Month: February 2013

Currently

Craving:

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nuts and dried fruit (thanks, Mom!)

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these

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this (greek yogurt with pineapple—yum)

DSC_0088cheese (always)

 

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sugary cereal (because when am I not??)

(and have given up on mayo (thank goodness) and cuties)

Wearing:

Yoga pants: Doctor: “So are you really into yoga??”

Leggings

Maternity tanks

Doing:

nesting (like crazy…can’t seem to turn my brain off)

dreaming about vacation (spring is just around the corner!!)

Week Wrap-Up

This week has been busy + productive!

Daddy was off on Monday AND Tuesday so we had an extra long weekend—FABULOUS!

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I finished MG’s quilt and we are working on painting her new room and bathroom.  She is wildly excited about everything “BIG GIRL”!

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On Monday, N pulled down all of the boxes of baby clothes and toys down from the attic.   They were fairly well organized in boxes by size, but due to some dresses and other things lasting for multiple seasons, everything needed to be re-sorted.  It was a 4+ hour project.  But I’m happy to say that Mayby has a stocked closet of 0-6 month clothes and toys ready to go.  It was so fun seeing all of those clothes again and I’m so glad  she will be able to re-wear a majority of them.  Precaution was taken to HIDE them from MG as the two pieces she happened to stumble across, she was already claimed for her little doll posse.

On Wednesday I had my glucose tolerance test.  MG accompanied me for the hour+ appointment.  I was a teensy bit nervous to bring her along, seeing as it is such a long appointment, but I had nothing to fear.  I have come to the realization that we have crossed over from her being my “little charge” to my “little buddy”.

She asks all kinds of curious questions, “Mama, juice?”  No baby, this is yucky juice.  I love hearing about all of her observations.  She thinks the wavy walls are snakes and the window ledges are benchesAnd her special treat is picking out a dum-dum for when the doctor comes in the room.  She always picks pink.

It also doesn’t hurt that there is a fully stocked kitchen and toys–most importantly a baby–in the waiting room.  We breezed through the appointment and she was sad when we had to leave.

To reward our efforts (me passing, she attending), we enjoyed a cozy lunch at Culver’s.  Another fun thing about this age is going out to eat.  She will eat slowly and thoughtfully, watching everyone around her.  N and I are always amazed at how much conversation we can have at a restaurant now!

And she was so thrilled about her cheeseburger, fries, and a “big girl” cup of water that she continued to give me spontaneous hugs and kisses throughout the meal.  Have I mentioned how much I love this age?

Although it still makes me a little sad to change up our comfortable routine, I am excited about having two curious, excitable, loveable little girls in my brood.  I hope MG teaches Mayby all of her sweet sisterly ways.  If hugs and kisses count, she is well on her way to being fully stocked.

xo

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Twelve weeks and counting!

One of the things I love

about being pregnant with a girl is having a little girl to love on right now.

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I shared earlier how I felt a hard time connecting with this baby but now, knowing WHO she is, has made all the difference for me.  However, this time, my connection looks a little bit different.
I find myself pouring out my love for both girls–right now at least–into MG.  Afterall, she will be the eldest child and leader in our family.  So everything we teach her means we will only have to do HALF for the next, right?
I do wonder in what ways they’ll be similar and different.  I think it is safe to say that they will at least resemble each other since their daddy and I look so much alike.  I wonder if Mayby will love dolls and make-believe as much as MG.  I hope so.  But no matter what, she will bring her own identity and dimension to our family.  It is such an exciting change to look forward too.
Thanks to my big girl, I am able to picture what having a little girl is like and it makes me love them both even more.

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Let Me Count the Ways I Love you (all)….

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-the way you spent so much time turning all of the o’s on the playground tic-tac-toe  so they were perfectly aligned and facing you.  Never rush perfection.

-the way you whisper when your babies’ are “sleeping”.   You are so thoughtful.

-the way you pretend to fall asleep in your car seat or stroller with an added, “oh no, MG’s alseep!”.  You keep us laughing with your silliness

-the way you ask questions about Mayby that are completely unprompted.  Your curiosity will take you places

-the way you pull our faces in for a hug or kiss.  Always remain generous with your love.

 

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-the way you call us on your lunch break…even though it’s like 15 minutes long.  We both love to connect with you in the middle of the day.

-the way you take over the household duties the minute you walk in the door.  Your presence is always  welcome.

-the way you enjoy food with as much passion as I do.   It’s so nice to have a partner in indulgence.

-the way you show interest in my friends and their lives.  You know how to make people feel important.

-the way you teach yourself new hobbies.  Your persistence is inspiring.

 

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-the way you have a little party every night in my belly from 11pm-12am.  Probably the first time everything else is still all day.

-the way you are constantly asking me to feed you more.  I don’t mind the extra indulgence 🙂

-the way you are thought of by your family.  You already hold a dear place that is just waiting for you to fill it.

 

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-the way you play good cop, bad cop with MG.  I guess both of you can’t be all good all the time.

-the way you pick sides over who you are sleeping with at night.  Just remember, Daddy has the warmer legs.

-the way you seek me out for a good cuddle during nap time.  I love unwinding with you.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKX_jlW9f0M%5D

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!  Hope you have many reasons to love today too!

1-11-13

Was the last day MG woke up like this.

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We’d spent the week prepping her with little talk here and there.  “you are such a big girl now!  Soon you will give up paci because pacis are for babies.” *(and no offense meant if your “not so baby” uses a paci, we just needed a concept to justify the change to her and we all know how she loves her babies 🙂 ). She always said “yeah” agreeably enough, but really I don’t think she knew what was coming.

MG has loved her paci since the day–one week into her life–when we finally relented and gave it to her.  The books said wait two weeks or don’t give one at all.  We were first time parents and trying to do everything right.  It felt like such a monumental decision at the time, but looking back, it was merely a small concern.
We quickly formed a  love-hate relationship with it.  We loved that it calmed and soothed her, we hated that we had to fish around for it in the middle of the night when she woke up looking for it.  And deep down we all knew this day was coming.

When we noticed her sucking her thumb around 4 months, we took it away, hoping to be done with it forever.  But she didn’t forget.  So back to her old favorite we went. And teeth came and fussiness grew and she was so much happier with her paci.  But at the one year milestone we decided to relegate it to sleep times only.  She seemed big enough to us then.  It was a rough few days but it clicked soon enough and sleep has been wonderful ever since.  Before naps and bed she would sing out for it, “puh-Ahhh-see!!!” and she would most always go down without a fight.

But year three means growing up and moving on.
We picked this weekend simply because we were both around and had relatively little going on.
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I had saved this gifted build a bear for a special occasion and tonight begged for it.  Right before bed, I pulled the box out and teased her with a little glimpse inside.  “would you like to see this special surprise for you?”. Yes of course! “well because you are such a BIG GIRL now, we have to do something first.  We have to say bye bye to paci and throw it away.  Then you may have this special gift for being so big!”.  She was so eager to obey it nearly broke my heart right there.

Not only did she throw away her current paci, but she went to the drawer where we keep backups and fished those out to throw away too.  (oh, my sweetie) With one last hurrah, she placed one in her mouth, turned it over, and then ceremoniously pitched it in the garbage.
The fans went wild, of course.
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She opened the special box.  “since you won’t be sleeping with paci anymore, you will get to sleep with this new bunny!!”.
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She fiddled with his buttons and pulled at his boots.
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We finished our bedtime routine with two songs (quick ones).  Before we said a final prayer she performed her nightly duty of turning on the monitor.

She pivoted back towards her bed.  And froze.  I felt the weight of the moment descending upon her.

I hugged her tight as her bottom lip began to curl up and prayed a quick prayer.

I empathized with her that it is very hard to give up things and asked her if she wanted me to hold her for a little while.  Selfishly I wanted to just sit and cry and hug in the dark.  “If we are going to do this”, I thought, “let’s at least mourn it properly before moving on.”

Much to my disappointment, she whispered “no.  Bed.” and resigned to her fate.

We kissed her a bunch and tucked her in and then left.

All was quiet for a long time.
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In fact when the crying started, she never mentioned one word about paci.  Instead, she was “too hot”, she “needed another baby in her bed”.  And, oh yeah, “baby Stella needed her paci.”  Daddy was called in for lots of comfort for a good hour and a half.

And believe  it or not, mommy cried more tears that night than the big girl.  It is hard making decisions for your children.  Much harder than I ever imagined.  Especially ones that hurt and that they don’t yet understand.

I have to admit,  it was so strange checking on her again before bed and seeing her mouth wide open and without the familiar suckling I am so accustomed too.  I grieved for the babyhood that we had left behind.

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For all those wondering,  here is a little timetable of events following:
-night one, she didn’t sleep well at all.  In and out of sleep, but never asked for paci
-day two she cried a little before both nap and bed and asked for it back.  We reminded her that she is a “big girl” now and that she has bunny to sleep with instead.
-day three was much smoother
-days four and five she didn’t cry at all and slept really well
-day six was a bit of a regression.  She cried and asked for it, but we persevered.
-days 7-now have been easy–almost as if the paci never existed.  Now whenever paci comes up or we see a baby with one, she points out that it is a BABY that has a paci and that she threw hers away because she is a BIG GIRL.  (we also had a recent conversation about picking out some pink and purple pacis for Mayby).
She still sleeps with bunny every night.
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Giving up the paci is the first of many steps she will take towards independence this year.  A part of me will always miss seeing that sleeping, pajama clad baby, mouth rhythmically working  the paci in her sleep.  But one thing is certain: from this day forward, I will never doubt her resiliency.

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The Coolest Cucumber

This week Mayby is the size of a cucumber….

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But with a belly like that, who’s to really say?

I’m 26 weeks now and it’s official: I’m pregnant!  I’ve started to get stranger comments so if there was any doubt before, I think we can now safely put it to rest.

Twenty-six weeks also means that I’m one week away from…gulp…the third trimester.  I know, crazy right?  We can’t believe it either.  I was enjoying the second trimester so much that I’m kinda sad  to say goodbye.  I remember the days being pregnant with MG just c-r-a-w-l-i-n-g by and I’m kinda wishing this one would slow down a bit too.

But God has a way of preparing you for the next stage and I’m already starting to feel some of the groanings of the third trimester: more fatigue, a bit of sciatia, the tight-as-a-tick belly after eating (no matter the size of the meal),  the slightest touch of heartburn at night (just enough to get me excited that maybe she’s growing some hair in there!!), ribaches and backaches at the end of the day, an underestimate of the size of my belly (we’re getting to the stage where it’s not uncommon to look down and find a splotch of pasta sauce or chocolate ice cream on a not too discreet spot on my protruding belly) and a belabored dread of bending over.

Oh and feeling much better too.  Other than getting “sympathy belly” every time someone mentions the (shudder, shudder) nasty stomach bug that is going around right now.  Every once in a while the nausea will return at night and then it becomes a game of pregnancy or Norovirus?  Kind of like the gunshot or fireworks? game on the fourth of July, but much less exciting.

It’s just the beginning, but it’s the beginning of the end (sniff, sniff).  Bittersweet because I don’t know if I’ll ever do this again (Lord willing, maybe?), but sweet because I also get more excited everyday about meeting her.

MG is too!  Just in the past month or so, she has become very curious about my big belly and about all of this sister talk.  She asks questions about her all the time.  “Mama help me?  Change Mayby’s diaper?” translation: Mama will I be able to help you change Mayby’s diaper?  (oh yes, child, as often as your little heart desires)

Oh, and one final note to all pregnant women: don’t watch the Business of Being Born Pt 2 at 26 weeks into your second pregnancy.  It will send you straight into full-blown Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder.  And Lord have mercy, there’s no going back now…

See you in (eek) 3 months, Mayby!

What Are You…

Listening to:  My sweet friend and neighbor gave me a CD of Scripture set to lullabies called Hidden in My Heart.  She said it calmed her as she prepared for the birth of her second.  As I’ve written about before, I like milestone events in my life to have original soundtracks so that I can always go back to those feelings and memories with the click of a button.  This CD is perfect for that.  It is my soundtrack to the preparation for Mayby’s arrival.  Love.

Reading:  Well not completely uncharacteristically, I’m reading three books at once: The Red Queen by Phillipa Gregory (a book club Christmas gift), Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (for book club), and What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa Terkeurst (for Bible study).  I’ve also got a pile of books ready to go for when these are finished.  Including, but not limited to, parenting and new baby books.  Third trimester insomnia, I will conquer you!

Working onThe list.  Oh, the list.  Right now I’m on #3: Make quilt for MG’s big girl bed.  It’s about 80% done, but I’m about 90% sure I’m going to need to order a bit more fabric to finish it out.  However, should be done in the foreseeable near future!

Looking forward to:  So much:  Spring (we’re having early spring-like weather tomorrow-this weekend!),  Valentine’s day, my bday, passing my glucose test (fingers crossed), enjoying this precious time with MG before little sis comes, watching a few friends enter that stage just ahead of me (and taking notes), and all of the feathering and preparation that goes into the end of the pregnancy.  We’re chugging right along and I’m feeling great about all that we’ve accomplished and the amount that we have left to do.  We can totally do this!

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Lots of great things on the horizon!

Back

Phew that was a long break from the norm, but we’re back.

MG has some exciting news:

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She’s now paci-weaned and potty-trained (about 75% of the time)!!  Mama and Daddy are so proud of her.  Year three has meant a lot of challenges and growth for her and there is an even bigger one looming on the horizon (May). But she has exceeded all of the expectations we’ve placed on her and met each new challenge with determination and strength.  (stories to come).

In the meantime, enjoy this little video of a little slice of our nightly routine.  Every night we sing two songs and MG dances in circles and claps her hands.  Then we pray (something she has recently started adding too!) and never fail, she always request this little ditty:

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Even though Christmas is long over we always indulge.  Love her so much.

The Journey to #2, the finale

{this is the conclusion to parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8}

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.
Lamentations 3:25-27

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13:13

Well, you know how it feels if you begin hoping for something that you want desperately badly; you almost fight against the hope because it is too good to be true; you’ve been disappointed so often before. But it was no good trying to throttle this hope. It might – really, really, it just might be true. So many odd things had happened already.” – C.S. Lewis from the magician’s nephew

We were told by my doctor to take the next month off and begin the game plan with the following cycle.  I watched my hormone levels do crazy things  and knew that we still most definitely needed the boost to help us become pregnant again.  In a way, it was validating.  We weren’t trying too hard to force things, we truly needed help.

Early August, we began our next medicated cycle.  I found myself fighting apathy.  I had grown so weary of the whole roller coaster that I didn’t want to care but also wished I didn’t care as much as I did.  It was such a mind game.

That month, I asked God for an early ovulation day.  He granted.  I asked Him for an early implantation day.  He granted.  For once, I felt all of my prayers– down to the most tiny of requests –were being graciously answered .  And for the first time since I had ever tracked my cycle (ever, including with MG), I had a near perfect BBT chart.

Finally the day came to have my follicles checked and the shot administered.  I felt hope creep back into my heart.

In the interim wait I heard again from my encouragement friend.  She was writing to tell me that she had also heard back from another friend that didn’t know me but had prayed for me in her experiment.  For some reason today, she felt deeply moved to send this to me:

“The LORD has not forgotten you.”

It was just the encouragement I needed to put the fight back in me.  I felt all of the months of loss and despair go behind me.  And while I did not have any guarantees as to what the next months would hold, I felt content that God would be giving us the desires of our hearts in His perfect timing….whatever that may be.  How beautiful it is to walk in knowledge of God’s awareness.

Seven days passed and I began my daily HPT’s, searching for clues.

On day nine, the color faded, but not as much as I would have liked.

Days 10-11 were the same.

And then on day 12, the line appeared very dark.  I began to get nervously excited.  I showed my results to N.  He said, “Let’s continue to pray you are pregnant.”  I replied that I was still trying to convince myself of this, but this dark test told me that it was not IF I was pregnant, it was IF this pregnancy would be viable.  Of course after two miscarriages, every hopeful thing is clouded with a little doubt and insecurity.

On day 13, the line was very dark.  It was a Thursday and  I contemplated how I would get in for blood work the following morning before 11am (they closed early on Fridays) when I had a commitment from 8:45-11, not including drive time.

And  I thought.  “Why not see if you can go today?”  It was still 24 hours before they told me I could trust a home test, but I wasn’t sure how strict they would be about coming in a day early.

I called and they let me.

I waited anxiously for the phone call detailing results.  But this time it was different.  This time I had a dark test, significantly darker than it had ever been last time.  And deep down, I knew that meant I was pregnant.  Just how pregnant?  And how healthy?  Those were the questions I wrestled with.

The nurse called back mercifully early and I could hear a pep in her voice that had been missing from all previous conversations.  “Well, your blood work came back at 63 which is great considering we usually like to see it between 50-100 at this point. Come back in two days to make sure it is rising.”

Sixty-three!  Sixty-three!  A beautiful, healthy number.  I had told myself I would be happy with 20-30, and it had been more than double that!

And an added bonus-because N didn’t know I was going to the doctor that day (huh, neither did I!), I was finally able to pull out that card I had tucked away for him nearly 9 months ago (the MG shirt had been long outgrown) (also, coincidentally, I had “accidentally forgotten” to bring the card on vacation in July).  I carefully wrote down all of the news and sealed and addressed the envelope as “SQUARE 2”, as we had joked that we were constantly trying to get out of SQUARE ONE all summer and God kept placing us back there.

When he arrived home from work, he immediately welled up when I handed him the card, before he even could read what was inside.  He knew exactly what square 2 meant and that it was filled with joy.  We  laid on the bed and shed tears together.  It  certainly was not how I envisioned my announcement going 9 months ago, but our circumstances had changed us.  Instead it was deep and beautiful and emotional.  The perfect punctuation to our story.

And you know how the rest of  it goes.  The hormone levels continued to rise.  The progesterone made me incredibly sick and I was finally able to wean off of it on week 10.  We affectionately named our May baby, “Mayby” (a fitting name indeed after months of “maybe we are pregnant and maybe we are not”) and prayed for health and safety.  She grew and let me know she was in there much earlier than her older sister with regular kicks starting at 15 weeks.  We went in for the best news on December 24 and found out we were expecting a healthy baby girl.

Even though we had to grieve the loss of some of our dreams (like a 2012 baby) The “weird” thing was, all of our desires still came true.  Just at a much different timetable than we ever expected:

-we were able to tell much of my extended family our news in person
-we were able to tell both of our families the gender news in person
-the girls will still be two grade levels apart, assuming that everything else matches up (just as N had desired)
-and overall, this pregnancy has been much more “by the book” than MG’s…which has been a nice little bonus

And really, the dreams we had to sacrifice are ones that now I can see were for the best. (the best gift of perspective has been all of my friends having their babies on “our” due dates and realizing that with each one, we are just not ready for that, yet.).  And the timing of this baby is just beautiful in so many God-filled ways. I still don’t understand why we had to take this painful journey to arrive here, but He has continued to remind me of His love for me as He has revealed to me many small, but important to me, details in the timing of this entire thing.

I still don’t understand the miscarriage and what it meant for us, but I do know one redeeming thing that came out of it: remember how we originally told my family the pregnancy news in person before it turned into a miscarriage?  Well we didn’t have a chance to experience telling them in person with Mayby, so I like to think of that as a little consolation prize.  We got to have that moment with them when we did, not knowing that it wouldn’t be coming this time.

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As I sit back and reflect on our story of the journey to Mayby, I can’t help but feel gratitude.  A strange sentiment indeed to feel after so much confusion and darkness. But I truly feel thankful that God led us on this journey.  Not only did it strengthen us and our resolve for one another, but it taught us how we respond during trials and disappointments.  And the most important lesson of all: it taught us how much we have to be grateful for.  And it is a lot, that is to be sure!  One day I will be able to look in our Mayby girl’s eyes and tell her how much we longed for her.  She will forever be a testimony of God’s love and faithfulness to us.

As always, thanks for reading and sharing in our journey.

{the end}

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