One Week Old

I can hardly believe my little man is already a week old. It’s gone by in a fuzzy fast blur. He’s the perfect little baby and never fusses  Hmmm…let’s just say so far every thing’s going wonderfully and I’m cautiously optimistic it will continue to do so. I know the minute I starting talking about getting more sleep or my angel baby things will change, LOL! 🙂 I’ll also just hint towards everything on the Amber front continuing to go incredibly well although we’ve had a few more problems with whining/crying/clinging since Grandma left. I was so sad for my mom to leave 🙁 We had so much fun while she was here and she was such a huge help!!! She plus my dad and 2 youngest siblings are all coming out in October though YEY!!! So that helps a lot.
The days are so funny because on one hand I feel like I’m constantly busy doing something–but then the day ends and I look back and wonder what on earth went on all day because it’s not like we’re going anywhere and I don’t seem to accomplish a blessed thing either. LoL!!!
We went to his week old appointment yesterday. He’s already up to what Amber weighed when she was born at 8 lbs. 5 oz (which I find funny since she was a week late, so basically they are the exact same size, haha) That means he gained 10 oz in 4 days–LOL! The Dr. was super impressed and I’m excited to have another little chunky baby on my hands. You just can’t beat those chubby cheeks and Michelin Man arms!! 😉
Of course most of what Tyler does at this point is sleep all day (not so much all night, however) but he’s already proving to be quite hilarious. He is the squeakiest baby I’ve ever seen. He’s constantly making squeaking noises-happy ones, mad ones, sleepy ones. It’s so funny! He also loves to make grumpy grouchy faces although now he’s starting to throw sleepy smiles into the mix as well. He even did his first real smile today!!! I know that all the books/experts say that babies can’t do real smiles till they’re way older but Amber smiled around a week old too and today when he was awake he was just staring at my face so I made funny faces and went “boop boop boop!” and climbed my fingers up his chest and touched his cheeks. When I touched his cheeks he did the hugest smile–it was SO CUTE!!!! Moments like that totally make up for still not being able to walk without a funny waddle and those 4 a.m. hour long feedings!!!

The Grand Arrival! Tyler’s Birth Story

Tyler Elliott made his grand debut into the world at 1:24 a.m. July 23, 2010. He weighs 8 lbs. 2 oz. and is 20 1/2 inches long.
Two words to describe the birth experience?
Absolutely Insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


If you’re an observant reader you’ll see I blogged about how big and miserable I was about 8 hours before I gave birth (when I thought nothing was happening…little did I know, lol) If you’re my friend on Facebook you can see that I was still on FB and chatting at 10 p.m. After that I went and did some work stuff for a little while (I pointed this out to my boss–if you’re working 3 hours before giving birth doesn’t mean you’re dedicated I don’t know what does, Ha!!!). By that point I was still feeling very uncomfortable Braxton Hicks so I went and took a bath, which made them go away so I figured it wasn’t the real thing. By 11 something I decided I should probably go try to get some sleep. As I lay there I got more and more uncomfortable but nothing hurt yet. I decided to get up at midnight and take another bath to see if that would help.

At 12:08 a.m. my water broke!!!!

At first I was just like, “Ok here we go!” and started gathering my last minute items and I went and woke up Bob (who had been sleeping since 4 p.m., he’d had a long hard day at work and took a nap that he never woke up from). Just a few minutes later I started to hurt bad. It felt like he was taking forever to get ready and I was like–“Honey we have to leave NOW!!!!” When we got down to the car we put the hospital’s address in our GPS and it couldn’t find it. I just about freaked out!! Bob’s smart phone saved the day and he followed it’s directions to the hospital. During the ride he kept joking about me being grumpy while I was just focused on getting through the contractions. On the ride to the hospital I kept thinking to myself, “I do not remember ever hurting this bad when I was in labor with Amber!” Which worried me because I’d gotten dilated to an 8 with her before getting my epidural, but I figured I just must have forgotten somehow.

When we got there Bob pulled up to the emergency entrance, threw his hazards on, stuck me in a wheel chair and brought me in. While I was waiting for someone from labor & delivery to come get me he went to go actually park the car. Once the nurse came down she asked if I needed to go up or if we should wait for Bob. A contraction hit so she helped me breathe through it and when it was over I was like, “We need to go, they can tell him where to come!” As we went down the hall I told her, “I want an epidural as soon as possible!!!!!!!” (I was hurting so badly by that point). She just replied that it would take time, they had  to get the anesthesiologist, get me on an IV, etc. I said that I just though I’d let her know so she could get started on all that, (LoL). I had barely gotten a gown on and crawled onto the bed when Bob walked in the room and I started to hurt really, really bad. I kinda started whimpering and the nurse was like, Uh I better check and see what’s going on. So she checked me and then she said, “Honey it’s time to push.”


I did ask that but didn’t actually scream it. I felt like it though. I wanted to scream that I wasn’t ready, I’d never ever wanted to have a completely natural, pain med free labor/delivery, to go get the stinking guy and stick a needle in my back, and that I didn’t even know what to do because I’d never gone to child birth classes and had a c-section last time. Besides where on earth was my Dr.???? Some new guy I didn’t know walked in the room to tell me he’d help out till my Dr. arrived and in case my baby arrived before the Dr. did. By that point I didn’t really care who was in or out of the room at all.

Poor Bob got shoved into the corner of the room to stand there helplessly and watch while a swarm of nurses and the Dr. who wasn’t mine all tried to help me while I pushed.

When I was in labor with Amber and even through the first hour of pushing with her I thought all along, “What’s the big deal? This really doesn’t hurt bad, I don’t see why everyone makes such a fuss about it.” When I saw women yelling on tv during childbirth scenes I’d roll my eyes and be like, “That’s so not how it is.”

Well let me tell ya–if you do it pain med free and your body has no time to adjust to a massive onslaught of labor it really IS that big of a deal and it really DOES hurt that bad. The nurses and Dr. later kept telling me that when you go through labor/delivery that quickly your body has no time to adjust/adapt on it’s own and it’s basically like getting hit with a freight train–fast, extremely painful, and hard!!!

I later found out that Tyler had his head positioned like Amber’s was (up and to the side) and he just barely turned it in time for me to push him out (which might be part of the reason it was hurting so badly). I also found out that Tyler’s heart rate dropped dangerously low twice. The nurse said that if I’d been at an 8 and it got that low they would have rushed me in for an emergency c-section but since I was pushing so well they knew I could just get him out faster if I tried really hard by myself. I kinda heard them talking about it during the labor but was only half processing what was going on as I was mostly just focused on the pain and how to get through it. My Dr. made it just in time to catch Tyler as he was born and after 22 painful, hard, long minutes I was able to bring my baby boy safely into this world and 100% all natural!

Like I said–absolute insanity!!!!

Although it was extremely difficult and painful I’m very happy about deciding to go with the VBAC. Although it was a little more “all natural” than I’d ever planned/wanted everything turned out for the best. We were discharged less than 48 hours after his birth (compare that to a week long stay when Amber was born!!!) Amber got to come visit us in the hospital with my mom and that was really nice. She absolutely adores her new baby brother and so far as done amazingly well with the transition of having him as a part of our family.

So far life with baby is going really well! It’s been the typical exhausting sleep deprived first week, and I’m still ridiculously sore and hurting all over. I know that my recovery this time will be so much faster than it was with Amber though, so I’m very grateful for that.

I can hardly believe that I now have two gorgeous perfect kiddos. I couldn’t be happier though and am so grateful for everything! ♄

Week 40 Preggers Updated

Nope, no picture this time–sorry! If I took one it would show a ginormous, very low hanging belly and a grumpy cranky pants looks on my face.
Use your imagination! 😉
So yes, my due date has come….and gone…and here we are.
Had my 40 week appointment today. Baby is still doing lovely, he’s just apparently gotten used to his warm dark home of the past 10 months and has decided to stay there for a bit.
I’m dilated to almost a 5 (Holy Cow??!!) but not in active labor yet (apparently-since if I was I’d be in the hospital and not blogging–I’m not that much of a die hard) I had the Dr. strip my membranes today in hopes of kick starting labor, so far nothing but my fingers are crossed!!!
Looks/feels like not much is going on yet though.
My mom is changing her flight and will miss my sis-in-laws shower which is next Tuesday. Majorly bummed out about that but what can you do?
If this little guy decides to be difficult I will have my next apt. on Monday. If I’ve gotten to that point (which I’m praying I don’t) without having him I do think I’ll let the Dr. go ahead and break my water. He seems to think that would instantly trigger me going into labor full force since I’m already so dilated and my mom does need to get back before my Dad gets too cranky (hehe). This is the longest they’ve been apart in 28 years of marriage (how cute is that?!) and he’s really starting to miss her.
So for now–that’s the game plan!
On another note I’ve gotten hit on–really truly–twice in the past 2 weeks!!! How weird (and slighty creepy) is that??
The first time was in the Commissary on the 15th. I was waddling past the end cap of pickles and in my peripheral vision I saw a guy looking over at me. I rounded the display that was in the middle of the aisle (which had been blocking me from the chest down) and turned to pick out some chicken–in doing so I revealed my ginormous belly. I heard this weird coughing/sputtering/”whoa” sound and looked over to see if the guy was dying or something. Instead he was staring at me. He was probably in his early 30s, dressed in a business suit, and slightly goofy looking. As he stared he told me, “You are so beautiful!!!!”
My many years of getting hit on by grandpas/truck drivers/marines/jocks/creeps/and the occasional truly nice hot guy while working at Wal*Mart (not being proud–if you’re a girl under 50 who works at Wal*Mart as a cashier–you will get hit on regardless of what you look like) has me trained to respond to any comment like this without being the tiniest bit flustered. I just smiled and said, “Thank you!” Then turned back to the chicken breasts and hoped he’d leave.
He didn’t.
“Are you due soon?” He asked. I replied with, “Yes, next week.” And picked up a package and started walking away (even though I really needed 3 more). He called out, “Well good luck!” “Thanks,” I replied waddling quickly away while scanning the aisles to try to figure out where on earth my hubby had gone!
(turns out he was getting hit on by the cute little Korean cashiers–yeesh are we just a hot couple or what??? Hehe)
Which brings me to today’s incident:
My Drs. office is in downtown Lynn which is apparently the Hispanic District. I say this because virtually every shop on the street has it’s sign in Spanish and I hear Spanish being spoken by almost everyone I pass and in almost every car that drives by. I find it kind of funny on days like today when I’m the only one in the entire office (besides the Dr.) who doesn’t have tan skin (my pasty white legs kinda stick out like a sore thumb) and is speaking very rapidly in Spanish. They’re all very sweet though 🙂
So anyways, I was waddling back to my car (which of course was parked like 3 blocks down in front the The Family Dollar since there is never any closer parking) after my appointment and I pass in front of one of the Mexican businesses and there is a guy washing the window outside. He watches me waddle up and when I get within ear shot he says, “Well hello there Cutie Pie!!!!” Again–my “training” kicked in so I just kept walking but smiled and said, “Hi.” He then asked how I was doing and I said good. By this time I was getting past him and once I was I thought I heard him say, “D#@*!!!” You know–with the inflection that guys do when something is hot?? So yeah..I ignored that, waddled faster, and locked my doors when I got into the car, LOL!!!!
So anywho–hope those made you laugh 😀 And I’ll keep you all updated!!! 

Amazing Music Box Co.

Did you ever have a jewelry music box as a little girl? The ones where when you opened the lid music would play and a ballerina would pop up and spin around? There was something about those pretty pink and purple boxes that just thrilled my little girl soul. It was so much fun to wind up the box and watch the ballerina twirl around and around. I would hide all my treasures in it from my jewelry to pretty rocks that I found. It seemed like each of my friends had one they treasured as well!
Now that I’m a grownup I still love, and need, a jewelry box. I’ve moved past the plastic toy ones now so when I found out about the Music Boxes on Amazing Music Box Co. they were just what I would want! They even have elegant grown up versions of the Ballerina Music Boxes!
This one is definitely my favorite! I love how unique the wood is and can just imagine putting my real treasures in one of the velvet lined boxes!
Their ballerina boxes are definitely not the only kind of music box they offer though! From Christmas Music Boxes to Baby Music Boxes you can find any and every kind that you could ever want or need. Their products are all hand made by artisans from Sorrento, Italy, and each music box comes with a variety of colors, finishes, inlays, and sizes. One of these boxes would be a perfect birthday, Christmas, baby, or Mother’s Day gift! My favorite music box is the light blue floral trunk box. I just love the design, the colors, and the details!
**I will receive monetary compensation for this post but the opinions and writing above are entirely my own, as I’ve said before—my opinions can’t be bought!**

(a late) 39 Weeks Preggers Update

My emotions are so mixed at this point.
I cannot wait to hold my baby boy in my arms, to quit being huge and miserable and pregnant.
I have yet to wrap my head around the fact that I will soon have two children!
My mom flew in late last Sunday night and we’ve had a wonderful week together! Monday was my 25th birthday and it was the best one I’ve had for years and years! To celebrate I slept in (yes that is a big deal, I’m relishing it while I still can!!) then it was lunch at Panera for just us girls (Me, mom, & Amber) then we came back and put Amber down for a nap and while Bob “babysat” me and my mom went and got mani/pedis. I was hoping it would put me into labor but no such luck! It was still wonderful though and we both had a great time, it was my mom’s first time ever having a pedicure! Opened gifts for both my birthday and baby Tyler throughout the day (always fun!) and dinner that night was Victoria Fillet and Snow Crab at Outback *heaven in my mouth* After putting Amber to bed (Bob “babysitting” again) me and Mom went and saw Eclipse. I was so excited–it was the first time I’d gotten to see a Twilight movie in the theater!
I had an absolutely *amazing* day!!!
Thursday was my Drs. apt. for my 39 week check up. I was thrilled to find out that the baby is super low and I’m 3 cm dilated! He said I would probably go into labor this weekend, which sadly hasn’t happened yet 🙁 I’m *praying* that today will be the day! If not I have an apt. tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. to see what’s happening and discuss a game plan. It sounded like the Dr. would like to have me go in tomorrow afternoon to get my water broken/start Pitocin but after what happened with Amber I don’t want to be induced!!! My feelings were reaffirmed this morning when I read this really good Induction 101 article! I’ve decided that I just really want to go into labor on my own this time and am determined to wait it out!
Everything has gotten a bit more complicated when it comes to waiting it out, however. Originally the plan was for my mom to stay till the 26th and Bob’s mom would fly in the 25th to take over baby watch duty. That way even if I was way late or way early we’d be covered. Bob’s dad had to have quadruple bypass open heart surgery this past Monday. He is doing well although he is still in the hospital and I would greatly appreciate your prayers for him! Obviously this was a huge unexpected thing that made her change her plans. So now we’re praying Tyler shows up early so that my mom can still leave when she originally planned to and not have to worry about the hassle of changing her flight or missing my sister-in-law’s baby shower.
Speaking of which after going 13 days past her due date my little niece Evelynn finally made her grand debut on July 13th!!!! It’s the first time I’m an aunt and I couldn’t be more thrilled! She’s gorgeous and both mommy and baby did great during labor and delivery. My brother said life is good but that they’re very sleep deprived–ah the joys of life with a newborn :oD
So there’s the update on all things Nicole! I’m hoping I will go into labor right…..NOW!
Ok…didn’t work! But I am very hopeful that one of the next entries will be announcing the birth of my little boy! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers! 

Summer Bonding Project

I’ve been into scrapbooking since I was in High School. As most of you know in the past few years I’ve converted completely to digital scrapping–but I still have a ton of papers, embellishments, stickers, and more from my paper scrapping days. Because of this I like to come up with fun and creative things to do with all my “left overs”. I was really excited when I got the chance to review a couple of Glue Dots great products! You can visit the Glue Dot Fan Page Here to find out more about them.
My sister is spending the summer on staff at a Bible Camp in Wyoming and her 17th b*day is this coming week (mine is July 12th, hers is the 13th–I always say she was my late b*day present 🙂 ) Anyways I haven’t gotten to talk to her much this summer and wanted to do something fun and special for her birthday. Greeting cards these days are just so “blah”. It seems like I spend an hour to find one that doesn’t even seem that funny or say what I want it to. I decided to create a very special birthday card just for my sister instead of buying one!
Here is how you can make your very own card too!
Materials: Scrapbooking Paper, paper scraps, Glue Dots, Marker, Envelope, and something to cut with
Step #1 Fold and cut the Scrapbook Paper so that it fits into your envelope
Step #2 Trim the picture to the size & shape you want and use glue dots to attach it to a piece of paper to create a frame around it
Sept #3 Cut Scrap Paper into strips of random sizes and use glue dots to attach them to front of the card
Step #4 Use  glue dots to attach matted picture on top of paper strips
Step #5 Use your marker to decorate and write an insanely witty comment
Step #6 Mail the card and think about the giggles it will cause when read, throw in some cash too–since everyone deserves to get b*day presents!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Glue Dots blogging contest to be eligible to receive a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Better Than Ever

Amber thinks life is better than ever too!

After my “oh my word I’m miserable” post it is nice to have a reason to stop and think about why at this very moment (huge swollen belly-heartburn and all) my life is truly better than ever before!!! Here are my top 5 reasons right off the top of my head!

#1. I’m about to meet my newest love. I adore everything about being a mom to Amber and can only imagine how much love will be in my heart when it expands to love and adore her little brother as well!
#2. The reinforcements. Both my mom and my mom in law are flying in to help pre and post baby. Because of this awesome support team who are more than happy to do dishes, make meals, and play with Amber I will actually get a chance to rest and enjoy their visits and the first precious days with my new baby-not to mention possibly getting to nap even??!! 😀
#3. My a-MAZ-ing new apartment. Yes–I’m still totally in love-have you seen the pictures? Who wouldn’t be???
#4. According to all you lovely followers and my FB Friends I look amazing and beautiful and glowing even though I’m 38 weeks pregnant. And if you’re lying it doesn’t matter because you make me feel fabulous and loved!
#5. My b*day is next Monday, I’ll be 25 and I could not be more thrilled with where I am in life!!!!! Just to recap I have a hottie husband, a beautiful daughter, a baby boy who will be arriving soon, awesome friends, an amazing work at home job, a fab place to live–my life basically ROCKS!!!!
So there are just my highlights! Why is your life better than ever?!
Be sure to check out Dove¼ gofreshℱ Facebook Contest Page so you can share and win too!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Dove¼ gofreshℱ blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card and some product. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

EcoStore USA *Review*

As I’ve mentioned before, once Amber was born my thinking about the cleaners, lotions, soaps, and virtually all the products in our house totally changed. Once we discovered she had eczema I was forced to change my thinking even more. Because of all of this I was excited to find out about EcoStore USA whose tagline is “No Nasty Chemicals” –that’s exactly what I was looking for!
I actually already had a few of their products, so when the store approached me about doing a review I was more than happy to say yes! The picture above shows all the various products I’ve gotten from them and I have nothing but good to say about all of them!
As most of you know we’ve been going through the Potty Training phase the last several weeks. I needed a cleaner that would be strong enough to clean up the many, many “Oopps” on the bathroom floor, but since we’d be spending so much time around it and walking on it barefoot I wanted it to be non-toxic as well. The All Purpose Spray Cleaner has been perfect for this! It does a great job of cleaning up and smells so good (a definite plus for in the bathroom). Since I knew we’d both be washing our hands a bunch too, I wanted to use a soap that wouldn’t dry my hands out and wouldn’t irritate Amber’s skin. The Baby Soap has worked wonderfully for this!
The other baby products I’ve gotten from them are the Baby Shampoo, Baby Body Wash, and Nappy Balm. The shampoo has worked wonderfully, even on Amber’s super long hair! It makes it super soft and detangles it great! I didn’t pay attention that the body wash was aromatherapy so can’t use it on Amber since her skin is so hyper-sensitive that even awesome natural fragrance makes her break out. I did steal it for myself however–and I love it! LoL. It smells sooooo good and it’s super gentle on my preggo skin. It doesn’t feel/smell like just a baby wash and I would recommend it for anyone! I used the nappy balm on Amber while she was still in diapers. It did a great job at clearing up mild cases of diaper rash, although I did find that I needed to use special stuff when she had really bad cases (again, because of her eczema/sensitive skin she requires special stuff and breaks out much worse than much babies).
EcoStore USA has great quality, non-pricey, green products with no nasty chemicals! I would highly recommend them and their products to anyone! Also they’re having a special BOGO for the month of July where we are doubling all orders placed!

Week 38 Update

There comes a point where you’re just OVER IT!
I have now reached that point.
Every night for the past 3 nights I’ve been up every 2 hours with either massive heartburn, an aching-throbbing back, nausea (yes at 38 weeks I’m still puking at least once a week) or because I have to pee since baby boy’s head is pressed firmly against my bladder.
And, of course, Amber has felt the need to wake up several hours earlier than normal screaming bloody murder either because on Sunday she “Had to go POTTY” (I walked in to find her naked from the waist down holding a wet pull up) then on Monday she’d ripped her nail off somehow and it was hanging on by a bloody thread. Sigh. Once I got her into the bathroom a mosquito attacked her and she absolutely freaked out when I killed it in front of her.
So if I look exhausted in the above picture-now you know why.
Pity-party rant is now over. Hey–I gotta vent somewhere right? 🙂 Hubby just told a co-worker what a trooper I was today and that I’m great about not complaining. And I do try to be because I really am so thankful to be pregnant with a beautiful healthy baby–but sometimes, you just gotta rant!
On the upside my appointment last week went great even though I had to get tested for Group B strep and all that fun jazz. I got to meet the midwife on staff and she’s a total sweetheart and is also 100% encouraging about me trying for the VBAC so I feel confident that I’m making the right choice!
My mom flies out this Sunday and I’m SO excited!!!! That’s why I’ve been posting so much lately-I’m trying to get totally caught up before my mom gets here so I can just focus on her and the baby coming after this week 🙂 My 25th birthday is next Monday and it’ll be so nice to get to spend it with her since I haven’t been with any of my family on my birthday since I got married 5 years ago. I’m still really worried she’ll miss Tyler being born but hoping and praying he’ll come early so she doesn’t have to.
I especially hope she doesn’t miss both babies being born since my sister-in-law Allegra is now 5 days past her due date and nothing is happening still. Poor thing–I remember how each day past Amber’s due date just got progressively worse and worse! Hoping something happens soon for Allegra’s sake!
My next appointment isn’t until the 14th! Hopefully I’ll be close to going into labor by that point 😀 I’m definitely ready for this little guy to get here!!!

i ♄ faces ~ Teens-Only Challenge

Eternity is Black and White
by Ryan Romero
Age 19
this week’s challenge at i ♄ faces is Teens Only! The most talented photographer in my family has got to be my younger brother Ryan! I’ve put up several of his incredibly shots on my blog before. He amazes me at how much natural talent he posses and he has a knack of always thinking up creative angels and shots that would have never crossed my mind. He was so excited to be a part of this week’s challenge!
Be sure to go and check out all the other talented teen’s pictures here as well!