Wednesday, May 08, 2013

New Year's Resolutions-Keep a cleaner house

My house cleaning skills have always been sub par. Well let me rephrase, my keeping my house clean skills are sub par. I know how to clean, but I just don't like doing it all the time and it seems like even though we move all the freaking time, we still have so much stuff and only so many places to put it. So our apartment gets cluttered, and chaotic, and up until now, we've just ignored the mess. But now that the baby is hear and starting to get into everything I knew I could do a better job. So I came up with a schedule with the help of this to help me stay on track.

Monday: Vacuum,  clean out fridge of leftovers, wipe down fridge door
Tuesday: dust (just one thing, doesn't have to be everything) I use this, found it at the grocery store
Wednesday: Vacuum, clean the bathroom-been doing this and loving it, we also use a squeegee on the                    shower walls after we shower
Thursday: Pour boiling water down the drains to keep them running well, fold the laundry that Scott cleans
Friday: Scott does the vacuuming, so I mop the floor

Every day I unload the dishwasher and Scott loads it. I also wipe down the bathroom sink and toilet each night with a clorox wipe and Scott wipes down the kitchen each night.

I use Astrid to keep track of my to do list. Using that also helps me keep track of the cleaning tasks that only happen every once in awhile like washing the windows, cleaning the filter on my vacuum, rotating the mattress, vacuuming the fridge coils, cleaning out the garbage cans, etc. 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

New Year's Resolutions-Pay our tithing on time

Each December as tithing settlement would draw near Scott and I would get a bit nervous. Not that we didn't want to pay our tithing, it's just that usually we would have missed a few pay checks here and there and then would need to "settle up" in December when money would be tight anyway. It was difficult for us to pay tithing on time because my paycheck is different every single time, and we both get automatic deposit. So a lot of time we would just forget on Sunday to pay it, and then the weeks would go by and the amount would start to add up. So this year we were determined to pay it on time. We got a great idea from Scott's sister to have a check automatically sent from your bank to Salt Lake. But it was a lot of steps and that still didn't work for me because my check is different each time.

So we decided that Scott should have an automatic payment sent to our Bishop's house every month, because his checks are the same month to month. Then at the first of the year I got 24 tithing slips and 24 envelops that have my bishop's address. I took them into work with me and when I get my pay stub I write the check at work and put it in the mailbox on the way out the door. At the beginning of the month I also write in our fast offering and in the middle of the month, I am following our Prophet's counsel and sending our dollars on a mission.

As of this post we are current on our tithing. We have never been this good about our tithing. This system works for us, and I know we are being blessed because of our diligence.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Year's Resolutions-Study our scriptures consistently

Studying our scriptures consistently has been something that we have struggled with our whole marriage. So this year my resolution for Scott was for him to remember to pull out our scriptures and read while I nursed Penny before bed. A lot of times we have the Mormon Channel read to us from our phone, but we're getting it in more often, and I think that's an important first step. We still have a long way to go, our goal being that we are studying instead of just reading, and that we have individual scripture study as well as family scripture study. But one small step at a time.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I realize that today is the 21st of April, but this year we as a family really tried hard to make realistic goals that would make our family better:
1) Study our scriptures every day
2) Pay our tithing on time
3) Keep a cleaner house
4) Have a meal plan so we eat out less and nourish our bodies
5) Exercise more
6) Pray morning and night
7) Keep learning about the best ways to raise our baby and nourish her body and mind

2013 is also going to be the year of graduation! Scott defended his thesis in early January, and now he is working on his dissertation grant and research.  I will graduate with my master's degree in December.

As a general update, we are doing great. Penny is growing "like a zucchini plant in July" as Amanda would say. Email me if you would like to be a flickr buddy and see WAY more pictures of Penny then anyone thought possible. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Baby Penny's Birth Story

Penny with Grandma Stoneman 5 days old

I was due on Wednesday, July 11th.  I had a doctor's appointment that day and she told me I was 90% effaced and that she could feel the baby's head when she stripped my membranes. That gave me hope that I was super close. I went to the chiropractor's office and she gave my hips and shoulders an adjustment and I was convinced that I would go into labor in the next 24 hours. Nothing happened until Saturday morning. I woke up about 4:30 am with very very light contractions. I wasn't even sure they were contractions. But the sensation was happening about every 20 minutes, so I figured they were. I started timing them and got a few things done thinking we were going to the hospital later that day. I woke Scott up and told him I wanted a big breakfast, so we went and got breakfast. Then walked around the farmer's market. I was really tired when we got home so I took a nap and all the contractions stopped. 

I called my doula Saturday night and declared that the baby was stuck and she needed to help get it unstuck. She told me to do the Miles Circuit  because most likely her head was not in a neutral position because I felt the contractions in my back. So I did the positions on Saturday night and we went to bed. We woke up Sunday morning and I did one of the positions for only 10 minutes and then went to take a shower. When I bent down to turn on the water I felt an intense pain in my back and thought, that's probably a contraction. In the 10 minutes it took me to shower I had three contractions. I got out and told Scott to start timing the contractions. It was about 10:30 a.m. The contractions were coming about 5 minutes apart from the beginning. I sat on the exercise ball and tried to keep my jaw relaxed so my cervix would open up. When my contractions were 5 minutes apart for about an hour Scott wanted to go to the hospital. They told us to come to the hospital when they were 5 minutes apart for an hour. I called our doula and she told me that if I was still walking and talking through the contractions, that it wasn't time to go to the hospital, that they needed to feel a lot stronger before going. So I said that was fine and was happy to do the work at home. I was still feeling all of the pain in my back during the contractions. I knew that the baby was in the right position and that I wasn't having back labor, but for some reason I was feeling everything in my back. In our birthing class they showed a video of a husband using a rolling pin on his wife's back during her contractions. So we did that and it felt wonderful. We kept working until the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart. Scott called the hospital and they told us to come to the hospital. 

When we got into the car Samuel Barber's Knoxville Summer of 1915 was playing on NPR. This was one of the many tender mercies of the Lord that happened that day. This was a piece that was performed during a concerto night when I was at USU. I hated this song at first, but it grew to be my favorite. The piece calmed me down as we drove the 20 minutes to the hospital. 

 It was 2:30 pm when we got to the hospital and they hooked me up to the Fetal Heart Monitor. I had to lay in the bed while this was on, and I hated it. The contractions were strong and I couldn't move to help me through the pain. I got up and stood by the side of the bed, this helped a bit, but it was still really hard to stand still. Every time I had a contraction the FHM would loose the baby's heart rate and so instead of the 20 minutes I was supposed to be hooked up, it was 40 minutes. (I also had puke #1 while on the FHM). Finally when they had a decent base line they took me off and I could sit on the exercise ball again. They checked my cervix and I was 100% effaced and dilated to a 3. 

Our doula showed up and started counter pressure on my hips during the contractions. Scott turned on my playlist that I had created. I made a playlist with my favorite songs. A coworker of mine is a music therapist specializing in labor and birth. She wrote a paper citing research that having music playing that means a lot to the mother helps create Ocytoxin. Also in Ina May's book, Guide to Childbirth she talks about how singing helps your jaw stay loose and that helps your cervix open up. I began to sing and that really helped pass the time. We used a lot of positions, but the ball was my favorite. Our doula would use her legs to put counter pressure on my hips and Scott would hold my hand and coach me through my breathing and kept me loose.  At 7:00 pm they checked me again and I was only at a 4. This was a bummer, I needed to be at a 7-8 to get into the tub, where I wanted to have a water birth. If I got into the tub before I was a 7 or 8 it would slow down my labor. Our doula suggested that I walk to help things along. So Scott and I went and walked the halls while she went and got dinner (Scott had already eaten dinner, something that I was determined he do). While walking I felt a bit nauseous again so I held the sick bag while walking. While walking I kept thinking that I was still walking through the contractions and that was a bad sign. They needed to be stronger before I would be close to giving birth. So I kept walking. Then I felt sick and started puking (#2) in the bag and of course, I also started to pee. So I was trying to get back into my room, keep the puke in the bag and get to the toilet. It was pretty comical. I kept walking after that and started to not be able to walk during the contractions. I took this as a great sign and asked our doula if I could go back to the ball. We worked on the ball for awhile, and the thought of wanting drugs started entering my mind. I just kept thinking, they would take the edge off, and that would be wonderful. I thought that when they checked me again, if I was only at a 5 or a 6 I would ask for the drugs. I had great intentions, but I was running out of gas. At about 8:45 pm I said out loud, "I don't know how much longer I can do this". I knew that those words were usually spoken by women when they were at an 8 or 9, but since I was only at a 4, I just thought I was chickening out. 

At 9:00 pm they checked me again (which put me on the bed again which I hated). The wonderful nurse said I was at an 8 and I was thrilled. "Get me in that tub!" Our doula was completely shocked that I had progressed so quickly. She started filling up the tub and when I got in I hated it immediately. I didn't have anyone in the tub with me to give counter pressure and I couldn't bounce on the ball like I wanted to. Then I puked (#3) again and the force of it broke my water. Then I got this overwhelming feeling to push. I called out that I was pushing and the nurse told me to stop because I was only at an 8 and I would put myself in a world of hurt if I pushed. She said to get out of the tub and get on the bed so she could check my cervix again. When I was checked again I was at a 10. It was 9:30 pm. I had gone from a 4 to a 10 in 2 1/2 hours. 

I didn't want to get back into the tub, so they let me do some contractions on the ball. They called the doctor. My doula told me that the doctor was on her way and that if I wasn't in the tub when she got here, she would try to get me to have the baby in the bed. She had agreed to do her first water birth with me, and she was a bit nervous. My doula told me that if I wanted to have the baby in the tub, I needed to get into the tub. So I got in the tub and the need to push kept coming. The sounds that came out of my mouth were out of this world. I don't think I could make them again. I felt her head coming down. The doctor showed up and my doula kept coaching me through the pushing. I suddenly felt her head coming close and then I felt her head come out. I was in a knee squat position and when the doctor realized that her head was out she told me I needed to roll over on my back so she could deliver the rest of her body. I rolled over onto my back and Scott had his legs in the tub and supported me. I had one more contraction and out she came. The doctor pulled her out of the water and put her on my tummy. I remember seeing her little blue face and saying, "oh, hello!".  It was 10:02 pm. (When babies are born in the water they don't pink up as quickly because they continue to receive oxygen from the mother until they are brought out of the water.) They cut the cord and then I handed the baby over to Scott and they got me out of the tub and onto the bed to deliver the placenta. They put the baby back on my chest once I was on the bed. I was shaking pretty bad from the adrenaline. I tore just a bit so the doc needed to stitch me up and then I bled quite a bit, so they had to put me on pitocin to stop the bleeding. 

All in all it was a terrific birth. I'm not sure how much better it could have gone. The staff was amazing (we didn't meet one unhappy staff member our entire stay at the hospital). Our doula was out of this world. I don't know how we could have done it without her. If she wasn't there, I would have asked for the drugs hours before her birth. She was the reason I was able to last as long as I did. I highly recommend hiring one. 

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Still no baby

Just in case you were wondering, 2 days and 14 minutes until the due date and nothing is happening around these parts. I think maybe I've had a few Braxton-Hicks contractions, but nothing serious. I can be patient, but standing is getting to be painful and rolling over in bed is nearly impossible. We'll let you know when things change.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

4 weeks to go!

This is the my view these days. Everything is going really well and besides hating every minute of the first 25 weeks of pregnancy, things have gotten better.  Also, thanks to my sweet friend who gave me a pedicure and made my toes sparkly.