Monday, March 30, 2009

Fight FOCA!

I'm asking anyone who is willing to sign the fight the Freedom of Choice Act.  You know the one that President Obama has promised to sign lifting the ban on partial birth abortions and allowing underage children to have abortions without parental consent.  This is one way you can make a difference!  Here's the link:

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I did not realize it has been more than a week since I posted!  My how time flies...  I don't have enough time to do one of my monolithic longish posts right now, but I will soon.  I have lots of things to talk about and lots of pics that need to go on here.  Here is a sneak peek of the topics I have doing loop-da-loops in my head:  breastfeeding, Could my future profession be a) lactation consultant b) doula c)  midwife? and I really do need to do an update on Ailey, Zekey and Braden, plus we just got back from a visit to East Texas (that would be why I haven't commented lately:) and I need to post about that trip and put up some pics.  There are more things, but Ailey Grace (that's what I'm calling her, Sam is calling her Gracie, Braden also calls her Ailey Grace, Zekey just calls her Baby and those that apparently have trouble pronouncing her name are calling her Grace or Gracie, as well. Yeah, seems that Ailey, pronounced long I-lee is difficult to say and the tendency is to say long A-lee instead. :), is sleeping and I need to go to sleep as well.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lots of Pics

I thought some more pictures were warranted, so here they are:

Meemaw and her first granddaughter.
They were all trying to sit in the chair at the same time...poor Meemaw!  Well, maybe just lots of lovin' going on.

I think she may already have a hold on Peepaw...uh-oh!
Tuckered out on Nina's shoulder
Sweet sleep
2nd bath
Daddy put her in a sleeper hold...he's good at that!

Meemaw and Peepaw lovin' on their grandkids.

This is her serious pose...:)
Love those boys!
Braden close up
Isn't that hat so stinkin' cute?  The baby pretty cute, too. ;p

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Delayed,but still relevant...Duh It would help if I posted the pics!

Here are some things that I talked about in posts past, but didn't get a chance to follow up on until now.

Remember that lemon chess pie I wanted to try?  Yep, I made it.  I think I made it the day or two before my water broke.  Here it is in all its lemon splendor:

Even though the author of the recipe over at chickens in the road said it was super lemony, I do believe I would like it even more so.  I like a more tart lemon taste than sweet.  Don't get me wrong, the sugar factor has to be there, too, but I do like the tart to be a little more prominent.  That means I'm going to have to make it again (well, someone has to take one for the team!:) and this time do a little experimenting.... MMMMmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!  Yummy!  The things in the last two pics are my own invention.  They are kinda like a breakfast casserole mini muffin.  I put little hashbrown discs in the bottom of a greased mini-muffin pan, then poured some scrambled egg mixture over them (eggs with a tad of milk and salt and pepper and whisk it till its frothy), I put crumbled already cooked bacon in, then sprinkled some grated cheese over that and then I put little cutouts of some thawed biscuits (we get the frozen pillsbury biscuits and I thawed them out, then rolled them out a bit and got the donut hole part of my donut cutter and cut out little mini-biscuits) as the toppers.  I popped them in the oven at 375 for about 10-15 mins (Sorry, was winging it and don't remember exactly).  Just make sure the egg is cooked and the biscuit is golden brown and they are done.  They turned out really yummy, but I think that a spicy breakfast sausage would make it taste even better.  That's what I'm gonna try next time.  I'll let you know.

Another thing of note that she put on her blog is Quick Mix.  Its homemade Bisquick.  Yeah, after seeing the biscuits she made with it and then all the other stuff, like muffins and pancakes, etc. that you can make from it, I have decided to try it.  I'm also going to make it partly whole wheat and add in flax seed as well.  If you haven't mozied on over to her blog and checked out her recipes, I highly recommend you do so.  There's a whole lot of homemade yumminess going on over there!  Plus, she gives excellent recipes for making things yourself at home that would normally be an expensive buy at the grocery store.  There's more than just recipes, of course, but I'll let you get hooked on her blog all on your own.  I'm just providing the link. :)

Okay, I mentioned the Moby Wrap on  my post A few of the maternity/nursing things that I love.....  My sister, Sara, got it for me and Ailey Grace and let me tell you its absolutely wonderful!!!  It took me a couple of times putting it on and putting her in it to get the tightness just right, but after that its not big deal to get it on quickly.  The first time I put her in it, she was in there for about a minute and then she was sound asleep and stayed in there for quite a while.  I was even able to do the dishes while she was in it.  Right now I have her in it and she's sleeping while we rock in the rocking chair and I type this up.  Yeah, love this thing!  Oh, the other day while my mom was visiting, we went to Chic- Fil-A and then she and I later went to the mall to just walk around for a while and I had Ailey in the Wrap at both places.  Lots of people stared, but I think it was more because they were trying to figure out what it was.  Several people came up to me and said, "Is that a baby?!" and then just thought the wrap was so neat.  We were in the baby department at Sears and a pregnant lady asked me where I got it and of course I couldn't remember the exact website!  So frustrating!!  Then, we went into Motherhood Maternity and got asked the same question.  So, I've decided to keep some Mommy Business Cards with me for those type of occasions.  Some will have all my contact info on it and some will just have my name and blog address, so that I can refer people to what they ask me about.

On the same previous post, I talked about the My Brest Friend nursing pillow.  Yeah, I love it, too!  It MUCH sturdier than the Boppy and I like that it clips around me.  That way I can get up and walk around while she's still nursing if I want to.  Right now Ailey is small enough that I can nurse her sans pillow without my back or neck hurting, but the bigger she gets the more I'm going to be using that pillow!

One more thing that was on that post was the Breast Soothers.  Seriously, if you get engorged, I highly recommend them!  It does say on the package not to put them in the freezer, but I needed them colder and colder longer than what just the refrigerator provided.  The neat thing about them is that they have gel in them and don't freeze solid.  They are still pliable right out of the freezer, so the points of contact were enormously better than ice packs.  Plus, they are reusable and for me that's good since God may decide to give us more kiddos! :) I'm going to lend them to my sister Mollie and I'll let you know what her verdict is, so you have more than just my opinion.  You'll have to wait until June for that, though. 

So, I mentioned that my mom came this past weekend.  We had such a good time.  She actually stayed in the Best Western right down the street from us .  That worked out well because when she got tired, she just went back to her motel room to rest.  We've been blessed with being able to stay at Grandmommies' house when we go "home" for a visit.  We have it all to ourselves and its very much like staying in a private bed and breakfast.  When we need down time, we are able to go take naps or watch a movie or whatever and its just us in the house.  Soooo nice!  When we have a house, I would really like for the guest area to be as separated as possible from the rest of the house for those same reasons.  Visiting with family and friends is so much nicer when you aren't on the go the whole time and you are able to take some time for yourself if you need to.  Anyway, about my mom ;p  Over the years, she has been almost solely responsible for our kids having clothes to wear year round.  I'm not kidding.  If you wonder where I get my delight for bargain shopping, wonder no more!  It totally my mom's doing!  She almost has a sixth sense for bargain shopping.  Its amazing.  I have to admit, though, that she can out shop me any day.  I have never been able to keep up with her.  I usually end up copping a squat on a bench somewhere and just waiting for her.  I've even gone out to the car and taken a really good nap at times. Well, on this visit she brought a ton of clothes for Ailey.  She also brought some more for the boys.  Guess what, they were all bought on sale, too!  All I have to say is, "Thanks a ton, Mom!!!  You are amazing!"  She also had Braden spend the night with her at her motel room.  We went the next day to pick him up to go to church and of course he had had lots of fun.  The interesting thing was that Mom's room was ginormous!  It was on the bottom floor of what amounts to a tower of rooms with a stairwell between it and the rest of the buildings of the motel.  The room didn't have any other rooms on any side of it only above it.  It had a king size bed and the standard table, tv, fridge and all that.  It had a closet and vanity and bathroom at one end as well.  The leftover space in the room could have easily fit another king bed plus a twin or two.  It was seriously huge!  I'm going to have to keep in mind to ask the next place we stay if they have something like that, since we now have two beds we'll have to take with us on trips.

Well, I think that's enough yakking for one day.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Zekey's thoughts on poo - The other day I was holding Ailey and was getting Braden and Zekey something to eat and she took the opportunity to push out a very noisy poo.  Zekey immediately responded with an "EEEeeeeew!" and continued to repeat it a few more times for good measure and we all had a good laugh.

Latest Bradenism - After giving Braden some medicine to help with all the junk he's got going on, he walked around the house and then came back and stated that the medicine wasn't working, it was just wobbling around inside him.

Diaper update - Well, all that hard work....I finally tried one of the cloth diapers on Zekey and it looked like he was in one of those speedos that isn't quite large enough.  Think large man in little speedo at the beach!  Okay, not quite that bad, but he's definitely too big for them. He wears a size 6 in disposables. He's just a big boy. We get comments all the time about how big he is for his age. :)  Braden gets the he's-tall-for-his-age comments, but he's lanky.  So, how about the diapers for Ailey? Well, let me give you a visual comparison.

I don't know if you can tell, but the bulk of the cloth diaper is quite a bit more than the disposable.
The cloth diaper is folded down to the newborn size.  If she was wearing the cloth diaper, she'd be doing the splits and have to stay that way.

Basically, the cloth diapers are a "bit" big on her at this time.  In all truth, so are the disposables.  She has such a little bottom.  Well, she's just little in general.  We have her in newborn clothes, but she swims in them.  She's too long for preemie, but the width is still big on her.  I will use those diapers eventually, but for now, we are going with the newborn disposables until she gets bigger.  I am using the flannel wipes for her.  What a difference those make!  She barely complains when I change her diaper because I just wet them down with warm water and its soothing for her.  Plus, they get all the yuck off without scouring her little bottom.  I haven't used them with Zekey yet because, frankly, he's got some massive nasty poos and I'm skeert!  I'll have to start our with the tee-tee diapers first and work up my courage.  I'll keep you posted on that adventure... 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ailey Grace is a week old....well, was a week old. :P

Monday was the one-week mark.  I can't believe she's already a week old.  It seems like yesterday that Sam and I were still marveling at her not even being a day old yet.  How interesting time is.  I just wanted to share how the one-week check up with the mid-wife went.

First, I had to bring us all with me.  The boys are still having fevers of 100.5 each, so I couldn't take them to daycare.  I wouldn't have wanted to anyway.  I want them to have more of a recovery time first.  Our appointment was at 12:15, so I tried hard to get everyone loaded in the van and ready to go, but we still ended up being a couple of minutes late.  I'm really glad Jennifer doesn't mind about that usually. :)  All I have to say is I'm grateful that Braden can buckle himself in!  Zekey finally got into his seat and then I got Ailey into hers.  She did NOT like that.  I was relieved that the drive to the birth center was so very short, less than five minutes, so I didn't have long to listen to her cry.  She did go back to sleep before we got there, though.  Finally, we arrived.  Here's how that all played out...

We all get out of the van and head into the center.  Both boys are sniffling back snot and look the worse for wear.  Braden is complaining about not having his water to drink.  We go back to one of the rooms to get Ailey and me checked out.  I sit down in the rocking chair and Braden sits on the rolling stool, leaving Zekey to kind of stand there in a daze until he decides he wants in my lap.  (He's been doing that a lot lately and gets so irritated when I'm holding Ailey or typing on the keyboard or eating.  You know, the usual.) So, he climbs up in my lap and my isn't it cozy with all three of us. :)  Anyway, Ailey and I get our blood pressure, heart rate and temp checked and then she gets her second PKU done. By this time, Braden starts whining and trying to boss Zekey around at the same time.  Zekey decided he needed to run around in circles and touch everything he saw.  Ailey was crying through the PKU ordeal.  She got pricked twice.  I must say that the way they do it at the birth center is way better than at the hospital or doctor's office!  They prick the heel and then pick the baby up to let gravity work. She also didn't "milk" the blood out.  She was patient and gentle and even though with the second one she had to prick her again, those are the fastest PKUs I've ever seen!  I've witnessed 6 so far and Braden and Zekey both had numerous heal sticks for blood collection for other tests.  Seriously, why don't they teach the method/technique the mid-wives use for the nurses at the hospital and the doctor's office?  There's such a huge difference!!!  Anyway, about this time Braden decided he was hungry and made that known.  Then he waited a whole two minutes before saying, "Momma, why aren't you giving me any food?!"  To which I replied, "Do you see any food here for me to give you? No?  Then you need to be patient and wait."  The midwife asked the necessary questions about feeding, pooing and all that and she's doing very well.  As a matter of fact, Ailey had already regained her birth weight.  That was exciting for me to hear.  It was yet another testament to the fact that the breastfeeding is going the way it should be.  Thank you, Lord!  Finally, we were done and it was time to go home.  I must mention that Braden didn't stop complaining about wanting water, food, a place to sit (Zekey had gotten in "his" seat after he got up), etc. the whole time we were there.  Poor Zekey just was flat out tired and ready for his nap.  So we all piled back into the van (that whole process is going to take some getting used to as well as a bit of experimentation to get it down just right) and we went back home.  Yay! Our first successful outing with just me and the kids. At least now, I know it can be done!  

Finally!....Ailey Grace's Birth Story

Warning!!!  Bodily functions involving birthing a baby follows....just so you know. :)

 Now for the whole story...

After my water broke on Sunday at about 4 pm, a whole lot of nothing happened.  I kept having the Braxton Hicks type contractions throughout the day, but nothing to indicate that labor had actually started.  I called my mid-wife right after my water broke to let her know and to find out what the plan was.  She wanted contractions that were at least 7 minutes apart lasting at least a minute in length.  We started calling everyone to let them know that we were at least heading toward having a baby.  I called Nina and she headed our way.  I also called my sister Jennifer and she and her husband decided that they could share her with us and she started on her way.  I decided to go for a walk hoping that it might help things out.  Really, it just made me tired. :)  I have to admit that I had been a bit nervous the whole week because I didn't know how this birth was going to go.  I was also a bit afraid of the pain and the fact that I would not have any kind of chemical pain relief options.  I had already had a natural birth with Zekers with no meds at all, but that was in a hospital.  I was just having to give lots of doubts and fears to the Lord and rest in Him.  At around 8 pm, I took a sample of my amniotic fluid in to the birth center so my midwife could make sure it was actually amniotic fluid and not something else.  She confirmed that it was indeed my water that had broken and that we had until the following day at 4 pm to have this baby before having to go to the hospital.  At this point I prayed that I would have this baby by noon the next day.  After that, I went home and I was so tired, I just went to bed to try and sleep.  Donna and Jennifer got in and everyone went to sleep.  

I didn't start actually having real contractions until a little before 2 am. and they were very erratic. They were coming consistently, but they were varied in the length of time between and how long they were lasting.  I was also having trouble eating anything of substance.  All food made me want to gag.  Anyway, my midwife said I needed to eat because it sounded like that and a lack of sleep was making my contractions act that way.  So, I forced myself to eat some protein and I attempted to go back to sleep.  Between having to get up to go to the bathroom and the contractions continuing to come about every hour, I still didn't get a whole lot of rest.  

The consistent contractions started coming around 7:30-ish am and only a few of the contractions made it to a minute in length or more.  Donna, Jennifer and Sam all took turns applying pressure to my lower back during my contractions.  At almost 9:30, after several VERY intense contractions, I called my mid-wife and let her know about the contractions and she said to come on in to the birth center in about 30 minutes.  Donna stayed at home with Braden and Zekey and we made it there at about 10:15. By then, I was having some super duper contractions!  The mid-wife checked me and said I was 6 cm dilated and that I could go ahead and get in the tub.  So, in I went and continued to labor.  My sister Jennifer was amazing!  She acted as a doula for me and kept me from tensing up through my contractions.  She also kept encouraging me.  Sam was also just superb.  He let me latch onto his arm and stay there until she came out all the while loving on me and encouraging me and telling me what a good job I was doing. :)  Man I love my husband!!!!!  Jennifer and Sam also took turns applying pressure to my lower back.  I seriously don't know what I would have done without that pressure, it made such a difference!  (Remember about the fear of pain?  Well, God totally took care of that with having Jennifer, Donna and Sam apply that pressure and making me the way I am.  I go into concentration mode and just get through it.  Yes it hurts, but God gives me the strength and ability to deal with it all.  Amazing!  So, yet another prayer answered!) 

The water birth experience was really great. (Prayer from the beginning of the pregnancy answered.  I didn't want to deliver in the hospital and I wanted to have a water birth.) I felt a lot lighter in the tub and it allowed me to remain on my knees leaning forward which was the best position for me.  I got to the pushing stage rather quickly.  I could feel the burning sensation better known as the ring of fire to most.  I was able to reach down and feel her head coming out.  That was cool. I was never able to do that before!  It felt like one of those thin plastic balls that didn't have enough air in it.  Kind of crinkly. :)  I wanted to push, but Jennifer urged me not to at first.  One of my main goals was not to tear this time and pushing too soon is usually the culprit for that.  So, instead of pushing, I just relaxed and my uterus actually started pushing for me.  I went through a couple more contractions that way and then I gave the next a little push myself and could feel the baby coming out.  I announced that she was about to come out, the mid-wife got into position and the next contraction I pushed again and the baby was out!  The mid-wife was holding her facing down and head away from everyone.  Sam said that he was thinking that there was some hardware missing and announced aloud, "That looks like a girl!"  I looked up at him and said, "Really?  A girl?!"  Yep, the Dyess boy trend had thus been ended...  We were seriously in shock.  Jennifer said that even before Sam announced we have a girl that Jennifer thought her cry sounded very girly. :)  So, she was born at 11:03 am. (Prayer from the day before when I asked God to let me have the baby before noon was answered!  Isn't God so faithful and amazing and wonderful???!!!)  I laid back in the tub for a bit with her, while I pushed out the placenta.  Even that part was way different than the hospital!  I didn't do it right away and it was a very calm,  none of the pulling on the cord trying to yank it out kind of thing. (Another prayer answered.  I had prayed for so many specific things for this pregnancy, labor and birth and time and time again, God just answered them to the utmost!)  So after the placenta came out, I stayed in the tub a few more minutes.  The midwife checked to see if I tore and saw only surface lesions!!!! Praise the Lord!!! (Yep, another prayer answered!) Jennifer got to cut the cord and just so you know, that's totally not Sam's thing, so he was more than glad for Jennifer to get to do it.   Of course, Aunt Jenny was excited to cut the cord!  She has had four babies, three of them homebirths, and this was the first time she got to cut the cord.  How cool is that?!  

Then it was time to hand our little girl over to the mid-wives.  My mid-wife has two students, one of which was able to make it there in time to participate in the birth and the other arrived shortly after.   Anyway, they took her to get a diaper on her and wipe her down really well, while I got out of the tub and made my way to the bed.  Our little Ailey Grace got weighed and then measured and everything.  I got checked out, too.  One of the neat things for me was going to the bathroom for the first time after birth.  I actually walked in there on my own!  That's when I really noticed that my pubic bones had not separated at all and that I really didn't have pain in that area, just soreness.  Yep, I had been praying about that, too and wouldn't you know it, God answered that one, too.  Wow.  

Next, we just waited through the observation period.  Sam went home to get Donna and the boys so they could all meet Ailey Grace and he also brought me some much needed food.  Yum!  After the meet and greet, Sam took Donna and the boys home, so Zekey could get his nap and then Donna came back to the birth center to come pick me up. Here's where God answered another prayer.  I did not want to spend more than one night away from home.  Less than four hours after Ailey's birth, we were home and Sam and I were attempting to get a nap in.  Nice.

More answered prayers follows:  We had dealt with jaundice issues with both of our boys due to me getting seriously engorged when my milk came in.  I asked that God would allow my milk to come in during the day this time  instead of the middle of the night as it had done both times before.  Well, He totally answered that prayer, too.  My milk started coming in during the morning and I was able to monitor it throughout the day.  As soon as I felt like it was getting to the point where Ailey was not able to keep up with the amount of milk I was producing, I started taking Advil to make sure the swelling stayed down.  The next day, I started to use the Breast Soothers gel packs off and on all day.  (It says not to put them in the freezer so as to keep from causing freezer burn on your skin, but in my case, I need them that cold to make the swelling go down and stay down enough to let the baby latch on and nurse.)  I also have to massage the milk ducts and help the milk let down.  It doesn't do it on its own at this point until after the engorgement stops.  I'm just grateful I was able to do all of these things to keep the engorgement at bay before it got too bad.  Ailey nursed the whole time with no latch on problems.  She did have a little bit of yellow show up, but it never progressed beyond her cheek area. She had pooed about five times the first day and then two times the next day and once the third day. (The first time being when she came out and she left a lovely present on my belly. ;) Basically, she got all the meconium out of her body. So no jaundice issues this time, either!  Again, gotta give God praise!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Heavenly Father!   

Donna stayed until Thursday afternoon and let me tell you, we couldn't have managed without her!  She is definitely a God-send.  Sam got sick Tuesday the day after Ailey was born, then Braden got sick and then Zekey follow suite.  I would have been a basket case if Donna had not been there.  I really didn't have my usual emotional breakdowns until everybody was sick and even then, I just continually gave it to God and boy-howdy did that ever make a huge difference!  Donna's presence was just so reassuring!!!  She also cleaned and made us meals and took the kids for walks, so we could take a nap...I am so grateful that God blessed us with such a wonderful person!  She's all of our kid's godmother and she's become family, along with Padrino (Juan, her husband and godfather to the kids), of course.  Thursday night was interesting since there wasn't anyone else there but us. I had to make a trip to Walmart to get some things and rode the wheelie cart around.  I later had to go to Walgreens for medicine.  It was nice to get out of the house even though I probably shouldn't have done all that.  Even though he didn't feel good, Sam stepped up to help with the boys' bedtime preparations.  I did what I could and somehow we managed. ;p  

The next day Sam's parents came and that was nice.  They were a big help in so many ways.  They spent time with the kids and held Ailey lots and helped with cleaning and food and just generally taking care of us.  What a blessing!  They went back home the next day in the afternoon and we were once again on our own.  I think we handled it okay.  Sam was feeling much better by Saturday and I was getting better every day.  I still had weakness in my lower back and uterine area, but the Advil was helping with that.  

Sunday came and we couldn't go to church because the boys still had fevers.  We just spent the day resting and watching movies and enjoying our family as much as possible with two sick kiddos.  BTW - God has kept Ailey Grace and I healthy and well.  I was starting to get a little worried about that, but He is faithful and didn't give me more than I could handle.  Praise Him again and again!!!

I will give all the details of the one-week check up in another post.  I hope you enjoyed the birth story.  Here are more pictures:

We had to put her in green since we didn't have any girl clothes, yet.
Isn't her double chin so cute?

Mid-wives - Jennifer, Amissa and Lisa
Braden just wanted to get his hands on her and just loves holding her!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thank You

I just wanted to say thank you all for all the awesome comments!  I've really enjoyed reading them and being encouraged by them!  Thank you for caring so much for us.  Blessings to you all.  I do have a prayer request.  Sam is now better, but Braden and Zekey are still fighting off fevers.  God has totally kept me and Ailey Grace healthy and well, so praises to Him there, of course.  I just have a hard time seeing my boys sick!  I just want them better pronto!!! :)  BTW - still working on the birth story post.  I think this is the longest its ever taken for me to write anything, but its involved and my ability to think has apparently taken a vacation without notifying me, so... yeah.  Okay, I will get that story on here soon.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Sam directed my attention to the fact that I did not have any pics of him and Ailey Grace.  So, here they are in splendid array...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quick update

Hey all, I don't have much time to write, but I wanted everyone to know at least the stats and see a pic or two.  Everything went fine and I will have a detailed post about the birth in a few days, but for now here's the gist of it:

Meet our DAUGHTER - that's right folks, we had a girl.  It was a big surprise for Sam and I as we had decided a few days before that we both thought it was going to be a boy.  Without further ado:

Ailey Grace was born on Monday, March 2, 2009 at 11:03 am.  She weighed in at 6 lbs 5 oz and was a whopping 18 3/4 inches long.  She's gorgeous!  Here are pics for your viewing pleasure.  I'll post more later.

Grandma and Grandpa Little and Aunt Jenny
Proud Aunt Jenny 
Cousin Boaz and Grandma Little
Grandma Little giving some love.
Jennifer the mid-wife weighing Ailey and me with a very scary face...yikes!

Those are some proud big brothers!
Nina has a goddaughter!
The boys finally got to meet their sister.
They couldn't wait to get their hands on her:P
Vernix mustache.  Oh  yeah.
Sweet girl!