AC's Three Month Update

Friday, May 30, 2014

Three months old... really? How are these months flying by on us?

• 15 pounds
• 25.5 inches long

She's had more firsts this month:

• met a new friend who is a week and a half younger than her
• was dedicated to the Lord
• got her first set of vaccinations
• went to her first girls lunch
• met her Uncle Bubba

Our girl is definitely growing. She takes four ounces of formula every three to four hours during the day, and five to six ounces before bedtime. We've changed formula for the third time. She is on two actually; AR and Reguline. She is still nursing at least three times a day. Sleep habits are forming. She naps usually an hour in the mornings around 11, usually naps about an hour to two hours after 2, and will take a quick nap between 6-7 at night. She gets a bath at 9:15 and takes her night night bottle at 9:30. We try to have her in the bed by 10. She is now sleeping in her pack n play on the changing pad and sleeps til 2:30-3:30 before she's ready for her middle of the night bottle. She always goes right back to sleep, and then wakes up for her daddy to feed her at 6:30. He puts her back in the bed with me and she sleeps until at least 8.

She's wearing size three month clothes, but we've introduced some 3-6 month clothes, too. It won't be long before she's out of those threes. We've found that Carter's runs small, so she can wear some of their six month clothes. Size two diapers fit really good, but I see the size three diapers creeping up on us. I think we have another week or two left in the twos.

She's definitely a girlie girl. She loves to people watch, have conversations with anyone who is willing to talk to her (especially her mommy and addy), and sing... she sings with her mommy every day. She plays on her playmate every day, twice a day. Kicking has become another favorite. She knows her name and will look at you if you call her. She loves to follow her mommy and daddy with her eyes whenever we leave the room.

She doesn't like to be held like a baby anymore. She would rather be sitting up, even while taking her bottle. She can hold her head up for an extended period of time, and her legs are getting stronger, too. If you aren't careful she will try to stand up on her tippy toes. Bath time is great fun. She loves to kick her feet and splash, and would rather stay in that get out. But you better have a warm terry cloth towel waiting on her... that's the only way she won't cry after her bath. Oh, and lotion... the girl loves to be lotioned up. She smiles and laughs every time you start to lotion her up!

Avery, we can't believe three months have come and gone. All the prayers that we said for you before you were born, they all came true. You are truly a joy and the perfect addition to our little family. God knew exactly what he was doing when he created you! We are so proud to be your mommy and daddy, and we look forward to each and every day with you. Your smiles light up our day, and your snuggles give us warm fuzzies inside. We adore your little laughs and squeals, and love to see those baby blues staring back at us. We love you sweet girl!!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

If you follow me on Instagram (jhsowell), you probably see a lot of photos of AC in her #ootd. And if you're like me, you probably have no clue what #ootd stands for. Well, I didn't at first. It stands for outfit of the day. I've only seen people my age (younger and older) posting them, but AC has soooo many cute clothes, I thought I would show them off on Instagram and use the outfit of the day hashtag (#ootd).

Here are just a few of the ones we have been posting lately:

She's definitely got more style, and clothes than her mommy and daddy. And we are perfectly okay with that! =)

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend 2014 topped all the previous! This was the first long weekend holiday with our girl! And we made every second of it count.

The Mr came home from work pretty late as he was tying up loose ends so he didn't have to go to the office during the weekend. Then we went through the drive thru at Diary Queen as a family. (It's the little things!) We watched Shark Tank, and then gave our sweet little on a long bath. She loves to have water poured over her and for you to sing to her. So we took some extra time doing the things she loves that evening. Daddy always gives her the night night bottle before bedtime, and when I came from our bedroom to check on them, this is what I found...

AC has been sleeping in her rock n play since she was born. She's loved sleeping in it. We've tried to get her moved to her pack n play since she was two months old, but she wanted no part of it. So Angie D suggested we get another changing pad and put in the pack n play since she loves it so much when we change her.

We tried it out Friday night. She slept great in it for the first hour, and then we had to get her out. Determined to not put her back in the rock n play for the night sleeping, we put her and the changing pad in the bed with us. (Before anyone harps on us about how dangerous this can be, we know. We have a king size bed and we make sure she is secure in her spot so we don't roll over on her, etc.)

Saturday morning, we slept in! Hallelujah, we all slept in. No alarm clock, just the three of us snoozing away — until the alarm of a hungry baby, of course. Everything was going great until this happened. But luckily my Instagram and FB friends saved the day by giving me the tip to add some rubbing alcohol to it to fix it right up. And FYI, it does work. (The pieces on the floor were swept up and thrown away. I didn't "reuse" them.)

One of our friends from Mdn was in town for the SEC tourney and he came over for lunch and to visit. This was his first time to visit us here in The Ham. We grilled sausage and burgers and had homemade fries and baked beans. AC loved meeting him, and it was great to catch up on the latest news.

That afternoon we crashed. All three of us napped in the living room, and woke up around 6:30 that evening. Instead of cooking again, the Mr ran to O'Charleys and we shared a salad. AC slept in the bed with us that night. We didn't even try the pack n play. We just wanted sleep.

Sunday morning she had us up with the birds. So we decided to make the early service at church. With us going so early we were worried what kind of a mood she would be in, but she was awake for the entire service and did great. She fell asleep on the way home and when we tried to get her out of her car seat, this was the look we got...

The Mr did some yard work that afternoon and I started on dinner. Slow cooked pulled pork and smashed red potatoes. Yum! For the pulled pork recipe I used, click here. However, I stopped drinking diet pepsi when I was pregnant, so I used regular coke because that's what was in the house. I think I liked the flavor of the coke better than the diet pepsi!

We also enjoyed a little gelato for our snack. Thanks to Darby for introducing me to that whole 'nother level of deliciousness! And we put AC in the pack n play after her night night bottle, and she slept five straight hours! She even went back in the pack n play after the middle of the night bottle and slept until her daddy got her out the next morning to snuggle with us.

Memorial Day, a day we wouldn't have celebrated without the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, was a beautiful family day. We did a few more things around the house before we all went shopping at Lowes and Target. This is how AC shops at Lowes. (There's nothing fun to look at so you might as well nap.)

And our girl is proud to be an American!!

We ended our wonderful weekend with the grill going, and enjoying Plain Chicken's recipe for Mac and Cheese.

And in between all the yard and house work, cooking, eating, napping and shopping — we enjoying lots of play time with our girl!

We had a wonderful holiday weekend! We hope you did, too!!

Social Media

Friday, May 23, 2014

I've thought about this post for a long time, and today I finally feel like putting the words from my heart on the blog.

Social media — I love it. I love it so much that my job IS social media. But, I also love it from a personal stand point.

Let me go back to 2006 when I took my first step into the social media world. I joined Facebook. And then I joined Myspace. Anyone remember that one? Yeah, that craze lasted all of about two seconds. But, the world of Facebook stayed strong. Since then we've added twitter, instagram, and many others. It's become my source of news and entertainment, where I keep up with family and friends, and like I said, it's my job.

My husband and I share our social media accounts. He and I both have the apps on our phones, and both get notifications of likes, comments, etc from all of them. I tend to share a lot of photos of our little girl. I tried to slow down the amount of photos/videos I post of her, but I was asked repeatedly to post more. Since we don't live in the same town as our family and most of our friends, they love being able to see her multiple times a day. And, let's be honest... she's pretty adorable, so who wouldn't want to see her all the time?

Before she was conceived — I had a hard time looking at social media and seeing all the babies, baby bumps, and even reading about their pregnancies, births and birthdays. It hurt, because I wanted all of those things in my life. And, when someone would say they were ready for their baby to hurry up and be born because they were tired of being pregnant, I would say, I would give anything for that to be me. When someone would post their house looked like a toy box exploded, I would say, I would give anything for that to be me. Reading that someone was up all night with their baby because he or she wouldn't sleep and they just wanted sleep. I would say, I would give anything for that to be me. I wanted more than anything to have those experiences.

I knew I always wanted to be a mom. From playing with baby dolls as a child, to babysitting as a teenager, before I got married, and especially after meeting my now husband for the first time... I wanted to be a mom. Our first pregnancy ending so soon in a miscarriage left me brokenhearted. My husband would catch me crying all the time, especially getting a negative pregnancy test. For six months (which I know is not a long time compared to some who have been trying to years and years) I longed to get pregnant again. I longed to experience all those things people were "complaining about" and it hurt to read what I thought others were taking for granted.

Now that I am a mom of a little girl who will be 3 months old this coming Tuesday, I'd like to reevaluate those thoughts I had before I was blessed with our gift from above.

I was scared out of my mind when I saw that positive pregnancy test. And I'll be honest, I didn't relax until I was 18 weeks when I felt her moving inside me for the first time. After feeling her inside me, and seeing that everything was going great with her at the anatomy scan, I started to really enjoy my pregnancy. I never voiced my anxieties on social media for the world to read, but if I would have, would people think I wasn't grateful for this gift from above? Because that was the furtherest thing from my mind. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I started getting really uncomfortable. But at the same time, I loved it and didn't want it to end. I never voiced my need to have her asap on social media, but when people would ask me... I would tell them I was more than ready. Did that mean I wasn't blessed and overjoyed to be pregnant? Absolutely not!

And now that she's here, we've experienced a lot of first, and some have been repeated over and over again. My house isn't clean and put together like it used to be. I've not slept a full night of sleep since I was just a few months pregnant. Sometimes I'm starving, but she's crying because she's hungry or sleepy. So I skip a meal or eat later, or in shifts to make sure she is taken care of. I've even slacked on my blogging because she would rather be held that put down. Does that sound like I'm complaining, because I'm not. I love each and every one of the things I mentioned above. Now, I'll admit I do look forward to her sleeping through the night so I can get a full night of rest, but then I won't have early morning snuggle times with just the light of a lamp. I know I'll miss it one day.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is, I've experienced both the longing, and the joys of motherhood. I've "paid my dues" to be able to post pictures of my baby girl all over social media. And I won't say I'm sorry about it, either. I remember how it felt to open up instagram or read a blog and feel the pain and sadness because someone else had what I wanted. I remember thinking it was a slap in the face when someone would get pregnant on their "first try." But I was always happy for them. Just because I wanted it to be me didn't mean I wasn't overjoyed for them. I remember reading their "complaints" about no sleep, baby gear every where, etc and thinking they just weren't grateful for what they have. But now that I'm a mom, I know how they feel, and it doesn't mean they aren't grateful for that little one.

If you are the me a year ago... please don't hate me for overloading your social media with tons of baby pictures. I've waited a long time to be able to do this. And know that one day, you will be filling my feeds with your sweet bundle of joy, and I can't wait to "like" and "comment" on each and every one of them!

AC's Baby Dedication

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

This Mother's Day was different from any previous Mother's Day in my life. It was pretty special because not only did I have a sweet baby girl in my arms, our little girl was dedicated at my home church. Thankful for a very memorable 1st Mother's Day.

At the end of the Mother's Day service, Bro. Kyle called the Mr and I up with our little girl for the ceremony to begin. He read the resolution that the Mr and I will uphold for our family, and prayed over our little one.

Enjoy the photos from her dedication. Hannah, who owns Hannah Grace Photography in Marion, Virginia, took these photos for us!

Thank you, Hannah, for capturing our baby's special day.

Hannah lives in Virginia (she's from Mississippi and comes home to visit her family often) and photographs weddings, special events, portraits for engagements, seniors, families, and children. She interned with me a few years ago and she does excellent work. Y'all follow her on Facebook, instagram and check out her website!

AC's Newborn Photos

Monday, May 5, 2014

I love photographs. I love them so much that I take tons of photographs every year. However, when it came to AC's newborn pictures... I knew there was no way I could take them. I'd need someone else to handle that job for me.  

At our baby shower in Mississippi, a sweet lady, Lacy, (I used to baby sit her two children) asked me if I had found a photographer in Birmingham for AC's newborn pics. Since I still consider us "new" here, I knew of no one. She mentioned that her niece, Amy Pate, was a great photographer in the area and I should check her out. One of the most important things about hiring a photographer, having someone know them and know their work!!

I immediately came home and found her on Facebook (Amy P Photography), and went to her website. Her website gave me a peace of mind because I knew if she took the newborn photos, I'd have that stress lifted off of me!

Well if y'all remember, AC was born two and a half weeks early. So everything was thrown off timing wise. As a matter of fact, mom and I were supposed to have our hair done the day she was born. Of course, I had to cancel those appointments the night before. I emailed Amy a few days after she was born, and we set up her photo shoot.

Amy likes to take newborn photos two weeks old or less, and we went when she was thirteen days old. A few days before her photo shoot, we were sent over a questionnaire to answer so she could get a better feel for us as a family. She asked about the colors of her nursery, our hobbies, etc. She also noted that the photo shoot could take anywhere from 2-4 hours.

Once we found a parking spot (there was a bomb scare two blocks from her studio and the police had everything blocked off) and walked into her studio, I immediately felt at ease. She looked at what we brought with us clothing and prop wise, and moved us to the back of her studio. Everything was so calm, and she had heaters positioned so our little one didn't get cold. She also used soft gloves so every time she moved AC her cold hands didn't bother her. It was very apparent that she had a ton of patience, and wanted everything to be perfect. This mama would have given up after a few minutes of positioning and repositioning.

Overall, everything turned out wonderful. The photographs she captured were more than we could have ever hoped for, and we are so happy to have these beautiful keepsakes to always remember when she was first born. As a mother who less than two weeks prior had a c-section and felt not at her best, Amy made me feel beautiful while taking our family shots, and the ones of me and AC together. Usually, if ANYONE takes our photos, I'm asking to see the back of their camera to see what it looks like. With Amy, that thought never crossed my mind. Watching her work her magic with AC and seeing her creativity come to life in front of me, I knew we were going to have wonderful photos to choose from.

These are a few of our favorites...

2300 1st Ave N, STE 101
Birmingham, AL 35203

Friday Five {link up}

Friday, May 2, 2014

the Sowell life

the Sowell life's Friday five... 

1) {Two Month Shots} Those three words should speak for themselves, but even then, if you've never been through them with your baby — you have no idea how heartbreaking it is. Thankfully, the nurse was quick with the four shots and the paci calmed her down pretty quickly afterwards. However, we left for home asap and within ten minutes, she was taking her bottle before a nap. Knock on wood, she did great with them. We took the Dr's orders and gave Tylenol every 4-6 hours for the first 24 hours. And I had to give her another dose on Tuesday at lunch, but other than that... we made it through!

2) {First (of many) McAlisters Deli Trip} Mommy and Daddy love McAlisters. Okay, maybe mommy loves it more than daddy, but still — we eat it a lot. If you remember, this was our last meal together in the hospital before AC made her debut. Well, I think it's official that she likes it, too. 

3) {Shopping Fun} We had two full days of shopping this week to find AC a dedication dress. On day two, we found THE dress. Can't wait for her to wear it — and don't worry, we will have pictures!

4) {Daddy/Mommy pics with AC

5) {Favorite Video} She pretty much smiles if you smile at her these days...

Now, who's ready to link up with the Friday Five?!! I appreciate y'all spreading the word more than you'll ever know!! Please stop by and visit with the other bloggers who link up. It's a great way to find new bloggers to follow! And who doesn't love comments, right? =) Enjoy your weekend, y'all! 

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