Friday, December 20, 2013

A wonderful year, 2013!

What a year! It hurts my heart to realize how fast it all goes. My baby's a big girl, and in only three more months, we meet Carmen!

It's been a fun year. Work at Koch continues to challenge and fulfill. I was blessed in February with the opportunity to leave the country for the first time - my first stamp in the passport, Monterrey, Mexico. A one-day trip in the corporate jet. There's no better way to travel, let me tell ya!  Norwex has taken a back-burner, though I still use the products and I'm especially thankful for them now that I'm pregnant and trying to stay as chemical-free as possible.

Gwen started a new daycare in February and seems to be loving it a lot more than the previous place. Hugs all around are a must most days before we can leave - so adorable. I love that she has so many friends there.  She started a music/singing class in March so we got to see lots of 'performances' in our living room - she loves to perform. Took her to her first movie theater experience in April - only one bathroom break. Mastered the potty training challenge, celebrated a third birthday, went to the circus in June, first haircut and trip to the dentist in July (she's excited to get to go back!). She started a ballet/theater class in September - I have never witnessed anything else more adorable than that.

Andy is enjoying a new role at his job - commercial sales for Overhead Door. God has blessed him with a strong start. The company vehicle allowed him to get a Mustang, which he is very happy about. He took his annual vacation with the guys in August, always a lot of fun, I'm told.

So now, we're gearing up for an exciting and challenging 2014. Preparing nursery, arranging for preschool to begin for G. Blessings to you and yours for the new year!

January - homemade tiaras

February - new bed

March - playing in the dirt

May - birthday party

June - playing in new art playroom

July - trip to Kansas City

September - first ballet class

The good, bad & the icky

I came to a realization a few days ago. Once the New Year is here, which is coming rather quickly, I will be down to only three more months of pregnancy. I expressed my disappointment to a guy friend of mine at work whose wife is also expecting. He shook his head and asked, "why? Why are you sad about that?" I responded, "because I LOVE being pregnant!" He went on to explain, from seeing his wife in this same condition, that he doesn't see the upside.

Sure. I understand there's lots of not-so-hot that comes along with carrying a child. That first trimester is quite a doozy of a thing, was more so for me with this second pregnancy. It was tough to stay positive when I felt like I was stuck in the worst hangover for two months straight. And that super-human sense of smell...  Really not fun when combined with nausea and having to pee every 20 minutes. I held my breath a LOT those first few months. Another joy that doesn't mix well with tummy issues: gallons of extra saliva.

Then there's the dry patches of skin, the growing belly that I can't show off bare because it's covered in fur that sticks straight out. The pulled stomach muscles that feel like something's tearing inside when I simply stand up from the couch (finally). Road rage, night sweats, dizzy spells, sweaty pits and stinky feet. Heartburn, difficulty breathing, temperature fluctuations, gums that are swollen, tender, and quick to  bleed. There's water retention and swelling, skin tags, and puke burps.

On the icky side, there's discharge and nipples that have grown to the size of my face. The unkempt nether-region - shaving blind is not easy! And I hate the idea of getting the suction cup mirror to put in the shower. That just creeps me out. Some things just should go unseen.  Along the same lines, the toenails are in much need of a pedi - long and the polish is down to a jagged patch right in the middle of each nail.

There's a pain that comes along my right side when I walk more than 30 feet. The house is a wreck. The laundry gets out of control in a hurry. I'm running out of clothing options. I am not gifted in the pill-swallowing area so those horse pills they call prenatals are a daily challenge. I have a constant fear of falling, fever, under-cooked meat, microwaves, and putting on socks. I force myself to drink water all day long, thus contributing to the frequent bathroom trips, including midnight stumbles to the bathroom.

My breasts rest on my stomach - a feeling I am not accustomed to. I now have to lift and separate the girls when washing and drying.  My stomach itches. Everything is stretching. When I was on the potty one afternoon, Andy came into the bathroom and stared. "That's a lot of skin," he dared to say. Yes, some angles are better than others.

I used to cuddle up to hubby when getting ready to fall asleep. Now there's a big tum-tum in the way. So we assume our positions on opposite sides of the king-size bed, me on my LEFT side as all the books suggest. And I struggle to stay there. I bought one of those pregnancy pillows this time around - the ones that are so huge it's like a whole other body sharing the bed. And let me tell you, it's a joy with all of the stretching ligaments and lack of coordination to get up and over that monster every bathroom run or early morning. But most mornings I do wake up on the bright side, laughing at my extremely odd dreams.

I also admit, there are the moments of unreasonable fluctuations in mood. Back in that first trimester, my mother tried to help out by going to Goodwill to get me some maternity clothes. All has been in fast forward this second go-round so I needed maternity clothes much sooner. But she bought Large items. I held them up, one at a time, and tried to hold back the tears. They were hideous, but also did I mention Large? I could hold it back no longer. HUGE break-down.

Pregnancy brain, I firmly believe, IS a real thing. My husband thinks it's one of those off-the-wall made-up things that pregnant women have invented to get away with being stupid. I admit, I do dumb things sometimes, pregnant or no, but I do it much more when pregnant. Case in point: so I'm pouring my cereal one morning. I walk over to the fridge and proceed to try to fit the cereal box in the refrigerator. I realize what I'm doing, giggle, and take out the milk. I return to my bowl and pour the milk on the cereal as I continue to giggle about how 'pregnancy brain' stupid that just was. Then I walk into the pantry and set the milk jug on the shelf. I step away and look at it - something's off here. So, um, yes Andy. It's a real thing.

So as I sit, focused on the aches and pains, wallowing in one of my for-no-reason bad moods, trying to figure out what I can/should eat... Carmen kicks. And this is exactly why I LOVE being pregnant. The world melts away. I forgive everything else and just try to be in that moment. I put my hand on my belly and watch it jump. I giggle as it feels like she's strumming on my urethra like she's playing the bass.  It's just the two of us. All that matters is that God has blessed me with this experience - this life inside of me that I get to carry with me for nine whole months is a special gift. I'm a mother. What I have prayed for so many times is this, this moment. What joy, what overwhelming joy.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Nursery Plans

Progress in the baby room is slow-moving! But progress has finally started. It's funny, I had all but given up on the idea that we would be blessed with another child. That room had remained a catch-all for over a year after our move... just in case. Well, I finally decided to spend a weekend and convert it into a fully functional art studio.

Two weeks later, if that, I had a positive pregnancy test. Ha!

So... the process has now begun to convert it from art studio to baby room. And I do have some plans so I hope it all comes together!


  • The glider is one we purchased at Babies R Us for Gwen.
  • The crib will be here in three days - babyletto Modo 3 in 1 Crib with Toddler Rail, Two Tone - purchased from Amazon.
  • The dresser is one we have already, from Target I believe.
  • The photo divider is black at the moment but I have intentions to paint it before April.
  • The lamp is from Target.
  • Bedding is Dwell Studio, blossom. I did manage to catch a crib sheet and plain pink bedskirt and stroller blanket on sale.
  • The garland is also Dwell Studio, but sold out. I may have to get crafty with supplies from Hobby Lobby...
  • I used from Sherwin-Williams to create the pallet next to the bedding
    • SW 7006 Extra White
    • SW 6057 Malted Milk
    • SW 7522 Meadowlark
    • SW 6381 Ajou Pear
    • SW 6874 Ardent Coral
  • The other pallet is from, to pull in the best complimentary blue
    • 190B-6 Wet Coral
    • 520D-7 Mosaic Tile
    • 200A-3 Blushing Apricot
    • W-B-120 Victorian Pearl
  • Our baby's name is Carmen - I call my daughter Gwen gigi so Carmen will have the nickname cici. I will do this same thing in Gwen's room, but I thought I might buy some letters and paint them the same as the wall color to place by the art. Inspired by Pinterest
  • Not shown that will also be in the room is the changing table, a simple walnut finished, open frame that was used for Gwen, purchased at Babies R Us.
  • I also plan to make the mobile myself using the hardware tutorial found via Pinterest - still searching for subject matter inspiration, ideas welcome!
Will update as it actually begins coming together. I hope to buy paint this week and begin that first critical step - most everything else is on hold until it's painted and ceiling fan is installed. Then I would like to work on creating a closet organization system because we are limiting ourselves to one dresser and the changing table.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

'Tis the Season

No joke, our baby girl is due on April 1, 2014 - April Fools Day! As I type, she hiccups inside my belly. Once past the sick stage, I must say that being pregnant is absolutely wonderful. Knowing that she is growing and wiggling in there, that I get to bring her with me everywhere I go, what is better? I love to sit back and just feel her move and kick. It's so exciting to plan for April, but I must admit, it's a bit scary as well.

Gwen is 3 so it's been a long time since we had a tiny new baby in the house. Will it all come back to me? Or will I be the nervous wreck I was with her all over again? Will I be able to nurse this time? Oh, I so very hope so! Will labor go as smoothly and quickly as it did with Gwen? Yes, please!

Big sister is quite excited. She talks about how her heart starts going fast and I ask her why, she says it's because she's so excited to be a big sister. She talks about what she will teach her, the seating arrangements at the table and in the car. Her prayers at night most frequently begin with, "Thank you for the baby growing in my mommy's tummy." We are so very blessed.

For the time being, though, we're soaking in all the Gwen-as-the-only-child time we have left. We're prepping for Christmas, singing carols and baking, arts and crafts, and anticipating seeing her eyes light up on Christmas morning. Oh what fun.

This is Gigi's 4th Christmas: