The Baby is Now in School

It may only be two days a week. Of those two days, it may be for less than four hours a time. Even still, I feel like my tiny one has grown up in some big, important way.

first-day-of-schoolRowan began going to Montessori a couple weeks ago, and it hasn’t taken him long to get over the initial shock of being in a room full of toddlers and no mamas.

Griffin also has grown in that time, acting as a model big brother throughout the entire process. He meets me in the toddler room and helps to put Rowan’s indoor shoes on, telling him it will all be ok. He even sings the little song we made up when Griffin was in Rowan’s situation:

Mama Comes Back,

Daddy Comes Home,

We Have Fun at Schoo-oo-ool!

(No one said the song was going to win any awards.)

Looking back on his first day, most of what I can remember is that I woke up with a migraine. After dropping him off, worrying that he just wasn’t going to be able to handle being away from me and feeling nauseous the entire car ride home, I got into the bed, pulled the covers over my face, and tried to sleep off the headache. The few hours he was in school was vital for me to survive the migraines which have been longer and stronger lately.

Since then, Rowan’s been eating more for snacks and lunches when he’s there, cuddling up with the teachers, and doing so much independent work that Mrs. Heather has a hard time snapping pictures to document it because he’s always on the move.

I would call that quick progress!

A First Birthday Carnival

This post is a long time in the making, but I wanted to share the wonderful day we had celebrating Rowan as he turned one!

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I went easy on myself and chose a carnival theme – it’s so easy to find decor for this type of party! We had delicious, fun food and drinks, and even a game or two to keep the older kids occupied.

All of the games came from Oriental Trading, and I found a few places online that carried really fun temporary tattoos. That was my favorite part of the party! Even the grandparents were sporting some tattoos before the day was through.

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The Ferris Wheel centerpiece was handmade by my father – isn’t it amazing? I wanted something that would be cute for the party but would also serve as great nursery decor after everything was said and done.

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As for costumes people wore, we picked a few hats from our stash of halloween costumes, and I found quite a few carnival masks from Amazon. But the best ones were from my favorite seller on Etsy – Mosey! She not only made the cutest felt animal masks, but she also did all of the bunting, Rowan’s adorable hat, and his birthday bib.

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After hesitantly poking his finger in the cake, he dug right in – but he requested a spoon for the process once he saw that the cake was getting more on his bib than in his mouth!

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Rowan’s Birth Story

Rowan Lochlan Coleman White arrived at 2:05pm on September 10th. He was quiet, observant, and quite a little helper to mommy as she worked to get him into the world.

Newborn ShootWe were supposed to check in at the hospital at 6am, so Jeremy and I left the house before the sun was up and started out in a car laden down with bags that had been packed 6 weeks before. Not wanting to arrive after anyone else that may have a scheduled induction, I asked Jeremy to speed up a bit. Approximately 30 seconds later we spotted flashing lights in the rear view mirror.

After rolling down the window and yelling to the officer that I was in labor (much to Jeremy’s consternation), the officer shown his light into my passenger side window and questioned our reasons for speeding at such an early hour. Clearly he hadn’t heard me the first time. Jeremy calmly told him that I was in labor (only a minor embellishment), to which the officer shone his light directly on my belly before asking Jeremy his age. We laughed about this random questioning afterwards, wondering if he wanted to see if Jeremy would fumble under pressure, or if we both simply looked too young to be having children. The officer must have received a satisfactory answer either way, because after a warning to be careful and drive slower, we were on our way once again.

We arrived at the hospital and were very quickly taken to the room. I got comfortable in my green gown and hospital bed and the nurses came and hooked me up to a few machines. We waited for the doctor to arrive, she broke my water at about 8:30am, and they gave me a small amount of Pitocin.

DSC_0663An epidural nurse arrived and gave me the run-down on what to expect when I decided to get the drugs. He then gave me a bit too much information, telling me that in the off-chance that the needle was inserted too far I would most likely get a raging headache within 24 hours that could last 2 days. Being prone to migraines and not wanting the first experiences I had with my new child to be spend in a drug-induced haze, I was a little concerned when the nurse told me that he would be administering the epidural himself if I was ok with that. I asked if he felt confident in his abilities, and he let me know that he was very comfortable, as he had been doing it for a grand total of 4 weeks now.

He left and I resolved to get an actual doctor in the room when the time came for that large needle to enter my spine.

Soon the nurses came in to check my progression and turned off the Pitocin almost as soon as it had been turned on. I had progressed to 6cm dilated. After a total of 17 contractions I called for the epidural because it was starting to get a little more painful than I could manage.

The nurse and doctor arrived surprisingly quickly, and I just as quickly let them know that I wasn’t comfortable with 4 weeks experience. I’m so glad I made that decision, because I would have worried myself to death about an impending headache otherwise. Once the epidural had been given, I started to get the disconcerting numb feeling in my legs that would soon lead to dead weight from the torso down.

In a matter of only a few hours, I was ready to start pushing. But once I started they had me stop – he was already crowned after just one big push!

The doctor arrived quickly (thank goodness), and after 3 more pushes, Rowan very graciously stuck his arm out first, which narrowed his body and let him come right out. What a gentleman!

DSC_0725He arrived at 3:05pm with a head full of dark hair. He was also much bigger than anticipated at 7lb 12 oz, 20 1/4 inches long, and was immediately hungry and ready to latch.

Our time getting to know him while in the hospital was made even sweeter when Griffin came to meet his little brother and throw him his first birthday party. He ran down the hallway carrying huge balloons and excitedly yelling, “I get to meet my little brother!”

I hope they will always be that enthusiastic about one another.

Going Home

 

Little Brother on the Way!

19 Weeks GriffinSurprise! We were able to find out the gender of the baby a week early due to some scheduling difficulties – I’m so glad it worked out that way!

Griffin knew it was going to be a boy, and kept telling us despite the fact that we hadn’t officially even told him he should be expecting a sibling. He simply kept asking if there was a baby in my tummy, and when I asked what he thought, he would reply, “Yes. It’s a baby brother.”

Children are amazingly perceptive about certain things like that.

Symptom-wise, I had a feeling it could be a boy. This pregnancy has been so similar to the last, from food preferences to weight gain.

We surprised Griffin with a bunch of blue balloons to let him know he was right all along – I have to say he seemed much more interested in the balloons than the news, however!

By the way, the below picture doesn’t do the belly justice at all. I feel like I’m about twice the size as I was at this point in the first pregnancy. But thank goodness for flowy tops!

19 Weeks 2Pregnancy Stats:

How Far Along – 19 Weeks

Size of Baby – A Mango

Total Weight Gain – Down -2 pounds total as of the doctor’s visit today.

What I miss – A good night’s sleep. Between a cough Griffin’s been battling and just overall restlessness, I haven’t had uninterrupted sleep in a few nights.

Cravings – This week I’ve definitely been leaning toward more red meat, and crunchier things like plantain chips. I would also really like some cereal, speaking of crunch. I ordered this Paleo cereal a few days ago and can’t wait until it arrives!

Symptoms – A mild low back ache today, which could have been from lack of sleep and having to lay on that uncomfortable ultrasound recliner.

Maternity Clothes – Baby seems to be riding pretty high, so nothing has been needed so far.

Worst Part of Pregnancy this Week – Realizing that it’s going to be difficult keeping to our normal schedule with a newborn and a toddler in preschool.

Best Part of Pregnancy this Week – Being able to find out the gender a week earlier than we thought!

Music Festival Second Birthday

Music Festival Second Birthday

DSC_0511My son loves music. Guitars, drums, piano – you name the instrument, he probably has some version of it and rocks out with it daily. So in thinking of a theme for his second birthday, naturally music came to mind.

DSC_0546I began searching for ideas on Pinterest, but quickly realized that this particular theme wasn’t too popular. Sure, themes like “The Sound of Music” or Hippie-styled events had been done before, but I couldn’t find anyone else who had documented what I was envisioning the party to be.

So I started making things up.

Birthday 4The centerpiece for the event was a play tent my mother had purchased from Land of Nod for Griffin’s birthday. Styled like an RV camper, I thought it would be the perfect kitchy decoration/play space for a kid’s birthday, as well as one he could use well after the event.

Birthday 6My dad made an amazing teepee and pup tent to serve as both decoration and entertainment. The kids were so excited to explore these!

DSC_0592DSC_0583DSC_0521Birthday 2Birthday 3Miniature teepees, VW buses, and vintage album covers were scattered throughout the event, adorning food stations and tables filled with intruments. I found the teepee craft kits at Paper Source, and the buses were an Amazon.com find. All albums were either my brothers or from a tiny shop in Franklin, TN.DSC_0579

DSC_0582DSC_0516Gifts and favors were set up in guitar cases, with accompanying signs to point the way. The favors included S’mores kits for the kids, and hot chocolate with marshmallow vodka for the adults!

Birthday 12Like I mentioned above, we already had several instruments on hand, but my husband scored some real band instruments from the high school he works at, and we had a “musical petting zoo” for the kids to explore. They were able to see instruments like Saxophones and Tubas up close and personal!

Birthday 8From there, I custom ordered some headpieces for the children – floral wreathes for the girls and feathers for the boys. The birthday boy got his own headdress. This was the second year running that I turned to Etsy store Mosey for these items, as well as the bunting and cake topper. She is so creative and easy to work with!Birthday 5

DSC_0603DSC_0813DSC_0573A custom Hot Chocolate bar was set up on the back porch with as many accoutrements as we could imagine – homemade whipped cream, peppermint sticks, white and dark chocolate chips, gourmet marshmallows in various flavors, grain free donuts from a local Nashville shop, and organic truffles. Easy but festive foods were served in the house. One of my favorites were the beet and orange endive cups, which unfortunately we didn’t get a picture of.

DSC_0528DSC_0526For dessert, a colorful macaron tower stood alongside a delicious hummingbird cake – all of which were grain free!

DSC_0588DSC_0619DSC_0620Birthday 10Birthday 11As the evening progressed, Griffin’s Uncle Marty jammed out on the guitar as the children danced around the fire pit and everyone made S’mores. It truly was a birthday music festival!

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Inundated with Flu Vaccine Promotion

No matter your stance on vaccines or other hot topics, I doubt you want something shoved down your throat every time you turn around.

Yesterday my phone rang just after I had put Griffin down for a nap. An automated recording began speaking as soon as I said hello:

“This is Vanderbilt hospital. Have you received your flu vaccine yet?”

That wasn’t even the first time it had happened. I’ve gotten two additional calls like this from my insurance provider.

From advertisements in the parking lots of pharmacies, grocery stores, and Target, to blog posts from major publishers like the New York Times, I’ve been blindsided by just how much society wants me to get a freaking flu shot.

And I’m just here to tell you, all their effort isn’t working. Call it what you will (I call it a scare tactic), all this bombardment has left me hollow. Am I not allowed to make informed, educated decisions for my family and myself? Because I call it highly uneducated when people are running around clucking like chickens about flu vaccinations being important because of the recent outbreak of Ebola.

WHAT?!

That’s precisely what ABC News, NY Daily News, and  many others have reported as recently as last week.

I’m assuming next they will be telling us that the flu shot can help protect against STDs, as well. After all, Syphilis produces flu-like symptoms, so it’s one and the same, right?