Monthly Archives: May 2013

Dear Rosebud,

IMG_2297This week you are 16 weeks old. You have taught me more in these last four months than any person has taught me in my entire life. Without you I would not know this depth of love, this height of awe, or this weight of responsibility.

Realizing your life depends on mine gives me goosebumps. I’ve never been a selfless person, but with you I have no choice- I can’t help but put you first. I’ve never been a truly loving person, but with you I can’t help it- I would give my life for yours with no hesitation. I’ve never been a morning person- but with you, I definitely have no choice. 😉 It is my joy to wake up to your smiles and babbles.

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To think that you are my child. My little lamb. My charge.

To think that I am God’s child. His little lamb. His charge. To think that he loves me with this same immense love I have for you, and beyond even that? I can’t, almost don’t, believe it. But I have to.

You’ll never fully understand this love, but you’ll enjoy it and return it the best you know how. To me and to God. And a little while from now, if and when the Lord brings you a little life of your own, you’ll get this same glimpse of Heaven I’m getting right now.

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But right now, you’re mine to love. Mine and your Daddy’s. Also, I have to tell you how cute your Daddy is. He loves you. He calls you “Baybeh” and likes to make you”fly” like an airplane. You love it and it gives me a heart attack. Daddy also lays in your play-gym with you and reads you stories from the Bible. You smile at him a lot.

This month you’ve had lots of adventures! A trip to Granny’s house (you just started teething and want to chew on everything), your first trip to the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival

IMG_2252(you screamed), your first time to reach for something, your first time to swing outside (which you seemed to like :)), your first time to grab your toes. We celebrated Daddy’s birthday and you even went to your first garage sale. 🙂 We’ve also had a couple “play-dates” with friends you’ve had since you were all in your Mommies’ tummies. About a week ago your Nana and Pa came back home from Romania, and to complete your fourth month of life, your Aunt Breesey and Uncle Kendall came to stay with us for a few days before they move to the Amazon to be missionaries. You have lots of missionary family, ya know.

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You certainly are one loved little girl. We adore each precious minute we get with you.

Happy 4 month birthday, Rosebud.

Love,
Mama

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Pregnancy in Hindsight

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My sister entertaining me during early labor. 😉

Pregnancy is such a good season of life. It grows a woman in more ways than the size of her belly. When I first saw those little pink lines on a pregnancy test, I had no idea what to do next. What books should I read? What clothes do I wear when I start to show? Can I drink this Dr Pepper? Well, thankfully I have a great resource in my sister, Bambi (who blogs over at In the Nursery of the Nation), and she handed over some great books and thoughtful advice.

In hindsight, there are a couple things I’m glad I read and continually referred back to. There are also a few things I wish I had done while our bun was in the oven.

Here are the resources I found most helpful:

  1. “The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy” by Shonda Parker. This was my go-to book for info on diet, vitamins, herbs, etc.
  2. This Post on “What to Wear during Pregnancy”
    “Walking With Dancers” is one of my favorite blogs. She is honest, encouraging, and a captivating writer. I first
    discovered her blog when I re-pinned a pin to this article on Pinterest. Pin pin pin. Pin. (Is that enough “pins?”)
    She  gives some great ideas of what is best to wear for each trimester.
  3. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again! If you are pregnant, watch The Business of Being Born.
  4. Maybe the most helpful tool I found was other Moms. The more recent the Mama, the better. 😉 Some people drove me crazy telling me their experiences (mostly how late their babies were… an overdue Mother does not appreciate your heartfelt story of your 2-months-late-delivery), but many were very helpful and encouraging when it came to random little questions or concerns I had. Find a community of Mamas and make some friends!
One of the last pictures of be at my biggest. Eek!

One of the last pictures of be at my biggest. Eek!

And here are a few things I will do next time around, Lord willing:

  1. I will stay active. I will walk with the stroller, continue Pilates, and/or find a prenatal yoga class. I will build strength and stamina for labor, which was exhausting!
  2. I will eat more. Yes, I said more! Towards the end of pregnancy I wasn’t eating very well. I honestly just wasn’t always hungry, but I think it’s because I wasn’t active. I will follow a more consistent diet.
  3. Towards the end of pregnancy and during labor, I will walk more. Especially during labor, next time around I want to try to walk more through contractions. I think my birth with Rosebud could have moved a lot faster if I had been up and about, using gravity to help bring her down.
  4. Lastly, I will buy more nursing bras. End of story.

What were some resources you found helpful for pregnancy or birth? Let me know in the comments! (Ya know, for next time around! ;))

Mama's Day

I’m thankful I get to celebrate my first Mother’s Day with my missionary Mama who is in the country for a few months. 🙂 I love you, Mom!

Also, Rosie gave me the gift of sweet SLEEP last night, from about 8:30 PM- 10:00 AM and only woke up to nurse a couple times. I feel like a new person! Praise the Lord!

Happy Mother’s Day, all you Mama’s. My gift to you is this article. You are more important than you know.

Love,

H

An Introduction

Now that I’ve posted a few things that I had on the front of my brain, I wanted to throw out a little introduction to this new blog of mine.

I used to struggle with the idea of even having a blog, because I wanted my life to be lived with integrity. What I mean is, I didn’t want to do things just because they would make a good story, and I didn’t want to miss moments with people because I was busy hiding behind my iPhone camera to really enjoy them. So, why have I decided to start one now? I have two reasons:

1. I love to write. I communicate best through writing- to people, to God, and to myself. I don’t want to let an important skill slip away due to lack of practice. I prefer to sit and write in my journal, but I’m afraid I type much faster than I write. So, this blog will serve as a memoir of sorts for my new little family and I. It will be much more efficient and reliable than me trying to write in my journal, and we’ll get to share stories with you!

2. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” -Galations 1:10. I don’t claim to have much wisdom, but I am honest. If I can share anything that could possibly help or encourage someone, then sharing our story will be worth it! I don’t write to please people or gain praise for myself, but to encourage others in similar walks of life in their journey.

So, here it is! The blog of a young wife and new Mama living the small-town apartment life and learning big lessons along the way!

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Hannah

Rosebud’s Nursery (Under $500!)

I have to admit- I love Pinterest. It used to be a source of discontentment for me, but I’ve learned to admire and move on instead of desiring every single thing I pin. 🙂 When it came to Rosebud’s room, I knew I really wanted to do something special. But we rent a two bedroom apartment, and we aren’t exactly wealthy. 😉 SO! We had to get creative with how we decorated and thanks to help from a wonderful family (and some Pinterest inspiration) we were able to put together a cute little room for our baby girl!

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I tend to have a very, erhm, eclectic style. People would ask “What are your colors for the nursery?” and I would say, “Pink, yellow, white, and grey… and chevron print and elephants.” “Ohhh…” It made sense to me! We even ended up with some browns in there too with the crib and dresser. It all ended up working pretty well together, especially for our budget!

1. The crib a1crib

We found this natural wood crib/changing table combo on Craigslist for $60! We actually bought it super early, like in September. But I was getting anxious to get going on the nursery, and buying it and putting it up made me feel like we were really getting ready for a baby. 🙂 The only minor problem was that the standard changing pad did not fit in this table. In October we found a changing pad for $3 at a garage sale, cut it down to size, and voila! I opted out of using a changing pad cover because 1.) like I said, it wasn’t standard size, and 2.) I wanted it to be easy to clean off in case of accidents- of which we’ve had plenty. 🙂

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2. The bedding

Our yellow, grey and white chevron print bedding came from Target. I wanted something gender-neutral. If Rosebud turned out to be a boy I was going to paint the walls grey and go with it. 😉 It turned out to be the most expensive item in our nursery at $200. We received it as a shower gift and we are soooo thankful! I almost just bought a crib sheet and some neutral bumper pads, but I’m glad we decided to go with the bedding set. It makes the room very cutesy. 🙂

3. Paint

The same day we bought the crib we painted the bedroom. I wish I remembered the name of the color, but ironically it had “Rose” in the title. I wanted a girly color, but I didn’t want pastels. We chose a coral-y, Rosey color and painted the walls in the natural light. We put our brushes down, stepped back and admired- it looked perfect! However, once night fell and we were looking at the room in the yellow overhead light, the walls looked kind of red. Oops. Oh, well! We still love the color and I just open the blinds during the day. 🙂 Overall I think we spent less than $30 on paint (and paint supplies).

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4. The rocking chair

Another Craigslist find! I fell in love with this rocking chair from Target from the get-go, but in the end we just couldn’t come to terms with the price tag. So, I started searching for the things I wanted in a chair. I wanted a comfy upholstered rocker, because Iknew I’d be spending lots of time in it over the next few months years. I also wanted it to be white to match our color scheme. I was nervous about buying a white chair for fear of stains, dirt, dust, etc. But when I found this one that had barely been used for only $75, I knew it was the one! It is a swivel-rocker. I actually fell asleep sitting up in it the othernight. Whoops!

5. The shelves

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There are two white shelves in Rosebud’s room. One is a tall bookshelf and one hangs on the wall. They are perfect condition and exactly what we wanted. Guess where we got them? The curb! Can you say F-R-E-E? My awesome Aunt is the best at finding stuffat garage sales, second-hand stores, and even on the curb when people put them out as trash. I have no idea why they were just throwing out perfectly good shelves, but I’m glad they did. 🙂 She found them both in her neighborhood and brought them over! The one hanging on the wall was originally red but we gave it a coat of white spray paint and it was good to go!

window6. The Window Valance

This was a project I found here on Pinterest! Cheap foam board + chevron fabric from Hobby Lobby + hot glue + a little bit of painter’s tape and I had myself a cheap window treatment! I probably spent about $5 total on this project.

 

 

 

7. Bow/headband holder

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Another Pinterest inspiration, I made this headband holder from an oatmeal can, Modge Podge, and some yellow/white chevron ribbon from Hobby Lobby. I originally planned to put it on a candle stick holder like the original, but I ended up really liking how simple it looked by itself! I throw most of the bows inside the can instead of putting them around it. That way they’re easier to get to and they don’t cover up the cute yellow chevron stripes! I spent less than $5 on this project and ate lots of yummy oatmeal to get it. 🙂 I also had some leftover ribbon and used it to hang up my little diaper sorter on the side of the crib!

8. Other little details

The rest of the little details really helped pull the room together. We found the cute little glass elephant bowl (on the hanging shelf) at TJ Maxx and put it on the shelf with some stuffed elephants. I bought the embroidery hoops (inspiration here!) for .50 cents each at a resale shop (instead of $1-$3 in the craft store) and covered them in fabric I already had laying around. I bought the natural wood dresser at an estate sale of sorts for $50 back before Kip and I got married. Kip and I consolidated to one dresser and used this one for baby clothes! The white toy box was mine when I was little. It is currently filled with fabric and craft supplies, but I promise to clean it out before Rosebud gets big enough to get into it!

 

9. Last, but not least…

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What I know you want to see… the mobile! Isn’t it precious?? Without it my original theme of an elephant nursery really wouldn’t have come together. Where did we get it? Well, I happen to have a fabulous sister who is way more creative than I could ever hope to be. When she told me she wanted to make Rosebud’s mobile for me, I got so excited! I knew she could make us something cute and unique- something baby girl would treasure forever! We decided to hang it above the rocking chair basically because I was paranoid about hanging something from our ceiling over my sleeping baby. At least if it falls now, it will bonk me in the head instead of her.

P.S. Don’t you just love the elephants’ little eyelashes?!

 

So, my advice for creating a nursery on a budget? Start early, search Craigslist (or the curb ;)), and be patient! It will come together, just maybe not all at once. It was so nice to have everything finished before we delivered, even if creating it was a process over several months. Rosebud’s room was ready for her, just waiting for her to come snuggle and play! We received a TON of help from our families and friends as well, and we want to say thank you to everyone who continues to support us as we learn how to be parents. 🙂 We love you all so much!

1 Year Ago.

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My hands grip the sides of the bathroom counter. My eyes lock on the face in the mirror. “Mama?”
May 4th, 2012. My handsome husband and I are celebrating his 22nd birthday with friends, eating dinner and seeing The Avengers premier. Kip’s Mama and siblings came into town to surprise him and join us for the festivities. It was a blast, Kip was surprised, and “The Avengers” movie was awesome. Mission accomplished. On the way home from all the excitement, it was a pretty sleepy ride for both of us. Words came out of my mouth before they made it to my brain. “Kip, what would you do if we found out we were pregnant?” It was just a question, and I was curious. He told me how happy he would be, and that a child (even this early in marriage) would be a blessing. I echoed his thoughts, and the subject of conversation changed. By the time we got home, I had such a crazy headache I passed out without telling Kip one last “Happy Birthday.”
The next morning I woke up when Kip was already gone to work. Something in me clicked; something felt different. I got out of bed and went straight for the pregnancy test I’d had in the cabinet for a while (out of paranoia). I did was what was required of me, set the test on the bathroom counter, and went about my business, brushing my teeth and doing my normal morning routine. I put one contact in my eye, blinked, and looked at the test. I could see the first line clearly, and there appeared to be a faint… second… naahhh. I put in my other contact and focused for a few seconds. There, on that little funny-looking stick, were two pink lines. Positive. Pregnant. Baby in belly. I didn’t scream, or jump up and down, or cry… I just stood there and looked at it. I gripped the counter and looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “Mama. Me?!”
I drove straight out to Sanger, where Kip was working at the time, and he could tell something was going on. I sat down next to him, and pulled out the pregnancy test I had brought in a plastic baggie. (Is that creepy?! Kip makes fun of me for that. I mean, it was in a completely secure little bag. No pee on anything except what ought to be peed on. I think that’s totally okay.) His hazel-green eyes lit up, and the most beautiful, genuine smile crossed his face. He had anticipated his reaction correctly: he was (and still is) happy and this is a blessing.
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1 year ago today, we found out our Rosebud existed. Now we have this beautiful, wonderful, almost-14-week-old little girl. We celebrated Kip’s birthday by staying home with a fussy baby, finally laying her down for a nap and taking one with her. 😉 As I sit and type, I hear Kip playing peek-a-boo and blowing raspberries on Rosebud’s tummy. 🙂 What a difference a year can make in circumstances and in people’s hearts. I know we have been forever changed by this little life, and I’m very thankful that I am, in fact, a Mama. 🙂
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Why We Chose Natural Birth

When we decided to deliver our little Rosebud at a Birth Center instead of a hospital, we got lots of questions and comments.

“Why would you go through all that pain if you don’t have to?” “How can that be safe?” “It doesn’t seem sanitary.” “Are you crazy?” “That’s such a hippy thing to do.” “My cousin tried to have a natural birth and had to be transferred to a hospital and almost DIED on the way.” “What if you need a C-Section?” “Are you scared?” “You know, there’s no medal for having a natural birth.”

It seems that for every choice you make as a parent, someone has roughly 7.65 horror stories of others who made the same decision. Choosing natural birth is no different. Knowing that most people do not have ill intentions behind their questions or stories, I tried to respond as graciously as I could while still sticking to our choice. However, I wanted to take some time to answer some of those questions here so hopefully I can provide some information on any who might be hesitant about natural birth or any who might genuinely think we’re crazy.

1. “Why would you go through all that pain if you could choose to have drugs instead?”

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First of all, we didn’t come to this decision very quickly. I won’t pretend that I am very brave, or that I have a very high pain tolerance. On the contrary, I am quite the wimp. I read birth stories, watched documentaries, and talked to many Mamas. I finally came to realize that I was not sick, I was pregnant. The pain of labor is purposeful. Unlike breaking a bone or  being wildly ill where you may need medication, labor was just that- labor. It was work, but it was a natural process and as long as I had a healthy, normal pregnancy I didn’t need any unnecessary intervention.

Secondly, my reading and research showed me that unnecessary medications for delivery did not have a good track record. Since birth moved into the hospital, several different drugs and methods have been used to “take away the pain” and have had devastating side effects. I highly recommend seeing “The Business of Being Born” (free on YouTube and Netflix). I watched this documentary several times throughout my pregnancy for inspiration and to remind myself why we made the choice we did!

2. “Is it safe?”

Yes. Certified Nurse Midwives are highly trained and experienced in what they do. They handle healthy, normal pregnancies and deliveries. If any intervention (C-Section, Pitocin, etc..) is necessary, they will detect that quickly and a transfer to a hospital will be made. Otherwise, choosing a good birth center or even delivering at home with a midwife is safe, sanitary, and normal.

3. “Would you do it again?”

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Yes. But I’ll be honest. Immediately afterwards, I wasn’t sure I would ever have a baby again. Ha. (I know I’m not the only one who has felt that way!) And honestly, I’m still scared of the next time around! But I know what to expect now, and in hindsight I know what I could have done differently to help my labor move faster: walking more, drinking water early on, and (hopefully) having a water birth. All of which I am free to do in a natural birth setting, as I am not hooked up to any machines or IV’s. I enjoyed feeling in control of my actions as I gave birth to my baby. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
And as for the comments about it being a “hippy” thing to do, I just say “please meet my husband.” “Hippy” is #1 on the list of words that DON’T describe him (though it might be in the top 5 that do describe me :)), but he IS a man who researches and makes decisions based on facts. Many people spend more time researching a new computer or car than they spend researching their options for birth! And while there is no medal for having a baby naturally, I will say there is a wonderful sense of  strength and awe at what God does within the heart and body of a woman in labor.

These are the most common questions and comments I’ve received, but I am always open to more. Feel free to leave me a comment or contact me! I’m not shy. 🙂

Love,  H.