Friday, January 27, 2012

First Childbirth Class

I've done a lot of posts about the nursery and the baby, so I promise to post some fun pictures of Bella soon! Last night was our first childbirth training class. Steve and I were a little nervous about what to expect. When people find out that we're having a homebirth, they tend to assume we've joined the entire culture...if they are against a homebirth, they look at us like we're crazy hippies who want to drown our baby; if they're experienced with homebirths, they get really excited and start talking about cloth diapers and "baby wearing."

(P.S. Cloth diapers and wearing your baby are wonderful things that many of my friends are doing and love; we just haven't gotten there yet.)

All of that to say, we weren't sure which group was going to show up at our door last night. It was a wonderful praise to have it at our house; we don't need to worry about scheduling a babysitter every Thursday for the next 8 weeks, and we can be lazy and not have to drive anywhere. Including us, there were a total of 3 of them was pregnant with their 8th (8!!!) and the other was pregnant with their first.

Both couples were so friendly and Christians! The leader of the class is also a believer, so it was neat that God got to be included in our conversations so freely! The other couples are also planning homebirths, which was a very nice surprise. We haven't met anyone else in "real life" who is currently pregnant and planning a homebirth.

The class was pretty introductory since it was the first one. The leader is very warm and down-to-earth (I may have been nervous about that, too!) We ended the class by practicing some exercises and also a few relaxation techniques. Most of those involved the husbands learning massage methods! Woo-hoo for the wives!

I have to say, it looked really funny to have all three couples sitting on the floor together with the lights dim, while the husbands were learning how to massage the wives. The neighbors must have thought we were really weird!

It was a great night and so much fun! We're really looking forward to spending more time with these couples and learning more about natural labor and birth! I figure, if Steve was excited at the end of the night, it's a good sign!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Evie's Nursery, Part 2

Yes, I required two posts just to cover nursery decor. I care much more about the fun part, but Steve suffered too much in "Part 1" not to officially document it. I was so excited to finally have all the painting and tedious work done that I couldn't wait to jump right in with the decorating!

Bella was still feeling crummy on Monday, so she was pretty mellow and perfectly content to lay in my bed watching "Punzel" and "Gene". P.S. Toddler words are awesome! It allowed me to get a lot of work done without worrying about toddlers running around. I had a vision in my head of how I wanted to room to look, and so far, we've pulled it off pretty closely.

This is your view from the rocking chair in the opposite corner. I love the wreath and the twine over the crib, but I'm not sure yet about what all to hang there. Right now, there are a few pieces from Bella's birth and a cover of To Kill A Mockingbird since it's where Evie's middle name comes from.

My most favorite wall in the room! (There aren't many walls to choose from.) I love it when what is in my head comes out perfectly in the final product. We have wooden wine crates stacked on the floor with some books in them, and the small shelves are holding little knick-knacks: a mason jar with stones in the bottom and a branch, a vintage rabbit that Mel bought Bella, and a black-and-white photo book of our last family portrait session.

A close-up of the bird picture hanging over the changing table. I found this at Target and it was my "splurge". I don't love the light pink mat, but haven't decided yet if I want to bother changing it.

Looking out to the hallway. The room is pretty small, but so cozy! I didn't take pictures of the other wall yet; there's a rocking chair in the corner and a mirror that I need to paint before it can be hung up. It's hard to see the grey color in the pictures, but it's just enough contrast without feeling too dark.

I would say we're about 80% of the way done! It's such a simple room; it feels very earthy and I love that! I feel calmer just walking into it, which I know which change in just a few short months!

Evie's Nursery; Part 1

We have a sick little toddler in our house, which we just discovered has developed into an ear infection, so this past weekend included a lot more "home time" than we were expecting. We used the time wisely, though, and decided to tackle the nursery. It was a miserable experience. Absolutely miserable.

Normally, I'm the one who is all gung-ho for jumping into a new project, but I spent most of Saturday trying to console Bella who had a fever and a constant cough and was just all around clingy and miserable. That left Steve to fake being gung-ho about removing a wallpaper border. People, it took us 5 hours to just remove a border. FIVE hours. For JUST a border. In the smallest room in our house. Did I mention how much fun we had?

After the awesome border removal came 3 coats of primer to cover up the horrid (HORRID!) color scheme that was on the walls when we moved in. I don't think I've hated anyone like I hated the home's previous owners this weekend. (Again, I'd like to blame pregnancy hormones and lack of sleep due to a coughing toddler for my very un-Jesus-like thoughts.)

By Saturday night, my amazing husband had the room glowing with a nice, bright, even base of primer, which we let dry overnight before tackling the color on Sunday. We chose a light grey for the room and wanted it to be very mellow and serene; lots of neutrals and calm thoughts. :)

On a side note: I think it's funny how differently you approach different babies (I'm sure it's not just us.) Bella's room is a light, bright green with hot pink and other bright accents. There's a colorful tree and owl painted in one corner and picture frames that are all different colors. The main colors in Evie's room? Light grey and white. We have dark brown furniture, and all of the accessories are a nice contrast to the grey walls.

I'm going to post a few pictures as soon as I take them, but here are some "progress" pictures that Steve took along the way. I think he wanted to remind himself the next time his wife suggests we "just knock it out in one weekend."

After the border was finally off; ready to cover up those colors for good!

The guy at Lowe's was "pretty sure" we would only need one coat of Kilz to cover the dark blue. Not a cool joke, dude.

Horrible lighting, but finally all one color! Now it's ready for the grey!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Midwife Visit And Baby Update

I really want to do some venting about how destructive and disobedient my child has been this week, but that would take up multiple paragraphs, so I'll just fill you in on my check-up with Margaret...

We always start out with some catching up on life; how am I eating, am I remembering to go walking, etc. It's a new experience for me, because I'm not used to having my doctors that involved in my life, but I'm trying very hard to adapt and even appreciate the involvement!

The baby has her head down by my pelvis now, so that's a perfect position! I was even able to rub my hand on my tummy and clearly feel the back of her head. It was really cool! I'm hoping she'll cooperate when Steve is home tonight.

I've been needing to find an OBGYN where I can go to have some final tests. I've been putting it off because many doctors are not open about working with a midwife and are very opposed to homebirths. I asked Margaret about it today and she gave me a woman's name who was an OBGYN associated with our closest hospital.

That is a double praise! Along with being an OBGYN, she's also a certified nurse-midwife, so she's very supportive of our decision. But she's also in a practice that is partnered with our local hospital, so if we have an emergency, we will just need to call her instead of dealing with the ER.

I will probably end up switching to her as a permanent patient since my current OBGYN is all the way downtown. I will be making an appointment soon to get my strep-B test done at her office, and insurance will cover it since I'm switching to her. Praise God!

We have a slight "change" for the baby's name...when we thought of using Evie as a nickname, we originally pronounced it with a long "e". We've talked about it the last couple of days, and I think we like it pronounced as a short "e" instead...the same way it is pronounced in her full name, Evelyn. Just a little change, but we get closer and closer to finding our match!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bubbles In Her Belly

Whenever Bella toots, she laughs and says, "Bubbles in my bottom!" If her belly is moving or she has little gas bubbles, she says the bubbles are in her belly. Love it!

She loves to "tout" (count) using an app on Steve's iPhone. I never thought I'd get sick of hearing numbers! The harder version counts different items up to 20, so we get to hear numbers over and over (and over!) again!

She likes to set up her dolls and name them with family members.

The little girl in pink is "Rach." Bella is always really good about including Aunt Rach in her playing. I don't know why little kids always seem so much more accepting of other children in wheelchairs. We chuckled over the twin boys and naked Belle, who Bella calls "Beast." Poor Belle from Beauty and the Beast!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just Don't Call Them "Resolutions"

I can't call them resolutions. I think that just sets me up for failure; something about too much pressure. But I do have some goals for this coming year that I'd like to look back and say I improved on...

1. A more in-depth prayer life...I would say that I pray "frequently" throughout my day, but it's mostly quick little prayers lifted up to God when I'm about ready to kill a toddler. I'm committing this year to having a record of requests and actually spending some special time communicating with God.

2. Patient mama...Pregnancy has killed all of the patient genes in my body, but the truth is, I wasn't that patient of a person before I had a little human growing inside of me. I know the kind of mama I want to be, and I have a long way to go. I'm sure that will be a life-long thought, but I'd really like to be more patient with my little bundle of constant energy and noise!

3. Nursing...I didn't nurse Bella and I always wished I had. Formula worked out just fine, and I have no worries about her development or anything like that. I just really wanted it to work. With this new baby, I'm really committed to sticking with it and asking for help when I need it!

4. Consistent exercise...unfortunately, losing weight has never been a big motivating factor for me. (Weird, right?!) I have a wonderful husband who says I'm beautiful whether I'm my "college weight" or 9 months pregnant. When you have an amazing man like that, it's hard to care as much about a little extra belly fat. That being said, I want to have energy for my children and Steve is diabetic...two very-motivating factors to simply have some consistent movement in my life.

So those are some goals for this coming year! For Bella, my goals are potty-training and learning the alphabet. Very do-able goals for her! I'd also like her to have at least one green vegetable that she likes and eats consistently. We'll have to see about that one...

Hope you have some goals for this new year, too!

These ugly baby shoes will inspire me!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Little Human #2 Has A Name!

We have chosen a name for the new little girl human!

Evelyn Scout

With Bella, we seemed to lean towards slightly foreign names; we considered Mercedes, Sophia, and Isabella. This time around, we were looking at more vintage names: Penelope, Josephine, and Evelyn. I don't know why it seems like we stay in the same "family" when we are dreaming up names.

We chose Evelyn because we like the sound and we love the nickname "Evie." Evelyn just sounded so pretty to us. When I suggested it to Steve, it clicked with him right away! Scout is from To Kill A Mockingbird. The little girl in the book is precocious, inquisitive, and fights for the under-dog...what more could you ask for?

Bella has a fun middle name, courtesy of her Daddy's choice, so it seemed normal to choose a unique middle name for this little one, too. I like how certain names just click with parents from the start. Once I thought of Scout as a middle name, I couldn't get away from it. Steve was the same way with Evelyn; no matter how much I talked about choosing Josephine, it just didn't sound right to him. When we talked about Evelyn, you could see the light bulb go off.

Come April, we will welcome baby Evie into the world! We can't wait!

We let Bella do some artwork on my belly. I wrote "baby evie" and she did the rest! She loved it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our Little Girl Humans

I feel like so much is happening with Bella and the baby that I want to write some of it down to remember...

Little Human #1

Bella is so verbal that I can't believe I was ever worried about her talking! (Rookie mom mistake!) She talks and sings constantly throughout the day, and is getting better at pronouncing her words correctly.

She can count all the way to 14. I have no idea where she learned this, but she did. She can't say all of the alphabet yet, but she must love numbers and counting.

She LOVES animals and has to have her little zoo with her at all times. The contents of her menagerie changes occasionally, but right now, it's her giraffe ("faff"), lion ("rawr"), and a dog. She sleeps with them, takes them all in the car with her, and sits them on the table next to her when she eats.

It is fascinating and hilarious to listen in on her imaginary playtime. She and her animals have long conversations and sometimes they even sing. They talk about Toy Story and Cars, and she lets them know when the good parts are coming up.

Bella's favorite movie is currently Cars, but Toy Story and Tangled are close behind. She absolutely adores Mater and Buzz! Her squeals and screams when they come on the screen are deafening.

We have started reading a verse each night at the dinner table and including Bella when taking prayer requests. She seems a little put off by the fact that not every verse is the story of Baby Jesus, but we're hopefully teaching her that they are all connected.

We are working very hard on teaching her to obey the first time, especially when it's something she doesn't want to do. Some days include more spankings than others and we are praying for lots and lots of patience!

She is humorously polite, and is very good at saying please, thank you, yes ma'am, I'm sorry, and no thank you. Sometimes Steve and I offer her something we know she doesn't want just because it's so funny to hear her say, "No. No, take you, Mama."

Little Human #2

The main difference I notice between Bella and this new little baby is how active the baby is! Bella was not this mobile, at least note this early; this new baby is constantly rolling and moving around!

We are about 6 months along and still looking forward to a homebirth. I'm mentally compiling a list of things we'll need here since we won't be in a hospital. Whenever I get nervous (and I do!), I Google videos of waterbirths and remind myself how many women have done this before me.

Most of my fears about a homebirth are really irrational and have nothing to do with the safety of me or the baby. I worry about whether people will get bored just sitting around and waiting for me to pop this baby out. I worry if I'll manage the pain okay or if I'll be a crazy screamer. I worry about doing embarrassing things while in the tub like pooping and who will see it. You know, fun stuff like that! Not life-threatening issues involving the baby, just poop!

Another big difference with this new baby is my dreams! I am having such crazy dreams every night! I know that's typical for pregnancy, but I never experienced it much with Bella.

I'm definitely more tired with this one, especially taking care of two toddlers, but I'm hoping that my nesting urges will continue to override the sleepiness!

The baby name discussion has been shelved for now while we have other things going on. Last night, I thought of Evelyn and calling her "Evie." I don't know what it is about old-fashioned names this time around, but I'm really drawn to them.

I still can't believe that we're only about 4 months away from starting the newborn process all over again! Steve is really excited! I think with Bella, he didn't know what to expect, but now he's chomping at the bit to have her here!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Beginning A New Year

We are definitely ready for the new year! We didn't make any resolutions, but we did take advantage of the long weekend and get a ton of projects done around the house!

Our main goal was to clear out the guest room that will become the nursery, but we also cleaned out the attic and the garage. We threw out so much junk and excess; we had about a dozen trash bags lined up on our curb next to the cans! About 90% of what we did, no one would ever be able to tell, but we can tell and it's so nice to have it all cleared out.

Here a few of the projects we tackled. Steve was amazing! He did such a great job with all of our lights and wiring; he swears he could wire a fan in his sleep after this weekend!

In our kitchen, we have a big window looking out to the back yard. Since we've moved in, there has been a tall, pub table in that spot with two chairs. Bella's new table from Grandpa Wires wasn't getting used as much in the playroom, so we moved it to the kitchen window. I put up some of her artwork, so it would be on her level, and she seems to really like it! Bella and Rex eat breakfast and lunch there everyday now, and it keeps them from eating on the coffee table and getting food in the living room.

One of the things we've wanted to do for awhile now is move one of our lights in our kitchen closer to the window. Steve did a great job with all of the wiring and new chain!

This is right above Bella's table, and the new location makes it so much easier to walk by without bumping your head!

This nasty Crayola crayon fan was in the guest room when we moved in. I hate this thing with a deep passion. It's just so ugly!

The new one Steve installed. (The first one we bought and installed was broken, but we didn't discover that until the entire unit was completely done. Steve had to do undo everything and take it back to the store. Not a fun time, but he was incredibly patient!)

Our next project that we need to tackle...removing this awful beach border from the guest room...

And painting the room a nice, light grey for the nursery!