Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Amy's Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist Series: 2nd Trimester

To Do - 2nd Trimester:
  • Track food and water intake to make sure weight gain is healthy
  • Review Baby Registry
  • Narrow in on a few baby names
  • Talk with daddy about parenting and life after baby comes
  • Talk about work plans, maternity leave and paternity leave
  • Write a birth plan. Discuss with your spouse about the option of cutting the umbilical cord, and circumcision. Talk about cost and coverage. (Also, make a plan for a cesarean section, in case of an emergency. I know from experience it is better to have talked about it than to go in thinking all will be fine. I had a C-section thinking that I would go all natural. Talk about it! I hope you don’t have to worry about it, but it’s good to be ready if you need it!)
  • Ask for helpers for when baby comes
  • Pre-register at hospital or birthing center.
  • Sign up for breastfeeding class (knowing from experience, it is better to know before hand how a baby should latch on.)
  • Purchase a few different types of nipple shields to try at the hospital.
  • Talk to your baby (you might not have a name picked out yet, but it's good to start a relationship now)
  • Count fetal movements daily:
    • Look at the clock and begin counting every motion your baby makes.
    • When you have counted 10 movements, not the time.
    • Generally, you should notice 10 movements in 10 minutes, although it may take longer of your child to move or for you to notice the activity.
    • Have a little snack if you haven't noticed that much activity; then try counting again.
    • If two hours pass without 10 movements, call your practitioner, just in case.
    • Make a habit to check in regularly with your little one as your due date gets closer.
  • Baby proof and do a safety check (crawl around on your hands and knees, look for anything that could fall, get knocked down, poke or scrape easily, or entangle)
  • Find a pediatrician (if you’re having a boy, talk about circumcision)
  • Get a haircut

My Tips & Tricks:

If you plan on breastfeeding, and it isn’t working out,  it's not always a mother's fault that a baby is not latching correctly. My first son had a tight jaw and tongue, he couldn't coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing, and he would arch his back. It wasn’t until we took him to a Craniosacral Therapist for a few months that his tight jaw and tongue loosened and he stopped arching. But as his latch improved my flow became too fast, and he would refuse me after let down. Ultimately we chose to switch to bottle feeding after 2 1/2 months. 

With my second son, he was eager to nurse right off the bat, he latched on beautifully, and we never had any issues. The only time we had any issues was when I slept on my stomach,  my son slept through the night, and I ended up with a plugged duct. But I used some cabbage leafs in my bra, pumped, nursed, and massaged like crazy, and I was able to get it out without having to go to the doctor! Woo Hoo! 

All in all, I hope you have more of an experience like my second son. But as an experienced mom, I suggest that you do what you can to learn about breastfeeding now. Make sure you have resources handy. If, in the end, you are not able to breastfeed, you are not alone, don't get down on yourself! Sometimes it's better for you and the baby to go to bottle feeding. That doesn't mean you are any less of a mother, or that you failed. No matter how you feed your baby, you will still be a wonderful, loving, and successful mom!

I hope your pregnancy is going beautifully! Keep coming back for more on my series, or click below for my previous series posts.

Previous Series: 1st Trimester
Next Series: 3rd Trimester

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Amy's Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist Series: 1st Trimester

To Do - 1st Trimester:
  • Find a good OB/GYN
  • Tour Birth/Delivery Center(s) at the Hospital
  • Make dental appointment (hormones can make cavities more prevalent, best to get checked and be safe)
  • Start taking monthly belly pictures
  • Schedule daily exercise (either personal time for pelvic tilts, squats, and stretching, or sign up for a class i.e.. prenatal yoga, water aerobics, etc...)
  • Drink lot’s of water
  • Find things to help with nausea (I love ginger tea in the morning when it’s really bad. Prego pops, ginger gum, and crackers were life savers during the day. I find that taking my prenatals at night helped my morning sickness to be less severe.)
  • Figure out a Baby budget (approx. $6,000. Half for one time purchases (car seat, crib, burp cloths, etc.) The other half  for ongoing purchases (diapers, wipes, etc.)
  • Start a college/mission/marriage fund
  • Create a baby registry
  • Purchase a baby book (or a few for future babies) and combine with pregnancy mementos
  • Start a routine to think about and connect with baby
  • Go on dates!! (it's important for your and your spouse to stay close throughout the pregnancy so you can talk about life after baby, challenges that may come up, and just to let your hair down every once in awhile)
  • Create a will with your spouse (nothing should happen, but it's good to know who you would like to have take care of your precious little one in case something does)
  • Consider a baby moon (a chance for you and your spouse to have a last hurrah before baby comes)
  • Make baby shower plans
  • Send thank you notes (after the baby shower, of course)
  • Get and test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • Sign up for infant CPR and newborn-care classes

Free Printable: 1st Trimester

Previous Series: Wishlist for Baby
Next Series: 2nd Trimester

Monday, February 22, 2016

Amy's Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist Series: Wishlist for Baby

Wish list for Baby:
  • Car seat and base (be sure to have it inspected so it is installed correctly)
  • Diapers: Cloth or disposable (plan for 12 per day for the first week until you get an idea of how many your little one goes through. Stock up, you’ll use them!!)
  • Disposable wipes
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Alcohol, bandages, and q-tips for belly button
  • Dresser
  • Changing station
  • Crib, mattress, bumpers, 3 fitted sheets
  • Changing pads (one for home, one for on the go)
  • Rectal Thermometer
  • Gas Drops
  • Burp Cloths (8-10, they will save your clothes!)
  • Baby Tylenol (for later when teeth come in, or if baby gets a fever at some point)
  • Baby teething gel (for later when teething begins)
  • Baby Shampoo, cleanser, and lotion
  • small, soft toys for baby to look at or hold
  • rattles
  • activity mat/ baby gym / Big blanket for floor time
  • hand socks/mittens for hospital so baby doesn't scratch up their cute little face
  • Winter baby - hats, socks/booties, warm blankets
  • Summer baby - summer hats, baby sun block, light blanket

My Tips/Tricks:
  • Vaseline! (slather on for the first few diapers, and that sticky mess is much easier to clean off their cute little newborn bums! It also helps prevent diaper rash)
  • 3 waterproof mattress pads (I like to layer 3 sheets with a waterproof pad in between each. When the top sheet needs cleaned, all I have to do is take the top layer off  and I’m good to go)
  • Baby nail clipper & a Glass* nail file (glass is much softer on the babies new fingers and nails, plus, if you're not comfortable using the clippers, the nail file is effective enough and gentle enough to do the trick)
  • white onesies (12-24,  put under baby's clothes, to help hold in inevitable leaks and explosions. White so you don't feel bad about bleaching the heck out of them.)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

I'm Pregnant with #3

Woo Hoo! 

Our little one will be born sometime in the 3rd week of August. We'll be finding out if it's a boy or girl in the next week or so. I'm so excited! With our 3rd on the way, I went back to my Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist, and saw that it was quite long for one post. So I'm splitting it up into smaller segments to make it easier for new moms, and people like me, to find what they are looking for. Here is the first in the series. 

Amy's Ultimate Pregnancy Check List Series - Wishlist for Mommy

I'm going to give you a printable version of each list so you can print it and check off what you want or need. You may see that, in some of the checklist segments, I've added a few tips and tricks that I've used with my two boys, and plan on using with my new little one come August. If you know of someone that is newly pregnant and would like a place to start, send them on over! I've done my best to make it all encompassing, but hopefully not overwhelming. I hope these are helpful, and informational. I would love to hear your feedback!! Keep in touch for more updates on my Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist Series. 

As always, stay creative. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Victor the Vampire

Original design created by Amy Stevens 

Happy Halloween! 
This little guy was so much fun to make! I actually made him last year, but with the move I lost my notes. Complete bummer!! But I did take pictures this time so it is easier to see how he goes together. I hope you like Victor the Vampire just as much as I do!

Please let me know if you like the picture view or the written instructions (like in previous posts) better, or if you think a combo would be best.

Stands 2 1/2" tall, 1 1/4" wide, 1" deep.

You will need:
Polymer clay: 

2 black seed beads
roller or pasta machine
clay tool (as shown in picture)
flat headed straight pin

Bake: Follow directions on packaging. (For Sculpy it is 275° F (130° C) 15 min per/ 1/4" (6mm))
(Be sure to purchase a thermometer for your oven to make sure it is at the correct temperature. Take a plain piece of clay and form a disc 1/2" wide by 1/4" tall and bake in your oven. Always open windows and turn on ventilation. If you begin to smell fumes, or see smoke, your oven is too hot! Remove it from your oven, set your oven for 10° lower, and try again with a different disc of clay.)
Most of all, have fun while expressing your creativity!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Getting Settled (Finally)

Happy Labor Day!!
My goodness it seems like it's been a year since I've posted anything! I am itching to get back to creating things and posting them for everyone. But I am just getting settled into our new place after moving in just a few weeks ago. (I know it seems like I should be all moved in already right?) While my husband was in training I was visiting family for a few months. And as some of you know, traveling and crafting don't go hand in hand, especially with two cute kiddos.

But now that we have moved into a place to call our own, I am getting everything put away, and beginning the "beautifying" stage of moving in. I'm currently working on a towel hanger for the bathroom, since there isn't enough room for four towels on our towel rack. I also have a few other things I can't wait to get to. Anyway, I promise to get a post up soon! Check back in a week or so, and I hope you like what you see!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Another Move!

So, I'm reluctant to say that you won't be seeing much from me in the next few months. But I am excited to say that we are moving again. Moving? Yep. Again? Yes, all the way across country, again. Comical for sure, but it will be worth it! This new job for my husband will allow him to upgrade to Captain sooner, which will in turn help us get out of debt sooner. Yippee for getting out of debt! Not there yet, but we're getting there. :) So, over the next few months we plan to end up in Utah, and then we can settle down a little bit.

Wish me luck as we tackle this crazy move with two little ones, and hopefully I can get back into the swing of things soon.

As always, keep having fun expressing your creativity!