Wednesday, April 30, 2014

AC's Two Month Update

 

Two months old... how did that happen? But, what a BIG difference a month makes.

• 12.5 pounds
• 23 inches long

She basically gained a pound a week since she was a month old. And we can feel it. She's a little chunker, and we love it!

She's had some firsts this month:

• traveled to Mississippi
• celebrated her first Easter
• went to church
• went out to eat at a restaurant with family
• met friends in Mississippi
• met her great grandmother
• met more family
• wore her first pair of real shoes
• stayed in her first hotel room

Our girl is definitely growing. She now takes four ounces of formula every three to four hours. She is still nursing at least twice a day (she started latching again on her one month birth day so I don't pump but every few days), but she knows when she wants her mommy, and sometimes we nurse four times a day. Sleep is different than the first month. Naps are generally shorter in the mornings, and she takes a long nap in the afternoon. Nighttime is about the same. She still goes to bed around eleven, and wakes up for a feeding anywhere from two to four. And even if she eats at four, she still wants her daddy to feed her before he goes to work.

We've packed away the newborn and 0-3 sleepers. She's officially in three month clothes. Some of her 0-3 month clothes still fit if they don't have pants or feet in them like her sleepers. She's just getting long, but they tend to fit everywhere else. We even bought her some 3-6 month sleepers, and figure she will be in those in a few weeks. She wears size one diapers, but we figure in a couple of weeks she will be in size two!

Social butterfly is she... she loves to be talked to, talk back to you (or at least she tries) and smiles all the time. Well, we take her weekly photos after bath time at night, and those pictures are becoming non smiling pictures because she's sleepy and not into it. If you sing to her, she smiles and coos along with you. And, if you smile at her, nine times out of ten she will smile right back at you.

We've been doing #ootd (outfit of the day) pictures, and she really gets into it. We aren't wearing a lot of the cute headbands. She tolerates them, but she's not a huge fan of them so we don't force it.

She's holding her head up more and more, and LOVES to look you in the eye. Her little eyebrows crack us up with their movements while someone is talking to her. And, when you kiss her on the cheek, be careful because she will turn that head and try to kiss you!! It's precious, well, everything she does is precious!!

She still sleeps in her rock n play, but we plan to start trying her sleeping in the pack n play this weekend. And yes, she's been known to sleep in our bed a time or two, and it's not just mommy putting her in there, daddy does, too. She has only slept with us one time in the bed all night, and it was an out of town trip to North Mississippi the night before she turned two months old.

Oh Avery, these past two months have been the best months of our life. You've filled our hearts with more love than we have ever known, and you make your mommy and daddy so proud to call you ours! Your little personality is adorable and we know the bigger you get, the more it will really show. Thank you for being our sweet girl, we love you more than life itself!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Easter Recap 2014

Easter was a tad bit different this year with the addition of little AC. I'm not sure how I imagined it would be, but it blew my expectations out of the water.  

I had so much fun making sure the Easter bunny came to see our sweet girl for the first time, even if we weren't at our home. She got her first swimsuit, flip flops, pink bottles, paci clips and a musical soother.


This was also the first time for her to attend church. And she was such a good girl during the service. She only squealed out once, but then went right back to sleep. And my parents who were sitting on the other side of us didn't even hear her squeal. I, however, got very emotional at the end of the service thinking about last year's Easter and how special this year's service was with our gift from above.


Of course when we got back to my parent's house... we had lots and lots of pictures to take to commemorate this very special day.





This Easter was amazing having our little one with us. She was a trooper with all the traveling, and visits.

Monday, April 28, 2014

AC's first visit to Mississippi

The weekend of Easter, we made our first trip to Mississippi to see family and friends. Not that she will remember her first visit to her daddy and mommy's home state, but it was kinda a big deal for us as we crossed over the Mississippi line with our baby girl.


Friday once we got into town, we headed to the chiropractor. Mommy and daddy needed an adjustment, and we haven't found a good chiropractor in Bham like Dr. Clark in Meridian. We saw some friends while waiting our turn and were excited to visit with them. Afterwards we headed over to the Mr's parent's house to visit for a few minutes before we headed out to my parents's house.

AC got to meet her first cousins for the first time. I think they were pretty excited to watch her kick her legs, smile and squeal out.


We picked up our favorite, McAlister's, before driving out to my parent's house. And we had plenty of hands wanting to hold her while we chowed down. Papa got her first, and put her to sleep humming Come, Thou Fount.


After getting a good night's sleep, we woke up with a very big day ahead of us.


First up was a visit from Mrs. Barbara, Vanessa, Sheila, Vashti and Angeline. I was in both Vanessa and Sheila's weddings, and even babysat Vashti and Angeline... so having them meet our baby girl was a big deal. Mrs. Barbara has been my biggest fan since I was born, and I don't remember any part of my life without her. I'm so happy AC will get to know how special she is to our family!


Once we finished up our visit, we went to see my grandmother. She had no idea we were coming, so it was a big surprise for her. And it was the first time for our four generations to be together.


She had to check out her belly button, and give her lots of kisses before we left.


Next up was visiting with the Mr's parents, and his brother's family. This was the first time his brother and sister-in-law got to see Miss AC. And, she celebrated Easter with his parents.


And she had her first experience eating out at a restaurant... Outback. Although, she didn't seem too impressed with her daddy's coloring skills.


We got back to my parent's house that evening and got ready for Easter the next day. She had a big day of first's that Saturday, and she slept great that evening!

I'll have a full recap of Easter coming up soon!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Five {link up}

the Sowell life
a

the Sowell life's Friday five... 

I have a thousand things I want to blog about, but haven't had the time the past two weeks. I'm hopeful AC will be taking a nap today so I can blog about her first Easter, and first trip to Mississippi. Until then... enjoy these five pictures of our sweet girl!



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! 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A longing fulfilled...

I always knew I wanted to be a mommy. Even before I met Mr Right, who is now the Mr, it was something I dreamed of being. I thought I would become a mommy long before I actually did, but if ever I have realized something, it's that it's not in our time, it's all in His time.

After having a miscarriage the first day of December in 2012, life became hard for me. Everywhere I turned there was a baby on TV, or even going shopping there was babies/kids, everywhere. Just one look at those sweet faces would drive that knife just a little deeper in my heart. I couldn't even watch movies without crying. I always knew I wanted to be a mommy, but I never would have dreamed I would have to experience such a lost and pain before the joy came.

Last Easter was hard. We decided to take a break from Facebook in September 2012. This was a month before we found out we were pregnant the first time. I still had my twitter and instagram account, and loved keeping up with everyone through those means of social media. For some reason, when Easter week came, my heart strings were pulled and tugged on throughout the week. We were actively trying to get pregnant, and I had high hopes that the following week I would get a positive test. The weekend of Easter, I saw hundreds of pictures of friend's kids painting and then hunting Easter eggs. Then the night before Easter, I viewed pictures of everyone getting ready for the Easter bunny.

That night, I had a dream. I still remember that dream like it was yesterday. I dreamed someone rang our doorbell, and I went to the door and found a little baby girl in an Easter basket. There was no note, and no one with her. Just a sweet little newborn baby left at our door step. The next part of the dream was kinda in and out but I remember us not having anything for a baby in our house and we had to go buy everything. And then I woke up, crying.

We got up to get ready for church. While the Mr was driving us to church, I scrolled through instagram and saw all those sweet happy kids with their Easter baskets. It was all I could do to hold back the tears.

After the service, we went to Ruby Tuesdays to grab some lunch. I think the Mr knew something was wrong with me because I wasn't really talking. Then out of no where I told him I really, really wanted a baby. Understand that we talked about getting pregnant and having a baby a lot after the miscarriage. We weren't necessarily trying to get pregnant in September 2012, but when we took that pregnancy test and it came back positive, we were overjoyed. And losing that little baby was extremely hard on both of us. So we knew we wanted to try to have another baby as soon as we could.

Sitting in the booth at that restaurant, I cried. I told him about all the pictures I had seen that morning, and how happy all the little kids looked. I told him about all the family Easter pictures everyone was posting. And then I sobbed, and said very loudly through the tears... I want that!!!

We didn't finish our lunch, we just got the check and left with me crying. We got in the vehicle and he said something very important to me. He said, he wanted a baby just as much as I did, but he didn't marry me for a baby. He married me because he loves me, and if it was just the two of us for the rest of our lives, he was okay with that. I knew he wanted a family just like I did, but I could tell he was trying to tell me it was going to be okay if we never did.

Once we arrived home, that knife was driven a little bit deeper when I realized we wouldn't be getting a positive pregnancy test the following week. I cried most of that afternoon, mainly because maybe the Mr was right, maybe it would just be the two of us, and I'd have to be okay with that.

The reason I'm telling this is because what a difference a year makes. My tears of sorrow and hurt are replaced with tears of joy this year. This year, I've experienced getting things ready for the Easter bunny, and getting us ready for that ever so special 1st Easter morning photo. I know last year was a test for me, and I heard God loud and clear that His timing is always best... even when we think He has forsaken us.

This Easter, I'll be one of those moms who is posting her baby's Easter basket, her with her Easter basket, our Easter family photo, and who knows what all else. But, if you are the me last year who longed to be experiencing all the joys everyone else was feeling, just know I do know how you are feeling... and your time is coming.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Five {link up}

the Sowell life
a

the Sowell life's Friday five... 

1) {New Clothes} I know what you're thinking... she does not need anymore clothes. But, she's currently between size newborn and three months. So, we went out and got some 0-3 month clothes. Daddy took us girls shopping, and we came away with these adorable little outfits.


2) {Sneak Peek} Here is a sneak peek of AC's newborn pictures. I'll have the full recap of her newborn pictures soon. This is the Facebook cover she made for us to use...


3) {Getting Ready For Easter} Easter seems pretty late this year, but we're happy to spend this Easter with our sweet girl. We're letting her wear some of her little Easter outfits, and her Easter basket came in yesterday. Easter basket is from Pottery Barn Kids (and they are having a great sale on them right now).


4) {Favorite Video of the Week} Morning talks with mommy and smiles...


5) {Maroon Friday} We're teaching her early how to say, GO DAWGS!!! 


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! 


Monday, April 7, 2014

Before and After

I'll admit this statement, I loved being pregnant. Yes, it was a little nerve racking for me, especially in the first few months, but once I hit weeks 17 and 18, I started to calm down some and really enjoy the beauty of being pregnant.

A lot of things happen to your body when you're pregnant. Some are very noticeable on the outside, like the belly, and some only the pregnant person can feel. And some of the "symptoms of pregnancy" disappear overnight after the birth of your child.

Heartburn — I can honestly say the day I found out I was pregnant, I experienced my first heartburn symptom. I remember it very vividly because I never have heartburn, and that morning I ate two tums before I had anything to eat. And later that afternoon I went to get the tests to take, and sure enough I was pregnant. The night before I had AC, I ate six tums before bed. I couldn't have any the morning before my c-section, but I can tell you I haven't had any heartburn since that morning. We're talking no tums in over five weeks. Amazing, right?

Frequent Urination — The day before we found out I was pregnant, we went to the movies to see The Heat. I had to go to the bathroom three times while we were in the theatre — once while the previews were playing, once during the actual movie, and I about mowed over an elderly woman after it was over to get to the bathroom. I figured it was the massive Coke Icee I was slurping on. Nope, just a sweet little baby growing in my uterus putting pressure on my bladder. The sometimes very urgent need to go lasted throughout the pregnancy. And I got up at least every hour and a half to two hours at night to "go". After she was born, I had a catheter. So I'm not sure how much I went the 24 hours after she was out, but I know since then... I can go a very long time without heading to the loo. And at night,  if given the opportunity, I know I could probably sleep all night without a trip to the bathroom.

The Belly — It took a while for my baby bump to show, but when it started showing it didn't stop growing. I loved my baby bump, and I'll be honest, sometimes I miss it. Since I had a c-section, my belly went down pretty quickly leaving the most awkward stomach I've ever seen. And even though I love having my girl in my arms, I really missed the big, round baby bump, bad. I think one of the main reasons was the way it left me looking. Now, I'm not anywhere near where I'd like my stomach to look right now, but after a few weeks after she was born, my stomach started looking a little bit similar to the way it was before I was pregnant. One thing that is very noticeable... my stretch marks. Most of them were under my belly, but when the bump left me, those babies were VERY visible. I'm using bio oil everyday to help with the look of them. While they aren't pretty, and I'd love them to not be so noticeable — they are my battle scars from carrying AC, and I'm proud of them.

Cravings — I could eat all the time when I was pregnant. As a matter of fact, when my hunger pains hit, if I didn't eat quickly, I would get nauseous. I had specific cravings. One that my husband and I laugh about to this day is a certain craving from Burger King. Have you ever had one of their Original Chicken Sandwiches? Well, the last two or three months before she was born, I ate at least four of five of them a week. No joke. Anytime anyone asked me what I wanted to eat, I know they secretly begged for me not to say Burger King. I didn't realize until the night before she was born how much my husband learned to hate those chicken sandwiches. Btw, we had them for lunch that Wednesday before my Dr's appointment. Ha! Well folks, please don't mention Burger King anywhere near me because I just might puke. The thought of eating that sandwich turns my stomach now. And what's even funnier, I couldn't drive by Jim N Nick's BBQ without getting sick from smelling their BBQ cooking while I was pregnant. As much as our family loves Jim N Nick's, we didn't have it for nine months. Since she's been born, we've had it four times!

Body Temperature — I've always been hot natured. During the summer the air was always set on 65, and during the winter, the heat almost never ran. Nothing really changed with our thermostat when I was pregnant, I mean, if we turned the air down any lower it would run nonstop and our gas bill was little to nothing during the winter. I was hot, all the time. I remember it sleeting one of the days we went to my Dr's appointment. I rode with my window down because I was so hot, and the Mr was bundled up with the heat full blast on him. And I would sweat, not glisten, all day, every day. Well, since the arrival of little AC, I've turned into a cold natured person. Our thermostat is set on 75. Yes, you just read that correctly... 75! The Mr said he doesn't know what happened to me and my body temperature, but he said likes it. Now I will say that I keep it 75 during the day, and 73 at night. But still, this is a huge change for me. And to think, before I had her everyone who walked in our house said they were worried about the baby after she arrived because I would freeze her to death. Guess that issue resolved itself. Ha!

Eating/Drinking — As I mentioned above, I was hungry, a lot. But not only did I eat, I drank a ton of water. Since her birth, I'm rarely hungry, and it's like pulling teeth to get me to drink anything. I know, I know, I need to drink and eat. Trust me, I've been told this a thousand times already. But when you don't want anything, you just don't. So it's been a battle to get me to eat and drink. But I'm doing a little better. However when you are finally home with your little one, they take top priority. I've gone plenty of days where it will be noon before I even have anything to drink. And yes, I did get dehydrated two week after she was born. It was awful, and I felt miserable. So, even if I don't drink before noon, I try to make up for it during the day.

I'm sure there are more crazy night and day differences in other things, but these are the ones that stand out the most.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Five {link up}

the Sowell life
a

the Sowell life's Friday five... 

1) {Stroll Around The Block} Last Sunday we broke out of the house and strapped our girl in her stroller for a stroll around the block. I've been wanting to get out and walk some, but I'm still not released from the Dr, so I knew I'd better take it kinda easy. Well, the three of us when on a walk around our neighborhood and had a blast. She slept through most of it, but it was good to get some fresh air. Of course, we haven't been back out in it because mommy and baby ended up sneezing like crazy due to all the pollen. So we are going to let that calm down before getting back out there. However, it is good to know she enjoyed her stroll.


2) {Selfie With Mommy} Seriously, she loves to look at herself on the iPhone. So, we snapped another #mommyandmeselfie this week! 


3) {Favorite Picture of the Week


4) {Favorite Video of the Week} Daddy/Daughter time...


video

5) {Keeping It Real} We don't let her sleep with us in the bed, but on occasion we have put her in the bed with us early in the morning while we all kinda wake up. At least one of us is always awake, and she's usually kicking her legs like crazy. Well, last Saturday morning the Mr had to run to work and while he was in the shower, we both fell asleep. He snapped this after he got out of the shower. 



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! 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Our Must Haves (for the 1st month)

Remember when I was asking for advice during my pregnancy on what we would need for this and that? Well, we took all that advice to heart, and it was very much appreciated. This is my list of the must haves we could not have lived without during the first month of AC's life. (All of the links are from amazon. I figured it was easier to link everything there. Some of the links might not be exactly what we have, but it's very close.)

Rock n Play — We were gifted this rock n play very early in our pregnancy and told that this would be a life changer. Boy was Ryan right! This is used multiple times a day and always at night right now. It's lightweight so I move it from our bedroom to the living room everyday. I love it because it keeps her head elevated in case she starts to spit up, and it also vibrates. And knowing that I can have my baby in arms reach next to my bed gives me peace of mind. She loves it, too. She takes naps in it during the day, and for now, sleeps in it at night.


Pack n Play — This Graco pack n play is in our bedroom, and the night she came home from the hospital she slept in the bassinet part of it. A few nights later we moved her beside me on my side of the bed in the rock n play, but we do play to move her back to the pack n play in a few weeks. We love the bassinet part because it's high enough for us to see her from the bed, we like the fact that it has a changing station and we can take both of those off and let her lay on a flat surface, too. We will slowly make that change to the flat surface that is higher up before we move her to her room and her crib.


Wipes Warmer — We instantly noticed a trend with our baby girl... she does not like to be cold or have anything cold on her. And that includes wiping her booty. This wipes warmer gets used a lot every day, and we know she appreciates it too since she isn't wiped with a cold wet one!


Breast Pump — At the hospital, our lactation nurse told me no pumping for four weeks. Well, when the pediatrician told me to pump to see how much I was getting, we realized that pumping was going to be key with her feedings. Basically, when you nurse, you have no idea how much of your milk your baby is getting. And pumping I was able to know how much formula we needed to supplement. Now, I didn't pay for my breast pump. Before you spend hundreds of dollars on one, call your insurance company to see if they cover one. Our insurance paid 100% for my breast pump. It's a Medela electric double breast pump. And it's been used, a lot. The below picture is the exact one that I have... it was over $381 and I got it free from my insurance company. I don't have a link for it due to ordering through my insurance company.



Boppy Pillow — I didn't use my boppy for the first week of her life, but when I did start using it... hello, it was a lifesaver. Not only did it help with her feedings, but she loves to sit with her back to me, and her behind in the hole with her feet propped up on the boppy. Of course the boppy is wrapped around me, so she isn't sitting alone or unattended. But, when she gets older it can be used to prop her up for sitting. She also loves to lay across the top of it completely stretched out while it's wrapped around me.


Dr Brown's Bottles — While our intent was to exclusively breastfeed, it was not our reality. I simply do not produce enough milk to satisfy her at one feeding. So we knew we would be supplementing with formula. Thankfully we requested to have some formula sent home with us from the hospital for "just in case" and those were the ready made bottles that you just screw the top off, and screw a nipple on and feed the baby. Those can be pretty costly, so we went with the powder formula and found the Dr Brown's bottles worked best for her during and after feedings. We are using the natural flow, but we also have the wide nipple version that we use as well. She does great with both.


Dr Brown's Sanitizer & Bottle Warmer — When we realized that bottles were in our life for good, and that the Dr Brown bottles made the spitting up and gas less evident in her life... we needed a bottle sanitizer and bottle warmer. We scored a 25% off coupon from babies r us and got all of these for a steal. If you aren't a rewards member at babies r us, sign up. We get multiple $5 off coupons monthly and other coupons like the 25% off all Dr Brown items in the mail and by email. We noticed that my milk comes out pretty warm, and even though we are using room temperature nursery water with her powder formula, she likes having the formula warm like my milk. Plus, when I pump and stick it in the fridge, I can get my milk warm in less than three minutes with the bottle warmer. And the sanitizer sanitizes my breast pump attachments and her paci's, too. The link is for amazon, and the items are a few dollars cheaper with amazon. However, I mentioned babies r us because if you have the $5 off coupons and the 25% off all Dr Brown's coupon, you will get the better deal there.


Zip Up Sleepers — I'll be honest, we like the zip up sleepers the best. Because nothing is worse in the middle of the night than trying to pair up buttons, trust me on this. And mom found the best zip up sleepers at... Walmart! The faded glory ones are soft, durable and the Mr says these are his favorite because of the zip up feature!! And they are a steal for $5 each! We don't have this set below, but the yellow and gray one that you see her in... that's one of them! Downside is, these don't have the fold over at the end of the sleeve, but no worries because we have plenty of mittens!


Mittens and Caps — AC's little hands stayed cold the first few weeks after she was born, and not to mention those baby fingernails are brutal. They were extremely sharp, yet not long enough to cut. So we kept mittens on her hands, and still do at night. You can get sleepers and shirts that have the little fold over cuffs and those are a favorite around here, too. Also, we noticed keeping a cap on her little head help keep her warm. We only use these at night now, but it's like she knows it's nite nite time when we put it on her head. You can buy them in bundles here.


Nat & Jules Blanket — This blanket was gifted to her from one of my dad's co-workers. We use this blanket every single day, it's her favorite. We've even bought another one of these blankets so we have one when the other is in the wash. It's the perfect size for a newborn and extremely soft. This will probably be my go to item for a baby gift from now on! Oh and it comes with a small little giraffe rattle, too.


Aveeno Body Wash/Shampoo and Lotion — I wanted to be sure that she had a lotion and body wash/shampoo that would keep her skin moisturized and wouldn't break her out. So we went with Aveeno. Now, we were gifted lots of Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo, Body Wash and Lotion, and will probably use it at a later time, but with her being so new and sensitive, we decided to start out with this. And so far, no issues. Her skin is perfect and very moisturized.


Mam's Paci's — These were the paci's that the hospital was using. We had a variety of paci's that were either gifted to us or purchased, but she took this one very well. And I will say that even if you decide to not give your child a paci, the hospital will give them a paci even if you tell them not to. We were informed that during their hearing test, a paci is given to make sure they are quiet and still. We had asked them to not give her one, but they came to us before her hearing test to let us know they were going to and did we have one we would prefer they use. Now, she doesn't take her paci all the time. And usually within five minutes she has spit it out across the room because she doesn't like it. However, her pediatrician said a paci is great for helping prevent SIDS. AC also sucked her thumb in my womb, and we are trying to prevent her from having that habit. The Dr said you can always take a paci away, but you can't chop off her thumb. So we use these. We have two in the house and a two pack in her diaper bag.

Fisher Price Swing & Bouncer — Both the swing and bouncer have been great for having her near us to watch her while she sleeps. I can put her in the swing right after she eats and she will look around for a few minutes and then drift off to sleep. The bouncer is perfect for when I need to run to the bathroom, fix her a bottle, etc. It entertains her for a few minutes without me having to hold her. However, she doesn't like to sleep in it.


Music Maker — We were gifted an Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse and a Soundspa Sound Machine and Projector. We use the seahorse at her changing table. She loves to hear the music and look at the light coming from the seahorse, and we love that it turns itself off after about 5-8 minutes. The sound machine and projector we have in our room right next to her rock n play. We use this every night at bedtime. Most of the time she doesn't go right to sleep (even if she was asleep when we put her in the sleeper) and this machine has a variety of sounds and music and has a timer! Score! It has three different discs that project scenes on the ceiling, however she's still a bit too young to see that far and notice it, yet. But we know the day is coming soon and she will love it.


Noise Machine — we are using my air purifier. I've slept with it for years, and I bought it at Walmart. Our neighborhood is about 1/2 mile from a railroad track, and about the length of three football fields from the interstate, so there is a lot of noise at night when she's trying to sleep. The first couple of weeks I refused to turn it on because I wanted to make sure I could hear her. However, during week three, we started using it, and found it made a big difference in her sleeping more soundly.

These are along with a few other things like hooded towels, burp clothes, etc have been used each and every day since we've had AC home. While every baby may not like these things or use all of these, our little one does.