Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Studio

I've taken over Judah's old room! I decided I was too tired to repaint so blue it will remain. I added pink curtains for a girly flair and am still working to pull the room together. So far I think it is wonderful.

A glimpse into the room from the door - yes I sit on a little kid chair (any ideas to make it match? Maybe a chair cover?!). It helps me because I don't have to lean down when I stamp - I sit at just the perfect level! The dresser is home to family momentos, small gifts that I save throughout the year. The table to the right of the dresser is my sewing machine; it is hidden inside the top. I have never used it, waaaah! I need to be taught how to use it.

 The closet - I moved my clothes and bags to this closet as well as my supplies, notebooks, etc. And apparently the cat! LOL! Our master bedroom closet is way too tiny (yes, tinier than this one here!!!) so I gave that closet to Daniel and I am using this one; part personal but mostly business stuff. It feels SUPER weird to have my stuff split between two rooms.

 My "work bench" is an antique dry sink. I actually tried to sell it several years ago when it was unpainted without any takers. Finally I painted it black, added pink glass knobs to the drawer and cabinet and decided to use it for my business - couldn't be happier! It's the perfect work table for what I do. It has four shelves, a cabinet with a shelf and a drawer - you can see it is quite full of stuff I need to create my creations! The tall shelf to the left of my dry sink holds even more alphabet stamps, my pens/pencils/scissors and all those white boxes are FULL of charms! I am a charmaholic.

My other work table. This is where I piece everything together and package items up. The little drawers house all my birthstones, crystals, beads, chains, etc. I found that sewing bench (the little seat) on the side of the road - score! It was in perfect condition, newly covered and the seat comes off for storage. The stuff on the walls will be changed to match better and I want a table skirt to hide stuff under the table. I would just put fabric over the whole thing except I really need the surface of the table to remain as-is for what I do. A table skirt will fit the bill... once I find one or convince someone to make me one.

It's slowly but surely coming together! It took my pregnant self about 3 days to move it all.

All in all I'm super stoked to have all this space. It's really echo-y in the room, though, so I do need to get a rug to help deaden some noise. So far I have found nothing online. I'm going for a pink-blue shabby chic Parisian feel and if you know me then you know I like things to go along with the theme so shopping will soon be in order!

I still have moments of feeling guilty for taking a whole room for my business but honestly the kid's bedrooms are predominantly for sleeping and playing - which they all like to do with one another rather than all alone. So I have to shake it off and remind myself that I do this FOR our family, not just myself. Not to mention I really, really, really needed my work stuff separate from my bedroom. I feel I am even sleeping better without all that stuff crammed in our little anteroom in the master bedroom anymore.

As far as how Judah has been doing having moved in with Zoe - the first two nights I seriously questioned my own sanity in moving him. By the third night and on it has been a lot easier and he's falling asleep quicker and quicker each night. He tends to lay there and babble and yell, might cry out spontaneously but then is quiet or back to babbling as if to say, "Hey, you know you left me in here! I'm STILL here!" Having him in there means Zoe stays put instead of wandering to my room AND they're both sleeping in a little later, which is fantastic because their little bodies need the sleep.

And....... on another note! The view from my bedroom window this morning. So pretty!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Trying out the Blogger app. I can post pics from my phone. Woo hoo!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snowed in!

I finally have pictures to share! Yesterday we were snowed in and today we decided to try to find the snow shovel and dig out the vehicles (and by "we" I mean "Daniel"). The problem is the kids were playing with it in the backyard pre-snow, which they weren't supposed to do. They left it out somewhere in the backyard and then about a foot of snow fell on top of it. Needless to say the shovel was not found. Hopefully some of the white stuff melts tomorrow so we can find it in time to dig up the sidewalk, walkway and driveway. Have I mentioned I hate snow/winter? Which is why you won't find me outside in the following pics... (taken from the warmth of my backroom, indoors):

 Poor Elaina has no snowsuit but she was wearing lots of layers. Making a snow angel!

 Zoe was flapping her arms like a bird trying to do her angel!

 Abigail stopping in her search for the shovel to give me a grin.

 Reno got a nose-full of snow! Sam is right behind him - see the extra legs, ha ha. Watching them TRY to bound around in the snow is hilarious.

Zoe found a spot, sat down and had herself a snowy snack (no worries, no yellow snow). Love her expression of pure delight.

Judah had stayed indoors with me. I don't have a snowsuit for him and can only find ONE of his boots. I have no clue where it could even be as I cleaned out his room today and of course Zoe's room has been rearranged and didn't find it there either. Hmmm.............. missing shovel and a missing boot! What else could I possibly miss?!?!

Elaina woke up yesterday with an irritated eye and it quickly manifested as pink eye. Lovely. She can't keep her eyes open and the light bothers her, too. I'm hoping it resolves quickly as I know how miserable it is when your eyes bug you like that.

Musical Rooms

So yesterday morning, right after breakfast, I got the itch to put Judah's crib in Zoe's room to let the bedroom-sharing commence. Except his crib wouldn't fit out the door. I took off one side. Still couldn't get it out. Took off the other side... no go! Had to take the whole darn thing apart. It's not an easy crib to put together and take apart (but it's sturdy so it negates the frustration of piecing it together).

Get it in there, proud of my accomplishment and off we go to run errands. A winter storm was on it's way and I wanted to make some returns to the mall (preggo jeans that didn't fit right) and get some milk. The mall was really empty, score! But the grocery store? You would have thought it was the end of the civilized world. Shelves were emptying fast and people were getting crankier and crankier.

Judah missed his nap in all this excitement. Let's just say he's not used to running errands, not during naptime. He slept in the car for an itty bitty bit and was inconsolable when we got home and he was woken up.


And then I thought, "Oh no, I put his crib in Zoe's room already! This wasn't a good day to start the trial run of them sharing a room".

It truly wasn't because putting him to bed later was a nightmare. He was upset, freaked out and confused... and I felt super guilty. If his crib could fit out the door easily I would have just pushed it back to his room and waited to have them share a room until he understood a little better about what was going on. Once he was finally asleep he stayed asleep through the night, though.

Nap today he fussed for a few minutes and went to sleep really well. But again, tonight, it was hard getting him settled for bed. He was a little freaked out to find his bed in another room. He went from sleeping in a pitch black room, alone, to sleeping in a room with his sister and her stuffed animal that projects stars on the ceiling and the hall light shining in the room.

I thought if they were going to share a room together we should do it sooner rather than later thinking he'd forget it was his room and move on... Then again we stopped breastfeeding months ago and he stills pats my chest and says "Bee-bees?" In fact just today he lunged at me with his mouth open and tried to attack me through my shirt. Silly, silly boy!!! Who says babies don't have memories?!

*I keep forgetting to bring the cord to my phone up to bed with me when I post or I'd have pretty pictures to post along. I can't get my phone to sync with Blogger here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monday Happenings

We officially "hired" the homebirth midwife (MW for short) and I had my first appointment with her today. Judah has had diarrhea for five days straight so Daddy stayed home with him and I took our three girlies to the appointment. We meet at the MW's home. Elaina exclaimed about fifty times, "Her house is so nice and beautiful!" We live in a historical neighborhood so all the houses here are OLD (mine was built in 1909) but our MW has a nice little suburban home so maybe that's why Elaina was so caught off guard?

They got to hear baby's heartbeat for the first time. The MW let Zoe wipe the goop off my belly and had Abigail help her put the doppler away. She was so sweet to involve them and get them excited about their newest sibling.

I just have to say again how stoked I am. Not only that but this MW is so relational. I find it really hard to meet new people and open up, especially with other women. She just has this natural ability to draw you in and you're just so comfortable. None of us really wanted to leave, Zoe even cried about leaving her house.

In my personal experience the difference between OB care, hospital MW care and a home birth MW is this: when a homebirth MW says she spends 45-minutes with you she spends 45-minutes with you. There's no checking over the chart as she walks into the room to remind herself of who you are. No, she sits there on the couch next to you with a cup of tea and talks to you about anything and everything, not just the pregnancy. She gets to know YOU. She gets to know your kids and your husband/partner. It is still a professional relationship so even if you feel like besties forever it is rare that a MW/patient relationship extends personally beyond the postpartum care - it's a unique dynamic!

She made sure to ask me if I had ever been violated in my life because women who have been molested or raped tend to have a hard time with the vulnerability of labor and birth. I told her I hadn't but I understood why she asked me and I appreciated that she asked. To her birth isn't just physical - it's emotional, spiritual and psychological as well. I know other medical providers are beginning to ask the same question and be more sensitive to women who may not even realize that their fear of birth is linked to violation from their past. 

She's got a Texas drawl so when I left I noticed a little more prominent twang to my speech (but I am from Iowa and it seems a lot of the Iowan accent is similar to a Texan one anyway - I've said "y'all" since I was a kid though I don't say it quite as much as an adult it still comes up from time-to-time). There are a lot of words I say with a country accent that my husband makes fun of me for so let's just say it was worse when I got home, ha ha!

She felt around my belly and found baby's feet up high. We had good laughs. At one point she looks at me and says, "Oh we're gonna have fun!" I think so, too!  Though most of today was doing the preliminary paperwork (medical history) so I look forward to the coming appointments when we daydream together about the birth day and can spend more time and focus on that.

Aside from the appointment my little (errr big) family did some spring cleaning today. Man I am so wiped out after not accomplishing much! But I guess when I look at the overall day I did do a lot. It just doesn't *feel* like I did. Daniel and I filled two LARGE 33 (or is it 45)-gallon trash bags with clothes we don't wear, won't wear. Our closet is pretty much empty and his drawers are not stuffed to the gills anymore. Now if only I could get him to clean his dresser-top and nightstand, oy! I feel like I live with a teen boy sometimes.

I love purging my home! But I have to wonder where the heck it all comes from. I feel like I have a thrift store bag (or two) every week.

What I did today (my Retro To Do List to make me feel better):
-Cleaned the kitchen
-Cleaned out master bedroom closet
-Fixed the bar in Judah's closet
-Washed, dried, folded and put away laundry
-MW Appt.
-Made a home-cooked dinner
-Did a bit of homeschool work
-Packaged up completed jewelry orders
-Finally plugged in my essential oil diffuser (AMAZING)

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I'm 22 weeks!

First I have to mention I've been sitting here feeling baby (I need a nickname!) roll and kick for an hour. I've chugged four or five glasses of water because I kept getting contractions. I did way too much today for being pregnant and definitely felt it later on. Shame on  me, I know! Promise I will try to not do it again!!!

My other four* pregnancies (*not including my two miscarriages since I wasn't far enough along to know the details) the placenta has been in the front so around 24-26 weeks is when I felt the really big rolling or jabs, rarely ever felt a swift and hard kick or movement that kept me awake at night like I hear other mommas talk about. I mostly just felt rolls and pushing, maybe the occasional jab at my side where there was no placenta.

This is my first pregnancy where the placenta is toward my spine (posterior). I'm just in awe of how much movement I have been feeling for the past month, consistently, and how STRONG the movements are. I am starting to notice a pattern of wakefulness in baby, I can see them moving, I feel actual kicks rather than just rolling/pushing and each of my daughters has now felt their newest sibling doing somersaults in there. I actually desired to have a pregnancy where I didn't have an anterior placenta - God is faithful to give us the desires of our hearts, even for what may seem so small at times! It was something I didn't even remember thinking and asking about until typing just now.

Okay so on Wednesday, just a few days ago, we met with a homebirth midwife. For their privacy I won't mention who they are. I love my birth center and I think birth centers are *fantastic* but I am excited about the possibility of going into labor, having a baby and then snuggling in my own bed. No guessing if I'm in labor or timing things or trying to predict the best time to head out the door, my team comes to me instead of the other way around, I stay in my comfort zone with familiar sights and smells and our own germs and honestly probably a much shorter labor because there's no transition from home to another place (read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, amazing!) which can affect dilation and progress for the majority of women.

We still haven't made a final decision about what we're going to do ("we" as in Daniel). Daniel believes in home birth, promotes it, knows a ton about it but now he has to consider it as a reality for his own wife and baby. As the protector of the family it makes him nervous to make this leap so I'm just giving him time. I'm hoping we can come to a consensus this weekend though. I'd like to let her know, especially as I'm over the halfway mark in terms of estimated dates.

Some things that stuck out to me at our interview:
-She's easy to talk to and be around! I'm not good at small talk and often leave places feeling like I tripped over everything I said. It's important to me to be able to relate to my support team.

-She knows her Scripture! She started preachin' it and it was good (and related to birth).

-She has three birth tubs to rent and is water birth certified. The birth center has a tub in each room but they're about the same size as the tub I have at home and I couldn't get up on my knees, lean over the side or even be completely submerged when laboring with Judah. I mentioned this to the midwife and she said you really need to be npple-deep so I'm super hopeful that I just might get my water birth if we do a home birth.

-Speaking of water birth she mentioned that most of her client's births are in the water. She said it naturally happens that momma is leaning over the tub in a squatting position with husband/partner by her face while she stays near the "business end" to keep an eye on things. She encourages momma to put her hand on baby's head as they emerge and helps momma bring her own baby up between her and her husband. I cannot tell you thrilled I was to hear this. Again it might not happen but I'd be ecstatic if I 'caught' my own baby! She said "You don't want to see my face and expression when you have that baby - you want to see his!"

-There's always 2 or 3 people who come for the birth, at least one being a midwife (others may be a student and/or nurse).

-She said something that made me laugh. She said "Only invite people to the birth that were there for the conception" and then she smiled. I can only imagine how difficult it can be for a doula and/or midwife to have people at the birth affecting a momma getting into her labor groove. That's not to say all who attend births are bad or disruptive whatsoever. I just imagine it can be difficult if strong personalities show up to the private affair. I've read enough midwife memoirs to hear the stories. We were already planning on it just being Daniel and myself and I do want someone to photograph because I cherish those photos so very deeply but want my husband to focus on me, not the camera. So we were totally on board with that with the addition of the photographer, who will most likely be my sister-in-law if she wants to do it. If our kids happen to be there I know the older two will be okay but someone has to take the younger two if it's not the middle of the night. I know some kids sleep through it all! We've got all sorts of plans figured out in our minds and honestly, it always works out.

-She said she confiscates phones, ha ha! She's like, "no Tweeting or texting or Facebooking! They can all wait. Now is your time with baby and you don't get that first hour back!" So after the placenta is delivered and everyone helps you out of the tub, if you happen to be in the tub, they tuck mommy, daddy and baby into bed for a strict 45 minutes for alone time. During that time the birth team cleans up, drains the tub, cooks food for the starry-eyed parents. Then they come and do the footprints and weigh baby and then she said we can have phones back (I think she was partly serious and partly jesting but honestly the last thing I'm thinking about in labor and after delivery is getting on the phone so I have no qualms about this whatsoever!).

-No rough rubbing of baby after birth nor bathing the vernix off of them (have you studied the amazing properties of vernix?! If you are having a baby you should and should encourage waiting a day or several days before baby's first bath!). No eye drops, no cord clamping until placenta is delivered and I don't even think she suctions unless baby obviously needs it (that last one is one question I forgot to ask, though the bulb syringe is in the birth kit it might just be in there for an "as-needed" item). Again all stuff we've researched and are highly comfortable with.

-She also said baby doesn't leave mom that first hour, that there's only a few seconds where Daddy holds baby while mom gets out of the tub and then baby goes back to momma's chest. She said baby needs to be at momma's chest for at least 72 hours (not just breastfeeding but being ON momma, like kangaroo-care). She really, really wanted to be clear that no one was going to interrupt those precious moments unless baby or mom needs medical attention. 

-Speaking of medical attention she said it is rare for mommas to hemorrhage if they follow her pregnancy nutrition plan and take Alfalfa in the 3rd trimester (I also have been and will continue Red Raspberry Leaf supplements/tea as well) but in the rare chance they do she has other tricks. She does do a food diary which is daunting to me but I think we can do it. I just have to be honest and say, 'Ya know, sometimes all I have in the house is PB&J and cold cereal until one of us can get to the store' but have been and will continue to try my hardest to get enough protein and what baby and I both need to be healthy.

All of this was told to us without us asking. It wasn't us telling her "This is what we envision" and then her saying, "Oh we'll try that" or "We'll see.........." or any hesitation about anything. She simply told us how the majority of her births went and it *all* lined up with what we believe to be best. She spoke, we listened. We were interviewing her, not the other way around, though she is free to decline services to anyone she is also not comfortable with. Then we asked any questions (there were very few) on anything that wasn't clear. I'm ready to jump on board, just waiting for hubby to get over his cold feet.

If you read this the whole way through I commend you! This was quite long,!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Songram, Take 2

Pictures from our sonogram today!

Baby's Face

 Curled up in a ball...


Baby weighs approximately 14oz and measuring at 20 weeks 4 days rather than 21 weeks 3 days but it's not a big deal. Baby will come when baby is ready.

Last time I saw the baby they were just a little gummy bear! So amazing to see their fingers, toes and spine and more facial features. The sonogram tech seemed to catch the gender pretty quick and marked my letter (that I'm sending to my sister) with the gender. I honestly didn't even realize she had got it so quick. Waiting a little bit after the 20-week mark helps them to see things better so that might be why.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention how I thought the placenta was anterior. It's NOT! My first pregnancy with a posterior placenta. That would explain why I've felt so much movement and consistently. With my anterior placenta pregnancies I didn't feel consistent baby movement until weeks 24-26! (Anterior placenta = placenta toward the mother's belly rather than her spine; it will absorb a lot of baby's movements.)

Baby's heart rate was 137bpm. I've heard low means boy but alas we shall see!

So there you have it! Our little baby!!! Four months away from holding our new son or daughter.