Friday, March 30, 2012

Seven Days Later


I got my first picture of one of his gas awesome-cuteness “smiles.”


I got my first Mason and Monster Puppy picture.


Bella’s still in love with her baby brother – it’s impossible to separate her from him.


This is where Mason spends most of his time.


And I am down 15 pounds – 10 of which shouldn’t count since those 10 were all Mason – from my going into hospital weight. I still have another 30 to go before I get back to my before pregnancy weight.

(And don’t worry, your eyes aren’t tired, that picture is horribly out of focus.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the little brother


The bigger kiddos hadn’t really spent much time around Mason yet. They’ve all been staying with my mom, and other than a visit to her house Sunday for my brother’s birthday,  they hadn’t seen Mason.


Even that Sunday Ryan and Bella did great with him. They were both so sweet and excited about him. Bella like majorly so. She’s a little too excited… and too clingy to him. She sort of won’t let anyone be around him if she can’t also be right there. We’ve been experiencing her worst fits ever over this baby.

Ryan is just sweet.
He went to school and announced to everyone he saw all day that his mommy had his baby brother that morning. He is planning to get his favorite pictures printed off and taking them when he goes back to school Monday. His teacher even said they’d set aside a special time for him to show them off to the class.


Zach had us all a little worried at first.
He didn’t really seem to have anything against the baby, he just didn’t seem to care at first. It was just like “Eh, woohoo, there’s yet another little person in the house to annoy me.” ((Yes those were probably his thoughts – he has become rather jaded on the whole younger siblings thing.)) Sunday when he saw the baby he didn’t want anything to do with him. He sort of looked at him once or twice, held him – because John made him, and commented on how it was good another person finally had red hair.

But today the older kids came home for a few hours and got to spend some time with me and Mason. Yes, I had a huge headache between allergies, trying not to take pain pills, and the increase in noise, but it was great having all my kids home again. And they all did sooo well with Mason, especially Zach. Zach was just as sweet and precious as the other two. I’m really hoping that this good feeling towards the new little brother continues.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mason Spencer's Arrival

Well it all started Wednesday at my 40 week check up... 

Once we found out how big Mason probably already was my doctor started pushing the idea of a c-section, his reasoning - you won't be able to push that baby out. I basically told him there was no way I was having a baby that big, just going by the other kids' birth sizes and mine and John's it just wasn't possible. Yes, I would agree that Mason would probably be a bit bigger than the others, but not THAT MUCH bigger. I mean just going by John and I it wasn't possible, I'm 4' 11" and a bit over 100 pounds and John is 5' 8" and 140. A baby measuring close to 7 pounds at 36ish weeks has to be just a misreading of the ultrasound.

Back to my last check up... I talked the doctor out of c-section for the beginning of the next week. We came to the agreement that we would try an induction on Friday, the 23rd, and if he was unhappy with the amount of progress I wouldn't argue over switching to a c-section. To me this was a huge win because I just couldn't bring myself to just setting out to birth with the plan of it being a c-section.

Thursday was a whirl wind of doing last minute baby prep. I didn't do a lot, but I delegated a lot. John went ahead and took the time off work and my family all came to help. After taking Bella in to the doctor's and picking up a few last minute things needed from the store I felt horrible. My stomach had gotten so big that the skin and muscle always hurt, and even the slightest bump to it felt like someone was stabbing me. I wasn't having any contractions or even Braxton Hicks, I just felt bad. Not to mention how horribly swollen my feet, hands, and ankles were. I decided since everyone else was at the house helping - including my older brother who would be sleeping over to take the boys to school the next day (we'd have to leave by 4:30 am for the induction) - that the least I could do was make something easy for dinner for everyone. It was great having everyone over and as long as I was sitting I enjoyed it too. It kept me from freaking out over how it would all go the next day. I went to bed praying that I'd already made some progress on my own in hopes that the induction would work.

At 10:30 I felt this weird thing. It wasn't a pop like when my water broke with Bella. It felt more like a kick - but not a kick. I had to go to the bathroom anyway so I figured I'd just get up and go and see if anything happened. Well it did. I stood up and this steady stream of liquid just started coming out. Once it slowed I sort of hobbled to the bathroom and made it there just in time for a bigger gush and some bleeding. My water broke. My water broke a lot. From that point on I leaked and gushed almost the whole entire time until Mason got stuck in the birth canal. It was gross. I was so wet from it by the time we arrived at the hospital I almost refused to go in it was so embarrassing. John and my grandmother had to force me into a wheelchair to get me in. However... like everyone pregnant in the area had apparently gone into labor also so we had to wait.

All it took was one big gush of water on the emergency room's floor and, voila!, there is suddenly room for me in Labor and Delivery. lol At some point on the way to the hospital my contractions finally started, but they wouldn't stay regular, and each time I had one it would cause even more water to gush out. I was a right mess by the time I got into a room, plus having another contraction, so it took two nurses to help me undress, put on the gown, and get into the bed. I was so happy when they checked me and said that I was dilated 1 cm and had already started to efface. It wasn't as much progress as I was hoping for, but it was some. When my doctor called the hospital to say I was on my way he told them to go ahead and proceed with the induction as well, I think he figured I'd need all the help I could get, so I was immediately offered pain medicines and hooked up to IVs. 

Once the pain medicines were started things got kind of foggy until around 4 am. I woke up at 4 freezing, shaking, out of it and feeling like I was about to throw up. Turned out my blood pressure dropped from 120/88 to 80/50 something. The epidural amount plus all the fluids I was losing had caused my blood pressure to crash. So the epidural was cut down, and they tripled the amount of fluids going into me. My blood pressure started correcting almost immediately, however by about 5:30 we realized the epidural might still might be too much because I couldn't feel anything in my stomach or legs at all. If it wasn't for Mason's heartbeat increasing and getting louder with each contraction I never would have known when I was having one, I couldn't even feel his movements. 

At 6 the nurse came in and put me on oxygen. When I asked her why she said that Mason seemed to be going a little into distress and they needed to get more oxygen to him. I asked her about checking my progress, because the last time they had was around 4 when I woke up and I was only at 3. She said sure, but that my doctor had arrived and was getting ready to come see if I'd made enough progress to continue the induction or to see about preparing for a c-section. She said with mine and Mason's overall health he was really leaning to just doing a c-section. Then she goes to check me and only got as far as lifting the blanket. Mason was crowning... her reaction "Oh my God, that is his head. I'm going to get your doctor now, we're having baby."

If before sucked this part was actually even worse. 

I couldn't really push, or at least not enough to do any good. I got as much as his head out and then nothing. I couldn't get the rest of him out, not even with the doctor trying to guide him as well. We ended up having to have two nurses pushing on my stomach, another using a vacuum, and in the end the doctor still had to reach in, grab Mason by the shoulder and pull while all of us also pushed. They finally had him out, but things were just starting.

Mason wasn't breathing. They placed him on me, told me to rub his chest, then they got busy trying to get him breathing. After a minute that took forever they got him to take a few breaths, but it was a rough few minutes to keep him breathing. Those moments of holding him, and feeling his little heart beat, but not feeling his chest rise and fall for breathing was terrifying. I think by the time they got him going enough to do his measurements we were all still in so much shock that none of us really noticed when the nurse said how big he was. At least not until the doctor said "Wait, how much did you say he is?!"

We got to hold him for about an hour and then we had to hand him over to NICU because his breathing was messing up every so often again. But I had him back by noonish and he's been perfect since.

Mason Spencer - 3/23/12 @ 6:39 am, 9 lbs 12 oz, 21 inches

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mommy Diaries No. Six

And I briefly mention Bella and potty training in the video, but I just wanted to add that even sick this weekend, and going off to a birthday party, Bella stayed in panties and accident free all weekend!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Just a pinch of green

I won’t lie… I don’t really get into St. Patrick’s Day a whole ton. Probably because as I was growing up (and even now) I go out of my way not to wear green. My reasoning – Patrick = Patricia, it’s my Saint’s Day fool. Funnily enough, I love green and wear it super often. Usually on St. Patrick’s Day I go for a color I wouldn’t normally wear, such as today, today I wore purple.

Now this doesn’t mean I don’t encourage the kiddos to wear green. I’m not that big of a killjoy. Zach is wearing green boxers – he said he didn’t want to wear a green shirt. Ryan wore green shorts, a green camo shirt, and a green cape. I kept trying to get Bella to wear one of her many green items, but she just stuck with one of her pink short strappy dresses (more on Bella and short strappy dresses in a second), but with a pink and green filmy tutu underneath, so every now and then you got peeks of green. It was pretty cute, I will admit this.


Bella does love her some short strappy dresses.
I don’t get it at all, but seriously, my girl just can’t get enough of them. She’s been obsessed with them since last year and if the past two days are a preview of the spring and summer to come (take a moment to laugh at “spring” we’ve been in the low 80s) we’ll be rocking lots of these again this year. We have three, must invest in at least three more so she can make it through a week.

Right now we’re all in baby prepping mode, BUT… we are also getting ready to go into party mode. Bella’s 3rd birthday is next month and we’re going all out on a small party to celebrate it. She’s doing a princess dress up party – yeah original I know. I’ve been scourging Pinterest for ideas. If you know of any good princess party (or even tea party) pin please please please link them up for me. Here’s some of what I got so far.

Twelve whole pins. I’m kinda losering on ideas for this party. I literally have almost none. I beg you for your help.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A year ago today…


I took one of my most favorite pictures ever.

linking it up here

I got the edit idea from this pin – the “How to give your photos a cool retro analog effect - I didn’t do all the steps, and the texture is from a retired set from On the Spot Studio. It was in her Bad Black and White set.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday

work in progress #1.

I am aware that I need to quit dragging my feet and get that baby blanket done before Mason arrives. You can find the pattern and yarns listed here.

work in progress #2.

Mr. Mason Spencer.
39 weeks in utero today. Other than his usually silliness when it came to trying to get his heartbeat – he moves, literally shifts my whole stomach, every time they put the wand on me, there is nothing to report. At all. Nada. I haven’t even put on weight.

Oh and totally forgot about Wordless Wednesday…
My two favorite pictures from today’s beautiful spring day.
DSCN8752 copy 4

linking up here, here, here, here, and here.
linking up the bottom one
here as well.

Red heart

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mommy Diaries #5 & Lists

First up….

Now, my get it done lists. I have two, the first is my hospital bag packing list (yeah – I’m about to be 39 weeks and I still haven’t packed it. Sue me. Usually I run around panicking when I go into labor and pack it then.) the next is my (and John’s and the boys’) to get done around the house before going into labor list. I really don’t want to do anything on that list. I’m very fortunate to never get plagued by that annoying symptom known as “nesting.”


Having trouble reading my handwriting?
It’s OK, you’re in good company. Most people have trouble reading it as well.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tutorial Number One


First off, these pictures show you about how the original looked. You know, just in case you wanted to know.

Note – I’m using Photoshop CS 3, and other than the first two steps (which you can’t really create layers with) I use adjustment layers not image adjustments. That makes the edits easily tweakable.

The first two steps use filters and can be done in any order. If you chose not to do them that’s fine. I actually usually add these last if needed to be honest, but their effects actually do show a big part in *MY* photos edits.

Go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare.
I placed it between the top corner and the top of Zach’s head. His hair was already sort of washed out right there since that’s where the light was coming in from. I used the 50-300mm Zoom effect and set the brightness up to 150.

Next, go to Filter>Distort>Lens Correction.
Since I’m working with a white sky, and going for a heavily edited vintage look, I use a go-big-or-go-home mentality on this part. I set my vignette high – not something I recommend doing for just regular edits. I set my amount on the vignette for –35.

And here’s where we switch to adjustment layers.

Use an adjustment layer Gradient Map.
Change your two gradient colors to a deep brown (3b2107) for your darks and a light gray (d3cfcd) for your lights. Once you’ve done that change your blending mode on the gradient map to Soft Light and set the  opacity to 30%.

Then use another adjustment layer Gradient Map.
Only this time we’ll be using *three* colors. First set your darks to a dark blue – but not so dark it looks black (0c114f). Then half way on the bottom between your dark and light add another marker by clicking and select a deep orange (d55c2e). For your lights go with a light creamy orange (fde5dc). Then change the layer’s blending mode to Soft Light at an opacity of 60%.

and now the last step is…

Add a Fill Layer>Gradient to your picture.
If it doesn’t automatically do it, first select a gradient that goes from 100% visibility to 0% visibility. Then change your color you see to a light tan (ede1c8) and then the color you don’t see to a deep red (cd291c). Then set the blending mode to Soft Light – no need to adjust opacity.

And we’re done! I used this exact edit on my series of photos in this layout:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hair, shower, bump.

Zach came home Monday in a horrible mood. Turns out kids at school have been picking on him for having “girl” hair. So… he decided to get a hair cut! He hadn’t had one since like August. Wet (even then it still curls) his hair in the front came down past his eyes. Now, unfortunately, he actually does look like he’s about to be 8.

Yesterday also…
My mom has been telling me for about a week that I have to come in this Thursday to eat lunch with her. She misses working with me and wanted to see me. I was think “Um, odd, but OK.” I was also half convinced it was going to be some sort of surprise baby shower. (I’m not so good with surprises by the way.) Then she called me Monday to say nevermind, something came up on Thursday, can I please come on Tuesday. This sort of killed my thoughts that it would be a surprise shower, because you obviously don’t just change the date days before.

Yeah… it was a surprise shower. lol
Turns out my mom actually wrote down the wrong date, so she told me the wrong date. I guess it’s a good thing that she did because that meant I actually was surprised when I walked down the hall to her class and see in the kitchen a “It’s a boy!” banner, cupcakes, and a basket of presents.

38 Weeks
(yes I am aware I have a dirty bathroom mirror.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Interrupting Bella Moments In My…

*hold on please, I need to go put Bella on the potty*
^That is the most common thing heard in my house these days.

Our lives have been submerged in the underground world of potty on and off since Bella turned two. My daughter is stubborn. She knows what to do… she just doesn’t want to do it. Then it happened. Bella started going to Parents Day Out on a regular basis and all the sudden going potty became a goal for us all. As it stands now Bella is the only girl in her class who still wears pull-ups all day. So Bella, John, and I came to an agreement, that has to change. Now we’re really pushing potty training, and it’s finally seeming to be going really – and consistently – good.


The rest of this post will have to be put on hold so I can go put her on the potty again.

(I will admit that this is being heavily influenced also by my fierce unwillingness of having two children whose bottoms I have to change several times a day.)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Boy Code


As I’m browsing Pinterest real quick before bed (which has obviously been put off now lol) I run across this pin that says “15 Things A Mom Should Teach Her Son.”

Since I have two sons already, plus one more with Mason on the way, this catches my eye. I mean hey, I need to know if I’m skipping out on teaching them something important. Right? Eh, maybe. I actually usually avoid things like these because, well, I won’t lie, I’m a tad outdated. lol

I remember when Zach was in K4 getting into an argument with his teacher about doors. (I bet some of you might be able to guess where this is going) If they weren’t in line, and Zach and one or more girls were going out of a doorway together, he always stopped to hold open the door. His teacher tried to tell him that he didn’t have to; he told her that oh yes he did, his mommy and daddy said so. When she brought this up to me my response was, well, yeah – that’s what we’ve taught him to do.

Back to the list I found through Pinterest – it actually wasn’t too bad.  I agree with most of it, my main dispute is with #12:

12. Condoms will save your life.

That pretty much goes against what we plan to teach them in regards to sex. Our sex talk – in regards to pregnancy is pretty well planned out already. Don’t have sex. There is nothing, except abstinence, that will guarantee that you won’t become a daddy. Condoms don’t always work – you two are proof of that. Birth control doesn’t always work either – Mason is the proof of that. So if you don’t want a baby – don’t put your penis in anyone until you’re ready for one. (And you know what, that takes care of STDs for the most part as well)

Here are a few things that I would add to that list though:

  1. You don’t ever treat a girl in a way that you wouldn’t want someone to treat your sister.
  2. Being a jerk to a girl is not going to make her fall for you – and if it does, trust me, you don’t want her.
  3. If someone is going through a door after you, hold it open for them. If someone holds the door open for you – say thank you.
  4. Always thank your wife for making you food or doing any housework.
  5. I taught you table manners and correct public behavior, use them, the rest of the world will appreciate it.
  6. Pay your bills, buy your groceries, tithe, and save a little. Only if you have something left after that do you waste the rest on something that you don’t really need or have to do.
  7. If there’s something you wouldn’t say in front of me you better not be saying it in public.
  8. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you smart.
  9. There isn’t anything in this world that you are guaranteed or entitled to except for mine and your father’s love. Everything else you have to work for and earn.
  10. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” – Matthew 7:2

There’s a few other things, but those are the main. And for those of you wondering what standards we hold Bella to. Well, I’ll have to think on that, and talk to John about it, and get back to you. lol She’s only 2 so we haven’t really talked to her about much of any of this yet.

So what about you? Do you agree with all on the original linked list? Do you have any things you would add to it?