27 June 2017

things with three

It's no secret that having kids makes some things more difficult. You have to plan more and prep in order to do the things you usually do. I remember Gideon's three day well-check like it just happened.  I scheduled it for nine in the morning because I've always been a morning person and punctual so I figured I could get there on time. I forgot to take into consideration that I would be running low on sleep, therefore sleeping in. Plus time to nurse Gideon before we left, on top of getting myself ready. And to make it even more fun he peed through his diaper and all over my clothes of which I had no more pants options because no laundry done and postpartum which means nothing fits. Hello, thirty minutes late to appointment.

I've figured a few things out since then and with each baby we bring on board I've had to adjust and learn some ninja tricks to help me get things done, get places on time, and keep my general sanity. So here are a few things in my arsenal of magic.

+ Meal planning. Oh, I know those are dirty words to some people and I use to hate doing it, but now it makes life so much simpler. Every Sunday afternoon, I sit down and write out dinner meals for the week. Seven days. I ask Taylor his opinion on what he would like and then fill in the rest. And just so you don't think I'm planning gourmet, whole 30 compliant fancy things, we almost always have one night that says "pizza" and another that is "breakfast for dinner." I make a complete grocery list from my planned out meals which simplifies the shopping trip and ensures we don't need to make any extra runs later in the week.

+ Laundry/weekly prep. Sunday is my get it done day. With Taylor being a pastor, Sunday is technically the start of our week so I go ahead and get things going. I sort and prep all the laundry so it's ready to throw in on Monday morning.  I do little things to prep the house for the week. Clean litter box and sweep, stock diapers and wipes downstairs, empty trash from bathrooms.  It makes me not so frantic come Monday morning. {We also do laundry on Thursday so Wednesday is another prep night}.

+ Grocery shop. I do this every Monday morning for the week. Taylor thinks I'm crazy to do this with all three kiddos, but we've got to eat. I love Monday morning because the stores are empty of crowds.  I can maneuver my circus through there with minimal collateral damage. One thing that helps me get this done is the Shop Binxy cart hammock. I actually only discovered this after Lincoln was born because all of a sudden I had no where to fit actual groceries in the cart with the carseat in it, Nolan up front, and Gideon hanging on the side. This genius hammock fits most groceries carts, works for babies until they are sitting on their own AND can even safely hold the carseat if you don't want to wake your sleeping babe. Um, why did I not design this first.

+ Make beds daily. We make all the beds first thing in the morning. And by we, I mean me. I don't know why, but making the beds sets the tone for my day. It also doesn't give me the option to crawl back in it and set up camp which in all honesty is what I would love to do most days. But, duty calls. Taylor even saw an article recently that said people who make their beds every day live more peaceful lives. I need all the peace I can get.

shirt from declan and crew
+ Dry shampoo. Yep. I went there. I don't wash my hair every day. I'm mostly an every other day girl and sometimes push it to day three hair. This allows me to sleep a little longer on some days, to save time getting ready and to minimize hair damage. Win, win, win.

+ Use of TV, free grocery store cookies, and the dollar store. I'm not ashamed of these. Sometimes as a mom you just need time to get things done and if a show/movie, free cookie, and cheap toys helps then do it. DO IT.

+ Light a candle and ignore. When the crazy gets crazy I just light a candle and go to my happy place. Boys fighting? Mama doesn't hear it. In fact, my name isn't mom anymore.

* Binxy Baby provided the cart hammock to me, but as always this is me genuine opinion.  Feel free to use my referral code for 10% off your own genuis cart hammock.

20 June 2017

around here

+ I started bbg last week and it sucks. And feels awesome all at the same time. I dream of tacos while doing burpees {who invented those by the way, ugh}. It is nice to finally feel like I'm working out towards something other than pregnancy.  I think I feel motivated knowing that my body is not going to change to grow a human again.

This mask. A sweet friend gave me this and I can't say enough good things about it. It makes my skin feel like freshly washed sheets. And even better, it's not a peel one!

+ Who knew the Dollar Tree had such great things? I've been hitting them up for coloring books {Ninja Turtles, Curious George, Avengers, Jake and the Neverland Pirates!}, stickers, activities, chalk, and other little things to keep the boys occupied for the summer. But, make sure it's a Dollar Tree, the high class of the dollar stores.

+ Update on driving a van... it's the best, holla.

+ In addition to working out, I have been working hard on cutting down the sugar that I eat. Not just the sweet stuff, like the being conscious of everything that has sugar in it {which sadly is most things}.  I'm not 22 anymore and the brain fog is real. I've noticed a huge difference since I started a few weeks ago.  I do allow myself a Dr. Pepper on the weekends and some Ben and Jerry's dairy-free because life.

+ Speaking of dairy-free, on month three of it.  So much easier this time around because I know what to expect and have found awesome replacements.  Guac on everything.  And that Ben and Jerry's dairy-free ice cream is so worth it.  The fudge brownie and chunky monkey are my favorites.

+ Gideon has been out of preschool for a month and mama misses it.  And so does he.  Excited and looking forward to this fall when he goes five days a week.  The boy thrives in social situations. The school is a Classical curriculum and I'm pretty sure at five years old he will be smarter than me.

+ Lincoln is what dream babies are made of.  Sleep and smiles.  We finally got some answers about his ongoing congestion at his two month well-check when the doctor checked his ears and found his right one to be infected.  So strange for a baby his age, but also not since I had one a couple weeks before.  Some antibiotics and chiropractic adjustments and he is a happy, happy baby.

+ Nolan is two.  I don't know if that needs to be elaborated on at all.  Two.

19 June 2017

sleep and postpartum anxiety

One of the hardest things for me postpartum is the anxiety. It is so overwhelming at times and is triggered mostly by sleep, or lack thereof for me. But also sleep in the baby sense.  From the moment we had Gideon, sleep was the biggest thing I thought about.  When should he sleep? How long should he be sleeping?  Our room?  His room?  The swing? It was so much to think about.

I knew that I wanted our babies to sleep in their own space.  Co-sleeping was just not something I could handle.  I also knew that at some point they needed to be able to go to sleep on their own without nursing, rocking, etc.  But how?  Whew, talk about anxiety inducing.  It skyrocketed for me.

Well, bringing home my third baby was no different.  The anxiety over issues such as sleep still showed up.  You would think having gone through this a couple of times I would have the mental capacity to know that they do sleep eventually.  But the task of making it happen was dragging me down.

When we first brought Lincoln home, I had him sleeping in his rock-n-play next to our bed.  I thought he would find it more cozy than the pack-n-play.  He slept great for a bit, but after a few weeks I wanted to move him to his room.  Did not go as planned.  His crib felt way too big for him after the rock-n-play and he was already use to sleeping at an incline so laying flat felt weird.  He would jerk and wake himself up immediately. AH. I was stressing to the max.

Enter the DockATot. Holy amazing, you guys. I was pumped when the black box holding this bad boy showed up.  We were in the midst of three weeks of Lincoln having a cold and sleep being nonexistent. I didn't move him from the rock-n-play immediately because I thought sleeping at an incline would help his congestion. But, then I had enough and made the switch. And he slept amazing; I'm talking 7 to 8 hour stretches amazing. He feels snug and secure in the Dock and has slept better than any of our boys ever did.  I love that it is breathable so I don't worry and have more added on to my anxious mind.  We got the Deluxe which is great for babies up to age 8 months and they also have a Grand that I hear is awesome to transition toddlers to a bed.

It's been great to drag around as a place to put him when I need to tend to the big boys. Outside for pool time, on the floor while I fold laundry, all over the place. I can't wait to take it to the beach and when we travel. It will be nice that he has a sleeping space that feels familiar to him. Hands down one of the best baby items I own. I swear if I just had this and my Solly Baby Wrap I'd be all set.

While I still struggle through postpartum anxiety and all that comes with that, sleep is no longer a trigger for it.  Lincoln is sleeping which means mama gets to sleep which means I have energy when I need it.

*DockATot provided the DockATot Deluxe to us, but as always, this is my real and genuine opinion of the product.  If you are interested in one use my referral link to get $10 off {I will also earn money through this link!}

13 June 2017

baby book

One of my favorite things that I have done for my boys is their baby books. I know it's a running joke among most parents that they kept up with it for their first child and each subsequent kid got less and less when it came to the baby book. I'm a little proud that I have managed to keep up with Gideon and Nolan's, at least for the first year of their lives. And now I get to start on Lincoln's.

I'm so sentimental when it comes to physical things. I remember grabbing everything out of the hospital room before we took Gideon home because it all felt so special. Every bracelet we wore, his hat, blanket, bassinet name tag. I took it all. And I glued those suckers in his baby book. I love having it to look back on now.

I had this baby book on our registry for Lincoln and a sweet friend gifted it to us.  The fabric cover and beautifully done pages are incredible.  I love filling it out with stories of pregnancy and birth and I know I will be so grateful to have it in the future.

One of my favorite things in each of their baby books is their birth announcement. Gone are the days of announcing a baby in the newspaper, which is really sad for this Journalism major. But, we have such a fun alternative in printed birth announcements to mail out to family and friends. Tiny Prints has beautiful ones specific for gender or neutral. If you haven't figured out that I love paper goods then you haven't been reading my blog for very long. I love how sturdy these are and am glad I will have them forever tucked away in these books.

I've heard people say that they don't think their kids will care about the baby book when they are older, but I have always viewed the baby book as something for myself.  Yes, I think they will enjoy looking at them down the road, but in all honesty I think I will be the one who keeps them and pulls them out to ugly cry amidst the prom dates and college packing.  Do your future self a favor and write just a few things down that you don't want to forget about these stages.  Print a birth announcement to look back at and save the little treasures that you never want to lose.  It is so worth it.

Here are some things that make it easier:
+ I do monthly photos and keep them organized on Instagram with a hashtag.  Then around their first birthday I use a site like this to print them out and put into their book.  It makes it easier to do all at once.
+ Washi tape is your friend.  It makes it quick and easy {and un-messy} to put things into the book and brings another fun aspect to the pages.
+ Write little things down throughout the month or keep a running note in your phone of "firsts" like smiles, clapping, steps and the dates they happened so that you can go back later to fill in the baby book.  You probably have your phone more accessible.

*birth announcements were provided by TinyPrints

07 June 2017

Confessions of a tired mama

People have jokingly asked if Lincoln is ever out of the wrap. I'm all "Haha, nope. I have two other kids so my hands are kind of important to have available."

+ I'm low on sleep right now. Shocker, right? When there are rare instances that I can sleep and my dear sweet husband is snoring due to allergies, exhaustion, etc. I maybe, possibly, may push his arm or kick his leg to wake him up and then pretend I'm asleep so that he will stop snoring and I can pass out. {And by maybe, I mean every time}.

+ At the end of my pregnancy, I would bribe Gideon with dollars or candy to scratch/rub my back.  I'm thinking about continuing this.

+ How do I willingly get my boys to take a picture every Sunday before church, you ask. Candy. It's called candy. {Follow our Sunday series on Instagram #thoseburgessboys. And I clearly am not above bribery}.

+ We've been hitting up the "Old McDonalds" as Gideon calls it on Sundays after church because crying and hungry baby plus it pretty much being nap time and I'm tired. While that is a confession in and of itself {so healthy} the real confession is that after a day or two I usually throw the happy meal toys away. Ain't no one got time for that junk in their house.

+ I've also had to come up with some cunning tales about the whereabouts of some preschool artwork. I mean, I've saved the cutest ones, but Cheerios glued to paper isn't my thing.

+ We jokingly talk about my OCD habits at home, but in all seriousness it's so true. So much so that during a conference with Gideon's preschool teacher this year, she told me that he was "very particular" about how the blocks were put away and directed the other kids on where to put them. She said she loved it and the kids listened to him better than her so she let him be in charge of that. {Monkey covering eyes emoji. He gets it from his mama}

+ I took the doctor who delivered Nolan and Lincoln flowers at my postpartum check-up. It's my last baby, she was amazing, and anyone who can make it through labor and delivery with me deserves a little gift.

30 May 2017

summer bucket list | 2017 edition

I love doing a summer bucket list each year with the boys. It's so fun to plan out activities that I know they will love. With Gideon finishing his first year of preschool last week, summer feels more official this year.

Normally, I just write the list myself, but this time I asked Gideon for input and he came up with some really great things to add. We wrote it out on the chalkboard wall in our kitchen and you can se Gideon practicing his letters which he is obsessed with doing. So here is the #burgesssummerbucketlist2017 edition {and as always follow along with the hashtag on Instagram}.

{1} camping {this is a Gideon and dad solo trip as a end of school celebration and because, um hello, we have a newborn-isa}

{2} see Cars 3

{3} see Despicable Me 3

{4} Drive-in movie {could be either of the above!}

{5} baseball game {Charlotte? Charleston?}

{6} Fro-yo

{7} beach {this better be several times}

{8} sparklers

{9} s'mores

{10} indoor bounce house

{11} waterpark in Charleston

{12} watch fireworks

17 April 2017

A birth story: Lincoln Asher

Lincoln Asher
April 10, 2017 | 3:24 pm
7 pounds 9 ounces | 20 inches

We knew from the beginning that our due date was going to be a hectic and crazy time for our family.  We originally said we could not have a baby around Easter, but God chuckled and we found out that sweet baby was coming while on our anniversary trip to New York City.

Early on we discussed planning an induction for early the week of Easter.  Most people probably think we are ridiculous, but I wanted to do it more than anything.  This was the first Easter for our church plant and I wanted Taylor to be there more than anything.  This is what he was called to do and Easter is the biggest opportunity of the year for new people to walk through those doors.  I didn't want him stressed about me going into labor.  I also was induced with both previous births so it wasn't new to me.  I felt calm knowing what to expect and my body has responded positively every time.

At 35 weeks, one of my awesome doctors let me go ahead and schedule.  So it was all set for Monday, April 10.  My favorite doctor (who also delivered Nolan) was on for that day and it was early enough in the week that we felt comfortable having him then.

Several times leading up, I thought I wouldn't make it to that day.  But every OB appointment brought disappointment as I was barely dilated and not progressing throughout the weeks.  My last appointment they said I was finally at 2 cm.

Monday, April 10.  They didn't need me to come to the hospital until 8 am.  I really loved that I got to see my big boys before heading in.  My parents were already in town so before we left the house we held hands and prayed over the day.  I held my Nolan's hand and then watched him clap excitedly as we all cheered, knowing he had zero clue what was happening.

Checking in to the hospital was smooth and quick.  I signed a few papers and they put me in a room to check my dilation (same as my last appointment) and to make a game plan.  Surprisingly, the unit had several other women laboring (I was the only one with Nolan) and it filled up completely throughout the day.

My sweet doctor came in and asked if I wanted her to go ahead and break my water.  I immediately said yes knowing that this was necessary for my body to progress as proven by my previous births.  She broke my water and gave me the option to wait and see if my body labored on its own or to start pitocin.  I opted for pitocin.  I was ready to meet my baby.  She asked if I was planning an epidural and I told her no.  I had done it once before and knew deep inside I could again.

We turned on HGTV which seems to be my laboring channel preference and watched some fun flip shows while we waited for the pitocin to be raised each half hour.  My mom said she didn't think I could be in labor because I was being too funny.  I was surprised at the amount of fluid (seemed way more this time) from my water breaking and kept joking that this baby was just going to float on out.

Around 11 am I told Taylor that the contractions were getting stronger and I really wanted him to go ahead and eat so he could be there when it got bad.  He ran across the street and picked up some McDonald's.  It smelled amazing while he and my mom ate so I asked the nurse if I could chew on some ice (just because I need something to do). She said I could even have a popsicle which ended up tasting incredible.  I felt some renewed energy as the contractions got stronger and stronger and opted to move to the the birthing ball to rock for a bit.

Soon after, my sister arrived.  I had invited her months ago to be there.  She had to miss both my other boys births and ended up being sick while our other sister gave birth in October.  I knew this was my last baby and wanted to give her the chance to be there.

I used the bathroom and then chose to get back in the bed due to ridiculous amounts of fluid everywhere and the monitor not being in a good place to pick up baby's heart rate.  Not long after, the contractions got very strong.  I was torn between calling for my doctor to check me.  I wanted to know, but also feared not being very progressed and getting hit with a sense of disappointment.  I mentally was stalling myself throughout the day, scared of the hurdles I knew I still had to jump to get this baby here.

We called for my doctor and she said I was at a 6.  That was encouraging as not much time had passed.  The pitocin was set at an 8 and we decided to leave it there as the contractions were horrendously painful and obviously working.  We turned the tv off and I asked Taylor to turn on the Hillsong worship album I had on my phone.

Things got truly emotional for me at this point.  Taylor sat on my bed and held my hand as the mountains climbed.  He reminded me to breathe and I closed my eyes listening to the words of the music while I huffed through each one.

"Holy is the Lord revealed before my eyes
And my burdened heart can scarcely take it in
As I behold your beauty with unworthy eyes
The only song my soul can find to sing

Is Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah my King"

These lyrics filled the room and tears filled my eyes as I felt the pain and knew the enormity of what I was experiencing.  We kept joking with my nurse all day that all of the ladies in the unit were going to end up delivering at the same time.  Not long after this, we heard the cries of a baby nearby and I lost it, letting the tears roll.

I alternated squeezing Taylor's hand, the bed rail, and chewing on ice.  As I started moaning through contractions and wanting more than anything to scream, Taylor fiercely reminded me not to let myself get there yet.  I asked them to push the call button and yelled into the speaker that I needed to be checked.

Dr. Norton came in and calmly checked. Telling me I was an 8 and progressing well.  She showed Taylor where to push on my back to relieve some pressure and it felt amazing.  I labored like that for a while.  As each contraction hit, longer and closer together, Taylor pushed on my back.  The nurse began rolling carts of supplies in my room and my mom and sister encouraged me saying that meant it was almost time to push.  "They don't bring that in unless you're close."

I got louder and again asked for my doctor.  She said I was definitely a 9 pretty much 10 and thinned all the way.  She asked if I would like to try and push or wait.  I asked her what she thought and she said she thought he would come.  The room filled with people as they got ready.  With the next contraction I began to push.  With each push I held my breath and gave it my all.  It hurt more than I remembered with my other boys.  Everyone rang encouragements on me as I screamed through my pushes.  I distinctly remember Taylor whispering prayers in my ear. "Lord, give her strength."

My eyes were closed as I heard everyone yelling, "His head is out!! You're almost there."  But, the pain didn't stop and I didn't feel relief like I did with the other boys.  My mom heard the doctor say baby had a compound shoulder or arm (which I still really don't know what that means), but baby was half way out and just stuck there.  I felt so much pain and kept yelling things like "holy hell" and "get him out!"

According to my mom and Taylor, my doctor practically stuck her whole hand inside to help his shoulder out.  I felt every tiny bit of it.

At 3:24, after only 14 minutes of pushing (but what felt like an hour), Lincoln Asher was laid on my chest and I cried.  And cried.  And cried.  I was so relieved that I had done it and so happy that he was here.  He screamed for a few seconds and then was content on my chest.  I looked at Taylor and emphatically told him we were done having babies!  And then immediately asked if he was indeed a boy!  (We had been joking about it really being a girl since we had only one ultrasound and the tech said his legs were crossed).

I was so excited that he had a head full of dark hair.  I was hoping so and knew it was possible with how bad my indigestion had been.  My doctor delivered the placenta and then had to push vigorously on my uterus as not all of the membrane had come out.  It hurt terribly and then of course came a few stitches (she said it was a tiny tear, but would feel best with a stitch or two).

I told Taylor later that if Nolan's pushing had been like Lincoln's we probably would not have had another baby.  It was a very intense experience.

Lincoln was weighed and measured.  Seven pounds nine ounces.  Right in the range with my small babes.  My sister took photos (all day for us!) and I nursed him before my dad brought the big boys in.  Nolan was not sure about me being in the hospital bed and spent the hour they were there completely ignoring that Lincoln was even in the room.  A hard adjustment for sure. (Day two was better and he gave some kisses and tried to strangle hold him which in Nolan land is love).  Gideon wanted to hold him non-stop and kept trying to take him from anyone else who held him.

It's emotional for me that this phase of my life is now over.  We know that we are done biologically having any more kids.  While I didn't always enjoy pregnancy, I am grateful for the experiences I had and for the ability to carry so many babes inside (even those who I don't hold Earth-side) and to give birth to my three boys.

Lincoln Asher, you have made our family so happy and I wouldn't trade you for a million girls.

Robe: c/o Shop PinkBlush  This was amazing to have post-delivery and made me feel somewhat put together while being great to nurse in.

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