hello third year!

Is it really the third year already? Sorry for kind of skipping right over the second one! My mind is spinning thinking about it — my husband is a D3.

Last week, Rory very deservingly received his white coat. The coat symbolizes that the class of 2019 has completed their first two years of dental school, completed grueling classes and exams, completed the boards (round 1), and is now found worthy to perform dental care in the school clinic for the next two years, and my amazing husband is among those hard-working white coat recipients.

It was so surreal to see my husband walk across that stage to slip his arms into his pristine doctors’ coat. He has come so far, and done so much hard work to get to that point.

He spent days and nights studying for dental school exams, and hours and hours perfecting his skills in the SIM lab. On top of that, and unique to many dental students, he came home to a wife and children. And on top of that even, Rory is the Young Mens President in our ward. It’s a very busy calling that requires a lot of organization, planning and extra hours at church.

Now that the first two years are past us, Rory’s schedule is becoming much less unpredictable. Before, I never knew what time he’d be home. Sometimes he’d be home in the afternoon and go upstairs and study. Sometimes he’d be home at dinner time and do more studying in the evening, after dinner time, long after dinner time. It was a surprise every day! Eventually it just becomes your new normal.

Now Rory will typically be home at dinnertime, and not have to devote nearly as much time to studying. HOORAY. It is such a relief.

 

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Rory’s parents and younger brother flew all the way from Idaho to be a part of his white coat ceremony!

So here we are, halfway through with this adventure. We have been so blessed by it. Heavenly Father has provided so much for us. I have felt so grateful watching my husband achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a dentist. I know this is what he was meant to be doing, and he is so amazing at it! I can officially go to him to get my dental work done, which will be sometime in the next month or two. Oh boy!

mary poppins white dress

About three weeks ago, I explained Halloween to Melissa. Last year we just skimmed over Halloween because Lila was born at the end of September, and I think Melissa was just slightly too young to really understand it all. She did love dressing up as a fairy though. Melissa has always been up for a game of dress-up.

When I told her she could dress up as any princess, character, etc. that she wanted. . .

She got this really deep, thoughtful look on her face, the face she makes when she’s processing a new idea. She tilts her head up a little and looks past my face, and processes the new idea. I asked her who she wanted to be.

“Mary Poppins!” And not just any Mary Poppins costume – the Jolly Holiday dress. (She also wants Lila to be Cinderella, me to be Princess Anna from Frozen, and Rory to be Pooh Bear.)

So I started researching Mary Poppins costumes on online costume shops.

None.

I turned to Etsy.

They were all between 70-100 dollars, and that wasn’t including the famous umbrella and white hat.

I love my child, but I do have to be realistic. I can’t fork over that much money for a costume.

I asked Melissa who her second choice would be. She said she wanted to be Rapunzel with flowers in her hair. Well, that was doable. There were tons of cheap options for a Rapunzel costume. But I just didn’t feel good about it.

Melissa LOVES Mary Poppins. She’s always wanted the “Mary Poppins white dress”. Any dress she has that is even just a little bit white, she calls her Mary Poppins white dress and she pretends to be Mary Poppins.

Melissa is a hyper handful. She drives me crazy a lot. But she is also the sweetest and most understanding little girl I could ever hope for. She shares with Lila, she’s always bringing her toys. She’s patient (for a 2-year-old). She is gentle. She gives Lila kisses all the time. And seriously, what an old soul she is! How many girls her age ask to be Mary Poppins? My little girl deserves to have a real Mary Poppins dress. If I can’t buy one already made, I’ll just have to put one together and hope it comes out looking decent, while being friendly to our budget at the same time. I can’t make one up from scratch, but if I can buy different already-made pieces to stitch together, I could make it work.

Amazon has been my friend through this. Confession time: up until these past couple of weeks I’ve never really perused through Amazon before. Ignorance was bliss. Now I’m kind of obsessed.

So I ordered her a petticoat, and a ruffle blouse that has that old-time Mary Poppins look to it. The rest is up to me.

I also ordered a cheap white umbrella and hat.Those were supposed to be a surprise for her once her dress was finished. But she found them in my “brilliant” hiding spot. She nearly fainted from excitement.

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The petticoat came already. I’m not too excited about it. The picture made it look like it added layers upon layers to a dress, just like Mary Poppins’ dress. So for only $13 I grabbed it up. It’s only three wimpy layers. I gave it three stars on Amazon. The seller contacted me and offered me a full refund if I change my review to five stars. (I’m pretty sure that’s not allowed.)

Now, I’d like to think I’m an ethical person, but I’m also a stay-at-home-mom on a budget. I can have clouded judgment. I am flawed. I gave the petticoat five undeserved stars. I got a free petticoat. So there’s that. Moving on.

Sewing, I cannot do. I can sew a button. That’s it. I need to add more layers of tulle to the petticoat, and a lacy white layer of fabric over that. I need to conjure up a red corset. And maybe –maaaybe—add white lacey sleeves to the top since it’s a short sleeve top.  I tried sewing a layer onto my petticoat by hand. I think every seamstress in the world would be reaching for their barf bags if they could’ve seen me. So I ordered myself a mini sewing machine off Amazon for $25. Free two-day shipping. Another Amazon purchase to save the day.

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My little guy.

 

 

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All of my components so far! Time to get sewing.

So far it’s a costume under $30, if you don’t count the sewing machine. I don’t. 🙂

She is so excited. If she wasn’t so excited I’d give her the cheap and easy Rapunzel dress because she’s 2 and she won’t remember this. But every day she says (only about 100 times), “The Mary Poppins white dress is came in the maaa-iiil! Mama gonna fix it uuu-uuuup!” In her little sing-songy voice. I mean, how can you ignore that wonder and excitement? What a cool old soul she is.

Plus, I know this dress will get more than one or two uses. She will wear it all the time. She’s even already planning her Mary Poppins themed birthday party.

I just hope I don’t mess it up! I’ll keep updating as I go!

-Kelly

Melissa at 2.5

Melissa is officially 2 ½. (For exactly one month now) She is at a fun age because she’s getting so good at talking, and she is picking up lots of interests. I can finally have conversations with her! This means less screaming (notice I didn’t say “no screaming”) and more voicing her problems. Happy days, my friends. Happy days. Her sentences average about 2-8 words long.

Although she can repeat pretty much any word she hears now (watch your language!), she’s never said her name. I think she could, but she prefers her made-up name more. She calls herself “Mamasissa”. Months ago I told her to say Mamasissa hoping that would help her say her name, but I unintentionally created a confusing nickname that has really stuck. I’ll say, “Melissa, say ‘Melissa’.” And she’ll get upset and say, “Nooo! Mamasissa!” And she talks about herself in third person.

“Mamasissa did that.”

“Mamasissa taking a bath (baff).”

“Mamasissa’s swimming like a mermaid.”

Sometimes I’ve gotten her to say “Mesissa” though. We’re getting close.

And she also hasn’t figured out the different between “myself” and “yourself” so she frequently says, “I hurt yourself” and “I see yourself”, meaning herself.

Otherwise, she is becoming a very good talker. She is really shy around other people though, and rarely says anything to strangers. She’s funny how she wants to “play with the babies” so much, but when she finally does get to play with other kids, she gets really nervous and keeps to herself. Sometimes she even gets quite anxious and scared. I asked her pediatrician if I needed to be concerned because she seems a lot more anti-social than most kids, but she said it’s nothing to be concerned about at this age.

Melissa is a princess fanatic. She loves Rapunzel, Frozen and most recently Sleeping “Booty”. She loves wearing her princess dresses, shoes and crowns around the house. She gets excited when Rapunzel’s hair is cut short and turns brown at the end of the movie because she says Rapunzel looks like her now.

She also loves to watch a Disneyland singalong video on Youtube. You 80s and 90s kids might recognize it. This was the video of my childhood, and I put it on for Melissa to watch once out of desperation for some peace and quiet, and to my surprise she loved it and asks to watch it alllllll the time.

She has also recently discovered Mary Poppins. She’s got a crush on Dick Van Dyke, I’m pretty certain. She’s entranced by the whole sequence when they’re in the chalk drawing, and she adores the penguin dance. She must like the hat Mary Poppins wears because if Melissa finds a hat, she’ll put it on and say she looks like Mary Poppins.

Her favorite things to do are swimming, running outside and doing art. When she wears her life vest and water wings, she can swim on her own. She also does pretty good with just the water wings. She’s a big fan of play dough, dress-up, coloring with markers and painting. She also has a passion for helping me cook in the kitchen, and wash the dishes. Every time I start cooking, she’s pushing a chair up to the counter so she can help me.  She says, “It’s helping mama!” Every day when I ask her what she wants to do, she usually answers with, “Make a cake!”

I must say, she shows promise to be a junior Masterchef! She already recognizes spices, and knows what they taste like. She also knows pretty much all her fruits and vegetables by name. Her favorites are bell peppers, anything citrusy, avocados and broccoli. She’s really good at stirring things too. For a 2-year-old, she’s not very messy in the kitchen. She’s actually pretty organized in general, like Rory. Not me. I wish.

I think someone once slipped her some Love Potion #9 because this kid kisses everything in sight. She gives kisses to the vacuum, car (and sometimes other people’s cars), Lila, trees, books, you name it. She can be a stinker, but she sure is a sweetheart. She instantly loves everything she learns about and points it out as much as she can.

Her favorite books are Goldilocks, Peter Rabbit and Llama Llama Red Pajama. Her favorite songs are Old MacDonald, Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree, Once There Was a Snowman and I Am a Child of God. And of course, Disney songs. These songs are our bedtime rituals.

She is so sweet to her little sister now. As I mentioned earlier, she loves giving Lila kisses, and hugs. She does it at least three times a day. Now that Lila can crawl and stand, Melissa has been much more interested in including her in her playtime. She gets SO excited when Lila walks with a push toy, or when she tries walking along the furniture. She cheers her on. She also gives her toys to play with a lot.

She also requests that Lila takes a bath with her every night, much to Lila’s dismay. Lila’s not a bath fan. She used to have sharing issues, but lately Melissa has been so sweet with Lila. She lets me know if Lila is doing something she shouldn’t, like play with the toilet.

Speaking of toilet. She’s pretty much potty trained. We started training at the beginning of May. She has one or two accidents a day, but sometimes none! Sometimes when she goes, she says, “Go pee-pee! Like Mary Poppins!” Hey, whatever works, right? She also likes to show Lila when she goes. Getting her to do #2 in the potty has been a struggle. She’s gone only five times since we started training, even though the incentive for going is ice cream. She’s been doing great in just the past week. We still use pull-ups for long outings and sleeping time.

And more fun tidbits about her I missed.

-She doesn’t like to wear her own clothes, except for a few special articles. She likes either squeezing into Lila’s clothes or dragging my dresses around. But she does like her princess dress-up dresses.

-When she gets upset or starts throwing a tantrum, she exclaims, “I need a car ride!” This is because she’s guaranteed to fall asleep in the car. I used to take her for car rides when she started getting grumpy in hopes of getting her to take a nap. Bad habit, yes, but it works. She knows it too. When she watches a show and someone is upset, she says they need a car ride.

-She knows her ABCs and she can count up to 20, but she usually stops at 4 and 13.

-Her favorite color is orange.

-Her favorite food is lasagna. She also likes weird things like tomatoes, onions and limes. And she hates mashed potatoes.

-She has a keen sense of direction. After only driving to certain locations two or three times, she knows exactly where she is and what she did there. She knows where the playgrounds are, and she gets really mad when we drive past them. She has an aunt, Aunt Lisa, who also has a great sense of direction.

-She has a list of phrases that make me laugh, and if she says one, she says the entire list.

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one year down

Well, he did it! Rory completed his first year of dental school three weeks ago. It went by pretty fast! So fast, that I pretty much forgot that I had started this blog to reach out to future and current wives of dental (or even medical) students.

So that’s reassuring. I promise I was blessed with adequate free time for a mom of two babies. I just found other things to do with it besides write.

So here’s how year one went for us in the Furrows house.

The first year of dental school is broken down into three sections and goes from June to May (but only a couple days into May). It is my understanding that not all dental schools run on this schedule.

My least favorite semester was definitely the first, which is primarily Gross Anatomy. This is when your husband will spend more time with a dead body, than you. He’ll be gone from 6 AM to 10 PM memorizing everything about the anatomy of a human. And when he does come home, you will shove that poor boy into the shower because, Gross Anatomy.

Maybe the hard part about that first semester was adjusting to a totally different schedule, and in a new town far from family to boot. I thought that it wouldn’t be an issue for me. Before dental school Rory was at school all day and then he went to work until 9:30 PM. So I thought, “I got this.”

Long story short: It was still a wake-up call.

And it seemed like when Rory had free time, our conversations always ended being about how the body functions.

“Your sciatic nerve is hurting, babe? Let me tell you about that.”

“Melissa bumped her head. Let me tell you why it hurts.”

“My jaw just popped. Let me tell you what muscles and nerves have been affected.”

He knew I tuned out after he started using fancy words like Medulla Oblongata. But he went through the list of why certain physical stimuli cause certain reactions in the body to explain why everything works the way it does anyway. I’d like to say I learned a lot from Rory that semester, but all I’ve got is Medulla Oblongata.

He couldn’t help it. Gross Anatomy took over his life and conversation skills. It was a relief to put that semester behind.

So that’s my perspective. Rory says the hardest semester for him was the second semester. When you go from two classes to nine, that would be a challenge. That’s 26 credits, folks. Throw a postpartum wife, a daddy’s girl toddler and brand new baby in the mix. Oh and a church calling that requires a lot of time and energy. My husband is a rock star. He has self-discipline and how.

I was a little too consumed with having Lila that semester to even really notice how busy he was. Now that I wrote that, it sounds really sad. But what I mean is, I was used to the long hours away and our new routine by then. So as far as that goes, it was easier for me.

This final semester was still a lot of hard work for Rory, but by then he decided he wasn’t going to push himself as hard. He started out dental school very competitive. He said, “You’re going to hate me, but I’m going to do everything I can to be at the top of my class.”
Then at the end of the second semester he decided it was too much pressure for his current situation at home and at church. It turns out dental students who aren’t in the top of their class still become dentists.

He is still a very hard worker and he makes good grades. From what I’m told, he has a delicate hand in the SIM lab. Rory can sculpt a tooth like a champion. I knew he’d be impressive with the hands-on stuff. Rory has always been an artist, and a perfectionist at anything he does with his hands. He can paint, draw, craft, and make rocking horses. Naturally he can sculpt a molar out of wax.

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This is Rory’s only willing patient at the moment.

Anyways, we enjoyed the third semester because he’s started to learn a lot about teeth. It’s amazing how much time you can put into prepping for dental school in undergrad, be IN dental school, and still not learn much about teeth until you get into it for a while.

And because he’s learning so much about how teeth work now, I’ve found myself leaning back with Rory’s fingers poking around my teeth and hearing all about what my teeth are like.

According to my husband, I have the frontal incisor lobes as pristine as a child’s. Hearing that had me like:

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When he becomes a third year Rory will start working in the clinic on real live people. That means he can practice drilling cavities on me. I found out last week I’ve got a couple that will probably be, um, ready for drilling in a year or two. My dentist won’t touch them because he wants Rory to fill them for me. Yaaaaay, something for me to look forward to.

We’re told the second year is just as grueling, if not more, as the first year. And around this time next year Rory will take the Boards. So it will be quite a year! I know Rory is going to do great. Dentistry is what he was made to do. It comes so naturally to him, and he loves what he is learning. It has been so amazing to watch him grow and attain so much knowledge. I am so proud of him!

Way to go, Rory! One year down!

 

 

lila’s birth story

As my pregnancy came down to the finish line, I had accepted the fact that my baby girl would probably go past her October 10th due date. All three of my mom’s babies came late. Melissa was born at 39.4 weeks due to an emergency induction, but I’m sure she would have stayed in past her due date if given the chance.

In the last weeks of this pregnancy, I tried not to over-analyze every ache I was feeling because I didn’t want any false hope or false alarms. I just decided to let her come when she wanted. Don’t get me wrong – I was ready to be done with the backaches, waddling and fatigue. I was also getting tired of accidentally knocking Melissa over whenever she stood too close to me when I’d turn around quickly. I’m sure she was too.

My mom decided to fly out to Charleston on September 29th when I’d be 38 weeks. It was such a relief knowing that she would get here in plenty of time for the baby to come, and Melissa had someone to watch her when the time came. Our ward is amazing and lots of friends offered to watch Melissa if I were to go into labor before my mom came. I still worried just a little because I didn’t want to put anyone out if they had to watch Melissa for us. She’s a crazy little kid!

On September 28th, Lila wasn’t moving much in my belly. My whole pregnancy she’d been a really light kicker, but on that day her tranquility was particularly noticeable. In addition to that, I physically felt great. My lower back wasn’t hurting like it usually was, I felt less pressure in my hips and all other aches were gone. I was even feeling very energetic. I remember thinking in passing, “maybe this is the calm before the storm”. But since I had a couple weeks left, I didn’t entertain the idea further.

I woke up at 5 am on September 29th really concerned about her lack of movement. It wasn’t normal for her to be this motionless. I downed some juice and went back to bed to do kick counts. Within an hour, her movements came. With her movements also came contractions – actual contractions, not the Braxton-Hicks contractions. My stomach hardened and cramped. Then another one came five or six minutes later, then another.

They weren’t very painful, as I fell asleep until Melissa woke up at around 8. The contractions were still coming. I continued my day as normal: breakfast with Melissa, cleaned up around the house, played with Melissa. . .all while tracking my contractions with a contraction timing app on my phone. They were on average six minutes apart, about 40 seconds and pretty mild. I wasn’t getting any pains that stopped me in my tracks, but they were bringing me some cramping similar to period cramps.

They continued until around 11 am and then they got further apart. That’s when I decided to straighten my hair and put on some makeup.

Hey, just in case this was really happening, right?

At around two, I took Melissa for a walk. If –if— I was in labor, I kiiiinda wanted to keep things moving along. The thought of being in labor just sounded so ridiculous though. Labor couldn’t be starting today. It was still September! Plus, my mom was flying in today. The thought of that coincidence was just too much. But if it was labor, I didn’t know how to tell if it was the real deal. I didn’t have the going-into-labor experience with Melissa. And before this day, I had no real signs that the baby was coming soon, but Lila’s lack of movement made me wonder if labor was coming. Maybe she was saving energy for the big arrival?

When I returned from the walk, I discovered my bloody show had happened. (Ew, gross. Sorry.) That got my attention. At 4 it was time to pick up my mom from the airport. That’s when things changed.

As I drove to the airport, the contractions came back, and they were three minutes apart and more intense – like I was doing Lamaze while looping around the terminal. When my mom got in the car, I awkwardly told her how I believed I was in labor. Again, it sounded ridiculous. (It also felt like a weird way to greet my mom. “Hey, how’s it going? I missed you! I’m having contractions!”) But my mom, having been in labor herself a few times, took it more seriously than I did. I tried to drive us home, but we ended up having to switch because the contractions were too distracting to navigate through the rush hour traffic.

My mom was very insistent that I go to labor and delivery to get checked out. Thank goodness Rory was already home when we got home. He didn’t believe it. That was understandable because I didn’t believe it at first either, but the ever increasing pain in my uterus was getting pretty convincing for me.

We grabbed our bags, kissed Melissa good-bye and headed for the hospital. Rory made me drink a few sips of Dr. Pepper to get my energy up. I kept timing my contractions on the way. They were still three minutes apart and about 45 seconds long.

We got to the hospital at 5:45 pm and were shown a room where I had to get dressed in a gown and hooked up to monitors. I thought we were going to go home when my nurse informed me I was 2 centimeters dilated. Sheesh, I must have been completely closed up yesterday. Contractions since 6 am and this was all I have to show for it? Embarrassing.

She said they’d give me a couple of hours and if I wasn’t dilated to a 4, I’d go home. We walked the halls a bit and I bounced on a yoga ball. When I was checked again, I was 3 ½, but since my contractions were staying consistent at 2-3 minutes apart, I was officially admitted at around 8:20 pm.

It still didn’t feel real to Rory. He didn’t know whether he should call family and let them know or not. It felt very real to me when they started sticking me with IV needles. I got stuck once, twice, thrice and again. It wouldn’t have been so irritating if they hadn’t told me what great veins I had while one vein after the other blew. So every time they were fishing for a vein I was laying there thinking, “Obviously you guys are the problem here.” Oh and what they say about contractions distracting you from the IV – lies. All lies.

At this point, Rory was pretty hungry. I sent him to go get himself something since it would probably be awhile before anything exciting happened. I was jealous since all I’d had all day was some eggs, half a bagel and an apple. I was so dang hungry, but I was only allowed ice chips and popsicles. (Question: why do they allow you ice chips, but not water? What’s the difference?)

While Rory was out, I walked around some more and bounced on the yoga ball. It was so nice to be able to get up and move during this labor. I was confined to the bed while I labored with Melissa.

It seemed like Rory had been gone for ages even though there was a McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A right across the street. The contractions were really picking up in pain. It was getting harder to get through each one without my birthing coach with me. I needed Rory to lean on so badly.

He returned to a different woman than the one he had left.

When he walked back through the door, I said, “Where have you been?” in probably a less than welcoming tone. He was outstanding with my first labor, and I needed that same support for this one if I was going to commit to natural birth. No pressure to Rory or anything. Turns out he drove all the way to Burger King because he had a coupon he wanted to use and he went to three different places in search of a milkshake and he got stuck in one long McDonald’s line.

He quickly ate his dinner, and by 10 pm I was in full-force agony. I couldn’t walk through the contractions anymore so I sat on the yoga ball collapsed in his arms. I labored quietly with Melissa. I did not care this time about being tough and quiet. I ohm-ed and groaned my way through contractions and didn’t care if I sounded freaky. It helped to be vocal.

My poor nurse. She told me I was the first natural birth she got to assist, and I was probably scaring her.

I thought going into labor on my own would be far less painful than an induced birth, but let’s be honest – it all hurts. The better part about this labor was having a little more time in between contractions to rest. My induced labor had contractions coming a lot faster.

It wasn’t long before I felt the urge to push, and it was intense. I tried to hold back and that just amplified the pain.

My doctor came in and checked me. 9 centimeters. I didn’t care about making it to the tenth, I was so ready.

He assured me it was best to wait, and then he popped my water for me to help me get to a 10 faster. So I had gone from 3.5 cm to 9 cm in about three hours. That explained a lot of the pain. It was a relief to know I had come so far in a short amount of time. When my cervix gets going, man, I’ll tell you. Nothing stops it.

I kept saying outloud to myself, “we’re having a baby soon. We’re really doing it. She’s almost here.” That helped me get through that last hurdle. Resisting the urge to push is brutal.

I was able to continue laboring in Rory’s arms for maybe ten more minutes before I started getting ugly. I just started pushing, I couldn’t hold back anymore. I hollered to my nurse, “Please get the doctor because I am pushing and I CAN’T HELP IT!”

I was too short for the squat bar, so they helped me back on the bed, and I went to town on the pushing. No one counted to ten for me, no one told me when to push – I was just doing it. At one point I felt kind of awkward having several nurses staring at me and not saying a word. My doctor said, “Slow down warrior woman, you’re pushing in between contractions!” I couldn’t help it. It felt so relieving and empowering to finally be pushing. It honestly wasn’t even painful. It was a piece of cake compared to sitting through those contractions unable to push.

She was already crowning. I felt the burning and I pushed through it until my legs shook. I looked down and saw my baby’s head and shoulders and I just stopped right there and celebrated, thinking I was done. The pain was gone, so why not? They told me to keep going until she was all the way out at 11:45 pm.

She was so tiny and so beautiful! She looked just like Melissa. I only had to push for thirteen minutes and now she was on my chest. She didn’t get to stay there long because her crying was weak, so they took her to the incubator to help her out. They said her lungs were “wet” from the water breaking, but she was going to be just fine. They announced that she was 6 pounds, 15 oz and 20 inches long. And

I laid back enjoying my adrenaline rush. Then my doctor brought me back to reality. He commented on my heavy bleeding.

I looked at him thinking, “Isn’t everyone a heavy bleeder at this point?” He answered me by sticking his entire hand up inside of me. He explained that he was manually scraping clots out of my uterus with his hand, which was about as painful as it sounds. It hurt more than pushing the baby out. The pain and frustration from feeling pain during my precious post-birth afterglow had me wailing. I’m sure everyone on the L&D floor heard me.

After that little experience, he told me I received one tear so small he didn’t need to stitch it, and we were back to being buddies. I think not tearing is a reflection of a skilled doctor. (But I’d like to think all those squats and kegals I did ended up being worth it too.) That was great news – no stitches.

They brought Lila back to me and she started nursing right away. It was amazing! We spent a couple hours in the delivery room until it was time to be moved.

The next day Lila was diagnosed with jaundice so she had to be put on a billiblanket for the remainder of our two-day hospital stay. I found out that my being RH negative puts my babies at a higher risk of jaundice. Sorry children. Melissa got to meet Lila that day. She gave her a few kisses and head rubs, but she wasn’t too interested in her baby sister. I, on the other hand, was enjoying everything about having a newborn again. I missed the cuddles and snuggles so much!

They told me to get rest that night. Then they woke me up at 4 am to draw blood, and blow three more of my veins to get a sample. Hospital logic.

Luckily we were discharged early the next afternoon. Lila came home with a billiblanket, but she only had to be on it for less than two days.

Lila is such a sweet addition to our family. Tomorrow she will be three weeks old. She sleeps really well, even at night. She is easily comforted when she cries and she is a total mama’s girl. Melissa is doing so great with the change too. She isn’t acting out (more than normal) and she likes to snuggle and kiss Lila. We love our little family!

-Kelly

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IMG_1015PS As you may know, Melissa was named after the song, “Melissa” by the Allman Brothers. I thought it would be nice for all of our daughters to have a song with their name in it. Finding Lila’s name was more difficult because we couldn’t think of any songs we liked that included a name we liked. Then while I was giving Melissa a bath one night, I remembered the song “Lilah” by Don Henley. The more I researched the name, the more I fell in love with it. It’s Arabic for night, or dark beauty. And the song is pretty too! Soft and gentle, just like our sweet girl.

five simple ways I save money

I admit right now that I’m not a good budgeter. I’m not a fan of writing down where all my expenses go and calculating how much I can spend on this and that each month. However, I do know how to save money. I only buy clothes that are on sale, I buy house brand foods at the cheapest grocery stores, I only buy baby toys (and most baby clothes) from Once Upon a Child, I eat out very rarely, I don’t buy expensive cosmetics, etc etc.

But since I’m not a good budgeter, I’ve had to look for other ways to save a little money. I’ve found five simple ways to just that. Mind you, it really is saving just a little bit of money, but every little bit helps, right?

  1. It gives you money back for groceries. You do your shopping, and when you get home, you select the items you bought off a list, scan the barcodes and receipt, and you get some money back for the items! The said list won’t have everything you bought. The list usually includes milk, some produce, eggs, orange juice, granola bars and other random things you might buy on an average shopping trip. And you get somewhere between 20 cents to one dollar back per item (sometimes more, but usually only for booze). But it does add up over time. I’ve been using Ibotta for over a month, and I have earned $7 back.
  2. com. Similar to Ibotta, it’s rebates in case the name didn’t give it away. I did all of my Christmas shopping through ebates last year and I earned over $32 back. Anytime I order something online, I do it through ebates. It gets you somewhere around 2-5% back on what you spend on an order. Again, not a lot, but it does add up! The website is easy to use, and you get money back in the form of a check. It’s so easy, why not use it?
  3. Walmart savings catcher. Another app I recently discovered and love. After each shopping trip at Walmart, upload your receipt, and if another store advertises a better deal than what you paid at Walmart, you get the difference. So far, I have $1.69 returned from six shopping trips.
  4. com. Why did it take me so long to discover all of these? Especially this one. It’s simple: browse through the coupons and if you see one for something you need to buy, clip it and print it out. I saved $7 at my last Walmart trip because of coupons. Pssst moms: they have lots of diapers and wipes coupons!
  5. It’s come in handy for more times than I can count. Before you’re ready to check out at the store you’re shopping at (either online or in person), bring up your retailmenot app and check to see if the store is offering any deals you may be unaware of. Usually it’s a 10% off coupon, but sometimes more! I’ve found this app has saved me more with online shopping, but as a stay-at-home mom, that’s alright with me.

I completely recommend all of these money saving tips. They’re hassle-free, they don’t spam you, and they do their job: They save you money!

-Kelly

one down

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Rory finished his first semester of dental school last week. Pheeeeeew!

I know from my last dental school update I made being a dental student’s wife sound scary. It got better. Truly it did. Maybe it’s the pregnancy coming to a close, but I’ve been keeping busy. I’ve been doing a bunch of projects around the house. Unfortunately, my projects are in the “little bit here and a little bit there” stages.

Does anyone else do that? You finally start something and come to a hold-up and instead of pushing through, you go, “This project can wait! I’ll start this other project now!”

Ugh. So me right now. DIY ADD. It’s real. I just about finished upgrading my entertainment center and came to a hold-up (6 inch handles are rare these days apparently). So I decided to start some wall art, including my picture collage and vertical garden. Then the budgeting wife in me says, “It’s too expensive though! I better put it off.” Dilemma: Need décor in my home, need more money.

I decided to put the vertical garden off completely. Too much money, and too likely to neglect it while I adjust to two babies in the house. It’s such a big wall in the kitchen though, so I’d like to fill it up with something before the baby comes.

I finally ordered frames for my family picture collage, and my goal is to have it finished before October. Maybe not completely finished, but enough to look nice.

Another project I’ve taken on is redoing the nursery. Now that MUST be done here in the next month, so you will see a post about it.

I’m also hoping to get Melissa’s Halloween costume finished before the baby comes. She’s going to be the tooth fairy! We already got her a cute little dress from a yard sale, so she needs some wings and a wand.

There you go. If you need a distraction while your husband is in dental or medical school do what I do: come up with twenty distractions (also known as projects) and set a goal to complete them before you have your baby. You will slowly feel like your butt is catching on fire once you make a list the size of mine.

You’re welcome.

Speaking of baby, I’m 33 weeks this week which means four more weeks until I’m full term and seven until the due date. I want to believe she’ll come early because of all the Braxton Hicks, pressure and soreness, but it’s probably not in the cards for me. I’m bracing myself for a late baby.

last semester 6I know I look scary. Humidity is like 80% around here, okay? I needed a bump picture. By the way, that is my big blank wall where my garden was going to go. What to do with it now?!

I’ve been lying about my due date. I’m so sick of the horrified reactions when I utter the word “October” so I just tell people I’m due September 20th. Only one person has still given me the horrified look. Otherwise, people seem to accept it. Strangers love to point out how I look like I’m due tomorrow. It’s an off day if no one tells me how huge my belly is. Truth.

Okay, enough about me.

Rory finished his first semester very strongly. I’m so proud of him. He worked his butt off, and I never heard any complaints about it. Gross anatomy is finished, which means no more dead guy duties for him.

He had a week long “summer break” last week, and today is the last day before semester #2 begins. It’s been wonderful having Rory home. We got to spend some time at the pool beach, Magnolia Gardens/Plantation, celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary, and just enjoy some much needed family down-time together. I got hardly anything done around the house though. Turns out I’m a lot more productive when he’s away at school. Haha.

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He’s taking around 21 credits this upcoming semester, so if I thought I hardly saw him last semester, I have a feeling his time away from home is going to be a lot longer.

The good news is: scrubs. He gets to wear scrubs now. Why is this good news? Less laundry for me! And I’m so excited to see Rory in scrubs. People who wear scrubs just look so knowledgeable and studious. Plus, Rory’s class gets navy blue which is totally his color.

He’ll also start learning in the SIM lab and working on robot mouths. That sounds way cool.

So even though I’m a little worried about the business of his schedule in addition to bringing a new baby home, I am excited that he’s moving on up in the dental school world.