Thursday, November 17, 2011

Some Thoughts

     As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday I've noticed lots of people taking to their facebook pages, twitter and blogs to say what they are thankful for. My newsfeed and dashboard are overloaded with them, and I've enjoyed reading what all of you have shared! It occurs to me that instead of waiting for the appropriate holiday to come around and only participating for 30 days each year, it might be a nice thing to internally "post" what we're thankful for each day. I thank the Lord every night when I say my prayers for all that he has blessed me with, but what a nice refreshment it would be for every morning or lunch hour to look myself in the mirror or maybe close my eyes and think: Today I'm thankful for the roof over my head... or the clothes on my back...or sweet baby breath kisses from my daughter. Perhaps it would make the no-good, very-bad days not so terrible and maybe this lady a little more glass half-full.

Today, however, I'll join the masses and proclaim to the world: I am so thankful for this life I've been blessed with. I love all if it's intricacies, speed bumps, road blocks, surprises, and smiles. It's quite lovely. Oh yes, I'm thankful for all of you, too! Love, Layne

the loves of my life...


p.s. I've been working on a pretty non-spectacular, but I think rather fun post about people's shopping lists--hopefully I'll be able to share it before the holiday!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My No Good Very Bad Day

       Yikes. I don't know if I'm hormonal right now or if today was just one of those days, but it started off crappy and at this point is not much better. Let me lay it out for you starting from the beginning. Warning- I'm about to whine and complain and be sarcastic. This is not a cheery tale....
    I woke up with a swollen throat at 6:15 after having gone to bed at 1. Five hours of sleep is pretty much my standard maximum right now, and I'm fairly functional with that amount at this point. (Noah slept through the night for the 4th night in a row so that is the silver lining here) This was the second morning that my throat hurt and my head throbbed from sinus pressure. I went downstairs to feed Noah, pump, do some laundry, wash some dishes and get back upstairs to get ready for my day around 7:15. I had a check up at my doctor's at 8:30 that I got to on time but sat for 20 minutes without even being called back to do blood work, which comes before the actual meeting with the doctor. I had to reschedule. Not only did I have to reschedule but I had to switch doctors. My OB/GYN doesn't work on Fridays which are typically my day off and therefore I would never be able to get an appointment with her without having to miss work. Stinks. I got back in the car to go to work and realized not only had I forgotten to put on make up, but I'd left my make up at home so I was stuck looking like death worn over for the duration of the day. Work is never really bad. Luckily I like the people I work with, but this is our slow time of the year and there is road construction from Hell directly in front of our office that only makes this slow time worse. I ventured out to do some marketing at what I had planned on being 5 local colleges. Shouldn't have even made a plan with the way my day was going, but I did.  I drove 20 minutes to the first college that literally no longer exists. There is still a sign up in front of the building, but absolutely no "suite 1000" anywhere. Strike 1. I head to the next college which I find is luckily still in business, but is an all black college. Not a problem for marketing purposes, but when you are put into an almost non-existent minority somewhere you become immediately extremely self conscious and this was not how I needed to feel. I struggled navigating the campus and finally decided to park at the library. Walking to the library knowing I was being stared at by all of the passing students got me thinking...Super. Not only are they wondering what I'm doing here, but they're wondering what I'm doing here without make up on, looking all sorts of a hot mess, with lopsided boobs from inconsistent breast feeding and a run in my hose ---I now was extremely aware of just how crummy of a day this had become. The librarian was nice as could be, she even walked me to the street to point me in the direction of the Student Center and Admissions office, "just drive on over to the yellow building" she said. So that's what I did, I drove to the yellow building passing what seemed like hundreds of signs saying "don't drive this way" and got to the parking lot where there were no visitor spots and more signs threatening to tow if I parked there. I parked anyway thinking I'd only be .02 seconds inside and the minute I turned off the ignition campus security pulled up behind me. Someone must have called in a suspicious white girl who looked like she was strung out from a week-long bender. I got scared of being yelled at for illegally parking, cranked the car back up and got the heck outah dodge. Strike 2. Marketing was not going well. I lucked out by throwing in 2 unplanned spots that I was close to and headed off for an easy last two colleges. College 3 was easy, but my evidently antiquated Blackberry GPS took me literally 2 miles in a circle to college 4 that was .1 miles away from College 3 ON THE SAME ROAD. I will take a second to call myself out and say not once did I look at the addresses and notice that they were on the same road or I would've realized that my GPS was straight trippin. I pull back up to work after a 2hr trip that should have only lasted an hour starving and seriously peeved. I was really feeling like punching someone in the face. No lie. Fist to nose. Blood everywhere. OK. I'm done. Sorry. <sigh>
I got home and started the endless list of stuff I have to do every day now that I'm a mommy. Laundry, dishes, pack the diaper bag, spray the diapers, feed the baby, feed the hubby, feed myself. I realize after being home 3+ hours that I haven't pumped. Cue the water works. That was the tooth pick in my club sandwich- I was finished. How could I have so much to do, and on my mind, that I forget to provide food for my child. So, what do I do? Cry for just a second, hug my hubby and then latch on the pumps grab my computer and start to vent....to you lovely people! Thanks by the way, I feel a bit better. I think a lot of this has been building for a few days. Anyway, I've been trying to craft for 30 minutes every night to take some "me" time. Want to see the results? I took some pictures of my finished products-here they are. Love y'all! Layne

Heck yes that is a ribbon wreath on my front door, that I MADE. ME! I'm very proud, can you tell?

I started a photo wall in my foyer!

its hard to tell from the pic, but I spray painted Navy over this previously gold mirror to create a neat finish!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spinning on the Savannah

 Last night I participated in a 5 hour spin event to benefit Camp OO-U-La, a camp put on by the Georgia Firefighters Foundation for children burn victims. Each rider had to raise $100 to participate, and I rode along with my coworkers making Century Glen Apartment's contribution to the children a whopping $300! My manager, assistant manager and I all spin at the Spin and Fitness Gallery in Evans, GA- which was the host of the event. We were thrilled at the challenge of a 5 hour ride and decided to take the opportunity to do something philanthropic as a team and include our other coworkers and residents in raising the funds. Through generous donations from our maintenance staff, residents, vendors, friends and family we raised the $300 needed for us to ride.
view from my bike at beginning of event
  The event appropriately titled "Spinning on the Savannah" was truly awesome. About 35 bikes were placed on the amphitheater stage in downtown Augusta, GA directly on the Savannah river.
We were led by Ivan Trinadad the owner of the Spin Gallery and entertained by a DJ for the whole 5-hour ride. The type of spinning we do is dubbed "Tae-bo spinning" and you wont find it in most gyms. We straight up dance on our bikes. We work our arms, abs, glutes and flat out boogie down. If we didn't there is no way I would enjoy riding in place so much!! From 7pm until midnight last night a group of 30+ women (and a few token gentlemen) rode their butts off to support Camp OO-U-La and raise money for the children. The point of such a scenic and public location was for more than the view! The music and and event drew a lot of onlookers and supporters who all helped the cause by dropping off donations! With my girls in front of and next to me I successfully completed 4 hours of the spin....I feel certain I could have done the 5th hour had I not been nursing and infant I needed to get home to (4 hours is a long time to go-even when you're wearing two sports bras-lol)! Here are some pictures one of the event staff shot for me with my camera! We had a great time!! Hope you had a fabulous Saturday night, as well! Love, Layne

Jennifer and Me- hour 2


doing it Puertorican style...


the Century Glen staff...London (manager), Layne (leasing specialist) and Jennifer (assistant manager)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The week so far...

  So....day two of being a working mom. Not all it's cracked up to be. I'm loving being around my work fam again, but I definitely miss my baby girl more than I ever thought I would. Also- ridiculously small amount of time to do ANYTHING. Including blog as much as I'd like.

Working out and dieting this week hasn't gone as planned, but not bad- per say. Monday and Tuesday I didn't exercise at all but I stuck to my diet perfectly and ate VERY well. Wednesday I started a new work out plan....Insanity did NOT blow my mind. It was crazy boring. It was 90% plyometrics and 10% cardio and no music or fun- I could not focus or get into it. Instead I started doing Hip Hop Abs....it's by the same instructor and is a lot more my style. I get to dance and jam out and that makes exercising a lot more fun and something I'll commit to. Wednesday I got a great work out in, and went to work prepared to eat my healthy lunch of a salad, rice cakes and Oikos yogurt. Diet fail. I ate like 4 cookies- we had 3 different types made at work and then someone brought up two more types of homemade cookies, AND a resident brought us gourmet chocolates. Yikes. It was like the universe was telling me to indulge!!! Today I haven't worked out yet but plan on it, and I've done really well on my diet. Overall, I'm not on track to lose 3lbs like I was aiming for, but I will lose this week and not gain--we'll see how much on Monday morning.

Tuesday night I made an awesome White Veggie Lasagna that was really low fat and low cal! Here is the recipe!!!

Dice up your choice of fresh veggies! I used yellow squash, zuccini, orange and red bell peppers!

I shop at WalMart for all of our generic food, so this was affordable, too! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a casserole dish. 
You need a large box of noodles (I used about 11 strips). And  a pack of Alfredo and Garlic Herb Knorr sauce mix.


Follow the instructions on the sauce packets but use slightly less milk than it calls for. I used skim milk to keep it healthier and light margarine, as well. 

Next you need a container of Skim Ricotta, egg, shredded mozza, and shredded parmesan (fresh would be tastier but I went for convenience...)


Mix the entire container of ricotta with 1/4 cup of the mozza, 1/8 cup of the parm and the egg. Once the sauce is ready add your veggies to it. Now layer your lasagna: row of noodles, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, veggie sauce, noodles, other 1/2 of ricotta mixture, sauce, noodles, sauce and then top it with 1/4 cup of mozza and 1/8 cup or parm.

VOILA! The calorie content is 300 calories per serving with it yielding 8 servings!! Sorry I didn't get an after pic, but it was BOMB.

This weekend is my birthday weekend, hopefully I'll have some fun and good pics to share! Love, Layne





Monday, October 10, 2011

A new week...

So after week 1 of "insanity" I've actually gained a pound or two. I'm not surprised, though. I only did 2 of the Insanity workouts last week, and 1 walk around the neighborhood- then this past weekend was spent with Chad's family and included 2 birthday party and cakes with ice cream... I do think y'all should know that on Friday before we left town I finally trashed the cream cheese icing I had been snacking on all week. Down the drain it went, I didn't even put it in the trash because I didn't trust myself to not go back and pick out the chunks off of the top (gross, I know and sort of a jobe- but that is how good this frozen icing was.) My goal this week is to lose 3 pounds. It's a steep goal but here is my plan...

1. Continue to breastfeed every 4 hours and pump every 2 hours in between-this is normal but it is a help, regardless.
2. Insanity workout or power walk EVERY day.
3. Keeping to my menu plan.
4. Blog about what I'm doing.
5. Going back to work.

My plan this week (and we'll see how it works) is to be accountable. First, I typed up a menu plan and wrote down what I'm going to eat Monday- Friday. I printed it out and it's on my refrigerator and I'll cross off what I what I eat each day and write down if I add anything or cheat. Second, I start work back on Wednesday which will really help with my weight loss. It's super easy to over snack when you're in the house in your kitchen all day like I have been the past 6 weeks with Noah. Packing a lunch for work will help me stick to my diet. Third, I'm going to blog as often as I can and let y'all know how it's going. It's amazing how motivating typing out your failures and successes and then sharing them with the world can be. So, 3 lbs is the goal, folks!! Wish me luck, thinner thighs and a tighter tush! Love, Layne

Sunday, October 9, 2011

First out of town trip with Cloth Diapers

      We spent the past weekend at the beach with my in-laws. This was Noah's first big trip, and our first out of town outing with cloth diapers. The trip was a breeze, I didn't encounter any serious issues, I learn a few things, and overall it was a great first vaycay experience.
    To begin I washed every diaper we had other than the one on Noah's tush. We have 12 newborn BumGenius diapers that we use consistently and about 8 one-size diapers from other brands (Oh Katy, Sun Diapers, Fuzzibunz) that we have worked into our cycle since she is close to growing out of the new born size. Then I came across our first small dilemma. We use a FuzziBunz hanging diaper pail at our house to store all of the dirty dipes until we wash them. It's big and can hold a bajillion dirty dipes, it hangs on our bathroom door knob and does a great job of keeping the odor out of the air. Other than the hanging bag, we have a small Kushie's wet bag that stays on our pack-n-play changing table and medium sized wet bag from Target that goes in our diaper bag and holds several diapers...the Kushies and target bags were not going to cut it for a weekend trip so we washed the hanging bag with the load of diapers and packed it, too. Then left the two dirty diapers from Friday morning in a small wet bag in our bathroom sink and that was that! I packed what looked like a ton of nappies, but ended up using all but one diaper between 2pm on Friday and 9pm on Sunday. The two other small issues that I stumbled upon were not having a diaper sprayer I didn't know how to pre-clean the dirties to prevent staining. I rinsed one under the tub faucet but there wasn't enough water pressure to do any good so all of the diapers stayed fully dirty all weekend. I am worried about staining from the poo soaking in that long. Additionally we took disposable wipes which at first you'd think would be easiest, but I didn't want to flush a ton of wipes and mess up their plumbing, and didn't want to toss smelly wipes in the bathroom trash, so they went in the hanging bag, too and I'll have to pick them out of the washer now. We haven't done a lot of cloth wipes so far, but we do have plenty and I do have a wipe spray solution prepared. Next time we should do perfectly! Here is a picture of Noah being held by her oldest cousin this weekend.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Insanity Days 1 & 2

 So if you have been keeping up, you read my post that Chad and I started a new work out this week called Insanity. We started it Monday evening- because our plan to start that morning was foiled by Noah's feeding schedule. Actually, both workouts so far have been in the evening because I'm not getting enough sleep in between feeding Noah from 3ish-5ish in the morning and our alarm going off at 7:30. The first exercise is a fit test that you're supposed to do every 2 weeks throughout the program. It kicked our butt. I had no idea how out of shape I was. Chad and I finished the fit test and I wrote down how many of each exercise I was able to complete that way I can track my progress through out the duration of the Insanity program. After we worked out I headed upstairs to watch Gossip Girl and Heart of Dixie and left Chad downstairs to watch sports and hang with Noah. When my shows ended I came downstairs and walked into the kitchen to see Chad's back to me and the sound of a knife chop-chop-chopping. He turned to face me and I could see chopped up Butterfinger about to be dumped onto a bowl of chocolate ice cream. He smiled and said - In case you didn't know, Butterfinger sundaes are on the Insanity diet....sheepishly I pull a tupperware container and spoon out from behind my back and told him - I was glad to hear it because now I don't feel bad about the Cream Cheese Icing I'd been eating by the spoonful. We laughed and I silently promised myself that I would be more strict with my diet the next day.
  Tuesday morning I woke up and felt horrible. My body had taken a beating and I had relapsed a bit as far as my post-childbirth recovery. I felt extremely sore and achy and worried that I might not be able to handle the Insanity. For one, maybe I had jumped back into working out too soon. Second, this is a type of exercise I wasn't used to. In the past my go-to has been power walking, elliptical and maybe some Zumba. This is a lot of plyometrics and strength training. Yikes. We took Tuesday off because physically I was in a less than ideal state. Chad and I talked about it and decided maybe I would need to do the program every other day- or maybe my body was just in shock from the jump from barely any exercise into this intense work out program.
  Last night we did the Cardio Interval training. It was awesome. I struggled a lot specifically on squats and jumps. My thighs have little strength which surprises me since they've been carrying around so much weight over the past few months. Walking downstairs this morning I felt my calf cramp up a little, but I feel significantly better than I did Tuesday morning after day 1. I'm not sure if we will try and work out again tonight or if we'll continue on our every other day plan. Regardless, I think I'll stroll Noah today- help stretch out my muscles and get a little cardio in. Plus, if I do it early I can enjoy the fall weather before it heats up this afternoon! Yesterday my diet went very well, however I did indulge in the icing again...I'm going to throw it our today. I promise. Really. I promise.....layne

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bringing Sexy Back

    Tomorrow morning I embark on a journey. It will involve sweat, hard work, maybe some tears, hopefully some laughs...but most certainly results. Tomorrow morning at 7:30 am marks the beginning of a new stage in my life that I like to call: Bringing Sexy Back. I'm drawing my inspiration, of course, from the well-known Justin Timberlake song of a similar name. Ok, it's the exact same name, and I've been singing it non-stop since I cleverly came up with this idea. Here are the lyrics that are driving my ambition, they're deep and meaningful:

Let me see what you're working with
Go ahead, be gone with it
Look at those hips
Go ahead, be gone with it
You make me smile
Go ahead, be gone with it
Go ahead child
Go ahead, be gone with it
And get your sexy on 



My goal, of course, is to get back in the slammin' shape I was in before I went and got myself pregnant.


this was me last November-ish at a friends wedding

Now, I'm too self conscious to tell you what I weigh currently, but I will tell you that I gained 50 pounds (that's right, fifty) during my pregnancy. A real shocker to my OB who suggested I only gain 32lbs when I had already gained 20 and was only 5 1/2 months in. I didn't binge eat, and I wasn't lazy. I ate healthy and moderately and worked out hard core up until I was put on bedrest. Alas, like a lot of folks told me- I gained exactly what my little baby girl needed me to, and nothing I did was going to stop that. Tomorrow morning the hubby and I are starting a work out program called (dun dun duunnn) INSANITY. It's supposed to be like P90X but even more awesome. Obviously.
   Insanity features 10 workouts that vary in length and focus on different parts of the body and offer different styles of exercise, much like P90X. The program promises you an INSANE body in 60 days. I'm going to do my best. I have no problem eating healthy, so that will be a big help. The only thing I'm worried about is our schedule and making time to complete each day's workout. For the next week and a half I shouldn't have any trouble, but I go back to work full-time next Wednesday and at that point there will probably have to be an adjustment period. It's going to take us some time to get into a schedule for sleeping, nursing, getting ready for work, getting baby to sitters, and the insanity workout on top of all of that. However, I'm one determined lady. You may meet few people who hate being out of shape more than I do. I've been fiending like a crack addicted to workout and waiting very impatiently for my body recover so I could do so. I'm going to weigh myself tomorrow morning and every Monday morning from this point forward for the next 60 days as to accurately document my progress and the path to bringing sexy back. I'll check in and let y'all know how much I'm losing, maybe post some pictures and "fun" experiences- and certainly let you know how I'm liking the workout! Wish me luck! Layne

Friday, September 23, 2011

Five Question Friday

   I haven't done this in a while, but I'm feeling up to it this evening! I've had a pretty great Friday. Noah and I watched the Grey's Anatomy season premier at our 6am feeding and then slept until almost noon. We snuggled, washed clothes, did dishes and surfed the internet for new recipes! Then we made a quick trip to Publix! Now I'm chowing down on the Yellow Squash Stuffing I made tonight (so delish). Tomorrow we will have a busy day of relaxing with the hubby (we miss him during the week) and watching football. I hope all of you have a great weekend!



Questions for Friday, September 23rd: (Special thanks to @kristinascackle,Sandy,@donettadalman@gasfamily and @Lovely_Lici for their question suggestions! I'm dying for some fresh questions over here and besides that, I enjoy linking YOU in this little blog hop of ours, so please, please, please c'mon over to my community and offer up some question suggestions. OR, watch for my Twitter shout out for 5QF questions on Thursdays! If you go the Twitter route, remember to@5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF!)

1. Dream job...realistic and completely unrealistic.

2. Do you fart in front of your significant other?

3. What's the furthest you've ever traveled from home? How far and where was it?

4. How do you celebrate birthday for your kids? Family only or friends? ... Alternate for those without kiddos: How did you celebrate birthdays as a kid?

5. Fave thing about fall?

______________________________________________________________-

1. Dream job....realistic and completely unrealistic.

Realistic: SAHM. I have never really felt a pull towards any certain career. The only thing I've always known I "wanted to be when I grew up" was a mommy. I'm a working mom now, but my dream would be to be at home with Noah full time. One day, hopefully not too many years down the road it will be a reality and not a dream. 
Unrealistic: Stylist to the stars. I'm creative and very stylish-- if I had money to throw around, I'd look like a darn rock star. I'd adore spending other people's money for them and making them look fabulous.

2. Do you fart in front of your significant other?

It happens, but I try not to.

3. What's the furthest you've ever traveled from home? How far and where was it?

Belize on my honeymoon. It was fantastic. We took a small speed boat to Caye Caulker this tiny island off the coast and had breakfast on the beach and talked about living there one day...

4. How do you celebrate birthday for your kids? Family only or friends? ... Alternate for those without kiddos: How did you celebrate birthdays as a kid?

Well we haven't thrown a birthday party for Noah yet, but I'm more of a family party person. Especially when the kids are really young, they don't really care about "friends" being there. As a kid I had spectacular parties. One year I had a tea party and everyone wore party dresses and had tea and made mini cakes and my mom made a mock Mr. Mcgregor's garden on our front porch like from Peter Rabbit. Another year I had a costume party and our huge front yard was set up carnival-style (I'm an October baby).

5. Fave thing about fall?

I've talked about it too much already, but tea olives blooming. Love. It. Pumpkin pies come in a close second.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 3 Update

    I'm kind of freaking out that Noah is 3 weeks old and I'm halfway through my maternity leave. Time is flying by, and I'm sort of not ok with it. We are adjusting sensationally to having Noah here. It helps that she is an awesome baby. She rarely fusses, she's sleeping 4-7 hours at a time, she feeds beautifully on both breast and bottle, and is a total doll. I'm feeling pretty good, too, three weeks out from delivery! Emotionally I'm doing fantastic! I haven't had any baby blues, or ppd episodes- which to be honest I was a little worried about due to my PMDD and family history of depression and anxiety. I've felt great, though, only tears of joy from this lucky mama (unless you count the one St. Judes commercial that made my heart hurt and I had to change the channel). Physically I'm doing way better than most, but still not good enough to suit me! I'm moving around the house, getting out and running errands and today did a 45 minute stroll around the neighborhood! I realize this is great for only 3 weeks, but I'm dying to exercise-exercise. I want to spin, or jog, or something, but I'm just not there yet. It's hard for me to be patient with the healing process because every fiber of my being wants to get the ball rolling on operation "Get Smokin' Hot Bod Back". When ever I'm feeling frustrated with the wait I just snuggle and stare at my baby girl, and I'm thankful I have such a perfect distraction until I'm ready to work it out!!
    Cloth diapering is a total breeze. We're washing diapers every other day, and sunning out the stains as often as the sun will allow. Lately this hasn't been much, although at noon the sun popped out today so I rushed my dirties through the wash and got them outside in a hurry!
our version of line-drying

  Noah is starting to be awake and alert a lot more. She gazes at the ceiling fans, the pattern on our couch, and me! It's clear that she recognizes mine and Chad's voices and faces. It's super sweet when she gazes up at me and I know that she knows who she's looking at. Right now we're feeding every 3-6 hours depending on when she tells us she's hungry. At night she's really good at sleeping at least 4 hours straight, but even more frequently 5-6 hours straight. She's a baby after her mother's heart, because I LOVE SLEEPING. When she's awake she is totally chill. She sat through an entire lunch outing last weekend wide awake. We kept waiting for fussing, or restlessness, but she just sat in her carrier pretty as a peach! I'm not sure what we're going to do when I start work back- Chad and I will be fighting for her. Right now he pretty much steals her the minute he gets home from work...he misses his baby girl during the day!! They tend to have excellent snuggle time during the Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday football games...



   Noah is sleeping in a bassinet at this point. We tried the crib a couple of times but never got more than 1/2 hour out of her. She loves the vibrating newborn napper that attaches to her pack-n-play. It's been a godsend to have that. We keep it set up in our den and that is where she sleeps 80% of the time. We also got a super cute bassinet on a stand that also vibrates that we put in her nursery that she sleeps in some nights after her middle of the night/early morning feeding. That is what she'll sleep in during the day at her caregivers house, so we're trying to get her used to it. She sleeps fairly well in it, but at this point nothing compares to the pack-n-play. 
ahhh...this is the life...

   Momo definitely loves his sissy, but most of the time he just ignores her. He still inspects every new outfit, toy, etc that we bring into the house for her. He'll give her kisses if we hold her down on his level for him to see. They're on the same nap/sleep schedule so they don't do much interacting, though. The past week he has started to get on the couch next to me when I nurse her, an attempt to be a part of the special experience, which is really sweet. I love having both of my babies close! She still has the craziest head of hair. We keep thinking it might fall out, but it doesn't! It's even growing! She's got super long pieces that hang over her ears, and a crazy cowlick in the back that gives her a mad scientist look if we don't keep it brushed! She probably would look even cuter than cute if we trimmed her a bit, but I can't bring myself to cut a 3 week-old's hair. I love every weirdly placed strand of it!! Plus, I like it being a little wild when we put her in a headband!
I am le tired!

  So that's how its been going down here at casa del Stalvey. We're insanely happy, a little tired, a little sore, but totally blessed and loving every minute of this amazing life!! Noah, Dee Dee and I went on a stroll this afternoon and I smelled tea olive on the breeze. My favorite smell ever, and a sure sign that fall is coming. I hope you're all able to get out and look at the leaves changing and see the signs of fall. Love, Layne





Monday, September 12, 2011

Things I've learned from 2 weeks of being a mommy...

   It does not seem like it's been 2 weeks, but tomorrow baby girl will officially be 2 weeks old. Time is flying and I'm dreading the fact that in 4 more weeks I have to go back to work and leave her to spend her days with someone else. Luckily she'll be with a friend from church who we trust and feel comfortable with, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to be a complete wreck. These have been the best two weeks of my life so far- despite being tired and the house being a mess, I've been more happy than I've ever been before. I've learned a lot over the past 13 days some profound truths and some little tricks so here are a few of the things I've discovered since bringing Noah into the world...

1. I thought I couldn't love my husband more than I already did, but I was wrong. My love for him has grown so much stronger and more complete through the process of seeing our love manifested in a small human being.

2. No matter how tired I am at 3am when I'm up to feed her, I can still manage to smile when she puts a hand on my chest or grabs onto my fingers.

3. There is no such thing as too many bibs.

4. A vibrating bassinet is a godsend.

5. Always go to the bathroom before you start breastfeeding. Because once you start it's not easy to stop and take a restroom break...

6. It's good to have help around. My mom and hubby have been fabulous!

7. I will not go anywhere longer than a quick trip without a Boppy.

8. DVR and smart phones make 2, 3, 4, 5am feedings much easier...

9. Line drying cloth diapers in the sun really is miraculous. Stains disappear!

10. God is good. I'm blessed beyond measure. It is unreal to think about my life and the road that has brought  me to the wonderful and fulfilling place I'm in right now.

Love, Layne 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

the birth story...

After a first and second trimester that flew by, and a third trimester that seemed to last a year we finally have our baby girl! Here is her birth story…
As most of you know several months ago we hired a Doula and I began to make a comprehensive birth plan with the goal of having a natural and what I called “organic” vaginal delivery at University Hospital. I wanted the experience to be as close to what nature intended it as it could possibly be, I wanted to be alert and involved and I wanted what I had in my mind as the ultimate birthing experience. Due to the health issues/pregnancy side effects that arose my original birth plan was slowly edited little by little, until it hardly even resembled what it once was.  The amount of pain I was experiencing from the varicosities was ferocious and it wasn’t long before my Doula, my OB, and I realized that not using pain meds was not going to be an option. The pain from the pressure of carrying the baby landed me on bed rest for 3 weeks, so we knew it was unreasonable to think that I’d be able to endure the pain of actual labor and delivery. There were also some concerns about my health and the rest of the delivery due to the severity of the possible pain. I talked with my Doctor and we agreed that a low-dose epidural was going to be essential to bringing to pass a pleasant delivery.  Again, with the level of pain I was experiencing I agreed to an induction and it was scheduled for 39+ weeks. We didn’t go too early, although that wasn’t for a lack of trying on my part, but I’m glad we induced when we did because there was truly no more joy in my pregnancy at that point and I shudder to think about my emotional and mental state had I gone past my due date. I knew being induced was going to limit me to the hospital bed and I wouldn’t be able to be up and moving through labor pains, etc., but I was willing to give that up in order to get my baby here faster!
Two nights before my induction brought the arrival of my mom, dad and younger brother to North Augusta to stay with us and be at the hospital for the birth. They helped us get stocked up on groceries and get the house ready for us to be gone for a couple of days and then come back with our first child. On Monday night my brother brought me Chinese food from my absolute favorite restaurant in our home town which is about an hour from where we are now. Over the course of 2 hours I paced myself through Veggie Egg-Foo Young, fried rice and steamed dumplings. Since I was being induced I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink after 6pm so I made that last meal count! I got in bed a little after 8 pm with the alarm set for 4:30 the next morning and with the help of a sleeping aid actually managed to sleep!
Tuesday morning I got up and hot-rolled my hair, put on a full face of make-up, threw on some clothes, and Chad and I headed to the hospital. I figured that I better make myself look good that morning because there was no telling what labor and delivery would put me through and I wanted to stand at least a decent chance at not looking like hell for a first picture holding my baby girl. We got to the hospital at quarter-til six and met our doula and started to wait…there were about 15 women waiting to be admitted for L&D!!! We didn’t get back to our room until 7 am, and at 7:02 my OB was there ready to get me hooked up to the machines and start the pitocin! I have to say that one of the most painful things throughout the experience was my IV. I have never had problems with IV’s before, I don’t have an issue with needles or anything but the location of the line was super annoying and it felt tight and bruised and made me more miserable than even the contractions I would have!
And so the labor began. The contractions were really manageable for the first 2 hours but my OB was concerned that I was going to take the maximum dose of pitocin in order to progress to where I needed to be for delivery so instructions were given to jack up the meds slowly but surely until I got to the maximum amount. My OB and nurse, who were both awesome during this process, had a hysterical work dynamic. It was very clear that my nurse thought the Doctor was being too aggressive, she even told us that the “policy” was to only go up to a 20 level for pitocin while the Doc was instructing her to take me up to a 40. My progression was checked about every hour and a half and that brought some funny disagreements between the nurse and Doctor, also. Don’t get me wrong, they were very friendly to each other and my nurse did exactly as she was asked, but she gave my Doc a hard time none-the-less and luckily my Doctor took her jabs with a good sense of humor.  The OB would check me and in the process stretch out the cervix as much as she could to help it along, she’d call it about 2 centimeters more than the nurse had called it and it proceeded in that same manner  all the way up until I started to push.  About 2 hours in the contractions got significantly stronger and more painful. I had very strong contractions about 2 minutes apart for 6 1/2 hours- because my cervix stayed pretty high and slowly progressing for a while- it didn’t seem to want to catch up to my contractions. I asked for my epidural about 3 hours into the labor when the pain got really severe and I couldn’t talk through the contractions and was having to seriously zone out to endure them. An hour later the anesthesiologist came and administered the epidural.  The epidural hurt. I felt every nerve the catheter hit on the way in and the only comfort I took from it was that after about 20 minutes it was going to help ease the pain of the contractions. So the medicine kicked in and it was all a waiting game. I did lose complete feeling in both legs but I didn’t let that freak me out, I stayed focused on the task at hand. I made up my mind before I was ever admitted that the process of bringing Noah into the world would not continue to be a negative experience for me. I was going to stay calm, focused and as clear headed as possible so that my labor and delivery could be positive experiences. At about 3:45 pm my cervix had dropped lower and I was about 8 cm. so my doctor decided I needed to do some preliminary pushing to try and get to 10 cm. At this point in the room with me was the nurse, my doctor, my doula, Chad, my mom and dad. I vacillated a bit on who I wanted to help hold my legs, who I wanted to hold my hand, etc. Chad stayed in the room with us for delivery despite it being a plan for him to leave due to a weak stomach and tendency to black out. The hospital would not give him a band to allow him to be alone with our daughter unless he was present for delivery, so he and his touch pad sat in the back corner of the room once I started pushing. The “prelimary” pushes worked well and a little after 4 pm I was pushing for real. My dad and the nurse had my legs, my mom was by my head holding my hand, rubbing my head and encouraging me and my doula stayed at the foot of the bed behind my doctor so I could use her as a focal point to concentrate. I pushed for 2 hours.  It had been a full 24 hours since I had had any sustenance, and I was exhausted, but I pushed. I pushed hard and long and I stayed quiet and focused. I never screamed out, and I tried not to talk at all- I must say it was very “zen”. I pushed when they told me to, breathed when they told me to and relaxed when they told me to. It was hard. I was so tired and weak but I refused to not push my hardest, I wanted my baby out!! I had a horrible headache and I was violently shaking- the tremors were uncontrollable and something that took me by surprise. It got close and my Doctor suggested an episiotomy. It was in my birth plan that I did not want one. My OB said the way my body was reacting to the pushing and pressure from the baby I was going to be permanently altered if she didn’t do an episiotomy. (I censured the details and exact quote- but you can imagine.) My doula and nurse very quickly agreed with the OB and knowing that they could see down there and I couldn’t- I said sure, whatever, do what you need to do. Snip snip snip.  About 30 minutes before I had the baby my mom said “Are you ok?” I thought she was talking to me but quickly realized that Chad was up and standing by my head! He was watching it all and was going to get to see his baby being born! As the baby started to crown my Doula tried to grab my hand to feel her head, but I yanked it back. She said- you wanted to feel the head, you wanted to pull her out! All of which was true, but I was so tired and knew I couldn’t take focus off of my pushing for a single second or else I’d lose what little steam I had left. Before I knew it she was out and up on my chest crying the most beautiful cries I had ever heard in my life!! I kissed her face while they were wiping her off and inspecting her, she was so BIG! My big ole baby was here and I was on cloud nine. Sometime during all the commotion I delivered the placenta, was stitched up and the room cleared of the mess- but I didn’t realize any of it was happening. I had requested for her to be bathed and weighed in the room with us, which is not typical hospital policy so it was about a two hour wait or so before the nursery came in to do this, which worked out perfectly because it allowed all of our family to come in and meet our angel. Chad’s parents, my parents, both of my brothers, and my grandfather were all waiting to meet Noah Layne Stalvey. After what seemed like forever she was weighed at 8 pounds 8 ounces and measured at 20.5 inches. We were so proud.  From start to finish my pregnancy was nothing like I thought it would be but I am so pleased with how it ended. I am at peace with the entire event and I’ve never been more in love with my husband and my daughter in my entire life. Being a mommy is amazing, I am so blessed.   Layne 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Let me introduce you to Noah Layne Stalvey


I am on cloud nine! On Tuesday we were blessed with the arrival of our first child, Noah Layne Stalvey. She was born at 6:29 pm on August 30th and weighed in at 8 lbs 8 ounces- 20.5 inches long. Tonight is our second night at home and we're adjusting well to being new parents. We're tired, but elated. I can't wait to share her birth story with you in a few days- once I get a grip on reality and some much needed sleep! Love, Layne

first night at home


Mom, Dad and Noah

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My thoughts and review of daytime televison- aka- recap of my day to day life.

Bed rest has me stuck on the couch for hours on end. Unless I have a doctor's appoint, get lucky and run an errand with Chad or for the 30 minutes a day I sit on the front porch for some Vitamin D- my entire rest of the day is either sleeping or watching the awful shows that are on mid-day. There are a few exceptions to the awfulness, but frankly anything loses it's appeal in the quantity that I've been watching it. So here are my thoughts on the few shows that have become a part of my every day life. I've been on bed rest since August 8th---so that is a heck of a lot of hours spent in front of the TV. I've watched a ton of movies, too, and read 2 books, but the rest was spent like this....

Property Virgins:

Sandra, how do you restrain yourself from punching some of these people in the face? Where were you in March when we bought our home? We would have been so good to you. P.S. Whoever does your wardrobe needs to be fired. Sorry.

Property Brothers:

Since we’ve been spending so much time together I feel personally invested in your lives. Are you both homosexual? Not that it matters to me, but I’m curious. I’m pretty sure Drew is, but I can’t tell with Jonathan. Or, maybe they’re both just metro with sensational interior design style. Side note: their wiki page says they do magic shows in Vegas in their spare time…..just sayin...

Yard Crashers:

Ahmed, you are awesome, and kinda hot. Why oh why won’t you come to the Lowes in N. Augusta, you can’t miss it- it’s the only large chain store we have other than WalMart. This show has made it depressingly obvious that my yard needs to be “crashed” pretty dang bad.

Curb Appeal:

See above statement about yard. Ours is definitely the ugly duckling on the block.

General Hospital:

Why is everyone being so mean to Sonny? Don’t they know he has a good heart and just wants his friends and family to be happy and safe? Spinelli- what’s with the accent and amnesia? Sky- you look old, go back to not being on television, thanks.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians:

Kris Jenner- you’re kinda a giant money grubbing b-word who ignores her husband and traditional mom and wife duties. This season is not shedding a flattering light on you. Rob- you used to be cute and some comic relief but now you just seem like a tick hanging on for dear life... and you got a little fat.

House Hunters/ HH International:

It is absolutely fool proof that if a couple is shown a property outside of their budget, then that is the one they choose. Don't get confused, if it's on the high end of their budget- that does not guarantee it, only if it is above their budget. What's the point of even setting a budget, folks?


Paula's Best Dishes:

Paula, dear, I have to agree with Bourdain. You are killing America- but that doesn't mean I don't absolutely love you. Also, I have made a promise to myself to cut you out of my life once I have this baby. If I don't I'll never lose my pregnancy weight. Please don't cry. Go make yourself something absolutely delicious that will continue to clog your probably rock-hard arteries and console yourself.


Love, Layne

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trying to be better when it's easier to rely on old instincts...

So it's no secret that I've been pretty miserable lately. I'm over 38 weeks pregnant, I'm experiencing ridiculous side effects that I've never even heard of- and that no poor unsuspecting first-time (or anytime) mother should experience. I've been on bed rest for like 2 weeks, missing my friends at work, going a little cuckoo from cabin fever, and all of this on top of the normal anxiety and worries that a soon to be new-mom faces. Sheesh, am I pitiful, or what?! Don't I deserve some sympathy? I've been praying for weeks, almost on an hourly basis "Lord, please let me have this baby, please let me go into labor, please bring me my baby girl." Sometimes, especially at night (2-3-4am in the morning) when I'm still awake not being able to sleep and burdened with restless legs my prayers are more like this: "Lord if you're not going to send me into labor right now please have mercy on me and at least let me get some sleep!!" Most recently, however, its more like this (sobbing) "Heavenly Father, I can't take this anymore. If I'm not going to go into labor RIGHT NOW then either let me be able to fall asleep or take away this horrible pain because I'm losing my freaking mind!!"
Shame on me. I've never doubted God's timing. Not for one second, I have known the whole time that Noah will come when she's meant to come and not a minute sooner. But shame on me for thinking that if I begged hard enough, that God would feel sorry for me and change his plan. Maybe that is a form of doubt- doubting that Heavenly Father would be holding out on me for any reason other than his perfect plan. Or, thinking that I would be continuing to suffer for no reason at all. I recently decided I've been going about it all wrong: praying for what I want. Praying for gratification instead of patience and understanding during this waiting period. I've been seriously humbled because if you had asked me 3 months ago if I thought I was a patient person I would have told you- most definitely. Actually, I would have told you that I was more patient than I had ever been in my life. ---Lesson learned, because 3 months ago I didn't feel like crap. You think you're strong and patient and wise, and all of these things when you aren't under any pressure- I think Heavenly Father kinda folds his arms, shrugs and sighs....just like any parent will do when their child thinks they don't need anymore life lessons and knows they're going to get some anyway.
So, I've gotten some perspective and have been trying to make some changes to how I react to situations and people. I've got a long history of, how can I say this....being a giant B-word. Being impatient, hot tempered, and easily irritated- especially by stupid people who say stupid things. (side note: you hear more stupid things said to you when you're pregnant than any other time in your life) I haven't just had to learn patience with this pregnancy, but with people and life in general. This is not easy. You can't just decide to bite your tongue and be happy and kind no matter what, at the drop of a hat- especially with extenuating circumstances. But I've been trying to take strides, and be better. Here are some examples:

Stranger: "How much longer do you have?" Me: "About 2 weeks" Stranger: (makes face) "Ooohhh"

Old Layne's response: (make face back) "Yeah. Thanks for that." (turn and walk away mid-convo)
New Layne's response: (painfully smile) "Yes ma'am, it's been hard in this heat, but we're sure excited it's so soon!" (hope this ends convo so I can walk away)

Friends/Family: "How are you doing??" (knowing I'm on bed rest for insane pain that makes it hard for me to move)--this is a toughy bc I know it's coming from a place of love.

Old Layne's response: "How do you think I'm doing, have you lost your mind, if I was fine or good I wouldn't be stuck in this house, but thanks for asking." (hang up the phone)

New Layne's response: ---well this is tricky because I've actually not been taking phone calls so I don't have to be asked how I'm doing because I don't like being reminded that I'm doing bad- I've been living in a bubble in my den trying to forget how bad I feel---but the few calls I've taken have been a little like this "I've been better, yes, thank you for checking, can I call you another time?"

*I'm not perfect- there have been some exceptions and slip-ups in response to this question*

Friends/Family/Strangers: Try to enjoy this natural part of life and the beauty of what your body is doing. Give in to mother nature and the miracle of life. (and other crap like that)

Old Layne's response: "Try to enjoy my foot up your rear- there is nothing natural or beautiful about what sweet mother nature is doing to my body. This isn't normal 3rd trimester pregnancy pains you nit wit, my husband has to help me out of bed and get me to the toilet in the mornings. I hope your meditation and mantras will help you endure the pain of me punching you in your face."

New Layne's response: (thinking to myself that they are just trying to help and to push those violent instincts out of my mind) " I know, it's really hard, though. I'm just trying think about my baby girl and how happy I'll be when I have her and this is all over! I can't wait to meet her, it will be so great! Just need to wait it out and muster through!"

So as you can see, I'm making progress. Baby steps. Trying to be better. On Thursday I decided I needed to look up "patience" in the scriptures, so I went to LDS.org (my church's website) and pulled up scripture verses from the Bible, Book of Mormon and talks by church leaders. I opened up 2 talks by church officials that were specifically about having patience and faith. ---Then I lost my patience with learning about patience and they sat open on my laptop for several days unread- until last night. I had a rough day yesterday, my mom made me super annoyed and ticked off, and I broke down crying and feeling sorry for myself and slipped into some serious self-pity. So I pulled the talks back up on my computer and started reading. Here are the talks...



Here is some of the wise advice that helped me when I was reading it:

"Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"The greatest scriptural examples of patience are found in the life of Jesus Christ. His long-suffering and endurance are best demonstrated on that excruciating night in Gethsemane as He uttered, in His atoning agony, "O my Father, it if be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." He truly suffered and bore and endured all things." Robert C Oaks

It's hard to fight natural instincts of impatience, hot tempered, B-word-ness...especially when you are facing a challenge or a trial. But I'm trying really hard to be better. To not think about how my situation could affect the pleasure of bringing my daughter into the world, but to think about how my attitude could affect the pleasure of bringing my daughter into the world. I'm not saying I'm going to be a Happy-Holly all of the time, or that I'm going to start taking phone calls again. I'm not saying that peoples positive and kind words wont make me cringe on my bad days. I'm just saying I'm trying to look at things from a different perspective. Leave it to faith, and know that even when I feel like I really might physically and emotionally not make it another second- I will. And when faced with 1-2 more weeks of waiting for this baby- in pain- stuck in the house, thinking I'll end up a total wretched person to be around before my due date comes- it could happen, but the due date WILL come, and having my daughter here WILL be worth it.

Anyway, the 17-bajillion prayers I've said in between last night and right now were more to this tune " Lord please give me patience, please help me endure, and I'm so grateful for the blessing you're giving me with this baby, just as soon as you're ready to send her to us- I'm ready and I can't wait. Please keep both of us healthy and in all things Thy will be done." ---- I hope this makes the "Big Guy" proud. It's all baby steps, really. (No pun intended)

I know most of you aren't 38+ weeks preggo- but if you're fighting any personal, physical or internal challenges, I really do believe and KNOW that giving it all up to the Lord is the only logical and reasonable thing you can do. Everyone has a predisposition to be something that they don't like- but it doesn't mean it always have to be that way. We can try to be better- take it easy on ourselves, and pray. I don't think I've ever prayed this much in my life. Ever. It probably wont lighten up either- I can only imagine the patience I'll need as a mother. Especially if my daughter is anything like my husband....heh heh heh. One love. Layne

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's the trick???

So another day is almost over and I'm looking at a max of 13 more days based on my doctor's visit this morning. If little miss Noah doesn't appear on her own by the 30th we're going to induce that morning. I'm trying to stay positive even though the thought of two more weeks has me teetering on the edge of a dark downward spiral, but I need to think of ways to pass the time. I also need to think of ways to get this baby out. She's already- per my OB this morning- a "chunky monkey". With that being said, and taking into consideration I'm on bed rest so I can't go run around- tell me what helped send you into labor....comment on my blog or send me an email. I'll take funny stories, coincidences, at-home remedies, healthy or unhealthy. Let me know what you ate, watched, read, did or said! I'm not saying I'm going to try anything, but I'm definitely interested in hearing about everything- if for nothing else other than the entertainment of it all!!

I'd also appreciate your biggest prayers, positive thoughts, good ju-ju (whatever you're into) that Noah will decide she's ready and come on out as soon as possible so that her mommy doesn't go absolutely insane. Thanks, and love ya! Layne





p.s. My husband already thinks I'm loosing it just because of a few (several) dumb blonde moments I've had recently. But what does he expect...our dog, Morris, has been my only constant companion for a week and a half now. I'm not getting a whole lot of intellectual conversation on a daily basis and I haven't slept more than a couple of hours over the past SEVEN DAYS!!! This is what I look like as of today....not pretty.





Monday, August 15, 2011

Noah's Nursery

As I'm hoping that Noah decides to show her (undoubtedly) pretty face soon.... like yesterday, it is really good that the nursery is complete and ready to welcome her! The linens are My Baby Sam- Paisley Splash. The Butterfly wall art and "NOAH" I did during a very outrageous nesting spell where I became insanely crafty. The curtain was made by my mother-in-law and the painting above the dresser was done by one of Noah's many "Aunts," Caitrin. The last picture is of my temporary cloth diaper storage method....the drawers in the changing table will hold the inserts and liners etc, but aren't big enough to house a fluff stash. So I'm using a shoe organizer for now to see how that works for us....






Monday, August 8, 2011

This is an explicit pregnancy post- body details and all...

I've been hesitant to talk about this, because it's not pleasant, and it's pretty personal, but I feel like at this point- what the heck. For over a month now I've been experiencing a side effect or symptom of pregnancy that has been extremely painful and this morning got so bad and extreme that from this point forward my Doctor has put me on bed rest until I have the baby. So if you're squeamish or don't want serious pregnancy details- turn back now.
I woke up about a month and a half ago and felt like I had been kicked in the crotch repeatedly. I was so sore, and it really didn't make any sense to me, but I chalked it up to my body growing and changing and wasn't too worried about it. After it lasted more than a week I got online and started searching for message boards- WebMD posts- anything I could find where people were experiencing the same feeling I was. It wasn't easy, but luckily you can find about anything on the web even if you type into the Google search bar "pregnant- feels like someone kicked my crotch". (I'm not joking, that's what I typed) I found a lot of useless information, and then a few things that I thought may be realistic- so I called my OB and talked to her nurse and told her exactly what I was feeling. Evidently this is something that happens a significant amount in pregnant women because she immediately knew what it was- vaginal varicose veins. WHAT THE HECK?! I was flabbergasted! No one in my family has varicose veins, I've never had them before, I'm searching all over my legs and none there, really...a few minor ones, but nothing I would get upset about. I checked myself and there were certainly some darkened more visible veins so the nurse's diagnosis was right, and I found myself unfortunately disappointed by being told that there wasn't much I could do about it. This was something I never even knew existed- or could physically happen but since then I've done a lot of research and a lot of women get this.
Over the past 4-6 weeks the pain hasn't gone away, in fact it's gotten increasingly worse. I tried ice packs, and found they didn't help, I tried Arnica gel on a maxi-pad put in the freezer and that didn't help either. Every day passed and every day it got worse. Things like rolling from my left side to right side in the middle of the night because impossible to do without screaming out in pain. The mornings were/are by far the worse. I'd have to slowly slide out of bed and cringe with the pain I'd feel when letting my weight down onto my feet. I'd waddle to the bathroom and get ready, hobble downstairs and make my way to work. In the car driving to work anytime I'd make a turn the weight shifting as my body leaned one way or the other would have me gritting my teeth. As the day would progress the pain would get more bearable but not disappear, standing up after sitting at my desk for a long period of time would have me experiencing the same painful feelings. Last week it got harder to get in and out of the car, and I found myself border-line stuck on the toilet a few times because it was so hard to stand back up. Every day it has gotten worse and this morning I couldn't get out of bed. I woke up really early 4 or 5 this morning and needed to go to the bathroom and when I tried to get up I realized I couldn't. The pain was excruciating and I couldn't fight through it to sit up. Chad was asleep downstairs on the couch so I chilled out and took some deep breaths and tried to relax a bit. I waited until a reasonable hour and got my phone and called him downstairs and asked him to come help me. We called my OB as soon as the practice opened at 8:30 to talk to the nurse. From that point on my morning just got worse. At my last appointment my OB noticed some swelling and was able to tell me that the majority of the veins, the ones that would be the real culprits of all this pain were internal- which would be why the ice packs were often used in vain (pun intended). This morning I was told I had to be on bed rest, the one thing I've been dreading for weeks with the swelling and Braxton Hicks contractions- and I end up stuck in the house indefinitely from Varicose Veins. Total bullcrap. I'm crying talking to the doctor- telling her I'm three weeks out from my due date- she couldn't possibly expect me to stay down that long, and was there really nothing that could be done? The answers were yes and no. Yes she expected me to stay put- in the bed or on the couch- I can walk around the house a bit to help prevent RLS, and no medically other than ice packs and Tylenol there was nothing that could be done- she said she had only had a handful of patients who ever had this severe of a case. Once I have Noah the veins should go away and the pain along with them.....awesome. There is nothing I can do about this other than follow what my Doctor has told me- so I'm here, at home and while I'm not happy about it, I'm going to do my best to stay preoccupied. Noah is moving around like a little monster in my stomach- I see elbows and knees and feet poking and stretching, it's very sci-fi. I'm just paying her all the attention and praying to God that literally the very second she is done cooking and ready to come out, that she will. I don't want her out until she's good and baked, but nothing would make me happier than not to be stuck at home in pain like this all the way until September 2nd. I'm lucky I have Chad here to help me, and that he's less than a few minutes away during the day- but the next few weeks will be rough. So please say some prayers for me and Noah- I'll be here hoping that the time flies...