Saturday, June 8, 2013

Coconut Oil Cure (with amusement)

All my kids have had it....
Cradle cap.
Or as I would define it: weird, scaly, moist, dandruff-like funky patches on their heads

This was the first time I used coconut oil to treat it. I use coconut oil to treat many, many things. Essential oils, colloidal silver and coconut oil (used separately) cure just about everything that effects my family.

I knew to lightly scrub his head with a toothbrush (hence the very groovy hairstyle). But about 30 minutes before I put him in the tub, I slathered that little head with coconut oil. Once in the tub, I began with the toothbrush. He didn't complain at all! And after a shampoo his head looked perfectly clear!

And for each of the older kids, once the stuff was scrubbed (gently) off once, it never came back. I only know what's been true for our kids - I don't know if it comes back on other babies/kids or not. Hopefully not!

So if you have a baby with a scaly funk on his or her head, grab the coconut oil (& a toothbrush).

Love, Carra
P.S. for those curious, we use Aubrey Organics Natural Baby & Kids Shampoo

Monday, May 20, 2013

Beach Baby

After six long weeks of sleeping, eating and pooping, it's great to get away to the beach and relax a little.

Love, Carra

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fourth Child (Micah's lengthy gestation followed by a speedy delivery)

I guess little brothers want to be like their big brothers.  As in Zade's birth "process," Micah decided that I needed **lots** of practice contractions. As early as three weeks before his due date, I was experiencing sections of the evenings (and into the night) of hard contractions, five minutes apart that would last for a couple of hours.  I'd get Pete concerned, take a shower, go to bed and wake up still pregnant.

Once we were within days of the due date, the contractions slacked off.  We passed due date.  Contractions still almost non-existent.  After about a week after due date, they began coming back pretty fiercely.  I would text my midwife to give her a heads up "tonight may be the night!" only to go to bed and wake up still pregnant.

I ate eggplant parmesan two or three times. With Zade it seemed to work, but not for Micah.  I walked.  I prayed.  I cleaned.  I let the house get dirty (to tempt Murphy's Law).  And I cleaned again.  I went to the chiropractor. I painted the hall bathroom (shout out to Mythic non-toxic paint).  We hosted students for dessert, we had staff meetings, I waddled up to church to take the girls to G.A.'s (Girls in Action, Baptist girls missionary group), choir practice and to ride their bikes. We had family come to visit, we let family leave with no results... we even let Zade visit my parents for a few days while we waited.

Nine days after the due date, I took Gracie to proof for a memory award with Classical Conversations (two complete subjects, 100% verbatim, 24 topics).  She did it!  I was so proud!  We needed to celebrate!  I suggested a Chick-fil-A milkshake. Faith heartily agreed. However, it was Gracie's achievement and she wanted to go to the Science Center.

Since it was Spring break, they had all the cool "Saturday stuff" all week and to Gracie's delight we ended up there as they were feeding the snakes.  I have to say it was one of the coolest things I have seen.  Faith also thought it was pretty interesting.  We also saw "Kats, the Meerkat Musical" which was both lame and hilarious.  During the meerkat program, I started having contractions.  I did my best to track them on my phone (free app) without alarming the people sitting directly behind me.  *this is not a subtle app, huge button that says "start timer."

By the time the final song was sung, the contractions had stopped and we headed home.  Pete's sisters had offered to pay for me to have a massage.  My chiropractor recommended a lady who was certified in pre-natal massage who sometimes worked with him at his office.  I called her and she had a space available that night. So Pete handled church and G.A.'s while I headed over to get a massage.  It was really good - but no contractions.  I came home all relaxed and Pete and I watched TV and ate cake.

After some down time, Pete went downstairs to work (midnight-ish) and I went to bed.  Pete came to bed around 3:30 a.m.  I started having contractions.  I knew he was exhausted so I got up and went to the living room as I waited to see if this was "it."  I was hungry so I heated up some eggs and made toast.  I turned on the TV and was "happy, happy, happy" to find reruns of Duck Dynasty.

About thirty minutes later, I felt really strongly - these things are not messing around.  The contractions were anything but textbook.  Not progressive (some only 2 minutes apart, others 5 minutes apart) and varying in length (35 seconds to over 2 minutes long).  *But* they were hard!  I began muting the TV while the contractions came because it became irritating to me.  Since I've already given birth three times, I knew that concentration to get through contractions was an absolute here-it-comes, real-labor-is-here sign.

Here's how things went down from there...

So I texted my midwife.....and then I texted the other midwife (R).....and I went upstairs and let Pete know that his entire night's rest would consist of one hour.  Pete heads downstairs to add more air to the birth tub that had been sitting inflated for the last 15 days.  I hadn't yet heard from my midwife so I decided to call her.  My texts had not gone through!  She was out of town and that very night the other midwife's cell phone had taken a bath along with her toddler.  My contractions are definitely saying "here he comes!" and we need a midwife on the way!  I turn on the computer and begin playing the birth worship music I had found a few weeks ago.

Pete fills the tub (talk to him about the rigging required to get the water down the hall into the den).  I patiently wait - leaning on the ottoman - making guttural sounds through each contraction.  I head to the bathroom and my water breaks at 6:17 a.m. (Pete makes a note).   Pete helps me into the tub and I feel the urge to push.  I tell Pete.  He says, "Please don't!" When the color returns to his face, he fumbles for the phone to call our midwife.  She says R should be there by now but that she can talk us through this if necessary.

She advised trying to breathe through a couple of contractions without pushing.  I tried, but couldn't not push...  I just didn't tell Pete at the time.

Gratefully just a few minutes later, R came dashing down the stairs and said, "I'm here, go ahead and push!"  R noticed the water was a bit cooler than body temperature and Pete tried to warm it up, but the water heater couldn't keep up.  So (stereotypically) Pete was sent to boil water.  It was around 6:30 a.m. and Pete went to wake the girls so they could watch.  Both Gracie and Faith stood at the end of the pool while I pushed out their brother.  At one point Faith covered her ears.  I guess my "sounds of labor" are a bit loud. ;-)

This time around I was acutely aware of every stage of the descent (apparently that's common after the third birth).  The music was great - it helped to focus my attention away from my natural tendency to think "help! I don't like this!" and focus on thanking God for each contraction.  While I was very tempted to just push with all my might and get him out, R reminded me to slow down, don't hold my breath, gently let him come.  Oh, how hard that was!

I finally got his head out and it seemed like a long time (maybe 5 minutes) before I had a hard enough contraction and energy to push his shoulders and body out.  R made some adjustments to his position, a good contraction came and finally Micah was born at 6:51 a.m.  Did you do the calculations?  Thirty four minutes from water breaking.  Yes, Pete almost solo-delivered our son!  He is extremely grateful he didn't have to.

I held Micah close to me for several minutes while we were still in the tub. R kept handing me warm, dry towels to warm him up.  As a family member pointed out, please note that the pink towel was simply warm and available at the time.  He has been exclusively in masculine or gender-neutral colors for all blankets, towels and sleepers ever since. ;-)

Gracie and Faith both pitched into help (putting towels in the dryer to warm them, holding Micah, even making calls to family and friends to share the good news).  R said they were excellent assistants!

After the placenta was delivered, the cord was cut and we were out of the pool - everyone was checked over.  Once again, Praise God - no tearing for me.  Micah was weighed and measured.  This little ruddy, round-headed bundle of sweetness was 8 pounds, 7 ounces and twenty-one inches long.  He nursed very well right from the start.  Although Pete almost had to deliver his son, he managed to stay completely out of the birth tub this time, LOL!

After the birth, my wonderful husband made turkey bacon and grits for me (which is really out of his cooking comfort zone).  As we all enjoyed the delicious breakfast the feeling of "wow - this is over and I'm sooo tired" hit.  Micah and I were doing well so R packed up and headed home (she would come check on us the next day).  The girls sacked out on the couch to rest and watch TV while Pete went to find another hour or two of sleep before the grandparents and Zade arrived.  Micah latched/nursed really well and then we both slept as well.

I've now had four births, the last three being water births.  Each birth story has its own unique mark of God's grace and provision.  For the last several years, we have felt God leading us to have four children... and there is a sweet "completeness" to our family.

Love, Carra

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Does eggplant help birth?

We'll see! I don't know what Pete or Faith said that made me laugh so much, but the double funny of a "belly laugh" was too much not to post!

I had eggplant for dinner tonight. When Zade was several days late, I ate eggplant parm for dinner around 7:00 p.m.  He was born around 9:30 the next morning.

Micah is officially set to be "done" on Monday. However, I have been having contractions off and on pretty hard (but not enough to be true labor) for over a week. As I'm blogging, I'm feeling a few hard ones. *But* this has happened before so I can't yet say if I'm in labor.

So here's what we do...text or call everyone involved with a heads up, it might be happening. Then...go to bed.  If it is labor, I'll be in greater "discomfort" soon enough. If not, then I'll at least enjoy some rest.

If you follow me on twitter or facebook, I'll update those first (quicker & easier). If you don't see a post in the next day with baby birth announcement, just assume he's still hanging around in there making me waddle around out here! Thanks for your prayers & well wishes!!

Love, Carra

Friday, March 8, 2013

Birth room ready

Here it is as promised!

It looks different than before...mainly because I can't seem to leave anything alone as far as furniture layout (really, ask Pete).

We opted for a twin bed and have the co-sleeper set up with clean sheets and lots of lap pads.

The "equipment" for the birth - tub, plastic sheeting, gauze, cord clamp, etc are in bins under the bed and in the drawers of the dresser (not shown). We're least as ready as one can be to give birth!

The tub will be inflated and filled with water once things really start progressing. At this point, it would fill the room. So we're waiting with that. However, Pete already has the hose attached to the shower filter.

Still March 25th due date. But lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions make me wonder...


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Belly picture

So here it is (here I am). I realize that I had not posted any real belly pictures. I was told today I looked like I was poking out more. Looking at this I look even bigger than I feel....and I feel pretty big!

I hope to completely clean and finalize the preparations for the birth room tomorrow and I'll try to post some pictures.

March 25th - we'll see if he waits that long. I kind of doubt it. But I've had my children trick me before with their birthdays LOL!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nesting....trying to nest....list too long....

So you know I have babies at home.
You know I like my world neat and organized.
You know I'm crazy because I like a neat world and I'm about to have baby #4.

It has been three and a half months since the car crashed into our house.  I would have never thought that it would take this long.  In that time, there has been an ice storm, a snow storm and a wind storm.... to the contractor's defense.  However..... I need to prepare the birthroom.  I need to make cookies and freeze them (yes, you get cookies when you have babies at home LOL).

This morning, I spent my time gathering the full list of items to send to our contractor so we could say "done."  Now, I need to help the girls sort through about five more boxes of randomness.  This was not their fault - the boxes were packed up by the painters or contractors when they came to repair the cracks all along the walls and ceiling.  I think when I can return to them the full responsibility of cleaning their room - I'll feel more at ease.

Coming soon...
Photos of the girls room (if we can get it really cleaned up)
Photos of the completed house outside and the bricks being torn off.
Photos of the birth room prepared for baby Micah :-)

Next Monday I will be at 37 weeks.  Technically it would be safe to have this baby then.  I would like for him to hold off for another week at least.  I have a list of things to do and he needs to fatten up anyway.  But --- it could be anytime--  Watch for updates!  I'll definitely update my FaceBook and Twitter when I go into labor.  I will do my best to upload a quick blog announcement but no promises!  Thanks for being a part of our crazy "car-crashing-into-our-house-and-repairs-happening-right-up-to-when-we're-about-to-have-a-baby" lives!

Love, Carra

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

House Crash Christmas Edition (with hotel life)

If you are just tuning into the intriguing experience of an SUV crashing into our living room on Thanksgiving Day, you can catch up here and here.

It always feels like there is not enough time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to fit all the pieces in.  I love to decorate (and I totally would do so before Thanksgiving.  --not weeks, but just the week before so I can have everything in place before Black Friday).  But Pete wants to keep Thanksgiving separate -- so I delay any decorating until the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Well when a car crashes into your house on Thanksgiving Day, it changes your decorating plans a bit.  From Thanksgiving to a few days before Christmas, we were unable to use our dining room and living room.  So in our den, we ate all our meals, did home school, I kept my office, we played and watched TV and basically made a constant mess.  The photo above was on one of the cleaner days (note schoolwork and dishes on the same little tables).

So what did the four weeks of the Christmas season hold for us?
  • Both girls sang in the church-wide Christmas program.  This meant lots of practices (several that lasted past bedtime), three performances and a great show.  We also got colds.
  • We celebrated St. Nicholas Day (Dec 6) with new pajamas (a family tradition) and the Veggie Tales DVD about St. Nick.
  • We observed Advent and incorporated a cool book that shares the history behind well known carols (then we sang the carols).  It was a lovely way to keep the focus on Christ during the season.
  • I didn't decorate beyond a few cute towels in the bathroom and a dollar store super-basic nativity scene.  The girls especially missed having lights up.  Next year, as God wills...

Right before Christmas we were able to have access to our living room and dining room.  Here's our Christmas Eve-eve dinner scene.  I actually kind of liked the simplicity.  Being pregnant, I just don't have the highest energy level, so decorating was one thing I was satisfied to let go of.

We found new couches and they were delivered two days after Christmas - which was the same day we had five family and friends come to visit stay with us.  Yep, the photo of the den above - two days after Christmas it had to transform to a guest room!

Two weeks ago, we left the house four days so the contractors could repair the drywall in the girls' room and the hallway.  We came home Thursday, then went to a hotel on Sunday so the floors could be refinished.  That was a ten days ago.  Once the smell (which was the most natural product available - Bona Traffic) has cleared, we are heading back home!

The restoration company handling the repairs has a major air scrubber thing that is trying to help it get cleared.  Pete also went over this afternoon to open windows to help it clear faster.  If we had gone with a polyurethane, it would be even longer for the smell (and chemicals) to clear. We are hopeful that we may be able to move back home by this weekend. Here's a photo of our "kitchen" with a sink, mini-fridge and microwave (but we don't use a microwave).

Semi side note: I'm not sure if I have rhinitis (pregnancy-related stuffy nose etc) or if I am just really sensitive to all the smells.  But its been a challenge for me ...and Pete (as I have dramatically increased my snoring).  I want to be home and I really desire to be "still" for a while.  I laughed and said I didn't want to use my suitcase for six months to a friend (who doesn't know me very well).  She said, "You better get your suitcase - you've got to go to the hospital in couple of months!"  Yay -- home birth.  One more great reason, LOL! Hilarious, but once we get home and resettled, it will be time to set up the birth room again.

We're so grateful that insurance is taking care of most of the costs.  But we're definitely ready to be home for a while. Thanks so much for your concern and your prayers.

Love, Carra