Monday, January 31, 2011

Birth Stories

I wrote these out for a friend earlier last week, and then thought " I don't think I ever documented them on my blog". So i thought I would do that now. (for all you men, if there are any, that read this, sorry, you probably won't care to read this one) Also be forwarned - it's sorta lengthy.
I also am amazed when I think back over it all at how good God was to me, and a huge testimony to His will and grace in our lives.
Carson - my water broke 8 days before my due date. (around midnight March23rd) I had taken birthing classes and learned as much as I could about it all. it was hard for me to know what to expect and how I could handle pain and what that would be like. My contractions didn't pick up fast (I was in the hospital) so after about7 or 8 hrs and not dialating more than about 2 cm they started inducing. Things went well after that and progressed fast and good. I did end up getting and epidural. But the entire time after they started the pitocin Carson's heart rate was dropping a lot through contractions. They put some probe type thing up inside me into his head to monitor it better. Well needless to say - once I got to the pushing stage, around 4pm on a monday March 23rd, they let me push through a couple contractions, we could see his head etc. but his heart rate dropped way too much and everyone rushed in and they took him emergency c-sec. :( I was extremely disappointed. and have struggled with the fact that I could not deliver him the normal way, and always felt bad about that. But also thankful that we both are healthy. He was very healthy and we were so happy to have him in our lives. The c-sec itself was not enjoyable in the least for me, and the recovery was very hard after going all through labor and then that. Needless to say I did not want to do that again.

Landon - I had been praying a lot about it. My doc was very willing to let me do a vbac (vaginal birth after C-section). I was so pleased about that, b/c I had heard so many don't let you try that. But she thought I was a good candidate to at least try. I was thankful, but I tried so hard to not get my hopes up. i knew that if I had to have another c sec I would be soooooooooooooo dissappointed and even more not "worthy" of being able to deliver a baby. I was really preoccupied with the thought of that a lot. Really wanting to try, but not wanting to be disappointed again. Well my water broke at 34 weeks!!!!!! (Sunday afternoon Sept 5th)I was not anticipating that at all - but who does. We sat in the hospital (they make you go there once it breaks so they can monitor you and prevent infection). That was really hard - b/c everyone was telling us different things. But in the end - they were just waiting to see if labor would kick in on its own. I sat there for over 2 days with my water broke and it leaking for 2 and half days and very little contractions at all. Very discouraging and had almost given up the idea that I would be able to deliver him b/c of everything that was happening. One day my own doc was in and we talked to her for a whie. (Tues, Sept 7th)She was confident that she thought I should go ahead and be lightly induced and see what happens. (they don't like to induce if you've had a c sec b/c of rupturing the uterus). But she said she would monitor everything and just take it slow. I felt good about that and was very glad she was willing to work with me. So as soon as they started the pitocin (7 pm. very light dose) contractions picked up and stayed consistent the entire night. i had a wonderful nurse who was so amazing. the beginning part of labor both times has gone so slow - but as soon as I hit 5 cm it picks up fast. I had gotten to about 5 ish and started becoming very uncomfortable. i did ask for an epidural, but they needed to get enough fluids in me first. within 20 min I had dialated to 9 and 3/4 and was ready to push. She wanted me to keep waiting and that was the worst feeling ever. I was disappointed that i didn't get the epidural and literally felt like I would die if I had to do it without pain medication, but now looking back Im' kinda glad I didn't. I only had to push for about 20 min. (which was more than I wanted to do) but he came out and that relief is the best relief ever!!!! it's for sure the worst thing ever - you could never dream of pain that bad - but in the end it's so worth it.
I was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo thankful that I could deliver him naturally and with no epidural. I feel like I accomplished something. :) It' a nice feeling and I'm so thankful that God is kind enough to allow me to feel that. :) Landon was rushed immediately to the NICU and did need some breathing help for at least the first 24 hrs. He stayed in the NICU for 6 days. He was a great weight for being that early, which helped him be so strong in pulling through the breathing problems and eating.

Now - I have 2 healthy boys and stories to go with it. We thank God every day for watching over us and protecting us. For taking care of us, and for our family and church family who came alongside us to help us through it all.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Morning

There is nothing quite like it!!!!

Laying in bed knowing there is nothing to pressing to get accomplished, change of pace, and usually Richard is home all day with us. :)
For some reason our kids seem to wake up no later than 7 every Saturday morning. (they can be sleeping until 730 or 8 every morning during the week when we actually do need to get up, but Saturday morning without fail we are awake by 7). In my pre-kid days that might seem so bad and I would've thought how could I ever do that every week. but now it's not so bad. We rest in bed as a family laughing at things Carson does or says. Roll out of bed, put on our comfy clothes, feed the boys and then enjoy a cup of coffee with my husband. It's so nice to be home as a family enjoying our slow morning. Carson loves his father and loves the mornings that Richard doesn't have to leave for work. I hope that we always keep our Saturday mornings as a family relaxing.

In the summer we love to pack up the kids and go to Panera and sit outside with a cup of coffee and enjoy our family. We'll see if we keep that tradition up with 2 boys this summer.
the other thing I was thinking - I'm so glad that both Richard and I like coffee. How not-fun would it be if I was the only one that wanted to drink coffee. He would never want to go get coffee or sit down in the morning and drink a cup. Coffee is what brings us together. :) hahahaha

Monday, January 24, 2011


These winter months are filled with . .. I don't even know. hahahaha. I start out the week thinking, "i don't have much going on" and then the end of the week comes and I wonder where it all went and what actually got accomplished. I realize the only time I stepped out the door of my house was to grocery shop that week, and check the mail. WOW!!! Who would've thought I would not ever leave my house.
We have been getting to know a few couples in our church and have been loving it. The younger ones with no kids feel comfortable enough with us to just come and hang out during the week and we love it. That's what I always wanted my house to be like and it's so fun. We love hearing their stories and learning about them, and talking about our lives. It's great relationship building. Sure they help us stay up late - but it's so worth it.
Those first few months of Landon's life I wondered if I would ever stay up after he went to bed. but now, the last feeding is at 10 and I find myself staying up way past that chatting with people or with my husband.
Landon is laughing at us now, and loves our attention. it truly is so much fun when they love your attention so much. HUGE smiles every time you look his way. He kicks and "talks" and is close to rolling over consistently. He is sleeping 10 hrs at night which is AMAZING!!!!!! I think that's why I'm in a good mood now. hahaha
Carson is talking so much now. he tries to repeat everything we say now, and we LOVE IT!!! ( I do think I've said that every new stage, but we really love his little boy tendencies now). Next thing - thinking about potty training, we'll see.
I'm in an exercise routine that helps me feel great too. (ran 4 miles today :))Not losing too much weight but at least I feel good physically.
Richard and I have done a lot of talking and thinking about our future lives and where we are headed. it's exciting. Been listening to Mark Driscoll's series "Peasant Princess" (I know there is some debate about this) but it has been so helpful for our marriage. even though things are up in the air and a little uncertain and stressful about the next few months, we feel closer than we have ever!!! Sure we fight, but we come together stronger after it, and it's just so cool to be married to my best friend.
That's our winter so far. it's been cold here, and I always have spit up on me. :) That pretty much sums it up. hahahaha.
next week is sister week, and I cannot wait to spend time with her.
here are some pics of the boys too b/c I always love posting them :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mother's love

I don't have much to say today except that recently I've been amazed at the love a mother can have. No matter how much my baby cries I still love him to pieces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's just been one of those weeks.
It's amazing to me that only with my kids am I so forgiving and loving like that. Not even with Richard would I be so patient, but no matter how much my baby doesn't do what I want him to do, I love him to death, and desire to help him and do everything for him and comfort him. No matter how much my toddler is whining at me - I love him and hold him and kiss him

Monday, January 17, 2011


So I know I've said this before but it can't hurt to restate it -
1. I love morning hot coffee in the winter time
2. I love that I'm a stay at home mom right now and can stay in my pj's and enjoy the hot coffee
3. I love that I'm not working right now
4. I love that I have tons of flexibility b/c I'm not working
5. I love spending my days with my 2 boys at my home
6. I love that I'm not working, so that being a wife and mother is easier to accomplish :)
7. I love coffee
8. I love Richard
9. i think I enjoy having events to go to or plan for b/c I am at home, so going out is fun

can you tell, I'm glad I don't have to work?????
every day I wake up, pack my husband's lunch, get the boys fed and sit down with my coffee sending my husband off to work, and think - "I cannot believe how lucky I am that I can stay at home with my boys in my own house". I don't even mind the laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and cleaning that much. (don't get me wrong some days it is annoying to have to keep up with) but overall I appreciate doing it b/c I know how hard it is to get those things accomplished if you have a job too. :) I know I might not always be able to stay at home like this - but for now I will sit back and enjoy it

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Late Anniversary

Many of you know our wedding was on Thanksgiving weekend (saturday, nov 25th). At the time we realized our anniversary would fall on Thanksgiving and around thanksgiving forever so we can never complain about that fact. But this year it actually fell on thanksgiving day. Everyone knows how busy that week can be especially if you travel to see family.
We had got a gift certificate from for a local place right around the corner from our house thinking we could use it the week of thanksgiving before our trip. Well that week was pretty hectic and richard worked a lot so it never actually worked out to go. Our anniversary came and went. We made it special between the two of us - but it was not a big deal at all (sorta sad for a person who loves to make big deals of special dates like that). But i was ok with it.
Since then we have been meaning to go for a few weeks and forget to get a babysitter or something like that. B/c it's right around the corner we never know who to ask or where to take the boys.
But tonight is the night!!!!! (richard had the day off of work b/c of the snow) and our dear dear friends graciously said yes to our VERY LAST MINUTE request for them to watch our boys (they don't live very far from us either) and we are going to use the gift certificate and celebrate our 4th anniversary tonight. :)
Love you Richard with all my heart

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday Night Menu

Interested to find out what everyone else does for Sunday night dinner. :)
Growing up we only ever had popcorn with cheese and apple slices. hahahaha That's our meal, nothing else. We would all just eat popcorn. Richard used to eat a lot of frozen pizzas and he LOVES those totinos party pizzas. (Gross, disgusting). He is completely satisfied with a totinos party pizza and I am completely satisfied with only popcorn. (and by the way, none of that microwave stuff, pure unadulterated popcorn kernels cooked in hot oil with some melted butter and salt). So if you come to the Gardner's house on a Sunday evening you can be guaranteed that you will only be offered popcorn or Totinos party pizzas. hahahaha. And I have no intention of changing that. And if we are at a social event or something like that, when I get home I am not satisfied until I have my popcorn, no matter what else I ate that day. :)

So what does everyone else do on Sunday nights?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Am I all alone

Ok, before you get all judgemental on me let me just preface this whole post by saying, yes I know most of what I say here isn't true and I need to have patience . . .

Sometimes I get so frustrated with weight loss. Am I the only one that doesn't lose weight easily breastfeeding?????? sometimes I feel like I am the only one. It takes serious work for me to lose the weight. most of my friends just look skinnier than ever 2 months after delivering a baby, and are all psyched b/c nursing helps them be so skinny. Meanwhile I'm sitting here plump and heavy, excercising and "starving" myself seeing no results. UGH!!!!! (I don't literally starve myself b/c I know i need to eat to produce enough milk, it's hard for me to find the balance of what I actually do need and what I don't need)
Sometimes it's so weird to think the changes my body has gone through, and I wonder if I will ever be able to fit into those jeans again. It seems like I will never be able to pull them up.

I do know, it's all about calorie intake and calorie burning, and it takes time and hard work. "give yourself a year" everyone says. But I say to them - what am i supposed to wear during that year, and how can I look at midsection. hahahaha. I also know to eat healthy (which I do most of the time) I only drink water and black coffee.

Someone out there please tell me that breastfeeding doesn't help them either. :) that will make me feel better. :)
Guess I just felt like venting :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Winter Activity

As many of you know - Carson has a ton of energy. This winter we decided to figure out a way to get it all out of him so he can relax. Pay close attention to the end and his response to my question. hahah - he is always making me laugh.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The holidays are over

Boy was this an interesting holiday season for me. I can't quite put my hand on it except for the fact that lots of things didn't happened as I had envisioned. As I posted earlier, our whole family was pretty sick right up to Christmas. Carson was still not himself for a few more days, and I felt like he didn't truly enjoy Christmas b/c he was pretty mellow, not eating, and grumpier than normal. Richard's parents came into town on Christmas eve. They do things differently than I did growing up which is completely fine with me - but didn't feel like Christmas to me. As our kids get older we will have to figure out what to do about our own traditions with our own family. But we did have a good breakfast at Melissa's house, then opened gifts in a crazy setting. :)

The next days were followed by every one else getting the stomach flu :( So sad and all our plans were ruined b/c of it. It's hard not to be annoyed or dissappointed b/c there is nothing you can do about getting sick. But it did put a damper on enjoying their trip out here. They came from so far and for a short time and who knows when it will happen again, and everyone had to be throwing up almost the whole time. :( (well I will say that I was thankful that our little family had it before all the company and holidays b/c it really is not fun to have it with a houseful of people). I felt so bad that they weren't at home, and that they had to be sick with my kids bothering them. I just felt bad about the whole thing. Melissa's kids and family was just as bad too. :( So sad.
But we tried to make the most of the time together. WE did get some shopping trips in (which is always fun) and we did enjoy a little discover center in the mall downtown Scranton. I'm sure the grandparents are still so thankful for the time they got to spend with their grandkids despite the sickness.
And we do know when the next time will be that we will be together again b/c Richard's sister, Becky, got engaged on Christmas eve, so we have a wedding to plan for. yeah for being back in Colorado.
Now the holidays are over - and real life sets in again. This next week will be filled with going through receipts from Christmas buying, and family being in town, and setting goals and budgets for this year. and getting my boys back on schedule and behaving again. hahahahaha
I'm excited to see what this year brings. It's neat to see how much happened in 2010 and to wonder what will happen in 2011. Where will we be at the end of the year? Kinda exciting. :)
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