Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

For several years, Mother's Day was a difficult day for me.  I spent that day every year wondering if I would ever have a baby and mourning the loss of our first.  It was a miserable time, and, even though I wanted to celebrate my own mom, it was hard.

So today (and every other day, because it's never far from my mind), I have to acknowledge how blessed I am.  I am so, so grateful for the precious four year old who said, "Happy Mother's Day!" constantly today and, like always, was quick to tell me how much she loved me.  I'm grateful for my sweet B, who made sure today was special...and stopped for banana ice cream even though I'm pretty sure he didn't really want to.  And, of course, I'm grateful for the little girl who is thumping around in my belly...and whose presence was the cause of her daddy actually stopping for said banana ice cream. :)  I'm thankful for an amazing mama and mother-in-law who have shown me so much love over the years.

My day was absolutely wonderful.  We heard a great sermon this morning, went to lunch at one of my favorite restaurants with my parents, took a nap, and then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening outside.  It was a beautiful, perfect Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Baby #2: 20 Weeks

Today, I am twenty weeks pregnant with our second baby.  It's so hard to believe that we're halfway (or over halfway, more than likely) through this pregnancy. 

I found this online this morning and laughed because it is most definitely not how we feel. 
The room that will be Harper's is still serving as Aniston's playroom, and is filled to the brim.  We have no idea where everything is going to go.  (I'm cringing a little as I type because I know that's such a first world problem and sounds so ridiculous when I say it out loud.  We have no room for this baby because our first child has too much stuff.)  The room is also a dark blue so after the toys are finally moved to who-knows-where, it will need approximately 57 coats of primer before being painted.  The crib needs to be reassembled, furniture needs to be moved, and the closet needs to be cleaned out since we've been using it for storage for paper-type stuff (documents, cards, gift bags, and such) since we built the house. 

It's going to be a fun summer for B, no doubt. :)

As long and daunting as the to-do list can be at times, it's also fun and exciting.  I'm thrilled to be preparing for another baby.

Pregnancy-wise, everything is going really well so far.  My blood pressure has been low, and we're praying that it stays that way.  Since I'm at high risk for developing preeclampsia again, I've been taking low-dose aspirin since twelve weeks in hopes of preventing it.  (Research shows it decreases the risk by twenty-four percent, and my doctor thinks it's worth a shot.)  The nausea from the first trimester has been replaced by heartburn, but it's manageable and I'll take it over feeling sick all the time any day.  I'm tired a lot, but that's to be expected.  I'm not nearly as worried and stressed as I was when I was pregnant with Aniston, and I'm really enjoying it this time.  Harper seems to be getting stronger by the day and is moving pretty consistently.  Today was an especially active day, and I felt her move from the outside for the first time.  Such an amazing feeling!

20 weeks

Friday, May 1, 2015

Baby #2: Anatomy Scan

Before we found out we were expecting this baby, I often thought about having a second child...even though we regularly said we were fine with just one.  Truthfully, I couldn't decide how I felt.  Would I be able to love another child as much as I love Aniston?  What if we had to go back to REACH--could we put ourselves through that again?  I even went as far as to wonder how I would feel if we didn't have to go to REACH.  If the second baby didn't require so many tears and so much heartache, would I feel that he or she was as special as Aniston?

I had mulled over these thoughts for a long time.  Then, on a random Thursday in January, a miracle I never expected showed up in the form of a pink line and, suddenly, I had my answers.

Yes, I could love another child just as much--even from the moment I knew she existed.  My heart immediately grew, and has continued to do so as I've fallen more in love with this baby by the day.  Part of what makes Aniston so special is how hard we fought to have her.  Part of what makes this baby so special is how easy and unexpected she was. Two complete opposites, but two complete blessings.

On Tuesday we learned that the newest member of our family is another little girl.  We're excited, and so very thankful that she is healthy.  The anatomy scan went well, and she measured perfectly--and one week ahead.  She has long legs and big feet...just like her big sister.  She constantly wiggles, and I'm able to feel her much more than I felt Aniston at this point.  We were able to get a picture of her sweet profile (something Aniston never cooperated for) and still can't believe how blessed we are.

Just like with Aniston, I wanted to choose names before we found out the gender.  B didn't understand the rush, but humored me and we had names ready before the appointment.  Our littlest girl is Harper Shea, and we can't wait to meet her in September.

Look at that little hand resting on her chest! 

 We had a gender reveal on Tuesday night with family and close friends.  So much fun!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Catching Up: April

We have had a really busy month so far.  I mentioned this to someone last week, and the person responded with something like, "Well, at least you aren't bored."  Very true.  There's no time for boredom around here. 

Spring break was absolutely wonderful, but not nearly long enough.  (Is it ever?!)  My big project for the week was cleaning out Aniston's room so her new furniture could be delivered, and I managed to accomplish that while only having a slight nervous breakdown.  Turns out, my child is a bit of a hoarder and could be the charter member of Stuffed Animals Anonymous.  Bless her heart. 

This isn't even all of them.

B's parents gave us season passes to Carowinds for Christmas, and we used them for the first time during spring break.  The lady who took the pictures for the passes had the hardest time getting Aniston to smile and not make crazy eyes.  Finally, she said good enough and let her go after she realized it wasn't going to get any better.  (Welcome to my life, lady.  Just imagine what family pictures are like these days.)  Aniston happily rode every ride she was tall enough for, all while announcing that she could ride anything she wanted to because there wasn't a baby in her belly.  (That was because of a conversation we had on the way there about how her daddy would be riding most of the rides with her instead of me.  It made an impression, apparently.)  We had a great day and I was so proud of her behavior--even though it was hot and she was tired by the end of the day.  We really do have an amazing kid...even if she doesn't care to have her picture taken. :)

Aniston and Colton

We also took Aniston to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time this month.  Thanks to Disney Jr. and the commercials, she had been begging to go see "Chuckie Cheese Mouse" for the longest time.  (I could just die of the cuteness every time she says that!)  She thought it was the best place ever, and is absolutely in love with the mouse himself.

Baby #2 is continuing to do well.  At last week's OB appointment, his/her heart rate was in the 150s.  We go for the big anatomy scan on Tuesday.  I'm looking forward to finding out if this little one is a boy or a girl, but more so I'm praying for a healthy baby.  Aniston can't wait to know if she's getting a brother or sister, but she's very serious about her role as big sister regardless.  She sings songs to my belly, makes sure I take my vitamins every day, and constantly asks, "Is that good for the baby?" about whatever I'm doing, eating, etc. at that time.  It's sweet and hilarious and I love her so much.  This baby is lucky to have a big sister who loves him/her so much already.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy Birthday, Aniston!

We have had so much fun celebrating Aniston's birthday today!  B and I both took the day off work to spend with her, and we let her choose what to do.

After breakfast, we headed to Concord.  If you give Aniston a choice of a hundred different toys, she will choose the stuffed animal every. single. time.  When we said she could choose something to do today, Build-a-Bear was what she came up with immediately on her own.  There's no better place for a stuffed animal lover than a place where you can build your own, dress it, name it, and cause your parents to nearly lose their sanity and a small fortune in the process. 

After much, much, MUCH debate, she chose a rainbow striped tiger that she swears is a kitty cat.  She picked out a birthday princess shirt for the tiger/kitty, a denim skirt with a sparkly hem, and a cotton candy scent.  Aniston named her Lullaby, which is a significant improvement over Chicken, who was created last summer at the beach.

She wanted to have barbecue for lunch and Sweet Frog for dessert, and we happily obliged.  She also loves to watch planes land at the airport, so we stopped by the overlook before coming home.  (Speaking of the overlook, it must be the place for moms to take their kids on sunny days.  Kids were everywhere, and some weren't being watched well at all.  Case in point, one little girl kept coming over to us and finally tried to sit on B's lap--which, of course, he immediately stopped her from doing and she moved on to some other people nearby.  The mom was clearly aware of all this, but just smiled and acted like she didn't care.  What are people thinking?!  I just don't understand.)

We had a small party for Aniston tonight with all the grandparents.  She'll have a party with friends and extended family on Sunday.

It was a wonderful day, and we had so much fun celebrating Aniston.  I can't believe our little girl is four!  We are so blessed to be her parents, and thank God for entrusting her to us every day. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Our Weekend: A Blanket Fort, A Picnic, and the Futility of Furniture Shopping

Happy first weekend of spring!  As a longtime non-fan (is that a thing?) of winter, I'm breathing a sigh of relief.  The days are longer, the weather is getting warmer, the flowers and trees are blooming, and I'm an all-around happier person in general. 

We spent Friday night at home.  I made nachos for dinner and B and Aniston built a huge blanket fort in the middle of the kitchen.  This is exactly why she prefers to play with him instead of me.  I'm just not that fun.  I see the work that the fort is going to take, think of the effort to disassemble the fort when the time comes, and quickly dismiss the idea, opting instead for things like coloring or reading or (Heaven help me) even Play Doh.  B is much more of a live in the moment kind of person and has no problem moving all our dining room chairs and pulling a ridiculous amount of stuff from the linen closet.

Which is also why I spent part of my Saturday moving everything out of the kitchen and muttering under my breath. 

We spent Saturday morning shopping (this mama needed pants that fit...desperately), ordering Aniston's birthday cake (which she changed her mind about constantly), and shopping for furniture for Aniston's room.  She's still using part of the nursery furniture since the crib was convertible (it's her headboard now) and, come September, that's just not going to work.

We didn't have any luck at all.  Apparently, I'm looking for furniture that just doesn't exist.

After we got home, I insisted on a picnic lunch in the backyard because I needed to make sure Aniston knew I could be a fun parent, too.  Picnics trump blanket forts every time.

Sunday was a regular kind of Sunday with church, lunch, and grocery shopping.  After we got home, we played outside and then tried to get things ready for the busy week ahead.  We have something going on every night this week, plus a certain sweet girl's birthday on Wednesday and party on Sunday.  I can't believe Aniston is going to be four! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Baby #2: Appointment

This afternoon's OB appointment may have been the quickest one ever.  We were in and out in no time at all.  After a few stressful minutes of searching, the doctor was able to track down our little one with the doppler and found a strong, steady heart beat.  The baby's heart rate was in the 160s, and all is well.  We're so thankful for this sweet blessing!