Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Scoop on Baby #2: Part 2

Is anyone surprised that it took me 6 weeks to get back here for the second part of this post? I'm not, but I'm glad to have some time to write today. My sister texted me late in the day yesterday offering to take Emma for the day so I could have some time to myself. I took her up on it knowing I could get in a few errands and squeeze in some writing time. 

I'm already in my 30th week of pregnancy, so if I don't get this post out now this baby boy will be here before I ever get back again! This pregnancy continues to fly by which is obviously great because we can't wait to meet this baby, but I'm also trying to soak up this time. I don't know what the future holds for us, but there is definitely a possibility that this could be my last pregnancy. That and knowing Emma's time as an only child is coming to an end have me wishing time would slow down so I can truly enjoy these last several weeks. 

I've obviously been horrible about documenting this pregnancy, so I guess I have a lot to share. 

It makes to sense to start with the question pregnant people get asked the most, "How are you feeling?" I'm feeling pretty good! At 30 weeks, my biggest complaints are lower back pain, crappy sleep and severe discomfort thanks to my boobs being monstrous (literally). Wearing a bra is torture lately, so much that we left a wedding fairly early in the evening recently because I literally could not keep my bra on another minute. 

I was dealing with some serious heartburn, but I adjusted a few things in my diet and it seems to be helping (with sleep, too!). I considered myself so lucky with my first pregnancy in that I didn't experience morning sickness at all and thankfully, this time around has been similar. I'd say the only big difference this time around has been the exhaustion and emotions being a little more intense, but I'm also spending my days with a busy, energetic toddler so I'm sure that's a huge factor. 

Is Emma excited to be a big sister? Well, I can't say she really understands what is happening. At 20-months-old, she's known the word "baby" since we found out we were pregnant and she's also happened to take more interest in her baby doll over the last few months. Whenever she takes her baby doll out, I've tried to encourage her to love on her baby and she will hold it up to her face and snuggle with it. When we see a baby out in public, she excitedly shouts "baby!" and is so eager to walk up to see up close. I'm encouraged by all of this, but as far as understanding that we're going to have a baby in our house soon that she'll have to share attention with...I don't think she's there yet and that's okay! 

I was in a really good place with my health/fitness when we found out we were pregnant. The timing is actually really funny because I had just made it back down to a smaller size in jeans, which I had ordered online and was so excited to actually need to buy a smaller size. Ironically, these jeans came in the mail just a few days after finding out I was pregnant. I joked with Jonathan that I'd be wearing them every day until I couldn't fit into them so I could enjoy them even for a short time. 

But seriously, I had come a long way in getting back to a happy weight and fitness level for myself. I've been pregnant and now seen that I can (maybe not super quickly) get my body back to (or better) than before, but I also knew I wanted to try to maintain healthier habits this pregnancy. With Emma, I I exercised here and there through my 1st trimester and it seriously tapered off after that. I'd recently realized how much better I felt when I was staying active, so I promised myself I'd try harder this time. 

I was able to keep up my routine of working out 4-5 times a week through my 9th week of pregnancy. I was doing an hour of barre and 30 minutes of spin once a week, running a few miles once or twice a week and mixing in some strength and cardio work throughout. From weeks 9 to about 20, I was still trying to get 2-3 workouts in a week and sometimes that just didn't happen and I did't get too worked up when a whole week went by with nothing. The last 10 weeks have been a little more sporadic. Some weeks I'm motivated and energized to at least get a walk in and other weeks, I've had zero motivation to exercise. I'm not overthinking it and certainly not beating myself up when I have those down weeks. My philosophy right now is exercise of any kind, at any frequency is better than nothing. Either way, I'm really happy with how I've done thus far staying fairly active through this pregnancy. 

As far as preparations for baby go, we have a name we are pretty committed to, but not quite ready to share with the world yet. In the last few weeks, we've made some major progress on the nursery, which used to be Jonathan's office. Once we cleared out the room, we painted and got the crib put together (I don't know why I'm saying we...this was all Jonathan. Last weekend, we got the dresser put together and I've added a few details here and there like a changing pad, toy bin and even picked up some wall decor. We'll be moving the rocker from Emma's room into the nursery and probably getting her a play table to put in that space, but I'm not ready to make that move yet. It may sound silly, but I'm not emotionally ready to move the rocker out of her room yet and we obviously don't need to do that until we're a little closer. 

I found so much joy getting Emma's nursery planned out and organized and I've been loving every second of it this time around. Folding itty bitty baby clothes and organizing toys and things really puts me in my happy place. Knowing in just weeks we'll have a sweet boy in this house is so surreal and I love anticipating it all. 

Things I'm looking forward to:
  • After debating back and forth for a while, we decided on planning a short babymoon for Jonathan and I. I kept convincing myself that we didn't need to spend the money on a trip for us with everything going on, but in the end I'm so glad we planned something. We're headed to Jensen Beach in early May for a weekend getaway and I'm seriously looking forward to some downtime and sunbathing with my man.
  • My sweet friend Jesse insisted on planning some sort of celebration for baby boy. I really didn't want a huge production seeing how we have most of what we need this time around and it's a huge undertaking to host a shower and deal with all the details of that. She suggested we plan on doing brunch at a fun place with a small group of ladies to celebrate and that sounded pretty perfect to me. It doesn't require a ton of coordination on her end and I'm really looking forward to a casual celebration with some special ladies. 
  • We'll have one more ultrasound around 34 weeks. I always look forward to these! At my appointment last week, my doctor actually confirmed that baby is already head down, which was so good to hear. I remember Emma turned really early too and it's just nice to know baby is getting prepared! 
Memorable moments:
  • My favorite part of this pregnancy has been the last hour or so of sleep in the morning when Jonathan inevitably finds his way to me in bed and lays his hand over my belly. This baby becomes so active as soon as Jonathan's hands are there and it's so so special. I love laying with him still half asleep as we both soak in these baby movements together. In the chaos of our day-to-day, I truly treasure these quiet moments just the two of us basking in the joys of pregnancy together. 
  • Emma woke up from a nap last week and when I went to her crib to pick her up, she leaned over and hugged my belly. It was the first time it seemed like she maybe understood her baby brother is in there and it may have just been a coincidence, but it was so sweet!
Phew. I feel like that kind of covers it. I still feel so overwhelmed and grateful that we get to do this again. I'm so excited to add a little boy to our family. Jonathan has been pretty outnumbered thus far -- girl baby, girl dog and girl cat! 

Pregnancy is kind of a roller coaster - one minute you're up at 3 a.m. uncomfortable, having to pee... again, wondering how you're going to make it two more months and the next minute, your sitting on the floor playing with your toddler and the baby in your belly is bouncing around and you're wanting to bask in the joy of that moment. Emotions are high, to say the least! 

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Scoop on Baby #2: Part 1

When I think about pregnancy #2 so far, the first thought that comes to mind is how quickly it has flown by already!

That kind of explains why I have so little of this pregnancy documented. It's been so fast. I remember being pregnant with Emma and the weeks just dragging on in anticipation. The first trimester with Emma felt like 3 years of my life and it wasn't because I was sick or miserable. It just felt long and slow because it was my first time down this road and I was so focused on every little detail. Having a toddler Emma Joy running around keeping me busy probably has a lot to do with why it's been so different for me this time. My attention is on so many other things that I'm not so focused on things week-by-week.

I guess I should start with finding out we were pregnant. We'd decided in August to start trying for another baby and went into it being pretty reasonable about our expectations. Getting pregnant the first time definitely wasn't as easy as we'd anticipated and we wanted to be realistic this time accepting that it could take some time. We knew we'd be thrilled if we were pregnant immediately and also knew that if it took some time, we were okay with that, too. We were in a good place. We went into it not wanting to get wrapped up in the process and just let it happen as it's meant to. I'm glad we did because God blessed us with this gift rather quickly.

The only pregnancy symptom I felt early on with Emma was extremely sore breasts. I remember it wasn't a pre-menstrual kind of sore, but much more uncomfortable. In the first weekend of October, those same familiar symptoms arrived and while I hoped it meant we were pregnant, I also knew I was due for my period in a few days so it could be nothing. I shared this with Jonathan who was immediately convinced we were pregnant. He's typically one to play it cool and not get overly excited in an effort to help manage my expectations. He was convinced, though (and proceeded to share how convinced he was with our friends that weekend)! I have to admit his enthusiastic certainty was contagious and I prayed he was right.

Monday came along and since I'd been tracking everything for a few months, I knew I was a day or so out from my period. I didn't wake up that day planning on taking a pregnancy test, but we got home from the gym and after putting Emma down for a nap, I was about to jump in the shower when I decided I'd go ahead and take one. I had a few stocked up and figured if I was pregnant, it would show up on a test by now. I just had to know one way or another.

I took the test, laid it on the bathroom counter and went about my business shockingly not obsessing over it. When I got out of the shower, I casually picked up the test fulling expecting it to be negative and was so incredibly shocked to see the word Pregnant staring back at me. I couldn't believe it. I sat on our bed for a few minutes in my towel just staring at the test. One word. Just one word with so much emotion attached to it. I paced around for a good ten minutes repeating "OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD." It took everything I had not to call Jonathan and scream "You were right!!!" into the phone but I knew it would be more satisfying to tell him when he got home from work.

When Emma woke up from her nap, we busted out the crayons and made a little something to give him when he got home.

When Jonathan got home, I told him Emma made something for him so we headed to her bedroom and handed him this. We had a handful of friends who were expecting at the time, so his first reaction was to ask "Who did she make this for?' and before he got the whole question out, tears filled his eyes as he realized what it meant. It was such a sweet moment of pure joy.

We know what an incredible gift it is to conceive and for it to happen for us in such a short time is something I could never take for granted. Even as I write this, I'm right back there in that moment of pure shock and excitement finding out this news.

It turns out Jonathan was also right when early on, he was convinced we were having a boy this time. We found out baby #2 is a boy around 12 weeks and since I got the call from the doctor's office during the day, we were able to surprise Jonathan with this news as well!

He came home that day to Emma parading a bunch of blue balloons through the house and his reaction is just another sweet, emotional moment that I will never forget.

This is getting pretty lengthy, so I think I'll end this here and come back to share Part 2 (more about how this pregnancy is going and where we are on a name, nursery, etc). Thank you for sharing in our joy and excitement as we add another little one to the family! In the meantime, we are so looking forward to meeting this little boy and focusing on soaking up the time we have left with Emma Joy as as an only child.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

I'm back after a not-so-brief hiatus!


Holy cow. I did not intend to take several months off from posting here. I may not have a huge following or readers chomping at the bit for new content from me, but I have really missed writing and sharing. If nothing else, this blog serves as an outlet for me and an opportunity to document life as it flies by at a bittersweet speed.

Last time I posted on here, I had just finished a Whole30 (which I still have hopes of writing a post about) and Emma Joy had recently turned one-year-old. I was in the middle of a serious focus on health & fitness, which I posted in detail about right before I disappeared from the Internet.

I'm currently sitting in a Starbucks on a Saturday, sipping coffee, writing this post. I'm alone. I have a new library book in my bag and my only commitment today is a massage in the afternoon. I've needed this day for a while but we are in the midst of a busy season of life and this hasn't been important enough to me to make happen until now. My in-laws offered to take Emma for the day and since Jonathan was planning on working, I knew I had to get out of the house and do all the things I wouldn't do otherwise. Writing is one of those things. It feels good to be back here and I guess I should probably share a few life updates since it's been a while.

I'll start with the biggest news...

Baby #2 is on the way! I'm currently 24 weeks pregnant and obviously not doing a very good job of documenting my pregnancy this time around...oops! We are so thrilled to add another little one to our family and I definitely plan to share more in a separate post about this pregnancy so far. In the meantime, I will say my second pregnancy is flying by and I've been feeling really good but also really emotional all the time.

An Emma Update

Somehow our precious baby girl is 19 months old. Still precious as can be, but it's all been too fast! This stage is so much fun and so rewarding. Our girl has such a silly, fun-loving, easygoing personality and it is such a joy to watch her be her own little person. She loves walking hand-in-hand with us when we're out and about now, pretends to talk on the phone, loves wearing mommy and daddy's shoes around the house, gives kisses and hugs and thinks fruit snacks are LIFE.

18 for 2018

While listening to Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast at the very end of the year, I was inspired by her suggestion to do an 18 for 2018 list, 18 things you want to do/accomplish/focus on in the next year. I've never loved the idea of one large resolution and coming up with a variety of small or not so small things for the year seemed like a great way to set some goals and expectations without committing to one large, perhaps too broad resolution. It's actually taken me 2 whole months to even complete my list, but I've really enjoyed taking my time to add things as they come to me and deciding what should really be on it. I'm not going to share the whole list here, but here are just a few items on it:

Create Emma’s 1st year photo book
I actually bought a scrapbook and all kinds of fun supplies to make my own 1st year book for her and after getting one page in and forgetting about it for months, I finally admitted to myself that I was overcommitting. I used to make a beautiful wedding photo book for Jonathan's Christmas gift and decided I would commit to putting together Emma's 1st year book using the same service. 

Follow a weekly cleaning schedule
One thing I didn't expect when deciding I would stay home with Emma rather than going back to work was how difficult it would for me to stick to a routine and manage my time effectively on a consistent basis. Sometimes I rock at time management and keeping up with all the things at home, but there are too many weeks where I feel like I've failed at all of it. I thought a general cleaning schedule would help me stay accountable and keep up with certain tasks more easily so it never felt like our house was a complete wreck. 

I only put things on here that tend to fall by the wayside and I would end up trying to do all at once. It's helped a lot already in making me feel a little more in control of the house chores.

Find my tribe
Pretty sure this one will get it's own post because I believe it's a topic worth digging into a little deeper, but in a nutshell, I want to make more connections, find new, real friendships with women I can call my people.

Continue exercising at least 3x per week through pregnancy
I was in a really great routine when I found out I was pregnant and I've been able to keep it up at some capacity throughout the last few months. I feel like 3x a week is a reasonable goal and one that allows for flexibility as the type of workout and intensity will definitely change as I get closer to the end. 

Get a prenatal massage
Guys, this is happening today. Praise God!

Read at least 2 books/month
I've always loved reading, but like many things in life, the less I read, the less I care about the fact that I'm not reading. I wanted to get excited about books again and create a habit of picking up a book when I have free time at home, rather than scrolling on my phone or turning on the television. This is going so well! I'm way ahead of my goal at 7 books read in the last two months and I'm so happy about it.

Get Emma baptized 
One unspoken goal Jonathan and I both had last year was to find our church home. We'd been somewhat regularly attending a really big church Jonathan had been part of since he was young. We did our marriage preparation course with this church and really loved the pastor, but knew long term, we wanted to find a smaller church where we could make real connections and feel a sense of community. We spent a few months last year trying out other churches in our area and found our home at Summit Church sometime around November. We love it there and we finally feel like we are part of a tight knit community. With that being said, we feel like now is the perfect time (and place) to focus on getting Emma baptized here. 

Keep a gratitude journal
I've done this sporadically over the years, but never seem to keep it up for more than a few days here and there. It does wonders for my heart and soul to intentionally take out my journal when I get in bed at the end of the day and jot down a few happy thoughts/things from the day. I want this to become a daily happiness habit for me this year.

What to expect here going forward...

I'd love to say I'll be back more frequently with new content and regular posts, but if I've learned anything it's that I can't commit to anything specific with this space right now. Days like today are few and far between...days where I decide to put a hold on everything else while I sit in a coffee shop and write, but I do know that it feels really good to do this. I want to develop a habit of opening up the computer and typing away whenever the mood strikes me so I don't need to set aside a day away from home to do this. Just like reading, the more I write, the more I am inspired and motivated to write. 

In the meantime, I will be back soon to share a more detailed pregnancy post, some home decor updates, a full update on Emma Joy at 19-months-old and more thoughts on finding my tribe and motherhood in general.

Thanks for reading and following along here!