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Baby Gage in the house!

Jan
18
22 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Parenting, Personal

011414 Brand New 200x200 Baby Gage in the house!

After 40 weeks and 1 day, Gage Matthew finally decided to grace the world with his presence. He was born on 1/14/14 at 5:05 PM. He weighed in at 7lbs 4.5oz and measured 20 in long. He had all appendages, toes, fingers and adorable heart-shaped lips. He gets that from me. icon wink Baby Gage in the house! I had a fairly quick labor and delivery and decided to tell my story here. It will involve some TMI, so if you’re the queasy type, you might want to skip over the text and just enjoy the pictures. icon smile Baby Gage in the house!

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On Monday, 1/13/14, T and I went to my midwife appointment. 1/13 was Gage’s due date, and the midwife reminded me that the average gestation for first timers is 41 weeks and 2 days. She felt the baby and said he was engaged in the pelvis but it was hard to tell how many more days we would be waiting. She then told me to buy Evening Primrose Oil gel caps and insert 3 in the you know whatsie every night for the next week because it helps to soften up the cervix. I was willing to try anything to move things along, so I did this for the first time that night.

011414 with Mommy 200x200 Baby Gage in the house!

At 6:17 AM the next morning, 1/14/14, I woke up to a minor crampy sensation. I decided to get up and wait for T to awake at 7. I told him that I was having random mild cramping but I couldn’t tell if I was also contracting, or what it was all supposed to feel like. I was unsure if he should stay home from work, but he decided to (THANK THE LAWD!). At this point, I was thinking if it was early labor, we were days away…. HA! Jokes on you, ma!

WP 002716 200x200 Baby Gage in the house!

I called my mom, and she arrived mid-morning. I also started losing my mucus plug around 8 and it slowly came out all morning. Mom, T & I decided to take a short walk in the park across the street, since walking is good during labor and helps speed things up. I was still able to talk during pain, and ended up eating a huge sandwich and potato salad for lunch. Again, two things that made me think we were many hours away from Gage’s arrival.

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Around 2 PM, my outer bag of waters broke. T said it was nowhere near enough to be the inner sack, so we just continued to wait because the frequency and duration of contractions was still all over the place. The pain picked up after this, however, but still manageable. At 2:30 PM, more water came out, but again T said it wasn’t enough. At 3 PM, T was getting nervous because I was becoming way more focused, less talkative and all, so he decided to check in with the  midwife. The contractions definitely picked up in intensity and frequency but there was yet to be a discernible pattern. She told us to hang out a bit longer, and at that point, I felt fine with that decision. And this is when things went from zero to 60…

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Between that 3 PM phone call, and the next one at 3:30 (that I asked T to make), I apparently was going through the transitional phase of early labor on my toilet. I even began to feel pressure and what I can only describe as a serious bowel movement sensation during contractions. I assumed this was the urge to push, and that freaked me the hell out! The midwife said to just get to the hospital at this point, and holy crap, were we lucky to be only a mile away. Todd very well may have been putting that med school OB/GYN rotation experience to some good use, ya’ll. No joke…

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I guess by the time we all got ourselves into the car, to the hospital and into the triage room, it was 4 PM.  My contractions at this point were definitely Level 10 and the urge to push was intense. The hospital did not realize my level of concern because they were taking their sweet ass time! My full bag of water broke while in triage, and that is when I demanded someone come check me out. They moved me to an L&D room and set me up on the monitor. They stated that I had to have a full 30 minutes on the monitor before I could get into the water tub. I was thinking at that point that the water birth I so wanted was so not going to happen. They then checked my cervix and it was fully freaking dilated! Midwife came in, she joked about how she just saw me yesterday, and I told her I needed to push right now! She said let’s have a baby, then!

WP 002729 200x200 Baby Gage in the house!

5 CONTRACTIONS LATER and I had baby Gage in my arms. I was overwhelmed by having him in my arms, but my body was also in serious shock from how quick things went. We didn’t clamp the cord until it stopped pulsating. My placenta came out 10 minutes later, and it was HUGE. Once we found out Gage was under 8 labs (they thought he’d be between 8-9 lbs), I said the placenta is what was taking up all that room! The midwife was still messing around down below, and delivered the crappy news that I had two tears. The perineal tear was a level 3 (out of 4) and I also had a level 2 tear up above. This was all due to how quick Gage wanted out. It did not give my body the time to expand properly and I am paying for it now! I would have to say, however, the golf ball sized hemorrhoids are what is causing me the most pain. I think recovery is going to suck, but it is what it is. Thank goodness I have T and my mama! Well, and the rest of my family too, of course. icon smile Baby Gage in the house!

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After Gage and I had time to bond and say hello, Todd decided to go get some food. My mom was holding Gage and I told her I started to feel nauseous and light-headed. Next thing I know, I’m waking up to my hysterical mother, Todd walking into the room and the nurses around me. I passed out! My heart rate was sky-high and they made me drink a butt load of liquids. When they came back to try to get me up to the bathroom, I passed out again while sitting up. More liquids and time went by. I finally made it to the bathroom, but passed out for the 3rd time on the toilet. Needless to say, I was not having a good postpartum experience!! It still makes me sad because that initial important bonding time with Gage did not go as planned. *sad face* They finally got me to the recovery room and I was assisted all night long when I had to get up. They determined that my iron was low due to blood loss and I needed to start supplements. Thankfully they had me on supplements ahead of time or it could have been much worse!

WP 002720 200x200 Baby Gage in the house!

We left the hospital the next night right before midnight (to save on insurance!) since the midwife gave me the green light. It was FREEZING outside and we had to figure out the newborn insert in the car seat because it was super tight, we couldn’t see, we were freezing and trying to keep him warm in the car. Fun times! We made it home safely and everything has been going smoothly since then. I’m in pain and taking care of myself but I’m not missing out on Baby Gage, either! Todd and my mom have been wonderful. Todd has made me tear up a few times with his amazing fatherly instinct. I am in love with the two of them!! ♥

011414 with Daddy 200x200 Baby Gage in the house!

Thanks for reading about the insane ride I had to bring Baby G into the world. Now the true fun begins!

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ash sign Baby Gage in the house!





Since motherhood is going to suck the time and life out of me, I’ve been exploring the slow cooker more. Any way I can save time and help Todd with cooking, I’m all for it. I can get the ingredients together the night before and throw them in the cooker on my way out the door in the morning. Wham, Bam, Thank you, Yum! icon smile Slow Cooker Recipes: Banana Bread & Asian Sesame Honey Chicken

I own the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-Quart Slow Cooker. I bought the 6 quart because we like to make huge batches of chili and soups, but I’ve recently discovered something. A lot of recipes are for 4-quart cookers. If you have a larger pot and the meal does not reach at least halfway up the side, it will cook quicker! You should either double the recipe or cook it for a less time (check it 2 hours earlier).

I recently tried a Banana Bread recipe, which totally blew my mind. Who the heck knew you could make Banana Bread in a slow cooker? Well, you can, and it’s DELICIOUS. Myself, Todd and my mother both gobbled up the bread. It was so easy to mix all the ingredients, and it only took a few hours to “bake.” If you have a slow cooker and like banana bread, I totally recommend this! Here is the recipe that I used. I might add a bit of cinnamon next time, but otherwise, I loved the outcome!

The other dish that had a successful outcome for Asian Honey Sesame Chicken. This is actually a healthier version of one of my favorite Asian dishes. I got the recipe here. You basically cook the chicken in the slow cooker with onions and the sauce mixture and let it cook for about 4 hours. You then remove the chicken to cool, and add some cornstarch to the liquid to thicken it up. Shred up the chicken, add back into the sauce and serve over brown rice. It’s super easy!

9fbf8380772211e3b58a12edb263859b 8 Slow Cooker Recipes: Banana Bread & Asian Sesame Honey Chicken

Does anyone have any good slow cooker recipes?

I’m looking for ones that I can leave on all day while I’m at work. icon smile Slow Cooker Recipes: Banana Bread & Asian Sesame Honey Chicken

ash sign hungry Slow Cooker Recipes: Banana Bread & Asian Sesame Honey Chicken

 





The Mercy Thompson series is a stellar piece in the werewolf/shifter sub-genre. Iron Kissed (#3) has been my favorite thus far, but Bone Crossed gave it a run for its money! I wasn’t as interested in the events in Silver Borne, but the series keeps building!

6615021 Bone Crossed and Silver Borne by Patricia BriggsBone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercedes Thompson #4
Published by  on 1/26/10
Genres: 
Format: Paperback
Source: 
Add to your Goodreads TBR Pile

Marsilia, the local vampire queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan. Now, she’s out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack-and her relationship with its sexy Alpha-it’s not Mercy’s blood Marsilia is after…

This book had me so excited to get back into Mercy’s world.  Mercy endured some serious trauma at the end of Iron Kissed, so we aren’t greeted with a chipper version of herself. Instead, we are met with a Mercy who is definitely experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, and is trying to cope with it the best way she knows how. Enter Adam “The Wolf-Man” Hauptman. I love this guy and all he stands for. He slowly helps Mercy to heal from her physical and emotional wounds, and he does it with finesse and a bit of animalistic instinct. She has a long way to go, but with someone like Adam by her side, she is bound to recover feeling safe and secure.

Mercy encounters some freaky shit in this book. She’s trying to avoid Marsilia, the psycho vampire wench who wants Mercy to pay for her wrongdoings. She’s also requested to come investigate a ghost haunting, and finds much more than she expected. Mercy befriends a young boy named Chad who is deaf and the center of these hauntings. I loved the relationship that forms between these two. It was sweet and sincere, and it really shows the humanity that Mercy harbors deep inside. When Mercy uncovers exactly what is occurring in this household, she finds herself enmeshed in some serious family dysfunction, with a wicked villain at the epicenter. I loved how that damn Fae walking stick continues to pop up when Mercy least expects it…

6587387 Bone Crossed and Silver Borne by Patricia BriggsSilver Borne by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercedes Thompson #5
Published by  on 3/30/10
Genres:
Format: Paperback
Source:
Add to your Goodreads TBR Pile

Being a mechanic is hard work. Mercy Thompson, for instance, just spent the last couple of months trying to evade the murderous queen of the local vampire seethe. And now the leader of the werewolf pack, who’s maybe-more-than-just-a-friend, has asked for her help. A book of fae secrets has come to light and they’re all about to find out how implacable – and dangerous – the fae can be.

OK, so maybe her troubles have nothing to do with the job. But she sure could use a holiday…

I am not sure if it was my distracted mind or just an disinterest in this plot, but this book dragged a bit for me. I even found myself flipping pages at the end. I probably missed some important information, but at least I know how it ended. This book focused a lot on the Fae in Mercy’s world, which I LOVED in Iron Kissed, but I couldn’t get into the plot of this book. I did enjoy Samuel’s situation greatly in this book, only because it’s perplexing and has me wondering what the heck is in store for him in the future. The bull wolfshit that happens within the pack was also entertaining and enraging at the same time. It brought good drama to the table and it was something I needed from the story. The romance between Mercy and Adam continues to build and I am enjoying their exploration of one another so very much. Mercy has been thrown into the frying pan as far as the pack goes, but she is one smart cookie and keeps her cool. She also uses force when necessary without batting an eye. Take that, Henry!

Oh, and there was this scene with Medea that had me on the verge of serious tears. I mean, it almost had me throw my book across the room. Don’t fuck with the animals, yo.

Ash Sign3 Bone Crossed and Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs





Craft Project of the Year: Documented Life Project

Jan
12
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Crafts

My awesomesauce friend, Mandee from Books & Bling, is a big time crafter and wonderful artist. She is always doing something artsy and discovers a lot of fun projects to partake in. I discovered the Documented Life Project through her a week ago, and I set off to make this my project of the year. I won’t have a lot of time to craft, methinks, but this is not something that will take lots of time. It will also force me to journal more, and that is something I desperately want to do.

Basically, the Documented Life Project is an art journal and planner in one. You can make your own planner out of any medium you want, but I went with the Moleskin planner that the DLP ladies used in their example. Each week, they have a new creative task to add to your journal. Many of the people embarking on this challenge are artsy in ways I am not. There are a lot of good drawers, painters, etc, and that is definitely not a skill I have. However, I can paper craft, and I looooooove to collage. So I decided, what the hell. icon smile Craft Project of the Year: Documented Life Project

Here are the front and back of my Moleskin. I went the collage route since I’m not confident in my painting skills (and don’t have paint anyway). I used Mod Podge to make sure everything sticks, and I’m hoping it will. However, if it gets tore up throughout the year, I can always add something new. That’s the beauty of collages!

WP 002684 225x300 Craft Project of the Year: Documented Life Project    WP 002692 225x300 Craft Project of the Year: Documented Life Project
Here are some of the papers I used to decorate the inside of the planner. In order to do the weekly crafty task, we had to add an extra page to each week. Mainly because the paper in the Moleskin is too thin to uphold many artsy mediums. I used scrap paper, of course, a few envelopes and some Project Life cards.

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Here is what the planner looks like with the pages inserted. I used washi tape to hold them in place. It makes for a colorful piece!

WP 002675 225x300 Craft Project of the Year: Documented Life Project   WP 002673 e1389537783134 300x225 Craft Project of the Year: Documented Life Project
This week’s crafty task was to add a selfie into the planner. Here is what my weekly journal looks like. Once I get more comfortable with making it more artsy, it should start to look, well, more artsy. icon smile Craft Project of the Year: Documented Life Project

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If you are participating in this awesome challenge, let me know!

ash sign crafty Craft Project of the Year: Documented Life Project





The type of mom I want to be.

Jan
06
6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Parenting, Personal

As the day grows near that I will meet my son (MY SON. Wow.), I am reflecting on the type of mother that I hope to be. I want to be so much more than I will ever be able to accomplish, but I want to be content with what I bring to the table as a mom. I have faults. I am human. But I also have strengths and great qualities, too. I am hoping that I can balance these things out.

b2142118741f11e396e10ec040afc7f2 8 300x300 The type of mom I want to be.

Balance out my Italian flare for being loud and snappy at my loved ones with some calm, understanding moments. I’ve gotten better about this over time because Todd is non-confrontational, which calms me down instantly. My mother and I still react this way together, though I think it’s better than it was in the past. It’s part of our family’s communication style and I don’t want to be this way with my son. I don’t want him to grow up with that heat behind his words. It’s all in how you say it, not always what you say…

Balance out my I think I know everything personality with some serious suck it up, sista time. I do not, indeed, know everything. I like to act this way with my family, but I need to bring it down a notch. I love to learn, and will always be a person with her head in a book or sitting in a classroom, but that doesn’t mean I know it all. I can never, ever know everything there is to know about being a mother. Or a wife, daughter, social worker, blogger, etc.

Balance out the yearning to be a super wife/mom/social worker/family member/friend/blogger with a slap of reality. There is no such thing as perfection. I can only be who I am, and at the end of the day, I need to be OK with that. I will make mistakes but I will learn and grow from them.

Balance out my technology/media addiction (there, I said it) with more family time. Less time in front of the computer/tablet/phone/TV, and more time in front of my husband and our son. And my mom, who is an integral part in this family thing. I want to explore Atlanta, take day trips, go to street fairs and family events. Enjoy nature and live in the now.

Balance out my job responsibilities with my home responsibilities. This is a given, but I want to make sure that I don’t put too much pressure on myself for either area. I will give 100% to my job while working and 100% to my family when I’m not. I don’t want to feel guilty for not being 100% present with either. Like the guilt I’m feeling for being off for 3 months, unable to assist my kids. I know that once Gage arrives, I will be in total newborn warp zone, but the thoughts are still there.

Balance out my desire to implement attachment parenting techniques perfectly with the fact that that shit just ain’t gonna happen. I can read all the Dr. Sears books, wear my baby every second of the day, co-sleep and all the other intricate traits of attachment parenting, but I will never master it. I can only try to instill the theory behind attachment parenting into my parenting style, because I cannot be with Gage 24/7 and even if I was, I would not always get it right.

Balance out hubby and me time with family and me time. I do not, whatsoever, want to lose my husband in the midst of mommy hood. I have already set up reminders to come up with ideas for monthly date nights, and I want to be creative. (This site is awesome, by the way!) I also want to include him in raising our son in absolutely every way possible. (This article offers 50 ways men can bond with their babies, and it made me tear up!) Todd is going to be a fantastic father and I want to make sure I lift him up emotionally in every way possible.

Balance out some ME time with all the rest. Reading is obviously important to me. I love to craft. I want to bake more. I want to buy a nice camera and learn more about photography. I don’t want to lose ME during the journey.

I have a lot more things I want to balance, but this is a good start.

ash sign The type of mom I want to be.

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Smash Attack Reads is a blog that celebrates the world of books and the people who create them. Smash also rambles about crafts, personal and social worky-stuff sometimes, too.

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