Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dear Lara.

Today was one of the last mornings you'll wake up as our only daughter.  We have loved you fiercely the past 27 months, and now, we're going to share our love with another little girl, your baby sister.

I know it feels like we've been talking about this baby sister of yours for quite some time now.  You probably stopped believing that she actually exists, and believe me, I've spent my fare share of time wondering if she'd ever join our family as well.

Well sweetheart, the time has come.  

Last night, when your daddy and I put you to bed, you began to cry when we talked about going to the hospital to have your sister.  Whatever part of you understands what's getting ready to happen to your world. seemed scared.  

You curled your bottom lip out and began to shake your head, saying "no no no."  
It broke our hearts, because little do you know, our love for you will never change.  

In fact, our love for you will grow deeper as we watch you fall in love with this baby sister of yours. 

You adore your baby dolls these days; carrying them around, patting their backs while you ssshhh and comfort them because they're "sad."  You are quite the nurturer, little one.  

You sneak into your closet and pull out 5-6 blankies at at time to wrap your little dolly up in, you know, in case she's cold.  When you're not looking, I fold them all back up and sneak them back into your closet for you to pull back out the next day.

A few weeks ago, you and I were in sis' room together.  I was hanging some last minute frames on the wall, and I set the hammer down next to me.  A few short seconds later, I heard a few loud bangs, turned around and there you were, bashing the hammer into your sisters dresser.

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At first, I was horrified.  But then I laughed, thinking of the day we'll tell your baby sis what you did to her brand new dresser, before she was even born.  While it may be the first time you ruin something of your sisters, I'm sure you'll both have your fair share of these moments in the years to come!

While at first it may seem hard, having to share your world with another little girl, I promise she'll be much more fun to play with in the coming years than your Mom & Dad.  As this sweet soul has been growing in my womb, I've often envisioned you two playing together, taking baths together...

Giggling late at night as you sneak into one another's room...

But most of all, I've spent the last 9 months thinking about how you'll always look out for one another.  

You'll be the first one there when a boy breaks your little sisters heart; staying up all night to console her.  You'll teach her that a man is not the key to her happiness and self worth.  God is.

You'll be there to hold her hair back after a few too many shots on her 21st birthday.

And you'll be the one to lift the veil over her face as she prepares to walk down the aisle to her new best friend.

No matter the season of life, you now have a built in best friend who will always be there for you, your very own wing woman.  

And that, my daughter, is the best gift we could ever give you.

Mom & Dad

Monday, November 28, 2016

Baby Watch, Version 2.0

I pondered what word to use when describing this past year, but honestly, there's really no better word to depict 2016 for me.  And you know what, that's entirely ok.  We all experience some toughies and eventually come out stronger because of them, so I'll take it.  2016 was just my toughie. 

As most close to me know, this pregnancy has kicked my ass.  
But let's just get real, what pregnancy doesn't take it out of a woman?

Your organs are squished into tiny little balls; your skin is stretched to the point that your stomach feels as if it's going to bust open at anytime; your rectum will never function the same again (and we'll just leave that right there); and if you're like me, you literally feel like a dragon who could breath fire at anytime from the extreme heartburn.

But pregnancy is so beautiful.
Uh huh. 
Beautiful, that's sounds about right.
Let's get real.

This past week, things came to a head when we ended up in the emergency room the night before Thanksgiving...

I became violently ill, and I'll spare you the details.  My body became totally dehydrated and I ended up needing 3 bags of IV fluids, a few different medications followed by several hours of fetal monitoring.  But hey, on the bright side, we got a test run as to how triage will look at the new hospital we're delivering at.  

The whole family thought we'd be delivering that night, and I was secretly praying I would NOT. With how sick I had been, I had no business attempting to push a baby out that night and was praying I wouldn't have to.  Over the next few days I felt better than I have in several months!  Of course everything you read online tells you this is totally a sign of imminent labor.  Put your hand up if you googled "signs you're in labor" about 8 million times over the course of that 9th month?
Hand raised.

We all thought for sure she was coming on Thanksgiving or perhaps, Friday.

Nope, nothing.
Nothing but super strong, nearly unbearable contractions that subsided every time I laid down.  

For me, it felt as if I was walking up to a concession stand, time and time again, smelling the warm nachos & scent of fresh beer, only for the concession stand to SHUT DOWN right as I stepped up to the register.  I never got to eat a single chip.  Not to mention tasting the fresh, crisp Stella I've dreamed about for 40 weeks.

To wrap up the past week, I've now developed some sort of bronchial infection.  
That's been really fun, too. 

Especially the frequent, deep cough. You know, because I have super awesome bladder control these days.

Listen, Depends are not above me.

Needless to say, after much conversation, Jon and I decided to move forward with giving this baby girl an official eviction notice which will begin Wednesday evening at 8:00 pm!!!!!


And so is my bladder. 
And rectum.

I so appreciate all of the calls and texts checking in on us, so I  wanted to be sure to provide a quick update to everyone interested.  I still can't believe we're going to be holding our little (still nameless) baby girl in just a few, short days!!

Looks like we'll be having us a December baby after all.
Bring on the holiday birthday party Pinterest board!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

9 Months.

Honestly, I can't believe we're here.  Hopefully my last and final BUMPDATE!!  While this pregnancy has been much harder on me, I can honestly say it's FLOWN by!  I am beyond ready to meet this little soul. 

If I'm being completely honest, I feel like I need to see her face to truly fall in love with her.  Our hearts are so full of love for our little girl that's right here in front of us, that it feels crazy to think we're capable of loving another little one as much as we love her.  I read lots of blogs and articles these days on becoming a parent for the second time, because I'm so curious how I can love another the way I love Lara.  I pray often that I love her as much....which in turn leaves me feeling guilty.  

Mommies out there--can you relate?  
Any words of wisdom??

How Far Along: 37 weeks today!

Due Date:  Still.......November 30th!

Weight Gain: 8 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Oh yes.  I've officially crossed the threshold of wearing strictly maternity.  I'm totally digging Wendy Bellissimo line from Motherhood.  I picked up this adorable shirt a few weeks ago and i've been LIVING in it!  The maternal is TO DIE for.  

 I throw fun cardigans over it and plan to pair it with a black plaid button down and vest in the coming weeks, because fall has officially made it's appearance here in KC!  

Stretch marks: Yes, and more are appearing by the day.  

Symptoms: Still lots of pain in my lower back and still lots of trips to the potty.  I'm getting my prenatal massage on Saturday (Thanks, babe!!) and can't WAIT!

Cravings: Hmmm....that's a tough one.  Heartburn is limiting me quite a bit these days.  I had a spicy italian dish last Friday evening and my body HATED me all day Saturday.  Thai, my favorite, is just totally out of the question.  I would say....baked potatoes.  I could eat a baked potato just about daily at this point.  Wendy's has some great options, so I've frequented their drive thru as of late.

Gender: Still a Little Lady!!

Mood:  Excitement.  Each cramp, I start to wonder if it's time....
While we still need to load the car seat and I have lots of wittle clothes to wash, overall, I feel like we are ready to rock and roll.  The part I'm most nervous about is having the strength to push thru a VBAC.  We have a birthing class next Saturday and I'm contemplating not going.  I don't want to psych myself out and I fear that knowing all the details of what's to come, may do just that.  I'd rather just let nature take it's course and tackle each phase of labor as it comes.  
Pray for me because I'm a bit terrified!!

Nursery: BEAUTIFUL.  It's by far my new favorite room in our home.  
A few more finishing touches and photos to come.  But let's get real, that will likely be after she makes her debut.

Movement: Yes, and PAINFUL.  I have a sneaking suspicion this little lady will be a bit bigger than our little peanut, Lara.  If you don't remember, Lara was a whopping 6 lbs and a mere 16 inches long.  I'm predicting this one to be over 8lbs.  And she packs the punch to prove it!

Sleep: Besides feeling like I'm shifting the Titanic when switching positions, good!

Workouts:  Please.

Names: Still........#nameless.
And yes, we realize we cannot leave the hospital without a name.  
If I had a dollar for how many times I've heard that, I'd be able to pay for the delivery. 

To wrap up, let's take a look back at how this little life has grown!

3 months - 4 months - 5 months

6 months - 7 months - 9 months

Monday, November 7, 2016

Oh, October!

Well, that month flew by.  I was looking at my Blogger dashboard and the last update I shared was October 6th, right before we headed off on our Babymoon.  I'm sure most of you follow along via Instagram & Facebook, but I'll share a few pics nonetheless.  

Eureka Springs was a total surprise!  We knew we'd enjoy exploring the little town, but we totally underestimated how beautiful and serene the setting would be!  

We spent the first day shopping downtown, grabbed lunch at this neat restaurant up on a balcony overlooking all the action, took a tram tour of the city up to the historic crescent hotel and wrapped up the evening with a nice, Italian dinner on the strip.  And yes, I most definitely indulged in my first glass of wine in 8 months.  And you better believe I savored EVERY. SIP.

Day two started off with one of the best pumpkin spice lattes I've ever had, a trip to their local cave called the Onyx Cave Park (which was SUPER cool!), followed by lunch in an old fashioned passenger car on the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway.  I am so glad we booked this part of our trip because it was truly a one of a kind experience.  The train-car ventured thru the woods and thru a low part of the Ozark Mountains, all while enjoying a romantic lunch.  You could spend a few hours at the train station alone, just exploring.  They had lots of old trains on the grounds from different eras, that you could walk right up to and look at.  It was a really neat experience and would HIGHLY recommend to anyone taking a weekend trip to Eureka.  

We spent the afternoon driving around the Ozark mountains...

...and wrapped up the evening with one of the best dinners we've EVER HAD.  We ate inside a local cave that had been renovated into a restaurant, called Grotto.  The food was impeccable and of course my date was pretty amazing as well. 

Following the trip, October was a whirlwind of potty training adventures, baby sprinkles, Halloween parties, maternity photos & house preparation for our baby shower that was thrown by my girlfriends, at our home this past weekend.  

Work Baby Girl Sprinkle--Thanks Kirsten for putting this together!!

Trunk or Treat at Lara's School.

To bad my daughter hated it.

She had MUCH more fun at Grandma's Halloween party!

We always spend Halloween at my parents because their neighborhood is FULL of kiddos!  Lara, my little red gumball, had lots of fun watching all the trick or treaters come by. Maybe next year she'll be ready to trick or treat herself.  We shall see....

We almost didn't get maternity photos done this go around, but we ended up connecting with a local photographer who is just beginning to grow her business.  She was super sweet and insisted on doing them for us so she could get some practice in, and I am SO THANKFUL she did!  

We had them done in our backyard at sunset and just adore all of them.  I'm SO happy we have these shots to look back on and remember our last few weeks as a family of three. 

For all my local friends, check out Rachel Grace Media!  She is an absolute joy to work with!! 

Now, last but certainly not least, last weekends shower!

 I had envisioned a relaxed, low key gathering with close friend and family to celebrate this new little lady and  the evening was exactly that!  We had some BBQ catered in, the guests enjoyed a local beer tasting from beers local to Kansas & Missouri breweries and spent time gathered around our new fire pit patio Jon built.  

The GORGEOUS quilt my Mom made for Baby Girls nursery!!

My girlfriends truly went above and beyond to make the evening SO special and Jon and I most definitely felt the love!!!!!

And we have the diapers to prove it. 

Now....onto picking a President.