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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reflections

I'm sitting here at the hospital now writing this the morning we're going home. I'll have to post this either from my phone or when I get home because the internet here, while great, is somewhat wonky when it comes to blogs. I have a gorgeous (ha) rooftop view out my window and I can see that while it rained this morning, it looks like the sun (and humidity) is going to start peeking through.

I'm staring at this beautiful little face sleeping (finally) in her bassinet, that seriously just keeps getting prettier by the moment. How that happens? I have no idea. But I remember feeling that way with Emeline, too. Every time I looked at her--the girl got more and more gorgeous. I'm their momma, I'm supposed to feel that way--but this is one gorgeous girl, just like her big sister.

Our little Lucy Elizabeth. I don't even know how to describe the last 48 hours, really. The birth story? Well, that's an entirely different post for another day--with parts of it I'd like to forget honestly and other parts I want to bottle up and savor and experience a million times over. I could cry thinking about the beautiful moments, though. They were so good, and so special.

But she's here now. And my world as I knew it? Instantaneously different. I don't even know what else to say, other than--wow. Wow, wow, wow.

I have two girls now. I have two beautiful, precious babies--and I feel so undeserving of them. I cry thinking about the blessing of being their mother. The weight, the responsibility, but mostly the honor and joy that it truly is to be the mom of these precious gifts.

Lucy is a doll, with a full, thick head of dark hair--somewhat darker skin tone and complexion--with a heck of a way to instantly smitten any person who holds her. Trust me on this one. The first day of her life were spent sleepy and quiet, and last night she found her lungs. When she has a need, she totally voices it until it's taken care of. I can't blame the girl. Being thrust into this world must be a difficult change. We spent our two nights here at the hospital cuddling in the hospital bed, because she wanted nothing to do with being left alone--and, well--we have been together non stop for the last 9 months. I don't blame her a tiny bit, and in fact I get it. I kind of love having her close to me all the time, too.

So far life with my 2nd little girl in it has been good. So sweet. And a blessing. Seeing my girls together yesterday? Probably ranked up there in my top moments of Pure Awesome. I could not be more proud of the sweet, tender hearted big girl I have at home, who absolutely, positively is the best big sister to miss Lucy there ever will be. She had this instantaneously look of love and affection for her baby sister. It rocked my world and brings me to tears just thinking about it.

Today is the day we learn about being a family of four. Going home makes it all real. I can't wait.

***

Thanks so much for all the sweet words of encouragement, congrats, and love about our new sweet babe. My heart couldn't be filled with more joy. Truly.

xo

Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Sister

We're so very excited and proud to announce the birth of our second precious girl....




***
July 29th, 8:55pm
7lbs 5oz -- 20" long
Sweet, pink, squishy and adorable as ever.

We are smitten.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

A letter to my girls.

Dear Emeline,

So soon we will meet your baby sister. And I have to say that sharing this pregnancy with you, every single day, has been a joy and so much fun as your momma.

The love that you have already for this little girl in my belly is unfathomable. I never, ever expected you to get it as much as you did, and it's made it so much fun for us. 

You know you have a baby sister coming. You know her first, middle, (and last name), too. You recognize what things around the house are for your baby sissy and you get excited, shout and clap your hands about "aw so cute" baby stuff. When we get something ready for the baby and you notice, you clasp your hands around your face and say, "oh, it's for baby ____!" and tell us how cute or pretty it is. 

We've looked at a lot of baby photos of you lately. You know that those photos are "Baby Enna-mine!", but we tell you that your baby sister will look like that, too. Small, squishy, little and cute. You tell me all the time that you want to hold her, and kissy-her. 

The other day you went up to my belly with your arms in a 'holding' position and said, "Mommy, I hold baby ____?" I told you soon, that so soon you can help mommy hold her. 

Last night I was brushing your teeth with you, when you were at eye level with the bump....you rubbed my belly with two hands, then laid your head down, and said, "I love you sissy". I think I seriously let out tears because it was just so sweet. 

Since our little hospital episode on Thursday night, you've been telling us nonstop, through huge tears to "go get baby ____ at the hospitable"....and you sob, sob, sob about it. You're just so excited to meet her and love on her, and finally understand all this baby stuff your parents have been talking about non stop with you. I get it. The end must be torture for you, too.

As we have this new baby girl, Emeline, my hopes for you are that you'd feel no shortage of love, but that, in fact--it would feel doubled to you. That you would love your little sister to the best way your 2 year old self can, and that you would know how proud of you that your daddy and I am. 

I pray that you'd transition well. That you'd love this big sister role and thrive in it. We know you will.

Sweet girl, I have tears in my eyes as I write this because I know that seeing you loving her might just be one of the most special things I'll ever get to witness. My heart leaps thinking about it. 

You are so much a part of this process of bringing another baby home, and we're so proud of you, already. 

Love to the moon and back,

Momma 

*****

To my littlest girl,

I daydream about you, little one. I'm at this point where my momma heart just wants you, so badly, here in my arms. I cannot wait to breathe in all your baby scents, and stare at your little fingers and toes, and kiss your cheeks to oblivion. You are so loved, already. You are coming into a huge family of love, my dear. So much love.

The other day your daddy and I talked about our hopes and dreams for you, much the same as we did for your big sister before she came into the world. And we just looked at each other, on the same page, and said "simple...to have a heart of compassion and love for people...to be a light."

I guess it seems simple, but it's so so big. And so so important. And so rare these days. And I just pray that you have that special spark in you, like your sister does, that lights up a room--that loves people genuinely, without prejudices, and bais, and has a heart of compassion for hurting people. All the rest will fall into place.

We couldn't be more excited for you if we tried. Be prepared to be smothered in kisses by your big sister, and have little toddler hands 'helping' with everything when it comes to your care. I think you'll learn to love it. Or, heck, you won't even know any different.

I can't even tell you how blessed you are to be sliding right into this spot as little sister, with Emeline as your big sister. You are so stinkin' lucky, kid---she will be the best. Your mommy is a little sister, with the most amazing big sister (your aunt susie) on the face of the planet, and I feel that you are going to be just as blessed as me with this awesome sister relationship. You may have your hard days, but one day--I promise, you'll thank us for this sister gift. It is such a gift

You're already a joy in my life and heart. I can't wait to lay my eyes on you and introduce you to your sister. To see your daddy love on his 2nd little girl (you are way, way blessed in the daddy-department, too--let me tell you, lady), and to start doing life with you in it. 

We will welcome you with open arms and hearts exploding for love for you. Promise.

Forever,

Momma


Friday, July 27, 2012

I thought it was 'it'.

I'm much too much of a verbal processor to just let THIS go by the wayside without writing about it, so here it goes.

Yesterday, I ended up in L&D from 9:30pm to 5:00am, only to be sent home--without my baby in my arms.

Gut punch.

So here's what happened.

Yesterday I had a weird day. I felt off. I know my body well enough to know that something is going on--and the end? Well, it's in sight at least. I've had lots of episodes of on/off contractions--hurty ones, that were timeable, but not enough to leave me doubling over in pain.

I kept watch of them. I counted some of them. I went to the mall after naptime to get a good walk in with Eme. Then they really started coming.

For the rest of that evening (last night), I was having pretty regular contractions, every 7 minutes (sometimes 5)--and because my labor and pushing wasn't considered "long" with Emeline, and being a 2nd time mom, my Doctor wanted me to call when they were coming about 7 minutes apart.

Well, I didn't call her. For hours. I took a bath. I laid still in bed. I drank water to see if it was because of dehydration. They still came.

After talking with a friend, I decided to just call and see what my doctor had to say. Well, just earlier that week she had another 2nd time mom wait too long, and ended up delivering her baby practically from her car in front of a grocery store. So she definitely erred on the side of caution, told me to come in, but said to prepare that I would stay.

Within an hour my mom was here staying with Emeline (who we had JUST put to sleep), and we were off on our way in an awful storm to get checked in triage. Honestly? I did not think I would be staying to have this baby. I figured they'd check me out, tell me it's still a little early, and come back again. But, honestly? I got there, got checked out--baby sounded great, they had me walk the halls for an hour, and then when I came back, I had dilated another cm+.

Seeing this change made both my doctor and nurse all YAY! It's happening! We're having this baby by morning! 2nd time moms go so quick! In fact, my doctor went off to sleep since I was her only patient, and was going to rest up for the big delivery of baby girl.

During this time my contractions picked up hardcore. I was excited because this is identical to how my labor went with Emeline. Not dilated much, but contracting--walking progressed me. Once I got to a 4cm with her, they could just give me an epi, teeny dose of pit, break my water & boom--baby. Right?

Well this time? My body was kind of stuck in pre-labor. I couldn't hit the active labor phase. After a few hours and no progressing (and being fully admitted to the hospital)...they told me I could stay, or go home and rest more comfortably there. But that because I'm only 38wks 1 day (according to my doctor), to me, I'm 38wks 5 days, that they'd use no method to augment my labor at this time.

To be honest? I appreciate that. I really do. Most doctors are pit-pushers to the max. Get me in and out.

After a lot more laboring (holy hell--my contractions WERE intense), some more hall walking, and seeing my contractions start to space all weirdly like 1 min apart, 3 min apart, 5 min apart, back to 1 min apart--I kind of got the hint, too. This wasn't happening right now. Or at least not in my timely manner.

My poor husband--exhausted. Beyond. It'd been close to 24 hours he'd been up by now. I buzzed the nurse and told her I wanted to go home because all I could picture was my bed. I told her my fears--about how far I live from the hospital, about how intense the contractions were, and how will I know, ohmygosh? But she eased my worries.

She said she hoped to see me back when she was back on night shift again tomorrow (tonight).

I really liked her. I kind of hope I see her too.

So we trudged out of L&D with all our stuff (because a few hours prior when they were all, YAY! Baby by breakfast! I made Declan get our things), around 5am---feeling kind of loser'ish.

I never had the the triage-be-admitted-then-sent-home experience with Emeline. I kind of hoped I'd never had it. But oh well. I guess this is part of this baby girls story now.

In hindsight? I wish the doctor just sent me home after monitoring me the first 40 minutes in triage. I was completely, totally prepared to go home then. I kind of felt like they gave me candy & then ripped it away. A little defeated, even.

When we got home, I asked God to stop my contractions so I could sleep a little. I had one major bang-a-rang contraction, and that's the last thing I remember before falling asleep around 5:45am. I got a good few hours of rest (until 9:30 or so). I know I'll need it.

How do I feel now?

Meh. Other then a little down about the unknowns, I'm alright. I know it can be any second or any day that my body decides to get over this tiny hump and jump into active labor. I was so close. I still am so close--in a way.

So I guess that's it. I was totally expecting to post a baby girl was born update this morning-but instead, I guess you get part 1 (ha) of a birth story. Because, this all counts, right?

sigh.

***

She's coming, sometime. It's just a matter of when.

Prayers welcome and appreciated. xoxo

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Preg snark.

I've been left alone a fair amount this pregnancy. Meaning, I haven't had a whole lot of peanut-gallery comments, or ones that leave me scratching my head, or better yet, wanting to punch someone in the gut.

It's been generally...pretty good, I'd say. People have been mostly really nice--especially with losing weight & how I've carried along the way. One guy said he thought I should be on the cover of a pregnancy magazine, and although I don't agree completely, still? Was really, really nice.

But I think not being in a formal 'workplace' definitely plays a role in the lack of comments. Last pregnancy, I was teaching 900 students a week--elementary kids, with no filters. I worked with numerous teachers. Many whom were pregnant themselves. So, there were those funny things kids say. Then the few really weird things some co-workers said.

Like the time I was hanging the art show in the hall, and someone told me I should be getting help because lifting my arms above my head will cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the babies neck. Um. Ok. That's like advice from the 1900's. But thanks anyway.

Or then the time that the school nurse told me how awful childbirth was, and that I should be super!scared! And also? "Oh honey, your cheeks have filled out! That happens at the end, so you must be getting ready to have her." Thanks for pointing out my pregnancy fat face, lady.

In general though? I don't get many crazy offensive comments. I don't get a lot of eyes bulging out of their heads about being huge. I've never, ever had the 'are you sure it's not twins?' comment. And I'm pretty certain if I did that would result in a swift kick to the you-know-what's.

But I was driving last night thinking about the few things I do hear this pregnancy, and there are some. I get a LOT of bulging eyes when I tell people when I'm due and a lot of "but you're not big enough to have a baby that soon!" I usually say something like, "Well, thanks--but I feel ready."

The size of my baby bump doesn't dictate when my due date is, thank you very much. There is an actual science to this, people.

Or..."ohh you still have a long way to go, you're carrying so high!"

What-ever, clever. Thanks for that.

Or, how about the assumptions. Last night I got..."this MUST be your first!"

I was kind of dumbfounded. I didn't know if I was doing something wrong, wearing something wrong, or if I bought something wrong (it was the cashier at Ross who said this to me)....

So I said, "Oh, no--actually I have a 2 year old little girl at home."

And then here it comes--"But you're too young to have two children!"

I guess this could be a compliment, right? I look young. OR, she just thinks I *am* too young. But either way, she doesn't know my age--right? I just found it interesting.

And lastly...when strangers ask about the gender, and I tell them it's another little girl--it's quickly followed up with, "Do you like girls?"

Erm. Well, let's see. I LOVE my daughter(s). Having a girl is all I know so far. I'm pretty sure we get NO choice in the matter of gender, anyway. I would love my children no matter the sex. I believe God has all that sorted out anyway, way beyond my control.

But the short answer is yes, I love it. And it'd be weird to expect a different answer to that question, anyway. "No I don't like girls, but ended up with two." That'd just be awful.

**

No, I don't get the typical, whoa! you're huge! comments. But I do get the ones that insinuate I'll never have this child, that she'll live inside me forever because I just don't look big enough. That I'm too young to have two children. And the Oh, TWO girls, I'll pray for you, thing.

I guess it could be worse.

Opinions are like buttholes. Everyone has one.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

hey, hey, washer delivery guy.

I'm at the point where if any form of social media is *crickets* for even an hour, people are all Ohmygosh, you must be having your baybee! But no. So far, not the case.

So if I didn't post today, I knew the rumors would be a flying. Kidding. A little.

I've had an eventful morning already and it's only 8:20. Okay, eventful might be a little indulgent of a word.

Basically? I had this entire day mentally blocked off as an at-home day by force. BECAUSE we had a new washer delivery happening, get this, anywhere from 7am-7pm. How about that for a HUGE TWELVE HOUR TIME SPAN.

Our washer died on us Sunday night, mid-load, full of jeans and soggy clothes...like, in gallons of water. I really can't complain about the life of that washing machine because we bought it on craigslist for like, nothing, and then used it for another almost 4 years with no issue. It's just, the whole mid-load thing was fun to deal with. eyeroll.

Anyway.

A 12 hour time span of when they could drop off? Fabulous. That means I was summoned to my house all day.

But GUESS! WHAT!

At 7:25am I hear my dog fa-reaking out at the door, which can only mean one thing. UPS is dropping off a shipment, OR, my washing machine was being delivered. And we all know UPS doesn't drop off this early (at least around here). I threw on something somewhat presentable and that didn't show my butt or my boobs (seriously, nothing fits these days, so sue me)--and ran down the steps to let them in.

I couldn't believe it. They were here. By 7:30am. And now the whole day was wide open. HOW DID MY LUCK GET THAT GOOD?? And what did I do to deserve this? I am typically the girl waiting home during the time period they claim they'll come, watching the hours tick away, and then finally getting a call in the last 5 minutes of their time-slot saying "Oh, we're sorry, we have to bump you until tomorrow!"

For real. That has happened. And an entire day has been ruined.

But these guys came in, like pro's, were sweet as friggin' pie to me, and even found a huge stack of embarrassing colored thongs and undies behind my old washer (not kidding. one had neon hearts on it. oh the shame.), and tried to act all non-chalant like it didn't happen. Until I was all state-the-obvious, "OH MY GOSH, OOPS, MY UNDERWEAR! I'm sure this happens to you all the time! BUT-SORRY, Guy!"

I probably should have just ignored it. These things don't easily embarrass me but they probably should.

underwear=bottom right corner. I don't fib about this stuff.
Within minutes they swooped in and out. Taking my old washer with them. Giving me new hoses (FOR FREE!), and I now officially have a crush on the washer delivery guys. Kidding. But really! They came! Early! Found my undies! Were so nice! And my whole day isn't ruined from waiting around!

For an added bonus--my kid was asleep during the whole thing, too (and still is!), and I ate breakfast alone, in peace, writing this blog post.

And just in case you think my luck is too good to be true today? My dog pooped on the floor this morning. Just after going outside. So there's that.

**

Wow. I probably would have been better off not writing at all today and leaving everyone to wonder if I was off having the baby. Instead, this. You're so lucky.

***

Have a happy Wednesday :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hello Baby Deux: 38+ Weeks Update

I guess I should do this. Yes. I will want this for the future.


The Babe
We had an unexpected chance to see her last week on ultrasound and she is looking mighty cute, you guys. They checked on all her organs, she was practicing breathing, they even showed me her little whispy hair! She had her cute little hands over her eyes like a boxer, but really? I know she is just prepping to fight off her probably over-interested big sister :) That, OR my camera. Not sure. She "measured" according to the ultrasound last week about 6 1/2lbs---but I know those things can be majorly off. We shall see!

The Momma
Other than being tired of being pregnant & having all the normal aches and pains of a pregnant lady who is under 2 weeks away from her due date? I guess pretty decent. Emotionally, I'm ok. I had one tiny little pillow cry the other day about the unknowns of when she'll come, especially because so many of my family members are going out of town in the next few weeks. But it'll be okay. I just keep trying to remind myself that God's got this. He is into details. He cares about those things. I just need to chill out and let go. 

A few days a week I've been napping, too. If I go out in the morning with Eme? It's enough to exhaust me to the point of feeling like I have NO choice but to nap. And I am NOT a usual napper. Pregnancy makes me a napper (in the 1st and very end of 3rd trimester), which is weird. But there's something so good about a pregnant nap. 

The Bod

Blah. Blah. and Blah. 

I'm officially over it. I'd like my skinny arms back, please. And smaller thighs. And I'd like pregnancy fat face to be gone now. My weight gain with Eme was 31 pounds, and with this kiddo I'm hovering around 34 pounds right now. Yeesh. Let's all just say a prayer right now that it falls right off, mmmk?

I realize this is the worst comparison picture in the history of comparison pictures but it's all I could find for now without dragging out my big camera to take another. But, even with the photo size difference, I still think my bump appears smaller with this baby. Also, I was "lower" at this point at 38 weeks with Eme than with this baby. Although I hear that's kind of typical for 2nd time moms to not "drop" like they do with their first until labor time. Who knows though.


The Big Sis 

I think the poor kid is convinced baby sister will live inside my stomach FOREVER. I feel kind of bad for telling her that she'll be here soon--because now she takes my tummy in her hands and talks to her, saying "come out!", and then she demands me to go "bounce on 'da ball, mommy". For real. She just wants to meet her. I don't blame her, I feel the same.

Whenever I'm getting her dressed or ready, or anything like that--if she's at eye-length with the bump, she hugs it. She'll rest her head on it, and she'll proclaim "I lub' you baby ___". My heart literally burst out of my chest when I heard it the first time. 

Everything that is for the baby? She runs around holding and saying, "Ohhh goodness! SO CUTE!! the baby!" She's basically obsessed and the sweet girl isn't even on the outside yet. Let's hope the transition goes smooth and we've prepared her as well as we possibly can.

I've found myself having so many sweet moments with her lately. She's not typically a cuddler/stay-still-for-long kid, but lately? She has been way into cuddling with me, and she'll lay for long periods of time and be still, and let me just stroke her arm, or rub her head. Today, she woke up from her nap and I went in to get her, but she wanted me to lay down. We both fell asleep for another hour. Lucky for me my husband got this gem (aka: awkward, fat, pregnant angle) on his phone of us. It's dark. And blurry. But it's kind of a sweet moment that I love.


I think she can sense the change. But we're excited for it.

***

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we have a doctors appointment and we'll see how everything's going.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Whine. with a side of aquarium photos.

I lied.

I can't stop talking about being pregnant. Easier said than done when this balloon in my stomach is taking over my thoughts and brain. I literally cannot think of anything else.

I feel like I teeter totter in this world of enjoying all these last moments with Eme alone, and then just dying...dying to have my second baby girl here in the flesh.

So we enjoyed some time at the aquarium, just us this weekend. Something else to check off the pre baby bucket list.


I guess I'm allowed to feel both things, right? The cherishing of all the last moments with just one kid, and then the whole wanting-to-meet-my-newest-baby thing. Nobody makes a rule book about Feelings Before 2nd Baby Arrives. Or do they?

Who cares.

At 38 weeks plus pregnant, I feel so done. I know in reality I could have another 2+ weeks. The thought alone of 2 weeks sounds like forever. HOW STUPID IS THAT? 2 weeks is nothing. NOTHING. But right now, in my head? It feels like an eternity. I will forever be remembered for complaining about wanting my babies here. Some people have even reminded me how much I whined last time. It's true. I do whine a little (a lot) at the end. It's not a secret I don't enjoy being pregnant. So this part? This part is so hard for me. So, so hard.

Birth and the whole unknown thing? It's like Christmas. But throw in some more anxiousness. Because at least you know The Day that Christmas is happening, right? For me-at this point, I have no idea when this amazing day will come that I get to do the whole labor/delivery/meet face-to-face my sweet baby girl thing. Aka: The best day ever. It is truly the most magical, amazing, heart-jump-out-of-your-chest, bursting with love moment(s) ever. And I can't wait for it again.

So for now I get to just sit around and analyze everything. Google stuff I already know the answers to. Get jealous when other moms with my due date meet their babies. And daydream about my turn.

It'll come. Soon enough. Because no baby stays in there forever.

I just want it to be my turn, soon.

I'm trying so hard to occupy my time with things I've put off forever. For instance? Emeline's book of her birth? Officially made (after 2 years and 3 months), and on it's way to my door. Now, I will have zero guilt about making a baby birth-day book for #2. See how that works? Procrastination at it's finest.

Now, if only I had her 1st and 2nd year books done. (no cigar.)

This could be a long few weeks. 

Bear with me, friends. I promise there should be a beautiful, squishy newborn to show for at the end of all this whining.

Dear God...please. :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

We are A-OK.

I've already written one post this morning and scrapped the entire thing. I am sick of myself talking about pregnancy & how I'm so ready to meet her...so I can imagine you are, too.

I will just quickly say one thing. Thank you, so much, for the prayers about yesterdays ultrasound. Everything went great and getting to see the baby this late in the game was actually kind of fun :) She had squishy little chubber cheeks, it was nice to see her in 'position', and make sure everything was healthy & good. That extra reassurance just made me that more excited.

Her little hands were up in front of her face most of the time. You know, life is so hard in the womb. Poor kid.


I'm guessing if I refrain from complaining about being pregnant and talking about pregnancy for the next two'ish weeks, then this will be a very, very quiet space on the internet. I need to find a new hobby in the next few weeks.

Basket weaving?

Knitting?

How about we just go shopping everyday. Yea. That works. I'm sure my budget-loving husband would love that.

***

Everyone? Have a happy, happy weekend. Send labor vibes my way. Pray for this baby to come out. Why? So I can start posting cute, squishy baby pictures and quit complaining. Mmkk? It's for the sake of all.

Trust me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thoughts. Fears. Excitement. Oh my.

I couldn't sleep well last night. There was a restless kind of uneasiness I had going on, and so whenever a lot is on my mind? I dream about it. It's not always great, though. Because often times the dreams stress me out. Sometimes the dreams are good.

Last night was just a mix of both. Combined with the normal aches and pregnancy pains. So yea.

(yesterday at 37w4d-definitely a lower bump these days)
I have an ultrasound this afternoon to check on baby girl. I'm measuring behind consistently now for weeks on end, and she seems pretty small. They just want to make sure all my fluid levels are good and see her progress. I'm not worried so much about her. I know that she's full term. I know that if something was wrong, they would all do their best to get her here on the outside world safe and sound. I guess it's more about me & some small fears I have. So if you think about me today--around 2:00pm est, prayers for peace in my heart would be appreciated.

Needless to say, the unknown has me a little...uneasy? The bottom line is, despite the outcome of this ultrasound, I still will be meeting this new little person in a few weeks, tops. And although a few weeks sounds like a million years away to my very with-child-self, I know that ultimately, it's just a tiny blip in life.

So, yesterday I spent finishing up loose ends. Making sure the bassinet was set up. That the house was semi-presentable. I vacuumed all 3 levels. I had random urges to spot clean 3 stories of townhouse carpet on my hands and knees, and I did. I finished packing all the bags (let's be honest, I should have had that done anyway). I finally got Emeline's gift from little sister put together for the hospital. I washed a few of the most recent things I picked up here and there.

...and then we showed up to Declan's moms house, where we meet (typically weekly) to have dinner together and just catch up---when I walked in and heard, SURPRISE. I was....shocked? Confused? Who is this for? Oh yea. I'm having a baby. I think this is for me. For us. Oh. Wow. 

It was just the family, and Declan's grandparents. But it was very sweet. Declan's sister, Lyryn made gorgeous cupcakes and decorated the house, and just wanted to make sure that this baby got a little something. Practical gifts were open...the best kind in my opinion. Diapers, wipes and onesies. The simplicity of that made me crazy happy. Classic 2nd time mom there. Give me the basics? Yes. PLEASE.

That little bit of extra umph of baby stuff definitely sent me into, Okay I'm really ready now, mode.

I'm checked out. Mentally. Checked out from other things that normally occupy my mind. I'm on the full blast I can't wait to meet my second baby girl radar. I can't wait to kiss her sweet cheeks. I can't wait to have a cuddly newborn on my shoulder. I can't wait to see Emeline as a big sister. I can't wait to get pictures of my girls together. I can't wait to smell her sweet newborn head and play with her cute baby toes.

I'm not naive. I know what comes with newborn'dom. I know I'll be a zombie-mom (aka: functioning on no sleep) in no time. I know there will be challenges with learning to mom 2 kids. I know that there will be nights of oh, god, make her stop crying.

But right now? I just want to meet my baby.

***

Thanks for the prayers today.

No matter what--in a few weeks, I'll meet this little girl. The end (just the beginning) is in sight.

Hip, hip, hooray.


Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

All about E.

Before I get wrapped up in squishy baby, I want to write another one of those posts for me. To remember the silly antics of my 2 year old. 

Every single day there is some sort of comment exchanged between my husband and I about how big she's getting, how verbal she is, how crazy the 1st-2nd year (and beyond) transition is--and ohmygosh HOW DID WE MAKE THIS AWESOME HUMAN? It's true. We like her, a lot.


Lately, the second we get in the car Emeline requests music. Her most favorite right now is Call Me Maybe (can you blame her?), and girlfriend shouts it from the rooftops. The dance parties going on in my car right now? Well. They are pretty much amazing and hearing her sing "so bad...so so badddddd" just makes me giggle. 

When Eme requests a Book or a Song, she always uses THE LONGEST LINE ever from said book or song when she talks about it. For example, I would just call Twinkle Twinkle--um, Twinkle Twinkle. Right? Well, she calls it, "TwinkleTwinkleLittleStarHowIwonderWhatYouARE!"--as a title. Her one bible story book? She calls it, "JesusLovesMeTheBibleTellsMeSO!!!!" It cracks me up because there are SO MANY WORDS coming out of her mouth just to tell me one thing. AKA: she talks. ALL the time. And lots of words. 

"Enna-mine" is how she pronounces her name now. "Enna-mine needs boo-berries", "Enna-mine needs snack, peeasss". She knows that people call her Eme as a nick name, or Em, but when you ask her what her name is, she always, always, always says her full name as Enna-mine

Speaking of names--she knows her full name, including last name--and it's SO stinking cute. "I'm Enna-mine Baaalllla!" She also says her sisters full name, including middle name AND last name--which cracks me up. Not to mention, out of the blue she will call Declan or I by just that. Declan & Katie. And then she giggles because she KNOWS that's not what she's supposed to be calling us. I kind of secretly love it, though. 


Most people comment about how expressive Emeline is. I mean, it's true. Some of her expressions (like eye-rolling, sigh) aren't the best. But she does have some hysterical, silly faces that make people (and us) laugh daily. 

I have a weak and sensitive lower back, and especially when pregnant. I often have my hands perched on my back because OW. I'm sore! And super pregnant. And so it looks kind of like my hands are on my hips, you know? Emeline has picked up on this behavior and I've caught her walking around with her hands on her hips all diva-like, and SHAKING HER BUTT hardcore when she walks. I seriously think she is mocking my waddling (which I really thought wasn't that bad). But the truth comes out in your 2 year old, people. 

Often when she feels in need of a dance party (which is a lot), she tells me, "Moommmmmyyyyy, MOOSIC!" and then quickly follows that up with, "Shake your booty, shake shake shake!", obviously, accompanied by--ahem, some booty shaking and dropping it low. Needless to say, she is banned from her middle school dances already

She looks forward to when Declan gets home from work every single day. She'll watch from the window to see his car, when he gets out, she'll knock on the window. He knows to look up & waves and then she runs to the inside stairs to greet him. She yells, without fail, EVERY single day----"DADDY, I MEESED (missed) YOU TODAY!!!!!"

It is freaking heart-melt city. On most days she just falls into his arms and gives an unprompted "I 'ove you daddy". I know it's one of the best parts of Declan's day--I mean, how could it not be? 

I use the phrase, "Listen & Obey" often with Emeline when I'm giving her a clear direction. Sometimes, now, when I'll tell her to do something, even as simple as, "Come on, let's go downstairs", and she does it right away, she'll say with a huge, cheesy, grin, "I listen & obey!", all proud of herself. She uses positive reinforcement on herself. Ha. I can dig it.


Overall? I think this age so far has been pretty good to us. Challenging times come, absolutely--but it's speckled with so many amazing and funny little moments, it's hard not to smile. She is a cool, smart kid--and I'm certain every parent feels that way about their own (as they should). 

Keep the good times rollin' little lady. We love you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh sweet beach.

Our long weekend beach trip was a blast. I'm sure you had to be living under a rock to not get that vibe from the billion instagram photos I took. But, it was refreshing. And fun to just be a family of 3, soak up that time with Emeline and really just get to enjoy her--just her, as her last few weeks of Only Child wrap up.

We went with some friends and their adorable family. This friend and I were super close friends in high school, and then we had one of those tragic falling outs where we didn't talk to one another for years. And years. And years. I'm serious. In fact, I never, ever foreshadowed her being a part of my life again. Just because our lives went in different directions so much so at the time. But little did I know that God would weave our friendship back together again many years down the line.

When I was pregnant with Emeline, Lauren was pregnant with her daughter, Finley. She reconnected with me on facebook when she found out that we were due around the same time. We apologized for whatever we could remember happened in the past, acknowledged how much our lives have changed since then and the growth we both had as individuals--and a friendship started to form again.

Then our worlds were rocked as we both experienced the whole childbirth thing when our little girls were born just 3 days apart.


The girls started doing swim together and they became fast friends. Insta-bff's. Squeals. Unprompted hugs. They talk about each other daily. Their sweet friendship makes me smile. In a way, our girls brought us back together. No, they absolutely, positively did. I'm grateful for that.


Not just our little girls are friends--but our families, together. It's good.

I'll ease up on the sappiness---back to the beach recapping. Ahem.

I think going away with another family can be risky. You just don't know if it's gonna jive. Your family dynamics, your parenting styles, your children's schedules---is there pressure to do one thing or another, or will it be go with the flow?

And all I can say is--this trip was perfection in that arena. Heck, in all arena's.


It was relaxing. We went with the flow. We had times separate as families and then lots of togetherness. The girls napped on sync with one another and woke up in sync with one another. We had our own rooms, but were right next door. The ebb and flow was perfect. A great, perfect balance. And it definitely rang true with me when I self reflected a bit and realized that not much stressed me out this weekend. At all.


I'm pregnant and slow, but no one seemed to be bothered by that. I (tried) to keep my pregnant complaining to a minimum, but in general, for being so pregnant, and all the walking we did--I felt pretty good. Our husbands get along wonderfully, and our girls were angels most of the time.

We had fun times at the shore. We watched cute little matching bathing suit booties run down the beach. Life was good.


I really don't know if I could have had a better time on this trip. It felt like the perfect way to kind of end this little chapter of my small family of three and prepared me to welcome my new sweet baby into this world in just a matter of weeks.

And I'm grateful for good friends who we shared that time with.




****

Bring it on, baby. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Slippery when wet. But oh so sweet.

It's no secret I have a thing for bath/shower photos. As you can see here and here. Call me weird, I've been called worse things. I just find them really beautiful. 

I'm not big on showering with Em at home--because bathtime at night is part of her routine. But? At the beach, most days, it was just easier.

Technically right or not, my husband snapped these photos and I love them. Me and my big girl.





***

I love all these times with her. So much.

Happy Monday (Evening), friends.

Just a tip for you jewelry crazed type.

My friends at Groopdealz have something that I know you will love. You have to be living under a rock to not notice that everyone and their mom is sporting these necklaces now. Buying them off ebay from China and other odd places--just to avoid the ridiculous retail prices of stores that shall remain unnamed.

BUT-Groopdealz HAS THEM today, and for only $19.99.


They are certainly fashion statements. I love the variety of colors they're offering. To get shopping, click the banner below.





You are welcome. :)


****

I will hopefully be back with a post of substance later. We shall see how today goes. Lord knows I've got things on my mind.

xo

Saturday, July 14, 2012

So, we're having a great time. ;)




 


37 Weeks, man. Full term. As soon as I get home, this baby can come, mmmk? :)

****

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, friends. We will be.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Easy Steps to a Bathroom "Makeover" & Jewelry Hanging Device, for the win.



A few weeks ago I was finally sick of staring at our freshly painted (for a few months, ahem) bathroom, with bare, boring walls. After all, we've lived in this house for almost four years. The excuses? Well, they were just that--excuses.

I finally buckled down (aka: nesting struck) and decided to finish it.

My jewelry boards had been taken down when we got the bathroom painted, and were in knots, broken or tangled by a certain someone who likes to rummage through drawers and play with mommy's stuff. Nevertheless, I had some stuff that just NEEDED a home.

So I worked a little magic and hung some of these cheap Ikea bathroom hooks that I used to have hanging in my craft room. They seemed to work perfectly on that blank slate and fit most of my necklaces (or the ones I wear most of) just perfectly.



I also needed a little storage above my toilet. I ended up with a little help from a cheap Target option (shown above), that I ended up loving. It now has our back up bath towels folded up there and a covered box of tissues.

I keep my makeup in that 2nd little shelf in a canvas drawer organizer, and just pop it down every time I do my makeup. When I'm done? I actually (most times), put it away :)  It has made for a MUCH cleaner bathroom and a happier husband, let me tell you.


I added those canvases above the towel rack, which I have had FOR YEARS (not kidding), and in various places around the house. They were from a clearance Target bin for like a few dollars. Are you surprised? I'm cheap.

I also re-worked the little wicker basket that sits on the back of the toilet seat to have all the little essentials needed.

Basically? For me--this little afternoon project was all about finding stuff around the house I could use to get the job done for cheap. The only thing I purchased was the $18.99 behind-the-toilet thingie (if there's a fancy term for that...I don't know it. ha)

So--to break it down for you...here are my 5 Easy Steps to a Quick, Bathroom Makeover.

1. If you can, paint it (or work with what you got.)
2. Scour the house for stuff you like & want to repurpose. Use what you have. If you like your shower curtain (which we do), then base your whole "design" around that. You don't always need NEW!
3. Find ways to ORGANIZE & make your life easier. (aka: my jewelry & makeup devices)
4. Hang pretties on the wall.
5. Clean it up. Duh, right? A clean, finished product is refreshing.



***


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 I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just the three of us.

This morning is filled with hustle and bustle. Emeline is in her sundress, ready for the beach. She's buzzing around licking a spoonful of peanut butter (true story), while catching glimpses of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse from the television.

My husband is home from work, and just drug all the bags down from the 3rd floor and there's that familiar stack of stuff to be packed sitting by the steps. I side-eye it, because it never seems like it'll fit--but surely, it always does. Somehow.

I got up early and ran to Walmart already this morning for the last minute odds and ends. You know, like the swim diapers I completely forgot I was out of, more snacks, and juice boxes for Emeline on the beach. I may or may not have thrown in vanilla cupcake goldfish cookies--you know, for me her, too.

I grabbed Dunkin Donuts on the way home from the store for everyone--and here I am for a few minutes of solidarity, sipping on my iced coffee, before the craziness of mini-vacation continues.

I can't help but be a little sentimental about this trip. We're going with friends, yes--but it's still our last trip with just us. Just the 3 of us, as a family unit. In a matter of days/weeks (whenever it may be), we'll be a family of 4--and it won't just be Emeline anymore. I'm totally sappy about the fact that this trip, in a way, can be all about her. I can take umpteen thousand photos of just her. I can enjoy her, undistracted by a newborn. I can watch her and her daddy enjoying some undivided attention, and take snapshots in my mind (and let's be honest...on my camera). Always remembering that we had this mini trip as one of our last hurrah's as a family of 3.

I'm excited beyond belief about the changes coming to my family, and this sweet little new lady who will grace our presence soon. And to be honest? When people around me who I share due dates with are welcoming their sweet babies already---do I feel some twinges of jealousy? You bet I do.

But I'm still grateful for the time I have left, just us. And so instead of wishing for this pregnancy to be done already, to see this sweet baby girl, to snuggle and kiss her & welcome her into our family (all of which I'm excited to do)----I will try my hardest to remain content and enjoy all these lasts with the little family I know now.

***

I don't know that I'll be blogging much. I have a scheduled post for Friday--maybe I'll pop in with pictures, maybe not. But I'm sure you can find me documenting via instagram (lovesoflife), because when do I neglect instagram? (read: rarely, if ever)

Also, I'm moving the giveaway back to winner being announced Monday or so. If you haven't entered for a $50 Target gift card, go ahead!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tiddly Bits and Pieces

-One day, I almost don't feel pregnant at all. The next, I feel so crampy and achey that I swear this baby will just drop right out of me at any second. I'm pretty certain that the fact I have days (or hours) where I feel completely fine goes to show that I'm looking at an August baby. In fact, last night I had a dream she came on August 6th. (By the way, her due date according to me is August 4th, according to my doctors, August 8th--and their date is wrong, just like it was last time! ;) haha.)


gasp! bare belly! I cannot believe I did bare belly shots last time.
*hangs my head in shame*
-Some days I think I'll have a baby in the 6-7 pound range, like Eme (who was 6lbs 10oz rounded up). The doctors predict about that for this one, too. But? I know how all that can be deceiving & how it's just a guess--and so I have days where I let myself think about having an 8lb+ baby and I worry a little. I felt like it was hard to push Eme out...so add 2lbs and...um, OUCH.

-Did anyone experience odd clinginess from their toddler in the weeks leading up to the baby being born? I know Em can sense a change--I'm sure of it. But I do feel like she's being extra clingy which is uncharacteristic of her. I don't know if it's her last set (praise the Lord) of eye-teeth--or this big 'ole change that's coming. But, phew. She is pulling out the tricks to extend bedtime, is mainly all!about!daddy! and wants to sit on our laps constantly.

Besides all that, she's still cute as a friggin' button, though. Here she is from last night singing 'Twinkle Twinkle' in the car. Oh this kid....



-We're going on our last getaway as a family of three on Thursday thru the weekend, and I'm excited. But I do totally dread the whole packing up & unpacking thing. I will savor the fact that I'm only packing for one child though, when after this trip, it's inevitable I'll be packing for two.

-Me in a bathing suit=scary. Maybe I should wear a sign that says "I'm 37 weeks pregnant, stop staring." I hope I don't make all the hot bodies on the beach jealous. You know, of this bod.

-The other afternoon I was in a MOOD. But then again, when I'm pregnant, when am I not in a mood? (It's sad, but kind of true. My poor husband.) I grabbed my keys, didn't even tell Declan where I was going, just said I needed some me time and left. I ended up (gasp! how did that happen?) at the nail salon getting a pedicure. Let it be known, a pedicure (at any time, but especially when very pregnant) is THE BEST attitude adjustment.
also? While I can bend over still--who really WANTS to at 36+wks pregnant?

-Up until last night I had NO big sister shirt for Emeline to wear when she met her baby sister in at the hospital. I know this may not seem like a big deal, but in my world? It was. An Etsy seller was going to make me one, then got too busy--but told me too late. Now it's really too late to order what I had in mind. But one of my friends, Lindsey is saving the day and she's graciously sending me an adorable Big Sis tee her daughter wore--and the fact that I'm not stressing over this anymore? Basically makes her my hero right now. Thank you, Lindsey :)

-I am FULL TERM this weekend.

Let me just let that soak in.

Nope, I can't. I'm in total denial. Holy moly.

A mom of two little girls....that's about to be me.

***

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to be poked and prodded at my OB appointment.

***

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

$50 Target Gift Card GIVEAWAY. Yep :)

I love Target. But that's no secret. I also love GroopDealz. Today I'm joining up with them because they want to give one of you lovelies a chance to win a $50 Target Gift Card.

Um. Yea, let's think about that for a minute....wait, why would you think about that-yes, please.


I'm going to make this giveaway as simple as simple can be. Ready? Here's how you enter:

Mandatory Entry: "Like" GroopDealz on Facebook & sign up for the email of deals*. (It's worth it, and you'll be addicted to shopping their cute, inexpensive, yet adorable deals. Trust me.)

Extra Entry: Follow GroopDealz on Twitter

(as always, you should be a reader of this blog to enter the giveaway, but that should go without saying :))

*If you already 'Like' GroopDealz on FB, and also are signed up for emails--please blog/tweet/or fb about giveaway as an entry.

Leave a separate comment for each entry. 
Thank you!

Let's make this a short and sweet giveaway, shall we? I'll give you until this Thursday evening to enter...winner announced on Friday!

Hot & Sweaty, but all is well.

Phew.

This kind of heat when pregnant is no joke, man. It's no joke when you aren't pregnant, either (so I'm told). This weekend was no exception. Record high temps. Humidity so thick you could cut it with a knife. Back sweat. Boob sweat. I think my pregnant belly was sweating. I sported it all. Oh so classy.

But? It was fun. And well worth it. On Saturday we had a chill morning at home. You read about my morning with Eme, but after that was lots of inside playing with Daddy, book-reading, soccer playing-you name it, until naptime.

Since we stayed in all morning away from the heat & humidity, we decided to venture out with some of my family to a local street fair, have dinner and watch the bike races.

Despite the heat, despite trying to keep my kid (and myself) from getting dehydrated, despite watching a wing-eating-contest that kind of made me feel nauseas, and despite having to rush out of there a bit early because crazy thunderstorms were swooping in? It was great. And as embarrassing as it is to be 36+ weeks pregnant and sporting back sweat around town? It was still worth it, I'd say.

I mean, I had a cupcake from Dia Doce, winner of Cupcake Wars (and I couldn't even wait to take a bite...as you can see.)  Leave me alone, I'm very pregnant. ;)


There was frisbee playing....

I bet you can guess where THIS toss by Em went...?

Hand-holding & "Will this be the last family photo of 3?"-taking (see also: doubtful!).

Oh, remember that wing-eating contest? Well, Susan's boyfriend, Jeff was the winner. 

Her 2nd face painting of her life, and the first one was the day before at the fair. Both of the face paintings were awful--I used to face paint a little in my day. But? We cheered and told her how awesome they were both times and she loved them. Two year olds are easy to please, dude.


I want to look like my mom when I'm her age. Just saying.

Emeline adores Moses. He's like family to us. If you want to know the story of Moses, you can read all about him where my sister posted his story here

Very pregnant sister....very skinny sister. I'll forgive her for being so gosh darn cute.


***

All in all?

These numbered weekends before becoming a family of four? They're pretty sweet. Back sweat, boob sweat and all.


Pssstttt: I am featured over here today, too. All about my pregnancy and such. Sweet Aliya is looking for more momma's to participate, too. Check out her cute blog & my little feature today.