Sunday, November 23, 2014

2 months

This cutie is now 2 months old!! At times it seems like he can't be this big already, and at other times it seems like we've had him a lot longer than 2 months!

Our adjustment to parenthood has been great!! Thanks to Ben. Seriously he is the angel baby of all angel babies. I am just waiting for the shizz to hit the fan, because I know that he can't be such an amazing/easy child forever. When talking about his sleeping patterns, eating habits and lack of crying people tell us we are so lucky because we have it easy--but hey, ill take it.

I read the book Babywise, and while I am not 100% convinced that all their methods are the best, I did decide to do their "feed, wake, sleep" cycle that is suppose to help them sleep 8 hours by the time they are 8-10 weeks. Basically I just feed Ben right when he wakes up, then we change him, play and do tummy time, and by the time he starts yawning and making 'fussy' noises we put him down.

 Ben most recently will go for one 7-8 hour stretch between feedings at night, and then right after another 4 hour stretch, meaning lots of sleep for mom!! yay!!

Due to the fact that he sleeps so well at night, Ben will eat every 2 1/2 - 3 hours during the day, which was very different from the 4 hour naps he would take a month ago. It nice that his schedule is becoming more predictable and that he is packing in the hours at night instead of during the day.

When Ben was around 3 weeks old Brigham would make funny faces at him and say, "open your mouth and say AHHH." Ben would just look up at Brig with those big eyes and stare, but now it is his favorite thing in the world. He started to mimic opening his mouth and making noises soon after, and now all we have to do is say "AHH" and Benny will break out into the biggest of grins and start cooing and imitating. At times when I just look at him he will instigate the "Ahhing" and gets so giddy when I understand that he wants to sing together.

We got this play gym at target, and I couldn't be happier! Ben loves the red fox and the hedgehog that sings "rock a bye baby." We will put him on it, and he usually can chill there and wriggle his arms and legs around for a while until he gets tired. He also loves playing with his voice and making all kinds of different noises.

Sometimes I catch Ben looking at my face and smiling. It is the best feeling in the world. He loves his momma :)
The hardest thing so far would have had to been when I had mastitis (absolute worst thing ever), and a cold. And because I had a cold, Benny did too. Poor Benny was pretty congested for at least a week, and while we did all we could to help ease his congestion (humidifier, baths, raised mattress) it still was the pits. Ben couldn't sleep for very long because he had a hard time breathing and he just simply didn't feel well. Plus he was having tummy aches from the antibiotics I was on for the mastitis. Poor guy. However, I am happy to say that we are both healthy and anxiously awaiting our next doctors appointment so his pediatrician will give us the go ahead for going out more. Currently, we are advised to not take him places with lots of people. Also, we cant really go outside anymore because its too cold, plus the entire city is anxiously checking all news outlets for a decision about the Michael Brown shooting in case riots start happening again. Us included. So we have been cooped up in our cozy apartment and I am getting a little stir crazy. Christmas in KC with family can't come soon enough!!  

We sure love this little guy!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Birth Story

I couldn't decide if I wanted to post about my birth story because it would probably sound like I was complaining the whole time, and it still might, but I decided I would so I can have a recollection of it! I was also so grateful for others posting their birth experiences because it helped me prepare for mine, so even though Ben's birth is more of a horror story, I feel like someone else might have to go through something similar, and its good to be prepared.

I first want to say that I am a planner. I like to be prepared, and to do so I knew that I didn't want a very specific 'birth plan' because that, to me, was unrealistic. On my checklist was 1: get an epidural. 2: have a vaginal birth 3: have skin to skin right after he was born.

I felt like these were reasonable expectations, and the rest I knew that the doctors would take care of me. Too bad that #1 caused some major problems, and 2 and 3 were but a dream because they definitely didn't happen.

Due to the fact that I had been in prodromal/latent labor for 10 days (this is not false labor--its when your stuck in the early phase of labor but your body's contractions do not get to the intensity or frequency to put you into active labor) and that I was 5 days over my due date, my doctor said we could schedule an induction for Sunday the 21st. We checked in at 8 am, and the doctors decided to start me on cervidil since I had made no progress for the 10 days I had been having constant contractions.

while on cervidil
After 8 hours, my contractions were painful enough and consistent enough that I decided to get the epidural. Guys, epidurals are awesome, it was painful going in, but I got relief pretty quickly and it allowed me to sleep for what seemed to be a long night. They started me on Pitocin right afterward, and I was able to sleep a little, until they woke me up because my blood pressure had dropped to 80/40. This was due to the epidural working too well so they decreased the amount twice until they were able to get it under control.

At 5 the next morning I was only dilated to a 4 so they broke my water to try and get things moving along. At about 1:00 i was finally dilated to a 7, and at about 3:30pm I was at a 10 and 'pushing.' For the next three hours I pushed, until they told me I was not allowed to anymore. This was a problem because while I was pushing, they turned down my epidural 2 more times to try and have me feel the contractions to push better. Unfortunately the resident did not communicate with the anesthesiologist well because she didn't allow the epidural to wear off before turning it down even more. By the time it had practically completely wore off, Ben was so far down my pelvis that I could feel everything--it was soo painful!! His heartbeat would decrease every time I pushed so at the point where I could feel it all, they told me I couldn't push--which hurts even more.

The doctors say I then spiked a fever (probably because I was in so much pain, and emotionally and physically spent due to the resident's mistake) and because Ben's heart rate increased with my fever, they then said I had an intrauterine infection and needed a c-section. Ben also had not passed through the pelvic bone after 3 hours of pushing (we recently found out his head circumference is in the 98th percentile) so it was unlikely that they could get him out soon.

Thinking that an infection sounded pretty bad, I thought i would be taken quickly to the OR for the c-section. However, they told me it would be another hour until we could get into the OR. And of course the entire time I was in a ton of pain because they still had not adjusted my epidural. We pushed to get in sooner (their excuse was that there was not an anesthesiologist ready--i wasn't having that) and were in the OR prob about 30 mins later.

It took a while to numb me up again, and when they did, my body started uncontrollably shaking due to the plethora of medication my body had undergone for the past 35ish hours. They said that was a normal reaction, but it was extremely uncomfortable. When Brigham came in to the OR, he thought I was shaking because I was so anxious, poor guy! No one told him it was ok! He kept trying to calm me down, but I'll be honest, I was completely freaking out. This was because when they finally got Ben out, there was no crying. This was the absolute worst part of my labor. I kept straining my ears, shaking and all, and still no crying. I kept asking Brigham what was wrong but he kept trying to calm me down saying it would be fine, even though at the time it was not. I would hear the pediatricians saying, "come on little guy." No one was telling us what was going on. I would ask if he was OK when one of the doctors walked by, but they kept going like they didn't hear me. Finally 4 minutes later (they told us it took 4 minutes) he cried!!! YAY!! Later we found out that his 1st Apgar test was only a 1. All he had was a slow heart rate. He was blue. He was not breathing. It was probably a good thing that I couldn't see what was going on because I would have freaked out even more. Luckily it just took him a little longer and his 2nd Apgar test was a 7 (its out of 10).

The nicest delivery nurse then took Brigham over to cut the cord and meet his son (here is Brigham's selfie with Ben)

and then she brought him over to me to snuggle while they closed me up.

Because of the intrauterine infection, Ben had to go to the special care nursery for the 1st 48 hours and go on antibiotics as a precaution. This meant no skin to skin, because I would not be able to get to him until my epidural wore off 6 hours after surgery. So I didn't get to hold him for 6 hours!! It sucked!! However, he got lots of love from Dad and Grandma and Grandpa Crandall.

poor guy got an IV in his arm

All the special care nurses loved Ben because he was so easy to take care of!! He rarely cried and would stare up at you with those wide eyes! He was also a normal size--most of the babies in there are preemies in incubators. After 48 hours, Ben was able to come up to our floor and be in room!! It was sooo nice not to have to get in a wheelchair every 3 hours to go nurse--its hard getting up after a c-section!

Snuggling in the Special Care Nursery

So after 36 hours of labor, we got to meet our beautiful baby boy!! We are so happy that he is healthy! He is now 6 weeks old :)

One thing I learned though the whole experience was that no matter how hard you try, there are some things that you just cannot control. And that's OK. You just have to try and deal with the situation the best you can and move forward.

One of my delivery nurses (I had 8 because I went through 4 shifts) gave an interesting analogy that applied perfectly to our situation. She said no one asks about how you get to Disneyland--whether you drive or go by plane or hitchhike. All that people want to hear is if you had a good time and got to meet Mickey. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get there, just that you did. Well in the end it didn't matter if it was an awful experience giving birth, just that I did, and that Ben was healthy. We feel so grateful and incredibly fortunate to be able to have him in our life.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Little Benny Boy

We couldn't be MORE excited to welcome our newest member of the family!!

We truly are so happy to have him in our world

This little guy is just the best. He loves snuggling and cuddling with mom, and loves play time and listening to classical music with dad. He loves to just hang out with us and intently stare at our faces, the ceiling, or anything that interests him with those big eyes. He is definitely one of the most alert babies I've ever seen. He is a great eater and an even better sleeper. With permission from our pediatrician, we get to let him sleep as long as he wants (YES!!!!). The record was 6.5 hours in between feedings, but it usually is around 4 hours, and for a newborn thats pretty impressive. He loves sucking on his hands, and most recently his binkie. His halo is a MUST because he just breaks out of the snuggest of swaddles.

We couldn't be more in love with him and his curious nature. The adjustment has gone surprisingly well, but we give all the credit to this little dude (and my amazing mother, who was here to help me for the first two weeks after he was born). We keep crossing our fingers that he keeps on being our angel baby.

Brigham is seriously the best dad! I was mentally trying to prepare myself for the worst, thinking he wouldn't be very helpful because he would be so busy with medical school, but boy was I wrong! Every time he comes home, he offers to take the monitor and let me sleep, he happily changes diapers (whaaaa???) and he loves cuddling and playing with his son. He offers to get me my favorite foods (Panera and Q'doba are at the top of the list) before coming home and he watches Ben so I can go run errands or go outside so Im not cooped up all day. Ben adores him and so do I. It has been such a blessing and joy to watch my partner in crime and best friend transition into fatherhood. I feel so lucky to have him and his help. 

Anyways, enough sappy gushing, here are some pictures of our little man!!

Meeting for the first time in the hospital

When my mom was here, we did a photo shoot with all his cute outfits! He was 9 days old when we took these

 He was completely alert the whole time!! Im so happy with the way the photos turned out!!!

Here are some more from our iPhones!

such a good Daddy!

Our first park outing!

Tummy time!! According to Brigham, he has rolled over on his back twice. And he is not even 3 weeks old

Love them
As Brig constantly tells him, "We love you, Little Benny Boy" 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Chalk Paint Series, Dining Chairs

These cool geometric chairs have been in my family FOREVER! And when I say forever, I mean it. They're at least 50 years old.


 My amazing grandpa had these chairs at his family practice (he was a doctor) and after he retired they went up to our family cabin in Idaho for extra seating!
My handsome Grandpa! He was a doctor on WWII

The cabin was a place to play and be with family, so they were definitely hammered over the years and needed some touching up, and luckily I was able to snatch them up when they were no longer needed!

So I do not have any 'during' pictures, I'm sorry!! We were able to redo them so fast! First, I unscrewed the seats from the frames, then we just painted them with Annie Sloan graphite paint! It took 2-3 coats, and was a little bit of a pain getting every edge of all those cut outs but it was totally worth it. I also am glad we didn't lighten it up the gray at all, but kept it that deep graphite color.

After the paint dried we waxed them and buffed them with the clear wax and some old t shirts!

Now on to the seat cushions! I originally wanted these two chairs to go out on our deck, but after they turned out so cute, I wanted them inside for everyday use! Anyways, I went shopping for outdoor fabric at Joann's and fell in love with this print! (All their outdoor fabrics were also 50% off so I got 1 yard for 10 bucks, score!)

I also knew I wanted a much fatter cushion, so I just bought a foam block and cut the edges to fit the frame of the seat.

Once I stripped off the old leather cover, I glued the foam down to the wooden board using super glue. I then cut the fabric around the seat cushion so there was around a 4 inch border on the edges (I had a fat cushion). I then placed the foam side down on the fabric cut out. It looked similar to this one

The website above is actually the website I read to redo these, thank you Pinterest!

Then my mom and I started stapling the fabric around the edges. We first started in the middle of the back side, making our way to the corners, and carefully folding the fabric so it looked good from the front. I was also very sure to pull tightly so it didn't pucker anywhere or get too loose.

Like this one!

Once it was all stapled, we trimmed the excess fabric off so it wouldn't show from the bottom, and then just screwed the chairs back into their frames!

Here is the final product!!!


Here it is on our living room wall!! I call that section of the wall the "Grandpa Wall"--the chair being from my Grandpa Crandall, and the dutch tiles being from my Grandpa VanYperen! I love the way it turned out and how it fits right into our living/family room! The other chair is our desk chair for now.

The Grandpa Wall

Add caption

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Chalk Paint Series, Dresser

With the invention of Pinterest, my eyes have glazed over at all the amazing DIY creations and ideas that flourish there. After getting pregnant I immediately searched those pins for ideas for the perfect nursery and house, but on a "future" med school budget, I knew I needed to make it as affordable as possible. I started dreaming of repainting old furniture and even convinced my husband to move to Colorado so I could do large projects at my parents house. I mean, lets get real, I needed to nest and I couldn't at that point because we still had no idea where we were going to medical school.

I have the most amazing mom, who got super excited with me about my MANY ideas of how I could create my dream nursery. In the short time that we lived with them this summer, we accomplished many amazing projects, and I am so grateful for all my mom's hard work in making it happen! It would not have been even remotely possible without her.

So, while I browsed Pinterest for ideas, those cute dressers that turned into changing tables stuck out to me. I also knew that my old childhood dresser would be perfect for what I needed, so I started imagining all the different ways to paint it and update it. After reading multiple DIY blog posts, I had a general idea of how to do it.... including sanding, priming, and then painting. 

I've had this dresser since 1st grade and it's held up so well!! (I took off hardware before I took this picture so I could shop around for new ones)

This is where the magic of chalk paint comes in, and let me tell you, chalk paint is where its at. What is chalk paint? At first I had no idea either, but my mom and her best friend Jolie had recently discovered it and wanted to try it out.

Chalk paint allows you to just paint straight over a piece of furniture without priming OR sanding. You don't even have to watch your paint strokes, because they all disappear into one beautiful seamless coat. Most pieces of furniture only need 2 coats, and it will even adhere to metal and plastic.  It also drys very fast. Aka super time saver and helps save us beginners from a DIY disaster. Seriously, this stuff is the shiz. It is more expensive than normal paint, but it makes things so much easier, takes no time, and the paint itself goes a long way. In a span of 3 days, we redid this dresser, two dining chairs, a mirror, a end table, and a lamp. 

We used the Annie Sloan chalk paint, by mixing old white and graphite to get a nice medium gray color for the dresser. 
I got this pic from the Internet since I forgot to take my own

Soo off to painting we went! Once we did two coats on the dresser, we decided to distress it a little bit to give it a little more flare. To do so, all we did was sand the edges, and wherever else we thought it would look good. I love it!

Once we got it to look the way we wanted, all we needed to do was apply the wax coat! Waxing is also pretty easy, you just brush it on, and then buffer it in with a white cloth. We used old t shirts and Brigham's strong arms buffing to make it look so good. We ended up doing two coats of wax on the top so its extra durable, I mean it is for a changing table. After the wax is on, your done! 

For the metal hardware, I dry painted the elephants and the pulls with off white and a hint of graphite, and then just put a quick wax coat over them. 


From World Market
From Lowe's



They feel super smooth but still have the distressed look I wanted. I love the bright contrast against the gray of the Dresser!

Here is the final product! I am soo happy about it! Not only was it fairly easy to redo, it looks soo good and was exactly what I was going for! Call me super sentimental, but I also love the fact that its the exact same dresser I used growing up, and now Baby B will have the same one! It only looks cooler :)

Here it is in the nursery

I am want to publicly say THANK YOU to my mom, Jolie, Janet, Nikki and Brigham for helping make it all happen so fast!! They were so kind to help me when I kept adding pieces of furniture to repaint. I am in love with each and every one, and they look so good in our new apartment!

 Dining chair tutorial, mirror and end table to come later.