New blog, new baby, new stance on life

New blog. I realize that I change blogs / blog titles all the time… And my hope that this is the last one! I just got caught up in specific blogs for specific topics, so this one is meant to be all encompassing. Living Free Indeed was inspired by the MOPS (mom’s of preschoolers) theme for this year. To me it means to live free from the expectations of others and that I’m free to be myself and express myself in my own way. Well, at least it makes sense in my own head; hopefully yours too. Either way, welcome to my new space! I’m not going to be obsessing over the grammar / spelling here, so I apologise in advance.

New baby! Eek! Lilly will be a big sister come October 2018! I am so excited and I hope to journal here a bit more than last time just in case this is my last baby.

New stance on life. I guess this is a dramatic way of saying that I’m going to be working hard on being present in the HERE and NOW of my life, and less active on social media. Not closing my accounts, but just going to set some limits for myself. Facebook was the first thing I did when I woke up in the morning, and the last thing I looked at before going to sleep. Both Micah and I feel ignored by each other  due to social media, so I’m taking that first step. I also want to do things that challenge my mind more. The hope is to fill my time with more writing, and productive things instead of mindless scrolling and fishing for attention.

See you around!


2 month update!

I realize now that this is a bit late because she is now 10 weeks old, but here it is! I’m falling more and more in love with this little girl each day. This last month has brought on some really fun developments that just melt my heart. She now SMILES at us and is starting to interact with her environment by swatting at objects. Her and Micah bond over their Saturday Morning snuggle sessions, and we are currently getting ready for our first road trip to nana and grandpa kuiper!  It’s been an amazing month!



Still all breastfed! We’ve been pretty lazy about practicing with the bottle but since she has taken it like a champ ever time we have tried I am not too worried. I’m also super lucky that I work right next to her daycare and that her daycare provider is super flexible and willing to let me come feed her during the day!


There have been HUGE improvements in her sleep in this last month! She now has a 6-8 hour stretch before her first night feeding and sleeps another 4 hours after that! She goes to be around 6:30 or 7 so I am still waking up in the middle of the night, but I joke that I get better sleep now than when I was pregnant! I hear horrible things about the 4 month sleep regression, so we will see how that goes!

We are also starting to transition out of her tight swaddle, and into things where she has more arm movement. I picked up a lovetodream swaddle 50/50, which will allow me to unzip one arm at a time, and we started using our Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit. She doesn’t sleep as well as with her tight swaddle, but I want to get her transitioned before the hot weather of summer comes.




  • Sitting up in her new chair
  • showers
  • being worn! Now she’s all about legs out in the moby! We also got a Lillebaby with owl print that she seems to like too
  • “Talking”
  • Looking at the birds and fish


In general if she’s interacting with her environment she’s happy! She loves people, and attention. I have a feeling this with be soo much fun when she’s a teenager 🙂


  • She still hates being held like a baby
  • Getting her feet tickled
  • When her paci falls out
  • When mama has hot food! (or coffee!)


She’s starting to swat at objects which is sooo cute to watch! I can tell that she really wants to grab them but hasn’t figured out how to let go of her thumb first. She holds it between her first two fingers which is ironically sign language for “toilet” . Also tummy time has gone from a much hated activity to an acceptable one, as long as she’s not on it for too long. Still rolling from front to back but no signs of going the other way yet.



I’ve been doing great! Better than great! Thank God for Zoloft. Mentally I feel better than I have in years. If you even THINK you may benefit from some meds, ask your doc! There isn’t any shame at all. Don’t miss a single precious moment because you’re (literally) crying over spilled milk.

Soon I will be returning to work and Micah will start traveling, so we have some big changes coming our way. I look forward to getting into a consistent routine, and figuring out a workout plan.



She’s still in 0-3 month clothes but I don’t know how much longer she will be! I already need to put her in the more roomier outfits when she is in her cloth diapers! Speaking of cloth diapers, I made a huge purchase with all the Earth Day sales! My plan was to know what I liked before earth day and to stock up then, but there was just so many more options I want to try! We’re working hard on burning through our Honest Company stash before going full time cloth (those were just too expensive to waste) but I can’t wait to start!


Until next time!

~Sarah & Lilly

Doing my part – Going cloth by Earth Day

I have always considered myself a bit on the crunchy side, but looking back I was more of a “wannabe”. I would by organic if it was on sale, or get the green products every once in a while… but for the most part I never really thought about what was going in my trash. Sure, I recycled my cans and bottles, but I never really gave it much thought beyond that; until I had a baby.

I will tell you, before I became a mom I NEVER could have anticipated how many diapers I would be going through. I think at one point when Lilly was a few weeks old we went through at least 15 diapers in a day! Suddenly our trash bags were not only so much heavier and fuller, but if we forgot about garbage day, it was definitely a big deal.
Cloth diapering was never on my radar. In fact, I had quite a few friends bring it up and I told them that cloth diapering may be the one thing I truly wasn’t interested in doing. Poop in my washer? No way. But for some reason I kept reading articles and scrolling through cute prints at 3am. There really should be a rule about scrolling Amazon at 3am… but I digress.

The combination of the current administration, earth day, and my overflowing garbage can, made me start thinking about ways I could actually make a difference and experimenting with cloth diapering immediately jumped to the front of my mind. I joined a few discussion groups on facebook, learned a ton about the washing process and started to obsess over all the cute prints. Seriously, lord help me if I ever find this Harry Potter diaper!


I started by ordering a few prefolds and covers but the cute prints were too hard to resist and before my first order even showed up at my door I had ordered a few All in ones and a pocket diaper to play with. 17796210_10154656139343893_7466395000536501235_n

I got the Grovia ONE (pictured above) along with a Bumgenius Freetime (pictured below) 17545549_10154659796443893_2727970387575490516_o

After seeing how easy they were to use (and frickken adorable!) I decided this was in fact something I really wanted to do! I started watching a ton of youtube videos, and learning about all the different types and options. I was also luck enough to have a co-worker sell me some of her stash super cheap which was awesome because she had a lot of different things to try!


I’m at the point now where I’m testing everything out, learning which ones I love and don’t love, while at the same time trying to burn through my stockpile of The Honest Company diapers before she outgrows them.

Why by earth-day? I just love the symbolism behind it. Disposable diapers are the 3rd largest contributor to landfills, and it takes 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR. [3]   After that, it is estimated that the diapers take 250-500 years to decompose in a landfill (where 94% of single use diapers end up). [1] [2] .  It really makes you think doesn’t it? I’m excited to do my part 🙂 **While I hope to be completely in cloth by earth day, it turns out there a TONs of sales that day!! So I will probably be putting the finishing touches on my stash then!**

On top of that, I learned that it will save us money! Cloth diapering, with the washing done in the home, can be less than a 1/3 the cost compared to using disposables.  Now the amount of money saved increased a TON when you consider that you can use the diapers through multiple children. Did I mention you can even resell them when you’re done!? The only problem I’m running into is that the majority of that cost is up front, which is making the husband quite skeptical that I am saving us money. This also means that I can’t go too crazy buying all the newest and cutest prints every few months. I actually started a spreadsheet with how much $ I’m putting into my cloth diapers vs how much I’m saving, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the cost works out for us personally. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated!

Have you ever considered cloth diapering or have you done it in the past? I’d love to chat!


Sarah & Lilly


1. Lehrburger, Carl. 1988. Diapers in the Waste Stream: A review of waste management and public policy issues. 1988. Sheffield, MA: self-published.
2. Link, Ann. Disposable nappies: a case study in waste prevention. April 2003. Women’s Environmental Network.
3. Lehrburger, C., J. Mullen and C.V. Jones. 1991. Diapers: Environmental Impacts and Lifecycle Analysis. Philadelphia, PA: Report to The National Association of Diaper Services (NADS).

Lilly Jaymes at One Month

I have to start by saying that this little girl has completely stolen my heart! I never could have imagined these last 4 weeks if I had tried. Honestly, time has just flown by. I’m not sure if it’s the sleep deprivation or what, but if the rest of her life keeps going this fast I’m not sure I can handle it!


At her 1 month appointment (which we had more around 3 weeks) she was 8lbs, 7oz and 21 inches long. The doc says she is perfect and a very healthy little girl. Personally, I am obsessed with her eyes and hair! Currently, her eyes are this steel gray / blue and while she is starting to go bald, her little curls are to die for!


Now, to cover the basics…


So far she has been exclusively breastfed and is a very good eater. We had a couple nights she was refusing to latch but (fingers crossed) I think it was a phase. She eats on demand during the day anywhere from every hour to every 3 hours and usually eats for 15-25 minutes. I was SO nervous about introducing a bottle to her but so far Micah has fed her twice! We started with the comotomo bottle and she did SO well with it that I wish I would have started with something cheaper. Oh well, at least we know this one works! I plan to have Micah get her a bottle of pumped milk 4-5 times a week for now and upping that a bit when we get closer to her starting daycare.


So far sleep has been pretty good. Her longest stretches of sleep are in the morning / lunch time and right after she goes to bed. However, I swear she knows when I have hot food and always seems to wake up for that. During the Night she is up about every 3 hours, but has given us one or two 4 hour stretches. We have been using both the love to dream SwaddleUP swaddle along with the HALO sleepsack swaddle and she seems to do well with both. I however like the SwaddleUP because it’s easier to put her in, and the fabric doesn’t ride up by her face. She really likes to have her hands by her face too.  She is the noisiest sleeper! She makes these grunting sounds that keep me awake pretty concerned. And of course when she does sleep quietly I have to check to make sure she is still breathing right?! Hopefully I will get some more restful nights in my future.




  • Dad’s burping abilities
  • bathtime
  • being worn, and so far seems to like the ergo more than the moby
  • standing / sitting upright so she can see
  • The carseat and car rides
  • pooping in a fresh diaper


  • Getting out of the bath
  • hats
  • Diaper / outfit changes
  • being held “like a baby”
  • gas (don’t we all)


I’m  doing better / adjusting. I love being a mother so much and I still can’t believe this little girl is mine! My hormones / emotions are definitely on a roller-coaster ride though and I feel like I have to worst case of PMS ever.  I found that getting out of the house daily is a MUST for me to feel like myself. There is just something about a real bra and fresh air that does a girl good! I’m really looking forward to being cleared to exercise again and spring to come so we can go on walks with our stroller !


She is growing SO fast! Here is her two week picture and her  again at 4 weeks. The newborn clothes are officially a little too tight so I have been slowly putting them away after she wears them one last time (while I try not to cry!) . The 0-3 month clothes are still pretty loose on her, but she does seem more comfortable in them. Her diapers confuse the heck out of me. The newborn seem too small but the size 1 seem WAY too big! We are currently using pampers swaddlers but I may start playing around with other brands. We shall see!

Overall, we are doing well! Lilly has been such an amazing blessing and I have been so grateful for all our friends and family. I’m waay behind on my thank-you cards, but to everyone who has sent a gift of a meal it has been SO helpful and appreciated!  Life is good! More adventures to come!

Lilly’s birth story

Monday morning was just like any other work day. I was a few days overdue, uncomfortable, and feeling very pregnant. At one point I had thought about stopping work on my due date, but when I thought more about it I knew I would just go nuts sitting around at home. Besides that, almost EVERY pregnant person I knew or had been following ended up being induced, so I had convinced myself that that would most likely be my fate as well.

IT had my work computer tied up for the day, so I actually spend the morning working from home and the main office. I went into school from 1-6 and had a normal day walking around, hanging out with the kids, and training my maternity leave replacement. I actually snapped this pic at work that day. Lone be hold I wouldn’t be pregnant for much longer!


In my head I KNEW I would have some sort of signs before going into labor… I read it online… braxton hicks, mucus plugs, excessive pooping…. I was on the look out but my body wasn’t telling my anything. It was ok though because I had this really annoying cough and I figured my body was just giving me time to get rid of that before meeting my baby girl. When I got home from work I still felt the same. I was super uncomfortable, hungry, and ready to veg out on the couch. We had some leftover pizza and mashed potatoes for dinner, and sat in to netflix for the evening. Micah had told me he was planning on going to the garage for a while, but for some reason he wasn’t going. Personally, I was ready to monopolize the couch (which he was currently doing) so I turned on The Fosters hoping to encourage him out.  About half way though the show, (Micah was still there) I had a coughing spell and decided to get up and get something to drink. This is when my water broke. After a bunch of people telling me how it was nothing like the movies, for me it was totally like the movies! It was a huge gush! I was so glad I missed the couch! We called the hospital where they told me that I could take a shower before coming in, and that my midwife was still out of town and I would be having someone I never met attending my birth. Talk about anxiety! I showered up and we headed in.

When we pulled up to the hospital I was starting to get more uncomfortable but was mainly just anxious / excited. I remember thinking “are these contractions?” because I felt EVERYTHING in my back. We went up the the birth floor and got the room with the birthing tub, which was in my birth plan to want to try. The nurse confirmed that my water broke and I got to sit in the bed for my 20 minutes of monitoring before I could start moving around. This is when things really started to hurt, but they were all in my back! Sitting in the bed made them so much worse and at this point I didn’t doubt I was having contractions / back labor. Because I was group B strep positive I also had to get IV antibiotics. I warned them I was a “hard stick” many times, but it still probably took 5 or 6 pokes with the IV before they brought out the tiny IV that they use on babies and were finally able to get that in. They wanted me to wait for the first round of antibiotics to complete before getting in the tub, but at least that wasn’t that bad because I could get up out of bed with the IV. I was checked and at this point was at 4 cm and “paper thin”. I asked them to fill the tub because my back pain was getting to the point where I needed to try something new. Micah was great and would do anything that I asked him too. He pushed on my back which helped the most and I also leaned forward on him, the bed, and the nurse. At this point I saw it was past  midnight. Yay! A valentines baby she would be!

The next thing that I didn’t expect was the nausea and vomiting. It was so gross and completely took my ability to breathe / focus though the contractions away. I threw up a couple times, and dry heaved  quite a bit. I remember thinking that MAYBE I could go through with  a natural birth if it wasn’t for my stupid stomach! The nurse put some peppermint oil in the bottom of my puke cup and trust me I was married to that cup for the next 10 hours. Breathing the peppermint oil really seemed to be the only thing that helped. Thinking that taking the pain away would help my stomach, I was already thinking epidural, but was also determined to try the birthing tub first. They unhooked my IV, and I climbed in. Being in the water was definitely better than walking around the room because it was so much easier to move. Once I started floating I also became aware of how much tension my body was holding and how tired I had already become. My legs were shaking and the vomiting really had taken a lot out of me. While the tub was great, I decided to ask …

“So if I were to want an epidural, how long would it take to get one?” to which the nurse responded about 30 minutes. I then asked if I could stay in the tub until it was pretty much ready, and when she said yes I figured that sounded like a good plan to me. I could also see Micah was getting tired from my constant neediness of him, and I figured if I reached my breaking point I didn’t want to have to wait 30 minutes to get some relief. I asked if they could call the anesthesiologist, and get me an epidural. My “plans” for a natural birth weren’t really more than curiosity as to what labor actually felt like.  I had heard many women talk about how they wanted to truly “experience, feel, and control” their birth. Personally I didn’t feel empowered or like I was in control at all. At one point Micah told me I was doing the alligator death roll in the tub and I hadn’t even realized what my body was doing! (Looking back I think doing the rolls helped a ton because this is when my back labor starting feeling more like normal labor! I believe she moved into a better position)

The anesthesiologist arrived and I was told it was time to get out of the tub. When I got out I was freezing but couldn’t think straight enough to change out of my wet sports bra. Eventually I was out of it but I don’t remember how that happened. The doc begin explaining the epidural, risks, what I would feel, etc. and I felt like he was talking so slow! 30 minuties ago I had been getting though my contractions by telling myself that relief was ON THE WAY, and NOT MUCH LONGER. Then the doc asked about my IV and if that was “all the fluids I had?” Well since they had it unhooked in the tub and since the infant size IV was a much slower flow, I had barely had any fluids, just my antibiotics. This is when he informed me that I couldn’t have my epidural until I had a WHOLE bag of fluids in my system! With the baby IV this would have taken forever! Thankfully he was able to start a 2nd IV for me and get things moving faster.  Even with the new IV it still took an hour and a half to get the bag in. During this time I had dilated to around a 6.

This time was probably the worst part of labor for me because I had already mentally checked myself out 2 hours prior. On top of that, he began preparing / sterilizing my back which required me to sit on the bed. My feet didn’t even reach the floor and Micah couldn’t do much but hold my hand so there wasn’t much I could do for relief. My contractions, while short, where coming very frequently that I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to hold still while he placed the epidural. Thankfully he got it in but I could tell right away that something was a little off. My left leg was feeling the effects a ton more than the right, but at this point I was grateful for any sort of relief. He made some adjustments and told me to lay on my side so the medicine flowed towards my right more. Ahhhh sweet relief! Both Micah and I got to go to sleep and I think we slept for 3-4 hours. I woke up a few times and noted that I couldn’t move either of my legs at all, but thought it was better than the pain so went back to sleep. They woke us up a bit before 8am and told me it was time to push! The nurse even said “Tell your baby I have a $5 bill in it for her if she’s here by 10am”

The best part about pushing was the excitement knowing she was going to be here soon! I had read many people online saying their kids came out in only X number of pushes, so towards the beginning I was actually counting. When I asked the doc how I was doing he responded with “You have a ways to go” which was super discouraging. At this point I rolled onto my back, and they turned down my epidural so I could feel the contractions. Something must have shifted again because suddenly I could feel everything on my right side and almost nothing on my left! I kept telling them my right side hurt but was told it was too late now! I kept pressing my epidural “happy button” but all it did was make my back feel cold and wet. It was so strange. I also was still struggling with my nausea despite multiple doses of zophran. I pushed for about 2 hours when I told the nurses I was tired. They then put me on my side with a peanut ball between my legs. After only a couple pushes in that position the doc said “It’s time for my birthday suit! ” and I moved back onto my back to finally meet her! During the last part of pushing there were a ton of voices and sounds but I only truly “heard” Micah’s voice. He was counting and I remember wanting to make him proud.

At 9:59 am she was born – earning her first $5 by  1 minute. When they placed her on me I’m pretty sure my first thought was just shock that she actually came out. She was beautiful! I also remember thinking how soft she was. She opened up her lungs and let the world know that she was here! Apparently I was hemorrhaging a bit at this point but I didn’t notice. What I did notice were her big grey blue eyes and little curls! She was here and our lives would never be the same ❤   I was in love and nothing else mattered.

Introducing Lilly Jaymes. 7lbs 4 oz. 19.5 inches long. Born 2/14/17 @9:59am


Going forward from here ~ Weight loss update

Hi everyone! I just wanted to give a little update over here! Currently 33 weeks +3 days with baby girl ❤ As most of you know, I was struggling with regain before getting pregnant, but thankfully have only gained about ~16ish lbs in the last 33 weeks. I love being pregnant, but wow does it bring back so many memories of being morbidly obese. I’m currently at 250, around 20ish short of my highest weight.


                                          Left: 272lbs     :     Right: 33weeks pregnant, 250lbs

The aches and pains, panting up the stairs, the holding my breath to tie my shoes and struggling to get out of bed… So many things that I technically “remembered” but at the same time forgot what it was actually like. It motivates me, inspires me. It’s amazing how quick we can become complacent when we aren’t actively feeling like we were in our “before” days.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “Where do I go from here”, because honestly, this is total uncharted territory for me. Gyms in my area do not have childcare, I’ll be attempting to breastfeed, and there is snow on the ground half of the year. My usual plan of sweating it out to an hour of Netflix on the elliptical just won’t cut it anymore; I’ll need to be more strategic than ever.

After a lot of prayer, thoughts, and kind advice from you all, here is my current plan.

1. Practice a lot of balance and grace. I don’t expect getting fit and healthy after baby to be easy at all…. In fact, I truly have no idea what to expect. If something isn’t working, I will change it. If I mess up, I will move on. Giving up isn’t an option, but Grace IS.

2. I’ll be giving up my gym membership. Now this is something I’m not really excited about doing, but it makes the most sense practically. My gym doesn’t offer childcare,  and my husband travels for a good chunk of the year. If it works out where I CAN get to the gym, I’ll be happy to buy a day pass for some alone time and a good sauna.

3. Going along with #2, I’ll be starting at-home workouts. Beachbody has a online workout streaming platform that is pretty much like a workout Netflix. In the next few days they are making available an totally unlocked version to ALL of their programs, including all the new programs that will be released in the next year. I’ve decided to sign up for it, and get to work in my own living room.

4. Use my jogging stroller. My amazing parents got me a jogging stroller and I can’t wait for the snow to melt and to start using it! I literally go crazy if I’m cooped up in the house all day, and a good walk is a much better option than driving to the store. The pup will appreciate it too! I also can’t wait to start another couch to 5k program again get back into running!

So there you have it. My bare bones plan for the future. I want to thank you all for sticking with me through all of this and being the amazing support system that you are. I truly appreciate you!



Hello 3rd Trimester

Entering the 3rd trimester has always been seen as a huge milestone in my eyes. This is IT – the last chunk of time before I meet our baby girl! It still is really surreal most days… I will go from thinking about how SO much time is left to panicking that time is running out in the blink of an eye. I’m thinking the holidays will fly by but then January will be the slowest month EVER!



How far along are you? 28 weeks + 4 days

What fruit are you? The size of a large eggplant! She’s working her way towards 2.5 lbs and mamma can feel it!

Due date: February 11th, 2017

Cravings? I am honestly seconds away from flying my dad in as my personal chef. I miss ALL his food! Luckily Micah is home from traveling and keeping me well fed!


Weight gain: Up ~12 lbs, but wow does it feel like more!

Exercise: I’m still doing horribly in this department. I started wearing my Garmin Vivofit again and see that I’m averaging about 6,000 steps (on a good day!). I’ll write another post soon when I actually get a plan together on picking up my exercise.

Food aversions: This isn’t exactly an aversion, but more like a REVERSAL of an aversion I’ve had my whole life! I suddenly am a fan of leftovers! I’m really curious to how long this will stick around.

Symptoms: The little aches and pains have picked up, especially the round ligament pains along with my hips. I’m also peeing ALL THE TIME!

Movement: YES!! The little kicks and punches have definitely picked up and I can even see my stomach move from the outside! Micah hasn’t gotten to feel any yet because as soon as there is any pressure she seems to calm down, but he did see my stomach move! The downside is that she has found my ribs, or I should say one rib in particular which is now her favorite place to land a quality kick.

Fears: I’m a little worried because my doctor, which I loved, is moving away before my due date. I’ve decided to switch to a certified nurse midwife because she came highly recommended by a few parents I know. Even though I still will give birth in a hospital, I do worry about emergency situations and not having an OB GYN already there. Watching The Business of Being Born on Netflix really helped me feel better about my decision though!

Generally feeling: Excited, tired, and uncomfortable

Looking forward to: The parenting / birth class that our hospital offers. I’m all about getting as much information as possible these days!

What I’ve been loving: Seeing the quirky, adorable relationship already forming between this little one and her daddy. Micah speaks to her in “whale” because she is, ya know, underwater… and I swear they are already scheming plans for the future.

What I miss: Running, consistent gym visits and feeling physically strong. I’m hoping I can fix this soon!

Sleep: I’m getting up to pee 5-6 times a night and tossing and turning a lot, but my maternity pillow really does help!

Maternity clothes? I’m still living in Lularoe and a few pairs of target maternity jeans. Plus size maternity clothes seem IMPOSSIBLE to find!

Any baby/pregnancy related purchases? We have a crib, dresser, and a few books! I’m hoping to hit up the Black Friday sales for a few more of the big ticket items.

How’s Roomba? He’s adorable. I really think he know’s what is coming! I read somewhere that dogs know you’re pregnant before you do… The only thing they don’t know is how many puppies you are going to have! He has been barking more and when he hears things outside, but I’m hoping that will calm down now that Micah’s home.


Words of wisdom: At this point I’m loving all the advice people have for me. I know it may get old eventually when I start actually making decisions that other people don’t agree with, but as for now, send as much advice as possible!

With Love,