Welcome, Kai.

I’ve got someone to introduce you all to! Say hello to Kai.

The Stats: Kai William. 6-24-15. 9:31am. 8 lbs 5 oz. 21 in. 39+2 weeks.

The Short Birth Story: I woke up to strong contractions at midnight. I got to the birth center at 3am. My water broke at 9:15am and Kai was born in the water at 9:31am.

The Takeaway: I loved the birth center experience and would highly recommend both it and the water birth to future moms-to-be. Turns out you don’t have to give birth on your back while people scream “push!” at you if you don’t want to.

The Disclaimer: I love birth stories. I seek them out. I devourer them. I love them. I know many people have the opposite approach, so this is your warning to stop reading now.

The (VERY) Long Birth Story: I began having regular, consistent braxton hicks contractions at 37 weeks. All day, every day. I kept waiting for them to turn in to the real thing. And waiting and waiting. On Sunday, after nearly two weeks of this, I started feeling them get stronger and felt some cramping. This got stronger on Monday and stronger again on Tuesday. My mom was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, so I was hoping they’d hold off. She arrived at 4pm, we went out to dinner, and by the time I went to bed at 10:30, I knew I was going to be having a baby the following day. (Seriously, I’m going to start marketing my mom has an induction method. Forget castor oil, just buy this woman a plane ticket).

Sure enough, at midnight (early Wednesday morning), I woke up to REAL contractions. I tried to sleep through them but couldn’t. They were 8-10 minutes apart so I knew I had time, but with Evan, I never hit that 4 minute stride they want you to hit. I also knew I needed to get to the birth center 4 hours before delivering if I wanted the antibiotics (I was GBS+). At 2:30, when I was sure the weren’t going away, I called my midwife. She told me to start heading her way. We packed our bags, let my mom know she needed to watch Evan, and headed in.

When I got there, the midwife and student midwife immediately got me my first dose of IV antibiotics. They asked if I wanted a cervical check but, having arrived at the hospital at 9cm with Evan, and aware I wasn’t that far along now, I was afraid of being disappointed so I said I’d let them know later. So Ben and I relaxed in the birthing suite, watched some Mindy Project, and I think the midwives went to take a nap.

I have been told (with both kids) that I am unusually calm during labor. I mostly just want to lie back and let the contractions do the work. I know most women want to walk around and bounce on the exercise ball and change position, but I just want to sit back. I even managed to doze off, two minutes at a time, between contractions.

At 6am, my curiosity got the better of me and I asked for a cervical check. I was 5-6 cm, which is further along than they assumed based on my behavior. Things picked up quickly then. I got my second dose of antibiotics at 7:30 and by 8am, I was a “stretchy” 8-9cm.

I wanted a water birth so I got in the birthing tub then. The water was nice because I could move around easily. When I started feeling the urge to push, my midwives said to go with it and bear down if I felt the urge. They told me that they expected him to be born very shortly after my water broke. As things got very intense, I said, “I’d like my water to break now.” On the next contraction, it did. (I then asked for a million dollars, just in case I had a superpower). Three pushes later, at 9:31am, Kai was out!

They immediately put him skin to skin, letting him get all of the gunk out of his airway on his own (it’s pretty awesome to watch babies do things without intervention). I wanted to get out of the tub so Ben cut the cord and took Kai (also skin to skin). I moved to the bed and delivered the placenta. They checked my vitals and Kai’s vitals while he was still on my chest and then they mostly left us alone to bond. Kai started rooting around within that first hour so I nursed him. It was all so natural.

My now, my mom and Evan had arrived, but I didn’t want to be nursing Kai when Evan came in. Evan came in when Kai was probably two hours old. That’s when they took the baby and finally (I’m sure that’s the word the grandmothers would use) weighed and measured him. 8 lbs, 5 oz. 21 inches. I thought for sure he was going to be a 7-something pound baby since he seemed so much smaller than Evan (who was 8 lbs 11 oz).

Ben went and got us lunch (Moe’s burrito bowl) while I got stitched up (very small tear, probably just because of my birth history with Evan). Once Kai and I met all of the discharge requirements, we went home. We were home about 6 hours after Kai was born.

I had a good birth expereince with Evan, but I had a great birth experience with Kai. My birthing team was amazing. The midwives were totally hands-off, letting me labor how I chose. This works great for me, since I mostly prefer to be left alone to quietly labor (I guess I should have been a little more vocal because Kai’s head was out before anyone was even aware his birth was that imminent). I was completely involved in every decision that was made and couldn’t imagine going back to a hospital birth after this experience.

I am thrilled Kai is here to complete our family.

A Winnie the Pooh Birthday

This post is long overdue. Evan turned one over a month ago. But I didn’t have all of my pictures yet, so I waited. And then I got the pictures and life happened. You know how this blog works.

Anyway, Evan had a Winnie-the-Pooh themed party and it was fabulous. Ben and I spent a long time planning it and it went by way too fast, but everything was perfect, right down to the smash cake.

First, the invites:

I had a photographer take photos at the party so I wouldn’t have to worry about it (best decision ever) and before the party started, we did a quick family portrait session.

This last picture inludes Ben’s parents, grandma, and sister who came from Michigan and Pennsylvania for the weekend.

The other photos are a mix of the photographer’s and mine.

We had a few different decorations up. The “ONE” and “1” that I’ve shown before:

Frames with Pooh quotes and artwork:

Hunny pots:

A timeline of Evan’s first year:

Signs around the house (guess where I put that first one):

A beehive:

And some books, of course (I also had books as party favors):

We set the food up in the kitchen (just realized this photo doesn’t actually have any food in it):

We named each dish something Pooh-ish:

My favorite:

And, finally, the cake:

And the smashing:

I have a ton more photos, but I’ve tried to keep this as concise as possible. A lot of people came. There were kids running all over the place (the weather actually cooperated). It was a great day. Now I need to start planning for next year…

Evan’s First Year

My little baby is turning one today. I can hardly believe that it has already been a year, yet it’s been quite the journey at the same time. I couldn’t love this little boy more, even when he’s waking me up at 4am (we’re working on this, I swear).

I am a little emotional today and very busy getting ready for E’s party, so I am going to keep this post short. Instead, here is Evan’s First Year in pictures:

A Trip to the Zoo and Evan’s First Easter

I am enjoying these photo posts and I hope you are as well. Having visitors around all month means that I am taking many more pictures than usual and this weekend was no exception.

On Saturday, we took Evan to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.

The penguins are his favorite.

Evan got some quality time with his grandpa.

The zoo was a success!

On Easter, Evan found a basket full of bath toys, some plush animals, and a book (I am still figuring out how to take decent photos indoors…).

And he looked dashing in the suit my mom sent him.

Hope you all had a great Easter weekend!

A Day at the Beach

So, the usual story. I don’t have a review for you today, but I do have some pictures.  All the visitors this month are cramping my review-writing style, but they’re giving me a great opportunity to play with my camera. Maybe someday I’ll get to add “photographer” to my list of titles.

Anyway, we took Evan to the beach (Honeymoon Island) for the first time yesterday while Ben’s mom was in town. He’s seen the water before, but he’s never played in it or the sand. It was a WINDY day and since it’s been cold, the water was also cold. And there was a riptide warning. And it was naptime. So we just stayed in the sand today and left after about a half an hour. But Evan had fun exploring the sand and trying to eat nature.


The ironic thing is that I totally could have written a review in the time it took me to put this post together.

A Confession

Ben reading to a days-old Evan

You guys, I have a confession.

I don’t read to my son.


*peeks out*

I have every intention of reading with him and of cultivating another book lover for our family, but other than the occasional chapter of  a book read by Ben while E’s nursing and one bedtime story, I really don’t. The reasons:

(1) The kid can’t sit still. At 9 months, he is a constantly moving target and trying to read a book to him results in said book being pried from my hand, placed in his mouth, and usually carried across the room.

(2) Weekdays are so busy. We spend our morning getting ready and head to daycare/work around 8am. By the time I pick him up and get home in the evening, it is 6pm. And with a 7pm bedtime, that barely leaves enough time for dinner and maybe an evening stroll. Not much leisure time for reading.

(3) I keep thinking I’ll get to it when he’s just a little bit older. The he gets a little bit older and I put it off some more.

If a tendency to pull all of the books off the shelves is an indication of a future reader, then I’m all set. But I fear more is required.

So I need your advice. How do I introduce Evan to books? What did/do you do with your kids? Do I just need to be patient and let him eat the books for now and just be glad he’s showing some form of interest in them? Do I need to try harder to get him to sit still and listen to a story?

Evan is Nine Months Old


Cross-posting from Evan’s tumblr.

Nine Months

  • 20 lbs 15 ounces
  • 30 3/4 inches


  • Eating puffs
  • Crawling
  • Pulling books off the shelf
  • Toys that make a lot of noise


  • Ear infections
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Sleeping through the night
  • Diaper time

New Firsts

  • Standing for a few seconds on his own
  • Clapping


  • Mardi Gras beads
  • Rattles
  • Our phones

Teeth: Still eight.

The Sunday Salon [12.9.12]

I really don’t have anything bookish to share (except that I am racing through the last Fallen audiobook to find out what happens), and I got a new camera, so here are some pictures of Evan and one of “snow:”

The last three were taken at the Christmas Parade in Dunedin yesterday. It was 81 degrees when we got there, but they make it snow and have a place to go sledding and Santa is there. The three of us had a lot of fun.

How are you getting into the holiday spirit?