The Lillenbergs

The Lillenbergs

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Rad Delivery

We are so happy to welcome little (well...big) Radley Brooks Lillenberg into our family!  It's so crazy to now be a family of 5!  I still feel like Chris and I are newlyweds....but I guess we're like an established unit now haha.
Radley's pregnancy was especially tough the last few weeks.  I was just huge and miserable.  And for the week before delivering, every single night I would start contracting and they would get progressively stronger and closer together.  I would try not to get my hopes up at first, but then eventually tell Chris that things were getting real and we should start prepping for go-time.  Several nights I even loaded up the car with all of our stuff because I was that convinced.
You'd think having done this twice before that I would know for sure if I was in labor.  Which, it did feel just like the beginnings of my previous labors, but after a couple of hours, my contractions would just disappear.  It was soooo discouraging.  Chris began to ignore me when I said I was contracting because it never led to anything legit.
Then Monday the 1st rolls around.
Same routine happened- started contracting, so I cleaned and danced all around trying to get things moving along, but then they went away again.  I gave up and got into bed.  This is when I normally feel little dude moving around like crazy, but I noticed that I wasn't feeling him.  And the more I thought of it, I couldn't recall when the last time I felt him was.  And this made me panic.  I started switching positions, jiggling my belly all around, drinking juice to give him a sugar high, but nothing.  I'm sure it hadn't been that long, but it felt like an eternity that I was trying to get some reaction out of him.  When I didn't, I told Chris that I was probably being paranoid, but wanted to go to the hospital to get things checked out.  Since I figured it would just be a quick visit to check the heart beat, I didn't even load up our bags or anything.  Once we finally got to the hospital parking lot, I felt a little kick and was soooo relieved.  I felt a little silly, but decided since we were already there, to get things checked anyway.  Better safe than sorry, right?
So we got all checked in and the heartrate looked fine, thank goodness.  (of course, then Radley started kicking around like crazy, what a stinker)
The nurse asked if I wanted a cervical exam and I did.  She checked me and I was dilated to a 5.  Woohoo!  And on the monitor I was contracting every few minutes.  She asked about them and I just said they weren't strong and they always just go away.  She said they would recheck me in an hour and then send me home.  In that hour they started to get a little more intense.  She rechecked and I was a 5-6.  She said I could choose to go home, but because all of my other labors went very quickly once I got going, I decided to walk around for another hour and thank goodness I did, because they quickly got much more intense.  I changed to a six, convinced them I needed to stay, and sent Chris home to quickly get all of our things.  I was going to wait for him to get back to get my epidural but I couldn't wait anymore and got it while he was gone.  I even had to call him to see where in the heck he was because I was afraid I'd deliver while he wasn't there.  
Once I got all cozy with the epidural, we both slept for a few hours.  Around 8:00, my doc came in to break my water and said I was dilated to a 7.  
Then around 9 am, my nurse woke me up to switch my position in bed and when she lifted the sheets, she said "oh!  I see baby's head!"
Luckily I felt nothing, so I wasn't too worried about having to hold him in, but they rushed around in a frenzy trying to call the doctor in and get the room set up.  Chris was my designated photographer (because he didn't want anyone else in the room), and he said "k make it look like you're pushing for at least one photo." And that's all it took!  I pushed once and out he came!  They were all shocked at how big he seemed, but he still just looked tiny to me.
It was so perfect.  It's my favorite thing in the world to meet my baby for the very first time.  Nothing compares to it.  We immediately snuggled and took him all in- especially his very distinct chin :)  The nurse came back about half an hour later to weigh him, and when she said "9 pounds, 14 ounces" my jaw nearly hit the floor.  How in the world did I have such a HUGE baby??  I guess its not too crazy, I was 8,15 and Chris was 9,13 when we were born, so I'm destined for big babes, but this was just crazy to me.  No wonder I felt like my skin was going to split open those last few weeks!
Life has been great these past three weeks with our sweet little Radley.  He's pretty perfect.  And a newborn is literally a cakewalk compared to a terrible 2 toddler.  Beck is adjusting, to say the least.  And Scarlett is loving every bit of him and wants to hold him all the time.  We're tired, but so so happy.  Love you, Rad!

Getting ready!

My one "push"

There he is!

Radley Brooks Lillenberg
January 2, 2018
9:18 am
9 pounds 14 ounces

Friday, March 3, 2017

Real Life Mommy: Anxiety

This is something that I have been thinking about writing for a while,
but didn't know how to go about it, or even if I really wanted to.
It's something that is very personal, and something that I usually try to keep hidden, 
but about a month ago, a childhood friend wrote me a message saying something to the effect of
"I love how perfect and full of life your little family is!"
What a sweet comment, right?!  And that's what I thought at first,
but it made me do some thinking....
At first, I was excited.
I was so happy that I succeeded.
That I successfully fooled the world with my Instagram and Facebook posts to thinking
that life was perfectly happy.  Cause that's what we all want, right?
But the more I thought about it, the more sad I became.
I started thinking about this social media world, and how we (or at least I do, hopefully I'm not alone!)
always compare ourselves to one another.  Or at least, we compare ourselves to what we see portrayed on social media.
And I was sad when I realized that I was contributing to this problem.
Because what I post isn't the whole truth about my life.
Obviously, there's a completely innocent side to social media, where I have truly cute and happy
things that happen or that my kids do that I want to capture, remember, and share with  my friends and family.  But that just creates a false sense of who I am.
Ok, I'm probably sounding a bit dramatic now.
But I just all of a sudden felt this responsibility to share that  my life is far from perfect.
Especially at the time that this friend wrote this to me,
I was so surprised because this was one of the toughest couple weeks of my life.

You see, I struggle with anxiety.
I have a strong family history of it, but I always thought I was the one exception.
I thought I was pretty awesome for escaping the struggle of it for so long.  But then I became a mom.
Obviously, being a mom is hard on everyone.  But it was more than a normal struggle for me.
I tried to avoid it for a long time, and often times blamed it on just being exhausted.
But once my kids finally were sleeping, it was only getting worse.
As I've accepted that it's something I have to deal with, I've been able to put my efforts into
not  letting it control my life.
There are several things that have helped, but I'm still early in this trial and still struggle with it nearly every day.  I am quick to snap, I get angry so easily, and when something does make me upset, it takes me so long to pick my self up and put a smile back on my face.
The hardest thing is thinking about my kids.
Feeling like I should be enjoying their childhood more.
And feeling so helplessly guilty when I lose my temper with them.
Chris is my rock and knows exactly how to help me when I have an anxiety attack,
but unfortunately he is busy with dental school most of the time and not always around.
So it is a daily struggle that I am trying to work on.
It probably wasn't necessary to share all of this, but I wanted to share so that in case anyone else struggles with this, know that you're not alone.
And know that there is so much  more that goes on besides what is portrayed on social media.
I decided to take pictures when I was struggling.  I did this for about a week (and there were other times where I forgot to take a picture)
When scrolling through my photos, I realized that I usually had a photo from earlier in the day, that was when I was feeling better and that looked like a happy little photo that I might post on Instagram.

So here is one from earlier one day.  With my brand new "happy thoughts" shirt,
that I bought with the sole purpose of helping remind me to be happy.
The next is proof that my magical shirt did not provide the magical powers that it was supposed to.

^This is what life looks like far too often when Chris gets home from school.  He has to pick up the pieces of his broken wife.  I feel bad for him that he has to deal with me, but I don't know what I would do without him.

Here's one that would look harmless if I had posted it.  Just snuggling with my baby girl.
But in reality, I was just trying to hide my tears during a bad day.

I think this was one I actually did post to Instagram.
Snuggling, smiling, family.
But in reality, it was after a huge emotional breakdown where my whole body physically hurt from being so stressed, and Chris was again there to help ease my pains.
And here's just a couple of what I look like most of the time.
Just feeling defeated and at a loss of what to do.
Look at this precious face.  Looking back, I hate that I could even be feeling sad
with how handsome and smiley he was.

I'm sorry that this was such a downer of a post.
Overall, I of course love my life.  I have an incredible husband that I literally couldn't live without.
Two beautiful children that are so sweet, smart, and funny.
I am so blessed.
But I still struggle.  
And I know other people do too and don't talk about it enough,
so here is my contribution to the discussion.
Because I know we all have moments that we don't post or share about being a #reallifemommy

Monday, August 29, 2016

Scarlett's 3rd Birthday

Can't believe my little princess is THREE!!  She's a complete joy and it
was so fun to celebrate her special day.  We had a little "under the sea" themed
party that was fun and super simple.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Beckham's Home-ONE: Party Details

Even though Beckham doesn't officially turn one until Sunday,
we decided to have his party early since my parents and brother's family would be in town.
It was such a blast!  I told myself that after Scarlett's birthday I never wanted to do a huge
deal for a first birthday again, but then the time rolls around and I see all these ideas and things just start snowballing!  I had a love/hate relationship with this party planning-It's so much fun but feels so good to have it all over with!

I didn't think that boy's parties would be as fun as girls, but I loved his baseball/all-american theme!  There were soooo many ideas it was hard to narrow it down to just a few.

 Hall of fame with all his monthly pictures.  Apparently he hasn't changed his looks at all in the last six months haha
These were my favorite- popcorn cupcakes.  It was a long process but with the help of my family,
we cut lots of marshmallows to look like popcorn!

These Twinkie "corndogs" with icing Ketchup were another of my favorites.  So easy!

 I was pretty proud of my cake!  My mama helped teach me how to do those blue smear dots and I loved the effect.

 Party favors with root beer, cracker jacks, peanuts, and Baby Ruths.

 Rice krispie treats with white chocolate

 Beckham had a blast digging into his cake!

 It was so great to have my family here to celebrate with us!

 Scarlett and her besties lovin on some cupcakes.

Thank you to everyone for coming!!  And to my family for all of their help!  Happy early birthday sweet Beckham!!!