Tuesday, July 22, 2014

i always thought it was a myth

you guys...

it's happening right now.

both children napping...


let us take a moment for that to sink in.

as i sit here i should tell you that i've been trying for this moment for four months, and i've always kind of assumed that it would never happen (and granted we are only about 3 minutes into this nap time win), but here we are.

TWO kids...sleeping.

me...blogging with a caffeinated beverage in hand.

today the Lord has blessed this house with a good day.

and can we also take a moment to give thanks to the person who invented video monitors?!

blessed is thou who gave a moment's peace to mothers everywhere.  thanks be to video monitors with talk back options.

seriously though, if the person who invented this marvelous creation ever reads this blog, just know that i am hugging you through the monitor right now...


last week we had a murray cousins sleepover at our house (teagan's first big one here) and i hid the video monitor in teagan's room.  that way, if someone got scared or needed to use the potty, i could see what's going on with the monitor and then dart upstairs and help out before a melt down occurred.

well, you'll be interested to know that there wasn't one whisper of a melt down, but i pretty much stayed up all night watching the girls do sleep aerobics all over the floor.

it was both tiresome and entertaining.

please enjoy this crudely made graphic to help you visualize the sleepover between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m.

1 a.m. - snoozeville.  population 4.

2 a.m. - the synchronized flip flop.

3 a.m. - the letter h.

4 a.m. - tetris.

5 a.m. - the best night's sleep ever!  let's eat donuts!

i'll leave out the graphics depicting teagan's actions from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. nap time.

let's just say some one was a wee bit cwanky.

you might also note that one of the sleeping bag people did not move all night.

this is the difference between 8 year olds and 3 year olds.

all in all the sleepover was a success, other than a failed-home-made-cracker-jack-attempt-almost-turned-ruined-popcorn-pot by yours truly.

i won't put the recipe on here until i manage to make it without almost burning down my house, but my aunt marsha used to make cracker jack for all of our newell/strom cousin sleepovers and i wanted to continue the tradition for our newell/murray/kesler cousins.

just know that it is REALLY good...when you get it right.

well, i'd love to stay and chat a while longer, but i've already been blogging for an hour and i have some dvr'd episodes of the pioneer woman that i'd like to catch up on...without kids asking to watch curious george :)

have a happy tuesday!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

why hello again.

hey there sports fans.

it's me.  the girl who said she'd start blogging more...two months ago.

ha.  dare to dream.

but actually, i'm shocked that it's only been two months, because it feels more like an eternity.

that's probably because i have this new person living in my house who is always crabbing around and throwing out demands like "feed me", "i've pooped my pants, could you kindly clean it up?", "i have to throw up, could you put on a nice clean shirt?  i really prefer throwing up on clean clothing", or "STOP THAT!  you KNOW i hate being laid on my tummy!  roll me over RIGHT NOWWWW!"

you know...

this guy.


how did my little rhett-man go from this...

7 lbs 1 oz rhett...

to this...

19 lbs 11 oz rhett...

in just four short months!?!


pretty much every stranger we see comments on his very large size.

total stranger: "OH!  he looks like he must enjoy his bottle!  what have you been putting in there?!"

me:  why, yes...most babies do...and we feel like he really enjoys his feedings when we put heavy cream instead of formula in there.

total stranger:  "wow!  that's a big baby!  is he walking yet?"

me:  oh, not yet, but, we just started strapping weights to his bouncer, because, you know, having a child compete in the olympic games has always been one of our goals.  we're hoping for weight lifting...or swimming...or track and field...we aren't sure what his skill set is yet...right now we are just hoping he learns how to roll over before we get judged by our pediatrician at our next doctor's visit. but, you know...fingers crossed for the 2032 games.

yes, i'll be the first to admit that rhett has enough chub to put most baby seals to shame, and i'm over the moon that i have a very large, healthy child, but really people?!  i know he's big and i've got a sore back and wonky hip to prove it, there's no need for comment.

in other news, our 4th of July weekend was less than thrilling since i spent the 3rd of July cleaning up a potty accident at the playground (not the easy to clean kind), going on an impromptu visit to the pediatricians office, getting up with a baby suffering from allergies four times during the night, and getting up with a puking toddler, and doing two loads of yuck-covered laundry, before waking for our usual 5:30 a.m. feeding time.

awesome is pretty much the only word i would choose to describe that day.


so, for the 4th, matt and i had to divide and conquer.  matt attended a cookout/good friend's 30th birthday party with teagan and i stayed home with my sick little boy.

i would say that although the day didn't go as planned, it wasn't a total loss because i got to sit and watch girly movies all day that matt would never agree to watching, ate a whole bunch of spinach dip that i had planned on taking to the party, and ate some chocolate, right out in the open, without having to hide in the bathroom out of fear of being discovered by a mooching three year old.

i know what you are thinking.

how can one families life be SO incredibly thrilling?

my answer to you, is that i'm not sure, and i really don't mean to make it seem like our life is like one long episode of the young and the restless, but that's just how things are around here....

only, with less sleep.

until next time :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

it's a small miracle

good morning :)

guess what?!?

it's 8:00 and teagan isn't up yet.


i'm (almost) by myself (rhett is sleeping in his lambie swing), drinking coffee and watching...



i know.  i can't believe this is happening either.

usually by this time, teagan has come downstairs, thrown her backpack full of "friends" onto our bed, jumped on my head, given me a big hug and kiss, requested a kiss from her "smoochie-boo" (which is code for rhett), and asks to watch frozen.

i think the last time i got weather from an actual news broadcast and not my phone we were having a polar vortex.

while i'm re-reading the description of our normal morning routine and realizing that teagan is SO incredibly sweet and these cute moments won't last forever...sometimes it's nice to not be woken up by a toddler :)

but the fact that i'm the only one awake isn't the small miracle i intended to talk about today (even though it is it's own special kind of miracle).

it's babies.


babies are kind of my life right now, so if you aren't interested in babies you should turn back now and revisit this blog in another two months.  maybe by then i'll have something new to talk about.

but probably not.



the last time i blogged i mentioned that rhett arrived 4 weeks early.  and teagan was 4 weeks early too. crazy right?

let's go back about three years and talk about the fact that our doctor never really knew why teagan was born so early.

i had never had a contraction.  i was never sick.  i was going to have a baby, and i felt pretty awesome about it.

until the day before she was born...

that day i felt terrible.  the next day, boom, i had a baby girl.

no explanation.

i was always really curious about WHY teagan was born early.  it just didn't make any sense to me because i am a pretty healthy individual generally.  why would i just randomly have a baby 4 weeks early when i'd had such a great pregnancy for 36 weeks?

we had no idea, but we aren't medical experts and the doctor said that sometimes these things just happen.  whatever.  no big deal.  teagan was here and after a short stay in the nicu, she was healthy and that was all that mattered to us.

so this time around, our doctor told us that she wanted to start me on a medication called makena, which is a progesterone shot (one of our bodies natural hormones) and is designed to help people stay pregnant longer.

it sounded okay, but i really wrestled with the decision to take it because i'm not one who likes to take medicine unless it is TOTALLY NECESSARY.

and by TOTALLY NECESSARY i mean that i am on death's doorstep...

or i have a really big headache.

plus, some of the side effects were...worrisome.  

after a LOT of discussions with matt and a few consultations from my dear friend google, we went with the makena.

taking makena also meant signing up for a weekly tushie injection.

*sad face*

let's just say that teagan and i got to know nurse michelle REALLY well.

i was probably around week 33 when my skin started getting itchy.  and i mean SUPER itchy.  i couldn't stop scratching my skin and no amount of bathing or lotion would make that itchy, crawling feeling go away.

i remembered last time, when i was pregnant with teagan, i had that same intense itching that wouldn't go away.  i am kind of embarrassed to admit this, but it was so bad that i actually carried a small nail brush in my purse so i could "brush" my skin from time to time.

it. was. awful.

i told my doctor about it and she said that i was probably just dehydrated and my skin was stretching, so drink plenty of fluids, lotion up, and get some rest.

despite all that i had done, the itching continued until the day teagan was born.

then it was no more, and i had kind of forgotten about it because i had this new baby in my life which made everything all better.


this time, when the itching returned, i fired up the ol' google machine.  obviously there had to be SOME kind of lotion, balm, cream, whatever, that could stop the itching that i just hadn't found last time.

but the more i read about pregnancies and itching skin, the more it became clear to me that it wasn't JUST dry skin.

about 10 minutes into my search, i was completely sure that i had cholestasis, a condition that occurs during the last trimester of pregnancy, where your liver almost shuts down and quits filtering bile out of your blood.  the itchy skin is because of the amount of bile salts that build up in your system.

i know.  i sound like a crazy person for thinking that this condition was my real problem.  i'm guilty of letting my brain wander from time to time, and there might have been a dark day right before i got the full-blown flu where i might have talked myself into having crohn's disease...just saying.  so, as a general rule, i try NOT to use webmd for anything because well, usually, you can talk yourself into having any kind of disease if you are worried enough about it.

but, there are some things you can talk pregnant roganne out of, and there are SOME THINGS YOU CAN'T.

so when i came across this crazy condition that affects 1 in 1000 people while i laid in bed at 11:00 p.m., there wasn't much sleeping happening that night.

thankfully, i'm married to matt and he knows the best way to talk a pregnant woman down off the ledge.

it was touch and go there for a while.

just kidding.

(kind of)

hormones can be crazy right?

thankfully, i had a doctor's appointment the very next day and i had just switched to a new doctor who i absolutely LOVED.

i told her that normally i am NOT a crazy, psycho, pregnant lady, but i had found this condition on the internet that i was sure explained the reason for teagan's early delivery and my itching skin.

and then the best thing happened to me...she listened to me.  she heard my worries and she said she'd order some blood work to test my theory.

after giving up what felt like half of my blood, it was the first time in my life where i'd left a doctor's office feeling that my doctor genuinely cared about me.  and when she called me later in the afternoon to tell me to come back in so we could talk about my new cholestasis diagnosis and treatment i felt nervous, but i knew that dr. young would take good care of us.

after we discovered that i had cholestasis, i started taking a medication called ursodiol to help absorb the bile salts in my bloodstream and guess what?  my itching STOPPED.  my weekly appointments turned into twice weekly appointments and a labor induction date was set.  no longer was the surprise of when our baby boy would arrive.  it was coming sooner than we were ready for...again.  and it was happening on february 24th.


but before i would be induced, there was a whole lot of monitoring that was going to happen to make sure that the baby was still doing good and there was no need to deliver earlier.

each tuesday i was hooked up to the fetal heart monitor for 20 minutes while the nurses watched our heart rates and monitored rhett's movement.  every friday i got an ultrasound, which at first was nerve-wracking since i now knew how dangerous cholestasis could be for rhett's health, but then turned into a pretty boring routine as i watched him tumble around in my stomach for 20 minutes while the nurses monitored and measured and recorded.

while it was nice knowing that my baby was safe and sound, the whole process was pretty exhausting.

at 5:00 p.m. on february 24th, matt and i casually rolled into the hospital and calmly took the elevator to the labor and delivery floor (which was about the polar opposite of our last visit to labor and delivery).  we checked ourselves in and hung out in the room watching duck dynasty while we waited for dr. young to tell us "THE PLAN".

dum dum duuuuummmmm

do you agree that this blog would be better with dramatic sound effects?

i thought so too.


anyway, dr. young had a beautiful plan of how i would be induced, (i'll spare you the exact details), which worked wonderfully and 7 hours after we walked in the hospital door we were holding our baby boy.

which happened to be at 2:08 a.m. on february 25th.

and because i love a good dramatic entrance, my children do too.

rhett was making a terrible noise that they informed us was called "grunting", which meant that he had fluid in his lungs.

which meant a stay in the nicu...again.

i both love and dread the nicu.

i dread it because, pardon my french, i want to get me and my baby the eff out of the hospital and go home.

but i also love it because i have never felt so much love and care from a complete stranger than i have felt from a nicu nurse.  i am so grateful for those ladies who took care of rhett and i during our time at the hospital, and they will be etched in my heart, and my children's birth stories, forever.

i am so thankful for that.

i am so thankful that God lead me to dr. young and that He gave her the ability to be such an incredibly talented, kind, patient, caring, doctor.

i am thankful for the amazing team of nurses who helped us through those first few days, especially nurse melissa, who cared for us during teagan's nicu stay as well.  i couldn't have wished for a better experience.

it's been two months and five days since our rhett-man has made his entrance into the world and i'm
so thankful to everyone who has helped us with our little miracle.  i realize that probably none of those people will ever read this, but thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

still here.

hello again.

it's me.

roganne, your friendly, neighborhood blog writer.

you know how sometimes you take a break from something and then you don't get back into it for weeks and weeks and weeks?

that pretty much sums up my life right now.

here's what i haven't been doing lately:

a. sleeping

2. going to the gym.

3. showering.

4. sleeping

4. cleaning the house

4. sleeping.

4. blogging.

5. sleeping.

5. cooking dinner.

okay, so mostly this list consists of not sleeping.  but there are a couple other essentials in there too. like cooking and cleaning...and showering.

the logic behind this list can be summed up in two words:

two kids.

you may remember that i announced on this blog sometime last fall that i was pregnant with a baby boy.

well he's here now.

and he's TOTALLY adorable.  and sweet.  and a VERY good baby.  and we all LOVE him to bits.


would you like to meet him?

well, okay.

but prepare yourself for cute baby overload...

say hello to our sweet little man...

rhett newell murray :)

Photo: In case you didn't know, we are heading on vacation tomorrow!!! So lots of pictures will be delivered later today. If you wanted to place an order before I leave, please email me at aovermyerphoto@gmail.com. A large delivery of discs went out yesterday and another large delivery will go out today. :)

And just to show you a little bit of what is going on, here's another recent favorite. Simple and sweet are usually my favorites. Just love it!

isn't he the sweetest?!

i'm only a little in love with him.


he arrived 4 weeks early (like his big sissy)

february 25 - 2:08 a.m.

7 lbs 1 oz - 19 3/4 in long

in case you are wondering, yes...there is totally an explanation for why i have babies 4 weeks early. i'll totally share the reason with you next time but for now, my little rhett man is hungry and mama needs to go.

i'll be back...i promise.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

two rolls

today's post is really more of an announcement than anything else, but i am excited about it and i want to shout it from the mountain tops.

it's official.

teagan has used two WHOLE rolls of toilet paper.

as in...in the bathroom.

i feel like is important for me to also specify that said toilet paper was used specifically for it's intended purpose and not for some kind of weird recreational use.  like those bridal shower games that we all know and love where it's supposed to be funny and cute to dress ourselves in toilet paper "bridal gowns" complete with "veil" and "accessories".

please tell me i'm not the only one who has done this.

if you have followed this blog long enough, you probably already know that we have been "potty training" (if you could actually "call" it that) on and off for almost a year with varying degrees of little to no success.


so far, we are 18 days without an accident.

this is huge.

teagan is wearing underpants people!


after the chaos of the holidays was finally over (probably around january 10th) i informed teagan that we would NOT be using ANY MORE diapers.  EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.

she said "whatever you say, mom".

i didn't know exactly if this was her version of acceptance, or a possible threat, but i knew deep in my heart that if we didn't give potty training one last go (no pun intended) before baby boy comes in march, i would probably be spending a large portion of our income on two different sizes of diapers.  and that is definitely no bueno.

the very next day she wore this little potty watch that we set to ring every 60 minutes (it reset itself) and she went without pants, diapers, pull-ups, underwear.


including naps...

because i like to throw caution to the wind like that.

and you know what happened then?

she used the toilet.

EVERY time.

whenever that little pink watch played london bridge, darling clementine, or twinkle twinkle little star, her cheeks hit the seat.

and there were NO accidents.

and there weren't any the next day.

or the next, either.

in fact, she didn't have an accident until we were out of the house for about half a day.  i didn't hear the watch and she didn't tell me she needed to go until it was too late.

it was a bummer, but we got right back on the horse and continued with our mission.

and now here we are...three weeks later, without incident and without diapers.

i've been hesitant to even breathe a word of this new development on here because i feel like the mere whisper of this glorious news would somehow carry some sort of curse along with it and i would be doomed to change teagan's diapers for the rest of her life or until we hired a witch doctor or voodoo man to help lift our potty training jinx...

or something along those lines.

but now that teagan has used two whole rolls of toilet paper all by herself (and yes, i kept separate rolls of toilet paper just to keep track of her t.p. usage), i feel like it's okay to say it out loud.

teagan is potty trained.


until tomorrow possibly, because you never know when a jinx might actually be real.

just kidding.



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