Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Try these if you like photos…

Hello, hello, hello!  Happy Tuesday. I wanted to fill you guys in on a couple of things I am seriously liking right now. 

The first is an AMAZING photo editing app. 

Before Ellie was born we purchased a really nice big camera, which I love. It takes beautiful pictures and I am so happy we got it…but…I don't always carry it around with me because it is so big.  I do, however, always have my phone with me which happens to have a pretty great camera on it as well.  I have the I-phone 5 in case you are wondering…maybe you weren’t, but just in case :)

At any rate I end up taking an annoying amount of pictures with my phone so I started doing some research to see if there was an app out there to easily edit the pictures and make them look like I used my nice big camera. I found the app: PicTapGo and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

It is so easy to use and makes pictures look amazing.  It does cost $1.99 but is soooooo worth every penny.  See below: the pics on the left are before I edited and the pics on the right have been edited using PicTapGo.  I am pretty new to using this so I can only imagine how amazing I can make my pictures look after a little practice.  See for yourself:

 

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Anther picture related obsession I have found is called Groovebook

This concept is pretty convenient and handy…and I am kind of mad I didn’t come up with this!  Groovebook is also an app, but it is free.  You basically have the opportunity to upload 100 pictures a month from your phone right in the app and groovebook mails you a little book of all of your pictures.  The book is cute in itself, but each picture is made to easily tear out in case you want to give them away or frame them.  They each also have the date and time you took the picture which is kind of cool.  You get all of this for only $2.99 a month!!! The quality of pictures isn’t professional or anything but for that amount of money the pictures are pretty good.  I love this because, as I mentioned above, I take an absurd amount of pictures on my phone and most of the time I only download them to my computer and I never print them off.  This is a cool and super easy way to have them in your hand every month.

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Give these a try and let me know what you think…or if you have any suggestions of picture related apps I need to add to my obsession list let me know. 

**These reviews and opinions are just that, opinions…I was not paid by either of these companies (unfortunately, ha) so these are unbiased reviews of amazing products I use and love.**

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bloglovin

Hey guys!
So I am currently trying to figure out tons of new stuff (well, new to me) having to do with blogging.  I really love putting my thoughts and feelings out into the blogging world for people to read but I know I can make my blog even better.  In doing this, one of the things a ton of people use to follow blogs is called Bloglovin.  Since this seems to be something most successful bloggers use I figured I might as well join in on the fun.  
And…how many times in this post did I type the word “blog” ha! So click on the link below and sign up and FOLLOW. MY. BLOG!!!

Bloglovin

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Meet Ellie Louise!

Hello!!! I have finally found a minute to return to this poor neglected blog of mine. Now a days, this is how I have to work:
on the floor next to my DAUGHTER (awwww!) with her in her swing.
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But let me start at the beginning.
The last time you saw me on here I looked like this:
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and 5 days after that picture was taken at 3 am I woke up in bed alone (husband was at work) and realized my water had broken. I was 37 weeks, 5 days pregnant. I called my mom just to see if she thought my water had actually broken. I called my doctor and he said to go ahead and go to the hospital. I called my husband to let him know he needed to come home early from work cause this baby was on her way!!!
I wasn’t having any labor pains at all, so we took our time and made sure we had everything packed that we needed and made it to the hospital around 6 am. They put us in a little room to be evaluated to make sure my water had broken and to make sure that it was time to admit me. After a few tests (I will spare you the details) they decided my water had indeed broken and it was time to admit me and get this ball rolling. Below is a picture of me right before they wheeled me down to my room.
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The rest of the day was sort of a blur so forgive me if I can’t make a ton of sense of it for you. 
They decided to give me some sort of medication that is placed in your mouth that you let dissolve in your cheek. This medicine is supposed to help you dilate or to get your contractions started ( I can’t remember) so that labor will progress, especially since my water had already broken…they want that baby out of there within 24 hours because of the risk of infection. As that dissolved they came in to place the epidural before I had any real labor pains.  I believe the idea was to try and control my pain as best they could so as to not put any added strain on my heart.  I was pretty nervous to get this…not because I didn’t want it, but because of the idea of a needle going in my back.  It turned out to be ok, but the process was a bit painful because they had a tough time finding the correct spot on my back so I had some nerve pain as they dug around back there, which was terrible and scary.
Eventually it was all in and turned on.  Because of my heart condition they had to administer the epidural differently.  Usually they pump a ton of fluids into you via IV and then give a big dose of pain meds to control the pain. With me, they couldn’t give me very many fluids because that would make my heart have to work even harder, so they had to give me small doses of the pain meds and then keep coming back in and re-adjusting the dose and giving me more.  This process was super frustrating because I felt like a brat continuously having to tell my nurse that I could still feel labor pains and having the doctors come in every hour to increase my dosage.  Also, every time they would increase it my blood pressure would drop and I would almost pass out and have to breath in oxygen until my body adjusted to the new dose. 
Meanwhile, that little pill really started working…like to the point that my labor contractions started coming so strong but I wasn’t dilated enough for the baby to go anywhere so her heart rate would drop every time I had a big contraction.  Basically the whole day I had to flip flop from one side to the other and even go on all fours so that the baby would get comfortable and her heart rate would increase again. It was actually pretty scary to have a group of concerned doctors running into my room every hour or so putting oxygen on me, making me change positions in a hurry (which isn’t easy to do 9 months pregnant). They even had to give me a shot 2 different times to SLOW my labor. 
The entire day was crazy. I remember hearing from my friends who have kids how the wait to actually push seemed like forever, and it was usually boring.  Not for us…even though this happened ALL DAY…the time flew by. We did take a few pictures during the few minutes we did have that were calm. 
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The things I remember that really stick out during these hours is how annoying the many, many cords I had connected to me where.  The blood pressure cuff would go off what seemed like every few minutes…
so. many. cords.
I was also SOOOOOO hungry and thirsty.  All I could have were ice chips and those weren’t cutting it. I even asked my nurse how long after I gave birth could I eat haha!
I can’t say I felt much actual pain, I was more tired, uncomfortable and just eager to have the baby in my arms! My husband was AMAZING this entire time.  I can’t imagine doing that without him by my side…he kept me positive, as comfortable as possible, laughing and he was just so supportive and sweet!!!
Eventually, around 6:45 pm the doctors came in to check me to see how far along I was and to get me ready to start pushing…they checked me and as they did her heart rate declined again so they suddenly decided it was time!  At this point everything really was a blur.  There were probably at least 15 people in the room but I focused only on my nurse who stood on my right side and my husband who stood on the left side.  I only pushed about three times…and to be honest it was just strait up hard work, not really painful…just exhausting! They had planned the entire time that they wanted to do an assisted second stage labor, meaning using forceps…blah!  So after my three times pushing on my own they used the forceps for two more pushes and on January 8, 2014 at 7:37 pm Ellie Louise French came into this world screaming her little lungs out!!!
* fun fact: on the same exact date one year earlier Joe purposed to  me.*
The experience of seeing your child for the first time is one that I cannot even begin to describe.  My husband and I had been holding in every emotion all day just to stay strong to get thru the labor that the second she was born we both burst out into tears.   Tears of happiness, relief, fear…to feel that many emotions at one time is so overwhelming but also such a life altering experience.  She was here…all 5 lbs 15 oz. of her.  She was perfect and she was ours. 
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The first thing we all noticed about her was those lips…so pouty and perfect!
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We are so in love with this little girl. My pregnancy was a tough one…to say the least. Looking back I have no idea how I made it thru, but looking at this little face every single bad thing was worth it for her.  I know that is so clichĂ© to say, but I am serious…she is precious and I just love her so much.