Friday, April 17, 2015

Flashback Friday! A little home makeover.

      So, we moved again. Even less fun this time than before, because guess what? The more kids you have, the more stuff you accumulate, and therefore the more you have to pack-load-unload-unpack etc. When you add the fact that one of those children you have happen to be in infant into the mix... this is gonna take a while! 
      Finding a place to rent close to hubs work was not easy.  All the nice places were crazy over priced for the area, and all the others needed lots of work. Besides those points, all of them we looked at were only 2 bedrooms. . . and I'm not saying I am too good for it, but I have 3 kiddos now... we just will not fit into a 2 bedroom place anymore. (unless maybe there was a full basement or usable attic space which was not the case in anything) We did however finally find a perfectly spaced home with 4 bedrooms, and a nice flat yard that we could actually afford. I was amazed this even existed, but when I saw the interior, I knew why it hadn't been snatched up quickly.
     I am a do-it-yourself kindof gal, and this made me cringe a bit, and think, can I make this a happy space? My before photos do not even shed light (a pun since it was so dark) on how dreary it was. Dark paneling on all the walls, dark wood doors on every room, dark trim, dark shag green carpet in living room, dining room, and a bedroom, and matching ugly green torn linoleum in laundry/entry room, kitchen, and bath. It was an outdated nightmare for someone who loves light, and bright.  Here are some photos . . . 

See, I wasn't kidding lol.  We armed ourselves with lots of paint and primer and work ethic (cause painting paneling takes a long time and is a hard job... dont let anyone tell you different).  First we removed the old flooring . . . it was gross lemme tell ya.  Then we primed EVERYTHING. With the good primer, kilz I think, anywho, we asked for the best, and were pointed to it.  I was glad too, cause I would have had to put 10 gallons of color on the walls instead of just one coat (maybe 2 in places) if I hadn't.  Anywho, I have listed below before and after photos as an ensample of how, even on a budget (boy we are on one) that with effort, you can transform a space from something dreary, into something light and bright.  

Here is the Laundry/Back Entry Before:

and after 
we chose a pale neutral color for the walls, like a light nutty tan, and well, I love aqua, and thus the door.

And here is before and after of the kitchen. The new (inexpensive) linoleum and light walls really transformed the feel in there.  I also (while everything was torn out) hit those white metal cabinets with a fresh coat of epoxy spray paint from walmart. They shine bright white like new, it even covers rust spots, and was less than $5 a can. 

This is the other side of the kitchen, looking into the hallway.  That green was just awful.

And here is the after! So much lighter! and perfect space for my little coffee station I made. I also painted it aqua :)

The before pic of the dining room wasn't a good one. I love the amount of light that streams through those windows, but even that couldn't kill the dull in there with that carpet.  But look at the after! (lovin my aqua) so bright and airy

And then here is the living room. Ugly, ugly, ugly.  

And here is a before, even with our super dark brown leather, and near black- hardwood, this space is light and bright!  Really makes it feel happier. If that makes sense at all! 

In case you were wondering, there was natural (but damaged) hardwood under all that carpet. I squeeled a bit when we tore it up.  We had hoped to stain it, but it had been stained, in random areas, and I didnt have time nor money to rent an industrial floor sander to remove that, so, I ran to google and pinterest, and decided on the best method for painting. I swept, scrubbed, scrubbed again, let dry, then hubs rolled on an indoor/outdoor heavy traffic porch paint from glidden. It was awesome, and covered great. I gallon can covered living room, dining room, and a bedroom floors.

Here is hubs making that floor pretty.

The bath, tho lots of character now, is too small to get a good picture in, id have to take 10 at different angles to show it all, here is just a peek of one of my favorite things, the old existing medicine cabinet.  I primed these (odd trailer-like) walls and painted with my left over aqua, then repainted the mirror frame with the white. We intend to replace that vanity also, but I didn't want to wait till then for this before and after.

     The owner paid for the linoleum replacement before we moved it.  So, all in all, we spent about $200 on paint and painting supplies. That's really not bad at all for taking your living space from depressing, to light and airy.  :)

God Bless!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April is c-section awareness month (a birth story)

I just learned April is cesarean section month. First off I didn't know their was such a thing, and I think that is great. I was reading (tearfully) all these birthing stories (as most women do) and began to think back on mine. As most all articles circling c-sections are about the disappointment and shame a mother feels for being unable to do what she deems "born to do" (and I felt this too trust me) this article I read, shared on a friends wall, was the first that mentioned the real fear and loneliness you get in the operating room, cold table, room full of people you've probably never met, needles, doctors and nurses rushing, worried looking themselves, all this with no one to hold your hand, that fear that comes then is probably one of the worst, for me anyway. I was very dependent on my husband for that moral/emotional support and he wasn't permitted to be there. Anywho, that brought me to share my birth story, as I realized I never have.

My Birth Story

I knew how this would go, I was in perfect pregnancy health. Baby was growing great, I stayed in the normal weight range, perfect bp, perfect sugar levels, all was great. Bags packed ready for labor to start. I knew soon it would start, we would go to hospital, have horrendous labor pains, strenuous pushing and bam! beautiful baby girl.  Only it didn't go that smooth. It never really goes as you plan (well not for anyone I know anyway). Labor happened,

(here we are all checked in, ready to be parents!)

and kept happening, and then kept happening with assist of pitosin drip, from about 3pm Tuesday till 5:49am Thursday (that's over 30 hours here ppl). My Dr. was a gem, and a man who believed in prayer, he kept letting us pray and try for natural birth, he knew I wanted it badly, but my body just wouldn't do it. Her heart rate dropped to 20bpm, she was in distress, she was dying.

(this was not what i had expected)

 I was whisked away, scared more than ever, doctors were running, throwing coats on, tossing tools, I could see and hear their worry, which made mine worse. I cried. They finally let husband in to hold my hand just before they took her out. His hands were sweating more than mine. They showed her to me for a brief second proclaiming "beautiful baby girl" and she was gone, and so was hubs and I was alone again. And she was not beautiful. She looked awful, I laid there the whole hour and a half alone, in and out, between the meds and fact I hadn't slept in days, worried to death, wondering if she had even made it. She had a dark purple ring around her head for days, besides being severely cone headed, where contractions were trying to force her skull through a dilation of only 4. Failure? oh yes, I felt it. That wasn't the worst part. I missed the first cry, first bath, all that stuff, stuck on a stupid table in a room by myself for hours. Then, so medicated afterwords I couldn't hold her. It stinks, all that planning out the window. And healing, well, I'm a trooper, and it was rough. Very painful, I couldn't bend over and pick my baby up, or get out of bed alone for a week. Is this a rant... it kindof sounds like a rant to me now.  But she was healthy, and I was healthy, and in the end that really is all that matters. I'm blessed, we were both blessed that she is here with us, see how that works? :)

(here I am holding her, finally :) 

And then comes baby #2. Naturally the surprise was gone, it wasn't going too be bad. Planned c-section, we knew what was happening. Everything went smoothly, I knew what to expect.
 I was really only afraid for that alone time while getting all prepped and poked and ready to operate, until hubs entered, held my hand, and all was well again. They briskly showed me my "beautiful baby boy" and he and hubs were gone again. Anesthesiologist gone, Dr gone, just me and one nurse I didn't know, alone, in recovery. Then I started to vomit. Now, this is normal in child birth, and if I had a "natural birth" would have been fine. I vomited for the entire hour, and then still when they brought me to my room. I was numb from surgery so I couldn't tell the heaving had torn my inside stitches apart and that I was bleeding to death internally.

(and this is what I look like dying. . . see I can laugh about it now)

 Had God not intervened days later through much prayers, I wouldn't be here today. My stomach stayed purple for a year or more.  But again, worst part was that all that time I was getting treated, and having 2 simultaneous blood transfusions and what not, someone else was caring for my newborn son. I pumped so I could breast feed, but I really feel I missed the first week of his life. Much thanks to family for lots of pics and videos though. :)  But again, finally, I was healthy, he was healthy, and in the end that really is all that matters. Blessed, that's what we are.

(my torn tummy hurt to bad to sit up, I had to side hold him, but i got to hold him)

Baby #3 was much easier. Seeing it had been 6 years, I hoped and prayed for the chance to try a vbac, so yes, when surgery day came I was let down, but I really had expected it. The only bad part of surgery was fear of the vomiting happening again, but I expressed my concerns to the anesthesiologist, who was very accommodating. Wish I had his name, he was a blessing. When Dr. got me open and went to bring our daughter out, she said "woa dad, get your camera ready" then the nurses started counting with her "1, 2, 3, 4, 5!!" wow, the cord was wrapped around her neck 5 times!! "God has a plan for this one!" the Dr. said, as she finished by telling me in all her years (30+) of delivering, she has never seen it wrapped that many times.  If I had had a natural birth as "I" wanted, we may very well both have died. So again, very, very blessed, all well.

     So, if anyone actually read all this, I thank you :) you too probably had your own birthing story that happened nothing like you had imagined or planned. Its been over 9 years since baby #1, and looking back, though c-sections are definitely not what I had planned, and If i could choose( I'd def go back and have them all natural in a heartbeat if i could), I'm very thankful for my experience, and my family, which without the intervention of a c-section birth, wouldn't be.  My family has came about through means which I hadn't wanted, but none of that really matters, because they are here. C-sections are rough, I wont lie. I still have persistent problems, nagging pains, odd shaped belly, etc from them.  But I'm beyond blessed that I got to keep all my babies, and out of 3, that none had to be in the NICU (we've had lots of other family there though). I may not have got to be the 1st to hold any of my children, but I hold them still today, and that means more than anything.  Not all mothers can say that. (and those mothers are the real heroes, the ones who keep pressing on)

God Bless :)