Monday, April 27, 2015

Halfway There!

It's a little surreal that we're at the halfway mark for Macey girl! I am 20 weeks and 1 day and WOW are things very different from the halfway mark with Maleah! With that pregnancy, I had already done so much by twenty weeks - 

- picked out bedding
- come up with room decor
- bought clothes
- bought a pack of diapers (just because!)
- had an infant swing at the house (a hand-me-down)
- created three registries
- started reading books about babies
- was sleeping with a pregnancy pillow 

For sweet Macey, here's what we've done so far: 

- bought 4 newborn outfits just for her... on sale... with a coupon...
- looked through one box of Maleah's clothes to see what Macey could wear for her "coming home" outfit
- flipped through one book about babies long enough to remember that babies eat 10-12 (OR MORE!) times a day in the beginning (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

That's it. Poor second kid. I can't imagine if we had a third - it might not get a single thing for itself before it's first birthday! But that's the great thing about having another child of the same sex - we already have most of the necessary baby gear and we have more baby girl clothes than we care to admit. So if you think about it positively, we've been preparing for Macey since 2012! I like the way that sounds!

But, for real, I am starting to get the itch to do something to prepare for her. First on the agenda - move! We are moving in less than two weeks, which is a large reason as to why we haven't done much of anything to prepare for her. When we move, baby stuff will come out of the attic and into a spare bedroom. We'll be able to better plan out the girls' room (they will be sharing once Macey is sleeping through the night). And I'm waiting to get all of Maleah's tiny clothes back from my cousin so I can start organizing the little tiny baby clothes in an effort to stifle unnecessary shopping. :) 

Another big difference in this halfway mark for my pregnancies is that I am pulling the Preggo Card early. With Maleah, it was FULL STEAM AHEAD until about 34 weeks when I realized I should probably take a hint from my aching body and rest more. With this pregnancy, I'm really listening to my body and to my brain and saying "no" when I need to -- and without guilt. Growing a baby is a lot of work!

I'm also really relishing this pregnancy, as it is probably my last. We are really liking the idea of having two kids, two little girls. Only time will tell if this really is it for us, but I'm really embracing pregnancy this time just in case. :) 

In just twenty more weeks or so, we'll be holding another sweet baby girl. I just cannot wait! I have already had three dreams about her! In each dream, she has a head full of dark brown hair... so we'll see if that rings true! In my last dream, she was also a really superb nurser (the complete opposite of her big sister!) - so I'm definitely hoping that's the case this time! 

Regardless of any lack of preparation on our part, we are definitely just as excited about meeting our littlest girl! I can hardly imagine what it will be like to have two sweet girls living in our house. I have so many hopes and dreams for them as the grow up and I just can't wait to get going on our life as a family of four!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's a...


I can hardly believe it! We are having another little sweetheart in September! We are SO very excited and now the reality of having two kids is starting to FINALLY sink in. Two kids -- two GIRLS!

We are now just over 18 weeks along and things are going well! Just like with Maleah, I'm feeling much better at this point - almost like I could do this a hundred more times! :) Here's a little update about our newest little love!

Our appointment was at 2:45 Monday. We arrived at maybe 2:35 and were literally called back for our ultrasound by 2:43! I was shocked! The baby hadn't moved for a couple of hours so I was afraid it would be asleep, and sure enough the first glimpse we got was of a cute little baby turned toward my back. Thankfully the ultrasound tech was able to get it wiggling and it didn't take long to get "the" shot! As soon as she froze the screen, I knew exactly what it was - a girl! But I waited for the tech to announce it (just in case my diagnostic skills were rusty!). When the tech said "it's a girl," Maleah put on the most hysterical pouty face!!! She was convinced it was a boy!

Blake thought it was a girl all along, so he wasn't surprised! Deep down, I thought this baby was a girl - all my symptoms were identical to my pregnancy with Maleah. Plus I just felt like it was a girl! But, I had a dream it was a boy so I decided to go Team Boy! Guess I should've just stuck with my gut! 

The tech did all the measurements and baby girl measured right on track and looked healthy! It was such a relief to see some of the details God has been knitting together in our precious little one. His design is so intricate and so delicate that it is really astounding to get to see it through the ultrasound machine! All this time, He has been putting together our second sweet girl while we've just been going through life as usual (well, kind of)! Dr. Ray said everything looked great and she's hoping for another healthy pregnancy, baby, and delivery right along with us! 

So... the name. We are naming this baby girl Macey Ellen. Macey is just a name we really love - it's common enough that people know what it is but not overused. And it's cute!!! Ellen is a family name on my mother's side - my great-grand mother was Ellen, my aunt is Ellen Ann, and my cousin is Holly Ellen. I really like family names and have always wanted to name a daughter Ellen. My aunt pointed out that this will make over 100 years of Ellen's! Amazing! I hope Macey loves her name as much as we do!

Heart Rate: All four chambers going strong at 144!

Stats: I have gained 0 pounds in the past two weeks! Oops!!! Actually I realized I still haven't technically gained any weight! I lost 2-3 pounds in the beginning and have put those back on, but I'm still having a hard time getting further than that!  Hopefully a better appetite during this second trimester will do the trick! I did not gain quickly with Maleah but had a super healthy pregnancy (and ended up gaining 25 or so pounds by the end) so I'm not concerned (and neither is my doctor). The tech said Macey is about 7 ounces (I can't remember how long she's supposed to be). So tiny!

Symptoms: Thankfully most of the annoying symptoms are gone (morning sickness, I'm lookin' at you). But now some of the more comical (??) symptoms are appearing. Like a hairy belly. And super blue veins. And pregnancy brain. And sore joints in places where I didn't even know a joint existed.

Appetite: My appetite has been so-so. I still am not eating the fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables that I want to, but they just aren't super appealing! And I'm honestly having a hard time eating enough during the day. I went through this same thing with Maleah... gaining weight shouldn't be so hard! But, then again, puking every day shouldn't be part of your life... so... there's that. Heartburn is also making a comeback so some of my favorite foods - spaghetti and all things spicy - are now followed with a handful of TUMs. I am still craving all things spicy, sour, and salty! Anything with LOTS of flavor sounds good to me.

Movement: Last week, Macey REALLY made her presence known!!! I feel her throughout the day and I just love it! I definitely did not feel Maleah this consistently until I was a few weeks farther along. Blake has even felt her a time or two - but she's super sneaky like her big sister was! As soon as I put his hand on my stomach, she stops moving! The ultrasound shows I have an anterior placenta (meaning it's located on the front instead of the back). Typically an anterior placenta means you don't feel movement as quickly or as forcefully - Macey doesn't seem to let that get in her way! Although now I understand why I can only really feel her on my sides and further down on my stomach. But I'm sure at the rate she's going, that ole placenta will soon be her punching bag and I'll be feeling her all over!

Sleeping: This past week was definitely the week where sleeping comfortably became a problem. My stomach is big enough that I can't get in my magic almost-on-my-stomach position anymore. Boo! But I think I'll be getting a pregnancy pillow soon that will help alleviate some of the discomfort. Though it might mean Blake winds up sleeping on the couch through half of my pregnancy again... 

Looking Forward To: I can't wait until Maleah can really feel Macey moving!!! I tried to get her to feel tonight but since they aren't super strong right now, Maleah didn't totally understand what she was feeling. I'm also looking forward to getting over the sinus crud!!! It is NO fun being pregnant and being sick. 

Loving: Feeling Macey move around and knowing she's healthy. Just like with Maleah, I am definitely trying not to take any of this pregnancy for granted. It's not always easy and means a lot of physical and emotional discomfort at times... but it's such a joy to experience. Now the agonizing five-month wait until Macey's arrival!!!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easter Bunny, Easter Bunny

Easter's just days away and my Easter bunny anxiety is mounting quickly! I haven't given the Easter bunny nearly as much thought as I did with Santa , but that's because - quite frankly - Easter seems like the no-brainer holiday to me.

In our home, we want Easter to be about Jesus. No question about that. And while there isn't quite the same pressure with Easter as there is with Christmas, there are still some ways the world can sneak into our Easter festivities. I don't want to get to next Monday and feel like I missed Easter because I got caught up in all the hoopla. I want to get to next Monday and feel refreshed and renewed because we've spent extra time focusing on Christ. 

Now, to be honest, I had a lot of great ideas about celebrating Easter with Maleah - I wanted to do more little arts and crafts over the weeks leading up to holy week. But, in case you've missed it, I'm pregnant and as they say "ain't nobody got time for a whole bunch of arts and crafts when you're pregnant". Also Blake and I participated in our church's Easter play this past weekend which was part of how I have prepared myself for Easter. But we haven't done quite as much as a family as I wanted to. But that's just me having these lofty ideas of what life's "supposed" to look like... and... as we all know, it's not picture perfect. 

But this week is critical - it's Holy Week! And I really want to hone in on the real meaning of Easter with Maleah this week. So... here's how we're going to be celebrating in our family. 

Holy Week - So, I grew up Methodist and we are all about the liturgy and tradition. Holy Week was a big deal. You start with Palm Sunday, Holy Monday-Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. Simply put, each day you kinda put yourself in that last week of Christ's life on earth and remember what was happening leading up to the cross. 

While I am not sure our family will get to do all of these things, here are some ideas I've had on how we can celebrate Holy Week with a toddler: 

Palm Sunday - Before church, I talked with Maleah about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey and how excited everyone was to see him. Our church gave each child a palm branch during Sunday school (and let me tell you, Maleah was ALL ABOUT her palm branch!!!). So all day Sunday we talked about shouting "Hosanna!" to Jesus. 

Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday & Holy Wednesday - We will be reading Bible stories from Jesus' teachings. We might do a couple of art activities or watch a cartoon on the Easter story. 

Maundy Thursday - This is the day we remember the Last Supper, but communion is not usually taken. Many churches observe this day by having a feet washing ceremony. We will read the story of the Last Supper with Maleah and maybe we'll do some feet washing of our own!

Good Friday - Of course, this is the day we remember the the crucifixion of Christ and the events leading up to it. I am planning to do a simple little art activity with her where she finger paints an empty cross using lots of colors, to represent all the people Christ saved when he died on the cross. 

Holy Saturday - This is typically a day of mourning. We will cover the cross we made Friday night with a black piece of paper or fabric and talk about how sad everyone was that Jesus had died. The people did not understand what was happening and they thought Jesus was gone forever. If we have some time, we may even make a tomb using a shoe box and some construction paper. We will also totally be dying Easter eggs!!! Come on, that's just fun!

Easter Sunday - OF COURSE we will be celebrating the resurrection! Early in the morning we will see that the black veil on our cross has been lifted and talk about how Jesus is Alive! {I know a lot of people do the Resurrection cookies - I had thought about doing those this year, but Blake will actually be out of town Friday & Saturday, so I don't want to overwhelm myself with "to do's" - again, this is not about cute activities... but activities that help us focus on Christ!} If she and I do make our little shoebox tomb, I will move the "stone" (the lid) away so she can see the tomb is "empty"! We will go to church and then celebrate spending time with our family in the country!!! My aunt Tammy always hosts a really fun Easter afternoon!

Of course there are TONS of ways you can celebrate this week with your family. Despite the fact that I should've posted this like two weeks ago, it's not too late to pull together some family-friendly moments to intentionally focus on the Gospel during this amazing week!!! 

Oh... and what about that Easter Bunny fella? Well, I haven't forgotten about him. But I'll make this short & sweet - EB is just like Santa at our house. He's totally fun and we talk about him and have waved at him at the mall. But we are trying not to make him a big deal. We don't really talk about what the Easter Bunny is going to bring. Getting stuff for Easter was never a big deal in my house - some years the Easter Bunny even forgot about me! :) But I do enjoy getting Maleah a few things that remind her of the meaning of Easter as well as some things we can all do as a family. 

What Will the Easter Bunny Bring? If you're looking for ideas on a toddler Easter basket, well... I might not be the right person for you to ask! I have tried to keep her baskets simple - some Bible books (I try not to do Easter books because I like to have those out in the weeks leading up to Easter), music (this year she is getting 2 Bible songs CDs and a Veggie Tale movie), and some outdoor things (sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and a little plant). We aren't really giving her candy because we are still feasting on our treats from Halloween & Valentine's Day!

Easter clothes - Easter is the one time of year that I like to buy a special dress for Maleah. Blake reminds me that new Easter clothes was totally a marketing ploy from Macy's, but whatever! :) I do like to get her a special dress to wear for Easter Sunday. To me, it is part of the excitement of celebrating the newness - and it reminds us that Easter is a very special day. I know that's very worldly of me, but it's special to me! Blake and I, however, just try to wear something we haven't worn in a while..... hehe!

Romans 5:8 - I like to try to teach Maleah Bible verses so this week we are going to be repeating this one a lot "...while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 

How are you planning to celebrate Easter with your family? Whatever you do, I hope this week draws you nearer to Christ and nearer to your family!