Reasons Why Your Kitchen Sink Smells Like Sewage

There are often multiple reasons why a foul stench is releasing from the sink in your kitchen. Especially when you give thought to all the stuff that you may be unsuspectingly throwing down your drain.

Here are some of the common reasons why a kitchen sink can start to smell really bad.

Build-up Of Grease In The Drain

Cooking is one of those tasks that most of us undertake every day. During the clean-up process, this can result in pouring grime and grease into your drain, which is the more common reason for kitchen sinks to start acquiring a moldy and rotten egg smell.

Fat or grease that becomes logged inside the drainage of a sink starts to decompose which produces odors that can release back up the pipes into your house.

No Drain Trap

Drain traps are important components of a drain that assist with stopping odors that can emit from a drainage system in homes. If you have installed a drain line or new sink, you might have forgotten the drain trap. This triggers odor problems as the drain trap serves the function of preventing the odors from your sewer from entering your home.

Dirty Garbage Disposal

Food scraps and debris often get pushed down or stuck inside the disposal. When this waste starts accumulating on the garbage disposal blades it can result in a foul stench, similar to the odor of rotten eggs.

Unused Drain

Inside every kitchen sink is a trap that is made to capture and stop sewer gases from traveling up through your drain system. This U-shaped pipe is usually filled with water. If the drain is not in use for a long time, the water can evaporate, and this can cause sewer gas to enter your home and produce a foul stench.

If you have a grease trap installed in your kitchen then clean it. Don’t wait for the grease trap to full. Best to clean it from a pro. You can call grease trap pumping Houston to handle your grease trap. 

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My Daily Kitchen Cleaning Routine Explained

In my efforts to maintain a sparkling clean home, I’ve developed a kitchen cleaning routine that enables me to obtain a maximum of results with a minimum of effort. I want to share my routine with you so that you can benefit from my experience.

Every morning, I vacuum and mop the floor. As I enjoy walking barefoot, I want the floors to be perfectly clean at all times. Even if you wear shoes, you should try to mop your kitchen floor for a few days in a row. I guarantee you that you’ll love the feeling of stepping on a spotless floor.

Sometimes I dust the shelves and the kitchen counter. I do it daily only during the dry season when there’s a lot of dust coming through the windows. For the rest of the year, I only do it once every three or four days.

When I cook, I always do the dishes right away. I hate big piles of pots and pans, so I do my best to clean, wipe and range everything as soon as I’m done with the cooking. In addition, I carefully wipe and disinfect all surfaces. This is a very effective method to prevent contamination and food poisoning. In cleaning grease traps, I always contact grease trap Seattle to clean and pump it.

Next, I clean the sink and the faucets. Dirty sinks are a source of germs and bacteria. You should never leave food leftovers in the sink overnight. Besides, grease and food residues will develop bad smells if left alone for too long. There was a time that our faucet leaks and waters start to flow until our bathroom is full of water. I called the water damage restoration company to clean it up.

Although some people don’t find it necessary, I like to clean my dish sponge every evening. When I’m done for the day, one of the last things I do is to microwave the dish sponge. Like this, I know that it will be ready to use first thing in the morning.

We also replaced our roof because there are watermarks on our ceiling in the kitchen. It replaced by Maui roofing contractor.

When I’m done with all these, I know I can go to rest. 

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How to Make and Old Home Look New

It sounds impossible but it’s not. An old house can be made to look like a new one with a few simple steps. Pick and choose the ones that are feasible for you. In no time and with very little money you can have a house that looks just like new!

Look carefully at the exterior. Do you have any old toys, patio furniture, garden hoses, old cars or bicycles laying around? Clean them up! Hide them in the garage, give them away, sell them or toss them in the trash. Simply cleaning around the exterior will freshen it up. If your pool’s deck needs to be repaired, hire a pool deck repair service to repair it.

Next, if you can afford it, hire a professional water pressure cleaning company to power wash your walkways and exterior. It is cheaper than repainting the outside of the house but if you are on a super-tight budget, rent a power washing machine and do the work yourself. Add or repair your concrete stairs and walkways to achieve the right texture, color, thickness, and style. Corpus Christi has great services and concrete contractor to your concrete needs.

Another quick pick-me-up for the outside is landscaping. Add a small tree surrounded by impatiens as a border and you instantly have color and added beauty. You can also re-stucco your home to make it look new again. Re-stuccoing can add beauty and value to your whole home. San Jose has the best stucco contractor that has great skills to do their job.

For the inside, decluttering is a must. Clean everything – walls, baseboards, and windows. It is a lot of work but the work will be worthwhile when you see how new the place looks and feels. Freshen things up more with bright or white curtains and a fresh coat of paint. Ideally, paint the walls white to give it a new look and feel. If you have a busy household that tends to be messy, try using an offwhite color. Another is replacing your old roofs. Find a roofing company with an expert roof contractor and high-quality roofing products.

Another is resurfacing you deck. It can make your old home look new again. Hire a skilled deck builder to resurface it.

Replace any old outlets. Add new outlet covers, too. They cost under a dollar at most hardware stores so why not buy as many as you need and replace them all? Your house will really start to look like its old self again. Try some of these tips and see for yourself. 

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Reasons For Hiring Travel Guides

People generally love to travel and experience new things in order to break the monotony of their regular routines. People visit tourism sites to view and experience the marvel of nature. They include things like water bodies, mountains, hills, valleys, plants, rivers, and animals. However, you can’t have the ultimate experience without seeking out the services of travel guides. Tour guides these days are experts and will ensure you have an unforgettable experience considering how knowledgeable they are in the culture and heritage of the land. Benefits of using tour guides include:


With the help of a local tour guide, the entire trip will be tailored so that you get to see the attractions and sights you want. They take an extra step than the standard tour bus package. They can also bring you to the best car rental if you want to rent a car. You will get a personalized experience plus using a guide will give you discounted and immediate admission to most of the major sights avoiding the hassle of being in crowds. They literally operate as per your command.

Educative And Enjoyable Trips

Hiring a tour guide will make the entire trip fun as well as educative since you will get to learn more about the place from somebody on the inside. Experienced guides know just about everything concerning the site including its culture and history. Learning more about the local culture is also part of the fun. You can take pictures of the entire trip including the travel guide to keep as mementos if you wish. When you’re traveling around Bakersfield and if your car breaks down and needs to tow, tow Bakersfield is the best vehicle towing company around the area.

Don’t go for the fast-talking touts who claim to know the layout or those ready to intercept you at the airport. Pro travel guides are self-promoting people who are well trained and independent. They can take a group to the best restaurants and spots that are known only to the locals. Even regular travelers prefer hiring private tour guides when they want to see more animals the second time around and still want to experience more of the culture. 

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Cardboard microwave

It’s time for the third installment of my cardboard creation posts.  To recap, it all started with a cardboard kitchen, then last week I shared the refrigerator/pantry, and this week I’m sharing a tutorial on how to make a cardboard microwave!

cardboard microwave from

To make the cardboard microwave you will need:

  • medium sized cardboard box + 1 piece of cardboard for the door
  • paper or shelf liner paper to cover box
  • circular cork trivet (optional, I used one of these)
  • vinyl (optional)
  • handle that can sit flush against the cardboard
  • microwave button template
  • adhesive backed Velcro


First choose your box. I used this Glasslock box from Costco (by the way, these are amazing storage containers that I highly recommend).  This box (a.) is great because it was the perfect size to fit on top of my cardboard refrigerator, and was somewhat sturdy.  When opened, the box had an extra flap at the top (b.) so I cut this off first (c.) to use it as the microwave door.  If your box does not have an extra piece like this, you will need an additional piece of cardboard to make the microwave door.

cardboard microwave from

Open the box and place a sheet of white (or color of your choice) paper flush against the left side of the microwave (the side where your door opening will be cut) and attach the paper using glue. Then, glue on the microwave turntable.  I used a cork trivet from IKEA, covered in cloth, but you can use any raised circular material. Cutting two identical circles out of cardboard and gluing them together would also work.


Next, make your microwave door and opening.

  1. Using a ruler, make a rectangle on the front of your box.  This will be the opening of the microwave. (Ignore the double lines on my drawing, it’s just a mistake.)  Make sure to leave at least 1 inch on the left side of the box (where you will glue down the microwave door), and allow room on the right side of the box for overhang of the door and your microwave buttons.  I looked down in the top of my box to make sure my microwave turn table would be completely seen through the opening. Depending on the size of your box, your opening size will vary, but mine is 7 1/4″ wide x 6″ high.
  2. Use a box cutter to follow your lines and cut out the opening.
  3. Measure the opening in your microwave, then cut a rectangle out of your extra piece of cardboard that is approximately three inches wider and 1 1/2 inches higher.  This will be the door of the microwave. Mine measures 10″ wide and 7 1/2″ high.
  4. If you’d like to have a little window in your microwave door, cut out a small rectangle in the door.  Mine is 6″ wide and 4 1/4″ high.  This step is optional, but I think it makes it look more realistic.

Now that you have your microwave opening cut, and door cut, cover them with paper.  Just like in my cardboard refrigerator, I used one long strip of paper to cover the front, top, and back of the microwave and then cut panels to cover the two sides.  Using hot glue or Mod Podge (I used Mod Podge), glue the paper to the box (covering your opening in the front), and then put a second coat of Mod Podge on top of the paper to give it more durability.

When the Mod Podge (or glue) is dried on your microwave, use an small blade to cut the paper away from your microwave opening.

To cover the microwave door, simply lay the door on a piece of paper and use it as a template to trace the exact size you need.  Cut out the paper, and Mod Podge to the cardboard.
cardboard microwave by

When the door is dry, turn it over to the back and hot glue a pieces of vinyl over the opening in the door.  Then, take the loop side of adhesive-backed Velcro and place one inch-long piece at the top and bottom of the door.

cardboard microwave by


Now you need to prep your microwave door for being glued down.  You will need to make a crease in the door so that when it is opened, it will easily swing open.

  1. Measure the distance from the edge of your microwave box to the edge of the opening.
  2. Use a ruler, and mark that same distance on your microwave door, measuring in from the left edge.  Use the ruler to make a crease in the microwave door from top to bottom.
  3. The crease should be deep enough so the door can bend easily at the creased line

Cardboard microwave from


Now that your microwave door is finished (except for the handle) you can attach it to the microwave.  Use super glue (regular glue and hot glue will probably not be strong enough) and glue ONLY the left edge (what is left of the crease) to the microwave. Place something heavy on top of the area you glued so it is sure to have a secure bond.  Next, take your handle and hot glue it to the right side of your microwave door. Let the glue dry overnight.

Lastly, use my microwave button template and adjust the size so that it will fit on the right side of the door.  Print it out on a large adhesive sticker page, or print it on paper and glue it down.  Then, take the loop size of your velcro, and attach it to the microwave so that it lines up with the hook side on the door.

*Note: if your Velcro is too strong and you’re worried about the handle of the microwave coming off due to the force of your child pulling, simply snip some of the loops so it’s less secure.

Cardboard microwave from

Cardboard microwave from


That’s it!  You now have an awesome microwave your little one will love to play with.  Charlotte loves to open and close the door, and push the pretend buttons saying “beep beep” and then “all done” when she feels the food has cooked long enough.  She really loves this toy!

Cardboard microwave from


So that completes my series of cardboard creations (for now).  Here is what all three of them look like together.  Aren’t they cute?  I hope you enjoyed these posts and have been inspired to use cardboard boxes to create some amazing (and cheap!) toys for your little ones.

Cardboard microwave from 

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Orange vinegar

The area in my house where I’m the most concerned about cleanliness in the kitchen.  I’m sure this is true for most people.  I wouldn’t call myself a neat freak or germaphobe,  but I do like to keep my house clean and tidy–especially in the room where our food is prepared!

Today I’m sharing a super powerful, grease cutting, disinfecting cleaner that is perfect for the kitchen (as well as many other rooms in the house!)  It works better on greasy stovetops and stubborn countertop stains than any other cleaner I have ever used. It really put my store-bought kitchen cleaners to shame and cost me pennies to make.

DIY orange cleaner for powerful and natural cleaning {}

Just like the window cleaner and hand soap I shared last week, this is an extremely easy cleaning recipe to make, using items that many of us already have on hand.

All you will need is white vinegar, the peels from several oranges (or other citrus fruits), a Fruit and Vegetable Electric mixer, a glass container, and time.

I usually use only orange peels to make my citrus vinegar, but this recipe would work well with lemon peels, lime peels, grapefruit peels, or any combination of them.

Here’s how to make orange vinegar concentrate:

Fill your glass container with orange (or your preferred citrus) peels.  You can really pack them in–the more peels the more citrus oils, and better cleaning power you will get!


This glass jar is from IKEA, but you can use any glass jar as long as it has a lid that can seal tightly.

After your jar, if filled with citrus peels (the jar above is filled with 5 oranges worth of peels), fill your jar with white vinegar so that all the peels are completely submerged.  If the peels are not totally covered with vinegar you run the risk of them molding.

DIY powerful kitchen cleaner made from citrus peels {}

(In this picture it looks like part of my peels aren’t submerge, but once the lid is on they are completely covered)

That’s all the “hard work” that you have to do.  Now it’s time for the orange and vinegar to do their magic!  Let your jar sit for a minimum of two weeks, up to a month.  I usually let mine sit for a month before I open it.  The longer you let the citrus oils infuse in the vinegar, the more powerful your cleaning solution will be.

Hopefully the ‘let it sit for 2 weeks-1 months’ didn’t let the wind totally out of your sails.  If you’re like me, when I hear about a great natural cleaning product I want to be able to make and use it right away.  Unfortunately, you just can’t do that with this citrus vinegar, but I promise it is worth the wait!

After the two weeks-1 months is up, you can strain out the precious orange liquid, and you will have a very concentrated cleaner.  I use a funnel to transfer the concentrate from my glass jar to a glass bottle (the bottle below is also from IKEA).

*Tip: to extract all that cleaning liquid, squeeze each individual peel

DIY powerful kitchen cleaner made from citrus peels {}

This orange vinegar is highly concentrated and should be diluted with water for everyday use.  I make up a spray bottle with about 3/5 water, and 2/5 orange vinegar concentrate, and it works really well for all my kitchen cleaning needs.  You could also do half water, half orange vinegar for an even more powerful cleaner.

But there is some equipment in the kitchen that dirt cannot be cleaned or hard to be removed. You need a reliable and affordable kitchen or hood cleaning services that can help you do this.

For cleaning and pumping grease trap, I always contact my realible grease trap service.

So what are you waiting for?  Get those orange peels in a jar and cover them with some vinegar so you can have a powerful weapon in your natural cleaning arsenal! 

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Another month has passed, and Charlotte keeps growing!  So much to share about this month:


Taking this month’s picture was definitely more difficult than last month’s.  Charlotte is much, much more active.  I know this picture is a little blurry but I chose it because it shows two things that really represent this month for Charlotte: smiles and her obsession with her feet.  Throughout the entire “photo shoot” she kept lifting and kicking her legs, all in an attempt to get her feet closer to her hands and mouth.

Charlotte started staring at her feet a few weeks ago, and pretty much anytime she is sitting up (and not distracted by a toy or a face) she is just staring at her feet.  She hasn’t figured out how to grab them yet, but she is close!  She will smile at her feet, kick them back and forth, and just watch her toes wiggle.  It’s the cutest thing!

The world has really come alive to Charlotte this month.  You can tell she is so much more aware of what is around her, and she never wants to stop observing it all.  This past week she has been so excited about playtime that she doesn’t want to spend much time eating.  This worried me at first (I was worried she wasn’t getting enough calories) but apparently this is pretty typical behavior for her age.  She makes up her calories at night—unfortunately—because during the day she just can’t be bothered to eat for more than 5 minutes at a time.

Speaking of calories, Charlotte now weighs just over 14 pounds! She is gaining a pound about every two weeks, and is currently between 75th and 95th percentile for height and weight.  She is still wearing three months clothes, but it won’t be for much longer.  She is so long that it’s starting to get harder to get those snaps closed on her onesies.

Last month she started smiling, but they were few and far between.  This month her smiles abound from the moment she wakes up to the time she falls asleep at night.  When she smiles it’s not with just her mouth, but her whole face scrunches up.  She already has a horizontal wrinkle across the bridge of her nose from her face-scrunching smiles!  She smiles the most when a person smiles at her first, but she also smiles at toys, her feet, books, and even the walls sometimes.  With her smiles have come her first laughs.  She isn’t doing any real belly laughing yet, it sounds more like a single “HA!” with a small burst of air.  We have heard her belly laughs, but only while she is sleeping.  I wonder what she dreams about that could make her laugh so much…


In terms of eating, as I mentioned above, she has changed her usual feeding behavior recently.  Last month she was still eating every two hours during the day, and now she eats every 2 1/2- 3 hours.  She also went from 30-45 minute nursing sessions to sessions that sometimes only last 5 minutes!  Again, this abrupt change has me a little concerned, but she is still having plenty of wet diapers and she keeps gaining weight.  She took a bottle for the first time since she was in the NICU, but only really once and now she refuses it.  I was hoping she wouldn’t mind a bottle so I could get out of the house a little more, but I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer.  Last month I mentioned her irregular stools, and unfortunately they haven’t changed.  I am still not eating dairy products, and this week have cut out soy products too.  Her pediatrician is aware that the condition is persisting, but doesn’t seem too concerned since she doesn’t have any other signs of discomfort and her weight gain is good.  She also still has thrush, and it is proving very difficult to get rid of entirely!

Sleep has definitely been the most difficult aspect of her life.  Last month she was having trouble sleeping during the day, and that hasn’t really changed.  Well, to clarify, she is actually sleeping very well during the day now, but not in her bed.  Now she takes almost all of her naps in the baby carrier, which means I spend about 3-4 hours pacing around my house each day while she sleeps.  I can sit down for some of the time, but usually after 10 minutes of me sitting she starts to stir so I have to stand up and keep walking around.  Our little princess is very particular!  We are going to try and use a long weekend Dave has off from work to start training her to sleep in her bed during the day. We bought her an eve baby mattress(Use my Eve mattress discount code)  which she will probably like, anyway I expect this will involve lots of crying, which is why we’re doing it when Dave will be home (I can’t stand to hear her cry!).  We also bought an air conditioner installed by a trusted air conditioning installation team. thankfully, she still has no problem sleeping in her crib at night, but she isn’t even close to sleeping through the night.  Her bedtime routine consists of a bath at 6 PM, then a lotion massage and pajamas put on, followed by a long feeding session at 6:30 PM.  She usually nurses for about 45-60 minutes because she knows it’s her last time to eat before bedtime, then I put her in bed at about 7:30 PM.  Unfortunately, I still see her 3-4 more times before the morning.  Her waking times are kind of sporadic (sometimes sleeping for 4-5 hours, sometimes only 1 1/2-2 hours).  I’d say that I average 5-6 hours of broken sleep each night.  I am PRAYING that next month’s report will have an average that is at least an hour more…

In regards to her physical development, she is tolerating tummy time a bit more these days.  She used to cry within 30 seconds of being placed on her stomach, but now she will go a few minutes before she starts to fuss.  She LOVES to be put on her play mat, and now reaches for and grabs some of the toys hanging around her.  There is a tiger that plays music and has lights that flash, which hangs in the center of her play mat, and she is obsessed with it.  As soon as we turn it on she just smiles and giggles and stares at it.  She can entertain herself for up to 15 minutes on the play mat, which is a big change from last month.


She has rolled from her side to her tummy a few times, but none were on purpose.  She hasn’t attempted trying to roll over from from to back yet, so I think we are a ways away from that.  She does use her legs to push herself, and I sometimes find her a few feet away from where I place her on the ground.


She continues to love sucking on her hands and arms, and has recently gotten much better and getting her thumb into her mouth.


Another new discovery for Charlotte is books.  In just the last weeks she has started to really look at and enjoy books.  She likes to stare at the pages for awhile, and will follow my finger as I point to different things on the page.  Her favorite books are ones that have shiny pictures in them, and she also really seems to like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The only way she really seems to enjoy tummy time is when we lay her over my breastfeeding pillow and prop up books in front of her.

Besides the troubles with sleep, this has been my favorite month with Charlotte so far!  I feel like her personality is really starting to become clear, and it is such a joy to watch her find delight with some many things around her.  This month I got to celebrate my first Mother’s Day with a baby outside the womb, and the first Mother’s Day that was cloaked in sadness.  How blessed I am to be her mother!


Here are some shots of Charlotte’s life this month:



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Another month has passed in the life of Charlotte Grace! She is definitely not a “newborn” anymore (not just in clothes…she wears 3 months now) but in her behavior and development.  This month has  been so fun because we saw the emergence of her SMILE!



Her favorite place to flash her gorgeous grin is on her changing table.  Something about that changing table is pretty magical to her, and no matter her mood, once you lay her on it she will just start smiling.  It’s the funniest thing!  In the past few days she has started really reacting to Dave and I and smiling when she sees us.  That is just heart melting.  It makes the long sleepless nights and the long fussy days all worth it.  To know that she really knows us now, and smiles in response to us, is just the best.

This past month she has grown A LOT—2 1/2 pounds and over an inch in length!  Each time we give her a bath I discover a new little roll under her neck or on her thighs, haha.  From the beginning I have been a little scared about being able to provide enough calories for her from just breastfeeding, and I think this last month really confirmed that we’re doing just fine.  She just feels more “substantial” now and not so much like a frail newborn.




Charlotte got to spend lots of time with her grandparents from America while they were here, and also continued to get lots of love from her grandparents who live here in Taiwan (my parents live about 5 minutes away.)




We celebrated our first Easter with Charlotte, and it was extra special because she also got dedicated at our church.  It was awesome getting to have both sets of grandparents there.  The short service was definitely emotional since it was something we had always dreamed of doing with Sophia.



Development wise, Charlotte continues to be right on track!  Her neck control has gotten even better (despite HATING tummy time) and she can push her chest off the ground and hold it up using her arms as support.  When she lies on her back we’re already starting to see the beginnings of her rolling over because she turns her head to the side really far and tries to kick her legs.  In the last few weeks she has started reaching for and batting at toys, although her aim is not very good yet.  Her eye sight has also developed more so she can follow me with her eyes and head as I move around the room.  She now gets comforted (or at least stops crying for a few seconds) when she hears our voices, and really loves to be sung to.  Another big discovery for Charlotte this month is her hands!  She loves to suck on them (usually both at the same time) and she is trying hard to find her thumb more and more.  I love this new milestone because she can soothe herself for a few minutes by sucking on them, which buys me a few more minutes of getting chores done.


This month has been a bit challenging with her day sleeping.  She continues to sleep fairly well at night (she still gets up every 2-3.5 hours to eat), but during the day it is almost impossible to get her to sleep by herself.  I have to hold her, or lay next to her, or put her in the baby carrier in order for her to take a nap.  This just means that unless Dave Is home, I really can’t do anything else during the day.  We try to do the same techniques during the day as at night, but once the sun comes up she is over sleeping in her crib!  I really hope that in this upcoming month she will start to nap by herself, and in her crib, during the day so I don’t feel so exhausted and COMPLETELY tied to her all the time.  If any of you have any advice/tips on this please feel free to share!

We do have a few prayer requests for her health.  First, we discovered that she has thrush in her mouth.  Thrush is not really harmful, just an overgrowth of yeast, but it can be really hard to get rid of and causes some soreness in her mouth.  Please pray we’ll be able to get rid of it quickly so she gets some relief and is not on medication for a prolonged period.  Secondly, and a little more serious, is we need prayer for her intestinal tract.  For the past 5 weeks she has had irregular stools (sorry for the TMI) and a test showed she also has blood in her stool.  Usually this is a sign that she has an allergy to something in the breast milk.  The most common allergy is to cow’s milk, so I have cut out all dairy in my diet, but so far her stools are the same.  Yesterday she had another check for blood and we’ll know the results in a day or two.  Thankfully, Charlotte doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort because of this condition.  Still, prolonged mucous and blood in her stool, and diarrhea isn’t good for her.  Please pray that we will have wisdom to know what is causing these irregularities (whether it be another food I need to eliminate from my diet), and that this will not cause any damage to her little body.

Overall, though, Charlotte continues to be a very healthy and happy little girl!


As a stay-at-home mom I try to take each day at a time, and remember that one bad day doesn’t mean the next will be as hard.  I continue to pray for patience, wisdom, and the physical strength to be a good mom (I don’t understand how you moms with more than one child do it!).  I already see how God is teaching me so much through being Charlotte’s mom, and I thank Him for our little miracle every day!

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Now that my baby girl is over 6 weeks old, I figure it’s about time I got her birth story written out!

Charlotte’s birth story starts a bit before her actual birth.  Ever since I was about 30 weeks pregnant, we had been speculating on when she would arrive.  My due date was February 28th, but Dave had an almost 2 week vacation (due to Chinese New Year) that started on February 14th, so we had really hoped she would come around the 14th.  We talked so much about her coming on the 14th that it started to feel like it was my real due date.  So when the 14th came and went, and then another week passed, it felt like I was already overdue.  By the 26th and 27th of February I was about at my wit’s end.  I still hadn’t technically reached my due date, but emotionally and physically I was ready for the pregnancy to be over.  Actually, the pregnancy was quite easy, physically, it was more the anxiousness of actually seeing a live and healthy baby that was driving me crazy.  I just wanted her to be here so I could really see she was ok.  I wanted to hear her screams and feel her in my arms.

On Friday, February 27th, Dave and I went to lunch with my parents at a Tex-Mex restaurant called Smokey Joe’s (yes, they have Tex-Mex here in Taiwan).  We decided to walk there since I was trying to do a lot of walking to potentially induce labor, and it was about at 20 minute walk each way.  I had a chicken taco salad for lunch, and even ate the jalapeños (which I normally wouldn’t) in an effort to bring this child into the world.  I felt completely normal all day, and really had no signs of impending labor.  That night Dave and I went to the elementary school that is next to our apartment to walk around the track, like we had been doing most nights for the past week.  I remember while we were walking saying to him, “I wonder if walking to the restaurant and walking on the track will make her come tonight.”  Little did I know, I was right!

That night I had a terrible time sleeping.  I think I went to bed around 1 AM, but just laid in bed for a few hours.  Finally around 3 AM or so I fell asleep.  That night I actually had dreams that I went into labor, but in my dream I died during childbirth!  In my dream the doctor was coming to tell my family that I had died, when I woke up.  My first contraction is what woke me up at 5:35 AM.  Since I had been asleep I wasn’t sure if it was really a contraction, so I lay awake waiting to see if another came.  A few minutes later I felt another one.  Could this be it? I wanted to wait for a few more contractions before I woke Dave up, but sure enough it was the real thing!  After having 4 regular contractions I walked to his side of the bed, gently shook him awake, and said “Are you ready to have a baby today?”  We both couldn’t believe she was finally on the way, and that it was exactly her due date!

Now, besides believing I would have Charlotte a few weeks early, I also felt that her labor would be extremely short since Sophia’s labor and delivery lasted almost exactly 5 hours.  Most people say that the second child comes faster, and a lot of times in half the time as the first.  I was actually concerned that my labor would be so fast that I would not make it to the hospital in time!  So, when contractions started I fully believed I would be having this baby well before noon.  I had decided to leave for the hospital when the contractions were consistently 3 minutes apart, so I hunkered down and waited (for what I thought) would be a very short time.

Like with Sophia’s labor, I was going to have a natural birth with no pain medication, and I wanted to be left alone.  I didn’t want Dave fussing over me, and I didn’t want anyone talking to me.  I labored in silence with Sophia, but with Charlotte I had a CD with calming music and sounds (made for people in labor), and listening to it really helped me.


I know it’s hard to see, but here is my labor music on my iPod, and my room where I labored.

So, I put on the labor music, turned off the lights in my bedroom, and breathed through each contraction.  At this point the contractions weren’t too terrible, so in between contractions I was going around the house picking up and cleaning.  I guess it was my final nesting instinct.  I even washed the dishes—if I had a contraction I would go back to my dark room, breathe through it, and then return to the kitchen.  Dave periodically checked in on me, but otherwise just waited in the living room for me to give him the orders to drive me to the hospital.


Dave was just hanging out and watching “Friends” while he waited.

Like I mentioned before, I thought this would be a really short labor.  After a few hours passed and my contractions still weren’t regularly three minutes apart, I started to realize this might not be as quick as I thought.  Around 9:30 AM the contractions started getting more intense, and instead of my regular slow breathing, I felt this instinct to make a low moaning sound.  When I made the “oooooohhhh” sounds it just helped with the pain, so I stuck with that for my pain management technique.  The first time I did it Dave can rushing into the room and was like, “Are you ok?!”  I think he was used to my silent laboring, but I had to do what I had to do.

We arrived at the hospital around 10 AM (my mom and dad met us there) and when they checked me I was dilated only 2 cm! I couldn’t believe that I had already been laboring for several hours and still had such a long way to go.


Making sure I’m in real labor before they admit me to a labor room.

After they verified that I was indeed in labor, I was moved into my labor/delivery room.  For Charlotte’s birth I delivered in a different hospital than I did with Sophia because it’s the only hospital in Kaohsiung where you can labor and deliver in the same room.  If you read Sophia’s birth story, you’ll remember that the hardest part of the whole ordeal was having to move from my labor room to the delivery “chair.”  In this new hospital the bed was able to be adapted for delivery, so I didn’t have to go anywhere.

In the labor room I had my headphones in with the labor music on repeat, and I just swayed or braced myself against the wall, or leaned on Dave during contractions.  By 12 PM I was dilated to 5, and I was really starting to feel exhausted.  Since I had only slept about 2 hours the night before, my body just wanted to rest but I knew I had a few more hours of labor and all the pushing to get through.  I kept standing and going back to my bed every minute or so, each hour I would have to lay down in the bed to have Charlotte’s heart rate checked (otherwise I was standing the whole time). I was thinking of getting a new bed and started reading a lot of adjustable beds reviews, and when I finally found the perfect bed, the contractions that happened when I stood up from the bed were so intense that I just labored the rest of the time lying down.  My mom and Dave were glad I was finally laying down and giving my body some rest, since I think they were worried I wouldn’t have the energy to push!

labor pain

At 1 PM I was dilated to 6 cm and by 2 PM I was at 7 cm.  When the nurse checked me at 2 PM she told me that she thought I was close, and just to call her when I felt the urge to push.  Well, two contractions after she left and I felt a strong urge to push.  This was it!  I started pushing, and like with Sophia, I hated the pushing part!  It was so much more painful to me than the contractions, and at first I wasn’t pushing very strong because it hurt so much.  The doctor came in and I could feel the excitement picking up in the room.  I so wanted it all to be over, but there was a lot of pushing and pain that needed to happen first.  

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Can you believe Charlotte is already one month old?  Yeah, neither can we!



Since our last update at two weeks, Charlotte has officially sent in her application for an American passport (see mug shot below) and social security number, and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day!

CROPPED-Charlotte passport  stpatricksday


She is now weighing in at about 4 kg, or 8.8 lbs, and is growing more and more every day!

It’s amazing how quickly she is changing!  In the last two weeks she has started using her arms and hands so much more, and when she nurses she always grabs onto my shirt or hair and holds tight for most of the feeding.  She also has figured out how to get her thumb in her mouth, which is just about the cutest thing, since she can’t fold the other fingers down yet and they pretty much just cover her entire face.  One time she actually had both hands at her mouth and was switching off sticking both thumbs in.  I was a thumb sucker too, so I think it runs in the family!


In the last few days she has been able to meet some very important people. Dave’s parents flew in from America…

and she got to meet Champ!


I promise she was happy to see him…it was just time to eat!

Her jaundice is almost completely gone now (thank the Lord!) and the doctor didn’t even have to do a blood test this last visit.

PicMonkey Collage

She continues to be a pretty great sleeper at night, and can sleep for 3-4 hours at a time before she wakes up to eat.  I’m very blessed that she sleeps much better at night than in the day.  For her day naps I usually have to hold her or lay beside her, but at night all it takes is a tight swaddle and she sleeps soundly in her crib.



On her one month “birthday” (which was yesterday, the 28th) we had a small little celebration at my parent’s house, and it was extra special because both sets of grandparents could be there!



Overall, she is doing so well and we continue to be amazed each day at how much we can love someone we’ve only known for a month!  I look forward in the upcoming month to her smile appearing for the first time, and I think it’s not too far off…



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