The Third Trimester Life

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Have you seen those memes that say something to the affect of “When you’re pregnant, shaving your legs is an Olympic Sport”?  I always thought that meme was funny.  Maybe even clever.

But now that I’m three and a half weeks from my due date, I’m not finding it so humorous.  😉  Forget shaving…  I can barely handle putting on my pants.  Between  Kaitlyn practicing future ballet moves and digging her chubby toes into my ribcage, the sciatica that’s sending intense pain down my lower back and legs, the exhaustion and breathlessness of anemia, and the ginormous belly?  I can’t bend or get comfortable or walk.  I’m at the point that I have to sit down to just put on my makeup, because I don’t have the energy to stand.  I have to sit down to prepare dinner.  I have to sit down to put on my shoes.

I even have to sit down to eat chocolate if I want to enjoy it!

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I do have this really awesome, penguin waddle going on though.  It’s totally sexy.  I feel like a confident, watermelon-toting Victoria’s Secret model marching down the runway.  Nate seriously can’t take his eyes off me…  (Although I have my suspicions that he’s sympathetically grimacing in pain while he watches me hobble by.  My belly looks as heavy as it feels these days.  I’ve officially passed the cute stage…  left behind the watermelon smuggler phase…  and now I’m entering blimp territory).   

I don’t even know how it’s possible that the 9 months aren’t up yet.  This third trimester really has been never-ending.

50 Funny Pregnancy Memes That Will Make You Pee Without Even Sneezing:

However, during this time, I’ve also mastered the art of kicking things into the air and catching them, which is quite impressive.  Bending down to pick things up is SO two months ago.  Even Brady is in awe of my mad reflexes.  I’m thinking of submitting a tape of myself and applying for America Ninja Warrior.  (I’ll bet being a mom has prepared me for most of the obstacles.  As for the warped wall, all they need to do is put a cup of iced coffee at the top, and – let me tell you – I’d make it up there in record speed.  Not even sure if my sneakers would need to touch the ground to get me up there…).

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In all seriousness though, this pregnancy has been completely different than my pregnancy with Brady.  I was so energized and active during that third trimester.   Of course, in between the energized activity, I did have time to nap and rest.  That doesn’t happen these days…  This time around, things have been much harder, because I’m constantly chasing after an ever-energetic little tyke.  (I feel like I’m even chasing him during the moments that I’m sitting down to pee.  I don’t know how that’s humanly possible, but – trust me – I do it.  Bathroom breaks are seriously no longer breaks…  It’s like trying to relieve yourself while being locked in a restroom with a wild monkey).  

Thanks to the added exhaustion and physical exertion, my body doesn’t seem to want to cooperate, resulting in more uncomfortable and painful pregnancy symptoms than last time.  And most times, my strong-willed toddler cooperates just as well.  😉   His favorite words right now are “in five minutes, Mama” or “no thanks.”

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The more I reply with “No, Mama, needs you to listen now,” the more he seems to retreat into his little toddler world of Mickey Mouse, icecream, bubbles, and puppies.  Seriously, men get a bad rap for selective hearing, but toddlers have turned that into an art.  They really do live in their own little world!  I say “green beans,” and he hears “icecream”.  I say “time to change your bum,” and he hears “time to dump out all the blocks and play.”  I say “time to put your coat on,” and he hears “let’s dance”.

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It’s a good thing that he’s cute, lovable, absolutely hilarious, and my entire world.  Because he’d be in trouble otherwise.  But, you know, despite the insanity, I just can’t imagine my long, exhausting days without him!  And he really is SUCH a good little boy.  He’s just, well, a toddler.  We’ve all had to go through that stage and drive our mothers a little crazy.  It’s like a requirement for growing up…

But yes, three and a half weeks.  That’s it.  That’s all that’s standing between me and meeting my precious baby girl.  And then, this will ALL be worth it… right down to the hairy legs, swollen feet, and out-of-control hormones.

For now, I’m going to do my best to see the humor.  To focus on our beautiful prize.  To be the best preggo mom that I can possibly be.  And to practice that sexy penguin waddle.  After putting in all this effort to learn it, I don’t want to forget how to do it just because I’m not pregnant anymore!  😉

50 Funny Pregnancy Memes That Will Make You Pee Without Even Sneezing:

Pregnancy is SUCH a blessing…  but it’s also a tough – often uncomfortable – journey.  Do you have a funny pregnancy story to share?

 

 

When Being Mommy Hurts

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There’s no easy way to explain the fierce love that a woman experiences when she becomes a mom.  I was trying to explain it to Nate the other day, and he kind of just looked at me with a slightly confused (or maybe concerned) look on his face.  It just doesn’t make sense when you’re trying to explain it.  But to a mom, it’s reality.  And quite frankly, to every mom reading this, I needn’t go on.  They know what I’m talking about already.

They just get it.

I guess if I were absolutely required to express these emotions and feelings with the help of words, I would say this:  when I became a mom, it was as though a small, treasured piece of me left my body.  And that piece of my heart began to beat on its own, protected only by a beautiful, tiny person that it now lived in.

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This happened the moment I set eyes on my baby boy.  Suddenly, my own self came second.  My whole world (my whole need to protect, and nurture, and care) began to revolve around someone else.  But it didn’t feel like self-sacrifice.

Because that little someone else was a piece of me.

When Brady was in my womb, I constantly prayed over him, worrying about every little thing that could go wrong, and dreamed about the day that he was born.  Then, and only then, would I stop worrying; because then I would physically be able to hold my perfect baby boy in my arms.  Then I could physically protect him with my super-human, mommy strength  and always know that he was okay.  Because I would make sure that he was okay.

But once he was born, I quickly realized that my womb had been a safer place than this world we call home could ever be.  At least then I could carry him in perfect warmth and protection.  At least there, no hurtful words or angry bullies or harmful environments could touch him.  He was safe inside his mommy, soothed to sleep by the sound of my voice and rocking of my movements.

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But suddenly, he was living in this often hurtful, cruel world.  Suddenly, that small piece of me was detached and wasn’t always with me.  Suddenly, I was forced to sometimes leave that piece of my heart with someone else and to trust that he was being cared for the way that I would care for him.

It’s terrifying.  Absolutely terrifying.

My little guy is only two, but there have already been moments that have made me want to whisk him away to a safe place where nothing hurtful can ever touch him.  Kids have already been mean…  He has already faced challenges that made me want to swoop in and solve a problem that he needs to solve himself.  He has learned that sometimes life hurts.

But he is still so sweet and innocent.  Still such a baby.

As he grows, I will have to learn to slowly let go.  To trust that I raised him to be confident, even when the bullies taunt.  To know that God will continue to guide him, even when he isn’t snuggled in my arms for a Bible story.  I will have to be strong enough to let him take flight on his own, knowing that I taught him right from wrong.

As a mom, I look back on my own life with a new sense of respect for everything my parents faced, from letting me cry when my first job overwhelmed me to letting me travel thousands of miles away from home for college.  They knew that fire makes gold burn only brighter.  They knew that those hard moments were only molding me into a stronger, bolder, more confident woman.  They knew that quitting wasn’t an option, and so they guided me and stood with me.  But they didn’t hide me.

They held my hand and let me step out, so that I could learn to shine.

I’ve already come to realize that being mommy is going to hurt sometimes.  Because that little someone who holds a piece of me will hurt sometimes.  And every fiber of my being will scream out to protect and shelter.  But sometimes I’ll have to let go of my baby’s hand, even if it may result in cuts and bruises.  Sometimes I’ll have to trust him to someone else’s care, so that he can learn independence.  I’ll have to watch him attempt challenges that test his endurance, patience, and will.  And sometimes, I’ll have to watch him take a leap, even if he may fall.

Because he may also be ready to fly.

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He’s only two, but I already know just how hard it will be for me to ever see my little guy struggle or hurt.  But at the same time, I also know that the hard moments only strengthen us and prepare us to be strong.  To be confident.  To be leaders.

Sometimes, it’s the tough moments that propel us to greatness and to a more meaningful life than we could have imagined.

One thing I know for sure is this…  As fiercely as I love my baby boy, there is One who loves him even more.  And so I can only raise him the best I can and then trust him into the arms of the Savior who can – and will – always be with him.

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Preggo Journal – Week 30 Recap

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How Far Along – I’m 31 weeks, which means 8 weeks until my C-section.  Okay, now I really need to pack my hospital bag!  😉  And pack Brady’s things… And make sure the hubby has a bag…  And finish washing / organizing the baby things…  And organize a few places in the house.

Yeah, I basically just need to get these projects started and finished, my friends!  🙂  Apparently pregnancy brings out the procrastinator in me.  (Or maybe it’s life with a toddler.  I’m pretty sure that has a lot to do with it too).

Baby Name:   Kaitlyn Marie

First and Second Pregnancy, Comparison Pics:  

THEN –  (2014)

NOW (2017) –

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I’m Craving / Disliking:   Really no specific cravings.  I feel as though I’ve just been particular…  I’m usually a foodie who loves everything, but I’ve been very picky this pregnancy.  Like if someone offers to bring icecream over, I have a long list of flavors that they shouldn’t bring.  Ha, ha.  (For the record, normally I’ll eat any flavor of icecream).  For some reason though, I’ve been very specific about flavors during this pregnancy, whether it’s dessert or an entree.

Exercise:  I didn’t get any structured exercise in this week (as the temps dropped), but honestly chasing after Brady all day does count for something.  😉  I’m always on my feet, walking, carrying him or other things, and just all-around moving.  They should make a workout video that’s called ‘Toddler Mom’.  Seriously, it’s a full body workout!

Awkward Moment:   I survived the week without any awkwardness!

A Moment I Don’t Want to Forget:  While I was in line at the grocery store yesterday afternoon, an elderly veteran behind me pointed at my belly and said, “Miss, I just want you to know that I’ll be praying for a healthy pregnancy and delivery for mama and baby.” I thanked him for his thoughtfulness, adding that I appreciate every single prayer! And he said, “I go to church a lot so don’t think I’ll forget to pray for you!” Then he showed me pictures of his one-year-old granddaughter whom he was obviously very much infatuated with. I was completely touched by his kindness and by how sweet he was that I came dangerously close to bursting into tears. Oh pregnancy hormones!!  It was just a really special moment and reminded me that this insane world is still filled with wonderful people.

Ooh, AND I received my C-section paperwork in the mail just the other day!  My surgery has been scheduled for May 4th at 7:30am (which means Nate and I have to be at the hospital for 5:30am).  It’s SO weird to have a scheduled date and to know when I’m going to meet my precious baby girl.  At the same time, it is a little bit convenient, since I can arrange child-care for Brady that much easier.  😉  But still, please keep me and my nerves in your prayers!  I’m starting to get a tiny bit nervous about it…  C-sections do come with their risks, and the recovery afterward is no joke.  I’m just praying for a safe surgery and also that my recovery won’t be too bad (especially since I have a toddler at home this time around).  Honestly, last time, my recovery was pretty great; but I don’t want to get my hopes up that it’ll happen again.  😉

Something I Miss:  Energy.  And being able to bend down.  And coffee.  (As of two weeks ago, coffee gives me heartburn, so I’ve had to give up my treasured decaf).

Sleep:  Despite having to wake up every two hours to pee, I’m actually sleeping pretty well still.

To-Do List Completions:  Other than baby shopping, I got nothing done this week.  Yeah, I know, I need to get on that.

Purchases:  I have basically everything I need now for when baby Kaitlyn arrives… except for clothes.  I’ll probably focus on buying that closer to my due date.

Symptoms:  On Friday, I was diagnosed with SPD (or something like that. HA!).  Basically it has to do with my pelvis (or something like that).  Honestly, I have no idea what it is…  The doctor used big words and had a thick accent; so once I realized that it was nothing serious (and that it would go away on its own after the pregnancy), I kind of dazed off and just nodded in agreement to whatever was being said to me.  *sheepish grin* What I do know for sure is that it’s giving me sharp pains in my upper thigh every time I move, so – yeah – it’s no fun.

I also have on-and-off nausea, backaches, heartburn, never-ending Braxton Hicks contractions, headaches, and extreme exhaustion.  This pregnancy is definitely a lot tougher than Brady’s pregnancy was (although I’m suspicious that much of that has to do with the fact that I’m running after a toddler all day).  😉  Still, I’m in good spirits, and I don’t complain… too much.  Ha, ha!!  I figured that pregnancy gives me some right to complain on occasion to my hubby.  And thankfully, he’s very understanding and hugs me after my vent sessions.  🙂

Final thought:    Nate and I really do plan for this to be our last pregnancy…  And although I’m not a huge fan of the process (despite the fact that it IS a huge blessing),  I’ve decided that I’m going to really embrace the remaining 8 weeks of the pregnancy… aches and ALL!  It really is a miraculous process, even if it involves discomfort and frustration at times, AND it is a very special time.  So I’m going to embrace it for as long as I can.  🙂

Babymoon in Boston (Part I)

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Nate and I don’t get into the city as much as we used to now that we have the little guy, so we both were really excited to spend our Babymoon there.  Although let’s be honest, we would have been just as excited had someone told us that we’d be spending our night away just one town over.  😉  We were both eager to spend quality time together, just the two of us.  (And I was REALLY excited about eating a quiet dinner, sleeping in, and walking at a normal pace.  😉  When you’re a mom, it really is about the little things!).

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Thanks to amazing off-season rates, Nate and I rented a room at the Boston Park Plaza for only $60.  If I were to give a review, I wouldn’t say that it was my favorite hotel ever, mainly because the decor felt more business than romantic.  But the lobby was beautiful, the location was great, and the rooms were quiet, modern, and very clean.  I’m glad we were able to stay there and check another Boston hotel off our to-try-one-day list.

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We didn’t arrive in Boston until late in the afternoon, but there was still plenty of sunlight left.  And oh my gracious, the weather was absolutely perfect!  The temps were in the 60’s, so we didn’t even need our jackets.  After weeks of being stuck in the house due to extreme cold, snowstorms, and ice, the spring-like weather was soooooo incredible!

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Normally we walk down Newbury St to window-shop the high end stores, but – this time – we decided to explore Charles’ St.  It had been years since I walked down that way, and I’d forgotten how quaint it is.  I definitely fell back in love with the brick sidewalks, specialty shops, restaurants, and coffee shops.  (I hadn’t realized that there’s a Sweets Cupcake Shop on the street now too…  That in itself is reason enough to explore that area).  🙂

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After walking a few side streets (and up a never-ending hill that I was sure would send me into early labor), we decided to head back towards the hotel for dinner.  The Park Plaza Hotel is conveniently located beside Maggiano’s Little Italy, so deciding on Italian was an easy choice.  After all the walking we did, we were starving!

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Nate and I both decided that next time, we really need to try an authentic Italian restaurant in the North End.  But we both love Maggiano’s, so we tend to keep going back there.  😉  Dinner was absolutely delicious, as always!

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We ordered dessert to go (cheesecake for me and Tiramisu for Nate) and ate it at the hotel while watching TV.  Dessert in bed…  Pajamas… and a quiet night to relax together.  Oh my goodness, it was absolute perfection!

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(…to be continued).

 

Preggo Journal – Week 28 Recap

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How Far Along – I’m 29 weeks tomorrow.   (You guys, that means there are only 10 weeks left until my C-section.  Gasp!!  This is all flying by SO fast)!!

Baby Name:   Kaitlyn Marie

First and Second Pregnancy, Comparison Pics:  

THEN –  (2014)

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NOW (2017) –

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I’m Craving / Disliking:   Craving rootbeer (that seems to be pretty typical for me when ‘m pregnant), fresh fruit, chocolate, and bread.  Nothing much has changed there…  😉   Still not a fan of meat and some vegetables.

Exercise:  I did a ton of walking with Nate in Boston on our Babymoon, so I’m counting it!!

A Moment I Don’t Want to Forget:  Nate and I enjoyed a Babymoon in Boston.  (Don’t worry, I’ll be blogging about that in the next day or so).  🙂

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Something I Miss:  I do miss cute clothes…  My wardrobe is extremely limited right now, so I wear a lot of repeat outfits.  (Hey, a mom has to do what a mom has to do).  But even more than that, I miss having energy and being able to bend down.  Ha, ha.

Sleep:  Still sleeping well!  🙂

To-Do List Completions:  My parents stayed at our house to watch Brady when Nate and I went on our Babymoon, so we cleaned / organized the upstairs where they would be sleeping.  Now our goal is to keep everything neat and tidy.  (Since I’m scheduled for a repeat C-section, I’ll be out-of-commission for several weeks; so I want to get everything as clean as possible before that).  🙂   I also cleaned / organized the pantry and dropped off several bags of gently-used baby clothes to Salvation Army.

Purchases:  For me – I finally broke down and bought a pair of Sketcher’s, walking shoes.  I’ve been living in flats and boots, and my feet have been killing me because of it.  I feel like a new woman now that I can walk comfortably!  Seriously, why did I wait so long to buy new shoes??

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For the baby – I bought two ADORABLE outfits from Macy’s (because they were on sale for 60 percent off at only $7 each)!  And my parents bought us a new stroller, since our other stroller decided to bite the dust.  I actually don’t have too much left to buy now, which is great!  

Symptoms:  I was just diagnosed with anemia, so many of my symptoms are actually related to that.  (Nausea, shortness of breath, extreme exhaustion, weakness, pale lips, irritability.  Well, okay fine, maybe not the irritability…  But let’s just blame that on the anemia and call it a day, shall we?).   🙂

I need to eat more iron-rich foods in addition to taking an iron supplement, so hopefully that will help.  Honestly, ‘m realizing that the third trimester is going to be a LOT harder this time around.  I felt pretty great last time at this point, but I’m now chasing after an energetic toddler.  So I’ve been cramping, uncomfortable, achy, and experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions…  I’m just really, really tired; and my body is screaming at me to slow down already.  I don’t want to go into labor early, so I’m doing my best to listen when I can.

Final thought:  I feel  like I should start working on a hospital bag (or at least on a list of things I plan to pack in my hospital bag).  So maybe I’ll start that this week!

 

 

My Snowy Valentine

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A week ago, there wasn’t an inch of white stuff on the ground and the temps were nearing 50 degrees.  Flash forward 6 days and two snowstorms, our mailbox is almost buried under the snow and temps are blustery to say the least.  It almost feels as though winter decided to bide its time – skipping over December and January – so that it could focus the entirety of its fury onto February.

That’s New England for ya…  Our winters are as unpredictable as our sports teams.  If you don’t like the weather / score, wait five minutes.  Things’ll change.  😉

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With two snowstorms hitting New England this week, Valentine’s Day actually crept up on me a bit.  I know, I know, I’m usually the queen of planning and happily anticipating fun holidays and activities.  But I’m very pregnant.  And I’m constantly chasing after a toddler who only knows three speeds:  fast, faster, and fastest.  And there’s laundry, and piano lessons, and teaching Kid’s Church, and cooking for my two hungry men.  As of late, the days have been blending together even more than normal.

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So, yes, I basically forgot Valentine’s Day until it was staring me in the face.  I realize this sounds a little sad, but it was honestly the best thing that could have happened.  Because let’s face it, I’m a “go big or go home” kind of girl.  I completely realize that I always bake, decorate, and plan too much.  But I also realize that I live for that.  I love it!  I love making my home look festive and baking so that others feel special.  It’s totally my thing.

But you know what I love even more than that right now?  Sleep…  Having a few free moments to put my feet up…  Fruit cups filled with melon, grapes, and blueberries…  Chocolate.

Yep, I’m officially feeling very pregnant, and it totally trumps my Type-A, planner personality.  Sooooo realizing last minute that Valentine’s Day had arrived was the best possible thing for me this year.  I didn’t decorate.  I didn’t plan.  I just celebrated preggo-mom style.

I had Valentine M&M’s in the cupboard (since I can never resist buying holiday-themed baking supplies the minute they hit the supermarket shelves), which I decided to whip into cookies.  (I used my favorite Hershey’s chocolate chip cookie recipe and just substituted the chocolate chips with a cup of m&m’s.  Both the hubby and toddler approved, and I have to admit that they are quite “dewishus”, as Brady would say).

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Honestly, Tuesdays are usually a little crazy around here, since I have to prep for piano lessons, clean the house, and pack Brady meals for my mom’s house.  But whatever the reason, this one was actually quite smooth-sailing.  Somehow we’d managed to keep the house rather clean during the week, I didn’t have much prep to do, and Brady was in a spectacular mood.  Like spectacular mood!

If every day was like this, the mom life would be easy-peasy lemon squeezy.

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Nate and I didn’t have our typical Valentine’s dinner together, because we decided to hold off for now (since the Babymoon is just around the corner).  Plus he had work… and then church tonight.  BUT we spontaneously danced to a favorite song and had a really sweet moment… And we finished the house-cleaning together while chatting about our night away…  And, I don’t know, we just made the absolute best of a busy day, and it was really special.

For dinner, during the one hour Nate was able to be home tonight, I made these pork chops (which are delicious) and this Strikeout Pasta Salad.  (It’s a homemade version of your typical, Italian-dressing pasta.  The dressing is really simple to make but has a ton of fresh flavor.  Both Nate and Brady LOVE it, as do I).

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Then, when the little guy was finally in bed for the evening and Nate was home from church, Nate and I cuddled on the couch and watched The Middle.  SUCH a great Valentine’s Day… even if I almost forgot it.  🙂

 

Preggo Journal – Week 27 Recap

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How Far Along – This week, I’m doing the recap one day early, but I’ll officially be 28 weeks pregnant on Wednesday.  Awwww, you guys, I’m officially in the third trimester now!  I need to get some things done.  Ha, ha!!

Baby Name:   Kaitlyn Marie

 

Baby Bump Pic –  Hello, BUMP!  🙂

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Favorite Look of the Week:  I’ve kind of been stuck home a lot, between the snowstorms and Brady getting strength back in his leg.  (He is walking SO well since getting the Spica cast off, but he’s not up to walking through deep snow).  So honestly, I’m still living in yoga pants and sweatshirts.  😉  I have been rocking my husband’s Patriot’s jersey though, so I’d definitely say that was my favorite look this week!

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I REALLY need to start taking official, pregnancy pics!!  🙂

I’m Craving / Disliking:   Although I don’t have any food aversions, I do feel that I’ve been quite picky about food this pregnancy.  That being said, my craving for fresh fruit continues.  I’ve also been living for large bowls of Cheerios!  And chocolate!!

Milestones – I went for the glucose test this week, so hopefully I pass!  I also think the nesting stage has officially hit.  I’m praying that I find some energy to go with the need to clean…  😉  Nate has been helping me knock some things off the list, which has been VERY much appreciated.

Sleep:  No complaints!  I’ve been sleeping pretty well.

Something I Miss – I do miss sleeping on my stomach and back. 🙂

Symptoms:  I honestly haven’t been feeling all that great during the day.  I’ve had some really bad back pain, braxton hicks contractions, weakness, and some pretty extreme exhaustion. My body is definitely not liking how busy my days are, but my doctor isn’t concerned about any of the symptoms.  I just have to stay hydrated and try to rest whenever the opportunity arises (or whenever the toddler allows).

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To-Do List Completions:  I finished sorting through Brady’s clothes and made room in the dresser for Kaitlyn’s things.  I received a few baby outfits from friends; and I washed, folded, and put away those clothes too.

Purchases:   I purchased all the  feeding supplies I’ll need (breastfeeding supplies and bottles for when I pump), in addition to new baby towels.

Goals for this Week – My goal for this week – and next week – is to organize and clean a little bit every day in preparation of our special arrival.  Then in March, I’ll probably purchase the rest of the supplies we need (which will include adding some pink to the nursery, since Kaitlyn and Brady will eventually share the room).

I’m Looking Forward To:  The babymoon!!    🙂

 

 

Planning Our Second Babymoon

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Babymoons are fairly new concepts, but whoever came up with the idea is nothing short of brilliant.  Let’s face it, once baby arrives, life changes dramatically.  And in so many ways, the changes are good.  They’re beautiful changes that fill your heart with so much love it just might explode.

But at the same time, those sleepless nights, endless days of entertaining a little one, and never-ending piles of laundry do add some new challenges to one’s marriage.  If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile then you might remember that one of my biggest fears going into motherhood was how becoming a mom could potentially affect my marriage in a negative light.

And yeah, sure, it has been tougher.

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When a baby comes, it’s not just you and your hubby anymore…  You can’t spontaneously step out of the house for a movie or bite to eat.  Traveling becomes more difficult, partly due to lack of money and partly due to inconvenience.  The romance is tougher to make time and energy for, because you literally crash the moment baby falls asleep.

And suddenly the advice of more seasoned parents makes sense:  “Marriage takes work.”

But here’s the thing…  I think I’ve said it before, and now I’m just more convinced than ever.  Marriage actually takes fun.  

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Because it’s soooooo easy to forget to laugh together…   Just you two.  Not over your toddler’s silly antics, but because you and your husband (your best friend) both got caught up in a tickle match. It’s easy to forget to kiss – like really kiss – instead of the quick-peck that becomes habit when you’re in a rush.  To forget to talk – like really talk – about books, and fun plans, and the day’s activities.

It’s just easier to fall into a worn-out routine that needs a bit of spontaneity and spice.

Maybe life is busier now and won’t go back to that ‘just us’ stage, but it doesn’t mean that your marriage can’t be just as strong.  As with any stage of life, change happens.  You and your husband will change once babies arrive, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be madly in love.  And best friends.  And happy.

It will just be different.  And yeah, it will just take more work.  (Or, more accurately, more effort to make time for fun).

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I’d say that Nate and I have more challenging days since becoming parents than we did before.  But those rough moments usually happen when we’ve been too busy.  When we’ve lost focus on what should come first – our marriage.  (Well, after God, of course).  🙂

So Babymoons…  I am ALL for them!  I think they’re important, almost like a promise to each other that you’ll always make time for special, ‘just us’ moments.  It’s a fun experience, an amazing memory, and a great way to jump into the role of parenthood.

Many people go away for several nights (or even up to a week), but Nate and I have never been able to swing that.  BUT just going away for the night and spending a day or two together is really all it takes.  It’s just important to  put aside the busy stuff and to spend quality time together.  🙂  For our last Babymoon, we spent the day in Boston and then stayed in a hotel that was halfway between the city and our home.  It was SO much fun!

And our one-night Babymoon for this pregnancy is coming up quickly, and I am soooooo excited.  Nate has been busy with work; I’ve been busy caring for a toddler and growing a baby.  We definitely need this time away to spend time together AND to spend time feeling excited about our upcoming arrival.

AND this mama just needs a break with her man.  🙂  I’m SO looking forward to sitting down to eat dinner in a restaurant, and sleeping in, and enjoying a slower-paced couple of days.  I’d say that our Babymoon can’t come fast enough, but – well – I do love the anticipation and planning stage too!!  🙂

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Have you ever gone on a Babymoon?  If you’re a parent, what’s something that you do to make sure that you and your significant other are setting aside quality  time for each other?  

 

Castaway Day!

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It’s gone…  After a two night hospital stay, after desperately cleaning pee out of the cast as best I could nearly every morning, after praying for no leak-throughs before changing every poopy diaper, after long days of attempting to keep a two year old occupied, after having to watch my little boy struggle to pull himself around on the floor, after five of the longest weeks that I have ever experienced…  The spica cast is GONE!

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I woke up Thursday morning feeling possibility giddy.  Like it may as well have been Christmas, New Years, and my birthday all rolled into one.  I couldn’t have stopped smiling if I wanted to, which is okay since Nate had the same grin on his face.  And although Brady didn’t quite understand the concept of getting his cast removed, our excitement was contagious!

The Green Monster was coming off!!

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Honestly, his getting the cast removed was a million times easier than I had thought it would be.  A nurse walked in with a video of Curious George, and that’s really all it took.  We told him that the loud machine running over his cast was just a vacuum, and he focused on his favorite monkey.  I had really thought he’d be hysterical, but George saved the day once again.

I was beyond shocked… but also relieved.

He did cry when the cast was removed, and he stretched his leg for the first time though.  His muscles were obviously very sore from having been restricted for so long, and I’m sure the bone itself is still painful at this point.  But thank goodness, his skin looked really good (no rashes), and the X-rays showed that his leg had healed nicely.

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The doctor told us that it could take weeks before he started to walk, so his advice to us was to take things slowly.  I wasn’t frustrated by that in the least…  One of the things I missed the most over these past few weeks was holding him.  Really holding him.  The cast always got in the way, and it was impossible to snuggle very well.  Holding him for real felt absolutely amazing!  (Plus he was a lot lighter without the cast; and he could now bend, which meant he’d be able to sit up normally).

The minute we got home, I let Brady have his long-awaited bubble bath.  (The skin on his leg was super peely, so I also lathered him up really well with lotion.  My cousin had sent me some awesome Pure Haven products to use, which really did come in handy.  But more on that in a future blog post).  🙂

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Then we watched cartoons (Curious George, of course) and prepared for his Castaway party!  (My dad had come up with the clever name for a party to celebrate casting away the restrictive cast.  And we all had Christmas presents for him that we’d been unable to give him when he was in the cast.  So it was definitely reason to celebrate).  I decided to make the night extra special with two of his favorite foods:  chicken pot pie and cake.

Oh gosh, the cake…  It was the saddest looking cake I have ever made.  LOL!  But I didn’t want to take the time to decorate it perfectly, because that was time that I couldn’t spend with my little guy.  So everything got plopped together, and my alien cake was sad looking yet very delicious.

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Here are some recaps from the day!  🙂


 

I plan to do a Spica Cast survival blog post with some tips I learned along the way, but if any of you have specific questions that you’d like me to answer, leave them in the comment section!  

Up…Up… And Away!

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Poop.  I was searching in the dark for lost poop.  This, my friends, is what my life had become.  I had reached an all-new low, and I wondered – for a moment – if there was any coming back from this.

But first, let me start from the beginning…

My two-year-old son is in a Spica cast due to a broken Femur.  The story doesn’t fit the trauma of the injury and healing process.  He fell to the kitchen floor during playtime while trying on one of my husband’s shoes.  The end result was a trip to the ER, a two-night hospital stay, and 5-6 weeks in a body cast that doesn’t allow him to sit up or walk.

My poor baby boy was traumatized by the entire situation and spent the first few nights back home sleeping in bed with me and my husband.  I was scared to death of touching him, moving him… and of changing his diaper.  I was especially  terrified of poop.  The doctor had thought that it would be entertaining –  or helpful –  to tell us stories of toddlers who needed their casts completely redone, because poop had exploded up through their diaper into the inside of their cast.

Thank you for that image, Doc.  

Because of this, I was almost relieved that Brady was very constipated for his first bowel movement.  It was 3am in the morning; and he woke me and Nate up, asking for a cup of juice.  That’s when I smelled ‘it’ and sent Nate to get the juice while I tackled the diaper in the dark.  I’m not exaggerating… I was so freaked out about getting poop on the cast that I was sweating and basically lamaze breathing as I undid the diaper.

But then I realized that the poor kid had pushed out a hard, golf ball of poop.  I made a mental note to buy prune juice just as I breathed a sigh of relief at how easy it would be to clean up.

Okay, maybe not.  Brady decided to twist and kick in that moment.  He might as well have shouted “FOUR!”  That ball of poop took flight and landed… somewhere.

I just sat there, stunned, staring at the now-empty diaper.  Like seriously, does this actually happen in real life?  I squinted my eyes and tried to see better in the darkness, but I didn’t see the poop ball in the immediate area around us.  So I started pulling back the sheets a bit.  And then, as I searched and tried to keep my toddler from wriggling away, it hit me.  I had lost a hard lump of poop in our bed.

The hysterical laughter that hit me immediately afterward mixed with sobs.  I really wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, so I laugh-cried.  (Totally a thing).  It was 3am, I was exhausted, there was a now wide-awake toddler lying naked on my bed, and I was looking for lost poop.

This.  This is what my life had come to.

It’s not that I ever imagined the mommy life as being glamorous; but – let’s face it – we all hope that we’ll turn into that mom who miraculously holds it all together.  You know, the June Cleaver of moms who manages to place a warm meal onto the table every night, while keeping a tidy home, looking effortlessly glamorous, and still finding the time for reading with her husband every night.  They just don’t make them like that anymore.

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This is more my reality these days.

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Spica-cast inspired melt-downs…  Tears…  Frustration…  And lost poop.

In the end, the flying poo turned up on Nate’s side of the bed.  (At 2 years old, Brady is already quite athletic.  Move over, Tiger Woods).  In my exhaustion, I briefly wondered if I could just grab it with a baby wipe and then wait to tell Nate the story in like 30 years from now.  But even if I’m no June Cleaver, I am very clean, hygienic, and humane, so I sighed in defeat and realized the diaper change had now turned into a sheet change.  Unfortunately, after waiting for a diaper change and a bed-sheet change, there was no going back to bed for the little guy.

That’s okay, sleep and morning showers are totally overrated, so early morning cartoons it was.

As we snuggled in bed and watched Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Brady gently cupped my face in his hands as if he wanted to keep me as close as possible.  Every once in awhile, he’d whisper “Mama” and then look up at me with his big eyes, as though to make sure that I was still there.  (It’s something he has done quite frequently since our stay at the hospital).  And I was reminded that even if the mommy life is far from glamorous (and that it does stink at times… literally), it is sweet.  And beautiful.  And precious.

Our little ones make it worth it, each and every day.  Because the love we have for them is unexplainable and unstoppable, even if it sometimes leaves us looking for lost poop at 3am.