I must have been doing something for the past month! Every time I get the computer to get on it, I don't feel like it, or it's dead and I don't feel like getting the charger, or my brain is fried, or I will have just 30 minutes until my hungry baby will start to cry & I'd rather just stay where I am and be lazy.
This boy turned 4!

We've visited Santa.

We made a gingerbrad house.

This little lady turned 2!

We made teacher gifts.

We dressed cute for Landon's pre-school program.

Looked fancy for Christmas Sunday.

Had family in town for CChristmas.

Opened presents.


Visited family.

We grew!

And we just relaxed.

All this while realizing that Jan 4th is Luke's last day at his store before we head back to middle Tennessee.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!



Ella Ruth's hospital pictures weren't so impressive to me. This was my fault. I failed to take anything cute for the pictures. I did take a few bows, but then left them in my suitcase. I didn't have a cute swaddling blanket or any cute hats.Her hair. Oh, what messy hair. I've seen some really cute ones from friends from the hospital too!
I think I have decided that I do like #429 & the ones of me holding her hand and feet. Ok, maybe I do like the up close face ones =) I don't think I'm going to purchase them though, but those few are so sweet to me! Her album goes away this week =( But click the link (the words Ella Ruth's pictures) at the beginning of the post and use the password:

We had a little photo shoot at the house. Of course the day the light was good from outside, she didn't lay the right way, and she decided to do this :

OF course my favorite is not clear.

Sweet little girl


Ella Ruth Howell { picture overload }

Fresh out of Mommy's tummy =)

Chillin' in recovery with mommy.

Landon has been so excited. I was going to wait to have the kids come up until the next day. because of the time and transporting them, but we realized my family couldn't all come without them! I had my mom bring the kids to see me before I headed off to triage, thinking they wouldn't come until the next day. But of course we said for everyone to come back up! I just wanted to be able to see THIS face! He searched the entire room asking where Baby Ella was, and then he finally realized where she was!
Oh, Lucy! She was totally confused. She was shaking and scared. It took her until after I came home to realize that mommy's tummy is not named Baby Ella.
Family of 5.

Aunt Amanda & Elyssa stayed in town an extra day after I was admitted on Friday. Amanda stayed at the hospital with me both nights in Antepartum & after the ultrasound Sunday morning, decided they would just stay until the doctor came with an answer.

Proud Landon hopping in the picture with  Nana and Poppy.

Just hangin' with my baby.

little feet

1st hold


Heading home. Wearing the same outfit as her big sister did ( at 7 .5 weeks old ). I didn't get a picture of me leaving with the babe :( Fairly disappointed in that, but I ended up with a spinal headache , and was in severe pain when i left (and shouldn't have left, because I went back the next day) so this is our only leaving the hospital picture.

Baby Ella & Mommy- 9 days old! 1 day shy of 39 weeks. Had to take a picture with the chalkboard. 

I'll save the details about the whole experience for next time. Overall--the hospital didn't live up to Nashville's Baptist that I delivered the other 2 at.  It wasn't very personal at all once I got to the mother/baby unit. The beds were awful. I actually WANTED to leave the hospital earlier than I could have, and they tried to push me out so soon. The whole spinal headache and blood patch ordeal really threw me off & was NOT fun.
But we're all home and healthy and 11 days post surgery. C-section was scheduled for tomorrow actually, and her due date was 5 days from now! We are blessed and so thankful.
Time for her 1 AM feeding ;)


37 +3

Yay, done!

Do you see her beautiful dresser? Luke finished painting it white, and spray painted the drawer pulls pink! It's so tiny and cute! I love it! It was a good $20  find on Craigslist.
The day before Thanksgiving marked 37 weeks! Back and forth to the doctor's office 3 times in 7 days, and then we headed to the L&D triage for another scan on Friday. My amniotic fluid level was about the same or dropped to about 4.9 cm. Anything under 5 is in the range considered too low. The measurements can be off depending on who does them, how the baby is laying, and many other things. The baby is still doing great with her heart rate and movements and is passing every test. The doctor who came to talk to me ( The on-call doctor. I haven't seen mine in over 10 days because he has been on vacation, and he has no clue anything that I've been doing) wasn't sure what to do. He agrees with many other doctors that 38 week babies are much better off than 37 week babies. So, he decided that he would just keep me at the hospital, hooked up to an IV, doing a non-stress test on baby 2 times a day, and then we will re-scan on Sunday. Hopefully the IV fluids will re-hydrate me and kick my placenta into gear, and I will go home. But if it doesn't end up that way, then I'm not too sure what I will do! I am for sure getting a tubal during this c-section. Every new doctor that I have seen ( 4 in the past week), has asked me if I am sure. We didn't want to take any chances after Lucy. That didn't work out as planned. But now that we are here, I just still don't think my body is up to  this whole pregnancy thing! I have 2, most likely 3, perfectly healthy kids! But I don't want to wear and tear my insides any more. Now who is to say we would ever conceive again anyways? But we said that THIS time around. Our chances of conception without medical intervention were very low. I'll just stay safe rather than sorry. This is just too much stress for me, and it's hard to take care of your kids while they are vomiting when you can hardly get up off the floor. It's hard to see your (almost) 4 year old cry when he has to leave you at 'the doctors'. And, whoa, I can't handle Lucy's screeching/screaming at home, much less in a hospital room!
The baby measured right around 6 pounds and 3 ounces again yesterday, so she probably will be a smaller girl either way. Like I said with the other 2, my body just doesn't grow big babies--despite their parents large sizes of over 8 1/2 pounds and over 9 pounds. I'm totally find with waiting to closer to 38 weeks. Safe delivery is what I want, and healthy would be awesome too! I think we all know WAY too many people who deliver 35,36,37 weeks who take their perfectly healthy babies home. BUT I've also walked through a NICU with 38 week, 8 pound babies on antibiotics, ventilators, and struggling. 
I'm bored out of my mind. I'd rather be at home taking down all the orange and pumpkins and fall decorations, putting up the kids' small trees in their rooms with them, and decorating the tree together in the living room. Even if I go ahead and have baby tomorrow, then I still won't be home until Wednesday or Thursday of next week. UGH.If I get sent home tomorrow then I will be able to get all the decorations done! We've already bought the kids' birthday and Christmas gifts, so we won't have to worry about that.  I'm just not sure how all of this newborn stuff and Landon's birthday the week after will play out, if she comes tomorrow. I'm still not ready for 3 kids! I'm still not ready for surgery, a spinal, surgery, catheter, surgery,or having surgery. My surgeries have all gone great, I just have tried not to think about it at all because of what all happened AFTER surgery with Lucy. I'm pretty sure my BP is going to stay under control this time, but then again my body is weird! And I know plenty of people who have had to go back into the hospital or have had to stay longer due to hypertension AFTER baby.

Lucy news: Her speech teacher--or toy doctor as Landon called her-- came last week, and did another evaluation on her. This little nugget who tested at like 6-9 months for speech and comprehension at 15 months old tested between 2 years and 6 months and 2 years and 11 months at 23 months old  ( corrected age of 21 months)!!! She is almost at a year advanced right now ;) She's AmAzInG! We did miss her last hearing test at Vandy in September  .We totally forgot about it. They did send us a notice in the mail.....that we got the Monday after her Friday appointment. She's been messing with her right ear for a while now. I've almost taken her in to the doctor several times, but then she acts fine. It also is a little on the gross side! ( I love that she looks at stuff now and says EW GROSS!) Everything that I've read has said that the color of what comes out of their ear isn't that important, but I think maybe she needs it seriously CLEANED OUT! Hopefully they will do that for me at her next well visit. I finally scheduled them(Landon & Lucy) both, on the same day, the day after her birthday.  I think some of her words are a little nasally, like she isn't hearing them correctly. It could all just be her age and that her ears are gross. :) But anyways, she is caught up and beyond where she needs to be!

A few more pictures from the week:
Chilling Thanksgiving night watching Shrek 

LOVE these cupcakes!

Visiting tonight.


36 weeks & 5 days

We spent this morning at the doctor's office. The ultrasound to check my fluid level showed that it had dropped a good amount in just a few days. Since they try not to take any baby before it is 37 weeks, she passed her bio physical profile, she passed the non stress test, & my BP is still good,we will go back Wednesday to repeat the tests. I'm going to guess that I will get to be cut open on Wednesday. Ouch. I'm not ready for that yet. I never thought I'd make it this far, and I especially didn't think low fluid would be the cause for delivery AGAIN. I've thought all along we'd have a November baby and that for sure I'd be holding a baby by  this week-- we will see soon! If my fluid is about the same Wednesday, then most likely I'll repeat the same things again on Friday.
I still can't believe that in this stage with Lucy, she had already been with us for about 7 weeks & was spending her last few days in the NICU. As I laid listening to baby #3's heartbeat today, I was so thankful to have 20 minutes of that sound. This baby isn't something we had planned or even wanted at the time when we found out. The NICU & developmental delays were still lingering in our minds & had worn us out in every way possible. This is still all weird to me! The baby doesn't have any diapers yet because I'm still not comprehending we are about to have a baby. Unplanned pregnancy--hard at any stage in life.I'm sure there's some type of mental correlation of not wanting to bond yet because of the traumatizing experience last time around. But, we might just have ONE more day of being a family of 4 to realize we're having a baby =) ! We are thankful that we are being given this opportunity. We are grateful that there is a plan bigger than ours. And we are happy that life isn't in our timing. Baby #3 will be greatly loved by us and her big brother and big sister. I can't wait to see Lucy realize baby Ella is out of my tummy.I can't wait to see how excited Landon is. We talk about her every day. I'm trying to enjoy these last few days of my last time growing a human inside my body--so weird still! I'm so tired, worn out, and in pain. But I'm trying to stay thankful she is still inside of me & looks to be doing great from the tests!
She is super squished in her ultrasound pictures. There isn't much room to move, and there isn't much space of fluid to squirm around in. We will get another peak at her Wednesday morning sometime with a machine, and very shortly will see the live version ;)
Here is the 36 week belly shot:
I'll try to remember to take ONE more picture Wednesday & add it either way, baby or not.
I'm ready to not be stuck in a spot, not be able to move my legs, and seriously yell from this awful pelvis/nerve/bone/whatever it is pain. I'm just not sure I'm ready to trade it yet for the recovering from c-section pain! Last time wasn't as bad as the first, but I'm afraid that was due to all the pain medication, magnesium & steroids from everything else. 
I'll keep updating this week-- MAYBE even from a post-pardum room! 

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


Bedding is done.....for now.

All of the sewing is complete! I think I'll re-do the bed skirt later, and attach it to a deck to sit under the mattress. Right now, I just sewed some ribbon onto the top of the panel, and tied it to the spring part of the bed. It doesn't look the best, but it will work for now.
The tiered  ruffled bed skirt was probably the first thing I saw ( on pinterest, of course) that I knew I wanted to have for the baby room. BED SKIRT TUTORIAL =)

The skirt doesn't hit the floor, but once the bed is lowered I won't have to worry about all the pretty fabric just piled up on the floor. That bugged me so bad with Landon's.

I haven't put all of the 'art' into the picture frames yet, but one is completely finished. They rest are sewn and waiting to go in.
Each of the frames are different, but they all have the gray and white damask and the sheet fabric in them. I got the fitted sheet at Target, and it came in a package made from the same fabric as the sheet itself. I saved it assuming that I'd find some way to work it into the room too. I bought 3 frames for about $2.00 each and Luke painted them pink for me. It's the same pink that is on the drawer pulls on the dresser, and the pink is also on the last 2 letters of her name to go onto the wall.

It's officially Sunday now that it's after midnight. That means tomorrow is the next doctor appointment, and we will get another look at miss Ella Ruth. On Monday I'll add my 36 week belly/chalkboard picture and ultrasound pictures. 

WOOPS! I forgot week 35 picture last week:
A little sleepy after a long day ;) It was midnight when we took it.


36 weeks

I've been meaning to write every day, but I never get to it. I went to the doctor about 2 weeks ago after having some shiny floaters & dizziness & lightheaded ness. Everything was still good, & we scheduled my next visit for Thursday the 15th for an ultrasound & doctor visit. My primary (high risk) doctor wanted to check on baby to make sure everything was still ok , because of complications from both previous pregnancies. So we had an ultrasound yesterday . It seemed like we were back 4 years ago with Landon . She just kept moving the wand thing over the belly everywhere & I'm not an ultrasound tech or sonographer or whatever they are, but there were no pockets of fluid to measure! I knew that meant it was low. She did finally find 2 spots to measure,& I am on the lowest side of normal. Because of Landon's rapid drop from 7 to 0, we will be back on Monday to re-check. Baby Ella is measuring about 6 pounds & 5 ounces right now ( give or take the pound it can be off). She was moving enough & passed all the 'tests' that she needed to. She was very low, and I wasn't sure they'd be able to measure her head, but we finally got it!
Everything at the doctor office was good with me-- my belly is measuring small, but we had just had the ultrasound , so no surprise with that.
The closer we get, the more thankful I am. But I am also getting more anxious. The last hospital stay was NOT one I like to think about. I don't want to think about surgery. I don't want to think about my emotions if my Bp is elevated at all. I don't want to think about the following 2 days after surgery of making sure everything goes back down ( if it goes up). I'd rather just be put to sleep for 3 days, and wake up with a baby! As of now, we are still on for a scheduled c-section......in 21 days.BUT I know how this hypertension and pre-e and HELLP work. And my doctor is also now out of town until the week after Thanksgiving sometime. I still don't trust my body. It didn't exactly follow the rules of blood pressure going down after Landon, and it most definitely followed no rules with Lucy's arrival. We will just wait and see and try not to worry!
I did get a few minutes last night ( after midnight) to piece together one side of the crib skirt. After I got all the panels pieced together, I had my mom hem & gather them. This pelvis can't handle sitting at a sewing machine that long. I just have to pin and sew them onto the panel pieces (2 left), and sew the panels onto the deck ( that sits under the mattress). I'm probably not working on it tonight though. I've had a headache for about a day now. This headache woke me up yesterday while I was napping. Luke is off on Thursdays ,and I usually can nap on those days. If this Tylenol and caffeine doesn't kick it in a few hours, we might head to get some bloodwork to double check.
Luke has also ( I think) finished the dresser. He just wants to touch up some things he wasn't happy about. I finished some more 'art' for her walls last week too. I just need to put some liner in her drawers--I don't know who we bought her dresser from & weirds me out a little--and put the clean newborn clothes in them. We should be good to go, except diapers! We do need to buy some. I've started stocking up on wipes this week. $.99/ refill pack at Kroger when you buy 4, but with a $.50/1 coupon that doubles it actually is free plus $.01! I've been trying to get extra coupons & just bought some more on EBay ( they will end up being $.40 a pack after buying the coupons).
I'm sure there's plenty I'm forgetting that we need to do. I packed a bag (1st time for that. I know the hospital bag is over-rated. Who doesn't want peace & quiet? That peace comes with sending everyone away & sending a list of what you need from home.) I have the camera charged. Now we just wait! I think I might be close to comprehending that we are having another child. MAYBE.


Martha Stewart came over today. { changing pad cover tutorial}

Have you ever wanted to make a changing pad cover for your baby's room? Yeah, me neither. I bought fabric to make the bed skirt the other day, and I realized the flannel fabric I got 2 yards of just wasn't going to work. The sheet and bumper are both pink, and I got the striped flannel ( that is on the quilt) to go on the top and bottom tier, and just wouldn't look right. 
This is the tutorial for the skirt I had been planning on doing:
So I looked up DIY tutorials last night, and found one for a changing pad cover, and knew I had enough to try it out. It was THE EASIEST thing I have ever sewn. I only made one. I might be weird , but I can't really handle when all the bedding and accessories don't  match. If my baby explodes on the changing cover, I usually wash it right away anyways. So I do have some spares from Landon ( that Lucy used too), but will primarily use this one that matches. BUT if you want to make one to match her room, feel free =) It won't take you long, and I'll gladly accept them. The one I saw at target that I like was $9.99. I got 2 yards of fabric on sale at Joanne's Sunday ( THAT PLACE IS PACKED ON SUNDAYS. I WAITED OVER 5 MINUTES TO GET FABRIC CUT, and there were 5 people cutting!) for $1.99/yard, and have plenty leftover for other crafts. So this changing pad cover matches her quilt perfectly , and cost under $4.00 to make.
I used the free tutorial from The Prudent Baby. If you want to try this out you can follow theirs, or try to follow along with my pictures. It suggests that it will fit a standard changing pad. I didn't measure mine before, but the measurements they give for standard are : 32″L X 16″W X 3-4″H
 They also give instructions to use 2 fabrics--very cute. But I only messed up and had 1 fabric that wasn't going to work with the other project.

1) You need to cut a 48"x32" piece.
2) fold the piece in half in length.
3)Then fold the width in half:
4)Draw an 8" square on the top corner. This corner has no folds on it.
5) Cut the square out.

6) Your piece should look like the photo below.
7) On each of the 4 cut corners, match them right sides facing & sew together. You're making 4 rounded sides. Each of those will look like this:

8) Now you are going to make a casing for the elastic. First, fold under the entire raw edge about 1/2 " and iron down. Next, fold all the way around about 1" and pin & iron in place. You will then stitch all the way around the 1" casing you just made. Keep your seam on the inside, starting at a corner seam, and leaving a small gap that you will be able to pull the elastic through.
My beginning and end of the casing being sewn. with a gap to feed elastic.

9) Feed your elastic ( 36" of it was what the tutorial called for. This is WAY too tight for my changing pad. Hopefully it will fit better when we replace it with a newer one.) I think I used 1/2" elastic? Pin one side of the elastic to the fabric so it doesn't slip in through the casing. Use a safety pin on the end of the elastic you will be feeding through the casing. This makes the elastic feeding VERY QUICK! Pull that safety pin and elastic all the way through the casing until you get back to the opening.
My elastic is all the way through my casing!
10) Sew your 2 ends of elastic together. I 've read the best way is to make a box with an x inside to keep that elastic good and secure. Once your elastic is in 1 piece, let it slip into the casing, and finish stitching up that little gap you left open.
It's fitting a little oddly, but hopefully it will fit better on a newer changing pad.
You can tell the bottom 'foam stuff' is starting to completely come off, and this baby needs a different changing pad. You can also see how TIGHT the elastic is at 36" long. It still works!

I also made some letters to go onto her wall.

 The last 3 letters were just spray painted the same color that the pulls on her dresser are painted. All letters were bought at Hobby Lobby. The larger E I decided to cover with the chevron. I looked up a ton of different sites to see the best way to cover it. Of course we can't find the Mod Podge ANYWHERE in the new rental or in any box it should be in. So I just used hot glue.
I cut out an E slightly larger than the actual E. I then just pulled tightly, tucked, and hot glued all around the edges to the back of the E.

Tomorrow will be 35 weeks!!!!! More projects to get finished this week! More pictures to come!