Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Newborn photos

When Piper was 9 days old, we headed down to Virginia Beach to meet with Amy Sandoval of Amy Sandoval Photography for her newborn pictures. Amy did Jade's newborn pictures and did our family pictures when Jade turned 1. I have been beyond pleased with everything she has done for us and this time was no exception.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The rollercoaster begins

The majority of the time we've been a family of four, Chuck's mom was in town. Tuesday, she went back to Minnesota and since then it's been just the four of us. Tomorrow, it's just me and the girls as Chuck heads back to work.

I'll be honest: I'm scared. Breastfeeding is still challenging and taking a lot of time, although it is a lot easier than it was two weeks ago (thankfully). Jade is, understandably, still having problems adjusting. She loves her baby sister but wants her mama and I can't be there for her like she's used to.

Chuck and I were talking yesterday and we are both amazed at how little we got done while he was off. We feel like we've been going non-stop. We're both exhausted and want nothing more than a full night's sleep. Yet, the house is still dirty and nothing got checked off the to do list. It's so easy to forgot, in just 18 short months, how much time a newborn takes up. It's hard for me to look around and see things that I need/want to do and just let it go. But right now, that's where I'm at. And that's ok.

This week, my goal is simple: to enjoy some of my time with my girls. It's going to be a hard week, that's undeniable. But in-between the tantrums (Jade) and the crying (Piper), we can have fun. We can go to the park. We can go to MOPS and playgroup. And while my mind might be racing... making my to do list, planning the next feeding, and just trying to handle two babies and all the stuff they come with, I can still have fun. I can relish in the fact that Jade loves to say "Piper" and give her kisses. I can love the feel of Piper's sweet breath on my chest as she's tucked into my stretchy wrap. I can enjoy this crazy time, with God's strength and patience.

First time holding her sister


First time in the wrap. I'm sure it won't be the last :)

Love this one

Friday, December 2, 2011


I really want to be posting more consistently right now. I do, I promise.

However, the majority of my day is spent breastfeeding, and when I'm not doing that, I'm trying to spend time with Jade. At night, I crash. This is the latest I've been up since Piper was born and I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open.

It's funny, because when Jade was this age, people told me I would look back on those days and miss them. I don't. Her being 2 months old... that I miss. How she would just curl up on me and go to sleep. But 2 weeks? I don't miss. My babies and I have a hard time getting to know each other when it comes to breastfeeding and it honestly makes life miserable until we figure it out.

So that's where we're out. Sleep deprived and frustrated. Still, I love my little family and I'm so excited to have 2 beautiful daughters. I will try to start posting more frequently, but no promises. My family comes first :)

Getting ready to leave the hospital. Isn't Jade's smile nice?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thoughts about baby #2

Things you manage to forget in 18 months:

1. How much labor hurts. Practical joke from God, I say.

2. How much you can instantly love someone.

3. How much it hurts when your milk comes in. Hello, playboy boobs.

4. The funny squeaky noises newborns make.

5. How funny it is when they scream when you're changing their diaper. They seriously seem to think you're trying to kill them.

6. How good they smell.

7. How funny they look. Don't get me wrong, I think Piper is beautiful. But newborns look funny. They just do.

8. The funny faces they make in their sleep.

9. How calming it is when they sleep on your chest.

10. How all of a sudden nothing else seems important. My world might be very small right now, but it is very full. My little family means the world to me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baby Sister is here!

Piper Lorelai was born yesterday at 10:48 am. She was 7lbs 4ozs and 19.25 inches long.

Birth story will follow- but for now I'm enjoying my bonding time with my little girl.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New car

So this post is LONG overdue, but I'm trying to catch up on some stuff before the baby comes. (Which means the baby still isn't here, if you missed that. 38 weeks tomorrow!!)

Anyways, the car. Despite the fact that most of you won't care, I'm going to give you some back story. Because I care, and this is my blog . Yes, I'm feeling a little snarky. I figured that would be ok with you guys. Being snarky that is. If you don't want to read the backstory, you don't have to. Just scroll down to the pictures. Really, it's fine.

My first car was a 97 Toyota Corolla. I grew up in what I lovingly refer to as a "Toyota family". My family has super-bad luck with American-made cars and great luck with Toyotas. My mom had a 91 Previa that lasted over 200,000 miles with absolutely no issues. That's a good car.

I loved my Corolla. Lovingly called him "Charlie". Don't ask, I have no idea why that was his name, but he told me his name and I complied. I drove Charlie all the way through my senior year of college. I had decided to do the responsible thing and drive Charlie until his wheels fell off. I was NOT going to do the typical ROTC thing and buy a new car right before graduation because I knew that Charlie would last for many, many more years.

And then I got my orders to Alaska. And although it certainly wasn't necessary, I finally had my excuse to buy my dream truck. A Tacoma. I mean, a girl in Alaska needs 4WD, right?

So I did it. Traded in Charlie (who had about 150,000 miles on him) and bought an 06 Tacoma. And I loved my truck. I mean loved. We bonded on our road trip to Alaska. I learned how to drive in the snow in that truck. It was my baby. By the way, in case you were wondering, his name was Bruce. As in Bruce Wayne. I do love Batman. It was a silver truck, but I decided that Batman wouldn't mind that his namesake wasn't black.

Bruce on one of our many road trips.

This is when Chuck and I drove to the Arctic Circle. The roads are uh... interesting :)

But then, in September 09, I found out I was pregnant. And I had to come to terms with the fact that my truck wasn't the most baby-friendly vehicle. Since Chuck is a big Dave Ramsey guy, we don't take out loans for anything other than a home mortgage, so a new car was not in the equation. But I found a great little Subaru on CraigsList. Not my dream car by any means, but it was a manual, which I find to be lots of fun to drive, and it met our needs. The miles on it were super low and it had room in the wagon area for the dogs. My dad actually bought Bruce, and it was great that I was able to drive him anytime I went home since I definitely still missed him despite really liking the Subaru.

The only picture we have of the Subaru. At least that we can find. Right before we traded it in about a month ago.

After having the Subaru for a while, I realized it wasn't quite as big as I thought it was. In my mind, it was an Outback. In actuality, it was a Impreza Outback Sport, meaning the base size was an Impreza. Which is about the size of a Civic. And carseats are HUGE. It was great with just Jade, but when we found out another baby was on the way I started freaking out a bit. We had Jade's seat in the middle of the back, but there wasn't room to put another seat next to it. So we would have had to move Jade forward facing before I wanted to to put her behind the drivers seat and put Baby Sister behind the passenger seat... leaving very little room for the passenger. A double stroller and the dogs would not fit in the back, which would have been a hassle anytime I needed to take the dogs anywhere. It was a great little car, it just wasn't going to fit our needs quite as much anymore.

I knew that I could deal with the smaller car, but I wanted to at least look into something bigger and see if we could swing it. We agreed that we could pay up to $5000 for a car that had the same number of seats but more room and that if we got a crossover or something that had a third row, we might be able to swing a bit more. 

Car shopping was NO FUN. Generally, I love it. But when I was looking for my truck I knew exactly what I wanted. This time, I didn't. We looked at Ravs, CRVs, Outbacks, Foresters, and minivans. A minivan might have been the "responsible" choice but I just wasn't ready to take that plunge yet. And honestly, they don't have as much room for the dogs so I was really leaning more towards SUVs. But we weren't finding anything in our price range and I was on the verge of just giving up and saying "I'm keeping the Subaru" because it would have worked, although not quite as conveniently.

And then we found it. A 4Runner. Basically the SUV version of my beloved Bruce. We couldn't afford a new one, but I trust Toyotas. They'll go forever. So I got an 04 4Runner with 113,000 miles on it. We figure that Chuck's truck (an F150 with 175,000 miles on it) won't last forever and that if we decide to get a van one day, then Chuck can take the 4Runner so we'll have it for a while even if we freakishly wind up with four kids. 

Anyways, I love it. Love it. I feel like I'm driving my truck, but it has room for both kids. I can put the jogging stroller and both the dogs in the back. It's so nice. It's just a great car and I'm so excited that we were able to get it for just at $4,000 out of pocket. Totally worth it.

And for an 04, it's in great shape. A couple people have actually thought that it's new... I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly looks good for an 04. The inside is in good shape as well. I'm just in love. 

Oh... his name? Alfred. He reminded me so much of Bruce that I had to stick with the Batman theme. 

So there... way more information on my car history than you wanted to know.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baby pool

I meant to do this ages ago, so I won't leave it open for too terribly long... I plan on closing it on Sunday so go get your guesses in quickly!

Go to this website and you can vote for Baby Sister's arrival day, time, weight, etc. I put Jade's stats on that website so that you'll know that. Good luck!

A little change

So I finally got around to changing the title of the blog.

Saturday morning, my church had a women's brunch that was such a sweet time of refreshment and fellowship. The pastor's wife shared some about how God places specific seasons in each of our lives... college, marriage, babies, etc etc etc. She laughingly referred to her baby phase as the body fluid phase, saying that no one in her home ate, pooped or peed without her knowing about it. So true.

Anyways, not the point. After she shared, another lady shared her recent season and then we had a time of worship. During that worship set, I really felt God laying the phrase "the calm in the storm" on my heart. Him telling me that the season I'm in might be exhausting and might be terrifying at times, but that He can provide me a peace and a calm within that.

And I really felt that I had my new title. Sometimes, this blog becomes a stressor for me. Just another thing that I have to get done (hence why I took almost two weeks off). But that's not what I want it to be. There are certain blogs that I read that just make me happy. Make me smile. Make me feel relaxed. That's what I want this blog to be. For me and for you guys. And this title will help me to remember that. To remember my focus.

The new layout isn't perfect. I really want it to be WAY better than it is, but the fact of the matter is that I don't know anything about html and I get overwhelmed quickly, so I've left it alone for now.

I hope that you guys like the new title and will help hold me accountable to the focus of the blog: savoring the good within the craziness.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pregnancy- 36 & 37 weeks

Pregnancy: 36 weeks AND 37 weeks. We never took a 35 week photo- oops :)

I know you're jealous of how awesome I look in this one...

Weight Gain: Right at 30 pounds right now. 

Sleep: Not great. Read the "feeling" section for more info.

Gender: Still a girl...

Name: We have chosen. We are not sharing.

Feeling: This section would have read very differently if I had filled it out 4 days ago. Basically, I am in pre-labor. I don't love pre-labor. Thursday, contractions started hot and heavy. I immediately started freaking out for multiple reasons. Number one, I was 36w6d... it just seemed too early (38 weeks is considered more normal). And number two, we were.not.ready. Bags were not packed. House was dirty. Nursery is not done. So the hyperventilating made the contractions worse. Once I finally got ahold of Chuck and he came home, I took a bath to try to calm down and relax. The contractions lessened but kept coming. I talked to my doula and she said to do what I needed to do to feel prepared to bring Baby home (pack bags, etc) and then to relax. That the baby could come that night and could come in 5 weeks. 

So... we ran around like crazy people, me having contractions the whole time. House was cleaned, bags were packed and then I went to sleep, not knowing if I would wake up in active labor or not. Well, I didn't. The contractions still have not stopped but they're not intense... they're more intense than braxton hicks (which I was having for weeks), but I now know that it's not early labor yet. Unfortunately, prelabor can last for weeks. This does not excite me because this is exhausting. Chuck was off yesterday for Veteran's Day, but when he goes back to work Monday I'm going to have a hard time. I might start doing everything I can to get baby girl to come, even though it's still fairly early. I'm just not sure if I can handle this for weeks and I know that she's completely healthy at this point.

Chuck is working in the nursery this weekend, and an awesome friend from church is going to come and finish the painting for us Monday, so that will be awesome. I will actually be able to put clothes away and such, which will help me to feel much more ready. This experience is teaching me over and over again that I am NOT in control. That God knows when this baby is going to come and what this baby needs, and a pretty nursery really isn't all that important. Chuck getting his Master's done so that he can be available when the baby is here is much more important than the nursery. Me being right with God and not trying to hold onto control is more important than a spotless house. I think God is using this as a teaching moment and I'm trying to learn what He's teaching me so that I can move on from this moment!! The contractions aren't painful per se, but they're certainly uncomfortable and annoying. Even holding Jade makes them worse so it's been a bit tough. 

Movement: I'm still feeling her consistently in-between all the contractions.

Next Appointment: Thursday. It'll be my first cervix check and although I know that I can not be dilated at all and then have the baby the next day, or be dilated to a 6 for a week, I really hope I'm dilated at least some. I want to know that these contractions are DOING something.

*I know that I have been a big slacker with the blog lately. I plan to remedy that soon, but if I have the baby instead that might not happen. So we'll see. I have lots of pictures to post (Jade as Pebbles, for one!), but we've just been super busy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jade grows up- 18 months

A week ago (the 28th), Jade was 18 months old. How did this happen? It's amazing to me how much she changes every day. I don't feel like it happens that quickly and then I look at pictures and it's like she's not even the same person. It's crazy.

First, her stats:
Weight: 19 pounds, 3 ounces- right below the charts
Height- 30 inches- 10th percentile!
Head circumference- 50% percentile

The huge growth spurt in her height (2 inches in 3 months) explains why her 9 months pants fit one day and were highwaters the next. She is wearing 9-12 months in most brands and 12-18 in Old Navy and a few other places. Her size 3 shoes still fit, although she's also wearing a size 4 (I wanted them to last all winter) and they're not too huge on her. They would have liked to see more weight gain (big surprise) but she had a stomach virus earlier this month and they were actually impressed by how much she had gained since then, so that's good.

Helping daddy work in the yard.
She is doing so many new things this month. Her vocabulary has expanded infinitely. She now says "thank you" (sometimes even in the right context), "cow/moo", "cat", "hot", "bed", "up", "sock" and many more that I'm probably forgetting. Sometimes instead of "dada", she actually says "daddy" and she's called me "mommy" a few times as well. I'm trying to teach her "please". Right now, if she wants to be picked up, she holds up her arms and says "up, up, up" insistently until I pick her up. I'm working on "up, please". We'll see when that happens :)

Going down a HUGE slide. She loved it :)
I'd say this is probably the most reading we've done with her since she was an infant. Her attention span is getting a bit longer and if we let her, we'd read 15 books at bedtime every night. So we read A LOT throughout the day, which I love. She's still picky about what we read and it's not uncommon to get halfway through a book and have her close it and go get another one, but I'm glad that she's so interested in reading. We've started checking books out of the library, which has been nice for me because I do get sick of reading the same book over and over and over. She really likes most anything by Dr Suess- his ABC book probably being her favorite. She also loves "Oh the thinks you can think" and a book called "Baby Looks" from the 1970s that was my sisters. "Are you my mother?" (also a hand-me-down from my parents) is another consistent hit.

Checking out her baby doll's belly button.
Her eating is back to being extremely frustrating, but I'm trying not to let it get to me too much. I truly don't understand how she could love something one day and throw it at me two days later. She has started to pitch fits when we try to put her in her highchair if she doesn't like what's on her tray. Eating out, as I'm sure you can imagine, has become increasingly difficult. I'm working on finding the balance between "you eat what I give you or you don't eat" and making sure that she eats something. Since she is so little, I hate to be really strict with it but I also don't want to set myself up for failure by giving her what she wants all the time. 

She knows all of her body parts and finds it extremely fun to point them out on all of her stuffed animals and other people. She now says most of them very clearly as well: eye, mouth, nose, and ear are all easy to understand. Belly button is still "baba". She can say foot fairly well and point out anything that we ask (knee, toes, etc).

She likes to get dirty.
We recently went to a petting zoo and she was fascinated with all the smaller animals: ducks, rabbits, turtles, etc. The big animals TOTALLY freaked her out. Even after I pointed out that she loves cows in books and loves to say moo, she would start to spaz if I tried to walk closer to the cows. Oh well, we'll go back and I'm sure she'll grow out of it eventually :)

She can now climb onto our dining room chairs, open drawers and pull stuff (that she cannot see) out and climb up and down the stairs with such proficiency that she sometimes is on the different level of the house than me and I had no clue. She's definitely getting into a destructive phase and I think we're about to have to start babyproofing more than we ever did because cleaning up after her is exhausting and she often gets into things she shouldn't be playing with.

This month has been a lot of fun. Challenging, but fun :) She is learning so much every day and it's exciting just to watch her little brain work.

This will probably be the last "Jade grows up" post because I might have a new baby in the house before she's 19 months old and I think 18 months is a decent stopping point.

What I currently see when she wants "up". A huge belly with a head poking out.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bit of a break?

Maybe I should have told you guys before I took a break- but I have a feeling this is the middle, so don't be surprised if posting is scarce for a while.

I'll still do my "jade grows up" and "35 weeks" post this week, but that might be it. I'm exhausted and have so much to do and the blog has become a source of stress, which is not what I want it to be.

So until I feel more like myself, I'll leave you with a few iPhone photos of Jade as Pebbles at our churches fall festival last night :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pregnancy- 34 weeks

Pregnancy: 34 weeks

Weight Gain: 24 pounds at my last appointment... we'll see what they say when I go back on Friday!

Sleep: I wake up approximately 5,000 times a night to shift and/or go to the bathroom. I'm tired.

Gender: Still a girl... we think :)

Name: We have chosen. We are not sharing.

Feeling: Tired and overwhelmed. We STILL have not finished the nursery (seems to be a trend to do things last minute around here) and just have a lot in general to get done. Chuck is working really late hours and his grad school class is taking up a good bit of his time as well. I'm trying to plug along one day at a time and still enjoy my days and not just survive them. Relying on the Lord's strength for that one.

Movement: Still kicking... a lot. Shouldn't she be running out of room?

Next Appointment: Friday. Went to the 3rd trimester class last week and was reminded of how much preparation and reading I did before Jade came and how much I HAVEN'T done this time. I thought that I remembered everything. I was wrong :) Luckily, I took it early enough that I can refresh myself before the baby comes!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin patch

Last year, we "found" a pumpkin patch near Williamsburg. This weekend, the weather was gorgeous so we got together with some friends and took Jade and Olivia (their little girl) for a little mini trip. Jade was certainly more impressed with everything than she was last year.

I realized right as we were leaving the house that the battery was about to die. And then realized that I had no idea where the charger was. So these pictures are a mixture of photos from the "real" camera and my cell. Because of that, we didn't get a picture of the 3 of us or very many in general. But the charger has now been found!

"What? You put me in this thing and just expect me to smile?"

No, that is not Chuck. Olivia is trying to escape from my wagon.

Olivia succeeded in her escape so I am now pulling an empty wagon.

Apparently she just wanted to sit with Jade. Happy girl.

Jade was enjoying herself :)

Pumpkins are very exciting.

Looking at the tractor pulling us for the hay ride.

The corn maze... one of them was going the wrong way :)

She rounded the corner and Chuck was there and she got SO excited!

All in all, it was a great day. Jade had a really good time and I love that we have family traditions now. We debated over whether or not to go because we have SO much that we need to get done at the house, but I know we made the right decision. This is the stuff we're going to remember in 10 years... not the fact that the floors needed to be cleaned and the nursery wasn't finished.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pregnancy- 33 weeks

Pregnancy: 33 weeks- photo taken on the iPhone because the camera charger is currently lost in the disaster that is my house

Weight Gain: 24 pounds at my last appointment... but I'm just waiting for them to give me a huge number next time. Either way, I think I'm doing good :)

Sleep: Ok. Jade hasn't been sleeping well, which means that I haven't either, but I suppose that's life with a toddler :)

Gender: Still a girl. 

Name: We have chosen. We are not sharing.

Feeling: My allergies are still doing better, but I'm just exhausted. I don't know if it's because I'm 33 weeks pregnant and that's just the way it's gonna be or if I'm coming down with something (else). Who knows. I'm really trying to enjoy these last few weeks where it's just me and Jade but it's been hard because I don't seem to have the energy to keep up with her.

Movement: Still kicking. 

Next Appointment: October 28th. Tomorrow is the "Third Trimester Class" that I'm required to go to. I have no idea what it's about... I'm assuming "this is when we want you to come to the hospital" type stuff but I dunno. Should be interesting :)

*Still need more comments on this post.

** If you leave an anonymous comment and you want me to know who you are, sign your name at the end! It would be nice to know who is reading!