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New Squish

I know it has been a very long time since I have been in this corner of the Internet. Since the last time we have moved (across the US, hello land of authentic fall weather) lost a couple of family members (my dear grandparents), settled into our new home, and had a new baby!!

I want to tell her birth story. Let me rewind a bit to my eldest daughter. When we had her anatomy scan, St Therese gave me a sign. Only my pink roses were open that morning. I knew she was telling me I was having a girl before we even got to the scan. Being that we already had a name set and that I swore that child would pay tribute to St Gerard or St Gianna since the previous pregnancy was a double loss, Therese did not get incorporated into her name. Gianna did though.

Once we learned this one was a girl, Therese became the first name. I had to! Plus we stuck in a Dr Who name for a middle name. Once we lost my grandmother, I added her middle name with a spelling twist. 

In Texas I had an OB but I knew once we moved I would be switched to a midwife to do a home birth. Kiddos 2&3 came insanely fast. I wanted to ensure I wasn’t the next news story, “mother delivers on the side of the beltway during rush hour.” That and I knew I could do it. Two mamas in my life showed me that it can be done and I just had to. I hate hospital stays and being away from my family. 

A sweet lady friend and doula in our new area helped me find a midwife and birth assistant. I liked them both right away! Yes, it meant we spent $$ out of pocket since our insurance does not cover homebirth 100%. Worth every penny!

This end of pregnancy was much like R’s, plenty of Prodromal labor. My midwife was called during one because I swore it was real. *sigh* It wasn’t. And so I waited…and waited. And endured the, “oh you poor thing, no baby yet, your belly hasn’t dropped yet, etc.” I did my best not to glare daggers. I even ignored countless text messages, PMs on FB, and such because I grew tired of being asked how I was (which really was a round about way of asking if I was in labor) or “have you had the baby..” I am such an open book and everyone knows that! Oh well.

At 41wks1d, I went to my midwife for an NST and asked for a stretch and sweep. At first she was against it until she peered on down her calander. That weekend she had a big race so the earlier the better. Once she started the procedure she was certain I would not make it to the weekend. About 15 min from the house I started getting mild contractions 6 min apart.

I refused to get excited about it. It was probably just my uterus being angry at the stretch and sweep, Prodromal most likely. 

By 4:30pm things were getting stronger. This got me into high gear, “let’s get the house picked up, do laundry, and do the dishes…then call hubs and midwife.” GamerDad was in the middle of a meeting at work that he then got booted out of (his boss’ wife is a doula, so he gets the urgency). My MW could tell on the phone that this was the real deal just by talking to me so she called the assistant and they all came. 

My kids had a blah dinner of sandwiches because at that point I just couldn’t focus on anything more than that. I did not want to eat and each kid ate solo so I could focus on one sandwich at a time. Hubs came in after they all ate. My MW came shortly after with her assistant following her by about 5 minutes. 

They observed me for about 15 minutes and then started setting up our bedroom for birth. I was still thinking this was another dry run, that there is no way this was going to end with a baby in my arms. At this point with the previous 2, I did have a baby in my arms. What was taking my body so long?!?! Yeah, I had a lot of negative self talk going on inside my head.

At one point labor stalled and they said they were going to head out but to try and rest. I tried and no way was it working. I could also tell they were really still here, the assistant coughed every so often. Being on my side was torture. To all fours I went with tears in my eyes. Hubby fetched them back. The magic hands of my birth assistant rubbed my back without me even saying back labor. I have never had it before and I do not wish it upon anyone! I was banking on a super fast and easy labor. Instead I got a normal length labor from the pits of hell. 

I started out on all fours in bed. My knees kept sinking into the memory foam and my legs went numb. GamerDad got my ball out and onto the floor I went, all fours, rolling on the ball. He camped out beside me. I remember him trying to pet my arm to soothe me and I about bit his head off (sorry love). Again, knees had enough, MW suggested I try a reclined position. I attempted it and WHAM, massive contraction that hurt so very bad and I could not handle that position. I screamed that I couldn’t do it and flipped to all fours on bed again, mid-peak. By now this is midnight 41+2. Everyone was stunned that I pulled that off.

I remember flinging off my pajamas because it was so flipping hot! Not really, but I was burning up. My mind was saying I was nuts for not being in a hospital. I would have been begging for the drugs to make it stop. From deep within I fought against those thoughts, screaming through contractions and into my pillow. Before I knew it, my waters EXPLODED! I guess they were all at the foot of the bed with a flashlight and mirror to check dialation progress. Yeah, it got covered. I was told to push gently then because her head could be seen. I tried but I just could not push gently through those contractions! Two pushes later she was born. Instantly I saw her adorable chub and that she looked like she would rather be sleeping. For a moment she was ticked off because she wanted held and to be asleep. Therese was born at 12:20am. By 12:30 she was finally nursing a bit as I delivered the placenta. She then peed all over me. 😛

  This is her snuggling GamerDad as I had a shower. Look at those cheeks!!!
  Getting weighed! 8lbs10oz! Biggest bag of my 4! *toots her own horn* I didn’t tear! GamerDad got to cut her cord too. 🙂
   
   Some sweet moments! 🙂

  Bad lighting, but we do tandem nurse (R nurses for comfort or to go to sleep)! R likes to keep a hand on her sissy. Love it so much! 
Therese’s first check up had her weigh in at 7lb8oz. Yesterday we went again and she went up to 8lb12oz at six days old!

We do have several more appointments for her. Hearing test, an ultrasound for her sacral dimple, and the last weight check and PKU test.

Would I do a homebirth again? Heck yes! It was an amazing rush! Recovering at home was so much nicer than being checked in on every hour or so. 

Little Therese gets baptized on All Saints Day! 🙂 Perfect day for it!

Blessings,

Me! 🙂

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Has it really been 8 years?!?! Wow! Thanks for this comfy spot on the internet, WordPress!

Blessings!

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Hi all, sorry I have been absent for so long. I am trying to find a new balance between home schooling, volunteering, and being a Jamberry consultant!

It has been a whirlwind this past month and a half. Christmas is fast approaching and I wanted to take the time to slow down.

No parties until January, which is both welcomed and dreaded because I do want the bookings.

In my first month I got promoted a few times and finished all three FastStart goals. Now I am working on my own goals and assisting my team.

My first house party was last weekend and it went well despite how nervous I was! Yes, I forgot to mention some stuff but I got through it!

A couple of weekends ago was the annual parish party that the organization I am president over hosts. I was worried about it because a bunch of mini disasters happened. By the time it all started I was carefree because I put it in God’s hands. What a relief that was! We had some pretty cute decorations too! Pine cone trees and yarn sheep. 🙂

Our family also survived what my hubs dubs Fake Ebola where your stomach revolts and just hates you for about a week. It took two weeks to make its rounds through the five of us.

Lil Miss is currently working on her eye teeth and some molars so sleep has been fun. 😛

Hubs has been working on applying to different jobs within the military and that piled on some more stress but we are beginning to see the end of the process and relax a bit more.

So, now y’all know why I have been gone. 🙂

Back to Jamberry: If any of you want to host in January, I am offering a free half sheet of wraps to those who book a Facebook party, plus an additional gift if your party hits $150. Please email me at jenniferkoepl@gmail.com or visit my Jamberry Page. I also have a business Facebook page, here.

Blessings!

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A couple of weeks ago I dove into a Jamberry party and asked for a free sample. Like most people, I had heard of Jamberry and kind of knew what they were. When my sample came, I tried it out and was amazed! No dry time. Instantly fabulous nails without the risk of smudging!

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After a day I was shocked! No chipping or peeling. The design was intact. A few more days passed and then I saw details about becoming a consultant. I swore I wasn’t going to get roped in. I had BTDT with MaryKay and hated it. The market was too saturated with no room to grow. However, with Jamberry, it is a fairly new company and significantly fewer consultants. Also, my success does not rely on the success of the team mates I sign on. I laid it all out to GamerDad, telling him that I didn’t think I would do it. He asked questions, I got them answered and he nudged me to go for it.

Factors going for me:
1. Market isn’t saturated here. Jamberry has a high quality product.
2. I have a business degree under my belt.
3. I am more organized and driven.
4. Social media!

By day 6, I wanted to peel my shield off because my free half sheet was coming in the mail (I won it via the party games by collecting the most points). Zero nail damage! LOVE!

First full “Jamicure”:

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Now my Dr Who Nail wraps are coming in as well as my StyleBox. Oh yeah, you can make custom nail wraps! Neato!

I just hosted my first party to get my consultant kit at a discount. Now I come to you asking to help bump me up to 50% off, please. Please click on Jen’s Jams and order that way.

Or, if you would like to host a party or attend my launch party on 3 November, please let me know (jlkoepl@gmail.com)! 🙂 I have samples!!

Blessings!

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My absence explained

Ok, I haven’t blogged in a few months. To be honest, life got crazy. We have dealt with a lot and I really didn’t want to toss it all on here at the time.

We went to see GamerDad’s family and took an extended visit because a family member wasn’t doing so hot. Two days on the road back home, we found out that said family member was with the angels. It was nice being at a good friend’s house the night we got that news instead of a hotel room.

When we came home, the next day, we discovered Hunter got really depressed and refused to eat. He was a 15 pound cat and he dropped to 5 pounds. We tried for a week to fatten him up on our own before we called the vet. They took him right in and kept him for a few days. He was doing better. Once home, he became sick again. Our roman tub was marinated in the contents of his stomach. 😦 Then he lost control of his bowels. When we found him laying in it, we knew. We cried bitter tears. The vet wanted to med him up again, but we said it was time to end his suffering. Yes, we felt guilty about it at first. However, his BP was so low that they had a very hard time sticking him with the needle. When the needle went in, he purred at my husband (the kids and I were in the waiting room, I couldn’t bear to watch). We all let him after he passed (it took seconds when usually it takes longer). They cremated him and we were told to get him later on the following week. They called that Monday to pick up his ashes. I was expecting a baggie inside a simple paper box. We received a gift bag adorned with his name, a very nice carved wooden box with his ashes and name inside, a certificate to show his love, and a Rainbow Bridge poem. I lost it.

We were going to bury him out back, but we decided to plant him under a photo of our daughter whom he was very attached to. Yes, a 10 year old, crotchety, ornery, male cat was attached to our baby girl. It was because he wasn’t with her for 3 weeks that he withered away and lipidosis got him as a result.

In the midst of that was sweet daughter’s party and then we held another party for our oldest just weeks after hers. Plus, I had gotten a stash of Hatch peppers and I -had- to roast those.

Fall came and I am usually in the best of moods then, but I wasn’t. I was still carrying the pain and I wanted pie pumpkins so badly to kick off fall properly.

Last week, I finally got my hands on some pumpkins and went to town. My mood has improved quite a bit. Something so simple. Proof that being in my kitchen is therapy for me.

Hopefully, I will be on here more regularly. I have missed my readers and the blogs I have followed.

God Bless!
~Me

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Twisters

Two nights ago was the second night in two weeks that our family of five camped out in the closet. We live in a double wide, not really tornado ready.

It came suddenly too. I should say they since two tornadoes were confirmed on the ground at either side of our area. Both were EF-0s.

It was a blessing that GamerDad let the boys stay up and that I took a different route home from volunteering at church. If he hadn’t let them stay up, we would have had to drag sleeping boys into our closet. As for my route, I could have been in the throws of the storm with Lil Miss and Cherry, our SUV.

Twice I heard dead silence and then the train sound that is the tell take sign. Right before the silence, Lil Miss freaked out. The rest of us were chilling/praying (our house was shaking quite a bit).

The aftermath was just stuff blown away, trees down/torn apart, and our power being out. Our power was out for 9 hours! Most of our town had it back in 2-4 hours. We had to toss most of our food in the fridge. Why? Fridge food can be ok if an outage is 4-6 hours. A half full freezer is good for 24 hours, if it is full, 48 hours.

Thankfully, our renter’s insurance is amazing. I called them to see if they would reimburse us. Had I not just shopped on Monday, I wouldn’t have worried about it. They went above and beyond. I was asked to estimate the cost and they factored in the local tax.

Our family went out to lunch at Olive Garden since our main staples (meat and cheese) were in the trash. The boys still had some energy about the storm and spoke loudly about it. I apologized to the server and explained why we were even there to begin with. As we finish our meal, the manager clears the table and our server comes behind him with a huge smile on her face. They comped the adult meals!

On the way home, we paid it forward. I heard of a mom who lost her cloth diapers and reuse-able breast pads. She had them drying outside when the twister hit her neighborhood. Being that I don’t leak anymore and we have cloth diapers to spare, I gave her some of each.

Life can sometimes eat you up, spin you around, and toss you far from where you want to be. Dust yourself off, turn around, and count your blessings.

We are so thankful that all we lost was stuff. We have each other and we have our faith.

Our oldest had Bible study at the base chapel last night. The theme, “trust in God.” I asked him if he trusted God the other night. He was honest and said no, but that he does now.

God bless!

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This weekend has been gorgeous! We took the kids to the park yesterday and I slathered us all in homemade sunscreen . Click the blue for the recipe.

20140601-071817-26297801.jpg I doubled the recipe and got slightly more than what two of these jars can fill.
Being that Lil Miss loves to shove her fingers in her mouth and that she is as pale as I am, I wanted to make sure we had a non-toxic option. It rubs in great and leaves your skin silky smooth, much needed in our arid environment! Added bonus, you need to store it in the fridge, so it goes on cool and feels amazing on those hot, summer (sprummer?) days.

I missed a few spots on myself.

20140601-072010-26410751.jpg Ow! And itchy. For some reason, sunburn always makes me itch.

Usually I just put on aloe lotion and call it good. A friend told me last time to use lavender oil too, it takes the burn out. A double punch to the burn, I will take it!

20140601-072132-26492850.jpg I put on the aloe first and then rubbed in a drop of lavender oil before bed. Here is what the same spot looked like this morning, no more red!

20140601-072225-26545604.jpg No burn or itch this morning either.

Did the sunscreen work? Well, I covered the kids and GamerDad covered himself. None of them are burned. I am either extra burnable or I missed some spots. I’d say it works!

God bless!

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