Monday, December 10, 2012

Health coaching

I've recently become a health coach and am so excited! If you want to hear more about it, let me know by leaving a comment below or texting/emailing me. I'd love to chat with you about it! If you're interested in becoming a health coach yourself, feel free to chat with me about that as well.
Check out my site at

I will have photos & updates posted soon!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Little Liam

This picture was taken at our home, the day after Liam was born.
Liam Patrick Carter was born Sept. 2, 2012 at 11:43pm. He weighed 7lb 7oz and was 20inches long.  I was due Sept. 12th/13th, but had felt that he would come a little early. Honestly, though, I thought he might be only a couple of days early, not a week and a half, especially since Otto was 2 days late! He certainly had different plans, though. :)

We had decided to utilize The Birth Center in Murray, which is just a few minutes away from where we live. The more I went to my prenatal appointments, the more I appreciated the midwives', Becky and Adrienne, knowledge and their willingness to make the birth a family-centered, intimate experience. I also really appreciated their openness and gratitude for modern medicine and their non-judgmental attitudes. They really allow you to make your own decisions, providing you with educational material, and respecting those decisions. Anyway, The Birth Center is what we chose. (As a disclaimer - I am really grateful for modern medicine  and I don't feel that every woman will be able to or want to birth this way, but I do feel that many could birth this way if they were informed and chose to. Also, Otto was born in a hospital, with an epidural, and I don't regret it at all. That being said, I wanted to try something different, and I'm grateful Eric supported this decision and that we were able to make it work.)

Now on to the birth story... (This may be long, but I'll try to keep it shorter.)

Contractions (or surges for those of you with Hypnobirthing or other natural birthing training... haha) began during the night on Saturday (Sept 1st) and woke me up about every half hour. The next day they subsided a little so I went to church with the boys and sat in nursery the whole time, having contractions about every half hour. Contractions were coming sporadically after that, but generally were happening no more than half an hour apart. Eric's parents had invited us for dinner and we were planning to have breakfast with my siblings Monday morning to celebrate Bryce's birthday. The thought crossed my mind that perhaps these contractions were just practice labor and could stop, but we prepared for things to continue, just in case. We went down to Springville (45 minutes from Murray) as soon as we could after church to relax with Eric's family. We ate dinner (which, I think I ate maybe 4000 calories between Saturday night and Sunday night... probably not, but I felt like I had an insatiable appetite) and enjoyed watching "Shakiest Gun in the West" with Don Knotts... one of my family's favorites growing up. It's a silly movie. After eating and visiting (all the while tracking my sporadic contractions on Eric's iPhone app), we went to stay the night at my dad's house. We got Otto ready for bed (it was about 9pm at this point) and I had to go to the bathroom. While sitting there, my water broke (boy, I'm lucky!). It didn't leak until I stood up, but we had prepared by bringing towels. We loaded back into the car, called Eric's parents (to have them stay with Otto at our house since he didn't want to stay at their house... he knew his little brother was coming!), and my contractions were coming more intensely and consistently (about 5-6 minutes apart), I think.

While on the road, we called Becky and told her we'd like to check into the birthing center. She mentioned that active labor doesn't usually begin until about 2 hours after the water breaking (especially since my contractions were inconsistent up to this point) and let us decide whether or not we actually wanted to check in, which we decided to go ahead and do. We dropped Otto off at home (he fell asleep in the car and transfers easily) with Eric's parents meeting us there, and then checked into the birthing center at about 10:40pm. My contractions were very heavy by this point and Becky could easily see I was in active labor. She didn't even measure me, but just checked the baby's heartbeat with the ultrasound, then got to preparing my IV (I was Group B Strep positive again so we administered an antibiotic to protect the baby). I tried relaxing on the birthing ball which didn't relieve anything really. There was a LOT of pressure and I kept thinking "I really don't want to feel that down there!" but then I would think "He's coming! YES!"

Eric was so supportive, giving me positive feedback and trying to keep me as comfortable and relaxed as possible (utilizing techniques we learned in our Hypnobirthing class as well as improvising a bit). He was also extremely responsive to my orders (yeah, I get kind of bossy during labor), which was so sweet to see. He also kept extremely calm (there were a couple of frantic light-touch massage moments, that he quickly changed to slow, calm massage), which is something I have always admired about him. Quiet humility and calmness; two attributes that I absolutely love about him. During the birthing ball labor, Becky was trying to put in my IV (my veins love to roll in moments like this), succeeded and administered the antibiotic, while Adrianna, the birthing assistant, was filling the tub because I had mentioned I would love to labor there. I still didn't know for sure if I would like to deliver the baby there because I was a little uncertain about how clean I would feel, but I knew labor would feel better in warm water. Between contractions, Eric helped me over to and into the tub. As soon as my legs were in the tub, I felt immediately more relaxed. As I sat down, it was WAY better in the tub and I was better able to allow my body to finish it's job of getting little Liam out. That was all my body needed and about 2-3 contractions later I said, "I want to push!" I had definitely never felt that sensation and didn't really expect it to come so clearly. I was so ready to just get him out in one giant push, but thankfully Becky and Adrianna encouraged me to take it a little slower so that I didn't tear. I used as much control as I could muster, while Eric stroked my hair, and I pushed Liam's head out. Then I kind of relaxed a little and felt Liam inside of me, also working to get out; he kicked about 3-4 little kicks that I felt. I smiled and told Eric, Becky, and Adrianna what I felt. It was absolutely awesome. Then, they told me it was time to push him out, so I consciously pushed again and then lifted him out of the water onto my chest. He was born at 11:43pm, about an hour after checking in. They put a warm towel on Liam while Eric poured warm water over him to keep him warm while the cord was pulsating (lasting about 15 or so minutes). Eric cut the cord then and was able to hold Liam while I finished up. Eric helped me out and then we were able to rest with the baby and nurse him a while. Becky and Adrianna checked in on us every once in a while and took care of me, but otherwise, we were left to rest. We left the birthing center at about 4:15 or 4:30am to rest at home. We were able to go home, tell Eric's parents about it and then rest in our own bed, allowing Liam to do the things newborns do best; sleep, eat, and poop. :)

The experience was truly beautiful. I'm not saying it wasn't hard. But it really was beautiful and I am grateful to have shared the experience with my sweetheart and the wonderful ladies at The Birth Center. We can't fully express our gratitude and happiness. It was empowering to know that we could do this as a team, utilizing The Birth Center staff and our own tools from Hypnobirthing that had prepared us along the way. It was also a completely different mentality delivering at The Birth Center. I'm not gonna lie, we loved our doctor and the experience we had at LDS Hospital. I probably would not have sought out an alternative if we had not had circumstances in our lives change.  In spite of the positive experience we had with Otto's birth, we felt much more like an informed family working through natural labor instead of being set up to be the "best" patients possible.

Eric & Liam dosing at The Birth Center
Jacquie relishing the fact that he's here

When Otto woke up the next morning, Eric's parents were resting on the couch and Otto went up to Silly Grandpa and said, "Grandpa! The baby came out!"  He then went into our room (I had just finished feeding Liam), sat next to us, gingerly held out his hand to touch Liam's chest and almost reverently said, "He's so cute!" Then he went to play and eat breakfast as if it were any regular day. :)
Kisses from big brother

Sept. 3, 2012
Liam is a sweet boy and seems pretty easygoing. He is getting nursing down and sleeping the way a newborn does. He's healthy and giggles and smiles while sleeping, which we love.  He endures Otto's constant smothering love or when Otto wakes up Liam "so he can look at me" (meaning look at Otto). Haha. Otto is continually asking why Liam is sleeping and he is excited to help change diapers, get mommy a burp cloth, or whatever he can do to help. Otto is worried for him when he cries and will make the "shhhh" sound to try to help calm him. One day, he even ran into the house with daddy to hear Liam crying and said, "The baby needs me!" then dashed into the room to Liam's aid. It's fun to see him act the big brother part and it seems to help when he's in a somewhat selfish mood to have someone else to look after and worry about. My recovery has been amazing; much faster than I expected and I'm feeling great.  Dealing with two little ones is wonderful and a challenge all at the same time; it will take getting used to and yet it's somewhat natural already.

We are so blessed and grateful for a healthy baby!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

So much to say & so little time

Just as a warning, this post will not have pictures. There's too much to say & too little time (at the moment) and so here is just a quick update. Pictures will have to come later when I have more patience/time.

First off, Eric said he would post about this, but I just want to get it out there to brag about him. He was officially hired! YAY for ERIC! No more contract work (for the time being) and we can breathe a little knowing he has a job in the field he's wanted to work in since junior high (yeah... for real, since jr high - I don't know anyone else like him in that regard).

Second, the baby is a BOY! Otto's going to have a little buddy. :) Now to work on a name...sigh. Any suggestions? :) I've been feeling great this trimester, by the way.

Third, we've been having waaay too much fun lately. Aside from everyday fun we've been having there have been some pretty big things going on lately; Eric's mom graduated from her Master's program, Katie (my step-sister) got married (yahoo for them!), my extended family from Washington, Oregon, and California came into town for a reunion-type get together. Also, I've been babysitting a couple of gorgeous girls for the past 1-2 years, but that has come to a close so Otto and I have spent more time one-on-one, which I'm cherishing (although I know he misses his friends so much! In a way, I do, too).

Fourth, I've been learning a LOT this pregnancy about women's health. I'm sure I'll dedicate a post to that alone (watch out men or those of you who really don't want to know me all that well...). It's actually something I'm feeling more and more passionate about - we'll see if there's something in the future for me related to this. It'd be interesting. Basically, I am birthing using a midwife, a birthing center, I've seen a physical therapist, and am taking a hypnobirthing class in preparation for this baby (the birthing center actually requires it if you haven't had a natural birth previously). I'm learning A LOT. I WILL share more about this, don't you worry. :)

Last, Otto is growing up so fast! He will turn 3 years old mid-June and I can hardly believe it. Some things he loves are; camping, hiking, running, pretending (especially that he's camping or visiting a farm), exploring or going on "adventures", being a "hard worker" and helper, and friends. Also, he's still a major mama's boy, which I love (not gonna lie) - I'm kind of a sucker for him, too (I didn't cut my hair off just so he could continue stroking it... haha). He does LOVE playing with daddy, though & looks forward to him coming home from work each day- there's absolutely no replacement for a dad! More will come about him after his birthday, I'm sure. :) We love him so much and are so happy others love him so much, too!

There's much to look forward to this summer - I'll try to keep things updated!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Drum roll please...

Otto is going to be a big brother in September!
(these are actually Otto's feet at a month old... so cute!)
The baby is due September 13th and things are looking good so far. I'm definitely glad to be over the worst of the morning sickness with just a little lingering sickness in the evenings some days, especially those days I go to bed too late or am short on sleep. I'm realizing more and more that as a mother I really don't know what I'm doing... so hopefully this child is ready to learn with me! We are really excited and Otto has been SO adorably sweet during this process already.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mischief and more...

Before I give any updates of the past few months (since I've been out of it!), I'd like to share a little about Otto. I'm pretty sure since birth he's inherited his mother's twisted organizational affinity and his daddy's (and mommy's in different ways) obsession with having clean hands (or being clean in general). I remember one time he was playing with cars, lining them up in a neat row and his Uncle Andrew came up and picked up a car to play with him... Otto yelled at him (this was before he said a lot of actual words). I'm not kidding. Another time, we were outside and Otto accidentally stepped into a mud puddle. Any other kid would have started jumping in it and covering themselves in mud. Instead, instant tears were shed and we had to go home immediately, rinse out every item of clothing, wash every inch of him, and change everything. So obviously it's been pretty distressing to him to have things out of order or dirty sometimes.

As a result, he hasn't always enjoyed making and playing in messes. In fact, it has caused him major distress. Well, that phase is definitely changing. He still doesn't really always want it, but he's learning that there can be times to "dig in" (sometimes literally)! And he now realizes he can clean up afterward, which I think brings him comfort in getting messy in the first place.

Well, one day I decided I'd had enough of being a nasty non-showering wife and mom (I won't tell you how long it'd been... long enough). I decided Otto seemed content to play and hopped in the shower. When I walked out, this is what I saw...
Otto has a habit of helping himself to the items in the refrigerator, one of his favorite things to get being his cup of milk. Obviously, his cup was emptied and he thought he could help himself to the gallon of milk. He probably would have succeeded in getting the gallon out just fine if it hadn't been wedged onto the shelf with 2 other gallons that day because he can actually carry a gallon of milk himself. I was wide-eyed as I walked out, that was for sure!

The thing that saved him was the fact that I walked in and he was on his hands and knees slurping (I can't even type it without laughing to myself) up the milk and he said, "mommy, I'm drinking the milk!" as if he was doing the best possible thing (which he probably was since I laughed). I couldn't help but laugh out loud!

So, Otto is obviously growing into a more messy phase. Within reason, of course. :)

Other things he's been up to;
  • Talking more and more - and making us laugh in the process! The other day we were singing "Bob the Builder" and instead of saying "Can we fix it? Yes, we can!" he said, "I thought I fixed it."
  • Asking daddy, "how was work?" at the dinner table. I love this. :)
  • Enjoying all aspects of playgrounds more - he's been kind of afraid of heights and one day he just got over it
  • Enjoying mud/dirt & reveling in the fact that he enjoys it
  • Reading books - we can never read enough of them & he absolutely loves the library - it's like Christmas every time we bring home new books.
  • Watching a movie ANY time mom will let him... he can watch a full-length film and then say, "again?" (mom says, "Nooooo!!!!!!" in her mind to this...sigh)
  • Deferring sleep- he's starting to get pretty good at coming up with just another thing he needs to do before going to bed
  • Being more mischievous... he loves getting his partners in crime to do things with him, too.
  • Creating things - the other day he got out a cotton swab & a cotton ball. He then placed the ball on top of the swab and walked around balancing the ball. He thought he was pretty awesome. Have NO idea where that came from.
  • Marriage - he's very interested in the concept and the other day said, "[girl I babysit] and I are married" while holding her hand. I insisted he (and she) was too young and said, "you need to graduate from HS first and go on a mission" to which he replied "I missionary already." Not exactly what I want to rush!
  • His family, especially extended family. We've visited a lot lately and he just loves it. He loves his cousins, his grandpas and grandmas, aunts, and uncles. SO MUCH!
  • Calling people. He's becoming quite the conversationalist.

There are more things he loves & such, but my brain isn't working properly and this post is already too filled with words and not enough pictures. Soon there will be more pictures (highlights).

Monday, December 19, 2011


One of the latest Groupon deals: Lighted Fleece Slippers... seriously?! People buy these for real?!?!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Catch-up; Halloween & Other Fall Fun

To begin with... I realized we haven't even posted anything about our garden plot we had in the Village all summer! Here is a picture of our bounteous vegetables! We planted tomatoes (grape and big beef), bell peppers, zucchini, peas, and green onions. It was so fun and each year we learn a little more on how best to plant, cultivate, and eat our vegetables! We got our moneys worth from the grape tomatoes alone, partially because of how expensive they are in grocery stores. I think I brought peas home once because Otto would eat them every time on the way back to our place. We had zucchini growing out of our ears (made nearly every dish I could think of and gave some away), but we still love it! I'm pretty sure one of our big beef plants cross-pollinated with one of our grape tomato plants, making a sort of roma-looking variety. I don't know much about cross-pollination, though, so I could be lying. :)

It was lots of fun & we look forward to having a garden again (hopefully sooner rather than later!).

Now to fall festivities. I just love this time of year!

At the pumpkin patch...

Eric picked this patch especially for the line-up of tractors & Otto LOVED it!With our pumpkins

Making & decorating sugar cookies...
Halloween - Otto was Woody from Toy Story & had a blast! On Halloween he even trick or treated with another "Woody" and just loved it; he kept saying to him, "Come on, Woody! Let's go!" Sorry to the family who felt obligated to trick or treat at a few houses with random strangers just because their kid was super excited to see another Woody.

Here he is with his buddy before Halloween at a trunk or treat, laughing it up.
He noticed she had a tail and kept chasing around after it. Hilarious!