Monday, June 28, 2010


I am 21-weeks pregnant today; which means we are just over half way there!  Time really has gone by quickly with this pregnancy.  Wayne felt Micah kicking for the first time last week and has felt him a few more times since then.  Micah is a really strong little man.  I think he is already practicing for some type of sports team.  So far we like the name Micah Wayman Sherwood, but reserve the right to change his name upon arrival.  Micah is a Biblical Prophet whose name means "Who is like the Lord".  Wayman was my Dad's name and it starts with a W like Wayne and also has the same meaning as Wayne which is "Builder".

As for my last visit I had:
Gained 12 pounds total.
Measured 20 cm.
Still have slight nausea (awful nausea when I take prenatal vits.).
Wasn't sleeping well, but that seems to have resolved itself now that Mackenzie's teething has subsided and she is sleeping again.  Only one more tooth for her then we are DONE!
Waddle when I walk.
Feel Micah move ALL THE TIME.  Sometimes I think he is trying to break out of there.
No longer suffer from the fainting/dizziness issue.
Excited about meeting this little boy.

As for Mackenzie.  I think sometimes she remembers that Mommy is having her little brother, but most of the time she is oblivious to that fact.  We talk about him and pray for him and include him in our night time prayers.  She also gives my tummy random kisses for her baby brother, but other than that she just goes along with her normal day.  Also, we are potty training...STILL.  She is doing better.  Every other day she does AWESOME.  Seriously, she has no accidents and tells me when she needs to go, but every other day she REFUSES to us the potty!  Those days are much more difficult because she hates wearing a diaper but refuses to go on the potty.  Uggg.  I hope she decides to be fully potty trained way before her brother gets here.  That would be pretty wonderful.

Here are some pictures:

Again, please pardon how I look in the belly pic.  First thing in the morning!

20-weeks Preggo.

Breakfast turned into a Yogurt Facial.

Houston Zoo.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Parenting Tools

I know every parent has their own style, so this will not apply to everyone; or even to the majority of parents out there, but here are some tools that I have found very useful in the early years of parenting.

During Pregnancy:
During pregnancy I recommend reading a lot about birth, and not just the type of birth you are planning on having or are expecting to have because some things change at the last second - literally. 

Read about:
Home birth 
Hospital birth
Medicated birth
Un-medicated birth
Water birth
Pros and Cons to various interventions such as epidural, pitocin, episomity, continual fetal monitoring, planned or unplanned c-section, using natural pain alternatives, staying mobile during labor, lying on your back during labor, diet during pregnancy, birth attendants, location of birth, bottle feeding, breast feeding and so much more.  Every single one of these things will effect the outcome of your labor and birth process in some form or fashion.

Some books on the above topics are:
Pushed by Jennifer Block
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah J. Buckley, MD
Anything with or by Michael Odent and I also love Dr. Sears' books

These are only the two I have most recently read.  I read about 15 other books on these topics during my first pregnancy and plan on reading many more this time around.  I do NOT agree with everything in these books, but I love to glean what I can from the information and stories.

I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend the two following books to be read (or video's to be watched) BEFORE the baby is born.  Both of these need to be taken in and thought about so they become second nature when you are holding your brand new baby.  We made cheat sheets for both to keep handy and in plain sight when Mackenzie was little.

Dunstan Baby Language - DVD Dunstan Baby Language
Happiest Baby on the Block - Book

The first one (Dunstan Baby Language) clues you in to the most common sounds babies make and what each sound means.  Wayne and I watched this video several times over a two week period before Mackenzie was born, then we made a cheat sheet to hang on our wall.  It is amazing how this really works.  Your baby will give you noises to signal what is going on like - I'm Hungry, I need to Burp, I have Gas, I'm Uncomfortable, I'm Sleepy.  They will give these signals before crying, and if you do not respond then they will resort to crying.  If you never respond to their sounds they will begin to resort to crying first since this grabs your attention.  This sounds strange, but really works. 

The second one (Happiest Baby on the Block) teaches you how to effectively soothe your baby.  I think it is the 5 S's, but I can't remember for sure.  I need to re-read this one for our second baby.  But it uses things like sucking, swinging, and swaddling (teaches the proper technique) done in the proper order to help completely soothe a cranky baby.

I also recommend Birthing Classes to first time parents or if you have not had a baby in many years.  The one I like is 'The Bradley Method'.  This is a very hands on Husband/Father lead birthing method that allows the wife and husband to communicate easily and effectively through body language during the labor and birth.  I never wanted to speak or open my eyes during my very fast labor, so this was especially effective for us. 

After Baby Arrives:
Signing Time
One of the things Mackenzie and I have really enjoyed doing together is Sign Language.  I only knew a hand full of signs, so the parent does not need to know sign language to begin this with their baby.  Sign Language encourages the baby/child to use not only their sense of hearing, but also sight and touch to begin language development.  It is also a great second language.  I began "Baby Signing Time" videos with Mackenzie around 6-months of age, but it is recommended to start around 4-months of age.  She LOVED the baby signing time.  Before she could communicate effectively in a verbal manner she could sign to tell me what she wanted.  Then she graduated to "Signing Time" which I believe has 3 different series of videos and there are a lot of videos.  I also noticed that every time she would learn a sign she would learn how to say the word and the context of the word.  Today we sign together all the time, and she knows about 600 signs, all of her ABC's and can count and recognize numbers 1-20.  We plan on keeping this up for years to come and also teaching baby #2.  To them this is fun and a game and video where you get to know the characters Alex, Leah and Hopkins (their pet frog).

Throughout Pregnancy, Birth and Life:
Young Living Essential Oils - Young Living
This is really too lengthy to write about here, but I will say that we like to use these oils as a first line of defense BEFORE we resort to going to the doctors office.  And guess what?  We have NOT been to the doctor's office for an illness in the 3-yeas we have been using these; but we do use them a lot as preventatives.  We will go to the doctor if we see no improvement or worsening symptoms in 3-days (or less if something looks serious).  Well, we did go to the doctor once because I thought Mackenzie stuck something up her nose, but it turned out she had an ear infection.  She kept saying she had a "stuck bugger".  If she had told me about her ear instead we would have tried the oils first...oops!  Anyway, I highly recommend these and LOVE them.  I like having a healthy family; and every family is different, so with over 130 oils to choose from you can customize your family's needs and desires.  I really like some of the soothing oils for before bed like Lavender and Peace & Calm.  If you want more information on this section you can comment or e-mail me.

OK, so I have shared my advice; what advice do you have?  Maybe something on potty training?

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's A...

Yes, I will tell you the gender in this blog, but you will have to wade through some other 'stuff' first (insert evil laugh here).

Last week at our play date I had a poll to see what my friends thought we were having; boy or girl?  It was unanimous girl until one of my friends said she had to change to boy to be different from everyone else.  Did she make the correct decision by switching, or should she have stuck with her original thought?

My Mom and Wayne's Dad have been thinking boy.  I have been thinking girl, but all of my dreams have been boy (opposite of Mackenzie when I thought boy and dreamed girl).  Wayne had no idea either way.  I had a lady at church walk up to me and say hello to the baby girl growing inside me.  Who is correct?

Before I tell you the gender I have to tell you about the ultrasound.  Everything looks GREAT.  We saw the heart and the four chambers beating away.  We saw the brain, stomach, kidneys, eyes, face, hands, feet, arms, legs, spine, umbilical cord.  Before we started the scan we were asked if we wanted to find out the gender to which we replied, "yes, if we can see."  Good thing she asked because as soon as she put the receptor on my belly this is what we saw:

Well, it seems that my dreams are ALWAYS RIGHT.  It's a BOY! See the two legs and his 'stuff' sticking out in the middle.  His top leg has a slight shadow due to my scanner not picking up the black and white picture very well, but you can really see that he is a boy!

Now to switch my brain over to baby boy stuff.  I need to completely rethink the nursery.  Mackenzie was really excited and actually seemed to understand.  She didn't want to give back the ultrasound picture and kept saying that it was, "Mackenzie brother" and then rubbing my tummy.  So sweet.

So the ultrasound pictures did not scan very well to my computer...use your imagination.

Baby is looking at you.  Head is on the left of the screen.