Yes I’m still pregnant….

Obviously I seem to have taken an unintentional hiatus from blogging.  I don’t know why other than I will say pregnancy brain is real this go around and it’s kind of made my brain stop working all together.  It’s amazing I remember to put on underwear in the mornings (and that’s not even accomplished 100% of the time).  I am closing in on this pregnancy and as I sit here and try to think of even one little thing I will miss, I cannot.  Because I.AM.DONE.  Like, so done.  I remember with Asher Wade I had this sadness that came along with my excitement for him to be born.  I loved being pregnant, loved my belly, loved all the kicks and general feeling of him being all mine.  This time?  I am praying every single day that today will be the day when this baby arrives earth-side and I no longer have to waddle around in constant pain.  I hate to complain, and I am normally a very positive person, and obviously I am SO THANKFUL for this sweet baby, but y’all, these last few months have just been a struggle.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that I am almost 5 years older this go around, or the heat (OMG the heat), or that I already have a very active 4 year old to take care of, but I am just slap worn out and usually in pain.  I’ve had so many pregnancy symptoms, common and not so common, that I didn’t experience with AW, like swollenness, carpal tunnel, indigestion, varicose veins, shin splints, joint pain, insomnia, lower back pain, hemorrhoids (sorry if that is TMI), the list goes on and on.  Plus my body just feels so heavy.  I’m still all belly, and it literally feels like I am carrying around a 40 lb dumbbell in the front all the time.  You should see me trying to get out of bed in the morning.  It’s quite the sight.

All that to say, I am just ready:-)

How far along: 38’ish weeks

Due date: Measurements show my due date August 4th, and the baby is measuring a few weeks ahead of that even.
Gender: BOY!! Still not sure on the name yet. We have it narrowed down to a few that we both agree on and will likely make a game time decision when we meet him.
Size of baby: A watermelon and he’s definitely more than the 7 lbs my app says he is.  At my 35 week ultrasound he was measuring 7.5 lbs.  Asher Wade was just over 7 lbs at BIRTH, so needless to say, this baby is going to be bigger.
Weight gain: As of my appointment this morning I have gained almost 40 lbs.
Maternity clothes: Obviously, and some of those I’m not even fitting into anymore.  I’m wearing mismatched pants and a top today, but whatevs.
Sleep: I get 1-2 decent nights a week, which means I’m still up 2x on those nights, but that’s better than the insomnia I have a lot of the other nights.
Movement: Yes, although he has definitely slowed down as he’s starting to run out of room.  He’s rotated from “sunny side up” to now kind of laying on his side, so I generally have a huge lump on the right side of my belly where his back and booty are.  This also means I feel his little feet on my left side.  So sweet.
Cravings: Nothing out of the ordinary, except maybe sweets.  My appetite has gone down and I tend to want very bland, simple things, like bread and fruit.  Most mornings I have 2 hard boiled eggs and a biscuit and then some sort of protein bar and fruit for lunch.  Dinner is random, but often cereal.  I snack on yogurt and pretzels and definitely have my share of dessert mixed in.
Aversions: Not really anything in particular, but there are a lot of times where things that I normally love, just don’t sound good at all. I feel like I rotate 10 or so things, and I’m pretty content with that.
Symptoms: See the above intro for the gist of it;)
What I miss: Sleep and just feeling like myself in general.  And being able to move around and get dressed like a normal person.
What I’m looking forward to: Duh.  For this baby to make his entrance!
Best moment of the week: My regular Friday morning appointments are always a treat because I love getting confirmation that everything looks good.  I also like finding out about any progress I’ve made.  As of this week I am 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced, although he’s still kind of high up.
Thoughts on pregnancy: I honestly can’t believe I haven’t gone in to labor yet.  Maybe everyone thinks that, but considering that I have been dilated for a few weeks now, and my level of activity, and this being my second child, I just assumed it would happen early.  I’m still going strong at Orangetheory Fitness 4-5x per week, but apparently these high intensity workouts haven’t done anything to move things along, or maybe that’s why I am dilated.  Staying active makes me feel so much better.
 Here are some pics…

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Asher Wade at Four(!!!) Years Old

O.M.Geee. I absolutely cannot believe I have a 4 year old. Like, cannot believe it. These four years have absolutely flown by, and while they certainly haven’t always been easy, they have been wonderful and full of so much laughter and fun. And love. So.much.love. Lately I have really been reflecting on how much is about to change when Baby Boy #2 arrives, and I’m not going to lie, it’s been emotional for me. I just think about how for four years now it’s been just the three of us…the three musketeers. Mine and Matt’s world is about to be rocked for sure, but I don’t think it will be rocked as much as Asher Wade’s. Our family dynamic is about to experience a huge shift, and while this new baby boy is such an incredible blessing and addition to our family, and I know God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect, I can’t help but feel a little sad for what we are going to lose, or what I feel like Asher Wade is going to lose. I hope that doesn’t sound terrible, and bear with me as I’m sure I’m riding a hormonal and emotional roller coaster right now thanks to pregnancy and my first born turning another year older. I guess I’m just mourning the impending loss of my first “baby” in more ways than one. Anywho. That’s probably another hormonal post for another day; one that I’m sure I will write as we get even closer to BB2’s arrival. Right now it’s all about our big 4 year old!

Asher Wade, at 4 years old, here’s what’s going on with you…

 I’ve been saying this since the day you were born, but lawd you are still ALL BOY. You never slow down and I’m convinced you’d survive off 6 hours of sleep, although we do our best to make you get 10’ish. Like your mama, you are NOT a morning person and are very crabby until you have fully woken up and had your milk. You like to just chill and watch TV and not talk to anyone for at least 15 minutes. Once you fully wake-up though, you are going 90 miles per minute, all day long. You love to climb and jump and are quite the daredevil. You aren’t scared of much other than bugs. You are completely terrified of all creepy crawlers. Otherwise you love pretty much all animals. Cody gets on your nerves and we are constantly separating the two of you. He just loves you so much and always wants to play, but you are generally annoyed by him. You like Maddux since he pretty much just lays in his bed all day. You love Annie as well, and I swear she is the most patient cat on the planet considering how she lets you carry her around, often upside down or by the neck. I’m glad you have a soft spot for animals because you will likely always have them around you.

You can be somewhat of a homebody and you love to play with your toys up in your room. You love all of your toys, especially your Roadster Racer Mickey, Paw Patrol Mission RV and Patroller and Blaze Monster Truck. You’ve gotten into board games lately like Chutes and Ladders (although you do not like it when you don’t win), and you still love to read books. You love to play hide n’ seek and tag. Your favorite color is still blue. Favorite TV shows are Mickey and the Roadster Racers (this is the kind of birthday cake you requested this year), The Lion Guard, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Paw Patrol and Bubble Guppies. You loves movies, and lately it has been Toy Story (all of them) and Moana. Oh, and you will ALWAYS watch Cars given the opportunity. You cannot WAIT for Cars 3 to come out this summer. You also love to be outside, much like your mama. Whenever it’s raining you look forlornly out the window and comment how sad you are that you won’t be able to play outside today. You love to ride your bike and scooter, or just investigate around the yard. You like to dig in the dirt, jump in puddles and get muddy. I hate when it rains because I know you will inevitably come home with muddy shoes and pants. You love to go to the playground or any sort of park. You are so inquisitive and you love to investigate. Lately you are really into “fixing things” and “working” as you call it. You use your little tool box and tools that PawPaw got you for Christmas and “fix” your bike and your toys. You always want to help, which I have to remember to be patient about.

Your favorite foods are hot dogs, mac n’ cheese, yogurt, Clif Bars (the kid sized versions), string cheese, grilled cheese, bagels with cream cheese, Chikfila, fruit, pretzels, scrambled eggs, waffles and PB&J. For treats you like marshmallows, popsicles, pieces of chocolate and vanilla ice cream with M&M’s. You pretty much just drink milk and water, and the occasional apple juice or Sprite if we’re at a restaurant. You’re still pretty picky, although it has gotten better. Basically we make you sit at the table until you finish, and at least try new foods. You have slimmed down so much and hardly have any of that cute baby fat anymore. You used to always wear a full size up in clothing, but now you are right on par. For the most part you are in a size 4t, with some 5t’s mixed in. You weigh around 45 pounds and are about 3-1/2 feet tall. You are still incredibly healthy and it is very unusual for you to get sick. You actually came down with some nasty croup like symptoms over the weekend and had to miss school yesterday, I honestly think that is the first day you have missed due to sickness this entire school year. Even if you come down with a cold, you get over it really fast. I am so thankful you are so healthy, especially considering how much I stress about you not eating enough veggies or getting enough vitamins.

You can be a little shy at first, but you warm up within minutes. You aren’t crazy about grown-ups, but you adore your little friends. You say your best friends from school are Scout and Porter (although you guys fight like cats and dogs sometimes) and your best friends at church are Heidi, Harlow and Hudson. You love to have friends over and Thursday night small group is one of the highlights of your week since some of your friends come over to play while the grown-ups do their lesson. You are constantly asking if your teacher, Mrs. Dunmore, can come over to play;) You like to pray for your friends and teachers every night, and usually you throw in one other random request. Last night you wanted to pray that your birthday cake arrived safely from Kentucky, lol! Daddy or I usually help you say your prayers, but lately you have done it all by yourself a couple of times and I always have to hold back tears as I listen to your heartfelt requests. You have such a sweet and genuine heart, and that is a trait I am so proud of and hope you never lose. You are still very loving and will regularly bury your head in my chest and say “I love you SO MUCH mommy.” You like for me to tell you that “you’re my favorite little boy.” Not sure how I am going to handle this when your baby brother gets here;) Overall, you seem excited about getting a baby brother. You are always patting my belly and asking me if I feel OK. Your buddies are fascinated by my big belly and you proudly inform them that your baby brother is in there, getting big and strong, and he’s going to pop out real soon:-)

Some of your biggest strengths are your intelligence, your leadership, your athleticism, your desire to help others (especially kids that are smaller than you), your empathy, your persistency, your energy and your excitement about life in general. Your teachers are always commenting how you have so much passion and just generally love really big. They also comment on your intelligence a lot. You’re the type that completely surprises us with what you know and recall. You’ll do things out of nowhere that we didn’t even know you could do. You have a crazy good memory and don’t forget anything. Some of the struggles we have with you are also related to your persistency, high energy and leadership. You don’t like to sit still, ever, which is obviously problematic when you’re in situations where you have to sit still, like preschool or Sunday school. Your persistency means you are often hard headed and defiant when you don’t get your way. You don’t give in easily. Your leadership means you are very competitive and you want to be in charge, or as you call it, be the “leader.” You always want to win and get pretty upset when you don’t. Your competitiveness has gotten you in trouble a few times at school. Just last week you punched a kid after he told you that you weren’t as fast as him. Aye aye aye. A common goal of mine and your dad’s is to reign in some of those qualities without squashing them, since we know they can have some benefits, especially as you get older. You have a little bit of a temper, and while you don’t have a lot of temper tantrums per se, you get really upset if you don’t get your way, or if things don’t go how you had planned. We are working on how to get you to control your emotions and not act out. We haven’t quite figured out the best discipline for you yet, but it seems to be taking things away, like favorite toys, or removing you from situations. You don’t like to miss out on fun things. Usually a threat to call Daddy works too;) For rewards you LOVE to go to Target and pick out a toy. We have a “good behavior sticker chart” on the fridge and whenever the chart is filled, you get to pick out a new toy. Before the first sticker even goes on the chart you’ve already decided what you want, and it’s all you talk about until your chart is filled and you get your prize.

Asher Wade, I am so proud to be your mama. I thank God everyday for entrusting your daddy and I with you, and I only hope we help shape you into the person God has designed you to be. You are an amazing little boy, and you can go on to do amazing things. You just have to trust God, listen closely and walk the path that He has laid out for you. I want you to know God, trust God, and love Him with all your heart. If you do those three things, you will always be fulfilled, and I will consider my job as a parent successful. I know how much you like to lead and win, but remember, following God is how you will ultimately win. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Pregnancy Journal #2: 25 Weeks

{I’ll tell you what’s crazy. When you see in your little countdown app that you have 15 weeks left! I still feel like this pregnancy is dragging, but overall, 15 weeks doesn’t seem that far off.}
How far along: 25 weeks
Due date: Even though I’ve consistently been measuring a full week ahead, we are going with August 11th because I don’t want to feel pressure to induce earlier
Gender: BOY!!
Size of baby: A rutabaga (no clue what that even looks like) and over 1.5 pounds
Weight gain: I have no clue since my last appointment several weeks ago (which showed a 15 pound weight gain), but I go this coming Monday so I’ll come back and update after that. I’m still primarily gaining in my belly, which seems to be sticking straight out more and more each week. **Update – Had an appointment today (4/24) and I’ve gained a little over 2o’ish pounds.
Maternity clothes: Oh yeah, pretty much all the time. I do have several non-maternity pieces, like tunics and loose fitting tops and dresses, that have continued to work, but for the most part I need more room in the belly area. Being pregnant in the warm weather is a whole new thing for me. Asher Wade was born in April and it was still relatively cool and I pretty much had all cooler weather maternity clothes. It’s already so hot for April this year and I’ve had to buy quite a few summer maternity pieces. I’m kind of obsessed with maternity shorts…so comfortable! My favorites are the Liz Lange brand from Target because they are the perfect length and have cute little cuffs on the bottom.
Sleep: It varies and I’ll have a few good nights, and then several not so good nights. If I fall asleep and stay asleep all night, I’m good, but if something wakes me up (usually Asher Wade as of late) I’m screwed and generally cannot fall back asleep. There have been several nights where I’ve just turned on my Kindle and started reading at like 2 a.m. because I’m wide awake.
Movement: Yes, pretty regularly. It’s still not as much as Asher Wade and he seems to sleep a lot more. I’ll get a random kick or punch every hour or so, just to remind me he’s there I guess. He’s most active in the evenings when I’m relaxing. Matt has finally been able to feel him move. For awhile there, when I’d have Matt put his hand on my belly during a particularly active spurt, baby would suddenly go completely still…almost like he just knew Matt was trying to feel him, lol. Asher Wade has been able to feel a few kicks as well, which is very entertaining for him.
Cravings: Really nothing out of the ordinary, other than maybe cake. Give me all the cake. Like, I’m talking we keep a full on cake in the fridge at all times. Maybe it’s just sweets in general, and definitely still fruity candies. Still though, it’s not like with Asher Wade where I was eating Tazikis and Panera for 90% of my meals. Most evenings I really just want cereal. Lunch has been my biggest meal of the day, and then I just kind of snack throughout the rest of the day. I can already tell that I’m running out of room in my belly because I get uncomfortable pretty quickly if I eat too much.
Aversions: Not really anything in particular, but there are a lot of times where things that I normally love, just don’t sound good at all.
Symptoms: Some swelling in my feet, which is new this go around, and really annoying. Most of my cute shoes are too tight:( Still having a lot of pain in my ankles, shins and calves, although it’s primarily on my left side. This is also the ankle where I have the most swelling and spider veins, so I’m not sure what’s going on. I’m definitely going to talk to my OB about it on Monday, just to make sure it’s nothing I need to be concerned with. It helps a lot if I can keep my feet elevated, but that isn’t easy to do at work. I may bring in a small ottoman or something. My belly tightens up a lot to the point where I have to lay down, especially in the evenings, and I’ve been having a lot of Braxton Hicks, something I didn’t experience much with Asher Wade. I wouldn’t say I’m terribly uncomfortable, but I definitely don’t feel comfortable;)
What I miss: Wine and sleeping on my belly. I’ve been wanting a glass of cold wine so bad lately and I ended up treating myself to 4 ounces the other night while sitting on my neighbor’s back porch. It was fabulous. I also miss being able to jog outside, or even walk more than 20 minutes for that matter, without the stupid pain in my ankles and shins.
What I’m looking forward to: Having a weekend at home where we have nothing on the agenda so we can get some things done! We have had such a busy spring and I’m so ready for some downtime so I can start “nesting.” We have everything for the nursery and now we just need to pull the room together and put on the finishing touches. I need to pull out all of Asher Wade’s baby clothes, wash and sort, and figure out what else we may need. I also have this urge to do some major deep cleaning throughout the house.  There are several other house projects I want completed before D-Day as well. We are out of town this weekend, and then we have family in town for Asher Wade’s birthday party next weekend, but starting in May, I am planning to slow down a lot and starting focusing on baby prep.
Best moment of the week: Kind of random, but the other day when I went to pickup Asher Wade from school, several of his buddies were standing with him and they are all so fascinated with my belly and always want to touch it and ask about the baby. (Most of them have never seen a pregnant person up so close and personal and they just think it’s the most interesting thing in the world, while I on the other hand feel like a science experiment). Asher Wade just stood back, hands on hips, with so much pride, telling everyone “Yep, that’s my baby brother. He’s getting really big and strong and he’s going to pop out soon.” He truly sounded like a proud, big brother, and I just thought it was the sweetest thing.
Thoughts on pregnancy: I’ve started thinking about how much things are going to change, particularly our family dynamic, and it has started to make me a little emotional. I guess I never really considered how different it will be to divide time and energy between Asher Wade and the new baby. I mean, it’s been just Asher Wade for 4 years now. He’s gotten all of our time, love, energy and attention, like any only-child, and now that is about to be completely rocked. I almost feel a little (ok, a lot) guilty about how much things are going to change, knowing that he doesn’t even realize it. I could go on and on about this, and it probably deserves its own blog post at some point, but it’s been a very emotional process for me lately as I think about the changes coming and how Asher Wade is about to lose his only-child title. I guess I just worry about how I’m going to divide my time between two kids, and give them both everything they deserve. I will say this, I am SO GLAD we waited to have a second, mainly because I’m happy that Asher Wade had all this time to himself, and that Matt and I were able to devote so much to him. I don’t feel like he missed out on anything. I know we will start creating wonderful, new memories as a family of four, but I’m so thankful for the 4 years of memories we created as a family of 3. Long live the 3 musketeers:-)
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Pregnancy Journal #2: 21 Weeks

How far along: 21 weeks
Due date: Even though I’ve consistently been measuring a full week ahead, we are going with August 11th because I don’t want to feel pressure to induce earlier
Gender: BOY!!
Size of baby: A banana, and at my appointment he was coming in just under 1 pound
Weight gain: 15 pounds…pretty much all still in my belly and thighs
Maternity clothes: Yep, unless it just happens to be a loose fitting dress or tunic that I previously had. I have a lot of Lilly Pulitzer swing dresses and tunics, so they have come in handy. I’ve also picked up several of those body hugging dresses with the ruching on the side. I don’t like my clothing to be big and boxy, or I feel even bigger, but I need the stretch in my belly. There’s not many maternity clothing options in stores, so I’ve been ordering mostly online. Gap, Target and Isabella Oliver have been my go-to brands. I wear a lot of Lululemon and have just gone up a size to accommodate my growing belly.
Sleep: It varies and I’ll have a few good nights, and then several not so good nights. If I fall asleep and stay asleep all night, I’m good, but if something wakes me up (usually Asher Wade as of late) I’m screwed and generally cannot fall back asleep. There have been several nights where I’ve just turned on my Kindle and started reading at like 2 a.m. because I’m wide awake.
Movement: Yes, it has picked up a lot over the last week or so and he is especially active in the evenings when I’m finally resting. My activity during the day seems to keep him in a constant state of sleepiness, so I guess he likes movement. He’s definitely not as busy as Asher Wade was and the jabs and kicks are more sporadic.
Cravings: It still changes day to day, or meal to meal, but nothing unusual. I’ll get something in my head and I usually have to have it. Mexican has continued to be a staple. I’ve had Tazikis on the brain for the past several days and I really need to make that happen soon. I want frozen yogurt a lot, although mainly for the toppings. I pretty much always have some sort of chocolate on hand. I’ve been craving protein as well. Other staples have been bagels, Clif bars, salads with salmon, PB&J, hard boiled eggs and Smoothie King. Oh, and I’m embarrassed to say how many boxes of Girl Scout cookies I have gone through:-)
Aversions: Not really anything in particular…and I’m thankful that coffee finally tastes good again.
Symptoms: Some lower back and hip discomfort, especially after sitting for extended periods, a lot of tightness in my belly, especially in the evenings, a swirl of spider veins around my left ankle and I’ve still been pretty itchy, although that has gotten a little better. Then of course there’s the general exhaustion. I am so wiped in the evenings it’s all I can do not to just get in the bathtub the moment I get home from work and crawl into bed. It’s not so much that I’m tired, but that my body is physically exhausted. The highlight of my day is when I finally crawl into bed and sink into the mattress.
What I miss: Wine and sleeping on my belly. I’ve been wanting a glass of good red wine so bad lately and may end up treating myself to a small portion.
What I’m looking forward to: Finishing up the nursery. We are so much further along than we were at this point with Asher Wade, probably because we already had the furniture and because I had a clear vision in my head of what I wanted it to look like. The shiplap accent wall is all done and looks great and I’m waiting on some artwork to come in to hang on that wall over the crib, and a fluffy white rug and a few other decorative pieces.
Best moment of the week: Receiving a good report at my appointment on Monday and getting some great shots of our little guy. He was so cooperative for the pictures. We brought Asher Wade with us and I loved how excited AW was to see his baby brother on the screen.
Thoughts on pregnancy: It still feels like it’s going really slow. Maybe it felt like this with Asher Wade and I just don’t remember. One thing I know is that I didn’t have this level of exhaustion with Asher Wade, but I have to keep reminding myself that we have so much more on our plates now, simply from the fact that we already have a kid. Plus I know I am working out a lot more than I did during my first pregnancy.
Here’s a few ultrasound pictures from this past Monday and a few bump pictures from the last week or so…
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Pregnancy #2 Journal: 17 Weeks

How far along: 17’ish weeks. My OB said we’d have a more accurate estimate at my 20 week anatomy scan.
Due date: Somewhere between August 4th and August 11th…again, hoping to have a better estimate at my next appointment
Gender: BOY!!
Size of baby: an avocado, one of my most favorite foods
Weight gain: Ummm, 10 pounds, lol! I gained really slowly in the beginning, but apparently packed it on over the past month. It’s mostly in my belly, which already feels so heavy, but I can also see it in my thighs. I know I sound like a broken record, but this pregnancy is so different from my first! At this point with Asher Wade I had only gained 4 pounds and I was barely showing.
Maternity clothes: Yep. All the time, with the exception of my regular leggings and some tunics.
Sleep: Better, although I still wake up at least once during the night, or really early in the morning before my alarm goes off. My Snoogle has helped immensely.
Movement: Still some flutters and I’m pretty sure I felt a few random kicks this past weekend.
Cravings: It’s all over the board and changes day to day. I cannot plan for anything because I have no idea what will ultimately sound good come meal time. Last week I was on this breakfast kick and hit up the Whole Foods breakfast bar twice, filling my to-go container with enough breakfast food for that morning AND for lunch later in the day. Mexican food is pretty much a staple. We had friends over Friday night and did a taco bar and it was everything and more. Fruit (especially pineapple), chips (especially with guacamole) and bread (especially cornbread…so random) are staples as well. I crave sushi too, and was happy to have some two weekends in a row. I definitely find myself craving protein. Also still scarfing gummy and fruity candies.
Aversions: Not really anything in particular…it’s just that a lot of stuff doesn’t sound good one day, but then may the next.
Symptoms: Some lower back discomfort, especially after sitting for extended periods, a lot of tightness in my belly, which my OB says is likely from my uterus expanding. A swirl of spider veins have popped up around my left ankle. Maybe TMI, but my boobs are incredibly sore and tender. Good times;)
What I miss: Wine and sleeping on my belly
What I’m looking forward to: Getting started on the nursery (we made a tiny bit of progress this weekend, and various furniture/decorative pieces are starting to be delivered). We are planning to shiplap one of the walls in the nursery, so I’m anxious to get started on that. Once that’s completed we’ll be able to start arranging furniture and setting up the crib. It’s not for another few weeks, but I’m looking forward to our 20 week ultrasound.
Best moment of the week: Getting a good report at my appointment last week and hearing that strong heartbeat.
Thoughts on pregnancy: It feels like it’s going really slow. Maybe that’s because I’ve been more uncomfortable this go around, but I just assumed it would go by fast since we are so much busier than last time and generally have so much going on. It really seems to be dragging though. I’m trying to relish in it and enjoy everything since this will most likely be my last baby, but it’s been a challenge. Maybe it’s the fact that we are so busy all.the.time, and I can’t actually sit back and enjoy the whole experience, or maybe it’s because we’re so busy that we haven’t had time to do any preparations, or maybe it’s still just so early that it hasn’t totally set in yet. I don’t really know, but I’m hoping my attitude softens a little in the coming weeks. I’m also hoping that our weekends will slow down so we can put more focus on preparations.
Here’s a couple bump pictures that I randomly took last week. I’ve got to get better about asking Matt to take pictures of me in the same outfit so it’s easier to tell the progress, but you can definitely see how much I have popped.
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BIG News!!!

So it’s no secret that I’ve been a little M.I.A. on here over the last couple of months. Whenever I have some big news I tend to hold back from a lot of social media, including blogging, because I’m always afraid I’ll slip-up somehow or post something that gives it away. I know that’s totally unlikely, but you know when you’re keeping a secret and you’d rather not take the chance of inadvertently disclosing it, so you avoid all forms of socialization? That may be a little dramatic, but you get my drift.

Anyways. Back to the big news….

I’m pregnant! With another baby BOY! My due date was originally 8/11, but I’ve been measuring about a week ahead, so now we’re looking at 8/4. That puts me at around 15 weeks this Friday. Everything looks great and I have a healthy, strong baby boy growing inside me, and for that we are so thankful. Since I’m 35 (and considered “old” as far as pregnancy goes) I knew there were some added risks, so it was a relief to hear that everything looked perfect. It was recommended that I do that Harmony testing to check for any abnormalities, and it also checks for a Y chromosome in case you’d like to know the gender. So we were able to find out the gender at 12 weeks, which was pretty cool. Can’t believe we are going to have TWO little boys running around our house!

Answers to the usual questions:

Were you guys trying? We weren’t being “intentional” like we were with Asher Wade (tracking my cycle and whatnot), but we also weren’t being “careful.” I stopped taking the pill in September and had a positive pregnancy test around the first few days of December.

I thought y’all were only going to have one kid?! Honestly, we weren’t sure whether we’d have another kid or not, even though deep down I knew I probably wanted one. I couldn’t imagine not having another, going through pregnancy and delivery again….it’s all just so magical. Still though, we were pretty content with Asher Wade and our family dynamic and had never really made a decision one way or the other. Suddenly though I had this strong desire to have another baby. Kind of like when I just “knew” I was ready the first time. I brought this up to Matt one day and he said he felt the same way. So it was definitely meant to be.

How did you find out? I was actually at Orangetheory at lunchtime one day and something just felt off. The workouts are always challenging, but this day felt especially difficult, and I felt very lethargic. My cycle isn’t always 28 days, so even though I was 1 or 2 days late, that wasn’t unusual. Still though, I just knew something was off. As soon as I left Orangetheory I stopped at CVS and picked up a pregnancy test. I drove back to work and promptly took the test in the bathroom stall. That positive sign popped up in literally 5 seconds, clear as day. I took a picture of it and texted it to Matt. Needless to say he was a little shocked to see that text message come through;)

How have you been feeling? Eh. December and January were pretty rough. I was so queasy throughout most of that time. Thankfully I was off work a lot due to the holidays, but there were several days where I just counted the minutes until I could get home to the couch. The weird thing is I never actually threw up. Not once. But I felt like I was going to 24/7, which is sometimes even worse. And then there’s the general exhaustion and tiredness. There were so many nights where I’d come home from work and not leave the couch until I relocated to our bed. I appear to have turned a corner over the last week or so, thankfully, and I’m hoping to have a smoother ride going forward.

Is this pregnancy different from your first? YES! So different. I didn’t really feel sick the first time and I honestly remember thinking I felt even better pregnant than I did not pregnant. I remember telling people all the time during my first pregnancy that I would totally be pregnant for the rest of my life, lol. Not so much this time. Besides the aforementioned nausea, I just don’t feel great in general. I’ve had headaches, and a lot of pressure and discomfort in my belly. Sleep is already a challenge and I’m barely in my second trimester. I’m much more tired, but then again, I have A LOT more going on this pregnancy because I have another child to tend to. Not to mention I’m almost 5 years older. I’ve been so itchy as well, which is random. Then there’s this belly. Right now my 14 week bump is about the size of my 20 week bump with Asher Wade. I started showing so early this go around, which I know is normal, but it still shocked me. No complaint there though….I LOVE this sweet baby bump. So overall, it has just been a very different pregnancy. I don’t mean to sound negative…just being honest. Doesn’t change the fact that I am SO THANKFUL and beyond excited for this new little life.

Did you want a boy or girl? I really didn’t have a strong preference one way or the other. I wanted a girl for silly reasons like buying little girl clothes and decorating a girly nursery and just for something different, but I also wanted another boy because I know what to expect and we already have so much “boy stuff” and I honestly just love being a “boy mom.” I had no idea how much I would love having a little boy until AW came along. He completely stole my heart a million times over, and I have no doubt this new baby boy will do the same thing.

How did Asher Wade react to the news? I’m still not entirely sure how much he actually “gets it.” He calls the baby “mommy’s friend in her belly” and he’s finally starting to understand that he has to be careful around my belly. When I picked him up from school yesterday one of the teachers told me that he had informed everyone that he was getting a baby brother, so obviously he understands a little. He has been very clear that he wants a baby brother. We took him to one of the OB visits and he was fascinated with the ultrasound and watching the baby bounce all around. He got upset when the tech moved the wand and the baby went out of view. Overall, I’d say he’s been rather agnostic about the whole thing, but at least he’s not bitter;)

I’ll be doing regular updates throughout the pregnancy like I did with Asher Wade, so definitely check back for those (probably every other Friday). I’ve been writing posts and saving them in draft form ever since I found out I was pregnant, and I just made them public, so feel free to check them out here, here, here and here.

We had these precious pictures taken this past weekend in anticipation of our big announcement and I just love how they came out. I ordered this sign (in digital format) from a cute shop on Etsy called Coconut Designs and had it printed with a foam backing at FedEx. I love the Valentine’s Day theme. You wouldn’t know it by looking at the pictures, but Asher Wade was a total turd that day and we almost didn’t think we’d get any shots, but thankfully he came around right before we were about to pack it up and call it a day. I just love his sweet smile and spirit.

Pregnancy #2 Journal: 10 Weeks

Due date: August 11, 2017

How far along: 10 weeks
Size of baby: a prune, but hopefully not as shriveled
Weight gain: I honestly have no idea, but I’d guess 1-3 pounds, all in my belly for sure
Maternity clothes: no, but any day now….I have an obvious pooch and it’s pretty much stretchy leggings and tunics right now and I actually did bust out a pair of maternity leggings the other night
Movement: no
Sleep: not great due to the constant queasiness makes it hard and it takes me awhile to get comfortable, and then there’s the 1 or 2 bathroom trips during the night, and for whatever reason I wake up around 5 and can’t fall back asleep
Cravings: I’m still craving tuna salad sandwiches, which is of course one of the things I’m supposed to limit while pregnant, and then there’s the veggies burgers with extra pickles, avocado and fries, Mexican food in general (especially things like the burrito bowls at Moe’s), tomato soup (preferably Panera) and grilled cheese to dip in it, cinnamon raisin bagels warmed up with nothing on them, Skittles and other fruity candies, Wendy’s Frosties, Clif bars (but only the Sierra Trail Mix flavor…random).
Aversions: I still can’t stand the smell or look of coffee, dairy (with the exception of a Frosty), sweets (except for the aforementioned Skittles) and pretty much anything other than what I listed above. It’s hard for me to even open the fridge or pantry sometimes.
Symptoms: queasy pretty much all day everyday, but especially in the evenings, and I’m more tired in general and so flippin’ gassy!
What I miss: feeling normal and not having this nausea all the time
What I’m looking forward to: our third ultrasound in a couple of weeks and finally making this pregnancy public
Best moment of the week: Getting to see our sweet baby at our most recent ultrasound, moving around like crazy, and with a very strong heart beat of 169. We brought Asher Wade with us and my heart about melted as he got so excited when the baby popped up on the screen. He intently watched and asked questions and then got worried when our nurse moved the wand and the baby went out of view. “Where’s the baby?!” He also kept asking me if I was “feeling well” and seemed a little nervous about me laying on the table with the wand on my belly.
Thoughts on pregnancy: I’m kind of in this awkward phase where I really want to get going on preparations, but I don’t quite feel like we are in that “clear zone” yet if you know what I mean. For some reason I feel so much more at ease when I get to that 12-week mark, even though we’ve had two great appointments and everything looked perfect. For example, the plan is to move AW in to what is now the playroom and make his current room the nursery. I’d love to get started on this, but am still hesitant to get too ahead of myself. I’m also ready to tell people at work because I’m getting tired of wearing bulky clothes to hide my growing bump, but again, I feel like it’s too soon. We have told several people (way more than what we did with AW), but I’m ready to make it officially public. I’m technically 12 weeks on the 26th of this month, but we are leaning towards a Valentine’s Day announcement:-)
Here’s my 10-week bump picture and a side by side comparing to my 8-week picture. Not much change.

10 Things Learned in 10 Years of Marriage

Today Matt and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary!  This is so surreal to me. Time really has gone by so fast, especially since having Asher Wade. It seems not so long ago that we were enjoying our gorgeous wedding, and so much of the following months and years seem like such a blur, but then there were also some very challenging seasons that seemed to drag forever. Marriage is definitely full of seasons. The good ones go by so fast, and the more difficult ones take their time. Life is kind of like that in general, wouldn’t you say? Still though, we have weathered through some things and have stayed strong and happy and in love, and that’s all that matters to me. God has blessed us no doubt, and He’s carried us through everything and allowed us to rejoice in so much. I’m so thankful for this life I’ve built with Matt and this family we are growing, and I hope I always remember not to take a single day for granted.

A few years back I did a similar post titled “8 Things Learned in 8 Years of Marriage,” so rather than reinvent the wheel I thought I’d include those 8 things (maybe with a few updates) and then add 2 more. It’s safe to say I’ve definitely learned at least 2 new things since then;)

1. Marriage.takes.work. A lot of it. Very early on I thought this was a total cliche…something people just said. Let me tell you…there is nothing truer. In fact, now I firmly believe that if you aren’t working at your marriage, you’re slowing killing it. I don’t think neither Matt nor I believed this for the first few years. Maybe not even until we had a kid. Now that we have to put so much time, effort and energy in to raising a child, our marriage doesn’t naturally receive the attention like it used to. We have to consciously give it attention. The outcome is definitely worth the effort though.

2. You are going to annoy the heck out of each other. The things that were once endearing, are going to become like nails on a chalkboard. They will do things that drive you batty. Guess what though? You are equally as annoying in some way or another. No one is perfect, and to some extent, we’re all challenging to live with. Learn to accept it and move on. When it gets to where you are constantly focused on the imperfections, remind yourself that they were perfect in your eyes at some point. You don’t focus on the negative things during the early part of dating…you only see the good things. Although they were seemingly perfect during that googly-eyed dating phase, imperfections will reveal themselves a few years down the road, on both sides, but in reality there is no such thing as a perfect person. If you keep letting imperfections rule your thoughts, you’ll never be happy. Learn to accept, just as you have been accepted.

3. If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it’s only that way because they water it more. Instead of hopping the fence to greener pastures, maybe just water your own pasture a little more.

4. Marriage has no room for pride. This is hands down the hardest concept for us to grasp. Pride gets in our way more than anything else and most of the fights we’ve had have stemmed from one of us (usually both) being prideful. A lot can be said for being vulnerable and saying sorry. Chances are that it will completely change the mood and the other person will in turn apologize. The bottom line is that someone has to go first, so just be that person and quit agonizing over it. (Something else that our pastor recently said that really struck a chord with me was how the word “I” will be the biggest struggle you’ll ever face in marriage. Meaning that the biggest challenge is learning to put your spouse’s needs and desires before your own. It’s human nature to want to get your way, and it’s so difficult to set aside your own agenda to serve the needs and wants of another, but it really is such a crucial key to a successful marriage…something that we are still working on.)

5. If “Marriage” was a job listed in the classifieds it wouldn’t require any skills upon hire. This is because you learn on the job. It’s the most on-the-job-training you’ll ever get. The best thing you can do is go in eager and ready to learn. When things get tough, that means it’s time to learn some new skills. Just think of your current job – when a new challenge presents itself you don’t just clock out and say “yeah, that’s too hard.” No, you’d figure out what you need to do to accomplish this new task. Marriage has to be the same to be successful.

6. Criticism and requests for change are not the same thing. Learn how to differentiate between the two, and more importantly, learn how to express the two. You can get way more bang for your buck if you learn how to ask for things in a positive and encouraging way. Criticism just leads to hurt feelings, anger and resentment. Learn how to ask for what you want in a way that makes the other person want to give it to you, without being manipulative or critical.

7. If you feel the need to start a sentence with “I don’t mean to be rude/offensive/disrespectful…” you are going to come across as being exactly that, so maybe just don’t say it. Same goes for, “I’m not sure that I should say this, but….” Close your mouth. Take a step away from the situation and think it through. I have learned the hard way (as both a deliverer and receiver) that words can cut like a knife. They don’t just go away either, and they can be remembered for a long time. Choose your words carefully.

8. You need God in the center. Period. I don’t know how people make it work without God in their marriage, or some common ground and shared faith. I’m not saying that if you’re not in church together every single Sunday you aren’t going to make it. I’m just saying you have to have something to fall back on to remind you of the commitment you made, and remind you of the values and morals you share. Whenever we’ve hit a rough patch, we’ve always had God in our corner, talking to us quietly, whispering in our ears and reminding us of the covenant we made to each other and to Him, helping us see past the anger and frustration, and remember the love and friendship, and most importantly, the commitment we made. Also, remember that no problem is too big for God to fix.

9. Learn to serve your spouse. Figure out what their “love language” is or what makes them feel loved and cherished and important. What makes them happy? What do they enjoy doing? What helps them to relax? If they had a day to themselves, what would they do? Figure these things out and then try to do them. It’s not always easy, especially when you have crazy schedules and kids and jobs and just generally have a lot going on, but it can be as simple as putting away the dishes, cooking a nice dinner, taking the kid out of the house for a couple of hours, letting them pick the movie or restaurant, saying “Yes” when you really just want to roll over and say “No.”;) You get my drift. Figure out ways you can meet their needs and serve them and then take note of the change you’ll see at home.

10. Don’t let one bad season determine what marriage is to you. A season is just that, a season. It will pass. Things will get better. Just because you may go through a difficult patch, it doesn’t mean that is how all your years of marriage will be. I’ll never forget this one day when Asher Wade was a newborn and he had horrible colic and I was home with him on maternity leave and it was an incredibly difficult time. A friend called me to check in and I basically just cried and told her how hard this all was and that motherhood was nothing like I had envisioned. She gave me what turned out to be the best advice I received from anyone (and let me tell you, I received a lot of advice). She told me that what I’m going through right now is simply a blip in a lifetime of being a mother and I should not let this one challenging season define what motherhood will be like for me. You guys, that advice completely changed my perspective. It has kind of become my mantra in life, and it absolutely works for both motherhood and marriage. Like I mentioned above, you WILL go through challenging seasons in marriage, but that does not mean your entire marriage is, or should be, challenging. The good can far outweigh the bad. In fact, how you handle those challenging seasons can make you stronger as a couple and allow to revel in the really good seasons even more. Don’t let a challenging season define what marriage is. It’s so much more.

I love you Matt!  So happy to do this life with you…

Pregnancy #2 Journal: 8 Weeks

Due date: August 11, 2017
How far along: 8 weeks
Size of baby: a juicy raspberry
Weight gain: I honestly have no idea, but I’d guess maybe a pound or so

Maternity clothes: no, but it won’t be long….I have an obvious pooch and it’s pretty much stretchy leggings and tunics right now
Movement: no
Sleep: ehh, the constant queasiness makes it hard and it takes me awhile to get comfortable, AND I’m already making 1 or 2 bathroom trips during the night
Cravings: it’s not that I really crave things so much as there are only certain things that actually sound good to me, like Taco Bell bean burritos (must be Taco Bell ONLY), tomato soup (preferably Panera) and grilled cheese to dip in it, cinnamon raisin bagels warmed up with nothing on them, tuna salad (preferably Penn Station), Sonic tater tots, pickles, veggie burgers with sweet potato fries, chips and crackers, Skittles
Aversions: a lot of stuff, including my beloved morning coffee (I can’t even stand the smell or sight of it), dairy, sweets (except for the aforementioned Skittles) and pretty much anything other than what I listed above
Symptoms: queasy pretty much all day everyday, but especially in the evenings, and I’m more tired in general
What I miss: feeling normal and not having this horrible nausea all the flippin’ time
What I’m looking forward to: our second ultrasound next week
Best moment of the week: It’s not pregnancy related, but taking a trip with Matt to Savannah was exactly what I needed. We did a decent amount of sight seeing, but we also rested A LOT and slept in every morning. Made to order breakfasts at our sweet B&B was perfect for my weird cravings/aversions and Savannah has so many great food options that I was always able to find something to eat. But again, the extra sleep and general lack of responsibility was absolutely ahh-mazing.
Thoughts on pregnancy: It’s just so different this go around, and I’m only 8 weeks. I can’t believe that I’m already showing, whereas with Asher Wade I didn’t “show” until like 14 weeks. I’m getting nervous about trying to hide it, at least at work for the time being. I was definitely not this queasy with AW either, so that’s been a not-so-fun experience this go around. On the flip side, I am way more relaxed this time and don’t freak out over every little thing and I’ve definitely gone against some of those “pregnancy rules” like not sleeping on your back, not taking hot baths, not eating soft cheese or sushi, etc. I realized just last night that I’m not supposed to be using products containing retinol, which my night cream definitely has in it. Honestly, I should probably be a little more cautious, lol. Already an obvious second child and he/she isn’t even earth side yet;)
8 week bump pic…just a little pooch:-)

Pregnancy #2 Journal: 6 Weeks

Still somewhat in shock that I’m preggo and writing this update. I mean, I do understand how babies are made, so it shouldn’t be all that shocking that I have found myself in this state of affairs, but it’s still kind of surreal. I’ll tell you what’s really surreal…going back and looking for my 6 Week update from my pregnancy with Asher Wade so I could follow the same format. I ended up going down this rabbit hole and reading posts from way back when and let me tell you…I hardly even recognize or remember that time in my life. It is so DIFFERENT. Want to make yourself feel really old? Go back on social media and see what you were doing on the weekends 5 years ago. Let’s just say it wasn’t a Saturday full of Costco, Target, laundry, wiping pee off the walls, arguing over what super hero underwear to wear, Disney Jr., 6 a.m. wake-up calls and 9 p.m. bedtimes. Life changes, y’all.
On that note, I feel old. This pregnancy has been rougher on me so far. Granted I am 4+ years older and I do have a 3.5 year old toddler now, but man, I’m on the pregnancy struggle bus. I’ve been very tired and nauseous and just generally feeling blah. Exercise has been a challenge, and besides totally lacking the motivation to be active, I just don’t have the strength or energy. I’m also dealing with a nasty cold and clogged ears. Hoping this is just temporary and that I’ll feel better once I get through the first trimester. Matt has really stepped up his game and has been handling so much around the house and with Asher Wade, which I am so thankful for. Most days I just want to come home and lay on the couch and eat saltines.
Due date: August 11, 2017
How far along: 6 weeks
Size of baby: a sweet pea (which is also what I’ve started calling this baby)
Weight gain: I feel like I’ve gained 10 lbs., but in actuality I haven’t gained any weight…I just look really bloated and like I’ve enjoyed one too many donuts
Maternity clothes: not yet, but I’m most comfortable in leggings and tunics, assuming I can’t be in my comfy pj’s
Movement: no
Sleep: not really any different, other than struggling to stay off my stomach and dealing with this cough
Cravings: more like what I can actually stomach…pretzels, crackers, bagels, fruit, french fries, Taco Bell bean burrito, pasta, salty snacks
Aversions: a lot of stuff, including my beloved morning coffee, dairy, sweets
Symptoms: queasy pretty much all day everyday, head aches, fatigue and low energy, bloated
What I miss: feeling normal
What I’m looking forward to: our second ultrasound in 3 weeks, telling our parents this coming weekend
Best moment of the week: going in for my first OB appointment and ultrasound and getting to hear the heartbeat…best sound in the whole world:-)
Thoughts on pregnancy: It’s so different this go around. I’m not near as paranoid or anxious. I’m not following all the “rules” so strictly and have been sleeping on my stomach, soaking in warm baths, taking cold medicine, and just generally doing things that I avoided like the plague with my first pregnancy. I followed every single little rule to a tee the first time, and this time I’m just following the main rules…you know like no binge drinking, shooting heroine or eating raw meat;) In all seriousness though, I’m just not as paranoid and trust my body more this go around. I think I’m also still in the “Is this really happening” phase, so I haven’t entirely gotten in the preggo mindset and accepted the fact that things are about to change. Fast.
I don’t have a bump picture because there really isn’t much to see. Also, I’m a little bitter after I went back and looked at my 6 week bump picture from my first pregnancy? I mean, pretty sure I had a six pack. I was hoping I’d be back to my pre-pregnancy (first pregnancy) physique before getting knocked up again, but seeing as how it’s been 4+ years and I’m still not there, I guess I’ll throw in the towel on that one. There’s still hope after I pop this baby out, right??