Crochet Mystery Challenge: Reveal

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Ta Da!!!

Louie is complete! and he’s a giraffe!

Doesn’t he look adorable? Here’s a whole gallery  full of them, made by different participants. The creativity is breathtaking.

I had so much fun and I can’t wait to be part of another mystery challenge.

“I thought it was peanut butter, silly me.”

Oh time where have you gone. So here I am. Alive. I have been putting off writing because I needed to make sure I wasn’t going crazy first. Nope, I’m perfectly sane. It’s also not a dream. I have my toddler to my right, sleeping peacefully, and my youngest in his crib probably dreaming about that favorite left boob.

How do I do it? I have no idea. Having two kids under 3 is hard. I am not going to lie about it. It is tiresome, but no matter how difficult the day is, seeing my kids at the end of the night sleeping, immediately erases it all. I wake up happy, with confidence and energy ready to take on the day. I probably do mouth the words “bring it on” once in a while, picturing a cheer squad with a monotonous routine followed by me, performing an astonishing double back flip, split ending, mouth opening stunt. Yep, I am that awesome at using my imagination.

Last week, how can I forget last week. Interesting might describe it. No, not interesting, it was shitty. Literally!

I was fixing breakfast. I had the day planned out. I was babysitting a little girl, we were going to have a great time. As I was shredding cheese to go on my amazing omelette, I hear the little girl say, “Adriana, Jayden is playing with peanut butter.”

I mouthed something like “that’s nice sweetie.” An immediate realization hit. How could he be playing with peanut butter? Where could he have gotten peanut butter?

Oh my! Oh my! I turn to see my 2 year old with shit all over his hands. The horrified look on my face did not stop him to do the unthinkable. Yes, my son went ahead and put it to his mouth. I immediately picked him up, undressed him and got the bath running and hoped the shower would erase the image of my son eating poop.

After I gave him a bath I sat down, took a deep breath. I didn’t know whether to cry, laugh or puke. The little girl walks in and says, “Oh boy, and I thought it was peanut butter, silly me!”

I looked at her and I couldn’t help it, I began cracking up. They both immediately joined me and we laughed and laughed at the face of shit.

After we finished laughing, she looks at me and says, “I have a feeling it’s going to be a great day!” and my son follows with a great big cheer.

How can you not be enthusiastic about life when you have kids and shit. 🙂

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We cleaned up quiet nicely and took a stroll down to the park for a beautiful winter (disguised as summer) day in lucky California.

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Baby Julian: Week 1

Yesterday marked Baby Julian’s first week.

It was a quick one.

How am I physically?

Not so well. My pelvic pain was suppose to end the moment I gave birth, well it didn’t. I feel as though my legs are being separated and someone is at each end pulling me apart. I will continue going to the chiropractor but I wanted to wait at least 2 weeks. Now, I can’t wait to go.

Baby’s health

Baby Julian is perfectly healthy. Before we were discharged from the hospital the pediatrician noticed he was a bit more yellow than normal for jaundice so he suggested we take our son to our primary pediatrician so she could check up on him. On Tuesday we went, and he weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz (9 oz less than at birth). We had to go to the hospital so they could draw blood and make a better assessment regarding his jaundice. Results came back a few hours after that and it all came out normal. All he had to do is relax under the sun 🙂 We were back at the doctor’s on Friday for a procedure and they did a weigh in. He weighed 7 lbs. 13oz. (10 oz since Tuesday). I am not surprised because boy does this baby eat. Hopefully we don’t have togo back to the Dr.’s until his 2 week check up next week.

Breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding takes time and a lot of patience.

At the hospital they were excellent at helping me, because although I breastfed my first son, it is amazing how quickly I forgot the starting process. Like I mentioned in my labor and delivery story, I was able to breastfeed my baby right away, as soon as he was born. I continued to breastfeed during my stay at the hospital, but I forgot that your nipples need to get used to baby, and improper latching can leave nasty cracked nipples. Breastfeeding with cracked nipples is no fun. I even got a bit scared one night. I painfully nursed my son with the breast that had the worst cracked nipple. When I went to go pick him up for his next feeding, he had spit up blood. He sucked the blood out and it mixed with the milk. It only happened once and it wasn’t bright red blood, more like brownish, but it was scary.

I am happy, though that I got a good eater. He eats all the time and what do you get when a baby eats a lot? a lot of dirty diapers. Right now I’m doing disposable until his umbilical cord stump falls off and he gains a bit more weight to fit in the diapers.

We received some newborn and size 1 diapers as baby gifts, so I’ll be using up all of those. After he uses those, we will be switching to cloth diapers, thank goodness, because he sure uses up a lot of diapers. I have a starting kit of 24 cloth diapers so assuming he uses up 12 diapers per day, we are set to do laundry every other day. I’ll post an update on how it all goes.

Sleep

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This second time around I knew that I could either get moderate sleep, or I would be waking up every 2 hours. My first son slept a lot and I had to wake him up after 4 hours just to nurse him. This time I didn’t think I would get that lucky. Just like any newborn, he wakes up every 2-3 hours to nurse. I rest every chance I get. Luckily my husband has been taking our toddler to the park and making him tired so I take a nap while he does that. I don’t know how it’ll be next week when he goes back to work, but hopefully It goes well.

Housework and chores

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My house is a mess. It is very difficult to see it in this state but my doctor said I shouldn’t do any household work and that I should just rest. I didn’t listen to her last time and I was left with an uneven hip and an open pelvis. This time I am not going to worry about it. My husband took over and he is the one that does the dishes, laundry and everything else. I took care of the cooking long time ago.

     Prepared Frozen Foods

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Before giving birth, I dedicated a whole weekend to cook and cook and cook. I prepared around 15 meals to store in my friends giant freezer.  Meals are enough for two days, so about a month. I am so glad I did this because so far it has absolutely saved us. We don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store to buy stuff for dinner, good thing because the dear husband is not so good at shopping. Even with a detailed list, he will bring the wrong items. I also don’t have to worry about answering the good old question “What are we having for dinner?” It’s nice to just set the crockpot in the morning and not having to worry about it. Breakfast and lunch are a bit easier to prepare so I don’t worry about that.

In another post I’ll put up all the recipes and my review on each meal.

How is big brother adapting?

My dear son is adapting rather well considering his whole world changed overnight. He is very clingy to daddy so it helps out a bit, but I don’t know how he’ll be once my husband goes back to work. He screams a lot and I noticed a change in his behavior. He demands more and if he doesn’t get what he wants he bangs his head on the carpet or on the couch. Toward his baby brother, however, he is very kind in his own way. He’s not as gentle as us adults, but he looks at him with a lot of love. He asks to hold him and when he’s asleep in his bassinet he just peeks at it and looks at him and walks away. When he cries he runs to go get mommy. He also makes a fish mouth when he sees me nursing him. The other day he asked to nurse, something that surprised me since he hasn’t nursed since he was 5 mos. I offered him a breast and he barely touched it with his lips and went back to playing with a smile in his face. I think he just didn’t want to feel left out. Tandem breastfeeding was something I was open to and if my oldest wanted I was willing to do it.

It is becoming easier as days pass and I am an expert at knowing I’m not an expert at this mother thing. One just has to play it by day and make the best decisions according to each situation. I am very happy things are coming together for us and we are developing somewhat of a schedule. I love my family.

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My boys taking over our bed

Labor and Delivery: a special birthday

Our baby boy is finally here!

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Julian Zander Hernandez

Born 11/2/13 at 3:00 a.m.

7lbs. 12 oz.

20.25 in.

The labor journey…

began on Friday Nov. 1st. I woke up and as I was walking around the house I felt a trickle. My water had broken, or so I thought. This pregnancy I came out positive for GBS. I had to go directly to the hospital the moment I suspected my water had broken, so I didn’t put the baby at risk and they could put me on antibiotics. At around 10 am my husband took me to the hospital with absolutely no pain, just the suspicion of my water breaking.

Rewind to Wednesday… I had an appointment with my midwife and there she did a sweeping of the membranes, where she “swept” a finger around my cervix to separate the membranes of the amniotic sac. This releases a hormone and there is a possibility of going into labor. The exam was pretty much like any internal examination, when it came to pain. I went home with some cramping but that was it. During the next days I kept discharging my mucus plug.

Thursday… I took my son trick or treating downtown and did a lot of walking! That night my friends, who had come to spend some days with me in case I went into labor, my son and I had a little dance party. We danced and I even attempted to twerk all in efforts to induce labor.

Back to Friday… My midwife arrived and she did a strip test, inconclusive. She did a vaginal check and she saw water alright. Results, negative for amniotic fluid. She wanted to be 99.9% sure before she sent me back home. Now, during all of this I wasn’t feeling any strong contractions, and the ones I was feeling were about 6 minutes apart. She ran a third test and sent it to the lab and we had to wait. The tests came back negative and we were sent back home. It ended up being very watery mucus plug. It fooled me and it also fooled my midwife.

My friend who was watching my son stayed and we even had dinner and chatted. I had contractions but they weren’t consistent. Then, around 10pm BAM! I felt a really strong contraction. I thought it was still Braxton Hicks so like all the other ones, I tested it out by hopping in the shower. I wasn’t even in the shower when BAM! Another one. Three minutes had passed and BAM! 3 minutes later BAM! it went on pretty much like that for a while and I new I was in labor. We immediately rushed to the hospital.

Checking in

We arrived at the hospital around 11:20pm and they put the monitors and contractions were getting stronger and stronger. They were now about 2 1/2 minutes apart. My midwife came in and checked me. I was 6cm dilated and 90% effaced. It was all happening so fast, but I did want to have this baby and it was sure beating my first labor of 22 hours!

I was very relaxed and would even joke around between contractions, to why the nurses were very surprised when I asked for the epidural. I wanted it so badly even before I went into labor. I just wanted to be numbed from my waist down. I had endured all that pelvic and hip pain during pregnancy that it hurt more to move around and the contractions were not overpowering it. I was feeling both. I am not trying to prove anything and I don’t need to play strong. I have endured an 18hour labor without pain medication. This second time around, I wanted the epidural and I got it.

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Yay for the epidural!

I had my IV, antibiotics, epidural and I was set to wait, maybe even sleep a little. Well, there was no time for that. I got checked around 1:30 a.m. and I was 8cm dilated. I felt a lot of pressure and the epidural was wearing off quickly. I didn’t ask for another dose and was fine with having feeling. I was checked and I was 10cm and felt even more pressure. At around 2:45 a.m. They broke my water, which turned out to be like one of those water shows. TMI but it was really cool. There could have been a possibility of baby being born in the bag and it is said to be very very lucky! But we wanted to have that baby now. With only a couple of pushes baby was born at exactly 3 a.m.

Within minutes I breast fed my baby for the first time and I was one happy mother! I got to hold my baby for more than an hour skin to skin, breastfeeding and feeling him while my husband and I flourished our miracle. I had other feelings that were dwelling inside of me too, realizing the day this miracle took place.

Special Birthday

My son was born on November 2nd, the same day as my estranged father. Knowing that my son was born on the same day as the father that pushed me out of his life less than a year ago for the 2nd time, filled me with many emotions. He wasn’t there for my first pregnancy and wasn’t there for this one either. My oldest son has his nose and a lot of his physical characteristics and now my youngest shares his birthday. I don’t know if this is karma, a life lesson, nor do I know to whom the universe talks.

For many years, even before my parents’ divorce, I sought a relationship with my father but his harmful words and both of our prides would make it nearly impossible. Sure, we had some great moments, but I am also the oldest, therefore I remember more than my siblings. I remember his drinking, his insults and the way he treated my mom, the physical violence and his double personality.

With others my father was an awesome person, I will never say otherwise. He was a funny man, loved to be in social events and made everyone laugh. People would always say how lucky we were to have such a fun dad. At home, we didn’t get the funny man everyone saw. We got a man who would throw it in our face each meal he bought, the roof he gave us, the gas he wasted driving us around and how we got in the way of his financial success and freedom.

Last time I spoke to my father, he made it very clear to me he wants me out of his life. I am dead to him, but the universe works in mysterious ways and on this Day of the Dead I gave my father a grandson, a precious life.  He might never meet him or he might come around. I gave him a special birthday gift, he won’t care to open. I found out he knew of the birth of my son and that there was no emotion. I learned to stop looking for something that is just not there. Every time I try to make peace with him, I end up more disappointed and the emotional fight leaves me devastated. I learned that I owe it to myself to live an emotionally safe life and that if I know something hurts me, I need to stop looking for it. It doesn’t matter who he is, I don’t deserve it. I have a wonderful husband and now two wonderful sons. I have amazing friends that have become my family. I am loved.

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My two sons

So why do I still feel? I feel because I only know one father. I feel because all I wanted was to be a daddy’s girl. I feel because his words hurt me. I feel because I wanted to make him proud. Maybe, just maybe he would stop hating me so much. I feel because I cannot imagine treating my children that way. I feel because I am a good human being.

My son Julian has a special birthday. I will not say I hope things change because I’ve been down that road too many times, but it is a day that will continue to be alive in my heart. It will be a day to celebrate so much life.

In the meantime this family will rest, love, and soak in all the wonderful things the universe has given us.

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My beautiful family

Esperando con Anciedad: 39 semanas

¿Cuándo llegará mi bebé?

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Se aproxima la fecha pero yo ya quiero tener a mi bebé.

Yo no he sido de mucha paciencia para abrir regalos, empezar a comer, y sobre todo esperar 9 meses para poder abrazar a mi bebé. La espera me mata. Ya quiero tener a mi bebé, pero todo a su debido tiempo.

Llevo ya unas semanas sintiendo dolores pero nada que dure lo suficiente para decir, “¡ya es hora!”

Mañana llegan unas amigas a quedarse conmigo unos días para ayudarme con mi hijo y con los quehaceres de la casa. Estoy tan agradecida con esas personas que me han apoyado durante este embarazo.

Inicialmente me dijeron que me aliviaría el 30 de octubre (mañana) pero hace dos semanas me informaron que mi fecha es para el 3 de noviembre. Al principio me sentí como que me agregaron un año, pero ya me he resignado a que va a llegar cuando él quiera, aunque de todos modos intentaré otras cositas.

Mañana tengo cita con el Dr. y me van a despegar las membranas. Desde hace dos semanas estoy dilatada 3cm pero quisieron esperar hasta que tuviera 39 semanas. Dicen que este procedimiento es un poco doloroso pero que esa misma noche me puedo aliviar. Vamos a intentar eso ya que también mi bebé corre riesgo de infección y lo más rápido que nazca, mejor.

Con mi primer hijo, me alivié 3 días antes de la fecha que me dijeron pero tuve un parto de 22 horas. Ahora no importa si se tarda pero que sea más rápido.

Se dicen que hay varias maneras de provocar los dolores pero es importante de consultar al doctor antes de hacer cualquiera de estas cosas:

caminar

subir y bajar escaleras

comer comida picosa

sexo – la esperma ayuda a dilatar el cerviz

orgasmo

manejar en terracería o una calle con muchos bordos

columpiarse

vinagre balsámico – me encanta en ensaladas

oregano

ponerse a gatas y mover las caderas

hacer sentadillas

meditar, respirar profundo e imaginar que se abre el cerviz y que el bebé se baja

Muchas de estas cosas serían muy dolorosas si las hago, con eso de mi dolor de caderas y con mi ulcera, así que trataré algunas cosas y si no seré paciente.

Ya tenemos todo preparado. Es increíble la diferencia de mi primer embarazo. Con mi primer hijo queríamos comprar TODO, pero ahora nos damos cuenta que un bebé no requiere de tantas cosas.

Claro, tenemos suerte que va a ser niño otra vez porque usará muchas cosas de su hermano mayor. Otra cosa que nos ayuda es el usar pañales de tela, ya que uno se ahorra como $1,000 al año!! Es tan fácil y la verdad me gusta más que pañales desechables, y no está nada mal de que ayudamos al medio ambiente.

Mi hijo pregunta que porque hay otra silla en el carro. Le decimos que es para su hermanito pero señala a mi pancita y dice que ahí está su hermanito. Va a hacer un cambio muy drástico para él pero de verlo como es tan tierno con otros bebés y con sus muñequitos de peluche me hace sentir tranquila.

Por cierto no hemos dicho como le pondremos al bebé, así que lo diré: se llamará Julian Zander Hernández 🙂 Nos tomó mucho tiempo para decidir el nombre. Otros candidatos eran Sebastian, Atzín, y tantos otros más. Nos encanta el nombre Julián porque se oye bonito en inglés y en español. Y el nombre de Zander, pues queríamos Julián Alexander, pero hay tantos Alex que decidimos usar la forma moderna y con “z”.

Ya estamos listos bebé así que ya te queremos conocer.

Crochet Gifts for Every Occasion: Baby

If you are friend or family, sooner or later you are bound to receive a crochet gift. I can make about anything in crochet, but what I love to do is baby items. Babies look adorable in crochet hats, booties, and blankets. Sure I can go through registries and buy something that won’t take as much time, but one thing I will tell you, If I make time to do something for you, you are indeed special 🙂

This is my recent baby gift for a friend’s baby. I saw that in their registry they had asked for leg warmers, so what do I do? I crochet some leg warmers… and a few other things. Here is what this beautiful baby received from me.

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I don’t remember how I made the leg warmers. That happens to me a lot. I pick up a hook and some yarn and say “I think I’ll crochet this today,” and it all magically appears.

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And I kept going. These leg warmers needed a matching headband, and voila!

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I also ordered a pack of rattles a while ago to use on all of my amigurumi and I tested them out putting one inside this beautiful little owl. The rattle is a perfect size and it’s loud enough to be stuffed inside amigurumi. I can’t wait to make more.

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To top it off I added the cutest beanie ever that supports and encourages breast feeding. The pattern for this is pretty simple, like any ordinary beanie but with a few rows up before increasing.

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One of the items that was not crochet but indeed handmade is the blanket with ribbon tags. Babies love tags and this can be used as a burp or quick wipe cloth.

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Handmade gifts are always the best and I love the face of appreciation and happiness when they receive them.