Saturday, December 22, 2012

The "End of the World"...

Anyone who failed, for even one brief moment, to consider that the world might truly be ending missed out on an interesting opportunity. Tiff's reaction was "I did not spend that much time pregnant just for it all to end in four days!" For all of our jokes about Mayans predicting the end of  Twinkies, or "better this than the fiscal cliff!", it was rather fun to stop and think about what would happen if the world really ended. The exercise keeps things in perspective.

Tiffany and I had a front row seat for the final few minutes. Those of you who were not keeping up with Mayan history, or the end thereof,  may not know that the official time of the "big kablewie" was 3:11am PST. Not a time we would normally sit, poised for the plunge into nothingness, but the baby woke up at 3am to eat, so we decided to hold vigil for the last moments. 3:10am rolled around, I kissed my wife, and told her it was nice knowing her, and counted to 60. Nothing happened, a fact most of you probably are aware of. 

One of the other theories was not the end of the world, but rather a step in our evolution, a jump to a higher mental plane, or something of that sort. Maybe it happened somewhere else, but Tiffany and I both agreed that we seemed to be thinking in the same manner as we always have. No telepathy or views of other dimensions. Then we looked down at little Zorro, and realized that perhaps the world jumped to a new level, the Mayans just did not realize they were predicting the change for a single family, in the middle of California.

We had always planned on a home birth, but this time the Lord had other ideas. After a Sunday afternoon was transformed into chaos by Tiff's water breaking, we called the midwife, doula, masseuse, family, everyone, because this was it! All that we had waited for, prepared for, longed for was about to happen! The midwife arrived, agreed that Tiffany's water had broken, and then we waited, and waited, and waited. One would think that the monumental act of her water breaking would send this woman, who was on bed-rest for six weeks due to pre-term labor, careening over the edge into a raging abyss of contractions on a vast scale! The result was.....nothing. A few contractions, one or two, with her husband faithfully recording the timing, length and intensity, then they would skip away like a seven year old enjoying a flowery meadow, only to return awhile later, with some new discovery, before skipping off again. Exercise was to no avail, oils only made a bit of progress, massages, pressure points, walks, the exercise ball, all was tried, with very little change.

This pushme-pullyou game of labor went on for twenty-four hours, before we ran into the rules regarding potential infection. At that point, the hard decision had to be made, and our home birth was put on the back burner, and the health of mother and baby, on the admittedly small chance of infection made us fall back on our "backup plan". There is one hospital in our area that is VERY friendly to midwives, and home-birthers in general, so a few calls were made, and we trundled off to the hospital.

To condense the next twelve hours into a few sentences, with only the intervention of a minimal amount of pitocin, no pain meds, and an excellent nursing staff and doctor, who let our able midwife take center stage until it was time to push, we welcomed a massive young man into the world. Neither Tiff nor I understand why the Lord had us scrap the plan for a home birth, but sometimes trusting means not knowing, and being willing to say, "that is how it played out, we did our best". As long as you know, deep down inside that you did your best, that is all that matters. Baby is home, mother is safe, and we are now home, enjoying the new normal, and praising God for the "End of the World".

Here are a few pictures from our grand adventure:

Sometimes, plans change. 

Was it worth it?

Oh yeah, definitely....

Does he have a belly button?

A proud big sister. 

Grandmum looking for red hair. 

Mama was missed. 

Nine months of rest wasn't enough, you have to yawn and take a nap?

Back at home, Bella makes her inspection of the new cousin. "Hold him higher daddy. I can't see!" 

Another new baby! This one was easier to get....

Ok, now we know that just one WAS easier. 

Guarding, faithfully. 

This tears me up every time.

The ten mile stare.

Big hands!

Complete cuteness.

For unto us a child is born, and we call his name, unto us a son is given; and his name shall be called.....well, you will have to wait and see. Zorro, for now.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"For there must always, always be a Zorro. And some day, when he's needed, we will see him again..."

...and he's here!!!
It is with great pride that we introduce to you our little son...

Little Zorro
Born Monday, Decemer 17th at 10:44 PM
11 pounds 6.6 ounces
21 1/2 inches long

As we did with Lilyana, he won't be officially named until his Christening, but we hope you enjoy his current name. *grin*

More pictures and details to follow!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Babies, Trees and Christmas Cheer

Yes, we're still alive.
Nope, no big news.
Yes, I'm still pregnant.

Things have been rather interesting in a boring sort of way around here.  Most of the very regular contractions stopped after I was given freedom from couch rest, and then the baby dropped....really, really low.  And then very regular and strong contractions go on for maybe 2 hours and then subside...leavings us frustrated and still waiting.  

We haven't gone far from the house...just in case.  I always travel with my "must have" oils when we leave the house.  It's getting cold...okay, cold by my definition. *grin*  It's been rainy lately, which makes it hard to get out.  Because of that, we've only taken a few walks around the neighborhood and are just trying to stay sane at this point.

Even Lilyana is ready for the baby to come out.  We all are.  As Ben keeps saying, we want to be tired with a purpose.  

Until our little guy decides to leave the warmth and rather tight conditions that I have to offer, we're just taking each day as it comes.  We're praying that he comes soon....very soon.  

With that for in an introduction, here is what we've been up to lately...again, mostly just staying in and taking pictures of my adorable baby girl...who is very quickly turning into a little lady. *sigh*

 Meal planning hasn't been on the top of our list, but always eat well!  
Sourdough baguettes with arugula  diced and marinated tomatoes, salami and Spanish cheese...can you say "YUM!"!?!?

 Ben is practicing the two baby hold.

Brothers and their babies...swapped, of course.  
Love how the girls both have their fingers in their mouths....

"Hey Lilyana!  That's my headband!"

 My babykins...keeping calm and shining on!
Okay, so she's not always calm, but she's almost always shining!

See?  Does it get cuter than that?

I was reading a book the other day, and Lilyana climbed up onto the ottoman with her book....she's either reading this one, The Right Word or John Milton's Paradise Lost.

So cute. 

 A walk in the park with daddy...before it got chilly.

 Love, love, love.

 Enjoying her glass of NingXia Red with breakfast.

"Your baby blues, so full of wonder..."

Somebody gave us these very fuzzy cloth diapers for the baby...Lilyana thought that they made better hats.

 Lilyana loves kisses!

 My second favorite face to see in the morning.

 I took a walk around the block by myself the other day and tripped....that hasn't happened in a long time!
Lilyana loves to look at my knee with a very pitiful face and say, "Ow..."

 Yeah, with this face. 

 Guess where we went?!?!  Well, just down the street...but to find a tree!!!  Hurray!  Ben got off early on Friday, so we jumped in the car and went Christmas tree shopping!  

 A lovely among the lovelies.  Seriously going to frame this one!

Mama and le bébé.

Setting up the tree...SO fun!  We actually brought the tree in that evening, but didn't decorate until Sunday evening.  Lilyana is cutting teeth, which means early bed time and we wanted her to "help" so we waited.

 Daddy gave Lilyana yogurt...Lilyana thought it was face paint.  She did manage to get most of it in her mouth, though. Sparkling Pear festive!

 Lilyana and the angora hat.  

 Aren't they cute?

From last year...tiny (fake) tree...tiny (real) baby.

 This year...bigger tree, bigger baby!  

And the finished product.  It looks so cheerful from the street.

We're hoping that the next post will have good tidings...and pictures of the new baby and the four of us...we'd appreciate your prayers!

Tiffany for BLT and Zorro

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Of couch rest, germ season and babies

Yes, yes, I know...we've been strangely absent on the blog as of late.  To be quite honest, it's not that we've been too busy, it's just that we haven't been busy.  Ben would disagree, since he tells me that I am busy...making lungs, and toes and eyes, etc.... but I usually feel as though we haven't "done" anything since I've been on couch rest for about a month.  

Because of the couch rest and the need to lay low to keep our little guy cooking for a bit longer, we haven't been out of the house much and each day passes with pretty much the same routine...shower before Ben leaves for work, play with Lilyana, read the same books to her (we really need to get some more board books!), Ben comes home for lunch (*love*), nap time for Lilyana...sometimes me, more couch rest and quiet time, Ben comes home to make dinner, we spend time talking and reading out loud...just the three of us (very soon to be FOUR!!!!!), Lilyana goes to bed, Ben and I play a game, or read some more, or talk until we're tired enough to actually sleep, we sleep and then start all over again.  

I'm hoping to get the green light to get up and get some work done on Thursday when we have our next appointment.  My "to-do" list gets longer everyday and I'm eager to get started on some last minute projects/housework before our little guy arrives.  However, this last month of laying low has been good for us, I think.  Since I'm not allowed to "do" anything (by my definition), I can sit with my baby girl and read and play for hours without feeling like I have to get work done.  It's been a good reminder that my wonderful, selfless husband and my sweet strawberry-blonde curly topped baby girl matter more than the dust under the desk.  Being there for them, letting them be there for me (wow...that's a hard one!), and just enjoying each day (which I usually don't get an A+ for) is my current calling.  It will be over soon...very soon...  And I am so thankful for two dear friends of mine who have come to visit and keep me company, and the delightful D. family for doing our grocery shopping...such a treat!

Laying low hasn't kept our house from colds and such, though.  Poor Lilyana came down with Roseola recently...congested, running a fever and then the rash, which wasn't as bad as I expected.  I was so thankful that it didn't itch!  She wasn't her normal cheerful, happy-go-lucky self for many days and just wanted to be held, mostly by her daddy.  We rubbed her down with oils and diffused them in her bedroom at nap-time and during the night while she slept.  This seemed to help a lot, but she was still waking up at least once during the night coughing.  At about the same time, Ben developed strep throat and I was doing all I could to stay healthy!  I wasn't going to be sick and in labor at the same time!  I hated to see both of them suffering and knew I could do more.  So I got up one morning and whipped together some home remedies to soothe their aching bodies.

What could be better than some Cough Syrup and a Vapor Rub?  These are so easy to make and use household ingredients and essential oils! Quick and easy, healthy and tasty, the Cough Syrup and Vapor Rub are good to keep on hand in your home, and if packaged nicely, would make great gifts to your friends and family this Christmas!  

So, I hope you enjoy these two recipes as much as my family has, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me!  

Homemade Cough Syrup
(Lilyana LOVES this stuff!)

1  C Honey (preferably raw, local honey)
1/4 C Organic Apple Cider Vinegar 
30 Drops Young Living's Lemon Essential Oil
30 Drops Young Living's Thieves Essential Oil Blend

Combine honey and vinegar in a small pot and heat over low heat until the honey is runny and the two ingredients are combined.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Pour into desired storage bottle and add essential oils.  Shake before serving a healing 1-2 teaspoons to your family!

**WARNING!!  DO NOT give to children under the age of ONE as this recipe contains honey**

Vapor Rub 
(A Lilyana favorite...she carried the jar around and would ask for more as she needed it!)

2 T Beeswax
1/2 C Olive or Coconut Oil
30 Drops Young Living's  Peppermint Essential Oil
30 Drops Young Living's R.C. Essential Oil Blend
20 Drops Young Living's Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Heat beeswax and oil in a small pot over low heat until the beeswax is completely melted.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Pour into desired storage jar, add the essential oils, stirring to combine and allow to set before use!  Rub on chest and back every 2 hours or as needed.

NEVER take lower quality essential oils internally. From my research, the only essential oils that I trust enough in quality to be taken internally, are Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils, and only if it is labeled as a “supplement.” If your essential oil is from an edible plant such as lavender, lemon, orange, grapefruit, oregano, thyme, frankincense, ylang ylang, etc., and it states that the essential oil is “Not for Internal Use” then you can be certain that the essential oil is NOT superior quality. Only 2% of all essential oils in the world are considered therapeutic grade. CLICK HERE to find out what that means.


If you don't use essential oils and would like more information, I'd love to answer your questions!  Leave a comment with your contact information and I'll get back with you as soon as I can!  If you would like to sign up for Young Living and share in these wonderful healing oils, click here!

So, if you have any jokes you'd like to leave in the comment section, please feel free to do so!  And if you try these recipes, please leave a comment and tell me how you liked them!  I love getting feedback!  

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor.  The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is your responsibility to educate yourself and address any health or medical needs you may have with your physician. Please seek professional help when needed.