The Baby Story

Greetings and Happy New Year to all you pats of butter!

And may I present to you the newest member of our posse, Miss Clara Jane Michaelis!

Quick stats: Clara was born at 10:02 pm on Thursday, December 27th. She weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.

Now for the story…

But first, a little background. I had terrible heartburn throughout my entire pregnancy. In early December, it got so bad that I went to the E.R. They gave me some medicine to try and numb it and when that did not work, they gave me some Benadryl which also did not work. I ended up going home in severe, toe-curling pain and finally fell asleep sitting completely upright and hunched over a pillow.

I had bouts of heartburn a few more times but it was manageable with Pepcid AC. Then a couple weeks later, I had another very severe flair-up and found no relief…yet again.

Fast forward a couple more weeks to my 36-week doctor’s appointment which involved doing a swab for strep (down there) and also an exam. The swab stung a little and when my midwife performed the exam she told me I was doing great, 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced. As I got dressed after the exam, I began to bleed immediately. I let my midwife know and she said it was totally normal due to the exam.

That night and into the next day, I experienced a stinging sensation when I went pee. It felt different from a UTI, but the symptoms were similar. I called my midwife and after discussing all the possibilities and the fact that my labs wouldn’t be back until after Christmas to confirm or deny whether I did indeed have a UTI, I decided I would start a powerful antibiotic to treat the UTI. David went to pickup the prescription at Walgreens and also got a UTI test-kit from AZO. I took the test and it came back negative so David urged me to go to Zoom Care for a UTI test, as they can get instant results. We went to Zoom Care around 8:30 pm and I took the test. No UTI. The resident doctor that night came into the room and we explained my symptoms and she asked if she could do an exam on me. I said yes and she found two small abrasions, explaining the stinging sensation. My blood pressure was also high. We ended up telling the doctor about the heartburn and the fact that we were exploring the idea it could be my gallbladder but that we did not know for sure because we did not have a chance to do an ultrasound. She offered an ultrasound on the spot and we took it. The ultrasound revealed that my gallbladder was fine, and the pain I was experiencing was just severe heartburn. To be safe, the doctor then asked if she could draw some blood (which I hate) for some quick labs on me. Of course I said yes and when she returned with the results, she started with “I am going to call your doctor’s office tonight and speak with the midwife on call.” My platelets were at 52. I had no idea what this meant and she did not go in to any great detail explaining it either. I went home, expecting that we would talk to my midwife the next day once she looked at my labs.

We ended up not seeing her until five days later when I had my 37-week appointment. I did the usual routine of peeing in a cup and getting weighed. I was dehydrated and my blood pressure was high again, but not off the charts. Then we had a discussion about all the bloodwork and information we had found out while at ZoomCare. After looking it over, my midwife decided to do another blood draw. She was concerned about the platelets and some of the other levels in my blood as well. Additionally, the quick results from my urine contained elements that concerned her..and they pointed to pre-eclampsia.  She sent us home with all the materials I would need to do a 24-hour urinalysis the next morning. She said she would call us the minute my labs came back with further instruction but to start the test no matter what.

That night we went bowling with friends. I went bowling. I felt fine.

The next morning, David called my doctor’s office around 10 am to see if the results were in. They were not, but we knew they had been placed on a rush. 30 minutes later, we got a call from the doctor. This time, it was our midwife herself (not her assistant, per usual). She said, “Natalie, you are very sick. You and David need to go to the hospital right now. You have something called H.E.L.L.P syndrome. You are having this baby as soon as possible.”

I. Was. Of course.  SHOCKED.

I told her we could be there in an hour and she said that was too long. I needed to get there ASAP. Holy balls. This was happening. David chatted excitedly and began to throw items into duffel bags while I tried to process what was happening. I began to stuff random items into a bag and before I knew it, David was whisking us away to Good Sam while I scratched my head and tried to navigate the 1,000 degrees of anxiety hitting me all at once.

In the elevator at the hospital

They checked us in as soon as we arrived and I was immediately clad in a hospital gown and they started IVs in both of my arms. I was given liquids and magnesium. The magnesium, they warned, might make me feel woozy or sick. It was administered in order to relax my body and warn off seizures which can happen with pre-eclampsia. We immediately began to go over my options. In several cases, a c-section may have been preferred to get the baby out as soon as possible but my case was unique in that my blood counts were so bad. My midwife and the doctor recommended a typical delivery and said in many cases, sometimes all it takes is an invitation. Also, my labs had revealed that my platelets had come up to 84 from 52, meaning that I could have an epidural. Most anesthesiologists will not do them below 80.

We started pitocin and my midwife broke my water. Immediately I felt 1,000 pounds lighter. It was crazy. Then I started feeling the contractions and yeah, they hurt. Mine were somewhat random but instead of having one every so often, I would get two or three in a row and then a rest. The midwife surmised that the baby would come out by 7 am the next day. Then I had my epidural. Oh, the ever-famous epidural. I had been anticipating this moment for the past 9 months. We practiced the correct “position” to take and as she prepped my back and did her thing, the nausea, sweating and very intense dizziness began. I was having an all-out, raging panic attack and I went in and out of consciousness as David sat directly in front and held me. As soon as I was able to lay back down, the nausea and dizziness slowly subsided and within 20 minutes I felt the warm numbing sensation begin….down the right side of my body. I was still feeling the contractions on my left so they had me lay on my left to let gravity take over and hopefully nudge the meds down that side of my body. After a few more rounds of contractions, we realized it wasn’t working so the anesthesiologist came back and recommended they manipulate the position of the epidural slightly. This required me to sit up and assume the “position” again, which sent me into the same episode as before. Ugh. I laid back down on my left once again to no avail. My midwife then recommended we try moving me onto my back.

The SECOND I shifted onto my back my midwife said something under her breath to the nurses, looked up and said “Okay, you’re having this baby right now”. I went from 4 cm to 10 cm JUST LIKE THAT (which I would later find out is very typical with pre-eclampsia as your body is basically ejecting the baby). They gave me a mask I could breathe into with a 50/50 nitrous/oxygen blend. and I began to push around 9 pm. And really, it was no big deal. The epidural was definitely working on that part of me and the nitrous was AWESOME. I took deep, soothing breaths into the mask and was immediately calmed and actually able to be present in the experience. I know these kinds of things can be controversial but I felt as though these interventions were MADE for people like me. I welcomed the help and truly do not know what I would have done without it.

So I pushed for about an hour, but I had these giant gaps between contractions. Sometimes up to 12 minutes. It was pretty fun to just be chillin’ like that, just on display for what seemed like ever (haha) but the fact that the Blazers were playing made it  fun. You see, the Blazers were playing the Warriors that night and the game was super close. I did a couple big ol’ pushes as the Blazers headed into overtime and then experienced a 12 minute gap as the Blazers clawed their way to victory. When the last contraction came on,  I knew I was darn close so I pushed hard and wouldn’t you know it? CJ McCollum, (David’s favorite player) hit a jumper to  put the Blazers ahead in overtime. Clara Jane was born at that exact moment. It was kismet. We had loved the name Clara and Claire throughout my whole pregnancy and this just sealed the deal. We chose “Jane” for her middle name and there you have it, our little CJ.

DON’T CRY NATALIE. GOSSHH.

They wiped her off a tiny bit (at our behest) and set her directly on my chest. I couldn’t believe it. She was on me. Me. I HAD A BABY. The girl who still loves Hello Kitty and matching her eyeshadow to her outfit sometimes. The girl who dances awkwardly similar to Eliane Benes. The girl who still gets lost in her neighborhood, after almost 2 years. ME. I am her mom. Holy t*ts. I did not feel one singular emotion, instead all of them mixed together in this overwhelming, wonderful concoction. I did not cry (still dehydrated) but was definitely deliriously happy. She was here!

Meanwhile, my midwife went to work on me…and she worked her ass off. Turns out I had 5 pretty minimal tears but tears nonetheless. And they would not. stop. bleeding. After about 30 minutes, they handed baby to David next to me and told my mom and sister to leave the room. At this point, about 15 people rushed into the room. I was told it was people from departments all over the hospital. They worked on me for an hour and a half and (again, we found this all out later) were stitching and stitching and every stitch she made “dissolved into nothing”. I was losing an absolute sh*t load of blood. They kept talking to me, encouraging David to keep me talking, but I was fading.

My midwife and the doctor were eventually able to get things under control and the team left. It was about 1 am at this point. They encouraged David to put the baby down and get some sleep. They continued to monitor me. I was doing okay and my midwife and doctor left.

I remember coming to around 2:30 am and the nurses kept checking my pain level, asking “Rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10”. I felt fine so I told them I was around a 1 or 2. Within 10 minutes of saying that, I noticed a pretty significant increase in my pain down there. I told the nurse it was at about a 5. Another 10 minutes passed by and my pain had just skyrocketed. I was at an 11 out of 10, I told them. Mind boggling, horrendous pain had completely taken over and I sobbed and sobbed as they ran to get the anesthesiologist. THANK THE LORD the nurses had not taken out my epidural yet, because the anesthesiologist was able to at least get me some lidocaine on the spot, which took the edge off the pain. She then administered something more powerful and I felt nothing once again. However, in between all the action, the nurses kept looking at me and I heard the word hematoma. More and more of the L&D nurses came in to take a look and they all agreed that it was probably a hematoma. My midwife and doctor were called back and as soon as they checked me, they confirmed it was a hematoma.

Around 3:30 am, the nurses asked me to call someone who could come down and help David with the baby. I called my mom, calmly explained what was happening (I had no idea how serious my state was at this time) and could she hop in an Uber to help hold the baby while they took me in another room for “a procedure”.  Of course, she said yes.

The nurses frantically began disconnecting me from the 17 (yes, 17) things I was hooked into and asked me “Should we wake David?” as they wheeled me down the hall to the OR. I had no idea of the severity of my situation. I thought they’d drain the thing and that would be that. I told them to let David sleep. I’d be right back…Hahahahaaa.

This is where things took a turn for the worse.

Without getting too graphic, I’ll do my best to explain what happened. They removed all the stitches and went to work to remove and repair the tennis-ball sized hematoma I had down there.  They also placed two “balloons” in there to put pressure in order to stop the bleeding. It seemed pretty straight forward and at first, I was stable. After about an hour, the repairs they had made were no longer holding and the bleeding was not stopping. They could not locate the source of the bleeding inside of me, and things got pretty serious.

The doctors had some serious questions for David at this point and also needed his permission to do an angiogram on me. An angiogram is where they place a stint inside your major artery and pump liquid dye inside to track where the blood is going and hopefully, stop it. David consented and I was taken to the IR to have this done.  They ended up finding the source, two spots inside of me where they placed teeny coils to stop the bleeding.  This is what really saved my life because had the bleeding continued, it could have gone into my lungs or other places they did not want it to go. I had lost all of the blood in my body, and had received 4 units of blood and 2 units of cold  plasma.

At this point, I was taken to the ICU where I spent a couple of days being very closely monitored. I had wires, tubes and monitors attached to basically every appendage including my feet.  When I finally came to, a nurse from L&D introduced me to the ICU nurse who was taking care of me. They sort of explained what had happened and that the most important thing for me to do was rest, which was why I was in the ICU. David came in with the baby at one point and the L&D nurses kept coming down to check on me as well, but I was very lonely. I wanted to see my daughter and husband. The next day I finally got to leave the ICU and head back up to the 5th floor to the maternity ward to be with David and Clara. Seeing their faces again was total bliss.

Over the next few days, I was bedridden. They put these air boots on me that inflated and deflated to promote blood circulation. David made sure I was eating and drinking as much as possible, but I really had no appetite. My biggest motivation at this point was to take a shower, but I was not able to even put my feet on the ground without getting completely out of breath.

After two days of being back in our room, one of the other doctors (Dr. Davis) came in to talk to us about the state of my blood. He did an amazing job of explaining exactly what had happened to me, what they did to help me and why. Then he spelled out all the reasons why I felt so weak and would have a long road to recovery.  It all boiled down to my blood counts (red blood cells, platelets, liver enzymes, creatinine, etc) being low. He recommended another blood transfusion to try and boost these numbers and David and I agreed.

I received another 2 units of blood that day, but my IV’s were starting to really hurt. I did not think this would be a big deal, and that I was probably done using them but I was wrong. After the transfusion, my blood pressure was still really high (up around 190/114) so they kept treating me for that as well. The first medication they tried on me (levatol) was brutal. It was a very high volume and I had to receive it pretty frequently. The IV sites hurt really bad when I received the medicine and I just wished there was ANY other way I could take them. After the first medication proved not to work, they tried the next one down the line. Thankfully, they took out one of the IV’s that really hurt and used my other arm for the next one. This medication worked like a charm and my blood pressure went back down. They also put me on a slow-release blood pressure medication which I am still taking today. I ended up also developing a pretty severe rash on the entire back side of my body. It spread down to the backs of my knees all the way up to the back of my neck. The assumption was that it was a reaction to the medical tape I had ALL OVER my body and they gave me Benadryl and Hydrocortizone cream for it.

My whole immediate family had been in town during the ordeal and were staying at our house, visiting us everyday. I do not know what I would have done without them. My Mom came back to the hospital in the middle of the night when I had my hematoma. My Dad sat with me for hours in the ICU and read me the entire menu in his best radio voice. Megan cut Clara’s umbilical cord! (And she was actually admitted to the hospital as well for a night due to some light bleeding. She left the next day totally fine, but it makes for a crazy story!) And Amy ran back and fourth from our house to the hospital, running errands, taking care of me and everyone else.

I left the hospital a week after having the baby. I knew every single L&D nurse and had become good friends with a few of them. I was totally overwhelmed the day we were leaving. I was of course in a good amount of pain, hormonal, traumatized from what had just happened to me and then of course anxious about every facet of brand spanking new motherhood. We made it home and my mom had the house spic and span, my favorite candle burning (Marshmallow Fireside from BBW) and all our laundry was done.Did I mention I love my mom?

So that’s the story. I knew I needed to write it all out and I feel better now that I have. If you read this entire thing, thank you.

And speaking of thanks, there is one person who I need to thank and skip ahead if you’re not into cringey, sappy proclamations of love. To my David. There is absolutely no way I would have gotten through this without you. Seeing your face after getting out of the ICU was just…everything. I will  never forget that moment as long as I live. Thank you for taking care of me, of Clara. We will love you until the end of time.

So where are we now? DOIN AIGHT. Baby sleeps fairly well, eats great and is overall a tiny, happy camper. As for me, I am very emosh. Happy. Scared. And in love.

So in love.

 

 

 

 

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The Home Stretch

Hello little hummus cups.

And thanks for being here. I realized the other day that I do not say that enough. I absolutely love my teeny tiny corner of the internet and the fact that you or anyone reads this makes it pretty darn special. At least to me. sothanks.

Welp. I am due in just about a month. Let’s talk about some sh*t.

Physical Health –

Overall I’m aight.  I have lower back and persistent tailbone pain and bad heartburn, but other than that things are not too shabby.

Mental Health –

My mental health game is surprisingly fairly strong! My therapist and I have tackled lots of issues together, such as:

  • Dealing with the mental side of putting on weight
  • Anticipation of losing my identity
  • Worry over the changes that will take place in my marriage and relationships
  • Anticipation of sleep deprivation
  • Medical procedures (such as getting an IV)
  • The pain of childbirth
  • The physical ramifications of childbirth
  • My body after childbirth
  • Childbirth

If it is not clear from the list above, I have a fair amount of anxiety surrounding childbirth. Man alive, how many times can I type the word CHILDBIRTH? Cripes. I think my anxieties are normal but the anticipation can be pretty crippling. Ya feel me?

Although I am (selfishly) quite nervous about the parts that involve MY body and psyche, I actually feel pretty okay about the baby-care part. Mostly due to the fact that I have a seasoned pro by my side (David) and a very enthusiastic junior mommy (E). She has already requested that the baby sleep in her room and volunteered to do much of the feeding. Sure thing, kid ;). Homegirl is excited and we cannot wait to see their little relationship unfold.

Here’s what else is going on:

We went on a maternity tour and took a Newborn Essentials class at the hospital.

The maternity tour gave me  a few minor panic attacks, mostly at the mention of blood clots and the hospital’s baby friendly policies. One part of this involves doing skin-to-skin RIGHT after the baby is born. As in, they pull the sucker out, do minimal cleaning, and set it directly ON YOU. You do this for one hour and then they take the baby away for measurements and whatnot. Mostly all of these things freak me out and I would rather have someone else do it. I called my Dad after the class and jokingly asked him if he would be willing. He replied, “Nat I’ve got my shirt off right now.” Baaaaaaaaahahaha.

*I also realize that my feelings about these kinds of things may totally change once I meet her, but this is how I feel right now.

The Newborns class was also pretty darn insightful. It was basically a 3-hr crash course on babies. Here were my favorite take-aways:

  • If someone comes to “visit” during those first couple of months, keep a list of chores on the fridge. When the friend/family member asks if there is anything they can do to help, you can say, “Sure, there is a list on the fridge. -OR-
  • Make visitors do a chore or bring food over if they want to hold the baby. *Not sure I would actually do this but it gives me a chuckle.
  • The phrase “sleeping through the night” for an infant is considered 5 hours.
  • Taking the baby for a walk between the hours of 10 am and 1 pm helps them start understanding that there is a difference between daytime and nighttime.
  • Tummy time is like, really important.
  • So is breastmilk, or breastfeeding.
  • Talking to the baby and explaining what you are doing early on, “I’m setting you down to change you,”, “It’s time to eat!”, etc. even as an infant is really good for them and helps them understand what you are doing sooner.

And while I have your attention…I have asked David multiple times if he would start taking hormones so that he can lactate and share the chore of breastfeeding with me…sadly he is not going for it.

I have also been trying to prepare for the busy life of primary caregiver to an infant baby by being as lazy as possible! Also being horizontal is just nice.

I like to binge watch Counting On! Gotta love those Duggar girls. I also folded my first batch of baby laundry!

Or nap in our big chair watching The Affair on HBO and staring at the Christmas tree.

Or walking around in the world’s comfiest pants c/o my homegirl Dana who got me these from Soft Surroundings.

In  my spare time, I also like to look at cute baby items that are out of my price range or completely and utterly unnecessary. Like this item:

Def do not need this but MAN do I want it. For myself 😉

Overall, I am tired and sore, excited, grateful, emotional, scared shitless and happy all at the same time.  I am so thankful for my David and my family, because without them I would be monumentally more worried than I am right now!

Fall Happenings

Good Day Friends!

As you all know, I am a summer person through and through. Give me sunshine, sandals and vodka s’mores! Give me easy, casual outfits and slightly dirty hair! Give me watermelon with every meal and wet towels on the deck! Fall is gorgeous but to me, it just serves as a reminder that 6 months of drizzle is headed my way. 6 months of living in a rotation of 3-4 coats. 6 months of flat hair, LAYERS and wishing I had remote start for my car.

Despite the harsh reminder, fall has been absolutely gorgeous this year. Here is what I’ve been up to:

Pumpkin Patches!

I have a love/hate relationship with pumpkin patches…especially the ones that charge you to get in. The apple cider/pumpkin donuts are a love. The waiting in line to shoot a potato gun is a hate. Getting cute fall pictures…love. Parking the car in the middle of an alfalfa field…hate.

Also, pumpkins are cheaper at Fred Meyer…just sayin’.

David and I went to one in Kennewick with the Danielson crew and then took E to one here in Portland. Both were so fun.

Tate’s eyelashes in the above pic SLAAYYY me.

Our trips to Kennewick have been so much fun now that Tate is getting older and Meg is FINALLY starting to feel better (she is with child and has the Kate Middleton-style pregnancies).

Tate and David watching the Blazers.

Tate doing the “splits”.

We took E and pal Izzy to a pumpkin patch here in Portland the following weekend on theee most beautiful day EVER.

I die for how much Meira looks like a teddy bear here.

And then of course, it was Halloweenis.

No comment.

Meg finally bribed Tate to put on his costume! He was Curious George.

And then we had my baby shower. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever. I got a mountain of presents and ate two cupcakes in a row.

Of course spending the weekend with Tate was just dreadful ;).

His face in this pic, OMG:

Another random happening is my new specs from Warby! The color of them is called “rose water”. It may or may not have been the reason I chose them…

also, my real lashes:

 

Baby Registries – A Rant

Hi pigeons!

So…baby registries. Registries in general. A list of sh*t you want people to buy for you. Unlike a wedding registry, a baby registry is not really about YOU so much as the human you are growing. But like, YOU are growing the baby and you own it so it IS kinda about you. And the baby does not get a say. Wouldn’t it be great if the doctors could tell you the baby’s preferred color palette and sleeping arrangement at the ultra sound? Is the baby more of a winter or summer? Would it prefer co-sleeping, a bassinet or something that rocks? I guess what I mean is, registering for your baby is a little cart-before-the-horse if you ask me.

When I asked my best friends with kids what ONE item they loved with ALL of their kids, the results were scarce. My friend Carey was like, “all my kids were so different! at first all they really need is you, diapers and a blanket”.

That sounds easy.

But then hundreds of baby websites and apps and Pinterest start popping up and make you feel like you NEED a bottle warmer. Or a freakin’ WIPE warmer.  They focus on taking all of your money! I feel I cannot rely on those resources. I decided I would approach this subject as I do with most things in life, in a practical manner.

I am 34. My husband already has a kid. It is not amateur hour over here. We have a smaller home and ideally I would prefer it not be hemorrhaging baby crap. So what does that mean?

  1. Stick to the necessities.
  2. Try to get things that are multi-purpose.
  3. If our home has to contain ugly baby stuff, lets make it the cutest ugly baby stuff we can find.

Additionally, KNOW THYSELF. I know my kid will have an abundance of clothes, books and toys. Why? Because – my mom. Because – Goodwill. And because – baby girl stuff is very hard to resist  due to rampant cuteness. THEREFORE, I will not be registering or buying items like toys, HOARDS of clothing, books or random contraptions. And speaking of contraptions…

The amount of apparatuses (not apparati, I looked it up) to hold, swing, rock, vibrate, swaddle or otherwise contain a baby is astounding. You’ve got your rock’n’plays, your pack’n’plays, your dock-a-tots, your bouncers, your walkers, your freakin’ mamaroos. It’s  a little ridiculous. Is all this sh*t really necessary? I mean, our little house is already going to be taken over by baby stuff – why add more unsightly, primary-colored gadgets with smiling lions and elephants into the mix?

And I know they are starting to make nicer looking ugly baby stuff, more sleek and modern.  Believe me, I know…

hhhhelllo lover…

nice to meet you 😉

But you know how much these items cost? $1,200 and $200 respectively.

To put it into perspective, here are examples of items within my budget:

Do you see the distinction?

Can you say, Restoration Hardware taste on a Craigslist free section budget?

And it’s all a gamble! The baby could hate being in a swing or being rocked. A white noise machine could make the crying worse. The baby may hate being strapped to my chest in a Baby Bjorn.

My point is, there is so, SO much . It seems to me that a baby registry should happen like 3 months after the thing is born. But how practical is that Natalie?!

C’est la vie.

In creating our baby registry, of course David’s expertise came in mighty handy. We talked through what kind of sleeping, feeding and diapering situations to shoot for, knowing perfectly well that all of it could go flying out the window based on the level of asshole our baby decides to be. Here is a random sampling of some items from our registries (Target and Amazon).

A Pack’n’Play

Our hope: She will sleep on top in the bassinet for awhile. Then we can move her halfway down when she starts rolling over and moving more. Then we can move her to the bottom when she gets bigger. She will get used to sleeping/existing in it and we can take it with us everywhere.

Stokke High Chair

This expensive MF-er looks nice and apparently you can have it forever. It grows with the kid.

Nose Frida

This thing completely grosses me out but David swears it works amazing.

Diapers

We have decided to do disposables because when it comes right down to it, I don’t feel like carefully dealing with baby excrement. We registered for Pampers too, but the designs on these Honest Diapers are completely to die.

Clothes

I KNOW I will have cartloads of clothes but I could not resist adding  a few things. You’ll understand why…

And yes, I threw in the white onesies too.

Random Crap

One thing I have absolute power over is the decor of our extra room she will (fingers crossed) eventually sleep in. I’m going full-bore ballerinas, swans, shabby-chic blush pink AND I AM NOT LOOKING BACK.

And of course we need Little Mermaid bath toys. This girl will be singing Les Poissons with a perfect french accent by age 2 SO HELP ME GOD.

Loungewear 

Full disclosure: I registered for some new nursing/post-maternity pajamas and lounge clothes for myself because DON’T I GET SOMETHING?! I almost added some Sunday Riley Good Genes serum but thought that might be pushin’ it.

In all seriousness though, having some cute new lounge clothes to wear home from the hospital is going to make the fact that I am wearing an 8-inch thick diaper a little easier to swallow.

And if you’re interested in all the items we registered for, check them out here:

Target

Amazon

*I did register for a bottle-warmer. Haha.

Nostalgic Beauty Haul

Lately I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic.

Maybe it’s because I am growing a female human and am therefore having elaborate fantasies about the person she will one day become. Will she prefer Berenstain Bears or Amelia Bedelia? Will she be a lipstick or lipstain girl? Blue-razz or cherry icees? Tube tops or Carhartt bibs?

And it’s also got me thinking about the kind of girl I was. As an example, I was the girl who kept a steady supply of Malibu Musk, Exclamation and Love’s Baby Soft body sprays in her gym locker. I was the girl who begged my mom for a green Covergirl compact, for Lip Smackers peach shampoo and sparkly shirts from Abercrombie to pair with my low-rise L.E.I jeans. I wanted clear skin, perfectly curled lashes and a cloud of Charlie White to follow me wherever I went.

And lately, I have picked up and been sent a few things that have swept me back. Transported me to a time when my biggest worry was the possibility of my Loveable Beginnings training bra showing through my ONLY white Roxy tee shirt. When my college-ruled, 5 Star binders and pee chees organized my life, a good day was getting picked up first after basketball practice and sipping a Wild Cherry Clearly Canadian was the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Here’s the highlights:

Honestly Margo Roll-On Lipgloss in Alexis Watermelon

OK GUYS. How cah-ute is this packaging?

For real though.

I love the 70’s vibe and the fact that this brand is women-run. All of their products are super unique (hello unicorn fizzy bath dust!)and contain wholesome, natural ingredients. I love that they came out with roll-on lipglosses because the last time I owned one of these was in 7th grade.

As a matter of fact, my pencil pouch from 6th-12th grade was STOCKED with Bonne Bell. I pretty much kept them in business. And I used to put on SO much of this specific gloss, it would literally drip off my lips:

Needless to say, as SOON as I applied the Roller Girls Roll-On Lipgloss it brought me right back!

Check out that shininess!

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Due to the current state I am in (pregnant), my face has decided to rebel against me and break out. Annnnd again, I am right back in 9th grade! Shopping for acne products and realizing they still make Oxy Pads has been quite fun, actually. I decided to switch my face wash to this work horse of a face wash and so far I am happy to report that my skin has been A LOT better!

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel

In addition to the Cetaphil face cleanser joining the battalion, I have also enlisted the help of a salicylic acid spot treatment. Prior to being pregnant (or B.P.), my skin had always reacted best with benzoyl peroxide but now I am alll about that salicylic baby. I basically dab dab dab a good amount of this all over my forehead (my most problematic area) and am usally substantially more clear in the morning. And if putting on a spot treatment every night doesn’t remind you of 9th grade, I don’t know what will.

Abercrombie & Fitch 8 Fragrance

I know everyone is shaking their heads at me for this one, but frankly I could care less. This was MY signature fragrance freshman year of college and sometimes you just need to go with what works. I caught a whiff of this stuff last time I was actually in an Abercrombie store and knew I had to have her again. If you have never smelled this before I would encourage you to do so. It is a very unique, feminine scent.

I also picked up a couple of samples at Abercrombie of their other women’s fragrances and so far I really like the Wakley scent.

Essence Get Big Lashes Volume Boost Mascara

I bought this one based off a recommendation from Casey Holmes but I should have stuck to the Lash Princess because this mascara is TERRIBLE. The amount of product that actually gets onto the lashes is dismal. It is a decent second mascara at best but I will never buy this one again.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish

I nabbed two of these polishes for less than $3 each at Freddies which is a STEAL considering that they are $10 a pop at regular price. You do need to have the gel topcoat for these polishes and often times the stores will carry a duo-pack containing the top coat and a color for a special price. I find that while the formula takes FOREVER to dry, the polish actually lasts on my nails for up to 10 days and can withstand dish-washing, warm laundry folding and bathtub scrubbing. HIGHLY recommend these polishes.

 

Treets Traditions Nourishing Spirits Hand Lotion + Revitalizing Hair & Body Wash

I was sent these two products complimentary for testing and have very much enjoyed them both so far. As a side note, I have noticed the brand popping up in T.J Maxx so that is a WIN in my book!

Tate is Three

To the tune of “Oh Christmas Tree”.

Oh Tate is three, oh Tate is three

he makes us smile and laugh with glee!

Oh Tate is three, oh Tate is three 

he makes us smile with glee.

Not only does he love his cars,

but he can jump not very far.

Oh Tate is three, oh Tate is three!

He makes us smile and laugh with glee!

Goodbye Summer

Summer is officially over and that makes me kind of sad.

It is my favorite season. It is happy. Sunny. Dressing for the day is effortless. Giant sunglasses are always appropriate and eating half a box of popsicles is totally acceptable. So as I tossed in a couple of pumpkin spice wax melts into m’trusyty Yankee Candle warmer the other night, I thought, “I never even said goodbye to summer”. So here it is, folks.

Adieu. Adieu. To you and you and summer.

At the end of this summer, we planned to meet my family in Priest Lake for our annual family vacation. First though, we met up with some friends from the North and spent a few days in Coeur d’Alene. Even though the smoke levels were at an all-time high, we ended up having a great time with their family. We also got to spend some time with sister Amy and my beautiful sister in law Shannon!

One of the days, we decided to brave Silverwood. And lemme just tell ya, theme parks ain’t NO place if you are with child. While the crew was having a blast on roller coasters…(or log rides)

I was off to the side like this: (check out the snaggle!)

As the week progressed, my family ended up deciding to cancel the cabin on Priest Lake due to the piss poor air quality. It was sad but did not kill our spirits. We ended up driving to good ol’ Kennewick for a family shanghai tourney (with cash prizes!) and some time at the FAIR.

Can you believe in all of the years I lived in the Tri, I never once went to the fair. Ok, maaaaybe in like, middle school but it had been some yurrs. I decided to commemorate the momentous occasion by dressing the part. Mostly though, I just wanted an excuse to not shower, eat an elephant ear, wear dirty Adidas slides and American Eagle jean shorts circa 2004.

Oh, I also sported some black liner ala Junior High.

Sister Meg was sick in bed so we got to take Taterbug with us and had THEE best time toting him around the fair.

David ended up winning him the most giant stuffie of all time doing the basketball game.

The two best parts about the fair and Tate’s relationship to it were going on rides and using the bathroom. He is currently in potty training mode and peeing outside is a new, fun option for him. A couple of times he started pulling his pants down to go pee in the middle of the rides and we had to pick him up to pee behind a dumpster. He fit right in!

The rides were also tough for little Tate. E tried her best to get him excited about a little baby roller coaster but he just wasn’t having it. Luckily, Uncle David is a master of distraction and got him to ride the Wiggly Worm with no issues. And he loved it!

The end of our trip was spent with ice cream at McDonalds,

and taking tons of selfies.

We returned to Portland that weekend and had a day to spare so David and I ended up doing a little maternity shopping (more on THAT later) and picnicking in Washington Park.

And while maternity shopping was fine and all, buying baby clothes is infinitely better as evidenced here:

Our picnic that day was so quintessential Portland. We went to the Saturday market and purchased Portland Cider Company cider, Portland Creamery herbs de provence goat cheese, Olympic Provisions sausage and a cheesy and salty pastry from Grano. All I needed to really look the part was a monocle.