Singer Sew Easy - Training

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Remember when I mentioned the Singer House Party I was having? Well, part of the duty as a hostess was to go to an orientation/training on the machine they'd be loaning us for the next couple of weeks. Not only did I get to open a brand new  machine, but I was able to make the project that we can make too!  Anyway, I was joined by three other fabulous ladies! (Truth be told, I was a little too excited to be out of the house for a short time. Long enough to do something else, but short enough to not miss my girls.) He we are in the store with our new machines.
 There were some new tips that I hadn't known. At first, I was apprehensive because well, it was a new machine. But once I oriented myself, I was good to go. Here I am with the finished project: a roll to be used for make-up brushes, pens, crochet hooks, test tubes...just checking to make sure you were still paying attention.
Anyway, I'm eager to play with it some more and get fancy with the decorative stitches of this machine. So much fun, I'm so excited!

For those of you who can't make my party, I'll be happy to Skype with you and send you some swag, including, a 15% off coupon for your very own Singer Confidence Stylist. (Regular price $499, on sale at JoAnn's for $299, plus take 15% off of that!)! For the rest of you who would like some sewing time, but can't come on Sunday, I'm available throughout this week to one-on-one parties. :) Just shoot me an email or leave a comment here.

**I was selected by House Party to be a hostess for the Singer Sew Easy House Party. For being a hostess, I was given promotional items to be distributed to anyone who attends the party for marketing materials. Additionally, I was given the opportunity to use a brand new machine and given a discount to purchase my own. Here is additional information on the details of the House Party.**

Singer Sew Easy - Sewing is Fun House Party

Monday, April 25, 2011

I was selected by House Party to host a party sponsored by Singer featuring goodies and giveaways from Jo-Ann's, Burdastyle, Simplicity, and Martha Stewart Crafts. I felt very honored to be chosen to host this party, especially because there were many applicants for it!

I was really eager to be an advocate for at home sewing. I come from a long line of seamstresses and/or tailors. Not only that, but many creative and crafty sort of people. I can't remember a time in my life where someone in my life didn't have the sewing kit, sewing machine, or just the plain aguja y hilo (needle and thread). Grandma had quite the set up with her own desk for the sewing machine, special board for all of her threads and multiple, lavish sewing kits. Mom had a basic machine with a case and kept the sewing kit in an orange rectangular Tupperware container. When I was in 7th grade, I enrolled in Home Economics class. We spent half the year cooking and the other half sewing (or at least that's the way I remember it). At that time, I remember going to K-mart to purchase the needed supplies. I selected a blue sewing kit, thinking I'd never have enough items to actually fill it. I bought the notions and I was so very proud to apply my name with the label maker instead of permanent marker. I felt fancy indeed. Fast forward 21 years and I still have that plastic kit.
Now you understand why I was over the moon happy to learn that I was a finalist, and then later when I learned I had been selected (which happened to be when I was in the hospital after having had Tesla). I was contacted by a Singer rep in my local Jo-Ann's store the day I was discharged from the hospital. She was quite surprised to learn that I was eager to participate and host a party despite having just had a child. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This was great! I could finally get my girlfriends together and we could sew! Many of my friends own a machine, but not many really know the basics that I've learned along the way. Heck, there's still so much for me to know! Part of the process of being selected as a host is the opportunity to try out the Singer Confidence Stylist 7467s machine. I just purchased a machine last year at Christmas, which happens to be a Kenmore machine made by Janome.

Anyway, I received the package in the mail, and my word, the goodies that they included are unbelievable!!
I'm excited about the party, but here's where you readers come in! I won't be at max capacity for my party. If you can't attend the event (held Mother's day, but I'll probably have a smaller party a couple of days before for my friends who can't make the Sunday party), that's ok, I'm still happy to share the goodies that I received with all of you! Just let me know you would like a package of swag and I'll be happy to share it! Or, if you can't make the party, but would like to Skype in for a few minutes, we can do that too! You will receive coupons, patterns, thread, and information/promotion products.

Who knows, if I'm feeling sassy, I might even do a basic video tutorial on my machine, as far as threading and such. Would you want to see that?

Happy crafting!

Earth Day: Charlie Banana Diapers Product Review

Friday, April 22, 2011

So I talked about winning the Charlie Banana grand prize and the haul came in! Do you see all of the awesomeness I received? Immediately, I went and sorted everything and washed it to be put to use.

First off, in honor of Earth day, let me start by saying how great using cloth diapers has been as opposed to using disposables. Tesla's skin has been as great and wonderful as the day she was born. There hasn't been any irritation what so ever. Also, we have had considerable less trash than we would have on disposables. Before, we were throwing out her diaper trash every day or every other day. Now, her trash bin is removed once a week, maybe and that's for the wipes and Kleenex I use when I'm sneezing (ha ha). As far as the water we use to clean them? Well, thanks to the stain soak, we don't use a whole lot. I clean out the diaper in the sink, then clean it. We were out an about and had to change her diaper. I rinsed out her diaper in the sink and because it was a public sink, I pulled out the travel Clorox bleach I have and cleaned the sink afterwards.  That sink was definitely cleaner than when I found it. (and when she's older with the more solid waste, I will use the toilet, but for now, the sink is easier to handle with an infant)

Now for the Charlie Banana review. I'm specifically talking about the Charlie Banana one size cloth diapers.
Tesla goes through 10-12 cloth diapers a day. When we came home from the hospital, she went through 12-15 disposables a day. Those diapers were roughly 19 - 22 cents each or about $3 a day. After less than a week of use, we will have paid off each cloth diaper (they cost $17.88 each). After four and a half months of use, we will have broken even on our investment of the cloths (actually, because of the giveaway, we will break even in two months). Anything beyond that is bonus!

Because I purchased them as one size, they will grow with her and we won't have to buy additional sizes. We own Bum Genius 3.0 one size diapers, but even now, they are still a bit too large for her to use. The velcro on them doesn't work as great as when we originally purchased them. The Bum Genius 4.0 diapers are ok, but the snap closure to change the sizes make it a bit bulkier. Same goes with their liners. For the Charlie Banana diapers, I love the different snaps to close the diapers and I love the internal elastic labeled for the different sizes. It's just easy to pull the elastic to the size over the button, then tuck it back until you have to adjust it again. Tesla has worn the diapers from when she was a little more than a week old with no issue. They are easy to clean and the material is really soft!

I also have a Thirsties duo wrap. I wouldn't use these for just a diaper, but when I know that Tesla has had a heavy feeding, I will always wrap her with the Thirsties in addition to the Charlie Banana for extra protection and it is great. (even if she looks like she has junk in her trunk)

Additionally, I have one Fuzzibunz diaper that is in extra small. It is also a pocket fold, but the pocket opening is at the back and even with the diaper. She did have a blowout while wearing this particular diaper, so I'm not sure if it was user error in wearing the diaper or not. Regardless, it is really soft and I might recommend Fuzzibunz to others. However, I prefer the Charlie Banana pockets that are internal and it flaps over concealing the opening. It just makes me feel like there's an added bit of protection to the diaper.

Finally, I'm in love with the colors. They are so bright and beautiful! I often find myself not wanting to put those matching diaper cover bottoms that come with dresses because her diapers are so stinking adorable!

In conclusion, I would HIGHLY recommend the one size Charlie Banana cloth diapers. They are easy to custom fit to your child (regardless of their length and Sugarbaby is long and skinny), they are affordable, high quality, and the customer service can not be beaten! If you are curious about trying them out and are local, I would be happy to let you borrow one to check it out before you commit!

If you have any cloth diaper questions, feel free to post it here and I'll be happy to share what I've learned.

**I was not compensated for this review. I was the recipient of the Grand Prize as a result of making a purchase on the Charlie Banana site during their promotion. Winning the prize in no way influenced my opinions. They are my own opinion.**

HDMR: Win Win

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Win Win
Mike Flaherty is a lawyer in a small town, who suffers from high anxiety, surrounding his financial situation. He moonlights as a wrestling coach for the high school. He is surrounded by colorful characters, who are broken in their own way. When a less than ethical opportunity arises for him to get a bit of extra income, he jumps on the opportunity. Because of that, he ends up befriending a young, talented athlete (Kyle) who is a free spirit and determined. Unfortunately, he comes with a whole load of baggage because of his upbringing by a young single mother who has a history of addiction and poor choices in men.

This movie is definitely a dramedy. There are parts that are flat out hilarious and other parts where Giamatti is so vulnerable and broken, you can't help but identify with the very real human experience. More of us than not can relate to financial hardship and difficulty, some of us even taking on additional roles to keep our family afloat. However, his friend Terry is so broken and in many ways stereotypical, you can't help but laugh. I love how the family rallies around Kyle and accepts him as one of their own. The performances were great and endearing. It is definitely worth watching, but don't expect this to be an uplifting film. At the end of the film, I felt happy, but didn't leave with the feel-goods. Regardless, I would recommend watching the film, maybe not run out to the theater, unless of course you are a Paul Giamatti fan, but if that's the case, you've already gone out to see it. I rate it a 15 minute hand massage...still great, but not an hour long full body massage. ;)

Caterpillars & Ladybugs

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Have you ever seen caterpillars race? We did! The one on the right actually caught up with the one on the left. We weren't really sure where they were racing, but they were both in a hurry!
When we went outside to load our mailbox, we save all of these caterpillars crawling around on the sidewalk and the exterior walls in the doorway. There were actually 8 total. I've never seen so many caterpillars at once, it was quite remarkable, actually. Mari was ecstatic, but was initially freaked out by them. I gathered a couple to put in a jar so she wouldn't be afraid. (We released them 5 minutes later.)

The one on the left remained asleep and Mari proclaimed it dead. Upon release, it continued to be still. She was sad and then it wiggled slightly and went off on its merry way. She was beyond happy. I took that opportunity to talk about Easter and Christ's resurrection. Not really sure if she "got it." But just because she may not completely understand things doesn't mean I shouldn't talk about them and try to plant that seed early.

And speaking of nature, isn't this quilt beautiful?

My MIL made it for Tesla. She's so talented!! I sent her a quilt that I liked online and it cost quite a bit. Well, when we opened the box and saw this, my breath was taken away. This is gorgeous and she will love it for years to come. We have incorporated ladybugs into the nursery. We haven't finished her room yet, but I hope to get a better handle on it this summer. She will also get the Cloud B Twilight ladybug to use as a nightlight. Mari loves her turtle so much, so we were sold on the ladybug!

How are you all enjoying nature?

Bluebonnets 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday was a beautiful day, finally a day without crazy wind. We took the girls out for our annual bluebonnet session. For those of you who don't live in Texas, bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas. It is tradition for many Texans to trek out to bluebonnet fields and capture images of their kiddos. This year, we took the girls and Guapo. I dressed them in their matching outfits from their Grandma (thanks Carol!), which Mari LOVED! Here are some from that session:

Love this one of Guapo bouncing/bounding in the field. He had a great time!

This year was tougher than the past because of two reasons. My allergies were INSANE! I kept sneezing and hanging out in the high grasses and wearing flip flops was not the smartest idea. Also, I wore Tesla for most of the shoot and attempting to get a shot in focus was a bit difficult. I chalked it up to artistic quality for the added blur. ha ha! It was a lesson for sure, but it just means I need to plan to have her sleeping the next time, though. ;) This was the first time I picked up the camera since having Tesla. It was like saying hello to an old friend. I definitely missed it!

Do you do annual photos during the spring?

Review: Seasons 52

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I stumbled upon Seasons 52 while out and about with Primo. We had met up for a quick lunch date elsewhere and we weren't quite ready for things to come to an end, so we popped our heads in for an after lunch drink. We sat at the bar, which was intimate without being too dark. It was well lit, not overly loud, and the grand piano that sat in the middle of the actual bar (complete with the old school large brandy glass tip jar). The restaurant is beautiful and it made me feel so grown up and chic!

I ordered the Hawaiian Pineapple Cosmopolitan (Van Gogh Pineapple Vodka and Patron Citronge) with a couple of mini indulgence desserts. He ordered a mini indulgence to go with a Riesling selected from their award winning wine menu. Our server, Allen, was top notch. He was the right kind of friendly without being too intrusive. Allen was extremely knowledgeable about their menu and offered wonderful suggestions for us. We had such a good time that we made a follow-up lunch date to actually dine in the main dining area. We wanted to sit with Allen again, but he had let us know he would be on the patio and since I had Tesla, it would be so much easier if we sat in the main dining area in a booth. Doesn't that look so inviting?
Fast forward a couple of days and we found ourselves back at Seasons 52. The concept is simple. It is fresh, healthy food based on the seasons of the year with an extensive wine menu. "Casually sophisticated" the menu  changes every 3 months based on the season, with the chef's menu (to the side) changing every Tuesday. Everything on the menu is less than 475 calories.
We pulled into the valet line and were immediately met with a very sour and scornful attendant. He passively informed us that we'd pulled-in incorrectly, while staring at the growing line of cars that began to accumulate behind us. How was I to know, and what right did he have to get so upset with us? It wasn't like there was a sign stating otherwise and he did admit that the cones originally blocking the way had to be removed because they were so busy. Seriously, if you get so overwhelmed with your job that your are going to act out negatively to your client, then maybe you should consider another career. Just saying. Anyway, I brushed it off, not wanting it to ruin our experience.

We walked in and were immediately greeted by the the warm and friendly hostess crew. They oohed and aaahed over Tesla and showed us to our booth. We got comfortable and within seconds were greeted by our server Matthew. He was friendly and enthusiastic about his job, but didn't really offer up any insight into the menu. He said everything was delicious. While you can say that, you should really have a favorite. And don't describe a wine as being fruity when it has pepper flavored essence. As a server, I would hope you knew your menu better than that. Random aside, sorry! Before I review the food, I want to let you know that I am only talking about my meal, with the exception of the bite of food I tasted from Primo's plate.

To start, I ordered a cup of their Buffalo Chili.
At first glance, I noticed it had beans and I wasn't sure if chili was supposed to have beans in it or not, and then I realized I really didn't care. The buffalo was tender and completely blended with the spices in the chili. It had a small corn cake inside of it and a dollop of cilantro sour cream. It was very hearty and filling. Had I looked at the price, I would have just ordered a bowl of the soup and proceeded on to dessert. Not that price was really an issue, but for fifty cents more, I could've enjoyed the bowl.

Next up, was the Grilled Portobello Turkey Burger (which came with an organic mixed greens salad)
It was served on a whole wheat bun, with a portobello mushroom atop a turkey patty, both of which were under melted mozzarella. If you look closely, you'll notice the shadow under the burger. Well, they elevated it higher on the plate. It looked pretty enough, but the plate was REALLY hot! The burger ended up cooling off  faster than I wanted it to and the salad which probably should've been cool was actually starting to get warm. To say that I was disappointed with this burger is being generous. The one thing I did like were the toasted sunflower seeds on the salad. Like I said, I should've just had a bowl of soup. The "burger" was like a frozen turkey patty. I'm used to those turkey burgers from Mooyah and let me tell you, those are DELICIOUS and flavorful. This tasted like a frozen mess that I could've heated up in the microwave. I'd say forget the cheese and spend more time making a complimentary condiment. The mustard that came with it was ok, but would've been better as a horseradish mustard. This entree lacked the flavor that I figured it would have based on the vibrant colors of the dish.

Primo had the chicken entree (Fieldale Farms All-Natural Chicken Citron), served with broccoli and yellow beets. I'd never had yellow beets before and they tasted like beets, which I like. The broccoli was overcooked and the chicken, ugh. It was too chewy, and flat out overcooked (burned, you know where it isn't crispy, but just hard, chewy chicken). I've had microwave chicken that was far better, unfortunately. I have to pause and say that they took off the chicken from the bill, which was really nice. We didn't ask them to do it, but our server immediately took care of it when he saw so much of it remaining on the plate.

Finally, it was time for dessert. I ordered the Meyer Lemon Pound Cake mini indulgence.
I'm still on a lemon kick and boy did this hit the spot. Yowza! I actually liked it better than the Mocha Macchiato and as much as the Pecan Pie with Vanilla Mousse (pictured above).

Anyhow, all in all, I was unimpressed with their main entrees, but the rest of the meal was tolerable. I liked that I could go and indulge and not feel too guilty about it. I would definitely consider going back for an appetizer, dessert, and a fancy drink (albeit, one that I can only have a few sips of before getting too drunk...I'm out of practice!). At the first visit, I wanted to go here on a fancy date with Don, but instead, I think this is the place we would hit up at the end of the date instead of having it all there. Another thing to note, at immediate glance around the restaurant, it was filled with women dining on salads or older patrons. I don't think it was coincidence considering the menu and it being healthy conscious. So that's another thing, if you are on a diet or trying to dine out without all of the added calories, then this restaurant is for you!

**I was not paid or compensated for this review. This review is an honest account of my dining experience.**

When a Photo Takes Your Breath Away

Friday, April 15, 2011

copyright Rachel Weiner Photography
Sometimes, there are photos that make you stop and they take your breath away. The above photo is one such image. When did my baby grow into such a beautiful little girl?

Mari had her school portraits the day after we'd gotten out of the hospital. In my groggy state, I'd forgotten about it. She picked out this colorful dress to wear and insisted on 3 pony tails. When we arrived at school, I saw the sign reminding us it was picture day. My heart sank, but luckily, she has awesome teachers who managed to coax her to fix her hair a bit better than the hot mess I'd created.

Anyway, the day came for us to see her proofs and I'd been dreading it.  Why? Because I knew I would fall in love with them, that's why! Of the 40+ images she captured, I wanted more than half of them. Like most photographers, she typically offers print packages. There was no way I would be able to afford to have all of those images printed. I humbly told her this during our appointment and well, we proceeded to strike up one of those most cathartic conversations I've had in a long time. (A separate post on Motivating It Forward coming soon!)

Rachel is a true artist that prevails despite the adversities she faces on a daily basis because of her spondylitis. I love her outlook on life, her positive attitude, but most importantly, as a parent, I love the art she creates. She totally captured the many faces of my fast growing toddler. She patiently worked with her while she hammed it up for the camera, even letting Mari do her own poses.Yes, I cried when I saw the images. Hard to believe she's that grown!

Here's a video collection of my favorites from her session:

If you are looking for a photographer to capture your child's images, then I would recommend Rachel. She's a photographer's photographer! You can find her here:

**In exchange for the slideshow, I agreed to write a post about Rachel Weiner Photography. I believe she truly captures the spirit of children. The review is my own opinion and in no was was I persuaded otherwise.**

Bath Time...Puj Baby Bath Tub Review

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Today, I gave Tesla her first real bath. She lost her umbilical cord on Sunday and I wanted to wait a couple of days to make sure she's totally healed from it. Anyway, remember when I scored the Puj tub at the consignment sale? Well, I decided to use it.

With Mari, I just held her when I was in the shower and cleaned her. We used one of those regular plastic tubs that you fill up. I found that to be an awkward size, we didn't really know where to store it (because of the size), and it wasn't very natural feeling. It seemed to me that we spent more time preparing the tub instead of actual bath time, so that's why we nixed it after the second use.

The Puj Tub intrigued me. It fit easily in the sink. It stowed nicely. And at $12, the price was right for me to try it out. I turned on the water and got it to the proper temperature. I held the Sugarbaby in my arms and was able to prep the tub in minutes. She was happily propped in the tub, kicking her feet in the water and just staring at me like, hmmm...this is nice. I liked that I didn't fear that she would slip off. She stayed put. I washed her body and rinsed her easily. Afterwards, I wrapped her and shampooed her hair.

  • Definitely Easy
  • Portable
  • Quick Storage
  • Fast Setup

  • Weird drain thing...there's a small hole at the base and if the water gets too soapy and you need to drain it, it is a little awkward, especially if you have a REALLY shallow sink.
That's it, just one negative. The rest were great. And you can see her at the top. She's happy she's clean. She liked bath time. I liked bath time. I'm actually looking forward to the next one. I would recommend this tub for sure!

**I was not compensated for this review. I did not receive any thing for my opinion, I just wanted to share a nifty gadget!**

Tesla's Birth Story

Sunday, April 10, 2011

To start the story, we have the go back to the day before everything started happening. My mom had come to town with the hopes that Tesla would have already made her arrival or would arrive that weekend. My father was going to be in town on Sunday, so even if she wasn't going to make her appearance, it would be good to see the family. On Saturday, we got up and went to have breakfast at Poor Richard's Cafe (yum!) where the hostess predicted that Tesla's arrival was imminent. She also told me that I didn't look pregnant from the back which did bring out a giggle. ha ha

Then, us girls headed out for some retail therapy for an hour before nap time. It was a short power nap because Mari had a birthday party for one of her closest friends from school. She had a good old time, but we had to cut it short so we could head out to her cousin Z's  lacrosse game. We don't get to make every game, but she does seem to enjoy watching her older cousin's play! I love this photo that was snapped of us:

I love that my sister and I are both wearing green and how my mom's arms are wrapped up in ours! It makes me happy and I hope I'm just as close with my girls as my mom is with us! Anyway, while I was there, I walked a bit over a mile, did some fake cartwheels, chased Mari, and did my best to be as active as I could be without being too dangerous. ha ha.

After the game, we headed home, ordered some pizza and watched Shawshank Redemption. My sister was going to stay the night "just in case" but after the movie, I sent her home since I didn't think anything was going to happen that night.

A 3AM, I went to the bathroom and lost what remained of the mucus plug (bloody show). I started to feel some heavier contractions, but they were an hour apart. I texted our photographer to give her a heads up, with details that I would call if things got closer. By 6AM, they were every 20 minutes, so I woke up Don, who was barely asleep because I think he was every bit as anxious as I was. While he took a shower, I called my sister, the doctor, and the photographer. I finished packing up the rest of my toiletries and decided to go for breakfast since the doctor mentioned that I could very well be in false labor since the contractions were only 20 minutes apart. That and the fact that she'd only had an hour and a half of sleep, so why not delay so she could get a bit more rest. While he loaded the car, I went to my mom and gave her a heads up that we'd be leaving soon. She was so excited and I was too. I went to kiss the Sugarbean before we headed off and I tried my best to hold on to that moment. The next time I would see her, she would be different, I could feel it.

And so we headed off...with tears in my eyes, I was ready to meet our little sugarbaby!

But first, since I knew that it would be a while before I could eat, so we stopped by Market Street for some breakfast. I had a ham, egg, and cheese burrito with an Odwalla Mango Tango.  yummy! I also had a half a cup of Peet's French Press coffee.  delish!

Afterwards, I wanted to go for a good walk, so off we headed to Arbor Hills. We did the big loop and Don brought along the camera. This was probably one of the most special walks that I've ever done there. And if Arbor Hills didn't already have a special place in my heart (which it does!), then it is firmly planted there now.

I walked with my sister and we talked about nothing really, but just spending time with her made me happy.

And we would stop when I needed to stop. Don held me and helped me breathe through a mother's labor pain.

He kissed my belly and gave our little one well wishes, easing any anxiety she might have. Together we prayed.
With each step, I was closer and closer to that moment. I was so excited!
But don't forget that I was in labor...

The light on our walk was absolutely incredible. It was a bit humid out, but otherwise the temperature was perfect! There was some overcast with sun breaks that made all of the colors pop! I couldn't believe how great of a day it was.

At the end of our walk, I wanted to grab a last photo. Up to this moment, I hadn't had a bare belly photo. I felt beautiful enough to expose myself, even in public, so why not. Don grabbed this image, which I think is pretty remarkable especially since it hasn't been altered in any way. Some glow, huh?
A lovely couple walked by while he grabbed this shot and offered to take one of the two of us together. I was more than thrilled that they made the offer!
At 10AM, we headed off to the hospital, which was just up the road. Here is where it was totally surreal. Everything with Mari's birth happened in a blur. This time, we walked right up, and they checked me into the room. We began to settle in and I was walked to Admitting where I signed all of the necessary paperwork.
I came back to the room where our L&D nurse, Traecy (a TTU alum...guns up!!!), checked to see how far I was dilated. I was about 5, so halfway there! With that check, I was completely admitted and they hooked me up to the monitors. I was allowed one popsicle every hour.

I needed to be on the monitor for half an hour and I could be unhooked from it for half an hour, which allowed me time to go to the bathroom or walk the halls. Each time I got up, I walked to the end of the hall, turned around, and came back to the room. Each time, I looked out the window into the distance and I could see the large cross that sits at the top of Prestonwood Baptist Church. It was Sunday, after all, and everyone was off to go worship. Each time I passed I said a prayer. As the contractions progressed, it became harder an harder to walk without difficulty. When I was at the doorstep of transition, one hit, and I happened to be in front of that window. Pain overtook my body, and I just froze. I couldn't get the words out. Don rubbed my back and tears fell from my eyes. I saw the cross, and was immediately reminded of all of the many blessings God has given me. He held me in his arms and I knew that I was safe, we were safe.

While I dilated further, Tesla wasn't descending. I sat on the birthing ball to help her come down.

We also tried changing positions when I was on the bed. I got on all fours on the bed while hugging the ball. And then the back labor kicked in full force. Michelle, our photographer, commented on how calm I was, especially for being in transition. I looked at her and smiled, replying that all was calm now, but soon enough, I would turn and I would probably be more like what she is accustomed to. When I turned on that ball, sure enough, I mumbled out in pain, words that only Don could understand. We switched my position back to sitting on the ball. I have to pause for a moment to mention two things. Technology has changed so much in the past three years. My sister was updating my progress on Facebook the entire labor. We even got to Skype with my Brother in the hospital before he went to work. Also, we are planning a big family vacation in December to celebrate my parent's 40th wedding anniversary. Sunday was the last day to book the vacation at the sale price. My sister was on the phone with the agent, making arrangements when I cried out that my water had broken, right there while I bounced on that ball.

I was moved to the bed, and the contractions came hard. Sam counted, I breathed, and Don comforted me in between.
With each contraction, my back felt like it was breaking. I remembered similar pain with Mari, but this seemed like so much more. Tesla still hadn't descended enough, so they had me stand. I faced the bed and held my sister's hands. They raised the bed and once it was to a comfortable height, a big contraction hit, more of my water came out, and I cursed out, followed by a very shaky, "I need to push. I NEED TO PUSH RIGHT NOW!" The nurse, told me to hold on and get back in the bed. I just kept shaking my head no. My sister and the nurse in unison telling me to breathe. I tried and immediately, I wanted to simultaneously push and vomit. I held my breath, while my eyes pleaded with my sister, "no!" Her eyes filled with tears and she told me, get on the bed. You can do it. Get on the bed." I was able to get out, "I can't." Which, if you know me, I HATE saying I can't. But Sam looked at me and gave me that look that she gives me when I doubt myself, but I know I can. I said a silent prayer asking for the strength to get on the bed, to not push, and not get sick. And I did. I breathed and breathed. They positioned the mirror and all of a sudden there were all these new nurses in the room and the doc was positioned there to catch the baby. I felt Tesla getting closer and the nurse kept telling me, "This is only ask long as you want it to be." The doc perked up and told me that  she saw Tesla's hair. I glanced and saw it. She was crowning. And then I went for a bit of melodrama, kinda. I couldn't catch my breath. It felt like I was having asthma problems. I said I didn't want to die. And everyone reassured me that I wasn't going to die. But what they didn't know is that I couldn't breathe. I really couldn't breathe. I probably should have asked for oxygen, but I didn't. Instead, I went to my happy place and my lungs opened up. I could hear everyone's voices encouraging me. I glanced to my right at Don and asked him if he was ready to meet Tesla. He smiled. I looked at the doctor and nurse and asked if they were ready. They replied they were. I glanced at my sister to my left and said ok. I took my hands off my legs (because I kept pushing on my legs instead of pulling them) and grabbed the bars on the bed. I took another deep breath, said a silent prayer and told myself that she was more than worth it. And I pushed as hard as I possibly could.

5:33PM Adalie Tesla Jane came into this world screaming and yelling. 10 fingers. 10 toes. Just like the sonogram. Soft, straight brown hair and an incredible set of lungs. They placed her on my chest and she cried a bit more and then quieted down. The moment I met her...well...words escape me.

 While she nestled in, Don where to cut the cord and I cried. We have our rainbow baby!

Clearly we are both very, very happy and in love!

She weighed 7lbs 14 oz. and was 19.25 inches long. She latched on immediately, which was a huge relief.

Not long after, my parents arrived with the Sugarbean. She met her sister for the first time.
Sure enough, just as I thought, she seemed to have grown in those few hours since I'd last seen her sleeping. She was so much older and more mature. A very big and grown 3 year old girl instead of a toddler. She crawled up in bed next to me and let me hold her. They placed Tesla in my arms, and there with my two girls, I was happy. I looked around and was surrounded by my family. I was so, so, so very happy they were all there with us. 

I ordered some oatmeal and a waffle and inhaled it before they moved us to the post-partum room. Everyone took all of our stuff, and there I was with Don and Tesla. I happily prayed and gave thanks to God! Another natural birth, with the help of an IV because I was dehydrated (go figure)! There, we settled in for a couple of days.

Introducing: Adalie Tesla Jane

Friday, April 8, 2011

We've been pretty busy around here since Sunday. Our baby girl decided to make her formal entrance and we've been enjoying quite the babymoon since! Things will get back to normal soon, though! I'm trying my best to put together the birth story while it is still fresh in my mind.

Adalie Tesla Jane

April 3, 2011
7lbs 13.2oz
19.25 inches long

The story behind her names:
As you know, we've been calling her Tesla for a while now. You can read the story of why we chose that name here. We wanted to use the initial J for a middle name and also, I wanted to honor my mother in some way. We selected Jane, even though that isn't my mom's real name, it is in homage to her. (love you mom!) And so we agreed her name would be Tesla Jane for the longest time, until that parental guilt creeped in. Frankly, Mari's name had quite a few more letters in it, plus it was filled with all sorts of frills and flourishes when you write it out. We both believe Tesla Jane is a very strong name on its own, but we wanted her to have a small bit of flair. We wanted her to have a choice and I guess by the time she goes to school, she can choose which name she will go by, but for now we call her Tesla. (Both of my siblings actually go by their middle names.) Adalie is actually a name we sorta made up. There are many special people in our lives, two of whom are my best friends, Adaora and Lindsey. I actually played with the letters of their names in all sorts of combinations before coming up with Adalie. (ad-UH-lee for you southerners or a-THA-lee for those of you who speak espanol)

Winner of the Charlie Banana Giveaway!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sorry for the delay in posting this. I had a slight delay because I had a baby yesterday!!! :D I will post the birth story soon enough, but for now, I know you are all dying to see who won the giveaway for the two Charlie Banana diapers.

Number 19 is Nicole Hatch! Nicole, I have sent an email to you, please contact me me soon so I can order the diapers and get them off to you.

Congratulations and thank you all for entering the giveaway!
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