Monday, February 28, 2011

One year ago today...

... two little pink lines showed up on a pregnancy test and my life as I knew it changed forever.

I'm going to cast all fears of judgement aside and really let my guard down here, so just bear with me. This might be a heavy post.

Just as I thought that big changes were about to happen for me (I was graduating college and planning a move to NYC), things seemed to go from bad to worse. The whole month of February 2010 I was moody and tired all the time, and was getting nauseous every time I took a shower- a common side effect of pregnancy; although since I had already had a negative pregnancy test a couple of weeks before, I had ruled that possibility out.  Anyway, along with that, my car decided to take a nosedive and the cost of repairs were about...oh, $4,000 too much. Seeing as I was planning to sell my car for funds for my transcontinental adventure, I was a bit peeved, to say the least. Not to mention that I still had 4 months left of my 45 minute commute to school.

I ended up having to sell my car for pretty much nothing, take the bus to and from work and take the train to and from school , which was not always fun. I was pinching pennies however I could in order to save up to buy a cheap car to use until I moved mid-summer.

I had the feeling that how I was feeling was just not right, and I suspected I might've had a urinary tract infection, so I went to the doctor and got some antibiotics for a UTI, stocked up on cranberry juice, and tried to wait it out.  About a week later, I realized that hmmm...my period is a week late again, and I never did get it at all in January (though like I said, I had taken a test in January and it was negative)...and that's when the panic and confusion really set in. I started Googling pregnancy symptoms and immediately started freaking the heck out.

* Fatigue? Check.
* Mood swings? Check.
* Nausea? Check.
* Headaches? Check.
* Frequent urination? Check.
* Missed period? Um, check.

I walked in the rain to the drugstore to buy a test (actually I bought two), came home, went upstairs, and into the bathroom.  As scared as I was, I just kept thinking it would be negative again. There was no way I was pregnant. Well, I peed on the test, sat on the counter and waited a few minutes, and then slowly, timidly, looked.

Two. Pink. Lines.

You've got to be kidding.

I was shaking, I felt like I was going to throw up. I broke out into a cold sweat. There's no way! I took out the second test, peed on it again, and frantically re-read the instructions while I waited for the results, hoping that I had done something wrong and gotten a false result. No such luck. Those damn lines again.

I ran to my room, and sat on the floor between my bed and the window, staring out at the rain pouring down the street and thinking, "This is it. My life is over" (yes, I'm kind of dramatic). I called Clay, who was at work, and broke the news. He was surprisingly calm...a little too calm. I then accused him of trying to get me pregnant. When he got off of work we went to the drugstore again and bought another test in a different brand, because I'm crazy and I was trying to rule out all possibilities. I even searched online to see if UTI antibiotics can result in a positive pregnancy test. Through it all, Clay was really composed and kept his cool, even when I was losing my mind, and I'm really thankful for that.

I called the doctor the next morning and told them that I had had 3 positive pregnancy tests, but the soonest that they were able to see me was a week from then. I couldn't wait that long! I needed to hear for sure, from a doctor's mouth, that I was indeed pregnant, and most importantly, how far along I was. I couldn't live for a week without answers. So I went to a local clinic to get blood tested and get an ultrasound, and sure enough, I was 10 weeks pregnant. As in, 2 1/2 months. WHAT?! Apparently my first pregnancy test back in January was a false negative. Thanks. They asked if I wanted to see the ultrasound picture. I hesitated. But I said yes, and they printed it out for me. A little grey lima bean in a sea of black.

But the hardest part was yet to come: telling my parents. Having to awkwardly break the news to people was by far the hardest part of this whole parenting thing to date. I grew up in a pretty conservative household. I faced judgement, lectures, pity, and ill advise from so many people. And to be totally and completely real right now, I have to admit that abortion, while something I had always been pretty against, was suddenly an option that was on the table. It was a decision that I had never actually imagined putting myself into the position of making, yet here I was. After telling my parents the news and having a major meltdown, I holed up at Clay's apartment for three days, constantly crying and most of all, praying. I felt really wrong and guilty about asking God whether or not I should keep the baby - because I knew the answer, but at that time I just really needed to talk to someone who mattered most and be stripped of everything but my raw self. No judgments. No lectures. Just answers. Quiet answers.

I remember watching a movie (and I don't even remember which one) and thinking to myself - what if the world ends tomorrow? What will be most important then? What regrets would I have? I realized then and there that nobody's judgement mattered but my Maker's. He gave me life. My mom chose life with me. Who was I to decide whether a helpless being, no matter how tiny, no matter what stage of life, would live or die? It wasn't up to me. I made certain decisions and it was time for me to grow up and take responsibility for my actions. I imagined myself, if I had chosen abortion, standing before God with my head hanging down while he asked "Why?" - because I would have no answer that would justify aborting an innocent life so that I could go on living the way I wanted to. It seemed like the most immature, selfish thing to do. After discussing the option of adoption with Clay, we made the difficult, yet easy decision to keep the baby. In a way it was a weight lifted from my shoulders to know that I was doing the right thing.

The amazing thing is, that once I made the decision to keep the baby, every thing became easier. Not easy, mind you, but so much better than it was and so much better than I imagined it being. Even with all the dirty looks and scandalized reactions, I got a lot of unexpected support. With my plans of moving to New York put on hold indefinitely, I bought a car with the small amount of money I had saved up (figuring it would be most prudent to not be saddled with a loan or car payments and have enough for a deposit on an apartment), graduated college, and prepared for life with Levi with the amazing help and support of those I love most. The whole experience really showed me the good (and sometimes not-so-good) in people, renewed my faith, and proved that I was so much stronger than I thought I was. Levi is hands down the most amazing, incredible blessing that has been bestowed upon my life and I have no regrets. There are times where I wish I had done things differently - of course I wish I had been married before starting a family - but this is the hand I was dealt and it taught me a great deal about cause and affect, maybe the hard way ;)  As for whether or not Clay and I will get married, which I get questions about a lot, I like to just say "I'd like to think so".  Vague? Yes, but I just don't want to feel rushed or pressured into doing anything else before it's time. Obviously Clay and I are already tied to each other forever, but the idea of marriage is a huge deal to me and I want it to feel right. When it's time, we'll know. Until then, Levi has a mom and dad who love him incredibly and who love each other, and what more can a baby want?

Welcome to my Crib

The big boy crib is officially set up! We spent all day yesterday rearranging furniture and assembling the crib, and I can safely say I'm glad we are done. So far Levi has only slept half of the night and taken one nap in there, we'll see how he does tonight. Yaaaay Levi!

Obviously we are going to do something about that cord hanging from the lamp...I'm off to the hardware store later today to get something to hold it to the wall.

The quilt is a handmade courtesy of Blythe!

"welcome to my criiiiiib!"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Faves!

I love.

And so does Levi.
Especially their adjustable beanies!

We have some in a couple different colors, but grey is our favorite. (Can you tell?) :]

Thursday, February 24, 2011

5 Months!

Happy *5* Month Birthday
to my favorite munchkin!!

Time flies :)

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

p.s. in honor of this, Levi thinks you should vote for us ;)
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Excuse me sir, but there's a blanket on your face.

Oh, Levi. You entertain me with something new every day.  One day it's airplane arms. The next, Terodactyl shrieks. And now, blankets on your face.

Clay started doing this game with Levi where he drops his bear blankie toy over his face and plays peek-a-boo with him. And Levi cracks up. We think this must be the origin of why he loooves hiding his face under blankets and toys and burp rags and pillows and...pretty much anything else within arm's reach. I'll look away for a second, look back, and there he is, laying there with arms at his side, with a toy resting smack dab on his face.

I let him have his fun while he is supervised, but I make sure all is clear when he goes down for naps and bedtime.

Here is some (very amateur) proof of this young man's latest trick:

What a silly kiddo. I just have to wonder, what is next? Stay tuned! :)

And wouldya, couldya please vote for us?

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Exercise in Accessories

Ok, so I've realized (not so suddenly) that I may or may not have a shopping problem. That sounds really, really superficial to admit, but it's kinda true.

Not that I am or ever will be in debt from my shopping habit (unless you count a few times where I've overdrawn my account -whoops), but still, the consumerism needs to STOP! Let's be clear about one thing, though: I am usually a big time bargain hunter. I sift through sale racks, shop low price stores like H&M, Forever 21, Nordstrom Rack, and Lohmann's, hit up second hand stores like Buffalo Exchange, and have know to come out of a thrift store with some pretty nifty finds. I can't even remember the last time I bought something full price at places like Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie.

However, I have plenty of options, wardrobe wise, and could easily make due with what I have...and then some. So I've decided that in this time of limbo of the fashion world - you know, not quite winter, not quite spring - I would save my pennies and be resourceful with the clothes I already have.

I read somewhere (and I unfortunately can't remember for the life of me where, so I can't give credit) of a girl taking 30 items from her closet and wearing only those things for 30 days, and that includes shoes. I think she gave accessories an exception, but I'm pondering including those in my 30 items. I'll get back to you on that. My 30 days will start on March 1st.  And yeah, I realize March has 31 days, so maybe I'll just put a twist on it and make it 31 items for 31 days.

One great thing about shopping your own closet is bringing out some hidden creativity and also learning the power of accessories; something I'm usually not the best at. So it is my goal from now until the end of March to not purchase a single item of clothing, no matter how cute, no matter how tempting. Nothing. Then, once the cute spring clothes really start emerging, I may have some funds to buy a few new things. On sale, of course! ;)

I'll spend the next few days looking through my closet and let you all know what items I've chose, and I'll try to take pictures every day of the outfits I ensemble.

Is anyone willing to join me??!

oh, and if you get a sec, do you think you can vote for me on topbabyblogs.com? Pretty please?

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Hi guys. I gotta be honest here: I have no idea what to blog about today.

It's just a blah kind of a day I guess. I'm uninspired. Tired. Bored.

I told myself I'd try to start blogging every day, and I've been pretty good lately. But sometimes I feel like I'm just talking (or writing, rather) to a wall. Then I start thinking if this blog is just a big ol' waste of time. 'Cause let me assure you, the time I spend blogging is certainly precious down time. Does anyone ever read it? Is it even remotely interesting to anyone?  Is what I have to say even worth saying, and does anyone even care what I have to say anyway? Ugghh. I'm just speaking rhetorically here.

Sorry for my mood. I'm not necessarily in a bad mood, you know. But I'm not in a good mood either. Like I said...


So I'll leave you with this:

(sadly, this is not my bunny)

Because everyone loves a baby bunny, even if you're in a bad mood!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I ♥ Sundays

Sigh. I'm loving Sundays so much now that we get to spend them as a family again, thanks to Clay's new job.  Today we tried to sleep in (no luck, Levi's an early bird), then we lounged around the house a little before heading off to the Cheesecake Factory to use the remains of a gift card that we got for Christmas. After that, we stopped by Urban Outfitters real quick to check out the sale section - I scored on a cute romper and a skirt and Clay got a jacket and a shirt. So much for my plan to not buy any new clothes for awhile...but they were doing an extra 30% off sale stuff! Much too tempting. I will get back on the wagon though!!!

We then headed over to Laguna Beach to attend a farewell party for my friend Jessica, who has been living in Bogota, Columbia for the past few years volunteering at an orphanage/ministry. She usually comes home to visit about once a year, then heads back to Columbia. But this time she is relocating to Peru to work, so it's a whole new adventure for her! It was nice catching up with some friends who were there and seeing Jess one more time before she leaves. :(  After that, we went home and pigged out on ice cream and played silly games with Levi.

So, Levi's been doing this really strange/funny high-pitched squeal thing lately. Actually, I'd classify it as more of a yell. He does it when he talks to his toys. He does it when strangers ogle him. He does it before drifting off to sleep. He even did it during our whole lunch today, but luckily all the tables around us had kids so I'm hoping they understood. Plus, it's definitely more funny than annoying. Anyway, whenever he does something funny and I go pull out the camera, he inevitably gets distracted and stops what he was doing to stare at the camera or at me, so I've learned I have to be stealth. The zoom lens is my new best friend.

Ok, so he caught me here too, dang it! Ohhhhzeeewellllll. Still gives you an idea of that shrill shrieking noise.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Faves!

I'm looovvviiinnnng the color palate that's been popular lately:  rusty browns and dusty, pale blues. They actually happen to be some of my favorite colors and I'm kinda glad finding clothes in these colors has been so easy! Worn together, they are magic. They really look amazing paired together and complement eachother so well. It kind of reminds me of a desert horizon...rich colored earth against a sunbleached sky. Cheesy? Maybe. Awesome? YES.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ha! Yahoo's '10 Most Irritating Parenting Tips Ever'

Saw this on my homepage yesterday and had a little chuckle. Unfortunately I've experienced about 90% of those..ahem..."tips".

I know people usually just mean well...but honestly, they need to just put a sock in it. Acting like they have all the answers and making me feel like I'm doing it wrong just adds fuel to the annoyance fire. I've been taking care of my baby practically on my own since the day we left the hospital - Clay went back to work when Levi was 4 days old and I didn't have my mom staying with us to help or anything. And being that I had virtually ZERO experience with even holding a newborn, let alone raising one, I'd say a mother's instinct counts for something. I know my own child better than anyone else.

It used to really get to me, but I've learned to a) not divulge a lot of information that leads to said "advice", and b) if it is offered, I take it with a grain of salt.  If I know that a particular person is very generous with tips, I will even kinda stretch the truth in some situations..i.e. "Oh yes...he sleeps right through the night!" simply to avoid being lectured to. Defending my parenting decisions (like not doing the cry-it-out thing, breastfeeding, supplementing, co-sleeping, etc.) only happens when I really feel the need to stand up for myself, otherwise I've discovered that it's just not worth getting into arguments over. I do what is best for my baby and if they have a problem with that, well, that's their problem. One of the only people whom I don't mind getting feedback from is my mommy, and not just because she's my mom. She has a way of being really receptive and totally non-judgemental, and I know she really cares about Levi as much as I do. Also, she doesn't really push her opinions on me unless I ask her. Which, if you know my mom, is kind of surprising! She's usually pretty opinionated...the apple doesn't fall far from the tree ;)

Question for all my mom readers: have you experienced any of these? If so, do they annoy you as much as they do me (and the author of the article)?

The sweetest face:

I took this about a month ago, but I can't get over the cuteness. Look at that little imp! Sighhhh...


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