Q and A!

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I probably should have divided this into several posts, as this is a bit of a long one.  But I decided to post it at all once this time.  🙂  So you can read it in pieces or just read the sections that interest you.  Thank you for the great questions, Everyone!!!  You all rock!


 

What do you miss most now that you’re on a special diet as a breastfeeding mom? –   Yes, I had to give up dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts while breastfeeding; because Kaitlyn is intolerant to them.  (I’ve been off those foods for a month now, and she is doing SO much better).

Hmmm, what do I miss most?  Honestly, cheese.  Ha, ha.  The first thing I’m ordering after I’m done breastfeeding is a large cheese pizza with a side of cheese sticks!!

Is adding a second baby just as tough on a marriage as adding the first child was? – Yes and no…  Like I’ve said before, I’m super proud of how well Nate and I worked together when Brady arrived.  Yes, we had a few months where the most romantic thing we did every day was a peck on the lips before bed.  (We were exhausted beyond belief and so busy taking care of our new baby boy).  But we really did try to focus on our marriage, and we came through stronger and more in love!

So this time around, we’ve been more aware of how things will be for awhile.  That has made the busy time even more bearable.  (We’re very much aware of the fact that this is only for a season).  ALSO, it has encouraged us to do even better than last time; so we try to make sure we communicate… and make time for intimacy, even if we’re tired.  Taking the time to snuggle or hug before bed is huge.

So I’d say this time has been even smoother than last time, even if we have our days same as anyone would.  🙂

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(I just found this gem of a picture from Brady’s first campfire.  This is definitely how we feel as parents some days.  Ha, ha)!!

You’re supermom for giving up so many foods while breastfeeding.  How do you do it?  Awwww, thank you, Missy!  Honestly, I don’t think I’m supermom at all.  I think we all do what we need to do if we feel it’s best for our kids.  I’m a huge proponent of supporting and encouraging moms, because we are all super!!

Is it really harder to lose the baby weight the second time around? – Actually, I’ve already reached my pre-pregnancy weight!  (That’s only my first goal, since I had put on about 20 extra pounds before having Kaitlyn.  So now I’m trying to reach my weight from before having Brady).  But I really do feel great!  To keep up my breastmilk, I have to consume a lot of calories each day and make sure that the weight loss is slow, and – so far – it’s going perfectly.   But every week, I feel stronger and healthier!

That being said, my body didn’t bounce back as quickly this time around.  I still can’t fit into my jeans (other than maternity); because I’m carrying weight in my hips, butt, and belly.  Last time around, I was wearing my favorite jeans by this point.  But mentally, I’m still very positive and confident.  And physically, I’m feeling stronger and healthier every week!

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How is Brady adjusting to life with a sibling?  – This has a two part answer, to be honest.  The adjustment has definitely come with its challenges…  The first couple of weeks went quite smoothly, but the last few weeks have been tougher.  Because he’s unable to express his feelings verbally, he has acted out in anger quite a bit.  It’s very apparent that it hurts his feelings that mommy can’t cuddle or play with him the way she used to, and he’s just too little to understand it completely.  We also are stuck home a lot more now.  So he screams at me a lot or punches things (including himself).  If I respond with a calm smile and try to keep things light, he just gets angrier.  In his little head, he thinks that a negative response from me – or even getting into trouble – is better than not getting attention at all.

I’ve had to do a lot of research to learn how to calmly deal with his episodes, because I don’t want to ignore it.  But at the same time, normal time-outs don’t always work.  He’s really crying out for attention and security, so acting appropriately has been vital.

The biggest thing I’ve done to help lessen these outbursts has been to spend quality time with him whenever Kaitlyn is napping or lying peacefully.  (The dishes or cleaning can wait.  If I have the chance, we’ll snuggle, dance, sing, or read).  Also, if Nate is home, I’ll let him watch Kaitlyn; so that Brady and I can go for a walk, play in the yard, read books, or do a craft.  I’ve really tried to make sure we spend the time together that he needs, and I’ve honestly seen an improvement in his overall attitude!

That being said, despite his occasional anger and insecurities, Brady loves his baby sister!  I have never before seen my mischievous, loud, and energetic boy so gentle.  (Honestly, I’m shocked by it).  He touches her belly lightly with his fingertips and smiles at her with such love and devotion.  It is absolutely the SWEETEST thing.  She’s the first thing he wants to see when he wakes up in the morning; and if he can’t immediately see her, he has to seek her out.

“Where’s baby Kaitwin?” he’ll ask.  “She’s qwute.”  (a.k.a. cute)

So while the adjustment hasn’t been easy, it has been worth it.  The love he has for her has already shown that they will be close and that their friendship will be strong.  And soon enough, having a baby sister will be a new normal for him!

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What does a normal day at your house look like right now? –   This was my most requested question!  🙂  Stay tuned for my day-in-the-life post!  🙂

How has your breastfeeding journey been compared to your last one?  – So Kaitlyn latched perfectly for the first two weeks, and then she struggled with it a bit.  (I’m wondering if she might have a lip tie like Brady did, so I need to get that checked).  And obviously, Kaitlyn has the same intolerances that Brady did, so I’m on the same restricted diet.

Honestly though, the toughest thing for me has been Brady… even though I’m breastfeeding Kaitlyn.  Like I mentioned above, he’s struggling a bit with the fact that I don’t have as much time for him anymore.  So when Kaitlyn cluster-feeds and wants to eat every hour and a half, he really struggles with that.  (Also he gets into absolutely everything when I’m trying to give Kaitlyn her milk.  So it doesn’t make for a calm, intimate experience with my baby when I’m worried about what he might be playing with).

As a result, I’ve been pumping and feeding her bottles, and my plan is to eventually cut out some of the breastmilk bottles and supplement with formula (if we can find one that doesn’t bother her).  That way, I’m not pumping as much and only breastfeeding at night.  Hopefully that will still be a healthy option for Kaitlyn but a less stressful one for Brady.

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In your opinion, is it more of a life change to go from no kids to 1 or from 1 kid to 2? – I received several questions similar to this too!    The quick response is that – for me – it has been tougher going from 1 to 2.  That being said, I don’t want to undermine just how big of an adjustment it is to add 1.  🙂

When Brady arrived, Nate and I were terrified of the most basic of things, including changing diapers.  Every single thing was new and a tad bit overwhelming.  And honestly, I was terrified of leaving the house and experiencing all the firsts; because I had never done them with an adorable, squishy baby before.  That being said, I did absolutely love the newborn stage.  A friend had reminded me to enjoy every stage, and I truly did.

Yes, it was an adjustment!  Yes, I was exhausted beyond belief; and I sometimes mourned my sleep, freedom, and sense of self.  But I also absolutely adored my little boy SO much that I could hardly put it into words, and I’d literally cry when I looked into his beautiful face.  (Remember this post?  I wrote it in the midst of my exhaustion back when Brady was a newborn…).

So yes, adding one was a lot, because it was an adjustment becoming a mom for the first time.

This time around, I’m not sweating the same things I did before.  Honestly, after chasing after a toddler all the time, a sleepy newborn feels quite easy.  Ha, ha.  That being said, going from 1 to 2 has been tougher in that there is absolutely no down time… at all.  (I so very rarely even get to use the bathroom alone).

When one is sleeping, the other needs me.  And usually, they both need me at the same time.  😉  And I’ve missed having the time to snuggle with my newborn whenever I’d like, because – this time – I’m taking care of a two year old.  When I just had Brady, I could enjoy the excuse to slow down and stay home more, but – these days – staying home can be torturous.  Brady hates it and gets so bored (which means tantrums and a destroyed home).  But at the same time, I’m not ready to bring a toddler and a newborn out much.

And on the rare occasion that they both are napping at the same time, I have so much laundry, meal prep, or tidying to do, I can’t imagine sitting down for a moment of rest.  (Also, I had to deal with postpartum blues this time around, which I didn’t last time.  That, of course, didn’t help anything).

So I guess this time is just busier and crazier.  As always, worth it!!  But definitely harder.  I do know that life will continue to get easier though, so I’m trying to embrace this time… and to keep my chin up!!  🙂

What’s the best part about being the mom to two? –  Seeing them interact!  Just this morning, Brady was leaning in closely, letting Kaitlyn look into his eyes.  And she sent him a sweet little giggle, and my heart just melted!

I know I’ve been really stressed lately, you guys, and sharing honest feelings with some struggles that I’ve faced.  But things really are starting to get easier, as we get a bit of a schedule going.  And I am just in love with my two little ones.  God is continuously giving me strength, patience, and wisdom in how to best love both of them; and I know that I will just continue to learn.  🙂

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#MOMLIFE (Part 1 of 3)

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My son is 2 1/2 years old, and my beautiful baby girl has just reached one month.  So between the two of them, they don’t speak very much, except for awkward sentences and vocalizations along the lines of “Is me all wet?” and “Waaaaaaaahh!”  But despite the lack of an extensive English vocabulary, I’m fairly certain that these two are already communicating…

It’s as if they plan their hysterical, break-mommy’s-heart, tear-filled meltdowns to coincide with the other’s.  It’s like they know that I’m outnumbered.

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Oh, you’re going to hysterically burst into tears, demanding milk from Mama, at a quarter past three?  Great, that works for me too!  I’ll bash my big toe in around then…

It always happens all at once.

Just the other day, I was sitting on the living room floor and pumping breastmilk while attempting to cradle my screaming baby girl.  (If you’ve never tried holding a baby against your chest while pumping, then you totally should.  It’s a riot).   And since I had thought it would be a good idea to bring my toddler’s highchair into the TV room to watch cartoons while I pumped, baked beans were raining down on my head… on the newborn’s head… and on the newly installed carpet.

You know, because I had thought that it was a good idea to feed the stickiest meal ever to my tantrum-throwing toddler… during a part of the day when I couldn’t easily get to him…. all while my baby girl was uncomfortable, screaming, and desperate to be held.  (Come to think of it, purchasing new carpet months before the arrival of a newborn probably wasn’t the smartest decision we’ve ever made either).

You live and you learn, am I right?

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But there I was, once again, surrounded by complete chaos; because my littles decided to impeccably plan their need for attention.  Brady needed to be held and shown love.  Kaitlyn needed to be held upright and secure to help her through a painful acid reflux episode.  ‘The girls’ needed to be pumped like two hours ago.  Oh, yeah, and the cats also decided that now would be a great time to sit at my feet and beg earnestly for their lunch.

All…at…once…

And granted, no one is going to die or be injured if they’re left to cry for awhile longer.  But it just seems to happen a little more frequently than I’m comfortable with, and – quite frankly – it breaks my heart.  I’m left having to choose.  Who do I comfort first?  Who do I disappoint?

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Who has to sit in the background while Mommy tends to the other child first?

And the more I ponder that in my head (at a rapidly fast pace), the more my anxiety levels go up.  The more my mommy guilt shoots through the roof.  The more I somehow blame myself for not being able to properly diffuse the situation.

Because I’m a mom…  So obviously, I’m supposed to be able to split myself into two mommy blobs and handle both problems at once.  (Which, for the record, wouldn’t be necessary if my kiddo’s didn’t somehow communicate and sync their schedules so perfectly).

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(…to be continued)  🙂

 

 

 

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?