Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Room to be me...

I was rocking Eli to sleep this morning while watching an episode of MTV's The Hills. I remember watching this show in college and seeing so many similarities between Justin and Adriana's relationship and the "relationship" I was in. I remember all the tears I cried, the friendships I sacrificed, what I put my family and my body and emotions through to be with him. I gave up so much of myself. I remember thinking I could never be happy without him. I remember it all. But as I felt those old emotions wash through me I looked down at the sleeping baby in my arms and tears filled my eyes; I would have never imagined this life for myself.

All of that pain was only a few short years ago, and at the time I thought even if I got over it the scares would hurt forever. They don't. I regret the sacrifices I made in regards to who I was. I changed so much of myself. I don't blame him though. It was my choice. I lost my cousin that year and I lost a piece of myself. When I was broken I was looking to another broken person to heal me. Two broken people do not make each other whole.

In a few short years I have met an amazing man who loves me for me; who supports me when I need it, who gives me room to be me. I never knew how much I needed that-room to be me; to make my mistakes, to be the outgoing, energetic person that I am. He doesn't try to cage me in or hold me back. I do the same, in a way, for him. I allow him to stay in his comfort zone, to be quiet and kind. That is what true love is- allowing each other to be who God designed them to be. When I met Ryan I was healing, I was finally strong and independent and comfortable with who I was, who I am. And now we have this amazing little baby. This little life we are responsible for. I pray we give him the room to be who God has designed him to be. Whatever that is.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

new job!

Am I the only one who sits down to write a post and ends up erasing the first line 3-4 times before I figure out how I want to start? I am? Oh... well then. :)

For the past 3 years I have taught for Pasadena ISD at one of the toughest schools in the district. I would put those teachers against any teachers in the world! I have learned SO MUCH! I have seen blood, sweat and tears literally being poured out for our kiddios. I have laughed and cried with so many of the teachers there. We have a special bond that can only be created from teaching "tough kids". I have sat with a first year teacher when her students just didn't "get it" and she had tried everything she could think of. I have sat with a lady who has taught for 40+ years and soaked up her knowledge. I have been driven to the hospital when a little guy lost it and hit me in the stomach when I was very pregnant. What a journey!

I have such mixed feelings about moving on. I have accepted another teaching job in a district closer to home. It is a much smaller district-don't get me wrong it's still a 5A district, but it has like 6 elementary schools as opposed to 36. The other big change is I am moving from 1st grade to 4th!!! We are going to compartmentalized so I am teaching math and science. Also this school is open concept. That means that there are NO WALLS. We have bookcases separating each classroom area. I am a loud person---this is going to be a HUGE adjustment. I am thrilled about this new opportunity, but I never imagined how hard it would be to leave my current school.

I have a ton of what I think are great ideas for next year, but in education you can plan all you want, but that doesn't mean it will go that way---at all. So here we go, on to the next adventure!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

knowing your limits

This is a hard post for me to write. At Eli's 4 month dr appt his pediatrician recommended I started phasing dairy back into my diet. I had eliminated it because E has a sensitivity to the milk proteins found in dairy. About 2 weeks after I cut it out his colic got much better. Don't get me wrong he would still have "colic time" nightly but instead of it being 4-6 hours of intense screaming it would be more like 2-3 hours of fussing. By 3 1/2 months almost all colic was gone.

Well... about 4 days after reincorporating SMALL (and I mean SMALL) amounts of dairy into my diet the screaming fits started back. They occur mostly in the evening and because Ry has been working overtime it's just me here to try and comfort little man. We have done a little of the "cry it out" when it comes to learning to stop fighting sleep at nap time. But this is a different cry, it is a gut wrenching scream that breaks your heart. And the worse part is I know he is hurting because of something I have done. I know I had to try a little dairy to see if he was still sensitive to it, but I HATE that I caused him pain.

Wednesday he fussed pretty much all the entire evening from 4-8. He didn't want to play, nap, be held, be put down, ect. Everything made him mad. He would be content in like 10 minute burst but after that is was Mr. Fussypants.

Thursday I was pumping at 9am and Ryan had to leave for work, well about 10 minutes after Ryan left E let out this horrible scream! He screamed for 30 minutes straight. He would turn blue because he was screaming and not breathing. I used all my regular tricks- burp the baby, make sure diaper is dry, teething tablets, gas medicine, check shot sites to make sure nothing crazy going on there (it's been almost a week, but hey you never know), even getting him naked (which almost ALWAYS works) and nothing! He was still screaming. Well after 30 minutes I loaded him up and was taking him to Nana's- part of me wanted to take him to the ER but I figured I would see if Nana and Pappy could figure it out. Well OF COURSE as soon as we walk into the door he immediately turns on the charm and acts like momma is crazy! My mom had heard his screaming on the phone so she knew I wasn't completely crazy. They looked him over, and after about 15 minutes there he broke down again. All anyone could figure was must be the dairy. He got better as the day went on and ended up having a pretty good day.

I write all this to say that I NEEDED help. After a couple days of a LOT of fussing when he started screaming for 30 minutes I was at my wits-end. I realized I was having a hard time and I went somewhere safe for both E and I. I felt like a horrible mother. I mean for crying out loud these little 17 year olds are having babies and they handle it, why is it so hard for me? I felt guilty about having E so "young". Both my brother and sister waited until after they were 30 to have kids, maybe I should have too. All these thoughts were running through my head.

I got E to nap and then went to my house to shower and get dressed for an appt I had later that day. While I was at home, in the quiet, I could think a little better and I realized that every mom is different, just as every baby is different. I have a VERY "spirited" baby and so sometimes I need a little break to ensure that I am being the best mom I can be. This doesn't make me a "bad" mom, it makes me a mom who knows her limits. I might not be the "best" mom, but I am the best mom I can be.

I think we often compare ourselves to others-at least I do- and that is where we mess up. No one else has your life, your baby, your husband, your circumstances, so no one else can say what they would or wouldn't do in your shoes. It is hard for me not to compare myself, but I know I must break that habit if I ever want to be truly happy.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Being a Parent, Not a Friend

Eli is almost 4 months old- that in no way, shape, or form makes me a parenting expert. I do however know what I think is acceptable behavior for MY son. I know what I expect of him as he grows and what I will and will not allow him to do. I know some of that will change as he grows (and I am actually faced with the situation) but I do know some things will not.

That being said I do not understand how parents think it is okay for their small children (ages 3-6ish) to be complete and total punks. They think their child back-talking, cussing, acting like they are drinking alcohol, giving attitude (a lot of attitude), ect. is cute or funny. IT IS NOT. While you may think it is cute now what you allow a child to do a teenager will think is acceptable and it will not be cute as a teenager. When a child has been allowed to backtalk all their life you cannot expect them to magically respect you when they turn 13.

We as parents need to set clear boundaries for our children. The kids I teach have no boundaries at home and they crave them- every year I see them first fight, then learn to crave and love the boundaries and predictability that come with them. When kids are allowed to act however they wish as small children we end up with teenagers like those in the news lately who bullied a grandmother to tears. We MUST raise  generation better than this. It is our responsibility as parents and citizens of the world. We must teach our children that there is an acceptable way to behave, that kindness, courtesy, and respect for our fellow humans are NOT optional. We have to stop trying to be our children's FRIEND and start being a PARENT.

Again, I know my son is an infant and I haven't had to deal with this situation yet; but I do know what my expectations are for him.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

mommy guilt

I have always struggled with guilt. I never wanted to disappoint my family, teachers, anyone. I might have argued with my parents but the minute I got that "Casey, you really disappointed me" I was done. I do not do well with guilt. So it should be no surprise that I am really struggling with "mommy guilt".

I feel guilty about working, then when I am home on the weekends sometimes I feel guilty for wanted "mommy time". I feel guilty for giving up on breastfeeding so quickly, I feel guilty for letting him cry sometimes so mommy can wash bottles or pump. Mostly I feel guilty about things pertaining to Eli but I also feel guilty for the house being dirty, the amount of dog hair on my couch cushions, the fact that poor Dixie hasn't been played with when I get home, I feel bad when Ryan has to start cleaning, cooking, or take a fussy baby as soon as he gets home. As you can see I feel guilty most of the time.

Having a baby with colic makes life difficult sometimes. Eli is fussy (not screaming his head off anymore, thank God) from about 4:30ish till he goes to sleep around 7:30-8:15. So when I pick him up from my Mom's and get him home he is NOT being put down. I only get him from 5-bedtime every weekday and so I don't want to put him down to vacuum or cook. I want to cuddle my baby, but I HAVE to pump, clean the bottles, and make sure he has swaddles clean for bed. So while I am doing that sometimes he screams his head off, sometimes he sits in the bouncy seat and "talks". I feel guilty either way.

I had been feeling this way for several weeks but hadn't told anyone. I thought this was something I must be alone in. All my new mommy friends seemed so HAPPY. Don't get me wrong I love Eli more than anything in the world and I couldn't imagine anything better than cuddling him, talking to him, and just plain staring at him; BUT sometimes I am so overwhelmed with life that I feel just plain bad. It's not postpartum depression, I have talked to my OB about it, it's just plain "mommy guilt". Once I started talking to other moms several felt the same way I did.

Now I am not "over" this mommy guilt, but I am learning to deal with it. I am learning to except that my house is not going to be as clean and organized as I would like it, dinner will not be served at a certain time every night and it might not be served at all some nights, but oh well! I am learning to spend the time I with Eli WITH ELI. Not worrying about other things but just plain being with him. It's a journey, but we are getting there.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Faith in Trails

Today in my devotional the author was talking about how sometimes we focus so hard on the problems of our lives that we take our focus off of God's sovereignty. How true that is for me. Whenever something comes up I spend my time focusing in on how I am going to solve it, how to handle any issues that could possibly arise, and hardly any time praying or focusing on God's promise.

I am not going to write a long blog about this but I did want to share that brief thought and share this verse "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

2 months old

Eli is now 2 months old. I can't believe it! He is such an amazing little boy!
His colic is SO MUCH BETTER since I cut out dairy. It did take about 2 weeks for it to help, and if I "slip" and accidentally eat something with dairy in it he will be a little extra fussy for 2-3 days. So as you can imagine I try to be very careful about what I eat. He still has a fussy period where he fights sleep as hard as he can and doesn't want to be comforted, but with a little patience, a good rocking chair, puppy paci and a lullaby he can be coaxed into being a happy baby again.
His neck control is almost freakish. Everyone who is around him comments on how strong he is!  When he was first born he held his head up on his own within the first couple hours and has only gotten better!! He LOVES to sit up; he is convinced he is a big boy and not no stinking baby! He also likes it when you help him stand. He will push up and lock those knees in place. He will stand up on your lap for almost a whole minute now before his legs get tired and he sits back down!
He still loves his sleep sheep and rock n play. Seriously those things are amazing! Between those, puppy paci and a swaddleme he sleeps so well at night. He goes down at 8:45 and sleeps till some time around 4 or 5! Now that being said he is DEFINITELY my son; he FIGHTS sleep!!! He will pull at his hears, claw at his face, rub his eyes, grunt, buck like a bronco, anything to keep from getting relaxed. Once you get him still, arms and legs pinned down and a paci in his mouth he will ball his fist up as a last ditch effort to stay awake. He eventually gives it up, but then about 3-5 minutes after his eyes close he SCREAMS out for about 10 seconds and you better be rocking him!! LOL! After that last desperate attempt he gives up and sleeps. His little fist un-ball and the paci falls out. My little man doesn't want to miss anything!
Another interesting thing about E is that he is a much happier baby if we are "going". He gets very fussy if we just stay at home all day. He likes to get out of the house; even if it is just a walk around the block. We were hesitant to take him out very often, we didn't want him to get over-stimulated, but once we started taking him out for short trips he turned into a much happier baby. He still can get over-stimulated if we keep him around too many people too long; we are still looking for the perfect balance. 
Unfortunately E HATES formula!!! Ryan drops him off every morning before he goes to work and one morning he forgot to bring milk. He woke up starving so Nana decided she would feed him a bottle of formula then head over to my house to get the milk. He would only take about 2 oz before he started spitting it out and screaming bloody murder. LOL silly baby! Needless to say they got over here quickly and got that baby his milk! One night I only pumped 3 1/2 oz and rather than defrosting a whole 4 oz I decided to make a 1/2 oz of formula and mix it in with the breastmilk. He sucked down about an oz and then looked at me and spit all of it out. SO MUCH SPIT UP! Crazy kid... he knows what he want and he wants it when he wants it!
I cannot believe how much he has changed this month. He is starting to develop his own personality and I can't wait to see what kind of little boy he'll be!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Starting Point

I am not gonna lie, before I got pregnant I was out of shape. I wasn't the heaviest I've ever been but I was pretty dang close. I made a conscious effort while I was pregnant to not gain TOO much weight, I only gained 25 lbs total and the doctor was very happy with that!So now that Eli is here I am like 5 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight; however that is not my goal!
Two summers ago I lost 15 lbs by running, zumba and doing weight watchers. I have done every diet in the book,  done every fitness program and never got results until this combo. So Sunday I decided to bite the bullet and start the running program again. Needless to say it kicked my butt!!! I realized then that the starting point I was at now is different than the starting point I was at two summers ago. I am going to have to take things a little slower in the beginning and get my body use to being active again.
I felt so bad about where I was physically. I hated myself for letting my body get this out of shape; but then I realized I had a choice, while I couldn't change where I was or how I felt about it I could either a) feel bad about where I am, throw a pity party and do nothing about it or b) feel bad about where I was and do something about it no matter how hard. I choose b. It does me no good to feel bad about it, I have to get up and do the work.
The joy of social media and blogging is that it provides instant accountability. Gone are the days of having to go to a meeting to weigh in to have accountability. You just post online that you are starting a fitness routine, diet, or making a lifestyle change and BAM! You have hundreds of people who can help hold you accountable. I haven't started Zumba back yet, that will have to wait till the summer due to work schedule but I have started walking this week (which will turn into running soon) and weight watchers. So I'm putting it out there and asking you guys to help hold me accountable.
I can't change the starting point but I CAN change the destination.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


So we discovered why Eli was so fussy. He has colic...and reflux. Poor guy got a double dose! I have read about colic and our godson had colic so while I was pregnant I thought "well if he has colic I'll have clue what I'm in for" WRONG! Colic is a horrible horrible thing. It is dang near impossible to watch your baby cry for hours and hours on end and there is nothing you can do to make it better. On the up side it is always over by 10:30. But on some days it last 5 hours, and couple that with normal baby fussiness during the day and that can be stressful.

I think the best advice was giving to me by another mom on the March board of the Bump. She told me that if they are crying in your arms and you have done everything you know how to; if they are clean, feed, and otherwise "good" they can cry the same in the crib, bassinet, bouncer, swing, whatever as they can in your arms. Put the baby down. Another mommy friend of mine added go get a drink of water, take a quick shower, do something to calm your nerves for 5 minutes. It'll be better for you and better for baby. Truer words have never been spoken.

Now some things help during "colic time". The 5 S's from Happiest Baby on the Block normally can calm him down. The only thing is with a colic baby they will be calm for a little while (15 minutes if we're lucky) and then BAM! More crying. Sometimes gripe water or colic tablets work. Sometimes it's the vacuum, or walking, or the Moby. There are lots of things that will sometimes work for a few minutes, but nothing works for long enough to make him sleep for longer than 15 minutes.

It is getting a little better most days. He normally is down before 9:30 so that helps!

Don't get me wrong, I have found more joy in being a mommy than anything else I've ever done in my life. I love love love seeing his smiles, watching him discover the world around him and of course cuddle time!! I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. And thankfully this is our first child. This is all we know. We don't know what it would be like to have a baby who DIDN'T cry for hours almost every evening.

We are so thankful for Eli and love him so much; however, I wish more mommies had talked to me about how hard the first couple months could be so I am talking about it. I don't think it does anyone any good to sugarcoat the tough stuff. But like I said earlier... mommy-hood, while tough, is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Not my own

It has always been funny to me how someone can say something to you in passing and it really stick with you. About a year ago I was staying with Julia Mundy (my Mary Kay director) we were discussing something, I cannot remember what, and somehow the issue of children came up. She was telling me a story about her son and how she always viewed him as not her own, but a child of God's. He was theirs of course, but more like he was on loan. She was responsible for raising him into the man God wanted him to be. I of course was not pregnant yet and thought "gee that's cool" then dismissed the idea.

Yesterday I had a fussy baby. A very fussy baby. He was overstimulated, overtired, having gas pains, acid reflux, and eating every hour and half. Mommy was stressed, daddy was stressed and Eli was more stressed than all of us. It was funny because as I was feeding him what seemed to be the 100th bottle that day I was praying "God please help me help my baby, I don't know why he is screaming, I want to comfort him but I don't know how" Then like a light bulb Julia's words came back to me. He is not my own. For some odd reason that took the stress away. I didn't know what was wrong but He did. That didn't make Eli stop screaming (singing and rocking did) that didn't help him rest for a longer period, but it did make me feel not so alone.

My parents had stopped by to see him and helped get him calmed down and ready for bed. Ryan gave him his nighttime bottle and let me rest for a little longer. It worked out alright. He slept in between nighttime feedings (even if it was only 2 hours in between feedings) and today he has been a doll. I am so thankful for a huge support system here, between grandparents and his aunts and uncles Ryan and I are covered! But for some reason the thing that helped the most yesterday was comment made in passing by someone not even trying to help me be a better parent. Sometimes God speaks to us through the most interesting ways.

"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart" Jeremiah 1:5

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Once we got home...

So after the circumcision was over they were suppose to keep Eli for 30 min to observe him. They brought him immediately to us (the dr had come in to check on me before the procedure and I was crying like a baby because the nurse had took him from my arms- he seemed very concerned about her behavior). He was very upset, and hungry, and it took a while to get him calm. We found 2 different pacis in his bassinet even though we had told every nurse NO PACIFIERS! Once we got him calmed down he nursed okay and then we were discharged. PRAISE GOD! Now don't get me wrong, we had AMAZING nurses at Clear Lake, except for that one stupid nursery nurse. We left weighing in at 7 lbs 10 oz, not too much weight loss.

We were told to see our pediatrician the next day because Eli was jaundice, so we scheduled an appt for Tuesday at 3:20. When we got home we placed him just his diaper by the window to soak up as much sun as he could. He was so sweet and not fussy at all. The next day he was still being sweet but started getting fussy at feedings. He was having a hard time latching and I could tell he was still hungry. He wouldn't feed for more than 3 minutes without falling asleep! Ryan and I tried everything we could think of: getting him naked, changing his diaper, holding him up, rubbing his head, tickling his feet, ect. At the dr he weighed in at 7 lb 2 oz for a total of 1 lb weight loss. The dr suggested us going to a lactation consultant and seeing if his frenulum could be cut to help with nursing. She said as of now she was saying to give him a 1/2 oz of formula at each feeding through an eye dropper. So that's what we did.

At 3:30 that morning he had a wet diaper. He had not had a poppy diaper since the hospital. Wednesday morning my mom and I loaded him up and took him to the lactation consultant. They were able to cut his frenulum and he nursed very well there. When we got in he weighed 7lb even and after feeding he weighed 7 lb 2 oz. YAY! The excitement was short lived. He was so fussy the rest of the day he was difficult to comfort and refused to latch on. He would just scream and scream and thrash those hands and feet. My sister in law (a former NICU nurse) swaddled him to try and help, he was out of that swaddle in 5 seconds flat. I was crying, he was crying, my husband's parents had been saying "just give him a bottle" for 3 days. I was at my wits end.

By 4 that evening he had not had ANY dirty diapers, no pee, no poop, no NOTHING. I knew at that point we should be concerned. I called the dr's office and left a message with the nurse line. The dr called back within the hour and said it was time to give him a full feeding of formula. I could still do the eye dropper I did not have to do a bottle. He was still screaming so much the formula would just run out of his mouth. I broke down and gave him a bottle. By 10:45 pm we had pee and poop! Thank God!

My mom came over and sat with me while I cried and cried. She suggested to make a plan. Funny how simple things like that slip your mind while you are emotional. I decided to pump and give him breast milk from a bottle for full week to give my emotions time to settle out and to help him get back up to weight. So that's what we did. We went to the dr that Friday morning for a weigh in and my lil guy was up to 7 lb 9 oz!!! He had a couple formula bottles while we were waiting on my milk to come in, but 90% of his diet was breast milk! We were THRILLED!

I kept pumping and have been able to stay 1 bottle a head of him most of the time. He does have to have formula sometimes if my milk is low one session. The decision to pump was not something Ryan and I decided lightly. I was devistated. I felt like I hadn't given breast feeding enough of a chance, but I knew in my heart my baby was not getting what he needed. His little body was getting more and more yellow, and clearly by the lack of urine he was not thriving. I had to do what I had to do.

We tried nursing again yesterday and while it took him a while to latch he did okay, however he was still hungry after 20 minutes on each side and I gave him an oz of formula to hold him over until I could pump again. That decided it for me, for Eli at least, I am a pumping momma!

I never thought I would be the type of mom who was so concerned about breastfeeding. However there is a lot of pressure out there to breast feed and I never knew how much that affected me. My baby is getting breast milk, just not in the traditional way. He is gaining weight and much happier now that we are pumping constantly.

So I guess I'm writing this for all you moms-to-be or moms who were unable to breastfeed. Don't feel guilty, you do what you gotta do for your child. Also for you moms who are/were able to breastfeed count your blessings; there were lots of us who wish we could but are unable to.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Next Day

Well after being moved to postpartum we had a ton of nurses come in and give us instructions. It was well passed midnight and we were both exhausted. The next morning everyone came in and hung out with Eli. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. SERIOUSLY. I was expecting to be in some pain from birth the next day but I didn't expect every muscle in my body to ache. It was horrible. I could barely get out of the bed. My mom even had to come help me shower around noon.

I was loving time with Eli. His first daytime nursery nurse noticed his short tongue and suggested we use a nipple shield to help extend my nipple so he could nurse better. He seemed to be doing well. He had 4 bowl movements that first day! Not much urine though. No one was too concerned. The nipple shield seemed to help.

It was Sunday when Eli really became MINE. Ryan's parents were at the hospital and the nurse came in and told us they would be taking him back for his circumcision at 11:30 so he needed to eat before hand. Around 10:45 I decided to start feeding him, so Ryan's parents decided it would be a good time to go for a walk. Ryan hadn't seen the sun in days so he asked if I would be okay while he went for a walk. I said of course, I know Ryan and he does not do well cooped up all day. Around 11:15 the nurse came to take him, I told her he wasn't done nursing and she said he had to go. She reached down and "helped" unlatch him and took him. I sat there for several moments and then started sobbing, she had took my baby from my arms, from my breast. It broke my heart. I called Ryan and he came back as soon as he could. That was the moment when that baby became my son.

Don't get me wrong there are times when I look at him at think, is he really mine? But after that moment I feel in love with him so completely my life was changed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eli's Birth Story

Wow. I am a mom now. Talk about a revelation. Saturday March 3, 2012 at 9:25 pm God gave us a beautiful baby boy! I just wanted to share the story of how he came into the world, so here it goes...

We checked into the hospital Friday night at 7, the nurses monitored him for about 30 minutes and then started me on cervidale. It is a medicine that helps prep the cervix for labor. The nurses told me that it normally took 1 hr for contractions to start and that some people never get contractions with that medicine, but the most important thing was not to move...at all... for 2 hours. No rolling over, no getting to go to the bathroom, no nothing. They placed a wedge under one hip to keep me from laying flat on back, and the adventure started! I got contractions 15 minutes into it. They were registering pretty strong on the monitor and after an hour they were only about a minute apart. Have no fear there was no dilation, just lots of fun contractions. It was a miserable 2 hours. After the 2 hours was up I could get up and use the restroom Ryan ran down to the subway and got me a sandwich (which I only ate 2 bites of) and I got some sleep meds and anti-nausea. I still couldn't sleep because the contractions were so strong. I broke down and got some pain meds about an hour later. I got some sleep somewhere after midnight. Poor Ryan didn't sleep much.

About 8 am the dr came in and took out the cervidale and started the pitocin. He also broke my water. After that the contractions (the ones that actually do something) started around 10 am. Everyone encouraged me to go ahead and get the epidural because we had no way of knowing how quickly it would go from there. The dr came into to administer the epidural around noon and promised it would not wear off. Around 2:30 I was at 4 cm and feeling good! About 5:30 I started running a fever, I had developed an infection because my water had been broken for so long. The dr and nurses carefully monitored the babies heart rate to make sure the fever was not bothering him . About 6 my epidural wore completely off on my right side. We got the dr back in there by 6:30 and I felt better. By 7:30 I was ready to push but the babies head wasn't low enough so I was sat straight up to let gravity do it's job. By 8 it was time to push, and the epidural had worn off on the right side... AGAIN! DANG! DANG! DANG!

I pushed for 1 hour and 25 minutes. I looked at Ryan several times and said I can't do this! At one point I even asked the dr to just PULL HIM OUT! My sweet husband and mom tried to encourage me by saying "I can see his hair! It's dark and curly!" I responded with "I don't care if he is bald, just get him out!!!" I didn't have the energy to yell at anyone though. It was more pathetic whines. It turned out he was facing my right hip so he was trying to get the widest part of his head through. OUCH! The dr had to go in and help him tuck his head and get out. OUCH AGAIN!

Now everyone says "When they lay the baby on your chest you will forget all the pain, you will experience love like you've never know." THEY LIED! For me when they laid him on my chest I loved him yes, but not like that. Not an overwhelming love. In fact I was still in so much pain I was thinking more about that than anything else. He looked like any newborn all red and squishy and he wasn't the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I know, I'm horrible. But I think it's important to be honest. I felt horrible. I felt like I wasn't going to be a good mom, shouldn't I have all those feelings? What is wrong with me?

The took him over and got him cleaned up and brought him back. Ahhh much better. Now he looked cute. But still no overwhelming love, love oh yes, but not the kind you hear about. I was shaking horribly. Our AMAZING nurse (seriously, if Eli had been a girl I would have named him after her.... she was amazing) suggested placing the baby on my chest. We were letting everyone else hold him, she said "no, trust me it's the only thing that will make it stop." She placed him back on my chest and soon after my shakes stopped. I tried to eat, that didn't work out well.

We got moved us to postpartum around 11:30. I was in so much pain. I was so tired. He seemed to nurse well though. Ryan got some sleep. We had him in the nursery that night, they brought him to us for feedings and then we sent him back so we could get some sleep.

I have lots more to post about the next day in the hospital but this post is long enough so I'll post that on another day! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Snakes and Snails

I am so thrilled to be having a little boy. I cannot wait to take him to t-ball, boy scouts, football practice- oh my! :) However, having a boy has raised some awareness in me on how inept I feel about raising boy- being that I am not one. I want to raise my son to be a man of honor and respect. I am so incredibly blessed that Ryan will be a great example to his son of a man who keeps his word and respects those around him. He will also have fabulous examples in his both of his grandfathers and uncles, but is that enough?

Today's society teaches young boys to sexualize women so early. I remember being a teenager and being in high school and junior high and hearing the way that boys talked about girls. Now, back when I was in jr high most of those boys just talked a big game but never "followed through". Now it's different, they are becoming sexually active. How do you raise a young boy to not only stand against peer pressure, but to block out all the societal influence to engage in sex? I know you filter what they watch, but let's be honest they WILL see a lot more than you want them to.

I want Eli not only to abstain from sex until he is preferably married but at least out of high school, but to be the type of young man whom when he is allowed and he decides to "date" treats his girlfriends with respect and kindness.

It is hard to think about what the world will be like by the time Eli is in high school, but I guess it comes down to just doing your best as a parent, praying for them, and then giving it over to God

Friday, February 3, 2012


Being pregnant you get very emotional over silly stuff sometimes. Today I am very overwhelmed with thankfulness. Ryan found someone to buy his motorcycle and the guy is willing to give us to amount we are asking for. PRAISE GOD! That will pay off the loan and give us a little to use towards a new vehicle for him.

I am thankful not just because God placed someone in our path to buy it, but because Ryan was willing to sell it. There are so many men out there who are selfish when it comes to their "toys". Don't get me wrong, I know it breaks his heart a little to see it go, like it's ending a period of his life; and in a way it kind of is. He LOVES motorcycles. We had so many good times riding around on one of his bikes either in Arlington, Fort Worth or around here in Houston.

Motorcycles are actually part of how we started dating. We met on January 4 2008 at Pete's Piano Bar in FW. I was there with 2 teacher friends and he was there on a blind date with another marine and his girlfriend (he was there with the girlfriend's friend). They were sitting next to us. I was dancing around and accidentally knocked into him and was MORTIFIED! I quickly apologized and his smart-A remark was "well I didn't say anything the first 2 times!" I could have crawled into a hole! LOL! Later that night he came up and asked to buy me a drink to which I quickly declined- HELLO?! I CAN SEE YOU ARE ON A DATE YOU SKEEZE!! He informed me it was blind date and there was no "chemistry". I still declined the drink but we got to talking and I found out he was in the military and from Alabama. We had a good conversation (as far as bar conversations go) and he asked for my number. I obliged and we exchanged numbers. The girls I came with and I were about to go and he grabbed my hand and asked me make sure I got home safely. I laughed and walked out the door. In the car on the way home I was driving with Cassie and I started thinking of how sweet it seemed that he cared about me getting home. I decided to do something I am TOTALLY against- I called HIM! It was about a 30 second conversation that went something like this "Hey this is Casey, the girl you were trying to pick up tonight- I just wanted to say that I hope you're careful getting home tonight to. Don't die okay?" He just laughed and said "Ok". I hung up.

After that I was 90% sure I would never hear from him again. Oh well. I had made plans to hang out with some other friends the next day- Saturday. I was free that night though. Around 6 I got a text from Ryan asking if I wanted to go on a motorcycle ride. Being a good southern girl I immediately called my momma and asked her advice, which went something like this "HAVE YOU LOST YOUR F-ING MIND! YOU DON'T KNOW THIS GUY FROM ADAM!!! HE COULD KIDNAP YOU! I THOUGHT YOU HAD MORE SENSE THAN THAT!!!!" **See where I get my flair for the dramatic?!** So in true Casey-fashion I texted him back "ummm thanks but I don't know you. You could rape me, kill me, cut me up, and leave me on the side of the road" He replied back "wow. ooook. how bout coffee?" Much better plan. I am still AMAZED that he still wanted to get together.

Being a single girl living in Arlington I told him I didn't know where to meet so he would have to come up with that. Most guys would probably choose somewhere like Starbucks for coffee on a first date, but not Ryan. My southern gentleman suggested Waffle House. I giggled to myself because the waffle house by my apartment knew me well because I would go sit and study there after my night classes. We met there around 9 and stayed until around 3 when the after-bar crowd started coming in and the waitress probably wanted her table free. I then did the UNSPEAKABLE! I invited him back to my apartment to watch a movie- but told him if he made a move I had a gun and would not hesitate to shoot him. LOL! I of course had no such gun and wouldn't have known how to fire it if I did.

He came back to my apartment at which point I realized I teach pre-school I only have G rated movies. Woops! We watched Finding Nemo and both feel asleep on the couch. The next morning I promptly FREAKED OUT that he as STILL THERE! He didn't make a single move on me, we didn't kiss or anything but still A GUY WAS IN MY APARTMENT. The good ETBU student in me felt guilty! He woke up and could tell I was not sure how to react. He said he had to get back to base for an afternoon workout and would call me later. He walked over hugged me, thanked me for our "date" and kissed me on the forehead.

I didn't hear from him till Monday (the next day). We DID go on a brief motorcycle ride then. And he essentially spent every day and honestly a lot of nights at my apartment from that Monday night till well.... we got married a whole long 3 months later.

This is the craziest, most irrational dating story I have ever heard. If it was one of my friends I would have told her she had lost her dang mind, but I guess it taught me not to judge.

I am gonna miss having a motorcycle, every time we rode I thought of that story. I know one day we will buy another one. I just thought I would share a little of our story with y'all today. I am one lucky girl.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


This is going to be a very honest, personal post.
I grew up in church, seriously-grew up IN the church. I was there Sunday morning before Sunday school to help serve refreshments, stayed till well after service was over visiting (why do we call it "visiting" if it's church and "hanging out" or "talking" if it's anywhere else?) came back for night service. My dad taught Tuesday night men's bible study, my mom and I helped cook and serve the meals, again mom cooked and I served Wednesday night dinner before church and then we had service. Not mention throwing in youth choir, drama, AWANAS, and working in the nursery. I felt like if I wasn't at school I was suppose to be at church. LOL! I really didn't mind.

You would think with all that "church" I would want the same thing for my son, and don't get me wrong I kind of do, however as many of you can attest to when you are THAT involved in the church you see a side of it many never do. You see the people who are leading the church make mistakes (of course), you see pride, anger, resentment, and all of the things we all struggle with. It shakes your faith to see those who lead the church sometimes be the most resistant to changing their heart.

I left the church after college. I found a good church in Fort Worth that both Ryan and I liked, but we never got too involved. When we moved back to Houston it took us a while to find a church where we felt we fit. We did for a while have a "church home", but again I felt I needed to get very involved, but with teaching, Mary Kay, and some things my family was going to I had to step down.

We are still looking for a place we fit. A place with BALANCE. Let me be very clear, I tend to have a potty-mouth, my husband and I do drink (not to excess, but we do) I listen to secular music, I like to go dancing with my husband on the weekends (not while pregnant-lol!). Besides the language I don't think any of these things are "bad". I want DESPERATELY want to find a church for Eli to grow up in, but I don't want to be fake. I want to find a place where I can be me- 100%. I HATE feeling like one person at church and one person at home. I know my bible very well. My parents we determined I would know why I believed what I believe. I can discuss biblical theology with the best of them. But I also know which drink goes best with what dinner. Does that make me a bad person?

I want to find a church that has a place for people like us. I have no intention of changing certain things about me-unless I fell compelled by my own personal relationship with God-not because the church says I should or should not do certain things. I have a feeling most of our generation is looking for the same thing. Is that wrong? Thoughts? Opinions?

Friday, January 20, 2012

33 weeks

7 weeks to go!!!!!!!!!
OMGosh! I am getting so excited/nervous/scared outta my mind to meet this little boy! He is definitely moving around a lot still and keeping me on my toes.
Yesterday was parent-teacher conferences and they went really well. I was super exhausted afterward! About 1/2 way through the day I took off my work shoes and put on flip flops due to swelling. When I got home (around 7:45 last night) I took my flip flops off and saw some bruising from where the straps and been cutting into my feet and I didn't even know it! Needless to say I am wearing tennis shoes today and am on a mission to find some pregnancy-approved shoes this weekend.
Also yesterday one of our teachers laid her husband to rest. It was so touching to hear their daughter talk about their life and what her dad was like. He had retired from the Army and teacher (ROTC and a band director in HISD). When the honor guard presented his widow with the flag I couldn't help but imagine my mom being there and being presented with my father's flag, or myself being presented with Ryan's. I got very emotional (and Eli tried to comfort mommy by kicking till his heart's delight). The teacher who lost her husband stood so stoically and strong. She looked beautiful. I am in awe of her strength, not just yesterday but the strength she displays daily at our school. Continuing to pray for her and her family. Today I can't help but be thankful for all that I have.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I LOVE my family. One of the things I love most about my family is that we are always expanding. Seriously. And it's not just because the baby boom of 2011 (as I call it). We are constantly taking in friends and making them like family.

Growing up whenever any of my sister's friends were going through a hard time at home they moved in with us. Some stayed only a few days, some stayed almost a year. It was a great example to me that someone doesn't have to be BLOOD to be family. It also served as a lesson to me that not everyone has parents (or anybody for that matter) at home who cares about them. Not everyone was as lucky as us, to have a family that while FAR from perfect would NEVER, EVER do intentional harm.

After my sister moved out our family started to grow by marriage. For example whenever my brother got married not only did his wife Crystal and her son become family so did Crystal's family. We celebrate birthdays, holidays, and special occasions with them. Same for all of my brother-in-laws and their families. It has even got to the point where my mom's brother-in-law (from her first marriage... my mom was widowed very young) comes down every year for Christmas.

This is the kind of example I want to set for my son. I want have the type of home where his friends always feel welcome. I want to offer a safe haven for people who do not have any other place to go. I want all of our friends and extended family to always feel welcome and accepted by us. I am incredibly thankful to my parents for setting this example for me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

31 weeks

9 to go! It seems unreal that baby Eli will be here so soon! We are definitely getting excited about his entrance, however I am slightly apprehensive because my sister went into labor at 31 weeks exactly so I know what an uphill battle preemie's have. I am so excited to meet my little man, but I would much rather wait till he is full term and ready to go! We painted the babies room this weekend and got most of the furniture set up! It will probably need another coat of paint to cover up some...er...mistakes, but I guess that's the way painting goes!
I have had some horrible back pain lately, and still having some cramping but only like 2-3 times a day and hours apart. I keep hearing that that's all normal and just my body gearing up for the fun adventure of birth! I kinda want to smack those people in the face, I do not think this whole "adventure" sounds fun! :)