Alina is 2!

Over 1 week ago my second born turned 2 years old. I can’t keep up with how fast time is passing. My sweet, funny Alina girl is 2! I am finally getting some pictures up and a post that captures a little of who she is right now. I want to remember the details and small nuances that make her the bright light that laughs her way through everyday.

Name: Alina Dawn

Age: 2 years

Hair: White blonde, super straight all over with a few small curls at the end.

Eyes: Blueberry blue

alina 1

Favorite Food: Bananas, Cheese, Apples, Eggs, Sausage, Chips

Favorite Shows/Movies: Alina is an anomaly in that she has never really cared about a particular show too much…EXCEPT….!!…singing shows. She LOVES to watch youtube shows that have kids nursery rhymes. She blows us away with how many songs she knows word for word. My little singer.

alina 2

Favorite songs: On that note a few of her favorite songs that she can straight up sing word for word are: ABC’s, Baa Baa black sheep, Finger Family Song, Miss Polly had a dolly, heads shoulders knees and toes, happy and you know it, row row row your boat, twinkle twinkle little star, Barney theme song and just about 20 more songs!

Favorite toys : She has a few stuffed animals she loves. Her pink teddy (which used to be Emma’s), a blue pony, her Care Bears and Minnie Mouse to name a few. She has several baby dolls that she loves to clothe and diaper. She has always loved to mama her babies. She loves to cook in her new play kitchen and push her new Minnie Mouse grocery cart around.

alina 3

Play time: Alina is my inside kid. She prefers to play indoors most of the time. She does enjoy going to the park and playing outside sometimes but usually is ready to come inside before anyone else. She loves to play with Emma and is a surprisingly good playmate, going along with whatever story Emma sets up.

Clothes: She wears a 2T-3T in most clothes. A size 5 diaper and 2T pull-up. She wears a size 5-6 in shoes. I still dress her most days though she is learning to help.

alina 4

Sleep: 2 days after her birthday we went out and bought her a toddler bed. I needed the crib for Sera and we don’t want to own any big furniture right now since we are in a rental so we went with a toddler bed. I was a little worried about how she would handle it since she is much younger than I would have liked. But she has blown me away. She hasn’t tried to get up once. She has slept great in it! She sleeps 10-11 hours at night and still naps most days for 1.5-2 hours.

alina 5

Paci: We followed the same plan as we did with Emma and took away her pacis a few weeks before she turned 2. We talked about it in the days leading up to it as she likes to talk about things and she has handled it so well. She was sad for a few naps and nights but then she adjusted and has done perfect without them. I am glad to be rid of them.

alina 6

Potty: She is not potty trained. That is next on the list. We have a potty and pull-ups and we talk about it often and she likes to sit on it but it’s not serious yet. I’m not in too much of a hurry.

Things to remember: The way she will catch my attention then just burst into laughter. She makes me laugh on a regular basis with her funny facial expressions and antics.

alina 7

She.talks. so.much….like all the time. She talks about any and everything. I promise she is the most talkative 2 year old you have ever met. The pediatrician said she has a very advanced vocabulary. I told her that was not news to me.

How she is her own little person. Sometimes she wants to just play by herself or do her own thing. I love that about her.

alina 9

How she says “oceeean”,  “nayyyup”, ” I do it by mysayyelf”,  “Geeraff” , “baby Seera”, “Pamana (banana)”

How she repeats everything you say to make sure she heard you correctly.

How she says she’s done with dinner but then always….always comes right back to ask for more.

How she asks Emma for help with everything. Not me….she asks Emma.

alina 8

How she comes up to me and says “I wuv you mama you’re so soft”

Lina Loo, you are a rare, precious little girl. You make us smile and laugh. I know you have a strong, vivacious personality and I can’t wait to watch you as you grow older.

Happy 2nd Birthday Sweetheart ,I love you!

Alina’s birth story- part 3

Read part 1

Read part 2 

At 9 pm I was 7 cm.

About 1030 pm my ob came in and said he was going in to assist with a c-section for me not to have the baby while he was away. Haha. Right after he left my monitor stopped picked up contractions. We turned every which way trying to get them to pick up until my nurse said “wait let me check you”. I was complete. 10 cm. Apparently, your contractions can slow down when you are complete.

alina 2

10 cm!

My nurse had me lay on my side to bring baby down some more. About 11:30 pm my ob came back in and before he could check me I said “I’m a 10..can I push this baby out now”. The room was set up and I was instructed how to push.  Before we started I said “Is this it?” referring to the amount of people in the room. It was just me, hubby, ob, and 2 nurses. My Dr said “Yes but I can go find some more people if you like”. That made me laugh. I loved how small and intimate it was. The lights were dimmed and it was so…peaceful.

 I pushed for 30 minutes and out she came. Just like that. No problems or complications of any kind. I kind of just laid there in shock after she came out thinking “I can’t believe I actually did it”.  I didn’t cry like I thought I would. I just smiled and smiled and held Jonathan’s hand and kissed my new baby.

alina 3


12:16 am

7lbs 14oz

20.5 inches

 This was what it was supposed to be like. I felt amazing. I got to hold and nurse my baby immediately. The next day when Emerald came I picked her up and snuggled her in my lap like I wanted to. I wasn’t drugged up on painkillers. I could think clearly. I could eat and walk. I thank God every day for giving me this wonderful, restorative, healing birth experience. It healed my heart.

alina 4

alina 5

Alina’s birth story- part 2

Read part 1 here.

At  40 weeks 5 days I had an appointment.  I had an NST done at the office where I stayed hooked up for an hour, the strip was pretty nonreactive, which my Dr was not happy about and it made me nervous as well. I knew it was time to get this baby out. She wasn’t happy in there. So we were sent to L+D with plans to augment my labor by AROM (breaking my water) and a small dose of pitocin (aka..The devils drug).

We arrived, got checked in and I was hooked up. My OB came and broke my water and started the Pitocin at 12 noon. I was 2 cm dilated. I was happy…things were moving along. I had a wonderful nurse that hunted down the yoga ball for me to sit on. I labored on that and in the bed sitting “Buddha” style. They gradually bumped up my pitocin until the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. I was managing them well. They hurt like none other but I was managing. I tried to stay moving as much as I could hooked up to those darn monitors. While I wasn’t a fan of all the wires they did give me a peace of mind knowing that we would know immediately if anything went wrong with my labor.

alina 1

I was checked again about 3 pm..still 2 cm. The contractions are pretty grueling right now. If you’ve ever experienced pitocin contractions you know they can be unbearable. I was breathing through them…I was having hot flashes..then I would be freezing. Then I started throwing up. That was lovely. I puked and puked. I was starting to get tired of it.

I was checked again about 5pm. Still 2 cm. It was at this point that I thought “I can’t do this”. 5 hours of Pitocin contractions and no progress. I was trying to be strong. But I thought to myself “my body is broken and won’t dilate”.  My doctor said don’t give up…you can do this. I had a good cry…a good pep talk from hubby and I was ready to go again.

This is where it got intense. Stuff hit the fan if you know what I mean. Right after my Dr. left my contractions jumped from about a 4-5 on the pain scale to a 9-10. Oh my goodness! I cannot describe to you the pain I was in. My poor husband was trying to help me but I could not deal with them. I was crying and moaning and basically acting exactly like I said I would never act. Like a crazy person. I could barely breathe and was hyperventilating. I couldn’t focus or stay calm. I told Jonathan that I wanted the epidural. I couldn’t continue with these contractions that were 1 minute apart! He said he understood and agreed I should get it.

 I felt like such a failure. I felt like I would be known as the woman who got an epidural at 2 cm.

My nurse came back and said the Anesthesiologist will be here at 730 pm. It was 630 pm. Instead of being upset I was just relieved that he was coming at all! During all the commotion of the contractions my OB and several nurses came rushing in because they could not track the baby. With all my moving around they couldn’t pick her up. So I had to have an internal monitor put in. Fine. But that meant I had to lie down. Have you ever tried to lay down flat on your back during the most intense pain of your life? Yeah. That was fun.

As my OB was putting the monitor in he smiled when he checked me and said “you’re 5cm!”. I could have cried in relief. I had dilated 3 cm in 1 hr. All the pain wasn’t for nothing and I wasn’t broken. I could do this.

That blessed man the Anesthesiologist came and gave me the epidural. I am not afraid of needles and he did an awesome job. I can’t tell you the relief I felt physically and emotionally. It took about 20 minutes to take full effect but I was a different person immediately. I was smiling and laughing. I apologized to my nurse and hubby for acting like a lunatic. After that I got to lie down and rest…sweet rest. We watched Duck Dynasty..dimmed the lights and just relaxed.

Continued. Click here to read part 3

Click to read part 1 

Alina’s Birth Story- part 1

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with baby #2…scratch that..from the moment they rolled me out of the operating room with my first daughter Emerald, I vowed never again. Never again would I be the bystander in my own birthing experience. I would educate myself and be my own advocate. For me, this meant that I wanted a VBAC. I wanted to experience birth the way women have been doing it forever.

I decided to stay with my OB that delivered Emerald for more reasons than I have time to go into. Basically he was my best chance at having a VBAC at our local hospital. This hospital is a great hospital overall, nice, clean, excellent staff but gosh darn it if they don’t have the highest induction/C-section rate in the state. (I actually don’t know that, just how it feels).

 So my OB is what you call “mildly VBAC friendly”. But I knew this going into it and was fully prepared to fight my way to the end. Turns out I didn’t really have to fight that much. He pretty much just went along with whatever I wanted to do. My pregnancy was super uncomplicated and there was no reason for him to object to anything.

Around 39 weeks I started having false labor. Contractions that would last for hours and hours..we’re talking 12-24 hours at a time. They were very uncomfortable and exhausting but not bad enough to go to the hospital.  They would always taper off just about the time I was ready to call L+D. We did everything to get these contractions to turn into full-blown labor. We tried all the old wives tales to no avail. By 40 weeks I was done. Put a fork in me. I was so tired physically and emotionally from the labor game my body was playing. To top it off all of my progress checks from 37 weeks on were the same. “High, tight and closed” (If you don’t know what that means, ask your mom).

40 weeks

At my 40 week appointment my OB gave me the “talk”. Any mom trying to have a VBAC knows the “talk”. It’s the one where they try to convince you that your time is running out and it would be easier to opt for a scheduled c section. I left that appointment so defeated and cried to my husband that I didn’t think it was going to happen for us. I thought maybe I should just go for the c-section, and then this baby will be out of me and all this stress over having a VBAC would go away.

After I had a good cry I thought about what I truly wanted. I wanted a vaginal birth. I wanted to get to hold my baby immediately, not hours later. I wanted to be able to pick my toddler up and hold her in my lap when she came to meet her sister. I wanted to feel like a human…not a drugged up crazy person. These are the things I wanted. I didn’t mind so much what it took to get her here. I was never trying for an all natural birth but I wanted her to come out of me the old fashion way.

I had an appointment at 40 weeks 5 days and I knew this was it. I had been having contractions since 4 am and these were pretty intense. More intense than any before. I actually pulled the towel bar out of the wall during a contraction if that gives you any clue. My appointment was at 8 am. We had already made arrangements for my mom to keep Emerald and all of our bags were packed. I knew this was it and he was going to send us over to the hospital. I was ready.

Click Here for part 2

Alina: 9 +10 Month

I’ve gone back and forth about posting these updates about my girls on this blog. I know it is more personal and may not appeal to those looking for more “How-to” kind of posts. I was keeping them on an older, personal blog but that was getting too complicated. I decided that this is my space and it makes more sense to keep it all here in one place. If this is not your type of post. Stick around and you’ll see a variety of other topics.


Alina Dawn : 9 + 10 month update
Weight :19 lbs 14 oz
Height: 28 inches
Eating: This girl loves to eat! She drinks 3 bottles of formula per day, anywhere from 4-7 oz. I am working on cutting these out and replacing with Almond milk. Which is our milk of choice. Other than that she eats just about anything we eat. She super loves beans, blueberries, bread, strawberries, sweet potatoes and any of those fruit pouches.


Teeth: She has 5 teeth and one barely coming in. It’s so cute because when she smiles it makes her look lopsided. I just love her cheeks that shows her dimples when it’s her biggest smile.


Sleeping: She takes 2 naps. 1 hr mid-morning and about 2 hours mid-afternoon. Bedtime is between 7-8 pm depending on what’s going on. She falls asleep completely on her own and usually wakes up about 9am. I don’t know how I got 2 such great sleepers! Every now and then she wakes up at night if she loses her paci. She settles back down when I give it back to her.
Nicknames: Alina Lou, Wina Woo, Lina, Snuggle Buns, Seester, Sis


Diapers: Size 4 Luvs or Target Brand


Clothes: She is wearing mostly 12 months and several 18 month shirts and tights.


Loves: This girl is our sunshine and light. Just like her name means. She loves to play with Emma. She loves to laugh and play with her activity table. She loves to lay her cheek against soft blankets and stuffed animals.  She is happiest when you are holding her. She loves to be outside and play at the park on the swing or slide. She squeals when she sees Paris and laughs when Paris licks her. She loves taking baths with big sister. She loves to dance. There isn’t much that doesn’t make her happy.


Dislikes: I guess she dislikes being overly tired since she becomes very fussy, she’s not fond of strangers getting in her personal space. She doesn’t like when the neighbor dogs bark really loud. She doesn’t like wearing bows or headbands unless you sneak it on her and she forgets about it.


Health: She has had 1 cold this winter but she handled it like a champ.
Things to Remember: When she wants something she says “ah ah ah ah” and reaches for it until we give it.  After baths she puts the towel over head to play peek a boo.


Milestones: She celebrated her first Christmas and that was fun! She got lots of new toys including the activity table and a huge stuffed dog from her daddy that she loves.