Thursday, May 28, 2009

The 99.9% complete guest bathroom!

Remember when we started our bathroom remodel? Yeah, like WAY back in January?!?!?! Well, I have been working on decorating it in between getting ready for the baby and I finally got a chance to clean it good today, so I thought I'd take pictures and share with you all how it turned out. As weird as it sounds, this bathroom is my favorite room in the whole house. Not because it's the place where we do our business, but because it just turned out SO well! I'm very please with the final result and the only thing left to do, if you'll notice, is photos for the empty picture frames. Knowing me, I'll get to those next winter! Just kidding! I hope I get it done a little sooner than that!

Anyway, just in case anyone forgot what it looked like before, here is the only horrible picture we have. The bathroom was seriously SO small (well the same size it is now, only divided into two rooms, one for the vanity and one for the toilet and shower) you couldn't even take decent pictures of it without a wide angel lense! Tomorrow I will follow up with a cost breakdown, but our goal was $3000 for the whole project. I think we went slightly over, but we'll see when I add it all up.



We have a discharge date!

Brooke has continued to do well the past couple days. She has not had an episode of sleep apnea for 36 hours now, but she has had a few drops in her oxygen levels in clusters after she eats. They are just slight decreases though and she is doing fine self regulating it, which is great news. They were supposed to have her in a regular bassinet by today, but apparently it's been pushed off to tomorrow. So she is now expected to go home Sunday and we're super excited! The only thing that could push that date back is if she has another sleep apnea episode or if she isn't able to self regulate her temperature.

She also got the go ahead yesterday to breastfeed. We tried for the first time last night and she did great! Latched right on like a champ and she's a very good eater which will only help her grow and get stronger faster! We met with the lactation consultant this afternoon just to make sure she was doing alright and she was even surprised at how strong Brooke was for how small she was. She is back up to 5 lbs again, after losing some weight yesterday. She's actually at 5 lbs 1.4 oz today.

Here is a picture of us from yesterday! I look terrible because I feel like I have no time for anything anymore, so excuse how disgusting I look! I'd just rather spend another 30 minutes with Brooke than blow dry my hair. Can you blame me though?
And here is a picture from this afternoon. We spent an entire hour out of the incubator breastfeeding so the only picture I got was of her sleeping in the incubator. Still adorable though!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Brooke's 5th Day!

Brooke is continuing to improve each day, which is great news to us. She did have 4 episodes where her oxygen level decreased around 1am Monday morning, but she was able to regulate it on her own all four times. She also has been eating close to 60 cc's at each feeding and since my milk came in, she has been getting all breastmilk and we stopped supplementing with any formula. She did lose some weight, but is at 5 lbs, 2.8 oz. Here are some pictures from our visit last night.....she was wide awake!We've been trying to keep things as normal for Luke as possible, so yesterday between visits was spent enjoying the pool and having a BBQ with both families. It was hard to "have fun" without Brooke, but we've all been so exhausted with everything that I really think it was good. Here is some pictures from the festivities.
This week we're hoping to get on somewhat of a schedule. Thankfuly my mom quit her job a couple months ago to stay home full time with Luke and Brooke. Luke will continue to go to in home care just two houses down from ours two days a week though, so Mimi can get one on one time with Brooke. I also get to call and schedule my gallbladder surgery today. After everything I've been through, I'm not sure why I'm so scared, but for some reason I am. But I think it would be much easier to have surgery while Brooke is still in the NICU than when she comes home and is possibly hooked up to a monitor that goes off for false alarms constantly! We'll see how this week goes...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baby Brooke has arrived!

The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind and it looks like the next couple weeks aren't going to be much less eventful. I have been in and out of the hospital with my gallbladder problems just about every other day. But this past week, I was in the ER Monday and then started having terrible pains again Wednesday morning. I was too embaressed to go to the ER again though, so I just kept taking Vicodin at work and bearing through the pain. It finally got so bad though that I couldn't stand it anymore. I tried to drive home but couldn't even make it. My mom met me about half way and drove me to the ER. They figured it was just another gallbladder attack, but it's routine to call Labor & Delivery to check for contractions and listen to baby's heart beat just in case. Well turns out that under all the pain of the gallbladder attack, I was actually having contractions and was 2 cm dialated, 60% effaced.
So they sent me on up to Labor and Delivery about 5pm. They hooked me up to Pitocin and I was still on the Nubain from the ER for my gallbladder attack. Around midnight they said they wanted to break my water. They told me it was rather painful and that I might want to get my epidural then, so I didn't refuse. The epidural didn't hurt at all compared to the pain I have been through the past couple months. I don't remember getting it at all with Luke, but this time it just felt like getting blood drawn, a little prick.

Once they got the epidural going, my blood pressure ended up dropping below 70. They got super concerned so they turned the Pitocin off. My blood pressure stabalized out, so they went ahead and broke my water and told me to rest for the night. I did a good job of sleeping through the night but by morning I was only at 6cm. Just as the one doctor on call left though, at 8am, I went from 6cm to 10cm in a matter of 20 minutes. They called the next doctor on call and he was still about 20 minutes away. At this point, if I would have opened my legs, Brooke would have fell out I think. I was feeling such intense pressure and wanted to push. The nurses even called for "any OB in the house to come." My doctor ended up showing up and I pushed a total of 6 times through three contractions before Brooke was born at 9:01am.
Her Apgar score was an 8 and a 9, but she was on the small side, 5 lbs, 5oz and 19 inches long. They didn't rush her off to the NICU like they had with Luke, but they said I could feed her and then they'd send her up for a check just since she was small. She did perfectly fine on all the NICU testing and literally right before being discharged, she stopped breathing and turned blue.

So Brooke was admitted to the NICU. She has now been there for 4 days but it showing a lot of progress. At first they had her on an oxygen hood as well as a tube to suck out stuff from her mouth. She aso would drop her oxygen levels while she ate, so she was put on an IV with antibiotics. Here is a picture of her on Friday, 5/22, her second day:

On Saturday, 5/23, they took her off the oxygen hood and started her on "room air." She continued to keep her IV though, but started bottle feeding. Since my milk hadn't come in yet, they supplemented what I pumped with formula. She did well drinking 30cc's though. But she was still having several episodes where her oxyen levels would drop and she couldn't get them back up on her own. She also passed her first stool, which was a good sign. Of course she waited for mommy to change her first diaper for this to happen! Here she is on Day 3, the first day we got to hold her:

On Sunday, 5/24, Brooke had now gone 24 hours without having an episode. She was feeding well and was given the go ahead to "eat as much as she wants." She also got her IV taken out. On her first feeding this morning, she drank 55 cc's of breast milk which I was totally shocked at. When we visited her at night she still had not had any episodes but didn't eat well. She had a stool in the middle of her meal and then ended up burping up just about everything she had already drank. She also was very sleepy during her feeding, so we didn't have much progress. Here are some pictures of her fourth day:

So we'll see what tomorrow brings. They are not giving any indication as to when she'll be released, but they mentioned we'd discuss a plan on Wednesday after the holiday. Tonight they are working on bringing down the teperature of the incubator she's in. Once they bring it down and she can regulate her own temperature, she'll be able to sleep in a regular basinett type bed, which will be nice. I still have to have my gallbladder removed, which thankfully can be done lapriscopically and is an outpatient surgery, but I've heard it will be a rough couple of days. In a way I'd like to have it done while she's still in the NICU, but on the other hand I want to wait until she comes home and we get all settled. So who knows, we're just taking it one day at a time...

Monday, May 11, 2009

More nursery progress...

Brooke's nursery has been one of the hardest tasks to complete, not only due to all my medical issues, and Todd working some crazy long hours, but also because I have about 10 times more ideas than wall room! Anyway, for Mothers Day, I wanted nothing more than to get some more work done on the nursery.
Two new collage frames from Michaels. We are having her professional pictures done at 1 wk old, so those will go in the frames as soon as I have them printed. The vinyl word quote also came from Michaels. It's not so light in the room, but for some reason it will not show up in pictures. Anyway, it reads "such a big miracle inside such a little girl." I also got 4 new canvas bins for the bookcase to store toys and blankets in.

And this is a sneak peek of the wall art and how it will be hung. I am having the hardest time finding 6 matching frames, ughh! Every time I got to Hobby Lobby, they'll only have 4 of the same kind. I've now redone this project three times due to frame availability. I FINALLY got 6 matching frames tonight and at 50% off.

Here is a close up of the framed wall art though. I attached two little hooks (by 3M) onto the back so that the ribbon could hang each of them. Then I just tied the ribbon and hung it on a push pin. Works perfectly fine. I'm considering having DH use his heavy duty molly bolts though and just hot glueing a pretty scrapbooking charm to the end of the screw, just for safety reasons. I'd feel horrible if one of these pictures feel on my little girl!

And a sneak peak of what I've been working on tonight:

Budget Meal Idea

Easy Asian Stir Fry
Stir fry has always been one of our favorite meals, but it's normally been a pretty expensive one. I usually tend to pull some sirloin from the freezer and cut it into strips myself. It usually ends up costing around $3 just for the meat and really, I end up throwing about half of it out. Well, this week I totally realized they sell stir fry meats, already cut up! Duh! And the best part of all, I bought .20 lbs, which was more than enough really for three people, at $3.99 a lb was $.76!!!!!!
So I threw the stir fry meat in a wok with a little bit of oil.
There are the rest of the ingredients I had on hand. The broccoli was $1 a bunch and I used half. Mushrooms were $2, but I used half. Onion was a whole bag for $1, so lets say $.10. Then I used 1/3 a bottle of Asian Stir Fry sauce. The bottles runs about $3, so lets say $1 in sauce. I also used about 1/4 box muti-grain spaghetti which was $1, so $.25 for the noddles. Totaling.....$3.61 for the meal!!!!! And what was the best part...we had enough leftovers for lunch for me the next day and two lunches for Luke! What a steal!
Boil the noodles while stir frying the beef.
Then toss in the chopped broccoli and onion. Stir fry until everything gets a little browned on the edges. Add a little bit more oil if you need to.
Then toss in the mushrooms.
Then, when the noodles are done, drain them and toss them with the rest of the stir fry.

Toss with 1/3 bottle of stir fry sauce and serve!

So easy and SO delicious! Reheats wonderfully too!
Oh, and this may be my first and last cooking post. Todd laughed at me the entire time I was making dinner. He wanted to know what I was doing and why I was taking pictures of it. He just doesn't understand the whole blog thing. Anyway, so if I can convince him that taking pictures as I cook doesn't take longer, then I'll be posting more cooking ideas. Otherwise, enjoy this one at least!

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Happenings...

It's been another one of those weeks where I really haven't gotten much done. I started having gallbladder problems yet again on Monday night, stayed home from work Tuesday, tried to work Wednesday and ended up in the hospital again. I stayed home Thursday recovering and then finally made it back to work today. Still not feeling great, but what can I do? Doctors at the ER basically told me to just try to get the next 4-5 wks to pass as quickly as possible, come to the ER when I need to, and work on inducing labor on my own. Great! Thanks for your help!

Anyway, so I've spent a lot of time lounging on the couch just watching tv and looking at my to do list grow and grow! Ughhhh! But being that I am feeling better tonight, I'm hoping to get a few things checked off my list.
Of course one of the most important things to me is family. My brother recently bought his first condo. Obviously, ike the typical 23 yr old male, my brother could care less what his place looks like. But being that he's the baby of the family, my mom of course does care. She's been freaking out about every aspect of his house and of course wants it fully decorated and furnished the time he moves in next Saturday. Her normal furniture shopping style isn't exactly working for my brother either. My mom and dad just go shopping wherever......Ethan Allen, Drexel Heritage, antique stores, etc an buy whatever they want. Doesn't exactly work when you're on a budget and the only place they even knew to look was Value City furniture. SO, Happy Mother's Day mom......I'm going to take care of your little boy!

Here's pictures of his new condo: (realtor sorry, they suck!)

So, as you can see, the place is pretty much plain Jane. My brother bought it from a single older man who was moving into a retirement obviously this place has never seen an ounce of style! I'm going to try and ma it feel "home-y" yet traditional and manly.

So here is the pieces I have picked out for my brother:

Couch and matching love seat for the family room

He has a full sized matress set from college, so while it was tricky to find a set with a full size headboard, I found a nice one at Target.

Then he of course needed a desk in there for all his computer stuff as well!

Then for the dining room, he needed a small, yet nice dining table.

And that'll at least do him for a couple weeks hile he gets comfy. Then we'll start painting and working on some decor on a specialty!

In other news, I sold the stroller and car seat we used for Luke. I got $175 for both, which is a little less than I could have gotten for it on Ebay, but it saved me the hassle of having to list it, package it up and ship it. Now the last big item I need to sell is our airplane nursery set. I'm hoping to list that on Ebay tomorrow.

So, hmmmm, what to spend $175 on????? I think I'll figure out something. =)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My 110% complete diaper stash!

Okay, I'm admitting it. I'm finally 110% done buying any new diapers for Brooke until she starts outgrowing some. I know we have more than enough, but I just wanted to be over prepared rather than under! Anyway, here it is, my 110% complete girly stash! Also, for those of my friends who have asked me to share with them all the info I've learned about cloth diapers, I'll be adding that as I go.

First is our stash of newborn prefolds. I have 18 Little Lion prefolds, which from the feel of it, don't seem like they'll do real well, but I got them for free and I figure they are better than nothing. I also got a dozen orange edge (newborn size) Green Mountain Diaper prefolds. The four "t" shaped things below those are called Snappis. I got these "used" from Jilliams Drawers, but they look brand new to me.

So what's so great about prefolds? Well, these are the type of diapers most people think of when they hear cloth diapers. But even then, they've come a long way. And no more pins, the Snappis have little plastic teeth on the three ends that "catch" the cloth on the prefolds to hold it all together. I personally haven't used prefolds (learning all the folds on a toddler trying to run away just never happened), but I'm really looking forward to trying them with Brooke. Prefolds do have to be used with a cover though.

These are the prefolds I have for Brooke as she gets bigger. The dyed and ebellished ones are technially yellow edged Green Mountain diapers, but the actually measure like their new red edge prefolds, so I'm guessing the sizes have changed sometime in the past. The stack behind those are a dozen brown edged (toddler size) Green Mountain Diapers.

Wet Bags

These are the three wet bags I got. I don't think everyone needs this many, but like I said, I'd rather have more than enough. The top left is from Earth Mama. The top right is a Whammies. And the bottom is from MonkeyFootDesigns.

The Extras

And no "stash" would be complete without the extras. Here is one of two pail liners we have. The Whammies liners work great! I also bought a donzen new wipes and spray bottle for Brooke's room. We just mix a few drops of California Baby baby wash with hot water, shake it up, and it's perfect sprayed on baby's bum during diaper changes. Smells nice too!


8 Kissaluvs Size 0, better known as KL0s. I have a feeling these will be my "go-to" diaper once Brooke is here. They have a snap so the front folds down before the umbillical cord falls off. I think that'll be nice to have.

These are the other newborn fitteds we have. The top left is a Happy Heineys fitted, size newborn. The top middle is a WAHM (work at home mom) made fitted I got off Etsy. The diaper all the way to the right is a Very Baby, size newborn. The bottom left is an Under The Nile fitted, size 1. And the bottom center is another WAHM made fitted, size nb.

Fitteds are nice because they just snap right on like a disposable diaper. But they do have to be used with covers. Sometimes this can make for quite a fluffy bottom!

These two are GreenSprouts fitteds, both in size medium/long. I had actually bought these for Luke and they ended up being too small. I've tried selling them, but not gotten any good offers, so I figured I'd keep them for Brooke. They are very trim, but the downside to it is that they don't last real long. I usually pair them with a FooFoo Hemp Liner from Etsy seller ArtsyFartsyFooFoo.

Also, not pictures, I have two one size Goodmamas fitted diapers. These are expensive, but they work really great and of all the fitted, are my favorite. So why no pictures? Yes, even though they hav pink on them, my son uses them now! They had a sale, 3 for $70 a while back and I only saw one boy print I liked, so I figured I'd get one boy print for him and two girl ones for Brooke. Well, turns out I loved the diapers so much that even Todd was okay with lettering Luke wear them, as long as they were worn with a manly cover! Haha! I doubt they'll fit Brooke anytime soon though, even though the size, one size, replies they will. I'm guessing around 4-5 months. We'll see....

This is my very small collection of wool covers. Most people go crazy over these, but I'm just not sure how I feel about them yet. They are really pricey, and while they do work very good at preventing leaks, especially overnight, they still are just a one time use cover for me. They don't get soaked, but they still smell like pee in my opinion. So if I have to hand wash and then lanolize a cover after just one use, then it's not really worth the extra cost and time spent washing them.
Anyway, the cover on the left is a Disana wool cover. It was actually my sons, size large until it accidently got thrown in the washing machine. So now it's the perfect size for a newborn! The cover on the right is a Little Bettle.

These are the rest of our newborn covers. The top three and bottom two are what we plan on using first. They have a little dip in the front so that it doesn't irritate the cord. They are called Proraps. The light blue cover in the middle to the left is a Swaddlebees cover. Second with green dots is a Bummis Super Whisper Wrap. The third is a Bummis Super Brite. And the one all the way to the right is a Thirsties cover in XS.

These are the covers I have for when Brooke gets a little bigger. The first two on the top are Bummis Super Brites, size small. The top row, all the way to the right, as well as the green one below it are WHAM made, from Etsy Seller OliveJanes, both size small. The middle left is Imse Vimse, size small. The bottom two are both mediums. The one on the left is a Dappi cover I got for free and the one on the right is a Snap Ez fleece cover I got for free.


All in ones are the diapers Todd and my mom like the most, of course for their ease. They don't have to worry about covers or inserts, because like the name implies, everything is really, all in one, just like a disposable diaper. You pull one from the stack, use it, and when your done you just throw it in the pail. The only downside is of course, being the easiest, they also are the most expensive. A downside for others is that they take a long time to dry. I've found tht if I toss them in the dryer on the ultra delicate cycle, and then hang them to dry overnight, they are fine by morning.
Although the All-In-Ones are everyones favorite, I only got 4 in the newborn size. I figure I'll be the one changing diapers the most for the first couple weeks and we won't be going out too much either. So, I got two Thirsties All-In-Ones in XS and two Sposoeasy All-In-Ones in XS.

These are all the next step up. I have four size small Thirsties All-In-Ones which are on the left. Then on the right, I have 7 size small BumGenious 3.0s.

Last is the two size medium Blueberries All-In-Ones. Those are the two pretty printed ones. The other two pink ones are one size Bum Genious All-In-Ones. I'm trying to keep myself from buying anymore in size medium because I figure by then, Brooke will probably be about 5 or 6 months old and we can just use the stash we had for Luke which is pretty gender neutral. The key to this equation though......will Luke be potty trained by then? My hope is yes, reality, I'm not really sure. He's doing well now, but we'll see how he does once he has a baby sister taking all his attention away from him.