Saturday, October 13, 2018

Baby Shark 1st Birthday

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I can't believe it has been 4, almost 5 months since my last post but even more so that my baby is ONE! It has been a stressful, frustrating, joyful, and incredible year. Our daily life is a constant change...maybe one day we will have a routine but for now it is about hanging on and going with the flow.

Let's take his first Birthday for example: 2 weeks before, Caegan became sick with croup followed by ear infections that oozed from his eyes up until his birthday. Of course baby was not to be outdone, big brother had to also require a doctor visit for a mysterious rash. We all ended up relatively healthy by the day of the party but it helped remind us to keep things more simple.

I may have started out planning this "incredible" 1st Birthday Bash and then decided to pull it back and just make it about this absolute blessing that has been placed in our lives.

Before the song "Baby Shark" became popular it was our go-to song to help settle a very upset infant. Even now he can be screaming in the car seat and as soon as we start playing the video he stops and smiles...until it is over. So it was a given that we should make it the theme.

Since we are in Missouri and the weather is...mmm...temperamental at best, we decided to have an indoor party inviting only our families.

Most of the cousins were able to join in on the fun. The older kids could play with balloons and games in the basement and the younger kids had the ocean on the main floor. We had an old inflatable pool and turned it into a ball pit with blue and white balls we bought off Amazon.

You can almost create anything with some balloons and streamers. Of course after they are decorations the kids can get creative in coming up with their own games...or using them to add to their ball pit. My sister was a big help with that because between exhaustion and the cake I probably would have forgot.


While looking for sand buckets in the clearance section at Wal-Mart we found sharks from Shark Week...Bonus! They were only $1 for the small ones (we gave as goodies) and $2 for the large one in the "ocean".

We finally found a couple sand buckets but they were huge. I found that some of our smaller bowls fit perfectly on the rims to help give the appearance of it being filled without the waste. In those we had coral (Cheetos) and fish bait (Goldfish) The older boys enjoyed spearing grapes onto wooden skewers to create a bouquet of seaweed surrounded by driftwood (pretzels).

I use to love decorating cakes but hated making the icing. This time we decided to buy a tub of buttercream from Sam's Club. This is not for the faint of heart, it is 32 LBS of buttercream that I have to use up in the next 3 months. I do have a few things coming up that will help put a dent into it.

I must admit while I make like decorating cakes, I am not patient and am very frugal. Believe me, Pinterest gave me tons of ideas but when it came down to it I didn't want to make up a bunch of different icings, use a ton of bags/decorator tips, or work with fondant that most people will just set to the side to throw away. So I try to go simple...

With the exception that especially for the first birthdays I try my best at 3D smash cakes. The base is a standard double layer cake covered in blue tinted icing, using a Leaf tip to create the seaweed and a Grass tip for the coral.

Baby Shark was its own conundrum to be figured out. He was made out of 1/2 of the Wilton's sphere cake pan. I just tilted the cooked cake so it was at an angle to make the flat edge/start of the curve tilt in the air a bit for his nose and the other end would become his tail. I had some leftover batter that I cooked in a square pan and then cut triangles for the back, side, and tail fins. By the time I started on his face it was close to midnight and I was exhausted...again I lack the patience. So I did a quick go of it and went to bothered me so bad that I got up at 4am and redid his mouth to be at least a little better.

One of my favorite parts of the party was the shirts I bought for us to wear! I am normally not a character t-shirt type of person but these were to cute to pass up and can always work for family vacations or outings to identify each other.

Caegan's was a custom order off Etcy from CJ Orange. The seller was quick and the quality was excellent.

Here are a few other pictures from a great day with family.

Affiliate Links: The following links are affiliate links, at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase I will make a commission. 

Daddy Shark Shirt
Mommy Shark Shirt
Brother Shark Shirts

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Postpartum Depression?

The first 4 months were ROUGH! Everyone asked how I was going to handle homeschooling the boys, continue with real estate, and have a newborn...I thought since I use to babysit, in fact I had 2 newborns in my care the previous year, so I wasn't stressed about it.  What I didn't take into consideration was that I sent the babies home at night and was able to sleep!  Not only was sleep deprivation an issue but we were still in soccer season, the boys were an emotional mess, my newborn wasn't gaining weight, we had almost daily doctor appointments, and I was overwhelmed.

I always thought Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression was the thought of wanting to harm yourself or your baby. It wasn't until I was talking to my cousin that I realized that feeling overwhelmed could also fit in that category. When I started writing this I did a Google search and came across this link on fitPregnancy and Baby that really hit home.

Let me start with we were released from the hospital right at 24 hours after giving birth! I could have stayed but we had some other factors play into it...mainly 2 other children and no one to watch them. We found out while in the hospital my mom couldn't find a sub so they ended up staying overnight in the hospital with us. I honestly felt great and on top of the world fast forward 2 days and we went in confident to our first checkup and they became concerned he hadn't gained weight and was still pretty jaundice looking. This is my 3rd time through this and 2nd time with this same situation. I wasn't overly concerned but we made a follow-up appointment and his growth continued to slow. Now I was getting worried, not about his weight gain as much as wondering if I wasn't producing milk.


First Soccer Game at 3 days old and meeting his cousin
He was also pretty jaundice.
My husband noticed it first that I was putting myself down feeling like I was letting everyone down especially Caegan. I started meeting with a lactation consultant, who was great, but was insisting on supplementing by finger feedings and bottle, putting me on medication, and finally formula. I'm not against it but yet I didn't feel like I had done everything in my power before starting down that road.

There were a few things that happened that I think contributed to him not gaining weight, one being he was constantly spitting up. He had a little testing done but everything led to it is normal and the reason he is choking is because it went up his nose. This kid pukes through his nose frequently and his choking would scare us, he still sleeps in our room because he did it up until a couple weeks ago. We are in the process of transferring him now that we have a video monitor but it was some of the scariest nights just barely asleep so you could hear if he was breathing.

Supplementing was not helping his weight gain and the medication I was on causes drowsiness which I totally forgot until I went in again and was feeling so drained when I was reminded. On the plus side it did help my supply increase. We also discovered he had a slight tongue tie at 2 weeks.

I was just hanging on making it through each day, still exhausted and feeling like everything was piling up. I couldn't catch a break but at my 8 week postpartum checkup my doctor asked how long I was nursing on each side and about my diet...things began to change. Once I extended his feeding to 20 minutes a side he started making progress. At his 5 month checkup in February he was actually on the chart again at 5%...yes that does make me excited! Yesterday he weighed in just over 15lbs and while it is small he is still on the charts and gaining, just slowly.

Here is the thing I let his weight issues eat at me, I gave in to using food to "comfort" myself gaining quite a bit of weight which then turned into a hate of any pictures where you can see below my neck...who am I kidding didn't like pictures of myself at all. If I am being completely honest...I still don't but I'm getting better.

Looking back on it the first few months I may have had mild postpartum depression. My symptoms included guilt, quick temper (still working on that one), trouble concentrating (why I haven't blogged in a few months), and being overwhelmed.

Help is typically hard to get up the nerve to ask for but I did. The thing is I wasn't asking for help emotionally, but instead the physical. I got to the point where I was asking for help to clean the house, maintain the yard, or encouragement (granted this one wasn't as direct). My family was to far to help with these every day tasks and those closest helped with food. I know they had the best intentions with advice and suggestions on people I could hire or things I should try. BUT I just really wanted to know that they were willing to come and help me catch up on life so I wasn't so stressed about playing catch up down the road.

This isn't an easy topic and if it wasn't watching someone else go through it I wouldn't have had the realization that I am finally on the other side. I still have some work to do but we are putting new routines together, giving more responsibilities to the boys, and learning to let go a little.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Birth Story

So here it is almost 7 weeks 4 months (to the day) since I gave birth to my 3rd son. The name of this blog definitely fits... Our Little Piece of Chaos

See I started this in November when things were really crazy. People tell you that you to "sleep when baby sleeps" and "things will fall into place" but what they don't acknowledge is "HOW" and especially when you have older kids how to balance your new life.

My pregnancy was pretty normal. I stayed in shape even went to ReFit even 2 days before his birth. I was extremely nauseous up to the day. Week 37 my husband and boys were in the car waiting for me because I thought I would be "checked"...I had rushed in, ran up the stairs and taken back right away. Needless to say my blood pressure was elevated. At the end of my 5 minute appointment I was sent to have blood-work and check into triage. I didn't think much about it but did call my guys to come in just in case we needed to make some decisions.


I was hooked up to monitors for 2 hours so we could be monitored. They ended up "checking" me there. I was actually further along than I expected, 1 and 50%, but not far enough to be comfortable with them inducing me. I had family and friends on standby just in case but after watching my blood pressure come down to completely normal my doctor convinced the triage staff to let me go another week. We were very relieved since we didn't have bags packed or the car seat installed...yep I was a little frantic at that moment but those things were taken care of that night. We also ended up buying a blood pressure cuff.

For the next week we I was a little on edge hoping and praying he would make his entrance on his own. I had dear friends throwing a baby shower on that Saturday, I thought for sure I would go into labor right before...but I didn't. It was a wonderful shower and I was able to relax a bit and celebrate my little guy.

Monday I went to Refit hoping to dance myself into labor there...still nothing. Tuesday I went in expecting to be told my blood pressure was elevated again, I had been stressing about the appointment, but it was perfect. They didn't want to take a chance and I was at 3 and 75% so they told me Tomorrow was the day! I had never been induced with my other 2 so I was a bit nervous. I had told my husband if they sent me home I was going to go get a mani/pedi so that is what I did. Then we waited for my parents to arrive.

Early Wednesday morning we were off to the hospital. It was so weird walking in without my water already being broke. They started me on pitocin around 8:40am. Let me preface this with saying that I am a little unusual as I don't feel contractions. Due to this and according to the monitors I was having some pretty strong ones they went ahead and broke my water at 11:30am so they could insert an internal monitor to better regulate the pitocin. Around 1:30pm I ended up getting an epidural to help my body relax. It is hard to explain because it isn't pain but I can just feel myself getting tense like how one gets when anxious. After I had that I settled in for a nap. The nurse came in to check if I was feeling the need to push around 3:40pm and told me I was having consistent strong contractions but I didn't feel like it was time.

I went back to sleep only to be awoken about 3:50pm by the fire alarms! My husband reassured me that everything was ok and it happens all the time. BUT it wasn't ok, in fact it was time and the doctors couldn't get in their fast enough. I told the nurse in training that I was having to hold back from pushing. Glad the doctors finally made it to the room...One push and I was holding my beautiful baby boy! 3:58pm, 7lbs 8ozs 20inches My smallest by 1.5lbs

He hated the world...including me at first but after a couple hours he finally calmed down and was ok with me. I held (kangaroo style) my older boys right after they were born and tried to feed my 2nd right away, this one had no desire for quite awhile. Much has changed in 10 years, before I had to request to hold and feed right away, now it is what they do. On top of that they informed me they don't give baths for at least 6 hours after birth and everything was done in the room so I got to watch. He never left my sight, except when we had a scare in the middle of the night and for his circumcision.

I was STARVING! As soon as the doctors left the nurses were calling to get me dinner but allowed me to stuff my face with cookies, juice and water. Dinner the night before had been my last meal and I wasn't allowed to drink water since arriving at he hospital.

My older 2 met Caegan around 6pm and announced his name to my parents... They had been holding in that secret for a month.

Unfortunately my mom couldn't find a sub for her so they had to go back home that evening which meant we were left scrambling trying to figure out what to do with the boys for the night. Our hospital is wonderful because they let them stay with us. I know many would want the time away but I welcomed having them there. I slept with my 2nd in bed with me while my husband shared the couch with our oldest.

Best part is that they also were able to watch his first bath...which of course he hated.

It was actually very good my husband and the boys stayed because in the middle of the night Caegan started choking. I was sound asleep and didn't hear it but daddy did and was able to get help right away. He didn't have a chance to expel the amniotic fluid in his lungs...which for the next few days we slept very lightly.

The next day went by pretty fast with routine checks, pictures, getting in all our required videos/paperwork. The boys watched the videos with us over SIDS and Shaken Baby, I was surprised by how well they listened. My middle boy was worried about us putting a sheet in the crib or swaddling his baby brother. He did not trust leaving his side the first few days at home.

We were on our way home at 4pm! Just 24 hours after becoming a family of 5 we were on our own...