Friday, August 29, 2014

39 Weeks!

Today I am 39 Weeks pregnant. Some people might complain but I know enough now that I should be grateful to be able to maintain a healthy full-term pregnancy. Also, I really don't want to deliver before my due date because then I have to go back to work right before Thanksgiving instead of right after (although I have no reservations about going back to work after maternity leave, no one wants to work the day after Thanksgiving)! At this point, however, I am just hoping she comes on her own and that I don't have to be induced. With my last pregnancy I was induced as part of a trial study. My labor actually went really well. No complications, I went home the day after I delivered Everly, and I barely felt any pain while I was waiting for my epidural. The thing is, those first 3 months after Everly was born were really hard for me. I know part of that is due to all of the hormones and a lot is also due to the shock of having to care for a newborn for the first time, but I think that part of my issues started with my delivery. I didn't really experience labor. I can't even tell you what a contraction feels like. I obviously pushed Everly out, but I don't know what that felt like. I definitely didn't work hard. After she was born, I really didn't connect with her. Of course, I loved my child immediately but I remember feeling guilty that I didn't feel more connected to her. Although I successfully breast fed her for 6 months, I am sure that the struggle with that the first couple of weeks didn't help anything either.

When we decided that we would start trying to have another child, I started thinking about the possibility of attempting a natural (drug-free) childbirth. In general I believe I have a high tolerance for pain and I kind of wanted to challenge myself. I didn't talk too much about it, however, because I didn't want to be embarrassed if I was unsuccessful. As I began to research more in my second tri-mester, I really was shocked by all of the information I was reading. I was shocked to know that 1 in 4 births in America are done by C-section. That's crazy to me. I began to realize that it was kind of crazy for me to be scared of failing at something that women's bodies have been doing for centuries. I also realized that my "clinical" and "scheduled" delivery with Everly was very mechanical and likely lead to some of my post-partum issues. I became more interested in really committing to delivering naturally. I read Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way and really feel like it helped me a lot (I would have liked to take the classes but they are 12 weeks long and kind of expensive). I also watched a documentary called The Business of Being Born and read a lot of birth stories. I am still reading some in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Justin watched the documentary with me and has also read a lot about what to expect with the labor as I know I will need/want his support throughout all of this.

It is really crazy how much I didn't know before and after I had Everly and it wasn't like we hadn't planned that pregnancy. We both took classes at the hospital, and I had a birth plan, but this time my plan is much different. A lot of women who choose a more natural delivery method tend to go the home-birth or birthing center route. I have always been happy with my care at my OB office and had fantastic nurses at the hospital that I delivered at (and really they did most of the work) so I decided to stick with a hospital birth. The problem for many people can be if your doctor or hospital sets a lot of guidelines around your birth but I don't believe that will be the case with me. Some of the things in my birth plan this time include the ability to go into labor on my own, the ability to move around and labor in different positions (as opposed to being hooked up to a monitor and stuck in bed), and the ability to delay typical newborn procedures done immediately after birth so that I can have that time to bond right after delivery. Both my doctor and hospital have been supportive in those requests, assuming that the health of myself and my baby remains well, which is really all I can hope for. I know that although I have a birth plan, things are likely not going to go exactly how I planned, but I feel I am more prepared for that now. I feel like with the support of my husband, I can do this. Sometimes I still get a little scared, but then I force myself to remember that this is how it used to always be and that I will be fine. I also remind myself that all ways of birth are amazing and that ultimately a healthy mom and baby is most important. Only God knows when/how baby Aspen will come, but I feel like I have done my part in ensuring the best possible outcome. My doctor will induce me if she has not come by 41 weeks so at most we have 2 weeks left as a family of 3! As of Tuesday I was still showing no signs of labor, but that could all change overnight so we shall see! I have a hair appointment and a mani/pedi this weekend so I won't be sad if she lets me get those things done before coming.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nursery Updates

A few more slight updates in the nursery. I filled in the tassel garland with more tissue and I think it looks much better now. Also, one of the last projects I wanted to get done was the gallery wall area. I had bought some gold frames at Ikea, we had spray painted some other old frames gold and then last weekend I bought a cute mirror at Kohl's on clearance. My sister is also making a letter "A" for this area just like she made a letter "E" for Everly's nursery (and it is still in her new room). I was kind of stumped for a while on what to put in the frames. I had found some cute prints and ideas on Pinterest, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money so I was torn. I ended up printing a couple things that I had pinned, and I also printed a picture that Justin and I took when we were in Aspen on our honeymoon. It is not done yet, but at least it is a lot closer. Also, I got the email notification yesterday that bedding we custom ordered from Etsy was shipped and I can't wait to see it. At 9 days away from my due date today I fully understand we are cutting it a lot closer than we did with Everly's nursery, but being that this is my second I am also fully aware that she won't sleep in there for at least a month anyways! I loved Everly's nursery and although it is much different, I also really love Aspen's nursery too. Maybe she is waiting to come until I finish it...haha. I am not showing any signs of early labor yet, but I know that it can change overnight so we have started to pack a little. I put aside some things for Everly and Justin and I both have a bag started, although it is kind of hard to fully pack because I use my toiletries and electronics daily as well as still wear a lot of the clothes I want to pack. I did make a list, however, so when the time comes I am ready to finish packing.
Filled in tassel garland

A print for the wall from Pinterest
Another print for the wall
A photo we took in Aspen on our honeymoon that I got printed
totally not helping...haha.
packing lots of big sister shirts
all the nursing tanks!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Nesting, Swimming, and an Urgent Care Visit

Sunday was a weird day. It started out very productive. I got up and headed to the gym. After the gym I went straight to the grocery store and knocked that out. I came home and had breakfast and coffee before we started getting some cleaning done. Justin hung a few things that we have been meaning to get to in the laundry room (hooks, etc.). We took a break from cleaning to get in some swimming before lunch time. We got Everly to let go for a little bit and swim on her own and it got her nice and tired before nap time. We had lunch before she went down for a nap and she went down really well. Justin and I continued cleaning and we even cleaned in her room while she was sleeping and she didn't wake up. It was pretty funny. We were done cleaning and Everly was still asleep so I ran to Kohl's and picked up a cute mirror for the nursery. When I got back and Everly was awake, she was not in a great mood. She had gotten a couple of bug bites the day before and they were bothering her (the monsoons have brought a lot of bugs around and we are not used to them). We put some cortisone cream on them and then Justin started cooking dinner. After dinner I got a glimpse of one of her bug bites and it just did not look good so I called the pediatrician's after hours line to talk to a nurse. About a month ago Everly had and allergic reaction to a bug bite and itched it so bad that it turned into a staff infection so we were worried it was happening again. The nurse confirmed what we were thinking and suggested we go to urgent care right away. We didn't even know that they had special urgent care's for kids only but luckily there was one just outside of our subdivision. I realized we are probably pretty lucky that we have a pretty healthy kid to the point that we didn't know that. Everly was in a pretty good mood about going to the doctor. She was even more excited when we got there. We got called back as soon as we finished the paperwork and she immediately told the assistant that she got bit by a bug which was funny because she is normally more shy with strangers. She loved sitting up on the bed in the exam room, probably because normally it is me sitting up there with all of my prenatal appointments lately. The doctor said that it was an allergic reaction and that it was not infected yet, yay! She was being so good and so cute I decided to take a video of her while we waited for the nurse to come back in with a prescription for some stronger anti-itch cream. She proceeded to tell us she was there because she farted. We couldn't stop laughing. After we left we picked up her prescription and some Benadryl and still made it home just shortly after 8 p.m. I realized I was very grateful that all of that had gone so well and not taken overly long. I also realized that I am very grateful that I have a husband that does half (if not more) of the chores around the house and that after all of that drama, we came home to a clean house. At 38.5 weeks pregnant, I am not afraid to admit that I can't handle much extra so it was nice to not have to worry about a messy house or loads of laundry. Also, it was really nice to have a toddler that made us laugh the whole time. We really lucked out with this one!
Squirting papa.
Too sunny!

such a good patient!
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Monday, August 25, 2014

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

On Saturday morning Everly and I met my mom and my nephews at The Dollhouse and Toy Store in Scottsdale for a special story time with the mouse from the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." They had the mouse there and they read a few stories from that series of books and they passed out little cookies as well. You could also take your picture with the mouse and it was all free. We don't read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" that much but Everly loves "If You Give a Cat a Cupcake" and we also have "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" for Christmas time. Everly was actually really excited to see the mouse when we arrived. I wasn't sure how it would go because of our experiences with Santa and characters at Disneyland. She is not horrible, but she usually does not want to get close. When we arrived she kept waving to the mouse and saying, "Hi Mouse!" I caught a little of it on video:

Everly and both boys loved the cookies. I took a picture with Teddy and Everly and the mouse because they both were interested but didn't want to get up there by themselves. Cam was busy enjoying his cookies in his stroller. After picture time the mouse took a break and we played in the back of the store where they had a Calico Critters doll house set up as well as a train track. Everly was hooked immediately. It was not easy getting her to leave the doll house but it did help that grandma got her some Calico Critters of her own to take home (spoiled). We were already planning on getting her a doll house of some sort for her 3rd birthday coming up but now we know it is going to be well received. As we were leaving Everly asked to have another cookie and then decided she was comfortable enough to give the mouse a big hug. It was so cute and I am glad she warmed up. Gives me hope for Santa and Disneyland this year. They have some more special story times coming up in the next few months so hopefully I can take her to one on my maternity leave. The store also has a play area with lots of toys and dollhouses that you can pay to play in but we opted out that day as it was nearing lunch time. Everly's babysitter has taken her before though and she loved it. Here are some pictures from the morning:

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He immediately ran up and gave this little boy a hug/kiss. Very loving lately!
Later in the evening playing with her critters. She is obsessed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nursery Updates

We have made more progress on the nursery! Last week we bought some curtains at Target after I they discontinued the ones I wanted from Ikea. I like the ones we got from Target but the IKEA ones were just so cheap! Justin spray painted a black curtain rod gold and hung the curtains and I think it looks great. We don't even have curtains in our own room, but I just felt like that window looked weird without curtains and I love how the gold turned out too. I also made a lot of progress on a tassel garland that my sister helped me with. I am still going to fill it in more but it is a start. It is currently on the wall behind the crib but I am not 100% if I am going to keep it there. Justin finished making a mobile for Aspen and now that it is hung I don't know if the tassel looks so good behind the crib. The mobile is super cute and to be honest, it is similar to a lot of items I liked on Etsy but just didn't want to spend the money on. Justin spent like $3 on the supplies to make this! I know, I am very lucky that my husband is both handy and crafty. He had also made a mobile for Everly's nursery so it was nice for him to do the same for Aspen as well. We are well aware she is going to get a lot of hand-me-downs and what not, so it is nice when we can try to do some special individual things for her as well. Here are some pictures:


Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekend in Review

Another weekend down and another week closer to meeting baby Aspen! This weekend started off with a walk with Mom on Saturday morning. My sister met us at the park with one of my nephews and then we grabbed coffee and bagels afterwards. I still miss running, but hopefully this walking is helping progress my labor naturally. Although I did not exercise regularly with my last pregnancy, I did do some walking and often it was at this same park. We recreated a picture I took at 37 weeks pregnant with Everly since I hit 37 weeks pregnant with Aspen this weekend. I don't look too much different but I think I look like I am carrying more now (on the right).
After breakfast I headed home so that Justin could go to work. I had plans with my mom to go to Buy Buy Baby and get some baby items that I needed. It was actually a very successful trip. We used coupons for everything I bought. I got some replacement parts for my breast pump and Everly picked out a present to give to baby Aspen. We also picked up a bed rail for Everly because she has fallen out of her twin bed once. This morning she was sleeping right up against it so I guess it is doing it's job! Everly was hilarious. She was wearing two pairs of sunglasses in the car, getting cross-eyed playing with a string, and then in the store she insisted on pushing around a shopping cart and filling it with ridiculous items.

Holding Abigail
She wanted that tutu onesie because she had a "show"
After shopping we ate lunch at the splashpad. It is so fun to watch Everly run around and entertain herself. She was even spoiled with a giant cookie after lunch. I also was able to run into a store and pick up part of Everly's gift from Aspen. She has an Abigail Interactive Story Buddy and so we got her a tea set that goes with it and then I just need to get the tea party book as well. She has been very into Abigail lately and also anything tea party lately so I think she will love it.
On Sunday we got a lot of cleaning done at home and worked on some stuff for the nursery. I know it's the nesting occurring, but it really feels good to have a clean house! On Sunday evening we went to the splash pad again to have dinner and celebrate my brother-in-laws birthday. It ended up getting really windy and then started lighting as a monsoon storm rolled in so our trip was slightly shortened but Everly still had a lot of fun. I feel bad for people who dread Sunday nights because Monday is coming and they have to go back to work. I really don't feel that way and even less so when we have such a productive weekend like we did!
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Shutterfly Photo Book

I had mentioned I was working on creating a photo book with pictures from our summer zoo trips. A couple of years ago I had made a similar one for my sister and I had recently gotten a couple of free photo book codes that expire before Aspen arrives so I decided I wanted to use them and a zoo book sounded like a great idea. I made the book so it would be something both my sister and I could enjoy and that way I could just order two of the exact same book. It ended up costing me $13 to have both books shipped, but that's it. I think that $13 for two awesome photo books is a pretty great deal, especially when this is really the only way we print pictures anymore. I can't wait till I get that orange package in the mail! Here is the book:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Nursery Updates...and nesting!

This past weekend we made a little progress in the nursery and a lot of progress in the baby preparations. As far as the nursery, Justin hung up the book shelves that we painted. I think they look great and we actually really needed a place for books in the nursery so they are very functional as well. Also, since they are spice racks from Ikea that we painted with leftover paint from the dresser...they were cheap too! We filled them with board books because we all know babies like to rip paper.
My sister and I also got started on a tassel garland that we are going to hang on the wall behind the crib. It is going to be time consuming but we got some trial and error testing out of the way so hopefully it doesn't take too much longer. Working with tissue paper is always a joy!
As far as nesting goes I got a couple more loads of laundry done. We got the diaper bag packed as well, but more importantly we got a lot of dishes done. Justin reorganized some of our kitchen cabinets to make room for baby bibs, baby bottles, and pumping supplies while I cleaned all of those items. I also found two boxes of milk freezing bags in one of the boxes with bottle stuff so that was exciting. We boiled some bottle nipples and pacifiers and just got really organized. When getting my pump out and ready I noticed that the one of the tubes had a crack and apparently I had just dealt with it by putting a piece of scotch tape over it. I decided I should probably look into getting new tubes and when I did I discovered that Medela will send you new tubes free! They had awesome customer service and the tubes are already in the mail on their way. They also recommended I replace some other parts and others were kind of gross so I am going to pick up a few things for that in the next couple of weeks. Next up we need to get our own bags packed for the hospital, as well as a bag for Everly who will stay with my mom/sister while we are at the hospital.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mall Trip

One of the things we love to do on weekend mornings in the summer is go to the mall. It always cracks me up when we get there early and no stores are open but there are plenty of people there. Apparently it is common for people (generally elderly) to get there exercise in by walking laps around the mall. I get it, I guess. It's air-conditioned and that is the same reason we are there instead of outside at a playground. Anyways, Justin had an appointment at the apple store that morning so it was perfect. My sister was working but my mom met us with the boys and they all had a lot of fun. This 5 or 6 year old boy came up to Everly and asked her if she wanted to play tag. She got shy and didn't say anything but it only took a couple of minutes before she was giggling and chasing him. It was so cute. Cameron had a blast as well and was a little giggle monster. The play area is right next to the Disney Store so we obviously went in there after. We often don't buy anything in there but Everly loves it and calls it the princess store. We walked around the mall a little more and took a ride on the little carousel before visiting the puppies and heading out. Everly almost passed out before lunch so I guess she had fun! I know Teddy fell asleep on the way home!
Also, can we talk about these boys in baby blue...
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Friday, August 8, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 36 Weeks

Trying to get in lots of protein!
How far along? 36 weeks

How big is baby? The size of a large cantaloupe

Total weight gain/loss:  still gaining...

Maternity clothes? Yep. Can't wait to wear normal clothes again.

Sleep: Mostly good. Some weird dreams still and the peeing but not too bad. Thankfully we have a fairly low-profile bed. I can't imagine trying to roll out of a big bed at this stage.

Best moment this week: Everly has been hilarious this week. She is telling all kinds of crazy stories and rambling and just really entertaining us.

Movement: Still a lot of movement but I think it is getting tighter in their for her. The movements are less disruptive than they have been.

Food cravings:  I think they are calming down a little actually.

Food Aversions: None really. I pretty much eat everything, obviously.

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs:  Not that I know of.

Pregnancy Symptoms:  I think I might be starting to waddle :(

Belly Button in or out? In.

What I miss:  Lately I have been really missing running as I stopped at 33 weeks due to it being too uncomfortable for me. My SIL is training for a half and I wish I could train with her!

What I am looking forward to: this week I realized I am looking forward to not driving in traffic in the morning. Schools started back up this week in AZ and so did the traffic!

Upcoming appointments/events:  4 more scheduled weekly appointments. Anything after that will be past my due date.

Milestones: I am definitely nesting. This week we worked on projects for the nursery, I contacted my friend about newborn pictures, called the hospital to make sure our forms were received, started working on a birth plan, finished a documentary about natural childbirth, and picked out a gift for Aspen to give to Everly. Still a lot to do but the fact that we are getting stuff done is good.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Toddler Talk

Everly was having quite the chatty night earlier this week. It is so funny to see her get so worked up when she is rambling. Luckily I was able to catch some on video:

I have no idea what prompted that and although I am laughing at it, I did talk to her after and tell her that killing is not nice.
After bath time, there was this:

Initially we had no idea where this came from but later found out that Everly's babysitter's daughter read her a book about a pigsty and we are guessing that was what prompted this. It is funny though because she didn't even think Everly was listening while she read it and it was the week before this rant happened. What she picks up and how her little brain works is so funny. Love this stage! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Nursery Updates... and toddler room too!

This past weekend Justin finished sanding/painting the other bunk bed for Everly's room. Shortly after putting them up in her room, we headed to our favorite mattress store (R&S Mattress) to get Everly a new mattress. When my Dad gave me the beds they still had the same mattresses that my sister and I slept in when we were younger. Although the mattresses actually looked in pretty good condition, we wanted to get a new one for Everly to sleep on and we knew a twin would be relatively cheap. It was funny because she was acting tired and the whole trip took maybe 20 minutes, but she couldn't make it out of the store before falling asleep. The picture below looks like the mattress is smashing her head but she had her head like that before we even put the mattress in the car and she didn't wake up when Justin put it in. The bunk beds are put together in her room, but we will only allow her to be on the top bunk when we are in there with her. For now, the ladder will be tucked away in the closet. Also, we haven't picked out sheets yet so she is still dealing with some crappy purple ones (which she actually loves). I am so glad we were able to get these beds. It was so much more affordable than buying a new bed and I love that she has something handed down. Also, she has a big room and this really fills it up a little more.

She kept saying, "I love it!"

On Saturday I also went to Ikea and picked up a few things for the nursery. We got this kitchen cart to put next to the changing table to store diapers and wipes and things. I have been wanting one of these forever and I love it. I also got 4 of these spice racks. We painted them coral last night and are going to hang them and use them as little bookshelves. I got this rug because it was so dang cheap and also a couple of gold picture frames. I wanted curtains, but they discontinued what I was looking for so I will probably find some at target. The room is still messy, but it is coming together! Better late than never right...

I realized after we put the cart in here that I had absolutely zero newborn diapers, so I went to Target and bought a small package...just incase.
Super easy and cheap project. The shelves are $5 each!
Everly "helping"
A cute print for the nursery.

Weekend in Review

Summer is basically here and we are already in full on pool season. On Friday I had the day off so I spent some time with Aspen and took he...