VBAC VS Cesarean

I have been avoiding blogging (and thinking) about this but I'm running out of time. At my last doctor appointment I was told that I need to make a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian) vs elective ceasarian decision. To be honest, I was surprised my doctor even gave me an option. I thought I'd have to find a specialists to allow that but I was wrong. Here is what my doctor says:
- I'm a good candidate for a VBAC since I didn't have a failed labor with Lilly. I had a scheduled c-setion because she was frank breech.
- The risk of rupture (my uterus rupturing during labor that is) is less then 1% which is good but if it does rupture the result could be devastating. Not good.

Here are some of my thoughts on a cesarean. My doctor says that my ectopic pregnancy over the summer was probably a result of scar tissue that had built up from my c-section with Lilly. So if I have another c-section will that increase the likelihood of another ectopic if we have more kids? I also have a lot of internal scaring from that was discovered during my surgery over the summer. If I have another c-section will I get a bunch more? Some positives from having another c-section is that they would be able to remove a lot of that scar tissue and (a biggie) I would be guaranteed MY doctor. The office I go to is a group practice so if I choose a VBAC I'm not guaranteed my doctor. I will just have whoever is at the hospital at the time. So my planning loving brain is not a huge fan of that.

More thoughts about a VBAC: I've always felt a strange sense of loss that I didn't get a chance to even try to give birth to Lillian. I have also never been comfortable say that I "gave birth" to her. Because I didn't. She was surgically removed. I know that I carried her and grew her in all that but I still have trouble with that one detail. Obviously, a VBAC is not major surgery so it is less of a risk for me and healing time should be less. I vividly remember how standing up for the first time after my c-section felt and I am keen to avoid that. My biggest problems are the risk of rupture and not being able to have my doctor. Less the 1% is a pretty good statistic but the fact that it would be devastating if it happened scares me. We're talking possible loss of baby and/or uterus. I'm not sure I'm ready for a hysterectomy at the age of 26. And my first thought with not being able to have my doctor was what about being induced. Well- turns out they don't do that for VBAC's. In fact they don't do any sort of alterations to labor. And that could actually be a good thing since a lot of induced labors end in c-section.

I've been spending a lot of time praying for this situation. I have had a hard time trusting God with this. Pregnancy makes me very self protective so it's hard to give that over to him. I know his plan will be best and that it is completely ridiculous to even think that I could do any of this on my own. I have until the end of January to make my decision. I plan to spend lots of time praying and trying trying trying to give this to God. I'd love to hear from you too if you have any experience with this.

Sorry if this post seems a little disjointed- that is how my brain has been working lately.

A New Christmas Tradition

Lilly LOVES my nutcrackers. She carries them all over the house, makes them talk to eachother, brushes their teeth and feeds them. In fact, they are "asleep" with her in her room as I type. She has even given them all names. They are (from left to right in the above picture) Mouse, Pirate Santa Clause, Judy and Cracker. (Hilarious, right?!?)

Anyway, Ben came up with a fantastic idea. Pirate Santa is going to be the one visiting us on Christmas eve. Not regular old Santa. And we want to perpetuate this lie (parenting is so weird) somehow but we aren't sure how. We though maybe we could scatter a few parrot feathers on the ground or in the tree or leave the eye patch laying around somewhere... but we are not really sold on an idea yet. So I was hoping I may be able to get some help from you guys. Does anything come to mind when you think of what a Pirate Santa may leave behind when he comes to visit your house? Haha. Possibly the most redic quuestion ever. But seriously! Let me know. We need all the brain power we can to make this awesome.

Thanks friends!

Disney round two!

Last Tuesday Lilly and I got to meet our blog friend Tera. Tera works for Disney in California but was in Florida for business. Lilly and I met her at Epcot and had a wonderful day! Tera was super sick so she couldn't hang for too long but I can tell you this- if you read her blog and think she's cute in pictures- it's nothing compared to the real deal. Girl is petite! I had to ignore my usual "I'm a giant!" thoughts. ha. 

Lilly and I spent a while at Epcot where she saw Nemo, Alice and Winnie the Pooh. We also listened to an awesome band that played classic British rock and roll while in "The UK" in Epcot. Lilly was terrified at first (loud music) but mommy loved it. After that we went to the Magic Kingdom to see 'Punzel and Mickey. The park was all decked out for Christmas which was amazeballs. 

The whole day was a surprise to me and here is why: at one point Tera said "I have to be back at my hotel at 4pm to catch my airport bus but you all are welcome to stay as long as you'd like." As it was approximately one o'clock at this point I laughed in my head. Three plus hours alone with a toddles in a theme park. Ha. Laughable. BUT!!! Not only did we stay until four o'clock- we stayed until the Magic Kingdom kicked us out at 7pm due to a special Christmas event. I was super impressed with myself (not ashamed to say it) and was reminded that my first trimester exhaustion is outta here! w00t!

Thanks again, Tera!

The First Trimester

reused pic. i'm bad at taking belly pics.
First and foremost- the first trimester is over! Thank God! Here is a recap of my first trimester with baby number two.

Same as pregnancy with Lilly:
- exhaustion (duh)
- food aversion aka I didn't want to eat anything. 
- baby brain to the max! I think I sent a text to the wrong person at least once a day. And that is just one example.
- best nails ever. Thanks you prenatal vitamins. My usually craptacular nails have been made into super nails. They grow super fast (maybe a little too fast) and are super strong. I mean it's not hard to be stronger then my regular nails (once I bent a nail back digging through the laundry) but it's still awesome. 

New pregnancy symptoms:
- red meat! When I did want to eat I pretty much only wanted red meat. (I say that like it is past tense. It's not.) I make steaks at least once a week. Also- more cheese burgers then is acceptable. 
- NO COFFEE!!!!!! I didn't really start drinking hot coffee (cappuccino) until after Lilly was born so this wasn't an issue that time around. But I literally could not stomach coffee for the past 2 1/2 ish months. I had no desire for it and it didn't taste satisfying. It was such a bummer.
- super speeding time. I'm sure this is simply because this is my second time around but things seem to be moving at warp speed. I remember feeling like it took me forever to show with Lilly. Not the case this time. 
- excitement level. Lilly was a surprise so it took me a good four months to adjust to the fact I was pregnant. We had just moved and started new jobs so I wasn't in the most secure environment to begin with. 

food baby + real baby = big belly.
Basically I am super excited. We get to find out the sex of our new baby at my next appointment (at the end of January). I also have to decide whether I want to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) or opt for another cesarean. But that is a whole different post. ;)

Hope you are well!

trimming the tree

We finally decorated our tree on Sunday. We have had it for like two weeks now so it was about time. Lilly really had fun. In fact, she thinks decorating the tree is so fun she has undone and redone the bottom half about 20 times. While we were decorating we turned on some Christmas tunes and when Lilly said, "Daddy, let's dance." the dance party began. It was a lovely night.

Mommyhood Monday // Christmas Presents

Christmas 2010

Christmas and kids. This is kinda a hot button issue with me. These days kids get a lot of crap toys for Christmas. Where do you draw the line? How much is too much? I don't really know the answer to these questions but I can tell you what we are trying to do in our home. 

Lilly usually gets one big gift (and by big I mean in size, not dollar amount) and then a few little things. Last year Ben and I (err... I mean Santa) gave her a tent and some blocks and... I CAN"T EVEN REMEMBER! That kinda proves my point though doesn't it? I can't even remember what we gave her that isn't pictured. She also received Christmas presents from her grandmas and aunts and uncles so she still had more then enough when all was said and done. I guess what my point is (since I haven't really stated it) is that as parents we should teach our kids that their are more important things this time of year then getting the newest toy. If we always get them the latest and greatest (and lots of other stuff too) aren't we setting them up to become greedy and/or materialistic? In the end gifts are fun but they aren't really important (I mean, sometimes we can't even remember what they were). Instead I hope to teach Lilly things like generosity, the importance of family and tradition, and what real joy is like. 

I certainly don't have it all figured out. She may be too young this year to grasp concepts like generosity but by setting a standard she will grow to understand when she gets older. My prayer for Lilly at Christmas time is that, in the new year, she will have a renewed spirit and joy. That she will be even more in love with her family and that she will understand that real and lasting happiness comes from the ones you love and not from what is under the Christmas tree.

Mommyhood Monday (on a Tuesday night) // News

Here is a special message from Lilly:

Could you understand that? It's the real reason I've been to sick/tired/slacker blogger... 

Little Miss Lilly is going to be made a big sister in June! We are so excited! I've been trying to remember to get a cute video of her saying she would be a "big seester" for a while but you know what they say about baby brain. She asked about Emily (my SIL) in the video because we facetime with she and the rest of Ben's family a lot. I love her uber emo reaction to me saying no. That is kinda the norm around here these days. Silly girl. Anyhoo- I am almost out of my first trimester so hopefully things will be picking up around here. I'm super happy to finally let the cat out of the bag because all day long I want to tweet/post/ig etc. about having zero appetite or a weird craving or whatev. So expect that now too. Eep! 

Mommyhood Monday // Friends

I got this look from Lilly over the weekend and realized that I will FOR SURE being seeing it more and more as she gets older. The look clearly says, "Ok mom! (sarcasm) What ever you say, mom. (more sarcasm)." And while it is still cute at this age it is a good reminder that even though I sometimes wish Lilly thought of me as her BFF that isn't really how parenting works. 

Even at this stage in her life, I feel like all I ever say to her is no. "No! Don't eat that twig!" "No you can't play with that knife." "No ma'am, you may not feed your dinner to the dog." But that is my role for now. And even though it isn't my favorite role she has to understand that there are rules and boundaries. I also want to make sure that she learns to respect authority and to take direction. I have to remind myself that I want to raise my child to be an adult. But you know what?!? Sometimes it sucks! I get so sick of saying no all the time! UGH! That is part of the reason why we do things like paint in the tub because I want her to associate mommy with fun occasionally too. Can you say mommy guilt?

I thank God that I have such a smart toddler but for crying out loud could she stop looking for every loop hole to the rules I lay out for her. 

Turns out this post is more of a little therapy session for me then anything else. So... thanks for letting me vent.(insert awkward laughter here...)

Family Portrait

How amazingly cute is this? Amanda from Pencils and Daisies whipped up this amazing family portrait for me. She is such a sweetie and a majorly talented one at that. One of the greatest things about Amanda's work is that she can piece together several photos which was necessary for me because I think it must be impossible for Ben, Lilly and I to all look at the camera and smile at the same time. And, not to be totally self absorbed, how amazing is my hair! Definitely one of my favorite parts. ;)

If you are in the market for a unique gift check her etsy out STAT!

Halloween Pictures

Ok- They aren't really bad. My sister is my saving grace when it comes to pictures opportunities. I NEVER remember to take pictures at family events and she always takes plenty and sends them to me. I don't know what I'd do without her. Unfortunately her subject, Lillian, was not interested in holding still and we got started a little late so all the pics were taken in the dark using a flash. Better then nothing though! Thanks sister!!

The matching pink pants I found were WAAAAAAY too big and, of course, I didn't try them on her until that day, so went went for some cute black tights and a black skirt instead. I made the hat and tail, drew some whiskers and a nose on her pretty face and away we went. She totally got it. She would charge every house yelling "TRICKER TREATS!!!!!!" It was awesome. I got teary eyed more then once. Now if I can just get all this halloween candy out of my house life would be pretty close to perfect. ;)

Mommyhood Monday // Noodle Nose

Hey Friends! If you follow me on IG or twitter you probably already know some of these things but, you know what? I'm going to talk about they anyway!

First, yesterday was my birthday! I spent the weekend relaxing and enjoying time with friends and family. I have eaten a lot of pizza and there is more left over in my fridge. I am a happy lady. 

sleeping with noodle in nose = snoring baby
Secondly (and really more importantly), Lilly sucked a noodle up into her nose last Thursday night. I don't know how it happened, I wasn't in the room at the time, but when I came back she was wiping she was wiping her nose fiercely. We thought she may have just got some garlic salt up there (it was on her noods) so I shot some saline up there and had her blow her nose and she seemed mostly better. As the night progressed though we noticed her nose was running a lot and that she was still uncomfortable. Welp. After closer examination- we saw the noodle. Long story kinda short- I called friends, looked online, tweeted about it and checked her nose over and over before deciding to try and get it out. We could see it after all. Well, the noodle was too soft and we couldn't get it with tweezers. That was good and bad. Bad because I couldn't pull it out but good because I knew it would continue to get softer and come out on its own. A few people advised that I take her to the emergency room. I didn't feel super comfortable doing that not being sure they would be able to pull the flimsy linguine noodle out so I decided to wait until morning. (didn't I say long story short...) She did eventually sneeze it out. It was gross. She was relieved. and now she talks about it all the time. "There a noodle in my nose. All gone." 

Happy noodle free girl. 
To be honest with you I almost rushed her to the er. The stress and anxiety I was feeling over that silly little noodle wanted me to use any means necessary to get it out of my life!! Oh, and out of Lilly's nose. But, looking back, I'm glad I didn't. I am a worrier by nature and I do feel a little proud of myself for letting nature run its course without having to put any more pain and discomfort on my daughter. So my words of motherly advice are these: A small noodle will probably come out of your child's nose on its own. Thankfully, God made our bodies work so that they can deal with those sort of circumstances. Phew. 

Baby Talk V.6

I don't know how much longer I can call this feature baby talk. My girl isn't exactly a baby anymore... ah, well. Here are some of the super cute/sassy things Lilly has been spouting off with recently:

  1. Neck-a-nace: This is used interchangeably for necklace and Nicholas (a character in her favorite book).
  2. Crock-a-tail: Crocodile. A new word for her (we stick to alligators usually) but she has a new book that refers to a croc. 
  3. Don't: Alas, she has discovered a new word for no. She uses it a lot. In super fun ways like this: "Mommy, don't talk! No talking!" "Daddy, don't tickle me! No tickling!" It's way cool. 
  4. Cant: Usually goes like this- "Lilly, you need to pick up the cheerios you spilled." "No, I can't." "Lilly, it's almost time to go to bed." "No, I can't." It seems to be her answer for everything recently. So I've tried to stop using the word all together which leads to some pretty in-depth conversations about motivation that probably go way over my toddler's head. 
I know there has to be a ton more but I can't think of them now. Hopefully I can remember to write them down in the future for better documentation. 

Smudge: Attack Cat

You may not know this but I have a cat. He originally belonged to my sister but he terrorized her small dogs and house (she doesn't have a yard) so we took him. We have come to the conclusion that Smudge is basically a feral (non-domesticated) cat who chooses to come inside while it rains and accept food from us. Also, Smudge kinda loves Liberty. I took these pictures yesterday while I was throwing the ball for Liberty. Smudge like to hide in the tall grass (yes, we do have a lawn mower...) and then jump out and attack Liberty as she runs by. It makes me laugh pretty hard.

You can't really see him so I pointed him out.


Smudge has also killed 2 squirrels, 2 moles and, most recently, a rat. He does not have claws in the front. He is available for hire. ;)

MM // Halloween

EDIT: I had to change the title of this post because of the amount of traffic it was receiving from people google searching "dirty moms". Yuck.

Happy Halloween!
Ha. Just a word to the wise. Don't google search "dirty moms." Let me tell you a secret. I hate to get my hands dirty. I know, I know- what a priss, right? It's embarrassing to admit but I will go to great lengths to keep my hands clean. I have gardening gloves, kitchen gloves, bathroom cleaning gloves. I will use multiple paper towels to clean up anything I deem gross... which is a lot. I just really dislike touching things that are squishy or wet or that will leave a residue on my hands. Which you can imagine has been a bit of a struggle for me as a mom. And like I said... I dislike this about myself. So, over the weekend a took a BIG step (for me). 

That's right! I cleaned a pumpkin. I touched all the gooey guts and pulled out all the seeds. It was kinda a big deal for me. I don't want to pass on my ridiculous dread of dirty hands to Lilly. I was pretty proud of myself. ;)

ps- have you entered the lost cabin vintage giveaway yet? It ends tonight!

Mommyhood Monday (on a Tuesday) // Halloween

Over the weekend we went to the zoo and unbeknownst to us they were having a Halloween event. The parking lot was full of kids in costumes and Lilly was not. I panicked for a minute. Then I felt like a failure of a parent for another minute. Then I put on my big girl pants and got over it. Lilly was wearing the bunny hat I made her so that was something.

she was very concerned about the sad ghost.

She had a blast and got some treats but can I be honest? It stressed me out! I am stressing about Halloween! I feel a certain amount of pressure (as I'm sure a lot of moms do) to come up with something  spectacular and then to make it myself. But you know what? I so don't think that's going to happen. And we are coming down to the line here! Halloween is one week away! I'm stressing. (did I already mention that?) Yesterday I even went to Target and walked down those torn to bits aisles to see what was left. Pretty much squat. There were some cheerleader costumes or generic princess costumes but they were so expensive (for a cheapskate like me). $20+ for a costume of something she doesn't know/care about and that she will only wear once, and for only like 2 hours?!? I couldn't do it. So here we are. A week before Halloween. No costume. No real ideas. Nothing. 

I will probably just throw something together this week. After looking back at the photos from the zoo I'm thinking about just finding a matching pink tee and leggings and throwing a cotton tail and whiskers on the girl and calling her a bunny. Does that count as hand made?

Paint in the tub

Painting in the tub turned out to be one greatest things ever. Lilly loved making the mess. She loved stepping in the paint and say "Ooooh. Slippy." She even loved cleaning off the mess with a sponge. I saw this idea somewhere on pinterest but, of course, didn't pin it so I can't tell you where the idea came from. Oh, well.

ps- we used Crayola washable paints in case you were wondering. ;) 

MM // That time I cried my eyes out at Disney World

Last Wednesday we took Lillian to Disney for the first time. We weren't sure how she would respond since her only other interaction with people in animal costumes had been the Target dog and she was terrified of it. But I think the pictures really say it all. She had an amazing time. She loved everything about it and only got a little scared during Mickey's Philharmagic. 

I, on the other hand, could not keep myself together. I cried while we watched the Dreams character show, I cried when we met Rapunzel (she hugged her and said "I love you 'Punzel." How could I not?!?), I cried when we watched the parade and I cried when we met Mickey and Minnie. They were all happy tears though. It's amazing how emotional becoming a mother can make you. I mean, I was emotional before, but now it's out of control! I just imagine what it must be like for Lilly to see Jessie and Woody walk by during the parade and then hear her squeal "Jessie! Jessie!" and I am so overcome with joy that I cry.

Being a mom is pretty awesome. You get to relive all of the greatest moments in life. 


Generally, I try to keep my blog a happy place and not burden all of my lovely followers with my junk but I had an epiphany today. Some of my favorite posts by other bloggers have been ones where they open up and share what is really going on and I am comforted when I read about their "junk" because I know I'm not the only one. Based on that thought I have decided to share some of my struggles with the hope that if anyone else out there is feeling similar that they know they are not alone.

I have been feeling sad recently about the miscarriage I suffered over the summer. Sometimes I am just plain mad. When I read back through my posts about it I am really mad. Why did I feel like I had to play down the situation? Why didn't I just let myself grieve? If I had not miscarried  I would be approximately 25 weeks now. Sometimes I feel an overwhelming sense of loss. Sometimes I feel afraid. 

I need to write these words on a bunch of post its and put them all around my house because my emotions can be very overwhelming at times. If you have suffered a miscarriage, know that you are not along. And if you need someone to talk to please feel free to email me. (sara.stofferahn[at]gmail[dot]com)

So if I owe you something like an email or blog button or whatever- it's coming. My heart is heavy and I am working at a slower pace these days. 

Artsy Fartsy Photos by Lilly

My little photog. 

ps- I found this picture on the camera with the rest of this photo set. Apparently while Mommy was out with Mrs. Amy last week Lilly decided she needed to put lotion on her tattoo like Mommy does. ha.