Oh. Right. Hi.

I used to have a blog. I still have a blog. I used to have time. I rarely have whatever that is anymore, and when I do, blogging usually doesn’t make the priority list. I recently pulled out my camera again though, so I thought I’d share a few of the best recent ones.

Life is crazy, so, naturally, a couple months ago we decided to add another dog. Daisy is a red heeler who was an emotional support dog of someone who was forced to giver her away. She came to us basically fully trained. She had never been around small children before, but she’s learned quickly and beautifully that they’re not her responsibility to herd. ;P

Sam took the day off for my birthday recently, and we spent the day wandering around Wildlife Prairie Park. The kids did great, and we had a thoroughly enjoyable family day out.

Yesterday was one of those days where everyone decided to have a rough day at the same time. To help us get through the final hour or so before Sam got home, and while dinner cooked, I grabbed the camera to see what I could capture. I need to play with it more regularly! The quality of my recent pictures make me so sad when I think that I used to be halfway decent!

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#whoisridingwhere2018 – Part 6

Last post about this trip!

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Not really sure what was going on here, but it made me laugh, so I snapped a quick picture. 😀

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These Lularoe dresses are the cutest anyway. Add the beach, and it’s just unbearably cute!

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#whoisridingwhere2018 – Part 5

Yep, going to have to split this into 2 posts. Something like 45 pictures seems a tad excessive for just one post! But I saved the best for last! These two posts have some of my FAVORITE pictures in them, and you’ll easily see why.

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Ryan occasionally got almost reflective in the way he was walking. It made us want to know what he was thinking. 🙂

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Her outfit here made me laugh throughout the day. All I could think was that she made the perfect tiny tourist!

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#whoisridingwhere2018 – Part 4

Beach pictures today! Overall, I was not as happy with the quality of the pictures I got this trip compared to the last one. However, since we didn’t have necessarily sick kids, I spent more time enjoying the beach and the vacation as a whole. So, these posts are just full of the best of what happened to catch my eye enough to convince me to snap a picture. 🙂

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Since we actually remembered kites this time, they came out several times throughout our visit.

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As hard as it is with the kids, I do miss this view!

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He caught it with his hands!

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This sand castle was discovered down the beach, created by someone else. However, it served as inspiration for a couple of sand castles created by our party later.

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The waves create such a great backdrop!

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#whoisridingwhere2018 – Part 3

Water pictures! I actually went out in the water several times this trip! On the last day, Sam and I went out to the sandbar and were actually REALLY close to a group of dolphins surfing the waves; it was SO cool! Sam got a video with his waterproof camera; I’ll have to see if I can get it posted here at some point.

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She is always smiling. One of the many things I love about her!

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How she makes pregnancy and getting slammed by strong waves looks so regal, I’ll never know.

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#whoisridingwhere2018 – Part 2

The kids are napping and/or doing time in their beds, so it’s time to put together part 2 of our lovely vacation. This post will include the wildlife – minus the random dragonfly included in the last post – namely, birds and crabs.

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These birds were incredibly annoying! They would hover, about 4 feet above our heads, as soon as they realized someone had broken out some food. They seemed to take particular delight in chips, and other such crinkly-sounding, bagged food items.

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So, birds stretch too. At least, that’s what I’m assuming this guy was doing.

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Yes, I was once more obsessed with trying to get good shots of the surprisingly graceful pelicans. There wasn’t as much pelican activity this time, but they were still enjoyable to watch as they rode the currents over the houses and waves.

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Keep following! We get to some of the people pictures next! 😉

#whoisridingwhere2018 – Part 1

In going through, editing, and organizing the pictures from our latest, wonderful, Evans family vacation, I was having a terrible time deciding how I wanted to do this. So, I took the easier way out, and decided not to go by day or story, but rather by subject in the picture. It’s probably not quite as interesting, and it certainly won’t have quite the narrative this way, but it’ll be faster and less stressful for me, so it wins.

Part 1 includes the fewest pictures, and the ones that didn’t fit into my categories very well. Here we have my “abstracts”, the lovely house we once more called home for a week, and a random dragonfly I noticed one day.

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I know this view means you’re not RIGHT on the beach, but I’ve come to love it (despite carrying loads of stuff and often one ore more kids down it!). I think it’s something about the anticipation.

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Beach sunrises… I love them too much.

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Life Pictures – March/April 2018

I haven’t gotten my camera out a whole lot lately, but here are a few of the best from the last month or so. We’ve been cooped up inside, waiting for Illinois to prove me wrong on the fact that it DOESN’T have 6+ months of winter. So far, it’s failing miserably, so I really should get my camera out more often in desperate attempts to stave off the winter blues (in spring…).

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These two have started playing together all the time. It’s both wonderful and frustrating, since it ends in fighting, screaming, whining, and crying about 80% of the time. But I love watching their relationship grow.

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That hair though…!

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This girl’s eyes…!

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All the Evans cousins!

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A few more Jason pictures

After finally going through my camera’s pictures on the computer this morning, I realized that I have gotten seriously out of practice and that my settings were off quite a bit. However, there were a couple that were … okay. I will not say good, but good enough. I’m glad, because it is crazy how much Jason has already changed in just a couple weeks!

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His hands were so big! He’s grown into them a bit now.

Jason Edward

I’m finally getting around to writing this up! I’ve been trying to think of how to do it, really. I’m not sure why I’m struggling to come up with a good line of thought this time, so I apologize in advance for the stream-of-consciousness of the following.

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Quick story is: Jason was born at home at 11:33pm on February 15. He weighed 8lbs 8ozs – about a pound a half bigger than Gloriana!, was 21″ long, and had a 14cm head (I’ve decided this stat should be included; it’s highly relevant.). Sam and I worked well together again, and our birth team was wonderful. There were really no complications at all. I tore minimally, but didn’t require stitches. And I got a pitocin shot to avoid excess bleeding after delivering the placenta. We don’t know if it was technically really needed, but Sam and I have both decided that we rather like it. I haven’t had a bit of light-headedness or even a lot of postpartum bleeding this time, whereas with Gloriana I was a bit scared to shower without someone nearby for a few days because I was worried I might pass out.

Anyway, everyone was surprised and happy to be able to head home and to their beds before 2am. I know I was convinced it was going to be an all night thing. Which, I suppose, brings us to the actual labor.

But before I really start rambling, here are more pictures. I have some on my camera as well, but I haven’t had a chance to upload them yet. These will do for now. 🙂

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It was definitely going, though I didn’t recognize it, when we got up that morning at 4:45 (the other kids have recently decided a 5am wake up time is good; we’re not sure why…). Sam had already taken the day off to be with me during the midwife appointment and to take me out for a consolation lunch at Jim’s Bistro. So, we all spent the morning being pretty chill, with me trying desperately not to be too frustrated or depressed that the contractions weren’t coming any stronger, faster, or more consistent than they were.

Eventually we dropped the kids off with Sam’s family, and decided to come home and possibly nap. I couldn’t nap. So, Sam made bread dough, and we went to lunch while it rose. I highly, highly recommend the Raging Bull burger from Jim’s Bistro. It is SO good. We were in and out of there super fast, so we came home and baked the bread. After that we headed over to Brande’s for our appointment.

I’d asked at the previous appointment if she’d be willing to do a membrane sweep should I make it to this appointment. She was, so we did that this time. I was extremely disappointed to hear that I was only 1cm dilated when she started, and that she was only able to get it to maybe 2cm. We left with the not very reassuring phrase “All I can promise you is that you won’t be pregnant forever.” I was pretty much convinced I would be at this point.

Brande was slightly concerned that the baby might have been posterior, so we went straight from her house to see Dr. Church to get adjusted. By the time we got to the office, I was having consistent contractions every 10 minutes. They didn’t last long, and weren’t so strong that I couldn’t talk through them, but I was having to deliberately breathe. However, after 3+weeks of prodromal labor, I still wasn’t convinced this wasn’t going to go where all those had gone: Nowhere. -_-

Home again, after seeing Dr. Church. I tried again, and failed again, to nap. So, we spent most of our time watching things and playing video games. Just trying to relax. I eventually downed a large glass of chocolate, peanut butter, banana smoothie that Sam kindly made for me. I am glad I did. It was a nice bit of energy to get me through!

Sometime around 6pm, we had to decide what to do with the kids. Sam’s family still had them, and they were doing great and having fun. I still couldn’t tell whether this was the real thing or not (contractions every 2-3 minutes – I know, I know… maybe one day I’ll learn… –  but they only lasted 15-20 seconds, and weren’t crazy strong). However, I decided that I’d rather give it the chance to be the real thing instead of bringing them home to perhaps stall things, or have to send them away again in the middle of the night.

It was after deciding that that things seemed to get much more serious – though again, I didn’t really feel like it. I felt this time like I had a much harder time coping and relaxing and “getting in the zone”. I couldn’t find a comfortable place or position to relax through the contractions. I tried what I did the whole time with Gloriana (hands and knees), but that DEFINITELY wasn’t right. Eventually Sam convinced me to try to sleep again, so I headed to bed. As with Gloriana, I hated contracting lying down, so I ended up catching some half sleep while sitting up. I didn’t like that either, but I was too frustrated to move around any more.

Sam called the midwife and his mom sometime while I was there. They all arrived around 10pm, I think. I was again frustrated when everyone arrived because the contractions that had been coming in doubles went back to just one at a time. Only for a few minutes though, then it was back to business. Not long after that, my water broke.

I moved to the bathroom, and FINALLY found the zone! Laboring on the toilet was wonderful this time. I was also awake for transition this time. I never really thought I COULDN’T do it, but it was all I could do to remember how rewarding and empowering and amazing the whole experience would be. I did have the thought that if I was starting to think like this, it wouldn’t last long. I would be to the next stage shortly. Just keep breathing and trying to relax.

And finally pushing. I was mentally prepared to push for a while, to do whatever I had to do not to get an episiotomy again (unless the baby was in distress again, obviously). His heart rate stayed amazingly strong through everything, even mid-contraction, so nothing was needed, but calm and focus. Pushing went shockingly fast – less than 10 minutes. My body gave me two breaks during the pushing phase: one right before his head came out (finally felt that ring of fire so many people talk about), and one right after his head was out (weirdest feeling ever – not particularly enjoyable). At some point in there, Sam ended up completely holding me up by my knees, and I was over his shoulder gripping his belt loops! Odd, but effective. lol

Then finally he was born! His cord was only 14-15″ long though, so I couldn’t really bring him to my chest until the placenta was delivered. Once that happened, I got the pitocin shot, and we headed back to bed. I love home births! I’m always SO out of it at this point that I am incredibly thankful not to have to go anywhere, or ever try to be halfway presentable, or put on coats, or ANYTHING! Just head to my bed! It’s amazing.

Surprisingly this time, I didn’t really want anything to eat. I just drank a TON of strawberry pineapple La Croix that I’d been hoarding for labor day. After all the usual after baby things (weighing, measuring, quick exam, etc) were done, everybody headed home, and we drifted off to sleep.

I woke up after about 3 hours unable to sleep anymore. I had the baby high. I was practically giggly from being so happy NOT to be pregnant anymore, and shocked that we had an 8 1/2 pounder!

The after pains were definitely worse this time, but I still only medicated for about 36 hours. Since then they’ve varied in strength, but have never been worse than my usual bad cramps.

Jason slept amazingly that first night. We’ve had a couple of rougher nights since then, but he’s been pretty great for the most part! We’re all thrilled and in love with his little chubbiness! He was baptized our first week back at church (this past Sunday, the 25th)!

We have been thoroughly enjoying our time as a family. We’re blessed to have Sam home with us until March 5, and I still get to ease back into real life because, Lord willing, Mama is planning on coming back that week! Right now, I’m feeling so great normally that I’m fighting myself not to do too much. 🙂