Monday, April 25, 2011

A Tree Fell on My Car!

Last Friday night, it was storming badly when I went to bed.  Michael stayed up to watch a movie, so I was confident that he would wake me if things got dangerous.  I heard what sounded like thunder right on top of my house, but I figured that since Michael didn't wake me up, everything was kosher.

A little while later...

"Ashley, can you get up please?"

I should have known something was up.  My husband never calls me by my name.

"Why?  I didn't hear Atticus on the baby monitor."

"Can you get up please?  And put on your bath robe."


"Can you please get up and put on your bath robe and shoes?"

"Where are we going?  Is Atticus awake?  Let me get him."

"No, leave him in his crib.  He's fine.  Can you please get up?"

"I'm not leaving without him.  Where are we going?"


"But it's raining like a mother out there!"

"I have an umbrella.  Can you please come with me?"


He walked me out the front door.  We never go out the front door.  It was midnight.  It was pouring.  We walked down the front walkway and turned to face the driveway.  Michael said, "Look!"

"Oh, word that starts with F and rhymes with duck!"

There was a tree on top of my car.  In the dark.  In the rain.  A tree.  On MY car.  Not Michael's car.  MY car.  My PAID FOR car.  My car that I actually like and plan to drive for a few more years.

I started crying.

"You, um...... You don't think it's funny?  I think it's really funny."


"Oh.  I'm sorry I woke you up."

We got up the next morning, and Michael called his dad to get him to bring us a chainsaw to free my car (after calling State Farm to make sure it was okay to do so).  Sometime after the rain stopped, the tree settled and broke my back windshield, but no other glass was broken.

Here is Michael's Jeep. My car is to the right of it underneath the tree.


Michael's Jeep was trapped, but thankfully, not damaged.

Here is the base of the tree.

Michael and his Dad in the middle of Operation: Free Ashley's Car.


My car!  The back windshield is busted, and the roof and hood have some serious dents, but other than that and some superficial scratches, my car is fine.  I have not yet heard back from my insurance company if they're going to fix it or total it, but I'm pretty sure it's fixable.   I'm just thankful that it didn't fall on the house.  I was asleep in the bedroom it would have hit if it had fallen just a little bit to the right!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A fun little thing...

This was on a couple blogs in my Google Reader, and I'm bored, so here goes...

Outside my window … I do not see the tree that I normally see because it fell on my car last Friday night.

I am hearing … birds chirping and Atticus and Elvira snoring.

I am thinking … about going to the dentist today.  I hope I don't have any cavities.  I'm also thinking about Atticus and the Easter Bunny.  Should I do it?  Will his cousins ask what he got from the Easter Bunny?  Will I take pictures of his first Easter and be bummed if I didn't do the whole basket thing?

I am thankful … for my parents, my husband, and my son.  And, let's be honest, I'm also thankful for Krispy Kreme, nail polish, and pretty shoes.

I am reading …  The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, the AAP book on birth to age 5, and, just for fun, I downloaded The Lincoln Lawyer on my kindle a couple of days ago, but I haven't started it yet.

I am hoping and praying …. that we continue to be as fortunate and blessed as we already have been.

I am wearing … boyfriend jeans from the Limited, red long-sleeve t-shirt

I am creating …  I'm about to start sewing some clothes for Atticus!  I'm a pretty decent seamstress for house and boat related projects, but I absolutely suck at following a pattern and making clothes.  :(  That's sad because I have an incredibly expensive sewing machine.  My mom is going to come help me with some patterns!  Yay for smocks and appliques!

From the kitchen …I ate a box of macaroni and cheese last night because Michael worked late. :)

Around the house … I need to clean out the desk and organize the rest of our financial paperwork from last year.  I need to update our budget in excel to reflect the $75 we're going to save on our AT&T bill thanks to a call to them this morning.  I need to take down the pack and play and get it ready to take to the boat for the summer.

Plans for the rest of the week …   Sleeping and eating tomorrow and Friday.  Saturday is the marina flea market, and Sunday is Easter.  For Easter, we're going to Michael's dad's house for lunch and to my parents' house for dinner.

A Picture to share … This was getting ready for Easter with my nieces at my parents' house in 2007.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cloth Diapers - The Hagaboater Way

Before I ever even got pregnant, I was interested in cloth diapering. I had seen them on random blogs and thought they were cute, almost as convenient as disposables, and definitely cheaper than disposables.

Fast forward to the positive pregnancy test.  I told Michael I wanted to cloth diaper because they're cheaper than disposables.  He said, "Okay."  Okay?  Okay!

I still had a few months to decide which ones we would use, but I was so excited at the idea of saving money and taking better care of my baby's butt that I told everyone about our intention to use cloth.  Unfortunately, people tried to bust my bubble with comments like:

  • The first time you poke your baby with a pin you'll switch to disposables.

  • Touching poop is disgusting.

  • You just think you want to use cloth diapers because you don't actually have a baby yet.

  • You'll never be able to keep up with all the laundry.

  • It's not cheaper because you will get hooked on them and spend a fortune on all the cute new patterns.

  • When your baby is staying with me, I don't want to use cloth diapers.  If it's about the money, I'll buy the disposables to use when s/he is here.

(I'll address these comments in a bit).

I was bummed.  I thought our decision to cloth diaper wouldn't affect anyone but us, and the lack of support almost made me decide not to do it.  I whined about it to Michael, and he told me that no one knows what's best for our baby except for us.  If I wanted to cloth diaper, we should do it, and he'd support me 100%.

Most of the blogs I read have owners who use bumGenius 4.0's or bumGenius Elementals.  I didn't want to have a stash of tons of different diapers because I figured that Michael would not suffer from diaper changing anxiety if we only had one kind that was simple to operate.  Both the 4.0 and Elemental are one-size, meaning that they can be adjusted and used from newbornhood through potty training.

This is a bumGenius 4.0, and it runs about $18.  It is a shell that must be stuffed with one (or both) of the microfiber inserts that come with it.  One is small and thin for newborns, and the other is thicker and longer for older babies.  You can use both at once if the need arises, which, I'm sure will eventually.  Both the inserts and shell must be changed and washed with every diaper change. This diaper is available with aplix (velcro) or snaps as fasteners.  I only have aplix for my 4.0s.  I currently have 14 of these.

hoto from

This is a bumGenius Elemental, and it runs about $25.  It's organic, but I really don't care about that.  It's an all-in-one diaper, meaning that it functions like a disposable.  There are no inserts to stuff.  It's only available with snaps as fasteners.  I have four of these.

hoto from

We stopped using disposables and converted to cloth when Atticus was about 3.5 weeks old.  I figured there was no better time than the present, and I made the leap while Michael was at work one day.

Beside the changing table in Atticus' room, I have a kitchen-sized trash can with a Planet Wise pail liner.  After I put a clean diaper on my baby's bum, I toss the dirty diaper in the can.  I remove the insert from the 4.0s and toss them in separately. (Because Atticus is exclusively breast fed, his poop does not have to be removed from the diapers before they're washed.  After we introduce solid foods at about 6 months, we'll install a diaper sprayer on our toilet to spray off the solid poop before tossing them in the washer).


When I'm out and about, I use a Planet Wise wet bag to keep the dirty diapers in.  The liner keeps odor and wetness contained, and I keep the bag in the diaper bag.


Every 36 hours or so, I get down to 2-3 diapers, and it's time to do a load of diaper laundry.  I take the the pail liner out of the can in Atticus' room and grab the wet bag (if necessary) and take them downstairs to the washer.  I dump the contents in the washer and throw in the liner and the wet bag too.  I run a cold rinse with no detergent.  Thirty minutes later, I go back downstairs to add detergent and start a hot wash cycle with an extra rinse at the end.  I toss everything in the dryer for about an hour, and when the load is dry, I unload the bag in the floor of Atticus' room to stuff the 4.0's.  Elvira and Atticus like to help.


Atticus' diaper rash is GONE since we started cloth diapering.  My diaper expenses, other than detergent (I use Rockin' Green), are done.  I'm not spending $30 here and $30 there for a box of diapers that only lasts a few days.  I would like to get 6 more 4.0's with snaps so that I'll have 24 diapers in my stash.  That should allow me to go at least 48 hours without doing a load of diaper laundry.  Right now, I'm averaging 36-40 hours between loads.

  • The first time you poke your baby with a pin you'll switch to disposables.  ----Nope.  There are no pins.  Velcro.  Snaps.  No pins.

  • Touching poop is disgusting. ---- I suppose you've never changed a disposable diaper, either.  Occasionally, you will have to touch poop, regardless of the kind of diaper you use.

  • You just think you want to use cloth diapers because you don't actually have a baby yet. ---- My baby is here, and we are using cloth diapers.

  • You'll never be able to keep up with all the laundry. ---- The only items in the laundry basket are the clothes my husband and I wore yesterday.

  • It's not cheaper because you will get hooked on them and spend a fortune on all the cute new patterns.  ---- I view diapers like bras: necessary, but I don't need 47 just because they came out with a cute new one.  It's UNDERWEAR, for crying out loud.

  • When your baby is staying with me, I don't want to use cloth diapers.  If it's about the money, I'll buy the disposables to use when s/he is here.  ---- What makes you assume I'm going to let my son stay with you?

So, that's what we do.  I knew we'd made the right decision to go cloth when one night, while drinking with some boating friends, Michael declared to everyone who would listen, "I'm so glad we're using cloth diapers.  I don't want a disposable diaper to ever touch my son's ass again!" :)


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Atticus - One Month

This is more for my records than for entertainment value, but if you find any of this information interesting, I'm happy. :)

Weight: 11 lbs., 4 oz. and 90% (up from 9 lbs., 5 oz. at birth)


Length: 22.25" and 75% (up from 21" at birth)


Head Circumference: 15.25" and 50-75% (up from 14.5" at birth)


Diapers:  Atticus was wearing Pampers Sensitive Size 1, but we switched to cloth diapers on April 1.  We are using bumGenius 4.0s and bumGenius Elementals.  He was suffering from some nasty diaper rash, but after 48 hours in cloth, it was completely gone.  I initially only had 12 diapers, so I put him in disposables while I did a load of diaper laundry.  The diaper rash came back.  I ran out and bought more 4.0s immediately, and I haven't put back in disposables again.


Sleep: He takes two or three naps during the day, but they're not at consistent times.  He usually sleeps for a five or six hour stretch at night followed by a two or three hour stretch after a snack.  We've only resorted to the put-the-baby-in-the-carseat-and-drive-around-until-he-stops-screaming trick four or five times.


Food: Exclusively breastfed.  Atticus hasn't received a single drop of formula (or anything else, for that matter).

Clothes: Sleepers are 0-3.  Pants are Newborn.  Onesies are Newborn or 0-3 months.  Outfits are 0-3 months.

March 24 - Graduated to Size 1 disposable diapers.
March 26 - Umbilical cord stump fell off.
March 28 - First bath in the bathtub.
April 3 - Atticus rolled over six times!

Atticus is a really good baby.  Obviously, I don't have anything to compare him to, but I think he's perfect.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Atticus' Birth Story

Throughout my pregnancy, I repeatedly told my ob/gyn that I did not want to induce labor.  He repeatedly told me that after a certain point, it’s better for the baby to come out than stay in.  He believed that point to be about 40.5 weeks.  At my 39 week appointment, I had finally made progress: 1 cm, 50% effaced, and -3 station.  My doctor stripped my membranes to hopefully try and make me progress.  It was not successful.  At my 40 week appointment on March 3, the day before my due date, I was at 2 cm, 80% effaced, and -2 station.   My doctor said he’d like to schedule an induction for Monday March 7 if I didn’t go into labor before then.  He was not on call over the weekend, so if I did go into labor, he would more than likely not be the doctor to deliver my baby.  As much as I wanted Atticus to come, I wanted my doctor to be the doctor to deliver him even more.  When I say I love my doctor, I mean I REALLY love him.  I couldn’t fathom the idea of someone else delivering my baby.   I hoped Atticus would stay in until Monday.  We wanted to bring our baby into the world without an audience in the waiting room, so we decided not to tell anyone about the scheduled induction.

Friday, March 4 was our five year wedding anniversary and our due date.  To celebrate, we went to eat dinner at Outback and had dessert at the Melting Pot.  The manager of the Melting Pot found out about both of our special occasions, and she gave us a gift certificate for dessert for our first night out after the baby.

Saturday night, March 5, we went to eat at Ichiban and decided to come home and watch a movie while stuffing price increase mailings for Michael’s work.  About an hour into sealing envelopes, I began having contractions less than 5 minutes apart.  We got very excited, went to get our bags ready, vacuumed the floor, and packed up the mailings.  The contractions stopped, so we went to bed disappointed.

Sunday morning, I woke up in Atticus’ room to the sound of Michael vomiting in the bathroom down the hall.  My immediate thought was, “That’s not the sound of me throwing up.  What’s up with that?”  I realized it was Michael, so I got up to check on him.  He had been throwing up all night long, and he thought he had food poisoning.  I started freaking out because in less than 24 hours, we would be checking in at the hospital to have a baby.  I needed Michael to be healthy and on his A-game to help me with the most important task I’d ever had.  At noon, he was still in the bed, so I made him a grilled cheese sandwich, took it upstairs and told him that he had until 1 pm to eat and get up, or I was going to make him go to urgent care.  He got up, even though he didn’t feel well.  He lounged around on the couch for the rest of the day while I finished last minute tasks around the house to get ready to go.

Last minute tasks


We left the house about 10:30 pm because we had to run some errands before checking in at the hospital.  We stopped by Michael’s work to pick up his computer and drop off some mailings.  We went to Wal-mart to purchase some ear plugs for me to be able to sleep through the IV noises.  While we were debating which ear plugs to get, an older lady walked up to us and told me I looked like I was about to pop.  When we told her we were on the hospital, she flipped out with excitement. We then went to Steak and Shake for a BLT (for Michael) and a grilled cheese (for me).

We got to the hospital about 12:30 and had to wait a few minutes for our room to be ready.  Our birthing suite was room 8221.  Because I was already 2 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced, we were able to skip the Cervadil and start with Pitocin immediately.  I was positive it was going to hurt right off the bat, but it didn’t.  Michael, still feeling like crap, fell asleep on the couch immediately.  I sat/stood there twiddling my thumbs for hours because the adrenaline was too much for me to sleep.  My pitocin was increased every thirty minutes, but I never felt what the monitor was showing as strong contractions every 2-3 minutes.

At 6:30, my doctor came in to check my progress and break my water.  I was still 2 cm and 80% effaced.  I knew being induced could be a long process, but I was disappointed that in 6 hours, I’d done nothing.  After he broke my water, the nurse had to run get some more absorbent towels (that’s a technical term) because I had way more amniotic fluid than normal.  My belly looked very deflated and much smaller than it had just 5 minutes before.  We could see the outline of Atticus’ body!  My doctor asked if I wanted to go on and get an epidural, but I said no because I’d made no progress yet.  I knew that I wanted pain relief, but I wanted to feel a little bit of labor first.


A little bit, my foot.  Once your water breaks, contractions HURT. Michael, still out of it from food poisoning, was no help whatsoever.  I’d lie down, sit up, stand up, and pray that the next contraction wouldn’t come because I didn’t want to hurt again.  Lisa, my new RN came in about that time and told me if I didn’t want an epidural yet, I could have some Stadol to take the edge off the pain.  I’d heard that if you get Stadol and your baby is born within 4 hours, they have to go to the NICU for the remainder of the four hours.  I wanted to bond with my baby and breastfeed immediately, so my first answer was no.  Lisa politely informed me that my baby was not going to be born in the next four hours.  “Oh, in that case, I’d like some drugs.”

FYI: Stadol?  Doesn’t help with the pain.  It just makes you sleepy and out of it.  I tried to rest for an hour or so, but the contractions HURT, so I asked for an epidural.  The CRNAs?  Oh, they’re in emergency surgery and won’t be here for an hour.  What?! Lisa hooked me up with another dose of Stadol to try to hold me over until they could get there, but it wasn’t 15 minutes after my dose when angels (Richard and Kelly, the CRNAs) walked in the room at 9:20.  Michael wanted to watch, of course, so I was leaning on Lisa for support while they repeatedly couldn’t find something in my back.  Lisa = 5’0”, 100 lbs.  Ashley = very heavily medicated.  I told Lisa I could squish her.  I asked what the Hell was taking so long.  It’s generally not a good idea to question someone’s abilities when they have massive needles in your back, but luckily, they found my drug induced state amusing.  The epidural was amazing.  I felt no more contractions, and I was able to go to sleep.  I’d been up since 7 am the day before, so I was tired.

I wasn’t able to sleep for very long because Lisa woke me up every 5 freaking minutes to have me change positions.  Every time I’d have a contraction, Atticus’ heart rate would drop from 140-150s down into the 60s.  They gave me one of those oxygen masks to wear.  Nothing helped. His heart rate kept going down and staying down.  I was still 2 cm and 80% effaced.  Lisa called my doctor to tell him what was going on and to see what he wanted to do.


At 11:30, the room phone rang.  I said, “Who the hell is calling?  No one knows we are here!  I checked that box on the registration form so that they won’t tell anyone what room we are in!”  Michael answered.  It’s my doctor.  He wants to talk to me.  Crap.  This can’t be good.

Atticus’ heart rate is down.  Having a hard time getting it to come back up.  It’s my decision.  C-section in 30 minutes.  Emergency c-section later.  Atticus needs to come out.  I’m not progressing.  It’s my decision.

Let’s get it over with.

He said, “I’m sorry.” He knew this was not what I wanted.

I hung up the phone and cried.  I may have been high as a kite, but I remember feeling devastated and like a failure.  I did not want to be a statistic.  I wanted labor.  I wanted a vaginal birth.  I cried some more and instructed Michael to call my mom.  She was fine with knowing we weren’t going to call when we went to the hospital, but she did ask for us to call if something went wrong.  A birth method I did not want?  Wrong!  Michael said she sounded shaky on the phone, but that she was okay.  She was at work, but she works with good people, so I’m sure they were there for her.

Richard and Kelly came back in to give me more drugs in preparation for the c-section.   This round of drugs included a big fat dose of morphine.  I became itchy and unable to keep my arms still.  I tried not to worry about it because I figured they’d tie me down to the bed when I got in the operating room.

I made Michael eat a sandwich because he’s hypoglycemic and has to control his blood sugar with diet.  He eats at 12:00 every day, and the birthday of our baby could not be an exception, regardless of the hectic situation that had become my birthing suite.  I informed every person that walked in the room that my husband was not an asshole for eating in front of me.  He simply has a blood sugar condition, and he needed to eat.

My doctor showed up about 12:15.  He explained the risks of cesareans.  I repeatedly interrupted him to tell him I’d read about it on the internet, and that I was fine with it.  Let’s just get this unwanted experience over with.

At 12:20, we were in the OR.  People kept coming up to me to introduce themselves.  I remember thinking, “Don’t you people have ANYTHING else to do?  Like, for instance, tie down my MFing arms?” They were flapping around like I was trying to fly!  I was terrified that I’d knock down the sheet thing and cause the doctor to cut something he shouldn’t.  I voiced my concern, but no one did anything about it.

I decided that if no one was going to tie down my arms, I’d be better off going to sleep.  I told myself that it would be okay to sleep through the surgery as long as I woke up when he cried.  So?  I slept.  At 12:44, he cried.  I woke up.  I cried out, “Hey! That’s my baby!” and promptly asked, “Are you sure he has two balls and one penis?” Amongst the chuckles, someone said yes.  I was satisfied with that answer and went back to sleep.

Hello World

I woke up to the sound of counting and writing on a dry erase board.  I thought, “W. T. F? I’m not at school.”  Remember, I was high as a freaking kite.  I had no idea what was going on.

Michael walked around to me and showed me our baby.  Nine pounds.  Five ounces.  Twenty-one inches long.  Two testicles.  One penis.  Ten fingers and ten toes.  One perfect baby.  My son.  I suppose it was fair that Michael got to hold him first.  When we bought Michael’s Jeep, I drove it home from the car dealership.  Quid pro quo, I guess.

Atticus getting weighed

First family photo

I got to hold Atticus in the recovery room 20 minutes later.  Although I don’t really remember it, Michael did a wonderful job taking pictures, and the look on my face tells me I knew in that moment that every single time I threw up was worth it.  Every single thing I complained about was worth it.  It would have been worth it if it had been eight million times worse.  I had no idea what I was doing, but it didn’t matter.  At that moment, I became a mom.

Meeting Atticus



(By the way, I later found out that my arms were not trying to fly.  My hands were barely shaking.  I was not in school, either.  The nurses were counting the rags and tools and writing to make sure they didn’t leave anything in me.  Narcotics will mess you up, man.  Also, Atticus had somehow wedged his shoulder somewhere, and he was stuck.  That’s why I was not progressing.)