Gianna – One Month

There’s another baby around which means that there’s a whole ‘nother round of monthly pictures to be taken.  Gianna gets to wave her white flag every month even though it’s really my white flag if we’re being honest – I don’t rule the roost around here.  She does.  My white flag is high and dry.  All you parents of newborns, you know exactly what I’m talking about, right?  ;)

Anyway, here’s our one-monther:

And because some friends gave us some monthly belly stickers, she’s actually getting two monthly photo shoots.  I’m crazy, I know.  But, this is my kind of fun and I’ll have it.  :D

(PS, to make the flag I used some white fabric I had laying around.  I cut it to the size I wanted the flag to be but double the width, folded it in half, and used some iron-on hem tape to secure the fold, leaving just a smidge un-ironed along the fold so that I had a pocket I could slip a wood dowel into.  Along the edge I glued a strand of pom-poms I had.  Then I just used to put the ‘1 month’ on.  The quilt was given to us by a friend who made it long ago and the headband I made when the twins were wee babes.) 

So far, at one month young, Gianna’s given us our fair share of eventful with a 911 call at three weeks of age because we thought she had aspirated milk and was choking (turns out it was just a bad acid reflux episode) and nighttime fussiness but she is the best sleeper we’ve had so far.  I won’t go into all the details of her life so as not to bore you but we love our sweet little chick and we think she loves us too, at least her awkward beginning smiles in our direction seem to make that a true statement.

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For kicks, let’s waltz down memory boulevard to one-month old Sebastian:seb1month

…and the one-month old Seraphia and Cecilia:aug62012 004_thumb[1]

If you notice one thing in all of these, hopefully it’s that our kids all look alike when they’re tiny (and when they’re big) and that taking pictures in ample amounts of light makes for much better photography.  :)

You Know You’re Nine Months Pregnant When…

you think about writing a post about being nine months pregnant.  And bam, here it is post-partum. 

Once again, I called out to a group of moms to help me out in writing a post about, well, you read the title.  ;)  So, either you’ll be able to relate, you’ll dread those days when you find yourself in that month, or you’ll just simply give it an eyebrow raise and move on.  But really, whether you want to acknowlege it, we’re all affected by women in their ninth month.  Don’t say, do, or move the wrong way or there will be repercusions.  ;)  Kidding…kinda.

Let’s start with this to set the mood, shall we?  Two nine-month bellies, a year and a half apart:37weeks_thumb[2](more belly side-by-sides where these came from here)


…you can't leave your phone b/c if you fail to answer your mom/dad/MIL/BFF will assume you went into labor and will panic that they weren't called.
…you drop something on accident and kick it under the couch on purpose.  It's dead to you.
…you've quit nesting and gone straight to not giving any, b/c you're STILL pregnant.
…someone asks when you're due and you say tomorrow/today/last week, and they glance down and step away, worried that your water will burst rightthisverysecond and soak their shoes.
…you begin to answer every "Baby yet?" text with angry cat memes. (No? Maybe that's just me...)
Shannon @ Organic Mama’s Shop

…you start running to the bath every evening.  I'm usually not a bath-taker, but I hit the 9th month and my large body aches for how buoyant it is in that water. You cannot get me away from the kids at bedtime fast enough, I just HAVE to take a bath every night.
Ana @ Time Flies When You’re Having Babies

…someone ate the meat and vegetables out of your leftover curry and you start angry crying when there's only rice left.
…ice cream happens at least once a day.
…you refuse to visit any establishment without a bathroom.
…eating is a constant battle between eating too much and getting heartburn and eating too little and being hungry again minutes later.
…you peed your pants a tiny bit while walking into the bathroom stall, but at least you were wearing a liner!  High five.


…the security guard at work asks you not to go into labor in the lobby (little does he know I was actually in early labor for the whole day at work).
…you don't care about anything anymore.
…you stress about your water breaking in public.
…you refer to yourself as a beached whale.

8ac8b44f7d677e8fcdaea9582ad7c63f(image from here)

…your legs and nether regions are like a jungle and you only wear slip-on shoes - ain't no way in hell you're gonna risk trying to shave or tie shoelaces.
…everytime you sneeze and pee yourself, you wait an extra minute before changing panties in case it was actually your water breaking.
…someone mentions "how big you are" or "you're about to pop", you do that awkward fake laugh and imagine smacking them in the face with a chucks pad.

…you count taking a load of laundry to the basement as exercise.

…you throw caution to the wind and ask your hubby to shave your legs

…you consider peeing the bed because it would be much easier than turning and lifting yourself out of bed (again!)

…you crawl up the stairs because walking up them seems like too big of a task.
…you actually tear up when the doctor wants to do an exam - not because of the exam but because getting undressed and redressed seems like SO much work.

…your Google search history is riddled with various versions of how to jump start labor.

…you scare the teenager working the pretzel stand in the mall by crying because she's out of cheese dipping sauce.
…you eat a medium pizza as an appetizer.

…you lose your breath walking any incline.
…Facebook becomes an emotional graveyard with other people actually birthing kids while you're hot and tired and uncomfortable and fat as hell.  Oh and everybody wants to know where the baby is.
…you get excited to cook something yummy but by the time you get home from the grocery and put all that shiiz away you're too freaking tired.  Frozen pizza it is.
…you abandon trying to look cute in maternity clothes in favor of your husbands sweats and undershirts.
…you stop fighting to cover up your belly when at home and just let it happen.

…rolling over in bed is an accomplishment.
…walking up 3-4 steps gets your heart rate going.
…you can't eat much because there is so little room!
…you contemplate peeing yourself because getting up would take so much energy.
…you’re drinking so much RRL tea, prunes, pineapple, EPOs in hopes of starting something.
…you confuse gas pains with contractions and are wishing every twinge of pain is real labor.

…you get unreasonably upset with your unborn child for not being born yet like all of your friend’s babies who are due at the same time.
…you rock back and forth on your birthing ball chanting, "Get out. Get out. Get out.”
…your husband or mom tries to joke with you and you have absolutely no more sense of humor.  Or patience.

…you unintentionally hit yourself with the refrigerator door...everytime!

…every time you roll over in bed it takes so long that you have to get up and pee....again.
…you drop something and have to back up two feet to see where it fell....and you can't even pick it up anyway.

…you waddle everywhere.
…you feel like you might have had a contraction on your due date but really it was probably just gas since your babies have all been over 10 days late.
…all you can think about is when is labor going to start and where will I be...

1344393959373_3492298(image from here)

…Arby's getting your sandwich wrong launches an all out ugly crying spree.

…you sit through the entire Mass because well, you can't breathe going up and down all the time, and all the old ladies stare at you because they think something is going to happen.

…you fall over while trying to get your underwear on.  So embarrassing.

…you sleep so badly that you start looking forward to getting better sleep with a newborn.

…you make plans for a day or two (or a week) from now, thinking that will encourage the baby to come....and you're still around to do whatever it is you planned.  Cue tears.

…you are sweaty 24/7 and there's always the battle between eating and sleeping.

…you can't breathe worth sh*! because your sinuses are swollen shut.
…baby's head is using your bladder as a bouncy house.

…your other kids have watched more tv in the last two weeks than in their entire lives.
…you live on the couch.
…you ask your dr. for a catheter so you don't have to get off the couch.
…you wonder if this is the last night you’re going to bed without a baby...every night.
…you stop wearing cute maternity clothes and just wear the same loose sweats...everyday.
…you've googled "ways to induce labor" at least 1000 times hoping to stumble across a hidden magic formula.

g8gvN72LI9SG2G29XEqWSULZ9he40WDJ_lg(image from here)

And last but definitely not least (and also the one that really ‘cracked’ me up)…

…your husband asks, "was that always a thong?"
He will never live that one down.

Arms Up

Man guys.  Remember in my last post, when I said Gianna might be the easiest baby we’ve had so far?  Unfortunately, I’m eating my words.  Sweet girl has been a little fussy while she’s awake during the past couple of weeks and that’s why it’s taken me so long to get this post up…and any post at all.  No complaining though and I’m not apologizing because it’s family over blogging but I will say that, while these days are fleeting and I’m trying to soak them up as much as possible, when those days when a routine becomes the norm again come, they will not be unwelcome.


Our DIY, tufted headboard headboard is finito and we are loving it.  We have upped the comfort anty 1000% over our previous headboard:
Now it’s behind with the old and in front with the new.


In case you missed it, the tutorial for the tufted back of the headboard can be found here

The inspiration for the arms of our new headboard was taken from those on this headboard, made by Sarah at Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.  I fell in love with the curves at the top of the arms at first sight.  She gave instructions on how to make them for the most part, which you can read about in her post about them, and in this post I go into more detail showing how we made them.

Sarah used a 2 x 8 and a 1 x 8 for each arm.  We needed a 2 x 10 and a 1 x 10, a tad wider than those Sarah used since we were retrofitting the headboard to our existing headboard.  So, instead of getting two boards and screwing them together, we cut costs by using three.  (It saved us about $10 to do it this way and the look is no different.)

We used:
1 - 2 x 10 (cut in half lenthwise to make them each about 60 inches long)
1 – 1 x 6 (also cut in half)
1 – 1 x 4 (also cut in half)  IMG_7874The wood shown in the above picture is everything needed for one arm.  Like I mentioned above, the boards we bought we had cut in half in-store as they were each 10 feet long and we needed them to be 5 feet long as each arm needed to be 5 feet tall.

We placed the wood together like so to create two, wide arms.
Anthony used wood screws* that were almost as long as the boards were wide to screw everything together.  The screws needed to be long enough that they’d securely hold the boards together but not too long that the points came out the other side.  IMG_7875

In screwing the boards together, we had to be careful not to place the screws where we’d be cutting the design out of the top of each arm.  If you’re only interested in making two rectangular arms, you won’t need to worry about screw placement.
Once the boards were all one big piece, I labeled each side of the arm – back, front, and top.  I did this because the 2 x 10 was slightly deeper than the other two boards put together (you can kind of see it in the above picture) so one side of the arm was flush (front) and the other wasn’t (back).   Also, I wanted the 1 x 6 board to be at the front, inside of the arm.  In case you would be able to see where the two one-inch boards met through the fabric later, by placing the 1 x 6 board in front, the seam would likely be covered up by the tufted padding of the back of the headboard later.  (Turns out that the seam between boards is not noticeable under the fabric at all.)

Next up was creating the curved design at the top of each arm.  First, I drew the design on a piece of thick paper and then I traced it onto the wood.
Like Sarah did, I used the lid of a jar to create the rounded parts and then drew a straight horizontal line to connect them.  The top rounded part is five inches wide (wider than Sarah’s since we had to accomodate for retrofitting) and the straight line and curve at the front are each 2.5 inches wide.

A good friend of ours cut the design out for me using his jigsaw (thanks Matt!)  Anthony has a rotozip he was going to use but the blade wasn’t long enough to cut through both boards.  Once the design was cut out, Anthony pre-drilled three holes at back of each arm where they would be attached to the back of the headboard.  More on that later.

The next step was wrapping fabric around the inside of each arm so that the arms could be attached to the back of the headboard and then finished.  I cut out two rectangular panels of the same gray fabric used on the tufted back – each panel was wide enough to be stapled at the back and wrapped around the entire arm to be stapled at the opposite back and was also long enough that it extended an inch past the ends of each arm on the top and bottom.  I used two yards of fabric to finish both arms bringing the grand total in fabric to five yards for the entire headboard. 

To start, Anthony laid the fabric on the ground and then placed the wood arm we were working on on top of it, placing it close enough to one edge that there was enough fabric left to be pulled around and stapled.  Then he pulled the fabric taught and up and over the other side of the fabric. 
arm(Note:  At this point, the insides of the arms needed to be stapled at the back so we had to pay close attention to which side of the wood we were laying on the ground and which side we were stapling.)

Then he stapled the fabric to the back of the inside of the arm. 
arm7(Note:  You’ll want to make sure the grain of the fabric is straight while it’s wrapped around the arm for a professional look.  It should be running horizontally across the side of the arm and/or vertically up and down.  As long as you initially cut the fabric panels along the grain, this should be easy to accomplish.)

Here’s what an arm (in this case, the left arm if you’re looking at the headboard) will look like once the inside is stapled:arm3The fabric will hang loose but will be attached at the back the entire length of the arm.

So that the fabric stayed put while attaching the arm to the headboard, Anthony grabbed a small scissors and stuck the pointed ends into the holes he pre-drilled earlier (the holes that would hold screws that attach the arms to the headboard).
We also realized last minute that we should get the fabric at the bottom of the arms situated before attaching them since we’d be attaching them standing up.  To do this, we stapled the fabric at the bottom of each arm to the outside back about six inches up the arm.  Then Anthony whipped out his present wrapping skills, folding the fabric like so on the bottom of each arm and stapling it:
I’ll have another post coming later that shows how we attached the new headboard to our existing headboard but at this point in the project, we had the help of another friend (thanks Dan!) to get the arms onto the back.  (We didn’t realize how heavy the headboard was going to be so, being postpartum a couple of weeks, I couldn’t help like I normally would.) Basically, Dan held the back of the headboard in place while Anthony held the arms, one-by-one, onto each side of the headboard and screwed them on.  Once both arms were attached, they looked like this:
PicMonkey Collage
You can see here how the arms and back were held together; where the screws were placed:
Next, we finished wrapping the fabric around the front and outside of each arm, stapling at the back.IMG_7918
Now it gets a little tricky with the design at the top.  To polish off this part, Ifirst folded down the excess fabric at the top of each arm and stapled it to the back.

The arms now looked like this:

Then, I trimmed away the fabric around the design, making sure there was an inch of excess above and beyond the top of the design.IMG_7926

The fabric had to be wrapped onto the design but because of the curves, I had to cut notches around each curve and corner so it could be folded nicely.  So, I basically cut triangles with the points almost touching the wood of the arm around each curve and into each corner.  I made sure I cut the triangle points deep enough that they’d allow the fabric to be folded without being pulled but not too deep that they went into the side of the arm, exposing the wood beneath.

Next, Anthony helped me staple each flap around the curves down – I held them down tightly and he stapled.  (Tip:  If a staple doesn’t go in perfectly; if it sticks out a little, just grab a hammer and hammer it flat.)

The last thing I needed to do to finish off the arms was to make a strip of fabric to cover the front of each.  To make these strips, I cut out two long, narrow rectangles out of what was left of the fabric we used to wrap the arms in.  The front of each arm measured 2.5 inches wide so I cut the rectangles to be 4.5 inches wide so that I could have a finished, one-inch hem on each side.  Length-wise, I cut them so that I had plenty of fabric left to be able to fold it over and under the tops and bottoms of each arm.  That made them about 70 inches long.

Using my quilting square* was super helpful in making sure I was measuring and cutting straight edges.  I drew four lines onto what would be my strips of fabric – two the width of the entire strip pre-hem to show where to cut them out of the fabric remnant and two where I’d fold to make the hem.IMG_7932

To finish the strips, I used no-sew, iron-on hem tape*.  I placed the hem tape on the inside of the fold line on one side, ironed it, and did the same to the other side.   

To get the strip on its arm, I first cut a small piece of hem tape a little shorter than the width of the front of the arm, placed it at the top of the arm, and ironed on the strip of fabric so that it was secured by the hem tape.

I wanted to glue most of the strip on because I wasn’t sure I had enough hem tape to iron it on so by placing that small piece of iron-on tape at the top, the strip was held in place and allowed the glue I used to dry without moving.  I did the same thing with a small piece of iron-on tape to the flat part between the two curves of the design at the top of each arm and also placed one right below the second curve; right on the front, flat part of the arm.

To glue the strips on, I ran two small lines of glue down the middle sides of each side of the front of the arm like so:IMG_7941(I used this fabric glue but any craft glue and even hot glue will work.  Hot glue just requires a lot of careful gluing so it doesn’t get on the fabric where it’d be tough to remove.)

I did it this way all the way down.  There was extra fabric at the bottom of the arms that we just folded under the arm – I folded under while Anthony held the headboard off the ground.  One day, when we move and have to take the bed apart, we’ll staple them down but until then, no one will ever know they’re not secured underneath so shhhhh…

Ta-daaaaa!  That is IT!

It cost us a little under $100 to make this headboard and if we’d have had to buy the foam for it, it would still only have rung in at around $130.  Not too shabby, eh?  Not too shabby at all.  :D   


Right after we finished it, I got really excited and quickly cranked out two new pillow covers for the euro pillows on the bed plus some matching faux roman shades that you might’ve noticed.  I stole the smaller square pillows from the living room to add some more color but really I’m still sulking over the fact that the fabric I wanted to make covers out of for those costs $230 PER YARD.  No way Hosea.  It’s this orangerie floral by Designers Guild…
il_570xN.1034432595_iidn…and if I ever find a remnant that is majorly, and I mean majorly discounted, I will pounce.  Until then, I’ll forever (but hopefully not) be on the look-out for a similar print and pattern.

So, the headboard is done but what about the footboard?  Well, eventually I’d love to sand and restain it and I’m toying with the idea of upholstering and tufting the flat part in between the two posts but for now, there are bigger project fish to fry in this casa but don’t be suprised if that post pops up one day in the future.  

There are still a lot of things I want to get done in our room before we call it “done” – painting and adding legs to the nightstands, painting the dressers, painting or restaining our desk and bookshelf, hanging stuff on the walls, making a West Elm chandelier knock-off that I’ve had on the agenda for over a year now, blah, blah, blah…  Basically, the room will see it’s final state in a few years at the rate we move.  So it goes and so it is. 

But, now that I have a plush surface to sink my spine into when stress strikes, I don’t care how long it takes.  Slow and steady wins the home decor race…or maybe that’s just an excuse for decoristas with kids.  ;)


Stay tuned for a quick post on how we attached this headboard to our existing, thrifted bed frame.

Adios.  :)

*Affiliate link to product we purchased or something similar to what we purchased to make this headboard.  If you click and buy, we will get a small commission.  Thank you for helping us keep the lights on around here!  :)

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diy headboard

Gianna Clare: A Birth Story

To epidural or not to epidural?

That was the question I had been trying to decide for weeks before grrlfrran made her arrival.  I love epidurals for the obvious reason – no pain – but was all the pushing and the horrid recovery after-birth I get along with it all worth it?  When I wasn’t in labor, it wasn’t worth it.  Of course I’d go sans epidural this time so that I could feel what I was doing when I had to push and then after the baby was born, there’d be no shaking or nausea and I’d just be able to sit and enjoy the child outside my womb.  But during labor, it was worth it, very worth it.  Or maybe I just didn’t care because my mind and body were reeling in pain.  So what was the outcome now tied to that looming question for this third labor of mine?  What ended up happening?  Read on, my friends…

The day was June 2nd.  We had scheduled an induction because, long story short, my doctor was going on a trip a few days later (also a few days before my due date) and he’s just so great that I really didn’t want anyone else to deliver our fourth.  I know it sounds crazy maybe but he really is just that great and I trust him with my life…and the life of my kids, obviously.  Of course, if all signs pointed to baby girl not being ready June 2nd at 39 weeks, we’d hold off and wait but thankfully, everything looked just peachy.  I had been three centimeters dilated for a couple of weeks and, at 39 weeks, chances are the babe inside wasn’t too big to fit through these tiny hips.  Yes, that is unfortunately a concern for little ‘ole me here.  I envy you women with hips.  I’ve always wanted them but wasn’t blessed with ‘em so I’ll just keeping faking them with side pockets and gathered dresses. 

So, we waltzed in to the labor and delivery ward bright and early that Thursday morning (6:45 am) and were led to our room where we settled in and I tossed on the ever-so-stylish ‘gown’…though why they call it a ‘gown’ is beyond me.IMG_3902

We sat for  an hour, chatting with my nurse (she was the sweetest!), and flipping through channels on the telee.  I got prepped for baby landing – IV and monitor belts.  I was started on pitocin around 8ish and it was also at that time that my doc came in and unleashed the deluge…aka broke my water.  The contractions started slowly and then got more and more intense…blah, blah, blah.  Normal birthing stuff.  More intense, more intense, more intense, ow, ow, ow, more intense.  At some point, the mind games started and I began to wonder why the heck I was doing this without an epidural.  “The awful symptoms.  Ouch!  The not-being-able-to-feel-how-to-push.  Owwww!  Ugh.  Is it worth it?!  Owwwwww!!!  Yes.  Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!  No.  I’m dying.  That one was bad.  Really bad.  I don’t think I have the willpower…yes I do.  Nope.  I don’t…”

Somewhere during the beginning of the whole process my nurse noticed that, after every contraction, the baby’s heart beat was just dropping off.  She wasn’t overly concerned but she was concerned enough to have me lay on my side while I labored just in case baby girl was having issues with the contractions.  Such a huge bummer because I was hoping so much to be able to walk around while I labored.  I’ve heard it makes it a tad easier if you can move around and gives you some sort of distraction.  Of course, the baby’s health outweighs any and all of my walking wishes but still, it was unfortunate.  Either way, on my side I went and there I stayed.  I got to know the bedside buttons real well – lumbar:  inflate or deflate, raise, lower, call nurse, etc…

The contractions came and went like they do and all the while, I was texting back and forth with my sisters and some close friends.  I rely on my sister Farrah for all things life and motherhood and she quickly became my birthing coach during the process…
I mean, who needs birthing classes?  Not this mom.  ;)  (But really though, we’ve never been to one.  Ha!)

At 9:45, my nurse checked my dilation.  I had to be at least 7-8 centimeters.  HAD to.  “Let’s see…you’re about five centimeters”.  Oh, heck no.  Heck.  No.  All that pain for two measly centimeters?!  No, no, no.  Epidural pa-lease!!!! 

And just like that, my nurse wheeled in the epidural meds and cart and called the anesthesiologist.  The time was 10:01 (I only know the time because my nurse told me afterwards…gazing at the clock was theee last thing I was doing amidst all my turmoil.)  Unlike the anethesiologist at Sebastian’s birth, this one came within minutes.

This is where things get a little dicey as far as my memory goes.  My memory is usually pretty perky but with the pain that I was experiencing, I felt like I had slipped into this half out-of-body, half madness state of mind.  Seriously.  It was so weird.  I heard bits and pieces of what was going on around me but a lot of what I know is from talking to the nurse afterwards and via Anthony’s perspective.  What I know from all that is this…

The anethesiologist came in and I had to sit up and hunch over so that he could get the IV in.  The contractions were coming really close together – within mere seconds of eachother – and so during one of those seconds of relative calm, I pulled myself to a sit and hunched over right as another contraction came on and I was once again a raving lunatic.  Ok, so maybe I wasn’t raving but I was definitely on the verge of bawling and babbling on in pain.  (All you single ladies and future mothers, doesn’t this make you want to have tons of kids?!  I know…so sorry.  It’s so worth it though.  Promise.)  All of a sudden, as I sat in pain, I felt like my insides were falling out…errr, more like shooting out in a fury.  I had to push.  I wasn’t in control of my body anymore and my body had to push and so it was.  It was so very bizarre.  I managed to voice my concerns to all the ears in the room and right then, I vaguely remember hearing the anethesiologist say “She’s not going to make it.  I’m not going to be able to do this”…as in, this baby was coming.  Like now.  This baby was coming now.  There was zero time for an epidural.

I slumped back down onto my side and the urge to push subsided…for ten seconds until there it was again.  My nurse took a peek and exclaimed that I was, in fact, 10 centimeters dilated but also she said “don’t push, the doctor is on his way”.  “Act like you’re blowing through a straw whenever you feel like you have to push.”  Ok, a straw.  A straw.  I mean, what does a straw even look like at this point in my lunacy.  Who has time to think about that when your insides are exploding?!  Oh but wait, oh yes, a straw!  Blowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…but nooooooooooooo, my body is still pushing.  I can’t stop it.  Or wait, it was more like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, MY BODY IS STILL PUSHING!!!!!!!!!!  I CAN’T STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then a few seconds of semi-calm until, once again, DON’T PUSH BUTICAN’TNOTPUSH!!!!!!!!!

And then a few more seconds of semi-calm and you know what happened.  Yep, my body took over and I couldn’t stop the pushing.  Except this third time, the nurses had me roll onto my back and two pushes later, Gianna was born. IMG_3903

And two minutes after that, my doctor walked in.  He said if the elevator hadn’t taken so long, he would’ve made it.  Haha!  Since it was mid-morning, he was literally a building away seeing patients but Gianna came so quickly that a building away wasn’t close enough.  Thankfully, there weren’t any complications so doc not being there was sad but not a huge problem (Sebastian was sideways and semi-stuck so you just never know).  He still monitored this bitty babe her entire 8.9 months in utero and for that, we will always be grateful.  <3

Gianna was on this side of my skin and the routine newborn process had begun.  I was so very grateful that my mind had returned to reality and I could savor those first moments without the shaking and nausea that the epidural would have brought.  I don’t know how not having it really affected the rest of my recovery but, let me tell you, I was ready to get up and at ‘em a half hour after she was born.  It was amazing.  That was a blessing too, especially since Anthony wasn’t able to stay the night in the hospital with me.  He had to get back to our other three.

Speaking of our other three, we managed to get a snapshot of their first visit with their new baby sister, who at this point in time was still nameless.
IMG_3906Their smiles lit up the room upon their entrance; seeing this wee babe who was no longer in mommy’s tummy (even though I fielded lots of questions about what or who was still in mommy’s tummy since it just got “a little smaller”.  Ultimately, they all concluded mommy’s tummy was filled with milk for the baby.  Common sense seekers, our kids.) 

LIke I said, I was ready to get going pretty quickly post-birth but it wasn’t because the pain had disappeared.  By some small miracle, I didn’t tear like I did with our other kids but still, pushing a watermelon out of a tailpipe doesn’t really warrant a three-second, full recovery.  I’m sure you probably know or can just about imagine.  I was sore but mobile enough to change diapers and grab Gianna out of her bassinet. 

Gianna and I got permission to go home the next day and man, I was elated.  There’s no place like home to recover and plus, sitting in a hospital room by yourself is b-o-r-i-n-g.  There’s only so much that social media browsing and the boob tube can do for ya there.  I had cabin fever the minute Anthony left to go back home.

Anyway, that’s the story of how Gianna was born and I’ve never wished for a video of a birthing event, but this one I do.  My mind is so foggy about it all that I’d love to see how things went down.  #literally  The nurses told me after that they were getting a big kick out of me when, everytime I’d feel like I had to push, I’d say “nooooo!”, like that alone could hold her in.  I guess mind over matter is not a skill I have.  Anthony said I kept saying “Oh no you guys!” when a contraction was coming on towards the end.  Lunatic, I tell ya.

Whatever.  I’ll own it.  Pain does funny things to people.

Since her birthday, things have been awesome and oh-so-smooth with a fourth kid around.  Anthony’s job allows him to work from home if he needs to so he did just that for two weeks and those two weeks were amazing.  I didn’t have to lift a finger even though I wanted to.  I’m not one of those people who can just sit around for hours on end so I was itching to do something.  I know you all probably think I’m crazy but I felt like the nesting bug bit me post-pregnancy and I was dying to get up and get stuff done, all with a newborn strapped to my person.  I didn’t get much done thanks to still being sore the week after but I did get to help Anthony finish our headboard and I took lots of pictures of our newest during a couple of DIY photo shoots while the ‘big’ kids were napping.

PicMonkey Collage

Right now, I’m soaking up the newborn phase.  I’ve never really liked this stage, mainly because everytime we’ve had a newborn or two around, it’s been crazy – I mean we started with two at once and then had three under 18 months.  This time it’s still crazy but we’ve got three semi-independent older kids plus that newborn who is an awesome sleeper compared to her elders.  I mean, in all things she’s pretty much the easiest baby we’ve had.  She has her moments but those moments are so much easier to deal with and, dare I say savor, because we aren’t a pair of exhausted care-takers who haven’t showered in weeks and who are surviving on coffee.

And now I should probably go pound my fists against a solid surface of the tree variety…


.           .           .

Want more newborns?  Go meet two handsome misters, Blaise and Fred, brought here by Susan and Ana.  :) 

You Know You’re a Twin Parent When…

Psst…a HUGE thank you to those who are helping me fill empty blog space while we widdle away at the first weeks with our newest little sprout!  I’ll be tossing a few of these posts in with some of my own in the coming weeks while we slowly get used to life with four little ones around.  It’s been such a smooth transition thus far but I know that having Anthony home plus a sleepy newborn is a big, big part of why things seem like they haven’t changed so I’m bracing myself for when he goes back to work and Gianna gets older and needs more attention but right now, I’m savoring it.  We’re all savoring it.  :)

So, without further ado…

I besought a bunch of twin moms in a Facebook group I’m a part of to finish this statement – You know you’re a twin mom/parent when… – and they didn’t disappoint.  Maybe you can add to it (the comments section is open for business!) and maybe you have no clue but can only imagine.  Either way, life with twins is, well, interesting and busy and chaotic at times and wonderful and a whole bunch of other adjectives.

IMG_0147…those biceps can’t be attributed to a swanky gym membership.

…you almost fainted (or did faint) at the ultrasound that revealed their existence.

...someone sends ONE gift from Amazon and you think, "riiiight...they'll just share it...cause that's a possibility..."  -Laura

…your house looks like a poorly run daycare…or is that just me?  -Krissy
  Nope, not just you Krissy. 

IMG_0264…you spend inordinate amounts of time and energy trying to figure out the best way to cram two cribs/wardrobes/swings/sets of whatever it may be into one tiny room.

…you hear one infant twin cry in the middle of the night and leap out of bed to grab her like your pants are on fire lest she wake her sidekick.

…you get one twin fed and sawing logs and rest your head against your pillow in bliss…for three seconds until the other one starts up.

…you tell someone you're expecting boy/girl twins and they ask, "oh are they fraternal or identical?" –Kristy

...someone says, "two for the price of one!" and you laugh to yourself because that's totally not a thing. –Laura
-Yes! The only exception in my experience was labor pains which actually were sort of two-for-one. But the rest has totally been two for the price of more than two! –Margaret

…someone lists ALL the ways to tell your identical twins apart, and you smile and adjust the colored necklaces they HAVE to wear. – Laura

…you refer to everyone's unborn child as "they". –Nicole

myheart 003…you get the two-word comment “double-trouble” by strangers in public and you laugh and say “twice as nice”…and then you cry inside because double-trouble is right on.

…’damage control’ takes on a whole new meaning…and so does damage.

…you own 3 or more double strollers. –Krissy

…people who have multiple kids close in age compare that to having twins ---- nope. Sorry. Your 1 year old can hold their own bottle! –Nichole

…you have to subdue the shock of unsuspecting pregnant strangers after your 4-year-old points to their belly and exclaims, "two babies" because he thinks all pregnancies result in two.  No, he is not psychic nor prophetic, we just have twins babies at home. –Keeli

…your three year old asks of anyone with a newborn, "why do they only have one baby?" –Margaret

…you hoard anything anyone is giving away because the twins could use it. –Marisol

…you've sat on a dirty diaper just to get your other baby not to open and play in it. –Keeli

…you resist the urge to roll your eyes when people ask "Are they twins?" about your identical twins, followed by "one girl & one boy?" when you have them dressed alike. –Emily

…you are so sleep deprived that a 30 minute nap is the same length as a chunks of sleep you get through the night. –Emily

…you are jealous listening to others' complaints about getting anything over 3 hrs of sleep. –Emily
-Or want to throat-punch the person that says they're tired. Haha. –Marisol

plaid scarves 008 …you struggle with whether you should dress them identially or just coordinate or just totally different.  And you get asked a lot which method you prefer.

…people ask "were you trying for twins?”  Yep!  We are super talented!  We can have twins on demand. –Nichole need to call ahead to a restaurant to reserve two high chairs. (On the rare occasion we all go out.) have a backup plan for every possible scenario. used to laugh silently at other parents using leashes on their one kid.  (I don't do this, but I'm pretty sure I'll consider it.) buy four of everything in case two of those things get lost. plan your purchases based on the possible resale value of all furniture, accessories, toys, and clothes. feel like an expert when people genuinely ask you how you do it. –Marisol

…you cram all of your purchases in the bottom basket of a double stroller because a cart won't hold more than one infant carrier.  -Brooke

IMG_0783…your heart is twice as big, your dreams twice as high, and your wishes twice as spectacular.

We wouldn’t trade them for the world, our twins.

…most of the time anyway.  ;)