WINTRY FAMILY FUN

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TOO Cute Tuesday: Linky Par-Tay! #203

Disclosure: I received tickets to Walking with Dinosaurs for review purposes.
We have had a full week of back to school and fun things!
This weekend we got to see Walking with Dinosaurs at the Honda Center
and it was so cool!
If you're in Southern California, you need to catch it at the Staples Center
before it leaves!
Seriously awesome!

Walking With Dinosaurs
STAPLES Center
1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
Thursday, September 11th 7:00 pm
Friday, September 12th 7:00 pm
Saturday, September 13th 11:00 am, 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm
Sunday, September 14th 11:00 am &  3:00 pm
Tickets at ticketmaster.com or (800) 745-3000

Now onto TOO Cute Tuesday!

What did you make this week that is TOO Cute??
Come link up!

Rules:
  • Must be made by you.
  • Link up to the specific post - not your main blog.
  • No Etsy shops or giveaways please :)
  • Please post the button or link back here so more people can join in the fun.
  • Visit some of the other participants and leave them some LOVE!
TOO Cute Tuesday will be open Tuesday-Saturday.
On Saturday or Monday I'll highlight some of my favorites
and then we'll start over on Tuesday!





This post brought to you by:


 
I changed the linky party so that the most recently uploaded project will show up as number one. This way everyone gets a chance on top. So, look in the first spot for your project, not at the end. Thanks!!!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Family Dinner at Sessions West Coast Deli: {Giveaway}

Disclosure: We were provided dinner for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

sessions west coast deli

Last week were squeezing every last bit out of our summer and I shared
with you about the fantastic dinner special Sessions West Coast Deli
was offering to help locals finish out their summer.
Since the waves were supposed to be HUGE down at "The Wedge" in
Newport beach, we packed up the family and headed down to check them out,
but first we stopped at Sessions to pick up the dinner they had prepared for us.


I think that everyone in Orange County had the same idea, 
so traffic down to the beach was CRAZY!
So, when we got to Sessions, we made a new game plan and
decided to dine al fresco outside Sessions.
It had such a cool, laid back vibe that we decided we wanted to enjoy
our delicious food instead of fighting the locals down to the beach.

Sessions Naked Dog

The food was AMAZING!!!!!
JT had the Naked Dog and he dug right in.
He just went on and on about how delicious it was 
and he loved the poppyseed potato roll.
I liked this option because it meant he could have it his way - mustard and ketchup.
I think if I were to order a Sessions gourmet hot dog, I'd go with the Mad Dog,
because it's got guacamole.
Yum! 

Sessions Naked Dog

Isabella went with the Pie Zano flatbread pizza.
It was like a flavor explosion in your mouth!
Isabella was so taken with the fresh potato chips that she 
couldn't even eat a quarter of the pizza,
but don't worry, daddy finished it off for her.

Sessions Pie Zano

Sessions West Coast Deli

JJ and I went with one of Sessions gourmet sandwiches - the Sloppy Barney.
Totally delicious and I loved the So Cal Slaw and pickle.

Sessions is reasonably priced, provides a great SoCal atmosphere, inspired
by the local surf and skate culture, and offers amazing palate pleasing food.
Sessions West Coast deli features 20 hot and cold sandwiches, 
yummy housemade sauces and a variety of sides, salads, and soups prepared daily.
The bread is freshly baked and the veggies are locally grown - you can't beat it!

Sessions Sloppy Barney Sandwich

What's better than a cold Diet Coke and delicious pasta salad
on a warm California evening?
Not much.

Sessions Sandwiches

So grab your beach blanket and the family and head to Sessions West Coast Deli
to squeeze out the last bit of summer that Southern California has left!

Sessions West Coast Deli
2823 Newport Blvd. in Newport Beach
and is open daily from 7AM to 10PM.
You can keep up with Sessions West Coast Deli on:

GIVEAWAY!!!! The rad people at Sessions have given me a $25 gift certificate
to giveaway so you can enjoy their delicious menu for yourself!



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Grace Michele Armstrong: The Real {Birth} Story Part Two

Don't miss
{PART ONE of Grace's birth story}
Easter 2014 - sister matchy-matchy Easter dresses

So by 12:30PM on my birthday I was all checked into the hospital,
Isabella was safe with Grandma, my wonderful friends
were going to make sure JT made it from school to Grandma,
and we were ready for the baby party to start.

Except it wasn't going to be much of a party.

Since I was going to have to be induced again, I was worried I was
going to have a repeat of what happened with Isabella.
However, my nurse called my OBGYN and they had a new plan.

(Oh! Along the party lines, I did get popsicles, so that was awesome!
Since my blood sugar was low and I had gestational diabetes,
I got a couple of popsicles with REAL SUGAR to boost it up.)

Instead of just starting pitocin and trying to start labor from nothing,
and it was pretty much nothing -
I was dilated to maybe a 2 and my cervix was high and firm,
they were going to do something I hadn't heard of before.
They decided to insert a Foley balloon catheter into my cervix and inflate
the balloon with saline.
The balloon simulates the pressure of the baby's head and helps make the
cervix dilate.
They told me to it could take anywhere from 3-8 hours for the cervix to
open enough (to about 6cm) for the balloon to fall out
and then my cervix would be at a good point to start pitocin.
Ocenview from my L&D room taken by JJ - March 21, 2014
Fast forward to about 2 hours later and bam, my water breaks,
I take a trip to use the bathroom and the balloon catheter falls out!
Woohoo!
I was so excited, because this means things were rolling along at a great pace.
I was already at 6cm, they were going to start the pitocin, it wasn't even 3 o'clock
 and I was going to have this baby quick and easy.

Ha. Pride cometh before the fall.

Fast forward to about 5:30PM that evening and I'm still at a six.
I was having contractions, but they weren't really organized or at regular
intervals. Blech.
My nurse comes into tell me that if I want an epidural that I need to do it now,
or the anesthesiologist won't be available until about 7:00PM because
he is going in to do a cesarean and we won't be available until after it is done.
I was still trying to be strong and do it au naturale,
so I waved the nurse away and told I would be fine!
I could do it.

I should have taken the epidural.

First pool day - April 15, 2014
Fast forward to about 6:45PM and I was DYING.
The contractions were fast and hard.
I couldn't do it. I was beat and I wanted my epidural!
I kept asking JJ what time it was, hoping it was 7:00PM.

At 7:00PM on the dot I had JJ call the nurse and tell them I was ready.
Of course, it was shift change, so a new nurse rolled on.
When Brittney walked into the room I thought,
"Oh my heck! Are you even 20 years old? 
What can you know about delivering a baby?"

Lucky for me, she knew a lot.

Since it was a shift change, a new anesthesiologist rolled on too
and I was first in line.
HOLLA!
Even though I had been nervous to have an epidural because 
last time it is where everything started to go horribly wrong, I didn't care.
I wanted the drugs and I wanted them NOW!

Bright eyes - April 5, 2014
Fast forward and the quirky and hilarious anesthesiologist gets me all hooked
up with the epidural and I am feeling fine.
And then everything started to go wrong.
Again.

I had to stay on my left side because Grace wasn't tolerating my contractions very well.
My blood pressure was bottoming out and Brittney seriously spent over
an hour getting it stabilized.
The "chills" and chattering teeth from Isabella's labor returned.
And to add insult to injury, I was still hanging out around 6cm. Boo.

Then, I was finally stable, but Gracie wasn't fairing quite as well.
She was already on an internal monitor because the external wasn't cutting it.
Brittney kept having to turn down the pitocin or turn it off completely, 
because she just couldn't handle my contractions.
I started thinking in my head - Ok, time for a cesarean.

Baby in distress - Mama don't play that.

But the amazing doctors and nurses had a plan.
They were going to do a amnioinfusion to replace the amniotic fluid
I lost when my water broke over 6 hours ago.
They thought that maybe she was resting on the umbilical cord
since there wasn't was much amnio fluid inside and that was causing
the problems with her heart rate and my contractions.

Instgramming that baby isn't coming tonight - 10:25PM March 21, 2014
The amnioinfusion worked!
So I was finally stable and she was finally stable,
but I was still only dilated to about 6cm.
They decided to leave the pitocin off because they wanted
to see how Grace responded.
By now it was about 10:30PM and Brittney tells me I'm probably
not going to be having this baby on my birthday.
So I Instagram a picture of all my lovely bags fluids and say:

"Baby Watch Update: No baby yet. We probably won't share the same birthday. 
We're both doing fine. #stubbornlittlegirl #justlikehersister #nowihave4bags #babyfpg"

And then I started feeling uncomfortable.
It wasn't unbearable, but it wasn't as sweet as when I'd first gotten the
epidural about 3 hours ago.
I asked Brittany if she could push my button so I could get some more drugs.
I didn't realize it at the time, but Brittany had taken my button away.
I was supposed to be able to push my button and get just a little bit of happiness.
However, when the problems with my blood pressure happened,
Brittany stealthily took my button away.
She said she would, but she was afraid to give me too much because
she didn't want to start all over with my blood pressure.

I understood, but it sucked.

First Outing - March 26, 2014
She said she was going to leave me for about 20 minutes and then
we could ask the anesthesiologist about more happy meds.
She said to let her know if I started feeling pressure, but that I was still about 6cm.

Brittany left and I was uncomfortable and then about 10 minutes later
 I start to feel REALLY uncomfortable.
It wasn't like with JT, like I need to take a big dump, and I need to take one now.
It was a weird sensation. A painful sensation. A something is happening sensation.

And it was ALL me baby!!!!
The pitocin had been off for almost an hour.
I'm not even sure I was receiving much of the epidural and since
Brittany had taken away my happy button pushing privileges.
Since I had to stay on my left side, I couldn't see the monitors, but I was sure
I was having major contractions, so I say to JJ,

"AM I HAVING A CONTRACTION???!!" - through gritted teeth.

He's like, Oh, yeah. You are.
I told him to push that call button and get Brittany in there.
He pushes the nurse call button and sweetly tells them
I'm feeling some pressure.
I'm ready to shout, "Get that freaking Justin Timberlake lovin' nurse in here!"
But Brittany appears with the baby nurse and they both check me
and I am almost complete.
They both agreed I was like 9.5cm, so the baby nurse
sticks her hand WAY UP THERE, and helps me become a 10.

YOWIE!!!!

First Photo Shoot - April 4, 2014
I am now back curled on my left side, gripping the bed,
and I exclaim,

"I DON'T WANT TO FEEL ANY OF THIS!"

I am feeling the contractions and the pain and I want it to stop.
Brittany stops what she's doing, gets down in my face and says,
"The more you feel, the quicker this baby will be born. Got it?"

So I shut up and get ready to have this baby.

They grab Dr. Flora, who is just about to go home,
because Brittany has just told her that it's going to be hours
before I am ready to deliver, and she isn't on call the next day.

They break that bed down, Dr. Flora walks in and says,
"I'm here. I'm ready. Push whenever you're ready."

And boy do I push.

One push, two pushes, and JJ says,
"You did it! I can see her face!"
I give one more little push and at 11:09PM on my 35th birthday,
 little Grace Michele Armstrong LITERALLY comes shooting out.
(It's funny because we had a whole conversation with the anesthesiologist about how
babies do not just come shooting out.)

Grace Michele Armstrong - March 21, 2014 11:09PM
 They shout at me to stop pushing!!!!!!!
The cord is wrapped pretty tightly around her neck a couple of times.
JJ didn't get to cut the cord, because Dr. Flora acted quickly and cut it to
get it off of her neck.
She later apologized and we both said in unison, WE'RE GLAD YOU DID!

They immediately laid her on my chest and she was purple/blue
and she hadn't cried yet.
I kissed her and then the baby nurse said,
"I'm just going to take her and get her cleaned off
and get her to make some noise."

JJ and I both exclaimed, "PLEASE DO!"

Five seconds later and she was screaming and pink and my
body relaxed and my soul rejoiced.
Grace Michele Armstrong - 7lbs 2oz - 20 inches

She is the best birthday present I could have ever imagined for myself.

In the weeks leading up to her birth, JJ and I were divided on her name.
I wanted her to be Charlotte Grace and JJ wanted her to be Grace Charlotte.
I wanted Charlotte Grace, not because I liked Charlotte better than Grace,
quite the opposite, Grace was actually my favorite of the two.
But I felt like Charlotte Grace flowed easier off the tongue than Grace Charlotte.
I had even told all my friends and family that she would most likely be
Charlotte Grace, because after labor, JJ always let me pick.

But as JJ and I sat in the hospital in the early afternoon waiting
for things to get started, JJ said,
"What about if we give her your middle name since you'll share the same birthday?
She can be Grace Michele."

And in that moment, I knew that was her name.

coming home
All ready to go home - March 23, 2014
I am so grateful for amazing doctors, attentive and fantastic nurses,
a super star husband, and a loving Heavenly Father
that made having this little miracle possible.

Thank you for joining me for Grace's birth story.
If you missed {PART ONE} you can find it here.


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