Thursday, May 31, 2012

Shabby Apple giveaway! - Closed

Update: the winner of this giveaway is comment #24, Audrey from Putting Me Together. Thanks to everyone who entered!

The weather is finally getting warmer, which means it's time to shop for new summer clothes! The generous folk at Shabby Apple are offering a $50 gift card to one lucky Blue Paper Lanterns reader to spend on anything on their site. Yay!

For those not familiar with Shabby Apple, they have an amazing selection of vintage-style and modest dresses, skirts, swimwear and more. Here are some of my favorites:

So pretty, right? And what's better is that you can get 10% anything on the site right now with the coupon code "bluepaperlanterns10off". The code will be valid for one month.

How to enter

Mandatory Entry: all you have to do is "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook and leave me a comment on this post telling me that you did so.

For one additional entry, visit Shabby Apple, then come back and tell me (in a separate comment) which dress or item is your favorite.

Good luck!

Sorry international readers, but this giveaway is only open to people with US shipping addresses. :(

Giveaway will end on Friday, June 8th at noon PST. The winner will be randomly picked from all eligible entries and needs to respond to my email within 48 hours, or else I'll be forced to pick a new winner.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baby's birth story

I have a weird fascination with birth stories, and love to read them. Sometimes I even get kind of sad when a formerly pregnant blogger doesn't post their baby's birth story. In order to not disappoint the tens of readers I have here, I've decided to post my very own. Lucky you! Note: we had a pretty easy experience, so the birth story is pretty boring, and I won't be offended if it's TL;DR.

Baby L was due on Friday, May 11th. I went in for my 40 week check up that day, but was disappointed when my doctor told me that there had been no progress from the previous week. I thought I'd just wait it out and see when she would make her debut, but then my doctor told me that I could choose to induce labor if I wanted to. Normally, I believe that babies will come out when they're ready to come out, and I didn't want to jeopardize her health (or mine) by inducing labor when she wasn't ready, but my doctor reassured me that as a second-time mom, it was fine, but if I had been a first-time mom, he'd have waited until 41 weeks. Sounds good to me! I decided that Tuesday would be a good day for a baby, and so we made our appointment for a Monday night scheduled induction at midnight.

Monday night came around, and we dropped P off at my in-laws to spend the night, and drove to the hospital at 11:00pm. Since everything was scheduled, I didn't have to go through triage, but instead our nurse took us directly to our room, where I changed into a super attractive hospital gown (see above) and got hooked up to an IV and monitors. Apparently I was already having regular contractions (that I did not feel at all), which reassured me a little about my decision to induce labor.

I was administered pitocin through my IV, and the nurse constantly checked to make sure my contractions weren't getting too fast and too furious (lol), and at around 4:00am, she decided that I was ready to have my water broken, and called in the on-call doctor to do it. It felt like I peed all over myself and the bed.

After my water was broken, my contractions started coming on stronger and harder. By 5:30 am I was in tears every time a contraction came around, so we decided to go ahead and get the epidural. It was instant pain relief, and also nice to be hooked up to a catheter (lol, TMI?) because I was sick of calling the nurse every 10 minutes to unhook everything and help me get up to go pee. But along with the epidural came really strong nausea, so while I no longer felt the contractions, it wasn't exactly the most pleasant experience.

Around 9:45, my doctor came by, and after checking things, decided that I was ready to push. I was feeling SO sick at this point, but I went ahead and obeyed instructions, which resulted in me throwing up all over myself and my hair. SO GROSS. The nurse commented, "oh, did you have rice noodles for dinner?" after seeing my puked up delicious Vietnamese dinner (which oddly did not include rice noodles, but I was too sick to correct her on the contents of my barf bag).

After only a few pushes, the baby was out at 10:00am, which completely surprised me as I remembered pushing FOREVER with P. Can't complain there! She was immediately set on my tummy for some skin-to-skin contact but I was totally out of it due to my nausea and a pounding headache. I had a brand new baby and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. But she was precious and so tiny (7 lbs 10oz, which is a good sized baby but she just seemed so little and fragile) and I am incredibly thankful for an easy delivery and healthy baby. And.. that's it! Well, I threw up some more after that (and the nurse commented AGAIN on the rice noodles that I did not eat) and was hooked up to both zofran and morphine for the nausea and headache, and neither helped. I felt sooooo sick, but luckily it went away on its own after a day. We came home with baby the next day and everything so far has been a blur of sleep/feeding/changing diapers but I would not trade it for the world.

Happy 2-week birthday today, baby L!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Last week, we welcomed baby L to the family! She arrived a few days past her due date so I was a little glad I had an extra couple of days to finish preparations. We were able to celebrate Mother's Day and P's birthday, I finished sewing the curtains and crib skirt, and we spent way too much money on multiple trips to Target.

The transition hasn't been too bad (mostly because newborns just sleep, eat and poo) but it's still tiring, especially coupled with trying to keep a three-year old occupied and entertained. I really have no idea how moms with multiple kids do it. So far P has been loving his new sister, always wanting to hold her (or wake her up), climbing into her crib to give her a kiss, and helping out with small tasks like retrieving diapers, binkys and bottles. I'm loving our little family sooo much.

I previously mentioned that I am kind of over the whole style blogging thing (though I still LOVE to read style blogs, I just can't muster up enough energy to take outfit pictures anymore), so I started a new blog. Turns out that drawing pictures on the computer is a lot of work and just way too time consuming, so that venture has kind of fallen by the wayside. I do miss blogging, or at least having an outlet to write whatever is on my mind and connecting with you guys, so I think I'm going to turn Blue Paper Lanterns to just a personal/lifestyle blog... and maybe style once in awhile. I do hope you guys will still stick around!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1.5 Weeks

Only a week and a half to go before:

P's third birthday. And I don't have anything planned. I'd like to do something special for him but there are no days that work out with my husband's work schedule until the baby's due date. Hosting a birthday party on my due date (or a few days after) sounds exhausting, but the thought of hosting a party with a newborn sounds even worse. At least the presents are all bought and stashed away in the closet.

Baby's due date. I'm more or less ready for her arrival, but there's still a few more things I wanted to get checked off my list. I was ready to spend $$$ to get some nice blackout curtains for the nursery but wasn't able to find anything that I liked. Everything was either too "living room" or only had one primary color, and I was looking for something more colorful to tie together the different colors we have going on in the room. So, at the last minute, I decided to go the DIY route, and found some super cute fabric yesterday at JoAnn's that matches everything perfectly. If I'm buying fabric, I might as well buy extra to make a crib skirt (because I hate the one that I currently have, it was on clearance at Target and doesn't match the crib set. First world problems, I know) and a pillow for the nursery chair. Yes, I'd like to finish (or at least start) making all those things in the next week and a half. On top of everything else I have to prepare like packing a hospital bag, washing all the baby clothes, and figuring out how the heck I'm going to install the infant car seat next to P's in my already cramped two-door car. I'm LOLing at myself right now.

My library stuff is due. I'm only one third of the way through with A Clash of Kings and it's due soon and making me nervous because it's SO good and I really want to finish it before I have to return it... because I don't want to be on the end of the holds list again. I'm actually listening to the audiobook version which is good because it makes me look forward to my commute to and from work, but bad because I'm getting through it a lot slower (37+ hours to be exact) than if I were reading the book version. But I rarely have time to sit down and blog these days, let alone read an 800 page book, so audiobooks are my preferred option. Maybe I'll just buy the eBook version so I can read during late-night nursing sessions? yeah?

Mother's day. I've been so swamped with prepping for baby that I totally forgot to get something for my mom, or at least plan something nice for her. And she's one of those people that are really difficult to shop for. Oh, and mother-in-law and grandma too.

Getting stuff done at work.
I have to reassign all my tasks and finish up some projects before starting my maternity leave next week. Something that I've been putting off for awhile now... (and obviously putting off right now because I'm writing a blog post and not doing anything productive.)

Okay, that's my next week and a half in a nutshell and my complaining of being so OMG STRESSED right about now (which is mostly self-inflicted and would have been completely avoidable). Hoping the baby will come on time, and not too early or too late!