Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Martelle Christian Church Pumpkin Bars

My mom grew up going to a little church in eastern Iowa. It was the kind that had a pot luck after church once a month, a Ladies' Aid society and that would send care packages to it's member's grandchildren when they went to college. Every so many years, this church also put out a cook book chalk full of delicious recipes. Nearly all of my favorite baking recipes comes from one of these books.

Our favorite is the the "pink cookbook" from 1995. It's called that because, well, it's pink. When Matt & I were married in 2006, I received my own copy of the "pink cookbook". The pages that contain my favorite recipes are stained with spilled ingredients, which I think only makes it that much better.

Most every fall, at some point, I get the need to make pumpkin bars. Last year, I was pregnant with Silas and it hit in July. I took my last bite of dinner and suddenly needed pumpkin bars. Like, now. I called my grandma to get the recipe and she asked if I'd tried the "pink cookbook". Duh. I, of course, found the recipe in said book & ran to the store to get the ingredients, hours later, I finally fulfilled my craving. Matt thought I'd completely lost it.

This year, not pregnant, not as compulsive, I was able to actually wait until the fall and work the ingredients into a grocery list. So, this morning, while Silas and the baby I babysit were napping, I gathered (most of) my ingredients and my awesome helper and whipped up a batch of some of the best pumpkin bars ever. Fortunately for you, I'm going to share the recipe with you. Your taste buds will thank you for making it.

Step 1
Find yourself an adorable helper. Preferably still pajama-clad.

Step 2
Gather your ingredients
(This picture is missing baking powder & my can of "frosting"**. I didn't realize we were out of baking powder & made a mayday call to my sister-in-law who was amazing & brought me baking powder AND M&M's within minutes of my texting her. Thanks, Sarah!)

Step 3
Share some Oreo's & milk with your adorable helper while you wait for the baking powder
(this step is optional)

 Step 4
Stir together dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Step 5
Add pumpkin, oil and eggs. Mix until smooth.

Step 6
Spread batter evenly in greased 10x15 inch jelly roll pan.

Step 7
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Step 8
When COOL (the italics are for me. I can never wait for it to cool!), spread with cream cheese frosting & devour enjoy!

Martelle Christian Church Pumpkin Bars
2 C flour
2 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 T pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin (Libby's is the best)
3/4 C oil
4 eggs

Stir together dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, oil and eggs. Mix until smooth. Spread batter evenly in greased 10x15 inch jelly roll pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. When cool, spread with cream cheese frosting.

**I used canned "cream cheese" frosting. I say "cream cheese" because the canned version, apparently, does not actually contain cream cheese...or dairy of any kind. Silas has a milk allergy, so in order for him to be able to enjoy these bars in all their glory, I went with the fake stuff. If you'd like to make some real frosting, here's a bonus recipe.**

Cream Cheese Frosting
3 oz cream cheese, softened
6 T softened margarine
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2- 2 C sifted powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese, margarine, milk and vanilla. Blend in powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy.

Friday, November 8, 2013

On becoming the kind of mother I never knew I always wanted to be...

***Disclaimer: This is not at all my view on what a universal perfect mother would look like. This is just what I thought a "perfect" mother would look like for me. I promise, I have no judgement for women who choose to do the opposite of what I described as a perfect mother!***

Years ago, before my spunky Bennett made his entrance to this world, I had an idea of what I would look like as a mother. You know, the kind who didn't allow her child to watch television before the age of two and strictly monitored screen time after that. The kind who's kid would eat whatever I placed on his plate because I had carefully molded his taste buds to like healthy foods at an early age and besides that, I wouldn't give him another option. The kind who's child would never throw a tantrum in public and would straighten up with just the right look from me. My perfect future children would breastfeed without issue, but also take a bottle of pumped milk when I needed them to. They would be easy to wean and we would for sure be done breastfeeding by their first birthday. They would love to snuggle for a few minutes before bed and then oh-so-easily sing themselves to sleep by themselves in their crib. Perfect child would be potty trained early, preferably by his 2nd birthday, but definitely by 2.5. Definitely. So idyllic, right?

Once my strong-willed first son was born, my flawed view on motherhood was shattered. If there's one thing that I've learned in my short 3.5 years of motherhood, it's that who I am as a mother has to change to my kids' needs. Ideal or not.

The first time that Bennett saw the movie "Cars", I knew that he would be watching it over & over. Probably daily. Admittedly, sometimes multiple times a day. He is fairly adventurous when it comes to eating...when he feels like it. We've definitely gone through phases where he lives on pb&j's. I realized that there are a lot of things that I don't like to eat, so why would I insist that he always eats what he doesn't like? Now, we do ask that he tries everything on his plate every time it's offered. I know that tastes change over time, but life is too short to spend hours in a battle of wills with a child who, lets face probably a bit too much like his mother sometimes.

Bennett is potty trained. Finally. It only took 4 or 5 attempts. Each try ended when both of us were an emotional wreck and there were little to no happy parts of our day because of the debacle that was the training attempt. Our last try started this last June, 3 months after Bennett's 3rd birthday. The boy was not ready when my "perfect child" was supposed to be ready. I attempted to impose my standards on him and it nearly ruined our relationship. I wish I was being dramatic. It was the hardest part of parenting, by far.

I'd like to say that after Bennett, I threw out my ideas of perfect motherhood. You'd think I would have learned, but no. I still held on to the ideals that had worked with Bennett. Parenting is a perfect equation, you know. If you put in the same effort, you'll get the same result every time. HA!

Enter Silas. Oh, sweet Silas. When he was 7 months old, I gave Silas a "baby yogurt". Low sugar, high fat perfection. The package said for children over 6 months of age and I'd even waited an extra month before giving him this dairy product. Nothing could go wrong with that, right? Wrong. Silas's skin became bright red everywhere the yogurt had touched. Someone suggested that it could have been from the cultures in the yogurt and not to worry too much about it. I tried lasagna with the same result. After several other foods gave him the same reaction, we scheduled an appointment with an allergist and discovered that he does, in fact, have a cow's milk allergy. Luckily, it's not severe, but bad enough that he can't have dairy. Because of this and the timing of our appointments, I wasn't able to even think of weaning Silas from breastfeeding until a while after his first birthday. He is almost 13 months old and (shield your eyes, Shannon from 4 years ago   6 months ago) still breastfeeding. We are working on weaning and I have set a date for myself of when I'd like to be done, but if we miss that self-imposed deadline, we miss it.

A few years ago a friend asked if I'd ever considered cloth diapering. I think I probably internally scoffed as I politely said, "That's not for us.". And with Bennett, I was right. It wasn't for us. It would not have worked. At all. However, over the last few months, I started considering it with Silas. Without much detail, Silas's dirty diapers are different than Bennett's and I just felt like it might be right. Also, see 3 paragraphs above. I have no interest in repeating Bennett's potty training experience with Silas. So, about a month ago, we started using cloth diapers for Silas & we are loving it. Well, Silas and I are. Matt might be a little more reluctant, but is still a willing participant. I'm really hoping that this will make potty training a bit easier and it has already helped Silas with some issues I thought might discourage him from potty training earlier than his brother.

Moral of the story? Motherhood is not a plan you can make years in advance, or days in advance some weeks. My new goal of "perfection" is this:  I will be a mother who is kind to my children.  I will teach them about One who loves them more than I ever could and do my best to point them to Christ at every opportunity. I will teach them to love others more than themselves. I will teach them how to enjoy life and stay true to who they are and what they believe. I will love their father fiercely and give them the security of a loving home. I will choose their needs over my superficial desires and teach them to serve others by my example. I will love them deeply and give them my whole self.

What a journey life is. I'm so thankful that we do not always have to be who we once were. I'm so glad that my children are forcing me to be the kind of mother I never knew I always wanted to be.

& Just because they're stinking cute (if I do say so myself), here's a couple of recent pictures.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cousin Bloopers

A few weeks after Silas was born, Matt's sister, Sarah, and her husband, Jake, had a baby as well. It was so much fun being pregnant at the same time as Sarah & we are so enjoying having babies the same age! We've been trying to get a good picture of Bennett, Silas & Naomi since the babies were born in October, but haven't had much luck. Apparently, it's a tad bit difficult getting 3 children to look in the same direction and have a somewhat pleasant look on their face at the same time. Who knew?

Last week, we had plans to go to Jake & Sarah's house for the afternoon and last minute decided to try to get a picture of the cousins. I grabbed about half of the boys closet so that we could attempt to coordinate with what Naomi was wearing & we headed over.

Normally, Jake is the pro with the camera, but Matt & Jake had to meet some friends for a "quick" round of disc golf, so Sarah got out the camera and we set out to make these babes smile. I'm sure the neighbors were laughing as Sarah & I made every crazy noise we could think of to get (& keep) the kids' attention.

I'm relieved to say that we were successful at getting some pretty cute pictures, but I couldn't resist sharing some of the "bloopers" from our impromptu photo session.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday, Bennett!

Somehow, I have a 3-yr-old. It doesn't actually seem so strange that he's three already for some reason. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that he was born and other times it seems like he's been in my life forever.

Bennett started talking about his birthday months ago. Out of the blue, he told me (in great detail) that he wanted a Hot Wheels party and he wanted to invite his friends. We'd planned on waiting a few more years to have a friends party for him, but I caved and we had some of his friends for a party this year.

On Bennett's birthday, he opened his presents from us (underwear and a Hot Wheels race track) and played with them until his friends arrived at lunchtime. We had hot dogs, cheese puffs & apple cars to eat and "fuel" (bottled water), "Antifreeze" ( was supposed to blue kool-aid, but someone dumped the kool-aid all over the kitchen floor the night before...okay, it was me) and "Motor Oil" (tea) to drink. We played "Pin the 95 on Lightning McQueen" and did a car craft before opening presents, having cake & ice cream and playing with cars. Bennett had so much fun with his friends!

*The last picture is of what Silas spent the majority of the party doing...sleeping

The next day was Bennett's family party. We had a much less inventive supper (pizza) and then cake and ice cream. Bennett LOVES having so many people over to our house & he always plays with all of his presents. It was a little bittersweet having everyone over this year. We've sold our house and are actually moving out this week, so Bennett's parties were the last time that we will have people over to this house. Happy memories.

We've been working on potty training off & on for about 6 months. He always seems to get it and then we both get too stressed out and have to take a break. He was so excited about the new underwear that we gave him, that he insisted on wearing them on his birthday. I think he had 4 accidents during his party, but has been doing much better since. I really think that potty training is going to do me in. It's the worst part of parenting so far. I'm trying really hard to relax and just let him do it on his own time this time.

I've been waiting for Bennett to be old enough to do these adorable birthday interviews & am so excited that he participated so well. Unfortunately, my memory card was full at the end of the video, so the last question was cut off, but his answer was "Eye On It, Toby Mac". Enjoy the cuteness.

Happy birthday, Ben!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Life With Two (a recap of the last 3 months)

I just know that someday, I'll look back on this blog and kick myself for not blogging at all the last 3 months or so. Man, oh man, I just went through my pictures to try to get the blog all caught up, but there is just no stinking way I can catch everything up. There's just going to have to be a 3 month chunk missing. Here's my quick recap:

December: We dealt with the boys' first colds of the season. Christmas was crazy busy, but such a good time with our families. Bennett loves presents (like his mama) and was so grateful for everything he got. He really does play with everything. Silas was so funny when we opened our presents at home. He was so smiley and excited like he knew he should be or something. 

January: Matt, Bennett & Matt's dad went to Monster Jam. Bennett loves monster trucks and was so excited! Matt's mom found an old Grave Digger shirt that was Matt's when he was little & Bennett got to wear that to Monster Jam. They only stayed until intermission because that's how long a 2-yr-old's attention span lasts. We also relisted our house for sale with a new realtor. We haven't had much interest, but have an open house on Saturday, so if you all could pray the right buyer comes then, we'd really appreciate it! That pretty much sums up January.

February: Matt was able to attend the Desiring God pastor's conference in Minneapolis the beginning of this month. Lucky for us, we have some great friends who live in Minneapolis, so the boys & I got to come with and spend some time with them while Matt was at the conference. We went to the Minnesota Childrens' Museum and rode rides at the Mall of America. Bennett rode the log ride with me and wasn't scared at all. It was so nice (and a little exhausting...traveling with kids is no joke) to get away for a while. The boys slept the entire drive home, so Matt & I had 4 hours or so just to talk. I broke out this list of questions to ask your spouse and we had awesome conversation that left me feeling so reconnected with Matt.

Matt was able to give his two week notice at HyVee this past Monday. Starting next month, he will be working full-time at our church as the Associate Pastor. I know that he is so excited to be able to do what he is passionate about for a living. 

He will hate what I'm about to say (he's as humble as they come), but really, he's my husband & I'm just going to brag on him for a second. We have been married for nearly seven years & through our whole marriage, he has never had just one job. The first two years he went to school full time and worked part time. Then, he worked at HyVee full time and volunteered his time as a youth pastor. The last year and a half he has been working between 60-70 hours/week between HyVee and church. He is such a hard worker and I am so grateful for what he has done so that I can be home with our boys. While there have been times that he's wished for a more reliable schedule, he has always been glad to have work and glad that he can work to provide for us. 

This new job is something that we've desired for Matt for a long time, but are so glad that God had us wait. We have had so many experiences in the waiting process that we wouldn't trade for anything. If Matt had gotten a full time job at a church right out of college, he wouldn't be the man he is now and we wouldn't be at our church, which is right where we are supposed to be. Okay, that was more than a second, I guess. All this to say, I'm so grateful for and proud of my husband (you can stop blushing now, Matthew).

I'll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from the last few weeks and a promise to be back here more often.

My boys & me on my birthday.

Getting Silas in on some play time.

Lunch date with Bennett

Friday, December 7, 2012

Big Brother Ben(nett)

Overall, Bennett has handled the transition from only child to oldest child fairly well. Overall.

There were some things that I wasn't prepared for during this hospital stay...We had told Bennett that when Silas was born he would stay at Grandma & Papa's house and that he would come to the hospital to see us. We had even shown him video from when he was born. What we didn't realize was that he spent the night at Grandma & Papa's the night before Silas was born and then came up to the hospital, so I think he thought it was all over. He didn't understand why we weren't coming home right then. When he left the hospital the first night, he cried and screamed, "I want my mommy back!" all the way out of our room, through the whole hospital and all the way to Matt's parent's house. It. was. awful.

We Silas had given Bennett a remote control fire truck and a book about being a big brother at the hospital, but when Bennett got back to Matt's parent's house, he wanted nothing to do with the book or any talk about being a big brother. He did get over that within a few days for the most part.

The day after Silas was born, we had pictures taken at the hospital, so we wanted Bennett to be there. Matt's mom dropped him off and we decided that we wouldn't push him to take pictures with Silas if he didn't want to. We only got one picture of them together and Silas is screaming in it, but that's okay.

Bennett loved Silas from the start! He has never acted out against Silas. The first few weeks were a little rocky with us, but he's said Silas is his best friend since he was a few days old. We had a lot of trouble with him flat out ignoring us, throwing giant fits (that we had never seen like that before) and lots of disobeying. We tried to be understanding. I mean, the poor boy's whole world just changed, but eventually enough was enough and strict, but loving parenting had to happen. It wasn't too long before our sweet boy was back.

Some things are obviously different. We don't get to spend much one-on-one time together. We try, but it's hard. He's had to become more independent. Bedtime was tough for quite a while. I normally lay down with him until he falls asleep and I can't do that when Matt's at work. It took a little more than a month, but he can finally go to sleep on his own now.

The biggest change is probably that he now prefers to be called "Ben". When we named him, we said that "Ben" could be a nickname. I was thinking like...once he went to school or something. Nope. He went to church the Sunday after Silas was born and someone (who shall remain nameless...just kidding, I'm not mad...but you know who you are...) called him "Ben". He came home and said, "Mom, do you know what my name is?" Yep, it's Bennett. "No. I'm Ben." Heart. Broken. I tried just calling him Bennett anyway, but still, two months later, he insists that it's "Just Ben" several times a day. I've decided that I can call him Ben sometimes, but generally I still call him Bennett.

He's really good at helping out when I need things. He will get me diapers and bring me a pacifier or help put one in Silas' mouth if I can't get to him right away. One time, I was in the kitchen and Silas was crying in the living room. I heard Bennett telling him to be quiet and then Silas' crying was muffled. I rushed in to find Bennett's hand over Silas' mouth and nose! I told him why he couldn't do that and he said, "I just wanted him to stop crying." Another time, he put a blanket over Silas' face when he was crying. I finally decided that I just needed to be completely honest with him and tell him that if Silas has a blanket (or anything else) over his face, he could die. I was not ready for Bennett's response. He started weeping. He apologized over and over for the rest of the day! I guess the reality was a little harsh for my poor 2-yr-old, but you know what? He hasn't put anything over his mouth or nose since!

He really does love Silas so much. Several times a day, he will lay by him, kiss him and tell him he loves him or tell me that they are best friends. He's so sweet. He'll tell me that someday he's going to teach him how to crawl and walk and talk. He really is a great big brother!

Silas' Birth Story

Oh, hey! It's been too long since I've updated the blog. I guess having a baby will do that to you! I've been telling myself that it's okay not to update, I've been busy with the boys, but this blog is kind of like a baby book and I'm sure that I will forget all these things I'd like to remember. So. I blog.

Be warned that I'm going to share Silas' birth story (just in case you didn't get the hint from the title of this post). I'll spare some gory details, but there will be details, so if you don't want to read them, well...don't. I'm mainly writing so that I'll remember, but I know that I always enjoy hearing or reading people's birth stories, so I'll share.

I had my 40 week OB appointment on Tuesday, October 9th. I was one day overdue &the nurse told me that I was too perky for being overdue. I was really feeling okay, other than being anxious to meet our little boy. As the nurse took my blood pressure, she was talking to me about how I was feeling and the excitement of having a new baby. I always get a little excited when this particular nurse chats with me, apparently, because my blood pressure had been elevated when talking with her at several previous appointments and was always normal later in the appointment. This time was no exception and my blood pressure was 140/80.

After the doctor checked my cervix and it was still only dilated to 2cm (as it had been for the previous two weeks), she decided that since I was overdue and my blood pressure was elevated we should go ahead and induce labor. I told her that I thought my blood pressure would be better if she took it again, but really was just glad to know when Silas would be coming. Plus, this particular doctor was the same one who delivered Bennett and I really wanted her to be able to deliver Silas. We scheduled the induction for the next day, October 10th, when she was on call.

Since we were already in Des Moines and we had brought our hospital bags with us just in case I went into labor, we decided to spend the night in town. Bennett was already at Matt's parent's house so Matt and I went to lunch and talked about what we thought Silas would look like and be like and then stopped by Target to pick up some last minute items we needed.

Matt & I stayed at my parent's house that night since we had to be at the hospital at 6 (they live closer to the hospital and my mom was coming with us in the morning). We all tried to go to bed early, but I think I only got a few hours of sleep. I was just so anxious!

The next morning we arrived at the hospital & got settled into our delivery room. About 7:00, my doctor came in and checked my cervix (still at a 2) and broke my water. Shortly after we started the Pitocin and I think it was about 9:15-9:30 that things started to get more painful. Eventually, I was allowed to get out of bed, but because I was being induced, I had to be monitored the whole time, so I had to stay right next to the bed and by the machines. I was feeling the contractions in front and in back (he was positioned a little sideways), so I just wanted to sit on a birthing ball and have Matt push on my lower back. Every time I would lean forward, the monitor for Silas would slip and they would lose his heart rate. I was told that I couldn't lean forward. That was pretty frustrating because leaning forward was the only thing relieving the pain from the contractions. I also had to have my blood pressure monitored like every fifteen minutes since that was the reason I was being induced, but it was perfectly fine throughout my whole labor.

My nurse left the room sometime during this, too. I remember because I kept thinking that I would like some pain medication, but was trying to push myself to go longer. I had been told that second labors generally go quicker, but my labor with Bennett was about 13.5 hours from when my water broke and I didn't think it would be that much quicker, so I kept comparing my pain with what I felt when I was in labor with Bennett at that time. I told myself that I should make it to 10:30 before asking for meds and I remember the nurse coming back in sometime after that. I asked for IV medication because I was afraid to get the epidural too early and was sure I wasn't very far along.

The nurse told me that she doesn't like to check her patients very often because it doesn't really make a difference until you are fully dilated, but my doctor asked her to check me before giving me the IV meds. So, at about 10:45, I was at a 4.

The IV meds only lasted about 30 minutes this time and once again, when I was ready for to ask for the epidural, my nurse had stepped out of the room, so I tried to go a little longer without. I was definitely in more pain than I had ever been with Bennett and was remembering things from our birthing refresher class to help me with the pain. I felt myself trying to clench my hands and curling up my toes, so I forced myself to open my hands and stretch my legs out. Matt was a little confused about how to hold my hand while it was completely outstretched, but he figured it out, haha! I also started spontaneously doing that crazy breathing that you see in the movies. Hey, it actually helped a little. At some point, I had my mom call for the nurse to tell her that I was ready for the epidural.

When she came back in to prepare things for the epi, she told me that my platelet count was 101 and it had to be at least 100 in order to get an epidural, so I had just barely made the cut. I think that I would have lost it at that point if she had told me that I couldn't have one. I was thinking I was probably only dilated to a 5 or 6 and she wasn't going to check me. She left the room again to get something and while she was gone, I had the urge to vomit. This was totally new, too. I never threw up in labor with Bennett, so we were totally unprepared for this. Matt had to grab a garbage can because we didn't have anything else to use.

Once the anesthesiologist came in the room (around 11:45), Matt left to get some lunch. I remember the doctor was looking at a door on a cupboard in the delivery room that had come off it's hinges and said, "I can fix that." to which I replied, "You'd better come fix me first!". The epidural was awesome. I had a "perfect" epi with Bennett (couldn't feel the contractions, could still get on my hands and knees when I needed to turn him, felt an urge to push and could walk shortly after) and this epidural was the same. It wasn't long before I was feeling awesome relief.

Matt came back from lunch and my mom left to get some. Very shortly after she left, I started getting the chills. I let my nurse know and she decided to check me. Surprise! I was at a 9! It was about 12:15. I tried to call my mom to let her know not to spend too much time in the cafeteria, but she wasn't answering her phone. I also texted some family members to let them know that he would be coming fairly soon. Our original plan was to let them know when I was fully dilated and they could head to the hospital then, but Matt's mom was babysitting and we wanted to give her a chance to get things arranged to come. We had all figured that I wouldn't be ready to push until after he had gone home.

The nurse let my doctor know that it wouldn't be too much longer. I started to feel a lot of pressure and began to need to push, but my doctor wasn't there yet. I did some little pushes to relieve some pressure and eventually the doctor came in. They had me laying flat on my back and were getting my legs into the stirrups when I realized that I was going to have to vomit again. I kept telling them that I needed to sit up to throw up and they must not have heard me. Matt finally helped me sit up just in time. I was a little afraid I was going to vomit all over myself, laying flat on my back (sorry if this is TMI, but really...). I guess it was 1:30 when I started pushing and about 6 pushes and 4 minutes later, our handsome Silas was here! Much different than the hour and 22 minutes (and episiotomy) that I had with Bennett!

Mr. Silas was 8lbs, 10oz and 21" long, born at 1:34 pm on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 with lots of dark hair, just like I knew he would have. His APGAR scores were 9/9. We spent a few minutes as just the three of us (my mom went to the waiting room) and then Bennett came and joined us. He brought me a red heart balloon that said "I Love You", was happy to meet his brother and wasn't scared at all of all the machines and everything like I thought he might be. After we'd introduced Bennett and Silas, our parents joined us and the rest of our families came up to the hospital later.

Silas' birth was quite a bit different than my experience with Bennett. For one, I was induced with Silas. It really wasn't as awful as I had worried an induction would be. Yes, the contractions were painful, but I got my epidural pretty early with Bennett, so I don't have a whole lot to compare it to. Especially since I went through transition without an epi with Silas. The nurse and I decided that my active labor time with Silas was about 4.5 hours and it was much longer with Bennett. Also, Bennett had a little bit of a fever when he was born and so they took him to the nursery before I left the delivery room for the mommy/baby floor. This time, I got to carry Silas with me in the wheelchair to the nursery.

Recovery was quite a bit easier, too! [This is a lot of information to blog, but I know I'm going to wonder about this later and I don't want to forget, so bear with me.] I did bleed quite a bit more with Silas, but I didn't have an episiotomy, so I was in a lot less pain afterwards.

I'll write about how Bennett dealt with the addition in another post soon!