Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So Close Yet So Far Away

Vacation was absolutely amazing but it's also great being home. It's a good feeling knowing we don't have anymore big travel plans before Juice Drop numero dos arrives. It just means we're that much closer to meeting our sweet baby boy! Ohhh, the anticipation is just killing us! People are already starting to talk about fall and all that comes along with it, like sweatshirts, pumpkin drinks at Starbucks, football, and the cooler weather. But all I can think about when fall is mentioned is finally getting to hold my baby in my arms. It still feels so far away but I know it's closer than I realize. I mean, we're in double digits folks! October 25th is less than 100 days away WAHOOOO! 

How far along? 26 Weeks

How big is baby? the size of a head of lettuce and is taking breaths--of course he's breathing amniotic fluid but he's still practicing!

Total weight gain: 22+ pounds  

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

Sleep: it's been ok. Really starting to get uncomfortable. I woke up to a bloody nose a few times, and not sleeping in your own bed for 2 weeks in a row can really wear on a pregnant lady. 

Best moment this week: seeing sheer joy every time Anna played in the ocean. She loved it! 

Miss Anything? a glass of red wine. Ice cream had to suffice in the evenings--not totally bummed about this. 

Movement: morning, noon, and night ;)

Food cravings: chocolate! 

Gender: baby boy!

Symptoms: major heartburn--it comes on even before I've eaten, braxton hicks, peeing all the time, out of breath, and my favorite: baby kicks! 

Belly Button in or out? out

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy!

Looking forward to: getting back into our regular routine and (fingers crossed) potty training!--well maybe not the whole training part but hopefully being diaper-less very soon! :)  

I'm already missing Island life. Anna's reaction to the beach and the waves was priceless. Post about our wonderful week on Amelia Island is to come! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Celebrating Freedoms, Family, and Animals

July has been one of the best months this year so far--I'm hoping it doesn't surpass any of the months in the fall and thereafter considering what is to come then, however. In the last three weeks we've had family visit, a babymoon, and vacation. I think I've slept in a bed not my own more times than not. I'm not complaining. I love traveling. And I love when others travel to us. Like when we had my mom, stepdad, and sister come visit over the 4th of July weekend. My mom is simply the best. She is not your typical mom (or grandma) who carries around a Vera Bradley handbag and calls me on the phone everyday just to check in. My mom and I are polar opposites. She's a biker chick, I'm terrified of motorcycles. She has over 10 tattoos. I have zero. She loves cats and always talks about her "boys", and I would be fine if I never saw a cat again for the rest of my life. But when we get together we're like two peas in a pod. We crack each other up. The laughter doesn't stop. When they came to visit it wasn't any different.

We decided to do something other than go to Freedom Park this time--which is usually where we take all our guests who come to stay with us. We wanted to do something different. We choose the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, NC and it sure did not disappoint. We didn't know what to expect except that they had exotic animals that could come up to your car (or wagon) and you could feed them. How cool is that?! Yes, please!

I was so excited to see how Anna was going to react. She loves animals, she loved going to the Columbus Zoo, and I knew being able to be so close to these animals at the Lazy 5 Ranch was just going to rock her world.

I mean look at that face! I don't remember what she and Mami are looking at but it seems pretty exciting!

So like I said above, you could feed the animals that came up to the wagon. This buffalo sure was hungry, so much so that he salivated and slobbered all over me! 

This is my face after the drool from above got on my arm! Blech!

Anna was a little hesitant at first but eventually she wanted to feed the animals too.

The giraffe was so cool. I had never been that close to one before. Well I've never been that close to any of the other animals either but it really puts it into perspective just how tall these guys are when you have one standing over top of you. Pret-ty uh-mazing!

Anna refused to share her bucket of feed with anyone besides the animals. 

It was such a perfect way to spend time with my family. We don't get to see them as often as we wish we could. It's nice to be able to get away for a day and share memories that we can look back on. We also enjoyed walking around Plaza Midwood and eating at one of our favorite pizza places in Charlotte: Fuel Pizza. While we didn't get to see fireworks or an Independence parade we had a wonderful weekend celebrating being a family and enjoying all the freedoms that we've been blessed with.

You can see at least 4 tattoos on my mom in this pic and you'd think the motorcycle we're
standing in front of was hers, but it's not--she wishes ;) 

Anna loves her Auntie Em. She has been notably named the "baby whisperer".

I'll leave you with two of my favorite ice cream photo shoots to date. This girl can slam some ice cream. Me too, Anna, me too.

But those eyes though. Be still my heart.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Babymoon Recap with a Little Bump

Today marks two very important events: 1. we've reached the 25 week mark. For some reason 25 just seems like a big number to me. I don't know why, it just does. And 2. we're only half way through our two week vacation. The first week was amazing and I know this week will be just as great. 

This past week Travis and I spent 4 days BY OURSELVES! Travis' mom graciously drove 7 hours from Ohio so she could spend those four days with Anna while we headed to Lake Norman for a much needed getaway. We did a lot of reading, praying, talking, eating, and sleeping-in in that little yellow house that brings a bountiful of peace whenever we walk through her doors. One of the days I slept in until 9:30 and it was glorious! My favorite part of our time together was getting the chance to pray for our children. It puts things into perspective when you remember God has given you these children for a purpose and for such a short time. We couldn't help but ask Him to guide us through these next 18 years and pray that we'd be the best parents for them, setting them up to live a life for Christ. It was just a beautiful time of humbling ourselves before God and leading us in this crazy thing called parenthood. 

I actually got to read a book! First fiction in two years. 
This man is a true fishermen--even though he caught this one and only little guy below:

And the whole reason we were even on this little excursion was because of that little bump right there.
He has my heart and I'm never giving it back. 

So Anna was in a rare mood when we returned. We were so excited to see her that when we got home I was out of the car before Travis was able to put it in park. We raced to our back gate and Anna and Mimi (Travis' mom) were there waiting at the door. I was hoping for a "Mommy!" but all we got was a blank stare. And for the next ten minutes it felt like she was giving us the cold shoulder. No hug, no kiss, no smile, no nothing. It was like she was saying "hey, you guys left me here and now you expect me to be excited when you finally get back! Think again!" But then we started tickling her and all was forgiven. Phew! I was a little worried we'd never be able to leave her again after that little episode! But only a little worried, not enough to really never leave her ;) Sometimes parents just need a little time away, amiright or amiright, ya know what I mean?!

And now for the 25 week bump update. Here he is, folks:

How far along? 25 Weeks

How big is baby? the size of a cauliflower and he knows which way is up or down now. Hopefully he enjoys being upside down so he's ready to come out the right way! 

Total weight gain: 22 pounds 

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

Sleep: it was great! But that may be due to the fact that we got to sleep in since we were babe-less all week 

Best moment this week: praying for our children (still crazy to me that now we have children!) while on our babymoon. It was a sweet time of lifting them up in prayer and trusting God to help us through this crazy thing called parenting. 

Miss Anything? We went to Cowfish (a sushi restaurant) yesterday and I had to stick with shrimp tempura rolls while Travis and his mom delighted on the real stuff. So jelly!

Movement: morning, noon, and night ;)

Food cravings: chocolate! I indulged in milky ways and twix bars this week, but hey, it's vacation! 

Gender: baby boy!

Symptoms: heartburn, peeing all the time, out of breath, and my favorite: baby kicks! 

Belly Button in or out? out

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy!

Looking forward to: enjoying our vacation on the beach of Amelia Island. We feel so blessed and grateful to be able to spend this next week just kicking back and relaxing in a beautiful setting. 

 Don't think I've forgotten to post about my family visiting over the 4th of July weekend, <Mom>. I'll be back to write a very nice, long post just for you that highlights all the fun we had! ;) 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Just a Sweet and Rather Large Baby Bump

I'm writing this way too late at night after a wonderful weekend with my mom, step-dad, and sister and on the front end of our babymoon and family vacation. I have to get this posted before I lose wifi for the next four days. Of course I'll have to come back later in the week once I'm around civilization again and share about our weekend we had with my family and our little getaway to Lake Norman. But for now I'll just be sharing a sweet and rather large baby bump.

How far along? 24 Weeks

How big is baby? the size of a cantaloupe and has a new pink glow, thanks to the small capillaries that have recently formed.

Total weight gain: 22 pounds 

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

Sleep: it's been better this week--when I'm actually sleeping, thanks to the fireworks going off at 1 in the morning after Independence Day and Anna who's been waking up because she's getting her molars in. 

Best moment this week: My mom and sister getting to feel baby boy kick!

Miss Anything? working out. I only worked out once this week and of course that one time kicked my butt still two days after! This upcoming week I plan on working out every day. We'll see how that plan goes ;)

Movement: morning, noon, and night ;)

Food cravings: sweets--fruit and ice cream

Gender: baby boy!

Symptoms: heartburn, peeing all the time, out of breath, and my favorite: baby kicks! 

Belly Button in or out? out

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy!

Looking forward to: spending the next four days on a lake, by ourselves, reading, relaxing, and just enjoying ourselves. Did I mention this is sans Anna? But Anna's a lucky girl, she gets to spend her week with Grandma Terri!

So like I said above, I'll be back later this week after we're refreshed and done missing and kissing on our little girl to post about this past weekend with my family and maybe share a little about our babymoon--but really, do you need to know a whole lot about that? ;)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What You Probably Didn't Know About Swim Diapers-Or Maybe You Did

There are so many books out there telling you the ins and outs of being a parent from how to get your baby to sleep through the night to potty training to disciplining and much, much more. But there are a few things us parents need to learn for ourselves. Or maybe it's just that not all kids are the same so not every kid meets the mold that the book is trying to portray (that was our case with Babywise--I've shunned that book for eternity!) I guess you can't write an entire book on little tidbits that we parents need to learn along the way (or maybe you could!), but it sure would be helpful, eh? 

Something we learned recently about swim diapers is that they are for catching poop, not pee. So when you go to the pool and you see a bunch of babies and toddlers in swim diapers you're still swimming in pee. Super. We had to learn the hard way, i.e. Anna peed in her swim diaper while sitting in her carseat. Who knew, right? Also (just learned this weekend), you can reuse the swim diapers (the ones that aren't filled with poop, of course). Such good news since they are so gosh darn expensive! Anna loves swimming and we try to take her as often as we can but now we know to not put her into her swim diaper until we arrive at the pool and we'll be saving money every time we swim because we'll be reusing those poop catchers (when they're not filled with poop) like it's nobody's business! That's enough of the poop talk for now--or at least until I write a post on potty training!

Only 3 days late posting this bump as opposed to last week's 8 days--woo hoo! 

How far along? 23 Weeks

How big is baby? the size of a grapefruit and he's listening to my voice and heartbeat and I'm sure when Anna gets all up on my belly he can hear all of her ramblings too :)

Total weight gain: 22 pounds 

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

Sleep: still need to get that body pillow. Target was out when I looked the other day. On top of not feeling comfortable I'm feeling his every move which is super cute but also kind of not so cute at 2 in the morning. 

Best moment this week: Anna telling us whenever she went potty in her diaper! I know, it may seem weird but this is a big deal. We're one step closer to potty training! It shall commence upon returning from vacation--yippee!! 

Miss Anything? not feeling like a beached whale at the end of the evening. I have no motivation to do anything after I put Anna to sleep. I feel huge, I look huge, I'll only get more huge, and all I want to do is curl up on the couch and veg with The Office. 

Movement: morning, noon, and night ;)

Food cravings: this question always gets me. I so wish I had a fun craving like pickles and ice cream together. Last week it was turkey sandwiches. This week, just junk.

Gender: baby boy!

Symptoms: heartburn, peeing all the time, out of breath, and my favorite: baby kicks! 

Belly Button in or out? out

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy!

Looking forward to: my mom, step dad, and sister coming to town for the upcoming holiday weekend! 

Going back to the whole swim diapers topic that I thoroughly discussed above, are there any tidbits not found in books that you discovered being a parent? I'd love to hear more...just so I know and can be better prepared for all the unknowns that we learn as parents! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Another late post and a trip to the Zoo

Friends, forgive me. I'm a whole week late posting about our sweet little bump. Today I'm 23 weeks pregnant and I'm just now updating you all on the 22nd week. This week has been nuts, with returning from our long but wonderful trip to the mid-west and just trying to get back into the groove of things, sitting down to write a post was put on the back burner, and honestly all I wanted to do after putting Anna to sleep (whether it be a nap or bedtime) was veg. So here we are, a week late:

How far along? 22 Weeks (technically 23 weeks but I'll post my 23 week update in a few days--hopefully!)

How big is baby? the size of a papaya and he's sleeping in cycles, 12-14 hours a day. Which sounds about right. When I'm resting that's exactly the times he likes to play. I don't mind one bit ;) 

Total weight gain: 22 pounds!!! When I was 22 weeks with Anna I had only gained 12 pounds! 

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

Sleep: so ready to go out and buy a body pillow! I borrowed a friend's while traveling and it was the best thing since sliced bread!

Best moment this week: FINALLY seeing my best friend and meeting her precious baby girl twins!  Even though I was ready to be home after our week and a half trip I didn't want to leave their sweet family.

Miss Anything? fitting into my two-piece like I'm supposed to. I could still rock it but when I was THE only mother at the YMCA pool the other day in a two-piece (not to mention pregnant) I felt out of place and a little insecure :( The next day I ran out to buy a maternity suit and after 2 hours I finally found something that I can feel good in. But believe you me, the beach in 2 weeks will see me in my little two-piece!

Movement: I feel this little guy way more than I felt Anna and I don't think it's because he's my second. Our ultrasound tech did say his placenta is towards my back and he's closer to my front and that's why I'm feeling so much. I don't mind one bit ;)

Food cravings: turkey sandwiches with cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. Thankfully I'm still able to enjoy these after I heat the turkey!

Gender: baby boy!

Symptoms: heartburn, peeing all the time, out of breath, swelling in my feet (only happened once after we walked around the zoo for 3 hours, so.), and my favorite: baby kicks! 

Belly Button in or out? out

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy!

Looking forward to: the next three weeks: our 9 year anniversary, my mom, stepdad, and sister come to town for 4th of July weekend, our babymoon, and vacation! I have a feeling July will be just superb! 

I can't end this post without sharing a few photos from our trip to the Columbus Zoo. While Anna had been to the zoo before it was her first time where she really enjoyed it. Animals are her favorite things these days so the zoo was just magical for her. It brought us so much joy to see her eyes light up with every animal we saw. She'd yell the animal's name, growl if it was a lion or bear, or exclaim "what's that?!" Simply the best.

We went with Travis' dad. Anna loves her Pop Pop.

This baby baboon cracked us up! Look at his surprised face and the way he's wanting to bust out of there and eat whatever's in Anna's snack cup! Too funny.

This is one of my favorite pictures ever. 

I think Anna was more scared of this statue than the real thing!

We really did have such an amazing time visiting family and friends in Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia. It's always great catching up and sharing our lives together even if it's for a few days or a few hours.  We are so blessed by their love and friendship. We may be living in Charlotte now but our hearts are still in the 
Mid-West! <3

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I promise, traveling in the car with a toddler gets better!

I know, I know, guys, I'm two days shy of 22 weeks and I'm just now posting an update for 21 weeks. We've been traveling since Sunday so it's been a little difficult to find time to sit down and write this post. Finally as Anna naps and Travis watches a soccer game with his best friend James I'm able to just lounge in a comfy, leather recliner and type away.

We always enjoy taking our annual trip up north, spending time with family, and visiting friends. It brings us such great joy. But I have to admit I was anxious before we left this past Sunday. The last time we traveled 8 hours to Ohio over Thanksgiving Anna vomited 5 minutes before arriving to my dads. Albeit she did have a little stomach bug but it wasn't the first time she struggled in the car while on a long drive. Usually she hyperventilates. It's just not pretty, it's just not fun, and it makes traveling a troublesome endeavor even if it's for vacation.

HOWEVER, this time was amazing! We made it to Columbus in record time, Anna did perfect, she didn't cry once, and she even sat in her seat and played for a good three hours before we felt like it was time to put a movie on our laptop. She has just gotten to the age where a movie or tv show is mesmerizing for her. THANK GOD! We may have had to watch Monsters Inc. one and a half times through but she didn't seem to mind (the only other movie we had was Tangled and it's blu ray. I forgot this important tidbit until I put it into my laptop and it just spit it back out.) But Mami came to the rescue and had Yo Gabba Gabba dvds waiting for Anna when we arrived so our trip back will be even better!

I'll share a more detailed account of our mid-west trip in another post but for now let's get to that baby bump! Speaking of baby bumps, I've been swelling in my feet and hands since we started traveling. Not sure if it's due to the traveling or if it's the mid-west heat. Either way I'm not too concerned because braxton hicks have been minimal and as soon as I'm able to put my feet up the swelling goes down. I'm sure once we get back home next week I'll be back to normal.

How far along? 21 Weeks

How big is baby? the size of a pomegranate and is manufacturing meconium (the icky tar-like poop)--exactly what you wanted to know, right? 

Total weight gain: who knows this week, I haven't been able to step on a scale since last week

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

Sleep: it's ok. Breathing a little better but now trying to sleep on my side is the worst. I just want to lay on my stomach and back!

Best moment this week: so many things this week, seeing family we haven't seen since Thanksgiving, seeing friends we haven't seen in almost a year, going to the Columbus Zoo and seeing the sweet reaction from Anna towards all the animals. This week really has been great so far!

Miss Anything? not feeling like a heifer 

Movement: so much!

Food cravings: nothing really this week. I feel like being away from home allows you to fulfill any and every craving you could ever have

Gender: baby boy!

Symptoms: heartburn, bloating, baby kicks, peeing, always hungry 

Belly Button in or out? out

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy!

Looking forward to: visiting with more friends as the week goes on and finally seeing my best friend who I haven't seen in almost a year and meeting her sweet baby girls! 

Happy Thursday, Everyone!