Friday, April 27, 2012

Mother-Son Date Knight @ Chick-Fil-a

Last night Oliver and I went on our first official date.  We met some ladies from our small group there with their sons.  We were greeted at the door and seated, given a flower, and served from our table.  It was so sweet.  Since it was a date I let Oliver have his very own kid's meal.  That was a first for him and he ate like a king!  He had 2 chicken strips, a couple waffle fries, an apple juice box, and ice cream!  I think he ate as much as I did!  We really enjoyed it.

While there I saw two things that melted my heart and made me excited for what is to come.  One mother was there with her teenage son.  It was so sweet that he still went with her on the date night!  There was another mom with a younger son, probably 5 years old.  They were matching in lavender.  When the bill came the little boy reached in his pocket and pulled out some cash to pay the bill.  It was the sweetest thing ever!  I really love the baby/toddler stage that Oliver is in but also can look forward to older years when we still get to do this kind of thing.

Being that it was our first date we had to get some pictures before we left home; so we snapped a few right before getting in the car.  I told Oliver this was the only time he's allowed to kiss on a first date!

Oliver turned out to be a perfect gentleman and I'm sure he'll only get better as one day he will be able to open doors for me and get himself in the car!  :)

It did my heart good.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April: A Birthday, A Move, and a Tummy Bug.

A Birthday:
Let's go back to the first week of the month.  My birth week.  Prior to becoming an old married lady, I used to get a "birth month".  I'm not sure exactly what started the tradition, but my parents celebrated me the whole month of April.  Usually that meant I got to chose where we were going to eat dinner, pick the movie, etc. during the month of April.  Now that I'm more mature, older, I no longer expect a month but I am blessed with a week.  I started the week with shopping with the money my Mother-in-law always sends me for my birthday.  Libby, Oliver, and I went to Platos Closet and to another store called Marti and Liz Shoes.  I stretched my $50 and got at least $250 worth of items.  I would gladly give you shopping lessons if you'd like.  Although, someone should teach me how to coupon so I could make the same savings on our grocery bill.  Anyway, I got a brand new "Intuitions" dress in royal blue, with the tags on it, marked $129, for $20!!  I also got a Lapis dress.  Have you seen these?  They can be worn as a dress or a skirt.  They retail about $70 and I paid $12.  I also got a pair of BCBG sandals at Marti and Liz.  I had never been there but it's a really cool store with tons of shoes and all of them are really good brands.  

We continued our week the following day by heading to the nail salon where we had our nails done.  This was my present from Kurt.  He kept Oliver and Libby and I headed out for some pampering.  We really enjoyed it.  The next day I wore my new Intuitions dress and went on a date with Kurt.  Libby and Sean kept Oliver and we saw The Hunger Games and had a late dinner at Cafe 4.  Luckily Kurt was off on my actual birthday for Good Friday.  We spent the day as a family and enjoyed dinner at The Brewery and walking around downtown a bit.  Kurt also made me a cake all by himself.  It was delicious with homemade cream cheese icing and strawberries on top and in between the layers.  Yum!! 


This was the first time we've celebrated Easter Sunday with Oliver.  Last year he was tiny and we were in VA with family.  Since we were home this year we decided to start our own tradition of celebration.  We went to church and came home to a yummy lunch.  We had ham, mashed potatoes, pineapple casserole, green bean casserole, and knot rolls.  It was all delicious!  We also had a little Easter egg hunt and Oliver got his first easter basket!  We had a good time but had to accommodate his nap time by letting him sleep after our outside pictures.  He was not in the greatest of moods after having such a big lunch, he knew it was time for a nap.  So he slept a couple hours and we proceeded with his egg hunt and Easter basket then.  He did find all the eggs with some coaching from us.  He also enjoyed opening his Easter basket.  It was fun.  

 I love this picture with his little excited hand grabbing his basket. 

We decided we could go all out this year for his Easter basket but I predict as we have more and more children the Easter bunny may not be able to be as generous.  This year he got baby gap socks, Ikea plates, a Klean Kaneteen with toddler attachment, new Hana Anderson swimming trunks and swim shirt, Boogie wipes, and a Shutterfly book of his Spring so far.  

A Move:
Libby and Sean moved next door to us this month!  It was totally unexpected but our neighbors talked with us about renting out their house.  We jokingly said Libby and Sean could move in and less than a week later, we have new neighbors!  I am so excited to have them next door and know we'll look back on this time as such a neat chapter in our lives.  Libby and I both get to stay home.  We have our babies next door to each other, I'm not sure how long it will last but I will soak it up for however long it does! 

A Tummy Bug:
We discovered that Oliver had his fourth tooth coming through on Sunday the 15th.  He was very tired after church and went to bed without lunch.  He slept for a long time, 3.5 hours.  When he woke up he had a fever and soon after he lost his dinner.  We called the nurse on call and she suggested making an appointment first thing in the morning to have him seen.  So Monday, we went in to the Dr and were told he had an ear infection.  He is allergic to penicillin so she put him on another medication.  We were glad to know it was something we could treat, that he was not contagious, and that he would be feeling better soon.  Well, we weren't so lucky.  The medicine turned out to greatly upset his stomach.  Without sharing too many mommy details, he was sick from both ends.  My mommy instinct told me the medicine was causing a problem so I called his Dr again Wednesday morning and they fit him in that afternoon.  I was not happy to be going back to the Dr but I knew the med was not right and knew his body couldn't handle the reaction he was having for 10 days.  SO we trudged back out to the Dr and Daddy met us there.  Seeing another Dr in the office, he said that Oliver did NOT in fact have an ear infection and to stop the medication.  He also wanted us to wait in the office for Oliver to eat a popsicle to see if he could keep it down.  If not, we were headed to Children's Hospital for IV fluids.  He turned out to eat the popsicle and kept it down so we were able to go on our way.  We stopped the medication he didn't need in the first place and thought that was going to be the end of it.  Well it turns out it wasn't.  He continued to get sick from both ends the rest of that evening and the following day.  We were close to taking him to Children's for fluids several times.  As the medicine left his system he seemed to get better.  Come Thursday he was doing quite a bit better.  Libby and I headed to Duck Duck Goose when Kurt got home that day.  I was exhausted and did not feel like shopping but really needed to get the rest of Oliver's summer wardrobe.  By the time I got home that evening I was miserable.  It turns out I had a fever and Oliver really did have a stomach bug.  By Friday, Kurt was sick as well.  We spent the rest of the weekend through Monday recuperating and trying to get well.  It was quite a marathon of a sickness and was the first time we've been sick like that.  Libby and Sean both turned out getting it as well.  

So there you have it.  That pretty well covers our month.  It's been a pretty crazy month.  Including two surgeries.  One for Kurt's Aunt Amy and one for his Dad.  Both are recovering and have a long road ahead of them but are doing well.  Libby is 37 weeks and has already had a few labor scares.  We're at the edge of our seats waiting for baby Hadelyn to make her appearance any day.  

Oh, I almost forgot.  I finally ordered the accent chairs I wanted.  I don't see them on overstock anymore so I think they sold out, but they are on my For the Home pinboard found here, And I found a handmade wool rug at HomeGoods for $99 marked down from $300!  So my living room is coming together!  I just need some covers for these red stripped pillows are we'll be good to go!

That may have been more than you ever wanted to know about our month.  Sorry for that!  It's all the posts I should have done weeks ago, in one long one!  Love ya all! 

The End! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

A guest appearance from my husband.

Hello All.  Marissa here.  We've had a pretty crazy month I'll fill you in on in more posts than you may like soon.  However right now, my dear husband and I were sitting here, recovering from a stomach bug that has taken over our lives for 8 days now, and talking about birth.  The discussion was brought up from an article that popped up in my Facebook feed.  I read the article aloud and we began discussing some different things.  This prompted my husband to type out his thoughts.  After reading what he typed I decided I'd like to blog it and I'd like for you to read it.  I'd also like for you to show your husbands.  Birth is something we've become passionate about and I think it's so cool that Kurt is just as supportive of it as I am.  Here are his thoughts.  With some editing from me.

He begins with two thoughts:
1. A child is never one or the other of the parents "thing"  - It takes 2 to make a baby, HAVE a baby, raise a baby (for the best results) 

2. Sending a woman into today's medical system alone is condemning her to what the medical system wants for her.  This may seem like a good idea, but not if what the mom wants differs from what the nurses and doctors want (ie. Natural Birth with minimal intervention).
The medical system has a low view of pregnant women.  They see them as irrational, "sick", and time-consuming patients.  Rather than serving them as their care "professionals," they manipulate them to bring the mothers into their timeline, philosophy, and business model.  It's not fair to expect a woman to be able to focus on working through a labor AND fight off the nurses trying to push them into the medical system's idea of a birth.

The first idea is one that I'd have to admit most couples now understand.  We hear stories about men that used to wait in the waiting room while their wives gave birth to their children, for the most part that is no longer the case.  However, if the husband is present but not involved is he really there?  When a woman is in the heat of labor she will need the support of the person closest to her.  If he's been uninvolved and is uneducated about what is happening, how much support will he really be for her?  He needs to be there as her advocate in a system that has another agenda. 

Ask yourself these questions:
1.  Why does the nurse care if the mother has a natural birth or gets an epidural?  (Is she thinking of the mother's needs/wants, or trying to mollify the laboring woman and keep her in the bed?)
2.  Why is the C-Section rate on an upward trend in the U.S.? 
       a.  Do we have more issue-prone women?  --No
       b.  Or is it inherent in our system?  ---Yes

Now he continues on with some examples from our story. 

Unfortunately, the hospital format is a business and this does influence some of the policy.  The nurses run the show and we found this out first hand.  We dealt with nurses the entire time we were in the Labor and Delivery.  We saw the Doctor twice, through out the labor.  He checked in for a few minutes and then it was back to doing what the nurses said.  It's not they they know nothing, but they are a constant presence and they know what they want to happen.  They want "progress" and they want it in a timely manner.  If you don't have that..then they start in with their spiel.  For us, that was that we had broken water, but no contractions.  So they want contractions.  That means drugs, and yes, there were contractions.  But after hours of contractions that were not doing any real good, as far as opening the doorway for the baby, we called the doctor and he let us turn the medicine OFF!  That was unexpected and honestly, would not have happened if we didn't have the doctor that we did.  He understood what we wanted and what we were up against.  The nurses seemed pretty pissed.  So we slept for whatever, a couple hours, might has well have been minutes but with no fake contractions.  This was early morning..1-3 am, something like that. Marissa started natural contractions at some point before I woke up and that was the real turning point.

Now, you would think that, since the nurses wanted progress, and progress meant contractions because contractions means opening up the doorway, we were on a good track.  Nope, they came in and were like "Ok, time to turn back on the pitocin."   So I had to say, well, no, we don't want to do that.  And I swear they looked at us like we were absolutely stupid.  I had to say, no, we want to consult with the doctor again.  It's not like the doctor was involved here.  We had to have them call him at home the night before to get to change our medicine (actually get them to turn it off).  Now we have to ask THEM to let US talk to OUR doctor.  And that seemed to piss them off again.  Why is it that we are PROBLEM patients because we are informed and know what we want?  Because they can't push us through the mill and get us out of there.  They were not in control.  But, neither were WE!  We knew that once the process started (and I mean the natural process that morning, the "real" contractions as I call them) it was just a matter of hanging on for the ride.  Sure enough, we got to proceed with out the medicine but were told if there wasn't "progress" we would have to turn it back on…Ok seriously?  Is that like, what, a threat?  There were many nurses who I would have gladly fired on the spot (for us personally, not their job, haha) but we said we understood and it didn't matter because we weren't turning the medicine back out without a court order anyway.  And it didn't matter because, as it turned out, we didn't need it.  

You see there is this giant digital clock in the room (or at least there was at our hospital) and that was not a mistake.  They used that to keep their control.  I know they need to know timing and stuff, but that damn clock was always right there, glowing red, for those hours that we weren't  making sufficient "progress."  It felt like we were "losing." Like this was some kind of battle? 
The thing is, it was, at many times a battle.  And truthfully, it wasn't just myself and Marissa.  I had Marissa's older sister (a birthing method teacher and 2x natural birth mom) and Marissa's mom (natural birth for all 4 of her children).  We had to take the hard route many times to get the birth that we wanted.  If Marissa had been by herself through all of that time, it would not have been the same.  She needed support, and even with the support that she did have, it was touch and go as to whether we were going to "lose" and have more intervention.
I totally understand wanting to birth at home.  I would be happy to never step foot into the Labor and Delivery ward again.  To let your in on how lucky we were to have gotten our OB (a last minute change we had decided RIGHT before Oliver came 4 WEEKS early) Dr. Brabson has gone on to form a Midwifery Center practice in the hospital we delivered at.  Obviously, he gets that mothers can have babies, that it is not convenient or fast, that intervention after intervention isn't necessary, but that if anything happens, a good OB Is great to have on your team.  

Sthere you have it.  Straight from the mouth of a man, a father, a husband.  I think it's pretty cool that he's so interested in these things.  I would love to do training to teach natural childbirth and I know he'd be there by my side teaching with me.  Sure it may seem that birth is a woman's thing but it's not.  Men are stepping up to the plate.  In the midst of birth; the pain, the joy who better to be at your side?  Who better to experience the best moment of your life with?  The elation, the joy, conquering what you knew you wanted.  Why would you want anyone other than your husband there to look to for help, reassurance, coaching with love and knowledge in the process.  He is truly irreplaceable and no one else can take his place and give quite the same result.