Saturday, May 28, 2011

Welcome to the World, Baby Charlie!

I really debated about sitting down to write a blog post about the birth of my's one of those things that I think some people may be interested in reading, and others may not.  But I think all of us Mom's like sharing our stories, so here's mine!

My doctor and I decide to induce labor on Monday the was a week early but worked out better for both of our schedules and I was happy to NOT have to endure that last week of pregnancy ;) None of us slept well the night before...I was nervous to leave Lily alone as I have never been away from her at night before, and i knew it was going to be rough on her to be away so long (and me too!).  Miss Lily woke up at 3:30 in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep...I think she knew something BIG was going on.  So she climbed into bed with us and I ended up getting some unexpected snuggles from her to get me through the day ;) 5:30 am rolled around and Matt and I took off for the the pouring rain!  Halfway there we had to pull over on the side of the highway because the rain was coming down so hard we couldn't see anything!  Talk about making a 9 month pregnant woman a nervous wreck!  I'm NOT a fan of storms anyway, and this did not help my situation at all! Luckily it passed quickly and we got to the hospital at about ten till 6 in the morning.  I was greeted at the front desk by a very grumpy nurse who was obviously ready to go home - But I was not about to let her ruin our big day!  :) Once the paperwork was filled out we went to our room and were so ready to get things started!
here I am, ready to get the show on the road!
Now, everyone told me that the second baby comes so much faster than the first and that the labor was going to be so much easier...I was counting on that! But I think Charlie had other ideas in mind. It took a while to get things started but at 9:15 they started the pitocin and broke my water - I was 3 cms dilated.

My mom came about an hour later with breakfast for her and Matt and my contractions were starting to hurt a bit but nothing too major.  They upped my pitocin every 30 minutes so something was bound to start happening soon!  At this point, I got to get up on a balance ball and bounce for a bit, which felt great to be up out of that uncomfortable bed! 11 am came around, still only 4 cms dilated and Charlie was not coming down. I started getting a bit concerned at this point.

1 pm came and went and I had spent lots of time rocking in a rocking chair and flipping from side to side in the doctor came in to check things out and I was still only about 4 cms....Charlie was still not coming down into the birth canal.  So now I was getting REALLY worried!  I absolutely did NOT want to have to have a c-section...that was the worst possible option for me.  I wanted a normal birth without the extensive healing time.  But my OB told me that she really thought that he would come down, and not to worry yet.  If there was no change by 5 pm that we might have to consider the c-section though.

More flipping around in bed, and another hour on the balance ball and the contractions were really coming on strong. I was NOT wanting to be one of those "wimpy" Mom's who get an epidural too soon, but I was really feeling some pain.  When I was in labor with my daughter I was also stuck at 4 cm's for a long time, and as soon as I got my epidural I dilated the rest of the way within about three hours.  So after a few tears, I decided it was time.  Epidural in place and I was dilated 5 cms at 3 pm.  Charlie was still in the -2 position but everyone seemed hopeful. I was feeling quite hopeful because I wasn't in pain anymore ;) This time the epidural worked out great because I could still move my legs and feet around a bit even though I couldn't feel too much. It was nice not feeling completely paralyzed.

5pm my doctor returned....I was 8 cms! Woohoo! Unfortunately Charlie was still not coming down into the birth canal so it was just a waiting game at this point.  She left for home but said that she wouldn't be going far because she thought he'd be coming very soon!  I was okay with waiting...I couldn't feel anything!  But the contractions looked painful on the monitor!!  Charlie looked great though, his heart rate was good and so I was willing to wait patiently.  I was a little disappointed though, because I realized I wasn't going to get to see Lily that was getting too late and she'd have to meet her baby brother the next day.

7 pm all chaos was shift change time for the nurses and when my new nurse, Ashley, came in she realized that Charlie's heart monitor had detached. When she put it back in his heart rate was going crazy, jumping all over the place and she didn't think that it was the monitor messing thing I know she's calling for help and the room filled up quickly with lots of people checking monitors, putting me on oxygen, trying to reattach the internal heart monitor and causing me to panic!  Once it was reattached they realized that he was doing fine and also - I was completely dilated!  It was time to bring Charlie into the world!

My doctor, missed my daughters deliver by just a few seconds and was determined not to miss this one! So they called her and she arrived within a couple of minutes, ready to start the show. At this point the weather outside was looking scary and when we checked the news we all realized that there were tornado warnings going off all over the place!  My nurse was stressed because her children were at the local YMCA and were being taken to the tornado safe Mom talked to my Aunt who was staying with my sister for the day and they were taking shelter in the bathroom.  It was a scary moment for all of us, especially with all of the horrible tornados that have caused so much damage lately.  But it was time to focus on baby Charlie....5 pushes later at 7:47 pm Charlie Matthew was brought into the world....weighing in at a hefty 9 lbs 1 ounce and 21 inches long!  Unfortunately I didn't get much of a chance to snuggle with him right away.  They whisked him off to the warming table and then had to call the on site pediatrician to check out his lungs because they were filled with fluid.  Matt and I each got to hold him for about 3 minutes and then he had to be taken to the nursery to be watched farther.

He was kept in the nursery for two hours after he was born and it was heartbreaking for me.  I missed his first bath and his first bottle, but Matt was able to help with the bath, thank goodness! At 10:00 he was finally brought to me and I got to hold him and snuggle with him for the first time.

Since his birth Charlie has been nothing but a pure joy (as all babies are!).  Things are so much easier the second time around, so much less stressful because we've done it before and we know we can do it again! I really think that Charlie is so laid back because we have been much more laid back with all of it. He's the most beautiful little boy that I have ever seen and I can hardly take my eyes off of him.  Lily is just thrilled to have her baby brother home after a couple hard days of being away from Mommy while I was in the hospital.  She really struggled the second day with being away from me, and I had my own share of tears when she had to head for home for the night.  Now I'm just so happy to be home with both of my babies and my husband and to be settling into our "new" life as a family of four.  I must say that there have been many moments in the past couple of days, when I look at the toys on the floor, the pack n' play in the middle of the living room, the bottles in the sink and I smile because I don't think I could ever be happier.  We are just so blessed!
my proud parents and my babies
our first picture as a family of four
my babies right after we got home...Lily is just THRILLED!
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tie-Dye Patriotic Cookies

Yesterday morning my two year old spent the better part of the first two hours she was awake asking me if we could "bake cookies!"   "Please, Mommy! Can we bake cookies today?"  I would answer her with something to the affect of "In a little bit, Mommy has to get some things done this morning."   Then she got more demanding as the morning went on "I WANNA BAKE COOKIES, NOW!" Which normally I would tell her that that's NOT how we ask for things.....but she's SO my child...she's an instant gratification kind of girl.  She doesn't like to wait and neither do I!  So at 9:30 in the morning we started baking these tie-died spritz cookies.  I decided on the red,white and blue with memorial day coming up soon.  Lily lost interest once the mixing was done, but I think older kids will find these a lot of fun to make!  They're a bit time consuming because the recipe makes a LOT of dough, but it freezes really well if you want to just make some of them. They don't have to be patriotic either - I had originally planned on making the dough pink, yellow and green for a more tie-dyed look!   Have fun with this, I really enjoyed making them!  If you don't have a cookie press, they really are worth the 20 bucks it costs to get one.  I've made spritz cookies for all of the holidays and they're fun and easy to make and most of the recipe's I have made make a TON of the cookies so they're great for Christmas baking! I picked mine up from amazon!

Tie-Dyed Spritz Cookies

1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) softened butter
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3 1/2 c. flour
food coloring
sugar sprinkles
In a mixer (or with a hand mixer if you don't have a standing mixer!) Beat softened butter for 30 seconds until smooth. Add sugar abd baking powder. Mix in egg and extracts.  Finally add flour gradually until well mixed. Make sure your dough isn't too sticky or you may have a hard time using the cookie press.
Lily HAD to lick the beater ;)
SUCH a ham ;)
Divide your dough into three separate bowls and add food coloring of your choice to each.
very patriotic ;)
Then roll three small ropes of each color, twist together and insert into your cookie press. Test it out on a paper towel first to make sure it's working right and then press them right down to your UNGREASED cookie sheet. Top with sprinkles and bake at 375 for 6-10 minutes...You don't want the edges to brown.
fresh out of the oven

These would be great for any of the "patriotic" holidays - memorial day, veterans day, fourth of july or labor day!  They freeze up great once they are finished too - I made TONS of these spritz cookies at Christmas and we were able to enjoy them all through the holidays :) Just pile them into a rubbermaid container once they've cooled and pop them in the freezer. Thaw out as many as you'd like :)

check out this recipe and tons of others at the Gooseberry Patch Recipe Roundup!

Well I"m off for a bit - I'm planning on making some fried doughnuts for breakfast (and YES I'll share the recipe ;) ) I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

27 Reasons

Today is my husband, Matt's 27th birthday!  It's hard for me to believe that we were just 17 when we started's been nearly ten years!  We've been through a lot in these past years, like all couples have, and it's funny to think back to those early days in high school and realize how much things have changed.  Little did we know that ten years later we would have made it through 4 years of him being away at college, gotten engaged and married, bought a car, bought a home, had our first child, and now expecting our second....our ten year high school reunion is going to be so much fun ;)
So in honor of Matt's 27th birthday, these are my 27 reasons that I think he's so great ;)
1. Number one in my list is because he's a wonderful children are so blessed to have a father who is so involved, so loving, so playful and fun, but can also be stern and teach them right from wrong.  He's the perfect mix of the fun Daddy and the responsible Father.
2. Because he can ALWAYS make me laugh...even if it's something ridiculous ;)
3. Because he's responsible...he takes care of us and loves us not only because he's supposed to but because he wants to.
4. Because he is trustworthy
5. Because he doesn't like to fight
6. Because I can always go to him when I feel down, and he always has something great to say to cheer me up
7. Because he loves me for matter which "me" I am that day ;)
8. He's always been my biggest support, whether he agrees with my decisions or not.  My children will be so lucky to have a Daddy who's behind them 100%
9. Because he is kind...he always puts everyone else's feelings first.
10.  Because he's just so darn handsome ;)
11. Because I can always count on him, and so can everyone else...he never wants to let anyone down.
12. Because he always comes home from work and gives Lily his undivided attention
13. Because I know whenever he's away, he always wishes he was home with us
14. Because he works hard
15. Because he never cares about what anyone thinks of him...He'll dance and sing around with Lily no matter who's watching, he'll be silly and goofy, stern, loving.....mostly goofy ;)  He's not worried about what anyone else says.  And you can't say that about a lot of Dad's.
16. Because he's always fun to spend time with, whether we're going to the grocery, to the park, on a date, or even to the hospital...
17. Because he's kind to EVERYONE
18. Because he cares...about nature, about animals, about people.
19. Because he's always there to help
20. Because he is a hands on Dad....when Lily was a baby, he changed diapers, got up in the middle of the night, was thrown up on, pooped on, peed on, and all of the not-so-fun things about being a parent....and never complained, and never stopped.  He always WANTED to be involved.
21. Because he always puts others first
22. Because he let's me sleep in on Saturdays ;)
23. Because I can always count on him to keep me updated with what's going on in the world - since my days are spent watching Nick Jr. ;)
24. Because he wants to be involved in the shopping...maybe this seems silly.  But when it comes to birthdays, christmas, easter, valentines day..all of those holidays, he wants to go shopping too...he wants to pick out toys and gifts, and I love that. We always have fun doing it together!
25. Because he's generous.
26. Because he's just so darn likeable - I don't think anyone has ever met Matt and not liked him instantly (unless they don't like the Cubs or Ohio State!).  Everytime I go to visit him at work whatever client he's working with always has to stop and tell me how wonderful my husband is.  He fits in with whoever he is with so easily and it comes so naturally.
27. Because he loves me, he loves his daughter and his unborn son, he loves his family, my family, our friends, and he loves without boundaries.  He is kind, loyal, forgiving, generous, funny, warm, hard-working, loving, and most of all, I love him because he is HIM.  He's the love of my life and always ALWAYS will be.
There are really a million other reasons, and i'm sure as my day goes on I'll think of lots more that I should have written...but this is just the start, and there's always next year ;)
Oh and I asked Lily this morning what she loves most about Daddy and she said: "He's SO SILLY!!" there you have it ;)
Happy Birthday Matt!!  I hope we all can make it a great one for you - you certainly deserve it!!  I LOVE YOU!!
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Friday, May 6, 2011

A Mothers Love

With Mother's Day quickly approaching it makes me take a step back and look at the last two and a half years of my life..
Sunday night, November 23rd, 2008 I headed to the hospital with high hopes of what the night and following day would bring.  I'd spent 9 months preparing, but really, a lifetime, to become a was my dream and it was finally becoming a reality.  I walked into the hospital with my bags packed for the next few days and a fuzzy pink blanket in my arms, ready for the birth of my baby girl.  I don't think I really realized what I was getting into....I didn't know:

...That I would feel like my heart was going to burst the moment I saw you
...that one look into your brown eyes would change my life forever
...that I never really knew love, until I held you...not this kind of love
...that I would do absolutely anything to protect you for the rest of my life

I remember the day that we brought you home....I snuggled you up warm and cozy in your pink bouncy seat and sat down next to you on the couch.  I think I sat and stared at you for the rest of the afternoon.  I didn't know what to do with myself.  I was in awe of you, and of the love that I felt for my precious baby girl.  I had no idea how much that love would grow in the following days and the following years...

I can't even begin to count the number of hours that I spent holding you and watching you while you slept...these were the moments that I cherished more than any.  The moments when I could just stare at you in awe of what your Daddy and I had created together...the love that we shared created this beautiful precious gift and I knew that I could never let you go.  I hated sharing you, I just wanted to hold you in my arms every second of the day.

As the months flew by I watched you learn and grow, and I realized how important my role is in your life...I was home with you every day..I taught you to:

...sit up by yourself crawl stand walk talk count
...and so many more things

The responsibility of raising you is something that I will never take for granted.  I'm not the kind of Mom who wants you to grow up to be a doctor or a lawyer.  I want you to grow up to be happy, to be loved and to know how to love, to be kind, considerate, generous, free spirited, and most of all, to just be who you want to be. Life is too short to do anything but chase your dreams...I know I always have.

Now you're two and half years old and I can't believe how quickly time has flown by. You know what you want out of life and you aren't afraid to demand it.  You love to sing, to play outside, to dance with your Daddy, to cuddle, and you always come to me for anything you need, because you know I'll always be right there for you. No matter how old you are, what you do, where you go, I'll always be here....ready to:

...heal boo-boos with band aids and kisses
-wipe away your tears
-give snuggles when you're feeling shy
-clap and cheer when you've accomplished something great!
-tuck you in when your sleepy
-and be here for you, whatever you need.
...Because I'm Mommy, and I loved you first.

Now that we're just a couple of weeks away from the arrival of our second child, Charlie...I can feel my heart swelling in the anticipation of his arrival.  It's amazing how your heart grows and when you think that you couldn't possibly love anyone as much as you love your firstborn, you know that you do....there is always room for more love!  And in a year, I'll be writing again, words filled with LOVE not only for my daughter but for my son as well.  I hope that you all have a beautiful Mothers Day!  I know I will <3
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Good Morning, and welcome to another rainy day here in Ohio ;)  All of this rainy weather is giving me cabin fever even worse than winter did! But at least it's fairly easy to come up with fun things to do when you're stuck at baking!  My grandma has made a similar version of these cupcakes for as long as I can remember...usually for Easter or Christmas, but they taste great any time of year.  I put a spin on them and made my own graham cracker crust.  But you can simplify the recipe by leaving out the crust and using vanilla wafers instead.  Personally, I think the crust is what really makes these cupcakes yummy, but they can be super quick and easy in a pinch if you decide to use the vanilla wafers - and still really good!

Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Graham Cracker Crust:

1/3 c. melted butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs

Mix all ingredients together until well blended and crumbly. Line muffin pan with FOIL cupcake liners (These are sturdy and help the cheesecakes to hold their shape). Place about a tablespoon of the crust mixture into the bottom of each liner and press down with the back of a spoon.  It should make 24 cupcakes!   Chill for 30 minutes-1 hour.

Cheesecake Filling and topping:

(3) 8oz bars cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 eggs
1 1//2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 cans cherry pie filling

Combine all ingredients except for pie filling in your mixer and mix until well blended.  Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full with cheesecake filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until center is no longer runny.

Top with pie filling while still warm and chill completely before serving. Keep refrigerated - makes 24 cupcakes!

These are so so so SO good! And really pretty simple and quick to make.  Before I do them again, I'd like to pick up a second muffin tin so that I can do the whole batch at one time instead of having to split them...although you can bake these on a cookie sheet as well as long as you use the foil liners - they hold their shape really well!   These cheesecake cupcakes are really fabulous with any topping - think of strawberry or blueberry topping as another option or even just some homemade whipped cream if you like it a little bit more plain.  Do a mixture of all three for memorial day, labor day or fourth of july and make a flag out of them (Blueberry, cherry and whipped cream!) Arrange them on a rectangular platter in a flag pattern - CUTE!

Well I'm off to tackle my mountain of laundry ;)   Hope you all have a beautiful wednesday!
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