Friday, April 27, 2012

my decision to use a midwife...

I found out we were pregnant with our first after we had been married only four months. Shocked was an understatement. I always knew I wanted to be a mother - someday. The mister and I had plans to be married for about two years and then try to have a baby - we knew we wanted to be young parents and didn't want to wait too long to start a family. But the Lord in all his magnificent timing proved us so wrong.

But neither of us had any experience with children. As in, neither of us had ever even changed a diaper! I babysat older kids while in high school but that was more of playing baseball outside or watching them ride their bikes... nothing to do with changing diapers, spit-up, bottles.

So after I got that positive on that test, I went to google. What exactly are you supposed to do after you find out you're pregnant? Well, you find a doctor. I did a quick search for doctors in Lexington. I just used the free clinic throughout college and since I was not a student anymore I hadn't found a doctor of my own. I called a local place and just told them I was pregnant and I guess I needed to make an appointment? I was so clueless. 

The lady on the phone was so nice. She told me congratulations! and asked if I had a preference and I told her I was open to anyone - I figured if I didn't like them I would just choose a different doctor the second time. I got the positive when I was four weeks pregnant, my first appointment was not scheduled until eight weeks. And we didn't tell a soul we were pregnant until after we had an honest to goodness confirmation from  a real doctor. Let me tell you, that was one long month!

Well, little did I know there were three midwives at this particular practice and she scheduled me with one of them. I always knew I wanted a natural birth for various reasons, and so I think it was really just a God thing that I got scheduled with a midwife. and since I had gone the midwife route - I saw each of the midwives at one appointment or another.

My appointments looked just the same as if I had a doctor. Each time I got my weight, blood pressure, and urine checked. I even thought about scheduling an appointment with a doctor to see what the differences were. (Luckily a friend told me midwives typically spend more time with their patients then doctors - so I probably would have just been disappointed!) But, they would listen to the heartbeat and then just ask what questions I had. I think one of the biggest differences in a doctor and a midwife is the midwife listens to you  more. You get as much say as you want (unless medical intervention is necessary, in which case the midwives I'm familiar with practice under an obstetrician... should you need that). Of course there are some excellent doctors that are an exception. But I am blown away by how many women I've heard say, "My doctor said I had to be induced." "I had to have a c-section for this or that reason." or whatever. I didn't want any doctor to tell me that... I wanted to be able to trust my doctor/midwife would keep my best interest at heart and not make a decision regarding my body and baby based on her schedule or personal preference in any way.

When we got later into my pregnancy I of course expressed my opinion to have a natural birth. Our son was breech until 37 weeks so I would have had a c-section had he not flipped. Let me also just say... it's about impossible to try to mentally prepare for a c-section while also prepping as much as possible for a natural, epidural-free birth.  But she told me she really believed he would flip - and if not by 39 weeks she recommended I see a chiropractor who specialized in pregnancy and had a very high success rate of getting breech babies to flip. Luckily that wasn't necessary! But she was very supportive of my decision and just told me we would see how my labor progressed and what I needed when the time came. I think she wanted to be sure I wouldn't feel disappointed in myself had I made the decision to have an epidural.

Now if I had requested an epidural, that would have happened. I actually had a very, very long labor and considered it very strongly at around 8cm. And my midwife was there to talk to me about that - if it was something I wanted, she would make it happen. She also reminded me that I was very close to having my baby and I had done such an exceptional job. She even told Michael that I was the nicest pregnant woman in labor she'd ever seen... something I may be a little proud of, too. :) It all encouraged me to keep going and I am so, so, so thankful that I did and I had the support of my husband and such a great midwife behind me.

A big difference, too, between doctors and midwives is I feel like is after 36 hours of labor... no one ever told me that things weren't progressing quickly enough. I took up an entire room in the labor and delivery section of the hospital for over an entire day and no one rushed my progress. The baby was healthy, I was tired but hanging in there and there was no reason to pump drugs into my body. I will mention I did have Stadol  - It helped me take a 30 minute nap and after zero sleep for two days I am everso thankful that that was an option. I remember falling asleep asking the nurse, "how long does it take to...." and I was out. So, I say take the drugs if you need them - but if you don't want them... don't let anyone force them on you or talk you in to them. Just be sure you trust your chosen provider to keep your interests in mind - not what would be more convenient for them. (As in if you have an epidural, that slows down labor, then they give you Pitocin to speed things back up... faster then your body may actually be ready for).  

I had our son on a Sunday, the following Monday there were 30 babies born - 24 of them via c-section. That rate is absurdly high and I feel like with more than one of those cases the doctor probably said you're not progressing quickly enough, the baby is in distress or SOMETHING and forced a c-section. That just breaks my heart. This is totally my opinion, I don't know if the doctors actually said those things - I can only imagine they must have for the number of c-sections to be so high. Of course I am thankful for the medical advances of our day and realize they have saved lots and lots and lots of women and babies lives... but they need to be done only when they're necessary, not because they're more convenient. For our country to have a c-section rate of 34% that screams that something isn't right.  We need to trust our bodies more and perhaps trust some doctors less. I found a quote once that I loved and I haven't forgotten. "We have a secret in our society and it isn't that labor is hard... it's that women are STRONG." I can't remember where I heard it first, but it is so, so true and I just love it.

My midwife opened a practice of her own and I was very excited to continue to be a patient of hers. She no longer delivers at the hospital where our son was born so I will be delivering baby girl at a different hospital this time around. One that actually was recently entirely renovated and is less than a mile from our home. But my appointments still look almost exactly the same as they did the first time around. If I need an ultrasound, though, that is scheduled under the obstetrician that my midwife practices under but that's not been an issue so far. The hospital and my midwives practice are less than 2 minutes from each other!

The most important thing you can do for yourself and for your baby is just be educated. It's a totally personal preference to use or forgo an epidural or other drugs or to use a midwife or doctor. Unfortunately there just aren't many people these days who are in support of natural births. I cannot tell you the number of people who said to me after expressing my desire for a natural birth, "Oh you just wait..." "Yeah, you say you don't want an epidural now..." When all I wanted was someone to say, "Wow, that's awesome... I wish you the best." But only a handful of women were encouraging about that decision. I would mention I didn't want an epidural and people would do nothing but look at me like I was nuts and try to discourage that decision. That's one reason I try to be so supportive of women who are interested... because it is such a beautiful thing. I don't want to force my opinion on people - because like I said - it's a totally personal thing. But if a women mentions to you it's something she's interested in... don't discourage her! Because it is hard work and she needs people rooting for her. If it's something that didn't interest you... that's fine! But don't push your opinion on her or make her feel like she's a fool for not choosing your route.

Just think about what you want for you and your family. Ask your doctor/midwives what their take on certain issues such not using epidurals (I've heard stories of doctors refusing to even consider delivering a baby without an epidural) or pushing in different positions is. (I have a friend who's doctor would not deliver her baby unless she was on her back.... just ridiculous!) But do your research and just trust your body and your own instincts.

Michael and I watched the Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake and we both HIGHLY recommend it. It is just really, really encouraging and gives you some insight into just how rare a natural birth is - in fact many doctors and med students in the video had never even seen a natural birth! Of course the video is a little one sided - but it being the side we're both on - we were totally in support of just about everything. I recommend watching it just to realize what you agree with or don't agree with. I also read a LOT. Probably too much - but the point is - just educate yourself. 

Another quick thing worth mentioning - it costs the same to use a midwife or a doctor in both situations I've been in (with two separate practices). Pretty neat! I can't imagine not having my midwife now... I'm so thankful for that lady who answered the phone and made me an appointment with her over three years ago. I can't say enough good things about her! If you have any questions... please send them my way. I love this stuff :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

the nursery: progress take 2

So about two weeks ago I posted before pictures of the nursery... you can check those out here. It's about time I updated you all on what it looks like in it's more current state. :) (Sorry for that dumb black speck in the corner of nearly all the pictures, it looks like I need to clean my camera!)

After going back and forth on what I wanted for this nursery, we decided to paint the walls initially with gray and white stripes... And then after talking to a decorator friend of mine she said it might look too... not girly and a little stale since this particular room is so tiny. She suggested yellow and gray stripes to make it a little more feminine but I wasn't a fan of those two colors right next to each other. So I had the idea to add a small white stripe in between the two.
 The colors we used were Daffodil by Sherwin Williams and Urban Sunrise by Valspar but both colors were matched to a no-VOC valspar paint, which is much more expensive per gallon but we had to just tell ourselves it was worth it. Very, very happy with the color! Basically we decided we wanted four yellow stripes and five gray ones with a two inch white stripe in between. The last gray stripe is 13 inches where all the other stripes are 8. The last stripe is a bit wider because we didn't want to measure everything to come out exactly because we would have ended up with some weird numbers... and neither of us like math that much. ;)

 Basically we measured the entire wall and marked off where each stripe would go with a pencil - we did this five different times at varying places on the wall and then we used painters tape and connected each of the pencil marks. That may or may not make sense... if you have any questions, let me know :) The tape we would highly, highly recommend for stripes is the green frog tape - not the blue painters tape. It's a little more expensive but worth it. For a few stripes at the end we ran out of the green tape and used the blue - and you can definitely tell.

Michael told me Monday night, "Don't come upstairs til I tell you" and my love set up the crib! I love it. Big brother also really loves it. Yesterday he carried every single book from his bedroom into sissy's room, wanted to lay in her bed while I sat on the floor and read to him. This is his favorite room in the whole house now!

The crib we bought is this one, from Target. It's not as eco-friendly as I wish it were - but it was the least expensive I found that I also loved. It is solid wood (from my search this is pretty rare - but something you want!) lead free and non-toxic... and at $129 I felt like we couldn't do much better! We also had to wait a really long time for them to bring it to us after they brought out a wrong one - so we also got it for 10% off. I love it when inconveniences save you some money. :) The crib mattress we were a little more particular on. It's this one, also from Target. It doesn't have any chemicals, is non-toxic and has an organic cotton cover. I wish we could have gotten a totally organic mattress, but unfortunately those are quite a bit out of our price range. Luckily, though, I feel really good with this option. This was one of my favorite posts to reference when looking for eco-friendly/safer options regarding cribs and mattresses.

We still have a few more things to do in here - but I'm very happy with the progress! This is Big brother's old dresser (which also happened to be my dad's and then mine!) But it is getting really old and just not as functional as it used to be, so we did find one on Craigslist that my dad is painting white for us - this one is just a placeholder until then. But most of her clothes are somewhat organized in there and also the closet which feels pretty good.

Next up on our list - I'm hoping to make a crib skirt and also a cornice for the window. Then just decide on a place for the furniture... the rocker from Brother's room is also going to be moved in here and we're going to give him a big, comfy reading corner instead. He does love the rocker but I'm hoping he'll love his corner even more :) Then hang some photos and find some art/mirror for above the crib and I think we're set! For now, of course... I'm sure I'll continue to tweak it after she's here but really happy to see we're making progress :) Next update will hopefully be of the nursery all finished up!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I had a midwife appointment this morning... baby girl is healthy and measuring a bit small. She and our son have actually measured exactly the same at nearly all of our appointments. My weight has been almost exactly the same throughout this pregnancy as it was last time too!

My midwife thinks there's a good chance I'll deliver her early and while that is super fun to hear, I'm not going to hold my breath! Big brother was 3 days past our "due date" and each of those days were really, really long ones. I woke up thinking, "Today is going to be the day!" And of course it wasn't. And when his birthday actually did come along it was exactly how it was supposed to be. But I know due dates are totally arbitrary and I think I just have an even better grasp of that this time, even though I'm sure I'll be disappointed if I'm still pregnant on June 26. But this time I think I'll know to really and truly cherish my last few nights of uninterrupted sleep if she is a day or two past her 'due date' :)

I'm not a fan of inductions, at least not for myself. I realize it's totally personal preference but I like that my midwife will 'allow' me to go to 41+ weeks before the word induction will ever be mentioned.

I'm nervous about labor this time. But I'm also really, really excited for it. The first time I was just so nervous - having no clue what to expect. And this time I still don't know what to expect! But I learned the first time that my body is a miracle and also that I'm much stronger than I give myself credit for! I'm excited to experience the whole labor and delivery process again and just see how it differs. It really is the most beautiful thing... I just can't wait to experience it again!

Midwife has told me she expects my labor and the pushing process to be much easier this time, since it was less than two years ago that my body has done this. I was very encouraged by this!

Kind of a random pregnancy update, but it's what's going through my head today :)

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have another nursery update ready to go... painting is all finished and crib is set up! Hooray! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012


How far along? 31 weeks

Updates on baby: around 16 inches and probably a bit over 3 pounds. I don't know what happened this week but sister is a big time mover now. I love it :)

Symptoms/Body Changes: I'm finally feeling pregnant. As in, I don't feel good a lot of the time. It's surprisingly hard to get up and down... It is just a strain on my body having this big belly. Also, I had more than two people tell me, "How are you going to get any bigger?!" So, yea, it's always fun to hear strangers comment on your body. And I think I just remember how big my belly got with Caedmon I know it's not there yet.

Cravings/Aversions: chocolate chip cookies... I made some homemade ones with a friend this week and I cannot stop eating them!

Getting ready for baby: We had a baby shower (which I'll post about soon) so we have lots of new baby things - I've put Caedmon's dresser into her room and moved the taller dresser into Caed's room. My mom is here so she helped me organize a lot of the clothes. Baby E has so many super cute dresses and shoes already! And we have the crib! The room is totally empty except for the crib box and dresser... it's really starting to feel like a room! And Michael had a friend help him set up the swing in the living room - Caedmon is already pretty used to it.

What I miss: just my old body! 

What I am looking forward to: Finishing the nursery

Weekly wisdom: rest when you need to... and don't overexert yourself. I may have done too much today and now I feel like I'm confined to the couch so I don't get those weird cramps/possible BH contractions? Take advantage of the people around who will do things for you... even if it means you have to wait a bit :)

Here is my twenty-one week belly photo and my thirty-one week photo one more time. She's definitely growing!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The other day we went to a bookstore in town that has a big children's area, but most importantly, a choo-choo table. Any time I walk into a bookstore with Caedmon he immediately looks up at me and says, "choo-choo?" It's pretty precious. But aren't those things awesome? I've been boys and girls as old as six playing with them and boys and girls less than a year old all playing together with those train tables. It's really awesome to sit back and watch.

So, we went to the choo-choo table and he went at it, connecting the trains and cars and pushing them all around the table. When a little girl Caedmon's age walked over with her daddy. She played with them for less than a minute and then looked up at her daddy like, "Okay, take me somewhere else... these are no fun." And I thought it was just so funny. Caedmon could play with those things for hours. We have trains at home and 95% of the time the first words he says in the morning is "choo choo". He loves, loves, loves them. I actually almost broke down in tears one day when he wanted to play choo choos after dinner because I had sat on the floor pushing trains the entire day.

And this little girl was completely unimpressed.

Today Caedmon wanted to paint - so I got out the brushes and some paint for him and he painted for less than two minutes and went back to playing with his blocks and trains. Painting does not grab his attention. This boy is much more captured by connecting trains, building tracks, stacking blocks, doing puzzles, and reading books. He'll pass on the painting, the coloring, the glueing... almost every time. But I'm still trying to offer up those things to keep him well-rounded, ha :)

Isn't it crazy how kids have such strong interests at such early ages? It's just awesome. I love watching my little guy explore and just learn more and more about the things that he loves and make him smile the biggest.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Man, has my blog been all over the place lately or what? I've got house projects, green living ideas, pregnancy updates, as well as just day-to-day stuff with a toddler... sorry for being all over the place - it's just what's going on in our lives right now. :) But to be fun and add one more thing to the mix - I did a photoshoot over the weekend and I thought I'd share a little bit about it.

This was my third photoshoot and I've already got some other sweet families who have agreed to model for me and give me some more practice, which I am so very thankful for! I was going to do a four month shoot for my sweet friend Ashley's daughter when she called and asked if I was up for turning it into a (much) larger photoshoot for her family. I was definitely intimidated but excited to give it a try. Turns out they hadn't had a family photo taken in 10 years! So any pictures were better than no pictures, right? :)

After looking at so many photographers family galleries and reading so many articles/how-tos/forums for how to take photographs for larger families outdoors... I met them at a local park feeling about as confident as possible for someone who has such a limited amount of experience. The most challenging part? Just being the boss - telling people to pose or stand this way or that way. It was difficult to focus on the details while also trying to focus on the more technical details of my camera settings. Which I'm happy to report I'm much more confident with!

It was amazing to me to see how much I've grown after just three photo shoots (in addition to photographing my sweet son all the time)! I've thoroughly enjoyed each one and I just love learning more and more.

So, I thought I'd share just a few of my favorites. I realize I'm a big newbie at this, but I'm loving all that I'm learning along the way. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

spring sprucing :)

I mentioned we were so busy with other house projects we haven't spent much time on the nursery. One thing about me being pregnant... Michael's honey-do list gets longer and longer. And as any ultra-sweet husband would, he does each task with a big smile on his face. :)
Task Numero Uno: Paint all the frames in the living room white. We have tons of frames from all over the place and I hoped it would create a look of more continuity. We have a photo collage above our couch that was our focus but now all the frames in here and the ones that will be in the kids rooms are white. :)

So here's a before shot of the collage wall

And then I decided to round up all of the frames around the house, too. After about 2 cans of spray paint (frames have lots of angles... we definitely underestimated the amount of spray paint we needed - but we also did 3 small shelves and several large frames, too!)

And here's my sweet hubs hanging all of it back up. :)

Well, I guess the frames would actually be project two. The first was moving a big black bookshelf from the living room and replacing it with this cubby shelf. When I was nannying I was overwhelmed by the amount of baby things AND toddler things taking over my living room - I think this will be a big help when it comes to putting all that stuff away, it's already much more practical than the bookshelf!

A Katie Daisy print (it actually was a card attached to one of the prints I ordered - but I loved it so much I wanted to frame it!), and a Dr. Suess quote free printable I found here.

And here's the completed photo collage above the couch. I love it! I think it looks so much cleaner than before since everything is white. I have two other free printables I found online here and here as well hanging up on this wall. One is Galatians 5:22 and the other is Psalm 118:24 :) I printed all of this stuff at Staples on card stock for about $1 a print... pretty sweet!

Now, onto the next project! Just kidding... sort of. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012


THIRTY. As in, 10 weeks left. Sheesh! I remember getting to 30 weeks with Caedmon and feeling like it was such a milestone. This time I realize the last few weeks will probably go by fairly slowly :) So I just really want to enjoy these last 10 or so weeks before baby sister graces us with her presence. :)

How far along? 30 weeks

Updates on baby: probably about 16 inches long and maybe weighing about 3 pounds :)

Symptoms/Body Changes: Nothing new! Just continuing to cope with this growing belly.

Cravings/Aversions: chocolate ice cream. I couldn't resist myself at the grocery this week... :)

Getting ready for baby: I think right now it's easier for me to focus on other areas of the house since her room is a ways off from being finished. We still need to buy the crib and get the dresser from my parents. After that... this nursery thing is on! I did make have a few things printed off for her bedroom (Thanks, Pinterest!) I'll share those soon. 

What I miss: not much... it's pretty awesome being pregnant. With the exception of just being more tired, of course!

What I am looking forward to: Some sweet friends of mine are throwing a shower for me this coming weekend... very much looking forward to that!

Weekly wisdom: take belly pictures every week... it's really fun to see the growth! Below is my 20 week belly photo next to my 30 week photo. (I love seeing that my hair IS actually growing, too!) :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

the nursery: progress

This room has been our junk room since we moved in. We called it the office because it's where Michael's computer was... but really, it's always been the junk room. Here are some before pictures to give you an idea of what it was like. It actually used to be much worse - these are after we'd already gotten rid of several things! Sheesh, how embarrassing!
That dresser was full of blankets and sheets... I moved all of them into the hope chest my grandpa made for me when I graduated high school that sits at the foot of our bed. I definitely had to do some purging to make it all fit - but really - what do we need with 2631 blankets? However, I did keep several just because I think they have good fort making potential for someday in the future :) Good reason, right? We're hoping to paint that dresser and move it into Caedmon's room... but we've got lots of other projects that need to be finished first.

This is also where all of Caedmon's toys go when he outgrows them or hasn't played with them in awhile. We don't want to get rid of much because we know baby sister will enjoy them someday... but it's tough figuring out where to put everything! The closet was full of Michael's and my clothes but we were able to pretty much donate all of them - if they've been hanging in that closet for two years and we haven't worn any of them - it's safe to say we can toss/gift/try to sell them. So now the closet is full of girly things and Caedmon's baby things. It was nice to get the baby things out of Caed's closet and move it into this one. The other boxes were garage sale things that I just stored in this room until we had the yard sale.

We were able to sell this desk at the yard sale! We don't have room for a desktop anymore so it is packed away in our closet for now. We're hoping in the future we'll have some space in the kitchen of our next home to re-set this up. But for now, it just has to be packed away. 

So we had the yard sale a few weeks ago... we made a little over $200 to put into our nursery fund! We did a lot better than I was expecting! Any thing that didn't sell we dropped off at Goodwill or the Lexington Rescue Mission and I had a box of hand-me-downs that I try to give to my younger girl cousins. It's nice to know they like getting things from me because they think I'm cool. :) It definitely makes it easier to get rid of things when you know someone else can really benefit from them! And we both just feel so much lighter knowing we got rid of so much excess. I love spring cleaning so much! Getting rid of stuff is the best :)

Now here is the room before it was primed. Mostly empty!

And here it is after Michael primed it and painted the yellow :) It's called daffodil by Sherwin Williams... we both love it so much! And it was a totally last minute pick. Love it when things like that work out. Originally we were looking at pale yellows and on a whim before I was going to buy paint I looked at the 'bolder' yellows... this was the lightest of the bunch and I love it. It's such a soft, perfect yellow in person!

The other walls are gray and so are the stripes - I just don't have photos yet! Hopefully I'll get to that this weekend. The white stripe is still primer and needs to be taped off an actually painted (plus Michael will do some touching up on a few of the stripes). I'll do a post soon with the completed paint job and also some tips we learned while painting stripes.

Sorry to leave you hanging, hopefully it'll be worth the wait :) It's so fun for us to see how our nursery is really coming together, though!!

sweet memory

I've been referring to the nursery as sissy's room... and then telling Caedmon at least once a day that his sissy is in mommy's tummy. Any time he walks into the nursery he says sissy and when I tell him, "Yes, baby! This is sissy's room!" Yesterday I asked him where sissy was and he lifted up my shirt, pointed to my belly and said hi! The pulled it down and say "bye bye!" :)

It's the cutest thing ever to hear him say "sissy" I need to try to get it on video!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

spring and other random thoughts

Right now, the windows are open and our wet clothes are drying on a rack soaking up all that fresh air. And I'm realizing... this is the first spring that I've ever liked, I think. I have an intense fear of bees that typically ruins this season for me... but that's for another post. Point is, I'm learning to cope. My desires are overwhelming my fear and I'm just soaking it in. My desire to live into more... to take better care of myself, my family, the planet... all of it is just so refreshing. And it seems fitting that I want to freshen things up this spring when the world around me is full of things freshening up. :)

The photo above is one I took right after I got home from the grocery store. I saw a tip on Pinterest that if you rinse your berries in vinegar and water before putting them away - they'll last longer. I've been doing this for about a month now and I can honestly say - it makes a big difference. Plus just seeing how brown the vinegar water gets is reason enough to do it! I feel so - I don't know - green unloading my canvas grocery bags, filling up a bowl with vinegar and dumping my fresh, organic berries into it. And I love that feeling.

We've been using homemade cleaners around the house for almost two years now (something that I became very important to me after becoming a mom!). And I love them. Yesterday I made a batch of all-purpose cleaner with hydrogen peroxide (something I've never used before in a cleaner). I really like it! Did you know that hydrogen peroxide is a non-toxic form of bleach? Kind of makes you wonder why bleach was ever created when there's a natural alternative that is non-toxic. I can hardly walk down the cleaning aisles in stores without feeling light headed from all the chemical smells... it makes me so glad we don't keep any of that stuff in the house. I also made a batch of furniture polish and used it on the TV stand (haven't had time to get to anything else just yet) but... it's the cleanest it has ever looked. Seriously! If you haven't ever tried your hand at a homemade cleaner - you've got to try it. It's fun to make (and kind of makes you want to clean so you can try out your handiwork) and also super duper cheap. All you really need is baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide (of course you can add more, but those three would be enough to clean most anything!) The thing I haven't made yet but want to is laundry soap - we still have some mostly-natural store bought stuff that I want to finish up. Oh, and I made dishwasher detergent but (again) waiting to run out of our other stuff before we (possibly) make that switch for good. If you have any questions about this stuff - please send em my way, I'm no expert but the more I learn the more I love this type of stuff :)

Recently though I've become more aware of the chemicals in our body/hair care products. For some reason it made so much sense to me that the toxic cleaners for the house had to go... I wasn't even thinking some of the chemicals in my shampoo or lotion could be toxic, too. Yuck. From my research so far I'm realizing nearly everything we owned in the body care products department is toxic - for us and also for the environment. So, little by little we're trying to take steps to make what we put on our bodies totally safe (honestly only for the sake of our family... helping the planet is just a neat bonus). 

So far I've thrown out all of my nail polish (or rather, gave it to my mom), cleaned out all of Caedmon's products that weren't 100% safe, cleaned out all of our soaps and shampoos (I have these bagged up - I'm sure I know someone who will be interested in them so I feel a little guilty just throwing them away) and gotten rid of nearly all my make-up. I use (what I think) is a pretty natural kind of make-up anyway so the only thing I had to replace was my mascara. About 6 months ago we made the switch to natural toothpaste and it really is a huge difference - my teeth feel so much cleaner after using it. We also bought more natural forms of sunscreen last summer. The only things I need to get now are hair gel for Michael, diaper cream for Caedmon (although I hear I can use coconut oil - and with little ones the less ingredients the better! plus, it's something we try to always have on hand so I'm going to try this before I buy any... but C hardly ever gets diaper rashes) hand soap for the bathrooms, and possibly some shampoo for us. Right now we're all sharing Caedmon's lavender baby shampoo/wash but I'm hoping to make my own shampoo... I'll have to let you know how that one goes. And I've ditched my deodorant for baking soda. Weird, but I've been using it for over a week now and don't have any complaints! Baking soda is wonderful  - you can use it for most everything and it's super duper cheap! Michael is also going to try to use coconut oil to shave. Man, I love my husband... he always finds a way to support my crazy ideas. I love that he gets so interested in what I'm interested in, he's just the best. :) But anyway, so I realize there is potential for things to be too green to the point where the benefits might not outweigh the cost (as in if the homemade shampoo or totally natural shaving cream don't work - I'm totally open to buying something) but in an effort to save us so money and be as natural as possible - we're going to give these things a shot first. But we're excited for our grocery list of body care items to just be a few items long. Plus, I love stepping in the shower and just seeing two bottles! Way better than the seven or so we had before. It's just refreshing to realize we don't need that stuff. But throwing things out is one of my favorite things to do - so I realize that might not be as big of a perk for everyone. :) I'll have to do a post soon about brands we've decided to go with and include if the shampoo, shaving cream, and deodorant are really panning out. I think it'll be a nice cheat sheet for me!

My list is still 100 miles long on things I'd like to do to become more green but for now, I'm just going to focus on what I am doing and be proud of my efforts. Every month I try to set a little goal for myself for that month - in March it was a 30 day encourage your husband challenge that was really beneficial. This month I've decided to not use the dryer and see if it cuts costs on our energy bill... so far I've used it once just for 15 minutes to dry Michael's work clothes. I'm drying towels on my drying rack today so hopefully they won't be too stiff. I did read a tip that adding baking soda to the rinse cycle will help with that - I'll have to let you know if that works, too. :) 

Monday, April 9, 2012


How far along? 
29 weeks

Updates on baby: 

Symptoms/Body Changes: Again with the being tired... Headaches are also more common. Today I was wiping down our kitchen cabinets and after I finished half of them I realized I had to sit down and take a break because my stomach started cramping. Midwife thinks I may be having Braxton Hicks contractions, but I didn't have them at all with Caedmon... and I really don't think that's what they are, but it's definitely possible. I'm also working on not holding Caedmon so much and having him walk whenever we go places. So far, so good :) I just really can't carry him around quite like I used to.

Movement: I'm getting the vibe she's going to be pretty chill... I can only hope that's the case! :)

Cravings/Aversions: none, woo!

Getting ready for baby: No real progress here this week. I'm in a spring cleaning mode in all other areas of the house so that's where my attention has been. I think now that the paint is (mostly) finished I feel zero rush to start another project... we've still got two months :) Oh! But I did order this Katie Daisy print for her room. (Ordered this one for big brother to keep things fair :))

What I miss: just not having to rest after the littlest things! Things are just starting to get more difficult (probably because 90% of the time I have a toddler I'm holding while still trying to do everything else!)

What I am looking forward to: Farmer's market starts up Saturday! We try to go most every Saturday it's open... I love it! and also, Michael gets off so early today so we're going to take a walk downtown this afternoon :) We didn't get to see each other much this past weekend so I am very excited to get some quality family time in :)

Weekly wisdom: I've got nothing for this week... sorry friends!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

21 months

The last time I updated on the little mister he was 18 months... Now he's almost 21 months so I thought it'd be fun to do another little run-down on what he's been up to. Crazy how much changes in just a few months with little ones. These past three months I just feel like Caedmon grew up so, so much.

Physically: He weighs 24 pounds and I'm not sure of his height... I feel like is 34 inches, somewhere close to there. I've had more than a few people guess how old he is they say, "He's around three, right?" Nooooope. I'm still wrapping my head around the fact I have an almost-two year old! He's still got his skinny little legs he inherited from his daddy :) and little mister has 16 teeth.... sheesh!

Verbally: Well three months ago he was only saying a few words and Dr. W told us if that list had not tripled in three months to maybe, possibly consider speech therapy if we were concerned, which he was 100% not worried about his speech development - but we knew we weren't going to even consider it until he was at least 2. Boy, has this changed! I didn't even realize it but every day he is just saying more and more new words - including "yea" YEA! Finally! I cannot tell you how my heart leaps when he says yes... you have to remember we had a solid 6 months where the only word this kid uttered was "no." Which is still one of his favorites - but it's nice to get a yes every now and then! :) I feel like he understands pretty much every thing I say, too which is just fun. He tries to repeat me a lot of times... and if I give him an option like, "Want to wear the blue shirt or the yellow one?" He will say "lellow" or "boo" It's pretty awesome. The words we hear most often are "bite" "no" "mommy" "dada" "choo choo" "Elmo" "walk" and "yea" :)

Socially: Little mister is a social butterfly! Whenever we go anywhere he always says "hi" or "heyyo" and "bye bye" to everyone we come across. He's gotten a teensy bit better at sharing whenever we have play dates - but we still have miles to go with that. He is more interested in playing with other kids now and it is just so fun watching him interact with other kids. He also has improved tremendously in the nursery... so much so I think I had about a dozen people talk to me about how good he's been doing in there over the past few weeks. He's like a different kid. I volunteered in the nursery one week so I stayed with him pretty much the entire time, he did great. He didn't even need to be near him. So decided I'd go to second service and leave him in the nursery - he did great! The next week I stayed about 10 minutes, then just a few minutes before church. I think that one week of me staying the whole time just really made him feel more comfortable. It gave me so much hope that preschool is a good call!

Sleep: With the time change he goes to bed around 8:30 or 9. Which I actually love - it's nice to be able to go out as a family after Michael gets off sometimes... and it's just nice knowing that he and his daddy are getting good play time in every day. Michael and I are getting less alone time together - but it's just opened our eyes to the fact that now we're going to really have to prioritize date nights and things. Anyway, he wakes up usually before 7. Lately he's actually been waking up around 5, Michael will bring him into our bed with his sippy cup, and then he'll fall back asleep until 7. It's really sweet. I like that he wants to cuddle with me in the mornings but I've got to be honest - I don't get much sleep from 5-7. Little mister is a wiggle worm and kicks and rolls around in between us making it impossible to sleep. But waking up as a family is pretty awesome... so it's worth it  (so long as it's never an all-night thing, except for special occasions). He's still in his crib and I've decided to not switch to a big bed until he's crawling out of his crib or he's asking to move to a big boy bed. With the new baby coming soon and him doing so well in his crib - I see 0 reasons for trying to rush it. (I'm approaching potty training the same way!)

Struggles: The biggest struggle we're facing is just discipline. Not knowing where to start, really. We have some friends with a son just a few months older and time out has proven to be very effective for them. We tried it the other day because he was throwing a tantrum because of some silly reason so Michael set him on the couch, screaming. He got down and Michael put him back calmly about 6 more times. Finally he sat still for a second and he told him we loved him but it's not okay to act that way. I know it will take a lot of patience to master the time-out thing... but I think it will be worth it. In stores when he's acting up or he doesn't want to go where I want him to (the other day it was because I didn't want him pushing a buggy) I still don't know how to handle those situations. But for now I'm just praying for wisdom and discernment and observing fellow mommies to learn what methods I think will work best for our family. 
An encouraging verse for me:
He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

No doubt, parenting is tough. and exhausting. and extremely trying on your patience. But it's so unbelievably awesome at the exact same time. Having a toddler is seriously the greatest... I can't imagine my life without him! And I'm learning to live in the moment more. Like today, instead of feeling guilty about letting Caedmon watch Thomas the train (little mister was up so much last night with a cough and woke up wanting to watch choo choos... how could I refuse?) but I got us a bowl of strawberries, cuddled on the couch with him and put a blanket over us. It was a wonderful morning... and whenever tough situations arise I just hope that the Lord will gently lead me into the right decision/action and I won't regret my decisions then either. Make that a prayer for any mother you know... I think we could all use it! :)