Monday, March 31, 2014

26/27 week update

Well I'm a bit behind. I never got around to posting a 26 week update, mostly because nothing noteworthy had really happened during the week. Plus those little 'questions' I answer each week do seem to get really repetitive and almost difficult to 'answer' for me, so I just put it off. This week I'm going to scrap the outline and just mention what I feel like. Call me a rebel, haha.

I've been feeling really good lately and getting great sleep, which is nice. But I did wake up to an excruciating muscle cramp in my calf about three days ago, which was just miserable. I was in so much pain I couldn't even communicate to Steve what was wrong, other than moaning and holding my calf. Luckily he figured it out and put pressure right where the cramp was and the overwhelming pain faded after about 30 seconds. I was so grateful for his help, and glad that it had passed, but my calf was sore for another day or two.

I've also started to feel lots of uncomfortable pressure in my ribs when I sit for more than 10 minutes, which I never felt with Riggs, even when I was past my due date. I did measure quite a bit ahead (fundal height) at my last midwife appointment, so they're probably going to do an ultrasound at my next appointment on Wednesday. I'm happy to get the chance to see our baby, but I'm also hoping to be reassured that everything's ok/normal in there. The midwives don't seem too worried but it's hard for me not to worry a little. I'll just be very happy to get to my appointment and see what's going on.

In other news, I've been craving potato chips and Sierra Mist like crazy and indulging during naptime every once in a while. I'm never a soda person either so it's pretty odd, but ohhh so good right now. I've also been baking like crazy lately and craving strawberries, yogurt and salad. 

My mom went to Seattle recently and brought back some adorable, perfect little clothes for baby girl. I just can't wait to see her in them! It's so nice to have so many people who love our little girl so much already :)

I have no idea how much weight I've gained, I forgot to weigh myself at my last appointment. I feel like I might be up 20 pounds now, but who knows. I'm just feeling big ha. I can't really believe that as of Thursday I'll be 28 weeks and into my third trimester. You other mamas aren't kidding when you say the second pregnancy goes by so much faster than the first. It's just flying by! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

five friday favorites

It's Friday, hooray! We've been saying 'hooray' a lot around our house thanks to Riggs' obsession with Winnie-the-Pooh. Anyway I'm excited for the weekend and some unexpected quality time with Steve. I was planning on being gone all day Saturday at a consignment sale in Anchorage selling some of Riggs' outgrown kid clothes but sadly it was cancelled last minute, boo.

Even though I'm sad to miss the opportunity to offload the piles of clothes I have just taking up space in his closet, I'm also relieved not to have to get up early, load up the truck, drop Riggs off with my sister and spend the entire day sitting on a folding chair crossing my fingers that lots of stuff sells. And of course, I'm glad that it gave me a little extra time to sit down at the computer and share some of my favorites from the week in this post! [click on the photo for links]

ONE | this perfect gold and rose quartz arrowhead necklace. pair it with a loose white tee, boyfriend jeans and leather sandals and it would pretty much be my summer uniform.

TWO | this easy little crate DIY to catch extra pillows and blankets in the living room. next time I can make a trip to our local craft store I plan on grabbing some supplies and making one or two of these for our house. Between Riggs and Tutka our pillows always seem to end up scattered around the rug or under the couch. It would be so nice to have somewhere to stash them during toddler-lab play time on the couch.

THREE | these adorable (and free!) printable labels for pantry items. love them!

FOUR | this tee shirt plus a matching onesie for baby girl when she gets here. I love the design and it's an important message to share. There's also a mint tank top that I've got my eye on too.

FIVE | and finally this list. I love it. I need to print it out (along with some of my favorites from yesterday's post) and put it up in my house. I think it's important to have a good balance between numbers 1-9 and number 10.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

choose joy

The sun has been shining here for weeks and yet I can't seem to shake this hazy cloud of melancholy that seems to have settled over me. I can see the promise of spring, and yet it's still frosty and cold in the mornings. My pregnancy is going by almost too fast, and yet June seems so distant and unattainable. I feel like I'm just waiting, waiting, waiting, for so many things, and it's bringing me down.

I've posted before about looking ahead to the future too much and forgetting to appreciate each day as I live it, but it seems to be a pattern that I fall so easily into. This morning I thought I'd share some inspiring words that help me stop worrying/wanting, start giving thanks, and make a conscious choice to choose joy each day. ♥  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


The end of last week and our weekend was so full of fun things that I'm just now getting around to post about them. I love it when life is so full and busy but I really miss my blog when a week goes by without being able to drop in and say hello. It feels so good to sit down and settle back into this space for a few quiet minutes during naptime.

Riggs has really gotten into coloring lately and it's so fun to watch him sit and try hard at actually coloring whatever shapes or characters are on the page. I think he's enjoying it more now that he knows his basic colors. Red, blue, green, white, and black are totally nailed down, and he knows pink and orange as well (pink is actually his favorite color right now). Yellow gets lumped in with orange and purple gets lumped in with pink, which we're slowly working on. It's just crazy to me that my baby is old enough to know his colors! 

Lyla (and Sarah) also came over last week and it was fun for Riggs to have a little playmate for the afternoon. They are seriously so sweet together, and watching them interact makes me even more excited to see him with his little sister. Lyla just loves Riggs and loves to sit close to him and smile up at him. He's very sweet and patient with her, and loved giving her hugs and did pretty good sharing his toys with her. Good practice for being a big brother!

Riggs has gotten more into watching movies lately, which has been fun/a blessing for mommy. Currently his favorite movies are Winnie-the-Pooh and Frozen and he will actually sit and watch the entire movie, or at least the first 30 minutes solidly. If it's during his more awake/alert periods of the day he usually gets up to play while watching for the last half. He doesn't really show interest in many other movies yet and I'd rather him have less choices for now anyway, we'll probably introduce another disney movie after he seems to get bored with his Pooh or 'nowman (what he calls Frozen ha). 

I'm trying not to abuse his newfound movie-watching interest by putting them on too often and making sure it's not an everyday thing that he just automatically watches Pooh first thing in the morning (this was starting to be a habit and we had to curb it quick!). I definitely feel that screen time should still be very limited for his age and want to make sure other more important things are coming first like time spent outside, reading time and play time.  

But I think there's great value to be found in sitting down and snuggling with him for an hour watching a movie together. I just love that when I need to sit and have some quiet time, he can cuddle right up next to me and quietly watch a movie. He's also already learned quite a bit, especially from Winnie-the-Pooh including words and concepts. He says "hooray" all the time and loves to eat honey and loves anything with bees on it. It's pretty dang cute. And sometimes, when I need to cook dinner so it's ready when Steve gets home, it's nice to be able to put on a movie for him to watch while sitting at the kitchen island keeping me company. There's definitely a positive side to 'screen time' in my opinion, as long as it's in moderation. 

My sister and her youngest, Noah, were also able to come out and visit Friday, and Riggs had so much fun playing with his cousin. We went swimming together at the Wasilla Alaska Club and they built this 'slide' together and wanted me to take a picture of it with them in it. So cute!

We headed to Girdwood for the weekend to stay at the Hotel Alyeska, a ski resort about 45 minutes outside of Anchorage.  The company Steve works for right now has multiple branches of employees in various aspects of the electrical construction field (engineers, technicians, wireman, lineman) and they hosted a big party for all of the employees, including a one night stay at the hotel. It was really fun to be pampered at the hotel and we had a great time at the dinner with Steve's coworkers and wives. We brought Riggs along with us and Steve's cousin was able to watch him for us (along with a few other kids) in one of the hotel rooms. It worked out perfectly!

The dinner was semi-formal and I planned on wearing a dress but didn't find anything I like on such short notice (in my closet or in stores). So I wore skinny jeans with a dressy black top and wedge heels. I felt a teeny bit underdressed but ultimately was happy with what I wore. Plus I was really comfortable (full panel maternity jeans are great for sitting for long periods). Hard to see details in the only photo I got, the hotel bathrooms were so dark and I forgot to have a friend take a picture of Steve and I before the dinner was over. Oops.

Riggs had so much fun staying at the hotel and despite staying up way past his bedtime, he went to sleep easily and slept great, which was a big relief since he was in the same room as us about 3 feet away from our bed and I wasn't sure how he'd do hearing us talk and use the bathroom, etc. He loved exploring the hotel and running up and down the halls. Going up and down the stairs without help was a big hit too. 

I wish I would have gotten more pictures when we were at the hotel but oh well, next time I guess! It was a fantastic weekend and it went by way too fast (like always). We had a beautiful drive home and then about five minutes after we put Riggs to bed he started screaming/crying and we ran in to find out he had puked all over his bed and behind his crib. Poor baby. Luckily it was only the once and after getting everything cleaned up and getting him his second bath of the day he settled back into bed and slept the whole night. He was pretty drained and tired the next day and even took two naps, but never spiked a fever or threw up again, praise the Lord. I was really praying it wasn't some stomach bug and luckily I think it was just a fluke.

Whew so anyway, that's what happens when I stay away from my blog too long, I write the worlds longest post, haha. Happy Wednesday and happy Spring (a few days late). Still waiting for the last (hopefully) of the snow to melt here and then spring can really start working it's magic. I can't wait!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

weekend snapshots

[these three = my world | I wonder what it will be like once baby girl is here?]

[fun at the Smith homestead with Shadow and Ginger]

[lunch dates with family after church]

[birthday party at chuck-e-cheese and my heart melting over these three]

[looking up from the couch to see her crib just waiting for her ♥]

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

in which we go for a walk and mama gets an attitude adjustment

Do you ever have those days where you shouldn't be grouchy, but you are? You can't quite pinpoint what it is that made you that way, maybe it's many little things finally adding up and you find yourself irritated and grumpy and nothing sounds good and everything annoys you. That's what my friday was like last week. It started out well, and then something happened and I was in such a melancholy mood that even the trees I was driving past were irritating me.

I thought that getting outside would be just the thing I needed to snap me out of it (and Riggs and Tutka would both greatly benefit from some fresh air and exercise), but it was an overcast, slushy day and I just didn't want to deal with dog, boy and mud and the mess that would inevitably result from a walk in the current conditions.

Just at the last minute, when I either needed to turn home or head to the trails, I made my decision. I would try going on a walk. I passed the old glenn turnoff and took the next exit, thinking that the loop around Reflection Lake would be just perfect. I pulled up to the trailhead, and the front spot was open. Maybe my day was changing for the better!

I let Tutka out of the truck, and then went back to get Riggs in his overalls, jacket and boots. Once all his warm clothes were on I dug around on the floor for his boots. Just as I was realizing they weren't there, I remembered. They were in the Jetta, which we had driven to hike the Butte on Sunday. I always leave them in the truck, so I had just assumed they'd be there today. Oops.

I sighed heavily as Riggs kept repeating, "boots? booooooots?" over and over again. Tutka was already happily bounding around in the mud outside and I knew there was no way I could force him back in the truck without at least a little bit of walking. Strapping Riggs on in the ergo was out of question for two reasons. dug in uncomfortably to my stomach if I wore him on my back (as he prefers) and wasn't even in the truck like it usually was. It too had been left in the Jetta after our family hike Sunday. I picked my brain for ideas and just then saw two target bags Steve had stashed under the seat to collect trash in.

I pulled them out, dug in the center console for some electrical tape, and told Riggs he was getting a special kind of boots today. Then I proceeded to  t a p e  t r a s h  b a g s  on my toddlers feet. When I was finished I couldn't hold the laughter back. He looked at his feet skeptically for a moment or two.

When I let him down he cautiously tested them out in the snow. I knew we wouldn't be able to be out long without his feet getting wet and cold, so we set off. I was praying that we wouldn't see another person so I would have to deal with the mortification of someone seeing my child with bags taped on his feet in the place of proper footwear.

After he got used to them they didn't slow him down a bit, except on the icy patches. And I laughed nearly the entire time thinking about how ridiculous it all was. Luckily no one reported me to child protective services and we all three were greatly refreshed by the little jaunt around the lake.

'you must live in the present.
launch yourself on every wave.
find your eternity in each moment.'

Friday, March 14, 2014

five friday favorites

It's already Friday again and we couldn't be happier! It's been kind of a nasty week around here as far as weather goes, and we've been so busy that the week just flew by. Riggs and I are both happy to have a day at home to just hang out. We've had a relaxing morning so far, both of us slept in until 8am, then some yummy yogurt with strawberries for breakfast, and now stickers for Riggs and blogging for me while we listen to this station on Pandora. Perfect :)

Here are five things I'm in love with this week:

ONE | this gorgeous little corner. I love all the white, especially that gorgeous distressed cabinet. And the homemade quilts inside are just beckoning to me! Also, that chandelier? I want this corner to magically show up in my room ;)

TWO | these sweet treats, just in time for St. Patricks Day. This photo makes me want to go out right this minute to buy a huge box of lucky charms. Right?!

THREE | this soothing succulent arrangement. now I just need to find a container like this! I have two little succulent patches in my house and they are my favorites. Riggs loves them too!

FOUR | this mama/baby set from Baby Jules Boutique. No baby, no problem. She has lots of cute turban/headbands just for women - I'm ordering a big batch soon. I need something for those days where I really don't feel like doing much with my hair.

FIVE | this fabulous giveaway from Sweet Little Peanut blog. Go enter now! So many good things for new baby...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

25 weeks

How far along: 25 weeks

Baby Size: Rutabaga (13.5 in, 1.5 lbs). At my appointment today I (fundal height) was measuring at 29cm and should have been at 25. This same exact thing happened at my 25 week appointment with Riggs, and they sent me to get an ultrasound to measure his size. He measured normal, my uterus had just grown faster than 'normal', so this time they're less worried about it. Especially since in the end I never measured bigger than 36 cm/weeks even when I had him two weeks past my due date. Long story short, if I'm measuring even further ahead at my next appointment in 3 weeks I'll get an ultrasound just to be on the safe side. 

Weight gain: 18ish pounds and feeling it. I can tell some of that weight is in my thighs, hips and arms, wah. I'm already looking forward to being able to work out and get back into the shape I was when I got pregnant. I've been staying active, but I find that it's really easy to overdo it, so I stick to weight lifting and walking or swimming. I've been having a lot more braxton hicks this time around from a very early point in my pregnancy so I'd rather be on the safe side and avoid early labor. 

Maternity clothes: Yes. Finally made it into town to shop for myself, and snagged a pair of maternity jeans from Gap for 40% off, a pair of used Old Navy jeans for $5, and two pairs of maternity crop leggings for $4 each (from consignment store). All of them are full panel except for the Old Navy jeans, which I prefer. I'm always pulling the other ones up, but they fit well and I couldn't pass them up for the price. I'm on the lookout for more tops, preferably tunics, but I didn't like anything that Gap or Old Navy had, and I still haven't made the trip to Motherhood Maternity yet (our only other maternity store).

Old Navy jeans I snagged for $5 from Kid to Kid

Stretch marks: Nope. I didn't get any with Riggs, but I'll be curious to see if any pop up this time around. I moisterize my belly when I remember, but I find that staying hydrated makes my skin feel best.
Sleep: I can't complain, still sleeping pretty well. I have been having a hard time falling asleep, but once I do fall asleep I've been sleeping like a rock!
Gender: Still a girl as far as I know haha. I might have to get another ultrasound in a few weeks and I'm anxious for another chance to see our girl. For some reason I have this fear that I'm going to show up to the birth center with all these pink clothes and a pink carseat and it's going to be another boy. I don't know why I have this 'fear', since the ultrasound tech basically confirmed 100% that she was a girl.

Movement: Lots of movements still, especially in the evenings as I'm trying to go to sleep. 

Food cravings: Lots of fruit and sweets. Trying to be sure to get plenty of fruit and vegetables, and for a sweet snack I've been adding mini chocolate chips to plain yogurt (with a little maple syrup), usually in the evenings after Riggs is in bed.
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
What I miss: Feeling more like myself physically, and being able to work out really hard and long as many days a week as I want without worrying about baby or my belly getting in the way. Also this is the time when I usually register for running races for the summer and I've been feeling pretty sad about missing out on a few upcoming events that friends are doing, like the Gold Nugget Triathlon and the Twilight 12k (pictures from last year, here). 
Symptoms: Just the usual. Feeling pretty good actually.

Nursery: Check out my idea board on Pinterest here

Purchased a crib for baby girl off craigslist that I LOVE. It's the Ikea Leksvik crib (which they don't sell anymore) and I love it way more than the crib I have for Riggs. I really like the simple design of Riggs' crib but I have no idea why I got cherry finish, I hate cherry wood. Also I feel like this Leksvik crib is much more feminine and so when Riggs is ready for big boy bead (read: when mamas ready) we'll probably sell his crib, get him a new bed, and keep the new ikea crib. The two cribs fit in his room well and I'm relieved that I'll definitely be able to put her in her crib from day one like we did with Riggs.

As far as paint etc, I'm going back and forth between whether I should even paint at all. Steve thinks I should leave it since we plan on moving within the next 5 years to a bigger house. I just don't love how the yellower-than-I-thought-it-would-be paint looks with the wood finishes, and was wanting to paint the trim white at least. But with this new crib, I actually think it could work without painting it. 

We are going to get rid of the big bookcase from his room and Steve is going to build ledges for his books instead, with his little couch on the floor in front of that wall. We are also selling the rocking chair (which my parents were nice enough to give us when they changed furniture in their living room) and purchasing an upholstered, easy-chair type glider. For Riggs' big boy bed, Steve is planning on building a little bunk bed, like this. I think we'll start with those things and see if we still want to paint...thoughts?

If we do paint I want to go with a light green-blue, like this (opal essence by Benjamin Moore):

Belly Button in or out? Getting more shallow by the day but still in. I never got an outie with Riggs so I doubt I will this time.

Wedding rings on or off? On. I didn't have any swelling with Riggs so I don't expect to this time (hopefully!). 

Mood: Happy and excited for spring!

Workouts: Walking, swimming, light weights and the Cardio Recovery workout from the Insanity dvds. Also chasing a 2 year old haha.

Best moment this week: Setting up baby girls crib with Riggs and seeing how excited he is for his baby sister! And at my appointment today he was so very excited to listen to "baba's -artbeat", and the midwife was very impressed that he could even say that and that he recognized that's what she was going to do when I sat up on the exam table. I can't wait to see him as a big brother!
Looking forward to: A fun weekend together as a family after Steve's first week back at work (which has been relatively easy on me but pretty sad for Riggs). 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

reflections on weaning

*this post contains breastfeeding photos. if you're not comfortable viewing them, then this post probably isn't for you.

I'm so in love with this boy right now. This big boy who is so sweet and full of smiles and hugs and kisses. Things are pretty easy right now, like we've really gotten into a good groove and I'm so thankful for it.

At night, Riggs sleeps from about 7:15 to 7:30 in the morning. He's been sleeping through the night for about two months now and it's wonderful. It also couldn't come at a better time for this tired mama. Pajamas, teeth brushing, picking out bedtime books and then it's time to read them while we rock together. When the books have been read, I turn the lamp off and we get ready to pray together.

"Who do you want to pray for?" I ask him.

"Pray Lyla." He says instantly. "Pray daddy. Pray mama." My heart melts.

He snuggles into my chest while I pray, and then repeats after my "amen". He also says, "night-night God" which almost gives me chills with it's sweetness. Finally, he gives me a hug and a kiss, and then is snuggled right into bed between his owl and his bunny.

"Night-night bunny. Night-night owl. Night-night Riggs." I say as I leave the room. "I'll see you in the morning."

"Night-night mama," he whispers as I close the door. I always leave his room with a smile now.

When he has woken, maybe two or three times, he's needed a quick hug and kiss, and then he snuggles right back down and goes to sleep. 

You may have noticed that I didn't mention nursing in my timeline of pre-bed events. February 16 was the last night he nursed before bed (or anytime at all). I had no idea that it would be the last time, but the next evening as I was putting him to bed, I just couldn't nurse him. It had been a long day, and the thought of the sharp pain I knew would come when he latched lazily on for just a couple minutes of comfort nursing was just too much. After we prayed, he turned to get into 'nursing position'. 

"Milk?" he asked softly.

I don't remember exactly what I told him. I tried to keep as much emotion out of my voice as I explained that he had drank up all the milk and that mama needed a break to get ready to make milk for his baby sister. I do remember that after listening patiently, he asked again in a pleading voice, just that single word, "Milk?". I shook my head and told him it was night-night time.

He seemed to consider for a moment, then turned in my lap towards his bed and said, "bye milk. Night-night milk." I held my breath as I tucked him and his animals into bed, walked out of his room and closed the door. But there were no tears; he went right to sleep as usual. The next night, he said, "no milk?" a slight question in his voice. I said, "no milk. It's for baby sister now." And he went to bed.

Now a month later, he still says, "no milk," after praying, but as a statement rather than a question. It makes me realize how deeply ingrained routines are in children's minds.

At first, it was as if I couldn't really acknowledge that he had actually weaned. I was relieved that it was going so well for him, and I wasn't at the mental 'place' to think about it any more than that. 

Then about four days ago, he was sitting on the couch, reading quietly to himself, looking and acting so much like an independent little boy, rather than a baby or even a toddler. I watched him for a moment, filled with pure love, and then it hit me. I realized I would  n e v e r  nurse him again, that a chapter had been closed in our relationship that will never be reopened. He had taken the first big step away from me, from needing me, needing me to both comfort and nourish him and to foster his rapid growth.

He was thriving. Sitting there on the couch, he was at that moment the master of his own universe, and I wasn't in it. It hurt and I cried, silent tears rolling down my cheeks as I watched him and felt a distance from him that I had never felt before. 

I realize that he will still need me in many other ways throughout the (hopefully) many years of his life, in his childhood and well into adulthood. Yet there is just something so personal and magical about breastfeeding, that binds mother and baby together in a unparalleled way. The realization that I would never have that again was devastating, even though I knew it was the natural progression of things, that it was inevitable.

I took about ten or fifteen minutes to mourn, and then I felt myself begin to heal and move on. To be thankful that I had the opportunity to not only be a mother, but to nurse with ease just past his second birthday. To be joyful that he was growing and thriving physically and emotionally and that I would be (Lord willing) blessed enough to watch him on his journey.

*I want to take a moment to mention that I in no way mean to belittle mothers who don't nurse their babies, either directly or indirectly, through this post. I wrote this from a very deep place in my soul and it is based simply on my experiences and feelings as a mama. Please know that I respect all mothers who care for and nourish their babies, no matter how they go about doing it. xoxo