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”

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






Top 10 Favorites of Fall


Is it just me or is apple picking a little overrated? Maybe because we went on what was the hottest day of the year at a scorching 91 degrees (unusual weather for us here in Rochester), but I keep wondering what on earth people become hyped up for to go pick apples.

apple picking funny

We had fun though…laughed the entire wagon ride, wondering if the jolting might initiate an early labor, ate cider donuts, drank cold cider (it was way too hot to drink anything even slightly warm), munched on popcorn, and bought a ton of apples.

Even though apple picking may not be my favorite fall activity, it is my favorite season of the year…so much that I named my first child Autumn!


My Top 10 Favorites of Fall 

10.  Football…which means lots of snacks:  I will admit this wouldn’t have made my list a few years ago, but I have come to enjoy watching football with Craig.  There is usually some sort of dip and/or tasty finger foods involved while watching and who doesn’t love food?  We feast on football days!

9.  Crockpot Meals:  Now that it’s fall I have broken out the crockpot and the fall meals…not only does it make my life so much easier, but everyone enjoys the Chicken and Dumplings (or as we call it: “Chicken Dump”), Pot Pie Soup, Lasagna Soup, Pulled Pork, Pot Roast…ohhh…I could go on!  There is just something satisfying about dinner being ready when we come home.

8.  Leaves/the colors:  Maybe I fell in love with leaves in kindergarten when we all had to bring one in and put it under our paper and color over it…ahhhh…awesomeness right there!  I’m the one in search for that perfect leaf no matter where we go.

7. Boots:  They can be tall, short, furry, leather, brown, gray, blue, black…I love boots and this is the boot season!  This reminds me I need a new pair…recommendations anyone?

6.  Pumpkins/Pumpkin Pie:  Whether the pumpkins are decorating the yard or pureed in a pie I love them!  Now the carving of the pumpkins I will admit I do try and scam out of every year…this year I’m thinking we need to try painting them.  Hmmm…

5.  Oversized Sweaters and warm blankets:  I’m all about the cozy comfort of an oversized sweater or a toasty blanket!

4.  Apple Cider/Apple Cider Donuts:  Apple Cider either hot or cold is amazing!  I order the hot apple cider from Tim Hortons with whipped cream on top and bottom and it is delicious!  Apple cider donuts are little circle shaped fall treats that are just as delicious, but a little harder to find fresh.

3.  Apple Crisp:  Who doesn’t love freshly made, warm,  apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream?

2.    The weather:  The fall weather is perfect!  It isn’t too hot or too cold, and if it is dressing in layers quickly solves that.

1.   Fall Family Photos:  This is my most favorite fall activity ever!  I started years ago with just snapping a quick photo each year of the kids in the leaves in the backyard, but it has evolved into a big event where we go to a local park to take a ton!  They are always an adventure!


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Share in a comment:  What is your favorite thing about fall?






What Makes YOU Shine?

What Makes YOU Shine?  What do you do to make life more enjoyable for others?

If you can’t think of what you do to uplift people then here are five simple suggestions.

  1. Greet People:  Throughout the day make it a point to greet people…not only the people you perceive as important, but the people who may be unnoticed as well…even if they do not greet you back!  A smile along with a “good morning” is simple enough.  If you’re walking in the store hold the door for the next person—whoever they happen to be.
  2. Listen:  Many people want to be heard, but it is also important to stop and listen (really listen) to others.  I don’t mean listen to people ramble on and on, but to remember what they say. For example, remember what they will be doing over the weekend and ask them on Monday how their activity/plans went.  As a teacher I also make it a point to do this with my students.  As a parent, with my children.  I even practice this when I’m interacting with cashiers at the store.
  3. Notice and Acknowledgement:  When someone is doing something positive notice it and offer acknowledgement.  This can mean noticing that your child completed a chore without needing to be asked and complimenting them, writing a note to a co-worker to say what a great job they are doing, or even sending an email to let a person know that you appreciate the extra effort they have been investing in a certain task.
  4. Share:  Whatever your talent is or something you are good at…share it with others.  This can be as simple as you make the best banana bread ever…then bring some to work to share or pass a loaf on to a neighbor.  Do you have the skill to knit?  Make a blanket and pass it on to someone…just start knitting and in the process you will realize who it is meant for.
  5. Thank: When is the last time you wrote a thank you note/card?  Show appreciation even in the small things and make it a part of your routine to spend time writing a note to someone to thank them.  It could be for something in the past that they did for you, a mentor, friend, relative, child, or even to a store to thank them for the great customer service!11Comment:  What makes YOU shine?  Share with us something you do to make life more enjoyable for others.



Post inspired by the Daily Post prompt: “Shine”