June 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

I started writing this on M-man's actual birthday, May 3. Soon after, everything started going a little haywire and I never finished it up. So what if he's going on 14 months now?!?!? Here we are!


My boy is officially one year old today!! I can not believe it has already been a year. It has been both the longest/hardest AND best year of my life! Words can not explain just how much I love him. He is the perfect mix of me and his father. He drives me mad and makes me a better person all at once. He is my heart!

In honor of all three of us making it out of that first year alive (!!) I decided to share the day it all started. May 3, 2012. This is my (really M's) birth story...


I had a fairly easy pregnancy. If I had to describe it in one word... Cliche.  I had the first trimester morning sickness, the brief second trimester calm, and the third trimester back pain. By the time my due date (April 29) rolled around, I had been having contractions for weeks. 

It was May 2, a beautiful Hawaiian day, and T was on his first day of leave meant for the baby. Maybe it was perfect timing that M decided to wait to make his entrance until then! Because it was such a clear day and my mom was in town, we went to the pool and it was there that the pain started. I wasn't sure if it was the real thing but it was pretty uncomfortable so we decided to go home just in case. The plan was to go natural so there was no point in going to the hospital before my contractions were close together and/or my water broke. 

As you can probably guess, my contractions quickly became more painful and closer together. I was determined to stay away from the hospital until absolutely necessary so we went to bed early to get some rest just in case. After an hour and a half of T snoring and me groaning, I had the strangest popping sensation in my belly and I knew something was up. Didn't take long after I stood up to realize that my water broke and we were off to the hospital!

In preparation for this moment, we had taken 6 weeks of Lamaze. We were set on a natural birth, as "unplugged" as possible at a hospital, and for the majority of labor we succeeded. We arrived at the hospital at 10:30 pm. What happened between then and 3 am is mostly a blur. I do know that at some point I got in the tub and we did a lot of Lamaze! I like to refer to that period as "the fog." One thing I do remember is T falling asleep on me. Yes, you read that right! He fell asleep. Let's just say I was one angry mama! Anger aside, it was a pretty boring, albeit painful, labor to begin with. Then it all came crashing down. A year later, it is still pain-induced fuzz but I will do my best. 

M wasn't moving as much during labor as he normally did but I was told not to worry and chugged some apple juice to wake him up. It didn't seem to work but I was not supposed to worry so I didn't. I figured it was all part of labor and was so wrapped up in handling each contraction as it came I couldn't think of much else. Shortly after 3 am, my nurse entered the room and told me not to panic, a lot of doctors were about to come in and it was probably going to seem scary. Scary was an understatement! **Note, when the nurse/doctor tells you not to panic there is almost always a reason to panic.** The doctors rushed in and the frenzy of getting me "plugged in" began.

Turns out they had lost track of baby boy's heartbeat. Just gone. Worried (and rightfully so) that this was something to be concerned about, the doctors quickly had me on my hands and knees with an IV, a catheter, and a shot to stop the contractions. I didn't feel any of it. Not that I can recall at least. In that entire experience, I remember better how events made me feel than what may have actually happened. Maybe it was shock. I don't know. I remember not caring about my health at all. My natural plan was out the window. "Just do what you have to do to save my baby." That was the most important thing.

It's an amazing thing, mothering instincts. Or I should say, parenting instincts. I know, had he been in my place, T would have felt just the same. It wasn't about what was happening or what they were going to do. It was about what was going to be. My baby boy was going to be OK. There was no other option. Those doctors were going to chop me up in pieces if that's what it took to save my baby, but my baby was going to be fine. In the days and weeks to follow it sometimes felt like that was exactly what they did.

At first I was told I would need to be rushed in to surgery immediately and was going to be put under completely. Luckily, after countless long minutes, they were able to get a monitor onto his head and find a faint (but very real!) pulse. The relief was palpable. We still weren't out of the woods, and I still had to have a c-section, but he was alive and that is all that mattered.

I am not sure how much time passed between the rush of doctors entering my room and I was wheeled of to surgery. T was able to be in the room and I was able to stay awake after all. Still, I wasn't scared about having surgery at all. It turned out that M had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice and it was acting as a noose, preventing him from dropping as needed for delivery and causing a block in blood flow. It was traumatic but he was fine (!!!!) and after a too long ordeal my adorable blonde hair boy was born. He was absolutely perfect and took my breath away.

It was another long four hours before I was able to hold him, but when I did it was magic. I thought I loved him when he was growing inside me, but looking into those baby blues my heart filled to bursting.

He is and has been the very best thing that has ever happened to me. It was a rough delivery and a tough recovery but I would it all again to have M in my life. He has been a blessing, providing the hardest but most rewarding year of my life.

I love you baby boy. So So Much. Don't you ever forget that. You and your daddy are my heart and soul. Always and forever.

           -Mom mom.

June 7, 2013

I Miss

Of all the things I have to do these days I do this the most. I miss T painfully, I miss family back home and in Oregon, I miss my father whom we lost a couple of weeks ago. I miss the lost opportunities, of things never to be and of things that once were. I simply miss.

I have avoided writing for weeks for fear that having to put these things down onto paper would force me to face them. I am still not ready to write about some things. Maybe one day I will put the story of my childhood here and I will be able embrace the good and happy memories and know that there is a better place after this and that things truly do happen for a reason. All of these things I already know, yet I am filled with hurt, pain, anger. So until then I will miss. 

And I will write.

 And I will worship.

 And I will continue to love this man and this boy who make my life so full of love despite all of the emptiness.  

April 21, 2013

M's First Birthday Party!

The last couple of weeks I have been super wrapped up in planning and executing M's first birthday party. Now that it is over I feel like I can breath. We had a lot of fun, but I had no idea how much time, energy, and MONEY that goes into planning a child's birthday party until I was knee-deep in all of the preparations!

I am super excited to share this with you guys because, even though it was a lot of hard work, the party was super fun and we had a blast celebrating our boy's first birthday surrounded by our Hawaii ohana.

I decided to go with color theme because it seemed much simpler than going all out on a character-themed party. And who doesn't like a little (or a lot) of color in their life ?!?!?!? :)

It ended up morphing into an art/color party. I was totally OK with that! I had so much fun and I hope everyone else did too!

To eat, we had a variety of colorful fruits, veggies, and cupcakes. Which of course I didn't get a picture of before they were devoured. I do have some "in the making" photos of them and the smash cake that I took for a future post so just keep your eye out ;-). 

Our activities included edible finger paint, edible play dough, and crayons of course!

M and his daddy were more interested in the edible part of the finger-paint of course!

We bought a swimming pool for M as a gift and decided to use it as a balloon/ball pit for the party. The kiddos loved it! 

My skinny boy in his smash cake outfit. He was doing everything to avoid having to sit still and wait for his cake.

Not a fan of open flame or singing crowds it turns out. 

He was intrigued by, and slightly worried about, the cake at first but he quickly got over it.

After M got his fill we invited his friends to help smash. This little guy was much more enthusiastic than our boy was.

 After the cake, we opened presents and just enjoyed each other's company. I so appreciate all of the help I had in setting up and coming up with ideas and if any of you guys are reading THANK YOU! Overall? I call it a success! Will I go this big next year? If you were to ask me right after the party I probably would've said no! But when it comes down to it we will just have to see...

Who am I kidding?!?!? I love going all out and crazy on a day all about my little man. But next year the hubs is helping a tad bit more!


April 6, 2013

I Can't Braid My Hair

I can't braid my hair.

Or do make up very well.

I really suck at putting together outfits. Crafts. Organization. Cleaning.

I own just three pairs of shoes. The obligitory Hawaiian "slippahs", tennis shoes for working it out, and a solitary set of heels for those fancier occasions.

I am an okay cook. I have my specialties but every once in a while something goes terribly wrong.

But you know what? I am one heck of a mother! ;-)

At least the Boy thinks so. And isn't that the only earthly opinion that matters?

Sometimes I get down, thinking that my mess of bed head and omnipresent yoga pants makes me less of a woman. I walk around base and see women who seem to roll out of bed made-up and ready for a photo shoot. It's sort of depressing. Especially since a lot of them are dragging around little munchkins very close in age to my little monster.

I know my worries aren't realistic. I don't know their story or what their life is like. All I know is my hair never looks that neat! (Are those heels? She's baby-wearing in heels!?!? Sheesh!)

I am constantly having to reassess whether or not I am doing this woman-with-child thing correctly. Am I supposed to be able to pull myself together better now that we are closer to the toddler stage than the newborn one?

And really, it is the fact that I worry about these things that worries me more than the worries themselves. If that makes sense....

Please tell me that I am not alone!

April 1, 2013

Family and Faith: Easter 2013

I hope everyone had a great Easter! Ours was filled with family and faith. Just the way it is meant to be.

Our day started at 530 am. Waking up for the sunrise service was tough, but getting up the guts to wake the kid up was worse! It was so worth it though! It was beautiful!

I was blessed with the opportunity to be baptized in the ocean immediately after the service. It was amazing! Surrounded by our ohana and God, I am so glad I did it. It was a long journey leading up to my decision to literally "take the plunge". While I am glad I did it, I am also glad I didn't do it earlier. I really believe I understand now the covenant I made with God and was not ready before this moment. 

A new friend also chose to get baptized. Go Samantha!

Breathtaking. Even more so in person.

The water felt great! Better than the air outside actually.

Being asked if I knew Jesus and had accepted him as my savior.

I did it! 

Let me remind you it was 6 am and, even though we are in Hawaii, it was FREEZING outside. At least for us wimpy islanders ;-) (Anything under 70 is freezing BTW!)

Overall it was an excellent Easter! After the service, we went home and I got dry! The Boy miraculously went back to sleep for another 2 hours while T and I made a very yummy breakfast. I definitely don't mind this new tradition! Then we all got prettied up and went to service back at the church. We got the "honor" of working in the nursery. Eight boys under the age of 2. Need I say more?  

After church we went to lunch and did some shopping. It was great! Except for Target was closed. I guess we kind of forgot stores close on holidays. Oh well! 


Apparantly he's a big fan of the bread from The Cheesecake Factory.

For M's first Easter basket, we went with a Hawaiian theme. Fitting for our location! He also got a swim suit outfit and flip-flops, but he wore those to the pool the day before!

I can't wait to update you guys on Ms birthday party planning. It is 2 weeks away and I am so excited!! Not going to ruin any surprises for you guys that are coming, but it is very "colorful"! 

That's it for now! Have a great night! 



March 28, 2013

Spring Is Here!

Ever have one of those weeks where your to-do list never seems to get shorter, no matter how hard you work?

That is the week I have had. I can never seem to get anything done. And when I do, M crawls behind me undoing it all! He is a little hurricane I swear! A lot of the stuff I need to get to, I forget in the moment or time just slips through my fingers and I don't get around to it.

Overall, quite an unsuccessful week. I literally have caught myself folding laundry or changing diapers and daydreaming about posts I have planned. Telling myself "I will get to it!"

Lately I have been preparing for a deployment, a birthday, a trip home, starting school... The list goes on. This is all while caring for M, working, and trying to keep this house clean. (Trying being a very important word there.) I just really need to sleep :(

OK I will stop complaining. It could be a lot worse. But seriously ya'll! I'll just go grab me a glass of wine and tell you all about ....

Springtime in my neck of the woods!

I live in Hawaii so springtime really isn't that much different than the rest of the time. We do have a rainy season, so it gets pretty soggy. But it is beautiful soggy! If you are looking for a place with one season and an average temperature of 75 degrees year round, this is the place to be!

Remember I said things could be a lot worse? Not kidding. I am so blessed to wake up each day surrounded by God's beautiful creation and I am trying my hardest to remember that when things get tough. 

SO that is what things look like in my neighborhood lately. How about you? Tell me, what is springtime like in your neck of the woods? Feel free to share your very own pictures. Just Instagram them @ambyrinthesky or #ambyrinthesky or share them on our page Ambyr in the Sky

Mama’s Losin’ It

You can find more posts like this each week at Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. 

March 21, 2013

What I'm Reading Today: March 21, 2013

UGH I hate being sick. I loathe it. I was sick last week then again yesterday. It was horrible but I seem to be back to normal today. Thank goodness! Of course I am sick twice during the one month I chose to do NaBloPoMo.

Oh well. That's life right?

With M determined to tear our house to pieces, me sick, and T (who is sick today) getting ready to leave, I feel like I have no energy or time left to even think about sitting down and writing, let alone actually doing it. I have all of these ideas floating around in my head and no chance to get it out onto (virtual) paper. Another thing I hate! My last couple of posts have been from my iPhone. It's that bad, ya'll!

Did I mention that M has only taken one nap per day for the last four days? It's been bad timing but I hope it isn't the new routine because this mama NEEDS that second nap! Or at least the time it buys me to get stuff done!

Even if that stuff is sitting on the couch in a sleep deprived stupor.

A couple of weeks ago, I started compiling a list of interesting reads I wanted to share with you guys. I haven't had much time for pleasure reading lately, but when I do I tend to stray towards a few great blogs written by fellow mommies. If I find it share-worthing I take a quick screen shot or jot it down in my notes. This list is quite long and ever-expanding so I thought I'd just share a few today.

Here is what I am reading :)

7 Deadly Sins Of Blogging  by Alison over at Writing, Wishing.

I really love this one because I can totally relate. I can think of at least one instance in my relatively short blogging life that I have committed each and every sin listed. When you dive into something as potentially all-cosuming and controversial as blogging (especially blogging for money) it is very easy to lose yourself in the obsessiveness of it all. Alison writes beautifully about her journey.

I'm Ignoring My Child by Lyz Lenz

"I am her parent, but my life is not hers to do with as she sees fit.  I am fully committed to her, but I’m also here to teach her independence and you know, finish my coffee before it gets cold."

I have been reading this blog for a while and I can not express how true this rings for me. And M is only 10 months old! We have definitely been in the whole "scream if mommy leaves" stage. It is not easy but now I don't feel so bad about letting him have some free time. What do you think he's doing right now? ;-)

Just Another "Retarded" Post by Laura at Catharsis

"This request that people stop using words like “retarded” and “gay” derisively is not an attempt to shove political correctness down people’s throats, nor is it an attempt to strip people of the right to say what they want, so please stop pretending it is. "

It is ridiculous that this discussion has to be had at all. It should be common sense that to use such words as "retarded" or "gay" in casual conversation in place of lame or stupid is ignorant. Sadly, common sense is not so common. Laura does a wonderful job expressing just what it is that makes her angry. Just thinking about it makes me angry. A must read!

How about you? Any must-reads to share?