{winter}: it snows today

It snows today.  And it's such a rare occurance that I ran out and took pictures just as fast as I could because you never know if you'll see it happen again!  Paisley kept trying to fill up her hands so she could eat it.  I remember the winter that Jon moved here.  I drove over to his apartment with hot chocolate and mugs and he couldn't understand what the big deal was.  The longer we're here the more we miss it...not enough to actually move, but enough that we're sad our kids won't really know what it is.

Christmas morning was so fun this year.  We stayed home and relaxed with our little family.  We spend Christmas eve delivering Christmas candy, looking at Christmas lights and listening to Christmas carols.  Santa came that night and filled our stockings and under our tree!!  It is so fun having Paisley get so excited-Christmas really is so much more fun with kids!

 Stella got some fun chew toys which she LOVES.  She is such a good baby and we just love her so much.
(Jon's not sure if it's his size, lol)
 Paisley got a whole treasure chest of dress-ups (hence the crown), lots of fun my little pony things, her new hello kitty jammies and her giant elephant!!
 She loves this elephant so far and insists on taking it around the house with her everywhere she goes so she has something to lay on.  It's like a giant pillow pet and takes up most of her bed (which she loves).
 She has started posing for pictures...oh dear.  Our diet on Christmas consisted mostly of candy, candy and egg nog...and then more candy.  Ug.  I was going to make a Christmas ham but Jon still isn't over his stomach flu so we went Chinese for Christmas instead and it was awesome!!  The Red Ginger here has some amazing lamb & radish soup you have to ask for that is delicious and perfect for a winter night!
And my Aunt and Uncle Measom are up from Texas and came to use our internet on Christmas day so they could skype with my cousin on a mission in Chile.  It was so fun to have them all here!!  I wish we had a bigger couch for them!!

We have been busy but soo so good.  I just can't help but feel so blessed this Christmas season.  We are so surrounded by wonderful friends and family and so grateful for all that we have.  We've been hitting the house market hard looking for something and it is terrible!!  It's so easy to get caught up and wish we had more money or worry that we'll never be able to buy anything and actually afford it...then I look at my healthy babies and my sweet husband and realize that I'm already too spoiled as it is.  Ohhh...I love them.  Hopefully we'll find something soon...I'm afraid if we don't we may just give up and live here for the rest of our lives (which really wouldn't be so bad-our heater broke last week and all I had to do was call someone...soooo nice!!).  If anyone hears of anything LET US KNOW-we're on the prowl.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!


{preschool}: christmas

I've been loving having these cute kiddies for preschool this month.  They really are so much fun!! We play games and make crafts and read stories...I just can't believe how big they all are!!


{potty training}: hopefully a means to an end...?

On Thursday a garbage truck came to pick up our garbage (the big kind with the hooks on the front to lift up dumpsters) and it scared Paisley.  At the exact moment that she expressed her fear of the big truck a horrible, awful idea occurred to me:

"Paisley, if you poop on your floor again I'm going to have to give your snuggles to the garbage truck" (snuggles is her most favorite comfort object and blanky)

"That truck?  The scary fire truck?"

"Yep.  The scary fire truck"

She has not pooped on her floor since going 3 days strong...

Pray for me that terrorizing her with this is the answer.


{potty training}: at wits end...

So...since my surgery Paisley has pooped on her floor every single day that we've been home.  (so minus Thanksgiving and a weekend at a cabin)...meaning we're going on a month and a half of pooping on the floor EVERY day.  She typically poops on the floor during her nap time..or sometimes surprises me and just goes up there randomly during the day to do it.  She also poops on the potty quite regularly but somehow saves some special time of day to poop on the floor.  I have tried:

  • Not doing nap time.  She still needs it.  Still finds another time of day to go poop on her floor
  • Changing the time of nap time.  Doesn't matter.  Even if she goes before she still manages to poop on her floor.
  • Spending more time with her.  Spending more one-on-one time with her.  Cuddling and loving on her more.  etc.
  • Changing general routine to get out more, spend more time doing fun things for her, etc.
  • Taking toys or privileges away.
  • Spanking her.
  • Putting her back in diapers-for almost a full month, which she asked for every day and still...took those off to poop on the floor.
  • Duct taping diapers on for naps.  Still took them off and pooped on the floor.
  • Starting over with a reward system.  She then thought she should be rewarded for everything and constantly asked for treats...done with that...oh, and still pooped on the floor.
  • Other means of positive reinforcement...do not work
  • Ignoring the situation.
  • Having her help clean it up.  Does not care.  Loves to clean.
  • Spanking her. (still not really THAT hard, but hard enough to mean business)
  • Buying her most FAVORITE my little pony panties and hanging them on her wall for her to see out of reach and telling her that if she doesn't poop on the floor she gets to wear them!!  (which she talked about non-stop the entire day before...and then pooped on the floor)
  • Explaining in depth the situation, why we shouldn't poop on the floor, that it makes Mommy sad, that it's gross, that there are germs, that Mommy and Daddy don't like to clean it up.  She has repeated all of this back to me and understands it in depth-even so far as to explain it to her dollies, horsies and other toys (that also have problems pooping on the floor, apparently).
  • Jon and I have taken turns dealing with it to see if she's acting out towards one or the other.  Does not matter.
  • She does not care if her toys are taken away.  And I mean ALL her toys...no big deal.
  • Does not care if her blanket is taken away.
  • Really the only thing she cares about is hanging out with me but I can't leave her in her room by herself all day because...she poops on the floor.  And the only time I do leave her up there is during nap time-other than that shes just with me all day.
The one thing I've had recommended to me is trying to force her to go potty by holding her on there until she goes every time.  I'm not doing that.  I take her plenty and if she needs to go she goes, and if she doesn't need to she doesn't.  I'm not going to make her sit on the potty for an hour before nap time and try and force her to go.  Even if she does go of her own accord right before naps she still manages to poop on the floor.

I have witnessed her wake up out of sleep in the night to get up and go potty.  She poops in the potty every other time of day-and even during nap times if she's already pooped on the floor that day.  My sanity and my carpet need help.  I honestly don't know what to do.  It's not a medical thing (she poops just fine), I'm sure it's psychological but I have no idea how to fix it.  I knew she was going to be challenging, but WOW.  

I know that it's probably a regression because of the baby, or all the travelling and the busy-ness and everything else.  And I have read EVERYTHING that is available about regression-and have done EVERYTHING that has been recommended.  Nothing is working.  And this isn't a "be patient and give it time" thing-it's been almost 2 months and the girl is potty trained and has been for a year.  

I know its a control issue too.  Once again-how am I supposed to deal with it?  It's got to stop.  Has anyone been through this?  I'm at the end...

I find that by the time I'm going crazy enough to actually blog about something it typically resolves itself somehow so I'm really hoping that's the case here...


{routine}: coming, this December.

Something inside smiles when I wake up on a Wednesday in a different place and a different bed.

At that exact same moment my brain explodes with a need to be in my own bed, in my own room, doing my usual routine.

It's a continual battle.

My brain screams and whines for routine and my heart loves to wander away from it.

Ah, wanderlust.  You keep me crossing things off my list.



Having my tonsils removed has been awful.  I was warned that it would be awful.  It's awful.  I can't talk, I can't eat, it hurts SO bad and I look and feel like a drug addict on the percocet.  It makes my face itch and it makes me not be able to focus or read very well...so I think this post will be short.

I think the percocet has been making Stella all weird too because she keeps sticking her tongue out at me and scratching her face...so there you have it-mama and baby drug addicts.  We stay in bed together all day so I can feed her.

I had them out on the 1st, today is the 9th and I can honestly say there has been no improvement pain-wise...which is so discouraging.  Today is the first day I've felt like I can really sit up at a computer and type at all though, so I have to believe I'm making some sort of progress.

I got the stomach flu a couple of days ago on top of things...I think I'll probably have nightmares about that for a long time.  Throwing up with scabs in the back of your throat....

I nicked one of my scabs last night trying to brush my teeth and spent the night bleeding.

Really it's mostly bad news around here right now.

Wait, there is one thing.  I weigh 10 lbs less than Jon.  not worth it.

AND I am surrounded by so many kind people that have fed my family, checked in on us, helped with the kids, and just generally rescued us from this!  Thank you so much all of you that have helped.  Seriously I feel like that's the only reason we've survived and I've survived.

love you guys.


{wisdom}: growing

19 Things To Stop Doing In Your 20s
1. Stop placing all the blame on other people for how they interact with you. To an extent, people treat you the way you want to be treated. A lot of social behavior is cause and effect. Take responsibility for (accept) the fact that you are the only constant variable in your equation.
2. Stop being lazy by being constantly “busy.” It’s easy to be busy. It justifies never having enough time to clean, cook for yourself, go out with friends, meet new people. Realize that every time you give in to your ‘busyness,’ it’s you who’s making the decision, not the demands of your job.
3. Stop seeking out distractions. You will always be able to find them.
4. Stop trying to get away with work that’s “good enough.” People notice when “good enough” is how you approach your job. Usually these people will be the same who have the power to promote you, offer you a health insurance plan, and give you more money. They will take your approach into consideration when thinking about you for a raise.
5. Stop allowing yourself to be so comfortable all the time. Coming up with a list of reasons to procrastinate risky, innovative decisions offers more short-term gratification than not procrastinating. But when you stop procrastinating to make a drastic change, your list of reasons to procrastinate becomes a list of ideas about how to better navigate the risk you’re taking.
6. Stop identifying yourself as a cliche and start treating yourself as an individual. Constantly checking your life against a prewritten narrative or story of how things “should” be is a bought-into way of life. It’s sort of like renting your identity. It isn’t you. You are more nuanced than the narrative you try to fit yourself into, more complex than the story that “should” be happening.
7. Stop expecting people to be better than they were in high school — learn how to deal with it instead. Just because you’re out of high school doesn’t mean you’re out of high school. There will always be people in your life who want what you have, are threatened by who you are, and will ridicule you for doing something that threatens how they see their position in the world.
8. Stop being stingy. If you really care about something, spend your money on it. There is often a notion that you are saving for something. Either clarify what that thing is or start spending your money on things that are important to you. Spend money on road trips. Spend money on healthy food. Spend money on opportunities. Spend money on things you’ll keep.
9. Stop treating errands as burdens. Instead, use them as time to focus on doing one thing, and doing it right. Errands and chores are essentially rote tasks that allow you time to think. They function to get you away from your phone, the internet, and other distractions. Focus and attention span are difficult things to maintain when you’re focused and attentive on X amount of things at any given moment.
10. Stop blaming yourself for being human. You’re fine. Having a little anxiety is fine. Being scared is fine. Your secrets are fine. You’re well-meaning. You’re intelligent. You’re blowing it out of proportion. You’re fine.
11. Stop ignoring the fact that other people have unique perspectives and positions. Start approaching people more thoughtfully. People will appreciate you for deliberately trying to conceive their own perspective and position in the world. It not only creates a basis for empathy and respect, it also primes people to be more open and generous with you.
12. Stop seeking approval so hard. Approach people with the belief that you’re a good person. It’s normal to want the people around you to like you. But it becomes a self-imposed burden when almost all your behavior toward certain people is designed to constantly reassure you of their approval.
13. Stop considering the same things you’ve always done as the only options there are. It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re older is not having consumed enough beer in your 20s, or not having bought enough $5 lattes, or not having gone out to brunch enough times, or not having spent enough time on the internet. Fear of missing out is a real, toxic thing. You’ve figured out drinking and going out. You’ve experimented enough. You’ve gotten your fill of internet memes. Figure something else out.
14. Stop rejecting the potential to feel pain. Suffering is a universal constant for sentient beings. It is not unnatural to suffer. Being in a constant state of suffering is bad. But it is often hard to appreciate happiness when there’s nothing to compare it to. Rejecting the potential to suffer is unsustainable and unrealistic.
15. Stop approaching adverse situations with anger and frustration. You will always deal with people who want things that seem counter to your interests. There will always be people who threaten to prevent you from getting what you want by trying to get what they want. This is naturally frustrating. Realize that the person you’re dealing with is in the same position as you — by seeking out your own interests, you threaten to thwart theirs. It isn’t personal — you’re both just focused on getting different things that happen to seem mutually exclusive. Approach situations like these with reason. Be calm. Don’t start off mad, it’ll only make things more tense.
16. Stop meeting anger with anger. People will make you mad. Your reaction to this might be to try and make them mad. This is something of a first-order reaction. That is, it isn’t very thoughtful — it may be the first thing you’re inclined to do. Try to suppress this reaction. Be thoughtful. Imagine your response said aloud before you say it. If you don’t have to respond immediately, don’t.
17. Stop agreeing to do things that you know you’ll never actually do. It doesn’t help anyone. To a certain extent, it’s a social norm to be granted a ‘free pass’ when you don’t do something for someone that you said you were going to do. People notice when you don’t follow through, though, especially if it’s above 50% of the time.
18. Stop ‘buying’ things you know you’ll throw away. Invest in friendships that aren’t parasitic. Spend your time on things that aren’t distractions. Put your stock in fleeting opportunity. Focus on the important.
19. Stop being afraid.


{georgia}: some stories

Our trip to Georgia was a busy one!  But so much fun.  I was so scared to fly with both girls because with two when it gets bad...it is epic.  Thankfully they were really good!  Paisley loved the airplane and thought it was so cool to fly in the sky like Rainbow Dash (my little pony).  Speaking of which, we bought a new pony for both the trip there and the trip back and that seemed to help.  It gave her a reason to keep up with us because she knew when we got on the plane and all settled and took off that she would get her new pony (which she helped pick out before).  I also invested in lots of stickers and new fun treats and she actually stayed awake the entire drive to Vegas, the entire flight and almost the whole way!  We started off visiting my sister and her husband and 2 boys.  She loved their backyard and playing and running around with them!  They have a cute little house out in the middle of what looks like a forest!  It was really pretty!
She loved the swings!!  They went SOO high and she thought it was great.  She could not to be happier having 2 cousins to play with!
These are my 2 sisters, Michelle and Brittney.  Michelle is my half sister and Brittney is my full sister and only 11 months older than me.  (And she looks like Pocahontas...apparently we've got some native in the family).
 I am now that much more curious about what my children will look like!  After being there we all traveled to visit my biological father and his wife.  They have a gorgeous house and backyard and he's built this darling little train for the kids.  They loved it!  It was great because there was so much room for them to run around and play and chase each other and they have so many fun toys inside for all the grandkids too! Everywhere we went everyone was feeding us delicious food and we were completely spoiled.
Paisley just wanted to GO FAST!!
We also went to this cute pumpkin patch-I've never seen so many pumpkins all in one place and so huge!  The kids had such a fun time running around and the pumpkins were plenty big for Paisley to lay on them!
We also met Robin up at my biological father's house.  She is my other half sister and I just love her.  I still can't believe we both walked out of the house wearing the same shirt and didn't realize it until well into the day!
All the similiarites with all my sisters was crazy!

My biological father was really excited to have all of his girls all together.  We were pretty excited to be all together too ;)  Before we left we were able to meet my biological grandmother and she looks identical to Stella!!  It was crazy!  We figured we would probably meet who she is (she's not me or Jon!) on our trip and we did!

Finally, at the end of the trip I met my biological mother.  We brought the camera crews for that part so meeting up at a park seemed like the easiest thing to do (instead of bringing that racket to someones house).  I actually feel like I had the most one on one time with her.  We spent most of the day at her parents house (my biological grandparents) and it was wonderful to meet them.
The next day we traveled home.  It was so nice sleeping in our own bed and getting resettled before going out and filming the next day with The Buried Life.  I've heard from the camera crew and such that the episode turned out really well.  I wasn't too worried considering they're only a few minutes long, but I'm glad to have some documentation of all the madness!
They kept asking me if meeting your biological family is something I would recommend.  Honestly, I feel like one in a million with the positive experience that I've had.  I don't feel like it's often that things go so well-we truly were surrounded by so much love and I'm grateful to have met them and to continue a relationship with all of them.
We are continually so very blessed.


{update}: my life be like

It's nice being back in reality.  It's been a crazy week...good crazy but still crazy.

Back in February I spoke with my biological family for the first time.  I found out I have not only a Biological Mother (obviously) but a Father, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and siblings all interested in talking to me and getting to know me.  These people spent their entire lives wondering about me, praying for me and even celebrating my birthday.  It was an overwhelming feeling finding out that I was loved by so many people I didn't even knew existed.

Sometime last year I was introduced to a TV show on MTV called The Buried Life (we missed it on air and watched all the episodes on netflix).  I fell in love with the idea of the show and it's mission to accomplish things in your life and help people.  A few months ago they teamed up with Subaru with a contest to accomplish "The America List" and asked their fans to write in ideas that were unique to do in their town.  I wrote them a short note on a whim listing off a couple of fun things we love to do here in St. George...

A few weeks ago MTV called me and said they were interested in coming to visit and play with us. I was blown away.  I talked to them about everything and they spoke with them again, submitted some video chatting and then found out that the time they wanted to be filming was when I was going to be in Georgia meeting my biological family for the first time.  I explained that to them wanting them to understand the weight of the situation (and hoping that they would adjust filming timing seeing that I was doing something kind of huge).  Instead they asked if they could come with us!! (honestly not what I was expecting).  So they did.

We met up with my biological sisters, my biological father and finally met my mother (cameras in tow for that one on Monday), flew back Tuesday and spent all day yesterday filming with them.  They are a crazy bunch of boys and we really do just love them.  The production crew they brought was so kind and wonderful to work with...waking up this morning back in reality was so quiet compared to everything we've been through in the last week!!

I'll be posting more with pictures here in the next couple of days...but here's what yesterday looked like:
If you're not familiar with the show, watch this.  You'll love them too.  

Oh the stories...there will be more of them...
But often, in the world's most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
—Matthew Arnold, 1852


{a weighty issue}

In light of my fb post about all of you force feeding my husband I've had several people asking me how I am losing weight.  I thought I would address this because I feel the need to spread the good word, and thank you all so much for your kind words.  Some tips:
  • Read Women, Food and God. This book changed so much for me, and everyone that I've recommended it to who has actually read it has had a good cry and figured some stuff out.  Just about everything I'm going to go over stems from this book. See here and here.
  • Stop dieting.  Now.  Seriously.  If you want to eat a pan of brownies, do it.  If you want to eat ice cream everyday, all day long do it. With that, however, focus on how it makes you feel being overly full and uncomfortable after you do.  You'll stop wanting to overeat yourself to death.
  • Stop eating when you are full.  And I mean the bite that you're full you're done.  Seems easy, but it took me a good 6 months to master....and if the food is SUPER good I still struggle...
  • Start reading food labels.  EVERYTHING has sugar in it.  Peanut Butter, Yogurt (seriously, don't even go near Yoplait), Spaghetti Sauce, Bread, Milk, Cereal.  When I say I quit sugar, I actually stopped eating all of these things (or switched over to a no-sugar version...and I don't mean fake sugar instead, I mean no sweetener added ie plain greek yogurt, natural peanut butter, and organic 9-grain bread).  A lot of them had WAY more sugar in them than the cookies or cupcakes I want to eat.  And if you're worried about whether or not your kids will eat the healthy food-if it's the only option, they will.  I started buying cereal for a bit while I was prego (it stays down) and suddenly Paisley only wanted cereal for every meal and would refuse other food.  As soon as there wasn't cereal in the house this was no longer a problem...  See here.
  • When you quit eating all the sugar they pack into "normal food" (seriously the "lean cusine's" I was eating were 300 calories and 25 grams of sugar!!!) you'll stop craving sugar.  It takes TIME.  And it's not just about calories...it really is about sugar and processed crap.  
  •  Be European.  Enjoy and experience your food.  As soon as I start trying to count calories or get too specific I get really rebellious.  I just enjoy and stop when I'm full.
  • Don't drink calories.  Drink water.  Lots and lots of water.  If you're lips get chapped you're not drinking enough-your body will tell you this stuff if you listen.
  • Eat more veggies.  We started doing bountiful baskets and I love it.  Find something like that that works for you.
  • Find a cardio that you love and do it.  I LOVE zumba.  So much that I don't mind going 4 days a week because I love it.  As soon as Stella is 6 months I'm going to start lifting because I need some sculpting goodness...something I also enjoy doing.  Don't force yourself to do something you hate-you need to love your body and be nice to it.  See here and here.
  • Love your body.  My body and I had to go through some stuff.  It really wasn't until I survived making/birthing/feeding Paisley that I really began to appreciate my body and be grateful that it was doing such a good job housing my spirit.  I stop hating it and started embracing it and loving it for what it was.  How many episodes of Biggest Loser do we have to watch before we all realize that it's emotional damage that keeps us heavy!  See here and here.
  • Be SUPER patient.  I started changing my lifestyle...gradually...2+ years ago.  I am just now really starting to see some results.  I think I've finally gotten to a point where my body is letting go of the fat because it can trust I'm not going to try and starve it, master cleanse it, or work it to death.  (And I'm nursing, which last time didn't work for me, but I think might be working now because I'm eating so much better and taking care of myself) See here.
  • Think of this as a lifestyle!!  I changed my lifestyle...not put myself on a diet.  It was small change after small change after small change.  In the book Women, Food and God she talks about everyone having a "natural weight" that your body will normalize to and I really think it's true.  I think I'm finally heading towards mine.  See here.
  • Don't drink the koolaid.  I don't know why, but women flock together and hate their bodies as a group-don't do this.  You love your body.  Be different and spread the good word.
I'm down almost 40 lbs from my heaviest weight (not pregnant) so the proof is in the pudding..er, uh veggies.  And if you see me eating a cookie it's because my ultimate slogan is "I never want to be so skinny I can't have cake at a birthday party."  and I'm sticking with that...

Oh, and seriously-force feed my husband something if you see him.  He could use a donut.


{life}: is waxing

Did I ever mention how much this baby loves her Daddy?  So much.  She got her first haircut last Saturday night...I can't believe it still.  She really is such a gorgeous baby and has quite the head of hair!  She was getting tangles and snarls in the back so bad that I couldn't get them untangled so we got out the trimmers and trimmed her up!  She had a pretty bad mullet going anyway so I think it was a good thing.
Life is finally feeling more and more normal.  We have so many crazy things coming up I'm getting a little scared to give up our routine we've finally got going!  We're going to Georgia soon for a week and then I'm getting my tonsils out Nov 1st.  Then it's Thanksgiving and then Christmas...I just know it's all going to be a blur so I'm enjoying these last few weeks of winding down the summer.
I've been doing tons of photos lately and I can't wait to share!  I've had the privilege of doing several fun family shoots and I'm excited!
Halloween is coming!!  We scoured DI Saturday so I could get started on my costume!! And yes, you'll have to wait to see what I'm going to be.  It's an iconic woman that I've loved since I can remember...so excited!
MMMmmm fall...can I just tell you how excited I am to experience some of my fall in Georgia!!  With firefly's and southern cooking?!?!  The had caramels next to the apples at the grocery store and Bath & Body has all their fall scents out!  I love it all so much-snuggle weather, warm scents, apples, pumpkin everything, and sweaters!
Paisley is continually telling me new stories and growing so much.  I am the most entertained by her when she's talking to another critter that's her same size-it's crazy!  Mostly because I can hardly believe my critter is so big-seeing other critters that were so small with her and now so big just makes it that much more real!  Yesterday in church we sat next to another family with a girl her same age who was wearing the same dress as hers.  Paisley pointed out that hers was white and the girls was blue-not only recognizing colors but the fact that it was the same dress!  I know that's not a huge deal for a 3 year old, but it's still amazes me.  She and the girl had a full conversation about ABC cookies, crayons, saying thank-you and prayers.  It was really cute.
Life, like all things waxes and wanes...mine is waxing right now.  I am feeling so blessed-to be surrounded by so much love and such sweet little girls!


{time}: little moments

For Labor day we went up to Pine Valley to have a fire and escape the heat and it was gorgeous!  I actually took pictures this time, so they'll be up soon ;)  I hate going to bed smelling like campfire because it sticks to your sheets!  So Stella and I hopped in the shower.

I love showering with my babies.  Especially when they're still so little...she had been upset before we got in but settled into my chest-content and peaceful.  I love having water babies-they're like me.  They love the water.

For a second I was washed over with the memory of her being born.  Her soft skin, her wet hair, her sweet baby smell...we are so blessed and privileged as women to experience birth and motherhood.  It brings tears to my eyes because I feel like you just can't hold on hard enough to all of these little moments before they come and go.

What a difficult time this is..desperately wanting them to stay little and snuggle a little longer but dying of curiosity to see who and what they become.  I can't help but encourage progression while wanting so badly to keep them both small.  Especially Stella.  Seeing the growth day to day in Paisley is too fun..but Stella can stay my squishy little snuggler forever...OOoooo babies.


{storytime}: the car

A funny story for your Tuesday (but really Monday because of the holiday) morning:

Years ago our windshield on the Scion cracked pretty severely.  So severely that we couldn't pass inspection, which meant we couldn't register our car which eventually led to a ticket.  We finally fixed the windshield but unfortunately when they did it they didn't seal it perfectly so when it would rain we would have a waterfall straight into the CD player.  I got pregnant with Paisley around the time we figured this out and the only time they could see us back was at 7-8 AM in the morning to fix it.  Between the exhaustion and extreme morning sickness I kept putting it off, and kept putting it off and it rains so rarely here that I just wouldn't even think of it until we had a storm.  Thankfully the radio and disc player continued to work through all of this once it had dried out...

Anyway, I finally got it fixed (and it still took going back twice!!!  grr.) and the radio would work fine.  Randomly in the last year it has stopped working in cases of extreme temperature.  So whenever its super hot or super cold the radio just doesn't work.  This has been a pain with it being such a hot summer the radio has only worked sometimes....until I figured out this really, really random trick:

I drive up to check the mail at our mail boxes, usually when I'm coming back from errands so I have the kids with me.  I'm really paranoid about leaving the car running and shutting all the doors so I always crack the window and then get out (to keep the AC going and the cold in).  Strangely (and it must be done in this order and all of these things HAVE to happen...I've tried to see if it's just a single action, but it's all of them). If I put the car in neutral, pull up the brake, unlock my door, crack the window and get out and shut the door behind me...the radio will turn back on.  Yep.  Jon didn't believe me until I showed him.  Super random, but I hoped you enjoyed it.


{growing up}: ?

Ok, so I really could have spent a little bit more time on this diagram, but it shows my point and I'm all about doing the bare minimum when it comes to these sorts of things...
Jon and I had a lengthy discussion on the car drive home from Salt Lake about aging.  We're in a weird place...he's 30, I'm 27 and we both still want to believe that we're 21.  We did so much in our young adulthood, before we had kids, but of course there is always more we could have done.  We're in this strange inbetween where we're certainly not middle aged and completely beaten down by children, but we're also not able to take off chasing a VW bus across the country or off to Mexico to camp for a week.  We find ourselves trying to be responsible, worried about politics and discussing the future of our world and country while also wondering if we could find someone to babysit while we went to warped tour and at what point do we stop trying to be trendy?
Jon painted a picture of one of the best analogy's that I've every heard on the subject.  And I know this isn't anything new, but aging shouldn't be painted as crossing a map.  You aren't moving from one point to another-leaving that piece of you behind as you go.  Instead we are more like a ball of wax-growing and developing as we age-taking every piece of ourselves with us as we progress.  I didn't leave my love for obnoxious punk music and snowboarding in my teenage years.  My ridiculously loud manual transmission car is a souvenir from young adulthood that I really don't want to part with!  And I will always love fried chicken and chocolate milk-just like I did when I was 6.
Sometimes it's hard to find balance.  It was funny-towards the end of both pregnancies I got a little weird.  I start listening to music from high school and wanting more than anything to be back there.  I think I freak out a little at where life is taking me-being a Mom is this crazy responsibly and I miss the simplicity of only looking out for myself.  But then when I sit down for even a moment to think about it I would never go back...I love my life, my hubby and my babies too much.
Jon reminded me that I don't have to give up everything from my past lives-just continue to grow and mold it into where I am now.  And that's what I try to do.  I take silly pictures with silly girls, drive my loud car, play at the park with my babies, cliff jump at the lake, and enjoy chocolate milk.


{birthdays}: paisley

This year Paisley's birthday was a complete bust.  I had this wonderful plan to have all the children run rampant at a pool instead of at my house, I had these super fun cupcakes in mind for eating, and all in all it was going to be a simple and fun time...

On Friday, the day of the party I found out I had strep (and had had strep for a week by then), and also found out that due to school starting the pool would be closing at 6.  (They failed to tell me this when I called and asked them if we could do her party there on the 17th from 6-8...grrr).  But in the end it turned out ok.  We came here instead, ate delicious costco cake (I wasn't about to bake or touch ANYTHING), and colored my little pony pages.  I think she had a good time.  I hope so.
I started looking at the folders of her birthday's so far and couldn't help but compare:

1st Birthday:
 2nd Birthday:
 3rd Birthday:
 She has grown up so fast!!  I still can't believe that she's 3!!  And talking and doing SOO much!  We just love her ♥


{thoughts}: the pioneer woman

I've just started to really catch on to a habit I've formed.  I'm honestly not completely sure when it started, I know I've mentioned it before on here, but today's "woman" doesn't really intimidate me.   It's the pioneer woman that does. (When I say pioneer woman I'm not talking about that sweet woman with the awesome blog with recipes and photo tips, I mean Great Great Great Grandma that crossed the plains)  Instead of the traditional "keeping up with the Jone's" I find myself wondering how the pioneer woman would spend her time, how she would fix this problem, and what a better job she probably did raising her kids.  Her kids couldn't watch too much TV.  She wasn't ever distracted by Pinterest.  She couldn't escape to an indoor shower with hot water when she needed a break.  She nursed her babies, and had them all naturally.  She had no bouncy chair to hold her babies, and no Tylenol for fevers at night.  She cooked all of her meals homemade, darned socks instead of buying new ones and probably got up at dawn and slept at dusk.  I'm guessing exercising wasn't much of an issue-hauling water, heating water and washing dishes alone sounds like some serious cardio to me!  She didn't have a memory foam mattress, air-conditioning or straightener...  She intimidates me.  She's what I ultimately want to measure myself against.  She's who I think about at night when I wonder if I'm doing a good job...


{update}: from my phone!

Okay so it turns out I can blog from my phone... and my phone lets me talk to it and then it does all the typing. Could I be more lazy? Or really more excited?
I am super happy to announce that Stella has been sleeping through the night... a landmark I have been eagerly awaiting!! It turns out that by following some more crunchy parenting techniques I was able to achieve the conventional goal of having my child sleep through the night. I found with her that sleep begets sleep... so I have started holding/wearing her more during the day making sure that she is sleeping more and also have stopped thinking and worrying about sleep being a priority. When she is awake I try to make sure she is wide awake and awake for a little longer. Oddly enough when I would come downstairs and watch tv at 9 instead of trying to be quiet and stay upstairs reading she falls asleep better for the night.... she really likes noise. I also keep feeding her on demand and now that she has put some weight on she's able to make it for longer stretches. I am so grateful and feeling so blessed!
We also blessed Stella this weekend and everything went really well. Of course I completely forgot to get out my camera and do not have a single picture other than the one I instagramed first thing in the morning. My parents surprised us and came down after they said they weren't going to be able to make it and Jon's parents were able to come down as well! We had a full house after the blessing.  As I sat in the meeting completely surrounded by so many friends and family I just felt so much love. We really are so blessed when it comes to family and friends.
Things are finally quieting down and life is returning to normal. I was so intimidated to have 2 children, but the longer I have them the more normal it seems and the less scary it becomes. I guess at some point you stop and look around and realize - I'm doing it so I'm okay, right?
Now if we could just get this blazing heat and mugginess to go away...I'm so ready for fall!!


{nostalgia}: anchor memories

Yesterday in church they spoke about the concept of "anchor memories."  I'd never heard it put that way...such an interesting idea.  Anchor memories are the memories that make you who you are-the big events that you remember.  Some of them are all planned-the first time you go to Disneyland, your wedding, the birth of your children and some of them aren't.  I just wanted to blog a few that popped into my mind yesterday as we were meeting...

I was at a Jr. High dance in maybe 8th-ish grade, dancing with my "boyfriend" at the time and we were dancing to a song I loved at the time...I can't remember which one.  I was singing it to him as we danced and I remember he leaned back and told me that I couldn't sing.  I haven't forgotten that, and I still don't sing confidently.  Someday I'd love some voice lessons, but in the meantime I just keep my voice down.

The one that came to mind as the meeting was going yesterday was my car accident at 16.  My Mom got there first with a neighbor-I wasn't worried to see her.  It was my Dad that I was scared to see.  The car was totaled.  I knew he would kill me.  I thought for sure that my collar bone was broken and the van was so crushed around me that they couldn't get me out right away.  He pulled up on his way home from work-I don't even think he had any idea anything had happened (ah, the world before cell phones) I saw him run up to the van and all the panic in his eyes.  All he cared about was if I was ok.  There were no words about the van-he just rushed to see me.  I bawled-initially out of terror for what he was going to say, and then out of relief.  Sometimes I think you forget that your parents really do love you-especially as a teen for me.

The summer I moved home from college I started going to Institute.  I met this kid that I liked, but the Institute semester ended and then we had a break and then moved to the church by the temple in IF.  I was standing in the foyer when that same kid walked in the door and I ran up to hug him.  There was something significant about this..and I don't know why this particular night was SO significant-but that kid was Jon.  As I left later that night he watched me drive away and decided that he was going to marry me (we weren't even dating or anything).  It's just so strange that I remember that evening so well-but it was Jon that made the huge life decision that night!

I remember chewing bubble gum on the steps of our home in Alabama.  I have few memories of there because I was so little when we left-maybe that's why this stands out.  It was then that my Mom taught me to blow bubbles with bubble gum!  She never chews gum anymore, but that day she did.

I had the most incredible German teacher in high school.  He wasn't just a teacher-he really loved us so much even though he probably wouldn't admit it openly.  I was his aide my Senior year and we were writing lesson plans for his German 2 students.  He was complaining that no matter how short the lesson plan, he was never able to get through the entire thing...ever.  He then said something that really stuck with me "Sometimes we do German, and sometimes we do life.  That's teaching."  I've had that thought ring through my head so many times when I'm trying to accomplish something and it's just not happening.  Sometimes, we don't get to get all the way through our lesson plans...

I was driving in the car with one of my college professors coming back from a commercial shoot.  I was talking about my fear of being on my own, of surviving, of whether or not I should get married and if we could ever survive.  I remember saying "If I'm on my own I won't have health insurance!" and he said "So?  Lots of people don't have insurance..."  I had never thought of that before.  (Ah, the naivety of youth!  I was so spoiled) And there were some years we didn't have insurance...

My parents took my bedroom door.  I had to have been 4 or 5.  The door-slamming ended that day.  That one is burned into my memory forever.  It was terrible!!

I dated a cowboy right before Jon.  He was much older than me and a quiet character.  I think it was good for me to date a grown up for a minute.  I remember telling him that I loved him and was so comfortable with him.  He said "I know.  You love everyone...and is there anyone that you're not comfortable with?"  My mom had said this to me before-so of course I never listened to it.  But hearing it from him made me realize that I had to look deeper in a relationship that just loving someone and being comfortable with them.

Poor Jon's laptop crashed during finals one year.  He stayed up all night trying to fix it only to get an hours worth of sleep so he could head out to take his final.  I had quit a good paying job because I hated it and had just finished working at the halloween store for the season.  We were living in our sad orange apartment-the one we vowed never to have children in because the carpet was at least 40 years old.  That morning I got up, saw Jon off to his final, and found out I was pregnant.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I picked up Twilight to distract me while I waited for him to get home.  I was reading it at the time and needed ANYTHING to take away the anxiety and panic I was feeling.  His face was the best when I told him...I think he was mostly trying not to cry from the stress.  Did I mention that we did want a child?  We did...until it was upon us.  The thing that really stands out is that my Mom rarely calls me-especially without a reason.  She called that morning and was like "I just started thinking about you suddenly and needed to call you...what's up?"

There's so many more.  I think I wanted to reflect because so much of this is knowledge and memories I want to pass on to my children.  I hope I can be as good as my parents were, and I hope my children are as blessed as I was to be surrounded by so many good people with words to share.  I think too it helps me to realize that any moment can be one of these anchor memories...so it's important to be prepared-or maybe not to be prepared at all.  Who knows...


{nursing}: and nursing and nursing...

My sweet baby seems to be going through yet another growth spurt.  I think.  She's coming up on 6 weeks. so it makes sense, but it is going to drive me crazy!  She will ALMOST start to get into a schedule and then she'll go through a growth spurt and any thoughts of eating with some regularity seem to go out the window!!  Right before she was 3 weeks she was starting to sleep for 3 hour increments at night...then she went through a growth spurt and went back to eating every hour or so.  This last week she started doing 3 hour gaps again...and then last night went back to every hour or so and has been doing that all day!!  I know you shouldn't really try and schedule a breastfed infant, but I'm going to go crazy!

Paisley put herself on a schedule at about 2-ish weeks old and stuck with it for the most part.  At 3 and 6 weeks she went through 2 days of eating every hour or so but would then resume the every 3 hours schedule with a 4 hour stretch at night.  She ate at the same times every night and day.  I really thought this was normal to fall into some type of schedule!!  Stella refuses to!

We put her down at the same time every night and I wake her up at this time to feed her and we have a bedtime routine.  And we get up about the same time everyday (Paisley is a reliable alarm).  We even have a pretty normal daytime routine..Stella just eats whenever.  And I can't turn her down...!  And I know I might just need to be patient, but has anyone run into this before?  Any suggestions on trying to guide her into a schedule?  She's not even regular on what times of day she's awake...sometimes it's all morning, sometimes all afternoon and sometimes for a couple hours in the evening...

The daytime doesn't really bother me to much, it's the night time that I wish was reliable.  It was so nice to wake up with Paisley and look at the clock and know that she was just fidgeting to fidget, not because she was hungry.  And I think a good part of getting her to sleep through the night is that my body got so used to her schedule that I started to wake up before she would and feed her in her sleep so she never woke up-2 weeks of that and she was sleeping all the way through!  I would really like to establish this with Stella..but she has no set increment of time between feedings, between sleepings...anything!  I will say she generally likes to sleep at night-she isn't usually awake for long stretches unless she's upset, so that's good, but there just isn't any pattern to her waking to eat...

Anyone?  Do I just need to be patient, or is this normal and Paisley is the weirdo?

In other news, I finally did some comparisons:


So basically they are identical and totally different...


{baby}: update & pics

OOOooooo baby.  I finally finished Stella's newborn pics, but I'm going to make you go over to the fotoblog to see all of them.  Yes, I am that lazy.  This one is a favorite.  I wish she was sleeping, but oh well-she wasn't too interested in doing much of what I wanted her to do with pics.  That's how it usually goes photographing your own children!  I love this because these are the reason we named her Stella!  These are Jon's most favorite guitars.  His Mom found his first one in a dumpster with a broken neck and he fixed it up and cut teardrop holes out of the body.  They are 3/4 size guitars and they have a nice folky sound.  I love them too.  Oddly they seem to be multiplying around here...we once had 2 guitars and now we have 8...hmmmm.

In other news Stella slept for almost a 5 hour block a couple nights ago!!  Oh, it was wonderful so I was really excited but unfortunately it was short lived.  She's been on the eat-every-2-hours-or-less schedule since she was born and I'm tired.  I think she's just been hungry because she's been growing!!  She had already gained a pound at her 2 week and grown an inch!  It goes too fast, but when you aren't sleeping, not fast enough! lol  We can already see her starting to pudge a bit so that's a good sign..I'm hoping she'll put on some weight and be able to sleep longer.

Paisley is doing really pretty well.  We had a rough week 2 weeks ago but things are already looking a bit better.  I just had to realign the best ways to discipline her and also figure out how to do that while nursing ALL THE TIME.  It's not easy, but since I've been staying on top of her she's really improved.

Only one more week until my 6 week check-up!!  Jon couldn't be more excited...



I'm starting to feel like I've been brainwashed.  That may sound funny, but I'm totally serious!  I found myself yesterday thinking "awww, I miss being pregnant...I loved rubbing my belly full of baby..."  Then I took a second to really try and think about what was going through my mind.  I had to fight to remember that the reason I was rubbing that belly is because it was uncomfortable and sore-sure it had a sweet baby inside, but that is not why I was rubbing.  It was a fight to try and really remember the discomfort...as if those memories had just been washed out of my brain!! Weird!!  The craziest part-I was still pregnant only 3 weeks ago!!  I swear I can remember the pain of knee surgery 10 years ago better than the pain of pregnancy!!  I will say the labor and delivery part has stuck with me...but the day to day of pregnancy misery is fading faster and faster with each day.  It's weird, not gonna lie.


{simple pleasures}: a list

Life's most simple pleasures:

  • Having a bladder.  Seriously, I haven't had one for the last 3 months and being able to not pee every 30 minutes is wonderful.
  • Sleep.  And yes, she's getting up to eat every 2 hours, but still those hour and a half naps in between on my back, my sides and even my stomach are the best thing that has ever happened to me.  There is nothing like restful, peaceful, no-hurt sleep.  Mmmm.
  • Sweet newborn noises.  Ohhh...I love.
  • Sweet newborn smells.  I love to just breathe her in.  I keep panicking that it's all going too fast already and Jon keeps reassuring me that I need to just enjoy while I can.
  • Bending, Lifting and being generally mobile.  I missed so much.  I do love being able to pick up Paisley and love on her again-it's so much easier without a giant belly!
  • FOOD.  I can eat!!  I want to eat!!  I LOVE to eat again!!  Oh, it makes me so happy!
  • There is nothing like taking a nap with a newborn snuggled on your chest.  I just love to savor every moment....
We are enjoying our little Stella.  And I couldn't be happier now that I'm not pregnant!!


{catch up}: may

May was an absolutely crazy month for us.  We had a lot going on the entire month-starting with friends weddings and showers and ending with my sister's wedding and Stella's birth!  We also went on a Pioneer Trek with our ward.  I was partially in charge of a couple of the meals for the trek and it was our last opportunity to go camping with just the 3 of us.
 These are actual pioneer ruts carved in rock by handcarts on their way to St. George.  I am SO grateful I stayed at camp while Jon and Paisley trekked.  It was pretty intense!!
 I still can't believe they came down this way.  They decided that even though there were only 30 or so people trekking, they wanted to take ALL 5 of the handcarts, barely loaded.  I think next time they'll opt to take 2-ish.  It was rough.
 Paisley (the filthy, filthy child shown above) caught a frog.  I have never seen her so beat up as she was after trek.  She was covered head to toe with dirt, cuts and bruises.  It took a shower and then a bath the next day to reveal all of her injuries.  She LOVED it though.
 This is them, ready to set out for the day!  I'm so glad she went with him!
 I went on a trek of my own.  In the car.  To Enterprise (the closest town) to make some phone calls since we didn't have reception where we were.  I also may have stopped at Marv's for some lunch...teehee.  On the way back I stopped the pioneer cemetery called Hebron.  I thought this grave was interesting...Indian Squaw?  I guess they were kind enough to bury her?  It was way over scrunched in the corner next to another one that just said "Transient"  ouch.
 I still can't get over this damn.  Also built by pioneers (as far as we could understand) it was pretty crazy to see that it's been laid rock by rock.  The reservoir up above is apparently full of fish?  And the wildflowers were gorgeous.  It's cool to see what will bloom in the blazing hot desert we live in!

I wish I had taken a picture of the food.  We had 15 dutch ovens all going at once with chicken, potatoes and cobbler.  I'm so glad I stayed at camp while everyone else trekked.  I wanted to go, but realized that I could either cook or trek.  And I think I chose wisely by cooking-everyone was pretty hungry when they got back.

We actually left early because my biological cousin drove down for the solar eclipse and stayed with us Saturday and Sunday.  It was really cool to actually meet someone from my biological side.  She's from Georgia going to BYU Provo and had tons of fun stories about her family and my biological one.

 The following week/weekend Chad and Sarah got sealed!  It was so neat to go through the temple with them and their sealing was really cool!  My cousin got married that same day at the same time so I got to see a bunch of my extended family as well!
 The next week my family started arriving.  My parents got here Tuesday and Wednesday was my baby shower.  I'm so glad for everyone that came!  It was really fun and so well put together.  I wish I had taken pictures!!  Thursday night was the Rehearsal dinner for Brian and Christina.  It was a Hawaiian themed luau and as you can see they dressed well for the occasion!  The food was amazing!
 Friday, Christina got married!!  Paisley loved her pretty white dress!  And she looked so darling in her dress (a stark contrast to the filthy child pictured above with the frog).  It was so great to see all of my family.
 I'm not sure what's going on with my face in this pic, but everyone else looks good.  I can safely say I was in labor at this point, and not in a particularly good mood.  I was happy to be with friends and family and sad to be contracting and dying of heat.  I believe we hit 102F that day...it was blazing hot.  Paisley could not have been happier.  She made friends with my cousin's sweet little boy and they ran through the park all night together, happy as can be.  It was cute.
The reception turned out gorgeous.  My parents are now completely sold on hiring a wedding planner.  I'll post more pics of the wedding soon over on the foto blog.  It really was darling.  I'm just so glad it's all done.  It's been super quiet around here since and I almost don't know what to do with myself...oh wait, yes I do.  Sleep when I can and keep feeding this hungry little baby!


{questions}: and answers

Here are the most common questions I have been getting and some answers:

  • More details??! Stella was 7 lbs 6 oz when she was born and 19" long.  She had jaundice so we had to stay an extra day and keep her under lights, but she was checked this morning and her bili levels are doing much better!
  • Will I do it again?  Yes.  Absolutely.  But give me a couple of years.  I really have no desire to be pregnant again for a LONG time, but as far as having that next baby naturally goes, I'm in.  I think I'll do an entirely separate post about this.
  • How is Paisley doing?  Soooo good.  I was super, super worried about this and she has been awesome.  She loves Stella and has been surprisingly patient with me nursing and very loving and helpful towards her.  I was worried about leaving her with my Mom and everything and she was super good for her too.  Hopefully this lasts and continues!
  • How's nursing?  Busy.  She is really into cluster feeding in the middle of the day and the middle of the night.  Like every hour.  Our first night home was really rough, but last night was much better.  She really, really does not like sleeping on her back, so I may have to break some rules and let her sleep on her tummy.  Or maybe her sides.  We'll see.
  • How am I?  So good.  I feel great and I just want to get into a routine so that I can feel normal, but at the same time I realize that may take a bit.  I'm tired too, but holding up really well.  Having my Mom here has really saved the day.  She's let me sleep in the mornings and taken care of Paisley.  She had to head back today and will be greatly missed!!
  • How is Jon?  Tired.  And a little bit sick with a cold.  He seems better today than he was but he crashed after everything went down.  He's been working a bit this week since I had my Mom here and will be with me the rest of the week and some of next which will be nice.
Company has been nice-we've had just the right amount this time around, so if you'd like to snuggle a newborn you're more than welcome ;)  We really appreciate all of the love and support we've received-we have the best friends and family in the world.  And we just love this new little girl. ♥


{baby}: stella jayne

Before I begin this post, I have to thank my very kind Father in heaven.  I am still completely in awe at how things all came together, and I'm so grateful.

Christina, my sister got married on Friday, June 1st.  I woke up that morning to my mucous plug shedding...hopeful that it would lead to something.  I then ran around helping her and everyone else get ready, attending and photographing after the wedding and then attending and photographing the reception.  I was not a happy camper-mostly because the uncertainty of when I was going to have this baby, and the amount of pain I was having with contractions that would not regulate.

Saturday, the 2nd was our Gubler Family Reunion.  Jon and I were the first ones at the cemetery where we were starting, followed by Katie, my cousin and midwife.  After complaining to her of my very frustrating pains and lack of regulation she offered to take me over to her house a couple of streets away and at least check me to see if anything was happening.  I was dilated to a 4+ and 70% effaced...progress from my appointment on Thursday.  So she stripped my membranes.  Like really good.

I kept having contractions, went home for lunch and then laid down for a nap.  Finally as I lay down things started to regulate-5 minutes apart.  Painful, but not really.  I let them keep going for 2-ish hours and then got up to start putting things together.  I got in the tub for a bit, cleaned up some things and packed our bags.  Every time I was up they would start going faster and harder and every time I laid down and tried to relax they would settle back down to 5 mins or so apart.

When I had Paisley, my water broke at home.  I really tried to help that not happen this time but doing everything I could to prevent infections and taking both Vitamin C and E.  I really do think that helped keep my amniotic sac intact.  Unfortunately, trying to determine when is the best time to go to the hospital was way more difficult without my water being broken.  Finally, I just kind of felt like it was time because when I was up and around they were getting pretty intense.

They took me to triage and hooked me up to monitors, flat on my back and told me I had to stay that way for the next hour.  The nurse checked me and said that I was still at only a 4+ and 70% effaced, which was a little discouraging considering that's where I had been that morning.  Thankfully my contractions were 5 minutes apart at this point because every one was quite miserable not really being able to move.  My exercise ball had been my place of choice at home because it did wonders for my hips and lower back rolling around on it through contractions.  The nurse came in and explained that if I didn't progress in the next hour it would probably be best for me to head back home...something I DID NOT want to hear.  It was hard not to cry.

They kept giving me water, which made me need to pee so i took the opportunity to go into the bathroom and squat through my contractions-hoping to move her down.  Every time I got up they would get more and more intense, and when I would lay down they would space out-but were continuing to get more painful.  She checked me again in an hour and I was at a 5-ish, so she called Katie, who thankfully was already on her way in.  I overhead her explaining that she just thought this was early labor, and I guess tried to tell Katie that I thought I needed to go home!

Hearing Katie's voice was just the beginning of so many reassurances that she offered me that night.  The nurse had also explained that even if I wanted to be in the tub they would be getting me out every 20 minutes to monitor me because "we have rules here"  So disheartening.  Katie then walked in just after that and I told her I needed to get out of the bed, and now.  She helped me out of the monitors and asked me why I wanted to go home.  Which was confusing, because I did not want to go home.  I started walking the halls and only made it one lap before I started begging for the shower.  Thankfully, she put me in my room and I got in the shower while they filled the tub.  The shower was nice, but the tub was heaven.  Ohhhhhhh...heaven.  It instantly took away the lower back pain and contraction pain and made everything completely bearable again.  She also kicked all the nurses out of my room and left me to labor in the tub-checking in ever once in a while as things started to pick up.  Time at this point started to lose all meaning and became merely life between contractions.

I think it was around this point that I started to get loud-ish.  Moaning was really helping me through contractions and I remember regretting that I stayed quiet while I was in labor with Paisley...so I did not hold back.  I kind of feel bad for the other women laboring around me.  I don't know if they could hear me or not, but it was probably a little scary.  I'm remembering uttering/moaning the phrase "OOOOooooopen, OOOoooooopen" over and over again.  I wanted my cervix to open.

At one point, Katie had me get out of the tub to check me.  I was in very active labor and having contractions in bed was rough.  Thankfully Jon was there the whole way, pushing on my knees while one of the nurses tried to start an IV.  I have a hole in my hand.  I really, really tried to stay still but it was hard.  I was at a very stretchy 7-she could open me to a 9+ but officially I was at a 7. I was feeling SOO much pressure so she asked if she could pop my water (something I originally didn't want but very rapidly changed my mind about and I'm so glad I did).  I ran and hopped back in the tub as soon as I was free.  This was when things really, really started to get intense.

I've watched a lot of home birth videos where the women are in inflatable tubs-I was so glad mine was hard and plastic.  I had a death grip on the sides, and through this period of transition, tried to climb the walls.  The contractions were unreal.  I was continually fighting with everything I had not to panic.  They kept coming on top of each other.  It felt the best to get on all fours, but my knees kept falling asleep so I would try to change position in-between, but it was getting to where there was no in-between.  Katie rescued me.  So did Jon.  Jon jumped in the tub in his swim trunks and started pushing my hips together with all of his might-offering counter pressure to my lower back as well.  Katie stayed 3 inches from my face and told me over and over again that I was ok, I was strong, I was a mother, I was having a baby, I could do this, I was doing this-and I repeated all of this after her.  I needed to be told that I was ok.  Over and over again.  At one point I remember thinking that maybe I wanted and epidural and I went to tell her as a contraction was coming but it came out "I want..no, I don't want an epidural" and she agreed with me and then went back to telling me I was ok, with me repeating after her and trying to breath.  I remember thinking that it was probably too late to get one, and that getting one would require getting out of the tub, and sitting still-2 things I was not willing to do at this point.  I can honestly say what I was doing appealed to me more than that at the time.

I started feeling pushy.  I think for some reason I always thought the urge to push would be this very obvious light switch flipping on.  It was more of a transition.  It started to feel pretty good to push during contractions, but not enough.  Finally Katie asked me if I would get out of the tub.  She could feel that it was holding me back, and thought I might be ready.  I climbed out as quickly as I could in-between contractions and ran to the bed to get on all fours.  I'm so glad she had me turn over because as soon as I was squatting at the end of the bed my whole world changed.  It felt SO GOOD.  Ohhhh, I loved to push into the contractions.  She had just enough time to check, tell me I had a bit of a lip, oh and now the lip was gone, and now I was fully dilated and she had just enough time to get her gown on and my Mom in the door and Stella was out!  I had one really good push for her head, then they tried to get me to stop for a second and then her body followed and suddenly I had this baby in my arms.  The whole thing was beyond surreal.  I guess I just thought I would be pushing for awhile so to suddenly be handed a baby really sent me into shock.  And then it was over.  I had no tearing or damage, the placenta followed nicely, and we have a sweet baby girl!

As I write this I have no idea how I survived.  I have never had such an intense experience in all of my life.  After I settled down and realized that everything took place in 3 hours (we arrived at the hospital at 7:45 and she was born around 11) it overwhelmed me even more.  I am so thankful she is here.  And that she came on June 2nd.  I wanted her to so that my Mom could be there.  And I was so done being pregnant.   I can't even believe how amazing Katie was-she kept me in the game...and my sweet sweet husband.  He managed to not only stay on my back, but also took over for Katie coaching whenever she was checking me or such, and also took some awesome pictures!!  I feel so very blessed.

We're here at the hospital until monday night and love visitors ;)