Boy, oh boy EVENT!!

boy oh boy

I could not be more over the moon in love with my new little guy and I want to celebrate his arrival! I’ll be hosting a two week event on BCD that is all about the BOY!! Giveaways, project ideas and so much more but I need your help!

Do you have an etsy shop or sell cool things for little fellas? I’m looking for shops willing to trade 2 products for a plug! Your shop will be featured and linked on BCD and on FB during the event! If you are willing to trade product for a plug please email me at [email protected] You are also welcomed to offer my readers a discount to shop at your cool site! Please include a link to your site!

AND…I’ll also be featuring awesome BOY projects during the two week celebration! Did you create a killer boys room, have an awesome boy tutorial or activity? Send me a link! I know I won’t be able to feature all submissions but I do hope to post as many as I can and share some on FB! Please email me your link to [email protected]!

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And speaking of boys… Little Gunner just wanted to blow you all a kiss and say thanks in advance for helping make this fun celebration a hit!! Mwaaah!

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Single layered receiving blankets

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I LOVE the single layered receiving blankets that they have at the hospital! Unfortunately our hospital doesn’t let you take home the ones they swaddle your newborn in but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a single layer of flannel goodness at home. It just means I have to make a few myself and with my new found love of all things boy the flannel department at JoAnn’s is twice as lovely these days!

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I love a single layered blanket for a few reasons! 1. With the weather warming up a single layered blanket is the perfect weight to create a snugly little cocoon for my little one and 2. They are less bulky then the double layered one if you plan to use these as a swaddle blanket which I plan on doing

.Recently JoAnn’s had their flannel on sale for less then $3 a yard. One yard is the perfect size for a receiving blanket! The prints were to die for cute so I picked up quite a few.

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It doesn’t get any simpler then this! Finished edges with a zig zag stitch is all it takes! I used alligator clips to hold my edges before I sewed them! I love this trick over straight pins! Easy one handed on and off and no fear of dropping a pin and finding it later with my foot! Ouch!

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Now I have a healthy supply of my favorite blankets in darling prints!

IMAG0400Peace out!

 

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Faux Wood Paper Photo backdrop

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This here is my Chuck, ok…my Charlie ( really my Charlotte but she doesn’t really know that!) She’s pretty darn cute but I have to be honest…that faux wood backdrop makes her look even better! Photo backdrops can create a darling setting for capturing a great photo! They add a cohesive element to a picture and make your subject the real center of attention!

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This particular backdrop is perfect for creating a true backdrop or floor prop in this case! Butted up to a wall, you can create a different look. Place it up against any painted wall in your house to get the look you want!

longThis backdrop is so easy to create and for about $15 you too can have this prop on hand for taking great pictures of your kids or for staging photos of projects you’ve created.

I found the 4′x12′ roll of Faux Wood paper at my local Hobby Lobby. It’s in the same section as the poster board. It was $8.99 for the roll but I used my 40% off coupon so it was under $6. I’ve been holding onto my 4′x4′ piece of wood in my garage for 3 years! I know! I know! Finally I had the perfect use for it! It was under $10 at Home Depot and is 1/4″ thick.

I used my 3M spray adhesive to attach it to my wood and then trimmed off the edge.

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$15 and less then 10 minutes later I have the perfect prop. I store it behind my fabric hutch and pull it out when needed. I love that it’s hard and durable and you can walk on it without damaging the paper. I left the other side blank and am on the hunt for either more paper or vinyl table clothe fabric that I can interchange for a different look! The possibilities are endless.

 

 

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Go To Smoothie!

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I’m beyond thrilled to share the next smoothie recipe in my “Smoothie Series” thanks to Blendtec! I joke and say my 5th child was delivered a week ago when my Designer Series Blendtec arrived! This amazing blender is a smoothie lovers dream and we have put it to work that’s for sure!

This simple recipe is a great “go to” recipe because of its common ingredients! We ALWAYS have these fruits on hands so when ever I’m in the mood for a refreshing cool drink, this is the one I make!

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Blend together:

1 Peeled Orange

1 Peeled Banana

Juice from half a Lime,

1 Cup fresh Strawberries

1 Cup Frozen Blue Berries

1 Cup fresh Spinach

2 cups Ice

1 tablespoon milled Flax Seed

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My Blendtec has a setting just for smoothie making! One press of a button and it blends it perfectly! No guessing if it’s blended enough! Perfection every time! I love this thing! It’s even earned a permanent place on the counter top next to Sally my Kitchen Aid! Now that’s an accomplishment!

Any other Blendtec fans out there? Share your favorite smoothie recipe in the comments and I’ll pick a few to whip up and share! Ok! Ready, set, share!

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Meet Gunner Hayes

Gunner Hayes

I have a SON!!!! And just like everyone warned me, he stole my heart!

Sweet baby Gunners arrival was a tough one. My hardest of them all and just like his pregnancy it has put me through the ringer and has left me with a few battle wounds! I had been in labor for days with consistent contractions and sleepless nights filled with timing and wondering if this was it! Because he was breech I had to rush up to the hospital when I went into labor in hopes that there was still time to flip him externally.

A week before he arrived I did end up in labor and delivery contracting 2 min. apart and needing a flip! I had to be given medication to stop my contractions in order to relax my uterus enough to flip him successfully. What sucked the most was that this medication gives you anxiety, a rapid heartbeat and a wicked case of the shakes. Three things that don’t help out when your doctor is about to turn your baby by manipulating him from the outside of your belly! And the answer is YES!!!  To flip your baby hurts like the dickens! Thankfully I had a ton of amniotic fluid so he flipped easily but holy cow! I’d do it again that’s for sure if it kept me far away from a c section but you won’t see me volunteering to do it for kicks and giggles!

They sent me home after the flip because I wasn’t dilating but man was I contraction! That pretty much set off my week long contraction party! Painful and consistent but by  my next appointment 4 days later both myself and my doctor were in shock that I was still pregnant! NO CERVICAL CHANGE! Talk about a disappointment! With all my contractions I was certain my doctor was going to tell me I was 6cm and 100% effaced! No such luck!

Finally, days later I had had enough! FINALLY I had contractions that stopped me in my tracts while on a walk ( you better believe I was walking as much as possible and doing everything under the sun to try to get things going!) so we kissed the kids goodby and headed up to the hospital! After getting hooked up to monitors and having strong contractions 2 min apart I was checked…. 2cm! AHHHHHH! Sooo frustrating! I knew I was about to be sent home but why on earth was my body not cooperating! My body had always known what to do and this time it didn’t!

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I had wanted to avoid pitocin and was ready for my hypno birthing love fest to begin but here I was in labor for a week and not progressing. I opted to get started on pitocin even though I had hoped to avoided it! I needed to get this going! 9 hours later. YES you read that right! 9 HOURS LATER I was checked again and I had only progressed to 3cm! Utter devastation! It was 6 a.m. and I had been awake for over 24 hours and on pit all night long! I was exhausted! At this point the fear of ending up needing a c section was hanging over me. Why was I not progressing?

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After about an hour of mental back and forth I decided my body needed to rest in hopes that the change might change me and I asked for an epidural. It was like a personal defeat for me. For one who has had beautiful natural deliveries in the past, having to ask for an epidural was crushing but I didn’t know what else to do.  30 minutes later I was in agony as the anesthesiologist was poking me. Three attempts later she finally had it in but not after poking my spinal fluid and having to warn me that I was most likely going to be getting a spinal headache the next day that could last weeks! This news sent me into such a dark place. Here I was, getting an epidural I never wanted and now I just put my health in jeopardy. Oh…and the cherry on top was that the epidural NEVER worked! Not a single moment of pain relief. Just absolute regret and pain and the daunting realization that headaches were on the horizon.

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Thank heavens for my amazing husband. I was in such despair and he was by my side the entire time! I’ll love him forever because of that! Makes me cry all over again when I picture him next to me!  At some point during all this hell I went from 3cm to 10cm in like 10 minutes and I was ready to push! That sensation when your kid is ready to sky rocket out of your crotch is undeniable so when I told my nurse he was coming NOW she seemed to not believe the urgency in my voice and the grimace on my face! Problem was my doctor wasn’t there! I had progressed so fast out of no where he had just gotten the call that he might want to make his way up to the hospital!

There I was with a watermelon ready to explode between my legs and I was told to “hold it in sweetheart!” After 15 minutes of begging, warning and asking for any qualified catcher in the hospital, even the janitor if need be, my doctor ran in. The moment I heard he was there I finally pushed him out. 2 pushes and a 2nd degree tear later my 9 lb. baby was placed on my chest! Umm yeah…he was 9 lbs HUGE and two weeks early!

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It’s amazing how a 9 lb baby looks like a 9 lb. baby! There was nothing small about him! Huge hands, feet and a swollen face! But he was here and the misery was over…so I thought!

I hate to admit it but it wasn’t love at first sight. My trepidations to having a son were always there! I was nervous the moment we found out he was a he! Everyone told me that would change the moment I laid eyes on him. But there we were, meeting for the first time and all I could do was try to catch my breath and calm down after my horrific night. I’m sad over it, really. I wanted it to be a magical moment like all of you had told me it would be like.

A few hours later it was just me and my brand new ball of baby. Mike was out of the room for some reason and I was holding my son. I remember it so clearly (yes I’m crying right now!) but I looked down at him and he was starring at me. It was the first time I saw him with his  eyes open and the look on his face just whispered to me ” I am yours and you are mine!” And it was right then that my heart melted and he moved in for good.  He forgave me for my tardiness in loving him to my core. It was as if he knew we needed that quiet moment alone to officially fall in love.  My heart felt healed for the very first time in over two years.

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Thankfully the love fest for baby brother was instant with everyone else in the family! Bigger smiles then I’ve ever seen on three big sisters who loved him from the start.

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I know Mike loves every single fresh from heaven baby the same and maybe it’s just been forever since we’ve had a new born so I’ve forgotten, but he is IN LOVE big time!!! This little boy has Mike wrapped around his little finger! It’s my new favorite thing to see these two together.

Later that afternoon the headache started! It was the most intense pain I had ever experienced. The only relief I had was when I was flat on my back. The reality of this pain was overwhelming and the thought of having them for days or weeks on end was too much for me. The next morning I had a procedure called a ” blood patch” where they draw a large amount of blood from my arm and inject it into my back through an epidural where my spinal fluid was leaking. If it works the blood will clot around the leak and patch it up and relieve the pain. Thankfully I did get some relief and went home with fingers crossed that I was going to be on the mend. Sadly my pain relief was short lived. My blood patch came loose and my headaches were back twice as strong as before with much less relief when laying flat. I felt like I was going to die! Three days after delivering and on my birthday I was back in the hospital begging for another blood patch. It was the worst and best birthday ever! I had to get another epidural but the procedure worked and with fear of it dislodging again I was on strict warning to not bend, twist or pick up anything heavier then Gunner! I would hop on one foot naked for hours if it would promise me to not experience that pain ever again! The only side effect from the blood patch is a horrible back ache but believe you me, I’d endure that over the headaches any day. When we got back from the hospital that day I said to my husband ” I have never been so thankful to be in this much pain!” and I meant it!

Life with baby brother at home as been wonderful besides the pain I have been living with. Last week I stopped taking my pain medication and discovered a new throbbing pain in my lower back and butt. That’s right folks! I broke my tail bone during delivery! REALLY? REEEEALLY!!! Seems so. The combination of being petite, having a large baby and having to hold him in for so long resulted in a tail bone injury that will only get better with time. I die a small death when I stand up, sit and walk so basically all day and night! I swear… I have been living with pain for 3 months now and it’s starting to take it’s toll on me. Today I’ve been stewing in a pity party, party of 1! I am so tired of hurting. I feel robbed of a child birth I wanted so badly and my recovery has been far from smooth. Time will tell. Fingers crossed my body can bounce back sooner then later.

I’m trying to focus on the good and wonderful and that is our sweet little Gunner!

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He is darling and sweet and sleeps like a champs! He is the missing piece to my heart puzzle and we are all in love. I’d give almost anything for a “do over” when it comes to his birth but I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. He is mine and I am his!

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