Countdown to Halloween | Scary pumpkins and 300 sorority girls…

21 10 2014
The Chronicles of We

Linking up with Sweet Turtle SoupThe Chronicles of WeCocktails & Carseats, and Tickled Pink for Countdown to Halloween! Today I’m recapping some fall trips we’ve made as a family. :) We’ve visited a pumpkin patch and our local fall craft festival, and we added two festivals over the weekend.

On Saturday, we spent the day at our Christian radio station’s fall festival. Our plan was to stop by, drop off a food donation, meet the sweet DJs, then head out to visit a local farm. Our toddler wasn’t interested UNTIL we started leaving and he pointed back at the face painting tent and said, “I want to do that.” So we figured we’d wait about 10 minutes in line, get his face painted, order from the food truck, then finish out the afternoon at the farm.

UMMM… TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF WAITING IN LINE LATER… his face was painted, the food truck was gone, the festival was over, and the farm was going to close soon. Luckily we had friends waiting in line with us! We drove through Chick-fil-a on our way home, he fell asleep (thus ruining the face paint), and we called it a day!

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I think it was supposed to look like the skin being pulled off and a pumpkin was underneath…

After church on Sunday, we made it to the farm, which is considered an “agritourism” destination and is an attraction for field trips, families, and apparently, as we learned on Sunday, sororities. There were at least 300 sorority sisters there. They waited in line for hours at the one food truck, had a chapter meeting, then left. A lot of them also got little pumpkins. (We look pictures.)

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We spent the day riding trains, visiting the animals, sliding down a 60-foot hay bale chute, braving the longest, fastest  carousel ride EVER, visiting “Pumpkin Hollow,” playing in a corn kernel pit, gallivanting on the playground, eating yummy snacks, and watching pig races. The only thing we skipped was the corn maze because after everything else, our oldest was ready for a nap. Plus, last year, the corn maze took us 2 hours.

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Baby’s first official ride. If you don’t count Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, BTMR, et al. at Disney while I was pregnant.


I wish we could do these things year-round!

oh hey | Five on Friday

17 10 2014

Linking up for Five on Friday with DarciChristinaApril, and Natasha, and oh hey, Friday with Karli and Amy

one | Last night, the rain finally cleared and I was able to take the boys out for an evening photoshoot and a romp around the park at sunset. The weather was perfect, the sky was spectacular, and the leaves were nothing short of stunning! And now I have hundreds of photos I need to go through!








two | On Saturday, we braved a misty morning to attend our town’s annual fall festival, where crafters line the downtown area and food trucks set up on the plaza.

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three | Ever since I started my maternity leave, my husband has been coming home for lunch to help out. It has been sooo nice to be able to pop out for a quick errand or two while he stays with our kids! Errands like picking up contacts I ordered from the eye doctor – which could take all day with kids – take about 10 minutes roundtrip. I did, however, successfully take both kids to the pediatrician this week unscathed.

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At all of his little brother’s appointments now, E has to get checked for ear infections.

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Up over a pound in 2 weeks!

four | One rainy morning this week, E and I made pumpkin mousse! The recipe was pretty much identical to the pumpkin dip recipe I followed a couple weeks ago. Oops!

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five | I’ve also taken some indoor pictures with the baby this week and will be sifting through these pictures for a loooong time!

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Happy Friday! I’m planning to enjoy another gorgeous fall day outside! :)

October 15

15 10 2014

The constant rain this week has, for the most part, kept me inside with my little ones, which is fine with me! We’ve been enjoying not only the meals dropped off every few nights by dear friends, but more importantly, the (albeit brief) fellowship of having friends and family in our home in the evenings and introducing them to our sweet baby boy.

Our newborn, S, hit the 2-week mark this past weekend, and I’m constantly worried that one morning, I’ll wake up and he won’t look like a newborn anymore. I used yesterday’s rain as an excuse to stay inside with him and take pictures to capture his precious newborn features.

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In comparison, today was rushed – with both boys off to the pediatrician, S for his 2-week appointment and E for a nasty cough he’s been fighting. Getting the car loaded and both boys in and out of the doctor’s office in the torrential downpour was a fear I’ve been anticipating since I found out I was pregnant with my second. Once at home, naptime was a juggling act with both boys wide awake – the baby kept E from falling right to sleep, which resulted in E stalling for the next 3 hours by claiming he needed to use the potty (which he has successfully been doing this week, the only reason I let him cry wolf). The battle of wills was finally over when E literally fell into the potty, a feat so traumatic for him that he begged for footie pajamas, his flashlight, Mickey Mouse, and blanket, then promptly went to sleep in his crib.

I could have let this drive me crazy. (It did, a little bit.) But I also know that these are the moments that count.

October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. An annual reminder or day of awareness for some, but it represents a precious life I think about every day. An ultrasound image I never asked my tech to print. That doctor’s office I never returned to. That first baby I never held. My first pregnancy I lost.

Camp Dragonfly 2011

Grief camp 2011

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Balloon release

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Grief camp

Remembrance Walk 2011

October 15 Remembrance Walk

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In my Life Group, we’ve been reading “The Circle Maker” (participant’s guide), and I’ve been reflecting a lot on answered prayers and God’s timing. I am happy in this place, and the hindsight of God’s timing in my past gives me faith in His plans for my future.

Oct 12 2013

Running in the autumn rain – Oct. 12, 2013

Psalm 126:5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

Related articles:

The Other Quiet Mom

Countdown to Halloween | Linkup

14 10 2014
Sweet Turtle Soup
Linking up with Sweet Turtle Soup, The Chronicles of We, Cocktails & Carseats, and Tickled Pink for Countdown to Halloween! Here are snippets of all the whimsical fall festivities we’ve enjoyed so far this October!
Dressing the Part
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Having a baby born at the end of September pretty much guaranteed that we’d get all sorts of adorable Halloween newborn outfits… too many to even picture! He has 3 pumpkin hats and at least 3 Halloween costumes already, plus a crocheted pumpkin onesie and several of Old Navy’s Halloween graphic onesies.
Comfort Foods
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We’ve been so blessed by our friends who have dropped off meals all week so that we could savor extra cuddles with the baby in the evenings. Other than their delicious meals, we’ve been partaking in pumpkin bakery items, food trucks (2 of them), and brewed-at-home pumpkin beverages. We’ve also made pumpkin bread and pumpkin dip, as well as warm comfort foods – pork tacos, stuffed peppers, chicken/broccoli/cheddar soup, and more!
(Running season will commence on November 10th!)
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Most of our crafting lately has been spent making sweet baby keepsakes and Christmas ornaments while the baby is still teeny-tiny, but we have squeaked out a few seasonal projects – I made an autumn burlap wreath and my kids painted their handprints on (fake) white pumpkins that they’ll add a new print to as the years go by. I also finished my maternity Shutterfly photo book and my fall bucket list (middle picture) and have been keeping the baby book up-to-date (no 2nd-child syndrome here!)
I’ll save fall decorations, festivals, costumes, and seasonal books for another week!

oh hey | five on friday

10 10 2014

Happy Friday! I am loving every minute of my maternity leave! I am so lucky that my boys seem to be on the same sleeping schedule. One day, they both napped for 5 hours (in separate rooms). Another day, they both slept in til noon! But when they’re awake, we’ve enjoyed getting out and about to take advantage of the fall weather.

Also, I’m linking up with darciaprilchristina, and natasha for their Five on Friday Fall Giveaway!

Five on Friday Fall Giveaway


one | This little guy turns 2 weeks old tomorrow! I’m doing a variation on the monthly sticker onesies that I used for his big brother and using this tree scrap (with rings) for size perspective.

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two | I love having friends over to meet the baby! And one of my friends set up a Take Them a Meal site for us, so we’ve been blessed to have a handful of meals dropped off in the evenings. I’ve been reading Blue Eyed Bride’s 31 Days of Breaking Bread series, which has also given me a simplified perspective on entertaining guests and putting people at ease in our home.

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three | While my husband was home last week (on baby leave), our family visited a local pumpkin patch. This one is really fun – you can load up a whole wagon for only $25! I’ve heard they sell out fast, so we went early in the season and on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Worth it. Recap here!

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four | Wednesday, I took my boys to run lots of errands and do some Christmas shopping. I had both in cloth diapers and wore my newborn in a carrier. (3 stores in 3 hours.) That night, I attended a major Board of Supervisors meeting about whether the aging school where I work will be getting a new facility. The meeting was 3 hours long, and the baby slept in my Boba 3G for the entire meeting with just one bout of sleepy giggles and one squeaky hiccup. It was fun to see my coworkers again.

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five | Every month, I recycle 10 ink cartridges (that I purchase in bulk off eBay with my in-laws) and get $20 to spend at Staples. This month, I intended to pick up more fabric cube bins for toys in E’s new toddler room, but they don’t carry them anymore. One of the managers offered to sell me some cubes that were part of furniture floor models for $1.99 each! I wish I had bought all of them, but I only got 4. And here is the before/after, which will probably last about 5 seconds:

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Linking up for Five on Friday with Darci, Christina, April, and Natasha, and oh hey, Friday with Karli and Amy

Pumpkin Patch 2014

7 10 2014

Friday was the last day of “vacation” (baby leave) for my husband, so our family of 4 jumped at the chance to explore a local pumpkin patch on a weekday, sure to beat the October weekend crowds. It was perfect, and there were plenty of pumpkins and gourds to take home and only about 2 other people in the entire patch.

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I’ve heard about this pumpkin patch for years but had never been. On an honor system, you can pick as many pumpkins/gourds as you can fit in the wagon they provide, and it only costs $25! We had a great time finding all sorts of novelty pumpkins, perfect pumpkins, and colorful gourds. I learned that pumpkin stems and vines are very thorny. My newborn slept the whole time, and my 2-year-old just about lost it and wanted to be carried most of the time when he wasn’t spotting pumpkins or loading up the wagon.

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My Boba 3G is perfect for carting my newborn around – I’m so glad he’s loving babywearing so far! I’ve worn him to church, out shopping and to get groceries, and on walks around our neighborhood. It feels so good to be out and about, and I can’t wait to beginning running again in November!

Eventually we’ll carve, paint, and/or eat some of these pumpkins, but for now I just set up little displays around the house since there are so many!

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Happy fall!!

Sweet Beginnings | His birth story

3 10 2014

So I thought a woman’s water breaking at home was only a thing of the movies. In fact, a quick search on BabyCenter told me that only about 5-15% of women have their water break prior to labor starting. With my first son, it broke later in labor, around 8 cm… so of course this experience had to be completely different!


Baby S, here is your birth story:

I was due on Wednesday, September 24, 2014. That day passed by, and I continued to go to work each day as an elementary school counselor. On Friday, September 26, I went to work as usual, teaching 3 classes in the afternoon – 2nd grade, 1st grade, and Kindergarten. I used the megaphone at car rider duty. Just throwing ideas out there in case you are reading this, overdue, and need ideas to jumpstart your labor. That evening we ate {spicy} beef quesadillas and then sat on the couch with dessert – homemade pumpkin bread – around 7:30 PM.


On the couch, I told my husband that I felt really uncomfortable sitting, but also standing, so I was going to try to get to bed early. I asked him if he’d be up for giving our toddler a bath (he always does this) and rocking him to sleep (I always do this). I headed upstairs to get ready for bed around 8:30. Soon after, my toddler was freshly bathed and in his jammies.

Before lying down, I did some simple baby rolling exercises on my balance ball. My midwife told me that the baby was most likely posterior and gave me a series of exercises to try that could roll the baby. E was standing beside me, and my husband was also in our bedroom, when we all heard a subtle “pop” that sounded like a knuckle cracking. (I also felt it.) Almost as if the baby had shifted. We wondered if something was wrong. I heard a second pop, so I began lifting myself off the ball. And then there was the huge gush of water and my shorts were soaked. My toddler kept saying, “oh noooo! Mommy! Potty on carpet? Mommy hurt!” He was extremely troubled.

It was 9:14 PM. I was filled with a mix of relief and anxiety, knowing what was ahead of me tonight.

My husband sprang into go-mode. While trying to console E, he ran to grab a towel and I made it to our bathroom as my water continued to burst continuously. We agreed that we wouldn’t be laboring at home (like we did for 5 hours with E – I made it to 5 cm before we left the house to deliver him!) but that we needed to get to the hospital right away and that we’d have to use the after-hours ER entrance. He called to let the hospital know we were coming while I hung out in the bathroom, not able to move much without gushing water everywhere.

I felt like a fire hydrant.

As he called our neighbor (our backup interim babysitter for if my labor started quickly – we had arranged for my husband’s parents to come watch E, but they live 45 minutes away, so our neighbors watched him until my in-laws arrived), I stood in the shower, the only place I felt safe, and decided to just grab a shower before heading to the hospital. We put our dog in the garage. At 9:48 PM, we FLEW to the hospital, me sitting on a trash bag and towels.

They were expecting us at the ER and asked me how far along I was. “40-and-a-half weeks.”

“Has your water broken?”

“It’s breaking right now and running down my leg. It’s been breaking for like an hour.”

And with that response, they whisked me into a wheelchair and scrambled to find someone to wheel me up to Labor & Delivery on the 3rd floor. And there we waited.

I was not having any major contractions yet, which worried me. I really didn’t want to be induced (after watching “The Business of Being Born” two years ago) and was glad I had switched to using midwives so that doctors wouldn’t be pushing it on me now. Basically I was sitting on the hospital bed, waiting for things to happen – much unlike my first experience where there was no time for talking, paperwork, or anything!


The nurses asked for my birth plan and said that all my requests and preferences were certainly manageable and reasonable. They also brought me Sprite and water.


At 10:15 PM, my nurse, Amanda, hooked up the fetal heart rate monitor and explained that it was a full house of women in labor (16 of 18 rooms were filled) and she wasn’t sure which midwife was on call because tonight, they’d be switching every 2 hours to relieve each other, which is not normal. Hmm… that did not sound like the experience I was expecting – with lavender, oils, Jacuzzi, etc. They told me one midwife, Becky, was on-call from 10-12, and another, Debbie, would start at midnight. (Becky came in for a minute to mention that inducing could be an option later if things didn’t progress at all, and that they could limit how much medicine I’d use – just something for me to think about. And then we didn’t see her again and thankfully didn’t have to go that route.)


10:40 PM – baby’s heart rate was 135.

11:00 – Stronger contractions started. They were only slightly painful at first, the kind where I held onto the handles of the bed and quietly blew through them without telling anyone. With each contraction came another burst of water, which offered a second of relief. But it made me want to dry off, so I’d get up between every.single.contraction to use the bathroom.


At 11:04, the nurse hooked up my IV of Penicillin because I had tested positive for Group B Strep at a previous appointment, and these antibiotics would prevent passing an infection to the baby during delivery. I would need to be hooked up to the IV for the first hour of labor (better now than later!) and then every 4 hours afterward for 30 minutes each. Which meant that after every contraction, I was now wheeling the cumbersome IV unit into the bathroom with me, and even more frequently now that I was receiving saline and Penicillin.


Sorry. Sorry, sorry.


At 1:45 AM, we hadn’t seen the midwife Debbie yet, and we decided to walk a few laps around the hallways, even though my contractions were more frequent when I was lying down. We finally ran into Debbie in the hallway and spoke with her briefly before making our way back to our room. We passed the nursery and counted six newborns in there already.

Maybe all these mommies were rushing to beat the Kindergarten registration cutoff date (Sept. 30). Or maybe the new moon had something to do with it?

At 2:20 AM (I asked my husband to write everything down this time – that’s how I have the times), things really started happening. My contractions got much, much stronger. A few days later, my nurse would explain that redheads typically experience less time between contractions. And that we also bleed more easily, the sole reason that I had to keep my IV port in an extra day. 

Also, please note that we had been in the hospital for over four hours and had yet to have help. Our room was dark and quiet, and it looked like my husband and I might be delivering this baby ourselves. My contractions got so strong that I began yelling, and my husband, the only one in the room, coached me to breathe instead. I continued to forcefully blow through my contractions. I brought my own purple Gaiam exercise ball from home, knowing the hospital-grade birthing balls were too large for me. I put it on my bed at the pillow and kneeled over it as I breathed, gripping the sides of the railing. (Later, the cleaning lady took it, thinking it belonged to the hospital. She cleaned it, realized her error, and brought it back.)

I declined the Jacuzzi, even though I had originally wanted to try it out, because my water was still breaking and I just wanted to get dry (and, of course, end the pain). So no Jacuzzi with this birth, either. Sad.

At 3:45 AM, I got checked and was 5 cm. I could not believe the amount of pain I was in at just 5 cm — with E, I was laboring at home with the manageable contractions at 5 cm, with 5 hours of labor still ahead of me! I started to panic that I would be in this much pain for the next 5 hours. I was also fighting bouts of extreme nausea. My contractions were about every 2 minutes, with one of the minutes spent in a contraction and the other minute spent rushing to the bathroom to dry off before the onset of the next.

I remember my last trek to the bathroom vividly. It was still just me and my husband (and a nurse at the computer) in the room, and I got up because I actually thought I needed to go. But the next contraction met me in the bathroom, the pain took over, and my body began to push, me screaming and writhing in pain. My husband said that my screaming was the final wake up call to my nurse that we desperately needed someone else to come help me. They had to walk me out of the bathroom, one on each side, like I was an injured football player.

The midwife ran in at 4:05 AM, apologizing that she was in the middle of actively delivering another girl’s baby. She was very short with me (sooo not her personality!) as I begged her to check me. Eight centimeters. And then I begged for an epidural. She just looked at me and said, “I have to go deliver this other baby. You just have a few more minutes to go, you don’t need one! And I thought you couldn’t have one because of your back surgery, anyway.” And with that, she rushed out. I wailed. The baby has always been extremely low, so he was right there ready. The back labor was insane and the urge to push was so strong that I thought I also needed a catheter, knowing I couldn’t get to the bathroom in this amount of pain. I started begging for one and the nurse looked at me like I was crazy.

“That would be so painful. And in the way. You can’t have a catheter!”

I knew I was being unreasonable, but I just knew I needed something – anything – someONE – to help me through this pain. I started chanting, “I can’t do this. I.Can’t.Do.This.” I also remember telling my husband earlier that “we better not get charged for using a midwife, because we still haven’t seen one!” The nurse, who was still busy at the computer, said, “yeah, we are working our girls like crazy tonight!”

Who, the mommies, or the midwives?

I got really overheated, and I remember telling my husband where to find a hair clip in my hospital bag – a needle in a haystack. I remember the hospital bed pads were stuck to my right knee, and I could barely speak to tell him “” I was also holding onto his arm so hard he probably thought I would break it.

4:15 AM – Debbie, my midwife, FINALLY came in to help me with the pushing, but even still, she immediately got paged to go back to finish delivering the placenta of the baby she had just delivered. Thankfully, Debbie told them someone else would have to do it and she was staying with me now to deliver my baby. She covered the end of the bed with a blue drape and began getting all sorts of tools ready, and that gave me faith that this would all be over soon. I asked my husband to put some Hyland’s Leg Cramp ointment on my left leg when I felt a cramp coming on – I would not be pushing alongside 2 Charlie horses this time like I did with E! Luckily, he had it ready in his pocket. Bless him.

With E, my doctor told me when to push, but I’d usually ignore him and push when I felt the need (I did not have an epidural with E, either, so I could feel when to push). Pushing E was more forceful because I was letting the doctor tell me how long to push, especially through the “ring of fire,” and I tore with E, requiring stitches.

With the midwife, pushing made much more sense. She had me in a better position – still impossible and painful, but more effective. She used warm compresses and showed me where to push each time. She modeled the most optimal breathing techniques that would slowly drop the baby to where he needed to be, breathing with me to make pushing more efficient. (Oh! And he was anterior – in the correct position – all along! My midwife said that I must have successfully rolled him by doing the exercises at home.) Even my husband said that the pushing made more sense as he watched the baby’s head slowly make incremental progress with each push.

I got to feel the baby crown this time – like a squishy brain! Knowing that he was RIGHT THERE and watching the nurse prepping the bassinet with that familiar striped newborn hospital blanket for the baby’s exam is what motivated me to continue.

That, and thinking about E getting a baby brother.

Debbie coached me through the “ring of fire” until his head was out, and my husband said she used an aspirator to suck the fluid from his lungs before she even started pulling his shoulders out. I couldn’t see anything going on, and they said they didn’t have a closer mirror than the one on the wall, so I missed this part.

And finally, at 4:47 AM, he was all out, and the sense of relief that it was all over was incredible. I had such a difficult pregnancy and such an excruciating labor that there was nothing but absolute relief in that moment of seeing and feeling him here in this world with us. Knowing pregnancy was over and the worst of the pain had passed.

I first noticed his full head of blonde hair when Debbie lifted him out – not what I was expecting! I kept calling him “sweet pea” over and over as I cradled him against my chest.

That moment.

That precious, priceless moment. There’s nothing like it. I will never forget meeting either of my sons for the first time. Like with E, I wished him a happy birthday and whispered to him that God loves him very much, and so do we.

Everything moved in slow motion this time as I tried to take it all in – I got to be a part of my husband cutting the umbilical cord, which they clamped right in front of me so I could watch. I also remember, surprisingly, how clean the baby felt, how dry, warm, and soft he was, even without a bath. I remember Debbie taking the time to deliver the placenta naturally. (Um, did I mention that my doctor tried to rip it out with E? Forgetting that I could feel everything? And that he used Pitocin in my IV  after the birth without asking me, just to induce it out?)

The baby was able to lie there as long as I wanted him to, and at 5:15 AM, he found his first latch and began nursing. He nursed for 25 minutes with 3 good latches, and soon afterward, the nurses wanted to weigh him and get some assessments done. He spit up a bit, and I handed him off.


I was shivering so uncontrollably that I felt like I was in shock. My husband remembered that I did this after delivering my first, too, although I don’t, and the nurse assured us that I was fine and the shaking was normal. He was still pretty alarmed, as it went on for awhile.

My sweet boy weighed 7 lbs., 12.9 oz (rounded to 7 lb., 13 oz.) and was 21″ long with his head measuring 13.5″. (His brother weighed 7 lb., 12.5 oz. and was 20.5″ long. I guess I grow my babies consistently.)


A foggy sunrise later that morning – Saturday, September 27, 2014: Welcome to the world, little baby.




Later, I would learn that 16 babies were born at the hospital that night, almost all boys. Five of them were delivered by my midwife, which is much more than usual for their practice. Someday, maybe my son will meet the little baby Debbie delivered just moments before him.

He’ll be the one dragging his own placenta around by his umbilical cord.




Disclaimer: Every birth experience is different, and I’m not saying mine was perfect or the “right way,” but using the midwives was something I had been wanting to try, and I feel that they nailed my birth plan on the head with the preferences I had listed – I still can’t believe how it all happened. My husband and I praise God that our sweet boy is content and healthy and we are so blessed that we were able to go through this experience side by side to give our son a little brother.

oh hey | Five on Friday!

3 10 2014

This past week has been especially precious to me. I gave birth to our second son early Saturday morning! I’ll be posting my birth story and about our nursing journey soon, but for now, I will leave you with some sweet moments from our first week of getting to know our new little pea.

one | Fall is my absolute favorite season, and our plans and traditions will still continue with a pumpkin patch visit, apple picking, Halloween, foliage photography, and lots of fall festivals! We don’t have any fall races on the calendar, but we will have a new pumpkin in tow for all of our other seasonal favorites! He has already been to school picture day, Life Group, and his first pediatrician visit.


| Target |

two | The first thing I noticed about this kid when he was delivered was his HAIR. My.word. For him being so fair, there was a lot of it! And it was perfectly styled into a little mohawk that lasted for days.


three | I couldn’t have asked for E to be a better big brother (they’re 26 months apart). From the start, he’s been so loving and helpful. Sure, he’s said “mine!” a lot more this week, but at least he’s very black and white when it comes to his things and the baby’s things. And it’s precious that every morning, he asks about the baby as soon as he wakes up.


And just for kicks, some side-by-side “oooo that face!” wrinkly forehead pics comparing the two of them. I can’t help it – it’s my favorite newborn face and I hope I never forget it. E is on the left (July 2012) and S is on the right (Sept. 2014).

Same swaddle.


four | We put him in his first cloth diaper on Thursday. These are specifically newborn-sized (BumGenius), but the BG ones that his big brother E currently wears fit 8-35 pounds, so they’ll be sharing soon.


five | This time around, I realize how quickly he will grow and change. I’m not saving cute clothes for special occasions – he’s wearing them daily. I’m taking pictures of everything, writing down as much as I can, and I did a Day in the Life post on Wednesday. I’m holding him all the time, rarely putting him down. I know in a week or two, he’ll look like a completely different baby. They’ll be subtle changes, but I know he won’t be as fragile or small as his wrinkly newborn frame begins to fill out. So I’m making keepsakes like this while he’s still so tiny:


Happy Friday! Linking up with Karli and Amy for oh hey Friday and April, Natasha, Christina, and Darci for Five on Friday!

A Day in the Life | 1 Toddler, 1 Newborn

1 10 2014

I love reading “Day in the Life” posts, especially ones like this from Two by Two Mom, so I thought I’d try it out. I chose today because I have a 4-day-old son and wanted to document what life is like early on at home during my maternity leave with my two sweet boys – actually, three sweet boys – my husband is home with us (just) this week as well!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Midnight – finally got both kids down and to sleep. “E” is my toddler and “S” is my newborn. E had fallen asleep around 10, but S took more convincing. He didn’t sleep a wink last night, so I was worried that it’d be a repeat night, but he slept 12-7 AM this time!

4 AM – my alarm goes off to breastfeed S. He sleeps right through the feedings

7 AM – my next alarm goes off to feed S. I get a text from a friend about weekend plans, I take the trash out (to put it in the garage – this will be important later), and I change clothes because my PJs are saturated in milk that expressed while I was sleeping… I check my weight (19 pounds down since my pre-delivery weight!) and hold S as he sleeps – gotta savor these precious moments!

8 AM – turn on SpiritFM on my phone while I shower and get ready – we have a pediatrician appointment today! (I did not get to shower yesterday.)IMG_8125

8:34 – E is awake and chattering from his crib. I get him changed, dressed, and send him down to the kitchen where my husband is getting breakfast ready with S, who is now wide awake. E eats waffles and strawberries (and later, most of my breakfast). IMG_8133

8:54 – I finish getting ready and head downstairs with several combined loads of laundry – mine, baby’s, E’s, and E’s cloth diapers. I throw the cloth diapers in for their first rinse cycle.

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9:10 – I start making my coffee and polish off the last 2 Pumpkin Spice donut holes. E swipes my banana when I won’t let him have a donut and I down my juice – no time to actually drink my coffee, so into the fridge it goes. At this moment, we realize S has a diaper so big that it soaks everything he is wearing, plus his Swaddle and the Pack n Play liner, where he is lying awake.



9:15 – E helps me add soap to the diaper cycle, which we switch from a rinse to a hot wash.


9:20 – I head upstairs with S to feed him while E colors beside me on the floor (and then plays his drumset) in his new toddler room. My husband changes both boys’ diapers.


9:40 – My husband heads out to the recycling center and to pay the water bill with E in tow while I continue to feed S and rock him to sleep while texting with my dad about their next visit here.

9:50 – Pack my new Ju Ju Be diaper bag for both boys for the pediatrician visit

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10:00 – Read in my LifeGroup devotional, “The Circle Maker” while waiting for the boys to get home and add a bunch of stuff to the diaper bag that I forgot the first time around

10:20 – Mail Aflac paperwork for maternity leave compensation, mail birth announcement information to the newspaper, and leave for pediatrician’s office

11:00 – Finish doctor paperwork and have our checkup. S is up 3 ounces since he was discharged from the hospital midday Monday. The doctor is very pleased with this! I feed S several times while we are there, and E also gets lots of snacks to occupy him. S gets called a girl twice because of his unisex name – oh well. :) They also remove his hospital bracelet.

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12:15 – We leave the pediatrician’s office and E eats another snack on the way home. We check the mail and put cloth diapers on their last rinse cycle.

12:30 – Everyone gets lunch. I nurse S while eating a sandwich

12:50 – The diapers are all finished – I hang up the covers and Freetimes and throw all the inserts into the dryer


12:54 – I combine a load of E’s, S’s, and my laundry and throw it in the washer. Will dry together with the cloth diaper inserts to save energy. I put away the laundry hanging in the garage and unload all the dried guest sheets that were used by family staying at our house over the weekend while I was at the hospital.

1:00 – I nurse S again on the couch while E insists on watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

1:15 – E loses interest in Mickey and goes upstairs to help Daddy put fresh sheets on the guest bed. My husband calls his employer about adding S to our insurance.

1:40 – I go into the garage to clean up all the trash that our Jack Russell Terrier, Scout, had gotten into earlier in the day. UNRELATED to this incident, our family also says our goodbyes to Scout before my husband takes him to the vet and then to a new home – we don’t have the time to give him the attention he needs anymore. I don’t think E understands what is going on, but he says “bye” and gives him lots of hugs and kisses, which pretty much breaks my heart.




1:45-2:10 – I rock E to sleep for his (extremely late) nap while S sleeps, then my husband leaves to take Scout to his new home. I can’t bring myself to go and opt to stay home with the boys.

2:15 – I journal in my Circle Maker devotional more while the boys sleep.

2:50 – I work on S’s baby book, pasting newspaper clippings and updating birth stats while texting with my sister and some friends. My husband returns home and we cry together about our dog, who has been a part of our family for 5 years, almost the whole time we’ve been married.


3:45 – I switch my laundry to the dryer with the cloth diaper inserts while my husband cleans all the bathrooms. I begin working on this blog post, then tidy up our room and begin getting all my maternity clothes OUT of my closet.


4:30 – I nurse S while he sleeps. E is still sound asleep.

5:10 – E wakes up crying, but it’s a dream and he’s happy to see me walk in. As I change his diaper, we talk about how Scout is “all gone” and “not here – he’s at a different house,” which he seems to understand, although he thinks he’s either at a church or at a neighbor’s house. I carry S downstairs to nurse him while my husband makes dinner (flatbread pizza) and preps food for tomorrow and to freeze for later (banana muffins and sausage gravy.)

5:30 – I retrieve our clothes from the dryer and fold them, then nurse S again as my husband finishes up dinner.

6:10 – We sit down to eat, then S needs to nurse yet again! This kid!


6:30 – At the suggestion of the pediatrician, I briefly use my pump to relieve some milk pressure, stopping after 3 minutes on each side with 5 oz. of milk to freeze.

6:45 – Mint chocolate chip ice cream!

7:00 – I work on a footprint craft with S


7:15 – He’s fussy after painting, so I nurse him, hoping to calm him enough to get handprints. No luck, so we’ll try again tomorrow.

7:45 – We all sit on the couch – me cuddling with S while E colors and sorts crayons with Daddy


8:15 – E goes upstairs for his bath, and I carry S upstairs for his first sponge bath


8:30 – I feed and rock the baby, who falls asleep at 8:45


9:00 – E finishes his bath, brushes his teeth, and gets ready to rock with me (he puts up a big fight about it) – then it takes him til 10:15 to fall asleep. By this time, I am sore from sitting and text my husband to help me carry him to his crib.


10:15 – I get ready for bed. S is still (surprisingly) asleep in his Rock n Play sleeper by our bed.

10:30 – Sit down to finish this post as it begins to rain. I am thankful for rain and think about how we might actually be able to plant something small this year if we don’t have a dog to tear it up.

10:44 – I check the clock before heading to bed and wonder how many times I’ll be up tonight with the baby.

My morning coffee still sits, untouched, in the fridge.

Week 40 | Bumps & Wiggles

24 09 2014

Bumpdate blog

Week 40 | Bumps & Wiggles

40 weeks - pregnancy 2014

Emotions | Weary

Gender | Boy

Names | Keeping a surprise – we hid all the monograms in case of company

Affirmations | Heartburn, backache

Signs of labor | Braxton Hicks, some dilation and 50% effacement, other definite signs

Baby size | Baby estimated 20″ and approx. the size of a PUMPKIN, 7.5-8 lbs.

To do this week | Have a baby?? Keep on spinning baby until he comes

Things checked off list | Everything. My school even opened the online report card window so that I could get all 560+ report cards done today before the baby comes, then shut it again until it’s actually time for other teachers to do their report cards. Every afternoon when I leave, I put sub plans on my desk for the next 3 days, which is in addition to the 12 weeks of plans I already gave my long-term sub. I had my 40-week midwife appointment Monday and scheduled my 41-week appointment for next week. Also.

Movement felt | All the time. Right now he’s facing to the left, halfway between posterior and anterior. My belly is usually lopsided (with baby way over to the right – pain.ful.) -


Cravings | None and I lost another 3 lbs. this week, so my final weight looks to be under what I was with E.

Aversions | Hamburger

Workouts this week | Lots of walking at work, lots of stretching at home using the Spinning Babies website

Weight/size | Belly measured 39 cm at my 40-week appt and I’m down 3 pounds in four days

Sleep patterns | Trying to go to bed early, then up every 90 minutes until about 3 AM and then up every 30-60 mins until my alarm for work at 5:45

Best moments this week | Lots of family time and getting happy news today. The cooler weather and onset of fall. Starting a new Life Group at church. Taking sunrise and sunset pictures every day (they’ve been amazing this week!) – hoping to catch the birthday sunrise for the baby book. A caramel latte from Panera after work yesterday and attending a baby shower for a friend after work today! And splurges.


Looking forward to | Meeting our son.

What I miss | Bending, getting in and out of my car and bed easily

Messages and prayers | I appreciate all my friends’ prayers this week! E has been begging the baby to “Wake up! Come out! Doctor get baby out and E gets a new present!”


Journey to 40 Weeks

1st trimester
Weeks 14 & 15
Week 16
Week 17
Week 18
Week 19
Week 20
Week 21
Week 22
Week 23
Week 24
Week 25
Week 26
Week 27
Week 28

Week 29

Week 30

Week 31

Week 32

Week 33

Week 34

Week 35


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