Category Archives: Rose

Rose’s Birth Story: Part 1

Sooooo, Rose is over 4 years old. ¬†I guess it’s finally time to write down her birth story. ūüėČ ¬†Oh my goodness. ¬†My little baby is 4 years old. ¬†How was it not just last week that I first held her wet gloopy little body in my arms?

On Rose’s due date I hadn’t felt anything that seemed like contractions. ¬†Three days before, I had my latest OB appointment the doc had stated that there wasn’t any indication that anything was going to happen any time soon. ¬†Those doors were closed up tight! ¬†By this time, it was late July and I was large, hot, achy, and more then ready to have the damn baby already.

The day before, having no idea what I was in for.


Our wedding anniversary was 2 days after my due date and we knew the later it got, the less likely we would have a chance to do any celebrating. ¬†On the actual due date we headed out for dinner and a movie. ¬†Funnily enough, we saw “Ice Age:Dawn of the Dinosaurs” where the mammoth has a baby. ¬†(Maybe it triggered something subliminally?) By the time we left, I was feeling light contractions which I attributed to braxton hicks. ¬†In the morning, however, the contractions had increased in frequency and were 5-6 minutes apart and starting to get uncomfortable. ¬†Being as it was my first baby, I had no idea what I should be feeling so we headed into the hospital to see what was up.

Alas, I was only 1 cm and barely 90% effaced.  We walked around for a while but no progression so off we went back home.  They gave me something to let me rest but all it did was slow the contractions a bit so they woke me up every 10 minutes instead of 5.

That evening the contractions were every 4-5 minutes and after one floored me around 7pm we headed back into the hospital because I MUST be further along.  Nope.  Still at 1 cm.  Seriously?!!!!!  Practice labor my ass.

Back home for me, living through the contractions.  At 3am they were 3-4 minutes apart and bad.  Back to the hospital we went.  Still 1 cm.  Two hours of walking the hospital hallway, 1 cm.  Arg!!!  They were so bad that it took me a whole hour just to walk the circle once.  Home again we go.

I spent the day rocking in the glider, trying to zone out as much as possible.  I fell asleep between each contraction only to be woken up 3 minutes later for the next one.  So bad.  So so bad.

Here is where being a non first time mom would have been helpful. ¬†See, I had no idea what level of pain I should be feeling. ¬†All I knew was I was it hurt like a bitch and the contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes and lasting for a minute. ¬†That was what they said to come in at and each time I wasn’t dialating. ¬†We live 30 minutes from the hospital so I was worried we would get stuck somewhere when it was too late.

I spent a lot of time in the shower, letting the water wash over my back until I ran out of hot water. ¬†Little did I know that the reason that helped so much was that I was having back labor. ¬†I really wish I knew enough to ask the nurse to check Rose’s position when we were there.

Then, at 5 pm, the second day of “practice labor”, the contractions changed. ¬†Oh boy did they change. ¬†So THIS what what progression meant. ¬†Back in we went and this time I was at 3 cm. ¬†I could get admitted!! ¬†Wohoo! ¬†Epidural here we come!

I was checked in by 9 pm and at 10:10 pm the lovely man came to give me sweet sweet relief. (Note that I know the exact time that happened)

To be continued……

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Halloween 2013 Recap

Sure it’s a week ago but I figured it was finally time to record down on the big interweb our Halloween (and the days that followed) adventure. ¬†If anything I can post cute pictures of my kids.

First the cute kid pics.

Rose did the thing that most kids do at that age, changed her mind about 10 times about what she wanted to be. ¬†Princess (Cinderella, then Rapunzel, then Snow White, then Sleeping Beauty, then Cinderella, you get the drift), then Fairy Princess (she wanted wings), then Doctor, then Fairy Princess Doctor, then a last minute change back to standard Fairy Princess. ¬†Luckily, Evelyn is still at the age that she cares nothing about what she wears so she was a Dragon to go with Rose’s princess.

Girls Halloween

I wasn’t that thrilled with Rose wanting to be a princess. ¬†The inner feminist in me wanted her to be something less “I like it because I’m pretty”. ¬†Like a superhero or a dentist. ¬†So I bought her a sword. ¬†Yep, if you are going to be a princess, you need to be able to defend yourself from evil queens and bad monsters. ¬†No waiting around for her prince to rescue her for this girl!


Ok, technically, Evelyn was a Dinosaur with wings but it was the cutest outfit I could find (that wasn’t crazy expensive) and I added a set of Tinkerbell wings to make her a Dragon. ūüėČwpid-20131031_184814.jpg

We went trick or treating in my brother’s neighborhood as we live out in the boonies and I doubt anyone buys candy. ¬†It’s a nice little neighborhood that didn’t have a lot of kids walking around. ¬†This meant that every place we went, the girls got handfuls of candy. ¬†I think we only went to about 15 houses and the buckets were full. ¬†Rose did fairly well, saying Trick or Treat and Thank You. ¬†Evelyn obviously didn’t say anything but she got really good at holding out her little bucket for the candy. ¬†Even if she didn’t know what she was actually getting.


Rose was over the moon over the 4 pieces of candy she was allowed to keep (we are those terrible parents that throw/give away most of our kids candy) and Evelyn enjoyed the 2 little smarties she got to eat. ūüôā ¬†All in all a good Halloween.

Then we move on to the rest of the weekend.  Evelyn had been fighting a low grade fever over the past few days.  She had no other symptoms other then that so we had carried her through the Trick or Treating.  That night she woke with a 103.5 fever and ended up sleeping restlessly on me for the rest of the night.  By the time I took her to the doc in the morning, the fever was up to 104.7.

There was lots of this going on.


and this.


Then, after an application of Advil, the fever went away and she was back to her bubbly active self.  It reappeared long enough Saturday morning to bring her back from the babysitter (we were trying to get things done around the property) then disappeared all together.

Then Sunday morning… hives


Luckily, thanks to the internet, I knew that hives were a common thing at the end of a mystery fever virus so I didn’t panic. ¬†She didn’t seem to care about them so we just kept her home and let her go about her day. ¬†She did have an epic nap but otherwise, the hives were gone by Monday. ¬†Never any other signs. ¬†Kids.

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Musings On A Weekend at the Beach

We took Evelyn with us for the first time on the annual family trip to Lawson’s Landing at Dillon Beach this weekend. ¬†Last year she was only 3 months old and I didn’t want to put the family through living in close quarters with a crabby baby. ¬†This year, she was walking and past the “put everything in her mouth” phase. ¬†This meant we could put her on the sand and not worry about her colicing from all the sand ingestion (horse joke).

She still needed a little help “running down the dunes”.


I’m amazed (although I shouldn’t be), what a difference a trip to the beach is when you have two little ones along. ¬†Instead of chapters of a fluffy book being read while lounging in a beach chair in front of the waves, there was digging in the sand to build sand castles (for Evelyn to stomp on) and watching Rose running up and down and up and down the dunes.


Instead of leasurly walks along the beach, hand in hand with my husband, it was “see how many kids Daddy can hold at one time”.


Instead of cuddles in front of the campfire it was puzzles with my daughter (I was only allowed to watch, not participate)


and reading books with Nana.


I didn’t come back from the weekend feeling refreshed (I was a little worn out from ‘co-sleeping’ with Evelyn) but wouldn’t have traded it for the world. ¬†The wonderful feeling of putting smiles on the faces of her..


and her, made it all worth while.IMG_4232

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Filed under Evelyn, Motherhood, Musing of Life, parenthood, Rose, Travel

Friday Ranch Day October 9, 2013

The girls and I headed down to the garden to start winterizing this weekend and while Rose helped me to pull the onions, Evelyn wandered around as 15 month olds are known to do.

Evelyn – “While Sissy is off pulling onions, I’m gonna esplore.”


¬†“Outta my way Mommy, I’m esplorin!”


“Diggin, diggin, diggin in the dirt.”


“Dis flower is so butiful!”


¬†“It may be pretty but does it taste good?”


¬†“Oh my god! ¬†This leaf ripped right off when I pulled!!!!!!!”


¬†“This place is falling apart around me. ¬†I’m outta here!”



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Machado’s Orchard Field Trip


It’s fall! ¬†While I don’t have the same “thank god for fall” that some have (I’m a shorts wearing, flip flop loving girl) there are a few things that I’m grateful for come this time of year. ¬†One of those is apple season. In our area of Northern California we are right in the middle of apple country. ¬†Not only do we have a few trees of our own, there are a number of orchards around so that we can buy and eat some picked that day apples.

Now that Rose is in a larger pre-school, I got to go with her on her first “field trip” to Machado’s Orchard. ¬†It happened to fall on my day off so wohoo! ¬†We toured the orchards, sampled the fruits, and got to learn about growing and harvesting. ¬†They even let us peek into their kitchen where they make their heavenly pies. ¬†(They made over 4,000 pies for thanksgiving last year!) ¬†It was a blast walking around with all the kids and observing Rose interact (or not interact) with them. ¬†She is a shy girl.

Now on to the gratuitous photo dump from my phone.

Apple munching with my girl



Rose and Mommy Selfi



Holding hands with a friend



100 year old apple tree


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Wordless Wednesday: Sister lessons


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Filed under Evelyn, Rose, Sisters, Wordless Wednesday

The Great Debinkying Adventure

Before we had Rose, I had always swore that we wouldn’t use a binky with “our baby”.¬† Oh no.¬† No binky would touch the lips of our precious children.¬† I had seen too many children (children not babies) walking around with pacifiers in their mouths, taking them out to have a conversation with their parents. I just “knew” that I wouldn’t let that have a chance of happening.¬† Yaaaaaah. So all that conviction was thrown in the garbage after the multi episode, multi hour, cry fests that Rose would do those first few weeks.¬† When she was in the NICU, they gave her a pacifier as they couldn’t be holding her 24/7 with wires/tubes/uv light.¬† Out of desperation, I tried one of the pacifiers that she came home with and sweet lord there was silence.¬† Silence and a happy baby. We never looked back.

She wasn’t allowed to take it everywhere.¬† She mostly used it for naps and bed time and never really grew terribly attached.¬† Once her 1 year birthday rolled around and it was time to stop giving her a pacifier, we simply stopped giving it to her and it was like she never used it.¬† Wonderful!

When Evelyn was born we didn’t even think twice before starting her with a binky.¬† We even used a Wabbanub which was even better (side note: those Wabbanubs are a wonderful invention. You can use the animal on the end of prop it up and in the babies mouth when they are too small to keep it in).¬† She only had it when she was sleeping so I figured dropping it when she was 1 would be as easy as with Rose.¬† However, once her birthday rolled around, she was popping through some molars and used the binky as a soothing devise as she fell asleep.¬† So I put it off.¬† No big deal right?¬† Thing was, I started to notice that when it came to putting Evelyn down for sleep, she would just about leap out of my arms into the crib.¬† At first I thought this was great!¬† No issues putting this baby down.¬† Then I realized it was because she wanted to get that binky in her mouth as quickly as possible.¬† Then she started to scream like you were kicking her favorite puppy when you made her drop it in the crib in the morning.

Hello sign!!

So two weeks ago we decided to stop the binky cold turkey.  No binky at nap, no binky at bedtime.  She took it great!  Hahaha!  Just kidding.  She screamed her head off.  She threw her lovey out of the crib in anger (we had been introducing a lovey in prep).  She screamed some more.  Then, 20 minutes in, she passed out.


Not a further peep was heard until her usual 3:30 wake up.¬† Instead of scrounging around for her binky and falling back asleep, it was scrounge around for binky, realize it wasn’t there, then scream her head off.¬† Luckily that lasted only 5 minutes before she passed out again.¬† Then she slept in to 7:30.¬† Score!¬† The nap was a little harder but she fell asleep in about 10 minutes and then cried off and on for about an hour and a half.¬† The next night she went down in 5 minutes.

Now, if she isn’t really tired, she will cry for about a minute before snuggling with her lovey and falling asleep.¬† This really isn’t any different then with the binky so yay success!¬† She also learned quickly that if she throws the lovey out in anger the lovey doesn’t come back.¬† No lovey throwing has happened since. ūüôā

The very best side effect of having her give up the binky is that now, as you are putting her down for the night, she will gladly snuggle in your arms as you sing to her.¬† Not much is better then baby arms clutched around your neck with a baby head snuggled on your shoulder.¬† Sure it’s more like a death grip because she is trying to avoid going into the crib but I’ll cry ignorance and enjoy it.

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Starting my babies on “solid” foods

Sometimes I blog about this kind of thing in the hopes that it would help someone. ¬†Sometimes I do it just so that I can remember just what the heck I did since selective mommy memory is a real thing around here. ¬†I’m saying this is a little of both. ūüôā ¬†Keep in mind this is just what worked for us and my girls. ¬†All babies are different heaven knows.

I waited to start “solids” with both girls until 6 months. ¬†I write the word solids in quotes because there isn’t much solid about the foods you start with. ¬†I bypassed the standard 1st food of rice cereal due to the studies about the amount of arsenic in rice these days and went with an organic sweet potato instead. ¬†I peeled, cut up, steamed, and blended a nice sweet potato, the orange ones, called jewel yams here in my area of California. ¬†Then I mixed it with enough breast milk to water it down to a fairly liquid consistency, not pour off, but dribble off the spoon.

Homemade Baby Food

Both the girls took no time to learn how to take a bite from the spoon (they had been watching us eat for weeks) but it did take a few feedings for much to actually go down their throat.  Ha!  Most of it dribbled out of their mouths and onto the bib.

The first few weeks I only gave them “solids” at dinner time. ¬†I would do a short nurse right when I got home from work then offer an ounce or so off food while we were eating dinner. ¬†At around 7 months, we started in with lunch too, and 8 months, breakfast. ¬†Still only 2 oz at a time. ¬†All this time they would get 3 – 4oz bottles during the day and nurse first thing in the morning and right before bed.¬† As the months went on, they would eat more solids at meal times and decrease the amount of milk they drank.

As allergies don’t run in our families (except my shellfish allergy), we only fed a new food 2-3 days before changing it up. ¬†If there are family food allergies, I would make it more like 4-5 days. ¬†In the end Evelyn can eat everything and Rose is allergic only to Mango. ¬†Luckily that showed itself quickly by giving the poor thing a flaming diaper rash. ¬†We still have to avoid it which is harder then you think!

I make quite a bit of the purees myself as it its cheap and easy to do. ¬†I would post recipes but really, it’s buy organic veggies and fruit, steam until soft, blend in the blender until smooth, add breast milk or water until the desired consistency. ¬†If it’s too watery (I started to feed it thicker after a week or two), add baby oatmeal. ¬†I like the Happy Baby brand with the probiotics. ¬†Once you introduce a number of things you can start blending them together. ¬†Especially the not as sweet veggies. ¬†I add kale and broccoli to something sweeter like sweet potatoes or strawberries. ¬†While my girls would eat the more bitter things at first, they stopped once they got an opinion. ¬†Ha! ¬†I freeze the pureed mixes in flexible ice cube containers then store them in the freezer in ziplock bags. ¬†30 seconds in the microwave and you have a cheap and easy meal.

Homemade Baby Food 1

When Rose was a baby they had come out with square plastic containers which were nicer then the glass as they were lighter and you didn’t worry about breaking them in your diaper bag. ¬†However, by the time Evelyn was born, they had come out with the fabulousness that is the squeeze pouches. ¬†These flexible easy to pack things are so great. ¬†They even makes tons of organic ones. ¬†I just put a soft silicon top on it (not required but easier on her mouth) and she sucks it right down.¬† There are refillable ones that I put my homemade purees into. ¬†They even have spoons that connect to them for when the babies are just starting out.

Baby Food Pouch.jpg

When you buy those don’t just run to Target. ¬†My own hometown grocery store Raley’s actually has them 30-40 cents cheaper. ¬†Score!

The baby food aisle in Raley’s. ¬†Tons of organic at good prices!!


I use the pouches when out and about, or when I want to feed more fibrous greens. ¬†The companies industrial sized blenders make a much smoother puree. ¬†I usually end up with unappetizing chunks. ¬†ūüėõ

We also did some baby led weaning.  Sooner with Evelyn then with Rose (that whole second child thing) although I have found, at least until they get molars that can chew things more efficiently, I need to make sure I feed purees as well too make sure they got enough food.  Especially once I weaned and they were not getting a good amount of healthy breast milk anymore.  It just takes too long for them to eat to get enough food.

So there you have it! ¬†Once Evelyn gets more teeth, we will make and buy less purees and do more of just what we eat but until then, it’s a great way to make sure she is eating all the good stuff she needs.

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The evolution of a fast food order during marriage

We were sitting down to yet another meal at our favorite local taco place and I started to think about how our food order has changed over the years.  Not big changes (we order the same type of food every time) but the little things.  We moved back to my home town not long after we were married and so we have almost 13 years of food history at this place.

1st married (year 1):

Super Nacho w/ jalapenos <– Steve
Bean Burrito (no onions, with sour cream & hot sauce) <– Me
Large soda to split

Frequency: every few weeks

Living on the property in a trailer (year 2-4):

Super Nacho w/ jalapenos
Bean Burrito (no onions, with sour cream & hot sauce)
Large soda to split

Frequency: Sometimes 2-3 times a week, always late at night as we would come home and work on the property then not want to cook in the tiny trailer.

Living in the house (year 5-8):

Super Nacho w/ jalapenos
Bean Burrito (no onions, with sour cream & hot sauce)
Large soda to split

Frequency: Back to every few weeks. Usually on the weekends during a grocery/lunch run.

Pregnancy/nursing (year 9):

Super nacho w/ jalapenos (shredded cheese instead of unknown liquid stuff) <– healthier??
Bean Burrito (no onion, with sour cream) <– no hot sauce (heartburn)
Water <– no chemicals in my baby

Life with a Toddler (year 10-11):

Super nacho w/ jalapenos (back to the unknown liquid stuff. Wohoo!) <–hubby starting to grumble at how much I am stealing his nachos now that toddler is eating my burrito

Bean Burrito (no onion) <–toddler has started to eat a large portion of said burrito so why bother with added cost of sour cream
Large soda (bring on the chemicals!) & water (for toddler)

Frequency: About the same as before.

Pregnancy, again (year 12):


See previous pregnancy

Frequency: Same as before

Now (year 13):


Super nacho w/ jalapeno (shredded cheese, jalapenos tucked on the side, chips on the side) <– toddler is now eating 1/3 of the nachos so switched back to better cheese
2 Bean burritos (no onions) <Рsaid toddler is also eating most of a burrito greatly reducing what is available to me.  Baby is also stealing a lot of the bean out of the burrito and the meat off the nachos.  We realized we were leaving hungry.
3 waters <– baby and toddler = getting up too often to refill (read:lazy)

Frequency: About every other weekend with the occasional “we are in town so we are eating there”. Both girls would like us to eat there more often. ¬†Evelyn gets visibly excited when she seems me coming with the tray. ¬†Girl loves her beans and cheese.

I can only imagine our order and bill will slowly increase over the years. ¬†At least we don’t have boys!

Taco Tree

The one time we tried a taco instead of a burrito. Too messy.  Went back to a second burrito.



Filed under Evelyn, Humor, Rose

Making Changes

For almost 3.5 years now Rose (and now Evelyn) have been going to the same daycare. ¬†Jenny was a family friend and we knew she did in home care so when it came time to look around and pick a place for Rose she was already on the list. ¬†We looked at big places, we looked at small places, we looked at expensive places and we looked at cheap places but we always came back to her. ¬†She had been my mom’s friend since she was a Care Bear (teaching assistant) through her high school in my mom’s classroom. ¬†While I had only met her during social things, I figured my mom’s judge of character was pretty good. ¬†Plus, I had met and liked her kids which I think says a lot about a children’s caregiver.

This was one of the best decisions we could have made for Rose (and eventually Evelyn). ¬†While my working mommy guilt would never leave, it made my heart feel good to know that she was being “raised” during the day in such a loving environment. ¬†By loving I mean that she truly loves my kids. ¬†And her family loves my kids. ¬†And they love them in return. ¬†It’s like they were being cared for by family without them actually being family. ¬†I can’t tell you have many times Rose would just about kick me out the door in the morning and cry when she had to leave. ¬†It was like pulling teeth to get her out the door. ¬†Heck, last night she spent the night at “her Nenny’s” house just because. ¬†If there is anyone in the area that needs childcare or after school care for their kids, her house is the place to be!

Rose and her “Nenny” at Rose’s 2nd Birthday Party

Jen and Rose Blog


And now for the big “However”. ¬†However, when my mom retired, she started to take Rose for the day here and there. ¬†Then it was a steady one day a week. ¬†Then it was two. ¬†Then she started to take Evelyn one day a week…. You see where this is going. ¬†My mom decided a month or so ago that she wanted to watch the girls every day during the week. ¬†She will get to watch her granddaughters grow every day and be able to help in shaping their sharp little minds. ¬†She was a fabulous teacher to a classroom full of elementary school children and I know that she is going to be a fabulous teacher in her new little classroom of two. ¬†She is already planning all of the “field trips” and such she is going to take them on. ¬†Luckily for her, my dad is understanding of her desire to do this. ¬†Of course it helps a little that he adores his granddaughters.

So with a heavy heart, today was the last day I picked my girls up from Jenny’s house. ¬†I won’t lie and say that a tear didn’t fall as I drove away. ¬†Luckily it will not be the last time Jenny and her family will be in my kids life, through parties, babysitting and hopefully her being available when my parents are on vacation, there will be more “Nenny, Megan, Kelly, and B” times to be had.

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