Gender Predictions!

    I’m 20 weeks along which where I live means, we can officially (try to) find out the gender of our third little babe! It’s actually been a BIG decision for us, deciding whether we should find out or not. A little backstory, I LOVE surprises. Like, I am obsessed. I remember accidentally finding one of my Christmas presents as a child and being absolutely devastated. I threw it back in the bag and cried for so long. I apologized to my parents over and over again for stumbling across the gift (it was one of my “big” gifts that year). Even if Zach is planning a gift or surprise date or something, I will go out of my way to avoid getting any hints. I’m also not a planner. I am about some things. I like my home organized. I like lists and like party planning. But for a baby, I’ve just never felt like I needed to know the gender in order to be prepared. I completely know that some people do, and it really is such a personal choice but not only do I love the surprise, I really do feel as prepared as someone can be for a baby, even when I don’t know the gender.

    So, you can probably guess that both Dex and Elle’s genders were revealed to us in the delivery room. I bring a going home outfit for a boy and a girl and some other neutral (grey, white or cream NOT yellow or green like everyone always assumes when I tell them we don’t know the gender) pieces. Usually the same day they are born, my mom and sister have already run to Baby Gap and bought out half the newborn section, washed everything and filled the closet because they are so excited.

    Both times, the surprise was pretty magical. With Dex I swore from the beginning he was a boy. I blogged my whole pregnancy on my old blog, and it’s so funny for me to look back and see how sure I was. I literally didn’t even have a solid plan for a girl name because I was THAT sure. His birth was an emergency c-section, and after the most stressful labour and surgery, seeing his little boy parts held up over the curtain and hearing my husband say “It’s a boy. It’s Dexter” was literally the best second of my life. Elle’s birth was a little less eventful (thankfully!) and she was born via successful vbac after about 3 pushes. I had no idea what I thought she was going to be. They asked me right before I pushed and I said boy, but I was still 50/50. They had nicu on standby because of some heart rate issues when I was pushing, and she didn’t make any noise or cry for a while after she came out. When everyone was shuffling around and I could tell she wasn’t crying, it stressed me out so much that I didn’t even think of her gender. The nicu took her, and I heard a couple people mention girl and then my husband yell/ask “It’s a girl???” in the most excited voice ever. I still had so much adrenaline rushing through me and nurses sticking me and just waiting for my baby to cry that it was mostly just over my head. They brought her back to me and put her pink hat on and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a GIRL!!

    This time around, though, we have decided to find out after our ultrasound. Okay like 95% decided. A part of me still thinks I’ll chicken out and say “NO don’t tell me!” and just forget about the whole thing. The main reason we want to find out this time is just to try something different. I think it would be so cool to connect and bond in that way with the baby while pregnant. I’ve never been able to say “my daughter” or “my son” while expecting. It’s always just “the baby” or occasionally “it”. We also thought it would be cool to tell Dex, who is so interested in my belly and the baby, what is to come. Lastly, we might have some room rearranging to do depending on the gender, so we might get a head start on that. All that to say – I am so nervous/scared/excited to find out!

    My friend Marissa did a little gender prediction post on her blog and I loved reading it so thought I would do the same here. These are obviously all old wives tales and even Marissa’s post, the majority said girl and it was a boy but I love this stuff so I’m into it.

    Right off the bat. I have no solid guesses. At times I’ve felt girl for sure and other times boy. Zach has had two dreams since I’ve been pregnant and it’s been a girl both times and my dad had this really crazy dream of all his grandchildren grown up and this baby (being his 5th) was a girl. Lately (as I hit publish) I am feeling boy. Like a lot. I don’t know why, we’ve just been feeling so natural and peaceful that it would be a boy but seriously, who knows!

    Chinese gender calendar: it says GIRL but was opposite/wrong for both my other pregnancies.
    Carrying high (girl) or low (boy): I think low, but it might be too early to tell.  BOY?
    Baby’s heart rate (over 140bpm is a girl, under 140bpm is a boy): 140 right on! Sneaky little thing. TIE
    Skin changes (they say boys make your skin better and girls make your skin worse-think acne): My skin went CRAZY with breakouts at the beginning and being so dry but it’s evened out a bit now. Also this one was opposite for me the other two times. My skin was a nightmare with Dex and the best it has ever looked with Elle. TIE
    Nausea (nausea usually means its a girl, no nausea means it’s a boy): The most nauseous of all my pregnancies. GIRL
    Cravings- sweets (girl) or salty (boy): I crave everything these days but probably more sweet/cold things. GIRL
    Cravings- fruit (girl) or meats and cheese (boy): Fruit – gimme all the watermelon and frozen grapes! GIRL
    Headaches- yes (boy) or no (girl): Yes headaches. BOY
    Leg hair (less hair means girl, more hair means boy): I haven’t noticed any change so I’m not sure on this one BUT – I do see some new little fuzz on my belly – so that’s awesome. BOY
    Does your husband have more brothers or sister: More sisters. GIRL
    Feet warmer (girl) and colder (boy): What even is this one? If my AC is on they are cold, if I’m outside, hot.
    Has dad gained weight (boy) or none at all (girl): No he hasn’t. But he never has in the past either. He’s a runner with the metabolism of an 11 year old so I don’t trust this one at all.
    Chest has not grown (girl) or it has grown (boy): it has like tripled but after nursing 2 babies I was starting from absolute zero, like what is smaller than a AA? BOY
    Urine- bright (boy) or dull (girl): dull-ish?  GIRL
    Sleep-if you sleep mostly on your left side it’s a boy, on your right side it’s a girl: Both, I flip flop all night. TIE
    So from these we have 6 GIRL and 4 BOY and a bunch of BS in between haha.
    We will definitely see next week, and I can’t wait to share the gender with you guys! What do you guys think it is? Did you find out before the birth or wait until baby was born to find out the gender?
    Thanks for reading!


    Motherhood, Pregnancy

    First Trimester Recap

    So, everyone said the first trimester would fly by faster and faster with each pregnancy but this totally did not! I think because we waited to tell the kids until almost week 12, that made it feel like forever. But here I am, out of the first trimester, feeling blessed, thankful and super nauseous!
     I thought I would do a little first trimester recap on the blog. I’ve blogged throughout my other pregnancies and have loved the process of recording and reading back all the little details. I often lack blogging inspiration, and I think it’s because I overthink the whole thing, worrying about what other people want to read or how helpful and informative so and sos blog post was and how my photography isn’t great, BUT when I’m pregnant, writing/blogging becomes so natural because none of those things matter. This is for me, and my family and our third little baby.

    This pregnancy has been super different than my other two. My symptoms other than nausea, have been all over the place from feeling fevered to having NO appetite at all (even today at 15 weeks) and sneezing ALL THE TIME!  I have felt more tired this pregnancy than I ever have in my whole life (including post-partum) but I think that has a LOT more to do with my two toddlers than the actual baby growing part. My uterus and non-existent ab muscles had NO issue remembering what to do once a baby was in there and some days, after a good meal, I easily look 6 months pregnant. We unintentionally waited until 14 weeks to announce this pregnancy and it has been HARD to hide this. I’m 15 weeks now but wrote this draft back at 12 weeks.
    Due date: November 8th 2017.

    How far along: 12 weeks (currently I’m 15).

    Gender: unknown! for now..more on that in another post 😉 I have no guesses. I was SURE it was a girl at the beginning, and then when I started to really break out (like I did with Dex) I was sure it was a boy and now I’m back to having no idea.
    Size of the baby: lime.
    Movement:  I swore I felt a little flutter or two on Easter Sunday and again a week later I thought I felt some rolling and bumping going on in there. Turns out it was totally wishful thinking, because I didn’t feel anything after that and am still waiting on those first little movements.
    Total weight gain so far: 8 lbs!  I have no appetite at all but eating is about the only thing that makes my nausea subside so I’ve been eating a lot! It’s so weird though, I just feel mediocre about all food. Like it will look okay but then eating it is like eating plain oatmeal. I feel no enjoyment really. Also have the shortest torso of life so between the 8 lbs and being 5’2″, it’s all just very obvious that I’m pregnant.
    Favourite maternity clothes right now: I don’t have any yet but I feel like I need (and want!) maternity pants already. My first two pregnancies, I felt all proud that I didn’t spend much money on maternity clothing. This time around, I know the freedom and comfort of just going straight to the big old stretchy elastic waistband and I am ready for that like now.
    Stretch marks: So far none. Found the most amazing stretch mark cream though that I can’t wait to share with you guys.
    Sleep: I had one night of horrible insomnia but thankfully that was it. I don’t wake up feeling well rested or anything but I think that’s just my permanent state at this point. I’ve been using lavender essential oil every night on my pillow and diffused in the air.

    Mood:  UGH guys. Soooo up and down. I cry at every song ever. Literally lost it listening to “Do You Want To Build a Snowman” the other day (seriously, when you think about poor Anna after the parents die, it’s the saddest thing ever). I just cry a lot. I’ve been irritable a lot lately, but I think that has to do with feeling nauseous and sick all the time. You know when you’re feeling car sick and someone keeps talking to you and then the driver breaks a little too abruptly and you literally feel like screaming, it’s kinda like that all day.  😉

    Food cravings: When I’m not feeling completely indifferent about food I reach for pretzels, lemonade, sour patch kids, veggies and dip, this Olive Garden salad that we recreate at home, ice, freezing cold water, apples, anything really cold. Still not really feeling chicken/beef or anything creamy or spicy or that has a weird texture (oatmeal).
    Favourite moment this week: Absolutely it was telling the kids. We were both so nervous (as evidenced by our obnoxious parent voices) to tell them but it was super sweet. (see video below).

    Recent baby purchase: Nothing yet but first on my list is a pregnancy sleeping pillow. I’ve loved this one in the past but would love your recommendations! I’ve also switched over to gummy prenatal vitamins and will never look back! They don’t bug my tummy as much as my old ones did and they go nicely with my candy craving.
    Nursery plans:  None yet. Heck, Elle is almost two and I don’t know if I would call her nursery finished. We are thinking of doing something a little different this time and I can’t wait to share some of our inspiration.
    Thanks so much for reading.
    Motherhood, Pregnancy

    Baby Number Three!

    We feel beyond blessed to finally share that we will be bringing a third little Havens babe into the world this November!

    We decided just before Christmas that we felt ready (whatever ready means – ha!) for another baby. We always knew we would want more than 2 but for some reason, saying it out loud that we were ready for a third was really hard. Maybe it’s the being outnumbered, maybe it’s Elle not being the “baby” anymore, but either way, we took our time and waited until the time felt right.

    So in late February, when I was feeling incredibly dizzy all the time, I was sure I was pregnant. I’d never had that symptom before but had googled (haha obviously) and early pregnancy came up. I took a test and it was negative. As the week went on I was feeling feverish. I checked and didn’t have a fever but it was for sure higher than my normal resting temp. I googled again, it said pregnancy, I tested again, it said negative. Then on a Friday, we were at an indoor play place with the kids. On the drive home, I was feeling so nauseous, so I asked Zach to stop so we could grab a test. I decided that if I wasn’t pregnant I either had the flu or something was seriously wrong and I needed to lie down. I took the test as soon as we got home and sure enough, positive!! So I did what any normal person would do and facetimed my sister. Looking back I feel a little bad that she knew before my husband, but I was just going completely crazy and had to tell someone right that second. As soon as she picked up I gave her the “shhhh” signal and held up the test. It was hilarious because we were both jumping up and down, dancing and freaking out in complete mime so that my husband wouldn’t hear yet. We hung up and I collected myself and went back into the hall. I always like to tell my husband in a fun or unique way so I was praaaying he forgot about the test or thought I would just take it later on and I would think of a fun plan for later that night. The minute he saw a glimpse of me he casually asked, “So, what’s the verdict?”. I froze, didn’t say anything for what felt like a whole minute and then just nodded yes. I think we were both unsure how to act. Dex was right there and we didn’t want him to know about the baby yet, but we were both so happy and excited. We slowly walked to each other and hugged and cried without many words. Just holding each other and letting the blessing and also the reality of another new baby sink in. It’s funny because it was so different than finding out the other two times, but so special in it’s own way. It might sound strange but I think I felt more joy with this positive test than I have with the other two. As offensive to my other kids as that sounds, it’s actually because of them that I felt so excited. They have shown me and are examples of what comes 9 months after that plus sign and I sometimes can’t believe we will soon have another sweet babe to love.

    There are only 22 months between Dexter and Elle, so we are really excited that they (mostly Dex) will be able to understand what’s going on. To include them in this pregnancy and get them involved in preparing for this babe will be so special and something we haven’t experienced before.

    I’m 14 weeks and are officially due November 8th. We can’t wait to meet our newest little love.

    Thank you so much for reading and celebrating with us!



    Let’s Be Honest Mamas | All Things Sleep + Giveaway

    It’s time again for another Let’s Be Honest Mamas post created and led by my sweet friend Hannah Renee. But first, it’s time for a little apology for being so MIA around here.  We do these posts monthly and if you look back one post, you will see that my LAST post was also a Let’s Be Honest post, which means I haven’t blogged in a month, which means I should probably not even call myself a blogger anymore (blogger card revoked!). I just love doing these posts though and reading through what some of my other fave bloggers have to say about a particular topic. I couldn’t miss out on this one because its all about SLEEP!! Make no mistake, other than liking to sleep A LOT, I am no sleep expert. You probably won’t find any life changing answers here BUT my kids were both horrible sleepers and somehow I made it out alive so, I mean, that has to be worth something.

    Check out some of my answers below and be sure to hop over to the other mama’s blogs when you’re done here (I’ll link them at the bottom of the post.) Also share all your sleep tips with me – I still sometimes feel like I’m just winging it in this area.

    Lastly – I’ve included links (some affiliate, some not) in this post for your convenience. I love and use all the products I mentioned on a daily basis and hope some of these things could help you or your littles in the sleep department.

    K – let’s do it!

    How well does your babe(s) sleep? Sleeping through the night? Taking good naps? None of the above? 

    Currently and finally, both of my babies (ages 3.5 and 23 months) sleep through the night (hallelujah!!).

    Elle takes a 3 hour afternoon nap (which literally saves my life) around 1pm each day and Dex dropped his nap at the WAY too young age of 2.5. As soon as he moved into a bed he could get out of, it was over. Currently he does a “quiet time” while Elle naps but even that is hit or miss depending on the day. Tips for quiet time welcome!!!

    Have you or are you planning to “sleep train”? How did you go about it?

    We didn’t have any sleep training plans going into having either of our kids. Even after Dex was a horrible sleeper, I think we just figured each kid is different and we hoped for the best with Elle.

    For Dex, I hit a breaking point (all you sleep deprived mamas know what I’m talking about) and I followed a sleep training plan that I heard from a mama on IG. She was the sweetest ever and literally made herself available to me to DM her as I was going through it the first couple nights. It was a bit of a disaster as Dex has tantrum endurance that would blow your mind. But eventually, we let him cry for short bursts of time and his sleeping got better. It wasn’t until he weaned from breast feeding that he officially slept through the night.

    Elle was up WAY more in the night than Dex was but she was a breeze to put down and slept solid when she wasn’t up to eat. She was in our room for a long time, and then still up a bunch nursing when she was in her own room. At around 12 months I hit that “I’m gonna go crazy” point and we started some light sleep training. She slowly weaned from nursing and started sleeping MUCH better. With Dex I was so accommodating and did the whole shhhhing, and patting and leaning over the crib for 40 minutes or doing squats until he fell asleep, I think with Elle we just skipped all that out of necessity and because of that she was amazing at putting herself to sleep. Seriously, it’s really all a blur looking back.

    Describe your baby’s bedtime routine. Are there any products or methods you do to promote sleep?

    We start bedtime routine right after dinner with a lavender bath (which is a lot more chaotic than it sounds) and then Zach takes Dex and I take Elle. We brush teeth, do lotion (loving this one lately – seriously saved Elle’s skin!) and jammies and then pick some books to read in bed.

    If it’s a particularly crazy night, I will put a drop of lavender essential oil on their pillows and stuffed animals before we read.

    We read some books, give kisses and hugs and then it’s time for tuck in.

    Something I think really does help is black out blinds. We have ALWAYS had black out blinds in both of their rooms and swear by them. It’s like a cave in there and especially as we approach summer, it helps with them going down when it’s still light out.

    We also just got these about 2 weeks ago but but both of my kids sleep with a Dock-a-Tot grand dock and honestly, even at their ages this has been LIFE CHANGING!!! I wondered for so long what all the hype was about and all of the rumours are true! Dex used to come into our bed every single morning around 5:45-6 and since we put the Dock in his big boy bed, this hasn’t happened once! Elle used to wake up once a night and ask for a bottle and be hard to get back down and no word of a freaking lie – this also hasn’t happened a single time in a week since she started sleeping with her Dock.

    Dex never took to a blankie or stuffie (no matter how hard I tried) but every night Elle needs her BunBun and her aden + anais Dream blanket. This blanket is made of super soft bamboo but it’s heavy enough that it keeps her warm and cozy.

    Other than that, we don’t do any music or noise or anything fancy anymore.

    Story, song, prayers and snuggles and it’s time for bed. Elle always goes to bed without a word but Dex will still sometimes try to sneak out of bed or ask for a bazillion things before actually falling asleep.

    Did you try to create a “sleep schedule” or is it more flexible around your day?

    When they were little I was all about the nap schedule. We loosely followed the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. And we also followed the E.A.S.Y. sleep schedule after we were done with feeding on demand. The EASY routine basically means after a baby wakes they eat, then do an activity (tummy time, playing, anything really), then they sleep (and it’s important that they don’t eat to go to sleep) then you get your “you time”. Unless of course you, like me, have other children then you don’t even remember what “you time” is.

    I didn’t follow this to a tee and I always, every single night nursed my babies to sleep (and it’s seriously some of the best moments of my motherhood life so far). I really just flew by the seat of my pants with the whole sleep thing and am probably to blame for them not being the best sleepers but we’re on the other side now and it truly seems like such a blip in time.

    How do you feel about co-sleeping? If you do co-sleep, how and when do you plan to transition to a crib/bed?

    With Dex, he was in a bassinet beside our bed for about 3 months before transitioning to his room. He’s super..umm independent like that. Not a snuggler at all, would have NEVER ever slept in our bed or near anyone else and I remember the first night in his crib he had the best sleep ever (meaning like a 4 hour stretch – don’t be jealous) and we just never looked back.

    Elle on the other hand, is all snuggles all the time. That girl was either beside or in our bed from the beginning until around 9 months. I truly never thought I would be a co-sleeping/bed sharing kind of parent but with the second child, it was a matter of survival. Whatever gets everyone the most sleep each night is what we were doing and that’s that! It was nice because we never got that experience with Dex and to this day, I kinda miss having her in with us.

    Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my freinds’ blogs and their answers to the sleep Q+A too!

    Hannah Renee // Amanda Krovic // Sophia Johnson // Mary Salas // Kacie Ellis // Victoria Schneider // Amber Hill // Tanya Taylor Carla Thompson // Kymberly Janelle // Emily Lindsey // Stephanie //

    ALSO – Be sure you’re following me on Instagram to catch an amazing giveaway aden +anais – HERE!


    Family Life, House + Home, Motherhood

    Let’s Be Honest Mamas | Simple Living

    Happy Monday! Spring is finally here and I honestly can’t remember a time when I was THIS excited for the season to change. This winter was long and boring and with spring comes the feeling of a fresh start and a whole new world of things to do as a stay at home mama. I’ve been a SAHM for almost 4 years now. I can’t believe that even as I type it. It’s hard, sometimes lonely and breaks me and rebuilds me almost every day but I honestly see it as such a privilege and wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the role I play in my family and getting creative trying to make a home for my little crew. This past year, we’ve been really trying to live more simply. At first it just sounded like a good idea, but as we organized and simplified not only our possessions, but our schedules and routines, I felt the stress lift and our lives become more joy filled.

    So when I was asked by my sweet friend Hannah Renee to be a part of a fun collaboration with some of my fave stay-at-home mamas I jumped at the chance. I’ve loved following this series before and when she mentioned the topic was simple living and spring cleaning I was in! I love getting to know people more through their writing and the small details of their day to day lives. We all answered the same questions about simple living, our spring cleaning plans and how we manage our homes as mothers. I’m always so inspired with getting a peek into another mama’s life and routine and we really hope you like reading these! If you’re interested in checking out the other posts in our little collaboration, I’ll link all of their blogs below.

    1. Do you have any routine spring cleaning that you do? 

    I do love spring cleaning and I don’t usually follow a set routine each year but I like to get started as soon as spring is in the air! So this might sound totally weird but (if you have never done this, do it and you will see what I mean) there is something so motivating about watching spring cleaning videos on YouTube. They give me such good ideas and actually make me want to clean!  I also usually find a checklist on Pinterest to keep myself organized and as we all know, nothing feels better than checking an item off your to-do/to-clean list!  

    How do you go about it if so? 

    With two little toddlers we don’t have a ton of time to be super productive so we usually attack most of it on the weekends and I pick a couple projects to knock out during the quiet time. 

    2. What does living simply mean to you? 

    To me living simply is being intentional, not only with the things you own, but your time, and relationships as well. We live simply by maintaining minimalism in most areas of our house and by being selective about the things we buy/let come in to our house. We also try to live simply with our time and schedules by saying no and not overloading or overwhelming ourselves. I feel like as soon as I start to feel stress in an area, I need to simplify it, and then usually I feel so much better. For us it’s about knowing what we value and what our goals are and filling our life with things and people that support and encourage those values and goals. 

    3. What are some of of your go to products for your home? 

    I love good cleaning products and we’ve really been trying to switch over to more natural and organic products in our home. With little kids crawling around and touching licking everything, we just feel better about it, plus I love that they aren’t strongly scented. I’m not too picky about specific products but we love anything by Seventh Generation, Method or The Honest Company. We LOVE the Honest Company dish soap in lavender and buy that over and over again. I do a lot of DIY cleaners with vinegar and water with lemon essential oil. We also use free and clear laundry detergent from Seventh Generation and use it because both of my kids have sensitive skin and eczema. For the dryer I love putting lavender essential oil on these wool dryer balls, instead of using fabric softener. 

    For organization, I’m obsessed with my Sugar Paper LA planner from Target and we have one of these bags or these baskets in almost every room to hold toys, blankets, or books.

    4. How do you approach tidying? For example, do you put everything away each day/night? 

    Haha I wish I had more of a routine for this but I’m kinda all over the place. I try to focus on one big cleaning to-do each day. I also try to throw a load of laundry in each morning at snack time. But I’m not going to lie, the whole remembering that I put it in there, drying and then folding it in the same day hardly EVER happens. I tidy the bathroom  each night while the kids are in the bath and just try to tidy here and there all day as we move around the house. For me it’s so much less overwhelming to try to keep up here and there, than to have this huge mess in front of you as soon as the kids are sleep.  We do a quick house tidy once the kids are in bed which includes finishing laundry, cleaning the kitchen and the floors in the dining room, which are a total disaster after dinner time (thanks Elle). We’ve also been really working on involving the kids and having them clean up their toys before bed and it’s been nice having them start to take a part in that. Now if they could fold laundry (the task I dread the most), we’d be all set! 

    5. How often do you clean your home? What are your daily tasks, weekly, bi weekly?  

    As I mentioned above, I don’t have any set schedule weekly or otherwise for cleaning our home. I am really lucky in that my husband and I both work from home and he is always super helpful with cleaning around the house. Daily, I try to throw in a load of laundry, make beds, tidy toys, run the dishwasher, sweep (like 6 times a day for that one) and clean the kitchen at the end of each day. Weekly I wash our sheets/linens, deep clean the bathroom, vacuum/dust the bedrooms and wipe any mirrors/walls things the kids have coloured on our made sticky. While I love and feel best when my house is clean, I’m also not a slave to it. I’m okay to leave dishes in the sink in favour of a family movie night. I’m okay to not make our beds if we’re going to be crawling back in on and off all day anyway. I’m always trying to find that balance between providing a clean and nice living space for my family and also realizing that I can’t do it all, and if I did I would be cleaning all day long, so sometimes I let it go and just spend time with them instead. 

    Hope you liked getting a little peek into our cleaning routines and outlook on simple living.

    Please hop over to my friends’ blogs to see their posts and check out their answers too!

    Hanna Renee Blog // Amanda Krovic // Elements of Ellis // The Southern Trunk // Amber Lately // His Little Lady // Curious Natalia // Life with Kymberly Janelle // Happily Lindsey