Tuesday, April 17, 2018

All the answers

Emily has been with us for three weeks now.  There is absolutely no routine to our life.  Although I am working HARD to establish a new one.  We all thrive off of routine around these parts.  Something else that has become routine around these parts?  Answering all the questions.

How are the big girls liking their new little sister?

They LOVE her.  I call them hovercrafts because if Emily is awake, she's got a big sister hovering over her trying to hold her hand, spread kisses across her forehead and coo at her.  I'm interested to see how long this will last... but for now they are very obsessed.

Are you getting any sleep?

That's a hard question to answer.  Last night Emily slept like a champ in 4 hour stretches.  The night before that she had a bit of a witching hour from 11 to 2 and the only way I got her to sleep was to lay her on my chest, where she stayed most of the night.  It really depends.  I am missing nap time (Brooke gave hers up the day she turned 2, just like Grace... it is VERY sad.) and wishing I had an opportunity to rest in the afternoon still, but somehow we are making it.

Is she going to be a redhead?

Emily doesn't look like her sisters in that she is very fair skinned and has lighter hair.  Both Brooke and Grace were born with dark, almost black hair and dark skin (my husband is 1/4 Puerto Rican).  Not Emily girl.  The OB that delivered her announced she was going to be a redhead and in certain light it definitely has red tints to it, but honestly I don't know... maybe.  They say they lose the hair on their head in the first 6 months and it can grow back in any color, so only time will tell.

How do you manage?

I have no choice.  I had to get back up and get going because Rob went back to work 2 weeks after I gave birth and I've got a 4 year old with a very busy preschool, speech, other activities schedule and someone has to get her from point A to point B.  Honestly though, with each pregnancy I just had to dive right back in.  While I'd love to spend the first month being spoiled, like I was when I gave birth to Grace... it is not realistic when you are now the mother of three kids.  So while I will take all of the credit for somehow making it to an appointment on time with all three kids dressed and fed, this is my life and I just gotta do it.

How are you feeling?

Back to myself.  I can bend.  I can paint my toenails.  I was given the all clear to lift my babies and laundry hampers again.  I have been off my pain medicine for about a week and a half now.  I'm surviving off of coffee, but I really do feel good.  I'm lucky in that my physical recovery was pretty swift.  I have been feeling a bit extra anxious, and I am hyper aware of all that after dealing with postpartum anxiety after I gave birth to Brooklyn.  But I am able to recognize and beat it off most of the time.  Newborns are extra hard on anxiety as it is, let alone when you are an overly anxious person to begin with.

Are you going to try for a boy?

That's a HARD no.  We are done.  After Brooke, Rob was okay with being done and I was still iffy.  I could have went either way.  Then Emily happened.  After giving birth to her, I really do feel like our family is complete.  In a little over three weeks I will go in to permanently complete our family.  Our family will forever be complete at mom, dad and three baby girls.  My husband will find his boys in the furry hunting companion version.

I am still thankful that people care enough to ask the questions.  We really are surrounded by a great little community of friends and family that this time around get to experience the newborn life with us and soak up all the extra snuggles.  It is a great extra dose of happiness to experience a life changing event near family.

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Monday, April 9, 2018

And she's two!

The day after we welcomed Emily into the world... we celebrated Brooklyn.  Our girls will forever share March as a birth month and were just under 11 hours away from sharing the exact same day.

This year we celebrated Brooke's 2nd birthday in a room on the third floor of the hospital.  My parents saved the day with cake and a balloon and both my sister and parents brought presents for our sweet birthday girl.  I had planned to do all that, and more, on Tuesday... but instead spent the day at the hospital rather than tackling my birthday to do list.

Luckily she's 2 and isn't at an age yet where she realizes it was not the birthday mommy planned for her to have.

For a split second we cancelled her birthday party that weekend, but Rob really came through and we were able to celebrate our birthday girl again on Saturday, just 2 days after getting home from the hospital.  We had family and a few friends over for some snacks and an ice cream bar.  Our girl was spoiled rotten and wiped out by 6:30 that evening.  A win for all of us.

(Let me just take a moment to once again send a LARGE shout out to my husband.  He has been the real MVP in picking up all the slack.  He helped clean the house, birthday party shopped and executed pretty much all my wishes in order for this party to happen.  Cleary it would not have happened without him or my parents who came early and helped with the last minute prep. Thank you SO very much!)

To my Brooklyn,

You are two!  Mommy can't hardly believe it.  You came into our life and have completely rocked it from day one.  You keep us so busy but make up for it in the sweetest hugs and snuggles, ever.  You are an absolute daddy's girl and have really rocked your new role as big sister to Emily.  We knew from the moment you attached yourself to your baby doll that you were meant to be a big sister, and sure enough... you've really come through.  I am so proud of all that you already are - a talker, a REALLY good ball thrower, a lover, confident and assertive.  If we could work on the listening and use of the word "no" in the next year, you'd make my life as your mama so much easier.  You are the perfect opposite to your big sister and I can't wait to see how your personality compares to your little sister.  Mommy just really can't believe you are already 2.

At 2...
-You weigh 30 pounds.  Your sweet rolls are ready to come out for the summer again.
-You are wearing size 24 month/2T and size 6 shoes.
-You have the most beautiful eye lashes to go with your thick brown hair.
-You surprise us everyday with new words, phrases and commands.
-You love baby doll and can't sleep without her.
-You are down to using your binky only at bedtime.
-You have started showing some interest in the toilet, but only when out in public.
-You are constantly falling, tripping and hurting yourself in general.
-You feed yourself and stay relatively clean now.
-You are very independent and love to do things yourself.
-You love blankets.
-You give the BEST hugs that darn near choke a person out.
-You are a lover, but only on your terms.
-You are still sort of indifferent to Diesel.  He prefers your big sister.
-You love the word "no" and balloons.
-You love food and eating, but are starting to become a wee bit picky.
-You remind me so much of your Aunt Erin.
-You love being outside.
-You wave hello to perfect strangers and think you are just the funniest toddler around.

You are our Brooklyn and we couldn't love you more!

Happy birthday sweet girl!

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Monday, April 2, 2018

The Final Birth Story

Almost a week ago we welcomed the final addition to our family (and it has been a whirlwind ever since).

Emily Pauline was born Tuesday, March 27th (the day before her big sister's 2nd birthday) at 1:16 pm.  Weighing in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 19 inches long.  Fair skinned and a smattering of light brown hair.  Sleepy and sweet as can be.

We were not expecting this little lady to come into the world a day before her 39 week induction that had not even been put on the books yet.  After all both her sisters waited until their inductions, regardless of how much walking I did (I lost 5 pounds trying to get Brooke to make her arrival!). But this little lady had a mind of her own.  Clocking in at 15 minutes shy of 9 hours, from water breaking to baby arriving.

At 4:30 am Tuesday morning I woke up 37 weeks, 5 days pregnant to my water having broken.  Although at the time I wasn't sure what was going on.  I went to the bathroom, noticed extra fluids but I wasn't necessarily gushing and it was not obvious.  I was feeling anxious though as I tried to go back to sleep.  An hour later at 5:30 I woke up and there was more fluid.

I gently shook Rob awake and said, I'm leaking fluids and calling the doctor now.  I called up to labor and delivery who told me I had to call the on-call OBGYN (which is NOT actually protocol for someone 37 weeks pregnant saying they are leaking fluids...).  My OB happened to be on call and as expected told me she couldn't tell me if it was amniotic fluids or not over the phone, so come on up.

Last picture as a mom of two.

After calling my parents to be on alert, packing a bag (because none were packed...), getting dressed and loading the kids up... we finally got to the hospital around 7.  By 8 they had confirmed my water had broken and I was staying to welcome this girl 2 weeks, 2 days early.  We weren't ready... at all.

My parents got to the hospital by 9, which was about the same time they started me on pitocin.  My water had broke at 4:30 that morning and I was still only dilated to a 2, maybe 3.  My parents and Rob took the girls home to leave the van and pick up a few things.  Not even an hour later Rob was back and things were progressing, thanks to sitting on an exercise ball.

I was feeling strong contractions with lots of pressure that were coming every 2 or so minutes.  I was shaking and in tears, so I finally tapped out at 7 cm dilated and asked for an epidural.  This time around the epidural process wasn't full of complications but I was feeling so much more between the pain and pressure which made inserting the epidural not fun, at all.  But he got it in and I got some relief.

Until my nurse pulled out the dreaded peanut at 9 cm dilated.  I still had a bit of a lip that was keeping the process from progressing.  I think I had the peanut between my legs for 2 contractions and that was all it took.  All of a sudden I knew I was ready to push.  And I told every nurse that came in the room through tears and screams. They weren't moving fast enough in my book.  Haha.

Finally the doctor came in and I was given the go ahead and 2 contractions, 5 pushes later she was placed on my chest and all of a sudden our family was complete!

Thank you to all the well wishes on Facebook and Instagram.  You all are so sweet!

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

36 Weeks//Baby #3

Looking miserable at 37 weeks...

What Fruit are you // a romaine lettuce.
Due date // April 12th.
How far along // 36 weeks
Next appointment // Thursday.
Gender // it's a girl!
Total weight gain/loss // don't know... just ready to have this baby out so I can start losing..
Swelling // in my feet and ankles most days.
Maternity clothes // mostly... can barely fit in some of them now... they just aren't long enough.
Belly button // in, unless I've just had some food.. then it is sort of popped.
Sleep // never enough.  I've been sleeping hard.  But still encountering some numbness and lots of having to flip over in the night.
Food cravings // sweets... always sweets.
Symptoms // way short of breath after doing very little.  Some sharp shooting pain down low that my doctor has said is probably round ligament pain.  I'm not entirely convinced. Upper belly/rib pain when I sit upright for an extended amount of time   And back pain.
Movement // alll the time.  Sometimes my belly even moves in sync with her practice breathing.
Labor signs // no labor signs so to speak.  Minus the sharp pains I've been feeling... nothing.
What I miss // everything.  Specifically beer, sleep and being able to keep up.
What I'm loving // checking things off on my baby to-do list.  Got all her gear put together... washed all her clothing... sorted all our baby shower gifts... working on spring cleaning the house and having everything as READY as possible.
What I'm looking forward to // scheduling my induction.. !!!!!
Best moment this week // celebrating 8 years of being married to my baby daddy.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

St. Patrick's Day and a Thing Called Love

Every year on St. Patrick's Day Rob and I celebrate another special day... our anniversary.  This weekend it was 8 years of being married.

(Quick side note.. March 17th was NOT our intended wedding date.  March 15th was.  2 years and 7 months to the day after we had met in a college algebra classroom in a Kansas high school.  Maryland has a 48 hour rule though... and after our 48 hour wait, it was St. Patricks Day... but also easy to remember for my husband.)

This year we spent our anniversary as I imagine we will spend many anniversaries in the future, at the St. Patrick's Day parade here in our little town.  They put on a really good, long parade here and even though the weather was a tad bit on the chilly side, we were able to enjoy it from the back of our van, right in the front row.  The kids enjoyed themselves and my sister even made it out to the parade with us.  After the parade we came home and warmed up before heading out for a quick dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  With it being March Madness and this being a college basketball town, we left early and got in and out before the local team even played.  A success all around in my book.

So now that we have been married 8 years, what advice would I give newlyweds both in and out of the military?  Here are 8 quick thoughts about married life.

1. Get married for the right reasons.  Love, and only love.  Not for convenience.

2. Consider marriage a lifetime commitment, not something with an opt out clause.

3. Be willing to work on things.  Marriage is TOUGH.  But it is even harder when you are not on the same page.

4. Marry someone you can see yourself having kids with and parenting with.  Or not.  But make sure you have that talk and envision those ideals before you sign on the dotted line.

5. Experience life obstacles before marriage.  You learn so much about a person in the hardest moments and it will help you later on if you know what to expect.

6. Agree to disagree on some things.  It is okay to feel differently on some topics.

7. Don't expect change out of your life partner.  They will always throw the clothes next to the hamper, not in it.  They will always leave beard trimmings in the bathroom.  They will always drive you slightly insane sometimes.  That is who they are and that is who you are marrying.

8. Don't forget to take care of yourself.  A night watching your own shows, uninterrupted or a day at the spa.  Take the time to self love and your marriage will greatly benefit from it.

I don't pretend to be an expert.  Rob and I have been through our fair share of crap and we haven't always made the best decisions for all those involved... but here we are 8 years later.  So we have to be doing something right.

Happy Anniversary, babe!  I love you!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Showering baby #3

It took us having three kids, but we finally got to experience the joy of a baby shower thrown in our honor.

This last weekend my Mom and my sister threw us and baby #3 a diaper shower get together to celebrate this last little girl. It was a blast and absolutely worth the wait.

We had friends come from all over to my parents house Sunday afternoon for a slew of baby related games - don’t say the word baby (clothespin game), who knows mama best, how many candies are in the bottle, guess the baby food flavor, what day do you expect baby #3 to arrive and a scratch and win game, plus food and a photo booth. We were all thoroughly entertained.

We received a nice stash of diapers and other thoughtful gifts for our sweet girl and I can’t wait to put them all in the nursery (when it is done, of course!) and then FINALLY welcome this baby. Mama is READY.

Now we just have a handful of weekends I’d like to get through before we will officially be on baby watch. Most importantly I am hoping to get through the end of March and Brooke’s birthday and party before her arrival occurs. Knocking on all kinds of wood so I don’t jinx myself.

Thanks, again, Mom and Erin (Dad too! For all the hard work you did in getting the house ready to host a party so soon after your vacation!) for such a special day. I’m thankful beyond belief we get to be near family for this labor, delivery and newborn phase with this baby. She’s going to be SPOILED.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Celebrating 28.

It already seems like a lot longer than just two weekends ago… but the weekend before last we did what we have done for the last 10 years… we celebrated our birthdays with one big shebang.

Pre-kids it was parties at our house and weekends spent at the beach. Now it is usually something family friendly but still fun. We have a lot to celebrate after all.

This year we went bowling with the kids, my parents and my sister. We took them to the bowling alley I grew up going to. One of my very best friend’s family owns this bowling alley, so naturally I spent a good chunk of my teenage years growing up there. The bowling alley has changed over the years, just like the people that walk through the doors. But it just felt right to introduce my kids to bowling for the very first time at these lanes and it could not have been more fun.

They were fans. Grace was easily distracted with the arcade. But Brooke LOVED it. She would stand there and watch her ball roll down the lane all while doing a little happy dance. My dad rocked it the first game, somehow. And I couldn’t even tell you who won the rest of the games. At one point my very pregnant self was even “bowling” (no leaning over or any effort whatsoever actually put into throwing the ball down the lane).

After a few mishaps including a face plant off of the dinosaur intended to roll a ball down, not a child to physically slide down… and a quickly devoured cookie we were getting close to wrapping it up when Brooke rolled a toy ball down the ramp onto the lane. My dad went to go get it… Brooke went after him. Brooke wiped out on the VERY slippery lane. Dad wipes out trying to get to Brooke. Dad crawls out on his hands and knees and the rest of us can barely contain our laughter. We were THOSE people. Luckily Dad didn’t do any major damage to himself and Brooke checked out okay as well.

We wrapped things up in the arcade with the photo booth and then loaded some very exhausted kids in the van to head on home.

It was a good way to welcome 28, as a family, together.

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

32 Weeks//34 Weeks//Baby #3

33 weeks.

What Fruit are you // a jicama // a cantaloupe
Due date // April 12th
How far along // 32 weeks, 6 days // 34 weeks
Next appointment // I have a biophysical profile on Thursday, my birthday! // today (I go in weekly for a biophysical profile and biweekly to meet with my OBGYN right now)
Gender // it's a girl!
Total weight gain/loss // made the mistake last night of looking at my clinical notes online which converts from kg to lb. I'm up like 27 from the recorded weight at my first doctors appointment. // not looking for the rest of my pregnancy.
Swelling // in my feet after a long weekend of being busy. // Rob has taken to calling me sausage toes.  I swell up after busy weekends but typically do okay during the week.
Maternity clothes // when I leave the house.  Still have a very small handful of shirts that are long enough... but definitely try and stick to the ones designed to cover this belly. // when I leave the house it's a given.
Belly button // flat ish.
Sleep // not so hot.  I am having issues with circulation still and my hips basically ALWAYS hurt.  Plus I'm up at least once, sometimes twice going to the bathroom. // terrible.  The hip pain is INSANE.  I toss and turn all night long which is a real chore considering I have to wake myself up to flip over... I'm over it.
Food cravings // ice cream. // sweets.
Symptoms // heartburn, thanks to the hair this child very much has.  Some pain down low that has initiated the waddle.  Always tired and almost always out of breath. // extra tired.  Heartburn still.
Movement // all the time.  It's loads of fun.  She also has a foot up high in my right rib area that hurts if I sit up right for too long. // I'm worried she will never sleep.
Labor signs // none.
What I miss // energy.  I'm back to feeling tired all of the time as we near the finish line and it makes getting just about anything done a challenge. // everything about not being pregnant.  Regular clothing.  Being able to bend.  Picking up my babies without feeling like I might die.  Having motivation and energy to do anything but sleep.
What I'm loving // the theme for this little ladies bedroom.  Teal and hot pink with a floral theme.  We've been checking stuff off of our pre-baby to do list and her bedroom is the next big hurdle to cross.  Better late than never, right? // that we are into the month of March now.  We have a really busy month ahead of us and then it is BABY month!
What I'm looking forward to // my birthday, Rob's birthday and hopefully taking some maternity pictures the next time the weather is nice. // my baby shower next weekend.  My mom and sister are throwing me a baby shower because I have never had a physical baby shower.  When I was pregnant with Grace we lived in Georgia and did a virtual baby shower where our friends and family showered us with gifts off of our registry, the return was pictures.  When I was pregnant with Brooke we lived in Tennessee and so I have never gotten to have an actual baby shower.  Being back in Kansas, they are throwing me a diaper shower and I am REALLY excited to celebrate my last pregnancy with people that mean so very much to me.
Best moment this week // the husband being off for Presidents Day and then today it iced so he is working from home and my kids are just happy as a stinking clam! // the beautiful weather and having an awesome parent teacher conference with Grace's preschool teachers.

To read about Grace at 32 weeks, click here.
To read about Grace at 34 weeks, click here.

To read about Brooke at 32 weeks, click here.
To read about Brooke at 34 weeks, click here.

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Sunday, February 25, 2018

A birthday love note

I am about to get a little sappy for a moment in order to wish one of my favorite human beings a very happy birthday...

Dear Rob,

Another year, celebrating another birthday.  "Middle age" as you have lovingly spent the last 3 days calling it... I'd like to think we are still just starting on the birthday celebrations.  Lots of life left to live.

I don't know if I thank you enough for all that you have done for the girls and I.  You work tirelessly to be the best version of yourself and I have said it a thousand times, I am VERY proud to be your wife.  There is nobody else that I would rather support in life, than you.

This next year will be just like all the others in that we will spend it together as a family.  We will make pros and cons lists for every life decision.  We will argue over the comforter and who has too much every night.  We will reiterate the phrase "whatever you decide to do, I have your back".  We will watch our three sweet girls grow a little more each day into the human beings they are destined to become.  We will share life goals, dreams and moments TOGETHER.

You've been my person for almost a decade now.  I'm forever thankful for you.

Happy birthday baby!
May your year be just what you hope for.

Love always.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

28 things I know right now.

Surprise flowers from my best friend in California. 

Today I am 28.

To celebrate... here are 28 things I know about life right now.

1. God has a plan.  It may not make sense or make us feel comfortable, but he knows what he is doing.

2. Being a mom is the most rewarding but hardest job I've ever held.

3. Nap times and showers are never long enough.

4. Kansas weather is bipolar and that Mother Nature always keeps you guessing.

5. It is okay to say no sometimes.

6. Let go of what you can't control. 

7. Having good neighbors makes all the difference.

8. The laundry pile can only be tackled until bedtime.

9. Electric vehicles are the way of the future.

10. Babies sleep better pressed up against mommy and daddy.

11. Macaroni and cheese never stops tasting good.

12. Your mother always knows best.

13. Thank you notes are a must.

14. Finding good friends is hard to do.  But once you've found them nothing can break that bond.  Not time or distance or life obstacles.  Nothing.

15. Always count down to something.  A vacation, summer, your husband getting home at 5...

16. There is always someone you will perceive as a better mother, friend, wife, woman... stop comparing yourself.  You are who you are and someone relies on you being that person.

17. Cursive writing should still be mandatory.

18. Organizing the junk drawer will make you feel like you are owning life.

19. Crossing off handwritten to-do lists with a sharpie is the only way to make a to-do list.

20. Puppies are worse than newborns.

21. The newborn phase lasts approximately 2 seconds while the terrible twos last for an eternity.

22. If you can't stop thinking about something, buy it.

23. Your kids will not remember the bad days, they remember you being there and trying each and everyday to be the best mother possible.

24. Adulting is hard.

25. Marriage isn't easy but it is worth the reward of sharing a life with someone.

26. It is okay to get lost in a good Netflix series sometimes.

27. Good family is not something to take for granted.


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Monday, February 12, 2018

30 Weeks//Baby #3

31 weeks.
Photo cred goes to the husband. 😘

What Fruit are you // a large cabbage
Due date // April 12th.
How far along // 30 weeks.
Next appointment // next week..
Gender // it's a girl!
Total weight gain/loss // the first pregnancy I am not actively keeping track of this number... special thanks to my doctors office for the kg weight readings instead of lb.  You the real MVP.
Swelling // none.
Maternity clothes // when I leave the house.  Still have a few non-maternity shirts that fit.  But I'm all about sweats and t-shirts at home.
Belly button // in but stretched flat almost.
Sleep // eh.  I'm large.  My bed with a bed hog husband and a 4 year old in it... does not make for the most space for mama... otherwise I guess it's okay.
Food cravings // sweets and salads.
Symptoms // moody and emotional for no real particular reason.  Trying to keep up with everything and sometimes that in and of itself can be a giant pain.
Movement // all the time.  Last night I took a minute long video of my belly because she was moving up a storm.  My husband calls her an alien as it freaks him out.. even with it being the third pregnancy.
Labor signs // none.
What I miss // being able to lift things and keep up with my children easily without feeling tired about 5 minutes into it.  What will my life be like with three?!
What I'm loving // that we are nearing the end of this adventure.  Still not a pregnancy person.  I feel blessed I get to experience this, three times now, but that doesn't mean I necessarily enjoy it.  The end result is always worth it but getting there is not my favorite.
What I'm looking forward to // the snow to melt and warm temperatures to return.  Also Valentines is next week and I think this year will be another fun one with my girls!
Best moment this week // the Eagles winning the Super Bowl!  It is good sometimes to see a really great team get knocked down a notch or two.  Call me selfish.  Hahahah.

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