July 2016

July was full of ups and downs as I continued to struggle to recover from Ember’s birth. I won’t go into the medical details, but there were lots of little things that let me know something just wasn’t right. They (correctly) suspected I had a lingering infection, so had a small procedure and some more antibiotics and have felt much better since, but it definitely felt like the recovery that would never end for a while there…

I am so humbled and grateful by all the ways God provided for us during those hard weeks. Friends brought meals- not just for the first two weeks when our official meal-train was scheduled, but for the next 3 weeks after, calls kept coming in offering to bring us a dish. Then David was scheduled to go on a work trip (which was thankfully canceled) and a friend heard he was going and contacted me to say she’d like to stay half the week with me. Then on my first week back to having the kids all on my own, another good friend called out of the blue to ask if Caleb would like to come over and play for a few hours one afternoon.

As I wrote in my journal:

My little faithless heart was so worried how I would cope without my mom here, and while I still want her well and able to come with all my heart, I am teary when I see how God provided for us through our church family, friends and neighbors- not just sufficiently, but abundantly.

Part of that provision was a wonderful visit from David’s next youngest brother, his wife and their son. Not only did we have a great time visiting and making memories, by the end of it, I was ready to ask Amy to move in! She was a total baby whisperer during Ember’s fussy times. They were all such a blessing to us and Caleb and Zachary had so much fun together, Caleb told me afterward, “But Mommy, I don’t know how to play alone anymore!”❤

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Baby whisperer!

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Cousins and best friends❤

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Family❤

July 11th was our first day doing a mini-homeschool time post baby. We updated the calendar, Caleb read a book to me (Runaway Bunny, his current favorite, paired with lots of mommy snuggles), then I read him one about the history of the White House, then I taught a math lesson and he practiced some problems, then practiced writing numbers after mommy noticed some were facing backwards after 6 weeks off. I don’t know who was happier to have our routine back- me or him😀

July was also the first time I took both kids out by myself. Most adorable moment from our first outing:

I let Caleb run ahead to the playground while I got Ember out of the car. By the time I caught up to him, he’d already made 2 little friends, to whom he declared, “There’s my new baby sister!” in the most proud voice I’ve ever heard. They came rushing over and asked, “Can we see the new sister?” Adorable!

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Ember is happy to sleep anywhere😀

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Caleb was happy to be out of the house!

The end of the month brought my 30th birthday. I knew it would be a wonderful one, despite the health challenges and sleep deprivation, just having my little girl in my arms when last July I was in the process of being tested for a host of fertility related disorders. David made sure it was made even more wonderful though by planning a special girls night at home for me with 3 close friends. We ate brownie sundaes and Married Mr. Darcy (in a card game) while he walked and rocked Ember since it was during her fussy time of day. I could not be more in love with that man…

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 And of course, July 4th, Ember turned one month old!
IMG_6895There aren’t words to describe how much I love this precious girl…

Stitch Fix #4

But wait you say…what happened to fixes 2 & 3? Well…Fix #2 came a few days after we found out we were expecting our precious girl. Not only did buying new clothes not seem like a great idea, I was also feeling extremely sick by that point and not much up to writing. For the record though, Stitch Fix gave me a new stylist and I probably wouldn’t have kept any pieces regardless. The clothes were adorable, but not my personal style.

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I’m so beyond excited to have a poppy seed in the oven❤

Fix #3 was a maternity fix. I kept one maternity shirt as a treat to myself, but overall, I’m definitely not a fan of paying Stitch Fix prices for something I’ll only wear a few months.

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37 Weeks in my Fix shirt❤

Which brings me back to Fix #4. This postpartum mama is very thankful flowing tunic tops and leggings are in style because that is going to be my fall uniform. For my Fix, I asked for 2 tunic length cardigans to try and 3 shirts that could pair with either skinny jeans or leggings. The results:

First the shirts (excuse the messy hair. I’d just spent the last 3 hours trying to help a wee one get to sleep)-

41 Hawthorn Queensland Dolman Jersey Top: $48

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Pretty cute from this angle…

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But not super flattering to my post partum pooch and just kind of a weird fit overall.

Verdict: Returned

Skies Are Blue Dillard One Pocket Top: $58

While I loved the colors in this top, the fit did nothing for me and the price @_@ There is nothing special about this top. It’s a standard light flannel you could easily find similar to at Target for less than half the price. Verdict: Returned.

IMG_7164 IMG_7166Market and Spruce Gunvalson Lattice Detail Tunic: $68

IMG_7171 IMG_7172 IMG_7173I wanted to love this top. I’ve been on the quest for the perfect non-see-through white shirt, with some cute detailing, to pair with jeans. This one didn’t pass the non-see-through test, wrinkled easily and was a little more formal than I’m looking for. Verdict: Returned.

Gentle Fawn Boris French Terry Jacket: $84

Another one I wanted to love. The color and style of this cozy cardigan really speaks to me and would have been my top pick except…

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Really cute, right?

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But when I move around and let the seams fall naturally…

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This happens. Instant bag lady.

Verdict: Returned. With a few tears😛

Pixley Potina Draped Cardigan: $68

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While a more basic piece than I expect to add from Stitch Fix, this ended up being the winner. I have a similar sweater in black that I wear constantly so I know this will get a lot of use. It’s a different color, has more detailing and is a heavier weight, so I don’t feel like I’m just replicating a piece I already own. Verdict: Kept.

Four fixes in, my over all thoughts on Stitch Fix are:

Pros: I love the fun/social aspect to getting a Fix. Opening the box and being surprised, modeling for David, sending pictures to my close friends for discussion, looking through the box with my mom, experimenting with clothes I might not have tried on in the store, trying on clothes after the kids are in bed from the comfort of my home with pieces I already own…to me, that is totally worth the $20 styling fee a couple times a year.

Cons: It really stinks when none of the 5 pieces are a home run. The clothes are pricey and while I’m ok with that for the occasional high quality, beloved piece, it’s hard to swallow when none of them hit that mark. Which is why I’ll likely only get 2-3 fixes a year.

If this review has inspired you to try your own Fix, please consider signing up by following my referral link: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5628099

Thanks!

Ember: 1 Month Old

It’s been a whole month, but I still can’t believe this precious girl is part of our family. Despite the 31 days of middle of the night feedings, burping, changing, soothing, rocking…there’s still a part of me that expects one of my friends to walk in and say, “Thanks for babysitting!” and whisk her away. I’m so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be her mother. A few of my favorite things, in no particular order:

-Her faces. I love, love, love all her expressions. The super concerned look she got during her first bath. Her smiles, gassy and otherwise. Her big wide, surprised face. Her grumpy grunt face. Her gurgly bubble blowing face. I really have to restrain myself on the photo posting ya’ll.

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Surprised face

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Grumpy face

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Smiles with big brother❤

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Concerned face

-Her snuggles. We call her our little kitten. From her 2nd week on, she has scooted herself to her favorite position when we lay her on our chests- bottom in the air, head tucked firmly under our chins. She will also wiggle herself to side-lying position if we have her upright in burp position and she decides she’s all done with that. When she finds just the right spot, she winds her arm around ours and pulls close. It’s the most precious feeling in the world.

-Her noises. She makes the biggest range of noises of any baby I’ve met- squeaks, purrs, grunts- we feel like she’s always talking to us.

-The way she’s waking up to the world. In the past two weeks she’s started leaning waaay back when we hold her so she can study our faces and, occasionally, give us one of those fleeting smiles we’re starting to see. Sure, there are challenges to the wakefulness- she’s no longer quite as easy and content as she used to be, but the rewards are so worth it.

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-The way she’s reminded me what an incredible man I married. David is an incredibly involved husband and father all the time, but in the newborn period, he steps it up to a whole different level. Our current routine goes something like this- I give Ember one last feeding and crawl into bed, while David stays up and soothes her to sleep so I can get a nap before I start the night shift. I do night wakings/feedings (usually 2 of them) until around 6 when he gets up to get ready for work. If little girl wakes during that time, I feed her and hand her to David to be soothed to sleep so I can get a smidge more rest. He leaves for work and I start my day with the kids. He gets home, and almost immediately takes over with the kids so I can have a break and (on a good day) prep dinner, then we share kid duties until I go to bed and they cycle begins all over again. See where he’s working a full time job and then coming home and giving me a break from my full time job? So. incredibly. blessed.

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-How much easier it is to be a second time mom. Night and Day. Sure, I’ve yet to take 2 kids *anywhere* by myself yet, but the day to day, at home part of mothering? So much easier. Night wakings are easier, loss of personal time is easier, soothing crying is easier, guessing what is causing the crying is easier, feeding is easier…really other than needing mental energy to answer the 5,000 questions the average 6 year old asks each day, I’m not sure there’s a part of this that isn’t easier. My advice- have your second child first😉

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First Day Solo

Today was my first day trying out being a mom of 2 all by myself. I thought no matter how it went, it might be fun to record everything we did today for posterity. The day did not disappoint🙂 I love these two sooo much and things went even better than I could have expected.

My day began super early- around 3am to be exact. I got to snuggle my gassy girl until 6am when she fell asleep and I crawled back into bed. At 8:30, we were both up for the day and that’s when I started recording the fun:

8:30-10am:
Feed, change and dress Ember for the day
Personally inspect several dozen “really cool” lego pieces Caleb brought for my approval during the feeding🙂
Start a load of laundry
Feed myself a taco at 10am and call it brunch

10a-Noon:
Shower and dress myself
Print a simple back yard scavenger hunt for Caleb as part of my, “It’s ok to like things besides legos” mission.
Swap laundry, start another load
Load 98% of dishes into dishwasher
Feed Caleb lunch
Feed/Change Ember
Slip her into the ring sling and cross my fingers

Noon-2:
Success! Baby asleep in sling!!!
Take diapers off the clothes line
Set Caleb loose with the scavenger hunt, which he loves. Explain there’s really no such thing as “winning” a scavenger hunt😛
Play hot/cold with camouflage easter eggs
Chat with the neighbor while our boys play together
Come inside just before it rains

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Happy sling baby

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Happy Big Boy

2-4:30p:
Rest for Caleb
Lunch for me
Finally remember to dump ingredients into crock pot an hour later than intended- better late than never?
Feed/Change Ember
Walk her around due to fussies/gas
Put her to sleep on my chest
Pass her to David when he gets home and collapse in bed for a nap

Best of all, I managed to catch poo, as it arrived mid diaper change- not once, not twice, but thrice. Second time mom reflexes for the win!😉

 

Ember’s Birth Story

For those who’ve been following our family blog since it began, you may remember Caleb’s peaceful, unmedicated, hallmark-worthy birth story (and if you don’t, you can read it here: http://joyonthejourney.blogspot.com/2010/10/calebs-birth-june-25-2010.html ). This is not that birthstory😛

It started out very similarly. I went to my 40 week appointment with a few clues labor might be near, but still nothing definitive. I had contractions most of the afternoon after the visit, but around 10pm, they seemed to fizzle out. We decided to get some sleep and hope things would start up again tomorrow. At 11:06 my eyes shot open. That was definitely a real contraction…which meant I *really* needed to sleep as much as possible between them, which I did, eyes popping open every 20 minutes for the next 1.5 hours. After that, contractions were coming closer together, but still very irregular. 12 minutes, 8 minutes, 10 minutes, 14 minutes apart. I wasn’t sure what to think. I woke David up and asked him to time them for me so I could sleep between them more easily. I didn’t want to miss the window of when to go to the hospital since I needed 2 doses of antibiotics due to being Group B Strep positive (meaning a normal bacteria that lives on 1/3 people’s skin was found on mine, unfortunately it can give the baby problems in rare cases if not treated).

Contractions continued that way all night. I was able to sleep between them pretty well until around 4am, when they were so painful I definitely needed to be awake and moving to manage the pain. Still they were irregular and keeping us guessing- 6 minutes, 8 minutes, 4 minutes, 7 minutes. We were dancing close to the line where I had transitioned with Caleb and being a second time mom, I wasn’t sure how fast it was going to go once that happened. We decided we’d wait until Caleb woke up for the day, then head on in.

Our early riser did not disappoint. At 6am he joined the party. We had already packed the bags in the car and gathered some breakfast food for him. I called my friend he’d be staying with and the OB’s office and we were off.

Based on my pain level, I was pretty sure there was no way I was already at 8cm this time around, but I’ll admit, I was hoping for a 5 or 6. No such luck. “Stretchy 4cm, cervix still very posterior.” the nurse proclaimed. Would they even admit me that early? I explained how things had gone last time and that I needed the antibiotics. They went ahead and admitted me and started the IV.

Laboring in the hospital was definitely a totally different experience. I had to be in bed, on the monitor 20/60 minutes, and if baby was sleepy, even longer. Plus I had an uncomfortable IV in, which made getting into comfortable laboring positions more challenging. Even if all that hadn’t been the case though, this labor was just different.

Instead of the rolling hill contractions coming at predictable intervals I experienced with Caleb, these contractions continued to come at random times- 5 minutes, 30 seconds, 3 minutes, 1 minute and looked like mountain peaks, slamming into me, peaking quickly, sometimes pretending to let go, but then peaking again before backing down. With Caleb’s contractions I was able to (mostly) manage the pain because I knew when to expect pain and when to expect relief. So even once I was hep locked and able to use the birth ball, walk the halls, etc. it was still a whole different experience.

By 9am, I was pretty miserable. Surely, I must be almost ready to push. I asked to be checked. Actually what I said was, “I want to be checked, but do not tell me if I am less than 6cm.” “Hmmm.” said the nurse, “I’d say a stretchy 6cm, but still very posterior.” Seriously? Why isn’t this baby coming down the birth canal? I thought second labors were supposed to be shorter. Surely not much longer now.

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This is the face of someone who does not want to hear there are still 4 more centimeters to go😛

Back in bed and on the monitor the contractions got really intense. We were prepared this time and I asked for a washcloth to bite rather than David’s hand. As soon as I could get off the monitors, I got into the shower (after promising not have the baby in the shower). That helped a lot. It was still intense, but I felt more control than I had the last hour. Suddenly, I felt a ton of pressure. This had to be it! I came out, asked to be checked, sure I must be ready to push and….”Stretchy 8cm, still very posterior.” @_@

At this point, I was worried. What on earth was keeping baby girl so far back? I started crying. “I just need her to come out.” I said. My nurse (who was *amazing* despite the fact I’d been screaming and crying on and off for the last 2 hours- apologizing in between contractions) recommended I let the OB break my water. “I think you are ready to have this baby, and I think it’s going to happen really quickly once your water is broken.” I’d just had my 2nd round of the antibiotic so that was covered, but I was afraid of the pain intensifying once my water was broken as it had with Caleb’s labor. I was already out of control during the contractions…how could I take more? And even a stretchy 8 is a little late to consider medication.

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My puffy/tear stained face when we decided to let the OB break my water. Clearly between contractions on this one🙂

I was feeling pretty desperate to be done though, so I agreed. The OB came in, broke my water and 7 minutes and 2 horrible contractions later, I yelled, “I NEED TO PUSH!!!” needless to say, no one had quite expected it to go that fast. A quick check showed my “highly posterior cervix” had morphed into “we can see the baby, don’t push until the doctor gets in here.” Yeah. Right.

Thankfully, my first pushes were not only involuntary, but also ineffective😀 The OB made it in, reminded me what I needed to be doing and the next contraction we made big progress. After 3 pushes, the OB said, “Wait. Stop pushing. There’s a hand.” In my mind, I’m thinking, “If there’s a hand, my job is done. Pull her out!” Incorrectly assuming the hand must be preceded by a head and shoulders. Little miss had her hand up by her head. She was coming into the world super-man style. Once it was free, I was cleared to push again.

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Bruise on baby girl’s arm from her super-man style entrance.

Did I mention I was so done with labor at this point? I decided she was coming out on the next contraction. I gave it all I had and on the 4th push of that contraction, 7th total, Ember came rocketing into the world at 12:17pm, the exact same minute her brother arrived, almost 6 years before. The moment they put her on my chest was one of the best of my life. Feeling her little warm body, hearing her cry, knowing she was really really here.

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The OB looked up at me and said, “Your baby has a true knot in her umbilical cord. It’s very rare. Thankfully it didn’t cause any problems.” To which I replied, “I know. My son was born with one too.” I’ll spare you photos of that, though I have a picture of the knot for both babies, but I will say, it is a sobering sight. I know not all stories end this way, and to have it happen twice…I’m thankful to God for his mercies each day I have with my babies.

After that, I got a couple stitches for a tiny, 1st degree tear, while I tried to nurse Ember for the first time. She was much less interested initially than her big brother had been. Eventually I got curious to know how much she weighed and handed her over. 7lbs, 6oz- just half an ounce smaller than Caleb, but a full 1.5 inches shorter. It sure did make her look chunkier🙂

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Many people have asked us how we chose her name. 3 years ago, right before we knew we were going to start trying to add to our family again, we took a camping trip for our 4th anniversary. While sitting around the fire, the name just came to me. I asked David what he thought of “Ember” for a girl’s name. David and I hardly ever like the same name, so I was surprised when he loved it. From then on, we thought if we had a girl, that would be her name. That said, when we actually found out we were really having a girl, I got cold feet about naming her something so non-traditional. However, no matter how many other names we tried on her, “Ember” was the one that always felt right.

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I know “Ember” technically means the dying remains of a fire, but when I think of embers, I think of the heart of the fire, the heat you need to do anything useful with it like cook or get warmth. Strong, warm, useful, a light in dark places- this is what we want our little girl to be. Ember.

Her middle name was even harder. I always assumed it would be “Joy” after my grandmother, mom and myself, but we felt Ember needed a very traditional middle name to balance it out. We both loved Elizabeth- the way it sounded, the way it gives her a typical name to fall back on later in life if she so chooses. I also wanted it to connect to our family in some way. The one Grandparent I never got to meet had the first name “Betty”, which is a common nickname of Elizabeth and David’s mom goes by “Beth”. So I loved that it touched both sides of our family, while still being all her own. Also, Elizabeth means “God is satisfaction” or “Pledged to God” both of which we hope will describe our little girl.

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May 2016

May couldn’t have been a more perfect month to precede my due date. So many fun milestones to look forward to that helped the month fly by. The first weekend was Mother’s Day. David encouraged our little perfectionist to try and spell the words for my card himself. This was the precious, I’m-keeping-it-forever, result:

Caleb and I holding hands. He even put little sister in my belly❤

A larger version of little sister. Note that he deliberately drew her head down😀

In general, Caleb has just been amazing me with his maturity and love this month:

  • One morning, he spilled a bunch of crumbs in the living room. Pushing down the  annoyance I felt, I told him I’d help him vacuum in a few minutes. His response, “Actually Mommy, I’ll feel better if I vacuum now. I’ll let you know if I need help.” He then proceeded to get out the vacuum and do it all on his own❤
  • Later the same day, I waddled my 37 week pregnant body through the grocery store, when Caleb asked, so sweetly, “Mom, could we please get these special star wars crackers?” They were on a good sale, so I told him we could get 2, one for him to eat today and one to eat when he comes to visit baby sister in the hospital. “Oh thank you mommy. I’m glad I’ll have one for the hospital. That way, if you’re in pain, I will have something to give you to make you feel better.” Clean up in aisle 9…mom’s heart is in a puddle on the floor…

The next weekend, David and I celebrated 7 years of marriage. SEVEN. It seems unbelievable to me that so much time has gone by. One thing I can say for sure is, it’s been a lot easier to deal with all the challenges pregnancy brings through year 6 than it was through year one! I’m thankful that overall this pregnancy has been easier on me than my first and I’ve been able to be more “myself” in so many ways, but a lot has still fallen on him and it’s reminded me all over again what a treasure I married.

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1st Anniversary!

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Babies!

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7th Anniversary!

We are definitely more stylish in our old age😉

Last, but definitely not least, we celebrated the end of our first year of homeschooling. I could (and probably will) write an entire post reflecting on our experience this year, but the short version is- it went better than I ever could have imagined and was such a great fit for our family. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be mommy/teacher to this little guy!

Reading to his Granny and Grandpa over skype <3

Reading to his Granny and Grandpa over skype❤

End of school ice cream celebration!

End of school ice cream celebration!

This month went by so quickly, I can barely believe I’m 39 weeks tomorrow. I’m savoring this last bit of time with baby girl in my belly. Her little kicks, hiccups, and rolls are all so precious to me. I can’t wait to share her with her dad and big brother, but for now, I’m enjoying these special days. The hospital bags are packed, the car seat is installed, the nursery is ready- now we just pray for a safe delivery and wait for her to come.

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April 2016

Knowing how busy March was going to be, my goal was to have our schedule gradually wind down during the month of April, with only the essentials going on in May. All in all, I’d say it worked out pretty well.

Caleb finished his last swim lessons early in the month. We were so proud of him conquering his fear of jumping in! David got to come to his final class and Caleb proudly demonstrated jumping into the 11ft. side over and over again. I didn’t take any pictures, just savored the moment.

We also used “extra” time this month to wrap up the final items left on our “before baby” to-do list. After the nausea cleared up, I wrote a list detailing what I’d like to get done month-by-month. I can’t believe how prepared we are for this baby. This month, I put away freezer meals, scrubbed up baby equipment, washed more baby laundry, cleaned out the upstairs and deep freezers, and packed our hospital bag.

A sweet friend gave me her pre-consignment-sale shopping pass and I was able to get a great deal on clothes we’ll need for little girl’s first year. Seeing all those little outfits made her seem so real! Another friend gave us her infant car seat since ours had expired. When Caleb saw it, he exclaimed, “Oh my! I’ve been hoping to see that soon! I know who that is for. Little sister!” Other than purchasing a few items we still need- we’re ready…and 100% more prepared than we were for Caleb’s arrival, haha.

After all that work, we decided to cancel dinner one night and go to Red Robin for kids night (one of Caleb’s favorite things). As we sat there, it hit me that this is probably one of our last outtings as a family of 3. That is still so surreal to me.

This was also the month the bump started growing at an impressive rate:

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32 Weeks

33 Weeks

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By the end of the month, David looked over one night and said,

“Your side of the bed looks like one of Caleb’s pillow forts.”

😀

Despite a few aches and pains though, I am feeling so good. It’s been such a blessing to be able to savor and enjoy this time. Even when I’m having trouble sleeping, I just feel so at peace, like I could lie there all night just feeling her little movements and being amazed that this is all happening. I’m sure it helps that the second time around, my expectations for sleep in the 3rd trimester and much more realistic🙂

Caleb has also been key to making the time fly for me. He’s always loved history, but this month he took a particular interest in the American Revolution/Early American History time periods:

C: “Do you know what a peace treaty is?”
Me: “Tell me about it.”
C: “It’s where both sides promise not to fight anymore. What do you think would happen if only one side signed it?”
Me: “It doesn’t seem like that would work.”
C: “Right, because if only one side signed, it would be like they retreated!”

C: “Do you know what peace treaty ended the 7 years war?”
Me: “No, tell me.”
C: “The Treaty of Paris!”

I had to google that to double check him. Keeping up with this kid, mentally and physically, is a full time job…and I love it so much❤

Of course, he’s also devoting plenty of brain space to building lego starwars fighters and defending the galaxy😀

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Caleb loves making up Star Wars stories and telling them to his baby sister❤

Flying a ship with his BFF. Behind the blanket is the "cargo hold". They built it all themselves <3

Flying a ship with his BFF. Behind the blanket is the “cargo hold”. They built it all themselves❤

March 2016

I will almost certainly remember March as my very favorite month in this entire pregnancy. It started off with a visit to Florida to attend a friend’s long awaited wedding. Not only was their ceremony a wonderful reminder of Christ’s love for us reflected in the covenant of marriage, it was an unexpected opportunity of seeing many people who had been special to us during our college years and as we were falling in love with one another. So many great memories!

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We also got to use the trip to sneak in some precious time with my parents and some of David’s extended family.

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A couple weeks later, we had more friends come to visit:

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Little girl was finally big enough that Caleb and David could easily feel her kick and squirms and I got to watch them fall just as in love with her as I have these past few months. Caleb especially began seeing me less as his mommy and more as the vehicle for his baby sister, as I learned upon returning home from the grocery store one afternoon:

Caleb: *charging down the stairs* “Where is she?!?” (His customary words for asking what part of my belly is most lumpy at that moment)

Me: *Points indistinctly* “She’s pretty much everywhere these days, buddy.”

Caleb: *gives my belly a multitude of kisses* Then, in his most appealing voice, “Ok little sister, time to come upstairs now…”

He didn’t speak to me the entire time😀 But I am totally fine for being merely a vehicle for his new best friend, at least temporarily🙂

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In addition to continuing swimming lessons, we also went roller skating this month. Well, Caleb and David did. The belly and I stayed on the sidelines.

IMG_5009 IMG_5012 IMG_5046And, as if the month hadn’t been full enough already, we celebrated Easter. Making resurrection rolls on Easter morning together has become a tradition. I love how simple it is and how meaningful the visual of the tomb being empty has been for Caleb.

IMG_5943 IMG_5946 IMG_5952 IMG_5953We also had a little egg-hunt fun at our house. I’m reminded yet again how much I absolutely love this age.

IMG_5890 IMG_5894 IMG_5914Definitely a great start to the first month of my last trimester.

February 2016

Already a short month, our February flew by. The first week, I hosted a freezer meal prep party with a few friends. I created a facebook group, posted a link to the recipes, everyone brought their ingredients and I provided some snacks. We all snacked, visited and prepped freezer-to-crockpot meals for about 3 hours. David sweetly washed up cutting boards in between recipes so we could all get done even faster. It was so much fun and I would love to do it again!

After that, David had a 2 week trip for work in the center of the month. Caleb and I spent the first week here staying in our normal routine of homeschooling and co-op.

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It’s probably silly, but one of the things I was most worried about when it came to homeschooling was Caleb missing out on moments like this. Love that we still get to celebrate Valentines with his Co-op “class”.

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This year is North American artists at Co-Op. This is 5 year old Jackson Pollock😀

The next week, we packed up his books and headed across the state to visit friends in NJ. They made our visit so special and fun. It felt like the shortest 2 week trip ever!

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Movie Night!

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First time on a hockey rink. He loooved it!

When we got back, we savored our first weekend together as a family by tackling Baby sister’s room together! I finally threw out many of the things that had been to painful for me to clean out during our infertility years (almost used up tube of Desitin anyone?), cleaned out things of Caleb’s that had migrated in there, and began washing up baby laundry. Caleb took one look at the first load and said, “Mommy, why are all her clothes pink?” Hahahaha.

A generous gift from our NJ friends- all the NB-3 month clothes we could need!

A generous gift from our NJ friends- all the NB-3 month clothes we could need!

Caleb started swimming lessons, which was a fun addition to our homeschool routine and gave him some much needed exercise during the last of the chilly months.

February was my last month in the 2nd trimester and I finished it off by passing my gestational diabetes test- a little too well, in fact, as my blood sugar ended up dipping too low rather than too high- something I’ve had to be careful about this pregnancy. Thankfully though, I squeaked by as “not anemic” this time around and overall felt better than in my first pregnancy. So thankful for the Lord’s mercies!

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January 2016

We rang in the new year while visiting David’s family. So many great memories!

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The boys put on an impromptu musical for us :D

The boys put on an impromptu musical for us😀

I’m glad I had such a wonderful trip to distract me, because the day after we got back was our anatomy scan. Both David and I couldn’t wait to find out if Caleb would have a brother or a sister. I’d felt boy from the beginning and David had just as strongly felt girl. The morning of the scan, David felt a kick for the first time. Everything started feeling so real…and then when we learned we were having a girl and saw her precious profile for the first time…tears!

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January was also the first month Caleb was able to feel his little sister kick. I feel like I could see his bond with her grow each day. It was this month that he made up a little song for her that he still spontaneously sings her every so often:

“Oh little siiister, I lo-ooo-ooo-ve you.

I hope you grow healthy and stroooong.”

Here’s an excerpt from my journal on Jan. 24th:

Caleb woke up so full of love for me and his baby sister. When I came out, he started hugging me and kissing my belly over and over and telling me how much he loves me and loves little sister. It makes my heart so full.

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I always love the start of a new year. I didn’t make any resolutions, but I was looking forward to using my newfound energy and lack of nausea to get back into a routine, both with homeschool and housekeeping. As we drove back from visiting family, I jotted down a loose daily schedule for both Caleb and I. Mine included a daily block of time to tackle basic things like dishes, wiping down counters and laundry as well as weekly time to lesson plan. His included daily chore time in addition to homeschooling and rest time. Just adding a little bit more structure to our day and week, instead of trying to fit things in here and there, has made a HUGE difference (and is still working as of March!). I know it will all go out the window for a while after baby comes- and that’s ok, but I love that we have something to tweak and go back to.

After we finished homeschooling one day Caleb randomly said, “Mommy, can you please click the banner so I can learn more?” I was totally lost.
“What banner buddy?”
“I don’t know!”
“Well, where did you see it?”
“I didn’t see it. They told us to click it. I think they said on WordFM.org”.

@_@ They are *always* listening…and remembering!

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And of course, I can’t end the post without an honorable mention to “Snowmageddon” where we got our entire winters worth of snow in one storm.

And of course, I can't end the post without an honorable mention to "Snowmageddon" where we got our entire winters worth of snow in one storm.