Friday, October 21, 2016

Another soon to be new baby on the block!

Talking with our neighbor Rima yesterday, I found out that one of my neighbors across the street is also pregnant, expecting a baby boy end of January! That's so awesome, to have two babies so close in age and so close by. We don't know these neighbors super well, but they are one of the few who moved to our block before we did. They didn't go to our block party a while back like the rest of our neighbors that we know know pretty well, but they are our same age group and just have different schedules than us 9-5ers. He is a DJ and she is a bartender... or at least that's what they were doing last we heard anything.

I have so many baby boy things that have already been given to me, so I'm putting together a little goodie bag for her and will stop it by her house later today with a little card with my phone number. It would be so great to have a mom friend right here, so close by! I wonder if she'll stay at home too. Yay! Mama friends in the making, and kids to grow up together on our block! So awesome.

Rima also told us (me and Joss) that yesterday was her birthday! I didn't know! So I'm going to put together a little gift bag for her too. She always brings by such thoughtful gifts for Jocelyn, never misses a holiday or her birthday, so I am going to find a little something for her and write a little card. I also asked if she would be able to be a backup for us if baby Jackson arrives before my mom gets here to watch Joss. She said of course, and that we have her number so its not a problem. Such a relief! Worse case, we could always bring Joss with us to the birth center but it would be pretty distracting for me, which would slow down my labor and progress, and also probably kind of scary/traumatic for her. In any case, my mom will be here beginning of February, so we should be just fine as far as making sure mom is here to watch Joss so papa and I can go have the baby with the support of the midwives and all the privacy and peace that my body needs during labor.

So grateful my mom can come out and stay with us too for such an extended stay. Its so hard to raise a family without family nearby, and my mom's visit last time after Joss was born was so special for all of us, and for me to just hold and bond with baby and not have to also worry about cleaning and cooking, eating, or running errands at the store. I could just snuggle up with my newborn and focus on being a mom, nursing and napping with the baby. It will be different with our big sister here too, which will also be such a great help, Joss is very helpful already and I can really see her helpfulness coming in handy after baby arrives. My mom being here to play with her and run around will also be so wonderful, and she will still be in school so I will have the mornings at home with just baby to bond and nurse and sleep.

Tomorrow really looking forward to the Siblings class that the birth center provides for big siblings, Joss and I will go there after Stella's morning birthday party. Its going to be a full day, but Sunday we don't have any plans so I'm looking forward to relaxing at home with papa and maybe running a few small errands.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Summer never ends in Texas

This morning I finally got through all of Jocelyn's thank you notes and will be sending them out today. I'm waiting on 2 more addresses of some of her friends, but the rest will be given out. yay! She helped write each card, and had fun helping earlier in the week. Today I finally wrote the grown up words along with hers.

Last night I acknowledged I had yoga, knew I should go since I didn't feel like going (when my body usually needs it the most), but instead stayed at home and laid on the couch while Joss and Jason had their "mom's at yoga movie night." I guess I still did my practice, it just only consisted of savasana (corpse pose) and didn't involve me having to get dressed or drive in my car.

Jackson is kicking up a storm as usual, and I am growing more and more eager to meet him on the outside. Last night I started to have the first feelings of not being able to take my full deep breath, as my organs are continuing to be pushed upwards inside my belly, starting to compress the space my lungs have. Jason said, "Didn't that happen in the 3rd trimester last time?" and I said, "Yes, but its just beginning. I'm ready to be done with pregnancy, and we still have a ways to go..." My first feeling of being over it, which is a good sign that I'm getting closer and closer to February. This incessant heat is also not helping. I was pumping myself up to not be my biggest during the hottest months of the year like I was with Joss, however I wasn't remembering that this is Texas, and its still in the 90s and we're almost in November. Usually I love the warm winters, but with my increased body temperature I'm so over it. Give me all the snow!

SO SO SO grateful to not be working this time around. There are a lot of set backs as far as things we would like to be able to do around the house that has been put on hold without my added income, some sacrifices financially to make it possible for me to stay at home, and continue to keep Joss in her Montessori school, but I am getting rest. Which is priceless. For my body, spirit and mind, and I am so grateful. It won't be like this forever so trying to enjoy it and not feel guilty about not being a bread winner right now. And not trying to over achieve by being 100% productive this whole time, but letting myself relax, which is so hard for my personality. But its necessary and I know is good for me and the baby, and also for our whole family to have a stress-free, patient, relaxed mama.

Speaking of, I need to make hair appointments for me and Jason. I saw in my facebook flashback feed that my last haircut was recently a year ago. So I think its time for me to get my annual haircut, and do a little pampering. Jason is getting a little shaggy too, so I'll make his apt for him. We love Chenoh at Black Orchid! Joss's god mama! Not sure who we'll have for god parents with Jackson yet, we have a couple ideas, but will decide for certain later, along with middle name, and secret Blackfoot name for him.

Hard to believe that Halloween is so soon. We have a lot going on before then. This weekend we have Stella's birthday party in the morning, then the sibling's class for Jocelyn at the birth center that afternoon. Then the following weekend Addison's Halloween Birthday Party, and Monday will be halloween. Since its still so hot out I'll have to wait to carve pumpkins until right before, so they don't immediately rot. Maybe we'll buy them this weekend, and put them outside until we carve them the next. I love this time of year! :)

Monday, October 17, 2016

3 Halloween Tips for Happy Healthy Kids

Halloween is and has for the most of my life been one of my absolute favorite holidays of the year. Now that I'm a parent to a vegan child, sometimes it can be a little tricky to make sure she has a great time, doesn't feel excluded and I don't have to limit her fun with the rest of her friends.

Here are my 3 favorite Halloween tips, not just for our vegan family, but for ANY family - wanting to limit their children's sugar intake, teach their children about compassion for other kids with dietary restrictions, and as a parent to be all - inclusive for kids who might otherwise feel left out from the fun. This year we are going to do all three, and are looking forward to all the fun ahead for the halloween season!

1. The Teal Pumpkin Project. 
Buy small toys, not just candy to hand out to trick or treaters. Advertise that you have non-edible treats and toys by painting one of your pumpkins teal and put it in front of your house. Print out the teal pumpkin flyer to post on your door, and/or by your treat basket to let visitors know what its all about. Bring awareness to kids who have severe allergies or dietary restrictions, and be a safe house they can visit on halloween to do trick or treating with the rest of the ghosts, ghouls, and witches.

2. The Switch Witch. 
After a fun night of trick or treating, collect all of your kid's candy, and read them a poem about the Switch Witch, who needs candy to feed her hungry magical cat that helps her fly on her broom through the night, to bring back a special toy for your child. Ask your kid to place all (or most of) their candy into the Switch Witch basket (or a special bag/box you create for this), and then when they wake up the next morning the candy is magically transformed and the new toy is there instead.

3. Halloween Candy Buy Back.
Many dentists, and some other participating businesses will buy your halloween candy from you after trick-or-treating. The money you get back, can be used to buy your kiddo(s) a new toy, a little spending $, or put towards something else. Some places will give free tooth brushes, toothpaste, floss etc, and many will also donate dental health products to kids overseas for each pound of candy that you turn in. Teaching children the importance of dental health, and compassion for others. Enter your zipcode on their site to find a participating dentist near you.

Wishing everyone a fun, safe, spooky holiday season!

22 Weeks

Feeling good, showing more and more of a baby bump and feeling more kicks. I am still tired, but getting more of that 2nd trimester energy boost, and nausea is pretty much down from 100-95% to 5-15% tops. YAY! Lots and lots of vivid adventure dreams, and not really any unusual food cravings, but still have a pretty strong aversion to coffee (sad face).

This was a full, fun weekend! It was Jocelyn's 3rd birthday party, and we had so much fun with over 50 guests (parents and kiddos) showing up to celebrate with her in the park. We made some vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and had mini pumpkin pie tarts for the birthday song, along with organic berries and veggies hummus pretzels juice boxes and tiny water bottles. The face painter was a hit (as usual - I think all of us parents in Jocelyn's friend circle keep her hired all through Sept and Oct with all of these birthdays haha :) ). It was a long fun day, Joss had a blast running around with all her friends while I got to chat with the grown ups which was also fun for me and Jason.

We had another birthday party yesterday, and I was got to hold a friend's baby while there, and Joss really was so sweet and loved seeing a baby in my lap. I think reading all of the baby books, I'm a Big Sister books help to ease her into the idea of no longer being the only child, and welcome the idea of another baby. I was impressed, and after the baby got a bit fussy and needed his mom again, Joss then put a baby doll in my arms and said here, "You need to keep holding a baby, right here." She's already such a great loving big sister.

Today we have her 3 year check up at the pediatrician's office. I get to pick her up a little earlier than usual at school, and take her in to get height, weight, and all her usual healthy girl check up stats. Looking forward to seeing where she is on the percentile scales, vegan strong! :)

Everyone back in California is reporting back that they are in the fall weather now, with lots of rain and I'm just sitting here in Texas still in shorts and short sleeved, thin-fabric t-shirts, waiting for it to cool down. Still in the upper 80s/90s and ready for some rain and cool weather. Makes me really miss the redwoods and the comfy, cozy, sleepy town that I grew up in this time of year, and watching the ocean waves turn grey with the fog and stormy weather. My heart I think is always in Mendocino...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Jocelyn's Big Day, Baby Boy Jackson.

Today is Jocelyn's birthday party. Last night I did just about all of the shopping and organizing with her, and this morning we are eating breakfast with some PBS cartoons while we wait for Party City to open so we can go buy some helium balloons, and then stop by HEB for some ice to fill up our cooler. Weather should be holding up today for a great morning/afternoon in the park! Its supposed to get back up to 90 degrees today, but hopefully stays comfortable enough this morning while we're there with our friends. 53 RSVPs including kiddos! Joss is so excited to run around with everyone.

We have Hail Mary's pumpkin pie mini tarts, and I baked a bunch of vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies last night with Joss. We have organic strawberries and raspberries that I washed last night, and a big tray of veggies and huge tub of hummus. Also a big box of pretzels in little bags to hand out, and some various vegan granola type bars (Lara Bars and these Rabbit Jr. organic ones with chia we get at Costco). We also bought a bunch of organic honest company juice boxes and water bottles. I have her big HAPPY BIRTHDAY Banner that I made for her 1st birthday, hung at her second as well, and will hang today. Some laminated photos of her as a baby that I will tape to the cement picnic tables, a big sheet of fabric to clip to a tree that I scoped out last weekend for a photo booth, charged my camera battery, and packed everything up in my car. Halloween-inspired party favors (bubbles, bouncy balls in a pink jackolantern bucket), bought paper plates, napkins, utensils, a big green "3" birthday candle, and packed a lighter, some trash bags, and am so excited to party! Almost as much as Joss :) I'm dressing up in a black maternity dress with cat ears, and Joss of course as Twilight Sparkle (my little pony) for our dress as your favorite animal theme, and then face painting at the park will add the finishing touches. so much fun ahead!

Jocelyn's actual birthday was this past Wednesday, and since her party is today, and our far away family has been sending her packages through out the week, we've been celebrating all week. Before bed Joss asks to hear her birth story, and ask about Jackson in my belly (baby boy Jackson!). I tell her how he kicks when I eat spicy food, just like she did. Then she narrates what he's thinking in my belly, "What is this? What is all this spicy food??? *kicking her feet and waving her arms around*" Talking with her about her birth all this week has been getting me more and more excited about Jackson's birth.

He's kicking more than ever, the bigger he gets the more Joss and Jason will be able to feel him too. Since my placenta is on the outside again, its hard for them to feel him, just like with Joss. But like Joss, give it another month and they'll be feeling him and his ninja moves in there!

So... JACKSON! We picked his name, Jax for short. This was going to be Jocelyn's name if she was a boy, and we still love it, so guess what? We're having a boy named, Jackson! Still undecided on the middle name... Lots of ideas, but might be a fun game to play at our baby shower again. Which brings me to...

BABY SHOWER! After discussing with our birth center community I've decided to throw a party again, even though we are untraditional and throwing it for ourselves, at our house again. Its such a challenge without any family here, but I'm okay with that. As far as registry goes, we pretty much have everything we need from hand me downs from friends, and we cloth diaper so I still have diapers from last time. I really enjoyed the fun activities, keepsakes we made, photos, celebration, and bringing love into our house making me feel supported by my community, rather than isolated and alone without family nearby - which I still feel vaguely pretty much all the time, raising our family out here on our own, but we are strong independent self-starters and this is the life that we have made for ourselves by choice and necessity to provide for our family and we are very grateful and happy to have what we have out here in the middle of Texas. SO! Faux pas be damned, I'm going to throw myself a birthday party baby shower/blessingway. Looking forward to it! Plus I feel like every pregnancy and kiddo should be celebrated, and Jackson should have his own day too. And my upcoming birth blessings and power wishes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

21 Weeks

Farmer's market fun around the lake at Mueller. Past the halfway mark, feeling good! Weather's finally starting to cool down a little bit.

Belly pic of the week!

Watching the ducks

Standing with the Scrabble Art Cow <3

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Halfway Mark!

Officially halfway through this pregnancy. At this stage I should have gained about 33% of my pregnancy weight. So far I've gained 20lbs. Last pregnancy I gained 50lbs total (which is a lot), but since I have a super healthy diet, and stay active with yoga 3 x a week and walking, my midwives said it wasn't anything to worry about and all baby. Looks like I'm on track to gain about the same amount again, and maybe even more.

At our anatomy ultrasound, everything looked beautiful, normal and healthy. Checked brain, heart, all major organs, limbs, skulls, body, face (for cleft pallet) and everything looked great for our baby boy. Due to the size, they think the EDD looks like it could be a week or so earlier, and so far baby looks to be at the 66% percentile. Considering I have big babies, I'm taking my estimate for an earlier due date with a grain of salt and wouldn't be surprised if he comes a week or so late like Joss. First lesson in being a mom, be open and adaptable to change plans, and know we're not in total control. Who knows, maybe baby will be a January baby? you just never know!

Feeling great, more and more movements, such a wonderful feeling. My placenta again is anterior (meaning in front), so rather than my stomach, my baby, my placenta, my back (which is most common)... I have my stomach, my placenta, my baby, then my back. Baby right now is also neither facing up or down, but laying in my uterus sideways (head on my left side, and feet pointing out over to my right). I still have plenty of time for baby to move into the proper (head down) position, but just interesting to see and know on the ultrasound.

Baby is the size of a papaya, roughly 10"long and oh my goodness, I am just getting more and more excited to meet this little fellow. I had a dream about him meeting aunty Heidi and her boys, and their pet pig, (lol they don't have a pet pig), and he was such a cute big baby, even though less than a week old he had a full head of hair, blonder than Joss when she was new, and pretty green eyes like me. He was so strong and sturdy and was holding up his head looking around with big chubby cheeks.

Part of me is a bit nervous to have a boy, since I've only had a girl. We are both in agreement to NOT CIRCUMCISE.  I know that we will figure it out as we go, and mostly everything will be the same. We didn't know anything about babies before our first, and I think we did/are doing just fine. I just know that I want to do everything right and give our kids the best possible. Which I think is already doing okay. Jason is so happy to have a son on the way, and I think it will be fun to have one of each.

3 Years Ago

When we went to the birth center for our gender reveal appointment, Jocelyn wanted to see where she was born, and the Zen room was open, so we showed her the tub where she came up out of the water almost 3 years ago exactly. Magical moments happening right here folks. My heart is so full of love.

We also went to a friend's 3rd birthday party this weekend, and picked up a bunch of 0-3 month old baby boy items from his mom who has a 3 month old baby boy as well who outgrew all these wonderful items (many of which have never been used... as new born baby clothes tend to go). Having like minded (vegan) mom friends, means also not having all of the boy outfits plastered with sexist male propaganda, and sports themed everything (which is hard to do these days!). All stripes and animals :)

So filled with love and gratitude. Time to update our Baby Registry, as we are definitely set for the early months, aside from some newborn cloth diapers and a my breast friend nursing pillow.

It's a Boy!!

Baby Boy Fosse Meeler coming soon to a Valentine's day near you xoxox