Friday, November 30, 2012

Life Lately

This week has been challenging to say the least and yesterday was particularly rough. I know everything is harder when you are running on a little bit of sleep, and I knew this was going to be
hard, but I wasn't expecting Mariam to be such a high needs baby. She gets colicky and constantly wants to be held. Poor Layla, I hardly even get a chance to play with her because Mariam is constantly attached to me either nursing or just wanting to be held. I feel like all I do is tell Layla "NO!" since she is in EVERYTHING.
Yesterday I yelled at her after she kept bothering Mariam when she was trying to sleep and then I felt guilty for the rest of the day. A lot of tears were shed and I really had thoughts like I wasn't cut out for this, and what have we gotten ourselves into? Sometimes I find it miraculous that I've managed to get Layla and I fed breakfast and lunch. Of course my meals are practically scarfed down because Mariam has a top notch hot food alarm.
I mean really! How do these babies know the moment your food is ready?!
I know this will pass and I'll get through it, but I need to vent. Talking it out helps. I called my mom yesterday and one of my dear friends came over in the afternoon and it was better. I'm good at handling most things, I'm an excellant multi-tasker but this has been kicking my butt. I'm just glad tomorrow is Saturday because it means a lot more help around here. On the bright side, my baby bjorn should be arriving today so I can start wearing Mariam and having my hands free. I hope she likes it. I also have a hair appointment tomorrow so I'm looking forward to getting a small break.
If any of you guys have some tips on dealing with a newborn and a toddler, I'd love to hear them! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Saving on text books and helping those in need..

I must be behind in the times because how did I not know that you could rent college textbooks online? Why didn't they have this when I was going years ago? Or maybe they did and I just never heard of it?
What a novel idea. Had I known, I could of saved money by renting from Instead I have stacks of college books I never even use. I think maybe I've only referenced one book that was on marketing years after I graduated. The rest just sit there collecting dust! Campus book rentals offers new and gently used textbooks for typically less than half the price you'll pay in your school bookstore. Along with their live help, they offer monthly giveaways, textbook scholarships, and other prizes. They also have a 30 day risk free guarantee.

Rent Textbooks

One of the other neat things about this company is that they are commited to making a difference! They are partnered with Operation Smile which is a great organization that performs life changing cleft lip surgeries on children whose families could otherwise not afford it. Cleft lip and Cleft palate are facial and oral malformations that occur very early in pregnancy. Clefting results when there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue that is available does not join together properly. Cleft lip affects one in 700 babies annually, and is the fourth most common birth defect in the U.S.

As a mother, I can only imagine how another mother must feel whose child is born with a physical deformity. Aside from it's physical attributes, it can cause eating problems, hearing loss, speech problems, and dental problems. We all want our children to be healthy, but what does one do when their child is not, and they can't do anything about it because they don't have the means?
That's whats great about companies like Campus Book Rentals that want to make a difference. You can too by visiting Operation Smile and purchasing products that support their cause. I'm particularly interested in Charlie Banana which is a luxury brand of cloth diapers since H and I are interested in cloth diapering Mariam soon. There are also other ways to give by either donating, or holding a fundraiser.

Monday, November 26, 2012

2.5 Week Post Partum Update

I'm 3 weeks postpartum today, but I took these photos this past Friday. I'm happy with my progress so far. Honestly, I was worried about how my stomach was going to look after being so stretched out with this pregnancy and it being my third....and the fact that it was this big last year too!
I mean hello torpedo belly!....
I gained a total of 25 lbs and I'm not sure how much I weigh right now because my scale is broken, but I'm pretty sure I'm getting close to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Ok, so you are probably wondering what my secret is--and I'm going to tell you.
Control top underwear. Yep. I'm not wearing them in these pictures, so that is my stomach not compressed, but I'm telling you these things are miracle workers! The brand I've been using is Bali in style 8710. I totally have to credit my mom on urging me to bind my belly down this time. Whether you get a corset, an actual postpartum belly binder, or control top underwear. Just get something that keeps your belly nice and tight. The type that I used has the top that goes all the way up to about an inch above my belly button. .
I still have a ways to go but I'll get there. I'm in no hurry to exercise yet. You have to take it easy the first few weeks. I stayed busy but I didn't lift anything heavy, or drive the first week and a half.  You don't want to strain your belly or put any type of unnecessary pressure on it. It won't help your recovery and you could get a hernia. Also continue to lotion your belly and drink lot's of water. Another thing that helps is breastfeeding since when the baby nurses, it makes your uterus contract and go back to it's natural size faster.
This recovery has gone so much better than last year. I haven't had any postpartum blues--minus being a little extra sensitive and I'm bouncing back faster. I really credit the fact that I stayed active and busy this pregnancy. I was pretty much on my feet for much of the day since I had Layla to tend too.
Happy Cyber Monday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mariam week 2

I was hoping to do bi-weekly postpartum updates for awhile but I've had no motivation to photograph myself these days so I'll do them every 3 weeks or so. I'm sooooo tired and shying away from showing my pale face with huge circles from lack of sleep.
I desperatly need some zzzzzzzzz's!!
 I am however pleased with how fast my body is bouncing back and a large part of it is due to belly binding. I'll have more about it and pictures of my progress on Monday!
Onto my littlest squiss. I can't believe it's been over 2 weeks that she's been with us. I swear it just goes by so fast. TOO FAST.
7lbs 8 oz. Last week she weighed 6 lbs 14 oz so I'm really happy with this.
All good! Her skin looks like it's shedding but the doctor says it's normal and her umbilical cord fell off last week.
Ho boy. Where do I begin. Mariam started off the first week sleeping pretty good at night. For the past few days she has her days and nights mixed up. It's been awful. Last night she was up from 11pm to 3am. H and I both woke up at 6 am so we only got 3 hrs of sleep. I was beyond frustrated last night and shed a few tears in the process. I just need some sleep and napping during the day isn't an option. Tonight I plan on getting some batteries for our lamb swing and seeing if that helps. I'm also not going to let her sleep more than 2 hr increments starting today and see if that helps. She spends most of the day sleeping.
All newborn and even some of those are a little big. She's such a little peanut. I feel bad getting onsies over her head. I wish there were more cute snap on ones so I wouldn't have to bother her too much.
A sleeping baby isn't very sociable so not much to report here. She will stay up for a little while just quiet but not too much. She is starting to focus a little better on our faces.
Milk, milk, and more milk. This girl loves to eat and breastfeeding is going well--other than feeling like she's constantly attached to me which isn't as easy as you think when you also have a toddler to tend too.
There's a lot of crying especially at night. I think she gets gassy and I need to get some gas drops to see if it helps. I made the mistake of feeding her one night everytime she would cry and root around and she ended up projectile vomiting. She has taken to a pacifier, but it doesn't always help.
Nothing yet to report, but they will come. No rush. Except for her sleeping through the night. That one cannot come soon enough.
I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving tomorrow and don't forget to head over to Schue Love to enter the giveaway to win an FHJ Baby bib!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Back to the nitty gritty and a giveaway!

Blogger world hold me...H is back at work today after being off for two weeks. Today is the first day I'm on my own. No H, No Serena, just me with a toddler and a newborn. I'll report back in the next couple of days and let you know how it went. The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of feedings, diaper changes, and fussy babies. I've been completely spoiled since H has been cooking all the meals and just really helping with everything! Now it's back to official housewife status for me. I've been able to still work on my business and get things done while the girls nap so I'm happy about that.

With that being said, I'm really excited that sweet Natasha over at Schue Love is hosting a giveaway for FHJ Baby! Head on over to her blog for your chance to win a bib of your choice!! The contest will end Sunday, November 25th at Midnight (Pacific time).

Also in case you missed it, I'll be launching a collection of hair accessories for newborns through tweens later this week! Over the weekend I spent some time photographing them and had a little shoot with Serena and Layla wearing two of them. Serena was an easy subject. Layla....not so much. Toddlers don't sit still for very long and it works best for us when we are in an open field. I literally run with her pointing and shooting and I definitely can't do it alone. It's a lot of fun!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lady Mariam

I promise every post this week won't just be about her, but I've got to show off these adorable pictures of her. I'm completely enamored by this little peanut. H is completely taken with her too and I fall in love over and over again with him watching him interact with the girls. I've said it before but he's such a great father. When I gave birth to Mariam and he saw that she made it safely into the world, I got to witness that look in his eyes I've seen before of love and awe of another baby--and my heart melted.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Mariam's birth story & my recovery

As I mentioned, Mariam decided to arrive right on her due date! Last Sunday I decided to take the girls for a walk to get out of the house. We walked about a mile (me pushing Layla in the stroller) and then we stopped back at the house so I could drop Layla off with H. Serena and I continued walking and all in all, I walked a total of 2 miles. I remember my belly tightening while walking but that was normal for me. Once I got home and for the remainder of the evening, I felt no additional contractions. I was a little bummed. So I went to sleep around 11:00 pm thinking that I was just going to have another long night of waking up to use the restroom multiple times like usual.
Around 2:00 am, I wake up to use the restroom and I realized I had my bloody show. This was new for me so I wondered if Labor was coming. I went back to bed and that's when the first contraction hit. It was like my others in the past, but I still needed to breathe through it. The next one came 12 minutes later so I started timing them with an app on my iphone. the next one came 10 minutes later, and then 5 minutes and then down to 3. Once I checked the times in between and they started getting pretty painful, I knew this was the real deal. I called my mom about 3:00 am and had her head over to stay with the girls so we could head to the hospital. By the time we arrived at the hospital it was 4:30 am and I was in a lot of pain. They got me in a room and I hated having the contraction monitor strapped to me. When I'm in labor I don't want anything restricting on me, or anybody touching me.
At that point, I was in PAIN. I can honestly say that out of my other two labors, the contractions this time around were by far the worst! I could see the peaks on the moniter and most of them were off the charts. All I could do was grip the sides of the bed and writhe around. Some of them were so bad that my midsection would literally spasm. It was unbearable! At times I would just talk to myself saying over and over again..."it's almost over, you're almost there".
I wish they could administer the epidural right away, but it doesn't happen like that. You have to answer all these questions, you have to have an internal check and your blood needs to be drawn and sent to the lab. I finally got the epidural close to 8:00 am. Let me tell you, it was heaven after that. Omg! Sweet relief. Once it kicked in, all I felt was just slight pressure when a contraction hit. After about an hour I had to wear an oxygen mask and lay on my left side because Mariam's heartrate went down with two contractions. It wasn't an issue again, but it still worried me and I had to wear it while I delivered as well. Around 11 something, I was at 10 cm and ready to push. I pushed 10 times and she was out. I felt no pain. This delivery was a far cry from Layla's. It was so much easier. She was born at 11:40.
It's been so much easier this time around, and a huge part of it is because I didn't tear or need an episiotomy. So in other words, my nether regions don't hurt. I've had cramping which is normal--especially during nursing, and I can definitely feel uncomfortable if I overdue it...oh and my back hurts here and there but that's about it. By Friday I had left the house with H to run some errands and I felt ok. I also left the house yesterday. Mariam has been waking a lot at night but for the past 2 nights she has given us a three hour stretch at one point during the night. I feel much better equipped to handle lack of sleep this time. Maybe it's because I did it not too long ago. When I had Layla, it had been almost 8 years since having a newborn so it was like a cold slap in the face. I even feel better about my appearance post partum this time. Last time I felt disconnected and like a zombie with huge bags under my eyes when I would go out in public. Right now I feel pretty much like myself, just more tired.
It's been a week and so far Mariam hasn't been too difficult. She spends most of the day sleeping and has a period in the afternoon and evening of wakefullness. She nurses all the time and it's going well, but her latch isn't the greatest. She also snacks a lot rather than get her belly full in one sitting. As far as dealing with three children in the house, and two of them being under 2 yrs old....welllll let's just say that needs it's own post and I'm sooooo glad H is home for 2 weeks.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baby Mariam is here!!

Mariam was born on Monday November 5th 2012 on her exact due date!
She weighed 6lbs 10 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long.
We are so in love with our little dark haired beauty.
We arrived home yesterday and are adjusting so I'll have the birth story up soon. I can't believe we are a family of five!

Monday, November 5, 2012

40 Week Baby Bump!


Oh hello there. As you can see I'm still here at 40 weeks. I can honestly say I've never been this pregnant before. I have mixed emotions. I love pregnancy and I know I'm going to miss it, but at the same time, it's the not knowing and her not being on time that has me a little on edge. I've been pretty restless and wanting the days to go by fast--I can't wait to meet her!

How far along? 40 Weeks!!
Total weight gain: 25 lbs. Looks like I am weighing less than I was last year pregnant. With Serena I gained 12 lbs and with Layla I gained 35 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Yes some, and I'm sure H is tired of seeing me wear the same old black yoga pants at home all the time. They are the most comfortable though.
Stretch marks? ::Cries:: Yes. I noticed new ones a little over a week ago. They waited till the end to come out. They are by my belly button and luckily are light, but are still unwelcome permanent residents visitors.
Sleep: Bad. Im getting up nightly around 2am thinking it's morning and then it takes me awhile to fall back to sleep. I also get up 2-3 times to use the restroom.
Best moment this week: The week just started so hoping we get to meet our little baby.
Miss Anything? Something not hurting.
Movement: Yes but she is cramped in there, so I don't feel her as much.
Food cravings: Chocolate and sweets
Food aversions: Nope.
Boy or girl: Girl!
Labor Signs: Meh.
Symptoms: Lot's of going to the bathroom, lack of sleep and emotions are riding high.
Belly Button in or out? Out and flat..sorta
Wedding rings on or off? Off
Looking forward to: Dr's appt & Ultrasound tomorrow. The last one tomorrow I hope. I know we'll be scheduling an induction date since the practice doesn't let you go past 41 weeks. I'm thinking Friday, November 9th would be good. In for the weekend and out by Monday. Not too mention Monday, November 12th is Serena's 10th birthday and I know she wouldn't want to share her birthday.
Just have to throw this one in there, because it really is a true picture of how this belly actually looks! It's very oddly torpedo shaped. Whenever I go out I immediately see people's eyes zone in on it. Sometimes I feel self concious but I'm pretty used to it. Haha.