Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thankful

I really should write this on Thursday so it could be Thankful Thursday!

When I hear complaints, it's weird that my ears automatically shut closed. Some instances are different when people have grown to trust you and they open up to you. That's not complaining. However, whether my ears shut off or I listen, I become thankful.

I am so thankful for everything that has happened in my life. Even the bad things happen for a reason. I am so thankful for my husband and boys! Mr. JCrew was definitely meant for me. He loves my quirky ways (or at least overlooks them ;) ).

I am thankful I have family so close. I miss my brother and sisters, but I have my parents and Mr. JCrew's family here.

I am so thankful to have a roof over my head and food in the pantry. It's not just any roof, but a roof I love.

I'm so thankful for my friends. They are such a great support system. I could definitely see myself building my friendships stronger if I stayed home and didn't work. Working cuts out free time for friends. All my free time goes to my family.

I am thankful for the church staff. The nursery workers are so good with kids; even the disorderly ones. Even seeing them outside the church setting, they love to see the kids. They treat us like family.

I am so thankful for God's love. With it, I can overcome any hardship. It's easy to get busy, but He's always there. He's never too busy for me.

It's nice to slow down and look around. I truly am blessed with little things that amount to big things!! I hope to never forget them.


















- Lindsay

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Heavy Heart and Prayers

I can't stop thinking about a pair of my friends that are cherishing their last day with their baby girl.

I can't imagine the hurt in their hearts right now. They have been foster parents to this newborn baby girl since she left the hospital several weeks ago. They had hopes of adopting her soon. However, the birth father's parents are going to take custody of her on Monday.

This couple wants a child to call their own so bad. I had high hopes that this baby would be their forever take-home child.

Today I pray and cry for them.


Love them like Jesus.
Carry them to Him.
His yoke is easy.
His burden is light.
Don't need the answers to all of life's questions.
Just know that He loves them
And stay by their side.

- Lindsay

New Project

I'm glad the report the funk was short-lived and is gone. :)

I got my supplies for my next project. Can you guess what I'm making?




Hint: It's for the boys.


- Lindsay

Friday, October 19, 2012

Due Date -- 3 Weeks Post Partum

I am a real person; not just a girl behind a keyboard. I'm about to show you how real I can get.

What does a girl do when she needs a confidence boost? Buy herself flowers! At least this girl does.



I went and bought some winter plants for the front yard. I like it.


Old plants that were a disappointment in the flowering department.

New Plants


Doesn't really boost the confidence, but it did make me happy. Plus, I edged my parents' yard, my yard and my neighbor's overgrown and ugly yard! Gave me an accomplished feeling.

But backing up in the day, first thing I did to cheer up was take a shower. I got the hint after a fly wouldn't leave me alone! Haha. Momma's need showers too!

I then gave myself a haircut. I go to a salon about once a year and cut it myself the rest of the time. To me, I can never tell the difference. My hair is just crappy. Even going to a professional, it still does its wavy thing and looks awful from behind. I have accepted I don't have perfect hair. A cowlick on my forehead doesn't allow me to have a pretty part or side-swept bangs and the wavy strands of hair are so inconsistent. I can't wear it straight or curly. That's why I wear a ponytail all the time. But not even my ponytails are cute like some can be. But a haircut was improvement and made me feel better.

People warn you about post-partum depression, but they don't warn you of the "funk." Depression can paralyze some women from taking care of their newborns. I feel for these women. If I knew someone battling it, I would definitely offer to help her in any way I could. Oh, and there are night sweats too! After having a baby, your body is adjusting SLOWLY and the hormones are leveling back out. With Little JCrew, I got into a funk at about two weeks. I was so worried I wasn't giving him enough milk. He would cry and then I would cry. I felt so bad for him. Then I'd get mad for crying because the tears were using all the water I had been chugging to make milk. Oi'.

I haven't had that cry yet with Baby B. He seems just fine and is getting enough. Plus, I think I'm too exhausted to cry.

Baby B outside the belly on his due date.

I am lucky that my body bounces back quickly after baby. Being 30 and having my second baby, I thought things would be much slower, but I think it was faster this time. My stomach was flat in three days. BUT, my body is not at its normal state yet. Things are wider and out of place. My stomach muscles are slowly tightening back up. I remember those were the last to come back after Little JCrew. I went to a Pure Barre exercise class and that told me how out of shape I was. My thighs were killing me and my abs are still sore from their first workout in ten months!

I have recently never cared about image. As a teenager I did, but as an adult, my attitude changed. I don't look in the mirror before I leave the house. People see the real me without make-up and in my plain clothes. It's fun to dress up and look nice, but it's more work than I want to do. I wish a had perfect skin that didn't need to be even'd out with foundation or concealer. But it's who I am.

This funk has me caring about my appearance. I don't want to care! Yes, I want my husband to find me attractive. And I want to feel like I belong to my beautiful children. Honestly, I have taken it personally when people say the boys look like my handsome hubby. They don't see how a beautiful baby comes from the run-down looking momma. I think the boys have some of my features, but I hear crickets when I tell people those things. They don't see it. The "funk" gives me these thoughts. I want to go back to not caring!

After having a baby and going through all the changes, new moms need some reassurance. It's hard to feel confident. Black circles under the eyes are real attractive! We don't look like we once did in our golden college years.

I am sooo thankful for my children and I know they don't look at me and say I'm not pretty. Little JCrew gives me the biggest kisses every day!

See, I am human. It's easy to write about how well things are going, but I don't want to create a false image. My kids and I are healthy. We have a roof over our head, clean water and food on the table. I am definitely thankful!

But can I please ask for the bags under my eyes to go away?! :)




- Lindsay

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Update on the Boys

Baby B is now two weeks and two days old. He is now starting to stay awake longer and likes to be a part of the craziness his brother creates.


Little JCrew still loves his little brother. When he remembers about him, he goes running over to his brother and talks in a high-pitch voice. He really turns on the words when he talks to Baby B. I don't know what he's saying, but Baby B pretends to understand.



Baby B even gives his brother the side-eye.



Little JCrew is all boy: it's all balls and things with wheels.



Baby B is on an every-three-hour schedule. I put him down for "naps" in his crib at the same time as Little JCrew; even though Baby B naps a whole lot more. I'm hoping this gets him into a routine.



Little JCrew's personality is really starting to shine. He's such a happy kid. His smile is contageous!


I feel so lucky to be their momma!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Five Years

It's hard to believe it's been five years since I met Mr. JCrew in the Atlanta airport. Despite the airport being huge, we found ourselves waiting on the same connecting flight; he coming back from Iraq, and myself going to a missile testing on base.

It's crazy how brave I was that day. I saw this extremely handsome guy waiting with his travel buddies at the gate. I was with my older co-worker. I said nothing to the handsome stranger at the time. As we boarded the plane, I looked back to see where he was; not far behind. Then I was in a panic when his seat was in front of mine. I had the row all to myself. He was sitting next to some older gentleman. I listened to his fascinating accent as he talked to the guy next to him. I sat there reading my book wondering how I could work the nerve to talk to him.

Somehow I injected myself into their conversation about the base we were going to. I don't remember what I said, but he pretended to listen.

While I sat there, I ripped a scrap piece of paper to write my number on... ME! Writing my number to give a guy! I didn't do that! Especially not to a stranger. I didn't get the courage to hand it to him until we were at baggage claim. Still then, I waited and waited to give it to him. My co-worker asked if I was ready to go, and I said, "Not yet." When he was not with his buddies, I bravely handed him my number and asked for him to show me around while I was in town. He kindly told me he didn't have a phone. What a kind rejection. My bubble had burst.

I went to the hotel to check in and took a nap before meeting all my other coworkers for dinner. Then my phone rings. It was the handsome stranger! He borrowed his roommate's phone. We planned to meet up after dinner and the rest is history. He and his roommate picked me up at dinner as my co-workers looked on.



The next day we had our missile firing and it was a success. This meant we'd be going home the next day. When I talked to the handsome stranger again, he kindly rejected hanging out before I left. He was tired. I will admit I was bummed. I knew I was leaving the next day and would probably not see him again. I had met a great and different guy, but wasn't going to be able to get to know him even better.

I went back to Orlando and expected to just be friends with the guy. He called and we talked. I pushed away as hard as I could, but the guy did not take 'No' for an answer. He was persistent. Two months later we were engaged, and two weeks after that we were married!!!

Crazy to think how fast it all happened. I don't even think I'd let my daughter move that fast. But I will say we both had this feeling of "knowing." There was something so different.

October 16th was a day that changed my life forever. Had I not had the urge to give this guy my number, I would not be married with two precious kids. I don't know what got into me that day, but I am so glad I acted out.

Five years... wow! We beat everyone's odds! I love this journey and can't wait for 80 more years!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Front Door Uplift

For my birthday almost two months ago, Mr. JCrew gave me a giftcard to a paint store to get a can of paint I was wanting. I kept seeing deep navy blue front doors in pictures and said how I wanted to paint ours that color.




Every one in our part of the neighborhood has a deep brown door. There is nothing wrong with this color. I actually love the color, but I wanted to be different.




I did my research and was finally going to use my birthday present. I picked an awesome blue that was so dark it was almost black. I then did some investigating of what kind of paint I would need; latex or oil-based.

One way to find out is to do the alcohol test. This involves taking rubbing alcohol and wiping it on to the painted surface. If the paint comes off, it is a latex based paint. If the alocohol appears to clean the area where applied, it is an oil-based paint.

My alcohol test results came back that we were working with oil-based. I'm not a fan of oil-based when it comes to clean-up, but it does age well, especially for outdoor stuff.

I had my paint can mixed up and brought it home. Oil-based paint also takes longer to dry, so I started early in the day, so I could leave my door open.

The color seemed a little off. It wasn't what I thought. However, I gave it time to dry, hoping it would darken to the shade it should be.

Being in the direct sunlight, it looked country blue! Not my style at all. Again, I was going for a Navy, almost black color.




I then went back to the store to get the paint corrected. This time I chose the black looking shade. I had originally liked this color but thought it a risky shade to go with.

When looking at my inspiration pictures, I discovered most of the doors I liked were actually black! They just appeared to be blue somehow. This gave me the push to go with the darker shade.



The actual color of the paint is STILL not like the paint swatch. I don't know what it is, but the color painted on the door, is not the same as the sample. However, I still like it!! It's not country blue!

I forgot to update you back at the beginning of August when I did another update to the door. Back when we went to the beach in June, we rented a cute bungalow that had so much character! I fell in love with the little details, like the doorknobs and the deadbolts! I then set out to find these unique deadbolts so that I could add it to my front door.


The deadbolt has a flap that covers the keyhol opening. I don't know why I loved it so much, but I did.

Because of our stormdoor, you can't see the deadbolt, our door handle or distinguish the color of the door from the outside. But it's because of the stormdoor, that we keep our front door open most of the time and this allows me to see my front door all the time. I love that!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Front Yard Re-do

The backyard is done, but I think the nesting bug is really getting to me. I had wanted to revamp the front flowerbed a little and stumbled upon the plants I was looking for.

Original Landscaping

When I first gutted the front flowerbed, I used three different kinds of hollies. Dwarf Buford, Carissa and Helleri.

All new bushes - out with the old, in with the new.

Over time, I have noticed my Helleri holly looking funny. They certainly didn't look like the Helleri Hollies we planted in my mom's yard.

Come to find out, I had Golden Helleri and she has Black Helleri. I really liked her holly better than mine. The gold color just made them look sick.

So, when I got all my plants, I got Black Helleri Bushes, of course. I couldn't help myself! Yet, I knew Mr. JCrew would be shaking his head and saying I was ridiculous. I wanted to transplant my existing holly and replace them with the black Helleri.

Golden Helleri with Junipers
Back in 2010 I added some annuals to the bed. I figured I could handle a small amount of annuals every once in a while. I used CandyTuft which dies back up this far north, but comes back!

CandyTuft

It lasted two years and then I pulled it up. Same with the Angelina Sedum. It was a bright lime green in the Spring/Summer and then turned red in the Fall/Winter. Even though it was a succulent, the sun still got to it and would burn it. This summer I decided to pull it up. It was looking bad.

Angelina Sedum - July 2010

The side of the front bed has not ever been attractive to me. I picked some plants that looked great at first, but overtime they never really turned into anything fantastic. They had a nice blue color to them which provided great contrast, but I was trying for a uniform look.

2010


2012

My plan was to dig up those six bushes and move my golden Helleri there. The golden and the black would not match exactly, but their shape would be almost the same.

Golden Helleri


Black Helleri


I loved the black Helleri in its new home. But I still wasn't keen on the golden's.

Two Golden Helleri's mixed in


Trying to keep the spacing accurate, I decided I would get three more black Helleri and finish off the border I created. I knew I'd be happy with it.

All Black Helleri



I'm very happy with the decision. My, the front yard has come a long way.


Original Layout



Potential Layout



Final Layout

2009 - before extension

2009 - before extension


2010 - bed extension


2011

2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Baby B's Birth Story Part 3

In Part 1, I told you how labor started. In Part 2, I described the painful labor and the delivery. Now I'll continue our journey all the way to our first day home.

When I was in labor, the pain was so bad that I used my fists on pressure points in my hips during contractions. Sometimes it worked; most the time it didn't. I told Mr. JCrew how sore I anticipated being during recovery. But I was up and walking quickly and the recovery from this delivery has been amazing!



They think my water not breaking was a blessing. I almost delivered a baby still in his amniotic sac ( which is possible.) But it was a blessing because it stretched me well enough that I didn't tear or need an episiotomy. That, my friend,s is the difference between night and day. Not having stitches is awesome. I was able to go to the nursery and take pictures as Mr. JCrew gave him his first bath! Just standing there! And then I walked back. I was able to get on and off the bed so easily!

If anything, Little JCrew's labor was more pleasant, but Baby B's recovery is 100 times better.



Since Baby B was early, they let me know he could possibly be put on oxygen or need a ventilator. If he needed the latter, he'd have to be transferred to a different hospital.

When Baby B came out, I heard him cry and they said he was already pee'ing. They immediately put him on my chest. He was all "cheesy." His cry was so sweet to hear. His lungs were working. Then he became quiet and chill (just like Little JCrew.)



The next few days in the hospital were great. We went a little stir crazy, but the rainy weather outside at least didn't taunt me like a beautiful day would have.



Baby B came out weighing 6 pounds and 3 oz. He is 19.5 inches long. He has normal size feet and dark brown hair. He learned to latch quite fast and became a snacker. His first and second night were quiet. He slept really good. His nights at home have been different. He sleeps ALL day to become awake and alert at 8PM. Then he doesn't want to go to bed! But he still does good throughout the night.

Brothers

The moment didn't last long.


Little JCrew loves his baby brother. He leans in to kiss and hug him. He's offered his paci and takes his hat. He even rocks him in the bassinet and tells him "Hi" a lot. I cannot wait for them to grow up together. The fun has just begun!

Going Home


We had our first weight check at the pediatrician and we're down to 5 pounds 9 oz. No concern yet, but it means almost daily appointments until he's back up to birth weight... Just like we had to do with Little JCrew.



Mr JCrew and I feel so blessed that Baby B came into this world healthy. We do not take this fact for granted.

- Lindsay
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