but there were some things going on that did not feel normal. So the nurse did this lovely test that would tell whether or not my water did indeed break. After she left the room, I told J to start thinking of what else needs to be done because it was looking as though we would be going home.

Within a few minutes she came back with the results. My water had broke. WHAT? Now I never thought I'd feel this huge gush like in the movies but I really thought I would know when it happened. Nope. No clue. But either way, that meant I was staying. Thank goodness we went in when we did because that could have lead to other infections or complications. By 1:15 we were set up in our room. We called our families and told them not to worry about coming right away because it was going to be a long day however they were all there by 2:00! We were instructed to walk for an hour then come back to be checked. Around 3:15 pm. I had progressed to 3 cm but still had a long way to go!

This is where I start getting a little confused with time...

After our walk our nurse suggested I try the birthing ball. Sounded good to me. I labored on that for quite some time. I also tried many other laboring positions including one where I was on my knees for close to an hour. We were trying anything to get H to drop because she was not moving!

Eventually I was 4 cm dilated and I felt like we were slowly getting there. J went to grab some dinner with his dad and brother and our families came in to visit, two at a time (hospital rule). Time went really fast but also seemed to go slow. Some how 9 pm crept upon us and I was still laboring. The doctor placed me on a pit drip to try and get things going. When they decided to check me they realized that not all my water had broke. I'm not sure how this is possible but my bag was still somewhat full. So they had to go in and break the rest of it.

That's when it hit me. After they broke the bag the contractions went crazy! I was at 5 cm and it horrific pain. I always thought I had a high pain tolerance. I've had three knee surgeries and my wisdom teeth taken out and have only taken Ibuprofin. I hate taking medication and will suck it up before trying anything. But this was different. The contractions were on top of each other and I couldn't control the pain. With tears streaming down my face I decided to do the one thing I didn't want to do--get an epidural. It ended up being the best decision I could have made. I felt undefeated and didn't want to disappoint J. But he watched me struggle and told me it was okay. For everyone who has done a natural childbirth, including my two friends Jenna and Keri who have done it twice, I think you are amazing. I also don't know how you did it!

I was so incrediably worried about the epidural. I don't do well with pain medication and have a history of passing out. So my biggest fear was reacting to the medication. Everything worked out very well. My nurse, along with all of them I had, was amazing and kept constant tabs on my BP. At one time it got super low and J paniced (bottom number in the 30s) but they were able to get it back up. Even though I got an epidural I wanted to make sure that I didn't over-do it. I asked to be put on the lowest dosage possible (I don't know if they listened but I asked) and I only hit the button when I desperately needed to which ended up being every 60-90 minutes. I think after getting the epidural any pain seemed like a lot! It was also much different than I thought it would be. The idea of not being able to feel or move my legs seemed totally crazy but it wasn't like that. I still could move them and still could feel. I was thankful for this! The nurse told me I needed to rest and that she would come back and check me within an hour.

I think it was close to 1 am when she  came in to check me. I was 7 cm but Hadley was still having a hard time moving down. The nurse explained that since I had an epidural and couldn't walk, she had to empty my bladder. Normally I probably wouldn't share about this part but it does play an important role in her delivery. Hadley decided she was going to block my bladder with her head. This meant they could not get to my bladder to empty it. At one time there were five people standing around me trying to put in a catheter. See? Modesty out the window! I bet they tried for 45 minutes to an hour using several different catheters and even an ultrasound but still couldn't get it. My nurse was worried because if I had to go in for a c-section this was a must to have! Eventually I think they just gave up hoping she would move!

3 am came and went and they still were allowing me to labor. I definitely was feeling the contractions more and more. I was still pretty disappointed in myself for getting the epidural. More than anything I wanted a natural child birth. But things don't always go as planned and after being poked at for almost an hour with the catheter, I was thankful for it!

Around 4 am, I was 10 cm and the nurse suggested we start pushing when I felt a contraction.

Tomorrow will be part 3--the last part!

*Thank you for reading our birth story. This is written to document Hadley's big day for our family.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hadley's Birth Story Part 1

I had ever intention of writing this pretty quickly after we came home however a lot of things happened that I would have never imagined.

***WARNING: I promise not to go into details but there are some things I will talk about in here that are more personal and that I may not normally share. However, after you've had a baby modesty is out the window. At least in my situation it totally was! There is definitely still a line that will not be crossed but I also want to remember her birth in all its glory. You were warned.***

My mom's birthday was Saturday, August 24th. My parents had to move my sister into the dorms that day. So basically I was not allowed to have the baby then. I felt great that day. I told Josh I did not want to go to work this week because I was getting tired but I just had to keep pushing through. I even joked with him that knowing my luck, I'll be there the next two weeks.

I was wrong!

I woke up Sunday around 3 am with contractions. I knew they were not BH because they felt completely different. But they didn't hurt that bad and I figured they would go away so I drank a bunch of water and tried going  back to sleep. I would doze off and on for the next few hours. Somewhere between 3 am and 8 am I decided to time the contractions. I wasn't sleeping well and they just seemed to be pretty steady. At first they started about 6 minutes apart. I was kind of surprised because I thought they would be much farther than that. They also came very regular. Every once in a while I'd have one that was 4 minutes apart from the others.

Around 8 am I decided I was going to know, just in case. I was up and thought that maybe it would help stop them or tell me if I was really in labor. After my shower they were coming steadily at 4 minutes apart and were growing more intensely. I had a feeling that we might be going to the hospital that day so I decided to wake J up. I explained we had plenty of time but I thought he might want to get a few more things crossed off his list.

While I finished getting reading, doing my hair, putting on make-up, and packing last minute items (just in case), J mowed, cleaned the garage, and cleaned out his car. I kept timing the contractions and around 10 am realized they were much more intense and coming about 3 minutes apart. That's when I started to panic. I called the doctor on call and he told me to wait it out as long as possible. He said give it another few hours and walk. I knew for sure today was the day.

J came in and showered and got all of his things ready to go. Meanwhile I vacuumed the downstairs, cleaned the kitchen, and quickly mopped the floor. Might as well move around and get the baby going! Around 11 am we were all ready to go. The bags were in the car and my contractions were coming 2-3 minutes apart. I wasn't in horrible pain by any means. In fact, I thought this whole process was going to be pretty easy if the pain continued like it was (but I knew it would be much worse later).

We were both starving when we started out to the hospital and I knew they wouldn't let me eat when I got there. So we stopped at Panera! I love their breakfast sandwiches and decided we would have a little breakfast treat!

A little after noon we arrived in the hospital and all of our "plans" changed.

Check out part 2 tomorrow!

Friday, September 6, 2013

She's here!!

On Monday, August 26, Hadley Aleis graced us with her presence at 7:14am. She weighed 8lbs 6oz and was 20 inches long.

Since that day our lives have completely changed. For the better, of course! We are totally in love and are excited for new surprises every day.

Ignore the fact I'm a hot mess here. 

I'm so behind on blogging. It's been a short but long {almost} two weeks. I will have the birth story up shortly along with other posts about Hadley, our new family of three, and post pregnancy!