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Happy Birthday Timothy James

Mr. Man,

This has been by far the hardest birth story to write. Since you spent 4 weeks in the NICU I feel like your birth story has two parts. The first being the day you were born and the second the day you came home.

Lets start from the beginning.

We found out about you a few days after we had gotten back from visiting family in NJ. I was so tired and could barley get off the couch. It wasn’t until I had this craving for McDonalds chicken nuggets that I said to Daddy, kind of joking, “I wonder if I am pregnant”? The next day I took a test and we stood there staring at it in complete shock. I had never felt as though our family was complete and after seeing that + I realized I was right. For the first time, my heart felt whole. I called AhAh right away and told her she might want to hold on to Savannah and Austin’s clothes. She was so excited and went right into Auntie mode.

That day was filled with both happy and sad tears as I found out that evening we had lost Grandma Mary. My heart broke when I realized I wouldn’t be able to tell her she had another Great Grandchild on the way (her 11th). A few days later I traveled back to NJ. I was able to spend more time with my niece and get some good newborn cuddles in with my new nephew. It felt different knowing I would have my own squishy baby to cuddle with soon. I still didn’t really believe I was pregnant so I found an independent sonogram provider and decided to go get a quick peak. My first official appointment was in August where I got to see you again.

I tried really hard but didn’t end up being very consistent with weekly updates. I did have a few favorites though!

Announcement | Twelve | Fourteen | Sixteen | Twenty | Twenty-Four | Thirty

This time around I wanted to do a gender reveal party with friends. AhAh was the first to know and she ordered a fun balloon kit. Then she told our neighbor who put together the balloons for us. It was so hard to wait so long to find out, but it was fun to do it with our friends.

A few days after the gender reveal party we had your anatomy scan. I loved being able to see so much more of you.

On Wednesday, January 15th I had a Non-Stress Test appointment. I was going in weekly to monitor some early signs of preeclampsia. After feeling so off the day before I asked Daddy to stay home from work and take me. You looked great on the monitor but Mommy’s blood pressure was at it’s highest (160/92). There was a little miscommunication and we left the office before the nurse had updated my Doctor. Not 10 minutes after we left was the Doctor’s number showing up on my caller ID. She was concerned about my blood pressure and asked that we head straight to L&D. As we made a U-turn and headed towards the hospital I was in complete denial. I told myself we would be back home before lunch.  

Before we had time to process what was going on, I was in a room and on the monitors. You looked great but my blood pressure was getting worse and worse. All was pretty quiet for about 15 minutes until I realized staff were starting to enter the room one by one. Before I knew it the room was filled with nurses. I heard someone say that I was going to be admitted so they could administer BP medication. A few minutes later, there were 2 anesthesiologists my side poking around trying to find a viable vein for an IV that could last 30 days as the hospital OB stood at feet explaining that I wouldn’t be leaving the hospital until I had the baby. I was trying my best to hold it together until another nurse came in asking when was the last time I ate. That’s when I lost it. That’s when I knew something was wrong and whether I was ready or not, we would be meeting you that day. Turns out my labs from that morning had come back and I was showing signs of HELLPs.

Everyone tried their best to console me but I immediately went into panic mode. I was worried about my babies, all of them. It hadn’t been said but at only 33 weeks you would need to stay in the NICU. My other worry was your brother and sister. While I had their go bags ready we had no idea what to do with them. Your Daddy was amazing. He stepped out for a few minutes and when he returned, arrangements had been made for the kids to be picked up and stay with a friend. My Mom was arriving the next morning and my doula was on her way.

The next 4 hours were long. There was a lot of prep that needed to happen including getting started on magnesium. We asked if someone from the NICU could come and walk us through what to expect. He was very comforting and gladly answered all of our questions. He told us to plan on you staying in the NICU until your due date, March 3rd.

We were able to FaceTime with Parker and Caity but I don’t remember much as the Magnesium made me kind of loopy.

Around 3:30pm we headed to the OR. I was so excited when I found out my doula, Amanda would be allowed in the room to take photos. Everything went great and hearing you cry out was like music to my ears. My OB held you up over the curtain where I got my first look of you. Then you were whisked to the side of the room where the NICU staff was waiting. Daddy went over and held your hand. They started working immediately to get you hooked up to oxygen, your lungs just weren’t ready. They also checked your vitals and told Daddy and I you were 4lb 10oz and 17.5 inches long.

Once you were stable, Daddy went with you to the NICU where they started an IV, feeding tube, and got you settled into an isolette. They wheeled me into the NICU so I could get another glimpse of you and touch your foot. I don’t remember it, but Daddy took a picture.

We updated close family and friends but were waiting to announce your name until you met Uncle Tim. We finally got a hold of him early Thursday morning and immediately announced your arrival on social media.

The next morning Daddy went down to see you and FaceTimed with me so I could get my first real look at you. I was a little more aware which made me really sad, I wanted to hold you so bad but had to wait until the evening when I was off the magnesium drip.

About 30 hours after you were born I was able to hold you for the first time. You were so tiny and there were so many cords between your oxygen, feeding tube, and IV. The nurses were so sweet and patient with me but got you in my arms as they could. The second we were touching I took a deep sigh and just soaked you in.

I finally finished this on Mother’s Day, almost 4 months after this photo was taken. <3

The next 4 weeks were extremely difficult but I kept really good notes and all of my updates on social media so that when I am ready I can compile them for you to read one day.

DIY Ranch Chex Mix

My Mom has been making her own chex mix for as long as I can remember. It was the perfect snack when we would spend the day at the shore (East Coast Jersey girl here, holla!) Since the holidays are right around the corner I thought it would be the perfect time to share her quick and easy recipe.

Favorite Snacks:
Goldfish
Mini pretzels
Peanuts
Mini Club crackers
Chex cereal
Oyster crackers

Additional Ingredients:
Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
Vegetable Oil
Large mixing bowl
Microwave safe bowl
Gallon Ziploc bag
Cookie sheet

  • Mix all of your desired snacks together in a large bowl.
  • Separate about 4 cups into a smaller microwave safe bowl and pour 1.5 TBSP of oil in. With a spoon mix thoroughly.
  • Microwave for about 1 minute.
  • Once heated pour snacks into a Gallon Ziploc. Add desired amount of Hidden Valley Ranch Mix, we usually use about 1/4 of the packet. Use less if you prefer it weak or more if you like a strong bold flavor.
  • Shake well and pour mixture onto a cookie sheet to cool.
  • Continue process until all the snacks have been oiled, microwaved, and coated!
  • Store in an air tight container for a longer shelf life.

Back To School

I have to say this day couldn’t come quick enough! Our summer was so much fun but quite exhausting and I have a lot to get ready for our pack out in a few weeks. We decided that even though they would only be attending for 3 weeks it was best to keep them in school in Canada.

Little Miss is entering her first year of “big girl school” in the Junior Kindergarten program. I am so happy she will be with the same teachers Parker had last year, they are pretty amazing. She is most excited to ride the bus and eat lunch at school.

Buster has officially left the Kinder Yard and is making his way to the second floor. Although he isn’t thrilled with the idea of less play time and more work he is pretty excited to be in class with a few of his buddies. He is also excited about getting to participate in the milk and pizza program. He is also excited about showing Caity the ropes and teaching her what she can and can’t do, lol.

All Hallows’ Eve

~ HAPPY HALLOWEEN ~

We spent the weekend entertaining guests, painting pumpkins, attending parties, and eating more candy than we thought possible.

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We decided to continue supporting the Teal Pumpkin Project and offered a variety of non food treats for the kids. This was our stash from Walmart which was divided between a Halloween event and then our trick-or-treaters. I decided against the bubbles (pictured left) because they had no markings on them and they were a little shady looking. Well done Walmart, well done.

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I gathered up some decorations around the house to dress up the front porch a little for the kiddos.

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My parents and Rob took the kids around the block with our neighbor who is in Parker’s class. I found Caity’s costume on clearance last year and just knew she would make the cutest little Care Bear 🙂 Parker picked his outfit out at Costco, mainly for the whistle.

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I whipped up a shirt supporting my all time favorite movie, Hocus Pocus, and paired it with LLR bat leggings.

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Hope everyone has a fun filled evening with thrills, laughs, and lots of sugar.

Sissy’s Wedding Weekend

This past weekend Rob and I traveled back to NJ for my sisters wedding. It’s hard to believe she is now married and it still takes a moment to recognize her new name on Facebook. We had a fantastic weekend sans kids surrounded by family, old friends, and several new ones.

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I was so honored to create several things for their ceremony and reception. Unfortunately I was having so much fun dancing and eating that I didn’t think to take many photos. I am anxiously waiting for the professional ones to be done. They decided on a Lucky In Love theme and we found ways to incorporate various forms of lucky with wishing wells, dandelions, and horse shoes. 14457519_893909935936_4141644552529436257_n

Saturday was busy with manicures, pedicures, and I even got some hair extensions. Then the mini rehearsal, yummy dinner, followed by a hilarious round of Cards Against Humanity. That night I stayed with her for a little Sissy time although we both passed out rather quickly, lol.

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The day was beautiful, everything went smoothly, the food was absolutely amazing, and the bride was gorgeous. We spent the evening dancing and toasting the new couple as they start an amazing life together as husband and wife.

My designsBYmcm Adventure

I apologize for being so absent the last few months. You may have noticed if you follow me on Instagram that I have been playing around with my Silhouette and vinyl a lot recently.

Art Wall Decal

Although life is pretty crazy around here I decided it was finally time to take the leap and open up my online shop. Right now it is just through my Facebook Page, designsBYmcm, but I am in the process of creating a shop on My Shopify to make ordering easier.

I really want my shop to be about creating the perfect gift for someone. While I have lots of items listed, I encourage people to message me if they have an idea of something they want so I can make it happen. I continue to add more items weekly and now that I have purchased a heat press I will be adding t-shirts, decorative pillow covers, can covers, and more.

Here are just a few of my favorite items currently listed in my shop.

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I will also continue to offer digital birthday chalkboards, birth prints, invitations, and home decor prints as I have in the past.

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I am SO excited about this adventure and grateful for all the sales I have had to date. It hasn’t been easy to manage being a SAHM and starting up a business but Rob has been amazing and when I set my mind on something I am pretty much a machine to achieve anything!