Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Long and Unexpectedly Short of It

When we last left off, the Poppy was born VBAC style on her due date, accompanied by two epidurals, some hours and a lot of discomfort.  When #3 was on the way, we planned another VBAC. His original due date was June 22nd, but that was moved up to the 16th, due to his measuring ahead.  But I wondered to myself--does the baby know the due date is moved?  

On Wednesday the 14th the doctor stripped the membranes. On the 15th I felt pretty terrible, mostly because of the 14th.  Luckily my mom was here and she kept everyone amused while I flopped around the house.  As with the Poppy, I had had contractions now and then for the last few weeks, but nothing consistent and nothing more than annoying. Around 5:00 I noticed they were getting more painful and at 7:00 I started timing them.  We put people to bed, then sat around until 9:30 or so.  Then off we went to the hospital and I cried most of the way because hormones?      

We arrived and I got checked at 9:45 and was at a 3 (of 10), which was...exactly where I was at my appointment the day before.  Sigh.  So the nurse said she'd check me in an hour and if anything changed then they'd admit me.  (Exactly what happened with the Poppy, if you recall [which you probably don't because why])  As with the Poppy, I threw up dinner, just shy of the 10:45 recheck time.  I think the nurse took pity on me at that point and said she could check whenever I was ready.  

I walked back and forth in the room until 11:15, the nurse came back and I was at a 5!  A 5!  Do you know how many hours it took to get to a 5 with the Poppy?  Actually, I myself do not know, but it was a lot longer.  Anyway, so I finally got admitted and a new team of nurses came in at 11:30 to put in my IV, which had to be done before I could get the epidural.  Even though I was planning for an epidural (as per my doctor's recommendation for a VBAC), I was really hoping to be more calm until that epidural came.  Not that I was a crazy person with the Poppy but, this being the second time around, I wanted to manage myself better.

The one nurse--I will call him Guy Nurse, because he was a guy--spent LITERALLY 20 minutes deciding where to place the IV.  He didn't want to put it in my hand because he thought that was "mean" so he finally put it in my wrist.  Except that didn't work so he put it in my hand after all.  Except that didn't work either and he had to take it out and blood sprayed all over.  Needless to say, I considered stabbing HIM with the needle many times. 

The other nurse--I will call her Lady Nurse, because she was a lady--put an IV in my other hand in about 30 seconds.  The lesson here is that it is MUCH more mean to take 20+ minutes making two failed attempts at an IV than it is to just put it in my dang hand.  But I suppose my irritation distracted me a bit from the contractions, HA.  Was that his plan all along??  

So, the time is now just shy of midnight.  The epidural guy is right next door, the IV is in, the doctor is coming and will break my water after the epidural is done.  The doctor arrives before the epidural guy (official job title) and decides to just go ahead and break my water.  The guy better hurry with the epidural, he says, because I'm at an 8.  An 8!  Hurray!  And also ow.  

About 30 seconds after breaking my water, the ow changed to an OW and I said, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!  The baby is coming right now!"  I have a read a LOT of birth stories and people always talk about the sudden need to push--now I know what they mean.  At first everyone was like ", it's okay, just relax..." but they quickly changed their minds.  Baby was riding the tidal wave right out the door.  

The epidural guy arrived about a minute later and offered to try anyway, at least just a local injection.  The nurses told me to skip it, as it clearly wouldn't take long, and they were right.  Nine minutes after the water breakage (an hour after being admitted) and baby was out, exactly on his (new) due date.  

(I guess he got the memo after all.)

8 pounds, 2 ounces and 20 inches of little baby perfection.

By the way, those nine minutes were super painful.  Just really awful.  I've had three babies now (!) and each of them arrived in such different ways and times (Miss A was certainly the slowpoke at being born).  But they have all been so worth it--worth the c section recovery, worth the two epidurals, worth the nine minutes.  

Happy you're here, little one. 

(And not just because I'm now heartburn freeeeeeeeeeeee!)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Kitchen Redo

Remember when I used to blog?  For the better part of last year and this one I actually forgot I even HAD a blog.  But I have come out of blogging hibernation to document our kitchen overhaul because it was a lot of work and it looks so different now.

When we first moved we planned to redo the cabinets at some point, just because I wanted white ones.  Soon after moving in we realized the cabinets had been stained and the workmanship was very poor indeed--streaky and incomplete.  Also the counter was painted.  Not nicely painted, just slapped on and it soon began to chip. The hardware was cheap and flimsy.  So the kitchen grew uglier, but with Babycakes on the way we knew a redo wasn't going to happen anytime soon.  

But cast your minds back to last October.  I whined about how we didn't redo our kitchen still and so we wouldn't do it until next summer and Drew said, "Let's do it this weekend!"  Which is the reaction I was fishing for, to be honest, evvvvvven though I proceeded to complain about all the reasons it wouldn't work before saying okayyyyyy.  

Our original plan was just to start with the cabinets but then we said, why don't we just paint the whole room too?  It seemed the moment.  So that Friday we bought a lot of paint stuff and once the smaller set was in bed we got to work.  

(I spent a lot of Friday taking doors and curtains downs and putting up tape.)

(We wound up doing three coats)

(The inspector came out in the morning and approved of our work.  Yes, he has a whale inside his jammies.)
With stage one complete, we started the long process of doing the cabinets on Saturday afternoon.  We used this kit (which for some reason was IMPOSSIBLE to get at Lowe's but readily available at Home Depot?) and did the Frost color.  I have two tips for this kit: watch the instructional DVD and buy a pack of green scrub pads.  Oh, and get some plastic cups to stand them on and keep hinges in.  Maybe that one is obvious.

Anyway, we set up shop in the garage and got to work scrubbing.

We scrubbed all afternoon and for hours after bedtime.  I won't say it wasn't hard.  I won't say that I didn't want to give up and cry at one point.  And I won't say that it was easy to lift my arms the next day.  BUT we got the scrubbing DONE.


The painting took some time, just because it was coat one side, coat on the other side, coat inside...repeat, repeat.  We tried the antique effect, but it didn't really work with our color so that saved us a step.  So then we sealed everything.  After they dried and set for a while we got to put them back together and the kitchen regained some order.  Plus, new hardware!

I wish I had a picture of the old handles.  Just know that they were cheap and very shiny and annoying.  We got these pewter-ish ones and I love them.  Instead of painting the sides of the big cabinet I decided to do chalkboard paint on them.  I thought it would be fun and I could, you know, write stuff on them.

Turns out I like them better clean looking so...don't tell the kids it's a chalkboard...  I added the clothespins, which are handy.  Kind of wish I'd painted them too though.  (Anyone need any chalkboard paint?)

SO.  The cabinets and the walls were done.  We had a big goal of clearing off the counters so we got an undercabinet CD player, installed some hooks for bananas and got a smaller fruit bowl.  Eventually we hung a wire basket on the cabinet by the sink to put soap and stuff in.  Then we were finally ready to do the counters!  We used this kit, which we had to order.  

First went on the primer coat.  We were pretty pleased just with this change:

The process is basically layering colors over the primer.  It's easy to customize and didn't even take that long either, though we don't have THAT much counterspace.  Plus it's easy enough that certain toddlers can try it out.   

(I should say we plan to get new countertops at some point, but, in the meanwhile, we figured painting them couldn't possibly look worse than their previous paint job.)

And it turned out great!

Like four months later I finally did some art to hang over the window and we called it done!  So now here are the final after pictures:

(New butter dish!)

(New curtains!)

(How'd this get in here?)

Ta da!  Credit for the accessories on the cabinet and the whale hook goes to Hobby Lobby. Side story: one reason we got that red buoy is because if you ask Mr C what those are called, he'll say, "A GUH!" for some reason.  He knows the real term, but he still says that anyway and Miss A probably thinks that's what they're called.  We'll set her straight before college.  

On a semi-related note, here are three food things I am really excited about lately:

This tomato soup, which has replaced all other recipes as my favorite.

These pickled red onions, which are so good I was eating them out of the jar.

Making hard boiled eggs in the oven--WHAT.  This is life changing, people!  I can't find a good link so I will just tell you:
1) Eggs in a muffin tin
2) Muffin tin in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes
3) Eggs straight into an ice bath
4) Eat all the eggs (which are SO easy to peel!)

Best thing ever.

And now I can make all these things in a kitchen that isn't hideous!