Category Archives: Feel Good

Midnight Ramblings

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Tonight, you looked up at me while daddy nuzzled his nose into your neck. He was tickling you. Your face was full of laughter’s wrinkles and dimples. You squealed in delight “Do it again, daddy! Do it again!” I smiled down at you, my heart bursting with love, as I committed your tiny face to memory. Motherhood is pure joy. And it is equally painful. This season is fleeting, and that’s perhaps the hardest part of it all. Not the sleepless nights, tantrums, teething or sicknesses. No, the hardest part is that it’s passing by at an alarming rate, with nothing to be done about it. It’s like water flowing through your hands. You can never really stop the flow. No matter how you arrange your hands, the water always finds a way to flow out, as it should, and disappear. And so this season of motherhood flows away from me. Each day, you grow more independent and you need me a tiny bit less than you did the day before. It hurts, but I also know it is good. Perhaps bittersweet is the word to use here? I am thankful for the nights like tonight, when I can feel God nudging me to commit you to memory. I know I’ll cherish who you are in the morning, but I also want to remember every little detail of who you are right now. I want to remember the way you look: the dimples that appear when you smile and your mint green eyes, covered up by those long, black eyelashes. I want to remember the tangy scent of a toddler boy, mixed with that faint baby smell that is all too quickly fading away. And I want to remember how you’re just tall enough to turn on the lights by yourself, but still small enough to fit into my arms. I want to remember everything. My hope is that when you’re grown, I’ll be able look back, without regret, and know that I fully cherished who you were today.

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Two Years with Harper

 

I don’t really know how, but he’s going to be two tomorrow. TWO, y’all! Really?! It just doesn’t seem like it has been two years since I first laid eyes on my little baby boy. I’ll never forget that day.

Moments after he was born. He looks thrilled to be here.

A picture of me and Harp (on the left) compared to me and my mom (on the right). I love the (completely unplanned) similarities in these pictures.

I think this was the morning after his birth. So in love, and feeling like I had been run over by a semi.

And this was our first night home from the hospital. After being up until 5AM in the morning because the child would NOT sleep in his bassinet. We finally caved and put him in bed with us where he slept peacefully for 2-3 hrs lol. Itty bitty cuddlebug.

That first week was sorta horrible. I remember thinking I would never sleep or feel normal again. I cried constantly and asked “what the hell have I gotten myself into?” Ahh…hormones and sleep deprivation. They make for a lovely combination.

All of my mom friends who visited looked at me with sympathy. They knew what I was going through, and each would encourage me by telling me that the first five to six weeks are the hardest and then it starts to get better. I remember cringing each and every time I heard someone say this. Five to six weeks felt like an eternity. I wondered how I would ever make it.

And then I blinked and two years passed. Two years containing some of the absolute best moments of my life. Harper has been such a blessing to us. The more we get to see of him and the type of person he is becoming, the more we love him. He’s basically the bomb dot come in our book.

Now…I don’t want to make this a super long post, but I do want to write about some of the things he is currently doing. Not milestones or anything like that…just things that I want to remember.

So here goes.

He sings. All…the…time! I love it. He even has his own little tune that he hums whenever he is doing something throughout the day – we call it Harper’s song and we hum it now too. Some of his favorite songs to sing are We Are Never Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift), Two Tickets to Paradise (Eddie Money), his ABCs (doesn’t quite know how to pronounce all the letters, but he tries and it’s adorable), and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

He doesn’t wake us up in the mornings anymore. Seriously. I have to set an alarm because he will sit and play in his crib (without making a peep) all morning if I let him. He just started doing this when we moved back to Alabama so we’re going on about two months of it now. I set my alarm for 7:30 and always wake up to silence. And even though every morning is the same, and he is ALWAYS awake when I go in there, I still think maybe…just maybe…he will be asleep. But as soon as I open the door he starts cracking up, stands up and starts jumping in the bed. It’s hilarious. I have no idea what time he actually wakes up, but my guess is around 7AM. What’s crazy is that sometimes when I go to get him, he will lay back down (I’m so huge pregnant, that I can’t pick him up while he’s laying in the crib). I’ll ask him if he wants up, and he’ll tell me no! I guess he just loves his bed…a lot?

He’s a good great helper. For his age, he helps me out a lot. If something needs to be thrown away, all I have to do is ask him to throw it in the trashcan and he does it. He’ has even started throwing his own trash away without having to be asked on occasion. He helps me put dishes away (I just started letting him about two weeks ago). Of course, they aren’t always perfect, but I love that he helps. He helps me put my shoes on. If he knows we’re leaving, he will run and grab them and put them on my feet (I wear flip flops every day so that helps lol). He also helps with getting himself dressed.

He loves people. He will say hi/hey to anyone. He loves going to the park and running up to other kids to tell them hi. It’s super cute! I babysit another little boy (Cole) 2-3 days a week, and he absolutely adores him. He cries whenever Cole has to leave. It makes me glad that he’s about to have a permanent little buddy. I think he is going to rock at being a big brother. I hope he and Emrist will be BFF.

He’s still super attached to bunny, but he has now added two more to the mix – doggie and bear. I hope this means that if we ever lose bunny, we’ll have two good backups that can make up for it. Hopefully we’ll never have to find out.

His favorite foods at the moment are chicken, eggs, bread, clementines, cantaloupe, strawberries, bananas, cheese, cauliflower, cereal, and fruit gummies. His favorite activities are walking, going to the park, taking a bath, and reading books with daddy. He is constantly asking to go outside. He’s obsessed with our car (and with trucks, tractors, airplanes, helicopters, and trains).

In a nutshell, he’s 100% boy and he’s a kind person. I’ve been warned by many that he’ll soon become a monster (somewhere between age two and three) so for now, I’m soaking up all this sweetness in case it does disappear for a while 🙂

Finally…just like any cheesy mom, I made a video slideshow of pictures from the past year. Now…about the music. There’s this song by Watermark and it’s called Noah’s Song. They wrote it for their son and it says his name at the very beginning of the song. It perfectly describes my Harper, so I decided to use it for the slideshow. The fact that it said “Noah” at the beginning drove me nuts, so I just *had* to cut it out. That’s why the volume kinda fades in the very beginning. Just FYI.

I’ll shut up now. Here’s the video:

Hey! I Love You!

I’m actually posting about my hot, bearded husband today! I’m not sure that I’ve ever had a post JUST for him. I post about Harper all the time, but when it comes to Benji…well, I’d rather spare the world of the mush I have locked up inside my heart for him.

I think it’s kinda gross when people PDA online, so I try my best not to. But today, I’m stepping out of my anti “online PDA” box, and I’m writing about Benji in hopes of making you all gag. I just want to shout from the rooftops how much I love this man!

We were cute, weren’t we?

I actually decided I wanted to blog about Benji last night, but it was so late, I decided to put it off until morning. When I woke up, I noticed the date: 10/18/12. A very special date in my book! Benji asked me to marry him on this day, six years ago. How appropriate!

I’m so happy that he asked, and even happier that I said yes. I wouldn’t have dreamed of saying no, btw. I saw his awesome qualities back then, and I just knew he would one day grow a beard for me. Seriously though. I am SO glad it happened.

Last night, I went to bed fighting back tears of gratitude for the man that was laying next to me. I fell asleep saying silent prayers of thanks for him. That’s not the first time that has happened, either. Over the course of our marriage, I’ve fallen asleep or woken up in the middle of the night several times, with the sudden urge to just tell God thanks for him. He is seriously awesome.

Don’t get me wrong. We are just like any other married couple. We sometimes drive each other nuts. We roll our eyes at one another (he makes fun of me when I do it though, because apparently I do it wrong). We fight over stupid things, and we fight over serious things. He lets me know when I’m nagging, and I let him know when he has put Harper’s diaper (or clothes) on wrong. But at the end of the day, he is seriously the best husband I could’ve ever asked for and I love him to the moon and back!

So this is my post proclaiming it to the world 🙂

I love you, Benji! Thanks for being an awesome husband to me and an amazing dad to our two littles. Thank you for working hard, and for letting me live my dream of being a stay at home mom to our children. Thanks for coming home each day with a smile on your face and for suggesting we take Harper to the park, even though I know you MUST be exhausted from waking up at 5AM and working all day. Thanks for your hugs and kisses, for holding my hand when we walk and for still opening doors for me. Thanks for reading to Harper and praying with him every night. Thanks for your love and support during this pregnancy and for picking up the slack on days that I’m drained and just want to sink into the couch. Thank you for letting me be me in front of you without fear of judgement. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you so much, and I’m just thankful for YOU 🙂

Alright. You are all free to go gag now!

Son of a Breech.

Like that title? I did.

I had an “extra” ultrasound this past Wednesday. I guess that’s one perk to switching doctors and insurances mid-pregnancy: the new OBGYN practice wanted to perform an anatomy scan of their own, and the new insurance company had to pay for it since it was my first ultrasound under their policy. Nice.

I’m sure you’re all smart enough to gather from the title of my post that we found out Emrist was breech during the ultrasound. I wasn’t surprised. I’ve suspected it for a couple of weeks now just because everything feels so different compared to my pregnancy with Harper. Things are actually a little bit more, dare I say…comfortable? Sure…there’s back pain, but I’m not having to pee ALL the time like I was with Harper. I’ll take back pain over that ANY day.

We also found out that I have an anterior placenta during the ultrasound. This explains a lot. I don’t feel Emrist from the outside very often. I actually was beginning to think that maybe she was just one super chill baby. Umm…no. She’s just got a giant pillow of placenta (nice mental image, right?) in front of her, and when she kicks, it absorbs most of it.

I actually worried the day before the ultrasound that something might be physically wrong with her since I rarely feel her kicking on the outside. You’re going to laugh when you read this, but I started thinking that maybe she was a midget baby and her arms and legs just weren’t long enough to produce the amount of force that Harper’s kicks produced. I’m embarrassed to admit that I thought that. I haven’t even told Benji. Don’t judge me. Pregnancy makes you crazy.

So why am I blogging about all this? Well. Because it could lead to a repeat c-section for me (yippee!). And I just feel the need to write it out somewhere. The midwife said that if the placenta wasn’t anterior, and Emrist stayed breech, they’d be willing to still let me attempt a VBAC. However, with it being anterior, they will not let me attempt a VBAC if she does stay breech.  I don’t even know why positioning of the placenta matters, but apparently it does. I don’t think I would feel comfortable attempting a VBAC with a breech baby anyways, so it doesn’t really matter much to me.

It’s been two days since the ultrasound and I’m just now beginning to really process how I feel about everything. I’m 31 weeks, so Emrist still has time to turn, but with each passing week, the chances of that happening will get smaller and smaller. I have read a couple of stories about babies turning just before labor so maybe she’ll be one of those if she doesn’t flip within the next couple of weeks. Who knows.

There are all sorts of things that you can supposedly do to make a baby turn: acupuncture, inversion exercises, mentally imagining your baby turning, etc. But I’m just tired. I’m tired of caring. I’m tired of stressing. I’m tired of clinging to control I never had in the first place. I’m just tired, and I’m over it.

My birth experience with Harper was awful and traumatic. I’ve done so many things in the time since his birth to ensure that this one would be different (losing 50 lbs, reading, researching, using a midwife in place of an OBGYN, etc). And the thing I’ve recently realized is that this experience will be different no matter what I do. Regardless of whether I get to have a vaginal birth, or if I end up having a repeat c-section, this experience will be different. Only my attitude/perspective can ensure that it’s better.

I don’t know that I’ve every voiced this to anyone other than Benji, but here it is: when I had the c-section with Harper, I let it define me as being broken. As a woman, my body couldn’t do what it was created to do – give birth – so I have since struggled with feeling like something is wrong with me. I’ve been fighting for a VBAC to heal that wound, but I’m starting to realize that I’ve been looking for healing in the wrong place. Isn’t Jesus the Great Physician? Why have I been looking to a certain experience to heal my heart (and that’s ONLY if I get to have that experience) when Jesus can heal me, regardless?

For the past two years, I’ve equated having a vaginal birth with victory. I’ve equated it to a better, less traumatic birth experience. And that’s just not always true. A vaginal birth does not guarantee a better experience and it certainly does not make me victorious. Only my attitude can guarantee a better experience. And Jesus is the one who makes me victorious…not an experience.

So…this is me letting go of everything. I am surrendering to whatever experience lies ahead of me. I will live and I will learn. And hopefully I will be a better person because of it 🙂

The end.

Elizabeth Laine Martin

We’re having a baby girl. I still really can’t believe it. I mean…I thought we were having a girl, but thinking it and then learning that it’s true are two different things. We’ve been extremely busy since my appointment on Friday, so I haven’t had much time to sit and really let it sink in. I’ve actually still been calling her “it” at times. Oops.

Immediately after our appointment on Friday, we went and picked up the moving truck. That took forever because Penske mixed everything up. We ended up having to go to their location three different times before everything was settled! When we finally got the truck home, we packed it up, and then left for Alabama the next morning at 4AM. We got to Montgomery right before 5PM on Saturday. And then we unpacked. Holy batman, we were tired! Today is the first day that I’ve actually felt semi-recovered from it all. I figured I’d take the time to talk about baby girl’s name, and the appointment before I forget all the small details.

First things first…her name! It’s kinda complicated. I love family names – LOVE THEM – but I’ve never really been able to come up with anything that I liked for a girl. One night last fall, the name Elizabeth Laine came to me, literally out of nowhere. I was trying to fall asleep, and was thinking about baby names instead of counting sheep. I’m not really sure why I was thinking about names, because I wasn’t pregnant at the time, nor was I planning on getting pregnant anytime soon, but names were on my brain nonetheless. I saw Elizabeth Laine Martin in my head, and immediately fell in love with it.

Elizabeth is my mother’s middle name. My father’s middle name is Lane (my brother and grandfather also share this middle name). Benji and I didn’t really like the spelling of Lane for a girl, so we decided to spell it like my step-dad’s name (Blaine) without the B. So…her name honors three different people that are important to us. It’s so very special ❤

This is the part that people may find a little weird. While I love the name Elizabeth Laine, I still wanted her to have a name of her own. After some thought, we decided to call her by her initials: ELM. Most of you who know me, know that I love trees…so yeah…it’s pretty perfect, in my opinion. Elm. I just love saying it out loud.

So now you know the name.

The appointment itself could not have gone any better. My weight gain and blood pressure were great. Everything looked perfect on the ultrasound. Elm’s heart rate was at 154 and my favorite part: she was measuring right on track, and not ahead. Harper was always ahead of the game in just about every area, and he was a BIG baby! I was really anxious to see what her head size would be, since I’m aiming for a VBAC, and it was normal (Harper was in the 98th percentile at birth). So I left feeling very encouraged. I also found out that I passed my one hour glucose test that I had taken two weeks prior to the appointment. It was an all around great day.

I’m currently 21 weeks pregnant and I’m still feeling pretty good. Within the past week, Elm has become super active. I can now see her moving from the outside – I don’t think that happened with Harper until about 23-24 weeks. It’s all so exciting and I’m just trying to soak every minute of it up. I know how fast 20 weeks can pass!

I didn’t take a picture of the bump this week, so I’ll just share my 20 week picture:

This was taken after a hike to the top of Humpback Rocks in Virginia.

So, that’s it for now. I’m hoping to update more on the move later. Lots of people that I need to thank for helping us out with everything. We are so blessed 🙂

Reflections Before Moving

Before you start, know this is LONG. I just needed to write it. I’ve been working on it for three days, and I don’t feel like rereading it for grammatical errors or misspellings. I’ve got a bad case of pregnancy brain, so I’m sure there are lots of mistakes, but I’m tired…so try and look past them for me…okay? 🙂

We move in three days. It seems so surreal. Especially considering that a little over two months ago, I thought we’d be living in Virginia for the rest of our lives.

I’m glad we get to go home. I’m glad this season is finally coming to an end. It was a rough one…possibly the hardest of our entire marriage. So many times over the past year, I wondered if it really was just a season. I prayed it was, but I honestly wasn’t sure.

It’s definitely something I’m thankful to be walking out of, but also something I’m thankful I walked through it in the first place. That sounds weird, but it’s true. This past year was a challenge, and I’ve grown in so many ways because of it.

When Benji and I got here, he was unemployed and we weren’t really sure what we were going to do. Although he wanted to work in a library, he applied any and everywhere that was hiring. He’s such a good man. After many interviews at schools, public libraries and retail locations, God blessed him with work in his field. We were so excited. The pay was awful – it was almost exactly HALF of what we had been living on in Memphis – but it provided insurance, which is what we really needed.  And it was a position with plenty of opportunity to move up into a higher paying position…or so we thought 🙂

When he landed the job, we knew I would need to work to make up the difference in our income. We talked about me getting a night or weekend job until Benji could get into a higher paying position. However, when he got the full details of his job, we realized that his schedule wouldn’t allow for me to have a “real” job. Not unless it was one that paid well enough for us to be able to afford daycare (about $700 per month here) and still make up the difference in his salary. After some thought, I decided to try babysitting instead so that I could make money while avoiding the expenses of daycare. I was blessed with a job almost immediately after beginning my search.

When August came, both of us started work. I guess this is when life got hard. Benji had to commute over the mountains to work and it made for some extra long days for the both of us. On most nights, he didn’t get home until right at, or after, Harper’s bedtime. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays were always the hardest (and loneliest) because I was alone with Harper for nearly 12 hours a day.

Our finances didn’t really allow for many date nights – I think we’ve had 3-4 in the year that we’ve lived here – so we weren’t able to get away and de-stress very often. I’m a firm believer in taking time out for yourself (and your marriage) on a regular basis – I just think you have to in order to have something left of yourself to give to others – and we couldn’t very often.

There were so many times when I just felt like I had nothing left to give to anyone, including Benji and Harper. Our finances hung over my head 24/7. We didn’t have money to do things to take my mind off of it, so I’d just sit and think about it CONSTANTLY. It was a nasty cycle and I’m sure I was very unpleasant to be around.

Sometime in the fall, the cycle broke…a little. On paper, we didn’t have enough money to pay all of our bills, and yet…we were. We were making it, and paying for everything and I didn’t really know how. I slowly began to realize that DUH! God was providing. I started to see a pattern of God meeting our needs. And I don’t mean we were getting random checks in the mail either (although we did a few times).  I mean, whenever something would unexpectedly pop up, God would provide extra work for us to pay for it. True story! I began to relax and let go. Not completely, of course, but one by one, my fingers withdrew from the control I was so desperately clinging to.

And that’s when the shit hit the fan. Am I allowed to say that here? It’s just so appropriate for the next sequence of events!

I’ll be quick:

November: We moved. Our car was broken into and my purse was stolen. We found my purse, and everything was still inside. Our deductible was too high to make filing a claim worth it for the window repair. We got a ridiculous quote to repair our window and knew we couldn’t afford it. Prayed and bam! God provided through a wonderfully generous friend of mine. The next day I found out I was pregnant, even though we hadn’t been trying. Holy shat nap! We were filled with lots of joy and holy craps…because obviously, we could not afford a baby at the time.

December: Benji gets a speeding ticket. Harper gets RSV and a double ear infection. I get a $100 ticket for not having our car inspected because well…we couldn’t afford the $800 worth of repairs required to pass the inspection, but I still needed a way to get to my babysitting job. Two days later, I have a miscarriage at 10 weeks pregnant. Almost immediately after my miscarriage, Harper comes down with pneumonia. I miss three weeks of babysitting because of it. We’re short on money because I’ve missed work and we’ve both gotten tickets. My precious friend Jenn asks us to housesit and dogsit for her while she goes out of town for two weeks. The money she gives us makes up what I lost from being unable to babysit.

January: Besides the emotional trauma of my miscarriage, it was a relatively easy month. I think God was allowing me a break because it was my birthday month 🙂

February: I unexpectedly lose my babysitting job without any notice. Unbeknownst to me, the parents had been looking for a replacement ever since I had missed the three weeks in December.  I understood, but felt very hurt and betrayed simply because they didn’t tell me until the day they let me go. It was Benji’s birthday and he came home to a crying mess of a wife. I ended up cashing out my savings account to make ends meet until something else lined up. And another God-sent miracle: a friend from back home who knew I had been fired sent us a $250 check in the mail. What a blessing! My grandfather also paid for a MAJOR car repair on our Matrix without us even asking him to.

Mid-February through March was pretty much just filled with me trying to obtain employment. The miscarriage made me desperately long for home, so my search was mainly focused on Alabama. I had a couple of interviews, but they fell through. I was actually relieved when they did.  Although I wanted to go home badly, I didn’t feel peace about the route I was taking to get there. I didn’t know why there was a lack of peace, and at times it made me SO angry, but I finally came to the conclusion that God must not want us to move to Alabama and I gave up.

That was basically the end of the crazy period. At this point in time, we felt like we were staying in Virginia for a while, if not forever. I made peace with the idea and we stopped looking for employment in Alabama.

Sometime in mid-March, I was out in the backyard with Harper and I just had a moment with Jesus. I was truly happy. As I sat watching Harper play and laugh while sniffing flowers, I yearned for even more of that joy in my life. I found myself praying for God to provide us with more children, and to provide a way for us to financially support them. The miscarriage had left a longing in both mine and Benji’s hearts; however, we had decided we could not handle the emotional rollercoaster of trying to get pregnant again. We also recognized that we couldn’t handle it financially. “Trying” had been on the shelf, and hadn’t even been discussed when I found myself in the backyard praying for more children.

After my backyard Jesus-fest, I told Benji I wanted to start trying again. I remember telling my friend Theresa that I felt so stupid for wanting to try because I knew we couldn’t afford it, but I also knew in my heart that it was the right time. I thought Benji would slap me silly when I brought it up, but surprisingly, he was on board too. Looking back, I know it was the Lord and here’s why: I was ALREADY pregnant! That’s right, folks! There I was, praying my heart out for more children, and there was already life growing in my womb. Does anyone else think this is hilarious? I do!

Most of you are up to speed on the events that took place after all of this because I actually blogged about them. Benji got an interview for a professional position here, and we were about 110% sure that he was going to get it. And then he didn’t. We were baffled. He was one of only three candidates selected to interview for the position, and he was the ONLY internal candidate, meaning he was already in their system. He knew everyone at that particular branch. It seemed like the next logical step for him, and he’s an amazing librarian, so why wouldn’t he get it? I believe it was because there was another, even better job that he was supposed to have and it was back HOME 🙂

So…what exactly is the reason for this blog post? There are a few.

#1 I want to remember….both the good and the bad things from the past year. I tend not to share publicly when we’re going through a tough time. Of course, I share with close friends, but I try not to write about it here until I’m out of it because it’s very easy for me to get all “woe is me” in the midst of trouble, and while yes…that’s a very real part of me, it’s unpleasant to see and read about, in my opinion. So I just save it for my poor, poor husband and friends instead! Sorry guys! Now that I’m (thankfully) walking out of this season, I feel comfortable sharing about it here.

#2 God has done so much for us over the past year. I just want to publicly acknowledge and thank Him. We haven’t been rich, financially speaking, but he’s blessed us beyond measure with love and relationships. We were able to spend a whole year with Benji’s precious family, and I met a wonderful group of moms that supported and loved me through everything I went through up here. I developed two, very meaningful, life-long friendships while here, and I will always be grateful for that.

#3 And lastly: I wanted to share a “simple” lesson that hit me like a ton of bricks. Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  The lesson? God’s definition of good is different from my own sometimes. Simple and pretty obvious, right? Not for me, considering it took a year for me to truly “get” it.

In the past, when I’ve heard that verse, I’ve always pictured my definition of good: healthy pregnancies, healthy children, financial security, retirement, a nice house, nice neighborhood, etc. But God’s definition of good for my life could be me experiencing the opposite of every single one of those things. I don’t know, and all I can do is take him at his word, and trust him through a seemingly bad situation.

Today would have been my due date if I hadn’t lost the baby in December. Obviously, I will always mourn the baby we never got to meet, but for now, I’m trying to focus on the good of it all. There’s another life growing in my womb. And we are going home on Saturday. Instead of being 40+ weeks pregnant for the journey, I’ll only be 21. Moving so far away would’ve been nearly impossible at 40+ weeks pregnant…not to mention unsafe and stressful. Just thinking about being in that situation makes me tired.

So today, instead of focusing on the bad parts of the past year, I’m focusing on the good that came out of it. I’m saying prayers of thanks for everything God has blessed me with, and I’m thanking him for his definition of good, and for knowing better than me!

Pregnancy Dreams

Hey! I’m updating again, and it hasn’t been a month! :::::pats self on the back:::::

I had a dream last night and wanted to write about it here. Pregnancy dreams can be crazy at times, and while this one was definitely on the crazy/funny side, it was also neat and I don’t want to forget about it.

In it, I was going in for a regular check up (I think I was 18 weeks). I really wanted to find out the gender of the baby so I asked if they could do an ultrasound on me. They said no, so I decided to sneak into their ultrasound room and perform one on myself. When I saw the picture of the baby, it was actually just like looking at a baby in real life. There was color, and movement, etc. It looked nothing like an ultrasound. She (that’s right! It was a girl.) even had on clothing. I was drawn to her shoes above everything else, but I know that she had on a white dress and headband. Her shoes (which were sandals) were bright white and had flowers all over them. I don’t know why they caught my attention more than anything else, but they did.

She looked to be about six months old in the picture (hopefully this part isn’t true or I’ll be in trouble). She was smiling and laughing and looking right at me even though she couldn’t see me. At one point, I noticed that she had her molars. I began to freak out about that because I didn’t like the idea of a baby inside of me having teeth already (hello, Breaking Dawn, anyone?!). Just as I began to freak out, I saw God’s hands inside my womb. They started to fold her gums over her teeth. Now this sounds gross, but it was really neat to watch. I told Benji, it was like watching someone make a cal-zone. The gums were soft and doughy and folded over easily, and then connected to each other, to turn into a smooth surface. When everything was finished, her mouth looked like a normal newborn’s mouth. No teeth. Only a smooth, red, gummy smile.

And that was it. See. Pregnancy dreams are freakin’ crazy. But I actually really enjoyed this one. Most of mine involve bugs crawling all over me, so it’s always nice to have one with a cute baby instead. Even if the cute baby has teeth before it should! 🙂

I also wanted to give a tiny pregnancy update (with a picture!).

My belly this time around is ridonkulous. This was taken at about 14 weeks. I didn’t show until about 20 weeks with Harper. I’m not sure what’s to blame for showing so soon this time around. I’ve always heard you show sooner with subsequent pregnancies just because your body already knows what to do. But it could also be because I am 50 pounds lighter this time around. I don’t know, but either way, my belly is popping out like crazy!

Up until this point, I’ve been undecided on my feelings about the gender. With Harper, I was 100% sure he was a girl. You see how that turned out. This time, my feelings change every day. One day I think it’s a boy, the next I think it’s a girl. We find out on July 27th so I need to nail something down soon. After my dream last night, I feel like settling down on saying it’s a girl. We’ll see how I feel about that tomorrow.

Regardless of the gender, this baby is very active. It has already woken me up a couple of times with its little flutters. And sometimes, it takes my breath away with the way it moves. I’m not really sure what the heck it’s doing to produce that sensation, but Harper only did that to me once, and it was when he was much MUCH bigger.

Just like last time, I am excited about meeting this little one. I wonder what he/she will be like and what he/she will look like on a daily basis. Unlike last time, I am A LOT more patient. I am not anxious for the time to pass by. I am okay with waiting – even if he/she comes two weeks late – because I know the road that lies ahead of me. I know how hard those first few month are and I also know that I’ll miss being pregnant, no matter how much I swear to hate it in the weeks ahead. For now, I’m trying to soak this up and cherish it. It’s such a precious time, and it’s only for a season.

Umm…Hi! Remember me?

Yeah…so it’s been two and a half months since my last update. WOW! I think that’s my longest stretch for this blog. Oops. It wasn’t intentional. I just got way behind! I had some cool things to share and I wanted to share all the cool details tied into each story, but there was so much to say that I just kept putting it off and putting it off. And then more cool things would happen and well…you get the picture. I ended up not sharing any of the stories because I didn’t feel like it anymore.

So I’m going to give a brief update on our lives since March 25th – without all of the cool details because I’m just way too tired.

#1: Baby Number Two

This is probably more to blame for the lack of updates than anything else. I’m now 14 weeks along and past the worst part, but the beginning was a little rough. Not as rough as my pregnancy with Harper, but it was rough enough that all I wanted to do was nap in my spare time. And nap I did!

With Harper, I was sick almost 24/7 until 20 weeks, but I wasn’t really tired. With this pregnancy, I’ve been extremely tired (toddler chasing could be to blame!) and not as sick. I didn’t start feeling the nausea with this one until six weeks, whereas with Harper it was immediately. That’s actually how I knew I was pregnant with him. I’ve only had a few toilet huggin’ sessions this time and for the most part, I feel almost completely better now. Side note: every time I say that, I end up puking within 24 hours so I’m going to lie here and say I’m still sick 😉

#2 We’re moving back to Alabama! 

Yep, that’s right! When Benji and I found out we were pregnant and that he didn’t get a professional job in C-ville that he had interviewed for, we knew we were going to have to do something. He started sending out his resume to schools/libraries all over the country. Long story short, he e-mailed his resume to the Head of School at a private school in Montgomery, Alabama (only about 1.5 hrs from our hometown). They contacted him right away, flew him down to Alabama over Mother’s Day weekend, and hired him later that week. You can read a better and more detailed version of this here: My Mother’s Day Weekend Adventure.

It was AMAZING. Have you ever tried to make something happen on your own, gotten to the point of giving up and then had it happen right after you finally surrendered? That’s what this was like for us. After the miscarriage, and losing my job in February, and just being plain miserable and homesick here, we had tried everything we could think of to get back to Alabama. I had applied for jobs, Benji had applied for jobs, and nothing ever worked out.

We talked and decided to stop trying to go home to Alabama. And then yet another job (here) fell through for Benji. Instead of focusing on applying for jobs in Alabama, Benji decided to apply everywhere in the country. The job in Montgomery just came out of nowhere. It happened and it was so effortless because it was God. It felt so different from our earlier failed attempts to move back to Alabama. There was peace this time. No only that, but it is literally the BEST job Benji has ever gotten. It pays more than any job he’s ever held, it’s the perfect fit for him (elementary school librarian…need I say more?!), and the hours are phenomenal! We….are….pumped!

#3 Harper

I don’t even know what to say about Harp. There is just so much! It’s amazing to watch him learn new things every day. He’s a very fast learner and loves figuring out how things work. His vocabulary grows every day. Here lately, I’ve only had to tell him the name of something once or twice before he has it. It’s amazing. And he almost always tries to repeat us when we tell him the name of something. I love that he loves to try! My favorite words that he says are owl (this one is adorable!), apple and night night. Out of everything he says, those three are by far the cutest! Whenever he is tired, he comes to us and says night night. It melts my heart.

He loves being outside. We actually can’t say that word in our house (unless we’re really going) because when we do, he goes to the door and starts asking to go out. If we don’t follow through with it, all hell breaks lose lol. That same goes for walks. He loves going on walks with us!

He still loves fruit. Any and all kinds of fruit, really. Well…except for bananas. He loves broccoli, spinach, squash, zucchini and cucumber. And that’s about it for the veggies. He only drinks water nowadays. He randomly stopped drinking milk recently. He’s never been overly fond of it so it wasn’t too much of a shocker.  Fortunately, he does like cheese and yogurt so we give him those things instead.

He walks everywhere and climbs everything. He loves the stairs. He also loves to jump! Especially if daddy or mommy is jumping with him. We play lots of games with him. Our favorite game right now is getting him to make all sorts of animal noises. The best ones are monkey and sheep noises. He does them both perfectly and it’s HILARIOUS!

I could seriously write forever about the things he has been doing. It’s bittersweet because with each passing day, he seems less like a baby and more like a little boy. He has such a kind heart and amazing sense of humor. I can’t even imagine the laugh lines and wrinkles we’re going to have because of him!

#4 Pictures

Just thought I’d share a few pictures from the last few weeks:

Hopefully it won’t be another two months before you hear from me again 🙂

Nothing Gold Can Stay

I never get to hold my baby anymore. If he’s awake, he’s roaming around, discovering, touching and destroying things. If he’s asleep, he’s in his crib – he won’t go to sleep if we’re holding him. Just won’t do it. 

He fell asleep in the car today and I managed to get him out without waking him – what an achievement! Instead of putting him straight into his crib, I decided to sit in the rocking chair with him and do that creepy parent thing where you just stare at your child and think “how are they mine?”

I was reeeeeeeeeeeeaaaally soaking it up – the sounds of his breathing, the innocence of his face, the small jerky movements of a person falling into deeper sleep – and then I started thinking about stuff crap.

“I need to fold the towels. I need to do the dishes. Man…I REALLY need to wash my hair…it’s gross. This is me time. I need to use it while I have it.” etc. etc. etc.

And out of no where “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost popped into my head. I saw Harper as a young boy, a teenager and then as a man on his wedding day. Before I knew it, I was crying because I realized a day will come when I won’t be able to hold him anymore. A day will come when I’ll have to let him go.

I’ve always known this, I just try not to think about it. It’s one of those truths in life that, while being good, still hurts like hell. Today I was thankful for the reminder though. My days are numbered and I need to live them. I need to soak up every moment with my little boy. And I need to cherish the moments that I am fortunate enough to spend holding him because I’m not promised anymore.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

 

Getting back up :)

Last week I decided that today would be the day I would start Weight Watchers again. I was going to start last Monday, but later decided I just wasn’t ready yet. I needed some time to do some emotional eating. Lots of chocolate (and peanut butter pie) was had. I had my last bite of ice cream last night and got Benji to take the Oreos out of the house this morning. I am ready now.

Before getting pregnant, I was very public about my weight loss journey. I want to continue along that path. I feel that writing about my progress here keeps me accountable. So in the spirit of that, I am once again telling my weight: I am currently 226.

I started out on July 12, 2011 at 265 pounds. My goal was to eventually reach 200 pounds, but then Benji and I unexpectedly got pregnant. I have since gained two pounds, which might have seriously just come from all of my emotional eating last week.

I’m excited and ready to get back on track. I’m also proud of myself because I’m not letting everything that’s happened get the best of me. I’m not going to act defeated because well…I’m not. I have victory through Christ and I’m going to get back up and kick life’s arse. Here goes nothing.