Thursday, January 7, 2016

Gender Reveal Photo Idea

Had our anatomy scan ultrasound today.

We took all of the kiddos with us to find out the gender and now they want to share with everyone the big news!

Our little stowaway is indeed a BOY and HE is completely perfect in every single way!!
The dr. assured us that there appears to be no lasting affects to him because of the Hyperemesis and he is growing perfect and strong and even measuring a week ahead of schedule which is fantastic since hyperemesis babies are usually underweight.

For 10 years I have dreamed about this little guy and he is finally on his way!

We cannot wait to meet you our little prince!

Happy Creating Everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Card/ Pregnancy Announcement Idea

For this years Christmas card we chose to shout to the world our surprising and extremely exciting news!!

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Yes, these past few months have been spent with IV's, home nurses, multiple hospital visits and trying to squeeze out whatever sweet moments I could bear with my poor family and husband who has had to take over it all.
See HERE for more on what it's like living with Hyperemesis Gravidarium.

More on that later though...

You can view our other fun family Christmas cards HERE, HERE, and my all time favorite one HERE

Happy Creating Everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Surviving Hyperemesis Gravidarum

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So 2 days after we found out the incredible shocking news that we're indeed pregnant, the vomiting started.
I survived you 4 other times, but Oh, hyperemesis gravidarum, please go easy on me this time!!

Well, that escalated quickly.

First admission to the hospital-

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Second admission to the hospital-

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And now home nursing (thank heavens)

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Lord give me strength!

I never got sick with my miscarriages, so being sick is a good sign.

It's hard to explain to people what it's like to suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Some look on you with pity, some say ignorant things like "try ginger" or "saltine cracker?" or my favorite "that's part of being pregnant", but for the most part, the majority just think you're exaggerating and just a lazy bum.

Let me tell you something about what it's like living with Hyperemesis.
I wake up each morning and want to cry because I know exactly what I am facing for the day, except I can't cry because I'm so weak and literally no tears will come because I'm so dehydrated. I've lost 23 pounds that I didn't have to lose in the first place. I'm starving, literally, to death. Everything I put in my mouth comes right back up again. Everything. Including water and that cracker you thought would fix it all. You would think the vomiting would stop once there was nothing in your stomach, but it doesn't. You either sit there and dry heave over the toilet all day, or vomit whatever stomach acid your body has produced since the last time you purged. Over 20 times a day I vomit. Everyday. Most of the time there's blood in it because your throat is so raw from the vomiting and harsh acids coming up.
Walking makes you motion sick. Too much noise makes you sick. The lights on the TV and computer screen make you sick. Your eyes moving when you read makes you sick. The motion of someone walking in the room makes you sick. People talking makes you sick. Every time you open your mouth you vomit, so talking is really hard. Basically you are a shell of a person laying in bed willing yourself each moment to not die.
Hyperemesis is like having the stomach flu, food poisoning and severe motion sickness all at the same time.
You're not involved in anything that is going on inside your house, including your children's daily lives. You miss it all. Life is happening completely without you and there is nothing you can do about it.
You need constant help because you're too weak to care for yourself and you CONSTANTLY feel guilty about it.
Add in someone complaining about having to be there to help you and it makes it 1000 times worse. But there is nothing you can do about that either because you can't take of anything, including yourself.
My arms ache from the IV's, and I itch to rip them out, but right now they're the only thing keeping me alive each day.
The anti nausea medicine they push through the IV's makes me feel drugged and heavy, and not in a good way. I try to sleep as much as possible to speed my days away, but the nausea is so severe it wakes me up and then the vomiting starts again. And tomorrow, I get to do it all again.

I really can't tell if this is truly making me stronger, or literally killing me.

The Dr. pushes a vitamin B complex through my IV's twice a day to help prevent brain damage to me because of the severe dehydration and malnutrition.
Yet we still have people in our lives who just think I'm exaggerating.

After I had Ada, my dr. told me that if ever got pregnant again, the hyperemesis would kill me.
"It get's worse with every pregnancy", he had told me, and mine was the worst case he had ever seen.

I resigned myself to being done with my baby years and tried to come to peace with it in my heart.

It never came, but I continued to pray for it anyway since the dr. told me I shouldn't have anymore.
It was out of my hands.

Well, we put it into the Lord's hands and apparently he had something else in mind for us and here we are, our oldest almost a teenager and my youngest preparing for kindergarten and a baby on the way!
And we're ecstatic about it!
What an adventure!

Once I found out I was pregnant though, we started praying hard that my body would be strong, my back would be strong (4 years post 2 spinal surgeries), and that I could survive it and come out at the end with a healthy mommy and a healthy baby and felt complete peace that everything would be ok.

Then the vomiting started.
And got worse.
And worse.
And those who promised they'd help us started coming up with excuses as to why the couldn't and endless complaints while they were here.
And there was nothing I could do about it.
I felt so horrible and weak.
It really is so much worse than last time.
I finally told Mr. Kiggins that this is how I was going to die.
I could feel it.
I felt completely defeated.
It's a very dark time.

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Each day I had to remind myself to hang on just one more day.
Just one more day.
One more...

I still remember the last night I vomited. The Saturday after Thanksgiving.
After a week of no more vomiting, I ripped my IV out and all I could think was how I wanted out of this room. My downstairs never felt so welcoming!
I never called the home nurse to come put my IV back in and was able to keep down all of my oral medications and meals that whole week.
That Thursday I called and asked my dr. to be released for home healthcare.
I was still nauseas, but I was able to eat, able to keep my food down, able to take my medicines, able to bear through the nausea and be part of my family again. I was able to be downstairs, ride in the car, go for short outings. Each day I felt stronger and stronger and a little more like myself. And even my arms are starting to heal and hurt less.

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Each day it truly has gotten better and now I feel so much more like myself and I'm so grateful.
My "just one more day" has finally come and so will yours!! This won't last!  I promise!  
I honestly don't know why this one passed so quickly this time.
There is no logical explanation.  However for me, I know that there is a Heavenly one!
Never doubt the power of faith!

And as for our little stowaway??
Well besides trying to murder me for the past 3 months... growing big and strong and right on target!

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We're halfway there little one and I'm so excited to get you in my arms soon!

And now that Mama is feeling better I have the energy to share what I've learned after surviving Hyperemesis for the 5th time.
Yes, 5th time.

1. You HAVE to have a support system.
Having a loving husband there to cheer me on each moment and pick up all the mommy responsibilities I was unable to do was MANDATORY for the health and happiness of not just me, but our entire family.
Feeling guilty for being sick only makes you feel sicker.

2. You have to surround yourself ALWAYS with positive people and things.
Negative nellies have no place near a Hyperemesis sufferer.
My mother was a huge help with helping take care of the kids, home, meals, and me.
However, she never let us forget for a minute what a sacrifice it was for her and everything she wasn't able to do since she "had" to be here taking care of us.  I would love to not get so sick when I'm pregnant, but I don't get a say.  Constantly complaining about it solves nothing and only makes things worse for all involved.  A hyperemesis sufferer needs positivity, support, compassion and understanding.  If you can't help provide these things, then it's better to just stay away.

3. If you have never suffered from Hyperemesis, then you have NO IDEA what it is like and therefore need to keep your judgments and opinions about it to yourself.  Yes, it is a real disease, and yes, it kills.  Your "morning sickness" cannot be compared to Hyperemesis so don't even try.

4. Find joy in little things.  It's hard when you're that sick, I know.  But try to think of what it's like to hold and smell your newborn baby.  Plan out your nursery in your head.  If you already have kids, have them tape pictures they draw or cards they make up on the walls in your room for you to look at each day.  Watching tv would make me sick, so I would turn on my favorite sitcom (Friends!) that I've watched a million times and just lay there and listen to it with my eyes closed.  It made me happy and helped pass the time quickly.

5.  Most importantly, you HAVE to communicate.  Communicate to your husband, your family, your doctor what you are feeling and what you need.  No one is a mind reader.  A hyperemesis sufferer has a lot of needs that change moment by moment.  My poor husband had to change all of his body wash, shaving cream and deodorant because the smell made me vomit.  I touched a sticky surface in the kitchen that sent me running with my IV pole to the bathroom and had to have my mother wipe down the whole kitchen.  If you are a helper of a hyperemesis sufferer, please remember, none of these needs are personal or meant as us telling you you're doing something wrong.  We're just telling you what we need that we can't do for ourselves.  Please remember that when someone is that sick, manners and niceties are not forgotten on purpose.  Be patient.  Be understanding.

6. Lastly, Constantly remind yourself every moment of every day that this little one is worth it!
Worth every IV, every vomit, every pill, every injection, every stitch, every bedtime story missed, every hospital visit, every forgotten family moment, every tear and every cry of pain.  This little one is worth. every. single. moment.

Hang in there Mama!
You can do this!!

I did it 5 times, and survived and now it's nesting and nursery creating time!
So excited!
After laying in bed dying for the past 3 months, I have SOOOO many ideas!!

Stay tuned...

Happy Creating Everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Movie Gift Card Printable (FREE!)

So the feedback from the Movie Party Gift Cards (originally from our Backyard Movie Party) has been overwhelming!

I love that you guys love it!!

And to show how much I love that you guys love it, I will give to you, a free download of the Movie Gift Card as a blank file.

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That's right, it's not just for birthday parties anymore!

Use any photo editing software that adds text (I like Picasa which is also FREE) to add in whatever message you want it to say.
Use it for work, school, church, a thank you to a baby sitter or fellow carpooler, caregiver... options are limitless!
I had one reader who gave these out to the nursing staff that was caring for her sick mother.
Another reader gave them out as Thank-you's to all the people who helped her with a bake sale.
I used this file to make end of year teacher gifts for my kiddos teachers last year

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Cute right?!?
Anyway, get creative,

FREE File Download HERE

What you get:

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Here is the same template, but instead of little business card size, they are larger 4x6 cards (which is what I used for the end of year teacher gift).

FREE File Download HERE

What you get:

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There you have it my friends!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Flu Myths Debunked

Now that it's cold and flu season there are a plethora of common flu myths that I would love to just set the record straight on.

Here is a simple infographic from Bankers Healthcare Group that shares all the facts you need to keep you and yours healthy this season.
BHG is a company who provides physician loans for medical professionals.

And to get you through those times when the illness bugs come attacking, you can find some of my very own illness hacks and home remedies that are even safe for those precious kiddos HERE!

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Bundle up, be smart, and stay healthy my lovelies!
And as always...

Happy Creating Everyone!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sleep Under Birthday Party

For safety reasons in our home, we don't do sleep overs. Don't go to them, don't host them. However there is still a lot of fun to be had with your kids in this! We call them "Sleep Unders".
Kind of like a sleep over, except everyone goes home when it's bedtime.
Still have all the fun, and everyone stays safe!

For Eden's 8th birthday she wanted to have a Sleep Under.

She asked to do makeovers and have a photo booth, watch a movie and eat chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing and drink Izzes.

Your birthday wish… my command my darling!

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(My big camera was still in the Camera hospital after taking a nasty tumble off of the counter onto a tile floor on Halloween night, so the pics are just "ugh" with my small point and shoot that we let the kids use. But it is what it is and the party must go on!)

The Invites:

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I used this sleep mask template

Using photoshop, I added my wording and a fun polkadot background, printed and cut out.
You could also add wording using a free photo editing software like Picasa, then print it out onto a fun scrapbook paper.

Then I attached 2 small paper doilies (found in the Wilton aisle of any craft store and Walmart), one over each of the eye areas.

Next I glue gunned on a length of pink ribbon (about 8 inches).

Last, I used a coordinating fun scrapbook paper as the backing. Just traced the sleep mask template onto the back of the scrapbook paper, cut out and used double sided tape to stick it all together.

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Love how it turned out!

The Yummies:

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Photo-booth Dress Up Station:

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Yes, I just had all of this laying around in my house. Apparently we really like our fancy outfits and accessories!

Makeover and Nail Station:

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Nail Polish and a sparkly nail file

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Movie Area:

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Now since there were going to be a bunch of little girls with food and drinks in my family room, I laid down a cheap plastic painters drop cloth over my very expensive area rug, then I laid an easy to wash queen size soft fleece blanket over it (that I just happened to have in a pretty pink), then to make it look comfy, I lined all the edges in white pillows. E said it looked like a giant bed!
How fitting for a sleep under!!

Now lets have some Sleep-Under FUN!!

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The pint-sized party gooers helped makeover my teenage party helper, Cailey.

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So pretty!

Then it was Dress up and Photo-Booth time!

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The girls LOVED trying on the different outfits, but honestly their favorites were the accessories. I have a bunch of vintage hats (pill box, fascinators..etc.) and gloves from the 50's found for super cheap at a flea market that I let the girls play with. The also loved putting on all of my jewelry (not the good stuff) and sunglasses.

Girls are so much fun!

Load up a plate of Yummies and we snuggled down to watch
"The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking".

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The Thankyou cards (sent with each party goers photo-strip from the photo booth).

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Best Sleep-Under Party EVER!

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Happy Creating Everyone!!