Thursday, December 17, 2015

Birthing Story

I can hardly believe that its been a month already.  One whole month since our family was blessed with the arrival of our beautiful 5th baby.   You think by the 5th pregnancy, labour and delivery- that you would know exactly what was happening with your body.  That you would really "know" when you were in labour and that labour would get easier.   That is a misconception!  Every delivery has been somewhat different and you can't just go in and expect everything to be like the ones before.

I can't really remember how we decided or where the idea came from but for this pregnancy I really wanted it to be photographed.  I wanted someone to capture what it is like to go through the process of a natural birth and I really wanted to capture how amazing my husband is as a birth coach.  No seriously next to the Lord, he is the one who gets me through every contractions, reminds how brave and strong I am and helps me focus on our goal...meting our beautiful blessing!!

How luck am I that one of my bestest friends is an amazing photographer (Mason Photography) and how thrilled she was when I talked to her about coming with me in the delivery room.  We assured her that my last 3 labours/deliveries were all pretty much the same.  I go to the hospital around 6 cm dilated, labour about 2-3 hours in hospital and push for 20 minutes.  Pretty straight forward.  Even when Micah and I have chatted with some couples about natural birthing techniques we use, we didn't have a mind set for things going different.

I have learned (after this time around) that my body likes to take a full week to get ready to go into full labour.  So the week before I didn't feel so great and was having lots of false contractions.  Our Friday night date night finally came as we sat back watching TV the contractions where coming a little stronger.  Micah was getting a little suspicious that something was happening but it was 10:30 I was tired and in no mood to go into labour.  I told him I am going to bed to sleep,  if they don't stop we will know it is the real thing.  He wasn't sure so he called a few people to have things in place "just in case".  Eight house later I woke up from a great night sleep (unusual to have when you are 9 months pregnant) and ready to start our busy Saturday.  I continued to have contractions all day long an am very thankful for nursing friends who I kept texting ;)  By that evening things we getting stronger so we sent the kids to Nanny's house and my mom came up we were ready to have a baby!

We hung out at home timing contractions (using this app) until I felt it was time to go to the hospital around 9:00pm.

I thought this is great I can have this baby in the next few hours and maybe get some sleep.  So there we were all settled into our birthing suite.  My mom with her knitting, my mother in law with a book and Lynnette with her camera and laptop for working.

Micah and I zoned out like there was no one else in the room with us and started to get to work...that is what I think labour is.  It is work that is so painful but has the greatest reward afterwards.  John 16:21 is a verse I like to mediate on before and during labour.

It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into this world.

Having some scripture and even some worship music to focus on is very helpful for keeping your mind off the pain...not that the pain isn't there but it helps you relax.  I loved that when my labour wasn't progressing as fast as I would have liked Lynnette put on worship music.  It brought peace into the room and helped me stay calm.  

The hours kept ticking by and with this my energy and strength where failing.  Micah and I had some time alone to process what was happening with the doctor and discovered that the baby was side ways and that was why I wasn't moving forward.  Our doctor and nursing team was amazing!!!  He was patient and encouraged us that we were doing a great job and gave us some tips on how we were going to turn the baby.  

Eight hours later we heard the magic words that we could start pushing!!  Imagine our excitement as we thought (because of all other deliveries) 20 more minutes and this will be over.  I just have to push and we will meet our blessing.   Well that wasn't the case this time.  My normal 20 minutes turned into 1 hour and 30 minutes of the most intense pain and battle I have ever fought!!   I can't even say enough for the my amazing "team" that was there battling with me the entire time.  Our doctor never left my side and my husband and mother where such incredible encouragement to me.  

Any women who has experienced child birth knows the point of exhaustion.  Where you just can't take any more and you are just praying and crying out for it all to be over.  After 1 hour of hard labour,  contracting like crazy, and pushing until you feel your head will blow off I just couldn't take anymore - it was the point where I felt like I am going to die.   

I remember looking at Micah with such pain in my eyes and him saying "Babe we are going to get you something for the pain and talk options".  Without skipping a beat I replied "the option of you punching me in the face"!  I was in so much pain I thought a good blow to the head would feel better than this... 

Instead the sweet nurse gave me some laughing gas.  Those 6 deep breaths in and out where so helpful for calming me back down, getting me focused and allowing me to get through and deliver our sweet baby. 

It only took 30 more minutes before I would hear Micah yell out "it's a BOY!!!!  God has blessed us with 4 sons".  

And just like the bible verse says the anguish turns into amazing JOY :)  

Thank you my sweet friend.  For pulling an all nighter with us and for being there with me the entire time.  You were a prayer warrior behind the camera my friend.  Love you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bandana Bibs by Arrows & Rubies

So today I am taking a little break from Christmas post to do a little product review for my friends at Arrows & Rubies.  These two mamas are great friends of mine and they have started to make a product that I have come to love.  

Now let me take you back 8 years ago when our first "baby" was born.  I was determined not to be a mama who had kids in bibs.  I just found them not so stylish and what was the point of covering up his cute outfits with a bib.  The years have gone by and as I was going through this past pregnancy my friends where styling their babies in these bibs which look really cute on a boy or a girl.    After hearing them rant and rave about these bibs I started to think are they really worth it? 

I was excited to find out after receiving 3 beautiful bibs from them at my baby shower!!  

For this very young age the bib is a little big on them but that can be a good thing as it almost covers them completely saving an entire outfit if you have a baby who spits up.  Zeke doesn't spit up often but after treating myself to some Mexican food his little system didn't really like it that much and he was spitting up more then usual the other day.  I had to go out to an event so I put him in his seat then put the bib over top of him- I didn't want him to mess up his cute outfit :)  But you know what? The bib did the trick  and here is why I love them, will promote them and sport them!! 

1. They are stylish and have lots of designs to match any outfit or holiday.   
2. No spit up on outfit. 
3. When the bib gets smelly or gross you toss it in the wash and put on another one.  It is less hassle then having to change the baby.  
4. Spit up can stain clothing and these bibs are helpful for saving an outfit. 
5. They are water proof on the back so nothing leaks through them.  
6. They are great for babies and toddlers :) 

So if you have a baby or toddler in the house or you are shopping for one you should definitely head on over to Arrows & Rubies to order some of these sweet bibs :) 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

So today it all started for me...once you crack your first can of pumpkin it is like you just can't stop!!   My whole family loves all things pumpkin and now that I am packing lunches we have lots of muffins and squares to make for him to take in his lunch and for us to enjoy here.  Today's treat turned out a little more "fancy" than what I was going for.    My original plan was to make these pumpkin pie cupcakes but since I was planning on taking them to my friend, who just had the cutest little baby ever (I know I say that about all babies....but really she is sweet!),  I really needed to cook these in muffin liners.   Even though the recipe states "paper liners make it difficult to remove the cupcakes" I didn't listen and used them anyways.  The recipe was right it was very hard to get the liner off and the cupcakes didn't look as pretty as I was hoping, so I put my brain to good use and decided I would stuff the cupcake into a little mason jars and top with whip cream.   And because the cupcakes are so little I did two layers.

The family enjoyed this special treat.  They tasted a lot like a crustless pumpkin pie and some of them might have been a little too gooey for my liking.  So if I was to do this again I would bake maybe a little longer.  I did get 18 cupcakes out of the this recipe and the batch that I did make with my silicon liners came out prefect, so no more paper liners for this recipe...unless you want to look super fancy ;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Book Bag Solution

I love looking at pictures on blogs or pinterest for ideas on how to  store kids book bags.  This year with our oldest going to school, another one in piano and 2 still needing a diaper bag, I really wanted a place to hang up book bags.  We don't have too much space but we were able to use this vertical space in the hall way next to the kitchen to hang 3 book bags.   

I love when we use our space to its fullest potential.  How do you keep book bags organized? 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Getting Organized

Today I am moving out of the kitchen to show all you wonderful readers a way to organize your little girl's headbands.  We only have 1 little girl in the house and she LOVES wearing headbands.  They were everywhere so we decided to get them all together in one spot.  I had looked on pinterest and found the cutest ideas for making wonderful and decorative headband holders but due to space in our home and that the kids share rooms we decided something in their bathroom would work the best.  So off I went to Walmart to find a toilet paper or hand towel holder.  I found this one in the hardware section and knew it would be prefect for both types of headbands that Lady J has.   Now all the headbands are in one place and she can easy get them and put them back at the end of the day when she is finished. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Peach Pie

We LOVE peach season around here.  I mean all 6 of us love eating delicious Ontario Peaches.  But what we love even more is making this decadent peach pie with them.    

We first had this pie about 2 years ago when my amazing chef friend made one for us and now it is our pie of choice during peach season.  The recipe is so easy that the kids make it themselves. 

Peach Pie

Crust:  I cheat and buy tender flake deep dish pie crust or Pillsbury pie crust.
Line an unbaked pie crust with sliced peaches. Usually 4 small ones or 3 large ones.

In a bowl mix together 
1 cup of whipping cream (not whipped)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
a pinch of salt
* due to the flour, the mixture sometimes looks like it has lumps in is ok it doesn't affect the pie.
Pour mixture over peaches.  Be careful not to let it spill over the edges of the pie.  You can sprinkle some cinnamon on the top before baking if you would like. 

I then have been making a little crust protector out of tin foil so that the edges don't get too browned during the cooking time.   
Bake pie at 400 for 45 minutes.  Then let the pie set in the refrigerator until ready to eat (usually 4 hours or more).  It is best eaten cold with a warm cup of tea. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Settlers of Catan Birthday Party

We just celebrated our oldest boys 7 1/2 birthday.  Thats right a 1/2 birthday.  We do this cause his real birthday is Christmas day.  I don't think any of his friends would be able to join us on that day to celebrate his birthday and with so many activities happening in Dec it is just too hard to celebrate then.  So right from his first birthday we decided to always celebrate the 1/2 birthday where all his friends could come and it would be summer ;)   

Our family really loves the game Settlers of Catan. So I knew this would make a really great theme party.  

 I made the banner using my circut to cut out the shapes and letters.  The shapes should have been hexagons but all I had was octagon...close enough.  I chose the deep red and golden colors to match the color of the game box. 

For this part of his special day we went to a local church that has a gym party room filled with bouncy castles, basketballs, rock climbing wall and lots of other fun things.  So we just invited lots of his friends and family to come and play and then enjoy some delicious cup cakes. 

He loves chocolate cake so I made a couple of batches of our favorite Chocolate cake recipe.  Then I colored white frosting all the different colors that I needed to make the Catan playing board. 

Red- 3
Dark Green- 4
Light Green -4
Yellow- 4
Gray -3 
Blue- As many as you like.  I wish I would of had more blue ones 

For the number pieces I used little white circles that I had in my scrapbooking supplies.  I used the game pieces to help me make all mine look the same.  Then I put the cupcake board together. 

For the dark green cup cakes which represent the "trees" I did do a few piped trees so you could tell them apart from the sheep. 

 In the brown cupcake, which is the dessert and where the robber lives, I used the robber piece from the kids of catan game that we have.

We recently purchased this beautiful serving tray that an amazing friend of mine made.  So I lined it with parchment paper, set the cupcakes up in it and took it to the easy for transporting :) 

As a thanks for coming gift, which I usually never do,  a friend of mine who has been making these fun creations in a jar made me these sweet little jars filled with gum balls.  Each one had a chalk board label on it that we wrote thanks for coming and the tops where all painted like the game board pieces. 

 That evening we invited our family over to have a game of settlers.  So the snacks where all based on the board game.

Bricks: Nibs

 Rock:  The birthday cake which is frozen Oreo dessert

 Sheep:  Popcorn

 Tree:  Broccoli

Wheat: Bread with dip

Roads: Cup up Twizzlers 
Settlements: Candy Bars cut up in squares 

We agreed that when they built a settlement they could eat one :) 

I also made this cute printable that I put into an 8X10 frame to use as decoration for the party. 

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