Have you seen the gorgeous home libraries of children’s books neatly organized and colored coded? What a beautiful dream, but I just can’t see myself doing it. First of all, I can’t do shelves with these kids. Both of the boys are climbers and have no qualms about disobeying me when I tell them to stop climbing on top of the computer desk. That’s just life right now. Shelving would be unsafe and drive me nuts. On top of that, the kids are too small to help me keep the books organized, and without their help, it’d be impossible.
I do try, however, to keep the books somewhat tidy, and finding the right organizing principles and storage solutions has taken time. We own a lot of books. The boys enjoy being read to and “reading” on their own. I keep the books available at all times, and I don’t have restrictions about them. I only discourage damaging them, but otherwise, have at it! (Their love of reading and positive experiences with books comes first.) Finding a way to manage our library has been difficult, but I’ve finally hit upon a solution that works for us.
The lowly diaper box. It ain’t pretty, but they are the perfect width for children’s books, and they are big.
I try to keep them organized, but at the moment, and most of the time, they are a jumbled mess. I go through them checking for damage and sorting them into five categories. Honestly, it isn’t a high priority because organizing them doesn’t impact whether or not they are used and loved. It is more for me than anything.
I sort them into five categories, and each category gets its own bin or box.
1. Board books
2. Picture books (Not board books) -- I keep some of these in the livingroom for the kids, but many of them I put away so they don’t get damaged. When the boys are more gentle, I will bring them back out.
3. Favorites and books I want to read with them -- I try to keep a smaller bin to keep these books accessible.
4. Bedtime books -- These books live in the boys’ bedroom.
5. Christmas books -- I pack these up with our Christmas stuff so they stay fresh for the holiday season. After Thanksgiving, I bring them out.
Once the books are all sorted, the kids pull them all out again, and the disorganization begins anew.
Where have I been you ask?
Not only did we just have a baby and not only was Damian just finishing up finals, but to keep things at maximum levels of stress, we moved. Blogging and vlogging has not been happening at all, nor has most other things like my morning routine or anything that wasn't taking care of three small children and moving. I wish I could say that I was happen to keep all my plates spinning, but I didn't. It is what it is.
It's been almost a month since we started the move, and we still aren't completely moved in, but Damian just finished his last final of the semester, we turned in the keys to the old place, and Christmas will soon be over (not that I look forward to that!). There will be a lot of more time to tackle the last of our unpacking which is basically organizing toys (I have a whole new method that I can't wait to share!) and our bedroom/electronics/office-ish stuff.
I'm finally getting back into a bit of a routine. I've pulled out my bullet journal, which got abandoned half way through October. I'm trying to get back on track with my morning routine. The bullet journal and morning routine are the cornerstones of a happy mommy. They keep me centered, focused, and productive. By January 1st, we are going to be fully settled into this apartment, and I'm going to be ready to rock 2017!
On November 7th, 2016, we welcomed the newest member of our family into the world. She is happy, healthy, and beautiful! This is the story of her birth.It seems to be a trend with me. Just like with Drake and Devin, this birth story starts with a date for an induction. I was about halfway through my 39th week when I had an ultrasound that confirmed that Maddie would be a big baby. No one was surprised. We all suspected she would be big because Drake and Devin were both big, but this confirmed it. She measured 10 pounds exactly at that point.
So my midwife decided induction would be best, and I agreed. I would start the long induction process on Sunday night with plans that she would be born on her due date which was Monday.
I hoped and wished that she would come before the induction (which happened with Devin) because I preferred laboring without Pitocin, but little Maddie refused to budge.
Sunday night I went in and the doctors gave me Cervidil to help things along. By morning, it was giving me crazy contractions. I called Damian and told him to get to the hospital before the nurse checked on me because the contractions were so close together. They removed the Cervidil and checked me before Damian arrived. I was a measly 2 cm dilated and the contractions stopped immediately. I panicked for nothing, but at least Damian didn't miss any of the action.
They started my Pitocin around 8:30 am. At the birth center, you can move around, eat, and drink as much as you want. They don't check your cervix every 5 minutes (thank goodness). I basically stayed in my room, paced quite a bit, and waited, anxiously for things to get moving.
The contractions weren't bad most of the time. I was able to breathe through them and rest in between. No problem really. If that was all labor was, everyone would be doing it! Around 1:30 pm they came in to check on my progress. At first the midwife thought I was only 2 cm still, but then she said “oh no, 4cm! We can break your water!”
I was happy because I knew that would speed things along, and I really wanted to have my baby and get all the painful parts over with. Once my water was broken, they had to kind of push on the baby's head a bit so the water could come out. Her head was blocking the way. The actually breaking of the water isn't painful, but the pushing on the head and such was pretty uncomfortable, basically like a prolonged cervix check.
Finally, they left me to it. My contractions picked up quickly. I already told the midwife that I would probably want some pain medicine, so my nurse was ready to give it to me when I asked for it. At 2:30 pm, I told my nurse I was going to wait until 3:00 for my pain medication, but I didn't make it. At 2:45 pm, I called her in and asked for the goods (Nubain, I believe). The pain was real. I was in an odd mindset with this labor. I really didn't want to go through it. I wish I'd had a better mindset as I think it would have helped, but there you have it.
The medication almost put me to sleep. I remember thinking about all sorts of random things, and every so often, I'd feel a contraction, but mostly I was feeling just fine. The medication makes you super relaxed, and it has always helped me get through the transition phase of labor. I'd do it again in a second!
An hour later, I began to feel the contractions again, and they were intense. I asked the nurse if there was anything else they could give me and she said we could do the intrathecal, and I thought about it. It is similar to an epidural, but you can usually still feel a bit and you aren't hooked up to it constantly. Like I said, I was very resistant to the pain this labor. I said I wanted it.
Too bad for me though! My midwife came in to check me, and I was 9 cm dilated. She said I could still have the intrathecal, but that likely the baby would be here before they got it to me.
Rock and a hard place. I told her not to bother with it, and labored on for about half an hour. I was not pleasant. There was a good amount of yelling/groaning through contractions and a fair bit of whining that I didn't want to do it in between. I'm not proud of it, but it was how I was feeling in the moment, so there you have it. I didn't yell at anyone, so I suppose that is good.
After those 30 minutes, I was in the middle of a contraction when I felt Maddie drop past my cervix. It was an odd sensation and not one I remember with my first two. It felt like a popping cork. I told my nurse something was happening. She checked, and I knew she would bump into the baby's head because I could feel where her head was. And so she did. She calmly called in the midwife and another nurse, who were there in less than a minute. I pushed once more, and then again, and then Madeleine Luna was born.
I held her against me, but I was in a position where I couldn't see her well. Once all the cleanup was done, I looked at my beautiful girl, and fell in love instantly. It is the moment that makes me forget all that happened before, and the moment that makes me want more babies. For me, in this moment, I have always felt an immediate connection to my new baby. I loved them instantly and always. My heart leaps to care for my baby, and that desire doesn't go away.
For video footage from the big day, check out my video on YouTube.
Welcome to the family!
We are a laid back, fun, family of four living on a dime in 700 square feet. Life might not be perfect, but every moment of every day, it is beautiful.