Posted by: begraceful | May 26, 2013

Custom diaper bag

I’m not putting together a tutorial on this as there are so many out there in the blogisphere. This is a good resource: diaper bag tute.
I came up with the dimensions and design of my bag but there are some things I’d change. I believe I made it 15″ wide, 10″ tall and 3.5″ deep. I would make it deeper – maybe 5″ if I did it again. I used a grey corduroy exterior and dotted laminated cotton interior with blue stitching. I do like the laminated cotton and the corduroy has been ok. I topstitched on purpose and wanted it to show. In hindsight, I should have used a brighter thread or something because you can barely see the design I added to the front.

I made the strap way too long. I wanted it to be long enough for Eric to use also but it’s a bit too long now. To wear it crossbody, I basically have it as tight as it will go. I do like the technique for making it almost seamless. Another change would be additional interfacing on the bag side of the strap connector. Right now they gather and slide to one side. I’ve added a seam right next to the metal connector but it hasn’t helped much. And now the strap is starting to tear because it’s rubbing on the metal. Ug!

I’m happy with how the internal zipper came out, the external flat slot and the interior pockets. I do wish I had made the external pockets taller. I
don’t think bottles will fit in them well and stay in.

Diaper, burp cloths, wallet, changing pad…

So now I’m debating if I should try to fix this bag after 3 months of daily use or buy one… sad!

Posted by: begraceful | May 17, 2013

3 months

Hello baby boy! You are 3 months old today. I think back to those first few weeks and it seemed like this day was so far away. It’s true what they say that the days are long but years (months) are short.
You are still adorable. You smile and sometimes laugh at me. You enjoy cooing and making new sounds to my face. I bet it’s to get me to make them back to you. Of course I do! The latest is a gurggling sound. It’s pretty darn cute. We also stick our tongues out at each other. Your tongue is so cute and little.
We are pretty sure you’ve begun teething. You were quite drooly for a number of weeks but then all of a sudden, you were putting everything in your mouth and chewing instead of sucking. Then you had some screaming jags. You’re not a screamy, crying baby in general so it was initially strange. It was also a painful cry, not your hungry cry. We put on your amber teething necklace we had luckily bought for you at the pecan street festival the week before. We pulled out the frozen teethers, washed sophie the giraffe (in the dishwasher to get rid of her CRAZY squeak. Sorry.) wet some washcloths and got a new teething ring from the store on the suggestion of a friend. You tend to go through the list, not really happy with anything for long. Finally you calm and suck on a pacifier or my finger. Poor baby. You’re not even old enough for any of the medicines that might help. Additionally, your chompers may not break the surface for weeks! Poor baby again! And poor momma and daddy. ; )
You still hate tummy time but you are now enjoying the hanging toys from the activity gym! You have started to try and bat at them now. You are so pitiful on your tummy. Your head control is pretty good actually but the doctor said more tummy time!!
You have lately consolidated to about 3 naps a day if you get to take them without interruption (like from running errands). You had been sleeping 8+ hours a night straight through but for the past week, you’ve decided you’re hungry and wake up 5-6 hours in. We’re very thankful that you go back to bed! And when you wake up in the morning, you have the biggest smile for me. It makes me melt! And if I’m tired, it makes me feel so much better. What a great start to the day.
I love you little man! Your daddy loves you too!


Posted by: begraceful | May 9, 2013


I didn’t think it was possible but the interwebs tell me it is…. I think this baby may be teething… He’s only 11 weeks old for goodness sakes! But his current fussiness is being helped not by pacifier or play, but by chewing on a wet washcloth….  I just put those teething things in the freezer and put on the amber necklace we got last weekend. What timing! I’m still shocked…

Posted by: begraceful | May 6, 2013

What I’ve learned (baby edition)

– Babies are warm and squishy
– contractions can be long and on top of each other early in labor and without pitocin!
– epidurals are very helpful
– catheters are quite uncomfortable
– not all L&D nurses are created equal
– cloth diapers ARE very addictive
– babywearing is addictive too
– even when you are excited about and looking forward to the next stage/ next thing, it’s sad when your baby outgrows newborn sizes!
– every baby really is different.
– ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ is great advise.
– love does grow
– Sleep helps everything
– i really had missed alcohol. Who knew since it wasn’t hard to give up!
-your baby’s smile will make you melt

Posted by: begraceful | April 17, 2013

My son

Is 2 months old today!


And is still adorable. : )

Happy 2 month birthday baby boy! We love you!

Posted by: begraceful | April 16, 2013

Ooh poor neglected blog

I shall post on you soon I swear! To hold myself accountable (and as a reminder for my brain later)
Future posts:

– What I’ve learned (post labor edition)
– Custom diaper bag (and what I would change next time)
– Note to BB
– update on life with baby

Now I must get to bed, the baby is sleeping!

Posted by: begraceful | March 14, 2013

BB’s Birth Story

BB is currently sleeping against me in the baby K’Tan. Baby carriers are pretty awesome. There are other things on the awesome list too like grandparents who are willing to hold him while mommy sleeps, breast pumps and bottle feeding, and ridiculously supportive husbands!

I want to write down BB’s birth story before I forget all of the details. I’m sure there are some I’ve forgotten already. So… 25 days ago, I gave birth to this little man! Below are all the details I’m remembering, some may be gross but this is a birth story after all…

Let’s go back to Valentine’s day, Thursday, February 14th. I had my weekly appointment for week 38 and I was actually checked for the first time – 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. My doctor was surprised that I was already effaced to 50% but said she bet she would see me next week, still pregnant at my next appointment. We went about our lives, had our lobster dinner as is our Valentine’s day tradition… I hadn’t had many Braxton Hicks contractions or other labor indications so I was surprised when I woke up at 5am on Saturday with bloody show. I never saw my mucus plug; at least not to the point that I could identify it. My contractions started very lightly but they were every 5 minutes and about a minute long from the very beginning. That’s the timing my doctor’s office wants you to call them/go in. So I waited until 8am to call the nurse-on-call. I was still contracting at the same pace but they were getting a bit stronger – not too badly though. She told me to just labor at home and when it got to the point that I couldn’t speak through contractions, to head to the hospital. She notified the hospital that I would likely be in that day. So I did what I had read/been told. I ate, I drank, we took walks. My parents came over in the early afternoon after I had been laboring all day. I still wasn’t THAT uncomfortable between contractions and I just had to concentrate on them more when they happened. The only thing is that the timing of them never changed. I was still contracting 1 minute long every 5 minutes.

At 3:30pm we finally decided to go to the hospital. Sadly, when the triage nurse checked me, I was only at 2 cm, 80% effaced. This was quite depressing as the contractions were much worse while at the hospital. I was hooked up to the monitors for a bit and you could see that I was contracting a lot. We never saw the doctor on call but he decided from my stats that I should chill in triage for a few hours to see how I progressed. So we did. We walked the halls and I labored in the triage room. I still had a ton of show which was annoying to me but unsurprising to the nurse. Speaking of the nurse, our triage nurse Alison was awesome. I didn’t realize she was just there for triage. It would have been nice had she been our L&D nurse the whole time. So around 5pm they checked me again and I was at only 3 cm but 90% effaced. They decided to admit me and we were moved to an actual delivery room. Eric pumped up the yoga ball and we got as comfortable as we could in the new room. The new nurse – Jennifer – was not as great as Alison. She was not very friendly and lacked bedside manner I would expect in L&D. She also messed up my heplock the first time and I have no idea what she did the second time but I had blood running down my arm… Another time she was hooking something up and she said ‘oops.’ Just really not what you want to hear.

I had so wanted to use yoga positions, the ball and massage to get through labor. As it turns out, my contractions intensified and I basically didn’t leave the bed. The monitors were on me the whole time and even though I had the heplock, the IV was connected the whole time too. My contractions were quite long at 2 minutes and at some point, they started coming right on top of one another, with no breaks in between. Thankfully, I couldn’t see the monitors because I’m sure that would have freaked me out to actually see the contractions on paper. I was mostly hurting up front in my abdomen and for some reason my right hip was very painful. I know BB was faced toward that hip so maybe it was his position. Anyway, as I knew I would, I went all internal during contractions. I did long breathing and just tried to get through it. They did become quite painful. I remember one contraction where I almost started crying. Around 9pm the doctor on-call from my OBGYN practice checked my progress again and I was 100% effaced and 5 cm dilated. At this point, she wanted to break my waters but warned that labor would progress quite strongly and quickly after that was done. She suggested that if I was interested in an epidural, to get it before breaking the waters as it would just get more painful. I waited about 20 min for Eric to finish his dinner in the waiting area and to decide if I wanted the epi. In the end, I decided to get the epidural. As is posted many places, just because you decide to get one, doesn’t mean poof, the anesthesiologist is there and ta da, you have no pain. First you have to take in a whole IV bag, then the anesthesiologist has to come and then do the whole procedure. Thankfully I was able to stay still during the two contractions it took to administer the epi. After the drugs took effect, I felt 100% better. My mom and Eric had been worried that I wouldn’t be able to make it through the rest of labor and were glad that I decided to do the epidural. The worst part of the whole thing: the catheter. I knew that you end up with a catheter because you can’t urinate on your own and you can’t get up from the bed to do so. I didn’t know how dang uncomfortable and irritating they are! So anywho, I was able to rest and not feel the contractions much at all. I did start feeling pressure at one point but that is normal. The nurse kept checking to see where the baby was in relation to my pelvis and he finally got low enough to start pushing. So, at 2am, February 17th, I started pushing. Weee! Because of the epidural, I had to be told when to push based on the monitors. Eric had my left leg and the nurse was holding my right as I pulled on a sheet tied to a push bar. It was very helpful for me to be able to use this counter-pressure – to pull on something – as I was bearing down. I was worried about how Eric would react to labor especially since he was seeing, well, everything. He didn’t seem afraid or anything. He didn’t cry at all and was just so excited the WHOLE time. He was excited during my hours of labor and through pushing to the delivery. It was impressive.

At one point the nurse said that it was time to call the doctor. The doctor and a multitude of others started coming in at that point and I’m pretty sure I only pushed a handful of times once they were there. Apparently that’s the way it works in L&D, the doctor just shows up at the end. Anyway, I got to the point of crowning and the doctor told me I had 1 more push and he was coming out. That’s when I started crying. : ) We pushed again and she said his head was 1/4 out and if I could, to wait until the next contraction to push it all the way. That totally didn’t happen and I had to push the rest of the head out. And then came the shoulders.

BB was born officially at 3:22am. I didn’t notice the placenta or anything else come out until they were stitching me up. I think I had a 2nd degree tear. Not too bad really. There were a few stitches that HURT though. Missed a bit with the local anesthetic maybe… So he was placed on my belly and I tried to pull him up to me but the nurses made me keep him low so Eric could cut the cord I guess. I totally wasn’t aware of that part and have no memory of it. I just remember seeing the top of his head and crying. I was so happy that he was finally born! They took him from me and Eric followed him over to the little heating bed where they cleaned him up, measured him and got him all comfy. He was 7 lbs and 21.5 inches long. He had an APGAR of 8/9 so I was thrilled. He also didn’t look like the typical newborn with a goofy misshapen head. Yay! He was just perfect. I wanted to nurse right away and thankfully was able to. In the first hour I think he nursed a total of 30 minutes. He started out so strong and I’m thankful we really haven’t had any problems. He also had meconium poops and wet diapers from the very beginning. He was definitely ready to come out and was very healthy!

So that’s how BB came into this world. It was wonderful and long and not as I’d expected. I’m very happy with how the birth went even though I hadn’t wanted to use medication. I’m glad I did because I doubt I could have lasted a whole 22 hours without it.

Posted by: begraceful | March 4, 2013


I’ve been gone for a bit, but for good reason! At 38.5 weeks, I went into labor and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on 2/17. I’ll have to detail the full birth story at some point but I doubt that’ll be today. I think I’ll continue to call him BB on the blog just to protect him from the interwebs a bit. Please forgive me. : )
We’ve been hunkered down learning how to care for a newborn for 2 weeks. It’s kinda crazy that he’s 15 days old today. I’m getting more in the groove of being his mom and learning his cues for hungry, gassy, diaper changy. : ) I was afraid of ‘doing-it-wrong’ and messing up for the first 2 weeks. Then I had a blocked milk duct that was on it’s way to mastitis. wooo! Thankfully I was able to rest with the help of my mom and hubby and work it out so I didn’t have to get on antibiotics and potentially mess with all the side effects of that.
I think the other helpful part that has made me feel more human is that he’s such a good baby and has been sleeping really well. I hope I don’t jinx anything but I REALLY need sleep and he’s been helping out in that department. It’s also helpful that he’s adorable and smells delicious. We are also really lucky that my parents are here and so excited to help with the little man. We’re just really blessed. Hopefully I’ll be able to update again soon and write out his birth story but at the moment, I hear little noises over the monitor….. : )

Posted by: begraceful | February 12, 2013

Our sweet girl

We had to say goodbye to our sweet Sydney today. I think it will continue to hit me over the next few days.

She was a sweet, goofy problem child. Barking at air, howling at sirens, kicking her brother out of a dog bed so she could sleep there and eating paper when she was mad that we’d left the house… She had the worst smelling farts and the most hilarious snoring. Her wagging tail hit the wall rhythmically and often. She was officially family, especially how she slept like my husband & his family; with one eye only slightly closed. 🙂 She hung out with me at dog parks and preferred to greet all the humans instead of the dogs. She was little miss independent but loved to follow me around and let me hug her whenever I wanted. I’m really going to miss her.

What happened: All her lumps and bumps that weren’t cancer or were precancerous basically spread internally. I had just taken her in to the vet yesterday for her yearly shots and to test all the latest skin lumps. The ones we poked were amazingly fine. Her blood work showed higher than normal white cell counts but pretty normal kidney and liver function. We took home some antibiotics. This afternoon, I knew something was wrong. She was restless and not herself. She wouldn’t follow me into the next room. She wouldn’t lie on her side and later cried when I touched her belly. I called the vet and decided to take her in. We’re not sure if it was the mast cells or hemangiosarcoma but through ultrasound, they found that an internal tumor had ruptured and blood filled her abdomen. They would have done surgery to stop the bleeding but first did a chest xray to check if it had spread. It had metastasized around her lungs, heart, just everywhere. At that point, we just couldn’t put her through surgery to stop just one tumor when the same thing would happen with the others soon enough. If we didn’t euthanize, she would bleed out while in pain. It was really a simple decision.
We had both been working up to it for the past year through the multiple surgeries to remove lumps and tumors. We both knew this was likely to happen at some point. I don’t think you can ever be ready though. We sat with her, petting and talking to her. Her usually constantly moving tail was still. She was still uncomfortable.

I’m sure I will be sad for a while. Tonight it was great remembering all the funny things about her; the silly things she did. I’m still so glad we rescued her. We loved her very much.


Syd napping last week. 🙂

Posted by: begraceful | February 10, 2013

37th week


This is me 2 days ago. Look at that big belly! So I have 3 or so weeks to go at the very most. This week will be my 38 week appt where I’ll be checked and induction at 41 weeks will be discussed in more detail. Hopefully we don’t get to that point though.
We have hospital bags packed and ready to go. Car seat bases installed. Nursery ready!
I’ve been feeling pretty darn good lately. Getting fatigued by the end of most days and feeling huge. I do have some aches and pains but like I said before, nothing bad enough or constant enough to complain about. At our infant CPR class last week there was a girl a week behind me whose feet and hands were very swollen! I’m so grateful that I’m not experiencing things like that. I get some sharp hip pain sometimes when BB is sitting on nerves somewhere. Different from sciatica though! Haven’t had that in a while *knocking on wood somewhere eeek* and the rest has mostly been from his movements. He likes to stick his knee in this one spot and also stretch out every now and then. 🙂
I have had some more Braxton Hicks over the past week. I could probably count the number on one hand. They didn’t feel like the first ones I got months ago (EXACTLY like menstrual cramps) but instead the best description really is like they say, ‘tightening’ of the uterus. Anyway, not the sensation I was expecting but nothing too crazy.
I think it was last week or maybe the previous week that I finally started getting stretch marks around my belly button. Oh well!
What else? We’re technically full term now. Wooo! No signs of labor but it should happen in the next few weeks!! Exciting, scary and back to exciting. When you’re only 11 weeks or so, 40 sounds like forever but I’m actually almost there and that’s even crazier.

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