A Sunbeam to Warm you, A Moonbeam to Charm You, A Sheltering Angel, That Nothing May Harm You

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Boys Waiting and Playing

2 Days have passed since our due date! I know that doesn't sound like a long time, but we are getting anxious to meet our little Cupcake. We have taken advantage of the extra time to do some extra special fun with Johnny as a family.

On Friday we made a full day of fun! We took Johnny to Jump On It, a local place full of bouncy houses and all kinds of fun stuff like that. Aunt Natalie and Uncle Tommy got Johnny some sessions for his birthday. Each session is 1 and a half hours long, which was just a little to long, by the end he was wondering to each place and laying his head on it, but didn't really want to stop playing!

This was his favorite thing to do, this slide was super tall and he could basically do the rung ladder alone!
Really this slide was so steep that by the end he was a little scared, but always wanted to do it again!
I have a lot of pictures of Johnny fall on his face, he would build up speed and then trip right into the bouncy floor, laughing!

After the fun of the bouncing we took Johnny to Friendly's for a special Due Date lunch, my intent was to get him some ice cream....

He picked his lunch out, I would list all the options and he told me what he wanted, his biggest want was the broccoli and he ate so much good food that he was too full for ice cream! Oh and see his adorable big brother shirt, it has "John" all around the circle, we won it on a Facebook give away! Johnny has SIX big brother shirts!

Yesterday we had another labor false alarm and it was disappointing for Momma, so today we planned a special, but small picnic at the on post park...

The park is huge, there are actually three parks in one, each one made for different age groups. This park is within walking distance of our house, but we drove, Momma swollen ankles can only handle so much.

Aren't they cute? Shawn has been amazing with Johnny this week end, right there in everything he does playing with him side by side! He is an amazing Daddy!!! This morning he spend 2 hours this morning right on the floor playing dinosaurs and dragons so Mommy could take a nap!

While my boys ran around the playgrounds Momma enjoyed her own little rest spot! Chocolates, knitting and some wonderful shade. It was really hot on the playground, but in Mommy's shade it was perfect!
Every few minutes Johnny had to run back and check on Mommy, I love the way he runs!

After some sandwiches, chips, and fruit we had a little dessert of Mommy's chocolates, and then Johnny gave messy kisses.

He got Daddy with a messy chocolate kiss right on his nose!

Look at those cheeks! and those EYES! I just always wonder how he got so beautiful!

These guys have been wonderful, the last two days have been very frustrating as Mommy over analyzes every pain waiting to go into labor. Johnny has been sweet and helpful and Daddy has been taking great care of Mommy! I actually feel pretty good today, thanks to my boys! Oh and here they are pretending to be dinosaurs and eating Mommy's shirt.

Friday, May 28, 2010

40 Weeks, We Love you, but GET OUT!

5 Weeks Pregnant and I was so excited to be pregnant that I was already wearing maternity cloths!

40 Weeks and ready to be done being pregnant! (ps none of these cloth are maternity)

The last 40 weeks, the last 10 months, have been amazing and difficult. We are very lucky and blessed to have had our second completely uncomplicated pregnancy and to be headed towards a natural birth! But this pregnancy has been harder on Momma then she thought it would, I could complain and be cranky all day but I know deep in my heart I would do it all over again and a million times more to have our Lily in our arms. The love and connection between parent and child are invaluable and worth more then just a few months of morning sickness. I feel like I am getting away with something by getting her and having it have been so easy :)

Right now I can think of nothing but getting her out, but I know the moment I no longer her safe in my belly I am going to miss her, even while she is in my arms, and the day she is born we start to prepare her to leave us, from breathing on her own to eating on her own and everything that comes after. That is what being a parent is, teaching your greatest gift and most precious treasure to leave you and trust that they will have a positive effect on the world around them.

We went to our last midwife appointment yesterday! Momma is 2 cm and 50% effaced. Which just means that we are progressing, but slowely and no one can predict when she will acually make her appearance. The midwife, Jasmin, says that Lily is at least 8 pounds! We no longer can have appointments, from here anything has us going into Labor and Delivery at the hospital. We have tests set up for Friday the 4th when I will be one full week late. We have to make sure the placenta doesn't go bad, and start hurting Lily. At 2 weeks late I will no longer be able to refuse induction or if they find anything wrong next week I will have to be induced. I am no longer making predictions on when she will be born, but I have been having contractions a lot in the past week and they are getting more frequent and more intense, but they always go away and are never consistent. We are getting there, all we can do is clean, knit and wait for something to start!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Not Tonight

It looks like everything was for not. I am not in labor...after 6 hours of contractions coming and going there is no dilation...so no baby tonight. I am very frustrated and tired. The midwife (Lynn) gave me a muscle relaxer to help me sleep. She tells me she thinks it will be in the next few days, but that means very little to me any more, since the nurse earlier today was sure it was going to be tonight. I am still having contractions, but now I am just annoyed by them since they aren't helping me to dilate. Johnny is at Grams and Pops so hopefully I can just get some really good sleep and not be so disappointed and angry with myself in the morning. I have already been through this and have been near 3 other women as they went through this and still I have no idea, my mind just goes blank! I worked everyone up from here to Chicago and there is nothing going on! We are 4 days from the due date...so soon is a relative term, we will have her "soon."

Sunday, May 23, 2010


We aren't positive at this point...however it looks like we could be starting this process!

At 4 pm this afternoon when I went to the potty I noticed that I was bleeding...not much, but when you are pregnant any bleeding is enough. After paging the midwife and having me frantically trying to tell her about the blood and having the phone cutting out she told us to go ahead up to labor and delivery to be checked out...the big concern was that I hadn't felt Lily move since the bleeding started. In the car me and Shawn gently talked about what could be wrong and what could be going on, but quickly realized thinking about worst case thinking was not helping us, so we made jokes and talked about anything but.

Aunt Natalie meet us at the hospital to take Johnny home and let him play with Sammi and Ginger. Grams and Pops where in PA visiting Grandpap Steve and Grandma Joyce and hopped in the car at the first call that we where headed into labor and delivery.

Very quickly after getting checked in to triage the nurse was very unconcerned and found Lily's heart beat right away! She was fine and my bleeding was stopping!!! It really was never bleeding, but my "bloody show." Which is a brownish blood discharge meaning that my cervix is softening and it is completly normal. I started to cry. I was so happy that nothing was wrong, but at the same time bloody show does not mean you are in labor, just that "labor could start soon." We sat connected to the monitors for 40 mins or so and Lily was very active and we saw that I was having some contractions, small and not consistent, but still they where there. I was let go from the hospital and told to come back when I felt ready to be checked again...the nurse was very confident that I would be back and in labor tonight! I SURE HOPE SO!!! My mom said she had this with each one of us and with in 8 hours she had a baby in her arms!

Since I was let go Shawn and I went to Chilis for some spicy food and then walked around Target to get things going. Contractions are coming more often and getting intense. The timing is still inconsistent, but they are getting worse. Still not painful and I can easily talk through each one, or even ignore them completely. I feel 80% sure that I am in labor, but at any point it could just all stop and it could still be a week before we have her. But for now I am keeping moving, walking, and rocking trying to get the contractions to come on more! Johnny will be staying tonight with Grams and Pops and Shawn and I will be headed home to clean up and keep moving. We will hopefully be updating as this goes on, or when it stops.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Greener Life and Knit Wool Diaper Covers

After Johnny was born I went a little "green" crazy! I spent a lot of money on all the "green" cleaning products and anything that claimed to be organic. As Johnny got older and we got pregnant again it just wasn't reasonable for us to spent extra money on that kind of stuff. But recently, with Lily's arrival coming up fast I have a renewed sense of saving the Earth and giving healthy pure starts for my children. I discovered the greenest and cheapest way of cleaning the house! By making our own cleaning products out of cheap and dollar store ingredients!!! I found this http://www.eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm
It lays out each ingredient and how you can use it and gives receipts for other cleaning solutions. I discovered Borax and Washing Soda which are the main ingredient in most store bought cleaning products. My homemade dish washer detergent is just half Borax and half Washing Soda, showing me that companies stick all kinds of mostly unnecessary things in the stuff we buy. Our dishes no longer smell or taste like our cleaning product and there is no film ever left behind...nothing I have bought has worked as well!

Borax and Washing Soda where scary to me at first, I wasn't sure where I was going to find them or how much they where going to cost. Borax, which is marketed as a all natural laundry booster, I found in Walmart on a bottom shelf for just $3 for 76 oz!!! and Washing Soda I found at a local grocery store for just $3! I bought everything else at the dollar store, including some reusable plastic containers to put our homemade products in. Here are some more things I made

Laundry Detergent
2 cups (2 bars) grated Ivory soap (3 bars for $1 from the dollar store)
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
use 2 tablespoons per load!
I love this because it is cloth diaper and sensitive baby skin approved!! There is no real sent added to it, but if I feel the need I can add some essential oils for a natural sent. There are many different ways to make laundry detergent, this website gives ten, I used #4.

2 teaspoons borax
4 tablespoons vinegar
3 cups hot water
and put into a non-aerosol spray bottle that I kept from something else
For the table or kids stuff I use Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Daily Sanitizing Spray.

All-Purpose Cleaner:
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into
1/2 gallon (2 liters) water.
Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.

Cleaning our linoleum floors
1 Cup Vinegar
a few drops of baby oil
1 Gallon of Warm Water
when floor is extra iky add 1/4 cup Borax

I also now have a spray bottle of vinegar which combined with baking soda and a scrub brush is a great bathroom cleaner (when it isn't too bad.)

Making our home more natural and Earth friendly we stopped buying disposable water bottles, I bought some plastic reusable bottles (from the dollar store!) that we refill from our water cooler. We recycle anything possible, use reusable grocery bags and just try to be careful about what we toss out. These are just little things that I get frustrated with myself for not having started years ago.

Johnny was in cloth diapers for over a year until his big butt just wouldn't fit them any more. With Lily I hope to do the same and maybe even make it last longer. I wanted to get her into the cloth diapers as soon as possible, since it is easier when they are not mobile. And being extra frugal I knit some wool diaper wraps. For one $5 skein of wool yarn (with coupon $2.50) I can make almost 3 newborn sized covers (as opposed to commercial diaper covers or soakers which are upwards of $20 a piece.) Wool is naturally antibacterial which means you only have to wash them once every 2 weeks they won't grow stuff or smell, also wool is naturally waterproof, thanks to a chemical called lanolin! However these diapers are not washing machine or dryer safe and you must be careful with them when they are really wet or they can loose their shape. For the prewashing and the washing later I found a great website that explained a simple process.

Rinse covers in cold water and then gently squeeze out the excess water not letting any partof the diaper hang loose. Then Fill a bucket or sink with warmish water. In a seperate cup put some lanolin (breastfeeding cream) a few drops of baby shampoo and hot water until lanolin has dissolved. Then dump the cup mixture into the sink without agitating the water too much. I let the diapers soak in there for 15 min (because they had never been washed) again without agitating the diapers or water. Drain the water and fill the sink with cold water to rinse the covers. Roll the covers in a towel to squeeze out the extra water and lay flat to dry for 48 hours or until they are bone dry. Wool has a tendency to "felt." When wet wool agitates to much it can become one solid piece of material, which is why you want a little agitation but not too much.

Aunt Chel also made Lily some cloth wipes and with the use of a wipy warmer, and some home made wipy solution including baby oil and/or shampoo, water, and tea tree oil we will only need to buy disposable wipes for the diaper bag!

Lily's 5 newborn sized diaper covers. I will put a prefold diaper and/or a doubler under these and use the snappis to hold it all on her.

I just love these colors, this is all set up for Mommy to make the next size up diaper covers!

Just a disclaimer that I have just started all of this and my info is coming from many websites and my own mind, I made no guarantee that haven't messed this up some how :) Mostly I just wanted Lily and Johnny of the future to understand and see what I was doing if they ever wanted to do it too.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

First Trip to the ER

Yes, you read the title right...at 26 months Johnny had his first trip to the emergency room!

Though this wasn't a serious trip it was still an ordeal, our poor monkey had to watch his morning shows in a hospital bed.

Shortly after waking up Johnny was washing his hands in the upstairs bathroom while standing on his little stool, not 8 inches off the ground. Some how he lost his balance and went down, hitting his chin on the counter on his way. Immediatly he started crying out and we noticed the blood on his hands and his face. We really couldn't calm him down but we could glance at what was injured. There where wounds on the inside and outside of his bottom lip, we weren't sure, but it appeared that he had bit through his lip! The bleeding stopped but he still seemed to be in pain and the lip was swollen and tender, so 8 am we headed off to the emergency room. The entire thing took just over two hours but wasn't anything special. Everyone there loved his shoes and his dinosaurs, he was angry that he couldn't eat and didn't want anyone touching or messing with his mouth. But didn't throw any fits or anything horrible like that.

He did not bit through his lip, but instead bit the inside with his bottom teeth and the outside with his top teeth. The physicians assistant used dermabound and glued the one centimeter cut on the outside closed, but said that the inside wasn't too bad and would heal on its own just fine. The only instructions we got where to not let him eat anything that hurts and to not let him pick the dermabound off, simple enough! So far strawberries hurt him! Poor baby, but I am really proud of how well he did with the entire thing and that he stayed perfectly dry the entire morning!
We stopped by to see Grams and Pops and play for a little while! Johnny was as excited and happy as ever, however he seems extra careful, not wanting to walking up or down stairs without a hand...who can blame him!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Strawberry Picking

Last week during a visit to Grams and Pops house Papa suggested we take the kids to pick some strawberries. It was the first day of the strawberry picking so there where TONS of bring red, super sweet berries and we all had a great time!

It took Johnny just a quick second to realize what was on the vines and that he was allowed to take them off and eat them!

But Ella knew just what she was doing and she was looking for strange strawberries.

Isn't she so big and adorable?

We had to keep telling the kids not to pick the green ones, only the red ones, but they where really good.

We ended up walking out with 15 pounds of strawberries!

There is nothing yummier then a sweet warm strawberry right of the vine...really none of us could stop eating them!

I have some of my best memories with Gramma Nancy picking strawberries in Ohio. She always loved them. My mom tells a story about when she was born my Grandfather bought her some strawberries as a treat and my aunts and uncles wanted them, but weren't allowed. When I was a kid and we would pick strawberries with Gramma she would take them home, cut them up and sprinkle sugar on them making a yummy strawberry sugar goo that I have never been able to recreate the way she did. I would like to think she would have loved taking her great grand kids to pick strawberries!

Gramma Nancy cutting strawberries with Uncle Tommy when he was kid.

On a potty side note I was so proud of Johnny at the strawberry field because he asked to go potty and I told him to just go in his waterproof cloth training pants since I wasn't even sure if there was a potty out there. But he kept asking over and over again and wouldn't let it go! So I ran him to the porta potty and he pooped in the potty and only a little in his undies! Even though he had a rough week end with accidents yesterday he did not have a single accident or leak and for the first time ever he ended the day in the same pair of underwear that he started the day in!

Monday, May 17, 2010

26 Months so Some Cute Pictures

26 months have officially passed since last time Momma had a huge belly! I was organizing some pictures this morning and realized how many cute pictures I had not shared here recently. It is hard for me to find a good balance of frequency of blog posts. So today I thought I would post some back logged pictures from the last month and a run down of Mommy's big boy.

These two pictures are actually from last month when we where potty training. I am not sure why I didn't upload them then because they are some of my favorites of him! He was so sweet this day and cuddled with me a lot!!! He curled against my belly and just laid there for a while, I have this great memory and feeling when I look at these pictures, they are printed and in pink frames to take to the hospital for when I go into labor. They remind me of how exciting it will be to watch Lily and Johnny grow up together and how they will impact each others lives!

And he is just cute and happy here!

This is why Johnny is no longer allowed to eat in the car! That is an entire bag of Craisons! Which Johnny loves, but also thinks messes are super funny.

Johnny's favorite game is now anything to do with dinosaurs. At Grams and Pops house there are TONS of dinos and he can name most of them and knows what they do and even what some of them eat. He likes to chase the cat and some times his parents around the house with the bigger "sharp tooth" pretending that the dinosaur is eating us. Or he pretends to be a dinosaur running in circles roaring and calling out "I sharp tooth." I believe his favorite dinosaur is the triceratops, because likes to get the big one and little one so he can have a baby triceratops and a Mommy (or Daddy depending on his mood.) His favorite TV show is Dinosaur Train on PBS at 9 am (right before Sesame Street.) Mommy also loves this show since it focuses on the real names of the dinosaurs and what their real habits where. He picked up "sharp tooth" from Land Before Time which has become a special treat or for when he is sick.

Ella hasn't been coming over as much this month, stuff just keeps getting in the way of our visits. But this evening both girls had come over to play and Johnny and Ella where watching Super Why and apparently they are both really concerned about the show, and as usual adorable!

With Lily's arrival getting so close we have been trying to clean out the house and get rid of what ever we can. Johnny discovered an empty container and decided it was perfect for a hid out, notice the dinosaur in his hand....he doesn't do anything without at least one dinosaur in his hand.

More dinosaur play! The triceratops and sharp tooth where fighting for Mommy's entertainment. Oh and these tiny little dinos are all over the house, Johnny get excited every time he find one where he doesn't expect to.

For Mother's Day last week end the entire Dennison clan headed to the beach to spend some time together and celebrate Mommy's and Grams Birthday. I actually have a ton of pictures from that week end and need to do it's own post. We had a lot of fun playing in the water and riding rides on the boardwalk. But mostly we loved spending special time with our family. Wyatt is growing fast and since he lives in Ohio now we miss him all the time, but it makes these time even more special. Look at these boys, just nine months apart, I hope they grow up to be great friends!

Mommy is in her last month of pregnancy and there for we have a midwife appointment every week. Johnny has become a regular hit at the office, but still needs something to entertain him while Mommy and Lily get measured and checked. This last week it was this foot pop that Papa got Johnny at the beach. YUM!

In the past month Johnny's sleep has been a little off. He has been waking up early and not wanting to lay down for bed or naps, but he is super tired. We discovered a new tooth coming in in the front of his mouth where his gap it. The spot if not nearly big enough for any tooth and therefore the tooth is coming in the opposite direction that it should be coming it. It looks painful! We will be seeing a pediatric dentist soon!

Finally Johnny's poo has become solid again and lactose has been reintroduced (actually by accident) and he is handing it just fine! After nearly a fully month of diarrhea and stomach pains he seems to be back to his old self! But potty training is a long process, especially with the stomach flu back lash, and he still spends some of each day in just underwear. But every day does better and better! He is now pooping on the potty and on normal days has no big accidents and few leaks. However taking him too far outside of his comfort zone does lead to accidents, but that is part of learning!

Just this last week end our great friend Tara and her daughter Kat came down for a day long visit! We headed to the Maryland Faerie Festival for a few hours on Saturday. I felt for my manly boy who was all by himself amongst a ton of little girls in wings and frilly dresses. But he still had lots of fun, especially running through this tunnel and sharing a virgin Margaretta with Mommy. It was so much fun to get to see my old friend and how much her pretty little girl has grown!

Here is Johnny playing with little Kat. It was hard for Mommy to get good pictures of the two of them, one was always looking away or distracted! Though Johnny enjoyed the attention and fun of having a "new friend" and liked holding her hand in the car but he was taken aback by the sudden addition of Kat and her Mommy in our house. He also seems to have developed a completly normal fear of abandonment. He is starting to get upset when people he knows well leave or walk away. At the airport Mommy stepped of the car to help Tara and Tara put her backpack on the driver side seat, Johnny lost it. He really thought Mommy wasn't coming back and that he was leaving alone with a stranger! It broke my heart, but when I got back in the car he started laughing and talking about how funny he was and that he told a joke, as if he realized that Mommy would never leave him. It made Mommy and Daddy realize that right now Johnny needs some extra reassurance that we are here and some extra time just for him with Mommy and Daddy. He loved the three of us laying in Mommy and Daddy's bed yesterday tickling, reading books and focusing on him alone.

And as a special treat here is Johnny dancing! Daddy convinced Johnny to dance to Mommy's cleaning music.

Friday, May 14, 2010

38 Weeks Pregnant

Lily got this bow and a bunch of other really cute stuff from our friend in Georgia, Jennifer. I am so excited about this and I love it so so much!

The weeks seem like they are flying by, but I feel every second. Just two weeks until our due date, and she mine as well stay in there until then and give me more time to knit and clean. However, each day I am more uncomfortable (itchy belly, back pain, swollen ankles, random cramps, lack of sleep...), but that is pregnancy and you just have to live with it, because it is all worth it.

Our weekly appointment was yesterday and it was a little more intense then usual. I took Johnny alone, since Shawn had a big inspection at work, and the midwife was trying to figure out how big Lily is (she is big! and there is extra fluid with her) and felt what she thought was her head, up at the top of my belly and her heart beat about where my belly button is. So here we where again thinking that she was breach. The midwife discussed the fact that I am 38 weeks and we need to get her flipped ASAP! Our practice and hospital won't let a breached baby be born vaginally, let alone that mom go into labor naturally. So me and Johnny headed back down to Labor and Delivery for the second time in three weeks to have an ultrasound and figure out where this baby is. If she was breach again I was given the impression that we would be staying at the hospital and getting a doctor to do a manual flip (which is painful for me and can cause cord wrapping around baby's neck or even an emergency C if she went into distress,) right then and there and if they couldn't get her to flip we would be scheduling a c-section for next week! Thank god she is flipped, and they found her head immediately! nice and low! What this does mean is that she seems rather big. Her head is low, her heart beat is high, and her butt is so big everyone thinks it is her head! This week the panic over that took over most of the appointment, so next week I am going to talk more about her size and the extra fluid to see what that means, if anything.

This last week end we went outlet shopping at some outlets and I got squared away for labor! I got a new night gown to wear during labor, a new terrycloth wrap for after the tub, a new bath robe and new fuzzy flip flops....all in a very cool zebra print! I also got some comfy night gowns for after Lily is born and while we are still in the hospital. I will look great for the millions of pictures we will be taking and be comfy all the time! Our bags are packed and our plans are set, it is real and we are having a baby!

In the past few weeks we have been gathering everything Lily will need and getting some special items as well. This adorable tutu we got off of ebay and I love it. It is very poofy and professionally made, though it is hand made. She is going to wear this for her newborn pictures and Johnny is going to wear his tux!

This is just a winter coat that Grams got on clearance at Children's Place, but it really hit me as adorable. Everything is pink, EVERYWHERE!!!!