Lincoln’s Birth and First Week

A week ago, our son, Lincoln Joseph was born!

My due date was January 14th and I was ready long before he was due to give birth.  The end of my pregnancy brought terrible prodromal labor, a sore, swollen body, heartburn that ended in throwing up, groin pain, shortness of breath,  rolling over in bed was almost impossible, and every time he moved it hurt—I was ready to give birth and tried everything to spark labor naturally.  I drank the red raspberry tea, walked, squatted, washed all my hardwood floors and baseboards on my hands and knees, stair walked, vacuumed the entire house…several times, had sex, walked some more, took baths, and nothing seemed to work.  I even packed my classroom up because we are moving to another school in a week thinking that might push me into labor, but that didn’t work either.

3 days before he was born

The night of my due date I cracked and just cried because I was so uncomfortable and told Craig that I was trying to deal as best as I could, but I wasn’t sure how much longer I could do it.  The prodromal labor is what was really driving me over the edge because I was having contractions for three weeks!  He was supportive as possible with trying to make me comfortable, but I was at my breaking point.

About an hour later I sat on the couch and began to feel strong pains.  I dismissed it thinking it was the way I was sitting.  The pains became stronger, but I dismissed it as prodromal labor.  What made me realize I was in actual labor was when I went to the bathroom and I was bleeding…I knew my son would come soon!

I was not rushing to the hospital after being sent home twice already, so we decided to wait a little before calling the doctor.  Craig dried some laundry he was in the middle of doing and I made sure all the last minute items were added to my hospital bag.  We laid down in bed and decided to watch some TV, but the contractions were stronger—stronger than I had felt in my previous pregnancies.  I decided to call the doctor and I was told to go to the hospital.


I was 5cm when we arrived at 1am…I swear I would be farther along, but nope.  We were admitted and the contractions were more painful.  My doctor was not on call, but I did know the doctor who was.  I wanted to try the water bath to manage the pain, but he wouldn’t allow it because he was afraid I would then be giving birth in the water.  With few natural options to manage my pain I discussed an epidural with him—he said that it would not mean that I would end up delivering in a c-section and that the baby was not at risk.  He said I needed to decide asap because if I waited it would be too late.  I decided to have the epidural and be more comfortable.


While waiting for the epidural I decided it was time to give Craig his surprise I packed in my hospital bag—a dad shirt!


Being administered the epidural is a painful process itself, but I’m glad I decided to have it!  I did slow down my dilating, so needed Pitocin to speed things up again.  At one point I felt out of it and light headed because my blood pressure went down, but laying down helped that and all was good after that.  I dilated pretty quickly after that and we decided to break my water to further the progress.

We sent a few texts to let certain family and friends know that our little one would be here soon!  At this point my father and his girlfriend were in the waiting room, my oldest daughter, Autumn was in the room, and Craig’s cousin, Kayla was in the room.

Then we received some great news!  A shift change was about to happen which the doctor on call would be leaving, and because the doctor coming in had an operation scheduled my doctor would be coming in.  This is the same doctor who delivered Autumn and Cole, so it was nice!

The doctor walked in, I was fully dilated and ready to push.  He changed his clothes and I knew it wasn’t going to be long now.  He put some soapy water down below and I made the comment that cold water would feel good right about now.  He thought I meant a cup of water to drink, but I explained how some cold water poured down below would feel amazing…he said whatever I want and poured some cold water down there, but it didn’t feel as cold as I hoped.  I knew the ring of fire was coming…


I pushed for a little while and then I knew one more push and he would be here…the ring of fire was next and I knew if I could get through that then the majority of the pain would be over.  Listening to everyone encouraging me while Craig held my right leg and my doctor with my left I gave another push and he was here.  I only cursed once through it all…haha!  Craig cut the cord and he was put on my chest.  He immediately began to breastfeed—amazing that he knew what to do so quickly!  We all knew he was a large baby by looking at him—-I felt my entire pregnancy that he was going to be a big baby.

While he was on my chest and we were all checking him out the doctor pushed on my stomach to deliver the placenta and stitched me up.  I sure did grab his hand when he pushed on my stomach…a reflex I just can’t help!

I had about an hour of skin to skin contact with him until they took him to take his weight and do all of the tests they do.

Everything was perfect!

Candid Shot by Kayla

Lincoln Joseph

January 15th @8:45am

9lb. 13 1/4oz. 21″long

Lincoln’s 1st Week

Day 1:  He cluster fed all night, so we did not sleep at all…was a rough night!  The hospital shower is not hot enough and has minimal pressure.  I just want a nice, long, hot, shower!

Day 2:  I wanted to be home asap and my doctor approved, but we needed to stay the minimum of 36 hours—when that 36 hour mark hit we were out of there and home we were!  I wanted my own bed and my own shower!  If the pediatrician saw how we slept we would have been given a scolding…much better night of sleep than the night before.  I have a new found appreciation for the comfort of my own bed!

Day 3:  His first doctor’s visit—all is healthy!  Doc said his eyes are blue with a slight chance to change to hazel (looks like my blue eye gene is pretty dominant…haha).  More cluster feeding…in particular at night.  His siblings are loving him up!

Day 4:  First trip out of the house (other than for the doctor’s appointment).  I made sure to feed him right before we left to be prepared!  We were in the store for about 10 minutes when I heard him begin to fill his diaper…then he began to fuss which turned into us leaving to the car to change him and feed again.  We eventually went back in, but did rush through looking around because he was restless and we didn’t want to be those parents with a screaming child in the store.  As soon as we were walking out the door he passed right out though…haha!  We didn’t even need anything, but just wanted some fresh air and to walk around a bit.

Day 5:  I have been having some pains in my hip which were at their worst, but I’m going to see how it goes over the next week or so until I call the doctor.  Other than that I feel great and have been up and active–maybe I need to slow down a little and give my body time to relax!  Breastfeeding is coming along…he has an insatiable appetite, but he is a big baby.

Today was his big brother’s debut in the musical School of Rock, so Aunt Shannon watched him for a couple hours while we attended (I sure did cry when we dropped him off).  The play was amazing (I also cried watching Cole perform)!  By the end I was feeling the skipped feeding and was quite sore—my sister fed him baby formula because I didn’t have time to pump any milk for her to feed him (insert guilty feeling here).  All was good though and as soon as we were home I latched him on to relieve the pain.

Day 6:  Easiest day so far even if he had his most wardrobe changes today than any other day—he loves peeing and/or pooping all over when his diaper is changed. He does it EVERY diaper change!

Day 7:  Loves to snuggle, eat, and surprise you when you change his diaper.  We are ready with a wash cloth to cover him, so he doesn’t pee all over the blinds again.

We are incredibly happy and in love with him…ready for this next adventure…

❤ Crystal

post slightly inspired by The Daily Post, one word prompt “dominant”

Lesson Learned: Pack a Hospital Bag!

hospital bag blog

Wednesday we had a little scare…I thought I might be in labor…

Craig had his basketball game, and when he left, he gave me a kiss goodbye.  My stomach began feeling very tight, hard, and I kept feeling a sharp pain.  I thought maybe I needed to use the bathroom, so tried that with no luck.  I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and changed into my comfy bed clothes and that is when the pains started to really intensify.

I could barely search google to see if this was normal or what was going on…yes, I google just about everything before calling my doctor.  The pain hurt so bad I started to sweat and couldn’t even look at my phone.  I didn’t want to interrupt Craig’s game because it’s his one time a week he has to enjoy himself, so I decided I would wait.  I knew even if I did call he wouldn’t be able to hear it because he was running down the court…I did send a text for him to call me when he finished.

Maybe the baby is just in a certain position that is causing the pain?

I tried moving around to see if that would alleviate the pain, but that didn’t work.

My daughter looked concerned and asked what she could do…

“Mom, call the doctor or something”

My son began to google reasons for sharp pains, but I eventually told him put the phone down….

“Mom, it might be your cervix” is not something you expect to hear from your fifteen year old.

“Mom, I can drive you to the hospital…”

“Mom, call the doctor, I can talk to him”

Hahaha…what parent thinks they will hear their child say that?

I waited, and my stomach remained rock hard and the pains came and went.  I’ve felt contractions before and these were not what I experienced before.  I gave Craig a call, but knew he wouldn’t hear the ring.  I could wait a little longer!

I don’t even have a bag packed!  This was supposed to be the one time I had a bag ready to go!  I just washed my face and have comfy clothes on!  I don’t want to go to the hospital like this!  Noooo…I don’t want him to be born in November!  This just can’t be!

Fast forward an hour…

…the pains went away and I was able to move around without any discomfort.

Craig called in frantic mode because I sent him a text and called him which is out of the ordinary while he is playing basketball.  When I told him what was going on he said he would be home as fast as he could.

Lesson learned:  we need to write thank you cards, finish up the nursery, pack a hospital bag, and pick a baby name!

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Share in a comment:  What are the must pack items for a hospital bag?

❤ Crystal

When in Rome…Have a Baby Shower!

This past Saturday we were thrown a baby shower by Craig’s family in Rome, New York.  It could not have been more perfect!  A huge thank you to his cousin, Kayla for organizing and planning it all with the help from his Aunt Mary, Uncle Curtis, and cousin Jaimie!  Without a doubt I am a lucky woman to have such an amazing man, and with the added bonus of his wonderful family it just makes everything so much more of a blessing!

Rome Baby Shower

 ❤ Our Favorite Moments ❤

  1. Craig’s Grandmother gave us baby pictures of Craig and photos of his mother and father.  Seeing the photos along with the candle set up to honor them immediately made the tears begin to flow.


2. How beautifully everything was set up…the photos do not do them any justice!  The basketball to have guests sign, the candle to light as an honor to Craig’s parents, the mimosa bar, balloons, beer mugs for the men to take as favors, and the candles the ladies received to burn when baby arrives were all just incredible!


3. The food!  The food was never ending and delicious—it was brought out in waves starting with breakfast which included eggs, breakfast potatoes, and french toast.  Then salad, along with chicken French, alfredo pasta, and grilled veggies.  Delta Lake Inn definitely has amazing food!


4. The games…everyone enjoyed the games and I was able to be the one to de-whistle Uncle Curtis because he said the word “baby”…love that shower game!


5. The desserts!!!  Creampuffs, cupcakes, and cannolis, Ohhh…My!  even though I couldn’t technically enjoy them as much as I would have liked they are delicious (I’ve had one here and there for a treat as I closely monitor my sugar).  The best part was the blue faces if they ate one of the blue frosted cupcakes!


6. The thoughtful gifts!  From the little red wagon, the sporty bathrobe, the basketball hoop, the million different balls in a box, the adorable suits, the tiny little outfits, and the dresser to put them all in we truely loved everything!  Driving home was quite eventful…haha!


7. The people!  It’s always a fun time when we are able to travel to Rome and spend time with Craig’s family, but this time was a little more special because he was able to see some people he hadn’t seen in a long time.  His aunt even drove from Michigan to be there!


8. The unplanned balloon release!  Craig wrote a little note on one of the balloons and we decided to release them…emotional moment to end it all, and another way to include his parents into the celebration.


As you can see from this post our little MVP is loved so much already!  We are blessed to be surrounded by such supportive, wonderful people.  Thank you all who came to shower us with love!

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❤ Crystal

Photo Credit to Cole and McKinley
The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Temporary

A Peek into Our Family Fall Pictures

Sneak Peek Family Pics Blog

The one must every year for me is to take fall family pictures! The fall is my favorite season.  I started years ago with just taking a few photos of the kids raking leaves, jumping in the pile we created, and going pumpkin picking.

It evolved into an event where more family members came and we took pictures of everyone.  Due to schedule constraints the past few years we have decided to just keep it small with just us–it’s difficult as it is to plan to take them with keeping in mind the peak foliage time, work schedules, and the unpredictable Rochester weather.

We had to do them at 8:30am this year (I was worried we wouldn’t have enough sunlight), and the temperature was about 35°-40°, so we were all freeeeezing!  There were even times where you could see our breath from talking and laughing that I thought it might ruin the shots.  Even though we didn’t take as many as we usually do I’m thankful we were able to take the ones we did ❤

Our sneak peek collage from this year

Fall Family Collage 2017.jpg

Other Family Favorite Group Shots


Belly worshipping Favs ❤


We ended our hour session with McKinley in a tree as usual…

2013, 2016, and 2017 picture

Last year & this year (2016 & 2017)

Random Facts About Fall Family Picture Day

  1. There is much arguing and bickering prior to many of the shots
  2. Cole must flip and fluff his hair for every photo
  3. McKinley wore a pair of my shoes, and was not happy about it (she wanted to wear her Nike sneakers)
  4. A spare, handy towel was used for Craig’s runny nose
  5. This was the first year EVERYONE wore the same color (gray)…with the planned exception of me which we decided on purpose
  6. Autumn arrived on time which just doesn’t usually happen
  7. It was so cold that I didn’t switch my lens or settings like I should have
  8. We were unsure if we would have enough sunlight because Autumn had to be at work, so we had to work around her schedule
  9. It was about 35° out…burrrrrrrr
  10. Autumn and I wore the exact same nail polish (unintentional)
  11. Cole’s famous line, “I’m so cold my nipples are as hard as rocks” made us laugh so hard I thought our breath was going to ruin the pics (from the cold)

thankful-and-gratefulShare in a comment:  What does your family do for photos?  Do you take a yearly picture?  I’d love to hear what others do.

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Post inspired by the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge Prompt:  Peek






What My Baby Shower Taught Me

This past weekend we had our baby shower to celebrate our little MVP, and I’m still astonished at all the love and support from everyone!

I was not a fan of the idea of having a shower at all, but my friend, Erica was particularly excited and immediately offered to be a part of planning it. Considering I have not had a baby shower in twenty years and that I gave every last baby item away I thought it would help us quite a bit and it would be nice for Craig being this is his first child (yes, twenty years…whoa…that sounds crazy).

As Erica and I were talking about it I told her that I wanted to be a part of planning the shower, but was unsure what people would think because I read many comments on the online baby boards that it was considered tacky.  Erica’s response was, “Since when do you care what people think?  Do what you want!” Lightbulb moment here!

Doing what we wanted was exactly what we did and I’m glad we did!  It was perfect!


What My Baby Shower Taught Me

  1. Do what you want (couples, kids, food, favors, theme, games, music, food, invite who you want, honor family members who have past away…)  


  2. You will forget what you registered for…possibly because he liked using the scanning machine a little too much


  3. Someone will give you a gift that might make you cry


  4. If you try and give a speech you should practice before the shower day…and pregnancy hormones may cause water works41
  5. Something will not go as planned and that’s ok  We had a plan to take photos of every guest, but that did not happen.  I’m still a little bummed out about it, but I am thankful my son and Craig’s cousin were able to capture the moments that they did.
  6. Cupcakes are the easiest dessert ever 
  7. Homemade gifts are the best 


  8. Plan to take A LOT home 
  9. Having your man with you to open gifts is the best  68
  10. RSVP…I have a new found respect for it  I will admit I am terrible at RSVPing, but I have a new found respect and have promised myself not to be that person anymore.


Our shower was amazing…we loved seeing everyone excited for us and enjoyed spending the time with them! We are blessed!


The Daily Post Daily Prompt: Enlighten 


Experiencing the Layers of Pregnancy

I am officially 23 weeks pregnant.  I never thought I would even entertain the idea of having another child, but I fell in love with an amazing man and that plan changed.

When I met him I told him straight, “I will not be married, I will not have anymore children, and if you are still hung up on some ex or into drugs don’t bother with me because I don’t have time to play around”.

The poor guy looked at me and said, “Ummm…can we just go on a date to see where that takes us?”

And here we are now…23 weeks pregnant!  Whoa!  I think I’m more scared now than ever before!  How will I balance my life?  How will I sleep?  I want to breast feed, but will also be working…will I be able to pump enough?  And the dreaded thoughts about my body and what it will look like after I give birth…

For now I will focus on the beauty of my body as it changes and embrace the layers of change.

Today I took a few minutes to take some photos of myself to do just that…focus on the beauty of my pregnant body.

If this offends you I don’t apologize. If I wasn’t pregnant, on a beach, and in a bikini then you wouldn’t be offended at all.  It took me years to love my body, and becoming pregnant has caused a range of emotions to continue to love every part.

Share in a comment:  Did you find it easier to appreciate your body while you were pregnant?  Before pregnancy?  After?  How do you maintain a positive body image?


Post inspired by The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

What will we name him?

One of the most frequent questions we are asked after people know we are having a boy is…

What are you naming him?

It feels like we have discussed several thousand names.  Being a teacher makes selecting a name a little more challenging.  Another layer to that is one of the schools we both worked at we referred to students by their initials, so we have thought about what his initials will be as well.


Our name we picked out for a girl is Lyndon and I’m still absolutely in love with it, but we are having a boy.

Some of the names for our little boy we have discussed are…

Joseph:  Craig’s father’s first name.  Since Craig’s father has passed away we thought about using part of his name for the baby, but we aren’t too fond of other people we know with that name.  Even more so, we don’t like the idea of him being called “Joe” or “Joey”.

Lawrence:  Craig’s father’s middle name.  We liked it for a little while, but again, we aren’t thrilled with the thought of him being called “Larry”.

Cayden:  Craig keeps circling around back to this name, but I’m not sold on it at all.

Laxton: I like this one…Craig does not.  He prefers Paxton, but Cole had a friend with that name and I just can’t.

Jaxson or Jackson:  Craig likes this one, but it’s way too popular.

Max/Maxwell:  Craig is into this one too—as I write this I realize how open he is and how resistant I am.  Maxwell reminds me of coffee and Max sort of sounds like a dog…I’m just not so sure about it.

Maddox:  In case you haven’t noticed, Craig likes names with an “x” in them.  I’m not a fan of this one…uggg will I ever like a name?

Lennox:  Family name which would have a lot of meaning, but not sold on him being called “Len” or “Lenny”…as an English Teacher all I can think of is Lenny in Of Mice and Men.

Isaiah:  I like this one, but Craig accuses me of being a closet Celtics fan and thinks that’s why I like the name.  I do like the player Isaiah Thomas a lot, but since he is now on the Cavs this name is off my list (I’m not a Cavs fan).

Josiah:  This name we both like, but are not in love with it.  Since Craig’s father’s name is Joseph is has that connection, but again we don’t like the idea of him being called “Joe” or “Joey”.

Pierce:  I like this one, but Craig does not—since it is a former Celtic player (I swear I’m not a Celtic fan).

Craig Jr.:  Craig doesn’t like the idea because he feels a lot of men who name their son after them are controlling and he doesn’t want to be that dad.  He wants him to have his own identity.

Do we select a name that is popular?  Unique, but not too unique?  Family name?  A Jr?  So much to think about, but I know when the time comes we will have the perfect name for our little one.

When we have decided on a name we have agreed not to share it with anyone until he is born…now if we can just agree on a name for the lil guy!


Share in a comment:  Which name do you like best?  Any suggestions for us to consider?