14 March 2013

Get fit already!

Well, I jumped on the Crossfit train. It's been almost a month of workouts, and I can say that I honestly love it! The workouts are hard, and make me want to puke, but at the same time they're so much fun.

Today, part of it was box jumps..They're what they sound like- jumping up on a box. I am TERRIFIED of these- so much so that I lost probably 30 seconds on my time this morning because I was just standing there staring at the box, before I went and jumped on stacked plates instead.

I have *mostly* changed my eating habits- to way healthier than I was..it shows on the scale, too! 12 days ago I weighed a whopping 152 even. This morning, I was at 148.2! I'll take it! Slow and steady wins the race! I have some days where I only do Crossfit, but there are some days where I also do some Insanity to go along with it. I haven't quite figured out my nutritional stuff yet, so I'm constantly pretty exhausted between working out, being up half the night with Grace, and burning all the calories I take in by the gym, chasing Ivan, and nursing my sweet baby girl!

I took some "before" pictures earlier this week that I cannot wait to share with you all! I'm waiting another couple of weeks so that I can show some side by side shots of how my progress is going.

This journey to getting healthy has started off great, and I can't wait to see how far it takes me!

22 February 2013

From one mother to another...

Those of you who know me that I am a huge breastfeeding advocate. I have donated milk before, I've donated bags that I wasn't going to use, I've lent out my pump before, you get the idea. After Ivan was born I had a good little freezer stash going, but ended up using it all when I needed a break from constantly nursing..he took a bottle like a champ.

Grace on the other hand..not so much. I have an amazing supply with her, even better than I did with Ivan..but she won't touch a bottle, and seems like she would rather starve. Fine with me- I'll just keep her with me for the next few years!

I am a fan of a page on Facebook- Human Milk for Human Babies. I met a woman on there back in January, who was looking for milk for a precious baby girl that she was adopting, who was due in February! We talked a little on the phone, and I let her know that I had a decent amount in the freezer that obviously wasn't going to be getting used since Grace didn't want anything to do with it.

A week later, a friend of hers stopped by to pick up my milk, that way it could get to the location of where the new mommy and baby would be staying after baby was born! I figured I might get a "hey, thanks!" after it was delivered, and that would be that..this past Tuesday (19 Feb) I got a message that brought tears of joy to my eyes...

'Thank you Kerri, your milk was yummy! Ava was born 12 Feb....'

I never thought I would be able to impact someones life like this, but helping to give a new baby the best nutrition possible is one of the greatest things out there!

I am so blessed to have great friends who support me in all the things that I do, even if they're strange to some...Especially my husband, Lucas, who stands by my side no matter what.

Breastmilk is the best nutrition for your baby!

01 February 2013

Welcome, little one!

Disclaimer: this blog post included photos of a REAL LIVE BIRTH- they are graphic! If you don't want to see it, leave. I don't have to be nice and give you a heads up, it is my blog after all, but I'm going to... because I'm nice. 
At 3:25pm on October 22, 2012- the angels sang as we welcomed Leslie Grace Brown into the world.
Less than 24 hours before, Ivan and I welcomed Luke home from Afghanistan. The excitement of having him home and some *ahem* other things, sent my body into total overdrive, and I was in active labor by 11pm the night of the 21st.

I didn't have a single thing packed, even though I was less than 2 weeks away from my "due date!" I tried to sleep through what was going on, but was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. I called our friend Brooke and told her we were headed over to drop Ivan off! We showed up to the hospital at 3 am- Luke dropped me off at the ER and went to park the car. I had more than one person trying to talk to me while I was hunched over the railing, feeling like fire knives were exploding in my uterus. I didn't want to talk to them, but kept thinking "Yes I'm effing fine- this shit hurts! Leave me alone so I can have my baby in peace, already!!"
I got admitted, called our doula Vanessa, and called our photographer, Asia. Let me stop right here and say that I loved those two. Vanessa was a rock for me, just like Luke was. She knew what I was going through and was able to keep me grounded when I felt like I was dying. Asia was in the background, I didn't know she was there most of the time, and she quietly supported me along with everyone else.
At 330am when I first got admitted, I was at 3cm. I would have gone home, but for some reason I felt safe. Weird, I know. I like to stay out of hospitals as much as possible. The OB on call was someone I wanted to beat with a skillet. She did my VBAC consult, and I really felt like she was trying to bully me into having a repeat and scheduled cesarean. Not happening, lady. There was a resident who was learning the ins and outs of OB care that was also there. The first question he asked me was "So, what brings you in tonight?" From what I hear, I gave him a look that could kill...I also may have said "is that a serious question right now?" Poor guy..I felt bad after it was all said and done. 
We got situated in our room, and I immediately wanted to move to the room that had the birthing tub. I spent most of my time in the shower, cozied up on the yoga ball.
 Boy, was that comfy! Luke had hot water spraying on my lower back, and Vanessa kept me steady during contractions.


I laugh at this photo now...Luke told me that I looked like a sumo wrestler in a deep squat. I'm sure I wouldn't have thought it was funny at the time..but now it's alright.
I remember looking up and seeing Asia sitting on the toilet taking pictures, for some reason it was really funny to me. I looked up again and I had not only my main 3 people, but also my demanding nurse Kristi, and my midwife Kyanna.
 What kind of party was this turning into? 
From that point on I pretty much stayed in the shower, or in the tub, until I was in transition. I had crawled up on the bed and started falling asleep in the 30 second break I was getting between my rushes! I remember being somewhat awake, but not really, when they would hit. Luke would put pressure on my back and I was squeezing the bed rail like my life depended on it.
Vanessa kept an eye on my chart and as soon as I peaked, she would start telling me that the worst was over, and that it was going away.
At 230 I was 9cm with a lip left over from where I had felt really pushy earlier. My wonderful midwife told me that I could push past it while she held it back, but that it was really going to hurt. By this point I really didn't care. I was exhausted, I was emotionally unstable, and I really just wanted to hold my daugher.
I started pushing at 242- this is seriously one of the greatest feelings in the world, especially after your body has been bearing down on its own for quite awhile! I was surrounded by love as you can tell from the photo above, and even though I was completely touched out, it was comforting to have all these people lay their hands on me at the same time, each supporting me when I needed it the most.
At 315 they tell me to reach down and feel her head- she's right there! Being able to be the first one to touch your child as they come into the world is something else. She was so soft, and had a head full of dark hair!
At 325 I roared our little girl into the world. There were angels singing in that room as Grace came Earthside.
 As soon as she was placed on my chest, I heard myself saying "I'm not broken!" over and over. My body tried to cry, but it wasn't happening. I was in shock and awe, and couldn't stop staring at my little girl. She was perfect, and helped me restore faith in my body.
I looked at Luke and saw a tear, and knew that the birth that I had so desperately wanted had touched him as well.
Luke cut her cord about 5 minutes after she was born, once it was finished pulsing. My midwife was telling the resident about the benefits of delayed cord clamping, and showed him how to tell when it's completely finished pumping blood. It was nice for someone else to be able to learn from my perfect birth.
I was so thankful for such an amazing birth team that let me control this birth. I was able to hold my baby girl and noone touched her or took her away until I was ready. She didn't get cleaned up for quite some time, and the nurses actually had to tell Luke to rub on her feet some to get her breathing, because I wasn't ready for them to touch her, and wouldn't be for quite some time! She came in at 8.09lbs and 19 inches long.
Asia Davidson- Photographer- http://www.asiadavidsonphotography.com/

29 January 2013

Dear deployment, I rocked you.

It's been almost a year since I've posted here- wow! Time flies when you're having fun!

Last year on March 22, Luke left for his third deployment. It was our "first" together. His last deployment I was so in love with him that it broke my heart to watch him leave, even though we weren't together. This time was so much worse.

I was 8 weeks pregnant when he left, and I was dreading facing this pregnancy alone, as well as trying to raise Ivan by myself while his dad was on the other side of the world. The days before he left I was a huge ball of emotions. I cried at nothing. I cried at night when I thought he was asleep, but he was always there to hold me and let me sob on his chest. I remember the morning that he left- I couldn't stop shaking. We left our house and I drove- thinking that maybe I could stay calm. We both cried all the way to the drop off point. If watching my other half walk away was hard, watching him kiss Ivan goodbye was even harder. Ivan didn't know what was coming. That day was the first time I had ever seen Luke cry, and knowing that he was in that much pain made my heart shatter.

The days came and went, some with tears, some without, but we made it. I found out that we were having a little girl and couldn't wait to tell Luke! I had planned on making a huge "It's a girl!" care package, but my excitement had me calling him as soon as my appointment was over. I knew he was exhausted, but he stayed awake long enough for that phone call. I was still due on Halloween, and I was still hoping to go past my due date so that I could take Ivan out and get him dressed up.

I kept hearing that he might be coming home soon, and that it might be for good!

On October 20 I woke up before the sun and couldn't make myself stay in bed any longer. He was coming home TOMORROW! I cleaned, procrastinated with some birth related things, and tried to relax. I slept for about 2 hours that night so excited about picking him up- my time was finally here, and I couldn't wait for the kiss that I had so desperately wanted for the past 7 months. He called saying his flight had been delayed- I was less than thrilled because I had been having contractions off and on all morning. I don't know if it was the stress, the excitement, or just time for Grace to make her appearance..but she was waiting patiently for her daddy to be home to welcome her into the world.

At 435 the plane landed. I waited not so patiently at the airport with Ivan, and our photographer Rachel. Rachel said "Hey, there's a plane!" AND THERE HE WAS!

All the months of waiting were worth that first kiss, that first hug, that moment of knowing that he's home and he's safe.

02 April 2012

It could be Ivan.

There is a little boy who goes to the same church I do. I haven't met his family, I haven't met him, and I don't know anything about them. Here is a Facebook post that was made on the church page..

"Brady was diagnosed with atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) of the central
nervous system. It is a very rare tumor, tends to be aggressive and frequently
spreads through the central nervous system.
Because of his age they have given him a 20% chance of survival."

Oh. My. Goodness. My heart is breaking for this family. I know his mother has got to be scared to death, and I know I definitely wouldn't be holding it together if I was in her shoes.

All I can think about is that it could be Ivan. Brady and Ivan are close in age, and it absolutely terrifies me that anything like that can happen to our precious babies. I know in my heart that he really isn't mine, he is God's..but I'm here to protect him! Ivan is my whole entire world!

Friends, please keep this family in your prayers. They have headed to St. Jude's in Memphis for the next few months, and while I know that God is in control, I just wish that there was more that I could do.

09 February 2012

It's almost time.

I've known that this deployment is coming...and it hasn't seemed real, as Luke hadn't received his orders yet. He got them today. We're buying a house right before he leaves, and I'm scared. I'm not ready to be alone for the year. Ivan and I will be fine, but we're going to miss him.

16 August 2011

Save a place for me, I'll be there soon.

I heard a song today by Matthew West, called "Save a Place For Me."

Six years and some change ago I lost a friend in an auto accident, his name was Kyle. There is zero doubt in my mind that he changed my life.

The day after an incident my freshman year of highschool, I got to talk to him for what seemed like the first time. I was heartbroken, I was broken beyond repair, and I was contemplating leaving this world, because it was too much for me to handle.

I was 14 and I was sexually molested by someone I trusted, by someone that I looked up to, by a teacher of mine at the time, by someone who didn't know that he would shatter my world into a million pieces. He had no idea that I would still be trying to repair my life almost 10 years later.

I remember the conversation between myself and my dear friend, just like it was yesterday. We hadn't talked in a long time, but he still assured me that he was there for me. He told me that I was worth more than I knew, my life was going to be more, as long as I gave it a chance. Before we talked that night, I was ready to show my ass to the world, give everyone the middle finger, and say peace out.

Today...I'm alive. Most days I'm happy.

If I had left this earth 8 years ago...I wouldn't have my son. I wouldn't have a smart ass husband. I wouldn't be living in the middle of nowhere, Kansas, but its alright. I'm not alone in it anymore. Save a place for me buddy, I'll be there to hang out soon enough.

20 July 2011

You have a terrible infestation of cockroaches.

Well, we got into the Fort Riley area this past Sunday, the 17th.

The first house we looked at was in a terrible neighborhood. I was scared I would get shot for looking at someone wrong.

The second house...I was really excited about. It was a 5b/2ba, in a very nice part of town. The owner told us that the last tenants had trashed it...and they had, which we saw when we looked inside. Holes in doors, shattered windows, it all needed to be repainted. We decided that they would keep working on the house if we moved in, and just work around us. I saw a few bugs, but didn't think it was going to be a serious problem. I spoke to the owner and told him that in order for us to move in, he had to hire a professional carpet cleaning service (since you have to clean between tenants anyway) and a pest control company. Orkin came by that house earlier today while I was helping paint some..she said she wouldn't even let Ivan in the house if he was her child, because the roaches were so bad! I had NO IDEA. I saw a few dead ones, and one or two live ones, figured we could spray for them ourselves. Nope, she said it was 100x worse than we thought, and it would be a week minimum before we should move in, and that we should really wait longer. The A/C was busted, the garage door had a window shattered, it was a total disaster. One more big problem...the owner is now wanting for us to pay him a total of $240 to cover the carpet cleaning and Orkin treatments! Yeah, both of those needed to be done before anyone would even think of moving in, and it's not like he's going to reimburse us for the work that we did! Sometimes I hate that I'm such a giving person! I wasted my time helping this guy out and then he wants to come back to us and bend us over! Yeah, I think not.

Good news? I found another house...it's much nicer than those two, in a new neighborhood, and I'm feeling great. We're going to wait to sign any kind of lease, so hopefully everything works out, since it's a 9-12mo wait to get into post housing!

These past few days have been so stressful for me! While the movers were here, I won't lie, I smoked a few clove cigarettes. I was close to having panic attacks every single day, and I can't take my anti-anxiety meds while breastfeeding Ivan. (For the record, we've been going strong for almost a year! Yay!!) So I indulged. I figured they weren't as bad as regular tobacco. I'm still wanting some with all the stress I've been dealing with the past few days, but I'm trying to stay away from them.

That should be all for now! It's almost 10pm here in our new timezone, and Ivan has just now fallen asleep. He's still getting used to the time change, since it's only almost 8 in WA!

You all know I love comments!!

Seriously, you need to water your grass.

My old landlord, Sharon, came to show our Lacey, WA house about a week before we moved out. Apparently I hadn't been watering my grass enough...it was 100% dead. She didn't supply the hose and the water, so I'm not going to water it. Last I checked, every other house in the neighborhood had grass just as dead as mine! Funny thing about it, a lot of them watered their grass...and it was still dead.

On our trip from WA to KS, we passed a stretch of land that was all dead, except for a house on top of the hill that had very very very green grass around it. I wasn't really paying attention because I was driving, but I said something about how pretty the grass was. Wanna know what Luke said??

"See that house on top of the hill with the green grass? Sharon lives there."

I wasn't expecting that at all, and couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard.

Blinky, I will run you over.

A few weeks ago while turning left, across traffic, into Win-co..I almost ran over a paraplegic. I wasn't doing it to be mean, I wasn't doing it on purpose, but everyone with common sense knows that when you're crossing the road with either the red hand or the green walking guy...YOU DON'T CROSS WHEN YOU HAVE THE RED HAND!!!!

I saw this guy stop because he had the hand, and then look because there wasn't anyone turning at that very moment, and then he decided to start crossing. Cue me turning left across traffic, risking life and limb to get to Win-co, and to my house. He stops in the middle of the road, causing me to stop in the middle of traffic. He looks at me like "WTF are you doing, crazy lady?!" and kind of nods me on...so I start to go, and then he starts going again! I was having a very bad day to start with, so from the safety of my own car, with the windows up, I yelled at him. I said something along the lines of....
"You don't cross with the red freaking hand! Everyone with a brain knows this! I almost ran over your stupid self, because you went when there was the hand. You only go when you have the green guy!! I don't care if you can't even blink by yourself, but you don't go when you have the hand!!!!"

Definitely not one of my proudest moments.