Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Perfect Brightness of Hope

Today we attended our "Stake Conference" which, for those who may not know, is a bi-annual meeting for all the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregations, or "wards," within a specific area. We get to hear talks or sermons prepared by a handful of members of the stake and counsel from our Stake leadership and a presiding "General Authority" from church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Every single talk was outstanding and inspired me SO much to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ.

But there were two talks, in particular, that stood out to me personally; they were given by two teenagers from our Stake, a young woman and a young man, about 16-18 years old.

And it wasn't even what they said today that stood out to me.

It was simply who I could see that they were as young people: faithful, virtuous, full of integrity and a strong desire to do their Heavenly Father's will.

I couldn't help but hope that my own children would someday grow up to be like them.

My greatest, innermost yearning as a mother is for my children to come to know their Savior as their Redeemer and choose to follow Him in faith.

I want my children to be happy and I have a firm belief that a person's greatest potential for joy in this life is by following Jesus Christ.

The reason this topic is so close my heart is because we are being very challenged as parents right now, especially by our Miss Priss. She is 6 years old going on 24 and thus has us enrolled in "Parenting 505." Definitely graduate level parenting, as we often have no idea how to best handle her behavior.

She is such a strong and bright spirit and I know that if we are able to steer her in the right direction she will do amazing things with her life.

Seeing these outstanding youth gives me great hope for Miss Priss and all of my children. I just hope and pray that I am not screwing them up with all my weaknesses as a mother.

I'd like to have a good sit down with their parent's and ask what their children were like as 6 year olds...

...what I would LOVE to hear is that they, too, were challenged as their parents but that all of their best efforts to love and teach them was not in vain.

Until that meeting happens...I will continue to, as an ancient prophet, Nephi, wrote in the Book of Mormon: " forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope..."

Hope for my precious children.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Body Love

So after I have a baby I always come to a point where I get sick and tired of my unhealthiness and decide it is TIME to get serious about taking care of my body.

Today was the day for baby #4.

I am going to be posting all my stats, weekly, with the REAL numbers. I know I'm overweight, everyone else can see that, too, so who cares if everyone knows the actual numbers attached to the overweight-ness?

I just need to see progress. I don't care how little.

So here are my stats as of today, 11/29/11:
Weight: 178 lbs
Height: 5'6"
Waist: 34"
Hips: 44"
Chest: 34"
Thighs: 25"
Biceps: 12"
Neck: 14"

I will be keeping a food AND sleep journal. I also need to get serious about getting enough sleep. It's totally my fault that I'm not getting enough because Little Sis has been sleeping 6-8 hour stretches regularly. I am getting probably 6 hours of sleep every night.

I'll report my sleep numbers weekly as well.

I will be focusing first on eating well for the first month or so.

Exercise wise, I will be starting some yoga-like stretches and exercise to ease my body back into exercising.

I don't care if you care about this. I just need a place to be accountable.

I honestly don't hate my body right now; I LOVE my body and that is why I am doing this.

Friday, November 4, 2011



If you saw a new blog come up in your reader...but then couldn't read it, here's why:

I accidentally clicked "publish" instead of "save" as a draft for a post I'm going to write. So I UN-published the post within a minute...but it still posted on FB, sent emails and went to Google Reader, LOL!!

It was something I had posted as a comment on someone elses blog and since it summed up what I wanted to post on the blog I just copied and pasted it, planning to edit it later. So, my immediate family members, you were among the "priviledged" that got to read it, since you get emails of my posts.

I promise to republish it soon!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Cutest little tiger EVER!

Snow White doing her "teenager" pose. :)

The police officer did not realize he was standing right next to a bad guy...DARTH VADER!

Hats complete the get ups.

"I am your father."

A little Barney Fife action going on.

I would say "1, 2, 3!" before each picture and Darth Vader would start running. :)

Notice the tail. :)

Tuckered out Tiger.

A couple weeks ago our good friends, who have hosted a Halloween Party for our dental school class every year, put on a super fun Murder Mystery Halloween party, with the theme "Murder at the Circus." 
The Tattooed Spectacle and The Strong Man.

The boys in character.
The girls in character. That innocent looking clown was the murderer! 

Just chillin' after all the detective work was over. :)

Fun Halloween!! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Since I've gotten a few "MORE PICTURES PLEASE!"'s a little glimpse of our today!

So sleepy getting ready to be swaddled.

Sleep Smiles!

Since Lil' Sis is a spitter...this is her "bed" for now! 

This binky is AWESOME!

I just swaddle her up and pop this binky in and she can usually put herself to sleep!!
She's been an excellent sleeper so far, YAY!!

Poor Mr. SweetSweet...he is banished behind the gate while I feed Lil' Sis...
...he just can't resist bugging her and ME when it's feeding time!

He's gotten a lot better about the screaming by the gate...
I think it has something to do with the fruit snack he gets when it's time for Lil' Sis to eat!
(Shhh! Don't tell his dentist! :)

Yep, that's a cloth diaper! We use about 50% cloth, 50% disposable and it saves us $$$!
Plus, they're cute! And since we've already been using them with Mr. SweetSweet for about a year
it's not a big deal adding them to his load of diapers.

"What are you doing, Mom?"

This is a smile...really! :)

Sweet girl.

Again...this really is a smile.

We love our pretty girl!

Can't forget Miss Priss!

...Or Mr. Squish...who is VERY excited about the SIX packages we got from today!
I was excited, too!! :)

Thanks for hanging out with us for the day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Precious and Dear

I posted this on Facebook today but thought my blog was also an appropriate place to write this as well!

I am not usually this bold on Facebook but with all of the controversy and misinformation circulating about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I feel the need, as a member of this church, to let all of my friends know a few of the things that I believe:

-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is founded by Jesus Christ himself and He is the head of the church.
-Joseph Smith was a prophet who was called by God, the Father, and Jesus Christ to RESTORE Christ's church upon the earth today, just as it was organized when Christ lived on the earth.
- Just as God called prophets throughout the ages to lead His people, there is a LIVING prophet on the earth TODAY, and he leads the church by inspiration directly from Jesus Christ. His name is Thomas S. Monson.
-The Book of Mormon is an equal, complementary companion to the Bible and is the word of God. It is the inspired, abridged record of God's dealings with the people of the Ancient Americas compiled by an ancient prophet named Mormon.
-I know that anyone can know for THEMSELVES if these things are true, through study and prayer. This is how I came to know that these things are true.

I invite everyone to read the Book of Mormon and to pray if it is true. IF the Book of Mormon is true, and I firmly believe it is, then it stands to reason that Joseph Smith WAS a prophet of God and all the teachings of Jesus Christ that he restored to the earth are true.

If the Book of Mormon is NOT true...then The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the biggest and most elaborate hoaxes of all time and I, along with the approximately 14 million members of this church, are in trouble!!

Again, I invite all to find out for YOURSELF. I welcome any and all questions any of you may have about my faith. I have answered more questions about the church here:

**It is not my intention, in making these statements, to offend or criticize anyone's beliefs! I respect all of your varied beliefs! BUT since my faith in Jesus Christ and His church is the center of my life, directs all the choices I make and has brought so much joy and peace to my life...and thus is very dear and precious to would be very selfish of me to keep this knowledge to myself!**

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Heaven on Earth: Part II

Okay, so I left off at the "plan" of natural labor induction methods I had researched.

(Read "Heaven on Earth Part I" of my birth story if you haven't read it or need a refresher)

So, I think it is safe to say I had PREPARED for this birth. I felt very optimistic that the plan would work, IF my body was ready. My midwife and doctor had approved of me starting this plan at home 8 hours before my scheduled induction. I had the castor oil and blue cohosh purchased (and the orange juice concentrate and grape juice to hide the taste with of both), the breast pump rented and a detailed, hour-by-hour plan thought out. I would also go in the day before to check my cervix and see if it was even ripe enough to try these things at home. And the midwife would also strip my membranes.

Okay, so there's the not-so-basic background to set the stage for the actual birth. I know it's a lot of background...but trust is necessary to fully appreciate this birth story.

So Monday morning I went to get checked. I was dilated to 2 1/2 cm, was about 50% effaced and the cervix was in the "mid" position (posterior means not ready, mid is almost ready, anterior is definitely ready) which made me very happy! The midwife started to strip my membranes and said, "Wow, I just stretched you to 3 cm! It might not stay a 3 though." She WENT TO TOWN stripping those membranes for about 5 minutes! Can't say it was a comfortable experience but it wasn't that big of a deal either. She got some "bloody show" from doing the stripping (HEY: if you want a birth're gonna get a birth story...bloody show and all!) . The midwife offered to strip them again that evening at 6:00 pm and I accepted the offer!

I left the midwives office feeling menstrual cramp-y, which is normal, and headed to the chiropractors office for a pre-labor adjustment. I did this before Mr. SweetSweet's birth and think it was helpful in getting all the bones involved in birthing in alignment. Plus, it just feels nice! I also opted to get the 15 minute massage, which was HEAVENLY, as I was still feeling pretty crampy. The massage therapist pushed on my tail bone and hip bones and it did WONDERS in relieving the cramping!

After my adjustment I wonder if I should skip my injection of Lovenox for the morning, with all the cramping going on. My doc told me that it I felt like I might go into labor and it was near the time of one of my doses, I should just skip it. The closer the time of delivery is to your last dose of Lovenox, the higher your chance of  bleeding out. So I called Jonathan to run it by him and decide to skip the injection.

I also wanted to check off a few other errands that morning: hair cut (overdue by 8 MONTHS!!), pedicure, lunch, Walmart. I hadn't made an appointment for the hair or nails so I just kept an eye out for some places on my way to the chiropractor. Low and behold, there was a hair place right next to the chiropractors office! I went in before my adjustment, asked if they took walk-ins, and scheduled a haircut for about an hour later, PERFECT! I love getting my haircut. I could fall asleep. :)

So I walk out of the hair place and am wondering where I am going to get the pedicure. I look back at the shopping center and....LOW AND BEHOLD...there is a nail place two doors down! Yahoo! So my toenails got pretty. That's a pre-baby tradition for me. :)

I walk out of the nail salon HUNGRY and....LOW AND BEHOLD....there is an authentic Mexican food resturant, right next door! Heck yes! I order a combination plate but am not able to get through much of it. My cramping is feeling more...crampy...more often. I get a to-go box and wonder if I should still stop at Walmart.

I decide, YES. Mr. Squish desperately needs Pull-ups, Miss Priss needs a present for her friends party on Friday, etc. So to Walmart I go. It is hard for me to walk, just because I feel so much pressure in my nether regions, plus I'm just tried. So I hobble my way through my Walmart trip.

When I get home, around 2:00 pm, I know I NEED a nap. So I try for a nap and listen to my "Fear Clearing" hypnosis script, which just helps you eliminate any specific fears you have surrounding your birth. I didn't get much sleep, though, during that hour of rest. I noticed I was having contractions probably 10 minutes apart. I took a shower and decided it would probably be a good idea to finish packing my hospital bag.

By the time 5:30 pm rolls around we are seriously wondering what the evening has in store for us! My contractions are getting a little more regular and stronger. We decide to go to the midwife's office, anyway, since she'd be able to check my progress, in addition to stripping the membranes again. We call our wonderful friend and neighbor, Rachel, and ask if we can drop our kids off. She is awesome and takes them for us.

I had about 3 contractions on the 15 minute drive to the midwife's office. Fairly strong. At the midwife's she is surprised to discover I am dilated to 4 1/2 cm, 70% effaced. She goes to town again with her stripping (more uncomfortable this time).

On the way home I remember thinking, as I was having quite a few strong contractions, "Oh man! I don't want to have to drive home and then drive back again if I'm feeling like this already!" But we did get home, I tried to "rest" again and started actually timing contractions using this nifty website and Jonathan picked up the kids and put them to bed (by the way, he is the MASTER of getting the kids ready for bed in record time!).

By the end of my hour long "rest" time (aka trying to focus on listening to my "Easy First Stage" birthing script, draping myself over the birthing ball, going pee, rocking on my hands and knees, etc.) I knew that my contractions were 5-7 minutes apart and IT WAS TIME to go!! Jonathan called Rachel again to come sit with our kids and I hobbled to the car and waited with my seat reclined for her to get there so we could GO! This was around 7:30 pm.

If you asked Jonathan what our car ride to the hospital was like...he would say something like, "She was making me NERVOUS!" In the car I discovered a trick that distracted me from the contractions and this distraction came in the form of a low, long and LOUD "Ahhhh" sound through the duration of each contraction. It was really helpful and I didn't care how it sounded at the time. IT WORKED. Plus, I had read in an excellent book on birthing by a world renowned midwife that whatever is happening at your top "end" (your mouth and throat) is happening at your bottom end (you don't need words to know what this means). Meaning if your jaw and throat are relaxed and open your bottom will be relaxed and open and vice versa. So I was RELAXED and OPEN!

But I understand why Jonathan was nervous, since I probably only had a minute or so break between each "Ahhhh" contraction on the 20 minute drive to the hospital. Plus, I was feeling LOTS of pressure down there and wondered if the baby's head was already in the birth canal!! (But I kept this to myself, which, when Jonathan learned this, he was grateful I had kept to myself.)

I knew I wouldn't be able to walk up to L&D so Jonathan brought the car around the front, very calmly walked in, told the front desk lady he "thought his wife was in labor" and was quickly shown where the wheelchairs were. We set off for L&D triage. I was NOT very happy at the triage lady who MADE me change into a hospital gown!! I had purposefully worn a skirt so I wouldn't have to change...but whatever...I changed uncomfortably in the bathroom and hobbled to my triage bed.

I was checked and was dilated to 6 1/2 cm. WOW! We quickly let them know I was Group B Strep positive so they could get my antibiotics going. They had to stick me three times before they could set an IV. Meanwhile, I was sitting with my legs in the "butterfly" position and "Ahhhhh-ing" my way through each contraction, while also listening to my "Easy First Stage Birthing Guide" with my headphones on my mp3 player. I told them I would like a room with a birthing tub, like I was able to have with Mr. SweetSweet's birth, but was informed that they were SUPER busy (it was a full moon and the nurses SWEAR full moon's bring out the baby's!!) and all of their tub rooms were taken. BUMMER!!! I had really looked forward to using a tub again.

It was quite apparent they were busy because we waited in triage for 1 1/2 hours before a room was ready for us! By that time I was hardly getting a break between each contraction and was DESPERATE to be able to get off the IV and monitor so I could MOVE into positions that were more comfortable!! Jonathan was my ROCK through each contraction, holding onto my forehead as I tried to lean forward and relax as much as possible into each contraction. He said he was sore from having to do that for 1 1/2 hours. Bless his heart! :)

Finally a room was ready for me! As I am being wheeled to my room I remembered another "tip" I had read from the childbirth book: if you laugh and smile through contractions it releases endorphins, which are your body's natural pain killers. So, I shamelessly started trying to laugh and smile through each contraction!

WOOHOO! Wouldn't it have been great to get that on camera?!! Me, sitting in the butterfly position, with headphones on, laughing (which probably sounded pretty creepy), while being wheeled on a bed through the halls. But I am sure L&D has SEEN IT ALL.

So we get to the room and I quickly move onto the bed and, kneeling, I drape myself over the back of the raised head of the bed. I felt soooo much relief in this position!! I was able to just let my belly relax forward and do it's work and I could relax more completely the rest of my body. It was probably after about 5 minutes that, through a contraction, I felt a tiny urge to push. The next contraction came soon after that with a POWERFUL urge to push that I could not fight! And through that contraction my water BURST open onto the bed! I hadn't realized my water hadn't broken yet! Another powerful contraction or two and.....OUR BABY GIRL WAS BORN!! I love the pushing contractions. They are so powerful and overwhelming. They don't hurt to me and they feel SO good to push through. And supposedly, when you push out the placenta, you will never feel a greater surge in your oxytocin levels, which is quite a euphoric feeling!

And now the story has come full circle, from my first post, where Jonathan discovers that we have a new DAUGHTER!

**Post labor thoughts: I still credit my Hypnobabies "training" to this being a fast, relatively easy birth. I didn't tear again, which was AWESOME! So I know that I was able to relax more than if I hadn't learned the Hypnobabies techniques.

BUT, this birth was NOT as comfortable to get through as Mr. SweetSweet's birth and I know why: I wasn't able to follow my body's natural urges to change position, in order to give myself relief!! And why was that? Because I was strapped to a monitor and an IV through all of my hard labor, things I wanted to avoid in the first place. But I don't think it could have been avoided this time, just with how all the timing worked out. I was only in active labor for 4-5 hours, and I needed to at least TRY to get those IV antibiotics in me, so it was necessary. But I made it through and it was still manageable, thanks to the relaxation I had practiced and the self educating I had done.

And I actually don't mind feeling the full power of birth. I feel it just makes my emotions AFTER the birth that much more powerful, just because of what I have gone through to get my baby there. You know, the whole "tasting the bitter to prize the sweet." Quite literal in birthing without medication. I am glad, however, that I get a couple years of a "break" before I go through it again. Because as wonderful and powerful of an experience as it is...I wouldn't want to do it every day. :)

One HUGE tender mercy I feel I was given for this labor was one I didn't realize until the next day: I had taken my last dose of Lovenox at approximately 10:00 pm the evening before she was born. I had skipped the 10:00 am dose that morning. She was born at 10:02 pm, exactly 24 hours after my last dose!! That had been the whole goal of inducing me early had still happened! I feel that Heavenly Father had helped me in having an almost intervention-free birth, while still having the Lovenox safely out of my system, both things which were important to me.

Funny that my actual "birth story" could have been really short, compared to what I've just put you all through. But, like I said,  I feel you can't fully appreciate and see the irony of what actually happened unless you know everything leading up to it.

So, now you know "the rest of the story."