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Monday, January 13, 2014

Best Face of 2013

When I think of our 2013, I see this.
-Priceless-


Blogging from the Hospital

What a day the past 24 hours have been. I know I mentioned I was pregnant, not sure if I mentioned it's a boy and he's due March 18. Now that that is out of the way, I'm 30 weeks pregnant and in the hospital.

Yesterday, Jon and I were laying in bed watching TV, it was around 4:30 pm and I had a big gush of water. About 20 minutes before that, I had a menstrual cramp, that stopped me in my tracks. It did go away and I never had anymore. The fluid went on my sheet and a lot went on the floor, when I stood up. I could tell it wasn't pee because I felt where it came from. It also had no ammonia smell, there was really no smell at all and it was clear. My first thought was that I was stunned and shocked. Jon brushed it off as pee at first, but I had a feeling it wasn't. I called the on-call doctor and he said if it was my fluid, that I wouldn't stop leaking and my underwear would get soaked. He chalked it up to pee and really said not to worry about it, that it may be embarrassing if I came to the hospital and was told it was pee. I hung up thinking, 'yeah it must've been pee'. By now though, Jon had smelled it, sorry if that's TMI, and he came to the conclusion that it wasn't pee and we needed to go in.

I didn't feel like rushing in. I was told if it was fluid, to lay down for a bit and when you get up if it's you're water, you'll have a gush. I laid down for 20 minutes, got up- no gush, my underwear wasn't wet in the slightest. Jon wasn't convinced and my gut said to go to the hospital. My parents came over to watch Alexis and we headed to the ER. Once in the ER, I was admitted immediately and sent to labor and delivery. I could tell the nurse in L&D thought I had just peed myself and I could tell she thought I was dumb for coming in. I really didn't care and was not going to leave embarrassed if I was told it was pee. I was going to leave feeling relieved that I was checked out and it was only pee.

She did the swab test and surprise it came back positive for amniotic fluid present in the vaginal canal. She looked surprised, I for sure wasn't. I will say my emotions were going crazy. How bad was the leak or break? Was he coming tonight? He's not ready, he needs to cook for 2 more months. Our Disney plans for this Friday went out the window and I cried knowing we wouldn't be taking Alexis back to Disney World as an only child. I cried because she didn't know what was going on. I cried because it was her first full night away from me since she was born and I couldn't put her to bed. In between the crying, I would be ok with everything and then it would hit again. Is the baby going to be ok? Am I going to be ok and live so my kids have their mom? I know- dramatic, but really I was scared. There was a lot of praying going on.

The on call doctor, that I had talked to earlier, came in. I wasn't too pleased with what he told me on the phone. He came in and said, "what made you come in?" I told him it was my gut and instinct that something wasn't right. Jon was pushing me in as well, I'm glad he did. He came in with a student, didn't expect that, poor guy had to see it all. Anyway, he did the speculum exam and looked all up there. He said my cervix was thick and closed, which is a good sign. He couldn't see where it was leaking, even after coughing, he didn't see any fluid coming out. He asked the nurse to run another swab test and it still came back positive. Because of the two positives, I was admitted for monitoring.

This is where I am. They are administering steroid shots to help boost the baby's lungs, in case he has to come early. I'm getting around the clock antibiotics, in case of infection. Basically, I'm here resting. I haven't had any more leaking, that I have noticed. The pad they have me wear, nothing. I'm praying it's so small, that it will seal on it's own. As big as the gush was, I'm surprised they couldn't see anything. There was also an ultrasound done and he had plenty of fluid as of last night. I'll probably get another one today. Just the waiting game for now.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Latest & Greatest



Two months since the last update. That's pitiful.

First things first, remember I said I was pregnant? Well, baby is doing great! Let me tell you what a relief that is. I am just now getting excited about it and the worrying has gone away. I am 19 weeks tomorrow and we had our anatomy scan last week. We are expecting a little Boy! Jon is thrilled, that's what he was hoping for. I didn't care either way, although I was hoping Alexis would get a little sister, but maybe next time. I am happy for my little boy and feeling him kick just makes it more real. We have picked out a name- Isaac Samuel and he is due March 18, but probably sooner if I have another c-section.

This pregnancy has been going pretty good, besides my nerves in the beginning. I haven't had much morning sickness, only threw up 2-3 times. I had nausea more and certain things trigger my gag reflex. With Alexis I was sick for 20+ weeks, it was awful. I'm glad it turned out the way it did this time, I was able to take care of Alexis much easier than if I was really sick. I haven't gained a pound yet. I'm so proud of that. Because I'm overweight, the doctor only wants me to gain 15lbs. That was my goal last time with Alexis, but ended up gaining about 30.

My goal lately has been to find some maternity clothes and not spend a ton. With Alexis I had 4 maternity shirts and 1 pair of maternity capris. This time I want more choices in my wardrobe. That's my mission right now.

Jon may be getting another Job. I'm kinda hoping he does and we can get into a bigger place where each kid can have their own room. We'll just see what happens.

This is what she really thought about having a sibling.


Honestly she really doesn't get it right now or care for that matter.



I'm going to soak up the time I have with her as my one and only.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Updates

I haven't updated in quite a while! I get burned out of things pretty easy. Especially when I go at it full force. Lately it was couponing and now I'm burnt out of it. Not going to stop saving money, I just figure I don't need a stockpile of 50 razors, even if they were free. Anyway, there's a lot going on right now.

Zyrtec- remember the updates I had promised and stopped after 2? Well, I'm happy to say I am off of Zyrtec completely. I haven't had to take any in a couple months. Hives do occasionally pop up here and there, but definitely not like they used to. No more Zyrtec!

Alexis- is 3 now! Where did the time go? In 2 years, she'll be starting kindergarten. I can't fathom that. Just means I'm getting older. She is such a little ham and talker, has some personality, but is also stubborn like both her parents. She loves hats, "the river" (pool), playing pretend, building, trucks, trains, airplanes, and helping me. She loves to help out and you can tell it just makes her feel great. She knows her body parts, abc's, counting to 10, and sings pretty much everything. This past week Jon's mom came to visit. We haven't seen her in 4 years, which means Alexis has never seen her. She did great with Grandma Cookie. Warmed right up to her. It was awesome. (more news below!)


The last bit of news I have-


She is going to be a big sister! This baby G is confirmed to be in the right spot, yes! no ectopic, and we saw the heartbeat last week. Due date is March 18, 2014 and I am 9 weeks 2 days along right now. I've been feeling great for the most part. The biggest symptom I have is sore boobs. My house makes me nauseous, it's the strangest thing, and so does thinking of couponing. I'm kinda hoping for another girl, so Alexis has a sister and vice versa, but I know Jon wants a boy and that's what he thinks it is. Just have to wait and see!

Friday, May 31, 2013

A Zyrtec Update

Let's see. What has been going on. Well, my last update was 3 days ago and as of then, I hadn't taken Zyrtec in a few days. The day after, I wrote that post. I had a rough day.

It started off with my seasonal allergies acting up. Right away in the morning, I had a runny nose, itchy eyes, and I couldn't stop sneezing. Which reminded me why I would take allergy medicine in the first place. Also, Alexis lately has just been off the charts with whininess and temper tantrums, dramatic much?, that it really took it's toll on me Wednesday. I think a part of it is she's over tired. I'm adding her naps back, but earlier like noon time, so she still goes to bed at 7:30. I was really nervous about everything all day. I felt really anxious about everything. It was making me sick. I'm not usually like that. Worrying about everything, especially bills, because I figure why worry about things I can't change? But I was crazy worried about finances and this weeks bills. I really believe that it was part of the withdrawal symptoms.

The hives started that night. Instead of taking 2 pills, I took 1. The anxiety seemed to get better with it too. It's now Friday night and I haven't taken any zyrtec since Wednesday. Short update for now. Worked all day helping out my dad and am worn out.

Maybe I should take a pregnancy test?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What I'm Learning about Zyrtec

I have taken Zyrtec for allergies for at least 6 years, probably more like 10 years now (16 years old), possibly longer. I've always had bad allergies, especially to cats, pollen, etc. Zyrtec helped me more than anything and unlike Benedryl, I didn't pass out after taking it. 

A weird thing happened to me in 2007, I got hives, that were really welps, one day while at work. I had ran out of Zyrtec and didn't have anything to take because I thought it was an allergic reaction to something. They turned into the size of two half dollars on my thighs and then were going down my legs, on my arms, and some had started on my face. My work let me run to the closest store to get something for it. I picked up Zyrtec, took it and the itchiness stopped and the hives started to go away with in a couple hours. 

After work, when I had time to think, I was trying to think what could have caused my hives. I hadn't changed soaps, detergent or anything like that. The only thing I could think of was they started around the time my grandpa had died suddenly from a heart attack. I figured the sudden life change and the stress of work made my body just break out in hives. I mean what else could it have been? Zyrtec seemed to keep in under control, so that's what I would take when I felt them coming on. 

Fast forward to May 27, 2013 and I still believed that's what was causing my hives. Yep, for the past 6 years I have been getting hives and thought that was my bodies way to release stress. Sounds stupid, but that's all I could come up with. Yesterday, I was reading some posts on my favorite couponing site and someone posted that a withdrawal effect of Zyrtec was hives/ overbearing itchiness. I had a serious no way/ 'AHA!'/ shock moment. And then it all made sense. 

I would only take Zyrtec when I felt the hives coming on, which is probably every other day to every 3 days. i would then take 2 pills because I figured I haven't had one in a few days that 2 would be ok. They would make the hives go away and I'd go about my life. I would have never thought in a million years that, that is what was causing the hives. A catch 22. After doing research, many people have had this problem and some every worse withdrawal symptoms. I never would have thought I would have to go through Drug Withdrawal on an allergy medicine. Never done any drugs in my life. My plan is to slowly wean off. I think this is ridiculous and there are no warning labels about it either. Some who have contacted the company about it claim they have no clue what they are talking about.

I'm going to post my updates here and probably pictures. I didn't take any today, nor yesterday, so in 2 days I haven't had any. I would usually take 2 pills when I felt the itchiness starting, so when I feel it coming I will take one pill and then half them from then on til my bottle is empty. I'm actually really nervous. I remember what it was like in 2007 not having anything. It felt awful and the itchiness was really severe, that it just made you crazy. 

Anyone else every experience anything like this? 

 If you're on Zyrtec, seriously think about getting off it. It's not a good drug. I should say it is the actual drug they use to make it - Centrizine. Even the generic version does this. 



{Me in 2007}



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Before, After & How

This past weekend, I got to photograph 6 month old Baby Carter. And I really wanted to show a before and after of one of the photos from his first time at the beach.  I shot some of him at his house, out in the yard, but they wanted some beach photos as well. We get to the beach and he's asleep, which is ok. We let him sleep and they said he is a short napper. Our girls ( 10 months apart) played together in the water while we let him get his cat nap. By now it's 6:45pm and the lifeguard drives by saying we have to get our cars off the beach. Apparently, they close the beach to drivers at 7pm. We had no idea. Carter gets up and dressed in his little outfit.

I shoot in manual, so I set my settings and start shooting. Well, because we were so rushed, I kept moving around and not really focusing on my settings and I get this -

Settings- f2.8, 1/1600 s, ISO 200

Looking at it, I was disappointed because I didn't think it was fixable. I like quick, easy fixes (who doesn't?) and this just seemed far from it. I could not have fixed this photo without shooting in RAW. If you don't shoot in RAW yet, do it. It will save you many, many times.

Opening up RAW, the first thing I'll usually do is crop, but I didn't crop this one. Then, there's a default button and an auto button. I'll usually click the auto button, just to see what the program will 'fix' and sometimes it works and most times it doesn't. This time, it worked to correct the background and the sand by lowering the exposure by -1.20, the contrast by -1, and the blacks -26. This made Carter really dark, where you couldn't really see him. I slid the shadow slider all the way to +100 and it fixed it some, but it needed more.

Then, I went to the adjustment brush tab. With a brush size of 32 and feather size of 100, I bumped the exposure up to +15 and shadows up to +60 and brushed over Carter and the Blanket area. Then, I took a new brush, with the same adjustments, and just clicked over Carter. Carter can now be seen and not with really any shadows, which is what i wanted.

Because I had lightened him so much, I had to go to the Detail tab, by the Basic tab, and turn the luminance up to 22, to get rid of some grain. Time to be sent to Photoshop.

In Photoshop, I use actions *gasp*! I figure why do it the long way, when I can have an action do exactly what I was going to do anyway? I use the Pioneer Woman's action Boost at 70% opacity. Then, I used CoffeeShop Baby Powder Room on his eyes at a low opacity. Last, I used Morning Glory by Florabella Actions at 30%.

Using the clone tool, I got rid of his little baby drool and cleaned up the background of distracting objects. Done.

Here is my After-


And side by side-