Oct 20, 2016

a growing belly and growing faith

This third pregnancy was a surprise (and to be honest, so was our first--- clearly, you can see how we roll in this family. HA!)  Don't get me wrong---getting pregnant is a huge blessing and I already love this baby with all my heart, but the timing of this pregnancy came during a very difficult time in my life.

Oh Simon. That boy can sure pull on my heart strings and bring a tremendous amount of joy into my life. He is so incredibly sweet, and sensitive, and will stop in the middle of whatever he is playing to walk over to me and give me a big fat kiss and then walk back to his toys in a nonchalant manner. Whenever Lincoln gets hurt or upset, Simon walks over immediately and plants a fat kiss on him and rubs his head. He loves being cuddled and is as sweet as pie, but there's also another side to him. I had been struggling immensely with Simon who requests a lot of attention and loves to be carried ALL.THE.TIME. When I found out I was pregnant, Simon was 13 months and had been sick for almost a month straight, which added to the feeling of being utterly worn out. I still felt like I wasn't able to accomplish or do anything because I was constantly holding him. Long story short, Simon was trying my patience every day and the idea of being pregnant and having another baby seemed nearly impossible.

I knew I was pregnant for almost 3 weeks before telling Ryan. THREE WEEKS! Who waits that long before telling their husband? This emotional-mess-of-a-mama who had little-to-no faith in the timing of this baby and my abilities to care for the demands of a growing family. 

24 weeks 

The day I told Ryan I was pregnant was on the night of Lincoln's 3rd birthday. We had an awesome weekend celebrating. That night of his birthday, after we put him to bed, I became so emotional (definitely enhanced by the pregnancy hormones). Just thinking of our first born turning three, how big he was getting, how much I hated him losing his arm rolls that had been prominent for so long and that he was practically a teenager and would want nothing to do with us anymore and... well, ya know... all those rational things mothers conjure up in their heads. And that's when my husband suggested we say a prayer of gratitude for our children and for the happiness and joy they've brought into our lives. He said even though these were trying times, that we were grateful to be parents. His prayer was so sincere, humbling, comforting, and anything and everything a wife and mother full of doubt and fear needed to hear. I knew his prayer was truly inspired. 

After his prayer, I knew I had to tell him. This moment was perfect to tell him---Not because I was already bawling my eyes out, either :). I walked into the bathroom and pulled out the pregnancy test I had been hiding for the past few weeks and said, "I hope you meant everything you just said, because... we're pregnant again." And literally, without any hesitation, Ryan responded, "Really?? THAT'S AWESOME!" 

(sigh) This man is my rock, I tell ya. 

26 weeks

oh you want me to pick up, but you don't want to be held ? how strange, simon. :)
I wish I could say that spiritual experience alone erased all my doubts and fears and anxiety over baby #3. It didn't--- but that was definitely the turning point in this pregnancy that made me trust my Heavenly Father and the plan He had for me and my family. I found myself crying... a lot... over the next few weeks. I found myself excessively praying (can you really pray too much??) because I needed help. What I really needed was faith. Faith in myself and faith in Heavenly Father's plan. Thankfully, I had 9 months ahead of me to work on that and luckily, it happened much quicker. 

Simon suddenly became more independent and his never-ending sickness finally cleared up. He wouldn't cry when I left the room, which allowed me to feel like I could breathe again. Ryan buzzed his long-locks and we joke that was the turning point for him. Maybe he really did hate having his long hair, but I also like to believe it was Heavenly Father's way of lightening my burden and showing me that things will get better. I know more trials will come my way--- that's part of life. But I know, through this experience and many others I've had, even when those difficult times come, I am not alone. The Lord is aware of me and is aware of what I'm capable of overcoming. 

Lesson learned: I so got this! Bring on baby #3 :)

35 weeks

36 weeks
(Don't mind the boys. Lincoln just taking the car out for a drive and Simon crying from stepping on an acorn.)

Just helping that belly get a little bit bigger. Double-fisting those cones, baby. 

the birthday boy and another.... boy

I have a handful of pictures of the boys chowing down on chips. They couldn't pause a second for a photo and Lincoln's expression cracks me up. haha

We were really impressed with Lincoln this year around. He actually agreed to get in the water this time. Yes, the choke-hold was still in full swing. Luckily, Ryan has awesome lung capacity and didn't pass out.
More chips. I promise we had other stuff to eat for lunch besides chips. But chips may have been the main staple.
oh, ya know, just working on my synchronized swimming routine... by myself.
And for his birthday, Ryan requested an ice cream sandwich cake which I had never made but was thrilled to see how stinking easy it was. I felt like an awesome wife for unwrapping ice cream sandwiches and layering them in a dish with cool whip and crushed Oreo in between. They loved it!

Bottom left picture: Lincoln cried because he thought the previous bite was going to him... but I ate it. C'mon! Pregnant lady here!

Also, his birthday weekend was father's day. And my dear friend made some gender reveal cupcakes for us. Here it is! Finding out baby #3's gender!

memorial day

I wish I had something to write about this day other than slapping a bunch of Memorial Day pictures down and saying, "that's all." And even if that was all, it's perfect because they're pictures of some pretty stinking-cute boys. And also, some of the last pictures I have of Simon with his long hair before Ryan betrayed me and buzzed it all off while I was taking a nap...

But that's all. Some pictures from forever ago and I can hardly remember anything about this time in my life because I was newly pregnant and in that constant walking-zombie state. If it weren't for these pictures I don't think I would even remember what we did that day. But let the record show, we went to the park.

Oct 4, 2016

roller coasters make me sick....especially this one

It was almost 3 in the morning when I woke up. I woke up with a distinct thought in my mind. I wasn't even a day late, but I knew. I knew because of a gift us women are given--- mother's intuition.

If you've ever been woken up in the middle of the night with the thought you might be pregnant, it's really hard to go back to sleep. I had two choices: lay here until I get up for the morning thinking about how I might be pregnant, or actually get up and go find out. I was planning on getting up in 2 hours anyway to run to the gym and there was no way I would be going back to sleep for those last two hours--- might as well get a jump start on the day, right? I grabbed my phone to see which store was open at 3am. EVERYTHING was closed... well, everything but Walmart.

I got out of bed, threw on some gym clothes and drove to Walmart at 330 in the morning without telling Ryan where I was going. Probably not the safest thing to be doing, but clearly, I had to know right then and my safety at a Walmart at 330am wasn't my concern at the moment.

I grabbed two pregnancy tests and a box of tampons. Obviously, if I wasn't pregnant, I clearly needed a box of tampons, too. I was only slightly embarrassed as the cashier rang up my items. I figured I'd make a joke out of the uncomfortable situation--- "Bet you get a lot of these purchases in the middle of the night, huh?" She looked back at the items and back at me, "Uhh, actually I didn't notice what you were buying."


I thought about running into the bathroom there, but went with my better judgment that I'd rather not have the memory of finding out if I'm pregnant again while in a stall at Walmart. I went to the gym  and was home by 5. Ryan wasn't awake yet and I took my tests into the bathroom. I realized I bought the crappy pregnancy tests that require you to pee in a separate cup, then use the syringe to put a few drops of urine on the test. REALLY??? WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO BUY THESE???? AND WHY DO THOSE PREGNANCY TESTS STILL EXIST?! The last thing a woman wants to do when she's trying to find out if she's pregnant is do these extra steps. I figured it really wasn't necessary and decided to just pee on the whole thing. Nope. Test error. I guess the steps really are important. Ugh.

Take II.

Luckily I bought a second test and had some pee left in me. I made sure to follow the instructions on this one. Two lines for positive, one line for negative. Within 5 seconds, it was a clear one-liner. Wow... I'm really glad I lost those hours of sleep to find out I'm not pregnant after all (sense the sarcasm?). I threw the tests and boxes in the bathroom cupboard and figured I would wait for Ryan to leave for the day before properly disposing of them. I wasn't trying to hide it, but I would rather have waited and told him how silly I was later in the day when he was more awake and could maybe laugh at the fact I went out in the middle of the night without him knowing.

The whole day I was thinking about what it would have been like to be pregnant again. It was a roller-coaster of emotions that day. First I was scared I could actually be pregnant--- I was not feeling ready in the slightest for our third. Surprisingly, after I took the test, I felt a little disappointed when it was negative. But to make myself feel better about being surprisingly disappointed, I convinced myself this probably wasn't the best timing.

When the boys went down for their naps, I remembered I needed to throw the tests away. I grabbed them from the cupboard and started walking them straight to the trash. I just happened to glance down at the test again, not even intending to look at the results, but when I did, I saw two lines.




I literally dropped to my knees crying. The initial cry was probably because I was already on that emotional roller coaster all day--- scared straight thinking I'm pregnant, finding out I'm not pregnant, being slightly sad to find out I'm "not pregnant", then feeling somewhat better after telling myself it wasn't the right time, AND THEN, finding out that I actually AM pregnant? GAHHHHHH!!!!!

Those initial tears of complete emotional madness turned into tears of gratitude. I was shocked and terrified--- heck, I still am, but immediately saw the big picture and was grateful that our family was being blessed with another baby. They say that each child makes you a better person. So in my case, I better keep these babies coming cause I need a lot of work. :)

And now, the blurriest, most off-centered 22 week baby bump pictures brought to you by the cutest 3 year-old-photographer...............THIS GUY!

I laughed at the picture he snapped of me mid-shushing. He kept telling me to say "CHEEESE POO-POO!!!" and would laugh hysterically while his brother was napping. Seriously though, "cheese poo-poo?" I'm definitely in a house of boys. :)

Sep 15, 2016

wild and three

no Lincoln, you can't turn three
nope, you're not allowed to get any older.

A conversation Lincoln and I have been having repeatedy the past month. Apparently I convinced myself that if I told him he wasn't allowed to get older, he would actually listen. Silly me.

Our little boy is THREE. He's still the comedian of this house and has more energy than he, nor I, knows what to do with. He loves a good laugh and is always pulling funny faces, or saying the silliest things to get us to laugh.

I love going into his room in the morning to get home up for the day. He's always awake, talking to himself--- either singing a song or making up some story. Every morning, I ask him what he dreamed about and every morning, without fail, he says Jesus. (Not sure how entirely true that is, but it still melts my heart.) He loves reading. Every day we go through a pile of books together.

And when daddy gets home, he usually runs outside to meet him. Sometimes we will be down on the corner waiting for him and Lincoln gets to drive on daddy's lap the half-a-block home. He's in pure heaven.  He loves wrestle time with daddy because he gets to scream and smack pillows at each other and do body-slams and all that boy-stuff mom would rather not participate in. Every night, after daddy gets home, he follows daddy into the backyard to check on the garden. He loves to be right in the action, and apparently, pruning the garden is full of action. He has daddy read the same pile of books again, PLUS, he gets a new story every night made-up by daddy in his bed. I'm not sure where Ryan comes up with something new every night, but he does.

He still loves oatmeal and requests most mornings. We can go a month and he wouldn't care for a bowl of cereal. He strangly likes cucmber sandwiches with nothing but cucumber and a little mayo, but try having him eat any type of beans and he'll refuse it. His favorite treat is an ice cream cone. He doesn't get them often, but when he does, he is SO excited and it brings the biggest smile to my face watching him eat it. He always ends up with an ice cream ring around his mouth.

He's really into our "learning time" we have during Simon's nap. Having a chart for him to put stickers on and treats at the end of our lesson sure are motivating to him. He knows his numbers 1-50, can identify about 30 states, and can read a good chunk of sight words. He learned to spell and write his name. We practice tracing letters and seriously, the boy is pretty good. I'm trying to hold out teaching him as long as he'll let me.... The incentives though are becoming more sweet... He used to be happy with just cheerios, then we moved to raisins, and now I'm having to throw some chocolate chips and marshmallows in the mix.

He's just recently started gaining interest in fishing. Can't quite say if it's the "fishing" he likes, or being able to go with dada on an adventure and use his buzz-lightyear fishing pole. He's already caught his first fish and it was a "big whopper". I hope this will be a special bond for him and Ryan throughout the years.

After finding out we were expecting another baby, he's made the executive decision that we are naming it "Chocolate". He thought it was a girl, but after finding out it was a boy, we asked him again what we should name him. The name remained the same, "Chocolate". I guess it's a gender neutral name. :)

We just recently moved him out of the crib. I didn't like the idea of it--- mama likes to keep her kids caged in as long as possible, but he would wet his nap and night-time diapers and figured getting him out of the crib would allow him to get up and use the potty on his own. The transition has been beautiful. He's out of diapers completely for nap time and first thing in the morning will get up and go use the potty on his own. YAY! The only downside is situations like today when I didn't hear him leave his room to go potty and ended up emptying an ENTIRE roll of toilet paper into the toilet. He usually calls for me to wipe him--- what parent doesn't love to hear, "Come wipe me!" ? But since it was during nap time, I guess he was trying to stay quiet. I went to go check on him and there was the tallest mountain of toilet paper that had soaked up every drop of water in the toilet bowl. I put in the rubber gloves and had to shovel out the toilet paper into the garbage can and give him a quick lesson about not using the whole roll and until he can efficiently learn to wipe his on bum, that mama gets to be the lucky one to do the job. He put both of his hands on my checks (it did cross my mind that he probably had some remnants of poop on his hands but at the moment his face and demeanor was utterly cute I didn't mind) and with wide eyes and a soft voice said, "I'm sorry mama.... I had to get the poop off!" Oh child...

He had a week of church camp at a nearby Lutheran school. We're not Lutheran, but when a Lutheran school offers to do a week long camp for free and will take your active 3 year old for 3 hours a day, you're suddenly all on board. After his first day he came home and we were in my bedroom playing when out of nowhere he says, "Only Jesus gives us hope." I acted like I couldn't hear him and kept having him repeat it because it was the sweetest phrase a little boy his age could mutter. It melted my heart and made me so incredibly grateful that at such a young age he is learning about Jesus. Every night when he prays he says that he's grateful for Jesus, church, and nursery. I hope that his humble testimony of the gospel continues to strengthen and grow. Our last day at camp I bought one of their kid's Christian CDs. LINCOLN IS UTTERLY obsessed. He's learned several of the songs and will ask me to turn it up louder. I must confess, the songs are pretty catchy. I really do find myself dancing and singing along with him.

And lastly, two little things that he does right now that are really cute and they're at such random times that it makes me laugh every time he does it. First, his "thumbs up, dude." I may ask him to go do something and he'll pause in his tracks and say "mama!" I'll look up at him and he gives me the biggest grin and a thumbs-up until I do it back. Then we say, "thumbs up, dude!" Seriously, it gets me every time. And lastly, his favorite show is SuperWhy! In the show, the characters all put their hands in a circle and then raise them up high shouting, "To the rescue!!!" Now, when we leave the house to go run an errand or go on an outing he'll ask us to put our hands in, Simon included, and we all do the motions and shout, "To the rescue!!" I don't know about the boys, but it sure does pump me up to go do whatever it is we're about to go do. :)

Lincoln, aka Dewey (He likes to be called Dewey), I love you SOOOO MUCH! but seriously, you're not allowed to get any older.