Friday, October 23, 2015

Open Letter to Girl Dads; My Husband

We've all heard the saying "Any Man Can Father A Child, But It Takes A Man To Raise One", and that saying is entirely too true; and in our society where it is so easy and acceptable to walk away from a baby, unfortunately it isn't uncommon.

But, also, in a society where people seem to think that being a mother, and especially a father, to a girl or girls is a punishment of some kind, or for something you've done earlier in life. It's almost a stigma if you have more girls than boys in your family.

"What did your husband do to deserve that?"
"Do you know what you're in for?"

"You're in trouble.."

"I'm so glad I never had girls."

Are all things I (and I know other girl moms) have heard multiple times, and since finding out that our second baby, coming along in February, is another girl, has just multiplied. And to those people who think it's okay to say those kind of things to another mother should be ashamed of yourself, especially about something my husband and I prayed hard for. No, we didn't care if it was a girl or a boy, we were just so happy to be able to bring another life into our family and love him or her unconditionally. Is there anything wrong with having boys? Of course not! I would love a son just as much as my daughter.

So to all dads to girls, I'll say this.

Keep. It. Up.

Raise those girls to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly imagine. From playing the sport they love with their entire heart, to getting the best possible GPA, volunteering to read to senior citizens on the weekends, being the best friend they can be, and never giving up. They always need to know that since they were little girls playing with their favorite Fisher Price toy until you're very last breath that you are going to be there for her. There to push her to her limit, to be her very best friend, but to also never let her get away with breaking the rules. Teach her all the things she needs to learn about life, and love her mother. Even if you aren't together, show her how to respect other people without having to agree with them on every subject. Lead by example. Be the dad who will tie her bow for her cheerleading practice, and also teach her how to change the oil in her car. And, of course, be the person she looks for in her future husband or wife.

And to my husband,

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you for coming home everyday, going straight to our daughter and making her smile, clap, wave, and yell "dada!" Thank you for working whatever weekends you can to keep all of our needs met. Thank you for being so excited about having another girl, even though I know you wanted a boy. Thank you for giving me these precious gifts. You are my best friend, my other half, and my happiness. I wouldn't want to share my life with anyone besides you. I cannot wait to see where this life leads us. As long as I have you to fuss at, to laugh with, to plan life with, I know I'll be the happiest wife, mother, and partner you'll ever meet, and I cannot wait to see what our girls (and other future children) are going to do with their life.

Here's to you, Dads!

xoxo, Caitie B

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How To Wash Your Dingy Yellowing Pillows

 Well, to say it's been a while is an understatement. I will be blogging way more often for you guys, I have been crazy here at home. So in the mean time, here's a post I've been working on bits at a time for about a month, now. haha. SO SORRY. xoxo.

So, the other day my nephew didn't come over so I got a wild hair to deep clean everything I could! I washed all sheets, mattress covers and everything. And I could not take looking at my disgusting yellowy pillows anymore so I said "to heck with it" and decided to try my hand at it.

Now I attempted it in two different ways.
Did four pillows, two different ways.

I found the first way here. And I followed the directions as it said in the washing machine and it did a pretty decent job.

But, I have one of those new, confangled HE washing machines, where it doesn't fill up but a couple inches of water in the bottom, so once I soaked the pillows for a while then opened it to put the detergent in I noticed most of the pillow was not soaking, but once I put it on wash and dried it, it did look much better than when I started.

I apologize for the poor picture quality

This is what we started with. YIKES!

As you can see I've never washed these before and we do not have the same pillows.
Pillows are stupidly expensive.

So I tried a different way with the second two pillows. Same ingredients as the previously shown link, I just decided to fill the bathtub full of the hottest water I could get in there, then poured in the ingredients to let it soak.

I filled the tub up enough to cover the pillows.
(Dumbly, I forgot that they would absorb the water.. Oh well)

Added one cup hydrogen peroxide.

Half a cup of white vinegar.

Then it soaked for about 30 minutes. Half way through, flipping them so they were submerged in the mixture completely.

Check out the water! SO GROSS.

So, once that was done I drained the tub, and squished as much water out of the pillows that I could, then transferred them to the washing machine where I used Tide to wash them in the washing machine. Then once the washer was done, on to the dryer, where it actually had to go through two dry cycles because they were still pretty wet.

And the end result is beautifully clean pillows.

Apparently you're supposed to wash your pillows every 6 months or so, and I will definitely be doing so from now on. I can't believe all the sweat and yuck that came out of these pillows. It feels a little embarrassing showing you guys, haha. Oh well, I have no shame.

I sure hope this helped some.

If you do this often please share your tips with me, so I can try the next time I wash my pillows!

Until next time,

xoxo, Caitie B

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hi Friends.

Hey there friends!

It's been a while. Sorry to leave everyone hanging. I have a bad habit of letting time slip away from me. Over the summer I am babysitting my nephew, too. So, that's interesting!

Here's what we've been up to in the Bowden household;

Harper is 8 months old, now. WHAT?! Sad mommy.

Still prepping, pinning, preparing both mentally and physically for Harper's first birthday party. I have all the dates, times, some decorations, food ideas, gift ideas and DIY projects organized or all prepared in my head! So excited to do this. Just have to figure out a few different things and I will be needing help and opinions from everyone. Please find and follow me on Instagram so you can have input and we can chat more about the party and other mommy things! I'm so excited.

It's been "summer" here in Florida for a long time, count 6-8 weeks now. But it is OFFICIALLY summer with as stinking hot it is. All. The. Time.

My poor hubby and I'm sure a bunch of other people work outside in the heat all day.
Make sure if your loved one is one of the ones who are outside to remind them to stay hydrated!!

So, I kind of rediscovered etsy the other day.
And.. I'm obsessed. I ordered an iron on decal from this adorable shop called Sweet Signature.
It is so beautiful!

I'm so ridiculously obsessed with this it's silly! I cannot wait to put it on a tshirt for Harper to wear.
(I ordered the iron on over the onesie/tshirt already done because I don't know what size Harper will be in when that time comes. Her size varies so much!)
Best part; it was $5.75!! With shipping it was like $7. And can I add that I ordered it and received it in 2 days!? Amazing. I highly HIGHLY recommend this shop. Can't wait to see what else I can get from this sweet place.

So, that's all for now.

I promise to blog more!
I'm getting into a more set schedule with Harper and my nephew, Tripp. So blogging should be a bit easier now. Hopefully.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Am Woman..

Hear Me Roar!

The other day I posted on my Facebook a picture of me and my little darling and this is what I said:

" Today I've had an epiphany. Finally.
I am the epitome of my own worst enemy!! Family and friends close to me would be able to attest to the fact that I have struggled with how I look for as long as I can remember. But today I woke up happy with myself. No I haven't lost weight, no I'm not dieting, no I didn't change anything about myself. I just realized that there are things much greater than what I look like. Like my daughters health and well being. I woke up this morning to a husband who loves the crap out of me, a perfectly healthy and extremely happy baby girl, a family who would kill for me, and friends who truly care about my family and I. So who gives a crap that my legs wiggle when I walk, that my hair isn't straightened, I have a slight muffin top in my shorts that show my wiggly legs.. If you don't like looking at it, look the other way. As for me, I'll live happy from now on. Because my legs giggle a bit, I still have legs to walk, I have more hair than I know what to do with, and I have clothes to cover the important parts of my body lol. So, no, I'm not going to change the way I look to make other people happy. I'm a pretty fantastic person (lol, but seriously) and so far I'm rocking this motherhood thing! If you don't like it, kiss my dimply, rather large, pale bottom! "

And I posted this for many reasons;
One of them being that I really did wake up pleasantly pleased with myself.
I haven't, for a long time, honestly cared about what people think of me. Seriously, I don't. But, when I say I'm my own worst critic, I really do mean it. I'm horrible to myself, worse than anybody could've been. Or I used to be. So I woke up and told myself, "you know, this is the only life you get, and for the past 20 some years (I wish I was joking about that) you've been so worried about your weight and how you look while life is passing you by! It ends today!" And it did. I just decided to live my life happy for my daughter. I always said I didn't want to be "the fat mom" for my kids, but right now, she doesn't care! She's 8 months old. And, not to sound awful because she's seriously my best friend in the world, my mom is over weight and was the entire time I was in high school, BUT everyone LOVES her. And they should, because she's awesome. We all, even me, called her "Momma Schwab" and she loved it just as much as I did. All my friends are her friends on Facebook. I even said people that didn't like me in high school liked her. Haha, and it was probably true! So obviously it's not about whats on the outside or what you look like, it's about how beautiful your heart is! And my mom has the most gorgeous heart. Just don't mess with her kids otherwise her heart turns to stone and she'll get ya!

Another reason I posted this picture with this story is because I want other people to be happy, too. I really want people to realize how they can be happy with their body and be proud to be who they are. It really is so important if you want to be a happier person to be happy with yourself. I never really felt 100% happy until the other day when I just let all the negativity go. I'm done being in that dark place, and now I choose happy!

As women we have a tendency to jump into negative or judge others way too quickly. And I really want that to stop. We need to empower each other and bring each other up instead of tear each other down.. I have encountered people that want to, and actually seem to enjoy, humiliating or jump to a conclusion about someone just because of a noticeable characteristic. That's not okay. Who cares if a person has fuzzy hair, or are acting a fool, or have a certain color eyeshadow on? I guarantee you the person humiliating would be very upset or mad if someone was doing the same thing to them.. But, seriously, how is that person effecting your life at all? Most likely, they aren't in the slightest. So, get over it! If it isn't hurting or effecting you and your family, then think about something else.. Or even harder, and better, try to see a positive thing in that person. Ever tried that? See a person who has a crazy outfit on, and try to make a positive thought out of it? It's hard at first, but then your heart will come to enjoy it. It will be lighter and you'll be happier within yourself because negativity is gone. In that case I would say that I admired their courage and confidence to go out in a crazy outfit and feel good about it!

So here's a challenge for you;

Start thinking more on the positive side of things for one whole day. Find something nice to say about people you encounter, look at yourself in the mirror and realize how beautiful you really are and how much you have to be thankful for, be a role model for someone else. Just for a day. And if you don't feel happier throughout the day and the next morning, then try one more day. If it still doesn't effect you then go ahead with your life as normal. But, for me, I've noticed HUGE changes in my life since I decided I would live to be a happy person instead of how I was before.

After you think positively for a day, please let me know how it went! Comment on this blog post or find me on Instagram and let me know. I want to see if it's the same for everyone!


Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Name is Caitie & I'm a Target-aholic.

"Hi Caitie.."

Anybody else in that same boat? Show of hands.

I just love Target. I have no idea why. I shop at all stores, don't get me wrong. But if I'm just bored at the house (like I was today - Hubs has to work all weekend) and want to get out I just go there, wander around, see what I can see, buy things that we need, and leave. I like the carts better there, too. They're nice and tall, lighter, and easier to maneuver. 

I should do a shopping cart comparison haha!
"Places with the best shopping carts" - oh man, I may do that!
Stay tuned..

But, easily, my favorite part in the entire store


We all know this little area of the store and we can never go in or leave without checking it out. Or at least I can't. And I don't want to. Ever. I love that little place. I love it even more when things are on sale in the Dollar Spot and/or the Cartwheel app has a discount on items in there! Yeaaaa. You always feel like you won the jackpot.

Well, I'm going to be going back and forth to the Dollar Spot and a couple other places, because I have to start thinking about little precious' 1st birthday party!! I can't believe it! I'm so so so excited. I feel like if I can throw her a party and her not turn 1 it would be even better. 
I'm not ready for her to grow up.. At all.

 So, what I want to do is document everything I purchase from there and from other places for really cheap and do everything for her first birthday party! Of course, there will be a few things I cannot do myself, yet (like invitations and stuff), but for all the decorations and possibly even the food I'm going to try to make! I'm so excited. And as always I would love some input on things. I have her theme picked out, since this will probably be one of the only birthdays I can pick things out for her party before she gets to put her input into it, it's going to be so girly and fun!

Also, I'm in the process of redoing our back room/play room/office - a multipurpose room, if you will - and will be posting everything about that, as well.

Lots of exciting things coming up! Can't wait to share with you guys.

If you have any ideas, favorites, couldashouldawoulda's for your kids birthday parties PLEASE let me know. It's my first first birthday and I want it to go well.. Even though it's not until October! Haha.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Falling Behind.

Sorry I've been gone, guys!

I've been pretty busy these past two weeks, and I couldn't seem to make the time to blog even though I need to! It's enjoyable and I love to get my feelings, ideas, and silliness out! These past two weeks I have had a great time.

We had a get together at my house with my side of the family. Sisters, one of my sisters boyfriends and my momma. We had a shrimp boil. My, oh my, was that some tasty food! Props to the hubs!

My mouth is watering looking at it!

If you don't like "Old Bay" you're wrong.

In the middle of the week the biggest thing happened; my baby girl started crawling!

My sweet, little baby figured out that crawling thing and she's been on the move ever since. I can't believe it. She was 7 months and 12 days old, haha. Not that I was counting or anything.

And now she can pull herself up in her crib, so I come in and she's standing on the side. Only scares me to death every time. So in the morning when she whines to wake up I'm in there almost immediately! Time to lower the crib again. Second time in a month. Oye!

Then that next weekend my husband took off that Friday to have a nice, long, 4 day weekend (because Monday was Memorial Day). 

Happy Memorial Day! <3
And we met his family out at their house they have on the Weeki Wachee River. It was such a beautiful weekend, and tons of fun with 14 people in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house!

Now, after a wonderful, long, family filled few weeks; I got sick. So weirdly sick it worried me. It started Tuesday and I noticed I got a weird light headed feeling when I would lean over and came back up. Then later my throat started hurting.. Then all of a sudden at like 8:30pm almost on the dot, I turned freezing cold! Shivers, shakes, I could not get warm. It was crazy. Took some Ibprofen for my throat and took my temperature - 101.2 crap! I layered up and tried to sleep it off. Woke up with the baby a few times (she's going through a growth spurt and/or teething so she's extremely fussy all. day. long.), I was miserable. Woke up at like 4:30 sweating like a fat bird at a disco, so I de-layer, took my temperature. 103.6 - great! I'm contagious. I cannot get my child sick! So I go ahead and text my mom for when she wakes up to come help me with the baby because I was so weak and I didn't want Harper to catch anything if there was even a possibility of her catching anything. Wake up around 8 (which is unheard of for Harper - she's normally awake between 6-7:30 daily), took my temperature again - 104.7!! AHH! I don't know what was wrong with me but that was scary. I'm pretty sure it was just that high because I had been wrapped up in blankets all night long, but either way, crazy.

Anyway, long story short, my mom came over to take care of Harper while I napped and tried to get over this thing, she also made me some vegetable soup. What a gal! Love my momma!

Even still, today, I have a pretty bad sore throat. But, I don't have a fever and my shivers/shakes have disappeared.

All in all, I had a great past two weeks.

How was your Memorial Day Weekend? What do you guys do to celebrate the fallen?

Please tag me in your Memorial Day pictures and any DIY stuff you do! I would love to see!
Find me on Instagram, and Twitter!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

DIY Outdoor Wicker Chairs.

This one is going to be pretty long, but will have step by step instructions to how I redid the chairs.
Since the baby is on a regular schedule and I had these chairs in my garage just begging to be fixed up and put outside. They were begging. Seriously.

How cute, right? These will look so cute painted and put on my back porch.
So lizards can climb all over them and sunbathe on them. I have to find something to make that stop..

I started by cleaning them off. They were pretty dusty , so I just took a toilet bowl brush (that we use for cleaning, not for toilets haha) and brushed it all over the entire thing. Later I noticed it didn't do as great as I would've hoped so I will be looking for something else next time.
After I cleaned them I had to take them apart. 1. To be able to paint the chairs. 2. To cover those cushions.

Those arrows are pointing to the screws holding the seat on. Most all chairs you want to redo are like this. So just take your screw driver, or drill if you're fancy, and take the screws out. And now you have two pieces.

All done.

Make sure you take the chairs outside to spray. There's a lot of over spray and with this particular chair it got everywhere. Thank goodness the lawn grows because otherwise my husband would've been pretty ticked.

So I had this vision in my head to do them a pretty coral color and I thought they would be so cute!
Well, I did it and it was not cute. It was pretty bad actually. So, I had to go out the next day and get a different color spray paint. While the paint was drying I went ahead and covered the cushions. I had some old fabric that I bought from the Restore a long time ago (I paid $8 for an entire thing of it. Not per yard or anything. I thought that was pretty good, and it's heavy duty!). All I used was a hand staple gun, scissors, and a hammer - or in my case a big screw driver because I couldn't find my hammer.
 I started by measuring the cushion.
Nothing special really. No tape measurements or anything. If you are really particular, of course do use a tape measure, but I'm not and you won't see the bottom of this cushion anyway so it doesn't have to be pretty for me.
 So I took the finished edge and put it where the front of the cushion is.
Folded it up, started in the middle and stapled about 5 staples from one side to the other.
  So once that was done, I pulled the fabric tight, folded the corner down and stapled that.
Then, since its on a corner, I pulled tight, folded the fabric up from what is the top of the cushion to the bottom making a crease and stapled again.
I made sure that the crease looked nice, and pulled as tight as I could to make sure it looked nice and crisp. Now, I made sure I didn't use too much fabric as to cover up the holes where the screws go for the sides, the back it had to go through fabric (which turned out not to be a problem at all).
After that I stapled the rest of the fabric to the wooden part and stapled along the straight part.
Did that on both sides before continuing to the back/rounded part.
For this part, I kept folding and stapling. Nothing really special. Worked from one side to the other. If you are good at wrapping presents, then this will be a breeze for you. And even if you aren't it's very easy, just make sure you are pulling tight and keeping the folds nice and flat.
For the back/rounded part I first measured so that the fabric closest to the top of the cushion had enough fabric and I didn't pull that too tight.
So after I knew how much I needed, I folded the excess and stapled.
Then once that was stapled, just like a present, there was a larger piece across the back that I pulled nice and tight, then folded over and stapled.
Ta-da! Nice and neat. Not too shabby right?
Took me all of, say, 10 minutes to do one of them. Cutting and all included.

Awesome, so that was done. Now to go do a touch-up coat on the chairs with my spray paint.
New colors! In. Love.
This Rust-Oleum paint is about $6 at Walmart. But the way it sprays so easily and the coverage is definitely worth the money. The Krylon spray paint was great, too. The coverage was fantastic! I've never used anything like it. This was $4 at Walmart. I used two cans of both. I already had one can of the white to paint a flying pig at my house I got from a yard sale (haha that sounds so funny - I'll show you one day!).

So the finished product:
How freaking precious, right?
I'm so in love with them! They go so well in my back porch.
(I know, I have to do the table now, too.. I'll get to it!)

Run down on prices:

Chairs: Free
(gift from hubby's aunt)

Fabric for cushions: Free.
(already had)

Spray paint: $24
(including the coral can I bought that I didn't like.)

All together, I spent no more than $25!! Awesome right?
DIY doesn't have to be expensive, hard or stressful. Just have to try and see how it goes.

Have you done any DIY projects? I'd love to see!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My birth experience. Part II

Part II of Giving Birth to Harper.
You can read the first part here.
(Still funny sounding)

In lieu of Mother's Day I decided to post the rest of my birth story.

If I can be completely honest, I do feel like this should be on TLC or something.

To recap from the last time..

I have been contracting since Sunday evening. My water broke around 5am Tuesday morning, it's now Tuesday evening. I've been on Pitocin since 7am-ish Tuesday morning. No baby. Probably 8cm dilated. No food and no drink since Monday.

All this time, these nurses have me flipping back and forth to try to get the baby down. Have me doing that stupid hugging the bed thing, which made me so mad and was extremely painful. They had to cath me two or three times because I couldn't physically go and one time they had to get an extra bed pan thing because there was so much coming out. So, now, it's about 12:30 and technically Wednesday, the nurse comes in, checks me and says the magic words. "You can start pushing now. You're at 10cm!" Tears. Excitement. Anxiety. Exhaustion. I reckon emptying my bladder made the baby move down or something. I didn't care. Nurses call for the doctor (who I had seen mayyybe 2 times before this. He was a butt head.) Let's do this!!

I have to take a second, real quick, to give a shout out to my husband. He was the sweetest, strongest partner I could've ever asked for. He left me probably 3 times the whole time I was in the hospital. He didn't eat, he didn't drink, he stood up basically the whole time and held my hand through almost every contraction. He was my rock! I can never thank him enough for that. At one point I told him to go get something to eat from the cafeteria. He didn't want to because I couldn't eat. And that's how every husband and future father should be. One time he had to just go outside, he walked to his truck and came back just to relieve a little tension he was carrying. At one point he broke down and started tearing up because he hated seeing me in so much pain and distraught over the fact that I felt like a failure that I couldn't have this baby! But, he was supportive the entire time. I couldn't brag about him enough. Even the nurses applauded him.
They crank up that Pitocin. Making my contractions sky rocket and that's when you're supposed to push, right? So, I push. And push. And push. And push. Doctor, let's call him Dr. Al, comes in and checks me. I push. And push. Push some more. Come to find out the baby's head is facing towards the right. The nurses have me get onto my right side and have me push. I've been pushing about 3 hours now. My contractions are up in the 100's. I was SO tired. I passed out between contractions two different times! My sweet husband was like "you slept through a big one.." I was so out of it, I didn't know what he was talking about. As many moms know, you don't exactly "sleep" through contractions, unless you have great medicine! I cry. I can't help it. I'm exhausted. I'm begging for someone to do something to get this baby out. I could not physically do it anymore. Or so I thought. I pushed for 7 hours. S E V E N!

Fast forward to 7 in the morning, nurses that had helped me the morning before came back. Offering their condolences, talking to my belly, telling little miss to get out of there so they could all see her. (Did I mention how much I loved the nurses? Lakeland Regional Medical Center, everyone. Love them!) 26 hours since my water broke, 24 hours since I had been there. Shift change for the doctors. New Dr came in. Dr. Rivera. Such a great doctor. He comes in, demands to find out why nobody had helped us, why this baby was still in my tummy and why nobody called for a Cesarean. He comes and sits next to the bed and explains to me how myself and the baby are at risk because my water broke over 24 hours ago, asks me how I feel about having a Cesarean. I'm all for it. As long as the baby is okay and she comes now. I asked if I could have a vaginal birth the next time if I wanted to, mostly because I've heard so many different things on it and I really wanted to know from a professional. He said it shouldn't be a problem and that it's very common to deliver vaginally after a c-section. He has the nurse call to see what the surgery order is and how many people are in front of me. She calls and tells him that there are 5 other mommies scheduled for a surgery. His response: "Are they as important as mine? (meaning me)" Then barges out the door. 3 minutes later he's back and has the nurse get me and Whit prepped for a c-section. All that exhaustion goes away and I get a rush of adrenaline. Whit and I get to see our baby finally!

We are all smiles. But, first; can I brush my teeth? Literally. The nurses laugh at me as I'm spitting toothpaste into a puke bag. My mom goes and fills in the rest of the family that has stayed all day and night to support us. The nurse gets Whit some scrubs and snacks, they didn't want him to pass out. Haha, which he didn't end up eating because he was so excited. Got wheeled into the operating room, all the nurses and anesthesiologists were so dang nice! Asked me about the baby, what I was going to name her. Still didn't know. They administered the epidural. Cake. They laid me back, got me all situated. Hubby comes in. I can't stop laughing. He has a mask on but his beard was so big that it pokes out underneath it. Cutie. So the doctors and everyone come in, and everyone introduces themselves to Whit and I, someone from the NICU was in there because there was meconium in the amniotic fluid, so they let us know that they do not want her to cry right away and that they won't show her to us right away because they just want to make sure that she is okay. Fine by me, her health is more important to me than anything. The anesthesiologist said he would let us know when Whit can stand up to look at her while the doctors were pulling her out. Whit is sitting next to me by my head and we are so giddy! They're starting!! Few what feels like seconds later, the anesthesiologist tells us that Whit can get up and look at her since they were ready to pull her out. He stands up and the doctors said "Baby girl. Born 8:31am" We both start crying. Whit had to sit back down. "Is she beautiful?!" I asked Whit. He nods because he can't say anything since he's trying not to cry. The lady from the NICU calls out, "She's perfect! We're wrapping her up to bring her over to you.." I hear her cry.

The moment every mom waits to hear for those 40 long weeks. Whit goes and takes some pictures of her while the doctors are sewing me up (or whatever the heck they do). He comes back and sits down while we wait for the doctors to let me see her, he leans in to give me a kiss through his mask. They bring her around the curtain and I finally get to see her.

 My heart exploded. Seriously. She's the most perfect little baby I've ever seen. I love her so much. It's an instant, overpowering, amazing, selfless love that you feel as soon as you see your child and hold them in your arms. Amazing. I totally see why people have a bunch of kids. Totally.
Baby Girl Bowden.
Born 10/8/2014 at 8:31pm.
8lbs 12oz and 22" long.

Now, we're in recovery. Just me, hubby and sweet angel baby.

Nobody told me, but I'm going to tell you - if you get a c-section you'll shake like you're freezing cold. Your jaw will shiver, your hand is unsteady, arms, shoulders, feet.. Shake shake shake, like a Taylor Swift song. Whit was wondering what was wrong with me, and we asked the ladies that came in after and they said it was normal because of the anesthesia and body temperature. Also, once we got back to the hospital room that we were to stay in while I recovered and stuff, I started to itch all over! Also asked the nurse and it was from the medicine I was given also. It wasn't that bad, it was just like a mild itch, but annoying because it was all over.

So, now we all can breathe. And shower. And wash ourselves. And for the love of everything that's holy GIVE ME A DRINK! Liquid. Now! Before we got to the room the nurses brought in ice and a few other things like blankets, and stuff. My sister had a Diet Dr Pepper from the vending machine and I basically yanked it out of her hand to put it into the ice and chug it down as fast as I could. Only to be told after basically drinking what was left of the soda that I was on a clear liquid diet for a few hours so they can asses how I was and talk to the Dr.


Didn't last too long, though. Dr Ramirez came in a little bit later and told me how everything was. He said that it was one of the hardest "sew ups" (I don't know the technical term he used. To be honest, my husband had to retell me everything he said because I was in such a fog) he's ever had to do. He said I was so swollen and baby girls head was too big for my birth canal that it did a lot of damage to my insides. So unfortunately I wouldn't be able to have a vaginal birth with my next pregnancy. Hey, if that's the worst thing that could happen then that's okay with me! I don't mind knowing exactly when the next baby will come. As long as he or she is healthy!

We didn't leave the hospital for 3 days after that because Dr Ramirez wanted to keep an eye on me and my incision. Then the next day Dr Al was back on the clock. Oh goodie. (not really) He comes in and says (I kid you not!), "Oh. I see you didn't make it.."

Excuse me?! I didn't make it?
So because the other doctor cared more about my childs safety and not the fact that I was to have a natural delivery, that means "I didn't make it"?!
"^*%*&!#%^@!$^$&$%#" is what I was thinking in my head.

Needless to say he didn't come back. I told him to do what he was obligated to do and not to come back, the nurses could handle anything I needed. They were all SO wonderful! So I had contractions from Sunday to Wednesday, I pushed for 7 hours, had a baby within 30 minutes of a caring doctor coming onto his shift, was in the hospital from Tuesday until Saturday. And the pain was worth every single second. I can't remember the pain, I remember the great story, but the feeling of the pain is gone. I'll do it again in a heart beat. Even if I knew that's how bad my delivery would be, I wouldn't hesitate because I have a precious little angel baby for the rest of my life! And she is worth every ounce of pain then, now and in the future. I thank God for her everyday!

So tell me your birth story! How good or bad was yours?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My birth experience. Part I

Giving Birth to Harper.
Part I

I'm "lol'ing" at the title of this. Sounds like a TV drama episode title or something. Let's keep it light, shall we?

Well, I have to say, I didn't have a bad pregnancy! I was actually really happy, excited, healthy.. The only thing I had was gallstones. Which suuuuuuuuucked! So I would have these "attacks", which I'm assuming, are similar to kidney stones, basically where the stone wouldn't pass or get stuck in the itty bitty hole it had to pass through. I had some attacks last 14 hours! The first time it happened I was petrified! Even though it wasn't anywhere near where the baby was. The pain was like right under the bra area, what I told the doctor was that it was like a belt of pain. You know how it used to be cool to wear the dresses and put a belt right under your chest? There. Make any sense? Anyway, the only thing I could do was change my diet, and even then I still got them. And the pain was CRAZY!

Anybody have AWFUL dreams while they were pregnant? Or, was it just me? Because I would wake up at least once a week crying from a dream I had. They were crazy. I tried everything. Not eating before bed, not drinking certain things, stop eating spicy foods (which is my bread & butter), all of it. Nothing helped. It was awful.

(this was me on my due date.. whoa!)
So, my due date was Friday, October 3. I was ENORMOUS. She had dropped, I was tired, my husband was tired, my feet and ankles were gigantic. I was extremely uncomfortable. Which, I'm almost positive, is the story with all women who are at the end of their pregnancies. And we just wanted to meet our little girl. I think I text my mom more in those last few days of my pregnancy than I had the entire time. It was Sunday night, I got my shower and laid in my bed. I had these weird pains in my back that went through to my abdomen, they weren't crazy bad, but they were very much there. I waited.. I got a few more. Then they started to come regularly. So I got my phone out and did the stop watch feature, so every time I had one, I would start it, then stop it when it ended, and start it again. It kept track of how far apart the contractions were and how long. I didn't tell my husband until he came to bed and he got SO excited. It was adorable. He wanted to run to the hospital right then and there. But, we decided to wait a little while longer. In the middle of the night they got a LOT worse to the point I couldn't sleep, but not as bad as I was expecting. So, my husband got me up and we went to the hospital. Of course, we text everyone we could and we were thinking "THIS IS IT!" Gah, I still remember how excited I was to be giving birth. Well, we got to the hospital, and me trying to be Super Woman when they asked how bad the pain was on a 1-10 scale, I said "like a 6?" Dumbie! (My husband's nudging me with the whole "make it sound worse than it was" look.) But, I was used to the gallstone pain and that was a totally different and worse pain at that point. So they checked me, said "sorry" and we had to go home because I wasn't dilated at all. AT ALL! I was 3 days past my due date. How was this possible?! So, we went home.

The contractions kept coming. At this point it's Monday evening and the contractions had not been any better. So we go back to the hospital about midnight. I was sure something had changed.. WRONG. Got sent home again. "How in the heck is this happening? Does she hate me already? My body is so pissed at me and isn't letting this baby come out.." is what I was thinking in my head. Heck, I probably said it out loud to my adoring hubby. At this point our whole family had been on edge and were waiting not-so patiently. I. was. miserable.

Went home, mind you both me and my husband have been awake this entire time. He couldn't sleep because of the pain I was in from the contractions and I couldn't sleep because of, well, the contractions. It was Tuesday at 5 am, and my water broke! Hallelujah! This time was it. Done and done. Let's get there, lie about how bad the pain was (because it still wasn't as bad as the gallstones), and have this baby!

"How bad is the pain on a scale of 1-10?"
"10! 11! 27!!" lies.

The doctor checked me. I was a whole one centimeter dilated. In 2 days. One. Centimeter... Ya'll. I was pissed. But, they let me stay since my water broke. Whit (my husband) is calling and texting our entire family. "We're at the hospital, we're staying! 1cm dilated. Game time!" We were .so. excited!

Now, I didn't have a birth plan. It wasn't for me. I'm a very realistic and go-with-the-flow person and I knew what could go wrong. I said "whatever happens, happens." I was never against a cesarean section, epidurals or any of that. So I just did what I knew I was going to do and just go with it. They put me on Pitocin. Screw. You. Pitocin. More on that later. They let me know at the beginning they cannot give me an epidural. It was all such a blur I really don't even remember why. I was fine with it, because, like I said, I'm a go-with-the-flow person and obviously I'm going to be Super Woman. They gave me the shot of pain medicine through my IV that they can only give you 3 times.

All I was really worried about (besides making sure my baby was okay obviously) was that Sons of Anarchy was on that night and I was not about to miss it! It was early, like 7am, so I had time. We were still in good spirits. So excited! Hours pass, no baby, maybe 2cm dilated around 3pm. All along still contracting every 2 to 3 minutes, but still hopeful and happy because baby is comingggggg.

Nurse shift change. "Hi New Nurse, I'm ready to have this baby. Let's get her out, please!" Now, let me tell you something about these nurses. They were probably my least favorite and they were all wonderful! I seriously loved all the nurses that helped with my labor. SHOUT OUT! But, they put the head of the bed all the way up, had me get up (which was NOT easy), turn around and hug the head of the bed on my knees and rock my hips back and forth. Full out, butt! It was the worst pain ever, then.

I was probably 5cm by the time the next nurse shift change came around 11pm. "Dangit, I missed Sons of Anarchy." No, just kidding. But, really, we did. No longer in the best of spirits, we were both starting to get upset. Still contracting. Nurse came in, checked me (which at this point, my vagina had had enough of!) and she said that a part of my cervix was still wrapped around baby girl's head. Now, I don't know what all that stuff means, all I know is that I asked her if she could just cut that part off. And apparently you cannot. Big no no. Big. Huge!

Now at this point all of our family had come and gone, and at one point or another they were all there. All took turns coming back to see me and give me a hug or make me laugh or something. My husband, mom and sisters were in and out the most. Made me so happy that our little nugget had so many people love her! We didn't have a name for her yet so we all called her Baby Girl Bowden.

I'm leaving you here today. I'll post the rest of the story in a few days. So, to be continued... (:

Friday, April 24, 2015

DIY Baby Girl Nursery. Neutral & Light Pink.

When I was pregnant, my favorite thing to do was shop. I mean, you find out that you're expecting a baby and it's like a natural impulse to just start looking, pricing stuff out, and buying all the fun baby stuff. As much as I loved it (and I did) it gave me severe anxiety! (I think my anxiety was heightened during my pregnancy in general)  I felt like everything I found was so expensive! And kept thinking "How, in the world, do people afford a child?!" So I decided to get creative. Of course, I scoured Pinterest for ideas and different things to make her room unique and still pretty.

After looking and looking, I finally decided to do neutrals with some light pink accents in it. I did not, personally, like any hot pink or bright colors or character themes for my baby's room. Just not for me. If she gets older and wants a hot pink Hello Kitty bedroom, then by-golly she'll get that. But, the rest of our house will be neutrals. Luckily, when we bought our house all the walls were a nice beige color, so I didn't have to do any painting in that sense. I like white. I like things to look clean. And it's not TOO girlie.

I don't know about you guys, but I very rarely buy anything brand new (with strict exceptions - like mattresses and undies). If I can't find it at a thrift store or yard sale, then it better be on one heck of a sale for me to buy it from a department store. The very first thing I purchased for her room was her changing table. My mom and I were looking around the Salvation Army, I still felt like it was a little too much at $30 but my mom said she thought it was a nice piece and she was right when she said it would go with most anything else we decided to put into the room. So, it came home with me.

Now that I have it and use it every single day, multiple times a day, I'm so glad I bought it. It's in perfect condition and has been a champ! It's a baby, diaper, wipes, basket, toy holding machine. I pondered with the thought of taking the wheels off, but my husband was adamant about keeping them on and, again, I'm glad I did. Makes moving it when the baby throws her pacifier and vacuuming underneath it muchhh easier! Once I got it, I knew I didn't want to keep it the same color, so I scrubbed it down, let it dry, sanded it down really good, and painted it with a this paint I got in the mistints at Walmart for a project prior to this one that I purchased for $5. Let it dry overnight and painted a second coat. And I think it's perfect. Don't you?

Then, while frantically searching for a dresser for her room, my mom informs me that she has a dresser that I used as child at the house, still. She asked me if I wanted to use it and of course I said yes! I'm a sucker for all things sentimental. So, she brought that over and, lo and behold, it was perfect! Did the same thing with the dresser that I did with the changing table, by scrubbing it down, sanding it, then painting it with the same paint. Then with the hardware I used my favorite spray paint (Rustoleum on them, I put them in a small box (I had just moved so it was perfect) and once over did the trick just fine.

(Borrowed this picture thanks to Google)

And this is the finished project:

Its nice because the drawers are nice and deep, and it's extremely sturdy.

Now the crib I did purchase new from Target, mostly because it was getting closer and closer to when she was supposed to arrive and I could not find one on Craigslist or Facebook yard sale pages that I liked enough to redo. And my husband didn't want me to be out in the garage sanding and painting, sweet guy. But don't tell me what to do! Just kidding. Then the whole idea of her chewing on the rails eventually, and that scared the mess out of me thinking of her eating paint! So, yea. After the baby shower, we got a couple gift cards to Target, so that's what we put the money towards. The mattress and the bed set we received as a gift at the baby shower. And the "mobile" my sister made for me with a wreath wire, burlap, 40lb fishing line, and decorative diamonds. Pretty easy to make. Not so easy to hang up..

Well, that's about it. For these few things I tallied a little over $100. Not too bad, right?!

I'll do another post about the rest of the stuff I got for my daughter and how I stayed under $200 total! I found my way of keeping my spending low. And I am about that life. Also, I will be sharing with you my whole labor experience. That will be an interesting one. Stay tuned!

Thanks guys.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dealing with it..

So, I told you guys the other day that I had an interview with a local company. Well, it's not so "local" as it was just founded in the town I live in. It's Publix. Corporate. Publix. It was a clerical position and, as 8 years a hairstylist, a lot of my experience in that specific industry can be placed in every other industry out there.

I applied. I took the crazy weird test that they sent. I did well. I got called for an interview. Found out that over 90 people applied for the job, and 4 got called for an interview. ME.. I was one of those 4! Got called for a second interview. What? One of two people. Out of an original 90! WHAT?! Little ol' me? Insane.

But, then I got the call this morning, that they went with the other candidate. Can't say it didn't sting like salt poured on an open wound would, because it did. Bad.

All I kept thinking was "Now what am I going to do to help support my family?" "I'm not ever going to find a job.." "Nobody wants to hire me" "I don't want to go back into the hair industry after being all hyped up about this job" and felt, seriously, sorry for myself.

But, then, I turned my sorrow into happiness for that other candidate. Congratulations to her, she got a great job at a great company, with amazing benefits. Really! She should feel so proud of herself. Hell, I'm proud of her! (I saw her before my second interview, she's really pretty, too.)

Then, something else happened.. God has way bigger plans for me than I do for myself. On my way to the second interview, I start crying. Talking to him the whole way (I really need to learn the art of "Praying Properly", because Him & I just have talks. Like, me saying "Yo Jesus! Let me tell you what's goin' on now.. PS. Thanks for everything. You're pretty rad.") Within my conversation with God I say how I've always seen myself, while I was a kid growing up, as being a #SAHM, but I know He has other plans for me, and if this is that other plan, then let it be and I will welcome that. But, apparently it wasn't meant to be. There's something different and more for me. And that more right now is my daughter. My husband. My home. My future children.

I feel like plans change everyday, and if I didn't go on that interview I wouldn't realize how lucky I am to be able to stay home to be able to soak in and enjoy all these moments with my beautiful baby girl. So what, we're struggling a little bit financially right now. We'll get used to it. We can make it work. Right now, my job is to keep my faith, keep my baby & hubby happy. And that is priceless to me. I will keep my job, with no pay, no benefits, no 401K and still be the richest woman in the world.

Love you, all.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hi again. Long time, no post.


So, I haven't posted in a while, figured I might as well get to it. Not really sure what this one is going to be about, just felt the urge and need to sit down at the computer and write.

Let's just chat a bit about what has been going on lately.

First of all, my amazing little sister has started a blog. She's probably one of the best writers I've ever had the chance of meeting/reading. I would strongly suggest you guys take a gander at her blog! I'm trying to get her and my other sister to go in and start working on a book together. We're seriously hilarious. Seriously.

Well, my baby girl, little precious angel turned 6 months April 8! I cannot believe it. Half a year, folks. Half. a. year!
Look at that little, precious face. Just love her to pieces.

We went in the baby pool for the first time! She LOVES IT!

Such a cool baby. I can't get enough of her.

Okay, baby spam over.

I'm very excited, I have an interview with Publix corporate Wednesday.. I hope I do well! I will post later on whether or not I have gotten the position or not. But, for now, let's just all say a little prayer on the matter.

I have a new DIY project that I will be doing, and I'm SO excited to share with you guys. So I will get on that as soon as I can.

I have some "getting ready for baby" money saving tips that I have heard and experienced that I am going to share with you as well. So this blog is really going to be all sorts of stuff. Home decor, baby - lots of baby, DIY, what I'm up to, health stuff (hopefully), personal, and maybe some fashion-y type stuff. So, I hope you're excited as I am & along for the ride with me!

That's all for now.


That's me.. Caitie B