Pregnancy Update: 15 Days or Less

There are less than 15 days until we meet our new baby. Excuse my using of this phrase, but it really feels like just yesterday I was sitting in our little travel trailer checking the pregnancy test. We, my husband and 6 month old son, were on a spring break vacation trip to the beach. Camping with a baby has its highs and lows. The night before I took the pregnancy test was a low for sure. It was a long night of failed attempts to get the baby to sleep. Vacation would not have been the term my husband or I used to describe that night. And on that rough night, where we put Declan in his carseat as a last attempt to get him sleeping, we drove around looking at all the beautiful beach houses. Agreeing on which ones we liked or would be willing to live in. Agreeing on which ones we thought were not right for us. Eventually Declan fell asleep. Babies always eventually fall asleep on those tough nights.

Since Declan was only 6 months old, I didn’t have to buy a pregnancy test. We got a two pack when we checked to see if we were pregnant with him, so I simply packed the other one along. Although I normally am one to double or triple check things like the stove being turned off or the truck being locked, I don’t need to see anymore than 1 positive pregnancy test to be convinced.

I could tell before we left for the camping vacation that I was probably pregnant. I sneaky sneak brought along the test. And I sneaky sneak took it the morning after that rough night. The pregnant line wasn’t sneaky sneak though. It popped up instantly. And very boldly.

I kept the little secret to myself all day. I climbed back in bed with my family, nursed Declan, and tried to digest the news. Tried to figure out how to tell my husband, after a terrible night with a baby, that we were pregnant again. So soon. Not one baby but two.

And now, here we are. 8 months later. 15 days or less until we get to meet the newest member of our little (but growing quickly) family. That morning in the trailer feels so close.

This pregnancy has been wildly different than my pregnancy with Declan. The doctor has concerns about this baby so I have been going twice a week to have an ultrasound done and a non-stress test done.

A specialist came and did an ultrasound on baby. She quickly lectured me for having babies so close together.

Each time my baby is being tested, I do my best to remain calm. I do my best to let the nurses (or I’m not sure their exact title) hook up the machines, read what the machines tell them, and not over react if I see them pause for a moment. I try not to panic when they ask me after reading the results, “Um, are you seeing your doctor today?”

My November reset of no Instagram went out the window. The tests take a while so my phone is my distraction. That, and I had a friend who had twin baby boys. Can’t stay away from social media when new babies are being born!

My doctor doesn’t want me going on long walks. She wants me taking it easy. Taking it easy with a 13 month old is kind of a joke. I told her going on walks means at least he’s in the stroller and contained. It’s actually easier than playing with him outside. But still, I have stopped going on my somewhat long walks. I am not on bedrest, but have been told to take it easy.

My ambitious pregnancy to-do lists have faded away. No freezer meals will get made. I didn’t finish Declan’s baby book. I didn’t sew a Christmas quilt. But I did get some pictures printed. I did get some fabric bought. And we are hoping to have a lot of Thanksgiving leftovers that might come in handy.

This is a season where I need to be very careful to guard my heart. And my eyes. On social media or blogs, I see other mommies who made freezer meals despite having another kid. I see other mommies who sewed a special quilt for their new baby. And those are wonderful, awesome things. I love being inspired by other mommies! I cheer them on! But I must protect my heart and let a lot of to-dos drift away. The comparison game is a dangerous one. And everyone knows a pretty picture doesn’t mean a pretty behind the scenes.

My biggest to-do right now is to keep my marriage strong. I feel like a storm is coming. I don’t know if that is wrong to write. It feels wrong to write in a pregnancy update. But I feel like my husband and I are about to go through one tough season. A beautiful season, but a tough one.

In 15 days or less, our babies and us need our marriage to be the strongest it has ever been.


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November Reset

November 1st is a perfect day to start a much needed reset. In one month, or less(!), our little family will be growing by one human. And I do not feel ready. I feel rushed for time. I feel anxious. I feel like I have a to-do list that just isn’t getting done. And… I know why.

My phone.

I got a new iPhone 7 plus a few weeks ago when my old phone died and it’s HUGE and has a fun glitter case and I love it. I love it so much I spend way way way too much time touching it. I check blogs. Then check them again. I check Instagram. And then I check it again. And I check my e-mail that never gets anything important. I check my work e-mail even though I’m on disability. When I run out of things to check, I just start scrolling through all my photos and videos looking at old photos of Declan or even as far back as Dillon and my engagement photos. Suddenly many minutes of my day have been sucked away into nothing.  Precious minutes I should have spent doing something more meaningful or beneficial.

I need a major break from my phone.

I still need it to communicate. And since it’s my camera and video recorder, I still want to have it close by to capture whatever new or cute thing Declan is doing. But I need a major reset this month. The first obvious step for my reset is to delete Instagram off my phone for the next month. It’s the biggest reason why I check my phone so much. I will miss seeing fun photos and stories of my family and friends’ lives and babies, but I need to spend November preparing myself and my family for our new baby.

It is too challenging, with both hands holding a phone, to get much else done.

I have thought about just limiting my time on Instagram, to say, 10 minutes at night… but I know myself. That wouldn’t work.

It’s gotta be a cold turkey break from Instagram for this November Reset.


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Day In The Life: 10-19-17

Before starting my own blog, I loved reading posts that featured a typical Day In the Life of the writer. There’s magic to be found in regular, everyday moments. I believe Day In the Life started with Ali Edwards as a way to scrapbook and I love the idea. With another baby on the way, I know these last few weeks with just Declan are pretty precious. I also know my memory is probably going to get even worse once the new baby comes and I don’t want to forget these incredible, ordinary days.

The day I tackled the project was a Thursday.

5:30 AM – Wake Up – I start to hear Declan make nosies on the baby monitor, aka Baby TV, and slowly turn on some lights. Before going to get him out of bed, I premake him a bottle of formula and make myself a piece of butter toast and scarf down a tangelo. I’m currently 8 months pregnant so I need a quick bite of energy before I get him out of his crib. By this time in the morning, Dillon has already left for work so it’s just Declan and me. And Mattie, our miniature Aussie. 

6:00 AM – Bottle – We sit together on the couch and Declan drinks his morning bottle while I eat my morning toast and scroll though Instagram on my phone.

6:30 AM –  For as long as he shows interest, Declan plays in the living room. I go back and forth with playing with him and reading blogs on my phone. For whatever reason, Declan does awesome at independent morning play when Daddy is on watch, but I have a harder time getting him to play by himself in the morning. Probably, I’m the fun parent. 😉

6:50 AM – Independent play time is over and we migrate to the master bedroom where Declan will find new toys to play with while I make the bed, get dressed, quickly do my hair, and tidy up the bedroom if needed.  This is also when the sun begins to  shine through the windows, so Declan helps Mommy turn off all the lights.

7:20 AMBreakfast Time –  I quickly cook Declan some breakfast while he plays in his highchair with a spatula or some other kitchen tool. Breakfasts usually consists of fruit and an egg. Today was half a banana, some blueberries, some raspberries, and a scrambled egg. His new favorite food is raspberries so I add in a couple extra. I finish off his banana and make myself a quick bowl of cereal once he is eating. I ask Alexa, our amazon music player, to play some Christian music. We eat our breakfast while listening to a little bit of worship.

7:50 AM – No picture for this block of time, but we clean up from breakfast and go to Declan’s room to play some more and get Declan dressed for our morning walk. It’s been chilly out in the mornings, so we gets bundled up.

8:10 AM – Morning Walk  With a fully stocked stroller (phone, baby toys, dog poop bags, mail keys,  dog leash, garage door opener, pepper spray) we head out of the house for our much needed morning outdoor time. Depending on how I’m feeling, we will go anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Mommy and Baby have matching grey beanies!  Mattie, our miniature Aussie, is in the corner of the photo. She knows when we are about to go on our walk because I put shoes on and I only put shoes on when we are going someplace. 

8:30 AM – 1st Naptime of the Day-  After our walk, Declan will get a diaper change, possibly an outfit change if weather permits, swaddled up, and drink a small bottle. I will rock him or bounce him until he falls asleep. The first nap is the easy one and he’s usually out within two minutes or less.

During Declan’s first nap, I vary what I do each day. I make it a priority to eat a second breakfast. A bowl of cereal is not a great breakfast, so I use this time to make something more substantial and nutritious for myself. I turn on Netflix and enjoy my second breakfast while Declan sleeps. I also try to make sure the dishes are done, the house is tidy, and may do a few small chores around the house. Right before it’s time to wake the baby up, I give the house a quick vacuum. I try to give myself some grace during this time to rest if I need to and not worry too much about being overly productive. Just eat, wash dishes, and vacuum. Anything else is a bonus!

9:40 AMWake up the baby. Declan only sleeps for one hour for his first nap to ensure that he will take a second nap. If I let him sleep too far past 9:30, he won’t be tired enough for a second nap until 2:30 or later and that is creeping up too closely on his 5:30 -6:00 bedtime. We hang out in his bedroom and read a few books to help him slowly wake up. Flip books right now are his favorite.

10:20 AM – Declan plays in his room while I clean up his room, build up block towers to be knocked over, daydream, or read blogs on my phone. He will get a second 6 oz bottle around this time.

11:00 AM – Outdoor playtime! Now that the weather isn’t so hot, we head to the backyard for some much needed fresh air and sunshine. Declan gets super excited, as does Mattie, when I open the sliding back door. He gets a big smile on his face and picks his speed up as he heads outside for his new adventures. We play a lot of fetch during this time. I love Mattie most during outdoor playtime because she helps me redirect the baby if he’s heading in the wrong direction. I love to tell her, “Come on, Mattie! Help me parent!”  The older he gets, the more they play together. Declan will throw the toys for Mattie or place the ball directly in her mouth. I’ve also noticed his crawling, standing, and walking skills seem to grow the most while he is outside exploring. He is fully walking now, but before when he was learning how to stand, he was the boldest with his attempts when we were outside playing.  He is also bold with eating dirt and rocks, so I do a lot of baby chasing during this time of the day.

11:50 AM – Lunch time! I cook Declan some lunch, this day it was ground beef, yellow squash, and zucchini. If he finishes lunch and seems hungry still, I will add in some more fruit, some puffs, or some baby food. He is mostly feeding himself but occasionally I will need to give him some baby food when lunch is light.  I need some energy boost at this time of the day so I have Alexa play some Billy Currington or Dierks Bentley music. I also don’t eat a real lunch right now, I just grab something quick like a second bowl of cereal or cheese stick and fruit.

12:00 PM – After lunch, Declan goes to play some more and explore the house. We dance together, play chase, play independently, play with Mattie, read a book, go swinging in the front yard, go on a playdate, or explore the rooms of the house. Whatever seems to keep his interest and get his energy out. This is also when we may do an out of the house trip, but most days we stay at home.

12:30 PM – Second Naptime of the Day – This nap is more of a struggle. If he only slept one hour in the morning, he will be ready three hours later for his second nap. But if I let him sleep longer than one hour, he won’t be tired enough for a second nap. He has his naptime routine of diaper change, swaddle, small bottle, and then I rock or bounce him until he falls asleep. This nap usually takes about 10 minutes to get him asleep, but sometimes it feels a lot longer…

12:40 PM – I use this time to make myself a real lunch. Most likely leftovers from dinner which is fine by mine! Less cooking! I don’t understand the hate of leftovers — I just love them.

2:00 PM – Declan starts to wake up. We read another flip book, he is obsessed, and play some more. Most days we will go on a second outside walk, in Declan’s cool new toy that I push him in, while we wait for Daddy to come home.

3:10 PM – Yay, Daddy’s home! One of my favorite parts of the day is when we hear Daddy’s diesel truck driving down the street. Mattie hears it first and alerts to the rest of us he is on the block.

3:30 PM – Declan gets another bottle after daddy comes home and they take some time to relax and watch Declan’s favorite movie, Moana. I adore watching TV while resting on Dillon, too.

The rest of the night was a little off from our typical day. This was a Thursday and we went camping from Friday through Sunday so we had a lot of camping prep and trailer packing to do. I don’t have any pictures of the rest of the night, but I’ll write down what a regular day looks like.

Declan plays with mommy and daddy until dinner time, about 5:10. He eats his dinner before we eat ours while I typically clean the kitchen and Dillon works on making dinner for us. We eat dinner once Declan has gone to bed and it is a fabulous part of the night. One day we will eat dinner back at the table as a family, but right now it is really great to get some alone time eating dinner with just Dillon.

Around 5:30 Declan takes a bath with either mommy or daddy and then gets in his pajamas, drinks a final small bottle, hears a little story and then off to bed by 6:00 PM.

This is typically when Dillon and I high five each other, get our dinner finalized, and settle down to eat while watching one of our shows, currently catching up on This Is Us or Amazing Race. Long gone are the nights of staying up late, so we limit our TV to one episode and then prep for the next day. I clean up the kitchen from dinner, make a PB&J for Dillon’s lunch tomorrow, and we head to bed around 8:00 PM.

These days are simple but so full of sweet moments. I adore the little rhythm our little family has made.


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Baby #2 – Pregnancy Update Week 32

Due Date:  December 1st.

Gender: We are the waiting to be surprised people.

Eating/Craving: Tangelos. Part tangerine, part grapefruit. All parts delicious. 

Nonstop tangelos this week, please. We went grocery shopping and I declared in the parking lot, “I’m buying all the tangelos they have!” But I guess someone else also made a similar declaration because the store only had four left. Four! Well, those four got eaten in a day and half, so later in the week Dillon made the crazy-pregnant-wife-craving grocery trip to buy me more tangelos. And milk. Because cereal is still also a thing for this pregnant mama.

Mama Physically:
I immediately think to write, I am feeling great! Because I still remember week 26 where I felt close to death. Where I didn’t have enough strength to change Declan’s diaper or wash his highchair tray. Now, I have enough energy to do those things about 2423 times a week! I’ve been taking Mattie and Declan on a thirty minute morning walk each day and a second walk in the late afternoon as we wait for daddy to come home from work. I’m able to lift and play with a 1 year old. I can squat holding that one year old when he drops the keys or whatever item he had and I need to pick it up. I can cook and clean. I’m feeling great physically. I am feeling 8 months pregnant towards the end of the day. After dinner especially. The baby in the belly is a mover, with maybe 6 elbows, and at nighttime it feels like the baby has grown, but my belly did not grow along with it.

Also, heartburn is worse this pregnancy. Declan was born with a lot of hair and I didn’t have it much with him. I was eating cleaner with Declan though, so that may be a factor. Or maybe baby is a girl…!

Mama Emotionally:
A little anxious, but I don’t want to be. I’m getting anxious because my baby updates are now saying things like, You’re In the Home Stretch, Mama! or Baby Will Be Here So Soon! 

I am excited to meet the newest member of our family and our next big adventure, but now that we’ve crossed over to the “home stretch” I’m needing to prepare mentally. I am not emotionally ready. The house isn’t as ready as I’d like. We have 7 weeks, or less (!), left and it suddenly feels really real.

The second pregnancy is different because…
I have not done any research about how to give birth naturally. And I need to! Just because I did it before, doesn’t mean I feel ready to do it again. I’m having a lot of anxious feelings about giving birth naturally again and I know it’s because I haven’t been doing any reading on the topic. With Declan’s birth, I felt ready. I knew all about the stages of labor and the tips and tricks. I had numerous positive natural birth stories fresh in my head. I had Bible verses written out. I had Ian May quotes about birth memorized. This time— I’m having some fear and my body kind of remembers the pain. I want the fear gone because fear and birth don’t belong together.

What’s New With Baby #1?  Declan – 1 year old! 
Declan is exploring the world around him and points to everything.

He has discovered how to point and it is really adorable. He points and then will talk loudly in the direction he pointed. I just know he is saying something, but not sure what. He is also taking off with walking. He will still crawl when he needs the speed, but he can easily stand up and walk. Or stand up, point, and walk towards what he wants.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do differently is…
Apparently panic about giving birth. I did not feel nervous about giving birth the first time. These next weeks I need to find some positive natural birth stories (maybe even finish writing Declan’s birth story…!) and spend some quality time getting ready to give birth. I need to remind myself of the three thoughts that helped me give birth naturally the first time.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do the same is…
I’m not sure. The closer this baby gets to arriving, the more I think bout how things will have to be different. There’s a one year old in the mix now. Flexibility may need to be high up on my mommy list.

A tough mommyhood moment this week:
Slightly battling the loneliness of being a stay at home mama. I want to be more intentional about getting together with family, even for an hour, or making play dates with friends. It makes such a difference in how our day goes when we get visitors. I need to be better about taking us outside of the house. All week long I had plans for taking us to Hobby Lobby or the library, but we didn’t make it out of the house until Friday. Friday Fieldtrip was to Target, Chipotle, and a local drive-thru ice cream shop. The field trip broke our day up really great, but was tiring for me. One stop in the future would be best.

A sweet mommyhood moment this week:
Getting the hang of being a stay at home mama. Getting a daily rhyme that works best for Declan and me. I’m loving the new routine we are on and am so thankful to be getting this time with him.  I am also trying to stay on top of keeping the house clean and easily functioning for Dillon and myself. Keeping up with the bottles being washed immediately. Keeping up with laundry. Keeping up on vacuuming. I want to get a new cleaning reputation! Katie keeps a clean house!

#PregnancyGoals for next week:

  • Gain faith about giving birth and lose the fear.

Bump Photo at 32 Weeks

Hah, so… I know I wrote about keeping a clean house and there’s a wet paper towel in my bump photo… Declan had just played in Mattie’s water bowl. There’s normally not wet paper towels just lying around. Anymore…! New cleaning rep!

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Baby #2 Pregnancy Update: Week 31

This week was a little more hectic because Declan turned one! Happy Birthday to my sweet baby boy!

I spent most of the week doing little birthday party errands here and there. Declan and I went to The Dollar Tree Store and to Michaels. It is amazing how much less time I spend shopping when I have Declan in tow. No time for browsing with a baby who doesn’t want to sit still for very long.

I learned a lesson this week about mommy expectations. I baked my sweet baby a gluten-free cake. We bought a Costco cake for everyone else, but I wanted to make Declan a cake from scratch. It was a very long, difficult process if I’m honest. There was the grocery shopping for all the specific ingredients that go into a gluten-free cake. Then the going back to the grocery store for the few items forgotten. The dishes from baking the cake. The dishes from making the frosting. The standing a lot in the kitchen. And the only good time to bake uninterrupted was after Dillon got back from work, which is kind of when I’m running on empty. It was tiring for this 8 months pregnant woman. When I finally finished the cake and it was sitting completed in the fridge, I sank into the couch next to Dillon and confessed how exhausted baking a cake made me and that I should have just bought Declan a gluten-free individually sized bundt cake. Dillon agreed. I told him something along the lines of,  I just want to be a good mom. Good moms bake cakes from scratch. He told me something along the lines of, You are a good mom. And you don’t have to bake a cake from scratch to be a good mom. He is so wise. Baking a cake from scratch is a very sweet act of love. But I’m 8 months pregnant, I’m on disability, and I’m taking care of a one year old all day long. Now is not the season in my life to take on big tasks like baking a cake from scratch. Maybe a box mix cake would be ok.

I did get a picture that I love though. And the vanilla cake made the house smell fabulous. It wasn’t all bad.

The party went great. It was a small event and we did the traditional opening of the presents and the cake smash. Declan was adorable the whole time and did so well with being the center of attention. I was slightly worried he might get overwhelmed with so much attention, but he loved it. We had the party in our backyard which helped, I think. He loves loves loves being outside so I think that kept him content.

The next two days were spent resting and regaining strength. Honestly I think from baking that darn cake!

I love my little family so much. Hah, I used to joke with Dillon that he would only have daughters and he would just have to get used to being surrounded by beautiful women. I’m starting to think maybe it will be me who will have to get used to be surrounded by handsome men!

Also– my #boymom shirt is not a baby gender reveal. I’ve been asked quite a few times, but we still are waiting to find out what baby #2 is!

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Baby #2 – Pregnancy Update: Week 30

This week of pregnancy can be defined by two words: nesting and cereal.

I’ll talk about the cereal first because that one is quick. Dillon wanted some cereal, so I bought him a big jug of milk and a box of cereal. He made it look so yummy that I proceeded to finish the box myself and go buy two more. I’ve been loving cereal this week. I can’t get too many bowls of it. Prior to this week, I haven’t had a bowl of cereal all year. Baby must like cereal.

Now for the nesting. I have been in nesting mode all week. My closet is organized. Clothes no longer worn are being donated. Clothes no longer in good shape have been tossed. Teacher work clothes that aren’t currently necessary are folded and stacked nicely out of sight. My closet consists of only clothes that I can currently wear being 30 weeks pregnant. Getting dressed in the morning has been so much easier. I have a loose capsule wardrobe. I may go in and thin it down so more just for the fun of it.

I mopped and hand scrubbed our kitchen floor. I know this may not seem like a big deal, just a basic chore that most people do. But I can count on one hand the amount of times I have mopped the kitchen floor since we bought the house 2 years ago. That’s icky, I know. The floor was pretty bad and I finally had the excited urge to clean it and scrub it and make it shiny. I put on some Billy Currington music, or Alexa did for me, and just cleaned and scrubbed. The whole ordeal took four hours because I needed food and resting breaks.

The bathrooms, minus the showers, got deep cleaned this week. Showers are on my list for next week.

Dillon rented a shampooer last weekend and cleaned the carpet. It looked so much better after he finished, but it didn’t last long. Mattie, our miniature Australian Shepard, has mostly black hair and has been shedding a lot. You can tell where she has been in the house by spotting her hair on the carpet. Normally we let it go for a few days or a week, but not this week. I’ve been vacuuming the house everyday to keep up with Mattie’s shedding. I love looking at clean carpet.

I’ve finally hung up pictures that have been resting on the floor against the wall for quite a while.

The kitchen has been DIRTY DISH FREE every single night this week. I wash every dish by hand and place them in the dishwasher to dry. Normally the dishes stay there for a while, but I’m happy to say the dishwasher has been emptied each night and every dish has got to spend the night its happy little home.

I’ve done about eight loads of laundry this week.

I can’t look around our home and not think about what I want to do with small spaces. I am ready to make this house the perfect welcome nest for Baby #2. Last year, when I nested during Declan’s pregnancy, I went out to Michaels and bought a huge cart full of fall decorations and stuck them up around the house.

This year, I have already put all those fall decorations back out (or… some of them may have been out all year…) so I can really focus in on the cleaning portion of nesting. I want my home clean, clean, clean.

Since I got put on disability very early in this pregnancy, I have a lot more time to focus on nesting and I want to make the most of it. I am creating a weekly cleaning schedule that will hopefully allow our home to stay at a decent level of clean continuously.

This week was also Dillon’s first week at a great new job. I’m so proud of him and this job is a huge, God’s-perfect-timing blessing for our little growing family.

This week was also Declan’s last week of daycare, so I have had the house to myself which of course makes cleaning easier.

This is Declan’s last week of daycare because we decided it would be best for him to stay home with me. I started to get really unhappy thinking about him being in daycare now that I’m at home. It was important that I let my body rest and recover from getting so sick, so I took three weeks guilt free to do that. I am now ready to take on the role of being a full time pregnant, stay-at-home mommy. With maybe the occasional day of daycare. Declan really likes playing with other kids. Mommy is fun, but he loves playing with his daycare friends, mostly 2 -3 year olds. One little girl there loves him so much I know she will be heartbroken when he doesn’t come on Monday. Each time I come to pick him up, she is standing in the background with her sad big eyes looking straight at me. She must like to think of herself as his mommy.

I am really happy with how our home is starting to look. I want to maintain this level of clean and never fall into the ick level of dirty in any room. I’d love any suggestions for creating a cleaning routine!

I have also done a lot of resting still this week. Dillon is so sweet and makes sure to remind me to take it easy. I have no doubt he loves coming home to a clean house, but he’d rather me feel good than have a dishes free kitchen.  In between the chores I make sure to listen to my body. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are thankfully built in resting periods. I’ve become a really slow eater (except when baby Declan is around and wants all my food) so each mealtime gives me the opportunity to rest and enjoy some TV time.

Week 30 of pregnancy was crazy productive. And now only 9 weeks left before we become a family of five! Mattie is a family member, of course.

Bump Photo of Week 30:


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Baby #2 Pregnancy Update: Week 29

Due Date:  December 1st

Gender: Waiting to be surprised!

Eating/Craving: Dillon found these gluten-free ice cream cones the other day and he bought me some mint chocolate chip ice cream to go along with them. So I’ve been having lots of mint chip ice cream cones. My sister and I used to eat them like crazy growing up and it’s been fun reliving the past a little bit. Also, mint is supposedly harmful to mama’s milk supply, so I went without mint anything while breastfeeding Declan. I am going to soak up all the minty things before this next baby gets here.

Mama Physically:
Feeling great! Lots of resting and lots of naps. I’m back to going on daily walks, back to cleaning the house, and back to normal speed. Well, normal 7 months pregnant speed.

Mama Emotionally:
I went to pre-register at the hospital the other day, and there was a mommy getting ready to go home with her newborn baby and I lost it. Joyful tears came out of nowhere and I was flooded with happy memories of bringing Declan home and just in awe that God has blessed us again and that we’re going to get to bring home another tiny little baby.

The second pregnancy is different because…
This baby is more of a ninja. Declan moved a good amount, but this little nugget gets aggressive! At nighttime while I’m reading in bed, this baby wakes up and gets to moving! Sometimes slightly painful jabs. But I am in no way complaining, I am loving feeling the elbows and knees and feet. Keep the kicks coming sweet baby. Keep growing strong.

What’s New With Baby #1?  Declan – 11 months old
Declan has begun to make this stink face. A face he makes when he’s upset. It’s really cute and ugly. He bites his teeth down into a big underbite, kind of makes his mouth go sideways, and squints his eyes closed. Sometimes there’s sound effects as he tries to express himself. It usually happens when he is not so happy about something. I have to get this face captured on film.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do differently is…
These pregnancy updates! With Declan, I didn’t do any kind of weekly updates. I’m loving the updates because my world seems busier now and it gives me a chance to direct all my attention to this pregnancy before it flashes by me.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do the same is…
I can’t think of a same, so I’m putting another different. Last time the hospital asked if we wanted newborn photos done, and Dillon and I went to our first reaction of, are they free? How much are they? Anyway, we passed on having the hospital take photos because I didn’t want to deal with paying for them or getting ready or having another interruption. With this baby however, I was reading the paperwork for the photos when I pre-registered this week, and they say it only takes 20 minutes and that we are under no obligation to buy the photos. So I think I will take them up on it this time. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to take photos and I want to make sure to at least get a couple good ones at the hospital.

Bump Photo at 29 Weeks

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Declan’s 1st Birthday Invitations

My baby boy is almost one year old! Definitely a reason to send out invitations in the mail. I love sending and receiving invitations in the mail. Old school. Romantic.

Since Declan is an October baby, we are having a pumpkin themed party. I found the cutest Our Little Pumpkin Is Turning One invitations on a few websites. They would have been ideal had they not been $2-something per invite. So, Costco wins again at around 69 cents an invite! They didn’t have any that specifically featured a pumpkin, but Declan made it cute enough.

So far for his party we have sent out the invites and froze some tri-tips and chicken that were on sale. I better get to prepping cute decorations and figuring out all the little details. I don’t expect a Pinterest perfect party, but I’d like to make it special for my little pumpkin.

Any tips for a first birthday party or ideas on what makes a child’s birthday party enjoyable for everyone? 


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Baby #2 Pregnancy Update – Weeks 27-28

Due Date:  December 1st

Gender: Waiting to be surprised, but mama’s instincts say boy.

Eating/Craving: Drinking Pedialyte. Eating lots of ground beef patties and potatoes and bananas and other plain jane foods. I finally got my appetite back after being consistently sick for a week, but I stuck with mostly neutral foods seasoned with only salt and pepper.

Mama Physically:
Much better. I mentioned last week how I had lost 7 pounds in less than a week from being sick so frequently, but I am thrilled to report I have gained all that weight back plus a pound!!! I’m pretty small to begin with, so losing that much weight during my 7 month of pregnancy was scary. I have sung praises to Jesus each time I step on the scale and see the numbers rise up. Hallelujah! Also, the Braxton-Hicks contractions have faded for the most part. The random cramping has faded. My body is still recovering from week 26. I’m pretty sleepy still and taking naps whenever I can.

Mama Emotionally:
Oh man, I have been so thankful to get on the other side of that sickness. I’m still not 100% but I can make Declan dinner again! And change his diaper! Doing small tasks like those made me so happy after having to need Dillon to do all the work around the house for a week. I am thankful, thankful, thankful my health is getting better.

The second pregnancy is different because…
My doctor was on vacation when I was getting really sick, but I made an appointment to see her for a follow-up as soon as she returned. She talked with me for about 3 minutes about what had been going on and then she put me on disability from work. So as of 28 weeks pregnant, I have stopped working. The plan was to work until at least 36 weeks.  I am still figuring out how to process it all. I know it is most important for me to take my health seriously and that my health is directly related to baby’s health. I know that work stress was too much for me to handle, despite my best efforts. But I had already taught for 2.5 weeks. I had already fallen in love with my students. We were 8 chapters deep into Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. We had become a family. And then the leader of the family had to leave. And I miss them. I miss being Mrs. Mowdy. I was loving 4th grade and my students. My body was not loving it though, my body couldn’t handle everything I was demanding it do. I was breaking under the stress and I know it’s best for me to be off work. It was really scary getting hooked up to IV fluids and going to the hospital with contractions at 26 weeks worrying, is the baby coming right now? 

But being taken off work is an adjustment so I am looking for my new groove.

What’s New With Baby #1?  Declan – 11 months old
Declan is doing great. Sleeping great. Eating great. Playing great. He is such a good baby. He is currently still going to the in-home daycare we found for him when I went back to work. Even though I’ve been off work, he has still been going most days. My doctor told me to couch potato it for at least 2 weeks and that is nearly impossible to accomplish with an 11 month old. This time of rest has been very healing for me.

A tough mommyhood moment this week:
Battling small amounts of guilt about dropping Declan off at daycare now that I am off work. With the new baby coming in just a few short months I want to enjoy Declan as much as I can, and admitting I need extra help just to rest is tough.

A sweet mommyhood moment this week:
Declan’s hair sticks straight up in the back. We’ve had strangers joke with us asking if he stuck his finger into an electrical socket. Another has stated jokingly how Declan has a serious case of bedhead. Dillon and I just love his hair. Most people comment on it right away and it always leaves them smiling. I love it. It makes me smile, too.

#PregnancyGoals for next week:

  • Keep gaining weight!!!
  • Stay as stress free as possible.
  • Come up with solid goals for before baby arrives — I have a lot of free time to fill now

Bump Photo at 27-28 Weeks
To escape the heat and get some beach therapy, we took off during the week to California’s central coast. It’s only a few hours away. We stayed in our little trailer for two nights. It was amazing to wear Uggs and a beanie. I got to put socks on Declan for the first in months and his little feet were so cute in socks! I’ve missed him in socks. I am so so so so so ready for summer and the heat to be over. This pregnant mama wants lots of hot chocolate, snuggling, blankets, and Ugg wearing.

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Baby #2 – Pregnancy Update Week 26

This post is over a week late because Week 26 was difficult.

My body broke. The juggling of family life and teacher life and pregnancy life and new mom life and wife life became way too much. I dropped all the life balls. I had ignored signs my body was giving me for a few weeks to slow down and I paid the consequences.

During week 26, all those warning signs my body was giving me became hugely exacerbated.  I was severely bathroom sick and getting dehydrated very quickly. I couldn’t keep or get food in me. I was up all night getting sick for about 5 nights. I was sick all throughout the day. Because I was diagnosed with celiac disease (the gluten-free thing) 8 years ago, I am no stranger to bathroom sickness. But none of my normal remedies were helping in the slightest. I just kept getting worse and worse. I’ll skip all the icky details, but it was severe and scary. I went to the doctor after being sick for two days nonstop and he insisted I take off work for the next week and got me hooked up to two bags of IV fluid, the sugar water or gateraid in a bag as the nurse called it.

Later that night, I was still really dehydrated and started to get contractions. The doctor had said if anything got worse to go to the birth center. Having contractions seemed worse, so Dillon and I went to the hospital around 3 AM to check out what was going on. I got another bag of IV fluids and the contractions lessened. Once a test for preterm labor came back negative,  I was discharged from the hospital and told to feel better soon.

But I didn’t start to feel better soon. Whatever I had stayed strong for the next three days. I had now lost seven pounds. I continued doing a lot of talking with God for wisdom and guidance through this storm. I kept reminding myself that God has already seen me through this and that He has a plan for this baby and my life and whatever comes our way, He’ll lead us through it. That gave me the energy and peace I needed to stay strong during this flareup of sickness.

The doctor also prescribed me an antibiotic incase I had a bad bacteria living in my gut. I’m normally not fond of antibiotics, but I started the dosage and saw slow but steady results. Family came by to help play with Declan and clean and run errands for me so I could just sleep and rest. All of that resting nonstop has allowed for me to now be on the uphill and for many reasons, I am starting to regain my energy, strength, and weight. Thank you, family! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, God!

Week 26 was a long week. I learned and relearned a lot of lessons that week. Two of them being

  1. Stress is a real thing and can unleash havoc on my body. My body is already under a huge amount of pressure to create a human life (again! so soon!) and I need to respect the hard work my body is doing by taking extra care of it.
  2. Each day my body is healthy is a precious gift from God. Don’t waste healthy days being lazy. Don’t procrastinate or waste time. Being stuck in bed made me long to clean the counters or vacuum or sew or cook or travel. Being healthy is a gift and I need to use that energy for good while I have it.

Hospital Bump Photo at 26 weeks: 

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