Life in the Fall [2017]

Already the first of December! We have our tree up and some other Christmas decor. Starting to order some presents and think about making some Christmas cookies. A fun time of year for sure, though, I have to be careful not to romanticize it or I'll inevitably be disappointed. 

First: baby update...
I'm about 19 weeks right now, this picture was from somewhere in week 17. I've felt so great (other than a quick stomach bug I got that didn't have anything to do with the pregnancy). If I do too much a few days in a row I'll be due for a couple nights of a 9PM bedtime, but otherwise life as usual in the wonderful second trimester! With the last two babies, the second trimester has included some horrible, frequent migraines which I blame on hormones, and I have't really had them this time around! I'm leery of speaking too soon but it's been really nice! In some ways I feel like I've been pregnant for so long and then when I think I could be past halfway if baby comes early it starts to feel like it's moving quickly.

I just re-read some of my pregnancy posts with the boys. I happened to do a 19 week post with Ira and mentioned the red spots all reappearing all over my face and other areas. Which is funny because in the last couple weeks they've once again resurfaced. From what I can tell from the posts...this pregnancy was much worse in first trimester, but maybe better second trimester so far?

The debate is still out on whether or not we'll find out the gender next week. Right now the most likely scenario is that Devin and I will find out but keep the news to ourselves. I'm trying to decide if I can just lie to people and tell them we don't know, because saying "we know but we're not telling" to the tons of people who ask will get soooo old.

The boys: whew. They're so fun and so frustrating all in the matter of a few minutes it seems. I definitely don't want Henrik to have any sort of complex, so I'm careful how much I say, but Ira continues to be the easy peasy child. Like, we are kind of in awe of how pleasant he is and (so far) easy to raise. He plays well alone or with others. And is just generally fun to be around. Henrik can be so fun and witty and interesting...but if the mood is wrong, or he's struggling, the struggle is REAL. I'm constantly trying to figure out what this kid needs, what turns him sour, and how to connect with him in a way that resonates with his brain. When Henrik wants to be a great brother, the boys have so much fun together and often are great friends. 

Part of the nightly routine lately, Bible stories in the top bunk. To say these boys adore their dad is an understatement.

Family pic from an extended family gathering. Starting to wonder what that third one is going to look like!

I failed at picture-taking, but we had a really fun time at my parents for a couple days over Thanksgiving. We've been home a lot, enjoying our new space and working on things...leaves, still unpacking boxes, rearranging furniture, etc. The last couple weeks my house progress came to a screeching halt, so I've been trying to make a plan for how I can get those last couple rooms painted, and start the process of looking for a dining room table and a few rugs. Sometimes I just don't have the energy to shop, even if it is online!

More and more as my kids grow up I have the feeling that my life isn't my own. Not really in a spiritual sense (though that is true) but more in a practical sense that my days are filled with a lot of mundane tasks and obligations that leave little time or energy for other things. And of course so many of the things I'd want to do don't include my kids, but since we don't have a full-time nanny, there's only so much of that you can do. All of a sudden I see my weeks fill up with random things that sometimes I would just rather not do. I'm trying to figure out how to reconcile that...wanting to serve and be faithful in the small things, but also want to find ways not to lose myself and keep life fresh and exciting. Any ideas are welcome. :)

Old / New Home

We're finally in our new house...which is actually a very old house. I wouldn't say we're completely settled as in all boxes unpacked and rooms put together, but we made a ton of progress in week one and things are coming together faster than I anticipated - mostly due to all the amazing help we had. 

Devin and I both agree this house felt like home from the second we walked in. It has it's quirks for sure as many old houses do and we'd love if the bathrooms were larger, but otherwise we think it's perfect for our family. The upstairs still has a couple rooms waiting to be painted or organized, but mostly the main floor is finished...

My mom and I painted the entire main floor "Bistro White" with the exception of one small alcove that is very dark navy. Someday we'll fill the space under the chandelier with a large dining table but not sure what I want yet so waiting to figure out the right thing.

The boys are so happy to have a bathtub again after only having a shower for five months! They've been enjoying many long, bubbly baths together. They also got bunk beds that they're really thrilled about. After several months of rerouting and searching for the perfect place, we feel really amazed that it all came together better than we could have pictured it!

Week 13 Update and FAQ

Heartbeat and ultrasound taken at 8 weeks, 2 days
At my 12 week appointment the heartbeat was around 175.

Just about finished up with the first trimester!
I felt the baby move already! Right around week 12, which I know is really early, but it was the undeniable "fish-like" swish that I'm familiar with and it was so fun to think of who this sweet kid is developing into. I'm excited for feeling frequent movement in the coming weeks.

The questions I'm asked the most lately...

How are you feeling?
The last two to three weeks I've been feeling great. My nausea went away completely at week 11 so life has felt so much more manageable. It's amazing the dark cloud that lifts when I start to feel normal again. I'm still pregnant though, so I tire easier than usual, my feet and lower back hurt by the end of the day (thanks to my pregnancy-induced plantar fasciitis), and just generally don't feel like myself. I'm not complaining. I'm so thankful to have this life growing inside of me and have felt so excited about this baby...the most excited I've been so far with my pregnancies actually. But, there's still the reality that it's 9 months of not feeling or looking like myself and that can be hard for me.

Will you find out what you're having?
So far our plan is not to find out the gender. We didn't with Henrik and then did with Ira and we thought waiting for the birth was much more fun. However, I've started to question this decision. If we were to have a girl I think I would have fun getting some girl stuff ready beforehand. But I also know it would be easy to just have a few girl and few boy newborn things ready. I don't do a ton of nursery prep or anything since they baby will just sleep with us the first few months anyway.

Are you hoping for a girl?
Actually this one gets more phrased like a statement such as "oh maybe you'll get your girl!". Which I totally understand most women hope to have a daughter. But it annoys me a little too, as a mom who really thinks her boys are awesome. I'm definitely not waiting around for a girl to complete our family. My standard answer has been this: while having the experience of a daughter would be great, I also think the world needs more boys that are raised in good families with awesome dads. So if we add to that number of boys, I'm very happy with that. Sometimes having a girl freaks me out and I find myself hoping for a boy and other times I do find myself thinking how fun it would be to have the surprise of a girl. Either way, we really will be thrilled.

The second picture is 13 weeks, but probably makes me look bigger than I am because of the angle and it was taken at the end of the day, when I'm definitely a lot bigger than how I start the day.

Hoping to have a good and uneventful second trimester!


We haven't lived in a place that's felt like home since we left our beautiful, comfortable home at the beginning of June. And while we've been blessed to have good places to stay in the mean time (some better than others), I'm realizing you just can't replace the feeling of settledness that comes from the familiarity and coziness of your own home. 

I can't look at that picture above without tears and an ache that goes deep into my soul. Our home on Logan Lane saw us through some dark days and some incredibly peaceful days. Ira turned into a toddler there. Henrik turned into a little boy there. Devin and I became closer there. I can still smell the familiar scent of walking into the laundry room from the garage. I can hear the sound of the boys running across the kitchen floor in the morning. I find myself back in the family room, laying on our fresh, new carpet by my favorite big windows that let in the afternoon sun. My favorite memories are the everyday, normal sitting on the bathroom counter with Devin, sipping Liftoff and chatting while the boys bathed. And the dinners. We hosted so many dinners with friends in that house and I'm so thankful we used it in that way.

Devin and I don't like the way we left that house and in hindsight realize we didn't appreciate all that it offered. It was such a place of safety for us. 

Thankfully we're anticipating a new home where we'll make memories and watch our kids grow and I'm confident it'll become the perfect place for us in this next season. In the mean time (we get possession in 23 days!) I'm dreaming and planning and that's really fun too...

One of my idea boards.

The entryway to our new house is one of my very favorite parts. The floor, the front door, the slanted ceilings and cute little window. And that wood trim. Ahh...I can't wait to work on this space!

In the mean time though, we're still making great memories with our boys. Thoroughly enjoying this season with them and thankful that when the four of us are together we can be home. I'm so grateful for how well they've held up through all the moving and changing and new friends and schools and church. They're seriously amazing and I feel so honored to play a role in these precious boy's lives.

Baby 3, Weeks 4 - 10

We are so happy to be adding to our family in April!

My pregnancy journal thus far...(this is lots of detail, but I've learned that I forget these things SO quickly!)

While we were not trying to get pregnant, it wasn't really a huge surprise.
My early symptoms start pretty much 24 hours after conception which might sound crazy, but I start to feel the occasional weirdness in my chest. With Ira, I remember feeling the implantation cramping, but didn't this time. But I was super tired around implantation and went to bed at like 8:30 for a few nights in a row which was when Devin believed me that I was pretty sure I was pregnant.

We got a positive test about 5 days before my missed period. Devin read the test, per his request. In the past I've taken a test alone and told him later and he wanted to be included this time. :) I took a couple more tests over the next 5 days, just to see if the second pink line would get darker. It was cool to see how the hcg levels were increasing so rapidly in just a day or two. By the day before my expected period I had a really solid second line.

I already started feeling some nausea at week 4, which was different than previous pregnancies. Weeks 4 and 5 were hit and miss with feeling sick. Each day was different. Some days I had normal energy and about every third day it looked hard to walk up stairs or go anywhere. By the start of week 6 I was feeling really gross the majority of the day. While still super excited about the baby, I started to have days where I was like "oh yeah, this is why being pregnant sucks".

Weeks 6 and 7 were all-day nausea everyday. Pretty normal energy though, which was nice. At the end of week 7 I had some cramping and weird pains, which was exactly what I had around that time with Ira so I was glad to remember back and know it was normal. Week 8 I started to have some sick breaks for a few hours here and there when I felt fine, but then the nausea would come back in full force.

I had my first OB appt on the 18th. It was fun to the see the baby and hear the beating heart. The baby measured 8 weeks, 2 days. I'm back at Dr. Stroud's practice which I love, but unfortunately the birthing center they're building won't be ready for this birth, so now I need to decide if I want to stay with them and deliver in the hospital or go for a homebirth. I really had hoped to avoid the hospital stay this time around so we are meeting with a homebirth midwife soon to get some questions answered before we make a decision.

With the nausea I have been pretty picky about what food does or doesn't sound good. For some reason the smell of garlic is one of the worst things for me, which is usually a smell I love. But I cannot cook with garlic right now or I will feel terrible. Carrots gross me out. Thankfully I can still handle a cup of coffee in the morning. I've been wanting romaine lettuce salads with poppyseed dressing. Mostly I want savory food, dessert doesn't sound very good which is how I was with Ira the whole pregnancy. I've been indulging in sugary cereal, something I tend to do in pregnancy. Fried or greasy foods do not settle well and tend to make me feel really bad.

Pregnancy splurge...cereal I would never give to my kids. :)

I think I took this around week 5. I wanted a "before" pic so that when I'm a couple months postpartum I can look back to reassure myself that someday I'll look normal again. By week 8 my jeans weren't wanting to button which kind of freaked me out, but friends assured me that the third time around they popped out so much faster.

So now here we are, heading into the last couple weeks of the first trimester. I'm starting to have some good days where I don't feel sick, which is such a relief and gives me a new outlook on life. But I can tell the sickness is definitely not over, so trying to press on and know these seasons pass quickly in hindsight.