Structure for the Spinelli’s

Last week we came up with some new ways to be the worst parents ever.

First, there has been big problems with picky eaters or eating too many snacks or just really not enough structure with our eating habits.  So now the rules go like this.  You must eat your vegetables before you get your plate.  If you choose not to eat than you don’t get anything else until the next meal. Meaning that only that plate of food is available until the next meal.  A dessert will always be available for those who eat their food.  It sounds like common sense when I write it out like that.  However, it is amazing how kids have a way of training you to give into their whining that they don’t like something and then there is a great dinner for Mom and Dad and the kids get chicken nuggets. Again.  The first few days Isaac HAD to have been pretty hungry with all the food he refused but today everyone ate some veggies, ate real food for dinner, and got a brownie.  Less food wasted, less whining, and I think the best part is there is structure now so everyone knows what to expect.

The other thing we started doing was having No Screen days three days a week.  No screen days are the best because everyone is in a much better mood and we spend a lot more time together.
 Honestly this has been harder to achieve regularly because of ME breaking the rules to “quickly look” at the bank account or tracking a package that turns into looking at facebook or editing photos.  Before I know it I’m telling Isaac he can watch a show and Summer is on the iPad and then I give up.  When we DO successfully go the whole day though, it has ALWAYS been a really good day.

This is a game we got for Christmas and it is popular on No Screen days.  You take turns pushing in these pokers into the balloon until someone pops it.  Isaac LOVES it but runs away after the first few rounds because he is afraid of the balloon popping.  Funny kid 🙂

The cheap Walmart balloons are incredibly stretchy.  The three top pokers were pretty much touching by the time it popped this time.



January 28, 2014 at 11:36 pm 1 comment

Christmas 2013


The anticipation of baby Aelynn overshadowed any documentation of Christmas but hey, it is better late than never.  We had Nathan’s parents and my sister Tiffany and her family here for the holiday this year.  It was brave of anyone to come actually because the flu was going through the house that week.  Summer had it really bad when everyone was here.  She had a hard time getting to sleep at night and on Christmas morning we just let her sleep in because she was up late and just felt horrible.

WSP_2399On Christmas eve we made some mini gingerbead houses and attempted to make a train out of graham crackers.  Isaac has his heart set on a gingerbread train and when I (finally) went to Walmart to get one, they were out.




Christmas morning!






Summer came out after everyone else was done with presents.  This is the best smile she had all day poor thing.




It is pretty much tradition for all the guys to play cribbage at every gathering there ever was.  Nathan finally got his very own board as a present from his grandpa.







My silly nephew



and my adorable nieces




More of the kids.





Summer was crying because I got frustrated with her wiggliness. This photo breaks my heart but it is the only one that I caught with all three kids in it by the tree. Sorry Summer, I love you 😦

I didn’t get photos of Grandma Spinelli, Tiffany, or myself.  Sorry family I still love you, I seem to get too focused on the kids sometimes…

January 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm Leave a comment

Aelynn’s story

Warning:  If you are a Hypnobirth person looking for a positive birth story, this is not it.


I got to the hospital a little before 2 and I got my first dose of Cytotec at about 3.  It made things progress pretty well and when I got my second dose of it at 7 my body caught on to the rhythm and labor was really going.  Everything was totally perfect.  I had my breathing and relaxation I was focusing on. Honestly nothing really hurt much at all anyway and I was practicing my relaxation through contractions just for practice sake.  They broke my water when I was a 5 and then I got really scared.  This was really happening and there was no going back.  They were uncomfortable but I was handling it and then when I got to a 7, they REALLY hit.  The doctor came and asked if I was feeling pressure and I wasn’t yet so he said he would check on me in 1/2 hour. About 10 minutes after that I called him back because I was in a TON of pain no matter what I breathed like or visualized. I was done, I wanted an epidural. They called her, but I knew, and they also knew, she wouldn’t get there in time.


First bath

The next part, I was told, all happened within about 5 minutes but that isn’t how I remember it.

When I was preparing for this I REALLY didn’t want to be one of those ladies who screamed.  I didn’t even want to make any uncomfortable noises either.  My mom said she screamed once (out of 6 children).  I was really concentrating on surrounding myself with “good birth stories” to eliminate doubt and negative feelings about natural birth.  I watched some amazing births where the mom is so calm and relaxed. I knew it would be work and it would bring me to top of what I could handle but I foolishly thought I might be able to hold it in.


Every contraction turned into absolute horror. It felt like my insides were being ripped out, so yeah, I started screaming. A lot. I was attempting to breathe or relax or visualize or something but to no avail.  My doctor and Nathan were both telling me to breathe over and over. I was trying.  Really I was, and they just weren’t getting that so yelled at them that it just wasn’t going to happen and to stop telling me to breathe or I was going to kill them.


When I wasn’t screaming I was saying what a stupid idea this was and stupid Nathan and his research about what drugs do to you that would give me the idea to try and do this. I was holding his hand and it wasn’t good enough to squeeze it.  I was holding back digging my nails into him.  I said that I wanted to dig my nails in him and he offered to get me a blanket or something to maim. For some reason it wasn’t good enough for me, it needed to be him (that’s real love).  So he put a blanket or something around his hand (honestly I never saw what he had on there because I didn’t open my eyes much at all at this point) and I dug away.

Luckily for Nathan, I traded beating him to a pulp for the side guard on the bed. I started beating that thing and there was some sort of conversation about breaking the bed where at some point I apologized in advance for breaking it.

I felt like I was trying to tell them (scream at them) the baby was coming a while before they did anything about it.  The problem was I was on my side and they needed me to change to my back.  I was too far gone to tell anyone about the side position of birthing and I sure didn’t feel like I could move to my back.  Somehow I did though and he said she will be out in two good pushes. This is where my preparation came back it.  I was able to get it together enough to think about “J” breathing to get baby out, and pretty much just like that, she was out.

I was happy she was out but I didn’t feel any relief.  I barely heard she was a girl, and that was surprising, but my body was in shock and I didn’t really have a real reaction to the news.  I knew the placenta still had to come and it felt like too much to handle.  Finally that was out and then getting stitches felt like too much to handle.  Moving at all felt like too much.


While all the after birth stuff was happening with me, Aelynn wasn’t making a sound.  The cord was tightly wrapped around her neck when she came out.  She also came so fast that she was also in shock.  It took a good two minutes for her to take her first breath.  During that time the respiratory therapist was giving her oxygen.   As soon as she did though she turned pink and she was perfect.


A big reason why I chose to do it without drugs was that I wanted to see if drugs were preventing me at all from feeling that euphoric feeling afterwards, or preventing the immediate amazing bond people talk about.  I’ve always just felt like “oh a baby!”  I’ve never cried or gotten extra emotional and I thought maybe this would change that.

No. Not at all.  I didn’t even care to see her because I just hurt and was in shock and overwhelmed.

Something I hear all the time was how great you feel afterwards if you don’t use drugs.  This made no difference for me.  Actually I just felt awful.  If people mean more of the longer term recovery, I’d still say last time was easier.

I know you can’t really “fail” at giving birth because there is no way you can stop it when it starts.  You have no choice but to get the baby out.  I don’t think I would have felt like a failure if I did get an epidural in time.  What made me feel like a failure, was not being able to keep it together.  Every woman is different and feels and copes with pain differently, so please don’t leave a comment about how if I did something differently it would have helped.  For me, the pain was far past anything I felt like I had ANY control over.


So onto the more happy stuff.  Aelynn (pronounced Eh-lin) Rose Spinelli.  She has been a total angel.  So far her temperament is very quiet and reminded me of Ahnna.  Ahnna slept until I had to wake her up to eat and the only way to wake her up was to take off all her clothes and even then she had a hard time waking up.  I thought there might be something wrong with her because she never cried.  If Aelynn is like that I will feel very blessed.  She is my smallest baby at 7 lbs 7 ounces and 19 inches.  She is just a cute little bundle and I’m so happy she is part of our family.

WSP_2599 WSP_2596 WSP_2496

January 9, 2014 at 4:35 pm 3 comments

Today is the Day

Well I went into the doctor’s office yesterday and found out the baby was transverse.  He was able to move him head down but there is no promising he/she will stay that way.  If my water breaks (which it has done 2 out of 3 times) and the baby is transverse it is instant c-section.  The plan is to make sure it is head down today and then induce labor to take out that variable.  

I really wanted everything to be natural this time but if I have to chose being induced or getting a c-section, I choose an induction.  I REALLY DON’T want a c-section.  I know being induced also makes my risk of c-section greater but I was on pitocin before and I seem to respond to it ok.

Having said that I REALLY want to try to avoid pitocin.  I would still like to try this with as little drugs as possible and pitocin makes contractions so hard I bet I will get an epidural again if it comes to that. 

So there goes how predictable I was expecting my fourth labor to be.  I shouldn’t be surprised.  This pregnancy has been totally different than my other ones so I should have expected this part to be different too. I was planning on my normal just a few hours but who knows how long it will take now.  I just hope my body is up for being induced.  It is when your body just isn’t ready and they try to induce where you run into problems. 

So I’m excited but very wary at the same time.  I hope this was the right decision.

January 7, 2014 at 9:38 am 2 comments

The Real Reason the End of Pregnancy Sucks

For me at least, it isn’t feeling uncomfortable, or lack of energy, or sleep, or feeling unattractive, that really gets me down.  It is the MIND GAME of when-is-baby-going-to-get-here that drives my up the freaking wall.  All day I have been comparing it to a kid at Christmas time.


This was taken unknowingly not long before I went into labor with Ahnna, 2 days over due date.


Baby Ahnna

Christmas is SO EXCITING and you just can’t wait.  The problem with this Christmas is you don’t really know what day it is going to fall on.  You have a ball park idea but it could get here as early as two weeks before or as late as two weeks after the estimated date.  You don’t want to start hoping it might be early but dude, it is CHRISTMAS so you can’t help but think everyday “maybe it WILL be early, that would be so awesome! I’d get to see my presents early!!”

As time passes you just want to do what you can to stop thinking about it because the more you think about it the harder it is to wait (especially since it might get here early.)  Then other people who are also excited ask “oh when is Christmas coming?” or say “You haven’t had Christmas yet?” Or ,”oh man it sure looks like Christmas will be here any day!”  It’s ok, they love Christmas too and you know that they are just happy to see that Christmas is looking closer and closer (and might come early.)


I have NO pregnant photos with Isaac that I can find. I fail. He was one week early.

The kicker question though is “how are you feeling?” This is a loaded question.  For a kid who heard 10 months ago that Christmas was coming and started counting the weeks and is WAY too hopeful that it might come a little early, the real answer is “OUT OF MY MIND WITH ANTICIPATION” but you want to look calm and cool because you’ve had Christmas many times before and you know it WILL come so you know how to handle it.  Nope! Everyday you find out Christmas is not today you feel a little more out of your mind and completely discouraged.  Especially when you feel, yes, Christmas really looks like it is happening right now. Call your mom, pack your bag, we are going to Grandma’s house! (i.e. hospital) Then just when you let yourself get totally excited that this is it, you find out someone lied to you and it isn’t time after all.


Summer belly at 32 maybe 33 weeks

Summer 2011 019

Here she is! (also one week early)


That, my friends, is how it feels right now.  Just need to try and forget about it, relax, enjoy my sleep, be happy with this time, blah blah blah. To that I say HA!  Have you seen a kid not think about Christmas on Christmas eve?  Every day feels like it could be Christmas eve.


New baby at 38 weeks (who hopefully will also be born a week early which would be this Tuesday)

Looking through these made me see I’ve successfully had a different hair color with every kid haha

January 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm 3 comments

Healing cavities without dental work update

So a while back, not too far since I haven’t blogged a whole lot.  I did a lot of explaining on how I was going to fix my mouth as much as possible with supplements and diet.  Well after I got pregnant, the diet went down the drain.  I had to change it to whatever I could get down.  Usually food aversions go away in the second trimester but this time they have only recently (like last week) gone away. So I’ve gone most of 36 weeks just trying to eat enough calories to get through the day. This involved no restrictions on sugar or anything, I just needed calories.

However, I did keep up the vitamins that help with dental health the entire time and I had a dentist appointment to check on things not too long ago and everything looks great!!  Not only that but all my sensitivity has gone away.  I’ve never liked cold water because it just hurt my teeth so bad but now it makes no difference.  I had a spot that used to be painful to floss because of a filling that was not done correctly, without fixing the filling, I have no pain. ZERO.  EVER.

I won’t be able to really see what is going on until I can get x-rays after baby is born but as far as my dentist and I can tell, there is nothing that needs immediate attention.  Since pregnancy is known to wreck my teeth, the fact that everything looks good / feels much better while also being pregnant is huge in my eyes.

December 17, 2013 at 9:51 am Leave a comment

Our Awkward Family Photo Christmas cards

For my very first time sending out an actual Christmas card I wanted them to be entertaining so we did awkward family photos.  To see all the photos and read more about it, visit my photography blog


December 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm 1 comment

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