Sunday, November 27, 2011

6 months baby - a birth story



6 months ago we welcomed our little man into the world.

Logan Henry

weighed 7 lbs 5 ounces 

and measured 21 inches

i never shared his birth story mostly because i needed some time to digest everything ;) please be kind if you decide to comment as this is my personal experience and know that i am aware that everyone is different and i am by no means judging anyone else's decisions on how they had or will have their baby :) if you are a first time expecting mom please be warned that even though this birth wasn't by any means horrible, there are some parts to this story that may worry you. again, everyone's experience is different. i had a very easy pregnancy without any kind of complications at all and this is my story...

this being our first child we had of course prepared ourselves for his birth since the day we found out we were expecting. i knew pretty much right from the start that i would do whatever it took to have a natural unmedicated childbirth. of course I was scared of the pain and maybe caving in at the last minute. we watched "the business of being born" which opened my eyes a lot and made my opinion on unmedicated childbirth even stronger. i decided that i wanted to try the bradley method and got a book to read. i would have liked to take the class as well, however it was a little pricey and pretty far away. due to my husband's work he was out of town a lot during the later months of the pregnancy when it would have been time to really crack down on bradley course preparation. so in the end we decided to just take the classes that were offered at our hospital. i think a home birth can be something very special and mostly safe as long as your pregnancy is low risk. having said that, we decided that since this was our first baby and even though we live only 10 minutes from the hospital, we still wanted to deliver at the hospital. i also couldn't really find any midwifes that would have been able to deliver at home here in pennsylvania. 
so we just read the bradley book and tried to practice as much as we could. the bradley method is all about relaxation and letting your body do the work and not working against the contractions. it also includes a lot of visualization of what is happening in your body during labor. 

logan was born at 1.21 in the afternoon. my mom had come in from germany and my mother-in-law ended up being in the room with us the entire time as well. 
i was a week overdue and of course my doctors were already talking about inducing me. there was no way i would let them induce me before 2 weeks overdue but i was definitely ready to have this baby out of me. so the morning of may 26th i went in for my appointment and had the doc sweep my membranes in hopes of helping the little man along a little. worked like a charm. around 8 pm that night i started having contractions. i probably had them earlier than that but since i never had any kind of contractions (not even braxton hicks) during the entire pregnancy, i don't think i knew i was having them until they got stronger. we had planned to stay home as long as we could before going to the hospital. i used a birthing ball (a regular $8 exercise ball), a warm bath and my bed for relaxation and comfort. the hubby was there helping me time contractions and giving back rubs. around 1 am the contractions had gotten a lot stronger and were about 3-4 minutes apart. off to the hospital we went. by the time they had me all situated in a room it was around 2 or 2.30 am. i asked them not to offer me any drugs and that i didn't want an iv. they were trying to convince me to get the iv put in but i insisted. they ended up telling me they had to make sure the doc was ok with it and i never heard another word about it. my contractions were a lot more painful and closer together and i believe i was about 3 or 4 centimeters by then. the next hours are all like a big blur to me. all i remember is that the contractions kept getting stronger and i just couldn't get comfortable. walking around didn't help and standing by the bed didn't either. i ended up spending most of my labor on my sides, in bed, holding onto the rails during contractions. i honestly couldn't focus on the way i was supposed to breathe or let everything go. i remember having the hubby rub and push on my lower back even though i didn't have any back labor at all. the nurses checked my progress a couple of times throughout the night and morning. by late morning i was finally at 10 centimeters. the nurse asked me if i wanted to push. this is where things got a little strange for me. see i had always imagined i would be able to feel the urge to push when i was finally at that point. well, nada, not me. i had no clue what to do. i obviously wanted this baby born more than anything else in the world so of course i told the nurse i wanted to push. they did all kinds of crazy stuff to the bed so that i ended up in a more upright pushing position. and here is when this whole experience became a little more dramatic than i had imagined it. 

i pushed for almost 3 hours. i pushed and pushed for probably close to 2 hours and had no idea what i was doing. i kept telling everyone around me that i couldn't feel it, (by "it" i mean the urge to bear down and push) which is pretty funny since i never got any drugs to numb anything. don't get me wrong, i sure could feel every contraction but i simply didn't know how to push. going back to that stage now i think i may not have been as ready as they told me i was. maybe i should have waited longer before i started to push? i really don't know. all i know is that afterwards i felt like there was something wrong with me, shouldn't my body have told me what to do? shouldn't i instinctively known how to push? i had heard from so many other women about how great the pushing stage was going to be... i guess it just shows how you are not supposed to compare yourself to others' experiences. people in the room kept telling me they could see the head and i kept thinking, hoping and praying that he would finally be here. the nurse tried to show me where to push (i'll spare you the details) and it finally got better. they called for the doc and i thought he was gonna be here any minute now. well, that doctor stood there for an awfully long time with nothing much to do but try to show me how to push. i was so exhausted and ready to give up. i kept seeing my family's faces as they went from smiling and cheerful to worried and unsure. 
my mom told me that nothing was gonna happen to me and thinking about it now, she must have been very worried to say that. i finally caved in and told the doctor that i was going to need some help to get this baby's huge head out ;) we decided to use the vacuum to help him along. this was totally on my request. the doc didn't even seem too worried yet and just kept encouraging me. i think he could tell that i didn't have much more to give though, so he agreed. i will not go into detail on how the vacuum extraction went. i am just praying to god i won't have to do it a second time. when we finally managed to get him out he was perfect. his eyes were wide open as if he wanted to take in all the sights after being in the dark for so long. 

his apgar scores were great, they wouldn't let me hold him right away due to the vacuum extraction. there was nothing wrong with him at all but they wanted to make sure of that first. so i just lay there while they cleaned him up and while they did whatever they still needed to do to me. it seemed like forever before i got to hold him. everyone else was already carrying him around, taking pictures but i was still trying to process what had just happened. when he came out i saw him with his eyes wide open and somehow i just knew he was ok. i never questioned his health at that point. 
i had never read up on vacuum or forceps extractions and the risks associated with them. i just knew they existed, i was almost born that way as well. i guess ignorance is bliss. i don't regret anything about my decision not to have a medicated birth. will i do it again? yes, probably, someday whenever the memories are maybe a little more faded ;)

the day logan was born was the most life-changing and also the most physically and mentally challenging day of my life. it is hard to put into word the things that change inside a woman when she becomes a mother. it is the most precious gift i have and will ever receive. 

today my baby is 6 months old.
he is absolutely terrific and perfect in every way.
he has reached so many milestones already. 
he sits, stands, crawls and climbs all over the place.
his hair is finally starting to grow.
he is so very curious and funny.
he loves to eat.
his poop is stinky ;)
he is 28.5" tall.
he weighs over 20 lbs.
he still has his baby blues.

he is growing up way too fast. 












































and he makes us the happiest we've ever been.

happy 6 months mein dicker mann!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

taste and smell christmas

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and maybe you even braved the crowds and went black friday shopping yesterday. I just got a new car last week so no more shopping for me this year ;) 
I thought I would share a somewhat German Christmas tradition with you guys today. Now that Thanksgiving is over so many of my neighbors are already putting up their decorations and lights that I feel like this actually fits quite well. We will be spending Christmas with my family this year so we won't be doing much decorating around here at all. 
This little DIY is super easy, fairly cheap, yummy smelling aaaaand as a bonus you can include the kiddos if you'd like. 


Here is what you'll need:


A few oranges
Lots of cloves (buy them at a bulk store or a specialized spice shop to get them a lot cheaper)
Ribbon of your choice if you'd like to hang them up


And here is what you do...




















Oh yeah you definitely need a cute little puppy to watch you while you do this ;)
You can make lots of cute patterns or even spell out your names, initials, whatever you can come up with. If you would like to hang them around the house just leave gaps for the ribbon or stick cloves through the ribbon to hold it in place even better.
Group a few oranges together so that you can smell them better, they do smell wonderful. 
Easy right?
I loved making these when I was a little girl and these ones were made by the hubby himself. I was a little shocked to be honest with you, he usually stays away from all of my "craft" projects. He doesn't think he's creative enough but then I come downstairs and he has spelled out our name in cloves on an orange ;) 
Now you may still be wondering why this post title says smell and TASTE. Well, no you're not supposed to eat these oranges, EVER! Yuck!
But now that you hopefully have some of the cloves left over how about we make some Kinderpunsch? 


Kinder what???


The literal translation would be Kids Punch and trust me it tastes yummy :)
Now I don't really use a specific recipe and I also don't really measure out the ingredients, instead I just keep tasting it while I make it.


I didn't take my own pictures so this is taken from google. My punch looks more orange due to the orange juice.


















Here is what you will need if you're making a lot like I did for Thanksgiving...


1/4 - 1/2 gallon of berry fruit tea
1 Orange cut into slices
1 Lemon cut into slices (try to buy organic for both if you can since they will be floating in your punch)
1 Jug of Apple Juice (half gallon)
1 Jug of Orange Juice (half gallon)
Cranberry Juice or Cran-Apple (whichever you prefer)
Cloves
2-3 Sticks of Cinnamon
Brown Sugar


Heat the tea water in a big stock pot, add 2-3 tea bags and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Now add in your juices. I didn't use all of the juice, it just depends on how much you want to make. I try to add a large amount of apple juice a little less of the orange juice and the least amount of the cranberry. 
Put cloves into a loose tea infuser so they don't float around in your punch. If you don't have one try to find something else to contain them in like a sieve or hand strainer. Throw the cinnamon sticks, orange and lemon slices directly into the pot. Use brown sugar to sweeten to taste. Heat everything to almost boiling. I wouldn't let it simmer but it won't hurt to let all the ingredients sit in the pot for a while. 
Now enjoy the taste of the holidays :) 


If you've ever been to a christmas market in Germany you may have had what they call "hot wine". It is very similar to this except for the alcohol. I actually have always preferred the Kinderpunsch over the adult version. 


Please let me know if you try this recipe and if you and/or your kids liked it. 



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

a walk in the park





















We've had some gorgeous weather here in Western PA so we spent the day outside yesterday. Logan had a blast rolling around in the grass, really feeling it for the first time and of course practicing his crawling moves. He gets pretty far already. I think we are in trouble. I guess we have to start thinking about baby proofing the house a little earlier than we thought. Any recommendations on what we should get? I've started putting outlet plugs in but that's about it.


The hubs is mowing the yard one last time (we hope) and I am off to send out some orders for 1499 Vintage. If you haven't checked it out yet, you might wanna take a peek. I have a whole bunch of new items to be listed within the next few days. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

{life} according to my cell

Lots of sleepy time going on here 
puppies, our bilingual family, sitting, ikea lunch 

daily messes and treats

love him 

baby bear, more projects, first snow (in October), my momma is here

Have a great weekend everyone :) 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

starting solids

We've been doing a lot of this lately...




HaHa


I can't believe he is 5 months old already. Where did the time go? 
We just started giving him solids and so far he likes it, even though it doesn't look like it in that last picture. I still nurse him the same but I am starting to imagine the day when he will decide that he is done nursing and I am already sad about it. 


See, we had a rough time in the beginning...
There was the initial pain because you're not used to having someone trying to extract milk from there, especially not someone who is just as inexperienced as you are. Then there is more pain when your milk finally decides to come in full force and you feel like you are going to explode. There is also the frustration of realizing that the pain doesn't just go away after a few weeks, because it takes both of you much longer to figure this thing out.


But you stick with it and through the pain and frustration because you know it's the best for both of you. So you use all the creams and try all the techniques, you go to the BF support groups, you start pumping and you stop pumping, and slowly you both figure out just what works for you.
And then in the end you finally get to the point where you are both relaxed and comfortable, sharing these special moments, the smiles and the deep sighs when a belly is full. The heavy eyelids and the long hugs and cuddles - I never want them to stop.


I know I will miss those moments once he decides he doesn't need me anymore. I also know he is nowhere near ready to be done and that I have at least another 7 months, as long as everything goes smooth. 
I guess I am just a little sentimental at the thought of him growing older and getting so much more independent. I want to freeze all these special moments in time and relive them over and over. 


Well, I bet you mommas out there know what I'm talking about. No matter if you nursed or bottle fed your baby, I think we all have these special moments with our little ones that we never want to end. 
My mom is here from Germany this week to help out and enjoy her grandbaby. She's been cooking and cleaning, doing laundry and entertaining the babe. I really miss having my family around, especially now that I am a mom myself. Can't wait to spend some quality time back home soon :) 



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

{style files} mustard and gray



I'm wearing: Old Navy Sweater, AE Shirt, Juicy Couture Striped Tank, Seven Jeans, Ankle Boots bought in Germany,  Mango Leather Jacket, Lisa Leonard Bracelet and Michael Kors Watch.


The weather was nice yesterday so we actually got to take these pictures outside :) 
The hubby watched the bubs so that my mom and I could go shop for a while. I got a whole bunch of sippy cups and tiny little utensils and plates at TJ Maxx where I also found some American Crafts Cardstock for $1.99. I couldn't resist that deal. I am a serious craft hoarder, just ask the hubby...

It's so nice to have my mom around to help out and of course to shop with. 
It's funny how in every store I automatically look for baby stuff and cute little clothes. 
I think my little man is the best dressed 5 months old in town ;) 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

diy: yarn wrapped painted jars


If you got here from Pinterest, Welcome :) This post has been quite popular and I'm glad you found it as well. If you like this tutorial please take a look at what else my blog has to offer. For more DIY posts simply click HERE

This was inspired by something I came across on the internet a while ago but never pinned and now I can't find it anymore. Go figure! 

I remembered that the original glass was white and had lines all over, so I figured I would just use some yarn and warp it around my jars and spray paint them to create the effect. 

Here is what you'll need:

- Several cleaned jars. I always keep mine for projects. Soak them in water to get the tags off and use some Goo Gone for the glue residue. Make sure to clean them with soap to get all the Goo Gone off or else the paint won't stick.
- Yarn or some sort of string. If the yarn has a lot of fuzzy fibers they may stick to the jar a little but it won't be very noticeable so don't worry about it too much
- A can of white spray paint. I used Flat. You can use any color you want but with winter coming up I though white was best suited. 
- You'll also need something to cover whatever surface you'll be spraying on. Spray paint doesn't work as well when it's cold outside so it will take longer to dry. Make sure to give it some extra time before you touch the jars. 


I used some regular packaging string and some yard with texture. Wrap the string around the jar tightly and tie a knot. Now wrap the string around the rest of the jar tightly criss-crossing and overlapping until you like what you see. Then just tie the end to the leftover string where you started and cut off the ends.


Place the jars onto your covered surface upside down and spray paint them evenly with 2-3 coats. Make sure to let them dry for 5-10 minutes in between coats. Once they are fully dried just cut the string in one place and unwrap. Now you can place a tea light inside and decorate away :) 

I think it would also look cute to wrap some twine around the bases of the jars for some more texture. 


I love the different effects the skinny string and the textured yarn create. The jars that were wrapped with the thicker yarn look like they have puffy clouds floating in the sky. 
This project is also super cheap since the jars were free and I had the string and yarn on hand, all it cost me was a can of spray paint. They would also make great little gifts, just tie a ribbon and bow around 3 and you're ready to go.