Sunday, November 16, 2014

How goes this Pregnancy

RI'm not doing so great on updates on the blog. It's a busy life when you have two children and one borrowed child during the day and all else that goes on in life. I do want to keep a good record for each of of my sweet children though so I will try to do better. I think the last pregnacy update was about the gender reveal which was months ago! My morning sickness finally went away around 18 or so weeks I believe. It has been replaced with heart burn instead. I much prefer that though as it's not as bad. Abigail is a lively soul who moves around with great force. Haha. I think she will have a lot of energy when she comes earth side. Rebekah still loves pulling up my shirt and poking my belly. Noah enjoys telling Abigail stories and making sure she is coming with us when we go places. Haha not sure where else she would go. I love that the kids love her so much already. They are going to be so good to her when she comes. She is a lucky little girl. I'm almost to the third and final trimester! I will be 27 weeks on Wednesday. We have everything ready for her arrival. The birth pool is rented, placenta encapsulator is picked and the birth kit has arrived and everything else we need for the birth and all of her things are set up and ready. Now we just get to wait patiently until it is time for her to come.

I'm kind of sad because the student midwife who had been at all of my parental appointments with my midwife Stephanie has decided to not work for her anymore. She has other plans and needs and opportunities which I'm sure will be best for her but she will be missed. She still goes to the bellies group every other week so it's great to see her there. That is something that I really am enjoying with this pregnancy is the home birth community. I love the group and the facebook group online and the support we all give one another in all aspects of life not just homebirth topics. Being a mom and wife can be trying sometimes and it's so wonderful to have people who understand and can give advice and love and support. I am excited for the new assistant Stephanie will have now. Her name is Amy Roberts. She is actually the one I am renting the birth pool from and she is going to be encapsulating my placenta. Im so happy she will be there to help with my birth. Sean loves that I have this group as well. He says that not only is a it a great support and outlet for me but also its best for networking. He is happy I found someone to rent the tub from for so cheap. Also I'm trading a massage for the placenta pills. He is really supportive of me doing the pills too. He said anything that helps me be me and heal after the baby he is in support of.

Stephaine is an amazing midwife. She is so empowering and kind and nonjudgmental. I like her hands off approach. Im excited to habe her there for me when I have Abigail.

So here are some belly pictures. I think it's basically the same as the other two pregnancies. I make cookie cutter babies haha.

Back to Cloth Diapers

As you may remember we had a bad experience with cloth diapering with Noah and never tried it with Rebekah. It started out ok with Noah but he started to get rashes all the time and also we just got tired of carrying a bag around that smelled like pee. Also they leaked all the freaking time!

This time has been a different experience so far. We tried out a few different brands and asked around to a lot of friends what they liked best. We decided on using Flip diaper covers and bamboo inserts as well as bumgenius all in one diapers. We are careful to not use anything with microfiber that touches baby's skin. We are pretty sure that's what caused all the smell and rashes with Noah. Also we have decided we will only do cloth when we are at home and short trips. If we are going to be out of the house all day or on a bug trip like the zoo or something we will just do disposables to be convenient. Sean is happy with our choice in diaper brands as well. He likes the simplicity of the covers and how trim they are. We used a different brand before that was really bulky and made his butt looks huge. These ones we have now are nice and slim and look like a disposable. Rebekah doesn't really notice a difference. It will be so great to be back to saving money and not buying disposables every month and basically throwing money in the trash.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sleep makes for a better mom

As a mom I guess I should just be used to not sleeping very much but the past few months were ridiculous! Rebekah was waking up twice a night crying and moving around and making noise and Noah was waking up four or five times a night needing me to put him back in bed. Most of the time Noah was insisting I sing and cuddle him back to sleep. It's one thing to have an infant or young baby waking up at night needing to be feed or have a diaper change but when your children are 3yrs and 1yr you expect them to sleep better at night. I was so sleep deprived I was irritable all the time and not having the best patience with my sweet littles. It turned out Rebekah is just teething and needs some Tylenol and extra cuddles before bed. Noah however was more tough to figure out. Sean wanted to help out but Noah wouldn't have it. As much as Noah loves his daddy a little child just wants mommy when they need comfort. We tired so many things to help him sleep through the night. We put lavender on his feet, tried a warm bath, two night lights, sound machine, nothing was working. My sister in law Melissa called me one morning after a particularly hard night and gave me some great advice and support. She said there is nothing wrong with letting them cry it out and learn to self soothe. I know there are so many parenting methods and everyone thinks theirs is the correct one. I just think that each method works for different parents, children and families.

Sean and I basically did a mix of methods. We hate locking the door and listening to our kids cry. We just feel horrible. (Not that it's a horrible thing to do. It works great for some people and the children learn to sleep and are better for it) So we warned Noah that if he got out of his bed then we would have to lock the door and he wouldn't be let out until the next morning at six zero zero. He has a clock in his room and a sign that says 6:00 so he knows when its time to get up. We ended up having to lock the door three nights in a row and listening to him cry and scream the whole night on and off. He would finally fall asleep for a few hours and then wake up and realize he is still locked in and start crying again. Then after the three days he asked us to please not lock the door and he wouldn't get out of bed. We left the door open and he stayed in bed! He knows the consequences if he gets out of bed for a reason other than 1. bad dream and needs comfort, 2. needs to use the potty. He has been doing great ever since! We are loving being able to sleep more. Now just wait a few months til Abigail comes and we wont be sleeping again haha.

Oh well, such is life as a parent. We are exhausted but its so worth it. :)

Noah: King of the Potty

  Noah is officially potty trained! What a struggle, adventure , time of learning , patience growing experience that was for the both of us haha. Once it clicked though it was smooth sailing. I think what helped the most was two things; letting him just stay in underwear no matter how many accidents he had and having him experience accidents and rushing to the potty, and lots and lots of cheers and excitement for his attempts and successes. The first day in underwear went OK. He had a few accidents but also made it to the potty a few times. The second and third day were so hard and frustrating. He had more accidents than success and many fights to get on the potty. I explained to him at the end of the day that if he wants to be a big boy and stay in big boy underwear he needs to let me know when he needs to go potty and that even if he has an accident its ok but that he needs to tell me right away so we can get to the potty. If he can't do that then we will have to go back to diapers. That was a big shock for him. He was absolutely against the idea of diapers. He told me that he wasn't a baby anymore and that since he is a big boy he needs to be in underwear. The next day was way better! He let me know right away that he needed to go and had few accidents. Even when he had an accident it was just a little bit before he made it to the potty. Sean and I are so proud of him! By the end of the week he was going potty on his own. He would rush to the bathroom and if we followed he would tell us "its ok. Go away please. I can do it without you. Haha. Such an independent boy when he wants to be.  

Sept 16 (Tuesday)
This handsome boy has been in underwear since Sunday. He had many accidents the first day, even more yesterday and today only 2! He has made it to the potty 5 times today and woke up from nap completely dry. Its been a good potty training day. ‪#‎upsanddowns‬ ‪#‎growingup‬ ‪#‎heisstartingtogetit‬‪#‎nomorediapers‬ 

Sept 18 
Noah has been dry all morning so far. He is doing pretty great. Still no poo on the potty yet but I'm so proud of him. If he stays dry for a whole day we are having a potty party for him 

Sept 20 2014
Noah has peed in the potty three times today and had two accidents (one big and one small) before peeing in the potty. If only he would learn how to hold the pee or stop the stream til he got to the potty

This was my instagram post from Sept 23 2014
I'm so proud of this handsome child of mine. He is officially POTTY TRAINED! Well for the day time anyway. He woke up mostly dry this morning so on to night time training! He went potty all by him self twice today and told me "its OK I don't need you. I can do it myself because I'm big" He went potty by himself most of the day yesterday too and has had little to no accidents for the last 3 days. I'm sure there will still be accidents sometimes but I'm so happy to be done with diapers for one child haha. He also gets himself dressed in the mornings now too! ‪#‎nomorediapers‬ ‪#‎timetoparty‬

Today is October 7th and Noah is still doing great with the potty. He poops and pees in the potty and rarely has accidents. He sometimes does get his underwear a little wet when he is playing and forgets to go but when he feels that he is wet he runs to the potty. He isn't night time trained yet but he is getting close. He usually wakes up with a damp diaper but not very wet. We just got him back to sleeping through the night so I don't want to mess with that with talk of getting up and going potty when he needs to. Haha. Its just not worth it to us right now. So for now he is in diapers at night still. Then first thing in the morning he declares "I'm a big boy. I need my underwear!"

Potty training is a huge pain in the butt. Even so you have to do it sometime and its easier when you let the child tell you when he/she is ready.

Yay for no more diapers. . . for one kid at least. Maybe Rebekah will be ready soon too?! (wishful thinking)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sewing Projects: the new adventure

I bought a sewing machine months ago and I have rarely used it since. Until recently! I decided that I wanted to cultivate new talents and hobbies and sewing was going to be one. So far I have made window curtains, pillow cases and a skirt. The skirt ended up big so I gave it to a friend. My friend Melissa Lowe and I are going to be making some maxi skirts soon for pregnancy. I am so excited to make something that I get to wear all the time!

It's pretty fun figuring out how to get the projects done. My mom is amazingly talented with sewing and making her own patterns. If I can be half as good as she is some day then I will be happy. I love all the quilts, dresses, skirts and other things she as made for me growing up and now. I hope to be able to give that to my children someday.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Abigail Olivia Howell

We found at the gender and as y can tell from the adorably girly name its a girl! We are all so excited! We had the ultrasound on Aug 14th but we wanted to do a fun gender reveal. I had the idea to dye my hair the color of the gender and Amanda made it even more fun by suggesting keeping it a secret to even Sean and I and all of us finding out at the same time. The only issue with that was Andraya, my amazing hairstylist was out of town the 14th to the 20th. So for an entire week the only one who knew the gender besides the tech was Amanda! She was great at keeping it a secret too. 

The ultrasound :

We went to Precious Predictions. She is a client of my midwife as well as a very awesome ultrasound tech. She does the ultrasound in her own home. It was so beautiful and comfortable. Noah loved that he could see his baby on the big screen tv. I will never have an ultrasound any other place. She was so amazing. She could tell right away the gender. She turned off the tv and had Amanda come to the computer screen while she wrote the gender. Sean said that he knew all along that it was a girl just by watching the ultrasound tech haha. I was thinking boy. I was wrong. 

The reveal :

Thursday the 21st I went to andrayas work and Amanda met me there. I held a towell over my eyes while Andraya did the process of dying, bleaching and dying my hair. I just love her. Then she out a hat on my head so I wouldn't see. At my parents house where mine and Sean's family were waiting I had Noah plull off the hat to reveal bright pink hair! Lots of cheers and smiles and Rebekah danced. Noah had said from the beginning that it was a sister. He was right! Can't wait to meet you sweet Abigail :) 

P.s. Read the bible story about Abigail. Its a good one. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2nd Trimester!

I'm in the second trimester already!? This is going pretty quickly. Baby is about 3 inches now (about the size of a peapod) Fingerprints have formed on baby's tiny fingertips. Ive out grown one pair of prepregnancy pants already but most of my low sitting jeans still fit. Morning sickness left me for awhile but turns out it was a sick joke my body played on me. It has returned this week which is rude. I have an ultrasound tomorrow! Can't wait to see this little one :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Baby Howell Heartbeat

I had my 12 week appointment with my midwife Stephanie. Its so different than it was with an OB and I love it! I loved Dr Hazzelrigg , he was a great care provider but the feel of the appointment is different when its with someone you consider a friend too. She and her student midwife talked with me for an hour. It was so refreshing to spend more time with the care provider rather than in the waiting room. She did the usual blood pressure and pulse and weight and all that. I've lost a pound since my 8 week appointment but that's to be expected with the throwing up i had been doing. I'm happy to report that the morning sickness is down to only once a day now!

Then we got to hear the heartbeat! That sound has got to be the most amazing sound a women can hear. The healthy heartbeat of her growing child. Amazing I say! Stephanie then gave me a little replica doll of the actual size a 12 week gestational baby is. Its so tiny and cute! I took it home and showed Noah Calli and Rebekah and they got so excited. Noah hugged it and said he would put it down for its nap. Bekah tried to eat it haha.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Preggie Update

I have been so bad at keeping up with blogging about this pregnancy. Today I'm 11 weeks! This pregnancy has been kind of different than the last two. I'm not as nauseous but I'm so tired! I just want to nap all day but of course with two kids and one I baby sit, thats not an option. I started having horrible round ligament pain on my left side this week. Also its true what they say about the third child and being bigger. Must be the muscle memory. I have gained an inch on my chest and an inch on my belly. Haha I'm slightly nervous to see how big I get towards the end. 

I am loving having a midwife this time around. I've only had one appointment so far but it was great. We are doing a home birth this time around and I'm so excited to experience it and everything that comes with it. I loved my labors with Noah and Rebekah. They were so spiritual and I was able to do things the way I wanted but looking back at pictures I remember having some things I didn't want. I was able to have the natural labor and I had my family there with me. The things I didn't like looking back are : having to be on iv for fluids, given oxygen and also having to stay at the hospital for days after having the babies. 

I have an appointment with Steohaine my midwife next week and an ultrasound in 2 weeks. Can't wait to hear the heartbeat! 

Here are some instagrams from the last few weeks. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Anniversary Getaway!

I think every couple with kids needs to do this every once in a while. 

Sean and I have been married 4 years now. It has gone so quickly. I love him more and more every day :) Our anniversary was July 13th but we didn't do much since it was a Sunday. We did have a nice day with the kids and church was great. 

We decided it would be nice to get away and take sometime to be alone. My parents and sister Amanda were amazing and watched the kids for us while we stayed 2 nights in a hotel. We dropped Noah and Rebekah off at my parents house Wednesday (16th) at 4pm. Noah didn't even get upset when we left. He and Rebekah were so excited for a sleepover with grandma and grandpa. Cortney even spent the night as well. The following day they spent with grandma and then Amanda took them home with her for a sleepover Thursday night. From the pictures I saw on Facebook they had a blast! 

Sean and I had so much fun relaxing and spending time together. Wednesday night we ate at the hotel. Drurry Inn is the best hotel to stay at! They have so many extras for free! We especially love the giant jacuzzi tub! Then we went back to the hotel and watched lots of tv and relaxed. Thursday morning we had a delicious breakfast again provided by the hotel. We got to make out own waffles! We are easily excited by food especially when it's free. Later that morning we went to the musical instrument museum in Phoenix. I have been a few times but Sean had never been. I knew he would love it and of course he did. Music is a big part of his life. We spent 3 hours there and still didn't see everything. We will for sure be going back to experience it all. I love how we get to listen to the sounds and music the instruments from all around the world make. Music is truly the language of the soul. If you get the chance you should definitely check it out. 

We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch and even stopped by Andreas work (she works half a mile from where we were staying )to say hi. Later in the evening after dinner we went to Scottsdale for the Art Walk they have every Thursday night. The art galleries open their doors to the public for free for viewing. We especially enjoyed the paintings done by Frank Balaam. He does amazing things. The gallery owner told us about him and his inspiration for the line he had just done. Apparently his family owns a very old Forrest and each painting was a shot from different areas of it. Also he comes from a line of artists. 

Friday morning we checked out at 11am and went to get our sweet babies from grandma. It was such a great time to recharge our parental batteries and get to be alone and remind ourselves why we love each other so much :) I'm such a lucky girl to have an amazing hubby and adorable sweet children.