Sunday, October 30, 2016

Florida Beach Trip

Last year at school, Little JCrew was told that you go to the beach for vacation. He then spent an entire year talking about the beach.

With Baby F's due date in May, I knew I would not be up for a beach trip during the summer. However, in Alabama, the schools have a Fall Break! I never understood it, but now I embrace it! We can postpone our summer vacations to the Fall when everyone else is in school.

My mom had a trip to FL planned to meet my sister. When I asked when and where they were going, I asked if we could tag along. We would be her transportation. She welcomed the idea and we booked our travel. We were going to the beach!

Little JCrew had been to the beach when he was 10 months old. Mr. Brigglesworth had never been. Our trip was planned for right after Mr. Brigglesworth's fourth birthday, so he thought you had to be four to go to the beach.

We made it down to FL right as Hurricane Matthew was predicted to come. We stayed on the Gulf Coast in the Panhandle, so we were unaffected. However, my sisters were coming from central FL, so their plans changed a little to accommodate the Hurricane.

We spent our mornings on the beach and headed back to the hotel for lunch. Instead of naps, we played in the pool all afternoon. Poor Baby F took his naps on the go.

The first day there were loads of jellyfish. There was no way we were getting in the water.

The boys liked tasting the salty water.

We built plenty of sandcastles. We got better and bigger each day.

There was always a moat around the castle that we tried to fill with water.

It was such a fun and amazing trip. We made no plans and woke up each day excited to have fun.

A bonus was that I got to get swim clothes for cheap as most places were marking down their summer gear right before we left. I bought the boys swim shirts and they wore them. It was my lazy way of no sunscreen reapplication every 3 hours, but I mainly got them so that we would avoid sunburns knowing we'd be outside all day. They were a lifesavor.

And Baby F had a 3-month size shirt and shorts, but those no longer fit his chunky self, so I bought new ones for the cheap and didn't care that this would be the only time he wore them. Score!

He also got some cute sunglasses!

I didn't realize how much I loved the beach. Growing up around it, you know you love it and it's there whenever you want it. Now, it is at least a 6-hour drive, meaning you have to rent a hotel room and make plans. But it was so nice to have no agenda and be able to play all day.

My mom enjoyed her time on the beach as well. The boys had her playing with them.

And we discovered the sensitivity level of Mr. Brigglesworth's skin. He cried in the salt water. The sand irritated the skin, and then the salt water burned. Every time he went in the ocean, it was full on tears. Then we'd check the skin on his legs and see them inflamed. I thought salt water was a healing agent?

The fun of jumping waves did not last long. We have since been able to manage the sensitivity, but it was an eye opener for us on the triggers.

It felt like we had the beach all to ourselves. There was only one day that felt crowded, and it was not the kind of crowd I would call crowded, but it was compared to the other days of our trip.

We were refreshed and ready to come home. And I was excited I could check the beach off of Little JCrew and Mr. Briggleworth's bucket list. They got to use their sand toys, so it was a success.

We have now had TWO vacations in one year! I still can't believe it. We will definitely be making a beach trip an annual thing. It was just too nice.

Until next year!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Little Bunny

We have a little bunny that has made our yard its home.

When we were building, I captured a glimpse of this bunny early one morning in our new back yard. I was shocked and never thought I'd see him again.

But it was this summer that we saw him again and saw where he was living. He was a brave little bunny that even came up to our front door!

We have utility boxes on our property. This was the one negative Mr. JCrew had about the land before we bought it. But there were bushes that would grow around them and I would also landscape some more to draw your eye away from them.

When we bought the lot

These bushes were a great hiding spot for extra building material.

Even after closing, there was still material we were hiding over there. But the bushes finally grew and it slowly was looking better.

This summer the bushes were finally all the same height and could be trimmed neatly. It was finally perfect!

Our bunny loved to hang out in our bushes, but if we ever startled him, he took off for the utility boxes. I got a video of him.

These bushes were his safe-haven. We saw him at least once a day. The boys could look out their window and see him hopping around before bedtime.

There was also evidence that he was eating my plants. I caught him eating my monkey grass on the other side of the house.

And my cone-flowers were a favorite. I ended up looking up what they like to eat so I could plant it in the common area next to us. If their food source is low, they will eat things they don't like, just to get nutrition. This Fall, I was planning to seed clover and alfalfa. I even had the idea of planting a vegetable garden behind those large bushes!

But on a Wednesday, I get a call from my mom. The city is cutting down our bushes! The bushes were blocking access to the utility boxes. Our first thought was about the bunny! He was going to come home and see his house gone.

We saw the bunny that night and I felt for him.

I'm sure he didn't understand.

The next day I put a cardboard box out there for a temporary home.

I researched houses for bunnies and read how they like an escape route. So, our house needed to have two exits.

I found a design I liked and I went out and bought wood that night.

Mr. JCrew helped me build it that Friday night and I primed it with Kilz paint to help it withstand the weather.

The next morning the boys helped me paint it with leftover paint from the house.

They enjoyed it. This was a nice, big house for our bunny. He could invite his friends.

I even painted pictures of bunnies on the side so that people could identify what the box was for and leave it alone.

Mr. JCrew had the idea to put shingles on the top, which I also had leftover of.

And then he had the idea to paint plants around it. Great ideas, Mr. JCrew!

We put the new house out by the utility boxes and have been waiting to see our bunny come back. We last saw him on July 20th.

We were hoping he went to make a new home in the trees nearby. And hopefully our trees will get big soon and we will see more bunnies in our future.

I haven't given up hope. It will probably take a while to get bunnies back to our yard. I will be patient.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Baby F's Birth Story

I always document my little one's birth stories, and I need to write this all down before I forget.

Baby F (Baby #3) was born two days before his due date. Little JCrew was one day late, and Mr. Brigglesworth was three weeks early, I had no idea when to expect our new arrival. Although I did not have the feeling that he would be early, I made sure I was ready just in case. I was really hoping he wouldn't be early.

Baby F was born on a Monday (just like Mr. Brigglesworth). The weekend prior, I made sure I was active. We went Strawberry picking Saturday morning. Little JCrew had a soccer game Saturday morning, as well. I stood up while watching because I wanted gravity to do its thing. Little JCrew then had a birthday party that evening and I played in the yard with my plants during the afternoon. On Sunday, I took the boys with me to do more plant work at our neighborhood clubhouse. There were people inside, and I am sure they were looking at my big belly with two little kids in tow wondering what I was doing planting plants. But I was determined to be active and wear myself out.

At my weekly appointments, the doctor was in disbelief that the baby was so high. His head was not engaged at my 39 week appointment. We were going to wait until the next appointment to see when to set an induction date. I would stay on my feet and feel Baby F get lower, but as quickly as he lowered, he quickly shot back up.

On Monday, I went into work as normal. All my co-workers were still surprised to see me. But I would laugh it off and say Baby F wasn't ready. That day, we had a luncheon for two co-workers that were leaving the program. It was at a restaurant and another coworker/friend of mine rode with me. The director of our program sat next to me and asked how I was. He then asked when I was due. I then told him when and told him I had brought my running shoes to walk the hills at work during breaks. He asked that I not do that. Ha! He was only slightly kidding. And I really had brought my shoes! As we left the luncheon, I lifted my leg to get into my car and I felt a little gush. My bladder was full, so I thought I needed to use the restroom. When we got back to work, I was worried about the possible spot on my khaki pants and it seemed like everyone was talking outside the building entrance and I didn't want anyone behind me. I finally just went inside and went to the restroom. I pee'd but it felt different. I had a one o'clock meeting to go to so I went on.

With Little JCrew and Mr. Brigglesworth, my water broke at the hospital. With Little JCrew, I was lying in the hospital bed and it felt like I pee'd in the bed. With Mr. Brigglesworth, it was a big gush as I was pushing during active labor. I expected water breaking to be a big gush. It was not that obvious.

Right when I got to the meeting, I felt another small gush. I stopped at the restroom again. I then stuffed my underwear with toilet paper and went to the meeting. I stood in the back of the room and didn't want to sit down for fear of messing up the chair. Me standing up wouldn't appear odd, because usually I stand up in the back, just not the entire time.

The meeting ran long, and I remember a coworker turning to me and asking me to go into labor so we could be dismissed. It was then that I realized I could be in labor. My "bladder" was still "leaking" and this might be my water breaking. It was just weird. I then checked my pants and realized how soaked they were. I waited for everyone to leave the conference room and I ran to the restroom. I tried to dry my pants as much as I could. It was no use. I then made a mad-dash to my desk to get my things and go home. It had just started raining, so I left my umbrella behind so that my wet pants looked like they were drenched from the rain.

I emailed Mr. JCrew to let him know my water broke and I was going home to change clothes and finish up some work. He could come home or wait; contractions had not started. His excitement was busting and he came right home. We gathered our things and told Little JCrew he was in charge while we were away.

We checked into the hospital around 5:30PM and saw a waiting room full. But we were ushered right back and into Labor Room #7. Our nurse was so nice and we had such a great experience. I was having contractions but they didn't hurt. It was almost like a fuzzy feeling (Hard to describe). I decided to get an epidural before the pain started. I hadn't eaten, so as the minutes passed, I just kept thinking how hungry I was.

Mr. JCrew and I watched TV as we waited. I think we watched NCIS and Golden Girls. The on-call doctor was on her way to the hospital to deliver another baby, so they started a high dose of Pitocin to get me caught up so that Baby F could be delivered while doctor was on site. I had no issue with this because I knew the epidural would hopefully cover any pain associated with the pitocin. And even with the epidural, I felt the contractions, but without the pain. They used a pillow to put me in a "wedge" position so that each contraction would move Baby F down (he was still not engaged!) It worked, as I soon called the nurse in to tell her I felt the baby between my legs. I really didn't think he was in between my legs, but I held myself back from pushing because he felt like he was right there ready to come out if I sneezed!

It was then that they got everything ready and I pushed three times and Baby F was delivered! The hospital had a new policy they implemented where the baby never leaves the momma. All procedures, vitals, baths are done right in the room with you. I really enjoyed this. Baby F stayed with me the whole time and I saw everything. With both of my babies before, Mr. JCrew got to go with the baby while I stayed behind. With Mr. Brigglesworth, I was able to walk down the hall and stand outside the nursery window watching.

Baby F came a few minutes shy of midnight. We were moved to a permanent room at 2AM. Right after delivery, I sent Mr. JCrew on a food run. He spent $20 at the hospital giftshop getting sandwiches and snacks. He delighted in it and the nurse and I laughed at the amount he spent and joy he got out of it.

The next morning we called my mom to speak with the boys and tell them about their new brother. They went to school all proud with signs to let their friends know all about Baby F. It was easier then them having to remember details. They came straight to the hospital after school and they fell in love just as we did. Mr. Brigglesworth kept repeating, "He's out of your belly!"

Baby F has been an angel baby from Day 1. He doesn't get upset and is easygoing. He sleeps easy and eats great. His latch was VERY strong from the beginning and he loved his fingers. We moved him to a paci and he loves it.

The hospital stay was great, but I was ready to get back home. The boys still dote on their baby brother and it is the cutest thing to hear them talk to their baby brother. They can talk to him in high-pitch voices like pros and the kisses are abundant to Baby F. We are so happy with our newest addition. I didn't know life could be this good!

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