Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Seeing Little Red Grow Up

A few of you here have been following me blog for the past 4 years! I can't believe it had been that long!

For those of you who haven't I'd like to share picture of Annika over the past 2 years so you can see how much she's grown!

1st picture ever:

Week 1:

Week 4:

2 months:

3 months:

4 months:

5 months:

6 months:

7 months:

8 months:

9 months:

10 months:

11 months:

1 year:

13 months:

14 months:

15 months:

16 months:

17 months:

18 months:

19 months:

20 months:

21 months:

22 months:

23 months:

2 years:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Do it yourself toddler haircuts

I like to be cheap thrifty with certain things. One of those things is cutting Annika's hair. We have a little children's hair salon right outside our neighborhood that I thought may be cute to take Annika to until I realized it was going to cost us like $20 to have someone else cut like 1/8th of an inch off her hair.

Whenever I've had bangs (which hasn't been in like 5 years and prior to that was like high school and that was the first time since 5th grade) I've always trimmed them myself and if my friend's had bangs I'd trim them. I'd like to think that if I actually went to school for hair I'd probably be pretty decent at it.

I've been trimming Annika's hair since she was about 5 months old. The hair on the top of her hair was really thin when she was little and she had this crazy mullet in the back that was super long. The first time I did it I wet her hair and just cut it carefully straight across while Josh held her still. We cut that crazy mullet at least 3 times the first year just because it was so much longer than any of the rest of her hair.

When we went to Arizona back in April I didn't want to have a ton of pictures of Annika with hair in her face so I trimmed her bangs since they weren't really that long and she refuses to wear hair clips. Since then about every 2 months I trim like 1 millimeter off of them just to keep them healthy since we want them to grow out. Currently they're just below her nose. We've been able to get her to keep a hair clip in about 70% of the time to keep the hair out of her face.

This weekend I decided she needed her hair evened out a bit. The hair on the sides was much shorter than the back, again, that mullet in the back tends to grow faster. Annika has some natural curl to her hair only at the ends so I flat iron it prior to cutting it. Last time I did this I allowed her to sit in my bathroom sink and play with some little decorative soaps I have. This time Josh distracted her while I straighted, very, very carefully with my flat iron. I have a Chi and they heat up fast! I didn't want to burn her so after I straightened a section I had to hold it away from her with my hand before just setting it down. For me I feel like it is easier to cut her hair totally dry than doing it wet.

After I had her hair perfectly straight I trimmed the sides just a tiny bit to make sure it was healthy. Then I started on the left side evening the back out with the sides. I did the middle which took off about 1/2 an inch and then the right side. I combed it all, made sure her head was straight and trimmed any extra little pieces. Then I had her face me to be sure the left and right sides matched. Then again I combed the back to be sure nothing was left.

Then after her shower while her hair was wet I did my last check of length and everything looked good! I know most people prefer cutting hair wet but I just don't because Annika's hair flips out and curls too much at the ends even while wet, flat ironing it is the only way to keep it straight.

This is the best picture I could get of her, her hair is about shoulder length now and super cute looking! She's trying to lift the glass table here:

You can see that some of the sides are still a bit shorter than the rest and that we're really trying to train those bangs to stay to the side!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Annika was not a fan of Santa this year!

And, of course, I had to still buy the picture! We were lucky and we went at 10am Saturday morning to see Santa at the mall. There was no line which was great since last year we waited over 2 hours to get a picture. Last year 2 hours was worth it because she loved Santa:

I think this year's picture is just hilarious and I can't stop laughing when I see it. Josh and I both think it's just perfect and when Annika is older she's going to laugh about it too!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My parents

I was always close to my parents especially being an only child.

There's a lot of stories to tell about them but the story of their end is the hardest to tell.

On October 16th, 2010 my world changed forever.

This is the picture I will always remember. This was taken on October 16th of me and Annika. We didn't have a care in the world!

A few hours this was taken my mom called me to tell me my dad fell in the kitchen. Thinking he had like a broken leg or something I rushed to the house to see what happened. An ambulance had already come to pick him up when I arrived and my parents' neighbor came running to me to tell me she thought dad had a seizure and that he wasn't responding when they came for him.

Mom and I went to the ER and decided to go home when they told us they had lots of tests to perform and that he'd most likely be admitted since he still wouldn't respond much.

The next morning mom called to let me know that dad had a room in ICU but they didn't tell her much else.

I stopped at Panera along my way to get her to visit and got us both green teas and cinnamon crunch bagels.

We ate our bagels together as my mom gathered things together for dad. Shampoo, comb, shavers, clothes.

I yelled at her as we were leaving the house because I realized her shirt was inside out. She didn't want to go back inside to change it but I insisted and told her she wasn't going anywhere with me with her shirt like that.

At the hospital she complained of back and shoulder pain. She seemed to get really tired from walking from one end of the hospital to the other.

They told us dad had a drinking problem and that he was in detox now. He was sedated and on a ventilator because he was having DTs.

Mom denied his drinking problem while I confirmed it with the nurse. Mom refused to sign documents making her in charge of his medical care. I signed them instead.

I drove mom home and unlocked dad's truck to show her the hidden bottle of vodka along with an empty bottle. Large bottles.

I drove home.

2 hours later I got the phone call, "I'm sorry but your mother has passed away." Never in a million years would I have thought I'd get that call from my mother's own cell phone.

And just like that, she was gone.

For the next 7 weeks my dad was in and out of ICU and progressive ICU. He would breath fine on his own and then stop breathing. So he'd go on a ventilator and then off a ventilator. He had MRSA, then an infection, then he pulled out his feeding tube in his nose, then he had one in his stomach, then it got infected. It was never ending.

During those 7 weeks I juggled my full time job, Annika getting sick and being sent home from daycare at least 4 times, Josh's car breaking down (we ended up selling it and transferring my dad's car into my name so we could use it) and then Josh getting laid off from his job the week before Thanksgiving.

After Josh was unable to find another job on December 3rd we pulled Annika out of daycare.

On December 2nd I had my last conversation with my dad. He asked how Annika was, said he was upset that he missed her first birthday party, he wanted to know what mom died from (I told him she died after he was in the hospital for a week, he never knew what she died from), he told me to withdrawal all his money out of his bank account and wanted to be sure I had his PIN, he wanted to know what happened to each of their pets (shelters and one person adopted a dog they had), he told me to use his money to pay for Annika's daycare so Josh could get a job, told me to sell his car or keep it as my own and so many other things.

As they wheeled him back to put his feeding tube back in he told me it would work and that it was okay.

On December 4th while he was unresponsive and in a coma I said good-bye. On my drive home from the hospital he died.

On December 11th with family, friends and strangers that knew my parents we said good-bye.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday!

I'm not braving the stores this year for Black Friday. Not at 33 weeks pregnant and not with a toddler!

Instead I opted to go at 8am to Target because I wanted the Oster stainless steel looking toaster they had on sale for $19 and I got it! Totally didn't have to go out at midnight to get it! Plus I bought New Moon and Eclipse (I already owned Twilight) and also got Elf (one of the few Will Ferrel movies I like) and Rio. I was back home in 25 minutes (which is kind of cheating since we live like 3 seconds away from Target)!

If you're staying at home too check out my cousin's Etsy store. I love her handmade crafts and highly recommend her Nook, Kindle and iPad cases. I have a Kindle case I love and my best friend purchased a case for her Nook and LOVES it. So much nicer than the crap cases you find at regular stores and so much cuter!

Also if you're bored and creative yourself check out some blogs I've been checking out lately. I really want to get a sewing machine just so I can try to be as creative! Maybe someday after our lives settle down a bit!

Prudent Baby
Doe a Deer (again advertising for my cousin!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

What are we doing???

We are celebrating our first Thanksgiving with my family! Typically we had this day with just my parents with me preparing the majority of the feast. A few years ago we had it with Josh's family but usually we'd go up to his family on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to have a dinner with them.

Since it's our first Thanksgiving all together we're doing something special. We're all making headdresses to wear! I cannot wait to share the pictures! I worked hard and long Friday night creating headdresses for me, Annika and Josh. Josh seems to be more Indian with his headdress but I think you could say the design for mine and Annika's is more pilgrim-ish.

I'm preparing crock pot mashed potatoes, corn bread casserole and caramel apple cheesecake! Yum! I've made the cheesecake and corn bread casserole a lot before but never the crock pot potatoes so I hope they turn out!

And what am I thankful for this year? A healthy family, a good and stable job for me and Josh, our little girl that's on the way and family that is closer to us than ever before. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Differences between first and second pregnancies

Quickly: Annika had her 2 year check up Friday and I wanted to post her stats! She is 33 1/2 inches tall which puts her in the 50th percentile and 29 pounds which is 75th. She has totally dropped in height when at her 1 year check up she was in the 95th percentile!! She's actually only grown 3 inches this year, looks like she may just take after me in height!

I thought I'd kind of mix up my posts a bit. I still plan on doing quiet a few "getting to know me" type of posts but I'm going to mix it with things I want to just write about currently.

Here is my list of differences between my pregnancy with Annika and now this one with Annabel:

#1: Eating for 2 should not be taken seriously!

With Annika I ate for 2. Not for like one 125 pound person and another 1 ounce-8 pound little itty bitty person, I ate for two full sized 125 pound people. I gained 60 pounds people!!

Here I was at 9 weeks and 2 days:

And here I am at 39 weeks and 1 day just 5 days before Annika was born:

This time I have been slightly better with my weight gain. I may be small normally but I am just not capable of only gaining the recommended 25-35 pounds total. I've currently gained about 35 and I'm 32 weeks pregnant. It's better than last time but still more than I should have gained!

#2:Not everything has to be brand new!

I had to have a new crib, new highchair, towels, blankets, everything! I did not purchase a single thing used for Annika. We had lots of hand me down clothes which I was fine with, I'm always fine with that! The only thing that was used was our car seat/stroller combo.

This time around I've been checking out yard sales and Craiglist trying to find deals on everything. I did buy our infant car seat new but I got it on E-bay for about $30 cheaper than it was in the store. I bought a stroller and bouncer from Craigslist recently and they both look brand new but didn't have that brand new price tag! Luckily we still had our crib (Annika is now in a toddler bed) and all her old clothes.

#3: You do not need much for a baby!

When Annika was born I had a highchair (she didn't use it till 6 months old), a bumbo (3 months old), a bouncer (a few weeks old), a swing (never used it), and about a million other things that stayed in their package and were listed on Craiglist when she was a few months old because we didn't need it!

Now I've learned my lesson. We still have our highchair but it's in the garage. I'm not even bothering to buy a bumbo or a swing. I have a bouncer ready to go when we need it. I bought some new bottles since I think I threw away Annika's old ones for some reason and some new pacifiers since when Annika quit pacifiers cold turkey I threw them all away so I wouldn't be tempted to give her one.

#4: It is best to hide from people to avoid them saying stupid shit to you.

1st pregnancy I allowed people to say rude things to me. Seriously, I walked around at work all the time and took all the stupid comments people would say "you're so big" or "you aren't going to make it to your due date", blah, blah, blah. This time around I stick to my desk or I move quickly (about as quickly has a huge pregnant woman can move) to avoid comments. I don't allow eye contact because eye contact clearly means "come on say something rude about my size". I've learned my lesson, it's nice to get to sit quietly at my desk at work and not have people always saying something!

#5: Your attitude is different, or so I'm told.

Josh says he was always suprised at how nice and sweet I was while pregnant with Annika. I rarely complained, I wasn't bitchy.... times have changed! Try being pregnant with a toddler! Then try being pregnant working 9 hour days 5 days a week and being at home alone with that toddler every evening.

Then have your back start hurting sooner than you remember. Then puke all the time until 18 weeks instead of 16 weeks like last time. No, no, I'm not comlaining, I am grateful to be prenant again, I'm just not a sweet person this time around and I know I'm not!

I have no patience, I jump to conclusions, I cry, I throw fits.....ummmmm...I might be the 2 year old here but I'm also tired!!

Anyone else notices differences between their first and second pregnancies??

Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting to know me!

I guess I should start at the beginning, huh?

I was born and raised in Florida and since I'm still here I'm one of the few Floridians I know of!

My mother was also born in Florida but raised in Cuba, New York and Spain. Her father was Spanish and her mother is American.

My dad was born in Sweden and was 100% Swedish. My grandparents actually still live in Sweden and I've visited them twice in the last few years.

My parents deserve their own special post so look for that shortly. Here they all looking all young in the 70s:

I met my husband, Josh, at the dentist. Yep, that's right. He was a patient and I was the dental assistant. After a year of dating/living together we were engaged. We were married at the Sarasota Courthouse February 23rd, 2007.

Here we are all young and stuff at our wedding:

We had a struggle to get pregnant with our precious daughter. We started trying to conceive in August of 2007. After visiting a fertility specialist, having countless tests and finally laparoscopic surgery we were very fortunate to find out we were pregnant on February 27th, 2009, just 4 days after our 2 year wedding anniversary.

Our red headed girl, Annika Maria, joined us on November 7th, 2009 via c-section. She was predicted to be 10 pounds 15 ounces so c-section was right for us! She was 9 pound even and alert from the start!

Annika spent ages 10 weeks till 1 year old in daycare while we both worked full time jobs.

Our world changed forever with the death of my parents only 7 weeks apart between the months of October-December 2010. Clearly, there will be more to post on this.

In January 2011, as if we weren't having a rough enough time, I was told I had cells on my cervix that were categorized as severe dysplasia. My doctor suggested LEEP but only after we decided if we'd want more children. Since I've had a cone biopsy in the past my doctor didn't want to risk the complications from a pregnancy after that along with a LEEP.

We had 4 months to get pregnant again! Luckily on May 10th, 2011 we found out were were expecting again! Then we found out it's another girl!

Currently Josh and I work opposite schedules during the week to allow Annika to not have to go to daycare. It works out nicely now with the future arrival of Annabel Alicia. We won't ahve to pay for daycare for 2 kids!

And here we are. I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant with 7 weeks left to go!

There's clearly a lot more story to tell in a lot more detail, stay tuned!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How to survive a c-section

I'm bringing this post over from my old blog because I've been told it's so informative, plus, honestly, I need to read it myself to prepare myself!

~The first thing that happens is the preparation for your c-section. You'll receive an IV (a large one, I'm not going to lie) and my nurse told me that that IV would be the worse pain I'd feel that day. She was 100% right. The IV is the worse and it's not even THAT bad.

~They'll then ask you a billion questions about your pregnancy. Pretty boring.

~While the IV is in you'll be receiving lots and lots of fluids. Get up and pee as often as you want and need to, after this you won't be peeing on your own for a while.

~I walked myself into the OR. I had a choice to be on a bed and wheeled in but that seemed a bit wussy to me since I was fine at that point.

~Next thing you'll be in the OR. Equipment in the OR can be scary if you've never been in one before, I have though. I just looked down at the ground the entire time though. For me personally I'd rather not see the instruments used to cut me open.

~The anesthesiologist will come in next and explain the spinal to you. You'll be seated on the operating table, hunched forward with your shoulders down. Take BIG deep breaths into your nose and out your mouth slowly. A nurse will be in front of you to hold on to you. It helped me to grab her arms just to hold, it really made me more comfortable.

~The first injection for the spinal is the numbing stuff. It feels like a bee sting and that's it. The actual spinal just feels like someone has their finger on your spine and is pushing. You don't actually feel the needle go in at all. It's all pressure.

~The nurses will then lay you flat on the table and your legs and butt will get warm right away. It feels weird but nice at the same time. Just remember to keep breathing.

~I looked up at the ceiling and kept breathing as they set everything up. They put one of those little oxygen thingys in my nose and my arms were layed out to the side of me.

~Josh was then allowed in the room. A nurse will pinch your stomach area and ask if you feel anything and if you're like me you'll ask "feel what?"

~I talked with Josh the entire time they were cutting me so I have no clue what was going on.

~Suddenly I heard a baby's cry. Josh went to her while they cleaned her off to take pictures. Meanwhile the doctor worked on me and I didn't feel a thing. Time went by extremely fast. Then they brought me Annika to see and touch.

~Josh went to recovery with Annika while the doctor and nurses cleaned me up. They moved me to a bed and wheeled me to recovery.

~My vitals where taken for about an hour in recovery and Annika was in a little cradle next to me getting checked out too.

~Josh went to the nursery with Annika for more tests and for her bath while I went into our room.

~Every 2-4 hours the first day you'll have a nurse that checks your vitals and literally drives you insane. You'll have a catheter in but I never even felt mine. If you're offered pain killers take them! You don't have to be a hero! I said I didn't want them once and felt the pain an hour later. Also take them at home for at least a week. I stopped taking mine regularly at 7 days post partum.

~Either that night or the next morning they'll have you get out of bed and sit in a chair for a few hours.

~The next day you can request they take out the catheter, I did first thing the next morning. Drink lots and lots of fluids so you are able to pee without straining. Once you're out of the bed that day do not go back to bed unless you're going to take a nap. Stay out of bed as much as you can.

~Request a stool softner if they don't give you one. Have one at home to take too. I didn't poop until 5 days post partum and it was hell to get it out. I kept taking the stool softners till 8 or 9 days post partum just to be sure it was all coming out.

~At home walk around a lot. Don't lay yourself up in bed. I took a walk my second day home. The third day home I went to visit Josh's work and the forth day I went to BRU.

~Get a girdle to wear to keep your tummy pulled in. I ordered one online and it was way too small to wear right afterwards so I wore my bella band. The bella band will keep your tummy from flopping around afterwards. I've been wearing my nearly a week and now my girdle fits.

~Drink lots of fluids when you're home and keep taking your prenatal vitamins.

~The staples they'll put in you incision are not fun (you might be lucky and have the glue stuff instead). While you have them put a pillow over your tummy when you laugh, cough or sneeze, it helps. Once they're out you'll feel wonderful!

~The bleeding with a c-section actually lasts longer than with a vaginal birth.

~Be prepared to loose a ton of weight even if you aren't walking a lot. I lost 20 pounds my first week! I lost all 60 pounds within 3 months!

~Any other questions feel free to ask!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hello, anyone here???

Monday the 21st will be my first offical day on this new blog!!

First of all I'd like to say welcome and become a follower! If you've followed me in the past I'm glad you were able to find me and make the switch over!

I will be working on my layout and profile more in the coming weeks. My first few posts will be a "getting to know me" for those who don't know my entire story and for those of you who do know my story you know it's a long one!

Anyway, welcome and hope you enjoy!!