Saturday, January 23, 2016

Recent Custom Portraits

I have been super busy working on custom family portraits and it has just been so fun!! Here are a few I have done, please email me if you would like one, as I am starting to get lots of orders and want to have plenty of time to get yours done! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tucker Mark | Birth Story

December 12, 2015

My eyes fly open! Did I just...pee? Or was that my water breaking. I rush to the bathroom and feel another gush. After actually going I stand back up thinking I imagined something. Nope, another gush. I sit down and holler to Tee to wake up, my water just broke! I wasn't having contractions, so I had him call his parents who would watch Bryce and I called my mom to let her know, and the nurse line to see when I should go in. They said come right in. Bryce wakes up at the end of the conversation and I go tell him his brother is coming. At first he was so tired he didn't really react and then he jumped into action and got ready.

We drop Bryce off to have a sleep over with Pom. We head to the hospital which is an hour and a half away. Still no steady contractions, but a few random ones.

Dunkin Donuts  run can't have a grouchy husband while I am laboring. I was told not to eat anything:-(

We arrive to labor and deliver and get checked in. They have me swab with this little strip of paper saying if my water broke its change color. Well it didn't change color, but I knew. So they did a second test that would take an hour to know the results and checked my cervix which was a 1.5cm. So Tee and I sat there waiting until right around the hour mark I had another huge gush and they tested it with the paper and it turned the color it was suppose to!  They tell us it will be about an hour before our room is ready. But we find out that the same doctor who delivered Bryce would be more than likely be the one to deliver Tucker! He is my favorite:-)

Tee and I decide to walk around the 4th floor to try and get contractions starting. We had a good time laughing about pretending to run into a room yelling "code red!" And "clear" pantomiming the shock padels. I still wasn't having any stop me in my tracks contractions.

Doctor comes in and tells us that I'll have to put on a low dose of pitocin to get contractions going as I wasn't having anything consistent and with water breaking we were facing a higher risk of csection. He also explained that where I was a vbac with pitocin it was a good idea to go ahead and get an epidural in place once I needed it in case of uterine  rupture. 

Exact Times are no longer remembered from this point on.

I get hooked up to the IV and a very low dose of pitocin and the nurse warns me it takes a while to work. Well, with in half an hour it started working. They got extremely strong and I was pretty miserable and realized my plan for a natural birth wasn't going to happen when they checked and I was only at  "a tight 3cm." I was thinking I can't last another hour much less a long day and night of this. So I asked for an epidural when she explained they were looking for me to be contracting 2 min apart for one minute without being able to talk through them. Mine were 3-4 min and 45secs-A min. Coming up on an hour and a half of them. On my next contraction I asked for the epidural and got up to go to the bathroom. I thought I was going to pass out. I was sweating. I was dizzy. I was HURTING! So the anthesiologist came in, his name was Mark, and he had a whole slew of corny jokes to try and distract me through my  contractions and placing the epidural. I made it through and the epidural took fairly quickly. I was so surprised at how quickly the pain was totally gone. I was expecting to feel something. But was immediately relieved when I realized I wouldn't feel ANYTHING. As hopeful as I had been for a natural birth I hadn't looked into what an epidural really did. I was in heaven. I was even more thrilled when I realized I wouldn't be in pain whatsoever during the whole process. They checked me and I was at 4.5cm. Both mine and Tucker's heart rates dropped a little bit so  the nurse and doctor were watching it until they both leveled out and then inserted an internal contraction monitor so they could keep an eye on uterine rupture/contractions.

So about an hour and a half later I started to feel a change. Just more pressure and Tucker had moved from my right side to my left. So 15 min later I called the nurse and just explained I felt different. They checked me and I was at an 8!! They were like "okay we will let the doctor know!" We called our parents to head down. In my head I was like this baby will be here before they are! (Hospital is an hour and 15 from where we live).

Well, he was delivering another baby. 30 min later I was like, I am feeling quite a bit of pressure and I feel like he may fall out! Giggling with Tee about it, they said no the doctor will be here as soon as he can. They checked me and I was complete. And they started to get everything in place. Everything was so fast and smooth Tee and I were so shocked. 

We did a few "practice pushes" using a mirror and then the dropped off the end of the table and after about 8 rounds of pushing 3xs for 10 seconds each I looked down and there was Tucker's little sweet face! He was immediately placed on my chest and Tee got to cut the cord! He was born at 5:16pm weighing in at 8lbs 6oz and 21.5in long. Family arrived and got to come in about an hour later. Bryce was very nervous and took a while to warm up to coming over to meet Tucker. Once he did come over he very gently touched him and asked other people if they wanted to "pet" him. It was so sweet. Overall, even though it was not what I had "planned" I couldn't have been more pleased with the birth of our sweet baby Tucker Mark!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Barrel & Brush | The Witch is In!

Our fun Halloween Themed Barrel & Brush! Next one is November 14th @ Creek Bottom Brews!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Holiday Artist Market Prep

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts hosts a Holiday Artist Market every year from Thanksgiving to New Year's and this year I am joining 40 other local artisans in selling handmade crafts/art.

I wanted to do this last year, just wasn't sure what to make. So this year I said yes and then decided on making Handmade Baby Items, Busy Books, and advertising a new thing I am starting - Custom Watercolor Family Portraits. I may also add a really cute idea I had for ornaments. I am hoping to have a half a dozen of each item, but if you are wanting any of these before Christmas I am taking a very limited number of custom orders, as I am about 7 weeks out from having a baby and am not about to out do myself! OR you can swing by the artist market From Thanksgiving weekend until January 2016 and check out what I have in my inventory and all of the other cool local art!

Bourbon & Brush Private Party

I had a private party booked last night at Creek Bottom Brews and the group was fantastic! I was so impressed with how they turned out, as this was definitely my most challenging painting! If you want to book a private party you can contact Chestnut Creek Scool of the Arts to book a party or my next scheduled open one is Friday, October 30th at Mt. Vale Vineyards.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bourbon & Brush | October 10

We did our first event at Creek Bottom Brews and it was a smashing success! The whimsical trees and pumpkin scene turned out great. Hope you can join us next Brush Series- Barrell & Brush at Mt, Vale October, 30th for "The Witch is In". You can preregister at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Van Gogh Sunflowers PreK/K

We made these for our Grandparents' Social we have at our school. The kids decorated the vases one day, And 
I helped them hand print individually. On day two we glued everything down and added brown dots to the centers of the sunflowers. I thought they turned out super cute!/ especially having to do painting during the second week of school with PreK and kindergarten!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Baby#2 The Nursery

The "nursery" is mostly finished! And the best part? I did for around $150!!! This time around I decided I wasn't about to try and use a crib. I went for a hand-me down full suit set from Tee's PaPa and updated the hard ware. I am planning on purchasing bed rails, but I figure a bed is much more conducive to nursing:-) This will also continue to be our guest room, so I didn't want it to be tooooooo baby. Anyway, I have one or two more things I plan on getting/framing/making for the walls, but otherwise this is it. I have considered painting the dark colored changing table (the one piece I saved from Bryce's baby days) but not sure if I should do white or that soft teal I have going on, or just leave it. Thoughts? 

Almost done with 29 weeks now! 

Furniture: hand me down with touch up paint/existing hardware sprayed with silver valspar paint. $free & $4/paint
Hardware (knobs): Amazon $25

Duvet: target $28
Sheets: Amazon $22
Painted Decor: upcycled frames and canvases $free
Mirrors/baskets/rug: TJMaxx $44
Monogram: Khols $7

Everything else was stuff I had!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Baby#2 | bump update

Yeah so, no where near diligent with the bump pics as I was with Bryce. But honestly it has more to do with the fact that I have not felt well more than forgetting! But good news is this week has been an upswing and hoping from now on I will feel betta!

Weeks: 15
Heart rate at last appt: 161 (14 weeks)
Cravings: fruit, fried and scrambled eggs, dr. Pepper
Symptoms: nausea, things tasting like soap, major food aversions, loss of appetite, extremely thirsty, tired
Movement: yes for a week now, maybe longer! Stronger movements than I remember feeling at first with Bryce just not as often.
Moments to remember: Bryce loves talking, kissing, hugging (and sometimes kicking) my belly. Anytime he sees a picture on Facebook he goes "my baby!"
Name ideas: ugh. I can not bring myself to think of names. It's been a frustrating process this time around.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Loss and Hope

I am pregnant. Again. For the third time. "Only 6 weeks." I have had the idea of this post in my head since I got pregnant again and deciding that we should wait to tell anyone outside our immediate family until our 8week ultrasound. I immediately hated the idea of having to wait because "things might go wrong." Again. But the untelling sucks. I mean really sucks. But it is also therapeutic. I was amazed at the social media response private and public I received when I let everyone on facebook know about our loss in December 2014, right before Christmas. It was unreal how many women have experienced this that I hadn't known. Most of them, I never would have known, had I not gone through what they have been and are going through. Some of them I felt guilty because I have a healthy 2 year old. But a loss is a loss. I thought I was fine. Sad, but fine. Then, women and friends who started announcing they were expecting right when I would have been made me realize I was NOT okay. It wasn't jealousy. It was sadness. overwhelming, all consuming sadness. I had a talk with my husband that we needed to wait to try again until I felt normal again. He agreed. Already I felt better.

Then, a tragedy hit my school. And I couldn't breath. I felt lost. I felt afraid.  And the reality that nothing is guaranteed in life. Nothing. Scared me. I thought that my 2 year old was going to be gone at any minute. That my husband would some how lose his life. I was really shaken. And I also realized I probably had my miscarriage when I did because there is no way I would have made it through those weeks, and I would have been much further in my pregnancy. And while I think any loss can strike anyone in anyway and we are never to judge one for how the grieve ANY loss. I would not have made it through a late pregnancy loss. not then. I also was able to connect and grieve with people I worked with over our students. And somehow because of that I started healing. Emotionally. I think mostly because TALKING about the tragedy was acceptable. Crying was okay. And I am a talker. I can't hold emotions inside. PLus I like to help and there were so many opportunities to help each other it was healing.

But early pregnancy has some sort of secret code in which you are not suppose to talk about it until things are pretty much for sure going to work out.

Why? If you're pregnant and you don't want to share because you can't untell people. I get that. But if you're pregnant and you feel like you can't tell because its "too early" or "something might go wrong." Please don't. Pregnancy is a miracle. From the moment there's a second line on that pee stick. EVERY baby should be celebrated. And every baby lost should be grieved. No matter how early one was lost.

This time around I have sort of told people on an individual bases. When I felt like sharing. I still felt the need to add the disclaimer "I'm still VERY early, we're waiting to tell most people." Although deep inside I wanted to be SHOUTING from the moment I knew, "I am PREGNANT!! It is a MIRACLE! I Am DUE in DECEMBER!!! Bryce is going to be a big BROTHER!!!" But the response I get is, I understand or that's a good idea or I hope this one works out! None of which are wrong responses, but they don't exude excitement. I feel like if you down play the excitement, then if something does go wrong you can down play the sadness you feel. Which is NOT okay. A loss is a loss. It sucks. It sucks real bad.

So, I wanted to share. I am pregnant! Everything is going well. I am nervous and scared but really excited. I am still nursing Bryce, although we are in the stages of gently weaning. Meaning I am taking his lead, but encouraging time limits and offering food first, but if he insists I let him nurse. My doctor said this should have no effect on a miscarriage. I feel nauseous everyday and I have got the bloat. I won't get my first ultrasound until about 10 weeks. Which stinks, but I just couldn't not get everyone's schedules to work for an earlier one. It is testing my patience. And I had made a promise that I wasn't going to unpack my maternity clothes until my ultrasound. Only I can't button my pants. HA. Yoga pants it is. "Mamastays in Yoga pants." I saw it on a t-shirt.

I have one more thing to add. Its not something I typically talk about, but feel moved to mention. I wouldn't not consider myself a religious person, but faithful. I have had a lot of times in my life where I feel like I may not believe. I still pray. Mostly out of habit. But also because I am an optimistic and hopeful person. I think everyone has struggles with religion. After all we're human and have free will. Going through this I realize that whenever I really start straying from my beliefs I get snapped back by something I can not ignore. A miracle. Each time seems to be a stronger and stronger pull. I don't know if I will ever be "religious," but I can tell you this. Pray. Meditate. Believe in something. Because sometimes that is all we have.

Hoping and Praying anyone struggling with grief after a miscarriage or fertility problems has someone they can talk to. If not reach out to online groups. Me. a therapist. Anyone. You're not alone in your grief and confusion. Also, hoping more and more people aren't afraid to share the moment they want to that they're pregnant!

Love and Peace:-)