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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Diaper Switch

I have created a nice little game for myself when changing diapers.  Have you guys ever seen the Cup Stacking people (if not, here's a video)?  I imagine myself as one of these people when I am changing Abram's diaper.  I know it's really not the same thing at all, but I like to picture my hands flying around quicker than the human eye can see them.  The big difference between the kids/adults messing up and me messing up is I get a shirt/face full of pee and they get a floor full of knocked over cups....I would take the cups any day.
I learned a lot during Abram's first month of life in the realm of diaper changing.  Here are my steps now for a clean/quick change:
  1. Set the little guy down on the changing table
  2. Undress whatever he is bundled in
  3. Get a replacement diaper
  4. Open replacement diaper and have the flaps out so it can immediately be replaced under Abram's tush 
  5. Pull out a couple wipes and have them next to him ready for immediate wipe-age
  6. If necessary -- have the Desitin cream out with cap off...again, ready for immediate application post wipe-age
  7. Have the Pee-Pee Teepee ready (in the newborn stage) -- this is a very useful tool to try to prevent even the most well planned diaper change accidents -- WARNING -- This item falls off easily! Watch for the squirt gun!!
  8. Finally -- take off his diaper
  9. QUICK!! -- put replacement diaper under his tush
  10. QUICKER!! wipe his tush...make sure it's all clean!!
  11. YOU'RE SLOWING DOWN! HURRY!! Use the Teepee and hope it stays
  12. APPLY DESITIN CREAM (when applicable)
  13. .....Too slow...your little one pooped again - start back at step 1
  14. Good, you're back at this, hurry! Start putting the front of the diaper in place for completion!!..HURRY!!
  15. ....grab a towel...your little man just peed everywhere, not fast enough...wipe your face, clothes, his belly and the changing table down...start back at step 1
  16. Great! You are back! At this point, he is probably empty...I would still suggest hurrying! Quickly put the front part of the diaper in place, strap the flaps into place
  17. Congratulations, you have successfully changed your baby's diaper!  Put his clothes back on now and repeat in 2-120 minutes
I only learned these "tricks" after many I Guess I'm Due moments at the changing table.  I learned how to change a diaper in the classes we took during pregnancy, but I didn't realize how quickly you needed to move!  It has been a wet, dirty, exhausting experience, but I can say that I have dramatically increased my personal best.  

Note: These steps are for boys.  Abram is a boy and he doesn't have sister, so I have yet to learn the female baby needs in the diaper realm...maybe some day?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mother's Day Gifts

This year will mark my fifth Mother's Day. I've shared special memories with my little ones and even gotten some pretty cool gifts in the mix of it all! So if you're looking for something beyond flowers to give to your amazing Mommy, look no further...

1. Mother's Necklace: All the celebrities seem to have caught on to this precious gift idea! There are so many options out there for any personality and style!

2. Photo Canvas: Ok, so Jason and I are kind of addicted to canvases. Got our first one as a gift three years ago, and get the idea. 

3. Personalized jewelry box: Such a unique and thoughful gift! I love my jewelry box, it's a great place to store all my treasures. Check out Etsy to order your jewelry box. 

4. Hand painted pottery:
Get those little hands involved with this project! Head to your local pottery studio and create a one of a kind, personalized piece!

5. Beach Gear: Get Mom ready for summer with a Vera Bradley towel, beach bag, sunglasses, & flip flops! 

6. T3 Hair Dryer: If your mom is anything like me, she spends hours a weeks blowdrying her beautiful locks. Trust me throw the $10 dryer away and upgrade, she'll thank you later! 

7. Yukata Robe: This soft, lightweight robe is perfect for out by the pool or around the house. This is no moo-moo! 

8. Nespresso machine: Does Mom need a good cup of joe in the morning to survive? This espresso (and now coffee) machine makes the most delectable coffee and espresso ever instantly for the mom on the go! 

9. Mother's Bracelet: Another trend in Hollywood these days! Super cute designs all over the internet for great prices! 

10. Workout gear: A great idea for the athletic mom or a mom who is ready to dust off her sneakers! Pick up a Nike Plus Watch and pair of comfy yoga pants and she'll be off and running!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Breastfeeding Blunders

Meet Samantha. Like most moms, breastfeeding was high on her list of priorities. But as we know, nothing in pregnancy and parenthood goes as planned. Her picture perfect vision of feeding her child, turned into one hell of an I Guess I'm Due moment. Enjoy Samantha's all too relatable story in her own words below.
. . .

There has always been one thing I knew I wanted to do when I became a mom…. breastfeed. Everyone knows the benefits of breastfeeding for the baby, but I will admit I also had some of my own selfish motives. First, the price of formula scared the crap out me. Second, the amount of calories burned via breastfeeding was alluring. I can’t think of any activity that will burn 500-600 calories a day. Finally, it was the smell. I babysat a lot in college, and the smell of spit up formula was enough to make my stomach turn. So, problem solved- I would be one of those breastfeeding moms! In my mind, it would be that easy. Have you ever seen Blue Lagoon? Brooke Shield’s character gives birth and magically the baby latches to her breast only moments after being born. That is what I envisioned… but this was not my reality. 
Due to some health complications, which I won’t bore you with, my c-section had to be scheduled two weeks early. Even though my son was quite large (98th percentile), my body was housing him very well. When I was checked before the c-section, I was not dilated or effaced at all. My doctor said that if allowed, I probably would have carried until 41 weeks.  Grayson was very comfortable where he was, but June 10th was Eviction Day. At 9lbs and 21.5 inches, he was perfection.

About an hour after delivery, we started our breastfeeding journey. I noticed right away that it was nothing like I envisioned or had read about. Thankfully, the nursing staff at our hospital was AMAZING. I can’t say enough about them. Our first nurse noticed that I was having issues. I remember her asking “how hands on do you want me to be?” I’ve never been accused of being shy. So, to no surprise, my response was “Get all up in here if you need to.” And she did. 
After a while of massaging my boobs, repositioning Grayson, and squeezing my nipples; she came to multiple conclusions… 
1) My milk hadn’t come in (apparently common in C-sections and induced deliveries)
2) Grayson had a bad latch  
3) I had small nipples. Wait- did she say “small nipples”? 

I have never heard a complaint about my nipple size before. In fact, I think they are a perfect size. However, in the breastfeeding world, I guess bigger is better.  Together, with his bad latch and my “tiny” nipples, we were a match made in breastfeeding hell.
Still undeterred, our breastfeeding adventure continued. I would feed him for 15 minutes on each side using a nipple shield. This is a plastic guard that goes over your nipple, to make your nipple bigger and easy for the baby to latch onto. Even though my milk was not in, I still had to “feed” in order to stimulate the breast and get the milk to come in. 

On day two, my husband noticed that he hadn’t had a dirty diaper in a few hours. We alerted the nurse and they weighed him. He had lost an entire pound. The nurse then brought up the dreaded F word- Formula. Until my milk came in, we would need to supplement with formula. A new routine began; I would breast feed for thirty minutes, then West would feed him formula. Thirty minutes after I stopped breastfeeding, I would pump and try to get the milk to come in. Talk. About. Exhausting. 

When we got home, this routine continued. My goal was to get my milk to come in. I was either pumping or nursing every hour, on the hour. The hospital gave me a manual pump to use until my electric pumped arrived. I took Fenugreek, drank the Mother’s Milk tea, sat in hot showers massaging my breasts and pumped, and pumped, and pumped. This went on for almost ten days. I remember the first time I actually got milk in those bottles. To help me save time and sanity, my sister was pumping one side while I pumped the other. After 20 minutes of manual pumping, we had a record breaking half an ounce- Liquid Gold. 

I remember feeling so defeated. I cried and prayed. My husband told me that if it was too much, then maybe I should stop. So I cried and prayed some more. I spoke with a friend who breastfed her two children, and she said something that just clicked with me—“breastfeeding is the most natural thing that doesn’t always occur naturally.”  Then as if on cue- God answered my prayers. I woke up with what felt like breast implants. Hallelujah! Might as well have been Christmas morning. We kept on with our routine to help establish a “good supply” of milk. Even though my milk was in, Grayson still had a bad latch and we were still supplementing. After a few days we went to a Lactation Specialist for advice. They weighed him before I nursed him, watched me nurse him, helped me make adjustments, and weighed him after he finished nursing. By weighing him before and after I nursed him, we were able to find out that he was he was consuming 3 ounces of breast milk. We could officially stop supplementing. Finally! The bad news was the nipple shield had to stay, but I still considered this a VICTORY!!!   
I was now a breast-feeding mom and I couldn’t have been happier. Breast-feeding allowed me to bond with Grayson in a special way. He needed me in a way that no one else could fulfill. Most of my breastfeeding memories are beautiful ones, but as most moms can tell you, some are just embarrassing.  I had my 'I Guess I’m Due' moment at a friend’s bridal shower. I was breast-feeding out in the open while she opened her presents. Then, her fiancĂ© and a few of his friends showed up, so I went to another room. I wasn’t shy about feeding my son, but I also wasn’t comfortable forcing men to act like they didn’t notice my boobs shoved into my son’s face. While I was still breast-feeding, the bride wanted a group photo. She came and got me, so I just threw a blanket over myself. There I was- smiling for the camera while Grayson ate lunch. 

Grayson finished eating and I started to say my goodbyes, “I have made it” I thought to myself, so proud of my multitasking skills. As I packed up, one of the bridesmaids came up to me holding something she was clearly afraid to be touching. “I think this is yours,” she said as she held out my nipple shield. Nothing like a little public humiliation to bring you back down to size. 
Embarrassment or not, the three of us; Grayson, my nipple shield and me would be breast friends for the next 7 months. I stopped breast-feeding just shy of the year goal I had originally set. However, given our start, I am proud I stuck with it and kept going for a long as I did. This is one time where being a stubborn bitch really paid off! 

P.S- Remember those selfish motives I had? I lost all 36 pounds I gained during pregnancy in eleven days. Take that Cross Fit! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

a 'smashing' easter craft

Growing up in a Mexican family makes it for interesting holidays, and Easter is no exception. Actually, my mom took Easter VERY seriously. This meant matching outfits, bonnets, and making cascarones!  Ahhh, good memories...
I'm a sucker for tradition, so this year I decided to pass mine on (minus the bonnets). So I gathered up some materials and got started making my favorite Easter craft, cascarones. For those that aren't familiar with cascarones, they are egg shells, filled with confetti and then sealed shut and saved for smashing on unsuspecting victims later! 

So here we go...


You'll need:
1 dozen eggs (eventually emptied)
egg dying kit
tissue paper (pre cut into 2 inch squares)
white glue
small paint brush
1 piece of printer paper

1. Take your egg and gently crack the top. Now take your finger and carefully pick out a small piece of egg shell, leaving only a small hole.
2. Once you have a small hole on top, empty the egg into a bowl. (I saved my egg whites and yolks for scrambled eggs.)
3.  Now that your egg is empty, rinse your shell clean and set it aside to dry.
4. When all your egg shells are emptied and dry, you are ready to decorate them. Follow the directions on your egg decorating kit.
5. When the shells are decorated and dry, you can begin to fill them with the confetti. We created a funnel with a piece of printer paper and poured the confetti in that way.

Okay, only two more steps. I promise, we're almost done!!

6. After you have filled all the egg shells, take your pre-cut tissue paper, glue, and paint brush. Gently, place the tissue paper over the hole and brush the glue all over the tissue paper to seal it shut. 
7. Let the glue dry and wah-la, you now have cascarones! 
Happy smashing!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter as a child

As we kick off the week of Easter, I am reminded of all of the memories that made Easter special to me as a child.  First off, decorating for Easter.  For some reason, my sisters and I LOVED to decorate for Easter.  We would beg my mom to get the boxes (yes, plural) of Easter decorations out so that we could clothe our home in plastic Easter grass, old painted egg shells, velvet rabbit figurines, and stuffed ducklings & chicks.  We also loved to decorate our own Easter eggs!  I can remember we had several colors and oh my, the glitter!  That was always so much fun!  Our favorite decoration though, was our matching Easter baskets.  Adorable, knit baskets with the same rabbit face, but each rabbit wearing a different color bow.  Each year, we would hold our baskets and tell each other that ours was the better one.  My rabbit wore orange and still remains the best one.

Secondly, the Easter Bunny.  Okay, looking back, what a silly concept.  I mean, think about it, this gigantic rabbit (I'm visualizing the creepy one at the mall) that hops around, somehow breaking and entering into your home, and then pulls a load of candy out of his gigantic basket to leave for an Easter morning surprise.  Totally weird, but wow, I loved him!      He truly had the most amazing job in the world, in addition to Santa Claus, of course. 

Third, the CANDY!  Jelly beans of all kinds, eggs filled with chocolate, PEEPS, Nik-L-Nips (you know, the small wax drink bottles), Rainblo bubble gum eggs, Robin Eggs, WHITE CHOCOLATE BUNNIES, and the list goes on!  As a child (well, let's be honest, and now too...) this was the best!

Fourth, the Easter Egg Hunt!  Most years that I can remember, we would go to my grandma's house after church, eat an amazing meal, and then we would hunt for eggs filled with change!  This was so exciting because we got to keep whatever we found!  One of the eggs, however, contained a dollar bill and it was highly sought after!  Unfortunately, being the baby of all of the grandchildren on my moms side of the family, I'm pretty sure the "big kids" found this egg every year.  I usually got the eggs with the nickel or the three pennies.  Haha, so sad. 

My most favorite memory of all though was the time I got to spend with my family on that special Sunday every year.  Easter is always a reminder of my family and how wonderful my childhood was.  I was a very happy child and it is no wonder, I was blessed with an incredible and loving family!

While Abram has no idea what Easter is or what it is really all about, I look forward to the days when I get to see his face light up when we talk about the Easter Bunny or on Easter morning when he discovers his little basket filled with candy!  What I am most excited about though, is spending the day with him year after year, hopefully creating memories for him that he can carry with him all of his life too!  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bumps and Bruises

And The Mother of the Year Award goes to...that's right, me!
I promise, Jason and I are great parents!! You see, I'm the parent that makes their child wait 30 minutes to swim, bathes them in hand sanitzer throughout the day, and takes them to the pediatrician for the sniffles. But, unfortunetly even with all these precautions I take, poor little Raina still managed to brake her leg (her tibia to be exact). Trying to keep up with her big brother and sister has proven to be quite dangerous in this house! 

I feel terrible about her accident and embarassed to tell people that it was three days before we realized she had something very serious going on with her leg- since on the third day we finally noticed she hadn't walked! The truth is, there is nothing I can do about it now, except learn from my mistakes, thank God that is wasn't more serious, and keep her comfortable. So for now, all I can do is smile and say, 'I Guess Im Due'.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Meet Rick

Just like Whitney, I have always dreamt of being a parent.  I was blessed with a wonderful family growing up (and still am) and couldn't wait to start my own some day. 
I knew I wanted to take a lot of the traditions and such from the "originals" (as my siblings and I declare ourselves).  However, after falling for my bride, I also knew that I would have a fun, unique, and at times, peculiar little family with traditions of our own.  I was ready to be a dad since Whitney and I got married in 2010.  I was so excited to take on the role of being a dad and I was just as excited to see Whitney become a mom. I couldn't have been more excited to experience parenthood together!  

Through Whitney's pregnancy, I was able to take in the first stages of becoming a parent.  I won't take you through the entire experience of us finding out, since Whitney already did that in her first post (here), but let's just say it wasn't expected!  My initial emotions were excitement, shock, and fear all rolled into one little bean sprout.  However, as we progressed through the pregnancy, we began to feel more confident and prepared in our journey of becoming parents.  

Here are some key moments in my journey to becoming a dad:

  1. "+" = BABY! -- When Whitney had purchased the pregnancy test, it still felt like having a baby was just a someday, but it was when that "+" showed up in that little window, reality smacked me in the face!!
  2. The initial ultrasound -- this was such an AMAZING experience. Obviously, at the beginning I didn't see, feel, or hear anything (Although, I know poor Whitney definitely felt something!), so you almost feel as if you might be making things up in your head -- "did I dream this?!!".  Then, there was proof!  It is so awesome to see God's little gift to us.  It became real...real quick!
  3. Seeing Whitney's baby bump start to take shape -- For a while, Whitney continued to tell me she was just bloated.  I knew my little human was growing though! I loved seeing this transformation throughout her pregnancy.
  4. Gifts, gifts, and more gifts! -- We are so blessed to have so many thoughtful friends and family.  We were overwhelmed with such generosity.  HOWEVER, seeing all of these gifts and as the baby room began to come together, it really woke me up and that's when I realized, I Guess I'm Due
    Don't worry, it only took about 4 coats of paint (including primer) to cover the nasty dark, dark blue that formerly graced these walls.
  5. "The Kick" -- wow, what an unbelievable feeling this is!  I felt as though this was my first connection with my little human.  I know moms have that immediate connection with their unborn child, but this was it for me.  Feeling 'it' kick brought me to tears.  Up to that point, this was probably the most significant moment in Whitney's pregnancy for me.
As you know, Whitney and I made the decision to not find out the sex of our baby ahead of time, so there was mystery and excitement up until the very end!  From my perspective, pregnancy was fun and exciting (I can just hear Whitney saying, "Maybe for you it was!!"), but it was also taking me from being the "baby daddy" to being "the Dad".  Whitney was such a trooper through the whole pregnancy, and in the end, through all of the aches, pains, & nausea, I know it was completely worth it to her (...and I certainly couldn't be happier).  Abram is so sweet and has started interacting so much more.  I'm no longer feeling his kicks, but now I see his eyes lock into mine and I know he sees me as "his Dad". Which then brings out a huge smile from both of us.  What a blessing this little guy is! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Boys will be boys

Meet Raquel. (and her two little energetic superhero's in training!) Her I Guess Im Due moments are filled with adventures, bruises, dirt, and plenty of love- because let's face it, boys will be boys! Enjoy her story in her own words below...

I’m a mom of two very spirited and amusing boys. One will proudly tell you he’s four as part of his general introduction. The other is 22 months, but thinks he’s also four. His introduction usually includes something about how he was born 9 pounds 2 ounces.
The ironic part is that I’m a girlie girl. I’m the oldest of three sisters. I know the female species. So, naturally, I should have daughters. But, instead, God has made me queen of our household of testosterone. 
That pretty much sums it up. Let me explain.

It’s all about Superheroes!

Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Ironman, The Incredible Hulk, Ninja Turtles, Knights… You name it; we have a costume for it.

 It is all about saving the day around here! And, they’re serious about it. The only princesses here are the ones they are saving. And it’s usually me.

They are Adventurous.

Going outside is like going to Disney. They love it. They run, jump, climb, wrestle, play sports, sword fight and practice shooting their bow and arrow. I am amazed at their creativity at such a young age.

 I often hear things like, “Mom, mom. I have a better idea!” It often entails manipulation to get their way. Nonetheless, they have figured out how to climb up the playhouse using the pulley rope or how to put each other on their back to reach a door handle that’s a little too high. They are a mess by the time the come back in. A proper hose-down is usually in order. 

They are Tough.
Both my boys are a walking tragedy waiting to happen. My oldest went to the hospital at 20 months because he and Daddy were roughhousing on the bed, which ended with a cut on the back of his head from the corner of the nightstand. He left that hospital visit with multiple staples. He, of course, loved the experience – toys, popsicles and tons of attention from all the nurses. We just recently cut his hair very short and you can still see the scar. Nothing like a constant reminder…

My youngest has a perpetual bruise on his forehead. I’m just waiting for someone to call the authorities. It’s really not funny, but like I said earlier, he was born big and nothing has changed. He is top heavy, so anytime he topples over, he lands on his forehead. Thus inflicting multiple bumps and bruises. He doesn’t really cry though. Just grabs the boo-boo bag and moves on to the next potential item or activity of harm.

I did spend five days in the hospital with my little honey badger. Basically, his intestines were tied in a knot and had the doctor not caught it, could have been life threatening. That will change your perspective. 

My little superheroes march to the beat of their own drum.

The dirtier, the better.
The louder, the better.
The rougher, the better.
The bluer, the better.

If you happen to walk into our house unannounced, you’ll probably walk into a sword fight or a wrestling match! But, if number three ever comes along, I’d be tickled blue if it were another handsome prince. (Although, I am running out of good boy names.) It’s true what they say, “Boys want to be like Daddy, but they love their Mommy!” 

So for now, my I Guess Im Due moments are focused on mothering boys and taking notes on how I can be the best mother-in-law to their future wives. It could be my only chance for a daughter!

Photo Credits:

Boy definition:,
Matias Barbero Photography, BlueLane Studios

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Meet Whitney

I've always wanted to be a mom.  Since I was a child, I've mothered dolls, dogs, and half eaten bunnies (thanks to my childhood Chocolate Lab).  How much different could mothering a child be? I mean, I love to take care of people (hence, why I became a nurse) and I have always loved being around babies and children. 

Well, it should come as no surprise that when Rick & I got married, we were both open to having a family one day.  We spent the first 3 years of our marriage together having many fun adventures.  We traveled a lot during that time and, being the planner that I am, I decided that a vacation in Alaska summer of 2013 would be our last hurrah as a party of two before we started trying to pop out kids. Well, as it always goes, I make a plan for the way I believe my life should be, and God always decides His plan is better. 

It was a Sunday morning last May, my third of four days in a row at work.  It was 6am, and as usual I was running late.  I had become increasingly more tired recently but attributed it to the fact that A) I had just switched to dayshift after being on nights for 2 years, and B) I had been playing a lot of tennis and consistently running again for the last 6 weeks.  My runs had been getting longer, I think I was up to 6 miles, and 3 days prior I had come in from a run and started crying to Rick, "I just don't understand, I have been running for 6 weeks and I just keep getting slower!  I couldn't even make it to 4 miles tonight.  I'm winded and I have no energy!"  Boom.  I should've known right then.  But, no. Okay, back to Sunday morning. 

So, as I'm about to hop into the shower, I remember that it has been well over a month since I've had a period.  Not unusual for me, but for some reason in that instant I decided that I should take a test.  Knowing it would be negative, I took the test and jumped in the shower. 

At that moment, I didn't think anymore about it.  I get out of the shower and as I'm brushing my teeth, I glance over and see the test on the counter.  I had forgotten about it.  As I walk the 2 feet over to the test, not one thought goes through my head, until...DUH DUH's positive!  No, wait, that's not right, I'm not supposed to be pregnant yet! I sit down on the toilet and look at that test for what seemed like forever (it was probably 10 seconds).  My heart started to race and I began to shake.  I had never felt so many emotions at one time.  

Small side note: For a long time, I had had this elaborate plan as to how I would tell Rick that he was going to be a dad.  Well, in that moment, that plan went out the window!  I busted through the bathroom door and shouted at my peacefully sleeping husband, "BABE!" 
R: "What?" (Looking confused) 
W: "I'm pregnant!  Oh my gosh, I'm pregnant!" 
R: (Again) "What?" (Still looking confused) 
W: "I just took a test..." 
R: "AHHH, that's so exciting!" 
We sat there for a minute hugging, me crying, Rick smiling so big.  We were going to be parents.  Crazy.  During my shift, I kept thinking about it and couldn't shake the fact that there was another little human growing inside of me.  Just to be sure, I came home and took another test.  Yep. Still positive. Okay then... I Guess I'm Due.  

Cut to now, my little Abram is 10 weeks old today!  I still find it so amazing that it was him inside of me all along.  We didn't find out the sex until the day he was born, so it is crazy to think that it was that little guy that made me sick for 20 weeks, traveled with me for 9 months all over the map, but most amazing of all, that he was the one I constantly felt moving around and kicking me! 
While the first two months have been incredibly challenging, I have learned so much.  Being a mom is a lot harder than I ever imagined it would be, but I am SO grateful to be Abram's mom.  He is such a sweet boy, and now that he can make eye contact and smile at me, my heart overflows with love a little more each day. 

While it may have not been my plan to get pregnant when I did, I am thankful that little Abram came along when he did.  God truly blessed us, and I am so thankful for His plan (totally better than mine) and his timing!