Happy 1st Birthday Harrison!

Happy Birthday Harrison!  I can't believe it's been a year since you were born buddy.  If you think time flies when you have a child, try having a second and it goes even faster!  I'll admit, I was a little nervous when I found out I was having a boy after raising a girl but all my fears were allayed when you were born as you are definitely my little buddy and having 'mama' be your first word definitely helps ;)  You have been such a wonderful addition to our family and we can't wait to see the little man you grow up to be.  We are truly blessed to be your parents Harry and love you immensely!

Harrison : 10 Months

Weight & Height: Now that he's a crawling speed machine, he seems to have thinned out slightly.  And when I say slightly, he's still large and in charge and about ready to start paying Selah back for some of her older sister shenanigans.

Health & Milestones: This past month ramped up in terms of teething.  Harrison got 3 teeth in...all at the same time of course because it's more fun that way.  Not.  He has his 2 top teeth in and then one to the left of his bottom teeth.  He doesn't really let me look in his mouth much to check for more without trying to try the chompers out.  He's also all about the 'mama'.  Selah said 'dada' waaay before 'mama' so I'm definitely loving the motherly devotion this time ;)

Sleep: Morning naps have been a little off for him.  He'd better not be thinking about dropping that bad boy anytime soon because I may lose my mind a little.  I do Selah's preschooling during his morning naps so that's a big reason why I'm hoping he's not ditching it.

Personality: He's definitely more sensitive than Selah but also way more rambunctious than she was at this age.  Granted, this was the baby that hardly ever had a still moment in utero, cannot be left on any surface more than 6 inches above the ground, and is usually sporting at least one new goose egg an hour.  Total boy from what I'm told.  I'm scared.

Diet: He will eat anything that you put in front of him, as long as he can do it himself.  He doesn't want you to put it in his mouth, thankyouverymuch.  Just set it down and walk away!  Also, if you're eating something, he will full on pitch a fit to get some of it.  Apparently we need to start a Food Savings Account for this kid.

Clothes: He is now in 18 month clothes with a few 12 month clothes.  This is only because Colorado cannot get its act together weather wise and act like the middle of October that it is.  So Harrison is wearing his short sleeve stuff (which is all 12 month stuff) until it gets below 80 degrees.  We're also flying to Florida this month to visit the in-laws so he'll just have to hold out in the 12 month gear for a few days because I really can't justify buying half a dozen 18 month short sleeve onesies just for this trip.  Yes, I'll spend $30 on one onesie for family photos but not on several pieces for a trip.  Priorities people.

Likes: Puffs, your food, big sister Selah, Remi, stuffed animals, his blanket...can't sleep without it. 

Dislikes: Being walked away from if he's hungry or tired and he'll let ya know it!

At-Home Gel Polish Manicures

Ask any lady if she likes having nice looking nails and she'll most likely say, duh and yes please! I have 3 large cosmetic bags chock full of different nail polishes with around 90% of them being some shade of pink...because, you can never have too much pink for your nails amiright?!  So as much as I love sitting in the massaging pedi chair at a nail salon, I can't really justify spending the extra $120+ a month on weekly manicures and that doesn't even count pedicures!  I can make a pedicure last awhile because I've gotten the right tools and techniques down so that the polish stays put for awhile or until I change my mind and want a different color :)

My fingernails are a different story altogether.  These hands take a beating: wrangling children, bathing children, cooking, cleaning, digging boogers out of writhing noses (don't worry...I wash my hands afterward) and add on to that, our water is beyond awful in this area so that makes them even worse.  My regular polish would last a couple days on average before it started to chip or lose its luster.  I like having my nails painted!  I feel like it dresses at least one part of me up if the rest is a little ho-hum and disastrous looking.  I had my first gel manicure done when I was pregnant with Selah and love love loved it!  However, you were looking at around $35-40 with tip each time and again, I'd rather be spending my money elsewhere.

So on my 47th trip to Target one week, I spotted the Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Kit and decided to give it a try.  It comes with everything you need, including a color.  Mine came with a deep magenta in Wine Not.  I probably did not do the best job the first time around but let me tell ya, that polish did not budge for a good 10 days before I got sick of the color and wanted a change.  No chips, minimal lifting on the sides, super shiny and that's all due to my sloppy hand at times.  This whole kit is around $60 and is well worth it if ya ask me!

Well, fast forward a ridiculous amount of time and some trial runs with cheaper polishes that were cheap for a reason (can you say all 10 nails lifting off in one piece within the first 4 hours???), I became a little disenchanted with my gel polishes.  I was going through a cheapskate phase where I didn't want to spend the $13ish per bottle of gel color but I was also tired of having hands that were resembling a construction worker.  So I sucked it up and went in search of better quality (and of course higher priced) gel polishes.  The Sally Hansen colors do their job but the color 'swatch' on the box and the lid aren't an exact representation of the color.  Like at all.  Do a Google Image search of the color you have in mind to get a better idea of the color.  Another brand I found that has good coverage, long staying power, a HUGE bottle and around $8-9 a bottle is the IBD Just Gel brand.  I'm seriously impressed with this brand to say the least.

Okay, so on to the deets for getting the best gel manicure possible!  You'll need to gather all your mani items:
* Manicure tools (files, cuticle trimmer, cuticle pusher, orange wood stick for removing stray polish)
* Cuticle remover gel/cream/whatevertheheckitis
* Base coat
* Polish color
* Top Coat
* LED light
* 99% Isopropyl alcohol (I'll explain why later)
* Cotton balls
* Cuticle oil

Ok, so get started on the shape you'd like your nails to be; whether that be with clippers or a file.  My nails grow crazy fast in between manis so I usually resort to the clippers and then file them smooth.  Now on to the removal of the cuticle if you so desire.  I always remove mine because of a few reasons: my skin is super dry, my cuticles are super dry and grow really fast and look bad and thus add to the awesome construction worker look.  I picked up my cuticle remover and softener at Sally Beauty for under $3.  You just rub that bad boy on your nails then take the cuticle pushed and gently push your cuticles back a bit. If you know what you're doing, you can pull out the nippers and remove the excess cuticles.  It definitely takes some practice not maiming yourself with these things but I like the way it makes my fingers look afterward.  Now buff your nails with the buffing block.  Nothing too crazy; just enough to rough up the nails a bit.

Okay, wash your hands and then take a cotton ball and pour a little of the alcohol on it (or one of the nail cleanser pads that came with the kit) and clean off your nails with that.  The alcohol removes any dirt, oil or grimy gunk off them so the polish can better adhere to your nail.  This bottle cost me around $18 and I've barely made a dent in it.  Great purchase.

Nails all trimmed up and less construction worker-ish.

Now it's time to polish up!  Make sure you complete one hand at a time.  This creates less margin for error, trust me.  Add one, thin coat of the base coat to each nail.  Take the pointy end of the orange wood stick and remove any of the base coat that got onto your skin.  Also, make sure you remove any excess off the sides of your nail.  This will help keep the polish from lifting off your nails.  Put your 4 fingers into the LED light and hit the button once.  Each light cycle is 30 seconds.  Then do your thumb for another 30 seconds.

On to the color!  How many coats you do depends on the color you choose.  Darker colors (like the color I chose for this manicure, Sally Hansen Pat On The Black) take 3-4 coats to be fully opaque.  Make sure to run the brush over the ends of your nails to help with chipping and for a more finished look!  Clean up any stray polish and pop your nails in the light after each coat for one cycle.  Do this after each cycle.

Now top coat.  Again, make sure you apply a thin coat and clean up the sides and underneath your nail.  Sometimes I'll add a second layer of the top coat if I'd like a thicker polish look.  Then cure it in the light.  Depending on the color of the polish, you can hit the light again if it's a darker color.

Okay, you're almost there!  Now, take another cotton ball, put some alcohol on it and run this over every nail.  This will help remove the sticky residue that comes with the gel polish process.  You should now have a super shiny and strong gel maincure!  I used the Sally Hansen Pat On The Black color which is a really dark vampy wine color; similar to Essie's Wicked.

Now I know that nail salons tend to apply the cuticle oil right before they put the polish on but I had seriously bad luck when I did that myself.  Even though I washed my hands and used a nail scrubber before applying the polish, I was still having an issue with some of the polish lifting the same day.  So I stopped applying the oil beforehand and instead wait until at least an hour after I've finished.

*I purchased these items myself and reviewed them just because I like them!*

Harrison : 9 Months

Weight & Height: He had his 9 month checkup last week and he was 21.4 pounds and 29 1/2" tall.  He's not small, that's for sure!

Health & Milestones: He's been picking up speed with his crawling although sometimes a little too fast for his hands because he wipes out and hits the floor face first :(  He's also pulling himself up on just about everything and walking around furniture.  I have a feeling he will be walking long before Selah did at 13 months.

Sleep: 90% of the time, he's great with sleep.  Nighttime, he's great but it's those naps where we have trouble sometimes.  Not sure if it's his teeth or what but the duration of his naps is all over the place lately.  Some days it's 3 hours in the afternoon, others it's 45 minutes.

Personality: He's still my happy little butterball but boy does he love his people.  He's good going to people he doesn't know as well which works for us when we want a night out, which doesn't happen a lot because I'm old and don't like staying out late :)

Diet: He's getting better about eating solids.  He definitely does not want you to help him either!  So he's definitely on the Baby Led Weaning route for sure.  Every baby is different so I'm just trying to go with it :)

Clothes: He's fully in 12 month clothes now and even a couple of those are getting shorter.  It's still stupidly hot here so I'm not sure if I should get a few 18 month short sleeve outfits or just make the 12 month shirts work until it's cold enough to go with the long sleeve 18 month shirts I have for him.

Likes: Puffs, your food, big sister Selah, Remi, stuffed animals, his blanket...can't sleep without it. 

Dislikes: Being walked away from if he's hungry or tired and he'll let ya know it!

Harrison : 8 Months

Weight: Still living up to his Hulk nickname.  Chunky legs and small feet...it's pretty cute.  I'm not sure of his exact weight because we don't have a digital scale but he's still gotta be in the 20+ pounds range.

Health & Milestones: We went to California to see family in July and that's when he decided to do 2 major milestones: he got his 2 bottom teeth AND started crawling!  Just a few crawls here and there but once we got home, he was off.  And started sitting upright all on his own! 

Sleep: Sleep is still going well.  He goes to bed around 6:30 and will usually be asleep within 20 minutes.  He likes to crawl around his crib, check out the corners and then pass out til between 6:30-7AM.  He usually takes 3 naps a day still: 8:30ish, 12:30 and 4pm.  Some days he can go without the 3rd nap if we're super busy and out and about but I really like to be at home in the afternoon.  Yes I am old and boring.

Personality: He is pretty chill.  As long as he has a full belly and a nap, he's good to go.  Lately he has been having meltdowns if you walk away from him.  I think I remember Selah going through something similar around this age.  Makes you feel loved but a little hard to get anything done while holding a 20 pound squirming bowling ball.  He loves his sister and is really gaining interest in Remi but I can't say the love is mutual yet. 

Diet: It was a very sad day for me recently when Harrison decided he was done nursing.  Did not want anything to do with the milk bar.  Insert very sad face here.  As solids go though, we're working on finding foods he enjoys.  Puffs and teething wafers are a big hit.  He prefers the Plum Organic brand. 

Clothes: He's fully in 12 month clothes now.  I can't really buy too much of one size in bulk since I don't know what size he'll be in for what season.  So I just get a few things here and there.  I do love Carter's onesies though.  They don't seem to shrink a lot like some of the other brands. 

Likes: Puffs, your food, big sister Selah, Remi, stuffed animals, his blanket...can't sleep without it. 

Dislikes: Being walked away from if he's hungry or tired and he'll let ya know it!

Harrison : 7 Months Old

Weight & Height: Big.  He's a big boy...period.  Rolls for days and buddy makes thankles look good.  I'm guessing he's around 21+ pounds now as he seems to be gaining around a pound a month. 

Health & Milestones: He's been teething since he hit 3 months with still no teeth to be seen.  He's also sitting up by himself.  I mean, how could he not with that serious caboose he has for stability?!  He's also got himself a new convertible car seat now!  He was getting waaay too heavy to haul around in his infant car seat anymore and I majorly pulled a muscle in my shoulder and bicep taking him out of my vehicle so while Target was having an awesome special on baby gear, we went with this bad boy

Sleep: Sleep is still going well.  He goes to bed around 6:30 and will usually be asleep within 20 minutes.  He likes to scootch around his crib, check out the corners and then pass out til between 6:30-7AM.  Naps are pretty good but he does have some off days...who doesn't!

Personality: He is pretty chill.  As long as he has a full belly and a nap, he's good to go.  He loves his sister, that's for sure.  We're thankful to have such easy-going kids.

Diet: I was sure that Harrison would be nomming on cheeseburgers by now but this boy is not a big fan of solids yet.  He definitely does not like purees and he'll naw on some solids here and there but overall, he's still on about a 50-50 breastmilk/formula diet.

Clothes: I'm about ready to move him into his 9-12 month clothes as they're getting short on him when it comes to onesies.  Clothing is tough when you're such a stocky lil' guy! 

Likes: Food, big sister Selah, being tickled, being carried.  Pretty much anything; he's really laid back. 

Dislikes: Being walked away from if he's hungry or tired and he'll let ya know it!

Harrison : 6 Months Old

Weight & Height: He had his 6 month appointment today and weighs in at 19 pounds 4 ounces and 27.5" long.  That puts him at 80th percentile for weight and 90th for height.  We don't make short babies apparently because Selah was 93rd last year.  

Health & Milestones: He rolled over for the first time the day before he turned 5 months, which I had mixed feelings about.  Rolling over is a big deal in the movement world but also comes with the utter frustration of not being able to roll back.  Thus ensues lots of screaming.  Usually around 2AM.  And 3AM.  And maybe 4AM for good measure.  Thankfully he was able to figure out getting his roly poly self back over.

Sleep: Sleep had been much better but with the new life skill of rolling over and not getting back, we were back to the up 1-3 times a night shenanigans again.  He goes to bed around 6:30PM and will wake around 6-6:30.  Still has the cat nap in the morning, long nap in the afternoon and possibly another cat nap right before dinner time.

Personality: Oh my word, this boy is so happy.  As long as he has food and sleep, he's pretty chill.  I love the way his smile lights up his face!

Diet: Despite my best efforts, my supply has been taking a major hit.  Guarantee that having been sick and sleep deprived for a month-ish is to blame again but the fact that I was completely empty at 4 months with Selah and I'm still able to give Harrison some breastmilk during the day at 6 months makes me happy. 

Clothes: Still in 6-9 month clothes but those are getting tight, especially when it comes to onesies.  I'd thought about buying the snap extenders but let's be honest, it's getting harder to cram his thick arms up through the arm holes now too so I bet 9-12 month clothes aren't too far off.  

Likes: Pretty much anything; he's really laid back.  Thankfully he likes most everyone and can be held by others besides Mom and Dad without flipping out.

Dislikes: Delaying food or sleepy time.  Don't blame him ;)

Summer Must Haves

The summer weather is finally here...fingers crossed.  We've had a ridiculous amount of rainy days here lately although nothing compared to parts of Texas where houses are literally floating away.  Yikes.  Colorado is definitely not known for its rainy weather so it's been a bit odd to have it rain for days on end with not much of a break in between.  We've been getting little breaks here and there and with a play date at a local splash park this morning, it has me really looking forward to the summer weather.  Remind me of this statement when I'm a sweating, whiny mess at 95 degrees.

So here are some of my summer must haves; some old, some new but all in all, things that will be in our summer arsenal.

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

1) When we sold our house, I was really hoping we could find a rental in a nearby neighborhood that has a great pool and rec center but since the housing market is somewhat insane in Denver/Colorado, that didn't happen.  It was either rent a house in that neighborhood that was going to be way too small for all of us or rent a house with enough space in a neighborhood with no pool.  We went with more space.  That being said, I'm hoping to get Selah into some swim lessons here soon and with a few trips planned this summer that will involve pool time, some floaties were needed.  We got this Puddle Jumper at our local Costco but it can also be found here.  I'm hoping that Selah's first swim-on-her-own experience goes well.

2) Anyone that lives or has been to Colorado knows the sun is super intense here.  Blame it on being that much closer to the sun but it does not take long to get a wicked sunburn.  (Wicked?  Apparently I'm from Boston now).  I love this sunscreen for the kiddos!  It's not chock full of chemicals, smells good and small enough to toss in the diaper bag and not have it take up the entire thing!

3) We've never really had to worry about mosquitoes too much here but with all the rain we've been having, they've been a little out of control.  It's hard to keep Selah indoors during the day so after seeing the nice welts hiding under her short sleeves (sorry kiddo!), I knew I couldn't really let her out back without some kind of protection.  I loooove our local grocery store because it has a great selection of natural remedies for pretty much anything.  I didn't really want to put some of the well known, name brand bug spray on her that was filled with all sorts of chemicals because she still pops her hands in her mouth and I have it on good authority (cough cough) that a certain bug spray with DEET in it will numb your mouth if you, say, have mustard on your hand from a campfire hot dog and go to lick said mustard off.  Wanting to avoid the same issue with Selah, I grabbed this bug spray at our grocery store.  It's DEET-free and repels bugs with several essential oils and I think it smells pretty good.  The hubby doesn't agree but that's okay ;)

4)  We've got a couple trips lined up this summer to visit family with pools and I know Harrison is going to be getting some water time.  This little baby float is perfect and the shade will keep the sun out of his awesome baby blues.

5)  I learned the hard way a couple years ago that Selah cannot have any sunscreen on her face that isn't all natural.  It took me putting it on her face twice to make the connection that a certain big name 'baby' sunscreen was causing her to have a bad allergic reaction: red rash, runny nose and swollen eyes.  I thought it was something in the water at a local pool because she didn't have the reaction anywhere else on her but the 2nd time at a local lake, she had the same reaction and I realized it was the sunscreen so nothing but natural for the girl!  I love the sunscreen sticks for areas like the face because you don't have to worry about accidentally getting some from your fingers to their eyes and the small tube is perfect for tossing in my diaper bag.

What are some of your summer must haves?

Quick Dinner Recipe : Margherita Naan

I'm all for dinner recipes that are quick, easy and taste good.  I really don't want to be spending over an hour getting something ready to eat unless it's a special occasion like Christmas or Easter.  Like the time I spend THREE hours trying to make a PF Chang's recipe for dinner.  Yeah, that's not happening again in this lifetime.

We have naan pizzas on regular rotation for dinners around here.  Usually it's a pepperoni and mozzarella naan but I decided to change it up a bit this time with a margherita recipe.  Whoa...gettin' crazy over here I know.  I perused handy ol' Pinterest and came across some varieties I liked and got to work.

We buy the Stonefire mini naans from Costco.  There's 18 in a pack for around $5-6.  It's a screaming deal considering our local grocery store sells a 2 pack for $3.  I'll let you do the math on that one.

Here's the deets:

Mini Margherita Naan Pizza

  • mini naan pizzas
  • olive oil
  • fresh mozzarella (the kind that's in containers in liquid; usually in the deli area)
  • fresh basil
  • tomatoes  
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Brush each naan with olive oil.
  • Chop fresh basil into strips
  • Slice tomatoes thinly.  You don't want the tomatoes to be as thick as the kind you put on burgers.
  • Slice the mozzarella. 

  • Place mozzarella down first on the naan, followed by tomatoes and basil.

  • Bake in the oven for 9-10 minutes and when you pull these bad boys out, you're going to wish you'd probably baked like a dozen more.  
The fresh basil on these is what makes these so super yummy!  You can never have too much basil in my opinion ;)

Harrison : 5 Months Old

I am currently writing this post from my little boat because it has legit been raining in Colorado for over 10, count them, TEN SOLID DAYS and I half expect our house to either start rocking side to side or have a super stylish rooftop waterfall come through any minute.  That or zebras and bears going two-by-two down the street.  Anyway!

Weight: Living up to Hulk status at 17.5 pounds.  Half of his diaper changes and bath time are spent cleaning out the numerous rolls.  And both Dan and I are at the point where we've about had it with carrying him in his infant seat because it and him together are just too much for more than 30 seconds.  We're looking at getting him into a convertible seat sooner rather than later because he's almost to the height limit on his infant seat.  Yikes.

Health & Milestones: Ohmyword.  Last month was a doozy with colds again.  This time, Harrison got it pretty bad too.  He had some wheeziness going on that his pediatrician wanted to check out and thankfully was just some drainage at the back of his throat.  Lots of humidifier time, naps upright in the swing and me obsessively watching the monitor while he slept got us through a rough week and a half of that stupid cold.

He also finally rolled over the day before he turned 5 months.  Hey, when you've got trees trunks for legs, it's a little hard to get the momentum going to flip them over! ;)

Sleep: Sleep was rough this month due to not only the bad cold he had going on but the super awesome 4 month sleep regression!  Yay!  Not.  Funny how you forget about that after your first child until it rears its ugly head again.  It could not have come at a worse time either because I got the cold too and to say I was struggling every day for awhile was an understatement.

Personality: Harrison is very chatty to say the least.  He screams and squawks at his exersaucer whenever he's in it...it's pretty cute.  He also gets a big grin on his face and gets all shy when you smile at him.

Diet: This boy can eat for sure.  With the exception of his bedtime feeding, he's on strictly breastmilk still.  I really don't have much of a supply at the end of the day and it was obvious given how ravenous he'd be even just a couple hours after putting him to bed.  He takes an 11 ounce bottle of formula plus nursing however much from me at bedtime; I'm guessing around 3-4 ounces.  Ever since I started giving him a bottle of formula at bedtime, he's gone back to sleeping through the night and is generally much happier.  I could tell he wasn't getting enough sleep and was pretty fussy during the days because he just wasn't getting good, restorative sleep.

Clothes: We're in strictly 6-9 month clothes and I'll bet I could slide him into a 12 month outfit without it being huge on him at this point.   

Likes: He loves his exersaucer.  We have this one (discontinued but here is one that's similar) and he loooves it.  Also loves being held and carried around.  Thankfully he's okay with being put in either his bouncy seat or exersaucer when I need to eat or get things done but he'll take being held over those two options anyday.

Dislikes: Still does not like being put down when he's tired or hungry.  It's amazing what being held by Mom can do for a bad mood ;)

Homemade Protein Bars Recipe

I'm always on the hunt for healthy, tasty and easy to make snacks for the whole family.  Sometimes healthy and tasty don't always go hand in hand so when I find a recipe that not only makes my taste buds do a dance but also is on the healthier end of snacks, I'm pumped.  These protein bars have been on repeat for the last couple weeks and it's always a mad dash for the last one in the fridge!

Homemade Protein Bars
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup peanut butter (can substitute sun or soy butter if you have a nut allergy)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 8 teaspoons butter

  • In large bowl combine together the Rice Krispies, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and coconut.

  • In a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together peanut butter, butter, honey and brown sugar until they melt.  Stir continually.  Don't let them boil or the sugars will harden.

  • Add peanut butter mixture/sauce to dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  • Add in the chia seeds and stir again.  I add the chia seeds here instead of at the beginning as they tend to settle at the bottom of the bowl and you have them all sitting at the bottom of the bars and not dispersed evenly.
  • Press firmly into an 8x8 pan.

  • Refrigerate until set.
  • Cut into squares and keep in a ziploc bag or tupperware container.
  • Enjoy! 

A Little Something Exciting . . . Boutique Tresor!

For awhile, I've been wanting to do something a little more with my free time because clearly I'm insanely delusional thinking that having 2 young kiddos equals lots of time twiddling my thumbs.  My photography business is still going well and while I'm not looking to get rid of that any time soon, I was looking for something to do that could easily be done from behind a computer screen for 90% of the time.

Having a daughter is both a blessing and a curse in that there are a gazillion different adorable outfits for them to wear but it also can quickly drain the ol' wallet quickly.  Dressing Selah in super cute and unique outfits that don't bankrupt us was proving to be somewhat difficult.  I primarily shop at Target for most of her basics (tees, tanks, leggings, etc.) but when it came to getting her outfits that had a little something special to them, I was looking at spending way more than I wanted to.  So in searching online for some affordable yet cute boutique outfits, I kinda had an epiphany.  Or an epiphery as Michael Scott calls it.  Why not open an online boutique that sells these super cute and unique outfits that everyone can afford because you shouldn't have to go into debt to make your little girls look adorable!

Thus, Boutique Tresor was born!  Boutique Tresor sells unique girls boutique outfits with a little something extra without taking the extra from your wallet.  I'm currently working on the online storefront to get it just how I want it but am taking orders through the Facebook page in the meantime which can be found here.  So far, we've received these 2 super cute orders in and my model is a big fan ;)

Be sure to like the Facebook page and keep an eye out for upcoming outfits!  I thank you in advance for your business and support!

Harrison : 4 Months Old

This post is a week overdue and I fully blame both kids having a bad cold and Harrison going through the 4 month sleep regression.  Yikes.

Weight and Length: At his 4 month appointment, he weighed 16.2 pounds and is 26 1/2 inches long.  He's leveled off a bit in the weight gain but is not tiny by any means and is creeping up in the height percentile just like sister.

Health: This fall and winter have been seriously rough on all of us health wise.  It's been one variation of a cold after another.  Dan and Selah both had a pretty bad cold RIGHT when we moved and it seemed that Harrison and I escaped it but alas, we both came down with a much milder version of it (thank you Lord) a week later.  I have half a mind to drop an A-Bomb inside the house to get rid of any germs so we can stop getting sick every other week.  And this is without anyone in school!

He's been teething hard core for a month now and if he's not soaking every shirt he's in with drool, he's got his hands crammed in his mouth.  I had bought him one of the amber teething necklaces like Selah had (same size and everything) but since I have such a Hoss for a baby, it was way too small so I need to order a bigger size to help him with the teething issues.

Sleep: He goes down for bed every night right around 6:30 and depending on the night will either wake up just once or go all night and wake up between 6 and 7AM.  As much as I love the nights where he doesn't wake up, I think any mom who breastfeeds will tell you that 12 hours of not emptying the ladies puts you in serious pain come morning time! ;)

Personality: Harrison has become quite the little charmer.  He loves smiling at people and is very chatty now.  He'll talk to the toys on his bouncy seat and will chat with me...probably because I make ridiculous noises and use baby talk.  It's mildly embarrassing and I only do it when no one else is around ;).  He also loves when you come in to get him from a nap or in the morning and will kick and smile a lot.

Diet: He's still on exclusive breastmilk with the occasional formula bottle here and there.  I am extremely proud of myself for having gotten 4 months with only giving him less than a half dozen bottles of formula, and those have been just in the last couple weeks.  He eats a TON and I can probably attribute my supply dip to the stresses of moving, being sick and having to put one of our dogs down and that we have a future sumo wrestler on our hands.  I beat myself up over having to give Selah formula but I certainly am not going to this time.

Clothes: Oh the struggles of figuring out which size clothes (and how many) to get for Harrison.  3-6 month clothes are just about done for him and he's in to 6-9 month clothes now.  He seems to outgrow the Circo brand onesies quicker than Carters as those seem to be made for short, fat babies and we've got a tall, fat baby ;)  I bought this super cute 3-6 month one piece in the fall and went to put it on him this past weekend and could barely snap the legs around his thankles.  And it was a brand that runs big!  

Likes: He loves his bouncy seat and will grab onto all the toys and talk to them whenever he's in it.  He's also developed a thing for rubbing soft things against his face when he goes to sleep.  He had a little giraffe lovey that he was really loving at nap time but it has gone missing since we spent a couple days up in the mountains so he's been using Selah's pink elephant lovey until I can find a suitable replacement.

He also loves his baths!  I wash him in one of those blue whale tubs that has a ledge for his butt and he's constantly kicking and squirming around so much I have to keep one hand on him to keep him from sliding down under the water!

Dislikes: He no longer wants a pacifier, which I'm more than okay with.  And he definitely does not like being put down when he's super hungry.

Postpartum: I'm feeling good and getting back into a regular fitness regimen which makes me feel great all around.  If my mornings are too busy, then I try to workout after both the kiddos have gone to bed.  It's important for Mom to make time for herself and feel good about herself too!  It's good for everyone involved ;)

Easter Fashion

I'll be the first to admit that I was a little worried that dressing a little boy wouldn't be as much fun as dressing a girl but I can now say that that is in fact not true.  Granted the accessories for boys are more limited but who am I kidding!  I've spent a small fortune on headbands and bows for Selah and the girl will not keep anything on her head or in her hair for more than 5 minutes and she ends up looking like a homeless kid with that wild crazy hair of hers. 

So while I'm still a big fan of the onesies for Mr. I Have Rolls of Adorableness Everywhere, I gotta say the spring and Easter fashions for kiddos are killing me!  Here are some must haves (and already haves) for this spring and summer for my little ones.

This adorable outfit can be found at Target right now in their Easter dressy category.  I just about died when I saw this online and it's even cuter in person.  It screams Connecticut Casual a la Andy Bernard from The Office and I can't wait to get Harrison in it for some summer pics.

I bought this outfit for Harrison to wear for Easter Sunday and it arrived the day we were going to a friend's wedding and I just couldn't resist putting him in it and lemme just say, he was killing it in this outfit.  Another score from Target!

I was in Old Navy this morning to pick up some of their awesome flip flops for Selah when I stumbled across this one piece for Harrison.  The picture does not do it's cuteness justice and I just had to get it for my little man.  The material is a little thin but that's okay considering it does get pretty freaking hot around here during the summer months.

And cue ridiculous internal screaming over these boat shoes.  Because what baby boy doesn't need boat shoes to go with his previous country club look outfits?

I probably get 90% of Selah's clothes from Target because they're always on point fashion wise and they're also affordable.  And any excuse I can get to meander my cart over into the clothing area, I'll take.  Win win.  During the same online shopping 'trip' as Harrison's other outfits, I found this dress for Selah for Easter.  The Cherokee brand makes really well made stuff and while their stuff does run a little big, it's good because I can usually get more than one season out of it for my 93rd height percentile little lady.

I got this cardigan to go with the above dress as well because not only could it be snowing here on Easter, it's such a great color that will go with a lot of other things she has already.

These jelly sandals are super cute and would go with Selah's dress but looking at these bring me back to the ones I had as a kid and how gawd awful they made your feet smell.  Decisions decisions.

This dress keeps catching my eye whenever I'm at Target so I may just have to bite the bullet and pick it up.  I think the little circles are embroidered and it's a great melon-y color that would work well during the summer as well.  Dang you Target and your irresistible clothes!

Since I'm still in this weird in between phase of maternity clothes being huge on me (thank you for that!), my hips are still not cooperating in the pants department and neither is my, ahem, upper half, I'm trying to figure out what to do with myself for Easter.  I have a couple cute maxi dresses that I may consider because honestly, shopping for clothes right now (and especially trying them on) is not as fun as it used to be so until then, I'll just make sure my kids look cute!

Harrison : 3 Months Old

Weight: He weighs 14.4 pounds and is quite the little chunker.  He has some serious rolls on his legs and is getting some on his neck and arms too.  Selah was never a chunky baby so I'm loving his rolliness!

Health: Dan and I had some weird viral thing for about a week and a half.  Not sure if it was a low dose of the flu since we both had our shots but it was annoying to say the least.  Headaches, sore throat, chills, body aches.  Come to find out, Harrison had a touch of it as well but I didn't realize it at the time.  His sudden zero napping during the day and scream fests should've tipped me off that he was sick but when you don't have obvious symptoms like what a cold shows you, I didn't know.  Thankfully he's feeling better and back to his cheerful and napping self :)

Sleep: Minus the awful week where he was sick and was not napping at all, he's been doing great.  He's had 2 nights where he slept from 6:30pm to 6:15-6:30am.  I was pumped!  Otherwise, he's pretty regularly going 7-8 hours a stretch.  Naps are going better and while he's taking them in his Mamaroo at the moment, I'll take it because we're in the middle of moving and I need all the time to pack I can get!

Personality: I'm loving how smiley he's gotten this past month.  He gets very chatty with me and loves to talk with you.

Diet: Still going strong with the breastfeeding...woohoo!  Given how chunky he is and the amount of rolls he has on his legs, I'd say he's doing quite well :)

Clothes: He's definitely out of all his 0-3 month onesies.  We're in this weird in between phase with the weather so I'm unsure if I should get more long sleeve 3-6 month onesies or short sleeve.  It's 80 degrees right now today but tomorrow could be snowing.  You never know here.

Likes: He loves his playmat and the little 'mobile' on his Mamaroo.  Being held is definitely preferred for him and that will keep him pacified for quite awhile.

Dislikes: Dude does not like his car seat.  Not sure if it's the specific car seat itself or just being at that angle but he's not a fan.  I'd like to wait to get him a convertible car seat until he's able to sit up by himself for when we go out to eat and such and can sit in a high chair so hopefully he can hold out just a little while longer.

Postpartum: I'm feeling good and glad that I can workout again.  Although that's been on hold with this upcoming move because my free time has been taken over by packing.  Really looking forward to getting to the new place so I can get back on the fitness train!

Harrison : Two Months Old

Well we managed to make it 2 months...woohoo! 

Weight: He weighs 13.27 pounds and is quite the little chunker.  His rapid weight gain has leveled off a little bit. 

Health: He had a little bit of a cold a couple weeks ago but thankfully it never turned into anything serious.   We have his 2 month pediatrician appointment coming up this week as well.

Sleep: Knock on wood, Harrison has been doing well most nights.  I think I finally got his bedtime and routine figured out.  You'd think that with this being the 2nd kid, I'd have figured it out a little earlier but not so much.  I've been putting him down for the night around 6:30 and he's been going 6-7 hours to his first feeding and then will usually go until 7-7:30AM before he's up for the day.  He has a couple nights here and there where he's back to waking up twice but thankfully he goes right back to sleep so Mama can go back to sleep too.

Personality: He is much more serious than Selah and I joke he's going to have forehead wrinkles by the time he's 2.  Lately we've been getting smiles and coos out of him so at least I know he likes me :)

Diet: After having such a hard time breastfeeding with Selah, it's such a relief to be doing so well this time.  I was already supplementing with formula by now with her and haven't had to use any this time around.  I'm setting small goals with breastfeeding so my next goal will be 3 months so here's hoping!

Clothes: Being that Harrison has himself quite an appetite, he has moved into 3-6 month clothes with just a few 0-3 month clothes left.  I'll be curious to see if he shoots up in the height department like Selah did.

Likes/Dislikes: He has really started liking his playmat, which is good because he's normally not a fan of laying on his back during awake time.  He really does not appreciate being woken up from naps to be put in his car seat if we're going somewhere and will let you know his displeasure.

Postpartum: I'm feeling pretty good, tiredness aside.  I've started working out again and that has helped me to feel better both physically and mentally.  I was chomping at the bit to workout again but was good and waited the full 6 weeks to get back at it.  And yes, I was not in great shape anymore but I'm getting back at it so it can only improve from here!

This little man has been such a great addition to our family, serious frowns included :)

Baby Must Haves : Strollers and Monitors and Diapers...Oh My!

So just when you get the hang of having one kiddo and going out and about with said kiddo, you add another one to the mix and now you have to add on to the endless mountain of 'must have baby items' in order to make your life function.  Or at least that's what you're told.  I never bought into a lot of the hype of some of these items: like a wipes warmer.   Um, what do you do when you have to wipe your baby's bum out in public when it's only accustomed to a 98 degree wipe?   Granted I'm only 7 weeks in with two kids but these are a few of the things that are making my life a little easier.  Although the industrial sized drum of Patience and Sanity always seems to be out of stock when I go to order it.  Go figure ;)

 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7 :

1)  I was really torn on getting a double stroller when I was pregnant with Harrison.  I thought I'd just make do with the single jogging stroller we already had for Selah and then carry Harrison in the Ergo.  However, I'd had my eye on the Contours Options Tandem Stroller for a couple months and scored one on a great deal about a month ago and really like it.  So not only do I not have to worry about the stroller being so wide that I can't fit through a doorway or racks of clothes at Target, you can configure the seats into 7 different positions, including a car seat attachment.  That means I can have the kiddos facing each other in the future so they can conspire and plot against me.

2) Diaper bags.  This was a difficult one for me to get on board with when I was pregnant with Selah.  I'm a bit of a purse fiend and was more than a little reluctant to give up on my Tory Burch bags for some dowdy looking diaper bag.  I was going to be a mom but I at least wanted to have some style while doing it!  I tried the satchel style originally and it only took me a couple months to realize that it was driving me nuts with its lack of pockets and organizational 'skills'.  I was considering the Petunia Pickle Bottom boxy backpack because I'd seen numerous moms carrying them and loved their fabrics and patterns.  However, I asked a couple mom friends of mine for their opinions on the bags and only got so-so reviews on them but was given rave reviews about the JuJuBe bags.  I spent an embarrassing amount of time looking at their bags online and went with the JuJuBe Be Hip.  It's covered in a machine washable and wipeable fabric and has pockets galore!  I loved this bag but realized that while this bag is great for carrying things you need for a toddler, I was probably going to need something a little bigger once Harrison arrived.  Once again I looked at the JuJuBe bags and was torn between having more room for all the gadgets you inevitably need for an infant and not getting a bag that was so big it needed its own stroller.  I decided on the JuJuBe BFF in the Magic Merlot fabric and sadly enough for my big dorky self, was super pumped to test it out when it arrived.  These bags carry so much stuff without being huge.  Last thing a mom needs when she's got a car seat with an infant hooked on one elbow and a writhing, screeching toddler under the other arm, is a diaper bag that weighs 20 pounds and is bursting at the seams with baby gear.  I swore I would never ever own a diaper bag that had backpack straps because that to me was the diaper bag equivalent of a minivan but I'm tellin' ya, don't knock it til you try it.  They're pretty freaking handy.  Especially when hauling said screeching toddler out of a pumpkin patch for refusing to stop chucking handfuls of corn, for example.

3) Somehow we managed to get through 2 years of having kids without having a video monitor but I broke down and got one when we moved Selah out of her crib and into a big bed this past summer.  I was curious and wanted to see what she was up to once we put her to bed and I will say, the girl is pretty entertaining.  I wanted something decent but also didn't want to spend a fortune either.  I decided on the Summer Infant Sure Sight and picked up an extra monitor for Harrison's room too so now I can obsessively watch to see if he's breathing and alive from the privacy of my own room.

4) I remember a friend giving us a SwaddleMe swaddle when Selah was born and wasn't quite sure what to do with it at first because, weren't the super cute and trendy muslin swaddle blankets going to keep my sweet baby from flailing around and giving herself an upper cut to the jaw in the middle of the night?  They work if you actually know how to do a decent swaddle...which I do not.  5 minutes later and the baby is free and flipping out.  So I gave the gifted swaddle a try and was hooked so I knew I needed more for when Harrison arrived.  He definitely loves to be snuggled and feel cozy so these swaddles in fleece were perfect since it's currently winter here (although you'd never know it with the warm temps we've been having) and we like to keep the house a few degrees above 'are you kidding me?' cold.

5)  Every baby is different.  Yes, I know this and you'd think I'd know this going into baby numero dos but I'll use several hours of labor and sleep deprivation as my excuse that I forgot this rule.  Selah never really took a pacifier.  Girl could've cared less about them, which I kinda liked.  Probably being a little braggy about the fact that my baby didn't like them nor need them was what bit me in the butt this time.  Harrison is much more needy, if you will, than Selah was and sometimes the pacifier is just what he needs to take the edge off and get himself under control.  That being said, his 7 week old wrestling moves sometimes get out of control and knock his pacifier out of his mouth and thus starts the whole 'calming yo'self down' routine over again.  I was dragging my feet on the whole pacifier thing but figure if we were going to do it, we'd do it right and picked up a Wubbanub.  The added weight of the stuffed animal helps keep the pacifier in his mouth...and Mom for not losing her mind when she's putting the pacifier back in for the twentieth time in 5 minutes.

6)  Once again, the trusty NoseFrida comes to the rescue.  Not only is Colorado as dry as a cork leg (as my dad would say), it being winter makes that dryness even worse and so Mr. Harrison tends to wake up with some lovely boogs that plug his tiny nose.  He wasn't quite sure what to make of the booger sucking device at first but now I think he realizes that it helps him out and just goes with it.  Big Sister is another story.  She had a pretty nasty cold a month ago and has yet to get the real concept of blowing her nose so it took some serious convincing (and Dad holding her) while I did the dirty deed.  This thing is worth its weight in booger gold.

7) I didn't have a lot of knowledge or proper support when it came to breastfeeding and pumping with Selah but I did know that this time around, I wanted to use the Lansinoh storage bags.  I really prefer them over the Medela bags for a couple reasons.  I have a Medela pump that I love (well, as much as you can love a breast pump) but I just was not loving the bags that are made to go with the pump.  The material of the bags is super thick and not forgiving and I just don't like the attachment you can use to connect it directly to the pump.  I can't tell you how many times I spilled breastmilk out of those bags while using that dumb attachment.  However, the Lansinoh bags are not only bigger but they're made out of a softer material that I just like better. 

So there ya have it...some favorites that are making my life a little bit better with 2 kiddos and I'll take all the help I can get!

2 Kids : Six Weeks In

Has it really been six weeks since Harrison was born?  Really doesn't seem possible and that's not the sleep deprivation talking!  I'll admit it...I was slightly terrified of having a newborn and a toddler thanks to some slightly ignorant comments from people regarding how hard it is to go from one to two kids, although I'm hoping it was well intentioned???  I even had someone tell me my life would be over once the baby arrived.  Gee, can't wait to pop the kid out and hate life.  Hate your life much?  So that didn't exactly set me up for feeling super confident when it came to raising 2 kids.  So how has it been? 

Sleep was a toughie and at the same time, not as awful as I was expecting.  When Selah was a newborn, the sleep deprivation hit me like truck.  A truck driven by an elderly person blasting into the front of a grocery store because they mistook the gas for the brake.  You know what I'm talking about.  There were days I definitely should not have been driving I was so tired but I considered it a success when I made it back home with Selah in one piece.  But with Harrison, I haven't dealt with the same mind numbing exhaustion nor the dread of what a setting sun meant for me.  Yes, I'm definitely tired and resemble a corpse (albeit a drooling corpse) if given the opportunity to nap but it's waaay more manageable this time around.   Thankfully Selah is still taking an afternoon nap and most of the time, I get Harrison to take one during the same time so I have a little time to myself to catch up on things around the house or if I'm really lucky, pass out face down on the bed for an hour or so.

Some of those 'well intentioned' comments were of their kids being insanely jealous of the new baby.  I have yet to see any of that happen with Selah.  I have seen nothing but overwhelming love for her little brother...it's awesome.   Well, maybe not so awesome when she's dragging him by the legs to 'put him in the Boppy because he wants to see', putting her toy stethoscope on his head to play doctor or putting her huge stuffed Winnie the Pooh over his face because 'Harrison wanted to see Pooh'.  She's very caring and sweet toward him and gets bummed when she hears he won't be going somewhere with her.  I can't wait to see what their relationship will be like when he gets a little older.  I read a comment online a few weeks ago that I found helps a lot with managing 2 kids at once: if both of the kids need something at once, tend to the older child first and then the baby.  If Selah wants a cup of juice and Harrison is starting to get fussy, I get the juice for her and then pick baby bro up and give him what he's looking for...usually food.  Always food.

I'll be honest, I was a little freaked to run errands by myself with the 2 of them.  Not sure exactly what I was scared of but you know...being outnumbered by little people can do that to you.  The first trip alone was the ever awesome Target and equally intimidating Costco.  I tried to minimize the chances of epic meltdowns (from both the kids and myself) by timing them between feedings for Harrison and lucky for me, all went well; not including the 2 bags of dark chocolate covered pretzel crisps I had to have from Costco.  I'm now pretty confident in taking the kids out by myself and even took them to the park today.  Harrison decided to pass on the monkey bars and nap while Selah was running around like a crazy person.

Will there be times when they're driving me nuts and I'm hiding in our closet with my foot keeping the door from opening?  That's probably a big fat yes but right now, I'm going to keep on floating on my happy mom-of-two cloud.

Harrison's Birth Story

Harrison Daniel Brown's Birth Story
December 14, 2014
4:40AM : 8lbs 4oz : 20"

**Just a little disclaimer that if you're a guy, get grossed out easily or are eating your lunch, you may not want to read this post because pretty much anything labor related is gross.  You've been warned! :)

In the weeks leading up to Harrison being born, I kept imaging what I thought it would be like and honestly, how I was sure it was going to go.  Ha!  Most women will tell you that labor is anything but predictable.  Considering Selah had been born 5 weeks early and gave me a run for my money with a barely-made-it-into-the-hospital 2 hour labor, I was sure that I'd have another similar experience with Harrison.  Since I was delivering him at home, I started prepping for his arrival kinda early on.  In the state of Colorado, you have to be between 37-42 weeks pregnant in order to deliver at home with a midwife so 37 weeks was my personal goal and that date fell on Thanksgiving.  I had his first outfit all ready, the birth kit was set aside in the back of the closet, my labor playlist on my phone and the food and drink I'd be having while in labor was ready to go in the fridge.  Almost like clockwork, I started having contractions on Thanksgiving night around 2AM.  They weren't anything major but enough to wake me up and right when I got to the point where I was going to start timing them, they stopped completely.  A little frustrating to say the least.  So for the next 2 weeks, I continued on with this middle of the night 'is it or isn't it' false labor game.  It was driving me insane!  This was nothing like what I'd experienced with Selah where that labor came out of nowhere with no contractions before the day I had her.  It even got to the point where I was getting constant text and Facebook questions asking if I'd had him yet when in reality, I hadn't even hit my due date yet!  I don't think many people, myself included, thought I'd actually get to my due date so a lot of people ended up thinking I was over my due date.

The morning of December 9th, I was getting Selah and myself ready for lunch when I made my thirtieth trip to the bathroom and discovered that awesomely appetizing mucus plug.  I'd never seen it with Selah and sure as heck wasn't about to Google what one looked like but trust me, you know what one is when you see it.  Kinda ruined the thought of eating the sandwich I had waiting for me on the table.  I texted my midwife to let her know what was going on and that I also was getting a little crampy.  Now for someone who was equally torn between the feelings of 'heck yeah, it's almost time!' and 'I'm not ready!', seeing your mucus plug can be a little defeating because it doesn't necessarily mean that you're going into labor soon.  It can be hours, days or even (gulp)...weeks.  I told Dan that it may not be a good idea to go to his appointment that evening on the complete opposite side of town because again, I was sure something was going down that night, and I did not want to be delivering this kid alone while he was stuck in downtown traffic.  Suffice to say, a big fat nothing happened.  Not even any contractions.  So I continued on my uncomfortable merry way and had my 39 week appointment with my midwife 2 days later.  I may have done some whining that I was done and equally done with the people asking if I'd had the baby yet.  Yes I had him but I haven't told anyone because he's not cute was the sarcastic response I wanted to say each time I got asked.  We talked about the possibility of stripping my membranes to try and get things going if he hadn't come in a week or 2 and scheduled my 40 week appointment for the next week.

Another couple days went by and still losing bits of my mucus plug and we all went out on Saturday morning to try and let one of our crazy dogs run some energy off at a nearby school field.  For some reason that I now know why, my hormones took some wacky nose dive and I turned into uber crank (that's putting it mildly) and was not being exactly nice to Dan.  For literally no reason.  I then had a complete hormonal snot nosed sob fest after we got home about the fear of having 2 kids, not being able to handle it, not ready for the sucky painful part that is labor and on and on.  In the back of my mind, I wondered if this meant something was finally going to happen but finally pulled myself together.  Around noon, I had this insane need to make some chocolate chip cookies like NOW and started having mild contractions.  I started timing them and they were only about 30 seconds long and about 6-7 minutes apart.  I texted my midwife about what was going on and she told me that she would head over once they were 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute for an hour.  In the meantime, Dan had to run some paperwork over to someone's house and was unsure if he should leave.  The contractions weren't getting stronger or closer together yet so I told him to go and that I'd call him if things changed since he wasn't going to be that far away.  I put some Curious George on for Selah so I could stay relaxed and over the next couple hours, the contractions were kind of all over the place in terms of duration and spacing.  However, once 4PM rolled around, it seemed kinda clear that things were picking up a little bit and they weren't going away.

The whole time I was pregnant, one of my major concerns was what would we do with Selah when labor rolled around.  She's a really sensitive little kid and I knew that I did not want her to be around while I was in full on active labor.  She'd be asking me what was wrong and if I was okay a million times and eventually getting upset.  We'd made plans with our friends to take her if I went into active labor during the daylight hours and if things happened once she was in bed, we'd just let her stay in bed and sleep through things.  I was anxiously counting down the hours to 7:30 when she'd get into bed and the last couple hours before her bedtime had me leaning onto the big chair in our bedroom, timing away and trying to keep a lighthearted attitude for her to keep her happy.  In the meantime, I texted my birth photographer to let her know that more than likely I was in labor and that I'd keep her posted.  It was around 8:30PM when it was clear that Little Man was coming that night and my midwife let me know that she was getting her things together and would be there within an hour.  With Selah in bed and asleep and The Office playing in the background to keep my mind off the ever increasing contractions, I could now get down to business.

I'd been on the floor, leaning into the chair during contractions when I started having aches in my back which I thought were because of the position I had taken on the floor.  Turns out, I was in the beginning stages of back labor.  I've heard women talk of their experiences with back labor and lemme tell ya, none of them are good.  And I completely agree.  As if having the contractions in front weren't bad enough, I was now dealing with what felt like hot knives all over my lower back.  Back labor is a weird, different kind of pain I'd never felt before; definitely a hot kind of pain.  Coupled with the intense period cramp pain you get with the 'traditional' contractions in front, it really kinda sucks.  Bet that makes you want to run out and get pregnant so you can experience it, doesn't it? ;)

Right around 9:30, my midwife arrived and started getting her things set up.  She offered to check me during my next contraction and I was pumped because at that point, I was sure I was pretty far along based off how I was feeling.  I was at a 5, which wasn't awful but not the almostthere I was expecting.  When you have a 2 hour labor with your first child, it kinda skews your expectations a little bit for the next kid.  Soon thereafter, her assisting midwife and the birth photographer both showed up and I was left to labor on my own.  One of the many things I loved about having a home birth was the fact that I was left alone.  I wasn't hooked up to monitors or IV's and constantly bothered to check progress.  Nope.  I could labor in the quiet of my own bedroom and they only checked me maybe once an hour or so.

When you're in labor, you kinda lose all track of time so I have no idea what time it was when my body decided it was time to start getting rid of everything.  I had a serious evacuation of the bowels, if you will, which while not fun at the time more than likely meant that I wouldn't any pooping issues when it came time to push.  Yes, a stupid thing to be concerned with hey, I didn't really want to be dealing with that.  And just like when I was in labor with Selah, I started throwing up pretty heavily.  That is my body's way of dealing with a lot of pain.  I've had it happen when I broke my wrist and I certainly had it happen with Selah and let me say that the frequent vomiting while you're already dealing with painful contractions doesn't make for a pretty picnic.  But to class it up for you, I was using a 5 gallon Home Depot contractors bucket to puke in :)  My midwife was concerned with me getting dehydrated and was pushing the coconut water to get electrolytes back into my system.  I can honestly say that I will probably never have another pineapple flavored coconut water in my life.  While I may have forgotten what labor feels like, one whiff of that drink will probably have me dry heaving.  At some point, I had gotten onto our bed and was laying on my side through contractions.  I was trying my best to relax through them because if I didn't, it made the pain worse and I'd then throw up.  During one contraction, I was laying away from where my trusty bucket was and before I could ask Dan to grab it for me, I puked all over the bed.  That's where having the extra set of sheets over the waterproof mattress cover came in handy.  Bless his heart, Dan cleaned up my mess and attempts at getting me to change out of my vomit stained shirt failed.  Hey, when you're in transition labor, you really could care less that you're laying in a pukey wet shirt.  Labor's glamorous folks!

Around the time I hit 7 centimeters dilated, my midwife broached the subject of breaking my water to help move things along.  The bag was in front of his head and was keeping me from really dilating further.  This is the semi embarrassing part.  I hemmed and hawed and said I wanted to see if getting in the tub would help my water break or move things along further.  My reason for pushing off the breaking of my waters?  I was already in serious amounts of pain and I didn't think I could handle anything more painful.  Yeah, your way of thinking during labor, and especially transition, is not exactly the best and brightest.  The midwives agreed to let me get in the tub and started filling it up.  I'll be honest; when I naively pictured my labor and delivery with Little Man, I just knew that it would happen in the tub and that I'd pull my beautiful, peaceful baby up out of the water and it would make for some awesome pics.  It didn't exactly happen that way.  I spent maybe 10 minutes max in the tub and had to get out.  I could not get comfortable and couldn't get warm.  I was already having the shakes from labor and being in water that wasn't scalding hot like I normally like it wasn't helping.  So I had them help me out and back onto the bed I got to lay on my side and continue on my labor quest. 

Who knows how much time had gone by before the midwife came back up to check on me and suggested again breaking the bag of waters.  I'd been laboring hard for a long time and it was time to give me a break and get Little Man here.  Despite my ridiculously irrational fear of it getting more painful, I agreed and they started getting ready.  It was a weird feeling to say the least and while it wasn't more painful, the pressure kicked up tenfold.  Ask me where I thought I was actually deliver my baby and on my bed was the last place I envisioned.  Laying down was so painful when I delivered Selah and I was certain that I would not go that route again.  I started pushing on my right side and was then told to flip over to my left side because Harrison was getting hung up on the right side of my pelvis.  Turning over at 9 months pregnant when you're not in labor is hard enough.  Throw in some actual labor and it seemed like the most ridiculously difficult task ever.  In the end, I probably only pushed for 10-15 minutes max before he came out and I helped pull him up to my chest.  I was expecting him to have a head of thick, dark hair like Selah had so I was a little shocked when he just had little wisps of blond hair.  Completely different pregnancy...completely different babies too!  They cleaned him up a little while I was holding him and I delivered the placenta with no issues shortly thereafter.

One thing I did not get to do with Selah that I was bound and determined to do with Harrison was to have delayed cord clamping.  The standard practice in hospitals is an almost immediate clamping and cutting of the cord but delayed cord clamping is when the umbilical cord has stopped pulsing and the benefits from delayed clamping are pretty awesome.  It significantly improves their iron and hemoglobin levels, not to mention gives them 30-40% of their blood and helps fill their lungs.  Kinda hard to argue with those facts.  Once the placenta was delivered, clamped and cut, it was wrapped up and kept on ice until it was to be picked up by the woman making it into pills for me.  For more info on placenta encapsulation, you can read my post here.

The midwives got me all cleaned up and back into our freshly made bed while I watched them do Harrison's newborn exam.  Based off how he looked, I took a guess at his weight being 7 pounds 5 ounces.  I was completely shocked when they said he was 8 pounds 4 ounces!  Almost 3 whole pounds heavier than Selah had been!  Once they finished his exam, they handed him back to me where he went right to feeding and cleaned up any traces of evidence that a baby had just been born there.  2 hours after he'd been born, they left us to relax and spend time with the little guy.

I usually get one of 2 looks when I tell people that I had him at home: 'that's so awesome!' and 'you are freaking nuts'.  Having a natural delivery in a hospital is one thing...having a natural delivery at home is another that definitely isn't for everyone I realize.  You definitely have to have not only confidence in your midwife but also in yourself that you can do this.  Would I have a homebirth again?  Absolutely!.  The care I received during my pregnancy, during my labor and after he was born were so much better than what I got in a hospital.  I was relaxed, happy and not stressed and those 3 things can certainly help with recovery.  Despite Harrison being so much bigger than Selah was, I found that I actually recovered a lot quicker this time and didn't feel as banged up.  The things that bothered me the most were my sore stomach muscles from so much throwing up and the after contractions for the next couple days.  Yikes...those do not feel good and are way worse with your 2nd (and 3rd/4th/etc) kid.

A big thanks to my midwife, Perfect Gift Midwifery, and birth photographer, Another Look Photography, for some great images that I included a few of below.  Don't worry, nothing too graphic and consider yourself lucky that I'm showing you how rough I look ;)