Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nerves.

I'll cut right to the source of the nervousness buzzing around our house tonight- Henry goes in for surgery tomorrow morning.  His tonsils and adenoids are coming out, and ear tubes are going in.  We have had numerous visits after months of concern and have come to the decision that this is the best plan for him.  We didn’t reach it without huge waves of nerves and second, then third-guessing ourselves.  Overall, he seems fine.  Yes he snores and breathes a little strangely while sleeping, gulps on his tonsils here and there throughout the day, and has had consistent trouble with his ears.  But he never complains of pain, and is a happy, overall healthy little boy.  So sending him in for the procedure was a tough choice but for various reasons seems to be the necessary one for his long-term health.   After rescheduling numerous times, tomorrow is the day.  Finally here.
I know that this surgery is very common, and to many seems like no big deal.  Realistically I know this, though when it’s my actual child facing it, it has become terrifying.   I also know that I have a tendency to be dramatic and jump to worst-case scenarios.  But in this case, when it comes to a not-that-small surgery on my little guy, who is younger than they were hoping he'd be when this happened, the fear feels pretty darn real.  I hate that he has to do this, that he has a very limited understanding of what will actually be happening, that he'll be sleeping tomorrow in a hospital instead of his own bed.  And I so badly wish that I could just do it for him. 

I should count my blessings instead and send positive energy his way, but it's hard.  I've had so many reminders lately of how much worse it could be.  We are so lucky he isn't sick, he's not having an emergency surgery, we have a specialist we like and trust, and we are taking care of the issues while he's still little which should make it easier for him.  But it just doesn't change the fact that my little boy will be on an operating table having surgery while we are rooms away waiting anxiously to be with him again.  I have felt some guilt over the fact that he'll be walking in feeling relatively normal, and leave in pain.  I can only hope that once he heals, he'll recognize that things feel better.  I have nothing else to say other than, I'm nervous. 
And also? Stay off google because I can assure you it makes things like this far more difficult.  Like stomach-ulcer type of fear. 

My own mom keeps telling me that "I'm the mom now" and that will be something I repeat to myself over and over tomorrow.  I can't remember a single time where I could sense my Mom's fear when I was young.  Now that we are both adults I am aware of her nerves when she's stressed, but I never could tell before and I know that I needed her to be that rock.  It's still so wild to me that I'm that person to two little babes now, and I need to be calm tomorrow, for Henry.  

I will be sure to post an update, and hope that it reaches someone else in the same position some day.  I know that I was eagerly searching for experiences on the internet when thinking about this procedure, and I hope to have a positive experience to share tomorrow.  


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Moving forward.

I wish I wasn't in this never-ending writing rut.  I'm trying to be patient with myself because there has been so incredibly much going on, and I know my priorities need to be my family.  But I truly do crave writing here, and yet when I find a few minutes of spare time to do so, I just stare blankly at the screen.  I think part of it is just being exhausted and not knowing where to start again after such a long break, and I think part of me doubts that I have anything to share since I write infrequently enough the past few months that every time I do it's just catch-up and nothing more.  I grow frustrated with myself when I realize that's what is happening.
I have been working on Violet's birth story, so that will be up in the very near future.  And a few projects I'm working on in the new house.  We moved into a much smaller space than we've been in before, and my desire to make it cozy and colorful and inviting is ever-growing.  I'm obsessed with making it feel like home, even though it's only our home for a year.  I think due to the sensitive timing of it all (Vi was only a few weeks old during this whole process) I'm becoming obsessed with settling into it quickly.  For everyone's sake, I want it to feel like home as soon as possible.  What the place looks like doesn't really matter, I realize, but I also think that when a place suits your personalities and makes you feel good, your level of comfort and happiness all around grows too.  I feel stressed when things are cluttered, and calm when not.  So there's that, just trying to unpack and keep up, and do work on the place.  We have also been wildly busy at work the past couple of weeks.  Eric is working on a number of projects that are due in a short period of time, which means very full days and some weekends too.  And on my end, our lactation consultant has been out of the country for two weeks which has made me doubly busy as I stand in.  I am so glad she's back this week since she teaches me all that she knows, but I am so grateful for these past two weeks of pure experience.  I think that is so important in learning, and it just confirmed (not that I needed more confirmation, but it's always nice) that I have absolutely found the right career path for me.  I have loved every moment.  It has felt great to be busier at work, but has also had me feeling like all I do is rush.  I think it's just still just adjusting to getting both kids up and ready and out of the house on time to get where we need to be.  I have had to remind myself on my days off to really slow down and just enjoy our time together and not rush everyone.  The days are going so quickly and the weeks even quicker.  Looking at Violet and pictures of her over the past few weeks are proof of that.  I feel like she's so brand new still when in reality, she's nearly two months old.  That's brand new in the big picture,  but there's a big difference between a very newborn and a two month old.  So much changes so dang fast.
I'm trying to slow myself down, but life itself isn't slowing whatsoever around here.  We have appointments for the kids this week, and next week Henry will be having a very big day that we're all nervous for and anxious about.  I'm sure I'll be writing about it during the week, but I now feel like I've updated enough that I hope from here on out I can move forward here.  Write more, connect more, be more present, share more, and therefore remember more.  A tired postpartum brain isn't so great for remembering special little moments days after they've happened.  But that's what photos and written words are for.  Telling stories here will fill in where my tired memory is lacking.  I love that.


I've already very nearly given up on photographing the two of them together.  It's nearly impossible.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Where We've Been

We moved...again.  This time only across town, but it was still a bit unexpected and took a toll on each one of us.  It seems that stillness is just not in the cards for us these days.  I think both Eric and I sometimes crave a quiet consistency in our day to day lives, but at the same time, all of these changes that seem to constantly head our way keep us on our toes and part of me doesn't mind.  We are becoming pros at packing up and moving, though we hate that part equally.  I should clarify, Eric is becoming a pro at packing.  I have been considerably less helpful in that department as I was pregnant and exhausted in March, and had a newborn constantly on my chest during the move this last week.  We are ready to make this place feel like home until we actually choose one to be our own in the future.  I have to say, packing up and moving your family and life just a few weeks after having a baby is quite a drag, in my opinion. We are running ourselves ragged trying to make it a smooth transition, mostly for Henry, while keeping up with all of the changes.  We are lucky in that he handles the change well, but I can safely say this move has come with a bit of guilt for adding to the already enormous changes in his life.  Cross-country move, me going back to work, a new sister, and then another move to a different house.  The first two days here he kept asking to go back home, and cried once that this isn't "Hessy's house".  He has since adjusted and likes going to "the new house" but it's still just what feels like a million boxes and piles closing in on us.  It's not home yet, but I'm confident that it will be cozy with time.  Moving aside, we are well and happy.  I hate that I have yet to write Violet's birth story, yet to write about life's changes since she's been here, and even had intended to write one last post about the end of pregnancy that obviously didn't happen.  She is 7 weeks tomorrow and it's simply hard to believe that these weeks have flown as fast as they have.  It almost feels like my window to type all of these things out has passed, though I know I'll kick myself if I don't.  So, I will.
Our time has been so full, but not all of it stolen by the hassle of moving.  We have also gone camping and dip-netting for salmon (which H loved), had grandparents visit, and have both been very busy at work. We spent an alarmingly small amount of time just resting and adjusting to life as a family of four, but it's well and good because Violet has just blended right in and it feels natural to be the four of us now.  In a hormonal haze after having her, I was for whatever reason bummed that things seemed so "normal".  I kept saying it was like nothing huge had just happened, because things did seem so natural.  It was like she was most definitely meant to be here with us, right now.  As the hormones settled I of course realized that it was a good thing that life went on like normal but with another little love to enjoy.  I think things were just different the second time around.  More on all of that later.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Very Overdue Introduction

I cannot believe how the time has passed, but our smallest love is here and turning six weeks old already.  I feel like most people reading here have probably seen on facebook or Instagram long ago, but it is past time that she gets her own little welcome here.  We have SO much to catch up on here, so much that my fingers are craving to put down right here, and now that my laptop is finally alive again after three months, that can happen!  For right now though:

Meet Violet Evie.
She was born on June 20, 8lbs 8.5oz.

Five things we know so far about baby Violet:
-Her eyes are very bright and alert.  From the moment she was born, her eyes were open wide, and she stared us deep in the eyes far before we expected her to.  It seems like she's trying to pay attention to the things around her.
-She has a silly (and very loud) squawk that she does in place of a cry. Just one yell at a time, it's so strange.
-She comes to work with me as one of two "office babies". We went back at two and a half weeks, which was easy since she gets to be there.  She bounces around from person to person, or gets worn in a carrier most of the time.  I was nervous about having another baby at work with me (H did this until he was 4 months) but it has been so much better than expected.
-She has the same eyes and lips as Henry
-She's a mellow baby, and is happy in the mornings when she wakes up.  She has been smiling right when she wakes up all week.
I can't believe she's already 6 weeks, and I'm just now getting to this.  But it's a very busy season in our lives, as all seem to have been for the past few years.  I'm happy to come back here.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

To Henry, At Two

Here we are nearly three months after you turned two, and I am still only starting this little note because I can barely come up with the words for you these days.  You have changed so much, and your personality has become so incredibly big, that it's hard to sum it all up.  It's hard to even get straight in my head most days.  How quickly you've changed, how fast you learn, how much you understand and how neat it is that this vibrant personality I get to know is unique to only you.  I still can't form a concrete thought or summary of what you're like at this incredibly awesome age, but I desperately want to make note of some of the fun and special things about this stage, no matter how random, right now, before your baby sister comes and things change.  I know they're going to change in amazing ways but I still want one last note while it's just you.

The biggest changes you are making these days are verbal.  You have always spoken quickly, and now you string together the longest thoughts and sentences that come out so fast they can be hard to understand.  But I love that I can still get you 99% of the time.  I love the fast way that you enthusiastically chat all day, every day. We understand each other's humor perfectly, as I think we learn it and get that sense from each other.  Your daddy, too, that is.  Just nights ago I laid my head beside yours as I tucked you into bed, and as you chatted you paused for a few seconds to think of what you were about to say, going on to tell me that you pulled your friend's tail at the park.  You and I both immediately started giggling at the idea of it, and it just hit me that you know how to joke now.  Five seconds ago you were barely a toddler, just starting to talk, and now you speak in sentences and make jokes.  Sometimes you even follow them with "no way" just for added effect.  You say things now like "Watch me! Wait for me! Look at Henry!" and I have to giggle each time because it sounds so sweet coming from your little voice.

Some of your very favorite things are still reading, eating, things that "go" like cars, planes, trains, and now superheros.  How that happened, I have no idea.  You don't actually know much about Spiderman, Superman, and Batman, but you love them still and it makes you seem like such a big boy to me.  A tiny part of me wants to just keep encouraging you to love things that are not such big boy things, but the way you light up when you put on a superhero shirt makes me want to get you an entire wardrobe of hero costumes and clap for you as you run around yelling "Henry ('hessy') run super fast like Superman!!"  I, of course, don't really want to hold you back from growing up and liking big boy things, I'm just baffled by the speed at which it's happening. Your favorite foods these days are bananas, applesauce, fruit leathers, breakfast food, roasted broccoli, fish, rice, etc.  You still eat like a grown up but haven't gained weight in months.  We always suspected it, but it's become clear you're going to be tall and lean like your Daddy.  You sure didn't get those legs from me, and no matter how much you eat you just keep springing upwards.
You adore babies, and singing, playing soccer and throwing footballs through basketball hoops. You love to make believe, and your most recent favorite activity is watching Mumford and Sons "I Will Wait" on youtube while dancing like a crazy boy "playing bass" on your hockey stick.  Many mornings you wake up singing this song, and usually you haven't come close to having enough until I've hit replay for the fifth time.

We've reached our last few days with you as our only baby... Well you're not the only one, but the only one on the outside.  I would be lying if I said it wasn't a strange thing to get my head around, but I am so excited to see how things change for our family.  I am sure we will have tough moments of adjustment ahead of us, moments of mom- guilt and frustration, moments of pure joy and anything in between.  We are both one thousand percent confident that you're going to be an amazing big brother, love.  Sweetness and affection literally pours right out of you. You are always giving hugs, kisses, sweetly touching our faces, kissing my forehead if we bump into each other, etc.  You can have a downright sour attitude like any toddler of course, and sometimes we are stopped in our tracks just staring at you wondering what on earth happened, but you go right back to being the tender little guy that you are.  You seem to be getting more cautious about a lot of things, but overall you're still quite the outgoing boy. I have no doubts your understanding of the baby is solid.  But I do wonder if you realize that she'll be here for good, and taking so much of my time.  Your life is about to change in such a big, big way and I hope I'm able to guide you through just fine.  Having a sibling will be so special for you, and you'll be lucky to have each other.  As a mama of two it's my goal to be sure you never lose sight of how special you are to me.  To our family. You made me a mother and have filled us up in countless ways. You are so full of good, and I love you so.

Here's to new adventures, my sweet boy.  



Thursday, May 30, 2013

35 turned 36 turned 37 Week Update

I have been trying to write an update for the past two weeks, but the time keeps slipping away.  Here we are though, at a big milestone and, well, this is the part where I can safely say I'm pretty much over being pregnant.  I know that sounds harsh and I feel a little bit of guilt in saying it because I am ever so thankful for a second opportunity to carry and grow life in my body.  It's been a good road.  However, I'm at the stage now where I just want to be done, to hold this baby girl in my arms, and move onto this next stage of life that is so hard to wrap my head around, but so fun to imagine.  I'm ready for that part.  I am still enjoying a lot of aspects of the pregnancy, but there are bits that make three weeks seem just too damn long. My belly is a different shape this time, more compact in that it's growing further out, and less like a huge round beach ball.  I keep thinking I look smaller than I did with H, but apparently that's just my own perception.  I am feeling just uncomfortably FULL.  As if because I didn't get quite as round, things are more crammed? I have no clue, maybe it's in my head.  But the extremely tight feeling and new stretch marks tell me that I am in fact, out of room.  Even my maternity clothes are feeling disgusting now, as my pants are continuously sliding off of my butt and my belly sticks out the bottom of my shirts.  It's a pretty nice look.  Those complaints aside, I'm feeling lucky to be feeling so well at this point.  I am growing more and more tired of course, but still have a strange amount of energy.  I have zero desire to stop working, and have been given the go ahead to take call in the birth center until 39 weeks as long as someone else can back me up.  They don't seem to think I'll be much help to a laboring woman if I'm in labor myself! The rest of my energy shows up in my attempts to still run around, crawl, and dance with Henry (we had a full on dance party the other night which was the perfect kind of fun I always imagined as a new parent), and in a less expected way: cleaning. I can. not. stop. I always wondered about the nesting instinct when I was pregnant the first time, but it never came.  Of course I wanted to set up his nursery, and have things packed and organized, but that was only baby things.  This time, not only have I finally started obsessively preparing for baby V, but I have the urge to clean everything else with a gross amount of energy and attack.  I vacuum constantly, including couch pillows and cushions, and anything else I can get my hands on.  Clutter and mess literally drives me crazy, and I can't say that is my usual way.  I always like things to look nice and put together, but I don't always have the drive to do it. Now I get home, and I don't stop until it's time to go to bed.  I probably drive Eric up a wall with the hatred I have for any small mess, but he's been going along with my desire to have things clean.  Which I appreciate, of course.  My ankles tell me maybe more time should be spent resting (the swelling has bumped it up a notch during this week of wonderful sunshine and heat!), and a little less racing around tidying, but I can't stop.  I kind of hope this continues for the rest of time, long after pregnancy! The sense of accomplishment and relief when things are in order is huge.
I'm happy to be here at 37 weeks, though it's hard to believe.  I am now "legal" in the birth center, as of midnight tonight!  So it's a waiting game from here on out.  We cannot wait to meet this little girl, and it could happen any day now.  I think I'll be a bit closer to my due date which is the 21st, but just the thought that it could be any day is a fun thought to entertain.  My goal is to keep her in until the 19th, when my mom and stepdad come for two full weeks. I can barely wait!
Until then, it's business as usual but with an enormous list of small projects to feed my neurotic-nesting self.  It finally looks like a baby is actually coming to our home, but there are still handfuls of things I've come up with that I would love to do before she does.  Onto more busy days!



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Who Needs Sleep?

Ah, the days of 2am blog  check-ins begin again.  I remember them so well with Henry... these are the hours where I would get up and come down to the computer and browse through blogs. It was at that time in my pregnancy that I really learned what this blogging community was really like.  I had written here and there since moving to Alaska for family to read, but I had no idea what was really out there. All of the wonderful blogs provided me with much company in the middle of the night.  This pregnancy, I have tried my hardest not to get out of bed and such in the night, and rather try to get the sleep I know I so badly need.  But tonight, with the baby/bladder duo that just won't quit, I give up.  Henry had an unusual meltdown at midnight that took an hour to get over, and I'm hungry for breakfast five hours too soon, so I am up before I ever fell asleep, and plan to try again after checking in here.  I've been missing the blog, and have numerous posts in my drafts file just waiting to be posted.  But things have been busy to say the least.  So much so, that my posts at this point are all half written as I've had no time to complete a thought.  I need to though, because there isn't much time left before life changes in a huge way, and I either have less time, or a foggy sleepy memory, or who knows what that pushes writing back even more.  If you're still reading along though, despite my sporadic posts, thank you. I hope you know I so appreciate it!
Since I'm still on call and tired from a busy ( but wonderful!) day at the birth center, I'm off to attempt sleeping again.  I will try to post my 35 (now turned 36 as I'm 36 weeks Friday) week update in the next day or two.  I would love to get a weekly one in now, as the pregnancy is almost over! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Words From Henry

This morning after Henry called my name (quite loudly) to let me know he was awake, I went into his bedroom, opened the blinds and snuggled next to him in bed for a few minutes.  I like to hear all the things he has to say first thing in the morning, just as I like to chat for a few minutes at night when he goes to bed.  He's always full of funny little thoughts and big stories.  He reached to his side pulling up a doll that he took to bed and said:
Henry: "Baby awake. Baby milk"
Me: "Baby's hungry?"
Henry: "Baby eat Mommy's breast"
And he proceeded to hold the doll's face up to my shirt for me to "nurse".

Ha! I love this boy.  He really loves to talk about the baby, and how she'll come out and have milk. Earlier in the pregnancy he was always confused about which area was responsible for which job, he would try to say hi to baby on my chest, and say she would drink milk from my belly, but he's got it all figured out now.
I've been "nursing" this doll pretty much all day.


*Also? I'm just as tired of the blurry iphone photos as you probably all are.  But the camera charger is still yet to be found.  One of the many joys of packing and moving I guess!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

For Mother's Day

This Mother's Day, I'm sharing a photo not only of my own Mama, but of two of my other very favorite mothers as well, my sisters.  How sad that this is the only photo I could find of all of us together? I know more recent ones exist so I suppose it's okay, but this is the only one I could hunt down. Look how tiny our babies were!  I have never lacked appreciation for mothers.  I have been extremely attached to mine from the very start of course.  We laugh about it now because I am every bit as hooked on her now as I was when I was a young girl.  Only now I don't hang at her ankles crying when she leaves the house, or beg her to let me sit silently near her and fall asleep on the couch when I should be in bed.  Though sometimes I want to cry like that when we are apart.  There is nothing more comforting than a Mama, and it baffles me every day that I am that person to another little being.  Henry looks at me with the same love I have for my own Mom, which is such an incredible feeling, and so unbelievable at the same time. Motherhood is a wild road that is impossible to fully figure out, and when I need extra wisdom, or want to share a funny story, or talk about baby poop and tantrums, I call my mom or one of my sisters.  I have learned everything about the kind of mother I want to be from those three, and I pull all kinds of ideas and strength from their experiences and examples.  The last two years have by far been the most emotional, exhausting, crazy, fun, special, and fulfilling years of my life.  But I have certainly learned time and time again that there is so much I don't know about being a mother.  There is always so much to learn and each day that Henry grows, that becomes more and more apparent.  The mistakes I make become more frequent, and the questions and doubts don't end. But what I do know, is that I was given the very best of moms to look up to and learn from.  And I'm a better mother because of it. I will continue to get better with their help.  They are now Grandma and Aunts to my babies and for that I am so grateful. They are appreciated every day, but I'm sending a little extra love their way today, on Mother's Day.
To all of you other mamas out there, Happy Mother's Day to you as well! I hope you are feeling loved and appreciated for everything you do.
And though this is a tiny blurry Instagram shot, it's the most recent one of my two babies, the ones that make me a very lucky Mama. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Greens And Things

Happy May to you!
I cannot believe May is already here, and boy am I glad that it is.  I am all kinds of excited today because May is the last stop before the month we are due, because the sun came back out today to celebrate the changing of the month, and because Henry and I started a new challenge today!
One of my sisters signed up for a 30 days of greens challenge through The Unconventional Kitchen, in the form of smoothies.  I decided immediately that Henry and I would sign up too, because why on earth not?  We love smoothies, we love healthy food, greens, etc. Sounds pretty perfect to me.  Greens are a regular part of our diet around here, as are a lot of the other ingredients in her recipes, but I absolutely love this challenge because it combines all of this goodness in tasty smoothie recipes that I wouldn't normally think of. I tend to stick to similar "recipes" and I am truly excited to experiment a bit more this month.  While Eric and I are good about eating a lot of kale and other good things, Henry isn't always up for mouthfuls of things like spinach and others that I'd like him to eat.  He's a good eater, but I can just hear the fit now if I tried to get him to eat a bite of swiss chard.  Not happening.  He will eat anything in a smoothie though, and helping to make them is a great activity for toddlers.  He was so excited about making a "smoogie" all morning that he just about lost it in the checkout line of Costco in a fit of toddler rage since we weren't done buying the ingredients yet.  We made the first recipe in the challenge and he downed his in a few short minutes! He came back hunting for mine too, so day 1 was a success.  I don't know quite what it is, but something has me really excited about this.  Maybe just because it's called a challenge, or because I'm excited to see how we feel after 30 days of extra healthy goods, but I am eagerly waiting to get to each smoothie.  I'm thrilled to be able to give Henry all of those nutrients, and I think a part of me is excited too because this is very likely the last time I'll be growing a tiny human inside of my body, and what better way to wrap up a pregnancy than to load us both up with superfoods? It makes me happy to think of giving her that each day.  I would be happy to get any boost of extra energy that this might provide, too. :) It's not too late to sign up if you want to join in, and it is made so easy! Moments after signing up there was a grocery list in my inbox, and the first recipe followed soon after.  There are also helpful hints on what to freeze, or keep fresh, when to prepare ingredients, etc.  All little tips on making life a bit easier are greatly appreciated, yeah?  Anyway, if you decide to join, we'd love to follow along and hear how you're loving it!
Here's to the month of May being a healthy, happy one!
Nearly the blurriest photo ever, but not bad for a shattered phone. 



Monday, April 29, 2013

32 Week Update

Yikes! I'm already a bit past 32 weeks and it's been longer than I had hoped since I have documented a thing.  Crazy schedules and a complete change in routine will cause that, I suppose.  If you follow me on Instagram (@grownorth) you've seen some updates then.  I absolutely must get better here, because this pregnancy is not long from over! I'm due in 7 weeks (what??!?) and term in 4ish. I don't know how that happened.  It feels like the pregnancy has gone quickly, but at the same time I am so looking forward to being done.
My belly is growing steadily, but changes a lot more than it did last time.  Some days I feel smaller and way more compact, and others I feel enormous.  It all depends on where she is sitting, I suppose! I have gained about the same amount of weight, even a few pounds more which is a little shocking since I look smaller all around.   I'm not sure where it's all going, but it's not overly surprising since I gained a lot last time also.  I'm beyond thankful for the fact that I'm not swollen yet like I was with Henry.  I thought it was all over last week, when my legs swelled up after a few particularly long work days/births.  But somehow it went down and I'm left with just the regular end-of-the-day swollen ankles.  I can deal with that. I literally could have popped at this stage two years ago had you stuck a pin in my leg. Or face, or hands, or wrists, etc.  I know it could hit at any moment but I'm truly thanking my lucky stars for each day of regular swelling.  It was by far the very most difficult part for me last time, as the rest of the pregnancy was wonderful.
Baby's movements have become big and strong, and we all love watching her roll and stick various parts out.  I get the biggest movements in the evenings, and after I've eaten apples.
I am still sleeping pretty well, and have only now just started to need a pillow between my legs to get comfortable.  Sometimes I roll onto my back while I sleep and wake up feeling like I can't breathe, but I remember those feelings from last time so I just roll over and try again.  Eric is a big fan of me staying on my side, because I snore when I'm big and pregnant if I get on my back.  Charming, no?
I had planned on doing a "things I'm into" post since I haven't this pregnancy, but I think I'll just add it in here!

Things I'm currently into:

~melon. the addiction is strong, friends.  I have eaten so many mini melons it's strange that I'm not pink or orange in the face.  I'm constantly chopping little watermelons and canteloupes and polishing them off the same day.  I feel a similar urge to eat grapes coming on.  So basically any watery fruit. I think it's nature's friendly, delicious way of helping me flush fluid from my system and not swell.  At least that's how I choose to think about it every time I indulge in another one.
~sparkly water. Both times I've been pregnant I have craved soda.  It was worse with Henry, and more intense earlier in the pregnancy this time.  I haven't had one in a few months because I've switched over to La Croix sparkling water.  I like the little bit of citrus and the bubbles are good to satisfy the craving. Some days I mix it with a teensy bit of juice and completely fake myself out.
~fruity sorbet/frozen yogurt. As I write it out I realize I have a fruit addiction with this little lady. I still eat vegetables, I promise!  Mango frozen yogurt (it's always been a favorite) and peach popsicles are my lovers.
~apples. I must have one every single day.
~crispex. Weird, right? It started at about 12 weeks that all I could think of was eating a bowl of crispex with agave nectar.  It's died down a lot, but I still have one occasionally and find it every bit as delicious.
~breakfast food. I'm not really that into breakfast food usually, so it's been funny.  I still eat a good breakfast almost daily, either plain greek yogurt or steel cut oats with strawberries, bananas, chia seeds, and agave.  But I get so excited for it which is funny. I also have been loving the idea of pancakes and waffles more than ever, which is never ever something I crave. I keep it to a once a week type of thing, that's been Eric's new job on Saturday mornings.
That's all I can think of for now!  I have been lucky to not have food aversions this time, so my diet is staying fairly normal, with the obvious jump in fruity deliciousness.
We have really not prepared for this little one at all still, which is a tad stressful.  We are starting though, and so hopefully it comes together quickly! I know we have time, but I have seen how fast the weeks have been going so really it's not much time at all.  Time to get cracking!
We are in the middle of a middle name debate, but she has had a first name since long before we were pregnant.  I was completely spoiled two weeks ago by the very best ultrasound place.  I asked for a quick picture of her face since I hadn't gotten clear ones before, but the tech did a full scan for me and it was beyond amazing. I had never seen Henry this far along, and seeing her like a full on tiny newborn in there was unreal.  I could see her eyes open, sucking on fingers, yawning, etc.  Truly incredible and every time I look at the pictures I get increasingly anxious to hold her little body in my arms and kiss her big full cheeks and lips.  She looks different than Henry, and I think will be bigger... but they share the same full lips and wide nose. We are too excited to meet her! It still feels a little unreal that she's coming and she's ours. But I am hoping that getting her things together will help it sink in a little, and if not... well then it will surely sink in 7ish weeks from now! Hard to believe.





Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sisters.

I missed the memo that today was siblings day, but I'm glad I learned because I love an excuse to talk about mine!  I'm lucky enough to have three fabulous sisters. And though we are all way too far apart in physical distance, I carry them close with me always.  They make me laugh the hardest, occasionally infuriate me the most, and give me the most fun memories.  They are without a doubt my very favorite people to talk to, and I essentially hound them with calls day in and day out, even when I have nothing to say at  all.  That's the beauty of a sister, they're wonderful no matter what.  Even if I just want to call for the third time that day and just know they're on the other line.

I stole this photo from one of the sisters, she did all the work for me!
I look half asleep, but this is the most recent photo of us taken last month when we were all in the same town.
And because it's sibling day, the newest siblings in our little family... already a lot of love there.



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ramblings

Internet! Pod! Work! Couch!
So much to be excited about right now.  While the cord to my laptop is still very much broken, our pod arrived to our house yesterday (early!) so we were able to hook up our desktop computer tonight.  I feel so happy to have the option to be connected.  While a break is always nice, so is the option to get online, and I would say two weeks with zero computer activity was far too long.
I feel like there has been so much that I have missed now, that it will be hard to go back and write it all down.  Many of the feelings are still fresh, but so much has been crammed into the past two weeks that it just feels overwhelming.  I still haven't documented a tidbit about Henry's second birthday, the move, our new place, etc.  I'll get there.  For myself, I want to write it all down because it's all been a huge change.  But I can easily say, we are surprisingly happy right now.  This condo we are in felt like home from the moment we walked in, and with each thing we unpack it's feeling more and more that way.  Overall it's still quite empty; there is a lot of work to be done.  But there's a lot of room for creativity here, and we're looking forward to working with it and making it our own.  The biggest addition so far took place yesterday when it went from basically empty space to cozy with the purchase of our new sectional/ottoman.  It sounds like such a funny thing to be so excited for, but we've never bought new furniture together, and it is so clean and comfy and sure beats flopping around on a bed of sleeping bags at 7 months pregnant while we try to watch a movie together. We are feeling oh so grown up with this purchase ;) I think this is all feeding my nesting urge, as every single item must be wiped down before being unpacked.  I just desperately want things clean and bright and comfy, and I am sure it's greatly due to the little ones in my life and trying to be settled. I may or may not have already taken the vacuum to the couch because I saw a few dog hairs on it.  Maybe I'll relax a bit in June after I have the baby?
Our big two year old is happy too. He talks about family back home, but we have been keeping him so busy that the poor boy is thoroughly exhausted every single day.  I know he's having a blast, but I think getting into our routine will be helpful for him.  His room needs a ton of work, and is one of the spaces I am most anxious to get working on.  He will be sharing with the babe, so there is a lot to be done!  One big change with him, speaking of his room, is that he's suddenly in a big boy bed.  We had planned on putting him in his crib for another month or so to help with the adjustment... But we were then told the pod would take quite a bit longer to come and we couldn't have him in our bed for a month.  He doesn't sleep that well with us, and we just felt like it would be confusing.  So onto a twin mattress he went, and he took to it immediately!  So now the crib is here, but we won't be putting him back into it.  He's happy in his bigger bed, and he was proud to choose his own sheets for it.  He excitedly picked "dozer" sheets (bulldozers) which were far from the decorative plans I had been working on.  I felt like it was more important he just like what he got, and that he had fun making the decision.
I started work back at the clinic today, which was wonderful.  I had a birth Friday night which was equally so.  Henry had a great time playing with Eric's family, and I was smothered with hugs and kisses and cuddles when I came to get him this afternoon.  He wasn't sad, but he wanted to talk about "Mommy working" quite a bit and just hug the whole time.  So incredibly sweet.
I've crammed enough into one random post I think, so I'm off for now.  More detail later, and hopefully delivered with a bit of organization next time.  We'll see!


Henry loves having a zoo here! It cracks me up, that over half the animals there you could see when you walk out the front door. But there are lots of neat ones to look at!
Henry and his best bud Brody, thinking they are "farmers" in these cute hats. 
I haven't forgotten about you in there, sweet girl.  Just haven't had a chance to write about the pregnancy in a while.  Will update soon! This is at 29 weeks, heading to a friend's blessingway ceremony.  



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I'm Still Here!

It would seem that I've disappeared, but I'm here!  It has been beyond a wild week, but we are here safe and sound in Alaska.   We are just trying to keep up with the days, and we will be working on filling the house and settling in soon.  Unfortunately our pod isn't supposed to come for quite a few weeks, so it might be bare bones for a bit longer.  On the plus side, we are loving our new place.  The condo, the neighborhood, all of it.  I have had so many things to write about here, but the power cord of my laptop is broken, and I was sent the wrong part which is an enormous bummer!  As soon as I have the correct one, we will be up and rolling.  We have lots to catch up on, the move, the pregnancy, Henry's 2nd birthday (!!), and I can't wait to share it all.  I have missed this greatly.
We are happy and having a great time though.  Eric is back to work, and Henry and I are running around like crazy with so much to do, and loving every bit of it.  We have been late to nap and bed every single day which isn't ideal, but it's because we've been enjoying every bit of our days so I cannot complain about that.  I start work on Monday, so back to routine soon.  I'm both enjoying the wild that has been the last few days, and also looking forward to settling in.
Chat soon, friends. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day One

Well here we are, day one of the official move! Eric took off before 5:00am this morning and is well on his way to the first stopping point.  Tonight it's Denver, which I understand is not exactly on the way.  But his older brother lives there, so it is worth the stop since they may not see each other for some time.  That leaves Henry and the mama here for the next two days, but I have a feeling the time is going to fly since there is still much to do.  It didn't start out as the best of days, but I hope that's not what the week will look like for us.  Henry woke up with enough attitude to cover all the toddlers on this half of town, and trailed .03 steps behind me all morning whining and being generally difficult.  Adorable.  I then had the sudden urge to check our online banking to find that the check I had deposited had gone to some strangers account.  I hope they weren't too attached, because it all got sorted out but it was certainly unwelcome stress.  As long as I'm complaining, my computer cord somehow got smashed and no longer works. Isn't that always how it goes, things get difficult the second you're on your own?  Well, the sun came out and our moods improved, thankfully, so here's to a better week.  I already feel bad for complaining over nothing, but it feels good to just throw the bad energy out there.  All better. 
I have started packing up our new carry on with some little surprises for Henry, though now that I think about it he will probably be exhausted and hopefully sleeping for much of the trip given the time of day we'll be flying.  Basically our trip starts at nap time and ends well past bedtime but with a confusing three hour time change. He's always handled it incredibly well and so I hope the same is true this time!
I always like to go to the dollar section of Target before a trip, because you can find simple little things to entertain on a long trip that don't take much space or money.  This time I picked up some tiny little Easter play dough that we can use on the tray table in front of us, stickers, special snacks, and I picked up a handful of new books at Barnes and Noble since the little bookworms birthday is just days away.  We should be set!  Two more days of family and preparations, and off we go for our next adventure.  Or I guess back to our old adventure?  Either way, it's a new chapter and it's coming fast.  Over the next few days you can find me wrestling with one of my 039238 bags to accommodate a large amount of extra stuff I found at the house. I'm an example of organization at it's finest, I tell ya. ;)

I apologize for boring you with no pictures to look at, but Eric has the camera on his drive and is hopefully taking a load of beautiful pictures! Just the shattered iPhone until Monday.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chaos

I'm taking a few minutes to put my feet up and check in, at the end of what seems like one never ending day.  In reality, it's been a long week, but it's hard to tell the difference.  Honestly we are just trying to keep our heads above water here.  I'm starting to think that maybe it isn't just our last-minute style while moving that makes it so tough, (it sure doesn't help, though) but that maybe this rushed feeling is unavoidable when it comes to a big move.  We should be used to it by now, but, my goodness.  The reality is only just starting to sink in.  For days weeks we talked about this move, made lists of things that needed to be done, etc. but then one day it was just here and everything went from regular routine to the house in shambles and us spending our last night there with what felt like no warning at all.  We realized in bed one night that hey, it would be our last time sleeping in that house, and now we are moved into my mom's while we tie up loose ends at our place.  Our pod left yesterday, and we ended up needing to leave quite a few things behind that we had hoped would fit and come with us.  It's a little hard to say goodbye to big pieces that we wanted to keep and now know we'll have to buy again when we get there.  I don't love the feeling of heading there without the right things to make a place feel cozy and home-like (not to mention organized), but I suppose I always need the reminder that those aren't the most important things.  It will come together.  Being 12 weeks away from welcoming a new person into our lives makes me feel the pressure to have things settled and comfortable though, that's for sure.  Among all the days of packing, we are squeezing in some much needed days with family.  Today we had a little family get together for Henry's birthday  (next week! AH.), and took a little break from the chaos that is the house/move.  Tomorrow morning it's back to it with final packing, sorting, purging, goodwill runs, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.  I haven't had a chance yet to start getting nervous for Eric's drive north that starts on Tuesday and won't end until the wee hours of Sunday night, but that's next up.  Then, preparing for our flight up there, and the initial steps of settling before Eric gets there.  I'm filling up with both anxious nerves and excitement.  Fresh starts can be so frustrating, scary, thrilling, and refreshing all rolled together.
I haven't the slightest idea where my camera cord ended up in all the madness, but I'll do some searching tomorrow and share some photos soon.  I was a little bummed that we didn't get all the pictures I had hoped from Henry's little get together today, or of us before sending off our pod... but the memories are all there and stored away.
I'm off to enjoy the fireplace at my feet and the baby bounces in my ever-growing belly.  I welcome and am thankful for each movement, as it's been a quiet few days for the little girl.  I don't know if she's been resting a lot while growing, or if I've just not stopped to sit long enough to notice, but I've missed the movement.

So that's where we are, friends.  In the middle of pure busy-ness with no end in sight.  I sure hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I'm hoping to sneak in a bit of exercise in the next few days and far fewer desserts.   It's tough to turn down a treat, but I think after these last few days I'm ready to just see fresh food again. Eek. Celebrations are wonderful but not so good for the leftover energy (lack of!)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Weekend Away

We escaped the chaos of packing and moving for a long weekend this past one, and went to visit my sisters a couple hours away in Des Moines.  My Mississippi family came to visit, and it was wonderful to have everyone together again.  It hasn't happened since last April, almost a full year ago, so we were overdue!  We stayed busy eating (always lots of eating with us, it seems), chasing after all the babes, and whatnot.  My sister did a maternity session for us before we took off, and I'm so thankful!  It was earlier in the pregnancy than we'd usually do them, so my belly is smaller, but we leave next week and didn't want to miss the opportunity to have her do them.
Now it's back to reality.  And reality is, our house is in shambles and we have only 4 days until every belonging is to be packed and loaded onto a pod/shipped.  Enter PANIC. I'm confident we will get it all done in time, but sometimes I think how nice it would be if we weren't such last-minute people!  I'm starting to feel some anxieties about leaving and starting the whole settling process all over again, but it comes with a fair bit of excitement too.  I'm anxious for things to be all set up at the new place, and just trying to remind myself of how much time that really takes.

Prepare for photo overload below!

My Dad, Stepmom, and all the grandbabies. 







Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On a Rainy Day...

Sometimes, a rainy day just feels really good and refreshing.  It can make home seem even cozier, and the change can feel so good.  But then there are those rainy days that feel downright gloomy, and for me this entire weekend felt just like that.  I think it was the mix of the snow on the ground with the rain falling, and the fact that we were over tired and watching our house empty out as we packed.  That combined with some sad news made for an odd feeling weekend, and I woke up Saturday morning thinking it was time for a little pick me up.  I am not a huge breakfast maker, and generally not a baker, either.  I always eat breakfast, but I go for simple things that I can shovel in quickly.  Just like Henry, I like my breakfast fast!  I like cooking a lot more than baking, so I'm not usually the type to bake for breakfast.  But Saturday's gloominess called for a treat.  I have been seeing biscuits all over my Pinterest feed (I follow some awesome people if they're posting biscuit after biscuit recipe!), and while baking biscuits from scratch never occurred to me, I found a recipe for blueberry biscuits from Pink Pistachio that looked totally doable and not so intimidating.  It was the easiest thing to throw together, honestly!  I think it took about 10 minutes total, and 20 minutes after that we were enjoying delicious blueberry biscuits that were not too sweet, and perfect for breakfast.  I'll be making them again, that's for sure.  They were the perfect way to brighten a gloomy morning.  Maybe I'm a breakfast maker and baker after all?

To make you'll need:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg ( I substituted cinnamon because it sounded good and was at the front of my cupboard)
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup blueberries (or just eyeball however many you want!) 
*There are additional ingredients listed in the original recipe to make a blueberry compote to top the biscuits with.  I didn't make it, and just enjoyed them plain/with a little smart balance on them.  But the compote would be a delicious addition I'm sure! Let me know if you try!

The rest is simple.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, fold in the cream leaving the dough lumpy, and then fold in the berries.  Knead briefly on a floured surface.  Just enough to get it mixed together and into a square.  Cut into 12 segments (or however many you'd like depending on desired size).  Don't cut all the way through, leave them connected at the bottom.  Bake for 20 minutes until they are golden on top at 425.  

I love a recipe that is quick and easy, and doesn't have to be perfect.  I'm going to try this with strawberries this week.  Enjoy, we sure did!



Monday, March 11, 2013

25 Week Update

I meant to do a 24 week update, and then realized I'm 25 weeks so we'll do that instead!
I can tell that our little girl has grown a lot in there since my last update at 20 weeks.  I was just starting to really feel her then, and now we love to sit and watch the little thuds from my belly.  I love feeling them just a much, but seeing it jump is always so exciting, and I'm quickly reminded that there's actually a little person sitting right here with us.  We saw the midwife yesterday, our last appointment with them before we move and go back to the midwives I work for and adore.  All was well, with her heart rate in the 130's, my belly measuring right at 24 weeks, and we found that when Henry is with me and I'm just singing and chatting with him, my blood pressure stays low.  I don't have a real problem with blood pressure, but I always get nervous when it's being checked and so it is always higher at first.  Apparently not when I sing twinkle twinkle to my boy! So that will be the new plan.
I was happy to report that I haven't started swelling yet, but I'm worried it's going to come soon.  I retained a ridiculous amount of fluid with Henry, I honestly looked like a water balloon walking around waiting to pop.  Ask anyone who saw me at the end, it was shocking.  I'm holding out hope that it won't happen this time around, as my sister just delivered her second with no swelling this time after the same experience the first time.  But I know that it's very possible it will happen, and I'm just enjoying every single day swelling free!
Physically I feel great, other than this nasty cold I have.  Things definitely seem to feel different the second time, but that's expected I suppose.  My pelvis aches in ways it never did with Henry, but I cannot complain.  I've been exercising regularly and trying to spend a good bit of time stretching afterwards.  I need to get better about stretching on days that I am not at the gym!
Sleep goes back and forth, but I'm in one of the good phases right now.  I either sleep like a log like my usual self, or I have insomnia where I spend 2-3 hours awake each night after waking up to use the bathroom. That happened last time too, and I don't really mind being awake that much.  I don't love the extra exhaustion, but it's just part of the experience.
I have had no strong I-must-have-this-now cravings at all, but I've definitely leaned towards a few things and gone through phases with food.  At this point, I craved things far more with Henry, and this time I'm eating my regular diet.  I enjoyed doing the "Things I'm Into" posts last pregnancy, so I will start those again this week.  It's fun to look back and see what things I was gravitating towards at different stages.
Let's see, the only other thing I can think of that has changed in the last few weeks is my weight and wardrobe.  Squeezing into non maternity clothes is getting to be a big joke, and yet I still try occasionally.  Thankfully, I was able to do a little shopping for new maternity shirts last week and I hit the jackpot as far as deals went.  I'm really feeling so much better because non maternity shirts are a no-go now, unless they reach my thighs basically.  I still don't feel very big most days, but my pants tell me that I have in fact, grown.  I'm not sure if I'm just not remembering things correctly or what, but I feel smaller this time around, so in my head I can still button certain pairs of pants.  In reality, I cannot.  Eric laughs at me when my shirt pulls up and he sees my pants inches away from closing, fastened with a hair tie.  In my quest for new clothes, I skipped pants all together.  I wear the same couple pairs of maternity pants, or I just make do.  I think because with Henry I was working full time so there were a lot skirts being worn, dresses, etc.  Now none of that stuff works for me because I don't want to bother wearing a skirt and tights to sit at home or crawl on the library floor.  In a few weeks I'll be working again, so I will put the skirts and work pants to good use.  As much as I want to buy more clothes (it feels so good to be put together, and the new tops have really helped with that) I feel like there is no point because in 3 months I'll be done with them, likely forever.  With Henry buying clothes made great sense because I knew I'd use them again, and now I'm fairly sure I won't, so a little part of me would rather save money to buy better fitting clothes for my after-baby self.  Eek, that was a bit long winded for a chat about clothes.  But they can make a big difference in the way you feel when your body is changing so incredibly much.
Anyway, I feel like things pick up from here!  From 28 weeks on I felt quite large and like the end was really near, and I'm only 3 weeks away from that point! That's wild to me. It's flying by.  I imagine I'll have a growth spurt between now and then and my small-medium baby bump will jump to big.  We'll see!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Phones, Computers, and Being Present

I found a post floating on the internet last week.  I think it has been quickly making its way around, so maybe you've seen it too?  It was a letter to a mother (or rather, all of the mothers) on her iPhone.  Ringing any bells?  The tone of the letter immediately put a bad taste in my mouth, as it seemed a bit extreme for my taste.  Holy guilt trip.  But the message, is something I've given a lot of thought to recently.  I go back and forth on the whole topic of my phone, computer, and social media in front of Henry.  My personal opinion, is that it's important that Henry learns that I'm still with him and loving him completely even if I'm not on the floor playing 100% of the time.  After all, the house sadly needs to be cleaned, I have emails to check, things to look into, etc.  I don't want to feel guilty for doing those things because the vast majority of my time is still spent engaging with him, and I think it's healthy to feel confident in Mama's love even if I'm working on something near by.  However, it is so easy to bury my face in my phone when I feel like I need a break.  And honestly?  I'd like a short break quite often.  But Henry more than ever, cares what I think about the things he's doing and is constantly calling my name and looking at me for a reaction, an excited expression, and words of encouragement.  He spends what feels like hours each day excitedly shouting "Mommy too! Mommy too!" and I have become much more aware of the way he probably feels when he looks up expecting a big smile from me and instead sees me staring at my phone.  I'm not saying that I plan to put my phone away for the whole day, because like I said think it's okay that he sees me doing other things, and interacting with him at the same time.  But I think balance is key.  Because without a doubt, he is the very most important part of my day, and I don't want to allow myself to be distracted during times when he needs me to be present.  I keep reminding myself (and this may have been in the letter, I can't quite remember) that some day down the road, and it will come all too soon, Henry won't be looking to me for my opinions and reactions, my hugs when he does something silly or my cheering when he does something helpful.  The time really does go too quickly, and more than anything I want to be present during this stage.  To strike a balance, I do the majority of my computer work during nap and after bed, and when I need a quick break during the day, I try to hold off until he is busy working on something independently.  I'm far from perfect, and I know that some days it doesn't work the way  I want it to.  Some days I just need a few minutes to zone out, or I have more things than usual to take care of on my computer. Deep down I know he's fully confident in my love for him, and that we spend plenty of quality time together, but it's just a healthy reminder to myself to keep it in check a little more.

Like I said the letter itself was overboard for me, but the quote at the end struck a chord:
"May our eyes rest upon those we love, first and foremost, and may everything else fall away in the wonderful, noisy, sticky-fingered glory of it all."
For me, I'm trying to skip the guilt of the whole topic.  Rather, just to remember that as much as I enjoy checking in on facebook and twitter (and I know that's okay), that he is absolutely more important than any of it and as long as he knows that in his little heart of hearts, then we're okay.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Checking In

Eek!  I am so relieved to be back on here.  I have just made it out on the better end of some strange computer problems, and I'm thankful that I was able to fix it at home by some stroke of luck.  I am admittedly terrible with computers, they confuse the heck out of me, and I was so sad to see that I was having issues that would probably cost me a good bit if I took them in to get fixed.  I was moments away from loading Henry up to go have it done, when I tried a few random buttons and voila! Here I am.  It's a Wednesday miracle.
I've been missing for a few days, as I have been in Mississippi visiting my dad.  He played the lead role of Tevye in The Fiddler on the Roof, which is a role near and dear to his heart.  My oldest sister, her two oldest children, and I loaded up and drove the 14 hour drive on Saturday, stayed until Monday evening and then she and I stayed awake all night and made the drive back!  We were eager to beat the snow that was to hit Iowa, and equally eager to see our little boys that were home with the papas.  Henry did great while I was away, which I knew he would.  I did fine too!  I missed him by the end of the first day of course, but it's so much easier to leave when he's this age because I can talk to him on the phone, and I know that he is extremely happy going about his business with Daddy.   We had hoped for some nice hot weather, but the closest we got was one day of spring... we were happy to take it!  A day of sunshine and 70 degree weather has never felt so good!






1 & 2// Playing at the park for a few hours to enjoy the weather and stretch cramped road-trip legs.
3//My dad dressed as Tevye
4//Well... most people might bring a reasonable little gift home for their toddler after a trip.  My sister and I? We brought home tiny frogs.  Eric was less than impressed with that choice since he will be driving them to Alaska in three weeks.  I think we should say the pregnancy is using up the reasonable, smart part of my brain.
5//24 week baby girl... update on that this week!

Well I'm glad to be back, and hope you're all having a wonderful week!  We have an appointment with our midwife tomorrow which I'm looking forward to, and I'll be back this week with more to share!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

10 Things I'm Happy About Right Now...

They aren't all big things by any means, but it's a good practice to list things that make you happy, yes?

1. We got to spend Saturday visiting my sisters and snuggling my brand new nephew.  Always a wonderful thing.
2. Despite the stress of this big move and the fact that we are WAY behind in preparations, these next few weeks before we go will be jam. packed. with family time which is wonderful.  One of my sisters (with the babe) is coming this week for a few days.  More snuggles for me, and more play time for Henry with his cousin Emerson (they are just 10 weeks apart).  Saturday I leave for Mississippi with another sister and two more nieces to visit my Dad as he is in a production of Fiddler on the Roof.  (It's the first time I'll be leaving H for more than a night... but more on that later.) The following week my Dad and family come here to Iowa to visit us, we will have a little welcome baby party, etc. And then hopefully if I can get organized, a small birthday party for Henry with family here, just days before we head back north to Alaska. Whew!
3. Henry's kitchen.  I feel bad admitting it, but we failed a tad in the Christmas department when it comes to Henry this year.  Well I shouldn't say failed, but it sort of slid under the radar a bit.  We were in Alaska over Christmas for over two weeks, so we couldn't figure out how to handle Christmas.  There was no good time for a little family celebration of our own, and we couldn't very well bring gifts and whatnot when we were already loaded down with necessities for the trip.  We gave him a couple little things while we were up there, and he received loads of generous gifts from family and friends up there, but we felt a little bad that we didn't get to do our family thing at all.  The gift we had planned for him was a play kitchen, as his favorite thing to do is "help!" and "cook!"  Eric has been working on one from scratch, and while it's well past Christmas, it is now finally snuggled into our home and ready for play.  Henry is in love, and it makes me happy to see it sitting here in our front room.
4. Making things.  Like I said I would in this post, I made the vanilla almond milk that I have been wanting to try.  It was a fun project, and it's so satisfying to make something like that from scratch. The good news is, it tastes delicious and would make a great addition to oatmeal, cereal, etc.  I am sure I will make it again. The bad news is, I can already tell it won't kick my craving for coffee creamer (dang it!).
5. A few new skincare purchases are making me really happy right now.  I try not to break the bank with new products or put too much focus on them, and for the last few years my skin routine has been nothing more than a bit lazy.  I have tried picking up various inexpensive things at the drugstore, but have just watched my skin get more dry and more dull as the years go on.  Since hormones have been having their way with me for basically the last three years (thank you pregnancy, breastfeeding, and odd sleep schedules!) I decided maybe it's time I try some heavier duty products.  I've made a few trips to Sephora and received great recommendations and samples, and I'm feeling much better.  I don't strive to be fancy, but I do like to look more or less awake and not grossly dry during the day.  My hope is that although it does mean some of the things are a little pricier, the quality will allow them to last long enough that I'm not truly paying more in the long run, since I won't be trying 3 other things in each one's place.
6. I cannot say packing up our house again, or organizing it and moving it all excites me in the least... it really doesn't.  I do hope the motivation comes from somewhere and soon.  BUT, in packing up, we get another opportunity to purge things from our house and lives that we don't really need or love, and I'm excited for that.  We will only be taking with us things that make us really happy, and everything else will be given away.  When we get back to Anchorage, we will have a bit of a fresh canvas.  I hate how long it takes us to settle into a place and make it feel like home, but I'm also a little excited for the challenge of doing all of the craigslist searches, bargain hunting, and re-purposing/craft projects for the things we need for the next home.
7.  And on that topic, I'm excited to actually see the next home.  It feels so strange heading out in 4 weeks to a house we've never seen.  It'll be an adventure!
8. Springy things.  I'm nervous about the trip to Mississippi, even though it will only be for four days.  But I'm excited to feel a bit of sun and warmth!  Oh, and to have some good southern tea.
9. Henry's new bedtime habit has been consistently cracking me up night after night.  He is such a giant chatterbox (I have no clue where he gets this...:)) and we will do our routine, and just as I tuck him into bed his little head springs up as he recalls every detail of the day, along with approximately three thousand other thoughts.  It's like last minute word purging where he just spits out thought after thought and they are coming from all different angles. He wants to talk about who likes broccoli and who doesn't, who rides horses, he wants to be sure that not only will he be eating cereal in the morning, but Mommy and Daddy will be too.  It's so silly and hard to keep up with, and so fun.  He'll rest his head for about three seconds, and just as I reach to close the door he pops up again to discuss a few more things. Who we will see on our next trip, where babies drink their milk from, the fact that we don't hit or bite... It's no wonder toddlers need so much sleep at night when all of these words and concepts are coming together in their little minds.  And on the topic of Henry, he is calling himself by name now, and says it like "Hessy". Oh the cute!
10. Exercise.  I haven't been doing anything extravagant, but I've been exercising this entire pregnancy.  It has felt amazing this time around.  It's also nice because it gives us another activity during the days that we go, where Henry gets to play with people other than me, and I get an hour to do something good for myself.  On Thursdays we work in the daycare there together, and it's been a lot of fun!

What's making you happy right now?




1&2// Almond milk in the making.
3//Henry loving on his new cousin
4//One little Henry jumping on the bed!
5//Baby girl at the gym

Friday, February 22, 2013

Brand New Love

I have been absent for a few days, and for the very best of reasons... I was lucky enough to be able to drive the two hours to the town where my sisters live, and watch the birth of my newest nephew, Jack, on Wednesday.  I have seen a lot of births and love each one, but this one was nothing short of amazing!  My sister had a rough go with her first delivery, and we were all so hoping that this one would be better.  It was pretty unbelievable, she smiled the entire time, and even commented as his head was coming out how crazy and different this all was.  She was able to see him being born, and pull him herself from the shoulders down.  It was an incredible day, and I am so happy I was a part of it this time around.  I was in Alaska for the birth of my youngest niece and my other nephew, so this was very special.  He's a big boy, weighing in at just shy of ten pounds, and he's perfectly squishy with that delicious baby soft skin that is just made for burying your lips in for kisses.  I'm looking forward to a little day trip tomorrow to soak up some more of his goodness!