Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pink pancakes

Someone happily woke up to pink pancakes this morning.

The Sophie and Tucker household is not big on many artificial things. So how did we make them pink, you ask?

That's right, beets! Now, in full disclosure, I used a can of precooked beets. A year ago I would have purchased organic fresh beets (probably raised somewhere within 100 miles of my home) and whipped up these bad boys from scratch. But if I'm being totally honest, today I was going to pour them into some box mix of Bisquick, so what's the harm in using some canned veggies?

And for good measure, I threw in a scoop of organic ground flax seeds.

Pink Pancakes:
Bisquick (per directions)
1/4 cup of pureed beets
2 Tablespoons organic ground flax seeds

Easy as pie. Or pancakes. One vegetable serving down, four to go.

CHEESE for pink pancakes!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our favorite Christmas moments 2011

Christmas consisted of lots of visitors, food, parties, presents... and we are ready to move on with the new year! 

Uncle Mason, Aunt Amy and Tucker. I'd say they were all
pretty happy to pose for this one.

The kids table at Christmas Eve dinner was stacked with goodies.
In fact, Sophie is still playing with her mini flashlight.

Only missing five from the Barber side for Christmas Eve dinner.
It's a wonderful bunch to be a part of :)

G-Mom and G-Dad wonder how Santa carried
all those presents down the chimney.

Aunt Kelly making a gingerbread house with the cousins.
Sophie was far more interested in eating the candy
while the other bickered about what gumdrops went where.

Sophie loved her handmade tutu from Yaya!

Morning snuggles with Sophie, Yaya and Tucker.
She is the best big sister.

Seated at her birthday table from G-Mom and G-Dad,
Sophie goes to town with her "dotdots" from Yaya and Grandpa!
Notice that bear is seated with her?
He is never far.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

A very Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Oh, what fun we had taking pictures of two children under two! 

Every day is an adventure, a gift, a dream come true.

Monday, December 19, 2011

And we're TWO!

Sophie is TWO, and she knows it. Such a big girl. We had a simple little party complete with mini ham sandwiches, spinach dip, snowman sugar cookies, juice boxes and a build-your-own-cupcake table. Sophie loved everything about the day which began with a visit from some Charlotte friends. Helen and Adam stopped in and brought her an adorable Hadley Pottery cupcake plate for her birthday sweets. She was thrilled about her new blue dress, and every time someone new came in the front door (with presents, I might add), she would shout, "Party!" I even caught a glimpse of her in the basement running around with two napkins - a'la pompoms - shouting "Party Party Party!"

Baby brother Tucker slept through the whole thing. Sweet little man.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baby Birth Day

Well, we left off at 4am on baby's birth day with my big bottle of water and two granola bars. I tried to keep really busy before we were to report to Labor and Delivery. We took Sophie to school and came home to (finally) pack my hospital bag. 

Fast forward to 12:30pm and we were checking into the hospital. Insurance, bracelets, medical history, monitors, an IV and one last ultra sound. Oh, and a few spontaneous tears. Originally scheduled for a 2:30pm procedure, my physician was called into two emergency Cesareans and two other mothers were ready to push before my elective surgery took priority. So, now we're talking more than 12 hours with no food and not a drop of water. And, I was actually in labor.

Although the baby was breech and hiding up in my ribcage, I was banging out contractions every minute and a half. We called in the anesthesiologist to see if I had any pain management options. I could have gotten an epidural, but he said that it in no way would block the pain for surgery like the spinal would - and I had to wait until in the OR for the spinal.

Finally we were up. I thought I might vomit I was so nervous, anxious, excited, scared. The absolute worst part of the day was walking into that OR without my husband and dragging my little IV stand behind me. There were a lot of tears at this point, I won't pretend otherwise. I am a big baby.

"And curl over around your baby, hold my shoulders and we're going to stick a giant needle in your back." At least, this is how I remember it. In all seriousness, I had the best nurses caring for me, calming me and reassuring me. After the "bee sting" needle in my spine, I felt something drip all the way down my back and I became acutely aware of how cold it was in the OR.

Everything happened really fast after the spinal was done. I kept my eyes on my L&D nurse as they prepped me, put up the drape and called in my baby daddy. From the first incision to the last stitch closed, it was a total of 21 minutes and we had ourselves a little baby BOY! 

7lb 13oz, 20in, 4:49pm on November 16, 2011. He didn't have a name until we were in the recovery room and had a few minutes to process BOY. I could not have been more thrilled with our decision to wait on finding out the sex. I'll never ever forget watching Bryan and waiting for him to announce the sex as he watched Dr. Case deliver baby Barber. The name Tucker was on our short list of favorites and James is both our father's first names, so we introduced our immediate family to Tucker James Barber about an hour after he was born.

We were transferred to our Mother Child room where I swear it was 95 degrees (they keep it warm to give baby first bath) and it almost made me sick to be that hot. And the morphine was wearing off - let me tell you how that itches. I am getting itchy thinking about it, literally, just had to stop and scratch my arms! My hunger pangs were gone, I just wanted to snuggle on my sweet baby boy. I was already so smitten.

Here are a few pictures of Tucker's first few days.

My smile in no way reflects my real attitude at this point.
Apparently I have a really good "fake smile."
And, that big bump is the fetal monitor (as if I needed anything to make me look bigger!).

Proud Papa ready to meet baby.

And it's a BOY! Dr. Case - love her.

Blissful first mommy moment.

Daddy and Baby Tucker.

Sweet sleepy snuggles.

Getting to know you... getting to know all about you.
Sophie meeting "Baby Brudder Tucker."
She kisses him all on her own, we didn't even have to ask.

G-Daddy having a celebratory bourbon with his first grandson.

Bryan and his boy.

Grandpa and Tucker getting some vitamin D.

True love.

Final doctor appointment

At the appointment that would ultimately be my last before meeting our sweet baby, we found out that baby was still breech, still really high (like, in my ribcage - which explains the insane reflux), and still had plenty of fluid. The particular physician that we saw "loves flipping babies" and thought I would be a good candidate for an external version (the doctor physically tries to turn the baby by pushing on the belly). If you don't already know, these are/can be extremely painful and risky to the unborn baby.

Good thing Bryan and I had already discussed and agreed that we did not want to try this procedure. It just seemed as if too many signs were pointing to a well-medicated Cesarean delivery. So again, I tried to roll with it (and cried a lot... and still spent lots of time in this position with fingers crossed... sorry for the crappy camera phone picture).

The next step was to sign my life away with release forms pick our baby's birthday! I was so ready to get the show on the road that we took the next available appointment in the OR the following day.

Phone calls were made, plane tickets changed, and we had the wagons circled. My besties gave me pep talks and pointers and told me all of things I didn't want to know about recovery. I don't know what I was more upset about, not being able to eat the entire next day or electively being filleted open on an operating room table. Turned out it was nothing a big fat glass of wine and a great night's sleep couldn't overcome. I set my alarm for 4am (the last time I'd be allowed to eat or drink anything) and drank 32oz of water and ate two granola bars in bed, and slept like a little baby all night.

Next up... birth day!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Birthday and pre birth day

Hello 31. Today I felt young, energetic, full of life (quite literally and figuratively), and ready to flip a baby at my second appointment with the chiropractor. That is, until the chiropractor called to cancel my appointment due to strep throat. I begged him to just wear a surgical mask and to see me anyway, but then decided that I was grasping for straws. This baby isn't going anywhere. I took a deep breath and decided I had to let it go.

I went about my merry way - at times choking back tears and at others responding to birthday well wishes. At least I had dinner with the hubs to look forward to! Darra (or Dora as Sophie likes to call her) watched Soso and put her to bed while Bryan and I went out for sushi and icecream. Pregnancy cravings, anyone?

In case you have kept up and were wondering about my little 30 in 30 book project, I was a miserable failure. But I think it's only fair to consider that I started a little side sewing business, we moved out of state, went on a two-week vacation, oh and I got pregnant which requires lots of napping when chasing a toddler around. I probably read 10 of the 30 books in their entirety, started five others which are still on my nightstand, and I threw in four others for fun and for child-rearing.

So, to 31 and beyond, I'll never have to ask for a book recommendation when I find myself with some free time (ha! free time!).

Friday, December 9, 2011

A brief hiatus (well, I had a baby)

Where do I begin? I am so afraid with each day that passes and I don't write something about our new addition that I will start forgetting all of the amazing details.

SO MUCH has happened since my last entry on November 11th. Here is our timeline and I promise to find time in the next two weeks to catch you all up on the events!

Nov 14 - chiropractor appt, date night, also my 31st birthday
Nov 15 - dr appt
Nov 16 - baby's arrival
Nov 19 - Sophie meets baby
Nov 24 - Turkey day
Nov 28 - first day on my own as a mommy of two
Dec 9 - just had the best day ever

There has been lots of laughter, smiles, snuggly naps, My Little Ponies, and far fewer tears post pregnancy this time. My mommy cup overflows. I look forward to sharing my birth story soon!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood in general have forced me to become more familiar and comfortable with otherwise unknown, funny or strange words. To name a few: lightening, effacement, linea negra, Weissbluth, nipple, breech, anterior fontanelle, craniosynostosis, and my newest vocab addition is the "Webster Technique" (which I'll get to in a minute).

I've used this blog to write about mostly sunny and wonderful moments of motherhood. I am not really one to mass communicate on the hardships. Like almost a year ago when we saw a pediatric cranial plastic surgeon for a possible diagnosis of craniosynostosis (aka scariest time so far in my mothering career). Sophie is fine, by the way.

The second most paralyzing moment in my mothering career happened yesterday. We had an ultrasound to check on baby Barber's progress at almost 39 weeks and the technician told us we have a big, healthy BREECH baby. I kind of checked out at that point. In the contiguous United States, this presentation of baby equals Cesarean delivery. I know - women do it every day, it's safe, it's routine, blah blah blah. The last thing I want is scheduled major surgery to extract a baby from my body, at the risk of offending anyone that reads this. It's just not for me. I mean, I cried when I got my flu shot.

In coming to terms with my new potential reality, I reached out to my very best resources who gave me some excellent advice. I immediately scheduled an appointment with a highly recommended chiropractor for first thing this morning. He's had a great success rate with something called the "Webster Technique" which involves small adjustments and encouraging some involuntary muscles and ligaments to relax and stretch giving baby any extra room available to get head-down.

So I'm freshly home from my first treatment and feeling relaxed and hopeful. There has been a lot of activity in my belly (fingers crossed), and I go back in on Monday for another round. Tuesday my doctors are going to want to make a plan that minimizes risk for safe delivery. If it doesn't work, I will know that I tried. Head down, head up, surgery or labor... healthy baby. Thank you to my friends and family for prayers, thoughts and words of encouragement!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My firstborn

Cooper (4yrs) and Maddox (5yrs), Boxers.

I've been doing a lot of worrying about how to still make sure Sophie doesn't feel left out or neglected when baby Barber comes along (hey baby: how bout now?). But my friend Heidi was quick to remind me how upset I had become in the days leading up to Sophie's birth that my other two firstborn would not get any love or attention and therefore hate me.

Well, Maddox and Cooper managed just fine, in case you were wondering. They were given big Christmas stockings full of treats and toys (which lasted approximately 17 minutes before eaten or destroyed), and though they were relegated to the family room instead of sleeping in our room, they quickly took over the couch and still maintained special places in our family.

This time around is a little different. They've been following me around the house non-stop (Cooper takes my afternoon nap with me every day and Maddox doesn't let me out of her site at all). I keep telling Bryan that dogs have sixth senses and maybe this means the baby's arrival is imminent. Bryan says our dogs don't have the normal five senses and therefore my theory is null and void. Hm. We don't have to agree on everything.

I'm confident that Sophie will survive the addition of a sibling, but I'm still open to any and all advice on how to make this transition easier for her!

One of my favorite suggestions thus far has been to make her a special goody basket of some treasured new toys, coloring books, etc that she only gets to play with when mommy is feeding baby and has her hands full.

I would love to hear from others, too! Please send my way if you can!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Birth of a nursery

This nursery has been a labor of love, for sure. I've spent many hours on little projects, picking through stores and furniture, and picking paint from my hands and fingernails. It's still simple and sweet though - it's hard to over-do-it when you don't know the sex!

We completed this nursery on a serious budget, and we left out some things that we can still do later. For example I really wanted tall bookshelves flanking either side of the crib, but for now the space is occupied with a glider and a bouncy seat. We have already started enjoying the room, hanging out in there after putting Sophie to bed at night. Hope you enjoy, too!


Bedroom #4, before we purchased the house.

Dresser we scored at a local consignment shop.

The priming begins!

A craft project/mobile that I found on Pinterest.*
*Not pictured: my arthritic hands after cutting out 10,000 circles.

Mobile before I put it all together.

Maternity photoshoot - my favorite shot.
The photographer was free, but I had to carry his baby. :)
I borrowed the cardi from my high school senior brother-in-law!


Jenny Lind crib from Craigslist, sleepsheep from Sophie's nursery,
repurposed picture frames from college that I crackled painted
(two frames are waiting for pictures of new baby),
bumper was a gift from Yaya and Grampa.

The finished consignment store dresser!

Bassinet from Sophie's nursery (yes, it's staying pink for now)
(from my brother's nursery)
(from my nursery)
(from my Dad's nursery). It is very old!

Bicycle photo I took in high school during a trip to New Orleans,
old window is from the first house we owned in Charlotte,
houndstooth lamp from Homegoods,
yellow/grey piggy bank a gift from the Flemings.

IF baby Barber is a boy, we have some cute
boy clothes on standby. This was one of my brother's baby outfits!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011 has come to a close. I'm happy about this for a few reasons. First, we can now get rid of the candy we've been storing a pilfering for about a month. Second, I can pack away this Minnie dress that Sophie went from hating to begging to wear. And third, we are this much closer to having a baby. Sophie learned the art of "trick or treat" and the goodies that it brings her, so safe to say the big day was actually fun this year. (Stop over here if you want to see her last year as a precious little ladybug who didn't even walk yet. Time flies.)

Sophie's Yaya and Gampa came into town from FL for a quick visit between vacation and baby Barber's arrival. We had a good time of cooking, filling the freezer for aforementioned baby's arrival, trick-or-treating, watching football and just relaxing.

My Little Ponies, Hannah and KK, and Sophie Minnie
at the local children's hospital Halloween event.

Daddy carved some great non-scary pumpkins for his little Minnie.

Sophie at her preschool Halloween parade.
(She's not in jail, they just push the littles around in rolling cribs!)

Cheesing it up with Yaya and Gampa.

Having fun with Gampa.

Where the fun began. We gave her the "puckett" to carry
and she looked inside to tell us
"there nutthin' in it?"

Minnie and Daddy.

G-Mom, Minnie and G-Daddy trick-or-treating.

**Not pictured: Mommy. I feel it's best I stay behind the camera at this point. 37 weeks and 3 days today. Oops, I told you I was going to stop counting. :)