Just Sandy

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Friday, September 23, 2016

I Love My Mom Life

Good morning (or whatever time it is when you read this)!

Today I really wanted to share what was on my heart. I LOVE being a mom.  I mean it! There are so many things I love about being a mom! My last post was about how my pregnancy was sucking and at the end of my very long list of complaints I said that I of course wouldn't take back being pregnant because in the end I got a beautiful baby. That last sentiment means so much more today than when I wrote it. Not that I didn't whole-heartedly believe it then, but I didn't know exactly how much I meant it.

My son ended up being born 4 weeks early on June 13, 2016, and still weighed a whopping 7 lbs. 5 oz! I was SO ready to be done with pregnancy but worried that his lungs wouldn't be developed. In my small town that meant because I had to have a c-section I would stay in my town and he would be flown to the NICU in another town with the capacity to care for him. I was dreading the possible separation! I was also stressing about the whole operation and a repeat of bleeding out and almost dying like I did with my first child. I said a silent prayer as I lay on the operating table and got an overwhelming sense of peace. My prayers had been answered! All went well and we were both doing great! 

When the doctor put him up over the blue curtain that was blocking me from the surgery (which my husband gladly watched and was fascinated by) I saw his wide eyes and squishy face and instantly I was head over heals in love, even more so than I was when I was carrying him. He was SO darn cute and perfect! I cried tears of joy and relief. 

Then came the first few weeks of breastfeeding troubles, spinal tap headache, and very, very little sleep. Through all of that the joy never left. Who knew I could have so much love to give? I wondered how I could fully love two children. Even though it sounds crazy, I wondered how I could love both of them so much and if you have more than one kid, you probably understand the transitional thoughts I was feeling. You just do! It just happens and I can't explain how much overflowing love I have for my kids.

Now Lets get real... not everyday do I have this lovable demeanor, I want to scream and throw things at the wall sometimes with my soon to be 6 year old's attitude and back talk. Not to mention the early mornings and how long it takes to get ready and motivate people to get up and ready to be out the door on time. Even though I get frustrated and mad in those moments, I always have my joy. 

I have so much to be thankful for right now. My daughter is turning 6 and is loving 1st grade, my son is about 3.5 months old and I take him to work with me everyday. I love that! It can be rough at times on days when he doesn't fully cooperate, but he usually does. I get to drop my daughter off and pick her up from school everyday, and I AM DONE with my schooling (for now, but that's a topic for another day). Everyday I see my sons super cute smiley face and I love the love he has for me. His smile just melts away everything. I love that when he sees me he lights up. I love his coos, and small laughs at silly things I do. I mean come on, how cute is this kid! 

My kids amaze me everyday and I am blessed to be their mom. God chose me to be their mom, and I will forever be thankful. My daughter is in soccer again and I can't wait to see her grow in the sport she loves, and I am glad that my son will get to watch his sister. The love they already have for each other also astounds me. He loves watching her, listening to her, and talking to her. They have a huge age gap so she hasn't gone through the jealousy phase and is a great helper. I can't help but smile when they communicate.

After dropping my daughter off at school today I was sitting at the table with McLaren (my son) on my lap, drinking my coffee while he babbled and drooled on my sleeve. I was thinking, man I love my mom life. I know it can be rough and exhausting but it is truly a blessing. I am so thankful I was able to have two children because for a long time we thought we could only have one. 

Cherish your children, hold them tight, make them laugh, let them teach you things, be a kid with them sometimes, and discipline them with love when you need to. Love your mom life because it won't be like this for long.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Let's hear it for the Mom's.

Hello internet world! Can we talk for a minute?

Lets talk about pregnancy. I know what you are thinking, here we go, bring on the complaining or the "pure bliss" comments... and you know what you are right. Because honestly pregnancy sucks, and I get to think that, and at the same time I also get to think that it is the most amazing, wonderful, life changing experience a woman could ever go through. So let's get started shall we?

In the beginning God made Man and Women... wait wrong story...

In the beginning when you get a positive test you are really exited and nervous all at the same time (I'm speaking to the majority of planned pregnancies). If you have been trying for a few weeks or several years I think those feelings are still the same. Then comes morning sickness and you think, "Why the heck did I do this?" Now, you know why you did it but this is where I am going to break off from the norms.

With my first child, I didn't really get morning sickness, I have about 2 weeks of nausea and threw up once, and that is when I learned you take your prenatal's with food. Problem mostly solved. The second pregnancy I had morning sickness, then it stopped before I miscarried. This pregnancy I got morning sickness, but I also got Norovirus, in which I welcomed morning sickness instead, and it was hard to tell when I was actually over Norovirus. Even with getting actually sick, my morning sickness didn't last all that long. It lasted just a few weeks, which is terrific because some are cursed with is for months or the whole pregnancy.

With my daughter I got large rather fast, no thanks to the "eat all you want of whatever you want" mentality. This time before I got pregnant, I was in shape, a size 4/6, worked out fairly regularly, and lived by a mostly organic "clean eating" lifestyle diet, with the occasional give here and there when at a friends house or somewhere I chose not to make a huge fuss and just avoided the things I could. I continued that into this pregnancy, and I have been grateful that comparatively I have been MUCH smaller each week than compared to when I was carrying my daughter.

Around week 10 I started getting MASSIVE headaches that I couldn't do anything about, EVERYDAY! It totally sucked. Both pregnancies in the first trimester drained me of energy and I could sleep better than ever, if I had the chance. In the second trimester, there was no relief in my first pregnancy, but this pregnancy I felt great and got that, "Second trimester boost" of energy that people always talk about. I continued to exercise, which included walks, weight lifting just modified weight and exercises, swimming, and yoga. I was all set! I was going to be skinny and one of those girls that
doesn't look like she is going to pop any second or have twins. I started having pressure from the baby being so low in my first trimester which was uncomfortable, but bearable. About 22-24ish weeks I started having increased pressure and sharp pains from him that I thought was normal. Yes, this one is a boy!!! I attributed it to just being a different pregnancy, but it got increasingly hard to walk and deal with, until one day I got such a sharp pain I burst into tears. I, of course, polled my mommy friends on Facebook, but it didn't happen for the next few days so I never called the doctor and just assumed he had kicked a nerve. Let me mention, I can feel this kid kick my leg, through my hip... and I have been feeling him since shockingly early 11.5 weeks, which I thought was impossible but it's not according to my doctor, but I digress.

I continued to feel harsh pains that cramped up my entire right thigh and made me feel like I was splitting in two; but again thought nothing of it except this kid is extremely strong! Then one day in my 30th week I was sitting in class, (yes I am finishing my degree this semester 20 days before the baby comes), I was in such agony that everyone kept asking me if I was ok. With tears in my eyes I told my professor and class I was fine, the baby was just kicking me hard and to ignore any sharp intakes of breath or noises I might make. About 5 minutes later I couldn't bare it and I limped to the bathroom, wincing in pain, and bawled from the intense pain. A few people saw me and came in to make sure I was ok, and not in labor. I told them I was, and they didn't believe me. The pain normally abated by now, but this time it wasn't. I couldn't stop crying so I decided I needed to leave class and call my husband to come pick me up, then call my doctor and see if they could get me in.

My husband headed over right away and the doctor told me to go Labor and Delivery to make sure I wasn't in labor, so off we went, but not before two men helped me to the car while my husband pulled the car onto the walk way to pick me up. Super nice of them to help me, humanity still exists in places. When we got to Labor and Delivery all the nurses thought by the crying and wincing that I was in labor and at this point I was starting to worry I was, but the pain didn't feel like contractions because my belly wasn't tightening. I got asked 5 million questions, and was hooked up to the monitors to get this thing sorted out. I continued having pain when the baby would move into different spots and every time burst into tears (which gets exhausting by the way) and take sharp breaths in, almost as if I was in labor. I was grateful the doctor came in and saw it happening because typically when the doctor comes in, you are completely normal, as if to be making the whole thing up. She was able to determine that it wasn't contractions, and went on to evaluate what could be causing this extreme pain. Eventually the diagnosis was made that I had Pelvic Symphysis, aka Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, aka Pelvis separation and softening too much. Look here if you care to find out the details.

I was grateful I wasn't in labor but this put an end to almost all activities. No more exercise, as little walking as possible, get an SI belt (which I already had for sciatic and back pain), and bring on the weight. I mean seriously, this sucks. I already have a high risk pregnancy from ITP which gets worse during pregnancy. I get my blood drawn every 2 weeks, and see 3 different doctors to monitor the pregnancy. On top of the P.S. diagnosis my platelets have continued to drop so I need and IVIG transfusion, that will take 6 entire hours! The transfusion is expected to boost mine and babies platelets in preparation for the repeat C-section I have to have.

So let me rant. Pregnancy already brings on a load of problems, I've provided a list for the unaware:

  • Constant peeing
  • Morning sickness
  • Back pain
  • Uncontrollable hormones (aka, crying at the drop of a hat, or being really irrationally angry)
  • Hunger attacks at anytime, but especially while actually sleeping because you are not peeing
  • Cravings
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids 
  • Lack of sleep
  • Fatigue, even when you get some sleep
  • Swelling
  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness
  • Breast leakiness (is that a word?)
  • Stuffiness
  • Leg cramps
  • Acne... face and back...
  • Compressed lungs
  • The inability to get out of bed like a normal person... it takes you .5 seconds... it takes me a full 3 minutes unless my husband helps pull me up or roll me over.
  • Itching all over from stretching
  • Stretch marks
  • Aches and pains
  • Sweatiness
So on top of all of those symptoms, I get this P.S. and ITP crap. I am tired, my back hurts almost constantly, my pelvis and legs hurt at random times, sometimes for long periods at a time, and now my dreams of being fit my whole pregnancy are gone. I have hit a number I NEVER wanted to see again and that is 185 lbs. I have 6 weeks left people... just under 6 weeks... that is the time babies gain all the extra weight. I went from small/medium maternity clothes (which are freaking expensive for the short duration you use actually wear them), to having to buy a large or extra large!!! Doesn't my body remember how hard it was with my daughter to get to a 4/6!?! I mean, it was brutal! 
I am fully prepared for all out war on my body after this kid gets here and I am cleared for activities. I did it once, I can do it again right? I am in the home stretch of this pregnancy and it will be my last. I can't do this again, the more times you are pregnant the hard it gets, and the older you get and your body just hates you. 

Some people have the luxury of not having many or any of the listed pregnancy problems and I envy them. I'd love to have long flowing locks of great, thick hair, that "glow" everyone talks about... um... honey I don't glow... it's the shine from all hormonal oil collecting on my face that is sure to produce about 5 zits that refuse to pop and or stay gone if they do. I'd love to be all belly, but no... my arms are fat, my thighs are huge, and I had to take my wedding rings off at 32 weeks so now people can assume I am an unwed hussy, (I don't know if they do, but I feel weird not having them on), my clothes are never comfortable unless they are yoga pants and I am without a bra, my shoes don't fit well and even so - I can't bend over to tie them if they have laces, I haven't seen my... well ya know... in over a month, forget shaving my legs... I know I could go on but I will spare you.

I just needed to vent. I think we all need to vent. We just need to complain about things that suck sometimes. I complain about it, but would I do it all over again if I knew this was going to happen? Yes, yes I would. I have an unbelievable appreciation and gratefulness to God for the ability to have a baby, and now two. I was told it was unsafe for me to have kids again (which was then proved wrong by several second opinions 5 years later) after my daughter and miscarriage. So despite all of this, I would do it again... but this will be the last time. I wish every women could experience pregnancy that wanted to and I know that some of them can't. I don't complain to belittle their pain or struggles, but it doesn't make pregnancy suck any less while you are going though it. One's persons struggle doesn't belittle or take away from another, we all are entitled to our feelings.

God Bless all the women who suffer through pregnancy for the beauty of a child!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Speak Up September

HAPPY SEPTEMBER! And Labor Day weekend!

September is my favorite month for a few reasons, 1. it starts to feel like fall my favorite season 2. My birthday month 3. my anniversary month 4. My daughters birthday!

So yeah September is full! Since my daughter starts school in September it is even more full now! So of course I almost forgot to do this today! I actually started blogging and then when I went on YouTube I saw Emily's Speak Up video and thought oh yeah!

We appropriately talk about work, since ya know, labor day!

Something I forgot to mention in my video is that I am in a Country singing competition called Country Showdown (click here to see my page and hear me sing) and I won this past month at the local level. September 19th I compete at the State level and I am really excited about that but as we are discussing in our topic, it takes work. It takes time and effort into picking songs, practicing songs, critiquing yourself, fixing small things to get the song as perfect as can be. And lets be honest it takes work to not have anxiety about the whole thing. So keep up with me and send your prayers that I win because it's a good chunk of change to win State and $100,000 if I get to Nationals and win... plus this is kind of my dream career.

Without further ado here is my contribution to Speak up Link up this month:

Click here to get linked up!
Mr. Thomas and Me

Friday, August 7, 2015

Speak Up - Restoring Creativity

Here is my vlog for this months topic!

It was a hard one for me because I just couldn't think of much but I got enough footage thanks to watching Amber's vlog ideas!

Also make sure you are watching my VEDA (vlog everyday in August) on my youtube channel! I log doing VEDA and we have various topics through out the month, so tag along with me!

Here is a link to Speak Up link up as well
Mr. Thomas and Me

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Speak Up: Independence

SO I am a bit late but if you watch you'll hear why!

Mr. Thomas and Me
Hopefully next month we have this figured out and I can get pregnant! Come back next month!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Speak Up: Picnic

Well, Hello!

It's time to Speak Up!

This months Speak Up topic was picnic. Perfect topic for the weather we had here in my town today. Today caught me off guard as it seems to every first Friday of the month even though I remember prior to the day I need to film. Some things I didn't mention in my video are the my husband and I are very excited to be getting more involved in our church in our new town. We have been here 9 month! We still love it and are seeing God move and grow within us. My daughter graduated preschool this week and very unexpectedly I bawled my eyes out. BUT without further a-due here is my video on this months topic.

***Disclaimer... my hair sucks, but I am getting it done tomorrow!

Click below to see more of my speak up friends and it's never too late to join us!
Mr. Thomas and Me

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A foodie post: Sriracha Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies

Happy Tuesday which feels just like a Monday because yesterday was Memorial Day! Memorial Day is such an amazing day that we get to honor and remember all the soldiers who lost their lives serving for our freedom in America. Most Americans celebrate by getting together, wearing Red, White and Blue and having food! I took part in the BBQ-ing tradition and made some fantastic skewers that quite a few people have now asked for the recipe. I thought I should blog about it, then pin it to share this amazing recipe with anyone who wants some good, healthy, amazingly flavorful, spicy food!

Now I am one of those people, sometimes referred to as a "granola" person that eats practically all organic and non-GMO foods. I actually have an inactive blog I started when I had more time to devote to helping people with tips and tricks to being more health, but since I hardly ever use it I am going to share it on my "lifestyle" blog.

Here we go!

The above is prepped skewer... I don't have a picture of them after they are grilled but yes, they still looked (and tasted) delicious!

Here is what to buy to make as many as are in the above picture:

  • 1 pound or approximately 4-5 organic fed and cage free chicken thighs
  • 1 large bag of organic sweet peppers (you will have left overs which are great on salads or as a snack)
  • 2-3 organic medium to large zucchini's
  • 2 organic medium yellow crook neck squash (or as I like to call them yellow zucchini)
  • 1 medium to large organic red onion
  • Fresh garlic 
  • 1 bottle of Organic Sriracha Sauce (can't find it in the store? get it here but I find it cheaper at the store) this one tastes absolutely hands down better than all the others
  • Approx. 16 oz raw local honey
  • Metal or wood skewers (if you use wood soak them for several hours so they don't burn when grilling)

  • Mix 1/2 cup Sriracha sauce, 1/2 cup honey and 3 cloves mince garlic in a small bowl
  • Cut chicken into cubes at desired size (keep in mind that you want them to cook inside before the veggies burn)
  • In a separate bowl combine approx. 3/4 of the sauce mixture with the cubed chicken and let it marinate for 30 minutes or over night in the fridge.
  • While chicken is marinating slice all veggies into skewer size slices (use picture for reference) (I cut the tops off of the sweet peppers and that took most if not all of the seeds out)
  • Layer in whatever order you would like *Note* the thickest part of the yellow squash I folded over slightly so the skewer went through twice some broke but still layered fine
  • After skewer is built use a marinating brush or just drizzle over the entire skewer with the 1/4 that is left of the sauce. Any left over marinade from the chicken should be poured on too.
  • Grill um up!
This is very simple and fun to make especially for a party but it got me thinking as I was taste testing with a few left over cuts of each item... this would be awesome over brown rice or quinoa! So the next night I did the same thing except I pan cooked the chicken in 3/4 of the sauce (after marinating) and covered it so the sauce would stay with the chicken, I cooked the cut veggies in another pan with the 1/4 left over sauce and combine them to put over rice and you know what? IT WAS AMAZING! And I added mushrooms! You can always make some more sauce just use a 1 to 1 ratio of Sriracha and honey and vary the garlic accordingly.

Happy Eating!