Friday, March 26, 2010

Treytonism

This past week, I was sitting in my room nursing Audrey, while Treyton and Alexa were playing in the living room. This is what I heard:

Alexa was banging on something with a toy.

Treyton: "Deda (which means Lexa), it's too loud you need to stop now. You're still my sister, but you need to stop!!"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Audrey's 2 Week Appointment

We had Audrey's 2 week appointment today.
Today was actually Audrey's due date, which is kind of a weird thought to me, seeings as how she is already two weeks old! (and actually the doctor, which I hadn't realized had changed her due date after our ultrasound to March 28th, so she technically, according to them, wasn't even due yet!) 

As of today:
Audrey weighed in at 6 pounds 5 ounces - the 5th percentile
She was 20 1/4" long - 55th percentile
and her head was 25th percentile.

It's astonishing to think that at two weeks old she is still over a pound and a half smaller than our other two children! 

The doctor is really happy about her growth (as were we). He had told us at the hospital that the goal was for her to be back to her birth rate by two weeks. And that they look for 1 1/2 - 3 pounds gain a month at this age, and for her to have already gained almost a pound was great!


As for my health, while at Audrey's appointment I had them check my blood pressure it was 116/82 which is also great news!

So the general consensus is that things are going great! Audrey is still sleeping most of the day away. She has a 3-4 hour awake period between 4-8pm but other than that she is typically just sleeping, pooping and eating :) living the dream! She is trying hard to become a thumb sucker and mom is trying equally as hard to keep her from this.
We have officially decided (after a particularly rough night last night) that we are going try to co-sleep.
When we co-sleep Audrey will give us one 4 hour period and another at least 2-3 hour period. When trying to put her in her pack-n-play or bassinet she will only give us an hour and half at a time... NOT enough!!

We love having this new little blessing, and so far she has been a piece of cake - we've hardly heard her cry except for baths, and her little "squeak" is so cute it's hardly considered a cry.
She is already a mama's girl, and I think that's primarily because she nurses so often she doesn't have the time for anyone else :).

I can't wait to update you all more on her personality once she starts staying awake a little more.

~Review~ Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles

Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles is a book devoted to giving you and your family the information, motivation and means to make and eat fun, creative and healthy raw-food snacks. 


This book was absolutely fabulous for my family to use, I was so excited to review it. We have been working towards living a healthier more natural lifestyle for almost a year now, our diet has been one of the primary areas of modifications. While some meals have been easier than others to adjust, snacks (at least for mom) have been a real struggle. It has been extremely difficult finding healthy, wholesome snacks that go beyond just a fruit or vegetable.... can we say boring? 

This book is a tool that I can use to change that!


The thing that I loved most about this book were actually the beginning chapters of the book which are devoted to giving the reader information about the health benefits and importance of eating raw food. One of my favorite chapters is called "The Raw Snack Pantry" - it is devoted to information on every ingredient (& kitchen equipment) used in the book - giving health benefits, cooking tips and an explanation/description of each ingredient. 


The 124 recipes that conclude the book are creative, fun to try recipes that give you a reason to at least try raw-cooking. Most of the recipes you can even incorporate some level of participation from young children in the kitchen (though that is not the claim to fame of this book). For our family, being able to make food that my children can be a part of (from start to finish) is especially important. The recipes range from smoothies, bars, chips and soups.


This book is a must for any family that desires to eat healthier raw food throughout their day, whether you are just getting started and are looking for more information to get you going or have been eating healthier for a while and just need some new ideas to try - I recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes through mamabzz. The opinions are my own.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Picture Update 3.22.10


Audrey Sleeping on Mom (her favorite place to be) 
Lexie, sporting her new pigtails with Lamby. 
Mom, with Audrey
Dad, with Lexie and Treyton, cuddling before bed - Treyton actually got hurt and was upset, Lexie jumped up on Dad's lap to help hug it out! 
Game time!! With the nice weather we had the last week, we brought up Treyton's basketball hoop from the basement and set it up outside - it's been a big hit!! 
At this point, dad lowered the hoop so Lexie could get in on some of the action. 
Here is our B-Ball Girl!! 
Treyton - making a slam Dunk!! 
Audrey, asleep, again :) 
Cousins: Lukas & Audrey - 3 weeks apart (in Lukas' defense Audrey is curled up here) 
Audrey is actually really long but really skinny. Lukas on the other hand is long and chubby :) 
My sister, Autumn and her two kids came to visit for the day last Friday. 
Here are the 3 kids together 
Our Superheroes!! 
3.20.10
Kisses from mama! 
3.19.10

Friday, March 19, 2010

~Review~ Fisher Price Rock N Play Sleeper

When I was asked if I wanted to review the Fisher Price Rock N Play Sleeper I was extremely excited. Expecting our little bundle at that time, I was already looking for ideas to involve my two inquisitive and loving children in the process of taking care of her while protecting Audrey at the same time.

The Rock N Play Sleeper seemed to be a great product for us to try out. Having already brought home two newborns, we had all the "basic" or necessity products, but this product seemed different than anything we already had, and I was interested in what it had to offer for us. 

Product Description "The Gentle Rocking Hammock is a unique new portable sleep seat for newborns, with a wonderful rocking action and secure inclined position for babies when doctor recommends that baby sleep with their head elevated. Its frame rocks gently with a push from mom, and includes very soft fabrics plus an insert for comfort and support. The sides are created with breathable fabric plus a pocket on the end, and it collapses easily to bring along on visits or trips. For soothing and entertaining, there is 1 toy included: a soft elephant with wonderful textures and rattle beads, plus an attached little lovely blanket. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play SleeperSoothe, sleep or play night or day! The Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper is a nighttime sleeper and playtime seat all in one! And it's the only infant seat that meets industry safety standards for bassinets. So besides using it as a perfect place for baby to rock (with a gentle push from you!) and play during the day, you can also use it as a place for baby to sleep at night."

Review 
The day we received the rocker Treyton (my 4 1/2 year old son) and I had to set it up right then, we were so excited!! The rocker was extremely easy to assemble, we did it in just a few minutes. I love how the Rocker folds in half for storage and transporting ease. 

We have been using the Rock N Play sleeper for the past week, since the day we brought Audrey home, and have used it more than any other baby product we own (including our beloved Pack N Play). We've used it for naps, bedtime, playtime, and just as a safe place to put Audrey when I need to put her down.


The thing that I like best about the Rock N Play sleeper is it's height. It is perfect for my older two children to be able to look at and even touch Audrey, yet prevents them from climbing in with or falling on top of her while they do so. They can also rock her without me fearing them rocking her too hard causing her to tip out (though too fast is another battle :))

Another great thing about the rocker is that it is so convenient to use anywhere I need it. At night we have the rocker in our room, where Audrey has actually slept in it several nights, and during the day we sometimes have it out in the living room. It's so easy move from room to room, being so compact and light, as well as sliding easily across our carpet. Treyton can easily push the chair from room to room to help out mom and dad.  

The thing that I hear most about from other people who have seen the rocker is that it's "so cute", which it is - I love the color scheme, a great neutral design. I have gotten the question a couple times asking "Does it do anything else?", while it doesn't "do" anything else per se, in my opinion it doesn't need to. The only thing I even thought of was if it would vibrate - but to be honest, we have a chair that does that and after the batteries die it usually takes me months to replace them, meaning the chair although it technically can vibrate, obviously doesn't. 



Disclosure: I received the Fisher-Price product free of charge as part of a product review program through MomSelect

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Treyton, What Are You Doing?

This afternoon, one of the neighborhood dogs wondered over. The kids had a blast throwing balls to him and running around with him!!
I was sitting in my chair in the bedroom, when all of a sudden I heard Tim from the kitchen say "Treyton, what are you doing? Amber, do you see your son?"
I didn't see him but my mom said "I don't know what he was doing but I saw he had his pants down"

Hmmm....

I guess Treyton had decided to go potty.

When Tim asked him about it Treyton simply replied "I didn't want to come inside cause the dog might follow me, and I had to go potty!!"

Makes sense I guess.

Coming Home and A Little More

 I am so in love! As I look at my daughter only a few feet away from me, I am overloaded with mommy love!! She is absolutely precious and in only 5 short days she has seemed to change and grow already. Time is flying by me and I am desperately trying to slow it down, or at the very least remember every possible detail!

I was awake last night nursing Audrey, and as I was laying there looking at her I was utterly amazed at the miracle that she is. I cannot even begin to understand, even for a moment, the complexity of human life and the gift it is to be a mom. I know I'm getting a little "mommy-hormonal" on you all here, and you'll just have to excuse me, but honestly, I feel so blessed.

We were able to bring Audrey home sooner than our first two children, after 24 hours of her birth we were out the door and on our way home. Such a blessing for both Tim and I to be able to be at home and recover here. 
Since the moment she was born Audrey has proven herself an individual and unique from her brother in sister! Her size is the most obvious difference. Though Audrey was not considered a preemie, she certainly was to me!! She was so small and MUCH weaker than our first two children had ever been, and I was feeling completely unprepared! I am thankful that in just three days she seems to have gained a lot of strength and is much easier for us to handle.
She also nurses differently and sleeps more than either of our other two, she prefers to be skin-to-skin for nursing and right next to mom for sleeping. While I am not completely opposed to co-sleeping, I can tell you now, it's not something that is for us, long term. I hate to encourage it now, but at the same time, the doctors and nurses did mention with her being a little early that it was particularly important to hold her close, skin to skin as much as possible. 

Overall I can't complain really, so far, Audrey is the easiest baby we have had. I pray that she stays content and easy going. It would be nice to have at least one :) though I know now we can handle any personality she may develop.

The other kids are adjusting so well to bringing in a new sister. Treyton wants to help with everything, and wants to hold her whenever he can, and Alexa is always wanting to tell you about the baby's body parts (especially her eyes!). Alexa gives lots of kisses to Audrey, it's so cute and completely random - priceless.
Treyton keeps telling us how little and cute Audrey is - at the hospital he said "I wish I was a baby, they are sooo cute!"

Homecoming Pictures
Treyton quickly grabbed Audrey out of the carseat, he couldn't wait to hold her!
While we were at the hospital we were telling Treyton that his stuffed dinosaur was probably bigger than Audrey - moments after we walked in the house he needed to verify one way or the other!

Mommy and Audrey ready to go home!
First time Alexa held Audrey

Kisses from Alexa to Audrey.
 Here is a picture of the three kids doing tummy time

Friday, March 12, 2010

Little Baby Audrey

Audrey Ann is here! 
Born 3/11/2010 at 12:31pm
Weighing only 5 pounds 7 ounces, 19 1/2 inches long 
Such a HUGE blessing in a little package!!
Holding Daddy's wedding ring
Here is the first family of five picture! 
Meeting Audrey for the first time! 
Audrey's first bath, they used the pink tub instead of the regular baby tub because she was so small. 
Daddy holding Audrey for the first time.

This is Audrey and I this morning before leaving the hospital, I realized this morning there were no pictures of the two of us from her first day without me breastfeeding, which I wasn't about to put on the internet!! :) 

VISITORS AT THE HOSPITAL 
Auntie Skye and Audrey 
Aunt Autumn and Audrey
Aunt Toni and Audrey
Grandma Lex and Audrey
Mommer and Audrey.
Papa and Audrey, not a great picture of Audrey but I can not get over the size difference. 
Tim says it looks like he could eat her!
This is my Grandma (Grams)

BIRTHING STORY
After going in on Monday for my usual 37 week appointment (I saw Dr. W), I was told I had high blood pressure and protein in my urine. They did some blood work and said if that came back normal (which it did) to take it easy and come back in on Wednesday. If my blood pressure was still high we would probably talk about inducing. 
* Side note: my normal doctor was out of town this week so I saw an entire network of doctors throughout the whole process. 
Wednesday morning at 9:00am we went in (and saw Dr. C), my blood pressure reading was 148/92 (high) they had me lay on my left side for 10 minutes and retook it, it was still high so the doctor decided to admit me to the hospital putting me on bed rest with bathroom only privileges, to monitor me for the day and to take a 24 hour urine protein sample. We checked into the hospital a little before 10:00am
At about 7:00pm the doctor came in, my blood pressures remained high, even on bedrest so Dr. C wanted to go ahead and start the induction process (slowly) and to really get going with inducing in the morning. He went ahead and ordered cytotec to be put on my cervix (which is a little dissolvable pill).
At 8:40pm cytatec was given - I was at 1 large cm 75% effaced. 
Cramping started and remained roughly every 2-3 minutes throughout the night but were very mild. I was able to sleep (with hourly blood pressure checks :)) some throughout the night - I would say I slept about 3 hours. 
11:00pm after five attempts (two nurses and an anesthesiologist) finally got an IV hub in my arm. Because of my high blood pressure, they could get the IV in but as soon almost immediately the vein would collapse. 

3/11/10
The next morning at about 8:40am Dr. W came in and broke my water. I was 3 cm and 50% effaced.
Contractions became more intense but were fairly sporadic some 2-3 minutes apart, other 5-10 minutes apart. 
10:00am 3-4 cm, 75% effaced
11:00am received epidural, pain was much better except for a strip across the bottom of my belly.

11:30am Stared Pitocin, which they doubled 20 minutes later when my protein levels came back at 1276 (anything over 500 is considered high), they were much more serious about getting baby out ASAP. 
I could tell the contractions were getting a little more intense, but still manageable and sporadic. 
Tim ran down to the van to get Audrey's gifts for the other kids and to walk around for a while with my mom and sister while I tried to rest in between contractions. 

12:15pm the nurse checked me again when I told her the pain was getting worse, almost where it was when I got the epidural, I was 5 cm 90% effaced. She decided to call the anesthesiologist back in. 

12:20pm (5 minutes later) The anesthesiologist came in, he walked in and I told him the pain was getting worse he said he was going to insert more medicine into the catheter and up my dose, as he went to walk around to help me up (we were the only two in the room) I had another contraction at which point I felt an intense wave of pain and SEVERE pressure. I couldn't even really talk to him but started waving my hands, and he said "Another contraction?" 
I started nodding my head and shaking my hands at him (unable to talk) and finally got out "Yeah, you need to get the nurse!!!" 

At this point, Tim, my mom and Skye just happened to walk back in the room, I was clenching the side of the bed, moving from side to side, and checking to see if the baby was coming out - it literally felt like the head was coming out! 
Moments later the nurse was in the room, she quickly checked me and said "Oh yeah!! You're fully dialated and the baby is RIGHT there!" 
Doctor P who had come over from the clinic to introduce herself just so happened to arrive at this time and said "Hi, I'm Doctor P, I came over to introduce myself, I'm going to be delivering your baby today!" 

Within a few seconds, they had the bed torn apart and ready - I pushed two big pushes and Tim said "Amber she is right there" I didn't believe him until I looked down and her head was mostly out - I pushed lightly one more time and her head was completely out. 
At 12:31pm Audrey Ann was here. 

It happened quickly at the end but everything went well and we are grateful for that!  

I have more to say about sweet Audrey and her birth weight and how grateful I am for a God that is in control and so clearly all over Audrey's pregnancy and birth and there is even more to say and praise Him for that I plan to do.... a little later... until then I hope you enjoy the pictures! 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review {Bibleman: Combating the Commandment of Confusion}

Bibleman - an evil battling superhero that loves Jesus. A dream come true for mom's with superhero engrossed little boys! 

This particular Bibleman DVD is the first our family has seen any of the Bibleman movies.

Treyton really enjoyed the DVD. He is really in to superheros and fighting, so this was right up his alley.
For me, I was only so-so on the movie. I felt like the acting was pretty corny and parts of it were a little over my 4.5 year old's head (to be fair it did say great for 6 year olds). I also think the movie would have been better if it wasn't performed and taped in front of a live audience. The movie seemed cheaply made. However, Treyton didn't seem to notice or mind one bit.

When I asked Treyton what the movie was about he said it was "About God, and the Bible - like how Jesus died on the cross for us". This isn't entirely inaccurate because they did offer the salvation message at the end of the movie, but the focus of the movie was not about Jesus and the cross. The movie is actually about Bibleman's mission to stop the "bad-guy" The Commandment of Confusion and his side kick Chaos from stealing the Bible Team's secret weapon which helps them put on the Armor of God anytime, anyplace. The movie has a great message about how God is not the author of confusion and also about the importance of the Armor of God.

Overall, I think that this (and probably any other Bibleman DVDs) is a great alternative to what the world has to offer for our kids, especially boys, for a superhero show. The focus of power is on God and the Bible as it's source. As an adult, it's certainly not my style, but I can see how and why kids would love it. If your child is in to superheros and action I would recommend this movie for you.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

CHEA Convention

For those of you living in Wisconsin - I wanted to pass on the information for the Wisconsin Chiristan Home Educators Association Spring Conference.

The conference is held at the Olympia Resort & Conference Center in Oconomowoc.

The dates of the conference is May 20-22.

I am planning on going this year with Tim and my mom. I went last year with my mom and absolutely LOVED the conference!! I learned so much through both the sessions and the curriculum fair - to be able to not only look but to be able to touch all the curriculum's I was trying to decide between... priceless!!

I highly recommend this conference. It made a huge difference for me last year in my schooling (for the better!)

For more information about the conference, the cost, the sessions and speakers, you can download this PDF form of the brochure.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Review - God As He Longs for You to See Him

It's been a while since I have posted about any of the books I've read. My book list continues to change (as I knew it would) and I haven't necessarily updated the blog book list yet. BUT I am still reading, even if I'm not posting about it like I should! 

While I had the chance (and am ordered to rest on the couch for a few days) I thought I would review real quickly the Chip Ingram book I finished this past month "God As He Longs For You to See Him".

I loved this book!

I wrote about it here, when I'd first started reading it, and to be honest the book only got better for me from there. It did take me a while to get through it, but not because it was hard reading but because I really wanted to soak it all in.

In this book, Ingram discussed in detail 7 character attributes of God: His goodness, sovereignty, holiness, wisdom, justice, love and faithfulness. Each character offered me something that although I knew about God I didn't "know" about God. Through reading this book I honestly feel much closer to my Father. I know that I don't know all that I should know or even believe the important stuff fully as I should, but this book certainly helped me get one step closer.

I think I would have to say my favorite chapters were on God's holiness and wisdom. Both attributes are ones that truly blow me away about God. I cannot begin to comprehend the greatness and fullness of God - none of us can, but oh how great He is!!

Instead of continuing to ramble on (my mind really isn't connecting like it should right now) I wanted to include here a clip of a video that Tim and I watched the other night - there are other clips of Louie Giglio, I would encourage you to check them out (they are INCREDIBLE!) but here is the one we first watched that blew our minds!




There is a part 3, if you would like to check it out.

37.5 Week Appointment

Today I had my 37.5 week appointment. My doctor is out of town, so I saw a new doctor - though I have seen his nurses before (my doc only has one nurse right now, so other nurses step in to help), I had never seen him before.
Good news is I only put on 1 pound!! Yea!
Bad news is I had high blood pressure for the first time in my life - tear, tear. (The actual reading was 138/100) I also had protein in my urine and the doc noticed that my feet were a little swollen.
Because of all this they decided to take some blood work for preeclampsia (not real sure how to spell that). The blood work came back normal but the doc said if it came back normal they would still want to see me on Wednesday, because even with normal blood work you can be preeclamptic. So for right now, I have an appointment set up for 9am on Wednesday for a blood pressure check. If my blood pressure is still high they are talking about inducing me this week yet.

I'll be honest, I'm a little shocked by the idea of it all, wasn't really expecting that when I went in, but at the same time, I'm not all that worried about it either. The doctor said that it does happen but that it's actually pretty rare to become toxic on your third pregnancy (or later). But it's something they take seriously and monitor closely.
So at this point, I'm supposed to be "taking it easy" - doc says he wants to see me laying down on the couch for at least 4 hours a day - activities with the kids are supposed to include story time and cuddling - not park visits (whatever that means) :)

The baby's heart rate looked good - and he didn't tell me what I was measuring which I assume means I was okay.

He did check my cervix and he said I was a "large 1, basically 2cm and soft".
So... that's that... It could be any day now I guess.
I'm hoping to at least wait until next week when my doc gets back but to be honest, I'm not to concerned about which doctor actually delivers.

I'll update more on Wednesday!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Day at the Circus 3.6.10

This weekend Tim and I took the kids to the circus.
We had a blast! And we got a great deal on our tickets. The entire family ended up getting in for $14.
We ended up getting there nice and early which meant we got front row seats right off the center!! Very COOL!
Before the circus started we let the kids go on an elephant ride - they let Lexa on for free which meant both kids got to ride for $10, which I was grateful for - the elephant only went around the ring 2 times!! (for $10!! Anyhow... I won't go into all that now).
 
 
 The kids enjoyed the ride. And after that we got snacks... popcorn and cotton candy - this was Lexie's first taste of cotton candy, I think we can confidently say she enjoyed it... but maybe not as much as Treyton... and definitely not as much as Tim (Cotton Candy is Tim's "thing")

We all had our favorite parts:
 (Here is Treyton, zoned out watching the circus)
Treyton's favorite was the bicyclist, the tiger act and the clown with the toy elephant (that turned out to be a dog)

Alexa's favorite part was was the clown with the elephant that turned out to be a dog (seriously, cute) and the elephants - she was squealing she was so excited!!Alexa loves animals, so any act with an animal in it kept her entertained.

Tim and I's favorite part was the super flexible girl that shoots a balloon with a bow and arrow with her toes (so unbelievable!) and the clown with the toy elephant/puppy dog. Tim also said cotton candy was a favorite for him as well.

I am so glad we got the chance to go, I doubt there will be too many, if any, family outings like this before the baby comes, so it was kind of a last big fun thing for us to do. I know the kids enjoyed it and Tim and I were happy to be able to take them.