Saturday, December 27, 2014

That's a wrap!

Christmas season 2014 is all done! I vacillated between excited and exhausted all month long. Here are some of our best moments. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Furniture Friday | Amateur Furniture Refinishing

Happy Friday y'all. I sure need this weekend. Coral isn't sleeping well lately, but that's a post in itself. 

So, not much home decor things are happening in casa de cook lately, but I've kinda got a back log from Coral's nursery. For once in my life I actually finished a room! And really, really loved it. My favorite piece in the room is her dresser pictured above. It was one of those rare times that I didn't look at the finished product and go, "hm. Something didn't go quite right." 

We used a superrrr old dresser, painted that baby "Swiss coffee" by Behr with primer. I'm lazy and always get primer in the paint so I can skip sanding. I'm not necessarily recommending that, but we skipped it and don't really mind the few nicks on the paint here and there. 

My favorite part of this dresser is the hardware. I searched high and low, and was very picky about hardware.  Coral's room is shades of coral (duh), muted pink/peach and gold. So the gold handles were incredibly important to me. We bought 4 from ansaldi hardware, (the modern pull) and 6 from Lowes that we very carefully spray painted with a brass finish color. 

I'm gonna post more pics later, but am currently rushing from task to task. Have a good weekend! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Winter White Inspiration

I always have fun with holiday outfits, and since I have darker skin winter white is my go to. It's just so elegant & timeless, and not overly bold like a red pick. Here are some pieces I'm lusting over this holiday season. Also, this is my first polyvore collage. Stuff is addictinggggg. Happy Hump day!

winter white

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

3 monthss for my wittle baby!

Phew! This month as been the most hectic, yet the most fun thus far! Coral wakes up babbling, and doing her fake cough (I think she thinks she is laughing?) and runs her mommy and daddy in circles all day! She absolutely loves to be talked to. She kind of demands it actually. “Talk to me, look at me mommy and daddy!” is what she would be saying all day. IF she could talk ya know?  It’s the cutest thing and we just stare at her and love on her all day. We often call her our spoiled firstborn, and we wouldn’t have any other way. We just adore her. And know we won’t do half of these things with our subsequent children ;)

So super big deal, I did go back to work this month. I opted to go back the Thursday before Thanksgiving week to “ease back into” it. I highly recommend this for any other working mamas (Thank goodness for my mommy-guru-neighbor-BFF, Jessi, and all of her advice). I worked a 2-day week, a 3-day week, then POOF it was Turkey day! This really helped me get the hang of pumping at work (during a very slow time workload wise!) and still felt energetic after work to see how she was transitioning at home. I can tell this balancing act is going to get much harder. After my first full 5-day week and a fun weekend in Galveston this mama was E X H A U S T E D. Sunday night I could barely keep my eyes open, but you bet your bottom dollar I stayed awake for HOMELAND! Who else is watching?!

So a little bit about Coral:
Stats: no update on weight, but size 2 diapers (loving swaddlers still), and mostly 3-6 or 6M clothes. Sometimes she doesn’t quite fill them out, but there is no point in buying 3M anymore, especially since the pants are usually too short. We also want all the clothes we buy to last her the entire winter season, which is only until February in Texas!

Likes: kicking, talking, chewing on things, pulling mommy’s hair, her wub-a-nub, getting out of the house! I swear she’s so bored of our house. Being looked at and talked to, and being sung to. Daddy has a song he’s been singing to her since the hospital days and she smiles every time he sings it. Baby girl LOVES bath time. Sleeping in motion. Watching TV? she turns her head from wherever she is to look at it. (eek?)

Dislikes: Diaper changes and getting dressed. Waking up alone. Not getting attention. The Carrier. Cue the tears on that one!

Eating: Coral is still exclusively breastfed/bottle-fed breastmilk. She’s mostly getting bottles during the week, and I nurse on the weekend (to get a pumping break), but not excessively so we can keep up with her weekday bottle routine. She also has a snacking problem when we nurse, so bottles are really best. She usually takes 4 oz a feeding. Even though we run through the drop-ins quickly, the Playtex nurser is still her favorite bottle. She won’t take a full feeding out of a Medela bottle, and I refuse the 4-part bottle. We did give her a few formula bottles before I went to work just in case something happened to my supply, but it mostly just made her gassy. And nothing happened to my supply - SO- the breastfeeding journey continues. Quitting seems like more work than continuing on, and it sure is convenient to nurse your baby on the go!
how my thanksgiving looked
Sleep: We’ve regressed here. Coral now tries to roll out of the newborn boppy lounger, so she is no longer sleeping in it from 10p-4am. Yup, she’s in our bed full time! I’ve been putting her in the crib some nights, usually until midnight, and my mom naps her there during the day. I’m planning some serious sleep training over the Christmas holiday since I’ll have 6 nights to try to get her out of our bed. I’m putting decorating and gifting as 2nd priority this year so I can focus on her sleep. The good news is I really enjoy sleeping with her (hello dream feed!), and have gotten used to fragmented sleep. She’s just so adorable, but I do think we need to cut the cord now. If not, I’m afraid she’ll be sleeping with us until she’s 3.  I also have no idea why Coral hasn’t dropped feedings and just started sleeping through the night on her own. I’ve tried holding her off, blah blah blah and nothing seems to work. We may try a tinsy bit of cereal in the nightly bottle in a week or two to see if that helps.

Milestones: She rolled over! The day before she turned 3 months actually. I’ve already lost track of smaller milestones.. need to get better at tracking!

What a month it has been. Love ya girl! 

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Working Mom Life so Far

one of my favorite pictures from the hospital 
I haven't been a mom, much less a working mom for very long (going on 5 days to be exact, actually). But here are some random thoughts so far.. :

  • Real clothes, adult conversation, and generally just needing to be somewhere is an amazing feeling. 
  • I now know about this thing called Mom guilt. Yup, I've felt it now. Every day I worry she won't remember me, or not like me as much. But nope! she loves me all the same. It truly is such a relief to see she still loves me at the end of each day! 
  • I also feel odd being out and about. Like what? I have this much freedom? No way! Moms don't get to eat sushi midday! I went to target on my lunch break and not lugging a car seat  just felt straight up wrong. LOL.
  • Pumping at work isn't really that weird. 
  • Your job never stops, your at home job is just much more fun :) by 10 p.m. I'm W I P E D.
  • You miss your kid so much. It's kind of a lovesick feeling. 
  • You feel like you are doing everything, but not doing anything that well. 
  • There's no time to be a pinterest mom. I mean there is, but I'd just rather not spend my time like that. This is the weirdest one for me, since I thought I'd love being creative for my little. Turns out I'd rather cuddle her instead of planning amazing Christmas tablescapes.

I could go on and on, but the past few days have confirmed what I thought all along. I'd love being a working mom! I never thought I was wired to be a SAHM, and the past couple days have confirmed this. I am just not a suzy homemaker! I raise my hat to moms who can do it all day in and day out. Truly. Since I could hardly keep up with basic tasks after Coral's arrival, being a SAHM for 11 weeks left me feeling depleted and bad at my job. I miss her like crazy, but I think is right for us!

And that's all folks.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

2 months

Stats: 11 lbs. 10 oz. (65%) 23.5 inches (93%) and head circumference of 15.25 inches. Mostly Size 3-6 months in clothes, although we can still squeeze into 0-3 if we must. Size 1 diapers, but not for much longer I'm afraid! 

Feeding: Coral is still exclusively breast fed/ bottle fed breast milk. She's down to 7 feedings a day (a la babywise). She gets a daily bottle during the last feeding of the day (930 pm ish) with daddy. This feeding seems to be getting earlier and earlierr (her request) and we hope it gets elimated soon. 

Likes: playtime! Coral really enjoys being put down for 30 min spurts to enjoy her activity mats, the swing, and most recently TV! She loves the lights. She likes napping in her jogging stroller, and sleeping near mommy and daddy. She really likes her grandma and nana. And oddly enough, is usually very content on her changing table. Still loving the newborn boppy lounger too. The car if it's in motion. Staring at things. 

Dislikes: the car if it's not in motion, Sleeping or waking up alone. Sleeping on her back. (We are clearly having sleep problems!) When I mess up her midday nap (drama queen alert), and being put down when she's tired. Being swaddled. 

Sleep: well, I never thought id find myself saying this, but we are flirting with co- sleeping. Coral falls asleep in our bed around 10 pm and we move her to her boppy lounger when she's out cold. After she wakes up around 4/5 am she either is still sleepy enough to go back in the lounger, or comes into bed with us til 730 am. Trust me, it's not ideal! But baby girl really hates sleeping by herself, and we all get good sleep this way. We have a nap routine and coral is doing great with eat, play, sleep so I'm pretty happy with those items. Overall, I'm happy with our sleep. 

-week 5 she started stringing syllables like al-goo. Very chatty girl!
-week 5- first time to go for a six hour stretch from feeding to feeding 
-week 5- started reaching for things 
-sucking on her fingers 
-grunted on Halloween 
-week 6- discovered patterns (leap 2) 
-recognizes people other than mommy and daddy 
-she can track an object but rarely does it. Unless that object is me :) 
Week 8- mom and dad's first date night 
-she whimpers when she wants us to put her to sleep 
-Halloween! She was a fish and we wore fishing shirts! 
How mom/dad are doing: 
- I actively tried to implement a schedule this month. It started in week 6, fell apart in week 7, then one really emerged in week 8. Crazy stuff. I'm sure it will change soon! 
- soooooo. This month was a lot harder for me because I stopped running on adrenaline and the newness wore off. I started to really feel the effects of sleep deprivation if ya know what I mean. This motivated me to get on a schedule, which has helped us all tremendously! 
-we survived our 2 months shots! 
- I'm becoming more lax about germs and going in public 
- we went on our first date! We were so worried about her the whole time tho lol. She did wonderful with grandma.  We were kind of sad that she didn't miss us! 
-week 7 was really tough because coral sleep regressed, but the wonder weeks books reallllly helped me understand what she was going through. According to the book, Coral went through leap 2 in her mental development. I can't recommend this book enough!  

That was a lot. Phew. And I still need to write her 1 month as a catch up. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Birth Story Part 2 - Laboring on Labor Day

I know this took forever, but I was having some serious writers block about the end her of birth story, and other issues about how much I should share.  But since I can't possibly rewrite this for the 100th time, here is her story. It is as honest as possible, since that's what I enjoyed reading as I was preparing for Coral's birth. So basically, if you are a dude, you might want to click away.

Sept. 1, 2014 - I was having Braxton hicks contractions very regularly in my 40th week. Usually for 3-4 hours, every ten minutes during the evening and through the night. They started at 38 weeks, but I didn't realize it was brax until 39w4d. It finally dawned on me that the rock hard feeling on the right side of my stomach + back pain was a practice contraction - NOT my little baby curling up in a ball and sticking her butt up against my stomach. 

Well in the wee hours of Labor Day morning, I kept stumbling to the bathroom mid-slumber as usual. I'd wake up with a rock hard stomach, want relief, then pee to make it stop (going to the bathroom relieves Braxton hicks). I was really out of it most of the night, but at around 5:30 a.m., I realized I felt different. I woke up a little more and thought wait a minute, this is pretty painful.  

I didn't want to make a fuss about it, with the whole crazy cancelled induction thing happening the day before. I went and laid down to see if maybe I was right. After an hour, the contractions still felt painful, so I whipped out the contraction timer app. The contractions were all over the place, but after listening to my body I decided this is really it. I still didn't want to tell anyone, not even my husband, just in case it was another false alarm. 

So. I took a shower, put a full face of make-up on. Straightened my hair, paid my credit card bill and send an email to my brother. Then finally around 9 a.m I woke Matt up. "Babe I think I'm having real contractions." Matthew was very aware of my 'practice' brax contractions.

He looked at me and fell right back asleep. Since I was still half in denial myself, I let him sleep.  He finally got up 30 minutes later and registered what I said. "Are you writing them down?" "Yes, babe. I'm tracking it on an app." "Let's go walk" he said. "Nope, everything I read says to relax and rest." We had this conversation a few times until I snapped. "I'm not walking!"

Then I conked out. And I was out cold. Matt tried to come talk to me and I snapped at him to leave me alone.

I woke up at 2:30 p.m. with drool all over my face and thought, oh no they are gone! The contractions are gone!! I was so pissed at myself for falling asleep instead of walking the neighborhood. I prayed my body was just "taking a rest." I had been googling "what does labor feel like" all morning, and lots of articles said the body knows you need a break before the real deal. Then at 3:30 p.m. again. Bam. Another contraction. And this one felt more intense than the rest. 

I went downstairs and told Matt they were back. This is really it I said! So I laid down some more and kept tracking on my app. Around 3:30 pm my contractions were about 7 minutes apart. Then by 4:00 the famed 5 minutes part. It was time to call the doc. I called and the nurse told me to get in a hot bath, drink 3 glasses of ice water. When my contractions get 3-4 minutes apart to call back. Matt was pissed and wanted me to lie. But I just followed instructions and climbed into the bath.

Meanwhile.. we had plans to eat BBQ with my in laws. 
Funny right? We still hadn't told anyone I was in labor, and when they called us to finalize plans, Matt told them we couldn't make it because I was sitting in the bath tub having contractions.  I think his mom was like "what?! Why aren't you heading to the hospital?!" They headed to our house in a frenzy with BBQ in tow. 

So back in the bath tub....My contractions got down to 3-4 minutes apart, Matt fed me BBQ in the bathtub, (so romantic, I know) and I called the doc back. My contractions were getting really painful, to the point that I couldn't speak, and it was time to go. 

I got dressed and we headed out. I checked into the hospital (in a wheel chair!) and took blurry iPhone pics like a loser. Everything that happened after this was like watching a movie. Our own movie. So incredibly surreal!  We got into my room and I was 4-5 cm dilated. it was definitely time to have a baby. I called my family and told them it was the real deal. Head up to the hospital. 

The shift changed, I met my new nurse Brandy and requested my epidural. In hindsight, I really wish I had waited, because the epi most definitely slowed my labor down. Otherwise getting the epidural was painless. I felt the cool sensation running down my back. Then Dr. Baird came in and broke my water.  They do this with a stick. how weird. She told Nurse Brandy not to put me on pitocin, that she thought I'd progress on my own. (Ha. that was a joke). 

Then I got superrrrr loopy. I had a blast saying hi to all my family members. We took lots of pics and I was so excited. It was a baby party! 

Being super hyper
It was probably 10 p.m. at this point, family members started to file out and a very long waiting game began.

Around 12 a.m. my blood pressure shot up to 165, and Coral's heartbeat was baseline 175. I was running a borderline fever too. They told me I had an infection, and the nurse seemed really concerned. More concerned than she was letting on. She kept hurriedly walking in and out of the room saying "I'll be right back." I asked brandy if I needed to have a c-section and she kind of deflected. She left again. When Brandy came back, she told me the if Tylenol doesn't bring my fever down "be prepared for things to go in that direction." She wouldn't say the direction, but I knew what she meant. Be prepared for a c -section.
I shut down at this point. I stopped talking, except to ask what the heartbeat monitor read. I'm not sure why I was so anti c-section, but I told them her heartbeat was usually at 150-160, so why was 175 so scary? I look back at this in hindsight and feel guilty. What if Coral was in danger and I was being so stubborn? What if something bad could have happened? But then sometimes I'm proud of myself for not letting them push me in a c-section. There is nothing wrong with c -sections, I just believe they are over performed in modern medicine. 

So.. After I took Tylenol everything stabilized around 1 a.m. The Doctor decided she was having prolonged accelerations after each contraction, and her heartbeat was fine. 
As one problem resolved itself, another problem arose. The epidural was wearing off. Around 3 a.m.  I pressed the button to get another dose and within 5 minutes was puking my brains out. There was officially nothing in my stomach,  and I remember getting so tired after this. Things definitely took a turn for tough, and it wasn't a baby party anymore. Most of our family had left, Except my sister, mom, and none of us were getting any sleep. I had no clue how I going to continue, much less push. was so discouraged at this point, I started thinking about asking for a c-section. Quite the 180 right?? I had been 7-8 cm for what seemed like 4 hours and was so over it.  We all finally decided to get some sleep, and I slept 4 -5:30 a.m. 
trying to hold it together
Before I knew it it was 7 a.m., which meant time for another shift change. I had to say good-bye to Brandy, meet a new nurse and my own Doctor would be able to deliver me. I wasn't 'complete' (10 cm dilated) until 7:45 a.m., and even then there was some kind of 'lip' left.  The epidural was wearing off again, and I was in so much pain. It was all in my back. I did not want to hit the epi button again fearing that I would puke, but did anyway. My sister tried to play Britney Spears music to cheer me up, but I told her to turn it off. I started shivering a lot, which freaked me out but apparently meant my body was almost ready. I remember feeling like a lifeless person laying on a bed. At this point I really wanted her out. Really really wanted her out. 

Then my doctor came in. They cranked up the pitocin, which should have happened a long time ago. "We're putting the car in drive. You're just sitting in neutral" she joked.  I asked my mom and my sister to leave the room (which I regret, because I'm lacking in pictures) and I told Matt I don't think I can do this. I had never felt so depleted and lifeless. On one hand, laboring for forever, then ending up in c-section was exactly what I wanted to prevent going into this. But for a while there, I just wanted to ask if they could just take her from me. Just cut her out were the only words running through my mind. 

So around 8 a.m., I asked if I could just start pushing, and apparently morphed into the crazy pregnant lady you see in the movies. The only way out this was to try, whether my cervix was ready or not. The nurse, whom I had already decided I hated, told me that was fine. She was really rough, had no tact and I could never really get a good read on her. I felt she flat out lied to me at times just to get me to push harder, and she seemed a little lazy on checking vitals ect. But I was a crazy woman in labor, so who knows?! "You can let the uterus do the work and labor down, or try pushing." I said let's push. After a few pushes, we decided to stop and let my uterus labor down. She laid me on my right side even though I told her that position hurt my back. She pretty much ignored my request to not lay on that side (scank). After 30 minutes I asked her to check if the head had come down more. She said not much, and I said let's just push. I was so pissed off and so tired of waiting. 

So we started pushing every other contraction. I could hardly tell when I was contracting, so is feel for the ball on the right side of my stomach, in the same spot as my Braxton hicks.  I despised this nurse, and everything about this situation. Matt was all cheer leader, go go go, you can do it, this is the most amazing thing I've ever seen honey! and the nurse was like, "oh that push wasn't good enough. The first push, that was good. The 2nd and 3rd, you lost it. Push like your pooping." I couldn't wait to get away from this devil woman nurse. I finally told Matt, I know you are trying to being positive, but please - SHUT UP. I wanted everyone to just shut up and leave me in peace with my struggle! 

At some point Coral started crowning, and said nurse and Matt were getting super pumped. I was still mad as hell and convinced they were lying to me. I asked the nurse, "ARE YOU REALLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT ME HAVING THIS BABY VAGINALLY?" I guess my instincts told me Coral was big, and I seriously doubted it would happen vaginally.  "Yes girl! you think I'd be doing all this if I didn't think it was gonna happen?" So I reluctantly took her word for it, and we kept pushing every 3rd contraction. I was too tired to push every other contraction at this point, and would make up weird excuses to skip contractions. I think I was also scared/nervous.. like oh shizz this is happening. 10 months of waiting and preparations were culminating, and I was quietly freaking out in my head. 

Then finally Tiffany announced she was calling the doctor. I was ready. "what, I'm ready? Are you sure?" "Yes I'm sure." Everything after this happened so fast and it took days of replaying it over in my head (and asking Matthew for details) to remember. 

Suddenly 4 people barged in the room and Dr. Leeds introduced me to April, the delivery nurse. "April will catch the baby" she said. I remember being completely fixated on this woman. I've never been so focused on a complete stranger. She looked Hawaiaan to me, and had a stocky build. I pushed for my first contraction with my doctor, and immediately crazy devil nurse mentioned I was farther along than this when she called. I thought oh hell no, this aggressive, lying nurse called too early.  I got so pissed, and on my second push I gave it all had. I made a c position and pushed so damn hard. Apparently that did the trick because everyone starting saying 'okay, okay, okay' and assuming their positions. Then my doctor told me she was cutting my episiotomy (2nd degree, it turns out).

We waited for a strong contraction, which felt like an ETERNITY, and gave it one more go. I pushed 5 times for 10 seconds each, then I heard a loud POP (probably her clavicle fracturing) and saw Coral in my doctor's hands!  In one instant, I felt the biggest relief physically and I could finally focus on something besides discomfort. 

I'll never forget how Coral looked.  So squirmy already! Then I saw April carry Coral over to the baby station. I asked her why she wasn't crying yet. She told me she was ok, and not to worry as she used that blue suction tool to get fluid out of Coral. She used this tool so fast, and carried her like a chicken. After about 10 seconds I heard Coral cry and immediately started crying myself. She was ok. I was ok (debatable). April lifted her up and shouted "my, this is one sturdy baby!" I asked, how much does she weigh?? "oh we'll scream it out when we know!" 

Then April started shouting "4070, 4070!" Everyone else started screaming too. "4070?" "4070!" April repeated back. I said what does that mean?? "Oh we measure them in grams." April said casually. "She's 9 lbs. 9 lbs even!" I'm not gonna lie, I felt proud as hell. I just delivered a 9 lb. baby. And my instincts was right, there was a big baby in there! Trust your instincts first time mamas! (You won't believe how strong they are immediately)

I could hardly focus on anything but Coral, but then my doctor was hollering at me to push one more time. I looked at her like she was crazy, and she said "your placenta. We have to deliver the placenta" So I pushed one more time and it all fell out, which again, felt amazing. Then they stitched me up, and brought Coral over to me. Matt snapped this picture of me, my favorite picture of our entire birth and hospital stay.

I wish I could say all those mushy things about meeting Coral for the first time but honestly I was in a daze. I could barely register what happened, and apparently I told a post partum nurse that she was overwhelming me later that day.  It wasn't until a few hours later when my family pleaded with me to send Coral to the nursery and get some sleep that I realized how much I loved this girl. I cried that I didn't want her to leave me. I loved her too much and didn't want to let her go. 

And the love and happiness just kept coming and coming as I arose from the fog in the next 36 hours. Those two days are the happiest of my life. I can say that with 100% certainty. :) 

The rest of our time at the hospital was a complete circus, but I've never been so excited, so proud, so scared, so OUT of it, and so attached all at once. I felt like pregnancy warrior woman (which I'm sure all moms feel no matter how their babies arrive. you just added a human being to the world, birth certificate and everything). She's my greatest work ya know? My little precious Coral. Thanks for reading, if you actually made it down here.  You must be some kind of blog-reading warrior if ya know what I mean! Over and out. 

Ps. I barely have any pictures of family visitors because day 1 was such a blur. :/ but here are some of my favorites. 

09 10