What We've Been Up To

So it turns out life after giving birth is crazy.  To be honest, I've been doing more and being out & about more than I probably should.  But the craziness doesn't have much to do with baby Dean.

Owning a brick & mortar business isn't put on pause when you have a baby.  Our responsibilities don't allow much   maternity/paternity leave. Customers will understand a day or two of being closed, but after that they want the store open to spend their money.

One of the most popular items at our store is Magic the Gathering cards.  About a week before Dean was born we took all the cards home so we could revamp and reprice them all.  All 120,000 of them.

So every single day Aaron, my parents, our nephew, and I have been working to get all these cards organized by set (there's about 60 sets), color (there's 8 colors), and rarity (there's 4 types of rarity). Not to mention only some of these need to be in sleeves.  Aaron spends about 8-10 hours+ a day on this- no joke.

Tedious?  Yes.  Murder on my wrists?  Absolutely.  Insanity?  You bet.

But after four weeks we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We wouldn't have done this if it wasn't worth the time and effort.  These cards are worth a small fortune and we have the market cornered since no one else on this side of the state has the set up we do.  Customers want to drop $$$ on them and have hounded us every day since we moved te cards home.  It's a pretty big deal.

Aaron feels like he has hardly seen his son, and my tindinitus is flaring up hard core, and we're both totally stressed out and frustrated about it.  But it's worth it.  Once we are done we can switch our focus home and just exist with our baby.  I cannot wait!


Wrestlemania 30

Pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but we're big wrestling fans.  Big fans!  So big we actually closed our store yesterday because it was Wrestlemania 30. Woooooo!

There are some spoilers (but I'm leaving out big details) do if you care about the show and haven't watched it you've wen warned. :3

Some people make a big deal about the Super Bowl. We don't.  Nope, we make a big deal out of Wrestlemania.  We had a huge snack spread, I baked a cake, and we got the belts out~~~~

Aaron and I shared the World Heavyweight Championship and Dean was sporting the World Babyweight Championship I knitted him.

Aren't they a handsome pair?!?!

The party started at 2pm when the rediculous(ly awesome) two hour pre-show started on the WWE Network.  This payperview was slated to be pretty epic and we knew there was excitement in store for the preshow.  It didn't dissapoint as one of our fave wrestlers had the first of his two "Wrestlemania Moments".

The actual show itself was bookened by our hometown hero, Daniel Bryan (who is from north western Washington), kicking butt.  He's spent the last year fighting for the top spot in the company with all his attempts being thwarted.  The payoff was incredible!

There was also a HUGE upset with a long time wrestler that left us and the 80,000+ people at the venue speechless.  Not neccesarily in a bad way for us, but it left us scratching our heads.

Overall, Wrestlemania 30 was the best Wrestlemania we've seen since we started watching in 2008.  d^_____^b

Did anyone else watch it?  <3


Dean Fredrick's Birth Story

Guess it has been four days already since this little guy arrived.  FOUR DAYS. It really is incredible.  How did I get so lucky to have this sweet baby in my life?

It's so crazy because I've babysat and nannied before, so I've been around infants, I've watched them grow. But this one is mine~ I don't have to give him back at the end of the day.  Aaron and I get to keep him for ever!

I've spent the last couple days debating if I wanted to write a birth story, but as I was sitting here with my baby sleeping in my lap I know I do want to share with you how he came into our lives.  I'n writing this on my ipod so sorry in advance for any spelling/grammar/format errors.  (So if you aren't interested in reading the details of birth, it won't hurt my feelings if you stop).

To recap the pregnancy real quick, we were trying to get pregnant for a few months when we got a positive test back.  My grandma had just passed away so it was an especially bright momen for us. We decided to tell our families a few day later at the funeral and everyone was overjoyed.  During the drive from the service to the wake we hanmered out names, but decided to keep them a secret until we found out the baby's gender.

After talking with some mama friends and doing some research Aaron and I decided to get with a midwife an do a home birth instead of an OBGYN and a hospital birth.

A lot of thought went into this decision and our reasonings came down to two key factors:

1) The drugs I would be getting at the hispital would prevent some of my body's hormones getting to my baby during birth and I couldn't allow that to happen.  I want my baby to have everything my body can give him and drugs would have stopped that.  The conviction in my heart is so strong on this point it surprised me. Not getting an epidural was something I was willing to give up without a secod thought.

Besides, giving birth is what my body was made for.  Woman have been giving birth for how many tens of thousands of years without drugs. If all those woman could do it, so could I. No question about it. No doubt in my mind.

I just figured giving birth hurts so since it's all painful I wouldn't complain about anything during the pregnancy and birth until the shoulders came out.  I'm 100%?serious about this. It was my motto during the pregnancy and helped me keep things in perspective.

2) The cost of going through the midwife was $1500. That includes every appt (the last two being at my home) and each appt was as long as I wanted/needed it to be, all exams and tests, 24/7 access to her by phone or text, almost 24 care from time she arrives for the birth, 1 day old check up on me and baby, one week old check up... There's acutally more but I realize this list is long. Basically, I felt this is the absolutely best care my baby and I could get for our money.

The pregnancy went fast and pretty much carefree.  On Monday 3/24 I was 38 weeks and a few days along when I started getting these cramps at work that were starting to bother me so I went home so I could not be a brat to my customers at work.  I figured I could take an epsom salt bath, or two, drink lots of water and push off labor until the next day.

It worked a bit but by 10:30pm that night my cramps had turned into contractons that were 5-7 minutes apart and about 15-20 seconds apart.  We stayed in bed watching wrestling in an attempt to distract me but at 3:00 am my contractions were 30-40 seconds long and about 1:30-1:45 apart, so Aaron texted our midwife to see what she thought an she texted back immediately saying she was calling her assistant and they were on their way.  Aaron and I starte filling the tub with water and got ready for the show to start.

The assistant who was a doula arrived first and she was incredible.  Our midwife arrived a few minites later and we just hung out in the front room while I labored standing against the couch.  After some amount of time we moved to the tub to give my legs a break.  The tub was so nice to labor in.  It helped my body do what it needed to do, and the hot water helped keep me relaxed.

Keeping relaxed is so hard for me to do on a normal basis so this was a challenge.  We all started talking about different relaxation techniques we've read from Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and one thing we joked about was "horse lips" - pursing your lips together and making horse noises. Immediately i had a bad contraction and without thinking did "horse lips" and I instantly relaxed, everyone saw it and I felt it.  We were all completely surprised that something so seemingly silly worked so well!

Aaron stayed with me the entire time either in front of me while I was in the tub holding me, or right next to me helping me through each contraction. His presence, support, strength, and love were the key to this birth for me.  Without Aaron this story would not have happened.  I love him soooooo much!!!

After a few hours I was pretty much fully dialated but wasn't making pregress so we migrated to the bedroom.  We prepared for laboring there but I honestly thought I would deliver in the tub. Something was preventing that so I had to move.  Turned out my baby was stuck on a lip of my cervex, so after about an hour of pushing and him not getting past the lip, my midwife broke my water to help speed things along.  I had to keep up with the "horse lips" because the contractions hurt so bad and I didn't want to squeeze the baby and make things take longer.

After some anount of time, lots of horse lips, and a bit of screaming the baby finally crowned.  After the pain I had just gone through I was certain his head was out, so I was a bit upset when it wasn't.  After even more pushing, "horse lips", and a bit more screaming, his head finally came out and I wanted so desperately for him to be all out I pushed and pushed and at 11:19am I pushed the rest of him out. (At this point I don't actually remember everything clearly at all, this is just what I recall).

As soon as he was out, my midwife put my baby on my chest while she did everything she needed to do.  Aaron and I were able too look at and touch our baby boy.  He had a full head of hair and was perfect.

After a half hour, I think, my midwife cut the cord handed him to Aaron so I could finish up. Turns out he came out face down and with his right elbow up against his head.  No wonder he was stuck!!  We joked about him being a wrestler and then he comes out doing my favorite wrestling move, the "flying elbow"! XD

Luckily I didn't rip at all.  I had a few scratches that needed stitches and the spot where his elbow came down was eccentially a rug burn so there's nothing to be done with that.  After I showered off, I got back into bed with the baby and we napped until everything was cleaned up and good to go. 

So I was in labor for about 14 hours, delivered my baby drug free on my bed with my husband at my side.  It was an incredible experience and one that I chose and that can't be taken away from me. It is not something I can say I want to do again, but I am so glad I did it.

Dean Fredrick was born March 25, at 11:19 am, was 8lbs 3oz and 21 inches long.

So yeah, thank you for sticking around for all that. It was pretty long, I know, but I appreciate you hanging in there. If you have any questions about Dean's birth or my experience with our midwife please ask.  I am so happy with our midwife and homebirth and have so much more I could say about it.

I hope everyone is having a super great day! <3


Nesting & Nostalgia

My nesting instincts went into high gear last night. Lots of pictures are missing in my blog posts and it really bothered me and it needed to get fixed NOW. I spent my entire evening going through hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of pictures to figure out which ones fit inside the blog posts. Posts that I couldn't find pictures for were just deleted. That's kinda sad but I'd rather them be gone than picture-less.

A few posts in particular I wanted fixed were the ones related to our trip to Tokyo. That was such a big deal for us and we had such an amazing time I wanted to keep it documented. Luckily I got them all fixed and I wanted to re-share them with you guys.

Tokyo Recap #1 ~ all about the Kaminarimon temple we were a block from.
Tokyo Recap #2 ~ food, Akihabara, & friends.
Tokyo Recap #3 ~ Valentine's Day

It was so much fun pouring over all these pictures. It's crazy to think that just over two years ago Aaron and I were wandering the streets of Tokyo. It gave me butterflies seeing all the sites again (and I'm getting them again just thinking about it).

There is no doubt in our minds that we will go to Japan again. This time with Dean (and any other little ones we might have). This means we'll have to wait a few years, but we will take Dean to Japan. Teach him all about different cultures. Show him just how awesome and big this world of ours is.

I cannot encourage everyone enough to travel to a foreign country. Seriously. If you want to do it, do it! I know that the cost of traveling can be a scary big amount, but I recommend saving up and going through a website like Expedia months in advance so once the flight and hotel are paid for you have all that time to save up spending money. Our trips all varied in length (7-9-ish days), so flight & hotel for both of us was between $2900-$3400. Which seems like a lot, but in comparison, our three day trip to San Fransisco was a little over $1300 for flight & hotel for both of us.

Experiencing and being immersed in a different culture is worth every penny it takes to get you there. I guess that's a bit obvious since we've been to Japan four times. Definitely travel if you can. It may seem scary and impossible but it's not. Really it's not. If you can take a week off work to go on a local vacation, you can totally go abroad.

Anyways, enough of my rambling. I might be preaching to the choir here. Have you traveled to a foreign country before? Where have you gone? What cool things did you do while you were there? I know a couple of my blogging friends have been to Italy and Malaysia, which seem like awesome places to visit. If you haven't traveled, where would you go? ♥


37 Weeks ~ Maternity Pictures

We've made it full term. We are 18 days away from meeting our little man. Oh my gosh you guys. The nerves! The excitement! Our hearts are about to explode with love for this little baby of ours.

It's hard to imagine my life right now not being pregnant, not getting my world ready for the changes ahead, not preparing to share my life and my heart with another man. Aaron has my entire heart and soul and the thought of having room for more love for another person, a person that Aaron and I created together, it sometimes so hard to wrap my head (and heart) around. But I am looking forward to all this discovery so much!

People keep asking me if I'm excited, or how excited I am, for the baby. And while I am excited, I'm not jumping up and down excited or freaking out excited. When I look inside myself there's this stillness that is just ready.

Ready to love, cuddle, and get to know Dean, and for him to get to know us. I am ready for my world to drastically change and never go back.

Aaron and I are ready to start this new journey together. ♥