Sorority Life – Diamond Sisters

This is my first post in a serious about sorority life. When I was in school, I LOVED being in a sorority. I was just looking back through pictures and it made me smile to think about all of the fun adventures. I realized I didn’t take enough pictures; I wish I had more to look back on.

Since I loved it so much in college I decided to stay involved as an alumnae. When I moved to San Jose I became an advisor 2 weeks after moving here! I am the Recruitment and Marketing advisor for our Santa Clara chapter and I love every second of it.

This week it is Big/Little Diamond Sister reveal and chapter retreat. It makes me think back to my experiences. I loved being a big diamond sister and still keep in touch with most of my little diamond sisters, even if it’s just a Facebook message every so often. Here is a picture of a couple of my littles:

Elissa, Cameron, Chelsea, Caitlin and I
 

This isn’t all my littles but just the only picture I could find. Elissa became part of our “crew” when her big graduated so I took her under my wing you could say. I wish I could find the picture I took at formal my last year where it had all my littles, grand littles, and great grand littles. It’s amazing the bond that can happen by being a big or little diamond sister to someone.

At the beginning, becoming a big diamond sister is kind of awkward. You may not know the person and aren’t sure what you’re supposed to be doing. What if you don’t have anything in common? But in the end that isn’t what a big/little diamond relationship is about. It’s about being there. It’s about taking them out to fun things and meet people. It’s about introducing them to the most amazing sorority ever!

You don’t have to be best friends with your little. That’s not what the relationship is meant for. Sure it’s great if that happens but what is more important is just being there for her. Sending a quick text wishing her luck on an exam or just to have a great day. Helping her get ready for a fun evening or a social event. Providing a shoulder to lean on and someone to laugh with. Someone to help them get through that crazy time called college.

Even now 6 years after graduating I still keep in touch with these ladies; some more than others. The joy of Facebook is that I can see how they are all doing and what sorts of amazing things they are doing with their lives.

At my baby shower in AZ Chelsea came and my great grand little even sent me a card. These women truly impacted my time in the sorority and college; I hope I was able to do the same for them!

Thanks!

Baby Life – Crying…

As a new parent crying can be a bit scary. You see the face on your little one and it hurts to see and/or hear them crying. And as a parent we want to make our baby feel better.

But sometimes crying isn’t bad. I believe that crying can be part of the growing process for little babies. They need to learn to self sooth themselves so that they don’t rely on mom or dad for everything. I wanted to share with your our process for working with Ryley for day time naps.

Age 0-1 Months

  • During this time getting her to sleep was actually pretty easy because babies just tend to sleep a lot. I didn’t stress too much about it and I often let her sleep on me or just in her rock n play. During the night she actually slept on me while I slept in a rocking chair. It wasn’t the best idea but it worked at the time.

Age 1-2 Months

  • I realized I needed to stop sleeping in the rocking chair so I told myself that if I could do two weeks of sleeping in my own bed I’d get myself a new Kate Spade wallet I really wanted. And it worked! If you are struggling with something give yourself a reward. A mani/pedi, a massage, a new purse, whatever it is that will motivate you DO IT!
  • At this point we worked on getting her to a more structured schedule. We were trying to follow a babywise type schedule. Feeding every 2.5-3 hours with around an hr nap in there as well.
  • When it came to crying we followed this:
    • Put her down and if she cried let her cry for 2 minutes then go in
      • When we go in we’d try to calm her in her bed for 30 seconds before picking her up
      • Once we picked her up we’d shhh her until she calmed down and then we’d put her back down
      • If she started crying while we were putting her down we’d still put her down all the way before picking her up and shhing again
    • Once she was down that time I’d leave the room. If she started crying again this time I’d wait 3 minutes and then follow the same process above
    • I would go thru this process until I had been trying for about 30 minutes. At that point I’d go ahead and sit down and try to rock her and do whatever needed to happen to get her to sleep

Age 2-3 Months

  • We still followed the same process as above but the timing changed to 3 minutes on the first time we go in and 5 minutes on those after
  • We never really ended up going in more than 3 times. If I have to go in a 4th time then I’ll usually try to get her to sleep somewhere else (her swing, her rocker, etc.)
  • We also moved to a 4 hour feeding schedule, this was seriously the best thing we ever did! I felt like a whole new person who wasn’t just a milk machine anymore. Plus her naps are actually longer (usually 1 hr nap in the morning and a 2 hour nap in the afternoon with a 30 minute cat nap in the evening)

Age 3-4 Months

  • Still same process but now we wait 5 minutes
  • Sometimes we’ll turn on her mobile, it really helps her fall asleep and now most times I don’t even have to go in at all. It’s been working very well
  • She also switched to sleeping a bit more during the day (2 hr nap in the morning and afternoon and still the cat nap in the evening)

And that is where we are at now. Seriously one of my favorite things was moving to the 4 hour feeding schedule. I felt like a new woman and felt like I could actually get things done during the day. I get longer stretches of quality time with her but also longer stretches of time to do stuff around the house (or write in my blog 🙂 )

Thanks!

My Life – Workaholic

Back when I was working I LOVED my job. I’m still sad sometimes that I’m not doing it anymore but I know I wouldn’t be able to handle full time mom and full time work….that’s because I’m a workaholic. When I was working before I was working 60 hour weeks including most every night and most weekends. Even if I had Ryley in day care during the day, what would I do at night? I loved my job so much I couldn’t stop working. And Matt is the same way; we couldn’t have two workaholic parents. So Matt and I made the decision that one of us would stay home, and, well since he made far more money than I, it’s me that gets to stay home.

Given my workaholic tendencies though I knew I’d need other things to keep me busy and provide adult stimulation. So I continued with my sorority stuff I was already doing, Recruitment and Marketing Advisor as well as Alumnae Association President, and I joined a mom’s group. The mom’s group is kind of set up like the sorority. There is an over arching exec board which is then broken down into the year the child was born and then broken down into areas of the city. I joined 3 groups for the 2014 year – Los Gatos, Willow Glen and South Valley. And like normal I took on leadership roles.

Here is what I did prior to baby:
Work
Recruitment and Marketing Advisor
Alumnae Association President
Alumnae Association Panhellenic Delegate

And what I’m doing post baby:
Momma
Recruitment and Marketing Advisor
Alumnae Association President
Alumnae Association Panhellenic Delegate
NMC for Los Gatos and South Valley Play Group
Treasurer for Willow Glen
Director of Special Events for Las Madres Exec
2014 Club VP

So yeah – I’m doing more things than prior to baby but just things that take up a lot less time. And things that aren’t required in order to get paid so if I’m slow or late on something it’s ok 🙂 I love being a busy person and I love giving back to the organizations that have given to me.

I give back to my sorority because it is what got me through college. And it brought me some of my greatest friends and memories.

I’m now giving back to the mom’s group that has helped me during these first few months of being a momma. It’s nice to have a reason to get out of the house each day. The mom’s group is that reason. Play date, mom’s night out, all sorts of fun things that get me out meeting other mommas and get Ryley interaction with other kids.

So although I’m no longer working I’m still just as much a workaholic as ever 🙂

Thanks!

Baby Life – The Second Best Day of My Life

Some people might say it’s sad that I’m calling the birth of my child the second best day of my life so I want to start this post out by sharing the BEST day of my life.
 
The best day of my life was the day I married my husband. I couldn’t have asked for a better man to spend the rest of my life with. And our party of a wedding was truly fabulous. Those of you reading this probably already know the story so I won’t share it here, but the reason I say it’s the best day of my life? I wouldn’t have had the second best day of my life without the first. I am beyond lucky to have found my husband and the day we got married is the day that determined the rest of my life. Without that day I wouldn’t have my daughter. That day I was SO happy, I still remember every detail!

So now onto the second best day of my life. I’ll share with you Ryley’s birth story.

On July 3rd I was wrapping up things at work and begin feeling slight contractions but nothing was painful yet. By about 7 or 8 that night I was definitely having full on contractions. They still weren’t that painful though. They continued and at about 2am we finally decided to go to the hospital. My contractions had been about a minute apart for quite a few hours at that point.

We got there and at first they check you out to see if you should be admitted. The nurse asked me on a scale from 1 to 10 how my pain level was. I said a 4. She told me I probably wasn’t ready to be admitted but that she’d still check, ha! Apparently a level 4 wasn’t high enough to be in real labor 🙂 Well the nurse was right, I was still only 2 centimeters which I had been for over a week. The nurse gave me a shot of morphine to help me sleep and then we headed up.

Once home I was able to sleep for a bit. I woke up about 7 or 8 and I was definitely having full on contractions at that point. I was still comfortable enough so we put on Longmire, thank you Netflix, and hung out on the couch. I wanted to make sure I waited this one out since the last time we went to the hospital they sent me home. So I went for a long while and around 2 or 3pm I decided that if the contractions got much worse I wasn’t going to want to have to sit in the car to drive to the hospital so we should go now. The hospital is about 25 minutes away so I knew it was going to be an uncomfortable ride, and that it was!

When we got there they didn’t even bother checking me out, they could tell from my face I was ready to go. We got all situated and checked in and I was told I was dilated to 7cm. WOW, I couldn’t believe I had stayed at home from 2cm to 7cm! I was honestly kind of proud of myself for that one. The nurses kept asking me about pain meds, but I really wasn’t certain what I wanted still. I was proud of myself for getting to 7cm but the contractions were continuing to get worse so I didn’t know if I could go without anything. I waited a bit longer and then asked for the phentenol. I wanted to try that one first so that I could still get up and move around. The nurses from my birthing class told me it would feel like having a giant margarita; that sounded fun!

I got the phentenol and a few moments later Matt was calling to the nurse about the baby’s heart rate. The nurse rushed over and saw that her heart rate was dropping so they rolled me over onto my side and it thankfully went back up. Because of that, they wouldn’t let me get out of bed any longer so the whole reason I did the phentenol, over the epidural, was no longer applicable. I tried to keep going on just the phentenol but I finally gave in. I was crying during every contraction and couldn’t talk. Luckily my amazing husband knew exactly what I was “saying”. He told the nurse I was ready for the epidural. A little while later I got it and all was right in the world!

That epidural is pretty amazing. We had been at the hospital for a few hours at that point. I honestly don’t even remember it since I was in so much pain, it was all a bit of a blur….until I got the epidural. After I got it the nurse said she’d come back in about 3 hours to see how I was doing. Matt and I turned on the TV and watched random shows about building awesome pools, very exciting stuff.

After 3 hours the nurse came back to check on me. I wasn’t feeling much pain at this point, I could still feel my contractions but they weren’t painful. Her first reaction was “whoa we are ready to go”! And so the pushing began! Since I had an epidural I still wasn’t in pain so honestly this part was pretty awesome! I could feel the contractions and feel myself pushing but without the pain. I’m glad I got to feel what I was doing. The nurse went to go see where my doctor was, came back, and told us she was delivering another baby so we’d just do little pushes until she was finished. Hmmmm….we thought, “hope it doesn’t take too long”. The nurse directed Matt to grab a new when it was time to push. What a great husband, he really did amazing! My contractions were 3 minutes apart at this point so I didn’t have to push for very long stretches at a time which was nice.

The doctor finally arrived and I swear like 20 minutes later little Ryley was here!! She was born at 10:55pm on July 4th weighing 6lbs 8ounces and 18 3/4 inches long.

Giving birth was my greatest fear prior to doing it; once I did it, it was the most amazing thing I had ever done. The moment she was “free” I started crying and so did Matt. It was absolutely amazing! I love this little girl more than anything, just writing this post makes me want to cry. I am SO excited to see her grow up.
 
So that’s the story of how our little one arrived into the world…and we couldn’t be happier!