Shey B

September 24, 2014
by shealynn

Brooke Lynn Benner – a birth story

Gosh.  It’s been 9 months since I’ve posted anything on here.  And in that time I found out I was pregnant with our 4th child and I gave birth to that child 4 weeks ago!  It’s hard to believe it’s already been 4 weeks!  I happen to love birth stories… I haven’t always, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize how amazing birthing a child really and truly is.  And what an awesome experience it can be.  So I figured I should type out this birth story while it’s still mostly fresh in my mind.


My entire pregnancy I stayed fit and ate extremely well.  I gained zero weight, in fact, as most people know that follow me on Instagram and Facebook, I actually lost weight.  I walked at least 4 days a week and cut refined sugars from my diet.  My pregnancy was actually great.  I felt really good most of the time.  I was tired quite a bit but having a toddler and growing a tiny human will do that to anyone.  ;)

My due date was September 21, but knowing my last 2 pregnancies we all kinda figured I’d go into labor sooner.  And I sure did.

On August 27th (barely) around 1:30am I was laying on the couch watching Top Chef.  The entire time I was watching the season 10 finale I remember thinking that I might be in labor.  I knew I was already dilated 1cm from my 36 week checkup the day prior.  But I kept second guessing myself as I always do… just ask my husband, because he’s usually the one that knows I’m in labor.  ha!  Anyway, I’m watching Top Chef and feeling tons of cramping.  My labors always start with cramps.  So of course I keep wondering if I’m in labor.  Then the cramps start getting more painful.  So I told Mike.  At this point it was 2am.  He’s tired, I’m tired, but we know we should call my doctor and head into the hospital.  They always have me go in.  With my history of having a very premature child, my doctor never takes chances.  I called my mom, we start loading up the car.  My mom is on her way, but my neighbor is still awake so she heads over to sit on the couch to wait for my mom so Mike and I can head to the hospital.

The entire way to the hospital I’m thinking…

“I’m going to get to the hospital and they’re just going to send me home.”

“I’m not in labor.  This is all in my head.”

“This is funny.  These are the exact things I said to myself when I was in labor with Mason.”

“I really hope they don’t send me home!  My mom drove all the way to our house at 2am!  Please Lord don’t let this be a false alarm!”

“Holy crap!  What if I am in labor?  That means today I’ll have this baby and I’ll be a mom to 4!  Whoa.”

“Four kids.  Four KIDS?  FOUR KIDS!!!!”

“I can’t wait to meet this baby girl!  I hope I’m really in labor… but I’m probably not.  Nope they’ll send me home I’m sure of it.”


So we get to the hospital, I get up to labor and delivery triage, get hooked up and just savor the sound of her heartbeat.  I love that sound so much.  It’s always so magical even the 4th time around.  I also remember savoring every kick and roll too.  Knowing this was my last pregnancy, I just remember knowing I needed to savor and enjoy it.   As I savored the kicks I joked around with my nurse.  She was awesome and pretty damn funny!  At one point she stopped and looked at me in disbelief.  “How are you joking around with me right now when you’re in labor?”  My husband and I shared a knowing look and just laughed.  I’m fortunate in the beginning stages of labor.  I only cramp.  It’s later when the pain comes… that is if I don’t get an epidural.  hahaha!!


My doctor comes in and checks me… I’m 4cm dilated!  THAT is when it hits me.  I dilated 3cm since my appointment.  This was it.  So I text my mom and let her know to settle in at my house because I’m definitely in labor.  And I smile.  Of course I smile!  I get to meet this baby that I’ve been carrying around all this time.  That’s definitely something to smile about.

I get admitted into labor and delivery and immediately decide I want to walk around to try and get labor going even more.  My first doctor told me that she wasn’t going to do anything to help labor along like break my water or anything.  She wanted to just see what my body did.  So of course as soon as I’m all checked into labor and delivery I decide I’m going to walk the halls for an hour to try and get labor going.  By this time it was around 4:45am I think.  So I walk and walk and walk.  Mike stays in the room and takes a nap.  Poor dude was so tired.  I was too hyped up to sleep.  All you moms out there I’m sure can relate to that!

Unfortunately when I get checked again, all that walking didn’t help me progress any further.  I was so bummed and so convinced I was going to be sent home.  I was having so much cramping and a little pain by that point and I had to be hooked up to the monitors to check my contractions which were still 3-5 minutes apart.  Once I was in the bed I realized how tired I was so I decided instead of walking more I needed to just rest and try and get some sleep.  Since there are 8 doctors at my OB, I knew I’d be seen by another doctor at shift change.  And 30 minutes later (7am), in walks my favorite doctor.  I’m thrilled to see him!  And hopeful that he’ll be the one to deliver our baby.  And he says three words that bring the biggest smile to my face… “I have a c-section to do and after that I’m coming back here and BREAKING YOUR WATER.  See you around 9am.”  He leaves and I can barely contain my excitement.  I text my mom again and let her know.  I also text some of my friends that I know are awake and tell them too.

I try unsuccessfully to take a nap while I’m waiting for Dr. B to come back.  He finally comes strolling in around 9:45am… I remember thinking he was running late.  I was obsessively checking the clock.  haha!  It was pretty painful having my water broken and there wasn’t that gush that I was used to but Dr. B knew he had at least “nicked” it so he told me to walk around for a while and he would check on me.  Well… as soon as I stood up I could tell he had definitely broken my water and as I began walking the halls it was definitely clear as I felt like I was slowly peeing uncontrollably. LOL!  So Mike and I walk the halls for about 30 minutes before going back to the room.  About 30 minutes later they check me again and I’m still at 4cm.  My mom calls and I talk to her for a bit but my contractions start coming on pretty strong so I hang up the phone so I can breathe through them.  And then walks in the anesthesiologist.  Woo!  My epidural has arrived!  Only it wasn’t as painless as it has been in the past.  It wasn’t painful per se, just hard to describe.  And I’m having contractions through this procedure which was taking so much longer than it ever had before.  So I’m having to arch my back this way, no that way, so arch it more, no less and then I’m being told DO NOT MOVE AT ALL.  Which I didn’t behave very well in the beginning… as soon as he starts my body moves involuntarily.  Ooops!  But he finally gets in my epidural!  yay!  I tried taking a nap but with the nurses coming in constantly and my IV being painful (don’t even get me started on my hate for getting an IV), and just being really excited, a nap just never happens.


About 2 hours before I have our baby, we all notice that when I have a contraction her heartbeat slows to a crawl.  So I’m turned to my other side.  And with the next contraction, her heartbeat slows to a crawl again.  It was freaking me out.  Imagine hearing a steady galloping heartbeat one minute and then a second later that sound slows down so dramatically it sounds like it’s in slow motion.  So for the first time ever during labor I’m given an oxygen mask.  And with every contraction I have to either roll on my other side or I move my side up and down to try and get her heartbeat back up.  My nurses don’t even leave the room.  They’re watching it.  There’s some talk of c-sections but I mostly tune it out and just listen to her heartbeat.  It’s terrifying listening to it slow down so much so quickly and so often.

I get checked about 1.5 hours after I get my epidural and I’m at 7cm.  Progress is good!  At 4:30pm I get checked again and I’m at 9cm.  Wooo!  I can finally take that smothering oxygen mask off!  I’m SO close.  My nurse starts getting everything prepped for delivery and I can’t keep the smile off my face.  See? Epidurals are AWESOME!  You actually get to enjoy being in labor, because you can’t feel the pain!  ;)  At 5:15 she checks me again and I’m complete and ready to have our baby!  In walks Dr. B, he gets all prepared to deliver.   He sits down and I push.  Once.  One big push.  And just before 5:30pm on August 27th, our beautiful little baby girl Brooke Lynn Benner was born weighing in at 5lbs 12oz and 19 inches long.  My doctor could not believe how fast I was able to push her out.  He told me and Mike we should definitely have more kids because that was the best pushing ever done.  GO me!  haha!!  Mike and I are not having anymore for the record.  Brooke is our 4th and final.  ;)


And we found out the reason for her heart rate dropping… the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck once and around her shoulder/chest once.  So every time I had a contraction she was being strangled a little bit.  So scary, but so glad she was ok!  She came out absolutely SCREAMING.  And I mean the loudest screaming cry you’ve ever heard.  They put her on my chest right away.  And I just stared at her.  Immediately falling in love with our teeny tiny perfect baby.  Our 3rd girl.




Once in recovery my parents brought our 3 older kids to come meet their baby sister.  Angelina and Zoe fell immediately in love with her.  What a lovely sight to behold… seeing your children meet their sibling.  So sweet.  Mason was teething that day so bad so he was a bit cranky.  He was pretty scared of Brooke at first which really surprised me.  He kept pushing her away or if she made any sound he would practically run away.  This made me feel super apprehensive for our transition once we got home.  I was downright petrified that he was going to hate his baby sister.




Once we got home and our kids came home from my parent’s house and once my parents left and it was just us, Mason changed.  And it was almost immediate.  It’s like he suddenly realized that this baby was here to stay and he was the big brother.  Because since he really truly met Brooke when she was 3 days old, he’s been her BIGGEST fan.  Always checking on her, always rubbing her hair and saying “awww baby” or “hi baby”.  He hates it when she cries.  Hates.  He walks over to her and tries to console her or he whimpers if he’s not near her to try and comfort her.  He grabs her blanket and tries covering her up or tries putting her hats on.  My biggest worry was dashed so quickly I can’t even believe I had my doubts.  His love for her is really quite remarkable.  And it’s so fun to watch!




Some days in the midst of all the chaos… because trust me, there’s a lot of it, I can’t help but look around and smile and think to myself… “wow.  I have 4 kids.  FOUR amazing kids.  We are so very blessed.”







January 19, 2014
by shealynn

Sugar Free Birthday Cake

I got mixed reactions when I talked about making Mason’s 1st birthday cake sugar free.  From “Why?” to “Awesome” and everywhere in between.  Some responses were even a tad rude.  Which I thought was weird.

Most everyone on Instagram wanted the recipe, so I figured I’d blog it for you.


Now why sugar free?  Well, my husband and I talked about it for a bit.  He and I agreed that we didn’t want to overload Mason with sugar.  And not just sugar… a whole lot of sugar.  Most cakes call for 1-2 cups of sugar plus 1 cup or more of sugar for the frosting.  Mason has had 2 licks of ice cream his entire life.  And I say licks, but that’s being generous really.  When I read an article about sugar being as addictive as cocaine is when I really had no doubts that choosing the sugar free cake route was definitely the way to go.


Admittedly, my daughters both had sugar loaded cakes for their first birthdays.  And so did I.  And I love sugar.  And I know sugar is additive, that’s why I rarely have dessert or keep sugar loaded crap in my house.  It’s why I get so upset with my mother when my girls tell me how much sugary crap they’ve overloaded on.  My oldest daughter is like a crazy person when she’s had a lot of sugar.  I always know when she’s had too much.  I’m not saying that Mason will never have sugar.  Because I’m positive that he will.  My point is… why do babies need sugar ladened cakes for their 1st birthday?  They haven’t had any, except natural sugars from fruits, their entire first year.  If I knew then what I know now, I certainly would not have given my daughters cake with sugar in it for their 1st birthdays.  I know most who read this have already skipped to the recipe because I’m sure I’m coming off as preachy or something. I’m certainly not intending to come off like that.  This is just my answer to the “why would you feed your baby a sugar free cake” that I got asked a couple times last week.  Really, my response is… Why wouldn’t I?  Or I could answer their question with a question – why WOULD you feed your baby a cake loaded with sugar?  Same type of question.


And as I said… Mason doesn’t know the difference, so why not take advantage of the fact that he’s not had that addictive white substance yet?  ;)  And I’ll tell you one thing… he loved his cake!  And it was a very small just his size cake.  And there was ZERO white sugar in it!  Perfect!


So.  Here’s the recipe!


  • Butter and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan or 2 8 in round pans if you’re doubling the recipe like I did.
  • With electric mixer, beat together 2 / 3 c. mashed banana and 1 / 2 c. softened butter until creamy. Beat in 3 / 4 c. water.
  • In a separate bowl, beat 3 large eggs until very foamy. Then pour the banana mixture in and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together 2 c. cake flour or whole wheat flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. cinnamon.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the banana/egg mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Pour batter into your pan(s), and spread evenly.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I used 2 8 inch round pans and then used a circle cookie cutter (you could also use a biscuit cutter) to cut 2 layers for his cake.


For the frosting …

1 8oz container of cream cheese mixed with desired amount of organic no sugar added applesauce (I made my own), and cinnamon.  I don’t have measurements.  I just mixed it until the taste of cream cheese wasn’t too overwhelming.  But, next time I want to try whipping cream instead and make it like you’d make homemade whipped cream but obviously no sugar added.  Just add in a little applesauce and cinnamon to the whipped cream instead.  I think it’d taste better, but obviously Mason had zero complaints.  We had a small group of people over … I didn’t serve any food. But since I did make too much cake, I actually frosted the left over 8 inch single layer cake and served it.  Everyone enjoyed it … even my girls!  :)


I wanted the cake to have a natural look.  I didn’t want any dyes or sprinkles or anything else unnatural added to the cake.  It may not look perfect, but I didn’t care.  LOL!  Mason didn’t care.  He smashed it and enjoyed it all the same.  And we all enjoyed watching him.

If you do decide to make this cake, make sure and link me in the comments!  I’d love to know how it turned out for you!









January 8, 2014
by shealynn

Back To Basics

I’ve been blogging for so long.  Since Zoe was a brand new baby!  So it’s been 7 years now.  When I began blogging I did it because I wanted to.  Because I wanted to document my life.  And at the very least have something for my kids to look back on or read along the way.  Somewhere along the way, though I’ve lost the love I once had for blogging.  I’m sure it has something to do with all the blogging I did when I started my business.  All the giveaway blogging I did to help small handmade businesses and let’s call a spade a spade… I did it to gain followers as well.  So somewhere along the way blogging became a popularity contest.  I think once I realized that I began to lose the will to write.  I was no longer writing things I wanted to write about, but writing what everyone else wanted me to write about.  I would ask my readers what they wanted to hear rather than just writing what I wanted to write about.  I would be afraid to blog certain things because somewhere along the line I began to care more about what people would think about my opinion rather than just writing whatever the hell I wanted to because this is MY BLOG.

I was talking with a friend of mine last night and I was basically telling her that I am sick of letting other’s dictate what I write about.  If I truly want to get back into blogging, then I need to go back to the heart of it.  Back to the basic purpose of a blog.  Blogging was an online journal to me in the beginning.  It was a place that I could come and literally write whatever I wanted to write about.  It didn’t matter to me who read my blog, how many followers I had or what anyone thought about my post.  It was about me, my thoughts, my memories, my pictures, my family.

Even now I rarely read people’s blogs.  It’s because I’ve noticed that people aren’t blogging because they feel this dire need to write about their day, or their feelings anymore.  They’re writing what they think that we want to hear.  They’re posting giveaway after giveaway.  Or posting about what other’s are posting about.  It seems that people have lost their reason for blogging and are just doing it for money or popularity.   I was once one of those people too.  Once I got pregnant with Mason I realized that blogging was no longer fun.  And I really didn’t want to do it much anymore.  I still left it up and I still occasionally added to it.

In the conversation I had with my friend last night she and I told each other that we had a desire to begin blogging again.  My desire is to basically go back to how blogging used to be for me.  Just the basics.  No giveaways.  No advertisements.  No promotions.  Just me and my thoughts.  Pictures and memories.  My blog is about to become selfish again, and I am totally ok with that!  I don’t expect comments, I don’t expect new followers.  Because this blog isn’t about that anymore.  And I’ll blog what I want to blog about.  I’m 32 years old.  I mean honestly… why should I care about what others think about what I’m writing?  These are my thoughts.

So here’s to getting back to the basics of blogging!