Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The last month

It's been a big blur. That's what they all say, right? The first month you barely remember and that is why you have more kids because you forget all that a newborn brings. I've been humbled yet again. I was humbled with Anna because I thought I had it all figured it out before she was even born because, you know, I was a nanny (huge eye roll). And this time, I just feel like my whole world is a tailspin. Out. Of. Control. Where have the days gone? or nights, rather? Where have my beloved nap times gone where I get everything done? Oh, they're being used for catching up on the sleep I didn't get the night before. Laundry is never-ending. I used to get by doing a load or two a week, now I'm doing a load everyday, which means baskets are laying around the house with unfolded clothes--clean, albeit, but unfolded and yet to be placed where they belong. Some days we're living out of baskets. I don't remember the last time I cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, or dusted. I don't remember the last time my eyes haven't burned or randomly gone crossed out of sheer exhaustion. By the time I'm able to take a shower I wonder if it's even worth it knowing within the 15 minutes I'm out I'll be spit up on again. I've never changed so many poopy diapers. Literally, every diaper change has been a poopy one. Guys, I'm not joking. If I got a quarter for every poopy diaper I've changed...

Be real with me, you experienced this too. That's just how it is, right? I think God gave parents the newborn stage to bring us to our knees. This life is out of our control and having a newborn reminds us of that. Really just having kids does that too, but having a newborn is only the beginning. I also think the newborn stage brings light to how God looks at us. We're like the newborn: fragile, unable to care for ourselves, totally dependent on someone else. And God takes care of us, feeds us, cleans us, keeps us alive. And why? We don't do anything to deserve it. Because He loves us. A sacrificial, unconditional, incessant love. In all our helplessness God still looks at us with a perfect love. Despite all that I've been through the past month in adding another helpless being to our lives I can't help but look at my son and marvel at the vast amount of love I have for him. As caregiver over another I get the honor of experiencing just a glimpse of how God sees and takes care of me. And that's another way He brings me to my knees.

Along with the sleepless nights, the unceasing loads of laundry, the eye twitches, days without showers, the endless poopy diapers, the cries we don't know how to stop (by both baby and parent), we've also experienced so much joy, awe, love, and sighs of disbelief that we now have two beautiful, amazing children. We look at one another and wonder how did we get so lucky? We've also been blessed with a village surrounding us. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles aren't close but we have found "family" in our friends who have brought us meals almost every night since we arrived home from the hospital, who have taken Anna to play with their children so I could take a shower or catch up on some needed zzz's, and who have encouraged us that we're not alone in this crazy world of parenting two children. Blessings have overflown in the Jones' household, that is for sure.

I mean, just look at this little guy on his one month birthday:

A little note from Theo:

I weigh 11+ pounds (way to go, Mommy!) I'm a spitter upper who is now on Zantac for my acid reflux. It seems to be helping which makes me feel better. I know it makes Mommy and Daddy feel better too. I have great head control, I poop like it's my job, I smile when I'm gassy, and I can't live without my paci. I like baths, cuddling, tummy time, and co-sleeping (shhh, don't tell Dr. Brown). I dislike being alone, wearing hats, and being on my back. Mommy says I'm a tiny heartbreaker.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Letter to My Children

Dear Anna Jubilee,

You're a big sister! How did that happen? How are you old enough, big enough to have someone younger and smaller than you in our little family. You are already the best big sister to your little brother. You are so sweet, so loving, and so helpful. I was nervous how you'd react when we brought your brother home. I was afraid you'd poke his eyes out, try to feed him your crackers, and I'd have to continually tell you to be more gentle. But not once since we've been home have I had to worry about you. You're so gentle with Theo, you love giving him kisses, you love to hold him (even if it is for 2.5 seconds), you love to sing him songs, and the first question you ask in the morning is "where's baby brother?". I'm so proud of you, sweet girl. You're growing up way too fast but I love seeing you learn new things and become more of girl and less of a baby. You're a sponge right now and I swear you're a genius (I may be biased). You love singing, especially to Mumford and Sons. You enjoy drawing and I think you've inherited your Daddy's artistic abilities. Your fearlessness is going to be the death of me (or just make me pass out every now and then when you come crying to me with a broken appendage). You'll always hold a special place in my heart being my first child and my first (maybe only) girl. I pray you'd continue to grow in wisdom and stature and that Christ would always be the center of your joy. I love you, my sweet Anna Jubilee.

Dear Theo Shepherd,

You're finally here! A week early nonetheless; and while we weren't quite ready for you (considering you didn't have a name for the first 12 hours of your life), I'm not complaining. You, sir, are one special guy. You have your sister head over heals in love with you, and your Mommy and Daddy are pretty smitten as well. As soon as you entered the world my first words were "I love him so much!", and after taking a good look at you I realized how much you resembled Anna. For a few days I felt like I was reliving two years ago. But now, after two weeks, you're beginning to look less and less like your big sister and you're becoming your own person. I love it. Your eyes are starting to lighten, I can't wait to see what color they'll finally settle on. Will they stay blue like your Daddy's or turn brown like your sister's or will they change to a green like mine? Your cheeks are starting to fill out and become more and more kissable. You're still so fuzzy and soft and your sweet baby scent takes my breath away every time (or maybe that's all the poopy diapers!) You're always making noises and they are the funniest. The other night, I swear, Predator took over my son. One minute you sound like an alien, the next you sound like a velociraptor. I wished for a cuddly baby, and boy, did I get one! You won't let me put you down for a second. It makes for long nights since you don't sleep well if you're not on mine or your Daddy's chest. But that's ok. We can't stay upset for long because we just look at you and our hearts melt all over again. You have added so much to our little family. I already forget what life was like without you (more sleep, that's for sure!). I pray you would always know the love of the Father and that as you grow you would look to Him in all things. I love you, my precious Theo Shepherd.



Monday, October 13, 2014

What's in a name, really?

It's been our trend to keep our lips sealed when it comes to naming our children. Anna Jubilee was kept a secret until she arrived and so will this little guy's. Anna's name was easy, it was picked out long before I even knew I was having a girl. However, this time around it's much more difficult. Boy names are hard! We didn't have a name picked if Anna was a boy. And this time we've been back and forth between two. We had one name for a while; the second name wasn't even a question until one day it was. And now weeks or maybe even days before our sweet baby boy arrives we still have yet to pin down which name we're going to go with! If you know anything about Travis and me then you know this just won't work. We can't go to the hospital still in doubt. We can't wait until he comes out of me and see what he looks like before we decide. We're not those kind of people. And it's stressing both of us out! We keep asking ourselves which name we'd regret the most if we decided not to use "that" name and we can't even decide on that! Maybe this wouldn't be so difficult if we knew for sure we want more children but two may be it for the Joneses. We want to meet our little guy with everything in our hearts but not knowing his name is making it ok that he still isn't here just yet. 

He's definitely bigger than this pumpkin but we didn't have anything larger and
I couldn't resist not including one this week!

How far along? 38 Weeks and 2 Days 

How big is baby? the size of a pumpkin--how fitting for this month! He may have an inch of hair already, which if the old wive's tale about the more heartburn the more hair then I believe it!

Total weight gain: 38 pounds

Maternity clothes? only when I'm in public trying to look nice, otherwise it's gym shorts, leggings, tshirts and tank tops

Sleep: I'm not holding my breath that'll it get any better until after baby boy is like 6 months old and is sleeping through the night. 

Best moment this week: spending the weekend at Lake Norman with my loves and good friends. It was the perfect relaxing way to spend one of our final weekends before Juice Drop arrives. 

Miss Anything? I know I say this every other week but again it's wine. 

Movement: still quite a bit and I realized why. Juice Drop is pretty much posterior (not an optimal birthing position) and so I feel a lot of his kicks and punches still. This is making me nervous since Anna was posterior and I had horrible back labor and it was very long. I was really hoping Juice Drop's labor would be different. Here's to being on my hands and knees for the next few weeks in order to encourage him to flip!

Food cravings: junk, junk, and anything junk

Gender: baby boy!

Labor Signs: braxton hicks, pelvic pressure

Symptoms: I've started to waddle! contractions, peeing all the time, tired, out of breath, rib and back pain, and my favorite: baby kicks!

Belly Button in or out? out

Happy or Moody most of the time: pretty happy! 

Looking forward to: a big bowl of the salted caramel gelato I got at Trader Joe's today. Told you I've been craving junk! But it's from Trader Joe's so it's healthy, right? ;)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

So Close Yet So Far Away

A part of me was really hoping I'd be holding a baby in my arms by now. It's still a little early but since Saturday it's been a-okay for baby boy to come, and after last week's scare and my week of scrambling to get everything ready for him I couldn't be more excited! Every contraction, every cramp and pelvic pressure makes me wonder if this is it. However, according to my midwife at last Friday's appointment, I've made no progress. I'm still at 1.5 cm and apparently my cervix is really far back. Which I guess really means nothing because it could all change in a matter of minutes. She said I could go to my due date but she'd be surprised if I did--again, what does she really know? Juice Drop could come tomorrow or not for another 5 weeks! Oh the anticipation is killing me!

Hopefully spending evenings at the park can continue but if not we've got
these memories of running through the field, throwing rocks, and finding fish.

I'm also trying to savor these last few weeks (or days) with just the three of us--like we did just the two of us before Anna came along. I'm trying not to look too far ahead and just live in the moment. I'm enjoying the routines we have before it all gets out of whack by the arrival of a newborn. I'm cherishing the extra cuddle time because Anna is super clingy lately--I think she is starting to suspect something big is about to happen because she is never clingy or cuddly! I'm appreciating the fact that it's easy (or easier) to be out and about with just one child before I'm never going to want to go out in public with a toddler and newborn. It's all about to change and I'm just enjoying what we've got going on now so when baby boy finally does come we can have no regrets with how we spent the last few weeks before he became apart of our little family.

How far along? 37 Weeks and 3 Days 

How big is baby? the size of a winter melon and he's practicing perfecting his skills of inhaling, exhaling, sucking, griping, and blinking.

Total weight gain: 38 pounds--how has this happened?! How have I gained almost 40 pounds and feel smaller this time around than I did with Anna?! 

Maternity clothes? only when I'm in public trying to look nice, otherwise it's gym shorts, leggings, tshirts and tank tops

Sleep: as good as it can be when you're full term and have a huge belly in the way. Still getting up every few hours to pee. 

Best moment this week: spending time with just the three of us this weekend, playing at the park, going to the farmers market to buy mums, pumpkins, and peaches, and soaking up the sun before it gets too cold.

Miss Anything? feeling not pregnant

Movement: still quite a bit

Food cravings: junk, junk, and anything junk

Gender: baby boy!

Labor Signs: braxton hicks, pelvic pressure

Symptoms: I've started to waddle! contractions, peeing all the time, tired, out of breath, rib and back pain, and my favorite: baby kicks!

Belly Button in or out? out

Happy or Moody most of the time: pretty happy! 

Looking forward to: a weekend at the lake! If Juice Drop doesn't decide to come before then. Hopefully he doesn't decide to come while we're there either!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Juice Drop's Attempt at an Early Arrival

So we had a bit of a scare really early Monday morning--as in it was just past midnight when I awoke to contractions. I thought I was waking up to do my usual nightly ritual of going to the bathroom at least 5 times but after I went I could not fall back asleep. I noticed I was having contractions every few minutes and finally I started timing them. Yep, every 4-5 minutes. After an hour I had 11 contractions. I started debating with myself if I should call my midwife. I really didn't want to but nothing seemed to be making them stop--changing positions (I was already lying down), drinking water, getting up to use the bathroom again. So after another half hour of regular contractions and moving downstairs to the couch I decided to call my midwife. She said she'd rather be safe than sorry and wanted me to come in to be put on an IV and a sedatives. So back upstairs I go to wake up Travis and tell him we have to go to the hospital. At this time it was 2:30 am and we knew we had to wake up our friend, coworker, and neighbor, Luke to see if he could come sit with Anna. We started packing our bags knowing there could be a chance we'd be bringing home a baby in a few days. I hadn't even started packing my hospital bag yet so I ended up forgetting a lot of things considering it was the middle of the night and I was a little flustered. We didn't even put the carseat in the car. We figured Travis or somebody could grab it for us if Juice Drop really did decide to come. After a phone call and several knocks on Luke's door he graciously came to sit with Anna. On the way to the hospital I just kept thinking, "He can't come today! He just can't! I have a baby shower tonight and we have an amazing date planned for tomorrow to see the musical Once". I was almost a little upset at the guy. "you better stay right where you are, mister!"

We arrived at the hospital just ahead of another woman who was actually in labor. She sat in her wheelchair and looked like she was in such pain as I walked to the front desk with a smile on my face--my contractions were indeed still regularly coming every 4-5 minutes but I hadn't had any pain with them. After being placed in our room my midwife came to check on me. 1 cm dilated, 70% effaced, -1 station. She said if I was dilated anymore than that then I may have had a baby later that day but since I wasn't they went ahead and put an IV with sedatives in me. As soon as that sedative went through my blood stream I felt so weird. I felt heavy, the room started spinning, and I couldn't move. Even though I felt like I could sleep forever on that stuff we were still in a hospital with beeping noises, our beautiful baby's heartbeat in the background, nurses coming to check on me, and I still had to pee every hour like usual. Travis tried to sleep too but those little couches just aren't like the comforts of your own bed. Around 8 am my midwife came to check on me again. My contractions had definitely slowed down and I was still only dilated 1.5 cm so she said I was free to go home. Woo HOOO! No baby coming today! We quickly got ready to go and after they discharged us we went straight to Burger King for one of their amazing croissantwiches. Ok, that may sound disgusting but it's my favorite fast food breakfast, and we needed to get home to our little girl who was probably wondering where we were! After relieving and thanking Luke we put in the movie Frozen and while Anna watched we tried to get a little shut eye. I haven't felt that exhausted in a looonnggg time. I guess this is how I'll be feeling in just a few short weeks. At least at that point I'll have a baby in my arms ;)

I don't know if I was in denial of the whole situation or I wasn't too concerned because I had done this before but throughout the whole time this was all going on I felt at peace. As soon as I heard his strong heartbeat I knew everything was going to be ok, even if we ended up meeting him that day. Usually my mind gets the better of me in these situations; my legs did start to shake at one point but I began breathing deeply and the shakes went away. God was in it all, he eased my mind and calmed my nerves, he took care of our sweet baby boy, and he brought a peace to that room that overwhelmed us all.

Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low!

How far along? 36 Weeks and 5 Days (another late post but we've had a crazy week!)

How big is baby? the size of a honeydew and he's getting closer to breathing on his own and his skin is getting smooth and soft. Ahhh, the feel of babies skin is the absolute best!

Total weight gain: 36 pounds

Maternity clothes? only when I'm in public trying to look nice, otherwise it's gym shorts, leggings, tshirts and tank tops

Sleep: It's been great since we've returned from the hospital! Plus I'm on zantac now so no late night heartburn affecting my sleep. 

Best moment this week: getting spoiled by our friends with baby showers and enjoying one last big date night with my man eating a delicious meal and seeing the musical "Once". 

Miss Anything? laying on my stomach. Not much longer!!!

Movement: he's still moving a whole lot. I thought he'd slow down by now but he was even moving through all those contractions. 

Food cravings: junk, junk, and anything junk

Gender: baby boy!

Labor Signs: see above...I don't feel like repeating myself ;) The few days after our hospital visit I was still getting contractions (not as regular) and I've felt more pelvic pressure, have lost some of my mucus plug (tmi?), and as one of my friends put it "lightning crotch" lol--shooting pains through your pelvis and legs. So there's that.

Symptoms: I've started to waddle! contractions, peeing all the time, tired, out of breath, rib and back pain, and my favorite: baby kicks!

Belly Button in or out? out

Happy or Moody most of the time: pretty happy! 

Looking forward to: my appointment tomorrow to see if I've progressed at all since being in the hospital! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Anna's 2nd Birthday Party

Chances are when you plan a birthday party at a park that has only one shelter that is first come, first serve you won't be the first one there. That's exactly what happened when we pulled in to the parking lot of the park and the shelter was filled with people celebrating another birthday. I may or may not have cursed under my breath. Thankfully, after profusely apologizing for interrupting their party, we were good to begin setting up and they left within minutes of our party starting. Phew! Way too close!

I'm not big on characters. They're fun and all but it's just not me. However, when your daughter is absolutely obsessed with Elmo and there are billions of pins on Pinterest on how to throw an Elmo birthday party, you go with it. As I was searching for party ideas I noticed how many two year olds have Elmo parties. What is it with Elmo? Is it because he's red? Is it his cute (yet annoying) voice? Is it Mr. Noodles? Please, dear God, let it not be Mr. Noodles because I can only take so much of that guy. Whatever it is, it made it super simple to throw the perfect Elmo birthday party for our sweet little Anna.

Enjoy scrolling through our special day celebrating a big two year old! Sorry I'm not sorry for the amount of pictures.

Elmo veggie tray. How cute are these? Tomatoes, olives, carrots, and ranch dressing.

Elmo fruit tray with strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges, and cream cheese dip. Yum!!!

And Travis' cousin, Angel did it again! These Elmo cupcakes are ohhh so cute and were just as delicious! She is the best!

Pin the nose on Elmo!

Anna's turn! She knew exactly where Elmo's nose goes :)

Time for CUPCAKES!!!

Waiting so patiently. 

I love that little face.

Since it was my birthday too we added another candle so we could blow our candles out together ;) 


There's no getting between a girl and her cupcake!

Another Pinterest idea: her tshirt. Super easy to make and I love how it turned out!

I still can't believe she's 2!
I also got the party favors idea from Pinterest too. When you have 18 kids coming to the party you have to DIY!

Goldfish, crayons, and coloring aren't just Elmo's favorite, Anna loves them all too! 
Anna has a ton of great friends and family! 

I'm so happy with how Anna's party turned out. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. We're so thankful to our friends and family who came to help celebrate our sweet Anna turning two. It made the day even more special. It's still so hard to believe our tiny baby has become a big girl and will very soon become a big sister! I love this little family of mine and I know my heart will continue to grow bigger and bigger as the years roll by. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's Getting Real, Folks

Is it ok to say I'm not really ready for baby boy to come? Yes, I want to meet our little man. Yes, I want to hold him in my arms and feel relief from all the aches and pain. Yes, I want to see Anna's joy when she gets to finally meet her baby brother. But mentally, emotionally, I'm just not ready. We have everything we really need. Diapers & wipes, check. Carseat, check. Bassinet, check. Blankets and clothes, check. Mama's milk, check when he makes his appearance. And while my body is definitely ready to feel back to normal again (I know it'll take a few weeks after he comes), I don't know if I'm ready for the sleepless nights, the wondering of why he's crying, the fear of Anna stepping on him or poking his eyes out, or the anxiety and realness that goes along with transitioning from one child to two. My concern when I was pregnant with Anna was all "Oh no, I don't have the nursery done yet." Psh, this time around, all he gets is a bassinet beside Mama. The nursery is the farthest from my mind now that I know what having a newborn is like. Plus with Anna and Juice Drop sharing a room he won't be in with her for a while so we'll keep it decorated for Anna for the time being. I'm officially seeing my midwife once a week now, I'll be tested for Group Beta Strep next week, baby showers are this weekend, soccer has started and the air is starting to cool. All of this means we are that much closer and inside I am freaking out. If you have any tips on how not to go crazy in the last few weeks and/or advice on transitioning from one to two I'd gladly welcome it ;)

Now let's get to a baby bump!

How far along? 35 Weeks and 3 Days

How big is baby? the size of a coconut and his testes have probably fully descended (not something I wrote during Anna's pregnancy lol)

Total weight gain: 36 pounds--officially more than what I gained with Anna and I still have 4 1/2 weeks left until due date! eek!

Maternity clothes? only when I'm in public trying to look nice, otherwise it's gym shorts, leggings, tshirts and tank tops

Sleep: just awful. Most nights I find myself on the couch. It's much softer than our bed and I feel better knowing I'm not waking Travis up from my tossing and turning.

Best moment this week: Anna and my birthday celebration over the weekend! Stay tuned for a post later this week :)

Miss Anything? feeling comfortable

Movement: morning, noon, and night ;)

Food cravings: junk, junk, and anything junk

Gender: baby boy!

Labor Signs: just the usual braxton hicks, nothing crazy this week.

Symptoms: major heartburn--it comes on even before I've eaten--I've had to resort to Zantac because Tums just aren't cutting it, braxton hicks, peeing all the time, out of breath, rib and back pain, and my favorite: baby kicks!

Belly Button in or out? out

Happy or Moody most of the time: pretty happy! 

Looking forward to: my two baby showers this Sunday and Monday! We are so blessed to have so many friends and family who are excited about Juice Drop.