Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Dragon Warrior's First Portrait

Here's the first photo we got of our little babe.  The midwife sent me in for a "dating" ultrasound the day before I thought I was nine weeks.  Look for a first ultrasound post in the next few days :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pregnancy and Registering

Sidenote to my pregnancy posts:  As I post I plan to be completely honest about my feelings and thoughts as we ride this rollercoaster into parenthood.  I plan to use this blog as a way for me to process this journey.  Thanks for taking the time to read.

After an extensive amount of reading online it sounded like couples don't start registering until after 12 weeks. We waited until the day after :) It was definitely me jumping the gun. It was snowing a lot outside, but that didn't squelch my need to get out of the house. I asked John if we could just go and look at Babies R Us. He was up for it, so we went. While I was looking for a brochure a lady asked if we wanted to start our registry. We said sure and I filled out a piece of paper (not time consuming at all), they gave us a scanner and registry guide and sent us off.  The registry "guide" was an 8x11.5 sheet of paper with very small print.  They claimed we needed LOTS of stuff for our new tiny human.  Even having the little bit of experience with what I want because of being a nanny for two infants Babies R Us was overwhelming! John kept telling me to calm down, but I honestly couldn't take it all in. I was trying to decide on what bottles to register for but it seemed like there was a bazillion choices. There were also a bazillion choices for strollers, carseats, jumpers, bouncers, pack-n-plays, nail clippers, bibs, breast pumps and diapers. Holy buckets! Babies R Us also seemed expensive. I'd searched around online for products I knew I'd want to register for so I had a general idea of prices. It was hard for me to register for a product when it was so much money. We left after registering for only 12 baby products, none of which I was sure about. We did get a great gift bag with coupons and samples after turning in our scanner though!

Fast forward a week and we were at Target to start our registry. I saw online that Target also offered a “gift bag” for new parents who open a one, so of course I was excited about that. I love free samples and coupons! We had to fill out some information on the registry computers and the guest service lady supplied us with a scanner gun.  John thought Target would be a waste of time because their baby section is so small. We honestly had so much fun doing this registry. Neither of us felt overwhelmed, just excited. Instead of being crabby with one another because we couldn't make a choice we were both taking turns with the scanner. Next to their big purchases (Pack-n-plays, Strollers and Carseats) they had “packages” that showed what matched with that product. It allowed us to easily find the stroller, carseat and diaper bag that matched our pack-n-play.  They also had a matching swing, but I already registered for the one both my nanny families have.  Not that matching products were necessary, but I enjoy having a gender neutral “theme” for the big items so we can use them for all our babies, boy or girl. Hopefully we'll be able to pass them onto someone else who needs them after we're done too. We ended up with almost fifty items after our scanner ran out of juice. We returned it and went home happy after purchasing a belly band :)

After returning home I told John I was going to check out's Baby Registry. I looked around for a mere 10 minutes and decided we could get everything we needed from Amazon or Target. I went to Babies R Us online and transferred everything to whichever registry had the product we wanted. There was a swing that both nanny families have that was $180 at Babies R Us, but only $100 on Amazon. One hundred dollars even seems like a lot to ask of people when one nanny baby loved it and one didn't really use it. Babies are complicated sometimes. The prices seemed like a big enough difference for me to switch over to Target and Amazon. Both places were worth going to the store just to get the “gift bag” with valuable information, coupons and freebies. Here's what each bag included from the stores we visited: They both came is nice reusable bags.

Babies R Us:
Packet of Valuable information about what to register for, info about baby and having a healthy pregnancy.
Coupons for various baby products
One American Baby and One Baby Talk magazines
Full A+D Ointment: This is what my mom used for us, so it should be good for our babies
Two Huggies newborn diapers
2 Lansinoh Nursing Pads

Packet of Valuable information about what to register for, info about baby and having a healthy pregnancy.
Coupons for various baby products
$20 gift card for Shutterfly that doesn't expire until next year, so I might use it for baby announcements
Tommee Tippee 5oz bottle
Two Huggies newborn diapers
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags
2 Lansinoh Nursing Pads
A small Aquaphor sample 

*This blogger got the same samples I got and she posted a photo  She has a great 2013 Baby Guide for more information!

If I had to give a newly pregnant friend advice about registering I'd just tell them to relax and enjoy the experience.  All these places have the opportunity to change/delete/add products via sign in on the internet.  The registry process doesn't have to be only one day either.  I've been adding/changing/deleting products since we started.  I'm hoping John and I have some time this weekend to go through what I've added, sometimes he's picky.  Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about registering!  Thanks for reading.  

If you want to see some fun photos from our registry adventures at

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Telling Our Families

Sidenote to my pregnancy posts:  As I post I plan to be completely honest about my feelings and thoughts as we ride this rollercoaster into parenthood.  I plan to use this blog as a way for me to process this journey.  Thanks for taking the time to read.

This was such a wonderful and memorable experience for John and me. Our immediate families knew we were trying so we knew it wouldn't be too big of a surprise when we broke the news, but very exciting nonetheless.  We had originally decided that we wouldn't tell anyone until after our first doctor's appointment.  It was more my decision because I didn't want anything to happen to the babe and then have to tell everyone that news after the happy news.  John was level-headed about it and figured we'd have people praying for us and supporting us no matter what so let's go for it and spill the beans.  It just so happened that we found out right before Christmas so that made me want to break the news even more.  

We knew we would see my family on Sunday, John's family on Monday, my extended family on my mom's side on Tuesday and my extended family on my dad's side the next Saturday.  We knew we could call and Skype everyone else who we wanted to tell in that time as well.  It was the perfect scenario for us to tell everyone in less than a week's time, plus getting to tell a lot of family in person was special to me.  John and I decided that we wanted to get books for our parents to open and we made cards to go with them.  My mom got a book of Bible stories and my dad got a farm book, John's mom got a collection of Curious George stories and his dad a book about grandpas.  The front of the card only read "This is a sesame seed."  I had glued an actually sesame seed onto the card.  (Photo!)  It was the size of our baby at 5 weeks.  One of John's many hidden talents is poems/stories.  I've gotten some of the best homemade cards from him because he writes the best poems.  Here's what he wrote for the inside of the card:  

I can't wait for the day we first meet,
so you can show me all the things that are real neat.  
We'll play toys, read books and be really good friends, 
and as I get older our friendship will never end.
I know in my heart you'll be there for my needs,
but for now I'm only the size of a sesame seed.

We celebrated Christmas at my mom and dad's on Sunday.  We had to get through dinner and dishes before we even started gift opening.  My mom and dad opened their books and read the card.  My mom was doing a little cheer and yelling and John claims my dad was a little teary.  (Photo!)  SO much fun!  We got hugs from everyone.  After that all my siblings were teasing that no one's gifts can be better than that so we should've waited until everyone else was done.  After the festivities died down at my house we went over to Mark and Sue's and told them we had a gift that couldn't wait.  They opened the card, but Sue couldn't read it because she didn't have her glasses.  While she was looking she kept yelling at Mark to stop reading without her.  She finally found them and started crying.  (Photo!)  It was so sweet.  There were hugs all around.  Everyone was told that the news was still hush hush because we still wanted to tell others ourselves.

We got to tell John's sister and her family and his extended family on his dad's side via Skype on Christmas Eve.  John also called his Gram and Gramp Christmas Eve to share our news.  On Christmas Day we made the long drive to Nebraska to see my mom's family.  My mom had been anxiously waiting for us to get there so we could share the news.  My sister's told me she even had to lie to my aunts the night before.  She had brought her sesame seed card with :)  Everyone was so excited for us, especially my grandma (Photo!)  It was just so happy.  What a fun and memorable Christmas!  The next Saturday was the Latt Christmas.  I didn't really know how to break the news here because my Grandma had been with at our immediate family Christmas, so I decided to wait patiently until someone asked about babies.  Since John and I have been married over five years with no babies usually people ask and not subtly.  We get "When are you guys having a baby?" questions.  No one asked anything!   The night was getting later and I didn't know what to do.  John was downstairs with my uncles and cousins watching football and I was upstairs with the women just chatting.  My uncle Dave came up and asked if I had any news.  (John is a stinker.)  I told him we were having a baby, surprise!  I got hugs again and was happy that the news was out in the open.  I love all my families :)

We (I) decided not to break the news to our friends until after our first midwife appointment which was 2.5 weeks away.  That was fine with me and I felt good about making it to almost 9 weeks before letting other people know.  That was a fun experience too, but I'll save that for another post.  For other photos of telling our families and the Dragon Warrior, click here or visit

For any family members who are reading this thanks for being great!  We love you all very much and know our little dragon warrior will be loved.  He/She is so blessed to be born into this family full of love and support.  Thanks for everything!  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Top Five Products I Love from Nannying

Sidenote to my pregnancy posts:  As I post I plan to be completely honest about my feelings and thoughts as we ride this rollercoaster into parenthood.  I plan to use this blog as a way for me to process this journey.  Thanks for taking the time to read.
It has truly been a blessing to be a nanny for two infants prior to having our own. God really looked out for me on this one! The only detail that could've made it better is if I had one boy and one girl (both are girls). It has given me the opportunity to give a great amount of infant products a test run before registering or buying them for our family. Since there is such a vast amount of products to choose from I am thankful for any kind of direction about what we might need.

It has been interesting to compare which products each family has that are similar and different. It has actually shown me if it worked for both families it's a good place to start for ours, or if they have different products I can choose the one I liked working with the best. It's honestly an experience that would benefit all first time parents :)

1. Boon Grass Drying Rack: I loved this thing! Each family has a different system of drying bottles/nipples/pump accessories, but I like this one the most. I could crowd lots of things on here or just a few. There is also a flower or tree attachment so pacifiers and other things can hang so there's more room for drying bigger products. Target carries all three, the drying rack, the tree and the flower.  They also have a Boon Lawn Drying Rack which is just a larger version of the Grass one.  I never felt like the Grass one was too small, so I can't justify taking up more counter space.

Drying Rack:

2. Cloud b Sleep Sheep, aka the Sleepy Sheep:  Both families have one of these.  My current family has the full size and the last one had the travel size.  As far as I've read and used both versions the only difference is the size.  Each have four sound settings: Mother's Heartbeat, Spring Showers, Ocean Surf and Whale Songs.  Both families regularly use the Ocean Surf setting and none of the others.  I think the Mother's Heartbeat and Spring Showers are also okay, but the Whale Songs is a little silly.  They both have Velcro straps so they can be attached to a crib, carseat or stroller.  The sound box can also be removed for easy cleaning of the stuffed animal or for even a small noise machine for travel.  Since both seem to have the same volume settings, the same two time settings which is automatically turns off after (23 and 45 minutes), the same four sounds I registered for the smaller travel size.  John and I like to travel and still hope to get out and about with the babe so it seemed like the obvious choice for us.

Regular Size:
On the Go Size:
The Sheep Sounds:

They also have a Giraffe Version, but I wasn't as much of a fan of those noises.  It can also be found on  Here's a YouTube on that if you want to hear them (skip to 45 seconds): 

3.  Baby Bjorn or some kind of comfortable sling/carrier:  I'm not sure what version of the Baby Bjorn carrier the first family had but I loved it.  The family I'm currently with has an ErgoBaby carrier that I'm excited to try out.  I understand that there are times for a stroller and times for a carrier, but I'm more fond of a carrier.  It was especially useful for walks.  With the first family I got to bring my dog to work and they also had a dog.  I could strap Miss H to my body and have one leash in each hand.  It was much simpler than trying to maneuver a stroller and the two dogs.  Miss H loved the carrier too.  She didn't like being strapped into it, but the second we were moving around she was fine.  John and I received a Original Baby Bjorn as a hand-me-down and I just washed it last week, so we're set.  I'm still considering putting an ErgoBaby on our registry though.  I've heard so many raves about it.  

Original Baby Bjorn:

4.  Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Bouncer:  For the first family and me in the first few months I worked there this baby was a lifesaver.  Miss B at my second home has a different chair that doesn't bounce but she loves it.  Miss H needed to be bounced at all times.  This bouncer was where she often slept for the first few months.  It was really easy to just rest a foot on the bottom and bounce it.  It didn't take much effort at all, but I would notice that my calves were sore at the end of the day.  This bouncer also has sounds and vibration, but I rarely used those because the bouncing seemed to be enough for her.  The bouncer that Miss B has also has sounds and vibration and I find myself using it because the seat doesn't bounce.  I guess the seat will end up being our babe's personal preference, but hopefully he/she likes the one we picked out.

Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Bouncer:
Fisher-Price Baby Papasan:  This is the one my current family has, but I couldn't find it online.

5.  Halo Sleepsack Swaddle:  Both babes have one of these and they are a lifesaver for naps.  I could always get both little ladies to go to sleep, but they would startle themselves and wake up with their flailing arms.  This great sack keeps their arms by their sides can helps them to stay sleeping for their nap time.  Miss B is on a nap schedule, so when she's supposed to wake up I just quietly unstrap her swaddle and she naturally wakes up.  I think it's a great system.

Halo Sleepsack Swaddle:

I was planning to post my top ten, but because this post got so long I'll just stick to my top five.  I'm sure there will be other posts about how helpful being a nanny has been.  I have loved it and I'll be sad to let it go.  I probably won't have much time to be bummed about it though since I'll have my own little bundle of joy.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

OB/GYN and Midwives: It's not a fight, it's personal preference.

Sidenote to my pregnancy posts:  As I post I plan to be completely honest about my feelings and thoughts as we ride this rollercoaster into parenthood.  I plan to use this blog as a way for me to process this journey.  Thanks for taking the time to read.

This was a debated topic in our house for a while, but truthfully it shouldn't be a fight between professionals.  Choosing a midwife or OB/GYN is entirely personal preference.  John didn't know why we wouldn't use an OB/GYN and I definitely knew I wanted a midwife.  We both did a lot of research, but still couldn't come to a conclusion.  Here's a very short version of my understanding of the differences.  I looked at Certified Nurse Midwives because that's what I was interested in.  There are others that have lower levels of schooling that work in birthing centers, but I wasn't interested in that.  Admittedly I am pro midwife, but I tried to get an accurate representation of both sides.  Keep in mind as well there are broad generalizations about both sides.  I don't believe every OB believes that pregnancies are problems and I don't believe all midwives are a sure way to avoid being induced, having a C-section or other interventions. 

1. Schooling = 4 year undergraduate program, Medical School, Residency and Licensure
2. Treats all patients from low to high risk.
3. Views childbirth as an issue that needs to be remedied (child delivered as safely as possible)
4. Can perform surgical procedures if needed.
5. More monitoring during labor including fetal monitors. 
6. Generally in the labor room to check their patient a few times and during pushing
7. The doctor who treats the patient during pregnancy is most often their doctor during labor

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
1. Schooling = 4 year RN program and a Masters in Midwifery
2. Generally treats low risk patients, often will refer a high risk case.
3. Generally offers a more hands off, less interventions approach to childbirth.
4. Views childbirth as a natural process in a woman's life.
5. Have lower rates of induction, Cesarean, epistiotomies and other interventions.
6. Cannot perform C-sections.
7. Have higher rates of natural, vaginal deliveries.
8. Around most of the time during labor.

1. Deliver in a hospital setting.
2. Order epidurals and other medications.
3. I would say they both have hearts for women and babies.

With those facts I was still very pro midwife.  It's valuable to know as well that I've had bad luck with doctors in the past, so I was biased from the start.  Before we even started trying to conceive I knew I wanted to go into the experience with an open mind (as much as I could).  I actually saw an OB/GYN for a physical/preconception appointment since I hadn't been to the doctor in over five years and I loved her.  Even so, I still didn't feel that my heart was pointing me in that direction.

Now John had very valid points in his OB/GYN argument.  He didn't understand why we wouldn't choose the person with the most schooling.  Logical, but I kept reassuring him that if I was high risk or became high risk I wouldn't fight having to switch.  He also initially thought I was against delivering in a hospital because a fair amount of midwives deliver at birthing centers or in homes.  I reassured him that that wasn't the case and I thought a hospital was the best choice for us.  I love that his concerns basically centered around my safety and the safety of our little dragon warrior.  He's such a wonderful husband and he's going to make a great dad.

As we were still locked in our game of tug-o-war I figured out that choosing an OB or a midwife would also include choosing the clinic where we'd go for appointments and the hospital where we would deliver.  Fairview Southdale Hospital is the closest to us, but I had read/heard a few negative comments about how midwives were treated there.  Plus any midwife I would choose would actually be at a separate clinic and only delivered at the hospital.  Which I thought was probably partly to blame for the bad relationship between the OBs and the midwives.  I figured that the stress of that strained relationship was the last thing I would need while I was in labor.  As I continued reading I found Methodist Hospital which isn't too much further away.  Their midwives work in a clinic attached to the hospital and their midwifery program has been there for 10+ years, so the relationship between the doctors and midwives is well established.  John was still on the fence, so I was excited when I found a Meet the Midwives night at the hospital.  John said he was happy to go.  It was weird because we were actually the only couple that wasn't pregnant or very visibly showing.  I was curious what these couples had been doing for prenatal care, but I tend to be on the over prepared side of every situation.  They all told us about themselves, their philosophy as a practice and stats on their practice.  The one that stuck out to me was their Cesarean rate is 9% and the average in some states is up to 40% (See source below).  After they talked for a while individuals asked questions and we got a tour of the birthing floor.  It was currently under construction, but still nice.  Everything will be completed by the time John and I deliver!  After this experience I was jumping for joy and John said he was ready to be on board if it was what I really wanted.  Well it was/is :)  Since we had decided right after we found out we were expecting I called and made my first appointment, January 16th.

We have had two appointments with one midwife so far and the next one scheduled is with a different one.  The one downside to this collective practice is that we get whichever midwife is on call when we deliver.  After being anal about every other detail this didn't bother me.  I'm still not sure why, but I think it has to do with the fact that all the women we met were so compassionate and friendly.  I just don't see us having a problem with any of them.  I'll save the details of the two appointments for another blog post.  Thanks for reading!

Quiz to see which option is for you:

The Business of Being Born (It's streaming on Netflix. SO good!)

There is a plethora of information about this topic and I read many more articles, but I couldn't find them all to post here.  If you want more information just google it.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

and then there were three.

Sidenote to my pregnancy posts:  As I post I'll be completely honest about my feelings and thoughts as we ride this rollercoaster into parenthood.  I plan to use this blog as a way for me to process this journey.  Thanks for taking the time to read.

Yup, John and I are having a baby!  We're currently in the middle of our 13th week.  Expecting means our family will be expanded to four because Comet always counted as our first babe.  There are still times I say it outloud to make sure I'm not dreaming.  We are so excited!  Here's the story of us finding out :)

It was Wednesday, January 19th.  I knew it was the day that I was supposed to get my period, so silently in my head I had chosen to wait until that day to test.  I woke up at 2:15am having to pee so bad, which usually never happens to me.  I'm a sleep through the night type.  I laid in bed thinking that I knew it was my day to test and that every test tells you to use your first thing in the morning pee.  Argh.  I managed to wait until 3:15am, but just decided to do a test.  I knew I had to be so quiet because John is a light sleeper.  I didn't want to wake him up if the test was negative.  I never turn the light on in the middle of the night because even that can wake him, but testing would've been a little difficult without light.  I knew having to wait the 3 minutes to get the results might cause him to be suspicious too.  Every test recommends peeing directly on the stick and only gives small directions on the side for using a cup.  I have never had enough confidence in my peeing directly on a stick skills so I have always chosen the cup method.  I did that, plopped my first pee stick into the cup and counted.  After counting I laid the stick down and set my stopwatch.  At this point John called from the bedroom asking what I was doing.  I made up some silly excuse that I couldn't sleep.  Since he was now awake I moved my operation to the kitchen. (A little gross I know.)  When I get up in the night he usually gets up too.  He went to the bathroom and went back to bed.

As my watch went off I went to check the test.  Positive.  I remember thinking, "Now what?"  Not in a I'm scared to be pregnant, but not in a I'm ready to wake my husband way either.  I figured to help wrap my mind around the result I would take another test.  Plopped another stick in, counted and started my watch.  John called to me again from the bedroom and I tried to reassure him that I'd be back in bed soon.  The watch went off and I checked it, another positive.  It was probably time to wake my baby daddy.  I had a book saved for John called, 1001 Things It Means To Be A Dad, so I set the book and the tests out.  I told John I needed him to get out of bed.  Later he told me he was a little peeved thinking I was going to show him that it had snowed a lot or something.  I don't remember if either of us said anything I just pointed at the tests.  I think we were both so tired that we had trouble processing the thought that we were expecting.  We weren't able to sleep for a few hours after.  I remember just laying in bed talking to each other.

We were trying to conceive, but we'd heard numerous stories of it taking couples over a year to beome pregnant.  I don't think either of us expected it to work after only two months of trying, so we were pleasantly surprised :)  It was a day that neither of us will ever forget.  Our little guy/gal has been officially nicknamed the Dragon Warrior (See Kung Fu Panda).  At this point there are lots of pregnancy related topics I want to talk about, so keep your eyes peeled.      

For photos of the early morning surprise, click here: