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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

a traveling (little) man

July has proved to be a very busy month for our little family!  As always, summer never seems to be in full gear until the fourth of July.  Fourth of July weekend has always been one of my most favorite weekends of the year.  My family is always together and I absolutely love the fireworks!  Well, this year Abram and I kicked off the weekend with his very first trip to Cedar Point (America's Rockin' Rollercoast)!  While Abram obviously can’t do much except observe from his stroller, he sure seemed to have a great time.  Unfortunately, Rick had to work, but Abram got to spend the day with his momma, Papa (my dad), his aunts and uncle.  We rode rides all day while Abram strolled the park with his Papa.  We all stayed until close and Abram was so good!  He wasn’t really fussy at all and at 10:30pm (3.5 hours past bedtime) he was still wide awake, smiling, and easy going!

On the actual fourth, Abram got to be apart of our annual family grill out.  Poor little guy  had to go to bed before the fireworks commenced, but I have a strong feeling he will love the fourth just as much as I do in years to come (well, he better...).

Abram also made his debut trip to the great state of Wisconsin this month!  We spent a week at a cabin on Lake Blass with Rick’s family.  It was incredible weather and we had a great time!  Abram rode along in his stroller each morning while Rick and I ran and he would talk and sing the whole way.  He enjoyed the brisk air, playing with his cousins, but most of all he loved all of the new sights and sounds of being in the middle of nowhere!  As for me, I learned how to use a sewing machine (I made throw pillows for my couch), played games, watched an entire season of Breaking Bad, and ate A LOT of s’mores!  Now, THAT is a great vacation!

I had originally thought that it would be a nightmare traveling so much with an infant, but Abram did awesome!  He slept well in his car seat and when he was awake, he entertained himself (I may or may not have loaded his lap with toys). I will say, traveling with little ones requires a lot of planning ahead and preparation.  It is crazy the amount of stuff that they require for a weekend getaway, let alone an entire week!  Oh, and you can't forget about all of the “just in case” stuff for those inevitable I Guess I'm Due moments! 

We’ve had a wonderful time these last couple of weeks.  There is nothing better than precious time spent with the ones you love!   Rick and I have always loved to travel, but after how much fun we have had traveling recently, we are even more excited for our future trips with our newest (and cutest) little travel buddy!  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Shields, a Syringe, and Jaundice

Meet Shaina. Before having her daughter, Mabrey, this mommy had the typical, "I've got this all figured out," attitude. But to her surprise, once her little peanut was finally here she was flooded with I Guess Im Due moments. Enjoy her story in her own words below...

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Before my daughter was born it was settled, I was going to breastfeed. Duh, it's less expensive, and "so easy," just plop her on the ol’ boob and wham bam thank you ma'am. Could I have been anymore wrong?

December 16th a day late (and a dollar short my dad would add) Mabrey Grace Horrell was born 7 lbs and 19 inches long. After the amazing midwives at Kennestone hospital cleaned us up, the lactation consultant promptly arrived to help me feed Mabrey for the first time. These people must not know me very well I thought, I don't need help, I never need help, people need my help (not to be confused with being conceited, more less bull headed). Anyway, I bit my tongue and soon became very grateful and accepting of the much-needed help.

Of course, we immediately had issues; momma had inverted nipples, what the hell is that anyway? Apparently my nipples cave in and don't poke out, making is very hard for a baby to latch, sorry if that is TMI, but you lose a lot of tact when you are sitting spread eagle with a baby being pushed out of well, you know. Anyway, a nipple shield was the magic solution, or so we thought. Mabrey was born at 12:45 AM December 16th, since my birthday was the very next day, December 17th, I selfishly conned the doctors into letting us go home the next day, I may or may not have mastered the art of persuasion and by may or may not, I totally have.

Everything was peachy. My parents from Ohio made it in time for the birth and were at our house waiting to welcome us home, signs and all. Two days pass and my parents tell me my baby looks yellow, ‘psshh’ what do they know??

I was born 28 years ago, they haven't been around babies in a long time, and surely I would know if something was wrong with my child. Well, just to make sure, I called our pediatrician and bumped up our follow up appointment for this adorable little peanut and in we went. A flood full of emotions/hormones went through my mind and body when they came back to tell me my kid was losing too much weight, malnourished and we needed to supplement her with formula immediately, oh and my mom was right (dammit)!

She was yellow, hello jaundice, and worst parent of the year award goes to yours truly. Well the next thing you know we are feeding our kid with a syringe and she is sucking that stuff down like it was going out of style. The moral of the story, in my eyes was this; I starved my kid and clearly was not ready for this parenting business. Oh did I mention I forgot to bring her diaper bag to the first appointment. If you didn't know, when they weigh the babies you have to take their, most often dirty, diaper off to weigh them and if you don't have a diaper bag, clearly you don't have a spare diaper to put on the child.... Well, I Guess I'm Due.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Kurecki Vacation

Traveling with kids is always an adventure. This summer we wanted to getaway, but stay close enough where we didn't have to fly or be stuck in the car for hours. So we decided to travel two hours north-west to Homosassa Springs, Florida to go scalloping.

Going on vacation with my three kids, with my sister-in-law and her three kids, and even meeting up with my sister and her two boys, meant that I basically went expecting countless I Guess Im Due moments. However to my surprise, those moments were few and far between!
Being stuck on a boat in the middle of the gulf with little ones is always interesting. On our first day out, Lilly did not find it very convinient when she had to go potty. Despite everyone trying to convince her that peeing in the ocean was completely okay and that everyone does it, she refused. Instead, she held it for two hours until we arrived back home. Typical Lilly. 
However, Raina had quite the opposite experience with going potty while on the boat. We had to change at least four stinky diapers during our scalloping excursions. She had no problem letting it rip out in the ocean. Changing a wet, soggy, slimy, ocean filled diaper was quite interesting...
Jakson loved every minute of our trip. He was right there keeping up with his big cousins, snorkeling and looking for scallops! The only hiccup he had was feeling a bit sea sick one afternoon when the gulf was slightly choppy- nothing that a "magic" SeaBand couldn't fix.
It was a lot of work packing, unpacking, cleaning, and organizing for this trip. But, the reward was well worth it! Leaving Homosassa with bags of fresh scallops and hearing the kids chat about how much fun they had, only means that we’ll be back again. Until next year Homosassa!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lansinoh Review & Giveaway Two: The Breastfeeding Stage

The second Lansinoh review and giveaway is based on products for the breastfeeding momma. Be sure to leave a comment to be entered into our drawing! (You may enter into both drawings).

To learn more about Lansinoh's Breastfeeding Stage products check out their website at You can also find more of their toddler  products at Amazon or Target stores. 

Our random winner will be announced on this post on Friday, July 18th. Check back to see if you're our lucky winner, good luck!!

. . .

Using we have generated our winner:
Entry #9,  Ysabel Taylor! Congrats! Please look for an email to claim your prize!

Thank you to everyone who participated. Keep checking back for more chances to win some cool stuff!

This giveaway is now closed.

Lansinoh Review & Giveaway One: The Toddler Stage

Thanks to our friends at Lansinoh, I Guess Im Due had the chance to review some great products. For this giveaway we will be picking TWO random followers to win some amazing products! (and yes, you may be entered into both drawings)

Our first review is for the mommy with a busy, self-feeding toddler...
To learn more about Lansinoh's Toddler Stage products check out their website at You can also find more of their toddler products at Amazon or Target stores. 

Our random winner will be announced on this post on Friday, July 18th. Check back to see if you're our lucky winner, good luck!!

. . .

Using we generated our winner:
Entry #4,  Jill Kramer! Congrats! Please be on the lookout for an email to claim your prize.

Thank you to everyone who participated. Keep checking back for more chances to win some cool stuff!

This giveaway is now closed.

Friday, July 11, 2014

One Stinky Situation

Meet Nicole. She is a mom of two messy boys, ages 3 and 4. Before having two busy boys to run after, Nicole was learning the ropes of being a mommy to their firstborn, Luca. This busy momma's  I Guess Im Due moment is about a time when she was fingernail deep in a poopy situation! On this particular day she learned that some moments as a mommy are much stinkier than others. Enjoy her story in her own words below.

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Every mom has a story about a dirty diaper. Remember the last time you were peed on? Or the time that somehow poop escaped the diaper and went everywhere? The crazy thing is we love to share these stories with each other. You wouldn't just go up to a stranger and start talking about this kind of stuff. But, get a room full of moms together and eventually you'll start hearing these kinds of stories. There are certain rites of passage as a parent and many revolve around bodily fluids.

Here's my story behind one very dirty diaper....

With our firstborn, Luca, we thought we were on a mission to save his tiny bum from the chemicals in plastic diapers. We chose cloth diapers and with the help of our trusty high efficiency washer and dryer, we set about saving some money and the Earth.

At 11 months old, our little smartie pants started to notice and play with the tabs along those cloth diapers. Because of regular (read, DAILY) washings the velcro closure tabs were kind of curling up at the edges. That was fine. Just as long as we kept him clothed, it wasn't a big deal. 

This day, we were out running errands and were home by nap time. My hubs changed Luca into a fresh diaper and put him down quickly. He forgot to put bottoms back on over the diaper. Oops.

Luca was still in the two-nap-a-day phase. We were also in the middle of a "cry it out" period. Luca would fuss himself to sleep which usually wouldn't take more than 10 minutes or so. But let's face it, listening to a baby cry for several minutes, let alone twenty or thirty is annoying! You just can't hear your child cry and not want to go in and help them stop or at least calm down. This day, one solid hour of babbling, protesting and occasionally loud crying had passed. We seriously kept thinking, he's gonna go to sleep soon. We were wrong
My I Guess Im Due moment came when I finally gave in and opened the door to his room. The stench hit me first. My eyes did not want to see what I saw. I swear I heard him almost giggle as the door opened. My sweet baby, had taken his dirty diaper off by pulling at those curled Velcro tabs. There he stood, my little naked Picasso. 
Luca painted his crib with the foulest poop I had witnessed. It was everywhere. The wall, crib railings, sheets and even his face contained traces of his artwork. There was poop literally on every possible surface he could reach. I even remember poop in the corners of his mouth. My stomach turned. I yelled for back-up and the next hour was spent cleaning up a very disgusting mess. My husband kindly cleaned the bedroom while I cleaned the baby. I gave him the soapiest bath you can give an eleven-month-old. We busted out the Clorox spray. We googled "remove poop smell from fingernails." And the very next night, we installed our shiny, new video monitor. I kicked myself for not getting that gem sooner! 

The last four years have brought lots of messes. When Luca was 20 months old, his brother arrived. The two of them love creating a path of destruction wherever they go. But I will never forget that day and that mess.

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In the midst of being a full time mommy, Nicole owns Page Four Creative. This boutique design studio specializes in helping busy moms document their stories of messy children through custom photo albums. Her goal is to learn your story, your style, your vision; then create a unique photo album for you to enjoy. To learn more check out and show her some love on Facebook! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Hands Hurt

One of the initial I Guess I'm Due moments was when I realized how painfully dry my hands were getting.  Everyone tells you, "WASH YOUR HANDS!" (yes, they yell it) before you touch a baby.  One time, I simply looked at Abram and Whit told me I had to wash my hands...I didn't even make the impression I was going over there, she knew...she. just. knew.

Well, now I am passing along my official I Guess I'm Due advice: Wash your hands constantly!  There is simply no point in risking the spread of any kind of germ to your little angel when their immune system is essentially non-existent. Here is my advice, once you have followed everyone else's advice --> Lather up your hands with lotion all the time, too! 

My experience may have been exaggerated because little Abram came during the dead of winter, but my hands were nice and brittle.  I was never one to put lotion on with any frequency, but now: My name is Rick, I am a lotion addict....I...Must...Moisturize.  If you have a baby soon...get the Big Gulp version of lotion bottle, you'll need it!

Friday, July 4, 2014

My Little Firecracker!

Meet Raina. She’s my baby, number three, the runt, the queen.
Before Raina was born she stirred chaos. I was admitted into Triage for contractions three weeks before my due date. After a few hours of being monitored the doctor advised me to go home and labor there until my contractions were more intense. Those painful contractions lasted for two weeks! I'm convinced Raina wanted to set the tone before she even arrived.

Dealing with these on and off contractions so frequently made it tough for me to really tell if I was in true labor. I was always on edge, thinking that at any moment that contraction would be THE one to send me into real labor. We were so fearful that I would go into labor at any second that my husband actually cancelled a trip he had been planning for months. Talk about nervous nellies!

So life went on for a couple more weeks...On July 4th, 2012 my parents hosted a party to celebrate America’s birthday. I made the truck by myself to Tampa very pregnant and with two toddlers in tow- I wasnt about to be a prisoner to these pre-labor pains. All seemed normal when we arrived. Contractions- check!

A few hours later we sat down to eat a feast. After a few minutes, I excused myself from the table- something didn’t quite feel right. I had that strange feeling in my uterus that I either had indigestion or maybe nature was calling. After a few minutes, I decided that maybe I just needed to walk it off. Perhaps it was cramps or maybe the milk I drank this morning was bad. I was not about to be THAT pregnant lady that ruins a party for something ridiculous. I could see it now, the doctor saying, “Sorry Miss, you confused your gassiness for labor contractions...” So I paced and paced some more. I drank some water. Then paced again. I literally had no clue what to do. As the minutes passed the pain seemed to increase and become more frequent. But the question I kept asking myself- like I had for the past 3 weeks, how did I know THIS pain was the “real” pain?

Finally, after 30 minutes of deliberating I took my dad aside and calmly said, “I don't want to make a big deal about this, because I could be wrong, but I think this time I'm really in labor.” See, I was an hour and a half away from the hospital, so I couldn’t just sit around and wait to see how things went (especially since I labored and delivered in less than an hour for my first two at the hospital, I knew time was of the essence). While I gathered my things together to leave, my parents got the kids together- and they even managed to squeeze in a couple fourth of July pictures amidst my pain.

After the photo shoot, I piled my two kids into the car (16 months and 3 at the time) and my mom got in the passenger seat- I insisted on driving even though I was in labor because my mom is known for getting lost.  The last thing I wanted to do was to deliver this baby in the car with my two kids in the backseat! So we drove away, leaving a party still in full bloom, dinner on the table, fireworks still tucked away and the hospital as our target.

I had driven the route from Tampa to Sarasota a million times before, but that day the hour an a half drive felt the longest to date. Immediately after leaving my parents the contractions became more intense and much closer together. I remember literally having to breathe deep and slow as shooting pains pierced my back and sides. I gripped the steering handles so tight that my knuckles turned white. Every time we braked at a stop light I think my blood pressure sky rocketed, I knew every minute counted!

I made it to the hospital with the baby in my belly and breathing my “hehe hoo’s,” like a maniac. Luckily (or not so lucky) Jason was already working that night at the hospital so he was there waiting for me as I rolled my whale-self out of the car. The kids were whisked away to my in-laws house and off we went to get this baby out!  By the time we finally made it to the delivery room and got me settled into the bed I was already six centimeters dilated.

I was breathing so hard through contractions that I built up quite a sweat. I had the nurses turn the air down as low as it would go. Parkas and mittens were a necessity for any visitors in the room. I think my mom developed the beginning stages of frost bite because of the frigid temperature. This was all while I waited patiently for my epidural (sorry folks, no natural birth for me). Since there was some sort of hold up with my blood work I had to wait 20 minutes and 8 centimeters to get it. When the anesthesiologists finally came, they expected me to sit still through the knife stabbing pain, while injecting me with a ten foot needle... I survived, and now came the relief! Fifteen minutes later Raina was ready to make her entrance. After just four pushes, at 10:32 pm to be exact, with fireworks booming outside my window, our little firecracker, Raina Maria was born!

I was so thankful that night this was no false alarm and that I could actually say I Guess Im Due. I had anticipated meeting her everyday for three weeks now, and holding her for the first time took my breath away. How could someone so precious and innocent cause so much chaos?! But don't be fooled, two years later this little cutie still stirs up trouble...

Now, every fourth of July is extra special for us. With fireworks booming, we not only celebrate America, but we also get the chance to celebrate our little ball of fire, Raina!

Here’s to your second birthday, Raina! Happy Birthday to you (and of course, to America too!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Juggling My Babies

Abram is my first human baby...

However, this is the first baby I had...

My fur baby, Cider.  

Then two years ago, along came Pepper...

Now, I know there are many of you that think that once you have a human baby that your first baby/babies (in my case, dogs) are pushed aside.  People used to express that over and over to me while I was pregnant and it was annoying.  Don't you know that I have plenty of love to go around?  Not to mention, my fur babies LOVE little Abram.  
My poor little Cider has not been feeling well recently and has vomited in random places (i.e. down the side of our bed & under the rocking chair in Abram's room) has been lethargic, not eating, and looking pitiful.  Since she decided to vomit a little bit of blood yesterday, it was time that her momma took her to the vet.  I will be the first to say, I'm not the biggest fan of going to the vet because it is SO incredibly expensive, but after two weeks of my baby not being herself, it was time.  Naturally, the only appointment available is while Rick is still at work, which means...I had to bring Abram.  So because Cider doesn't feel well, she wants to be held and Abram isn't mobile, so here I come walking thru the vet doors, little man in his front carrier and Cider in my right arm and my wallet, keys, and a small plastic baggy of the dog vomit in my left arm.  I have yoga pants, a t-shirt, and my glasses on and I can only imagine that I probably looked like Ms. Frazzle from the Magic School Bus.  We were there for about 45 minutes and most of the time was spent me and Abram in a small 8x6 room, me pacing the room bouncing up and down and Abram in his carrier talking & squealing.  Unfortunately, our visit seemed to be inconclusive, but at least I know that my little girl is okay and we are taking measures to get her feeling better! 

Cider, Pepper, & Abram are all my babies!  I juggle them daily because I love them and need all three of them in my life!  It was a tough balance to figure out when Abram was born, but now he loves the little girls and watches every move they make! They're the three best friends that anyone could have...