Thursday, August 27, 2015

Natalie's Birth Day {08.27.14}

Today I am so excited that my real life friend, Katie, is here to share her daughter Natalie's birth story. Katie and I are friends from high school and today is Natalie's FIRST BIRTHDAY - could there be a more perfect day to share the day this sweet little girl was born?

Hey everyone!  My name is Katie, and I (gasp!) don’t actually have a blog.  BUT, I do love reading blogs and have been reading Mama & Mou ever since getting pregnant with my baby girl.  Ok, I read it before that too- but I’ve also known Kristin since middle school.  I was so excited to get the chance to share my daughter’s birth story because I actually have never written it, but I have been meaning to do it for the last 12 months now, I guess its better late than never!

My sweet little girl, Natalie Alice, was due to enter this world on August 20th, but at each doctor’s appointment from 37 weeks on, I was told that I would have her early.  I saw three different doctors in that time and each of them said “no way’ was I making it to the next appointment!  However, the due day came and went…and the doctor finally let me schedule an induction if I hit 41 weeks, joking that it was just a formality, because I definitely wouldn’t be needing an induction!  Well, guess what?  Turns out I did it.  It was just about the weirdest thing going to bed the night before I was induced, knowing what the next day would bring and also having NO clue what it would be like.  For some reason, I was incredibly worried about what the right thing to eat for breakfast would be.  I debated this for way too long, and finally settled on oatmeal and peanut butter for the win!  My husband, Mark, and I got to the hospital at about 7am and got settled into our labor and delivery room.  The nurse started an IV and hooked up some bags of fluid.  The overnight doctor was still there, so she came in and broke my water at about 8:30.  It didn’t hurt at all, which was great because I was expecting the worst!  She said to me “Well, there’s no leaving without your baby now!”  Don’t worry lady, wasn’t planning on it!
The nurse then started to give me Pitocin through the IV and it wasn’t too long before I started to have some contractions.  I decided that we should walk around while the pain was still manageable, so we strolled up and down the hallway.  After about an hour I decided to try sitting on the yoga ball. The contractions started to really heat up at this point but I had barely made any progress.   After more walking and more bouncing on the ball, the contractions were getting to be really painful, so I was sure I had to be moving a long in the process.  I remember being blown away by how each contraction was really a "full body experience" rather than a terrible cramp.  I was still only at about 3cm by 1pm, so the nurse suggested getting an epidural so she could turn the Pitocin up to the maximum dose.  I had planned on getting an epidural all along, so it was an easy decision to make when the time came.  The anesthesiologist was apparently having a busy day, but he was in our room and getting the epidural going by 2:45.  Side note, he was a super attractive young doctor and the hospital should probably ban him from the premises because it is not cool to have to a super attractive young doctor see your pregnant backside.   I have a medical device implanted in my lower back and there was some concern about whether it would interfere with the epidural.  Unfortunately, something about it did interfere and the epidural only worked on one side of my body.  The anesthesiologist suggested that I lay on my side to help the medication “spread out evenly,” which did help, but I was never completely numb.   I tried to relax and get some rest, as I knew I wouldn't be getting much that night, but  I really couldn't settled down at all.  I was laying on my side for the next 2 hours while the Pitocin was at the maximum dosage, but then I started to be able to feel everything again and had the nurse come back to check things out.  I was sure she would tell me that we still had a long time to go, in fact, I had just texted my family and friends and told them we were in for a long night!  
Instead she told me that I was ready to push!  Umm, excuse me? Say what? I was wanting more meds before this happened!  I am grateful that the epidural lasted long enough to get me to a 10, but I was definitely not thrilled that the main event would be au natural.  Who really has time to care about this though when a baby is about to exit your body? My doctor was still across the street where her practice is, but they paged her to come over and got me started with some “practice” pushing.  A second nurse came in, the doctor got there, and they set Mark up holding one of my legs, even though I could easily move them on my own. 

I was completely blown away at how hard it was to hold my breath while pushing and counting.  To be honest, I had a few moments of “no, sorry, I cannot do this.”  I was almost instantly fatigued from the pushing, which was pretty surprising to me since I worked out up until 41 weeks and was actually in excellent shape.  It just felt to me that the baby was completely stuck and that I was making zero progress despite using 110% of my strength. After 45 minutes, the doctor told me that the baby’s heart rate was dropping and she was not getting enough oxygen.  She said she would give me one more good push while she used the vacuum, but that she would be performing an emergency c-section if the baby didn’t come out.  Something in me just said no way would I stop pushing and I just knew that I had to get her out on the next push.  I have no idea how I made that happen, but one more push (and completely disregarding the counting nurse next to me) and Natalie was here!!  As soon as everyone saw here, they all said..and I quote “Oh! THAT’S why this was so hard!”  Turns out she was sunny-side up AND had her umbilical cord wrapped around her, literally pulling her back in after each push.  She came into this world frantically swinging her arms and kicking her legs, like she was finally free!  One of the nurses said she had never seen a baby move that wildly so soon after birth.  I thought maybe I should be worried about it, like maybe those couple of diet cokes I drank in the last 10 months actually were full of the caffeinated poison I read about on the Internet.  But then I had a warm little baby on my chest and her eyes were wide open and she had this tiny perfect cry.  She didn’t let out that loud cry you think about, she was really very mature about the whole thing. The nurses helped me to breastfeed her for the first time and she latched on perfectly, causing my very first words to her to be “Oh! You’re so smart!” And she still is, she’s the smartest little baby.  She entered this world at 5:28 pm on August 27th, 2014.  She was 7 lbs 3 oz and 20 inches long.
I was able to get out of bed right after having her since the epidural was long gone.  It was nice to let Mark hold her while I got cleaned up and ready to move into the room where we spent the next 2 nights.  I can’t even describe that first night having a brand new baby sleeping next to you.  If you’ve been through it then you already know what type of magic it is, but it is pretty surreal and well…magical.  The days in the hospital are now a total blur, but I know there were lots of visitors, lots of poking and prodding, a little bit on jaundice, and a few terrifying moments in the shower.  We survived it though!  Mark and I really had no idea what we were doing and probably still don’t, but she is now the happiest and sweetest (and smartest!) 1 year old. 
So there you have it, nothing too wild or crazy, but with the most perfect ending!  Thanks for reading!


Happy FIRST Birthday Natalie! And thanks for sharing your story Katie!

If you are interested in sharing your birth story, email me at

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tailgate Tuesday

My football spirit is officially in high gear. While I would never, ever, ever wish away summer there is one major benefit to the start of fall and that is in fact college football. My love for my Gophers runs deep and every year around this time I start to get those pre-season butterflies. It's a tradition of ours to go to one of the Goph's open practices each year and we got to do that yesterday! Which is why, my buddy Erin's Tailgate Tuesday link up couldn't have been planned for a better time! 
Tailgate Tuesday

It was a gorgeous Minnesota summer day. The boys looked good and there seemed to be an energy and excitement on the field that I haven't seen before. I'm feeling good things about this season and I can't wait to see the maroon and gold live in action in just 23 days!!!!

I'm anxious to get this season started and am so excited for our opening game - which just so happens to be a Thursday night game at home! We've had some epic season opener tailgates in the past but something tells me this year is going to be one for the books.

I'm also excited for a little road trip action that we have planned for November! I've been lucky enough to watch my boys on the road a number of times and am excited to add another Big 10 stadium to my list {I want to cheer my Gophers on at each one}. 

And then of course, there's one other little Gopher related event that needs to be celebrated {on Sept. 2nd!} How was this already 5 years ago?!

Well now that I am all kinds of riled up, I think I'm going to go put on some maroon & gold, practice the rouser and brush up on some of my cheers. 


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Things I Just Don't Get

It's 10:32pm on Wednesday night and as I sit here trying desperately to come up with some kind of blog content, my husband is feverishly playing his new "The Show" baseball game on his new PlayStation 4 {thanks Jason's job} and I just don't get it. While I have some favorite video games from the past {Pokemon Snap anyone?} I just don't understand the appeal of playing a video game for hours on end, especially one that emulates a sport that is notoriously boring {don't hate - I love going to baseball games but you can't tell me that baseball is a super exciting sport}. This new game, however, has just now generated a blog post idea because there are other things that I JUST DON'T GET, like...

...Why guys think Scarlett Johansson is so stinkin' hot. It's not a jealousy thing, there are plenty of women I think are smokin hot and even if I don't I can generally see the appeal, however, for some reason I just can't get on board with ScarJo. 

Image result for brutus buckeye
...The Buckeyes. OK, I'm going to be in some seriously hot water with this one but what the eff is a Buckeye? It's a NUT. That's what. My sister will be a Buckeye in just a few short weeks, one of my best friends is a Buckeye fan for a reason I still don't understand and I also have dear friends from Ohio, not to mention all my Ohio State loving blog friends. But, really, when my mascot is a damn Gopher and he can EAT your mascot, it's just embarrassing. And yes, I know full well the Buckeyes are currently better than the Gophers {in football} but seriously....A NUT

...The weird mom jeans turned shorts people are wearing. I get is a trend. But it's got to be one of the most unflattering ones in fashion history. Sorry if you own these, like these, or wear these. More power to you! Really. I just don't get it. 

...The Big Bang Theory. I know, kill me now. I just don't think it's funny. Maybe my opinion is clouded by my obsession with the best/funniest show of all time {FRIENDS, obviously} but I just don't get this show. 

...Tomatoes. GROSS with a capital G. Yes, I like ketchup and tomato soup and spaghetti and pizza and salsa but biting in to a raw tomato makes me gag just thinking about it. Tomatoes may actually be my most hated food {nope, that was a lie, green peppers are}. The funny thing is, Jason shares my disdain against tomatoes and somehow Kenley LOVES them. I buy them for her and we have to turn our heads when she eats them! It doesn't help that she bites in to them and then declares "MOM! I'm going to suck the beads out!"

Alright, now that I've pissed everyone off...I hope you all have a great Thursday!
What are the things you just don't get?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mama P's Greek Rice

It's a running joke in my big fat Greek family that Greek cooking dirties every pan in the kitchen, and for the most part that is true. However, there are a couple of Greek staples in our meal rotation that are quick, easy, delicious yet still Greek. One of my all time favorites is Greek Rice - I'm sure there's some 15 character Greek word for it but around these parts it's Greek Rice {clever, huh?} My mom used to make this for us all the time as kids and then I think we all forgot about it for years and when she revived the recipe when Kenley and I were in Arizona I got re-hooked and have probably made it 15 times since. It's a great side dish that goes perfect with chicken, burgers, hot dogs, or just by itself with a giant spoon! I usually serve it on the side of Greek meatballs {keftedes} and a Greek Salad because if you're going to be Greek, really be Greek. 

What you'll need: 
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup brown rice {I also love to use Simply Balanced multigrain blend with brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, etc for some extra nutrients}
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese 
  • Parsley, to taste
  • Pinch of Cinnamon {the secret ingredient}
  • S&P, to taste
What you do:
  • Melt the butter & saute the shallot
  • Add rice, tomato sauce and chicken stock to shallot mixture and bring to a boil.

  • Once boiling, cover until liquid is absorbed and rice is soft {appx. 45 minutes depending on the rice you use}
  • Stir in feta, parsley, cinnamon and S&P and serve!

Kenley tested and Kenley approved {despite the look}.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August Goals

So my whole Happiness Project / Health Related July goals kind of went down the crapper about mid-month. While July was super fun,  I felt anxious and stressed for almost the entire second half of it and as a result totally ignored my goals. HOWEVER, in an attempt to stick with the happiness project, I am not going to beat myself up about it. Life Happens. Sometimes things are just tougher than usual and that's OK. I didn't get enough "points" to reward myself with a new swimsuit but I did average 10,775 steps a day, squeezed in 11 workouts and only went to Starbucks 5 times {which is really a huge win if you ask me} and I also won my DietBet and made a little cash while shedding a couple of pounds. 

I had August slated to be the Time Management month and that truthfully couldn't have come at a better time as this month is JAM FLIPPIN PACKED. I really want to start getting in to more of a weekday routine but I know myself well enough to know that this month is not the month to do it. I will be out of town 2 of this month's weekends and between fun plans, packing, moving and working it's going to be really tough to settle in to a routine and so I'm going to save that for September. Instead I need to use August to GET.STUFF.DONE. So, I'm taking a 1 month hiatus from the Happiness Project Goals and instead am making a list of stuff I MUST accomplish this August {and a couple of other little things as well}.
  • DECLUTTER the heck out of our townhouse. I do not want anything that we don't need or use coming with us to the new house so decluttering every nook & cranny is an absolute must.
  • GO TO THE POOL. I now have less than 30 days left with my beloved pool, so as silly as it is, getting some time in must be a priority. 
  • POST to mama and mou every week day. I love this blog and hate when I let it slip, so I really want to make time to get a post up every day and spend time reading your posts as well! 
  • WORKOUT at least 16 times. While it's a busy month, I can't let the workouts slip so if I can workout 16 times that will be every other day this month. 30 minutes is all it takes and who doesn't have 30 minutes to spare a day?
  • PULL OFF the most epic and awesome Bachelorette Party ever. We're less than 2 weeks away from my besties Las Vegas Bach Party - crunch time to make it awesome. 
  • KEEP MY COOL. I could fill several blog posts with all the stuff I need to do this month but that would be boring. I get overwhelmed looking at this month's calendar and to-do list but I can do it and it's a goal to do it as calmly and stress-free as possible! 

What are your goals this month? 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sprinkle Baby Sprinkle

In planning a party for my Beeb and her second baby boy due in September, I learned that a "Sprinkle" is not a well known thing. I thought everyone did Sprinkles but I guess I'm just a weirdo. So for those who do not know, a Sprinkle is simply a baby shower for a second (or third, or fourth...) baby. With a first baby the mama gets SHOWERED with all the essentials like a stroller, car seat, crib, etc. but with a second baby she already has all that stuff so we SPRINKLE her and baby with smaller gifts like diapers, clothes, etc. Get it? 

Now that we're all on the same page, let's talk about Carolyn's Sprinkle! I thought the absolute best theme for a Baby Sprinkle was...SPRINKLES! Plus, Carolyn loves cupcakes so it just worked! 

Party planning started with an invitation designed by none other than my friend Erin. She does all my design everything and is amazing! This invite might just be my favorite collaboration because it's just so dang happy. 

I knew for sure I wanted to serve French Toast because Carolyn has been craving it her whole pregnancy and this French Toast Bake recipe ended up being perfect and delicious. Of course I was too busy eating it and didn't get a picture...but was yummy! Along with the french toast I did bacon, fruit, mini pastries and deviled eggs. I also failed to photograph the whole spread but it was pretty!

For beverages, I kept it simple with a yummy punch {orange juice + pineapple juice + sprite} and champagne {Non-alcoholic for the mama of course} then guests could drink either or mix themselves a yummy little mimosa. 

And no good party is complete with sweets so I whipped up some mini cupcakes and cookies complete with tons of sprinkles, of course. 

And speaking sprinkles, what better favor for a sprinkle than a mini mason jar full of sprinkles?

For decor I basically used bright, fun colors and tons of sprinkles! 

For the game, I filled these gift bags on the mantle with baby items starting with the letter on the bag {bobs, aveeno baby wash, breastmilk bags, yogurt melts, rattle, onesies and elephant jammies} and the guests had to guess what the items were. 

And the winner got a little gift bag with her own Sprinkle Cupcakes kit!

It was a wonderful day celebrating my dear friend and her baby boy! I cannot wait to get my hands on another squishy little Roe baby!