December 2014

December 2014

Friday, September 30, 2011

Under Construction


Just a quick post to say I am working on some design changes to the blog.  Been wanting to do this for a while, just not sure what to put on there.  So I've been researching ideas and how to websites on how to add headers and custom signatures.  What do you think so far?  I know I still need to add a background.  What do you think of my new "brand"/"logo" whatever you want to call it?  I came up with it in one of my doodling sessions, which I seem to do a lot........

Well thanks for checking out the blog my fellow readers......if there are any of you out there...

And here's a picture of my baby girl, who is 1!!!!  Will post her party pictures soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Birth Journey - Through Pictures

The condensed version of Kaitlyn's journey into the world.

One year ago today, Kaitlyn Rose was born @ 8:22pm!

At 7am I woke up to go to work, but as soon as I got out of bed, I felt a gush and quickly ran to the bathroom, my water had broke!
Arriving at the Hospital
Once we arrived at the hospital, I was admitted into triage where they ran some tests to make sure my water hand indeed broke, and it had!  Once in my labor room, they hooked my up to the monitors to make sure everything was ok.  Since I wanted a natural childbirth, I asked if we could get the mobile monitor so I could walk through my contractions.  As they went to hook it up, they realized it was broken.  So the nurse said I could walk the halls for 15 minutes, and then come back to be monitored for the next 10 minutes.  So that's what we did.  Walk the halls, come back to the room and sit on my labor ball.

Andrew was a great coach, we skipped through the halls..(in the beginning)

Lunch time, all I could have was a popsicle, Andrew got Pizza!
Since my water broke at 7am, I had 12 hours for my labor to kick start due to increased risk of infection.  If my body didn't go into labor on it's own, they were going to give my Pitocin.  That was the last thing I wanted!  So we kept walking the halls, and slowly but surely, the contractions were getting more and more intense.  My doctor visited me and said he would check me at 6:30pm for my progression, so I knew I had till then to get my body laboring!

Around 5:30pm is when the contractions were getting really intense.  I could no longer walk through the contractions, and had to stop and lean over.  Andrew helped immensely by pushing against my back for counter-pressure on my back, because that was where a lot of the pain was.
At 6pm, we were back in the room and it was getting real bad.  I started feeling the pressure down below and I felt a "I gotta go #2" sensation.  Once I said that, the nurses hurried me into the bed to check my progression.  Sure enough, I was fully dilated and 100% effaced, it was time to push!

Our OB was notified and I remember hearing that he wasn't at the hospital....and then a little later, he comes running in, out of breath!!  I think he felt bad he wasn't there on time!!!  At around 7:15pm, I finally started pushing, but had no idea what I was doing.  Andrew held up one leg and one of the nurses held my other leg.  Once a contraction would come, I would push.  After each push, I kept asking..."am I doing anything?"  I felt like my pushing wasn't accomplishing anything.  I know I pushed for about 45 minutes, but it felt like forever.  During my rest period, Andrew would give me my water to drink, and placed a cold rag on my head.  I tried the ice chips but they did nothing for me, ha!  Also in between pushes, I distinctly remember our OB nodding his head to my birth CD music, pretty sure it was a Dave Matthews song.  Seeing him dance to it, just made me laugh inside. 

I think my OB, Dr. Karen realized I wasn't pushing effectively, so we changed techniques.  I used the bars attached to the bed to hold onto, instead of my legs, for pushing leverage.  That seemed to help a lot.  Then once the head started to crown, they brought the mirror over so that I could see what I was doing.  I was a little leary seeing EVERYTHING down there, but it really helped me focus on my job and I could see what was working and what wasn't. 

At 8:22pm, our beautiful daughter Kaitlyn Rose Meyer was born, at 7 lbs, 6oz, 19.5" long!

Getting her first bath
As soon as they put her on my chest, I was in awe.  I think I said, "Hi baby, I'm your momma!"  It was so amazing!!! 

All clean and checking each other out

After I delivered the placenta, I needed to be stitched up, and it was BAD!  I had a third degree tear, and let me tell you, that stitching was way worse than the actual labor! LOL!   

The next morning, 9-15-10

Our Celebration Dinner, Kaitlyn got to "sunbathe" by the window with us!

I love her!

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAITLYN ROSE!  You are so loved by so many people, and your daddy and I think the world of you!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Breastfeeding Journey

How can one image illicit so many different emotions in me?  When I look at this picture, I feel proud, I feel in awe.  I feel pain, I feel sadness.  I feel happiness.
I took this picture with my phone the other night, because it has been what I see every night, for the past 11 (almost 12!) months. 

My breastfeeding journey.

0-3 Months
Like all new moms, not knowing a thing, I began my breastfeeding journey with Kaitlyn totally and utterly clueless.  Sure, I took the breastfeeding class, but really, all it taught me was some positions to use with a doll.  I figured, my baby will know what to do, it's instinct right?  She'll just grab on and suck and everything will be hunky dory.  Wrong, so wrong. 

I didn't know that my baby would be jaundiced when born and would fall asleep EVERYTIME I tried to nurse her, and seriously, I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME!  I would have to tickle her feet, move her arms, anything just to try and keep her awake.  And since she wasn't nursing very well, she wasn't gaining weight very well.  So my pediatrician wanted me to supplement with formula.  Which I did NOT want to do.  I know formula is perfectly fine, and many babies thrive wonderfully on it.  But I wanted that bond with my baby, and I wanted the health benefits, and heck, I wanted the cheapness!

So my solution (thanks to my amazing lactation specialist, hi Amy!) was to first try and nurse Kaitlyn as best as I could, then to pump, and  feed Kaitlyn my pumped milk in a bottle.  That way she was getting the most milk I could give her.  Thankfully Kaitlyn drank from the bottle with no problem, and her weight finally started going up!  Success!  So because of this, I am so proud that Kaitlyn has never had any formula.  I was so determined to breastfeed my daughter, and had such a struggle in the beginning that I am so proud of both of us!

3-9 Months
Breastfeeding was now going great!  Kaitlyn and I made a great team, we had our positions down, and though it was painful in the beginning with dry and cracked nipples, it finally got better.  I was in awe of how God made our bodies perfect for breastfeeding.  How I, and I alone could sustain my daughter, giver her nutrients to grow into the beautiful little girl she is now.  It truly is amazing what our bodies are capable of.
And then at 3.5 months, it was time for me to go back to work.

I didn't know that when I had to pump exclusively at work, that I wouldn't pump the same amount that Kaitlyn was drinking.  In the beginning, Kaitlyn would get two bottles at daycare, and I would come at lunch to breast feed her.  She would drink 2- 3 ounces each, so 6 ounces total.  But I would only be able to pump 3-4 ounces at work.  So everyday I was at a deficit at -3 ounces.  Even though I had a small milk supply frozen, I knew my stash would soon be depleted.
Enter 3am feedings once again!  Since I was still adamant about not supplementing with formula, I came up with a crazy idea.  Since Kaitlyn goes to bed at 7pm and now sleeps through the night, I would pump once before bed at 10pm, and then WAKE UP AT 3AM to pump.  You heard me right folks.  In fact, I still do that to this day, because I still don't ever pump at work as much as Kaitlyn drinks at daycare.    You might call me crazy, I call it dedication.

9 months - present (11 months)
With Kaitlyn eating more and more solids, she started nursing less and less from me.  And she also started getting her teeth in.  And with teeth and nursing, pain came to me.  I'm pretty fortunate that she's only bitten me about 3 times so far.  2 of the times I screamed and then she screamed and cried, so I think she gets the point to not bite mommy!  Although I will say part of it was my fault.  I knew she was done nursing, and she started playing and next thing I knew, chomp chomp!

Once Kaitlyn turns one, we can start transitioning her to regular cow's milk.  I would like to continue my breastfeeding with her past one year, but only at mornings and night time.  But we will see what she wants.  I will be so sad when she finally is completely weaned off.  But a part of me will be so happy to be done with pumping.  And most importantly, done with my 3am pumping sessions.  And that's something to be happy about!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

World Cup and my ACL Journey

In case you missed it, the U.S. Women's Soccer team just played one of the best games of their existence.  Beat power house Brazil and Marta in a show stopping thriller game that had my heart racing.  Game was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation.  They went into overtime where Brazil scored pretty quickly.  With less than a minute to go, the U.S came back to tie the game, and go into Penalty Kicks.  Which they won, thanks to all of the players making their 5 PKs, and Hope Solo blocking one shot.

Every two years, the World Cup is played.  This year, it's the women's team, in 2013, it'll be the men's turn.  In preparation for the big quarterfinal game USA vs. Brazil, I wanted to get acquainted with this years women's National team. 

When looking at all of their profiles, I was a little surprised with how many of them have had an ACL tear or knee surgery.  Which quickly had me flashback to when I first 'partially' tore my ACL my senior year in high school.  I was beyond devestated. 

Growing up, my mom had always said I was born on the soccer field. My oldest brother, who is 7 years older than me played soccer, so my mom would cart me onto the soccer field to watch him play.  We were a soccer family.  All of my siblings played up into middle school.  My oldest brother and my sister and I played into high school, my sister even lucky enough to play in college. 

A 12 year old me!

Check out those headbands!

One of my biggest and only regrets is that I took playing soccer for granted.  My junior year of high school, I decided to quit my select soccer team.  Practice was taking up two of my nights, and by that time, I wanted to start working, so I could make money.  Plus I was waaaay boy crazy, and wanted to start continue dating and getting into that scene.  I also figured, hey, I will still play high school ball, so I will not quit soccer all together.  My junior year was by far my best soccer year.  I was probably at the peak of my skills, made the All-County Team and was feeling pretty good.  Going into my senior season, I thought "this is gonna be a great year, our team is better than last year, can't wait to start the season".  

During the 2nd or 3rd game of the season, we played Dwyer.  The very beginning of the game, I pivoted to the right, and bam, my right knee popped and I went down.   This was the beginning of my ACL journey.  First they thought it was partially tore, so I did lots of re-hab and strengthened my knee.  Got a fancy custom-built knee brace.  A few months later, the doctor cleared me to play soccer again, with my knee brace.  Less than 2 minutes into the game again, it happened again.  Pivoted, knee buckled, knee gave out, and I went down.  This time, the doctor said I "completely tore" my ACL, and it would require surgery.  To this day, I still think I had completely tore it the first time, but who really knows?

Since I was so young, the doctor had me wait to get my surgery, to let my bones finish growing.  I had just turned seventeen at the time.  So we waited till the day after my graduation.  That's when I had my surgery.  After surgery, there was lots of pain, rehab, more pain, and finally I got better.  After I graduated, I helped coach my old high school team.  Partially because I wanted to, partially because it would help me get back into shape.  But no matter how much I trained, I knew my knee would never be the same.  And it killed me.  Moves I used to be able to do, I could no longer do.  I'm left footed, but I could shoot pretty well with my right as well.  Couldn't do that anymore.  I also could shoot a cannon with my left, could no longer do that either. 

A few years went by, I moved up to Gainesville and finished school at UF.  Andrew and I went to a few of the soccer games, and I thought, I could be down there, I could do that again.
Another few years went by, I got married, moved to Orlando, started my career.  And every now and then I got the urge to play soccer. So I started researching local soccer clubs here in the area.
Andrew finally urged me and convinced me to sign up for a league, so I did.  I was beyond excited, but scared at the same time.  I hadn't played in an actual game in over 6 years!  I dug out my old cleats, soccer shorts, shin guards and ball.  Every night, before the season started, I would practice in our back yard.  Andrew would be my defender, my goalie, my biggest cheerleader. 
Finally, it was game time.  And this time,  I wasn't going to take it for granted. 

Our team was good.  We had a lot of skilled players, some that even played in college.  I played mid-field, left wing, my favorite.  I quickly found out how out of shape I was!  I was huffing and puffing up and down the sideline, but I LOVED EVERY SECOND.  Andrew came to all of my games, like a good husband should do.  I made some good plays, had some good shots on goal. 
I savored every moment, took in everything.  The smell of the freshly cut grass, the coolness when you sit on the metal bench for the first time, the yells of your teammates, "SQUARE!", "SWITCH IT!", "MAN ON!". The feel of the soccer ball as you head the ball away, and get dirt and grass all over your forehead.  I did not take this experience for granted, like I had before.  And somehow, I think I knew, that this would be my last hurah. 

During one of the last games, I had the ball, was dribbling to the goal, and went to shoot the ball.  I planted with my right, and when I went to swing with my left, the all too familiar happened yet again.  My right knee popped, gave out, and I went down.  I tried walking it off, but knew something very bad happened yet again.  I stayed till the end of the game, couldn't even walk off the field over to Andrew by myself, I needed help.  As soon as I got in the car, I cried like a baby. 

I didn't tear my ACL this time, instead I tore my miniscus, and needed more surgery, more therapy.  It was an out patient surgery this time, so the healing time wasn't as extensive.  However, after the surgery, the doctor told me my new ACL was weak.  And that I should never play soccer again, and probably never run again too.  Otherwise I would need a knee replacement well before I was 30. 

That surgery was almost 4 years ago.  My knee is doing ok, and so is my heart.  To this day, I still favor my right knee, but I'm ok with never playing soccer again.  I got my second chance, and although it wasn't the best, and didn't have a great outcome, I enjoyed every second of it and didn't take it for granted.

As I watch the World Cup, I often wonder, "how did these girls have knee surgery, but still be able to play so well?"  Did you know that ACL tears are much more common in girls than boys, especially soccer.  Doctors don't have a definintive answer, and I hope one day they will, so they can combat it.

As I watch my daughter grow, I wonder what sport(s) she will want to play.  Part of me hopes she will have the love of soccer that I have, but the protector in me hopes she never feels the pain and sadness that I went through, and still go through to this day.  Who knows.....maybe I'll coach her team someday....

But until then, go watch the World Cup!  USA plays France Wednesday.  Get behind our team, show your soccer pride!
Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole, USA......2011!
UF Alum, Abby Wambach, GOOOOALLLLL!!!!!!
Getty Images

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Vegetable

This weekend was a great one for firsts!  Kaitlyn had her first veggie and went in the pool for the first time.  But this post will be solely about her first vegetable.........
Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, and since they are sweet (hence their name), lots of people say this is a good first vegetable to begin with.  Kaitlyn already has been eating rice cereal, and loves it, so we were excited to give her a new taste.

I also wanted to try making her food myself.  Not only does it save a lot of money, but this way I know exactly what she is eating, and it's made with love by her momma!  So I started out with 3 sweet potatoes.

I baked them for 40 minutes, until they were nice and tender.  Then I peeled them.

Once peeled, I chopped them into smallish pieces and put them in my Magic Bullet, put some water in with them and mixed the bad boys up!
I didn't have any ice cube trays to put them in, so I had to brainstorm........didn't really have any small Tupperware for small portion sizes....think Suzanne think!  And Viola!
My deviled egg container, had a good portion size, and I could stick in the freezer for individual sizes!

I'm so proud!
All frozen into individual portion sizes!
For what it's worth, I give Kaitlyn 2 pieces at each meal where she has food, so the 3 sweet potatoes make approximately 8 servings.  One serving is approximately 3/4 of a jar you buy at the store.

We went to Nana and Pop Pops for the weekend, where Kaitlyn had her first sweet potato.  How do you think she liked it??  (Don't mind the First Halloween Bib!  Since Kaity was only a month old for her first Halloween, she didn't really have a chance to wear it, so now she is :) )
All Clean and Ready to Eat!
What is this mom?
This is good!
I like it, gimme more!
She loved sweet potatoes!  Now I can't wait to give her more, and I can't wait for her to try other veggies, and fruits too!  What food should I give her next?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Don't Look Back

These are the most important three words when dropping your daughter off at day care.  Don't look back, no matter what.  Once you drop her off, quickly evacuate the premises, no dilly-dallying, no "wave bye bye to mommy!", nothing. 
I am so lucky that Kaitlyn's daycare is only 8 minutes from my work.  If I needed to pick her up in an instant, I could...well an 8 minute instant.  When I leave work every day, I know that in 8 minutes, I get to see my beautiful daughter's gummy smile, which is all for me.  I also get to see her reach out her arms for me, a recent trick that she's picked up thanks to daddy ;)
I am also extremely lucky and thankful that I get to see Kaitlyn on my lunch break to breastfeed her.  That break in my work day is very helpful and getting to see her halfway thru always puts an extra hop in my step. 
But today I did the un-thinkable.  After feeding her, I just sat with her in my lap and rocked back and forth with her.  She usually goes for a nap after lunch, and she was looking pretty tired.  I handed her over to one of her teachers, Miss Amber, and gathered up my stuff.  I said bye bye to Kaitlyn, kissed her cheek, and off I went.  Then as I was reaching the door, for whatever reason....I did it.  I looked back at her.  And there she was, cute as could be, just staring at me, wondering where I was going.  My heart dropped because all I wanted to do was to scoop her up and bring her home with me and give her a million and one kisses.  But instead, I smiled at her and quickly left the room. 
As I started walking to the front door, I heard a few babies crying in the back rooms.....but it wasn't Kaitlyn, at least that's the story I'm sticking to.  I learned my lesson, don't ever look back, just don't do it!
Love this girl to pieces!

Monday, February 21, 2011

5 Months

I'm hoping to add my birth story and pics of Kaitlyn from birth to now. But for now, here are some cute pics of her now!
She is 5 months and some firsts this month......
-She had her first giggles
-And she had her first cereal as well!
-She is starting to not like strangers, and cries when someone other than me or Andrew hold her.....
Did I mention we got a new Camera? I am loving it! It's the Olympus Pen E-1, it's a mirrorless DSLR, so it's like a DSLR, but without the bulk. We are still playing with all the things it can do, but so far it is fantastic!

New Ideas.....

I've been thinking a lot lately on how I love making invitations. I love the design aspect of it....go figure......and I love creating unique, custom invitations for people. I've made a few for my
friends and colleagues (and myself) in the recent past, and thought I would share them here. I've even thought of selling my designs on Maybe make a few extra bucks on the side....maybe not, who knows? Well here they are, let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Year.....More Procrastinating....

Happy New Year!!!......27 days late. Oh and did you know that I had my baby? No, I am not eternally stuck at being 37 weeks pregnant! Ha! Wouldn't that be a great movie...NOT! Baby Kaitlyn Rose Meyer is here, and she's already 4 months old! Phew, time flies when you are caring for a baby. I have lots to post about, and lots of pictures too, but as you can tell by this post title, procrastination is my middle name. So I'll leave you with the last picture I have of me being pregnant, at 39 weeks!!!!