e & a's shared nursery

So, truth be told it really made no sense to even create this room except for the fact that my nesting instincts were off the charts.  I told myself early on that I was no going to change around Evie's room before Avett came.  But when my mother purchased this toddler bed for us and CJ created their quilts, I literally couldn't stop myself.  I don't know what was driving me other than shear hormones.  Seeing that we are moving in two months Avett will most likely never even sleep in this room. However, now that I satisfied the urge to rearrange and redo 'their' room I actually sleep better at night. I don't toss and turn with crazy pregnant lady thoughts of how to decorate for Avett and make a space that is all his own. Not that that even makes sense since he will be in a bassinet the whole time we finish living here. Geeez pregnant ladies are nuts....

The only two new purchases were:

Crib sheets: Land of Nod
Rug: Ikea


vanilla italian soda

This weekend we tried to soak up the last bits of summer.  John and Evie and I had a pool day on Saturday and then when he got her down for a nap he said, "Why don't you go to Target and get a new maternity shirt and do some shopping!"  OK!   So I did just that but before coming home I stopped to get us a summer treat to sip on the porch as the sun went down.  I am ashamed to say I had to resist from buying a cinnamon broom though.  Even though I am craving fall, it can wait a little while longer.  I learned this fun trick from a girl from my church at our playgroup last week.

Vanilla Italian Soda:

Torani Flavor Syrup (any flavor)
Club Soda 
Half & Half

Fill up a big mason jar up to the 12oz line with ice.

Pour in Torani syrup to the 4oz line.

Add club soda to just under the 16oz line.

Splash in just a bit of half and half to top it off to the 16oz line.  Then stir it all up.

I was able to get the Vanilla flavor at Kroger but there are a lot more options for different flavors at World Market.

Enjoy your last moments of summer!



*This is a sensitive topic for me just because of how incredibly personal it is.  However, I feel the desire to document each step of this pregnancy journey.  So, I proceed to describe my feelings on this subject as tenderly and honestly as possible.*

As some of you know, who have been long time readers of this blog, I really struggled with the way things progressed with my birthing process with Evaleigh.  I had always desired a natural birthing experience and when I was faced with a c-section, due to her breech presentation, I was devastated.  A big part of me felt like I was missing out on an earthly physical experience that I knew my body was capable of.  I felt confused and frustrated with the pressure of making the decision about what to do with Evie's birth but ultimately decided to have the c-section after countless attempts to turn her.

Looking back on my c-section experience I have very little complaint.  It was truly a sweet experience, my recovery was really a breeze, and after all Evaleigh Joy was born healthy.  Its hard to have regrets about how the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you came about. So for that, I will confidently say that I would change nothing about how Evaleigh came in to this world.

But that didn't mean that I haven't been incredibly desirous to change this birthing experience with Avett.  I recently had a friend tell me this, "I think every woman needs something different to make her birth experience special, I feel every mother deserves to look back on the birth of her child and say the entire experience was a blessing and a miracle, not just "at least my baby was healthy."  It is for this reason that the idea of trying for a VBAC has not left my mind for a single day since I found out I was pregnant on February 8th.  

For the most part of this pregnancy John and I planned on a repeat c-section.  I did this reluctantly but mostly ill-informed.  First let me say that I adore my OB.  I mean, I want to have her over to my house and cook her dinner and talk for hours and be her best friend.  But I knew something wasn't right when she first began telling me that she would not do a VBAC and described the risks involved.  They seemed dramatic and somewhat like a scare tactic.  I trusted her and have for over 2 years.  But there was a little voice in my head telling me to look further and do some research on my own.  At the end of one of my first appointments with this pregnancy she gave me the number for a doctor in Atlanta who does VBAC's and said that I would have her blessing if in my heart I did feel like a VBAC was something I needed to do.

It took me 5 months to summon the courage to contact that doctor.  When I finally did she informed me that she no longer practiced privately in ATL but gave me 3 other referrals.  After that it took another 2 weeks to get the courage to contact them.  I set up one appointment for this past Monday and with a blessing from my husband combined with many prayers I hoped I would know what to do.

When Monday arrived I felt like it was the first day of school and I was the new kid.  Part of me felt like I was cheating on my OB but the stronger part of me knew that if I didn't do this I would really be cheating myself. 

When I walked in to that doctors office a feeling of peace immediately washed over my body.  I looked through a book on the table full of pictures patients had sent of their newborn babies and notes they had written to the doctor about how amazing he was and how much he inspired them and changed their lives.  Tears filled my eyes.  When I finally met with the doctor it was an instant click.  He treated me like I was the only pregnant woman in the world and spent time answering every single one of my questions.  There were so many things he told me that were reassuring.  He said that with VBACS he does not induce, he will not use pitocin, he wants me to labor moving around and standing or walking for as long as I can.  He wants me to try to get to a 6 or 7 with no drug intervention.  He suggested Bradley and Hypnobirthing.  Then he had me stand up and he put his hands on my hips and said, "Well from where I'm sitting, these are just about the most perfect birthing hips I've ever seen."  I was in love.

He owns a practice with a staff of 24 midwives that deliver for uninsured immigrant woman as well as his private practice.  And to top it all off it turns out that my other OB had delivered all of his grandchildren.  I felt such a kinship to him and by the time I left he popped up to shake my hand and said, "Alright kiddo, peace."  I just about bear hugged him right there.  I knew immediately that doing a VBAC and delivering with him was the right decision for me.

This new decision has put a fire back in me about this birthing experience.  I went to the library yesterday and checked out two books on VBACS and Ina May's guide to childbirth.  I am already soaking it all in and trying to learn as much as I can.  I have started some online training with Hypnobrthing.  My goal is to go natural and to be open to what this experience has to offer.  I couldn't be more excited about this and I can't wait to bring our Avett in to this world.

I am open to learning as much as I can in these last few weeks and would love to hear what worked for you mothers who delivered naturally.  Thank you so much already for those who have been supportive and encouraging to me through this journey.  I am excited to experience the, "empowering beauty of childbirth that is woman's amazing gift for people-ing the earth." -Alice Walker


to ej

To our only child.  

To the one who can sit endlessly on our laps.  The one who can color with a pen tirelessly. The one who says, "pleeeease" with the most perfect inflection. The one who must gather all of her blankets and animals before exiting her bed in the morning. The one who gives the longest and sweetest hugs after a cup of milk while laying in bed with mom and dad before the sun comes up. The one who loves to put little puppies down her momma's shirt.  The one who loves to lip sync to any song possible, even if there aren't words, with a furrowed brow and her head shaking side to side. The one who loves to be chased around in the nude while giggling.  The one who is a stubborn nap taker. The one who has dance parties with dad every morning and momma every afternoon.  The one who waits by the door for her daddy to come home and then expects a full on wrestling match when he walks through the door.

We love you.

Soon we will become a family of four and you will share our laps with someone new. You will learn to love him and I know we will wonder how we ever lived with out him.  But for now we will soak in every minute of you being the only one.


strip quilt

We have gotten a lot of special things for this baby boy but this is probably my favorite.  My soul friend Lisa's mother handmade this incredible quilt for Avett.  I had this idea to throw a bunch of fabrics together in strips without any thought of a color scheme.  I pulled fabrics from things I had at home and then CJ let me go shopping in her fabric stash! We cut fabric strips together for 4 hours one day.

The blanket is so special because we can look at it and say "That fabric came from an antique shop in Colorado when I was shopping with Aunt Makayla when she was pregnant with McKenzie."  Or, "These are scraps from when I accidentally made backwards Z's for Jenna's wedding."  Or, "These were pajama pants for Karen and this was the leftover from Lisa's linen pants."  

Every piece in there has a story.  And let me just tell you how amazing CJ is.  When you thought it couldn't get any sweeter she goes and makes a matching small version of the quilt for EJ to play with for her baby dolls.  They are both something that we will cherish forever, thank you CJ, we love you!


one of those days

You know the kind of day where everything around you starts imploding?

That was today. 

It was 1:51 and I was leaving CJ's for my 2pm OB appointment.   My car told me that I had 0 miles left to go. Fantastic. I made my way up Roswell Road in hopes that we could actually get up the hill. Evaleigh had just woken up from a nap so in an effort to curb her whines and grumps I gave her a tube of chapstick. This is one of our usual desperation moves which normally works wonders. We putted safely in to the Shell and I looked in to the back seat to find my child's face and fingers covered in strawberry chapstick. She just smiled at me which only revealed more chapstick on her teeth and tongue that was being consumed.

It was only then that I realized that all she had had to eat thus far in the day was 4 bites of cereal and a handful of cheezits that some little girls shared with her at church earlier that morning. 

Awesome mom award.

I squirt about 10 bucks in and hopped back in the car assuring her that real food was on the way. "But its 1:56...What am I going to feed this child?!" I made my way to the doctors office and on the way had the revelation that I had 1/3 of my leftover Big Buford in the floor board of the car that I had earlier that day.  It was one of those experiences where you are sitting in a drive thru and wondering, "Why am I doing this?  I don't even have my food yet and I regret this decision." 

After I found a parking spot I shamefully added that nasty burger to the bottom of the stroller and we booked it to the 7th floor, naturally after missing the elevator the first time.  We checked in at 2:12 and I rushed to the back to leave my "sample".

It was then that I saw that somehow Evie had found a stray cheezit and was seconds away from eating it.  Then she dropped it on the floor and it bounced back behind the toilet. "Uh oh...uh oh...uh ohhhhh.....", she kept repeating as I fumbled around my ginormous belly to pee in to that tiny tiny cup.  She was so frustrated and SO hungry.  "Its ok baby, mommy has something else delicious for you to eat, just one minute ok?"

We went back to the waiting room where I pulled out my smuggled burger. It was my only life line left and I had to use it. Finally we could sink in to our chairs for a bit and hopefully she could eat. To my surprise she took a few bites but not too soon after the nurse came to the door to call me back. Crap...I was caught. I gathered up all of our things and wheeled us back to room 16. Maybe this could be our sanctuary and the poor child could EAT! Nope. 

We were faced with a whole new set of distractions. EJ was pointing at everything and asking to touch it. She wouldn't accept any toys in our bag so I looked around in desperation for something to distract her.

An ultrasound sheath?

A model of a uterus?

We settled on a magazine.

A few minutes passed and right between the time Evie was putting her baby under her shirt and the time she started taking interest in the stirrups Dr. Glorious Perfect Timing came in. I just adore everything about my OB. She let Evie play with the tape measure and help listen to the baby's heart beat. All was well and as we were leaving the nurse at the front gave EJ 2 stickers. 

It made her day.

On the way home I looked in the rear view mirror and found my daughter eating the stickers. 

Why not top off our diet of chapstick and nasty burgers with a little sticker?

When we finally made it home I filled her little belly with peaches, milk, and spaghetti.

And that was most of my day.


room enough

With the imminent arrival of this new little person coming to our family my thoughts have been filled with the anticipation of change.
I have felt so nervous about how I will ever make room in my heart to love another baby as much as I love Evaleigh.  Since I have become her mother I have experienced this intense love like nothing I could have ever imagined.  It has taken a space in my heart so large that I just can't fathom there being room enough for another.  I was talking to my sister-in-law the other day about these exact feelings and she knew just what I meant.  She has four children and she said with each new pregnancy she felt the same way and wondered how she could love someone new just as much.  I loved the way she explained it and its exactly how I feel right now.  

She said preparing for the next baby is like going on a blind date.

Amen sister.  
I wonder every day what it will be like.  Will he like me?  Will we bond right away? What will we have to talk about?  There are just so many unknowns.  I just don't even know.  This pregnancy has been so different because I have been swept up in my Evaleigh's every move.  I am so busy soaking in the last bits of her only childness.  I haven't had the belly rubbing daydreaming time that I had with EJ which has somehow caused a bit of a disconnect with this pregnancy.  There are days I don't even remember I'm pregnant til I lay down for the night and he starts kicking away.  
The reality that we will have a newborn here in about 7 or 8 weeks is really starting to set in.  I had a moment in church on Sunday where I was watching a family who have 4 and 2 year old girls and a 5 month old little boy.  Those girls were all over that baby and I couldn't help but tear up.  They were being little mommies to their baby brother trying to give him a bottle and hold him and my heart felt warm.  I am grateful that Avett will have Evaleigh as a big sister and the thought of seeing her grow up with him makes that space in my heart seem a little more capable of stretching.  Perhaps there will be plenty of room.


amm's name

Some of you may have caught the name of our baby boy in my last post from my baby shower.  But officially here it is!

His first name comes from the Avett Brothers Band.  We wanted him to have something musical in his name and we have loved the Avett Brothers ever since we can remember. We have already taken him to their concert and he went crazy the whole time. 

His middle name honors our sweet Uncle Grover Mills Mundell who passed away in March.  We miss him so much and we hope to pass on Grover's amazing qualities to Avett.  Mills is also John's brothers middle name, we love you Marsh. 

Can't wait to meet this kid!


woodland themed shower for AMM

Last night my friend Chablis threw me and AMM the most adorable Woodland Themed Baby Shower.  She spared absolutely no detail and made it so special for me.  I felt like a woodland fairy princess and when I went home I wanted to sleep in my flower crown.

Thank you to everyone who came and thank you to Chablis for making it an evening I won't forget.

Now there is only one problem, I don't know how I'm going to fend EJ off from that over sized puppy.  She will probably hyperventilate with excitement when she sees it. "PUPP-PEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!"  She is already going to be stealing things from her brother.
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