46...45...44... This is what I was counting to myself very slowly while I had my ears plugged trying not to listen to his screaming cry two early mornings ago. It started at 4:40am and he wouldn't go back down until 7am. I had done everything in my power to make him stop screaming. Changed him. Fed him. Burped him. Tried to get out excess gas. Even patted his bottom while shushing him for 20min. Nothing, I mean nothing worked.
I was getting frustrated, angry and emotional. As the sun slowly peaked from behind our curtains I set him down on the pillow next to me and plugged my ears and started counting...43...42...41...40...


He let out another whimper and then a cry at the top of his lungs. I felt terrible. Nothing I was doing worked. I don't know about you or how anyone of you feel about the 'cry it out' method (I'm not trying to start anything here either), but I don't like it and honestly can't handle it. If he cries to the point to where he's red in the face and his eyes start to swell shut from crying, I want to cry too and I have.

I continued to count down to zero and by the time I finished he stopped and fell into a deep sleep. I finished off my prayer and settled in to sleep next to him for the next few hours into the day.

Growing up the saying around the house was, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." Well I don't believe that's true in the least bit. Bear with me.

Pastor Ty from Grace Point once said,
"He always gives us more than we can handle. Always. If he didn't give us more than we could handle, we wouldn't need to rely on Him for help."
After I thought it through my world was literally turned upside down. We aren't meant to live life without Christ. Christ helps us through everything, from the mundane everyday life to experiences we never thought we would go through. He ALWAYS gives us more than we can handle, because we wouldn't need Him otherwise. If parenting and motherhood were easy I truly believe there wouldn't be any messed up people in the world. It's been a while since I've opened up my Bible since having Eli almsot a month ago (Yikes!), but you better believe I'm praying constantly.

The more I pray the more He says,
"Hold my hand sweet child."
Just like I hold my sons hand, Christ holds onto ours through everything. Thank goodness, because doing this alone would not be possible.

Thus I end another post with my thoughts. I don't expect anyone to understand my lack of sleep brain fog, but I do hope you get two cents out of it. 


La Famille

We have had our share of family round up's lately. My mother flew in for Eli's birth and stayed with us for 10 days cooking, cleaning and even pushed us out the door for an early Valentines date, knowing we wouldn't get the opportunity again...for a loooong time. Then a week and a half later my father brought my sisters to town on their break from school. Annnnd now the husband father and wife just left. We've got one more weekend  with visitors and then it's just us for a while.

"He's going to get used to being held."
"Well, put him down then"
"I'd rather not..."
One of the many repeated conversations while my Dad and sisters were here.

My youngest sister (far left) Lavi is the best de-gasser for a colicky baby. I shouldn't have let her return home.

Our way of deflating an air mattress. Pile on top of it. Eli joins in on the fun now.

A whole lot of handing him to each other happened

As did a whole lot of starring at him...

And of course kissing him.

Grandpa has the best burping method! Rub rub, pat pat, stroke, pat pat....BURP

Josh's dad looks like he's saying, "Don't even think about taking him away from me."

So that's what we've been up to lately! 

Next post on patience...


Two Week Favorites

I feel as if every Mom, whether new or 'seasoned' have a few baby items they use regularly which have become a 'favorite' item(s). I am going to start a new series on my blog of 'Favorites'. As Eli grows bigger and bigger, I know these items will change. These are a few of our current favorite items for a newborn.

Scratch Mittens-Eli has super long nails (What baby doesn't??) and every time I try to trim his nails he tenses up. These mittens have been a lifesaver since he loves having his hands near his face. He's already scratched himself once which drew blood.
Carters Sleeper Gown- A couple of these were actually passed down to us and I didn't think I would like them at all. Let me tell you how easy they make diaper changes in the middle of the night. No fussing with snaps or buttons, just slip it up, change the diaper, done. Easy peasy. 

Pee Pee TeePee- Lets first start off with the fact these started as a funny joke from my Mother. They really are hilarious and each package comes with the cutest little rhyme. But after Eli hitting the wall, peeing back on his changing pad, peeing on his father, peeing on me...you get the picture. These have been awesome. Now needless to say you can get away with out them and they don't really soak in much pee (especially when your son can hold his pee for five hours!!), they have been quite helpful in not getting 'sprayed' lately. Oh and if you don't have a boy...skip this. 

Bouncer-Our son has pretty bad colic and keeping him upright while sleeping is helpful. Again, didn't really expect to need one, but naps during the day are much nicer in the bouncer since it vibrates and helps to soothe his gassy belly. We have the snugabunny version by FisherPrice since it matches his swing. 

Medela Hand Pump- I didn't want to buy a fancy electric breast pump and not end up using it. Medela is one of the top brands and from many people I know have only good things to say about it. When I was looking I figured I'd buy their hand pump and if I needed to upgrade to an electric, it would make it easier to have the same brand. I'm not using it daily right now so I'm happy I didn't hash out the cash immediately. I will say this helped my milk come in a lot faster and more abundantly than expected. It's been awesome. 

Moses Basket- We registered for this and were going to buy it whether it was purchase for us or not (thankfully it was). There are many other types of bedside rockers for baby, but this was our favorite. We have ours inclined a bit for his colic and it's been really helpful because of how light it is to be able to move it around and have it next to our bed. Ours has the rocking basket stand to match.

Prefold Diapers- We are cloth diapering (I know this isn't for everyone) and using prefold diapers with covers. Our prefolds not only double as diapers, but also as burp cloths. They are literally floating around our home everywhere. We have Thirsties gender neutral colors as covers. I have a mixture of OsoCozy and bummis prefolds and both work really well, I haven't actually noticed a difference in quality.

BOB Stroller- There aren't enough good things to say about this stroller. We LOVE it. It is such a smooth ride for baby, even on the rough trails and such, I just love watching his little cheeks jiggle in it, the air filled tires are awesome. It folds SO easy, seriously I get confused by other strollers. To top it off, it will fit him for a long time because of how tall the seat back is. SCORE! Mama's, this is the Cadillac of jogging strollers, I don't care what anyone else says, its awesome. The ONLY downside to it is it's rather bulky folded up. But that's okay for me. 

Sleep Machine App- Since we are such a technology driven society I of course have this app on my iPhone and have used it for myself in the past. When Josh isn't home the Rain sounds help me fall asleep a lot faster than the creepy house creaks (of course my brain starts thinking serial killer with every creak...). Anyways, I figured I'd give it a shot with the kid and he loves it! Last night he fell instantly asleep to the sound of a humidifier, funny the humidifier on the app sounds a lot different than our Crane humidifier. We will probably purchase a real sleep machine when we transition him to his bedroom, but until then the app works great! 

Crane Humidifier- We currently have the Owl humidifier in our room even though it's for Eli's room. I'm going to get a classier looking Crane humidifier when we put it in his room but this works for now. Plus the owl makes me smile every now and then. We live in a very dry climate and having this at night not only helps us sleep better but it keeps us healthy, especially since the hubs and I have both had sinus issues. Crane is awesome, no filter needed! I just boil water and store it in our fridge for the humidifier, it helps reduce build up as well as not put out a whole bunch of impurities in the air. 

Woombie-This is probably my most favorite(st) baby item we own. We've literally used it from the beginning. I really don't see how any kid could escape this swaddle. It makes it so easy to do diaper changes in the middle of the night as well, it has a double zipper so you just zip the bottom zipper up and change, then zip back down. His arms are still safely swaddled so you don't have to fight them during changes at all. My husband prefers the Halo Sleepsack, simply because Eli doesn't squirm as much in it, but it is a lot more bulky and harder for me to nurse in. Plus the velcro surprises him easily during changes or if I want to move the wrap off his arms during nursing. The photo below is Eli in the Woombie at the hospital. We have the Winter Woombie due to our climate. 

So there you have it, a few of my current favorite baby (and not so baby) items. Hope they help you out as well. Remember, what works for us may not work for you, but another opinion is always helpful.

*All opinions on products are my own and I have not been compensated to say anything. All products were either given to us or bought by us for our own purpose and use.


Labor Bags

I've had a few friends ask me what I packed for labor. First off I'll start off with everyones labor is different and what I packed may not impact your hospital stay or labor.
Alright I actually had a little help from my friend Sharla on what she had packed last year and of course Pinterest helped quite a bit as well with articles I found on there.
Lets get down to the nitty gritty of my open bags:

These are the things I  actually used
-Big granny undies (I purchased mine at Costco, I know some people that bought theirs at Target)
-Chapstick (This was a lifesaver. The A/C in the hospital is killer right after you give birth)

-Snacks (AMAZING to eat right after birth. I was STARVING. We brought ginger ale (in case I felt nauseous), natural gold fish, multigrain snacks (Called somersaults))

-Lounge wear (sweats, loose tee's, yoga pants. I didn't actually wear any hospital gowns or anything and it made my stay so much nicer!)
-Robe (So nice to wear a robe over my sweats, the hospital is COLD)
-Fuzzy socks with grips on the bottom (Your a little wobbly after birth, the grips were nice for stabilization)

-Nursing Tank (I purchased mine from Target)
-Hemorrhoid numbing spray (The benzocaine they gave me in the hospital didn't do squat for me, so I was really happy I brought my own. Let me tell you, using the facilities without it was PAINFUL)
-Dark chocolate peanut butter cups (These were a treat for the husband, he appreciated the surprise after all was said and done)
-Swimsuit (I only ended up using the top, but this was necessary for me in the water)
-Motherlove herbal nipple cream (I used this and liked it MUCH better than the Lanolin I received in the hospital. Its also safe for baby. My nipples were so bad after just one day of learning to nurse, I developed blood blisters which Eli actually popped. This stuff saved me.) Link to purchase here off amazon.

-Newborn outfit X2 (Make sure these are season appropriate)
-Woombie (We still use this and I'll talk more about it in an Essentials for baby post)
-Change of clothes for the husband
-Hair brush (It felt amazing to brush my hair after birth)
-Toothpaste/Toothbrush (Self explanatory)
-Hair ties
-Car Seat
-Diaper bag (They have diapers so you won't have to use your own)
-Baby blanket (So nice to snuggle your new little one in something familiar)

Brought this and didn't use (Not that they wouldn't be helpful to you and your labor)
-Always Maxi Pads (I used the hospitals and even took them home. Don't worry about bringing your own. Use what they give you, including the non attractive mesh panties. After birth your NOT going to care)
-Nursing bra (The tank did the job and was much more comfy)
-Tucks with witch hazel (used at home, not at hospital)
-Pillow (I didn't use it, but my husband did. Bring it anyway.)
-Flip Flops (Brought these in case I took a shower, but I didn't shower until I got home. It was less than freezing outside and I didn't want to leave with wet hair)
-Make up (I thought I'd want to primp a bit, but I was exhausted and just didn't care)
-Shampoo/Conditioner/body wash (I didn't shower)
-Wash cloths (Heard the hospitals cloths were terrible, so I brought my own, but like I said, I didn't use them)

Hope this helps you in your labor! I know having friends and knowing what they brought was super helpful to me. Remember, my labor and delivery is very different from yours, so plan accordingly.

*All of these opinions are my own and I was not compensated for any of these products. I purchased all of these items myself.


Eli David

I haven't posted in a while for no reason at all, but since I've been asked about Eli's birth I figured I should document it somewhere. First off I should probably introduce you to my son Eli David.

(All photos are my own unedited) Hours old in hospital.
We are pretty smitten with him. Absolutely amazed by his constant changes everyday, even as I sit here rocking his bassinet with one foot and type this up simultaneously (ahhh momhood).

His due date January 27th started out like any Sunday morning for us. Wake up, go to church and then proceed to walk around the mall for 1.5 hours, lunch, walk around Cabela's for another hour. Okay, so we don't normally walk around that much, but we were trying to get things moving. We went home just after 3pm, clicked on an older season of Survivor and proceeded to watch.
4:30pm and I proceed to get off of my husbands recliner to go to the bathroom. WOOSH. Water broke like a dam. Some people say they hear it...I heard nothing, but it allllll came out. These two photos were taken within two minutes of each other. 

Last belly photo + cankles
Expecting contractions to start, I hopped in the bathtub and told Josh to take our dog to the overnight care place. 6:15pm comes around and no contractions yet and we are still at home. Josh calls the hospital and they say to come in at this point, so at 6:30pm we headed for the hospital.

We get hooked up to a fetal monitor and I'm apparently having contractions (I didn't think I was). They weren't anything big and I was still at 2cm, which I had been stuck at for over two weeks. I get informed if I can't really start contractions on my own the doctor wants me on a pitocin drip by 8:30pm. To which I strongly oppose and tell them I don't want anything to do with that. 8pm and we finally arrive to our 'labor' room and the hubs and I head down to check out what kind of ice the ice machine produces. If you know my weirdness about 'soft' ice and the ice from Sonic, you will understand. If you don't know my weirdness about ice, trust me the right kind of ice is amazing.
The ice passes my test and we return. 
8:30pm hits and my contractions jumpstart to the point to where I can't talk through them anymore. I couldn't get comfortable a.n.y.w.h.e.r.e.. Josh offered to massage me and I couldn't even stand his touch at all. He offered to start the water in the jacuzzi tub (yes, my room had a tub...amazing) and asked how I wanted the water, I told him lukewarm.
By 9pm I'm in the water and I have it up to as hot as it could possibly go. I labor in the water for a good while and at this point I ask for a cervix check. 6cm! I went from 2cm to 6cm by 10pm! The nurse was highly impressed. From 10pm to 11pm I labored in the tub some more. My contractions were literally on top of each other and when the nurse checked me again at 10:45pm to which I was at 9cm already. Again, nurse impressed. It is policy at this hospital to NOT give birth in the water (I was hoping to sneak past this policy), so she had me get out at 11pm.
My contractions literally went from every 20sec to 5-7minutes! So frustrating! I labored in the hospital bed for about 15min and went back in the water. Instantly feeling better, 15min later I get the urge to push. The nurse has me push in the water for about 20min before getting me out again. I push for about 10min before my mom walks in at midnight. With a dozen or so pushes later at 12:39am Eli David is born into the world at 8pounds and 11ounces on January 28, 2013! No wonder it took more than a couple pushes to get him out!
Now I didn't think I would be emotional mess after birth that I was. I have literally never cried like this in my life, but I guess thats what labor does to you. Here is a short clip from right after he was born. I still can't watch the whole video without getting emotional.
(Note: It is slightly graphic, but it doesn't show anything. It's more emotional than anything)

A very happy and proud grandma

I thank the Lord for being able to have the birth I desired. I prayed A LOT during contractions, repeating my life verse (Luke 1:37) over and over again. I prayed for strength for months before Eli arrived. I can honestly say without my faith and husband who talked me through all my contractions (even while my head was submerged in the water and I heard NOTHING) having the labor and delivery I desired would not have been possible.