Monday, February 12, 2018

Baby Wesley// Picture Overload

On January 24th at around 5am we got to meet our sweet little Wesley. He was 7lbs 13oz and 22inches when he was born. I am so grateful for a smooth labor and delivery, and another healthy little guy! The past couple weeks have been the sweetest. I love watching the boys with him, and am so thankful for how our family has grown. I will post more soon, but for now here are some pictures of his first week of life.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Seven Things That I Wish I Knew About The Little Years Before Becoming A Mother

We are about a month away from welcoming our third little boy into the world, which is both exciting and terrifying at times. I can't wait to meet him and see how he changes our lives. Watching Eli and Logan together has been one of my favorite parts of being a mother, and I can't wait to see their relationship with their new brother grow too.

This last 4-6 weeks has me thinking a lot about my other births, the boys' newborn days, and motherhood in general. I have been thinking about some things that I didn't know before having my babies. They are things that I learned with experience, as I am sure I will learn a million more lessons throughout these years of motherhood. I wanted to share a few of them here on the blog and would love to hear your thoughts.
  • Nothing can prepare you for how sad the first vaccinations are (if vaccinating is something that you choose of course). When Logan was only about a month old, we brought him to one of his appointments, knowing that we planned to vaccinate. However, I was totally unprepared for watching him be shocked with pain for the first time in his little life. I still remember staring at his tiny face as he recognized that he had just been poked with something sharp. I cried more than he did at that appointment, which was a little humiliating (gotta love those postpartum hormones). I learned not to watch their facial reaction when Eliott came along, but those first vaccinations are still hard to get through. Plan to treat yourself to a coffee after that first appointment.
  • Whether you loved or hated breastfeeding, it is always hard when it is over. I would put myself somewhere in the middle on the how I feel about breastfeeding scale. I have never loved it, but for the most part didn't totally hate it either. I did it because I was able (though it was a struggle with my first), knew that it was good for the baby, and saved a lot of money. Both of my babies weaned around a year old, and I never expected to feel so many emotions about them being done. Both times it was so bittersweet. It was a freeing feeling, followed by sadness about that being one of the last baby milestones into toddlerhood. Something about knowing I would never look down at that particular baby while nursing again was a little heart wrenching.
  • There are constantly decisions that you make as a parent that have no right or wrong answer, but you will still have to choose. I remember really believing that every little thing I would have to decide as a parent would be mentioned in the Bible somewhere, or talked about by someone I admired so much that I would follow suit, or that I would just have a super strong conviction about. I quickly realized that not everything is that spelled out when it comes to parenting. You just have to decide some things based on your situation and each individual child. Then you hope that you made the right choice, and move on to make the next choice. Sometimes you will feel guilty even if you believe it was really what was right for your family or child. Some examples would be bottle/ breastfeeding, vaccines/delayed vaccines/ no vaccines, cloth or disposable diapers, binky/ or no binky, and those are just things that will come up in the first few months. Pray, do your research, talk to your spouse about it, and give it your best shot with as much confidence as you can muster.
  • You will likely at some point in your motherhood journey, be the woman standing in line with the screaming toddler. Before I had kids I don't think it was so much that I judged those moms, I just thought that I would never be one of them. For some reason I thought that as long as my children had rules, boundaries, and punishments at home, then they would never dare act like that in public. The problem with that theory is that two year olds actually are their own little human, and not some kind of a robot. They are still learning and have very little self control. There have been so many times that I have messed up and lost my temper as a mom, that it is amazing to me that there was a time that I thought my own children would always know better. I will add, that I believe the actions we take toward those toddler outbursts greatly impact how often they happen as the toddler grows into a little man or lady. But expecting to never be that mom? Insanity. So if you happen to witness this type of outburst as a random bystander, my best advice is to show grace. Either offer a helping hand or a kind smile, or ignore the situation altogether, but try your best not to be quick to judge someone else's situation.
  • Quiet time, me time, hobby time, or whatever else you want to call it, truly make you a better and more patient mother.  This is one that I still struggle with to this day. I don't always take the time during the day that I need in order to recharge. I have learned though, that a few minutes with coffee and a devotional book before the kids wake up in the morning go a long way. If you can't seem to carve that time out anywhere, a half hour of tv won't hurt your kids any, and could likely change how you relate to them for the entire day. Make a little time for yourself and your sanity, no matter how crazy your day is.
  • You will love your second or third child just as much as you loved your first. I spent a lot of my second pregnancy watching my first play or sleep, and wondering how I could possibly love another little person as much as I loved him. Then for me, it was an instant love. The first time I held my second baby in my arms it was like he had always belonged there. It is like the scene in The Grinch, when his heart instantly grows. Each child will have a different personality, which may make your relationship with some more challenging than others for you, but you will love each of them the same as you loved your first.
  • Kids will change your relationship with your spouse. I added this one here because even though there have been many times when we have very little patience with each other, when we disagree on something and have a hard time working through it, or the busy-ness of the season get to us; that is not the type of change that I am referring to here. I am talking about the respect, love, and admiration that instantly take over when you see your spouse hold your precious baby for the first time. There is nothing in the world like the bond of knowing that at the end of the day there is someone else just as excited by your little one's first smile, steps, words, or lost tooth. It is a bond that has brought us closer than I ever knew possible.
I love reading about what others have learned on their parenthood journey. You may totally get me on some of these points, or completely disagree. I would love to hear what changed for you after the reality of these little people came into our lives.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Eliott turns two!

This precious boy turns two today. I looked at his sweet face as I sang him a bedtime song the other night and it brought me right back to the years we spent praying for him. We didn't know that it would be him at the time, but we prayed that God would send Logan a sibling. The Lord has blessed us times a million.

Some things we are loving about Eliott at two years old:
He is talking a lot these days. He is saying a lot of 3-4 word phrases. He is great about knowing when it is appropriate to say "please" and "thank you", but will also say things like "go away" and "not like it" when he is annoyed with something.

He is definitely the clown of the family. He does goofy things just to make you laugh, and is very proud of himself when he accomplishes that. He will even look at you after doing something goofy (or sometimes something he knows is bad) and ask.... "funnnnnyyyyy??"

He loves his brother and they have the sweetest relationship ever. He looks up to, and attempts to copy just about everything Logan does. They do get in arguments/ fights from time to time. Right now, if they are in an argument it is usually because Eli has gotten into something that Logan has created and doesn't want ruined.

When I scoop him up to hug him, or run my hands through his hair, or rub his back he says, "love you mom" completely voluntarily and it always makes him seem older than he is.

He loves music, and will learn anything through song/ memorization, but still has no desire to sit and learn things like his letters or numbers in any traditional way. He is a more on the go type of boy, and would rather be running or climbing than sitting for more than a minute or two at a time.

We have been so blessed to love and guide him as he grows, and can't wait to watch him step into the role of big brother this year!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Third Trimester

I am officially in the third trimester of this pregnancy, and haven't updated the blog much on this little one. Thankfully, this pregnancy has been relatively uneventful. This baby has checked out healthy so far, for which I am extremely grateful. I finally found a doctor's office that I feel comfortable with (I dreaded seeing the doctors for both of my previous pregnancies). I just passed my glucose testing last week. As someone with pcos, it is always a little nerve racking because it increases your chances of also having gestational diabetes.

This pregnancy has gone about as smoothly as possible. I was tired in the first trimester (as always). I felt pretty good through most of the second trimester. Over these past few weeks, I have started to really feel the effects of coming closer to the end. I usually end each day feeling very pregnant, and pretty sore from the busy day behind me. I still feel pretty good in the mornings though, and am able to get done the bulk of homeschooling and housework before I am really crashing.

I thought I would bring back the old pregnancy check ins that I did on the blog when I was pregnant with Eliott in order to have a little more recorded about this pregnancy.

How far along? 28 Weeks
Baby's size: About 15in and 2.5lbs
Maternity Clothes: Definitely wearing maternity pants. Shirts I tend to just buy long and loose fitting for this pregnancy, but I have been wearing some maternity specific shirts too.
Sleep: Waking up 1-2 times a night, but usually can get right back to sleep. Some nights I end up staying awake with a mile long to-do list running through my brain for the holidays/ baby arriving.
Best moment this week: Passing my glucose test, and getting an overnight date with Dan. The boys stayed with Grammy and Grumps for the night, and it was so nice!
Movement: I usually feel small movements at some point throughout the day, but this one has made me a little nervous with how little I feel him move. Thankfully, Logan hardly ever moved so I know it can be normal. I also have a heartbeat Doppler which helps with reassuring me that everything is fine. Eliott moved a heck of a lot more and had stronger kicks at this point though.
Food Cravings: I have not had much of an appetite this past week (baby already seems to be crowding everything), but usually craving oranges or grapes, and sometimes chocolate.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Only really nauseous when I have too much to eat at one time, or am in the car for too long.
Gender: Another boy!
Labor Signs: None. I have found though, that Braxton Hicks are much more painful with each pregnancy. They also seem to start earlier in each pregnancy, and be more frequent.
Symptoms: Mostly just a sore back and feet at night, and I am more emotional than my pregnancy with Logan, but less emotional than I was with Eliott.
Wedding Rings on or off? Still on, but I do take them off at night and sometimes forget to put them back on.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Tired and happy most of the time. :)
Looking forward to: Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions with family. And meeting this little guy of course!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fryeburg Fair 2017

Last week we spent another awesome day at the Fryeburg Fair in Maine. The weather was perfect, and we had a great time with the boys. We have loved going each year, and have made quite the tradition out of it!

Here are some posts from previous years at the fair:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A little update on life

I can't believe it has been nearly a month since my last post! We came back from our end of the summer vacation with family, started homeschooling the next week, and have been planning a little here and there for adding another little guy to our mix. Life is busy, but so good!

I am hoping that now that we have our homeschooling schedule ironed out (at least until the baby gets here and changes everything up again) I will get back to blogging more regularly. There have been so many things that I have wished that I had the time to write about the past few months. I have noticed that Eliott has stretched out a lot the past few weeks, and is trading in some of his baby look, for a little boy look instead. He is talking a lot more these days, and has even taken an interest in the big boy potty lately. Some days I see his little (almost) two year old attitude coming out. Other times he is the sweetest little guy ever, and a complete riot. The days are long, but the years are short.

Logan has been having a lot of fun with school this year. To be honest, we both have. It definitely does take up a lot more time (almost like adding a part time job). But I have added so much more fun into our school plans this year, and I can already tell it is making a huge difference in his desire to learn. He is so smart, and soaks in most everything we read. I have been loving the flexibility that homeschooling offers. Even if it is not something that we choose to do long term, it is perfect for this stage of life.

I had another ultrasound today, and will be 22 weeks along on Monday. Most of the time the pregnancy feels like it is flying to me, and then when I have a bad day with headaches and a sore back, it feels like I have been pregnant forever. It is all a matter of perspective I guess. I am so thankful that everything is going well and he appears to be healthy. It is amazing how big a mother's love can be for a baby that she hasn't even met yet. I am so excited to meet this little guy, and imagine that excitement will only grow the more uncomfortable I get. ;)

Dan and I celebrate our seven year anniversary on Monday too. The other night we brought tea and popcorn up to our bed to have a movie night after the kids were in bed. It got me thinking about when I was nineteen and a coworker asked me if I thought I was throwing away all of my fun years by getting married so young. I am so lucky to have had seven years worth of sleepovers with my best friend. Marriage is full of so much, the good and the bad. These years have grown us in so many ways, but I am forever grateful for Dan and the way he loves and leads me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

It's A ....

We found out last week that we will be adding another boy to our crazy little bunch. My sister in law made us the cutest gender reveal cake that we cut into at a family dinner with Dan's side of the family. Logan started out the pregnancy hoping for a girl, and for the past month or two has really wanted a boy instead. He knew that we didn't get to choose if the baby is a boy or girl, but was super thrilled to find out he is getting another brother! We were going to be happy either way, and suspected it was a boy from the beginning by how similar my pregnancy has been to my first two. We can't wait to meet this sweet little guy!

Monday, August 28, 2017

End of Summer Wrap Up...

I fought with myself over that title because I am not sure I am ready to commit to saying goodbye to summer quite yet. We still have a little end of the summer vacation planned with Dan's side of the family before we come back to start school. I am hoping to fit a couple more beach trips, ice cream stops, and some other fun in before I give up and declare summer to be over. Though, when the time comes I will be more than excited to welcome in the fall season!

One of the things that was on our little summer bucket list was a mini golf trip. Logan had been asking about going, and was so excited when we made a night of it. He did really well staying focused throughout the whole course. His brother on the other hand, nearly took a dive into a really gross pool of water, and was more focused on giving each one of the animals on the course hugs and kisses.

We also took a trip to York's Wild Animal Kingdom with my mom and my sister's kids. It is basically half zoo and half amusement park and is located right off of York Beach in Maine. The kids all had a blast feeding the animals, holding a snake, and riding the rides!

I am an ocean lover who happened to marry a lake lover. So when Dan messaged me from work one day a couple weeks ago, and said "lets pack an easy dinner and head to the beach tonight" I was totally on board. It was a little breezy by the time we got there, but that didn't stop Dan and the kids from heading right in for a swim. It was such a fun family night.... the kind of night you hope to remember for years.

Last week we decided to pack all of the cousins up and head into Boston for the day. We took the train to the Boston Aquarium. We got lucky to be on board a train that happened to have a dome car that sits up above the train with large windows. My sweet grandmother decided to brave the challenge that is six young kids in Boston for the day, and made the trip with us. We loved having her there, and I am willing to bet everyone slept really great that night!

Are you ready to say goodbye to summer yet? What was your favorite memory from the season?